The Jat people are an ethnic group spread over Northern India,
but also including large numbers living in the EU, US, Canada,
Australia and UK. The Jat people have traditionally been mainly
agriculturalists and members of the military. Historically,
there have been many Jat kings and other leading figures,
including several prominent political leaders in Pakistan
and India, such as Choudhary Charan Singh, Chaudhary Bansi
Lal and Chaudhari Devi Lal. Jats in India are found in Haryana,
U.P. Punjab and Rajasthan in large numbers.
A large number of Jat people have served in the Indian Army,
including in the Jat Regiment, Sikh Regiment, Rajputana Rifles
and the Grenadiers, where they have won many of the highest
military awards for gallantry and bravery. The Jat Regiment
is one of the longest serving and most decorated infantry
regiments of the Indian Army having won 24 battle honours
between 1839 and 1947, along with numerous decorations of
individual members. The Jat people are one of the most prosperous
groups in India on a per-capita basis.
Origin of Jat People
The origin of the name Jat was considered by Sir Alexander
Cunningham Arabic in form, as the early Arab writers called
the Jat people Zaths. Archaeologists & writers have identified
the Jat people with the ancient Getae and Scythian Massagetae.
Sir Alexander Cunningham, former Director-General of the Archeological
Survey of India, connected the name of the Scythian Xanthii.
He considered the Jat people to be the Xanthi, who he also
considered very likely to be called the Zaths (Jats) by early
The Hindu mythological account in Deva Samhita traces the
origin of Jat people to Shiva's locks. The earliest attestation
of the Jat people is in a Pali inscription dated to AD 541.
There are two main hypotheses, with general consensus amongst
scholars on Indo-Scythian origin. The origin of the Jat people
is discussed in terms of native Indo-Aryan ancestry and an
intrusive Indo-Scythian admixture on the other.
Life and Culture
The Life and culture of Jats is full of diversity and mostly
live in traditional fashion. Jat people have a history of
being brave and ready fighters.They are fiercely independent
in character and value their self respect more than anything,
which is why they offered heavy resistance against any foreign
force that treated them unjustly. They are known for their
pride, bravery and readyness to sacrifice their lives in battle
for their people. In the government of their villages, they
appear much more democratic. they have less reverence for
hereditary right and a preference for elected headmen.
Jat youth are more inclined to sports like Kabbadi and kushti.
There is tradition of Akhadas and it has given various national
and international level wrestlers. In these times Kushti and
Kabaddi are sole source of entertainment in villages on occasions
like Holi and Fagun. Leaving some Jats who are in service
or in active politics or are in noble professions like legal
, medical or engineering etc., most of the Jats are engaged
in cultivation. They are born in villages and after primary
education, acquaint themselves with agriculture and by the
age of sixteen , they completely take over to this vocation
with their parents.