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Why do non sikhs use Singh as their surname.  For example many Hindus use Singh. Just wondering what the history is around this.

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Because Singh as a surname and title has existed for a long time in various South Asian and Southeast Asian communities. Singh or Simha originates from Sanskrit and can be translated as "lion". Various Kshatriya communities have used this as a title in India, later it came into vogue with Rajputs. It was adopted by Sikhs in 1699, as per the instructions of Guru Gobind Singh. 

This surname came to be associated with power and authority, many other communities such as Brahmins and Baniyas of Uttar Pradesh started using it in the 18th century. Citing Kshatriya status, Ahirs (Yadavs), Kushwaha (Koeri) and Kurmis also use 'Singh' as part of their names. Many Muslim Shins also used the surname "Sing". People belonging to several other castes and communities have also used Singh as a title, middle name or a surname. Such as some Gujjars, Marathas, many caste groups of Bihar, etc. In order to create a casteless society, many first generation Indians and Nepalis have changed their surnames to "Singh". 

Hope this answered your question 


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