The Word ‘Gatka’

(Amrit Pal Singh ‘Amrit’)

Many scholars believe that the word ‘Gatka
is originated from Persian word ‘Khutka‘.

There are a few words, which are used to name
weapons of a particular category. These words belong to different languages,
but they clearly look similar. In the list of such words, include ‘Gadd‘, ‘Gada‘,
Gadka‘, ‘Gatka‘,
Khutka‘, ‘Khutak
and ‘Kutka‘. The word ‘Gada‘ belongs to Sanskrit

language, which is used in Braj, Hindi
and Punjabi as well. It has been used in Sri Guru Granth
Sahib Ji
: –

Greebi Gadaa

(Sri Guru Granth Sahib Ji,
page 628).

The word ‘Gadd
has been used for ‘Gada‘ in Sri Dasam Granth Sahib. Khutka‘ and ‘Khutak
are Persian words. The Word ‘Kutka‘ has
been used in Sri Dasam Granth

Sahib and other Sikh texts, like Sri Sarbloh Granth. ‘Gadka
is a Hindi word. Punjabi form of word ‘Kutka
or ‘Gadka‘ is ‘Gatka‘.

All of these words belong to a same origin.
Passing through hundreds of years, these words have taken their present shapes.
One word in this list seems older. It is ‘Gada‘,
which has been used in ancient literature of Sanskrit

The Turkish form of word ‘Khutka‘ is ‘Kutka‘.
I think word ‘Gatka‘ is nearer to the word ‘Kutka
than ‘Khutka‘. The word ‘Kutka‘ itself is used in Punjabi and Braj Bhasha. We
find this word in Sri Dasam Granth

Sahib and Sarbloh Granth
as well. Other Sikh writers have used this word.

If a few words belong to same origin, there must
be a few similarities as well in them. The words ‘Gadd‘,
Gada‘, ‘Gadka‘,
Gatka‘, ‘Khutka‘, ‘Khutak‘ and ‘Kutka
are not an exceptional case.

The consonants in Devnagari
and Gurmukhi scripts are divided in ‘Vargs‘, like ‘Ka-varg‘,
Cha-varg‘, ‘Ta-varg‘,
Ta-varg‘ and ‘Pa-varg‘. Each ‘Varg
contains five letters. Many a time, the first letter of a ‘Varg
changes to the third letter of same ‘Varg‘,
when other language adopts a word.

For example, Arabic word ‘Gaff‘ becomes ‘Kaff‘ in
old Punjabi. ‘K‘ (k) is the
first and ‘G‘ (g) is the
third letter of a same ‘Varg‘. Here, ‘G
is changed to ‘K‘.

Another example is Sanskrit word ‘Pitr‘, which becomes ‘Pidar
in Persian. The letters ‘T‘ and ‘D‘ belong to a
same ‘Varg‘, where ‘T‘ is the
first and ‘D‘ is the third letter. Same rule applies, when ‘Sanskrit’
word ‘Maatr‘ becomes ‘Maadar‘ in Persian.

Similarly, the letter ‘K‘ is changed to ‘G‘,
when the word ‘Kutka‘ adopted a new
form and became ‘Gatka‘ in Punjabi. ‘K
is the first and ‘G‘ is the third letter of a same ‘Varg‘.
Here, ‘G‘ is changed to ‘K‘.

The words change their forms when they go to
other languages. There are many rules and other reasons behind it. Sanskrit
word ‘Pitr‘ becomes ‘Pidar‘ in Persian and ‘Father‘ in
English. It is a vide subject, so discussion on this topic is not possible