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Jatav

Jatav, also known as Jatva/ Jatan/ Jatua/ Jatia.[1] is a social group that in India are considered to be a part of the Chamar caste, one of the untouchable communities (or dalits), who are now classified as a Scheduled Caste under modern India's system of positive discrimination.[2]

History

In the early part of the twentieth century, the Jatavs attempted the process of sanskritisation, claiming themselves to be historically of the kshatriya varna. They gained political expertise by forming associations and by developing a literate cadre of leaders, and they tried to change their position in the caste system through the emulation of upper-caste behavior. As a part of this process, they also claimed not to be Chamars and petitioned the government of the British Raj to be officially classified differently: disassociating themselves from the Chamar community would, they felt, enhance their acceptance as kshatriya. These claims were not accepted by other castes and, although the government was amenable, no official reclassification as a separate community occurred due to the onset of World War II.[3]

In order to uplift the caste status, a Jatav caste organisation named "Jatav Pracharak Sangh" was formed in 1924 at Agra that wedged a fierce campaign to achieve Kshatriya identity for Jatavs. They pressed hard for their claim and strived intensively for few years. But in the castes federal system of India, changes seldom occur and in case of untouchables or scheduled castes there are no chances at all. Unfortunately this powerful effort could result nothing, but it achieved benefits in other fields like politics.[4]

According to Indian Anthropologist Kumar Suresh Singh-

It is also felt that they were originally Jats. [5] The Chamars revolted against oppression of the upper castes and appealed to Raja Kishan Singh to identify them as Jats, but the Raja agreed to recon them as Jatav instead of Jat.[6]

According to the theory propounded by Adi Hindu Movement, untouchables are original Indian inhabitants, hence finding no favour from Arya Samaj and its followers like Jatav, some of whom identify them as Neo Buddhist.[7] In 1990, a huge lot of Jatavs was converted to Buddhism. [8]

References

  1. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh (1993). The scheduled castes. Anthropological Survey of India. pp. 326,329,331. 
  2. ^ Chandel, M. P. S. (1990). A Social Force in Politics: Study of Scheduled Castes of U.P. Mittal Publications. p. 51.  
  3. ^ Singer, Milton; Cohn, Bernard S., eds. (2007). Structure and Change in Indian Society. pp. 216–217. 
  4. ^ Chandel, M.P.S. (1990). A Social Force in Politics. Mittal Publications. pp. 51,52.  
  5. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh (1993). The scheduled castes. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 326. 
  6. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh (1993). The scheduled castes. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 331. 
  7. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh (1993). The scheduled castes. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 997. 
  8. ^ Singh, Kumar Suresh (1993). The scheduled castes. Anthropological Survey of India. p. 328.  

Further reading

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