Gwalvanshi Ahir

Ahir sub-caste

The Gwalvanshi Ahirs are a very dominant[1] subdivison of Ahirs[2] populated in Lower Doab,[3][4] Awadh[5] & Eastern Uttar Pradesh.[6][7]

The ancestors of Gwalvanshi Ahirs

Origin & History change

Origin change

Their descent is from the Gopis of Braj and Vrindavan who used to dance with the avatar (Krishna).[8] They have migrated from Mathura[9] and Western Rajasthan.[10]

History change

When the zamindar of Benaras; Chet Singh was hiding in Chunar fort from the troops of Warren Hastings. The Gwalvanshi Ahirs were the ones who took up arms against him.[11] When Goswami Tulsidas was taken hostage by Muslim soldiers of Akbar in Varanasi, they were the ones who made him free by attacking on the Muslim force.[12] They held properties like the Kashikarvat in Varanasi.[13] They were were zamindars in Varanasi.[14] They held the zamindari of Lonhada (Kada Manikpur) in old Allahabad district (now in Kaushambi).[15] Due to big land-holdings they are called Bhumidar in the Basti district of Uttar Pradesh.[16] They were zamindars of the Ahraura pargana in the Mirzapur district.[17] They have the title Sardar in Varanasi.[18][19] Their khap chaudharis held the title of 'Mahtus' or 'Mahto' in the Agori pargana of Mirzapur.[9] They were mainly wrestlers & farmers.[20] In Jaunpur, they were enlisted as 'big zamindars with hundreds of acres of land'.[21] In the Azamgarh district, they have a tradition that their ancestors were once the ruling race, holding the same position that Rajputs hold now. They also own the most of the land in Azamgarh district. In the Gopalpur pargana of Azamgarh, they held as much land as the other three castes combined together.[22] Them as landlords in Faizabad pargana (now Ayodhya) claimed to be descended from an Ahir Raja of Berat.[9]

Present circumstances change

They were farmers and land-holders in Eastern Uttar Pradesh. At the turn of the century, they took up other occupations, including business in a big way.[23]

Military involvements change

From the United Provinces, they formed the bulk of the Ahir recruits in the First World War.[24]

Their special companies were also made and that class yielded more successful results than any other.[25]

Marriage rules change

They will not marry in a family to which a sister has been given in marriage untill three generations have passed.[26]

Culture change

They sing Loriki and Birahas.[27] They have started the Ramleela at Chaukaghat (Nati Imli) in Varanasi. They also actively participate in the Bharat Milaap done in the Ramleela.[28] They are great devotees of Radha-Krishna.[29] Their clan deity (Kuldevi) is Mata Vindhyavasini Yogmaya.[29] They also wore the Janeo (the sacred-thread) and hence were called as "Janeodhari Ahirs". Which firmly places them within the kshatriya sect of the varna system.[30]

See also change

References change

  1. Maurya, Sahab Deen (1989). Population and Housing Problems in India. Chugh Publications. ISBN 978-81-85076-77-5.
  2. Ames Library Pamphlet Collection: consists of extracts from the Journal of the United Service Institution of India, v.1-12, 1871-1883. 1764.
  3. Calcutta Review. University of Calcutta. 1885.
  4. Bhattacharya, Jogendra Nath (1896). Hindu Castes and Sects: An Exposition of the Origin of the Hindu Caste System and the Bearing of the Sects Towards Each Other and Towards Other Religious Systems. Thacker, Spink.
  5. Crooke, William (1890). An Ethnographical Hand-book for the N.-W. Provinces and Oudh. North-Western provinces and Oudh government Press.
  6. H.R. Nevill (1909). Gorakhpur: a Gazetteer being volume XXXI of the District Gazetteers of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. Allahabad, Superntendent, Government press.
  7. Swami Prasad Singh, Chairman; G. C. Chaturvedi, Vice-Chairman; P. N. Masaldan, Member; R. N. Nagar, Member; R. L. Dwivedi, Member; Lallan Ji Gopal, Member; B. N. Puri, Member; S. S. Sidhu, Member; P. N. Chopra, Member (1988). Uttar Pradesh District Gazetteers: Deoria. Lucknow, Department of District Gazetteers.
  8. Crooke, William (1896). The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh. Government printing.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Sherring, Matthew Atmore (1872). Hindu Tribes and Castes. Thacker, Spink & Company.
  10. Baines, Jervoise Athelstane (1912). Ethnography: Castes and Tribes. K.J. Trübner.
  11. Sharma, Hemant (13 June 2022). Dekho Hamri Kashi: Bestseller Book by Hemant Sharma: Dekho Hamri Kashi (in Hindi). Prabhat Prakashan. ISBN 978-93-5521-380-8.
  12. Tripathi, Anand Prakash (1981). Amr̥talāla Nāgara ke upanyāsa (in Hindi). Ānanda Prakāśana.
  13. Vyāsa, Kedāranātha (1986). Kāśīkhaṇḍokta Pañcakrośātmaka Jyotirliṅga Kāśīmāhātmya evaṃ Kāśī kā prācīna itihāsa (in Hindi). Kedāranātha Vyāsa.
  14. Mere sākshātkāra: Rāma Vilāsa Śarmā (in Hindi). Kitāba Ghara. 1994.
  15. "मिला तेज से तेज- Mila Tej se Tej | Exotic India Art". Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  16. Desai, Akshayakumar Ramanlal (1986). Agrarian Struggles in India After Independence. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-561681-1.
  17. Contemporary Social Sciences. Research Foundation of India. 1978.
  18. Mehrotra, Raja R. (22 July 2019). Sociolinguistics in Hindi Contexts. Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co KG. ISBN 978-3-11-085463-3.
  19. मुखर्जी, विशवनाथ (2009). बना रहे बनारस (in Hindi). भारतीय ज्ञानपीठ. ISBN 978-81-263-1713-4.
  20. Alter, Joseph S. (3 August 1992). The Wrestler's Body: Identity and Ideology in North India. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-07697-6.
  21. Ahmad, Iqbal (1968). Śarkī rājya Jaunapura kā itihāsa (in Hindi). Śīrāja Hinda Prakāśana Bhavana.
  22. D L Drake Brockman (1911). Azamgarh A Gazetteer District Gazetteers Of The United Provinces Of Arra And Oudh Vol Xxxiii.
  23. "Azamgarh: Why Mulayam cannot take Yadav votes for granted". Firstpost. 11 May 2014. Retrieved 16 April 2024.
  24. Roy, Kaushik (29 June 2018). Indian Army and the First World War: 1914–18. Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-909367-0.
  25. Newul Kishore Press, Lucknow (1922). Indias Services In The War Vol-iii.
  26. Crooke, William (1896). The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh. Government printing.
  27. Beissinger, Margaret; Tylus, Jane; Wofford, Susanne (31 March 1999). Epic Traditions in the Contemporary World: The Poetics of Community. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-21038-7.
  28. Arya, Banarasi Lal (1975). Mahārāja Balavanta Siṃha aura Kāśī kā atīta (in Hindi). Āryā.
  29. 29.0 29.1 Saraswati, Baidyanath (2000). Bhoga-moksha samabhava: Kaśī kā sāmājika-sāṃskr̥tika svarūpa (in Hindi). Ḍī Ke. Prinṭavarlḍa. ISBN 978-81-246-0151-8.
  30. Lacey, W. g (1933). Census Of India 1931 Vol.7 Bihar And Orissa Pt.1 Report.