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JOURNAL OF THE ANTHROPOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA

Volume : 61(2) & 62 (1) July-Dec, 2012 & Jan-June, 2013

JOURNAL OF THE
ANTHROPOLOGICAL SURVEY OF INDIA
ISSN : 2277 - 436X
Formerly Bulletin of Department of Anthropology / Anthropological Survey of
India / Human Science
Editor: Prof K. K. Misra
Managing Editor: Dr. Amitabha Sarkar
Published by
Director
Anthropological Survey of India
27, Jawaharlal Nehru Road
Kolkata 700 016, India

The Journal of the Anthropological Survey of India is the official organ of the
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2012-13 Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata

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The references in relation to any author pointed out in the body of the text should come in the following
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authors may send their papers in CD which should be accompanied by one hard copy. Notes and
references should be given at the end of the paper and there must be an alphabetical order in the
arrangement of the references cited. The arrangement given below must be followed.
Harris, Marvin (1980)

Cultural Materialism: The Struggle for a Science of


Culture, New York: Vintage Books

Firth, Roymond (1975)

"The Skeptical Anthropologist? Social Anthropology


and Marxist Views on Society", in Maurice Bloch, ed,
Marxist Analyses and Social Anthropology, London:
Malaby Press, 29-60.

Sillitoe, Paul (2000) (ed.)

Indigenous Knowledge Development in Bangladesh,


Dhaka: The University Press Limited

Danda, Ajit, K (2009)

"On Social Mobility Movement of the Rabha", Journal


of Indian Anthropological Society, 44(3), 243-45.

Relevant photographs having specific qualities of illustrating the theme of the paper may be sent but the
printing must be clear on glossy paper. All the required diagrams must be drawn in black and white and
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which has already been sent to any other journal/organization for consideration. All the papers are subject
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could be sent back to the authors concerned, if requested.
The articles, completed in all respects, are to be sent either to the Editor or to the Managing Editor in
the following addresses.
Prof. K. K. Misra, Editor
Dr. Amitabha Sarkar, Managing Editor
Anthropological Survey of India
Govt. of India, Ministry of Culture
27, Jawaharlal Nehru Road
Indian Museum Complex, Kolkata 700 016.
Phone: 033-2286 1733/81, Fax: 033-2286 1799
Email: anthro@cal2.vsnl.net.in

Volume: 61(2) & 62(1)

Contents

July-December, 2012 & Jan-June, 2013

The Holistic Approach to Anthropology: B. S. Guhas Vision of the


Anthropological Survey of India - R. K. Bhattacharya

365

Indigenous Knowledge in India: Dimensions and Relevance - P. K. Misra

373

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: The Nomadic Muslim


Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka - Ajit Kumar

379

Understanding Haemoglobinopathies in Public Health Scenario of Andaman


and Nicobar Islands: An Anthropological Approach - S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

409

Twin Infanticide: A case study from Arunachal Pradesh, India - Nakul Chandra Sarkar

427

Model for impact assessment of awareness programme in sickle Cell Anaemia - Development
initiative for survival and well being - Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

435

Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari Grant village (with special reference to origin,
History, Ethnic Identity, Social Structure and Dispute Solving Mechanism) - Nishant Saxena

451
465

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grand Village (with special reference


to Gurkha community) - Karuna Shankar Pandey

479

Migration pattern and Kinship system among Gurkha community in Karbari Grants,
Dehradun - A critical appraisal to bio-social perspective - Mr. Subrata Kundu

497

Health Care Practices and Traditional Medicine of Gorkha Population in the


Village Karbari Grant - Arnab Mukherjee

509

A Demographic Study of Gorkha Population in Village Karbari Grant,


District Dehradun, Uttarakhand - Minakshi Sharma

523

Scenario of Parkinsons Disease in India - Jaya Sanyal, Biswanath Sarkar

535
549

Semiological Application of Plants and Vegetation in folk life and culture of


Jaipur District, Odisha : An Introspection - R. B. Mohanty, B. K. Tripathy & T. Panda

559

Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among Mukha Dora Tribe and Indigenous Healing Practices
followed by the tribes in the Agency of Andhra Pradesh - S. Yaseen Saheb and T. S. Naidu

569

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve: Glimpses of Indigenous Knowledge on


Coastal Fishing in Tamil Nadu - Anupam Datta

583

Traditional Life, Livelihood and Plantations : A study among the


Mullu Kurumba - C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

595

Sacred Complex of Port Blair City: An Anthropological Appraisal - Dr. D. V. Prasad

617
629

Prameha and its Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine in India - Pulakes Purkait, Dr. Moumita Bhattacharya

639

Palaeolithic Tools of Siulibona, District-Bankura, West Bengal: A Typological and


Morphometric Study - Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Mr. Subhankar Roy and Mr. Dip Pandey

651

Matriliny among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar: A little known Community of Tamil Nadu - M. Sasikumar 667
Assessment of the Functioning of Institutions: Criteria and Approaches - S. B. Roy

681

Comparison of Mandibular Arch Chords in Cleft Palate Patients - Dr. Suja Ani

689

Brief Communication
Economic Profile of Oraon : A case study of forest village - Aheri Das

697

Importance of Clans in Marriage Alliances: Some observation on Mahali - Rapti Pan

719

Health profile of Gorkhas with special reference to Lifestyle vis-a-vis Hypertensive


Condition in Village Karbari Grant of Dehradun, Uttarakhand: An overview - Priyanka Singh,
Jayanta Kumar Nayak, Ankita Rajpoot, Tanisha Gairola and Lucy Pramanik

727

Obituary
A Tribute to Professor N. K. Behura - Kamal K. Misra

743

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (365-371), 2012-2013

The Holistic Approach to Anthropology:


B. S. Guha's Vision of the
Anthropological Survey of India
R. K. Bhattacharya1

It is indeed an honour to have been invited to deliver the second B.S. Guha Memorial
Lecture at the Shillong office of the Anthropological Survey of India (AnSI). Leaving
aside the Head Office, the establishment in Shillong is the second oldest in the Survey,
the first being the one in Port Blair in the Andamans that was set up around 1951. The
Survey seems to have maintained the pecking order when organising these Memorial
Lectures, as I learnt that the first one was delivered in Port Blair.
I thank the members of the Survey, especially the Director, Prof. K. K. Misra, for giving
me this privilege. I am conscious of the fact that this is a tribute to one of the most
illustrious individuals of our country. Dr. Guha was the founder Director of the Survey.
In this deliberation I shall provide a brief biographical sketch of Dr. Guha, besides
highlighting his contribution in the making of the Anthropological Survey of India.
Finally, I shall touch upon his scholarly work in anthropology with some discussion on
its contemporaneity.
The intellectual journey of B.S. Guha is indeed remarkable. After completing master
degree in philosophy he was inspired to go on to study anthropology in the U.S. after
which he qualified as a professional anthropologist specialising in physical anthropology.
His transition from philosophy to a technical discipline with rigours of large-scale
measurement, observation and recording is fascinating. This offers a glimpse into his
capacities and the felicity with which he was capable of moving between the intellectual
requirements of liberal arts and science. It also points to the diligence and perseverance
that he must have had to pursue another discipline in his late youth. His perseverance of
course is revealed in the way he established the all-India organisational structure of the
Anthropological Survey of India carved out of the Zoological Survey of India in 1945.
Biraja Sankar Guha was born on August 15, 1894 in Shillong, in the erstwhile Assam.
He obtained an M.A. in philosophy from the University of Calcutta. Guha did not confine
himself to philosophy for long. In 1917, he took a government assignment as a Researcher

1Ex. Director, Anthropological Survey of India. 2nd B. S. Guha Memorial Lecture

held at Shillong, December 11, 2012

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The Holistic Approach to Anthropology: B. S. Guha's Vision ......... Survey of India

in anthropology under the Government of Bengal. During his tenure as a researcher, he


studied the Khasis in the erstwhile Assam. The merit of his fieldwork among the Khasis
helped him earn the Hemenway Fellowship in Harvard University in 1920. In 1922, he
received the degree of A.M. in anthropology from Harvard. He held a position of Special
Research Officer in the Smithsonian Institution, Washington D.C., undertaking field
investigation among the Utes and the Navajos of Colorado and New Mexico. Guha was
awarded a Ph.D. in 1924 from Harvard for his dissertation on the racial basis of the caste
system in India.
Dr. Guha came back to India after completing his studies in the U.S. His return coincided
with the introduction of anthropology as an academic discipline in Indian universities.
In 1926, he joined, as a Lecturer, the Department of Anthropology in the University of
Calcutta. In 1927, the Government of India created for the first time a position of
Anthropologist for the Anthropological Section of the Zoological Survey of India
and Dr. Guha was appointed in the post. He was also made the Officer-in-Charge
of the Section.
Long before Dr. Guha joined the Zoological Survey of India, attempts were made by its
successive directors to impress upon the government the need for opening a separate,
full-fledged institution similar to the Zoological Survey for ethnography or anthropology.
The first recommendation made by Dr. Nelson Anandale for an institute of eminence to
carry out ethnographic survey was made in 1916, the year in which the Zoological Survey
of India was carved out of the Zoological and Anthropological Sections of the Indian
Museum. The next recommendation was in 1927 by Lt. Col. R.B. Seymour Sewell (see
R.K.Bhattacharya and Jayanta Sarkar (eds.) Anthropology of B.S. Guha, p.3, Kolkata,
Anthropological Survey of India, 1996) . Finally, in December 1945, the Anthropological
Survey of India, headed by Dr. Guha, was founded. Dr. Guha as director served the
Anthropological Survey for nine years.
I have named today's topic The Holistic Approach to Anthropology: B.S. Guha's Vision
of the Anthropological Survey of India. I am very conscious of my use of the term
'holistic approach' in anthropology I am very conscious how holistic approach in
anthropology is defined. Holistic approach is to understand the relationship between
man's physical and cultural properties. If we look into Dr. Guha's organisation of research
in the Survey, we observe that he gave due coverage to develop and pursue both physical
and cultural aspects of the discipline. Under the physical or biological aspect, the following
studies were undertaken: anthropometry, somatology, craniometry, osteometry and
palaeontology. Under the cultural aspect, Dr.Guha gave noticeable importance to an
integral part of culture, that is, language. Linguistics, namely survey of scripts and
recording of speech and music, was included. Language expresses man's feelings,
perceptions and the inner world of his mind. Feelings and perceptions are as varied as
culture and tradition. Language provides a community with the ability to continue its
tradition and culture through generations. I enumerate the other items of study in the
following lines: folklore, i.e. study of oral history, tradition and custom; art, craft and
traditional or ancient technology; economics including land alienation, debt and barter

R. K. Bhattacharya

367

system. Besides, psychological, especially socio-psychological, studies added another


dimension to cultural anthropology.
Dr. Guha's proposal submitted to the government with a view to successfully execute his
scheme of research in the Survey right after it was founded reads:
To study tribes and other communities that form the population of India both
from the biological and cultural points of view;
To study and preserve human skeletal remains, both modern and archaeological;
To collect samples of arts and crafts of the tribes in India
From the above we can appreciate the focus and brevity of the document of intent presented
to the government - the bureaucracy demands much more verbosity from us these days
and I leave to you to work out the reason!
Dr. Guha's proposal got its full support from the government.
Let me now look at the tangible aspect of the Survey's research infrastructure that Dr.
Guha built. Dr. Guha established laboratories for biochemistry, radiology, human biology,
osteology and psychology. For documentation of custom and tradition, art and craft,
economic practice and technology, and way of living, photography and cine-photography
units were opened. These units ushered in scope for visual anthropology in our country
long before it became an established and recognised area of study in anthropology. Since
the Survey's inception, a well-equipped library had slowly been put together through the
persistence of Dr. Guha. During his tenure, around 20,000 books on anthropology,
psychology, linguistics, economics and related subjects and a sizeable collection of books
on European arts were procured.
Initially Dr. Guha thought of one centralised office of the Anthropological Survey in a
metropolitan city, either Delhi or Calcutta. Later he realised it would be inconvenient to
carry out sustained field investigation in a comparatively inaccessible area located far
from the central or head office. The study of little-known Andaman tribes and the imminent
issue of rehabilitating refugees in the islands following Partition resulted in establishing
a sub-office at Port Blair in the Andamans in 1951. Within a few years, the other important
sub-office, or sub-station, was opened in Shillong for carrying out fieldwork among
the numerous tribes of the North-East living away from the plains and other parts of
the country.
I have left out two of the policy resolutions - one, using the Survey as an advanced training
centre for students and administrators, and two, to publish research results collected by
the researchers of the Survey through books and periodicals for dissemination of this
acquired knowledge on the people of the country. This demonstrates the range of his
vision and plans in making the Survey's work relevant to the academic community.
Leaving aside a very short stint of teaching assignment in philosophy before he went to
the U.S., Dr. Guha took up his first professional anthropological work among the Khasis
of the erstwhile Assam. This research was fieldwork based. Throughout his career spanning

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The Holistic Approach to Anthropology: B. S. Guha's Vision ......... Survey of India

a period of roughly 40 years of active research, Dr. Guha was acutely aware of the strength
of fieldwork-based anthropological studies. The mainspring of anthropological research
is fieldwork and Dr. Guha felt excited about fieldwork and championed it. Dr. Guha's
experience in field investigation was phenomenal. He did fieldwork among indigenous
tribes of Colorado and New Mexico. Soon after returning from the U.S., and joining the
Zoological Survey of India as Anthropologist, Dr. Guha undertook field investigation
covering the length and breadth of British India. He had the rare experience of taking
part in a Government expedition to the North-West Frontier Area. Before coming to the
Anthropological Survey of India, his research was largely confined to physical anthropology.
His preoccupation was racial ethnology of India and he did seminal work on racial
elements in the population of India (see B.S. Guha, Racial Elements in the Population
London, Oxford University Press, 1944).
Dr. Guha, with his research colleagues from the Anthropological Survey, identified the
areas, namely Andamans and the North-East, of the country that called for urgent
investigation and research. This was done in the very early phase after founding the
Survey.
Now let us try to read the mind of Dr. Guha by consulting his Report of a Survey
of Inhabitants of the Andaman and Nicobar Islands During 1948-49, published in 1952
in the Bulletin of the Department of Anthropology (Government of India), 1:1, 1-7. I
quote copiously:
The problem of the Aborigines of Andaman Islands...is not the same as that of
the other...tribes of India. These people are some of the most ancient remnants of human
race still surviving...The need among them is not so much the spread of education
and social uplift as the arrest of decline in population which has been most alarming.
(emphasis mine)
...The hostile branch of the Andamanese tribes known as the Jarawa-Onge-Sentinelese
group fortunately has been spared the fate of their more friendly kinsmen.
...Very little can be done now to save the Andamanese proper who have paid for their
friendliness by being driven to the verge of extinction and it now is a question of time
before they would completely disappear.
In recent years the Survey undertook extensive work among the Jarawas. I am sure those
who took part in the aforesaid investigation would feel how correctly Dr. Guha pinpointed
the crux of the problem concerning these pristine hunter-gatherer people. He was very
focussed and direct and to the point in stating the priorities of our interventions - we have
to focus on population conservation going beyond national understanding of social uplift.
I quote once again from the same article, page 4 - We gave them food, cigerettes...The
presents given were iron nails, strip of red cloth, tea and tobacco leaves. Among all these
objects what they liked most were the tobacco leaves.

R. K. Bhattacharya

369

I quote from Dr. Guha's another article A comparative study of the somatic traits of the
Onges of the Little Andaman published in Bulletin of the Department of Anthropology,
Government of India 1954, 3:2, 117-143 - No explanation for the persistent hostility of
the Andamanese tribes towards strangers has so far been given from the time they came
to be known to the outside world...
Dr. Guha was clearly bothered about the lack of explanation for hostility of the Andamanese
tribes towards outsiders. This raises the question if the tribes are by nature hostile or
display hostility due to feelings of insecurity. I would like to direct attention to the general
approach when we encounter the 'other' - the question of our protocol, etiquette and
attitude. In our eagerness to know we probably show a disregard to these civilities. We
try to buy friendship for building up rapport; we try to intrude into others' territory without
being invited and carry presents that we perceive would be appreciated to assert our
friendliness. It is noticeable that the Jarawas of the present day are picking up the habits
of tobacco, processed foods like biscuits and deep fried snacks (samosas) etc. for which
they do not have the required dietary readiness. We are still to learn their biological/
physiological responses to sugar and salt as additives to food items.
I quote from another article, The Role of Social Sciences in Nation Building, in
Sociological Bulletin, 7:2, 148-151, 1958:
...Integration of ethnic groups of India must...be achieved not on a mosaic pattern of
isolated separate groups with only common economic and political interests, but on the
basis of a quantum of common and shared values and traditions, although relating to
distinctive cultural traits of the different groups.
Whenever we attempt to understand the composition of Indian society we find there are
two poles - unity and diversity. It is not possible to ignore the unity of peoples within the
bounds of nation-state while on the other hand, the vast array of communities with their
language(s) and other attributes cannot also be denied. Often, even social scientists tend
to view Indian society through the mirror of unity rather than through the observable and
noticeable diversities of communities living within a nation-state. India's strength is in
her diversity, in displaying her plurality; we see this diversity even in the adjustments/changes
that each community makes to the changing times and situations and to the idea of nationstate. We need to appreciate and record this. We find in Dr. Guha's thoughts some
reflection of this idea especially in his remarks on marginal groups in our country's mosaic
of communities. Of course there can be many debates and arguments on the nature of
integration and unity.
As a postscript, let me discuss a few other points. Dr. Guha's scholastic achievement is
of eminence. He was Fellow of the National Institute of Sciences and of the Asiatic
Society of Bengal. He presided over the anthropology section of the joint session of the
Indian Science Congress and the British Association of the Advancement of Science held
in Calcutta and served as Vice-president of the Section of Physical Anthropology and
Racial Biology, International Congress of Anthropology, organised in Copenhagen in
Denmark. He was known to be a good researcher and his research work bore an imprint

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The Holistic Approach to Anthropology: B. S. Guha's Vision ......... Survey of India

of thoroughness. In the academic field he was a stalwart. He was recipient of the Annandale
Memorial Medal from the Asiatic Society of Bengal for his distinguished contribution
in the field of anthropology. He was an able administrator. The government was aware
of his capabilities. He was a government delegate to the first meeting of the International
Congress of Anthropology, held in London. He represented India in almost all international
meetings and conferences in anthropology and kept himself abreast of the most recent
developments in the discipline. On his retirement, he reorganised the Bihar Tribal Research
Institute in Ranchi. He was sincere, devoted and confident and worked hard to pursue
his commitment in research and administration. He established the Indian Anthropological
Institute in Calcutta. He excelled in his leadership role and could enthuse his colleagues
to join him in his endeavour of building up a research organisation of repute.
Dr. Guha's work was topical in his time. Racial Elements in the Population, published
Oxford University Press, 1944 is a seminal anthropological treatise giving an ethnic
picture of India. Dr. D. P. Sinha writes in an obituary published in American Anthropology,
April 1963:382-386 that Dr. Guha iterated in various professional meetings that theories
could be built up only after collection of complete data and had a positive dislike for
theoretical work based on insufficient data (ibid.:384).The obituary had an addendum by
Carleton S. Coon (ibid.:386). Coon found during his time Racial affinities of the peoples
of India in Census of India, J. H. Hutton (edited) 1931:1 as the only complete coverage
of physical and cultural anthropology of the peoples of India and Pakistan. The traditional
physical anthropological investigation through anthropometry, somatology, craniology,
osteometry is not anymore in fashion. We are in the era of genetic studies. It is not that
Dr. Guha was unaware of genetics (cf. Race and nationality in Bulletin of the Bihar
Tribal Research Institute, Ranchi, March 1959, 1:1, 1-6), but tools, techniques and methods
of the present day were not available in the 50's or 60's. Thus, it is very easy to discount
the work in Physical Anthropology of that time. However, I am sure that the value of
classifying a population on observable, measurable and noticeable traits will help recover
the validity, significance and relevance of Physical Anthropology of yesteryears. We may
need to have different parameters and create acceptable rules in keeping with contemporary
knowledge. Sometimes simple arithmetic scores over complex calculus when the issue
is one of keeping daily accounts but this is not to undermine the importance of one over
another - I am sure that that there is a place for genetics as there is space for more simpler
analysis when studying the human face of the world. If Dr. Guha had been a university
teacher may be he would have his gharana of sishyas. We who have worked in the AnSI
are the ones to carry his torch forward.
We admit that in the light of contemporary academic interest Dr. Guha's work is no longer
in fashion; we recognize that the studies created the base line for the evolution of modern
studies. Modern anthropology was built on those early works that for various reasons we
do not always acknowledge. The works of Dr. Guha had helped in the initial understanding
of the vast diversity of our population; we may not agree with the parameters accepted
earlier. In his time, Dr. Guha's scholarship was consistent with the studies being conducted
all over the world and that is why we need to remember him for laying the scientific

R. K. Bhattacharya

371

foundation of the discipline of anthropology in India and inculcating the value of scientific
procedures. He was comprehensive in his thinking and in formulating mega projects that
enhanced the reputation of the Anthropological Survey making it quite unique in the
world. It is this tradition of pan national studies that gives the AnSI the wherewithal to
plan and execute mega projects with a view to comprehend the composite nature of Indian
society with all its diversity.
I join with others in paying my homage to Dr. B.S. Guha.
I gratefully acknowledge the Library staff (present and former) of the Anthropological
Survey of India, Kolkata for their unstinted support and help.

372

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (373-377), 2012-2013

Indigenous Knowledge in India:


Dimensions and Relevance
P. K. Misra1

ABSTRACT
The paper discusses the dimensions of indigenous knowledge and attempts to highlight
the essential differences with the knowledge produced by modern science. While the
knowledge produced by modern science grows out of indigenous knowledge system, in
its growth it becomes highly specialized and it tries to establish its independence, in the
process it shows its disconnect with society, culture and environment. The indigenous
knowledge remains embedded in society and culture. While it promotes biodiversity, it
is integrative and sustainable, it shows fault lines as societies and cultures grow.

INTRODUCTION
In this presentation, I propose to discuss the dimensions of indigenous knowledge and
whether it is different from the knowledge produced by modern science. The indigenous
knowledge system has promoted immense bio-diversity in India which of course is
negotiated and maintained in a variety of ways keeping the identity of Indian civilization.
Peripatetic are one of the links in the complex process.
A couple of years ago, I attended a lecture given by Dr. Parpia, a renowned food scientist
and the former director of the Central Food & Technological Research Institute, Mysore
where he highlighted the wasteful agricultural practices of the farmers in India though
India has a long and ancient tradition of agriculture. He pointed out that 50 to 70 percent
of grains are lost in their journey from farm to consumer. He said that the farmers did
not prepare the soil scientifically and the techniques of cultivation too were poor. He
pointed out that 30% of the seeds did not germinate because either they were germ eaten
or infected by fungus. There was further loss owing to poor techniques of thrashing,
storing and transporting. Sacks loaded with grains were lifted by hooks which cause
further loss of grains besides whatever was eaten by rodents. Similarly he cited concrete
evidences of huge losses of vegetables and fruits during their journey from farm to
consumer.

1Professor P. K. Misra, Mysore

374

Indigenous knowledge in India: Dimensions and relevance

From that lecture, I came back convinced that there were serious problems in traditional
agricultural practices based on indigenous knowledge. I thought if only wasteful
practices could be avoided much deficiencies in food production could be minimized and
cost of production could be significantly reduced which are crying needs of the hour.
Sometime back I had been to Rampura, a village near Mysore with a group of students
of Anthropology. This village is well known for it was studied by Professor M.N. Srinivas,
the doyen among social scientists. While making a round of the village we visited one
of the thrashing grounds where grains had been recently thrashed. Dr. Parpias lecture
was still very fresh in my mind. I began to point out to the students as well as to the
villagers who were accompanying us that though thrashing had been completed a few
days ago still there was some grain on the ground which clearly indicated how wasteful
the traditional thrashing practice was. An elderly village lady was over hearing us and
understood the tenor of our conversation. Though normally rural women folk are reticent
and shy, she could not resist but say with a deep sense of empathy and simple innocense
doesnt other creatures like ants, birds, squirrels also need some food. In other words
the grains left on the thrashing grounds were not by mistake or owing to inefficient
technology but by choice which allowed maintenance of bio-diversity. I was absolutely
flabbergasted. I thought I got my evidence to show that the indigenous knowledge system
is integrated and holistic. But the euphoria generated by this incident did not last long.
A few days later I read in Deccan Herald that in Bijapur district of Karnataka the practice
of dropping babies (between six months to two years) from a height of 15 to 20 feet into
a rag held just above the ground by a group of men, to appease the deity in the temple,
is widely prevalent. How do I explain this practice and many other where people mutilate
their bodies, or sacrifice a large number of animals, or torture themselves to fulfill some
promise to the deity, or the other. One can add numerous other practices which appear
to be untenable from the stand point of modern science. Such practices are so widespread
that they cannot be considered as aberration. Obviously they must have been sustained
and validated by the social system of the communities wherever they occur. But as the
knowledge progresses many such fault lines come to the forefront while many new ideas,
practices may be incorporated and also created. Such things take time to get integrated/
reinterpreted in the fabric of the society1. It is a continuous process. The modern understanding
is that any practices which is not validated by science, is wrong. So why do such unvalidated
practices continue to exist. For Dr. Parpia many of the traditional agricultural practices
are unscientific. They are inefficient and wasteful. For village woman, on the other hand,
though she is also concerned with production would like to leave some grains for the
consumption of other creatures. For her it is not waste. For modern science efficiency of
a technology is to be judged purely from the ratio between cost of production and output,
the rest is irrelevant. For people the relationship between the two is never so
straight. It has to be mediated through culture which evolves over time.
1Tea consumption provides an excellent example of this process. Tea as a drink was introduced in India towards

the second quarter of the last century. For a long time it remained in the periphery of the society. People were
even suspicious about it. But slowly it was incorporated in the local cultures of India. Each region has its own
word for it, own ways of preparation, taste, flavor, receptacles and its symbolic meaning. It has even entered
in the indigenous pharmacopoeia.

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Are we then talking of two kinds of rationalities, one represented by indigenous knowledge
system intervened by culture and other by modern science? How it could be? After all
human beings, have the same biological basis, their society and culture have evolved
over time. The modern science has grown out of indigenous knowledge system but then
it can be easily conceded that at some stage the knowledge generated by modern science
becomes qualitatively different from indigenous, very well represented by the two incidents
I have given at the beginning of this essay. Knowledge is derived by experience,
experiments, explorations, intuition, systematization of information and refinement, which
grows further by its own dynamics. In the process of its growth newer situations present
themselves which lead to potentialities of further knowledge, and also indicate that many
factors do not any longer fit or valid into the scheme of things. Taking a cue from this
is it possible to conceive of a continuum, one end of which is represented by indigenous
knowledge system and the other by the knowledge generated by modern science, and in
between lie the knowledge interspersed by the two systems. If that be so let us define the
characteristic features of the two poles.
Indigenous knowledge is the knowledge possessed by the members of a defined community
- a community in a typical Redfields sense of a folk community. The knowledge of the
folk community grows over time and hence could be assumed as processual. Indigenous
knowledge by our assumption is shared, holistic, integrated with local fauna and flora.
The rules of behavior in the community, its culture and values are tuned to that knowledge.
It is ethical where values of right and wrong are defined based on which actions or
thought are evaluated as fulfilling or disappointing. The indigenous knowledge is small
in scale. It is cognitive. It is generated by reasons and experimentation but may not be
highly analytical. It is affective and conative. Its transcendental values are understood
in many ways. Its intelligibility is buried in hosts of symbols and their interpretations.
It has to be relevant to the local situation and therefore has to be functional in some sense.
It has the possibilities of profound paradoxes and contradictions. Facts and values get
linked. From this perspective when we review the Indian situation, it is noted that the
indigenous knowledge system has promoted tremendous diversity of cultures. The People
of India project conducted by the Anthropological Survey of India identified 4635
communities in India (Singh 1992). Each of the communities has their life-styles and
identities and enjoys a certain degree of autonomy. The Indian social structure and cultural
system in India are intrinsically based on pluralism, diversity and autonomy. Srinivas has
rightly noted, Indian culture is characterized by enormous diversity. It would not be an
exaggeration to say the cultural situation in India varies every few miles. And even within
a single village each caste has culture which is somewhat different from that of the other.
In fact, it would not be an exaggeration to state that each kinship unit has its own distinctive
cultural practices, representing a fusion of different incoming affinal strands modifying
the culture of the main agnatic stem (1996). Immediately the question arises how this
plurality is negotiated and maintained keeping the identity of Indian civilization. It is
not possible to get into this issue here in detail, it can be briefly mentioned that the
peripatetics in India say in South Asia, a much overlooked and under estimated population
have been one of the links in the complex process. Pre-historical, historical and classical
literature have indicated that countless generation of rural, urban and pastoral populations
have experienced brief but usually recurrent contacts with spatially mobile people indulging
in a variety of occupations. Joseph Berland who has worked for many years among the
peripatetic communities in Pakistan writes, By relying on flexibility and resourcefulness,

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Indigenous knowledge in India: Dimensions and relevance

spatial mobility, and judicious combination of specialized goods, services and skills,
peripatetic communities of smiths, basket and broom weavers, toy makers, potion and
jewelery peddlers, bards, impersonators, trainees of performing animals, jugglers and
acrobats, singers and dancers, beggars and prostitutes, have been pervasive and persistent
threads running throughout the complex, and protean fabric of South Asias social system
since the dawn of recorded civilization (2003:104). Peripatetics have always been looking
for gaps in the supply of goods, services and in innovating new strategies and techniques
to carve out a livelihood for themselves2. In modern India, many of them have switched
over to selling furnitures, plastic goods, decorative objects, toys and other tit bits on the
roadsides. Their multi resource economic activities and cultural role compliment rather
than compete with the sedentary providers, in that sense they promote pluralism in a
variety of ways and they play an important role in the process of communication too
(Misra 1982 and 1978).
On the other hand it is hard to define a community which lives entirely on the knowledge
generated by modern science except in Brave New World. However, the technology
generated by the knowledge of modern science is widely used and is becoming extremely
efficient and popular. Moreover the technologies developed at one place get quickly
communicated at other places besides modern science stresses upon observable and
demands proofs of its assertions. It excludes any scope for transcendental values. It has
to be logical and insists on intelligibility. Its progress raises more questions needing
further probings and researches which lead to further separation of questions. Thus it is
able to probe into greater depths, minutest particles, maximum heights, many of which
are beyond human senses perceptions. In this process it achieves a very high degree of
specialization. The knowledge generated by modern science may have universal reach
but is not shared and is not readily integrated into the society and culture. As a result of
which there is a disconnect between society, culture and knowledge generated by modern
science. It will be wrong to say that there is a disconnect only at the modern science side
because there is hardly a folk society which has remained untouched by the technology
or rudiments of the knowledge generated by modern science3. While the task at the
indigenous knowledge pole is how to integrate the knowledge generated by modern
science to the society and culture of the communities there, the task on the other side of
the pole is how to make societies and culture to come out of unvalidated beliefs and
practices and abide by science. The task at this pole is highly problematic and paradoxical.
Problematic because the frontiers of knowledge are expanding rapidly and are becoming
2The

Gadulia Lohars a nomadic artisan community provide an excellent example of these strategies . They are
mostly found in Eastern Rajasthan and Western Madhya Pradesh. Their traditional occupation is blacksmithy
but they have also added trade in their activities. The demand for the iron tools made by them has considerably
dwindled as machine made tools are preferred by the people so they have mostly switched over to do repair
work. They have developed a specialty in reworking discarded pieces of iron which settled blacksmiths are not
prepared to undertake. Besides specializing in the reuse of scrap iron they have developed a technique of
inserting steel blade in machine made axes for which there is a huge demand in those areas. This work is labor
intensive and also requires lengthy heating and hammering. In case of the Gadulia Lohars these demands are
met as all the adult members of the house hold and if required members of the camp join in the work. The steel
used for this work is obtained form broken automobile spring plates. The axe repaired by this technique is more
lasting and does not require frequent sharpening (Misra 1977).
3The

Jarawa in Andaman Islands who were considered to be one of the most primitive communities of the
world have been using iron wires, nails etc., extracted from sunken ships etc and have been seeing sailing ships
and flying aircrafts. These and many such incidents have made deep impact on their lives.

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377

highly specialized. They certainly challenge existing beliefs and practices. These are one
set of problems, the other set is posed by fierce competition trigerred of by the market
forces, power dynamics and above all fear of nature and the realm of unknown which
many a times support irrationalities. The third set is that though human beings are a
biological creature they alone have culture which has its own compulsions and identity
issues. Identity issues are highly complex and support various kinds of idiosyncratic
behaviors. There is still a fourth set which is best described by the Hindu concept of
Bhasmasur. The modern science though is so enabling and liberating force has generated
immensely powerful technology. It requires huge investments of capital and establishment
of large manufacturing units. It promotes standardization of goods and homogenization
of consumption practices. It discourages diversity at all levels. It is depleting essential
resources at alarming rates and is generating enormous waste. It is degrading environment.
Global warming is no more a matter of opinion. People from roof tops are shouting that
technology generated by modern science is non-sustainable and is posing danger to all
living beings, but they are helpless before the forces they themselves have generated.
Under such a grim situation, it is quite relevant to turn towards indigenous knowledge
system and locate the wisdom contained in them. If it is conceded that the grains left on
the thrashing ground in spite of commodification of agricultural produce are not by default
but by design an entirely new vision appears which is less aggressive, more tolerant and
supports bio-diversity which is fully validated by the standards of modern science.

References :
Berland Joseph. 2003. Servicing the ordinary folk peripatetic peoples and their niche
in South Asia in Nomadism in South Asia, (ed.) Aparna Rao and Michael J. Casimin.
New Delhi: Oxford University Press.
Misra, P. K. 1977. The nomadic Gadulia Lohars of Eastern Rajasthan. Calcutta:
Anthropological Surveyof India
Misra, P. K. 1978. Nomads in a city setting in Cultural Profiles of Mysore City (ed.)
P.K. Misra, Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India.
Misra, P. K. 1982 Indian nomads Nomads in India (ed.) in P.K. Misra and K.C. Malhotra,
Calcutta: Anthropological Survey of India
Singh, K. S. 1992. People of India: an introduction. Calcutta: Anthropological Survey
of India
Srinivas, M.N. 1996. Indian Anthropologists & study of Indian Culture. Economic and
Political Weekly. March 16.

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Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (379-407), 2012-2013

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization:


The Nomadic Muslim Hawadiga and Qalandar
People of Karnataka
Ajit Kumar1

ABSTRACT
The nomadic people are rarely mentioned in the discourses on Indian pluralism even
though they have an ancient history and are an integral part of the composite Indian
society. Society in India by definition meant a sedentary society because many of the
nomadic people remained invisible to the mainstream society. This invisibility enabled
them to pursue asemi-nomadic life but that freedom is now coming to an end. Two forces
working in conjunction are sedentarizing the nomadic people. One is the market economy
and the other is the vigorous implementation of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, and
the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. These laws have affected in particular
the non-pastoral nomads whose livelihoods are centered on plant and animal life. This
paper discusses the pauperization of two such communities of Karnataka: the Hawadiga
and the Qalandar people and the complexities of both defining the problem and in framing
intervention measures. The paper also examines the nature of the state response towards
the plight of these communities and concludes by placing the livelihood crisis of the
Hawadiga and the Qalandar people in the broader context of Indian pluralism and
nationality formation.

Introduction
The people of India live in a world of small and big communities that have emerged
because of the divides of caste, religion, ethnicity and language and their intersections.
Unity in diversity and pluralism are the expressions widely usedto conceptualise the
life ofthis mosaic world. In this array, one line of divide that is seldom mentioned, is the
divide between the settled population and the nomadic people. These people, in particular
the non-pastoral nomads, being small in number and leading a wandering life, have
remained invisibleto mainstream India. Any narrative of Indian pluralism to be complete
1Associate Professor MSS Institute of Social work Bajajnagar, Nagpur 440010, Maharashtra

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Ajit Kumar

requires that a due place be accorded to the vibrant nomadic community. Even thoughfrom
the earliest times south Asians have frequently, and regularly, moved across large expanses
in and around South Asia the notion prevailing is of a society that is sedentary. The
nomadic people and their wandering life is a living testimony of how unfounded this
notion is (Rao and Casimir, 2003:2). These tribes in India have an ancient past if one
chooses to go by a decree found in the Arthasastra of Kautilya. The decree says that
musicians, actors and other mendicants should stay in one place during the rainy season,
with penalties of fines or lashes for all who disobeyed (Kane 1973: 253). This past could
be even more ancient if one recalls the fact that the Aryan-speaking people who entered
India around 1500 B.C. also came from a nomadic stock of the human race.

possibility of creating some legal space for these communities. To carry the discourse
forward I completed a library study titled Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Communities in
India: A trend Report.

Society in India, largely a sedentary society,sees the nomadic people asbeing mere
wanderers and itinerants. What they see but fail to notice is the highly specialised livelihood
system behind these wanderings. This system is completely dependent on their continuous
interaction with the environment and the surrounding settled populations. These two
elements give rise to new situations which in turn motivate them to devise new strategies
for survival (Prasad, 1994: 3). Movement is central to the life of the nomads and in
understanding it the reason why people should habitually move is of primary importance.
The other factors like where they move, how they move, what is the duration of their
movement and what they do when they move are secondary and related to this factor
(ibid:2). These ever-changing conditions have led the nomadic people to evolve a very
diverse set of livelihoods. They can be classified into three broad categories: herders and
animal husbanders, gatherers and hunters and peripatetic. The word peripatetic is a generic
term covering many livelihoods related to trading, entertaining and crafts.
I. The study
This study was undertaken when I worked for a year (March 2011-march 2012) with the
Centre for the Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy (CSSEIP), at the National
Law School of India University, Bangalore. The mandate of this Centre is to conduct
research and recommend inclusive policies and programmes for communities excluded
from the Indian mainstream.
In the month of mayin 2011 a small group of people representing the Hawadiga and the
Qalandar communities led by the Peoples Union for Civil Liberties, Bengaluru,visited
us and sought the Centres intervention in restoring their livelihood rights. Animal rights
activists working in tandem with the forest and police department had seized the snakes
and bears displayed by these non-pastoral nomadic communitiesin public performances.
We began with a field study of the two communities with two objectives. One was to
sketch out a profile of the two communities. The other, undertaken by my colleague
Nadim Nikhat who is a trained lawyer, was to collect data on the nature of the legal action
taken against these communities by the authorities and the legality of the laws under
which the legal action had been initiated. This study led to a report titled Law and Loss
of Livelihood : The Hawadigas and Qalandars of Karnataka. Itdocumented the life of
the two communities from a social science perspective and discussed the legality of the
two laws under which the bears and the snakes had been seized/were seized and the

II. Data collection


The data collection which we undertook for our field study was quite, quite unlike the
method pioneered by Bronislaw Malinowski. In the anthropological method a trained
person spends at least a calendrical year in the field. Our method was to collect some
primary data in a short period and use this data to initiate a discourse which could lead
to some public awareness and action. The data collection for this study was undertaken
with the assistance of activists who have beenworking with these communities for years.
Before collecting primary data we had two discussion sessions with leaders of the two
communities.
The Hawadiga people reside in Bangalore and two days (20th and 21st July, 2011) were
spent in observing the life in the community and talking to the people: men, women and
children. Three Hawadiga artists put up performances for our benefit and showed us the
equipment they used. While Nadim interviewed Hawadiga men and boys who had
encounters with animal rights activists and state authorities I chatted with everybody
on all themes to gain an understanding of the nature of the Hawadiga life.
The data collection (July 30, 31, August 1 and 2, 2011) of the Qalandar people involved
a night long journey to Bellary and a few hours bus ride to Koppal. One village in Bellary
and two villages in two different talukas of Koppal were visited for collecting data. In
one village we faced some hostility from one section of the Qalandar people because of
rivalries between two Qalandar leaders. In addition to these visits, we interviewed many
community leaders from both the Qalandar and Hawadiga communities and the activists
working with them in Bengaluru.
III. Intervention
Our field study (Ajit Kumar and Nadim Nikhat) led to a report titled Law and Loss of
Livelihood : The Hawadigas and Qalandars of Karnataka. This report was used to create
a discourse and public awareness about the plight of the two communities. It led to a
detailed article in Frontline (March 9, 2012) titled: Tenuous Lives by Vikhar Sayeed
Ahmed.This was followed by a library study which led to a report titled Nomadic and
Semi-Nomadic Communities in India: A trend Report (Ajit Kumar). This put us intouch
with the Karnataka Nomadic tribes Mahasabha, Bengaluru. In collaboration with the
Mahasabha we had a one-day workshop where all organisations working with nomadic
communities throughout Karnataka came together to discuss and debate the problems of
these communities and the way forward. The one-day workshop was organised by CSSEIP
in the NLSIU campus on 10th March, 2012 on the theme Nomads of India and Social
Justice. Policy makers, activists, media representatives and academicians met to debate
on the following three sub- themes: (i) Identity and Indian Nomads (ii) Atrocities and
Nomads (iii) Constitutional Remedies and the Third Schedule. Shri Balkrishna Renke
(Chairman of the erstwhile NCDNSNT commission), Shri C.S. Dwarkanath, (Former-

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Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

Chairman, Karnataka Backward Classes Commission and President, Karnataka Nomadic


Tribes Mahasabha (KNTM) and Dr. Balagurumurthy, Secretary, KNTM led the proceedings
of the workshop.

Part A : The contexts in India


I. History
Origins of nomadism
Most nomadic communities fulfilled essential services, many of which were later to
become redundantas transporters and traders, as entertainers or bards; individual families
from such communities were also often privileged to serve under feudal lords as hunters,
fowlers and dancers, or were entrusted with the royal stables and camel herds (Rao and
Casimir, 2003:65 and 61). In addition to these need-fulfilling functions rendered by
nomadic livelihoods, the social structure of the country also was conducive for the
proliferation of groups of specialised service nomads (Hayden, 2003: 448 and 449).
What were these conducive factors? As one line of thought put it the suppliers of particular
services or goods have thus, each had incentive to differentiate between their own
endogamous group and others with similar occupations, if by so doing they could maintain
a claim for higher status than the other group. This identity of group with occupation
was seen by Misra (1977b:1) in his 1969 survey of nomadic groups in Karnataka. He
reported that each group specialized in an activity which acted as an identity-marker for
that group (ibid:449). Beteille says one is struck by the luxuriant growth of the
discriminatory process which had, in the manner of tropical vegetation, spread in every
direction, leaving no ground uncovered (cited in Guha, 2011:15). Discrimination and
differentiation working in tandem perhaps explains the how and the why of the proliferation
of nomadic communities and their diverse livelihood niches.
The nomadic communities before Independence
Whatever the incipient tensions, it appears that throughout the early history of South
Asia various types of nomadic communities lived in relative symbiosis with one another
and with more sedentary parts of the population; all of these were integrated into larger
regional systems through a multiplicity of crisscrossing ties (Casimir and Rao, 2003:
53). This symbiosis was shattered during the colonial regime and many nomadic occupations
came to an end. The introduction of railways put an end to the pack-animal transportation
business of the Banjara-lambada tribe. Similarly the Forest regulation Act of 1887 put
restrictions on the use of forest resources whichaffected communities dependent on forests.
Not only did numerous nomadic communities have to rapidly seek new avenues, resources,
and lifestyles, but many professions and occupations now additionally came to be declared
illegal (Rao and Casimir, 2003: 65 and 61).

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The nomadic communities after Independence


It was only in the 1970s that systematic scholarly interest in South Asian nomadism
began. This interest was grounded in an approach which viewed these communities as
backward communities and as obstructions in the path of progress. These attitudes, a
carryover from the colonial period, came to be flavoured by an upper caste, urbanised,
sedentist bias and a modern state whose objective was to settle swidden agriculturists,
migratory pastoralists, foragers and peripatetics (ibid: 1 and 2). The state policy in
principle had no place for nomadic people qua nomadic people in Independent India.
In practice this policy was not put into effect and the Indian state remained relatively
indifferent which in particular benefitted the non-pastoral nomadic communities dependent
on plant and animal life for their living. There were no systematic efforts at curtailing
their livelihoods. This began after India got integrated into the world market. The laws
became more stringent and implementation more rigorous by the second half of 1990s.
The commercial use of wild animals, including performances with live snakes was
proscribed. Hunting was curtailed under the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, but an
amendment in 1991 banned it entirely (Radhakrishna, 2009: 14). This act and the
Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 are generally used to book a Qalandar (or a
Hawadiga) who own a bear (or a snake) and display it for commercial entertainment.
These laws have been enacted to safeguard the bio-diversity of the country by conserving
endangered species of plant and animal life. International perspectives which have gained
strength in the last two decades are now decisive in the making of state policies and in
its implementation. The state is now working in concert with these agencies both national
and international.
The Say No to Bear Dancing campaign initiated by the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI)
and the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA) was directed mainly at tourist
on the Delhi-Agra-Jaipur highway. In Haryana this campaign became very severe after
the central government gave directions about saving the bears in 1998. The campaign
was so successful that by 2001 the Qalandar people in Haryana were starving. The
campaign for saving the Indian Sloth Bear has become the centrepiece of the broader
campaign of saving endangered species dwarfing the other campaigns to save snakes
(Saperas), birds (Bahelias) and monkeys (Madaris) (Radhakrishna, 2007:4222 and 4225).

II. Village India and the non-pastoral nomads


Once people began to settle down forming village communities then exchange of goods
and services became the basis of interaction between them. Prasad says that in ancient
India, apart from pastoral nomads, there developed a class of spatially mobile specialist
who provided various kinds of goods, services, and entertainments (1994:2 and 3).
Bokil narrative says that rural Indian society had a number of artisans and service castes
that catered to the needs of agriculturists. They were residents of the same village and
the balutedari or jajmani (patron-client) systems governed their relationships. However,
besides them, there were also a number of nomadic groups who frequented the villages
from time to time and provided a range of goods and services. They included pastoral

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Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

groups like shepherds and cowherds and non-pastoral groups like stone-cutters, blacksmiths,
salt-vendors, basket makers, metal workers, medicine sellers and so on. They also included
various types of religious performers and entertainers like acrobats, fiddlers and magicians.
A majority of them were permanently on the move and did not have any village or native
place to call their own. They met once a year at a place of pilgrimage, which was also
the venue to tie nuptial knots and resolve disputes (2002:33). These communities were
not a part of the jajmani or balutedari systems but they provided those goods and
services, which the artisans did not supply (Bokil, 2002: 149).
The varna-jati social system was well protected against competition and encroachment
from outsiders. The non-pastoral nomads provided goods and services which the localised
production system did not provide. They occupied a niche in this system. The variety
in life-styles of different jatis sustained the non-pastoral nomads, that is if one group
served one cluster of castes, the other aimed at another cluster.
This diversified pattern of living is changing very fast in modern India and it is getting
increasingly homogenised and standardised (Misra and Prabhakar, 2011: 169 and 170).
With a greater standardisation in all walks of life, there is less room for movement and
camping for the non-pastoral nomads. The development process is converting
non-pastoral nomads from being highly skilled and innovative people to unskilled
population and they are likely to join the overburdened sector of agriculture or become
unskilled wage-labourers which in turn would adversely affect bio-diversity. This method
of development through exclusion is partly because of the lack of knowledge and
general dislike and suspicion about mobile people entertained by the sedentary
people who have framed laws to restrict the nomadic way of life and to sedentarise them
(ibid: 166, 171).
To sum up, the non-pastoral nomads over time and through their ingenuity had carved
out niche livelihoodsthatsupplied the much needed goods and services to the village
community. These livelihoods are now coming to an end because the market economy
is meeting these needs through low-cost, standardised products. It also means that the
diversity of rural life is diminishing.

III. The context in Karnataka


The People of India project, a survey conducted by the Anthropological Survey of India,
identified 276 non-pastoral nomadic communities in India and they are mostly found in
Andhra Pradesh, followed by Maharashtra, Karnataka and Gujarat (ibid: 171).
The campaign in Karnataka
The campaign in karnataka began some time in 2000 and has put a complete end to the
traditional livelihood of both the Hawadiga and the Qalandar people. While the two laws
are applicable in equal measure to both these communities the effect on them has not
been the same. The campaign for protecting the sloth bear has been a more complex
operation. It began with a wild within walls life timecare facility project in Bannerghatta
Biological Park (BBP) in Karnataka. It was conceived and developed, by the Wildlife
Trust of India, International Fund for Animal Welfare, Karnataka Forest Department and

385

Zoo Authority of Karnataka with additional support from Ministry of Social Welfare &
Empowerment and Central Zoo Authority, Government of India. The site chosen was a
100 sq km mixed deciduous forest near Bannerghatta National Park (Ramnathan, Ashraf
and Menon, 2008).
The work began in June 2001 and the facility was inaugurated in November 2002. This
was followed by a sophisticated campaign by animal rights activists to force the Qalandar
people to surrender their bears. They were lured into getting their bears micro-chipped.
The moment they stepped out of their habitats and went on their usual travel they were
picked up, their bears and equipments confiscated and often they were jailed or kept
confined in the forest department or police stations. This was preceded by flexing of
muscles, roughing-up and brow-beating. They were cajoled to surrender their bears
to the Bannerghata Biological Park and some of them received Rs. 50,000/ as compensation.
This compensation provision materialised because of the international priority to save
sloth bears. That this campaign has been successful can be inferred from the fact that
most of the Qalandar bears are in BBP and a large number of the Qalandar bear-owners
are now starving.
To know how the Qalandar people became pauperised one needs to know the workings
of the bear based livelihood. The WTI report says that the cajoling of the Qalandar
people soon saw 25 bears being given to the BBP. The Qalandar people say that one bear
is sufficient to take care of the livelihood of five Qalandar households which means that
125 Qalandar households saw a complete end to their livelihood the day the 25 sloth
bears reached BBP. The compensation given, in instalments, was given to the bear-owner
not to other households who were as dependent on the bear as the owner of the bear. In
addition to this monetary provision, some of the Qalandar people have been appointed
to take care of the bears at the BBP.
The condition of the Hawadigas is even worse because the international focus of these
campaigns have been on saving the sloth bear and not reptiles. A field study reported
that within a span of three years thirty cases of harassment and violence have taken place
against the Hawadiga people. The nature of violence ranged from minor physical violence
where nothingwas visible to cases of broken bones and this was orchestratedthrough mob
violence. Similar instances were reported from the Qalandar community with one difference.
In many cases they were jailed which entailed heavy costs because they had to employ
lawyers and had to pay fines (Nikhat, 2011:56-57).
Vulnerable communities in Karnataka
The Karnataka State Backward Class Commission has provided information and insights
on 25 Muslim communities in the State. However it is estimated that there are nearly
52 such communities. In Karnataka, Muslims constitute 12 % of the total population
and form the second largest community in the state. Among them 9 % speak Urdu as their
mother tongue (Kowdenhalli, 2007: 20). Kowdenahalli further says that, although the
Karnataka Minorities Commission made a study on the educational, economic and social
conditions of these communities they are still viewed as a monolithic community. There
is no information on the distinct identities of the subgroups (ibid: 20). The report of the

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Karnataka State Backward Class Commission (KSBCC) has highlighted the needs and
problems of people belonging to the following 14 nomadic, semi-nomadic and denotified
communities: Kadugollaga, Kodagu, Pinjar, Kapali, Hawadiga, Qalandars, Dombidasar,
Bai patthar, Jogis, Haranshikaris, Gondali, Davari, Darveshu and Sikkaligar communities.
While all nomadic tribes are vulnerable, the Commission has identified the Kadugolla,
Hawadiga, Qalandars and Sikkaligars as being the most vulnerable among them.

Part B : The Hawadiga universe1

INTRODUCTION
Kowdenahalli says that the snake charmer community is a nomadic tribe having originated
from Rajasthan and Maharashtra and today are found in many parts of Karnataka
where they are known as Hawadigas (2007:31). The KSBCC Commission made a
comprehensive study of the Hawadiga community and highlightedtheir extensive knowledge
of snakes, their wide repertoire of skills as a magician and their use of music and musical
instruments. They are adept in catching snakes and have medicines to treat snake bites.
During our data collection the Hawadiga people told us that many of the current TV
experts on snakes in Bengaluru were people whom they had trained. The Hawadigas are
primarily magicians and display snakes for a short moment to attract an audience and to
elicit alms. This Commission has pointed out that :
l

The Hawadiga people are untouchables among Muslims having no blood


relationship with other Muslims groups, or their support in any way.

The majority of them are illiterate and live in dilapidated huts / houses

They are landless with no other means of livelihood.

Because of these reasons, a sizable number of families migrate to cities, and


are forced to live in slums to earn their livelihood.

Reservations for the Hawadigas


Hawadigas come under category 1 as per government order SWD 225 (BCA) 2000,
30.march.2002. There is no income limit in this category and there is 4 per cent reservation
in education and employment for groups listed in category 1. The Hawadigas come under
Sr. No. 19 a. and are sub-classified as: (i) Hawadiga (ii) Haavgar (iii) Hougar. But the
community has not been able to obtain any benefit from this affirmative action policy
because they are totally illiterate, have no residential address and are ignorant of the
outside world.
I. The Hawadiga people as a nomadic community
Anthropologists have pointed out that the distinguishing feature of a nomadic community
is that they have one single leader. This featureis seen among the Hawadigas of Jai
Bhuvaneswari Nagarand AR is their unquestioned leader. He has two wives, thirteen
children and two houses. The community accepted his leadership because of his persuasive
talking manners andalso because he is a teetotaller. He also had taken the initiative

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in gathering his community people together who were scattered throughout Karnataka
to Bengaluru. Further he helped them in getting a house in Jai Bhuvaneswari Nagar in
Bengaluru.
They also have their own pidgin language which none except a Hawadiga person can
understand. It is a spoken language without a script. It has evolved over a long period
and is an admixture of many Indian languages. Another feature which marks them out
is their cultural practice of all members meeting once a year to resolve many family and
community issues that have cropped up in the preceding year. They used to meet at Malur
where a Hawadiga member used to take care of a dargah. This has now come to an end
because this caretakerhas left Malur. Malur is about two hours bus ride from Bangalore city.
Geographical spread of the community in Karnataka
(i) Outside Bengaluru city: (1) Malur (six families) 2) Mysore (200 families) 3) Anampalli
(10 families) 4) Moodbagal (7 families) 5) Audogodi (4 families) 6) Hoskote (10 families)
7) Sirihalli (10 families).
(ii) In Bengaluru: 1) BL Nagar (2 families) 2) Yashwantpur (2 families).
l

II.

The total comes to 371 Hawadiga families excluding the families residing in
Jai Bhuvaneswari Nagar. This estimate is based on the figures given by AR.

Sedentarization of the Hawadiga people: The colony at Jai Bhuvaneswari


Nagar(Bengaluru).

The Hawadiga colonyat Jai Bhuvaneswari Nagar (JBN) came up in 2000. This community
began as a small group of 20 families living as squatters in the cantonment railway station
in Bengaluru about ten years back. They were evicted from this area because of a proposed
flyover project. Many organisations fought for them including the Peoples Union for
Civil Liberties (PUCL) and the Samata Sainik Dal (SSD) and finally the Karnataka State
Slum Development Board (KSSCB) resettled them in Jai Bhuvaneswari Nagar (JBN)
which is, opposite to the Raj Kumar Samadhi, an important landmark in Bengaluru city.
The leader of this community is AR. His brother had first migrated to Bengaluru followed
by his mother and then AR himself. Over a period of time some of the Hawadiga members
came to visit AR and stayed back. ARs role in settling the Hawadiga people in Bengaluru
is somewhat akin to the role played by Girdhari for the erstwhile nomadic Gadulia Lohar
of Beawar in Rajasthan (Misra, 1977:172-173).
When the KSSCB decided on a plan of rehabilitation the Hawadiga people were asked
to submit a list of families who needed houses. At that time AR got in touch with his
people staying in different parts of Karnataka and their names were included in the list
submitted to KSSCB. That is how the numbers jumped from 20 to 70. They were given
a one room + bathroom tenements. The house is theirs but not the land. They can rent
out their house but not sell it for fifteen years. Initially, there were 70 brick housesbut
as children grew up and married they needed to be accommodated. So these families
numbering fifty now live in tents and make-shift shelter by side of the brick houses. The
colony at JBN has four rows of houses. The first two rows of houses are occupied by

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dalit people and migrant communities. The third and fourth row of houses hasbeen allotted
to the Hawadiga people.
III. The Hawadiga Life in Jai Bhuvaneswari Nagar
Indebtedness and starvation
l

Most of them are indebted. They have mortgaged many of their belongings to
pawn shops.
Women of the community told us that, with the enforcement of the new laws,
they have become so poor that none of them have lunch. They have some food
in the morning andthen in the evening.
All the households have been issued ration cards. Earlier each household was
given 20 kg of foodgrain but now it has been reduced to less than half. Most
of the families also have BPL card.

Water, toilet, cooking fuel and education


l

They buy water one rupee per container - from the Sarwajanik Pay and Use
toilet-cum-bathroom complex and spend on an average one hundred rupees
once every three days. This will vary depending on the size of the family. The
same water is used both for drinking and other purposes. They have no other
source of water. This complex is less than a kilometre from the place where
they stay.
For toilets they use the public ground in front of their settlement. The neighbours
resent this and throw stones at them.
They scrounge and collect fire-wood. Two basket-loads will see them for a
week. They eat rice and the cheapest vegetable of that day.
Young girls are sent to a lady tutor for learning the Koran and Urdu. She stays
close by and charges Rupees five per student. Fifteen boys go to the Maktab
run by the local Masjid. The very small children go to the centre run under the
Sarva Shiksha Abhiyan. They are the first generation learners of their community.
Boys go to the Masjid to pray on Fridays before which they have a bath at the
public bathroom after paying rupees ten.
Families known to them when they earlier used to live in the cantonment area
give them old clothes.

Inter-community relations
In addition to the Hawadiga people, this colonyhas people from Kanada and Tamil
speaking communities and Rajasthani Muslims.Common to all of them is their poverty
and destitution. Even though all these people are immediate neighbours and they are all
poor there is hardly any social interaction between these communities. The first lane of
this house has mostly dalit households, with whom the Hawadiga people are on friendly
terms. But there is an in-built tension between the Hawadiga people and the neighbourhood

389

communities residing outside Jai Bhuvaneswari Nagar. This is because of class and
religious differences and because of the growing Hindutva mindset in the larger
community.As a general rule, none of the Hawadiga people stir outside their lane except
to go to the main city.
The political dimensions
A decade back a joint action committee was constituted to fight the land mafia in Bangalore
and at that time the Samata Sainik Dal (SSD) was given the responsibility of enlisting
the support of the Hawadiga community. There is a board of SSD right in front of the
house of AR and his house is painted in blue. The joint action committee (JAC) has
disintegrated and the issue of housing also has been resolved. So why is the board of SSD
displayed prominently? This board affords them some protection from the police and
from the rowdier elements of the larger community. For this powerless people, the
Ambedkarite movement serves as a protective mantle.
IV. Marriage and death : The Hawadiga outlook
Marriage among them is a simple matter. They have only one ritual: during the formal
meeting to discuss the proposed alliance the boys family must come with betel leaves
worth rupees twenty while the girls family comes with leaves worth rupees ten. The total
comes to rupees thirty. There is no other monetary transaction. What does marriage among
them mean? On an average marriage expenses will range between Rs. 40,000 to Rs.
50,000. But if required, marriages can be conducted even within Rs. 10,000/. Finding a
bride or a groom among the Hawadigas is not difficult. It is a small community and all
are interrelated in one or the other way.
The wealthy Hawadigas
One biriyani feast for everybody in the community: 50 kg rice and 40 kg mutton is enough
for this feast. One or two gold ornaments for the girl and a watch for the boy and a set
of dresses for both the groom and the bride: enough for the marriage to get going. This
is how the wealthy Hawadigas marry.
The poor and the poorest Hawadigas
Those who have no money will just provide a rice and dal/lentil combination to the
community members. Some may even give an egg and what the Hawadiga people do is
to eat only the egg and come away. Those who are the poorest will not even do that. They
order hundred rice plates in bulk from an inexpensive restaurant and somebody goes
around delivering rice plates, only two per family irrespective of the family size. There
is no function, celebration or ritual of any sort. This is not the last word about poverty
among the Hawadigas. There are families who cannot afford even the rice-lentil combination.
They pay rupees five hundred as fees to the Masjid authorities for performing the marriage
ceremony, after which all those who have assembled generally a small number are
given a half-cup of tea and a biscuit. The marriage ceremony ends and the young couple
begin their wedded life.

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Death
Death is to be laughed at. They crack jokes about it and they complain. They complain
of carrying the bier of their dead and how their shoulder muscle aches. Their worry is
not death but the expenses of the funeral. The expenses come up to Rupees 5000/. A
matador has to be hired and the mourners taken to the graveyard. The expenses worry
them.They view death in a matter-of-fact manner.
V. The Hawadiga artist: Entertainers and performances
The Hawadiga people perceive themselves as artists and magicians. They are jadugars
famed for their vanishing trick, the smoke emitting act and the eater of iron. Snakes are
mere accessories meant to attract an audience.
Performance in the open in the city
What is the nature of their performance? The performance begins by releasing a snake
or two. They are harmless water and rat snakes. This is accompanied by a catchy talk.
Soon a crowd gathers, the snakes disappear and the performance begins:
l

One artist [DP] has a huge basket where a small boy gets in and accompanied
by talk and gestures the boy is made to disappear and reappear.
Another artists speciality [SB] is in showing how coins disappear and then
reappear. Again a running commentary with some witty talk and gestures
accompanied by a side-kick who mockingly mimics the master. It is a crosstalk
between the master and the side-kick. The show ends, the snakes reappear
and the public is asked to give some money to feed the snake and his devotee.

The second days visit started with an impromptu performance by SSH. It took about
half an hour and he speaks enough English to carry on a witty conversation. His spiel is
liberally laced with names of the high and mighty of India. They were spell bound by his
acts: scions of the Gandhi family roll off his tongue smoothly. The act begins by placing
two cups and three round balls on the ground. These balls have names and they are
friendly names which will appeal to the audience daddy, mummy and daughter. For the
next few minutes each character, in turn, disappear and reappear and what makes it
charming is the spiel of the artist, which/that describes a life of domesticity: the family
eating idly, drinking tea and so on.
The highlightof his performance is an act which combines smoke, fire, iron nails and a
500 rupee note. The audience is drawn into the performance: Someone in the audience
is requested to give a five-hundred. Since Nadim and I constitute the entire audience,I
hesitatingly hand over a note and with this the act begins and it is impressive:
l
l

First a small piece of cloth is lit and it goes into SSHs mouth.
Then a number of sleight-of-hand movements and the climax in a sequence:
continuously SSH spews smoke from his mouth for a few minutes, then the
mouth is opened wide and we are shown a red-hot burning ember followed
by the mouth spitting out an impressivequantity of terribly rusted nails. Finally
SSH takes out of his mouth the Rs. 500 rupee note I had given him. It is
completely dry.

391

SSH declares that he can if necessary spit out almost one kilo of rusted nails
from his mouth.
Finally he requests us for some money for his breakfast which we owe him
for putting up a remarkable performance.
He has completely given up the use of snakes because he is terrified of animal
rights activists and the authorities. His performances have almost come to an
end. Occasionally, he is invited to perform in schools.

Performance outside the city


During festival seasons the Hawadiga men accompanied by their wives and children visit
market places and fairs outside Bengaluru. Many of these places have important Hindu
temples where annual festivals take place and where pilgrims come regularly. They carry
plastic sheets and poles and erect a tent in any convenient spot. The show begins. This
is done for a month or two and after accumulating any amount from Rs. 10,000/ to Rs.
15,000/ they return to their homes. This niche which the Hawadiga people had carved
out has now almost come to an end.
VI. The Hawadiga predicament
What is the Hawadiga predicament? Without a snake no audience, without an audience
no show and without a show there is no livelihood. To obey the law of the land they gave
up their snakes and tried out with plastic snakes and even snakes made up of straw but
the audience jeered and left. The audience want snakes in flesh and blood. What do the
Hawadiga people do? The obvious answer to this predicament is a change of occupation.
Why should they not take up some other occupations? Many in India have done so? The
quest for many an Indian has been for any livelihood which will fetch a better income.
But for the Hawadiga people the case is different. Their quest is not for any livelihood,
but for a livelihood in which they are specialised and which is their tradition inherited
from their forefathers.
Their self- perception is that of artists and performers and it carries a meaning beyond
the economic domain. Their pride and prestige is attached to their performance. Each
person has his own repertoire which has evolved over generations. To give up this
repository ofperforming knowledge and skills for something of which they know nothing
of and for which they are unfit is a terrible predicament. The only alternative is to work
as labourers which so far they have resisted. Some of the Hawadiga men have completely
deformed fingers and handsbecause of repeated snake bites. These men In spite of
the bites refuse to draw out the fangs of their snakes. Their pride is to live and play
with danger.
To understand the present predicament of the Hawadiga people one also needs to understand
them as a community. It is a small community and the bonds of solidarity among them
are strong. Their interaction with the larger world is minimal. Till the recent livelihood
crisis the needs of individual Hawadiga people were met within the community itself led
by one leader. In a sense this was self-sufficient community. Their insularity, community
bonds and the simplest of all possible living have enabled the community to act as a
single entity. How long this will continue is yet to be seen.

392

by one leader. In a sense this was self-sufficient community. Their insularity, community
bonds and the simplest of all possible living have enabled the community to act as a
single entity. How long this will continue is yet to be seen.

VII.

Ajit Kumar

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

The Hawadiga temperament

Their temperament is very striking: though starving they are unwilling to give up their
performances. Because of the fear of being harassed by the larger community they do
not stir out of their one-lane colony throughout the day. This enforced idleness and an
empty stomach is their fate now. But even on an empty stomach they are willing in a jiffy
to put up a show. They are showmen par excellence.
In spite of starvation, harassment by the authorities and enforced idleness they are cheerful.
They crack jokes and are ready to laugh. There is a remarkable give-and-take in their
personal relations. Very little hierarchical relation is visible among them with the young
and the old enjoying an easy comradeship. Possibly, this is because the community is
very small. Marriages take place within this small group because of which the community
is like a big extended family. What further adds to their camaraderie and solidarity is that
their life now is as minimal as is humanely possible.
How do they pass their time? They do not come out of their small one-lane colony because
of the fear of being harassed by the middle-class neighbourhood people. They do not go
into the main city because they cannot put up performances. They have no money. The
authorities, the animal rights activists and the larger society have completely ghettoised
their life. What do they do? They have devised a game with sticks and scraps and where
the play involves adroit wrist movement. This invention is what keeps them busy now.

VIII. Coping with the crisis


Alternate occupations
During the eight hours I was there for the two days of our visit I was witness to the
following alternate occupations:
(i)
One member returned after selling some flutes. He buys it for four rupees
from Mysore and sells it 10 to 15 rupees. This person succeeded in selling
six flutes. Some of them also sell plastic toys and garlands.
(ii)

Another man makes a Do-tara (mandolin) and sells it for Rs.. 20/ It takes
about 10 days to make seven to eight Do-taras. He claims that he could
hardly sell anything.

(iii)

Some members took a risk toput up a show on the sly and earned Rs. 30.
per head.

(iv)

Some women go and beg near the Masjid. In one instance a woman who
went begging in the neighbourhoodwas arrested and taken to the beggars
home.

(v)

One old man was selling fried snacks.

(vi)

Some of these artists are occasionally invited by schools where they put
up shows

393

But these are not sustainable occupations because the income is very low, it is not a fixed
income and there is no continuity to it. The people of the community say that they grew
up in a culture where earning was for meeting their basic needs. They never thought of
earning more or saving or of building up of assets. They never thought of education. They
never thought of these things because their parents and elders in the community never
thought of these matters. Now suddenly they are caught in a trap.
Their demand
They have relatives in Singapore and Malaysia plying the same trade. The government
there has given them licences: One license for one snake. The Hawadigas want to know
why the authorities in India cannot have a similar system. Give them licenses to keep
two snakes and they are quite willing to be regulated by the authorities. Otherwise they
say that they have no choice but to go with their traditional practice, laws or no laws.

Part C : The Qalandar universe2


INTRODUCTION
The word Qalandar, an Urdu word, refers to a nomadic gipsy tribe and their profession
th
of bear dancing date back to the pre-Mughal era of 13 century. They gained prominence
as royal entertainers in the courts of the Mughal emperors where they also performed
magic tricks and staged wrestling bouts. Once the emperors and kingdoms became
history, they started to perform bear dancing for the general public (Kowdenahalli,
2007:33). The Karnataka State Backward Class Commission (henceforth KSBCC) has
recognized Qalandars as folk artists who engaged in bear charming as the traditional
occupation of their culture. The bears are born and brought up as family members and
become a part of their life.
Reservations for the Qalandars
As per the government order No. DPAR 1 SBC 77, DT. 4-3-1977, The Madari and
Howadiga community come under backward tribes in Karnataka. But the government of
Karnataka ORDER NO. SWL 12 TBS 77, BANGALORE DATED 23RD JANUARY
1978 AND order no swl 12 tbs 77 dated 22nd February 1977 deleted the Madari community
from the list. The present status is that the Madari/ Khalandar are not in the list of
reservation category of Karnataka. The term back ward tribe is official category in
Karnataka. The Madaris have been excluded from the reservation list.
I. The Qalandars and the village community
The bears are made to dance and in earlier days in villages there used to be wrestling
bouts between the Qalandar-owner and his bear. The demand from the crowd was that
the bear should lose. People in the villages revere the bear. Children are made to sit on
the bear and the bear walks about. This was based on the belief that such a child will
become as strong as the bear. It was also believed that the child will stop wetting the bed.
There is also a belief that bear hairs and nails have healing properties and are seen as
good omens. The Qalandars make small packets and they are sold as amulets and talisman.

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In the village the bear is revered. The clinking and jangling of steel bangles is a clarion
call for the villagers for it means that the Qalandar and his bear are visiting their village.
They are treated with respect and given food and old clothes. The bangles are an integral
part of the Qalandar equipment. They are in pairs - one big and the other small.
The nomads were, at one time, organically linked to the village community and any Indian
village would be visited by at least 30 different nomadic groups in a year providing a
variety of goods and specialist services to the settled people (Misra and Misra, 1982:1).
The striking feature of the Indian village was its social structure rooted in the varna-jati
system based on local production. The nomads were a part of this system and they reproduced
a mini caste like model within their own groups (Misra, 1982: 20).

III.

395

A profile of Qalandars of Hampinakatte village in Hospet taluka of


Bellary district
The Qalandars have their own settlement in Hampinakatte village.

Population
The Hampinakatte settlement of the Qalandars had begun with five families and over a
period of thirty years it grew into a settlement of 70 families.
Caste structure in Hampinakatte village
This village, in addition to the Qalandar settlement, has people from four different caste
categories: Lingayats, scheduled castes, Kurubas and Panjewadar castes.

II. The geographical spread of Qalandar population in Karnataka

Occupation

The Qalandars belong to a category which scholars have termed as semi-nomadic tribes
having home villages to which they returnat regular intervals.

Some of the Qalandars have become petty traders or have found jobs in mining concerns
while a few have been employed to take care of the bears in Bannerghata Biological Park
but the majority have no stable occupation.

Table 1 - Population of Qalandars in Karnataka

Panchayat

District

Taluk

Village

Households

Kolar

Sreenivaspur

Arlakunta

25

Bellary

Hospet

Hampinakatte

100

This village along with five other villages comes under the Danapur panchayat. Hampinakatte
has sent three members to the Danapur panchayat two from the Lingayat caste (one
man and one woman) and one from the scheduled caste. None of the Qalandars are
members of the panchayat.

Hadagali

Ainali

130

Facilities

Koppal

Manglapur

30

Gangavati

Hulihyder

125

Koppal

Dharwad

Belgaum

Chikkada

50

Yergudi

50

Sixteen of the families who had first settled in Manglapura had applied to the local
authorities for house plots and had been pursuing their application. These families were
allotted plots of lands on which they built a house. Subsequently, many families received
houses which they constructed on plots to which they have no legal ownership rights.

Shivnapur

25

The Bears of Hampinakatte

Gonar

50

Ramadurga

Halleli

15

Khanapur

Chikk-Angroli

19 to 22

Total

489 households

Sometime in the 1990s, the government set up a zoo for bears in Bellary and sought the
help of the Qalandar people of Hampinakatte to stock the zoo. The zoo was supplied with
a male and a female bear by the Qalandar people who when asked as to what they would
like to have in return said that they would like to have licences. The authorities gave
them six licences. Since then they have been plying their trade with these six licences.
Photocopies of these six licences came to be used by the entire community. These licences
attested to ownership rights and not to rights of performance.

Kalkatgi

[Source:Information provided by RH a community leader from Manglapura on 2nd


August, 2011].

IV. A Profile of Qalandar people of Manglapura (Koppal taluka, Koppal District)

From the above table it is evident that the Qalandars are spread over five districts, eight
talukas and eleven villages. This study undertook data collection in two districts, three
talukas and three villages.

Population

The Qalandar people like the Hawadiga people also have their own pidgin language
which none other than a Qalandar person can understand. It is a spoken language without
a script and is a mixture of many Indian languages which developed over a long period
of time.

Manglapura has 300 houses and 800 voters. In addition to the 30 Qalandar households
(HH), the village has Lingayats, Muslims (100 HH of Sheikhs, Sayyeds and Pathans) and
dalits (10 HH). The Muslim community is hierarchically organised with the Sheikhs,
Sayyeds and the Pathans ranked much higher than the Qalandar people.

The Qalandar settlement in Manglapura has 30 houses.


Castes of Manglapura

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Occupations
Some have turned to other occupations. RH and his younger brother have started brickmaking units. RH also owns a tractor and seems to be associated with the sand mining
business going on in the area. Some Qalandars ply auto rickshaws. Many work as casual
labourer in sand mining, in fields or in any available job.

397

family. While alliances are normally arranged within the Qalandar community there have
been certain cases where it has been with a Syed or a Pathan family whose social status
is much higher than that of the Qalandars. From the two such cases in Manglapura it
seems that such alliances have taken place where the Qalandar boy is earning well.
V.

Panchayat
Manglapura comes under Kolur GP which comprises 18 members from the scheduled
castes, scheduled tribes, Lingayats and Muslim communities. One lady from the Qalandar
community is a member of the Kolur GP.

A Profile of Qalandars of Hulihaider village (Gangavathi taluka of


Koppal District)
The Hulihaider village has been home to Qalandars for several centuries and
it was considered to be an important town in the Vijaynagara empire (1336-1646
C.E.) and the seat of a local lord. For ten months of a year they would travel with
their bears and for two months they stay put in the village. This would be before,
and during the Islamic month of Moharram where they would have grand
religious and cultural celebrations (Sayeed, 2012: 95).

Facilities
There is a common toilet facility for all the village women while the men use the open
fields. The Qalandars have piped water supply. Fifteen houses are brick-structures.
Bears of Manglapura

Population

Manglapura had 15 bears and all of them were micro-chipped. Ten of them got compensation
while five did not get compensation.

In Karnataka this is the largest village of Qalandars. This village has a voting strength
of 3500. Hulihyder has 125 households of Qalandars.

Death

Caste

According to the Qalandars of Manglapura, one of their people (HS) died of grief after
he surrendered his bear. His wife and two daughters work as coolies. One daughter is
deaf and dumb.

In addition to the Qalandars, the Hulihaider village also has people from the Lingayat,
Nayaks (scheduled tribe) and Dalit communities. The Nayaks are numerically the largest
caste and they dominate the panchayat.

Religion and syncretism in Manglapura

Occupations

A striking feature of the Manglapura Qalandars is their religious practice. They have a
well-kept dargah around a kala jamun tree where every day in the evening they light a
lamp and agarbattis. The dargah is dedicated to Mehboob but no one knows who Mehboob
was except for the fact that he hailed from Baghdad. Probably, he was a historical
personage from the days of the past. Today, he is revered as a saint. Just adjacent to it is
a shrine of Bothana and Chaudeswari. Both are Hindu deities but their caretaker is a
Qalandar family. On auspicious days the Hindus of Manglapura pay a visit to this shrine
for worship. Why is a Qalandar family taking care of a Hindu shrine? Legend says that
some time in the distant past these deities had helped the Qalandars who continue to
cherish those memories.

Apart from petty business and cultivation most of them work as coolies, both men and
women. They used to go to Bangalore but gave it up when one Qalandar person was
murdered. Now they migrate to Bellary.

Music
An elderly Qalandar (MS) sang (Marsia) for us. One song is about the love story of
Jaitunbi and Hanif. Jaitunbi proclaims that she will only marry a boy who can defeat her
in wrestling. Many come but they all are vanquished till she meets her match in Hanif.
Since bear wrestling was an important act of their performance it became the motif of
their songs. The origin of the lyrics is not known. Marsia is a genre of songs which
extols the virtues of important people of society.
Marriage among the Qalandars
Dowry is now a regular practice and for a marriage alliance to be formalised a sum
between one and a half lakh to two lakh rupees would be required to pay to the boys

Land
About 10 Qalandar households own between 3 to 4 acre land which they cultivate and
then work as coolies while 20 Qalandar households lease in land.
Panchayat
The Hulihaider gram panchayat has 12 elected members including two from the Qalandar
community.
Housing facilities
Out of the 125 Qalandar households 100 stay in their own houses while 25 stay in rented
places. Fifty people got Janata houses from the government.
Other Facilities
Water is from a hand pump. Fifteen aged Qalandars receive old age pension.
The Bears of Hulihaider
After losing their bears five men died out of grief and a loss of nerve.

398

II.

Inter community conflicts


There is a conflict between the Qalandar and the Lingayat people over rival claims over
a patch of land. Apparently, the Nayak-dominated panchayat has meddled with the
issuance of Below Poverty Line cards to the Qalandar people (ibid: 96).

Part D : Perspectives
I.

Ajit Kumar

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

The changing and unchanging universes: The Qalandar and the Hawadiga
people

Community in a sociological sense refers to a group of people living in one geographical


area, having similar socio-economic features and a we-feeling which ties people together
through bonds of solidarity. This definition would exclude the nomadic tribes because
they roam about. Their roaming got curtailed during the colonial era and their nomadic
life became a semi-nomadic one. But now even this semi-nomadic life is coming to an
end. They are settling down and becoming a part of a composite urban or a village
community. In the sociological sense now they are becoming a community.
The Qalandar people while becoming a community is also witnessing other changes. A
small section has emerged among them who have abandoned their traditional livelihood
and are now into small business. This category, very tiny, marks the incipient beginning
of a slightly well-off stratum within the Qalandar people. These business people have
formed organisations to fight for the rights of their people and these are modern organisations
with networks, access to media and to the structures of power. What is clear is that the
leadership of the community is in the hands of two such members from Manglapura and
Hulihaider villages. It is this modern segment who has taken a lead in community affairs.
There is also a development - common to democratic structures- of intense rivalry between
these two personalities and their networks. This rivalry is undermining the unity of the
community but this multiplicity of centres of power need not inherently be a negative
feature for the Qalandar people. The Qalandars are ranked much below Syeds, Sheikhs
and Pathans in the Muslim hierarchic order and none of them would normally have any
relationship with the Qalandar people. But there have been a few cases of well-off
Qalandar grooms finding brides from these superior categories. In contrast to this tiny
section the majority of the Qalandar people have neither assets nor any skills. This is how
the forces of change are affecting the Qalandar people.
In contrast, the Hawadiga people are relatively insulated from these forces. There is no
internal differentiation within them: all are uniformly poor. Many of them have taken
to petty-street selling but this is undertaken on a part-time basis. But more crucial is the
fact that they do not have a leadership and organisation in the modern sense of the term.
Authority and leadership is still centralized in one personality and they seem to be a tribal
band as in the bygone days when during the early stage of human civilization, people
moved in bands (small groups of families) in search of food and shelter (Singh, 1996:26).
Possibly, because of this band structure the internal differentiation of the
Hawadiga people is yet to take place as in the case of the Qalandar people.

399

Complexities of Rehabilitation The Hawadiga people and the Qalandar


people

This paper is a study of small communities who are subject to discrimination at three
levels simultaneously. One, as tribes, two as members belonging to a minority religion
and three as people whose livelihood is today outlawed by law. What is the question that
needs to be answered? The first question is how can the Hawadiga and Qalandar people
survive? This leads to the next question. Under what terms is this survival to be ensured?
These terms should center on their identity, their legitimate rights of livelihood and access
to their share in the development resources.
Even though both these communities are semi-nomadic tribes, share the same religion
(they being Muslims) and are today being pauperised by the same law; yet the differences
between the two are so vast that there cannot be one standard scheme of rehabilitation
for both of them. What are the differences? One major difference is that the Hawadiga
people are completely urbanised while the Qalandar people are an integral part of the
village community. The other difference is that, legally, there could be some space for
the display of snakes which are not listed as an endangered species in public performances.
This is not possible in case of the sloth bears which is an endangered species. The third
difference is that the Hawadiga people refuse to take to any other occupations unlike the
Qalandar people. The fourth important difference is that even though both the nomadic
tribes are Muslim communities their actual religious practices vary considerably. The
Hawadiga people, while not overtly religious, is completely dependent upon the Masjid
for meeting their religious and spiritual needs. This is not the case with the Qalandar
people who to a great extent have kept themselves away from the Masjid-based religious
structure. They practice a kind of folk Islam and have some organic connection with folk
Hinduism. Both of these communities also have their own pidgin languages which can
be understood only by the respective community members.
What measures of rehabilitation are possible? Temporarily, can the older generation of
Qalandar men be allowed to keep bears for a certain period of time? These can be regulated
and a system of licensing be instituted where yearly their bears are checked by the local
veterinary doctor or a Zoo and a health certificate be issued. Microchips can be implanted
to ensure implementation of the rules. In fact these bears have been micro-chipped by
animal rights organisation but that was to keep track of them. In case of the Hawadiga
people could they be permitted by law to keep one or two species of non-endangered
species of snakes? In India a large number of snakes are killed every day both in urban
and in rural areas. They can be subject to a system of controls and monitoring. Apparently,
such a system is in vogue in Singapore and Malyasia. Generational changes are already
visible and the smaller children are going to school. In a matter of a decade and half the
younger generation will seek other occupations.
III.

The Indian Muslim world and the nomadic people

The Muslim community in India too has developed a caste-based hierarchical social
structure and the upper caste leaders take pride in being of foreign extraction Arab

400

401

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

Ajit Kumar

or Iranian and considered other Muslims, who are all of indigenous Indian origin, as
belonging to the low caste (Ali, 2012: 75 and 78). Broadly speaking, the Muslim people
of India can be classified into two categories, the Ashraf and the Ajlaf. The Ashraf (Sayyad,
Sheikh, Moghul and Pathan) constitute the Muslim elite and historicallyhave exercised
leadership over the entire Muslim community in India. This leadership rests on the idea
of the Muslim people being a single, unified community without any divisive interests.
In recent years this idea is being challenged by the OBC and dalit Muslims who constitute
a majority among the Muslim people. That the Muslim people are internally differentiated
like other religious communities is now being clearly articulated in public discourses.

be criminals, rather than as labouring poor. In fact the views of the Indian law-makers
st
and laws relating to nomadic communities hardened by the beginning of the 21 century
(ibid: 21, 22).

What is of significance in this contestation of ideas and for material resources between
the OBC and the dalit Muslim on one side and the Musim elite on the other side is the
complete absence of any reference to the nomadic Muslim people. Just as the Indian
nomadic people remained invisible to the Indian mainstream so have the Muslim nomadic
peopleremained invisible to the Muslim mainstream.

Part E : State and the Indian nomads


I.

The Indian approach

In the Indian approach laws are seen as an instant and complete solution by the urban,
educated settled population. They take up a complex situation, frame it as a problem and
turn towards the law for a solution. This legal solution often is not able to comprehend
the complexity of the human category involved.
There could be some justification for the rigorous implementation of the Wildlife
(Protection) Act, 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960 to conserve
the biodiversity of the environment. But what justification can be given for using the
Prevention of Begging Act to pick up nomadic people putting up performances in public
places even if no animals or reptiles are used.This act defines begging as an act soliciting
or receiving alms, in a public place which means that any one who approaches an
audience to get paid for entertainment he/she has provided, can be booked for obtaining
or extorting alms. (Radhakrishna, 2007:4223).
The trend in law making on beggary is to equate begging with crime. As the Karnataka
Prohibition of Beggary (Amendment) Act, 2002 shows, its jurisdiction has been expanded
by repeated amendments.
l

This is because these communities are entering new areas in search of work
and new territories to sell their goods and services.
A large number of people rounded up by the police in Delhi under the antibeggary law are from denotified and nomadic communities (Radhakrishna,
2008: 20).

There is a change in laws perception of poverty and criminalisation. The nomadic


people engaged in their traditional occupations came to be treated as actual or would-

As the Qalandar people told us during data collection the authorities of the Bannerghatta
Biological park charge Rs. 190 per head. They are earning money by displaying our bears
while we are left to die in hunger and grief. How does one explain this anomaly of
Qalandar-bears being displayed to the sedentary population while the bear-owners are
starving?The state is getting increasingly organised and regulating the life of many
communities which earlier was outside the state structure. This increasing reach of the
state is integrating the Qalandar people into the Indian mainstream but on terms which
are unfavourable to them.
II.

State policy and the nomadic people

Nomadism is a strategy which permits a better access to resources. It is a resilient,


rational response to a variety of ecological, economic, political, and social circumstances
(Rao and Casimir, 2003:3). What are these circumstances? The nomadic people and their
livelihood have been viewed as a stumbling block in the countrys progress. It is seldom
understood here as a major risk-spreading strategy in regions where the vagaries of
weather often lead to partial or total crop failure, where intensive or extensive agriculture
may not be viable or ecologically sustainable. Nomadism is not seen by bureaucrats
and politicians as a logical response to scattered resources constituting a practical and
viable alternatives to wage labour, settled agriculture (ibid: 28, 29).
The independent states of South Asia largely followed colonial concepts and continued
considering mobility as a law and order problem and the nomad by definition as
backward; even anthropologist toed this official line (Bharal 1968:358 cited in Rao
and Casimir, 2003:69). The brown men became the colonizers shouldering the burden
of the white men. The policy was spelt out more clearly in the 1958 Report of the SubCommittee of theCentral Advisory Board for Tribes, Government of India. This report
has a chapter titled Methods and Measures for Nomadic Tribes which affirms that
sedentarization has first to be achieved: either by coercion or persuasion or sometimes
a subtle mixture of both. Two ways have been proposed for sedentarization. One is to
improve the infrastructure of the areas the nomads roam in and the other way is to
accustom them to the pittance of daily wage labour rather than traditional independent
resource management (ibid: 69-70). This policy enunciated in 1958 is now becoming
a reality in case of the Hawadiga and Qalandar people of Karnataka. Now that they no
longer possess animals and reptiles they travel little and are getting sedentarized. Now
that their ancient repository of skills and knowledge are of little use many of them are
slowly taking to the pittance of daily wage labour.
The Constitution of India recognises the vulnerability of the De-notified and Nomadic
tribes (DNTs) but not as nomadic communities. Bokil says that the foremost problem
of the DNTs is that of classification and enumeration since they are not categorised as
a class under the constitutional schedules like the scheduled castes (SCs) and scheduled

402

Ajit Kumar

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

tribes (STs). Some of them have been included in the respective state lists of SCs and
STs but there is no uniformity across the country. The problem of non-uniformity has
arisen because the DNTs are not a homogenous group (Bokil, 2002:148). This
heterogeneity can be judged from the fact that approximately there are today 1,500
nomadic and semi-nomadic tribes and 198 denotified tribes.
The nomadic community in India comprises a significant section of the Indian population
numbering about 150 million people. A liberal state cannot completely ignore so large
a number and one step which the state took in 2003 was to appoint a non-statutory
commission to study this large category of people. It was reconstituted in 2005. It started
functioning as a three-member body in 2006 and submitted its final report to the prime
minister in 2008. Recently the National Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and SemiNomadic Tribes (NCDNSNT) proposed that these people should be notified as a scheduled
community by amending the Constitution and 10 per cent of government jobs should be
reserved for them even if the total reservation quota exceeds the 50 per cent ceiling
imposed by the Supreme Court (Editorial, EPW, 2008). Leave aside the question of
implementing the recommendations made by NCDNSNT even their report has yet to be
tabled in the Lok Sabha. The possibility of the nomadic tribes being accorded a scheduled
status is not even a remote possibility. The very fact that the NCDNSNT commission
constituted to study the problems of the nomadic people was a non-statutory one indicates
quite clearly the helplessness of the nomadic people and their ability to influence state
policy.
Conclusion: Sedentarization, wage labour and pauperization
The nomadic people right from the colonial period have had their livelihood and their
way of life contested by the sedentary society. They could circumvent these threats
because they were invisible to the mainstream people and also because of their
extraordinary entrepreneurial skills. These attributes allowed them, on a much diminished
scale, to continue with a semi-nomadic way of life. But today the nature of contestation
is qualitatively quite different. The coercive powers of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972
and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals 1960 have ended the customary occupations
of the Hawadiga and the Qalandar people. It is also stigmatizing them with traits of
criminality. They are Muslim communities and more insidious associations being arrived
at are a foregone conclusion. The reach of the modern state and the terrifying instrumentality
of its lawsis putting a complete end to the self-sustaining livelihoods of the Hawadiga
and the Qalandar people. But, is this desirable? In the absence of any viable approach,
as Rao and Casimir have put it, it would be irrational and undemocratic to try and
sedentarize mobile communities. On the contrary, government should help strengthen
such multi-resource economies.. ( 2003: 29).
There is an element of irony in the campaign to protect the bio-diversity of the country
because this campaign however laudable its objective, is also diminishing the human
diversity of the country. The people of India are not the same as India the modern nation
state. The people have an ancient past while the nation state is very new: just six decades
old. The contestations between these two histories and the forces propelling these

403

contestations will determine whether India as a modern nation state will continue to be
a nation of rich and complex pluralities.
Notes
1. and 2. This section is based on the chapter titled The Hawadiga and Qalandar
Universe which is a part of the report titled Law and Loss ofLivelihood: The
Hawadigas and Qalandars of Karnataka by Ajit Kumar and Nadim Nikhat. This
report was prepared for the Centre for Study of Social Exclusion and Inclusive Policy,
National Law School University of India, Bangalore.
3. I would like to acknowledge the patience and courtesy with which Professor P. K.
Misra in Mysore would reply to my all kinds of queries. His detailed emails did much
to help me gain some understanding of the nomadic way of life. He drew my attention
to the fact that nomadic people being small are invisible andthis has enabled them
to survive. Dr. M. Bokil drew my attention to the entrepreneurial abilities of the
nomadic people and the fact that they have never sought state help. The many people
now seen selling trinkets in cities or going around in carts with images of Gods and
Goddesses are nomadic people. I would also like to acknowledge the time which
Professor R. Siva Prasad gave me and the instructive late afternoon I spent with
him in his department at the University of Hyderabad talking about the state response
to the problems of nomadic people. This was on the last day of January, 2012.
4. I would also to thank Shri Balkrishna Renke the Chairman of the erstwhile National
Commission for Denotified, Nomadic and Semi-Nomadic Tribes for the time spent with
him and the discussions I had with him when he was with us for two days in the NLSIU
campus in March 2012. Dr. Dr. Balagurumurthy, Secretary, Karnataka Nomadic Tribes
Mahasabha had many perceptive comments to offer about the nature of the flux in which
the nomadic people are in now. For example he drew my attention to the fact that now
these people are acquiring an identity in the modern sense of the term.
5. I would like to acknowledge the courtesy and help received from V. J. Bomanwar,
Librarian of the Anthropological Survey of India, Nagpur office and his staff.

References
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Economic and Political Weekly, September 8, Vol. XLVII (36), (PP. 74-79).
Bokil, Milind (2002): De-notified and Nomadic tribes: A Perspective, Economic and
Political Weekly, January 12, (PP. 148-154).
Bokil, Milind (2002): Facing Exclusion: The Nomadic Communities in Western India,
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Asia: A Brief Overview in Aparna Rao and Michael J. Casimir (eds) Nomadism in South
Asia, Delhi, Oxford University Press: (PP.44-72).

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Editorial (2008): Branded for Life, Economic and Political Weekly, October 4, (PP. 6-7).
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Guha and Jonathan P. Parry (Eds.) Institutions and Inequalities: Essays in Honour of
Andre Beteille, New Delhi, Oxford University Press.
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Villagers in South Asia in Aparna Rao and Michael J. Casimir (eds) Nomadism in South
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In Bangalore Urban District A report on their social, economic, andcultural status,
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Misra, P. K. (1977): The Nomadic Gadulia Lohar of Eastern Rajasthan, Calcutta,
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Misra P. K (1982) : Nomadism in the land of Tamils between 1 A.D. and 600 A.D in
P. K. Misra and K. C. Malhotra (Eds.) Nomads in India Proceedings of the National
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Ajit Kumar

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

Ramanathan, Anand Ashraf N.V.K and Vivek Menon (2008) : The beginning to the end
of dancing with Bears (Occasional Report _o.15), NO MAST KALANDAR, Copyright
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Singh, K.S. (1996): Identity, Ecology, Social Organization, Economy, Linkages and
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Sayeed, V.A. (2012) : Tenuous Lives, Frontline, March 9, (PP.95-100).

Annexures
Annexure A : The Qalandar People
The total numbers of households in the three villages are as follows: (1) Hampinakatte70 (2) Manglapura -30 (3) Hulihaider 125. The data presented below is from those HH
head and spouse who were available and ready to give us the required data. Even though
Hulihaider is the biggest Qalandar settlement the data collected from that village has been
from a very small number of households because one section of the Qalandar people
turned hostile. The community is divided into two hostile sections because of the rivalry
between two leaders. One of them resides in Manglapura while the other person lives in
Hulihaider.

Misra, P. K and N. Prabhakar (2011) : Non-Pastoral Nomads: A Review, The Journal


of the Anthropological Survey of India, July-December, Vol. 60 (2), (PP.165215).
Nikhat, Nadim (2011) : Hawadiga and Qalandars in Karnataka vs The wildlife (Protection)
Act, 1972 and The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960: Stories of Humiliation,
Harassment, Threat and Abuse in Law and Loss of Livelihood : The Hawadigas and
Qalandars of Karnataka byAjit Kumar and Nadim Nikhat, Bangalore, CSSEIP, National
Law School of India University.
Prasad, R. R (1994) : Pastoral Nomadism in Arid Zones of India Socio-Demographic
& Ecological Aspects, New Delhi : Discovery Publishing House.
Rao, Aparna, M. J. Casimir (2003): Nomadism in South Asia: An Introduction in
Aparna Rao and Michael J. Casimir (eds) Nomadism in South Asia, Delhi, Oxford
University Press: (PP.1-38).
Radhakrishna, Meena (2007): Civil societys Uncivil acts: Dancing Bear and Starving
Kalandar, Economic and Political Weekly, October 20, (PP.4222-4226).
Radhakrishna, M. (2008) : Laws of Metamorphosis : From Nomad to Offender in
Kalpana Kannabiran and Ranbir Singh (Eds) Challenging The Rule(S) of law Colonialism,
Criminology and Human Rights in India, New Delhi, Sage : (PP. 3 27).
Radhakrishna, Meena (2009): Starvation among Primitive Tribal Groups, Economic
and Political Weekly, May 2, Vol. XLIV, No. 19,(PP. 13-16).

Table 1 : Education of Household Head (HH) and Spouse


Name of the Village

No. of Households
in the village

Illiterate
HH (%)

Illiterate Spouse
(%)

Hampinakatte,
Bellary District

54

80

87

Manglapura,
Koppal District

28

75

86

Hulihyder,
Koppal District

29

93

97

Total

111

What is of significance is that among the small percentage of Qalandar men and women
who have had some schooling there is not a single case of a person reaching even up
to the 10th standard.

406

Table No 2 : Occupation Household Head (HH) and Spouse


Village

HHs

Household Head

Table No 2 : Type of Houses among the Hawadiga people

Spouse

Category

CW

No. Work

CW

No work

Hampinakatte

54

8 (15 %)

46 (85%)

11(20 %)

43 (80 %)

Manglapura

28

28 (100 %)

28 (100 %)

Hulihyder

29

27 (94%)

2 (6%)

29 (100 %)

Frequency

Percentage

Brick wall+tin roof

43

58.90

Tent

30

41.09

Total

73

100.00

Table No 3 : Children (age-group) among the Hawadiga people

CW: casual worker in fields and mines.

Category

Table 3: Average Age of Household Head and Spouse


Name of the Village

HH

Average Age
Spouse

Hampinakatte, Bellary District

43

35

Manglapura, Koppal District

39

34

Hulihyder, Koppal District

35

30

Table 4 :

407

Ajit Kumar

Legislated Sedentarization and Pauperization: Hawadiga and Qalandar People of Karnataka

Gap

Frequency

Percentage

Families with children of


the age 5 and below 5.

37

50.68

Families with children


between 6 and 10.

15

20.54

Families with children


Above the age of 11

21

28.76

Total

73

100.00

Children up to 10 years of Age (Gender wise)


Children up to 10 years of age (Gender wise)

Name of the Village

Male

Female

Total

Hampinakatte, Bellary District

42

51

93

Manglapura, Koppal District

21

25

46

Hulihyder, Koppal District

31

35

66

Total

104

111

205

Annexure B: The Hawadiga People


One Hawadiga youth (SI) who is college-educated gave us some data about his people.
Based on his data the following tables were prepared.
Table No. 1: Family Size among the Hawadiga People
Family Size
Category

Frequency

Percentage

Below 3 member

18

24.66

4 to 5 member

41

56.16

6 to 7 member

13

17.80

8 plus member

1.36

Total

73

100.00

Literacy
l

Out of the 73 families only 10 families have adult members who have schooling
ranging from the 4th class till the 10th class. In case of the remaining 63
families none of the adults have received any schooling.
The present generation Hawadiga are going to Balwadis and school and possible
could become the first generation learners.

408

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (409-425), 2012-2013

Understanding Haemoglobinopathies in Public


Health Scenario of Andaman and Nicobar
Islands: An Anthropological Approach
S. S. Barik1 and B. N. Sarkar2

ABSTRACT
Haemoglobinopathies are various types of inherited structural and functional abnormalities,
occur in and b-globin chains of the haemoglobin molecules due to mutation and comeout with wide spectrums of clinical manifestations. Among those, b-Thalassaemia and
Sickle-cell anaemia (HbS) are drawing much attention so far as the clinical importances
of both are concerned. However, prevention and management of some other types of
haemoglobin disorders such as HbD, HbE etc. are also equally significant, when those
co-inherit with b-Thalassaemia and Sickle-cell anaemia (HbS) in human population.
It has also established that migration plays an important role in our evolutionary processes.
It may bring change in physical as well as social milieu in a given space; thus consequently
may affect disease susceptibility in some ethnic groups. Large scale movements of people
from particular ecological and ethnic background even in certain occasion, wide intragroup divergence in traditional norms; may be appeared with significant consequences
for the pattern of disease occurrence and for public health issues. Since, all genetic
variations are derived from mutation, genetic drift and random mating between species
(individuals); large scale human migration into the islands situation for colonial interests
might have played an important role in spreading as well as prevalence of fatal disorders
like haemoglobinopathies in successive decades in islands situation.
In view of severity of haemoglobinopathies in India, as a whole and the peopling history
as well as cultural plurality of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands; it was urged to initiate
an anthropological exploration for better understanding of degree and dimension
haemoglobinopathies in Andaman & Nicobar Islands; particularly its status in public
health scenario of the island territory.
This study was carried out among 432 unrelated individuals of both genders, having
various ethnic backgrounds; including 19 individuals of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes
of these islands.

1Anthropological Survey of India, Port Blair.


2Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata.

410

Understanding Haemoglobinopathies An Anthropological Approach

This study reveals 12.268% individuals have been suffering from various types of
haemoglobinopathies in various states; with 4.86% cases of b-Thalassaemia trait/carrier
(-Tt); which is higher than National average (3.96%) and out of 16 Great Andamanese
individuals, two persons were reported as HbE carrier with 31.1% and 29.9 % A2
respectively. This study endorse the threats in terms of increasing load of carrier and
patient in these islands due to its own nature of demographic and social dynamics which
in turn to be a great deal to health management heamoglobinopathies.

INTRODUCTION
Human haemoglobin is one of the important red cell protein markers. Its variations,
occurrences, contribution in evolutionary processes and subsequently, clinical manifestations
are well established (WHO 1966, Basu 1978, Bansal et al 1988, Weatherall 2000, etc.).
Inherited structural and functional abnormalities in molecular chains of human haemoglobin,
due to impaired genetic actions are commonly classified under haemoglobinopathies;
which are by and large appear with common aetiology of moderate to severe forms of
haemolytic anaemia among individuals that in many occasions emerge with fatal
consequences in life. Noteworthy to mention; in India, anaemia often neglected as common
type nutritionally deficient health problem; which are in turn supplemented with iron
enriched diet and/or medicines to facilitate natural haemoglobin production in body. Even,
until or unless there are episodes of continuous deterioration in health condition of the
patient/individual; lions share of the sufferers could access opportunities for proper
diagnosis of severe anaemia of patient/individual due to unawareness of mass, thus
become with one of the major national burden in public health, in terms of prevention
and systematic management of haemoglobinopathies in India for decades.
Haemoglobinopathies are because of various types of mutations, occur in and b-globin
chains of the haemoglobin molecules and come-out with wide spectrums of clinical
manifestations. Among those, b-Thalassaemia and Sickle-cell anaemia (HbS) are drawing
much attention so far as the clinical importances of both are concerned. However,
prevention and management of some other types of haemoglobin disorders such as HbD,
HbE etc. are also equally significant, when those co-inherit with b-Thalassaemia and
Sickle-cell anaemia (HbS) in human population. Individuals who inherit thalassaemia
gene, along with any other type structurally abnormal haemoglobin gene like HbE, HbS;
that appears with severity and complications alike to thalassaemia major (patient).
Patho-physiology, clinical manifestations, distribution and molecular structure of
b-Thalassaemia and other abnormal haemoglobins are being studied extensively. Global
estimation of b -Thalassaemia trait/carrier alone is about 240 million. Every year about
300,000 infants born with thalassaemia (30%) or sickle-cell anaemia (70%) (WHO 2006).
Prevalence of haemoglobinopathies in India, presents an alarming picture of 4-17%,
dispersed thorough out the country with some regional and ethnic exclusiveness in
occurrence. Alone, b-Thalassaemia is prevalent in almost all states and all ethnic groups
irrespective theirs different socio-cultural backgrounds, with an estimate of 4% carriers
(Kate 2008) those are potential for approximately 40 million carriers in next generation.
In addition, every year our country receives approximately 10,000 new born babies with
b-Thalassaemia major from those carrier parents.

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

411

State wise prevalence rate varies from 17% in Gujrat to very low frequency in Kerala,
while abnormal haemoglobin variants like HbD, HbS, HbE are primarily endemic in
Punjab
some ethnic groups some geographic zones in India. For instances, HbD
is more
common among the people genetically belong to the ethnic groups of North Western part
of India with carrier prevalence rate up to 10%. North-Eastern and eastern part of India
is prevalent in HbE, having a load of carrier of this gene varies about 5-50% and in same
manner of confinement, HbS is widespread among the ethnic groups of Central and
Southern India with prevalence rate of 30% carrier are there (Kate 2008).
In Andaman & Nicobar Islands, prevalence rate of haemoglobinopathies is yet to be
explored and whatever had been reported earlier, based on retrospective medical followups or as case studies; not as like as large scale unrelated individual screening at
school/community level. Available records reveal there were no reported cases of HbS
in any population (other than settler migrants) groups of these islands. However, there
are sporadic distribution of HbE and -Thalassaemia among the population of Nicobar
Islands.
In view of severity of haemoglobinopathies in India, it was urged to initiate an
anthropological exploration for better understanding of degree and dimension
haemoglobinopathies in Andaman & Nicobar Islands; particularly its status in public
health scenario of the island territory. Considering the peopling history as well as cultural
plurality of these islands; a well designed field-cum-laboratory investigation was carried
out by the Anthropological Survey of India under 11th Plan National Research Scheme
Community Genetics Extension Programme, during 2007-2012.
Islands scenario - peopling, bio-cultural mosaic & haemoglobinopathies:
In this occasion, it may mention that the territory of A&N Islands had only been inhabited
by the tribes, before colonial invasions in seventeenth century and thereafter by various
European agencies. Annexing of these islands with colonial rule in mid-nineteenth century
by the British; drastic changes appeared in these inlands in terms of high magnitude
population influx there, as colonization policies. As soon as these islands came under
colonial power in 1858; the then administrative head quarter at Port Blair and its
surroundings had flooded by 15000 migrants (Man 1883) from various parts of undivided
Indian and neighbouring colonial establishment of Burma. Processes of colonization took
its momentum with establishment befriending contacts with the native islanders throughout
these islands. Simultaneously, gradual increasing of migrant population from diverse
geographical and cultural backgrounds became phenomenal in next decades; which is
still in the process of framing aspects of the islands societies including population
dynamics and disease profile.
During course of 150 years and above; except a few; rest of the native tribes have
marginalised in the fold of exotic culture and the Andaman & Nicobar Islands has emerged
with new identity, Mini-India- melting pot of Indian diasporas; where Local (prisoners,
convicts and their descendants, formed between 1885-1942), Coorgi (Kodagu district of
Karnataka), Burmese (during 1907-1923), Moplah (in 1921 from Malabar coast), Karen
(hunter-gatherer tribes from bordering districts of Myanmar and Thailand; during 19251927), Bhatu (de-notified wandering tribe of bordering districts of United Province and
Central Province, during 1926-1928), up-rooted Bengalese from East Pakistan (during

412

Understanding haemoglobinopathies An anthropological approach

1949-1970), repatriated Tamil and Telugu of Burma (during 1950-1962), Ranchi-wala


(tribal and non-tribal communities from Chhotanagpur region, arrived in 1950s ),
Malaylam (during 1952-1958), families (of Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu)
of District soldiers, Sailors, Airmen Board of Ex-serviceman Association and Indian Exserviceman Association during 1969-1980; have been appeared as major ethnic components
of colonized Islands in 20th century (Singh 1994).

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

413

Beside, roots of migration; most observing population dynamic of migrants is passing


through low sex-ratio under tremendous population influx, since its emergence as Indian
colony (FIG. 2 & FIG. 3).

Interestingly, these migrant populations of present days Andaman & Nicobar Islands are
the counterparts of various caste based endogamous groups of all stratums of lingual
groups. Moreover, theirs migration to these islands had been guided by socio-political
compulsion; not by choice. Search of luck and search of habitat was primary reason for
settling over decades in the island situation. Significantly, theirs places of origin in pre
and post-independent era, belongs to those specific geographic zones of India mainland
and neighbouring state; which have already identified as endemic for various types of
abnormal haemoglobin genes among the natives of those areas (FIG. 1).
FIG.2 Population growth of A&N Island during 1901-2011

FIG. 3 Trend of low sex-ratio over-time

Apart from family units, migrants comprised of more single male individuals than female,
particularly in most biologically potential age groups; thus has consequently lead to set
very flexible marriage rules among the migrants in due course and had formed a consolidate
settlers communities; heterogeneous by nature, without having rigid cultural boundaries,
as are prevailing at their place of origin.
For instance, in practice; conventionally it is easy to identify an individual under cultural
category of a community, like Bengali, Telugu, Tamil and so on. However, that is
identified and based on the mother tongue of the father of the individual. Once, an
extended family history would draw on cultural traits for last three-four generation of
that individual; multi-ethnic components would appear in the lineage of both parents of
that individual. Village or group endogamy had no longer been a strict norm for marriage
negotiations among these migrants. Precisely, two numerically prominent communities
like, Ranchi-wala and Local, denotes a large heterogeneous group, comprising the
descendants of tribe/non-tribe ethnic groups of Ranchi (Chotonagpur region) and the
descendants of convicts respectively. In such manner, gradually and finally, human-scape
of these islands; truly has formed a melting pot of large number of human being, irrespective
cultural identities and stigmas.

FIG.1 Haemoglobinopathies in India: endemic areas and migration of genes

Note:
Apart from nation-wide scattered distribution of -Thalassaemia carriers; (1) areas around northern part are
endemic for HbD (Punjab); where from ancestors of Local Born, Bhatu, Valmik, Ex-service Men and other
ethnic groups arrived, (2) vast areas eastern India and adjacent areas are endemic for HbE; where from Bengalee,
Burmese, Karen, Nicobares and Shompen migrated in different points of time, (3) almost central part and some
southern areas of the country are endemic zones for HbS; where from Coorgis, Ranchi-walas, Telugu and Tamil
migrated, (4) coastal plain of Malabar borrows genetic signature of HbO (Arab), because of marriage relations
with Arabian traders; where from Moplas migrated.

It has established that migration has played an important role in our evolutionary processes.
It may bring change in physical as well as social milieu in a given space; thus consequently
may affect disease susceptibility in some ethnic groups (Neel 1969, Ward et al 1980,
Young et al 1990, Watherall 2000). Large scale movements of people from particular
ecological and ethnic background even in certain occasion, wide intra-group divergence
in traditional norms; may be appeared with significant consequences for the pattern of
disease occurrence and for public health issues (Smouse and Teitelbaum 1990, Rao et al
1992). Since, all new genetic variations are derived from mutation, genetic drift and
random mating between species (individuals); large scale human migration into island
situation for colonial interests might have played an important role in spreading as well

414

Understanding haemoglobinopathies An anthropological approach

as prevalence of fatal disorders like haemoglobinopathies in successive decades in islands


situation.

Hypothesis
Since, the social history of Andaman & Nicobar Islands has strongly built on colonial
foundation and the people of these islands has comprised thousands of migrants from
various part of Indian sub-continent; having a trend of low sex-ratio among biologically
most potential groups over times; hence, it may presume, that such intermingled biocultural attributes would contribute in great extent in understanding the degree and
dimensions of haemoglobinopathies in public health scenario of these archipelagos.
Hypothetically, it is also presumed, when population with and without a high prevalence
of haemoglobinopathies carriers unites; ultimately through inter-marriages (exogamy),
the affected genes would scattered more widely and thus would increase proportion of
couples at risk. Subsequently, a non-endemic zone for any particular disease/disorder
would turn into a disease/disorder endemic zone over decades automatically.

415

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

Blood Cell indices had done within 6 hours of collection at laboratory through automated
cell counter (MS4e). Fraction haemoglobins were estimated through HPLC (Bio-Rad
Variant System) techniques.

Table: 1 Ethnic variation among screened individuals


Ethnic groups

Academic Institutes

PVT
(N:19)

Total
(N:432)

I
(N: 51)

II
(N:91)

III
(N:199)

IV
(N:24)

IV
(N:48)

Bengali

22

27

70

07

37

163

Ranchi-wala

04

11

55

01

03

74

Tamil

00

11

22

02

04

39

Telugu

13

17

05

03

02

40

Malayalam

00

08

10

02

00

20

Kannadi

06

00

00

00

00

06

Local Born

04

10

00

02

00

16

Nicobarese

02

01

25

00

00

28

Burmese

00

00

01

00

00

01

Punjabi

00

01

02

02

00

05

UP

00

04

08

01

01

14

II. How far social history and the bio-cultural attributes could make road in
understanding the issue?

Bihar

00

01

00

00

00

01

Karen

00

00

00

01

00

01

III. Where these islands do stand in management of haemoglobinopathies, in public


health domain?

Nepali

00

00

01

00

01

02

Bhatu

00

00

00

03

00

03

In view of the social milieu as well as population dynamics of A&N Islands, an attempt
has been made to delineate to understand whether the both has been acting as limiting
or de-limiting factor for haemoglobin disorders in A& N Islands.

Inquiries
This study was guided by some specific issuesI.

What is the prevalence rate of various types of haemoglobinopathies among the


people?

Exercises

Great Andamanese

16

16

In search of answer of those pertaining inquiries; an intensive study was carried out
among the students of various academic institutes of the Port Blair town during
2007-2009. Simultaneously this study was extended to the individuals of Great Andamanese,
Onge and Shompen; in response to the request of Andaman Adim Janjati Vikas Samity,
A&N Administration. This study had components of awareness programme among
the students, field investigations and then through laboratory executions following
standard protocols.

Onge

02

02

Shompen

01

01

Socio-economic information at individual level was recorded among 432 unrelated


students from various academic institutes of Port Blair town, some self-motivated
individuals and 19 Particularly Vulnerable Tribal (PVT) individuals (table 1). Thereafter,
K2 (Potassium) based EDTA vaccutained venous blood samples were collected from preconsented volunteer donors. Three tyre haematological screening were thoroughly followed.
For detection of osmotic fragility test; NESTORFT test carried out on-spot at field
situation. Estimation of haemoglobin, Red Blood Cell count and haemogram of Red

Findings & discussions:


I. Prevalence rate
This study was carried out among 432 unrelated individuals of both genders, having
various ethnic backgrounds; including 19 individuals of Particularly Vulnerable Tribes
of these islands.
Out of those, altogether 53 individuals had been detected under various categories of
haemoglobinopathies at various state of severity. Beta-Thalassaemia Major was detected
with frequency of 0.694% and carrier of the same disorder estimated about to be moderately
high (4.86%) rate, whereas HbE and HbS carrier frequency was 3.24% and 1.62%
respectively. Significantly, three individuals with compound heterozygote for HbE / Beta-

416

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

Understanding haemoglobinopathies An anthropological approach

417

Thalassaemia and one individual for HbS/Beta-Thalassemia were detected respectively


(table 2). Significantly, was detection of one individual of Delta-Beta Thalassaemia with
frequency of foetal haemoglobin 14% and A2 with apparently normal haemoglobin
(13.3 grm/dL.), RBC (5.91^106/ml.) count but significantly low MCV (68.8 fl.) and
MCH (22.5 pg.).

Table: 2 Prevalence of haemoglobinopathies among screened individuals


Haemoglobin
Variants

Academic Institutes

PVT
(N:19)

Total
(N:432)

I
(N: 51)

II
(N:91)

III
(N:199)

IV
(N:24)

IV
(N:48)

Beta-Thal Major

03 (0.694%)

Beta-Thal Trait

21 (4.86%)

Hb AE

14 (3.24%)

Hb AE/Tt

03 (0.694%)

Hb AS

07 (1.62%)

Hb AS/Tt

01 (0.23%)

HbAS/AE

0 (0.0%)

HPFH

03 (0.694%)

Delta-Beta-Thal

01 (0.23%)

Total

25

11

10

53 (12.268%)

Molecular characterization of a few selected samples revealed two Beta Thalassaemia


carrier/trait had confirmed with common IVS-1-5-G>C mutation. One of those also coinherited with Alpha Thalassaemia 1 with more severity. One case of HbE carrier confirmed
with Cd 26 G>A mutation. Significantly one case of HbE-Beta Thalassaemia confirmed
with IVS-1-5-G>C and Cd 26 G>A mutation detected, which also co-inherited with Alpha
Thalassaemia 1 with devastating clinical outcome.
More significantly out of 19 Great Andamanese individuals, two were reported as HbE
carrier with 31.1% and 29.9 % A2 respective to those individuals; who though had RBC
count of apparent normal range i.e. 4.72^106/ml. and 5.01^106/ml respectively. Apart from
that, a general trend of anaemic state has also been observed among Great Andamanese
individuals, who have participated in this study. Ranges of their red blood cell count
(RBC), haemoglobin level and red blood cell indices are shown (FIG. 4) for better
understanding of their haematological health.

FIG. 4 Individual variation in RBC, haemoglobin and red blood cell


indices among the Great Andamanese sample

II. Bio-cultural attributes:


Formation of islands society with migrants of plural cultural back ground has discussed
earlier that revealed immense migration of diverse ethnic groups from various geographic
zones of Indian subcontinent and finally settlement of those people in these islands in
different point of time, since these lands became open wide to all for colonial interests.
However, demographic feature of Andaman & Nicobar Islands has been suffering with
remarkable imbalance sex-ratio since initial days. Female population has been outnumbered
by male, because of higher magnitude of migration of male individuals for reasons. Havoc
of migrants to these islands during early and mid-twentieth century and a trend of low
sex-ratio within that frame is enough to explain possibilities socio-cultural cohesion
among the islanders through marriage practices over decades.
Low sex-ratio has been great hindrance in matrimonial negotiations, thus set flexible
marriage rules among the migrants and to some extent among Great Andamanese. Interethnic (exogamous) marriage is wide common among individuals/families, particularly
who have withdrawn socio-cultural contacts with native places thus lead marriage alliance
out of their own culture background.
So far as origin of islands population and its bio-cultural dynamics, both are conscientious
in framing migrant groups; are together also de-limit further load of haemoglobinopathies
genes in island society over times. Inter-ethnic marriages alliances are in many extend
come with cases of combined heterozygosity like HbAE/b-Tt, HbAS/ b-Tt, as reported.
Simultaneously, maintenance of traditional marriage rules in islands scenario within low-

418

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

Understanding haemoglobinopathies An anthropological approach

sex ratio; is keep probabilities more open for increasing haemoglobinopathies in homozygote
as well as heterozygote conditions in coming generations.
For instance, here we may refer a few case studies for better understanding of the biocultural attributes for increasing cases of haemoglobinopathies in the island situation.
Case-I: A girl of class 5th standard, who is a patient of Beta-thalassaemia Major (FIG.
5). She was detected at her age of 10 years. She belonged to a Local born settler family,
whose grand-grandparents were the natives of diverse eco-cultural zones. She was the
second daughter of her parents. Her parents had only concerned about her prolonged
episodes of illness and blood transfusion in regular interval; except the knowledge of
diseases transmission. That little girl could survive hardly a few months after her case
was properly diagnosed by the project team of the Anthropological Survey of India. Later;
it was decided to detect some of the members of her family and close kin. This study found
that both of her parents were carrying Beta-thalassaemia traits and her elder sister too.
That findings further encouraged in framing an extended genealogies of that family as
back as possible, thus revealed high magnitude of admixture of genetic traits along with
diverse cultural background, through inter-ethnic marriage alliances at generations at both
of her parental root. Finally; some of the members of close kin groups were voluntarily
approached to the study team for detection of probability of these disorders and detected
some cases of carrier genes for Beta-thalassaemia, Hb E and one combined case of BetaThalassaemia trait and Hb E (b-Thal/HbAE).
Above could classically exemplify the relation between inter-ethnic marriages due to
population pressure and extending probabilities of haemoglobinopathies in such isolate
territories like island situation.
Case-II: It was a case of a girl of 18 years, who was detected Beta-thalassaemia carrier/trait
by the study team. She revealed that her younger brother had been going through regular
blood transfusion and had splenectomy in the local hospital. She was then requested to
meet with her parents and discuss on the facts. Finally both of her parents and relatives
of paternal and maternal line came forward voluntarily for clinical detection. Simultaneously
an extended genealogy (FIG. 6) was also framed on the basis of the diagnosis of theirs
samples. It appeared that family originally belong to some district of south-central part
of India and they have been for three decades in search of better livelihood opportunities
in these islands. Since, theirs arrival to these islands is comparatively recent; they are
maintaining orthodox culture core and strictly consanguinity in the islands scenario. It
was found, consanguineous marriages between cousins and consanguinity up to second
degree relatives; ultimately confines abnormal haemoglobin genes within the boundary
of the family and relatives. Interestingly it appeared that where marriages out of consanguine
kin were solemnized, probabilities of Beta-thalassaemia major and/or Beta-thalassaemia
carrier/trait cases had been naturally eliminated from next generation members.
Case-III: Its a case of a Great Andamanese boy of 12 years (FIG. 7 & FIG. 8), who had
detected as a carrier of HbE (HbAE) having apparently normal haemoglobin (11.2 gm/dL)

419

level and normal RBC count (5.01^106/ml.) but with very high frequency of A2 (29.9%)
through HPLC column detection. It was observed that both of his parents belong to the
Great Andamanese tribe; who had genetically never been carried any type of mutant
haemoglobin genes, as they remained as breeding isolate human group of the Andaman
Islands alike to Jarawa and Onge. However, fast transformation of these islands under
colonial rule; had hardly left any option for them in maintenance traditional way of life.
Marginalization, rampant depopulation since late of mid-nineteenth century; compelled
the Great Andamanese to be assimilated with non-traditional systems of survival; including
selection of mate from migrant communities like Karen, Burmese, Ranchi-wala
during initial decades of 20th century and from Bhatu, Mopla, Bengalee during the last
few decades.
Marriage alliance with a Burmese person of that boys mother line has identified through
a extended genealogy; which could has been the root of acquiring HbE in the family.
However, both of the parents that boy were not available during the screening programme,
which could throw light in understanding the flow of HbE; as one of the elder sisters of
his father was also detected as carrier of HbE (FIG. 9).
Dwindling population size with low sex-ratio (over all 88 female over 100 male members
among only 55 population strength in 2007) of the Great Andamanese; inevitably put
them in the threshold of acquiring many genetically controlled diseases/disorders, including
haemoglobinopathies through random selection of marriage partner from non-Great
Andamanese settler communities.
Three different cases, as stated above are representatives for understanding bio-cultural
attributes of disease spectrum and vulnerability in a geographic isolate island situation,
under its own demographic perspectives.

III. Where, we stand


Prevention of haemoglobinopathies, simultaneously clinical management of the whole
is a challenging tusk, in a nation with diverse culture practices and massive population
size like ours. Moreover, every year our country receives approximately 10,000 new
born babies with b-Thalassaemia major (patient) from carrier parents, in addition to
thousands of other abnormal haemoglobin variants like HbS, HbE, HbD and AlfaThalassaemia; while those combines with another; leads multiplication of victims
proportionately.
Scenario of these disorders in public health domain of Andaman & Nicobar Islands is
no exception. High prevalence rate alone in Beta-Thalassaemia carrier/trait i.e. 4.86%
(higher than national average, which is 3.96%), enable endorse the threats in terms of
increasing load of carrier and patient in these islands due to its own nature of demographic
and social dynamics which in turn to be a great deal to ready stock of packed-cell for
blood transfusion for patients.

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Understanding haemoglobinopathies An anthropological approach

Andaman & Nicobar Islands are comprised of numerous islands, spread over remote
areas; where facilities of blood transfusion (fresh blood), under medical guidance are not
accessible. Visiting to Port Blair for such purpose, in regular interval from those remote
areas even are not so feasible for reasons. During this study; study team came across
many cases, while many parents of those remote islands neither had familiarity with the
town nor with its civic society. Those unfortunate parents used to roam around; peep in
to local clubs, offices, if those could come out with silver line in distress. It was also
perceived that many of them dare to disclose their sufferings to the next door neighbours
or even close relatives in scared of getting to be isolated from social network.
Noteworthy to mention that prior to blood sample collection; the study team initiated
awareness programme on some pertinent issues of haemoglobinopathies among the
students. Those students were knocked with few basics questions to understand their level
of knowledge. Surprisingly, they hardly came with anything on the very basics, like cause
of the disease, affected organ/body-part of the disease, consequences of the diseases and
transmission. Awareness programme then initiated from preliminary level of
haemoglobinopathies.
In that circumstance, initiation of that study was eye-opener to all. It threw light on
enigmas; where we never had any information base earlier on detection of such large
scale screening of haemoglobinopathies in these islands; which was equipped with
advanced bio-molecular technologies that too complemented by anthropological devices
for studying human groups in understanding the magnitude and dimensions of
haemoglobinopathies in Andaman & Nicobar Islands. However, it strongly felt that we
have to walk miles not only for preventive and clinical management of the disorders but
also in understanding silent contribution of haemoglobinopathies to infant and child
mortality rate in public health point of view.

Conclusion
Haemoglobinopathies, the most widespread single gene abnormal haemoglobin disorders
in human have also made road in to Andaman & Nicobar Islands; with expansion of
colonial establishment during 19th and 20th century. Noteworthy to mention, massive
population influx over decades, from endemic areas for various abnormal haemoglobin
genes and in addition, general trend in low sex-ratio among the islanders; has increased
susceptibility of various type of haemoglobinopathies among the islanders through
extensive inter-ethnic marriage practices.
Study reveals 12.268% individuals have been suffering from various types of
haemoglobinopathies in various states; with 4.86% cases of b-Thalassaemia trait/carrier
(b-Thal); which is alarming, so far as clinical management of the diseases with sophistication
are concerned in the island situation.

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

421

This study came out with detection of haemoglobinpathies (carrier state) among the Great
Andamanese; who have been marginalized and surviving in small population size; which
is eye-opening for all; who are concern on the survival chances of this tribe. Already,
they are acquiring mates from different migrant communities indiscriminately; thus could
increase magnitude of affected individuals within small population in future; if premarriage screening would not follow mandatorily among the Particularly Vulnerable
Tribes (PVT) of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands. Significantly, those Great Andamanese
individuals showed a trend of anaemic state; which cannot be granted as always as chronic
nutritional deficient anaemia.
Since, persons having haemoglobinopathies, particularly b-Thalassaemia (major) and
persons with combined heretozygote cases need more clinical attentions; mass-awareness
programme on haemoglobinopathies would strategically more effective preventive
management for the incurable disorders; arresting further disease load in these islands.

422

Understanding haemoglobinopathies An anthropological approach

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

423

424

Understanding haemoglobinopathies An anthropological approach

Acknowledgement
Authors express deep sense of gratitude to each individual; who had participated in the
screening programme as the primary component of this study. Sincere thanks to Prof.
V.R. Rao; former Director-in-Charge of the Anthropological Survey of India; for his
immense academic and logistical supports during this study.

S. S. Barik and B. N. Sarkar

425

World Health Organization 2006: Thalassaemia and other haemoglobinopathies, reported


by Secretariat to the Executive Board, 118th Session, Provisional agenda item 5.2,
EB11815, 11th May 2006, Geneva.
Young T. K., E. J. Szathmary, S. Evers and B. Wheatley 1990: Geographic distribution
of diabetes among the native population of Canada: A national survey. Soc. Sci. Med.
Rao V. R., A. C. Gorakshakar and K. Vasantha 1992: Genetic heterogeneity and population
structure of Gond related tribes of Maharastra. Hum. Biol. 64 (2): 903 917.

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WHO scientific groups, Tech. Rep. Sr. No. 338.

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Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (427-433), 2012-2013

Twin Infanticide: A case study from


Arunachal Pradesh, India
Nakul Chandra Sarkar1

ABSTRACT
Normally twins are treated equally with their singleton sibs in most of the societies but
among some communities of Arunachal Pradesh, the Muklom of ChanglangDistrict in
particular the situation is different. The Mukloms do not allow their twins to survive. They
are in an age old tradition of killing twins immediately after birthbecause of prevailing
superstitionthat twins are the indication of misfortunes, miseries, calamities to the family
and the entire community. Presently because of their awareness and changed attitude the
Muklom youths are not in favour of killing twins any more.

INTRODUCTION
General belief among some of the communities of North East India is that three vital
events birth, marriage and death, along with some others, are beyond the control of
human beings. Those are regulated by the God / the Creator / the Super Power / the Nature
as conceived by different religious communities. In humans, unlike most of the other
mammals, maximum pregnancies result in the birth of one child (singleton) which is the
usual form of birth. But sometimes, human beings also give birth of twins (two babies),
triplets (three babies), quadruplets (four babies) and so on. These are due to certain specific
factors genetic or non-genetic, occurring at the time of fertilization or at the initial stage
of conception and generally remain untraced / unnoticed. Superstition prevails that if a
pregnant woman eats some twin eatables (fruits/vegetables etc.) she may give birth of
twins. Some believe that misfortune also may cause twin births. It is certain that there

1Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata.

This paper has been read in the National Seminar on the Problem of the Aged, Weaker section and Disables,
held in the Department of Anthropology, Calcutta University on March 29-30, 2000.

428

Nakul Chandra Sarkar

Twin Infanticide: A Case Study From Arunachal Pradesh, India

is no role of any misfortune, superstition, evil power or eating of any particular food item
causing multiple births (Sarkar 2003).
Specific reasons may be responsible for formation of particular type of twins. Neel and
Schull (1954) advocated for at least two distinctly different biological situations for
formation of twin in man the proliferation and fertilization of (1) two ova and (2) only
one ovum. Twins are of two types (a) Monovolar (i.e. twins originating from just one
fertilized egg) are on the other hand always alike in sex and are termed monozygous
(MZ) or identical twins (b) Binovolar (i.e. twins originating from two fertilized eggs)
may be alike or unlike in sex and are called dizygous (DZ) or fraternal twins.
Monozygotic twins owe their origin to the remarkable phenomenon of a single embryo
into two at early embryonic stage is yet to be clear. Dizygotic twins may form due to
fertilization of two ova, discharged due to abnormal ovulation, by separate sperm (Vogel
and Motulsky, 1979).
According to the Encyclopedia Americana (Ward, 1979) Infanticicde is killing an infant
or newborn baby or allowing it to die. The term is sometimes extended to include the
abortion of a foetus, the killing of a baby during birth or immediately after birth or killing
of children under the age of puberty.
Infanticide is an accepted practice among some primitive peoples, for whom the struggle
for existence is the hardest. It is found for example among the aboriginal Australians and
the Eskimos, both hunting peoples in whose sparse economies the rearing of a child is
difficult. It was once common in China and in some of the densely populated pacific
Islands (Sarkr 2003).
A further economic factor behind the practice of infanticide is that parents eventually
have to pay to obtain marriage partners for their children. In most primitive societies
marriage involves the exchange of material wealth and the amount involved may be so
great that a family can afford to marry only a limited number of children. In most of these
cultures an unmarried person remains in an anomalous position without a means of
livelihood.
Infanticide has had a sacrificial aspect in some cultures. Killing the first-born in order
to placate the gods was prevalent in India until the 19th century and it is thought that this
was also the custom among the ancient Hebrews. In some societies, superstitions attached
to the birth of twins, to abnormal birth, or to irregular marriage led to killing babies. The
execution was carried out in a prescribed way, frequently by poisoning or strangulation.
Twins, triplets etc. should have the same right and privilege as their singleton counterparts
enjoys. But, among some communities of Arunachal Pradesh, particularly the Muklom,
one of the endogamous sub-groups of the tribe Tangsa of ChanglangDistrict, Arunachal

429

Pradesh, the situation is different. The Muklom, istead of providing equal treatment to
their twin babies as it is provided to the singleton babies, kill the twins immediately after
birth because they believe that twins are nothing but the indication of misfortune, misery,
natural calamity to the family and the entire village. So, to avoid those, they are in a habit
of killing the twins immediately after birth. This is their traditional prescription for the
remedy (Sarkar 2003).
Similar tradition of killing twins immediately after birth by the Noctes of Arunachal Pradesh
has been reported by Kar and Gogoi (1996: 124) who have opined that Twins are not
allowed to live in the society. They are killed immediately after birth. Deformed babies
are also killed. Twins and deformed children are considered unnatural. Their presence is
believed to bring calamities and misfortunes to the entire community (Sarkar 2003).

Material and method


Material for the present report comprised of 498 births out of that 4 (four) pairs were twins,
collected by the author during collection of House Hold Census among the Muklom of
Chalang District, Arunachal Pradesh, pertaining to the national Project, entitled, Genetic
Structure of Indian Populations, launched by the Anthropological Survey of India.
Present investigator collected demographic information on 100 Muklom households
(Sarkar, 1996) which include information on reproductive performance of 123 ever married
Muklom women. It has been observed from the collected information that out of a total
494 pregnancies (Sarkar, 1997) only four pairs of twins were the outcomes of four
pregnancies. Out of such twins, sex of one pair could not be recorded. Among the remaining
three pairs, only one pair, both girls born in the District Hospital, Changlang, are the
surviving twins.

Twinning rate
Usually a twin birth occurs in 85 singleton births, a triplet in (85)2 or 7225 singleton births
and a quadruplets occurs in (85)3 or 614125 singleton births and so on (Stern, 1960). The
frequency of twin birth varies from population to population. As per Mckusick (1972)
The frequency of twinning varies in different ethnic stock. Environmental factors probably
also influence the rate of twinning.
The rates of twin births among some communities of North-East India (Table-1) vary
from as low as 0.46% among the Khamti of Lakhimpur District, Assam (Sarkar, unpublished)
to as high as 2.03% among the population of Dibrugarh, Assam (Sarkar, 1958). Both
Lakhimpur and Dibrugarh are plains, whereas the hilly areas like Meghalaya and Arunachal
Pradesh show frequencies within the range of lowest and highest values, noted above.
The Muklom of Changlang, Arunchal Pradesh shows 0.80% twin birth which is more or
less equal to the Monpas of Arunachal Pradesh. The differences in the occurrences of
twin births between various communities of North-East India may be postulated as due
to difference in ethnic stocks and perhaps ecological factors along with food habit also
may be responsible for such variation.

430

Nakul Chandra Sarkar

Twin Infanticide: A Case Study From Arunachal Pradesh, India

Treatment of Twins among the Muklom


The Muklom kill the twins because they believe that twin birth is the indication of
misfortune and misery to them. They also believe that if they do not kill the twins
immediately after birth, the entire village, particularly the family in which the twins were
born will face famine, drought, disease, and thunder may damage their crops and other
properties in the village. So, with a view to protect the community and its properties from
misfortunes and misery, the Mukloms are in age old practice of killing the twins immediately
after birth.
Soon after birth of twins, the mother herself wraps the mouth of the twins by cloth so
that the unfortunate twins die due to suffocation. They also pierce the palms and soles
of the twins by thorns (Kangtang). Incase, the mother disagrees, the attending midwife
performs the job. After killing, the father of the twins, accompanied by his his brotherin-law or an elderly person of the village, carries the dead twins kept in a bamboo basket
or chicken-pen and leaves them on the branch of a Pipal tree (Ficus religious) or let them
down the steep hills away from the village. On return home, the maternal uncle of the
twins closes the door of the house from outside keeping all members of the family inside
the room to keep them away from the sunlight during population period of three days.
He then puts some thorny branches at the entrance of the house so that none could enter
the house, nor could anybody come out of the house. All members of the family are
confined in the room for three days during which they observe complete silence and are
allowed to eat only boiled rice with little salt without any spice or vegetable. On the
fourth day morning, the maternal uncle of the twins father opens the door of the house
and the family members come out of the room being protected from direct sunlight by
wearing an elongated headgear made of palm leaves and bamboo stripes and take bath
in a sacred river and come back home. At home they worship their God by sacrificing
hen, pig or buffalo depending upon the economic condition of the family and offer a good
feast to the villagers and relations. This is called Morungphu. During the three days
pollution period, no villagers go out for work. The adjacent (nearest) village observes
population for two days. The distant village, that received the bad news, observes one
day abstinence from work. All properties, movable or immovable, of the family are to
be disposed of within a period of one year from the date of the ill-fated incident. The
family is, however, allowed to stay in the house for a maximum period of one year within
which they are required to construct a new house at a different place, keeping the old one
abandoned. One such abandoned house was seen at the village Jungsum during
fieldinvestigation by the author. During this period of one year, they are to earn money
either by selling their properties to others or by taking loans/donations from their relations.
The socio-religious customs observed during the period of four days is known as first
Morungphu. The same rituals/ceremonies and restrictions are mandatory in the case of
thundering on house or on agricultural land or on crops and also in the case of unnatural
death such as death due to accident. They consider these three events as indicators of
misfortune.

431

The second Morungphu is to be observed after one month of the first one. During this
period of one month, the villagers do not accept anything hand to hand from any member
of the ill-fated family because they believe that while accepting anything hand to hand
from members of the affected family, misfortune may get transmitted from the affected
family members to the unaffected ones.
Deformed babies as already stated are killed by the Mukloms. Twins are considered
unnatural. Their presence in the society as indicated is believed to bring calamities,
miseries and misfortunes to the entire community.
Now days, the Mukloms of Changlang, the youths in particular, because of their awareness
and changed attitude are not in favour of killing twins. They have realized that neither
any misfortune nor any evil power could be responsible. Because of the changed attitude
of the Muklom of Changlang towards twins, a pair of twins (both girls), which were born
in the District Hospital (former community Health Centre) was accommodated in the
family who are growing up happily under the care, love and affection of their near relations,
the parents in particular as well as the villagers. However, further detailed study may help
to unveil what caused the real transformation.

Acknowledgements
I am thankful to the Muklom of Changlang for their kind help and co-operation during
field investigation. I express my sincere thanks to Prof. K. K. Misra, Director,
Anthropological Survey of India, for providing necessary facilities for the present work.
I am also thankful to Dr. D. Tyagi, Anthropological Survey of India, for his help,
encouragement, and constructive criticism, offered at the time of drafting the manuscript.
Help and co-operation extended by the Deputy Commissioner, Changlang, Arunachal
Pradesh is thankfully acknowledged.

References:
Barua, S.

1983

The Hajongs of Meghalaya: Abiodemographic Study. Human Science


32: 190-200.

Barua, S.

1984

Tribes in Comtemporary India Monpa


of Arunachal Pradesh (Unpublished
Technical Report. Anthropological
Survey of India, NERC, Shillong).

Kar, R.K. and Juri, Gogoi,

1996

Health Culture and Tribal Life: A case


study among the Nocte of Arunachal
Pradesh. In: Communities of NorthEast India. Edited by Farida Ahmed
Das and Indira Barua, pp. 109-127. New
Delhi: Mittal Publications.

432
Khongsdier, R.

Mckusick, Victor, A.

Mondal, B.
Neel, J.V. and W.J. Schull

Sarkar, N.C.

1992

1972

1999
1954

1993

Some demographic traits among the


Pnar of Sutnga and Moopala in Jaintia
Hills district of Meghalaya. Man in
India. 72: 491-495.
Human Cenetics. New Delhi, Prentice
Hall of India Pvt. Ltd.
Personal communication.
Human Heridity. Chicago: The
University of Chicago Press.
Twins among the Khamti of Lakhimpur
District, Assam (Unpublished).

Sarkar, N.C.

1996

Anthro-genetical study in a small


Mongoloid Group: Demography,
A1A2BO, Rh D and MN Blood Groups
among the Muklom of Arunachal
Pradesh, Journal Anthropological
Survey of India. 45: 81-91.

Sarkar, N.C.

1997

Opportunity for Natural Selection


among the Muklom of Arunachal
Pradesh.Current Anthropology. 38(1):
140-143.

Sarkar, N.C.

2003

Twin Killing among the Muklom of


Arunachal Pradesh: A case Report. Jr.
Indian Anthropo. Society. 38: 95-97.

Sengupta, S. and JinaBarua

1996

On Neonatal Twinning in a Hospital of


Dibrugarh, Assam. J. Hum-Ecol. 7(3):
207-210.

Stern, C.

1960

Principles of Human Cenetics. First


Indian, Reprint Edition. New Delhi:
Eurasia Publishing House Pvt. Ltd., 1968.

Vogel, F. and A.G. Motulskey

1979

Human Genetics: Problems and


Approaches. Berlin: Springer Verlag.

Ward, Priscilla C.

1979

Infanticide. In: The Encyclopedia


Americana: International Edition. Vol.
XV, pp. 142. American Corporation,
International Headquarter: Danbury.

433

Nakul Chandra Sarkar

Twin Infanticide: A Case Study From Arunachal Pradesh, India

Table 1: Twins in North-East India


Community

Area

Total
births

Twin births
(Pairs)
N

Source

Monpa

Mandalaphundung, Arunachal Pradesh

466

0.86

Barua, 1984

Minpa

DjongDirang, Arunachal Pradesh

567

0.71

-do-

Muklom

Changlang, Arunachal Pradesh

498

0.80

Present Study

---

Shillong, Meghalaya

1171

10

0.85

Sarkar, 1958

Hajong Garo Hills

Meghalaya

999

10

1.00

Barua, 1983

Pnar

Jaintia Hills, Meghalaya

--

--

1.37

Khongsdier, 1992

---

Dibrugarh, Assam

1526

31

2.03

Sarkar, 1958

Khamti

Lakhimpur, Assam

434

0.46

Sarkar (Unpublished)

Hindu

Dibrugarh, Assam

36923

461

1.25

Sengupta&Barua, 1996

434

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (435-449), 2012-2013

Model for impact assessment of awareness


programme in sickle Cell Anaemia
Development initiative
for survival and well being
Shampa Gangopadhyay1
Prodyot Gangopadhyay2

ABSTRACT
Survival and well being of persons with sickle cell anemia require surveillance at regular
intervals. The study focus on the need for pre-test and post test evaluation of shared
perceptions about health and developmental initiatives through mass screening and
awareness programme. The model of the study emerge as an essential tool not only for
the impact of awareness programme but also to minimize the occurrence of death under
sickle cell disease with expected decline in percentage of carriers in the society and thus
provide the awareness programme its ultimate success.

INTRODUCTION
Sickle cell disorder was first detected in India by Lehman & Cutbush (1952) among the
veddoid of Nilgiri Hills and almost at the same time by Dunlop & Majumdar (1952) in
Assam among the tea garden labourers. Within a decade Anthropological Survey of India,
took initiative (Negi, 1962) in fact finding of this hereditary blood disorder caused by
the presence of abnormal heamoglobin (HbS) which causes an early childhood death
among the affected homozygotes (HbSS).
Presence of HbS gene in chromosome No.11 is an example of adaptation. Individual with
a single gene (HbS) is known as carrier. They are apparently normal and prevented from
malarial infestation because of the presence of sickle shaped red blood cell along with
normal RBC. Whereas the double dose of the gene (HbSS) which comes from the marriage
between two carriers i.e. Homozygotes, suffer from severe anemia, associated with severe
joint pain, enlarge spleen, require regular blood transfusion and dies an early death
generally before adolescence.

1Anthropological Survey of India, Nagpur


2Central Regional Centre, Nagpur

436

Model for impact assessment Development initiative for survival and well being

Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

437

World statistics of hbs hemoglobin


As per WHO (1983) Report 60 million carriers of Sickle Cell (SCA) and 1,20,000 Sickle
Cell homozygotes (SCD) are added every year in world (Cross reference Balgir, 2002).

Domestic statistics of hbs hemoglobin


With a population of more than 100 million at New Millennum (2000) and a birth rate
of 25/1000 live borns, there would be about 45 million carriers and about 15000 infants
born each year with hemoglobinopathies in India (Balgir, 2002). Based on the prevalence
rate of Sickle Cell hemoglobin it has been estimated that there would be over 50 lakh
carriers (HbAS) and 2 lakhs homozygous (HbSS) Sickle Cell disease cases among tribals
alone in India (Malhotra, 1993). However, the exact share of Sickle Cell trait and diseases
is still unknown in India.

Figure 1
Inheritance pattern of Sickle Cell Gene

Worldwide distribution of Sickle Cell Gene

Figure 3
Normal Red Blood Cell and Sickle Cell

With the emergence of human adaptability project under international Biological Programme
during 19621974, it has been felt that Biological Anthropology should be concerned
with the health issues of Indian population. The barrier of multifaceted caste and social
systems under diverse beliefs, customs, social norms, stigma often impede the
implementation and dissemination of knowledge about health related studies. Since,
approaches towards Sickle cell and other hemoglobinopathies till date are largely confined
to the diagnostic camps, therefore, assessment on the effect of screening and awareness
programmes are required follow up studies at regular interval to achieve actual goal
towards decline of SCD.

438

Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

Model for impact assessment Development initiative for survival and well being

Being related with health conditions Sickle Cell attracts interest from scholars of different
fields in India and it reveals from published data that Central India is one of the most
affected zone. Apart from Government agencies, health practitioners under the umbrella
of Lions Club and Rotary Club and other welfare organizations set up diagnostic camps
annually in villages in and around Nagpur, Amravati & Wardha district and a review on
aforesaid survey projects the following findings.
l

12% villagers of village Garaydari of Melghat region (Amravati district)


are diagnosed with Sickle Cell anemia (2009).
25.6% of Teli community from 6 villages of Wardha (Wardha district) are tested
Sickel Cell positive (2006)
15.8% of Matang community from 6 villages of Wardha district
(Udasa, Halbaras, Gawipada, Khamla, Garajdari, Chikhaldara) is tested
positive (2006).
10.6% of Pardhan community from 6 villages of Wardha district (Udasa,
Halbaras, Gawipada, Khamla, Garajdari, Chikhaldara) are is found Sickle
Cell positive (2006).
Annual detection camps for Sickle Cell diagnosis is organized by health
practitioners under the umbrella of Rotary Club and in every attempt a new
village is selected but the incidence rate in terms percentage is not published
excepting the name of the village.

Further, during an extensive survey (2008-2009) under the Project Community genetics
extension programme with respect of Sickle cell anemia in Wardha district of Vidarbha
Region, Maharashtra and collection of data on SCD new patients from the registers of
rural hospitals under different blocks during (20002008) in compilation of data from
district hospital, Wardha, it has been estimated that the incidence of SCD is as high
as (8.8%). Further, OPD patients screened by doctors of Sewagram hospital yielded
following results.
l

A total of 1753 recorded admissions were screened of which 99 i.e. 5.7% were
diagnosed to have Sickle Cell.
Out of 99 detected 61 i.e. 61.6% identified homozygons (HbSS) and remaining
38 i.e. 38.4% found heterozygous (HbAS).

The above figures when compared with earlier study by Kate (2001), Negi (1976), Sathe
(1987), Shukla & Solanki (1958) (see Table No. 1) reveal no significant trend towards
the decline of Sickle Cell anemia, which means marriage between affected individuals
are randomly taking place giving rise to more and more diseased (SCD) individuals and
obviously contributing two fold carriers (SCA) in the population and further putting
negative impact on the physical, social and mental health and obviously on the entire
profile of well being of the community.

439

Table No. 1
Growing trend of SCA in few population of Maharashtra
Sr. No.
01.
02.
03.
04.
05.
06.
07.
08.
09.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
21.
22.
23.

Community
Bhil
Bhil
Bhil
Bhil
Pradhan
Pradhan
Pradhan
Pradhan
Teli
Halba
Gond (MP)
Mahar (Rural)
Mahar (Nagpur)
Pardhan (Nanded)
Pawar
Halba (Raipur)
Thakur
Chamar (Raipur)
Chamar (Raipur)
Mahar (Raipur)
Mahar (Raipur)
Gond (Raipur)
Kamar (Raipur)

Incidence (%)
15.85
18.00
20.24
20.60
09.00
11.08
10.60
15.80
11.10
13.6
19.4
18.6
18.1
16.8
25.5
13.6
6.06
4.5
6.7
18.8
19.5
7.96
2.38

Reference & Year


Negi, 1976
Negi, 1978
Sathe, Etal, 1987
Kate, 2001
Ahmed, etal, 1980
Bankal etal, 1984
Deshmukh etal, 2006
IGIMC, Wardha, 2009
Shukla & Solanki, 1958
Negi, 1976
Negi, 1963
Urade, et. al, 2001
Das et. al, 1961
Banker, et. al, 1984
Kate, 2001
Negi, 1976
Tiwari, 1980
Tiwari, 1980
Tiwari, 1980
Tiwari, 1980
Tiwari, 1980
ICMR, 1986
Tiwari, 1986

Therefore, from the current endeavor it is evaluated that Sickle Cell diseased (SCD) and
carriers (SCA) are randomly identified through diagnostic camps and for that workshops,
academic discussions and related publications are generated regularly by various
organizations. But, the resultant goal in view of reducing the percentage of SCD is far
to be achieved. It seems that, the awareness campaign about the disease remain much
in discussion among the academicians and the health practitioners and little effect to that
extent for minimizing the genetic load and related health hazards of the people in subject
is addressed sofar.
Therefore, the authors strongly suggest that it is high time to identify the target area where
diagnostic camps have already been organized during last one decade or so and further
revisiting the villages to assess their awareness status through structural questioners and
respond analysis.
The authors, thus suggest a model Coordination and surveillance A model for
longitudinal study on haemoglobinopathies which can be applied in village / community
specific survey on Sickle Cell and other abnormal hemoglobins through surveillance at
a regular interval to measure the duly perceived impact of awareness programme.

440

The proposed model will initially target the communities / villages already visited by
Government and Non-Government agencies for Sickle Cell diagnosis and awareness
programme and there after analysis the vital components like
l
l
l
l

441

Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

Model for impact assessment Development initiative for survival and well being

AWARENESS STATUS
UNDERSTANDING OF RISK FACTORS
PRECLUSION OF SCD THROUGH APPROPRIATE MATE SELECTION
SCREENING PROGRAMME TO ASSESS THE CURRENT STATUS

Proforma for evaluating knowledge status (pre & post), attitude and concern are included
in Table2 to Table-7.

Table No. 3
Sickle Cell Disease Educational Awareness
Post-Education Questionnaire
Please check whether you agree, disagree, or are uncertain about the following statements.
AGREE

UNCERTAIN

DISAGREE

Sickle cell disease affects the red blood cells.


Children with sickle cell disease are at risk for infections and pneumonia.
Sickle cell disease can be caught just like a cold.
Sickle cell disease can cause pain and strokes.

Table No. 2
Sickle Cell Disease Educational Awareness
Pre-Education Questionnaire
Please check whether you agree, disagree, or are uncertain about the following statements.
AGREE

UNCERTAIN

DISAGREE

Indians are at a higher risk of being genetic carriers of sickle cell disease.
Genetic carriers will not develop symptoms of sickle cell disease.
If only one parent is a carrier of sickle cell trait, they have no chance
of having a baby with sickle cell disease.

Sickle cell disease affects the red blood cells.

Typically, both parents of a child need to be a carrier of sickle cell trait


in order to have a child with sickle cell disease.

Children with sickle cell disease are at risk for infections and pneumonia.

Sickle cell disease is inherited.

Sickle cell disease can be caught just like a cold.

Sickle cell disease carrier testing worries me.

Sickle cell disease can cause pain and strokes.

I support sickle cell disease carrier testing for communities.

Indians are at a higher risk of being genetic carriers of sickle cell disease.

I support sickle cell disease carrier testing and medical services for
communities in barber or beauty shops.

Genetic carriers will not develop symptoms of sickle cell disease.


If only one parent is a carrier of sickle cell trait, they have no chance
of having a baby with sickle cell disease.
Typically, both parents of a child need to be a carrier of sickle cell trait
in order to have a child with sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell disease is inherited.
Sickle cell disease carrier testing worries me.

I would encourage my partner to be tested for sickle cell trait if I was


found to be a trait carrier.
I understand the role of a genetic counselor.
I feel like meeting with a genetic counselor is helpful to my understanding
of sickle cell disease and sickle cell carrier testing.
Genetic counseling is an effective way to learn, understand, get resources,
and support about genetic conditions.

I support sickle cell disease carrier testing for communities.


I support sickle cell disease carrier testing and medical services for
communities in barber or beauty shops.
I would encourage my partner to be tested for sickle cell trait if I was
found to be a trait carrier.
I understand the role of a genetic counselor.
I feel like meeting with a genetic counselor is helpful to my understanding
of sickle cell disease and sickle cell carrier testing.
Genetic counseling is an effective way to learn, understand, get resources,
and support about genetic conditions.

Source: Cecilia Maryann Rajakaruna, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

Source: Cecilia Maryann Rajakaruna, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

442

Table No. 4

Table No. 5

Results of Knowledge Gain from Pre, Post, and 3 Month


Follow- up Questionnaires Knowledge

Concern Results
Knowledge Statements

PreQuestionnaire
Percent

1: Results of Knowledge Gain from Pre, Post, and 6 Month Follow-up Questionnaires
Knowledge Statements

PreQuestionnaire
Percent

PostQuestionnaire
Percent

3 Month F/U
Questionnaire
Percent

Fishers
Exact Test
Pre vs.
Post

443

Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

Model for impact assessment Development initiative for survival and well being

Fishers
Exact Test
Pre vs.
3 Month F/U

PostQuestionnaire
Percent

3 Month F/U
Questionnaire
Percent

Fishers
Exact Test
Pre vs.
Post

Fishers
Exact Test
Pre vs.
3 Month F/U

Sickle cell disease carrier


testing worries me.
Agree:
Uncertain:

Sickle cell disease affects


the red blood cells.

Disagree:
Agree:

Source: Cecilia Maryann Rajakaruna, University of Pittsburgh

Uncertain:
Disagree:

Table No. 6

Children with sickle cell


disease are at risk for
infectionsand pneumonia.

Attitude Results
Agree:
Uncertain:

Knowledge Statements

PreQuestionnaire
Percent

Disagree:
Sickle cell disease can be
caught just like a cold.

Agree:

3 Month F/U
Questionnaire
Percent

Fishers
Exact Test
Pre vs.
Post

Fishers
Exact Test
Pre vs.
3 Month F/U

Sickle cell disease affects


the red blood cells.

Uncertain:

Agree:

Disagree:
Sickle cell disease can cause
pain and strokes.

PostQuestionnaire
Percent

Uncertain:
Disagree:

Agree:
Uncertain:

I support SCD carrier testing

Disagree:

for communities.

Agree:
Uncertain:

Indian are at a higher risk of


being carriers of
sickle cell trait.

Disagree:
Agree:

I support SCD carrier testing


and medical services for
communities in

Uncertain:
Disagree:

Agree:
Uncertain:

Genetic carriers will not


develop symptoms of sickle
cell disease.

Disagree:
Agree:

I would encourage my partner


to be tested for SCT if I was
found to be a trait carrier.

Uncertain:
Disagree:

Agree:
Uncertain:

If only one parent is a carrier


of sickle cell trait, they have no
chance of having a baby
with sickle cell disease

Disagree:
I understand the role of a
genetic counselor.

Agree:
Uncertain:

Agree:
Uncertain:

Disagree:

Disagree:

Typically, both parents of a


child need to be carriers of
sickle cell trait in order to have
a child with sickle cell disease.

I feel like meeting with a


genetic counselor is helpful to
my understanding of SCD
and SCT testing.
Agree:

Agree:
Uncertain:

Uncertain:

Disagree:

Disagree:
Genetic counseling is an
effective way to learn,
understand, get resources,
and support about
genetic conditions.

Sickle cell disease is inherited.


Agree:
Uncertain:

Agree:
Uncertain:

Disagree:

Disagree:

Source: Cecilia Maryann Rajakaruna, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

Source: Cecilia Maryann Rajakaruna, University of Pittsburgh

444

Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

Model for impact assessment Development initiative for survival and well being

Table No. 7
Follow up
Sickle Cell Disease Educational Awareness
3 Month F/U-Education Questionnaire
Please check whether you agree, disagree, or are uncertain about the following statements.
AGREE

UNCERTAIN

445

of Sickle Cell disease effort will be made to measure the impact of previous awareness
programme directed for avoiding marriage between carriers. Special efforts would be
given to visit the families of SCD patients to assess the awareness regarding the disease
and preventive measure taken by them principally by the inclusion of examining the
sickle cell status in the selection procedure of prospected bride and groom, i.e. application
of genetic horoscope match.

DISAGREE

Sickle cell disease affects the red blood cells.

OBJECTIVES

Children with sickle cell disease are at risk for infections and pneumonia.

Under the proposed model the surveillance towards persons with SCA and SCD would
be assessed through repeated awareness programme and shared perception followed by
mass screening to bring down the genetic and social load.

Sickle cell disease can be caught just like a cold.


Sickle cell disease can cause pain and strokes.
Indian are at a higher risk of being genetic carriers of sickle cell disease.

The variable inter-phase between awareness programme carrier screening


and impact analysis towards public health to be regularized.

High retention of knowledge, low concern and high levels of satisfaction among
the respondents to be achieved.

Integrated area survey with the model of holistic Anthropological approach to


be undertaken prior to carrier screening which currently appears to be random
and sporadic.

The public health objectives to reduce the prevalence of sickle cell disease
through selective mate selection and further reproductive choice would be one
of the main objectives of screening.

Mechanisms for appropriate use and evaluation of information to promote


health and wellness in study population to be executed. {Media, Letters,
Lectures, active participation of Gram Panchayat, Gram Seva, Anganwadi
workers, Welfare Organizations, Health Workers contacts (phone
Emails etc.)}.

For achieving an encouraging positive impact towards future public health


genomics and further Anthropological perspective of space analysis.

Genetic carriers will not develop symptoms of sickle cell disease.


If only one parent is a carrier of sickle cell trait, they have no chance
of having a baby with sickle cell disease.
Typically, both parents of a child need to be a carrier of sickle cell trait
in order to have a child with sickle cell disease.
Sickle cell disease is inherited.
Sickle cell disease carrier testing worries me.
I support sickle cell disease carrier testing for communities.
I support sickle cell disease carrier testing and medical services for
communities in barber or beauty shops.
I would encourage my partner to be tested for sickle cell trait if I was
found to be a trait carrier.
I understand the role of a genetic counselor.
I feel like meeting with a genetic counselor is helpful to my understanding
of sickle cell disease and sickle cell carrier testing.
Genetic counseling is an effective way to learn, understand, get resources,
and support about genetic conditions.

Source: Cecilia Maryann Rajakaruna, University of Pittsburgh, 2009

The study under this model has to be undertaken in the target population / villages at a
regular interval to evaluate the subjects intellectual need to be empowered and further
make them feel that their active participation in the programme can make a difference
in their families outcome.
The proposed model would also evaluate the current incidences of SCD as recorded in
nearby health centers to ascertain the trend of increment or decrement of SCD in patients
as compared to earlier data. Along with the screening programme to get the current status

(a)

Additional carrier screening to the new borns are to be included.

(b)

An area specific Documentation for Sickle Cell Surveillance (DSS) to


be buildup.

Application of the model


l

Characterization of the affected population

Number of affected individuals

Location and types of hemoglobinopathies

446

Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

Model for impact assessment Development initiative for survival and well being

447

Access to the types of health-facilities and other services available

Conclusion

The effectiveness of services, prevention efforts and intervention on


populations.

Creating a repository of bio-specimens for use in genetic and genomic


analyses.

Evaluation of process through intermittent visit

Identify emerging risks.

The current efforts under the helm of holistic Anthropological approach would imply on
integrative method to make the study more relevant to the survival and well being of
human population and thus making an individual healthy in mind and body towards
making healthy Nation. The model would be applicable to develop, implement and
reinforce in a systematic, equitable and effective manner, a comprehensive integrated
programme for prevention and management of Sickle Cell anemia, including surveillance,
dissemination of information, awareness raising, counseling and would be tailored to
specific socio-economic conditions to protect the cultural contour, mental and physical
health status of the population.

Road Map for the proposed Model

Acknowledge

Coordination & Surveillance


A Model for Longitudinal Studies on Haemoglobinopathies

The authors are highly grateful to the Director, Anthropological Survey of India for
providing permission to present the paper in the INCAA 2011 Seminar.

IDENTIFICATION OF TARGET AREA / COMMUNITY

FIELD PROGRAMME

Reference
Impact Assessment on
Awareness Status

Ahmed, S. H. & Chaudhury, D.

1980

ABO Blood group and sickle cell trait


among the Pardhans of Mandla District
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Balgir, R. S.

2002

The genetic burden of


haemoglobinopathis with special
reference to community health in India
and the challenges ahead. Ind. Jnl. Hemat.
Blood Transfus. 20:227

Bankar, H. P.; Kate, S. L.;


Mokanshi, G. D.; Khedkar,
V. A. And Phadke, M. A.

1984

Distribution of Sickle Cell Haemoglobin


among different tribal groups in
Maharashtra State. Ind. J. Haemat,
Vol. 11:4

Das, S. R.; Kumar, N.;


Bhattacharya, P. N. &
Shastry, D. B.

1961

Blood Groups (ABO, MN & Rh, ABH


Secretion, Sickle Cell, PTC taste and
Colour Blindness in the Mahar of Nagpur.
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Britain and Ireland 91: 345 355

Screening
Current Status
Counseling

Awareness Programme

Audio
Visual

Pictorial

Audience
Address

Social
Network

Slide
Show

Banner
Poster
Pamphlet

Folk Song on
Sickle Cell Anemia

Club / Anganwadi /
Gram Sabha /
Religious Institutions

Figure 4

448

Shampa Gangopadhyay and Prodyot Gangopadhyay

Model for impact assessment Development initiative for survival and well being

Deshmukh, P.; B. S. Garg,


N. C. Prajapati & M. S. Bharambe

2006

Prevalance of Sickle cell disorders in


Rural Wardha. Ind. Jnl. Of Community
Medicine, Vol.3, No. 1

Dunlop, K. J. & Majumdar, U. K.

1952

The occurance of sickle cell anemia


among group of tea garden labourers
of Upper Assam. Ind. Med. Gaz.,
87:387-391

ICMR Report

1986

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Ambikapur, Raipur district of Madhya
Pradesh and Ranchi district of Bihar,
Anthropology unit Institute of
immunohematology, Mumbai

Kate, S. L.

2001

Health Problem of tribal population


groups from the state of Maharashtra,
Immuno hematology Bulletin

Leman, H. and Cutbush, M.

1982

Sickle Cell trait in South India, Brit. Med.


Jour.1: 404 405

Malhotra, K. C.

1993

Genetico-enviornmental disorders and


their impact on mortality and morbidity
profile among tribal population. In S. K.
Basu (Ed) Tribal Health in India, New
Delhi, Manak Publishers.

Nagi, R. S.

1962

The incidence of Sickle Cell trait in Two


Bastar tribes, Man In India

Negi, R. S.

1976

Population dynamics of sickle cell traits


distribution in India, Ph. D. Thesis
(Unpublished), University of Calcutta

Negi, R. S.

1976

Sickle cell gene and Malaria, Ind. Jnl.


Phy. Anth. & Hum. Genet, 2: 113

Sathe, M. S.; Gorakshakar,


S. E., Rao, V. R.; Mukherjee,
M.; Vasantha, K. & Bhatia, H. M.

1987

Red Cell genetic abnormalities in the


tribes of five districts of Madhya Pradesh.
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Shukla, B. N. and Solanki, B. R.

1958

Sickle cell anaemia in Central India.


Lancet, 1: 297

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Tiwari, V. K.; Pradhan, P. K. &


Agrawal, S.

1980

Haemoglobins in Scheduled Caste and


Scheduled Tribes of Raipur (Madhya
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Med. Res. 71:397 401

Urade, B. P.,
Moyna Charkravarty &
Sujit K. Mallick

2007

Sickle Cell Anemia: A genetically


handicap disease. Bio-Social Issues in
Health. PP 47 55, Edited by R. K. Pathak,
New Delhi, Northern Book Centre.

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Community control of hereditary anemias,


Memorandum from a WHO meeting.
Bult. WHO 61:63-80(s)

450

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (451-463), 2012-2013

Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari


Grant village (with special reference to origin,
History, Ethnic Identity, Social Structure and
Dispute Solving Mechanism)
Nishant Saxena1

ABSTRACT
The study was undertaken in the Gurkha community residing in the Gurkha Karbari
hamlet of the Karbari Grant village in Sahaspur block of Vikasnagar sub-district of
Dehradun district in Uttarakhand state. The focus of the present paper was threefold:
Firstly, to trace the origin and history of the Gurkha community at large with emphasis
on identity crisis as presently perceived by the community; Secondly, to understand the
social structure of Gurkhas with emphasis on their caste system and changes occurring
in the present time, and; Thirdly, to understand the dispute solving mechanism in the
Gurkha community. The method for data collection was ethnographic which included
use of techniques like non-participant observation, unstructured interview, focused
interview and audio-visual aids. For analysis of the data collected through interviews,
content analysis technique was employed. The main findings of the study are: Gurkha
community has an arguable origin and it will be prudent to say that they originated near
or inside the present day Nepal to counter the anti-Hindu ideologies like slaughtering
of cows by Muslim invaders in India. Therefore, Gurkhas draw their name from "Gauraksha" meaning 'protection of cow'. The community is currently struggling to come out
of the garb of being "Nepali" and just identified as warriors by their neighbours. Their
traditional caste structure has undergone notable changes because of intermixing with
other ethnic groups in their vicinity and intermarriages between different Gurkha castes
themselves. Lastly, the institution of village council led by "Mukhiya" is fading away,
while the institution of "Jamwal" (head-man of many villages) has become obsolete.

INTRODUCTION
It is a great pleasure for me to acknowledge my gratitude to all those who willingly helped
me throughout my fieldwork and also after it in preparing this report.
Firstly, I would like to thank Dr. V. Kaul, Superintending Anthropologist (P) and Head
of Office, Anthropological Survey of India, N.W.R.C, Dehradun for giving me the
opportunity to be a part of this extensive village study on Gurkhas. He was always there
to guide, support and provided all the possible logistics.

1Research Associate (Culture) Anthropological Survey of India, Udaipur

452

Nishant Saxena

Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari Grant villageDispute Solving Mechanism

Special mention should be there of Dr. Shaik Abdul Azeez Saheb, Superintending Anthropologist
(C), Anthropological Survey of India, N.W.R.C, Dehradun who provided valuable and critical
comments on the report which helped me incalculably in improving it.
In continuation of the above, I am thankful to Dr. Harshavardhana, Anthropologist (P)
and Dr. S.N.H. Rizvi, Anthropologist (P) who guided me, were there on the field during
the entire period and helped in making this field experience a memorable one.
I do like to acknowledge the help extended to me by all the other team members who
were part of this extensive village study, particularly Shri Jokhan Sharma who was there
with me in all the odds.
Not to forget, the office staff at N.W.R.C., Anthropological Survey of India, Dehradun
extended their full support in completion of this study. I am obliged to them.
At last I am thankful to all my informants specially my key informants who shared the
information and their experiences with me and enriched my data.
It is vaguely known in India that Gurkhas come from Nepal and people express wonder
when told that Gurkhas are not the born subjects of the British Empire. But that is how
history goes about them. The relationship between Gurkhas and Nepal is indispensible
for anybody who wants to understand and study the community. Nepal has a very ancient
history and civilization which is beyond the purview of the present paper. For centuries
and centuries, before the present rulers of the country emerged from a condition of
barbarism, Nepal had a highly developed civilization of its own. Also, Nepal seems to
have been in the past ages a kind of dumping ground for numerous emigrants, both from
north and south. One often comes across the Khassia ethnic group, mentioned often by
scientists who deal with these problems, which has especially left its mark on this part
of the world. The descendants of this race now form the Rajput or Kshettriya clans of
Gurkha which has been the major governing class among them. They claim for themselves
rights in the second rank in the Hindu hierarchy, that of true Kshettriyas, and also wear
the sacred thread. This is one example of the extraordinary elasticity of the Hindu religion,
for a glance at their features will show their Mongolian descent.
Until the middle of 18th century, the Gurkhas had hardly been heard of even in Nepal.
The King of Gurkha conquered most of the dynasties of present day Nepal by 1768 and
became so powerful that he overran the whole of hill country form the border of Kashmir
to the east of Bhutan. Turning south he started raiding the territories of Britains East
India Company. Consequently war was declared by Britishers against the Gurkhas in
1814 which culminated into a peace treaty in 1816 famously known as Treaty of Sigowli.
However, this is merely a colonial version of the history of Gurkhas which gave due
respect to the valour and strength of Gurkhas as soldiers, but does not provide a complete
holistic account of their origin, history and culture.
Objectives of the study
The focus of the present paper is threefold: Firstly, to trace the origin and history of the
Gurkha community at large with emphasis on identity crisis as presently perceived by
the community; Secondly, to understand the social structure of Gurkhas with emphasis
on their caste system and changes occurring in the present time, and; Thirdly, to understand
the dispute solving mechanism in the Gurkha community.

453

Methodology
The study was undertaken in the Gurkha community residing in the Gurkha Karbari
hamlet of the Karbari Grant village in Sahaspur block of Vikasnagar sub-district of
Dehradun district in Uttarakhand state. The study was part of an extensive village study
performed by a group of researchers which also included the author. Also, the apex body
of Gurkhas in Dehradun known as Gurkhali Sudhar Sabha was visited for collection of
data. The method for data collection was ethnographic which included use of techniques
like non-participant observation, unstructured interview, focused interview and audiovisual aids. For analysis of the data collected through interviews, content analysis technique
was employed.
Brief account of field area
Karbari Grant village is situated between 30o35N latitude and 77o94 E longitude at a
distance of about 21 km from Dehradun city, towards South of the National Highway 72
which connects Dehradun to Ponta Sahib, famous pilgrimage for the Sikhs. Direction
wise the village is located towards the north-west of Dehradun. The climate is generally
temperate, but varies greatly from tropical to severe cold. The area receives an average
annual rainfall of about 2,000 mm with July and August being the rainiest.
The village is multi ethnic. There are about 322 households in the village with population
of 1590, out of which there are 758 males and 832 females having a very healthy sexratio of 1098 females for 1000 males. The literacy rate is 79.33% which is much high
than the national average (Census of India, 2001).
The Gurkha Karbari hamlet is mostly populated by Gurkhas along with a few Garhwali
families and a Punjabi family residing in it. The hamlet had about 109 Gurkha households
with a population of about 600. The sex-ratio is evenly poised between the males and
females. Literacy rate is good, the only concern being that quite a few of the young male
Gurkhas did not take up further studies after completion of intermediate. They feel being
a soldier in the army is their cup of tea .Seeking job in armed forces of India is still a
passion among the Gurkhas. Quite a few of the natives practiced agriculture. The crops
grown were mostly different varieties of Basmati rice, which were grown by some farmers
using exclusively organic manures and even exported outside India. The agricultural ties
of the village were strong with another village nearby known as Buddhi Gaon where
Muslim community dominated. A single Gurkha family was engaged in sericulture, while
a few worked in flower farms also. Moreover, some worked as skilled and unskilled
labourers in adjoining areas.
The village has a very peculiar story behind the term Grant in the villages name. It
was told by some elderly in the village that before India became independent in 1947 this
piece of land was owned by some King (name unknown). About that time, the news about
annexing all the kingdoms in to India after independence was spreading like fire. So the
King, in fear of this, sold the land to some other King (again name unknown), who later
granted or allowed the Gurkha population already existing there to continue agriculture
on his land. He even asked the jobless Gurkhas, of that time, to come and farm his land.
This is how the village got its name. Even today a large portion of the village land, mostly
agricultural, is owned by the descendants of this King.

454

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Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari Grant villageDispute Solving Mechanism

Nishant Saxena

Origin and History of Gurkhas


When the emperor Allah-u-din, leading his Mohammedan army, sacked the fortress of
Chittore, many of the family of Rajput king fled north to the hills. Tradition says that
these, true Rajputs of the purest blood, took refuge amongst the hillmen, and that from
their progeny descends the family of Gurkha, the family that has been reigning Nepal for
such a long time. Although this hypothesis is difficult to accept altogether, but there is
no doubt that there was an infusion about this time of good Rajput blood into the hill
tribes (Morris & Northey, 1974). It must not, however, be imagined that the Kshettriya
reigning clans of Nepal rise entirely from these refugees. The main body of that race had
already been in existence for a very long time (Khassia race).

country, but carried on the policy of isolation deliberately which though aimed at the
benefit of the natives of the country but resulted in lack of job opportunities for the people
in general. Hence, once Gurkhas began to mix freely with the outside world, men found
that they could earn quadruple the amount by taking the positions as watchmen, and so
forth, in India and lead a comparatively easier life. This resulted in migration from the
ancient dynasty of Gurkhas in Nepal to India.

We now come to the period from which the modern development of Gurkha may be
traced. In Nepal, about the middle of 18th century, was a remarkable ruler whose name
was Prithwi Narayan Sah (10th ruler of the Sah dynasty). For nearly 20 years the war
between the followers of the King of Gurkha and the different Kings of Nepal was carried
on with varying success. But somehow Prithwi Narayan Sah brought the whole of the
valley of Nepal under his sway, and established himself as the sole ruler of the surrounding
country. Prithwi Narayan Sahs little hill state of Gurkha gave its name to all the followers
of the King in his adventure, who were known as Gurkhalis, or the followers of the King
of Gurkha the town Gurkha taking its name from its patron saint Gorakh Nath and
these were all the groups that inhabited that state Brahmans, Rajputs, the Mongolian
hill tribes, the menial clans, and even some of the Newar merchants, whose property
happen to lie in the state of Gurkha. The small neighboring kingdoms which had not come
under Prithwi Narayan Sahs rule so far, but whose subjects were precisely the same as
those of that ruler, were not yet allowed to call themselves as Gurkhalis. But during the
period of conquest and annexation, nearly the whole of the Chaubisia Raj (i.e. the 24
kingdoms, all small hill states) joined their fortune with those of Gurkha. Prithwi Narayan
Sah further proceeded to spread his conquest east and west. In 1792 they tried to push
as far as Sikkim in the east but were defeated there by the Tibet and Chinese troops, thus
limiting them to Sikkim. In the west they pushed their troops as far as Kashmir border.
They completely occupied the districts of Kumaon and Garhwal, and passing though the
Shimla Hill States they dominated the Kangra valley also. Due to their continual differences
with the British, war was finally declared in 1814. The literature of that war is full with
the tales of bravery of Gurkhas who were merely armed with bow and arrows, and
employed some flint-locks. The notable is the war at Khalanga Fort in Dehradun district
which resulted in the death of General Gillespie. The Gurkha survivors who were left in
the fort, some seventy or so including women escaped and made good retreat before
the fort was finally taken. However, the Gurkha people claim that due to the death of all
the men inside the fort, the women took the charge of fight against the British and killed
General Gillespie and finally killed themselves also. The war against British finally came
an end on 4th March, 1816 with the Treaty of Sigowli according to which British had to
leave the land of Prithwi Narayan Sahs dynasty encroached by them and the
present day area of Uttarakhand and Darjeeling were annexed with India.
After the death of Prithwi Narayan Sah, his heirs and successors appear to have become
degenerate and all the executive power of the Government became vested in the Prime
Minister, the first Prime Minister being Bhim Sen Thapa in 1811. Until Maharaja Jang
Bahadur firmly established himself as Prime Minister, he took over in 1845, lot of struggle
and chaos prevailed in Gurkha community in Nepal. He did a commendable job for the

However, the Gurkhas presently do not completely agree with this version of their origin.
According to them, cow has been considered pious and sacred as per Hindu religion and
tradition. But, during the non-secular invasion by Muslims in India during 13th or 14th
century, slaughtering of cows took place at mass level. In order to fight against this the
Rajputs, Sikhs and hill men from Nepal formed a coalition. Thus, the group formed for
Gau-raksha meaning protection of Cow and fighting against Muslim invasion later
came to be known as Gurkha. This title was given by Dravya Sah, a king of Sah dynasty.
He was the one who unified the Rajputs, Sikhs and hill men from Nepal into a single
group. Later on the 10th King of Saha dynasty - Prithwi Narayan Sah unified the whole
Gurkha kingdom from Satluj River in west to Tiesta River in east and named it Great
Nepal in 1768. Dehradun was also a part of it. Hence, according to the natives of the
village, Gurkha community has inhabited Uttarakhand and this village of Karbari Grant
since then.
Identity crisis among the Gurkhas today
Gurkhas as a community are hurt about the fact that still often people in India label them
frequently as Nepali meaning the one from Nepal and doubt their loyalty for India.
To counter this they place certain arguments like: Firstly, they have been in India since
1768 (as discussed above). Secondly, the historic Treaty of Sigowli meant that Gurkhas
have been in this part of India (present day Uttarakhand and Dehradun) with their land.
This is often described by them by using the phrase tab se baithe hain zammen ke saath
meaning have been here since then (i.e. 1816) with our own land and not immigrated
from Nepal. Thirdly, Gurkhas further claim that the evidence for the kind of coalition,
as described above, in the past between Rajputs, Sikhs and hill men is the usage of surname
Singh which is common to all three communities. Fourthly, about 200 Gurkha men and
woman laid their life during the freedom struggle in India against the British. The notable
one among them was martyr Durga Mall, whose bronze statue is in the Parliament of
India, who expressed fearless pride about going to the gallows in the letter written on
22nd August 1944 while he was to be hanged on 25th August 1944. Fifthly, the tune for
Indias national song was composed by a Gurkha - Ram Singh Thakuri. Sixthly, the tune
for the song Bhade chalo badhe chalo, vir tum badhe chalo meaning keep marching
forward which bonded the whole of India during the freedom struggle was composed
by Ram Singh Thapa. Therefore, on the basis of above it will be prudent to not label
every Gurkha as Nepali. Rather the government should develop a classification criterion
to distinguish between Gurkhas who have been in India for a long enough time to claim
Indian citizenship and those who are easily infiltrating from Nepal in to India and acquiring
citizenship by foul means.
Social Structure of the Gurkhas
Social Structure of the Gurkhas is one aspect of the Gurkha community which is most
intriguing and often confusing. Prior to the Treaty of Sigowli, the Gurkhas were not only
masters of Sikkim to the east and part of Terai in the south, but also of the important hill

456

Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari Grant villageDispute Solving Mechanism

country lying due west of the river Kali the western boundary of modern Nepal known
as Kumaon and Garhwal. This was the Great Nepal of those ancient times. Kumaon and
Garhwal are part of the Uttarakhand state of India. It can therefore be readily understood
how the groups living on either side of the western boundary of Gorkha regime have
been, for many years, so merging into each other by intermarriages and from other causes,
that the difference between those living within the Gurkha territory (in modern Nepal)
and their neighborhood in the states of Kumaon and Garhwal (Uttarakhand state of India)
is very slight. This is the reason why it takes some time to come to terms with the caste
system of Gurkhas. Let us first have a look at the traditional social structure of Gurkhas.
Traditional Social Structure of the Gurkhas
In the Gurkha community, traditionally the Kshettriyas, or warriors, the second great class
in the Hindu caste hierarchy, come first; then the Mongolian clans (also classed as military
clans); and finally come the inferior Mongolian, or non-fighting groups and menial classes
(Magar, Gurung, Rai, Limbu, Kami (ironsmith) and Sunwar, also collectively known as
Shudras) (Morris & Northey, 1974). Thus it was seen that the Kshettriya clans kept in
their hands the whole power of administration. Presently, they claim for themselves rights
in the second rank in the Hindu hierarchy (after Brahmins), that of true Kshettriyas, and
also wear the sacred thread. This is one example of the extraordinary elasticity of the
Hindu caste hierarchy under certain conditions, for a glance at their features will show
their Mongolian descent. One might wonder about the Brahmin class which figures
prominently in the Hindu caste hierarchy. The matter of fact is that with the passage of
time the Brahmin class emerged in the Gurkha community, and slowly attained the prime
social status ahead of the Kshettriyas. Also, all these different clans and classes, at different
times, have been induced to submit themselves to the Hindu ceremonial laws. The different
divisions of traditional Gurkha society could be arranged in a descending order of social
standing as per the then social norms as follows:

Table 1
Traditional Caste Hierarchy among the Gurkha community
Brahmins
Thakurs
Chetris or Khas
Gurungs
Magars
Limbus
Rais
Sunwars
Apart from the military class, the rest of population was agriculturist and pastoralist
with economy based on barter mode of exchange. At the junctions of rivers throughout
the Gurkha regime, weekly bazaars were held for the barter of goods, and whole
families, men, women and children, carrying loads proportionate to their age and
strength came down from hills to exchange the commodities for necessities of life
(Morris & Northey, 1974).

Nishant Saxena

457

One thing peculiar to the Gurkha community and kingdom of yesterdays was the change
in ethos in the people as one moved towards east and west across the Gurkha regime. The
farther one went towards the east, the more does one find the groups becoming influenced
by Mongolian ideas. Similarly, as one progresses in a westerly direction, the groups inhabiting
central parts become more and more prone to Hinduism. Since ancient times, the central
part of Gurkha kingdom has been dominated by the Magars and Gurungs, the western by
Brahmins, Thakurs and predominantly Chetris, while the eastern by Limbus and Rais.
Present Social Structure among the Gurkha community
In the subsequent section the different Gurkha castes have been described in nutshell
following the presently prevalent chronological order as found in Gurkha Karbari and
as told by Gurkha members of Gurkhali Sudhar Sabha, Dehradun.
Brahmins
Originally the Gurkha community was devoid of Brahmin class. But during the Muslim
invasion in the 12th century in India, the Brahmins from India fled to Nepal and converted
people to Hinduism. In very ancient times in the Great Nepal Brahmins were secondary to
the ruling class. At Present they occupy the prime position as is the case with Hindu caste
hierarchy. Mostly they do priestly job, but those who are economically poor are employed
as cooks also. Among Brahmins two main classes exist in the village. They are Upaddhe
and Jaisi. According to one myth, the Jaisi sect have a lower social standing, and are
presumed to be the offspring of an unofficial alliance of Uppadhe and Brahmin widow
(such an infidel widow was called as Mleccha).
Chetris
Subsequent intermixing between the Brahmin and Gurkha fighting class (Khas) gave rise
to the Chetri clan which is considered somewhat inferior to Brahmin. In ancient times they
were known as Khas. It is a fighting class and equal to the Ksahtriya in Hindu caste hierarchy.
There are about 20 sub-clans in Chetri. The prominent ones are Bandari, Karki, Khatri,
Adhikari, Bisht, Khandka, Burathoki, Gharti and Rana. There are certain disputes about the
exact social standing of Chetris and some place them just below the Brahmins ahead of
Thakurs, and the present social structure adheres to this notion. The other view is that Chetris
are placed after Thakurs in the social standing.
Thakurs
Traditionally, Thakurs come after the Brahmins in the caste hierarchy, and considered
superior to rest of castes. However, as per the present understanding of the Gurkhas about
their social and caste structure, Chetris are a notch above Thakurs and just below the
Brahmins. Thakurs are stated to be the descendants of the princely class and endowed with
highest military qualities and good looks. Hence they are admired across the entire community.
Some of the clans in Thakurs are Mall, Sahi and Sen. They are fewer in number.
Gurungs and Magars
With regard to the exact social status of these two castes, it is a general consensus that they and,
in fact, most of the military castes of Gurkhas, excluding the Chetris and Thakurs, shall be classed
as Shudras meaning the menial class and of inferior order. Traditionally Magars were agriculturists
while Gurungs were pastoralist by occupation. The mongoloid features are more prominent in
Gurung as compared with Magars. This is so because Magars were the ones to mix with the first
wave of migrants from India (Morris & Northey, 1974). Both Magars and Gurungs have language
of their own, Magarkura being the name of the language spoken by the Magars.

458

The Gurungs are further classified as the char (or four) jat and the solah (or sixteen)
jat Gurungs. One of the clans in the char jat Gurungs is Ghale. The char jat gurungs
are considered to be superior to the solah jat Gurungs and in ancient times marriage
between the two was prohibited
The prominent clans in Magars are Rana, Thapa, Ale, Pun, Burathoki and Gharti. Thus,
Thapa, Rana and Gharti clans occur in both Chetris and Magars, but the sacred thread is
worn by the former only.
Together with the Chetris and Thakurs, Gurungs and Maragars have formed the military
class in Gurkhas since ancient times.
Limbus
Believed to be descendent of the famous ethnic group Kirantis whose mention is found
in the epic of Mahabharata and inhabiting the eastern Nepal. In 1768 when Gurkhas
invaded the whole of Nepal, the title of Subah was given to Limbus and title of Rai to
the Khambus each meaning chief. The Limbus have about ten clans and these were
formerly centred, in groups, in ten different districts of the then Limbu country. This is
the way each one of them draws its name.
Rais
The Khambus and Yakhs, having become very much mixed, are now regarded as Rais
and both speak the Rai language. In ancient times, the Rais resided to the west of the
country of Limbus known as Limbuana which stretched between the river Arun on the
west and Singalela ridge on the east. It is believed that Gurkhas invaded the kingdoms
of Limbus and Rais in 1768 and annexed it with their kingdom, thus bringing the two
groups in parlance of Gurkha community. Rais are more Mongolian in their bodily features
than any other caste of Gurkha community. They have about seventy clans, each speaking
its own language.
Sunwars
Believed to hail from Tibet. The three important clans are Jetha, Maila, and Kancha
signifying the elder, second and youngest brother respectively. They have very prominent
cheek bones, oval faces, a reddish tinge to their complexion, and are very short stature.
Therefore, the present prevalent caste hierarchy among Gurkhas is as follows:

Table 2
Caste hierarchy prevalent among the Gurkha community at present
Brahmins
Chetris
Thakurs
Gurungs
Magars

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Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari Grant villageDispute Solving Mechanism

However, in the present study in Gurkha Karbari hamlet of Karbari Grant village the
various Gurkha castes and clans-within-castes present are as follows:

Table 3
Castes present in the
Karbari Grant village

Existing clans within caste


present in the Karbari Grant village

Brahmin

Upaddhe, Jaisi

Chetri

Khatri, Khadka-Chetri, Chetri-Tiwari,


Thapa, Chetri-Thakur

Thakur

Thakuri, Mall, Sahi-Thakur, Mall-Thakur

Gurung

Lama Gurung

Magar

Rana, Thapa, Thapa-Magar

Rai

In addition to the above, a Punjabi family converted in to Gurkhas and a single Rai family
was also residing in the village.
OBC Status to Gurkhas
One important thing which will impact Gurkhas social structure and interaction of
Gurkhas with other castes and communities in this region is the fact that Gurkhas of
Uttarakhand, as well as of Karbari Grant, has been demanding for ST (Scheduled Tribe)
status for a long time. On the contrary they have been provided with OBC (Other Backward
Caste) status on 8th November, 2003 vide a formal notification in the state of Uttarakhand.
They can now avail of 14 per cent reservation in state government jobs. Gorkha community
(excluding Brahmins and Kshettriya) in Uttarakhand have also been included in the central
list for OBC and therefore entitled to 27 per cent seat reservation in central government
jobs and educational institutions among other benefits (Storm over OBC, 2012).
However, the community at large is not satisfied with this as their demand is for ST status.
This is so because, they believe their way of life is comparable to other STs in state.
Another reason for ST status clamour is that no economic criteria have to be met to avail
of benefits under ST category unlike under an OBC quota. If the parents are occupying
senior positions in government offices, their offspring cannot get an OBC certificate.
Also, OBC parents who earn more than Rs 4.5 lakh per annum (other than salaried class
and income from agriculture) will not be entitled to the certificate, said a community
member in the village. Gurkhas feel that as a community they have contributed heavily
for Indias freedom, sovereignty and prosperity, but are looked upon by the general public
still as a military class. In order to break out of this image, they want to make a mark in
other fields, sectors and diversify. Gurkhas believe that if given the ST status they can
accomplish this.

Limbus
Rais
Sunwars

Dispute Solving Mechanism in Gurkhas


Solving disputes in the community is indispensible for the sustenance of any community
and Gurkhas are no different. Here again the dispute solving mechanism of Gurkhas has

460

461

Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari Grant villageDispute Solving Mechanism

Nishant Saxena

been divided into two sections: first one is the ancient or traditional mechanism, while
the second one is the modern mechanism being followed these days among the Gurkhas
as evident from the field work.

or treasurer. All the above have tenure of 3 years and are chosen by the Karyakarini
or work-group in the council, thus not directly chosen by people. This work-group consists
of 15-20 personnel both men and women. One thing notable here is the fact that literature
on Gurkhas reveals the presence of village head-man since ancient times, but the concept
of other office bearers is a recent one.

Traditional Dispute Solving Mechanism


Since 1768, when the Gurkhas were first unified and identified as an independent kingdom,
they have been ruled by Kings who are akin to the Ksettriya division of Hindu hierarchy.
The Gurkhali Kings of Nepal who reigned over the Gurkha kingdom extending to the
present day Uttarakhand of India are as follows (in chronological order):

Table 3
Gurkhali Kings of Nepal
(in chronological order)
Prithwi Narayan Sah
Pratapa Sinha Sah
Rana Bahadur Sah
Girbhan Juddha Vikram Sah
Rajendra Vikram Sah
Surendra Vikram Sah
Prithvi Vira Vikram Sah
Tribhuna Bir Bikram Jang Bahadur
Shah Bahadur Shamser Jang
The ancient social and political system of Gurkha was based purely on militarist lines.
Its laws and its religion are entirely and absolutely interwoven. The religious law is the
base of civil law, and the civil law is based on the ancient Hindu Laws of Manu (Morris
& Northey, 1974). But the Gurkha Government itself was purely militarist in nature, and
therefore, although closely adhering to those same laws, the whole attitude to life is a
militarist one. However, the nitty- gritties of this system are beyond the scope of the present
paper as the focus here is on the village level political organization of Gurkha community.
Hence the village council has been looked at from both the ancient and present perspectives.
Traditional Village Council: The Gurkha villages have been looked after by Mukhiya
or the head-man traditionally.. The head-man is chosen by the consensus of village folks
for a period of 3 years and must be a person of high repute and wisdom. This institution
is not hereditary. Also, in the ancient traditional council of Gurkhas there used to be a
Jamwal or the Big Head-men who looked after more than one Gurkha village and under
whose aegis the Mukhiya worked. Disputes related to Mukhiya were resolved by the
Jamwal alone. However, the office of Jamwal is now obsolete.
Present Day Dispute Solving Mechanism and Village Council
Nowadays Mukhiya (head-man) is also known as Adhayaksha by some and is
bestowed with the responsibility of representing the village in the meetings of the apex
body of Gurkhas in Dehradun known as Gurkhali Sudhar Sabha. The other office bearers
of the village council, in the order of their importance, are: Upadhayaksha or viceheadman, Sachiv or secretary, Upsachiv or assistant secretary, and Koshadhayaksha

The meeting of the village council takes place once in every 3 months. But in special
circumstances it can be held before that also. There is no specific venue for the meeting,
but mostly it is held at the residence of the Mukhiya or in the village Panchayat Bhawan
with the consent of people. In this meeting all the office bearers are present and also any
adult member of the Gurkha community is allowed to attend it. Women also participate
in these meetings with zeal and are given equal importance as men. Issues taken up in the
meeting are those of social concern like disputes or grievances of community members.
For example, during the course of my stay with the community, I had the auspicious chance
of observing the village council meeting which was held for the purpose of allocating
responsibility to the various community members for the Sansari mata puja i.e. worship
of the holy Goddess (Picture 1). The Sansari Mata Puja is a significant religious tradition
of the Gurkha Community celebrated every year on the preceding Saturday of Chaitra
Navratra (in this instance on 2nd April, 2011) with lots of zeal and reverence. The worship
is performed to please the deity and to be showered with Her blessings for the well being
and prosperity of the entire community. On this occasion villagers take a procession of
palki (palanquin) of the dough made idol of the deity across the village (Picture 2). This
procession is carried to the sacred tree in jungle and the deity is invoked by offering
religious performances (Picture 3). The puja ends with distribution of prasad and feast
for the entire village community.
The entire Gurkha village is divided into wards for the convenience of collection of
monetary contribution from households. Gurkha Karbari is divided into 4 wards, and
from each household Rs. 10 per month is collected by the respective ward members. The
entry fee for a new household is Rs. 551. The money collected from various sources is
utilized by the council for meeting expenses of various types like organizing a puja
or worship, building some community infrastructure in village like road, hiring labour
during festival season for maintaining cleanliness in village, helping Gurkha family for
marriage purpose, etc.
The decisions in the village council, for solving disputes or preparing for an event of
communal importance, are taken by consensus of all the members. However, in case of non
agreement in the house, the decision taken by Mukhiya is binding for all. Nowadays, party
not satisfied with the decision of the village council moves to Court of Law for getting
justice as the institution of Jamwal is obsolete. Also, issues pertaining to criminal offence
like murder, molestation, sexual assault, robbery, etc. are not brought up in village council
and justice from Court of Law is sought after. However, issues like the one listed below
are discussed and resolved in village council:
1. If a Chetri marries out of his own group, the offspring assumes the caste of the father.
Before this can be effected certain formalities have to be carried out like: a Brahmin
is summoned to a gathering at which the parents and relations of child are present. In
the gathering the Brahmin invests the infant with the sacred thread. By this act the child
is admitted to the Chetri caste. This ceremony takes place in the presence of Mukhiya
and other office bearers of village council.
2. In a similar way, any child born to mixed parentage can be admitted to the clan of his
father by performance of a ceremony similar to the one described above.

462

Nishant Saxena

Holistic Approach to the Gurkhas of Karbari Grant villageDispute Solving Mechanism

3. If a Chetri marries a woman from menial class, his caste is at once lost and is outcaste. This
lost of caste is irrecoverable and the man sinks to the caste of his wife.
However, in the present study I found that all the above discussed norms have become
obsolete. The offspring born of mixed marriage can now opt either for the caste of father
or mother as per their discretion. This is a remarkable difference with respect to the
Hindu tradition where offspring always, as a rule, adopts the caste of the father since
birth. Also, the Gurkha society has become flexible enough to accommodate the
intermarriage between high caste and low caste.
4. In old days it was the custom for a husband, whose wife had been found unfaithful, to cut
down the seducer with a khukri (knife indigenous to Gurkhas). The latter could save his life
by passing under the uplifted leg of the outraged husband. Nowadays, however, all this has
changed. Cases of infidelity are dealt with either through the medium of local village court
of arbitration headed by Mukhiya of village or in Law Courts. The local village court consists,
as a rule, of eight or ten notables of the village. In nearly every case the husband is compensated
his original marriage expense known as zaari. The amount is decided by the village council.
5. Also, the Gurkhas, irrespective of their class or clan, entered into what is known as a mit
relationship with any friend of whom they are particularly fond of. The meaning of word
mit is friend, and relationship in their tradition was comparable to blood brotherhood
which can be contracted with any person of any class or clan. Once contracted, the new
relationship thus formed held good where marriage and similar ceremonies are concerned.
Hence, in the traditional culture of Gurkhas the mit relation was one of the agencies of intermixing among the different castes and class. Disputes pertaining to this relationship are
solved in the village council only.

Conclusion
The Gurkha community is one which is very well knit, but in transition. As discussed earlier,
the question about origin of Gurkhas and their history is interesting and arguable as well.
Thus, it will be safe to say that Gurkhas originated near or inside the present day Nepal as
a consequence of the increment in Muslim invasion in India and to counter their anti-Hindu
ideologies like slaughtering of cows. However, the present issue for Gurkhas as a community
is to disengage themselves with the label of Nepali (i.e. one from Nepal) as perceived
by other communities in India. This is in spite of the fact that traditionally they have been
looked upon as great warriors and had a huge contribution to Indias independence. Therefore,
it becomes much more important to understand their origin, and the present study is a step
forward in this direction. Clearly it comes out that Gurkhas in Indian territory have been
here for a long time (for about 250 years) and were here with their land at the time of
Treaty of Sigowli in 1816 and Indias independence in 1947. Hence, the time has come to
give them due respect as respectable Indian citizens. At the same time, a close watch should
be maintained on those who want to cross borders and attain Indian citizenship illegally.
However, the question of giving the OBC status, as discussed earlier, is an open one and
more detailed study by Indian government is required.
Historically, Gurkhas have been an open society and present day Gurkha society is the result
of assimilation of varied groups. Traditionally, they have also tried to stick to the Hindu
caste system, which is hierarchical in nature. But, the rigid nature of the caste system is
now becoming more and more flexible. It is primarily because of two reasons: firstly, close

463

proximity with other ethnic groups like Garhwali, Kumaoni in this area has resulted into
intermixing, and secondly intermarriages between different castes within the Gurkha
community are very frequent now. Both these factors are a consequence of the advent of
era of modernization, industrialization and globalization in the last two decades in India.
The traditional way of solving disputes and issues through the village council headed by
Mukhiya has now taken the back seat. Though this institution has not become obsolete, but
its importance over the years has certainly declined. It is primarily because of the Panchayati
Raj system which is constitutionally recognized and functional in the entire country. The
village Pradhan is now the one to whom village folks look up to for their day-to-day
grievances. However, the verity that issues which are completely communal, like participation
in traditional annual Sansari Mata Puja, are still dealt by village Mukhiya is exhilarating
and a positive for the community.
As concluding remarks, I would like to add that Gurkhas are large hearted people and very
much Indian like any of us. It is a community in transition which is striving hard to come
out of the garb that they are only fit for armed forces, and wish to make a mark in other
fields also thereby contributing to the development of the nation. For achieving this goal,
the most important thing for them could be a conscious effort to attain better education,
diversify in other fields and make a mark.

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Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (465-477), 2012-2013

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1Anthropological Survey of India, Dehradun.

466

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xksj[kkyh leqnk; vius lkgl vkSj fgEer ds fy, foo fo[;kr gSa vkSj mUgksus vius dk;ksZ }kjk
Hkkjrh; xksj[kk jsftesUV vkSj fczfVk vkehZ ds xksj[kk fcxzsM dks dkQh izfl++)h fnykbZ gqbZ gSA buds
bUgha lkgl o fgEer izo`fr dks ns[k dj Hkkjrh; vkehZ ds HkwriwoZ phQ vkWQ LVkQ jg pqds lSe
ekusdkkW us iz[;kr :i ls dgk Fkk] og O;fDr tks ;g dgrk gSa fd eq>s ekSr ls Mj ugha yxrk
og ;k rks >wB cksy jgk gSa ;k og xksj[kk gS fofdfifM+;k] xksj[kkA
xksj[kk dh mRifr 8 oh lnh ds fgUnw ;ks)k larJh xq: xksj[kukFk ls ekuh tkrh gSaA xq: xksj[kukFk
ds vuq;k;h vius dks *xksj[kk* kCn ls lEcksf/kr djrs FksA usiky esa ,d ftyk vofLFkr gSa ^xksj[kk
ftyk^A ,slk ekuk tkrk gSa fd ;gh og txg gSa tgk x: xksj[kukFk dks igyh ckj ns[kk x;k FkkA
bl ftys es a ,d xq Q k gS ] tgk xks j [kukFk ds ix fpUg~ gS a vkS j mudh ,d ew f rZ Hkh gS a
fofdfifM+;k] xksj[kkA
^xksj[kk^ 'kCn dh mRifRr ds ckjs esa ;g Hkh dgk tkrk gS fd ;g dksbZ fo'ksk {ks= ds yksxksa ls lEcaf/kr
u gksdj ;g ,d fopkj /kkjk gS Fkkik] 2011A tks fd HkkjrokZ esa eqfLye 'kkldksa ds vkxeu ds

tks[ku kekZ

467

le; mRiUu gqvkA ^xksj[kk^ 'kCn dks fopkj/kkjk ekuus okys dk rdZ ;g gS fd] ^xksj[kk^ 'kCn nks
'kCnksa ls feydj cuk gS] ^xkS+^ $ ^j{kk^ ;kfu xkS dh j{kk djus okykA tks fd eqfLye kkldksa ds
izosk ds le; HkkjrokZ esa gks jgs xkSo/k ls tqM+k gqvk FkkA bl fopkj/kkjk dh mRifr laHkor~ nsk ds
ifpe~ Hkkx esa kq: gqbZ D;ksafd eqfLye 'kkldksa dk HkkjrokZ esa izosk bUgha {ks=ksa esa izkjEHk gqvkA ;g
{ks= fgUnq ckgqY; tula[;k okyk {ks= FkkA tc eqfLye kkldksa us bl {ks= esa 'kklu kq: fd;k ml
nkSjku xk; dh gR;k cMs+ iSekus ij gqbZA pqfd xk; fgUnq /keZ esa iwT; ekuh tkrh gS] bl dkj.k xkSo/k
ds fo:) o bldh j{kk ds fy, dqN yksx lkeus vk;s vkSj fojks/k 'kq: fd;kA /khjs&/khjs bl lewg
esa vusd tkfr;k ftlesa czkge.k~] jktiwr] oS';] kwnz 'kkfey gksrs pys x;sA rRipkr~ xkSj{kk ls
tqM+s yksxksa us le;&le; ij eqfLye kkldksa ds fo:) fojks/k djuk tkjh j[kkA eqfLye kkldksa
ds }kjk bl fojks/k dks dqpy fn;k tkus yxkA blds ipkr~ tks yksx bl fopkj/kkjk ls tqM+s gq,
Fks ;k rks ekjs x,] ;k fQj ogk ls iyk;u dj ns'k ds nwljs Hkkx ftlesa nqxZe {ks= vkfn 'kkfey Fksa
esa pys x,A rkfd os idM+ esa u vk ldsA bu iykf;r yksxksa esa vf/kdkak fgeky; ds nqxZe LFky
o rjkbZ {ks=ksa esa vk dj cl x;s ,oa /khjs&/khjs ;s yksx ;gha dh laLd`fr o ifjosk esa <+y x;sA
xksj[kk oa'kkoyh vkSj vkj- ch- xkSjhkadj ds erkuqlkj usiky ds xkksj[kk tkfr vykn~nhu f[kyth
ds 'kklu ds nkSjku ftu yksxksa us nsk ds ifpe~ ,oa mRrj ifpe~ Hkw&Hkkx ls iyk;u dj fgeky;
ds rjkbZ o ioZrh; {ks=ksa esa tkdj kj.k ys fy;kA rRipkr~ os ogha cl x;s usxh] 1997A izkphu
okksaZ esa ;g {ks= ^n xzVs usiky^ ds uke ls tkuk tkrk FkkA 1769 bZ0 esa i`Foh ukjk;.k kkg 1742&1775
us dkBek.Mw] iV~Vlu] HkVxaxk vkSj xksj[kk jkT;ksa dks feykdj usiky esa ,d dsUnzh; kklu dh LFkkiuk
dhA ykMZ gsfLVaXl ds le; esa lu~ 1814 bZ0] 1815 bZ0 rFkk 1816 bZ0 esa ^vkXy&xksj[kk^ ;q) gq,A
1816 bZ0 esa vaxzstk os xksj[kksa ds chp flaxkSyh dh lfU/k gqbZA bl lfU/k ds vuqlkj ^n xzsV usiky^
ds ifpe o nf{k.k&ifpe rjkbZ izns k ftlesa fgekpy izns k] mkjkpay dk ioZrh; Hkkx] tEew&dkehj
dk iwoksZrj Hkkx fczfVk dEiuh ds vf/kiR; esa vk x;k foV] 1987A orZeku le; esa ;g HkkjrokZ
dk vfHkUu vax gaSA

v/;;u {ks= dk ifjp;


^xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV^ tks fd dkjckjh xzkV xzke dk ,d fgLlk gS]a ftlesa xksj[kk leqnk; dh tula[;k
lokZf/kd gSaA xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV nsgjknwu ftys ds lgliqj fodkl[k.M ds vUrxZr vkrk gSaA ;g
{ks= nsgjknwu ftyk eq[;ky; ls 24 fdyksehVj ifpe~] nsgjknwu&fkeyk ckbZikl lM+d ds fdukjs
clk gqvk gSA bl {ks= ds uke ls gh ;g fofnr gksrk gS fd ^xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV^ xko dk fuekZ.k
vuqnkfur Hkw&Hkkx ij gqvk gSaA xzkV (Grant) ,d vaxzsth kCn gS] ftldk vFkZ vuqnku gksrk gSSA
^xksj[kk dkjckjh^ Hkh vkB Hkw&nkudrkZ }kjk vuqnkfur Hkw&Hkkx {ks= ij clk gS] blfy, bls ^xksj[kk
dkjckjh xzkV^ dgk tkrk gSA xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV ds vykok dkjckjh xzkV esa x<+okyh dkjckjh
xzkV o x.ks'kiqj dk dqN fgLlk vkrk gSA
xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV Hkh nks fgLlksa esa ckVk x;k gS] ijh xksj[kk dkjckjh o fupyk xksj[kk dkjckjhA
;n~fi ijh xksj[kk dkjckjh esa xksj[kk leqnk; dh lokZf/kd tula[;k gS] blds foijhr fupyh xksj[kk
dkjckjh esa vkB ifjokj jgrs gSaA ;g {ks= ekud fl) eafnj ls lVk gqvk gSA ^xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV^
ds HkkSxksfyd i`BHkwfe dh ckr djs rks ;g izd`fr dh xksn esa jpk&clk gSA bl xzkV xko dh pkSgnh
dh ckr djss a rks mRrj esa x.kskiqj] HkB~Vh xko o dkjckjh pkj ou] nf{k.k {ks= esa ykV lkgc dk
taxy LFkkuh; uke vofLFkr gSaA

468

ijEijkxr d`fk dk;Z..............ds foksk lanHkZ esa

xzke dh izeq[k Qlysa o lkx lfCt;k


xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV esa jch o [kjhQ nksuksa rjg dh Qlyksa dk mRiknu djrs ns[kk tk ldrk gSA
jch Qlyksa esa xasgw] eVj] xUuk vkfn izeq[k :i ls mxk;s tkrs gSaA [kjhQ Qlyksa esa /kku] eDdk
vkfn izeq[k :i ls mxk;s tkrs gSaA /kku dh mit [kkl rkSj ij dh tkrh gSA bl xkze ds d`kdksa
ds }kjk /kku dh ftu fdLeksa dk mRiknu fd;k tkrk gSa mlesa ckjhd] nsgjknwu cklerh] dLrwjh
rFkk rjkojh] Vkbi&3 dkQh egxs nkeksa ij cktkj esa fcdrs gSa tks dzek% 40 #i;s izfr fdyks] 60
#i;s izfr fdyks o 80 #i;s izfr fdyks gksrh gSaA /kku dh Qly dh rjg xasgw dh Hkh fdLeksa jkt o
RR-21 vkfn dh iSnkokj dh tkrh gSA
bl xzkV esa tks fdlku vkfFkZd :i ls l{ke gksrs gSa] os vius [ksrksa esa vkyw&I;kt dh [ksrh Hkh djrs
gSaA gkykfd xzkV esa ?kj ds ikl ijrh tehu ij ckxokuh fdpsu xkMZu dj vius [kkus ds fy,
gjh lkx lfCt;k mxk ysrs gSaA ftlesa yglqu] I;kt fHkUM+h] ckS[kyk fkopuk] chu] jkbZ] ewyh vkfn
ds lkFk&lkFk lkx Hkh mxk ysrs gSaA

xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV ds d`kd lekt


xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV esa d`kd lekt dks d`fk Hkwfe ds ekfydkuk vf/kdkj ds vk/kkj ij fuEu pkj
Jsf.k;ksa esa foHkDr dj ldrs gS %&
d cM+s d`fk Hkwfe/kkjh okys 10 ch?kk ls ij okys
[k e/; d`fk Hkwfe/kkjh okys 5&10 ch?kk rd okys
x fuEu d`fk Hkwfe/kkjh okys 5 ch?kk ls de okys
?k fngkM+h d`kd Hkwfeghu
d cM+s d`fk Hkwfe/kkjh okys
bl Js.kh ds vUrxZr xzkV ds oSls yksxksa dks j[krs gSa] tks nl ch?kk ls ij d`fk Hkwfe
dk ekfydkuk vf/kdkj j[krs gSaA bl Js.kh ds Hkh nks :i ns[kus dks feyrs gSaA igyk]
tks Lo;a d`fk dk;Z esa Hkkx u ysdj nwljs vU; d`kd dks ^euh^ vFkok ^cVkbZ^ ij d`fk
Hkwfe nsrs gSa rFkk cnys esa ,d fufpr jde ;k fgLlk Hkkxs esa izkIr gksrk gSA nwljk
blds vUrxZr os yksx vkrs gSa] tks Lo;a d`fk dk;Z esa Hkkx ysrs gSaA d`fk ds lkjs dk;kZsa esa
lfdz; jgrs gSaA vko;drk iM+us ij ;s fngkM+h d`kd etnwjksa dks dke ds fy, j[krs gSaA

tks[ku kekZ

x fuEu d`fk Hkwfe/kkjh okys 5 ch?kk ls de okys


bl Js.kh ds vUrxZr oSls d`kd dks j[krs gSa ftuds ikl ikp ch?kk ls de [ksr dk
ekfydkuk gd gSA bl oxZ ds yksx [ksrh dk;Z ds fy;s igys o f}rh; Js.kh ds d`kd
vf/kdka'kr% ijEijkxr d`fk midj.k o rduhd dk iz;ksx vius d`fk dk;ksZ esa djrs gSaA
?k fngkM+h d`kd Hkwfeghu
bl Js.kh ds vUrxZr oSls d`kd dks j[krs gSa] ftuds ikl viuh futh d`fk Hkwfe ugha
gksrh gS] tks FkksM+h Hkwfe gksrh Hkh gS mlls mldk thou fuokZg ugha gks ikrkA os fngkM+h
d`kd et+njw cudj ekSleh :i ls xko esa d`fk dk;Z djrs gSAa ckdh le; esa ;g vkl&ikl
ds kgjh {ks=ksa esa fngkM+h et+nwjh djrs gSaA xko esa ;s yksx dk;Z djus ds cnys viuh
etnwjh Hkh izkIr djrs gSa tks dh xko esa fu/kkZfjr etnwjh gksrh gSA bl et+njw h ds vUrxZr
tekuh vkSjr dks 100 #i;s et+nwjh rFkk enZ vkneh dks 150 #i;s vkB ls nl ?k.Vs
ds fy, fn;k tkrk gSaA dHkh dHkkj dk;Z ds ?k.Vs c<+ Hkh ldrs gSaA

[ksrh&ckM+h ls lEcaf/kr ijEijkxr dk;Z


nsk dh lkB izzfrkr~ vkcknh d`fk {ks= esa yxh gqbZ gS xzhu 1987 rFkk lRrj izzfrkr~ vkcknh vkt
Hkh xko esa clrh gSA bl dkj.k Hkkjr nsk dks xkoksa dk nsk dgk tkrk gSA d`fk {ks= esa bruh vkcknh
dh fuHkZjrk gksus ds okctwn orZeku le; esa vf/kdkak d`kd lekt [ksrh&ckM+h ls lEcaf/kr vius
ijEijkxr rkSj&rjhds] Kku] midj.k] jhfr&fjokt vkfn dks iz;ksx esa yk jgs gSaA blls tgk ,d
vksj d`fk mRiknu esa mUgs izfrLi/kkZvks dk lkeuk djuk iM+rk gSa] rks nwljh vksj ;g muds
lkekftd&vkfFkZd fLFkfr dh vkSj bafdr djrk gSA
xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV ds d`kd dkrdkj d`fk dk;Z ds nkSjku ijEijkxr d`fk midj.k] rduhd
dk iz;ksx djrs gS ijEijkxr ekU;rk;sa ns[kus dks feyrh gSaA blds lkFk gh lkFk ftu dkrdkjksa esa
vkfFkZd lEiUurk vk xbZ gSa os vk/kqfud d`fk ;a=ksa dk iz;ksx djrs gSaA ;gk iwoZtksa ds le; ls pys
vk jgs d`fk dk;Z dks xzke ds orZeku d`kd viuk;s gq;s gSa] gkykafd budh la[;k de gSA
bl xzkV ds d`kd lekt ds }kjk viuk;s tkus okys d`fk lac/a kh ijEijkxr dk;ksZ dks fuEufyf[kr Hkkxksa
esa ckV ldrs gSa pdzorhZ 1986
d [ksr fuek.kZ dk;Z djukA

[ksrh dk;Z ds fy, tehu nsus dh O;oLFkk


tehu nsus dh izd`fr & nj

[k cht MkyukA

cVkbZ ij

& vk/kk rFkk ,d frgkbZ fgLlk

?k fujkbZ fuykbZ&xqM+kbZ djukA

euh ij Bsds ij

& ikp gtkj #i;s izfr ch?kk

[kkn Mkyuk mjodZA

[k e/; d`fk Hkwfe/kkjh okys 5&10 fc?kk rd okys


bl Js.kh ds vUrxZr xko ds mu d`kdksa dks j[kk tk ldrk gS] ftuds ikl ikp ls nl
ch?kk dh d`fk Hkwfe miyC/k gSaA blls buds ifjokj dk lky& Hkj ds [kkus dk vukt
izkIr gks tkrk gSA bl Js.kh ds d`kd Hkh viuh Hkwfe dks cVkbZ ;k euh Bsds ij nsrs
gSaA bldk dkj.k gS [ksrh dk;Z esa viuk Je u ns ikuk ,oa ifjokj esa lnL;ksa dh la[;k
de gkssukA

469

x ikS/ks dk izfrjksi.kA

p flapkbZ O;oLFkk A
N dVuhQly dh dVkbZA
t <qykbZ Qly dks [ksrksa ls ys tkuk A
> Mke yxkuk [kfygku yxkukA
vUu dk HkaMkj.k djukA

470

ijEijkxr d`fk dk;Z..............ds foksk lanHkZ esa

d [ksr fuek.kZ dk;Z


xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV lery Hkwfe ij u gksdj FkksM+h pkbZ okyh Hkwfe ij clk gqvk gSA
bl dkj.k okkZ iz/kku ekSle esa okkZ ty ls Hkwfe ds dVko gksus dk [krjk cuk jgrk gSSA
bl dVko dks jksdus ds fy, fdlku QkoM+k dqnky dh lgk;rk ls [ksr ds dVko
dks feV~Vh ls jksd dj [ksrksa dks ty Bgjko ds vuq:i rS;kj fd;k tkrk gSA blds ckn
[ksrksa dh ^tqrkbZ^ tksRuq dh tkrh gSA ;g og ijEijkxr dk;Z gSa] ftlesa Hkwfe ds ijh
lrg dks myV&iqyV dj fn;k tkrk gS]a ftlls u, ikskd rRo ij vk tkrs gSAa blds
QyLo:i [kr&irokj ,oa Qlyksa dh MaBy vkfn tehu esa nc tkrh gSa] vkSj /khjs&/khjs
[kkn esa cny tkrh gSaA ftlls tehu }kjk ikuh ueh cuk;s j[kus dh kfDr c<+ tkrh
gSAa ^tqrkbZ^ tksRuq dk ;g dk;Z ^gykl^ o ^tqyk^ ds lgk;rk ls cSyksa ds ek/;e ls fd;k
tkrk gSaA ftlesa yksgs dk QWkyk yxk jgrk gSA ^tqyk^ flQZ ydM+h dk cuk gksrk gSSA
[ksrksa dh tqrkbZ djus ds ckn [ksr dh tehu dks lery djus ds fy, ^gsaxk^ fd;k tkrk
gSA bl dk;Z ds fy, ^es<+h^ ydM+h dk cM+k vk;rkdkj VqdM+k dk iz;ksx fd;k tkrk
gSA [ksrksa esa ^gsx
a k^ djus ij [ksrksa esa cM+&
s cM+s feV~Vh ds VqdM+s VwV tkrs gS]a rFkk [ksr lery
gks tkrs gSaA
[k cht Mkyuk
lery [ksr ds NksVs ls Hkkx esa /kku ds Qly ds fy, cht Mkyrs gSaA [ksr ds bl Hkkx
esa tqrkbZ o lery djus ds ckn mlesa dq'ky O;fDr cht oiu cht dk fNM+dko djrk
gSa flag] 1987A cht oiu fd, x, Hkkx esa ikuh ls flapkbZ dh tkrh gSA rFkk cht dks
/kku dh ikS/k gksus rd NksM+ fn;k tkrk gSaA khrdkyhu le; esa xsagw dh Qly ds fy,
cht Mkys tkrs gSaA
x ikS/ks dk izfrjksi.k cqvkbZ] {kjukN%
cht oiu fd;s tkus ds ,d ekg ckn /kku ds ikS/ks rS;kj gks tkrs gSa] [ksrksa esa izfrjksi.k
ds fy;sA ftl [ksrksa esa bls jksiuk gksrk gS ml lery Hkwfe dks ty ls flapkbZ djus ds
ckn nks ckj gsaxk tkSy fn;k tkrk gSA blds ckn [ksrksa ls ?kkl&irokj dks fudky dj
[ksr dks ikS/k yxkus ds fy;s rS;kj dj fy;k tkrk gSASa ;g dk;Z d`kd lekt dh efgykvksa
ds lkFk iq:k Hkh feydj djrs gSaA rS;kj /kku dh ikS/k dks [ksr ls m[kkM+ dj mudk
vyx&vyx eqk cuk fy;k tkrk gS] blds ckn mls [ksrks esa ys tkdj jksi.k dk;Z fd;k
tkrk gSaA ;g dk;Z lqcg 7-00 cts ls kke 5-00 cts rd izk;% gksrk gSaA
/kku dh cqvkbZ o jksikbZ djus ds le; xksj[kk d`kd lekt esa ijEijk gS fd jksikbZ dk;Z
esa kkfey gksus okyh efgykvksa dks ehB+s pkoy dks izlkn ds rkSj ij f[kyk;k tkrk gSaA
blds ihNs budh ekU;rk gSa fd Qly dh jksikbZ ,d cgqr gh egRoiw.kZ dk;Z o kqHk
d`fk dk;Z gSA ftldks efgykvksa ds }kjk fey dj lEiUu fd;k tkrk gS D;ksafd ?kj dh
L=h y{eh dk :i gksrh gS rFkk Qly vPNh gks blfy, bl nkSjku [ksr dh iwtk Hkh
fd tkrh gS] rkfd budh mit vPNh gks rFkk Hkxoku dh d`ik mu ij lnSo cuh jgsA
?k fujkbZ fuykbZ&xqM+kbZ djuk
bl dk;Z dks L=h iq:k nksuksa gh feydj djrs gSaA ikS/k dk izfrjksi.k djus ds nks&rhu
lIrkg ckn ikS/k ds c<+us ds lkFk [ksrksa esa ?kkl&ikr mx tkrs gSaA tks fd c<+ jgs Qly

tks[ku kekZ

471

/kku dh ikS/k dks rsth ls c<+us ugha nsrs A [ksrksa es mxs bl ?kkl&ikr dks m[kkM+ dj
ckgj dj fn;k tkrk gSA [ksrksa ds ?kkl fudkyus dh bl izfdz;k dks fuykbZ&xqM+kbZ dgrs gSA
fuykbZ&xqM+kbZ nwljh ckj djhc ,d ekg ds ckn dh tkrh gS] Qly rS;kj gksus ds Bhd
igys rhljh o vafre ckj ;g dk;Z fd;k tkrk gSaA blds ckn tc rd Qly iwjh rjg
ls rS;kj u gks tk;s rc rd Qly dks Nqvk ugha tkrk gSaA
bl dk;Z dks d`kd vius gkFkksa ls djrs gSa rFkk ijEijkxr midj.k ^dwVksa^ dksVyk dk
iz;ksx fd;k tkrk gSA bl midj.k dh lgk;rk ls [ksrksa esa ?kkl fudkyh tkrh gSaA bl
dk;Z dks ifjokj ds lnL; fey dj djrs gSA lnL;ksa dh deh gksus dh fLFkfr esa vU;
d`kd ifjokj ls enn ysrs gSa cnys esa os Hkh viuk Je nku djrs gSAa tks fdlku vkfFkZd
:i ls etcwr gksrs gSa os bl dk;Z ds fy, xko o vklikl ds {ks= ds d`kd fngkM+h
etnwjksa }kjk dk;Z djkrs gSaA etnwjksa dh la[;k [ksr ds vkdkj vkSj d`fk dk;Z ij fuHkZj
djrh gSA lkFk gh ;g Hkh /;ku j[kk tkrk gS fd ;g dk;Z le; ls [kRe djk
fy;k tk,A
[kkn Mkyuk
Qlyksa dh mit o Hkwfe dh moZjrk c<+kus ds fy, [kkn fu;fer :i esa Mkyh tkrh gSA
xksj[kk fdlku vius [ksrksa esa ijEijkxr moZjd [kkn dk iz;ksx djrs gSaA ijEijkxr
[kkn ds :i esa xkscj [kkn dk iz;ksx djrs gSaA ikyrw tkuoj xk;] HkSal] cSy vkfn ds
xkscj dks bdV~VBk dj xkscj [kkn cukrs gSaA blds vykok ;gk ds fdlku vU; [kknksa
dk bLreky Hkh djrs gSa] blesa eq[;r% gjh [kkn ,oa tSfod [kkn gksrh gSaA gjh [kkn ds
fy, <s+pk] ewx] lukbZ dks lM+kdj iz;ksx fd;k tkrk gSA bu [kknksa dk iz;ksx Qly ds
cksus ls igys [ksrksa esa Mkydj tqrkbZ ds ek/;e ls feh esa feyk fn;k tkrk gSA
xzkV ds dqN d`kd viuh d`fk dk;Z esa iw.kZ:i ls tSfod d`fk ds rkSj&rjhds viuk;s
gq, gSaA ;g vius [ksrksa esa tSfod [kkn dk gh iz;ksx djrs gSaA
xkscj dh [kkn% xsgw ds Qly esa 1 ch?kk esa 20 fDoUVy rFkk /kku ds fy, 15&18 fDoUVy
iz;ksx djrs gSaA ogha] ,d ch?kk xsgw dh Qly ds fy, cehZ dEiksLV tSfod [kkn dh
10&15 fdyks dh t:jr iM+rh gSa] rFkk /kku ds fy, 12&15 fdyks dh vko;drk gksrh gSA
xzke ds d`kd ds vuqlkj iwoZ esa Hkh Qly ds fy, flQZ xkscj [kkn dk gh iz;ksx fd;k
tkrk FkkA xko esa bldh deh gksus ij ikl ds xko x.kskiqj] HkV~Vh xko lfgr vU;
vkl&ikl {ks=ksa ls xkscj [kkn yk;k tkrk FkkA
p flapkbZ O;oLFkk
^xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV^ esa [ksrh&ckM+h ds fy, lhfer lk/kuksa ij fuHkjZrk ik;h xbZA eq[;r%
okkZ ds ty ij gh fuHkZj jguk iM+rk gS] gkykafd ikl gh yxHkx nks fdyksehVj dh nwjh
ij vofLFkr dM+okikuh dk lzksr ls fudyus okyk ikuh dk ukyk xzke ds [ksrksa ds ikl
ls cgrk gSA okkZ ds vykok ;g Hkh flapkbZ dk ,d ek/;e gSA [ksrh dh Hkwfe pkbZ ij
gksus ds dkj.k iwoZ esa bl ukys ds ikuh dks flapkbZ ds fy, iz;ksx djuk FkksM+k dfBu
gksrk FkkA lzksr ls [ksrksa esa ikuh igqpkus ds fy, [ksrksa esa D;kjh ^cksyk^ o ^dwyksa^ D;kjh
cukrs FksA bUgha ^cksyk^ o ^dwyksa^ D;kjh dh lgk;rk ls lzksr [ksr ds ,d fgLls ls nwljs

472

ijEijkxr d`fk dk;Z..............ds foksk lanHkZ esa

fgLls esa ikuh igqpk;k tkrk FkkA bl dk;Z dks djus ds fy, ^QkoM+k^ d`fk midj.k
dk bLreky gksrk FkkA flapkbZ ds fy, ^cksyk^ o ^dwyksa^ dk fuek.kZ orZeku le; esa Hkh
izpyu esa gSaA
orZeku le; esa bl dk;Z esa flapkbZ ds lk/kuksa esa o`f) gwbZ gS] bl xko esa V;wosy] eksVj
iEi vkfn dh O;oLFkk gks xbZ gSA eksVj iEi dh lgk;rk ls dM+okikuh ds Lkzkrs ls fufeZr
ukys ds ikuh dks [ksrksa esa igqpkuk vklku gks x;k gSA blds ckotwn vHkh Hkh bl {ks=
dh d`fk okkZ ds ty ij fuHkZj djrh gSA
N dVuh
[ksrksa esa ikS/k yxkus ds ckn ikS/k ds Qly cudj iwjh rjg rS;kj gksus ij Qly dh
dVkbZ dh tkrh gSA Qly dh dVkbZ d`fk dk;Z ds nkSjku lcls egRoiw.kZ izfdz;k gSA
Qly id tkus ds ckn mls njkrh (Sickle) dh lgk;rk ds dkVk tkrk gSA
bl dk;Z dks iwjk djus ds fy, d`fk Jfed dh T;knk la[;k esa vko;drk iM+rh gSA
ftu Hkwfe ekfydkssa ds ikl T;knk d`fk Hkwfe gS] og viuh Qly dVkbZ ds fy, [ksr dks
Bsds ij nsrs gSaA ;g O;oLFkk iwoZ ds le; ls pyh vk jgh gSA bl dk;Z dks djus ds
fy, xko ds ckgj ds d`kd et+nwj xko esa vkdj viuh {kerk ds vuq:i [ksr dks Bsds
ij ysdj Qly dkVrs gSaA blds fy, izfr ch?kk 1500 #0 ;k 30&35 fdyks v
ysrs gSaA
bl dk;Z dks djus ds fy, nwljs rjg ds et+nwj os gksrs gSa] tks fngkM+h d`fk et+nwj ds
:i esa dke djrs gSaA bUgsa izfr fnu 100&150 #0 fn;s tkrs gSaA iwoZ le; esa bl rjg
ds etnwjksa dks 10 fdyks vukt fn;k tkrk FkkA
t Qlyksa dh <qykbZ
Qly ds dVus ds ckn mls lqfufpr txg ij igqpkuk t:jh gksrk gSA Qlyksa dh
<qykbZ ds fy, {ks= ds d`kd vius ijEijkxr rkSj rjhds dks lkekU;r% viukrs gSAa Qlyksa
dh dVkbZ gksus ds ckn dVs gq, vuktksa ds cM+s&cM+s ^cks>s^ cuk;s tkrs gSa]tks fd mBk
dj <qykbZ fd;s tkrs gSAa ^cks>^s dk otu bruk j[kk tkrk gS rkfd mldks flj ij mBkdj
vklkuh ls fufpr txg ys tk;k tk ldsA bu ^cks>s^ dks ck/kus ds fy, iqjky ;k twV
dh jLlh dk iz;ksx fd;k tkrk gS] tks fd fdlku [kqn gh vius gkFkksa ls cukrk gSaA
dHkh&dHkkj Qlyksa ds <qykbZ ds fy, cSyxkM+h dk iz;ksx fd;k tkrk gSA Qly dks ?kj
ys tkus ls igys [ksr ls gh *ekudfl)* eafnj esa nsork dks p<k+us ds fy, Qly dks
[ksr esa gh vyx dj fy;k tkrk gSaA vyx fd;s bl Hkkx dks xko ds ikl fLFkr
^ekudfl) eafnj^ esa p<+krs gSaA budk ,slk ekuuk gS fd rS;kj Qly esa ls lcls igys
Hkxoku dks Hkksx yxk dj mudk vkHkkj izdV fd;k tkrk gS]a ftlls mudh d`ik ls Qly
ls mit vPNh jghA bl p<+kos ds lkFk gyok] iwjh Hkh cukdj p<+krs gS]a ftls ^jks izlkn^
Hkh dgk tkrk gSA
> Mke yxkuk [kfygku yxkuk
^Mke^ izk;% fdlku vius ?kj ds vkl&ikl ijrh vFkok [kkyh tehu ij rS;kj djrs
gSa] vxj [ksr ?kj ds ikl gSa rks ^Mke^ [kfygku [ksr ds ,d fljs ij yxk;k tkrk gSA
ftl Hkwfe ij [kfygku ^Mke^ yxkuk gS ml t+ehu dks lery dj feV~Vh o xkscj ls
ysi dj fy;k tkrk gSA ;g dk;Z izk;% efgyk;sa djrh gSaA blds ckn blds pkjksa vksj

tks[ku kekZ

473

>kfM+;ks ;k ckl ds ckM+ yxk dj ?ksj fn;k tkrk gS rkfd tkuoj Qly dk uqdlku
u dj ldsA ckM+ yxkus dk dk;Z iq:k djrs gSaA dVs gq, Qlyksa dks <qykbZ dj ^Mke^
[kfygku esa ykdj ,df=r fd;k tkrk gSA Qly ls /kku dks vyx djus dh izfdz;k
^Mke^ esa gh iwjh gks tkrh gSA blds fy, ^Mke^ esa Qlyksa ds ck>ksa dks [kksy dj ,d
txg pdzkdkj esa QSyk fn;k tkrk gSA bl QSyk;s gq, Qly ij cSyksa dks pdzkdj fnkk
esa ?kqekrs gSaA orZeku le; esa cSyksa ds LFkku ij VSDVj dk izpyu Hkh ns[kk tk ldrk
gSA bl fof/k dks ^nkSbZ^] ^eMkbZ^ dgk tkrk gSA bl izfdz;k ds ckn ^/kku^ vkSj ^iqjky^
dks vyx dj fy;k tkrk gSA /kku dks ,df=r dj [kfygku esa gh j[k fn;k tkrk gS]
tks fd ikq/ku ds [kkus ds pkjs ds dke vkrk gSA
vUu dk HkaMkj.k djuk
^Mke^ [kfygku esa ^nkSbZ^ djus ds ckn ,df=r /kku dks cksjksa ,oa ^iVksa^ esa Hkjdj mls
?kj esa cus cM+s&cM+s feV~Vh ds ^dksBjh^ esa j[k dj vUr esa HkaMkj.k dj fy;k tkrk gSaA
fdlh&fdlh ?kj esa ckl ls fufeZr ^dksBj^ Hkh ns[kus dks feyrk gSA
orZeku le; esa edku ds iDds cuus ds dkj.k bu dksBjksa dk Lo:i Hkh cny x;k gSA
vc ftuds edku iDds cu x, vUu dk HkaMkj.k Vhu ds cMs&cMs Meksa esa laxzfgr
djrs gSaA

xksj[kk d`kd lekt esa Je & foHkktu


bLekby nq[khZe 1893 dk er gS fd ekuo lH;rk dk fodkl Je foHkktu dh xfrkhyrk ds vk/kkj
ij le>k tk ldrk gSA l`fB ds izkjEHk ls gh ekuo esa Je foHkktu jgk gS] ifjokj dh mRifRr
Hkh iq:k vk/kkj le>kSrs dk lEcU/k gSA vko;drkvksa ds vuqlkj iwfrZ ds fosfkV lk/kuksa dh [kkst
gksrh gSA ;s lk/ku ftu foksk O;fDr;ksa ds vf/kdkj esa gksrs gSa] muds izfr dqN dRrZO; iw.kZ djus
iM+rs vkSj muds cnys esa vko;drk iwjh dh tkrh gSa [kku 1983A
xksj[kk d`kd lektksa esa Hkh vk;q rFkk fyax ds vk/kkj ij Je foHkktu ns[kus dks feyrk gSA bl
lekt esa efgyk ,oa iq:k lkFk & lkFk feydj d`fk dk;Z esa viuk ;ksxnku nsrs gSaA fQj Hkh [ksrh
ls lacf/kr dk;Z tSls ^Njuk^ cqvkbZ] xqM+kbZ o fuykbZ lksguh Qly dh dVkbZ] <qykbZ vkfn dk;kZsa
esa budh Hkkxhnkjh T;knk ik;h tkrh gSaA gkykfd d`fk ds dfBu dk;Z vHkh Hkh iq:k oxZ gh djrs
gSaA tSls gy pykuk] esaM+ cukuk] lery djuk vkfn dk;Z A
d`kd lekt ds os yksx tks d`fk dk;Z esa lfdz; Hkkx ugh ys ikrs gSa] tSls ifjokj ds cqtxZ o cPps
viuk lg;ksx vizR;{k :i ls nsrs gSAa buds ftEes d`f` k dk;Z ds nkSjku ?kj esa jg dj ?kj dh j[kokyh
djuk o lqqcg kke [ksrksa esa ?kwedj Qly dh ns[kHkky djuk gSA xksj[kk d`kd dkQh ifjJfed
gksrs gSaA ;g fdlh Hkh dk;Z dks djus ds fy;s fcYdqy yTtk vuqHko ugha djrsA xko esa vko;drk
iM+us ij nwljs ds [ksrksa esa dk;Z dj lg;ksx nsrs gSa] rFkk blds cnys esa os Hkh buds [ksrks es dk;Z
dj fn;k djrs gSaA

ijEijkxr d`fk midj.k


xzkV esa ijEijkxr midj.k dk bLrseky vkt Hkh ns[kus dks feyrk gSA orZeku esa vk/kqfud d`fk
;a=ks o midj.kksa dh miyC/krk ds ckctwn bl xko esa vkt Hkh d`fk dk;Z esa vius ijEijkxr midj.kksa
o ;a=ksa dk mi;ksx djrs gSaA ijUrq iwoZ ds le; esa ;g midj.k cktkj ls [kjhn dj yk;s tkrs gSaA
ijUrq iwoZ ds le; esa ;g midj.k o vkStkj ikl ds cqh xko ls bu midj.kksa dks cukus okys

474

ijEijkxr d`fk dk;Z..............ds foksk lanHkZ esa

leqnk; ftlesa dkfu ykSgkj o c<+bZ tkfr vkrs Fksa izkIr fd;s tkrs FksA xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV esa
,d Hkh ?kj dkfu tkfr dk ugh gSaA ml le; bl xko esa ttekuh izFkk dk izpyu ekStwn FkkA
xko ds o`) yksxksa ds vuqlkj cqh xko ds dkfu] c<+bZ o ukbZ vkfn tkfr;ksa ls xksj[kk dkjckjh
xzkV dk iqjkuk o ?kfuV lEca/k cuk gqvk Fkk tks vkt Hkh fo|eku gSA izkphu le; esa ttekuh
izFkk ds nkSjku d`kd d`fk ls lEcaf/kr midj.k bUgha leqnk;ksa ls cuok;k djrs FksA cnys
esa mUgsa N% eghus esa izfr tksM+k cSy ij ^iNM+h vukt^ dk chl fdyks 20 Kg /kku ;k xsgw fn;k
tkrk FkkA blh iz d kj ukbZ dks ik p fdyks /kku ;k xs g w iz f rokZ fn;k tkrk FkkA
xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV esa d`fk lacaf/kr dk;ksZa esa yk;s tkus okys ijEijkxr midj.k o vkStkj rFkk
dk;Z izd`frA

la[;k

ijEijkxr d`fk ;a=

fgUnh uke

dk;Z

gykl

gy

[ksr dh tqrkbZ ds fy,A

tqyk

gjh'k

tqrkbZ ds nkSjku cSy ds da/kks ij


j[kk tkrk gS tks gy ls tqM+k gqvk
gksrk gSA

>a>jk

ukSdhyk okyk

D;kjh cukus ds fy,A

njkrh

glqvk

Qly dh dVkbZ esaA

[kqjch

[kqjih

[ksrksa esa ?kkl fudkyus esaA

ikBy vklh

dVkj

ck<+ [kfygku cukus esaA

dksVyk dwVh

&

?kkl fudkyus esa

QMqvk

dqnky

feV~Vh dkVus esaA

es<+h

gsaxk

Hkwfe lery djus ds fy, VsDVjA

10

es<+k

gsaxk

Hkwfe lery djus ds fy, cSyk)krA

11

<s+dyh

<s+dyh

/kku ls pkoy fudkyus ds fy,A

12

pkcqd

pkcqd

cSy dks fu;a=.k djus ds fy,A

13

dksBj

dksByh@dksBj

vUu dk Hka.Mkj.k gsrqA

14

lCcy

[karh@ lCcy

CkkM+ yxkus esaA

15

xSarh

&

eV~Vh [kksnus ds fy,A

tks[ku kekZ

475

d`fk ds cnyrs Lo:i o buds thou ij iM+us okys izHkko


orZeku esa lalkj ifjorZu dh vksj vxzlj gks jgk gSA ;k ;g dgs fd lalkj esa ifjorZu dh ygj
lh vk xbZ gSA ;g ifjorZu ekuo thou ds lHkh i{kksa dks izHkkfor dj jgk gSaA thou ds fofHkUu
{ks=ksa esa vkS|ksfxd izxfr] HkkSfrdoknh&n`fVdks.k rFkk oSKkfud vkfodkjksa ds QyLo:i ,d cM+k
ifjorZu vkrk fn[kkbZ ns jgk gSA ifjorZu dh bl /kkjk dk izHkko vkS|ksfxd dsUnzksa vkSj uxjksa rd
gh lhfer ugha gS] vfirq xko dh laLd`fr yksxksa ds jgu&lgu ds rkSj&rjhds Hkh blls izHkkfor gks
jgs gSaA iwoZ le; esa xzkeh.k laLd`fr;k viuh fokskrkvksa ds dkj.k uxjh; thou Hkh izHkkfor djrh
FkhA ijUrq vkt izHkko foijhr fnkk esa cg jgk gSaA kgjh laLd`fr xzkeh.k O;fDr;ksa ds vkdkZ.k dk
dsUnz cu jgh gSaA Mk0 ,l0 lh0 nwcs us viuh iqLrd Hkkjrh; xko esa gSnjkckn ds xko lehjisV
dk mYys[k izLrqr fd;k gS fd ;g xzke gSnjkckn uxj ds laidZ esa vkus ds dkj.k xko ds fuokfl;ksa
ds vkpkj&fopkj] jgu&lgu] osk&Hkwkk] euksjatu ds lk/ku] fpfdRlk] lkekftd laxBu vkfn esa
O;kIr vUrj ik;k JhokLro] 1976A
Mk0 nwcs ds izLrqr mYys[k ds dFkkuqlkj xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV xko Hkh nsgjknwu kgj ds laidZ esa
vkus o rsth ls fodflr gks jgs kgjhdj.k ds izHkko ls bl xko ds izR;sd Hkkx dks izHkkfor fd;k
gSA pkgs og jgu & lgu gks] kknh&fookg gks] lekftd <kpk gks] ;k /kkfeZd thou vkfn bu lHkh
{ks=ksa esa cnyko yk fn;k gSA blds lkFk gh bl xko ds d`fk ls lacaf/kr dk;Z tSls tqrkbZ] ikS/k
yxkuk] ikS/k dk jksi.k] cht jksi.k] [ksr rS;kj djuk] flapkbZ] dVkbZ] [kkn Mkyuk] Mke yxkuk] nkSbZ
nobZ] vUu dk Hk.Mkj.k vkfn esa vius ijEijkxr Kku] fof/k rduhd dk iz;ksx dj jgs gSaA lkFk
gh lkFk ;gk ds d`kd vk/kqfud midj.kksa tSls VSDVj] pdzh;/kq.khZ ;a=] rosnkj gy] Fkzs kj vkfn iz;ksx
dj jgs gSAa vkt vk/kqfudrk vkSj kgjhdj.k ds nkSj esa tgk mRiknu {kerk dks cuk;s j[kuk o mlesa
o`f) djuk lgh ek;us esa ,d pqukSrhiw.kZ dk;Z gSA bl pqukSrh dks iwjk djus o yM+us ds fy, ;gk
ds d`kd oxZ viuh {kerk ds o fLFkfr ds vuqlkj orZeku le; dh vk/kqfud fof/k;ks o rduhdks
dks viuk jgs gSAa vkt vk/kqfudrk ds le; esa Hkh bu {ks=ksa esa d`fk ds dqN dk;kZas esa vHkh Hkh ijEijkxr
:i ls vius gkFk ls iwjk fd;k tkrk gSA
xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV dh d`fk O;oLFkk dks ns[kus ls ;g irk pyrk gS fd ;gk ijEijkxr d`fk esa
cnyko rks vk;k gS fdUrq blds ckotwn ;gk ds d`kd oxZ vius ijEijkxr midj.kksa ls d`fk dk;Z
djrs gSaA vkt Hkh ;g mUur rduhd dk iz;ksx dqN [kkl d`kd ifjokj rd lhfer gSa] D;ksafd
mUur rduhd dks gkfly djus ds fy, vkfFkZd fLFkfr etcwr gksuh pkfg,A xko ds d`fk dk;Z esa
ijEijkxr o vk/kqfud nksuksa rjg dh [ksrh ds midj.k ds dkj.k tgk budks mRiknu o`f) dk lq[k
izkIr gksrk gS ogha cktkj esa cus jgus esa enn feyrh gSaA xzke easa vkt [ksrksa dh tqrkbZ gy o cSy
dh lgk;rk ls dh tkrh gS] ogh cM+s d`kd ;g dk;Z VSSDVj ds ek/;e ls dj ysrs gSaA ;g orZeku
le; ls fgrdkjh Hkh gSaA ,d vksj tgk vk/kqfud midj.k ds iz;ksx ls budh vkfFkZd fLFkfr etcwr
gksrh gSA ogha nwljh vksj [ksrksa esa d`fk dk;Z ekhuksa ds }kjk djus ds dkj.k kkjhfjd Je dh vko;drk
cgqr gh de iM+rh gSA bl dk;Z ds fngkM+h d`kd [ksrksa ds vykok fdlh vU; jkstxkj esa :ph fn[kkus
yxrk gS] blds fy, ;s yksx vkl&ikl ds {ks=ksa o kgjksa dh vksj izokflr gksrs gSa] rFkk fngkM+h
etnwj cu dj jg tkrs gSaA d`fk {ks=ksa esa vk/kqfud o ekhuhdj.k ds mi;ksx djus ls ;gk ds d`kd
lekt dh vkfFkZd fLFkfr esa lq/kkj ns[kus dks feykrk gSA fdlh dh vkfFkZd fLFkfr esa lq/kkj gqvk gS
vFkok deh vkbZ gS] ;g ml le; rd LiV ugha fd;k tk ldrk] tc rd mu rF;ksa dks voyksfdr
u fd;k tk;A ftUgsa ge lkekU;r% vkadfyr dj ldrs gSAa tSls de ;k i;kZIr ek=k esa vko;drkvksa
dh iwfrZ] Hkkstu] oL= vkSj edku dh fLFkfr ikBd] 1986A

476

ijEijkxr d`fk dk;Z..............ds foksk lanHkZ esa

ftu yksxksa dh ekSfyd vko;drkvksa dh iwfrZ mfpr :i esa ughsa gks ikrh mUgsa xjhch dh js[kk ds
uhps ekuh tkrh gSaA v/;;u ds nkSjku ;g Hkh tkudkjh izkIr gqbZ fd {ks=ksa esa lHkh oxkZsa ds d`kdks
ds thou Lrj esa muds firk dh rqyuk esa o`f+) gqbZ gSaA
d`fk ds ijEijkxr dk;kZsa esa vk/kqfudrk vkus ls [ksrh lEcaf/kr dk;kZsa esa yxus okyk le; de gks
x;k A d`kd tks vk/kqfud Kku o fof/k;ksa ds iz;ksx dj jgs gSa muds ikl d`fk dk;Z djus ds ipkr~
cgqr le; fey tkrk gSA ftlds QyLo:i os eNyh ikyu] cr[k ikyu] eqxhZ ikyu vkfn vU;
rjg ds O;olkf;d dk;Z djus yxs gSaA ftlls budh vk; c<+us ls budk thou Lrj vkSj pk gks
jgk gSA

tks[ku kekZ

477

xzke ds yksx tks d`fk ls tqM+s gq, gSa os rks bl dk;Z ls tqM+s jguk pkgrs gSa] ij muds ckn vkus
okyh ih<+h ;k dgsa uo;qod oxZ dh :fp d`fk dk;Z esa u gksdj vU; jkstxkj dh vksj T;knk gSA
xksj[kk leqnk; ls lEcaf/kr gksus ds dkj.k budk >qdko QkSt lsuk dh ukSdjh dh vksj T;knk gSA
xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV esa yM+fd;ksa dh mPp fk{kk dk izfrkr yM+dks ls T;knk gSA bldk dkj.k
yM+dks dk flQZ ,d y{;] QkSt dh ukSdjh bl dkj.k os mPp fk{kk esa :fp ugh fn[kk ikrsA
xzkeh.k Hkkjr ds yksxksa dk thou eq[; :i ls d`fk ij gh fuHkZj gSa] blfy, d`fk dh O;oLFkk esa
tc Hkh dksbZ ifjorZu gksrk gS rks mlls xzkeh.k vkfFkZd vkSj lkekftd thou vo; izHkkfor gksrk gSA

fu"dkZ

xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV esa ,d foy{k.krk ;g Hkh ns[kus dks feyrh gS dh vc xzeh.k ifjokj Hkkstu
rFkk oL= ds ekeys esa uxjh; ifjokjksa dk vuqlj.k djus yxs gSaA ;g LiV :i ls ns[kk x;k gSa
fd vc izk;% lHkh ifjokj ds yksx lqcg & kke pk; vo; ihrs gSa rFkk ftudh vkfFkZd fLFkfr
vPNh gksrh gSa os pk; ds lkFk ukrk Hkh djrs gSaA ;s vius vfrfFk;ksa dks Hkh xqM+ vFkok kjcr ds
LFkku ij pk; dkWQh fiykrs gSaA xzkeh.k {ks= esa vc vfrfFk;ksa dks xqM+ f[kykdj ikuh fiykuk ;k
kjcr fiykuk fuEu vkfFkZd fLFkfr rFkk fiNM+siu dk lwpd ekuk tkus yxkk gS] tcfd pk; fiykuk
izxfrkhyrk vkSj mPp vkfFkZd fLFkfr dk izzrhd ekuk tkrk gS ikBd] 1986A

xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV xksj[kk ckgqY; leqnk; okyk xzke gS tks fd nsgjknwu ftys ds lgliqj CykWd
ds vUrxZr vkrk gSA bl xzke ds vf/kdkak yksx Hkkjrh; QkSt esa viuh lsok ns pqds gSa] vkSj orZeku
esa mudh vxyh ih<+h vFkkZr~ muds csVs QkSt esa nsk dh lsok dj jgs gSaA xksj[kk dkjckjh xzke dk
fuekZ.k Hkw&nku fd;s x, Hkwfe ij gqvk gSaA blfy, bl xzke dks ^xzkV* dgrs gSaA

edku ds {ks= esa Hkh bl xko esa ifjorZu LiV :i ls ns[kus dks feyrk gSA xzke ds o`+) o iqjkus
yksxksa ls ckr dj ;g tkudkjh izkIr dh xbZ fd nl lky igys xko esa iDds edkuksa dh la[;k
cgqr de Fkh tSls&tSls yksxksa dh vkfFkZd Lrj esa lq/kkj vk;k oSls&oSls yksx kgjh rkSj ij iDdh
bZaV] lhesUV rFkk lfj;k dk iz;ksx dj edku cukuss yxsA

;gk ds d`kd lekt dks d`fk dk;Z esa ijEijkxr dk;ksZ esa ijEijkxr Kku] fof/k;ksa ,oa rduhfd ds
lkFk&lkFk vk/kqfud rduhfd dk iz;ksx djrs ns[kk x;k gSA gkykfd vk/kqfud fof/k;ksa ,oa rduhdksa
dk bLrseky vkfFkZd :i ls etcwr d`kd oxksZ rd gh lhfer gSA ;gk le;kuqlkj tSls&tSls d`kd
lekt ds yksxksa ds thou Lrj esa o`f} gks jgh gS] oSls&oSls ;g yksx vk/kqfud rduhdksa ,oa midj.kksa
dk bLrseky dj jgs gSAa d`fk dk;Z esa ifjokj ds lHkh lnL; vius Lrj ls Je&foHkktu ds vUrxZr
viuk&viuk lg;ksx nsrs gSaA

xksj[kk dkjckjh xzkV ds L=h ,oa iq:kksa ds oL=ksa esa Hkh vk/kqfudrk dk izHkko iM+k gSA nsgjknwu kgj
ds rsth ls cnyrs ifjosk dk vlj bl {ks= ds xzkeh.k yksxksa ds oL= igukos ds rkSj&rjhdksa esa Hkh
ns[kus dks feykA gkykafd vHkh Hkh xzke dss o`+) iq:k o efgyk,a vius ijaijkxr osk&Hkwkk igus ns[ks
tk ldrs gSaA
u, midj.k ds iz;ksx ls buds thou ij iM+us okys izHkko ds ckjs esa d`kd lekt ds yksxksa ls
ifjppkZ djus ds ckn tks rF; mHkj dj lkeus vk;s] og cgqr gh lkspuh; FkkA tgk xzke ds o`+)
o iqjkus yksxksa dk ekuuk Fkk fd bl ubZ rduhfd ls Qk;nk rks gS] ysfdu blds ckjs esa tkudkjh
dqN yksxksa rd gh lhfer gSaA tks d`kd fuEu vkfFkZd Lrj ds gSa] os bldks iz;ksx essa ugha yk ldrs
rFkk os mRiknu esa fiNM+ tkrs gSaA yksxksa dk ekuuk gSa fd ubZ rduhd ls le; vkSj Je nksuksa dh
cpr gksrh gSa] ysfdu blls csjkstxkjh Hkh c<+h gSA yksx jkstxkj dh rykk esa ckgj ds {ks=ks esa tk
jgs gSa] ftlls ifjokjksa dk fo?kVu gks jgk gSA
tSfod [ksrh bl xzke dh lcls cM+h [kkfl;r gSA bl xzke esa fiNysa ikp okkZsa ls vf/kdkak d`kd
ifjokjks }kjk tSfod [ksrh dh tk jgh gS] bl dkj.k ;gk ds d`kd oxksZ esa jklk;fud [kknksa ij
fuHkZjrk de gqbZ gSA tgk tSfod [ksrh djus ls bl {ks= ds d`fk mRiknu esa o`f) gqbZ lkFk gh lkFk
Hkwfe dh mitk {kerk esa o`f) gksrh gSA ;gk ds d`kd oxZ ls ckr djus ij ;g yxk fd tSfod
[ksrh djus ls [ksr o Qly nksuksa dh fLFkfr esa lq/kkj gqvk gSaA ;gk ds fdlkuksa us /khjs&/khjs bl
izdkj dh [ksrh dks djuk izkjEHk dj fn;k gSA le;kuqlkj bl rjg dh [ksrh djus okys yksxksa dh
la[;k Hkh c<+ jgh gSA xko esa cdk;nk ,d lfefr Hkh cuh gqbZ gSa] tks bl tSfod [ksrh ds ckjs esa
fdlkuksa dks tkx:d o izfkf{kr djrs gSaA

bl xzke es d`kd lektks ds fHk&fHk Lrjksa dks ns[kk tk ldrk gS] ftlesa cM+s Hkwfe/kkjh] e/;e
Hkwfe/kkjh] fuEu Hkwfe/kkjh ,oa Hkwfeghu d`kd kkfey gSaA

xzke ds cM+s d`kd vius miyC/k vk/kqfud d`fk izkS|ksfxdh tSls] V~;wcosy] VSDVj] Vkyh] Fkszkj] ifEiax
lsV vkfn dk iz;ksx viuh vk; esa o`f} gsrq O;kikfjd ms; ls djrs gSaA bldk ifj.kke ;g gqvk
fd bl Js.kh ds d`kdks us d`fk ds vkykok vU; jkstxkj tSls eNyh ikyu] eqxhZ ikyu] ck[k ikyu
vkfn kq: dj fn;s gSaA
xko esa tgk iwoZ le; esa izpfyr ttekuh izFkk ds vUrxZr vkus okyh tkfr;k viuh lsok ds cnys
dqN fufpr fu/kkZfjr vukt ;k oLrq, ysrh FkhA ogha orZeku le; esa ;g tkfr;k vukt ;k oLrqvksa
ds LFkku ij uxn :i;s ysuk gh Js;Ldj le>rh gSaA
;gk ds cM+s & cM+s d`kd /kku dh iSnkokj O;olkf;d :i ls djrs gSAa budk iatkc] pM+hx<+] gfj;k.kk
vkfn jkT;ksa ds pkoy cukus okyh cM+h&cM+h dEiuh;ksa ls vuqca/k jgrk gSaA dEifu;k bUgsa /kku ds
mke dksfV ds cht miyC/k djkrh gSa] ckn esa bu rS;kj Qlyksa dks os d`kd ls ,d fufpr ewY;
ij [kjhn ysrs gSaA bl dkj.k ;gk iSnk gksus okyh mke dksfV dk pkoy LFkkuh; yksxksa ,oa LFkkuh;
cktkj Lrj ij tYnh ugha fey ikrkA
d`fk dk;Z o Qly ifjorZu dh izFkk ekuo }kjk gtkjksa lkyksa ls lH;rk dh kq:vkr ls gh viuk;h
tk jgh gSaSA orZeku le; esa vk/kqfudrk o ekhuhdj.k ds izHkko ls mRiknu dk;Z gks jgk gSA bl
dkj.k fdlku pkg dj Hkh orZeku le; esa bu vk/kqfud midj.kksa ls vNwrk ugha jg ldrk gSA
bl dkj.k xzke ds d`kd oxksZ dh vkfFkZd ,oa lkekftd Lrjksas esa lq/kkj vk;k gS] lkFk gh lkFk thou
Lrj Hkh pk gqvk gSA

478

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (479-495), 2012-2013

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village


(with special reference to Gurkha community)
Karuna Shankar Pandey1

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
Field work is the soul of Social Anthropology. As, a social anthropologist always seeks
to go to field to collect the primary data. Regarding this, being a social anthropologist I
am very thankful to Dr. V. Kaul (Superintending Anthropologist (P) and Head of Office,
North-west Regional Center, Anthropological Survey of India) who gave me such an
opportunity for doing field work at Karbary Grant village. It was his kind approval and
support that I could complete my field work on Gurkha Community successfully. In
this order I am very grateful to Dr. S. A. Azez Saheb Superintending Anthropologist(C)
who gave me valuable and critical comments for improving the report. Subsequently, I
am very grateful to Dr. Harashawaradhana and Dr. Rizvi (both Anthropologist, Physical
Anthropology) under whose guidance I completed this field work. Along with these
venerables, I also have respect to Dr. J. Nayak whose kind cooperation and suggestions
filled the gap of problems.
Eventually I have to thank all my team mates whose cooperation was required in field
and they helped as required. At last, I am very thankful to drivers for their devotion that
I could reach within time daily to the field.
Finally, I thank all my respondents who gave their valuable time to me for discussion
related to my topic.
Religion differs from the other aspects of social life because it is connected not only with
system of belief and action but also with mode of expression of both of these components.
Moreover, its systems of action and belief are directed towards the entities, the very
existence of which is not open to direct observation (Mair Lucy; 1965: An Introduction
to social Anthropology).
Gurkhas are very well known as soldiers and commonly they have their origin in present
Nepal. The name "Gurkha" comes from the hill town of Gurkha from which the Nepalese
kingdom had expanded. The fact of their immigration to present India is that they came
as soldier of Prithvi Narayan Shah the contemporary king of Gurkhas as well as Nepal

1Anthropological Survey of India, NWRC, Dehradun, Uttrakhand.

480

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

who proceeded towards Kumaon, and Garhwal valleys and passing through the Shimla
Hill States they dominated the Kangra valley also during last decade of 18th century.
Consequently Gurkha soldiers won Dehradun in October 1803 and army came to Dehradun
settled themselves near Indo-Nepal border including present Dehradun. But their rapid
migration came into existence during British period itself. During the rule of British
government in India they were in demand as soldier by the then government. Presently,
they have become permanent citizens of India. Here, it is important to clear that their
migration occurred not only during British period but it was a continuous process since
the ancient time.
In Dehradun (Uttarakhand), the population density of Gurkha is very much. Now they
have acquired all the rights provided to any Indian citizen. It means they have been
completely Indianized. They started to make marital relations with the Garhwali. Few
years ago, Gurkhas were facing a very drastic problem of resistance from the Garhwali
community, because they were from other community and nation. But later on it was
solved and now they have frequent marital relations among them.
Basically, they are Hindu by religion and polytheist like Indian Hindus. Like Hindus of
India they celebrate Dipawali, Holi, Dussehra, etc. They are from Vaishanava Cult but
they worship Lord Shiva also. Even after 200 years of their migration, they talk in their
own traditional language that is Nepali that has been modified by Indianization of Gurkhas.
Generally, they use to talk in Nepali among themselves. But when they talk with others
they talk in Hindi or Garhwali.
They generally prefer arranged marriage but now preferential marriages have been
prevalent among them. They have no caste bar and allow inter caste marriage. They
haveaffinal relations with the Garhwali also. There are some cases of love marriage with
the Muslim community. Though, it is not very common and they do not accept it readily.
Field area at a glance: - Field area Karbary Grant selected for study is a village of Sahaspur
Block in Dehradun district. It is about 24 km from Dehradun city and located on DehradunShimla Bypass. This village is surrounded by a very dense jungle from three directions.
Maximum households are engaging in agricultural practices as their primary occupation.
Some are daily laborers who work in nearby villages.
The village is multi-ethnic. Mainly this village is divided into two parts one represents
Gurkha community and the other Garhwali community. One part is called Gurkha Karbary
Grant and the other is called Garhwali Karbary grant. One family from Panjabi community
also lives in Gurkhali part of Karbary grant. On Dehradun- Shimla Bypass, families from
some other communities also live. There are some Muslims families also. But objective
of my study was to study the Gurkha community hence, researcher covered only Gurkha
community.
In this village, there are 104 households of Gurkha community and their population is
529. There is one family from Garhwali community also in the Karbary Grant but now
it has adopted Gurkhali culture and represents themselves as Gurkha after the marriage
with a Gurkhali girl long ago. In spite of co-existence with other communities even after
a period of about 200 years, they have their own identity. Elders know Nepali well while
younger population uses mixed Nepali and Hindi languages. They have short stature and
fair complexion as they belong to Mongolian race.

Karuna Shankar Pandey

481

Objectives: - Main objectives of the study were


1. To know the presence and the structure of Sacred Complex in this village.
2. To find out co-existence of little traditions with great traditions.
3. To know why and how a community adopts the culture of another community
in religious context is explained in the context of religious acculturation.
4. To know how the religious belief system is changing and why?
5. To know that these changes are giving new form to religion or rising/declining
their belief system in religion.
6. To know the celebration and festivals observed by them.
Hypotheses: - The researcher formulated very simple hypothesis to study Gurkha
community and the sacred complex concept.
1. That the little and great traditions exists together.
2. That whether young generation is more casual towards the belief in religion.
They do not like to give time to worship or to such activities as in the present
scenario of complex economy, they are more oriented to attain good economic
opportunities for future rather than to focus on religious belief system.
3. That the elders also could not give time to religious performances due to their
own busy schedule.
4. That females are more religious in comparison to males.
5. That the all the elements of sacred complex is necessarily present in the set
up of sacred complex.
Methodology: - Firstly, researcher has consulted the secondary sources to know the
Gurkha community. In field, researcher has selected Gurkha community as the sample
population. Researcher was interested to know how the changes in belief system occur
and what the responsible factors that govern it are. Hence, respondents were chosen from
three different age groups of both the genders. Five respondents from each gender were
selected and thus, 10 respondents from each age group. The respondents were from three
age groups: firstly those whose age lies between 18 to 30 years, second of the age between
31 to 50 and last having the age above 50 years from the both the genders. Such a
purposive sampling was planned to achieve the aim of covering respondents from all the
age groups. The respondents were classified into three age groups keeping in view that
generally at any time three generations are most likely to live together in any communitys
social set-up. For the compliance of the objectives a set of questions i.e. interview schedule
was prepared. With the help of this 30 respondents were interviewed. Group discussion
was also applied at two sacred centers viz., Barah Bhagwan Temple and Manak Siddha
Baba temple.
Non- participant observervation was also exercised during Sansari Devi Pooja, a little
tradition ceremony in the village.

482

Photography and Videography method was also used to record a documentary film and
photographs of religious aspect of Gurkha life are also collected with the cooperation of
team members.
Definition of Sacred Complex: Sacred complex which was developed by Prof. L. P.
Vidyarthi during his doctoral research work in Hindu Gaya during 1956- 1961(Vidyarthi:
Sacred Complex of Hindu Gaya, 1961) is the union of three elements viz. Sacred
Geography, Sacred Performances and Sacred Specialists. According to L. P. Vidyarthi,
Sacred Geography is an area which is considered as holy. A sacred geography is further
divided into several parts like in Sacred Zone then in Sacred Segment and then Sacred
Cluster and at last in Sacred Centers. Sacred center is unit of sacred geography. Sacred
Centers are most important because rites and rituals are performed here. It may be a
sacred tree, a temple, a deity, a sacred river, etc. A sacred center is a place where sacred
specialists do sacred performances. Sacred Performances are the set of activities (rituals
and rites) which are performed by sacred specialists at different sacred centers. Sacred
specialists are those who have good knowledge and experience regarding sacred
performances at any particular sacred center. Sacred specialists work also as the religious
advisers for their community members. They help the worshippers and pilgrims in sacred
performances during several occasions.
In mid 20th century, after the introduction of the concept Sacred Complex in Indian
Anthropology to study a civilization in totality a new trend came into existence in
Anthropological studies to study the religious centers keeping in center the concept Sacred
Complex. Following this concept several studies were done at different sacred centers
by different scholars. Some studies done applying the concept of Sacred Complex are
given in Table No. 1

Table No. 1: List of work done on Sacred Complex in India and Nepal
Sl.No.

Name of Title

1.
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15

Holy Circuit of Nimsar


Temple organization in Goa.
Organization of Ascetics in Kashi
Sacred Complex of Janakpur
Sacred Complex of Ratanpur
Rajgir
Rameshwaram and Dwarika
Ayodhya and Puri
Sacred Complex of Badrinath
Sacred Complex of Kashi
Lingraj Temple: Its structure and change
Chamundeshwari Temple in Mysore
Tarkeshwari Temple in West Bengal
Tirmal- Triputi Temple in Andhra Pradesh
Sri Sailam: A Shaivite Pilgrimage center,
Andhra Pradesh
Panchkosi Yatra: A Sub- Regional Pilgrimage
of Southern Chhatisgarh, India
History, Patronage and Social organization of a
Sakta Pilgrimage centre in India:
A case study of Kamakhya Temple of Assam
Sacred Complex of Swayambhunath

16
17

18

Name of Scholar
Saraswati
Saraswati
B. N. Saraswati & Sujit Sinha
M. Jha
M. Jha
Students from Ranchi University

Dinesh Kumar
Vidyarthi, Saraswati and Jha
Mahapatra
Morab and Goswami
Chakravarti
V. N. Reddy and M. Reddy
S. Vijay Kumar and M. Suryanarayan

483

Karuna Shankar Pandey

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

Year
1962
1978
1971
1967
1972
1973, 74
1992
1978
1972
1975
1974
1991
1991

Edward J. Jay

1991

M.Jha

1991

A. P. Rajauri*

1988

Sl.No.
19
20
21
22

Name of Title

Name of Scholar

Sacred Complex, Study of LumbiniKapilvastu in Nepal


Sacred Complex of Baidyanath
Sacred Complex of Pashupatinath
Sacred Complex of Prayag

P. R. Koirala*
S. Narayan
T. R.Shrestha
Prof. D. P. Dubey

Year

1972
1973

* Nepali Anthropologists who did their work on Sacred Complex.

Sacred Complex concept attracted several scholars and they applied the concept to all
the sacred centers and have been inseparable part of Indian Anthropology focusing on
religious study. Researcher has also tried to utilize the tools and techniques of this concept
to fetch on the most of the religious life in this village. When the researcher compares it
with Sacred City, Gaya (where researcher is doing his D. Phil. research work as a restudy
of sacred complex for the fulfillment of his doctoral degree he found that the religious
complexity of this village is very much simple but the existence of all the elements of
sacred complex is here.
Sacred Complex of Karbary Grant Village: - Sacred Complex of Karbary Grant village
can be divided into three divisions viz. Sansari Devi (Mata), Manak Siddha Baba temple
and Barah Bhagwan Temple. As the village is a small unit consists of only three centers
and hence, it is not possible to divide the sacred geography into sacred zone, sacred
segments and sacred clusters.
There are two main temples in the village; one is the temple of Barah Bhagwan and other
one of Manak Siddha Baba. Barah Bhagwan temple is visited by all Gurkhali whereas
later is visited not only by other communities but by local Muslims also. Some other
sacred centers are Holy teak tree, holy river Yamuna.
1. Sacred Complex of Sansari Devi (Mata)Puja: - Historically Gurkhas were
Buddhists. But when they came in contact with Hindu Nepali Population due
to disease smallpox which had attacked over the population of Gurkha they
started to worship Goddess Shitala (Swambhoonath Temple; Kathmandu) and
thus they adopted some Hindu religious practices and this temple became the
part of life for both the religions (Northey and Morris, 1974). Gurkha became
Hinduized completely when they came in contact with Hindu shelters during
the incursion of Turka in India. Above all these changes, they were very different
from Indian Hindus. But when they came to India they adopted the ideologies
and practices of Indian Hindu Religion.
Belief in local deity is very common in Indian Hindu culture. For welfare of community
and village, villagers organize some kind of worship which is limited to that village only
where it is performed. Sansari Devi puja is such a worship of local deity which is done
by Gurkha of Karbary Grant. Sansari term is feminine form of the Hindi word Sansar
which means world. Therefore Sansari Puja refers to the worship of goddess of the world.
Sacred Holy Teak trees: There is couple of teak trees in the jungle, in the vicinity of the
village, which are considered sacred by the natives. Beneath the trees the place is used
for worshipping the deity Sansari Devi. This place is cleaned on the day of worship
of Sansari Devi.

484

Sacred River Yamuna: This is situated at outside of the village Karbary grant.
After the Sansari Devi ritual performance the palanquin is left in the flow of
river Yamuna for the next village.
Religious belief system of Gurkhali community can be seen in different festivals.
It becomes more clear when one looks at this special worship. This is a purposive
worship of village goddess. Each member from Gurkhali community of this
village takes part in the Sansari Devi Puja (worship). This worship is done to
please goddess Sansari to avoid epidemic attack on the villagers. The time of
starting of this worship is not very clear. It is said that once a large number of
people of this community died due to epidemic. This was only known reason
of starting this ritual to please Sansari Devi. Now it has been tradition and
inseparable part of the villagers life. It is celebrated on the Saturday proceeding
to Chaitra Navaratra each year.
It is very interesting and very long process. It takes a whole day in celebration.
This festival is being participated by Gurkhali of this village only. Preparation
for this celebration is started about 15 days prior to the day of worship. Each
family is imposed for equal contribution for the worship. Contributions are
collected by a team constituted by village headman (this village head man is
elected by Gurkhali community traditionally and not through present democratic
election system). Each family is expected to donate what is decided in common
meeting. But contribution is not strictly imposed to any household. It was told
that till the date of today (the day when Sansari Devi worship was going on
during this research work) no such case was found in the village either to ignore
or deny the donation.
In the headship of Headman of village, a committee is organized apart from the
caste identification, and duties are announced in a common meeting of Gurkhali
community and a notice is tagged on notice board in the village Panchayati
Bhawan showing the duties and responsibilities of the concerned people. Regarding
this, nine committees are being constituted.

485

Karuna Shankar Pandey

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

The reason behind the constitution of such committees is done to make clarity in
responsibilities but members are not limited to their committees only but they are also
expected to be cooperative with other groups also. But on the day of celebration they
come together to participate jointly. On the day of celebration, each member of this
community from this village starts to get together at one end of village in morning.
The process of the celebration is very complex. It starts with the building of a palanquin.
This palanquin is built by concerned committee members. This is made with the help of
bamboo strips, woods, papers and cloths of red-brown color. After the construction of the
palanquin, an idol of Ma Sansari Devi made up of wheat flours is posited in palanquin
and with enchanting of hymns the ceremony of imparting life in the idol is completed.
Priest is called from other village if not available in the village. But generally they have
their own priest in the village. Present priest of the village is from Nepal but he has
completed his religious study from Hardwar. He is not from Gurkha community but
Brahmin by caste. He performs sacred duties not only for Gurkha but also goes to city
areas in the search of job.
In case of Sansari Devi also coexistence of both the traditions is visible. In palanquin
traditionally only the idol of Sansari Devi made up of flour was kept but now they keep
some photographs of some other goddesses viz. Durga, Laxmi, etc, also. They decorate
this palanquin with different electrical items. Thus, they are adopting great tradition in
this celebration also.
A notice (Translated into English by the researcher) representing responsibilities of
members during Sansari Devi Worship
Sl. No.

Name of the Sacred Specialists

Responsibilities

1.

Chandra Singh Gurung

2.

Shamsher Singh Chhetri

3.

Manoj Kumar Mall

4.

Sunil Thakur

1. Pujari: This is very important committee. This committee purchases the articles/
items related to worship and also provide help to priest in imparting life in the
idol of Sansari Devi.

5.

Surendra Gurung

6.

Rahul Chhetri

7.

Surendra Gurung

To take care the Goat

2. Purchasing committee: This committee purchases the goat.

8.

Nakta Bahadur Thapa

To slaughter of the Goat

3. Committee for caring of: This committee cares of the goat by proving food
and security.

9.

Devendra Chhetri

10.

Setu Rana

4. Committee for sacrificing the goat.

11.

Manoj Kumar Mall

5. Committee for construction of palanquin.

12.

Nat Bahadur Gurung

13.

Ram Kishan Sahi

6. Committee to make the temple clean.

14.

Sudhir Thakur

7. Committee for cooking the Prasad.

15.

Sudhis Lala

8. Committee for collection the community pots.

16.

Surendra Gurung

9. Committee for severing into pieces the meat.

17.

Sunil Thakur

Worship
To purchase Goat

To Construct and prepare the Palanquin

To clean of the temple

486

Karuna Shankar Pandey

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

Sl. No.

Name of the Sacred Specialists

18.

Sachin and pary

19.

Ashok Thapa

20.

Rahul Chhetri

21.

Ram Kihsn Shahi

22.

Deepak Thapa

23.

Shamsher Thapa

24.

Nim Bahadur Gurung

25.

Sudhir Thakur

26.

Sumit

27.

Vipin

28.

Miridul

29.

Sachin

30.

Tapan

31.

Rakku

32.

Vinay

33.

Nakta Bahadur Thapa

34.

Rudra Bahadur Khatri

35.

Devendra Chhetri

36.

Sachin

37.

Sunil Thakur

38.

Sumit

39.

Vipinn

40.

Mridul

41.

Tapan

42.

Rakku and Party

43.

Santosh Thapa

44.

Sandeep Thapa

Responsibilities

To Distribute the Prasad

To carry and to collect the pots

To make the pieces of Goat

After imparting the life in the idol of Goddess Sansari, three pots (Lota) of copper is
decorated with leaves of mango and flower and filled with water. With imparting life in
the idol people shout slogans in the name of Sansari Devi. After the completion of this,
three girls come to take three sacred water pots each on ones head. Girls may be from
any family regardless the caste (the selection of the girls are not done already but on spot
girls are called even any girl may take the sacred pot without calling for). Following those,
four people give their shoulders to lift up palanquin which is followed by some drummers
also. Now gradually this procession move forward from one end of the village to another.
People from each household wait for this palanquin at their doors. When the palanquin
reaches their door, it is welcomed and females do the ceremony of Arti (moving a lighted
lamp in circular path before the goddess). The palanquin moves very slowly in the village
with the shouting of names of Sansari Devi ki Jai and takes stop at each door in the
Gurkha hamlet. People from each household worship for palanquin and pay their reverences
with Arti and after this they join the procession as the member of this splendid and sacred

487

journey. In this way the palanquin leads from one end to the other end of the village. This
journey ends in jungle at sacred groves (Teak tree) to perform puja at its root. Every year
this journey ends at the same sacred groves. Thus, the root of these sacred groves has
become a part of this traditional ceremony.
Now worship of the goddess is started under the teak tree. The place where palanquin
is put is made very clean and it is polished with mud and cow dung. Same process is done
in the root of sacred groves, the Teak tree. A small place is made for worship in root of
the teak tree. This place is decorated with the help of sacred water pots carried by three
girls (Kalash) and one Kalash is put with a coconut over it and all the Kalash are occupied
with water and mango leaves. Two attractive rangolis (decorative figurines) are also made
with wheat flour of different colors. A special pot (Thali) is prepared for worship and
decorated with sacred rice (Achhat), Turmeric powder, Curd, Sandal Powder, Doob (a
sacred grass for Hindus), etc and put it in the middle of one rangoli. After the complete
preparation of puja, four to five persons (not fixed) from the village participate in worship
(here the people who will participate in the fire sacrifice are decided already but anyone
can participate in the sacrifice performance from the village of Gurkhali community).
Priest enchants hymns and calls all the gods and goddesses on this occasion in Sanskirit.
After completion of a single hymn sacred performance of sacrificing the sacred items
viz. water, rice, (Achhat), fire is done by the participants. Sacrifice of all the sacred items
is done only by a single participant sitting near the sacrifice spot whereas others keep on
touching the body of sacrificer during the whole process of worship. During this worship,
name of Sansari Devi is also taken several times with other gods and goddesses. This
worship process takes about 1 and 1/2 hours.
During this worship some villagers are engaged in cooking Rota (a very form of bread
made up of flour). This is distributed as Prasad after completion of worship among the
Gurkhali community members. After the completion of this worship a group of youngsters
carry the palanquin on their shoulders and go to float the palanquin in the flow of Sacred
River Yamuna. Remaining villagers stay in jungle for other sacred performances. In past
the palanquin was left at the border of next village and people of next village waited for
this palanquin and then they do same process as done by Gurkhali community. It was so
done because this celebration was done to check the impact of epidemic disease on the
population. It is believed that all the diseases of the village are indulged in the palanquin
during the circumambulation in the village. This is the reason why Palanquin is taken to
each door in the village from one end to another. Same performances were done by the
neighbor villages to dispose the impact of diseases very far from the village limit. But
presently Karbary grant villagers (Gurkhali) celebrate this occasion only and they leave
palanquin in Yamuna River. Now a couple of pigeon is left free. This is done as a symbol
of peace from very immemorial time. The pots (Lota) after the completion of worship
are donated to the priest the sacred specialist.
Now the Gurkhali wait for their share of Parasad. As Prasad, very big bread called
Rota is cooked and divided into equal shares in same number as per the numbers of
households are Gurkhali hamlet. This distribution is followed by sacrifice of a Male-goat.
The pieces of the meat of goat are also distributed equally into same number as per the
number of households is in the Gurkha Hamlet. After the distribution of the Prasad people

488

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

Karuna Shankar Pandey

489

cannot go to their home with meat. They have to cook the meat outside the village. On
this occasion, Gurkhali call their relatives also. Each household cooks meat separately.
They purchase more meat from market as per family requirement but it cannot be added
with Prasad. Till the completion of this Puja, they cannot have food-intake. Thus, they
cook their food this day as a celebration with relatives. In the evening they return to their
homes. Almost all Gurkhali are non- vegetarian but some are vegetarian. Such Gurkhali
family or members give their Prasad to others of their community member.

Presently the temple is situated at the border of Jungle and it has taken the complex form
with the several other gods temple in comparison to the original one. In the campus of
the new temple (an outline is given in the appendices of this report), there is a temple
of Lord Shiva, Lord Narshingha, and a Shivalinga. There is a sacrifice hole in the campus
of this temple also. Besides these, there is a Dhuni (a very big Homalaya) where sacred
woods and materials continuously burn.

Generally, Brahmins do the sacred performances for their society but in Gurkha community
Gurkha Brahmins do not participate in such activities even there are two families of Brahmins
in Gurkhali hamlet. Thus, though there is no specific priest in the village from Gurkhali
ethnic group. They fulfill their requirement by calling priest from nearby villages. Presently,
there is a priest who is living in the village in a rented house. He is basically from Nepal
but has acquired religious knowledge in Hardwar (Hardwar is famous and well known for
centers of religious teachings for the Hindus). He works as priest for the villagers and also
goes to Dehradun city in search of priesthood job. He works as priest during marriage
ceremony in the village and outside the village also. Villagers are free to call any other
priest from other village if require instead of a priest in the village. But they prefer to the
priest available in the village.

At Manak Siddha Baba temple, treacle (jiggery) is considered as sacred thing and
traditionally it is offered to Manak Siddha Baba, and since it is limited to this sacred
center and not offered commonly to any sacred center hence it is a feature of little tradition.
But, since, devotees are in contact with other religious centers also; hence presently they
offer other sacred things like milk and other sweets of milk but rarely. Later has been
great tradition because it is widespread. Thus, there is coexistence of both the traditions.

1. Sacred Complex of Manak Siddha Baba Temple: - This is very ancient temple and
according to the locals it is a Siddha (Proved) place. It is believed that Manak Baba had
four brothers and all were saints. They were pious persons of Lord Shiva. They took trance
(Samadhi) at the place of their meditation in the four directions of district Dehradun and
all these sites are popular today as Siddha Peetha. Siddha means proved and Peetha is
generally used for a place in the religious context. It is one of the four Siddha Peeth situated
in or nearby Dehradun. The glory of this temple is very far away. In winter very few pilgrims
come to visit this sacred center but in summer the number of pilgrims increases to somewhat
100 150 daily sometimes 500 per day. During summer, on each Sunday a sacred feast is
organized in the campus of this temple. This is organized by the locals. For this collaborative
organization, locals contribute work and wealth for the arrangement of required materials.

This temple is under the supervision of villagers of Karbary Grant. Previously, this temple
was under the jurisdiction of the saints of this temple but as about three generations ago,
a saint tried to transfer the property to his son. When villagers came to know about this
activity, they decided to constitute a committee. In beginning, Garhwali were the only
members but later on Gurkhali were also started to become the member of this committee.
Thus, presently it has been under supervision of both the communities. Presently, there
is a President, a Secretary, a Treasurer and six other members in this committee.
This temple is visited by all the religious people but Muslims come furtively as idol
worship is not permitted in Islam religion. From March to August, pilgrims come in larger
number and they organize feast. Before organization of the feast, it is required to take
the permission from the chairman of the temple committee. This rule is made so that
cleanness in the temple campus can be ascertained.

Another sacred specialist is priest of Manak Siddha Baba Mandir. He has only responsibility
to watch over the temple and manage the rituals in the temple time to time. He does not
do door to door priest-hood but he looks after only the Manak Siddha Baba temple. There
is a condition for being priest of the Manak Siddha Baba Temple that he should not be
married.

Annually, a feast is organized by the temple management on any Sunday in May, generally
on first Sunday. The decision on feast is taken in a common meeting generally held in
the last week of April. For it, major contribution is done by the villagers of Karbary Grant
and management is done by the priest of the temple but people from outside village can
also contribute in this feast and they do in a great number. As contribution, devout give
sweet made of sugarcane, locally called Gur (Jiggery), milk, cereals, etc. In this temple
Gur (Jiggery), is reputedly offered.

Original Sacred Center of Manak Siddha Baba Temple: The original place of this temple
(shown in the picture given above) is about 3 km inside the forest from present temple.
Manak Siddha Baba is sitting here in the form of a stone. There is a shivalinga near Manak
Siddha Baba. This indicates that he was a devout sage of Lord Shiva. This place is surrounded
by Mango trees. At this place there is a cemented platform. Just beneath the stairs there is
a sacrifice hole.

Besides this feast, an Akhand Ramayana Path is organized by temple committee in Chaitra
Month on eighth day of Navratra i.e. nine day holy celebration in the name of nine
incarnations of Goddess Durga (a female Hindu deity). This is organized in the supervision
of villagers and priest of the temple. Reciters come from the village but reciters are also
called from other villages on payment to make successful the ritual.

This center was not safe in past and it was not convenient for the pilgrims to visit it. Hence,
a priest of this temple took a small part of stone from original place and kept it on present
site. Thus, darshan (a holy visit) of Manak-Siddha Baba is made convenient to all the
pilgrims. Visitors pay their visit to the original temple in summer and in day in all the
seasons.

Gurkhas are very religious from very beginning. They were tribal Buddhists but their
doctrine and practices were different from other Buddhists since they were in contact
with Nepali Hindus also. They believed in Hindu as well as in Buddhism. But when they
came in contact afffinally of Indian Hindus (Kshatriya), they could not keep untouched
themselves from Hinduism and from its doctrines and practices.

490

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

Although, some lax in their religious obersavances, these mountain people were very
fond of displaying of dancing, music, and general hilarity which were considered an
indispensible adjunct to the majority of Hindu festivals. It just follows that these festivals,
which differ but little from those practiced in Hindustan are celebrated throughout the
length and breadth of the country with great enthusiasm. (Northey and Morris, 1974)
Even hierarchal social structure was not in vogue in Gurkha society. Like other tribal
society their society was harmonious and no social discrimination was like it is in Hindu
society. But when they came in the contact of Hindu society they adopted the hierarchical
system in their society. Even it is given in the history that Brahmins the highest caste
came into existence very later in the Gurkha society, probably when they came to India.
Presently hierarchical system is prevalent among the Karbary grant Gurkhas but feeling
of un-touchability is totally absent among them.
3. Sacred Complex of Barah Bhagwan Temple: - This is located in the middle of the
village. This temple is supervised by the Gurkhali. In this temple there is an idol of
Barah Bhagwan. Presence of believe in Barah Bhagwan was very extraordinary in
itself because it was first chance in when researcher could know about the worship
of Barah Bhagwan.
Hindu religious texts say that Lord Vishnu had taken several incarnations on this earth
to kill demons. Barah is one of those incarnations. In Hindu religion, Lord Vishnu has
very good status but there are only two incarnations which are commonly worshipped,
one is of Lord Ram and other is of Lord Krishna. It was very interesting for researcher
to know that Gurkhali worship the Barah Bhagwan daily. But in the month of April a
special celebration for the Barah Bhagwan is done by the Gurkhali. This ceremony was
started about four years ago and now it is celebrated every year. On this day they organize
Akhand Ramayana reciting and then they sing and dance overnight. They enjoy this
occasion and invite their relatives for the celebration which is followed by feast also.

Karuna Shankar Pandey

491

water and even do not allow touch of water to their lips. In evening, females wash
feet of their husbands and drink same water used to wash the feet of their husbands
to break their fast. This way, they complete their fast. This is celebrated during Shravan
month on the day of Chauth (Fourth day after full lunar).
3. Kuldevata Pooja: - This is celebrated in Jyesthaya month according to Hindu calendar.
The date of worship varies from household to household. On this occasion females
are not allowed to participate in worship and only males do worship of Kul Devta and
the ancestors. This celebration is done in the old houses of the Gurkhas and hence
they keep their old houses even after they have brick made buildings. Mainly, this is
a kind of ancestor worship. The prasad (sacred food offerings distributed after the
completion of any worship in the name gods and goddesses) cannot be distributed to
the members of other families even it cannot be distributed to the relatives. This is
the only celebration among Gurkha community in which they cannot invite their
relatives.
Besides all above, Gurkhas celebrate all the Hindu festivals like diwali, Holi, Raksa
Bandhan etc. The other main festival (except above) of the Gurkha is daisan which is
popularly called as Deshahara in India. In ancient period even Gurkhas celebrate all the
ten days but they celebrated especially last four days of this festival. They called these
days with different names viz. seventh day Phulpati, Astami, Naumi, and Dashami to
seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth respectively. Especially eighth day they celebrated very
specially. On this day, they scarified buffaloes or goats. But presently it is not ubiquitous
in Karbary grant and they celebrate the Deshahara with very reverence.

1. Sostanik Pooja: - It is very important for Gurkhali. It is celebrated during Magh


(January- February) every year for a period of one month. This festival is described
in Skanda Puran. On this occasion they worship their domestic deity and keep fast.

Changes in Belief System: - It was the presumption of the researcher about this field
that it would be a traditional village and structure of this village might give me some new
results regarding the reasons why religious belief system is changing. Generally we think
that today is a time of complex economy and youngsters face a hardcore problem of
livelihood. They give their all time to plan for future security. Thus, they cannot give time
to religious activities. This is very common idea one may think in case of towns and cities
where primary sources of income are other than agriculture. But in case of a village,
population primarily depends on agricultural practices and situation is completely different
in the villages. With above presumption that they are villagers and agriculturists, Researcher
thought that reasons of changes in belief system would be related to agricultural practices.
But the scenario in this village was different. This village falls under village list in
government record but the look of village and their ways of living are not like villagers
but like that of town. It is so because they are near to city but several families have at
least one government job. Almost all families visit Dehradun (nearest city to the village)
daily. It means, they are in direct contact with urban culture regularly. Hence, they have
adopted several urban cultural elements. Along with this, they are good agriculturists
also. Thus, they lie somewhere in between urban and rural culture that was beyond my
imagination prior to the field visit.

2. Haritalika Tees: - It is a festival for long life of husband. On this occasion females
keep fast for the long life of their husbands. Throughout the day females do not drink

Females of Gurkhali community keep all religious fasts throughout year. Even in all
families, only females take participation in religious performances in houses. In maximum

So far as the sacred specialist at Barah Bhagwan temple is concerned, there is no special
sacred specialist is. Villagers are the true worshippers at this center.
Coexistence of both the traditions (Little and great traditions) is seemingly present in the
reciting of Akhand Ramayan during annual worship of Barah Bhagwan. This reciting is
part of great tradition which was about four years ago associated with traditional Barah
Bhagwan worship and now has been part of the celebration. Thus, they celebrate Barah
Bhagwan worship day traditionally but has been adapted reciting Akhand Ramayana
which represents great tradition.
Festivals performed by the Gurkha community:

492

Karuna Shankar Pandey

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

cases, males accept that they visit temples with their wives. Males have not visited any
temple with their own consents but with wifes. But one thing was very interesting that
they have more belief in religion presently in comparison to past. In past, they had no
more knowledge about religion. They knew only the names of gods and goddesses. They
were depended on priests for a simple worship also. They could never worship daily but
now they can read religious texts and can understand the meanings. They do not have to
call priest for regular worship. They require priest on special occasion only.
Thus they have belief that they are more religious at present. One reason what they find
behind it, is the means of communication. They reported that they like to see all the
religious programs telecasted by different TV channels. This has also given them
support to know more about religion. Accessibility of religious texts has also become
very easy now.
When religious belief is compared among three generations, it is very clear that youngsters
are very casual towards religion whereas elders especially those who are above 50 years
are serious towards religion i.e. they generally worship daily. But when youngsters
especially males start any new work, they believe to start with the taking of the name of
gods and goddesses. But they regularly do not go to temple for worship. Yet they deny
saying that they have no belief in religion.
At present Gurkha are Hindu by religion but some have visited the shrines of other religion
nearby Dehradun but not for the purpose of worship but those were part of their tourism.
Each family makes a temple in their houses. They worship daily in their houses and
occasionally they visit the temples. They generally visit Manak Siddha temple but
sometimes visit temples situated in the nearby villages and in Dehradun city, viz.
Tapkeshwar temple in Dehradun, Dat wali ma temple on Dehradun- Shimla highway.
Very few members from this ethnic group have also visited temples like Vaishno Devi
temple in Jammu, Golden temple in Amritsar, etc. In some families if any person performs
religious performances especially elder one and generally females, no other family member
does sacred performances in the domestic temple because it is so believed that at least a
single member from the family should light the lamp and Agarbatti before the gods and
goddesses while other family members may do also but not necessarily.
In some cases of Gurkha community, change in religious pattern is not very clear. In case
of Sansari Devi worship they seemed to be very traditional. Even all enjoy this worship
but size of gathering is decreasing. They go to collect Prasad because they fear from the
curse of goddess but they do not go to participate in rituals. In past after the gathering
of all the members of this community from the village, the celebration took place. But
now a day, people wait for palanquin at door and they come to jungle after some time
when they think that worship has been completed. Even there are some who never come
in this celebration and a member of his family goes to collect Prasad.
In many cases people like to adopt the changes. In case of religion also it is followed.
Actually in many cases, people could not get achievement what they expect from any
visit of sacred center or doing sacred performances. Hence, people always try to find new

493

trend in religious belief so that they can achieve their wish. Thus, acceptable changes
immediately become part of religion.
Another thing is curiosity of human being to know and adopt new things. When an
individual comes in contact with other community or society and he finds any interesting
performance that may helpful to get the desired results so he tries to adopt that. This is
another fact which introduces changes in cultural body of society.

Conclusion
This report is focusing majorly on the set up of sacred complex in the Gurkhali hamlet
of Karbary Grant village. Starting from the sacred complex of Sansari
Devi worship it ends at the changing pattern of religious belief system.
The first and the most important sacred complex is sacred complex of Sansari Devi.
Though, in Karbary grant village, the sacred geography may be divided into three parts
first is Sansari Devi worship centers which are scattered in the Gurkha hamlet of the
village. Second is of Manak Siddha Baba temple, and third is Barah Bhagwan temple.
In this report all the temple is taken as sacred complex independently.
Sacred complex of Sansari Devi is union of the centers where the worship is done, sacred
specialist who perform the worship along with the participants and sacred performances.
Sansari Devi festival is celebrated with very reverence. It took a whole day for celebration
and preparation is started very before to the commencement of the day of worship. This
is celebrated for the welfare of the society by disposing the epidemics (it is so believed
that all the diseases are taken into the palanquin by the goddess Sansari Devi during the
worship and with such believe palanquin is taken at each door of the Gurkhali village
hamlet) outside the village boundary with the palanquin. This worship is one type of
remedial worship done for the healthy society of the Gurkha.
Sacred complex of Manak Siddha Baba temple is union of the sacred centers viz. Manak
Siddha Baba Temple, Shivalaya, Narsingha Temple, sacred specialist who supervise the
temple and third is the annual Bhandara celebrated at this complex. Manak Siddha Baba
temple was represented by a throne of stone and situated in the middle part of jungle. It
was not at the safe place for the pilgrims. Later on a part of the stone is brought from the
forest to the outside of the forest to make more convenient for the pilgrims. Presently,
this temple has taken the form of a sacred cluster including the temple of Shiva, Narshingha
Bhagwan and Shivalinga along with Manak Siddha Baba temple. This temple is visited
by a sacred specialist deployed by the villagers. Sacred specialist should be unmarried.
Annual feast is the most popular festival at this sacred center celebrated by the villagers.
Same way sacred center of Barah Bhagwan temple comprises of Barah Bhagwan temple
and the sacred performance the reciting of Akhand Ramayana. Since there is no sacred
specialist at this center, hence he is not included but the villagers are discussed only as
sacred specialists. Next sacred center is Barah Bhagwan temple which is located in the

494

Karuna Shankar Pandey

Sacred Complex in Karbary Grant Village

middle of the temple. This is constructed about few decades back. Villagers are the
supervisor and the only worshippers. At this center in the month of April a special
celebration for the Barah Bhagwan is done by the Gurkhali. This ceremony was started
about four years ago and now it is celebrated every year. On this day they organize
Akhand Ramayana reciting and then they sing and dance overnight.
Finally, focus on the changes on religious belief system is explained in the reference of
Gurkha which lies on some parameters. Ultimately it determines the way of life in the
society and up to some level members from each society demands automatically changes
for their better survival. If changes are acceptable to all the members then these become
the part of religion otherwise it may take form of a new cult. Acceptance of changes is
not a fast process but it happens very slowly and one cannot understand it immediately.
Since, religion is related to faith in unseen power, hence, people fear primarily to adapt
the changes but steadily they try to adapt these changes in their life. Undoubtedly, changes
in belief system exist but it does not mean that impact of religion is decreasing or
increasing. It is a subjective phenomenon. If we say it is decreasing it may be concluded
by the fact that people cannot give time for the rituals which take more time like Akhand
Ramayana, Sri Mad-Bhagwat Geeta Path, etc. because it takes several days. Whereas if
we say it is increasing it may be concluded from the fact that they like to give their
valuable time in worship by their own mode. Thus, religious belief system is modifying
and we cannot study this change on the basis of decreasing or increasing impact but what
can be studied only the modified form of belief system and whenever these changes are
not acceptable, new cult or religion comes into existence.
Thus, change in religious belief system is a continuous process. Sometimes people could
not know how those changes came but when they compare from their past they find
changes but sometimes they adopt some cultural elements in a very natural way also like
the reciting of Akhand Ramayana on the occasion of Barah Bhagwan worship. But, the
utmost important thing is coexistence of little and great traditions. In context of religion,
Gurkha is very simple society but here coexistence of little and great traditions is frequently
presented.

Bibliography
Jha, Makhan

1971

The Sacred Complex of Janakpur in Nepal:


Allahabad, The United Publishers.

Jha, Makhan

1978

Aspects Of a Great Traditional City in Nepal,


Varansai, Kishor Vidyaniketan,.

Mair, Lucy

1965

An Introduction to Social Anthropology; New Delhi,


Oxford University Press.

Northey, W.B. and


C. J. Morris

1974

The Gurkhas; Delhi, Cosmo Publications.

495

Sharma, Prayag Raj

1968

The Nepalese Culture: Its Historuical Background;


Nepal Review 1:2, pp.7-16

Singer, Milton

1975

Traditional India: Structure and Change, Chicago.

Singer, Milton

1958

Structure and Change in Indian society, Chicago.

Vidyarthi, L.P.

1961

Sacred Complex in Hindu Gaya; Bombay : Asia


Publishing House.

496

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61 : 2 (497-507), 2012

Migration pattern and kinship system


among Gurkha community in Karbari Grants,
Dehradun - A critical appraisal
to bio-social perspective.
Mr. Subrata Kundu1

ABSTRACT
The Gurkha community are originally from Nepal but after migration to this area their
culture somewhere differes from their natal place. The present paper highlights about
their kinship system. In Himalayan region each community has terms of relationship for
both paternal and maternal lines and also acknowledges bilateral kinship.

INTRODUCTION
At the end of the twentieth century the complex career path of one of anthropologys
most famous domains of inquiry-kinship about to take another unexpected turn. Studies
in kinship and the related institutions of marriage and family, have until recently been
central to anthropological investigation and debate. As Ladislav Holy remarks (1996:1)
if there was a subject which anthropologist could have rightly claimed to be their own,
it was kinship, and thus the problem of handling the topic of kinship cross- culturally
is the key to understanding the historical development of a large majority of anthropologys
central analysis concept theories and methods.
The issue of kinship becomes therefore the topic through which the most able minds in
the history of anthropology could display their erudition. As a result, kinship was that
aspect of social life that become the linchpin for the unfolding of all the grand paradigms
of though within anthropology, whether it be Morgans narrative of evolutionism (1871)
of Malinowskis of functionalism (1930), Redcliffe Browns of structural-functionalism
(1962 [1952]), Levi - Strasss of structuralism (1969a [1949]). As Robin Fox could
comment in (1967:10) kinship is to anthropology what logic is to philosophy or the nude
is to art; it is the basic discipline of the subject.
Today anthropologist demonstrates such a decided lack of interest in the topic of kinship
that it is tempting to declare it no longer to be a key concept. According to David Schneider

1Projeet Research Assistant, Anthropological Survey of India, Dehradun.

498

Migration pattern ......... bio-social perspective

Mr. Subrata Kundu

(1984) kinship studies were the heart beat of the discipline of anthropology. All the perils
of the modernist stories through which anthropology develop as a field of study are
highlighted in those passionate debates about the substance of kinship. (Rapport &
Overing, 2000: 217)
In Himalayan region, every community has terms of relationship for both the paternal
and maternal lines and in so far acknowledges bilateral kinship. The two sides of the
family are reckoned with not only join vocabulary but in customary law, definite functions
being associated with definite types of relationship. (Parmar, 1975:151)
Area and People
Gurkha Community Of Karbari Grant, Sahas Pur, Dehradun
Karbari Grant is a village of Dehradun district of Uttarakhand state. It is situated between
30 35 N latitude and 77 94' E longitudes. Karbari Grant is a village in Sahaspur block
(vikaskhand). The village Karbari Grant is situate of 14 km. far from proper Dehradun.
The village is multi ethnic. The major population of the village is Gurkha and other few
families like Garhwali, Punjabi etc. reside there. Total number of house-holds of Karbari
Grant village is 322 and total population is 1590. Among the total population, number
of male is 758 and number of female is 832. Sex ratio: 1098 (female per 1000 male).
Literacy rate of this Gurkha population of Karbari Grant village is 79.33 % (Census of
India, 2001).

499

Administrative Location
Village

Karbari Grant

Vikaskhand (Block)

Sahaspur

Tehsil

Vikas Naga

District

Dehradun

State

Uttarakhand

Total Population

1590

a) Male

758

b) Female

832

About the Gurkha Karbari Grant


The Gurkha Karbari hamlet is mostly populated by Gurkhas along with a few Garhwali
families and a Punjabi family residing in it. The Hamlet had about 104 Gurkha Households
with a population of about 529.
About the Community of Gurkha of the Village Karbari Grant

Village

Total No. of Households Total No. of Population Total No. of Male Total No. of Female

Karbari Grant

322

1590

758

832

(Census of India, 2001)

Total Male
Population

Total Female
Population

% of Male
Population

% of Female
Population

Village

Literacy Rate

Male Literacy

Female Literacy

Karbari Grant

79.33%

86.41%

72.97%

(Census of India, 2001)

Male Literacy
Rate (%)
Female Literacy
Rate (%)

The Gurkha people of this Karbari Grant are originally Nepal origin but though their
culture somewhere differs from original Nepali culture in many aspects. Marriage can
take place at any time after the age of 7. It is considered good to get a girl married before
she reaches the age of 13. But now this concept is almost change. If a boy without being
engaged to her meets a girl, fall in love, run away and marries her, he and his bride cannot
approach the girls father until called by him. When the father-in-law relents, he will send
word telling the boy that he may present himself with his wife at his home on a certain
hour of a certain day. On their arrival the father-in-law will paint a spot on their foreheads
with a mixture of rice and dahi (Tika Dinnu Garnu) and then the boy and girl will have
to make submission by bending down and saluting him. This is usually the Gurkha people
denoted Dhok Dinnu.
Amongst Magars it is customary for marriage to be performed by Brahmans, and the
ceremony is conducted in much the same way as the ordinary Hindu Marriage.
These Gurkha people use to speak Nepali language when they are talking with each other
usually. But they also have known Hindi language as well. They use to speak Hindi with
outsider. Their kinship system is almost alike Hindu kinship system. Almost everything
is same with Hindu kinship system culture. Not they use their own kinship terminology.
They use to call Baba for father and Ama for mother. Grand father is called by Baje
and grandmother is called by 'Bajai. Dai is used for big brother. Nad for grandson
and Natini are used for granddaughter.

500
i.

Migration pattern ......... bio-social perspective

Mr. Subrata Kundu

Older Generations
(a)

501

3. Younger Generation (continued)

Jiju

Great-grandfather (Jiju-baje haru... forefathers)

Jiju ama (Jyama)

Great-grandmother; ancestress

Baje

Grandfather (pat. Ghara ko baje; mat. Maula ko baje)

Bhatijo

Nephew (elder or young brothers son)

Bhanjo (Bhanij)

Nephew (elder or younger sisters son; or locally - son of female cousin)


Niece (elder or younger brothers daughter)

Bajai (Bajyai)

Grandmother (pat. Ghara ki bajai; mat. Mania ki bajai)

Bhatiji

Babu (Ba)

Father (loosely - uncle)

Bhanji

Niece (elder or younger sisters daughter; also wife of Bhanjo)

Ama

Mother (loosely - aunt; Ama babu, parents; Dudh ama... foster mother)

Bhado (Bhadaha)

Nephew (a womans brothers or sisters son)

Sasura

Father-in-law (loosely - sisters husbands father)

Bhadai

Niece (a womans brothers or sisters daughter)

Sasu

Mother-in-law (loosely, her sister; also loosely... sisters husbands mother and wifes
elder sister; or locally... wife of brothers son; also, Sasu bajai... mother-in-law)

Juwain

Son-in-law (also brother-in-law, husband of Baini; loosely - nieces (Bhanjis husband)

Jethaba/Kaka

Uncle (fathers elder / younger brother; loosely... mothers sisters husband)

Buhari

Mama (X)

Uncle (Mothers elder or younger brother)

Daughter-in-law (loosely - also wife of grandson; also sister-in-law (wife of Bhai),


or loosely - nephews wife)

Phupu (Y)

Aunt (Fathers elder or younger sister)

Bhatije Juwain

Nephew-in-law (husband of brothers daughter)

Chhyama

Aunt (Mothers elder or younger sister)

Bhatije buhari

Niece-in-law (wife of brothers son)

Phupajyo (Pusai) Kaki

Uncle (husband of Phupu)

Bhanje juwain

Niece-in-law (wife of sisters son)

Maiju

Aunt (wife of KLaka; locally - mothers elder or younger sister) Aunt (wife of Mama;
loosely - mother-in-law)

Bhanje buhari

Niece-in-law (w7ife of sisters son)

4. Relations other than Blood


1. Older Generations (continued)
Mused

2. Own Generation (continued)

Mothers sisters family (Mused bhai - mothers


sisters son)

(X) Amongst Gurungs and Tamangs only

wifes father

(Y) Amongst Gurungs and Tamangs only

wifes mother

A Gurungs, or Tamangs, wifes parents are known by the same term


as that used for fathers sister and mothers brother because the son
or daughter, i.e. Solti or Soltini, of either of these relatives is the
correct and usual marriage partner.
(b) The undermentioned four pairs of synonymous terms vary from
family to family in their particular application:
Fathers elder brother
Husband of mothers elder H
(i) Jethababu (Jethaba)
Uncle sister (locally -Mothers [elder
Thulobabu (Bara babu)
brother)
(ii) Jethi ama
Thuli ama (Bari ama)

Aunt

Mothers elder sister Wife of


fathers elder brother, Fathers
first wife (locally - fathers
elder sister)

N.B : Bara ama - Grandmother, sometimes.

(iii) Kanchho ba (babu)


Sana babu

(iv) Kanchhi ama


Sani ama

Fathers younger brother


Husband of mothers younger
Uncle sister. Mothers second
husband (locally - Mothers
younger brother)

Aunt

Mothers younger sister Wife


of fathers younger brother
Fathers co-wife Step-mother
(locally -fathers younger
sister)

Dewar

Brother-in-law (husbands younger


brother)

Sala

Brother-in-law (wifes younger brother;


also a term of abuse for anyone else:
Magars only - son of mothers sister)

Sali

Sister-in-law (wifes younger sister;


Magars only - daughter of mothers
sister)

Own Generations

Widow

Samdi
Samdini

This is the relationship between the parents of a man and his wife. Thus if A marries B,
their respective parents are Samdi and Samdini to each other

Brother-in-law (husband of Amaju)

Jhadkelo

Prefix added to step-children

Brother-in-law (husband of Nanda)

Jamlyaha (Jaumle)

Twins

Jethan didi

Sister-in-law (wife of Jethan; also wifes


elder sister)

Dewarani (Dewarani bhaini) Sister-in-law (wife of Dewar; also


husbands younger sister)
Solti

Brother-in-law or sister-in-low (brother


or sister of brothers wife or sisters
husband; also cousin; also boy friend;
Gurungs and Tamangs only - Mothers
brothers child)

Soltini

Sometimes used for female Solti (also


girl friend)

Sant bhai, Sam daju

Brother-in-law (wifes sisters husband)

Logne (Poi)

Husband (wife may call him Swami)

Swasni (Joi)

Wife (her parents home is Mait)

Santa

Co-wife

Nati

Grandson (alsogreat-nephew, sisters


sons child)

Bhauyu

Sister in-law (wife of Daju)

Natini

Bhena (Bhinajyu)

Brother-in-law (husband of Didi)

Granddaughter (also great-niece,


sisters sons child)

Jethajyu

Brother-in-law (husbands elder brother)

Panati

Great-grandson

Jethan

Brother-in-law (wifes elder brother)

Panatini

Great-granddaughter

Baini

Widower

Ranri

Nanda daju

Younger sister (loosely - cousin; also


younger brother-in-laws wife)

Elder sister (loosely - cousin; also elder


brother-in-laws wife)

Adopted daughter

Ranra

Amaju daju

Daughter (locally -specially among


Gurungs, brothers daughter; loosely
- niece or co-wifes sisters daughter)

Younger brother (loosely - cousin)

Didi

Adopted son

Dharm Putri

Sister-in-law (husbands younger sister)

Chhori

Bhai

Female Mit

Dliarm Putra

Sister-in-law (husbands elder sister)

Son (locally - specially among Gurungs,


brothers son; loosely - nephew, or
wifes sisters son)

Elder brother (loosely - cousin)

Mitni

Nanda

Chhoro

Daju (Dai)

The mother or father of a Mit

Amaju

3. Younger Generation
2.

Mit ama
Mit babu

502

Migration pattern ......... bio-social perspective

Objective
1. To create historical reconstruction and migratory pattern and marriage distance.
2. To create the database of genealogy of Gurkha societies.
3. To collect their family data, taboos, relation among family members and other related
people of said society.
4. To make a study on the basis of their disease pattern among the population of Gurkha
society in Gurkha Karbari Grant.
5. To make a study on the basis of their kinship terminology of this said community.
Methodology
1. Data collected on the population based on:

Mr. Subrata Kundu

503

in this village named Mahesh Lai Beez (Genealogy No. - 20) whose birth place is Pakistan.
His parents are basically Pakistani Punjabi. Fie came in this village through his friend
and settled there. His son married with a Delhi girl named Rajni Beez. Household No.93, (Genealogy No. - 57) Saraswati Devis (58 years) grandfather Devi Singh Rana
migrated from Almora. Few people also in this village are migrated from Saharanpur
due to marriage or other purpose.
These Gurkha people use to speak Nepali language when they are talking with each other
usually. But they also have known Hindi language as well. They use to speak Hindi with
outsider. Their kinship system is almost alike Hindu kinship system. Almost everything
is same with Hindu kinship system culture. Nut they use their own kinship terminology.
They use to call Baba ' for father and Ama for mother. Grand father is called by Baje
and grandmother is called by Bajai. Dai is use for brother. Natl for grandson and
Natini is use for granddaughter.

2. Observation method (Participation)


3. Interview technique (semi structured)
4. Schedule
5. The generated data analyzed by appropriate statistical tools.

CHART SHOWING GURKHA FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS


Discussion
The Gurkha community of the Gurkha Karbardi Grant, Dehradun is mainly migrated
from the country Nepal. Mainly two or three generation ago the Gurkha people came
from Nepal. These people were ex-military persons for service purpose they come in
India and resided in Karbari Grant. Few families like Kishan Bahadur Grurng (Genealogy
No. - 33) and his wife Meena Gurung just came from Nepal approx. 6 years ago and his
son, Raju Gurungs birth place is Nagaland (India). Now he lives in Nepal. Tula Ram
Gurung and his wife Radha Devi (Genealogy No. - 40), they came from Nepal in the
year 1975 and settled in Karbari Grant. Radhika Sharma, wife of Santosh Sharma
(Genealogy No. -11) born in Dhangiri (Nepal) and after that marries Santosh (born and
lie in India) and live in India. Kishan Bahadur Gurung (Genealogy No. - 46) also a retired
army man, came from Nepal in his age 17 years and reside in this village with his family.
Another example of Padma Mall family (Genealogy No. - 63). Padma Mall, wode of
Ramesh Mall, born and brought up in Nepal but after married she live in India, with a
son Parash Mall. Another person named Aanth Veer (Genealogy No. - 81) migrated from
Okhal Danga (Nepal). The people of this village believed that Uttarakhand was a part
of Nepal in previous days. After that the Maharaja of Nepal gifted this land to Indian
Government. They think that this land of their own mother land. Thats why the Gurkha
people of this village are still in regular contact with Nepal. Few are regular goes in Nepal
for their home town.
Except Nepal few people come from Garhwal side of Uttarakhand. Family of Pancham
Singh Thalcur came from Poudi Garhwal. Bahadur Singh (Genealogy No. - 19) came
from Pithoragarh and after that settled in Gorkha Karbari Grant. From Shila, Dhim
Singh Thalcur came and settled here. In this village so many people also come from
nearby villages like Chandrabani, SelaQui, Anarwala, Mehuwala, Mobbewala and also
from Kaulagarh, Balliwala, Ballupur etc. in Dehradun. There is one Punjabi family lived

(See also Explanatory Notes)

504

505

Migration pattern ......... bio-social perspective

Mr. Subrata Kundu

Amongst Magars it is customary for marriage to be performed by Brahmans, and the


ceremony is conducted in much the same way as the ordinary Hindu Marriage.

The data base genealogy on this Gurkha community of Karbari Grant is also shows some
family diseases. One common case in almost one or two members even more than two
members in a single family is High Blood Pressure. Almost every Gorkha people like
spicy food in their food pattern. They are from army. So almost every army men are take
alcohol regularly. All these reason may their blood pressure remain high almost every
time. Except blood pressure there are few more diseases are there which become family
disease, and affected by this generation after generation. Among these one is Sinus.
Household no 118 (c) Beena Rana (52 years old) and Sattu Sing Rana (62 years) (Genealogy
No.-29) family, in this family all these family members are affected by sinus. Another
family disease found i.e, blood sugar, Radhika Bhandari (42 years old) (Genealogy
No.-26) and her mother Shanti Devi (61 years old) is affected in blood sugar.
Hypertension is another example. Santosh Sharma (48 years old) (Genealogy No.-11)
and his elder brother are affected by hypertension. There are few common diseases also
found in the genealogy study in this community. Bhim Bahadur Gurung (72 years old)
(Genealogy No.-19) is suffering in Diabetics. Santosh Sharma also suffered by high
blood pressure. The family of Puran Sing Gurung (58 years old) is suffered by thyroid.
Soham Ranas father was died by tuberculosis. Kishan Bahadur Gurungs (Genealogy
No.-33) one daughter was died in thyroid age at 18 years. Hemlata Gurung (Genealogy
No.-36) (39 years old) and her husband Surendra Gurung (50 years old) were paralyzed
in right hand and her son Kalu Gurung was dead by polio at 2 years. Usha Gurung
(Genealogy No.-107) was a daughter of Ramesh Gurung dead by pneumonia. These
retired military are being treated in Military Hospital in Dehradun mainly and they are
also getting monthly check-up facility as well in this hospital.

The Gurkha people are now quite liberal about marriage, with only Gurkha people. In
this village, there are many families whose sons and daughters married with non-Gurkha
people. Intercast marriage is now very common in this village. Many Gurkha boys and
girls have marriage in Garhwali community. In Gurkha community, there are many caste
system i.e., Sharma, Khanal, Gautam, Acharya are considered as higher caste {Brahmin).
Thakur, Shahi, Chhetri, Mall, considered after Brahmin (Kshetri). And after that all these
Gurung, Thapa, Magar etc. are considered as third place. Among Gurung there are four
classes in higharchy. Lama, Lamcha, Ghala, Godhane is placed respectively.
Now a days intercaste marriages are usually happened in this community of this village.
Devendra Singh Chhetri (Genealogy No. - 91) married with Rachna Shahi (Shahi is an
upper caste in Gurkha community). Puspa, sister of Devendra Singh Shahi married with
an Agarwal family (Vinod Agarwal). There is an example of love-marriage, Neelam Mall
(Now Neelam Chhetri) have marriage with Rahul Chhetri (Genealogy No.-92). Neelam
Mall is sister of Kuldeep Mall, one is famous person in this village. The Gurkha family
in this village marriage their daughter in other caste and also accept other castes daughters
as their sons wife as well. There is only one example of inter-religious marriage. A
Gurkha girl marriage with a muslim community boy. Another exceptional love marriage
in this village is about Pampha Devi (Genealogy No.-l). Her husband name is Keshab
Bahadur, who is also husband of her (Pampha Devi) elder sister, Pravati Devi. Interesting
is, this is happened almost 27 years ago, though at that time it was accepted in her family
members. But the relation between two sisters and their children are very friendly. Usually
marriages in own caste are also very common in this Gurkha community in this village.
Sahi with Sahi, Sharma with Sharma, Kshetri with Kshetri, Magar with Thapa or Gurung
are very common. This Gurkha people get married with also their relative. There is some
taboo in marriage almost like Hindu custom, but in relatives, it is usually practiced. Few
cases are there in this community that one people had married two or more than two
woman (polygyny). Keshab Bahadur (Genealogy No.-l) example is already given above.
There is another example of Kishan Bahadur Gurung (Genealogy No.-33), age 68 years
old. He came from Nepal almost 20 years ago and settled in Gurkha Karbari Grant. His
present wifes name is Meena Gurung. But he had married also two times before when
he lived in Nepal. And his previous two wives were live together with him. Now these
two wives were dead. Raju Gurung (Genealogy No.- 33) is a son of Kishan Bahadur
Gurung and his first wife. He also married (3 times) and now he lived with his all wives
in Nepal. According to Kishan Bahadur Gurung, more than one wife allow in Nepal. One
man cans marries more than one woman and its by Government rule in Nepal. Gobardhan
Thapa is brother of Madhu Sing Thapa (Genealogy No.-lOl) also married twies. Another
name is Sanjay Thapa (Genealogy No.-51) is elder brother of Sukhdev Thapa also Married
twies. In both cases one wife had died.

Conclusion
Karbari Grant is a village of Dehradun district of Uttarakhand state. The Gurkha community
of the Gurkha Karbardi Grant, Dehradun is mainly migrated from the country Nepal.
Mainly two or three generation ago the Gurkha people came from Nepal. These people
were ex-military persons for service purpose they come in India and resided in Karbari
Grant. The people of this village believed that this Uttarakhand was a part of Nepal in
previous days. After that the Maharaja of Nepal gifted this land to Indian Government.
They think that this land of their own mother land. Thats why the Gurkha people of this
village are still in regular contact with Nepal. Few are regular goes in Nepal for their
home town. Except Nepal few families come from Garhwal side of Uttarakhand. In this
village so many people also come from nearby villages like Chandrabani, SelaQui,
Anarwala, Mehuwala, Mobbewala and also from Kaulagarh, Balliwala, Ballupur etc. in
Dehradun. Few people also in this village are migrated from Saharanpur due to marriage
or other purpose.
These Gurkha people use to speak Nepali language when they are talking with each other
usually. But they also have known Hindi language as well. They use to speak Hindi with
outsider. Their kinship system is almost alike Hindu kinship system. Almost everything

506

Migration pattern ......... bio-social perspective

is same with Hindu kinship system culture. Nut they use their own kinship terminology.
They use to call Baba for father and Ama for mother. Grand father is called by Baje
and grandmother is called by Bajai Dai is use for brother. 'Natl' for grandson and
Natini is use for granddaughter. Also few common example of kinship terminology are
Dai, Bhai, Didi, Baini Bhauyu, Jethan, Solti etc.
The Gurkha people of this Karbari Grant are originally Nepal origin but though their
culture somewhere differs from original Nepali culture in many aspects. Marriage can
take place at any time after the age of 7. It is considered good to get a girl married before
she reaches the age of 13. But now this concept is almost change. If a boy without being
engaged to her, meets a girl, fall in love, run away and marries her, he and his bride cannot
approach the girls father until called by him. When the father-in-law relents, he will send
word telling the boy that he may present himself with his wife at his home on a certain
hour of a certain day. On their arrival the father-in-law will paint a spot on their foreheads
with a mixture of rice and dahi (Tika Dinnu Garnu) and then the boy and girl will have
to make submission by bending down and saluting him. This is usually the Gurkha people
denoted Dhok Dinnu".
Amongst Magars it is customary for marriage to be performed by Brahmans, and the
ceremony is conducted in much the same way as the ordinary Hindu Marriage.

Mr. Subrata Kundu

507

Referance
Morris, C. J. & Northey, W.B. 1974

The Gurkhas; Their Manner, Customs and


Country. Delhi, Cosmo Publications.

Ministry of Defence

1965

Nepal and The Gurkhas Her Majestys


Stationery Office, London

James, H. & Sheil-Small, D.

1965

The Gurkhas, London, Macdonald & Co.,


(Pub.) Ltd.

Vansittart, E.

1980

The Goorkhas. New Delhi, Ariana


Publishing House.

Bolt David.

1967

Gurkhas. London, Weidenfeld and


Nicolson.

Farwell, B.

1984

The Gurkhas. London, Allen Kane, Penguin


Books Ltd.

Ferraro, G.

1992

Cultural Anthropology-An Applied


Perspective. New York, West Publishing
Company.

Bhatt, S.C. & Bhargava, G.K. 2005

Land and People-of Indian States and Union


Territories-Uttranchal. Delhi, Kalpaz
Publications, vol-27.

The Gurkha people are now quite liberal about marriage, with only Gurkha people. In
this village, there are many families whose sons and daughters married with non-Gurkha
people. Intercast marriage is now very common in this village. Many Gurkha boys and
girls have marriage in Garhwali community. In Gurkha community, there are many caste
system i.e., Sharma, Khanal, Gautam, Acharya are considered as higher caste {Brahmin).
Thakur, Shahi, Chhetri, Mall, considered after Brahmin (Kshetri). And after that all these
Gurung, Thapa, Magar etc. are considered as third place. Among Gurung there are four
classes in higharchy. Lama, Lamcha, Ghala, Godhane is placed respectively.

Rapport, N. & Overing, J.

2000

Social and Cultural Anthropology - TheKey


Concept. London and New York, Routledge.
Taylor &Francis Group.

Srivastava, A. R. N.

2005

The data base genealogy on this Gurkha community of Karbari Grant is also shows some
family diseases. One common case in almost one or two members even more than two
members in a single family is High Blood Pressure.

Essentials of Cultural Anthropolgy.


New Delhi, Prentice Hall of India Private
Limited.

Schweitzer, P.P. (Ed)

Dividends of Kinship-Meaning and uses of


social relatedness. London and New York,
Routledge. Taylor & Francis Group.

Almost every Gorkha people like spicy food in their food pattern. They are from army.
So almost every army men are take alcohol regularly. All these reason may their blood
pressure remain high almost every time.
Except blood pressure there are few more diseases are there which become family disease,
and affected by this generation after generation like Sinus Blood Sugar Hypertension
Diabetics Tuberculosis. Except these few disease such as Thyroid, Paralyzed,
Polio, Pneumonia also found but these are not family disease. These retired military
are being treated in Military Hospital in Dehradun mainly and they are also getting
monthly check-up facility as well in this hospital.

508

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61 : 2 (509-521), 2012

Health Care Practices and Traditional


Medicine of Gorkha Population in the
Village Karbari Grant
Arnab Mukherjee1

ABSTRACT
Traditional knowledge plays a great rule for most of the ethnic groups in countryside for
their sustenance. The present paper highlights the health care practices among the Gorkha
commnity and the empirical data were collected from Karbari grant village.

INTRODUCTION
Health and disease are measures of the effectiveness with which human groups, combining
cultural and biological resources, adaptation to their environment. Every culture irrespective
of its simplicity and complexity has its own beliefs and practices concerning diseases.
The culture of community determines its health culture. Health problems and practices
of any community are profoundly influenced by interplay of complex social, economic
and political factors. Due to the belief in supernatural elements and religion in matters
concerning health, the rural people and the tribes are almost invariably found to response
faith in diviners or the traditional medicine men, sorcerers and shamans. However, tribes
and rural people are not averse in accepting western medicine, whenever available Ethno
medicine deals with those beliefs and practices relating to health and disease, which are
the products of indigenous cultural development.
Traditional medicine is the sum total of knowledge, skills and practices based on the
theories, beliefs and experiences indigenous to different cultures that are used to maintain
health, as well as to prevent, diagnose, improve or treat physical and mental illnesses.
Traditional medicine that has been adopted by other populations (outside its indigenous
culture) is often termed alternative or complementary medicine. Herbal remedies are
considered the oldest forms of health care known to mankind on this earth. Prior to the
development of modern medicine, the traditional systems of medicine that have evolved
over the centuries within various communities, are still maintained as a great traditional
knowledge base in herbal medicines (Mukherjee and Wahil, 2006). Traditionally, this
treasure of knowledge has been passed on orally from generation to generation without
any written document (Perumal samy and Ignacimuthu, 2000) and this is found among
many indigenous people even today.

1Anthropological Survey of India, Dehradun.

510

511

Health Care Practices ............ Village Karbari Grant

Arnab Mukherjee

In some Asian and African countries, 80% of the population depends on traditional
medicine for primary health care. In many developed countries, 70% to 80% of the
population has used some form of alternative or complementary medicine (e.g. acupuncture)
(W.H.O Report).

informants were identified after preliminary discussion with the people. Voucher of the
encountered plant species were collected and identified by specialists. Surveys, personal
interviews and group discussions as participatory rural appraisal (PRA) technique were
applied to reveal the specific information about the traditional healing practices and ethno
medicinal uses of plants. Local healers, experienced aged persons were consulted for
information on folk uses of plants, which was further authenticated by cross checking
with key informants. The key informant was experienced older person.

Not many countries have national policies for traditional medicine. Regulating traditional
medicine products, practices and practitioners is difficult due to variations in definitions
and categorizations of traditional medicine therapies. A single herbal product could be
defined as a food, a dietary supplement or a herbal medicine, depending on the country.
This disparity in regulations at the national level has implications for international access
and distribution of products.
Herbal materials for products are collected from wild plant populations and cultivated
medicinal plants. The expanding herbal product market could drive over-harvesting of
plants and threaten biodiversity. Poorly managed collection and cultivation practices
could lead to the extinction of endangered plant species and the destruction of natural
resources. Efforts to preserve both plant populations and knowledge on how to use them
for medicinal purposes is needed to sustain traditional medicine.
The practice of using herbs to treat diseases dates back to the very earliest period of
known human history. Due to constant intimacy with vegetation cover, primitive societies
have gained profound knowledge about the medicinal utilities of plants. They have full
faith in them and their time tested medicines. These medicinal plants obviously need
correct botanical identity and other scientific confirmation for the facts and acceptance.
According to Edwards (2004). about two-thirds of 50000 medicinal plants in use are still
harvested from the natural habitat and about one-fifth of them are now endangered. The
indigenous knowledge on medicinal plants is gaining world wide recognition. The World
Health Organization has estimated that more than 80% of the worlds population in
developing countries depends primarily on herbal medicine for basic health care needs
(Vines, 2004)
Study Area and People
The present study was focused on Gorkha population who live in the village Karbari
Grant. They migrated from Nepal 2-3 generation before and started to live in Karbari
Grant Village. The village has its own life style, social setup and a unique system of self
governance. There is a forest name Karwa Pani Forest adjacent to the village. The forest
is very rich with ethno medicinal plants.
There is a natural spring which is the main water source of the village. Karbari Grant is
a village of Sahaspur Mandal in Dehradun district of Uttarakhand State. Karbari grant
is 14.76 km far from its mandal main town Sahaspur and 11.11 km far from proper
Dehradun. This village is under the tehsil Vikashnagar. The village Karbari Grant is
situated between 30.35' N Latitude and 77.94' E Longitude. The hamlet had about 104
Gurkha household with a population of about 529.
Methods Applied
Ethno medicinal data for wild plants traditionally used by inhabitants of the study area
were recorded during field visits. The fieldwork was conducted during March 2011. Key

Actual personal observation were also made during field studies information regarding
the plants and parts or products, uses, vernacular names, diseases, and process of preparation
of medicine either individually or in combination with other plant part, and mode of
application for the treatment of a particular disease or diseases was documented.
Result & Discussion
Food Practices :- Generally they take three or four meals in a day. They take heavy
breakfast in morning after that they take lunch at noon. In evening they take light snacks
and late evening they take dinner. Generally they take heavy meal in lunch and breakfast.
During acute illness, they like plain, easily digested foods.
Most common food of the Gorkha is Chaol (Boiled Rice), Roti or Chapatti (flat
baked bread made with whole wheat flour), Puri and Paratha (flat bread fried in oil
made with whole wheat flour), with meat, locally available fish, vegetable and Daal
(lentil curry). Generally they prefer chicken and mutton but they avoid beef.
They take hard and soft drink both. Generally Gorkha male prefer to take alcoholic
beverages but female avoid this type of drink except some occasion. The Gorkha people
prefer to take tea three or four times in a day. The morning and evening tea is compulsory
for them. They prefer to take tea with breakfast and in evening time with light snacks.
Some time they take cold drinks and fruit juice which is easily available in market. They
prefer to take Momo and Noodles as a light snacks.
Hygiene and Sanitation :- Every society has its own concepts of health and hygiene
(Upadhyay and Pandey, 2003). Most of the Gorkhas prefer morning shower but in summer
season they take bath twice daily. In winter season they use hot water for bathing. They
use lot of running water when they bathing. They use soaps and shampoos which is easily
available in market. Young Gorkha males and females prefer to use talcum powder, body
deodorant and various type of perfume to remove bad odor of sweat of the body. In
Gorkha women long hair consider as a feminine beauty. They wash their hair once or
twice weekly. The Gorkha women use locally available coconut oil, mustard oil or
perfumed oil to massage their scalp. The Gorkhas cut their nail short and keep clean.
They cut their nail twice and thrice in month. The Gorkha man cut their hair once or twice
in month but young generation Gorkha man keep long hair due to influence of westernization
and modernization . They shave their bared twice in a week.
The interior of the Gorkha houses is well decorated and well decorated and well decorated
and well ventilated and full of light. The kitchen is separate from the bed room. They use
gas oven for cooking. The toilet and latrine is separate from main house. They prefer to
use private toilet to defection. They are accustomed to take regular bath. They clean their
teeth by tooth paste and tooth powder which is available to local market. Generally they
wash their hand before and after the eating.

512

513

Health Care Practices ............ Village Karbari Grant

Arnab Mukherjee

Concept of etiology of illness: - Illness is not solely biological and physical phenomenon.
It is also an event that occurs in a social context and reflects the intimate association of
the person with other people. Both the internal as well as social environments are sources
of important events that affect the health of human beings. Illness is a universal phenomenon,
occurring in all societies. It forces the temporary disruption to varying degrees, of regular
patterns of social interaction and responsibilities. Fulfillments of normal tasks by the sick
are often impossible.

Evil-eye or Nazar: - Belief in the bad effect of the evil-eye is widespread among the
Gorkha. They think that evil-eye some time causes even death in case of children. If a
person look steadily at any child and says or think, how beautiful it is, it falls sick, suffers
in vomiting and keeps crying whole day. To avoid evil-eye they tie black thread to the
leg and neck of the children. Similarly some time the adult people may suffer for evileye. If someone gives greedy look and feel jealous to anybodys amount of foods, the
food eaters may fall in sick and suffers from vomiting, indigestion and loose motion.
But they perform Sansari Mata puja for overall well being of the village.

In Gorkhas, illness as such is taken primarily to mean, not feeling well but external injury
or accident are not recognized as illness.
The Gorkhas dont think that the disease may be caused due to the anger of some deity
or due to some supernatural beings but they believe the diseases have attribution with
some natural or physical things. Some of the popularly recognized natural causes include
diseases due to
(a) Environmental effect
(b) Effect of wrong combination of food.
(c) Contact with certain living organism.
(d) Unknown causes.

Physical Factors
Due to Effects of
Environmental
condition

Name of Diseases
by Village Folks

English Name

Caused recognized

Environmental
Condition

Sardath, Khashi
Sir Dard
Bukhar
Sardi Garmi

Cold & Cough


Headache
Fever
Sunstroke

Due to cold climate


Due to cold climate
Due to cold climate
Due to heat wave

Patchis

Dysentery

Dast

Vomiting

Diarrhea

Diarrhea

Due to drink
contaminated water
or evil eye.
Due to eat rich food
or wrong food
combination like
meat and milk
Due to eat
contaminated food
or evil eye.

Contact with certain


living organism

Malaria

Malaria

Mosquito Bite

Causes not recognized

Kustha

Leprosy

Causes unknown.

Due to wrong food


and drink.

The Gorkhas think that the good health depends upon the food habit and lifestyle. In their
view one who takes fresh food never becomes ill. They think that the breakfast is much
more important than lunch and dinner and the quantity of food in breakfast is needed to
be big, the lunch is medium and dinner is very small quantity. The Gorkhas belief that
disease like dysentery came from water. They take purified water. Many of the villagers
of Karbari Grant use the water purification system like aquaguard, pureit and other water
purification filter. According to the villagers smoking has bad effect on health. Asthma,
High blood pressure is the causes of smoking. But the researcher has noticed many
Gorkhas take Bidi or Cigarette regularly. Consumption of alcohol is noticed among the
Gorkha Population of this village. Many adult male especially who employed in Indian
Army take alcohol regularly. Total 183 respondents were interviewed out of which 114
are females and 69 are males. Out of 183 respondents 29(15.84%) were alcoholic and
154 (84.16%) were non alcoholic. About 11% individuals were found to be smoker and
89% non smokers. Out of 114 females only one (0.88%) was found to be smoker and rest
(99.12%) were non smoker. Only 1.76% were alcoholics and 112 (98.24%) were non
alcoholics. Out of 69 individual males 19 (27.53%) were smokers and 50 (72.47%) were
non smokers and 27 (39.13%) were alcoholics and rest 42 (60.87%) non alcoholics.
Except some old aged Gorkhas there has no concept of Shaman or Ojha as well as no
beliefs on magico religious performances to cure diseases.
Case Study-I: Hari Sing Thapa, 70 years old male
Now a day nobody has belief on shaman or ojha. When I was 12-13 years old I was
become ill. My mother took me to a man who is magico religious practitioner to cure my
illness. The magico religious practitioner performed some magico religious activity
through chanting Mantra and beating drum like musical instrument.
It is noticed that many Gorkhas suffering from Hypertension, Anemia, Diabetes, Skin
disease and so many chronic diseases. They prefer allopathic treatment to cure themselves.
Some of the Gorkhas use traditional medicine for curing diseases. They mainly use herbal
medicine for treatment. There are two medical practitioners who use traditional medicine.
The knowledge of their medicinal practice transmitted orally from their father. They told
that Traditional Medicinal treatment is time consuming. It takes more time to cure diseases
than allopathic medicine but it cures diseases completely. Now a days nobody has time
for traditional medicinal treatment. The traditional medicinal practitioners have not proper
scientific knowledge as well as formula about the procedure of medicine making because
they have no formal training.

514

Health Care Practices ............ Village Karbari Grant

Case Study-11: Punam Sing Gurung, 50 years old female


I am suffering from hypertension, hyperthyroidism for 4 years. For these diseases I consult
allopathic doctor and use allopathic medicine according to doctors prescription. Doctor
suggested me to eat Roti, green vegetables, toned milk, refined oil as cooking medium
and to avoid Rice, Potato, Ghee, Butter etc. 2 years ago I have fallen in bathroom and
my knee has broken. After that I go to Doon Hospital for treatment. In Doon Hospital
doctor suggested me to do x ray photo copy of my broken knee. After that I was done x
ray photocopy and consulted with physician. My physician plastered my broken knee
and gave some medicine. The physician suggested me not to walk and told me to come
after one month. After one month I went to the physian at Doon Hospital for further
checkup and he opened my plaster and suggested some medicine. Now I am more or less
cure. Some people have belief but I have no belief in traditional medicine because it is
some time unscientific and it has no effect on patient. Generally I prefer to consult
allopathic physician for any kind of illness for me and my family. We are facing problem
in case of any emergency like heart attack, because there is no hospital or allopathic
physician in our village.
The traditional medicinal practitioners use 26plant genera and 27 plant species for healing
diseases and their method of preparation and utilization is different. The information on
scientific name, vernacular name of the plant part used to cure and methods of preparation
and utilization has been providedTable - 2. List of Medicinal plants
Sl. Name of
No. ailments

Vernacular
name of
the plants

Botanical
name

Family

Habit

Parts
Used

Methods of
Preparation and use

1.

Coughn &
Cold

Arush

Adhatoda
vasica

Acanth
aceae

Shrub

Leaf

Leaf boiled in hot water.


The water is consumed
to cure cough and cold.
The dose is daily
morning for 7 days.

2.

Gynecological

Dhania
disorder

Coriandum

Apiaceae
sativum

Herb

Seeds

One teaspoon coriander


seeds boiled in hot water.
The warm water gives
to the patient to controle
excession menstrual
flow.

3.

4.

Dysentery

Cardiac
problem

Barhami
Booti

Arjun ped

Centella
asiatica

Apiaceae

Terminallia Combr
arjuna
etaceae

Herb

Tree

Leaf

Bark

515

Arnab Mukherjee

The paste of the 3-4 leafs


is consumed daily
morning in empty
stomach to cure
dysentery.
The power of the skin of
the bark added with pure
ghee and boiled rice is
used to cure heart
and cardiac pain

Sl. Name of
No. ailments

Vernacular Botanical
name of
name
the plants

Family

Habit

Parts
Used

Methods of
Preparation and use

5.

Skin disease
& Wound

Tambaku

Nicotiana
tabacum

Solanaceac

Herb

Leaf,
Root

The dried leaf is boiled


at hot water and the
water is used to wash the
bacterial and fungal
infested areas of skin and
wound of the skin. The
root dust is orally used
to cure indigestion

6.

Constipation
& Indigestation

Aamla

Embilica
officinalis

Phylanthaceae Tree

Fruit

Powder of the dried fruit


mixed with the powder
of haritaki and bibhitaki
fruit add slight salt and
consumed daily night
before sleep to cure
constipation and
indigestion

7.

Constipation
& Indigestation

Bibhitaki

Terminallia Combretaceae Tree


Bellirica

Fruit

Powder of the dried fruit


mixed with aamla
powder and haritaki fruit
powder is used daily
night to cure indigestion

8.

Constipation
& Indigestation

Hiritaki

Terminallia Combretaceae Tree


chebula

Fruit

The Powder of the fruit


mixed with aamla
powder and bibhitaki
fruit powder is used daily
night to cure indigestion
and constipation.

9.

Acute Stomach

Kadvi-booti Ainsliaea
aptera

Asteraceae

Herb

Root

The root pest is taken


orally to cure acute
stomach. The powder of
dried root is taken with
luke warm water relieves
quickly.

Ban-ajwain Thymus

Lamiaceae

Shrub Whole The plant decoction is


plant used orally to cure
cough, cold and fever.
The powder of the
flowers mixed with gur
(jagerry) is given as
vermicide.

Verbenaceae

Shrub leaf

10. Cold, cough


& fever

serphyllum

11. Skin disease


& wound

Chaturang

Lantana
camara

12. Hair fall

Gurhal

Hibiscus
Verbenaceae
rosasinens is

The leaf paste applied


over the wound, skin
disease to heal.

Shrub Flower The decoction of flower


mixed with coconut oil
is used for good and
black hair falling and
help hair nourishing

516

Health Care Practices ............ Village Karbari Grant

517

Arnab Mukherjee

Sl. Name of
No. ailments

Vernacular Botanical
name of
name
the plants

Family

Habit Parts
Used

Methods of
Preparation and use

Sl. Name of
No. ailments

Vernacular
name of
the plants

Botanical
name

Family

Habit

13. Rheumatic
arthritis

Nirgundi

Vitex
negundo

Lamiaceae

Shrub Leaf

The paste of the leaf is


used externally to cure
rheumatic arthritis,
swelling of the joint.

25. Piles

Nag fani

Opuntia
dillenii

Cactaceae

Shrub Fruit

The decoction of fruit of


the tree is used orally to
cure piles.

14. Mental disease

Brahmi

Bacopa
monnieri

Scrophulariacae Herb

Kalanchoe
pinnata

Crassul
aceae

Herb

The leaf juice is used


orally to cure kidney
stone and hyper tension.

Leaf

The leaf of the tree is


fried into ghee then feed
to cure the mental
disease.

15. Cough & Cold

Tulshi

Ocimum
Lamiaceae
tenuiflorum

Herb

Leaf

Decoction of leaf added


with honey is taken
orally to cure cough,
cold.

16. Stomach ache


& Dysentery

Kaith

Limonoa
acidisima

Rutaceae

Tree

Fruit

The unripe dried fruit is


used orally to cure
diarrhea, dysentery and
Stomach ache.

17. Dysentery &


Diarrhea

Bael

Aegel
marrmelos

Rutaceae

18. Diabetes &


Skin Diseases

Neem

19. Sunstroke
20. Wound

Tree

Fruit

The pulp of the ripe fruit


is taken as a tonic for
digestive effect. The
powder of unripe and
dried fruit is used for
dysentery and diarrhea.

Azadirachta Meliaceae
indica

Tree

Leaf

Leaf of neem tree boiled


in hot water. The water
is used to cure Diabetes
mellitus. The paste of the
leaf is used externally to
cure skin disease.

Imli

Tamarind
us indica

Fabace

Tree

Fruit

The fruit juice is taken


orally to cure sunstroke.

Jangli
pudina

Mentha
asiatica

Lamiaceae

Herb

Whole The paste of the tree is


plant
used externally to treat
wound.

21. Urinary disorder Pudina

Mentha
spicata

Lamiaceae

22. Skin diseases

Kumari

23. Blood Cancer

24. Toothache,
Throat & Gum
infection

Aloe Vera

Herb

Leaf

The leaf juice is


consumed at morning in
empty stomach for 4-5
days to increaes
urination.

Xantho
rrhoeaceae

Herb

Leaf

The decoction of leaf is


used for skin disease and
cures the wounds.

Sadabahar Cattaranth
us roseus

Apocyn
aceae

Shrub Root

Powder of the root of the


tree is orally taken to the
treatment of blood
cancer.

Akarkara

Compo
siteae

Herb

Spilanthes
acmella

Flower Flower head is used


either fresh or dried and
powdered for toothache,
throat and gum infection.

26. Kidney stone


Darmar
& Hyper tension
27. Stomach aches

Kagji nimbu Citrus


Rutaceae
aurantifolia

Parts
Used

Leaf

Shrub Fruit

Methods of
Preparation and use

The juice of the fruit


added with lukewarm
water and consumed to
cure stomach aches.

There is no primary health center and no hospital in Karbari Grant. They go to Military
Hospital in Dehradun for treatment of major and minor diseases. Generally the villagers
use Allopathic medicine which is suggested by the doctors of Military hospital. They get
facility in case of treatment in Military Hospital because at least one or two adult male
family member of the Gorkha who lives in Karbari Grant is either employed in Indian
Army or retired army man. But the Military Hospital is too far from the village so they
sometime face problem in case of emergency cases which happened in night. According
to the villagers they need a primary health center in village because in case of emergency
situation at least primary treatment is possible in primary health center. The villagers
said that in many cases patient died on the way to the Military hospital. The pregnant
mothers also go to Military Hospital for vaccination. The health employees (ANM) of
Buddhi Chowk Govt. Hospital come to the village for pulse polio vaccination in each
and every month.

Habit of Ethnomedicinal Plant in Percentage


40.74
29.63

Tree

29.63

Herb
Figure 1 Habit of ethno medicinal plant in percentage

Shrub

518

Arnab Mukherjee

Health Care Practices ............ Village Karbari Grant

519

Conclusion and Discussion


Consumption of Alcohol

Habit Smoking
Smoker

Percentage of individual

84.16

The Gorkha villagers males and females both prefer to take alcohol and smoking. In case
of male frequency is greater than female. Males prefer smoking and drinking alcohol
than females. But few females (Only two individuals) prefer to drink alcohol. Some of
the villagers are social drinker they don't prefer to take alcohol regularly they prefer to
take alcohol occasionally like in Sansari mata Puja, Marriage and birthday party.

Non Smoker
11%

100
80
60

15.84

Except some old aged Gorkha there is no magico-religious concept of disease and they
don't prefer to go to shaman or ojha for curing the disease but the concept of Evil Eye
is very widespread among Gorkhas. The villagers prefer to go to doctor. Those who are
employed are of Indian Army the their family go to Military Hospital for treatment because
they get facility to treatment. The Military Hospital provides treatment free of cost to
their family. But the Military Hospital is too far from the Village Karbari Grant. For that
reason they sometime face problem in case of Emergency cases. There is no allopathic
doctor or allopathic medicinal shop in the village Karbari Grant and there is no primary
health center in this village.

40
20
0
Alcoholic

89%

Non alcoholic

Figure 2 Consumption of Alcohol

Figure 3 Habit Smoking

Habit Smoking
Male in Percentage

Consumption of Alcohol
Male in Percentage

Some old people prefer to go to Local traditional medicinal man. Because they think that
the allopathic Medicine has some side effect that may be causes of other disease.
They use the plant part separately or mixed with other plant part and other materials like
ghee, jagerry, milk. Fresh parts as well as dried parts have seen to be used to prepare
traditional medicine. Various parts of the plant like leave, stem, bark, root, fruit and flower
even whole plant have seen to be used to prepare traditional medicine.

72.47
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0

27.53

Smoker

60.87
39.13
Series1

Non Smoker

Alcoholic

Figure 4 Habit Smoking (Male)

Figure 5 Consumption of Alcohol (Male)

Consumption of Alcohol
in Female

120

99.12

80
60
40
20
0

0.88
Smoker

Non Smoker

Figure 6 Habit Smoking (Female)

Percentage of individual

Percentage of individual

Habit Smoking
in Female

100

Non alcoholic

98.26

100
50

1.76

0
Alcoholic

Non Alcoholic

Figure 7 Consumption of Alcohol (Female)

From the data 1 have noticed that herbs (40.74%) are the most used plant followed by
the shrubs (29.63%) and trees (29.63%) in descending order. Many species like Acanthaceae,
Apiaceae, Phylanthaceae and Verbebenaceae is frequently used in this village to cure
diseases.
Different researchers from the country have reported altogether 2416 ethno medicinal
uses of plants (Sajem A.L & Gosai K, 2006, P-5). Different plants used by the Malani
tribes of Himachal Pradesh, Santal of West Bengal, Jaintia tribes of Assam. Irula and
Thottianaickans of Tamil Nadu, Khonds of Andhra Pradesh, Bhil tribe in Madhya Pradesh
etc. has some or the other relevancc with the plants that are found to be use by the Gorkha
residing in the Dehradun district of Utarrakhand.
Lantana camara is found to be used among the Irula Tribe of Tamil Nadu to cure the
wounds and the same plant is found to be used among various tribes of Buldhana district
of Maharashtra. The fruit of Coriandum sativum is found to be used among Jaintia tribes
of Asssam to cure Stomachache and the same plant is found to be used among Gorkhas
to control excessive menstrual flow. Adhatoda vasica have also used among Irula to cure
respiratory disorder and the same plant uses by the jaintia tribes to cure dysentery and
blood vomiting.
The data collected shows that the majority of the remedies taken orally and some externally.
The herbal medicines which used and prescribed by Gorkha population of the village

520

521

Health Care Practices ............ Village Karbari Grant

Arnab Mukherjee

Karbari Grant are either based on single plant or a combination of several plant parts.
Most of the reported preparations are drawn from single plant; mixtures are used rarely.
Some time the domestic substance is found to be used to prepare medicine.

Ganesan, S., G. Venkateshan and N. Banumathy, 2006. Medicinal plants used by ethnic
group Thottianaickans of Semmalai hills (reserve forest), Tiruchirapapalli district,
Tamil Nadu. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. Vol. 5(2): 245-252.

The present author is fully convinced that traditional ethno medicinal remedies in the
area are valid and reliable. Doses vary sometimes depending upon age of sufferers. These
treatments of diseases with plants and plant products also cause no side effect.

Jadav, D. 2006. Ethnomedicinal plants used by Bhil tribe of Bibdod, Madhya Pradesh.
Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge. Vol. 5(2): 263-267.

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Hills of Tamil Nadu. Indian Journal of Traditional Knowledge Vol 3 (3): 299-304.
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Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (523-533), 2012-2013

A Demographic Study of Gorkha


Population in Village Karbari Grant,
District Dehradun, Uttarakhand
Minakshi Sharma1

ABSTRACT
This paper deals with the demography of Gorkha population residing in the Karbari
Grant village of Dehradun and discusses the socio-cultural aspects of the community
through the demographic parameters. Sample size comprises of all 529 Gorkha individuals
(262 males and 267 females belonging to 104 households in the main hamlet of the
community called Gorkha Karbari Grant. The primary data for demographic parameters
regarding household census, population characteristics, educational status, occupational
status along with disability profile and religious profile was collected. Demographic
indicators like sex ratio, child sex ratio, literacy rate, work participation rate, etc. were
also calculated. The results of the study highlights the healthy sex ratio in general and
very poor child sex ratio in particular; high literacy (91.21%) but low level of higher
education; more than 50% work participation rate and service particularly in Indian
army as the main occupation of the Gorkhas. Though the community has been given the
status of OBC in the state, it still feels marginalised on developmental aspects. The issues
like low child-sex ratio, low higher education level and less representation of the community
in the state administration, politics and in the occupations other than army are required
to be addressed for the holistic development of the community and the Gorkhas are
gradually becoming aware about these aspects.

INTRODUCTION
Demography is the mirror to a population. Its the backbone of planning and development
for the people. In the words of father of the nation, Mahatma Gandhi The soul of India
lies in villages. It is remarkable here that its ultimately a village that develop into a town
or city in due course of time. Therefore, demography of a village- the basic unit of planning
and development assumes utmost importance in anthropology being the holistic science
of man.
1Research Associate (Cultural), Anthropological Survey of India, North West Regional Centre, Dehradun

524

Minakshi Sharma

A Demographic Study of Gorkha Population District Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Present Study
In March 2011, the North West Regional Centre of Anthropological Survey of India in
Dehradun conducted An Extensive Study on Gorkha Population under the national
project DNA Polymorphism of Contemporary Indian Population in village Karbari Grant
of Dehradun district. The present work by the author was a part of the above stated project.
Study Area and the People
The village Karbari Grant comes under Gram Panchayat Karbari Grant of Block Sahaspur,
Tehsil Vikasnagar of district Dehradun. The village lies at the northern outskirts of the
dense Karwapani Reserve Forest in Asarori Forest Range of Rajaji National Park
towards south to the Shimla By Pass Road. There are 5 hamlets viz. Gorkha Karbari,
Garhwali Karbari, Manak Siddha Karbari, Gooily Karbari and Jhiwarhedi Karbari in the
village. The study area i.e. the hamlet Gorkha Karbari Grant lies in north-west part of the
village and owes its name to the fact that the maximum concentration of Gorkha population
resides here. Most of the Gorkha population settled here consist of serving or retired army
men. Therefore, the exposure to urban life style of army and simultaneous interaction
with nearby rural and urban areas through Shimla Bypass road makes this hamlet an ideal
example of rural-urban continuum in spite of its vicinity to the Karwapani reserve forest.
Location :The studied area is situated between 30035N latitude and 77094 E longitude.
It is located towards the north-west of Dehradun district at a distance of about 21 km
from Dehradun city on Shimla By Pass road, and south of the National Highway 72 which
connects Dehradun to Ponta Sahib, the famous pilgrimage for the Sikhs.
Accessibility: The studied village can be reached by foot or through a vehicle from Shimla
Bypass main road. The main road coming from the hamlet has two openings on Shimla
By Pass road; one, near Bhuddi Chowk towards north east and the other near Ganeshpur
towards north.

525

It is accessible at shortest distance from Shimla bypass main road through the road via
Ganeshpur. At this opening a board indicating the way to Karbari Grant and name of land
donors for this path is placed on main Shimla By Pass road (Figure 1). A part of this route
passes a little through the forest and as the water canal is crossed; the hamlet Gorkha
Karbari Starts.
Village History: The village has a very peculiar historical story behind the term Grant
in the name of the village. It was told by some elderly in the village that before India
became independent in 1947 this piece of land was owned by a King. About that time,
the news about annexing all the kingdoms in to India after independence was spreading
like fire. So the King, in fear of this, sold the land to the other King, who later granted
or allowed the Gorkha population already existing there to continue agriculture on his
land. He even asked the jobless Gorkhas of that time, to come and farm his land. This
is how the village got the word Grant in its name. Even today a large portion of the
agricultural land is owned by the descendants of this King.
Ethnic Groups/Communities: The village Karbari Grant is multi-ethnic and multi-caste
village. It mainly consists of multi-caste population of the Garhwali and Gorkha community.
The Gorkha generally reside in the hamlet called Gorkha Kabari Grant along with a few
families of other communities while Garhwali population is in majority in rest of the
village. The Garhwali population generally includes Brahmins and Rajputs while Gorkha
Population consists of the various castes like Pandits, Kshetri, Thapa and Gurung, etc.
Settlement Pattern: The medicinal properties of the water of the Karwa Pani stream and
the nearby forest resources are the main reason of human settlement in this area. The
main village road along which the hamlet Gorkha Karbari is located is almost parallel
to the Karwapani stream. The houses are generally located along the both side of main
village road in a linear pattern and the agricultural fields lie at the back side of the houses.
Some houses are embedded into the agricultural fields along the footpaths through them.
Objectives
The main objectives of the present research under the broad objective of Demography
of Gorkha Population were as follows:
1.
2.
3.
4.

To conduct a household census.


To record and analyse the population characteristics.
To know the educational status .
To record and analyse the occupational status.

Methodology

Figure1: Sign-board on Shimla Bypass indicating the road to the village

Various qualitative and quantitative tools and techniques of research methods in


Anthropology like observation, schedules, unstructured interview, field diary etc. were
employed for data collection for this study. The sample population consisted of all 529
Gorkha individuals consisting of 262 males and 267 females residing in 104 households
of the Gorkha community in the studied hamlet. The definitions by Census of India for
various demographic parameters like broad age groups, sex ratio, literacy rate, work
participation rate, classification of workers, etc. were followed throughout the study.
Digitalisation and analysis of data was done using MS Excel-2007.

526

Results and Discussion


1.

Household Census

1.1.

Households by Community

kachcha. A remarkable point is that people have not destroyed their older kachcha
household in the same premises according to the desire of their parents and they
still perform the Kuldevta Pujan in their Kachchha house.

The Gorkha Karbari hamlet has a total number of 109 households in total including
the Gorkha and other communities with a population of 638. Out of these 109, the
households belonging to Gorkha community are 104 in number with a population
of 529 individuals. Other than the Gorkha, there are 2 Garhwali, 2 Punjabi, and
1 Bawari family in the Gorkha Karbari Hamlet (Table 1.1). Most of the Gorkha
families residing in Gorkha Karbari hamlet though migrated long back from Nepal,
are natives of the village now.

1.3.

1.2.

Households by Family Size


Based on the analysis of 104 households belonging to the Gorkha community, the
structure of Gorkha population as per the family size is as follows:

Table 1.3: Family Size in Gorkha Karbari

Table 1.1: Community Wise Households in Gorkha Karbari


Sl. No.

527

Minakshi Sharma

A Demographic Study of Gorkha Population District Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Family Size

Number of Families

1 to 5

74 (71%)

6 to 10

26 (25%)

Community

No. of Households

11 to 15

04 (4%)

Total

104

(i)

Gorkha

104

(ii)

Garhwali

(iii)

Punjabi

(iv)

Bawari

Total Households

109

In the studied area, most of Gorkha families (71%) consist of 1 to 5 members,


followed by 25% of Gorkha families that consist of 6 to 10 members. A few (4%)
of Gorkha families consist 11 to 15 members (Table 1.3).
So far as their family setup is concerned, most of the families consisting up to 5
members are nuclear (having husband-wife and their unmarried children only)
while those consisting more than 5 members are of joint type (having husbandwife, their married and unmarried children, and grand children and other relatives)
generally. In few cases, unmarried or widow sister or widowed brother of the head
of household or of his wife also reside in the joint family.

All communities other than the Gorkha are neo-local to the village. There are some
neo-local Gorkha families also who have recently settled in the village through
some friend, relative or marriage alliance with the daughter of the village. For
further analysis, the 104 households belonging to Gorkha population only have
been taken into account.

2.

Population Charcteristics of the Gorkha Population

Households by Infrastructure

2.1.

Sex Composition
The sex composition of Gorkha Population based on 529 individuals in 104
households of Gorkha Karbari Grant is shown in Figure 2.1 as follows:

Almost all the houses owned by the Gorkha community in the hamlet are pucca
(having concrete roof, brick wall and cemented floor) with a number of 102 houses.
At present, only 2 houses belonging to very poor Gorkha families are kachcha
(having tiled roof, mud walls and earthen floor) in the village (Table 1.2).

Figure 2.1

Table 1.2: Infrastructure of Houses in Gorkha Karbari


Sl. No.

Type of Infrastructure

No. of Houses

(i)

Kachchha

(ii)

Pucca

102

Total Households

104

But, the old Gorkha men of the village tell that this development is very recent.
In their young age, there were just 15-20 households and all of these houses were

Sex
Female Composition
50.47%

Male
49.53%

The number and percentage of Gorkha females was found to be slightly higher
than their counterparts among the community.

528
2.2.

Sex Ratio
The sex ratio of Gorkha Population in the studied area is 1019 which is healthier
in comparison to the census 2011 (provisional) figure for the state of Uttarakhand
(963) and that of India (940). The Child sex ratio of Gorkha Population in the
studied area is 517 which is much poor in comparison to the census 2011(provisional)
figure for the state of Uttarakhand (886) and that of India (914). The low figure
of child sex ratio is a matter of concern and is in absolute contradiction of the
normal sex ratio figure. The sex composition in the age group of 0 to 1 years, with
higher number of male children though skewed against females but apparently no
discrimination was observed or stated by the community among boys and girls.

2.3.

529

Minakshi Sharma

A Demographic Study of Gorkha Population District Dehradun, Uttarakhand

86-90 Years

81-85 Years

71-75 Years

66-70 Years

61-65 Years
56-60 Years
46-50 Years

15

41-45 Years

15

Total

0-6

31 (11.83%)

20 (7.49%)

51(9.64%)

07-14

37 (14.12%)

28 (10.49%)

65 (12.29%)

15-59

164 (62.60%)

197 (73.78%)

361 (68.24%)

>60

30 (11.45%)

22 (8.24%)

52 (9.83%)

Total

262 (100%)

267(100%)

529(100%)

As per the Table 2.3.1, there are maximum number of individuals (68.24%) in the
age group of 15-59 years in Gorkha Karbari reflecting the good status of available
work force. The population in the age group of 07-14 years (12.29%) shows the
potential workforce in near future while the age group more than 60 years (9.83%)
and 0-6 years (9.64%) indicate the dependents.
2.3.2. Population Pyramid
The Gorkha population has been further classified into smaller age groups to get
a more clear picture of the age sex structure of the Gorkha population.
It is observed through the analysis of population pyramid (Figure 2.3.2) that the
total Gorkha population is decreasing up to the age of 15 yrs; it is uniformly
increasing from the age of 15 yrs to the age of 30 yrs and thereafter it decreases
gradually. The population pyramid shows that the number of females upto the age
of 10 years are less than the males while the females in the age group of 11-35
is generally higher than males which is largely because of marriage. This also
explains the contradiction between the the sex ratio and child sex ratio.

12
19
12

16
17

23

M
30

25

29

32

26-30 Years

36

19

21-25 Years

26

16-20 Years
17

11-15 Years

20

22

6-10 Years

17
15

29
40

Number of Females (%)

10

10

51-55 Years

Table 2.3.1 Broad Age Groups in Gorkha Karbari Grant


Number of Males (%)

12

0-5 Years

Age Group

14

31-35 Years

2.3.1. Broad Age Groups


Age composition reflects the dominance of a particular age group of the population
in socio-cultural life and economic status of a community. Following the classification
of Census of India, the Gorkha Population data is classified in four broad age
group as follows:

76-80 Years

36-40 Years

Age Sex Structure

1
9

30

20

10

10

20

30

40

Figure 2.3.2 Population Pyramid of Gorkha Community

3.

Status of Education among Gorkha Population in Gorkha Karbari Hamlet


Education is very important for the holistic development of a society. The Gorkha
community give adequate importance to education as is evident from the literacy
and educational level given below:

3.1.

Literacy Rate
All individuals aged 7 and above i.e. 478 in number comprising of 231 males and
247 females has been taken into account to analyse status of educational among
Gorkha population. According to the primary data collected, the literacy rate among
Gorkha population is 91.21% (Table 3.1).

Table 3.1: Status of literacy among Gorkha Population


Category

Number of Males (%)

Number of Females (%)

Total (%)

Literate

217 (93.94%)

219 (88.66%)

436 (91.21%)

Illiterate

14 (6.06%)

28 (11.34%)

42 (8.79 %)

Total

231(100%)

247(100%)

478(100%)

The male literacy among Gorkha Population is 93.93% while the female literacy
among Gorkha Population is 88.66%. (Table 3.1). This shows that the male literacy
in Gorkha population is higher than the female literacy. But, it is remarkable to

530

note here that Gorkha females have attained comparatively higher education as
indicated by the education level as discussed below.
3.2.

4.

4.2.

Education Level
Though the Gorkha community gives importance to education but they generally
do not aspire for higher studies. Among the literates, only 15.83% Gorkha individuals
continued their education beyond class 12.Similarly, only 10.14% among literate
males and only 21.46% among literate females continued their studies beyond
class 12. The education level of females is higher because most of the Gorkha
male youth generally target to get into armed forces after passing high school or
intermediate. But, during the present study, the author also observed that the male
Gorkha youth have started giving importance to higher education and professional
courses now due to increasing competition for army jobs.

Occupational Categories among Gorkha population in Gorkha Karbari


Grant
In Gorkha Karbari, all the occupational activities have been classified into the
major and other occupations as follows:

Other
Occupations
51%

Major
Occupations
49%

Service/Job
36%
5%

Occupational Status of Gorkha population in Gorkha Karbari

3%

The total workforce between the age group 15 to 59 years in Gorkha Karbari
consisting of 361 individuals (197 females and 164 males) has been taken into
account to analyse the occupational status of Gorkha population in the studied
area. The occupational status of Gorkha Karbari is discussed below:
4.1.

531

Minakshi Sharma

A Demographic Study of Gorkha Population District Dehradun, Uttarakhand

2%

Household
Industries
Agricultural
Labourers

Cultivators

Work Participation Rate (W.P.R.)

Figure 4.2: Occupational Categories in Gorkha Karbari

Major occupations include Service/Job (including both government and private


jobs), Daily Wage Workers (working on daily wage as labourers or otherwise),
Household Industries (industries run by one or more household members or the
persons doing service and repairing of transport equipments like motor mechanics,
electricians, etc.), Agricultural Labourers(working as labourers for agriculture),
and Cultivators (those cultivating their own land) as about half of the population
is involved in these activities. While rest of the occupations and the persons doing
house work including housewives have been put under the category of Others
for the analysis of occupational status of Gorkha Karbari Grant.

Main Workers
52.74%
Non-Workers
44.99%

3%

Daily Wage
Workers

Workers
55.01%

Figure 4.2 highlights that maximum Gorkha individuals (36%) in the studied area
are engaged in service/job. Among these, most of the individuals do government
service particularly in Indian Army as the Gorkhas have been the soldiers historically.
Cultivation is practised by a few individuals (only 2%) because of the lack of
irrigation facilities, fear of monkeys and residential plotting in the area. Those
who fail to get any kind of service or job or those who are less educated either
work as agricultural labourers (3%) or daily wage workers (5%) or become self
employed in household industries (3%). The occupational category of Others
represents about half of the population because it also includes the housewives
and other persons engaged in household work as workers besides those engaged
in the other occupations.

Marginal
Workers
2.27%

Figure 4.1: Work Participation in Gorkha Population

Among the total population of 529, the work participation rate in Gorkha population
is 55.01% (291 workers) that consists of 52.74% (279) main workers and 2.27%
(12) marginal workers. It means 44.99% of the Gorkha population is dependent
on on the 55.01% actual work force.
Here, it is remarkable that the author during the field work also found 35 senior
citizens (aged above 60 years) including 09 males and 26 females being actively
involved as the workforce in Gorkha population while the absence of child labour
(<15 years) in Gorkha Karbari is observed.

4.3.

The existing workplaces of Gorkha population in Gorkha Karbari Grant


The Gorkha population generally work in nearby villages like Ganeshpur, Jhiverhedi,
Bhuddi, Badowala, Nayagaon, Ratanpur and other nearby areas within a
distance of 10 kms as daily wage labourers. Some do private jobs in nearby
cities like Selaqui, Vikasnagar and Dehradun. Those employed in government

532

jobs are generally working nationwide at long distances. Some of the Gorkha
individuals also migrate temporarily to Nepal to earn their livelihood and for the
marriage purpose.
5.

Disability Profile
The disability in the village is 1% approximately. There are only 6 disabled
individuals comprising of 2 mentally retarded (both males) and 4 physically
disabled one. Among the physically disabled, one male and one old female is
disabled due to paralysis while 2 females are orthopaedically disabled due to
arthritis and overweight.

6.

Minakshi Sharma

A Demographic Study of Gorkha Population District Dehradun, Uttarakhand

Religious Profile
All 104 Gorkha families in the studied area except one (who recently converted
to Buddhism) are Hindus. Every Gorkha household has a Tulsi tree at its entrance
that is revered as a female deity. Tulsi Vivah is a popular celebration among
Gorkha community. The practice of keeping a flower in a copper pot filled with
water at entrance of the house is observed as a traditional practice of Gorkha to
please the Goddess Laxmi for prosperity. The Gorkha worship all Hindu Gods.
Barah Dev- the incarnation of Lord Vishnu is Kul Dev of the village. The temple
of Barah Dev in north-west and Manak Siddh Baba in the south west are two
religious centre located within the village. The Sansari Devi Pooja, Barah Dev
Poojan and Bhandara (big feast) at Manak Siddh temple are three regular
annual religious events here. Besides Dat Kali and Nag Devta are also worshipped
as the ancestral deity. A figurine of Kul Devta (local deity) resembling the
Shivalinga (a symbol of Hindu Lord Shiva who bears the Nag as ornament) is
placed at a corner in the agriculture field of the Gorkha usually. Sai Baba is very
much revered among new generation.

Conclusion
The present study among the 104 Gorkha households in the village Karbari Grant reveals
that the Gokhas basically love the nature and prefer to settle around forest, river, etc. The
sex ratio (1019) among Gorkha population is very healthy. On the contrary very poor
child sex ratio (517) is a matter of concern. The literacy rate among Gorkha community
is very high (91.21%) and there is a marginal gender gap of 2.73% in literacy rate with
males being on higher side. So far as education level is concerned females take an edge
because the males prefer the army jobs rather than higher studies. The Gorkhas are very
diligent and are not shy of doing any kind of work that gets reflected by the work
participation rate of 55.01%. Participation of females in the workforce is generally for
household work while the males are engaged in economically productive activities outside.
It makes the participation of females in active work force comparatively higher than their
counterparts. The maximum numbers of the Gorkha individuals are employed in government
jobs, particularly in Indian Army indicating their occupational preference towards serving
in the armed forces for the nation and highlighting their patriotism. Among the remaining
population, most of the Gorkha individuals work as Daily Wage Workers/labourers,
followed by Household Industry Workers, Agricultural Labourers and Cultivators
respectively. The health status of the Gorkha community is generally good as only 1%
population was found disabled. The mental retardation, paralysis and orthopaedic disability

533

were identified during study only in the five individuals. The Gorkhas generally practice
Hindu religion. Only one family recently converted to Buddhism was noted. They worship
all Hindu Gods. Most popular are the Barah Dev (Lord Vishnu), Lord Shiva and
Goddess Kali. Though migrated from Nepal long back in history, they regard India as
their motherland. They prefer themselves to be called as the Gorkha and their language
as Gorkhali rather than Nepali. They are proud of serving the country as soldiers in the
Indian army. The community has been given status of OBC in the state, however, they
still feel marginalised on developmental aspects. The issues like low child-sex ratio, low
higher education level and less representation of the community in the state administration,
politics and in the occupations other than army are required to be addressed for the holistic
development of the community and the Gorkhas are gradually becoming aware about
these aspects.

Acknowledgements
Author expresses deep sense of gratitude to all the subjects of Karbari grant village
who gave their valuable time and information to enriched the data. Author is thankful to
Dr. Vinod Kaul (Superintending Anthropologist (P) and Head of Office), Dr. Shaik Abdul
Azeez Saheb, Superintending Anthropologist (C), Dr. S.N.H. Rizwi (Anthropologist) and
Dr. Harashavardhana (Anthropologist) of Anthropological Survey of India, North-West
regional centre, Dehradun for their valuable comments on the paper which helped me
immensely in improving it. The author is also thankful to Anthropological Survey of India
(Govt. of India), Ministry of Culture for providing the financial support for conducting
this research study. Author expresses special thanks to the two team members viz. Mr.
Jokhan Sharma and Mr. Arnab Mukerjee for their cooperation in digitisation of huge data
of Gorkha Population and also to all the other team members who were part of this
extensive study of Gorkha population viz. Dr. Priyanka Singh, Dr. Jayanta Nayak, Shri
Nishant Saxena, Shri K.S. Pandey, Shri Subrato Kundu, and Smt. Lucy Pramanik who
were there with me to extend their help as and when required during the fieldwork.

References
1.

Census of India 2011, Data Summary,


http://www.censusindia.gov.in/Metadata/Metada.htm

2.

Census of India, 2011


http://censusindia.gov.in/2011census/censusinfodashboard/index.html

3.

Census of India, Provisional Population Totals Paper1 of 2011: Uttarakhand


:Census2011 Press Release dated 02.04.2011: 2
http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov results/data_files/uttarakhand/
ppt_figures_press_rel.pdf

4.

Census of India, Provisional Population Totals Paper2, Volume1 of 2011: Rural &
Urban Distribution: Uttarakhand Series 6: Census 2011:1-2
http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/paper2/data_files/uttrakhand/4fig-uttra-1.pdf
http://www.censusindia.gov.in/2011-prov-results/paper2/data_files/uttrakhand/4fig-uttra-2.pdf

534

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (535-547), 2012-2013

Scenario of Parkinsons Disease in India


Jaya Sanyal1, Biswanath Sarkar2

ABSTRACT
Functional, biochemical or structural abnormalities of the basal ganglia, the cerebellum
and their connections are responsible for the vast majority of the disorders. It is now
generally accepted that there is no single cause of Parkinson's disease, and the concept
of "Parkinson's diseases" is now emerging to indicate multiple etiologies for a group of
diseases with overlapping clinical and pathological features. As a result of these studies,
a new insight into the mechanisms of neuronal death, many neurodegenerative diseases
including PD are now considered proteinopathies caused by abnormal protein processing
in the affected cells.
Advances in understanding mechanisms of neurodegeneration are now being translated
into therapies that are not merely symptomatic but also potentially disease modifying.
Although, levadopa continues to be the most effective symptomatic treatment for Parkinson's
disease, the emergence of motor fluctuations and dyskinesias limit usefulness of the drug.
Considerable attention is devoted to depict the scenario of Parkinson's disease in West
Bengal, India. This paper depicts a general introduction of Parkinson's disease, risk
factors (genetic and environmental) involved and different mechanisms leading to the
disease pathogenesis as studied among PD patients of West Bengal.One of the major
attractions of this paper is the screening of DJ-1 and LRRK2 genes for the first time in
India and correlation of the mutations with phenotypic/clinical data. This study highlights
the interplay of genetic and environmental risk factors acting on the Bengalee speaking
population on PD progression and comparing with other studies of the world. In future,
advanced screening of other genes involved might unfold mechanisms in disease
pathogenesis along with gene-gene interaction. Several other markers can be predicted
thus, helping clinicians for better and early diagnosis of this complex disorder and
predicting treatment response.
Although not meant to be encyclopedic, this comprehensive report highlights recent
advances in basic sciences related to PD and as such should be of interest not only to
clinicians but also to basic investigators pursuing answers to some unanswered questions
about the pathogenesis of this challenging disorder. It is the hope and wish of the authors
that this will serve as a testimony to update the knowledge of Parkinson's disease in India
with special emphasis on West Bengal.

1&2Anthropological Survey of India, 27 Jawaharlal Nehru Road, Kolkata, INDIA

536

Scenario of Parkinsons Disease in India

INTRODUCTION
Movement disorders describe a group of neurological disorders that involve the motor
and movement systems. Parkinsons disease (PD), essential tremor, dystonia is some of
the commonly known disorders that fall in this category. Although the etiology of
movement disorders is poorly understood, both genetic and environmental factors play
an important role in the disease pathogenesis. In this chapter, the scenario of PD in Eastern
India is highlighted.
The ancient texts of the Indian system of medicine Ayurveda, describes Parkinsonism
and tremors as early as 5000-3000 BC. The Ayurvedic physician, Charaka, was possibly
the first to describe Parkinsons disease (PD) in his treatise Charaka Samhitha where
he called it Kampavata, literally meaning tremors of neurological origin. Interestingly,
the treatment recommended in Ayurveda for PD is the seeds of Mucuna pruriens whose
extract contains levodopa. All this was known much before James Parkinson described
this disease in modern times.
The prevalence studies have recorded widely differing rates in India mostly due to
dissimilar ethnicity and age structure of the studied population. A study on the Parsi
community shows a very high prevalence of PD, as their longevity is different from that
of the national average and is characterized by a larger age population as well as a distinct
ethnicity. Epidemiological study from India revealed that about approximately 7 lakh
Indians are affected with PD because of the larger size of Indian population (Behari et
al., 2002). However, the prevalence rates could be much higher (3.30 per 1000 elderly
population > 60 years) based on the recent report from eastern India (Das et al., 2006).
The age and sex specific prevalence showed increasing frequency of neurological disorders
with advancing age in both genders excepting slight dip in the fourth and fifth decades
among females. Different inclusion criteria, multiethnicity, different environmental factors,
poor medical facility and insufficient number of aged population may be responsible for
lower prevalence of chronic neurological disorders as compared to Western countries.
Increase in the life expectancy in future will lead to increasing burden of chronic
neurological diseases in absolute term in Indian society considering the one billion
populations at present. The age-adjusted prevalence rate (PR) and average annual incidence
rate were 52.85/100,000 and 5.71/100,000 per year, respectively. The slum population
showed significantly decreased PR with age compared with the non-slum population.
The adjusted average annual mortality rate was 2.89/100,000 per year. The relative risk
of death is 8.98. The case-control study showed that tobacco chewing protected and
hypertension increased PD occurrence (Das et al., 2010).
Role Environmental risk factors in PD patients of Eastern India
A study from Eastern India with male:female ratio to be 4:1 revealed that family history
of Parkinson's disease, pesticide exposure, exposure to toxins other than pesticides, rural
living and previous history of depression were associated with increased risk of PD and
smoking is inversely associated. The above study being a hospital-based study might
reflect a higher male-female ratio as more males seek medical attention for comparably
severe medical illness in Indian context. Such hospital-based studies are generally
misleading, as survival of women recruited from hospital is worse as compared to men.
This suggests a bias in favor of males in seeking medical advice for neurological disorders
(Sanyal et al, 2010). Agriculture is the main occupation of rural people, which is linked

Jaya Sanyal, Biswanath Sarkar

537

to pesticides exposure and also well water consumption exclusively for more than five
years. Factors like rural living, farming and use of pesticides and insecticides appear to
be interrelated. Most studies that show increased risk of PD with pesticides exposure also
show increased risk with rural living. But in the study from Northern part of India (Behari
et al., 2001), both cases and controls were collected from the same catchment area of the
hospital and this may be one of the explanations why rural living could not emerge as a
risk factor. But with respect to the cohort of Eastern India, controls included relatives of
patients accompanying them in clinic and OPD, which included both rural and urban
subjects in a more random fashion. This is probably why both pesticides exposure and
rural living emerged as significant factor. Though it was difficult to ascertain the nature
of pesticides but mostly they were organophosphorus, organochlorine, carbamates in
chemical nature and this quantification of exposure to pesticides was not possible. The
quantum of land owned by a rural household is perhaps an important indicator of the
economic status of the household. In India, three different types of crops are cultivated
in a year per field. The field size varies from 0.1-2 acres of land. Farmers use different
pesticides to cultivate crops like Dhaan (rice), vegetables, potato, cabbage, brinjal etc.
Ketazine (250ml/spray), Action 505, Eldrine, Phostathione, are some of the commonly
used pesticides sprayed to eradicate pests. Though the cut off value for the use of pesticides
has been kept to five years, it has been seen that patients exposed to such toxic substances
from their younger years have more severe PD symptoms (Hoehn and Yahr score > 4)
than those exposed at a later stage. Manual laborers though engaged in other occupation,
sometimes also work in such open fields. This may be the reason that they have a greater
risk for occurrence of PD. It was expected that farmers would comprise a significant
proportion of cases but only two cases (1.1%) and two controls (0.5%) were farmers. The
farmers in the PD cohort are of older age with one of them having a positive family
history. Comparatively, the controls with farming as an occupation were of younger age.
It can be assumed that with longer years of exposure to pesticides they might develop
PD in their lifetime that explains the discrepancy that farming as an occupation was not
associated with PD. In rural West Bengal, housewives of farmer families and also people
of other professions like shopkeepers and small businessman handle pesticides during
cultivation of land seasonally. This indicates direct exposure to pesticides is probably
more important than rural living or farming as a risk factor. Many patients with Parkinson's
disease have clinically significant anxiety, depression, fatigue, sleep disturbance, or
sensory symptoms. The comorbidity of these nonmotor symptoms and their relationship
to PD severity has not been extensively evaluated. Two epidemiological studies from
India and one from Japan have documented an increasing prevalence of PD among women
with advancing age. (Saha et al., 2003; Das et al., 2006; Kimura et al., 2002). The exact
reasons are not known. One of the reasons may be that women are usually nonsmokers.
An experimental study has documented a beneficial effect of oestrogen on neurons
including dopaminergic (DA) neurons (Miller et al., 1998). However, no significant
correlation has been demonstrated between parkinsonian symptoms and the levels of
oestrogen and progesterone. Thus, a gender-based interaction (e.g. men in the US and
Europe, and women in Japan and India) between environmental and/or genetic risk factors
might explain this difference. A meta-analysis of 44 case-control and 4 cohort studies
on smoking, and 8 case-control and 5 cohort studies on coffee-drinking showed a 60%
lower risk of PD in smokers than non-smokers, and a 30% lower risk among coffeedrinkers than non-drinkers, respectively (Hernan et al., 2002). The primary candidate

538

Scenario of Parkinsons Disease in India

substances that offer a protective effect are nicotine and caffeine. Study by Sanyal et al,
2010 revealed an association between PD and previous history of depression up to 15
years prior to PD symptom onset. Although, the relevance of depression in pathogenesis
of PD is unclear, depression has found to be common in PD patients and predates symptoms
of PD. This might be linked to a reduction in brain catecholamine, serotonin or dopamine.
Interestingly, there was no association of PD with exposure to domestic pets for five
years whereas, two times reduced risk for developing PD was found for those exposed
more than ten years (Behari et al., 2001). Whether there is any mechanism of possible
protective effect of exposure to pets in PD is difficult to attribute to any factor and this
field needs to be explored. In studies on survival of cardiac infarction, patients who owned
dogs had better survival as compared to those who did not own a pet. It might be
hypothesized that sympathetic nervous system arousal and decrease in anxiety in response
to stressors could play a role in survival after cardiac infarction. This hypothesis may not
be applicable in etiology of PD. Inflammatory processes and cytokine expression has
been implicated in the pathogenesis of several neurodegenerative disorders. Inflammation
is a common finding in the PD brain, but due to the limitation of postmortem analysis
its relationship to disease progression cannot be established.
Role of Oxidative stress in PD patients of Eastern India
Due to increase in free radicals and other reactive oxygen species, which play an important
part in neuronal death in major neurodegenerative diseases, oxidative stress is a primary
causal event in the etiology of PD. Under normal conditions, the actions of reactive
species are opposed by a balanced and coordinated system of antioxidant defenses like
Superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT) and Glutathione peroxidase (G-Px). Oxidative
stress might be a consequence of reduced efficiency of these endogenous antioxidants
that render PD patients more vulnerable to oxidative stress. In a study on Eastern India
among 160 subjects, it was seen PD patients had a significant higher RBC SOD activity
(Sanyal et al, 2011). The mean RBC activity of CAT was found to be lowered in patients
compared to the controls. These enzymes do not decrease with age or age of onset, but
the correlation with duration of disease, UPDRS and HY stages was significant for those
patients suffering for a greater duration with later stages of PD progression; thus the
lowering of activity of these biochemical parameters. In the initial stages of the disease,
increased SOD, CAT, G-Px activity in the nervous system of PD patients may be a
protective response to the increased production of the anions.
Mechanisms underlying neuronal death in PD are poorly understood, although several
in vitro studies have suggested the involvement of oxidative stress (Gotz et al., 1990).
According to the hypothesis of Youdim et al. 1993, NO could be implicated in the
pathogenesis of PD in at least three ways: NO-mediated involvement of corticostriatal
glutamatergic neurons (Bret et al., 1989; Mccall et al., 1992) NO interaction with their
on storage protein ferritin resulting in the release of iron, formation of iron-nitrosyl
complexes and promotion of free radicals, triggering lipidperoxidation (Reif et al., 1990);
and NO-induced impairment of mitochondrial function (Abou-sleiman et al., 2006; Nunes
et al., 2005). A single report from India by Sanyal et al., 2010 showed an elevated plasma
level of nitrates was found in PD patients, however, there was no significant difference
in plasma nitrate level between the subgroup of PD patients with disease duration of two
years or less vs. that of the control group. In the PD group as a whole, there was a positive
correlation of nitrate levels with patient age, age at disease onset, disease duration,

Jaya Sanyal, Biswanath Sarkar

539

UPDRS, and the Hoehn and Yahr stage. Analyzed in a different way, NO levels were
higher in PD patients with disease onset > 50 years, and in those with a greater degree
of parkinsonism (UPDRS score > 30 or Hoehn and Yahr > 2). However, this difference
does not justify stating that plasma nitrate levels are therefore related to the risk of
developing PD, particularly as patients with short PD duration did not have elevated
levels of NO.
Malondialdehyde (MDA) is considered to be an intermediate compound and a major
indicator of lipid peroxidation process (Halliwell et al., 1987). With respect to the Eastern
Indian PD patients (Sanyal et al., 2009), plasma MDA levels were inversely correlated
with age of the patients and differed significantly from that of controls thus agreeing with
those reported by Kilinc et al., 1988. Dexter et al., 1989 have shown that basal lipid
peroxidation measured as MDA levels is increased in substantia nigra of PD patients
brain. One report from India by Sudha et al., 2003 showed high erythrocyte lipid
peroxidation at 0 hour of PD patients. High MDA, nitrate levels, excessive SOD activity
in patients with less duration, early stages, decreased CAT, G-Px may indicate a systematic
reaction related to chronic oxidative stress in brain. These can be viewed as peripheral
markers for PD although such markers might not be of any diagnostic value. We find the
difference between early and late PD patients convincing. We therefore, conclude that
some defect in the free radical protecting enzymes does not develop over the years of
Parkinsons disease. This is supported by the observation that early patients, even those
that are elderly, have high levels of these enzymes, while late patients, even young ones,
seem to have lost the ability to increase their antioxidant levels and thus have less free
radical protecting capacity. It is possible that this loss is due to increased oxygen stress
induced by the levadopa therapy. On the whole, it can be concluded that erythrocytes of
Eastern Indian PD patients are under oxidative stress as is evidenced by reduced SOD,
CAT, G-Px with greater duration and later phase of PD.
Role of genes in PD patients of Eastern India
PD generally arises as a sporadic form but is occasionally inherited as a simple
Mendelian trait.
Screening of DJ-1 in Eastern Indian PD patients
DJ-1 gene mutation has recently been linked to PARK7, an autosomal recessive earlyonset form of Parkinsons disease. DJ-1 (OMIM 602533) is an eight exon gene spanning
24kb, the open reading frame is encoded within exons 2-7 and exon 1 (1A and 1B) is
alternatively spliced and non-coding. So far, 22 DJ-1 mutations have been reported in
Human Genome Mutation Database (http://www.hgmd.cf.ac.uk/ac/all.php).
Analysis of codon usage data has an importance in understanding the basic molecular
organization of a genome and that all organisms do not prefer all codons equally. Codon
usage is known to be non-random and species specific. Codon usage patterns differ
significantly from organism to organism and they differ among different genes within
the same taxa. Compositional constraints and translational selection are thought to be the
two major factors for codon usage variation among the genes.
To understand the evolution at molecular level, DJ-1 protein among nine species, Danio
rerio, Macaca mulatta, Pan troglodytes, Bos taurus, Mus musculus, Rattus norvegicus,
Taeniopygia guttata, Canis familiaris, Homo sapiens was analyzed. To understand the
nucleotide compositional characteristics among the DJ-1 from different species, gene

540

541

Jaya Sanyal, Biswanath Sarkar

Scenario of Parkinsons Disease in India

sequences from different species were obtained and analyzed. The GC content was found
to be lower in Homo sapiens, Canis familiaris and Pan troglodytes ranging from 48.2%49.9%, as compared to the other species like Danio, Mus, Rat, Bos, Taeniopygia which
shows a higher value ranging from 50%-55%. While accessing the codon usage preference
for coding region of DJ-1 genes from different species, A-T rich codons were found to
be more abundant in organisms whose G+C content (GC%) in DJ-1 gene was lesser and
GC-rich codons were more abundant in organisms with higher G+C content. It is seen
that species with greater GC% content also tend to have a lower A/T in their third codon
position (A3, T3) values (Fig. 1). Interestingly, the effective number of codons (Nc),
which is an indicative of codon usage bias in a particular gene sequence was found to
be lower in Danio (47.91) and Bos (49.91), whereas Nc value was higher in Pan, Macaca,
Homo sapiens and Mus musculus.
While comparing, the amino acid composition of different homologous DJ-1 protein
sequences, amino acids like Phe, Trp Cys were found to be in some low abundance than
that of Leu, Ala, Pro, which are more abundant amino acids among all the species for
which DJ-1 has been studied. The abundance of the other amino acids such as Asn, Thr,
Ile, Val are more conserving across different species (Fig 2).
The DJ-1 sequences from evolutionary different species have been analyzed. It is observed
that there are some differences among their sequences in nucleotide compositional level. But,
DJ-1 proteins from these species were much conserve, in terms of their amino acid composition.
Thus it provides a hint towards the conserved evolutionary pattern of DJ-1.
0.5
0.45
0.4
0.35
0.3
0.25
0.2
0.15
0.1
0.05
0

In a cohort of 150 PD patients from Eastern India (Sanyal et al., 2011), a total of six
intronic variants (IVS4+30T>G, IVS4+45G>A, IVS4+46G>A, IVS4-98G>A,
IVS5+31G>A and IVS5+69G>C) were detected in the DJ-1 gene including one novel
intronic change (IVS5+69G>C). Clinical features of the two patients exhibiting
IVS5+69G>C (novel change) were compared and both were found to have early onset
PD. However, the risk of this variant (IVS5+69G>C) in PD pathogenesis is not yet
understood. IVS4+30T>G, IVS4+45G>A, and IVS4+46G>A were found to be present
equally both in the patient and control cohorts (Table 1).

Table 1. DJ-1 Gene polymorphisms and variants


Nucleotide
change

Amino
acid change

Patient (%)
N=150
(no. of
chromosomes=300)

Control (%)
(no. of
chromosomes=300)

SNP Status
N=150

IVS4+30T>G

NA

26 (17.33)

27 (18)

rs2641116 (Reported)

IVS4+45G>A

NA

26 (17.33)

27 (18)

rs2641117
(Reported)

IVS4+46G>A

NA

65 (43.33)

40 (26.66)

rs56327722 (Reported)

IVS498G>A

NA

5 (3.33)

0 (0)

rs6703670 (Reported)

IVS 5+31G>A

NA

4 (2.66)

2 (1.33)

rs389298
(Reported)

IVS 5+69G>C

NA

2 (1.33)

0 (0)

Novel

T3s
C3s
A3s

is
an
C

s
en
pi
sa
om
o_

_f

a_
gi
yh
op
Ta
e

ni

am
ilia

gu

eg
rv
no
s_
tu
at
R

r is

ta
tta

ic

lu
cu
_m
us
M
us

ta
u
s_
Bo

us

s
ru

_
es
od
n_

Pa

M
ac

ac

tr o

gl

a_

m
ul

yt

at

an

ta

io

G3s

Fig 1: A3,T3,C3,G3 composition for DJ1 protein among 9 organisms.

Fig 2. Amino acid composition for DJ-1 protein among 10 organisms.

Interestingly, two nucleotide variants, rs2641116 (IVS4+30T>G), rs2641117


(IVS4+45G>A) were found to be in complete linkage disequilibrium (LD). The minor
allele frequencies of these variants were comparable between patients (0.17) and controls
(0.18). The case-control association study showed that rs56327722 was found to be
significantly over represented among the patients than the controls with A allele as a risk
factor for PD among Eastern Indian PD patients (OR=1.798; 95%CI=1.170-2.762,
P=0.010). Nucleotide variant, IVS4-98G>A (rs6706370) was found to be present in 5
patients (3.33%) whereas intronic variant, rs389298 (IVS5+31G>A) is present in 8 and
4 chromosomes among patients and controls respectively. No other such variants were
either seen in the exons 2, 3, 6 and 7 or in their exon-intron boundaries.
There is lack of association of DJ-1 with PD in Eastern India. No heterozygous or
homozygous missense/nonsense mutations in the coding exons of DJ-1 was found
suggesting DJ-1 mutation is very rare among the patients with familial and sporadic
Parkinsonism from East India. Because the identified DJ-1 mutants were found in a
genetically isolated community and in consanguineous families, DJ-1 mutants may be
unusual in the general population. Although intronic regions contain regulatory elements,
the variants detected in our study are unlikely to be pathogenic. The identified intronic
variants which unlikely to affect splicing and seem to be represented as polymorphisms.
Among the variants, rs2641116, rs1264117 and rs389298 have already been reported in
Chinese population (Guo et al., 2005). Mutations had not also been identified in other
Asian populations like Japan, China, Taiwan, and Korea. Therefore, our finding is in line
with the different Asian populations as well as other populations (Israel, Turkey, Philippines,

542

Scenario of Parkinsons Disease in India

Bulgaria, Greece, and Tunisia) (Tan et al., 2004; Tomiyama et al., 2009). Taken together,
it appears that compared to the PARKIN gene, routine priority screening for DJ-1 mutations
in all PD patients may not be necessary or cost effective. Interestingly, intronic variant,
IVS4+46G>A (rs56327722) was significantly over represented among the patients and
thus appeared as a risk factor for developing PD. Such an association of intronic variant
with PD has already been described previously in other genes (Xu et al., 2002). However,
role of this intronic variant in the disease mechanism is not clear. This could be in LD
with some other causal mutation, which needs to be deciphered. In conclusion, although
a number of intronic variants and a novel intronic change were detected, absence of any
DJ-1 mutations amongst PD patients suggests that DJ-1 has little relevance in disease
pathogenesis in our Indian cohort.
Role of LRRK2 gene in Eastern India
A breakthrough has been achieved by linkage of families with autosomal dominant PD
to the PARK8 region located on chromosome 12p11.2-q13 (Funayama et al., 2002;
Zimprich et al., 2004). LRRK2 mutations appear to be limited to certain populations in
various geographical locations; different ancestry and founder effect (Zabetian et al.,
2005) can be related to their variability thereby explaining its absence in the Indians. The
LRRK2 G2019S mutation is the most common genetic determinant with studies reporting
frequencies between 1% and 7% in patients with PD of European origin and between 2%
and 40% in Ashkenazi Jews and North African Arabs (Lesage et al., 2006; Ozelius et al.,
2006). Though G2019S mutation is absent in Eastern Indian population which is in
accordance with the Chinese population (Tan et al., 2005), a single report demonstrated
the presence of G2019S in only one Indian patient (0.12%) and low prevalence in Asia
(Punia et al., 2006 ; Tan et al., 2005). The I2012T and 12020T mutations are absent in
our study which is similar to the Taiwanese (Lu et al., 2005), Polish (Bialecka et al.,
2005) and North Indian studies (Punia et al., 2006) earlier in contrast to the Japanese and
Europeans (Berg et al., 2005; Zimprich et al., 2004). The R1441G mutation occurs in
about 8% in PD patients from the Basque country and 2.5% in late-onset Spanish population
(Paisan-Ruiz et al., 2004; Mata et al., 2005). This mutation is also not found in our cohort
that is at par to the Italian (Goldwurm et al., 2005), Portuguese (Bras et al., 2005) and
North Indian population (Punia et al., 2006). Similarly, R1441C and R1441H were present
neither in Eastern India nor in Portuguese (Bras et al., 2005) and in a study from North
India (Punia et al., 2006). Again, Y1669C is absent in our PD patient cohort like the
Italian population (Goldwurm et al., 2005), whereas it exists as 0.26% in German cohort
(Zimprich et al., 2004). Based on our results, routine testing for these mutations for
diagnostic purpose and genetic counseling may not be cost effective at least in the studied
population. Although LRRK2 mutations are reported at various frequencies in populations
of Spain, Basques, African Arabs, Ashkenazi Jews, the present study indicate that these
mutations do not contribute significantly to PD amongst the cases with familial PD and
sporadic patients cutting across all the castes and groups taken in our study; thereby they
are of little relevance for their pathogenic role in this disease inheritance and cannot be
recommended for the diagnostic screening of those mutations in contrast to North American
and European populations.

Jaya Sanyal, Biswanath Sarkar

543

PARKIN MUTATION STUDIES IN INDIA


Role of PARKIN polymorphisms as risk factors varies in different populations among
various ethnic groups. Unlike many other populations of the world, India consists of
ethnically, geographically and genetically diverse populations, comprising of more than
a billion people of four major linguistic lineages, consisting of 4693 communities with
several 1000 endogamous groups . Indian populations, known for their rich diversity, are
not included in the genotyping of single nucleotide polymorphisms in the global survey
for all the genes associated with PD. As part of a larger effort to study genomic variation
in Indian population, a total of 1000 adult individuals from three linguistic groups
belonging to 10 ethnic groups who inhabit geographically diverse regions of India were
selected for the screening of five PARKIN gene polymorphisms (rs1801474, rs72480421,
rs1801582, rs1801334 and rs35125035) in 10 Indian populations (Munda, Andh, Kamar,
Kathodi, Toto, Gallong, Kathakur, Nihal, Birhor, Bondo) to study the Indian gene pool.
The rs72480421 (His200Gln) was found to be monomorphic. MAF of rs1801334 is the
highest in Indian populations (0.109) than those of the other populations who participated
in Hapmap project yielding a very high heterozygosity. However, with respect to rs1801474,
MAF was found to be similar between YRI (0.102) and Indian populations (0.103). MAF
of the variant rs1801582 is low in Indian populations (0.135) as compared to Luhya
(0.218) and Maasai (0.196) of Kenya, Mexicans (0.224), Gujarati Indians (0.292), but
higher than the Japanese (0.058), Hans Chinese (0.08) populations. Out of sixteen possible
haplotypes, five major haplotypes having frequencies greater than 5% accounted for
almost all chromosomes (9098%) in all populations studied. However haplotype
frequencies showed striking variation among populations. In all populations, GGGGC
is the major haplotype with the frequency ranging from 52.8% (Munda) to 76.2 (Gallong),
GCGC was the second major haplotype in Birhor (15.6%), Munda (19.7%) and Andh
(21.8%). The other haplotype with more than 5% frequency in at least one population
are GGAC, GGGA and AGGC (Fig 3).

Figure 3. Relative proportions of most frequent five-site haplotypes of PARKIN among ten Indian populations.

544

Jaya Sanyal, Biswanath Sarkar

Scenario of Parkinsons Disease in India

Although the present study includes only rs1801474 (Exon 4) and rs72480421 (Exon 5)
are in the so-called deletion hot spot, remaining 3 SNPs are also separated by large introns.
The distance between rs1801582 (exon 10) and rs1801334 (exon 11) is 26.6 kb, likewise
between rs1801334 and rs35125035 (exon 12) is 10.1 kb. Contemporary ethnic populations
of India are highly variable both culturally and biologically. The origins of the genetically
and culturally diverse populations of India have been subject to numerous genetic studies
based on blood group, serum protein and red-cell enzyme polymorphisms (Cavalli-Sforza
et al. 1994; Papiha 1996). Further detailed study in this field will give a greater insight
to analyze the haplotypic and LD and decipher the pathogenesis of PD patterns in this
region. The haplotype diversity and the fragmented LD across PARKIN gene in all
populations of the present study are suggesting the existence of frequent recombination
within the large introns of the PARKIN gene.
The rate varies in different ethnic populations. A total of 499 PD patients from India were
analyzed to identify the causal mutations in the Parkin gene. Fifteen point mutations, 7
heterozygous exon rearrangements and 2 homozygous exon deletions were identified.
Diverse frequency and a wide spectrum of mutations including point mutations, insertions
and deletions within the Parkin gene, have been reported in different ethnic populations.
The frequency of Parkin mutations varies in different populations; Europeans (50%),
Germans (9%), French (16%), Italians (13%), North Americans (21%), Brazilians (8%)
and Indians (8%). Djarmati et al.40 reported that Parkin gene mutations are rare in Serbian
early-onset PD (EOPD) patient samples (1.3%), suggesting that the Parkin gene mutation
rate depends on the ethnic origin of the patients and that other genetic factors contribute
to the development of EOPD. In a study of 73 Caucasian families with EOPD (age <45
years), 49% had mutations in the Parkin gene. In comparison, in 100 patients with sporadic
PD and age of onset <45 years, Parkin mutations were detected in 70% of patients
presenting at age <20 years, but only in 30% of those presenting at age >30 years. Biswas
et al. identified two coding SNPs (cSNPs), Serl67Asn (c.601G/A) and Val380Leu
(c.1239G/C) and evaluated the association of these 2 cSNPs with PD by genotyping 138
eastern Indian PD patients and 141 ethnically matched controls.41 Both the cSNPs in the
Parkin gene within the cohort showed a significant association with PD independent of
the age of onset, sex and presence of other polymorphisms. The association study revealed
that the Val380 allele (c.1239G) was significantly over-represented in the PD patients
(88.4%) compared with controls (71.6%) (p<0.001, OR: 3.02, 95% CI: 1.88-4.86). The
allelic distribution of Serl67Asn also differed significantly between the patient and control
groups (p=0.006, OR: 2.72; 95% CI; 1.3-5.74). Again, the most frequent genotype was
(G,G) (p=0.003, OR: 3.12; 95% CI: 1.42-6.97).

545

treating PD in India being lower than in developed nations, optimal treatment is still out
of reach for many Indian patients (Ragothaman et al., 2006). Patients in India present
with a wide variety of movement disorders and these pose challenges, especially in terms
of treatment, given the therapeutic limitations due to a near total lack of health insurance.
Unfortunately, lack of awareness, limitation of human resources and cost factors deny
the benefits of therapy to many patients.

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548

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61 : 2 (549-557), 2012

igkM+h dksjck tutkfr ds lkekftd] lkLfrd ,oa


vkfFkZd thou esa fujarjrk ,oa ifjorZu
jkt fd'kksj i 1
vkj- ,l- tkaHkqydj 2

ifjp;
oSlh u`tkrh; lewg ftuesa izkphu ;k vkfne y{k.k] fof'k"V laLfr] HkkSxksfyd vyxko] c`gr~ lekt
ls lEidZ esa ladqfpr LoHkko ,oa fiNM+kiu tSls fo'ks"krk gS vuqlwfpr tutkfr dgha tkrh gSA
bu tutkfr;ksa esa oSlh tutkrh; lewg ftudh vFkZ O;oLFkk vkt Hkh f"k iwoZ rduhfd ij vk/kkfjr
gS] tks fuEu lk{kjrk nj ,oa tula[;k kl dh voLFkk esa gS] vkfne tutkrh; lewg dgykrh Fkh]
vc ikfVZdqyjyh oYujsoy tutkfr lewg ih- Vh- th- dgykrh gSA
mij of.kZr fo'ks"krkvksa ds vk/kkj ij Hkkjr dh 75 tutkfr;ksa dks ikfVZdqyjyh oYujsoy tutkfr
lewg ih- Vh- th- esa j[kk x;k gSA ;s izfr ij fuHkZj jgus okyh tutkfr;kW gSA buesa ls vf/kdrj
Hkwfeghu gSA ftuds ikl FkksM+h cgqr Hkwfe gS og f"k yk;d ugh gSA QyLo:i ;s viuh thfodk esa
f"k dks 'kkfey dj ugha ik;h gaSA budh tula[;k de gSA buds lkekftd ,oa vkfFkZd thou esa
cgqr de ifjorZu gq;s gSA iz'kklfud ,oa fodkldkjh lqfo/kkvksa ls nwj] vk/kkjHkwr lqfo/kkvksa ds vHkko
esa nwjnjkt {ks=k esa lfn;ksa ls ;s jgrh vk jgh gSA budh laj{k.k ,oa fodkl dh furkar vko';drk
gS] ftlls budh ?kVrh tula[;k dks jksdk tk ldrk gSA
igkM+h dksjck NRrhlx<+ jkT; ds tliqj ftys esa fuokl djrh gSA dekj] cSxk] fcjgksj rFkk vcwt
ekfj;k dh Hkkaafr ;g Hkh NRrhlx<+ dh vkfne tutkrh; lewg ls lEcfU/kr tutkfr gSA igkM+h
dksjck tSlk fd uke ls gh izrhr gksrk gS ;s igkM+h {ks=kksa esa gh fuokl djrh gSaA budk thou 'kSyh
,oa n'kZu blh ds vuq:i <yk gqvk gSA igkM+h dksjck rhu izdkj dh gksrs gSA dkyk igkM+h] fMgfj;k
igkM+h ,oa ,jaxk igkfM+;kA dkyk igkM+h igkMh dksjck ds uke ls tkuh tkrh gSA fMgfj;k igkM+h
fMg vFkkZr xkWao esa fuokl djrh gSA ,jaxk igkM+h dksjck xkWao ,oa igkM+h nksuks LFkkuksa ij jgrh gSA
;asa e`r xk;&cSy dk ekal [kkrh gSA xk;&cSy dk ekal [kkus ds dkj.k bUgsa rhuksa izdkjkas esa lclsa
uhpk le>k tkrk gSA fMgfj;k ,oa igkM+h esa Hkh vkil esa 'kknh&C;kg [kku&iku ugha pyrk gSA
fMgfj;k eSnkuh {ks=k esa jgdj [ksrh&ckjh dja thfodk ikyu djrs gSA rhuksa dksjck esa fMgfj;k vius
dks lclsa pkWa le>rh gSA blds ckn igkM+h dksjck fQj ,jaxk dksjck dk LFkku vkrk gSA ,jaxk
igkM+h dksjck dh vkfFkZd fLFkfr lclsa n;uh; gSA ;s iw.kZ :is.k taxy ij vkfJr gSA ouksit buds
thou dk eq[; vk/kkj gSA

vuql/a kku lg;ksxh lkLfrd


Nk;k fp=kdkj

550

igkM+h dksjck tutkfr...........fujarjrk ,oa ifjorZu

jkt fd'kksj egrk,, vkj- ,l- tkaHkqydj

551

vkfFkZd&thou

eUgksjh

igkM+h dksjck tutkfr dk eq[; is'kk taxy ls Qy&Qwy ,df=kr djuk] dan&ewy laxzg djuk
gSA taxy ls tykou dh ydM+h ykdj cspuk] f"k midj.k gy] tqvk cukdj cspuk rFkk ?kj
cukus esa mi;ksx gksus okys ydM+h Hkh ;s taxy ls ykdj xkWaoksa esa cspdj thfodk pykrs gSA taxyh
ikS/ks ds fNyds ls ;s jLlh cukdj bls csprs gSA dan&ewy esa eq[; :i ls xM: dkank] tsB dkank
vkfn taxy ls ykrs gSA bls lkQ djds mckyrs gS fQj [kkdj isV dk Hkw[k 'kkar djrs gSA taxyh
Qyksa esa pkj] dVs] vke] rasnw] vkWaoyk vkfn laxzg djrs gSA cjlkr ds fnukas esa iqVq] [kq[kjh Hkh ;s
taxy ls ykdj bUgs csprs gSA pksjh&fNis taxyh if{k;kas dk Hkh f'kdkj dj ysrs gSaA igkM+h dksjck
[ksrh Hkh dj ysrs gSA [ksrh esa edbZ] dwVdh xksanyh] cjbZ cktjk] tVxh xwatk] jkgj ,oa ljlks
mitkrs ga S A ;s lHkh [ks r h fVdjk Hkw f e es a dh tkrh gS a rFkk o"kkZ ij vk/kkfjr gks r h gS A

rhu ikd ,d ikd15 fnu ds ckn firjksa iwot


Z dh iwtk djds cPps dh ek jlksbZ dk dke djuk
izkjaHk djrh gSA eUgksjh ds ckn gh og ?kj ds lHkh dke&dkt esa iw.kZ:is.k gkFk cVkus yxrh gSA

lkekftd thou
igkM+h dksjck tutkfr esa Hkh vU; tutkfr;ksa ds leku xks=k O;oLFkk ik;h tkrh gSA ,nes] gkWalnk]
eqj>k] fxywe] leVokj] gM+ek] >qe:] /kqfj;k] pkUMk rFkk 'ko: budk izeq[k xks=k gSA xks=k O;oLFkk
dk eq[; dk;Z lkekftd thou dks fu;af=kr djuk gksrk gSaA igkM+h dksjck ,d fook?? ,oa ,dy
ifjokj dks iz/kkurk nsrh gSaA igkM+h dksjck dk ifjokj fir`oa'kh;] fir`js[kh; rFkk fir`LFkkuh; gksrk
gSA 'kknh ds ckn ;s ifjokj ls vyx jgus yxrs gSaA ek&cki lkekU;r% NksVs csVs ds lkFk jgrs gSA
vxj ek&cki 'kkjhfjd :i ls Bhd gS rks NksVs iq=k ds 'kknh ds ckn ;s yksx Hkh vyx jgdj thfodk
ikyu djrs gSaA tc 'kkjhfjd :i ls detksj ,oa o`) gks tkrs gSa rc fQj ek&cki vius csVks ds
lkFk jgus yxrs gSaA

thou p
tUe
L=kh ds xHkZorh gksus ds rhljs ;k ikpos eghus esa iwoZt LFky ij ewxkZ cfy nsdj iwtk dh tkrh gSA
cPps dk tUe fcuk ck/kk ds gks ;g lkspdj ;s ,slk djrs gSA vktdy igkM+h dksjck dh xHkZorh
efgyk;s fVVusl dh lqbZ yxokus yxh gSA ijUrq izlo ds le; vLirky tkuk ilan ugha djrs gSA
fojgksj tutkfr ds leku izlo ihM+k izkjaHk gksus ds ckn xHkZorh efgyk dks ?kj ds ckgj vkxu esa
fudky fn;k tkrk gSA vkxu ds fdlh dksus ij og cPps dks tUe nsrh gSA izlo LFky ij ?kj ,oa
ml xks=k ls lEcf/kr dksbZ Hkh efgyk ;k iq:"k ugha gksrs gSA dqlkbZu tks fd ?kklh ;k yksgjk tkfr
dh gksrh gS og izlo esa lgk;rk igqpkrh gSA cPps dh ukHkh >M+us rd ,dkUr LFky ij ek ,oa
cPpk nksuks jgrs gSA cPps ds tUe ds ckn cPps dh ek dks lktk isM+ dk fNydk ikuh esa mckydj
mldk jl fiyk;k tkrk gSA ukHkh >M+us ds ckn NBh fd;k tkrk gSA NBh dsoy 'kqf)dj.k dk
fnu gksrk gSA NBh ds fnu ?kj dk lHkh diM+k lkQ fd;k tkrk gSA ?kj dks xkscj ls fyikbZ djds
'kq) fd;k tkrk gSA NBh ds ckn tPpk ,oa cPpk nksuksa ?kj esa izos'k djrs gSa rFkk cPps dks lHkh xksn
ysus yxrs gSaA

cjgh
NBh ds ckn tUe ds ckjgos fnu cjgh dk vk;kstu fd;k tkrk gSA bl fnu lHkh fjLrsnkj ,oa
xko ds yksx vkeaf=kr fd;s tkrs gSA yM+dk ,oa yM+dh nksuks ds gh tUe esa leku [kq'kh euk;h
tkrh gSA yM+dh gksus ij vf/kd [kq'kh feyrh gS D;ksafd og cM+h gksdj ?kj dk dke&dkt esa gkFk
cVk;sxhA yM+fd;k ?kj dh ftEesnkjh fuHkkrh gSA lc feydj egqvk dh 'kjkc ihdj [kq'kh eukrs
gSA uotkr f'k'kq ,oa mlds ek dks u;k diM+k fn;k tkrk gSA iwoZt LFky ,oa [kqfj;k jkuh ds LFky
ij iwtk dh tkrh gSA ekrk&firk ,oa ?kj ds L;ku yksx cqtqxZ cPps dk ukekadj.k djrs gSA cPps
ds iSj esa igys 'kjkc Li'kZ djk;k tkrk gS fQj ml 'kjkc dks fi;k tkrk gSA

d.kZ&Nsnu
d.kZ Nsnu dks igkM+h dksjck esa dqaoj fogk 'kknh Hkh dgk tkrk gSA lkr ls vkB o"kZ ds mez esa
cPps dk dku Nsn fn;k tkrk gSA bl fnu ekek&QwQw ds ?kj ls fo'ks"k djds yksxksa dks vkeaf=kr
fd;k tkrk gSA xko ds x.kekU; yksx Hkh cqyk;s tkrs gSA cPps ds ekek {kerkuqlkj migkj esa cdjh]
xk; ;k vU; lkeku ykrk gSA ;g migkj cPps ds iwth ds :i esa c<+rk tkrk gSA d.kZ&Nsnu ds
fnu gh vf/kdrj igkM+h dksjck ds yksx buds 'kknh Hkh r; dj nsrs gSA vxj ekek QwQw ds ?kj
dksbZ yM+dk@yM+dh gks rks mlh ls 'kknh r; dj nh tkrh gS vU;Fkk ekek ;k QwQw ds xks=k esa gh
[kkstk tkrk gSA vFkkZr d.kZ Nsnu ds fnu gh 'kknh ds mEehn~okj dk p;u gks tkrk gSA
fdlh&fdlh igkM+h dksjck esa ;g Hkh ns[kk x;k fd lkr&vkB o"kZ esa dku Nsn ugha fd;k tkrk gS
ijUrq 'kknh ls igys dku Nsn vko';d ekuk tkrk gSA 'kknh ds fnu rd vxj dku Nsnh ugha gqvk
jgrk gS rks mls lkekftd n.M fn;k tkrk gS A n.M es a cdjk fy;k tkrk gS A

fookg
igkM+h dksjck esa fookg eesjs&QwQsjs HkkbZ&cgu esa ekU; gSA ;s tkfr vUrfoZokgh rFkk xks=k cfgfoZokg
gksrs gSA nsoj fookg] HkkHkh fookg rFkk fo/kok iqufoZokg dh izFkk buesa gSA dHkh&dHkh dksbZ yM+dk
vUrZtkrh; fookg djrk gS rks lekt ,sls fookg dks ekU;rk ugha nsrh gSA vxj dksbZ leku xks=k
esa fookg djrs gS rks mls oj&o/kw ds ?kj okyksa dks lekt cfg"r dj nsrh gSA ,sls ifjfLFkfr esa
lekt dks lkewfgd Hkkst nsuk gksrk gSA lkewfgd Hkkst esa [kLlh dkVk tkrk gSA xko ds igkM+h dksjck
lekt okys Hkkst esa lfEefyr gksrs fQj bUgs lekt esa ekU;rk feyrh gSA
igkM+h dksjck tutkfr esa fookg iku&ck/kh] cjks[kh ,oa yfxu tSls Lrjksa ls xqtjdj lEiUu dh
tkrh gSA

iku ck/kh
iku ck/kh dks ckr ck/kuh rFkk ykBh Mjkiuh Hkh dgk tkrk gSA iku ck/kh ds fnu fookg iDdk dj
fy;k tkrk gS] blfy, bls ckr ck/kuh ;k ykBh Mjkouh Hkh dgk tkrk gSA bl fnu ds ckn oj
,oa dU;k okys fookg ls eqdj ugha ldrs gSA eqdjus ij ykBh Mjkouh vFkkZr M.Ms ls ekj [kkus
dh Hkh ukScr vk ldrh gSA vktdy ykBh Mjkouh dsoy izrhdkRed 'kCn jg x;k gSA M.Ms ls
ekjus dk dke ugha ds cjkcj gksrk gSA iku ck/kh dk dke dksVikj dh mifLFkfr esa lEiUu gksrk
gSA xko ds x.kekU; cqtqxZ ,oa utnhdh fj'rsnkj cqyk;s tkrs gSA oj i{k ds yksx u;k diM+k] xguk
vkfn ysdj o/kq i{k ds ?kj vkrs gSA vkxu esa rqylh eap ds ikl o/kq dks fcBk dj u;k diM+k]
xguk vkfn ns d j pq e kou fd;k tkrk gS A lc yks x dU;k dks vk'khZ o kn ns r s gS A

cjks[kh
iku ck/kh ds ckn cjks[kh gksrk gSA vkt ds fnu oj i{k ls pkj ls ikp Hkkj dksluk ,d Hkkj
nks g.Mh] u;k diM+k] xguk vkfn ysdj o/kq ds ?kj vkrs gSA oj i{k dh vksj ls utnhdh fj'rsnkj]
xko ds dqN fxus&pqus yksx jgrs gSA o/kq i{k ls Hkh utnhdh fj'rsnkj ,oa xko ds fl;ku cq<+s]
cwtwxZ mifLFkr jgrs gSA u;k diM+k ,oa xguk igudj o/kq lHkh ds lkeus mifLFkr gksrh gS rFkk
lHkh dks iz.kke dj vk'khZokn ysrh gSA 'kknh dk fnu r; fd;k tkrk gSA 'kknh dh frfFk ,d ;k nks
o"kZ ckn Hkh fu/kkZfjr dh tk ldrh gSA

552

igkM+h dksjck tutkfr...........fujarjrk ,oa ifjorZu

vk"kk<+ eghus tqykbZ&vxLr esa igyh o"kkZ esa taxy esa iqVq [kq[kjh e'k:e mxrs gS] bldh lCth
cukdj o/kq ds ?kj mls f[kykus ds fy, igqpk;k tkrk gSA bls iqVq] [kq[kjh >ksj f[kykuk dgk tkrk
gSA ;g ,d vko';d fu;e gSA bls iwjk fd;s fcuk fookg dh vkxs dh jhfr ugha dh tkrh gSA

yfxu
'kknh ls rhu fnu iwoZ rsy gYnh] u;k diM+k] xguk vkfn ysdj oj i{k ds rhu&pkj vkneh dU;k
ds ?kj ij tkrs gSA cSxk rqylh LFky ,oa iwoZt LFky ij iwtk djrk gS] fQj rhu fnu rd ogha
rsy gYnh o/kq ds gkFk&iSj esa yxk;k tkrk gSA oj i{k okys ?kj okil vkdj oj dks blh fnu ls
rsy gYnh yxkuk izkjaHk djrs gSA rhu fnu rd oj ,oa c/kq nksuksa ds ?kj ij vius&vius cgu ,oa
HkkHkh 'kke ls rsy g???? yxkrs gSA xkuk xkrs gS ,oa u`R; Hkh djrs gSaA blesa xko dh efgyk;sa ,oa
yM+fd;ka lfEefyr gksrh gSA

fookg( fogk)
fookg ds fnu lqcg xko ds yksx taxy tkrs gSA ogk ls lky] dsanw rsanw] egqvk vkfn dh Mkyh
ykrs gSA dsnw] egqvk ,o alky ds Mkyh ls cSxk e.Mi cukrk gSA xko ds yksx iwjs vkxu esa lky
dh Mkyh ls Nk;k gsrq ?keM+k Nr cukrs gSA e.Mi ij cSxk iwtk djrk gSA xko okys fookg okys
?kj ls gh rsy ysdj unh ;k rkykc esa ugkus tkrs gSA ugkdj lHkh 'kknh ?kj esa gh 'kkdkgkjh Hkkstu
djrs gSA
'kke dks ckjkr fudyrh gSA igys ckjkr iSny gh tk;k djrs Fks ijUrq vktdy VSDVj ls ckjkr
fudyrh gSA ckjkr esa xko ls izfr ?kj ,d O;fDr rFkk lxs lEcU/kh 'kkfey gksrs gSA ckjkr okyh
fnu ls iwoZ fnu oj i{k ls nks ;k rhu O;fDr ckjkfr;ksa dh la[;k ,oa igqpus dh vuqekfur le;
dh tkudkjh ysdj o/kq ds ?kj esa tkrs gSA ckjkr igqpus ij o/kq i{k dh vksj ls Lokxr fd;k tkrk
gSA oj ds firk ,oa pkpk dks o/kq ds firk Qwy ekyk igukdj ,oa xys feydj Lokxr djrs gSA
dU;k ds ?kj ij Hkh oSls gh e.Mi cuk gksrk gSA ogha ij dksVokj 'kknh lEiUu djkrk gSA oj dks
xk;&cSy] ?kM+h] jsfM+;ks] lkbZfdy vkfn {kerkuqlkj migkj fn;k tkrk gSA o/kq i{k ds xkookys ,oa
fj'rsnkj o/kq dks iSlk ,oa ?kjsyw lkeku migkj esa nsrs gSA

cky ckpuk@rsy fi;ku


cky ckpuk igkM+h dksjck esa vko';d fu;e gSA blls oSokfgd thou dh lQyrk ,oa vlQyrk
dk fu/kkZj.k fd;k tkrk gSA blesa dU;k ds ekax esa rsy Mkyk tkrk gS] vxj rsy dh /kkj lh/ks ukd
dh vksj c<+rh gS rks ,slk ekuk tkrk gS fd budh oSokfgd thou lQy gksxh vkSj ;fn rsy dh
/kkj ukd dh vksj u vkdj QSy tk; rks oSokfgd thou vlQy le>k tkrk gSA bl fLFkfr esa
'kknh jksd nh tkrh gS&D;ksafd budk oSokfgd thou d"Viw.kZ] rukoiw.kZ gksxkA fookg ls lEcfU/kr
tks Hkh [kpZ vc rd oj i{k okys fd;s jgrs gS] lHkh dU;k i{k okyksa dks okil djuk iM+rk gSA ;s
f;k;sa cSxk }kjk lEiUu fd;k tkrk gS rFkk dksVikj lk{; ds :i esa mifLFkr jgrk gSA
dksbZ&dksbZ igkM+h dksjck ds yksx bl v'kqHk y{k.k dks iwtk ikB djds Bhd Hkh djrs gSA

jkt fd'kksj egrk,, vkj- ,l- tkaHkqydj

553

,M+h ds ikl ds /kqy dks mBkdj o/kq ds ekx esa Hkjrk gSA bl xks=k ds yksx oj & o/kq dks diM+s ls
<+drs ugha gSA
>e: xks=k okys yksx vkx ds jk[k ls ekx Hkjrs gSA bl xks=k okys esa Hkh oj o/kq dks <+dk ugha
tkrk gSA
mijksDr lHkh xks=kksa esa ekx Hkjrs le; oj ,oa o/kq dks ikfjokfjd thou dk opu oknk fuHkkuk
iM+rk gSA lq[k&nq[k esa lkFk jgus dk opu ysrs gSA oj&o/kq Hkaoj Qsjs ysrs gSA cSxk iwoZt iwtk]
xzke nsork] ljuk iwtk djrk gS] fQj o/kq dh fonkbZ gksrh gSA

e`R;w
igkM+h dksjck esa e`R;w ds ckn 'ko dks nQuk;k ,oa tyk;k nksuks ???f;k fd;k tkrk gSA e`R;w ds
fnu xkookys rFkk fj'rsnkjksa dks [kcj fd;k tkrk gSA [kcj nsus dk dke xks=k dk ;k fQj xko dk
gh dksbZ O;fDr djrk gSA vxj 'ko dks tykus dk fu.kZ; gksrk gS rks xko ds lHkh lfEefyr yksx
vius&vius ?kjksa ls ,d ,d ydM+h ysdj vkrs gSA 'ko dks tykus dh f;k _rq ds mij fuHkZj
djrk gSA vxj cjlkr dk le; gks rks 'ko dks nQuk;k tkrk gSA e`R;w ds ckn 'ko dks u;k lQsn
diM+k ls <d fn;k tkrk gSA utnhdh fj'rsnkj Hkh vius lkFk u;k lQsn diM+k ysdj vkrs gSA
e`r O;fDr ds iw=k 'ko dks da/kk nsrs gSA vxj bl ifjokj esa pkj HkkbZ ugha gksa rks mlh xks=k ls
fj'rs esa Hkrhtk yxusokys yksx da/kk nsrs gSA 'ko ds lkFk /kku] iSlk] Fkkyh] yksVk] diM+k vkfn lkeku
j[kk tkrk gSA buesa ,slh ekU;rk gS fd e`r O;fDr dh vkRek bu phtksa dks ns[krh gS fd gesa vko';d
lkexzh nh x;h gS ;k ughaA nkg laLdkj ds ckn lHkh yksx ej?kVh ls okil vkrs gSA e`rd ds ?kj
ij rhu fnu rd pqYgk ugha tyrk gSA mlh xks=k ds xksfr;k ;k xko ds vU; yksx rhu fnu rd
mUgsa [kkuk f[kykrs gSA

rhu ugku
e`R;w ds rhu fnu ckn xko rFkk fj'rsnkjksa dh efgyk;s unh ;k rkykc esa ugkus tkrs gSA 'kke dks
rhu yM+dh ,oa nks yM+dks dqy ikp cPpksa dks dqaoj Hkkr f[kyk;k tkrk gSA dqaoj ogh ekus tkrs gS
ftudh dku Nsn ugha fd;k x;k gksrk gSA ?kj dks gYnh ikuh fNM+ddj 'kq) fd;k tkrk gSA blds
ckn ?kj esa [kkuk cukuk izkjaHk fd;k tkrk gSA

nl ugku
e`R;w ds nlos fnu Bkdwj ukbZ }kjk eq.Mu fd;k tkrk gSA ifjokj ds lHkh iq:"k lnL; eq.Mu
djrs gSA jkr dks xeh Hkkst fn;k tkrk gSA xeh Hkkst dHkh&dHkh lksykgosa] bDdhlosa ;k iPphlosa
fnu Hkh vk;ksftr fd;k tkrk gSA ;g e`rd ?kj ds vkfFkZd fLFkfr ds mij fuHkZj djrk gSA blesa
'kkdkgkjh Hkkstu cuk;k tkrk gSA xeh Hkkst esa lfEefyr lHkh yksx vius&vius ?kjksa ls pkoy] iSlk
ysdj lfEefyr gksrs gSA blls e`rd ?kj dks vkfFkZd cks> ugh iM+rk gSA

cwnk Hkjuk ekx Hkjuk

/kkfeZd thou

rsy fi;kuk lQy gksus ds ckn cwnk Hkjk tkrk gSA cwnk Hkjuk Hkh xks=k ds vuqlkj fHkUu&fHkUu gksrk
gSA blesa rsfy;k ,oa flanwfj;k xks=k okys ekx esa rsy ,oa flanwj Mkyrs gSA bl xks=k okys oj ,oa
o/kq dks diM+s ls <d dj cwnk Hkjus dk fu;e djrs gSA

igkM+h dksjck tutkfr izfr iwtd gSA ljuk tks fd isM+ gksrk gS ftlesa budk Hkxoku fuokl
djrk gSA ljuk budk eq[; nsork gksrk gSA ljuk ds vykok rqylh esp] xzke nsork] [kqfM+;k jkuh]
lkjax e<+h] tqxM+h LFky vkfn buds /kkfeZd LFky gSA le;&le; ij ;gk ;s yksx iwtk djrs gSA

/kwj;k xks=k okys rsy ,oa flanwj dk mi;ksx ekx Hkjus esa ugha djrs gSA ;s yksx ekx Hkjus esa ,M+h
ls jxM+dj cus /kwy dk mi;ksx djrs gSA oj nk;s iSj ds ,M+h ds cy ,d pDdj ?kqe tkrk gS fQj

fgUnw nsoh nsork dk bu tutkfr;ksa esa izHkko ugha gSA f'koth vFkkZr 'kadj Hkxoku dh ;s iwtk djrs
gSa ijUrq bUgs ;s cqM+k nso ds uke ls tkurs gSA

554

igkM+h dksjck tutkfr...........fujarjrk ,oa ifjorZu

lkyHkj esa igkM+h dksjck tutkfr fuEufyf[kr iwtk djrs gS %&

gfj;kyh
vk"kk<+ twu&tqykbZ eghus esa tc gjh&gjh lfCt;k mxus yxrh gS rks ;s budks [kkus ls igys
lkewfgd :i ls xko dk iwtkjh cSxk ds vxqokbZ esa ljuk LFky esa p<+krs gSA Hkxr iwtk ljuk
LFky ij iwtk djrk gS ftlesa xko ds gjsd ifjokj ls yksx lfEefyr gksrs gSA blds ckn gh bUgs
[kkuk izkjaHk djrs gSA

dks<+kiwtk
lkou tqykbZ&vxLr eghus esa eksVs vukt tSls dwVdh] dksnks id tkrk gS] ijUrq bUgs Hkh [kkus ls
igys cSxk ds usr`Ro esa dqVdh dk dks<+k vkVk cukdj ljuk LFky esa p<+krs gSA bls Hkh ;s yksx
,d R;kSgkj ds :i esa eukrs gSA

u;k R;kSgkj
Hkknks vxLr&flrEcj eghus esa xksM+k /kku mcM+&[kkcM+ ;k taxyh {ks=k esa mitus okyk /kku id
tkrk gSA bls Hkh [kkus ls igys bldk [khj cukdj cSxk Hkknks ,dkn'kh ds fnu ljuk LFky ij
p<+krk gS fQj lc [kkus yxrs gSA

dBksjh

jkt fd'kksj egrk,, vkj- ,l- tkaHkqydj

tkfr ds yksx pank bdB~Bk djds xzke nsork LFky ij iwtk djrs gSA iwtk esa cdjs dh cfy nh
tkfr gSA ekl dks izlkn ds :i esa ckVk tkrk gSA

ifjorZu
igkM+h dksjck tutkfr ds lkekftd lkaLfrd ,oa 'kS{kf.kd thou esa ifjorZu ds dkjd dks ljdkjh
lgk;rk] ljdkjh dk;Zeksa esa etnwjh ,oa f'k{kk ds :i esa ns[kk tk ldrk gSA ljdkjh lgk;rk ds
:i esa bUgs ljdkjh edku] cht ,oa cSy tksM+h fn;k x;k gSA igkM+h dksjck tutkfr esa fujUrjrk
,oa ifjorZu dks fuEufyf[kr fcUnqvksa ls n'kkZ;k tk ldrk gS% &

fuokl
igkM+h dksjck tutkfr dk dguk gS fd igkM+h dksjck tutkfr ds yksx LoHkko ls >xMkyw gksrs
gSA ;s ckr&ckr esa yM+ tkrs gSA blfy, ???? ;s nqj&nqj esa nks&pkj ifjokj ds :i esa fuokl djrs
FksA fdlh O;fDr dh e`R;w gks tkus ij ;s LFkku cny nsrs FksA ijUrq vc ;s FkksM+k le>nkj gks x;s
gSA txg cnyus dh ijEijk [kRe gks jgh gSA bldk vkSj ,d dkj.k ljdkjh vkokl dh lqfo/kk Hkh
gSA ljdkj dh vksj ls tks edku cuk;k tkrk gS og buds >qXxh >ksiM+h ls vPNk gksrk gSA blfy,]
txg cnyus dh f;k esa deh vk jgh gSA igys yksx iw.kZ :is.k f'kdkj ,oa [kkn~; ladyu ij
vk/kkfjr Fks] vc bUgs FkksM+h cgqr tks tehu nh x;h gS bls NksM+uk ugha pkgrs gSA blfy, igkM+h
dksjck ds yksx vc LFkk;h :i ls ,d gh LFkku ij jgus yxs gSA

pS=k&cS'kk[k vizsy&ebZ eghus esa dBksjh iwtk ljuk LFky esa fd;k tkrk gSA bls cht cksuk Hkh
dgk tkrk gSA bl fnu xqM+ /kqi] pkoy] ukfj;y dks Hkqat dj kbZ bldk yk<+k <syk cuk;k
tkrk gSA lc dksbZ vius&vius ?kj ls yk<+k ysdj ljuk LFky ij tkrs gSA lcds ?kjksa ls yk;k
x;k yk<+k dks ljuk LFky ij ,d txg j[kdj blds mij lq[kh ifRr;k ,oa NksVs&NksVs ydM+h ls
vkx tyk fn;k tkrk gSA fQj blds mij ikuh fNM+dk tkrk gSA ikuh fNM+dus ds ckn yk<+k
NksVs&NksVs lQsn d.k esa fn[kkbZ iM+rk gS ftls ;s izrhdkRed :i ls iwVw taxyh Qly le>rs gS]
bls bDdB+k dj [kkrs gSA bls pqurs&pqurs yksx ;g Hkh cksyrs gS fd bl o"kZ fdruk iwVw fudyk gS]
gesa rks dkbZ fnDdr ugha gksxhA

igukok

buesa ,slh /kkj.kk gS fd ljuk Hkxoku bl dBksjh iwtk ls [kq'k gksrs gS rFkk ,sls gh vf/kd ls vf/kd
ek=kk esa iwVw&[kq[kjh gesa cjlkr ds eghus esa iznku djsaxsA gekjk dksBkj [kkus&ihus ds lkeku ls
Hkjk jgsxkA

fookg

nkyQksM+h
iwl fnlEcj&tuojh eghus esa nygu dh [ksrh gksrh gSA nygu esa eq[; :i ls mjn dh [ksrh dh
tkrh gSA iwl iwf.kZek ds fnu mjn rksM+dj nky cukrs gS fQj ljuk esa iwtk djrs gSA blds ckn
gh mjn dks [kkus yxrs gSA nky QksM+h ds ckn ls nky ds :i esa [kk;k tk ldrk gS blls igys
vxj mjn [kkuk gksrk mls lkcwr xksVk [kk;k tkrk gSA

[k:t
[kfygku [ksr ls /kku ykdj j[kus dk LFkku esa /kku >kM+us dk dke Threshing [kRe gksus ds
ckn gjsd ?kj okys ikfjokfjd :i ls /kwi] ukfj;y] flanwj] nk: ns'kh ls cSxk ls iwtk djkrs gSA

xzke nsork
xko dh lqj{kk] jksx] egkekjh vkfn ls cpus ds fy, izR;sd lky cS'kk[k ebZ eghus esa xzke nsork
LFky ij xko dk iwtkjh iwtk djrk gSA ;g iwtkjh fdlh Hkh tkfr dk gks ldrk gSA xko ds lHkh

555

budk dguk gS fd igys xksVk diM+k igurs Fks flykbZ djds tksM+kbZ fd;k gqvk diM+k ugha igurs
FksA iq:"k dej esa yaxksV igurs Fks] ckdh 'kjhj [kqyk jgrk FkkA efgyk;s Hkh fcuk flykbZ fd;k
gqvk Fkku dk diM+k dej ds fupys Hkkx esa ?kqVus rd ds fy, igurh FkhA dgha ckgj tkus ij
,d nqljk diM+k 'kjhj ds mijh Hkkx esa j[k ysrs FksA ijUrq vc iq:"k ,oa efgyk;sa nksuks flys&flyk;sa
diM+s igus yxs gSA iq:"k ywxh] xath] deht] 'kVZ] isUV vkfn rFkk efgyk;sa lyokj] iStkek] lkM+h]
Cykt iguus yxh gSA
budk dguk gS fd igys fookg tUe ls gh fu/kkZj.k fd;k tkrk FkkA ;gk rd xHkkZoLFkk esa gh yksx
r; dj ysrs Fks fd vxj fcifjr fyax ds cPps gksaxs rks ge lEcU/kh cusaxsA buesa tSlk fd igys
ppkZ fd;k x;k gS] d.kZ Nsnu dks ;s dqaojvfookfgr fookg ds :i esa ekurs gSA bls vkB+ os o"kZ
dh mez rd dj fy;k tkrk gSA blh le; eesjs&QqQsjs HkkbZ&cgu ds chp thou lkFkh dk fu/kkZj.k
dj fy;k tkrk Fkk, ijUrq vkt dy d.kZ Nsnu vko';d ekuk tkrk gS ijUrq thou lkFkh dk p;u
vko';d ugha ekuk tkrk gSA vc yksx cM+k gksus ij gh 'kknh djkus yxs gSA

ifjokj
igys igkM+h dksjck ds yksx ,dy ifjokj esa gh jgk djrs FksA fookg ds ckn yM+dk&cgw vyx jgrs
Fks] ijUrq vktdy yksx fookg ds ckn Hkh HkkbZ&HkkbZ lkFk jgus yxs gSA cqtqxZ ek&firkth dks vc
fookfgr cPps lkFk j[kus yxs gSA igys ,slk ugha FkkA

cky ckpuk
tSlk fd igys o.kZu fd;k x;k gS cky&ckpuk buesa 'kknh dh ,d vko';d izf;k Fkh] blesa 'kknh
dh lQyrk dh Hkfo";ok.kh dh tkrh FkhA pkgs 'kknh cpiu esa gh D;ksa u fu/kkZfjr dh tk pqdh gks
;k fookfgr tksM+s D;ksa u eesjs&QqQsjs HkkbZ&cgu gks vxj cky&ckpus dh f;k lQy ugha gks rks

556

igkM+h dksjck tutkfr...........fujarjrk ,oa ifjorZu

'kknh rksM+ nh tkrh Fkh] ijUrq blesa Hkh vktdy ifjorZu vk jgs gSA yksx cSxk ;k xq.kh ls iqtk&ikB+
djkds Bhd djk ysrs gSA vktdy cky ckpus dh f;k dks Hkh yksx vc vko';d ugha le>rs gSA

d.kZ Nsnu
d.kZ Nsnu igkM+h dksjck esa dqoj fogk vfookfgr&fookg ds :i esa dgk tkrk Fkk] ijUrq le; ds
lkFk&lkFk blesa Hkh ifjorZu vk jgs gSA vkB+ o"kZ dh mez rd ;g djk yh tkrh Fkh rFkk ;g laLfr
dk vko';d vax Fkk] ijUrq vkt&dy igkM+h dksjck ds yksx bls fookg ds igys rd djk ysrs gSA
igys ;s vkB+ o"kZ rd vo'; djkrs Fks ijUrq vc 'kknh ls igys djkus yxs gSA 'kknh esa vxj fdlh
iq:"k dk dku Nsn ugha gS rks mls lkekftd n.M nsuk iM+rk gSA

u'kk[kksjh
buds vuqlkj u'kk[kksjh vkt Hkh ,d cM+h leL;k gSA blds lq/kkj esa le; yxsxkA lkekftd
jhfr&fjokt ;k vkfFkZd f;k dykiksa ls lEcfU/kr lHkh usx fu;e esa ns'kh 'kjkc vko';d lkexzh
gSA lHkh iwtk esa 'kjkc Hkxoku dks p<+k;k tkrk gSA 'kknh] e`R;w vkfn lHkh lkekftd f;k&dykiksa
esa 'kjkc vko';d ekuk tkrk gS] fQj Hkh blesa dqN lq/kkj vk jgk gSA igys yksx vf/kdrj ihdj
u'ksa esa gh jgrs Fks] ijUrq vc yksx /khjs&/khjs bls de dj jgs gSA

etnwjh
igys yksxksa dk thou taxy rd gh esa lhfer jgrk Fkk] ijUrq vc ljdkjh fodkl dk;Zeksa esa
etnwjh feyus yxh gSA vktdy ;s bZVk HkB~Bk esa dke djus xko ls ckgj Hkh tkus yxs gSA bl
izdkj vkfFkZd f;k dykiksa dk {ks=k c<+rk tk jgk gSA

usr`Ro
igkM+h dksjck tutkfr esa igys xko Lrj dk jktuhfrd laxBu gksrk Fkk tks xko rd gh lhfer
gksrk Fkk] ijUrq igkM+h dksjck fodkl izkf/kdj.k ds cuus ls vc bUgh ds tkfr dk dksbZ v/;{k gksrk
gS tks buds fodkl ls lEcfU/kr dk;ksZ dk lapkyu djrk gSA ijUrq budk dguk gS fd v/;{k ds
pquko dk dksbZ Li"V ekun.M ugh gS] v;ksX; O;fDr dk pquko bl in ij fd;k tkrk gS] mnkgj.k
Lo:i orZeku v/;{k vf'kf{kr ,oa cgqr O;ogkfjd ugha gSA blls visf{kr fodkl ij izHkko iM+rk
gSA bl izdkj usr`Ro ds {ks=k esa Hkh ifjorZu vk;k gSA

f'k{kk
f'k{kk ds {ks=k esa igkM+h dksjck tutkfr esa vc ifjorZu ns[kus dks fey jgs gSA tutkfr ifj;kstuk
ds vUrxZr bUVhxzsVsM VkbZcy MsOgysiesUV ds rgr~ vkoklh; Ldwy cxhpk ldZy dk;kZy; dh vksj
ls pyk;k tk jgk gSA tks dsoy igkM+h dksjck tutkfr ds cPpksa ds fy, gSA blesa gjsd xko ls
cPps vk jgs gS]a tks Nk=kkokl esa jgdj i<+kbZ djrs gSA dqN&dqN i<s+ fy[ks 10oha] 12oha ikl ;qod]
;qofr;ksa dks ukSdjh Hkh fey pqdh gSA bl izdkj f'k{kk ds {ks=k esa :>ku buesa fn[kkbZ iM+ jgk gSA

fu"d"kZ
mijksDr o.kZu ds ckn fu"d"kZ ds :i esa ;g dgk tk ldrk gS fd igkM+h dksjck tutkfr ds yksx
?kqeDdM+ ,oa taxy ij vk/kkfjr tutkfr FkhA ijUrq ljdkjh lgk;rk ,oa f'k{kk ds izHkko esa buesa
LFkkf;Ro dk fodkl gks jgk gSA yksxksa esa ljdkj }kjk izkIr edku ,oa FkksM+s&cgqr tehu tks feys
gS&blh ds dkj.k ;s ?? LFkku ij LFkk;h :i ls jgus yxs gSaA jkstxkj dk {ks=k c<+us ls ;s dke
djus ckgj Hkh tkus yxs gSA vkoklh; Ldwy esa djhc&djhc gjsd xko ls nks&pkj cPps jgdj i<+kbZ
djus yxs gSaA ijUrq buds lkekftd vkfFkZd fodkl dh vHkh Hkh dkQh vko';drk gSA

jkt fd'kksj egrk,, vkj- ,l- tkaHkqydj

557

+ Y{x
|ii +vx E Ex i xYx Ih E xnE E + , Vxx < E E Ex
E E n* UkMb |x u n M M E |i =xE + |E] Ei * l {c
E B +x, lx x E + , VxE IiE E ={xi v {j +* +xi
| ZE E + |E] Ei , VxE | v {j < { +*

xn S
n, B.
Bx,
xx, xn
tl, .{.

1951
1939
1992
1963

n E, Jx=; n x {
n M, xnx; Vx
VxVi i; V { Bhb b]
n ; B E ]b <x xS-x-|] E{C + B ]< <x ,
EEi, Eb

558

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (559-567), 2012-2013

Semiological Application of Plants and


Vegetation in folk life and culture of
Jajpur District, Odisha : An Introspection
R. B. Mohanty1, B. K. Tripathy2 & T. Panda3

ABSTRACT
Survey on Semiological (Study of signs and symbols) application of certain plants or
plant products was conducted in the rural as well as tribal belts of Jajpur district, Odisha
during 2009-2011. A totalnumber of 32 varieties of species belongingto 31 genera and
21 family of plants symbolizing something and conveying a definite but silent message
were recorded, used in socio-religio- cultural activity of people of this district. Broadly
these are used for four different category of purposes like (A) during birth, death, marriage
and thread ceremony, (B) worship and other religious rituals, (C) faith and belief and
(D) miscellaneous use. Out of them maximum members, are from family poaceae (5),
followed by Arecaceae (4), Moraceae (3), Rutaceae (2) and Fabaceae (2). Regarding the
individual species, paddy has the highest types of application followed by Mango, Margosa,
Palmyra palm, Palasa & Kusa respectively. Some of those species have negligible
economic value. But, they are nurtured around the villages and protected for such specific
utility. It ultimately adds to the conservation of those species in the localities concerned.

INTRODUCTION
Language is a divine gift to the human society and is essentially vital to human life. It
is the vehicle of communication and the mirror of a culture. The verbal communication
is also central to the functioning of the society. Man shares his knowledge, experiences
and achievements with othersthrough communication carried by the medium of language
(Senkuttuvan, 2005:45). There are numerous types of languages used by human communities
throughout the world. In India alone, there are as many as 325 languages and 25 scripts

1 Reader in Botany, N.C. (Autonomous) College, Jajpur, Odisha - 755001


2 Lecturer in Botany, Dharmasala Mohavidyalayajaraka, Jajpur,0disha-755050
3 Lecturer in Botany, S.N. College, Rajakanika, Kendrapara, Odisha - 754220

560

R. B. Mohanty, B. K. Tripathy & T. Panda

Semiological Application of Plants and VegetationJajpur District, Odisha : An Introspection

in use, being derived from various linguistic families. There are also in existence and use
of thousands of dialects (Singh & Manoharan, 1993; Das, 2005:20). But, during the
beginning of the civilization, the pre-historic man used different signs and gestures to
express his mind, feeling and experiences, probably much before the evolution of such
verbal mode of communication. Today, despite tremendous development in the field of
language and literature, the process of using different signs and symbols to indicate, guide
or caution about any particular matter still continues in different cultures and societies
throughout the world, whether it is a pre-literate, ancient or a modern one. But, the study
of different signs and sign using behaviour was not systematically carriedout up to the
17th century, till the English philosopher John Locke (1690) focused on it using the word
'Semiology' for the first time. The idea of 'Semiotics as an interdisciplinary mode of
examining phenomena in different fields emerged only in the late 19thand early 20th
century with the independent works of Swiss linguist Ferdinand de Saussure and the
American philosopher Charles Sanders Peirce (Anonymous, 2010:626), who have broadly
defined a sign as "Something which stands to somebody for something". Moreover, they
have identified an icon, an index or a symbol as the three main categories of signs used
universally. Modern semioticians opine that sign can take the form of words, images,
sounds, odours, flavours, acts or even objects (Chandler, 2010:1-6). Today Peirce's as
well as Saussure's principles are applied in different fields including Asthetics, Anthropology,
Psychoanalysis, Communications and Semantics. Although much work have been done
on this aspect (Strauss, 1968; Sebeok, 1975; Eco, 1976; Hawkes, 1977; Maria, 1978;
Scholes, 1982; Carlson, 1990; Culler, 2002), the use of plants and herbs as sign or symbol
is sporadic (Dubois, 1906, Jain, 1963; Sengupta, 1965; Gupta, 1971; Vartak and Gadgil,
1981; Singh and Pandey, 1982; Gupta, 1987; Sinha, 1991), whereas there are no such
reports from Odisha.Hence, this project was undertaken to explore and study the
semiological application of plants, their role, significance and present relevance in the
rural as well as tribal belts of Jajpur District, Odisha.
Land and People
Jajpur district (8540' - 8644'E and 2033' - 2110/N) is bounded by the Keonjhar district
in north, Cuttack in South, Bhadrak district in the east and Dhenkanal in the West. It has
an area of 2899 sqkms and 16.25 lakhs of population as per 2001 census. The district
accounts for 1.86% of the state's territory and shares 4.41% of state's population Jajpur
has 1778 no. of villages covering 10 blocks, 10 Tahasils and 01 subdivision (Anonymous,
2010). The scheduled caste and scheduled tribal population of the district are 373513
(22.99%) and 125989 (7.76%) respectively. The scheduled tribes are chiefly Munda,
Santal, Juang and Sabar communities who inhabit the adjoining Sukinda, Danagadi,
Barchana, Dharmasala and Korei blocks of the district from ancient period. These are
hilly and forested localities with rich mineral resources for which a number of iron and
chromite based industries have been developed there. Thereby it became instrumental for
large scale influx of outsiders, directly affecting the traditional rural and tribal way of
life of the people in those localities. Moreover, the tribal's of the area, who have mainly
been living from time immemorial in forest lands and depending on forest resources for

561

their livelihood, now face the threat of large scale displacement due to rapid expansion
in mining and industrial activities.
The history of Jajpur can be traced back to the 'Mahabharat' period as a Shakti Khetra
with Goddess "Viraja" as its presiding deity. It has also a large number of Buddhist
remains of the Bhaumakara period (8th - 9th century A.D.). Jajpur had a separate identity
from the ancient days, being the capital of 'Uttara Tosali, Utkal. It was the cultural
cockpit and political epicentre of the ancient Kalitigan empire who witnessed many ups
and downs due to political turmoil right from the Guptas (4th - 5th centuries A.D.) upto
the Britishers(19th - 20th Centuries A.D.). It happened to be the place of synthesis of
many religions and cults like Buddhism, Jainism, Saktism, Saivism and Vaishnavism,
all of which cameto this land, set their foot and finally formed a fusion of all and thereby
made it a place of religious toleration (Routray, 2007:2). However, its history can be
constructed scientifically from the Gupta dynasty (4th - 5th century AD) on the basis
of the ancient manuscripts and epigraphical as well as copper plate inscriptions discovered
from different parts of the district from time to time. Obviously, this district is a place
of human settlements from the ancient period.
The inhabitants of Jajpur, both tribals and non-tribals have faith and belief on some supernatural power. They practice many socio-religious functions as well as rituals throughout
the year. Obviously animism, naturalism, reverence and respect for nature and natural
objects like plants, animals, rivers, mountains and forests etc. are become the integral
part of the socio-cultural life and tradition of the people of this region (Mohanty &
Tripathy, 2011:279). Semiological application of plants and vegetation is one such intricate
relation between man and plants, practiced from ancient period in Jajpur district of Odisha.
Methodology
Data concerning semiological application of plants were collected through extensive
survey during the year 2009-2011. A minimum of three villages from each block (total
10 blocks) were visited for this purpose. The respondents were selected basing on theirage
and experience. Data were collected through casual conversation but following a standard
prescribed procedure (Kothari, 1990:9). Occasionally the help of the local guide and
language interpreter was sought for this purpose. On two occasions, direct observation
in a marriage as well as thread ceremony became possible during the field tour and data
were collected through personal contact and participant observation method. Most of the
plants used are very common species but some specimens with doubtful identity were
ascertained referring to the flora of this region (Saxena & Brahmam, 1994). The most
relevant data were recorded and finally presented in a tabular form after cross checking
the authenticity of information.
Observation
During the field study it was observed that, people use 32 different plant species on
specific occasions to signify a definite matter or happening. It can broadly be divided in

562

R. B. Mohanty, B. K. Tripathy & T. Panda

Semiological Application of Plants and VegetationJajpur District, Odisha : An Introspection

to four categories i.e. semiological use during (A) Birth, death, marriage and thread
ceremony, (B) worship and other religious rituals, (C) faith and belief and (D) Miscellaneous
uses (Table - 1).
(A) During birth, death, marriage & thread ceremony : An 'Euphorbia' stem with leaves
is hanged at the entrance door as a sign of child birth.On the sixth day, a small ritualis
performed called 'Sathi Puja' for the long life of the child in which a 'Screw Pine' stem
is worshipped wishing the child to be resistant and adaptive likeit. In case of death, if the
body of thedeceased is lost in extreme situation like flood, or if a person is lost and
believed dead due to unknown reasons, a human structure representing that person is
made with the holy grass 'Kusa' and burned after which death ritual is performed. The
family members and relatives eat simple food without oil and spices adding little Margosa
leaf to it, symbolically expressing sorrow and respect to the departed soul. Some 'Sesame'
seeds are offered with little water in the river or pond in remembrance of the person,
wishing him to attend heaven called /Tilatarpan/.
Similarly during marriage, a definite number of betel nuts are sent in invitation to the
relatives symbolizing closeness, love and respect. Few Mango leaves, 'Jujube' leaves and
Dubagrass are tied surrounding the arms of the bride and groom signifying as well as
wishing them good luck, fertility and long lasting sweet relation among the couple. They
are worshipped like 'God' and few grass, unboiled rice and Jujube leaves are sprinkled
on them as a sign of respect, love and welcome to the newlyweds.
During the thread ceremony of 'Brahmins' and some 'Khetriyas', the young Brahmachari
boy before adolescence, wears a loin cloth, a rope made up of holy grass, 'Kusa' functioning
as a belt, holds two long stems of 'Bamboo' as well as 'Flame of the forest' plants and a
'palm' leaf umbrella, all symbolizing the dress code and hard life of an ascetic, who
wanders in forests and different places in search of knowledge and salvation.

563

harvest of crops. The imaginary foot prints of the Lakshmi and Lotus flowers are drawn
with the powdered rice paste, inviting the Goddess on that occasion. The roots of Khas
Khas plant, a symbol of coolness become essential during Rudravisekha , a specific
ritual of Lord 'Siva' while water lily flower representing 'moon' God is used to appease
him in Kumar Purnima festival on the full moon day of October every year.
(C) Faith and Belief :The shopkeepers and business houses hang a chain made with
Lemon and red chili, believed to evade the evil eye while a new vehicle after purchase
is first worshipped and made to run over a lemon, believed essential to counteract the
evil forces responsible to crate accidents in future. In another case, a damaged basket
made from palm leaf frond and a broom from sugar palm leaf are hanged high atop a pole
in-front of a half constructed building with the same intension.
The caretaker of the cowherd takes penance forexpiation of sin due to accidental death
of a cow in rope by begging for some days. He wears a rope surrounding his neck which
is prepared from paddy straw and also a piece of straw holding in the teeth, which indicates
his plight. In contrast, a little turmeric paste is applied to the marriage invitation letter
or on a new cloth before use, symbolizing good fortune and happiness. Moreover, planting
two banana saplings on two sides of the entrance door of a house and hanging garland
made with the leaves of either mango or mast tree symbolizes some auspicious occasion
or function, celebrated there.
(D) Miscellaneous use:Rope, made from paddy straw is tied to thetwigs surrounding the
outer boundary of an orchard indicating no entry zone in the flowering and fruiting season.
Also, a figure made by the same paddy straw to resemble a person, is dressed in old cloths
and made to stand in an orchard or crop field to frighten the birds and other invaders
away, i.e. a scare crow structure.
Discussion

(B) Worship and religious rituals:- In any religious ritual and worship, a sacred pitcher
containing holy water, a 'mango' twig having definite number of leaves and a green
coconut above it is placed and worshipped, symbolizing lord 'Ganesh', the God of wisdom,
bliss and welfare. During 'Durga' puja festival, the 'Bail' tree is first worshipped representing
divine mother and invited. An 'Ash Gourd' fruit is offered and cut into two pieces
symbolizing animal sacrifice. A 'Butterfly pea creeper, locally named as Aparajita or
undefeatable one is tied around the arm signifying invincibility. Moreover, plantslikeSacred
Basil, Bael tree, Banyan, Peepal, Garlic pear tree, Sami, Margose, Flame of the forest,
Ashok and Siamese rough bush locally called 'Sahada' plant are considered holy and
worshipped representing a definite God of the Hindu pantheon or believed to be the abode
of a God or spirit and having some super-natural (totemic ones) power. The person
sponsoring a ritual and the priest normally sits on a mat made from the 'Kusa' and a ring
prepared from this holy grass (Kusabatu) is put on the ring finger, a sign of taking some
short of Oath before performing the ritual. Similarly the white coloured paddy symbolizing
'Lakshmi', the Goddess of wealth and prosperity is worshipped along with betelnut, during
the Lakshmi puja festival on every Thursday in month of 'Margasira' (Nov. - Dec.) after

The term 'Semiology' was independently proposed by the Swiss linguist Saussure in his
Course in General Linguistics (1915), as thestudy of "the life of signs within society".
Since then 'Semiotics' and 'Semiology' have become alternative names for the systematic
study of signs, as the function in all areas of human experience, not limited to explicit
systems ofcommunication i.e. language,Morse Code, traffic signs and signals and a great
diversity of other human activities and productions like our body postures and gestures,
the social rituals we perform, the kind of cloths we wear, the meals we serve, the building
we inhabit, the objects we deal with also convey definite messages to members in a
particular culture, and so can be analysed as signs which serve in diverse modes of
signifying systems. Claude Levi Strauss in 1968 and later, initiated the application of
semiotics to cultural Anthropology and also established the foundations of the French
structuralism in general by using Saussure's linguistics as a model for analyzing, in
primitive societies, a great variety of phenomena and practices, which he treated as quasilanguages that manifest the structures of an underlying signifying system. These include
kinship systems, totemic systems, ways of preparing food, myths and pre-logical modes
of interpreting their world etc. (Abrahm & Harpham, 2011:276).

564

R. B. Mohanty, B. K. Tripathy & T. Panda

Semiological Application of Plants and VegetationJajpur District, Odisha : An Introspection

Similarly, the present investigation concerning the semiological application of certain


plants and vegetation focuses on the role and utility of some flora in conveying a definite
but silent message, which becomes an integral part of tradition and culture of this society.
For such ancient abstract relationship of manwith plants,they are protected and nurtured
in his surrounding which ultimately adds to the conservation of certain plant species in
a locality (Sinha, 1991:21). Moreover, it indicates the phyto-geographical character of
the region concerned. But, the religious overtones and moral bindings with regard to faith,
belief and observance of different rituals and customs are fast vanishing due to the change
in life style of the people as a result of rapid industrialization as well as invasion of
western culture in this region. Hence some serious thought and concrete action are required
so that the cultural practices would be revived which would also be in consonance with
modernity. It can add to the conservation of flora of this locality.

Das,N.K. (2005)

"People of India and Indian Authoropology: A tribute


to K.S. Singh." Jour. Anthro. Surv. Ind. 54(i), 20.

Dubois, J.A. (1906)

Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies. Clarendon


Press, Oxford.

Eco, U. (1976)

A Theory of Semiotics. Bloomington: Indiana


University Press, USA.

Gupta, S.M. (1971)

Plant Myths and Traditions in India. E.J. Brill., Leiden.

Gupta, S.M. (1987)

Women and tree motifs. In S.K. Jain (Ed.) A Manual


of Ethnobotany. Scientific Publishers, Jodhpur,
India, 103-109.

Hawkes, T. (1977)

Structuralism and Semiotics. University of California


Press, California.
"Magico-religious beliefs about plants among the
Adivasis of Bastar." Qr. Jour. Mythic Soc. 4, 73-94.

Jain,S.K. (1963)

Acknowledgements
The authors express their gratitude to the villagers who shared their knowledge during
the field study and to the respective college authorities as well as administrative and
revenue officials for their permission, help and assistance to carryout the work successfully.
Thanks are also due to Dr. S.D. Adhikary, Reader in English, N.C. (Auto.) College,
Jajpur, for his constant guidance, suggestion and help in various ways.

Kothari, C.R. (1990)

Research Methodology. Wishwa Prakashan,


Daryaganj, New Delhi, 9.

Locke, J. (1690)

Essay Concerning Human Understanding. Eliz Holt,


London.

Maria, C. (1978)

An Introduction to Literary Semiotiss. Indiana Univ.


Press, Bloomington, USA.
"A note on the assessment of some Totemic in the
light of Ethnobotanical thinking/' Jr. Anth. Surv. of
Ind. 60(2), 279 - 284.

Mohanty, R.B. &


Plants Tripathy, B.K. (2011)
Routray, H. (2007)

Ancient Monuments of Jajpur. Jajpur Chitrakala


Academy, Jajpur, 2.

Senkuttuvan, R. (2005)

"Speech of Lingngam." Jour. Anthro, Surv. Indi. 54


(1), 45-58.

Saussure, F.D. (1915)

Course in General Linguistics, (ed.) by Charier Bally


& Albert Sechehaye : Me Graw Hill Book Company,
New York.

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A Handbook of Literary Terms Cengage learning,


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Anonymous, (2010)

The New Encyclopaedia Britannica

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(Micropaedia), 626-627.
Anonymous, (2010)0rissa
District at a glance (2010)

Directorate of Economics & Statistics,


Bhubaneswar.

Saxena, H.O. &


Brahmam, M. (1994)

The Flora of Orissa (Vol. I - IV). Orissa Forest


Development Corporation Ltd. BBSR, Orissa.

Carlson, M. (1990)

Theatre Semiotics : Signs of Life. pp Bloomington,


Indiana University press.

Vartak, V.D. &


Gadgil, M. (1981)

Semiotics and Interpretation. Yale University Press,


USA.

Chandler, D. (2010)

Introducing Semiotics. pp, New York, Cobeley &


Jansz, 1-6.

Strauss, C.L. (1968)

The Tell-tale Sign: A Survey of Semiotics. Peter de


Ridder Press, Netherlands.

Culler,J. (2002)

The Pursuit of Signs. Cornell University Press,


New York.

Sinha, R.K. (1991)

Tree symbol worship in India. Indian publications,


Calcutta.

566

R. B. Mohanty, B. K. Tripathy & T. Panda

Semiological Application of Plants and VegetationJajpur District, Odisha : An Introspection

567

Singh, V. &
R.P. Pandey. (1982)

Languages and Scripts, People of India. National


series, Vol. IX, Oxford University Press, Delhi.

Sl.No.

Singh, K.S. &


S. Manoharan. (1993)

" Plants used in religion and magico - religious beliefs


in Rajsthan." Jour. Econ. Tax. Bot. 3, 273- 278.

18

Aswastha

19

Amba

Mango

Mangifera indica L. (Anacardiaceae)

Sengupta, S. (1965)

"Ecosystem preservation through faith and tradition


in India." Jour. Human Ecol. 2(1), 21-24.

20

Kadali

Banana

Musa sapientum L. (Musaceae)

21

Kain

Water Lily

Nymphaea pubescens Willd. (Nymphaeaceae)

22

Tulasi

Sacred Basil

Ocimum sanctum L. (Lamiaceae)

23

Dhana

Paddy

Oryza sativa L. (Poaceae)

24

Kia

Screw Pine

Pandanus fascicularis Lam. (Pandanaceae)

25

Khajuri

Sugar Palm

Phoenix sylvestris (L.) Roxb. (Arecaceae)

26

Debadaru

Mast tree

Polyalthia longifolia (Sonn.) Thw. (Anonaceae)

27

Sami

Sami Plant

Prosopis cineraria (L.) Druce. (Mimosaceae)

28

Ashoka

Ashok

Saraca asoca (Roxb.) de Wilde. (Caesalpiniaceae)

29

Tila

Sesame

Sesamum indicum L.(Pedaliaceae)

30

Sahada

Siamese rough bush Streblus asper Lour. (Moraceae)

31

Bena

Khas Khas

Vetiveria zizanioides (L.) Nash. (Poaceae)

32

Barakoli

Jujube

Ziziphns mauritiana Lam. (Rhamnaceae)

Sebeok, T.A. (1975)

Structural Anthropology. Allen Lane : The Penguin


Press, London.

Scholes, R. (1982)

Studies on Sacred groves along the western Ghats


from Maharashtra and Goa: Role of beliefs and
folklore, In Jain, S.K. (Ed.) Glimpses of Indian
Ethnobotany. Oxford & IBH, New Delhi, 272-278.

Table - 1Semiological use of plants for different purposes


Sl.No.

Vernacular
Name

English
Name

Botanical Name & Family

Mode of
Use

Bela

Baeltree

Aegle marmelos (L.) Corr. (Rutaceae)

Gua

Betel nut

Areca catechu L. (Arecaceae)

A,B
A,B

Nima

Margosa

Azadirachta indica A. Juss. (Meliaceae)

Baunsa

Bamboo

Bambusa vulgaris sch. Ex Wendl. (Poaceae)

Panikakharu

Ash Gourd

Benincasa hispida (Thunb.) cogn.


(Cucurbitaceae)

Tala

Palmyra
Palm

Borassus flabellifer L. (Arecaceae)

A,C

Palasa

Flame of theforest

Butea parviflora Roxb. (Fabaceae)

A,B

Lanka

Chilli

Capsicum annum L. (Solanaceae)

Lembu

Lemon

Citrus aurantifolia{Chhs\in & Panz) Sw.


(Rutaceae)

10

Aparajita

Buter fly Pea

Clitoria ternatia L. (Fabaceae)

11

Nadia

Coconut

Cocos nucifera L. (Arecaceae)

12

Baruna

Garlic Pear tree

Createva magna (Lour.) DC. (Capparidaceae)

13

Haladi

Turmeric

Curcuma Longa L. (Zingiberaceae)

14

Duba

Cynodon dactylon (L.) Pers. (Poaceae)

Bermuda
Grass

15

Kusa

Holy Grass

Desmostachya bipinnata (L.) Stapf. (Poaceae)

16

Sijhu

Euphorbia

Euphorbia ligularia Roxb. (Euphorbiaceae)

A,B
A

17

Bara

Banyan

Ficus benghalensis L. (Moraceae)

Vernacular
Name

English
Name
Peepal

Botanical Name & Family


Ficus religiosa L. (Moraceae)

Mode of
Use
B
A,B/C

A,B/C,D

(A - Plants used during birth, death, marriage & thread ceremony, B - During worship
and religious rituals, C - faith & belief, D - Miscellaneous use)

568

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (569-581), 2012-2013

Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among


Mukha Dora Tribe and Indigenous
Healing Practices followed by the tribes in the
Agency of Andhra Pradesh
S Yaseen Saheb1 and T S Naidu 2

ABSTRACT
Mukha Dora, the least known tribe in Andhra Pradesh is concentrated in Vizianagaram
district. Etymologically Mukha Dora means collective group of lords. They speak TeluguDravidian language. They have two exogamous clans (Vamsams): Naga Vamsam and
Surya Vamsam. They are traditionally Podu / shifting cultivators. Data was collected from
200 households during 1982-83, distributed in 12 hamlets chosen from interior areas and
seven villages that have accessibility to modern civic amenities. Infant mortality rate is
high in Mukha Dora (266.67). Total infant mortality in acculturated group (285.71) is
higher than in isolated group (250). The isolated group shows higher female infant mortality
(119.05) than in acculturated group. Mukha Dora record lower infant mortality rate than
neighboring tribes. Scabies is rampant due to deficient personal cleanliness. Vitamin
deficiency and malnutrition are common among children and nourishing mothers. Majority
of stomach ailments are due to worm infections. Malaria is wide spread and endemic to
the region. Female child mortality is more than males in acculturated group, resulting in
66.67 males per 100 females. Diarrhea and fever are common in infants; while malaria,
diarrhea and accidents are frequent among children. Incidence of malformations in males
was higher than in females. Single case of cerebral palsy (spastic) and congenital mental
retardation, harelip and gastro-intestinal malformation among males was observed in
acculturated group. Anomalies, disabilities and illness are in higher proportion in isolated
group (55 %) than in exposed group (11%). Mukha Dora residing in acculturated villages
have benefited by modern amenities to maintain their health, while their brethren in
isolated villages still adhere to traditional practice of healing.

1 Superintending Anthropologist, Anthropological Survey of India,

Southern Regional Centre, Bogadi, Mysore- 570026.


2 Director, Centre for Study of Social Exclusion & Inclusive Policy,

Pondicherry University, Puducherry.

570

Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among Mukha Dora Tribe of Andhra Pradesh

INTRODUCTION
Mukha Dora, a forest dwelling tribe inhabits the Agency area of Vizianagaram,
Visakhapatnam and Srikakulam districts of Andhra Pradesh. They are known by different
names in Andhra Pradesh and in States of Odisha and Chhattisgarh. Etymologically
Mukha Dora in Telugu means collective group of Lords and the name is derived as they
were holding Mukhasi Pattam bestowed by Jeypore kings. The local people call them by
several synonyms, Muga Dora, Mukha Dora, Mukhasi Dora, Nooka Dora, Nukha Dora,
Mukhasi Raja, Muttadar and Mukhasidar. Mukha Dora living in Visakhapatnam and in
States of Chhattisgarh and Odisha states is called Nukha Dora. Francis (1907: 24) referred
to the people as a sub caste under Khond but classified them as Doralu and Mukha Doralu.
Thurston (1909) wrote Mukha Dora is a sub-division and synonym of Konda Dora. They
claim to be the descendants of Jerra, a divine being living in the forests leading a nomadic
life and subsisting on animal food. They trace the legendary origin to Sabara, who shot
the arrow that killed Lord Sri Krishna of Mahabharata and hence they are called Jerra
Sobarulu. Mukha Dora speaks a dialect of Telugu that belongs to Dravidian language.
The total population of Mukha Dora was 40000 as per 2001 Census. Thirty thousand of
them are conversant in Telugu language. They also speak Kuvi dialect with Kondh,
Jatapu, Manne Dora and Konda Dora. Mukha Doras are divided into two exogamous
clans (Vamsams) namely Naga Vamsam and Surya Vamsam. Naga Vamsam has several
surnames: Gammela, Vanthula, Mamidi, Ganthuri, Murla, Chedda, Bachala, Veelam,
Chikkudi, Jatti, Urumula and Kandula. Surya Vamsam comprises of surnames like Korra,
Vemula, Sukuru, Chintala, Thammala, Dippala, Pudhuri, Emila, Guruvala, Koneti, Pusala
and Kakara. Mukha Dora prefers consanguineous marriages. They follow patrilineal
system of inheritance and patrilocal residence after marriage. Mukha Dora claim superior
status and rank over other tribes in the local social hierarchy. They maintain commensal
relations with Konda Dora. Mukha Dora inhabiting in interior Forests practice podu
(shifting) cultivation, while those residing in Hill slopes and near to semi-urban villages
practice terrace cultivation. The present paper delineates on the incidence of Morbidity,
Disease, Illness among Mukha Dora and the native Traditional Healing Practices that are
followed have been reported.
Methodology
Mukha Dora, the least known tribe of Andhra Pradesh was studied from Parvathipuram
Agency of Vizianagaram district during the year 1982-83 from two groups i.e. one
considerably exposed to external contact marked as acculturated group, and the other
living in comparative isolation known as isolated group. Data was collected from 100
households spread in 12 isolated hamlets namely Chinna Barigam, Pedda Barigam,
Pothanna Valasa, Rampadu, Dorla Thadi Valasa, Pula Valasa, Neredla Valasa, Jakarla
Valasa, Nimmalapadu, Komati Valasa, Sollaru and Nerella Valasa; while information
for acculturated group was collected from 100 households distributed in seven villages
namely Kurukutti, Gadaba Valasa, Vankachinta Valasa, Mamidipalli, Batti Valasa, Thota
Valasa and Chandrumanu Valasa. The two groups were identified basing on the ecological
setup such as comparatively isolated and considerably exposed to external contact,
proximity and accessibility to modern civic amenities. Various types of morbid conditions,
diseases and ailments prevalent in 200 households of Mukha Dora was recorded through
scheduled questionnaire, interviews and personal observations and indigenous knowledge
about healing measures for different types of diseases / ailments practiced by native

S Yaseen Saheb and T S Naidu

571

healthcare specialists, Guruvu (Priest), Disari and Jenny (Medicine men) have been
elucidated. Data on health and hygienic practices, environmental sanitation, personal
hygiene and incidence of illness, cause of disease and treatment was collected from 176
subjects, belonging to 200 households. Information on medicinal plants, local names,
parts used in the preparation and treatment were collected from traditional medicine men
and recorded literature on ethno medical practices followed by the local tribes, Nukha
Dora, Konda Dora, Manne Dora, Khond, Jatapu, Gadaba, Kotiya, Savara and Konda
Kammari. In this paper we elucidate traditional knowledge of the tribes inhabiting in
Agency areas - Parvathipuram and Salur Agency; their knowledge of medicinal plants
and usage in healthcare through traditional healing practices.
Food & Beverages
The staple food of Mukha Dora consists of coarse grains like Korralu (Setaria italica),
Samalu (Panicum miliare), Gantelu / Sajjalu (Pennisetum typhoideum), Chodi (Eleusine
corcana), Jonnalu (Sorghum vudgare), Odalu (Baster millets) and variety of Dhanyam
(rice) that are generally cultivated in their Podu lands or Mettu / Gattu terrace fields.
They consume wild food like Jelugu pindi (Caryota palm pith), Thati pindi (Palmyrah
pith), Mamidi tenkalu (Mango kernel) and Chinta pikkalu (Tamarind seeds) as subsidiary
food. The process of removing itch and food preparation has been detailed elsewhere
(Saheb and Naidu, 1985). Some of them residing in acculturated villages procure Rice,
Ragi, Bajra, Jowar and other daily necessities through the Public Distribution Depots.
They dig out variety of edible roots and tubers like Arigi dumpa, Chilagada dumpa
(Ipomoes batatas), Kanda dumpa (Amorphophallus campanulatus), Chedu dumpa
(Dioscorea versicolor), Pindi dumpa, Vymu dumpa, Yeetha dumpa, Arati dumpa (Musa
paradisium), Chama dumpa (Colocasia antiquorum), Pendulamu (Dioscorea alata), Karra
Pendalamu (Manihot esculenta) from forest for food and medicine. The itch inherent in
some of the roots is removed through boiling and filtration before consumption. They
gather edible green leaves like Nulateega, Narateega, Puliteega, Kasateega, Muragadateega,
Palleruteega (Tribulus terrestris), Mullukura, Gongura (Hibiscus cannabinus),
Bachchalikura (Baselia rubra), Guruvikura, Sothikura, Ponnagantikura (Alternathera
sessilis), Gummadiaku (Cucurbita maxima), Palakoora (Spincia oleracea), Chukkakura
(Rumex vesicarius), Chinta chiguru (Tamarindus indica), Karivepaku (Murraya koenigii),
Munagaaku (Moringa oleifera), Thotakura (Amarantus gangeticus), Aviseaku (Sesbania
grandiflora), Mullangi (Raphanus sativus), Menthikura (Trigonella foenum graecum) and
Podina (Mentha spicata) from forest for domestic consumption and medicinal use. They
eat variety of vegetables like Kakarakaya (Momordice charantia), Chikkudu (Dolichos
lablab), Sorrakaya (Lagenaria vulgaris), Goruchikkudu (Cyamopsis teregonoloba),
Aratikaya (Musa sapientum), Beerakaya (Luffa acutangula), Potlakaya (Trichosanthes
anguina), Panasa (Artocarpus heteroplyllus), Bendakaya (Abelmoschus esculentus),
Boppaye (Carcia papaya), Dondakaya (Coccinia cordifolia), Dosakaya (Cucumis sativus)
and Vankaya (Solanum melongenr) grown in their doddlu (kitchen garden). They cultivate
pulses like Pesalu (Phaseolus aureus Roxb.), Ulavalu (Dolchos biflorus), Anumulu
(Phaseolus aconitifolius Jacq.), Konda Kandulu (Cajanus cajan), Alasandalu (Vigna
catjang), Kommu senagalu (Cicer arietinum), Katingulu, Minapa/Minumulu (Phaseolus
mungo Roxb.), Dhaniyalu (Coriandrum sativum), and oil seeds like Nuvulu (Sesamum
indicum), Verusenaga (Arachis hypogaea), Avise gingelu (Lenum usitatissimum), Aavalu
(Brassica nigra), Valeselu (Guizotia abyssinica), Menthulu (Trigonella foenum), Amudamu

572

Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among Mukha Dora Tribe of Andhra Pradesh

(Castor) in their Podu / metta / gattu fields for domestic consumption. They use Castor
oil / Sesame oil as cooking medium. They collect Nimmakaya (Citrus medica var acida),
Jagikaya (Myristica fragrans), Allum (Zingiber officinale), Miriyalu (Piper nigrum),
Pippallu (Piper lorgum), Pasupu (Cucuma domestica), Usirikaya (Emblica officinalis),
Regupandu (Zizyphus jujuba), Maredupandu (Aegle marmelos), Marripandu (Ficus
bengalensis), Ramphalam (Annona reticulate), Jeedipandu (Anacardium occidentale),
Jamapandu (Psidium guajava), Panasa (Artocarpus heterophyllus), Neeredu pandu
(Syzygium cumini), Badam (Prunus amygdalus), Velaga pandu (Limonia acidissima),
Chinta pandu (Tamarindus indica), Kamala pandu (Citrus aurantium), Thatipandu
(Borassus flabellifer) and Seethaphalam (Annona squamosa) from forest for domestic
consumption and medicinal use. They collect wild fruits like Vepapandu (Malia azadirachta),
Ravipandu (Ficus religiosa), Usthikaya (Solanum torvum), Cuncudukaya (soap nuts),
Kanugakaya (Carissa carandas Linn.) and Mahuva (Bassia logifolia) for medicinal use.
They collect honey, wax and minor forest medicinal products for consumption and sale.
They are non vegetarians. They hunt small game like Adavi Pandi (wild boar), Adavi
Meka (wild goat), Adavi Gorre (wild sheep), Kanaju (Antelope), Duppi (Deer/spotted
Deer), Yedupandi (Porcupine), Sambar and trap Manupilli (wild Cat), Adavi Kodi / Nippu
kodi (wild fowl), Kundelu (Rabbit), Raseluka (wild Rat), Mongoose, monitor lizard and
birds like Dove, Pigeon, Partridge etc. in Eastern Ghats of their habitation. They abstain
from eating beef. They collect eggs of wild Fowl, Peacock, Dove, Pigeon and Partridge
from forest for hatching and consumption. Some of them are adept in fishing in streams,
rivers and tanks using nets and hooks. Some of the fish varieties available are Karum
paregalu, Vanjara paregalu, Mitta paregalu, Akumarpulu, Gulivendalu, Eencha paregalu,
Mittalu, Bochichepalu, Nettalu, Kakikavadlu and Burra paregalu.
They prepare intoxicant drink, Maddi using Samalu (Panicum miliare) millets flour.
They also consume locally available alcohol. Some of them distil Ippa (Madhuca indica
Gmel.) sara (arrack) using Ippa / Mahuva (Bassia longifolia) bark and flowers, medicinal
herbs and mandu (intoxicants). They extract toddy (sap) from Jelugu chettu (Caryota
urens), Thati manu (Borassus flabellifer) and Yeetha manu (Phoenix sylvestris). Men,
women and children drink toddy on festive and ceremonial occasions. Fresh toddy is
administered to children as medicine to ease stomach ailments. The process of distillation
of Ippa sara has been described elsewhere (Saheb and Naidu, 1985). They do not feed
Cow / Goat milk to children.
Results and Discussion
Personal Hygiene: Mukha Dora takes bath occasionally due to chilly weather in the
mountains. Women generally take bath in streams. Children are given regular bath. Mukha
Dora living in acculturated villages washes habitually. They apply castor oil / gingili oil/
coconut oil for hairdressing. Mukha Dora brush their teeth with Veduru (bamboo tender
shoots) or Vepachettu (Azadirachta indica Juss.) or Karenga (Carissa carandas Linn.) twigs
or Chitramulam or Uttareni root. They occasionally apply ash / charcoal / sand to clean
teeth. Some people use synthetic toothpaste to clean teeth. Most of the children eat food
without cleaning their teeth. They generally use soap nuts, Cuncudu kayalu or Shikakayalu
(Acacia caesia Willd.) for bath, which they collect from Forest. In acculturated areas they
use Janatha soaps for bathing and washing clothes. Most of the children suffer from stuffy
nose and occasionally parents help in blowing noses. Children use leaves instead of water
for cleaning after nature call. Children move around half naked, wearing gochi (loin cloth)
tied to their waist. Unhygienic practices are the main cause for the prevalence of scabies,

S Yaseen Saheb and T S Naidu

573

(Gajji) in children. They carry out manual work on bare foot, due to which heal cracks
and anelu (foot corn) have been observed. Most of them wear gochi (loin cloth) and expose
the body to severe climatic condition, which directly affect their health.
Environmental Hygiene: Mukha Dora keep houses clean by smearing cow dung and
sweep the floor often. Walls are painted with red clay / lime stone. They observe personal
hygiene during religious festivities. The cleanliness of the surroundings is spoiled by
fowls. They spit / blow noses wherever they sit / congregate. Cattle sheds are attached
to the houses and they rarely remove cattle dung. Ash from the fire pits get scattered
spoiling the environment. Most of their hamlets are located on hill top / sloppy foot hills.
Waste and night soil are thrown near the settlements. Women and children use backyards
to answer nature calls and allow accumulation of garbage and filth near the houses. Rains
wash away the filth and garbage into the streams, polluting drinking water source. In
both isolated and acculturated villages, they do not have toilets and sanitation. They go
into the forest (isolated villagers) or open fields (acculturated villagers) for attending
nature calls. They generally wash in the same streams from where their women fetch
water for drinking and cooking. Acute drinking water problem exists in some of the
acculturated villages (Saheb and Naidu, 1985).
Sanitation: Sanitary facilities are completely lacking in all the 25 hamlets surveyed,
except semi-urban villages like Pachipenta and Salur. Rain water gets drained to the lowlying areas gets accumulated in pools, forming breeding grounds for mosquitoes, causing
epidemics. The situation is pathetic in semi-urban areas than in interior villages. Public
health and paramedical health services are unable to provide much-needed health care
to the people.
Diseases / ailments: Mukha Dora suffer from diseases like scabies, intestinal worms
(round worm, hook worm, whip worm), jaundice, diarrhea, cholera, gastroenteritis,
measles and smallpox as per Medical records (1981-82) available at Primary Health
Center, Pachipenta; Mobile Health Center, Mamidipalli; Government Dispensary, Thonam
and Government Hospital, Salur. Leprosy is rare among the tribes living in Agency,
though prevalent in Vizianagaram District. Scabies is rampant due to deficient personal
cleanliness. Vitamin deficiency and malnutrition are common among children and
nourishing mothers. Majority of stomach ailments are due to worm infections attributed
to unprotected water supply. Malaria is wide spread in the region as it falls in the endemic
zone. National Malaria Education Program hass make all efforts to eradicate malaria by
anti malaria operations. However the prevalence of malaria is at higher proportion in the
interior and isolated villages (Saheb et al, 1987). Health services are making best efforts
to eradicate epidemic diseases that are prevalent in the area. They have awareness about
medical and paramedical services, but they rarely make use of these services. As these
facilities are far away from their habitation, they invariably consult local medicine men,
Guruvu / Jenny / Disari for remedial measures. They seek the help of Guruvu / Jenny to
protect them from wrath of malevolent deities / spirits. Chicken pox and measles are
considered due to wrath of local deities, Nishani demudu / Pydithalli. They worship and
appease deities/ evil spirits and ancestors through animal sacrifice. They believe black
magic / sorcery, known as Banamathi, Chetabadi and Chillangi inflict illness / death to
a person.
Infant Mortality: Infant mortality is defined as the number of infant deaths per 1000 live
births in the year and death of children aged above 1 year to 14 years as child mortality.
The poor economic condition, lack of sanitation and malnutrition has affected mother

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Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among Mukha Dora Tribe of Andhra Pradesh

and child health. Mothers are under nutritional stress during pregnancy and lactation.
Malnourishment of mothers leads to premature births and low birth weight babies.
Boddudokri (mid wife) assists mother at child birth in Agency areas, at times lead to
delivery complications, contributing to both maternal and infant mortality. Infant mortality
rate is significantly high in Mukha Dora (266.67) in both isolated and acculturated groups.
Total infant mortality in acculturated group (285.71) is higher than in isolated group
(250). The isolated group shows higher female infant mortality (119.05) than in acculturated
group, while the trend was reversed in male infant mortality. Mukha Dora recorded lower
infant mortality rate than the neighboring tribes (Saheb and Naidu, 1985). The main factor
contributing to high infant mortality was poor nutritional status of pregnant women. 50%
of women are anemic during pregnancy. Higher infant mortality recorded in both isolated
and acculturated villages is due to cholera and cyclonic storm that devastated their
habitation and economy.
Child Mortality: Nine children (4 males and 5 females) died before attaining the age of
15 years among Mukha Dora. Female child mortality is slightly higher than males in
acculturated group, resulting in a sex ratio of 66.67 males per 100 females. Child mortality
in the isolated group is in equal proportion. Major causes for child mortality are diarrhea,
dysentery, cholera, stomachache, malaria, measles etc. Diarrhea and fever are common
among children below 1 year of age; while malaria and accidents are frequent among
children below 15 years of age. Relatively more children died either due to diarrhea /
dysentery (Saheb and Naidu, 1985).This might be due to high mineral content in drinking
water and cholera.
Anomalies, Disabilities and Illness
Various types of morbidity among Mukha Dora have been discussed in three
broad categories:
a) Anomalies: Anomalies and Congenital malformations affect child health and lead to
an early death of infant or suffer serious illness throughout lifetime. Out of every four
infant deaths, one death is due to congenital malformation and approximately one per
cent of all infants born alive suffer serious disorders, ranging from hare-lip to extreme
conditions of not having brain or bony brain case, known as anencephaly. In India,
majority of child births take place at home. Moreover infants born with malformations
may not survive for long. Hence the incidence of congenital malformations among
newborn in Indian population has not been properly recorded. Data on congenital
malformation in Mukha Dora has been classified as of Central nervous system, Gastrointestinal system, Muscular-skeletal system, Genital-urinary system, Cardio-vascular
system and multiple defects involving several systems. Malformations of Central nervous
systems were common in all populations. Incidence of malformations in males is slightly
higher than females in both the groups (Table 1). Results of present study are in conformity
with several studies from different parts of the world, which indicate that males are prone
to malformations than females. A single case of cerebral palsy (spastic) was observed
in acculturated group, wherein the patient is suffering from multiple deformities like
stammering, spondulytis, epilepsy, staring expression with unblinking eyes and incapacitated
to work. Pedigree study of this patient revealed that his father suffered with the same
deformity and died some years ago. Congenital mental retardation cases were reported
among males belonging to the acculturated group. Harelip and Gastro-intestinal malformation
is observed in one family of the acculturated group, where both mother and son are

S Yaseen Saheb and T S Naidu

575

affected, while daughters are free from this defect. Anomalies recorded in isolated group
are absence of 3rd toe and hand, abnormality of the 1st toe, congenital blindness and
squint eye. Two cases of congenital deaf and dumb are observed in females of acculturated
group. Incidence of brachedactyly is higher in isolated group than in acculturated group.
On the whole anomalies are slightly more in isolated group than in acculturated group,
where more males are suffering than females. The prevalence rate of total anomalies in
males are 33.98 and 33.15 in isolated and acculturated groups respectively and show
slightly higher value than in females (23.39 in isolated group and 23.35 in acculturated
group). The prevalence rate in pooled sample is 33.59 in males and 22.86 in females
(Table 2). Prevalence rates of anomalies in isolated group shows slightly greater (29.18)
value than in acculturated group (27.78).
b) Disabilities: Several forms of disabilities have been reported among Mukha Dora.
Two females were afflicted with epilepsy; one from isolated villages and another from
acculturated villages. The frequency of blindness due to cataract is more in males than
in females. One person each either with spondulytis or stammering or paralysis was
observed in isolated group. Persons disabled due to hands amputation are slightly more
in isolated group than in acculturated group. The frequency of disabled females is more
in isolated group (Table 1). The prevalence rate is higher in acculturated males (33.15)
and in isolated females (33.09), while the corresponding rates in isolated males and
acculturated females are 14.56 and 11.17 respectively. The prevalence rate in the pooled
sample is almost equal in both the sexes (Table 2).
c) Illness: Prominent forms of illness recorded are skin diseases, fever and ailments
related to bronchial-respiratory problems. Chronic asthma is found to be more in both
sexes of the acculturated group. Incidence of illness associated with Gastro-intestinal
system is in equal proportions. More people are suffering with different forms of ailments
and skin diseases in acculturated group than in isolated group (Tables 1). Conjunctivitis
is common in females. People suffering from fever are significantly more in number in
the isolated section. Malaria fever or black water fever, popularly known as agency fever
in Vizianagaram district is endemic in the area. The illness related to Genital-urinary
system is mainly due to the vasectomy and tubectomy. The total prevalence rate of illness
is comparatively high in both sexes of acculturated group than in isolated group. The
total prevalence rate of morbidity is high in the acculturated section, wherein results show
that males are more prone to diseases than females (Table 2).
Indigenous healing methods
Mukha Dora performs ritual remedies for diseases caused by malevolent deities / evil
spirits and administers counter magic for those caused by sorcery practices. When a
person suffers from chronic illness like tuberculosis, goiter, paralysis, etc, the patient
approaches Guruvu to appease the deity, Jakara demudu / Nishani demudu / Pydithalli
through religious rites, ritual offerings and magical procedure. When a person suffers
from Chicken pox, Small pox, Measles, Cholera etc, the patient approaches Jenny, who
is both physician and magician to seek remedy for the ailment. Jenny performs some
rituals chanting magic hymns/ mantras, waiving peacock feathers, offering bhoga to
appease the Goddess and suggests healing methods and ties amulets to the patient (Saheb
and Naidu, 1985). If the disease is caused due to food, environment and behaviour, Disari
administers herbal remedies after physical observation of the patient and disease symptoms.
Mukha Dora believes that illness originate due to breach of customary taboos, wrath of

576

Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among Mukha Dora Tribe of Andhra Pradesh

deities and attribute to supernatural spirits and magico - religious causes. Elders prefer
traditional healthcare offered by Disari / medicine man of the same tribe to safe guard
the Tribal social hierarchical status, while youngsters do not discriminate to visit the
Disari/ Jenny of other tribes, Khond, Jatapu, Manne Dora and Konda Dora.
Guruvu /Jenny/ Disari identifies the cause of illness and then selects the nature of treatment.
Various herbal medicines are administered for the treatment of different types of ailments
/ diseases prevalent in Salur / Parvathipuram Agency in Vizianagaram district. Health
and treatment are interrelated with the environment/ forest ecology, since forest is the
main resource of getting medicine plants. Lactating mothers are advised to abstain from
consuming cold food like gruel, banana and curd during nights to avoid ailments like
cough, cold, fever, headache etc, and hot food like drumstick, papaya, chicken to avoid
inflammation of hands and legs, rheumatic pain and stomachache. Lactating mothers are
forbidden to eat fish and pulses - black gram and green gram to avoid infant getting boils
and scabies. As a result of these food taboos, children suffer nutritional deficiency diseases
like anemia, scurvy and beriberi. Goiter is endemic among the tribes due to iodine
deficiency in their diet
Epilepsy: Two Mukha Dora women suffered from epilepsy (Table 1). Khonds of
Visakhapatnam district makes a paste of Ubbuchettu Katti (Desmodium gangeticum) plant
and administers the paste once a day for three days (Rao et al, 2006). While Kotia Hills
tribes, Manne Dora, Konda Dora, Jatapu and Savara apply the paste of Vavilli (Vitex
negundo Linn.) leaves over the head of the patient for relief. They pound the leaves of
KrishnaThulasi (Ocimum tenuiflorum Linn.) with Vavilli (Vitex negundo) leaves and the
extract is administered along with honey for 10 days to cure fits (Chandra Babu et al, 2010).
Cataract: Four males and two females became blind due to cataract, while 4 persons have
lost partial eye sight (Table 1). Gadabas of Visakhapatnam district takes the root powder
of Kasiratnam pulu (Ipomoea hederifolia Linn.) orally to treat cataract (Rao et al, 2011).
Spondulytis / Paralysis: One male person was diagnosed with multiple ailments like
spondulytis, stammering and paralysis in isolated group (Table 1). Khonds of Visakhapatnam
district apply the paste made of Netturu ossoh (Vernonia cinerea Less.) plant regularly on the
affected region of the body, while Gadabas apply paste made from leaves and tubers of
Chedukura (Anodendron paniculatam Roxb.) for paralysis treatment (Rao et al, 2011).
Skin diseases: The incidence of skin diseases in isolated group of Mukha Dora was lower
compared to the acculturated group and the frequency in females was greater than males.
Interestingly the incidence of skin diseases was more in acculturated group compared to
isolated group (Table 1). The tribes living in Kotia Hills apply leaf juice of Kasintha
(Cassia occidentalis Linn.) mixed in butter milk on the affected parts to cure scabies
(Chandra Babu et al, 2010). Savaras of Srikakulam district apply the mixture of Neem
(Azadirachta indica) and Karanja (Carissa carandas) oils to cure scabies (Rao et al, 2010).
Gadabas of Visakhapatnam district drink the extract of rhizome of Nelatadi (Curculigo
orchioides Gaertn.) or the stem bark of Naramamidi (Litsea deccanensis Gamble) to cure
skin diseases (Rao et al, 2011).
Bronchial-respiratory problems: During our study 16 persons comprising 9 males and
7 females were suffering from Bronchial-respiratory problems, wherein 11 of them hail
from acculturated villages and 5 persons hail from isolated villages (Table 1). ). Savara
and Jatapu of Srikakulam district take Nallajeedi (Semicarpus anacardium) or Karakkai

S Yaseen Saheb and T S Naidu

577

(Terminalia chebula) or Thulasi (Oscimum sanctum) extract for relief from cough. The
tribes living in Kotia Hills administer decoction made from stem bark of Pangiachina
(Litsea glutinosa Robinson) tree to ease chest pain. Seed powder of Adavi benda (Thespesia
lampas Dalz.) plant mixed with bark juice of Schleichera oleosa is administered orally
with hot water in small doses twice a day for 21 days to overcome bronchial-respiratory
problems (Chandra Babu et al, 2010).
Chronic Asthma: The tribes living in Kotia Hills - Khond, Manne Dora, Konda Dora,
Jatapu and Savara administer a mixture of Byttneria herbacea roots with black Pepper
(Piper logum) and Trachyspermum ammi taken in equal proportions, twice a day. Warm
leaf paste of Adavi Nabhi (Gloriosa superb Linn.) herb is applied on forehead and neck
for 7 days for relief. Bark powder of Palakodisa (Holarrhena pubescens Wall.) is given
orally till asthma is cured. Ippa (Madhuca indica Gmel.) flowers are boiled in water and
the decoction is administered orally to cure asthma (Chandra Babu et al, 2010).
Gastro-intestinal system (Diarrhea / Dysentery): In the 25 hamlets surveyed, 8 persons
(5 males and 3 females) reported having gastro- intestinal problems. Paste of Bandibissah
osso ottawakuccha (Boerhaavia diffusa Linn.) plant is administered for three days to
control blood motions. Khond, Manne Dora, Konda Dora, Jatapu and Savara tribes
inhabiting Kotia Hills administer stem bark powder of Chinnamurli (Buchnanaia lanzan
Spreng.) mixed with stem bark powder of Syzygium cuminin for 3 days to cure diarrhea.
They administer the extract made from the crushed stem bark of Medichettu (Ficus
racemosa Linn.) mixed with Curcuma longa orally to cure diarrhea. Juice made from
tender leaves of Thummika (Diospyros melanoxylon Roxb.) herb or Addasaram (Justicia
adhatoda Linn.) shrub is given internally for 5 days to cure diarrhea. Leaf paste of
Gallarapaku (Kalanchoe pinnata Pers.) mixed with Pepper powder is administered for
3 days to cure diarrhea. They administer the extract of stem bark of Mushidi (Strychnos
nuxvomica Linn.) tree with honey daily twice to control dysentery (Chandra Babu et al,
2010). Gadabas take the decoction made from the roots of Yerri Kusuma (Argemone
Mexicana Linn.) or Bedda Kandhiri (Equisetum debile Roxb.) or Adavi Ulava (Atylosia
scarabaeoides Benth.) or the tubers of Kasturi dumpa (Curcuma aromatic Sal.) to control
dysentery. They apply the paste made from leaves, stem bark and flowers of Arepuvvu
(Woodfordia fruticosa Kurz.) to control dysentery (Rao et al, 2011). Savaras of Srikakulam
district consume leaf paste of Pathalagaridi (Rauwolfia serpentina) to cure dysentery.
They administer seed decoction of Gurivindaginja (Abrus precatorius) mixed with honey
to kill intestine worms and reduce stomachache (Rao et al, 2010).
Conjunctivitis: Three females from isolated group and one female from acculturated
group had conjunctivitis (Table 1). Savara and Jatapu of Srikakulam district apply Rakasi
plant juice for eye diseases. Gadabas of Visakhapatnam district apply leaf juice of
Thigapappu (Hoya pendula R.Br.) to cure eye infection (Rao et al, 2011).
Genital-urinary system: 4 men and one woman reported having urinary problems (Table
1). Savara and Jatapu of Srikakulam district consume Rambalam (Annona squamosa) for
menstrual disorders. The juice extract of Dasariaku, Jammiaku, Tangeduaku, Kanugaaku
and Velluli (Garlic) is used for abortion Kotia Hill tribes administer the extract of Palleru
(Tribulus terrestris Linn.) herb in small doses for 3 days to cure urinary problems (Chandra
Babu et al, 2010). Savaras of Srikakulam district take the decoction of Pindikura
(Aerva lanata) for removing kidney stones and also to arrest white discharge in women
(Rao et al, 2010).

578

S Yaseen Saheb and T S Naidu

Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among Mukha Dora Tribe of Andhra Pradesh

Body pain: Three females and one male were suffering from body pains (Table1). Savara
and Jatapu of Srikakulam district take Osiri (Emblica officinalis) or Pukejam (Leucas
cephalstus) for pains. Gadabas of Visakhapatnam district administer decoction made from
roots and stem bark of Girugudu (Casearia elliptica Willd.) or the rhizome of Nelatadi
(Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.) for pain relief. They drink the decoction made from stem
bark of Naramamidi (Litsea deccanensis Gamle) to ease body pain (Rao et al, 2011).
Joint pain / Arthritis: 7 persons in acculturated group (3 males and 4 females) suffer
from joint pains (Table 1). The tribes living in Kotia Hills administer root paste of Adavi
Allamu (Zingiber roseum Roscoe) or apply root paste of Bodditeega (Rivea hypocrateriformis
Choisy) over the affected area to get pain relief. Paste made from the seed coat of
Gillateega (Entada pursaetha) is applied on affected parts externally to cure rheumatism.
Leaves of Pachabottu mokka (Euphorbia hirta Linn.) are warmed and bandaged over the
affected part by applying castor oil. Decoction made of Pushpajalam (Biophytum
nervifolium Thw.) leaves is administered for joint pain relief (Chandra Babu et al, 2010).
Savaras of Srikakulam district apply the root paste of Nagasaram (Aristolochia indica)
on the affected parts for joint pain relief. They apply mixture of Neem (Azadirachta indica)
and Karanja (Carissa carandas) oils to treat rheumatism (Rao et al, 2010).
Head ache: In acculturated group, one person was suffering from partial headache
(Table1). Gadabas of Visakhapatnam district take Darigummadi (Pueraria tuberose Roxb.)
leaves and its tuber for pain relief. They take the decoction made from the rhizome of
Nelatadi (Curculigo orchioides Gaertn.) for pain relief (Rao et al, 2011).
Leucoderma / Dermatitis: In acculturated group, one female was affected with leucoderma,
while one male and one female are affected with dermatitis (Table1). Gadabas of
Visakhapatnam smear the paste made from the stem and roots of Palathiga (Cryptolepis
buchananii Roem.) to treat leucoderma (Rao et al, 2011).
Boils /wounds: Three males were inflicted with wounds in interior villages (Table1).
Savaras of Srikakulam district apply leaf paste of Gajumokka (Eupotorium odoratum) plant
on the injured part for healing. Savara and Jatapu of Srikakulam district apply Ganneru
(Thevitia peruvina) and Ankudu (Ficus specis) for cuts and wounds (Rao et al, 2010).
Gadabas of Visakhapatnam district apply paste made from the leaves, stem bark and flowers
of Arepuvvu (Woodfordia fruticosa Kurz.) on the wounds for healing (Rao et al, 2011).
Skin rashes & Gout: Two male persons suffering from skin rashes were given the root
powder of Vattiveru (Vetiveria zizanioides Linn.) along with Achyranthes aspera once
a day for 3 days.
Cardiovascular illness: Two persons had cardiovascular problems (Table1). Gadabas of
Visakhapatnam district take leaf juice of Thigapappu (Hoya pendula R. Br.) or consume
Darigummadi (Pueraria tuberose Roxb.) tuber or the decoction of rhizome of Adavi Allamu
(Zingiber roseum Roxb.) or the paste made from the leaves, stem bark and roots of
Maredutivva ( Dalbergia volubilis Roxb.) to get relief from heart pain. (Rao et al, 2011).
Reproductive organs: 5 women were suffering from ailments related to genital organs.
The tribes living in Kotia Hills apply flower powder of Ashoka (Saraca asoca Wild.) over
the affected area for treatment of Syphilis (Chandra Babu et al, 2010).

579

Ailments on legs: One person had leg injuries. Savaras of Srikakulam district apply
the fruit decoction of Karakkaya (Terminalia chebula) on the injury parts to cure
(Rao et al, 2010).

Acknowledgements
Authors gratefully acknowledge the cooperation extended by the Department of Tribal
Welfare, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Hyderabad and the District Tribal Welfare
Officer, Vizianagaram District. We are indebted to Sri Subba Raju for the hospitality and
thankful to Mukha Dora for providing information during the study. We are grateful to
the Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata and the Regional Officer, Southern
Regional Centre, Mysore for providing infra structural facilities.

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perspectives, Puducherry: Pondicherry University, (pp. 93- 107).
Thurston E., 1909. Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Government Press, Madras:
Government of Madras Presidency, Volume 5, (pp.103-106).

ANOMALY
Brachydactyly
Abnormality of 1st toe
Third toe missing
Congenital blindness
Deformity of Joint
Squint eye
Harelip
Cerebral Palasyspatic
Mental Retardation
Absence of hand
Deaf & Dumb
Leucoderma
DISABILITY
Epilepsy
Blindness
Spondulitis
Paralysis
Amputed hand
Stammering
ILLNESS
Broncho respiratory
Gastro-Intestinal
Prominent hairs
Body pains
Joint pains
Back pains
Conjunctivitis
Fever (agency)
Partial Headache
Skin diseases
Skin rashes & Gout
Dermatitis
Boils & Wounds
Partial loss of eye sight
Pandu rogam
Urinary
Anemic
Cardio-vascular
Reproductive organs
Ailments on Legs
Total Anomalies
Total Disability
Total Illness
Grand Total

Morabid Condition

ANOMALY
Brachydactyly
Abnormality of 1st toe
Third toe missing
Congenital blindness
Deformity of Joint
Squint eye
Harelip
Cerebral Palasyspatic
Mental retardation
Absence of hand
Deaf & Dumb
Leucoderma
DISABILITY
Epilepsy
Blindness
Spondulitis
Paralysis
Amputed hand
Stammering
ILLNESS
Broncho respiratory trouble
Gastro-Intestinal
Prominent hairs
Body pains
Joint pains
Back pains
Conjunctivitis
Fever (agency)
Partial Headache
Skin diseases
Skin rashes & Gout
Dermatitis
Boils & Wounds
Partial loss of eye sight
Pandu rogam
Urinary
Anemic
Cardio-vascular
Reproductive organs
Ailments on Legs
Total Anomalies
Total Disability
Total Illness
Grand Total

Morabid Condition

2.08
2.08
2.08
6.25
6.25
2.08
6.25
18.75
16.68
2.08
2.08
6.25
2.08
2.08
4.17
4.17
14.58
6.25
79.17
100

1
1
1
3
3
1
3
9
8
1
1
3
1
1
2
2
7
3
38
48

5.71
2.86
2.86
2.86
8.57
8.57
20.00
5.71
5.71
8.57
11.43
17.14
71.43
100

2.86
2.86
2.86
8.57
-

5.71
2.86
2.86
-

5
4
1
1
4
3
12
15
1
1
3
3
1
2
4
3
11
9
63
83

1
1
1
1
4
1

3
2
1
2
1
1
1
-

Total

6.02
4.82
1.20
1.20
4.82
3.61
14.5
18.1
1.20
1.20
3.61
3.61
1.20
2.41
4.82
3.61
13.5
10.9
75.9
100

1.20
1.20
1.20
1.20
4.82
1.20

3.61
2.41
1.20
2.41
1.20
1.20
1.20
-

6
2
1
3
2
1
1
11
1
1
2
1
2
1
6
6
63
83

4
2
-

1
1
1
1
1
1
-

Male

12.24
4.08
2.04
6.12
4.08
2.04
2.04
22.45
2.04
2.04
4.08
2.04
4.08
2.04
12.24
12.24
75.51
100

8.16
4.08
-

2.04
2.04
2.04
2.04
2.04
2.04
-

5
2
2
4
1
1
3
14
1
1
2
2
4
2
38
44

1
1
-

1
2
1

11.03
4.55
4.55
9.09
2.27
2.27
6.82
31.82
2.27
2.27
4.55
4.55
9.09
4.55
86.36
100

2.27
2.27
-

2.27
4.55
2.27

11.70
5.85
5.85
5.85
5.85
5.85
17.54
11.70
5-85
5.85
5.85
17.54
17.54
11.70
40.94
11.70
17.54
23.39
35.09
146.20
204.68

4.85
4.85
4.85
14.56
14.56
4.85
14.56
43.69
38.33
4.85
4.85
14.56
4.85
4.85
9.71
8.71
33.96
14.56
184.47
233.01

13.26
10.61
2.65
2.65
10.61
7.96
31.83
2.65
39.79
2.65
2.65
7.96
7.96
2.65
5.31
10.61
7.96
29.18
23.87
167.11
220.16

2.65
2.65
2.65
2.65
10.61
2.65

7.96
5.31
2.65
5.31
2.65
2.65
2.65
-

ISOLATED GROUP
Females
Total

33.15
11.05
16.57
16.57
11.05
5.52
5.52
60.77
5.52
5.52
11.05
5.52
11.05
5.52
33.15
33.15
204.42
270.72

22.10
11.05
-

5.52
5.52
5.52
5.52
5.52
5.52
-

Males

27.93
11.17
11.17
22.35
5.59
5.59
16.76
78.21
5.59
5.59
11.17
11.17
22.35
11.17
212.29
245.81

5.59
5.59
-

5.59
11.17
5.59

30.56
11.11
13.89
19.44
8.33
2.78
11.11
2.78
69.44
2.78
2.78
2.78
8.33
8.33
5.56
5.56
2.78
27.78
22.22
208.33
258.33

2.78
13.89
5.56
-

2.78
2.78
2.78
5.56
2.78
2.78
5.56
2.78

Prevalence rate of Morbidity condition


ACCULTURATED GROUP
Females
Total

611
4
3
7
3
1
4
1
25
1
1
1
3
3
2
2
1
10
8
75
93

1
5
2
-

1
1
1
2
1
1
2
1

11.83
4.30
5.38
7.53
3.23
1.08
4.30
1.08
26.88
1.08
1.08
1.08
3.23
3.23
2.15
2.15
1.08
10.75
8.60
80.65
100

1.08
5.38
2.15
-

1.08
1.08
1.08
2.15
1.08
1.08
2.15
1.08

ACCULTURATED GROUP
Female
Total
%
N
%
N
%

Table 2
Prevalence rate of Morbidity in Mukha Dora

2
1
1
1
3
3
7
2
2
3
4
6
25
35

1
1
1
3
-

2
1
1
-

ISOLATED GROUP
Female
N
%

4.85
9.71
4.85
4.85
4.85
4.85
-

Males

2.08
4.17
2.08
2.08
2.08
2.08
-

1
2
1
1
1
1
-

Male

23.26
12.92
2.58
7.75
7.75
12.92
25.84
2.58
49.10
5.17
2.58
7.75
5.17
2.58
10.34
7.75
5.17
2.58
33.59
23.26
193.80
250.65

10.34
2.58
7.75
2.58

5.17
7.75
5.17
2.58
2.58
2.58
2.58
2.58
2.58
-

Males

9
5
1
1
3
5
10
1
19
2
1
3
2
1
4
3
2
1
13
9
75
97

4
1
3
1

2
3
2
1
1
1
1
1
1
-

Male

9.28
5.15
1.03
3.09
3.09
5.15
10.31
1.03
19.59
2.06
1.03
3.09
2.06
1.03
4.12
3.09
2.06
1.03
13.40
9.28
77.32
100

4.12
1.03
3.09
1.03

2.06
3.09
2.06
1.03
1.03
1.03
1.03
1.03
1.03
-

8.86
3.80
3.80
5.06
2.53
5.06
7.59
26.58
1.27
2.53
1.27
5.06
6.33
10.13
10.13
79.75
100

2.53
2.53
1.27
3.80
-

2.53
1.27
1.27
1.27
2.53
1.27

20.00
8.57
8.57
11.43
5.71
11.43
17.14
60.00
2.86
5.71
2.86
11.43
14.29
22.86
22.86
180.00
225.71

5.71
5.71
2.86
8.57
-

5.71
2.86
2.86
2.86
5.71
2.86

POOLED GROUP
Females

7
3
3
4
2
4
6
21
1
2
1
4
5
8
8
63
79

2
2
1
3
-

2
1
1
1
2
1

POOLED GROUP
Female
N
%

2.71
8.14
1.36
1.36
8.14
1.36

5.43
4.07
2.71
2.71
1.36
1.36
2.71
1.36
1.36
1.36
2.71
1.36

Total

Total

21.71
10.85
1.36
8.14
9.50
9.50
5.43
21.71
1.36
54.27
2.71
2.71
4.07
5.43
1.36
6.78
9.50
2.71
6.78
1.36
28.49
23.07
187.25
238.81

16
8
1
4
7
7
4
16
1
40
2
2
3
4
1
5
7
2
5
1
21
17
138
176

2
6
1
1
6
1

4
3
2
2
1
1
2
1
1
1
2
1

9.09
4.55
0.57
3.41
3.98
3.98
2.27
9.09
0.57
22.73
1.14
1.14
1.70
2.27
0.57
2.84
3.98
1.14
2.84
0.57
11.93
9.66
78.41
100

1.14
3.41
0.57
0.57
3.41
0.57

2.27
1.70
1.41
1.14
0.57
0.57
1.14
0.57
0.57
0.57
1.14
0.57

Anomalies, Morbidity, Disease among Mukha Dora Tribe of Andhra Pradesh

I.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
II.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
III.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
I.
II.
III.

Sl.No

I.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
II.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
III.
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
10.
11.
12.
13.
14.
15.
16.
17.
18.
19.
20.
I.
II.
III.

Sl.No

Table 1
The incidence of Morbidity among the Mukha Dora

580
S Yaseen Saheb and T S Naidu

581

582

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (583-593), 2012-2013

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve:


Glimpses of Indigenous Knowledge on
Coastal Fishing in Tamil Nadu
Anupam Datta1

ABSTRACT
The programme of Biosphere Reserve was initiated under the Man and Biosphere (MAB)
programme by UNESCO in 1971. The programme recognises the local communities as
an integral part of the ecosystem and promotes ecologically compatible socio-economic
development of the local communities. The human dimension of the Biosphere Reserves
makes them special from other protected areas, such as Tiger Reserves, National Parks
and Sanctuaries. The study area, Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, is the only Marine
Biosphere Reserve in India. The present paper deals with the traditional fishing
knowledges of the coastal people of Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu. The area
of fieldwork was in the national headline for quite sometime due to some proposed sea
route construction Ramsetu. On the backdrop of this situation, author tries to record
some of the local knowledges regarding their traditional livelihood i.e. coastal fishing
which has direct bearing to the protection of their pristine environment vis a vis the norms
of Biosphere reserve.

INTRODUCTION
The programme of Biosphere Reserve was initiated under the Man and Biosphere (MAB)
programme by UNESCO in 1971. The programme recognises the local communities as
an integral part of the ecosystem and promotes ecologically compatible socio-economic
development of the local communities. The human dimension of the Biosphere Reserves
makes them special from other protected areas, such as Tiger Reserves, National Parks
and Sanctuaries. The study area, Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve, is the only Marine
Biosphere Reserve in India.
The Gulf of Manner (GOM) Marine Biosphere Reserve is located at the southeastern tip
of India on the east coast of Tamil Nadu, extends from Rameswaram to Kanyakumari
covering an area of 10,500 sq. kilometers in the Indian part of territorial water of the Gulf

1Anthropological Survey of India Eastern Regional Centre, Kolkata

584

Anupam Datta

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve: Glimpses of Coastal Fishing in Tamil Nadu

of Mannar between India and Sri Lanka. The Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve (GOMBR)
coast is adjoining 4 districts such as Ramanathapuram, Tuticorin, Tirunelveli, and
Kanyakumari. Starting from the southern tip of Dhanuskodi it extends up to Kanyakumari
covering a shore line of 514 kilometers. The 560 sq. kms. of Core Area is comprised of
21 tiny uninhabited islands (tivu) ranging in size from 0.25 ha. to 130 ha. located offshore
between a distances from one to four kilometers along the 140 kilometers stretch of coast
line from Rameswaram to Tuticorin. Established in the 1980s, this 560 sq. km of Core
area is the Gulf of Manner Marine National Park (GOMNP), the first marine national
park not only in India and as well as in South East Asia. The Reserve has got the distinction
of being a globally recognized Biosphere Reserve. The Buffer Zone is comprised of gulf
water to the south of the core area of the Marine National Park and an inhabited coast
line to the north up to a distance of 10 km. inland along the 140 km. stretch of coast from
Rameswaram to Tuticorin along the GOM National Park.

585

about 263 coastal settlements along the coastline of National park area on the basis of
threat Perception in relation to the exploitation of marine resources. GOMBRT categorized
these villages as High Threat (HT) i.e. the villages on the shoreline up to the high tide
mark, Medium Threat (MT) i.e. villages are those located within 5 Km from the shore
line and Low Threat (LT) i.e. villages are those located within a distance from 5 to 10
kilometer from the shoreline.
The peopling of the studied village are mostly from Valaiyer and Nadar castes (both
Hindu and Christian), though some castes like Thevar, Yadava and Pandaram are also
there. Major work of fishing and related works is done by Valaiyer and Nadar. Regarding
fishing activities there are no such discriminations in their professional matter. Mostly
Nadar and Valaiyer are the boat and net owners and venture in the sea, other castes are
mainly involved in fishing trade.

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust (GOMBRT), a statutory body, was constituted
by the Government of Tamil Nadu in the year 2000 for the implementation of project,
with the assistance of Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and United Nations Development
Programme (UNDP), for conservation and sustainable use of coastal biodiversity in the
Gulf of Mannar by reducing the pressure on sea resources due to over exploitation, shifting
people to land based activities by employment generation and developing alternative
means of livelihood. For the purpose of project implementation GOMBRT has identified

Glimpses of Some Indigenous Knowledge Regarding Fishing Practices:

1. Seasons

Map of study area in Ramanathapuram district (1 & 2):

Human life is dependent on the changing seasons. Sunshine, rainfall, and other climatic
factors contribute to the co-existence and interdependence of human beings and other
living organisms. The coastal climate in the Ramanathapuram area is mainly attributable
to equatorial currents, westerly winds, and the relatively large amount of sunshine. There
is a considerable difference between diurnal and nocturnal temperatures. The rainfall is

586

Anupam Datta

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve: Glimpses of Coastal Fishing in Tamil Nadu

587

subject to local precipitations, although rain is mostly contributed by the south-west


monsoon as well as North east monsoon. All these have a direct bearing on the life of the
fishermen. Dependent on fish, they classify the climatic seasons mostly with reference
to the catches they get. Ramanathapuram district is marked by four seasons: dry period;
summer; south-west monsoon; and post-monsoon period. December to February is a dry
period. Ramanathapuram District gets very little rain during the north-east monsoon
comparing to South west monsoon. Due to low humidity, these months are generally dry.
Nights are cold from November to February, but dry winds blow during the day. The
temperature is unsteady, which contributes to sickness. The ratio of sea breeze to land
breeze is not very constant, with dry, cold winds making the people lethargic. From March
to May is summer, when rain becomes scarce and humidity is high, there is often an
epidemic of chicken pox, due to the sweltering heat, during these months. The atmosphere
is generally surcharged and rarefied.

Where currents meet or diverge, where cold or salty water sinks beneath water that is less
dense, or where coastal winds blow the surface water seawards, a circulation is set up
which may reach to the oceans bottom. Surface water is then replaced by upwelling water
rich in nutrient salts, which stimulates new growths of marine plants. The herbivorous
plankton thrives and the sea becomes fertile for fish. It is understandable that many of
the worlds great fisheries are found along the paths of ocean currents. The fishermen are
by no means students of oceanography or marine biology in the formal sense, but their
profound understanding of these physical phenomena and their sensitivity to them has
made them what they are. They describe and divide the currents in their own way, which
is not far from the scientific approach. The currents of the ocean are determined by the
seasons. The fishing folk of Ramnad and adjoining areas refer to eight types of current:

The south-west monsoon sets in June, and there is a heavy downpour until September.
Sometimes this season begins at the end of May.

2. The water flows from south-west to north-east and availability of fish is


very low.

The post-monsoon period commences in October, when there is no rain at all. By the end
of October the north-east wind sets in, which brings some heavy rain up to December also.
The fishing folk of Ramnad classify the seasons into three, according to their catches of
fish: Ipasi-katighai, Puratasi, and Vaikasi. The distinctions are based on the availability
of fish and the condition of the wind. During Ipasi-katighai (April to August), the wind
blows from the west and there is a heavy catch of fish. In Puratasi (August to November)
the wind blows from the east. High tides form in August, a furlong into the sea, reaching
the shore as small waves. The fishing folk do not venture beyond this tide and the catch
is therefore very small and usually lasts for 15 days, and after it the sea becomes very
calm. Vaikasi lasts from December to April, January to March is considered the peak of
this season, when getting a catch is impossible. The people suffer a lot, as they are unable
to get their daily bread. The wind blows from both north and south.

2. Ocean and Sea Currents


Coursing through the layers of the sea are fast currents, some of them hundreds of miles
long and up to a hundred miles wide. These currents are the veins and arteries of the
living Earth, intriguing, and unsolved mysteries. Part of the planets system of heat
exchange, they bring vast amounts of warmth from the tropics into the colder latitudes,
which would be almost uninhabitable without them. Along with the winds, by which they
are largely driven, the currents maintain the balanced temperatures we experience. Without
them the tropics would grow gradually hotter, and the higher latitudes more and more
frozen.
The movement of currents, by which the oceans plough themselves, is caused by three
main forces: prevailing winds, the Earths rotation, and differences in the seas density.
Winds drive immense bodies of water before them, forming surface currents. The Earths
rotation, which deflects moving things to the right in the northern hemisphere and to the
left in the southern hemisphere, causes these surface currents to move clockwise or
anticlockwise.

1. When the water flows from west to east and plenty of fish is available.

3. The flow is from north-west to south-east. It is also called "unna etuttavalu".


The availability of fish is average.
4. When the flow is from east to west the catch is average.
5. The flow is from south-east to north-west and the catch is very little.
6. The flow from north-east to south-west and the catch is average.
7. The flow is from south to north. Almost all kinds of nets are used without any
restriction, but the catch is very little.
8. The flow is from north to south. All kinds of nets are used, again for a very
small catch.
The use of certain nets is not determined by the current alone. The availability of different
kinds of fish plays a major role in the chain of nets. When there is a cris-cross current
fishing becomes impossible, and the fishing folk must return home empty-handed. Such
a current is called valu takarjru.

3. Winds
Six to eight types of winds exist, but generally people understand 4 types, according to
the fishing folk of coastal Ramanathapuram district. These are different from purely
geographical divisions. The trade winds (this type of winds blows from south-east towards
the equator and beyond) and westerly winds are the two major types. The usual coastal
pattern of sea breeze and land breeze is also present. Winds are also associated with the
deflection of surface currents. These winds and currents do not always strictly correspond
to the months mentioned. Winds from two different directions may come into collision,

588

Anupam Datta

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve: Glimpses of Coastal Fishing in Tamil Nadu

589

when caught in this situation; fishermen usually bring down their sails and just go with
the wind when such things happen.

sky, helps in reaching correct fishing ground, operate different fishing nets, reach the
shore after fishing operations.

Generally in the months May to August, storms hit the coast, if the lightning reaches the
earth from the zenith (vertically), it foretells a storm. When the lightning appears and the
wind stops, the sky wears a pale look, and a dark arrow-like cloud appears on the horizon.
It is believed that the storm will come from the direction of this cloud. On seeing this
signs the fisher folk on the sea return to the shore immediately. Those on the shore light
a fire and wave it towards the sea to indicate the danger as well as to show the way
towards shore.

The fishermen also predict rains by the following observations:

Table -1
Wind type
(local)

Month

Catches availability

Katchankatru

Aug. Sept

Abundance of shrimps

Mel Katru

Sept. Oct

Abundance of small sardines

KondalKatru

Oct. Nov

Abundance of squids

Vadaikatru

Dec. Feb

Sardine, flying fish, tuna, silver


bellies, seer fishes abundance

4. Cycles of the Sea

5.

The speed of the waves, the currents, the wind, the rising and ebbing of the water, all
vary from time to time. The fisher folk of coastal Ramanathapuram classify three seasons
of sea cycles.
In the months of April to July, the waves direct their course from the south-west to the
north-east. The wind also blows to this direction in this period. The water level maintains
its balance in this season. The current of sea is powerful and drives fish towards the shore.
This season is considered good for fishing.
l

In the months July to September, the water level rises and the tide leaves only
a bit of land as shore. The season gets the monsoon wind and the powerful
current. Owing to the unrest of the sea, the village is severely affected as the
fisher folk do not go for fishing.

In the months from September to April, the sea remains generally calm. The wind blows
and the currents keep a normal course. The water level recedes and the catch of fish is
small. This season is, however, good for the training of youngsters in the skills of fishing.
Navigation of fishing vessel based on stars: During night hours fishermen navigate their
fishing vessel based on; Number of stars, Size of stars, and location of polestar in the

Mass and sudden appearance of dragon flies

Movement of tortoise of ponds towards land area

Holding marriage (mating) for two Asses.

Sudden movement of ants with eggs from one place to other

Singing of Amithavarshini raga by musicians. (Induced)

Dancing of male Peacock using its beautiful feathers.

Low yield from tamarind trees in a year will bring copious rains

Mating of cobra is known to bring rains

Croaking of frogs will bring rain

Lightning at northeast will bring rains

If lighting appears in east and west alternately, rain may come

Knowledge of Earthquake
Appearance of earthquakes would be invariably associated with continuous howling
of dogs.

6.

Knowledge of Tides
Mass movement of inter tidal crabs towards land area is invariably associated with
rising of water column i.e. tides when fishermen plan for suitable fishing operations.

7.

Knowledge about other issues


l

Conducting marriage between Neem tree and Peepal tree, believes that obstacles
would be removed and marriage will be settled for the affected person.

The fisher women believe that growing of tamarind tree and drumstick tree in
front of the house would ensure safety for their husbands on the high sea.

When the sea water recedes unusually rapidly to a distance of half kilometer
or so exposing the fishes and other aquatic animals grasping for breadth
a sure sign for impending Tsunami.

590
Chart 1

591

Anupam Datta

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve: Glimpses of Coastal Fishing in Tamil Nadu

Observation
Very early existence of man was induced to venture afloat in search of food in the form
of fish, an inexhaustible resource. Among the earliest traces of human existence in India,
are implements made of coral, which is an indication that he ventured at least as far as
the low waterline. This indicated that fish has formed part of mans food from the early
days, and that he has caught it in the sea and in rivers, using tools and implements to suit
his skills and competencies, this section analyses the systemic use of traditional knowledge
of fishing by the people of Ramanathapuram, mainly the fisherman communities.

Traditional knowledge about the availability of fish/catch varieties in different depth of the sea

Chart 2

During fieldwork it was observed that the villagers are well aware of their environment
and rules and regulations for the protection of Biosphere reserve. The Gulf of Mannar
Biosphere Reserve Trust (GOMBRT) is the nodal agency to manage the biosphere and
with the help of village protection committee they formed in each village, has the direct
involvement to manage the local environment by their own effort. For such reason the
people of high threat villages (on coast) use only caterman (vattai), and paddled boat
(vallam) for their daily fishing activities and venture into the sea up to the islands (tivu)
i.e. 4-8 kms in to the sea and never use bottom trawling net. But the nearby districts
fishermen like Kanyakumari area mostly use large 6-12 cylinder trawler boat for deep
sea fishing beyond islands up to 15 25 kms. towards Sri Lanka coast. It is also observed
that the villagers of middle threat villages mostly earn their livelihood from horticultural
activities and as fishing labour. In most cases they does not own any boat or net but they
have major role in fishing with the people of high threat villages to manage and navigate
their vessels and selection of fishing grounds etc. Sometimes they catch crabs on shoreline
and sell them to the local exporters or businessmen. People of coastal area never protest
for imposing ban on fishing from mid May to July end, as they are well aware that this
time fishes breed. This ban on fishing was imposed by the GOMBRT officials after the
declaration of Biosphere reserve to protect the endangered species as well as to assure
high catch during fishing season. During this lean season people mostly engaged
themselves in collection, drying of sea weeds (pasi) and chank (sankh) fishing, which is
also a type of subsidiary to their major livelihood. It is also noted that the coastal fishermen
has a very harmonious and cordial relationship with the local biosphere administration
and govt. officials in managing the biosphere reserve.

Table- 2
Case study on the market value of the catches for 7 days in the High threat villages
at landing sites of the village:
Sl. No.

Villlage

Sethupati Nagar

Catch in Weight (7 days)

Market price

Remarks

354kg X 7

Rs. 4,33,650/-

The value is except the cost

= 2478 Kg.
2

Ramakrishna-

702Kg X 7

Puram

= 4914 Kg.

Indira Nagar

168Kg X 7

of Crabs, prawns and squids.


Rs. 8,59,950/-

Do

Rs. 2,05,800/-

Do

Rs. 5,01,025/-

Do

= 1176 Kg.
4
Availability of Fish and other catches in different areas of the sea from the seashore to islands (tivu)

Gandhi Nagar

409 Kg X 7
= 2863 Kg

592

Anupam Datta

Gulf of Mannar Biosphere Reserve: Glimpses of Coastal Fishing in Tamil Nadu

The value is here only for the fish catches, apart from that crabs, prawns and squids are
also earns a lot of revenue, crabs and prawns which were directly marketed through the
middlemen of the export oriented companies from the Pamban and Mandapam jetties
and also from Tuticorin port to the middle east and markets of Europe and U.S.

Melkani, V.K. 2007. Conservation and Sustainable Utilisation of Biodiversity of the


Gulf of Mannar Region. GOMBRT Publication No. 5. Ramanathapuram. Gulf of
Mannar Biosphere Reserve Trust.

Naganathan, V. 2007. Marine Resource Management through Peoples


Participation. GOMBRT Publication No. 5. Ramanathapuram. Gulf of Mannar
Biosphere Reserve Trust

Patterson, J.A. 20002. Vellapathi Fishing Village of Gulf of Mannar. SDMRI Research
Publication No. 2. Tuticorin. Suganthi Devadason Marine Research Institute.

Raychoudhuri, Bikash. 1980. The Moon and Net. Kolkata: Calcutta: Anthropological
Survey of India.

A case study narrated by fisherman of Indiranagar (HT) village


At dusk of every Tuesday (the weekly holiday from fishing), local fishermen will undertake
a ritual called Neeratuthal where they clean their boats and apply Kungumam (saffron
colour) and sandalwood paste and light camphor. The fisher folk believe that a rare bird
called Antrada Paravai leaves its dropping on the coral reef, these are washed away by
tides and finally reach the island shores. The droppings are called Ponnamber and it is
believed that finding these brings luck to the fishing catch. If the Dugong eats the
Ponnamber, the Dugongs droppings are known as Winnamber. Fishermen believe that
finding Winnamber brings even more luck to the fishing catch, as well as unexpected
wealth and all-round well being to the family. Locals believe that Appa Island (near
Kilakadai) is the home of an island God (Santhanamariamman) and by pleasing this God
they will be protected from evil spirits when they stay near the island. It is also believed
that another god (Muniyasamy) resides in a coral mound just nearby the island and close
to an area known for dangerous currents and an underwater cave. In order to avoid the
dangerous currents and whirlpools these places are identified as the abode of local deities
and fisher folk are warned not to approach these particular places in order to escape from
the wrath of deities. It is believed that worship to God Sudalaimadan will protect people
from the danger associated with this place. People worship here throughout the year each
time they arrive near the island. There is also a major festival (Pongal) once a year, in
the month of mid January, when locals from many nearby villages come to the island to
offer prayers and animal sacrifice, and celebrate. The Tonga fish or Boxfish is available
only in the reef area. In early days women used to wear a wedlock pendant designed in
the shape of the Tonga fish to bring good luck to their families.

Acknowledgement
The author is highly indebted to the Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata,
for giving him the opportunity to conduct fieldwork in the coastal Tamilnadu under the
national project Man & Biosphere. I am also thankful to my all team members of An.S.I.
CRC, Nagpur, GOMBRT officials and the villagers of Ramanathapuram district.

References
l

District Statistical Handbook. 2006-07. Ramanathapuram District. Directorate of


Statistics. Tamil Nadu.

Mathur, PRG. 2008. Ecology, Technology and Economy- Continuity and Change
among the fisher folk of Kerala. Jaiput : Rawat Publication.

593

594

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (595-615), 2012-2013

Traditional Life, Livelihood and Plantations :


A study among the Mullu Kurumba
C. R. Sathyanarayanan,1 Nirmal Chandra2

ABSTRACT
This paper is the outcome of a study conducted during 2000-01 under a IX Plan Project
of Anthropological Survey of India entitled Management of Environment and Natural
Resources: Study on Traditional Wisdom in Tribal Societies. It focuses on the traditional
life, livelihood and the dynamic process of occupational transition of the Mullu Kurumba
tribal community in the backdrop of development of plantations in Nilgiris (Tamil Nadu)
and Wayanad (Kerala). Maintaining a unique identity, the Mullu Kurumba, otherwise
popularly known as Kuruman, even today reckon their distribution over Wayanad and
Nilgiri districts in terms of certain traditional territories which cut across vast areas of
plains, forests and hills of this region. While the non-tribal cultivators in their milieu have
greatly commercialized their cultivation pattern towards cash crops, such as, ginger,
areca nut, turmeric, pepper, tea, etc, the Mullu Kurumba continue to give priority to
cultivation of food crops, such as, paddy, tapioca and plantain, not only for their own
(family) food security but also as a matter of prestige and adherence to the tradition.

INTRODUCTION
This paper is the outcome of a study conducted during 2000-01 under a IX Plan Project
of Anthropological Survey of India entitled Management of Environment and Natural
Resources: Study on Traditional Wisdom in Tribal Societies. The study focuses on the
traditional life, livelihood and the dynamic process of occupational transition of the Mullu
Kurumba tribal community in the backdrop of development of plantations in Nilgiris and
Wayanad. Before we present the field data, it is worthwhile to look at some of the facts
and figures on loss of forest cover in the Western Ghats of South India. According to a
recent study jointly conducted by the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and Environment
(Bangalore), National Remote Sensing Agency (NRSA - Hyderabad) and University of

1Deputy Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Southern Regional Centre,Mysore-570 026


2Cartographer, Anthropological Survey of India, Southern Regional Centre,Mysore-570 026

596

Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

597

Massachusetts (USA) on the hilly regions of South-West Karnataka, Western Kerala and
North-West Tamil Nadu i.e. Nilgiris, there has been a loss of one-fourth of the forest
cover in Western Ghats in the last 22 years. The study which estimated changes in forest
cover between 1973 and 1995 in the southern parts of the Western Ghats using satellite
data reveals a loss of 25.6 per cent forest cover in that period. Dense forest was reduced
by 19.5 per cent and open forest by 32.2 per cent. The southern stretch of the Western
Ghats covering an area of approximately 40,000 square kilometers has experienced the
most significant forest loss during 1973-95. There has been a loss of 2729 square
kilometers of forest with an annual deforestation rate of 1.16 per cent. The highest loss
of open forest occurred in Kanyakumari and Kozhikode at an annual rate of 4.4 per cent.
The study says that Malappuram (Kerala), Idukki (Kerala), Kanyakumari (Tamil Nadu)
and Nilgiri are the other mainly threatened areas in the Western Ghats. The study attributes
decrease in forest area primarily due to increase in plantations and agricultural areas as
a result of population growth (Deccan Herald, September 9, 2000).

forest dwelling groups of Nilgiris also use Kurumba or Kurumban or Kurumbar suffixes
with their independent names but they are no way connected to the caste based
Kurumba/Kuruba shepherd communities of the plains of Tamil Nadu. The Government
maintains area restrictions in this case as Kurumbas (in the Nilgiri district) at Serial No.
17 in the Tamil Nadu Scheduled Tribes list, mainly to distinguish the Nilgiris based small
forest dwelling groups, and extend the Scheduled Tribe status only to them.

As far as the chosen study area of Nilgiris and Wayanad is concerned, the immigrant
settlers to this mountainous region have turned large tracts of natural forests into coffee,
tea, pepper, pine and eucalyptus plantations since the British period. In this process, a
number of hunter-gatherer Adivasi groups (i.e. tribal communities) inhabiting the forests
of the region, namely, Mullu Kurumba, Betta Kurumba, Kattunaickan (otherwise called
Naickan or Jenu Kuruba), Irula, and Alu Kurumba have been turned into plantation
labourers and small growers of tea, coffee and pepper. The expansion of plantations
coupled with stringent forest rules and regulations have been the main causes for the
occupational transition and resettlement of several Adivasi families living in this region.

The Alu Kurumba or Pal Kurumba live mainly on the Mettupalayam-Coonoor-KotagiriKundah mountain stretches of Niligirs district and in the adjoining Silent Valley/Attappady
areas of Kerala State. A section of this community also lives in Erode and Sathyamangalam
forest areas in Tamil Nadu. It must noted here that the ethnographic references made in
earlier documents of Nilgiris under the name Kurumba as practioners of witchcraft,
sorcery, priests for Badagas etc were all only about the Alu Kurumba subgroup of the
Kurumba cluster in Nilgiris.

For the present study, to understand the impact of plantations on the traditional livelihood
and knowledge systems of a tribal community, the Mullu Kurumba, a hunting community
by tradition, now drawn into the plantation economy of the Nilgiris has been considered
apt and chosen. Though Nilgiris and its communities have been studied extensively, a
study at this point of time in Nilgiris and the adjoining Wayanad has been felt necessary
from the point of view of updating the earlier accounts and to record the process of
occupational transformation that has taken place at the community level. The Mullu
Kurumba comprise one of the prominent endogamous groups of the larger Kurumba tribal
conglomeration distributed in the Western Ghats of south India.

The different Kurumba groups of Nilgiris district are, 1. Alu Kurumba, also known as
Pal Kurumba 2. Betta Kuru(m)ba also known as Urali Kurumba and Urali Kuruman
3. Mullu Kurumba also known as Mullu Kuruman and 4. Jenu Kuru(m)ba or Kattunayakan.
Even today, the Government departments and the local administration in Nilgiris district,
consider the Kurumbas as a single tribe for all practical purposes. No separate figures
have been made or do exist for the distinct groups of the Kurumba cluster in Nilgiris.
Geographical Distribution of Kurumbas in Nilgiris district

The living areas of the Betta Kuru(m)ba (or Urali Kurumba) in Tamil Nadu fall only in
the Gudalur and Pandalur taluks of Nilgiri district. The Urali Kurumba/Urali Kuruman
in Kerala and Betta Kurumba in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka States comprise one and the
same group. The Betta Kurumba are also found to be living adjacent to the Jenu Kurubas
in the Wayanad plateau, near the Bandipur National Park (Karnataka) and the Mudumalai
Wildlife Sanctuary (Tamil Nadu).

The Kurumba Tribes

The Jenu Kuru(m)ba occupy mainly the tri-junction area of Karnataka-Tamil Nadu-Kerala
States i.e. the erstwhile Mysore- Nilgiris- Wayanad forested mountain stretches. In Tamil
Nadu, the Jenu Kuru(m)ba, otherwise known as Ththen Kuruman or Kattunayakan, live
only in Gudalur and Pandalur taluks. Description on the Jenu Kuru(m)ba, is provided
under the entry Kattunayakan, another PTG of Tamil Nadu, who are listed separately at
Serial No. 9 in the Scheduled Tribes list of Tamil Nadu.

From the beginning, the Government listing had considered the Kurumbas (in the Nilgiri
district) as a single community, without recognizing the different endogamous groups
living very much within Nilgiris district and having Kurumba or Kurumban or Kurumbar
suffixes with their independent names. In Tamil Nadu, 36 communities have been listed
as Scheduled Tribes. An entry Kurumbas (in the Nilgiri district) is listed at Serial No.
17 in Tamil Nadu Scheduled Tribes list and it has been also notified as one of the six
PTGs in Tamil Nadu. It must be mentioned here that the name Kurumba/Kuruba denotes
a big community of Kannada speaking shepherds who live in various parts of Tamil Nadu,
especially in the plains bordering Karnataka State, and they are part and parcel of the
village society and caste system of Karnataka Tamil Nadu. The Kurumba/Kuruba shepherd
communities of the plains of Tamil Nadu enjoy the OBC status. Incidentally, the small

The Mullu Kurumba settlements are found only in the Cherangode village Panchayat of
Pandalur taluk in Nilgiri district, in and around Erumad and Kappala villages. But a large
number of the Mullu Kurumba live in the adjoining Wayanad district of Kerala, constituting
a single and integrated group irrespective of their distribution in two States. Except the
Mullu Kurumba, the other three Kurumba subgroups speak a dialect of Kannada. The
Mullu Kurumba speak a dialect of Malayalam and largely imitate the customs and practices
of the Kerala communities. In Kerala, about 25,000 Mullu Kurumba are reported to live
in approximately 250 settlements in the whole of Wayanad district. As per the recent
count made by the Wayanad District Administration, about 4000 families of Mullu
Kurumba are distributed all over the three taluks of Wayanad district, namely, Sulthan
Batheri, Mananthavady and Vythiri. A few other tribes, such as, Paniyan, Urali Kuruman

598

(also known as Vetta Kuruman or Betta Kurumba), Adiyan and Kurichian also live in
sizeable number in the same Wayanad region. Among the non-tribal communities, who
are actually recent settlers in this habitat, Waynadan Chetty constitutes a relatively old
immigrant population when compared to the Mappilla Muslims, Christians and other
Hindu communities.
The Population of Kurumbas, including all the Kurumba subgroups, and other PTGs
living in Nilgiris, as per the Socio-Economic Survey of Scheduled Tribes in Nilgiris
District conducted during 2010-11 by the Tribal Research Centre, Ooty is furnished
below.

Population of PTGs with a break up of Kurumba subgroups in the Nilgiris


Name of the PTG

Male

Female

Total

No.

673

697

1370

Toda
%

49.12

50.88

100.00

No.

125

113

238

52.52

47.48

100.00

No.

991

1033

2024

48.96

51.04

100.00

No.

869

896

1765

49.24

50.76

100.00

No.

1584

1778

3362

47.11

52.89

100.00

No.

726

699

1425

Toda Christian

Kota

Population of Kurumbas and other PTGs in Nilgiris district


Name of the PTG

599

C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

Male

Female

Total

No.

798

810

1608

49.63

50.37

100.00

No.

991

1033

2024

48.96

51.04

100.00

No.

1261

1219

2480

Alu Kurumba

Toda

Kota

Kattunayakan
%

50.85

49.15

100.00

No.

2974

3046

6020

Betta Kurumba

Mullu Kurumba
%

50.94

49.05

100.00

No.

2974

3046

6020

49.40

50.60

100.00

No.

1261

1219

2480

50.85

49.15

100.00

No.

3881

4001

7882

49.24

50.76

100.00

No.

13084

13482

26566

49.25

50.75

100.00

Irular

Kattunayakan

Irular
%

49.40

50.60

100.00

No.

3179

3373

6552

48.52

51.48

100.00

No.

3881

4001

7882

49.24

50.76

100.00

No.

13084

13482

26566

49.25

50.75

100.00

Kurumbas

Paniyan

Total

Household wise distribution


Name of the PTG

No. of Households

Toda
Kota
Kattunayakan
Irular
Kurumbas
Paniyan

388
509
621
1635
1743
1784

5.81
7.62
9.30
24.48
26.09
26.71

Total

6680

100.00

Paniyan

Total

Household distribution with a break up of Kurumba subgroups


Name of the PTG

No. of Households

Toda
Toda Christian
Kota
Alu Kurumba
Betta Kurumba
Mullu Kurumba
Irular
Kattunayakan
Paniyan

323
65
509
529
866
348
1635
621
1784

4.84
0.97
7.62
7.92
12.96
5.21
24.48
9.30
26.71

Total

6680

100.00

600

C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

The Mullu Kurumba


The Mullu Kurumba with a population of 1425 people live only in 12 settlements (348
households), namely, Kaappu Kunnu, Oni Moola, Neduncode, Kappala, Nari Valappu,
Thayya Kunni, Palliyara, Padicherry, Maada Kundu, Konnaadu, Kallichaal and Tharakolly
in the Pandalur taluk of Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu.
About acquiring the name Mullu Kurumbar, Mullu Kuruman and Mulla Kuruman, they
say that their name stand for existing or remaining (i.e. Ulla) Kuruman. According
to a legend, when they lived in the jungles as hunters under their own chief Veda Raja,
the local king, for certain personal reasons attacked and killed many of their people. A
few survived the massacre and they had come to be called as Ulla Kuruman. In course
of time, Ulla Kuruman came to be pronounced as Mullu Kuruman, Mulla Kuruman and
Mullu Kurumbar. They say that the name Kuruman is used by the women of Mullu
Kurumba community to denote their husbands. If a man or woman of this community
wants to know from another woman of their own community about where her husband
is, the question asked is where is your Kuruman? Among the non-tribal communities,
who are actually recent settlers in this habitat, Waynadan Chetty constitutes a relatively
old immigrant population when compared to the Mappilla Muslims, Christians and other
Hindu communities.
Ethno-geography of Mullu Kurumba Settlements
Maintaining a strong identity and homogeneity, the Mullu Kurumba even today reckon
their distribution over Wayanad and Nilgiri districts in terms of certain traditional territories
which cut across vast areas of plains, forests and hills of this region. Colloquially they
say Naalu Naadu (four countries), Moonu Kunnu (three hills) and Thekkum Koor
Aruvadhu (sixty villages in the south) comprise their traditional territories which presently
fall over a large portion of Wayanad and a small portion of lower Nilgiris. The term
Naalu means four; Naadu denotes country; Moonu means three; Kunnu means hills;
Thekku means south and Aruvadhu means sixty. Their traditionally recognized four
countries are 1. Paakka Naadu (covering Pulpally and Tirumam areas), 2. Kaara Naadu
(Meenangaadi and Nediancheri areas), 3. Kellu Naadu (Kenichira, Koleri, Bettacheri
and Bellapetta areas) and 4. Neria Naadu (Poothadi and its surroundings). The three hills
inhabited by the Mullu Kurumba from time immemorial are 1. Kottur Kunnu (near
Meenangaadi), 2. Yedur Kunnu (Meenangaadi and Nediancheri areas), 3. Kellu Naadu
(Kenichira, Koleri, Bettacheri and Bellapetta areas) and 4. Neria Naadu (Poothadi and
its surroundings). The three hills inhabited by the Mullu Kurumba from time immemorial
are 1. Kottur Kunnu (near Meenangaadi), 2. Yedur Kunnu (from Cici to Pazhuppattur)
and Madur Kunnu (from Koleri to Cici). The other region covering the sixty Kuruman
i.e. Mullu Kurumba villages fall mainly close to Tamil Nadu and some of the villages
include, Kappala, Erumaadu, Thayyakunni, Kaappu Kunnu, Palliyara, Aalatthur, etc. It
is reported that, each Naadu i.e. country had a Kaaranamar as its chief and each Kunnu
had a Mooppan or Talachil as its chief. For every Mullu Kurumban village, a head man
exists with the title Porunnavan.
Tribal communities in Wayanad live in uni-ethnic as well as multi-ethnic settlements
now, owing to the prevailing production, ownership and dependence patterns in the
predominant plantation economy of this region. Distinct names exist for the uni-ethnic
settlements of these tribes. For example, Mullu Kurumba settlements are termed Kudi

601

while the Paniyan, Naicken (i.e. Kattunayakan) and Urali Kuruman settlements are called
Paadi. Villages of the Wayanadan Chettys are termed Veedu. The dwelling hut of the
Mullu Kurumba is called Pera while the Paniya hut is called Ppirey. Huts of the Naicken
(i.e. Kattunayakan) and Urali Kurumban are known as Maney and Sitthaal, respectively.
Colonization of Wayanad
About the ancient history of Wayanad, large scale influx of immigrants, development of
plantations and alienation of lands from the indigenous tribes in Wayanad, Aiyappan
(1992) makes a vivid description in his famous work on the Paniyan tribe. The Wayanad
area, densely covered by malaria-ridden tropical forests, was perhaps one of the least
hospitable areas for human habitation in prehistoric times. The Paniyans, Adiyans and
other backward tribes probably represent the earliest food-gathering settlers of Wayanad.
They are referred to as Vedar (hunters) in the legends of Wayanad. The Kurichiyans
and the Mullu Kurumbans were perhaps the first farming communities from the Malayalam
speaking region to the west of Wayanad to migrate and settle down in Wayanad, while
the Urali Kurumbar, Kattu Naicken and a few other tribes speaking Kannada language
came down from the areas to the east of Wayanad (Aiyappan 1992:5). Writing on the
history of the Paniyans and their enslavement, Aiyappan further notes that the establishment
of the feudal administration of the Raja of Kottayam in Wayanad was the culmination
of the process of colonization of Wayanad plateau by the people of the plains. There
was also a smallscale movement of the people of Mysore into Wayanad from the east.
Both these immigration movements were slow and very gradual and spread over several
centuries beginning at least from the 5th century A.D. With the establishment of the
feudal order under the Rajahs, the Nayar chieftains and their retainers parceled the
available land among themselves, enslaving the Paniyas and other indigenous tribal
communities. The Wayanad was divided into several nadus, each under a Nayar Christian.
The Kottayam Raja had palaces at various places in Wayanad with several temples
attached to these palaces. Of these palaces almost nothing has survived, but the temples
attached to them are still to be seen (Aiyappan, 1992:6-7).
On the subject of colonization of Wayanad and the subsequent marginalization of
indigenous tribes there, Aiyappan (1992:23) further mentions that in the year 1931, out
of the total population of 971,769, the tribal people alone constituted over 60 per cent
of the population. But in 1971, the total population of Wayanad shot up to 4,13,850, of
which only 73,439 were tribal people. In other words, the tribals have become a minority
of less than 18 per cent over a period of four decades. Approximately from the year
1945, the Travancore Christians sold whatever they had in their villages and towns to
purchase land in Wayanad where it was very cheap. They came to Wayanad in batches
after batches, converted the jungle country into a vast farm land of coffee, tea, rubber,
tapioca, pepper and other cash crops. In fact, the traditional crops grown in this region
from the ancient times were rice, ragi and a few pulses. Soon coffee and tea plantations
occupied an important place in the economy of Wayanad. Due to increased demand,
pepper became the most important cash crop for all the farmers of Wayanad and trained
on most of the fruit trees such as, mango and jack fruit and on special thorny trees such
as the coral tree (Aiyappan 1992:18). Similarly, a large number of Muslims from Calicut
and neighbouring places moved into Wayanad for trade and business. Gradually, a
number of tribal people lost their lands at throw away prices to the Muslim traders also.

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C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

As the Waynadan Chetty were already living in Wayanad as a land owning community,
with whom the Mullu Kurumba and other tribes were often employed as labourers, not
much of tribal lands went into the hands of the Wayanadan Chettys.
Now, the situation in Wayanad is that, most of the Mullu Kurumba are primarily dependent
on hill crops cultivation such as, tea, coffee, pepper and ginger, either as small growers
or as wage labourers in plantations. Those Mullu Kurumbas who have been able to retain
a little of their ancestral agricultural lands i.e. Vayals, do cultivation of banana and paddy
on their own. There are also a number of Mullu Kurumba families in both Wayanad and
the adjoining areas of district involved in share-cropping (called Pangu) with the Wayanadan
Chetty, Christian and Muslim families who have settled in and around the Mullu Kurumba
settlements.
The study settlements: Thayya Kunni & Chomadi
This is the main settlement taken up for study. Thayya Kunni is basically a Mullu
Kurumba settlement. In the past the Mullu Kurumbas exclusively inhabited it. Now there
are a number of non-tribal Christian, Muslim, Nayar and Tiyya families living closer to
the Mullu Kurumba within this settlement as cultivators and traders. It is located at the
Tamil Nadu-Kerala state borders and falls within the revenue village of Erumad in the
Pandalur taluk of Nilgiri district. Within Thayya Kunni, there are 36 Mullu Kurumba
families spread over in five small clusters of 16 households, 7 households, 6 households,
4 households and 3 households within a radius of half a kilometer. About 50 families
of Christians, 25 families of Muslims, 15 families of Tiyya, 2 families of Nayars, 2
families of Chetty and 2 families of Kattunayakan also live in Thayya Kunni as cultivators,
traders and agricultural labourers, in the lands most of which once belonged to the Mullu
Kurumbas. That way now Thayya Kunni has become a multi-ethnic village comprising
different tribe, caste and religious groups. Similar situation prevails in the next village
of Pananchira also; there are 150 families of Christians, 60 families of Muslims, 30
families of Tamils, 10 families of Chetty and 5 families of Nayars living as cultivators
and traders in Pananchira. These non-tribal families employ 30 families of Paniyars and
20 families of Urali Kuruman who live in the same Pananchira as their plantation and
agricultural labourers.
For the Mullu Kurumba living in Thayya Kunni, the small township of Erumad, which
falls two kilometers away from Thayya Kunni towards east, serves as the main marketing
centre. The Paniyan, Kattunayakan and Urali Kuruman who live around Erumad make
most of their purchases only in Erumad. Besides several grocery shops, in Erumad, there
is a Post and Telegraph office, Police Station, a nationalized bank, a Govt.Higher Secondary
School, Land Survey and Revenue Inspectors office and a few privately owned telephone
booths. A Primary Health Centre (PHC) and a Government Tribal Residential (GTR)
school exist at Kappala, which is situated two kilometers away from Erumad towards
east on the way to Pandalur. All these basic facilities are availed by the tribal communities
living around Erumad. A large number of tribal people living in interior settlements
come out to work as plantation labourers as this region is full of plantations and
predominantly dependent on plantation economy. To facilitate movement of plantation
labour and plantation crops, almost all the tribal and non-tribal villages in Pandalur taluk
are well connected by road.

603

The settlement of Thayya Kunni is basically a hillock and most of the Mullu Kurumba
households in this hamlet are situated on the top of the hillock. On the slopes of this
hillock, surrounding the households, coffee, tea, pepper, areca nut and jackfruit are grown.
On the plains i.e. in the wetlands, paddy, a variety of banana called nendira vaazhai,
tapioca and ginger are cultivated. This is the common pattern of cultivation of cash crops
and food-crops in the entire Wayanad and lower slopes of the Nilgiris.
In Thayya Kunni, the Mullu Kurumba comprise a population of 150 (72 males and 78
females) whereas, the non-tribal inhabitants number around 450 people in this settlement.
This situation itself serves as a proof and sample of the over-all scenario of large-scale
non-tribal migration into the tribal belts of Wayanad and lower Nilgiris. Composition
of population in the settlement of Thayya Kunni is furnished with age-group break-ups,
and male, female percentages, in Table 2. In the same Table, a comparative picture of
Mullu Kurumba population (with similar break-ups and percentages) living in an another
settlement called Chomadi, situated in the Sultan Batheri taluk of Wayanad district in
Kerala, is also furnished. Distribution of various tribes in Wayanad district in different
village panchayats is furnished in Table 1. As the Tables provided are very informative
and easy to infer, no elaboration is attempted further.
Houses
Traditionally the Mullu Kurumba build their houses with mud walls and thatch the roof
with grass or paddy straw. Floor and the verandah are smeared with cow dung. Due to
the financial assistance they receive from Government to make tiled houses, most of the
Mullu Kurumba have transformed their thatched huts to tiled houses.
In Kerala, it has been observed that the Government is providing funds directly to the
tribals and to the Self Help Groups of that area, to construct the houses for STs. If
individual ST families want go for a better construction, they can add some more money
to the government funds and construct their houses. Money is disbursed to the beneficiaries
in three phases. The point made here is, there is not much interference in providing
assistance to the people in Kerala. Comparatively a better quality of housing and satisfaction
is assured to the beneficiaries.
In Tamil Nadu, the house construction work is given to local contractors. They construct
poor quality houses and greatly dissatisfy the beneficiaries. The amount sanctioned for
construction of houses to the individual ST families at present is Rs. 34,000/- in Tamil
Nadu while in Kerala, it is Rs.75, 000/.
In Thayya Kunni, out of the 36 households, 33 (91.67%) are tiled houses, two are traditional
thatched houses and one is a concrete roofed house. Whereas in Chomadi, out of the 31
households, 27 are tiled houses, only one is a thatched house and there are two concrete
roofed houses. Details of various types of houses constructed at Thayya Kunni and
Chomadi are provided in Table 4.
Education
As it is obvious in the Table 3, literacy is comparatively low among females than males
in both Thayya Kunni and Chomadi settlements. In Thayya Kunni, 17.33% are nonliterates while it is only 16.22% in Chomadi. Literacy attained by both males and females
through Non formal Education is also furnished in Table 3 for both the settlements.

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Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

Until the reorganization of States in 1956, the Erumad village comprising Thayya Kunni
and other neighbouring Mullu-Kurumba settlements was included in the Wayanad taluk
of the erstwhile Malabar district. Most of the people of this area, including some Mullu
Kurumba went to Malayalam medium schools those days. After it was included in the
Gudalur taluk of Nilgiri district, the village of Erumad was provided with a school having
both Tamil and Malayalam as medium of instruction. As this area is closer to Kerala
and most of the population settled here is from the present Kerala, there is preponderance
of the Malayalam language and Keralite way of life here, as mentioned by Rajalakshmi
Misra, way back in 1965 itself.
Mullu Kurumban children from Thayya Kunni attend schools at Erumad as well as at
Pananchira, the neighbouring village. Those preferring Tamil Medium School, attend
the GTR School at Kappala or the Govt.Higher Secondary School at Erumad. The
Govt.Middle school located at Panachira is exclusively a Malayalam medium school
established in 1960 and run by the Gudalur Panchayat Union. Compared to the Tamil
Medium schools, attendance is more in the Malayalam Medium schools in Gudalur and
Pandalur taluks of Nilgiri district. A number of Mullu Kurumba children who complete
their education in Malayalam medium schools here, go out to Kerala for higher studies
and employment.
It has been reported by some of the teachers serving in the GTR schools of Garikkiyur
and Kappala, in Nilgiri district that there are not sufficient teachers in the GTR schools
to teach the children. A few teachers who are there in these schools, have to attend to
maintenance of kitchen and hostels most of the time than teaching; often they also take
leave to visit their native places as many of them are posted from the plains to the hill
areas unwillingly, sometimes on punishment transfer, to the GTR Schools. It has been
strongly felt that it is sufficient if the Government runs only hostels for the ST children.
The ST children staying in these hostels should be helped to attend the schools meant
for the non-ST children. When curriculum and medium of instruction/language of teaching
is the same as in other schools, it appears to be a waste of resources to provide poor
quality of teaching in the GTR Schools.
Social Organization
As mentioned earlier, every Mullu Kurumba settlement has a head referred to as
Porunnavan. The Porunnavan lives with his wife referred to as Porunnathi in the Velia
Pirai i.e. the temple hut. The Velia pirai is also termed as Theiva Pirai because the
ancestors are believed to live inside this hut as spirits. The Porunnuvan, besides
exercising social control as a settlement head also performs the role of a religious specialist
while performing certain rituals inside this ancestral hut. All the members of a settlement,
especially those families having strong consanguine ties and bondage are organized under
this elderly man (Porunnavan). Next to him in authority within a settlement is termed

605

Poraththavan who usually happens to be the younger brother of Porunnavan. After the
demise of Porunnavan, automatically the Poraththavan becomes the head of the settlement
and he shifts to the Velia Pirai to live.
In the past, when the Mullu Kurumbas lived according to their own traditional territorial
and geographical categories, they were organized under the Mooppans who were heads
of territories called Kunnu which comprised several Kudis i.e. individual settlements.
Now such higher traditional political offices like, Erumadu Mooppan, Appaadu Thalaichil,
Edur Mooppan, etc have lost significance among the Mullu Kurumbas. Only the settlement
head i.e. Porunnavan has some authority over the members of his settlement.
The Mullu Kurumba society divides into four Kulams i.e. exogamous clans. Wherever
the Mullu Kurumbas live, the members should be belonging to any one of the four Kulams,
namely, Vadakka Kulam, Villippa Kulam, Kaadiya Kulam and Venkata Kulam. Marrying
within their own Kulam is prohibited. The woman who marries a man belonging to the
same clan (or Kulam) is termed Kola Ponnu (Ponnu-girl) and is excommunicated.
Similarly, when a man commits this breach of communal norm, he is termed Kola
Kuruman and excommunicated. It is said that such couples went and formed a separate
settlement of their own, called Vaaladu which falls near Ayyan Kolli.
Religion
Though the traditional beliefs and ritual practices of the Mullu Kurumba largely surround
their ancestor-cult based at their Velia Pirai (or Theiva Pirai), they are at the same time
have been greatly Hinduized. The Mullu Kurumbas say that in Wayanad district, a number
of local deity sites of the tribal people have been gradually taken over by the Devasam
Board and these were turned into Hindu temples. Priests belonging to the Embrandiri
community periodically visit these temples and conduct the fairs and festivities as per
the Hindu calendar. The Mullu Kurumba perform their unique religious practices, centred
around ancestor worship (Kaaranamaaru Vazhipaadu; Kaaranamaaru-ancestors and
Vazhipaad- worship), only within their own Velia Pirai. Similar situation persists with
the other tribal communities living in Wayanad. For instance, a Sivan temple called
Veliamban Kotta exists near a Mullu Kurumba settlement called Munda Kuttri. In the
Manuscript of Mckency (1810 A.D), this was mentioned as a fort. Now it is a Sivan
temple, worshipped by all the tribals and non-tribals of this area. On the Sivarathri day,
a grand festivity is conducted in this temple and it is now managed by the higher castes,
Wayanadan Chettys and Nayars.
An another grand religious event which takes place now-a-days in Sulthan Bathery with
the large-scale participation of Mullu Kurumba, Paniyan and other tribal people is
Mariamman Koil Thiruvizhaa i.e Mariamman temple festivity. It is conducted usually
in the last week of February every year. In the past, the tribals were not allowed to take
part in the Vilakku (Lamp) procession of this festivity. But now-a-days, along with the
women from Nayar, Tiyya, Wayanadan Chetty and other caste Hindus, women from the
Mullu Kurumba, Paniyan and Betta Kurumba tribal groups also join the Vilakku procession
and carry the coconut-lamp (i.e.by pouring coconut oil in the cavity of the broken or half
coconut, a lamp is made) in their hands. People living in Wayanad district, irrespective
of their religious and caste affiliations, largely come to Sulthan Bathery to witness this
festivity conducted by the Devasam Board (Hindu Temple Endowment Board).

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The Hindu Religious Missions who actively involve tribals in the Hindu temple festivities
say that they are doing so to counter the Christian missionaries who have a strong presence
in these two districts. An instance pertaining to a place name in Wayanad Wildlife
Sanctuary tells us the religious activities that are subtly taking place here. There is a place
called Gnaam palli close to Muthanga. The Mullu Kurumba say that they have only
named this place as Gnaam palli in the past due to abundance of a particular plant called
Gnaam (a creeper used by them as a rope) in this area. The word Valli denotes a creeper
or wine in the Mullu Kurumba language. The place was therefore known as Gnaam Valli.
Some time ago, a Hindu temple has been constructed at Gnaam Valli. The spot is now
known as Ram Palli and it has been transformed into a small religious spot in the middle
of the jungle route between Mysore and Sultan Bathery.
Identity and Tradition: Hunting
Old men of the Mullu Kurumban community both in Wayanad and Nilgiris, say that they
are actually Vetans(Vedans or Vedars) i.e. hunters, from the Tamil speaking regions who
took refuge in the jungles of Wayanad, a few hundred years ago. As they fled to these
jungles from the ancient Kurumba(ra) Nadu ( the term Kurumba (ra) denotes the name
of the country and Nadu literally means country), they were known here as Kurumban.
About acquiring the prefix Mullu with their name Kurumban, they say that their name
was actually Ulla Kurumban meaning existing or remaining Kurumban. According
to a legend, when they lived in the jungles as hunters under their own chief Veda Raja,
the local king, for personal reasons attacked and killed many of their people. A few
survived the massacre and were called as Ulla Kurumban or Ulla Kuruman (Ulla means
remaining or existing). In course of time, Ulla Kurumban pronounced as Mulla
Kurumban and Mullu Kurumban.
Due to the ban imposed on hunting and also due to their full-time engagement is plantations
and agriculture, the Mullu Kurumbas almost gave up the practice of hunting wild animals
some decades ago. However, as a ritual, hunting is performed on certain festive and
ceremonial occasions. About the significance of hunting in the ritual life of the Mullu
Kurumba community, Rajalakshmi Misra states, The importance of hunting in the Mullu
Kurumba life commences from his first Uchala festival and continues even after he enters
his grave because a how and three arrows are kept beside the dead body of a male Mullu
Kurumba while burying it. The underlying belief is that these implements would be
essential for the deceased after his death also. Thus a Mullu Kurumban is born, lives and
dies as a hunter (1971: 56-57). Further she adds, on this hunting festivity day i.e. on
the Uchchaaru (this is how the Mullu Kurumban actually term their festivity; not Uchchala),
all the males of the settlement take part in hunting with their own bows and arrows. Even
the newly born male babies are also taken by elderly men for a distance of one or two
furlongs along with the hunting procession, keeping a tiny bow and arrow in the hands
of the babies. Then these babies and small children are sent back to the settlement through
old women who accompany the procession for this purpose. Even now, the same practice
continues and it signifies how the act of hunting is so imbibed with the life and world
view of the Mullu Kurumbas. In fact, in the vastly changed Wayanad scenario, the
emotional attachment of the Mullu Kurumbas to hunting and its expression through
ceremonial hunting expeditions very much reveal us the phase of identity crisis that the
Adivasi communities in general have been passing through or undergoing. It can be even

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argued that their traditional identity as hunters is preserved and reinforced through the
continuance of this practice. Their hunting implements, once used to hunt big games
are still preserved in their Velia pera i.e. ancestral hut in every settlement but they are
not used now-a-days. During the ceremonial hunting expeditions, they use small bows
and arrows, to hunt only rabbits in the neighbouring tea gardens and bushes.
A custom followed even today at the time of birth of a child reveals their obsession with
their traditional occupation of hunting and their identity as hunters. Birth of a child
always takes place in their ancestral hut called Veliya Pera (or Velia Pira) in which the
head of the hamlet also ordinarily lives with his wife. All the hunting implements, most
of which no longer used are kept inside their Veliya Pira. When a baby is born, if it is
a male baby, a bamboo container (called thalla made by themselves) having a few arrows
(ambu) in it, is brought near the baby and by shaking it, sound is made for the baby to
hear that sound. The underlying belief is that this sound drives away the fear from the
male babies and they will grow fearless. Similarly, to the crying female baby, women
make sound by beating the muram i.e. winnowing pan made of bamboo. The ambunthalla
(bamboo containers having bows), muram and several such implements having significance
to their tradition and customary practices are always kept inside the ancestral hut i.e.
Velia Pera of the settlement. Keeping an arrow near the male babies and an erivaalu
(sickle) near the female babies is also in practice. The kind of implements used in the
above said rituals also symbolize the respective roles and duties these babies will be
assuming when they are grown up or reach the adulthood. At the time of burial of the
dead also, the custom of keeping an erivaalu along with the female corpse and a bow
and arrow along with the male corpse is necessarily performed. Hunting also forms an
important theme is most of their folk stories and songs. Some of the songs of Vattakali
(a dance performed by men who circle around a lamp lit on the stem of a plantain tree)
have hunting as the main theme. Whereas the songs pertaining to their other dance form
Kol kali (dance performed with sticks in the same fashion by men) comprises songs
mostly from Ramayana and Mahabharata.
As stated earlier, hunting of wild animals has been totally given up by the Mullu Kurumbas
now. In the past, they used to hunt deer (maan), wild pig (panni), wild goat (kela or
kelayadu) along with the rabbits (muyal). Now it is only ceremonial hunting restricted
to the hunt of rabbits, for the purpose of continuing the tradition and training the children.
Hunting is known as Naayaattu among the Mullu Kurumbas. Naay or Naai denotes dog
and aattu means play. As dogs play major role in their hunting expeditions, i.e. in
searching, agitating and catching the animals, they have termed hunting as Naayaattu
meaning play of dogs.
When hunting is taken up in hills and jungles to hunt bigger animals it is known as Malai
Naayattu (Malai denotes hill); when it is taken up in tea or coffee gardens i.e. in chaay
kandi or kaappi kandi (chaay means tea; kaapi-coffee and kandi denotes garden), to hunt
mainly the rabbits it is termed Maala Naayaattu. In olden days, they used to hunt wild
goat (kaattaadu) and porcupine (cooraain) in the bushes and tea gardens. Now- a- days,
they do not hunt these animals, as it is an offence. Bow, arrow and spear-head (kundham)
were the essentials tools of hunting in olden days. Now, for the rabbit hunting, which is
termed Muyalu kedaa, a wooden stick of three feet length and one and half-inch thickness
(called kundu) is used as the main tool. When dogs run into the bushes and agitate the
rabbits taking shelter inside the bushes, they run away; men and boys who stand surrounding

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the tea gardens and bushes chase the rabbits and with force throw the sticks on the rabbits
to immobilize them. Often, the dogs only catch the rabbits on their neck. Men, after
releasing the injured rabbits from the dogs, gift the ears of the rabbits to the dogs, for two
reasons. First, it is a gift to the dog for its help in hunting and secondly it is said to induce
the spirit of hunting in the dog. Sometimes, while going for rabbit hunting, they also
carry mottambu (flat edged arrows) and veri (catapult) to hit the birds and jungle fowls.
Usually after finishing the noon meal, they take up rabbit hunting. Just before the sunset,
they close the hunting and assemble at a particular spot to divide the catch. An elderly
man divides it equally to all the participants of the expedition. Irrespective of age, every
one gets equal share. Jungle fowls and birds, which are hunted on individual effort, are
not shared and they belong to the individuals only. On normal days, the divided meat is
taken to their individual households, cooked and eaten. On the hunting festivity day of
Uchachaaru, the divided meat are taken to their respective Velia pera i.e. ancestral hut
and there, it is collectively cooked by women. After offering it to their ancestors i.e. to
their kaaranamaars, all the members attached to that Velia pera eat the food and the
meat. The Mullu Kurumbas still maintain their own boundaries or territories for rabbit
hunting. Only in their respective neighbourhood they do hunting and generally do not
go far away to encroach others territories. Sometimes, men and boys from the Paniyan,
Betta Kurumba and Kattu Nayakan tribal communities, who live closer to the Mullu
Kurumba settlements, also join the Mullu Kurumba hunting expeditions. Though the
Mullu Kurumba consider
them low in social status, they equally share the catch with these people.
Utilization of Forest Produce
As far as the identification and utilization of naturally available edible food items in forests,
the Mullu Kurumba make use of varieties of fruits, edible roots, tubers and medicinal
herbs from forests. They have their own indigenous way of classifying forest flora and
fauna. For instance, thick forests are broadly termed as Vanam. Bushes are called Kandi.
Tea and coffee plantations are also considered by them as belonging to the Kandi category,
e.g. Chaai Kandi (Chaai-Tea) and Kaapi Kandi (Kaappi-Coffee). Trees are generally
termed maram while shrubs are called Mudichaan. Wines and creepers are broadly termed
Valli. All the grass varieties are classified as Pillu. Several species and sub species of
Maram, Mudichaan, Valli and Pillu are identified by the Mullu Kurumbas. Uses of all
these species in terms of their use as food items, medicine, materials to produce household
and agricultural implements are still found preserved as traditional knowledge. The elders
transmit this knowledge to their children through oral traditions, by taking them to jungles
while going for gathering of wild tubers, roots and medicinal herbs.
The fruits (Polam) available in the wild are brought and shared in the settlement. Some
of the wild fruits they often collect include, Irainji Polam (from Irainji Maram), Gnaaval
Polam (from Gnaaval Maram), Kotta Polam (from Kotta Mudichaan), Soori Polam (from
Soori Mudichaan), Ottangaali Polam (from Ottangaali Mudichaan), Panchikka Polam
(from Panchikka Mudichaan), Chalarum Polam (from Chalaru Maram), Polangey Polam
(from Polangey Valli), and Mookiri Polam (from Mookiri Valli). Jackfruit is termed
Polutthan Chakka, guava is called Mangi Polam and Mango is called Maanga. Cashew

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fruit is classified along with the mango and identified as Aandi Maanga. As far as using
the forest resources for household use and consumption is concerned, by rule it is
permitted for the tribals to use the fallen, dried and dead trees for construction and fire
wood purposes.
Pride and Prestige: Cultivation
Though by tradition the Mullu Kurumba are hunters, they are also, by and large a
community of small cultivators. They have their own land classifications and land-use
practices. Along with the Wayanadan Chettys, the Mullu Kurumba also reported to have
cultivated vast areas of the fertile Wayanad plains. Now they are either small farmers
or agricultural labourers. Before going into the land use practices of the Mullu Kurumbas,
let us look at the Government land classification.
Wetlands are classified as Nanchai and dry lands as Punchai (some times referred to as
karai). The land allotted exclusively for construction of houses is termed as Nattham.
The land meant for and used as road, channels, pathways, cremation ground and water
tanks are classified as Purambokku. The Assessed Waste lands are classified in the
Government records as Anaadhi inam. Actually, other than the individually owned patta
lands, the remaining lands are generally classified as Purambokku i.e. Revenue lands.
Within the Revenue lands, further sub classifications such as Village Grazing grounds,
Assessed Waste lands, Unassessed Waste lands and Nattaham exist. Many Mullu
Kurumba families who do not possess any cultivable lands, cultivate the Assessed Waste
lands (which actually belong to the Government and not allotted to the cultivating families)
by paying an annual penalty of Rs. 20/- per acre plus Rs.25/-. They enjoy an indirect
ownership to these lands by passing on the rights of cultivation to their wards. Issuing
of Assignment i.e. patta for Revenue lands has been stopped in this part of Nilgiri
district for the last thirty years or so. Hence, the alternative for Mullu Kurumbas and
other tribal families living in Pandalur taluk is to enjoy the benefit of cultivating the
Revenue lands by paying the annual penalty and land revenue tax. The District Collector
has the authority to convert the Revenue lands as Patta lands. Actually, the tribals and
non-tribals who cultivate the revenue lands are booked under B Memo for Encroachment.
By levying the penalty and tax, they are allowed to cultivate the revenue lands.
In the past, the Mullu Kurumba identified two categories of dry land based on the distinct
methods of cultivation they followed namely, Vettu Parambu and Uzhavu Parambu. The
term Vettu Parambu denotes the lands used for slash and burn cultivation; Vettu
denotesdigging or slashing or cutting; Parambu means land generally. Food crops,
such as ragi (paandi) and saamai were mainly cultivated along with chilies and tobacco
in the past on the Vettu Parambu i.e. on the swidden lands on the slopes of the hills, by
slash and burn method. About thirty years ago, swidden cultivation almost came to be
discontinued among the Mullu Kurumbas as they found new use of these hill slopes for
planting pepper, areca-nut, coffee and tea.
The other category Uzhavu Parambu is also a dry land on the hills but located on the top
of the hills; it is a leveled land where cultivation was carried out by ploughing. Rajalakshmi
Misra (1971: 67) observes that during the late 1960s nine households out of the total 20

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Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

households existing in Kappala involved in Uzhavu Parambu cultivation. The Uzhavu


Parambu lands were cultivated by rotation of crops. In a cycle of three years, first they
grew ragi, then karthan, a variety of paddy and finally saamai. After which they planted
tobacco, chilies and a few other local roots for about a year on these lands. Then the lands
were left fallow for five years before repeating the same cycle. The Uzhavu Parambu
cultivation also got discontinued due to allotment of these lands to new settlers by the
State Government. Dwindling of livestock population and reduced availability of natural
manure i.e. cattle dung also contributed to the discontinuance of cultivation in Uzhavu
Parambu lands.
The Mullu Kurumbas contrast these two categories of dry lands, namely Vettu Parambu
and Uzhavu Parambu against the Vayals i.e. wet lands in the valleys and plains where
water sources are abundant. The term Parambu in their language actually denotes dry
place where there is no flow of water. First, Vayal is contrasted with the Parambu and
then they identify subcategories for each of these two. As long as food crops and other
local varieties of crops were cultivated the hill slopes and the leveled hilltops were broadly
termed as Parambu. Over the last few decades, after developing pepper, coffee, tea and
areca nut on the slopes, these Parambu lands came to be called as Karai. Now Karai
means dry land slopes where pepper, coffee and tea plantations are raised as against
Vayals i.e. wet lands.
The Mullu Kurumba have their own way of classifying cultivation and crops. The pattern
of cultivation followed in the wetland Vayals is termed Thannaandu Vilaa. As cultivation
cycle lasts for only one year and every year the cultivation process is begun afresh, it is
termed Thannaandu Vilaa. The term Thannaandu signifies one year or current year and
Vilaa denotes the crops under wetland cultivation, such as, paddy, tapioca (kappa),
plantain (vaazha), sembu (a local edible root) and ginger (inji). Whereas, the pattern of
cultivation followed in Karai i.e. on hill-slopes, is termed Kaalaa kaala Vilaa. Plantation
crops, such a as pepper (kuru milagu), coffee (kaappi), areca nut (paakku), tea (theyila)
and the jack fruit(palaavu or chakkaa) which are raised on hill slopes last for years
together, hence called kaalaa kaala vilaa. The term kaalaa kaalam means years together
or for several years.
Coming to the Vayals i.e. Wetlands, categories of Vayals are distinguished in terms of
Kandam i.e. soil condition. Ulavu kandam or Uzhavu kandam denotes those Vayals where
plough cultivation is possible; Koravu kandam denotes the marshy lands where plough
cultivation is not possible and paddy only could be cultivated using simple agriculture
implements like spade. Whereas in the Uzhavu kandam, paddy, banana, tapioca and
ginger are grown. The Aaathi kandam or Kaal Aaathi kandam is also somewhat similar
to Koravu kandam but less marshy. Here, only paddy is cultivated. Actually, the Koravu
kandam and Aathi kandam exist in valley like lands, exactly at the points where the hillstreams flow to the plains; the marshy wetlands situated alongside the perennial streams
are cultivated with paddy.
Cultivation of paddy is termed nanja krishi and lasts for about six months. Sowing takes
place in the month of Medam i.e. around middle of April. Transplantation is done during

C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

611

Vidunam-Karkadam and harvest is conducted during Dhanu-Magaram. Seedlings i.e.


Gnaaru are prepared in a separate plot. If availability of water is comparatively poor,
instead of paddy, plantain, ginger and tapioca are cultivated. Generally the Mullu Kurumbas
prefer to grow paddy, as it is their staple food. Almost all the Mullu Kurumbas grow
paddy atleast for their own consumption. When his neighbour Muslim, Christian and
Nayar families start taking up ginger, plantain and areca nut (and tea now-a-days) in the
wetlands for making cash, a Mullu Kurumba never resorts to such practices. He prefers
to grow paddy for his own family food security and it also involves a great prestige.
Whenever the Mullu Kurumba visit their kin living in other settlements or attend communal
ceremonies, the first and foremost question they pose to each other is how is the paddy
crop this year? . Even if a person has become relatively rich and makes money mostly
by hill crops and plantations, growing paddy and talking about its yield in public gatherings
is considered a pride for the Mullu Kurumba till today.
In their wetland cultivation, the Mullu Kurumba in Thayya Kunni use bullocks for
ploughing. These bullocks are also hired to the other cultivators. Landless Mullu Kurumba
work as agricultural and plantation labourers. Those who have little lands and sufficient
working hands in their household usually prefer to work in their own fields to produce
paddy for self-consumption. If they have no work in their own lands, then they go out
to work for others. The landless Mullu Kurumba involve in sharecropping with the
Wayanadan Chetty families and with the immigrant Muslim and Christian settlers.
Sharecropping is called Pangu. Agreement for sharecropping lasts only for one year. If
both the parties involved in sharecropping agree, it gets renewed for the next year.
Before the Christians and Muslims came in, the Mullu Kurumba involved in the Pangu
method of sharecropping mostly with the Wayanadan Chettys. As land owners, the
Wayanadan Chetty used to provide the Mullu Kurumba share-cropper, the seeds, fertilizers
and pesticide in addition to the land. The Mullu Kurumba sharecropper contributed only
his labour all through the cultivation cycle. If the crop is paddy, both the parties share
the harvest equally. If the crop is plantain, the money obtained through its sale, is divided
equally. Now the Mullu Kurumba take lands on lease (called Paattam) from the Muslim,
Christian and Wayanadan Chettys mainly for cultivation of plantains i.e. Vaazhai. Plantain
is a ten months crop. While entering into the Paattam agreement, the landowner is paid
@ Rs. 7/= or 8/= per plantain plant. Usually 600 to 800 plants are grown in one acre and
that way the landowner gets around 5000 to 6000 rupees. The cultivator bears the expenses
of all items including the labour required for cultivation. It is reported that a minimum
profit of Rs.6000/= per acre could be made in this venture. Now the Pangu (share cropping)
and the Paattam (taking lands on lease) methods are the most prevailing modes of survival
in the entire Wayanad. While the landless among the Mullu Kurumba attempt the above
said methods of cultivation, the landless among the neighbouring Paniyans hardly attempt
such Pangu and Paattam methods. They prefer to work only as farm labourers to the
Wayanadn Chettys, Christians and Muslims. The Mullu Kurumbas say that the Christian
and Muslim settlers in Wayanad follow the trick of providing arrack and beef every
Sunday (i.e. periodically) to their Paniyan labourers to keep them happy and to retain
their cheap labour.

612
Alcoholism

The benefits of the developmental schemes implemented by various Government and


Non Government Organizations among the Nilgiri tribal communities have been greatly
nullified by rampant alcoholism prevalent among all these tribal communities. The
district administration has to remove the liquor shops and illicit-liquor brewers from the
tribal areas. Simultaneously there should be income generation schemes, improving the
literacy and awareness programs for the tribal women. Strong campaign against alcoholism
and other issues is to be taken up by the NGOs in the form of street plays using local
themes through the local language.
It has been observed that different factions having loyalties to different NGOs exist
within the tribal communities in Nilgiris and Wayanad. Even within a small tribal
settlement, some amount of dislike between close kin has developed due to their loyalties
to different NGOs, especially in the Gudalur and Pandalur taluks of Nilgiri district.
Reaching the Tribal Communities
In 1989, the Government of Kerala appointed Tribal Extension Workers to attend to the
needs and problems of the ST people at the settlement or village level. They are recruited
only from the ST communities and posted in their own or neighborhood villages. Most
of the development work pertaining to the ST communities is carried out through these
Tribal Extension Workers/Tribal Volunteers/ Social Activists.
The Tribal Volunteers get free uniforms and a monthly payment of Rs. 1,500/- from the
ST Development Department. If they belong to the Primitive Tribal Groups i.e. PTGs,
then the qualification required for this post is VIII Standard and for others it is Tenth
Standard Pass. About 1,000 youths from ST communities function as Tribal Volunteers
all over Kerala. They are about 300 each in Wayanad and Palakkad districts while
in Idukki they are about 200 or so. They receive basic training in KIRTADS, a
tribal research institute of the Kerala Government. The important duties of the Tribal
Volunteers are to

613

C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

7. Convene cultural programmes, like, traditional music, dance, etc periodically.


This kind of arrangement, using the tribal youth for development planning and
implementation, do not seem to operate in Nilgiris district in Tamil Nadu. If such a
scheme of appointing Tribal Volunteers is taken up uniformly all over the country, in all
the districts where STs are concentrated, it will definitely make the development
programmes reach the people. It will also bring down the rate of unemployment among
the educated tribal youth.
Concluding Remarks
In a report on the Mullu Kurumba, Rajalakshmi Misra wrote in 1971 that the traditional
council of elders in this community lost its significance and only the authority of elders
at the settlement level was effective. As far as social control is concerned, the same
situation prevails even today. By involving in ceremonial hunting expeditions on their
festive days, the Mullu Kurumba strongly assert their traditional identity as hunters
even today and they take pride in it. Though largely dissociated from the forest resources
at present, they do retain a vast knowledge of these natural resources still. While the nontribal cultivators in their milieu have greatly commercialized their cultivation pattern
towards cash crops, such as, ginger, areca nut, turmeric, pepper, tea, etc, the Mullu
Kurumba continue to give priority to cultivation of food crops, such as, paddy, tapioca
and plantain, not only for their own (family) food security but also as a matter of prestige
and adherence to the tradition. Being victims of the overall downtrend in the prices of
plantation crops, such as, pepper, areca nut and tea as a result of liberalization policies,
and as marginal cultivators and wage labourers of the totally collapsed plantation sector,
the Mullu Kurumba as well as other tribal and non-tribal marginal farmers of the Wayanad
region now consider that cultivation of food crops would be their most dependable and
sustainable option of livelihood.

Distribution Of Tribes In Wayanad District, Kerala (Figures During 2000-01)

1. Visit the tribal settlements everyday in the morning to review the study of children,
sanitation of the settlement, etc; they also have to see that the children attend the
lower primary school i.e. Balwadi in the settlement regularly .

Sl.No.

2. Ensure the attendance of ST people in the Ooru (Colony or settlement) Sabha, Grama
(Village) Sabha and Beneficiary committee (pertaining to housing, agricultural
assistance, etc) meetings.

Kaniambetta

55

Kottathara

68

Name of
Panchayat/
Municipality

Total no. of
settlements

Total No.of families- Tribe wise


Urali
Kuruman

Paniyan

Kuruman

Kattu Kurichian Kurumba Adiyan


nayakan

286

145

345

23

343

11

Meppadi

61

590

153

122

57

4.

Muttil

85

532

121

70

57

3. Identify the beneficiaries of various development schemes and assist them to apply
for different welfare schemes.

5.

Padirijaratha

47

302

26

107

Pozhuthana

42

244

21

49

4. Visit the sites of developmental works of the settlement or village to inform the
concerned authorities about the progress.

7.

Thariodi

52

279

34

157

8.

Vengappally

42

290

91

5. Report the issues relating to health, drinking water, sanitation, and ration-supply to
the concerned authorities.
6. Arrange for the medical treatment of the ST people using the facilities available with
the ST Development Department.

9.

Vythiri

140

27

10.

Kalpatta

385

16

53

0
10

11.

Pulpally

67

404

337

395

12.

Poothodi

134

287

473

167

13.

Menangadi

85

250

690

70

10

18

614

Distribution Of Tribes In Wayanad District, Kerala (Figures During 2000-01)


Sl.No.

Name of
Panchayat/
Municipality

ALLIANCE PATTERN BETWEEN CLANS (as per the 2000-01 field study)

Total No.of families- Tribe wise

Total no. of
settlements

Urali
Kuruman

Paniyan

Kuruman

Kattu Kurichian Kurumba Adiyan


nayakan

14

Ambalavayal

39

267

109

15.

Mullankolly

18

155

67

276

16.

Nemmani

81

10

692

470

52

17.

Noolpuzha

140

683

427

591

18.

Edavaka

85

437

253

42

19.

Manandvadi

84

198

17

178

198

20

Panamram

128

888

106

43

362

265

21

Thirunelly

111

258

192

389

265

575

22.

Thindernedu

41

235

192

23

Vellsmuda

53

595

20

140

24

S. Bathery

63

613

210

155

25.

Tharinjal

128

455

34

693

32

Total

615

C. R. Sathyanarayanan, Nirmal Chandra

Traditional Life, Livelihood .............among the Mullu Kurumba

178

Clan of husband

Clan of
wife

Kadiya kulam

Vadakka

Villippa

Venkata

0.00

Villippa kulam

Vadakka kulam

9818

Venkata kulam

No. of
alliances in
Chomadi
Settlement

No. of alliances
in Thayyakunni
Settlement

6.45

25.00

9.68

5.56

5.56

Venkata

0.00

11.11

Vadaka

25.81

22.22

Villippa

0.00

2.77

Kadiya

19.35

5.56

Kadiya

6.45

8.33

Venkata

6.45

2.77

Villippa

25.81

5.56

Vadakka

0.00

5.56

31

100.00

36

100.00

Total

HOUSE CONSTRUCTION (as per the 2000-01 field study)


Chomadi

Thayyakunni

Both the settlements

References

House Type

No

No.

No.

Tiled house

27

87.09

33

91.67

60

89.55

Concrete

6.45

2.78

4.47

Thatched h.

3.23

5.55

1.49

Sheet

3.23

4.47

Total

31

100.0

36

100.0

67

100.00

Hockings, Paul (ed.)

1997

Blue Mountains Revisited, Delhi, Oxford


University Press.

Kapp, Dieter B. and


Hockings Paul

1989

'The Kurumba Tribes' in Blue Mountains


(ed. Paul Hockings), Delhi, Oxford University
Press.

Misra, Rajalakshmi

1971

Mullu Kurumba of Kappala, Calcutta,


Anthropological Survey of India.

Sathyanarayanan, C. R.

2011

Scheduled Tribes of Nilgiris District, a Report


prepared under the Socio-Economic Survey of
Scheduled Tribes in Tamil Nadu, Ooty: Tribal
Research Centre, Govt. of Tamil Nadu

Natarajan, T. S.

1985

Tribal habitats of Nilgiri District, Udhagamandalam (Tamil Nadu), Tribal Research Centre.

Singh, K. S.

1994

The Scheduled Tribes, Delhi, Oxford Unviersity


Press.

Thurston, E.

1909

Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Vol.14(iv)


P.133-177, New Delhi , Cosmo Publications,
(Reprinted 1987).

OCCUPATION (as per the 2000-01 field study)


Occupation

CHOMADI

THAYYAKUNNI

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

MALE

FEMALE

TOTAL

Govt. job

15

16

10.81

2.67

Pvt. job

4.73

12

8.00

Wage labour

18

15

33

22.30

22

29

51

34.00

Non Worker

19

42

61

41.21

39

44

83

55.33

Self Cultivation

20

11

31

20.95

616

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (617-627), 2012-2013

Sacred Complex of Port Blair City:


An Anthropological Appraisal
Dr. D. V. Prasad1

ABSTRACT
The Andaman Island has contributed a lot for the discipline of anthropology in building
theoretical perspective with the study of Radcliff-Brown on Great Andamanese in its
historicity. In post Independence, it is exposed to outside world for its pristine natural
beauty and monumental heritage in general and inflow of many ethnic populations from
mainland India in particular. The major population of Ang (Jarawa), Onge, Sentinelese,
and Great Andamanese are marginalized in due course of time by the immigrants and
restricted them to few pockets of the island. In pre Independent India, the colonial rulers
started the process of annexation by establishing the penal settlement for the convicts
who sent from mainland India and Burma. After Independence, they were allowed to
settle down in the islands along with their kith and kin for development of the islands.
In due course of time, refugees from East Bengal were settled in Middle and North
Andaman by clearing major chunk of forest area for human habitation and cultivation.
Later on, people from different parts of the country immigrated to these islands in search
of better economic opportunities. As a result mini India concept was developed and
built a new social system wherein inter caste, creed, and religious marriages, Lingua
Franca, and national character are catalytic in creating a separate identity for locals
in Andaman. But due to expanding communication network and infrastructural facilities,
a new trend has been emerging by integrating social identities among the settler population
of the islands. This situation can be best illustrated from the mushrooming community
guilds and the emerging sacred complex of Port Blair city to manifest distinct cultural
characteristics in a geographically isolated area i.e., Andaman Islands. Hence, the present
study tries to test the hypothesis of L.P. Vidyarthis Sacred Complex in island situation
and highlight the integration of different social identities with the emerging sacred complex
in Andaman Islands.

Introduction
The advent of globalization and industrialization had brought many changes not only in
economic sphere but in the social milieu of the millions of people in the developing
nations. The growth of cross cultural contacts resulted in overlapping many identities for
the sake of better standard of living. Despite of this fact, cultural identities of cross
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, Indira Gandhi National

Tribal University (IGNTU), Amarkantak, Madhya Pradesh-484886.

618

Dr. D. V. Prasad

Sacred Complex of Port Blair City: An Anthropological Appraisal

sections of people in India are still being facilitated by the age-old traditions of that
particular region where they inhabit. It is being demonstrated that the observance of
various sacred performances, specialists and geography as a whole constitute sacred
complex of great tradition which unites the people under pan-Indian identity (Vidyarthi,
1961). Thus sacred complex concept is catalytic in highlighting various facets of Hindu
spiritual life, source of livelihood to dependent communities, trade, and tourism etc., in
India. Apart from this, the sacred centers are spreading the message of cultural ethos to
even remote places through several cultural performances like Car festivals, Jataras, and
Ustavas. The identity of a particular sacred complex was being perpetuated by adopting
modern innovations in its wider form of adjustment to the ever changing situation through
networking the people of Indian culture. Peaceful coexistence of multiple belief systems,
traditions, and ways of life at these centers reflects the principle of unity in diversity.
The empirical studies of sacred complex in India began in 1960s by delineating
methodological perspectives in understanding complex network of social relations in
sacred centers. Based on the analytical concepts of Robert Redfield and Mckim Marriott,
Vidyarthi (1961) initiated the beginning of systematic study of these centers by using
anthropological approaches for the comprehensive understanding of the Indian civilization.
Vidyarthis formulated concept of sacred complex which is a synthesis of sacred geography,
sacred performances and sacred specialists, sacred segments, sacred zone, sacred geography
and attempts to describe social organization of the temple and its people. He is further
argued that sacred complex of Hindu Gaya is applicable to tribal and rural religions of
this country. Through his methodology and empirical data, Vidyarthi rescrutinized the
western scholars concepts like little and great tradition, cultural specialists, performances,
and media and reframed them in Indian context. In the course of time various anthropological
works on these sacred complex has been undertaken by Makhan Jha (1971), Saraswati
(1963 & 1975), Sahay (1975), Patnaik (1977), Goswami and Morab (1975), Morab (1978),
Behra (2003). These studies empirically analyzed the dynamics of sacred complex of
Hindu pilgrim centers by using the theoretical concepts of Vidyarthi.
In line with above hypothesis, the present study is made to understand the emerging
patterns of sacred complex in physiologically and geographically isolated urban area in
Andaman Islands. Port Blair city is the capital of these enthralled islands which is inhabited
by the people from different states of the Union of India and diverse cultural backgrounds
of both great and little traditions of Hinduism, Christianity, Muslim, Jainism etc. The
emerging temple traffic and ongoing cultural performances of the people in these islands
prompt the researcher to test the conceptual framework of sacred complex in Island
situation. At this juncture, it is also essential to understand the historical transect of the
study area to understand the emerging sacred complex in the Islands.

619

continued for a quite longer period in view of development of these remote islands.
Initially refugees from East Pakistan, settlers from Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Jharkand and
Andhra Pradesh settled in various islands. Later on people from diverse cultural, linguistic
and geographical backgrounds migrated to these islands on account of government service,
business, and allied occupations. As a result of this, the original inhabitants of Andaman
Island i.e., Great Andamanese, Jarwa, Onge and Sentenelese became minority and the
immigrants emerged as the dominant group (Singh, 1994). Since then later settlers started
living together and participating in one anothers cultural activities. This sort of cultural
mosaic facilitated inter-caste or creed marriages between the immigrants and local born
islanders and on the other hand different communities formed separate guilds to protect
their regional identity too.
With the emergence of various Hindu shrines of local, regional and national significance
in and around the Port Blair town, institutionalized socio-cultural organizations like, Utkal
Samaj (Orissa), Atul Smriti Samity (Bengali Club), Andhra Association (Telugu), Kerala
Samajam (Malayalam), Rajasthan Manch etc., were formed to provide common cultural
consciousness besides protecting their native identities. These institutions are playing a
pivotal role in creating unity by organizing cultural performance on festive occasions in
the form of collecting donations, cooperation in organization of festivals, reading of sacred
texts, bhajans, and other regional cultural programmes. Thus sacred geography and its
related institutions provide the base for elucidating new identities in the emerging sacred
complex.
The Study Area
The Andaman Islands are located in Bay of Bengal with a distance of 1190 km from
Chennai and 1255 km from Kolkata on sea. It is having 3106 sq. kilometer area. The
Andaman islands are classified into three divisions i.e., South, Middle and North Andaman
for administrative convenience. The Andaman Trunk Road (ATR) is connecting all these
three divisions that can also access through sea route. Port Blair is the capital town for
the entire Andaman and Nicobar Islands as it harbour people from different socio-cultural
backgrounds. It is the entry point and gateway to the rest of islands.
Of the total population, Hindus are predominant in the study area followed by Christian
and Muslim. Though Hindi is official language in Port Blair, Bengali, Tamil, Telugu,
Malayalam, Santhali and other regional languages of the Union of India are well versed
in the respective areas. As a part of territorial expansion, various religious centers come
up to cater the philosophical needs of the immigrant population in due course of time.
This situation led to the emergence of sacred complex in the islands. Under these
circumstances Port Blair town is selected to understand the emerging patterns of sacred
complex in the island situation.

Historical Background

Methodology and Data Collection

During colonial annexation, the Britishers thought of peopling Andaman Islands to seek
refuge of naval fleet during distress conditions, to prevent the smuggling from Malaya
and to make friendly contacts with native settlers. As a part of this strategy, the convicts
were sent to develop this island for human habitation to protect the imperial interests due
to its strategic location on sea route. After Independence, the policy of immigration is

The present study is basically an outcome of intensive fieldwork in 2007-08 by visiting sacred
centers of Port Blair. The data was collected through observation, extensive case studies, key
informant interviews and verbal discussions etc. For collection of quantitative data, secondary
sources like records of A&N Administration, the data from State and government departmental
libraries were used for analyzing the demography of the study area.

620

Sacred Complex of Port Blair City: An Anthropological Appraisal

Demography
As per 2001 Census, the total population of Andaman Island comes to 3,56,152 consisting
1,92,972 male and 1,63,180 female. Of which, the rural population representing 2,39,954
and urban population comes to 1,16,198. Out of the total population Hindu (246589),
Christian (77178), Muslim (29265), Sikh (1587), Buddhist (421), Jain (23), and others
1089 are representing the diversity of the islands (A&N Administration, 2006). The
population has been increasing continuously with the influx of migrants from mainland
India.
Sacred Geography of Port Blair
Port Blair is not only a tourist paradise, but a place for cultural conglomeration surrounded
by a multitude of sacred geography of diverse religious faiths. Territorial expansion of
the settlement area during the last few decades witnessed the enormous growth of temples
along with the development of educational, commercial, transport sectors for practical
purposes constitutes this Islands a baseline for cultural heterogeneity. The immaculate
architectures like Police Gurudwara at Bazaar, Bhuddhist monastery at Phongy Chowke,
Churches of diverse denominations located in the vicinity of Gholghar, Mosque at Supply
Lane, Dignabad and spiritual center like Ramakrishna Mission at Marina Beach, Chinmai
Mission at Police Lane and various Hindu temples like Murugan temple, Ayyappa and
Radha Govind temple at RGT road etc., and its paraphernalia, priests, followers are
testimony to the emerging sacred complex. Observance of cultural performances at these
places by the different communities at regular intervals is catalytic for development of
religious tourism in recent past. Hence it is a melting pot of diverse traditions and belief
systems.
In addition to these sacred centers, there is another important sacred zone located in South
Point, which is most venerated Muslim graveyard known as Mazhar Pahad distance
ranging from two to three kilometers. This place is noted for the burial memorial of a
Muslim saint, Hajrat Allama Fazul Haque Khairabadi, who belonged to the court of the
last Mughal Emperor of Delhi and a freedom fighter, worshipped by large number of
people irrespective of their ethnic backgrounds. It is a popularized pilgrimage for Hindus,
Muslim, Sikh and Christians in the Union Territory. People who kept mannath (vow)
visits this place and organizes grand feasts after sacrificing goat and fowls in complying
their vows. Besides this, people from different cultural backgrounds tie sacred thread to
existing Ficus (baniyan) tree which is in typical Hindu style at Mazar.
The Kali Mandir on the way to Sippy Ghat is also a popular sacred centre which is also
visited by cross section of islanders to worship Goddess Kali. It is located on the Hillock
and having six kilometers from Port Blair town. The animal sacrifices by the officiating
Nepali priest with his mouth and sucking the oozing blood in possessive state resembles
the tantric aspects Hinduism at this sacred center.
Phonghy Khyongi (Andaman Buddhist Mission) is a major religious centre for the Burmese
settlers in the islands. It is located nearby market centre which is popular as Phonghy
Chowke. During Burmese festive occasions like Tankem (Holi), Pavarana (Deevali), and
Buddha poornima they throng to Phonghy Khyongi situated at Port Blair, Memio at
Wandoor, Mayabunder and express their solidarity through celebration of their festival
including feasts.

Dr. D. V. Prasad

621

The Murugan temples located on the way to Shadipur and its peripheral worshipped by
Tamil people are thronged by cross section of devotees from the islands to gaze Panguni
Uttaram. It is being organized once in every year by carrying decorated kavidi and
inserting vel into the bodies of the devotees who undertake vratam (vow) and walk across
the fired charcoal.
Besides this, little traditions of different communities who represent various regions of
the country are also started to gain prominent at various mohallas of Port Blair town like
worship of anthills, statues of village god and goddesses, and so on.
The Sacred Complex of Rajasthan Temple
Out of the above stated sacred centres, Rajasthan Temple is one which is emerging center
for sacred complex in the study area. It is located on the hillock besides Gandhi Park in
Shadipur locality of Port Blair. It is having four kilometers distance from Airport and two
and half kilometers distance from inter island and mainland jetty. In view of its proxy
location, people from all walks of life i.e., tourists, businessmen, and different ethnic
groups who live in different parts of Andaman Island throng to this place and offer
worship.
This temple rising to a height of average 100ft. to the sea level gives a majestic appearance
to the visitors and thus provides sanctity to the place. A Unique interior architecture
facilitating people from diverse backgrounds to offer worship in such a way by installing
the idols in different portions of the sanctorum for the purpose of worshipping all the
regional gods and goddesses. The main sanctorum consists of nine divisions having raised
construction (vimanas/gali gopurams) of each room resembles a distinct North Indian
temple architecture. In Ground floor (starting from right side), deities of Lord Shiva,
Parvati and the Phallic, Goddess Durga, Lord Satyanaraya and Goddess Lakshmi, Lord
Rama and Sita, Lord Krishna accompanied by Radha, Lord Hanuman, and Lord
Venkateswara. Statues of Lord Ganapati and Baba Ram Devji (Peer Baba of Rajasthan)
are located in either side of the sanctorum in a guarding position to the main deities. In
First floor (starting from left side) Lord Jagannath, Malabhadra and Subhadra of Orissa,
Bhagavan Katu Shyamji of Rajasthan were installed for worship.
The temple is maintained by a committee which is known as Rajasthan Manch formed
in 1972 to bring together migrants of Rajasthan people at one common platform through
their cultural activities such as celebration of Holi, Deewali and their State festivals.
Initially it is organized for maintaining and coordinating its members for a common cause
through their collective effort, later it expanded its activities to the organization of various
Hindu religious activities in Port Blair town. As a part this, the need for a major sacred
centre is felt which can help in retaining a relatively high degree of diversity and pluralism
reflecting the vast regional, linguistic, socio-economic and cultural heterogeneity of the
Bay Islands at one place as well as strengthening filial bonds among its members. The
members of the Manch attributed that the main reason behind this idea to develop temple
as a one of the major pilgrim centre in Islands for the attraction of tourists from all walks
of life in turn for the augmentation of charity works on behalf of this centre. Core member
of the Manch (service personnel, businessmen, and contractors) succeeded their efforts
in bringing it to the notice of the Administration and land allotment for the proposed

622

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Sacred Complex of Port Blair City: An Anthropological Appraisal

temple. In 1998 temple construction was started by voluntary contribution of its own
members in the form of money and material. All the idols were imported from Jaipur
except Lord Jagannath, which is donated by Utkal Cultural Association to maintain the
sanctity in the long run. The construction was completed by the end of 1999 and opened
up it for the public for worship. Apart from its routine worship of the installed deities,
Melas, Utstavs, and Jatras of different cultural groups of the mainland India are held on
auspicious occasions like Lord Jagannath Rath Yatra, Durga Puja, and Holi etc. All the
cultural festivities of regional significance will take place in collaboration with the temple
committee.
The Manch had its own Executive Committee to look after the sacred activities of the
temple. At present the committee consists of 25 nominated members, of which 11 executive
members were elected once in every two years by voting. The membership is strictly
given to those who hail from Rajasthan and majority of them businessmen. Committee
members assembled every Tuesday evening in the premises of the temple and discuss the
matters pertaining to temple development and its maintenance. In the beginning it has
35 members representing one person from each family of 35 families. With the rise of
population about 200 permanent and 200 nominal members those who are in government
service, now they are conducting elections for the executive committee. But all households
contribute generously for temple fund on monthly basis.
At present the temple is being maintained with one priest and four caretakers who arrange
the needed materials for regular puja and preparation of prasadam. Besides their regular
activities, every month caretakers collects donations from the merchants in Aberdeen
Bazaar regularly on behalf of the temple and deposit the same at cashier of the Committee.
This amount is being used for regular maintenance of the temple i.e. the purchase of
groceries, oil, incense sticks, and payment of phone, electricity and water charges, etc.
At present Executive Committee made arrangements within the sanctorum for boarding
the priest and caretakers of the temple.
The functional importance of this Center is the arrangement of massive cultural performances
of different States through out the Calenderical year with the assistance of existing cultural
guilds. Observance of Car festival of Orissa, Durgah puja during Dusserah by the Bengali
community, Phallic worship during Maha Shivaratri, worship of Lord Krishna during Sri
Krishnastami etc., at one place reflects the sacred complex of Indian society at one side
and the other it gives a plural characteristic of the socio-cultural life of the Bay Islanders.
Participation of diverse communities in these cultural performances at this center
demonstrates the mutual coexistence of multiple cultural traditions of Hindu civilization
at study temple in particular and the reflection of the same in the sacred geography of
Port Blair town in general. Different segments of the temple related to each other in the
sense that a worshipper goes from one segment to another to make offerings to the deities
at a time. In between offering to major Hindu goddesses, worship of human divination
stresses the importance of local traditions. Combination of sacred centers of this kind
have become efficacious for the fulfillment of certain specific desires of the people i.e.
securing mental peace in the secluded life, material possessions, suitable mates, safe
delivery of new babies, get rid of sickness and so on. Cultural relativistic character of the
sacred geography of Port Blair thus attracts the people from all walks of life including
tourists at large.

623

Sacred Specialists
There is an emerging trend of influx of priestly community to these Islands to cater the
increasing spiritual needs of the Port Blair town as no specific established institutional
arrangements are available during settlement time. The enormous growth of population
and temple traffic may be the probable pull factor behind the immigration of priestly class
or pandits. All most all the temples had a sacred specialist (either Brahman or Sanskritised
priest) of its own for usual worship and these specialists attend the rites de-passage for
the local population also.
For example the priest of Rajasthan temple hailed from Gorakhpur (Uttar Pradesh) on
the advice of his friend for his better employment. Basically he is not practicing priest
in true sense at mainland. He started his priestly occupation only after arrival to these
Islands with the domestic knowledge of regular practice of Sanskrit texts as a part of his
daily routine. Initially he offered his priestly services at Britchgunj (Yamesh Mandir)
more than a year and on the request of the Rajasthan Temple committee, he shifted to
Port Blair and continuing his priesthood for the past few years. Apart from his regular
job, he also attends religious fairs during festive occasions at other temples and performs
marriages and other life cycle rituals in and around Port Blair.
During auspicious occasions at temple, sacred specialists (i.e., priests) of nearby temples
in Port Blair town also invited to take part and collectively officiate the ceremonial
functions ranging from offering of floral worship to agni homa, abishekams and so on
and collects gifts and honorarium from the committee and the general public. At that time,
affluent families do engage personnel priests to pay their vows during these functions.
It is evident from the successful performance of such sacred activities during Car festival
of Lord Jagannath (popular as Rath Yatra) every year illustrates the above mentioned
statement. Whenever the necessity arises, priests from other temples perform the regular
harati by adjusting timings in case of absence of its permanent priest. Sanskritized or
non-Brahmin priests are also found in Shiv mandir of Dairy Farm and other similar sacred
geography of Port Blair who officiate harati and puja regularly at these temples besides
their routine occupations.
Cultural Performances
All the major and minor Hindu festivals were celebrated with high devotional temperament
by giving open invitation through local daily newspapers to the people of Islands. Splendid
cultural performances or programmes would takes place during Deewali, Vijaya Dasami,
Ganesh Chaturdi, Sri Krishna Janmashtami, Maha Shivaratri, Puri Jagannath Car festival,
Ram Navami, Sankranti and so on. Number of devotes thronged during these festive
occasions and offer worship including reading of sacred texts, bhajans, keerthan, harikathas,
etc. Besides these performances, different cultural tradition oriented performances like
traditional dance representing the regional, ethnic, linguistic were organized at the temple
premises with collaboration of cultural organizations of the Andaman Island.
Recently held Car Festival of Lord Jagannath of Orissa illustrates the observance of sacred
performances at the premises of Rajasthan temple. The famous Car festival was observed
in line with the cultural pattern of Puri Rath Yatra in the Bay Islands. The Utkal Samaj
of Port Blair with the help of Rajasthan temple committee and Chinmay Mission organized
this massive event this year.

624

Sacred Complex of Port Blair City: An Anthropological Appraisal

Prior to the festival, the man-made wooden idols used for procession were imported from
Orissa as it is tradition to make the idols with the wood of specified tree and specialized
craftsman. Thus ever year they make new wooden images and install those wooden idols
in the sanctorum in place of old ones. Remaining wood for making new Rath is being
procured from Andaman since it is very difficult to import the required wood from
Dasapala where special team of carpenters venture and procure wood for making new
chariots. On approaching the Rath Yatra day, the volunteers of Utkal Samaj initiates the
process of making new chariot (Rath) in front of the temple itself.
On the auspicious day, puja will be held in traditional Odiya manner and organizers
distributes prasada to the visitors at temple premises. Later on, they takes the decorated
chariot to the streets after inaugurating this event by the first person of the islands i.e.,
Honle Governor after worshipping the Rath. The huge crowd of people competes for
holding the sacred rope as they state it will bring fortune in the life of human beings. The
procession starts from the temple and goes around Port Blair town to glimpse everyone
and eventually reaches Chinmai Mission for halt. The deities are being supposed to give
hospitality at this place for nine days and afterwards they do observe formal returning
of Car from Chinmai Mission to its originating place i.e., Rajasthan temple.
A large number of people participated in this Rath Yatra procession amidst ritual chantings
and traditional bandwagon. The characteristic feature of this Rath Yatra is the participation
of Non-Oriya communities (90%) including Hindu, Sikh, and Christian along with the
Oriya families. Likewise Durgah puja and other regional and national festivals are been
celebrated with utmost devotion and fervor. Sometimes this performance starts at the
dawn of the day and continuous even midnight. Those who had vows about their family
troubles, marriage, health and prosperity will offer floral worship, fire worship (homa),
water and milk worship (abhishekams) with the help of sacred specialists during these
sacred performances. Now a days mammoth pandals with beautiful electrification were
undertaken during Goddess Durgah and Lord Ganesh festivals.
Besides this, Avataran Diwas of Baba Asaramji is also observed by the manch members
frequently. On this occasion, invitation is extended to all sections of people for taking
part in bhajans, reading the verses of Bhagavadgita, Mahabharat, Ramayan, etc. It is
followed by distribution of prasadam to all the gathering in the precincts of temple
irrespective of community background. During this occasion, distribution of clothes,
notebooks, pencils, school bags, etc., are also distributed by the devotees to the children
and old-age people those who are residing in the surrounding of the temple.
Analysis of Results and Conclusion
The very complexity of the social composition of Port Blair and its increasing density
due to influx of diverse population from mainland India have affected the development
of local cultural traditions to some extent but not in vogue. As such sacred centers of
particular region exposed to people of diverse regions of India. Though the study temple
representing Great Tradition in its appearance, worship of human divinity such as Baba
Ramdevji and Katu Shyamji and others shows that the close interaction between local
traditions of regional significance with the great traditions of which they are part. Apart
from routine puja, various activities like mundane, festive processions, bhajans, kirthan,

Dr. D. V. Prasad

625

etc., are the major attraction of this sacred centre. The presence of Idols of various regional
gods and goddesses of the temple enhancing the strengths of temporal and spacious
diversity by exhibiting elements of unity in diversity which forms the base to secular
character of our country from the ages. Regional identities expressed through performance
of various sacred activities during festive occasions have been motivating the people for
the survival of their age-old customs and practices to remember their upcoming generation
in the present technological revolutionary world.
Socio-cultural practices of the inhabitants of Port Blair may vary in many ways apparently
with their belief systems but geographical isolation from mainland providing a common
bondage of regions in the form of massive cultural performances like Ganesh puja, Durga
puja, Rath Yatra, etc. The exquisite curiosity of the splendid performances during festive
occasions made all sorts of worshippers to appreciate and adoration irrespective of the
region they belong to. Apart from this, the functional contribution of inhabiting communities
for such performances are explicit from the services of Medar (basket making community
from Andhra Pradesh who offer sacred baskets for worship), carpenters, drumbeaters,
traders to make the event a grand success. Interlocking of various traditions and belief
practices at one place facilitating the relativistic and pluralistic tendency among the
worshippers and visitors of the temple. These tendencies demonstrate the fundamental
unity of our country in the background of diversity of political, regional and religious
aspects etc.
Socio-cultural adjustment among people of different ethnic communities have been
reflecting in their collective participation during the performances by respecting each
other beliefs with devotion and reverence towards all other cultural traditions of the
people. This in turn is a positive sign of attracting tourists paving a way to creation of
source of income to the native people those who depended on temple traffic for their eke
out as well as for the development of tourism sector. The secular character of the temple
gives a broader identity of the Indian culture by manifesting various dimensions of Indian
civilization in particular and the other sacred centers in general i.e. Mazar Durgah. As a
result of enormous growth of sacred geography of various traditions along with the major
temples in recent times at Port Blair town has been encountering religious syncretism
through a spiritual link with the widely accepted persona celebrities. Associated legends
and myths of the sacredness of the other religious centers of cultural personalities spreading
across its territorial boundaries by improved communication and transport facilities. With
this people hailing from different parts get together and mutually exchange cultural
elements. Thus the sacred networks evolved over a period of time not only strengthen
the common bondage of diverse cultures that emerges in the participation of processions,
bhajans, and other sacred performances.
Presence of large number of people is not purely to devotion oriented, but their purposes
are based on their nature of association with the performance. They may consist of service
personnel, political workers, volunteers, traders and casual visitors with different motives.
Voluntary services rendered by different organizations (related to political parties) do not
contain sacred in nature rather in conformity with the ideals of their organization, which
they represent. Some of the charity activities like distribution of education kits consists
of note books and pencils, clothes, and other needed material to the needy are entirely a

626

Sacred Complex of Port Blair City: An Anthropological Appraisal

personnel affair delinking with charity of the temple at large. The customary to participate
in the feasts or prasada distribution held at Rajasthan Temple, Mazar Pahad or else
demonstrates the supplement of nutrition along with devotion for the settlers surround
the temples.
Thus the sacred complex of Rajasthan temple demonstrates the increasing tendency of
adaptation to the secular life in a new environment and avoiding the sectarian tendencies.
This trend helps in narrowing the fissiparous attitudes among the people. At this juncture
it is noteworthy to mention enormous growth of temple traffic in and around Port Blair
city representing Great and Little cultural traditions that illustrate the hypothesis of
Vidyarthis theoretical proposition of sacred complex of a Hindu place of pilgrimage
reflects a level of continuity, compromise and combination between Great and Little
traditions.
Of course the religious structures of Port Blair town may represent the sects of different
Hindu as well as other religious traditions, it does not encourage separate identities based
on region, language or creed. It is illustrated in the widespread common Lingua Franca
(i.e., Hindi) of this region which is catalytic behind the creation of new identity i.e. Local.
People respect each other traditions and cooperate in times of cultural performances
irrespective of caste, creed, sex and religion. In the course of time syncretic centers like
Mazhar Durgah, Rajasthan Temple emerged to cater the spiritual needs of diverse population
of these Islands. Eventually it assists in understanding the dynamism of Indian civilization
through its internal process of adjustment and interaction among different cultural and
religious groups.

Acknowledgement
The author is grateful to the Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Kolkata for the
facilities and support of encouragement during my stay at Andaman and Nicobar Regional
Centre, Port Blair in developing the work in this form. Further I would like to acknowledge
my humble gratitude to the authorities of Rajasthan temple and priests of various temples
in Port Blair for allowing me to conduct field investigation in the respected shrines. It
is very difficult to mention names of the assistance rendered by many personalities of
Port Blair but my sincere thanks goes to everyone. The views expressed in this paper
are those of the author alone.

References
Behra, M.C. (2003), Social Anthropology of Sacred Center: Understanding the Dimension
of Indian Civilization through Parasuram Kund, New Delhi, Serial Publications.
Directorate of Economics & Statistics, Port Blair (2005-06), A & N Administration.
Goswami, B. B. and S. G. Morab (1975), Chamundeswari Temple in Mysore, Culcutta,
Anthropological Survey of India.

Dr. D. V. Prasad

627

Jha, Makhan (1971), The Sacred Complex in Janakpur, Allahabad, United Publishers.
Morab, S.G. (1978), Study of Temple in Mysore City: A Case Study of Chamundeswari
Temple (ed.vol.), Culcutta, Anthropological Survey of India.
Patnaik, N. (1977), Cultural Tradition in Puri: Structure and Organization of Pilgrim
Centre, Shimla, Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS).
Saraswati, B.N. (1963), Temple Organization in Goa, Man In India, Vol.32(2)
Saraswati, B.N. (1975), Kashi: Myth and Reality of a Classical Cultural Tradition, Shimla,
Indian Institute of Advanced Studies (IIAS).
Singh, K.S. (1994), People of India: Andaman and Nicobar Islands. Vol.XII, Culcatta,
Anthropological Survey of India.
Vidyarthi L.P., (1961) The Sacred Complex in Hindu Gaya, Bombay, Asia
Publishing House.

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Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (629-637), 2012-2013

gtkjhckx uxjikfydk {ks= ds jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa dh


lkekftd ,oa LokLF; fLFkfr
tks[ku kekZ 1

ifjp;
izkphu dky ls LokLF; ekuo ds fy, cskdherh laifk jgk gSA mRre LokLF; izkIr djuk gj O;fDr
dh igyh vkdka{kk gksrh gSA geskk fujksx jgus dh izo`fr gh euqI; dks lq[kh rFkk [kqkgky thou
O;rhr djus es lgk;d gksrh gSA euqI; ds thou vkSj mldh [kqkh ds fy, LokLF; ls T;knk egRoiw.kZ
fdlh vU; oLrq dh dYiuk Hkh dj ikuk dfBu gSA
vkt ds ifj; esa tgk lekt dk izR;sd oxZ vius&vius Lrj ls vius LokLF; ds izfr ltx gS]
ogh gekjs gh lekt eas ,d oxZ ,slk Hkh gS tks fd blls vNwrk gSA bu vyx&Fkyx iM+s yksxkas dks
ge vius vkl&ikl izk;% dwMk&dpM+k] jn~nh inkFkZ] IykfLVd ds FkSys] fVu ds VqdMs vkfn csdkj
inkFkksZa dks pqurs ns[k ldrs gSaA bu dwMk&dpM+k pqurs yksxkas dks jn~nh okys jsx&fidlZ] dwM+k pquus
okys uke ls lEcksf/kr djrs gSaA
vkS|ksfxdhdj.k ,oa ekhuhdj.k ds bl ;qx esa ftl rsth ds lkFk fodkl gqvk gS] mlh rsth ls
kgjksa o dlcksa dk fodkl c<+k gS] ftlesa kgjksa ds c<+us ds lkFk&lkFk ;gk dh tula[;k esa Hkh
Hkkjh of`) gksrh tk jgh gSA tula[;k c<us ds lkFk&lkFk buds miHkksxkas dh lkefxz;kas dk izpyu
Hkh c<+ jgk gS] ftlls kgjksa esa dwMk&djdV ,oa jn~nh lekfxz;ksa dh ek=k esa vikj o`f) gks jgh gSA
bl leL;k ls fuiVus ds fy, kgj esa ekStwn lEcaf/kr foHkkxksa dh ijskkfu;k c<+rh tk jgh gaSA bu
leL;kvks a ls futkr fnykus es a jn~ n h pq u us okys leq n k;ks dh Hkkxkhnkjh lokZ f /kd gS A
gtkjks ckxksa ds uke ls [;kfr izkIr gtkjhckx vius eueksgd izkd`frd lkSan;Z ds fy, fo[;kr
gSA ;g ftyk 230251 ,o 240481 mkjh v{kkka rFkk 840291 ,o 860381 iwohZ nskkUraj ds chp fLFkr
gSa] rFkk leqnzry ls bldh pkbZ yxHkx 2012 QhV gSA
v/;;u {ks= esa lHkh oxksZ o tkfr&/keZ ds yksx fuokl djrs gSA jn~nh pquus okys leqnk; dh lkekftd
fLFkfr dgha u dgha buds fuEu tkrh; lkekftd lajpuk ,oa fuEu vkfFkZd fLFkfr dks nkkZrh gSaA
fuEu tkrh; lkekftd lajpuk ls lEcaf/kr jn~nh pquus dk dk;Z tks fd lekt esa lcls fuEu ntsZ
dk dk;Z ekuk tkrk gSa] bldks djus okys leqnk;ks dk laca/k Hkh fgUnw tkfr O;oLFkk esa lcls fupys
ik;nku ij fLFkr fuEu tkfr oxZ ls lEcaf/kr gSaA ;gk fuokl djus okyh vkcknh ftueas jfonkl
,oa Hkqb;k izk;% nks tkfr;kas ds yksxks dks jn~nh pquus tSls dk;Z dks djrs gq, ns[kk tkrk gSA jn~nh
pquus ds dk;ksZ esa nksuks gh tkfr;ksa ds cPpks dh la[;k cgqrk;r esa ns[kh tkrh gSAa ;s nksuksa gh tkfr;k
^vLi`;* dh Js.kh esa vkrh gSaA budh fuEu vkfFkZd fLFkfr ds dkj.k ifjokj ds NksVs&cM+s lHkh cPpksa
dks jn~nh pquus dk dk;Z djuk iM+rk gSA

Anthropological Survey of India, Dehradun

630

gtkjhckx uxjikfydk {ks= ds ......... ,oa LokLF; fLFkfr

Lksjksfdu us dgk gSa fd izR;sd laxfBr lekt Lrjhdj.k esa foHkkftr gSAa Hkkjr lfgr lalkj ds yxHkx
lHkh nskksa esa ,d ,slk oxZ Fkk] ftls lekt ds fuEure ik;nku ij j[kk x;k] Hkkjr ds fgUnqvksa esa
;g oxZ ^vLi`;* dgykrk FkkA Hkkjr ds vfrfjDr lHkh nskksa esa ,sls oxZ lekIr gks pqds gSa ey]
2009A vLi`; og oxZ gS tks lkekftd& vkfFkZd Lrj ij lekt ds vafre ik;nku ij gSA izkphu
fgUnw /keZ&xzFa kks ds vuqlkj lkekftd O;oLFkk esa vuqlfw pr tkfr;ksa dk ,dne i`Fkd LFkku FkkA ftls
iape o.kZ] vUR;t] vfrkwnz] vLi`; vusd vieku tud ,oa ?k`f.kr ukeksa ls lEcksf/kr fd;k x;k
vEcsM+dj] 1948A
bu tkfr;ksa dks lcls fuEu Lrj dk ?k`.kkLin O;olk; iznku fd;k x;k rFkk vkxs pydj O;olk;
tkfr ds lkFk LFkk;h :i ls tqM+ x;kA pkjksa o.kksZa ls i`Fkd gksus ds dkj.k bUgsa ^iape o.kZ* ;k ^fQFk
dkLV* ds uke ls Hkh lEcksf/kr fd;k x;kA vkxs pydj izfl) lektkkL=h gu us bu vLi`;
tkfr;ksa ds fy, ^,DlVhfj;j dkLV~l* dk iz;ksx fd;k gu] 1946A
mijksDr vk/kkj ij esjs v/;;u {ks= gtkjhckx ds lkekftd Lrjhdj.k ds Lo:i igys LFkku ij
czkgE.k] nwljs LFkku ij {kf=;] rhljs LFkku ij oS; rFkk pkSFks LFkku ij kwnz vkrs gSaA bu pkjksa ds
ckn vafre ;kfu ikpos LFkku ij vLi`; tkfr vkrs gSa ftlds vUrxZr jfonkl o HkqbZ;k tkfr vkrs
gSaA {ks= dh bu nksukssa tkfr;ksa ds ijEijkxr tkfr dk;Z izd`fr ds vk/kkj ij jfonkl lekt dks
HkqbZ;k lekt ls mij ekuk tkrk gSa] ftls uhps lkj.kh 01 esa nkkZ;k x;k gSaA

631

tks[ku kekZ

bl izdkj ds LFkkuksa ij geyksxksa dk ,d feuV :duk vlaHko gksrk gS] LFkku ls xqtjrs oDr gesa
vius ukd dks dqN nsj ds fy, can djuk iM+rk gSA ogh ;s yksx dwM+k pquus okys bl LFkku ij
?kaVks viuk dk;Z djrs gSaA
nwljs oxZ esa oSls yksx vkrs gS] tks ?kj&?kj Hkze.k dj jnh] khks] cksrys] IykfLVd ds FkSys] fVu o
yksgs ds dckM+ vkfn dks ,d fufpr ewY; nsdj [kjhn dj ,df=r djrs gSa] vkSj ckn es bls T;knk
nkeksa ij dckM+h nqdkuksa es csp nsrs gSaA bUgsa ge dckM+hokyk ds uke ls iqdkjrs gSaA bl oxZ ds
yksxksa dk dk;Z igys oxZ ds yksxksa ds eqdkcys es FkksM+k lkQ&lqFkjk ,oa LoPN okrkoj.k iznfkr
djrk gSaA
{ks= ds nksuksa oxksZa ds yksx vius }kjk ,df=r vifkV i)kFkkasZ dks kgj esa gh fLFkr NksVs ,oa [kqnjk
vFkok cM+s Fkksd dckM+h nqdku esa tk dj fu/kkZfjr ewY; ij csp nsrs gSaA NksVs ,oa [kqnjk nqdkuokys
Hkh bl ,df=r vifkV i)kFkksZ dks cM+s Fkksd dckM+h nqdku esa csp nsrs gSaA ;gk ij bu vifkV
i)kFkksZ dh lQkbZ o NVkbZ dj O;ofLFkr fd;k tkrk gSaSA bu O;ofLFkr fd;s vifkV i)kFkksZa dks
iqu% fuekZ.k ,oa iqu% iz;ksx ds fy, lacaf/kr dy&dkj[kkus esa vyx&vyx Hkst fn;k tkrk gSA

lkj.kh 02- gtkjhckx {ks= ds vifkV laxzg dh fLFkfr

lkj.kh 01 % fgUnw lkekftd Lrjhdj.k esa LFkku


LFkku

fgUnw tkfr O;oLFkk

igyk

czkgE.k

nwljk

{kf=;

frljk

oS;

pkSFkk

kwnz

ikpok

iape o.kZ

jsx & fidlZ


jh pqquuk

Hkze.kkhy jh pquus okyk


;k dckM+hokyk ,d=hr djuk

NksVs@[kqnjk dokM+h nqdku


vLFkkbZ :i ls ,dzf=r

jfonkl tkfr
HkqbZ;k tkfr

cM+s@Fkksd dckM+h nqdku


lkQ@O;oLFkhr djuk@NVkbZ djuk

vifkV inkFkksZa dh laxzg fLFkfr %


gtkjhckx kgj ds okrkoj.k dks LoPN cukus esa bu jn~nh pquus okys lewgksa dk ;ksxnku dkQh
egRoiw.kZ gSA ;s yksx fdl izdkj dk;Z djrs gSa bldk fooj.k lkj.kh 02 esa fd;k x;k gSA gtkjhckx
{ks= esa jn~nh laxzg.k djus esa yxs yksxksa ds dk;Z&izd`fr ds vk/kkj ij nks oxksZ esa foHkDr dj ldrs
gSaA igyk] blesa oSls dk;Z izd`fr ds yksx kkfey gS tks dh {ks= dh fofHkUu txgks eas ,df=r
dwMk+ &dpM+k LFky] xanh ukfy;ksa ls] dwMk+ nku ,oa vU; iznfw kr txgksa ls jnh] khks] cksrys] IykfLVd
ds FkSys] fVu o yksgs ds dckM+ vkfn dks pqudj ,df=r djrs gSa] bUgsa ge dwM+k pquus okys dgrs
gSaA bls oxZ dk dk;Z {ks= xanxh ,oa vLoPN Hkjk gksrk gSa] tgk dh nqzxZa/k dk ekgkSy O;kIr gksrk gSaA

iqu% fuek.kZ ds fy, lacaf/kr


dy & dkj[kkus es tkuk

iqu% iz;ksx ds fy, laEcaf/kr


dy & dkj[kkus es tkuk

632

gtkjhckx uxjikfydk {ks= ds ......... ,oa LokLF; fLFkfr

jn~nh pquus ds dk;Z dk oxhZdj.k (Classification of Regpicking)


buds dk;Z djus dh dk;ZkSyh o rduhd ds vk/kkj ij ge fuEu izdkj ls oxhZd`r dj ldrs gSa%
dkp dh oLrq, pquuk % bl dk;Z ds vUrZxr dkp ls fufeZr oLrqvksa dks pqu dj ,df=r dj bUgsa dckM+h
dh nqdku esa csp fn;k tkrk gSaA tSls] khks dh cksrysa nok dh cksrysa] dksy&fMUd o kjkc dh
cksrys bR;kfn] khks ds tkj] f[kM+fd;ksa ds dkp bR;kfnA
IykfLVd dh oLrq, pquuk % blds dk;Z ds vUrZxr IykfLVd ls fufeZr oLrqvksa dks pqu dj ,df=r
dj bUgsa Hkh dckM+h dh nqdku esa csp fn;k tkrk gSaA tSls] IykfLVd dh cksrysa nok dh cksrysa]
dksy fMUd o kjkc dh cksrysa] IykfLVd <+Ddu] VwVs&QwVs tkj] IykfLVd ds fMCcs] IykfLVd ds
f[kykSus bR;kfnA
doj o FkSys pquuk % bl dk;Z ds vUrZxr nw/k o ngh ds IykfLVd FkSys] ,yqfefu;e ds doj] dkxt
ds FkSys vkfn dks pqu dj ,df=r fd;k tkrk gSaA bu ,df=r FkSykas dks vyx dj bUgsa Hkh dckM+h
dh nqdku esa csp fn;k tkrk gSaA
/kkrq ls cuh oLrq, pquuk % bl dk;Z ds nkSjku lekU;r % nks rjg ds /kkrqvkas dks pqu dj ,df=r fd;k
tkrk gSa igyk] ykSgs /kkrq ftlesa ykSgs ds NM+] ykSg&khV ds VqdM+s] VwVs&QwVs QuhZpj vkfn vkrs gSaA
nwljs esa fVu /kkrq ls cuh oLrq;as tSls fd fVu dk MCck] fVu ds VqdM+s] <+Ddu vkfnA dHkh&dHkh
blds vykok vU; /kkrqvksa tSls ,yqfefu;e] rkck] ihry vkfn ds VqdM+s Hkh ,df=r fd;s tkrs gSaA
bu ,df=r /kkrqvkas dks vyx dj bUgsa Hkh dckM+h dh nqdku esa csp fn;k tkrk gSA
fdrkcsa pquuk % bl dk;Z ds nkSjku ikB~;dze ls lecaf/kr iqLrdsa] if=dkvksa vkfn dks ,df=r fd;k
tkrk gSaA blds ckn bUgsa dckM+h nqdu esa ;k iqjkuh fdrkcksa ds dz;&fodz; okyh nqdkuksa esa csp
fn;k tkrk gSaA
dkxt pquuk % blds dk;Z ds vUrZxr lkns dkxt] gLrfyf[kr dkxt ds VqdM+]s dkWih ds iUus] v[kckj]
dkxt ds xRrs vkfn dks pqu dj ,df=r fd;k tkrk gSA blds ckn bUgsa vyx&vyx dj dckM+h
dh nqdku esa csp fn;k tkrk gSA
vuqla/kku ms; (Research Objectives)
vuqla/kku dk eq[; ms; fuEufyf[kr gS %&
1 jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa dh lkekftd fLFkfr dk v/;;u djukA
2 buesa LokLF; o LoPNrk ds izfr tkx:drk dk v/;;u djukA
3 jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa dh leL;kvksa dks lekt ds lkeus ykukA
4 ljdkjh ,oa xSj&ljdkjh laxBuksa dk /;ku budh vksj vkV djukA

vuqla/kku dh oLrqfof/k

(Research Methodology)

;g loZfofnr gS fd dksbZ Hkh v/;;u ;k kks/k rc rd lgh ugh ekuk tkrk] tc rd mldks oSKkfud
fof/k;ksa ;k i)fr;ksa }kjk u fd;k x;k gkssA bl ijEijk dks tkjh j[krs gq, kks/kdRkkZ }kjk Hkh
ekuokkL=h; oSKkfud i)fr;kas dk iz;ksx fd;k x;k gSA
;g v/;;u o"kZ 2009 esa vDVwcj ls fnlEcj ekg ds nkSjku >kj[k.M ds gtkjhckx ftys ds uxjikfydk
{ks= ds vUrZxr vkusokys fofHkk okMksZ esa jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa ij vk/kkfjr gSa] ftleas ikp okZ ls
ysdj ckjg okZ rd ds yM+ds o yM+fd;ks dks kkfey fd;k x;kA
bu okMksZ ds pquko ds ihNs eq[; dkj.k Fkk fd gtkjhckx {ks= esa vifk"V inkFkksZ dpM+k pquus okys

tks[ku kekZ

633

ds laxgz .k dk;Z es yxs cPpsa ;gk fuokl djus okyh nks tkfr;ksa ls lEcaf/kr ik;s x;s gS( igyk jfonkl
tkfr rFkk nwljk HkqbZ;k tkfr gSaA
blds ckn bl kks/kdk;Z ls lEcaf/kr izuksa dh lgk;rk ls bu jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa dk lk{kkRdkj
fy;k x;k] ftlesa buds thou kSyh] LokLF;] lkekftd&vkfFkZd xfrfof/k;ksa ls lEcaf/kr dqN izu
kkfey fd;s x;s rFkk blds lkFk&lkFk gh rF; ladyu ds fy, izkFkfed rFkk vU; lzkrs ksa dh lgk;rk
yh xbZA
voyksdu ds ek/;e ls buds vkl&ikl ds dk;Z LFkykas tSls pkSd&pkSjkgs ij ,df=r dwM+k&dpM+k
ds LFkku] dwMns+ ku] xanh ukfy;ksa vkfn txgksa ls bUgsa dwMk+ pqurss ns[k buds dk;Z izdf` r dks voyksfdr
fd;k x;kA
bu cPpksa ds ek/;e ls bl {ks= ds jn~nh pquus okys ds lkekftd&LokLF; fLFkfr dk v/;;u fd;k
x;kA lekftd fLFkfr dk lw{e v/;;u djus ds fy, dqN rF;kas dks v/kkj cuk;k x;k ftleas
ize[q k gS % lkekftd fLFkrh] ikfjokfjd o iSrd
` fLFkjrk] lk{kjrk Lrj] ekrk&firk dh vk; dk lk/ku]
jsx&fidlZ dh nSfud vk;] ,oa budh ifjokj eas Hkkxhnkjh vkfnA
bl v/;;u esa kks/kdkkZ us gtkjhckx {ks= ds jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa ds LokLF; dh fLFkfr ds v/;;u
ds fy, ftu&ftu roksa dks vk/kkj cuk;k x;k] mlesa izeq[k gS( dk;Z&LFky dh izfr] dwMk+&dpMk+
pqurs oDr cjrh xbZ lko/kkfu;k] kjhj ij oL=ks dk gksuk jnh pqurs le; MaMs dk iz;ksx vFkok
uaxs gkFk dk iz;ksx ,oa dk;Z djus dh vof/k vkfnA mijksDr roksa ds vykok kjhj dh LoPNrk
lacaf/kr rRoksa ftlesa gkFk fd lQkbZ] ugkuk] cz'k djuk] cky lokjuk] 'kjhj esa rsy yxkuk vkfn
dk v/;;u dj buds LoPNrk lac/a kh fLFkfr dk irk yxk;k x;kA blds vykok bu cPpksa eas LokLF;
,ao LoPNrk ds izfr tkx:drk dh deh dk v/;;u Hkh fd;k x;kA

ifj.kke ,oa ppkZ

(Results and Discussion)

orZeku v/;;u ds vk/kkj ij ;s rF; mHkj dj lkeus vkrs gSa] fd gtkjhckx uxjikfydk {ks= esa
jn~nh pquus ds dk;Z djus okys cPps nsk ds vU; {ks= ds jn~nh pquus okys cPpks ls vyx Lo:i
viuk;s gq, gSa flUgk] 1991A lekU;r% jn~nh pquus dk dk;Z djus ds ihNs tks dkjd mkjnk;h gSa]
muesa ls vf/kdkak dkjd bl {ks= ds jn~nh pquus okys ds fy, lVhd ugha cSBa rsA nsk ds vU; kgjksa
esa jn~nh pquus ds dk;Z esa yxs cPpsa vkl&ikl ds xzkeh.k {ks=ksa ls izokflr gq, gksrs gSa ;k oSls vukFk
cPpsa gksrs gSa] tks viuh vkthfodk pykus ds fy, bls dk;Z es yxs gq, gksrs gSa flUgk] 1991A ijUrq
gtkjhckx {ks= es bl dk;Z esa yxs vukFk cPpksa dh la[;k de ik;h x;h]tcfd vf/kdkak cPpksa dh
iSr`d fLFkjrk lkekU; ik;h xbZ gSa A nwljs kCnksa esa ;g dgk tk ldrk gSa fd v/;;u {ks= ds jn~nh
pquus okys cPps u rks vkl&ikl ds xzkeh.k {ks=ksa ls izokflr gq, gSa] u budh iSr`d fLFkjrk gh
vis{kkd`r nS;uh; gSaA v/;;u ds vuqlkj ;gk ds jn~nh pquus okys cPps lHkh leqnk; o tkfr ls
lEcaf/kr ugha ik;s x,A bl {ks= esa flQZ nks gh leqnk; HkqbZ;k o jfonkl ds cPps dpM+k pquus dk
dk;Z djrs gSaA
v/;;u {ks= eas ;g ik;k x;k fd nksuksa tkfr;ks esa bl dk;Z dks ysdj vyx :i ns[kus dks feykA
tgk jfonkl vuwlqfpr tkfr esa yM+ds jn~nh pquus dk dk;Z djrs gS] ogh HkqbZ;k vuwlqfpr tkfr eas
yM+fd;ks dks jn~nh pquus dk dk;Z djrs ns[kk x;kA jfonkl lekt esa yM+fd;k bl dk;Z dks ugha
djrh oks ?kjsyw dk;Z djus rd gh lhfer gSa ]tcfd blh leqnk; fd vkSjrs dpM+k pquus dk dk;Z
djrh gSAa Hkqb;Z k lekt es yM+ds vuqfpr xfrfof/k;ksa es izk;% kkfey jgrs gaAS Hkqb;Z k lektksa es yM+fd;ksa
}kjk bl dk;Z dks djkus ds ihNs ;g rdZ fn;k tkrk gS fd yM+fd;k] yM+dksa dh rjg xyr o
vkokjk fdLe dh xfrfof/k;ksa es kkfey ugha gksrh rFkk vius izR;sd fnu dh vk; dks vius ifjokj
dh vk; ds lkFk lEefyr djrh gaSA

634

gtkjhckx uxjikfydk {ks= ds ......... ,oa LokLF; fLFkfr

v/;;u dk;Z esa lEefyr jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa dh ifjokfjd fLFkfr ds v/;;u ls ;g irk yxrk
gSa fd] bl dk;Z eas yxs vf/kdkka cPps ,dy ifjokj ls lacaf/kr gSa ftuds ekrk&firk thfor gSa
rFkk lkFk eas jgrs gSaA blds vykok dqN ,sls cPps Hkh ik;s x, tks ifjokj foghu gSA bl v/;;u
ds nkSjku bu cPpksa dh ifjokfjd fLFkjrk cgqr vge Hkwfedk fuHkkrh gS] D;ksafd ,sls cPpks dh la[;k
vf/kd gSa tks fd ,dy ifjokj ds vUraxZr vkrs gSaA bldk vFkZ ;g gqvk fd ifjokj dk cMk+ gksuk
bldk eq[; dkj.k ugha gS] D;kafs d vf/kdkak cPps ,sls ifjokj ls lEcaf/kr gS ftuds lnL;ksa dh l[;k
ikp rd gSA
bl v/;;u ds nkSjku ;g ik;k x;k fd 8&12 okZ dh vk;q oxZ ds cPpksa dh la[;k T;knk gS]a gkykfd
buesa esa T;knkrj cPpsa 5&6 o"kZ dh vk;q esa gh jsx&fidj dk dk;Z djus yxs gSaA orZeku v/;;u
ds vk/kkj ij ;g ckr mHkj dj lkeus vkrh gSa fd] {ks= ds vf/kdkak jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa dh
dk;Z dh vof/k rhu ls pkj ?k.Vs rd gh lhfer jgrk gSAa blds ckn dk le; Ldwy tkus ,oa [ksyus
eas O;rhr djrs gSaA vf/kdkak cPpksa ds nSafud dk;ksZ es Ldwy tkuk dksbZ vfuok;Z dk;Z ugha gSaA blds
ckjs es iwNus ij budk rdZ Fkk fd ^Ldwy esa i<+kbZ ugha gksrh gSa*A nwljs kCnksa esa ;g dg ldrs gSa
fd Ldwy dh fk{kk ,oa ekgkSy bu cPpksa dks izHkkfor ugha dj ik jgh ftl dkj.k budh :fp i<+us
esa ugha gSaA
cPpksa dks de mez esa gh bl dk;Z dks djuk mudh ifjokj dh vkfFkZd fLFkfr dks nkkZrk gSA ifjokj
dh fuEu vkfFkZd fLFkfr ds dkj.k gh bu ifjokjks ds cPps bu dk;Z dks djrs gSA ifjokj dh vkfFkZd
fLFkfr dk foysk.k djus ij ;g ik;k x;k fd] bu cPpksa dk bl dk;Z ls tqM+uk fufpr gh muds
ekrk&firk dh detksj vkfFkZd fLFkfr dks nkkZrk gSA bl v/;;u esa lEefyr lHkh cPpksa ds ekrk&firk
fngkjh etnwjh] fjD'kk pkyu] eksph dk dke] dwM+k&dpMk+ pquuk rFkk vkl&ikl ds ?kjksa es ?kjsyq
dk;Z djuk vkfn dk;Z djrs gSaA de vk; gksus ds dkj.k buds ifjokj ds lnL;ksa dk ikyu&iksk.k
lgh <ax ls ugh gks ikrkA buds cPps dwMk+&dpMk+ pquus] gksVyksa esa crZu /kksus] xSjkt Jfed vkfn
tSls dk;Z djrs gSA

jn~nh pquus okys jsx fidlZ cPpksa dh vk;


vf/kdkak cPps izR;sd fnu 4&5 ?kaVs lqcg kgj ds fHkUu&fHkUu bykdks esa fLFkr dqM+snkuks o vLFkkbZ
:i ls tek dwMk+&dpM+k ls cksrys] khk]s fVus] jh dkxt vkfn bdBk dj NksVs dckM+h dh nqdku
es csprss gaS ftlls bu cPpks dh vkSlru vk; 10&20 :i;k izfrfnu gSA
v/;;u esa lfEefyr 80 izfrkr yM+ds viuh nSfud vk; ?kj esa u nsdj Loa; ij [kpZ djrsa gSaA
bu yM+dks esa ;g izo`fr ;g nkkZrh gSa fd] ;s cPps ifjokj ds fuEu Lrjh; vkfFkZd fLFfr ij cks>
ughs cuuk pkgrs gSaA tgk de mez ds NksVs cPpsa bl dk;Z ls izkIr vk; dks nqdkuks ls [kk|&i}kFkZ
leksls] dpkSM+h] pkV] pkWdysV vkfn [kjhn dj [kkus esa O;;djrs gSa] oghs fdkksj mez ds yM+ds
nqdkuks ls [kk|&i}kFkZ [kjhn dj [kkus ds vykok iku&ekkyk] kjkc ,oa /kqeziku dk lsou djrs
gSaA bldk dkj.k ij ikfjokfjd fu;a=.k u gksuk gSaA blds lkFk&lkFk gh fk{kk dh deh ds dkj.k
Hkh budh ekufldrk mUur ugha gks ikrh gSa] ,oa fdkksjkoLFkk esa gh xyr laxr esa iM+ tkrs gSaA
blds QyLo:i ;g cky vijk/k ,oa LokLF; lEca f /kr leL;k ls xz f lr gks tkrs gS a A
v/;;u ds nkSjku ,sls vusd cPpksa ds ekrk&firk ls muds cPpksa ds bl dk;ksZ esa lafayIrrk ds ckjs
esa iwNk x;kA 90 izfr'kr ekrk&firk bl ckr dks Lohdkjrs gaS] fd muds cPps bl dk;Z dks djrs
gSA ysfdu ;g iwNus ij fd D;k muds cPps viuh vk; ?kj esa nsrs gS \ tckc pfdr djus okyk
Fkk] dpM+k pquus okys yM+dks ds ekrk&firk dk dguk Fkk fd muds cPps viuh vk; ?kj esa ugha
nsrs] flQZ jn~nh pquus okyh yM+dh;ksa ds ekrk&firk ;g Lohdkj djrs gS dh os viuh vk; ?kj eas
nsrh gSaA

tks[ku kekZ

635

jn~nh pquus okyh yM+fd;ksa dh ifjokj es Hkkxhnkjh


v/;;u ds nkSjku ;g ns[kk x;k dh yMfd;ksa dks kkjhfjd Je yM+dks ds eqdkcys T;knk djuk
iM+rk gSa] D;ksafd yM+dks dk dk;ZHkkj dpM+k pquus rd gh lhfer jgrk gS] tcfd yM+fd;ks dks bl
dk;Z ds vfrfjDr ?kjsyw dk;ksZ esa Hkh lg;ksx djuk iM+rk gSaA bl dkj.k bl dk;Z esa yxh yM+fd;ksa
dk leqfpr fodkl ugha gks ikrk gSaA lHkh yM+fd;k viuh dqy vk; fd jkfk viuh ek dks nsrh gSa]
yM+dks eas ;g izo`fr flQZ dqN gh cPpksa esa ikbZ xbZA buls ;g irk pyrk gS dh yM+fd;k vius
ifjokj ds ikyu&iksk.k es enn djrh gSA bldk dkj.k gS yM+fd;ksa esa yM+dks dh rjg ukk o
cqjh vknrksa dk u gksukA blds foijhr yM+ds cgqr de gh iSls ?kj eas ekrk&firk dks nsrs gS] budk
dkj.k bu cPpksa esa cqjh vknrksa tSls] xqVdk] flxjsV ukk djuk] o tqvk [ksyuk vkfn dk gksuk gSA

LokLF; o LoPNrk
v/;;u es ik;k x;k dh jn~nh pquus ds dk;Z es yxs cPpksa dh dk;Z LFky dh izd`fr o okrkoj.k
dkQh Hk;kog gSA dwMk+&dpM+k pqurs le; iSjkas esa tqrs ;k pIiy igus gq, cPpksa dh izfrkr la[;k
cgqr de ns[kus dks feyhA vf/kdkak cPpsa uaxs iSj bl dk;Z dks dj jgs FksA bu cPpksa ls dk;Z LFky
ij lk{kkRdkj ds ek/;e ls iwNus ij fd mUgsa uaxs iSj dk;Z djus eas fnDdr ;k Hk; ugha yxrk] rks
vf/kdkak cPpksa dk dguk Fkk fd Mj rks yxrk gS ij pIiy [kjhnus ds fy, iSlk ugha gaS] dqN dk
tckc Fkk] Mj ugha yxrk gSaA
dwMk+&dpMk+ pqurs le; lko/kkfu;k ugh cjrus ds dkj.k bl {ks=ks ds jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa es
[kklh] fljnnZ] cq[kkj] Ropk lae.k jksx] lkal dh laeL;k] isV es nnZ] tksM+ dk nnZ] RoPkk dk
dVuk@fNyuk] vkfn jksx izk;% ns[kus dks feyk gSAa mijksDr chekfj;ksa eas lcls T;knk Ropk dk dVuk
o fNyuk kkfey gS] tks fd 80 izfr'kr gSA ftlls ;g lkQ irk pyrk gS fd dk;Z ds nkSjku
lko/kkfu;k ugh cjrh tkrh gSaA blds ckn flj o isV nnZ ik;k x;k tks fd 68 izfr'kr gSA rhljs
LFkku ij 52 izfr'kr ds lkFk [kklh dk ik;k tkuk kkfey gSaA budk ,d cM+k dkj.k bu cPpksa ds
}kjk dk;Z LFky ij dk;Z ds nkSjku u cjrh xbZ lko/kkfu;k gSA ;s cPps uxs&iko] [kqyk&cnu] jh
pquus oDr ydM+h dk iz;ksx u djuk vkfn dk;Z djrs ik;s x,A bu vlko/kkfu;ksa ds cjrusa ds
ifj.kkeLo:i vkxs pydj gsisVkbfVl] fVVusl ,oa okl fd vusd xEHkhj fcekfj;k ls ;s xzflr gks
ldrs gSaA
v/;;u esa ;g ik;k x;k fd cPpksa esa vius kkjhfjd LokLF; o LoPNrk ds izfr mnklhurk ikbZ
xbZ dqN ewyHkwr roksa tSls ugkuk] czk djuk] cky lokjuk] kjhj esa rsy yxkuk] kkSp ds ckn gkFk
lkQ djuk vkfn ds fok; esa tkx:drk dh deh ns[kh xbZA ftl dkj.k bueas [kqtyh] ckykas esa
:lh gksuk] Ropk laca/kh fcekjh;ks ls geskk xzflr jgrs gSA yM+fd;ks ds ckykas esa :lh dh leL;k
lcls T;knk gSaA v/;;u ds nkSjku ;g ik;k x;k fd izfrfnu Luku djus okys cPpksa fd la[;k
de FkhA blh izdkj czk djus ds ewyHkwr rRoksa dks ns[ksa rks 50 izfrkr cPps gh izR;sd fnu czk
djrs gSaA ,sls cPps Hkh ik;s x, tks 2&3 fnu eas ,d ckj czk djrs gSA bu cPpksa eas isV nnZ dk
;g Hkh ,d dkj.k gks ldrk gSA
bl v/;;u ds nkSjku kgj ds dqN izeq[k cqf)thoh O;fDr;ksa ds lk{kkRdkj ds vk/kkj ij ;g dgk
tk ldrk gS fd bu jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa ds bl dk;Z dh vksj tkus ds fy, cgqr gn rd buds
ifjokj dh n;uh; vkfFkZd fLFkfr ftEesnkj gSA bldk vU; dkj.k bu leqnk;ksa dh lkekftd&lkaLd`frd
ifjosk Hkh kkfey gSa] D;kasfd bu leqnk;ksa Hkqb;k o jfonkl esa e|iku fd oLrqvksa dk lsou dkQh
T;knk izpfyr gSA bl dkj.k ifjokj es vk;s fnu vkilh dyg Hkh ns[kus dks feyrh gSA kjkc ds
uks esa vk;s fnu vius ifjokj esa xkyh&xykSt djuk ,oa iRuh&cPpksa dks ekjuk vkfn lekU; ckrs
gS a A bl dkj.k buds cPps dk lkekftd fodkl lgh <+ x ls ugha gks ikrk jgk gS a A

636

gtkjhckx uxjikfydk {ks= ds ......... ,oa LokLF; fLFkfr

v/;u esa lfEefyr cPpksa ds ifjokj ds lnL;ksa esa fk{kk ,oa tkx:drk dh deh lcls T;knk ns[kus
dks feyhA bl ds dkj.k budh ekufldrk mUur ugha gks ikbZ gSaA budk dguk gSa fd og fuEu
tkfr ls lacaf/kr gSa] rks bl dk;Z dks djus esa dksbZ cqjkbZ ugh gSaA
dpM+k pquuk kgjh vukSipkfjd :i ls lcls fuEu kgjh vkfFkZd xkfrfof/k;ks esa ls ,d gSA lk{kjrk
o tkx:drk dh deh ds dkj.k ;g dksbZ laxBu ;k la?k ugh cuk ikrsA ;s iwjh rjg ls vlaxfBr
ik;s x;s gSaA ;g ?kqearw dk;Z izd`fr dk ikyu djrs gSa] budk dk;Z LFky ,d txg ugh gksrkA

tks[ku kekZ

bu cPpksa esa dk;Z LFky ,oa bl nkSjku cjrus okyh lko/kkfu;ksa ds ckjs esa tkx:drk ykbZ
tkuh pkfg,A

LokLF;] ns[kHkky] fk{kk] _.k] ukxfjd lqfo/kk, iznku djus okys laLFkkxr izko/kkuks rd ;s
yksx ugha igqp ikrs gS] ;k igqp ikrs Hkh gS rks budh la[;k u ds cjkcj gksrh gSaA ges ;g
iz;kl djuk pkfg, fd vU; nwljs lewgksa dks feyus okyh lkjh lqfo/kk, bUgsa Hkh izkIr gksA

{ks= ds ljdkjh ,oa xSj&ljdkjh laxBuks ds ek/;e ls ,d cpr [kkrk [kksyk tk ldrk
gSa] ftlesa izR;sd cPps dk vyx&vyx [kkrk [kksy dj muds izfrfnu gksus okys vk; dks
lafpr dj mlds Hkfo"; dks lqjf{kr fd;k ldsA

vU; lH; lektksa ds yksxksa dk buds izfr ns[kus dk utfj;k cnyuk pkfg,A blds fy, bu
lH; lektksa es Hkh tkx:drk ykus dh t:jr gSa] rkfd ;s gekjs lH; lekt ls tqM+ lds
vkSj viuk lkekftd fodkl dj ldsA

fu"d"kZ (Conclusion)
geyksx vkt izR;sd fnu cPpksa ls lacaf/kr vyx&vyx psgjs dks fdlh u fdlh :i esa ns[krs jgrs
gS og pkgsa gksVy o <+kcksa es dke djuk gks] fdlh xSjt
s esa dke djuk ;k lM+dks ds fdukjs cwV&ikWfyl
djuk gks ;k fQj dwMk+&dpM+k pquuk gksA ;g lc rHkh :dsxk tc ge bu cPpksa dks mudk lkekftd
vf/kdkj nasA jn~nh pquus okys dh xfrfof/k;ksa dks kgjh vFkZO;oLFkk esa dksbZ ekU;rk ;k lEeku ugh
izkIr gksrk gSaA ;g cM+s [ksn dh ckr gS fd tks jn~nh pquus okys gekjs }kjk Qsds x;s dwM+s&dpM+s
rFkk vifkV xanxh dks lkQ dj okrkoj.k dks LoPN j[kus esa viuk ;ksxnku nsrs gS] mUgsa gekjk
lekt viekfur utjks ls ns[krk gSaA
;gk ds jn~nh pquus okys nsk dh vU; kgjksa ds jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa ls fcydqy fHUu gaSA ;g
vius ifjokj ds lkFk jgrs gaSA orZeku v/;;u ;g nkkZrk gS fd bl dk;Z es vf/kdrj cPps ,sls
kkfey gS ftuds ekrk&firk nksuksa thfor gSaA v/;;u ds nkSjku oks cPpss vf/kd ik;s x,] ftudh
iSr`d fLFkjrk vPNh FkhA vFkkZr iSr`d vfLFkjrk T;knk egRoiw.kZ ugha ik;h x;hA buesa kkjhfjd
LoPNrk ds dqN ewyHkwr rRo tSls ugkuk] czk djuk] cky lokjuk] kjhj esa rsy yxkuk] kkSp ds
ckn gkFk lkQ djuk vkfn ds fok; esa T;knk tkx:drk ugha gSaA
orZeku v/;;u ds vk/kkj ij ;g ckr lkeus vk;h gS fd bu jsx& fidj cPpksa ds bl dk;Z djus
ds ihNs ,d izeq[k dkjd bu lewgksa dh fuEu vkfFkZd o lkekftd fLFkfr gSaA buds bl fLFkrh ds
ihNs buesa fk{kk fd deh ,oa csjkstxkjh fd leL;k dk gksukA bu lewgksa ds vf/kdkak o;Ld yksxksa
eas ;g ns[kk x;k gS fd etnwjh esa izkIr vk; dk vf/kdkak Hkkx og kjkc ihus esa [kpZ dj nsrs gSaA
bl {ks= esa jsx&fidlZ dh lkekftd] vkfFkZd fLFkfr dgha u dgha buds fuEu tkrh; lkekftd
lajpuk ,oa fuEu vkfFkZd fLFkfr dks nkkZrh gSaA
NksVh lh mez ls bl dk;Z dks izkjEHk djuk ,oa T;knk le; rd bl dk;Z esa fyIr jgus ls budk
kkjhfjd] ckSf}d fodkl lgh fnkk esa ugha gks ikrkA O;fDr dh lkekftd l{kerk vkSj fodkl ds
lanHkZ eas mudk lkekftd] LokLF;] fodkl dk ,dhd`r vax gSaA ,d LoLF; lekt dh ifjdYiuk
rHkh iwjh gks ldrh gS tc izR;sd O;fDr kkjhfjd] ekufld] ckSf}d ,oa vkfFkZd :i ls LoLF;
gksA ;g jn~nh pquus okys dfBu esgur djrs gSaA geyksxksa dks budh yxu o esgur dk lEeku
djuk pkfg, vkS j budh ew y Hkw r vko;drkvks a dh iw f rZ ds fy;s iz ; Ru djuk pkfg,A

lq>ko

637

vkHkkj % loZiFz ke kks/kdkkZ Mk ks[k vCcnqy vtht lkgsc] v/kh{k.k ekuofoKkuh C] Hkkjrh; ekuofoKku
losZ{k.k] mkj&ifpe {ks=h; dsUnz] nsgjknwu dk vkHkkj izdV djuk pkgrk gq] ftUgksaus ;g kks/k iz=
dks /;ku iwoZd i<+dj vius lq>koksa vkSj vuojr lg;ksx ls eq>s izsfjr fd;kA rRip;kr mu lHkh
jn~nh pquus okys cPps ,oa muds ifjokj ds lnL;ksa dk vkHkkj izdV djrk gSa] ftUgksusa kks/kdk;Z esa
nkSjku lnSo ldkjkRed O;ogkj ,oa lg;ksx iznku fd;kA lkFk gh lkFk os lHkh yksx tks ijks{k o
vijks{k :i ls bl kks/kdk;Z dks laiw.kZ djus esa le;&le; ij viuk lg;ksx iznku fd;sA
lanHkZ (References)
1 gu] ts ,p

1946

% dkLV bu bafM;k] yanu] vkWDlQksMZ ;wfuoflZVh izl


s ]
i`la 195A

2 vEcsM+dj] ch vkj

1948

% vuVpscYl % gw vkj ns ,M+ OgkbZ ns fcdse vuVpscy]


U;w nsgyh] ve`r cqd daA

3 esgrk ,e0

1985

% fQftdy gsYFk izksCyel vkWQ ofdZaxfpyMsu bu%


pkbYM yscj ,.M gsYFk% izkCs yel ,.M izkLs isDV bu
rfeyukMq] i` la 138&49A

4 flUgk ,l0

1991

% pkbYM yscj bu dydkk % , lks k;ks y kW f tdy


LVMh] dksydrk] u;k izdkkA

5 dker ds0 ,y0

1999

% jsx fidlZ vkWQ bafM;k QLV vkWu ykbu ifCydsku


vkWDVqcj 20A

6 flag] ,s0 ds0

2005

% ikWovhZ ,aex fkM~;wy dkLV% , dsl LVM+h vkWQ


ljIyl ySaM fMLVhC;wku bu mkj iznsk bu cqd
gqeu jkbVLk ,.M izkHs kjVh bu fnYyh] vda 2] ,l0
,u0 pkS/kjh lik] ubZ fnYyh] dkWulsIV ifCyA

(Recommendations)

bu jn~nh pquus okys cPpks ds ekrk&firk ds fy, Lojkstxkj ds volj iSnk fd;s tkus pkfg,]
ftlls buds cPps bl rjg ds dk;ksZ dks u djsa vkSj budh vkfFkZd Lrj dk fodkl gksA

7 enu th0 vkj0

2005

bu jn~nh pquus okys cPpksa esa fk{kk ds izfr :fp tkx`r djuh pkfg,] ftlls os fk{kk d
egRo le> ldasA

% fodkl ds vfHkdj.k] iqLrd ifjorZu ,ao fodkl


dk lektkkL=] fnYyh] foosd izdkkuA

8 vofuk]

2009

bu cPpksa ,oa buds ifjokjksa esa fk{kk] LokLF; ds izfr tehuh Lrj ij uqdDM+ ukVdksa vkfn
dk;Ze dj tkx:drk ds fy, iz;kl fd;s tkus pkfg,A

% >kj[k.M+( , fMLisjsV dzkbZ QkWj psUtA vkWu ykbu


ifCydsku] cq/kokj] 2009&11&08]14-25A

9 ey] iwj.k

2009

% vEcsMd
+ j vkSj nfyrks}kj t;iqj] vkUnksyu] vkfodkj
ifCy fMLVhA

638

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (639-649), 2012-2013

Prameha and its Ancient


Ayurvedic Medicine in India
Pulakes Purkait1, Dr. Moumita Bhattacharya2

ABSTRACT
Diabetes is a most common metabolic disorder in India affecting more than 30 million
people with type 2diabetes. Ayurveda is a holistic health care system of medicine, which
is more than 5000 years old and it describes Diabetes under the heading Prameha. Plant
active principles have been used to treat Prameha from ancient time under the Ayurvedic
medication. Ayurvedic medicines are personalized for individual patient. It offers natural
ways to treat disease and promote health. It uses herbs, diet, massage and lifestyle
changes to achieve a balance between body, mind and spirit. In this review we have
discussed about the Ayurvedic classification of Prameha, its complications and focused
on the role of ancient medicines along with their key constituents, which are the main
source of modern medicine. Further this review points out the ignorance of fundamental
Indian medication system which is being masked by the modernized human culture
increasing higher risk factor of side effects.

INTRODUCTION
Ayurveda is a holistic health care system of medicine originated in ancient Vedic
civilization of India, which is more than 5000 years old. The word `Ayur-Veda' is derived
from two Sanskrit roots: "Ayus" meaning life and "Veda" meaning knowledge or science.
Ayurveda is, therefore, translated as "science of life". Ayurveda is based on the inter
dependence of man and nature. Every living and non-living things are mutually interlinked.
Major Ayurvedic texts are CHARAKA and SUSRUTA. Two other major contributors
were VAGHBATA and NAGARJUNA. The core principles of Ayurvedic philosophy
revolve around three important factors (doshas) of life, viz. Vata (Wind) Pitta (Fire) and
Kapha (Earth) which are called Tridoshas. These are prime movers of the body. All of
us have a unique mix of the three which accounts for our basic nature. At molecular
1Anthropological Survey of India, Western Regional Centre, Udaipur, India;
2The Asiatic Society, Kolkata, India

640

levels, Kapha represents nutritious regimens and may be either of dietary origin or
nutritious substances at systemic and tissue level. Pitta designates factors responsible for
digestion, absorption, and metabolism of nutritious substances at any level of physiological
processes and may be regarded as enzymatic activities, etc. Vata represents processes
like respiration, oxygen (vayu) responsible for combustion/burning of nutritious substances
during metabolic activities to release and mobilize energy. Usually one of the elements
would be the dominant one, which would also be our disposition [1].
The knowledge of Diabetes has been existent in India since Vedic age in mythological
form where it is said that the origin of diabetes takes place by eating Havisya (Charaka
samhita nidanasthana1). Ayurveda is described Diabetes under the heading `Prameha'
and clinical picture is similar to `Madhumeha', which means honey like urine or sweet
urine, similarly Diabetes is a Latin word which also means honey like sweet urine [2].

= Balance < THRIDOSHA >Imbalance = DISORDER


KAPHA: Nutrition
PITTA: Digestion or Metabolism
VATA: Respiration / Energy production

This basic principle of Ayurvedic philosophy that Kapha, Pitta and Vata are the important
factor of life, which appropriate balance leads to a healthy life and their inappropriate
distribution causes imbalance in physiological or biochemical process that lead to different
disorder or diseases.

Table 2: Characteristics of three Doshas


Attributes

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Represents the element

Air
Space (ether)

Fire
Water

Earth
Water

Dry/Cold
Light body type
Quick/Energetic
Cell division

Hot/Moist
Perfectionistic
Sharp/Intelligent

Steady/Calm
Heavier body
type Strong/Loyal

Heart
Breathing
Waste products
Mind

Digestion
Temperature
Hormones

Structure
Growth
Storage

Imagination
Resilience
Decision making

Intelligence
Confidence
Enterprise

Memory

Qualities

Body process

Major mental functions

Table 3: Ayurvedic Body Types and Characteristics


Ayurvedic Body Types

Physical
Characteristics

Emotional
Characteristics

Table 1: Basic principle of Ayurvedic Philosophy


HEALTH

641

Pulakes Purkait, Dr. Moumita Bhattacharya

Prameha and its Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine in India

Behavioral
Characteristics

Vata

Pitta

Kapha

Thin.
Prominent features
Cool
Dry skin
Constipation
Cramps

Average build
Fair, thin hair
Warm, moist skin.
Ulcers, heartburn,
and hemorrhoids.
Acne

Large build.
Wavy, thick hair.
Pale, cool, oily skin.
Obesity, allergies,
and sinus problems.
High cholesterol.

Moody
Vivacious
Imaginative
Enthusiastic
Intuitive

Intense
Quick tempered
Intelligent
Loving
Articulate

Relaxed, Not easily


angered. Affectionate
Tolerant
Compassionate

Unscheduled sleep
and meal times
Nervous disorders
Anxiety

Orderly
Structured sleep
and meal times.
Perfectionist.

Slow, graceful.
Long sleeper and
slow eater.
Procrastination.

The word Prameha is derived from the "Miha sechane" which means watering. `Pra'
means excess of urine in both quality and frequency. Prameha, thus, becomes selfexplanatory and holds the twin meanings of "Prabhutha mutratha" or excessive urination
and "Avilmutratha " or turbid urine. Ayurveda have described that, when a hungry person
takes the food containing all six tastes i.e. sweet (madhura), sour (amla), salty (lavana),
bitter (tikta), pungent (katu) and astringent (kasaya), only one taste i.e. sweet is predominant
and it can increase kapha & medas (fat) and cause prameha.
Navannapanam Gudavaikritamcha Pramehahetu Kaphakriccha Sarvam (Ch. Chi. 6)
That means excess of newly harvested food grains, jiggery preparations and factors
responsible for elevation of Kapha, may contribute to the development of diabetes [2].
Divaswapanam Vyayamalasya Prasaktam, Sheetasnigdha, Madhurdrvyapanasevinam
Purusam Janeeyat Pramehi Bhavishyteeta (Su. Ni.6)
Day time sleeping; lack of exercise and laziness; too much of cold, sweet, lipidemic and
alchoholic foods and beverages as the causative factors for development of diabetes later
in life [2].
"Asyasukham-Swapnasukham dadhini Gramyaudakanuparasah payamsi
Navannapanam gudavaikritamcha pramehahetuh kaphakricca sarvam"
4th shloka/6th chapter Chikitsa sthana: Charaka Samhita

642

Pulakes Purkait, Dr. Moumita Bhattacharya

Prameha and its Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine in India

Asyasukha means happiness of tongue, eating food which is sweet, salt, sour in taste.
Swapnasukha means sleeping in the day for more than 30 min and sleeping more at night.
it also means not living an active life with good amount of exercise & sports.
VARGIKARAN / CLASSIFICATION OF PRAMEHA [3,4,5,6]

643

(4 varieties) get manifested depending on the basic constitution on the patient, indulgence
of verities of causative factors enlisted & type of tissues effected among the following
Medas (Adipose), Vasaa (fat), Rakta (blood cells), Shukra (spermatozoa), Ambu (cytoplasm),
Lasika (protoplasm), Majja (bone marrow), Rasa (lymph), Pisita (muscle), Ojas (geneproteins/factors responsible for immunity)[7].

In Ayurveda texts (Charaka Samhita, Sushruta Samhita, Astanga Sangraha & Hrudaya,
Hareeta Samhita) Diabetes (Prameha) has been described in three major categories (A)
HETU BHEDAS, (B) DEHA PRAKRITI BHEDAS and (C) MUTRA BIKARA BHEDAS.
All categories divided in different sub group:

1.

Kaphaja : Kapha causes pramehas by affecting Medas thus altering lipid metabolism,
muscles and body fluid situated in urinary bladder. Types of kapha are as follows:

i.

UDAKAMEHA (Chronic nephritis): Watery urine or Clear urine in larger quantity


without odor; patient feels cold sensation while passing urine.

(A)

HETU BHEDAS (Etiological classification)

ii.

1.

Sahaja/Jatah prameha (Hereditary):

IKSHUVALIKAMEHA (Alimentary glycosuria): Like sugar cane or Very sweet


urine, cool, slightly viscid, turbid due to slimy substances.

iii.

SANDRAMEHA (Phosphaturia): Viscous urine or If urine is kept overnight,


precipitate is present in the container.

iv.

SANDRAPRASADAMEHA: Having solid precipitate or Sandraprasadmeha means


a portion of the urine is turbid and a portion is clean like Sura (undistilled alcohol).
Described as Surameha in Sushruta and Ashtanga Hridaya [8] .

v.

SHUKLAMEHA (Chyleuria, albuminuria): Urine is white and appears as if it is


mixed with flour (paste). While passing urine the patient feels erection of body
hairs.

According to Charaka the congenital case of Prameha or one inheriting the disease
from his Diabetic Parents is incurable because of genetic factor. Whatever diseases
are familial are said to be incurable [ch chi: 6:57].

vi.

SUKRAMEHA (Spermaturia): Urine with semen or Patient passes urine similar


to quality of semen or semen itself may be mixed with urine.

vii.

SITAMEHA: Cold urine or Urine is very sweet and abundant, with low temperature.

Apathyanimittaja (Acquired):

viii.

Improper dietary habits and unwholesome lifestyle is mostly seen in obese


individuals. It is quite similar to type 2 diabetes, and also known as adult onset
diabetes or non insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.

SAINYAMEHA: Delayed and very slow impulse of urination and patient feels
difficulty in passing urine.

ix.

LALAMEHA (Albuminaria): Saliva-like urine or Urine is turbid and slimy; it is


sticky and threads may be demonstrated like gum.

DEHA PRAKRITI (As per features of the body or Physique)

x.

According to Charaka samhita the two types of prameha patients on the basis of
their physique or body constitution are -

SIKTAMEHA (LITHURIA): Urine with gravels or Patient passes small particles


like sand in the urine.

2.

Sthula pramehi: This category refers as Obese diabetic patients and similar to the
patients with type 2 diabetes.

Pittaja: Pitta aggravated by hot things causes the same by affecting medas, muscles
and body fluid situated in urinary bladder. They are of 6 types-

i.

Krisha pramehi: this category refers to Asthenic diabetic patients, like a lean person
and corresponds to patients with type 1 diabetes.

KSARAMEHA (Alkanuria) : Urine like alkali (ash) solution in smell, color


and touch

ii.

KAALAMEHA (Indikanuria) : Black urine

iii.

NILAMEHA (Indikanuria) : Blue urine

Sarva yeva pramehastu kalenapratikarinah madhumehatvamayanti Tada asadhyabhavanti


hi (su. Ni.6) [2]

iv.

HARIDRAMEHA (Biluria): Turmeric-like urine or Urine is yellow like the color


of turmeric, pungent, and associated with a severe burning sensation.

According to Sushruta Samhita as well as ayurvedic literature Prameha (Diabetes) has


been classified into 20 types depending on the various signs and symptoms manifested
with urine. These twenty types of prameha, Kapha (10 varieties), Pitta (6 varieties), Vata

v.

MANJISTHAMEHA (Urobilinuria): Urine is pink like decoction of Manjishta.

vi.

LOHITAMEHA (Haemeturia): Urine is deep red or Urine contains blood and is


salty in taste.

Due to the genetic factors certain defects in the ovum and sperm results in a genetic
disorder which is referred to Beej Dosha. It can be compared to type 1diabetes
and mostly found in lean individuals. It is also known as Juvenile or congenital
diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus.
Genetical view of prameha is clearly mentioned by Charaka samhita as specific
word `Beej dosha' means a "defect in genes". Beej means seed and dosha means
defect. Charaka has described anatomy of Beej as Semen or Sukra and Beej
bhaga as Chromosome.

2.

(B).

1.
2.
(C)

MUTRA BIKARA BHEDA (Doshic classification or as per urinary abnormality)

644
3.

i.
ii.
iii.
iv.

Pulakes Purkait, Dr. Moumita Bhattacharya

Prameha and its Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine in India

Vataja: Vayu, on relative diminution of other two doshas, draws on the dhatus
in urinary bladder and thus causes Prameha. Prameha caused by vata and associated
with pain has blackish or reddish urine. They are of 4 typesMAJJAMEHA (Albuminuria): Urine with majja (bone marrow).
VASAMEHA (Lipuria): Urine with Vasa (fat).
HASTIMEHA (Prostatitis) : Urine with lasika (lymph)
MADHUMEHA (Diabetes mellitus): Urine with yellowish-white in color and
taste like honey.

SADHYASADHYATA / PROGNOSIS
Charaka had classified Prameha in three categories as per to sadyaasadhyata
[ch chi : 6:57].
1.

SADHYA [Curable]: This includes Kaphaja Prameha [predominance of Kapha


humor], usually due to improper life style and dietary habits, and patient is usually
sthula [obese]

2.

YAPYA [Controllable] : This includes Pittaja Prameha [predominance of Pitta


humor]

645

2. Trishna (Thirst/Polydipsia): Excessive and frequent thirst in Ayurveda it is termed


as Trishna. In the process of lipolysis, more water is utilized which results into
activation of thirst center in the brain.
3. Panipada daha: Abundance of unutilized glucose in the blood. This causes disturbance
in the equilibrium of dhatus and doshas in the body exposing body to further
complications. It gives rise to Panipada daha, which means burning sensation of feet
and palm and lower extremity paresthesias- pins and needle sensation.
4.
5.
6.
7.

Unexplained weight loss


Madhuratava in mutra : Glycosuria
Dantadinam mala sanchaya: Due to ama, deposits are seen in mouth.
Swadasyata: Sweetness is experienced in the mouth due to increase in the sugar level.
According to modern medical science the clinical symptoms of diabetes are polyuria,
polydipsia, polyphagia, general debility, profuse sweating, dryness of the skin, pain
in thigh/calf muscles, Weight loss due to calories lost as glucosuria, leaving a negative
calorie balance, poor wound healing, gingivitis and blurred vision [9].

SADHYA

YAPYA

ASADHYA

Prognosis

Curable

Controllable

Difficult to manage

UPADRAVA / COMPLICATION [2, 3]


Complication refers as Upadrava of Prameha (diabetes) covers all the conditions, which
can develop with diabetes patients. The complications related to diabetes mellitus, as
described in allopathic medicine, are mentioned in Ayurveda either directly or indirectly
in relation to Prameha. These include dyspepsia, diarrhea, fever, burning sensation,
weakness, anorexia, indigestion, and diabetic carbuncles and abscesses (referred to in
Ayurveda as Pidaka, Alji, and Vidradhi). In Charak Samhita many features of complications
are described that the diseases and disorders caused by over intake of Santarpana (a highly
nutritious, high-calorie diet intended to increase weight).

Dosha

Kaphaja

Pittaja

Vataja

These disorders and diseases include:

Etiology

Acquired

Acquired

Hereditary

3.

ASADHYA [Difficult to manage]: This includes Vattaja Prameha [predominance


of Vata humor] patient is usually asthenic or lean. In this situation the disease
becomes incurable.

Table3. Features of Prameha according to sadyaasadhyata (prognosis)

Physique/
Body constitution

Obese

Clinical
manifestations

Mild hyperglycemia,
hyperglycemia
Hyperinsulinemia

Moderate

Stage of disease
process

Early/without
complications

Acute, young adults

(i)

Prameha Pidaka (carbuncles)

(ii)

Kustha (skin diseases)

Asthenic

(iii)

Mutrakrichhra (urinary disorders or Nephropathy)

Severe hyperglycemia

(iv)

Klaibya (erectile dysfunction)

(v)

Sthaulya (obesity)

(vi)

Indriya Srotasam Lepa (structural and functional impairment of the sensory organs)

(vii)

Siopha (generalized edema)

Chronic / advanced /
with complications

[5,6,8]

PURVARUPA / PRODROMAL SYMPTOMS


According to Ayurveda Sanskrit literature and modern medicines the chief symptoms or
Purvarupa of Prameha are:
1. Prabhutavilamutrata (polyuria) : Swedawaha srotoavrodha causes increased urinary
out put with turbidity and increased frequency; in Ayurveda this symptom is termed
as prabhootavila mootrata [increased output and frequency of turbid urine]
"Prachuram varam varam va mehati mutratyagam karoti yasmin roge sa prameha"
(Ma. Ni.)[2]

According to Astanga Samgraha of Vagbhata describes complications for each Doshic type
of Prameha separately as Kaphaja Prameha, Pittaja Prameha, and Vataja Prameha [8].
Complication of Kaphaja Prameha: This includes coryza, laziness, anorexia, indigestion,
excessive salivation, vomiting, hypersomnia, and couth (while anorexia, vomiting, diarrhea,
etc., denote diabetic enteropathy).
Complication of Pittaja Prameha: Include hyper acidity, excessive thirst, fever, burning
sensation, fainting, diarrhea, anemia, cracking of the scrotal skin, and pain in the penis
and bladder region. Diabetic neuropathy is directly mentioned as a burning sensation in
the body, tremors and Hastimeha (incontinence of urine).

646

Complication of Vataja Prameha: Include heaviness in the chest, excessive hunger,


insomnia, tremors, pain, constipation, cough, and dyspnea. Heaviness in the chest indicates
cardiac disorders, and fainting, tremors, etc., may relate to Cardiovascular and cerebral
disorders.
The features of nephropathy are not directly referred to in Upadrava (complications) of
Prameha; these are described in detail in the 20 subtypes of MUTRA BIKARA BHEDAS
(As per urinary abnormality). The presence of excessive waste products in the eyes, ears,
tongue, etc., discussed as Purvarupa, indicates that these organs would become increasingly
disturbed with the advancement of disease and ultimately retinopathy and other disorders
could develop as a result.
CHIKITSA / TREATMENT
Charaka Samhita is a massive treatise on ancient Indian medicine. It contains 8 divisions
(Astanga Sthanas): Sutra, Nidana, Vimana, Sarira, Endriya, Chikitsa, Kalps and SiddhaSthanas. The prameha has been described eloquently and elaborately in Charak Samhita
chikistha sthana's 6th chapter, nidana sthana's 6th chapter of Shusurata samhita and
Prameha nidana's 33rd chapter of Madava nidana.
According to Ayurvedic point of view the basic principle or Chikitsa Sutra of prameha
are Shodhana [purification] and Shamana [suppression]
i. Shodhana: Shodhana or purification is generally done in obese diabetic (Sthula
Pramehi) with adequate body strength and requires expertise in assessment of
vitiated doshas and therapy to be applied. A Samshodana (Panchakarma like
vamana (emesis), virechana (purging) and later medicines & diet to normalize the
condition (antikapha) treatment. Mismanagement would lead to more harm than
any good. Hence in general practice shaman Chikitsa is prevalent and popular.
ii. Shaman Chikitsa: [acificatory management]: Samshamana means palliative
treatment and Santarpana (antivata) treatment. The herbs used in the management
of DM syndrome (Krusha Pramehi) are bitter, astringent, and pungent in Rasa
[taste]. All herbs having these tastes are having some anti-diabetic quality. While
treating Diabetes (prameha) herbs are used either individually or with combination
of other herbs or mineral.
HERBS / MEDICINE FOR PRAMEHA [10, 11, 12, 13]
Ayurveda is an indigenous ethnic medical system is popular practice in the Indian
subcontinent since the pre-biblical era. The system's core strength is its holistic approach
to health and disease using natural remedies derived from medicinal plants and minerals.
The medicines having tikta, katu, kashaya taste are generally considered good in Diabetes
(prameha). There are many popular herbs with medicinal value and which still continue
to be used in India.
Following herbs are described in ancient as well as modern Ayurvedic texts for solution
of diabetes (Prameha). The major herbs are as follows- Devdaru, Vijaysar, Jamun, Bel,
Karela, Methi, Tulsi, Daruhaldi, Haldi, Sadabahar, Amla, Gurmar, Durike bel, Neem,
Vjrataru, Siris, Bar, Tuvaraka, Saptrangi, Hulhul/Hurhur. Some important medicinal
plants are summarized in table 4.

647

Pulakes Purkait, Dr. Moumita Bhattacharya

Prameha and its Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine in India

Table 4: Ancient Indian Medicinal plants, botanical name, key constituents


of the used part of the plant and functions [14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19]
Herb
Name

Botanical
Name

Ayurvedic
Name

Part Used

Key
Constituents

Function

Devadaru
(Cedar, Deodar)

Cedrus deodara

Devadaru

Bark,
Wood

Cedrinoside, cedrin,
toxifonil, cedeodarin,
dewarenol, himchalol

To tackle the causes of oxidative


stress (Vata, heart disease
(Hrid-rog) and diabetes (Prameha)

Vijaysara
(Indian Kino tree)

Pterocarpus
masrsupium

Pitasara
Bark

Kinotanin acid,
pyrocatechin,
gallic acis, resin.

The bark of the tree is made into a


wooden glass and the glass is
termed as "The miracle cure for
diabetes". Some water is kept in the
wooden glass overnight and is
consumed early morning by diabetes
patients. Diabetes support contains
extract of bark of this miracle

Jamun
(Black plum)

Syzygium cumini

Jambu

Seeds

Phenols, Tannings,
Alkaloid (Jumbosine),
Clucoside ellagic acid,
resin, gallic acid,
albumin, etc.

The powder of the seeds of


Jamun fruit is very effective in
controlling sugar levels.
Astringent is useful for disease
caused by concessive sweetness
like obestity and diabetes.

Bel
(Bael fruit tree)

Aegle marmelos

Bilwa

Leaves

Tanning, coumarin,
umbelliferone,
and dlimonone,

The leaves of Bilva are excellent


for diabetes. Used to cure Vata
and Kapha and also good for Heart.

Karela
(Bitter gourd)

Memordica
charanatia

Karvellaka /
Karavella

Whole tree,
pulp

Alkaloid memordicine,
glycosides charantin
and vicine, and
polypeptidep

Decrease blood glucose level.


Rapid protective effects against
lipid per oxidation by
scavenging free radicals.
Reduces increased cholesterol.
Reducing the risk of diabetic
complications.

Methi
(Fenugreek)

Trigonella
foenum graecum

Methika

Seeds

Moisture, protein,
fibre, carbohydrates, ash,
calcium, phosphorous,
iron, sodium, potassium
and better fixed oil,
odourous oil.

It is used to lower down sugar


levels. as well as cholesterol levels.

Tulsi
(Holy Basil)

Ocimum sanctum

Sursa

leaves

Volatile oil, eugenol,


methyl chavicl, methyl
eugenol, caryophyllene;
Flavonoids (apigenin,
luteolin); Triterpene:
(ursolic acid)

Regular use of leaves of this plant


controls blood sugar levels
very effectively.
It is also useful in many types
of cancers, viral and bacterial
infections, sore throat, cough
and cold etc.

Daruhaldi
(Indian Barberry)

Berberis aristata

Daruharidra

Rhizomes

A yellow alkalois
berberine

Haldi
(Turmeric)

Curcuma longa

Haridra

Rhizomes

Volatile oil 1 percent,


curcumin, turmeric oil
and yellow colouring
matter

The herb powder stimulates pancreas


to pump more insulin into blood.
It also helps in preventing insulin
resistance among cells.
It acts as a channel opener for
glucose into the cells. This also
purifies the blood. Purifying
the blood, channel opener,
helps in reducing the insulin resistance.
Turmeric powder is an effective
anti-allergic, anti-cancer, antiinflammatory and one of the
best natural anti-diabetics.

Sadabahar
(Periwinkle)

Catheranthus
roseus/
(Vinca rosea)

Svetakotajah

Plant leaves

Alkaloids (vincristine,
vinblastine)

The leaves are very useful in


controlling the diabetes an
anti-cancer and also beneficial
for kidney.

Amla
(Indian
Goseberry)

Emblica
officinalis

Amlika

Fruits

Vitamin C, gallic acid,


tannic acid, glucose,
albumin, cellulose,
calcium.

It prevents ageing and therefore


delayes theonset of
complications of diabetes.

Gurmar
(Small Indian
Ipecacuanha)

Gymnema
sylvestrae

Madhunashini
Meshshringi

Leaves

Gymnemic acid, resins,


It controls hyperglycemia and
bitter, calcium oxzalate, carbohydrat e metabolism in liver
quercitol and sugar yeast. and in skeletal muscles.

Durike bel

Coccinia indica

Bimbi

Root
and
Fruit

Cuceubirocin B

It control glucose metabolism.


(hypoglycemic principle)

648
Herb
Name

Botanical
Name

Neem
(Margosa Tree)

Azadirachta
indica

Veerataru

Pulakes Purkait, Dr. Moumita Bhattacharya

Prameha and its Ancient Ayurvedic Medicine in India

Dichrostyches
cinerea

Siris
(East Indian
Walmut)

Albizzia lebbeck

Bar
(Banyan Tree)

Ayurvedic
Name
Nimba,
Parimad

Part Used

Leaves Bark,
Seeds

Vellantaro

Key
Constituents

Function

Margosine, nimbidine,
nimbine, nimbosterol,
tannin, clucose, glucose,
resinous principle,
volatile oil and
flavonoids.

Detoxifier, Liver stimulant and lowers


the glycosuria, prevent diabetic
vasculopathies and is used to
relive kapha and pitta and also
burning sensation near the
heart, fatigue, thirst, fever and
inflammation.

(-)epicatechin and
its enantiomer, as a
new isomer
of(-)mesquitol

Treating Vata (oxidative stress),


Mutrkrichha (urinary problems),
Trisna (polydypsea),
Kapha mobilizing (e.g.
antidysglycaemic) activities and
diseases of sarkara (sugar).

649

Reference
Boominathan R. and S. Panda, 2009. Plant Used in the Cure of Diabetes Mellitus. In P.C.
Trivedi ed. Indian Medicinal Plants. Jaipur, Aavishkar Publishers, Distributor, pp74-83.
Dhiman A. K. 2006. Ayurvedic Drug Plants. Delhi, Daya publishing House.
Gupta K. A., Y. N. Upadhyaya, 2007. Vagobhata's Astangahridayam, Vidyotini commentary.
Varanasi, Chaukhambha Prakashana.
Hari Sharma, Chandola H. M., 2011. Prameha in Ayurveda: Correlation with Obesity,
Metabolic Syndrome, and Diabetes Mellitus. Part 1 Etiology, Classification, and
Pathogenesis. THE JOURNAL OF ALTERNATIVE AND COMPLEMENTARY MEDICINE,
Volume 17, Number 6, pp.491-496.

Sirisha

Fruit,
Seeds

Tannin, saponin
and resin

Antiprotozoal, hypoglycaemic,
anticancerous

Ficus
benghalensis

Vata

Bark,
Leaves

Glycosides Ketones,
sterols, ficusin
and bergaptin

The back is used in Ayurvedic


medicine for diabetes.
Glycosides have an antidiabetic
activity, lowering blood sugar level.

Laksham H. C. and R. K. Inchal, 2012. Indigenous Medicinal plants and their


Practical Utiligy. New Delhi, New India Publishing Agency.

Tuvaraka

Hydnocarpus
wigthiana

Chalmogara,
Katu Kapittha

Lead seeds,
fruit pulp,

Glycosides, Luteolin,
Flavolignams

Anti-hypertiglyceridemic
(anti-meha and meda)

Mishra B. In: 9th ed. Bhavmishra, Bhavaprakasa Nighantu., editors. Vol. 1.


Nighantu, Varanasi: Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan; 1999. p.11.

Saptrangi

Salactia
oblonga

Saptrangi

Stem,
Root
&
leaves

Salicinol, kotalanor,
sesquiterpene,
triterpenes

It is used as anti-diabetic. The herb


has been found to have diabetes
controlling properties. It binds to
intestinal enzymes alphaglucosidases that break down
carbyhydrate into glucose.

Shastri KN, Chaturvedi GN. 2004. Agnivesha, Charaka Samhita, Vidyotini commentary.
Varanasi, India: Chaukhamba Bharati Academy.

Hulhun/Hurhur

Cleome

Tilparni,

Seeds, leaves

Vitamins (A and C)

Used as anti-diabetic for glucose


metabolism.

(Dog Mustard)

gynandra

Shastri A. Susruta Samhita, 2003. Ayurveda-Tattva-Samdipika commentary, 14th ed.


Varanasi, India: Chaukhambha Publications.

Suriyabhakt,
Ajagandha

and minerals
(Calcium and Iron)

Conclusion
Ayurvedic medicine focuses on each patient as an individual. It offers natural ways to
treat disease and promote health. In order to understand ayurvedic medicine, it important
to learn about its three main ideas, i.e. universal interconnectiveness, prakriti (body's
constitution) and doshas (life forces). Ayurvedic medicine uses herbs, diet, massage and
lifestyle changes to achieve a balance between body, mind and spirit. Thus Ayurvedic
practitioners gather information about the patients dosha balance from questions about
diet, lifestyle, illnesses and physical characters and then they plan for nutrition, exercise
and medicine.
Now a days Prameha / diabetes is a most common metabolic disorder in India and
affecting more than 30 million people with type 2 diabetes. Therapies of western medicines
carry the risk of adverse effects and are often too costly especially for the developing
country like India, where ethnic as well as environment also differ. In India the available
plant compounds are being used to treat Diabetes / Prameha from the ancient time. In
this review we have focused on the ancient as well as herbal medicine and their key
constituents and functions, which are the main source of modern medicine and that may
be utmost helpful to the patients as well as to the scientist, scholars, medical or health
professionals who are working on diabetes.

Shukla V. D., R. D. Tripathi, Agnivesha, Charaka Samhita, Vaidyamanorama Hindi


commentary. Delhi, Chaukhamba Sanskrit Pratishthana, 2002. blog. vedantayurveda.com/
?tag=charaka-samhita.
Sharma P. V. 1994. Chaukhambia Orientalia; Delhi, Caraka Samhita (English translation).
Srikanta Murthy K. R. Delhi, India: Chaukhambia Orientalia; 1993. Madhava
Nidanam (roga viniscaya) of Madhavakara (English translation).
Tiwari A.K., 2005. Wisdom of Ayurveda in perceiving diabetes: Enigma of
therapeutic recognition, CURRENT SCIENCE, VOL.88, NO.7,
Upadhyaya, Y. (ed.), In Madhavanidanam of Sri Madavakara, Part.II. The Kashi Sanskrit
Series 158, Chaukhambha Sanskrit Sansthan, Varanasi, 1993, 22nd edn, pp.1-27.
Valiathan M. S. 2003. The Legacy of Caraka. Chennai: Orient Longman.
Vikram Chauhan 2012. Ayurvedic Herbs for Diabetes A Purely Natural Way to Control
Sugar Levels. http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Vikram_Chauhan
Vutya R.K. 2007. Banaspati oushadh vigyan : A complete Book of Indian Medicinal
Herbs. Jodhpur, Scientific publishers (India).

650

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (651-665), 2012-2013

Palaeolithic Tools of Siulibona,


District-Bankura, West Bengal:
A Typological and Morphometric Study
Dr. Pinak Tarafdar1, Mr. Subhankar Roy2 and Mr. Dip Pandey3

ABSTRACT
The adjacent areas of Susunia hill at Bankura district of West Bengal showed immense
existence of Prehistoric sites, those havealready reveled different types of raw materials
and large number oftools starting from Acheulian and onwards cultural stages. Among
the various sites of the said zone Siulibonais a very significant one, which lies close to
a Santal village, known as Siulibona. The present article is based on the study conducted
in four phases of field work in the site Siulibona which was methodologically administered
as the short exploratory survey of the spot. It will also describe the geomorphological
background along with the stratigraphic sequence of the site. The study also dealt with
detailed typological descriptions along with the statistical and morphological analysis
of collected tools. The work once again categorically reveals some of the basic facts
identified by the eminent scholars as the definite features of the Palaeolithic industry
related to the explored zone.

INTRODUCTION
Susunia hill and the adjoining areas of the district Bankura of West Bengal is one of the
conspicuous Prehistoric cultural zone which is in reality comprised of a number of sites
starting from cultural stages,such as, Acheulian onwards. Various studies have taken
place in the surrounding areas of Susunia hills. Studies were conducted by the eminent
Anthropologists on-behalf of Calcutta University and Anthropological Survey of India
respectively (Bhattacharya, 2005: 59-75; Sankhayan et al.2009: 158-162).
1 Assistant Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of North Bengal, District Darjeeling,

West Bengal 734013,


2 Department of Anthropology, University of North Bengal, District Darjeeling, West Bengal 734013
3 Department of Anthropology, University of North Bengal, District Darjeeling, West Bengal 734013

652

Palaeolothic Tools of Siulibona, A Typological and Morphometric Study

Siulibana is significant among the sites of the said zone. The site is named after the name
of the adjacent Santal village Silulibona. The present article covers a brief description
of the geomorphology the stratigraphic sequence of the site. The authors will present
detail characteristics features of the identified and selected finished Palaeolithic tools.
The entire study was conducted and divided into four phases starting from the year 2009
to 2012. Short exploratory survey was carried out in the field for almost one week in
each year (2009-2012). Along with the surface findings some in-situ tools (both finished
and unfinished) were also collected. Local stratigraphy was studied from the exposed
sections and related the collection to the stratigraphic sequence. The site is situated on
the bank of the famous Gandheswari River of the district.
Geomorphology
Geomorphologically the district Bankura is divided in to three categories- i) the hilly
zone of west, ii) the undulating red soil area of the centre and iii) the alluvial flat plain
in the east (Neogi, 2011, Chapter 6). Susunia hill is situated in the west part of the district.
The area has the evidence of denudation of the Chotonagpur Plateau. There are also some
residual flat-topped low hills of Precanbrian age which are deeply weathered forming
lateritic crust at the top. There are older rocks of the Archean system like dolerite, granite,
gnesis, schist, quartzite and limestone while the Gondwana system includes sandstone
etc (Neogi, 2011, Chapter 6).
Geomorphologically the upland Bengal belongs to a compact geophysical unit lying
between Chotonagpur Plateau and Lower Ganga Basin (86-87 30 EL; 24-22 30NL) which
is basically a plateau pane plane region. The tract is bounded by the Purulia-Dhalbhum
upland on the west and Rupnarayan plain on the east. The major sections and sub-sections
of this undulating terrain are the Jamtara upland, the upper and middle reaches of the
Ajaya-Damodara valley, Susunia upland, upper reaches of the Rupnarayana valley, upper
and middle reaches of the Kangsavati valley, south and south-east of the Barabhum upland
and to some extent some limited part of the middle reaches of the Subarnarekha. The
gneiss and schists of Archean age form the eastern boundary of the Chotonagpur Plateau.
The quartzite and schist occur mostly as intrusion and reef pendants in the granite gneiss.
Red and brown surface soil originated from deeply weathered basaltic rocks. The alluvium,
which usually covers the river valley, is derived from decomposed rocks and deposited at
the slopes (Bhattacharya, 1987: 47-52 and 2005: 59-75).

Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Mr. Subhankar Roy and Mr. Dip Pandey

653

local stratigraphy and the contexts of occurrence of the prehistoric tools (Bhattacharya,
2005: 59-75).
The Pleistocene deposits in the study area are mostly bothfluvial and aeolian. The
Pleistocene sedimentary beds, as identified from observation at different sections, reveal
sequence of depositional and erosional events in the geomorphology. It is important to
mention that no earlier sediments of Lower Pleistocene formation have been observed
during the field work at that place. It appears that the deposit had been carried away by
high energy bed load fluvial forces. In some places lower Paleolithic tools have been
found at the upper most level of this deposit. Similar view had also been expressed by
both Bhattacharya (2005) and Shastry (1976) in connection with the study of Prehistoric
tools and Pleistocene vertebrates from Susunia.
A loosely packed gravel bed with nodule, kankar and reddish yellow silty clay bed of
thin deposit has found in a few places in the Susunia foot hills to the north of the Susunia
village and at the studied site. Upon this loosely packed gravel lies a bed of loamy clay
mixedwith kankar and faded yellowish brown or reddish brown soil.
Chief Archaeological Findings:
During the exploration over four consecutive years from 2009 to 2012 concentration was
mainly given on surface collections. In addition to surface collection some in-situ findings
were also made with the proper correlation to related stratigraphy. Out of the large number
of collections only finished tools were identified for the present study. Among them 54
tools were finally selected while administering cultural age-wise stratified random sampling
method. The entire collection of tools from the site mainly belonged to the Palaeolithic
period which is further divided in to three successive stages. Atotal of 54 tools were
selected for this study.

Site and Stratigraphy

Among all the collections both fresh and rolled varieties were found. As the terrain is
highly eroded and dissected, therefore it is quite natural that the fresh tools be exposed
after a heavy shower. The rolled ones are carried out by the river water. Both patinated
and fresh varieties of tools were found from the site. On the basis of typological study
the identified and selected tools are categories in to different lithic traditions. The varieties
are belonging to lower, middle and upper Palaeolithic culture. Detailed typological
descriptions along with the statistical analysis as required of different tool families are
given below.

The site Siulibona lies between 8659-87EL and 2325-2326 NL. The prehistoric site is
spread over 4 sq.km.Considerable part of the site lies on the upper bank of RiverGandheswari
(Bhattacharya, 2005: 59-75). This said site is situated at a distance of 15 k.m. north
west of the town Bankura, the district headquarter. A number of sections are exposed
along the runnels and streams at different places near the village Siulibona. It is important
to mention that the local cultivators, in their endeavour tried to convert unfertile and
pebbly bed land surface to plots of cultivable field, did reclamation by removing the
sheet of uppermost surface of silty kankar nodule with chunks of stone pieces. Such
clearing of land has resulted in the exposure of the layerunderneath. The data have added
valuable information in understanding the sedimentation process and to establish the

Handaxe: A total of 12 (22.22%) handaxes were found from the site Siulibona which
appears to be second highest incidence of tools found from the site. Out of the 12 handaxes
9 were made on core and the rest were on flake. Table 2(A) also showsthat among the
total 20 core tools there were 9 handaxes, which is about 45%, the highest among all
the collected core tools from the stated site. All the collected handaxes show variation
according to their size and shapes. Variations are also found in terms of the raw materials.
10 handaxes were made on quartzite which is 83.33% of total collected handaxes, rest
2 (16.67%) were made on quartz (table-3). Table 4 unfolds the range of variation of
Length, Breadth and Thickness of the collected handaxes. The maximum and minimum
lengths are 13.7 cm. and 6.9 cm. with the mean value 10.17 cm. in case of breath it is

654

Palaeolothic Tools of Siulibona, A Typological and Morphometric Study

9cm. and 3cm. respectively with mean 5.50 cm. The table also reveals the thickness
measurement which is 5.2 (max), 2 (min.) and 3.20 (mean) respectively.
Collected hand axes are oflong, oval and triangular shaped. State of preservation showed
two distinctive categories, fresh and patinated tools, although very few but highly patinated
handaxes are also present. It is already mentioned that both categories of handaxes made
on core and flake were in the collected samples. Flakings are more prominent and
sharp in case of the latter than the former; both primary and secondary flakings are present
in case of the handaxes made on flake. Generally butt end is oval and striking platform
is present in case of handaxes made on flake. Although a few but some of them prominently
show the presence of s-twist having a probable affiliation with levalloisian technique.
Pebbly cortex as a matter of significant mark is present on handaxes made on core. Crosssection varies from lenticular to rectangular in case of hand axes made on core. It is
triangular or plano-convex in the context of hand axes made on flake.
Cleaver: Cleaver comprises 5.56% among the total collected tools (table: 1) and it is also
15% among the total number of core tools found (table: 2A). Out of the total 3 cleavers
collected 1 is on quartz, another one is on quartzite and rest one is made on pebble. The
maximum and minimum length, breadth and thickness are 13.0, 12.0; 9.6, 7.6; and 6.1,
3.0 and the mean for the same are 12.47, 8.06 and 4.43 respectively (table: 4).
The cleavers are mainly medium varieties, among them one is v shaped and two are
u shaped. They have transverse cutting edge along with long sinuous lateral margins
diverging towards the effective end. The surface and edges are meticulously flaked.
Among the total collected cleavers two are rolled and patinated another one is fresh. Butt
end is heavily tapering. Flake scare is observed on both the surfaces except in one tool.
Cross-sections are mostly planoconvex and quadrangular.
Chopper: It is the third highest number of tools associated with chief findings among
the stone tools collected from the site Siulibona. There are 8 choppers which constitutes
14.81% stone tools (table: 1), it also comprises 40% of total collected core tools from
the site. First time for the chopper it reveals that among 8 tools 4 were made on pebble
which is 50% among the total collected chopper and among rest, two are on quartz, one
each on quartzite and sandstone. The mean length, breadth and thickness 7.28, 9.48 and
5.36 for further metric data on the same, table 4 shall be the best possible way.
All of them are fully finished and unifacial tools. Some of them were patinated. Butt end
is oval and rounded along with irregular and sharp cutting edges. Pebbly cortex is
significantly present. Cross-section is semi-circular and in some cases it is elongated.
Scraper: The highest among all the tools is 23 (42.59%) in number. All of them appear
tobelong to the flake industry. Among them 13 are made on quartzite (56.52%), 7 are
made on quartz (30.43%), 2 are on chert (08.70%) and last one is on sand stone (04.35%).
As far as data available on table 4 the maximum length, breath and thickness of the
collected scrapers are 8.0, 10.2 and 3.5, the minimum for the same 3.1, 3.3 and 0.9; the
mean for length is 4.7, breadth 6.41 and thickness 1.80. respectively Table 2(C) unfolds
7 categories of scraper among the 23 of collected tools. Convex side scrapers were the
chief collected variable among the scrapers comprising 39.13 percent which are 9 among
the 23. Both end scraper and side scraper constitute 17.39 percent each among the total

Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Mr. Subhankar Roy and Mr. Dip Pandey

655

collected scrapers. Concave side scraper and transversal side scraper were rare, found 1
each which is 04.35 percent only. Among the different categories of scrapersdouble ended
side scraper and round scraper are also present each of 2 in number holding 08.69 percent
among the total collected.
As stated the scrapers are of different size and shapes starting from broad and moderate
size to small. Some of them belonging to Acheulian industry are comparatively crude,
broader and thicker having less secondary flakings or retouchings. In case of Mousterian
scraper step like retouchng along with trimming are present. Most of them have semicircular working end. The Mousterian scraper are well finished having very sharp effective
end. The cross-sections are either planoconvex or biconvex.
Blade and Burin: Altogether 6 blades and burins (3 of each) were collected from the
site which make up of 05.56 percent each among all the tools. Percentage is increased
to 08.82 percent among all the identified flake tools only. All the burins were made on
quartzite. Among the 3 identified blades 2 were made on quartz (66.67%) and rest is
made on chert (33.33%). For the blade maximum length, breadth and thickness are 9.2,
4.5 and 2.7 and minimum length, breadth and thickness are 7.4, 3.0 and 2.1 the mean for
the same 8.03, 3.73 and 2.43. Table-4 also reveals the same metric data on burin for
length 9.2 (max.), 5.9 (min.) 7.77 (mean), breadth 5.2 (max.), 2.7 (min.), 4.23 (mean),
thickness 2.6 (max.) 1.0 (min.) 1.8 (mean).
Among the blade tools one knife blade is identified, opposite to the working end the
portion is blunted and prominent mark of retouchings are also noticed. Other two are
ordinary bladeshaving parallel opposite sides. Among the 3 identified blade tools as burin
(graver) each has prominent graver facet. The working edge of one of them has a
resemblance with screwdriver as stated by Burkitt (1963: 64-69) while classifying the
gravers. Roughly triangular cross-section is found in the middle portion of the knife blade.
Others: Two distinctive tools were found from the site Siulibona.One mousterian point
is very significant among them. It is medium and triangular shaped and made of quartz;
two lateral margins are converging and providing true pointed effective end. It is made
with broad flake and secondary flakings are found all over the cutting edge.
Another tool was depicted and identified as arrow head (hollow base) which was also
made on quartz. Leaf shaped flakes are present in both of the lateral margins of the tool.
Proper hafting place is also identified at the butt end.
Discussion and Analysis
As stated in earlier sub-headings the entire identified tools can be divided in to three subdivisions on the basis of three well-known Pre-historic cultural ages. Hand-axe, cleaver
and chopper are the chief findings belonging to lower Paleolithic age; some of the collected
rudimentary side-scrapers were belonging to the above given age where as the rest those
have significant advanced characteristic features belonging to middle Palaeolithic period.
Both blade and burin the conspicuous tools of upper Palaeolithic period were also in the
selected list of the collected tools.
The field works were conducted in the four (4) consecutive years so chances of getting
tools were also different and it also signifies the availability frequency of each category

656

of the tool. A steady availability of both hand-axe and scraper notified that the site
Siulibona is really rich with said tools. Apart from them chopper were also steadily
available in every year except in 2009.
Among the total 54 selected finished tools 20 (37.04%) are on core and 34 (62.96%) are
on flake. All Lower Palaeolithic tools were made on core but in case of Hand-axe both
made on core and made on flake were depicted. Some of the advance Acheulian handaxes were mainly made on flake. Scrapers were the chief among all the middle Palaeolithic
tools and as stated earlier it has 7 varieties; convex side scrapper were chief among them.
Although less in numbers but a steady supply of upper Palaeolithic tools were found.
Different types of raw materials were available and used for making the studied tools.
Table 3 shows that the conspicuous raw materials were. quartz, sandstone, pebble, quartzite
and chart. Among the total sample tools, 28 (51.85) were made on quartzite which is also
one of the dominating raw material of the studied zone. Apart from that 16 (29.63) tools
were made on quartz which is also another well available raw material over the said zone.
Some tools were also made on chert,and sandstone. It can also be assumed that both
quartz and quartzite were the dominating raw material for the entire Palaeolithic period.
Tools were made on pebble as wellbut only chopper and cleaver were made on pebble
which once again established that pebble as a raw material was mainly associated with
the lower Palaeolithic tools. In this context the availability of both chert and sandstone
were rare. Chopper and scraper made on sandstone were found but chert was used only
for manufacturing upper Paleolithic tools along with rare concave scraper.

Table: 1 Different Types of Core and Flake Tools (Siulibona, Susunia)

Sl. No.

TOOL

Conclusion
The study categorically reveals once again some of the basic facts identified by the eminent
Anthropologists, Palaeontologist and Geologist through their earlier works in the said zone
and adjoining areas. The area definitely has the features of Palaeolithic industry which is
more intensified in the site Siulibona eventually providing plenty of both unfinished and
finished tools belonging specifically to Palaeolithic culture of eastern India. A detail
comparative and descriptive study on different identified and selected tools unfolds the
exact typological understanding regarding various Palaeolithic tools manufactured and
used by the early man. The article also reveals the understanding and availability of
different raw material used by the prehistoric man for manufacturing their desirable tools.
This paper also tried to decipher the co-relation between techno-typological and morphological
analysis of different selected tools for getting an idea about the evolutionary sequential
developmental features of them which can also formulate a comprehensive knowledge
about distinctive Palaeolithic cultural phases in the intervened site.

Years of Fieldwork

TYPES

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total

1.

Blade

01
10.00

01
07.1401

01
05.56

03
05.56

2.

Burin

02
20.00

01
07.14

03
05.56

3.

Chopper

03
30.00

02
14.29

03
16.67

08
14.81

4.

Cleaver

01
08.33

02
14.29

03
05.56

5.

Handaxe

03
25.00

03
30.00

02
14.29

04
22.22

12
22.22

6.

Scraper

07
58.33

01
10.00

06
42.86

09
50.00

23
42.59

7.

Others

01
08.33

01
05.56

03.70

12
100.00

10
100.00

18
100.00

54
100.00

Total
As far as dimensions of different tools are concerned mean length, breadth and thickness
of lower Palaeolithic tools are much higher in comparison to middle Palaeolithic tools
(Table: 4). But for the tools of upper Palaeolithic stage the mean length of the blade and
burin are significant while in case of their mean breadth and thickness it is much less
than the mean of the lower Palaeolithic in the same ladder.

657

Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Mr. Subhankar Roy and Mr. Dip Pandey

Palaeolothic Tools of Siulibona, A Typological and Morphometric Study

Table: 2(A)

14
100.00

02

Tools Made on Core (Siulibona, Susunia)

TOOL

Years of Fieldwork

TYPES

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total

Chopper

03
50.00

02
33.33

03
42.86

08
40.00

Cleaver

01
100.00

02
33.33

03
15.00

Handaxe

03
50.00

02
33.33

04
57.14

09
45.00

Total

01
100.00

06
100.00

06
100.00

07
100.00

20
100.00

658

Table: 2(B) Tools Made on Flake (Siulibona, Susunia)


TOOL

Table: 3 Raw Materials of the Concerned Tools (Siulibona, Susunia)

Years of Fieldwork

Sl. No.

TYPES

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total

Blade

01

01

01

03

25.00

12.50

09.09

08.82

02

01

03

50.00

12.50

Burin

Handaxe

03

03

01

06

09

23

63.64

25.00

75.00

81.81

67.65

01

01

02

09.09

05.88

09.09

Total

Years of Fieldwork

TYPES

Quartz

Sandstone

Pebble

Quartzite

Chert

Total

1.

Blade

02
66.67

01
33.33

03
100.00

2.

Burin

03
100.00

03
100.00

3.

Chopper

02
25.00

01
12.50

04
50.00

01
12.50

08
100.00

4.

Cleaver

01
33.33

01
33.33

01
33.33

03
100.00

5.

Handaxe

02
16.67

10
83.33

12
100.00

6.

Scraper

07
30.43

01
04.35

13
56.52

02
08.70

23
100.00

7.

Others

02
100.00

02
100.00

Total

16
29.63

02
03.70

05
09.26

28
51.85

03
05.56

54
100.00

08.82

07

Others

TOOL

08.82

27.27
Scraper

659

Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Mr. Subhankar Roy and Mr. Dip Pandey

Palaeolothic Tools of Siulibona, A Typological and Morphometric Study

11

04

08

11

34

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

100.00

Table : 2(C) Types of Scraper (Siulibona, Susunia)


Years of Fieldwork
Tool Types

Scraper

2009

2010

2011

2012

Total

Concave side
scraper

01
11.11

01
04.35

Convex side
scraper

01
16.67

01
50.00

03
50.00

04
44.44

09
39.13

Double side
scraper

01
50.00

01
11.11

02
08.69

End scraper

02
33.33

02
22.22

04
17.39

02
33.33

02
08.69

Side scraper

03
50.00

01
16.67

04
17.39

Transversal
Scraper

01
11.11

01
04.35

09
100.00

23
100.00

Round scraper

Total

06
100.00

02
100.00

06
100.00

Table: 4 Maximum, minimum and mean values of length, breadth and


thickness of the following tools (Siulibona, Susunia):
Length

Breadth

Thickness

Tools
Max.

Min.

Mean

Max.

Min.

Mean

Max.

Min.

Mean

Blade

9.2

7.4

8.03

4.5

3.0

3.73

2.7

2.1

2.43

Burin

9.2

5.9

7.77

5.2

2.7

4.23

2.6

1.0

1.8

Chopper

9.3

6.3

7.28

10.4

7.0

9.48

6.6

4.0

5.36

Cleaver

13.0

12.0

12.47

9.6

7.6

8.06

6.1

3.0

4.43

Handaxe

13.7

6.9

10.17

9.0

3.0

5.50

5.2

2.0

3.20

Scraper

8.0

3.1

4.7

10.2

3.3

6.41

3.5

0.9

1.80

660

Palaeolothic Tools of Siulibona, A Typological and Morphometric Study

Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Mr. Subhankar Roy and Mr. Dip Pandey

Chart: 1 Different Types of Core and Flake tools (Siulibona, Susunia)

Chart 5 Different Types of Scrapers (Siulibona, Susunia)

Chart: 2 Tools Made on Core (Siulibona, Susunia)

Chart: 3 Tools Made on Flake (Siulibona, Susunia)

Chart 6 Different Types of Scrapers (Siulibona, Susunia)

661

662

Dr. Pinak Tarafdar, Mr. Subhankar Roy and Mr. Dip Pandey

Palaeolothic Tools of Siulibona, A Typological and Morphometric Study

663

Chart: 6 Different Types of Scrapers (Siulibona, Susunia)

Tools Collected from Siulibona, Susunia

Acknowledgements
Our special thanks to the Department of Anthropology, University of North Bengal for
providing necessary infrastructural facilities for the present study.

References

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Sequence of Acheulian Culture in West


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Anthropology, University of Calcutta,
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No: 1&2, pp 59-76.

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(2009) (eds.)

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Prehistoric India: Its Place in the Worlds


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Sankhyan, Anek, Ram (et al.) (2009)

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666

Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (667-679), 2012-2013

Matriliny among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar:


A little known Community of Tamil Nadu
M. Sasikumar1

ABSTRACT
The present study focuses on the matrilineal system with special reference to the
Arumbukuttam Vellalar of Tamil Nadu. There is no reference about this community in
the early literature. Edgar Thurstons monumental volumes on Castes and Tribes of
Southern India (1907) do not contain any information on them. The People of India
Volume on Tamil Nadu (Vol-XL-1997) also do not give any trace of this community.
Following a Newspaper report on existence of a distinctive community with several
peculiar customs and practices, this researcher undertook a preliminary field study in
the Thiruvadanai taluk of the Ramanathapuram district of Tamilnadu and this paper is
the outcome of that study.
The study shows that the Arumbukuttam Vellalar is not immune to the types of changes
that are taking place among matrilineal societies the world over. However, the process
and direction of changes are different. An alternative value system is gradually emerging
giving tremendous pressure to the matrilineal systems in that society and this shift is not
due to a single factor but it is a cumulative outcome of wide variety of factors evident
in that society today. Though the impingement has been considerable in some respects
in many other respects their traditional mores have continued unaffected.

INTRODUCTION
The people of India harbours a variety of kinship systems and this can be broadly
categorised into three: patrilineal, matrilineal, and bilateral. Barring two important pockets
of people following matrilineal systems in the south-west and north-east part of India,
rest of Indian population is predominantly patrilineal. People following bilateral systems,
with both parents being relevant for reckoning kinship and for claiming rights to resources
are comparatively less in Indian population. There are also communities who reckon
descent matrilineally but follow patrilineal mode of inheritance and succession patterns.
In India matrilineal system is highly diversified and transformed. The Khasis and Garos
of Meghalaya are the important tribal groups who follow the matrilineal system in the

1Dy. Director, Anthropological Survey of India, Andaman & Nicobar Regional Centre, Port Blair

668

M. Sasikumar

Matriliny among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar: A little known Community of Tamil Nadu

669

north-east part of India. Though neighbours geographically, the two communities are
distinct with reference to the structure and composition of the descent groups and with
relation to inheritance and residential patterns (Sasikumar 2005). Rabhas, a tribal community
of West Bengal, which traditionally followed matrilineal system, is now in a transitional
stage from matriliny to patriliny (Raha 1989). The Nayar of Kerala was a classical example
for matrilineal communities in India. The Thiyyar of North Kerala and Mappilas of north
Kerala and Lakshadweep islands were also matrilineal at one point of time. Interestingly,
a section of the Namboodiri Brahmins of North Kerala (Payyanur Brahmins) had followed
the matrilineal system till a few decades back (the rest of Namboodiri Brahmins in Kerala
have been strict observant of patrilineal system). The Kurichians, a tribal community of
Kerala, is well known for its matrilineal system of kinship and descent. Among them the
ancestral properties were owned collectively and inheritance was strictly matrilineal. The
wives stay with their husbands and they rejoin her natal family when their husbands die
or when they get divorced. This combination of partly patrilocal residence and matrilineal
descent, though described as dysfunctional by some authors (Driver in Honigmann (Ed.)
1975:338), had been a characteristic feature of the Nayars of North Kerala for centuries
(C.f. Gough 1961:390,399) and which continued still recently among the Kurichias
(M.Sasikumar 1996). The Tamil castes and communities like Kottai Vellalar, Maravar
and Illathu Pillamars also followed matrilineal descent but had not adopted matrilineal
descent and succession patterns (Thurston: 1975 (Reprint).

Myths of Origin

The present study focuses on the matrilineal system with special reference to the
Arumbukuttam Vellalar of Tamil Nadu. There is no reference about this community in
the early literature. Edgar Thurstons monumental volumes on Castes and Tribes of
Southern India (1907) do not contain any information on them. The recently published
People of India Volume on Tamil Nadu (Vol-XL-1997) also does not give any trace of
this community. Following a Newspaper report on existence of a distinctive community
with several peculiar customs and practices this researcher undertook a preliminary field
study in the Thiruvadanai taluk of the Ramanathapuram district of Tamilnadu and this
paper is the outcome of that study.

The Arumbukuttam Vellalar maintained a distinctive cultural identity with several of


their peculiar customs and practises. Agricultural based economy, matrilineal rule of
descent and inheritance, matrilineal authority structure, duolocal (now matrilocal) residence
pattern and many other related customs and practises made them distinct from other
groups and communities living around them.

Area

Derivation of the Term

The Arumbukuttam Vellalar live in twelve and half villages in the Thiruvadanai taluk
of the Ramanathapuram district of Tamilnadu. These villages are found scattered with
in a diameter of ten kilometres. These twelve and half villages are; Keezhe Arumbur,
Mele Arumbur, Mukilthakam, Thiruvettiyoor, Pullakudi, Vilathur, Kottakudi, Kallikudi,
Surampuli, Vahaikudi, Arunuttimangalam, Aayiraveli and Kattukudi.

Others usually spell the name of the community as Arumpukutti Vellalar. But they call
themselves as Arumbu Kutram or as Arumbukuttam Vellalar. There are different stories
regarding the derivation of the term. According to some they were called after the name
of the village known as Arumbur, which is believed to be their original village. According
to few others the name indicates the Vellalar with wreaths of the aram pu (aram flower)
which is one of the decorative flowers of God Siva. Still a few others have given an entirely
different etymological explanation. Arumbu in Tamil means flower buds. Due to the
similarity in shape with the flower buds the nose rings are also sometimes called by the
same term arumbu. Arumbu-kutra means those who do not pierce their nose. This is
attributed to their custom of non-piercing of nose. Some others have tried to originate the
term from the words arappu (meaning to cut) and ketta (do not tie) i.e., once cut never tie
owing to their custom of one marriage to their women. Once they sever the tali they can
never be tie it again as remarriage of women is strictly prohibited among them.

In the village of Kattukudi there lives only one family and hence considered as half
village by them and thus constitute twelve and half villages. Besides them there are two
other recently occupied villages, Valiyakottai and Konnakudi; they are considered as the
subsidiary villages of Arunuttimangalam and Surampuli respectively and hence not
counted separately. A few educated who could enroll in Government services have recently
migrated and settled in nearby towns like Devakottai and Karakkudi but they always keep
their ties with their natal family and attend all the familial functions and ceremonies.

The elderly members of the community narrated the following legendary accounts on the
origin of the Arumbukuttam Vellalar. The story tells like this, long ago their ancestors
lived in a fort at Srivaikuntam in Tinneveli District. At that point of time they were known
as Kottai Pillamar or Kottai Vellalar as they lived inside the kottai (fort). They were strict
vegetarians. Their womenfolk lead a strict secluded life and were not permitted to come
out of the fort. Banishment from the community was the punishment given to the accused.
Their proscription in marrying anyone outside their group was very strong. The beauty
of their womenfolk was well known and once an aracan (king) made a proposal to marry
the daughter of their chief. This was strongly objected by them as marriage outside the
caste was against the norms of the community. The king felt ashamed and engaged in
mischievous acts to disgrace their chief. Hurt by such an act, a section of them decided
to leave Srivaikundam and settled at Thirupathur and still latter migrated to their present
habitat near and around Thiruvadanai.
A group of people called Kottai Vellalar, most of them now being migrated to other areas,
lived at Srivaikuntam within a fort observing strict seclusion of women. The similarities
in the cultural practises of these two communities were shown as evidence to substantiate
the authenticity of the story. Similar to the Kottai Vellalar the Arumbukuttam Vellalar also
observed seclusion of women in the past and were strict vegetarians. There were also
similarities in their personal names and economy (both were agricultural based) as well.

Their womenfolk were traditionally prohibited from going out of their villages and were
forbidden from crossing rivers. Likewise, their men folk were interdicted from crossing
the sea. They perpetuated their unique identity by practising caste endogamy. Conventionally,
they did not have received food and water from any other caste other than Brahmins.

670

Matriliny among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar: A little known Community of Tamil Nadu

Dress and Ornaments


In the past both men and women were said to have worn only a waistcloth. Nowadays,
their womenfolk wear sari and blouse and men dhoti and shirt when they go outside and
lungi and shirt while at home. Both men and women were raised their hair in the past.
Women used to tie it into a knot behind whereas men tied their hair in a knob on the top
of his head (kondai). In the past there were families of barbers attached to each
Arumbukuttam Vellala family who were paid in kind in the form of paddy sheaves at the
time of harvest. Now the services of caste barbers are availed only during the observances
of certain rituals and ceremonies.
Widows follow a peculiar dress style to distinguish them from others, where as, no such
stipulation are there for widowers. Widows did not wear any ornaments other than the
finger ring, which is to be adorned her by her deceased husbands kin on the tenth day
of his death. They were barred from tying hair, applying sindhur and drawing eyelashes.
They also did not use any cosmetics as it enhances their beauty. She used to wear only
a white dhoti around her waist and another to cover her breasts. They strictly adhered to
such taboos. For the first one month after her husbands death she was even restrained
from applying oil.
Villages and Houses
Their traditional houses were very huge in structure, spacious and built of costly materials.
In every village there found a few such houses built keeping the structure and style of
their traditional houses with granite pillars and floorings. The structural enormity of their
houses fulfilled the functional need to accommodate a huge joint family comprising thirty
to hundred members.
Some houses are built with an open space at the centre. When the original family grows
and space becomes insufficient to accommodate them, it may divide and such offshoots
may build annexure at the rear ends to meet the rising requirements of space to dwell.
Such annexure may also build on a separate street little far from the main block. Though
the families separate, they all maintain the interrelationships and cooperate in all the dayto-day activities, as they are all consanguineal kins. A long and spacious varandha is a
special feature. This space is utilized to store paddy grains during harvesting seasons.
The surroundings of the houses are kept very neat and tidy.
There would be very large drying yards in every village. This may be either attached to
their houses in the front or at a distance from home. The straws are kept securely in to a
bundle at one corner of the yard. The yard would be kept secured from the stray animals
by erecting fences of thorny plants from all sides.
There were also huge patti-s, (an enclosure fenced from all sides with thorny plants) to
keep their cattle. Such patti-s would not have any roofs. The cattle were exposed in it to
sun and rain. The herds in the past included large number of cows, buffaloes and goats.
Nowadays it is reduced in to a few cows. It met the manure requirement for agriculture
and milk needs of the family.
Each household possessed a rich collection of brass and bronze vessels of varying sizes
and shapes. Such collections were enriched further with the marriage of a male member
of the family. Presentation of gifts in the form of vessels and other receptacles to the
bridegrooms family by the brides parents were customary among them. Most such

M. Sasikumar

671

vessels were kept unused and were considered as a family treasure. It may use in future
to present as gifts at the time of marriage of a female member of the family or divided
among the female members at the time of partition. The male members of the family did
not have any claim over the vessels though most part of them might have received as
gifts at the time of their marriages.
At one point of time the Arumbukuttam Vellalar were vegetarians. A few still adhere to
such practises. With in the same family some may follow vegetarianism and others nonvegetarianism. Traditionally they would not take food from any other castes other than
Brahmins.
Household Chores
The Arumbukuttam Vellalar women remained indoor in the past and generally did not
attend any outdoor work as they considered it as demeaning to their status. They have
been confined to a variety of household chores. They would be busy with several kinds
of routine tasks including cooking, cleaning, washing, carrying water, drying the paddy
etc. It is not an easy task to cook for a joint family which consisted thirty to hundred
members. All the womenfolk jointly undertake these activities in a coordinate manner.
Elderly ladies keep an eye on everything and any action of disrespect or disobedience
on the part of youngsters would be reproached. Nowadays increasing scarcity of agricultural
labourers and the consequent rise in the wage rates tempt many of them to attend outdoor
works in their own fields. Even not a single case of women folk working for wages in
others farm was reported. Men work in their own lands only. Working for wages is
considered to be demeaning their status. Except for a very few who work in government
services and who engaged in petty trades, agriculture is the mainstay. The men folk would
be occupied with a variety of activities associated with agriculture during agricultural
season. During lean season they remained idle without having much work to attend. The
children are now attending schools. The female children assist their elders in their regular
household activities whereas the male children do not have much to share with their
elders. The girls generally did not attend school once they attained puberty.
The People Around
A cluster of houses of Pallar community surrounds most of the Arumbukuttam Vellalar
villages. Other castes and communities were not normally found. A few households of
barber and washer men castes were also found in some villages. All these three groups
have traditional ceremonial and service relations with the Arumbukuttam Vellalar. The
washer men and barber communities were traditionally obliged to provide certain specific
duties at different life cycle ritual events. The Pallars are agricultural labourers in their
land. As the Pallars have now acquired their own agricultural lands and busy with their
own works, the Arumbukuttam Vellalar face scarcity of agricultural labourers. Still all
these communities maintain a cordial relationship.
Economy
The economy of Arumbukuttam Vellalar was rolling around the land and agriculture.
Agriculture was their mainstay. Most families possessed land varying from twenty to two
hundred acres. The yield from the land provided their food as well as cash requirements
through its sale. The agricultural operations were fully dependent on climate and only
one crop could be raised in a year due to the non- availability of sufficient water for

672

Matriliny among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar: A little known Community of Tamil Nadu

cultivation. The Arumbukuttam Vellalar villages are situated near to the Bay of Bengal
and hence the ground water is saline and cannot be used for agricultural purposes.
The members of Pallar community were the source of cheap agricultural labour. Each
Arumbukuttam Vellalar family has a cluster of their own dependent Pallar families to
work in their land for food and for a small sum received in kind. This system of symbiotic
relationship worked well as the cost of production involved was too low and the yield
was sufficient to support the system. Every Arumbukuttam Vellalar family also owned
large number of cattle, which includes cows, buffaloes, and goats. This supplied them
with manure and milk as well as the draught animals to plough their lands. The initial
working capital required to undertake the work was virtually very low.
With the gradual incursion of money economy the system has got a twist. Those
Arumbukuttam Vellalar who found it difficult to carry on the agricultural operations
on their own, engaged in share cropping with others. The Pallar community supplied the
required labour force and the yields have been shared equally among them. With the
additional income thus earned, they began to purchase small plots of land from their
former masters and in due course they accumulated properties of their own. This flow
of land to the Pallar community who were once the source of cheap labour, have created
high demand for labour force during peak seasons as the they would be busy with the
agricultural operations in their own land. This situation has led the Arumbukuttam Vellalar
to introduce labours from neighbouring districts which increased the cost of production.
The increasing cost of production and the frequent crop failure due to the non- availability
of sufficient rainfall affected the agriculture negatively and their agriculture-based economy
is facing serious threat. Their past glory and aristocracy hindered them from indulging
in any other area of work except in job in Government services and some petty trades.
Now there is a drastic fall in the number of cattle population. The fall is owing to the
non- availability of labour force to herd them. The mechanization introduced in the field
of agriculture has also curtailed the demand for draught animals and the increasing use
of chemical fertilizers has limited the use of bio-fertilizers including the cow dung based
manures. They alienated a major chunk of their landed property through its sale to meet
the expenses connected with rituals related to different life cycle rituals like birth, marriage
and death.
Social Structure
The Arumbukuttam Vellalar is an endogamous group with no subdivisions among them.
But there exists a principal variety of descent group called kilai, which is equallent to the
English word lineage. It is a unilineal descent group. Members of a group would reckon
the descent in each generation from the epical ancestor. That is one can trace the
genealogical links between himself and that ancestor. Each such kilai is an exogamous
group and marriage between members of same kilai was strictly prohibited.
Seven such kilai (lineages) was found among them. They are;
Agastiar, Devendra, Kathrama, Kuppa, Munayar, Teethar and Podu.
The last three lineages were considered as Akka-thankachchi kilai-s (sister lineages).
These three kilais are believed to be separated from the same ancestor. Marriages between
members of these three kilais were prohibited. Now a days due to the non-availability
of adequate marriageable partners, there is a tendancy to break such rules of sister lineage

M. Sasikumar

673

exogamy. Though all the seven kilais were of equal status, the munayar kilai claims a
superior position owing to their material prosperity in terms of land. Even though the male
members do not have any right over the lineage property, members of other lineages always
prefer to give daughters in marriage to boys of munayar kilai as they believed that such
marital alliances with a superior lineage would enhance their status in the society as well.
Descent, Inheritance and Locality Patterns
The largest descent group is the kilai and its membership is determined by ones birth.
They followed matrilineal rule of descent i.e., a newborn would automatically belong to
the lineage and family of his/her mother. There would not have been any change in the
lineage membership after marriage. Under matrilineal system of descent the women
always retain membership of her natal lineage. But in patrilineal societies she may either
do so or be absorbed into her husbands lineage after marriage.
The most important function of lineage among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar is the regulation
of marriage. The marriage of a male ego to his mothers sisters daughter is prohibited,
as they are members of same lineage and hence classified as brother and sister. They
cannot even think of marrying ones own sisters daughter (uncle niece marriage) as both
of them belong to the same kilai. As the male ego belongs to a kilai different from that
of his mothers brothers daughter (matrilateral cross cousin) and from that of his fathers
sisters daughter (patrilateral cross cousin) marriage with them is with in the permitted
category. Marriage with matrilateral cross cousins was the most preferred type of marriage
among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar since it helps to confine lineage property with in the
same kin group. It also would not break any kinship rules. Lineage exogamy is the general
rule of marriage; it is maintained through the institution of cross cousin marriage.
The cross cousin marriage is of two types; marriage of a man with his fathers sisters
daughter (patrilateral cross cousin) and marriage with ones mothers brothers daughter
(matrilateral cross cousin). Though the Arumbukuttam Vellalar practises both, (symmetrical
cross cousin marriage) the latter type is more popular.
The right over the property (both movable and immovable) was rested on the women of
the family. Property transmission is done from mother to daughters. In the absence of the
latter, it will go to the formers sisters and their daughters. In the past, man surrenders
whatever possession he earned by his own to his sisters and their daughters and never
to his own children. Some deviations could be observed to this rule today as few of them
have passed their earned property to their own children. If the spouses of his own children
were nieces and nephews of his own, such transmission of property normally would not
create any stress or strain in the community. Formerly when duo local residence was in
vogue, the eldest male member of the family managed the ancestral property, but he had
no right to alienate any portion of it and transmitted through female line.
The Arumbukuttam Vellalar followed the duo local form of residence in the past. The
wives continue to stay in their natal home and their husbands visiting them occasionally
there. Duo locality is often associated with the matrilineal descent. Recently there occurred
substantial changes in the residence rules from duolocal to matrilocal, whereby the couple
is expected to reside with the wifes relatives after marriage. This has caused for the
structural changes in the composition of joint families. The joint family found among the
Arumbukuttam Vellalar today is only a conglomeration of a few nuclear families.

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The Joint Family


The Arumbukuttam Vellalar lived in joint families comprising thirty to hundred members.
Though a few such joint families still found existing, the joint family system in its original
form is on the decline owing to their recent shift in their post marital residence patterns.
Each such joint family in its original form was the economically self-reliant unit of
Arumbukuttam Vellalar society. The senior most male member was the head of the family
who commanded incessant respect and absolute obedience. Members of three to four
generations lived together sharing a single kitchen. All the ancestral property was owned
collectively and inherited strictly matrilineally. The joint family strictly consisted members
from a single lineage (kilai). The duolocal pattern of residence enabled them to follow
this rule. Only the head of the family had the right to take important decisions but he
discussed the important issues with all the members of the family. The elderly female
members, mostly the sisters of the head, shouldered responsibilities like cooking and
entrusted different duties to other women members of the household. As the family did
not consist members from other families or lineages there existed cordial atmosphere in
the family.
A joint family generally consists an elderly male member, his brothers and sisters, his
sisters children and grand daughters children. When a joint family grew in size it broke
up into smaller units and in due course is regarded as an independent family. Though the
eldest male member was the head of the family, the families usually were known in the
name of the eldest female member.
The matrilineal joint family was also the economic unit for holding property. This has
facilitated the avoidance of subdivision and fragmentation of familial property to a great
extend. The family property could be partitioned only in the due process of customary
law. The women enjoyed a higher economic and social status in the family. Besides the
household chores they also participated in the economic activities like agricultural
operations. The joint family system is now under stress and threat due to the gradual
emergence of nuclear families.
Institution of Marriage
Cross cousin marriage is the most preferred type of marriage among the Arumbukuttam
Vellalar. Uncle niece marriages, a common type among some of their neighbouring
communities, were even unthinkable for Arumbukuttam Vellalar as both of them belongs
to the same lineage (kilai).
The community follows caste endogamy and kilai exogamy. Excommunication from the
community was the punishment for the violation of such rules. Though a few cases of
violation of caste endogamy were reported no case of breaking kilai exogamy was noted.
The non-availability of marriageable partners have recently tempted them to break the
rule of sister lineage exogamy (akka thankachi kilai-s).
The marriage of an Arumbukuttam Vellalar might engage with somebody even at the
time of its birth. Once engaged they normally adhere to the norms and rarely breaks such
concords. The opinion of the boys and girls were never sought. The comparative ages
of boys and girls were not an important matter of concern. The boy may be several years

675

senior to the girls or vice versa. As the community is very small such considerations of
age never worked as the non-availability of marriageable boys often pose difficulty in
getting another mate.
Child marriages (paliya vivaham) were very common till 1975. During the period of
emergency this was desisted by an organization called Arumbukuttam Vellala Munnetta
Sangham. This organisation strongly objected the custom of child marriage and succeeded
in seeing that the community discontinued it. According to the norms and values of the
community the marriage of a girl was to be conducted before the attainment of puberty.
If failed to marry before attaining puberty, nobody marry her and she had to die as a
spinster.
Among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar the marriages were taken place before puberty and
it would be consummated on attainment of puberty. The first ritual was called thirumanam
and the second santhimuhurtham or redusanthi. Among several matrilineal communities
like Nayars and Kurichians of Kerala, the pre- puberty marriage was only a ceremony
called thirandukalyanam in which the person who ties the tali had nothing to do with the
girls later life. But in the case of Arumbukuttam Vellalar it was a real marriage and the
person who tied the tali was her husband. In the latter case santhimuhurtham was the post
puberty ritual that marks consummation of marriage.
Remarriage (marumanam) was prohibited for a woman. Men are free to remarry. Divorces
taken place very rarely but the community often discouraged it. While polyandry is
prohibited polygyny existed. A man could marry sister or sisters of his wife at a time
(sorroral polygyny). When pre puberty marriage was the order of the day occurrence of
polygynous marriages of sorroral type was on the high because the husband of a girls
sister was usually requested to marry her when her parents find it difficult to find a proper
mate for the girl. There was also compulsion that marriage has to be taken place before
puberty.
Adult marriage is the rule now. It is the girls relatives who initiate the marriage and
search for the boy. Though the Arumbukuttam Vellalar community was a female oriented
one, the payment of dowry was a necessary pre-requisite to arrange any marriage. Before
the selection of a boy for their daughter her parents look at the economic background of
the family of the boy concerned. They always prefer a family of equal economic background.
Such consideration of economic condition of the family of the boy always lead to a
situation in which several man had to continue an unmarried life, as no proposal from
the girls side would come owing to their poor economic conditions. Under such situation,
the boys family members come forward to give a share of their family property to the
girls family to get the boys marriage done. In such cases the girls parents would pay
only a nominal amount as dowry.
Marriage Rituals
Thirumanam (pre-puberty marriage). This ritual is now obsolete. It was observed on a
fixed day at the brides residence. For a girl this ritual was performed between the age
of two and ten. The matrilateral uncles of the girl find out a suitable boy, preferably the
girls own cross cousin. It might even fix at the time of the birth of the child itself.
Individual preferences and likes and dislikes did not have a role.

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All the relatives were invited towards the function. The boy ties the tali round the neck
of the girl. A feast would follow. The couple continues to live in their respective houses
and the marriage was consummated after performing another ritual called redu santhi or
santhimuhurtham on the attainment of puberty. If the tali tier died even before the
consummation of marriage, she was considered to be a widow and forbidden from
remarriage. This custom was in practice till the year 1975, when it was desisted thanks
to the initiatives taken by an organization called Arumbukuttam Vellalar Munnetta
Sangham.
Marriage: The marriage of a girl is arranged only after the attainment of puberty. The
initiative of the marriage has to come from the side of the girls party. Following the formal
proposal from the girls side, the boys relatives consisting about ten members, visit girls
residence and formally inform their consent. The party return after a small reception. The
betrothal (nischayartham) is announced along with the fixation of wedding date.
Betrothal is observed at the brides residence. The boys party, comprising ten to twenty
five members arrive by noon. Handing over of dowry, by the girls mothers brother to
boys mothers brother was the first ritual they perform. This is followed by the
manayaduppu idal ritual. The girl followed by a group of women, ritually puts a handful
of soil both at the courtyard and the side yard. All the womenfolk who follow the girl
repeat the same. It is here at the courtyard they build the mana (marriage platform) and
at the side yards the aduppu (hearth).
Posting the muhurthakal or mothakkal is another ritual. The girls maternal uncle fixes
a post at the right side of the yard to erect the pandal (shed) for the marriage. The post
is decorated with the leaves of mango tree and the neem and sindhur and sandal paste.
After this ritual all the invitees bless the girl by placing their hands on her head while
she kneeling and touching their feet. A vegetarian (saiva) feast follows.
Marriage take place at the brides residence in a shed built for the purpose. A decorated
platform called mane is built at the centre of the shed in front of the courtyard. The shed
is decorated with clothes (mattu kettathu) by the members of the Mannan (washer men)
caste. For that service they have to be paid in cash. The auspicious time for the marriage
is fixed consulting the local priests. Marriages are performed mostly on Mondays, as
they consider auspicious for such rituals and ceremonies. Relatives are invited to the
marriage by sending patrikas (invitations).
The grooms party is received at the outskirts of the village with music and conducted
to the girls house. The boys party bring with them the tali (marriage badge) and clothes
for the girl and her relatives. The sacred fire lighted and homam was performed by the
Brahmin priest. Kappu (a cloth string immersed in turmeric powder) is tied at the wrists
of both the boy and the girl by their respective maternal uncles. The tali is tied either by
the sister or mother of the groom which he placed round her neck, for that, the tali tier
has to be paid a sum called talikettu panam by the girls parents. While tying the tali all
gathered would bless them by sprinkling achchathai (raw rice mixed with turmeric
powder). The couple then seek blessings from all the people gathered who are elder to
them. A vegetarian feast follows.

677

Reception is on the second day. The couple continued to stay in the boys residence for
a maximum of one month. Then she returns to her own house. Her husband will also shift
his residence to her house subsequently.
Pregnancy and Child Birth
On the seventh or ninth month of pregnancy they observe a ritual called seemanda
muhurtham. This ritual is now obliterated. This was observed only for the first pregnancy
at the pregnant womens natal home.
The pregnant womans mother-in-law
followed by a few close relatives visit her house and bring with them new clothes, a silver
spoon, and a silver tumbler. They adorn a grinding stone by dressing it as if it is a real
child. While the pregnant woman stands kneeling forward holding the decorated stone,
her mother-in- law pours seven spoon-full of milk over her back. Only a very few close
relatives are invited to this function. Then a feast is served.
Death or Cessation of Life
The Arumbukuttam Vellalar generally cremates the dead. Those who died of small pox
and those who met an early death (children below the age of ten) are usually buried. The
dead body is washed and covered with a new cloth. Men and widows are wrapped with
white clothes where as women whose husbands are alive are covered with red clothes.
The corpse is kept in front of the house to accord the last opportunity to friends and
relatives to see. The people who come to see the dead make some cash presentations
called Vaykarissi kasu, which can later be given to the community washer man. A similar
presentation, which make at the cremation ground will go to the barber. The corpse is
carried to the cremation ground (mayanam) on a bier called padai or badai. The eldest
son or nephew lights the pyre. The eldest son is the chief mourner.
Kiruke, the pollution ending ceremony, is observed on the 11th or 13th or 15th day. The
community barber and the chief mourner followed by others go to the cremation ground
and collect the bones in a mud pot. The charcoal is then made in to a heap and a plant
called perandai is planted over it. They then perform kappu ritual in which the barber
pours enne kappu, elani kappu, and pal kappu. After this ritual the chief mourner followed
by the barber, goes to the sea and flow the pot comprising the bones. After a dip bath in
the sea they bring a pot full of water along with them to the house where the death took
place.
A Brahmin priest lights a sacred fire and perform a homam. He purifies the house and
the surroundings with the seawater they brought. If the dead is a man, all the ornaments
of the widow are removed and she is adorned with a golden finger ring by her dead
husbands relatives. She cannot remarry.
Representatives from all the twelve and half villages and relatives attend the ritual. With
the performance of this ritual the pollution (thitu) is removed, Titi is celebrated on the
completion of one year.

Conclusion
Matrilineal systems in its traditional form are hardly in existence any where in the world.
Matrilineal descent groups gradually disintegrate under economic changes brought about
by contact with western industrial nations (K. Gough 1961:631). Fortes (1949:60-61)
sees that unstable social system produced by occupational differentiation, stratification

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Matriliny among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar: A little known Community of Tamil Nadu

by income, education and rank, geographical and social mobility, as well as disparate
values in religious beliefs are root causes for disintegration of matrilineal systems.
Economic changes brought by changes in production relations because of culture contacts
tempt communities like Rabhas to choose the path of change (Raha 1989). Introduction
of cash crop farming and subsequent economic changes have brought radical kinship
changes among many matrilineal communities like Tonga, Ndembu, Yao, Ashanthi and
Nayar (Colson: 1961, Turner: 1957, Mitchell: 1956, Fortes: 1949, Gough: 1961).
The Arumbukuttam Vellalar is not immune to the types of changes that are taking place
among matrilineal societies the world over. However, the process and direction of changes
are different. An alternative value system is gradually emerging giving tremendous
pressure to the matrilineal systems in that society and this shift is not due to a single
factor but it is a cumulative outcome of wide variety of factors evident in that society
today. Though the impingement has been considerable in some respects in many other
respects their traditional mores have continued unaffected.
As stated earlier, the joint family system is on the decline and is rapidly changing in its
structure and function. Several factors were responsible for this change, the most important
being the emergence of individualistic outlook of the youngsters. Their psychological
urge to lead a nuclear family life might also tempted them to shift the post marital
residence pattern from duolocal to matrilocal, which gave a twist to the joint family
system. Now several families live under the same roof portioned into several compartments
having its own kitchen and each one occupied by a separate matrilocal nuclear family
consisting of a woman her husband and their unmarried children. This is the widely found
pattern of residence and type of family among them today. These structural changes in
the composition of joint families have brought sharp change in their attitude towards
children. Now they are getting much parental care. In their traditional social and familial
set-up the interests of the children were not given proper concern. The maternal uncles
as the head of the family often neglected the personal interests of their nephews and
compelled them to engage in a variety of minor activities like rearing the cattle etc. and
did not have shown much interest in their education.
There are some basic differences in the structure and functions of the joint family systems
of the Arumbukutttam Vellalar and that of the other known matrilineal communities of
South India. The Nayars and Kurichias (a tribal community) were classical examples of
matrilineal communities in Kerala who lived in joint families. The Muslims of North
Malabar and Luccadeive Islands is another community, which followed such a system.
On marriage, a woman may leave her natal home and joins her husband among the Nayars
and Kurichias. The wives stay with the husbands, but the children remain in the fathers
family till they were about five or six years old. They then go and join their mothers
family. Only when her husband dies or if she were divorced the women would join her
natal family. But among the Mappila Muslims of North Malabar on marriage the husband
change his residence and join his wifes household.
Contrary to these two systems, the Arumbukuttam Vellalar followed a duolocal form of
residence. It neither corroborate with the Nayar or Kurichia systems nor with the Mappila
(north Malabar) system of residence. The Nayar, Kurichia, and Mappila joint family may

679

comprise members from different lineages where as among the Arumbukuttam Vellalar
the members would exclusively form a single lineage. But now the Arubbukuttam Vellalar
is changing fast adopting the matrilocal form of residence. They are also shifting speedily
towards nuclear family mode.
This changing trend in residence rule and family structure has also brought its aftermaths
in the authority structure of the community. When the adult male stay with his wife in
the latters house, there would be vacuum of responsible male members at home to look
after the family matters. The in-married male members on the other hand did not have
any say in the family matters of their wives as they retain their membership in their own
families and kilai-s. Under such circumstances the authority rests on the elderly female
members. This shift of authority structure from the men to women is a seldom found even
among the matrilineal communities. Thus the Arumbukuttam Vellalar society, which was
matrilineal, and duolocal are now a society following matrilineal descent and inheritance,
matrilocal residence and to a limited sense matriarchal in authority patterns.

References
Colson, E. 1961. Plateau Tonga in Matrilineal Kinship, ed. by Schneider, D.M and
K.Gough. Berkeley: University of California Press.
Fortes, M. 1949. Time and Social structure : An Ashanti Case study. In social
Structure, ed. by Fred Eggan and Meyer Fortes. London: Oxford University Press.
Honigmann, J. J. Ed.1997. Handbook of Social and Cultural Anthropology. Jaipur: Rawat
Publications.
Mitchell, J. Clyde. 1956. The Yao Village. Manchester: Manchester University Press.
Raha, M.K. 1989. Matriliny to Patriliny: A Study of the Rabha Society. New Delhi: Gian
Publishung House.
Sasikumar.M. 1996. The Kurichias in Menon and Sasikumar. Encyclopaedia of
Dravidian Tribes Vol-II. Trivandrum: International School of Dravidian Linguistics.
Sasikumar. M. 2005. Matriliny and Masculinity among the Khasis: A study in retrospect
and Prospect. Unpublished Report. Kolkata, Anthropological Survey of India.
Schneider, David.M and K.Gough. 1961. Matrilineal Kinship. Berkeley: University of
California Press.
Thurston,E. 1975(Reprint). The Castes and Tribes of Southern India. Delhi: Cosmos
Publications.
Turner, V.W. 1957. Schism and Continuity in an African Society. Manchester:
Manchester University Press.

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Jr. Anth. Survey of India, 61(2) & 62(1) : (681-687), 2012-2013

Assessment of the Functioning of


Institutions: Criteria and Approaches
S. B. Roy1

ABSTRACT
When a group or collection of individuals organises itself explicitly for the purpose of
pursuing certain of its interests together in a co-operative way, an association is said
to be born. If one desires to improve the system, one has to monitor the process through
measurable, simple, practical and cost-effective indicators. It has been a challenging yet
exciting task to develop indicators to monitor the activities of the human society, vis-vis ecological and economic aspects. The author will emphasize the indicators of the
process of assessment of functioning of institutes and developing criteria and approaches.

INTRODUCTION
Humans like any other living species requires a wide range of natural resource inputs
such as biomass, minerals, water, fuel, etc, for survival needs, wellbeing and security.
Always there is an existence of material needs and wants. There are number of ways in
which natural resource constitute or enable flows into human life support system (Clayton
Et al, 1996). Human depend on the products of economic processes, such as agriculture
and industry that convert environmental inputs into economic outputs.
In order to achieve these needs and wants humans came together and formed social groups
based on consent of the individuals with a purpose and goal. The individuals are
consolidated by consensus and, thus form group in order to facilitate the realization of
the cardinal values (Mukherjee, 1991). The purpose of formation of group may be to
cope with deforestation or failure of crop production or natural disasters. It includes
adaptation to variation to food supply, adaptation to climate change and seasonal changes.
This group could exist only when the disputes and conflicts were resolved and purposes
are met for which the social groups are formed. Such group's forms society in the long
run. A society, therefore, cannot exist unless there is a set of pattern of relationship known
as social structure and an agreed form of regulatory mechanism. These regulatory or
control mechanism work to facilitate normal function of society. The society functions
through socially sanctioned procedures known as institutions. However the form and
nature of a society changes over time and hence it is either altered or a new agreement
1 Professor and Chairman, IBRAD, Kolkata - 700 101.

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S. B. Roy

Assessment of the Functioning of Institutions: Criteria and Approaches

is needed. The humans living in and around forest land uses the forest produces for their
various needs. There may be different ways of getting the forest produces for their
own needs and they may form a group following the socially approved procedure known
as institution.
Whenever there is less division of labour, and change is slower the human associations
are less complex and they are more inclusive (.Mac Iver Et al, 1992) Primitive Society
lack specific objective like JFMC or WUA and such society have limited functional
character such focused economic or political agenda of development.
To understand social institution, that means procedure and regulatory processes it is
necessary to understand its nature like what kinds of groups, the reason for its emergence
and the process of emergence of such groups. For example the forest users have a clear
purpose and goal of forest conservation and use it on sustainable basis. It must be kept
in mind that these social structures of relationship within group may be temporary and
change over time. However, the society can be examined in various ways which causes
a problem for understanding society as a process. A social structure is a result of observance
of primary groups which form the structure. The social structures vary according to the
nature of its content and selection of context used to differentiate and link the collectives
that are created by individuals in society. This causes social structure such as ''Chipko
Movement'' to be very versatile and different in each case due to its composition.
The social process plays a key role in formation and changing social structure. Therefore
the social structure and the procedure that means the institutions denote how society
operates during a period of time. The social institutions would mean to explain why a
certain kind of social structure evolved and the changes that would occur in the future.
The social structure and social process depend upon the variable selection of their context
and content. Therefore, we need to do different valuation in order to understand society
as a group and institutions as regulatory controlled procedures, its origin and existence
and degree of functioning.
Emerging issues of sustainabilty
The human activity potentially, affects the global ecology. Global warming, ozone
depletion, soil erosion, deforestation, desertification and species extinctions are all
indicators of the extent to which human activity is now altering the conditions for life
on Earth. Current and projected human demands might exceed the mineral and biological
flow rates that the planet can yield without adverse consequences, such as ecological,
social or economic disruption. Keeping the long term run as the time framework, neither
ecological nor economic sustainability can provide a complete specification. (Chopra,
Kanchan, Et al 2000).
Joint Forest Management
In recent years the policies formed by the legislation has fasten the control of state over
India's forests by giving support to the community resource rights and responsibility.
National Forest Policy (1988) gave the rights to people to protect forests resources. June
1990 Joint forest management was initiated which gave a new positive side and a greater
contribution to the protection of forests and given a responsibility and rights to village
people to take care of the forest lands and areas (Poffenberger, Mark, Et al, 1996).

683

When a group or collection of individuals organises itself explicitly for the purpose of
pursuing forest conservation on sustainable basis jointly with the Forest Department and
share rights and responsibility and certain of its interests together in a co-operative way,
an association programme is said to be Joint Forest Management. It has evolved to meet
the needs of the people living in and around the forests. The success of Joint Forest
Management programme from West Bengal and other parts of India has opened avenues
to researchers from social sciences and management domain to learn the process of
change, its enabling environment and the factors responsible for the new programme
(Roy, 1993).
The agencies have emerged, and continue to emerge, because of the necessity for human
beings to live together under specified terms and conditions (Mukherjee, 1993).
The genesis of Joint Forest Management (JFM) can be related to the birth of human
association, which ultimately takes the shape of a social system. If we consider JFM as
a system, it will have a process. As a manager if one desires to improve the system, one
has to monitor the process through measurable, simple, practical and cost-effective
indicators. It has been a challenging yet exciting task to develop indicators to monitor
the activities of the human society, vis--vis ecological and economic aspects. The author
will emphasize the indicators of the process of human society.
Joint Forest Management involves management of a complex system where cultural,
ecological and economic elements form a web of human and environment interaction. This
web provides checks and balances of cultural values with ecological and economic
implications governed by state bureaucratic and people institutions. Each system has
components, which are interdependent and interrelated. Each component, say, social /
bureaucratic, ecological and economic, is interwoven with the other in such a fashion that
isolation of any hampers sustainable development. If we address ourselves separately to
the problems of forest ecology, cultural and economic system, the solutions of forest
conservation, improvement in economic condition of people and positive change in behaviour
pattern of society become more difficult and the scope for improvement narrows down.
Bilateral matching institutions
No human society is imaginable without institutions and in every society some individuals
are authorized to assume the responsibilities for supervising the observance of the norms,
values and institutions. Gradually they become the governors and the rest are governed.
With the passage of time the norms, values and procedures of the former develop into
bureaucratic institutions. Simultaneously, the values and procedures of the latter crystallize
into social institutions. The two sets of institutions diverge sometimes over how to achieve
the similar ends, resulting in conflicts. Conflict is actually found between the bureaucratic
institution of the Forest Department (FD) and the Forest Communities (FC) in India and
elsewhere (Roy, 1992).
The principle for the functioning of a system
Every individual is product of biological and social process, the social relationship. It is
shaped by the dos and don'ts of pre-established moves and strict monitoring mechanism.

684

S. B. Roy

Assessment of the Functioning of Institutions: Criteria and Approaches

The members of society are continuously changing. It is neither the beginning nor an end
but a link in the process of change. The social institution grows and changes in accordance
with the changing attitudes and interests of its members who form it. In order to monitor
the process of a system one has to know the principle and theory behind the process for
reasoning or actions. Here since three sub-systems namely, institutional / social system,
ecological system and economic system, are involved, the principle for the functioning
of all three sub-systems has to be understood in order to develop indicators.

2.

Cohesiveness and collaborative learning is characterized by excitement and willingness


to explore the ideas and insights of others in an atmosphere of mutual respect,
encouragement and challenge. The members of the community demonstrate this
competence by choosing one or more avenue to have some exciting activity such
as music, literature, folk songs, folk tale, songs, visual art, etc. to create a forum
of ''expression of talent and get recognition''. In reflecting upon their appreciation
of the work, members will make explicit links to their own life experience with
conservation. The cohesiveness of the social institutions or a group or association
is not static it evolves sometimes expressing solidarity or faces contradiction causing
conflict. While we consider society as organic body Herbert Spencer pointed out
that one great difference when he said that society has no Common Sensorium,
no central organ of perception or of thought, like that of organic body where the
brain and nervous system controls / guides the whole body. In the society or JFMC
the individuals who think and feel and communicates based on his / her perception.
This may be contradictory to one another. Therefore in JFMC some kind of
competence and understanding is needed among collaboration, cooperation, and
strategies of group dynamics. The JFMC members have demonstrated this competence
by working with each others to develop common understandings around a shared
agenda of forest conservation that leads to an assessable outcome.

3.

Designated roles and responsibility with regulatory mechanism for corrective actions:
The members not only facilitate the institutionalization of norms (Laws) but also
enforcement of laws is important. This helps in adjudication of conflict, preparing
the members for occupational roles and evaluating and selecting competent individuals.
Collaborative working is characterized by trust and willingness to share responsibility,
explore the ideas and insights of others and delegate power in an atmosphere of
mutual respect, encouragement, and challenge.

4.

The effective institution will have its member with competency to communicate
and build capacity and skills to manage the natural resources and plan for conservation
of the natural resources and identify areas for growth.

5.

The JFMC members are able to identify the forest conservation related activities
which facilitate their sustainable livelihood. From the awareness of transferable
strengths and areas in need of development, the members developed strategic goals
and may be able to demonstrate planned outcome. The development of innovative
ideas and fresh approaches to problems of livelihood, however, the practice of
creativity is no less integral a component of the social issues. In any field of human
endeavor, the creative process requires ability to question accepted and acceptable
ways of perceiving and thinking, as well as a willingness to forge connections and
refine knowledge through doubt, curiosity and imagination.

6.

Integrated Development: the members of JFMC demonstrate this competence by


applying principles of negotiation, mediation or interpersonal communication to
involve different line departments. Members need to articulate and attract the other
sectors for employing a given approach and develop integrated Microplan. Members
of the community can demonstrate this competence by actively pursuing knowledge

The principles of systemic approach can be listed in the following manner l

The first of these principles is interdependence. All members of an ecological


community are interconnected in vast and intricate network of relationships, the
web of life.

Success of whole community depends on the success of its individual members, while
the success of each member depends on the success of the community as a whole.

Understanding ecological interdependence means understanding relationships. It


requires the shifts of perception that are characteristic of systems thinking - from the
parts to the whole, from ob