Leather-bottle makers (Presumably members of the ‘Chamaar’ caste), Tashrih al-aqvam (1825)
|50,000,000 (50 million+ worldwide)|
|Regions with significant populations|
|• India • Pakistan • England|
|Punjabi • Hindi • Urdu|
|Hinduism • Islam • Sikhism • Buddhism • Christianity|
|Related ethnic groups|
|other Ramdasia Ravidassia Julaha|
Chamar was one of the untouchable communities, or dalits, who are now classified as a part of Scheduled Caste under modern India's constitution (Indian constitution). As untouchables, they were traditionally considered outside the Hindu ritual ranking system of castes known as varna. These communities were socially, politically and economically exploited in India for many centuries; some people from these communities are still facing discrimination in present India. To help these communities to make progress, Indian constitution provided a reservation system (Reservation in India).
Chamars can be found with significant figures in Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Sikhism and Buddhism.
Their name derives from Chamakara, meaning "a worker in leather." In South Asia people say the Chamars can be Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Sikh and Buddhist. Chamars can be found in Parts of India, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh.
Chamar Buddhists There is a minority Chamar Buddhist Community. They converted to Buddhsim becuase of Dr B.R.Ambedkar faced discrimination because of his 'low caste' status. Dr B. R. Ambedkar then studied all religions and he found Buddhism had the right teachings to respect other people and that it had no sects/castes and he himself converted to Buddhism then told people to accept their religion as Buddhism.
Chamar Christians The Chamar Christian community were largely converted to Christianity in North India during the British raj.
Chamar Muslims Muslim chamars can be found in parts of Pakistan and India. Muslim Chamars accepted their religion around about 15th century after Sufi saints and the Mughal empire.Muslim Chamar women are known for their beauty. Many of them work as midwives. Chamars seek marriage partners from outside their own clan, but within their own community. Adult marriage is the norm among Muslim Chamars.
Chamar Sikhs There are very few Chamar Sikhs because caste system still exists in Sikhism.
Chamar Hindus Hindus (Brahmins) say Chamars are Hindus because they are in the "Hindu Caste System" but Chamars don't see themselves as Hindus because they face discrimination from Hindus.
Chamars who have adopted the weaving profession and abandoned tanning and leathercraft, identify themselves as Julaha Chamar; R. K. Pruthi suggests this is in the hope that they might in future be considered as Julaha by other communities in the future. They believe that leatherwork is "degrading" when compared to weaving.
The 1st Chamar Regiment was an infantry regiment formed by the British during World War II. Officially, it was created on 1 March 1943, as the 27th Battalion 2nd Punjab Regiment was converted. The Chamar Regiment which was involved in the Pacific War Japanese front and was awarded the Battle Honor of Kohima for theirs distinguished role in the Battle of Kohima. The Regiment was disbanded in 1946. Recently, several politicians have demanded that The Chamar Regiment be revived.
- Kanshi Ram (1934–2006), founder of Bahujan Samaj Party and mentor of Mayawati Kumari
- Jagjivan Ram (1908–1986), first Labour Minister of India, former Defence Minister of India, former Deputy Prime Minister of India and father of Meira Kumar
- Mayawati, Leader of B.S.P, Chief Minister of U.P.
- Meira Kumar, Speaker of Indian Parliament
- Chamkila, Punjabi Singer,
- Mohinder Singh Kaypee M.P Jalandhar
- Nava Kishor Das (23 Jun 2009). Culture, religion, and philosophy: critical studies in syncretism and inter-faith harmony. the University of Michigan. pp. 374 pages. ISBN 978-81-7033-820-8.
- "Pakistan's caste system: the untouchable's struggle". Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- "Socio-Economic Position of Leatherworkers in Gulbarga City". Retrieved 2013-03-30.
- Yadav, Bhupendra (21 February 2012). "Aspirations of Chamars in North India". Chennai, India: The Hindu. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- "Uttar Pradesh data highlights: the Scheduled Castes, Census of India 2001".
- "Uttar Pradesh data highlights: the Scheduled Castes".
- "West Bengal — DATA HIGHLIGHTS: THE SCHEDULED CASTES — Census of India 2001". Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- http://books.google.co.in/books?id=rTdnvQBPWIUC&pg=PA579&dq=balahi+chamar&hl=en&sa=X&ei=6BSSUq6BEMOTrgfIwICQDg&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBQ#v=onepage&q=balahi%20chamar&f=false%7Ctitle=Balahi: Chamars employed to measure land.
- Rawat, Shyam (2010). Studies in Social Protest. VEDAMS. ISBN 8131603318.
- Balai: Chamars in Bikaner region are known as Balai..
- Pruthi, R. K. Indian caste system. Discovery. p. 189. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- "Orders of Battle - 27/2 Punjab Regiment [British Commonwealth]". ordersofbattle.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "The Battle of Kohima" (PDF).
- "RJD man Raghuvansh calls for reviving Chamar Regiment". indianexpress.com. Retrieved 2011-03-31.
- "I will be the best PM and Mayawati is my chosen heir". Indian Express. 2 May 2003. "...I am a chamar from Punjab..."
- "I will be the best PM and Mayawati is my chosen heir". Indian Express. 2 May 2003. "...Jagjivan Ram, a chamar leader..."
- "A Chamar will be my successor: Mayawati". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 29 August 2006.
- "Tytler's party list calls India's Speaker a Chamar". Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- "Cong's doublespeak on caste". Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- "Amar Singh Chamkila". Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- "Amarinder disregarded events organised by state unit, says Kaypee". Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- "Congress's dalit card turning against established dalit leaders of Doaba region". The Times Of India. 21 October 2012. Retrieved 2013-01-14.
- Briggs, George W. (1920). The Religious Life of India — The Chamars. Calcutta: Association Press. ISBN 1-4067-5762-4.
- Rawat, Ramnarayan S. (2011). Reconsidering Untouchability: Chamars and Dalit History in North India. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253222626.
- Schmalz, Mathew N. (2004). "A Bibliographic Essay on Hindu and Christian Dalit Religiosity". Journal of Hindu-Christian Studies 17: 55–65.