Taunk

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Taunk (Tank, Taank, Taunque) is an Indian community distributed in the districts of Jodhpur, Udaipur and Tonk,[1] Kutch, Gujarat and Punjab, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh.[citation needed]

Origin[edit]

British historian William Crooke noted in 1890 that the "Tank Rajputs of Mainpuri say they are Yaduvansis and claim kinship with the Yadava princes of Jesalmer and Kuraol".[2] E. A. H. Blunt noted in 1931 that the Mair and Tank claims to Kshatriya status had never been "satisfactorily proved", but allowed that some Sonar sub-castes "may well be of Kshatriya descent", taking as evidence the high social status of goldsmiths.[3] An 1886 work by Iskandar ibn Muḥammad Manjū and Sir Henry Yule states, however, that legendarily the Taunk were Khatri, but their progenitor was expelled from the clan for drinking alcohol and given the label Tánkí meaning an "outcast".[4]

In Gujarat[edit]

Tanks are found in Kutch in Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya caste in large numbers,[5] where they seem to have migrated from Rajasthan. The "Tank" surname is also found among Yadavs and Kadia caste[6] and also in Kadia Kshatriya of Saurashtra region of Gujarat, especially in Halar region.

In Punjab and Haryana[edit]

The "Tank", "Taunque", "Tonk" or "Taunk" surname is also commonly found among Sainis in areas of submontane Punjab and Haryana. According to one narrative, they are Shoorsainis and predominantly of Yaduvanshi Rajput descent who relocated to Punjab from Mathura, the capital of ancient Surasena Kingdom, as part of Rajput troop movements to thwart Muslim invasions in Punjab.[7]

According to another narrative, they are a composite group of Rajput clans, with Tak or Taank being one of them, whose forefathers fought Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghauri and other Muslim Sultans and, on the defeat of the Rajputs, had to turn to agriculture in order to escape conversion and to preserve the honour of their women. According to the latter view, this composite group of Rajput clans, which was cut adrift from the larger Rajput group, came to be called 'Saini' in Punjab, where it maintained its military Rajput character despite taking up of agriculture.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ People of India: Rajasthan, edited by K. S. Singh
  2. ^ William Crooke. An ethnographical hand-book for the N.-W. provinces and Oudh. North-Western provinces and Oudh government press, 1890. pp177
  3. ^ Blunt, Edward Arthur Henry (1931). The caste system of northern India: with special reference to the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh. London: Oxford University Press. p. 211. 
  4. ^ The history of India as told by its own historians: the local Muhammadan dynasties : Gujarát by Iskandar ibn Muḥammad Manjū, ʻAlī Muḥammad Khān, Sir Henry Yule. W.H. Allen and Co. 1886. p. 67. 
  5. ^ "Chawra -Surname" - Total population of Shree Kutch Gurjar Kshatriya Samaj, worldwide, is approximately 51,000, and it has 23 surnames, out of which five surnames (Chawda, Rathod, Parmar, Tank and Chauhan) cover 77% of the total population.
  6. ^ Gujarat, Part 1 By Kumar Suresh Singh, Anthropological Survey of India. 
  7. ^ "The Sainis trace their origin to a Rajput clan who came from their original home near Muttra [sic] on the Jumna, south of Delhi, in defence of Hindus against the first Muhammadan invasions.", The land of the five rivers; an economic history of the Punjab from the earliest times to the year of grace 1890, pp.100, Hugh Kennedy Trevaskis, [London] Oxford University press, 1928.
  8. ^ "In the Punjab in the sub- mountainous region the community came to be known as 'Saini'. It maintained its Rajput character despite migration.", Castes and Tribes of Rajasthan, pp.108, Sukhvir Singh Gahlot, Banshi Dhar, Jain Brothers, 1989.