Jatav, also known as Jatava/ Jatiya/ Jatba/ Jatoi is a social group that in India are considered to be a part of the Chamar caste, one of the untouchable communities (or dalits), who are now classified as a Scheduled Caste under modern India's system of positive discrimination.
In the early part of the twentieth century, the Jatavs attempted the process of sanskritisation, claiming themselves to be historically of the kshatriya varna. They gained political expertise by forming associations and by developing a literate cadre of leaders, and they tried to change their position in the caste system through the emulation of upper-caste behavior. As a part of this process, they also claimed not to be Chamars and petitioned the government of the British Raj to be officially classified differently: disassociating themselves from the Chamar community would, they felt, enhance their acceptance as kshatriya. These claims were not accepted by other castes and, although the government was amenable, no official reclassification as a separate community occurred due to the onset of World War II.
- Chandel, M. P. S. (1990). A Social Force in Politics: Study of Scheduled Castes of U.P. Mittal Publications. p. 51. ISBN 9788170991939.
- Singer, Milton; Cohn, Bernard S., eds. (2007). Structure and Change in Indian Society. pp. 216–217.
- Lynch, Owen M. (1969). The Politics of Untouchability. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 30. OCLC 31520.
It is sometimes said that they are descendants from the marriage of Jats with Chamars.
- Rawat, Ramnarayan S. (2011). Reconsidering Untouchability: Chamars and Dalit History in North India. Indiana University Press. ISBN 9780253222626.