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Mewat is a historical region of Haryana and Rajasthan states in northwestern India. The loose boundaries of Mewat are not precisely determined but generally include Mewat District of Haryana and parts of Alwar, Bharatpur, and Dholpur districts of Rajasthan. The region roughly corresponds to the ancient kingdom of Matsya, founded in the 5th century BCE.
Mewat district is a district of Haryana state in India. It is located at southern edge of Haryana. Its area is 1,912 square km and the population is one million. It is semi-arid and its economy is mainly rain-fed agriculture. Nuh is the district headquarters of Mewat.
The Muslim inhabitants of Mewat are called Meos (मेव). The areas of the three districts where Meos live are collectively called Mewat. Mewat has 1200 villages: 550 in Haryana, 600 in Rajasthan and 50 in Uttar Pradesh.
Hasan Khan Mewati was a well known chieftain from Mewat. He fought against Babur in the Battle of Khanwa in 1527. The Delhi–Gurgaon–Alwar–Jaipur highway used to pass through Mewat until the late 1960s when the new national highway NH 8 was constructed bypassing Mewat.
'Hazi Khan Mewati', a great warrior and one of the commanders of Hindu King, Raja Hem Chandra Vikramaditya popular as Hemu, had helped Hemu at a critical juncture to defeat Akbar's army at Battle for Delhi in October 1556 and establish native rule at Delhi and in North India. Hazi Khan, had escaped to Gujarat after Raja Hemu's defeat at Second Battle of Panipat and was credited with killing Bairam Khan, the cruel commander of Akbar, at Patan, Gujarat where he was staying after removal from job by Akbar and before going to Haz on 16 January 1561.
Meos were always against invading Mughals and supported the native Afghan or Hindu kings. From Sher Shah Suri's regime in 1540 up to Raja Hem Chandra's rule in 1556, Meos held many important positions in the army. Mewat has highest percentage of child growth in Haryana at 22.78% and highest sex ratio of 907. In 2011, Mewat had population of 1,089,263 of which male and female were 571,162 and 518,101 respectively.
Meo and Mewati
The Muslim inhabitants of Mewat are called Meo (मेव) and meena hindu in Rajasthan. Most of the population of Mewat is of Meo Muslims. They converted from Meena under Sufi influence in the 13th century. Meos follow the clan culture of Pals and Gotra like Hindus Kshatriyas. Meos are divided into 13 pals and 52 gotras. Even Meo and Meena used to be counted in single column in the census registers during British period. (ref Imperial tables-1933).
Even after conversion to Islam they retained their Mahabharata culture by creating Gotras and Pals for marriages and social interaction. They can still trace back their brotherhood and links with Meena, Rajputs, Ahirs and Jats in the nearby villages in the region.
Meos speak Mewati dialect, a slight variant of the Haryanvi and Rajasthani dialects, of Hindi and live in a tribal culture. The culture and gotra of meos is same as Meena tribe in Rajasthan. The majority is uneducated and is currently classed under Other Backward Class (OBC). Mewati Gharana is well known Gharana of Indian classical music. Mirasi singers keep a wonderful tradition of oral history of their Meo patrons.
Though the district is in the National Capital Region (NCR) and just 20 km from Delhi airport, it has remained undeveloped. The industrial estates created by Haryana State Industrial Development Corporation (HSIDC) remained underutilised. However, due to expansion of building activities in nearby Gurgaon, the land prices in Mewat have gone up considerably and the land is being bought by investors and developers. This has benefited people who have sold or are selling their agricultural land.
Haryana Urban Development Authority (HUDA) has proposed to develop residential neighbourhoods in Rangala and Pinangwan.
A new Alwar-Palwal railway line through Hathin, Pinangwan and Ferozepur Jhirka towns has been suggested. A Gurgaon-Nuh-Alwar railway line has also been proposed. But both these railway lines have remained un-built. Kundli-Manesar-Palwal expressway is being constructed through the northern fringe of Mewat. It bypasses Delhi while coming from just north of Delhi by National Highway 1 (NH 1) and connects to National Highway 2 (NH 2) near Palwal. Double-laning work of Nuh-Hodal and Nagina-Pinangwan-Hodal (MDR 131) roads is also in progress.
Haryana Wakf Board has set up its first engineering college in Mewat. The construction of the college in Palla village near Nuh is in full swing on 16 acres (6.5 ha) of land. A medical college in village Nalhar near Nuh is also under construction.
The area has a history of criminal activities and gangs since the 1990s. On December 2013 Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Mohammed Shahid was arrested from Mewat by Deputy Commissioner of Police (Special Cell) Sanjeev Kumar Yadav. Criminals from Mewat entered Delhi crime scene in the 1990s when they mostly ran away with cattle and broke shutters of the shops. They operated in groups of 7 to 8 people and used their minitrucks for any crime. Over 120 criminals from Mewat were arrested in 2012 by Delhi Police for their involvement in cattle theft in the capital and the NCR. They were also involved in other crime like murder, robbery, dacoity, carjacking, burglary rape and cow slaughtering.
- "Mewat" The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1909, v. 17, p. 313.
- R. S. Tripathi, Rise and Fall of Mughal Empire, Second Edition, Allahabad, 1960, p.174
- Bose Mandakranta, Faces of the Feminine in Ancient, Medieval, and Modern India, 2000
- Nirodh Bhushan Roy, The Successors of Sher Shah, Dacca (1934), page 81
- "Haryana Population Sex Ratio in Haryana Literacy rate data". census2011.co.in. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- "Mewat District Population Census 2011, Haryana literacy sex ratio and density". census2011.co.in. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- "Mewat gangs take to heinous crime - The Times of India". articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- "Lashkar-e-Toiba operative Mohammed Shahid arrested from Mewat in Haryana | Latest News & Updates at Daily News & Analysis". dnaindia.com. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- "Gangs of Mewat give police a tough time". deccanherald.com. Retrieved 2014-03-24.
- Mayaram, Shail (2004). Against History, Against State: Counterperspectives from the Margins. Permanent Black.
- Powlett, P. W. (1838). Gazetteer of Ulwur (Alwar). London : Trübner & co.
- Mewat Development Society (MDS)
- Mewat Educational and Social Awakening Society (MESAS) http://www.mesasnuh.org