Talk:Maratha

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Previous discussions:


Can some one elaborate this[edit]

and have a distinctive look which distinguishes them from other Indians- Can anyone elaborate on this, is it the physique, facial structure, skin color etc?? Rakes 05:48, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

caste or no caste[edit]

the 1911 Britannica clearly states that the "Mahrattas" did not form a caste. Since caste has been abandonded since then, I should be surprised to learn that this has has changed and the term now does denote a caste. It also clearly states that the term can be used in two senses, in a narrow sense denoting the upper class, in the wider denoting all Marathi speakers. Now, I realize this source may be hopelessly outdated. It is still better than no source at all: we should stick with the Britannica definition until someone presents a more recent encyclopedic source. Unless we can somehow establish that the Mahrattas are a caste in spite of Britannica, the "caste" templates and categories should be removed. dab (𒁳) 07:56, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

The term , concept is present every part , entity , politics in India. Even you go to goverment all recrutement forms needs compulsoury identification of candidate's caste. Sir , you have refferd to western ideology that nowdays hate the word caste because their moral , ethical values have fallen so sevearly that in the same context it equals the term basterds , illegitimate offsprings. The White peoples , rase were never known , famous for ther purity , loyalty , infact these pepols all acts ,religious consepts are directly opposite to nature and now they are paying prise for the sins to mankind and nature. So my request is do not give importance to western politics , consepts. Stick to ground level facts of our Arya Vaidik Hindu Darma consepts.-- Vishal Prakash Dudhane -- Vishal1976

what are you talking about? I am asking for a reference that either confirms or contradicts the 1911 claim that the Marathas are not a caste. In passing, In case you have not seen a newspaper since 1947, may I inform you that the Republic of India does not keep official statistics of "forward castes", and that the notion of "caste" has no official meaning now: it is traditional folklore. Hence, you will not be able to give an official (post-1947) census for "Maratha population", unless you take the term to mean "Marathi speakers" (for which we have Marathi people). dab (𒁳) 07:12, 11 May 2007 (UTC)
Your comments reaffirm my assertion that while you may have appreciable knowledge of linguistics of early Sanskrit, it does not translate into any useful knowledge of social dynamics of modern day India. It is better you refrain from interfering into any Indian caste or tribe related article without checking with the experts first.
You say "caste has been abandoned". However much as enlightened Hindus would like to abandon caste, it is still a living reality in Indian populace. What has been abandoned, or more correctly outlawed, is the negative discrimination based on caste. The positive discrimination based on caste much like the affirmative action programs of US is very much in place. And as a direct consequence of this caste-based affirmative action, the caste identity of a person is fully recognised by the Indian government.
Coming to your assertion that Marathas are not a caste, Let me assure you that it is very much of a caste. And believe me, it is neither a pro-Hindutva nor an anti-Hindutva statement, so don't get all worked up. Just go to any Indian matrimonial website and check for yourself how many Indian people self describe their caste as Maratha. Do you mean to inform these poor folks that they were wrong all along and you know better than themselves?
Sisodia 16:25, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

The entire freaking article seems to be conjured up. Maratas were never designated as a "martial" race. They are not a martial race.

Furthermore, regarding this


In case you have not seen a newspaper since 1947..
Cease and desist!
Sisodia 16:33, 11 May 2007 (UTC)

Marathas was designated as martial race or not..is immaterial.. bcoz by time Mighty marathas have proved what they were..

In 1798 Colonel Tone, who commanded a regiment of the Peshwa’s army, wrote(ref)Letter on the Marāthas (India Office Tracts).(/ref>) of the Marāthas: “The three great tribes which compose the Marātha caste are the Kunbi or farmer, the Dhangar or shepherd, and the Goāla or cowherd; to this original cause may perhaps be ascribed that great simplicity of manner which distinguishes the Marātha people.”(ref)The Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India By R.V. Russell.Vol. IV. Macmillan and Co., Limited St. Martin’s Street, London. 1916 •Marātha (Soldier, cultivator and service) Origin and position of the caste pg 198(/ref)

== From Vishal1976 ==

I have been blocked by vandalist from editing Wikipedia. But now more extrime , dangerious tacticks, moves are taken by these vandalist to abouse, thetraened me. I was watching , searching Extrem beheading vedios on net. First i had no problem in it. But suddenly i faced vandalisim that those sites, videos i use to watch were altered , deleted, vandalis from my net cafe. Even when i gave search at serch engine such as Google and Yahoo , the search results were also vandalised and altered. Now how can we put , clarefy, justify this vandalism , abuse ??? Is this legal ?? Who is behind this ???? How can we stop this ??? . TI is pretty sure that i am beaing spyed , thretend , vandalis by my foes , enimies. Where this will end ???. And more important what is my offence ?? Telling eternal truth , unwanted truth is this my offence ?? You IT experts can easely find out who is behind this

Entire talk sounds like the rant of an insane person.--Deepak D'Souza (talkcontribs) 09:25, 4 April 2008 (UTC)

Artists[edit]

Of the above mentioned artists there seems to be some disagreement, if they belong to Maratha clan or not. I have undone a previous edit, and put it there for discussion. The earlier edit gave no references. Hope u all contribute and so that we change the list.

(Asro 09:09, 18 July 2007 (UTC))

The very famous actor by the name Shivaji Satam is maratha. Shouldn't he be added in this list?

Information with no copyright-- Vandalist free to delet and vandal-- Vishal1976[edit]

Marātha List of Paragraphs 1. Numerical statistics 2. Double meaning of the term Marātha 3. Origin and position of the caste 4. Exogamous clans 5. Other subdivisions 6. Social customs 7. Religion 8. Present position of the caste 9. Nature of the Marātha insurrection 10. Marātha women in past times 11. The Marātha horseman 12. Cavalry in the field 13. Military administration 14. Sitting Dharna 15. The infantry 16. Character of the Marātha armies 1. Numerical statistics Marātha, Mahrātta.—The military caste of southern India which manned the armies of Sivaji, and of the Peshwa and other princes of the Marātha confederacy. In the Central Provinces the Marāthas numbered 34,000 persons in 1911, of whom Nāgpur contained 9000 and Wardha 8000, while the remainder were distributed over Raipur, Hoshangābād and Nimār. In Berār their strength was 60,000 persons, the total for the combined province being thus 94,000. The caste is found in large numbers in Bombay and Hyderābād, and in 1901 the India Census tables show a total of not less than five million persons belonging to it.

2. Double meaning of the term Marātha It is difficult to avoid confusion in the use of the term Marātha, which signifies both an inhabitant of the area in which the Marāthi language is spoken, and a member of the caste to which the general name has in view of their historical importance been specifically applied. The native name for the Marāthi-speaking country is Mahārāshtra, which has been variously interpreted as ‘The great country’ or ‘The country of the Mahārs.’1 A third explanation of the name [199]is from the Rāshtrakūta dynasty which was dominant in this area for some centuries after A.D. 750. The name Rāshtrakūta was contracted into Rattha, and with the prefix of Mahā or Great might evolve into the term Marātha. The Rāshtrakūtas have been conjecturally identified with the Rāthor Rājpūts. The Nāsik Gazetteer2 states that in 246 B.C. Mahāratta is mentioned as one of the places to which Asoka sent an embassy, and Mahārashtraka is recorded in a Chālukyan inscription of A.D. 580 as including three provinces and 99,000 villages. Several other references are given in Sir J. Campbell’s erudite note, and the name is therefore without doubt ancient. But the Marāthas as a people do not seem to be mentioned before the thirteenth or fourteenth century.3 The antiquity of the name would appear to militate against the derivation from the Rāshtrakūta dynasty, which did not become prominent till much later, and the most probable meaning of Mahārāshtra would therefore seem to be ‘The country of the Mahārs.’ Mahāratta and Marātha are presumably derivatives from Mahārāshtra.

3. Origin and position of the caste The Marāthas are a caste formed from military service, and it seems probable that they sprang mainly from the peasant population of Kunbis, though at what period they were formed into a separate caste has not yet been determined. Grant-Duff mentions several of their leading families as holding offices under the Muhammadan rulers of Bījapur and Ahmadnagar in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, as the Nimbhālkar, Ghārpure and Bhonsla;4 and presumably their clansmen served in the armies of those states. But whether or no the designation of Marātha had been previously used by them, it first became prominent during the period of Sivaji’s guerilla warfare against Aurāngzeb. The Marāthas claim a Rājpūt origin, and several of their clans have the names of Rājpūt tribes, as Chauhān, Panwār, Solanki and Suryavansi. In 1836 Mr. Enthoven states,5 the Sesodia Rāna of Udaipur, the head of the purest Rājpūt house, was satisfied from inquiries conducted by an [200]agent that the Bhonslas and certain other families had a right to be recognised as Rājpūts. Colonel Tod states that Sivaji was descended from a Rājpūt prince Sujunsi, who was expelled from Mewār to avoid a dispute about the succession about A.D. 1300. Sivaji is shown as 13th in descent from Sujunsi. Similarly the Bhonslas of Nāgpur were said to derive their origin from one Bunbir, who was expelled from Udaipur about 1541, having attempted to usurp the kingdom.6 As Rājpūt dynasties ruled in the Deccan for some centuries before the Muhammadan conquest, it seems reasonable to suppose that a Rājpūt aristocracy may have taken root there. This was Colonel Tod’s opinion, who wrote: “These kingdoms of the south as well as the north were held by Rājpūt sovereigns, whose offspring, blending with the original population, produced that mixed race of Marāthas inheriting with the names the warlike propensities of their ancestors, but who assume the names of their abodes as titles, as the Nimalkars, the Phalkias, the Patunkars, instead of their tribes of Jādon, Tüār, Püār, etc.”7 This statement would, however, apply only to the leading houses and not to the bulk of the Marātha caste, who appear to be mainly derived from the Kunbis. In Sholāpur the Marāthas and Kunbis eat together, and the Kunbis are said to be bastard Marāthas.8 In Satāra the Kunbis have the same division into 96 clans as the Marāthas have, and many of the same surnames.9 The writer of the Satara Gazetteer says:10 “The census of 1851 included the Marāthas with the Kunbis, from whom they do not form a separate caste. Some Marātha families may have a larger strain of northern or Rājpūt blood than the Kunbis, but this is not always the case. The distinction between Kunbis and Marāthas is almost entirely social, the Marāthas as a rule being better off, and preferring even service as a constable or messenger to husbandry.” Exactly the same state of affairs prevails in the Central Provinces and Berār, where the body of the caste are commonly known as Marātha Kunbis. In Bombay the Marāthas will take daughters from the Kunbis in marriage for their sons, though they will not give their daughters [201]in return. But a Kunbi who has got on in the world and become wealthy may by sufficient payment get his sons married into Marātha families, and even be adopted as a member of the caste.11 In 1798 Colonel Tone, who commanded a regiment of the Peshwa’s army, wrote12 of the Marāthas: “The three great tribes which compose the Marātha caste are the Kunbi or farmer, the Dhangar or shepherd, and the Goāla or cowherd; to this original cause may perhaps be ascribed that great simplicity of manner which distinguishes the Marātha people.”


Statue of Marātha leader, Bīmbāji Bhonsla, in armour


It seems then most probable that, as already stated, the Marātha caste was of purely military origin, constituted from the various castes of Mahārāshtra who adopted military service, though some of the leading families may have had Rājpūts for their ancestors. Sir D. Ibbetson thought that a similar relation existed in past times between the Rājpūts and Jāts, the landed aristocracy of the Jāt caste being gradually admitted to Rājpūt rank. The Khandaits or swordsmen of Orissa are a caste formed in the same manner from military service. In the Imperial Gazetteer Sir H. Risley suggests that the Marātha people were of Scythian origin:

“The physical type of the people of this region accords fairly well with this theory, while the arguments derived from language and religion do not seem to conflict with it.... On this view the wide-ranging forays of the Marāthas, their guerilla methods of warfare, their unscrupulous dealings with friend and foe, their genius for intrigue and their consequent failure to build up an enduring dominion, might well be regarded as inherited from their Scythian ancestors.”

4. Exogamous clans In the Central Provinces the Marāthas are divided into 96 exogamous clans, known as the Chhānava Kule, which marry with one another. During the period when the Bhonsla family were rulers of Nāgpur they constituted a sort of inner circle, consisting of seven of the leading clans, with whom alone they intermarried; these are known as the Sātghare or Seven Houses, and consist of the Bhonsla, Gūjar, Ahirrao, Mahādik, Sirke, Palke and Mohte clans. [202]These houses at one time formed an endogamous group, marrying only among themselves, but recently the restriction has been relaxed, and they have arranged marriages with other Marātha families. It may be noted that the present representatives of the Bhonsla family are of the Gūjar clan to which the last Rāja of Nāgpur, Raghūji III., belonged prior to his adoption. Several of the clans, as already noted, have Rājpūt sept names; and some are considered to be derived from those of former ruling dynasties; as Chālke, from the Chālukya Rājpūt kings of the Deccan and Carnatic; More, who may represent a branch of the great Maurya dynasty of northern India; Sālunke, perhaps derived from the Solanki kings of Gujarāt; and Yādav, the name of the kings of Deogiri or Daulatābād.13 Others appear to be named after animals or natural objects, as Sinde from sindi the date-palm tree, Ghorpade from ghorpad the iguana; or to be of a titular nature, as Kāle black, Pāndhre white, Bhāgore a renegade, Jagthāp renowned, and so on. The More, Nimbhālkar, Ghātge, Māne, Ghorpade, Dafle, Jādav and Bhonsla clans are the oldest, and held prominent positions in the old Muhammadan kingdoms of Bījapur and Ahmadnagar. The Nimbhālkar family were formerly Panwār Rājpūts, and took the name of Nimbhālkar from their ancestral village Nimbālik. The Ghorpade family are an offshoot of the Bhonslas, and obtained their present name from the exploit of one of their ancestors, who scaled a fort in the Konkan, previously deemed impregnable, by passing a cord round the body of a ghorpad or iguana.14 A noticeable trait of these Marātha houses is the fondness with which they clung to the small estates or villages in the Deccan in which they had originally held the office of a patel or village headman as a watan or hereditary right, even after they had carved out for themselves principalities and states in other parts of India. The present Bhonsla Rāja takes his title from the village of Deor in the Poona country. In former times we read of the Rāja of Satāra clinging to the watans he had inherited from Sivaji after he had lost his crown in all but the name; Sindhia was always termed [203]patel or village headman in the revenue accounts of the villages he acquired in Nimār; while it is said that Holkar and the Panwār of Dhār fought desperately after the British conquest to recover the pateli rights of Deccan villages which had belonged to their ancestors.15

5. Other subdivisions Besides the 96 clans there are now in the Central Provinces some local subcastes who occupy a lower position and do not intermarry with the Marāthas proper. Among these are the Deshkar or ‘Residents of the country’; the Waindesha or those of Berār and Khāndesh; the Gangthade or those dwelling on the banks of the Godāvari and Wainganga; and the Ghātmāthe or residents of the Mahādeo plateau in Berār. It is also stated that the Marāthas are divided into the Khāsi or ‘pure’ and the Kharchi or the descendants of handmaids. In Bombay the latter are known as the Akarmāshes or 11 māshas, meaning that as twelve māshas make a tola, a twelfth part of them is alloy.

6. Social customs A man must not marry in his own clan or that of his mother. A sister’s son may be married to a brother’s daughter, but not vice versa. Girls are commonly married between five and twelve years of age, and the ceremony resembles that of the Kunbis. The bridegroom goes to the bride’s house riding on horseback and covered with a black blanket When a girl first becomes mature, usually after marriage, the Marathas perform the Shāntik ceremony. The girl is secluded for four days, after which she is bathed and puts on new clothes and dresses her hair and a feast is given to the caste-fellows. Sometimes the bridegroom comes and is asked whether he has visited his wife before she became mature, and if he confesses that he has done so a small fine is imposed on him. Such cases are, however, believed to be rare. The Marāthas proper forbid widow-marriage, but the lower groups allow it. If a maiden is seduced by one of the caste she may be married to him as if she were a widow, a fine being imposed on her family; but if she goes wrong with an outsider she is finally expelled. Divorce is not ostensibly allowed but may be concluded by agreement between the parties. A wife who commits adultery is cast off and expelled from the caste. The caste burn their [204]dead when they can afford it and perform the shrāddh ceremony in the month of Kunwār (September), when oblations are offered to the dead and a feast is given to the caste-fellows. Sometimes a tomb is erected as a memorial to the dead, but without his name, and is surmounted usually by an image of Mahādeo. The caste eat the flesh of clean animals and of fowls and wild pig, and drink liquor. Their rules about food are liberal like those of the Rājpūts, a too great stringency being no doubt in both cases incompatible with the exigencies of military service. They make no difference between food cooked with or without water, and will accept either from a Brāhman, Rājpūt, Tirole Kunbi, Lingāyat Bania or Phūlmāli.

The Marāthas proper observe the parda system with regard to their women, and will go to the well and draw water themselves rather than permit their wives to do so. The women wear ornaments only of gold or glass and not of silver or any baser metal. They are not permitted to spin cotton as being an occupation of the lower classes. The women are tattooed in the centre of the forehead with a device resembling a trident. The men commonly wear a turban made of many folds of cloth twisted into a narrow rope and large gold rings with pearls in the upper part of the ear. Like the Rājpūts they often have their hair long and wear beards and whiskers. They assume the sacred thread and invest a boy with it when he is seven or eight years old or on his marriage. Till then they let the hair grow on the front of his head, and when the thread ceremony is performed they cut this off and let the choti or scalp-lock grow at the back. In appearance the men are often tall and well-built and of a light wheat-coloured complexion.

7. Religion The principal deity of the Marāthas is Khandoba, a warrior incarnation of Mahādeo. He is supposed to have been born in a field of millet near Poona and to have led the people against the Muhammadans in early times. He had a watch-dog who warned him of the approach of his enemies, and he is named after the khanda or sword which he always carried. In Bombay16 he is represented on horseback with [205]two women, one of the Bania caste, his wedded wife, in front of him, and another, a Dhangarin, his kept mistress, behind. He is considered the tutelary deity of the Marātha country, and his symbol is a bag of turmeric powder known as bhandār. The caste worship Khandoba on Sundays with rice, flowers and incense, and also on the 21st day of Māgh (January), which is called Champa Sashthi and is his special festival. On this day they will catch hold of any dog, and after adorning him with flowers and turmeric give him a good feed and let him go again. The Marāthas are generally kind to dogs and will not injure them. At the Dasahra festival the caste worship their horses and swords and go out into the field to see a blue-jay in memory of the fact that the Marātha marauding expeditions started on Dasahra. On coming back they distribute to each other leaves of the shami tree (Bauhinia racemosa) as a substitute for gold. It was formerly held to be fitting among the Hindus that the warrior should ride a horse (geldings being unknown) and the zamīndār or landowner a mare, as more suitable to a man of peace. The warriors celebrated their Dasahra, and worshipped their horses on the tenth day of the light fortnight of Kunwār (September), while the cultivators held their festival and worshipped their mares on the ninth day. It is recorded that the great Rāghuji Bhonsla, the first Rāja of Nāgpur, held his Dasahra on the ninth day, in order to proclaim the fact that he was by family an agriculturist and only incidentally a man of arms.17

8. Present position of the caste The Marāthas present the somewhat melancholy spectacle of an impoverished aristocratic class attempting to maintain some semblance of their former position, though they no longer have the means to do so. They flourished during two or three centuries of almost continuous war, and became a wealthy and powerful caste, but they find a difficulty in turning their hands to the arts of peace. Sir R. Craddock writes of them in Nāgpur:

“Among the Marāthas a large number represent connections of the Bhonsla family, related by marriage or by illegitimate descent to that house. A considerable proportion of the Government political pensioners are Marāthas. [206]Many of them own villages or hold tenant land, but as a rule they are extravagant in their living; and several of the old Marātha nobility have fallen very much in the world. Pensions diminish with each generation, but the expenditure shows no corresponding decrease. The sons are brought up to no employment and the daughters are married with lavish pomp and show. The native army does not much attract them, and but few are educated well enough for the dignified posts in the civil employ of Government. It is a question whether their pride of race will give way before the necessity of earning their livelihood soon enough for them to maintain or regain some of their former position. Otherwise those with the largest landed estates may be saved by the intervention of Government, but the rest must gradually deteriorate till the dignities of their class have become a mere memory. The humbler members of the caste find their employment as petty contractors or traders, private servants, Government peons, sowārs and hangers-on in the retinue of the more important families.

“What18 little display his means afford a Marātha still tries to maintain. Though he may be clad in rags at home, he has a spare dress which he himself washes and keeps with great care and puts on when he goes to pay a visit. He will hire a boy to attend him with a lantern at night, or to take care of his shoes when he goes to a friend’s house and hold them before him when he comes out. Well-to-do Marāthas have usually in their service a Brāhman clerk known as divānji or minister, who often takes advantage of his master’s want of education to defraud him. A Marātha seldom rises early or goes out in the morning. He will get up at seven or eight o’clock, a late hour for a Hindu, and attend to business if he has any or simply idle about chewing or smoking tobacco and talking till ten o’clock. He will then bathe and dress in a freshly-washed cloth and bow before the family gods which the priest has already worshipped. He will dine, chew betel and smoke tobacco and enjoy a short midday rest. Rising at three, he will play cards, dice or chess, and in the evening will go out walking or riding or [207]pay a visit to a friend. He will come back at eight or nine and go to bed at ten or eleven. But Marāthas who have estates to manage lead regular, fairly busy lives.”

9. Nature of the Marātha insurrection Sir D. Ibbetson drew attention to the fact that the rising of the Marāthas against the Muhammadans was almost the only instance in Indian history of what might correctly be called a really national movement. In other cases, as that of the Sikhs, though the essential motive was perhaps of the same nature, it was obscured by the fact that its ostensible tendency was religious. The gurus of the Sikhs did not call on their followers to fight for their country but for a new religion. This was only in accordance with the Hindu intellect, to which the idea of nationality has hitherto been foreign, while its protests against both alien and domestic tyrannies tend to take the shape of a religious revolt. A similar tendency is observable even in the case of the Marāthas, for the rising was from its inception largely engineered by the Marātha Brāhmans, who on its success hastened to annex for themselves a leading position in the new Poona state. And it has been recorded that in calling his countrymen to arms, Sivaji did not ask them to defend their hearths and homes or wives and children, but to rally for the protection of the sacred persons of Brāhmans and cows.

10. Marātha women in past times Although the Marāthas have now in imitation of the Rājpūts and Muhammadans adopted the parda system, this is not a native custom, and women have played quite an important part in their history. The women of the household have also exercised a considerable influence and their opinions are treated with respect by the men. Several instances occur in which women of high rank have successfully acted as governors and administrators. In the Bhonsla family the Princess Bāka Bāi, widow of Raghūji II., is a conspicuous instance, while the famous or notorious Rāni of Jhānsi is another case of a Marātha lady who led her troops in person, and was called the best man on the native side in the Mutiny.

11. The Marātha horseman This article may conclude with one or two extracts to give an idea of the way in which the Marātha soldiery took the field. Grant Duff describes the troopers as follows: [208] “The Marātha horsemen are commonly dressed in a pair of light breeches covering the knee, a turban which many of them fasten by passing a fold of it under the chin, a frock of quilted cotton, and a cloth round the waist, with which they generally gird on their swords in preference to securing them with their belts. The horseman is armed with a sword and shield; a proportion in each body carry matchlocks, but the great national weapon is the spear, in the use of which and the management of their horse they evince both grace and dexterity. The spearmen have generally a sword, and sometimes a shield; but the latter is unwieldy and only carried in case the spear should be broken. The trained spearmen may always be known by their riding very long, the ball of the toe touching the stirrup; some of the matchlockmen and most of the Brāhmans ride very short and ungracefully. The bridle consists of a single headstall of cotton-rope, with a small but very severe flexible bit”

12. Cavalry in the field The following account of the Marātha cavalry is given in General Hislop’s Summary of the Marātha and Pindāri Campaigns of 1817–1819:

“The Marāthas possess extraordinary skill in horsemanship, and so intimate an acquaintance with their horses, that they can make their animals do anything, even in full speed, in halting, wheeling, etc.; they likewise use the spear with remarkable dexterity, sometimes in full gallop, grasping their spears short and quickly sticking the point in the ground; still holding the handles, they turn their horse suddenly round it, thus performing on the point of a spear as on a pivot the same circle round and round again. Their horses likewise never leave the particular class or body to which they belong; so that if the rider should be knocked off, away gallops the animal after its fellows, never separating itself from the main body. Every Marātha brings his own horse and his own arms with him to the field, and possibly in the interest they possess in this private equipment we shall find their usual shyness to expose themselves or even to make a bold vigorous attack. But if armies or troops could be frightened by appearances these horses of the Marāthas would dishearten the bravest, actually darkening the plains with their numbers and clouding the horizon with [209]dust for miles and miles around. A little fighting, however, goes a great way with them, as with most others of the native powers in India.”

On this account the Marāthas were called razāh-bazān or lance-wielders. One Muhammadan historian says: “They so use the lance that no cavalry can cope with them. Some 20,000 or 30,000 lances are held up against their enemy so close together as not to leave a span between their heads. If horsemen try to ride them down the points of the spears are levelled at the assailants and they are unhorsed. While cavalry are charging them they strike their lances against each other and the noise so frightens the horses of the enemy that they turn round and bolt.”19 The battle-cries of the Marāthas were, ‘Har, Har Mahādeo,’ and ‘Gopāl, Gopāl.’20

13. Military administration An interesting description of the internal administration of the Marātha cavalry is contained in the letter on the Marāthas by Colonel Tone already quoted. But his account must refer to a period of declining efficiency and cannot represent the military system at its best:

“In the great scale of rank and eminence which is one peculiar feature of Hindu institutions the Marātha holds a very inferior situation, being just removed one degree above those castes which are considered absolutely unclean. He is happily free from the rigorous observances as regards food which fetter the actions of the higher castes. He can eat of all kinds of food with the exception of beef; can dress his meal at all times and seasons; can partake of all victuals dressed by any caste superior to his own; washing and praying are not indispensable in his order and may be practised or omitted at pleasure. The three great tribes which compose the Marātha caste are the Kunbi or farmer, the Dhangar or shepherd and the Goāla or cowherd; to this original cause may perhaps be ascribed that great simplicity of manner which distinguishes the Marātha people. Homer mentions princesses going in person to the fountain to wash their household linen. I can affirm having seen the daughters of a prince who was able to bring an army into the field much larger than the whole Greek confederacy, [210]making bread with their own hands and otherwise employed in the ordinary business of domestic housewifery. I have seen one of the most powerful chiefs of the Empire, after a day of action, assisting in kindling a fire to keep himself warm during the night, and sitting on the ground on a spread saddle-cloth dictating to his secretaries.

“The chief military force of the Marāthas consists in their cavalry, which may be divided into four distinct classes: First the Khāsi Pagah or household forces of the prince; these are always a fine well-appointed body, the horses excellent, being the property of the Sirkār, who gives a monthly allowance to each trooper of the value of about eight rupees. The second class are the cavalry furnished by the Sillādārs,21 who contract to supply a certain number of horse on specified terms, generally about Rs. 35 a month, including the trooper’s pay. The third and most numerous description are volunteers, who join the camp bringing with them their own horse and accoutrements; their pay is generally from Rs. 40 to Rs. 50 a month in proportion to the value of their horse. There is a fourth kind of native cavalry called Pindāris, who are mere marauders, serve without any pay and subsist but by plunder, a fourth part of which they give to the Sirkār; but these are so very licentious a body that they are not employed but in one or two of the Marātha services.

“The troops collected in this manner are under no discipline whatever and engage for no specific period, but quit the army whenever they please; with the exception of furnishing a picquet while in camp, they do no duty but in the day of battle.

“The Marātha cavalry is always irregularly and badly paid; the household troops scarcely ever receive money, but are furnished with a daily allowance of coarse flour and some other ingredients from the bazār which just enable them to exist. The Sillādār is very nearly as badly [211]situated. In his arrangements with the State he has allotted to him a certain proportion of jungle where he pastures his cattle; here he and his family reside, and his sole occupation when not on actual service is increasing his Pagah or troop by breeding out of his mares, of which the Marātha cavalry almost entirely consist. There are no people in the world who understand the method of rearing and multiplying the breed of cattle equal to the Marāthas. It is by no means uncommon for a Sillādār to enter a service with one mare and in a few years be able to muster a very respectable Pagah. They have many methods of rendering the animal prolific; they back their colts much earlier than we do and they are consequently more valuable as they come sooner on the effective strength.

“When called upon for actual service the Sillādār is obliged to give muster. Upon this occasion it is always necessary that the Brāhman who takes it should have a bribe; and indeed the Hāzri, as the muster is termed, is of such a nature that it could not pass by any fair or honourable means. Not only any despicable tattus are substituted in the place of horses but animals are borrowed to fill up the complement. Heel-ropes and grain-bags are produced as belonging to cattle supposed to be at grass; in short every mode is practised to impose on the Sirkār, which in turn reimburses itself by irregular and bad payments; for it is always considered if the Sillādārs receive six months’ arrears out of the year that they are exceedingly well paid. The Volunteers who join the camp are still worse situated, as they have no collective force, and money is very seldom given in a Marātha State without being extorted. In one word, the native cavalry are the worst-paid body of troops in the world. But there is another grand error in this mode of raising troops which is productive of the worst effects. Every man in a Marātha camp is totally independent; he is the proprietor of the horse he rides, which he is never inclined to risk, since without it he can get no service. This single circumstance destroys all enterprise and spirit in the soldier, whose sole business, instead of being desirous of distinguishing himself, is to keep out of the way of danger; for notwithstanding [212]every horseman on entering a service has a certain value put upon his horse, yet should he lose it even in action he never receives any compensation or at least none proportioned to his loss. If at any time a Sillādār is disgusted with the service he can go away without meeting any molestation even though in the face of an enemy. In fact the pay is in general so shamefully irregular that a man is justified in resorting to any measure, however apparently unbecoming, to attain it. It is also another very curious circumstance attending this service that many great Sillādārs have troops in the pay of two or three chiefs at the same time, who are frequently at open war with each other.

14. Sitting Dharna “To recover an arrear of pay there is but one known mode which is universally adopted in all native services, the Mughal as well as the Marātha; this is called Dharna,22 which consists in putting the debtor, be he who he will, into a state of restraint or imprisonment, until satisfaction be given or the money actually obtained. Any person in the Sirkār’s service has a right to demand his pay of the Prince or his minister, and to sit in Dharna if it be not given; nor will he meet with the least hindrance in doing so; for none would obey an order that interfered with the Dharna, as it is a common cause; nor does the soldier incur the slightest charge of mutiny for his conduct, or suffer in the smallest manner in the opinion of his Chief, so universal is the custom. The Dharna is sometimes carried to very violent lengths and may either be executed on the Prince or his minister indifferently, with the same effect; as the Chief always makes it a point of honour not to eat or drink while his Diwān is in duress; sometimes the Dharna lasts for many days, during which time the party upon whom it is exercised is not suffered to eat or drink or wash or pray, or in short is not permitted to move from the spot where he sits, which is frequently bare-headed in the sun, until the money or security be given; so general is this mode of recovery that I suppose the Marātha Chiefs may be said to be nearly one-half of their time in a state of Dharna. [213] 15. The infantry “In the various Marātha services there are very little more than a bare majority who are Marāthas by caste, and very few instances occur of their ever entering into the infantry at all. The sepoys in the pay of the different princes are recruited in Hindustān, and principally of the Rājpūt and Pūrbia caste; these are perhaps the finest race of men in the world for figure and appearance; of lofty stature, strong, graceful and athletic; of acute feelings, high military pride, quick, apprehensive, brave, prudent and economic; at the same time it must be confessed they are impatient of discipline, and naturally inclined to mutiny. They are mere soldiers of fortune and serve only for their pay. There are also a great number of Musalmāns who serve in the different Marātha armies, some of whom have very great commands.

16. Character of the Marātha armies “The Marātha cavalry at times make very long and rapid marches, in which they do not suffer themselves to be interrupted by the monsoon or any violence of weather. In very pressing exigencies it is incredible the fatigue a Marātha horseman will endure; frequently many days pass without his enjoying one regular meal, but he depends entirely for subsistence on the different corn-fields through which the army passes: a few heads of juāri, which he chafes in his hands while on horseback, will serve him for the day; his horse subsists on the same fare, and with the addition of opium, which the Marāthas frequently administer to their cattle, is enabled to perform incredible marches.”

The above analysis of the Marātha troops indicates that their real character was that of freebooting cavalry, largely of the same type as, though no doubt greatly superior in tone and discipline to the Pindāris. Like them they lived by plundering the country. “The Marāthas,” Elphinstone remarked, “are excellent foragers. Every morning at daybreak long lines of men on small horses and ponies are seen issuing from their camps in all directions, who return before night loaded with fodder for the cattle, with firewood torn down from houses, and grain dug up from the pits where it had been concealed by the villagers; while other detachments go to a distance for some days and collect proportionately [214]larger supplies of the same kind.”23 They could thus dispense with a commissariat, and being nearly all mounted were able to make extraordinarily long marches, and consequently to carry out effectively surprise attacks and when repulsed to escape injury in the retreat. Even at Pānīpat where their largest regular force took the field under Sadāsheo Rao Bhao, he had 70,000 regular and irregular cavalry and only 15,000 infantry, of whom 9000 were hired sepoys under a Muhammadan leader. The Marāthas were at their best in attacking the slow-moving and effeminate Mughal armies, while during their period of national ascendancy under the Peshwa there was no strong military power in India which could oppose their forays. When they were by the skill of their opponents at length brought to a set battle, their fighting qualities usually proved to be distinctly poor. At Pānīpat they lost the day by a sudden panic and flight after Ibrahīm Khān Gārdi had obtained for them a decided advantage; while at Argaon and Assaye their performances were contemptible. After the recovery from Pānīpat and the rise of the independent Marātha states, the assistance of European officers was invoked to discipline and train the soldiery.24 [215]


1 Sir H. Risley’s India Census Report (1901), Ethnographic Appendices, p. 93.

2 P. 48, footnote.

3 Nāsik Gazetteer, ibidem. Elphinstone’s History, p. 246.

4 The proper spelling is Bhosle, but Bhonsla is adopted in deference to established usage.

5 Bombay Census Report (1901), pp. 184–185.

6 Rājasthān, i. 269.

7 Ibidem, ii. 420.

8 Sholapur Gazetteer, p. 87.

9 Satāra Gazetteer, p. 64.

10 Ibidem, p. 75.

11 Bombay Census Report (1907), ibidem.

12 Letter on the Marāthas (India Office Tracts).

13 Satāra Gazetteer, p. 75.

14 Grant-Duff, 4th edition (1878), vol. i. pp. 70–72.

15 Forsyth, Nimār Settlement Report.

16 Bombay Gazetteer, vol. xviii. part i. pp. 413–414.

17 Elliott, Hoshangābād Settlement Report.

18 The following description is taken from the Ethnographic Appendices to Sir H.H. Risley’s India Census Report of 1901.

19 Irvine’s Army of the Mughals, p. 82.

20 Ibidem, p. 232. Gopāl is a name of Krishna.

21 Lit. armour-bearers. Colonel Tone writes: “I apprehend from the meaning of this term that it was formerly the custom of this nation, as was the case in Europe, to appear in armour. I have frequently seen a kind of coat-of-mail worn by the Marātha horsemen, known as a beuta, which resembles our ancient hauberk; it is made of chain work, interlinked throughout, fits close to the body and adapts itself to all its motions.”

22 In order to obtain redress by Dharna the creditor or injured person would sit starving himself outside his debtor’s door, and if he died the latter would be held to have committed a mortal sin and would be haunted by his ghost; see also article on Bhāt. The account here given must be exaggerated.

23 Elphinstone’s History, 7th ed. p. 748.

24 Ibidem, p. 753.

Link:- http://www.gutenberg.org/files/20668/20668-h/20668-h.htm

—Preceding unsigned comment added by 121.247.253.191 (talk) 06:44, 26 November 2007 (UTC) 

Raj Thakre is Maratha??????[edit]

Hi, As per my information Raj Thakre is not Maratha. By Definition Maratha status is not applicable to people those have close relatives other than Maratha. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.80.57.2 (talk) 05:53, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Bal Thakre is Maratha?[edit]

Hello, why wrong information is being put here? —Preceding unsigned comment added by 202.80.57.2 (talk) 05:55, 2 April 2008 (UTC)

Rajputs vs. Marathas[edit]

We say:

Since the Marathas ruled much of India in the period immediately preceding the consolidation of British rule in India, the Maratha states came to form the largest bloc of princely states in the British Raj, if size be reckoned by territory and population.

Is this true? I'd have thought the Rajputs - who controlled Kashmir and almost all of Rajputana - would have to be pretty close, wouldn't they? The Marathas had the various Deccan states, and many of the states in Central India and Gujarat, but that doesn't necessarily seem like it would be larger than the Rajput bloc. And they didn't even control all of the states in those areas, as there were a number of significant Muslim rulers in the heavily Maratha regions - Junagadh and Bhopal, most notably - as well as a fair number of Rajput rulers in those regions - Orchha, Rewah, and so forth. Could a source be provided for the claim that the Maratha states had the highest population and the largest area? john k (talk) 17:24, 17 December 2008 (UTC)

Rajputs never created a coherent entity like the Maratha confederacy. Additionally marathas did dictate affairs in Delhi and Rajputana itself between 1720-1761! AMbroodEY Reloaded 08:26, 6 June 2009 (UTC) ok

Regarding changes in wikipage of caste :" Maratha"[edit]

I do have explanation for removing the quote from colonel i.e.

"In 1798 Colonel Tone, who commanded a regiment of the Peshwa’s army, wrote[2] of the Marāthas: “The three great tribes which compose the Marātha caste are the Kunbi or farmer, the Dhangar or shepherd, and the Gawli or cowherd; to this original cause may perhaps be ascribed that great simplicity of manner which distinguishes the Marātha people.”[3]"

1) Maratha caste do exists far before the 1798. A people from a certain caste do know what there caste is. Dhanagar, Gawali,Maratha are absolutely different castes( I do believe , you live in India and aware of the caste system here.) 2)I take it highly offensive to categories/refer these Kunbi as a "Tribe" by someone outsider and mention four different caste as a single caste , even-if they are registered as separate different caste today. 3)If it is the question of quotes only by someone in a history(past-Independence Era), I do have many quotes which referring "Maratha" as an independent caste and it is having absolutely no relation with Caste Dhanagar ,Gawali. Kunbi is subcaste of Caste "Maratha" and for which ,we certainly not required a Great Quote from someone outside the India.

Needing a explanation from people who are interested in putting above quote in this web-page —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ingale 74 (talkcontribs) 13:18, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

You're removing one of the only reliably sourced statements/sections in the entire article. If you can find Reliable Sources - that means academic, neutral, third-party, published sources - then feel free to improve the article. If you want to remove material, you can start with everything after the lead section. Everything after the lead section is entirely unreferenced. I wouldn't be opposed to everything there being deleted. Or better yet, improved with reliable sources. Priyanath talk 17:18, 14 October 2009 (UTC)

Kshatriya puffery and need for a more honest examination[edit]

I'm not terribly familiar with caste issues, but have been trying to help remove some of the extreme bias found in many of the South Asian articles, both Muslim and Hindu. An extremely brief perusal of reputable academic sources on GoogleBooks shows a number of associations between Marathas and peasant/agriculturalist caste groups, and the main mention of Kshatriya status involves how some Marathas had later been designated as Kshatriya during their political ascendancy, and/or of wealthier Marathas assuming Kshatriya customs. The article as it stands now does not even include a whisper of terms such as "shudra" or "kunbi", and instead portrays a massive social group as being uniformly "kings, warriors, and landlords" when academic sources indicate the Marathas have often been farmers. I will attempt to drum up a few good academic sources on the subject to correct this. The intent is not to disparage the Marathas, and their history of entering and exiting Kshatriya status is quite interesting, but this kind of communitarian self-appreciation is really not encyclopedic. MatthewVanitas (talk) 17:00, 22 November 2010 (UTC)

True,let us discuss about academic sources about origin of marathas.Further let us study how it evolved, keeping in mind- Maratha term is used in three sense- as a caste, as a country and a as a language.We have to go in unbiased way. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Dbkasar (talkcontribs) 13:02, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Every single article in Category:Maratha clans needs work[edit]

The category Category:Maratha clans is largely the work of one editor, who I've been prodding for two years to learn WP formatting and copyedit his slapdash work. The articles are full of caste-puffery, unsubstantiated legendary claims, and almost all references are unlinked (though in some cases the books themselves are on gBooks), which is not encouraging for Verifiability. If anyone is interested in tackling Maratha topics, this would be a great place to chip in. The user has a relatively standardised section of "Details" including heraldry, devaks, favourite colours and ice-cream flavours, etc. that is rather clunky inline but could make (if referenced) a very nice infobox with Maratha flag and such niceties. Thanks for any help in sorting out this mess of otherwise interesting topics. MatthewVanitas (talk) 15:19, 6 May 2011 (UTC)

Kshatriya vs. Shudra issue[edit]

In response to a revert today: the article previously was far too biased towards discussion of the Maratha as a Kshatriya caste. The academic consensus is far nuanced, with a general belief that the various Maratha clans were Shudra cultivators, who then gained military power under Shivaji. As Shivaji gained power and demanded corontation, local Brahmin made a pragamtic decision to "discover" a Rajput-linked genealogoy to justify his rulership as a Kshatriya. Thus they avoided offending now-powerful classes, and saved face by not having to admit crowning a Shudra. Though it is certainly the case that the Maratha claim a Kshatriya origin, and that is certainly notable and worth including in the article, we can't whitewash away their Shudra links, and they must be discussed in an NPOV academic manner. Thoughts? MatthewVanitas (talk) 18:42, 25 May 2011 (UTC)

So if you are claiming that there is an open discussion whether Marathas are considered 'Kshatriya' in Maharashtrian community or whatever, there simply isn't one. Notion that Marathas were cultivators who gained martial bent under Shivaji is actually historically incorrect. Term Maratha historically hasn meant different things during different time periods. Broadly speaking around Shivajis time, term Maratha was used by Marathi speaking soldiery, feudal land owners and jagirdars in the service of Deccani kingdoms, remnants of the gentry and soldiery of the Yadava kingdom. I can give you definite references from Sarkar's book, but I sort of gave up on Marathi articles (and wikipedia) since these tend to attract the most vicious of trolls.

Also regarding the coronation, local Brahmins refused to coronate since according to them last Kshatriyas died when Parshuram killed all the kshatriyas or something to that extent. He needed a Brahmin from Benares to come down and coronate him. Eitherway caste groupings and caste labels were never set in stone and were always fuzzy especially in a society like Maharashtra and multiple groups changed their status in the hierarchy like Konkan Brahmins for instance who are thought to be Iranian immigrants co-opted into Marathi caste ladder! To add to the confusion there is a caste group Kunbi who are nominally regarded to be Marathas and are most definitely a peasant community, however Supreme Court of India draws a clear distinction between Marathas and Kunbis. AMbroodEY Reloaded

I have found that people have very half and poor knowledge about Maratha. They are making very misleading statements about Maratha and Shivaji Maharaj. Maratha has two meanings one is Maharashtriyan(Marathi speaking) other is Kshatriya(warriors) Marathas. Marathas are descendant of "Maharashtriks" who were worriors(from Kshatriya clan) ruling majaor part of India including present day Maharashtra. 1)Chatrrapati Shivaji was not Shudra: Brahmin(who were opposing Coronation) at that time had belief that last Kshatriy clan ruling India was "Nand" of Magadh as "Maurya" was not Kshatriy. So After the fall of Nand India has only two "Varnas" Brahmin and Shudra. That was the reason why Brahmin called Chatrapati Shivaji as Shudra. So if you accept this Shudra theory of Brahmins then you have to accept in India there is no "Kshatriy" and "Vaishya" clans present. Chatrapati Shivaji was from Suryavashi Kshatriya Clan. His mother, Jijabai from Jadhav family of Sindakheda village, daughter of Lakhuji Jadhav who was descendant of Yadav clan of Devgiri. "Jadhav" is corrupted form of "Yadav". In old Marathi texts Yadav of Devgiri are reffered as Jadhav. I request all the people to refer "Mahikawatichi Bakhar" which was first "Bakhar"(type of historical book) written in Marahti. Mahikawati means present day Mahim in Mumbai. It cleary states "Shahannyav Kuli"(96 clans) as differnet caste. Sinda Sheshvanshi (talk) 07:11, 15 December 2011 (UTC)

What is a Maratha Sardar?[edit]

This new article uses the term "Maratha Sardar", but there is no article for the term on WP (yet!). I think it means "chieftain".. Does anyone know? --Surturz (talk) 15:52, 6 January 2012 (UTC)

Possible wiki-copy published work?[edit]

Just to avoid any copyvio accusations or circular-citations, the following book ("first published in 2011") appears to have much text that's a word-for-word copy of this article as far back as at least 2010. Occam's Razor leads me to wonder if this PhD has just copied WP:

Dr. Sunil K. Saxena. History of Medieval India. Pinnacle Technology. ISBN 978-1-61820-263-5. Retrieved 23 March 2012. 

Oh, and for extra class, the search engine indicates no occurrence of the word "Wikipedia" in the work, so it appears he doesn't even acknowledge. Is there any good way to check on this, and if so add his book/him/his publisher to the non-RS list? MatthewVanitas (talk) 00:34, 24 March 2012 (UTC)

File:Marathas 1758.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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File:Ritesh Deshmukh.jpg Nominated for Deletion[edit]

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Recent additions/reverts[edit]

I have been reverting an IP contributor - eg: [1] - because I have some doubts concerning the reliability of sources that are being used and have limited access to them. Can anyone confirm their reliability etc? - Sitush (talk) 09:40, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

Edit request on 12 September 2012[edit]

The caption on the picture of the palace says "built by built by". Fast Clear (talk) 09:38, 12 September 2012 (UTC)

Varna in infobox[edit]

There was some dispute going on in the article regarding inclusion of varna in infobox. Sitush removed varna from the infobox here giving the reason that a consensus was passed that varna is not to be mentioned in the infobox. I noticed this in Raju also.

Sitush, Please show that discussion where such consensus was passed. You must provide the link of the archive page on which such discussion took please so that it can be verified. -Ashish57 (talk) 10:21, 15 September 2012 (UTC)

WP:AGF or search WT:INB], WP:DRN and umpteen caste article talk pages. I am on a mobile device for a few days and it makes things difficult, sorry. Sitush (talk) 18:57, 16 September 2012 (UTC)
Ashish57 now blocked per WP:CHK. - Sitush (talk) 08:31, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Maratha are shudras[edit]

The article mentions the marathas as kshatriyas but they are Shudras. Can we change the article please to mention this.

Dr. Ambedkar And Untouchability: Fighting The Indian Caste System By Christophe Jaffrelot - Columbia university press. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ACHARYA11 (talkcontribs) 17:38, 20 September 2012 (UTC)

Jaffrelot is a reliable source but I cannot see the relevant pages. Please note that even if these come to light, we would not be showing the varna status in the lead section or infobox as there is a consensus that such things cause only problems. The statement would appear within the body of the article. - Sitush (talk) 14:41, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

Its quite obvious that a shudra like B.R. Ambedkar will claim other castes as low or shudra. Tyhgrewskl (talk) 14:49, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

I couldn't care less, to be honest. I just want to see the source because we base our articles on such things. Jaffrelot is reliable and modern, so if he passes comment then it can be included. For all I know, he may be saying the Ambedkar was wrong: it is by no means unusual for people to cherrypick sources in caste articles. - Sitush (talk) 14:54, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

No citations, no proper sources given by the thread starter. -Tyhgrewskl (talk) 15:10, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

The source is fine. There is no requirement for "proper citations" on talk pages - we all know what book is referred to and the problem is merely accessing it. I'll be able to do that via WP:RX. - Sitush (talk) 15:12, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
I'm on it, page 39 (I gave just enough text around it to provide context while aiming for Fair Use):

Ambedkar based his theory on the hypothesis that there were, form the outset, only three varnas and consequently Shudras appeared on the scene only much later. He argued that this ‘’vanra’’ emerged after some Kshatriyas had been demoted to this rank by Brahmins, who simply achieved their objective by refusing them Upanayana, a rite marked by the bestowing of the sacred thread to the songs of the three superior varnas which consecrated their passage to the other of the ‘twice born’.[36] Their aim was to take some revenge for the violence and humiliation imposed upon them by some other Kshatriyas.
Obviously Ambedkar had in mind the Brahmin’s refusal to recognize Shivaji as a Kshatriya.[37]. His theory, which is based on scant historical evidence, doubtless echoed this episode in Maharashtra’s history, whereas in fact Shivaji, a Maratha-Kunbi, was a Shudra. Nevertheless, he had won power and so expected the Brahmins to confirm his new status by writing for him an adequate genealogy. This process recalls that of Sanskritisation, but sociologists refer to such emulation of Kshatriyas by Shudras as ‘Kshatriyaisation’ and describe it as a variant of Sanskritisation...

Some good material here, though I've not yet been able to rally enough troops to take on the entrenched hagiographers at Shivaji with this data. I submit some of these pages would be good to add to Shudra and Kshatriya, and Kshatriyaisation would be a great article. MatthewVanitas (talk) 17:23, 21 September 2012 (UTC)
Thanks, and woah! Jaffrelot is reliable and if I am reading it correctly, it is he who is saying Shivaji was a shudra. See also Kunbi#Maratha-Kunbi. - Sitush (talk) 17:34, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

There is plenty of source to show that the marathas are shudras.

Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 1 By Edgar Thurston, K. Rangachari

Women's Buddhism, Buddhism's Women: Tradition, Revision, Renewal edited by Ellison Banks Findly

Emperors of the Peacock Throne: The Saga of the Great Mughals By Abraham Eraly

Marathas are peasant turned soldiers and they fall under the category of shudras. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ACHARYA11 (talkcontribs) 02:42, 22 September 2012 (UTC)

who the ediot is talking about shudra varna of Marathas? and making references here and there which does affecting the quality of WP articles. You have given lesser Important references but i can provide many references which does entitle a Kshatriya status to Marathas. Edit request Please. Infact, this is online editing otherwise this bad referencing which including Shudra issue could have been resulteed into Riot in Maharashtra. Dont make useless researches.--Starrahul (talk) 13:11, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

"The word Maratha is used for the Kshatriya caste belonging to Maharashtra.Different clans of Marathas claim different Kshatriya origins." needs to be modified to: "The maratha claim kshatriya status but they traditionally classified under the Shudra varna and are peasants turned warriors." The references are provided.

" The — Preceding unsigned comment added by ACHARYA11 (talkcontribs) 22:05, 1 October 2012 (UTC)


Dr Ambedkar the person who framed the Indian constitution has clearly mentioned that in Madras the Maratas were declared as Shudras.

Concrete Steps By Indian Industry On Affirmative Action For Scheduled Castes By By Dr. Ambedkar

Dr. Ambedkar is avery reliable source. and it is very clear that the Maratas were declared as Shudras by the High court itself. I kindly request the editors to include this in the article. — Preceding unsigned comment added by ACHARYA11 (talkcontribs) 18:03, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Ambedkar is an old source, he is dead, and on this subject some would consider him to be a polemicist. He is not a good source. Worse, even if we did include tha information we would need to word it very carefully as the age of the thing means that we cannot be certain that whatever judgements were made have not been superseded/rescinded. The article now refers to the shudra point, using a modern source. - Sitush (talk) 18:08, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Thanks for the feedback.. I think Christophe Jaffrelot is good source. CJ ha clearly mentioned that the maratas are a caste of farmers who fall under the category of shudras. can you please take a look

Religion, Caste, and Politics in India By Christophe Jaffrelot — Preceding unsigned comment added by ACHARYA11 (talkcontribs) 18:29, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Acharya11: you can't just chuck a link up, can you please also quote at least part of a sentence or two to indicate what you want us to look at? I assume that you're referring to the line "(a caste of farmers)". While we could read that as "Shudra", it doesn't specifically say that, and doesn't really go into much more detail.
If you want changes made, you have to choose good books (and you are correct that Jaffrelot is a good book), give suggested text (getting better there), and specifically point out that you want us to read on a given page. As a minor formatting note, please put brackets [ like this ] around links so they display as small boxes, not as huge links. Or alternately, put single brackets around the link, and then add a brief text afterward still within the brackets, like this: The ruling dynasty of Kohalpur was of the Maratha caste (a caste of farmers) - Jaffrelot page 522, 2/3 down the page. If we all do this we'll all have an easier time understanding each others' statements. MatthewVanitas (talk) 18:40, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
I've always liked Jaffrelot but we need to be aware of WP:CITEKILL. If he adds something to what the article already says then perhaps it has a place but otherwise I would tend to argue that we should only start stacking up citations when and if people start to challenge the point. Alas, experience tells me that they will do! Until then, no more than a couple of sources should do the trick. - Sitush (talk) 18:37, 2 October 2012 (UTC)
Acharya11, hope you don't mind, but I've linkified all your GoogleBooks links for easier reading; looks better, no? Might want to make that a general practise; you're finding some good cites, we just need to smooth out our use of sources. MatthewVanitas (talk) 18:46, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Maratha[edit]

Editors should stop writing that Holkars Marathas and Maratha cast is comprised of Dhangar. AS deed in some google books having poor references.--Starrahul (talk) 13:06, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

As you should know by now, you need to provide some sources to support your claim, or you need to demonstrate why the existing sources are not reliable. - Sitush (talk) 13:10, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

thank you and i will prove my point soon.--Starrahul (talk) 13:13, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Preferably in English. There are far too many non-independent writers and dubious publishers using the Marathi language for this topic area. See WP:NOENG for how we handle non-English stuff generally. - Sitush (talk) 13:38, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Lack of history 1818-1947, and other gaps[edit]

This article has a real history gap from 1818-1947; so what was happening with Marathas during this period? Also, weren't the Marathas heavily involved in the politics of forming Maharashtra state? That'd be useful to mention as well. The article spends a lot of time talking about the Empire (which is important but only 150yrs of the last 1000), the pre-Empire Chinese history bit seems a bit tenuous, and it's got almost nothing following the 3rd Anglo Maratha War except what I added today and some brief military history. MatthewVanitas (talk) 17:30, 2 October 2012 (UTC)

Kshatriya category[edit]

I've just remove the Kshatriya category because the situation is far from clear-cut. It would make no sense to also include the Shudra category. This problem is quite common and I am seriously contemplating whether the category should exist - we cannot even really rename it as something like Category:Communities who claim Kshatriya origin because we'd also need Category:Communities whose claims of Kshatriya origin are contested. Obviously, this would be a discussion to be had elsewhere than here but hopefully my rationale for removal here makes sense. - Sitush (talk) 15:11, 3 October 2012 (UTC)

Holkars are Dhangars not Marathas[edit]

Ramchandra Chintaman Dhere (10 October 2011). Rise of a Folk God:Vitthal of Pandharpur: Vitthal of Pandharpur. Oxford University Press. pp. 237–. ISBN 978-0-19-977759-4. Retrieved 4 October 2012.--Starrahul (talk) 15:22, 4 October 2012 (UTC)

You cannot just remove sourced content because you have found a source that says differently. If there is disagreement then we show all sides; if a source is unreliable then it is for you to gain consensus for that before removing it. - Sitush (talk) 15:32, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Did you bother to take on board what I said at Talk:Maratha#Maratha above? And why have you created a new section when the previous thread is current? - Sitush (talk) 15:34, 4 October 2012 (UTC)
Your source speaks of the Dhangar in Andhra and Karnataka. What has that got to do with what the Dhangar call themselves in Madhya Pradesh, which is what the article is saying? Are they even the same caste, given that some castes are distinct but share the same name. Furthermore, "call themselves" is the operative phrase: nobody is saying that they are Maratha. - Sitush (talk) 15:43, 4 October 2012 (UTC)