Vagri

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The Vagri, sometimes pronounced as Vaghari are a scheduled caste found in the states of Rajasthan and Gujarat in India, and the province of Sindh in Pakistan.[1]

History and origin[edit]

The Vagri are said to have derived its name from the Sanskrit wagura, meaning a net, and Vagri are said to have gotten this name on account of the fact that many Vagri were professional hunters.[2] According to their traditions, the Vagri originated through intermarriage among the members of the Gujjar and Rajput communities.[1][dubious ] In Gujarat, many Vagri claim a Rajput origin. Vagris are further divided into five main sub-castes, the vagri the cultivators,SOVASIYA, Chunara or lime manufacturers, the Datania, the Patani, the Sovasiya, and the Vedu.[2]

During the Colonial period, Vagri were listed under the Criminal Tribes Act, 1871, as being a tribe "addicted to the systematic commission of non-bailable offences." [3] They suffered greatly as a result of this decision, and are still suffering the consequence as they now fall within the denotified tribe category. But now they have migrated to many metro cities and earning their livelihood,trying to educated their generations through govt policies and reach a respectable position in the society.

Present circumstances[edit]

In India[edit]

In Rajasthan, they are found mainly in the Jaipur District. Like many other Rajasthan Hindu communities, they are endogamous, but maintain gotra exogamy. Their main clans are the Badgujar, Pawar, Solanki, and Godara. They are a landless community, although a few do hold small plots of land. The Vagri are also cattle breeders and cattle traders, and sell their cattle at the famous Pushkar cattle fair. They have an effective caste council, which acts as quasi-judicial body and deals with intra-community disputes. It is headed by an heredity office holder, known as a Patel. They are a Hindu community, with their main tribal deities being Jabner mata, Galta mata, Sambher mata and Shile mata.[1]

In Tamil Nadu the Vaghris are called as Nari Kurava by the local population.

In Gujarat, the Vagri are found mainly in the districts of Sabarkantha, Banaskantha, Panchmahal, Kheda and Ahmedabad. They speak Vaghriboli which is very closely related to Gujarati, among themselves, and Gujarati with outsiders. The Vaghri are divided into a number of sub-divisions, the main ones being the talpada Vagri and Chunarias, who are cultivators, the Datanias who sell twig toothbrushes, the Vedus who sell gourd, Salaat, who are stonemasons, and the remaining clans being landless agriculture workers. Their minor sub-divisions includes Sovasiya, Halvadiya, Ughrejiya, Bhojviya, Bhakodiya, Detrojiya, Aghariya, Mori, Bajania, Khakhrodia, Bamcha and Pomla. They are endogamous, and maintain gotra exogamy. The Vaghri are landless, and depend on agricultural labour. They are also involved in the raising poultry, sheep, goat, and cattle, as well as selling vegetables. In Gujarat, the Vagri are Hindu, and their main tribal deties are Maa Ukteshwari, Maa Raneshwari, Kalika and Meldi mata.[4]

In Pakistan[edit]

The Vagri in Pakistan are found mainly in the districts of Umerkot and Tharparkar. They are landless, and have been subject to discrimination at the hands of the locally powerful Sodha Rajput community.[5] A recent study showed that the majority of scheduled caste population of Pakistan, which includes the Vagri are practically landless. The survey conducted showed that in Tharparkar, Umerkot, Rahim Yar Khan, and Bahawalpur districts revealed that an overwhelming majority of 83 percent Scheduled Caste population did not own even a small piece of land. The land ownership by the remaining 17 percent is also very small as 90 percent of the Scheduled Caste land owners have a very small piece of land between one and five acres. Like those in India, the Pakistan Vagri are Hindu, and speak both Sindhi and their own language, Bagri, which distantly related to Rajasthani.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c People of India Rajasthan Volume XXXVIII Part Two edited by B.K Lavania, D. K Samanta, S K Mandal & N.N Vyas pages 975 to 979 Popular Prakashan
  2. ^ a b Census of India 1911 Vol 16, Baroda Pt 1, Report page 318
  3. ^ Nanta Village The Imperial Gazetteer of India, 1908, v. 18, p. 367.
  4. ^ People of India Gujarat Volume XXII Part Three edited by R.B Lal, S.V Padmanabham & A Mohideen page 1459 to 1463 Popular Prakashan As originated from the Darbars of rajput from gujarat..they are also known as devipujaks...
  5. ^ http://www.dalitindia.com/guest/DalitsPak.htm
  6. ^ http://www.idsn.org/fileadmin/user_folder/pdf/Old_files/.../RR_Pakistan.pdf