The Valmiki (also Balmiki) is a dalit community of India. They have historically faced exclusion and oppression in Indian society, and are frequently affected by anti-Dalit violence and repression by members of other castes.
Following the example of B. R. Ambedkar, the Valmiki have turned away from Hinduism in order to avoid the persecution associated with Hindu caste practices. Some Valmikis claim that they descend from the author Valmiki who is sometimes credited with having written the Ramayana, although others claim that the currently known version of Ramayana is a distortion of the original work made by Brahmins.
According to the Indian Census of 2001, the Valmikis formed 11.2 per cent of the Scheduled Caste population in Punjab and were the second-most populous Scheduled Caste in Delhi, where they were recorded as "Chuhra (Balmiki)". In Punjab, Chuhras who follow Hinduism are known as Valmikis.
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