Bhantu

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The Bhantu are a Hindu caste found in North India. Those in Uttar Pradesh have scheduled caste status .[1]

Origin[edit]

Name[edit]

In Hindi the word Bhantu Samaj is said to mean different. The Bhantu were one of the many nomadic groups found in North India. They are the Sisodia clan of Suryavanshi Rajputs soldiers in the army of Maharana Pratap, who after his defeat at the hands of the Mughal Emperor Akbar dispersed into forests. There the community took up dacoity and theft. During the period of British rule, they were notified under the Criminal Tribes Act. Many were exiled to the Andaman Islands.

In 1952, they were allowed to return to Uttar Pradesh, and many settled in Shekhupur village in Badaun District. They were come from kala pani. Most of them were prisoners. Most of peoples were settled in kanpur in a government reg. colony C. T. S. which stands for criminal type settlement and also known as rajkeey unnayan basti. Most of them were literate, and working in good poss as officers. Now approximately 50% of the people in this caste are literate. They are found mainly in the district of Moradabad, Kanpur, Varanasi and Kheri, gola.[1]

Present circumstances[edit]

The community consists of eight exogamous clans, the Gaado, Dholia, Cherele, Banswale, Dhapan, Sadheke, Mina and Marwari. Marriages are strictly prohibited within the clans.[1]

The Bhantu were traditionally a nomadic community involved with in dacoity and robbery. Most Bhantus are now settled, and are employed in daily wage labour. A small number are petty traders as well. The community is Hindu, and their tribal deity is Sherawali Mataji.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das pages 263 to 267 Manohar Publications