Dhedh

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Dhedh (also Dhed, Dhedha or Dhedhas) are a Scheduled Caste of India. They are considered to be an untouchable group, outside the Hindu ritual ranking system known as varna. As with many untouchable communities, they too practise untouchability in relationships with other low-status castes.[1] The community is sometimes referred to as Dhedh/

They were traditionally involved in work related to animal hides.[2] The word dhedha has been derived from a Gujarati language word dhayadavan, meaning to drag.[citation needed]

The sociologist Sujata Patel says that in Gujarat the Dhedhs are considered to be a sub-caste of the scheduled castes whose traditional occupation was weaving.[3]

Dhedhs speak the language of the area in which they live, such as Gujarati,[2] Marathi, Rajasthani,[citation needed] Sindhi, and the Thar language.[citation needed]

The Dhedh and Bhil communities were closely associated because of their similar occupations and outcaste social status. Both were among the depressed communities of Gujarat.[citation needed]

In the 1930s-40s, many depressed classes and communities were active in trying to change their caste name and elevate their social status to that of Rajput. These included the Khalpa, who wanted to be known as Rohit, and the Bhangi's desire to be known as Rishi, as well as the Dhed/Vankar claim to Mahyavanshi status. Of these, only the Mahyavanshi claim was successful in gaining official recognition from the British Raj administration.[4] This success was limited to a part of the community in South Gujarat.[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Shah, A. M. (1987). "Untouchability, the Untouchables and Social Change in Gujarat". In Hockings, Paul. Dimensions of Social Life: Essays in Honor of David G. Mandelbaum. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 495, 498. ISBN 978-3-11084-685-0. 
  2. ^ a b Gandhi, Rajmohan (2006). Gandhi: The Man, His People, and the Empire. University of California Press. p. 183. ISBN 978-0-52025-570-8. 
  3. ^ Patel, Sujata (2000). "Construction and Reconstruction of Woman in Gandhi". In Thorner, Alice; Krishnaraj, Maithreyi. Ideals, Images, and Real Lives: Women in Literature and History. Orient Longman for Sameeksha Trust. p. 301. 
  4. ^ Yagnik, Achyut (2002). "Search for Dalit Self Identity in Gujarat". In Shinoda, Takashi. The Other Gujarat. Popular Prakashan. p. 27. ISBN 978-8-17154-874-3. 
  5. ^ Shah, A. M. (1987). "Untouchability, the Untouchables and Social Change in Gujarat". In Hockings, Paul. Dimensions of Social Life: Essays in Honor of David G. Mandelbaum. Walter de Gruyter. p. 502. ISBN 978-3-11084-685-0.