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Dheevara is a grouping of fishing castes from the Kerala state of South India.

The word "Dheevara" is of Sanskrit origin, and has been used to describe fishermen in Gautama Dharmasutra and Mahabharata.[1] The Dheevara community was formed by Arayan, Valan and other castes to lobby for the fishers' rights, and to seek caste-based reservations in government jobs.[2] The members of the community formed the Dheevara Mahasabha ("Dheevara Great Assembly"), which is a politically powerful organization.[3]

The following castes are categorized as "Dheevara" in the Government's list of Other Backward Classes:[4][5]

  • Arayan or Araya
  • Bovi or Bovis Mogayar
  • Arayavathi
  • Mogaveera
  • Mukaya, Mokaya or Mukayar
  • Mukkuvan
  • Nulayan
  • Paniakkal
  • Valan
  • Valinijiar, Valinjiar or Valanchiyar

The Akhila Kerala Dheevara Sabha ("All Kerala Dheevara Association") has demanded inclusion of Dheevaras in the Scheduled Castes list.[6]

See also[edit]

  • Dhimar and Dhivar, fishing castes of North India, whose names are also derived from the word "Dheevara"


  1. ^ Singh 2003, p. 292.
  2. ^ Sathyapalan 2015, p. 90.
  3. ^ Sathyapalan 2015, p. 95.
  4. ^ "Central List of OBCs for the state of Kerala" (PDF). National Commission for Backward Classes. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  5. ^ "List of Other Backward Classes in Kerala State". Kerala Public Service Commission,. Retrieved 18 May 2016. 
  6. ^ "Dheevara Sabha's demand". The Hindu. 23 April 2012.