Jalia Kaibarta

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Kaibarta fisherman in East Bengal in 1860s

Jalia Kaibarta (or Jaliya Kaibartta), is a Hindu caste or community, traditionally engaged in the occupation of fishing and originally belongs to the Indian states of Odisha, West Bengal, Assam and eastern Bihar. The Kaibartas were initially considered a single tribe or caste divided into two groups, Jaliya and Haliya. Jaliya Kaibartas are categorized as a Scheduled Caste, though the Haliya Kaibartas or Mahishyas are not.[1][2]


The Kaibarttas of Bengal were initially considered a single tribe or caste. However, the Haliya or Chasi Kaibarttas (farmers) eventually broke away from the Jaliya or Jele Kaibarttas (fishermen) and "succeeded in getting recognition as a separate caste under the name of Mahishya".[1] The Mahishyas formed a tight-knit social group; the movement to gain recognition as a caste separate from the Kaibarttas gained momentum in 1897, when the Mahishyas formed the Jati Nirdharani Samiti (Caste Assignment Forum).[3]


  1. ^ a b Atal, Yogesh (1981). Building A Nation (Essays on India). Diamond Pocket Books (P) Ltd. p. 118. ISBN 978-8-12880-664-3. 
  2. ^ Venkatesh Salagrama; Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (30 December 2006). Trends in Poverty and Livelihoods in Coastal Fishing Communities of Orissa State, India. Food & Agriculture Org. p. 80. ISBN 978-92-5-105566-3. Retrieved 18 April 2012. 
  3. ^ Chakrabarty, Bidyut (1997). Local Politics and Indian Nationalism: Midnapur (1919-1944). New Delhi: Manohar. pp. 62–67.