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Jemadar or jamadar is a title used for various military and other official in the Indian subcontinent.
The word stems from Urdu (Urdu: جمعدار), which derives through Persian jam(a)dar from Arabic jamā‘a(t) 'muster' + -dār 'holder'.
A jemadar was originally an armed official of a zamindar (feudal lord) in India who, like a military general, and along with Mridhas, was in charge of fighting and conducting warfare, mostly against the peasants and common people who lived on the lord's land.
Later, it became a rank used in the British Indian Army, where it was the lowest rank for a Viceroy's commissioned officer. Jemadars either commanded platoons or troops themselves or assisted their British commander. They also filled regimental positions such as assistant quartermaster (jemadar quartermaster) or assistant adjutant (jemadar adjutant).
The rank remained in use in the Indian Army until 1965 as the lowest rank of junior commissioned officer.
The rank of jemadar was later renamed in both the Indian Army and the Pakistan Army as naib subedar in infantry units, and naib risaldar in cavalry and armoured corps units.
- Jemadar was also used in other contexts to denote Indian 'captains', like the leaders of thuggee bands.
- In the fictional TV series Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, the alien species known as the Jem'Hadar were named for the rank.