Lodha people

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Regions with significant populations
              West Bengal 84,966
Related ethnic groups
Sabar Lodha Muslims

Lodha people are a tribal/Adivasi people living primarily in the Indian states of West Bengal and Orissa, mostly in the Paschim Medinipur district. A section of the Lodha has converted to Islam, and form a distinct community of Lodha Muslims.


As per 2001 census, Lodhas numbered 84,966 and formed 1.9 per cent of the scheduled tribe population of West Bengal. They had a literacy rate of 34.8 per cent.[1]

They are found in Suliapada and Morada blocks of Baripada sub-division of Mayurbhanj district of Orissa.[2]


Lodha means piece of flesh named after their ancestor. Lodhas have been in the focus of anthropologists and social activists.[3] During the early period of their rule, the British government in India oppressed the tribal people of Jungle Mahals, who were traditionally dependent upon the forests for a living. They had revolted but were ruthlessly suppressed. Having been deprived of their livelihood and without any alternatives, they took to criminal ways of life and were subsequently branded a criminal tribe. They should properly be labelled as uprooted rebels. Lodha titles are Nayek, Mallick, Digar, Sardar, Bhokta, Kotal, Dandapat, Bhunya etc. These titles reflect social responsibility.They are descendants of Jarasandh from Mahabharata. The Lodhas hold that they are Sabars.[4] One of the most important research on the Lodhas was done by a Calcutta University faculty, Professor Probodh Kumar Bhowmick[5][6] Much later, researchers from the Department of Anthropology at Vidyasagar University have done empirical studies on the development scenario of the Lodha tribe in Midnapore district[7][8] who were by that time declared as a 'Primitive Tribal Group'(PTG) by the Government of India.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "West Bengal: Data Highlights the Scheduled Tribes" (PDF). Census of India 2001. Census Commission of India. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  2. ^ "Mayurbhanj, Tribal languages, festivals and culture". Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  3. ^ Rise of anthropology in India: a social science orientation, Volume 1 By Lalita Prasad Vidyarthi. Retrieved 2009-09-26. 
  4. ^ Ghosh, Binoy, Paschim Banger Sanskriti, (in Bengali), part I, 1976 edition, pp. 201-203, Prakash Bhaban
  5. ^ Rehabilitation of a 'Denotified Community': The Ex-Criminal Lodhas of West Bengal, Royal Anthropological Institute Newsletter No. 44 (Jun., 1981), pp. 6-8,http://www.jstor.org/stable/3032233
  6. ^ Lodhas of West Bengal: A Socio-economic Study by P.K.Bhowmick http://www.amazon.com/Lodhas-Bengal-Socio-Economic-Study-Foreword/dp/B000OMQZYY
  7. ^ https://www.academia.edu/7999059/Lodhas_of_West_Bengal_A_Case_Study
  8. ^ http://www.researchgate.net/publication/257221844_Ground_realities_of_Development_among_the_Lodhas_in_West_Bengal