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Classification Ramdasia
Religions Hinduism, Sikhism
Languages Punjabi,Hindi
Populated States The Punjab region
Subdivisions Kabirpanthi, Julaha

The Ramdasia are a Sikh sub-group that has originated from the Hindu caste of weavers known as Julaha.[1][2] [3]


H. S. Singha says that "Ramdasia is a term used in general for Sikhs whose ancestors belonged to backward classes. Originally it meant the descendants and followers of Ramdas who belonged to the weaver (Julaha) community".[1] They are also known as the Khalsa biradar (brother of the Khalsa).[4]

Ramdasia Chamars[edit]

Gerald Parsons says that "Ravidasis are to be distinguished from the Ramdasias who also belonged to the Chamar caste in Punjab but who were converted to the Sikh community, according to tradition, during the guruship of Ram Das".[5] Kalsi notes that some Chamar's claim to have been Julahas but then reverted to be Chamar. "We are all Chamars (landless labourers andleather workers) - some families chose to take up weaving, they were known as Julahas. My ancestors were weavers, but they reverted to shoe-making during the war. We have common gets_ and our houses are located on one side of the villages."[6]

The author Neeru Sharma in her book Caste in Punjab: Political Marginalization and Cultural Assertion of Scheduled Castes in Punjab,[3] states that ″The other segment of the dalit Sikhs consisted primarily of the Chamars. The Ad-Dharmis are predominant among Chamars and are mainly leather workers. Chamars (including the Ramdasias and AdDharmis) and Mazhabhis (including Chuhras and Balmikis) together constitute nearly three-fourths of the total scheduled caste population in Punjab". She also states that "The Congress state government under the leadership of Giani Zail Singh introduced a classification among the scheduled castes for jobs reserved under the quota system. The concessions were granted to the four major Sikh scheduled castes - Ramdassias, Kabirpanthis, Mazhabhis and Sikligars."

Caste Status[edit]

Ramdasia's are a Scheduled Caste.[7] and prefer to be called Sikh only.[8]

Other uses[edit]

The word Ramdasia, has also been associated with masands or preachers that were appointed by the Sikh Guru Ram Das.[9]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Singha, H. S. (2009). The Encyclopedia of Sikhism (over 1000 Entries). India: Hemkunt Press. p. 171. ISBN 8170103010.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Singha" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ Ghuman, Paul (May 2011). British Untouchables A Study of Dalit Identity and Education. Ashgate Publishing, Limited. p. iX. ISBN 075464877X. 
  3. ^ a b http://www.global.ucsb.edu/punjab/journal/v19_1/2-NeeruSharma19_1.pdf
  4. ^ Khalsi, Sewa Singh (May 1992). The Evolution of a Sikh Community in Britain. Religious and Social Change among the Sikhs of Leeds and Bradford. England: Leeds University Community Religions Project. p. 99. ISBN 1871363039. 
  5. ^ Parsons, Gerald (1994). The Growth of Religious Diversity - Vol 1: Britain from 1945 Volume 1: Traditions. Routledge. p. 227. ISBN 0415083265. 
  6. ^ Khalsi, Sewa Singh (May 1989). THE SIKHS AND CASTE A Study of the Sikh Community in Leeds and Bradford. (PDF). England: Leeds University Community Religions Project. p. 171. ISBN 1871363039. 
  7. ^ http://socialjustice.nic.in/scorder1950.php?pageid=11
  8. ^ Khalsi, Sewa Singh (May 1989). The Sikhs and Caste: A Study of the Sikh Community in Leeds and Bradford. (PDF). England: Leeds University Community Religions Project. p. 171. ISBN 1871363039. 
  9. ^ Gandhi, Surjit Singh (2008). History of Sikh Gurus Retold: 1469 -1606. England: Atlantic Publishers & Distributors Pvt Ltd. p. 331. ISBN 8126908572. 

External links[edit]