User:Yogesh Khandke/sandbox Kurmi

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search

Classification Central government: Other Backward Class, Risley: XXXXX
Religions Hinduism
Languages Kurmali, Hindi, Chhattisgarhi, Marathi, Konkani, Gujarati, Oriya, Telugu, Southern Indian languages and dialects[1]
Populated states Uttar Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Odisha, Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Bihar[2]
Subdivisions Kurmi, Singraur, Umrao, Awadhiya, Kochyasa, Gangwar, Kanbi, Kapu, Katiyar, Kulambi, Jaiswar, Kulwadi, Kutumbi, Patel, Singhror, Choduary, Sachan, Verma, Artarvavanshi,(Niranjan)[3]

The Kurmi (Hindi: कुर्मी) are a Hindu agricultural Indian community. The group is often associated with the Kunbi though not unanimously.[4][5] Risley classified Kurmi as XXXXX[6] In the late 19th and the 20th century Kurmis asserted a claim to a lost erstwhile Kshatriya status with success.[7] Contemporarily Kurmi's are classified as Other Backward Class.[8]


There are several theories regarding the etymology of the term Kurmi. It may be derived from an Indian tribal language, or may be a Sanskrit compound term krishi karmi, "agriculturalist." [5] Other theories include its being a derivative of kṛṣmi, "ploughman",[9] or Kurma a tortise avatar of the god Vishnu.[10]


Kurmis have historically been mostly landowners and cultivators.[10]

Varna status debate[edit]

In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the Kurmis, along with other castes such as the Yadav, began to assert the claim that they had previously been Kshatriya and had been "reduced" to peasant status by circumstance.[11] The Kurmi embarked on a program of publications, public mobilisation, and temple-building to establish their Vaishnava credentials and buttress their claims to Kshatriya status.[12] These claims have not been proven, though some scholars allow that such an argument can be made.[13] The Kurmis obtained some support for their claims from Brahmin scholars, who were eager to accommodate a caste group which had become politically powerful.[14] Satadal Dasgupta has noted that it is common for Indian lower castes to claim a higher varna, citing the Kurmi Kshatriya as an example.[15] A specific instance of this was the Ramanandi sect, which created such a history in the early part of the 20th century.[16]

The Sardar Kurmi Kshatryia Sabha was organised in 1894 in Lucknow, the capital of Uttar Pradesh (some sources say 1884[17]) to protest a government decision barring Kurmi recruitment into the police force. However, the influence of this organisation diminished at the end of the 19th century.[18] A similar Sabha was formed in Awadh, which sought to unite as "Kurmi" other castes such at the Patidar, Kapu, Vokkaliga, Reddy, Naidu, and Maratha.[19]

In its fifth conference in 1909, the Sabha[which?] changed its name to All India Kurmi Kshatriya Association,[citation needed] and the All India Kurmi Kshatriya Mahasabha (Association) was first registered at Patna in 1910. [18] This organisation promoted both secular and religious interests, supporting Sanskritisation and canvassing for the right to wear the sacred thread, but also pushing for preferential quotas as a backward class.[19]

In the early 1930s, the Kurmis joined with the Yadav and Koeri agriculturalists to enter elections, and in 1934 formed the Triveni Sangh political party, which had a million dues-paying members by 1936. However, the organisation was hobbled by competition from the Congress-backed Backward Class Federation and cooption of its leaders by the Congress party. The organisation also suffered due to the Yadav's "superiority complex" which limited their cooperation with the Kurmi. Similarly, a planned caste union with the Koeris, to be called Raghav Samaj, failed due to caste rivalries.[19]

Again in the 1970s, the India Kurmi Kshatriya Sabha attempted to bring the Koeris under their wing, but again a disunity troubled this alliance. Kurmi politician Nitish Kumar fomed the Samata Party in 1994, forming a backward-upper caste alliance with the conservative Bharatiya Janata Party, which achieved only initial success. In 1998, politician Laloo Prasad Yadav took advantage of this lack of unity in the IKKS, portraying Koeri Shakuni Chaudhry as an incarnation of Kush. Under Yadav, the IKSS became less and less advantageous to the Kurmi, favouring instead the priorities of the Yadav caste, and this combined with the competition of the Kurmi-based Samata led to a divide between these intermittently allied castes.[16]


The Kurmi of Jharkhand, Orissa, West Bengal and Assam use to speak Kurmali language. Kurmi of other state speak their native and regional languages. In Bihar, Kurmi people speak the Magahi and Angika, while in Uttar Pradesh the Kurmi speak Hindi.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ With sources
  2. ^ With sources
  3. ^ With sources
  4. ^ Various census of India. 1867. pp. 36–. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya (1896). Hindu castes and sects: an exposition of the origin of the Hindu caste system and the bearing of the sects towards each other and towards other religious systems / Jogendra Nath Bhattacharya. Thacker, Spink. pp. 270–. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  6. ^ Find good sources
  7. ^ Find good source
  8. ^ Find good source
  9. ^ Gustav Salomon Oppert (February 1978). On the original inhabitants of Bharatavarṣa or India. Arno Press. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  10. ^ a b Russell, R. V.; Lai, R. B. H. (1916). The tribes and castes of the central provinces of India. Macmillan. p. 56. Retrieved 23 July 2011. 
  11. ^ Journal of social and economic studies, Volume 11. A.N.S. Institute of Social Studies. 1994. p. 146. ISBN 9788124100677. Retrieved 12 May 2011. 
  12. ^ William R. Pinch (1996). Peasants and monks in British India. University of California Press. pp. 98–. ISBN 9780520200616. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  13. ^ Blunt, Edward Arthur Henry (2010) [1931]. The Caste System of Northern India (Reprint ed.). Gyan Publishing House. p. 211. ISBN 9788182054950. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  14. ^ A. K. Lal; Bindeshwar Pathak (2003). Social exclusion: essays in honour of Dr. Bindeshwar Pathak. Concept Publishing Company. pp. 157–. ISBN 9788180690532. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  15. ^ Satadal Dasgupta (12 July 1993). Caste, Kinship and Community: Social System of a Bengal Caste. Orient Blackswan. pp. 32–. ISBN 9780863112799. Retrieved 13 May 2011. 
  16. ^ a b Akshaya Mukul.Mighty Kurmis of Bihar. Times of India, March 12, 2004
  17. ^ Ghanshyam Shah (2004). Caste and democratic politics in India. Anthem Press. pp. 15–. ISBN 9781843310853. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 
  18. ^ a b Krishna Kumar Verma (1979). Changing role of caste associations. National. p. 13-16. Retrieved 10 May 2011.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "Verma1979" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  19. ^ a b c Christophe Jaffrelot (2003). India's silent revolution: the rise of the lower castes in North India. Columbia University Press. pp. 197–. ISBN 9780231127868. Retrieved 10 May 2011. 

Further reading[edit]

Find sources: "tellthechildrenthetruth" – news · newspapers · books · scholar · HighBeam · JSTOR · free images · free news sources · The Wikipedia Library · NYT · WP reference