Sunday, October 3, 2010

Chamars role in Military

During World War II, the Chamar Regiment was created and was involved on the Japanese front[2]. The Chamar Regiment was disbanded after the war[3]. Former Pakistani Leader Ayub Khan was an officer of the Chamar Regiment[4].
Many Chamars have played an active role in the events of 1857. The bravery of Banke Chamar of Village Kurarpur, Distt. Jaunpur (UP) is highlighted by the historians. This revolutionary laid down his life for the country and was ordered to be hanged by the British for his role in the events of 1857. Chetram (Jatav) and Belluram also sacrificed their life for being the moving force behind Barrackpur revolution.
Chamar-Satnami kingdomThere was a Satnami Kingdom of Narnaul (Haryana). The Satnami sect of Hinduism was founded in 1657 in Narnaul (a town in today’s Indian state of Haryana, situated about 100 km south-west of Delhi, by a saint names Birbhan. They are considered to be an offshoot of the followers of the great saint Ravidas. The name Satnami reflects the major religious activity of the sect – which is the chanting and meditation of the true name (satnam, names of God), especially the names of Rama and Krishna. Fixing the mind devotedly on divine names, the fluctuations of the consciousness are stabilised, which makes one fit to receive higher intuitive knowledge of the divine. The sect is comprised mostly, but by no means exclusively, of the lower strata of Hindu society – particularly the leatherworking, sweeper, carpenters, and goldsmith communities – and they observe no caste distinctions – judging people only be their actions. They were known to have dressed simply like saints, and keep shaved heads (and were hence also called mundiyas), and abstain from intoxicants and animal foods. These tenets are still practiced by many today. Today the sect numbers over 15 million, and followers are to be found in Rajisthan, Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra. This huge spread is due to the fact that those who survived the genocide following their rebellion against the Moghuls spread out into small units over vast tracts of land.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Full Form Of Chamar

                                                    Full Form Of Chamar

Cha = Charm = skin\

Ma = Mans = muscle

Aa = Asthi = bone

Ra = Rakta = blood.

So, Chamar means Manav (human)

Famous Chamar Personalities

 Chamar Personalities


* Kanshi Ram - Founder of the Bahujan Samaj Party (founded on 14 April 1984, On Lal Quila,Delhi)

* Mayawati Kumari - President of Bahujan Samaj Party and Chief Minister UP
* Jagjivan Ram - First Defence Minister of India,Deputy Prime Minister of India
* Charanjit Singh Atwal - Depty Speaker of Lok Sabha
* Meira Kumar - Social Justice Minister and Member of Parliament (India)
* Kumari Selja - Minister of State (Independent Charge) Housing and Urban Poverty Alleviation, Govt. of India
* Sushil Kumar Shinde - (1941- ) Minister of power , former Chief Minister of {Maharashtra}
* Buta Singh-Chairman of SC commission,India

Arts & Media

*Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan- (deceased)

*Naveen Andrews - Television and film actor in Hollywood
*Kailash Kher - Famous Bollywood Singer
*Sukhwinder Singh-Famous Bollywood Singer
*Divya Bharati- Late Bollywood Actress
*Mika Singh-Bollywood and Punjabi Singer
*Manmohan Waris-Bollywood and Punjabi Singer
*Lembher Hussainpuri-Punjabi Singer
*Abhijeet Sawant-Winner of First Indian Idol
*Lal Chand Yamla Jatt - Punjabi Singer
*Chamkila - Late Most famous Punjabi Singer


* PT Usha-Udan Pari of India

* Palwankar Baloo - Cricketer and Social Activist, member of Hindu Mahasabha
* Amarjit Kaypee - Cricketer and Record Holder for most runs in the Ranji Trophy

Ravidasi Chamars

                            Ravidasi Chamars

Known as Ravidasias the members of the Ravidasi religion consider Guru Ravidas or Ravidass as their founding prophet and spiritual master, whom they revere as their "Satguru". He is one of the early northern India poet-Sants.

Guru Ravidas founded a spiritual movement in the fourteenth century in India. His parents were Chamars, one of the downtrodden communities in the Indian Varna (caste) system. Though the Chamars were Shudras, because they worked with leather, other Shudras (service providers and artisans), along with the Brahmins (teachers, scholars and priests), the Kshatriyas or Khatris (kings and warriors), the Vaishyas (agriculturists and traders), considered them "untouchables". Guru Nanak spoke against this discriminatory practise saying "Recognize the Lord's Light within all, and do not consider social class or status; there are no classes or castes in the world hereafter. (1)(Pause)" (SGGS p 349)

The people of this lowest strata were particularly attracted to the path of Guru Ravidas. After being initiated as Ravidasias added the suffix "Ad-Dharm" (Primal Spiritual Way) to their names. They saw themselves as a unique community that was separate from the Hindu and Muslim religions.

The Ravidasi movement gained an extra impetus in the 1920s in Punjab. Though Guru Gobind Singh had by his Khanda-ki-Pahul initiation (1669) made it very clear by his creation of the Panj Pyare, when four men - each of the four Varnas drank out of the same bowl of Amrit with the 10th Padshah of the Sikhs. The creation of the Khalsa, however only continued the long established credo of the Sikh Gurus who considered all humans to be equal. Despite this the Sikhs, who were formerly Chamars, continued to face caste oppression from their fellow Sikhs. Rebelling against this, the group split from the Sikh community and joined the Ravidasi faith en-masse. Today, former Chamars from the Punjab are the largest visible ethnic group in the Ravidasi community. Punjabi Ravidasis have a number of Gurdeheras in the United Kingdom, especially in the Midlands.

The practice of the Ravidasi faith amongst its Punjabi converts is strongly influenced by Sikh practice and form due to their history in the Sikh community. Ravidasis believe that there is no hypocrisy in practicing Sikhism alongside their Ravidasi beliefs, as the two do not contradict each other.

Ravidasis also believe that Guru Nanak, the founder of the Sikh religion, might have met with Guru Ravidass during his travels. It is believed that it was at this stage that Guru Ravidass handed over his hymns to Guru Nanak. Both spoke against discrimination based on Caste, Colour and Creed, and preached ideas of Equality and Socialism, and this is evident from hymns incorporated in the Guru Granth Sahib. Sikhs refer to Guru Ravidas and several other Sants and Pirs whose Hymns (though they were not Sikhs) have been included in the Guru Granth Sahib as Bhagats.

Jatav Chamars

                                Jatav Chamars

Chamars however are placed at the lowest end of the social hierarchy. They are denied respect and access to resources like education, land and water. For historians the history of Chamars is not significant because their labour and scientific pursuit is never treated as dignified. Yet the community has an interesting history.


It was the time during the rule of early Mughals in 15th century Agra, also known as the leather capital, the Chamars had began an interesting journey.


Emperor Babur was the founder of the Mughal Empire in India. However, his son Humayun, lost to dreams and opium, was not a worthy successor. To make matters worse, he had inherited a fractious kingdom and was forced to engage in battle. Sher Khan, a rebellious Afghan chieftain was soon to oust Humayun to become Emperor Sher Shah Suri founding the short-lived Sur dynasty. He led his soldiers to victory against the Mughals. Hunmayun barely escaped with his life, almost drowning in a river nearby. A bhisti, a low caste water carrier, rescued him and ferried the emperor to safety on an inflated buffalo skin. In a typical expression of gratitude, Humayun made him king for a day. The bhisti invited fellow leather workers from all over to participate in his good fortune, establishing the foundation for Agra's considerable low caste population and its famous leather industry.


However, Agra's leather industry received its main impetus during the time of Emperor Akbar, who decreed that his soldiers wear shoes. Till that time the Mughal army had fought barefoot. Shoe-makers were summoned from all over the empire and work began to produce hundreds of thousands of pairs per year. Besides the hard-wearing leather jootis with slightly turned up toes for the soldiers, there were also a huge demand for more delicate versions for nobles, their ladies and vast entourages. Besides shoes were the Mughal shields which at least for the common soldiers, were made of leather.


In the British period the Agra Chamars (known as Jatavs) were the first to enter the manufacture of leather goods. Many became millionaires by supplying shoes and belts to the British army during World War II. That continued after independence aswell. But by the 1970s, non-Dalit traders entered the field. They acquired army tenders and began to fabricate leather goods, forcing many Jatav families out of business.

Chamar ( The Great discoverers )

                               Great Discoverers

Chamars, a dalit community has been known for their scientific pursuit, yet for which they have been hardly acknowledged. For examples they were the first discoverers of the role of salt in keeping the wet skin from rotting. The natural tanning process adopted by the Chamars is largely eco-friendly. The salted skin is dipped into the powered mixture of the bark of Tarwar plant. The Chamars discovered that the tannic acid of the Tarwar bark could be used to convert raw skins into leather. The treated skin is then put into a tub of lime. After a week it transforms into leather. The leather is then washed clean in a stream or a pond. To give a finish touch to the leather the Chamars use the dried and powered fibre of a fruit called Karukkaya. The fibre is boiled in castor oil. On cooling, this solution is systematically applied to the leather to give it a polished, smooth look.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Population Of Chamars in India

                    Second Biggest Cast In India

Bengal                            999,756                 1.25%
Bihar                              4,090,070               5%
Delhi                              893,384                  6.45%
Chandigarh                   48,159                    5.3%
Chhattisgarh                 1,659,303               8%
Haryana                         2,079,132               9%
Jammu & Kashmir        187,277                  1.9%
Jharkhand                    837,333                   3.1%
Madya Pradesh            4,498,165                7.5%
Punjab                         2,800,000                11.9%
Rajasthan                    2,465,563                4%
Uttar Pradesh              19,803,106              12%
Uttaranchal                  444,535                   5%