Mahar - History and Cultural Relations

It is clear that Mahars were among the earliest inhabitants of the Marathi-speaking area of India, if not the original dwellers. Their myths reinforce the epithet bhumiputra, "son of the soil," which implies original ownership of the land. The first Mahar to figure in history is Chokhamela, a fourteenth-century poet-saint in the devotional religious tradition that allowed participation by all castes. Chokhamela, the Untouchable Mahar, along with his wife, her brother, and their son are all historic figures in the Warkari cult. The sixteenth-century Brahman poet, Eknath, wrote more than forty poems as if he were a Mahar, underlining their importance to the everyday world of that time. In the seventeenth century, Mahars were part of the armies of the Maratha king Shivaji, and in the late eighteenth century and the nineteenth Century, Mahars joined the British armed forces and served until the army was reorganized on a "martial peoples" basis in the late nineteenth century. Former army Mahars were the first to petition the British government for redress and for equal treatment. Mahars who worked on the railways or in the ammunition factories, who were thus free from traditional village work, created a receptive body of urban workers who were ready to join a movement for higher status and even equality. There were a number of local leaders in Poona and Nagpur, but Bhimrao Ramji is still seen by Mahars, Buddhists, and many other educated Untouchables as the supreme example of Untouchable achievement. Statues of Dr. B. R. Ambedkar dot the landscape of Maharashtra, and he is often shown with a book in his hand, symbolizing the constitution of India, for his crowning achievement was to serve as chairman of the Drafting Committee of the Constitution and as law minister in independent India's first cabinet.

Mahars were the largest Untouchable caste in Maharashtra, comprising 9 percent of that area's population. Although the majority have converted to Buddhism, the cultural relations of those remaining in the villages have not changed. Mahars traditionally were in opposition to Mangs, an Untouchable caste of rope makers seen as lower than Mahars. The Chambhars, a caste of leather workers, were held to be of higher status than Mahars. The other two major blocks of castes in Maharashtra are Brahmans, who are seen as the theoreticians of the discriminatory practices against Untouchables and the basic enemy, and Marathas, landowning agriculturists who in the current period are the chief instigators of violence against Untouchables and Buddhists who attempt to free themselves from village duties.

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Oct 24, 2011 @ 4:16 pm
can you tell me that mahars are somvanshi kshatriyas is that true and they are genettically fit as soldires??
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Jan 17, 2012 @ 3:15 pm
first of all thanks for providing such important and inspiring information. Plz keep on adding more articles about mahar so that we become more inspired
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Mar 26, 2013 @ 4:04 am
Hello, Thanks for the valuable information. To answer aditya's question. Yes, Mahar's are a part of the somvanshi kshatriyas clan. British empire has listed Mahar's as a Martial Class, because of their bravery and their sterdy ness. Shivaji Maharaj also had huge no of soldiers belonging to Mahar community.
Bhivsen Jadhav
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Apr 24, 2013 @ 2:02 am
I want to know the origin of Mahar Community in Maharashtra. Are Mahars are found in other Indian States? If yes, what they are called?
Pranay Shirsat
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Jul 19, 2013 @ 10:10 am
First, i would be thankful to a concern writer for providing detail history of The Mahars. As far as my knowledge is concerned, and after reading all related articles of The Mahars, i would like say the the Mahars are the original dwellers of Maharashtra. The name Maharashtra is originally derived from the name Mahar + Rashtra. Also, The Mahars were living in Deccan since the times of pre-aryan.
Dhanraj Mourya
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Sep 22, 2013 @ 10:10 am
Very intelligent, helpful, polite, loving people. They follow Buddhism, the religion of love and compassion. They are Martial Race indeed. They are Naga's (Nag Lok People) and Nagpur (Old Capital of Maharashtra) was region where most of Naga people resided. It is very easy to understand that name Maharashtra is derived from mahar+rashtra. thanks
G.M Mahar sindhi
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Jan 31, 2016 @ 1:01 am
Thanks for that pricious information and i tell you that Mahar's Also live in Sindh and Punjab province of pakistan
S j Basawnathe
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May 11, 2016 @ 12:12 pm
Plz add renowned people's from this community who are made histroy at national/international level. Really inspirational article.
Vishal Anand
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Feb 23, 2018 @ 5:05 am
Royal Mahar Regiment established by the British people on the basis of martial race theory for Mahar community in India, and the Maharashtra is Mahar + Rashtra, the Country of Mahar, as they were rulers in ancient times, and the origin of Mahar family white people is in Ireland.
Yousuf Mahar
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Aug 15, 2018 @ 4:16 pm
Happy to read the artice feel proud that i belong from history..♠️
Siddharth Bhambedkar
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Dec 23, 2018 @ 8:08 am
Mahars are originally inhabitants of Maharashtra and were called as descendents of Bhagvan Shiva's fourth son...

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