We do not Understand the Ways of the World
Gaduliya Lohars of South Rajasthan at the fringes of untouchability
The paper undertakes indigenous caste monography of the Gaduliya Lohars (Blacksmiths with carts) of Rajasthan, in light of their historical origin and the present state, they are living in. They are named according to the nomadic lifestyle they have acquired historically, leaving the courts with their patron king.
Post-Independent democratic India accorded the community with their association with the legendary past of the nation, during All India Gadi Lohar Sammelan held in 1955, thus glorifying their semi-nomadic existence that followed their self-imposed exile from Chittorgarh. It was an attempt, diligent yet fruitless, to settle this community as ‘Ironworkers’ of the new Industrial nation; a honeytrap of mobilizing such nomadic communities to use as potential vote banks. Presently, they are considered as ‘illegal migrant settlers’ in the western and northern states of India; as they can be found residing on the pavements alongside highways. Since Independence, they have been switching between multifarious caste attributions such as Scheduled tribe, OBC (Other Backward Caste), SBC (Special Backward Caste).
The paper explores how to confer to space, which is illegal to dwell, is a fundamental development of Settlement that hinders ‘Migration’, negatively affecting the existence of a community.
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