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Ghosi Yaduvansh




The term Hindu Ghosi (or Ghoshi, Ghosee, Ghosi Thakur घोसी ठाकुर, Ghosi Yadav घोसी यादव) are a community of the Indian Ahir caste. The term Ghosi also refers to a Muslim caste who are Hindu Ahirs converted to islam.

 The meaning appears to be that any Mohammadan who became a cowman by trade was called Ghosi and that this name then became applied to any Ahir , so that we now find that the Hindu Ahir as well as their Mohammadan competitor commonly called Ghosi.[2]

The Hindu Ghosi customs resemble those of the Hindu Rajputs. A Gaur Brahman officiates at the phera rite in marriage. The Ghosi have a system of punches and hereditary chaudhris. If one of the latter's line fail, his widow may adopt a son to succeed him, or, failing such adoption, the panch elects a fit person.[2]

Demographics

A noticeable fact about the caste is that while in upper India they all are Muslims, and it is considered to be partly on account of the difference in religion that thay have become differentiated into a separate caste from the Ahirs.[4] In Central India they are nearly all Hindus and show no trace of Muslim practicesThey call themselves Ghosi Thakur as they claim to be Rajput, and outsiders also sometimes address them as Thakur. But in Sagaur and Damoh these aspirations to Kshatriya rank are so widespread that when one person asks another his caste the usual form of question is ‘what Thakur are you?’.[4]

The ahirs are prevalent caste in this district (Mainpuri). Including Ghosis, they number 128585 or 16.8 percent of the whole population. [5]

Ghosi Gujars

Amongst Indian Gujars only five gotras are after the name of Hun Sardars, Rest of the Gujars are from Jat Gotras. Some of them are from Rajputs ... these are Casana, Khatana, Gorsi, (Ghosi) Birket etc.[6]

They[Gual or Gwala] include Goal, Darhor, Yadav, Yaduvanshi, Ahir, Goala, Kishnaut, Gujjar, Ghosi, Ganeria, etc., which may, at the best be said to be sub castes or sub groups.They carry mythical heritage and prestige being associated with Lord Krishna and hence a very ancient caste group with historical background .they are said to be originated in and spread out frm Mathura- Brindavan area . They speak local Hindi dialects and write in Devanagari script. ... Besides, they practise endogamy with gotra exogamy.[7]

Ghosi Ahirs

We find the following references portraying the branches of Ahirs in different accounts:-


Etymologically, Ahir:- Gop, Ghoshi,Gwal, Jadav, Gopal, Pohiyo, Dauva-(i) Quite a prominent tribal group descended from Abhirs old, renowned and celebrated due to Krishna’s connection with them(ii) Regarded by some as a branch of old kshatriya and medival Rajputs[8] and

Yadav:- A landowning caste, also known as Ahir Zamindars: holds the title to a Zamindari, an estate paying taxes to the government under British imperial rule.[9]

"In the Central Provinces the Ghosis have two subcastes, the Havelia or those living in open wheat country, and the Birchheya or residents of jungle tracts. In Saugor they have another set of divisions borrowed from the Ahirs, and here the Muhammadan Ghosis are said to be a separate subcaste, though practically none were returned at the census. They have the usual system of exogamous groups with territorial names derived from those of villages. In Damoh the Ghosis are mainly cart-drivers and cultivators and very few of them sell milk. In Nimar there are some Muhammadan Ghosis who deal in Milk."[10][11]

"There are Hindu Ghosis in Delhi who are gwalas or cowherds by calling and appear to be by origin." Ahirs.[12]

"At a still earlier date, the warlike Ahirs had swarmed over the wild ravines of the western region, where they remain by far the most numerous and powerful tribe to the present day. Many great Thakur families still retain their hereditary estates in Mainpuri, where they have long formed the Aristocratic class. The Ahirs are most important among them, both in number and influence."[13]

"This (Ahir) is a numerous tribe in the (Mainpuri) district, where some are proprietors of considerable estates. They are chiefly found in the two pargannahs of Shikohabad and Mustafabad.The following is a list of their clans- 1. Phatak 2. Nigana 3. Jiwariya or Jarwariya 4. Dhumar 5. Dunr 6. Kamariya 7. Karaiya 8. Shondele 9. Raut 10. Lahugaya 11. Anguri 12. Bhragudi13. Badosia 14. Malguraya 15. Gaindua or Gudua 16. Ghosi. Among these 16 'gots' , the Phatak rank highest"[14] "The Phataks remained for the most time loyal to the govt., and aided bharaul ahirs in resisting the rebel raja Tej Singh. They still persist in the crime of female infanticide, a practice which they inherited from their Thakur ancestors. The Phataks are not numerous anywhere in the district except south of the Sarsa. They along with the other fifteen “gots” of their tribe hold nearly one third of the total sir (Zamindari rights)………The ahirs, after Thakurs (Rajputs) occupy the largest area."[15]

"There are two types of Yadavs(Ahirs) in this constituency (Mainpuri). Ghosi Yadavs and Kamaria Yadavs."[16]

Also, Kamaria and Ghosi stock of ahir cultivators were mentioned in 'District Gazetteers of the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh', Volume 12 page 117, page 158[17]

According to "The Caste System of Northern India", page 52, "In Mainpuri ahir are divided into Dwijat (Twice-born)(kshatriya) and Sudras."[18] "The Gwal ahir ranks low because legends trace his descent to the cowherds of the true Ahirs who own the cattle"[18]

According to “British social policy and female infanticide in India”, by Lalita Panigrahi :-

"There were two kinds of ahirs: those who were cattle breeder and those who were permanently engaged in cultivation."[19]

″The ahirs who occupy babriabar are different from shudra ahirs although bearing the same name, they profess to be connected with somrahs of scind,solanki rajputs of div and Ujjain and therefore to be of royal blood."[20]

"Ahirs claim that they were once Kshatriya and ruled the country. Similarly, in Mainpuri they claim descent from Rana katira of Mewar, who was driven from his own country by an invasion of the Mohammadans and took refuge of Digpal Raja of Mahaban,an ahir, whose daughter his son, Kanh Kanwar, subsequently married and by her became the ancestor of Phatak Ahirs."[21]

"Ghosis, have traditionally been relatively better off among Yadavs (Ahirs)".[22]

Yaduvanshi Vs Nandvanshi

By beginning of 20th century, in order to be recruited into the Army Nandvanshi Yadavs of the same region began to represent themselves as Yaduvanshi Yadav. Nandvanshi Yadav and Yaduvanshi Yadavs are fundamentally the same. Balbir Singh Yadav of the Rewari family, the descendent of Raja Tula Ram was a friend of a British Army Officer who was posted in Mathura. He often used to pay him visits. During these visits he promoted the recruitment of all Ahirs and he used to say that Yaduvanshi title and Nandvanshi title have the same meaning.[23]

Also, during the research, 'Lucia Michelutti' finds the same Ghosi Yadav subject introducing himself as Nandvanshi at one occasion and as Yaduvanshi at the other, which confirms same meaning of the terms. [23]

[edit] Political role

Ghosis, who have traditionally been relatively better off among Yadavs (Ahirs), claim to have led Yadav caste assertion in the state of Uttar Pradesh. It was Ghosi leaders who led the caste's social awakening in the early 20th century, giving them the consciousness that has helped their emergence on the political stage. The first Yadav upsurge, they point out, began as early as 1912 when a 'Yadav Mahasabha' was organised at Brahmawar-Lajpur village in Shikohabad at the behest of Ghosi social leaders. Choudhary Amir Singh of this village presided over the Mahasabha which resolved that the Ahirs (another term for Yadavs) have Kshatriya lineage. It formed a committee of four members with a specific objective to establish an educational institution for Ahirs. It was because of the work of this committee that an Ahir Kshatriya School was set up at Shikohabad in 1916, which was later promoted into 'Ahir Kshatriya Degree College'. All these early Yadav leaders were Ghosis.[22]

After Choudhary Charan Singh formed a coalition of peasant communities in the state in the 1970s, the Congress lacked even symbolic Yadav presence. And once Mulayam emerged as Charan Singh’s successor in the 1980s, he attracted Ghosis, Kamarias and other Yadavs.[22]

"Mulayam and most top Yadav leaders of his party belong to the Kamaria subcaste of Yadavs. It is this subcaste that received most of the benefits from Mulayam’s rise to power. The other subcaste of Yadavs, Ghosi, got nothing— despite the fact that Ghosis, who account for nearly two-thirds of the Yadav population in central districts of UP (the SP bastion), have been supporting the party wholeheartedly for two decades.”[22]

Ghosis always treated Mulayam as their own, but Mulayam did nothing for us,” says Shiv Prasad Yadav, the Ghosi leader who wrested the Bharthana Assembly seat that was vacated by Mulayam Singh Yadav after he became a Lok Sabha member. Of all the Yadav-dominated seats lost by the SP in recent bypolls, this one has its own significance. For it was here that intra-caste differences among Yadavs saw their first expression in the state.”[22]

The optimists in Congress are even predicting a split among the Yadavs, who have unfailingly voted for SP. Congress refrain is that Mulayam Singh Yadav, a member of the Kamariya sub-caste, has consistently overlooked the interests of the Ghosi Yadavs. "We have ensured representation for Ghosi sub-caste while choosing our candidates," a Congress leader said. Ghosi Yadavs outnumber Kamariya Yadavs in UP.[24]