History of Meghs

(A post of Sh. Tararam Gautam on Facebook and discussion on it)

Know your history-

निम्न अवतरण सर डेंजिल इब्बेत्सन( Sir Denzil Ibbetson) की पुस्तक, जो "Panjab Castes" के शीर्षक से 1916 में लाहोर से प्रकाशित हुई, से अक्षरशः लिखा जा रहा है-

"653. The Meg (caste no. 57)- The Meg or as he is called in Rawalpindi Meng, is the Chamar of the track immediately below the Jammu Hills. But appears to be a slightly better standing than Chamar, and this superiority is doubtless owing to the fact that Meg is weaver as well as worker in leather, for we have already seen that weaving stands in the social scale a degree higher than shoe making-* Like the Chamars of the plains the Megs work as Coolies and like all hill menials they work much in the fields. General Cunningham is inclined to identify them with the Mechioi of Arrian, and has an interesting note on them at page 11f, volume-2 of his Archaeological Reports, in which he described them as inferior caste of cultivators. Who inhabitated the banks of upper Satluj at the times of Alexander's invasion, and probably gave them name of the town Makhowal. They seem at present to be almost confined to the upper valley of Ravi and Chanab, and their stronghold is the sub-montane portions of Sialkot lying between these two rivers. They are pratically Hindus."
Reference: Panjab Castes, Lahore,1916, page-333

*Fn- "In Bikaner and Sirsa a man who is pleased with a Cchamar calls him Meghwal, just as he calls him Dherh if he is angry with him. The Chamars of Bagar say they are descended from Meg Rikh, who was created by Narain." (Footnote at page-333)

इस विवरण से 18वीं-19वीं शताब्दी के मेघों के जीवन और उनकी सामाजिक स्थिति आदि का सहज अनुमान लगाया जा सकता है।

 — with Sharvan Meghwal Lakhani and 5 others.


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  • You, Raj BoseNathu Ram MeghwalRattan Gottra and 5 others like this.

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  • Bharat Bhushan Bhagat रख लिया है.

    August 15 at 6:32am · Like

  • Bagaram Shardul जातीय स्वाभिमान ,विभिन्न आयामों से गुरते हुए वर्तमान परिपेक्ष में उजागर कर इतिहासिक प्रेरणा को भी उजागर करना , वास्तव में सची समाज सेवा का दायित्व संम्पन करने के लिए साधुवादSee Translation

    August 15 at 7:16am · Unlike · 1

  • Bhagatvikassabha Regd As profession of Meng(Bhagat) You are mentioning Leather & Bootmaking. This is totally untrue. Bhagats had never used leather as profession. Their main profession remained Weaving. During British period they suffered loss in the profession and started working in the cities they adopted profession like Construction Labour & RajMistri, Tailoring, Hair Cutting, Carpantery, Lohar work but never worked on shue Making &cloth washing. Even today you cannot find even a single instance starting from Jammu to Gurdaspur & Amritsar, Kthala,Jalandhar & elsewhere. Even Bhagat at Sialkot (Pak) have not touched leather as profession even these days. Please don`t spread falsehood about your Caste in which you are borne. You are free to enter Ad-dharmi and Meghwal caste. Pl don`t relate whole community and degrade it. Had they joined shoue making they would have prospered after Independence. Because Balmike & Showmaker are City Based community. They Houses and area of work has got tremendous importance. Shoping Mall have come up where they have treated leather. They have become crorepati. Whereas Megh are marching in the reverse.

    August 15 at 2:55pm · Edited · Like

  • Tararam Gautam Above citation is from Ibbetson's book and not of mine. Further, nothing is mentioned in the above para as such you have pointed out.

    August 15 at 3:04pm · Unlike · 1

  • Bharat Bhushan Bhagat Bhagatvikassabha Regd, सर जी, ऊपर की पोस्ट में Sir Denzil Ibbetson की पुस्तक, "Panjab Castes" को उद्धृत किया गया है. यदि उसे किसी ने चुनौती दी हो और गलत प्रमाणित किया हो तो उसकी सूचना अवश्य दें ताकि उक्त प्रकाशन के बारे में लोगों को आगाह किया जा सके. वैसे इब्बेटसन जैसे अंग्रेज़ों को ब्राह्मणों ने मेघों और उनके प्रोफेशन के बारे में काफी मिसगाइड किया होगा इसकी संभावना से इंकार नहीं किया जा सकता.

    August 15 at 4:08pm · Like · 1

  • Bhagatvikassabha Regd When one is referring any thing it means he is in agreement with the view. One should clearly say to this agree or disagree. During old period castes were known by their professions. Pl remember this, then generalize.

    August 15 at 4:15pm · Like

  • Bhagatvikassabha Regd Again, how one can support Meghvansh theory. A Ruling Vansh is known by a Family and not by a Whole tribe. And how a vansh spread in whole of India. If concerned with the Name Megh please have a Claim on Meghalaya which is a state in India with clear name Megh Alia (Place of Megh).

    August 15 at 4:24pm · Like

  • Tararam Gautam @Bhagatvikassabha, it is not concern to me what think people about themselves and others. My concern is only make available written informations which I posses in my library about the Megh and not else. So far Bhagat is concerned as a caste or as a sect, I couldn't find as such in the Ibbetson's book cited above. The volumes were published before the end of 19th century and referred book is reprint from that only. If you have any reference of bhagat as caste or bhagat as sect, in the book cited above "Panjab Castes", please let me know that pages, so that I can revisit.
    So far as caste formations on occupation or profession is concerned, It is my firm believe that neither the meg nor the bhagat is an occupational caste or guild. In the 17th century publication on ethnology of Asia, it is clear mention that Megh is a politiccal-religious division. In Punjab in the 18th and 19th centuries many castes were engaged in weaving including jats, kolis, kories, megs, julahas, charans and so on, list is bit large. You may go through that book. But so far as their nomenclature of caste was concerned, it were distinct and separate. Is that not clear that ....

    August 15 at 7:06pm · Like

  • Tararam Gautam And it is also mentioned that weaving was open to every one, was not confined to a particular caste or community.

    August 15 at 7:30pm · Like

  • Tararam Gautam In the categories of Mohmedan caste, the julaha is described with various divisions. 
    Sadh is also mentioned,, not as caste but as sect and includes various names prefix of their Hindu caste names.

    August 15 at 7:37pm · Like

  • Tararam Gautam Here under I again quote Ibbetson, he narrates about Sadhs in these word, One may agree or not agree:
    "Sadh (caste No.155)- Sadh is properly nothing more than the Hindu equivalent of Musalman Pir, or rather Sadh applies only to a Hindu devotee, while Pir includes any Mohamedan holy man. But the word is especially applied to a set of Hindu Unitarians. Who are chiefly found in upper Ganges-Jamna doabs, from farrukhabad upwards. The sect was founded by one Birbhan some 200 years ago. The Sadhs do not smoke, and affect great personal cleanliness, and their religious ceremonies consist in eating together. It is a sect rather than an order and the Jats of a large village in Karnal are Sadhs by sects, though Jats by caste. ( see Wilson's Hindu Sects,pages 227ff ). To the figures of the tables must be added 100 men and 13 women mostly in the Hissar district. Our figures show chiefly for the Dehli district and Rohtak, which would appear to connect them with Sadh sect, yet the paucity of females show that the figures refer to a religious order. The priest of menial classes are often called Sadh, as Chamarwa Sadh of Chamars, or Charandasi Sadhs and the Kabirbansi Sadhs of the Julahas" pp 227-228
    Reference: Panjab Castes.

    August 15 at 8:16pm · Like

  • Bharat Bhushan Bhagat Bhagatvikassabha Regd and Tataram Tararam Gautam, पंजाब और जम्मू-कश्मीर के मेघ अक्सर इस बात पर भिड़ जाएँगे कि उनके पुरखों ने कभी चमड़े का कार्य किया था. इस बारे में यदि कोई पुराना लिखित दस्तावेज़ मिलता है तो वह अंग्रेज़ों या ब्राहमणों या ऊँची जाति के लोगों द्वारा रचित है. यदि आज की परिस्थितियों में कोई यह प्रमाणित करना चाहता है कि पंजाब के मेघों या जम्मू के निवासी उनके पुरखों ने चमड़े का कभी कोई काम नहीं किया तो इसका एक कारण यह भी हो सकता है कि कहीं मेघों पर चमार होने का कलंक न लगे क्योंकि चमार शब्द तीखी घृणा का शिकार रहा है. मेरा विचार यह है कि मेघों और चमारों का मूल भले ही एक हो लेकिन जाति के तौर पर मेघ निश्चित रूप से चमार नहीं हैं.

    August 15 at 9:55pm · Edited · Like · 1

  • Bhagatvikassabha Regd No body is going to dangle the issue in Jammu & panjab as said by BBB. Facts cannot be changed on the bases of myth. Some people have started unnecessary hate controversy. No benefit will be served to any community by quoting old myth. I repeat it again. The castes were known by their work. So meng were never Shoe Maker. Presently, Megh are known by the name Bhagat (although still they have to write it Megh in legal or official papers.) In the recent Censor Counting almost 50% have opted for Bhagat instead of Megh.( Nowadays it is freewill to join chamar or ad-dharmi caste and forsake Megh caste for more benefit.)

    Yesterday at 10:20am · Like · 1

  • Bharat Bhushan Bhagat Bhagatvikassabha Regd. I reiterate that Tararam Gautam does not endorse views of people who say that Meghs were Chamars. But it is also true that Meghvanshis have from time to time tried take refuge in other names in order to avoid the word 'Megh'. The words 'Bhagat', 'Kabirpanthi' and 'Julaha' are the latest in that series.

    Yesterday at 10:46am · Like