From Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
ClassificationForward caste
ReligionsHinduism, Islam and Sikhism[1][2]
LanguagesHindi-Urdu, Haryanvi, Bundeli, Chhattisgarhi, Marwari, Mewari, Shekhawati,Dhundari, Malwi, Bhojpuri,[3] Awadhi, Maithili,[4] Gujarati, Sindhi, Punjabi, Marathi, Pahari (Dogri)
CountryIndia, Pakistan, Nepal, and Bangladesh
RegionRajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Eastern Punjab, Western Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Jammu and Kashmir, Azad Kashmir, Bihar, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra,[5] and Sindh
Historical groupingKshatriya

Rajput (from Sanskrit rājaputra meaning "son of a king"), also called Thakur,[6] is a large multi-component cluster of castes, kin bodies, and local groups, sharing social status and ideology of genealogical descent originating from the Indian subcontinent. The term Rajput covers various patrilineal clans historically associated with warriorhood: several clans claim Rajput status

Origin[change | change source]

Early references[change | change source]

The word rājaputra (Sanskrit: राजपुत्र; literally "son of a king") finds mention in some ancient Hindu scriptures like the Rigveda, Ramayana and Mahabharata.[7] The word first appears in a sense other than its literal meaning in the 7th century Bakshali manuscript from NWFP in reference to a mercenary soldier, while in the 8th century Chachnama of Sindh, it is used in the sense of elite horsemen.[8] Andre Wink notes that the military nobility of Sindh ruler Dahir to which the Chachnama and Al-Baladhuri refer as thakurs can be seen as Rajputs in the original sense of the word.[9] In the 12th century Rajtarangini, it has been used in the sense of a landowner.[10]

Scholar views[change | change source]

Historians Vaidya and R.B. Singh write that the Rajputs had originated from the Vedic Aryan Kshatriyas of the epics - Ramayana and Mahabharata. Vaidya bases this theory on certain attributes - such as bravery and "physical strength" of Draupadi and Kausalya and the bravery of the Rajputs. However, Hiltebeitel says that such "affinities do not point to an unbroken continuity between an ancient epic period" in the Vedic period (3500 BCE - 3000 BCE according to Vaidya) and the "great Rajput tradition" that started in sixteenth-century Rajasthan instead "raise the question of similarities between the epics' allusions to Vedic Vratya warbands and earlier medieval low status Rajput clans". Hiltebeitel concludes that such attempts to trace Rajputs from epic and Vedic sources are "unconvincing"[11] and cites Nancy MacLean and B.D. Chattopadhyaya to label Vaidya's historiography on Rajputs as "often hopeless".[12] A second group of historians, which includes Jai Narayan Asopa, theorised that the Rajputs were Brahmins who became rulers. However, such "one track arguments" and "contrived evidence" such as shape of the head, cultural stereotypes, etc. are dismissed by Hiltebeitel who refers to such claims and Asopa's epic references as "far-fetched" or "unintelligible".[13]

References[change | change source]

  1. Cohen, Stephen Philip (2006). The idea of Pakistan (Rev. ed.). Washington, D.C.: Brookings Institution Press. pp. 35–36. ISBN 978-0815715030. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  2. Lieven, Anatol (2011). Pakistan a hard country (1st ed.). New York: PublicAffairs. ISBN 9781610390231. Retrieved 18 July 2017.
  3. "Folk-lore, Volume 21". 1980. p. 79. Retrieved 9 April 2017.
  4. Roy, Ramashray (1 January 2003). Samaskaras in Indian Tradition and Culture. Shipra Publications. p. 195. ISBN 9788175411401. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
  5. Rajendra Vora (2009). Christophe Jaffrelot; Sanjay Kumar (eds.). Rise of the Plebeians?: The Changing Face of the Indian Legislative Assemblies (Exploring the Political in South Asia). Routledge India. p. 217. ISBN 9781136516627. [In Maharashtra]The Lingayats, the Gujjars and the Rajputs are three other important castes which belong to the intermediate category. The lingayats who hail from north Karnataka are found primarily in south Maharashtra and Marthwada while Gujjars and Rajputs who migrated centuries ago from north India have settled in north Maharashtra districts.
  6. Rima Hooja 2006, p. 181.
  7. Sabita Singh (27 May 2019). The Politics of Marriage in India Gender and Alliance in Rajasthan. Oxford University Press. ISBN 9780199098286.
  8. Al-Hind, the Making of the Indo-Islamic World: Early Medieval and the expansion of Islam. Brill. 2002. p. 155. ISBN 0391041738.
  9. Rima Hooja 2006, p. 181–182:"In Kalhana’s Rajtarangini (VII.390) the word rajaputra is used in the sense of a landowner, but if it is read with VII, vv.1617 and 1618 of the same book it would be clear that they acclaimed their birth from the 36 clans of the Rajputs.”
  10. Alf Hiltebeitel 1999, pp. 440–441.
  11. Alf Hiltebeitel 1999, pp. 3.
  12. Alf Hiltebeitel 1999, pp. 441–442.

Other websites[change | change source]

Origin of Rajputs