Minor: Haryana, Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Telangana, Chhattisgarh, and Madhya Pradesh. The Maratha are an Indian caste, originally of Marathi-speaking peasant-warriors. They established the Maratha Empire in 1674 and were the dominant power on caste Heaven 03 PDF subcontinent for much of the following century before their downfall in 1818.
Författare: Chise Ogawa.
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Maharashtra, the term often loosely designates the entire regional population speaking the Marathi language. According to the Maharashtrian historian, B. Maratha caste“ is a „caste of peasants“ which formed the bulk of the Maharashtrian society together with the other Kunbi peasant caste. According to Jeremy Black, British historian at the University of Exeter, „Maratha caste is a coalescence of peasants, shepherds, ironworkers, etc. The term „Maratha“ originally referred to the speakers of the Marathi language. In the 17th century, it emerged as a designation for peasants from Deccan who served as soldiers in the armies of Muslim rulers and later in the armies of Shivaji Maharaj.
By 19th century, the term Maratha had several interpretations in the British administrative records. According to Steele, in the early 19th century, Kunbis, who were agriculturists and the Marathas who claimed Rajput descent and Kshatriya status – were distinguished by their customs related to widow remarriage. The Kunbis allowed it and the higher status Marathas prohibited it. However, there is no statistical evidence for this. Gradually, the term Maratha came to denote an endogamous caste. From 1900 onwards, the Satyashodhak Samaj movement defined the Marathas as a broader social category of non-Brahmin groups. Modern research has revealed that the Marathas and Kunbi have the same origin – although the two are treated as two different communities currently on a social level.
The empire also resulted in the voluntary relocation of substantial numbers of Maratha and other Marathi-speaking people outside Maharashtra, and across a big part of India. Today several small but significant communities descended from these emigrants live in the north, south and west of India. These descendant communities tend often to speak the local languages, although many also speak Marathi in addition. This section needs expansion with: post independence literacy research by Damle and marathi marriage issues by Mokashi, wastage of education per caste – research by Dubey etc. You can help by adding to it. In 17th century Maharashtra, Brahmins, CKPs and Saraswats were the only communities that had a system of higher education. Steward Gordon, Professor Emeritus of world history at the Michigan State University writes that the prominent Ghorpade Maratha family for instance was not literate and had to use Brahmins as record keepers.
Gail Omvedt concludes that during the British era, the overall literacy of Brahmins and CKPs was overwhelmingly high as compared to the literacy of the maratha and Kunbi communities where it was strikingly low. The artisan castes were intermediate in terms of literacy. Dowry refers to the durable goods, cash, and real or movable property that the bride’s family gives to the bridegroom, his parents, or his relatives as a condition of the marriage. Neela Dabir conducted her research on widows in Maharashtra by dividing them into three groups. First group consisted of the women belonging to Saraswat, CKP and Brahmin communities.
The second group consisted of women from the Maratha caste and the third group was all others. She concluded that the Brahmins, CKPs and Saraswats who had similar „family norms“ of following the higher caste Hindu rituals and traditions, discouraged widow remarriage. Rosalind O’Hanlon, Professor at the University of Oxford stated that the Hindu God Mhasoba is traditionally very popular in the Maratha caste. Mhasoba was also worshiped by the Bhonsles. The other Hindu Gods popular in the Maratha community are Khandoba and the Goddess Bhavani of Tuljapur. There was some controversy over the date but it is now celebrated on February 19th.
As late as the turn of 20th century, the Brahmin priests of Shahu, the Maratha ruler of Kolhapur refused to use Vedic mantras and would not take a bath before chanting, on the grounds that even the leading Marathas such as Shahu and his family belonged to the Shudra varna. In the 21st century, the Government of Maharashtra cited historical incidents for the claim of Shudra status of prominent Maratha families to form a case for reservation for the Marathas in the state. Claude Markovits, director of center of Indian and South-Asian studies, writes, that in 1875, in places such as Pune and Ahmednagar, Marwadi moneylenders became victims of coordinated attacks by the „local peasantry of the Maratha caste“. Following the assassination of Gandhi in 1948 by Nathuram Godse, a Chitpawan, Brahmins in Maharashtra became targets of violence, mostly from elements from the Maratha caste. Sirsikar, „It will be too much to believe that the riots took place because of the intense love of Gandhiji on the part of the Marathas. Godse became a very convenient hate symbol to damn the Brahmins and burn their properties.
Donald Rosenthal opines that the motivation for the violence was the historic discrimination and humiliation that the Maratha community faced due to their caste status. In Satara alone, the official reports show that about 1000 houses were burnt in about 300 villages. There were „cruel, cold-blooded killings“ as well – for example, one family whose last name happened to be ‚Godse‘ had three of its male members killed. Brahmins suffered from serious physical violence as well as economic violence in the form of looting. Maureen Patterson concludes that the greatest violence took place not in the cities of Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur – but in Satara, Kolhapur and Belgaum. The BDD Chawl in the Worli inner suburb of Mumbai is a complex of buildings which were built in 1920s to house workers employed by the textile mills.
In 2018, several incidents of violence were reported due to agitation over the delay of the inclusion of the Maratha caste in the Other Backward Class category. The agitation was started by the Maratha Kranti Morcha. In June 2018, the Marathas threatened violent protests if their demands were not met. Chelmsford Reforms of the British colonial government called for caste based representation in legislative council. In anticipation a Maratha league party was formed. The state has had many Maratha government ministers and officials, as well as in local municipal councils, and panchayats.