Jalna, Nov 5 (PTI) Activists supporting Maratha reservation claimed that members of the community were recognized as Kunbi during the Nizam era, hence all Marathas should be included under the Other Backward Class (OBC) category. Should be recognized as such.
A pro-reservation activist claimed, “Marathas and Kunbis freely dined with each other and intermarried”, thereby reducing the distance between them.
This cultural assimilation further strengthens the argument that Marathas and Kunbis were socially and culturally closely related, he said.
The agrarian Kunbi community is already getting the benefit of reservation in the Other Backward Class (OBC) category.
Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday said all District Magistrates in the state will be asked to depute ten personnel of the District Magistrate’s office to search the old records, on the basis of which Kunbi caste certificates can be given to eligible Marathas.
One of the demands of Maratha reservation activist Manoj Jarange, who ended his indefinite fast after nine days on Thursday, is that he should be given Kunbi (Maratha) caste certificate.
Jarange claimed that around 13,700 documents have been collected from the Marathwada region and presented before the five-member committee led by retired judge Sandeep Shinde. Shinde has been appointed by the state government to decide the process of granting Kunbi caste certificates to Marathas in the Marathwada region.
Maratha Kranti Morcha coordinator Dr Sanjay Lakhe Patil on Saturday said members of the Maratha community have historically been associated with farming, and claimed that they were called Kunbi.
Despite this, Marathas considered themselves a superior caste in the Marathwada region after the formation of Maharashtra, he said.
Patil claimed, historical documents and records indicate that Marathas were essentially identified as Kunbi and were socially and economically backward.
He said members of the Maratha community from Vidarbha and western Maharashtra are considered Kunbi and avail benefits under the OBC category.
Avinash Kavhale, president of local NGO Maratha Foundation, claimed, citing documents, that in 1920, the Nizam administration had conducted a comprehensive survey titled ‘Castes and Tribes of the Nizam’s Dominions’, which identified the Maratha community as landholders and farmers in the Deccan. Recognized as Vali caste.
He claimed that the Maratha community was a mixture of two important tribes, represented by the Maratha and the Kunbi.
The Marathas, he said, were divided into 96 ‘Kuls’ (clans), each of which was further sub-divided with a number of surnames.
Kavhale said, “Marathas and Kunbis freely dined with each other and intermarried”, thereby reducing the distance between them.
Kavhale P.V. Also mentioned the book ‘Marathwada Under the Nizams 1724-1948’ written by Kate and said that it provides valuable insights into the socio-economic aspects of the Marathwada region.
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