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Gujjars, Bakerwals say no to division on small ethnic lines
Jammu, March 19, (Scoop News)-Rebuffing an attempt of some particular groups mainly active in Poonch, Rajouri districts and Uri , Karanah Tehsils to divide Gujjars and Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir of on small ethnic lines –the writers of community in a programme organised by Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation - held here today, reacted sharply and made an appeal to tribe to remain united on all fronts to give a befitting reply to disintegrating forces.
The programme was presided over by renowned scholar of community Dr. Javaid Rahi , and attended by a large number of community intellectuals which was held on the topic 'Gujjar -Bakerwal ; two names -one tribe'.
Dr. Javaid Rahi in his presidential address said that some people in border areas of the state are working to segregate the vibrant Gujjar identity into many parts to get political benefits out of the divion which is highly intolerable and strongly condemnable. He said that Gujjars and Bakerwals are one Tribe popularly known as Gujjars or Gurjars in South Asia.

He said Bakerwal is another name of Gujjars as like Gujjars have many names like Ajjadh , Dhangar, Dohdhi, Vanvasi . He said those Gujjars who rear “goats” /sheep are called Bakerwals- as word Bakarwal is derived from the term, Bakri/Bakar meaning "goat/Sheep", and Wal meaning "one who takes care of" therefore this name was given to those Gujjars who are rearing goats and Sheeps. The speakers on the occasion said they – Gujjars and Bakerwals - share same History, Culture, Language-Gojri- and racial identity . Even all anthropological and genetic studies conducted on Gujjars-Bakerwals says that they are not a separate identities in any ways, he added.here stated that some people in border areas of the state are bent upon to segregate the vibrant Gujjar identity into two parts which is highly condemnable and deeply intolerable. He said that Gujjars and Bakerwals are one Tribe popularly known as Gujjars or Gurjars in South Asia.

The writers on the occasion said in 1991 the Gujjars-Bakerwals are granted Tribal status in Jammu and Kashmir and a study was conducted by Union Government of India before granting the Scheduled Tribe Status to them . The study reveals that Bakerwal is another name of Gujjars entered in revenue records that’s why both the names (Gujjars and Bakerwals ) were included while the community was enlisted in tribal category in Indian constitutions, they added.

The writers stated that The Bakarwals belong to the same ethnicity stock as the Gujjars, and inter-marriages don't take place among them as socialy and ethinically ther are one. They said Bakarwals have same gotra or clan like Gujjars, many local shepherds, who may not necessarily belong to the community, are often termed as Bakarwal.
They said we can't divide our language, heritage, poets ‘Hazrat Baba Abdullah Larvi’ (RA) Mian Nizam Din Larvvi. Ismail, Zabee, Isreal Asar , Khuda Baksh Zar , Shams Din Mehjoor.

There is no such division exists among Gujjars-Bakerwals as it look irrational ,illogical and unjustified. The Bakarwals belongs to the same ethnicity stock as the Gujjars, and inter-marriages freely take place among them said the speakers added that they enjoy equal status in Tribal society there are number of examples where one brothers name entered in revenue record as Bakerwal and Others as Gujjars. Recently there were some reports of division between Gujjars-Bakerwals and some non tribal groups of Poonch and Rajouri are instigating the tribesman to divide Gujjar community into two parts -which form third largest group of the State after Kashmiri and Dogras and constitute more than 20% population of total population of Jammu and Kashmir.




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