Where Kadwa Patidar fits within the four main categories in the Hindu caste system; what is the caste of the Kanajia/Kanaujia family of Gujarat; the position within the caste system of the Kanajia family relative to Kadwa Patidar [IND42632.E]

According to a representative of the Charotar Patidar Samaj (CPS), a private organization in Charlotte, USA composed of people from the State of Gujarat, India (CPS n.d.), Patidars are members of a middle-class caste, traditionally composed of farmers in Gujarat (16 June 2004). The representative explained that many people with the surname 'Patel' are members of the group/clan Patidar (CPS 16 June 2004). Several other Websites indicated that Patel is a common surname for members of the Patidar family/clan (Matiya Patidar Samaj 10 May 2004; Patidar Samaj 2004; Tuhl Indian/Hinduism July 2000).

Information on the caste system in Hinduism indicated that farmers and agricultural workers tend to belong to Vaishya/Vaisya, the third highest caste (out of four) (Wikipedia 23 May 2004; Vaisya.net 2002; Here Now4U n.d.). One source identified the Patel communities of Gujarat as "rich" merchants of the Vaisya caste (Banglapedia n.d.). Caste and Class in India reports that the Patidars are one of the largest groups in Gujarat (Shah 1994. 229). This book specifically mentions the Kadva Patidar branch as a division within the Patidars of Gujarat (ibid.).

Information on Kanajias or Kanujias in Gujarat was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate. Etawah 2000 and Beyond, a Website that celebrates the region of Etawah in the Uttar Pradesh state of northern India, mentions Kanaujias as being a subcaste or division of the Brahman caste (Etawah n.d.). Brahmans (or Brahmins) are members of the highest caste (Wikipedia 15 June 2004a; ibid. 15 June 2004b). A government Website report on the city of Gorakhpur in Uttar Pradesh also mentions Kanaujias as being a subcaste of the Brahmans (Uttar Pradesh 2002). No information was found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate to verify whether the Kanaujias in Uttar Pradesh are the same as the Kanajia/Kanaujias in Gujarat.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of additional sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References


Banglapedia. n.d. "Vaishya a Hindu Caste." http://banglapedia.search.com.bd/HT/V_0010.htm [Accessed 21 June 2004]

Charotar Patidar Samaj (CPS). 16 June 2004. Telephone interview with representative.

_____. n.d. "An Introduction to CPS." http://patidar.net/introduction.htm [Accessed 17 June 2004]

Etawah 2000 and Beyond. n.d. "People and Culture." http://etawah.nic.in/peopleNculture.htm [Accessed 17 June 2004]

Here Now4U. n.d. "Glossary V." http://www.here-now4u.de/eng/vglossar.htm [Accessed 21 June 2004]

Matiya Patidar Samaj. 10 May 2004. "History of the Matiya Patidar Samaj." http://www.matiyapatidarcenter.org/our_history.htm [Accessed 17 June 2004]

Patidar Samaj. n.d. "Culture and Traditions." http://www.patidarsamaj.org/culture_traditions.htm [Accessed 17 June 2004]

Shah, Ghanshyam. 1994. "Caste Sentiments, Class Formation and Dominance in Gujarat." Caste and Class in India. Edited by Sharma, K.L. Jaipur: Rawat Publications

Tuhl Indian/Hinduism Home Page. July 2000. "The 'Patel' Name History." http://www.tuhl.freeserve.co.uk/tuhl_history_patel_name.htm [Accessed 17 June 2004]

Uttar Pradesh. 2002. "Gorakhpur." http://upgov.up.nic.in/gorakhpur/chap3.htm [Accessed 21 June 2004]

Vaisya.net. 2002. "What is a Vaisya?" http://www.vaisya.net/ [Accessed 21 June 2004]

Wikipedia. 15 Jun 2004a. "Brahman." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahman [Accessed 21 June 2004]

_____. 15 Jun 2004b. "Brahmin." http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brahmin [Accessed 21 June 2004]

_____. 23 May 2004. "Vaisya" http://en.wikipedia.org/w/wiki.phtml?title=Vaisya&printable=yes [Accessed 21 June 2004]

Additional Sources Consulted


Internet sites, including: Hindu-Religion.net, Hinduwebsite.com, Hindustan Times, IndiaLawInfo.com, India Together, National Campaign on Dalit Human Rights, Positive Atheism, Shastri Indo-Canadian Institute.