|Shree Sattavis Gam Patidar Samaj (Europe)|
Patel Charotar were known as Patidar who defined "GOR" as Samaj or Union for their organisations "Gor" known in Patel Community of Charotar District in Gujarat arrived from Sanskrit "Gotra". These Gor or groups of villages were formed for arranged marriage relationship system within the fold of their own Gor. Now old barriers of such group and confine wedding relationship within own groups is diminishing or ignored and Social Reforms are adopted by many individuals in today’s progressive lifestyle. Yet these Gor or groups are not dismantled but has enlarged their groups and added more villages in their Gor. In some villages only few families have joined different Gor....More.
Patidars of Gujarat are the descendants of Aryans. Aryans were settled on the Pamir's High Lands near River AMU in Central Asia. From these Aryans, one group went towards Europe, the second to Iran and third came to Punjab, India via Afghanistan. Around 250 B.C. a social order came into existence amongst Aryans with four classes (Chatur Varnya) namely (1) Brahmin (2) Kshatriya (3) Vaishya and (4) Shudra. In the beginning, while these classes were in the process of being established, the present Patidars were Kshatriya’s and settled in Punjab. There after, Kshatriya’s were further subdivided into three kinds known as (1) Rajan-Raj (2) Kshatriya (3) Kurmi-Kshatriya. Rajan were the leaders of several small groups and were called Kings. Kshatriyas work was to fight the battles, engage in war and help the kings in administration all the year round. Kurmi Kshatriyas were helping in war with the enemy or invasion from outside but in peace time were doing agriculture in the fertile region of Seven River's Valley-Sapt Sindhu together with animal husbandry on a large scale.
Sri Ramchandraji's (Lord Ram) two sons, Lav and Kush invaded Punjab and defeated its king. Thereafter, in the Region in which Lav established peace and order, it was caller Leya and similarly the Region of Kush was known as Kushad-Kharad. In this way the present Patidars (Kurmi Kshatriyas of that period) are not the direct descendants of Lav and Kush.
The word Kurmi in Sanskrit Dictionary - "Bhuhu Ashy it Kurmi" means whoever has the land is a Kurmi. As the time went by the word Kurmi derogated into Kunby and later on to Kanbi. So Kurmis of the Leya Region of Punjab were called Leuva.... Kanbi while those coming from Karad region were called Kadva Kanbi. Kurmis left.... Punjab because of frequent aggression from outside.
During the period between 400 A.D, to 700 A.D. many Leuva Patidar Families (Loh - Kurmis) of North India, Rajasthan and North Gujarat came and settled in Adalaj. When Siddhraj conquered Malvadesh, he invited thousands of Kanbi families to Patana. Ramji Patel brought with him some six hundred Patidar families and settled in Adalaj. This is how Adalaj became the first main settlement of Leuva Patidars in Gujarat. From 500 A.D. Patidars of Adalaj spread to Bhal, Dash koi and Khambhat Regions and in the sixth century further form Khambhat, spread all over Kaira District. During this period Ramji Patel accompanying so many Kurmi families from Adalaj went to Charotar Region. These Kurmi families broke the wild virgin land of Charotar, ploughed it and made-arable and most fertile and there settled permanently carrying on agriculture. From 1430 A.D. the down fall of Champaner began and from thereon Patidars of Champaner reached right up to Valsad via Vadodara. Few went to Kanam-Vakar Region.
In Gujarat, the word Patel is 300 years old. During this period, there was one Patel named Vir Vasandas from Piplav (Dist. Kaira) who used to have good relation with the Moghul Emperor Aurangzeb. He organised the Conference of the entire Kanbi Community in 1759 (1703 A.D.) under the auspices of Bahadur Shah a Shajada of Aurangzeb and in this gathering persuaded him to enter the word "Patidar" instead of "Kanbi" in Badshah's Revenue Records. Patidar means one who has the land. Thereafter, he influenced Moghul Emperor in Delhi and Moghul Subah (Governor) of Gujarat to authorise Patidars to collect Land Revenue. The Patidars who were given this authority were called "Amin", while during the reign of Peshwas those authorised to collect the Revenue were called "Desai". Likewise amongst Patidars in addition to surname Patel there began surnames like Amin and Desai. Vir Vasandas was the first Amin of Gujarat.
Five hundred years ago all the Patidars were farmers, all were equal and nobody was of higher or lower class (Kul-Family). There were no classes, circles or groups in give and take of girls in marriage. All the Patidars, Kadva as well as Leuva according to their convenience were arranging girl's marriages in whole of Gujarat. Ahmedabad City was founded in 1413 A.D. Prosperous and educated Patidars from villages went to Ahmedabad and started settling there. Over the course of years Patidars of Ahmedabad City became wealthy and prosperous and therefore being counted as of Higher Social Strata and Family (Kul). Patidar farmers from villages rushed to the City in search of suitable Boys to give their daughters in marriage resulting into a competition and an emergence of a Custom of Dowry and Dahej (Matrimonial property to the Girl in marriage). The farmers from the villages had to incur heavy expenditure as a result of which the birth of a girl was considered to be a bad Omen. At last, Village Patidars awoke and around 1700 A.D. only Leuva Patidars decided not to give in marriage their daughters in Ahmedabad. But during the same period one inequality arose i.e. some big families of the villages received Grants of Aminat and Desaigiri resulting in a big increase in their income. A wealthy and prosperous class came into existence with whom in turn, the ordinary villagers rushed and compete to give their daughter in marriage. The amount of Dowry and Dahej (Matrimonial property including Jewellery, Clothes & wherewithal) gradually increased. After 1800 A.D. those villages which were considered to be of Higher Social strata and of noble families (Kulvan) ceased to give their daughters in marriage outside their certain villages and which over the period established as a Custom.
Thus created a big inequality in give and take of girls in marriage and in fact in 1869 A.D. Nadiad, Vaso, Sojitra and other fifteen villages created their own Circle (Gor). In 1888 Patidar Panch met in Dakor with 10,000 representatives present. This panch made a tremendous effort to remove the said inequality but Patidars could not agree amongst themselves. As a result the Circle (Gor) created some 20 years back by Nadiad etc. was firmly established and also thereafter, other two Circles (Gor) were created. Following in another twenty years some fifty large and small Circles (Gors) of Leuva - Patidars were created in Gujarat . It is said that the size of Patidar's Heart in comparison with other Gujarati’s is bit bigger but his tongue is more sharper and with that kind of nature both good and bad results have come.
Translated by Ramanbhai J. Pate/ (Anand)
Taken from "HISTORY OF PATIDARS FROM GUJARAT"
Gor (Samaj) :
SHREE CHAROTAR MOTI SATTAVIS LEUVA PATIDAR SAMAJ
(A MOTHER INSTITUTION) A SAGA OF ITS DEVELOPMENT
This is the mother land Charotar which gave birth to great personalities like Sardar Vallavbhai Patel, Bismarck of Bharat, valiant Vithalbhai Patel, the first Speaker of Indian legislative Assembly and Bhailalkaka and Bhikhakaka the joint Founders of Vidyanagar who transformed jungle into a beautiful town and established a University.
A Country between rivers Mahisagar and Vatrak Endowed with lovely flowers and juicy fruits. Grow variety of trees and abundant crops in all seasons round. A beautiful country that is Charotar.
A conference of Patidars from Charotar was organised under the auspices of Mr Shepard the then Collector of Kaira and Commissioner of Northern Region on 8th February 1888 at Dakor with the pious objects of abolishing Dowry and Girls' Infanticide. Approximately 10,000 Leuva Patidars of Charotar were present at the conference. Mr Shepard proposed a resolution for reforming the oppressive and expensive marriage customs and traditions. Villages which were considered of higher social status opposed it while those at the lower strata and ruined by bad customs and dowry welcomed the proposal. Not only this, those Patidars with hurt ego decided that girls should not get married in so called high status villages. As a result of this conference after making Rules and Regulations the Government issued a Public Declaration on marriage related expenditure and enforced the Decree on 1-2-1889.
Main Rules of Public Declaration were :-
• The amount to be given from the girl's side should be from Rs.1 to Rs.251.
• The betrothal should be considered as fixed by the acceptance of Chanlo.
• Not more than 100 guest should be taken in the Bridegroom's party nor should they hire more than 10 vehicles.
• Not more than Rs.125 should be spent on food at the girl's wedding. • Rs.1 to Rs.15 be given to the husband and from Rs.1 to Rs.5 to mother, father and sister of the husband • when they visit to the girl's house for the first time.
• At the wedding of daughter's first daughter Rs.1 to Rs.75 should be given for Mamera and not more than Rs.1 to Rs.25 for Chudi-Panetar combined.
In 1888 after the Dakor conference, Leuva Patidars of some villages by mutual understanding and for deciding about the marriages of girls' amongst the villages of equal social status met at Vadtal in 1989. Thereafter the leading Patidars of Chaklashi with a view to form a Gor (A circle encompassing some villages) convened three meetings of some villages. As a result, the constitution of the Gor was framed and its deed was signed on 4th June 1895 at Chaklashi. The Charotar Moti Sattavis Leuva Patidar Samaj was then formally established.
In the beginning of the said constitution, it has been mentioned that the object of those rules and regulations made by the Government for Leuva Patidars of Kaira District, were safety of girls, control of wasteful and excessive expenditure, in marriages and to improve the economic condition of the community. To fulfil these objects better, the administrators were told to keep close scrutiny and if any village or person broke the said rules, they should be notified in the appropriate committee of Administrators. After 10 days of the said notification, it should meet at an agreed place and decide to enforce whatever decision taken by majority in the meeting of Administrators.
Main Clauses of The Constitution :
1. Those villages who have entered into this agreement and signed beneath should not get their girls' married in
those (14)villages of so called higher status, or others who did not enter into this agreement. Villages who are a
party to the agreement should not keep any social relations on good or bad occasions or directly or indirectly.
2. A penalty of Rs.1OOO to Rs.4000 can be imposed for the breach of this resolution. An individual, even after paying
the penalty will not be considered as fit and proper for the re-entry.
3. An individual who will help the one who has breached the rule will also meet with the same penalty.
4. As per aforesaid clause, if the entire village break the rule, the village leaders will have to pay a tax of between
Rs.1 to Rs. 2000, over and above this it was decided how much dowry, to be paid to bridegroom, the amount for
Mayamotla, Mandap and others. With this a decision was taken that not more than 100 persons should be invited
as the guests by the bridegroom. The said figure included palanquin carriers, barber and the music band.
Apart from Chaklashi, 27 villages participated in this agreement, and that is why the Gor started with the short name of Moti Sattavis.
The Patidars of some villages of equal status used to meet often at Vadtal, Dakor and places like Chaklashi on the question of marriages of girls'.
At the time of formation of the constitution at Chaklashi in 1895, 28 villages with the host Chaklashi participated in the meeting. From the geographical point of view or nearness to each other or on railway or highway, these villages had no resemblance. The Gor was formed of villages situated within the boundaries of British or Gaekwad State. Anand, Bakrol, Bandhani, Mahelav, Changa, Palana were within the state of Gaekwad while Narsanda, Boriavi, Chaklashi, Salun, Maholel and Alindra were under the British Rule. With the object of accelerating the marriages within the villages of the Gor, the Patidars of Salun called the leaders of other villages of the Gor which was attended in good number. Thereafter they were meeting often in different villages for deliberations on important matters.
The Panch (meeting of at least five) met at Gambhira on 23-1-1956 where 300 representatives of 43 villages participated. This was the turning point in the development of the Samaj because up till now the work was limited to social reforms but now added the education. The decision taken by the Panch in Social and Education field has now become a Banyan tree.
To enable the children of the Patidars of affiliated villages to get higher education a fund was collected for the construction of students' Hostel in Vallabh Vidyanagar. It was decided to take Rs.1001 from Each village of the Gor. Late Shree Bhailalbhai Dadabhai Patel and his three brothers of Anand donated 23 gunthas of jointly owned ancestral land to the Samaj for the construction of students' hostel and a committee of 13 was formed under the President ship of Late Shree Ishwarbhai Shivabhai Patel (Changa).
As a result of well accepted development policy of the Samaj, the number of affiliated villages has now reached a level of 66. Before the last two decades of the 18th Century when the Gor was not established, due to various reasons there prevailed a scarcity of girls and even families of good social background and economic condition were craving to get the girls and those of lower social status and poor condition had to enter into bargain and triangular arrangement for marrying their boys. This was the situation prevailing in several villages of Charotar.
This situation is now rapidly improving after the formation of Gor and similar situation appears to prevail in other Gors of Charotar. This proves that the Gor has played a very important role in building the marriage relations and abolishing the oppressive and expensive customs.
The statistics show that 97% of sons' marriages and even more of daughters take place within the Gor. This acceptance and understanding is a credit to the Samaj.
NATIONAL AND INTERNATIONAL CITY UNITS
Patidars have expanded their field of work and habitat in the big cities like Ahmedabad, Anand, Nadiad, Baroda, Surat, Bombay and right from Sabarmati to Chowpati. Over and above this, the young generation has settled permanently in foreign countries like Africa , England , America , Canada and as far as Australia and New Zealand.
From the villages of the Samaj they have come out for better livelihood leaving traditional agriculture behind and reached to places far away. One goes and sponsors the other and after establishing himself, gives the support to the one following, thus making 51 out of one family. Such is his world famous nobility.
As the number of families increased the associations were established to unite and knit with one thread the families of our Sattavis Gam Patidar Samaj. Ahmedabad unit was created first in 1957 and following in footsteps were Nadiad, Anand, Bharuch, Surat , Bombay and in foreign countries cities like London , Chicago , Los Angeles and Nairobi etc. Similarly our Samaj [Shree Sattavis Gam Patidar Samaj (Europe)] was born on 15th July 1975.
The informal meeting of Executive Committee of six city unity of Shree Sattavis Gam Patidar Samaj was held at Sardar Patel Seva Samaj Hall, Ahmedabad on the occasion of its Silver Jubilee. At the end of its deliberations a decision on principle was taken to create the Federation and a committee was formed to outline the objectives and draft the constitution.
The Samaj Federation accepted the challenge and taken on hand the revolutionary programme of organising the fair for selection of life partners and mass marriages. The Samaj federation with the blessing of Lord Ganesh organised a fair of marriage eager youths on 18-12-1983 at Anand Town Hall . This was a huge success, and in the footsteps of this experiment and with tremendous efforts climbed the mountain of mass marriages which was more difficult than even the Everest and niched the leeway in custom ridden social serpent's coil.
The basic experiments of organising Youth's Fair and mass marriages under the auspices of the Samaj were welcomed by all and as a result the activities increased. A new ideology commenced to flow amongst the workers yoked to social service. Thus the dormant question of the constitution came to the surface. The constitution of The Mother Institution which has 66 villages and national and international cities as units, now became known as Charotar Moti Sattavis Leuva Patidar Samaj, and came into being on 31- 5-1987.
The Institution has got Income-tax Exempt Certificate number BRD/S1B/104-3C/87-88 and the donors are requested to take advantage of this tax free status.
In this way a new feather of education was added in the cap of the Samaj. The Samaj has made genuine efforts to remove the burden of social relations and oppressive customs and transformed them into a force of development. The goal of social service to our 25000 families is far away on the horizon but so far no obstructions have come and it is a continuous progress. The activities are continuously added and for this, Samaj has from time to time got successful leadership, honorary workers of integrity and proud and Samaj loving donors.
The transformation brought by much needed social reforms and education has been willingly accepted and the lethargy of customs and traditions removed. The transformation of whatever kind become acceptable after great struggle. The happiness created by soft touch becomes permanently miserable whilst the one created by tolerance and patience result in bliss.
Remaining away from politics and politicians Samaj has taken on its hands the work of developing mutual regard amongst the members and reduce the economic burden on social occasions. The opportunities for selection in the field of marriage have widened and more available and with that object right from the beginning of its formation our Samaj has adopted a broad attitude. As a result, marriages' circle has encompassed new villages from time to time taking the cooperation of far sighted leaders in the development of the Samaj.
Translated by Ramanbhai J. Pate/ (Anand)
Taken from "Shatabdi Smruti Granth 1895-1995"
Shree Charotar Moti Sattavis Leuva Patidar Samaj - Matru Sanstha