Saturday, July 4, 2015

119 - Dheds in Bharuch - भरूच में ढेढ

From page 45 --
" The principal cultivating classes have now been enumerated. The Dhers form a very large part of the population of the zilla : those among them who enjoy pussaeeta. land, for performing such common duties of the village as are allotted to them, often cultivate it themselves. The duties of the Dhers are well known to be as follow :—to carry the baggage of all travellers as far as the next village on the road—to be the village scavengers—to act occasionally, too, as watchmen in the kully—to convey letters from the public functionaries and Patells to the next village ; thence to be forwarded, by a Dher or Bunghee of that place, on the road to their destination. Money also, or other valuables, is sent in this manner with perfect safety; and they are intelligencers, and know well how to show boundaries. There are often many Dhers in a village who are not entitled to share in the pussaeeta. Spinning and weaving are principal occupations of the Dhers, by which, and their other means, they get a very good livelihood ; and in some villages they pay a tax. The coarse cloth worn for cumberbunds, &c. by all the cultivating classes, is manufactured by the Dhers. The Dhers in general are to be distinguished by a peculiar appearance of strength, activity, and energy : they have clean skins and well-made persons, and they commonly speak better Hindoostanee than any of the other villagers, excepting the Bunghee : they drink liquor and eat opium, but are rarely seen in a state of intoxication. The Dhers stand in the lowest division of the scale of Hindoo caste; but the ties of caste are no less binding with them than with those who stand higher on that scale : nor is the punishment of expulsion from caste less severe to them than to others; and, upon the whole, they may be considered as upon a footing with their fellow-villagers, as to the enjoyments of life. I have seen (in the paper of Mr. Marshall’s, before alluded to) some very touching declamation on the predestined and indelible infamy to which this race was thought to be doomed, and of the mingled scorn and horror with which a pure sleek Hindoo views the outcast Dher! As far as my experience and observation go, I am a stranger to this picture. I have never seen, in the communication between the other villagers and the Dhers, any thing to give rise to the ideas that this colouring is calculated to excite; and the Dher, although of a low caste, is not an outcast; but, on the contrary, talks of the rules of his caste, and values himself upon being a member of it with the same feeling that actuates those of an higher order. Besides, if they themselves felt the degradation that is made the subject of such warm descriptions, why do they not escape from it by some of the modes which are obviously open to them of doing so? There is scarcely an instance of a Dher of this part of the country entering into our regular battalions, which would be exchanging infamy, scorn, and degradation (if such be really their lot) for the road to promotion, distinction, and, comparatively, riches. By becoming converts, too, to Mahomedanism or Christianity, the same happy change might be effected; but converts to either religion are, I believe, as rare from the Dhers (unless they have previously become outcasts) as from Hindoos of more fortunate birth. The houses of the Dhers, Bunghees, and Kalpas, or leather-dressers, commonly form a quarter of the village distinct from the rest." Page-46

The Bhungees- The Bunghee is still below the Dher, and may be said to be at the very bottom of the scale of Hindoo castes..............."..(page 46)

..from page 52--"............... It is also believed, that money and valuables are deposited, and money often lent, without any other security than such as may be derived from the books and accounts of the parties. The reciprocal trust implied in these transactions must be the result of a conviction of each other’s honesty. It is the constant practice to send sums of money from the villages, on account of revenue, to the public treasury, by the hands of Burthuneeas and Dhers; and I never heard of a single breach of trust in a case of this kind." Page 52



"Memoir on the zilla of Baroche"
: being the result of a revenue, statistical, and topographical survey of that collectorate"
BY: Lt. Col. Monier William
Bombay education society's press.Bombay
Year of publication: 1852, Pages - 45, 46, 52 etc.

भरूच जिला गुजरात प्रान्त में आया हुआ है। अगस्त 1803 में यह अंग्रेजो के पूर्ण स्वामित्व में आ गया। जिसे अंग्रेजों ने जिला बनाया, उसमे 6 परगने थे। राजस्व के लिहाज से अंग्रेजों ने इस जिलेंक सर्वे कराया। सन 1811 में यह सर्वे शुरू हुआ और 1816 में पूरा हुआ। भरुच जिले के जान जीवन के बारे में भी इसमे महत्वपूर्ण जानकारी है। हालाँकि इस सर्वे में मेघ या मेघवाल नाम से उल्लेख नहीं है, परंतु ढेढ या ढेर (dher) शब्द उन्ही के लिए प्रयुक्त है। उनके बारे में किये गए उल्लेख को नीचे ज्यों का त्यों लिखा गया है। (Bharuche- It lies along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Cambay, and comprises six purgunnas; viz. the Baroche, the Unklesur, the Hansot, the J umboosur, the Amod, and the Dehej. The first was obtained by conquest from Dowlut Rao Scindia, in August 1803-: the other five are cessions from the late Paishwa; the Unklesur and the Hansot, by the treaty of Bassein, December the 31st, 1802; and the three last, by the treaty of Poona, June the 13th, 1817. The survey was first ordered in the year 1811 ; but it being a new measure, and one of doubtful issue, it was proceeded in cautiously and slowly at the commencement. As experience demonstrated the practicability and manifold advantages of the plan, additional means were employed; and the whole of the original Baroche Collectorate, viz. the Baroche, Unklesur, and Hansot purgunnas, was completed early in 1816. The investigation and settlement of all claims to rent-free lands went hand in hand with the survey ; and no question as to the rights of Govern ment and individuals, even in a single field throughout that extent of territory, remained unadjusted. The survey was next transferred to the Surat jurisdiction ; but before much was done there, the three purgunnas of J umboosur, Amod, and Dehej having been added to the Baroche Col lectorate, it was thought advisable to complete these, which was done early in 1820. As the operation extended, and more experience and knowledge were gained, the advantages multiplied in an increased ratio ; and the survey was then instituted at one and the same time in the three collectorates of Alnnedabad,'Kaira, and Surat, under the original super intendence.)

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