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 COMPILED BY: Shree Laxmanbhai Bhaktibhai Patell (BARIA)

PRIDE OF OUR HISTORY

Today science believes earth may have been formed 4500 millions years ago and living form may have taken place some 4000 millions years ago. With very slow speed (Time) living form (Jeev) made progress. Thereafter, very many years later form (Jeev) made progress. And many years later that is just 1 million years ago the human form took place. In the beginning human progress was very slow. It was wandering about here and there. Eventually by forming small groups they started living in small communities all over the place. From this castes, states, nations and empires took place, and from this different cultures and civilizations evolved. In this way, on this earth many cultures took place, progressed and disappeared. Its memories are this world’s history.

ARYA CULTURE:

One such culture took place in a country called Pamir in middle Asia. This country was once in the Soviet Union, but now it is separate. The world and history has known this culture as Araya culture. Araya culture believes in, VASUDEV KUTUMB KAM, the world is one family. Arayas started spreading from their original place to adjoining foreign countries and then out of foreign country boundaries. Some came by way of Iran and Afghanistan to Bharatvarsh (India) and settled in Punjab. They stayed in Punjab for a long time. Those new migrants (Arya) are our ancestors. These migrants were divided into 4 castes, Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishay and Sudra. Researchers and historians of the Kadwa Patidar believe that Kadwa Patidar originated from the Kshatriya caste. A lot of research has gone into the origins of the Kadwa Patidar in the last 100150 years and many books have been written on this subject. In the year 1856 the Gujarat Vernacular Society held a conference on Kadva Patidar’s origins. There were a lot of articles written from the discussions at this conference. These articles provide interesting historical evidence for us. Majority of authors believe Kadwa Patidars are derived from the Kshatriya caste. As we come from the Kshatriya caste we have the right to have ajanoi (Upnayan sanskar). English head of the Gujarat Vernacular Society, at that time, professor Farbes also believed that the Kadwa Patidar originated from the Kshatriya caste. In 1913 a book, KANBI KHATRIYA DERIVAL (UTAPTI) AND HISTORY was written by late Shree Purushottamdas Parikh. This book throws good light on the nature, habits and behavior of the Kanabi Kshatriya caste, and gives our history in great detail.

DERIVAL OF "KANABI" FROM "KURMI"

There are three known branches in Patidars: Kadwa, Leva and Aanjana. All these are believed to be descedents of KURMI RUSHI . In the beginning in Punjab they were known as Kurmi Kshatriya. They lived in the region of Leva and Karad area. As Kurmi Rushi was Kshatriya it makes no difference in the belief that we are Kshatriya. After coming in Punjab Kurmis were farming and were thus known as Krushi Kurmi. Krushi means farming and Kmshak means farmer. The Kanabi word was derived from the words KRUSH and KRUSHAK. For generations they were known as Kanabi. After increase of population in Punjab they moved further into Hindustan. Those people living in the leva region migrated to other region and wherever they settled they were known as Leva Kanabi. Similarly those who stayed in Punjab for a long time in Karad region were known as Karadva Kanabi when they migrated to other regions. As time went the word Karadva became Kadwa. Mainly when the Shak people invaded Punjab, the Kurmi Kanabi people started moving to other places. Some Kurmis left Punjab and made their way towards Bihar in the east. Guyana’s (Latin America) Prime Minister who later became president, Dr. Chaddi Jagan was also bom in the Kurmi Kanabi family. Many Kurmi Kanabi moved east via Rajasthan to Malava and settled in Guj-arat. Some settled in Khandesh. Even today Kadwa Patidar are in places like Bihar, Rajasthan, Madhya Pardesh and Khandesh. In the beginning they were known, all over as Karadva Kurmi. As time went this changed and they were known as Kadwa Kanabi. It is believed that approximately 2000 years ago, people moved from Punjab and settled in the abovementioned regions. The original residents of different parts of Punjab moved to various places, living here and there, and finally settling in a town in North Gujarat called Unjha In this town groups of Kurmis came and settled. These people still maintain their original Surnames. In reality there were 52 surnames of which Ruhat, Mollot, Bhemat, Gothi Fok Mokhat and Kamavat are original surnames, which still exist, in Unjha.

MAKING OF UMAPUR AND UMADHAM

1850 Years ago in Malava (at Madhavati) a Kurmi King, Vrajpaiji was ruling. He had a battle with King Chandrasen ofMahet State and lost. Hence, he left Madhavati with some money jewellery and a small troop heading towards Gujarat. He came to Sidhpur for the anniversary of his mothers death. There he met Kurmi Kanabi brothers who had come from various states and on their insistence Vrajpalji stayed there. At that time, nobody was ruling this region The Kurmis living there were farmers. In 156 BC. (Vikram Samvat 212), after checking for the appropriate auspicious (Muhart) time, Vrajpalji set up a town called UMAPUR, which was about 5 miles from Sidhpur. He was a disciple of Shri Shankar Mahadev therefore as his goddess he set up Mahadev’s wife, Ma Uma Umiyaji. This Umapur is today’s UNJHA. The first temple of our Kuldevi, Ma Umiyaji was set up in UNJHA 1844 years ago. The Kadwa Kurmis of that time believed Umiyaji to be their Kuldevi and began to offer prayers to her. Present big temple of stone was built in the year 1865. Before this temple, there was a temple of bricks and mortar on the same site. During 11th century after conquering Malava, Gurjamaresh(King of Gujarat) Sidhdharaj stayed with his troops in the compound of Umiyaji temple. We have to imagine at that time, how big the temple and its region was. It is believed that Muslim aggressor’s attacks may have damaged or destroyed the original temple. Although the Kadwa Patidar population increased greatly their Kuldevi is the only ONE for all Kadwa Patidars, this is their unique credibility. After this for 500 years, Kurmi Kings ruled Unjha and its surrounding regions. Vrajpalji and his descendants governed the area. But in year 746 AD. Vanraj Chavda set up today’s Patan and ruled the region. Since then the Kurmis of Unjha and surrounding region had to accept the ruling from Patan. However Vrajpalji’s descendant, Vrajpalji II did not accept the ruling from Patan With some possessions and a small army he left Unjha for Ider in Vikram Samvat 802. There he set up a new village called Kawar and hence started the new rule of Kurmis. Many Kurmis came and settled here and started farming. They started increasing the setting up of new ruling places As Desai, and Amm, Kadwa Patidars had worked as Commanders in Chief of great Kingdoms been prosperous owners of lands and been Kings of small enclaves such as Patadi, Ider and Viramgam This brings to light the greatness of Kshatriyas they inherited.

FROM KANABI TO PATIDAR

Even after the end of rule of Kurmi Kings in this region, the Kurmi Kanabis carried on working sincerely and hard as farmers under the rule of other kings in Patan. This is why the Kingdom collected good taxes. As a result, grants received by the temple of Umiyaji under the Kurmi Kings, continued under the rule of other Kings. This kept on increasing prestige ofUmiya Mataji All the Kurmi farmers living in this area started becoming prosperous and their devotion towards Mataji kept on increasing. Likewise their belief in Kuldevi Ma strengthened. In this state Kurmi tanners owned land and were therefore known as Patidar. As time went on under the British Raj this was shortened to Patel. The Kshatriya Kurmis liked the name Patel as it showed pride They started to be known as Kadwa Patidar. When this region including the state of Patan came under the rule of Gayakvad the grant given to the Umiyaji temple continued. The Gayakvad government used to appoint Patidars as Mukhi of a village in their state, because they found them to be honest, understanding, generous at heart and straightforward. When the British raj ruled they also noticed these same virtues and appointed them as Mukhis (Patel). In Gujarat we were known as Patel instead of Kanabi, in Maharastra as Patil, in Karnatak as Kutumbin, in the Western states as Kunbi and in Bihar even today are known as Kurmi.

NEW MARRIAGE CUSTOMS

After conquering the regions around Unjha, Vanraj Chavda’s Prime Minister, expert in governmental law, Champraj, in the name ofUmiyaji set a new custom for marriage in order to gain control over the Kurmis. Every 10, 11 or 12 years when the auspicious time (Muhart) was announced from the Mataji temple then all sons and daughters of the Kadwa Patidar families all over India could get married on that day only. In the name of Mataji all Kadva Kanbis accepted this custom and strictly adhered to this for very many years. About 75 years ago this custom was abolished. In those days there were no communication facilities like telephone and telegram. Even then all sons and daughters of all Kadwa Patidar, all over India were to merry on the auspicious day announced by Mataji. The message of the Muhrat was received well in advance, all over the country.

SURNAME AND PSEUDO-SUB-SURNAME (ATAK)

Our ancestors have inhabited Unjha and the surrounding regions for 2000 years. They lived in Punjab for a long time and got their original surname from the name of the place they lived in. People of Punjab living in the area of Rohtagadh were known as Rusat, those coming from Mandleh were known as Mollat and those from Bham area were known as Bhemat. Those who came from Amratsar were known as Amratiya. As time passed, population increased and therefore their share of land was reduced. As a result they kept on moving further to other states. Those people coming from the region of Karad in Punjab maintained the Karadva Kadva surname in memory of the land from which they had originated. They started adopting pseudosumames. After moving within Gujarat and staying in one place for a long period when they moved to a new area they adopted a pseudosumame in memory of the previous area. For example: people who left Adraj area of Kadi district in north Gujarat adopted the pseudosumame of Adroja. Those who left Kalari area of Chanashma in North Gujarat adopted the pseudosumame Kalaria. Those people who moved from Devghat Bariya area in Panch Mahal adopted the pseudosumame Baria. Those who moved from Unjha town adopted the Unjiya surname. Those from Aghar area of Viramgam district went and stayed in Sausrashtra, they adopted the pseudosurname Aghar (Aghera) and therefore maintained a tie with Aghar area. In this way everyone maintained their ties with their previous villages. As time passed Kurmi Kanabi spread throughout Gujarat, Saurashtra and Kutch. In these areas there will seldom be a village where there is not a Kadwa Patidar resident.

OUR POPULATION CENSUS

In a census one hundred and fifty years ago in Year 185152, according to British Collector in Ahmedabad, Kadwa Kanbis merely numbered 6 lakhs. According to the census there were 3,30,000 men and 2,65,000 were women. There were 100 boys for every 78 girls newly born. That is why it is possible to believe girls were drowned in milk at birth. British India government issued a public notice to stop this custom. According to recent census, in Gujarat State, Kadwa Patidar families are about 450,000 and it is believed total population is 3540 lakhs. Of the total population of Gujarat State approximately 10% are Kadwa Patidar and 22% are all Patidars.

OUR DERIVAL

Looking at our history it can be said that our caste had behaved according to time and

circumstances. As Kshatriya they have fought battles and have ruled states. Right up to the arrival of freedom Kadwa Patidars were ruling in Patadi. In Ider, Viramgam and other places Kadwa Patidars were receivers of huge lands, given to royal families for their maintenance. While farming, they have worked hard with interest and care. Our movement from middle Asia, our transformation from Kshatriya to Kanabi and thereafter to Patidar were very very slow but were progressive. For centuries dwelling movement was limited to within India only and changes of Kanabi Patidar remained limited. Area of farming and animal keeping remained limited for centuries, but in the last hundred to two hundred years, this has changed. Our community has also adopted the changes. It is in our blood to adopt and live with age - with time. They have achieved great success in scientific farming, animal keeping and breeding. Together with this they adopted new types of living. Adapting to the new era they acquired modem education. Kadwa Patidars made very great progress in modem education and professions like, Doctor, Engineer, Teacher, Professor, Accountant, Lawyer, Writer and Journalist. Readily accepting various different businesses and new industries our community made great progress. In the last century our community made big changes, great progress and wonderful growth. Since the last few decades there has been great progress in education. Financially, Kadwa Patidars have become solid and strong.

OVERSEAS DWELLING

Migration and daring approaches are in our blood. But for centuries, migration was limited within India. Before independence there were many small rulers, laws were implemented poorly. Prospects of growth and progress were nil. Future was bleak. In the nineteenth century, to come out of the countrys troublesome position, to solve life’s problems and with wishes to improve future many adventurous people from Saurastra left in small yachts. Depending on luck and with faith in God reached overseas Life is collision Therefore we will wonder To construct my future Will fight with creatures of the Universe. With determination and strong will power they reached East Africa, then known as the Dark Continent. They lived in the forests of those undeveloped countries after passing through high hills and mountains. High Mountains and rough roads To go up hills alone bit by bit Take that way only a brave man Leaving false accusation, keeping Ram as protector. Those adventurous people left the land of Saurastra and spread in African countries. There our numbers were few. In those countries, we first made our presence in the nineteenth century. All the names of those adventurous people are not available, but some of the remembered are:

1. Shri. Madavji Trikamji Adodra

In 1892 he came to East Africa from Bhavnagar in Saurastra State and lived in Kakira,

near Jinj a, in Uganda and started farming sugar cane. Later his farm was merged with

Madhvani Sugar Plantation.

2. Shri. Vashrambhai Muljibhai Sapariya

He left Kolki village in Saurastra in 1895 and lived at Kabete near Nairobi.

3. Shri. Devj ibhai Ladhabhai Savani

He left Ranavav village in Saurastra in 1895 and lived in Nairobi. He was Founder of the

well known printing press, D. L. Patel Press.

4. Shri. Hirj ibhai Gongj ibhai Nagariy a

He left Kolki village in Saurastra in 1890 and lived in Petermaryburg in South Africa.

5. Shri. Lalj ibhai Juthabhai Jalavadia

He left Vashliya village in Saurastra in 1896 and lived in Nairobi. He invited many of his close relatives and settled them in Kenya.

With loving care and help of those of our farsighted adventurous community, in the 20th century hundreds of our community emigrated to those countries. Due to our unity, cooperation, enthusiasm, patience, integrity, courage and confidence, our successful but small community have played an invaluable part in advancing the continent of Africa. They have been an important party to the progress and growth of the continent. Where they were in good number, they formed community unions to keep up community unity and brotherhood. They erected big community centres in big cities like Nairobi and Mombasa. In the beginning of the 20th century many became well established in various places in Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rhodesia (Zambia) and Nyasaland (Malawi). They ran different businesses. Together with other Indians settled in those countries they gave invaluable donations and help to bring up those countries.

MOVING TO BRITAIN AND U.S.A.

After great difficulty in settling down in the countries of Africa, there was wind of change in just 60-70 years. As a result everyone was caught and entangled in the governmental unsteady and stormy policies. Seeing uncertain future in the country and events taking place suddenly and unexpectedly, residents who were settled for decades left with heavy hearts and took shelter in the unknown and unseen land of Britain. In the year 1968 many in numbers came from Kenya and settled in Britain. Thereafter in the year 1972 came the influx of those who were driven out of Uganda. Thus in the beginning of the eighties there were about two thousand people settled in the country, all living in different towns and cities. They all thought that community organisations were needed in the country and in that way brotherhood, introduction, support and loving care could be kept on going. In the year 1974 to keep all the Kadwa Patidars under one roof of Community Organisation Shree Kadwa Patidar Samaj (U.K.) was established. Today according to the Samaj record there are 2950 Kadwa Patidars young and old. There are 1610 adult life members of Shree Kadwa Patidar Samaj. The institution owns a large community Building developed at a cost of £2m. Thus by forming such a large and new Institute out of India our small group has achieved unparalleled achievement. Ignoring the traumas of 60s and 70s and various political uncertainties in those African countries, today there are still about 150 families living in Africa. They are helping those countries in building their economy, business and industries, thus making an important contribution to their progress. From the 60s Kadwa Patidars started living in America. Today it is estimated there are approximately five thousand Kadwa Patidars young and old living in USA & Canada. All the Kadwa Patidar families living in the large country of America are keeping in touch with each other. They share a common brotherhood under the roof of Kadwa Patidar Samaj of America, thus maintaining our community’s traditions and dynamism. In 1998 in Charlotte (North Carolina) nearly 1200 of our people, Kadwa Patidars, attended a National gathering. The Kadwa Patidars made good progress even in Western countries and thus by their hard work achieved happiness and progress. Dr. Mafatlal Patel past editor of DHARTI monthly magazine of Ahmedabad recently published a well known book called "Overseas Patidars" in which detailed information of Kadwa Patidars settled in USA. appears.

MA UMIYA: OUR IDOL (SYMBOL) & STRENGTH OF UNITY

In Sane 156 (Vikram Samvat 212) desire of we are all children of MA UMIYA came out. Even after 2000 years the same strong desire exists. Desire and confidence in Ma Umiya has increased every year. In year 1976 at Unjha, Ma Umiya’s 18th centenary celebrations were held. In those celebrations of 5 days, from 25.11.1976 to 29.11.1976, 1.8m Kadwa Patidars came to see (DARSHAN) Ma Umiyaji. That showed great unity and togethemess.

Thereafter in year 1980 at Sidsar village of Saurastra a foundation stone was laid for a large temple. 100 years earlier (on 19.9.1899) Ma herself appeared. The statue in white marble of Ma Umiya was reinstalled and celebrations from 24.3.1985 to 28.3.1985 were held. That is why our faith in Ma Umiya has increased.

Last year Sidsar Mandir’s 1st centenary celebration was held during the period of 5 days, from 22.4.1999 to 26.4.1999 and approximately 2.5m people came to view Ma. These two celebrations show that no other community has celebrated like Kadwa Patidars. At those both auspicious occasions love and devotion towards MA Umiya was wonderful. In the violent rush by millions of people, great discipline was maintained. At compound of Ma Umiya, egoism of Patidar Samaj was sighted in full glory. These were proud historical celebrations. Devotion and cheerful happiness were greatly witnessed by everyone.

Thus spiritual influence of Ma Umiya is increasing and more and more Kadwa Patidars are getting happier. With MA Umiya’s Blessings all developing children can conquer newer lands of ascending success and this power granted to Kadwa Patidars; has received invaluable inspiration to the developments of all Samaj.

The Kadwa Patidar’s desire of oneness, unity and cooperation is, strengthening day by day due to Ma Umiya. With the desire of all Kadwa Patidar’s progress at heart "Shri Umiya Parivar Utkarsh Nidhi" was founded by Unjha Umiya Mataji Foundation for raising Rs. 1000m. Every one experienced happiness in contributing. These funds will be kept in fixed deposit account and only the interest will be used for all Kadwa Patidar’s educational, financial, social, and religious requirements.

 

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Last modified: 18 November 2006 13:37