Palaniappa at Palaniappa at
Sat Apr 5 05:23:22 UTC 1997

In a message dated 97-04-04 18:37:46 EST, you write:

<< Another request for information, relates to general religious 
 beliefs and deities important to the Patidar caste community of 
 Gujarat.  Patidars (with surnames of Patel and Chaudhary, for 
 example) dominate the movement's leadership.  Krishna seems to be 
 an important deity, so does this explain the use of Balram?   What 
 do you know of the general beliefs of Patidars?
 Thirdly, the Patidar community has apparently undergone a dramatic 
 transformation in terms of various caste and religious practices.  
 Apparently, before the 19th century they generally engaged in 
 goddess worship and practices of bride price, meat eating, and 
 others more typical of a Sudra origin.  Now, they claim kshatriya 
 status, are involved in vaishnavism, dowry and a prohibition on 
 meat eating.  Please comment. >>

Two useful references are "Party Building in a New Nation" by Myron Weiner
(1967) and Democracy and Dissent by Atul Kohli. You can find information
about Patidars of Kaira district in Gujarat in particular and Patidars in
general. Kohli studied the same places studied by Weiner, after more than 20


S. Palaniappan

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list