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Chamar Rajput caste A Man Making Leather-bottle

October 31, 1825
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Akbar Shah II 1806–1837
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Chamar is a dalit community classified as a Scheduled Caste under modern India's system of affirmative action. Historically subject to untouchability, they were traditionally outside the Hindu ritual ranking system of castes known as varna. They are found throughout the Indian subcontinent, mainly in the northern states of India and in Pakistan and Nepal.

Ramnarayan Rawat posits that the association of the Chamar community with a traditional occupation of tanning was constructed, and that the Chamars were instead historically agriculturists.

The term chamar is used as a pejorative word for dalits in general. It has been described as a casteist slur by the Supreme Court of India and the use of the term to address a person as a violation of the Scheduled Caste and Scheduled Tribe (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.


Chamars who have adopted the weaving profession and abandoned tanning and leathercraft, identify themselves as Julaha Chamar. R. K. Pruthi suggests this is in the hope that they might in future be considered as Julaha by other communities. They believe that leatherwork is "degrading" when compared to weaving.

Chamar Regiment

The 1st Chamar Regiment was an infantry regiment formed by the British during World War II. Officially, it was created on 1 March 1943, as the 27th Battalion 2nd Punjab Regiment. It was converted to the 1st Battalion and later disbanded shortly after World War II ended. The Regiment, with one year of service, received three Military Crosses and three Military Medals It fought in the Battle of Kohima. In 2011, several politicians demanded that it be revived.


What Chamar Caste Will Work?

Chamar, widespread caste in northern India whose hereditary occupation is tanning leather; the name is derived from the Sanskrit word charmakara (“skin worker”). The Chamars are divided into more than 150 subcastes, all of which are characterized by well-organized panchayats (governing councils).



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