(Last Updated on : 17-09-2014)
Gujjars in Rajasthan is considered as one of the chief communities. Interestingly, in this state, they are also seen as a vote bank of political interest. The Gujjar community of Rajasthan
are largely rural. They are mostly pastoral and their community is called as semi agriculturist whose primary conventional profession is that of selling milk and other milk products. Gurjars in Rajasthan mainly nurture cows, buffalos, goats and also sheep. They lead a very simple life in accord with the nature. All spheres of life of Gujjars in Rajasthan exhibits primitive traits be it marriage pattern, social organization, culture, economy, medicinal system, religion, customs, traditions, dresses, ornaments, dwellings, food, domestic effects, education, health etc. Their customs and traditions are in crude form. They follow simple pre machine economy. They have unsophisticated rituals and social customs. There are no signs of advancement or impact of modern life in most of the villages inhabited by Gurjars. Their literacy rate is very low.
Gujjar and the Mina community of Rajasthan share most of the physical, geographical, social and cultural characteristics. The only difference is that Mina people are distributed in the plain fertile area and they are traditionally good agriculturalist whereas Gujjars inhabit the hilly and forested area, cut off from the main stream and thriving mainly on animal husbandry. The traditional occupation followed by the Gujjars is pastoralism, which make them even more eligible to be classified as a scheduled tribe. The cultural traits, customs and traditions and the distinctive lifestyle of Gujjars of Rajasthan exhibit their social backwardness.
In 2006 and 2007, some Gujjar community members in Rajasthan resorted to aggressive protests over the matter of reservation. Presently, the Gujjars in Rajasthan are categorized as Other Backward Classes (OBCs). In September 2006, the Gujjars in Rajasthan organized violent protests after the ruling party failed to keep its promise of including this community in the Indian Scheduled Tribes
(ST) category. In May 2007, during violent protests over reservation issue, the Gurjar community members clashed with the police in Dausa district of Rajasthan. Subsequently, the Gurjars protested violently, under various groups including the Gurjar Sangarsh Samiti, Gurjar Mahasabha and the Gurjar Action Committee. On 5th June, 2007 the Gujjar community rebelled over the desire to be added to the list of Scheduled tribes of the Government of India
who are basically given preferences in several sectors in the country like government job selection and also in placement in the schools that are funded by the States Governments in India. This predilection is actually given to the reserved categories under a system that is designed for helping the poor and disadvantaged citizens of the country. However, this uprising or request of the Gujjars is opposed by the other tribes on the government list.
In December of the year 2007, the Akhil Bhartiya Gujjar Mahasabha ('All-India Gurjar Council') made it specifically clear that their community would boycott the ruling party which was in power in the state. Moreover, in early 2000, the Gurjars in Rajasthan were in headlines for the falling sex ratio and the resulting polyandry. Thus, in general Gujjars in Rajasthan are perceived as a group involved in small theft of cattle, food grains and things of daily life. And the Gujjars are not traditionally agricultural tribe, so the little agriculture they do is poorly managed and they yield a below average crop.