Chaudhari community of Banaskantha District:
The chaudhary community of Banaskantha district is known as Anjana Patel or Ajana chaudhary. This community in Banaskantha is circulated in utmost every Taluka of it. According to a view “one who dazzles other is called Ajana.” As above statement Ajana Chaudharies are good-looking and have strong body, bright eyes. They are also brilliant, self respected and hardworking people. In Banaskantha this community is connected with the business of agriculture, diamond and animal plantation.
In India Chaudhari community mainly spread in Gujarat, Rajasthan, M.P., Haryana and Maharastra. While in Gujarat this community is mainly spread in Banaskantha, Mehsana, Patan, Sabarkantha, Gandhinagar, Dahod, Navsari, Surat, Valsad, etc. Anjana Chaudharies are native to Rajasthan, North Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh in India. Anjana Chaudharies are basically Jat and they are an ethnic group, race, tribe and a people. Anjana Chaudharies are considered to be the merged descendants of Indo-Aryans, Indo-Scythian tribes of the region, merging to form the ethnic group people. Anjana Chaudharies are naturally warlike and aggressive in battle, and possess qualities like courage, loyalty, self sufficiency, physical strength, resilience, orderliness, hard working, fighting tenacity and military strategy. Arbuda Devi is Kuldevi of Anjana Chaudhary.
This community is divided into sub-groups for matrimonial purpose. There are approximately 50 groups. These groups have name like ‘Bar’, ‘Bavisi’, ‘Vadhiyar’, ‘Koliyaro’, ‘Hindvani’, ‘Dator’, ‘Gadhvada’, ‘Jetoda’, ‘Dhandhar’, ‘Idar Betalisi’, ‘Modasiya’, ‘Navgam’, ‘Kamrej’ etc.
There are 232 Sub Casts in this community. There are like Atos, Aod, Akoliya, Bagla, Bhatol, Bhutadiya Kaid, Kuva, Kodali, Kharsan, Kathroyiya, Katriya, Karen, Jegoda, Muji, Gol, Juva, Loh, etc. Traditionally in this community, men wear White Shirts, ‘Dhoti’ and white turban. While women of this community wear different colors saris and red or black colors chaniya. According to Hindu Shastra, Chaudhari do not make marriage in 6th generation of father’s relation or 5th generation of mother’s relation.
Observing their customs and cultural practice, I have endeavored to give a check list of the prevailing dark sides of the community.Among this, the major issue is illiteracy because the people give up their studies after class 12. Due to illiteracy the only way left to them to earn their live hood is the traditional business like farming, animal husbandry and diamond cutting. Illiteracy has disturbed the birth-ration of women. There is a marked difference in the population of men and women. Boys are preferred to girls. Child-Marriage is another giant issue that needs to be attended quickly. There are some other glaring social evils opium eating. The addiction to opium eating has really sucked the health and wealth of the community. In these community marriages are just a showbiz, pleasure and pomp! Barter system is an enemy to marriage. Shocked or surprised? How? Bartering means exchanging goods for other things rather than for money. This community exchanges women. A Bride Groom has to offer his sisters to his brother in law. Is it not exchanging of goods? Women are treated as if they are goods. They are not free to choose their life partners. Unfortunately it’s like fixing a small sized tire to a tractor.
History of Chaudhari Community:
There is no fix document about the origin of Ajana Chaudhari community but we can get idea of it’s origin through some different views, fables and existed note or illustrations in history of kings. These folk tales are as under:
1. According to the ‘Bhat’ and ‘Charan’s history books, the origin of Ajana chaudhary is interwoven with eight sons of Sahstrajun. When Parsuram went out to win others, he came to Sahstrajun. In this battle, Sahstrajun and his 92 sons were dead. Eight son of him came under the shelter of the goddess Arbuda on the Mount Abu. The goddess Arbuda had protected them and Parsuram had left them by the condition of putting the Shastra.
Among these eight sons, two of them went to Rajasthan who established their kingdom in Bharatpur and today they are known as Jat Chaudhari.Rest six of them had stayed at Abu so first they were recognized as ‘Ajanya’
(Strangers) and then finally they are known as ‘Ajana’ through deformed word.
2. The solanki king’s daughter Anjanabai had resided Anjangadh on the Mount Abu and the persons who lived there are known as ‘Ajana’.
3. According to Mumbai gazette, in 953 the foreigners had attacked on Bhinmal, there after some Gurjars run away from there. At that time approximately 2000 families of Ajana Patidar had reached to ‘Champavati Nagri’ in the region around foot of Mount Abu. Then they stable at ‘Ghaghar’, and in the end they are extended in Banaskantha, Mehsana, Sabarkantha and Gandhinagar.
4. In 1335-36 Sidhhraj Jaysinh had defeated king Yashovarma of Malva and confined him in Patan. Then Mahadev, son of Dahak was posted as governor of Malva. From that time many Ajana families from north-Gujarat have been staying around the Ujjajain region close to Malva. They have such sub-casts as Mor, Akoliya, and Vagda which are similar to nearer villages of Patan. However the history of Ajana community was not written like kings. There is no any illustration on even a stone inscription. So we can just get the scattered history of this community only and only through folk-literature, mouthpieces of community, wedding Songs, etc.
5. The Rajput Soldiers of king Bhimdev of Gujarat had established a place named ‘Ajana Gadh’ on the Mount-Abu and residents of it are known as ‘Ajana’.
6. Ajana community is called ‘Ajana’ as they are considered as the descendants of ‘Anjani’, the daughter of Sage Gautam and the wife of Mahadeva.
7. According to another fable, Ajana is derived from their native resident on the ‘Anjangiri’.
• ‘Ajana’ are descendants of Sahstrajun. The ancestors of Jat Chaudhari and Ajana Chaudhari were same. Moreover they have marriage relations with Brahmins and Rajputs.
• By following their traditions from ancient time, today Ajanas have more than 200 lineages. Some of them still use these lineages as their sub-casts.
• Ajanas have their tribes in ‘Agnikul’, and are Rajputs. Instead of it, they always recognize according to their basic cast.
• According to a European Historian, M Krondle “the casts who had fought against Sikandar are Rajputs.”
• Ajanas are ancestors of well known Indo-Scythians or Indo-Europeans. They have been living as Rajputs in Indian society even today from centuries.
• According to the traditions of Veda and Purana “Ajana, Yayati’s son, Haiheyvansi, the descendants of Yadu were identified themselves as the descendants of Arjuna who had ruled during 4th and 5th century”.
So, it can be considered that Ajana are one of the descendants of Sahstrajun of Haiheyvans.