Hindi, Awadhi, Rajasthani, Haryanvi
Hinduism[1] (majority)
Islam[2] and Buddhism (minority)

Jatav, also known as Jatava/ Jatan/ Jatua/ Jatia,[3] is an Indian social group that are considered to be a part of the Chamar caste, (now often termed Dalit), who are classified as a Scheduled Caste under modern India's system of positive discrimination.[4]

According to the 2011 Census of India, the Jatav community of Uttar Pradesh comprised 54% of that state's total 22,496,047 Scheduled Caste population.[5]


Some Jatav authors have disputed being Scheduled. In the 1920s, Jatavs claimed to be survivors of the ancient war between Parashuram, the legend of the Brahmins, and Kshatriyas, forced into hiding. Their proof of ancestry is a series of correspondences or status similarities between Jatav and other Kshatriya clans. According to Owen Lynch, "These included identical gotras, and such Kshatriya-like ceremonies as shooting a cannon at weddings and the use of the bow and arrow at the birth saṃskāra".[6][7]

According to M. P. S. Chandel

Jatavs pressed hard for their (Kshatriya) claim. But as is said many times earlier that in the caste federal system of India, changes seldom occur and in case of untouchables or scheduled castes as also established by M. N. Shrinivas there are no chances at all. So the caste of Jatavs went to a predestined end. It is unfortunate that such a powerful effort (Lynch 1969) could result in nothing but the result in other fields were rewarding and exemplary. Jatav elites using cultural sentiments and striking the chord of psyche succeeded in pursuing several strategies in getting political successes.[4]

In the early part of the 20th century, the Jatavs attempted the process of sanskritisation, claiming themselves to be historical of the Kshatriya varna. They gained political expertise by forming associations and by developing a literate cadre of leaders, and they tried to change their position in the caste system through the emulation of upper-caste behavior. As a part of this process, they also claimed not to be Chamars and petitioned the government of the British Raj to be officially classified differently: disassociating themselves from the Chamar community would they felt, enhance their acceptance as Kshatriya. These claims were not accepted by other castes and, although the government was amenable, no official reclassification as a separate community occurred due to the onset of World War II.[6] An organisation of young Jatavs, called the Jatav Vir, was formed in Agra in 1917, and a Jatav Pracharak Sangh was organised in 1924. They joined with local Banias to establish a front and thus one of them won the seat of the mayor in Agra, and another became a member of the Legislative Council.[4]

Earlier pressing for the Kshatriya status, the new issues emerged among Jatavs in 1944–45. The Jatavs formed the Scheduled Caste Federation of Agra having ties with the Ambedkar-led All India Scheduled Caste Federation. They started recognizing themselves as Scheduled Caste and hence "Dalit".[8] This acceptance is attributed to the protections available to the scheduled castes.[4]

According to Owen Lynch:

The change is due to the fact that Sanskritisation is no longer as effective a means as is political participation for achieving a change in the style of life and a rise in the Indian social system, now composed of both caste and class elements.[8]


Most of the Jatavs belongs to the Hindu religion,[3] though some have converted to Islam.[9] Some Jatavs also became Buddhists in 1956, after B. R. Ambedkar converted him to Buddhism.[10] In 1990, many more converted to Buddhism.[3]

State status

Jatavs are often combined with Chamar, Ahirwar, Ravidassia and other subcastes and are given Scheduled Caste in major North Indian states under India's positive reservation system.[11]

States Notes Reservation


Andhra Pradesh Counted with Chamar, Mochi, Muchi, Chamar-Ravidas, Chamar-Rohidas SC [12]
Assam OBC [13]
Bihar Counted with Chamar and Ravidas. In some districts, along with Mochi. SC [4]
Chhattisgarh Counted with Chamar, Chamari, Bairwa, Bhambhi, Jatav, Mochi, Regar, Nona, Rohidas, Ramnami, Satnami, Surjyabanshi, Surjyaramnami, Ahirwar, Chamar, Mangan, Raidas. SC [14]
Delhi Counted with Chamar. SC [15]
Gujarat SC [15]
Haryana SC [11]
Himachal Pradesh Counted with Chamar, Rehgar, Raigar, Ramdasi, Ravidasi, Ramdasia, Mochi and known as Jatia. SC [11]
Madhya Pradesh Counted with Chamar, Chamari, Bairwa, Bhambhi, Jatav, Mochi, Regar, Nona, Rohidas, Ramnami, Satnami, Surjyabanshi, Surjyaramnami, Ahirwar, Chamar Mangan, Raidas. SC [11]
Rajasthan Counted along with Chamar, Bhambhi/Bambhi, Mochi, Raidas, Rohidas, Regar, Raigar, Ramdasia, Asadaru, Asodi, Chamadia, Chambhar, Chamgar, Haralavya, Harali, Khalpa, Machigar, Mochigar, Madar, Madig, Telugu, Mochi, Kamati, Mochi, Ranigar, Rohit, Samgar.        SC [14]
Uttarakhand Also known as Jhusia or Jatava. SC [11]
Uttar Pradesh Counted along with Chamar,Jatav, Gautam, Ahirwar, Raidas, Kureel, Dhusia, Dohre, Bharti, Kardam, Anand, Chandra Ramdasia, Ravidassia. SC [16]
West Bengal Also known as Jatua, or Jatve. SC and OBC

See also

List of Jatav Person

Km. Mayawati[17]

Meira Kumar[18]

Baby Rani Maurya[19]

Asim Arun[20]

Ram Ji Lal Suman[21]

Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad[22]


  1. ^ Rashid, Omar (18 May 2019). "Jatavs power BSP's campaign in U.P." The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 10 March 2021.
  2. ^ Duncan 2019d, p. 120.
  3. ^ a b c Singh, Kumar Suresh (1993). The scheduled castes. Anthropological Survey of India. pp. 326, 329, 331. ISBN 9780195632545.
  4. ^ a b c d e Chandel 1990, pp. 50–52
  5. ^ "Jatavs on top of SC population in UP". The Times of India. 4 July 2015.
  6. ^ a b Lynch 1970, pp. 216–217.
  7. ^ Rawat 2011, p. 127.
  8. ^ a b Berger & Heidemann 2013
  9. ^ Duncan 2019d, p. 121.
  10. ^ Lorenzen, David N. (1995). Bhakti Religion in North India: Community Identity and Political Action. SUNY Press. p. 95. ISBN 9780791420256.
  11. ^ a b c d e "LIST OF SCHEDULED CASTES" (PDF). Ministry of Social Justice.((cite web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  12. ^ "List of Andhra Pradesh Scheduled Castes (SC) and Scheduled Tribes (ST) | Lopol.org". lopol.org. Retrieved 5 January 2022.
  13. ^ Chandel 1990, p. 45.
  14. ^ a b "Scheduled Castes in Rajasthan". Sje.rajasthan.gov.in. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  15. ^ a b "Archived copy" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 3 March 2012. Retrieved 15 December 2021.((cite web)): CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  16. ^ "Adivasis and the Indian State: Deliberately misclassified as SC, Dhangar tribe in UP is being deprived of its constitutional rights-India News , Firstpost". Firstpost. 29 August 2019. Retrieved 15 December 2021.
  17. ^ "Mayawati: Latest News of Mayawati | Latest Updates, Photos & Videos". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Meira Kumar: Photos , Videos and latest News of Meira Kumar". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  19. ^ Jaiswal, Anuja (15 January 2022). "Uttar Pradesh elections: Former Uttrakhand governor and prominent Jatav leader Baby Rani Maurya to contest from Agra (Rural)". The Times of India. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  20. ^ "Former IPS officer Asim Arun joins BJP". The Economic Times. Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  21. ^ "पूर्व केंद्रीय मंत्री रामजी लाल सुमन पर सपा ने फिर जताया भरोसा". Amar Ujala (in Hindi). Retrieved 22 February 2022.
  22. ^ "Who is Chandra Shekhar Azad? All you need to know about Bhim Army chief Chandra Shekhar Azad". The Times of India. 17 January 2020. Retrieved 22 February 2022.