Saturday, May 24, 2008

Location and Professions of Parmar

Most people with the surname Parmar or its post-Ujjain Pawar variations have a high social standing in terms of being Rajputs. There is, though, a taboo of "low caste" for some Paramaras, especially in Gujarat and Pakistan. This may be traced to the defeat and destruction of the Paramara empire by the Gujarati kings, who are likely to have subjugated the defeated Paramaras into menial labor. Many Paramaras in these regions do not know that they are Rajputs, who are quite powerful socially. Upon the restoration of the Paramara clan during the Maratha empire, the Paramara clan ruled most of northern India and also Sindh and Punjab in Pakistan. This historical geographical diversity may have led to the many variations of the Paramara name. The Paramara Rajputs hold the distinction of being the last Rajput rulers of India, in addition to being one of the original ones.

Economically, Paramaras in the business sector are quite well off financially, while those in agricultural sector are able to make ends meet. But the Paramaras inhabiting the vast tribal belt stretching across Orissa, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat find themselves amongst the economically most marginalized sections of contemporary Indian society.

Over the centuries, the Rajputs and their branch clans have developed and refined a system of honorifics specifically built for quick identification of familial position. One of three titles is appended to a male's name in order to show which male ancestors are alive. The title of "Bhanwar" indicates that the speaker's grandfather is still alive. "Kanwar" indicates that the man's father is still alive. Finally, "Thakur" indicates that the speaker's father and grandfather are dead. This allows listeners to assess the level of familial responsibility held by the speaker without having to ask intrusive questions. Rajput families are modeled on a patriarchal system wherein power and responsibility flow from the top to the bottom. The eldest surviving male of the eldest surviving generation holds the most power.

Women in Rajasthan and Haryana as a rule are not allowed to step outside the house to work. In Punjab and Maharashtra, Paramara women work shoulder to shoulder in various walks of life, including agriculture. In such a system, women traditionally remain at home to take charge of household duties, while men are typically employed outside the home. Women typically remain within the walls of the home and remain veiled in the presence of elders and strangers.

Men in Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh,Uttarakhand, Bihar and Orissa generally enter careers in uniformed services, such as the military, police and paramilitary forces. Those in Gujarat often enter business professions, while those in Rajasthan and Sindh take government and police jobs, though most are agrarian. The Paramara in Haryana are fundamentally an agrarian community. Maharashtrian and Sindhi Paramaras often choose professions in agriculture or government services, with a particular tendency not to venture out of their home state. This may be because Marathi and Sindhi Paramaras (and, to a certain extent, the Punjabi Paramaras) have adopted the language and culture of their adopted regions, unlike the Hindi- or Urdu-speaking Paramaras. The Paramaras of the business professions dominate the contemporary business scene in the western Maharashtra, especially in the Ratnagiri, Sindhudurg and Sholapur districts.

Traditionally, Paramaras pay visit once a year to Dhar, to invoke the blessings of their "Kul Devi", the goddess KALIKA. Depending on the region they live in, Parmars may also be Muslim, Sikh, and Christian

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