Overview for The Jats: Origin and Historical Development (In 2 Volumes)
Although the Jats are not a single socio-religious group, as the term is commonly understood today, Jats live in Haryana, Western Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan and Delhi in North India. Though the common definition refers to only the Hindu Jats, a significant number of Jats are Sikhs and Muslims. The Jats are not a homogeneous ethnic group living in a particular area and speaking a single language. Rather, they are a people who live scattered around the world among several ethnic groups, yet retain their own identity. This distinction is often based on occupation and heritage. Jats are a brave, hardworking and independent minded people. Primarily agriculturists, the Jats led a fairly autonomous political life. Even during the Mughal period, the rule of the state was limited. With the exception of Bharatpur, no Jat kingdoms were founded. As per the Varna (Caste) system, the Jats are Kshatriyas or the warrior class. As they were outside the rigorous brahmanical social order, this position was not emphasised till the growth of the Arya Samaj among the Jats. Known for their military prowess, many Jats were recruited into the British-India army during World War I. Before that, they served as fighters in the Persian army. A large number of Jats serve is in the Indian Armed Forces and form one of the largest ethnic groups in the army. The Green Revolution brought considerable prosperity to the Jats in the late 60s and 70s. The Jat regions in India are among the most prosperous on a per-capita basis. Today, many Jats are well read and some occupy high positions in academic and technical arenas. Conservative by nature, the Jats rarely marry people from other ethnic groups. Great pride is placed in their ancestry. In fact, all the Jats in a particular village consider themselves to be the descendants of the man whom they believe founded it. These volumes provide an introduction to the Jats, fulfilling a long-felt demand for a work of this nature.
A. Jukes (Author)
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