Yadav refers to a grouping of traditionally mainly non-elite,[1][2][3][4] peasant-pastoral communities or castes in India and Nepal that since the 19th and 20th centuries[5][6] have claimed descent from the mythological King Yadu as a part of a movement of social and political resurgence.[7]

The term Yadav now covers many traditional peasant-pastoral castes such as Ahirs of the Hindi belt and the Gavli of Maharashtra.[1][8]

Traditionally, Yadav groups were linked to cattle raising and as such, were outside the formal caste system.[6] Since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Yadav movement has worked to improve the social standing of its constituents,[9] through Sanskritisation,[10] active participation in the Indian and British armed forces,[5] expansion of economic opportunities to include other, more prestigious business fields, and active participation in politics.[9] Yadav leaders and intellectuals have often focused on their claimed descent from Yadu, and from Krishna,[11] which they argue confers kshatriya status upon them,[12] and effort has been invested in recasting the group narrative to emphasise kshatriya-like valour,[13] however, the overall tenor of their movement has not been overtly egalitarian in the context of the larger Indian caste system.[14]

A group of Aheers, a major constituent of the Yadav group, from around Delhi, 1868.


In mythology

Krishna with flute
Krishna with cow-herding Gopis in an eighteenth-century painting.

The term Yadav (or sometimes Yadava) has been interpreted to mean a descendant of Yadu, who is a mythological king.[15]

Using "very broad generalisations", Jayant Gadkari says that it is "almost certain" from analysis of the Puranas that Andhaka, Vrishni, Satvata and Abhira were collectively known as Yadavas and worshipped Krishna. Gadkari further notes of these ancient works that "It is beyond dispute that each of the Puranas consists of legends and myths ... but what is important is that, within that framework [a] certain value system is propounded".[16]

Lucia Michelutti notes that

At the core of the Yadav community lies a specific folk theory of descent, according to which all Indian pastoral castes are said to descend from the Yadu dynasty (hence the label Yadav) to which Krishna (a cowherder, and supposedly a Kshatriya) belonged. ... [there is] a strong belief amongst them that all Yadavs belong to Krishna's line of descent, the Yadav subdivisions of today being the outcome of a fission of an original and undifferentiated group.[17]

Historians such as P. M. Chandorkar have used epigraphical and similar evidence to argue that Ahirs and Gavlis are representative of the ancient Yadavas and Abhiras mentioned in Sanskrit works.[18]

In practice

There are several communities that coalesce to form the Yadavs. Christophe Jaffrelot has remarked that

The term 'Yadav' covers many castes which initially had different names: Ahir in the Hindi belt, Punjab and Gujarat, Gavli in Maharashtra, Gola in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka etc. Their traditional common function, all over India, was that of herdsmen, cowherds and milksellers.[8]

However, Jaffrelot has also said that most of the modern Yadavs are cultivators, mainly engaged in tilling the land, and less than one third of the population are occupied in raising cattle or the milk business.[19]

M. S. A. Rao had earlier expressed the same opinion as Jaffrelot, and noted that the traditional association with cattle, together with the belief in descent from Yadu, defines the community.[15] According to David Mandelbaum, the association of the Yadav (and their constituent castes, Ahir and Gwala) with cattle has impacted on their commonly viewed ritual status (varna) as Shudra, although the community's members often claim the higher status of Kshatriya. The Shudra status is explained by the nomadic nature of herdsmen, which constrained the ability of other groups in the varna system to validate the adherence to practices of ritual purity; by their involvement in castration of the animals, which was considered to be a ritually polluting act; and because the sale of milk, as opposed to personal use thereof, was thought to represent economic gain from a sacrosanct product.[20]

According to Lucia Michelutti:

... Yadavs constantly trace their caste predispositions and skills to descent, and in doing so they affirm their distinctiveness as a caste. For them, caste is not just appellation but quality of blood (Yalman 1969: 87, in Gupta 2000: 82). This view is not recent. The Ahirs (today Yadavs) had a lineage view of caste (Fox 1971; Unnithan-Kumar 1997) that was based on a strong ideological model of descent. This descent-based kinship structure was also linked to a specific Kshatriya and their religious tradition centred on Krishna mythology and pastoral warrior hero-god cults.[21]

Yadavs in modern India

Occupational background, and location

Ahir woman
A woman of the Ahir community, which falls within the Yadav group, harvesting wheat in western India. Many Yadavs have taken to non-traditional occupations.

The Yadavs mostly live in Northern India, and particularly in Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.[22][23] Traditionally, they were a non-elite[3][4] pastoral caste. Their traditional occupations changed over time and for many years Yadavs have been primarily involved in cultivation,[24] although Michelutti has noted a "recurrent pattern" since the 1950s whereby economic advancement has progressed through involvement in cattle-related business to transportation and thence to construction. Employment with the army and the police have been other traditional occupations in northern India, and more recently government employment in that region has also become significant. She believes that positive discrimination measures and gains as a consequence of land reform legislation have been important factors in at least some areas.[25]

Lucia Michelutti notes that : European ethnographers left a legacy of hundreds of pages of ethnographic and ethnological details which portray the Ahir/Yadavs as ‘‘martial’, and ‘wealthy’, or as ‘ ‘cowherders, ‘milk sellers’ and low in status terms. In short there has been no consensus on the nature and occupational status of the Ahir-Yadav caste/tribe.[26]

J.S Alter notes that in North India majority of the wrestlers are of Yadav caste. He explains the preponderance of Yadav wrestlers because of their involvement in the milk business and dairy farms. Consuming cow milk and butter is one of the most important part of Yadav culture. [1]

Although the Yadavs have formed a fairly significant proportion of the population in various areas, including 11% of that of Bihar in 1931, their interest in pastoral activities was not traditionally matched by ownership of land and consequently they were not a "dominant caste". Their traditional position, which Jaffrelot describes as "low caste peasants", also mitigated against any dominant role. Their involvement in pastoralism accounts for a traditional view of Yadavs as being peaceful, while their particular association with cows has a special significance in Hinduism, as do their beliefs regarding Krishna.[24] Against this image, Russell and Lai, writing in 1916, called the Ahir subdivision uncouth, although it is unclear whether their comments were based entirely on proverbial stories, on observation or on both.[27] Tilak Gupta said that this view persisted in modern times in Bihar, where the Yadav were viewed in highly negative terms by other groups.[28] However, Michelutti observed, these very same people acknowledge and coveted their political influence, connections and abilities.[29]

The Yadavs have, however, demonstrated a feature, driven by their more notable members, that shares a similarity with other Indian communities. Mandelbaum has noted that

As the families of a jāti, in sufficient number, accrue a strong power base, and as their leading men become united enough to move together for higher status, they typically step up their efforts to improve their jāti customs. They try to abandon demeaning practices and to adopt purer and more prestigious ways. They usually want to drop the old name for a better one.[23]


Two cowherds from the Gauwli caste (now a part of the Yadav group) in Berar (now in Maharashtra) 1874.
A buffalo herder from the Lingayat Gauli caste (now a part of the Yadav group) in Mysore state (now Karnataka, 1875.

By the end of the nineteenth century, some Yadavs had become successful cattle traders and others had been awarded government contracts to care for cattle.[30] Jaffrelot believes that the religious connotations of their connections to the cow and Krishna were seized upon by those Yadavs seeking to further the process of Sanskritisation,[24] and that it was Rao Bahadur Balbir Singh, a descendant of the last Abhira dynasty to be formed in India, who spearheaded this. Singh established the Ahir Yadav Kshatriya Mahasabha (AYKM) in 1910, which at once asserted that its Ahir constituents were of Kshatriya ritual rank in the varna system, descended from Yadu (as was Krishna), and really known as Yadavs. The organisation claimed support from the facts that various Raj ethnologists had earlier claimed a connection between the Ahir and the Abhira, and because their participation in recent events such as the Indian Rebellion of 1857 had demonstrated that Ahirs were good fighters.[31]

The AYKM was a self-contained unit and did not try to forge links with similar bodies among other caste groups that claimed Kshatriya descent at that time. It had some success, notably in breaking down some of the very strict traditions of endogamy within the community, and it gained some additional momentum as people from rural areas gradually migrated away from their villages to urban centres such as Delhi. Ameliorating the effects of strict endogamy was seen as being conducive to causing the community as a whole to unite, rather than existing as smaller subdivisions within it.[31] Rao has said that the events of this period meant that "the term Yadava refers to both an ethnic category and an ideology".[32]

Of particular significance in the movement for Sanskritisation of the community was the role of the Arya Samaj, whose representatives had been involved with the family of Singh since the late 1890s and who had been able to establish branches in various locations.[31] Although this movement, founded by Swami Dayananda Saraswati, favoured a caste hierarchy and also endogamy, its supporters believed that caste should be determined on merit rather than on heritage. They therefore encouraged Yadavs to adopt the sacred thread as a symbolic way to defy the traditional inherited caste system, and they also supported the creation of cow protection associations (Goraksha Sabha) as a means by which Yadavs and other non-Brahmans could affirm the extent of their commitment to Hinduism by observing the strictures relating to cow slaughter.[33] In Bihar, where the Bhumihars and Rajputs were the dominant groups, the wearing of the thread by Ahirs led to occasions of violence.[34]

Jaffrelot has contrasted the motivations of Yadav Sanskritisation with that of the Nairs, another Indian community. He notes that Gyanendra Pandey, Rao and M. N. Srinivas all assert that Yadav Sanskritisation was not a process to imitate or raise the community to ritual parity with the higher ranks but rather to undermine the authority of those ranks. He contrasts this "subversion" theory with the Nair's motive of "emancipation", whereby Sanskritisation was "a means of reconciling low ritual status with growing socio-economic assertiveness and of taking the first steps towards an alternative, Dravidian identity". Using examples from Bihar, Jaffrelot demonstrates that there were some organised attempts among members of the Yadav community where the driving force was clearly secular and in that respect similar to the Nair's socio-economic movement. These were based on a desire to end oppression caused by, for example, having to perform begari (forced labour) for upper castes and having to sell produce at prices below those prevailing in the open market to the zamindars, as well as by promoting education of the Yadav community. This "aggressive Sanskritisation", which caused riots in the area, was emulated by some other of the lower caste groups.[33] In support of the argument that the movements bore similarity, Jaffrelot cites Hetukar Jha, who says of the Bihar situation that "The real motive behind the attempts of the Yadavas, Kurmis and Koeris at Sanskritising themselves was to get rid of this socio-economic repression".[35]

The process of Sanskritisation often included creating a history. The first such for the Yadavs was written in the late nineteenth century by Vithal Krishnaji Khedkar, a schoolteacher who became private secretary to a Maharajah. In 1959, Khedekar's work was published by his son, Raghunath Vithal Khedkar, who was a surgeon, under the title The Divine Heritage of the Yadavas. There has been subsequent work to develop his ideas, notably by K. C. Yadav and J. N. Singh Yadav.[23][36]

Khedekar's history made the claim that Yadavs were descendants of the Abhira tribe and that the modern Yadavs were the same community referred to as dynasties in the Mahabharata and Puranas.[36] Describing the work of the Khedekars as "a well-edited and well-produced volume", Mandelbaum notes that the Yadavs

... have usually been held in considerably less glorious repute by their neighbors. While an occasional warrior of a pastoral jati did establish his own state and dynasty, cattlekeepers are ranked in many localities among the lower blocks of the Shudras ... [The book] postulates divine and noble ancestry for a good many jatis in several language regions covering hundreds and thousands of people who share little more than a traditional occupation and a conviction about their rightful prerogatives.[23]

In creating this history there is some support for an argument that Yadavs were looking to adopt an ethnic identity akin to the Dravidian one that was central to the Sanskritisation of the Nairs and other in south India. However, Jaffrelot believes that such an argument would be overstated because the Yadav "redrawing of history" was much more narrow, being centred on themselves rather than on any wider shared ethnic base. They did acknowledge groups such as the Jats and Marathas as being similarly descended from Krishna but they did not particularly accommodate them in their adopted Aryan ethnic ideology, believing themselves to be superior to these other communities. Jaffrelot considers the history thus created to be one that is "largely mythical [and] enabled Yadav intellectuals to invent a golden age".[36]

Michelutti prefers the term "yadavisation" to that of "sanskritisation". She argues that the perceived common link to Krishna was used to campaign for the official recognition of the many and varied herding communities of India under the title of Yadav, rather than merely as a means to claim the rank of Kshatriya. Furthermore, that "... social leaders and politicians soon realised that their 'number' and the official proof of their demographic status were important political instruments on the basis of which they could claim a 'reasonable' share of state resources."[17]

All-India Yadav Mahasabha

The All-India Yadav Mahasabha (AIYM) was founded at Allahabad in 1924 by a meeting of disparate local groups from Bihar, Punjab and what is now Uttar Pradesh.[30][36] Although the AIYM was initially organised by V. K. Khedakar, it was Rao Balbir Singh who developed it and this coincided with a period – during the 1920s and 1930s – when similar Sanskritisation movements elsewhere in the country were on the wane. The program included campaigning in favour of teetotalism and vegetarianism, both of which were features of higher-ranking castes, as well as promoting self-education and promoting the adoption of the "Yadav" name.[22] It also sought to encourage the British Raj to recruit Yadavs as officers in the army and sought to modernise community practices such as reducing the financial burden dowries and increasing the acceptable age of marriage. Furthermore, the AIYM encouraged the more wealthy members of the community to donate to good causes, such as for the funding of scholarships, temples, educational institutions and intra-community communications.[22][34]

The Yadav belief in their superiority impacted on their campaigning. In 1930, the Yadavs of Bihar joined with the Kurmi and Koeri agriculturalists to enter local elections. They lost badly but in 1934 the three communities formed the Triveni Sangh political party, which allegedly had a million dues-paying members by 1936. However, the organisation was hobbled by competition from the Congress-backed Backward Class Federation, which was formed around the same time, and by co-option of community leaders by the Congress party. The Triveni Sangh suffered badly in the 1937 elections, although it did win in some areas. Aside from an inability to counter the superior organisational ability of the higher castes who opposed it, the unwillingness of the Yadavs to renounce their belief that they were natural leaders and that the Kurmi were somehow inferior was a significant factor in the lack of success. Similar problems beset a later planned caste union, the Raghav Samaj, with the Koeris.[37]

In the post-colonial period, according to Michelutti, it was the process of yadavisation and the concentration on two core aims – increasing the demographic coverage and campaigning for improved protection under the positive discrimination scheme for Backward Classes – that has been a singular feature of the AIYM, although it continues its work in other areas such as promotion of vegetarianism and teetotalism. Their proposals have included measures designed to increase the number of Yadavs employed or selected by political and public organisations on the grounds of their numerical strength, including as judges, government ministers and regional governors. By 2003 the AIYM had expanded to cover seventeen states and Michelutti believed it to be the only organisation of its type that crossed both linguistic and cultural lines. It continues to update its literature, including websites, to further its belief that all claimed descendants of Krishna are Yadav. It has become a significant political force.[38]

The campaign demanding that the army of the Raj should recruit Yadavs as officers resurfaced in the 1960s. Well-reported bravery during fighting in the Himalayas in 1962, notably by the 13th Kumaon company of Ahirs, led to a campaign by the AIYM demanding the creation of a specific Yadav regiment.[34]


Hyderabad bull
Sadar festival of Yadavs in Hyderabad celebrated during Diwali

Rao’s study of the Yadava elite in the various states (based on the members and supporters of the All India Yadav Sabha and not on those of the rival All India Yadav Mahasabha) reveals the growth of varied business and professional groups within the caste category. Heading the list are businessmen who comprise roughly 21 per cent of the elite. They include dairy owners, contractors, tobacco and timber merchants, wholesale grass dealers, owners of engineering firms and other industries as well as restaurant owners. They are followed by the large farmers who comprise around 21 per cent of the Yadav elite. Politicians (MPs, MLAs, ministers, municipal councillors, district board members, office-bearers of political parties) constitute 17 percent of the elite and school and college teachers, doctors, lawyers and engineers together another 20 percent. Mandelbaum has commented on how the community basks in the reflected glory of those members who achieve success, that "Yadav publications proudly cite not only their mythical progenitors and their historical Rajas, but also contemporaries who have become learned scholars, rich industrialists, and high civil servants." He notes that this trait can also be seen among other caste groups.[39]

The Sadar festival is celebrated by Yadav community in Hyderabad, the following the day of Diwali each year. Community members parade, dancing around their best buffalo bulls, which have been colorfully decorated with flowers and paint.[40]


The Yadavs are included in the Other Backward Classes (OBCs) category in the Indian states of Bihar,[41] Chhattisgarh,[42] Delhi,[43] Haryana,[44] Jharkhand,[45] Karnataka,[46] Madhya Pradesh,[47] Odisha,[48] Rajasthan,[49] Uttar Pradesh,[50] and West Bengal.[51] In the state of Uttar Pradesh the Social Justice Committee reported over representation of Upper OBCs, specially the Yadavs in public offices and suggested creating sub categories within the OBC category[52] and the Yadav/Ahir are the only group listed in Part A of a three-part OBC classification system introduced there following the official report of 2001.[53]

The Allahabad High court in 2013, restrained Government of Uttar Pradesh from continuing the reservation for Ahir, Yadav, Yaduvanshi and Gwala stating the reason that representation of these OBC communities in government services has reached to 59.67 percent.[54] Court also said that exclusion of well represented classes will help other groups who are not able to compete with these advanced groups.[55][56]



Dancers from the Ahir caste, a major segment of the Yadav group, in Diwali costume, circa 1916


Photograph (1916) of Ahir (now Yadav) dances dressed in cowrie shells for the stick dance at Diwali

See also


  1. ^ a b Susan Bayly (2001). Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Cambridge University Press. p. 383. ISBN 978-0-521-79842-6. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: Ahir: Caste title of North Indian non-elite 'peasant'-pastoralists, known also as Yadav."
  2. ^ Bayly, Susan (2001). Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Cambridge University Press. p. 200. ISBN 978-0-521-79842-6. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: "In southern Awadh, eastern North-Western Provinces, and much of Bihar, non-labouring gentry groups lived in tightly knit enclaves among much larger populations of non-elite 'peasants' and labouring people. These other grouping included 'untouchable' Chamars and newly recruited 'tribal' labourers, as well as non-elite tilling and cattle-keeping people who came to be known by such titles as Kurmi, Koeri and Goala/Ahir."
  3. ^ a b Luce, Edward (2008). In Spite of the Gods: The Rise of Modern India. Random House Digital, Inc. p. 133. ISBN 978-1-4000-7977-3. Retrieved 9 October 2011. Quote: "The Yadavs are one of India's largest 'Other Backward Classes,' a government term that covers most of India's Sudra castes. Yadavs are the traditional cowherd caste of North India and are relatively low down on the traditional pecking order, but not as low as the untouchable Mahars or Chamars."
  4. ^ a b Michelutti, Lucia (2004), "'We (Yadavs) are a caste of politicians': Caste and modern politics in a north Indian town", Contributions to Indian Sociology, 38 (1–2): 43–71, doi:10.1177/006996670403800103 Quote: "The Yadavs were traditionally a low-to-middle-ranking cluster of pastoral-peasant castes that have become a significant political force in Uttar Pradesh (and other northern states like Bihar) in the last thirty years."
  5. ^ a b Pinch, William R. (1996). Peasants and monks in British India. University of California Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-0-520-20061-6. Retrieved 4 October 2011. Quote: "Gopis, Goalas, and Ahirs, who would by the early 1900s begin referring to themselves as Yadav kshatriyas, had long sought and attained (after 1898) recruitment as soldiers in the British Indian army, particularly in the Western Gangetic Plain."
  6. ^ a b Hutton, John Henry (1969). Caste in India: its nature, function and origins. Oxford University Press. p. 113. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: "In a not dissimilar way the various cow-keeping castes of northern India were combining in 1931 to use the common term of Yadava for their various castes, Ahir, Goala, Gopa, etc., and to claim a Rajput origin of extremely doubtful authenticity."
  7. ^ Jassal, Smita Tewari; École pratique des hautes études (France). Section des sciences économiques et sociales; University of Oxford. Institute of Social Anthropology (2001). "Caste in the Colonial State: Mallahs in the census". Contributions to Indian sociology. Mouton. pp. 319–351. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: "The movement, which had a wide interregional spread, attempted to submerge regional names such as Goala, Ahir, Ahar, Gopa, etc., in favour of the generic term Yadava (Rao 1979). Hence a number of pastoralist castes were subsumed under Yadava, in accordance with decisions taken by the regional and national level caste sabhas. The Yadavas became the first among the shudras to gain the right to wear the janeu, a case of successful sanskritisation which continues till date. As a prominent agriculturist caste in the region, despite belonging to the shudra varna, the Yadavas claimed Kshatriya status tracing descent from the Yadu dynasty. The caste's efforts matched those of census officials, for whom standardisation of overlapping names was a matter of policy. The success of the Yadava movement also lies in the fact that, among the jaati sabhas, the Yadava sabha was probably the strongest, its journal, Ahir Samachar, having an all-India spread. These factors strengthened local efforts, such as in Bhojpur, where the Yadavas, locally known as Ahirs, refused to do begar, or forced labour, for the landlords and simultaneously prohibited liquor consumption, child marriages, and so on."
  8. ^ a b Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's silent revolution: the rise of the lower castes in North India. London: C. Hurst & Co. p. 187. ISBN 978-1-85065-670-8. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  9. ^ a b Leshnik, Lawrence S.; Sontheimer, Günther-Dietz (1975). Pastoralists and nomads in South Asia. O. Harrassowitz. p. 218. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: "The Ahir and allied cowherd castes (whether actually pastoralists or cultivators, as in the Punjab) have recently organized a pan-Indian caste association with political as well as social reformist goals using the epic designation of Yadava (or Jadava) Vanshi Kshatriya, ie the warrior caste descending from the Yadava lineage of the Mahabharata fame."
  10. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's silent revolution: the rise of the lower castes in North India. Columbia University Press. pp. 210–211. ISBN 978-0-231-12786-8. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: "In his typology of low caste movements, (M. S. A.) Rao distinguishes five categories. The first is characterised by 'withdrawal and self-organisation'. ... The second one, illustrated by the Yadavs, is based on the claim of 'higher varna status' and fits with Sanskritisation pattern. ..."
  11. ^ Gooptu, Nandini, "The Urban Poor and Militant Hinduism in Early Twentieth-Century Uttar Pradesh", Modern Asian Studies, 31 (4 (Oct., 1997)): 879–918, doi:10.1017/s0026749x00017194, JSTOR 312848 Quote: " ... Lord Krishna, a legendary warrior and a Hindu deity, whom some shudra castes, notably the ahir or yadav, claim to be their ancestor." (page 902)
  12. ^ Bayly, Susan (2001). Caste, Society and Politics in India from the Eighteenth Century to the Modern Age. Cambridge University Press. p. 84. ISBN 978-0-521-79842-6. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: "They had many counterparts elsewhere, most notably in the Gangetic plain where users of titles like Ahir, Jat and Goala turned increasingly towards the cow-cherishing rustic piety associated with the cult of Krishna. With its visions of milkmaids and sylvan raptures, and its cultivation of divine bounty in the form of sweet milky essences, this form of Vishnu worship offered an inviting path to 'caste Hindu' life for many people of martial pastoralist background.42 Footnote 42: "From the later nineteenth century the title Yadav was widely adopted in preference to Goala. ..."
  13. ^ Flueckiger, Joyce Burkhalter (1996). Gender and Genre in the Folklore of Middle India. Cornell University Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-8014-8344-8. Retrieved 28 October 2011. Quote: "Another way to confirm their warrior status was to try to associate themselves with Yadav cowherding caste of the divine cowherd Krishna, calling themselves Yadavs instead of Ahirs. Ahir intelligensia "rewrote" certain historical documents to prove this connection, forming a national Yadav organization that continues to coordinate and promote the mobility drive of the caste. Integral to this movement are retelling of caste history that reflect its martial character; ..."
  14. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's silent revolution: the rise of the lower castes in North India. Columbia University Press. p. 211. ISBN 978-0-231-12786-8. Retrieved 7 October 2011. Quote: "Rather, the low caste movements can more pertinently be regrouped in two broader categories: first, the reform movements situating themselves within the Hindu way of life, be they relying on the mechanisms of Sanskritisation or on the bhakti tradition; and second those which are based on an ethnic or western ideology with a strong egalitarian overtone. The Yadav movement—and to a lesser extent the Ezhavas—can be classified in the first group whereas all the other ones belong to the second category. Interestingly none of the latter has a North Indian origin."
  15. ^ a b Rao, M. S. A. (1979). Social movements and social transformation: a study of two backward classes movements in India. Macmillan. p. 124.
  16. ^ Gadkari, Jayant (1996). Society and religion: from Rugveda to Puranas. Bombay: Popular Prakashan. pp. 179, 183–184. ISBN 978-81-7154-743-2.
  17. ^ a b Michelutti, Lucia (February 2004). ""We (Yadavs) are a caste of politicians": Caste and modern politics in a north Indian town". Contributions to Indian Sociology. 38 (1–2): 49. doi:10.1177/006996670403800103. Retrieved 27 August 2011.(subscription required)
  18. ^ Guha, Sumit (2006). Environment and Ethnicity in India, 1200-1991. University of Cambridge. p. 47. ISBN 978-0-521-02870-7.
  19. ^ Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's silent revolution: the rise of the lower castes in North India. London: C. Hurst & Co. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-85065-670-8. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  20. ^ Mandelbaum, David Goodman (1970). Society in India. 2. Berkeley: University of California Press. pp. 442–443. ISBN 978-0-520-01623-1. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  21. ^ Gupta, Dipankar; Michelutti, Lucia (2004). "2. 'We (Yadavs) are a caste of politicians': Caste and modern politics in a north Indian town". In Dipankar Gupta (ed.). Caste in Question: Identity or hierarchy?. Contributions to Indian Sociology. New Delhi, California, London: Sage Publications. pp. 48/Lucia Michelutti. ISBN 0-7619-3324-7.
  22. ^ a b c Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's silent revolution: the rise of the lower castes in North India. London: C. Hurst & Co. p. 196. ISBN 978-1-85065-670-8. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  23. ^ a b c d Mandelbaum, David Goodman (1970). Society in India. 2. Berkeley: University of California Press. p. 442. ISBN 978-0-520-01623-1. Retrieved 25 August 2011.
  24. ^ a b c Jaffrelot, Christophe (2003). India's silent revolution: the rise of the lower castes in North India. London: C. Hurst & Co. p. 188. ISBN 978-1-85065-670-8. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  25. ^ Michelutti, Lucia (February 2004). ""We (Yadavs) are a caste of politicians": Caste and modern politics in a north Indian town". Contributions to Indian Sociology. 38 (1–2): 52–53. doi:10.1177/006996670403800103. Retrieved 27 August 2011.(subscription required)
  26. ^ (PDF) http://etheses.lse.ac.uk/2106/1/U613338.pdf. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  27. ^ Russell, R. V.; Lal, Raj Bahadur Hira (1916). Tribes and Castes of the Central Provinces of India. 2. London: Macmillan. p. 37. Retrieved 16 August 2011.
  28. ^ Gupta, Tilak D. (27 June 1992). "Yadav Ascendancy in Bihar Politics". Economic and Political Weekly. 27 (26): 1304–1306. JSTOR 4398537.(subscription required)
  29. ^ Michelutti. "Wrestling with (body) politics: understanding 'goonda' political styles in North India". Quote:"I saw many high-caste people, who refer to Yadavs as goondas in a disapproving fashion using their ‘services’. Their connections, political influence and abilities are thus practically acknowledged. By the end of the fieldwork the same non-Yadav informants who advise me of not going around with politicians asked me to use my ‘Yadav contacts’ to help them to get their telephone line sorted out, to get a taxi-licence or to speed up a court case.". Retrieved 27 October 2011.
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2017 Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly election

The election to the 17th Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly was held from 11 February to 8 March 2017 in 7 phases. This election saw voter turnout of 61.04% compared to 59.40% in the previous election. Bharatiya Janata Party won this election by an overwhelming three-quarter majority of 325 seats despite not projecting a chief ministerial candidate before the election. As part of its election strategy BJP contested under a collective leadership and capitalised mostly on the political clout and 'brand' of its leader, Narendra Modi. In the previous election in 2012, the Samajwadi Party had won a majority and formed government in the leadership of Akhilesh Yadav.

On March 18, 2017, Adityanath Yogi was appointed the next CM of Uttar Pradesh. UP BJP Chief Keshav Prasad Maurya and Dinesh Sharma were appointed as the Deputy CM.

Akhilesh Yadav

Akhilesh Yadav (pronunciation ; born 1 July 1973) is an Indian politician and the current President of the Samajwadi Party. He served as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 2012 to 2017. Having assumed office on 15 March 2012 at the age of 38, he is the youngest person to have held the office. His first significant success in politics was his election as a member of the Lok Sabha for the Kannauj constituency.

Azamgarh (Lok Sabha constituency)

Azamgarh Lok Sabha constituency (Hindi: आज़मगढ़ लोकसभा निर्वाचन क्षेत्र) is one of the 80 Lok Sabha (parliamentary) constituencies in Uttar Pradesh state in northern India

Bhojpuri cinema

Bhojpuri cinema, Bhojiwood or Bhollywood refers to films produced in the Bhojpuri language in the western Bihar, eastern Uttar Pradesh , Jharkhand and Madhesh in southern Nepal.The first Bhojpuri talkie film, Ganga Maiyya Tohe Piyari Chadhaibo, was released in 1963 by Vishwanath Shahabadi. The 80s saw the release of many notable as well as run-of-the-mill Bhojpuri films like Bitia Bhail Sayan, Chandwa ke take Chakor, Hamar Bhauji, Ganga Kinare Mora Gaon and Sampoorna Tirth Yatra. Bhojpuri cinema has grown in recent years. The Bhojpuri film industry is now a ₹2000 crore industry. Bhojpuri movies are seen across various parts of Europe and Asia where second and third generation migrants still speak the language, as well as in Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname, Fiji, Mauritius, and South Africa, which has a large Bhojpuri population.

Bhupender Yadav

Bhupender Yadav (born 30 June 1969) is an Indian politician. He is a Member of Parliament in the Rajya Sabha, representing the state of Rajasthan, a position he has held since 2012. He was re-appointed in April 2018. He is the National General Secretary of the Bharatiya Janata Party.

Dimple Yadav

Dimple Yadav (born 15 January 1974) is an Indian politician from the Samajwadi Party who is a second time Member of the Indian Parliament from Kannauj. Her husband is Samajwadi Party supremo and former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav.

Hukmdev Narayan Yadav

Hukmdev Narayan Yadav (born 17 November 1939) is a member of the 16th Lok Sabha of India and a former Union Minister of State. He is the recipient of Padma Bhushan India's third highest civilian award. He represents the Madhubani constituency of Bihar and is a member of the Bharatiya Janata Party. Yadav is known for his fiery speeches in the parliament. In August 2018, Yadav was recipient of Outstanding Parliamentarian Award for 2014-2017 period and was felicitated at an event at the central hall of Parliament.

Janata Dal

Janata Dal was an Indian political party which was formed through the merger of Janata Party factions, the Lok Dal, Indian National Congress (Jagjivan), and the Jan Morcha united on 11 October 1988 on the birth anniversary of Jayaprakash Narayan under the leadership of V. P. Singh.

Jaswantnagar (Assembly constituency)

Jaswantnagar Vidhan Sabha Constituency is a part of the Etawah district of Uttar Pradesh and it comes under Mainpuri (Lok Sabha constituency).

Khesari Lal Yadav

Khesari Lal Yadav is an Indian actor, singer and model associated with Bhojpuri cinema. His breakthrough came from in the form of 2012 movie Saajan Chale Sasural.

He was awarded Best Popular Actor at the Bhojpuri Film Awards 2016, the prestigious Dadasaheb Phalke Academy Award and UP Ratan award in 2017.

Kuldeep Yadav

Kuldeep Yadav (born 14 December 1994) is an Indian cricketer who plays for India and for Uttar Pradesh in domestic cricket and for Kolkata Knight Riders in IPL. He started out as a fast bowler at academy level, but his coach advised him to become a rare "left-arm chinaman" bowler considering his build, which was ill-suited for fast bowling; since then he has never looked back. He played for India Under-19 cricket team in the 2014 ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup where he took a hat-trick against Scotland which brought him into the limelight.

He is only the second Indian other than Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the third spinner other than Imran Tahir and Ajantha Mendis to take 5-wicket hauls in all three formats.

Lalu Prasad Yadav

Lalu Prasad (born 11 June 1948) is an Indian politician from the state of Bihar. He is the President of the Rashtriya Janata Dal, former Chief Minister of Bihar, former UPA Minister of Railways, and former Member of Parliament of the 15th Lok Sabha.

He entered politics at Patna University as a student leader and was elected as then youngest member of the Lok Sabha in 1977 as a Janata Party candidate at the age of 29. He became Chief Minister of Bihar in 1990 but had to resign in 1997 following escalating corruption charges relating to the Fodder Scam. From 1997 to 2005 his wife Rabri Devi ruled as the Chief Minister of the state." His party came to power in Bihar Legislative Assembly election, 2015 in partnership with Nitish Kumar of JD(U), but Nitish Kumar dumped Lalu's party from the power in July 2017 after the Enforcement Directorate and CBI lodged several criminal cases against Lalu, his wife Rabri, his son and former deputy Chief Minister, Tejashwi Yadav, in another disproportionate assets and railway tender bribery scam during Lalu's stint as the Railway Minister.On 3 October 2013, he was sentenced to five years of rigorous imprisonment and ₹25 lakh (US$35,000) fine for his role in the first Fodder Scam by CBI court, then again for 3.5 years in a second fodder scam case on the same day 23 December 2017 when his member of parliament daughter Misa Bharti was also officially charged by Enforcement Directorate in disproportionate assets, while 3 more fodder scam cases against him are also pending in the court. Yadav was found guilty in third fodder scam case in January, 2018. In March, 2018 Special CBI Court convicted him in the fourth fodder scam case which is related to swindling of Rs. 3.13 crore from the Dumka treasury. In Dumka Treasury case total Rs 60 lakh fine imposed (Rs 30 lakh under PC act and Rs 30 lakh under IPC) and 14 years' imprisonment (7 years under IPC and 7 years under Prevention of Corruption Act) on Lalu Prasad Yadav in to run consecutively.

Mulayam Singh Yadav

Mulayam Singh Yadav (born 21 November 1939) is an Indian politician from Uttar Pradesh and the founder of the Samajwadi Party. He served for three non-consecutive terms as the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh from 1989 to 1991, 1993 to 1995, and 2003 to 2007 respectively and also served as the Minister of Defence of India from 1996 to 1998 in the United Front government. He currently serves as the Member of Parliament in the Lok Sabha from Azamgarh.

Rajkummar Rao

Rajkummar Rao (born 31 August 1984), also known as Rajkumar Yadav, is an Indian actor. He has established a career in Hindi cinema and is the recipient of several awards, including a National Film Award, three Filmfare Awards, and an Asia Pacific Screen Award.

Rao graduated from the University of Delhi and went on to study acting at the Film and Television Institute of India and graduated from there in 2008. He then moved to Mumbai and made his film debut with the experimental anthology film Love Sex Aur Dhokha (2010). After a few brief roles, he had his breakthrough with the drama film Kai Po Che! (2013). He rose to prominence with his portrayal of Shahid Azmi in the critically acclaimed biographical drama Shahid (2013), for which he was awarded the National Film Award for Best Actor and the Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor.Rao went on to feature in the successful romantic comedy Queen (2014) and starred in the acclaimed dramas CityLights (2014), Aligarh (2016), and Trapped (2016). The last of these earned him another Filmfare Critics Award for Best Actor. Among his 2017 releases, the romantic comedy Bareilly Ki Barfi and the black comedy Newton were both commercial successes and won him several accolades including the Filmfare Award for Best Supporting Actor for the former and the Asia Pacific Screen Award for Best Actor for the latter. His highest-grossing release came with the horror comedy Stree (2018).

Rajpal Yadav

Rajpal Yadav (born 16 March, 1971) is an Indian film actor known for his comic roles in Bollywood.

Rashtriya Janata Dal

The Rashtriya Janata Dal (abbreviated as RJD; translation: National People's Party) is an Indian political party, based in the northern state of Bihar. The party was founded in 1997 by Lalu Prasad Yadav.The mass base of the party has traditionally been Yadavs and Muslims, two large and relatively politically active segments of Bihar's population. In 2008, RJD received the status of recognized national level party following its performance in north-eastern states. RJD was derecognised as a national party on 30 July 2010.

Samajwadi Party

Samajwadi Party (SP ; translation: Socialist Party, founded 4 October 1992) is a political party in India headquartered in New Delhi. It is a state party based in Uttar Pradesh, it describes itself as a democratic socialist party.The Samajwadi Party was one of several parties that emerged when the Janata Dal (People's League) fragmented into several regional parties. The Samajwadi Party is led by former Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Akhilesh Yadav after he was chosen the President by the National Convention held on 1 January 2017.

The Samajwadi Party is primarily based in Uttar Pradesh State. It has contested Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections around the country, though its successes have been mainly in Uttar Pradesh.In the 2012 legislative assembly elections of Uttar Pradesh, SP registered a landslide victory with a clear majority in the House, thus enabling it to form the government in the state. This was expected to be the fifth term of Mulayam Singh Yadav as Chief Minister of state, but he surprised everyone by selecting his son, Akhilesh Yadav, to be the new chief minister (the youngest ever). It became official on 15 March. It was also the first time that SP was head of the UP government for a full term of 5 years..

Umesh Yadav

Umeshkumar Tilak Yadav (born 25 October 1987) is an Indian cricketer who currently plays for Vidarbha cricket team and Indian national team. A right-arm fast-medium bowler, Yadav has played for Vidarbha at domestic level since 2008 and is the first player from the team to have played Test cricket. He made his One Day International (ODI) debut against Zimbabwe in May 2010. The following year, in November, Yadav made his Test debut against the West Indies. He was the highest wicket-taker for India in the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.In the Indian Premier League, he plays for Royal Challengers Bangalore. In the 2018 IPL auctions, he was bought by Royal Challengers Bangalore for ₹4.2 Crore

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