We are one identity: Gujjars-Bakerwals of J&K
Jammu: Cautioning the Gujjars and Bakerwals of Jammu and Kashmir against divisive forces mainly active in different districts of Jammu Division, the Tribal Research and Cultural Foundation-in a programme held here asked people to remain united on all fronts and give a befitting reply to disintegrating forces.
In a press release issued here, noted Gujjar researcher Dr. Javaid Rahi, who presided over today’s meeting said Gujjars and Bakerwals were one identity adding that Bakerwal was another name of Gujjars. He said those Gujjars who rare cattle are termed as Bakerwals while ethnically, racially as well as linguistically were one and belongs to Gujjar clan.
He said Gujjars and Bakerwals shared same history, culture, language and ethnic identity. Even all anthropological and genetic studies conducted on Gujjars-Bakerwals confirm that they were not separate entities but one, he added.
He said in 1991 when the Gujjars-Bakerwals were granted Tribal status in Jammu and Kashmir, a study was conducted by Union Government of India before granting the Scheduled Tribe Status to them which revealed that Bakerwal is another name of Gujjars.
Cautioning people against any divisive forces in view of the recent reports of division between Gujjars-Bakerwals while some non tribal groups of Jammu Division were said to instigate a wrong war to divide Gujjar community, the speakers laid stress on the ethnic oneness of the community.