Kshatriyas of 105 villages of Uttar Pradesh will now wear turban and leather shoes. Why is it making the news?
These Kshatriyas Had vowed not to wear turban 500 years ago in protest of destruction of Ram Temple by Babur.
The Supreme Court’s verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi is being celebrated with ferver in these villages and turbans are being distributed to each house.
Thakur Gaj Singh had pledged to stop wearing the ‘pagadi’ after the Mughals destroyed the Ram Temple in the 16th century.
Suryavanshi Kshatriya families will done Pagadi a symbol of honour and respect as their resolve to rebuild the Ram Temple which was destroyed by Babur will be soon fulfilled. Turbans are being distributed to every homes of Kshatriyas in these villages. Public meetings are also being held for the same purpose.
After the Ram Temple was attacked and destroyed, the ancestors of the Suryavanshi Kshatriyas had taken an oath that they would not wear a turban on their heads, use umbrellas and wear leather shoes until the Ram temple was rebuilt.
Apart from Ayodhya, Suryavanshi Kshatriyas live in 105 villages in the neighboring Basti district. All these Kshatriya families consider themselves as descendants of Bhagwan Rama.
Following the Supreme Court’s order to grant the land to Ram Lalla for the temple to be built again, all these families in and around Ayodhya are ecstatic and are celebrating the verdict.
The long wait for rebuilding the Temple:
Basdev Singh of Sarairasi who is a lawyer says that 400 turbans have been distributed in the village since the court’s verdict. There are about 1.5 Lakh Suryavanshi Kshatriyas in Sarairasi and surrounding villages here.
They have not worn a turban even during marriages for all these centuries due to the vow they took 500 years ago. Their did not wear turbans even in ceremonies and panchayats as they had resolved not to wear anything to cover their head.
Mahant OmShri Bharti of the Bharti Katha temple in Ayodhya says, ‘The Suryavanshis adhered to customs at weddings using different methods so that their oath is not broken. Instead of leather footwear, they started to wear those made from wood initially. As years passed, new form of footwear which were made of other materials came to the market, they started using them instead to leather footwear.
The families of Suryavanshi Kshatriyas are happy with the court’s verdict and are waiting for the grand temple to be built, says Mahant Bharti.
Day of closure and redemption:
According to Justice DP Singh, former Judge of Allahabad High Court, his ancestors fought the Mughals under the leadership of Thakur Gaj Singh to save the temple in the 16th century. However, after a fierce battle they lost to the Mughals.
It was after this defeat that Gaj Singh pledged not to wear a turban and shoes until the temple was rebuilt. The Supreme Court’s verdict on Ram Janmabhoomi has brought a sense of closure for these families as they can now redeem their traditions which were discontinued due to the oath.
Though the event is limited to a particular community, it reflects how lives across caste diversities are emotionally invested in Ayodhya, Ram and Ram temple for centuries in Uttar Pradesh.
The symbolic value of the distribution of turbans seems huge, as it involves two vital elements associated with warrior pride and that of the male gender in the warrior clan. From nange sarr, nange paanv (bare heads and feet) to turbans and the wearing of footwear made of leather (as was the norm during the Mughal rule), the transition is being marked by festivities such as this.
It also points at the return of happiness and thrill in temple life, after five centuries for the Suryavanshi clan.
Source: Organiser, Dainik Bhaskar
Dr Sindhu Prashanth