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Monday, September 29, 2014

Historical Aspects of Thokdar and Padhan in Garhwal in Shah Dynasty Period

Administration, Social and Cultural Characteristics History of Garhwal in Shah Dynasty -6

History of Garhwal including Haridwar (1223- 1804 AD) –part -195      
   History of Uttarakhand (Garhwal, Kumaon and Haridwar) -443 

                       By: Bhishma Kukreti (A History Research Student)

                                  Thokdar in Garhwal Kingdom
          Today, in Garhwali, Thok means a Family of family tree members or Mundit.  The head or eldest member of Thok is called Thokdar.
              From administrative point of view, Thokdar means the head of Padhan or village chiefs. Thokdar position was dynasty base system but the Kingdom or its administrators could change Thokdar and could appoint new Thokdar or could add new Thokdar.
 Thokdar had a couple of synonymic names as-
 Salan- in Salan, Thokdar was also called as ‘Kamin’.
 North Garhwal- in North Garhwal, Thokdar was called as ‘Sayana’.
Bhotantic Region – in Bhotantic Region (Neeti-Mana and Joshimath), Thokdar was named as ‘Budha’ or Budher’.
 The Thokdars used to report to Pargana in charge of the Kingdom.
           Job Responsibilities of Thokdar, Sayana, Budher or Budha

The major job responsibility of Thokdar was for collecting the Kingdom Tax or Kar.

                     Benefits for Thokdar or Sayana

 Thokdar was in charge of a few villages. He was not owner of the land under him. However, he was given free farm land. He used to get tribute from Padhan or village chief.
   From Jeetu Bagdwal folklore, it seems that Kingdom used to offer an ‘Angrakha’ or upper garment to Thokdar. Villagers used to offer special ‘Pithai’ to Kameen, Sayana, Thokdar or budher in the maarige of their children.
  Villagers used to offer Ghee to Thokdar on the occasion of caw or buffalo delivering kids.  Many Sayana or Thokdars used to levy tax on unmarried daughters, Ghat (water mills) and non milk producing animals.
  Thokdar were also called Sardar in plains of Garhwal Kingdom.

              ‘Padhan’ or Village Chief
            Generally, Village chief or Padhan position was dynasty based position and the eldest son was eligible for being ‘Padhan’. However, for Thokdar, the position of Padhan was a temporary post and he was free to dismiss the ‘Padhan’ and would appoint other person.
     Dr. Dabral states that Padhan used to offer following tribute to Thokdar-
Two rupees Pithai in daughter’s marriage
A goat thigh when goat was killed
A basket of maize in Shravan
Half kilo ghee at the animal kid delivery
  The above custom was prevailing even after independence.  The above custom was for as creating ruling system and respect system too.

Copyright@ Bhishma Kukreti Mumbai, India, bckukreti@gmail.com28/9/2014
History of Garhwal – Kumaon-Haridwar (Uttarakhand, India) to be continued… Part -444
(The History of Garhwal, Kumaon, Haridwar write up is aimed for general readers)
History of Garhwal from 1223-1804 to be continued in next chapter ….
Notes on South Asian Modern Period  History of Garhwal;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Pauri Garhwal; South Asian  Modern Period  History of Chamoli Garhwal;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Rudraprayag Garhwal;  South Asian Modern  History of Tehri Garhwal; South Asian Modern  History of Uttarkashi Garhwal;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Dehradun, Garhwal;  Modern  History of Haridwar ;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Manglaur, Haridwar;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Rurkee Haridwar ;  South Asian Modern Period   History of Bahadarpur Haridwar ; South Asian Modern Period  History of Haridwar district, History of Characteristics of Garhwal Kings Shah dynasty ,  to be continued