Tribes in News

Tribe in news: Siddi Community

Note4Students

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level : Siddi Tribals

Mains level : NA

The Siddi community gets its first lawmaker in Karnataka. They are included as the Scheduled Tribes in Karnataka.

Try this question from CSP 2019:

Q.Consider the following statements about Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Groups (PVTGs) in India:

  1. PVTGs reside in 18 States and one Union Territory.
  2. A stagnant or declining population is one of the criteria for determining PVTG status.
  3. There are 95 PVTGs officially notified in the country so far.
  4. Irular and Konda Reddi tribes are included in the list of PVTGs.

Which of the statements given above are correct?

(a) 1, 2 and 3

(b) 2, 3 and 4

(c) 1, 2 and 4

(d) 1, 3 and 4

Siddi Tribe

  • The Siddi also known as Sidi, Siddhi, Sheedi or Habshi, are an ethnic group inhabiting India and Pakistan.
  • They are sometimes referred to as Afro-Indians. They are descended from the Bantu peoples of the East African region.
  • Similarly, another term for Siddis, habshi, is held to be derived from the common name for the captains of the Abyssinian ships that also first delivered Siddi slaves to the subcontinent.
  • They are primarily Muslims, although some are Hindus and others belong to the Catholic Church.

How they came to India?

  • The first Siddis are thought to have arrived in India in 628 AD at the Bharuch port. Several others followed with the first Arab conquest of the subcontinent in 712 AD.
  • The latter groups are believed to have been soldiers with Muhammad bin Qasim’s Arab army and were called Zanjis.
  • In the Delhi Sultanate period prior to the rise of the Mughals in India, Jamal-ud-Din Yaqut was a prominent Siddi slave-turned-nobleman who was a close confidant of Razia Sultana.
  • Siddis were also brought as slaves by the Deccan Sultanates. They also served in the Navy of Shivaji Maharaj.
  • Several former slaves rose to high ranks in the military and administration, the most prominent of which was Malik Ambar.
  • Later the Siddi population was added to via Bantu peoples from Southeast Africa that had been brought to the Indian subcontinent as slaves by the Portuguese.
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