Issuu on Google+

Warriors and Merchants : Gujarati Sources on the History of Lohanas (Historical Self-identification of the UK Lohanas) Rohit Barot Department of Sociology Centre for the Study of Minorities and Social Change University of Bristol This report is based on a systematic examination of several Gujarati sources to provide an overview to the Lohana Research Group of historical material which is relevant for an understanding of the Lohana community now permanently settled in the West. 1 It is useful to introduce this narrative by distinguishing purely factual history from the history of self-consciousness. The factual history is a necessary but not a sufficient basis for producing a historical account of the Lohanas. The method I use focuses much more on the changing self-consciousness of the Lohanas and their understanding of history of their own community. Hence the readers of this report should not read it as confirming “facts” about the Lohanas but should see it as a historical narrative of self-consciousness and its expression through community’s own historical perception. The following account provides a description of the material I have been able to study in Gujarati language sources. I record my comments on each of these sources and summarise the findings. These findings could contribute towards a proper historical account that can be constructed by using both documentary and non-documentary evidence about the Lohanas and their past. It is best to regard this as a provisional report which the research group may want to modify and change for the final production. In order to research and construct a systematic historical account based on Gujarati language sources, at the present moment, I have consulted three main sources. First of all there is a chapter about the Lohanas in Chandrakant Bakshi’s Mahajati Gujarati which is an unusual study of Gujarati caste or jati groups by a leading figure in Gujarati literary world. Bakshi writes about I am thankful to Nizar Kanji for drawing my attention to a possibility of doing this research. I am also specially grateful to Subhash Thakkar, Vijay Thakrar and Hasmukh Manek for their kind support in making this study an interesting and stimulating experience. 1

Lohanas in Diaspora

Related publications