Origin of the Meos : an Assessment

Topics: Rajasthan, Haryana, Rajput Pages: 6 (2196 words) Published: July 9, 2011
Aijaz Ahmad
Lecturer in History
Y.M.D. Co11ege.NUH (Mewat)

Mewat is a hilly region surrounded by the Arawali Ranges. Its inhabitants are known as Mewati while its Muslim population is called 'Meos'. Other communities are Jat, Gujar, Ahir. Meena, Rajput, Brahman, Mahajan, Harijan etc.1 The geographical boundaries of Mewat have been changing from time to time. In the period of Shahabuddin Mohammad Ghori the area of Mewat was from Delhi to Alwar and from Ajmer to Agra. During the Lodhi period the area comprised of the southern part of Delhi, Rewari, Narnaul, Tijara, Alwar, Bayana and some parts of Agra with its capital at Kotla.2 A Meo poet has rightly described the area of Mewat as follows :

Et Dilli ut Agra, Et Alwar Bairath

Kalo Pahar Suhawano, Jake Beech Baso Mewat''

But in modern times the Mewat comprises of southern part of Delhi, some areas of Gurgaon, Ballabhgarh, Alwar, Bharatpur and Mathura.3 The traditions and cultures of the Meos are similar to those of the Rajputs and they feel proud of calling themselves as the Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi Rajputs and Kshatriyas. But their origin bears many controversies as many historians and Meo scholars gave many theories regarding their origin. Arab historians believe that the Jats and the Meos are the descendants of Ham, the son of Nooh.4 But the Meo scholars are of the opinion that the Meos were the descendants of Madia, the third son of Yapeth and the grandson of Nooh. According to them the Aryans are the descendants of Yapeth, which proves that the Meos belonged the same branch as the Aryans.5 It is generally believed by the Meo scholars that like the Aryans, the Meos also came from Central or West Asia and latter on settled down in Punjab and Sindh regions of lndian subcontinent. As the time passed they migrated to Rajasthan and then to the present area of Mewat.6 In order to prove that they are of ancient origin, many Meo scholars like Abdul Shakoor, Maulana Zakaullah, Choudhaty Mohammed Afzal Khan, Choudhary Ali Mohammed Khan etc. assert that Meos are amongst the oldest communities of india. Choudhary Abdul Shakoor has given a long list of the words which are phonetically similar to Mao. This, according to him, had a definite historical and linguistic link with the Meo. These words are as follows : Mer, Meral, Mor, Mori, May, Mao, Moria, Mari, Maro, Maria, Mewara, Maora, Meoras, Med, Medi, Meoran, Mewal, Malwi, Mawali, Meotala, Mehar, Meral, Marwar, Maruwar, Mewar, Merwara, Mewat, Mewas, Meras, Meriwat, Marusthal, Marusthan, Mardes, Marudes, Madhu, Madit, Medpat, Kedat, Marat, etc.7 He also advocates that it was the Meos spread in North-West of India which gave name to the regions and principalities such as Marwar, Meruwar, Mewar, Morwara, Mewat, Marusthal etc.8 The Meo scholars also claims that the Meos are the one of the sections of the early Aryans who migrated to india and they were Kshatriyas by caste because their dynastic linkages, traditions, customs and life style are similar to those of Kshatriyas.9 In the beginning Kshatriyas were divided into two dynasties Suryavanshi and Chandravanshi. Later on four Agnikula dynasties- Parmar, Solanki, Chauhan and Chalukya emerged. But as the time passed their dynastic progeny multiplied, further they were divided into Gotra10 and Pal.11 Like the Kshatriyas and Rajputs, the Meos are also divided into different dynasties. gotras and pals from ancient times. But in the time of Balban, a Tomar Balut Meo Kaku Rana reorganized Gotra and Pal system and divided the Meos into 13 Pals and 52 Gotras.12 Abdul Shakoor gave the name of the Pals and related dynasties as followes :13 Dynasty Pal

Yadu Chhirklot, Dimrot, Dulot, Pundlot, Nayai Tomar Balot, Ladawat, Dirval, Ratawat
Chauhan Pahat

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