Today we will know about a special caste and community called “Tharu” of North-Eastern India and Nepal which is completely against dowry system and where there is the ritual of paying just 1 coin as dowry.
According to historians and archaeological objects, Tharus are considered to be descendents of Gautama Buddha. Suddhodana, the father of Lord Buddha is believed to be a Tharu king of Kapilvastu, Lumbini in Nepal which is also the birthplace of Gautama Buddha.
Tharus are tribes based in jungles and nearby areas of North-West Bihar, Northern UP (Uttar Pradesh) and Nepal. Basically, southern foothills of the Himalayas in Nepal and India are the regions where Tharus are mostly found. These are the people who are finely in tune with the nature and environment and they conserve forests and wildlife.
Tharus against Dowry System and Female Feticide
This caste was included in ST (Scheduled Tribes) category of India in year 2004. Prior to that, they were under OBC category. The whole community of Tharus is against dowry system in marriages. The groom or his family refuses to accept any cash or any heavy gift from the bride’s family. In India, where female feticide is a common practice, this community is an inglorious example of simplicity and ethics. Tharu people celebrate equally in birth of either a baby-boy or a baby-girl. There is a simple phrase in Tharus when a baby-girl is born – Laxmi Aayeel Badee (Goddess Laxmi has arrived).
Recently, the female feticide practice was prominently covered in the first episode of Satyamev Jayate, produced and hosted by Bollywood superstar Aamir Khan.
Tharus and Alcohol
Alcoholism is a common practice in Tharu community. The current scenario is changing due to moves initiated by Gram Panchayats and Charitable Institutions. Now, more of Tharus are getting rid of alcoholism and following religious activities. Due to several religious activities intiated by charity organizations around in the related areas, Tharus are now getting deeply involved in charity and welfare activities.
To name, such charity organizations are – Brahmakumaris, Sant Nirankari Mission, Shiv Charcha etc.
Watch National Song of Tharu Community, Nepal
Watch this beautiful videos where Nepali Tharus are singing their Community’s National Song.