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Paharis and Paddaris

Facts for Prelims (FFP)

 

Source: IE

 Context: The government has introduced the Constitution (Jammu and Kashmir) Scheduled Tribes Order (Amendment) Bill, 2023 in Lok Sabha to include four communities in the list of Scheduled Tribes (STs) in Jammu and Kashmir.

  • The four communities proposed for ST status are “Gadda Brahmin,” “Koli,” “Paddari Tribe,” and “Pahari Ethnic Group.”

 

Currently, the dominant ST communities in J&K are the Gujjars and Bakerwals, who were given ST status in 1991 along with the smaller groups of Gaddis and Sippis. The proposed expansion of the ST list has caused unrest among the Gujjar-Bakerwal community, who fear a reduction in their share of the quota benefits.

  • The Pahari Ethnic Group includes Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs, with some Kashmiri-origin settlers in Rajouri and Poonch districts.
  • The Paddari Tribe, residing in the remote Paddar area of Kishtwar district, is also proposed for ST status.

The Bill seeks to include these four communities in the ST list, potentially granting them reservation benefits in government jobs and educational institutions, despite existing apprehensions and disputes among different communities.