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  • Kurmis are a landowning farming community whose status varies from place to place.

  • Kurmis are referred to as “progressive farmers” who “avail of maximum benefits of all the development schemes available in the area and region.

  • Kurmis are distributed across several states — Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Odisha, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Goa, and Karnataka.

  • In most states, Kurmis belong to the OBC in both the central and state lists for reservations.

  • In Gujarat, Patels, who are linked to Kurmis, are in the general category, and have been demanding OBC status.

  • In West Bengal, Odisha, and Jharkhand — where Kurmi is written as ‘Kudmi’ — Kurmis want to be included among Scheduled Tribes.

Kurmali Language

  • Kurmali language is a language spoken by the Kurmi community, primarily in the Indian states of Bihar, Jharkhand, and Odisha.

  • The Kurmali language is a member of the Indo-Aryan language family and belongs to the Bihari language family. 

  • It shares some similarities with Maithili and Magahi. 

  • It has its own script called "Kurmi Kudali" which is a modified version of the Devanagari script.

Why it is in news?

  • Several Kurmi bodies had earlier announced the stir at nine stations in Jharkhand, West Bengal and Odisha seeking Scheduled Tribe (ST) status for the community, besides including Kurmali language in the eighth schedule of the Constitution.

  • Calcutta High Court described the indefinite sit-in protest called by the Adivasi Kurmi Samaj from as “’illegal and unconstitutional’.

What is the Background?

  • Kurmis were not included among the communities classified as STs in the 1931 Census and were excluded from the ST list in 1950.

  • In 2004, the Jharkhand government recommended the community be added to the ST list rather than be categorized as OBCs.

  • Following the recommendation, the matter went to the Tribal Research Institute (TRI), which held that Kurmis are a sub-caste of Kunbis and not tribals. 

  • Based on this, the Centre rejected the demand of Kurmis to be considered as ST.



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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Kurmis UPSC NOTE
Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam
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