Gujjar Community is a sum total of the warrior tribes which inhabit not only in India but in countries like, Pakistan, Afganistan, Iran and Russia also. Though in different countries the word "Gujjar" has come to be known differently but yet it has not changed altogether e.g., ‘Gurjar’, ‘Gojar’, ‘Gorjar, ‘Godar’ and Kochar or ‘Gorj’ etc. Historians have different opinions of their origin and their coming to India. Some historians are of the view that they were the inhabitants of India herself long ago while others say that they had migrated to India from Central Asia. It is also said that probably they might have settled in the Indian green territory during 5th or 6th century A.D. The historians who take them as aborigines of India, say that the three sects of Kshatrias - Suraj Vanshi, Chandra Vanshi and Yadav Vanshi, had amalgamated with Gujjars after the war of Mahabharta. Prior to the Mahabharta war, Kshatias used to be the sole rulers but their power and influence declined considerably after war.
Lord Krishan Ji with some of the Kshatrias who survived the Mahabharta war abandoned Mathura and went towards the west to Dwarika. The ancient Kshatria clans thronged around Lord Krishna who United them into a class and named it as "Gujjar" and their Govt. come to be known as "Gujratar" the first capital of which was established at Dwarika.
Pandit Vasudeva Prasad, a famous Sanskrit Pandit of Banaras, has proved through ancient Sanskrit literature that the word "Gujjar" used to be spoken after the names of antique Kshatrias. Another Sanskrit scholar Radhakant, is of the opinion that the word Gujjar was for Kshatrias. Scientific evidence also has proved that Gujjars belong to Aryans.
Before the advent of Muslims from outside India, their Sanskrit history and dialect showed that they were Gujjars. So much so that the Arab invaders also named them as Gujjars in their writings.
Mr Baij Nath Puri, a famous historian of India, in his book ‘The history of Gujjars and Pratharas' and another historian Mr K M Munshi, in his book ‘The Glory that was Gujjar Desh’, Rana Ali Hassan Chouhan, in his book ‘The history of Gujjars’, Mr Jatinder Kumar Verma, in his book ‘Gujjar Ithas’, by way of historical records, have fully proved that they belonged to Aryan Dynasty and refuted that they had come from out side India and settled here.
In 78 A.D. they had established two reigns of two dynasties which were those of Nagars and Kushans, one of which ruled Patna which included Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Uttar Pradesh and Central India of Arya Varta. This was ruled by Gujjar Dynasty of Nagars whose head was Maharaja Subhao Nagar.
Their second kingdom was that of Peshawar which spread upto the river Jamuna and Afghanistan. This kingdom was ruled by the dynasty of Kushan Gujjars whose king was emperor Kanishka. One of the edicts revealed that Kushans had named the territory of Sutlej as Gujrat. During the reign of king Kanishka and Subhao Nagar, the Aryavarta was at its peak of glory. These kingdoms had spread their trade upto Europe.
The Gujjar reign of emperor Kanishka had spread upto Central Asia as a result of which the Gujjars could be seen dwelling in Afghanistan, Russia and Iran even these days. It is believed that the emperor Kanishka had established his capital somewhere in Kashmir. It would be wrong to say that the present territorial boundries of Kashmir are correct, rather it was far wide spread than what it is today. The brave kings of those bygone days had subdued the countries like Kabul and Kandhar. Emperor Kanishka ruled between 78 and 130 centuries A.D. After the downfall of Gujjars, Nagar and Kushan dynasties, the Gujjars again regained power during the 5th century A.D.
In the 6th century A.D. when the Gupta rule was in its last phase and its down fall was imminent the Gujjars over powered the Guptas and founded a strong Gujjar kingdom. They began to protect the country and started to take effective steps for its all-round progress.
After 7th century A.D. the Gujjar rulers established their full authority over the entire Northern India. Thereafter the Gujjar rulers, named several provinces, cities, grand buildings, temples and fortresses after the name of Gujjars. The Gujjar kings felt proud of their being called Gujjars. Several edicts found so far bear testimony to this fact. An edict of 1139 AD which was found in Dohar, Jai Singh Barh Raj, has been stated to be the king of Gujjar Mandal.
The King Prithvi Raj Chouhan United the Kingdoms of Ajmer and Delhi, when he ascended the throne. He established a federation by the name of "Gujjar Mandal".
From the historical evidences, it becomes clear that during the reign of King Meharbhuja the banner of Gujjar rule was waving all over North India.
During the Gujjar rule, the Gojari language was made as an official language and all official work used to be carried out in it. In 9th century A.D. & after this period, the Arab travellers who wrote about Gujjar history, presented the facts in distorted manner because at that time only Gujjar Community, had opposed the Arabs tooth and nail. Inspite of all this the Arabs praised them for their valour. The Arab historians recognised the Gujjar rule as the most stable and powerful. After ruling for centuries together over India, their down fall began during the reign of Muslim rulers. In 1697 Al-ud-Din Khilji over ran Analwada Gujrat resulting in the end of Gujjar rule in India. All the territories that belonged to Gujjar rulers, were taken away from them and they were once again subjugated by others. They left their territories and took shelter in mountains and deserts. Gujjars were ruthlessly suppressed and presecuted. They were even deprived of the jobs. Numerous plots began to be hatched against Gujjars. Under these bad and hostile conditions some Gujjars ran away for safety while others disliked to be called "Gujjars" and in a way they converted themselves into communities, other than Gujjars. Some went into hiding in mountains and forests, and began to call themselves as Rajputs and not Gujjars. Lateron, some persian historian recognised them as Rajputs as they failed to under their identity. Even the English rulers recognised there as Rajputs. The name Rajput became so popular among the historians that the names of Gujjars disappeared from the history.
The Archaeological department during its research found valuable edicts of the past viz; the period which prevailed before the foreign Muslim rulers. All such edicts showed the writings of the Gujjar rulers. No evidence came forth which would show a link between Rajputs and Gujjars.
Experts are of the view that by their classification, Gujjars are almost similar everywhere, may it be in India, Pakistan, Iran, Afganistan or Russia or anywhere. They resemble each other in some way or the other. They have their own mother-tongue which is Gojri and the interesting thing in it is that how far apart they may be from one another, their tongue is similar in all countries.Gujjar Community, has a strong internal organisation. Different groups of Gujjar living in bulk numbers feel proud of being called "Gujjars". Presently, there are Hindu, Muslim, Sikh and Hussain Gujjars in India. They are kind to one another and have no aversion for one another.
By Shamsheer Hakla Poonchi