Sikh Ravidasia

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For Information only
ਜਾਣਹੁ ਜੋਤਿ ਨ ਪੂਛਹੁ ਜਾਤੀ ਆਗੈ ਜਾਤਿ ਨ ਹੇ ॥੧॥ ਰਹਾਉ ॥ (ਪੰਨਾ 349, ਸਤਰ 13, Nanak)

Sikhism does not endorse caste based distinctions in society that lead to unequal opportunities for some people. In fact, Sikhism completely rejects class or race based distinctions between humans, that leads us to make an inequitable society. Such distinctions have surfaced only due to ill interests of certain section of people, who, on the pretext of making a society more manageable through these classifications, eventually paved the way to an unequal grouping within the human race. This article is just for information purpose and to share how people from different castes came into the Sikh fold. So, please treat this article as a source of general information about this issue and kindly do not amend this article to highlight this important underlying Sikh principle. If you have any comments, please discuss them appropriately here

Castes & Tribes
Classification Shoe Makers, Weaving
Subdivisions Chamar
Significant populations in Punjab (India)
Languages Punjabi
Religions Sikhism

Ravidasia were historically a Sikh Hindu sub-group that originated from the caste of leather tanners and shoemakers known as Chamar. Nowadays people of this community do farming, large number of them are Governnent officials, Granthi in Gurudwaras and Prominent politicians.

Both the words Ramdasia and Ravidasia are also used inter changeably while these also have regional context. In Puadh and Malwa, largely Ramdasia in used while Ravidasia is predominantly used in Doaba.

In old era & during British period in Punjab, Hindu/Sikh Ravidasias were involved in Shoe making, Weaving and Leather Tanning. They were the main supplier of Army Shoes to British Army. These days most of the tanneries (leather manufacturing units), shoe factories and sports goods manufacturing units in Punjab are owned by Ravidasia/Ramdasia community. Almost 90% Punjabi Jutti (Traditional Shoes) shops in Punjab are also owned by this community of Sikhism. Socio Economic survey of 2011 census reflects that this community has highest number of government officials (bureaucrats) and also highest number of Medical graduates in Punjab.

Military Service

British Raj

The Ravidasia Sikhs, together with the Majhabi Sikhs, were recruited to the Sikh Light Infantry regiment (SLI) after its formation in 1941. The Sikh Light Infantry has always been a "single class" regiment in the parlance adopted from the British Raj era. This means that it recruits only from one demographic, which in this instance means the Ramdasia/Ramdasia Sikhs and Mazhabi Sikhs. Indeed, the SLI was initially called the Mazhabi & Ramdasia/Ravidasia Sikh Regiment. Despite unwillingness among some policy makers, the British had to abandon their traditional distinction between martial and non-martial races during the Second World War. This was necessitated by the need for more recruits than could be supplied by those communities upon which they usually relied, such as the Jat Sikhs, Dogras and Punjabi Musalmans. In addition, indiscipline among Jat Sikhs caused by their concerns regarding a post-war division of India was another reason to prefer recruitment of new classes. While recruitment from the pre-war martial classes was still pre-eminent, that from newly recognised classes such as the Ramdasias/Ravidasia snd Mazhabis became significant.

After Independence of India

When India became independent in 1947, the British Indian Army became the Indian Army. This, like its predecessor, relies on the martial race theory for much of its recruitment and thus there is a grossly disproportionate number of Sikhs within its ranks. The Ramdasias/Ravidasia Sikhs amd Mazhabi Sikhs continued their service with the SLI in the new army. The SLI has served in almost all of the post-1947 conflicts involving India, including the wars with Pakistan in 1947, 1965 and 1971, the Hyderabad Police Action of 1948 and the Chinese aggression in 1962. It has also served in Sri Lanka, where the 1st, 7th, 13th and 14th Battalions have contributed towards peace-keeping.

Hindu Ravidasias of Punjab

This sect of Ramdasia/Ravidasia having faith in Hinduism and they mostly residing in Pathankot, Jammu, Himachal Pradesh and Jalandhar. Hindu Ramdasia/Ravidasia migrated from Pakistan and back in Sialkot, these Ramdasia/Ravidasia were involved in Leather/Sports Goods Business. After migrating in Jalandhar they established their own Tanneries and Sports Goods manufacturing Units. For This purpose Government of Punjab, India helped them by providing liberal loans and allotting sites for their Factories Hindu Ramdasias/Ravidasias are staunch follower of Guru Ravidass and they follow Dera Swami Gurdeep Giri ji, Pathankot.

Ravidasia Diaspora and Guru Ravidass Temples and Gurdwaras

Ravidasia Sikh diaspora alongside Ramdasia Sikhs from Malwa emigrated from India and Pakistan is significant. Emigration from the Punjab began before and after the 19th century, with many Ramdasia/Ravidasia Sikhs settling in Europe, and also a large Ramdasia/Ravidasia Sikh population in North America mainly in United States and the Canada. There is sizeable population of Ramdasia/Ravidasia Sikh in Oceania as well.

Today they have presence in every major city of world where they have also established Guru Ravidass Gurdwaras and Sikh Temples.


New Zealand



United States of America










Eminent Ravidassias

Charanjeet Singh Channi- Former Chief Minister of Punjab

Giani Harpreet Singh - Current Jathedar (Head) of Shri Akal Takhat Sahib

Late Giani Tarlochan Singh - Former Jathedar of Takhat Shri Kesgarh Sahib (Shri Anandpur Sahib)

Giani Ditt Singh - Co Founder - Singh Sabha Movement , First professor of Punjabi Language

Shaeed Baba Sangat Singh - Martyred in the battle of Chamkaur Sahib

Babu Jagjivan Ram - Former Deputy Prime Minister of India

Mohinder Kaur Midha - Lord Mayor Ealing Council of West London

Lord Mayor Chaman Lal - First British Indian Lord Mayor of Birmingham

Neetu S Badhan-Smith - Judge, California Superior Court

Satnam Rattu - Judge, Sacramento County Court

Dr. Baldev Singh Sher First Sikh Physician graduated from Glasgow University. He was son of Giani Ditt Singh.

Bishan Dass - First British Asian Lord Mayor of City of Wolverhampton - 1986 . Elected as Councillor of Ettingshall Ward on 1 May 1975.

Lahori Ram- Economic Development Commissioner , State of California. Co- Founder of First Guru Ravidass Gurdwara in United States.

Ram Parkash Lakha - Ex Lord Mayor of Coventry 2005

Tej Ram Bagha (1939 to 2018) - Ex Lord Mayor of London Borough of Ealing 2014-2015

Gurdip Ram Bangar - Lord Mayor of Gravesham

Samir Jassal - Former Councillor / Deputy Leader Conservative Group, Gravesham Borough Council. Conservative Candidate for U.K. Member Parliament election for 2014 and 2017.

Netan Sansara - British Footballer

Jasbinder Dehar - Councillor for Blakenhall Ward of City of Wolverhampton Council.

Ram K. Mehmi - Councillor for Pleck ward of Walsall Council

Kulwant Singh - First Mayor of Mohali City and Current M.L.A

Mohinder Singh Kaypee - Former Member Parliament

Late Harbhajan Lakha - Former Member Parliament from Phillaur Constituency

Late Chaudhary Sadhu Ram (January 1909 – August 1975) - Five-time Member of Parliament from Phillaur Constituency

Chaudhary Sunder Singh- Member Parliament 1980 - 1989 from Phillaur Constituency

Chaudhary Santokh Singh- Member Parliament from Jalandhar Constituency

Late Satnam Singh Kainth - Former Member Parliament from Phillaur Constituency

Selja Kumari- Former Minister of Social Justice and Empowerment and Tourism in the Government of India

Ashok Tanwar - Former Member Parliament Lok Sabha

Late Basant Singh Khalsa - Former Member Parliament Lok Sabha

Shamsher Singh Dullo - Former Member Parliament Raj Sabha

Late Bhan Singh Bhaura- Former Member Parliament Lok Sabha

Late Sukhdev Singh Libra - Former Member Parliament Lok Sabha from Fatehgarh sahib Constituency

Gopal Singh Khalsa - Member of Legislative Assembly during British Rule, Secretary SGPC and first Dalit Sikh who did Law graduation from San Joaquin Delta College, Stockton (California) in 1923.

Santosh Chaudhary- Former Member Parliament Lok Sabha

Babu Parmanand- Former Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly in 1980 and Former Governor of Haryana from 19 June 1999 to 2 July 2004

Late Kanshi Ram- Founder Bahujan Samaj Party and Former Member Parliament

Bikramjit Singh Khalsa - Former MLA and member Punjab Civil Services

Malkit Singh Dakha - Former Minister Punjab Government

Darshan Singh Shivalik - Former MLA

Miss Pooja - Punjabi Singer

Amar Arshi - Punjabi Bhangra Singer Kala Chashma fame

Gurdarshan Singh IPS - Former ADGP U.P cadre and member Uttar Pradesh Civil Services

Malkiat Singh Jakhu IPS - Former DGP and former Chairman Uttar Pradesh Civil Service

Baljit Singh Sandhu IPS- Former DGP Haryana State

Iqbal preet Singh Sahota IPS- DGP Punjab

Kulwant Sarangal IPS - ADGP Maharashtra Cadre

S.R.Darapuri IPS - Former I.G , Uttar Pradesh

Sube Singh IPS - DGP Punjab 1996

Kamal K Attri IPS - DGP Punjab 2009

S. R. Lakha IAS - Former Chief Secretary Uttar Pradesh Government, Former Chairman of Uttar Pradesh Civil Service and former Vice Chancellor of Gautam Buddha University

Darbara Singh Guru IAS - Former principal secretary

Dr. Karam Singh Raju IAS - Former principal secretary

Hussan Lal IAS - Former principal secretary

Jagmohan Singh Raju IAS - Former Cheif Resident Commissioner, Tamil Nadu

Khushi Ram IAS- Former Deputy Commisioner of cities Hosiarpur, Tarn taran and Amritsar and former executive director of NRI Sabha

Tilak raj Sarangal IAS - Former principal secretary, Punjab Government

Shakuntala Jakhu IAS - Former Cheif Secretary, Government of Haryana

Ramendra Jakhu IAS - Former Additional Cheif Secretary, Government of Haryana

P.L.Punia IAS - Former Bureaucrat and Former Member Parliament both Rajya Sabha and Lok Sabha

Som Prakash Kainth IAS - Former Bureaucrat and Current Union Minister of State for Commerce and Industry, Government of India.

Dr. Amar Singh IAS - Former Bureaucrat and Current Member Parliament from Fatehgarh Sahib

S.R.Kaler IAS - Former Bureaucrat and Former M.L.A

S.R.Ladhar IAS- Former Financial Commissioner and Former Principal Secretary, Rural Development, Punjab

Harinder Singh Khalsa IFS - Member Parliament and Ex I.F.S. He resigned I.F.S in protest against the Operation Blue Star.

Butshikhan Singh IFS - Former High Commissioner of India to Brunei Darussalam

Ramesh Chander Mahey- IFS - Former Ambassador to Belarus (2009 -10)

Meira Kumar IFS- Former Indian Diplomat and Speaker of Lok Sabha (2004 to 2009)

Ambassador Dr. V.B. Soni IFS - Former Consul-General of India in Sydney (Australia), Ambassador of India to Senegal, High Commissioner of India to Jamaica and Fiji (1986-1997) and Ambassador of India to Ukraine (1997-2002)

Ravidasia/Chamar Clans

Aadharmi, Ankhi, Arshi, Badhan, Banga, Bangar, Bhago, Bhagat, , Chamkila, Cairay, Chumber, Chutan, Claire, Dev, Digra, Goria, Heer, Lochan, Jaiswar, Kalday, Kalsi, Kailey, Kattar, Kaler, Kainth, Kuril, Jakkhu, Jarngal, Jassal, Jatav, Jattu, Jhall, Jhalli, Kapri, Mall, Mehmi, Mahey, Mahay, Mahi, Mehta, Momi, Negi, Padam, Ravidas, Ranu, Rattu, Sheemar, Simer, Soami, Tokhi

Social Groups

Rajput ♣♣ Khatri ♣♣ Lohar ♣♣ Kumhar ♣♣ Nai ♣♣ Chamar ♣♣ Arora ♣♣ Bhatra ♣♣ Agrawal ♣♣ Bania ♣♣ Sindhi ♣♣ Saini ♣♣ Julaha

Recommended Social Group Surnames

Banga ♣♣ Hunjan ♣♣ Khosla ♣♣ Tamber ♣♣ Salaria ♣♣ Khinda ♣♣ Mastana ♣♣ Kaith ♣♣