Plight of Dugg Dugge Brahmins

Maharaja Gulab Singh brought Dugg-Dugge Brahmins from Rajasthan approximately 170 years back to accept ‘Shani Daan’ and to perform ‘Shani Dev Pooja’ as a priest as Hindu priests were not ready to accept ‘Shani Daan’ and denied to perform such ‘Pooja (worship)’ and accept ‘Daan (alms)’ related to ‘Shani Dev.’ The Brahmins who were bought on special request in 1970’s are now living in inhumane conditions and have not even issued domicile certificates till now. They still collect alms on Saturdays and some of them are seen on roads as astrologers or palmists.

They are scattered in the areas of Ramban and other parts of Jammu region. These communities’ people are still waiting for their domicile certificates whereas Gurkha and Valmiki communities were the first to get it by the BJP leaders after last year’s revocation of Article 370 and 35- A. The administration had been dawdling the matter of issuing Permanent Resident’s Certificate (PRC) to the people who had no land records or ration cards as these are necessary parameters for domicile certificates. They cast their vote in elections every year as they have been issued with Aadhar card  but can’t get PRC in the view of no land of theirs at the place.

There are 27 families comprising 136 members of the impecunious community residing at Maitra in Ramban district. Bakshi Ghulam Mohammad, who was the Prime Minister in Jammu and Kashmir at that time had allocated a piece of land at Phelti Maitra in Ramban to the nine families of this community. Though in 2012, the ruling government provided them ration cards which were discarded in 2015-16 due to unknown reasons.  They live in huts or shanties which have electricity connection but no water or toilet facilities and the area in which they reside is known as Bakshi Nagar after the Prime Minister who had provided them at least a place to live.

They can’t get proper education because of poverty, in the whole community there are only two boys who have got college education and a girl whose education is going on. Those two boys also left their education to do some menial work to earn money.

Though they have been given assurance by the government recently that their domicile certificates will be issued soon and it is a ray of light in their lives.

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