The Patidar are a caste found primarily in the state of Gujarat, India. They were formally recognised as a separate identity in the 1931 census of India, having previously been classified as Kanbi.
They are among the most studied of Indian castes and the process leading to their recognition is a paradigmatic example of the invention of tradition by social groups in India. The rise to socio-economic prominence of the Kanbi community in Gujarat and its change of identity to that of Patidar can be attributed to the land reforms of the British Raj period. The Raj administrators sought to assure revenue from the highly fertile lands of central Gujarat and to do this they instituted reforms that fundamentally changed the relationship that existed between the two communities of the region, being the peasant Kanbi and the warrior Kolis. Those two communities had previously been of more or less equal socio-economic standing but the emphasis of the land reforms better suited the agricultural peasantry than the warriors.Read More