Who are Saini ?

(Ref. http://sainighosh.blogspot.in/)

SAINI'S are a kshatriya clan belonging to the CHANDRAVANSHI KSHATRIYA's, a branch of the warrior class. In a high court judgement in punjab the court ruled that this is a KSHATRIYA community and should be known as saini kshatriya's. Sainis claim descent from Sura & his grand father Rajan Saini. Sura was the grand father of Lord Krishna. Saini (Rajan Saini) was the grand father of Satyaki of Mahabharat. Sura & Saini were cousins (as recorded in the Mahabharat). Together they ruled the republic: Andhaka-Vrishni. This was the first known democracy in India. These Kings later adopted the title of Raja Sursen or Sura-Sena, a name adopted from the country they ruled.

Satyaki, the grand son of Rajan Saini, ruled the Sura-Sen kingdom in the north-west of India. Rajan Saini founded Saini vansh, which is one of the eleven vanshas of Yadus and one of the tribes of the Yadavas.

Rajan Saini

Rajan Saini (Sini), a character in the great Indian epic, the Mahabharata. Sini was the uncle of Vasudeva, the father of Sri Krishna. When Devaki, the mother of Krishna, was a maiden, many princes competed for her hand in marriage. This led to a dispute. In the end, a great battle ensued between two princes of different families over it: Somadatta and Rajan Sini. In this fierce battle Rajan Sini won, and on behalf of Vasudeva he carried Devaki in his chariot and drove her away.

This incident led to a feud between the two clans, the Sini family and that of Somadatta.

The rivalry came to the fore-front last time on the battlefield of Kurukshetra, where Sini's grandson, Satyaki, who was a peer and friend of Arjuna and a famed archer, clashed with Bhurisravas, Somadatta's son, who was on the Kaurava side, resulting in the slaying of Bhurisravas by Satyaki.

Terminology

The term Shoor saini is as old as the history of India. Etymologically, the Hindi word "Shoor" means displayer of gallantry and "Saini" is a generic name for the ruling dynasty that ruled Northern India from Mathura to Patiala. Their rule and governance were so benevolent that the area they ruled came to be known as "Shoor saini Pradesh" and the language they spoke was known as "Shoor saini".

Draupadi being a daughter of the Shoor saini dynasty, and that even Krishna belonged to these people. In the Mahabharata, Satyaki is the leader of the Shoor sainis and is famous for his bravery.

Maharaja Shoor Saini

Maharaja Udak was a very famous king. Maharaja Udak had two sons named Bhajman and Durota. Durota further had a son, Maharaja Sur and Maharaja Sur had a son who was named Maharaja Sur Saini (sometimes called Shoor Saini).

Maharaja Shoor Saini was born in the Mahabharat period. He ruled over 'Sur Sen', a kingdom in northwest India. According to ancient historical records, Mathura was the capital of this kingdom. His kingdom extended from Afghanistan to Uttarkashi and from Rajasthan to Southern India.

He strongly believed in righteousness and kindness and karma sidhant of vedic scriptures. He possessed a sound knowledge of law and ruled the kingdom under codified laws written into a book. He gave a new way of life to his kingdom known as the Saini religious way of life. He gave the vision to these people to work hard irrespective of their occupation. This is the reason sainis profess different occupations like floriculture, agriculture, baghbani and vegetable production in different regions of India. A picture of him is presently displayed at Lahore (Pakistan).

Kansa Was the first major king of Northern India, Kansa. By virtue of his might, he declared himself as the first king of Mathura. King Jarasandha of Magadha, offered his two daughters in marriage to Kansa. Thus, the first empire of pre-historic or Proto-history India was established by Kansa, the scion of Shoor saini dynasty. Kansa performed the famous Ashwamedha Yagna and set his horse moving and his armies followed the horse under his personal command. They were away for twelve years from the capital "Shoorpur" in the city of Mathura.

After Mahabharata, Parikshat was made king of Hastinapur. Vajra, the grandson of Krishna at Indraprastha. A grandson of Satyaki named Bhuti was made king of Saraswati. Andhaka's son was made king at Marttikavata near Mount Abu. Thus the princes of the Pandava-Krishna lines ruled North India, Sindh, Gujarat and the area North and West of the Yamuna. They founded many republics like Pargiter, Bhargava and Jayaswal.

The famous Yaudhey a republic had 5000 war elephants and 5000 aristocratic families, who were good agriculturists and good soldiers. Their fame and power caused the retreat of Alexander from the Beas in 326 BC. Future wars led to the Sainis retreating into infertile foothills from central regions of Punjab under pressure from the Scythians. They spread along the rivers.

Porus

Porus or Puru, the son of king Chandra Sen, was the last Shoor saini king. He ruled the fertile area of the Punjab between the rivers Jhelum and Beas.

The Saini's have been classified as Chandravanshi Kshatriya's. The Chandravanshi lineage is one of the three lineages into which the Kshatriya caste of Hindus is divided. According to legend, the Chandravanshis are descended from Chandra,in the Lunar Dynasty or the Hindu Moon God.

Saini-Mali Community of Rajasthan

History of Rajasthan dates back to times of Induscivilization during which many centres were established all throughout this area, and new centres kept evolving in vedic (900-500 B.C) and late vedic period. Rajasthan came under the rule of Mauryan empire who ruled the land up to 150 A.D. Guptas follwed them up to 4th A.D. Budhism prevailed during these times. As these empires did not allow Brahmins to play a role in society so these Brahmins collaborated with the new Aryan immigrants to whom they named as Rajputs to establish Hinduism. This new ruling class in reward was given the status of upper class Kshatryias and they ruled over the other farming Kshatryias such as Ahirs, Mali-Sainis, Gujjars, Jats, Kalvis, and Aboriginal tribals like Bhills, Minas, Sahariyas, etc., and these farmers provided them recruits for their armies as well. These kingdoms established the Jagirdari system of revenue. These kingdoms later accepted the Mughal dominance and also continued to fight one another rather than serving the nation. During this same era Marathas came into power who were a fusion of different vedic peasant stocks along with Ahirs, Malis, and Kunbis of Nagpur-Maharashtra region. These Marathas were vedic Aryans fusion who were non-Brahmin nationalists and were striving to create the “Hindu nation” and during their several expediitions to this land of Rajasthan, they conquered various kingdoms and given hard punishment to the ruling class of Muslim allied Rajputs, and massacred 5 million to 8 million Rajputs.Later these kingdoms helped British during 1857 revolt by our nationalists.

Marathas established Rayatwari system and demolished Jagirdari system so all the farming communities spreaded them in more lands thereby prospering. In North, Jats also revolted and other farming castes such as Ahirs, and Saini-Malis allied with them and shared lands with them. Rajasthan is not a complete desert state as has been projected by Tourism Department of India. Eastern and North region belies the notion of being it a desert state. Rajasthan has vast tract of Aravali fertile range and river basins of Bharatpur. Jodhpur city is the land mark from where Eastern cultivable land separates from Western Thar desert.

Present Rajasthan is composed of 32 districts with capital at Jaipur. In North, its borders are with Punjab, Haryana, and UP, and in West, with Pakistan, in South and South East with Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh respectivily.

Saini-Mali Community

Saini-Mali farming community is found all throughout Rajasthan, and enjoy the same social status as do Ahirs, Jats, Gujjars, Bishnois, Rajputs, and Kalvis. They are part of the cultural fabric of this state. Rajasthani and Hindi are the main languages spoken by them. The turban and saffa is a unique part of Saini-Mali men’s dress and Saini-Mali women wear ghagras embroidered with artificial silver zari.Turban styles and colors change with region. Early age marriages and engagements are the norm. Here, the Hindu religion is followed mostly, with a small percentage of Saini Sikh population residing in the districts of Ganganagar, Hanumangarh, and Bikaner. They worship the idol of their folk deity “Jujhaar-ji”. They pray in the “Temple of Devi” and also solmenize their marriages in front of the Temple of Devi. Due to the influence of Vaisnavism sect in Rajasthan, Mali-Saini kshatriyas are vegetarians , as are the Ahirs, Jats and Bishnois. They celebrate all the Hindu festivals such as; Teej, Holi, Diwali, etc. and ghoomer, jhoomer and chari dance etc. are part of their social culture. Earlier women were not allowed to get education for the sake of family honour, but now girls are encouraged to attend schools.

Saini-Mali farmers are professional cultivators and the main products grown by them include; rice, rose-flowers, pulses, jowar, red chillies, bajra, and vegetables, oil seeds and fruits. They are extensive agriculturalists in well irrigated regions and skilled horticulturalists, and vegetable growers in arid or water scarce regions. In laying out a flower garden and in arranging beds for nursery they are experts

Mali Holi-Holi is the harvest festival of this farming community. The colourful festival of Holi is played in many different ways. The “Mali-Saini” community of Rajasthan has a unique style where the men colour the women with water and the women retaliate by hitting them with sticks or long pieces of clothes. On the night of this festival Mali- Saini girls sing folk songs.

Chari Dance- This dance belongs to the Ajmer and Kishangarh areas of Rajasthan. The women folk of the Mali -Saini caste perform this colorful dance on the occasion of a marriage ceremony or at the time of the birth of a male child. They carry water filed brass vessels on their heads with lighted earthen lamps placed on the top of the vessels. Gentle head movements are a must in this dance.

Distribution

NorthWest Rajasthan- Saini-Mali community is present in the districts of: Ganganagar, Bikaner, and Hanumangarh. Out of these districts, they are most numerous in Ganganagar- Suratgarh belt which borders the Abohar region of Punjab.Mr. Satyanaryan Singh Saini of Samajak Nayay Manch is a prominent personality of this area.

North/Shekhawati region- Consists of Jhunjhunu, Sikar, Nagaur and Churu districts. Saini farmers are spread all over in this region with the largest population in Jhunjhunu and Sikar. Mr. Madan Lal Saini is a former MLA from Gudha in Jhunjhunu and is a BJP stalwart from the state. He is state Vice President of BJP. Mr. Ishwar Lal Saini is a former MLA from Lachmangarh in Sikar. Mr. Matu Ram Saini, Mr. Banwari Lal Saini of Jhunjhunu, Mr.Kailash Chand Saini of Sikar. Nagaur is famous for bullocks and cattle fair.In Nagaur, Parvatsar and Makrana belt is stronghold of Saini-Maili farmers. Jhunjhunu is called as house of soldiers.

Central Eastern Rajasthan—includes districts of Jaipur, Ajmer, Alwar, Karauli, Tonk, Dausa Bharatpur, Dholpur and Bhilwara.Mali-Saini community has large population in this region.They are one of the prominent farming caste in Jaipur and Dausa.In Alwar they are the 2nd professional farming castes after Ahirs. Mr.Bhagwan Sahai Saini is a sitting MLA from Chomu in Jaipur and Mr. Janardhan Singh Gehlot (Food and Supplies Minister) from Karauli also known as land of Krishna.Mr. Ram Kishore Saini is a former MLA from Bandikui in the district of Dausa. Mali-Saini farmers have a high concentration in Tonk-Malpura and Ajmer-Kishangarh belt. MR. Nathu Ram Mali is aleading person in Jaipur rural area. Mr. Bihari Lal Saini and Murari Lal Saini of Bharatpur are other prominent personalities.

Central Southern Rajasthan—Jodhpur, Rajsamand, Jalore-Sirohi and Pali districts are home to the Mali- Saini community. In Bhopalgarh—Jodhpur--Sardarpur belt Mali -Saini community is a leading farming caste. Mr. Ashok Gehlot, present chief minister of Rajasthan belongs to Jodhpur and was M.P from this area for a long term and held the portfolio of union deputy minister of tourism and civil aviation, and later served as textile minister of India. Presently, he is MLA from Sardarpur constituency of this district. Mr. Banshi Lal Gehlot is MLA from Rajsamand district constituency.