A brief note on Kurmi community-
- Kurmi is traditionally a non-elite tiller caste in the lower Gangetic plain of India, especially southern regions of Awadh, eastern Uttar Pradesh and parts of Bihar.
- The Kurmis came to be known for their exceptional work ethic, superior tillage and manuring, and gender-neutral culture, bringing praise from Mughal and British administrators alike.
- Their demand to the state and the Centre is to include the Kurmali language in the Eighth Schedule of the Constitution and give the community the status of Scheduled Tribe.
- The 1931 Census did not include the Kurmis among the communities identified as tribes. They were again excluded in the 1950 list of Scheduled Tribes.
- The government of Jharkhand recommended in 2004 that the Kurmi tribe be included in the list of Scheduled Tribes, rather than in the Other Backward Classes list.
- However, the Tribal Research Institute of the Government of India advised against this proposal, contending that they are a sub-caste of the Kunbi and different from tribal people.
- The Government of India then refused to approve the Jharkhand government’s recommendation.
- Currently, they are categorised in the Other Backward Class list in Odisha, West Bengal, and Jharkhand.