Guest Info

Dr Javaid Rahi, a prominent figure among the Gurjars of Jammu and Kashmir, has dedicated his life to advocating for the rights of his community. As a scholar, writer, poet, and social media influencer, Rahi has been instrumental in raising awareness about the political, socio-economic, and cultural challenges the Gurjars and Bakerwals face.

His impactful columns and articles on the rights of the community, published in local and national newspapers, have garnered attention from the public, government, and the community itself. Rahi’s research papers and presentations in seminars and conferences have further solidified his position as an opinion-maker on the socio-political and cultural aspects of these tribes.

Recognising the power of social media, Rahi has become a social media influencer with a large following on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Through his @JavaidRahiChannel, he shares informative videos on the origin, history, culture, folklore, and socio-economic issues, shedding light on the nomadic way of life. Recently, his YouTube channel received the ‘Silver Creator Award’ for crossing three crore viewers and 130,000 subscribers.

Rahi’s contributions to Gojri literature have been recognised with awards and honours, including the state’s highest literary award in 1999. He has authored numerous books, dictionaries, and anthologies focusing on preserving the language and cultural heritage of the Gurjars. Additionally, Rahi has undertaken significant research projects and led the compilation of the “Encyclopedia of Himalayan Gurjars.”

Hailing from the border village of Chandak in Poonch district, near the Indo-Pak border, Rahi holds a PhD in Tribal Languages from the University of Jammu. He has played a vital role in introducing Gojri as a curriculum in schools across Jammu and Kashmir. Rahi’s efforts extend beyond academia, as he has organised literary and cultural events, conducted interviews, and produced drama serials showcasing the tribal heritage.

With a strong presence in both traditional and digital media, Dr Rahi continues to champion the rights of the Gurjar community and shed light on their rich cultural legacy. His work inspires, sparking meaningful conversations and advocating positive change for the nomadic tribes in Jammu and Kashmir.

About the Show

The Gurjar community, spanning India, Pakistan, and Afghanistan and reaching the shores of the UK and UAE, is remarkable and resilient. Believed to have shared lineages with the Roma community and the Romani people, they have an extraordinary history that often goes unnoticed. Yet, their vibrant culture and strong identity continue to thrive. Despite societal stigma, this community stands tall, united by their shared heritage and unwavering pride. Led by influential figures like Dr Javaid Rahi, an author, tribal researcher, social reformer, and activist, the Gurjar community is reclaiming their rights, preserving their language, and embracing their rich cultural legacy. 

Join us this week on the Global Indian Podcast as Chief Explorer Rajan Nazran engages in a captivating conversation with a remarkable guest who wears many hats. Dr Rahi, an author, tribal researcher, social reformer, activist, YouTuber, photographer, and collector of artefacts, is dedicated to preserving indigenous communities, cultures, and heritage.

In this episode, Dr Rahi takes us on a profound journey into the history and present-day life of the community in India. Despite facing unwarranted stigma, the Gurjars exemplify a unique sense of pride and identity within their community, devoid of caste or social hierarchy. Spread across 12 states in India, the community is recognized as Scheduled Tribes (STs) and Other Backward Classes (OBCs), inhabiting remote, mountainous, and forested regions, distanced from the mainstream society. Their lifestyle primarily revolves around pastoralism and agriculture, creating a fascinating tapestry of their heritage.

While their historical significance as warrior and protector tribes of India spans over four centuries, the Gurjjars have unfortunately been overshadowed in the annals of history, pushed to the fringes of society. However, Dr Rahi is working tirelessly to awaken their collective consciousness, empowering them to reclaim their rights and flourish again. With a strong focus on preserving their language and culture, he has become a beacon of hope for this nomadic community.

Join us as we delve into the rich tapestry of their history, uncover the hidden chapters omitted from mainstream narratives, and explore the commendable efforts of Rahi in advocating for their rights. Through his extensive work, he is amplifying their voices and instilling a sense of pride and resilience within the Gurjar community.

Don’t miss out on this enlightening episode as we shed light on the incredible journey of a minority community and discover the invaluable work being done by Dr Javaid Rahi to empower this vibrant community. Tune in now to understand their traditions, struggles, and triumphs and witness their indomitable spirit come alive.

Produced by Global Indian Series for the Global Indian Network.
Script by Rajan Nazran
original idea: Rajan Nazran

Introduction music credit:

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