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Life of Kalandars in Uttar Pradesh

Vidya Bhushan Rawat

Kalandars or Faqirs are one of the most marginalised communities among the pasmanda Muslims in India. They face tremendous hardship in villages as none of the locals want them to be in the village. Traditionally, a nomadic community, they developed skill on 'madari' or what we call as roadside Tamasha or roadside animal show like money dancing and bear dancing. They are considered to be as beggars.

Political leaders do not come to them. People dont call them. They are wanted only when some one is dead or in trouble. He says, why should we expect much from others when our own Muslims do not treat us equal.

Now their traditional occupation is gone. Government is not keen. Menka Gandhi has ensured that all those who worked with animals are pushed behind the bar. Frankly speaking, it was an art. If you see the talent and if these children are nurtured, they will give all the professionals of Mumbai as run for their money. So, it was like theatre where these artists would also do mimicry. They work hard to train the animal.

This interaction show how much they work hard and how they loved their animals. Today, they are totally a landless, workless, moneyless community. They dont have ration cards. They dont have land to till. 


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