Explained: Who are the Hattis of Himachal Pradesh, and why do they want ST status?

What is the News?

The Union Home Minister has assured the Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh that the Centre would consider the request for inclusion of the Hatti community in the list of Scheduled Tribes.

What is the Hatti Community?

The Hatti community is largely concentrated in the Trans-Giri area of the Sirmaur district in Himachal Pradesh.

The community is named after their age-old professional practice of selling their homegrown crops at small markets called ‘Haat’ in nearby cities.

The Hattis is governed by a traditional council called Khumbli, which like the khaps of Haryana decides community matters. The Khumbli’s power has remained unchallenged despite the establishment of the Panchayati Raj system.

Why should Hatti Community be granted Scheduled Tribe(ST) Status?

Hatti community of Himachal Pradesh share social as well as cultural similarities with the Jaunsar community of the Jaunsar-Bawar area of Uttarakhand. 

This is because the Trans-Giri area and Jaunsar Bawar area, were part of the erstwhile Sirmaur princely state.

Incidentally, those who crossed over to the Jaunsar Bawar area which is now in Uttarakhand have enjoyed tribal status since 1967. However, the Hatti community of the Himachal weren’t accorded the ST status.

Hence, they are demanding that they should also be granted the Scheduled Tribe(ST) status.

Source: The post is based on the article “Explained: Who are the Hattis of Himachal Pradesh, and why do they want ST status?” published in Indian Express on 29th April 2022.

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