The Sonkar community is a sub-caste of the Hindu Khatik caste primarily found in the Bundelkhand region of Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh, India. They form an integral part of the larger Khatik community and have a distinct historical and cultural identity.
Historically, the Sonkar community was known for their occupation as dyers. They played a crucial role in the dyeing industry, contributing to the vibrant colors of textiles and fabrics in their region. Over time, they have diversified their livelihoods, but their historical occupation remains an important aspect of their identity.
The Sonkar community is divided into several exogamous clans, with the main ones being the Magariya, Gotiya, and Jaraliya. These clans are significant social units within the community and help maintain social order and cohesion.
Language and Dialect
Members of the Sonkar community predominantly speak the Bundelkhandi dialect of Hindi. This dialect reflects the rich linguistic diversity of the region and is an essential part of their cultural heritage.
In Uttar Pradesh, the Sonkar community is primarily concentrated in the districts of Hamirpur and Jhansi. These regions have significant Sonkar populations, and the community has contributed to the cultural fabric of these areas.
Distinction from Chhattisgarh Sonker
It is important to note that in Chhattisgarh, there is a different community known as Sonker. These Chhattisgarh Sonker belong to the Other Backward Classes (OBC) category in India. This distinction is crucial to avoid confusion between the two groups.
The Khatik community, including the Sonkar sub-caste, has historically faced social and economic challenges. In many regions, they have been categorized as Scheduled Castes, also known as untouchables, and have struggled for social equality and economic progress.
The Sonkar community has produced notable individuals who have made significant contributions in various fields:
Members of Parliament
- Vinod Kumar Sonkar, 16th Lok Sabha
- Neelam Sonkar, 16th Lok Sabha
- Bizay Sonkar Shastri, Former Member of Parliament and current BJP spokesperson
- Udit Raj, 16th Lok Sabha
Members of Legislative Assembly
- Kailash Nath Sonkar, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Rajesh Sonkar, Member of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Bheem Prasad Sonkar, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Ravi Kumar Sonkar, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Shriram Sonkar, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Brij Lal Sonkar, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Jagdish Sonkar, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Prakash Sonkar, Former Member of Madhya Pradesh Legislative Assembly
- Vidyasagar Sonkar, Member of Uttar Pradesh Legislative Council
- Alok Sonkar, Associate Partner, Khaitan & Co.
- Barkha Sonkar, Member of Indian Women’s Basketball Team
- Gopi Sonkar, Member of Indian Hockey Team
- Anshul Sonkar, Bronze medal winner at National Federation Cup Bench Press, Deadlift, and Powerlifting Competition
- Pinki Sonkar, featured in the documentary “Smile Pinki (2008),” which won the 81st Academy Awards for Best Documentary.
- Khatik: Explore the broader Khatik community and its cultural diversity and contributions.