Gaya genealogists tracing Thackerays’ Bihar roots
Poring through reams of documents, many of them hundreds of years old, Rajan Sijuar (43), is an unusually busy man these days. The Gaywal panda (hereditary priest) is tracing the Bihar roots of the Bihari-baiting Thackeray family.india Updated: Sep 09, 2012 23:14 IST
Poring through reams of documents, many of them hundreds of years old, Rajan Sijuar (43), is an unusually busy man these days.
The Gaywal panda or hereditary priest is tracing the Bihar roots of the Bihari-baiting Thackeray family of Mumbai, which has attracted much media interest since Congress leader Digvijaya Singh made the claim, quoting from a book written by Prabodhankar Thackeray, Shiv Sena leader Bal Thackeray’s father.
“I will trace it back,” declares Sijuar, who has already spent the past five days poring over the records. He has plenty to go through, as Gaywal pandas have been acting as custodians of genealogies for most Indians.
“If anyone in the family has ever undertaken panda daan (homage to ancestors), I will trace it back to its founder,” says Sijuar, parchments spread all over in his small tenement near the Vishnupad temple complex in Gaya.
Several other Gaywal pandas are also on the job, though they admit, “their (Thackeray ancestors) names, titles, etc, would have differed in earlier times”.
Bachchu Lal Chaudhary, who has been dealing exclusively with Marathi Hindus for some time says the past few days had been his “life’s busiest”.
Chaudhary mirrors Sijuar’s confidence. “Even if a single person from the Thackeray family has ever offered pinda daan at Gaya, we’ll get to know of his tehsil or village.”
There’s a view among the pandas that the Thackerays may have their origins in the Magadh region of Bihar, in which Gaya falls.
Says Binod Sharan, a businessman: “These people have complete lists of people with minute details of their migrations and crossovers. They can even trace people settled in Pakistan, Bangladesh and other parts of the world. This is their exclusive domain, their USP.”