Patels in Central Gujarat and London

Patels in Central Gujarat and London

Photographs: Mario Rutten and Sanderien Verstappen

Text: Mario Rutten  (ProGlo Programme Co-Director)
 

The upwardly mobile Patidar or Patel community belong to a peasant caste in Gujarat, with its main concentration in the Charotar tract of central Gujarat. The Patels have a long history of migration abroad and constitute one of the largest groups among the Gujarati Hindus abroad.

The Patel community is well-known for its system of marriage within village circles. These circles have retained their significance for the Patel migrants abroad, where one often finds Patidar or Patel associations. Not surprisingly, ‘Patel’ is one of the most popular Indian surnames in the UK and USA. In 1991, a song called ‘Patel Rap’ was produced, which provides a humorous narrative about the Patels abroad.

See publication on the Patel diaspora by Mario Rutten and Pravin J. Patel:
Patidar as Metaphor of Indian Diaspora in: ‘Understanding Indian Society - Past and Present: Essays in Honour of A.M. Shah’(ed. by B.S. Baviskar and Tulsi Patel). New Delhi, Orient Blackswan, 2010: 220-256.