“The creators,the preservers and the actual hard workers”
Kumars have their existence due to their aged old creations of potteries. According to ancient hindu philosophy, kumhars are considered as offsprings of lord Bramha (Prajapati) who is known as creator of this universe ,and it is lord Bramha’s blessing from where kumhars has got their skills. I feel creation of kumhars is the purest form of creation, because what they create is free from any kind of technological or external help. Even the single tool which they use which is “wheel” (chakka) is belived to be created by them in the ancient times. The material used by kumhars for making their articles are all natural products mainly red-soil ,clay,water,wood,sunlight and most importantly their aged old skill and hard work which they have been inheriting from their forefathers years after year.
Their creation comes straight from mother nature and dissolve into it ,and most importantly without polluting or harming it. The preservers The kumhar word has its origin from sanskrit word “khumbhkar” which means the one who makes earthen pots.
Sanskrit is about 3,500 yers old language so one can imagine how old the kumhar’s origin can be. In Dravidian languages also same words are used for kumhar community. In some regions “bhaand” is also the word used for them. In Amritsar (punjab) there is a community of potters who have migrated from rawalpinddi (pakistan) where they are called as”kalal” or klal . This word “kalal” is also used in “yajur veda” for kumhars. The description of khumars can be found in many ancient hindu text books and in many old folk tales also.
Kumhars has been always part of our indian society ,proofs of their existence is found in most of the archeological sights. In the harappan civillization sights many artcles like statue of lord “pashupati”, horses and other toys ,pots etc., Which are all made up of clay are always found which makes it eaiser for us to understand ancient culture, civillization, traditions of people of that time. For me the kumhars are the real preservers because they have preserved their aged old art work,and preserved it in its simplest form. As this is the time of diwali celebrations nothing can give you better idea about kumhars then this festivel.
The diyas which we have been lightning up in diwali for many years are the same diyas which were lighten up in Ayodhya when lord Ram and mata Sita came back, because centuries may have change,people may have changed,life styles may have changed, even the way of celebrating diwali may have changed,but these kumhars and and their ways of making diyas is still the same, they have not changed a bit, there diyas are same as they were then.
So who can be the better preservers then them. The Actual Hardworkers Giving shape to something without any technological help in today’s modern world where people are de‐ pendent on technology for even their basic needs, is definitely somthing you can call the actual hard work. The earten vessels,water pots,decorative home wares,toys and idols of god and goddess which we can see on the stalls of kumhars , alot of hard work goes around in making these beautiful things which we buy easily at very low prices. These things are not something which are made up by putting all the materials in a single machine and
getting your stuff out at once, it reqires alot of human labour and hard work . Recently i got chance to visit a potters colony (kumhar toli) where i got to see how these kumhars work on grass root lebel. When i reached their asfar as my eyes could see there were only pottery making stuffs spreaded all around and all people including women, childrens, oldmen
performing their respective parts of pottery making . And every one was doing their works with so much of dedication that they were not even taking notice of anyone around them. It was like potters factory where the fingers of potters were working like machines. It was hard for me to walk properly there because on the roadsides diyas and other articles were placed to soak under the sunlight, the best thing about these kumhars is that they use all the natural products mainly clay, red soil, water, sunlight, wood. I had an interaction with this 4th grneration potter named “sudama”and he said ,
“the progress in society have not touched the lives of potters. even in the digital era there have been hardly any progress in our community,we have only one device the wheel”, he said, perfecting the rounds of his diya. And for all these reasons i call them the actual hard workers. But this beautiful kumhar community is sadly in danger , as they are facing alot of economic crises. main reason behind their downfall is the illetracy and poverty . Kumhars are the simple people and they dont understand today’s world marketing strategies, they simply make their articles and sell them in local markets, and the price which they get in return is nothing in front off all the hard work they put in making their articles.
These days people are more inclined towards the machine-made potteries they prefer buying them over kumhar’s pottries and this thing has worsten the condition of potters even more. They are not getting acknowledgement and suppport which they deserve, they need a better platform where they can showcase their talent and get appreciation and support.
Government has started few schemes for their betterment where kumhars can get loans from government on very low intrest rate for buying elctronic spinning wheels. But due to lack of awareness and illiteracy, there are very few people who are actually getting benefit from these schemes. On seeing this condition of potters, the coming generation of potters are now choosing another profession over pottery making,due to this reason, now pottrey makers are left very less in number. This is the high time when we should take some major steps to prevent this beautiful community and their art work from vanishing. Other wise our future generations might not be able to see these kumhars and their ‘mitti ke diye’ in the markets like we do,they will only get to know them from their books and museums. The community which has been giving the world traces of history through their art work will itself become history some day.