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The Paharia Socialists

Category: Part I.

Source: Folklore Of The Santal Parganas

Formerly before the Santals came into the country the four taluqs
of Sankara, Chiptiam, Sulunga and Dhaka formed the Paharia Raj and
the whole country was dense jungle. Then the Santals came and cleared
the jungle, and brought the land under cultivation. The Paharia Raja
of Gando was named Somar Singh and he paid tribute to the Burdwan Raja.

Once ten or twelve Paharias went to Burdwan to pay the annual
tribute. After they had paid in the money the Raja gave them a feast
and a room to sleep in and sent them one bed. The Paharias had a
discussion as to who should sleep on the bed and in order to avoid any
ill-feeling about it they decided that they would all sleep on the
ground and put their feet on the bed and then they could feel that
they had all an equal share of it. This they did and in the morning
the Burdwan Raja came in and found them all lying in this strange
position and was very much amused. He explained that he had sent the
bed for the use of the chief man among them and asked whether they had
no distinctions of rank. "Yes" they said "we have in our own villages;
but here we are in a foreign land and as we do not all belong to one
village who is to decide which is the chief among us. Away from home
we are all equal."

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