Anavils
Ahir (Ayar)
Bhil
Charan
Dubala
Jain
Kangashiya
Kapols
Kathi
Khoja
Kharwa-Khalsi
Koli
Lohanas
Mussalmans
Mer
Miyana
Nat-Bajaniya
Naagar
Padhar
Parsis
Patanvadia
Patidars (Patel)
Rajputs
Rabaris
Sindhis
Sidi
Targala - Bhavaya
Vanzara
Vadi
Vaghari
Vankar

Vohras


 

‘Anavils’ are a Brahmin sub-caste living mostly in South Gujarat. The caste has acquired this name from a small town called ‘Anavil’ about 60 kms. Away from Surat. According to a gazetter of the then Bombay state, the other two means of Anavils are: (1) Mastans and (2) Bhathelas.
            By nature Anavils are outspoken and generally unyielding. It is jocularly said that ‘The tongue of an Anavil has no hinge’ (means an Anavil may speak anything at any time) and he would speak anything about any person and would not care what others would feel. Our former Prime Minister Mr. Morajee Desai is an Anavil.
            Since Anavils have lived near Bombay, one can clearly notice Marathi tinge in their pronunciations of certain words. They would say, “Kye. Kahe ?” in place of ‘shun kahe?”. ‘Kay’ and ‘Shun’ are the equivalent of ‘what’ in English.

            ‘Kay’ is a Marathi words while ‘shun’ is a Gujarati word. They have a dislike for words having conjunct consonants. They would say “shun kayara kare chhe?” instead of “shun karya kare chhe?”. Their dialect is spicy and may contain a few words, which may otherwise be constued as abuses. This characteristic of their dialect is peculiar to Anavils- whether men or women! They are no purists so far as their dialect is concerned. It is a treat to listen to two Anavils talking to each other.
            Although Anavils are Brahmins, they do not live on eleemosynary contributions. They hardly follow the rituals of a Brahmin. They are Yujurvedis (‘Yujurved is the second of four Vedas, mostly composed in prose and dealing with sacrifices) but they do not care much for religious rites or caste customs. They are less tidy in matters of speech and dress. Anavils areb industrious and adventurous. ‘Desai’ and ‘Nayak’ are the two surnames that we often come across among Anavils. They are good-looking fair complexioned and of a strong build. They are generally well educated and are mostly working as employees.
            The Anavils caste, though small in size, has produced some of the great personalities. Gandhiji’s secretary Mahadev Desai barrister Bhulabhai, a great trade unionist and a former Labour Minister of India Khandubhai Desai and a former minister of Gujarat state Thakorbhai Desai ‘Sneharashmi’, Gulubbhai Desai and Manilal Desai in the field in film industry and Kunjvarji Desai in science, besides Morarji Desai in politics are too well-known to need any elucidation.
            Through comparatively a smaller community Anavils are, it has gifted some really big personalities to Gujarat and India. Their intellectual and diplomatic abilities have brought them higher place in politics. Many Anavil gentlemen played an important role during the freedom-struggle of the country.
            Anavils are a distinguished people. Their contribution to the political, social, religious and literary scene is a part of history.