The Indian Caste System is a very rigid order. Under such
conditions it is very surprising to note that the Nadars as a Community have
made themselves upwardly mobile- moving from a lower rung to a remarkably
higher level, economically, politically, academically and socially. Hence they
hog the limelight today like the yesteryears' Kamarajar who achieved
politically many milestones.
When one looks back, he would be stupefied by the transition of the Nadars from
humble toddy -tappers to the level of a force to reckon with. Business and
Professional interests brought them to the happening urban areas. The Nadars
proved their mettle by adapting themselves to the changes which were moulding
the society from traditional to modern.
The Nadars are generally found throughout the Southern state of Tamilnadu. By
the end of 2003 , it is estimated that they would number around 10 million.
Their original area of concentration were the southern districts of Tamilnadu.
But varied business and academic interests brought them to settle down in
Coimbatore and Chennai and many more cities/towns as well.
The Nadars can be divided into two main groups- the Northern Nadars and the
Southern Nadars. The Northern Nadars are those from the Madurai, Virdunagar,
Sivakasi area and the Southern ones originated from the Tirunelveli and
Kanyakumari areas. Another Category of division is based on religion as
Christian and Hindu Nadars.
The Christian Nadars are mainly concentrated in the
southern belts while the Hindu ones are found dispersed throughout the state.
But the majority are Hindus. A miniscule portion even embraced Islam in the
19th century in the coastal belts of Tirunelveli District. About 10% of the
Nadar population are Protestant Christians.
The Nadars are a very hard working people. They have been well known for their
perseverance, untiring energy, commitments and dedication to their business.
They have become highly modernized. Many of them are qualified from
Engineering, Medical Institutions and Business Schools. They are emerging in a
changed manner leaving aside their traditional shackles and are forcefully
looking into the future relating to manufacture and distribution of many modern
products and services.
Throughout history the Nadars have been actively interested in wealth, power
and prestige. Contrary to the orthodox view of the Indian society, they have
translated their goals which they have pursued actively and competitively,
rather fatalistically accepting their lot or fulfilling a primary co operative