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Pradhan (Devanagari: प्रधान) is a generally ministerial title of Sanskrit origin in cultures of Hindu tradition, mainly used in the Indian subcontinent. The Sanskrit pradhan translates to "major" or "prime"; however, the more modern Hindi definitions provided by the Oxford Hindi-English Dictionary also include "chief" and "leader". The precise interpretation can differ significantly by region. The style was abandoned by many Indian princely states during the Mughal era in favor of Persian styles such as Wasir and Diwan. Population 28277 according to 1991 census
Clan title or Surname
In modern Nepal, Pradhan is employed as a high-caste lineage name by a section of the Chatharīya (or Kshatriya) Newārs who they trace their roots to north-Indian dynasties like the Karnat and the Raghuvanshi Rajputs before being absorbed among the Newar Srēṣṭha. Among the Newars, the two traditional lineages among Kathmandu and Patan's Pradhans; the Thabahi/Thamel and the Patan Pradhans respectively; are among the highest tier "Thakur" (ठाकुर/थकु/ठकुरी) lineage of the "Chatharīya" (छथरीय/क्षत्रीय) Srēṣṭha caste who are descendants of the Malla (Nepal) royalty and its nobility. The fallout of the Unification of Nepal also prompted many of Bhaktapur's Malla descendants to write their titles as Pradhan or Pradhānānga, who have since spread all over Nepal. The other family names of the Chatharīya consist of the surnames Malla, Joshi, Rājbhandārī, Rājvanshī, Hādā, Amātya, Karmāchārya, among others. Chatharīyas are distinguished by the use of their clan or occupational titles (e.g., Pradhān, Malla, Rājbhandārī) instead of the all-encompassing "Shrestha" surname. Newar caste system stratifies them as belonging to the Kshatriya varna, whereas the pan-Nepal 1854 Muluki Ain stratification placed the Chatharīya among the twice-born, sacred-thread wearing Tagadhari group.
In the Indian states of Sikkim and sections of West Bengal, Assam and Bhutan, Pradhan is a title assumed by all the Newar descendants who had immigrated from Kathmandu Valley to these places primarily since the mid 18th century. Descendants of the various immigrant upper and lower Newar castes adopted the singular title of 'Pradhān' (which was one of the noble Chatharīya lineages of Srēṣṭha Newars of Kathmandu valley) as their singular caste-denoting name, whereas Pradhan in Nepal is only used as a specific family title by the descendants of the aristocratic Chatharīya Newar families of Kathmandu and Patan. The Pradhans of Sikkim form an influential ethnic group of a homogenous, non-caste and non-endogamous Newar community, which is in sharp contrast to that of the Newars of Nepal which still retains its highly complex, heterogenous and caste-based society. Due to this reason, the Pradhans of Nepal view the caste-status of these Pradhans from Sikkim and Darjeeling with doubt and avoid matrimonial ties with them. Notable Pradhans of Sikkim include trader Chandravir Pradhan (Kayastha), literary icon Paras Mani Pradhan (Shakya), first Chief Justice of Nepal Hari Prasad Pradhan, Bollywood cinematographer Binod Pradhan, footballer Sanju Pradhan, 1974 AD lead singer Adrian Pradhan, actors Menuka Pradhan, Poojana Pradhan, Uttam Pradhan, etc. In terms of India's Affirmative action policy, they are a Forward caste/General in all of India except in Sikkim where, like the entirety of its native Nepali-origin population, Pradhans/Newars are given protective status; Newars, along with Bahun and Chhetri of Sikkim, have been categorised as Other Backward Class, while the rest of Nepali-speaking Sikkim populace are categorised under Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
Pradhan is an elected by the village-level constitutional body of local self-government called the panchayat (village government) in India (gram panchayat). The Pradhan, together with other elected members, have the power of constituencies of the gram panchayat. The pradhan is the focal point of contact between government officers and the village community. Pradhan title in such setting is mainly used in east Indian states of West Bengal, Bihar, Jharkhand and Odisha. Similarly, in the Deoghar district of Jharkhand, Pradhan is the head of the village who inherits this hereditary office. In some villages, they are also known as Mulraiyat.
- Pradhan: was the title of a Minister who sat on the Council of 8 (Ashta Pradhan) in the early Maratha Empire prior to Peshwa (designation as Pantpradhan) administration.
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- zzxxShrestha, Bal Gopal (2015-02-01). "Newars of Sikkim". Vajra Books. Missing or empty