Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Family Cracks Record of 50 Generations! Traces History Back to 600 AD

Dani clan from Saurashtra traces history back to 600 AD; has applied to Limca and Guinness record books for recognition.

Devanshu Dani - left - points to the first member of the family, while Jayesh Dani points to the last. The 2 are residents of Borivli. A 5-member committee traced the clan to Anang Sha who migrated from Rajan to Gujrat

In a rare event, a Gujarati family has traced 50 generations and has now created a family tree, which, members claim, dates back to the seventh century.

The Danis, who hail from Saurashtra, had a grand get-together of over 500 family members from across the world at Mahuwa in Gujarat on November 2 where they formed the Dani Kutumb Mandal and released a copy of their family tree. The family is now aiming for recognition in the Limca Book of Records and Guinness World Records and has approached their authorities.

The 500 members of the Dani family at the get-together at Mahuwa, Gujarat, on November 2

“It struck us that we had a many about our recent generations. We decided to start working on our family history and held get-togethers (as many as 10),” said the Kutumb Mandal chairman Jayesh Dani. Initially a five-member committee was formed.

The committee approached the family’s elders and got talking to them about their history. In fact, from just one member they got the list of a few generations.

It wasn’t tough getting contact details of those abroad as the Gujarati community keeps a directory which mentions each member. The process took 18 months and at the end of it, the family had been traced to 50 generations. “It was a Herculean task, but the fruits were sweet,” said Jayesh Dani.

The Dani family has traced their clan up to Anang Sha (about 600 AD) who migrated from the then marketplace of Ajmer in Rajasthan to Palanpur in Gujarat.

His primary task was to collect transit tax on goods — roughly 2.5 per cent of the goods. At the end of the day, he was required to sell off the collected goods and deposit the proceeds to the state treasury. He would get commission from the proceeds.

The family moved from Palanpur and Patan in Gujarat. The Danis stayed put in Patan, which was one of the richest towns in India then, despite plundering by Mohammed Ghazani, but later moved to Sri Nagar, which was then known as Paar-Khar (beyond desert). The family moved to Saurashtra around 1420 AD and then struck roots there. The long journey of the Danis thus ended at Gohilwad, Saurashtra, where many of the current descendants of the family live.

There were three main sources of income for the state — Aan, Dan and Khan (taxes and mining). The Danis had the responsibility of collecting transit dues on commerce within state. Those who collected taxes were named Dani. The task entrusted to the Danis was to collect 2.5 per cent tax on goods transiting through the state.

The Danis are now spread across the world. At the Dani Kutumb Mandal Mahotsav held at their native place in Mahuwa in Saurashtra, over 500 Danis from UK, US, Dubai and Singapore came to celebrate the family history.

The mandal’s general secretary Devanshu Dani said, “We had organised musical nights, game shows along with cultural programmes and navchandi yagna to attract youngsters. Every member took part in all the programmes. Now we will approach Limca Book of Records and Guinness World Records.”

Danis arranged various games to keep the family entertained

Devanshu Dani performs the Navchandi yagna

Locals at Mahwa village welcome the Danis

Source: Mumbai Mirror

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