Yādav refers to a grouping of traditionally mainly non-elite, peasant- pastoral communities or castes in India and Nepal that since the 19th and 20th centuries has claimed descent from the mythological King Yadu as a part of a movement of social and political resurgence.
The term 'Yadav' now covers many traditional peasant-pastoral castes such as Ahirs of the Hindi belt and the Gavli of Maharashtra. The Yadav are included in the category Other Backward Classes (OBCs) in many Indian states.
Traditionally, Yadav groups were linked to cattle raising and, as such, were outside the formal caste system. Since the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, the Yadav movement has worked to improve the social standing of its constituents, through Sanskritisation, active participation in the Indian and British armed forces, expansion of economic opportunities to include other, more prestigious business fields, and active participation in politics. Yadav leaders and intellectuals have often focused on their claimed descent from Yadu, and from Krishna, which they argue confers kshatriya status upon them, and effort has been invested in recasting the group narrative to emphasise kshatriya-like valour, however, the overall tenor of their movement has not been overtly egalitarian in the context of the larger Indian caste system.
Yadav or Yadava primarily refers to:
- Yadav, any of the several communities or castes found in modern India and Nepal, which descent from the mythological king Yadu
- A clan of the Bharwad people of India
- Yadava, any of the ancient Indian tribes believed to have descended from Yadu, a mythical king
- Konar (caste), an ethnic group from the Indian state of Tamil Nadu
- Seuna (Yadava) dynasty of the 9th–14th c.
Yadav or Yadava may also refer to:
- Ahirs, a caste sometimes referred to as Yadav
- Jadhav , a royal clan of Maratha
- List of Yadavs