Mewat is a distinct socio-cultural and ethnological region named after its predominant inhabitant’s viz. the Meos. They claim to be ‘Rajputs’ originally, and trace their descent to the Aryans, who invaded India. They call themselves ‘chhatris’. They also make the proud claim of being one of the rare segments of the invading population that has not lost its original ethnic purity, unlike many other Rajputs. It is believed that they embraced the Islam religion during the reign of Tughlaq I during the 14th century. A large number of Meos live in other Indian states also, like Madhya Pradesh. The region, however, popularly known ‘Mewat’ is spread over the contiguous parts of Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Delhi. In fact, in present day usage, Mewat has come to mean “where the Meos live” because the extent and area is coterminous with the settlement of the Meos. The cultural world of the Meos was, as may be expected, more than a matter of geographical space or numbers. The Mewat portion of Haryana has recently been declared on 4th April, 2005 as a separate district with its name as ‘Mewat district’ with its headquarters at Nuh.
Physiographically, the region is divided by the Aravalli range into two tracts, i.e. upland (locally known as Pahad Ooper) and lowland (locally known as Pahad Neechee). The geomorphological conditions of the region resemble that of tribal regions, since the former tract is undulating and rocky while the latter is alluvial plain with patches of hills in the south-west and comparatively flat alluvial plains in the north-east.
Even today, after about six decades after the independence, Mewat seems totally cut off, so much so that most of its villages are without minimum infrastructure facilities such as enough safe drinking water, forget to talk about rail transportation and there are a few dispensaries with the barest minimum medical facilities. Malnutrition and tuberculosis are wide spread amidst all this poverty in the area. Some villages do have ‘dead’ dispensary buildings, as these exist without a doctor or nurse and people are subjected to go to quacks. With poverty come curses like – ignorance, blind beliefs, child marriages, demand of dowry, living in closed shells, simply cut-off from the developmental work, so much so that many villagers are not even aware of the projects and schemes operating in or around their villages. Poor natural resources, such as poor soil conditions, inadequate irrigational facilities coupled with brackish water, widespread illiteracy and natural calamities in the region account for its slow economic development. Beside these factors, social, political and cultural factors too have impeded the developmental efforts in this region.
The people of Mewat are full of bravery and patriotism. Mewat, is a peaceful belt, with simple, peace- loving people, no violence, no communal problems, but is totally backward. Though, the contribution of its population towards the freedom struggle was significant, this contribution in the struggle for emancipation from British rule is yet to be recognized and appreciated fully. Unfortunately, the region has remained economically backward and deprived even after independence. Poverty and unemployment of the youth are rampant in Mewat even today. Thus, Mewat is important historically and culturally but backward educationally and economically.