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Famed Rampuri knives may soon go into oblivion

Rampur, Sun, 07 Dec 2008 ANI

Rampur, Dec.7 (ANI): The old time moviegoers would recall the kind of impact Rampuri knives used to create in the Bollywood films of the 60s and 70s.


These Rampuri 'Churis' or knives' gained nation wide popularity through the tinsel screen when popular Bollywood actors of Madan Puri, Pran, Jeevan, K N Singh, Ansari, Hira Lal, Sajjad and Sheikh Mukhtar flashed them during their unforgettable negative roles.


The Rampuri, once the sole weapon the small time villains of Hindi cinema, has now been replaced with an array of arms ranging from cycle chains to pistols and even swords.


After the Uttar Pradesh government's decision in the mid-1990s to ban knives with blades longer than 4.5 inches, the Rampuri started to lose popularity.


Sadly, what used to be a trump card in the hands of the villains of yore is no more in demand these days. Today, the famed knife-makers of Rampur in Uttar Pradesh are finding it hard to sustain themselves through knives' business. They are living a life full of hardship.


Old timers here recount that the once famed Rampur market in Uttar Pradesh was used to be full of shops, stocking Rampuri knives. It is said most of the gory incidents reported in police stations were carried out using these lethal Rampuri "Churis'(knives).


"I have been involved with this business since many years. Previously, their used to be 60 to 70 persons involved in making sharp Rampuri knives. Today, just a few have left in this traded. The trade has been facing a tough time since there is no government support for us to sustain in challenging time," said Rahmat Ali, a Rampuri knife-maker.


Knife-makers in Rampur say that it existed literally a cottage industry in the past unlike today with just a handful engaged in making these knives. Apart from the knife-makers, there were allied artisans for the moulds and handles.


High cost of raw material and a low profit margin has also led to the dropping business of Rampuri knives. The old timers in Rampur say that things have not been as they used to in the past. The labour invested in the work doesn't have good returns.


"We make moulds for the knives. We don't make knives, it is made by different people. We won't be teaching this work to our children. There is less money and more of labour in this business," said Jareen Ahmed, one mould maker. By Vipul Goel (ANI)


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