As revealed by the history of famines during the 19TH century, because of hunger and tormenting poverty, many people among the communities like Meghs had even started eating the flesh of animals, dead or otherwise. Hunger also compelled them to eat the left-over food of both the Muslims and Hindus. However, Basith and Dhian (sub-castes among Meghs in Jammu province) did not develop such habits. Because of this reason, they started keeping aloof from the other Meghs or Mihnghs.
However, the issue was resolved through the efforts of Baba Bhagata Sadh r/o Vill. Khairi, Dist. Jammu, who later on came to be known as ‘Guru of Keran’. Consequently, by a contract which was concluded and signed in 1879, through the influence of a ‘Guru of Keran’, the the representatives of Meghs hailing from different areas pledged themselves to total abstinence from it. A breach of this agreement made a man liable to pay Rs. 25 to the Government, Rs. 5 to the headmen of village, and a sum, fixed according to the means of the offender, as a penalty was to be paid to the brotherhood (Biradari). In default of payment, he was liable to exclusion from the caste. This contract did have a good impact over the people and since then the Meghs have generally believed in vegetarian food habits.
(Contributed by Sh. R.L. Gottra)