Bhaiband

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Bhaiband, meaning “brotherhood”,[1] are a Hindu jāti within the Lohana caste of India and Pakistan.

History[edit]

The Sindh region was ruled by various Muslim dynasties from 711 until the conquest by the British in 1843, when it became a part of Bombay Presidency. During that period, Hindus were a significant minority of the population although accurate figures continued to be unavailable until after 1947. Mark-Anthony Falzon notes that, "Due to the shifting criteria of categorisation and the complex politics of census in general, the decennial colonial censuses of pre-independence Sindh must be read with caution."[2] Of these Hindus, most were broadly designated as members of the Lohana caste, with the exceptions being those considered to be Bhatias or Brahmins. Although considered to be Vaishya in the Hindu ritual ranking system known as varna, the Lohanas favour a mythical origin as members of the Kshatriya varna.[3]

Among the Lohana jatis - a social grouping based on birth and kinship - are the Bhaibands, who by the time of the British Raj were held in a lesser regard than the Amil subgroup of Lohanas but who were the wealthiest as a result of their mobility and participation in trade. Falzon considers this trade-sourced wealth to be their "distinguishing characteristic" among the Hindus of Sindh.[3][a] Although it was generally uncommon, there was intermarriage between Amils, Bhaibands and another Lohana jati, the Sahitis. The ritual prohibitions of caste, such as restrictions on eating and worshipping together, permeate life in south India but did not play a great role in the life of Sindhis. Nonetheless, a hierarchy existed and, according to Falzon, "still today, Bhaibands are seen by Amils as unpolished, having poor aesthetic tastes, and given to vulgar displays of wealth".[5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Notes

  1. ^ Falzon notes that traders in small localities might be called bania or hatvania. It is unclear whether he is including the Bhaibands in this nomenclature.[4]

Citations

  1. ^ Falzon, Mark-Anthony (2004). Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000. Leiden: BRILL. p. 33. ISBN 9789004140080. 
  2. ^ Falzon, Mark-Anthony (2004). Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000. Leiden: BRILL. pp. 30–31. ISBN 9789004140080. 
  3. ^ a b Falzon, Mark-Anthony (2004). Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000. Leiden: BRILL. pp. 32–33. ISBN 9789004140080. 
  4. ^ Falzon, Mark-Anthony (2004). Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000. Leiden: BRILL. p. 34. ISBN 9789004140080. 
  5. ^ Falzon, Mark-Anthony (2004). Cosmopolitan Connections: The Sindhi Diaspora, 1860-2000. Leiden: BRILL. p. 35. ISBN 9789004140080. 

Further reading[edit]

  • Malkani, KR (1984). THE SINDH STORY. Urbana-Champaign : Nadeem Jamali. OCLC 48506292. 
  • Falzon, Mark-Anthony (July 2003). "Bombay, Our Cultural Heart': Rethinking the relation between homeland and diaspora". Ethnic and Racial Studies 26 (4): 662–683. doi:10.1080/0141987032000087352. 
  • Markovits, Claude (October 1999). "Indian Merchant Networks outside India in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries: A Preliminary Survey". Modern Asian Studies 33 (4): 883–911. doi:10.1017/S0026749X99003467.