Bhale Sultan Khanzada

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Bhale Sultan
Total population
Unlnown
Regions with significant populations
 India Pakistan
Languages
AwadhiKhari BoliBhojpuriHindiUrduEnglish
Religion
Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
RajputsMuslim RajputsRangharAhbans KhanzadaBhatti KhanzadaKhokhar Khanzada

The Bhale Sultan Khanzada are a Muslim community found in the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. They are a sub-group within the Khanzada community of eastern Uttar Pradesh.[1]

Origin[edit]

The Bhale Sultan Khanzadas are converts to Islam from the Hindu Bhale Sultan Rajputs, and different clans have different traditions regarding their conversions. According to some authorities, the word bhale sultan means lord of spear, a title given to army commanders in medieval India. There are in fact two distinct communities of Bhale Sultan, those of Bulandshahr and those of Awadh.[1]

In western Uttar Pradesh, the Bhale Sultan of Bulandshahr District trace to ancestry to Hamir Singh, a Solanki Rajput, who was granted the title Bhale Sultan by a grateful Sultan of Delhi for subjugating the Meos, who had been attacking royal forces. He was granted a jagirnear Delhi, and settled in the village of Amigan. A descendent of Hamir Singh, Khan Chand converted to Islam, and was granted an estate in Khurja. Khan Chand was an important courtier of Khizar Khan Sayyid. They are now several Bhale Sultan villages in the vicinity of Khurja. They form one of the larger Ranghar biradaris in the district.[1]

The Bhale Sultan in Awadh have different traditions as to their origin. Those in Sultanpur District trace their descent from Palhan Deo. This conversion is said to have taken at the time of Sher Shah Suri. From Palhan Deo descend the taluqdar families of Deogaon, Unchgaon and Mahona.[2] While in neighbouring Faizabad District, they trace their descent to Rao Mardan Sinh, a horse dealer from the village of Dundiya Khera, who is said to have to seized territory from the Bhars, which was confirmed by the then Sultan of Delhi. A descendent Baram Deo converted to Islam, and founded the Faizabad branch of the community.[3]

Besides these taluqdar families, there are several settlements of the Bhale Sultan Khanzada found throughout Awadh. In Barabanki District, they are found in several villages near the town of Subeha. While in Sultanpur District, there are several settlements near Jagdishpur, such Makhdumpur, Kachhnaon, and Nasura. Other settlements are found in Gonda, Bahraich, Balrampur, Shravasti, Kheri and Raebareli districts.

Present circumstances[edit]

They are Sunni Muslims, but incorporate many folk beliefs. In eastern Uttar Pradesh, the Bhale Sultan speak both Awadhi and Urdu., while those of Bulandshahr District largely speak Urdu. Those who belonged to the taluqdar families and at one time were substantial landowners, but with the carrying out of land reform by the government of India after independence in 1947, they lost many of their larger estates. The community is now mainly made up of small to medium sized farmers, growing wheat, sorghum, pulses and sugar cane. They have no caste council or panchayat, although there are localized panchayats in their villages. The Bhale Sultan intermarry into neighbouring Khanzada communities, while in western Uttar Pradesh, the Bhale Sultan intermarry with other neighbouring Ranghar communities.[4]

The sense of belonging to the Rajput community remains strong, with the Bhale Sultan Khanzada still strongly identifying themselves with the wider Rajput community of Awadh, and often refer to themselves as simply Rajput. This is shown by the persistence in their marriages of Rajput customs, like bursting of fire crackers and sending specially made laddoos to biradari members. Many members of the community continue to serve in the armed forces of India, an activity traditionally associated with the Rajputs. The Bhale Sultan Khanzada, however have been badly affected by abolishment of the zamindari system, with many now destitute. However, like other Indian Muslims, there is growing movement towards orthodoxy, with many of their villages containing madrasas. The madrasas have also facilitated the growth of Urdu, with it beginning to replace the Awadhi in their settlements in eastern Uttar Pradesh [5]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Tribes and Castes of North Western Provinces and Oudh Volume I by William Crook pages 253 to 257
  2. ^ A Gazetteer of Sultanpur District Volume XLVI: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  3. ^ A Gazetteer of Faizabad District Volume XLII: Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H. R Neville
  4. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part One edited by A Hasan & J C Das Manohar Publications
  5. ^ "India Today". India Today. 2002-07-15.