Khokhar Khanzada

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Khokhar Khanzada
Regions with significant populations
 India Pakistan
Languages
UrduHindi
Religion
Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
KhokharKhanzadaPunjabi RajputRajput

The Khokhar Khanzada are a Muslim Rajput community found mainly in the Fatehpur district of Uttar Pradesh in India. They have no connection with the Ranghar Khokhar of Moradabad district in western Uttar Pradesh, another community of Muslim Khokhars settled in Uttar Pradesh. The Khokhar are a well known tribe, found mainly in the Punjab region of Pakistan and India. There is some confusion as to the origin of the Khokhar, with some claiming Arab ancestry, while others claim to be Rajput The Khokhar Khanzada are a sub-community within the larger Khanzada community of eastern Uttar Pradesh. These Khokhar claim to be originally Pashtuns.[1]

Origin[edit]

The Khokhar Khanzada claim descent from Malik Babur, who said to have come from Kapurthala in Punjab. He was sent to Fatehpur by the Khilji authorities in Delhi to suppress the Bhars, a turbulent tribe that controlled most of eastern Uttar Pradesh. The Malik successfully defeated the Bhars, and the grateful Alauddin Khilji, the Sultan of Delhi granted several villages as a jagir (estate) in Fatehpur district, the main one being Kot. In addition to the settlement at Kot, they are also found in the villages of Arhaiya, Urha, Shahunagar, Rahmatpur, Sheopur, Kali, Ghazipur and Parvezpur. Other than the jagirdar families, the majority of the Fatehpur Khokhar are small to medium sized farmers. With the abolishment of zamindari system of feudal ownership by the Indian government in 1949, this has had a strong impact on the large landowning families, as much of their land has been redistributed. A further change has been that many Khokhar Khanzada have also emigrated to Pakistan, and are now found mainly in Karachi.

Customs and Traditions[edit]

They are Sunni Muslims, and have customs similar to other Khanzada communities in the region. The community is largely endogamous, although there are cases of intermarriage with the Gautam Khanzada, a neighbouring Muslim Rajput population. But most marriages are with a close kin, with the community practicing both parallel cousin and cross cousin marriages. The community speak Urdu, as well as the Awadhi dialect.[2]

Khokhar Ranghar[edit]

The town of Sambhal in Moradabad District is also home to several families of Khokhars, who have said to have emigrated from Gujrat in what is now Pakistani Punjab during the reign of the Mughal Emperor Babar. As most Rajput converts to Islam were in common parlance referred to as Ranghar, these Khokhars were also referred to as the Khokhar. The Emperor Babar himself is said to have granted the Khokhars jagir for the town of the Sambhal. They played a particularly important role in Rohilkhand politics during the period of Rohilla rule. The Khokhar were the effective rulers of the town of Sambhal and the adjoining countryside until the establishment of British rule after the Rohilla War of 1774. Although the Khokhars lost independent power, they remained one of the larger landowners in the district till 1949, when the newly independent India carried out substantive land reform, and broke up the large estates. The Khokhars remain a substantial element in the population of Sambhal.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fatehpur District : A Gazetteer Volume XX, District Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H Neville
  2. ^ Fatehpur District : A Gazetteer Volume XX, District Gazetteers of the United Provinces edited by H Neville
  3. ^ Moradabad District United Provinces District Gazetteers edited by H Neville