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Matua-mahasangha (Matua) is a religious reformation movement originated from present-day Bangladesh with a considerable adherents both in Bangladesh and West Bengal. Matua is a sect of Hindu folk religion. The movement was launched as a reformation by Sri Harichand Thakur's followers. He is popularly known as God Harichand. Born in Namasudra (Namassej) community to a peasant family. He attained Atmadarshan at an early age and preached his Darshan in Twelve Commandments. He preached for education, for uplifting the population and for ending social conflict.
Matua-mahasangha is not a religious organisation in the ordinary sense of Hinduism. There is no Gurutantra. Matua-mahasangha believe in self-Dikshitisation (self-realization). So anyone who has faith in the Darshan or Philosophy of God Harichand belongs to the Matua-mahasanhga.
After partition in 1947, a big chunk of Matua community migrated to West Bengal (India). In 2011 provincial election (Bidhan Swava), they have been a big political force behind Mamata Banarjee's win and sweeping victory over left alliance. On January, 2015, first-ever Matua minister Manjul Krishno Thakur left Mamata's TMC and joined BJP.
Initially the Matua-mahasangha followers or "matuas" formed an organisation in Orakandi, Faridpur (Bangladesh). After 1947, followers formed a second organisation in Thakurnagar, West Bengal, India. Dr. C. S. Mead, a Catholic Missionary, was involved with the movement. At first, it was very difficult to form the Mandir ( place to worship). The Mandir was initially looked after by Thakur's family, but as of 2011 it was managed by a trustee chosen by the followers. The State Government of West Bengal offered the Matua Mahasangha 20 cottah of land to build a research organisation.
Followers may be found throughout India and Bangladesh. In some locations, they have worshipping places. In the beginning Matua-mahasangha followed simplified rituals, but later adopted Vaishnabism.
- The Namasudras and other Addresses, Adelaide, 1911: C.S.Mead
- Matua Dharma Darshan (in Bengali), Thakurnagar, 1393 B.S. p-47: Paramananda Halder
- Sekhar Bandyopadhyay: Popular religion and social mobility : The Matua sect and the namsudras in R.K.Ray (ed) Mind Body and Society, Life and Mentality in colonial Bengal ( Calcutta) 1995
- Hitesh Ranjan Sanyal: Social Mobility in Bengal, Calcutta,1985
- Tarak Chandra Sarkar: Sri Sri Hari Lilamrita ( in Bengali ) Faridpur, 1323BS
- Adal Badal (Bengali Monthly) June–July,1995 No IV and V
- Namasudra Movements in Bengal (1872–1947): R.K.Biswas :ISBN 81-88006-19-X: 2010: Progressive Book Forum, Kolkata
- Matua in Banglapedia http://www.banglapedia.org/HT/M_0230.htm
- "Bengali Namasudra people, SC, Scheduled caste, Namosudro, Low caste - in bengali, bangla as well - jobs, resources, government, schemes, programs, benefits, untouchables, people, atrocities, improvement". Namasudra.com. Retrieved 2012-05-15.
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