Sindhi-Sipahi

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The Sindh-Sipahi (Sindhi: سنڌي سپاهی ) (Urdu: سندھی سپاهی ‎) are a Muslim community found in the province of Sindh in Pakistan and state of Rajasthan in India.[1]

History and origin[edit]

The Sindh-Sipahi originally belonged to the family of Chandravanshi Rajputs. They are said to have converted to Islam, at the time of the conquest of Sindh by the Arabs, around 8th Century A.D.The Sindhi Sipahi form a large part of the Muslim Rajputs population of Marwar and Mewar. According to their traditions, they were Chauhan and Bhati Rajputs who converted to Islam in the Middle Ages. [2]They are concentrated in Mallani, Sheo, Sanchor in Marwar and in Udaipur.[3]

They are sub-divided into various tribes, such as the Bhatti, Sodha, Tonwar and Rathore, and further divided into firkas or sub-clans. Their main firkas are the Samma,Panwar{Panhwar} Saand, Gajju, Bhayyo, Panno, Sithar, Soomra and Mahar. The Samma clan is called so after the name of its founder and traces its pedigree to Bhati Rajputs. The Saand and Gajju were originally Sodha; Bhayo and Panno are said to be descended from Tonwar; and Sithar are Rathore.They have a common origin with the Sindhi Rajput tribes of Pakistan.[4]

The Soomra and Mahar claim to have always been Muslim. In addition to these communities, the Junejas and Mangria are also considered to be Sindh-Sipahi.

Dhatis and Khudalis are the two chief sub-divisions of the Sindhi-Sipahi. The Dhati are found mainly in Jaisalmer, while the Khudali are found in Barmer and Jodhpur.The Khudali are camel nomads, and dwell in temporary thatched huts. The Dhatis are settled farmers.

Present circumstances[edit]

The community are now mainly settled agriculturist, although many are still herdsmen. Many of their villages are situated in the Thar Desert, and are affected by environmental changes. They have their own Panchayat (community council), which deals with disputes within the community. The community are Sunni Hanafi Muslims, and speak the Marwari and Mewari dialects of Rajasthani,[3] Sindhi and Urdu.

Distribution[edit]

The Sindh-Sipahi are settled in Tharparkar and Sanghar districts of Sindh. They are found mainly in the western districts of Rajasthan state, such as Jaisalmer, Barmer and Jodhpur.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ People of India Rajasthan by K S Singh
  2. ^ pages 13 & 14, 32 in Memories and movements : borders and communities in Banni, Kutch, Gujarat by Rita Kothari New Delhi : Orient Blackswan, 2013 ISBN 8125050493
  3. ^ a b People of India Rajasthan Volume XXXVIII Part Two edited by B.K Lavania, D. K Samanta, S K Mandal & N.N Vyas pages 880 to 883 Popular Prakashan
  4. ^ pages 13 & 14, 32 in Memories and movements : borders and communities in Banni, Kutch, Gujarat by Rita Kothari New Delhi : Orient Blackswan, 2013 ISBN 8125050493