Kunjra

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Kunjra
Total population
(31,000[1])
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan India
Languages
UrduKhari BoliAwadhiBhojpuri
Religion
Allah-green.svg Islam 100% •
Related ethnic groups
KabariaBaghban

The Kunjra (pronounced as Kunjrda or Kunjda ) are a Muslim community found in North India, and Central India.[2]

History and origin[edit]

The Kunjra are a community associated with green grocing, who sell mainly vegetable and fruits. The name of the community is derived from Arabic word kunj, which means a group of warrior . The now prefer to call themselves kunjas, and claim their migration from the Kunja mountains in Arabia.[3] According to Gazetteet Punjab, they are known to be the descendants of Raja Kunjpal, the Raja of Kunjah town lies in the Gujrat district of Punjab province, that is now in Pakistan. [4]

There are social divisions within the community, such as Jaunpuria, Mirzapuria and Purbia. In Awadh, the Rayeen Kunjra now form a distinct endogamous group. Unlike other Kunjra groups, the Rayeen are largely a community of peasant cultivators. The Kunjra are strictly endogamous.The Rayeen is a Sunni Muslim community who were originally petty landowners or gardeners[1][2][3] and are present mainly in Western part of the state of Uttar Pradesh in India. Many have associated with the Arain community of Punjab.[4][5]They are said to get their name from Rayeen mountains, which are said to exist somewhere in Arabia. They speak Urdu, Hindi, In fact the Rayeen community of UP West like Bareilly and Pilibhit are the most educated, and Rayeen traces their origin from Syria Arab, claiming relationship with Pakistani landlord Rayeen Community. Many members of Rayeen community have migrated to Pakistan after independence have settled in Karachi, Sindh. History and origin According to the traditions of the tribe, they were originally settled along the banks of the Ghaggar river, in what is now Haryana. Their ancestors were landlords, living in Uch, near the city of Multan, in Pakistan, but were overthrown by a powerful enemy. They fled and settled in on the Ghaggar about Sirsa, and held the whole of the Ghaggar valley from Bhatner upwards to near Tohana, being in possession of 116 villages. .The region was afflicted by a major famine in 1584, and as a result of this famine and attacks by the Bhattis and Ranghars, they left the region and settled in Bareilly and Pillibhit districts. These Ghaggar Rayeen may be connected with the much larger Arain tribe, which was historically settled along the banks of the Sutlej river, not far from the settlement of the Rayeen.[6] many Rayeen died and got separated from their familieswhen India got independence from the British Raj. The movement involved many political and social organizations and armed and unarmed struggle. also contributed to the movement with the most famous person Mohandas Gandhi.

The Rayeens are the inhabitants of the Taraaiand Region. Their community is located in various villages and cities in Tahsil Baheri of the Bareilly District. Many are residing in the villages of Tahseel Amarya of the Pilibhit District and the rest are in Uttranchal State in the Udham Singh Nagar District. Some live in the Rampur District of India. Their community is highly educated and intellectual. They work in cultivation and in agriculture-based business. Most have sufficient farming land and cultivate sugar cane, wheat, rice, mangoes and mustard. Dairy production is an important part of their subsistence also. They are a Muslim people with a broad knowledge of Islam. They are mainly related to the Barelvi movement of Sunni Islam that originated in the Indian subcontinent. They worship Allah, the One God of Abraham, as the "One and Only, Great and Merciful" deity and believe in and follow the Prophet Muhammad as the Final and Greatest of the Prophets, and in all Prophets of God before Him including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Noah. The basis of their worship and prayer is in the five "pillars" of Islam: Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism) and Risalat (Islamic Belief in the Prophets of God), Prayer, Fasting, Alms-giving and the Hajj.

The rayeen of the Ghaggar valley say they were Rajputs living on the Panjnad near Multan who were ejected some four centuries ago by Saiyad Jalal-ul-din of Uch. They are the descendants of those Arab tribes who arrived with Umayyad general Muhammad Bin Qasim. They spread all over the lower ghagra valley from 1759to 1783 A. D. in the region of Behlol Lohdhi. But latter having conflicts with Hindu Bhattis they dispersed, and many of the Arains emigrated across the Ganges and settled near Bareli and Rampur

Present circumstances[edit]

The community is urban based, and buys vegetables from other communities such as the Murao and Kachhi. They are included in the Other backward caste category in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh, Bihar and Delhi.[5]

Some have settled in villages,Garhi Manikpur Uttar Pradesh and have marginal land, growing fruits and vegetables. They have a traditional community council, headed by a choudhary. This community council resolves social issues such as disputes within families, and issues such as divorces.

They are Muslims of the Sunni sect, and also follow a number of local saints such as Ghazi Mian and Pachon Pir.

Distribution[edit]

The Kunjra are found throughout North India, with large numbers found in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, mainly in Bhopal (old city), Saugor, Jabalpur,Rajasthan mainly in Jodhpur, Udipur, Bhilwara, Pali, etc. and Khurai.

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.joshuaproject.net/peoples.php
  2. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part II page 867 Manohar publications
  3. ^ People of India Uttar Pradesh page 867
  4. ^ Rose, H. A.; Denzil Ibbetson; Edward Maclagan (1996). Glossary of the tribes & castes of Punjab. Asian Educational Services. p. 809. ISBN 978-81-206-0505-3. 
  5. ^ http://www.delhi.gov.in/wps/wcm/connect/lib_obc/OBC/Home/Achievements