Rajabazar, Kolkata

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Rajabazar is a locality in the city of Kolkata in West Bengal, India. It is located approximately in North-Central Kolkata, between CIT Road and AJC Bose Road. The locality has grown around Narkeldanaga Main Road, now renamed as Maulana Abul Kalam Azad Sarani, which acts as a connector between CIT Road and AJC Bose Road. Thus, Rajabazar can be said to be located between Phoolbagan, Narkeldanga and Sealdah.

Rajabazar is in a prime location, and Sealdah Railway Station is a stone's throw distance from Rajabazar crossing. There is a tram depot in Rajabazar also. All civic amenities, such as hospitals, colleges, schools, sanitation, malls, gyms, shopping complexes, cinema halls, mosques, temples are located in and around Rajabazar. Dr. B. C. Roy Children's Hospital is located at a distance of 2–3;km from Rajabazar.

History[edit]

Rajabazar grew around an old market-place, or bazaar, near Sealdah, on the APC Bose Road. The market exists today, and was initially called "Raja Ramlochan-er Bazaar" in Bengali. The bazaar was established about 1842 AD on land owned by Raja Ramlochun Ray, a petty zamindar, by Muslim merchants, businessmen, butchers and cattle traders from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, who had immigrated to Calcutta due to the poor economic condition of Muslims in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh following the Sepoy Mutiny. However, Rajabazar area was settled by Urdu-speaking Muslims from 1880 onwards. The market-place colony was established around the same time as the Harrison Road, now called Mahatma Gandhi Road, was being built in Calcutta, connecting Sealdah station to Howrah station. A mosque was built which still exists today known as the Rajabazar Barri Masjid and there is another larger mosque being renovated which is Jama Masjid Darur-Salaam on Narkeldanga Main Road and several residential quarters were established around that area. A police station (Narkeldanga Police Station) was established in 1915, near the canal, on Canal West road. The area is known as "Khalpul" due to the bridge over the canal that connects Rajabazar to Narkeldanga. Before the building of the bridge in 1910, there was a bamboo-stilt bridge over the canal. Boat ferries were also used to transport people and supplies across the canal. Over the decades, further population growth and immigration resulted in the growth and extension of the original settlement further, up to Narkeldanga and Phoolbagan in the east, Sealdah to the south, Mechua and Kelabagan to the west, and further north. Today, the area is densely populated and crowded, with alleys and lanes established. In the Partition of India riots in 1947, in which Muslims were targeted across Calcutta and Bihar, many Muslims from other parts, like Sealdah, Manicktalla and Beliaghata moved to Rajabazar. The anti-Muslim riots in Calcutta in 1964, further made Muslims living in areas like Manicktalla, Sealdah, Beliaghata, and throughout Calcutta, flock to Rajabazar for safety. Over time, therefore, it got transformed into a ghetto. After the 1992-93 Hindu-Muslim riots in Calcutta, further Muslims moved to Rajabazar, as a result of which, today, Rajabazar boasts of having the second largest Muslim population in Calcutta after Metiabruz.

There is a shrine (mazaar) of a Muslim Sufi saint in Rajabazar. The area spans the canal, and crosses over the bridge. There are 9 Mosques located at Rajabazar. The bazaar is famous for its jewellery (SHYAM JEWELLERS is the most prestigious Jeweller), bangles, kites, sweetmeats and mutton and beef shops. Rajabazaar is a major cattle and goat trading center in West Bengal called Bakrichar. A movie hall, "Tasveer Mahal", is also located at Rajabazar.

Demographics[edit]

Majority of the population of Rajabazar is Sunni Muslim, mostly Urdu-speaking, descended from immigrants from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. Mostly Deobandi theology is practised here, and Bareilvi theology population also co-exists peacefully.There are also many shia families. Many Hindus also live at Rajabazaar. Most of the population is middle-class and lower-middle class, but many rich, educated Muslims also live here in high-rises. More or less there are a total of 11 mosques in the area, 9 managed by the Tablighi Jamaat (Deobandi), and 2 mosques are managed by the Sunni Bareilvi sect.

Amenities[edit]

BC Roy Memorial Hospital is located at a stone's throw distance from Rajabaar, and Calcutta Medical College and Hospital is located just 5 km away, on College Street. Narkeldanga Police Station is located right in the heart and center of Rajabazar. Sealdah Railway Station and Rajabazar Tram Depot provide ample transport opportunities. Buses on Routes 44, 12C/2, 202, 30D, 34C, 230 and 30C/1 ply by Rajabazaar, besides there is the Kidderpore-Rajabazar minibus and the Metiabruz-Rajabara minibus. The Mechua-Kadapara-Phoolbagan auto route plies through Rajabazaar. Very soon metro services will also ply to Howrah and Salt Lake rrom Phoolbagan which is very near to Rajabazar.

For a long time Rajabazar was notorious as being one of the worst areas in Kolkata in terms of sanitation, cleanliness and amenities. However, from the late 1990s onwards, the pace has been slowly picked up on development, mainly through the efforts of local leaders.

Business[edit]

Apart from Market, Earlier there was a few businessmen were lived in this area after People settled here

Nawab Soap Company established by Late Haji Abdur Raheem in this locality was famous for its Bati Sabun (in Bengali) Dish Soap and detergent. It is 6 Decade old Company establish & continued by his Sons Late Md Osman & Late Jan Alam continue with this business for more than 3 decades, then come 3rd Generation they Establish One more Company namely Nawah Soap & Chemical Works there founders Haji Mahmood Aslam, Masood Javed, Rehan Ahmer continue this Soap Factory for 2 decades and due to crowding of this area they closed this business and started trading of Soap Materials.

Momin Higher Secondary School Narkeldanga.jpg
Nawab Soap Company.jpg

Punjab Soap factory is another Famous Company in this Area, which is still Exist now.

Small Scale Industry is a lot in this area like Punching, Offset printing, Card Board Box Making are common in this are. Asia's one of the biggest Paper Market is also here in this area by name Patwar Bagan.

Transport[edit]

Private Bus
Mini Bus
K Series
KB Series
JM Series
CSTC Bus Routes
CTC Bus
Bus Routes without Numbers
STA Bus Routes

Kolkata Municipal Corporation[edit]

The area of Rajabazar is composed of Wards 29, 28, 36 and 32 of the Kolkata Municipal Corporation. These wards were created in 1909. Presently, the KMC maintains health centres and free malaria check-up centres in these wards. The elected Councillor of Ward 28 is Mr Md iqbal Trinamool Congress, Rajabazar is part of the Sealdah (Vidhan Sabha constituency). However, many parts of it also fall in the Beliaghata (Vidhan Sabha constituency). It is a part of the Kolkata Uttar Lok Sabha constituency. Previously it was a part of Calcutta North East Lok Sabha constituency.

Somendra Nath Mitra (Somen Mitra) and Farzana Alam are the veteran politicians of this area. Mr. Prakash Upadhyay & Mousumi Ghosh is also a popular Councillor.

Education[edit]

Kolkata is a major hub for students, pursuing financial studies.

Momin High School, a Government-aided co-educational Urdu-medium school affiliated to the West Bengal Board of Higher Secondary Education, is located in Rajabazar. It was founded in 1945 by the Momin Education Board to improve the educational opportunities of the minority community. One of its founding members Late Haji Abdur Rahim has famous soap Company named Nawab Soap Company (this company is still in existence).Late Haji Abdur Raheem donated his very own land for the people of this area, Earlier Nawab Soap Company's Silicate drum used as a wall for School. Later Government Took this School and made a huge building, in 2000 sitting MLA Manabendra Mukherjee (CPI'M) added a floor to this school and starts Computer Classes under extensive request by Md Mustaquim ( Resident of this Area and a Social Worker also). This School has also a Girls Section which runs on Morning & Day Section is for Boys only.

Presidency College, Maulana Azad College, Victoria Girls' College and the Science college of the University of Calcutta are all located at a convenient distance from Rajabazar.

A new school, Rajabazar Boys & Girls' School, another co-educational English-medium school has been founded for minority people in the heart of the Rajabazar locality. This school was founded by Md. Kamal, General Secretary of the school about 10 years back with the help of some political leaders and few intellectuals. It is aimed at providing a quality English-medium education to Muslims without having to resort to missionary-run Christian schools. In August 2008, the school itself got a nomination for "School of Minority Commission". Presently the School has more than a thousand students from all over Central Kolkata, mostly from the lower income groups.

Azad National Day & Night School in ward no 36 established during emergency period by Late Haji md Osman & Late md Jan Alam the two brother establish this new school my donating there one of property and later it was undertaken by Government of West Bengal. Established in 2007, Azad National Coaching Centre (in the premises of Azad National Day & Night School) also finds a good place in Raja Bazar to provide quality education to the students of secondary classes (class VIII, IX & X) who can't afford the tuition fees payable to private tutors. In January 2012, due to some internal problem with the management of Azad National Day & Night School, the coaching was merged with Community Coaching & Counselling Center (c/o Baitulmal Girls High School and already providing coaching to the students of HS section). The coaching also provides coaching for competitive examination like WBCS, SSC etc.

Information Center Established during Emergency Period for Students of Local Area, Started by Late Haji Md Osman & Late Jan Alam on there premises Nawab Soap Company, for students who want to pursue higher study, they get career counselling from here, but unfortunately it is closed now.