Roniaur

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The Roniaur are a Hindu caste found in Nepal and North India . They are also known as Rauniyar and sometimes Roniyar. Generally they use Gupta as a surname while few use Rauniyar as their surname.[1]

Origin[edit]

The Roniaur are a sub-group within the Bania community, and they get their name from the Hindi word 'rauna', which means hawking or peddling. They are found through out Awadh, but their main concentration is the Maharajganj District. In addition, there are also small communities found in Gorakhpur, Lucknow, Mirzapur, Varanasi in Uttar Pradesh and the Saran District in Bihar. They speak Awadhi among themselves, and Hindi with outsiders. Like other Banias, they are strict vegetarians. [1]

In Nepal, the Rauniyar or Roniaur live in Terai region mainly in Eastern Part. They use Gupta, Prasad, shah,sah or simply Rauniyar as their surname. They speak Nepali and Maithili . Their main occupations are Business, Farming and are involved in different jobs in various sectors. They may or may not be vegetarians.[citation needed]

In Bihar, the Roniaur are also known as Namnihar. They claim to have come from Awadh some 300 years ago. The Roniaur are found mainly in the districts of Muzaffarpur, East Champaran, West Champaran, Munger, Bhagalpur, Nawada and Gaya. Their common surnames are Sah, Sahu, Gupta, Kesri and Modi. They are strictly endogamous, and practice clan exogamy. The Ronoaur speak Maithili in north east Bihar and Bhojpuri in western Bihar.[2]

Present circumstances[edit]

The Roniaur are divided into three territorial groupings, the Purbia, Panchnaha and Bail Kuchnaha. Marriages are forbidden within each of these groups. They are further divided into a number of exogamous clans. The Roniaur are landlord,farming and merchant community, and their traditional occupation has been the selling of food grains and pulses and farming. They are often the petty shopkeepers in the villages of north Awadh. Many Roniaur were jagirdars, they cultivated on their own land too, depending on or without depending on sharecroppers too. Their customs are similar to other Awadh Bania, such as the Omar.[1]

In Bihar, the Roniaur were both traders and landowners. Many were substantial jagirdars and landowners , but with the land reforms carried out after independence in 1947, and seen a break up of the larger estates in Bihar. Like other Bania communities, they are undergoing urbanization. Many rural Raniaur are village shopkeepers and money lenders. They have a statewide caste association, the Raniaur Mahasabha, which acts both as an instrument of social control as well as a communal welfare association.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c People of India: Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII Part Three edited by A Hasan & J C Das page 1224 to 1228 Manohar Publications
  2. ^ a b People of India Bihar Volume XVI Part Two edited by S Gopal & Hetukar Jha pages 817 to 820 Seagull Books