Turk biradari of Uttar Pradesh

In this post I will look at the Turk biradari, community found mainly in the Rohilkhand region of Uttar Pradesh and Udham Sing Nagar district of Uttarakhand. The term Turk here does not imply any connections with Turkey, as the Turks of Rohilkhand claim descent from individuals of the Turk ethnicity from Central Asia. The first known mention of the term Turk applied to a Turkic group was in reference to the Göktürks in the 6th century, who were based in modern Mongolia. Overtime the term has devolved onto the Turks of modern day Turkey, but historically was also used to describe Central Asian Turkic groups. The Turk biradari claim their descent from the latter group.

Origins

Like most communities, the Turks of Rohilkhand and the Terai, they have a number of origin myths. One such tradition claims that the Turks came to India as soldiers who accompanied the 11th century warrior-saint Ghazi Saiyyad Salar Masud or Ghazi Miyan (circa 1014 – 1034 CE). However, it likely the Turk settlement took place at a latter date. Indeed some Turks groups, particularly those in Rampur, say that are originally emigrants from Central Asia, and came in the army of Shahubbin Ghori. These Turks had come from Turkistan region in what is now Central Asia, especially the modern Uzbekistan.

However, most Turk claim that their ancestors came to India during the period of the Slave Dynasty (1206 to 1290), with two periods of settlement. During the rule of second sultan Illtutmish (1211-1236), who conquered Badaun and Aonla (Katehr) in Rohilkhand, that their first settlement took place near Aonla. During the rule of Ghiyasuddin Balban (1266-86), who made Badaun an important centre of his empire, was when the second settlement of Turks occurred.  After ascending the throne, Balban broke up the Amir-i-Chahalgani group of up to the forty most important nobles in the court which was by Iltutmish. As a result, these nobles fled to different villages in Rohilkhand and settled down in the region. The Turks claim descent from these nobles.

Some of these claim to be descended from a certain well-known and pious Abdullah Turk who originally settled in the village of Ronda in the Moradabad district, where his tomb still exists. His descendants do not intermarry with other clans, and anyone who infringes this rule is cast out from the brotherhood. The author of the Rampur State gazetteer took the view the Turks are really a branch of the Muslim Banjaras.

Turks numbered 32,938 persons, a surprisingly large figure five times as great as the These Turks are apparently Banjaras, Turkia being the name of one of the chief Banjara sub-divisions. The Turkia Banjaras state that they came from Multan and that their first settlement in Rampur was at Tanda Badridan. It is a well-known fact that the northern portion of Eampur and the Tarai parganas of Naini Tal swarm with Banjaras and the supposition that these people prefer the name Turk is strengthened by the appearance of only 8,102 Banjaras in the state according to the 1901 census report. General tradition indicates that all Banjaras were originally Hindus.

However, the author conceded that Rampuri Turks had a contrary origin myth:

On enquiry from some of those who called themselves Turks it appeared that they were originally Sheikhs, who belonged to the Siddiqi and Faruqi elans and came from Bokhara. A party of Sheikhs is said to have first settled in Herat, whence they came to the Punjab and settled in the Jalandhar district and afterwards made their way into the districts of Saharanpur, Muzaffarnagar and Meerut. In these latter districts they are known under the name of Garha, while in Bijnor and Moradabad they are called Jhojhas, and in Bareilly, Rampur and Budaun as Turks.

The differing traditions as to their probably reflect that there were several migrations. Indeed the Turks are divided into three sub-tribes Jhoja Turk, Khoja Turk and Bobna Turk. The Rohilkhand region is also home to a large community of Muslim Turkia Banjaras, and it is possible the Turks are somehow connected with the Banjaras.

Present Circumstances

The Turk are an endogamous community, and prefer marrying close kin. They are essential small and medium sized farmers, and their villages tend to be uni-caste. The Turk cultivate wheat, paddy, maize, sorghum and sugar cane. Those in north Rohilkhand have benefited from the effects of the Green Revolution. Their customs are similar to other neighbouring Muslim communities such as the Rayeen and Rohilla. They have fairly active caste council, which deals with community welfare as well as an instrument of social control. The Turk are entirely Sunni Muslims, like other Muslim communities in western Rohilkhand, they have seen a growth in madrasas in their villages. Notable people from the Turk caste include the cricketer Mohammed Shami and Dr.Shafiqurrahman Barq – former Member of Parliament from Sambhal.

Distribution

In terms of their distribution, most Turks are found in Rampur District, which home to around 50 village. Their remaining settlements are in the districts of Amroha, Sambhal and Bareilly. In Bareilly, the Turks are concentrated in Baheri. They are spread across the towns of Sambhal, Moradabad, Rampur, Amroha and Nagina in India’s largest province of Uttar Pradesh (UP). There are large number of Turk villages in the Terai region of Udham Singh Nagar in Uttarakhand state. The city of Sambhal, popularly called ‘little Turkey’, is known for its artisans who make decorative pieces from animal horns and also the cultivation and export of mentha oil. The Turk population in the city accounts for 350,000 to 400,000.

Turk population according to the 1901 Census of India

District Population
Rampur State 32,938
Nainital 4,163
Moradabad 1,714
Bareilly 672
Other districts 20
Total Population 39,507

The 1901 Census confirms where the greatest concentrations of Turks was then the Rampur State. This remains the case now.

Maliar/Malyar caste of Punjab and Khyber Pakhtoonkhwa

In this post, I will look at the Maliar, sometimes written as Malyar, a community that is found mainly in the Pothohar region of Punjab and Hazara and Peshawar Valley regions of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The Maliar are a large community, of which little has been written about. There has always been some confusion as to their connection with the Arain, as both groups have been associated with growing vegetables. My post on the distribution of the Maliar according to the 1901 Census also gives additional information about the tribe.

 

British colonial ethnographers, such as Denzil Ibbetson, argued that the term covered a large class of petty cultivators and market gardeners. Indeed Ibbetson author of the Punjab castes noted that:

Baghban, Mali, and Maliar are in Jhang and Rawalpindi a very mixed body of men, the names denoting occupation rather than caste

The author of the 1907 Attock District Gazetteer makes the same point:

Maliar appears to denote the occupation of the holder rather than the caste to which he belongs or the tribe from which he originally sprang. There can be no doubt that many of the present  day Maliars are descended from an ancestor of some other tribe  who took to market-gardening as an occupation

This was seen by the fact many Maliar of the Rawalpindi division returned their clans as Janjua, Qutbshahi (Awan), Khokhar, or Bhatti for 1891 Census of India, though some of them give what are apparently true Arain clans, such as Wahand. It does suggest that the Maliar are of a mixed background, which over time have formed into a distinct caste.

The origin of the word maliar has been uncertain, but is very likely connected with the term Mali, another caste of mixed origin, that practices market gardening. A point to note is that there were no Malis in the Pothohar and Hazara regions, while there no Maliar south and east of the Jhelum river. It is likely that like the term Maliar, like Mali comes from the Sanskrit Malakara, meaning the makers of garland, but according to other traditions its roots are from the Persian and Arabic word Mal which means wealth or land e.g. Malir Kotla in India or Malir an area in Karachi, the equivalent of Bagh in Urdu or garden in English.

Like most castes found among the Punjabi Muslims, the community has an origin myth that claims its origins outside South Asia. According to their traditions their ancestor Mahbub accompanied Sultan Mahmud of Ghazna to India. The Sultan assigned him gardening as a vocation, and as such the community became horticulturists. There is no consensus as to the ethnic identity of this Mahbub. If we accept this account, the community thus settled in India at the start of the 11th century. However, as I have already alluded too, some Maliar groups claimed to be connected to one of the larger groups in the Pothohar such as the Janjua and Awan.

 

The Maliar as caste were given agriculture tribal status, under the Punjab Land Alienation Act, 1900, which meant that they were  allowed to own land. However, unlike other tribes found in the Potohar region, military recruitment was not open to them, because they were deemed not to be a martial race. These British discriminating policies sadly have had a lasting impact on the Maliar. After independence, an argument that has broken out within the Maliar community as to whether they are a distinct caste or simply Janjuas and Bhattis who practice market gardening. This was noted by Makhdum Tasadduq Ahmad in his book Systems of social stratification in India and Pakistan. However, the Maliar castes members intermarry with each other and not with families of Awan or Janjua status. Historically, the community was at a disadvantage, particularly in the Peshawar valley, where it suffered at the hands of Pashtun landlords. The Maliar like other Potohar communities, have started to emigrate to the west particularly the United Kingdom. They have also benefited from the loosening of social restrictions in Pakistan, and as successful horticulturists have entered into the wholesale fruit and vegetable business.

 

Distribution

 

According to the 1901 Census of India, there numbers in Jhelum District were 23,000, in Rawalpindi District, they numbered 17,000 and in Attock District they numbered 37,000. In that particular district, they are the fourth largest tribe. Shahpur District, the modern day Sargodha District was home to a further 4,000. They are found through the Potohar region, with especial concentrations in the Attock District. They also extend into the neighbouring Peshawar valley and into Haripur district of Hazara, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. There are also settled in a few villages in the Mirpur District of Azad Kashmir.

Villages

 

They are found in just about every village in the Pothohar region, but there are a few villages which they occupy as the dominant tribe. In Jhelum District, Kazi Hussain and Rajjo Pindi are two important Maliar villages.

 

Batala, Chahal, Maniand are important Maliar villages within Kahuta Tehsil, in Gujar Khan Tehsil Bhatta Maliar, Kant Maliar and Bagh Sangra, Jabbar Derwaish,Kuri Malrian are important villages and in the Rawalpindi Tehsil, Dhalla, Dughal, Khasala Kalan, Gulidana Maliar, and Salargarh are important villages. In Attock District, Dhok Maliaran in Fateh Jang Tehsil is a major Maliar village. They are also found in the town of Mansar.

 

In Chakwal District, Mohra Maliaran, Marjan Maliran and Saloi in Choa Saidan Shah Tehsil are important villages.

 

in Jhelum District, the villages of Dheri Malliaran and Maliar in Pind Dadan Khan Tehsil are important settlements.

 

In Gujrat District, the village of Dandi Maliar.

 

Language

 

They speak either the Potwari language, or the closely related Hindko language

 

Rajput Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census

In this post, I look at the distribution of the Rajput population of Punjab, according to the 1901 Census. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Rajputs of Punjab to get some background information.

 

District / State

Muslims

Hindus

Sikhs

Total

Main Clans

Kangra

889 153,100 57  154,046

Katoch, Indauria, Guleria, Jamwal, Jaryal (Jarral), Abhrol, Minhas, Pathania, Pathial, Dadwal and Jaswal

Rawalpindi

121,420  813  114  122,347

Bhatti, Alpial, Thathaal, Baghial, Bhakral, Nagial, Kanial, Chauhan, Dhamial, Janjua, Jodhra, and Minhas,

Bahawalpur State

101,870  3,152  2,035  107,057

Joiya, Wattu, Panwar, Sial, Khichi, Jatu and Tomar

Hoshiarpur

44,260  49,055  223  93,538 Ghorewaha, Manj, Naru, Luddu, Bhanot, Dadwal, Jaswal, Pathania, Janjua and Minhas
Multan 88,975  2,159  387 91,521  Sial, Panwar, Bhatti, Dhudhi, Minhas (Lodhra), Khichi and Noon
Firuzpur 79,868  4,282  1,034  85,184 Bhatti, Joiya, Panwar, Wattu, Manj, Sial, Dhudhi and Rathore
Karnal  66,780  15,529  197  82,506 Mandahar, Panwar, Bhatti, Barya (Brah), Chauhan, Pundir and Taoni
Gurdaspur  43,420  36,405  185  80,010 Minhas, Sulehria, Katil, Bhao, Bhatti, Pathania, Dadwal and Manj
Shahpur  72,096  897  184  73,177 Bhatti, Sial, Dhudhi, Chauhan, Bhon, Joiya, Khichi, Noon and Tiwana
Hissar   55,205  15,262  70,467 Jatu, Tomar, Panwar, Satraola, Raghubansi, Mandahar, Dhudhi, Khichi, Bhatti, Joiya and Chauhan
Ambala  48,746  18,373  128  67,247 Taoni, Chauhan, Ghorewaha, Dahya, Barya (Brah), Panwar and Raghubansi
Patiala State  52,052  12,628  616  65,296 Barya (Brah), Bhatti, Chauhan, Ghorewaha, Joiya, Mandahar, Mandahar, Atiras, Taoni, Panwar, Tiwana, and Wattu
Lahore   53,193  4,716 1,850   59,759 Bhatti, Naru, Panwar, Joiya and Dhudhi
Sialkot  47,919  11,515  232  59,666 Sulehria, Minhas, Bhatti, Katil, Janjua, Bajju and Pathial
Jhelum 57,316   251 57,567  Janjua, Bhatti, Bhakral, Minhas, Mair-Minhas, Chib, Chauhan, and Jalap
Montgomery  49,615  975  457  51,047 Wattu, Sial, Kathia, Bhatti, Joiya, Dhudhi, Khichi and Chauhan
Jalandhar  42,452  5,767 3,079   51,298 Ghorewaha, Manj, Naru, Barya (Brah), Bhatti and Chandel
Jhang  50,077  121  145 50,343 Sial, Chadhar, Gondal, Bhatti, Joiya and Dhudhi
Chenab Colony  40,129  1,129  2,677  43,935 Sial, Wattu, Khichi, Joiya, Bhatti, and Chauhan
Amritsar 32,929  2,342  209  35,480 Bhatti, Manj, Naru and Chauhan
Rohtak 27,238   7,412 1,331   34,650 Panwar, Chauhan, Mandahar, Barya (Brah), Jatu and Tomar
Ludhiana 27,798  344  29,473 Ghorewaha, Manj, Naru, Bhatti, Barya (Brah), Panwar and Taoni
Gurgaon  9,445  18,120  27,565 Bargujar, Chauhan, Jatu, Panwar and Tomar
Kapurthala State  23,788  927  27  24,742 Manj, Naru, Bhatti and Chauhan
Delhi  4,218  19,498  13  23,729 Chauhan, Gaurwa, Tomar and Panwar
Gujranwala  23,688  521 1,937  26,146 Bhatti, Joiya, Khichi and Sial
Gujrat  22,328  1,066 317   23,711 Chib, Minhas, Bhatti, Narma and Janjua
Muzaffargarh 14,699 335 1,949 16,983 Sial, Bhatti, Panwar, Dhudhi and Chauhan
Dera Ghazi Khan 14,693 193 99 14,985 Sial, Bhatti, Panwar, Joiya, Jamra and Tomar
Nabha State 6,578 3,937 286 10,801 Barya (Brah), Jatu, Chauhan, Tomar and Ghorewaha
Jind State 5,409 4,908 10,317 Mandahar, Panwar, Bhatti, Chauhan and Jatu
Bilaspur State 187 7,805 7,992 Pundir and Raghubansi
Mianwali 6,012 129 59 6,200 Joiya, Janjua, Bhatti, Sial, Kanial and Mekan
Mandi State 150 5,650 5,800 Mandial, Katoch and Chandel
Chamba State 185 4,301 4,486 Chambial, Katoch, Pathania
Faridkot State 3,685 181 19 3,885 Bhatti, Chauhan, Joiya and Manj
Nahan State 536 2,964 10 3,510 Taoni and Chandel
Kalsia State 2,432 649 25 3,106 Taoni, Atiras and Chauhan
Shimla 375 2,323 2,968 Shiam and Katoch
Bashahr State 2,570 2,570 Nanglu, Chandel and Chauhan
Malerkotla State 2,238 96 2,334 Barya (Brah), Manj, Bhatti and Ghorewaha
Dujana State 1,525 613 2,138 Chauhan, Jatu and Tomar
Nalagarh State 220 522 742 Chauhan and Chandel
Pataudi State 668 1,644 2,312 Chauhan, Jatu and Tomar
Suket State 1,178 1,178 Katoch
Other Districts
Total 1,397,347 432,360 17,885 1,797,592

 

 

 

 

 

Gujar / Gujjar Population of Punjab According to the 1901 Census of Punjab

In this post, I will look at the distribution of the Gujjar population in Punjab. The Gujjar were by the begining of the 20th Century becoming a caste associated with cultivation. However as the Pundit Harkishan Kaul, author of the 1911 Census writes:

Allied to Cultivators are the castes and tribes who, although pastoral by origin, have, for
generations, also cultivated land. These are Dogar, Gujar, Pachadha and Ahir, and cattle
rearing forms an important part of their means of livelihood, even now.

Therefore cattle rearing was still an important activity for the caste.

Gujar groups

The region of Gujrat, literally meaning the place of the Gujjars was and remains the centre of the tribe. The majority of the Gujjars were found in the foothills of the Himalyas, stretching from Attock to Ambala. A second group, largely nomadic was found in the Punjab Hill States, mainly in Chamba, Nalagarh, Bilaspur and Mandi, who were largely nomadic. These two groups were largely Muslim, although in Ambala there was a large Hindu minority. A third group found Lahore onwards to Ludhiana, largely cultivators and also Muslim. A fourth group were found in present day Haryana, largly still rearing cattle, with a slight Hindu majority. This last grroup spoke Haryanvi.

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Gujrat 110,478  36 110,514
Hoshiarpur 52,378  20,072  390 77,840
Gurdaspur 50,517  28 50,545
Ambala 23,829 21,670  164 45,663
Rawalpindi 37,978 167 38,145
Patiala State 19,391 16,347 619  36,357
Ludhiana 32,313 682 113 33,108
Karnal  7,673 22,291 29,964
Delhi 2,559 25,671 28,230
Gurgaon 135 24,813 24,948
Jhelum 19,891 11 19,902
Jalandhar 19,415 442 19,857
Firuzpur 12,836 278 33 13,147
Hissar 3,641 7,305 10,946
Sialkot 10,030 57 10,087
Nalagarh State  3,623 5,400 440 9,463
Kangra  7,584 1,054 8,638
Lahore  8,246 112 8,358
Kapurthala State 7,286 400 27 7,713
Nabha State 3,700 3,236 23 6,959
Chenab Colony 6,402 154 24 6,580
Kalsia State 2,835 2,425 5,260
Amritsar 4,716 203 4,919
Bilaspur State 89 3,379 3,468
Rohtak 582 2,834 3,416
Nahan State 1,377 1,266 2,643
Malerkotla State 2,532 2,532
Gujranwala 2,482 41 2,523
Mandi State 805 1,232 2,037
Jind State 477 1,462 1,939
Chamba State 1,296 1,296
Faridkot State 834 41 875
Multan
725 37 762
Bahawalpur State 749 24 773
Montgomery 510 23 533
Jhang 518 518
Shahpur 476 476
Dera Ghazi Khan 380 380
Muzaffargarh 370 370
Mianwali  226 226

Other Districts

Total

 460,450

169,244

1,870

631,524

 

Mughal Population of Punjab according to the 1901 Census

In this post, I look at the distribution of the Mughal population in Punjab. The term Mughal in Punjab really meant anyone actually or putatively claim descent from Central Asians migrants. The Mughals of Delhi were connected with the royal dynasty that ruled India, but the Pothohar groups included people of very diverse origin.

District / States Population
Jhelum 21,424
Rawalpindi 20,377
Multan 8,038
Gujrat 6,272
Delhi 5,782
Lahore 4,683
Sialkot 3,811
Bahawalpur State 3,500
Amritsar 2,730
Gurdaspur 2,247
Patiala 2,195 
Firuzpur 2,177
Jalandhar 1,557 
Montgomery 1,430
Gurgaon 1,208
Shahpur 1,200
Hoshiarpur 1,177
Jind 854
Chenab Colony 845
Hissar 824
Karnal 818
Ambala 655
Gujranwala 621
Ludhiana 528
Kapurthala State 526
Other Districts 4,098
Total Population 98,277

 

Bhatti Rajput Population of Punjab according to the 1901 Census

This is my third post looking at the distribution of Rajput tribes in Punjab. This one will look at the Bhattis, who in population numbers were the largest tribe in the Punjab. Although found in almost every district, but had especial concentrations in Bhatiana (Firuzpur/Hissar/Sirsa), Bhatiore (Jhang/Chiniot, Gujranwala) and the Pothohar regions. I will also ask the reader to look at my post on the Muslim Bhatti of Uttar Pradesh, to get some background on the tribe.

 

 

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Rawalpindi

 36,268      36,268
Multan  25,675  195  81  26,951
Lahore  21,470  142    21,612
Firuzpur  18,585  204   18,789
Amritsar  16,417  87  14 16,518
Gujranwala  12,934 12,934
Montgomery  12,759  31 12,790
Gurdaspur  11,675  40 11,715
Jhelum  10,664 10,664
Chenab Colony  9,730  35  564 10,329
Sialkot  9,853 9,853
Jhang  7,737 7,737
Dera Ghazi Khan  7,272 7,272
Shahpur  7,205  61 7,266
Hissar 5,986 596 6,582
Jalandhar 6,484 58 6,542
Muzaffargarh 5,442 5,442
Patiala State 5,180 221 5,401
Kapurthala State 4,958 228 5,186
Hoshiarpur 3,274 313 3,587
Gujrat 1,784 1,784
Ludhiana 1,748 18 1,766
Ambala 1,416 1,416
Faridkot 1,381 11 1,392
Karnal 775 58  19 852
Nabha State 721  10 731
Mianwali 590 590
Delhi 326  83 409
Rohtak 368 23 391
Jind 263 56 319
Gurgaon 119 70 189

Other Districts

 

 

 

 

Total

 249,230

 2,551

 718

 252,449

 

Panwar / Parmar Rajput population According to the 1901 Census of Punjab

The Panwar, sometimes pronounced as Parmar or even Puar were the third largest Rajput tribe in the Punjab. The eastern Panwar, who numbered around 33,553, or 50% of the total population were like the Chauhans, a tribe of Ranghar pastoralists, concentrated in Haryana. A second group, who numbered 19,689, about 30% of the population were concentrated in south west Punjab, especially in Bahawalpur State, and the neighbouring areas of Multan, Muzaffargarh, Dera Ghazi Khan, Mianwali and Firuzpur in present East Punjab. These Panwar, many of whom considered themselves to be Jats, were Seraiki speaking farmers. In between these groups were the Sikh Panwars of the Rechna Doaba, Muslims Panwars of Lahore, Jalandhar and Ludhiana, the Mahton Panwars of the same region, and the Panwar Rajputs of the Pabbi Hills in the Jhelum/Gujrat region. It is worth pointing that several West Punjabi tribes such as the Bangial, Hon, Sohlan, Narma, Dhudhi, Mekan and Tiwana claim to be descended from the Panwar Rajputs. They are now fairly distinct from the parent tribe, and were recorded seperately.

District / States

Muslim

Hindu

Sikh

Total

Rohtak

 13,931

 2,785

   16,716

Bahawalpur State

 9,845

 348

 223

 10,416

Hissar

 6,165

 1,240

 7,405

Firuzpur

 5,453  157  69  5,679

Multan

 5,445

 221

 

 5,666

Jind State

769

 

 2,839

 

 3,608

Karnal

2,009

 288

 11  2,308

Patiala State

1,353

 180

 157

1,690

 

Montgomery

 1,451  24 1,475

 

Ludhiana

1,392

 

63

1,455

Lahore 1,212 23 220 1,455
Gurgaon 920 355 1,275
Muzaffargarh 695
62 100 857
Dera Ghazi Khan 849   849
Jhelum 649 649
Chenab Colony 295 29 205 529
Jalandhar 425 18 443
Mianwali 426 426
Dehli 135 272 407
Gujranwala 16  380 396
Sialkot 278 74 352
Ambala 242 57 299
Rawalpindi 157 157
Dujana State 104 40 144
Shahpur 48  83 131
Gurdaspur 127 127
Gujrat 111 111
Hoshiarpur 108 108

Other Districts

 

 

 

Total

55,067

9,309

1,614

65,990

Baghban and Malyar/Maliar Population of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province According to the 1901 Census of India

In this fourth post on the distribution of communities, I will look at two related communities, the Baghban and Malyar, sometimes spelt Maliar. Both were found largely in the Pothohar plateau, and neighbouring areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, such as the Peshawar valley and the Hazara region. In terms of geographic distribution, they have much in common with the Awans, whose distribution I have looked at in a previous post. The term Baghban or sometimes pronounced Baghwan, is simply the Farsi equivalent of the Hindi word Mali meaning a ‘gardener,’ and commonly used as equivalent to Arain in the Western Punjab. According to Rose, the colonial British ethnologist:

Baghbans do not form a caste and the term is merely equivalent to Mali, Maliar, etc.

There is some confusion as to whether the Baghban and Maliar are distinct communities. In Peshawar, the Maliar and Baghban do seem to be distinct communities. But in other parts, the two terms are used interchangebly. It is also likely that Baghban of Patiala State were really members of the Arian caste. Time permitting, I will write a post on the Maliar caste. I would ask the reader to look at my post on the Maliar.

Baghban Population of Punjab

District Muslim Hindu Total
Rawalpindi  502  141  643
Patiala State
 397  397
Gujrat
207
  207
Mianwali
189    189
 Other Districts  257  50  307
Total Population  1,552 191 1,743

 

Baghban Population of North West Frontier Province

 

District Population
Peshawar  9,427
Bannu  2,155
Other Districts  289
Total Population  11,871

 

 

Malyar in Population Punjab

 

District Population
Rawalpindi  50,125
Jhelum  28,371
Shahpur  2,651
Total Population  81,093 

Malyar in NWFP

 

District Population
Peshawar  18,319
Hazara  7,770
Kohat  1,078
Total Population  27,167

 

Awan Population of Punjab and the North West Frontier Province according to the 1901 Census

This is my third post, looking at the population distribution according to the 1901 Census of Punjab. In this post, I look at the Awan caste, who unlike the castes looked in previous posts such as the Dogar and Kamboh, is entirely Muslim. I will ask to the reader to look at my posts on the Kamboh, to give some background as geographical spread of Colonial Punjab. In addition, for completeness’s sake, I would ask you to look at my posts on the 1931 Census of Hazara, as well my the post on the Budhal, who are sub-group of the Awans, to get some background information on the caste. This post will also look at their distributions according to the 1901 Census of the of the North West Frontier Province of Pakistan.

Awan Groups

In terms of distribution, about two-thirds of the Awans lived in the Pothohar plateau, and the Salt Range mountains, which were located just below the plateau. The Awan population of the North West Frontier Province were culturally close to the Awan of the Pothohar. Both spoke related languages, the Hindko and Pothohari languages. The Awan of Mianwali spoke an intermediate dialect between Hindko and Seraiki. While the Awans of Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan, and the southern Punjab districts of Dera Ghazi Khan, Muzaffargarh, Multan and the Bahawalpur State spoke Seraiki.

A third cluster of Awans was found in what is now Indian Punjab. The Awan of Sialkot, Gujranwala and Lahore were culturally similar to the East Punjab Awans. There were Awankari, or Awan inhabited territories in Ludhiana, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar and Kapurthala state, all teritories now located in Indian Punjab.

Awan Population of Punjab

 

District Population
Rawalpindi 140,835
Jhelum 99,542
Shahpur 55,387
Sialkot 24,459
Mianwali 23,449
Gujrat 14,864
Hoshiarpur 13,652
Jalandhar 12,350
Multan 6,600
Bahawalpur 4,815
Ludhiana 4,580
Lahore 3,887
Dera Ghazi Khan 3,442
Muzaffargarh 3,232
Chenab Colony 3,001
Jhang  2,900
Montgomery  1,737
Amritsar  1,683
 Gujranwala  1,018
Gurdaspur 1,008
Firuzpur 490
Kapurthala 483
Ambala 193
Total Population 421,112

Awans in the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)

In the NWFP, now known as Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the Awans were concentrated in the Peshawar valleyHazara Region and the southern Seraik areas of Kohat, Bannu and Dera Ismail Khan.

District Population
Peshawer 111,339
Hazara 91,474
Kohat 22,358
Bannu 8,667
Dera Ismail Khan 6,396
Malakand, Dir, Swat, and Chitral Territories 512
 Other Districts
Total Population 241,006

 

Languages, Religion, Tribes and Castes of the Hazara Region

In this post, I will examine the 1931 Census of what was then the Hazara District of the North West Frontier Province (NWFP), which is now the Hazara Division. Ethnologically this region is interesting, in that forms a transition zone between the Pashtun dominated areas in the west, the very diverse regions of Kohistan and Gilgit to the north, and the Lahnda speaking areas of Pakistani Kashmir and Punjab to the south and east. I would also ask the reader to look at my post on the 1931 Census of Mirpur District, a region that shares many culture similarities with Hazara.

 

Hazara is bounded on the north and east by the Northern Areas and Azad Kashmir. To the south are the Islamabad Capital Territory and the province of Punjab, whilst to the west lies the rest of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK). The river Indus runs through the division in a north-south line, forming much of the western border of the division. The total area of Hazara is 18,013 km². The region is a classic in-between place, which is influenced by both the tribal Pashtun society as well the more settled village based structure of the Punjab and mountainous culture of the Chibhal. Indeed, Hazara has probably the closest linkages with Chibhal, the Hindko language almost merges into Chibhali. Certain castes such as the Dhund and Gakhar are found in equal numbers in both regions. In this post, I analyse the results of the 1931 Census of India. At that time the region had not seen substantial migration of Pashtuns from other regions of the KPK. Most of the population spoke Hindko, which in 1931 was included in the Lahnda category. I have split the post into three categories, the first bit will give an overview of the languages spoken, the second on religion and finally on caste identity.

 

Languages

 

Language Population Percentage
Lahnda 625,268 93%
Pashto 29,375  4%
Punjabi 5,436  0.8
Nepali 4,993
Hindi/Hindustani/Urdu 4,113
Gojri 287
Kashmiri 96
Kohistani 79
Others 464
Total 670,117 100%

As these results show, the majority of the population spoke a language called Lahnda in 1931 Census. Its worth mentioning Lahnda itself is an exonyms and even in 1931 was not used by the speakers themselves.The emerging languages of this dialect area are Saraiki, Hindko and Pothohari. Lahnda means “western” in Punjabi, and was a term coined by William St. Clair Tisdall (in the form Lahindā) probably around 1890 and later adopted by a number of linguists — notably George Abraham Grierson — for a dialect group that had no general local name. Locally, the term to describe the language, at least from the late 19th Century is Hindko, and its speakers are known as Hindkowan, literally in Farsi those who speak the Hindko language. Hindko almost merges seamlessly into Chibhali, the two languages acquiring their own unique identity, largely because each was spoken in distinct political units. In the case of Chibhali, it was spoken in the princely state of Jammu and Kashmir and came under the influence of Punjabi and Kashmiri. Dhundi-Kairali, spoken by the Dhund and Karlal tribes of eastern Hazara and western Poonch is an intermediate dialect between Chibhali and Hindko. This dialect is now spoken largely in Abbottabad District, and the adjoining Murree Hills and Galyat areas.

The other two languages that are indigenous to the region are Pashto and Gojri. Briefly about Pashto, it was largely spoken in the  Kala Dhaka region,  home to five major tribes, Bassi khel, Mada khel, Akazai, Hassanzai, and Nasrat khel, all of whom were clans of the Yousafzai. Some Swati clans also continued to speak Pashto. It is worth pointing out most of the Pathans belonging to the larger tribes such as the Jadoon, Tareen and Dilazak were Hindko speaking. In Hazara tribal and linguistic identity often did not match. The other indigenous language was Gojri, which had 287 speakers. As the language of the Gujjar caste, who numbered 98,599, the figure of 987 is extremely small. It is very likely, that the number of Gojri speakers have been undercounted, as many were Gujars at that time were nomadic, this was especially the case in the Kaghan Valley.

Religion

 

Religion Population Percentage
Muslim 636,794  95%
Hindu 24,543 4%
Sikh 7,630
Christian 432
Others 718
Total 670,117 100%

In terms of religion, the Hazara region was largely Islamized by the 1931 census. The region was home to a Hindu minority, many of whom belonged Khatri, Arora and Brahman castes. The region was uniquely home to the Muhial community, traditionally landowning Brahmans.

Tribes and Castes

 

Religion Caste or Tribe Sub-Caste Population
Muslims
Awan 106,931
Gujjar 98,599
Pathan 54,544
 Jadoon 19,070
   Tareen 935
   Dilazak 906
   Utman Khel 585
   Yousafzai 321
   Bangash 199
   Khattak 140
 Durrani 81
   Afridi 57
   Mohmand 31
   Other Tribes 32,216
Swati 44,511
Dhund 38,983
Sayyad 27,629
Karral (Sardar) 27,117
Julaha (Bafinda)  

13,564

Kashmiri 13,218
Mughal 11,843
Tarkhan 10,201
Sarrara 9,984
Lohar 9,593
Mochi 9,082
Nai 7,173
Qureshi 6,415
Gakhar 6,017
Mishwani 5,361
Malyar 5,204
Kumhar 5,041
Rajput 5,016
Turk 4,486
Teli 2,811
Shaikh 2,455
Dhobi 2,387
Mirasi 1,799
Mussali  1,142
Khoja (Punjabi Sheikh) 934
Darzi 846
Jhinwar (Jheer) 758
Sonar 383
Qassab 284
Mallaah 250
Paracha 185
Baluch 166
Arain 132
Chamar 120
Jat 58
Penja 49
Rangrez 30
Baghban 25
Bhatiara 18
Other Muslims 18,038
 Hindus
Khatri 8,890
Gurkha 4,173
Brahman 3,306
Arora 2,036
Rajput 689
Bhatia  193
Sonar 44
Chuhra 40
Dhobi 31
Gakhar 28
Jat 13
Kumhar 13
Jhinwar 10
Lohar 7
Mochi 4
Nai 3
Tarkhan 2
Other Hindus 5,779
Sikh
Brahman 1,693
Khatri 486
Arora 336
Jat 282
Rajput 177
Bhatia 69
Sonar 31
Kumhar 6
Other Sikhs 4,542
 
Others  1,150
Total Population 670,117

With regards to caste grouping, the British Administration had divided the population by the Land Alienation Act into those who could own land, and those who were ineligible.The tribes of the District, that were notified as agricultural under the Punjab Alienation Act, were the Awans, Bambas, Bibs, Dhunds, Dilazaks, Gakhars, Gujars, Karrals, Malliars, Mishwanis, Mughals, Pathans, Qureshis, Rajputs, Sararas, Swathis, Sayeds, Tareens, Tanaolis, and Turks. The large non-agriculturalist groups included Julaha (Bafinda), Tarkhan, Lohar, Mochi and Nai groups, who were often referred to by the derogatory term kami. The number of kami castes had fallen over the period, as many of families were absorbed into agricultural castes.Below is a brief description of the largest grouping by population.

Major Muslim Groups

The Awans and Bibs

The Awans made up one-sixth of the total population in Hazara, and were found almost everywhere other then the Kala-Dhaka. I will not go into too much detail as to there origin, other then to say they claim descent from Qutab Shah, an Arab, and a descendent of Ali, who arrived in the region with Mahmud of Ghazni. The Awans were are entirely Hindko speaking group, and connected with the Awans of the Pothohar region of neighbouring Punjab. Closely connected to the Awans are the Bib who are small  tribe found Abbotabad District, occupying two villages between the Rash plains and Thandiani range. They claim a common origin with the Awans, and in 1931 were not counted separately but included within the Awans.

The Gujjars

The Gujars are among the oldest inhabitants of the region, and make up the second largest ethnic group in Hazara. They were in occupation of the  Hazara plain before the Dilazaks, Utmanzais, and Tareens  migrated there. In Mansehra, the Kathana Gujars of Kot Najibullah and in Haripur the Jagal Gujars are most prominent families. The Kaghan Valley right up to the Babusar pass is entirely inhabited by the Gujjars. The Kaghan Gujjars are largely Gojri speaking, while those in the southern part of Hazara are now largely Hindko speaking.

The Pathans and Mashwani

In Hazara, as in most cis-Indus regions, the Pashtun tribes describe themselves as Pathan, with the exception of those from the Kala Dhaka, speaking the Yousafzai dialect, call themselves Pakhtoon. In 1931, the total Pathan population, including the Kala Dhaka tribes was 54,544, about 8% of the total population. After Independence in 1947, the Pathan population has increased considerable, as migrants from other parts of KPK have settled there. Related to the Pathans were the Mishwanis, who numbered 5,361, and inhabit the villages of Sirikot, Kundi, Amarkhana, and Gadwalian at the north-east end of the Gandgar range. The Mishwani claim to be  Saiads in origin, Mishwani, their ancestor, being one of the four sons of the Sufi Saiad Muhammad-i-Gisu Daraz. He is said to have married a daughter or granddaughter of  Kakar, and to have been adopted by Danai, Kakar’s father. In customs, the Mishwanis had much in common with the other Pathans tribes such as the Jadoons and Tareens. However, on account of their Sayed ancestry, they were seperately enumerated.

The Swatis

The Swatis were the fourth largest group in the region. They claim to be Pathans,  and to be connected with the Yusafzais. or rather with  the Ranazais, from whom the Yusafzais are derived from. When the Swat valley was invaded by the Yusafzais, the Swati fled eastward in northern Hazara. They are divided into two main sections — the Ghabri or Utli  (Upper) Pakhli, and the Mamiali-Mitrawi or Tarli (Lower) Pakhli. The former occupy the Kagan, Balakot, Garhi Habibullah, Mansehra, Shinkiari, Bhogarmang, and Konsh valley. The Konshi Swatis are the most distinct and in the earlier censuses were seperately enumerated. Most Swatis are Hindko speaking except for a few communities in Shinkiari who speak Pashto.

The Dhunds

British colonial ethnologist believed tha the Dhunds were of converted Hindus in origin. But they have always claimed to be of Abbasi origin. Like the Karrals, they were for a time subservient to the Gakhars until the Sikh occupation in the early 19th Century. They occupy the Bakot tract between the Dunga Gali range up to the Jhelum river, and the country on either side of the eastern or Dhund branch of the Harroh before its junction with the Karral branch. They also extend across the border to the hills round Murree, and also found in the Poonch region. The Dhund and the Karlal speak their own version of Hindko called Dhundi-Kairali, which is closer to the Chibhali language then standard Hindko.

The Sayyads

All Sayyads claim descent from the Prophet Mohammad. In the District they number 27,629 , and belong to the Bukhari, Tarimzai, Mashadi, Bakri, and Gilani sections. They are scattered all over the region. The Sayyads of the Kaghan valley  stand somewhat apart from the rest. Descendants of  Jalal Baba, who led the Swathi invasion into Hazara, they for long remained virtually independent masters of the upper end of the valley. They are entirely Hindko speaking.

The Karal or Karlal

The Karrals, sometimes pronounced as Karlal, numbered 127,117 in 1931. They are found mainly in the Nara tract between the Rajoia plain and the Dunga Gali range, but are also found in the Boi hills. They claim to be Mughals, who came from Kian in Iran. Their ancestor, Kallar Shah, was, they say, was in the service of an Emperor of Delhi, with whom he went to Kashmir. On his return he took the Nara hills and the Bakot tract from the Gakhars. They are closely connected to the Dhunds, and speak the Dhundi-Kairali dialect.

The Julaha or Bafinda

The Julaha or as they are locally known as Bafinda were the weavers of the Hazara region. They were probably under counted, as many had regitered themselves either as Awan or Pathan, inflating the numbers of those castes. As non-agricultural tribe, the Bafinda were not allowed to own land. Although large, and in the 1901 Census they outnumbered the Sayyad and Karlal, the Bafinda are one of the most marganalized community in Hazara. This tragically has remained the case. They are entirely Hindko speaking.

The Kashmiris

By 1931, the Hazara region was home to 13,218, many settled in the town of Abbotabad. They had arrived later in the 19th Century, and included some Chibhali groups. Largely an urban community of petty traders. Almost all spoke to Hindko by 1931.

The Tarkhan and Lohar

Although seperately counted, both groups were close and intermarried. Like the Bafinda, British policy meant they could not buy land. As a result, both groups were entirely tennants. Increasingly, these groups were making claims to a Mughal origin, so that they could own land. The figures for the Mughal were therefore very likely to be inflated. The traditional occupation of the Tarkhan is carpentry and Lohar were smiths.

The Sarrara

Like the Dhunds, the Sararas claim to be a branch of the Abbasi tribe,with whom they intermarry. According to their traditions, the Sarraras came from Pakpattan in Punjab. It is possible that, like the Dhunds and Karrals, they may be Hindus in origin. It is noticeable that with all three tribes the names of the subsections terminate in ‘al,’ like those of the Jat and Rajput tribes of the Chibhal and Pothohar regions. In 1931, they lived almost exclusively in the Boi tract between the Thandiani range and the Kunhar river.

The Mughals

Mostly found in the urban areas, mainly in Mansehra. As already said, a large number of Tarkhans and Lohars had made claims to Mughal ancestry, and the boundary between the three castes was less then clear.

The Mochi

Mochi means cobbler, and those who followed this occupation were the most marganalized group in the region. Working with leather had a stigma, and Mochi neighbourhoods in villages in the Hazara region were always found some distance from the main centre of the village. It is probable, that they are converts from the Hindu Chamar caste. Largely found in Gakhar, Awan, Jadoon or Tareen Pathan villages, rarely found in villages of mountain tribes such as the Karlal, Dhund or Sarraras.

The Nai

Like the Mochi, the Nai or barbers were also very stigmatised. Some groups claimed Janjua Rajput origin, others an Awan origin. This may be the case, but in 1931, the Nai formed a distinct community, although they were less marganalized then the Mochi. In Hazara in 1931, the landowning castes were ascendent, and sadly this has remained the case.

The Gakhar

Unlike the previous two tribes, the Gakhars have dominated the history of the District. They trace their descent from Nausherwan, King of Iran, and his grandson Yazdgurd, Kiani, said to be an ancestor of Mahmud of Ghazni. According to their traditions, Yazdgurd’s son, Firoz Shah, went to China in the seventh century a.d., was made commander of the Emperor’s Bodyguard, and given Tibet to rule over. In the ninth century, having been converted to Islam, his descendants left Tibet for Kabul. After remaining there 200 years, they moved to Ghazni. They came to India about a.d. 1,000 with Mahmud of Ghazni, who made the Sind Sagar Doab over to them. They returned to Ghazni with Mahmud, but continued to take tribute from the conquered territory. On the break-up of Mahmud’s dynasty the Kashmiris took possession of the Doab, but in the fifteenth century Malik Kad Gakhar recovered it from them. This much is tradition only, but we now come to historical facts. In a.d. 1519 the Emperor Babar came into contact with the tribe, and found them ruled by two chiefs who wore cousins, and named Tatar and Hati respectively. While the Emperor was in their country, Hati attacked Tatar, killed him, and took possession of liis territory. Babar’s force thereupon marched against Hati, and captured his stronghold. Hati fled, but afterwards made his submission. In Akbar’s time, according bo the ‘ Ain-ul-Akbari,’ the Gakhar chiefs were Sultan Sarang and his brother Adam. The Hazara Gakhars are descended from Fateh Khan, son of Sultan Said Khan, who founded Khanpur about the end of the sixteenth century. The tract made over to him by his grandfather, Sultan Sarang Khan, included the Karral and Dhund hills, as well as those of Khanpur, but during the decline of the Moghal dynasty the Karrals and Dhunds, as above stated, managed to assert their independence. Under the Durani rule the Gakhars of Hazara were tributary rulers, given the lower portions of Hazara to adminster, until the arrival of the Sikhs which ended their independence. Most Gakhars were found in Haripur region.