How did Bengalis become Muslims?

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Ray, May 11, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    How did Bengalis become Muslims?

    Kingshuk Nag


    This would be a strange question to ask in the context of the ethnic conflict in Assam that is showing signs of accelerating what with the chief minister Tarun Gogoi declaring that Assam is on the tinderbox. But in fact the genesis of the problem lies in the question.

    Over hundred years ago when India was still India and not India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, there was large scale migration of Bengali Muslims from East Bengal (which is now Bangladesh) into Assam. This was the result of deliberate policies of the government of British India which wanted to colonize Assam and exploit its natural resources and expand agriculture in an area where tribal communities – like Bodos, Koch Rajbongshis and others - lived. These tribal were outside the pale of society as it was then and were not seen to be part of the market economy. The Bengali peasant, on the other hand, had been exposed to the world of colonialism/capitalism in eastern Bengal. Thus they were game to be part of this strategy. So began the process of migration of Bengali Muslims into Assam impelled undoubtedly also by the increased pressure on land in East Bengal.

    The question to ask is why did only Bengali Muslims migrate to Assam and why not Hindus. The answer is: the Hindus did too but in smaller numbers. They were relatively more in white collar jobs and therefore by implication they were in higher value (and therefore limited number jobs). The large majority of the peasants in East Bengal were Muslims and these are the folks who moved because the opportunities were in farm related heavy labor work. It is easy to speculate that if the peasantry of East Bengal not entirely Muslims, then the bulk of migration would be of Hindu Bengalis and the ethnic conflict would have been a pure Hindu Assamese – Hindu Bengalis issue. But then the point is that if the peasantry of East Bengal were not predominantly Muslims, the country would not have been partitioned – at least on the eastern parts!

    How the peasantry of Bengal became Muslims is an issue that has not been analyzed deeply. However it seems that with the Mughal conquest of Bengal beginning the last decades of the sixteenth century their local governors made frenetic efforts to settle land and expand agriculture. Large parts of East Bengal were nothing but thickly forested swamps in those days. People staying on the margins of society involved in boating, fishing etc who were loosely speaking Hindus but actually of no religion became part of this Mughal imperial design. They were settled on land and induced to farm and they were socially moored by small mosques led by spiritual preceptors who came into convert the locals to a new way of life. There was not much opposition because these were new areas but the local Hindu communities that existed reacted by closing their ranks and becoming more conservative. This had the result of expulsion of many Hindus from the fold on the grounds that they had been polluted by contacts with the Muslims. These Hindus of course became Muslims. The net result was that more people started becoming Muslims.

    After the advent of the English and the Permanent Settlement of land revenues in 1785, agriculture became more settled and exploitative of the peasants as well. But that is another story but to come back to the main one, the creation of East Pakistan temporarily led to cessation of migration of Bengali Muslims into Assam. Though the borders between India and East Pakistan were porous and not demarcated clearly, the fact that it was no longer one country had this result. Furthermore Sylhet, a border district between Assam and East Pakistan where there a huge number of Bengali Muslims was made part of Pakistan.

    However the creation of Bangladesh changed the dynamics. Relations between India and Bangladesh were good. Moreover the ravaged nation, newly created had no avenues for economic development: exploited as it had been by the west Pakistani colonialists who turned to be worse than the earlier British avatar. India felt a need to help in the development of this newly emerged nation. The only plentiful ‘resource’ that the new nation possessed was people who could workers and engage themselves in other low end trades. That began a new wave of migration which started in the late seventies. The migration – in search of better livelihood – continues and not only Assam but Bangladeshi migrate in larger numbers into West Bengal and from there to other states of India. Aided they are by porous borders and unscrupulous politicians who want to enlist them as voters for their political gain.

    Bodos, Koch Rajbongshis and other ethnic groups feel vulnerable because they are unable to distinguish between Bengali Muslims who migrated a hundred year ago and Bangladeshi who came in the last two decades. With a new homeland and autonomous council, the Bodos who had been exploited by the state of affairs in Assam for centuries now see some hope at the end of the tunnel. Although merely 25-30 per cent of the population of the area, they want to exercise total control in their area and empower themselves. The major obstacle they face is from Bengali Muslims and Bangladeshis. This is the problem.

    The coming weeks and months will see further intensification of the tensions what with the fundamental problem not being solved. It is easy to see that Bangladeshis will continue to migrate into India so long as there is no rapid economic growth in their country and expansion of economic opportunities. Strident voices will be heard in India to ban the influx of the Bangladeshis into the country. But that is easier said than done what with ever shifting riverine borders and char lands within that make the process of sneaking in, not too difficult.

    Moreover the political dispensation has to take a clear stand on this issue because most of the time they are in a mode where they appear to be ‘running with the hare and hunting with the hound.’ They have to decide whether they want Bangladeshis into the country. It may not be out of place to state that most Indians will shout from rostrums that they don’t want the Bangladeshis: but none of them will ever refuse to benefit from the cheap labor provided by Bangladeshis at their homes, workplace and in trade. After all nobody including a Bangladeshi will sneak into somebody else’s country if it does not make economic sense for him to do so. So the hundred dollar question is whether we have a way to do so. Any answers? Lastly the answer has to be found by us, not the Bangladesh government. After all why should they care especially because increasing migration relieves pressure in their nation?
    How did Bengalis become Muslims? by Masala Noodles : Kingshuk Nag's blog-The Times Of India

    *************************************

    An interesting viewpoint to include the rational for the Assamese problem.
     
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  3. afako

    afako Regular Member

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    Muslim were allowed to migrate by INC. There is nothing illegal immigration, Everything is Planned!
     
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  4. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    West Bengal and Assam is welcome to keep all the `cheap labour` provided by Bangladeshis as claimed by Kingshuk Nag.
     
  5. Waffen SS

    Waffen SS New Member

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    "How did Bengalis become Muslims?"

    Like that way other many Hindus became Muslims,Cast system,untouchability and then Islam has the idea of equality.It was the main cause that's why West Asian invaders managed to defeat Hindu Maharajas denied from poor people's support.
    So than Sufi Mystics came,then easily converted poor Hindus to Islam,and this way Pakistan was created.

    Infact many Bengalis in Paschim Banga(West Bengal) are still Hindus.
     
  6. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    One must not forget the missionary job that Ashoka did, which was furthered by the Pala Dynasty, to make pacifist Buddhist philosophy a matter of state patronage. The subsequent Sena dynasty did try to undo some of this, but I suppose the transformation was already terminal.

    On the positive side, however, all the lands north of Bengal, i.e. Sikkim, Bhutan, and the whole of Tibet, (1) became Buddhist due to the patronage of Ashoka, and (2) adopted Mahayana Buddhism due to the patronage of the Palas.
     
  7. LordOfTheUnderworlds

    LordOfTheUnderworlds Regular Member

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    Even Europe had long duration of Islamic rule but they still de-islamized europe. In India rather than how, a more important question is why did people remain muslim even long after end of Islamic rule? I guess like most of India's problem the answer would be related to caste system and Brahminism. Because Brahminical laws and caste system are exlusionist and eager to throw away people out of society at the slightest pretext it is easy to make a person leave native religion; rigidity of this system means that it is an irreversible process.
    To summarise, Brahminism and caste system are responsible for persistence of Islam in India.
    @Iamanidiot had explained that in Bengal the feudal lords were Brahmins. That sounds like concentration of all sorts of power in hands of single small community. In feudal society, the feudal lords exert almost complete power over common people and have total control over people's lives. So What were they doing while the people were converting? They didn't have power or did they simple not care ?
     
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  8. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    In Uttar Pradesh, AFAIK most of the Muslim community belongs to the craftsmen such as weavers, brass workers etc whereas Muslims belonging to upper caste or shudras are rare.
     
  9. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    UP had a Muslim influence since the Mugal times through the Muslim Kingdoms of Delhi and UP and therefore it would not be unusual to see its influence on the population and conversion.

    Even Englishmen converted to Islam to marry their Begums.

    William Linnæus Gardner of the famous Gardner's Horse (now 2nd Lancer of the Inian Army) He was the nephew of Alan Gardner, 1st Baron Gardner. He was in the service of the Holkars. Holkar sent him on a mission to the independent princes of Cambay, where he converted to Islam and married his only wife, an Indian Muslim princess.

    David Ochterlony Dyce Sombre (18 December 1808-1 July 1851), also known as D. O. Dyce Sombre and David Dyce Sombre, was an Anglo-Indian held to be the first person of Asian descent to be elected to the British Parliament. Sombre was great-grandson of a mercenary soldier Walter Reinhardt alias Sombre, whose second wife was the famous Begum Samru.
     
  10. SHURIDH

    SHURIDH Senior Member Senior Member

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    In wb hindu obc are only 6.5% of state's population.
    while in up,bihar,andhra,gujarat,karnataka hindu obc are 25-40% of state's population.
     
  11. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    On what do you base this?
     
  12. SHURIDH

    SHURIDH Senior Member Senior Member

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    bengali a very highly populated ethnic group.
    bengali muslims and bengali hindus both are huge in numbers.

    62-63% bengali are muslim,36-37% bengali are hindus.

    about 8% of india's hindu population are bengali hindus.

    according to indian census 2001 85.6% people of west bengal state are bengalies(62.4%bengali hindus,23.2% bengali muslims estimated in 2001)
     
  13. SHURIDH

    SHURIDH Senior Member Senior Member

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    Ray da read sachar report,
    go to west bengal backward class ministry website.
     
  14. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Sachar Committee report on WB was selective in any case.

    Apart from the Brahmins, Baidyas, Kayasthas, alll others would be OBC and that is hell of a huge segment of Bengali Hindu society.

    You my also see the manipulation that is rampant in govt report to suit the agenda

    Fake OBCs in Mandal list
    SC/ST in Mandal List
    When we go through the list of OBC's prepared by the Mandal Commission, it is startling. It has included a very large number of the Scheduled Castes and the Scheduled Tribes as the OBC.
    Let us see the Mandal Commission's list of the OBC for the state of West Bengal. In this list, Urao (along with its synonyms Bandot, Haro, Karkata, Luidu, Shitheo, Tigga and Tirki) has been listed as an OBC (OBC No.176). On the other hand, it is already in the list of Scheduled Tribes for the state with a slight difference of spelling "Oraon" (ST 33). Similarly, Scheduled Tribes Kharia (OBC 105; synonym of Lodha, ST 23 in the ST List), Kherwar (OBC 107; ST 17, with a spelling Kharwar), Koda (OBC 113; ST 20, spelled Kora), Bhotia (OBC 33; ST 5, spelled Bhutia), Brijia (OBC 39, ST 7, with a spelling Birjia), Gonda (OBC 68; ST 12, spelled Gond) and Lakra (OBC 123, and Lakar OBC 122, which is actually a surname adopted by many members of the Scheduled Tribe Munda), which are already declared STs for the state. Tharu (OBC 171) is a widely studied scheduled tribe. Thapa (OBC 170) is a synonym of ST Sherpa (ST 5, same as Bhutia, Tota, Dukpa, Kagatay, Tibetan, Yolmo). Many famous ST surnames have been listed as OBC like Majhi (OBC 132, actually caste name is Birhor, ST 6), Mahato (OBC 129), etc. Other anthropologically famous scheduled tribes listed as OBC are Kuki (OBC 118), Lushei (actually Lushai; OBC 124), Koli (OBC 116) and Rohangia.(OBC 158).
    Similar manipulation has been done with many Scheduled Castes also. A sub-caste of Dom (Maghaiya-Dom) has been listed as OBC at place No. 126. Dom as a whole has been a Scheduled Caste (No.17 in West Bengal SC list) for ages. Bahelia (SC No. 2) has been listed by its synonym Chirimar (OBC 45). Bagal (OBC 11) is already there in the SC list at place number 1, with a spelling Bagll. Although Nat is an SC (No. 47), its sub-caste Karwal-Nat has been made an OBC (OBC 97). Jaliya Kaivartta (SC 23) is just the Sanskritized name of Machua listed as OBC (OBC 125).
    Not only synonyms or alternative spellings of the SCs and STs have been recorded as OBC, but also there are other types of manipulations like same OBC caste has been listed twice or sometimes thrice in the list of the same state. An example of this type of manipulation is Kahar in Bihar list (No. 23 as well as No. 70), Kewat (at no. 115 as well as 84.)
    At any rate the list is vitiated by such inclusions. The Kuki tribes (ST) actually live in Nagaland, Meghalaya, Mizoram and Tripura, none of which are neighboring to West Bengal. Even if any member of the tribe migrates to West Bengal or anywhere else in India, either it retains its ST status of the mother state or becomes General population. It is difficult to believe that some Kuki tribes live in West Bengal as OBC. Lushai tribe (ST) live mainly in Mizoram and are the principal Mizo tribe. They are also found in Manipur as ST. Koli (ST) are found in a widespread area ranging from Orissa to Rajasthan up to Karnatak. Rohangia ((OBC 158) are actually a distant tribe which mainly live in Myanmar but are also found in Bangla Desh-Myanmar-Tripura boarder areas). Introduction of such castes to the west Bengal OBC list seems to be an act of fertile brain and raises doubt whether any actual survey was done at all. At any rate a small number of these tribes could be present in the former East Bengal (now Bangla Desh) in areas adjoining former state of Assam and Myanmar before partition.
    Some OBC caste names given in the list are obsolete names of forward castes. Tyagi is an upper caste, which lives in UP, Haryana and Delhi. This caste was earlier called Taga. But with a general trend of all the North Indian castes to Sanskritize their names, Taga people adopted a new name Tyagi which was similar to Taga. But still in the remote village especially by the illiterate people Tyagis are often called Taga. We find the name of Taga in Haryana Mandal list (OBC 74), Delhi (OBC 81) and Uttar Pradesh (OBC 109, as Taga-Bhat). The principles and norms set in the very beginning regarding the criterion for the Non-Hindu communities have been violated flagrantly, hence now the Roman Catholic is not a religion but a caste in the eyes of the Mandal Commission (Latin Catholic, OBC 106, Kerala). Anglo-Indians, who are the off-springs of the British rulers, have also been made an Other Backward Caste (OBC 6, Kerala). Although it has been decided at the outset that only occupational castes among the Muslims and Christians and the castes bearing the same name as a Hindu OBC or SC will be included as a Muslim or Christian OBC caste, the set rule was violated wherever political expediency dictated. For example Kayastha (Muslim) has been made an OBC (OBC 93, Uttar Pradesh) which does not fulfill the criteria set for inclusion of non-Hindu castes. One will also fail to understand as to why Mr Mandal has included "Bengali" in the OBC list of Madhya Pradesh.
    Presence of obsolete and archaic caste names like Taga (for Tyagi in Haryana, Delhi and UP), Bhui-har (for Bhumi-har in Bihar), Domb (for Dom in all the southern states), listing of Kuki, Lushai, Rohangia tribes in West Bengal which are not found in West Bengal today but actually some of each of them lived in East Bengal in undivided India neighbouring Tripura, Meghalaya etc., and many such factors cannot be explained unless it is assumed that the Mandal list is not result of a recent survey, but it has been compiled by editing the caste list of 1931 census. But the editing was most inefficient. These names could not have crept in unless the old united Bengal caste list of 1931 was just copied and some named SC & ST, as well as well known forward caste names were just deleted, to arrive at the current OBC list of Mandal.


    http://www.youthforequality.com/about-us/representation-page2.aspx
     
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  15. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Look at this bogus list of OBC of WB.

    http://www.anagrasarkalyan.gov.in/pdf/category-wise-obc-list.pdf

    Ser 69 Purkait (Muslim) is an OBC, but not Purkait (Hindu)!

    A Muslim can never be an OBC because there is no caste in Islam. At best, he can be economically challenged!

    While a Purkait who is a Hindu can be an OBC because caste is a factor in Hinduism!.

    How is a Ser 57 Bhangi (Muslim) an OBC?

    If indeed, a Bhangi is an SC.

    So please don't flaunt these statistics of the Govt as proof.

    Remember Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively is above the poverty line as per the Govt of India.

    If that be the case, then why is the minimum wages legislated to be :inr: 100?
    http://m.paycheck.in/main/salary/minimumwages

    Minimum wage should be Rs. 28.35 and Rs. 22.42 in urban and rural areas respectively because it is above the poverty line as per the Govt of India.

    Got how these lists are basically for political purpose to suit the agenda and no more?!
     
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  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    @SHURIDH

    Aguri (caste)

    Bagdi caste
    Baidya
    Baishya Kapali
    Barujibi
    Bauris
    Bengali Brahmins

    Chunaru

    Doms

    Gandhabanik

    Hari caste

    Kansabanik
    Karmakar
    Kayastha
    Kulin Kayastha

    Mahato.
    Mahishya

    Namasudra

    Pal (surname)

    Sadgop
    Sarak
    Shunri

    Yogi Nath

    Category:Bengali Hindu castes - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    You tell me who are the high caste, the OBC and the SCs and the %!

    And then justify your statement:

    Govt sponsored Commissions and Inquires are all organised with supporting the Govt's agenda.

    Remember the CBI Chief Sinha?

    He was already castigated by the Patna High Court which he was there as the CBI Head there for letting Laloo off the hook with a trumped up lukewarm case as per Open Magazine.

    And still he was made the CBI Overall Head and we know know how independent and autonomous he is, right? ;)
     
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  17. SHURIDH

    SHURIDH Senior Member Senior Member

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    @Ray da govt. has interesting law In west bengal according to new law muslim who is not sayed,pathan decent is an obc muslim in wb.

    i would also be a obc muslim according to wb govt if we were not financially stable.
    thougha i have kulin bengali hindu brahmin ancestry from both parents side.
     
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  18. parijataka

    parijataka Senior Member Senior Member

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    Muslims and Christians boast about their egalitarian faith then why they want reservations based on caste ? Does Islam or Christianity have caste system ?

    Clear case of have your cake and eat it too.
     
  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Politics!

    That is all!
     
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  20. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    I have experienced one of the religions mentioned.

    Under no circumstances are the religions subscribing to any differentiation in class or status (or in the Indian context caste).

    It is sheer chicanery to ensure that co coreligionist have an advantage wherein they get an advantage in jobs. And then all the egalitarianism and equality of man before God is shoved in the dustbin! Even Mother Teresa did it!

    As far as Christianity is concerned, what better an example can be given than the amous passage (pericope) about Jesus and the woman taken in adultery from verses 7:53-8:11 of the Gospel of John. The passage describes a confrontation between Jesus and the scribes and Pharisees over whether a woman, caught in an act of adultery, ought to be stoned. Jesus shames the crowd into dispersing, and averts the execution.

    Even such a woman is equal as all!

    These great lessons of life that religion gives us is cast asunder for temporal and political gains and the jockeying for supremacy of the different denomination as having done the maximum for their flock and thus attract more to join their denomination.

    In short, it is not religion. It is politics!
     
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