Bais Rajputs

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The Bais Rajput (pronounced [ˈbɛ̃ːs ˈraːdʒpuːt̪]) (also known as Bhains Rajput in certain regions), claim to be an ancient Rajput clan consisting of the wealthy, warriors, entrepreneurs and Zamindar (land owners). The Bais Rajputs live in northern India and Pakistan.


Etymology

"Bais Rajput" means "one who occupies the soil",[citation needed] meaning owners of land. The clans name originates from Sanskrit and also is phonetically translated to English as Bhains. The pronunciation of the clan name - Bhains - is mostly used widely to the west of northern South Asia while the Hindi pronunciation Bais is more commonly used in eastern and central areas.

The original ancient pronunciation was Bhaiñs or Baiñs with the nasally pronounced 'n'.[citation needed]

History and origin

Bais Rajput residence in South Asia. The darker the red, the denser the population of Bais Rajputs per sq/km.

The Bais Rajputs are considered to be Suryavanshi. They are an ancient Hindu warrior caste. Their eponymous ancestor was Gautamiputra Satakarni also known as Shalivahana, the king of Shalikot presently known as Sialkot in Pakistan. Shalivahana is the mythic son of a snake who conquered the great Raja Vikramaditya of Ujjain in 55 AD and established his own area. The clan claims to have come from Manji Paithan in the Dekhan in 78 AD when Shalivahana was king. This was the Saka era and Shalivahana was the leader of the Saka nomads who invaded Gujarat on two occasions before and shortly after the beginning of the Christian era.

Reputation

On the battlefield

At the time of the Mughals the Bais Rajput were known as Bhale Sultan (Lords of the spear) in recognition of their warlike and brave nature.[citation needed]

According to tribal tradition in Sultanpur about half a millennia ago Rae Barar, the son of Amba Rae, brother of the then Raja of Morarmau, commanded a troop of cavalry entirely from the Bais Rajput clan, in the imperial service and was deputed to exterminate the troublesome Bhars, (whom the Bais Rajput had already defeated to gain Oudh), in the Isauli Pargana. Having accomplished his mission he returned to Delhi and presented himself at the head of his troop before the Emperor, who, struck with their manly bearing, exclaimed "Ao, Bhale Sultan!": "Come, spears of the Sultan!".[1] During the days of the British Raj the Bais Rajput became particularly famous for their skills in tank building for the use of their own armies. Their Rajas and aristocrats were recorded building tanks around 1730 and again in 1780.[2]

Wealth

Their wealth caused the Bais Rajput to be described in the 1830s as the "best dressed and housed people" in the areas where they lived.[2]

Zamindar

In these masses of lands many towns were erected but there still remained vast amounts of lands wasteful as they were not being used for any cause. The Bais Rajputs then decided in making money from these lands by agriculture. They hired many farmers to work the lands and produced profits adding to their already rich positions in wealth.[2]

The Bais Rajputs are known for well building.[2]

Culture

Customs

Their tribal totem or symbol is the cobra. They perpetuate the tradition of a serpent origin, and assert that no snake has or even can destroy one of the clan; for the same reason no Bais Rajput will even kill a cobra. Bais Rajput females can never wear cotton of any colour but white and above their feet and ankles their ornaments must be made of gold. The women wear one long cloth, which is fastened round their wastes around the middle, the lower folds covering the lower portions of the person, and the upper parts being thrown over the shoulder.[citation needed]

The Bais Rajputs divide their inheritance according to a system of primogeniture by which the three elder sons receive larger shares.[1]

Religion

Some Muslim Bais Rajput Thakurs experience problems in expressing their Thakur identity following the religion of Islam as it does not allow one to be self extravagant and flamboyant in acts. They form part of the larger Khanzada community in Awadh.[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ a b The Tribes and Castes of the North-western Provinces and Oudh by William Crooke - 1896
  2. ^ a b c d Bayly, C. A. (1988). Rulers, Townsmen and Bazaars: North Indian Society in the Age of British Expansion, 1770-1870. Cambridge South Asian Studies 28. CUP Archive. pp. 96–100. ISBN 978-0-521-31054-3. 
  3. ^ The times of India, The Muslim Rajputs of UP, 8 Jul 2007 Atul Sethi, TNN