Jan 11, 2011

History Of Chaudhary Cast : Cast History In Pakistan

History Of Chaudhary Cast : Cast History In Pakistan

Chaudhary (Hindi: चौधरी , Urdu: چودهری, Bengali: চৌধুরী) is a term in Indo-Aryan languages, literally meaning "holder of four". Traditionally, the term is used as a title indicating the ownership of ancestral land, but in contemporary usage it is often taken as a surname or title. The spelling of the word varies in different areas. In some cases it may also mean "power".

The Gujjars (or Gurjars) of Northern India, such as in the NCR region and Haryana, use Chaudhary as a surname.

In Andhra Pradesh, the title is used by the Kamma caste. It is typically spelt as Chowdary to differentiate from other users of the title in other parts of India.

In Bihar, the Choudhary s are known for owning large ancestral lands. In the north and eastern Indian states of Bihar and Bengal, the title is used by Kulin Brahmins and certain Muslim Taluqdar families.Kamboja caste groups with Kayastha connections in Nizami times also used this title.[citation needed]

In northern Indian states such as Haryana, the title is used by landowning ethnic groups and tribes, mainly by Jats. However, it is also used by the Ojnaas, Yadavs, Rajputs, Kambohs, Minhas, Sulehria, Ghore Waha and Sainis.

In Pakistan, the title is given to members of landowning tribes such as the Gujjars and Jatts.
[edit] History

The earliest written references are from the 15th century, when this title was conferred by the Sultans of the Delhi Sultanate upon its military nobles of Indian origins.

The title became significant during the Mughal era as the Mughal Emperors conferred it upon some privileged Taluqdars (area administrators), initially in the Punjab region, and then throughout most of North India. A taluqa or district usually consisted of 84 villages and a central town during this era. The Taluqdar was required to collect taxes, maintain law and order, and provide military supplies and manpower to the provincial government. In most cases the Taluqdars were entitled to retain a tenth of the collected revenue. However, some privileged Taluqdars were entitled to a quarter and hence were called Chowdhury , which also literally means "owner of the fourth part".

The Mughal Emperor Zaheerudin Babur mentions the Chowdhury s of Bhera in his book, Tuzk-e-Babri; they were appointed by the Turk King Alauddin Khilji. According to the Glossary of Punjab Castes, the Talukdars belonging to Mair-Minhas and Mughal Kassar مغل کسر/ مغل قصر tribes of the Dhani country (present-day Chakwal District) in the northwest of Punjab were among the first few to receive this honourific title from the Mughal Emperor Zaheerudin Babur, for their services to his army during a later expedition in that region.

During the Sikh rule in Punjab, the title became very common and quite a few village headmen or "Lumberdars" were given "Chowdhury " as a title by Maharaja Ranjit Singh. Ever since, the Chowdhury s of Chakwal style themselves as "Chowdhurial" to distinguish themselves from the newly appointed men.

The Tyagi community (a division of the Bhumihaar community), which is a landlord community in west Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and Hariyana, uses "Chaudhary " as a title. e.g., Chaudhary Kalicharan Tyagi.

Chaudhary as a surname is also used by the Kammas of coastal Andhra Pradesh. During the 16th century, the Golkonda Nawab Ibrahim Qutb Shah captured the coastal regions of Andhra Pradesh. Rayarao, his Maratha commander, appointed Kammas as Deshmukhs and Choudhary s in 497 villages, beginning the use of the title "Choudhary " for Kammas in coastal Andhra Pradesh.
[edit] Current usage

Although the title has lost its original exclusivity, in both Indian and Pakistani Punjab regions a Chowdhury is still considered a leader of a tribe in some villages and small towns. Male members of Chowdhury families are entitled to use the prefix "CH.", an abbreviation for Chowdhury that acts as a courtesy title before their first name.

In the northern and eastern Indian states of Bihar and Bengal, this title is still used by Brahmins and certain Muslim Taluqdar families. Roy or Chowdhury is used by Zamindars of Bengal (Bangladesh).

The Kammas of coastal Andhra Pradesh, use Chowdary (mainly spelt as such) as a title and as a symbol of honour.

Since the partition of British India, people from many tribes have retained this title in Pakistan as well, including the Gujjars, Jats, Tyagis, Muslim Janjua, Minhas, and Sulehria tribes.

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History Of Chaudhary Cast : Cast History In Pakistan



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