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Arain
Regions with significant populations
 Pakistan Europe United States Canada Australia
Languages

PunjabiSeraikiUrduEnglish

Religion

Allah-green.svg Islam

Related ethnic groups

MalikMianChoudhryRamays

The Arain, are an agricultural[1] caste[2] settled mainly in the Punjab[3][4] (India and Pakistan), with significant numbers also in Sindh[5] (Pakistan). They are chiefly associated with farming (in particular, market-gardening),[6][7] traditionally being small landowners or zamindars.[8][9]

Contents

Origin

In the Punjab Census Report (1911), Pandit Harikishan Kaul points out that members of the Arain tribe are “mostly Muhammadans,” (in the Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North West Frontier Province, Denzil Ibbetson also refers to the Arains as, “Almost to a man Muhammadans”), and as a corollary, reference is also made to Hindu and Sikh sections of the tribe.

Kaul also states that the term ‘Arain’ is, “derived probably from Rain or Rahin, equivalent to Rahak (tiller of soil).” This is consistent with the Arains traditionally being chiefly associated with market-gardening. As Alison Shaw states in Kinship and Continuity, “Jats and Rajputs from Jhelum consider that the Arain are a service caste, ranked ‘lower’ than the zamindars and refer to the Arain by the term Maliar, which is apparently used in Jhelum to refer to people who traditionally grow vegetables around wells.”

The census reports of 1883 and 1892 record their Hindu origins and kinship with the Kamboh and Saini caste groups.

Almost to a man Muhammadans and strongly inclined to orthodoxy the Arains came to be immigrants from Uch and have some affinities with the Kambohs. On the other hand some of the Arain and Hindu Saini clan names are identical, and those not always merely names of other and dominant tribes. From Uch they migrated to Sirsa and thence into the Punjab. [10]
In Sirsa the Sutlej Arains meet those of the Ghaggar. The two do not intermarry, but the Arains of the Ghaggar valley say they were Rajputs living on the Panjnad near Multan who were ejected some four centuries ago by Sayad Jalal-ul-din of Uch. They claim some sort of connection with Jaisalmer. [11]
The Sutlej Arains in Sirsa say they are, like the Arains of Lahore and Montgomery, connected by orign with the Hindu Kambohs. Mr Wilson thinks it probable that both classes are really Kambohs who have become Musalmans. [12]
The nucleus of this caste was probably a body of Hindu Saini or Kamboh cultivators who were converted to Islam at an early period . Thus in Jullundur the Arains say they came from Sirsa, Rania, and Delhi and claim descent from Rai Jaj (grandson of Lau, founder of Lahore), who ruled Sirsa: that they were converted in the 12th century and migrated to the Jullundar Doab about 300 years ago. But the Bhuttas claim descent from Raja Bhutta, fifth in descent from Raja Karn and say they were forcibly converted even earlier - by Mahmud of Ghazni – and driven from Uch. [13]

The Arain during the British Raj

The Arain land holders should not be confused with the more gentrified zamindars such as the feudal Rajput landlords of vast holdings. Polo, partridge shoots and tea parties were therefore not associated attributes. Neither were the more negative and profligate practises such as "...dancing girls, drunken evenings listening to poetry, or numerous marriages..".[14] When the British wanted land developed in the Punjab after its annexation, Arain were brought in to cultivate lands around the cities, forming irrigated colonies.[15] The Arain were so favoured for their "hard work, frugality and sense of discipline".[16] Subsequent development of towns and cities and increasing urbanisation resulted in the value of the land settled by Arain to rise significantly, and Arain families thus flourished.[17] Education was prioritised with the new found wealth[18] and the Arain came to dominate the legal profession amongst urban Punjabi Muslims. Many used law to enter politics.[19]

The Arain were classified as a "non-martial race" by the British,[20] a classification deemed arbitrary and based on prejudices prevalent at the time (see Martial Race).

Related communities in North India

There are a number of communities in North India, that claim kinship with the Arain of Punjab. The Arain of Delhi claim to be descended from Arains, who settled in Delhi during the rule of the Mughal Emperor Akbar.[21]

Another community that claims a connection with the Arain are the Rayeen are Muslim tribe found in Bareilly, Pilibhit, Udham Singh Nagar,Nainital, Rampur and Saharanpur districts of Uttar Pradesh, India.[22]

Other Muslim communities in North India , such the Baghban and Kunjra, also claim to be connected with the Arain, but these claims are less generally accepted.

Famous Arain

See also

Bibliography

  • Punjab Census Report, 1911, Pandit Harikishan Kaul
  • A Glossary of the Tribes and Castes of the Punjab and North-West Frontier Province, H. A. Rose
  • Kinship and Continuity: Pakistani Families in Britain, Alison Shaw

References

  1. ^ "...but also among the so-called agriculturist castes, so designated by the British... ...Chauhan, Arain, Gaud...", An Alternative to the "Sati" Model: Perceptions of a Social Reality in Folklore, Prem Chowdhry, pp. 259-274, Asian Folklore Studies, Vol. 49, No. 2, 1990, http://www.jstor.org/view/03852342/ap040052/04a00070/0.
  2. ^ "Behind them an angry farmer brandished a bamboo pole. He was a market-gardener, Arain by caste, growing vegetables and flowers for Umballa city, and well Kim knew the breed.", Kim, Rudyard Kipling.
  3. ^ "...communities: 1. Acharaj. 2. Ad-Dharmi. 3. Aheri. 4. Ahir. 5. Ahluwalia. 6. Arain. 7. Arora. 8. Bahurupia...", "The land of the five rivers was known as panchanad in the ancient period, and as Punjab in the medieval period.", People of India: Punjab: Volume XXXVII, edited I J S. Bansal and Swaran Singh, New Delhi, ISBN 81-7304-123-7, https://www.vedamsbooks.com/no34962.htm.
  4. ^ http://ncbc.nic.in/backward-classes/punjab.html
  5. ^ See Arain population distribution on http://www.joshuaproject.net/index.php.
  6. ^ "The Arain were small peasant-proprietors...", Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  7. ^ "Behind them an angry farmer brandished a bamboo pole. He was a market-gardener, Arain by caste, growing vegetables and flowers for Umballa city, and well Kim knew the breed." (Kim, Rudyard Kipling).
  8. ^ "...from other zamindar (landowning) categories: Arain (5), Jat (2), Gujar (2), ...", Kinship, cultural preference and immigration: consanguineous marriage among British Pakistanis, Alison Shaw, Brunel University (http://www.blackwell-synergy.com/links/doi/10.1111/1467-9655.00065).
  9. ^ "The Arain were small peasant-proprietors...", Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki (http://www.jstor.org/view/00044687/di014466/01p0206e/2?frame=noframe&userID=a301f288@ox.ac.uk/01cce4405f00501b38b9c&dpi=3&config=jstor).
  10. ^ Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1911 AD, Page 13, Vol II,
  11. ^ Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1911 AD, Page 13, Vol II,
  12. ^ Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1911 AD, Page 13, Vol II,
  13. ^ Denzil Ibbetson, Edward MacLagan, H.A. Rose "A Glossary of The Tribes & Casts of The Punjab & North-West Frontier Province", 1911 AD, Page 15, Vol II,
  14. ^ Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  15. ^ "When the British opened new lands in Punjab, they brought in the Arains to cultivate...", Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  16. ^ Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  17. ^ Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  18. ^ "...the Arain families put their money into education and reaped quick rewards.", Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  19. ^ "Soon they came to dominate the legal profession... ...and... ...spring into politics.", Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  20. ^ "The army was an unusual career for an Arain youngster; the British had not regarded the community as one of India's "martial races"...", Pakistan under Zia, 1977-1988, Shahid Javed Burki.
  21. ^ People of India Delhi Volume XX edited by T Ghosh & S Nath pages 49 to 52 Manohar Publications
  22. ^ A People of India Uttar Pradesh Volume XLII

Simple English

The Arain (Urdu: آرائین), are a Muslim agricultural caste settled mainly in the Punjab, with significant numbers also in Sindh. They are chiefly associated with farming, traditionally being small landowners or zamindars.








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