Unidentified to several, at the time they were being jotedars (landowners) and fought towards the troopers of Muhammad bin Bakhtiyar Khalji as ‘Koch-Rajbongshi’.
But then they arrived beneath the influence of Khalji: the armed service normal led Muslim conquests in the eastern Indian locations of Bengal and Bihar and brought Islamic rule in 12th century. Then, a huge number of Koch, Rajbongshi and Poliya persons of North Bengal converted to Islam and named their local community Nashya Sekh.
In accordance to West Bengal govt records, “The Nashya Sekh course was mentioned to arise as a consequence of conversion from the Koch, Rajbongshi and the Poliya classes of North Bengal from the 15th to 18th century. At present, they are the most downtrodden, underprivileged and socially and educationally backward lessons of individuals in West Bengal. They are also not economically perfectly off.”
They selected the time period ‘Nashya’ which suggests ‘fallen’ or ‘degenerated’. The state government documents also say, “The individuals transformed to ‘Islam’ from the decreased courses of Hindus ended up regarded or handled as ‘Nashta’ (fallen). In course of time this expression changed to ‘Nashya’ as a result of nearby phonetic distortion. The title ‘Seikh’ (higher or fantastic) is usually in use among the upper-course Muslims (foreigners or immigrants) and the title ‘Seikh’ is put at the starting of their identify. The ‘Nashyas’ adopted the term ‘Sekh’ for getting social posture at a later on phase.”
At current the Nashya Sekhs are confined to six North Bengal districts – Cooch Behar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, North and South Dinajpur, and Malda, with some existence in Bihar’s Purnia district. They are generally working as agricultural labourers, cultivators, rickshaw pullers, masons, unskilled working day-labourers, and craftsmen. The females also perform in the fields to aid in running their families.
In the present day context, couple of know that the local community has a sizable quantity of voters that can set any political bash in an beneficial situation in North Bengal in this year’s assembly polls.
And this is the reason why chief minister Mamata Banerjee precisely stated them at a community conference in Cooch Behar on December 16.
Speaking to Information18, secretary, Nashya Sekh Unnayan Mancha, Golam Nabi Azad, claimed, “In 2014, we formed this organisation to push our demand to established up a Nashya Improvement Board and yet another campus of Aliah University in Cooch Behar. We have by now sent our ask for to the state main minister and we are hopeful that it will be fulfilled shortly.”
Golam, who was manufactured the minority cell coordinator of the state’s ruling Trinamool Congress soon after the social gathering experienced a setback in the 2019 parliamentary elections, states that if he would have been specified the responsibility of the minority mobile right before the polls, the outcomes would have been distinct.
“In the coming assembly polls we are positive that the TMC will do nicely in contrast to the past Lok Sabha polls,” he additional.
With a virtually 13-15 per cent vote share in North Bengal, the Nashya Sekhs are suddenly in the limelight in advance of the assembly polls. Mamata has certain that she will appear into the demands to set up a Nashya Sekh Improvement Board.
A close search at Cooch Behar, wherever Mamata addressed a general public assembly not too long ago, reveals that in nine assembly seats, the voting bloc of Nashya Sekhs is about 8-9 for each cent of the population, while the Muslim voter existence is approximately 22 for each cent.
The nine assembly seats in Cooch Behar are Sitai, Sitalkuchi, Mathabhanga, Cooch Behar North, Cooch Behar South, Dinhata, Natabai, Tufanganj and Mekliganj.
In Sitai, the Muslim voter toughness is practically 34 per cent and Nashya Sekhs are virtually 9 for each cent. In Sitalkuchi, Muslim voters are shut to 28 for every cent and Nashya Sekhs are close to 9 for each cent. In the same way, in Mathabhanga, Cooch Behar North, Cooch Behar South, Dinhata, Natabari and in Tufanganj the Muslim voter percentage is between 19 and 30 for each cent, even though Nashya Sekhs are about 8-9 for each cent.
In Alipurduar’s Kalchini, Kumargram, Falakata and Madarihat places, the group has a vote share of virtually 18 for every cent, whilst in Jalpaiguri’s Rajganj, Dhupguri, Jalpaiguri Sadar and Malbazar, the determine is virtually is 17 per cent.
In North and South Dinajpur, they have a vote share of shut to 17-18 per cent, and out of 54 assembly seats in North Bengal they have a substantial existence in almost 25 to 26.
As the BJP is utilizing its attempted-and-analyzed Hindutva plank, Mamata benefit in the kind of Muslim and Nashya Sekh votes since minorities in North Bengal are vehemently opposing the Citizenship Amendment Act, National Inhabitants Sign-up (NPR) and National Register of Citizens (NRC).
Contemplating the inadequate effectiveness of the TMC in the 2019 Lok Sabha polls, if Mamata can consolidate the 13-14 per cent votes of Nashya Sekhs in North Bengal, aside from Muslim votes, it will set her occasion in an useful position.
“I have been given a letter from their (Nashya Sekhs) representatives. If we can established up Rajbongshi and Kamtapuri development boards, then we can also form a independent development board for Nashya Sekhs. I will undoubtedly look into the issue,” she reported not long ago.
In the previous couple weeks, the Nashya Sekh community in North Bengal has brazenly announced that it will help only that political occasion which will fulfil its calls for.
Mamata is pushing really hard to regain misplaced ground in the location, which contributed toward the TMC’s dismal overall performance in the parliamentary polls two years ago.
Out of the eight Lok Sabha seats in the location, Cooch Behar, Alipurduar, Jalpaiguri, Darjeeling, Raiganj, Balurghat, North Malda and South Malda, seven went to the BJP, whilst South Malda was secured by the late popular chief Ghani Khan Choudhury’s brother Abu Hasem Khan Choudhury of the Congress. The Trinamool drew a blank
In Malda North, BJP’s Khagen Murmu defeated sitting MP Mausam Noor (former Congress lawmaker who fought the polls on a TMC ticket), while Abus Hasem gained the Malda South seat by defeating the BJP’s Sreerupa Mitra Choudhury. The TMC’s Md Moazzem Hossain stood third with a 27.47 vote share.