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The Zamindara or Rautara, (combinations of words Rai and Tartar from village Hasanpur-Beenapur) is a distinct Muslim community found mainly in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Members of the Zamindara community who migrated to Pakistan after the independence in 1947, are settled in Karachi, Sindh. It is a community in India who practice Central Asian Turkic-Mongol Culture in their lifestyle. The Zamindara are a sub-group within the wider Shaikh, community. Zamindara in Urdu means landowner.
Zamindara speak a distinct dialect of Urdu among themselves that is similar to a central Asian Turkic language. They refer to it as Azmiat, but use Urdu with outsiders. This community is also referred to as "Azmi Community" or "Azmi Biradari" or "Azmi Qaum" and "Rautara Biradari". The group practices endogamy, strictly prohibiting marriage outside their community.
They practice Khorasan culture in their daily life.
They manage their own education system in their Senior Secondary School and Arabic Seminary. They are from the Hanafi School of Thought, but the youths of this community adopted the Ahle Hadith School of Thought without anyone's influence.
History and origin
The sheikh (warrior clan) are the original inhabitants of Azamgarh. They embraced Islam when they came in contact with warrior clans of Central Asia such as Turks, Mongols and the Pathans of Afghanistan. The Zamindara are said to be descendants of Turk and Rajput caste and Pathans who migrated to the region from Khorasan. Many Zamindaras were substantial landowners, and reference is made to this community in Abu'l-Fazl's, 16th-century magnum opus, Ain-i-Akbari, as the landowners of pargana Nizamabad.
By the early 19th century, owing to their industry and enterprise, Zamindara's had substantially increased their landed possession. In addition, many were educated and had obtained good position in the professions and government services in erstwhile British India.
The Zamindara today are mainly concentrated in Azamgarh District, but are also found in substantial number in neighbouring districts of Mau and Jaunpur, and in certain pockets of Gorakhpur and Sultanpur.
Zamindari are essentially a community of landowners and prior to the abolition of the Zamindari system, held large tracts of lands.
The population of Zamindara community in Azamgarh and Jaunpur number approximately 2.5 million of which 1.2 million are Turks and Pashtun and 1.3 million Shaikh.
The villages founded by Shaikh include Sanjarpur (King Sanjar Shaikh) Amilo (khas), Saat Gao, Mangrawan Raipur, Kundanpur Kotila, Bindawal- Jairajpur, Bisham, Nandao, Anjan Shahed, Ashrafpur and Mande ,
The villages founded by Pathans include Mohammedpur (Ghazni), Fariha (Farah) khandwari, Daudpur, Sherwaa and Surahi.
The villages founded by Mongol include Muslim Patti, Manjeerpatti, Mirzapur, Hasanpur-Beenapara and Shahpur.
- A Gazetteer of Azamgarh District pages 93 to 94