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The Malkana are a Muslim community found in the states of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.[1]

History and origin

In Agra District, the Malkana claimed descent from a number of Hindu castes. Those of Kiraoli, where they occupy five villages, claim descent from a Jat. Other Malkana families in the district claim descent from Panwar, Chauhan, Parihar and Sikarwar Rajputs. Other Malkanas are Agarwals.[2]

In Hathras District, they were found mainly near the town of Sadabad.

In Bihar, the Malkana are mainly concentrated in the erstwhile Shahabad district.[1] In 1923, there were a recorded 1300 Malkanas in Shahabad alone. Because of being plundered by foreign invaders, they were forced to converted and became Muslims, but even though, many of them being connected to the Hindu tradition and culture tried to reconvert through the Swami Sharadhananda's Shuddhi movement which aimed at reconverting them to Hinduism, and but this which led to be targeted by Fundamentalist Abdul Rashid, who shot him death in Delhi[3][1] Many Muslim leaders attempted to counter this leading to religious tensions in Shahabad, Gaya and Munger.[1]

At the turn of the 20th century, the Malkana were a community that was on the religious faultline, as there customs were a mixture of Hindu and Muslim traditions. They kept Hindu names, used the salutation Ram Ram, and were endogamous. But the community buried their dead, practised circumcision, and visited mosques on special occasions. This eclectic nature of the community led to attempts by both Hindu and Muslim revivalist to target them.[citation needed]

This has led to splits in the community, with many members of the community converted to Hinduism in the early part of the 20th century, during the course of the shuddhi movement. The shuddhi campaign among the Malkanas, was launched in early 1923 and led by the Arya Samaj under Pandit Madan Mohan Malaviya. This re-conversion campaign reached its peak by the end of 1927, by which time some 1,63,000 Malkana Muslims are said to have been brought into the Hindu fold.[4]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Mohammad Sajjad (13 August 2014). Muslim Politics in Bihar: Changing Contours. Taylor & Francis. pp. 64–68. ISBN 978-1-317-55981-8.
  2. ^ Sikand, Yoginder; Katju, Manjari (20 August 1994). "Mass Conversions to Hinduism among Indian Muslims". Economic and Political Weekly. 29 (34): 2216.
  3. ^ "Swami Shraddhanand, who fell to bullets in December 1926".
  4. ^ Hindu-Muslim Relations in British India: a study of Controversy, Conflict and Communal Movements in Northern India 1923 to 1928, by Gene R. Thursby.