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Baishya Saha Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baishya_Saha

Baishya Saha or Saha, though not considered as Vaishya in the caste structure of Bengal, is a Bengali Hindu trading caste traditionally known to have the occupation of grocers, shopkeepers, dealers moneylenders and farming.[1][2][3]

History and Origin[edit]

The name Saha (or Sadhu) is not found in 13th century works like the Brihaddharma Purana.[4] Before the seventh or the eighth centuries A.D. when historical evidences indicate that the society was based largely on trade and commerce, the merchant classes had a notably high position in the society. The low rank experienced by the Subarnabanik (gold merchants), Shunri (wine makers) , Teli (oil producers) and in later times also by the Gandhabanik (the dealers in spices), possibly indicate that the primary economic activities of the Bengali society shifted from trade and capital producing devices to cottage industries and agriculture. The caste ranks of the merchant classes became more and more lowered, and reached a decidedly low stage at the beginning of the Sena and Varman periods.[5]

Sahas were originally Shunris(wine sellers), who were trying to break away from the parent caste.[4] Saha as a distinct sub-caste did not flourish in Bengal before the mid-nineteenth century.[3] Shaha is a merchant caste like Suvarna Banik, which has a low ceremonial rank , but high secular rank. As of 1921, Suvarnabaniks and Sahas had good literacy rate which was in the order mentioned.[6]

Varna Status[edit]

Traditionally there is no presence of Vaishya varna in Bengal but only Brahmin and Shudra. Sahas who belonged to the Shudra community started to claim Vaishya status in 1931 census report.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]

Saha (surname)

References[edit]

  1. ^ Hashmi, Taj ul-Islam (1992). Pakistan as a Peasant Utopia. Taylor & Francis. pp. 35, 43, 105, 109, 111, 112, 148. ISBN 978-0-367-28215-8.
  2. ^ Ganguly, Jibamitra (2019). Meghnad saha : his science and persona through selected letters and writings (PDF). INDIAN NATIONAL SCIENCE ACADEMY. p. 12. ISBN 978-81-939482-5-5.
  3. ^ a b "Saha". Banglapedia. Retrieved 29 January 2022.
  4. ^ a b Sanyal, Hitesranjan (1971). "Continuities of Social Mobility in Traditional and Modern Society in India: Two Case Studies of Caste Mobility in Bengal". The Journal of Asian Studies. 30 (2): 315–339. doi:10.2307/2942917. ISSN 0021-9118. JSTOR 2942917.
  5. ^ Sarma, Jyotirmoyee (1980). Caste Dynamics Among the Bengali Hindus. Firma KLM. p. 15. ISBN 978-0-8364-0633-7.
  6. ^ Sarma, Jyotirmoyee (1980). Caste Dynamics Among the Bengali Hindus. Firma KLM. p. 107. ISBN 978-0-8364-0633-7.
  7. ^ Chakrabarti, Kunal; Chakrabarti, Shubhra (22 August 2013). Historical Dictionary of the Bengalis. Scarecrow Press. p. 116. ISBN 978-0-8108-8024-5.
  8. ^ SIRCAR, D. C. (1959). STUDIES IN THE SOCIETY AND ADMINISTRATION OF ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL INDIA VOL. 1. FIRMA K. L. MUKHOPADHYAY, CALCUTTA. p. 115.
  9. ^ Mitra, A. (1953). "SAHA, SUNRI". The Tribes and Castes of West Bengal (Report). Census 1951. Land and Land Revenue Department, Government of West Bengal. p. 34.