Introduction / History
Baghban means one who looks after the garden. The Baghban, sometimes called Bagvan are a gardening people who live in India, mainly in Uttar Pradesh and in Karnataka. In Uttar Pradesh many are greengrocers. They speak in Urdu and use Persian Arabic for writing. In Uttar Pradesh they speak Hindi and Awadhi. In Karnataka they can speak in Kannada and read and write in that too. Some of the Baghban also live in Bhusawal in Maharashtra.
What Are Their Lives Like?
In Uttar Pradesh the Baghban grow and sell vegetables. They make and sell confectionery too and some work for the government. In Karnataka they have their own businesses selling fruit and vegetables. There are doctors, teachers and engineers among them.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Baghban eat all meat except pork because of their Muslim faith. They eat wheat and rice and dairy produce for example. They do not drink alcohol. They only accept food and water from higher Hindu castes. They have education for boys and girls and prefer modern medicine to that what is local. They do not do family planning. Daughters receive a lesser share of the property but in Karnataka they have equal shares with the sons. The oldest son becomes leader of the home by inheritance. The women as well as doing housework sell products at local markets. The Baghban have caste councils. They judge in such things as divorce, adultery and community issues.
The Baghban marry among themselves. Parents and elders do the arranging. Adult marriages and monogamy are usual. Divorce and marrying again is allowed.
The Baghban observe birth pollution for forty days after childbirth and a ceremony called Aqiqa is performed for the children when it ends. Boys are circumcised and puberty rites are done for girls. The dead are buried and a ceremony is performed on the fortieth day after the death of the person.
Most Baghban Muslims are Sunni Muslims. They worship Allah. They believe Muslim saints pray for them so they can have what they ask for. They have their main religious event in June at Dargah Sharif. The Baghban use the Koran as their authority and celebrate all festivals of Islam. They fast for forty days during Ramadan. The Baghbans living in Uttar Pradesh take part in the festival of Holi.
A Qazi or Maluvi priest performs all the rituals regarding births, marriages and deaths. The priests also teach children.