Monday, May 4, 2009

Saha

Saha a Bengal traditional trading class, members of which use term Saha as their surname. However, members of the community also adopt other surnames such as Poddar, Roy Chowdhury, Chowdhury, Sikder, Sarker, Bhowmik, Das, Mallick, and Majumder. They are mostly grocers, shopkeepers, traders and dealers in various commodities. Some of them are engaged in money lending and farming. Many of them are highly educated as well.
Saha as a distinct sub-caste did not flourish in Bengal before the mid-nineteenth century. Medieval literature and scriptures bear little testimony to their existence in Bengal. Though Sahas claim to be Aryan Vaishyas, the evidence of history, literature and scriptures suggests otherwise.
I have seen most of the street vendors of Bengal are from this community. They are grass-root business persons.
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