Tuesday, 15 January 2013


This post is about Bhadralok or gentlemen. You can read about it at Wikipedia.


In many Asian and European communities, there are clearly defined human classes which don't seem to go away, even with human rights and Islam where all humans are accepted as equal. I have just learned of the Bhadralok today. Not only that, there is Babu, Mirza, Raja, Nawab, etc. When I wrote my books involving some of these name prefixes, I didn't know there was meaning attached to these name prefixes. They are more than names and indicate the class position within a society, in this case, the Bengal society.

The British came to the Bengal region after the collapse of the Mughal Empire. The existing southern Indian empire also expanded northward into the Bengal region. Sure enough, it was chaotic and there were tripartite clashes. Of course people took sides. Those who sided with the British were the middle class as well as the upper middle class and the ruling elite families. So the terms above were used to describe their affinity or closeness to the ruling British regime at the time. I take it that names without these prefixes were those of the common folk of the lower classes at that time? I don't think so we attach class meanings to these prefixes nowadays? I maybe wrong.

Historical maps of India 1893: