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Ethnic communities in Kanpur - Ethnikos Piraeus

Kanpur, India is the most cosmopolitan city in the state of Uttar Pradesh with a large number of ethnic groups and races. The city is mainly occupied by people from Uttar Pradesh who make up the majority of the Indo-Aryans people. In addition to Uttar Pradesh, however, there are also people from other states and countries such as Punjabis, Irish, Bengalis, South Indians, Anglo-Indians, Gujaratis, Iraqis, Portuguese, Gypsies, Parsis etc.


The Bengali diaspora communities to the east of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Jharkhand consist mainly of Brahmins and a few others (for lack of a better term) "upper castes". Most of them moved to these places during the colonial era, from being sepoys in the early nineteenth century to small administrative clerks, teachers, and later doctors, lawyers, and corporate officials. Most of this came from the early adopters advantage that the Bengali forward caste had when it came to adopting Western education.

An important reason for migrating from Bengal to Kanpur is the fact that Bengal was the first Indian province to come under British rule and large parts of northern and eastern India were ruled from Calcutta for a long time. The cities of Varanasi and Allahabad had also been part of the British Empire since the early nineteenth century, and the cities of Agra, Kanpur and Lucknow were added in 1836 to form the "North West Provinces". Bengali Mohal and Golaghat have a huge population of Bengali. Abhijeet Bhattacharya, a popular singer of Bengali origin, belongs to Kanpur.

Punjabi khatris

Poonam Dhillon is part of the city's Punjabi family

Before independence, there were Punjabis in Kanpur. The majority of them were engaged in industrial and commercial activities. After 1947, many Hindu and Sikh migrants from Pakistan came to Kanpur. Govind Nagar, Gumti No. 5 and Harjinder Nagar are important Sikh sites in the city. After the 1984 anti-Sikh riots, many Sikhs traveled to Punjab and Delhi, causing the Punjabis population to decline. Hindu Punjabi Khatris are mainly concentrated in the whole city with a strong population in Krishna Nagar and Shyam Nagar in the eastern part of the city. Some Muslim Punjabi communities such as Bisati and Shamsi can also be found in the city, devoting themselves to the leather business and other professions. The Punjabi Mahapanchayat was established in the city in 2008 to protect and protect the rights of the Punjabis. Prem Kumar Sahgal, a member of Azad Hind Fauj, was based in Kanpur. Hard Kaur, a popular Hindi and English rap singer from Punjabi, is part of Kanpur. Actresses such as Poonam Dhillon and Kritika Kamra also belong to the city.


Many Irish were employed as clergy and sepoys in the British East India Company. Some of them were also killed in various massacres against British people in India, including targeted attacks on white men. Today the Irish are negligible in the population and live in different parts of the city. Hugh Wheeler, who was a general in the British Army, was of Anglo-Irish background. He died in the city during the Massacre Ghat massacre. It is believed that his descendants still live in the city.


Gypsies emigrated to Kanpur from Rajasthan villages due to water shortages. A group of gypsies with 6,000 sheep, 100 camels and 20 dogs settled in the village of Sirhi Itara, which is in the immediate vicinity of the city.


There are more than 250 Gujarati families with a population that is roughly 3000. The Gujarati Samaj is the oldest and most important body of the community in the city. It was founded 115 years ago when Magan Lal Savla came to town and started his own business. The Savla family emigrated about 10 decades ago and have since become well established in the city. Gujarat Bhawan in Nayaganj hosts important cultural and religious events every year.


At the end of the 18th century, the city had a large population of Portuguese, including merchants and business people. When the city was captured by British forces, most of the Portuguese left the city. The Old Portuguese Cemetery or Kutchery Cemetery is located on VIP Road where the Archaeological Survey of India office is located. There is currently a small Portuguese population scattered across the city. Brian Silas, a popular piano player and musician, belongs to Kanpur. Miss Silas, a singing and music teacher at St. Mary's Convent Girls School, the city's oldest convent school, also has Portuguese ancestors.


Kanpur is home to more than 2000 Marathi families. The approximate Marathi population in the city is around 20,000. The reason for the large population of Marathis is the presence of Nana Sahib, a Maratha freedom fighter in the small town of Bithoor (about 25 km from Kanpur). Every year the Marathi celebrate Ganesh Chaturthi, which is also celebrated with great enthusiasm by the local population, including Muslims. Maharashtra Bhawan in Khalasi Lines is a major Marathi cultural center in the city. The building was destroyed in 2009 by angry Bihari mobs protesting the persecution of Biharis in Maharashtra. Veena Sahasrabuddhe, a well-known Hindustani classic singer, was born in Kanpur in 1948.


Once a strong community with more than 800 residents, there are currently 35 Parsis in Kanpur with their fire temple in The Mall. Most of the Parsis belong to the Javeri family who came to the city as industrialists before independence.

South Indians

There is a small population of Southern Indians who have settled permanently in Kanpur and are spread all over the country, the city. South Indians in Kanpur are largely of the Malay and Tamil ethnic / Linquist groups and are largely Hindu while a large proportion are also Christian. They immigrated to the city mainly for employment and educational purposes. Lakshmi Swaminathan, freedom fighter and member of Azad Hind Fauj, was of Malay descent and settled in the city.


In 1951 there were 9,000 Sindhi in Kanpur. Today about 1.5 lakh live in the Sindhi community in the city, most of them merchants and businessmen. They emigrated to the city during the partition in 1947. There is a large community of them in the Sindhi colony in Shastri Nagar. Laxman Das Rupani, owner of Rupani Footwear and prominent industrial and social worker in town, is part of the Sindhi family.


Iraqis are a community of Muslims who immigrated to the city of eastern Uttar Pradesh in the late 18th century. They have historical Iraqi origins and are said to have come from Sindh to India in the 16th century, where they immigrated in 712 AD during the Arab conquest of Sindh by Muhammad bin Qasim. They are mainly engaged in the leather business and trade. They have the majority population in Jajmau town, where leather tanneries are concentrated in large numbers. Currently, their population in Kanpur is estimated at over 30,000. Most parishioners speak Bhojpuri and have strong affiliations with their Eastern UP roots, with many still having ancestral homes in UP's Bhojpuri belt. About 80% of the tanneries are owned by the Iraqi people and employ over 2.5 lakh. The Iraqi market in Baconganj is one of the city's most popular markets. Ghazala Lari, a politician, belongs to the city.

Anglo Indians

Woolmer speaks at a cricket dinner in Cape Town in December 1999

The Anglo-Indian population in the city is estimated at over 5,000. Although they were a thriving community of the city with more than 10,000 inhabitants before independence, they can only be found in a few districts such as McRobertganj, Khalasi Lines, Maxwellganj, Green Park, Cantonment, Allenganj, Swaroop Nagar, Permat, Gwaltoli, Nawabganj and Arya Nagar. The city's All India Anglo Indian Association is headquartered near the UKCA School or Sheiling House. Although they have preserved their culture, many have mixed with the local Christian population. Jamed Douglas Binge is the current chairman of AIAIA Kanpur and the city's oldest Anglo-Indian. An eminent cricketer, Bob Woolmer belonged to an Anglo-Indian family in the city.

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