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Book Review: A History of Bais Rajputs by Dr. Mohsin Atique Khan

A History of Bais Rajputs by Dr. Mohsin Atique Khan is a work of historical non-fiction. The book closely studies the historical maze of Bais. Who are they? How did they origin, their history, and mythological folks allied to them and many other characteristics that define them.

The book offers an encyclopedic view on Bais, which is a sub clan of Rajput Kshaktriyas. According to the book Rajputs mainly have three broad classifications i.e. first Solar Dynasty (Suryavanshi), the second: Lunar Dynasty (Chandravanshi), and the third: Fire Dynasty (Agnivanshi). And further they are subdivided into many more sub clans, in the list Bais stands to 30th number.

Since time immemorial Bais has been associated with land, the owners of land, the word ‘Bais’ means soil. As the book chugs ahead, we see during Mughal and British period it was Bais in North India that held maximum lands or taluqas.  

However, like any other clan or caste, they too had conflicting points for their origin and this was explained by the author through the folk tales of Shalivahana and Vikramaditya.

With passage of time, change of historical figures in the Bais clan changed and many prominent figures appeared from ancient to medieval to modern times, through the thick and thin of Mughal and British period.

In snatches, the book also dwells on the link tree of many Bais leaders and king to showcase their roots up till embracing Islam and so on. The Bais people were involved in many conflicts, wars, disputes about their prestige and regions, however, historical books don’t show that as their intensity wasn’t that wide or glorious. This book highlights the coverage of some famous Bais leaders like Abhai Chand and Tilokchand.

After their history in medieval period, the book brings the hero of 1857 mutiny. Rana Beni Madhao of Baiswara lived in Shankarpur region. After the death of his brother, he took charge as the Chief of Baiswara. After the annexation of Awadh, he suffered quite a loss in his estates and villages also his kin was hanged by British, so at the first opportunity during 1857 he showed his support for Awadh king and fought valiantly against the white officers.

Further, the book covers traditions and rituals and festive ways of Bais. Well, it can be felt that the essence of the book is built around the scaffold of Bais clan in the Indian history. Or in nutshell, this book revives historical glory of Bais that once dominated the larger region of North India, especially the Ganges plains.

Dr. Mohsin Atique Khan for sure is a scholar who must have done immense research to bring up this book. Since he belongs to one of the sub clans of Bais, he dutifully carried a responsibility of reviving the historical literature of his people for current and the next generation. Written in simple language, the book was short with chapters/topics that make it highly readable. From historical research scholars to students and teachers, all can avail this book for their benefit.

Buy it from Amazon.


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