Friday, December 4, 2009

The Siddis of Junagadh

This is part of my Mahim Police Sandal procession,the Mahim police pays the tribute to their patron Saint Makhdoom Shah Baba al Mahimi..the first salute and salami is done by the Mahim police than the Urus commences so to speak..


The Siddis will perform at the procession , I did not shoot their performance as I had hurt my barefeet and aborted the shoot .

The Siddis are Indians of African descent settled in Junagadh and other parts of Gujrat including Mumbai.They speak Gujrati with an African dialect.


About the Siddis

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Siddi

The Siddi, Siddhi, or Sheedi (Urdu: شیدی ; Hindi: सिद्दी or शीदि; Gujarati: સિદ્દી) are an Indian ethnic group of Black African descent. The Siddi population is currently estimated to be 20,000-55,000, with Gujarat state of India being the main population center.[1][2] Siddis are mainly Sufi Muslims, although some are Hindus and some Roman Catholic Christians.[3]

There are conflicting hypotheses on the origin of the name Siddi. One theory is that the word was a term of respect in North Africa, similar to the word Sahib in modern India and Pakistan.[2] Another holds that it is a degeneration of the word Sayyid or Sayyadi, which is used for descendants of Prophet Muhammad.[2] A third theory is that the term Siddi is derived from the title borne by the captains of the Arab vessels that first delivered Siddi slaves to India. These captains were known as Sayyid (again, signifying the lineage of Prophet Muhammad), so their black captives were named after them.[4]

Similarly, another term for Siddis, habshi (from Al-Habsh, the Arabic term for Abyssinia), is held to be derived from the common name for the captains of the Ethiopian/Abyssinian ships that also first delivered Siddi slaves to the subcontinent.[4] The term eventually came to be applied to other Africans as well, and referred not only to emancipated Siddis but to their descendants too.[5]

Siddis are also sometimes referred to as Afro-Indians.[6][7][8] Siddis were referred to as Zanj by Arabs, and Seng Chi (a malapropism of Zanj) by the Chinese.[9][10][11]

The first Siddis are thought to have arrived in the Indian subcontinent in 628CE at the Bharuch port. Several others followed with the first Arab Islamic invasions of the subcontinent in 712CE.[13] The latter group are believed to have been soldiers with Muhammad bin Qasim's Arab army, and were called Zanjis.

Most Siddis, however, are believed to be the descendants of slaves, sailors, servants and merchants from the Bantu-speaking parts of East Africa who arrived and became resident in the subcontinent during the 1200-1900CE period.[14] A large influx of Siddis to the region occurred in the 17th century when Portuguese slave traders sold a number of them to local princes.[2]

In Western India (the modern Indian states of Gujarat and Maharashtra), the Siddi gained a reputation for physical strength and loyalty, and were sought out as mercenaries by local rulers, and as domestic servants and farm labor.[2] Some Siddis escaped slavery to establish communities in forested areas, and some even established small Siddi principalities on Janjira Island and at Jaffrabad as early as the twelfth century. A former alternative name of Janjira was Habshan (i.e., land of the Habshis). In the Delhi Sultanate period prior to the rise of the Mughals in India, Jamal-ud-Din Yaqut was a prominent Siddi slave-turned-nobleman who was a close confidant of Razia Sultana (1205-1240CE). Although this is disputed, he may also have been her lover.[15]

As a power center, Siddis were sometimes allied with the Mughal Empire in its power-struggle with the Maratha Confederacy.[2] However, Malik Ambar, a prominent Siddi figure in Indian history at large, is sometimes regarded as the "military guru of the Marathas," and was deeply allied with them.[16] He established the town of Khirki which later became the modern city of Aurangabad, and helped establish the Marathas as a major force in the Deccan. Later, the Marathas adapted Siddi guerrilla warfare tactics to grow their power and ultimately demolish the Mughal empire.[16] Some accounts describe the Mughal emperor Jahangir as obsessed by Ambar due to the Mughal empire's consistent failures in crushing him and his Maratha cavalry, describing him derogatorily as "the black faced" and "the ill-starred" in the royal chronicles and even having a painting commissioned that showed Jahangir killing Ambar, a fantasy which was never realized in reality.[17]

Some Indian Siddis are descended from Tanzanians and Mozambicans brought by the Portuguese.
[edit] Siddis of Gujarat
Siddi Folk Dancers, at Devaliya Naka, Sasan Gir, Gujarat.

Presented as slaves by the Portuguese to the local Prince, Nawab of Junagadh, the Siddis also live around Gir Forest National Park and Wildlife Sanctuary, the last refuge in the world of the almost extinct Asiatic Lions, in Junagadh a district of the state of Gujarat, India.

On the way to Deva-dungar is the quaint village of Sirvan, inhabited entirely by Siddis, a tribe of African people. They were brought 300 years ago from Africa, by the Portuguese for the Nawab of Junagadh. Today, they follow very few of their original customs, with a few exceptions like the traditional Dhamal dance.[18]

Although Gujarati Siddis have adopted the language and many customs of their surrounding populations, some African traditions have been preserved. These include the Goma music and dance form, which is sometimes called Dhamaal (Gujarati: ધમાલ, fun).[19] The term is believed to be derived from the Ngoma drumming and dance forms of East Africa.[19] The Goma also has a spiritual significance and, at the climax of the dance, some dancers are believed to be vehicles for the presence of Siddi saints of the past.[20]

In Pakistan, locals of Black African descent are called "Makrani", "Sheedi" or "Habshi". They live primarily along the Makran Coast in Balochistan (see also Makrani), and lower Sindh. In the city of Karachi, the main Sheedi centre is the area of Lyari and other nearby coastal areas. Technically, the Sheedi are a brotherhood or community distinct from the other Afro-Pakistanis. The Sheedis are divided into four clans, or houses: Kharadar Makan, Hyderabad Makan, Lassi Makan and Belaro Makan.[21] The sufi saint Pir Mangho is regarded by many as the patron saint of the Sheedis, and the annual Sheedi Mela festival, is the key event in the Sheedi community's cultural calendar[22]. It features songs and dance clearly derived from Africa.[23][24]

Linguistically, Makranis are Balochi or Sindhi and speak a dialect of Urdu referred to as Makrani.

Famous Sheedis include the historic Sindhi army leader Hoshu Sheedi[25] and Urdu poet Noon Meem Danish[26][27]. Sheedis are also well known for their excellence in sports, especially in football and boxing. The musical anthem of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party, "Bija Teer", is a Balochi song in the musical style of the Sheedis with Black African style rhythm and drums[2]. Younis Jani is a popular Sheedi singer famous for singing an Urdu version of the reggaeton song Papi chulo... (te traigo el mmmm...)[3].
[edit] Films

* 2003 - From Africa...To Indian Subcontinent: Sidi Music in the Indian Ocean Diaspora. By Amy Catlin-Jairazbhoy, in close collaboration with Nazir Ali Jairazbhoy and the Sidi community. DVD-R. ISBN 1880519291.

* 1983- Razia Sultan , an indian urdu film directed by Kamal Amrohi , is about The film is based on the life of Razia Sultan (played by Hema Malini) (1205-1240), the only female Sultan of Delhi (1236-1240) and her speculated love affair with the Abyssinian slave Jamal-ud-Din Yakut (played by Dharmendra, he was reffered to in the movie as a habshee.

* 1999 - Mon petit diable (My Little Devil). Directed by Gopi Desai. Om Puri, Pooja Batra, Rushabh Patni, Satyajit Sharma.

[edit] See also

* Zanj
* Afro-Asian
* List of Scheduled Tribes in India
* Murud-Janjira
* Siddhis of Karnataka
* Malunga
* Black Indians (the Americas)
* Chaush
* Makrani
* African Pakistani

My Photo Friendly Hand

Now the only person who finds faults me shooting my body parts , the over exposed ones is my daughter..Samiya .

She thinks my hand should not be so obtrusive, forcing its way into the heartland of my pictorial angst, the poetic proximity of my soul to the flesh of my bioscopewallah imagination ...a prologue to my lifes story board, as seen through my Cyclops like camera eye.

I play games and my only friendly assistant is my bejeweled photogenic camera friendly hand.


a hand that my camera
reads and understands
a hand the only salvaging
hope of my dreams stuck
in sinking sands
a hand bejeweled
in Sufi land
a world without borders
peace hope harmony
as homeland
bollywoods most wanted
a killa brand

a blog shedding tears
on a sepia toned
newsstand
a cyber love
a virtual reality
one night stand

Ansu Ki Khoj Main

es ghar
main
ansu
rahte the
kabhi
khushi
kabhi gham
main behte the
har mausam
say lete the
phir ayee
aisi hawa
bhari bazar
main bhik
na dete the
waqt ka tamacha
aisa pada
bade bude yeh
kahte the


dedicated to ayesha shroff a beautiful humble soul..

A Blogger Who Begs on The Street

shooting pain
inhumanity
barefeet
the human
soul defecating
sorrow
in total defeat
karma dharma
even if it could cheat
the soul would still be
incomplete
if a photographer
cannot poetize pain
or tears in concrete
the final solution
control alt delete
photography of pain
capturing the death rattle
the dying moments
of a pictorial heart beat


kabhi har kabhi jeet

The Rafaees and the Blogger Bawa

Most of the people who visit the Holy Shrine of Makhdoom Shah Baba , know me very well, a lot of them call me Mastan, I normally sit at the Holy Fire or Dhuni behind the Holy Shrine.A lot of them in humility ask me to pray for them, many give me alms , those who dont know me, I dont refuse I think I am the biggest beggar and my camera is a beggars bowl that pleads for pictures..

The money given to me as alms I give to the head of the Chancawalli order or to someone more needy than them.
I am very sad and in a state of total confusion , I no more feel like going to the Dhuni, as the i Bawas I knew have left the Chancawalli band of body piercing mendicants I shot for over 6 years.

I met a kid a teenager of Mahim who told me read my blogs.. he was the one who called me the Blogger Bawa..

Mahim Urus is a great high for the restless ever evolving soul.

I was asked to join the Rafaees as a honorary member and learn the art of body piercing I politely refused I am happy with what I do during Ashura and Chehlum..I shoot pictures promote peace goodwill , but my ideology of Faith lies elsewhere..

At the Kumbh I will shed all clothes at Hadwar just a loin cloth and become on with the Naga Sadhus on the day of the Shahi Snan..along with my Naga Guru Shri Vijay Giri Maharaj of the Junagadh Akhada.


Yes being a commodity made in India has its own brand equity and uniqueness a stuff that spiritually cannot be diluted or be adulterated.

I wear a lot of jewelry but the one I cherish is what hangs around my soul - my faith in Ahle Bayt.

My Naga Guru calls me a Shia Sadhu too..

The Rafaees and the Blogger Bawa

Most of the people who visit the Holy Shrine of Makhdoom Shah Baba , know me very well, a lot of them call me Mastan, I normally sit at the Holy Fire or Dhuni behind the Holy Shrine.A lot of them in humility ask me to pray for them, many give me alms , those who dont know me, I dont refuse I think I am the biggest beggar and my camera is a beggars bowl that pleads for pictures..

The money given to me as alms I give to the head of the Chancawalli order or to someone more needy than them.
I am very sad and in a state of total confusion , I no more feel like going to the Dhuni, as the i Bawas I knew have left the Chancawalli band of body piercing mendicants I shot for over 6 years.

I met a kid a teenager of Mahim who told me read my blogs.. he was the one who called me the Blogger Bawa..

Mahim Urus is a great high for the restless ever evolving soul.

I was asked to join the Rafaees as a honorary member and learn the art of body piercing I politely refused I am happy with what I do during Ashura and Chehlum..I shoot pictures promote peace goodwill , but my ideology of Faith lies elsewhere..

At the Kumbh I will shed all clothes at Hadwar just a loin cloth and become on with the Naga Sadhus on the day of the Shahi Snan..along with my Naga Guru Shri Vijay Giri Maharaj of the Junagadh Akhada.


Yes being a commodity made in India has its own brand equity and uniqueness a stuff that spiritually cannot be diluted or be adulterated.

I wear a lot of jewelry but the one I cherish is what hangs around my soul - my faith in Ahle Bayt.

My Naga Guru calls me a Shia Sadhu too..

Mahim Police Sandal Makhdoom Shah Baba 2009

Sandal is the name given for sandal wood paste that will be placed on the Shrine of Makhdoom Shah Baba of Mahim..His Urus is a grand event for this Konkani Saint al Mahimi. along with a floral tribute called Chaddar.

Most of the Sufi saints owe the fragrance of their spirituality to Hazrat Ali..ibn Talib cousin of the Holy Prophet of Islam and also the husband of the Holy Prophets daughter Princess Fatima mother of Hassan Hussain..

I was lucky to shoot the preparation of the Sandal at Shakil Bawas Sandal last year..

As per tradition the first chaddar is placed by the Mahim cops, Makdoom Shah Baba being their patron Saint.

The cops predominantly Hindus are totally in spiritual awe of this sublime moment of placing the chaddar ar his Tomb.

This is the only time I shoot the spiritual soul of the Mumbai Police the finest secular police force of India.

I shoot this barefeet, and because of bad Mumbai roads I have punished my feet badly, I am a diabetic too..

The Rafaees are sword fencers and body piercers from the Qadri sect paying allegiance to Sheikh Abdul Qadir Jilani..

‘Abd al-Qadir al-Jilani ibn Salih ibn Jangidost, (Persian: عبد القادر گیلانی Abdolɢāder Gilāni) (also spelled Abdulqadir Gaylani, Abdelkader, Abdul Qadir, Abdul Khadir - Jilani, Jeelani, Jilali, Gailani, Gillani, Gilani,Al Gilani) (470–561 A.H.)(1077–1166 A.D.) was a Persian[1] Hanbali (Hambali) preacher, Sunni sheikh (Considered Sufi by "his followers"), and the figurehead of the Qadiri Sufi order. He was born on the first Ramadan in 470 A.H., 1078 A.D., in the Persian province of Gilan (Iran) south of the Caspian Sea. Since the Persian "G" does not exist in Arabic, his name has also been recorded as Kilani and Jilani in Arabic manuscripts.

Gilani belongs to the spiritual chain of Junayd Baghdadi. His contribution to thought in the Muslim world earned him the title Muhiyuddin (lit. "The reviver of the faith"), as he along with his students and associates laid the groundwork for the society which later produced stalwarts like Nur ad-Din and Saladin. His Sufi order named after him is generally thought to be the oldest and first of such orders.

The Mahim Rafaees are the oldest and both brothers dear friends of mine..

This procession of the Mahim Police Station takes a lot of time before it reaches the Holy Shrine.. I shot only the proceedings at the Police Station..

Earlier the Chancawalli Rafaees mendicants were called this time they were missing..

Firoze Rafaee did some hardcore Sword stuff..

The surprise was Sharukh drummer a favorite of the hijras.

I did the kaif..I had handed my camera to Sher Khan photographerwho shot my pictures.

The highlight of this event was the Junagadh Siddi drummers and performers.. this will be a separate set on Flickr..

Mahim Police Station- Sandal Makhdoom Shah Baba 2009

102,360 items / 668,135 views

I start a new set at Flickr - the Mahim Police Station sandal procession on the first day of the Makdoom Shah Baba Urus 2009.

I was invited by Senior Inspector Liaqat Shaikh of the Makhdoom Shah Baba committee .

First there were prayers in a side room where the sandal was kept, after the prayers the Senior Inspector of Mahim Police Station Mr Pawar carried it auspiciously on his head.. this is a long and tiring journey to the Holy Shrine of the Makhdoom Shah Baba Shrine accompanied by Rafaees, police band, Nasik band and the works.

Here you see the entire Mumbai Police officers constables taking turns to carry the sandal at each step towards the Holy Shrine.

I shot this at the Station and returned to Bandra due to urgent work commitments

Bull Kurbani Stray Thoughts of a Shia Blogger

102,339 items / 668,037 views

Bakra Idd with all its blood , gore is also a reminder for me as a Shia Blogger photographer , that Moharam is just 20 days away and my lens will be splattered with more blood than you see here .

Yes we all look forward to Moharam, when color will give way to black, the only red will be the wounds on our heads and back.

On 1 Dec I shot the Mahim Police sandal of Maqdoom Shah Baba , but my most interesting new subject for photography is the Siddis performers of Junagadh, I had gone to the Dhuni yesterday and again today.

Yesterday the Mumbai Police hassled me endlessly even after shooting so much footage of the cops at the Mahim station..the cops at the gates saw no difference between me and a terrorist..in spite of having a Press Card like a noose round my neck. And it frightens me this excessive use of security for people like me who share cultures rites and rituals all free without even begging for donations to buy a new camera.

.I must be the only blogger that has given prominence to the Mumbai Police at all the feasts and the functions I have shot.. simply because beneath the khaki uniform resides a God , and the policeman is a savior of society..
The Mumbai Police are the most neglected police force, thanks to political interference and apathy and undue interference in the process of law.

Yet the Mumbai Police picks on the barefeet blogger of Mumbai.. yes I am as much a Mumbaikar as they are..

This evening at the Dhuni I shot the Siddis performing I went into Kaif collapsed on the floor luckily I had handed over my camera and camera bag to a guy from the area.

He was quick enough to shoot my trance and my fall.

I was barefeet and my feet are already bruised cut since the Mahim Police Sandal adventure.

I am very depressed with the state of the Chancawalli Rafaees , they have all dispersed , a handful remain under Barsati baba and Amanat Baba..no Hassan Ganda or Farukh Baba..

I met Chalak Ai but did not shoot his pictures..
I do not feel like going to the Dhuni anymore after Handi Sais death..

There are some new babas, and Amanat Baba was quite serious when he told me that they had heard of my death in Rajastahan.. and had offered prayers for my departed soul..
Well dying does no scare me but not paying back the money I borrowed from friends and have been unable to pay would kill me more easily..

So welcome after this to the world of Rafaees .. Siddis and no Hijras..

Biwi Bacche Ghar Par Intezar Kar Rahe Hain

102,327 items / 668,014 views

drunken dilemma
overflowing remorse
on terra firma
misplaced dharma
lost in transit
the path of karma
disillusioned destiny
in complete coma

I Shut my Facebook Account ,, Targeted Shia Harassment

27 May 2018 As a Shia I am targeted even  by  Sufis Sufism that  I promoted vigorously as a Malang .. I have renounced my Malang...