Monday, September 21, 2015

Jagannath Kushari ancestor of Rabindranath Tagore


In this post I will talk about Jagannath Kushari, an ancestor of Bengali polymath Rabindranath Tagore.

In ~1425 AD, the Delhi Sultanate deputed the hardline Islamist Khan Jahan Ali as the governor of Jessore in historical Bengal (in present day Islamic Bangladesh). Khan Jahan Ali was a Jihadi who destroyed temples and constructed mosques. He initiated mass conversion and converted many Hindus to Muslims. Because of his religious intolerance and Islamic fundamentalism, Khan Jahan Ali was made Nawab.

During his time a Hindu Brahmin boy was in love with a Muslim girl. He converted to Islam to marry the girl. After converting to Islam he was known as Mohammad Tahir. He was as fanatic as Khan Jahan Ali and helped in converting many to Islam  by force and in building mosques, and became the Nawab's right hand man.

In a well to do Raichoudhary Brahmin family in the area there were two brothers Kamdev and Sukhdev whom Mohammad Tahir converted forcefully to Islam and renamed Kamaluddin Khan Choudhury and Jamaluddin Khan Choudhury. Their younger brother Sukhdev did not convert and was ostracized by the Hindu society as well as persecuted by Islamic fundamentalists.

He married off his daugher to Jagannath Kushari of Pithabhog village in the district of Khulna in historical Bengal (in present day Islamic Bangladesh).

Jagannath Kushari is the oldest founder of the Tagore family. Below is the straight line genealogy from Jagannath Kushari to Rabindranath Tagore.

  • Jagannath Kushari (est 1454)
  • Purushottam Kushari (est 1488)
  • Balarama Kushari (est 1522)
  • Harihara Kushari (est 1556)
  • Ramananda Kushari (est 1590)
  • Maheshvar Kushari (est 1624)
  • Panchanan Kushari (est 1658) - Around 1690, he settled in Gobindapur
  • Jayaram Thakur (est 1692) - Died in 1762
  • Nilmani Thakur (est 1726) - Died in 1791
  • Rammani Thakur (Biological) / Ramlochana Thakur - est 1760 (d 1807)
  • Dwarakanath Tagore (1794 - 1846)
  • Debendranath Tagore (1817 - 1905)
  • Rabindranath Tagore (1861 - 1941)

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Reference
Migrant Brahmanas in Norther India, Swati Datta, Motilala Banarasidass, 1989

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