GS – IGS Prelims

Community in news: Koch Rajbangshis , GS Prelims and GS – I – Society

Recently, the Union Home Minister Amit Shah will address a community vital to upcoming Assembly elections in Assam and West Bengal i.e. the Koch Rajbongshis.

Who are Koch Rajbongshis?

  • They traced their roots to the Kamata kingdom, which comprised parts of Assam, West Bengal and adjoining territories.
  • The community was dominant and ruled their territory of Kamatapur during the medieval period.
    • It was comprised of a large part of Bangladesh, West Bengal, Bihar and India’s north-east.
  • They are found in Assam, Meghalaya, West Bengal and Bihar, and in Bangladesh, Nepal and some parts of Bhutan.
  • The main dialects are Western Rajbanshi, Central Rajbanshi, Eastern Rajbanshi and the dialect of the Rajbanshi of the hills, also known as Koch language.
  • They were primarily animist, but later on they followed Hinduism/Sanatana (both Shaiva and Vaishnabhite).

Political Significance of Koch Rajbongshis

  • They are estimated to number over 33 lakh in West Bengal, mostly the northern districts, and have a large presence in Assam.
  • In West Bengal, the community could be a deciding factor in at least 15 seats (out of 294) because they account for more than 30% of the electorate in North Bengal.
  • They are estimated to number over 33 lakh in West Bengal, mostly the northern districts, and have a large presence in Assam.
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October 2021
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