Banaskantha: These Khans take pride
in their surname but are worshippers of goddess `Chamunda`,
get married according to Hindu tradition and rituals, but bury
their dead as Muslims do.
In a rather strange juxtaposition of Hindu-Muslim
culture, members of nearly 94 families of the Maulesalam
community living in four villages of Banaskantha district have
men with Muslim names like Sarfaraz, Karim, Yusuf, Nasir,
Rasheed, Sherkhan or Yakubkhan, while the women have Hindu
names like Vaktuben, Savitaben or Ramilaben.
"Originally we are from Mulli in Surendranagar
district and it is said that our ancestors ruled over the
Mulli state. Mohammad Begda the ruler of Gujarat (in 15th and
early 16th century) married a Rajput woman and we are his
descendants," said Jafar Khan member of Maulesalam community.
"We do not follow Islam. Yet I am a Khan and we are
proud of it," he said.
"Our family deity is Chamunda Ma (Goddess Chamunda).
Our marriages are solemnized as per Hindu rituals and within
our own community," said another member of the community
55-year-old Abdul Sherkhan.