(Last Updated on : 24/09/2013)
Hyderabadi Pahalwan refers to two kinds of people. Pahalwan can be referred to wrestlers who have received royal patronage after winning prestigious titles and global fame in 'Kushti' or freestyle wrestling in India, in Hyderabad
. The term 'Pahalwan' is a derivation of a Persian word. Pahalwans can be compared to the 'Bhai' of Mumbai
, who turned into landlords and eventually got involved in crimes like extortion, land grabbing and others, following Indian independence from the British Raj. In Hyderabad, Hyderabadi Pahalwans were generally Arabs, whose regional name was 'Chaush'. Initially, they were called upon to settle public disputes.
History of Hyderabadi Pahalwan
The history of Chaush Pahalwan originated in the era of the Nizams. In 1818 AD, during the regime of Mir Akbar Ali Khan Sikander
Jah, a few Hadramut Arabs had moved to Hyderabad from Bhoslas of Nagpur
. The relationships with the Arabs was strengthened when the Sultan of Mukalla of Yemen was gifted an asylum by Nizam Mahbub Ali Khan
, Asaf Jah VI. A vast quantity of foot soldiers arrived in the outskirts of Hyderabad inside barracks. These barracks were later termed as 'Barkas'. These soldiers were absorbed into the army of Nizam and were utilized by the Nizam as Royal Guard. However, following India's independence from the British
Raj, the reign of the Nizam abruptly ceased. The Government of India
ordered several families of Yemen to depart from the country. They, however, protested and declared that they now belonged to Hyderabad and communicated with the aide of a proper Hyderabadi lingo. Some of them became wrestlers and practised wrestling games in their individual akhadas and 'Ustad'.
Growth of Hyderabadi Pahalwan
The Hyderabadi Pahalwans were represented by Arabs, who were referred to as 'Chaush'. Therefore, the Chaush wrestlers were granted the title of 'Pahalwan'. These Pahalwans earned their livelihood by rendering their services in dairy farms, eateries and fruit businesses. Presently, they are dealers and property owners. The regional inhabitants of Hyderabad migrated to the Middle East to seek jobs during the 70s. Some of them married the Arabs of Middle East region. However, they would return to Hyderabad and purchase plots.
The Hyderabadi Pahalwans commenced their businesses as land dealers during the late 70s and the early part of 80s. The patronisation of these Pahalwans by the local people led to the steep rise in realty prices in the area of Hyderabad since the last few years. Their growth and survival has been encouraged by the local politicians of Hyderabad through their constant financial patronage.
Kushti or (Freestyle Wrestlers) Pahalwan
Some of the most reputed Hyderabadi Pahalwan who catapulted Hyderabad to recognition in the sphere of wrestling are Awad Bin Obaid Bayashoot, Mohsin Ali, Hamid Ali, Mohammed Bin Ghouse Jabri and others who have won numerous national awards for their contribution to wrestling in India