Whhabi Movement in India – Bengal
The centre of the Wahhabi movement in Bengal was Narkelbaria, a village bordering on the thanas of Basirhat and Kalinga in the district of Barasat.
Wahabi Movement under Syed Mir Nisar Ali
Syed Mir Nisar Ali, popularly known as Titu Mir, was the leader of the Wahabi Movement in India. He was born on 26th January, 1782 in the village of Chandpur, close to Narkelbaria.
During his pilgrimage to Mecca he came into contact with the Wahhabis and made the acquaintance of Sayyid Ahmed Khan of Rai Bareilly. Upon his return from Mecca, Titu Mir collected a large body of followers who were mostly Muslim peasants and weavers. Around Narkelbaria his main task was that of a religious reformer.
The Wahhabi movement was a political struggle and a fight for prestige.
The Wahhabi Movement can be seen as the rudimentary steps of an anti imperialist national struggle. They had formed a kind of military order. At the head was TituMir, with the Fakir Mishkeen Shah as his chief adviser. Maizuddin, a common weaver, became his minister. Other notables, all of whom came from peasant ranks, were known as sardars. At Narkelbaria they had their headquarters.
There they had built a bamboo stockade. Within the stockade there were different quarters, one reserved for the store of food and other necessaries of life, one for the storing of arms, and one was stuffed with bricks and stones to ward off the enemy in case of a sudden attack.
Titu Mir had proclaimed the illegitimacy of the Company’s government and the Muslims were the rightful owners of the empire. The rebels had declared that henceforth they were to receive rent from the peasants and they proceeded from village to village enforcing their demand. The India Gazette reported that. Parwanas were issued to the principal zamindars of the district asking them to send grain for the army. Generally, the smaller zamindars had submitted and supplied the rebels with the necessaries of life, while the bigger zamindars sought safety for themselves and their families by leaving the place.