Friday, January 21, 2011

History of Baig (بیگ) :Cast History In Pakistan

History of Baig : Cast History In Pakistan

Beg or Baig (also Begg) (Turkic: Beg Persian: بیک , بیگ) is a Turkic family name.

History and origins
The name "Baig" is derived from the Turkic word Beg, or Bey, which means chief or lord (i.e. leader/commander). Baig was a title given to honorary members of the Barlas clan, and was used as the family name for their children. The Barlas clan was the main clan of the Timurids. The Timurids belonged to the Islamic faith and were descendants of Timur, the grandson, through several generations, of the notorious warlord Gengis Khan. They were seen as a hybrid Turkic-Persian ethnic group, as they were initially influenced by both Persian and Turkic cultures. The chief clan of the Timurids, the Barlas clan, eventually formed the Mughal Empire of Central Asia and Indian Subcontinent during the Middle Ages. The members of the Mughal Dynasty belonged to the Barlas clan and "Begs" were the highest ranking military leaders and advisors to the Royal Aristocrats.

Beg was also subsequently used as a military rank in the Ottoman Empire. (See: Bey). It was also used during the Qing Dynasty in China. When the Qing Dynasty ruled Xinjiang, Begs administered the province as officials. High ranking Begs were allowed to wear the Queue.

Today, although large amounts of Begs remain in Central Asia and Eastern Europe, the majority of Begs/Baigs are found in South Asia. This is due part to the the expansion of the Mughal Empire and the migration of Turko-Persian Mughal's, which caused the Barlasi 'Beg' population to shift mainly to the Indian Subcontinent (Mostly the Punjab, Delhi & Sindh regions). Begs occupied the upper echelons of society in the conquered parts of South Asian.

Variant spellings
Although 'Bey' was the original Turkic word and 'Beg' was the naming form used by the Mughal Empire, many different spellings can be found today, when the name is converted into English from the native Turkic language.

History of Baig : Cast History In Pakistan

Baig is seen as the most common spelling among the Begs who settled in the Indian Subcontinent. The spelling 'Baig' was most probably popularized, for ease of pronunciation, during the British colonial rule of the Indian Subcontinent, when the use of the English language became more common. Most use 'Beg' interchangeably with the spelling 'Baig'.

The spelling Bey is rarely seen as a name, but if so, is found mostly in Turkish language. The spelling Beg is still common among the Barlas in Eastern Europe and Central Asia. There are also several other alternate forms of spelling found in South/Central Asia and Eastern Europe, when 'Beg' is transliterated. For example: Begg, Beyg, Beigh, Bick. These transliterations can sometimes be found with the Persian suffix of 'zadeh' or 'zada' or Slavic suffix of 'ov' or 'ovic' i.e.: Begzadeh or Begović. Both the Persian and Slavic suffix mean "son of". The latter was most probably popularized during the Soviet rule of Central Asia and Eastern Europe.

The diaspora of Begs/Baigs can be found in India/Pakistan, Iran, Afghanistan, Uzbekistan/Kazakhstan/Turkmenistan etc, Turkey, Bosnia-Herzegovina and the Balkans. With sizable immigrant populations in Canada, US, UK, and Europe. Further, the surname Baig/Beg continues to be used by the descendants of the Barlas (under the various spellings and naming styles shown above). For Example: Alija Izet-begović or Asmir Begović or Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan.

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History of Baig : Cast History In Pakistan


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