Kartikpur Zamindar Family

Kartikpur Zamindar Family a zamindar family of Faridpur having its origin during the Mughal period. The area constituting the Kartikpur zamindari estate was earlier a part of the South Vikrampur pargana. After the death of kedar rai (1603), zamindar of Vikrampur and one of the bara-bhuiyans of Bengal, his extensive zamindari estate was bifurcated into several fractions. Kedar Rai's minister Raghunandan Das Chowdhury got zamindari sanad of Vikrampur pargana proper while his army commander Raghunandan Guha Chowdhury owned the zamindari of Edilpur pargana. One Sheikh Kalu got the zamindari sanad of Kartikpur pargana of South Vikrampur. As evidenced by an old land deed of the pargana, Sheikh Kalu was granted the zamindari estate by a royal farman issued in 1152 AH (1740 AD). After the death of Sheikh Kalu, his only daughter Nurannesa took charge of the management of the zamindari estate. Earlier in 1643, Mughal general Fateh Muhammad, who came to Bengal with Raja mansingh, was granted a zamindari sanad by emperor shahjahan in or around Kartikpur in recognition of his success in driving out the portuguese from East Bengal. Subsequently, Sheikh Kalu's daughter Nurannesa got herself married to Fateh Muhammad. During the time of Mainuddin, son of Fateh Mohammad, the family got the title of' 'Munshi'. After the death of Mainuddin, his faithful employee Raghunandan Sen was assigned to the management of the zamindari estate on behalf of Mainuddin's two minor sons, Imamuddin and Naimuddin. Munshi Imamuddin while studying in Murshidabad happened to decipher an obscure passage of a letter from the Emperor of Delhi and addressed to the Nawab of Bengal. Having been pleased, the Nawab issued a sanad in favour of Munshi Imamuddin granting him an estate in the Rasulpur pargana which was earlier a part of the zamindari estate of Raghab Chowdhury of Kartikpur. Thus the zamindari' estate of Kartikpur family was expanded. Munshi Naimuddin, brother of Munshi Imamuddin, was a learned man. His son Munshi Zahiruddin earned fame among his contemporaries. He had close alliance with the family of Dewan Rajballav.

The zamindari estate of the Munshis of Kartikpur was divided among the heirs of Imamuddin and of Naimuddin at six anna (six-sixteenth) and ten anna (ten-sixteenth) ratio respectively. During the closing years of Munshi Imamuddin's tenure, Dewan Rajballav managed to include a portion of the estate of the descendants of Sheikh Kalu into his zamindari estate. But Rajballav could not get possession of the property in his life time. Taking advantage of the internal dissension between the descendants of Imamuddin and Naimuddin and with the help of Naimuddin's son Munshi Jahiruddin, Rajballav's son Raigopal entered into direct conflict for taking possession of the Kartikpur pargana. The consequence was the defeat of the Munshi family and annexation of the Kartikpur pargana to the Rajnagar estate.

Maniruddin, Waziruddin and Faizuddin, the three sons of Munshi Imamuddin, were distinguished zamindars. Momtazuddin Chowdhury, grandson of Imamuddin, was a man of spirit and often entered into conflict with Wise, the indigo planter and zamindar. The most influencial zamindar of the family was Munshi Nazimuddin Chowdhury. He inherited twelve anna (twelve-sixteenth) share of the zamindari estate consisting of his paternal share and the share from his maternal grandfather, and elevated the status of the estate. Subsequently, with the division of the Rajnagar estate into five units, Kartikpur pargana also followed the suit. Consequent upon the auction of the property on default of payment of rent, Nazimuddin Chowdhury purchased on lease the part of the Karikpur pargana.

Among the three sons of Munshi Imamuddin, his eldest son Maniruddin was a man of liberal attitude and was devoted to the welfare of his subjects irrespective of religion, caste and creed. Munshi Feruddin and Munshi Karimuddin of this family also patronised the Hindu subjects. Karimuddin Chowdhury installed the eight-metalled idol of goddess Kali in the Hindu palli at his own cost, and he used to bear expenses of the Hindu religious festivals like Doljatra, Charak puja etc. The zamindars of this family donated vast property to the Hindu temples and to the Brahmins as devottar and brahmottar property.

Some relics of the welfare activities of Munshi Moniruddin and his wife Bakhtennesa are still visible in Kartikpur, which include three domed mosque, Kath-hugli Dighi and dighi of Bhumigaon. Nazimuddin Chowdhury established an English school at Kartikpur in 1273 BS (1866 AD). He constructed a road in 1284 BS (1877 AD) running from Kartikpur to Gharisar. His son Sirajuddin Chowdhury was also a distinguished zamindar. Sirajuddin's son Ghiyasuddin Chowdhury was a member of the Pakistan Constituent Assembly and a minister. This family had social and landed relation with the Nawab family of Dhaka and the Chowdhury family of Edilpur pargana and Bhasailbhog. One daughter of Nazimuddin Chowdhury was given in marriage to Nawab Ahsanullah, son of Nawab Abdul Ghani of Dhaka. Matrimonial relations of this family were subsequently furthered with the nawab family of dhaka. [Delwar Hasan]