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The Pangans

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The Pangans are the Meitei Muslims. They are also called as the khai Pangal or Meitei pangal. Briefing the history of pangans Prof. Md. Ali Jehnab Khan states that "… Pamheiba alias Khabenbha, the king of Manipur having the Naga origin received the title of Garib Nawaz , conferred on him by Pangans, i.e, the Meitei Muslims or Nuwa Banghals for the kind treatment they received from him". On the contrary, R. M. Nath stated that " Mughal Emperor sent three ambassadors to Manipur in 1662 A.D. and the king of Manipur also reciprocated. Thus gradually Manipur became connected more with India then with Burma. This gave an impetus supported by royel favour to uncheck immigration of job seekers and fortune hunters to manipur from Bengal and united provinces."

The Pangans are mostly Sunni Muslims. They are very orthodox in their religious prescriptions and rituals. Eid remains their annual festival of all importance, but they don't celebrate Muharram. The male population of Pangal used the word Mohammed (Md.) in prefix of their name the women choose to use Musammat. The Maulavi conducts their marriage and circumcision etc.

Although there is restrictions in cultural activities, the Pangans have some own customs and observances. Their dresses are quite different from that of the Bishnupriyas and Meiteis. Pangan men and women are extremely expert in agriculture and handicrafts. Now-a-days they completely forgotten their original languages, probably vulgar Bengali or Urdu or Hindustani and now speak Meitei instead. They are also known as Moghlai, but the educated groups cautiously call them Mussalmans.