A Banyan বেনিয়া
The term BANYAN (bn: বেনিয়া) implies a Hindu merchant, shopkeeper, or confidential cashier and broker. The term was used in Bengal to designate the native who manages the money concerns of the European, and sometimes served him as an interpreter. At Madras the same description of person were called aDubashi, one who can speak two languages. The banyans were invariably Hindus, possessing, very large property, with most extensive credit and influence. So much was their influence that Calcutta was once absolutely under the control of about 20 or 30 banyans, who managed every concern in which they could find means to make a profit.
It was inconceivable what property was in their hands. They were the ostensible agents in every line of business, placing their dependents in the several departments over which they themselves had obtained dominion. If a contract was to be made with Government by any gentlemen not in the Company's service, the banyans became the securities, under the condition of receiving a percentage. When a person in the service of the Company was desirous of deriving benefit from some contract; in the disposal of which he had a vote, and which; consequently, he could not obtain in his own name, then the banyan became the principal, and the donor either received a share or derived advantage from loans. The same person frequently was banyan to several European gentlemen, all of whose concerns were, of course, accurately known to him, and thus became the subject of conversation.
Bengal or Bangla
When Ham, son of Noah with the permission of his holy father, set himself to colonize the south, he girded up his loin for accomplishing this, and deputed his sons - the first of whom was Hind, the second Sind, the third Habash, the fourthZanaj, the fifth Barbar, and the sixth Nubah - in all directions on colonizing expeditions. And the tract that each of them colonized was called after him. The eldest son, Hind, having come to the country of Hindustan, it was so named after him. And Sind in the company of his elder brother, having set himself to colonize the tract of Sind established Himself there, and that was named after him. But Hind had four sons, the first was Purab, the second was Bang, the third was Dakin, and the fourth was Naharwal. And every tract that was colonized by each, is still called after him. And Dakin, son of Hind, had three sons, and the country of Dakin was parcelled between them. Their names wereMarhat, Kanar, and Talang; and Dakhinans are all descended from him, and up to this time all the three tribes dominate there. And Naharwal had three sons namely, Babruj, Kanoj andMalraj. After them cities were also named.
And Purab, who was the eldest son of Hind, had forty-two sons, and, within a short time their descendants multiplied and colonized different countries, and when they became numerous, they raised one of themselves to be the chief and to look after the management of the realm.
And Bang, the son of Hind, getting children born to him, colonized the country of Bengal. The name of Bengal was originally Bang. And the reason why the word al আল was added to it, is this :al আল in the Bengali language means an 'embankment' or raised ground, which is placed round a garden or cultivation, so that floods may not enter it. As in ancient times, the chieftains of Bengal on lowlands which were situated at the foot of hills, used to raise mounds about ten cubits high and twenty cubits broad, and to make homes, cultivations, and buildings within them, people used to call this place Bangalah.
[ Riyazu-s-salatin, a history of Bengal - By Ghulam Husain Salim, Translated from the original Persian By Maulavi Abdus Salim (1902) ]
A measure of land, varying widely; the standard bigha is generally five-eighths of an acre.