Musahar (Hindu traditions) in Bangladesh


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* Data can be from various sources including official census, agencies, and local research. Data from these sources can sometimes differ even by orders of magnitude. Joshua Project attempts to present a conservative, balanced estimate.

Introduction / History

The Musahar are considered one of the lowest of the low class groups in South Asian countries. Their name is derived from two words meaning "rat catcher" and is likely attributed to them for their tendency to eat rodents in times of dire need.

The Musahar are at the very lowest stratum of Indian society. The Musahar are not caste-Hindus but are from animistic Hinduism or popular Hinduism. Though most live in India, there are some in neighboring Bangladesh.


What Are Their Lives Like?

They have large families and live with several generations in the same household. A Musahar village is almost always filled with children. Though they will frequently speak Hindi, the local trade language, they will speak Angika or

Land ownership is rare and most will work as agricultural laborers, day laborers or forest and fishing. The women also work in agriculture or other unskilled labor such as stitching leaf-plates.

Education is not valued and literacy is extremely low with literacy rates running 2-6%. Often times they will drop out at the primary level due to social or economic factors. Modern development programs have had little impact on them as few if any of the sparsely allocated resources designated for them ever reach them in their need. Many times their wages are paid in crops and they trade in the marketplace through barter.


What Are Their Beliefs?

In India the Musahar are very receptive to the gospel and a move of Christ is beginning among them. A significant number of Musahar are following Christ and village house churches are being formed with Musahar leadership. A network of agencies and churches are working among the Musahar. The Musahar are in the process of being reached. However, this movement might not have made it to Bangladesh.

Traditionally they follow their tribal faith and will worship their family deity and the village deity, as well as the gods of the wider Hindu faith.


What Are Their Needs?

Due their extreme poverty they live far from towns and cities which have proper health care. Nor do they have the capacity to travel to avail themselves of these facilities. The result is a desperate health care situation. Child mortality and maternal mortality are high and the life span is short which is exacerbated by high rates of alcoholism among the male population.

Much of their condition is a result of their low position in the caste hierarchy. Any attempts at economic advancement will be taken away from them or destroyed and they have little or no capacity to retain property rights. Their constitutional rights of education and food subsidies are routinely denied through corruption and caste based policies. They are powerless and voiceless, unable to change their situation alone. Sadly many Musahar women are kidnapped or sold into prostitution in the major metropolitan cities. Without recourse this becomes their new life, oppressed, abused and forced to suffer in silence.


Prayer Points

Pray for the Lord to make a way for their physical needs to be met.
Pray for Musahar family leaders to put their identity and sense of worth in Jesus Christ rather than social status.
Pray for Musahar people in Bangladesh to have access to the gospel and embrace it.


Scripture Prayers for the Musahar (Hindu traditions) in Bangladesh.


References

GSCC, SD Ponraj, Copyrighted © Used with permission.


Profile Source:   Joshua Project  

People Name General Musahar (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Musahar (Hindu traditions)
Pronunciation MOO-sah-har
Alternate Names Banmanus; Banraja; Bhuiya; Gaur; Gonr; Maha-Dalits; Musahar Bhuiya; Mushar; Mushr; Palamau Bhuiya; मुसहर (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
Population this Country 16,000
Population all Countries 4,001,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
People ID 17711
ROP3 Code 113160
ROP25 Code 305733
ROP25 Name Musahar
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 5
Largest States
Rangpur
11,000
Chittagong
2,800
Rajshahi
1,000
Dhaka
500
Khulna
300
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 26  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 5
  Rangpur 11,000
  Chittagong 2,800
  Rajshahi 1,000
  Dhaka 500
  Khulna 300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
100.00 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.00 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Bengali (14,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Chittagonian
2,100
Primary Language Bengali (14,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Chittagonian 2,100
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1809-2022)
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Photo Source Copyrighted © 2024  Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source Joshua Project 
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Learn more.



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