Introduction / History
The Bagada are a land-owning, agricultural Hindu people who live in South India. Badagar comes from the word "vadugar," meaning northerner. According to legend the Bagada migrated from North India to escape Muslim persecution. Most Bagada today reside in the Indian states of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.
What Are Their Lives Like?
The Bagada speak their own Bagada language. The New Testament and the JESUS Film are available in Bagada. Many Bagada also speak Tamil and Kannada which allows them to communicate with others outside of their group. College educated Bagada speak English.
A tiny fraction of Bagada claim to be followers of Jesus Christ.
In past times, the Bagada lived in rural villages farming their land. Many have relocated to towns and cities of South India. They now earn income from being teachers, government workers, business persons and traders. The Badaga have a well-organized community council called Badaga Sangam. Some Bagada have achieved high political offices in the Indian government.
What Are Their Beliefs?
Rural Bagada grow rice, fruits, vegetables, tea, and coffee. In the social hierarchy, they are one of the higher castes of South India. Bagada often employ lower castes to work their land.
Bagada marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Parents encourage their sons and daughters to get a university education. Families and young people arrange marriages. Sons inherit their father's property and take care of elderly relatives.
The Badaga people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. Their primary devotion is to the destroyer god Shiva. Hinduism is a catch-all phrase for the local religions of South Asia, so it is very diverse. At the popular level, Hindus worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples and offer prayers, food, flowers, and incense to their gods in hopes of gaining protection and benefits. They do not have a personal or familial relationship with their gods like Christians. There are other Hindus who are much more philosophical, especially among the Brahmins.
What Are Their Needs?
Almost all Hindus participate in yearly celebrations like Holi, the festival of colors and the start of spring / Diwali, the festival of lights / Navratri, the celebration of autumn / and Rama Navami, Rama's birthday.
Pride can be a problem for higher caste Hindus like the Bagada. Pride can prevent people from trusting in the Lord and depend on themselves. The Bagada need to understand that Jesus is not another god or guru. He alone can forgive their sins for all of us who need to be united with God.
Pray the Holy Spirit will create a hunger for spiritual truth among the Badaga people.
Ask the Lord to send Holy Spirit sent anointed to the Bagada.
Pray that the small number of Bagada believers would find fellowship and grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ.
Ask the Lord to raise up a disciple making movement among the Bagada in this decade.
Scripture Prayers for the Badaga in India.