Musahar (Hindu traditions) in India


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.

Subgroups: 1

Subgroup Name Population
Kharwar 2,400

Introduction / History

The Musahar are at the very lowest stratum of Indian society. The Musahar are considered one of the lowest of the low class communities within India and suffer tremendously from their status in society. 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 live mainly in Bihar and Uttar Pradesh, but also in other north Indian states such as Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal.


What Are Their Lives Like?

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.

They don't value education and literacy is extremely low. Often they 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 market place through barter.

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 Awadhi at home.


What Are Their Beliefs?

The Musahar are not caste-Hindus but are from an animistic Hinduism or popular Hinduism background. 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.

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.


What Are Their Needs?

Because of 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. They are given low status and treated with disdain by all other sections of society. 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 without outside help. Sadly, many Musahar women are kidnapped or sold into prostitution in the major metropolitan cities. Without recourse this becomes their new life, forced to suffer in silence.


Prayer Points

Pray the Musahar would see they can enjoy abundant life if they put their trust in Jesus Christ.

Pray for the Lord to intervene in their families, calling people to his side and blessing them in every way.

Pray for loving workers to stay with them until they have disciples who make other disciples.

Pray for their hearts to be drawn to the Lord of lords.

Pray for a church planting movement to thrive in their communities.


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


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 3,747,000
Population all Countries 4,038,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group No
GSEC 3  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Pioneer Workers Needed 75
People ID 17711
ROP3 Code 113160
ROP25 Code 305733
ROP25 Name Musahar
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 12
Largest States
Bihar
3,234,000
Uttar Pradesh
308,000
Assam
80,000
Jharkhand
63,000
West Bengal
25,000
Uttarakhand
900
Andaman and Nicobar
800
Manipur
700
Tripura
400
Arunachal Pradesh
90
Chandigarh
70
Odisha
70
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 11  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 12
  Bihar 3,234,000
  Uttar Pradesh 308,000
  Assam 80,000
  Jharkhand 63,000
  West Bengal 25,000
  Uttarakhand 900
  Andaman and Nicobar 800
  Manipur 700
  Tripura 400
  Arunachal Pradesh 90
  Chandigarh 70
  Odisha 70
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.08 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.27 %)
0.27 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.63 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.01 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Primary Language Hindi (1,550,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 15
Secondary Languages
Maithili
655,000
Bhojpuri
490,000
Magahi
230,000
Angika
102,000
Bengali
52,000
Assamese
37,000
Sadri
6,400
Surjapuri
4,000
Bundeli
2,100
Awadhi
700
Kumaoni
300
Kanauji
100
Garhwali
100
Sadri, Oraon
30
Primary Language Hindi (1,550,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 15
Secondary Languages
  Maithili 655,000
  Bhojpuri 490,000
  Magahi 230,000
  Angika 102,000
  Bengali 52,000
  Assamese 37,000
  Sadri 6,400
  Surjapuri 4,000
  Bundeli 2,100
  Awadhi 700
  Kumaoni 300
  Kanauji 100
  Garhwali 100
  Sadri, Oraon 30
People Groups Speaking Hindi

Primary Language:  Hindi

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1806-1962)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1811-1998)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1818-2022)
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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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