Bania Bijabargi in India

The Bania Bijabargi have only been reported in India
Population
99,000
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge

Introduction / History

The Banias originated over 5,000 years ago, and they are also called Vania or Mahajan. Their name is derived from Vaniji, which means "trader" in Sanskrit, an ancient South Asian language.

Of the four major varnas (caste clusters), Banias are in the third one, the Vaishyas. This caste cluster has always been about trade, business, and money lending. They were usually traders of grain and spices throughout history.

Despite their high incomes, the Bijabargi Banias have only modest status in the Hindu caste pyramid. They resent the higher two varnas, the Brahmins and the Kshatryas, and thus Banias have often been leaders in caste reform movements. Mahatma Gandhi is one example, but there have been many others throughout India's long history.


Where Are they Located?

Banias originated in the western Indian states of Gujarat and Rajasthan. Today most Bijabargi Banias live in Rajasthan.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Members of the Bania caste are among the wealthiest people in India and even the world. Today they are still involved with businesses and money lending. A Bania might be the proud owner of a giant business, a small one, or he might be working in a bank. He might even own the bank. Others work in government ministries or as lawyers, judges, teachers, scholars, stockbrokers, or engineers.

They are often resented by other castes, because they lend much needed money at high interest rates. A pre-literate farmer might take a loan from a Bania only to find that a high percentage of his harvest will be taken away as interest. Customers often must put their farms or their gold up for collateral in case they cannot pay back their loans.

The lessons such as "never give; always bargain and make money" are often learned at young ages by Bania children. Business skills are passed down from father to son, and from an early age children are drilled in math and detailed calculations with the end purpose of winning in money transactions.


What Are Their Beliefs?

Nearly all Bijabargi Bania peoples claim the Hindu religion, but as merchants they have chosen gods that reflect their profession. They worship the god of wealth, the god of good fortune and the god of money. These are the gods who drive their lives, gods that leave them with empty hearts.


What Are Their Needs?

Bijabargi Banias need a spiritual transformation that will bring them to the point where they want to follow the ways of Jesus, and abandon the old ways that have left them spiritually empty and other castes economically devastated and resentful.


Prayer Points

* Pray that the veil of deception will be lifted from the eyes of the Bijabargi Banias and that they will see that the only true wealth is the spiritual riches gained through a loving relationship with Jesus Christ.
* Pray that Christ's disciples will be called to work among them and share Christ in a culturally relevant way.
* Pray for a disciple making movement to emerge among every Bania community.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/19694/IN
http://www.peoplegroupsindia.com/profiles/bania/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bania_(caste)
http://www.livemint.com/Leisure/LIA5OcknCv3zQw2hJi0GDN/The-peculiar-pedigree-of-the-business-class.html
https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/16318/IN
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2008/08/08
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2007/09/16
http://www.globalprayerdigest.org/index.php/issue/day/2009/08/25


Profile Source:   Keith Carey  

People Name General Bania Bijabargi
People Name in Country Bania Bijabargi
Population in India 99,000
World Population 99,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Unreached Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 2 to 3
Unengaged Yes (per Finishing the Task)
Progress Scale 1
GSEC 1  (per PeopleGroups.org)
Alternate Names Bijabargi, Vajabargiya, Vijabargi, Vijavat, बनिया, बीजबारगी
People ID 19694
ROP3 Code 115146
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 15  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 2
Largest States
Rajasthan
(99,000)
Madhya Pradesh
(700)
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region South Asia
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 15  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 2
  Rajasthan (99,000)
  Madhya Pradesh (700)
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Hindi (29,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 7
Secondary Languages
Marwari
(29,000)
Dhundari
(28,000)
Mewari
(8,500)
Merwari
(2,700)
Shekhawati
(2,200)
Malvi
(100)
People Groups Speaking Hindi
Primary Language Hindi (29,000 speakers)
Language Code hin   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 7
Secondary Languages
  Marwari (29,000)
  Dhundari (28,000)
  Mewari (8,500)
  Merwari (2,700)
  Shekhawati (2,200)
  Malvi (100)
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   (1818-2000)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon National Bible Societies
Forum of Bible Agencies World Bible Finder
Gospel Go World Bibles
Resource Type Resource Name
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching (GRN)
Audio Recordings Hindi Bible stories
Audio Recordings Online New Testament (FCBH)
Audio Recordings Online Scripture (Talking Bibles)
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video A Beautiful Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video A Pilgrimage (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Aasha - Hope (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Coconuts (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Creation to Christ (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Fathers Love Letter
Film / Video Following Jesus (India, JF Project)
Film / Video God's Story Video
Film / Video Haqeeqat Episode 6 (Indigitube.tv)
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Hindi
Film / Video Magdalena (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video My Last Day (Jesus Film Project Anime)
Film / Video Rivka (Jesus Film Project)
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children (JF Project)
Film / Video Ten Virgins (Indigitube.tv)
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 %
Map Source Omid / Joshua Project / Global Mapping Intl  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more
Religion Values * From India census data.  Current values may differ.


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