Introduction / History
Status is important in Hindu cultures. Yadav peoples, including the Bagal subgroup, are concerned about their status. The Yadav peoples hold a place of honor, since traditionally they deal with cattle and dairy products in a Hindu culture where the cow is sacred.
What Are Their Lives Like?
There have been times in their long history that Yadav peoples have held power and wealth. Most Bagal live in Odisha, a central east state of India. Today however, the Bagal are classified as "other backward castes" or OBCs for short. This sounds derisive, but in fact, this refers to people who hold some status, but are not part of the most prestigious communities. OBCs are eligible for government jobs and special university admission.
The primary language of the Bagal is Odia. The complete Bible and the JESUS are available in Odia. Many Bagal also speak Bengali, the major language of West Bengal. College educated Bagal speak English. There are few of any followers of Christ among the Bagal Yadav.
The main occupation of the Bagal Yadav is the production and selling of dairy products. They are also employed in agriculture. Most Bagal are vegetarians whose main foods are rice and wheat along with fruit and vegetables. The Yadav encourage their sons and daughter to obtain university educations. Some prominent Indian politicians are Bagal. College educated Yadav work in professions like government service, business, teaching, medicine, and computer science.
What Are Their Beliefs?
The Bagal tend to marry within their group. Marriage to one spouse is the norm. Sons inherit property and care for elderly relatives. Brahmins officiate at important life ceremonies.
The Bagal people practice Hinduism, the ancient religion of India. 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 do. 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.
The Bagal people need to realize that they cannot please God by their works. Jesus alone can forgive their sins and grant them eternal life.
Pray that Bagal Yadav leaders come to Jesus Christ and lead entire families to him.
Pray that gospel materials and the websites about Jesus Christ on the internet will lead the Bagal to salvation.
Ask the Lord to send workers to the Bagal Yadav community.
Pray for spiritual hunger and discernment among the Bagal Yadav community.
Scripture Prayers for the Yadav Bagal in India.
Singh, K. S., ed. "India's Communities A-Z", Oxford University Press, USA 1999