Bagdi (Sikh traditions) in India

Bagdi (Sikh traditions)
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Map Source:  People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project
People Name: Bagdi (Sikh traditions)
Country: India
10/40 Window: Yes
Population: 500
World Population: 500
Primary Language: Punjabi, Eastern
Primary Religion: Other / Small
Christian Adherents: 0.00 %
Evangelicals: 0.00 %
Scripture: Complete Bible
Online Audio NT: No
Jesus Film: Yes
Audio Recordings: Yes
People Cluster: South Asia Sikh - other
Affinity Bloc: South Asian Peoples
Progress Level:

Introduction / History

During the British colonial era, the Bagdi people were labeled a criminal tribe. They still hold the tribal label, but they are no longer feared as criminals the way they were 100 years ago. There are 14 Bagdi sub-groups which are even further subdivided. Most are Hindu, but some are Sikh.

The Bagdi peoples are very complicated. Though they are Dalits, many in India believe that the Bagdis are the descendants of a union between a Kshatriya father and a Vaishya mother, both of which are forward castes.

Where Are they Located?

Bagdi Sikhs live in a small part of India's Punjab, the birthplace of Sikhism. This is far from the Hindu Bagdis who live on the other side of the country in West Bengal.

What Are Their Lives Like?

Most of them now live by fishing and making fish nets. Some work as agricultural and masonry laborers. Few of them get more than a couple of years of education. However, some are beginning to advance in areas of economics and politics.

What Are Their Beliefs?

Most Bagdi people are Hindu, but a very small number are Sikhs. Sikhism originated from a 15th century teacher named Guru Nanak Dev as a reform movement. He rejected the Hindu caste system, taught that all people were equal and that all have equal access to God. The Sikh God is formless, without gender and is to be found in everyone. One gets closer to God by living a good life and by practicing charity. Like Hindus, Sikhs believe in reincarnation and the law of karma; you reap what you sow in your previous life. Like Muslims, the Sikhs worship only one God.

One may recognize a Sikh man by his distinctive turban. All the 10 great Sikh gurus wore turbans. Sikh teaching mandates that a person not cut his or her hair. They worship their holy book, the Granth Sahib, which is a collection of hymns.

There are roughly the same number of Sikhs as there are Jews in the world, but Sikhs are most concentrated in Punjab, their homeland. However, you will find smaller numbers of Sikhs all over the world. Many of the best Indian restaurants in the West are owned and operated by Sikhs.

What Are Their Needs?

The Bagdi people need to be given the chance to allow Jesus Christ to provide them with abundant life and eternal salvation.

Prayer Points

Pray for the Bagdi culture to be renewed and enhanced by a work of the Holy Spirit and shaped into a God-centered and God-honoring mold.
Pray for the Holy Spirit to move among Sikh Bagdi family and community leaders to seek His face and enjoy His blessings.
Pray for the Lord to thrust out workers who will be compelled to nurture a disciple making movement among the Sikh Bagdi people.
Pray that soon the Bagdi people will have faith that will lead them to live honorable lives that will draw others to the Savior.

Text Source:   Keith Carey