Introduction / History Tanvir, a shrewd Hindu Bengali, was bargaining with a Bagdi fisherman. He offered the man, Amit, 50 rupees (US $1.50) for each of his hilsa fish, a great delicacy among Bengali people. Amit replied, "You have a deal. God Shiva gave me good luck with this catch." Later Tanvir told a friend, "When you go to the port, buy your fish from a Bagdi fisherman. They have no idea that the government put a ban on chickens because of the bird flu. This has made the price of fish go way up. Would you believe I made a profit of 250 rupees for each fish I bought from one guy?"
The majority of Bagdi's three million people live in West Bengal. There are 14 Bagdi sub-groups which are even further subdivided. Most of them 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. The practice of Hinduism is a central part of their lives, which involves all rituals associated with birth, marriage and death. There are almost no known believers among the Bagdi people.
The Bagdi peoples are very complicated. Though they are Dalits, many in India believe that the Baghis are the descendants of a union between a Kshatriaya father and a Vaishya mother, both of which are forward castes.
Though the majority of them are involved with farm work, the Bagdi people are associated with fishing and the making of fishing nets. They are almost entirely Hindu.
Prayer Points * Pray that God will cause whole villages of Bagdis to hear and understand that God is their Creator.
* Pray that Bagdis will embrace salvation found in Jesus.
* Pray that soon the Bagdi people will embrace the One whose fishermen disciples became fishers of men for the Almighty One.
* Pray that Bengali believers will reach out to these Hindus.