Musahar (Hindu traditions) in Bangladesh


Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

Introduction / History

The Musahar are considered one of the lowest of the Dalit groups 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. They are short in stature with a long narrow headshape and broad nasal features.

The Musahar are called “Maha-Dalits” meaning lower than Dalits which puts the Musahar at the very lowest stratum of Indian society. The Musahar are not caste-Hindus, but are from Animistic Hinduism or Popular Hinduism.


What Are Their Lives Like?

Numbering two million mostly in the states of Bihar and Uttar Pradesh 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.

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.

Education is not valued and literacy is extremely low with literacy rates running 2-6%. Often times they will 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.


What Are Their Beliefs?

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.

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.


What Are Their Needs?

Due 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 considered as having 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 alone. Sadly many Musahar women are kidnapped or sold into prostitution in the major metropolitan cities. Without recourse this becomes their new life, oppressed, abused and forced to suffer in silence.


Prayer Points

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


Profile Source:   GSCC, SD Ponraj  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  

People Name General Musahar (Hindu traditions)
People Name in Country Musahar (Hindu traditions)
Pronunciation MOO-sah-har
Population this Country 16,000
Population all Countries 3,996,000
Total Countries 3
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 1
Alternate Names Banmanus; Banraja; Bhuiya; Gaur; Gonr; Maha-Dalits; Musahar Bhuiya; Mushar; Mushr; Palamau Bhuiya; मुसहर (हिंदू ट्रेडिशन्स)
People ID 17711
ROP3 Code 113160
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 5
Largest States
Rangpur
11,000
Chittagong
2,700
Rajshahi
1,000
Dhaka
500
Khulna
300
Country Bangladesh
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 29  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 5
  Rangpur 11,000
  Chittagong 2,700
  Rajshahi 1,000
  Dhaka 500
  Khulna 300
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Bengali (14,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
Chittagonian
2,100
Primary Language Bengali (14,000 speakers)
Language Code ben   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 2
Secondary Languages
  Chittagonian 2,100
People Groups Speaking Bengali

Primary Language:  Bengali

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1800-1980)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1801-1984)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1809-2022)
Bible-NT Audio Online
Bible-NT Text Online
Possible Print Bibles
Amazon
World Bibles
Forum Bible Agencies
National Bible Societies
World Bible Finder
Virtual Storehouse
Resource Type Resource Name Source
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching Global Recordings Network
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Online New Testament Faith Comes by Hearing
Audio Recordings Oral Bible stories One Story
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Following Jesus video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video God's Love Story General / Other
Film / Video God's Story video God's Story
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation Create International
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Bengali Jesus Film Project
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels Bible Media Group/LUMO
Film / Video Magdalena video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video My Last Day video, anime Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Rivka video Jesus Film Project
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children Jesus Film Project
Film / Video The Prophets' Story Create International
Film / Video The Savior 3 - Woman at the Well Create International
Film / Video The Savior 8 - Jesus is Risen Create International
General Bible for Children Bible for Children
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 %
* From latest Bangladesh census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Photo Source Copyrighted © 2022  Kerry Olson  All rights reserved.  Used with permission
Map Source People Group Location: Omid. Other geography / data: GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project  
Profile Source GSCC, SD Ponraj  Copyrighted ©   Used with permission  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more