Gujar Bania in India

The Bania Gujar have only been reported in India
Population
Main Language
Largest Religion
Christian
Evangelical
Progress
Progress Gauge
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.

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 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 the Gujar Banias live in all south and central Indian states.


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 Gujar Banias 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?

Gujar 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 Gujar 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.


Scripture Prayers for the Bania Gujar in India.


References

https://joshuaproject.net/people_groups/19699/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  

Additional Info
Bania profile for Children and Family Missions Activities
People Name General Bania Gujar
People Name in Country Bania Gujar
Natural Name Gujar Bania
Pronunciation GOO-jar BAHN-yah
Population this Country 230,000
Population all Countries 230,000
Total Countries 1
Indigenous Yes
Progress Scale 1
Unreached Yes
Frontier People Group Yes
Pioneer Workers Needed 5
Alternate Names Vani; Vania; बनिया, गुजर
People ID 19699
ROP3 Code 115151
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States on file 11
Largest States
Maharashtra
152,000
Gujarat
26,000
Andhra Pradesh
15,000
Telangana
12,000
Madhya Pradesh
12,000
Delhi
6,600
Chhattisgarh
2,400
Goa
2,200
Karnataka
1,400
Dadra and Nagar Have
50
Tamil Nadu
50
Districts Interactive map, listing and data download
Specialized Website South Asia Peoples
Country India
Region Asia, South
Continent Asia
10/40 Window Yes
National Bible Society Website
Persecution Rank 10  (Open Doors top 50 rank, 1 = highest persecution ranking)
Total States 11
  Maharashtra 152,000
  Gujarat 26,000
  Andhra Pradesh 15,000
  Telangana 12,000
  Madhya Pradesh 12,000
  Delhi 6,600
  Chhattisgarh 2,400
  Goa 2,200
  Karnataka 1,400
  Dadra and Nagar Have 50
  Tamil Nadu 50
Website South Asia Peoples
Primary Language Gujarati (67,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Language Written Yes   ScriptSource Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
Marathi
60,000
Hindi
43,000
Konkani
15,000
Telugu
6,500
Konkani, Goan
1,800
Khandesi
1,000
Ahirani
600
Chhattisgarhi
300
Kacchi
60
Primary Language Gujarati (67,000 speakers)
Language Code guj   Ethnologue Listing
Total Languages 10
Secondary Languages
  Marathi 60,000
  Hindi 43,000
  Konkani 15,000
  Telugu 6,500
  Konkani, Goan 1,800
  Khandesi 1,000
  Ahirani 600
  Chhattisgarhi 300
  Kacchi 60
People Groups Speaking Gujarati

Primary Language:  Gujarati

Bible Translation Status  (Years)
Bible-Portions Yes  (1809-1965)
Bible-New Testament Yes  (1820-1985)
Bible-Complete Yes  (1823-2021)
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
Audio Recordings Audio Bible teaching
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online New Testament
Audio Recordings Online Scripture / Bible
Audio Recordings Story of Jesus audio
Film / Video Creation to Christ
Film / Video Following Jesus video
Film / Video God's Story video
Film / Video Indigitube.tv Video / Animation
Film / Video Jesus Film: view in Gujarati
Film / Video LUMO film of Gospels
Film / Video Magdalena video
Film / Video Story of Jesus for Children
General Biblical answers to your questions
General Four Spiritual Laws
General Gospel resources links
General Gospel website in this language
General Zume Resources
General Zume Training
Primary Religion: Hinduism
Major Religion Percent *
Buddhism
0.00 %
Christianity  (Evangelical 0.00 %)
0.00 %
Ethnic Religions
0.00 %
Hinduism
99.85 %
Islam
0.00 %
Non-Religious
0.00 %
Other / Small
0.15 %
Unknown
0.00 %
* From latest India census data.
Current Christian values may substantially differ.
Map Source People Group data: Omid. Map geography: UNESCO / GMI. Map Design: Joshua Project.  
Profile Source Keith Carey  
Data Sources Data is compiled from various sources. Read more