Rajput comes from the word rājapūtra, which literally means “son of kings.” And that’s a good descriptor of the Rajput people living in northern and western India.
The Rajput in India are largely Hindu, with their Muslim counterparts mostly living in other parts of South Asia. Rajput Hindus are in the high-ranking warrior caste, valuing fighters and athletes over scholars. They also hold several positions of leadership and prestige in India. V. P. Singh, a former Prime Minister of India, was Rajput.
Historically, Rajput princes and politicians in India ruled entire states and regions as early as the 9th century. They lived in lavish palaces with servants, poets, bards, and family genealogists at their disposal. Rajput courts were the center for elite society and continue to impact Indian art and culture today. Even lower-ranking Rajputs were known for their privileged lifestyle.
When Muslim invaders came to India in the late 12th century, this posed a threat to Rajput rule in certain areas. And when India gained independence in 1947, Rajput princes lost their titles. Some Indian states today limit inheritances and have fractured Rajput landholdings. But many descendants still live in privileged households and remember bygone eras of extravagant wealth and power.
Rajput people with moderate financial positions or even crippling debt feel resentful. While the Rajput in India are still very wealthy as a whole, their titles and customs are not what they once were. They blame the government, Muslims, and modern influences.
Legally, inheritances must be evenly distributed among children, often breaking up family land. And not all Rajput landowners have the means to employ workers.
Due to their high caste status and overall financial stability, the Hindu Rajput do not face marginalization in India. However, many are placing their hopes and efforts on the ability to increase power. Those who get politically involved are often throwing their support behind Hindu nationalist groups like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP).
Tragically, the Hindu Rajput are considered unreached with the Gospel, and there are very few known Rajput believers in India. There is, however, a complete Bible translation and Jesus Film available in the Hindi language for them to access.
The Rajput are very orthodox when it comes to Hindu tradition. And horoscopes are a big part of everyday life from birth ceremonies to arranged marriages and even funerals. They see threats to Hinduism as a danger to their already-diminished way of life. So they are often hostile to any other religious influences, including Christianity.
For the Gospel to start making its way into Rajput homes and hearts, it’s going to take courageous Christians willing to risk the hostility of high-ranking caste members for the sake of Christ.
Pray for freedom from desperately striving for material wealth and power.
Pray for individuals to question their cultural beliefs and seek truth.
Pray for local believers to boldly overcome social divides to reach Rajputs for Christ.