Text source: Joshua Project
Introduction / History
The Karal or Karral or Sardar are a people who originally came from southern Afghanistan. They claim to be descendants of a shah whose ancestor was Alexander the Great. Their name Karal means chief or ruler. They are proud of their military history and fight to keep their land independent from conquest. The Karal assert they are are Rajputs and members of the Kshatriya caste. With the coming of the Muslims to north India, some Karal converted to Islam while others continued to be Hindus. The Karal lives in the Indian states of Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and Punjab. Others live in the capital territory of Delhi. A small number live in Pakistan's Punjab Province.
What are their lives like?
Today most Karal are farmers. The lives of the Karal revolve around the wet and dry seasons of the Indian subcontinent as well as the yearly Hindu holidays. They plant wheat, vegetables and fruit. They also raise animals for meat and dairy. They are not vegetarians. They eat meat except for beef. Some Karal own their land while others are landless and work for landowners. Families arrange marriages. Sons inherit the property of their fathers. The Karal marry both within their group and with other similar peoples such as the Ghakkar, the Dhunds and the Saiyads. As Hindus, they are somewhat marginalized in Muslim dominated Pakistan.
What are their beliefs?
The Karals practice Hinduism, the ancient religion and culture of India. They worship and serve the gods of the Hindu pantheon. They visit Hindu temples to offer flowers, food and incense to their gods. The Karal celebrate the major holidays of the Hindu year such as Holi, the festival of colors, Diwali, the festival of light and Navratri, the nine-day observance of coming of autumn.
What are their needs?
The Karal need to hear the life-changing gospel of Jesus Christ in a way they can understand. They need to realize that the Hindu gods will not save them from their sins. They need to see the love and mercy of Christ lived out before them.
Pray the Lord sends Christ followers to share the gospel and love of Jesus Christ with the Karal people. Pray the Lord softens the hearts of the Karal so that they would be open to hearing the claims of Christ. Pray that Hindi Bibles would be made available to the Karal and that they would begin to read them and learn about the Savior. Pray for a Disciple Making Movement to spread throughout Karal communities both in India and Pakistan.
ReferencesView Karal (Hindu traditions) in all countries.