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HomeEditors' PicksA BOOK ON THE GENEALOGY OF KAYASTH

A BOOK ON THE GENEALOGY OF KAYASTH

Uday Sahay, a voluntarily retired #IPS officer, is a renowned communication consultant and has authored eight books to his credit. With schooling from #Kolkata and #Patna, Uday has done his masters in #Sociology from Delhi School of Economics. He got his #PhD from JNU on the topic “Piggy Writing in Media for Image Positioning, Legitimacy and Survival”. In a candid interview with The Interview World, Uday unfolds the treasure of 2,500 years of genealogy of #Kayasth caste in his latest book titled “Kayasth, An Encyclopedia of Untold Stories”, co-authored by Poonam Bala, a Visiting Scholar at Cleveland State University and nominated Fellow, Unisa – The University of South Africa.

#1. Why this book?

People will ask why we need a book on a caste-based subject like the #Kayasthas in the 21st century where science has replaced religion, class has replaced caste, and tradition has been dethroned by reason and logic. The very question of ‘why this book?’, ipso facto, therefore, presupposes that any attempt by educated people to celebrate primordial identities like caste and religion in the current progressive environment is a retrogressive exercise.

History without an understanding of the associated narratives is neither evocative nor instructive enough. This book, therefore, documents these narratives at length, in order to add the required depth and details of the historical underpinnings. Of all the regional segments of the Kayasthas, comparatively speaking, the Chitraguptvanshiya Kayasthas of Hindi heartland and southern states have the most visible connections with the larger Hindu civilisations, though the Chandraseniya of #Maharashtra, #Gujarat, and #MP and Chitraseniya Kayasthas of #Bengal, #Odhisa, #Assam, and #Tripura also account for a substantial share in the Kayastha community pie. We soon realised that the book is a one of its kind study of an Indian community, undertaken by insiders. In other words, the book attempts an ‘emic’ approach, wherein community insiders attempt to study the Kayastha community over a period in order to understand its historical evolution.

#2. What does this book encapsulate?

The book comprises 14 chapters of which two broadly narrate personalities and the rest 12 are on history, mythology, legal status, migration, cuisine, and cultural heritage. The historical aspects of the book cover trace of Kayasthas in 21 states and one UT, Chandigarh. We have also covered the verdict of Patna High Court on ascertaining their varna in an inheritance case in 1926, which concluded that their varna is Kshatriya and their caste is Kayastha.

#3. Who are the illustrious personalities of this community?

The illustrious personalities cover from kings and emperors to spiritual leaders to freedom fighters. We also trace the lineage of famous politicians, actors, musicians, authors, defence personnel, sportspersons, etc. The renowned Kayastha figures include Pulakeshin – II, Raja Todar Mal, Sri Aurobindo Ghose, Swami Vivekananda, Paramhans Yogananda, Subhas Chandra Bose, Dr Rajendra Prasad, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Jayaprakash Narayan, Biju Pattnaik, Anil Yashwant Tipnis, Munshi Premchand, Mahadevi Verma, Satyajit Ray, Suchitra Sen, Manna Dey, Firaq Gorakhpuri, Amitabh Bachchan, Shatrughan Sinha, and many more.

#4. What’s the overall response of your book?

This book bas been the largest ever documentation on Kayasthas. It took 27 months grinding research on several dimensions of the entire community including lineage, nuances of the Kayasth culture, the Kaithi script, the identity symbols of Kayasths, cuisine, among others. Infographics trace the migration routes of Kayasths to various parts of the country has been narrated. Orders for this book from various academic institutions, public libraries, social organisations, and individuals are pouring in. This book is available in two languages – Hindi and English. And it’s available on our website https://www.kayasthencyclopedia.com/ and on https://www.amazon.in/.

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