Axel Michaels edited book "The Pandit"

George Hart ghart at SOCRATES.BERKELEY.EDU
Tue Oct 30 14:12:33 EST 2001


Thanks for your gracious response.  I plead guilty to posting
something impetuously that I should not have posted -- I could  quite
easily have raised the same points without any sort of apparent
personal implications (which, of course, I did not intend).  It is
good to keep in mind that, with the click of a mouse, messages on
this forum go out to many different people, and, once sent, they
cannot be recalled.  Once again, my apologies and thanks.  GH.

>  > As an addendum, I would remark the following: 1. Brahmins in South
>>  India are less than 3% of the population; 2. Kalidasa, from his name,
>>  must have been a Sudra (and how about Sudraka and the Suutas and
>>  Magadhas who were bards and recited the epics); 3. In many non-Brahmin
>>  caste groups of Tamil Nadu, some of them quite low, there are
>>  extraordinarily rich non-Brahmin traditions that are quite as rich as
>>  anything the Brahmins have; 4. One of the most learned groups I have
>>  encountered is a group of low-caste people that performs villuppaattu
>>  -- they use both Tamil and Telugu, and have broad learning in Hindu
>>  things that few if any Brahmins have.  I could go
>>  on and on.  Suffice it to say that we should become aware that Brahmins
>>  represent only one of many important and central learning traditions of
>>  India.
>
>I agree. As an ddendum to the addendum I like to remark the following: It
>is not justified to identify the term "pandit" with brahminhood? In fact,
>one result of the conference and the book is to see how widely the term
>was applied and that it was not at all restricted to Brahmins.
>
>With many thanks for your apologies and best wishes,
>Axel Michaels


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