Axel Michaels edited book "The Pandit"

Axel Michaels axel.michaels at URZ.UNI-HEIDELBERG.DE
Tue Oct 30 18:09:59 UTC 2001

> 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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