Ashok Aklujkar aklujkar at INTERCHANGE.UBC.CA
Mon Feb 18 22:17:49 UTC 2002

On 17-02-2002 09:21, "Mahadevan, Thennilapuram" <tmahadevan at HOWARD.EDU>

>  she [= Gayatri Spivak Chakravarti] also consoles herself, and presumably her
following, that as a
> Chakravarti she is of an "inferior cast".  There is no explanation for
> inferiority, however; nor is it clear if other Chakravartis would share her
> pride of inferiority.

According to my understanding, Bhattacharyas are frequently considered to be
superior Brahmins in Bengal, for such reasons as: (a) maintaining a greater
purity of their person through not eating outside their household or through
eating only the food they themselves prepare, (b) stronger association with
Brahmanical learning, especially after the rise of Nava-dviipa as a centre
of learning.

As I have not read the relevant publication of Ms. GSC, I cannot be sure,
but I would not rule out the possibility that her quoted remark contained

On 17-02-2002 12:47, "Robert Zydenbos" <zydenbos at LRZ.UNI-MUENCHEN.DE> wrote:

> on the other
> hand there was a famous Jaina scholar from Tamilnadu a few decades ago
> named A. Chakravarti, and he belonged to the Nayanar caste, i.e., very 'low'
> according to brahmins.

Let us recall that Chakravarty is originally a title, essentially coming to
mean 'reigning personality (in a given field),' an old Indian equivalent of
"champion" or "grandmaster." It is unlike the last names that are derived
from place names, gotra names, profession names etc.

ashok aklujkar

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