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Kayasth : An Encyclopedia of Untold Stories

Why this book? This seminal question has been addressed in the book by two intertwined answers. First is the generic one related to the need of a book written in this genre, and the second is specific to the untold story of the jati of Kayasthas in encyclopaedic form that we have attempted. Issues of identity and heritage in particular are broached while addressing the first part of the question, and then to address its second part, we have narrated what in general does the book bring to its readers?

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Poonam Bala

Poonam Bala

POONAM BALA is a Visiting Scholar at Cleveland State University and nominated Fellow, UNISA (South Africa). She received her doctorate from the University of Edinburgh (UK), post-doctoral research at the Universities of London and Edinburgh, and held a Visiting Professorship in Germany, South Africa and Greece. She taught at Delhi School of Economics, Case Western Reserve University.

Uday Sahay

Uday Sahay

Uday Sahay, a voluntarily retired IPS officer, has emerged as one of the foremost communication professionals in India today. He has been the communication consultant to several Indian organizations such as ONGC, UIDAI, DIMTS, LBSIM, IHD, University of Delhi, and Bihar Government, among others. Majored in Sociology from Delhi School of Economics, Sahay has authored seven books including Making News published by OUP.


  • Inspiration: Swamy Vivekanand on Kayasth legacy
  • Varna status of Kayasthas
  • The cyclical grand narrative
  • Linear evolution of the writer class
  • Inter-state migration and subcastes
  • Kayasthas in different Indian States
  • Nuances of Kayastha Culture
  • The Kayasth Cuisines
  • Kaithi Script
  • Shri Chitragupta Temples in India
  • Kayasthas in India’s freedom struggle
  • The Hall of Fame
  • Shri Chitragupta worship and rituals
  • Identity Symbols of Kayasthas
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Grand Narrative

Kayasthas in India may be broadly categorized by three loosely connected regional communities sharing a common source and lay claim to a pan-Indian community affiliation: Chandragupt vanshi Kayasthas in the Hindi heartland and in southern states, Chandraseniya Kayasthas in Maharashtra, Gujarat, and some parts of undivided Madhya Pradesh, and Chitraseniya Kayasthas in eastern India, comprising Bengal, Assam, Tripura, and Odisha. Culturally, these three communities have always been distinct in terms of their grand narratives, language, and culture, yet they all share a common identity of belonging to a writers’ class and common historical relations to one another.

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Hall of Fame

Kayasth Encyclopedia

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What St Peter is to Christians, Shri Chitragupta is to Hindus. Both maintain an account of each human being’s good and bad deeds, and without their go-ahead, no one can enter heaven. Shri Chitragupta is the record-keeper of virtues and sins and is the patriarchal ancestor of the Kayastha community.

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Kayastha Cuisine

Kayasth Cuisine

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Kayastha Identity

We, the members of Kayasth community, are proud of our identity and heritage that rests solidly on its foundational values - knowledge, valour, and wisdom. Such values are encompassed in our logo which cue these in varied ways.

Our logo containsvalour and knowledge to establish that the Kayasth community has adaptability to be both sword wielder and pen wielder. Or logo has a feel of pronounced lethalness - powered by the colour of red - represented as it is by the blade of sword and pointedness of the nib of their pen. Foundational layer of mud coloured yellow in logo represent the wisdom of earth enabling forbearnce and adaptability for the community to align with change.

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Our Videos

Our videos relate specifically to the Kayasth community. Some are introductory in interview format, covering major aspects in the book. The lead author, Uday Sahay has been interviewed by representatives of the three Kayasth categories of eastern, western, southern, and central India in these videos and he gives you a bird’s eye view of the community. Rest are stand-alone nuanced narration of niche sub-plots in the book.

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