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Pundit



Glynn Wood, and India expert, writes: "A quick note as one pundit to another. When used in the Indian political context, the word pundit usually means a member of the Kashmiri Brahman caste group, which was Nehru's lineage. He was often called Pundit Nehru, as a kind of his nickname, which also conveys a positive meaning for being a learned person, which was the Kashmiri Brahman's traditional occupation. In the present conflict over Kashmir, many pundits (Kashmiri Brahmans) have fled from the Vale of Kashmir to get away from Muslim militants, and their restoration (and safety) is a political issue".

My comment: I was unaware of the Kashmir connection. Perhaps that is why the Indians feel so strongly about Kashmir. Why do wise men come from the extreme north? The technicians who are pulling India into the computer age are centered in Bangalore, in the extreme south. There is a similar geographical gap between the Boston Brahmins ( we never say "Brahmans") and Silicon Valley. Wisdom is the past, technology is the future. Progress? John Wonder dismisses "pundit" as a journalistic term. Certainly it has been devalued. To call Pandit Nehru Pundit Nehru would debase him.

Ronald Hilton - 10/22/01


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