KAYASTH, the writer caste of Northern India, especially numerous and influential in Bengal. In 1901 their total number in all India was more than two millions. Their claim to be Kshattriyas who have taken to clerical work is not admitted by the Brahmans. Under Mahommedan rule they learnt Persian, and filled many important offices. They are now eager students of English, and have supplied not only several judges to the high court but also the first Hindu to be a member of the governor-general's council. In Bombay their place is taken by the Prabhus, and in Assam by the Kalitas (Kolitas) ; in Southern India there is no distinct clerical caste.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)