Page:Castes and Tribes of Southern India, Volume 4.djvu/89

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KSHATRIYA
79

the celebrants, who, after an oil bath, are free from pollution.*[1]

Kshatriya.—The second, or ruling and military caste of the four castes of Manu. In the Madras Census Report, 1891, it is recorded that "the term Kshatriya is, of course, wholly inapplicable to the Dravidian races, who might with as much, perhaps more, accuracy call themselves Turks. There possibly are a few representatives of the old Kshatriya castes, but the bulk of those who figure in the returns under this head are pure Dravidian people. The claim to the title is not confined to the old military classes desirous of asserting their former position, for we find it put forward by such castes as Vannias and Shānāns, the one a caste of farmers and labourers, the other toddy-drawers. It is not possible to distribute these pseudo-Kshatriyas among their proper castes, as 70,394 of them have given Kshatriya as the sub-division also." It is noted, in the Madras Census Report, 1901, that "Parasurāma is said to have slain all the Kshatriyas seven times over, but 80,000 persons have returned themselves as such in this Presidency alone. Strictly speaking, there are very few persons in the Presidency who have any real title to the name, and it has been returned mainly by the Pallis or Vanniyas of Vizagapatam, Godāvari, and Chingleput, who say they are Agnikula Kshatriyas, by the Shānāns of Tinnevelly, and by some Mahrātis in South Canara. In Tinnevelly, Kammas and Balijas have also returned the name." It is further recorded, in the Mysore Census Report, 1901, that the castes grouped under the head Kshatriya are "the Arasus, Rājaputs, Coorgs, and Sikhs. To the Arasu section belongs the Royal

  1. * This account is taken from a note by Mr. N. Subramani Aiyar.