History

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Kayastha ministers find mention in Hindu mythology. Prior to the Raghuvanshis, Ayodhya was ruled by Mathur Rulers, progeny of Chitragupta.

The Kayastha who are represented by the "Kayats" or the hereditary caste of the scribes of the present day, formed originally a sub-military class. The Anthropological Survey of India conducted a survey during the British Raj which concluded that the Kayastha community were also influential during the Mauryan period as administrators. Also, many proof have been found that the Hindu Kings used to grant lands to the Kayasthas, a practise enjoyed only by a particular caste. Also, it is but logical to consider the status of the Kayasthas when Sanskrit was the state language under the Hindu Kings.

Kayasthas have a unique distinction of having a script - Kaithi - associated with their name. Kaithi (also known earlier as Kayati, Kayathi or Kayasthi), similar to Dev Nagri, was used mainly by Kayasthas in northern India. It has its own Unicode now.

The Kayastha were one of the most influential Caste in Kashmiri politics around 7th century (ref. Rajatarangini) .The economic status of the Kayastha community bettered than that of other castes when the Muslims conquered India.[citation needed] Other Indian castes would typically not find employment under the Muslim rulers, as they could not learn the Muslim languages of Persian, Arabic and later Urdu. On the other hand, the Kayastha community as a whole traditionally put a lot of emphasis on education and prospered during the Islamic period of India. Many Kayasthas were forced to convert to Islam in this period and adopted the title Shaikh.

 Kayasthas down the ages Kayasthaindia developed expertise in Persian (the state language in Islamic India), learnt Turkish, Arabic and later Urdu, economics, administration and taxation. Kayasthaindia's successfully adapted themselves as scribes and functionaries under Islamic rule and later on under the British. Their adaptability and lifestyle was an asset which allowed them to succeed. The Kayasthaindia community, in the colonial era, learnt English, whilst the more affluent ones sent their children to England. Many Kayasthaindia became civil servants, tax officers, junior administrators, teachers, legal helpers and barristers. They rose to the highest positions accessible to natives in British India.

 Kayasthas in modern India Post independence Kayasthas rose to the highest positions including the first President of India, Dr. Rajendra Prasad, third Prime Minister of India, Lal Bahadur Shastri, Swami Vivekananda, Subhash Chandra Bose, Amitabh Bachchan, Raju Srivastava, judges, top civil servants and high ranking officers in the Indian armed forces. Other Kayasthas emigrated to the West in the 1970s and 80s.

 Muslim Kayasth There is a community of Kayasth (Muslim), descendents Kayasth, who converted to Islam.

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