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Dutta, also spelled Datta, Dutt and Datt, is an Indian family name and surname that is found primarily among Bengali Kayastha and Punjabi Brahmin, also present among Assamese, and Haryanvi Hindus. Datta means "given" or "granted" in Sanskrit. It is also an alternative name for the Hindu deity Dattatreya.[1]


In Assam, Kalita Duttas belong to upper caste and are more inclined towards Eksaran Naam Dharma and thus may not religiously follow idol worship unlike most of the traditional Hindus.[citation needed] The Koch Rajbongshi Duttas on the other hand are considered as Other Backward Class and speak Tibeto-Burmese Koch language. Duttas of Assam have made significant contribution to the society of Assam.

Punjab and Haryana[edit]

Punjabi and Haryanvi Datts or Duttas belong to the Mohyal Brahmins community. According to the gotra system, Mohyal Duttas are the descendants of Rishi Bharadwaj.[2] Some consider Gaj Bhavan, the grandson of Rishi Bharadwaj to be the real founder of their clan.[3][4]

West Bengal (India), Bangladesh[edit]

According to Indian historian Tej Ram Sharma, in Bengal the surname Dutta/Datta[5] (দত্ত) is used by Maulika Kayastha caste.[6] The office of Kayastha (scribe) was instituted before the Gupta period[6] (c.320 to 550 CE). Originally, Kayastha was composed of people from different Varnas, including Brahmins[6][7] and Kshatriyas.[7] After the Gupta reign, the Kayasthas in Bengal developed into a caste,[8] and gained a higher status,[8] incorporating the Pala, Sena and Varman Kings and their descendants.[7] In the middle period of the history of Bengal, between 1500 and 1850 CE, the Kayasthas were regarded as one of the highest of Hindu castes in the region.[9] Some members of the Baidya caste use Dutta/Datta as a surname, although they more often use compounded variations such as Duttagupta or Duttasharma instead.

Notable people[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

In 2012, a Bengali film Dutta vs Dutta was released, directed by Anjan Dutt, the film captured family drama of three generations of a Bengali Dutta family.[10]


  1. ^ Rigopoulos 1998, p. 27–28.
  2. ^ Organiser, Volume 53 By Bharat Prakashan,page 171
  3. ^ Reg-i-Surkh: Dut Brahman Imam Husain se Rabt o Zabt, by Mahdi Nazmi, Abu Talib Academy, New Delhi 1984, Pages 63-71.
  4. ^ Defence Journal, Pakistan- June 2003:Tribes and Turbulence by Hamid Hussain
  5. ^ Clark 2014, p. 148.
  6. ^ a b c Sharma 1978, p. 115.
  7. ^ a b c Wink 1991, p. 269.
  8. ^ a b Sekhar 2004, p. 20.
  9. ^ Inden 1976, p. 1.
  10. ^ "Datta vs Datta". Outlook. Archived from the original on 24 December 2013. Retrieved 16 May 2014.