Kashyap (caste)

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The Kashyap are a caste in India. They are sometimes called the Koshyal or Kanshilya.[1]

Kashyap was one of the eight original gotras (clans) of the Brahmins, being derived from Kashyapa, the name of a rishi (hermit) whom they believed to have heard the Veda. The Brahmanical clan system was later emulated by people who were considered to be of the Rajput-Kshatriya status, and is perhaps an early example of the sanskritisation process whereby ritually lower-ranked groups sought to improve their social status.[2] In more recent times, the All-India Kashyap Rajput Mahasabha pressure group was established prior to the 1941 census of British India to lobby the census authorities to record the caste as Kashyap Rajput rather than by any other name.[3]

Communities that are related to the Kashyap by occupation in Uttar Pradesh include the Batham, Bind, Bhar, Dhimar, Dhinwar, Dhewar, Gariya, Gaur, Godia, Gond, Guria, Jhimar, Jhir, Jhinwar, Jhiwar, Kahar, Keot, Kewat, Kharwar, Khairwar, Kumhar, Machua, Majhi, Majhwar, Mallah, Nishad, Prajapati, Rajbhar, Riakwar, Tura, Turah, Turaha, Tureha and Turaiha. There were proposals in 2013 that some or all of these communities in the state should be reclassified as Scheduled Castes under India's system of positive discrimination; this would have involved declassifying them from the Other Backwards Class category.[4] Whether or not this would happen was a significant issue in the campaign for the 2014 Indian general election.[5]