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RE: Upanayanam and Sandhyavandan

From: Mani Varadarajan (mani)
Date: Mon Nov 06 1995 - 11:52:42 PST

I know there are people use 'shudra' in a non-derogatory sense.
However, no so-called 'shudra' has never described himself by
using that term. Invariably, the terms I have heard used are
Chettiar, Reddiar, Vellala, etc., much in the same way a 
today's Sri Vaishnava brahmin would use Iyengar.  In some 
perverse smritis of long ago, as a class of people shudras 
are denounced as ``veritable cemeteries, wholly unfit to receive 
the Veda.''  This is what the term implies to many punctiliously
orthodox people when they talk about ``that sudracchi over there.''

I cannot prescribe a better term; perhaps non-brahmin is less 
offensive, but I am not sure.