Letter: A merchant, not a priest

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The Independent Online
MAHATMA Gandhi was ambivalent about caste, as Tim McGirk writes ('Fight for equality', 1 May), but it is wrong to say he 'belonged to the priestly Brahmin caste'. He was from the Vaishya (merchant) caste, a bania: a fact that coloured his entire outlook. It made him more sensitive to the plight of the Untouchables and more willing to challenge the power of Hindu orthodoxy than if he had been a Brahmin.

Andrew Robinson

London N1

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