The Sarnyukta Gauḍa Sārasvata Brāhmaṇa [GSB] Parisad was founded in 1910 A by members of several historically related subcastes in western India. The association represented an attempt by men experiencing the insecurities of urban middle class life to obtain the presumed benefits of caste for themselves and their families through reintegration within a single structurally unified caste. They experimented also with the idea of caste as a means to mobilize rural kin and caste fellows in the quest for modernity. Although efforts to structurally amalgamate the subcastes through intermarriage and related ritual acts proved fruitless, the members of the Parisad did stimulate development of educational and economic institutions which supported their middle class aspirations. The problems of recruitment and the content of Parisad proceedings reveal considerable social and economic disparities among the GSB. This illustrates the inaccuracies of characterizing castes by reference only to those members who hold elite positions in public affairs. The Parisad ultimately atrophied after 1917 although its related institutions have survived. Though the structural unity of caste was not obtained, a sense of GSB corporate identity did develop which ascribed to all members the achievement-oriented virtues of adaptivity and excellence.

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