By Swami Harshananda
Chala literally means ‘quibble’.
The Nyāyasutras of Gautama (4th cent. B.C.) are the basic text of logical realism. It is also one of the six systems of philosophical thoughts. It delineates 16 topics out of which nearly half deal with logic. ‘Chala’ is one of them.
The word is usually translated as ‘quibble’. It is one of the trick adopted by an opponent to conquer the exponent by deliberately misinterpreting his statement. For instance when the exponent says, ‘The boy is “navakambala” (possessing a new blanket), the opponent can unfairly object saying that, ‘The boy is not possessing nine blankets’ since ‘nava’ means ‘new’ as well as ‘nine’. This is called as ‘chala’.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore