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Goethals News Bulletin
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. III No. 4 Bulletin October - December 2000

News Update | Articles | Researchers | New Arrivals | Mails & Emails

News Update

  • Meghalaya CM Visits Goethals: Meghalaya Chief Minister, Mr. E K Mawlong paid a friendly visit to St. Xavier’s College on Saturday, September 23rd morning. Fr. Felix Raj, Rector received him and took him around the Goethals Library & Research Centre. He was highly impressed by the collection of books and periodicals in the library and the way they are preserved.

  • Fr. Provincial of the Calcutta SJ Province, visited the Goethals Indian Library and Research Centre on August 5th.

  • Fr. Felix Raj, our Director gave a guest lecture at a seminar on "Making Calcutta a Megacity in the 3rd millennium", organised by the All Bengal Association of Traders at Gorky Sadan on September 10.

  • The Exhibition on the Plates in the Library, from the 21st to the 31st of August, went off successfully. A number of school and College students, journalists as well as the general public attended. Paintings by Wilsen, Blagdon, Atkinson, Colebrook, Solvyns, Sale, Daniells, Hodges, Wallace and Fraser were put on display among others.

  • E-mail enquiries have been received from several people in India and abroad, on a variety of topics, from the brain surgery of King Bhoja to a print titled, "The Interior of the city of Kandahar, from the house of the Sirdar Beer Dil Khaun, brother of the King of Cabul".

  • The professionally designed Goethals website (www.goethals.org), has received a good response from many researchers, who find the online format useful for their research purposes.

  • Fr. Felix Raj (Director) wishes to thank Fr. Bruylants S.J. for the gift of three books on the Nagas presented to the Goethals Indian Library.

  • In the month of July, a group of students and teachers from "The College of the Holy Family", Cairo. Egypt, visited the Library. The visitors were fascinated with the collection. Almost all the students gave their e-mail addresses, in order to receive a copy of the Goethals Bulletin.

  • XB Members visit GILRC: Xavier Board of Higher Education had its annual meeting at St. Xavier’s College, Calcutta. All the participants mostly Principals of Colleges - visited the GILRC one afternoon. Fr. Felix Raj took them around and showed the different sections of the library. One of the visitors said,
    "I never knew St. Xavier’s has such a treasure; it is a pleasant discovery to me".


Light of the East Journal

I am sure you know about the "Light of the East" a monthly journal published by Fr. Dandoy from 1922 to 1944. It had a tremendous impact on the intellectuals of the city and the country, as I am told. There have been some reprints later in 1945-48. People like Fr. Johanns and Mr. Animananda were regular contributors.

Now the Goethals Library and Research Centre wants to reintroduce the journal with the original name, beginning with 4 issues a year; then may be 6 a year and if everything works out well, make it a monthly.

The focus areas/topics will be Indology, religions, education, dialogue, history and so on. We would like to hear from you on this matter. We shall appreciate your suggestions regarding the proposal of restarting the journal, the title, topics etc, by the end of November.

Your support helps us serve others better.


The Rock Caves of BADAMI

These caves which are not so well known and less frequently visited than the Elephanta and Ellora Caves, are, nevertheless, from the point of view of the Archaeologist, of very great importance. These caves, represent Saiva, Vaishnava and Jain faiths, are unique in that they present the only reliable data upon which the age of the rock caves in the different parts of India can be based. There is an inscription in No.3 cave, dated in the twelfth year of the reign of the well known King, Kirtivarman I in the 500th year after the inauguration of the Saka Kings ........

Badami, in the Bijapur district, and sixty-four miles south of the town of that name, is a place of considerable antiquity and historical interest. It is easily accessible, being only three miles from the Railway station. It lies in a ravine between two rocky hills on the north and south. Between the foot of the hills is a large reservoir. The rock caves are on the west face of the South fort and are four in number ......

By A.R.Slater. Mercara. September,1911. From "The Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society", Vol. II. No. 4. July 1911. Bangalore. See pp. 141-142.



The name by which these ruins as a whole are known, really denotes a small village on the south side of the river where is situated the famous Pampapati Temple called after Virupaksha, who married Pampa, the daughter of Brahma. This temple excels all others in point of size and presents a really fine picture from the hill above the village. The large goparum of the temple faces a long street, thirty-five yards wide and 800 yards long. Hampi was, till recent years, a very popular religious rendezvous, but owing to severe epidemic outbreaks the Car festivals have not been so well attended.

A group of Jain Bastis overlooked the Pampati Temple. They are strongly built with stepped towers and are quite different from everything else in the ruins. Judging from the number of temples belonging to the sect, the Jains must have formed a large community.

It is a matter for gratitude that the Public Works Department is exercising all care and watchfulness in the preservation of these ruins.

- An Extract from a Paper read before the Mythic Society, on "The Ruins of Vijayanagar" by The Rev. A. R. Slater, published in the "Quarterly Journal of the Mythic Society", Vol. II. 1910-1911. Bangalore. Pp.55.


Kinship Institutions

The basis and core of all elementary human societies is the natural family, consisting of husband and wife, and their children. This natural family grows into a wide social group, which is still based on reproduction, the kinship group. It includes not only the blood relatives of the spouses (affinal kinship) but also the generations above and below, parents and children, grandparents and grandchildren (consanguineous kinship) ......

Clan totemism is the practice of a social group, without regard to sex or age, of entertaining a mysterious relationship as a group to a class of animals, plants or other material objects (W. Schmidt) ........

The idea is that all members of the group are either descended from the totem animal or plant, or that their ancestors owe it some substantial favour. Thus, North American Indian members of the bear clan maintain that they descend from a bear and a woman, and members of the dog clan believe that a dog and a woman were their ancestors. The Kamar in Central India believe that the members of their goat clan descend from a he-goat and a girl.

The Gond of Central India, on the other hand, have a goat clan whose members regard the goat as their totem because a goat which had been stolen by their ancestors for sacrifice turned into a pig when the theft was discovered and thus saved the thieves from punishment. The Korku of Central India have tree totems; in a battle their ancestors hid under various trees to save themselves from their enemies. The Balahi of Central India have snake and owl totems; these animals saved and protected the ancestors of these clans when by accident they had been left in the field as helpless babies.

Clans may split when they become too large; a kinship group acquires a new totem, which becomes more important, usually through some striking event. It also happens that a clan splits into part totems; for instance, a tiger clan may split into sections which regard the head, tail, claws, teeth etc., of the tiger as their totems. This gives rise to the concept of a phratry, group of "brother-clans".

- An Extract from "The Origin of Man and his Culture", by Stephen Fuchs. Asia Publishing House. Delhi.1963. (Goethals Book No.: 7A/149)


Book Sections 58-70

Section 58 explores the land of Sri Lanka, formerly referred to as Ceylon.
Section 59 uncovers the treasures of non-Indian countries like Persia, Japan, Philippines, Afghanistan, Russia, Tibet, and China.
Section 60 contains a collection of Dictionaries.
Section 61 contains several interesting Bibliographies.
Section 70 deals with Sociology. This is a new section.

FLYING - Machines in Ancient India

The invention of different flying machines in modern times has not come as a surprise to the Indian reader of the two great Sanskrit Epics, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, not to speak of the Puranas and other later works. He has been a believer in the possibility of such inventions through many centuries. The flying machines graphically narrated in the two epics of antiquity have seldom struck him as mere myth or creation of high poetical imagination ......

According to the Brahmanical theory all artistic constructions, such as the figures of elephants, horses and chariots are nothing but intelligent reproductions of the works of nature divine (devasilpanam anukritih). Going by this theory we have to imagine that the first impulse to artistic constructions comes from nature, the idea of flying elephants, horses and chariots being suggested, perhaps, by the changing shapes of clouds in the sky, moving up and down, back and fro. The very name Valahassa employed in a Pali Jataka for the sky-going horse is really suggestive of this fact.

The Pushpakas of the Sanskrit epic fame were a class of vimanas, the mechanism of which was undoubtedly far more advanced than that of the Asokan vimanas. The Pushpakas were a large variety of aerial conveyances capable of high speed and piloted at will- a class of special chariots used with advantage of fighting from the sky under cover of clouds, or for carrying passengers through the air at high speed...

- by B. M. Barua and G. P. Majumdar. "Flying Machines in Ancient India", published in "The Calcutta Review", Oct-Dec. 1933.Volume.XLIX. 287-298pp.


New Arrivals at the Library

  1. Bengal between 1855-73, the popular uprising and the Intelligentsia, by A. K. Sen. Published by Firma KLM. Calcutta. 1992.

  2. History of the Bengali People by N. Ray. Published by Orient Longman. Calcutta. 1994.

  3. Indian Epigraphy by D. C. Sircar. Published by Motilal Banarsidas. Delhi. 1996.

  4. Lord Chaitanya by B. B. Majumdar. Vol. II. Published by K. P. Bagchi. Calcutta. 1999.

  5. Mahatma Gandhi, Mother Teresa, Swami Vivekananda and some important events of India from 1941 to March 1995 by Saroj Kanti Majumdar. Published by Firma KLM. Calcutta. 1996.

  6. Modernity at Large by A. Appadurai. Published by Oxford University Press. Delhi. 1997.

  7. Rabindranath Tagore - short stories, edited by S. Chaudhuri. Published by Oxford University Press. New Delhi. 2000.

  8. Report on Naga Hills by J. Hutton. Published by Mittal Publication.Delhi.1986.

  9. Souvenir - Commemorating 35 years of Statehood, published by the Government Nagaland. Kohima.1999.

  10. Studies on Theology and Naga Culture by Takatemjen. Published by I.S.P.C.K. New Delhi. 1998.

  11. Swami Vivekananda in India by Rajagopal Chattopadhyay. Published by Motilal Banarsidas. Delhi.1999.

  12. The Catholic Church in Northeast India, 1890-1990, by S. Karotemprel (editor). Published by Firma KLM. Calcutta. 1993.

  13. The Goondas - towards a reconstruction of the Calcutta Underworld, by S. Das and J. K. Ray. Published by Firma KLM. Calcutta.1996.

  14. Working a Democratic Constitution - the Indian Experience by Granville Austin. Published by Oxford University Press. New Delhi. 2000.


Researchers at the Goethals

  1. Ms. Geraldine Forbes, from the State University of New York, Oswego paid a short visit on the 3rd of August to the Library. Ms. Forbes was interested in the History of the 19th century.

  2. Ms. Jaya Chaliha visited the library at the end of July to do research on the Santals.

  3. Ms. Sumita Banerjee from Loreto College joined as a member of the Library, in July. Her subject of research is the Occult and the Supernatural in Literature.

  4. Fr. Stephen Pampackal, a member of the Historical Commission for the Canonization of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, visited the Library to search for materials on the growth of the Archdiocese of Calcutta.

  5. Mr. Max Galstaun, from Middlesex, U.K. visited the library in July to do research on the Minorities in India, as well as the History of La Martiniere School.

  6. Mr. Melvyn Brown visited the library in July to do research on the History of "The Herald", an old, Catholic publication.

  7. Fr. C. J. John from Loyola Academy, Secunderabad, did research on the History of the Jesuits from the 17th to the 18th centuries.

  8. Ms. Amanda Hamilton from the University of Chicago, department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations, visited the library in July. Her subject of research was East Indian Community Leaders of the early 19th century.

  9. Mr. Dominic J. Azavedo visited the library and did research on "The Herald", particularly the period of the 1980s.

  10. Student researchers who frequently visited the library are Sharad Chitlangia, Kunal Banerjee, Aman Jain, Albert Paulose, Saireet Sen, Ronita Sen Gupta and Bishan Samaddar from St. Xavier’s College.


Mails & Emails to the Editor

Dear Father,
I am currently doing research on British rule in India. If it is possible kindly refer me to sites that are available on these lines...
Ms S. Patel

Dear Father,
Just located your web site as I was surfing the Net. Was I Surprised to find a web site dedicated to the late Archbishop Paul Goethals !!!!
Anyway I have been maintaining a web site of my old alma mater for the last year or so.. here is the address:
I shall add a link on my page to your site.
John Kingsley. Kenora, Ont. Canada.

Dear Father,
My name is Lindsay Pereira, an ex-Xavierite living in Mumbai. I am currently working on my doctoral thesis, concentrating specifically on pre-independence Indian fiction in English. I came across this link to you while browsing the Net for research material that could help me. I was also asked to get in touch with you by my guide, Dr Eunice DeSouza, Head of The Department of English, St Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
Lindsay Pereira


Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: goethals@vsnl.com  Web-site: www.goethals.in 
Director: Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Library Asst: Mr. Warren Brown; Computer Asst: Mr. Sunil Mondol



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