Vol. XIII No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2010
Vol. XIII No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2010
Vol. XIII No. 1 Bulletin 2
January - March 2010
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April - December 2009
Vol. XII No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2009
Vol. X I No. 4 Bulletin
October - December 2008
Vol. X I No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2008
Vol. X I No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2008
Vol. XI No. 1 Bulletin
January – March 2008
Vol. X No. 4 Bulletin
October – December 2007
Vol. X No. 3 Bulletin
July – September 2007
Vol. X No. 2 Bulletin
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October - December 2006
Vol. IX No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2006
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October - December 2005
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July - September 2005
Vol. VIII No. 2
April - June 2005
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October - December 2004
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July - September 2004
Vol. VII No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2004
Vol. VII No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2004
Vol. VI No. 4 Bulletin
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Vol. VI No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2003
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April - June 2003
Vol. VI No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2003
Vol. V No. 4 Bulletin
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July - September 2002
Vol. V No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2002
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January - March 2002
October - December 2001
Vol. IV No. 3 Bulletin
July - September 2001
Vol. IV No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2001
Vol. IV No. 1 Bulletin
January - March 2001
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October - December 2000
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July - September 2000
Vol. III No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 2000
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October - December 1999
July - September 1999
Vol. II No. 2 Bulletin
April - June 1999
January - March 1999
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. IV No. 1 Bulletin January - March 2001
News Update | Articles | Researchers
New Arrivals | Mails & Emails
The Library will host an Exhibition on Old Bengal and Calcutta in the month
of February, this year. A number of Plate-books as well as old and rare books on
the History of Bengal and Old Calcutta will be put on display, souvenirs on the
topics will also be available. All are invited to attend.
The library has got a number of
email inquiries on various topics from
researchers and scholars from all over the world.
Dr. Arun Kumar Biswas, Professor of History and Science, from the Asiatic
Society, visited the library in the month of December 2000 to do research on the
life of Father Lafont. He took a number of copies of photographs of Fr. Lafont,
for inclusion in his book, which will be released soon.
Fr. Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Professor of Law, Georgetown University, visited
the Library and was impressed with the collection.
The Goethals Web site has helped a number of researchers all over the world
in finding useful information on several Indological topics.
Fr. Felix Raj, our Director has been suffering from chest trouble: pleurisy
combined with a fractured rib. He was hospitalized in Woodlands Nursing Home for
six days from 08.01.01. Doctors have ordered a month’s rest.
Exogamous groups and caste Endogamy
Though the word used by the five castes of exogamous divisions within a caste,
is identical, the actual structure and function of the group called gotra,
differs from caste to caste, as will be seen from the analysis below.
It may be mentioned here that exogamy as it exists in Hindu society has two
aspects. One forbids marriage between persons connected to each other within
certain generations (cf. Chap.1), and the other bars marriage between members
belonging to the same gotra. As regards endogamy it may be stated that there is
scarcely a single caste in India whose members as a whole intermarry. Each caste
is divided into a number of smaller groups who marry only among themselves.
These endogamous groups are known as sub-castes. There are thus two opposing
tendencies. The consciousness of caste status restricts marriage territorially
and genealogically within a group, while taboo on the marriage of near Kin
extends the affinal group.
Dr. Karve in her book has defined caste as an extended family or an extended
Kinship group. In the same context gotra may be defined as extended patrilineage.
It is stated therein that Gotra is the whole group of persons descended from any
one of the "seven sages" or Agastya . All those who belong to one Gotra are
supposed to have descended from one Vedic Rishi whose name is given to that
gotra. Thus the circle of affinity which each gotra encloses is an extremely
wide one and includes persons whose relationship cannot be traced through
- Book Extract from "Marriage Regulations among certain Castes of Bengal" by Mrs. Bela Gangopadhyay. Deccan College Dissertation Series:25. Poona 1964. pp.39
The duel between Hastings
The day came that might decide the fate of India. Colonel Pearse called for
Hastings soon after four. It was early, and Hastings lay down again for half an
hour; then he arose, dressed, and went with him in his carriage. They arrived at
Belvidere at five-thirty, and found Francis and his second, Colonel Watson,
awaiting them. They had some difficulty in finding a solitary spot, and could
not escape the embarrassing attention of a small audience of natives, including
an old woman whose eager curiosity especially disturbed Hastings. A distance of
fourteen paces was measured, and the two took station. It was arranged that each
should take his own time to fire. According to Colonel Pearse, Hastings was " in
a state of such perfect tranquillity that a spectator would not have supposed
that he was about an action out of the common course of things." He evidently
meant business, as he observed that fourteen paces was a great distance for
pistols. Francis was equally determined. Neither of them knew anything about
duelling or the use of pistols. Hastings said he had only fired one once or
Francis at once took aim and snapped, but his pistol missed fire and had to be
recharged. Hastings had resolved to defer his shot, but after Francis had twice
aimed and withdrawn, he waited no longer. Taking careful aim he fired and hit
his opponent, who fired simultaneously and missed. Francis staggered and fell,
crying out, "I am dead."
"Good God, I hope not," muttered Hastings in a shocked voice, as he and the
seconds ran to his assistance.
They found that he had been struck on the right side, but he was able to sit up
and shake hands with the victor, who expressed his regret at what had happened.
A stretcher was brought, and the wounded man was carried to Belvidere House,
while Warren Hastings hurried back to the city to send medical assistance. The
wound on examination proved not to be dangerous; the ball had entered a little
below the shoulder and lodged on the other side, without touching either the
heart or the backbone. But before this was known the Governor-General, Hastings
had sent his secretary to the Chief Justice to inform him of what had passed. If
the wound proved fatal, he said he would immediately surrender himself and let
the law take its course against him.
-The above Account has been taken from the Book "Warren Hastings-Maker of
British India," by A. Mervyn Davies. Published by Ivor Nicholson and Watson in
London. 1935. Page 273 to 274.
Turkish attacks on
Hindustan in the 12th and 13th centuries
The victory of Muhammed b. Sam over Prithviraja Chauhan in the plains of Tarain
in 1190 was a great event in Indian History. The route to Hindusthan now lay
open, and within ten years the Turks spread over the entire Gangetic valley and
established what may be described in modern military jargon as "pockets". These
pockets were gradually expanded into military strongholds and eventually into
Muhammed b.Sam’s victory, however, was not, as is generally supposed, an
isolated personal triumph, nor was it an accident. It was on the one hand, the
execution of a deliberate military plan by a resolute conqueror, and on the
other, the fulfillment of a process which extended over the whole of the 12th
- An extract from the article by A.B.M. Habibullah published in the Journal New
Indian Antiquary. Volume VI.1943-44.pages 25 to 28.
The History of Jalebi
A systematic history of Indian Dietetics is still a desideratum. Such a history
should include among other things the history of each article of Indian diet,
vegetarian or non-vegetarian, reconstructed on the strength of materials found
in special works on Cookery or in the works on Indian Medicine and corroborated
by references to it in Jain, Brahmanical or Buddhist works, not to say the
literature in the Indian vernaculars as also Persian and other foreign
literature that may have been produced after their contact with Indian life and
Presented here is the history of one of the richest and the most favourite
dishes in Maharashtra and especially in Poona. This dish is no other than
jilalbi or jililbi which MOLESWORTH calls a "sweetmeat" but records no details
about it in his celebrated Dictionary. In the Hobson-Jobson we find the
following information about the dish:- "JELAUBEE S. Hind. jalebi [which is
apparently a corruption of the Arabic word zalabiya,P. zalabiya]. A rich
sweetmeat made of sugar and ghee, with a little flour, melted and trickled into
a pan so as to form a kind of interlaced work, when baked.
[The poison is said to have been given once in sweetmeats, JELABEES" - Chevers,
Medical Jurisprudence. 178].
If the Marathi Jilabi has its origin in the Arabic word zalabiya as mentioned in
the above extract the early history of this popular dish can be easily supplied
by Arabic scholars.......
- The above extract is from the article "Some notes on the History of Indian
Dietetics with special reference to the history of Jalebi" by P.K, Gode.
Published in the Journal New Indian Antiquary. Volume VI.1943-1944. Pages 169 to
Old-Time Conveyances in Calcutta
The mahannah, meeana or myana, has been described as "a long Palankeen in which
we lay full length with a support for the head and shoulders."
There is little doubt about the palki, which was carried by four coolies, is the
oldest type of closed, or "bund", gari. They were used principally for zenana
purposes, although they were still on hire in the Calcutta streets as late as
1900. The equivalent for the men-folk, apart from those who rode on horse-back
was the tonjon, which was a kind of open chair with poles extending at the back
and front and carried by four coolies in the same way as the palki. In the palki
the occupant had nearly always to recline: and when used by the women in the hot
weather, these conveyances must have been very stuffy, as when the doors were
closed there were no means of ventilation. The tonjon went out of use very many
Then came the palki gari, for the better classes who could afford horses. It was
probably so named from the fact that it was a palki on wheels, although to my
mind the Brownberry, which was much later in design, more nearly resembles the
old-time palki, on account of its sliding doors.
The office gari or jaun was practically the same as the Brownberry except that
it had no bottom door, and it was necessary to step over the "bottom side", or
framing of the body, into the well. It was lighter in weight and cheaper to
build than the Brownberry, and as the name implies, was used almost exclusively
by brokers and businessmen.
The Greenfield was merely a glorified Brownberry- a cross between it and the
palki gari, with deeper doors and blinds in the place of the panels in the
I should estimate that practically seventy per cent of the vehicles turned out
by Steuart and Co. would be either Brownberrys or office garis. Both types in
later years had double roofs, with an air space in between, for the sake of
coolness. Rubber tyres were not put on any vehicles before 1900.
- An extract from the article written by Frank E. Bushby and published in the
Journal Bengal Past and Present, Volume XLI. January to June 1931.Published by
the Calcutta Historical Society. Calcutta. Pages 138-140.
Encyclopedia of Indian Tribes by C. Sahu. Published by Sarup and Sons. New
India after Independence by B. Chandra, M. Mukherjee. Published by Penguin
Books. New Delhi. 1999.
Representations of India, 1740 to 1840, by Amal Chatterjee. Published by St.
Martin’s Press. USA. 1998.
I Pravir-the Adivasi God by P. Bhanjdeo. Published by P.Bhanjdeo.Bastar.1965.
Catalogue of Publications-bi-centenary 1784-1984. Published by The Asiatic Society. Calcutta. 1984.
Lord Chaitanya-biographical, Vol. 3, by B. B. Majumdar. Published by K. P.
Bagchi & Co. Calcutta. 1999.
India’s struggle for Independence by B. Chandra. Published by Penguin Books.
New Delhi. 1999.
Colonialism....Political Discourse by B. Parekh. Published by Sage
Publications. New Delhi. 1999.
Nation and National Identity in South Asia by S. L. Sharma and T. K. Oommen.
Published by Orient Longman. New Delhi. 2000.
Human Rights by N. Jayapalan. Published by Atlantic Publishers. New Delhi. 2000.
History of the Freedom Movement 1857-1947
by N. Jayapalan. Published by
Atlantic Publishers. New Delhi. 2000.
Home Remedies with Materia Medica. Published by Fr. Meloo sj. Published by
Prabhat Prakashan.Patna. 2000.
New Perspectives on Advaita Vedanta by B. J. Malkovsky. Published by Brill.
Mails & Emails to the editor
Fr. Gregory Naik sent you recently a letter regarding my research work on the
XVIth c. Jesuit Antonio de Monserrate. we started a new exhibition in Barcelona
about Tibetan Culture where I included a homage to Antonio de Monserrate since
he was a pioneer in the exploration of the Himalayas. I’ve been quite busy
trying to recuperate the figure of this excellent explorer in his home country.
For this reason I traveled in September 2000 to Rome to visit the Jesuit
General Archives and obtain more information. So far I’ve been able to collect
his original letters. Soon we will be receiving the MEMOIRS OF THE ASIATIC
SOCIETY OF BENGAL, vol. III, n.9 (Calcutta 1914) as a loan from Cambridge
University. unfortunately we couldn’t find in Europe some issues of THE CATHOLIC
HERALD OF INDIA which contain the best English translation of Monserrate’s
manuscript. I would like to ask you if it is possible to borrow those issues from
Goethals Library (or if not, if it is possible to get a copy of them). The
issues are: THE CATHOLIC HERALD OF INDIA, between August 11, 1920 and November
30, 1921. We would appreciate very much if you could help us. I am looking
forward to receiving some news from you. Best regards,
Dr. Josep, Barcelona,
I am seeking information for a school project involving Eastern religions and
customs. One bit of information I seek is as regards the meaning of the marking
on the forehead of many Indian women. Is there a name for this marking? Is it
permanent or temporary? Is this common only to Hindus, and if so what is the
significance? Is it societal and does it span religious groups, i.e. common to
Hindus, Sikhs, Muslims, etc. Is it a caste marking or does it denote marital
I am looking to conduct some research on the Lohana Tribe/Community of North
West India/Gurarat. In particular I am interested in their origins. Do you have
anything in your library which could be of use?
I am planning a visit to India and Nepal from 22 February to 20 March. I hope to
arrive in Calcutta by Air on 5 March. That would give me all day of 6 March to
visit the Goethals Library, of which I’ve read so much in your newsletter. Thank
you for your help, and I look forward to seeing the Goethals Library that I have
come to know through your newsletters.
Mark A. Lewis, S.J. Director, IHSI, Roma,
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, St. Xavier’s, 30 Mother Teresa
Sarani, Kolkata-700 016, India.
Tel: 0091-33-2280 1919; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Director: Fr. Felix Raj, SJ; Library Asst: Mr. Warren
Brown; Computer Asst: Mr. Sunil Mondol