Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. IV No. 3 Bulletin July - September 2001
News Update | Articles | Researchers
New Arrivals | Mails & Emails
The Goethals Indian Library and Research Centre, Calcutta is participating in an
International Library Project called "Christianity’s Encounter with World
Religions," undertaken by the American Theological Library Association. The ATLA
has received a grant of $ 5.64 lacs from the National Endowment for the
Humanities for this purpose.
The NEH has approved a list of titles for microfilming and preservation, which
includes "The Light of the East". The complete list of journals selected is
supposed to represent the theme, "Christianity’s Encounter with World
Religions." The most interesting part of the project is the theological
viewpoints of non-Christian and non-Western religions.
Fr. G Dandoy, SJ, edited the "Light of the East" series from 1922 to 1946.
According to his editorial article in the first issue, the journal was to give
testimony to the Light. "In Him was Life, and the Life was the Light of all
mankind" (Jn 1:4-5). The Light was Jesus Christ.
The regular contributors in the journal included great ideologists like Fr. P
Johanns, SJ, Brahmabandha Upadhyay and Swami Animananda. The series had a
tremendous impact on the people of Kolkata, India at large and many foreign
The contents of "Light of the East" series (1922-1948) will be put on our
Goethals website is updated regularly. Latest attractions are: Articles on Fr.
Teilhard de Chardin, the Passionate Champion of Christ; Fr. Robert Antoine, the
Indologist; Fr. H. Hosten, Historian and Scholar; Fr. Lafont and J C Bose;
Udayani Center; Books on Tribals; articles by GILRC Director, and Vibrations.
The Symposium on the Goethals web site is quite popular with a number of
participants writing on new themes.
Publication: Felix Raj: Dalit Identity – The search for Equality and Dignity",
The Statesman, May 25, 2001.
The students of the Mass Communications department of St. Xavier’s College
visited the library in May to do filming.
Kanpur City, formerly Cawnpore, administrative headquarters of the districts of
Kanpur (urban) and Kanpur (rural), southwest of Lucknow, on the Ganga River,
Uttar Pradesh State, north-central India. Kanpur was only a village when the
British acquired it and the surrounding territory in 1801 and made it one of
their frontier stations. In 1857, during the Indian uprising, the British troops
in the town were massacred by the Indian forces. The survivors are said to have
been thrown into a well where a memorial was built by the British.
The largest city of Uttar Pradesh and one of the largest in India, Kanpur owes
its emergence as an industrial city of North India to the American civil war
(1861-1865) which disrupted cotton supply to the Manchester Mills. W S Halsey,
the then district magistrate, introduced cotton cultivation in the district. As
the war continued, the price of cotton soared making Kanpur a prosperous
district and Kanpur city a textile centre. Kanpur’s prosperity, however, has
waned during the last 50 years. Industrial decay is evident all over the city.
Kanpur has an area of more than 260 sq km. It is an important road and rail hub
and a major commercial and industrial centre. The city proper lies northwest of
the cantonment; most of its industry is still farther northwest. The urban area
also includes three railway colonies and Armapur, a suburb. There is an airport
nearby. Kanpur has two universities, one of them agricultural; colleges of
medicine, law, and education; the Indian Institute of Technology; and the Sugar
Cane Research Institute. Notable buildings include a sacred Hindu glass temple
and Kamla Retreat, a rest house on a lake. There are several museums, hospitals,
and nursing homes in Kanpur.
The ‘City of Joy’
In spite of its glorious past, one of Kolkata’s worst affected areas is
There are 1343 Primary Schools, 574 High Schools, and 173 H. Sec. Schools. There
are three Universities: Calcutta University with 173 colleges and 20 Eng. &
Tech. Colleges; Jadavpur University with two Colleges, and Rabindrabharathi
The literacy rate in Kolkata is around 76%, but the female literacy rate is
alarmingly low with only 38 per cent. For schooling facility available per 1000
population in West Bengal, Kolkata is the lowest with 0.37. (e.g. Bankura –
1.16; Burdwan – 0.52).
In West Bengal, the literacy rate in 1951 was 24.5 per cent (male-35% and female
13%). Today, it is 66 per cent (male 75% and female 56%). In 1951 there were
20,000 primary schools with 20 lakh students. Today there are 51,021 primary
schools with 1,23,50931 students. In 1951 there were 2000 H. Schools, 1400 H.
Sec. Schools with 11 lakh students. Today there are 8000 H. Schools and 1644 H
.Sec. Schools with 39 lakh students.
There were three Universities with 109 colleges and one-lakh students in 1951.
Today, there are 9 Universities with 402 colleges with 6.12 lakh students. Of
the 402 colleges, 340 (86%) are General degree colleges, 20 (5%) are Engineering
and Technical Colleges, 30 (7.5%) are Teacher Training colleges, 5(1.2%) are
Medical Colleges, 4 (1%) are Law colleges and 2 (O.5%) are Management
Institutes. Of the 402 colleges, 37 are Government colleges and the remaining 365
are private colleges.
The growth in this century has been as follows: In 1900 – 29 colleges; 1951 –
109 colleges; 1990 – 341 colleges and 2000 – 402 colleges. The total allocation
to education for the year 1999-2000 was only 19.99 per cent (Rs. 5003.64 crores)
of the total budget estimate of Rs. 25034.42 crores of the West Bengal
Government. Of this, 10 per cent (Rs 500.80 crores) is meant for Higher
education. In the last five years, the pattern of budget estimate for education
and higher education shows that though there have been increases every year in
the actual amounts set aside; proportionately less has been allocated for
education in the budget.
For example, in 1994-95 it was 22.64 per cent (Rs. 2123.07 crores) of the total
budget expenditure; in 1995-96 it was 20.84 per cent (Rs 2293.24 cr). In 1996-97
it was 18.52 per cent (Rs 2373.45cr); in 1997-98 it was 17.75 (2647.65cr), and
in 1998-99, it was 17.67 per cent (Rs 2926.56 crores).
There is not an adequate number of schools, colleges and professional
institutions in the city. We see the frustration of parents and guardians to
admit their wards in particular institutions during the time of admission so
that they can gain some social status. It has been the routine business of
parents and their wards to make a beeline for the offices of schools and
colleges for admission.
Existing schools, colleges and Universities must improve the quality of their
education. New initiatives in this direction must be encouraged and supported.
New schools and colleges need to be opened. Government and private organisations
must come forward and join hands to build a better, harmonious and educationally
Book Extract: Mohurrum
"I have just learned the origin of the Mohurrum. It is a festival, or rather
commemoration of the death of Hussein and Houssein, the sons of Ali, Mohammed’s
nephew. These two were pursued towards the desert by their enemies; they took
shelter in a well, and a spider immediately wove a web across the top. Their
enemies came up, and seeing the web, thought that Houssein and Hussein could not
be in the well. However, one of them looking down observed a number of lizards
all hastening up the sides, so then they thought there must be someone at the
bottom who frightened the lizards, and, searching, they got up the two brothers
and killed them. It is to commemorate this fact that they have instituted the
festival of the Mohurrum, and in consequence the Mohammedans all reverence the
spider, while they kill the lizard.(1843)"
From "Travellers India - An Anthology", edited by H. K. Kaul. Oxford University
Press. Delhi, 1980.
Early History of the Catholic Missions in Northeast India (1598-1890)
This is an interesting book about the land and the peoples of Northeast India
and the heroic efforts of a few lonely men driven by the desire to discover new
lands and people and to share their Faith with them.
The book contains valuable information previously unavailable to scholars about
the Brahmaputra, the religious practices of the people and the tribes of
Northeast India. Those interested in history, Church history, history of the
Christian Mission and social workers will find here a mine of useful
information. This is the first book on the early history of the Catholic Church
in Northeast India published in English.
- Translated and edited by F Leicht, S. Karotemprel. Published by Firma KLM
Private Limited. Shillong. 1989. Book No.: 38N/101
Old Newspaper Reports
Moving Premises of Xavier’s- The College of St. Francis Xavier was removed,
on the 22nd instant, from Murghyhutta Street to No.3, Park Street, Middleton
Row, Chowringhee. - Friday, Jan.26,1838.
Seal’s College. Founded in the Year 1843- the object of this foundation is
to provide for the education of Hindoos so as to fit them to occupy posts of
trust and emolument in their own country.
The course of education will comprise English Literature in all its branches,
History, Geography, Elocution, Writing, Arithmetic, Algebra, Geometry, and the
higher Mathematics, the Philosophical Sciences and the practical application of
The College will be open free of all charge. However, one rupee per month will
be demanded to cover the expenses of Books, Stationery, etc. The surplus, if
any, will be expended in furnishing the College with Mathematical instruments
The College will be entirely under the management of the Directors of the Parent
College of St. F. Xavier, Chowringhee, who undertake to furnish Professors
according to the increasing demand of the establishment. The number of the
scholars will be limited to 500.
Until a suitable building can be provided, the schools will be held in the house
of Baboo Mutty Loll Seal*, the Founder. The schools will open on Wednesday,
March the 1st. 1843.
*The Free College still exists and is located on Chittaranjan Avenue
(From the Book "Glimpses of Old Calcutta. (Period: 1836-1850)" by R. R.
Choudhury. Published by The Statesman. Calcutta. 1978. Book No. 9C/405)
Researchers at Goethals
Dr. Saktisadhan Mukhopadhyay and Mr. Adhir Kumar from the Derozio
Commemoration Committee, visited the Library to do research on ‘Calcutta in the
19th and 20th centuries’.
Ms. Rita Banerjee visited the library from Rabindrabharati University to do
research on the presence of the Portuguese language in Bengali grammar.
Mr. M K Chanda visited the library to do research on the English Press in
Bengal from 1780 to 1880.
Students who regularly visited the library were Esther Yu, Ifthekar Ansary,
Priscilla Lee, Annie Hou, David Cecil, Leon D’Souza and others.
Mails & Emails
I have looked at your web, it’s ok about India. I like Indian philosophy and
culture. Now I am reading a book "Philosophies of India" by Heinrich Zimmer.
Agung Prihantoro, Indonesia
My great great grandfather wrote a text that I have found information of on your
website. Is it possible to purchase a copy of this volume? Alti Hills in Cuttack
by John Beames.
Mark P. Beames, Maryland
I found your website on the internet. I spent a few years in the early 1942 in
your beautiful country, hence my interest. I was stationed at an RAF test unit
in the Cawnpore area.
It is just an oldie reliving some of the service days many many years ago. I
still have interest in your part of the world.
Ernest, U K
I am an ex-student of Goethals Memorial School, Kurseong. I wish to gather
information regarding his life. Presently I am studying medicine in Calcutta
I have found through my research that my family has a long history in Calcutta
and I am in the process of putting together a small book detailing this. A copy
of which I will be sending to various research centers including Goethals
Library upon completion.
If I am ever in a position to travel to Calcutta I will make it my mission to
visit Goethals Library and thank you in person.
Colin Madge, USA
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