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Goethals News Bulletin
Goethals Indian Library & Research Society, Kolkata
Vol. V No. 2 Bulletin April - June 2002

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

News Updates

  • The Goethals library had a book exhibition on "Old Calcutta and Bengal" which was well attended. The local newspapers gave a good coverage of the exhibition. The Telegraph had published a detailed report besides its regular announcements. The Akash Bangla TV had carried a report of the exhibition including an interview with the director.

  • The Goethals library wishes to thank Fr. Edward Le Joly for the gift of the book "L’ Erection De La Croix" by Pierre Paul Rubens. Published by Editions De Lassa. Belgium. 1992.

  • A lot of new content has been added to the Goethals Website (www.goethals.org), which makes it very informative.

  • Readers can participate in our online forum - Vibrations. You can send your views on any current topics to goethals@vsnl.com or by post.


Researchers at Goethals

  1. Dr. Spyrou Milton from Greece visited the library to do research on the Europeans in Calcutta (Non-East India Co. servants) during the 18th and 19th centuries.

  2. Ms. Ruchita Kajaria, a college student did research on Indian Philosophy.

  3. Fr. Julien S Das did research on Cross-cultural study of the communication patterns of Santals and Bengalis.

  4. Ms. Hansa Bhandari from Loreto College did research on Indian History.

  5. Ms. Payel Gupta from Loreto College visited the library to do research on Indian History.

  6. Dr. John Lourdusamy is doing research on the Science Movements in India, as well as a few other topics.

  7. Other Student researchers who visited the library were Paromita Das Gupta, Banomita Chakraborty, Vidyanad Prabhakar, Ritobrata Paul, Simon Zubin Rajan, Chandra Anand, Vivek Das, Sujoy Sarkar, Debjit Hazra, Aveek Paul, L Gualnam, Vishal Sethi and Samrat Sen.


Lectures Delivered

  1. Felix Raj, "New Opportunities and Challenges Ahead - Education-Industry Interface", at Bharatiya Bhasha Parishad, Kolkata on 23–03–2002.

  2. Felix Raj, "Democratization of Higher Education in India", a seminar organised by the Department of History, Calcutta University on 05-04-2002.


GILRS Director Addresses CPM Leaders

Kolkata: The Left Front Chairman, Mr. Biman Bose had personally invited Jesuit Fr. Felix Raj of St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata to address the CPM leaders on March 14th at the Centenary Hall of the Calcutta University on Communal Peace and Harmony in India. The occasion was the eve of the symbolic Puja threat by the VHP. Mr. Bose had brought in around 2000 leaders of his party to reflect on the nationally important issue of communal harmony.

It is the first time a Jesuit Priest had been invited by Marxist Communists in West Bengal State to address them. Fr. Felix Raj, an economist and a writer, in his address, appreciated the gesture of the CPM leaders " to listen to common people like me. If all politicians in our country follow your good example, communal harmony is not far from us; it can be restored fast."

He said, "… If Marx were to be alive today, he would call politics an opium of the people. Religious fundamentalism is growing in politics. And it is an unhealthy sign for our country. As politicians, you all belong to your respective parties; but once you are elected MLAs, MPs and Ministers; you become public servants and belong to people."

"You are called to transcend religious, caste, regional and party boundaries to serve the masses. Service is supposed to be your motto. But it is not so today. What is happening today is a betrayal of people’s faith in leaders. If a process of transformation does not take place, the whole country faces a dangerous future. Our country’s multi-religious, multi-cultural and multi-lingual heritage is in danger. The age-old unity in diversity is being hijacked. We must wake up and respond to the situation immediately".

"God doesn’t live only in temples, churches and mosques we build. He lives in the struggles and smiles of our people, especially the poor and the marginalized. We must look beyond our religious and communal identities and focus on our national and human identity. Then only it is possible for us to live together".

Fr. Raj appreciated the Left Front Government for its role in maintaining communal harmony and peace in West Bengal. He added, " we should not be content with what we are. There is room for improvement".

He said, "The scenario is not the same in many parts of our country. We have come to such a level that the Prime Minister of the country calls an organisation, once banned for its communal activities to mediate the Ayodhya issue and make major decisions. Where are we heading to?"

Other speakers included novelist and Magasasay award winner, Maheswata Devi, noted poet, Nirendranath Chakraborty and famous magician, P.C. Sorcar.
by Dominic Savio, SJ


Akbar and the Foundation of a New Order

Accession: When he succeeded his father in 1556, he was only thirteen.

Contemporary Atmosphere: His first act of state was to earn religious merit and the title of Ghazi (slayer of infidels) by striking at the disarmed and captive Hemu after his defeat at the second battle of Panipat.

  • Mubarak, a scholar of no mean repute was persecuted even though he was a Muslim, for holding rather unorthodox views.

  • As Badayuni tells us, it was customary ‘to search out and kill heretics’, let alone Non-Muslims.

Akbar’s Heritage: He had to formulate his religious policy in this atmosphere of mistrust and suspicion.

  • Akbar, like his grandfather Babur but in a different field – loved adventure and was prepared to plunge into new experiments in government.

  • He desired not only to profess and practice the faith of his forefathers, but to understand it as well. With this end in view, he established his ‘House of Worship’ and started religious discussions there.

  • Akbar’s marriages with Hindu princesses and his relations with the Hindu Rajas provided the means for bringing Hindu Teachers of all shades of opinion to the religious discussions in the imperial presence.

Akbar’s Religious Policy: The great achievement of Akbar in this field was the abolition of the hateful ‘Jizya’. As a tax the ‘jizya’ was bad enough, it was retrogressive in its demand and its incidence on income was great. But, it was hated more as a sign and emblem of inferiority. It implied a declaration that the Muslim rulers of India were still her conquerors, holding the inhabitants down by sheer force.

Public Worship: Akbar further removed all restrictions from the public religious worship of non-Muslims. A Christian Church was built at Agra, another at Lahore, while permission to build Churches at Cambay and Thatta was also secured. Several Jain temples seem to have been built at Satrunjaya and Ujjain. Local tradition credits Akbar with the presentation of a golden umbrella to the shrine of the fire goddess of Jwala Mukhi in the modern district of Kangra in the Punjab.

- An extract from "The Religious Policy of the Mughal Emperors", by Ram Sharma. Book Enclave. Jaipur. 2001. (Book No: 2C/215)


Vital Remedies from 1897

The following remedies are prescribed for mental ailments and complete cure is guaranteed to those who persevere with the treatment:-

Against Fits of Fury – Go at once into the open air, far away from human beings, and shout to the wind and tell it what a fool you are.

Against Attacks of Discontent – Set out for the homes of the poor; look at their narrow room, their hard beds, their poor clothes and shoes. Observe what is put on their breakfast, dinner and supper tables. Ask what their earnings are and calculate how you would fare with it. When you get home you will no longer be discontented.

Against Ambition and Envy – Go into the graveyard and read the inscriptions on the tomb-stones. They show what is the end of all earthly striving. Your house, too, will be there some day, with a little earth for your pillow and corruption for your body.

- Indo-European Correspondence, 1897.


Jesuits in Number

As of January 1, 2002

Total - 20,741, Priests - 14,623 (- 225) from 2001

Scholastics - 3,940 (-25), Brothers - 2,155 (-75), Indiff. Novices - 23 (+6)

The average age of all Jesuits in the world is 51.23 years.

SJ Curia Document N. 82. February 2002

The Zemindars of the Twenty-Four Parganas
by C W Gurner

Their Re-instatement by Warren Hastings:

It is fairly well known that the Zemindari of the 24 Parganas, corresponding approximately to the district of the name, was acquired by the company in 1757 under the agreement establishing Mir Jafar as Nawab of Bengal. The agreement tacitly passed over a vital aspect of the transaction, namely the claims of the existing zemindars of that area to compensation for the loss of their position.

As a matter of fact there is a curious contradiction between the two documents giving effect to this clause in the agreement, the Parwannah addressed to the Zemindars and the Sunnud granted to the company.

i) While the latter confers unequivocally on the company the "office of the zemindari of the 24 Pargannahs", the former regards the Zemindars as continuing to exist.

"Know then ye zemindars, etc, that ye are dependents of the Company and that ye must submit to such treatment as they give you, whether good or bad; and this is my express injunction."

However, that point is purely technical. No one failed to realize that the agreement and consequent orders amounted to the definite and absolute dispossession of the Zemindars.

- An extract from "Bengal Past & Present", Vol. XXXIII, pt II, April-June 1927, pp 85-91.


A Note on the Rev Paul Limrick and the Limrick Family
by MLL Denny

On 28th October, 1788, Rev. Paul Limrick officially reported his arrival in Calcutta. His approbation by the Archbishop is dated 18th February, 1788. Captain Agnew was paid 100 for the passage of this gentleman to India who declared himself pleased with his treatment during the voyage.

Mr. Limrick was a scholar of Trinity College, Dublin, 1773. He graduated BA in 1775 and MA in 1782, in which year he married a Miss Margaret Law, who accompanied him to India. She died in 1841.

According to the "Parochial Annals of Bengal" (by H B Hyde, 1901) Mr. Limrick officiated at Chunar in 1789, at Fategarh in 1790, at Dinapore in 1791 and in 1794 he became Garrison Chaplain at Fort William. In 1897 he was appointed Junior Presidency Chaplain under Rev. David Brown, but continued to act as Garrison Chaplain.

Mr. Limrick lived at No. 34, Chowringhee Road and died in 1810, after having been invalided for about a year. A musical service book printed for St. John’s use from engraved copper plates circa 1810, contains chants written by Mr. Limrick and his wife. A half length portrait of him in oils is preserved in St. John’s, he left a widow and several children. Dr. Ward succeeded him in the Junior Chaplaincy.

- "Bengal Past & Present", Vol II. Pt. II. August to December 1908. pages 152-160.


Anavi Kingdom in the Punjab

Usinara the Anavi King, after his arrival in the Punjab, probably established himself at Multan. We are told that after the death of Usinara, his Anavi kingdom was divided among his five sons.

Their modern representatives the Punjabee tribe of the Joyas, still live in this part of the province. They were known to the Greek authors of the time of the Macedonian invader Alexander the Great. But, it appears the Anavi kingdoms did not remain strong military and political powers for long.

With the rise of the Haihayas, under the leadership of Kritvirya and Arjuna Sahasrabahu, and with the subsequent victories of Sagar of Ayodhya, the military strength of the Anavas was destroyed.

The state of the Madrakas was well-known Vedic kingdom. Madri, a princess of this country was the mother of the Pandava brothers, Nakula and Sahadeva.

- Extract from Vedic and Aryan India: Evolution of political, legal and military systems, edited by H. S. Bhatia. Deep & Deep Publication. New Delhi. 2001


Error Regretted: New Arrivals of Jan-March 2002

Indica 2001 - Special Platinum Jubilee Volume of the Heras Institute of Indian History and Culture, St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai.
Edited by A. A. Mascarenhas.

New Arrivals

  1. Feminism and Christian Ethics by S F Parsons. Published by Cambridge University Press. U K. 1996.

  2. Hindu Nationalism – Origins, Ideologies and Modern Myths by C Bhatt. Published by Berg. U K. 2001.

  3. Partition Omnibus by jt. authors D Page, A I Singh, P Moon and G D Khosla. Published by OUP. New Delhi. 2002.

  4. People of India – Manipur, edited by K S Singh. Vol XXXI. Published by Anthropological Survey of India. Seagull Books. Calcutta. 1998.

  5. People of India - Meghalaya, edited by K S Singh. Vol XXXII. Published by Anthropological Survey of India. Seagull Books. Calcutta. 1994.

  6. People of India – Sikkim, edited by K S Singh. Vol XXXIX. Published by Anthropological Survey of India. Seagull Books. Calcutta. 1993.

  7. People of India – Tamil Nadu, edited by K S Singh. Vol XL (3 parts) Published by Anthropological Survey of India. East West Press. Madras. 1997.

  8. People of India – Tripura, edited by K S Singh. Vol XLI. Published by Anthropological Survey of India. Seagull Books. Calcutta. 1996.

  9. Social and Political Thoughts of Gandhi by J Bandyopadhyaya. Published by Manuscript India. Howrah. 2000.

  10. Social Development and the Empowerment of Marginalised Groups, edited by DK Singha Roy. Published by Sage. New Delhi. 2001.

  11. The Raj and the Bengali People by Sunil Datta. Published by Firma KLM, Kolkata. 2002.


Mails & Emails

Dear Father,
I am looking for documents, press cuttings, photos, personal accounts etc. concerning my mother’s uncle, Father Victor Courtois, who was in Calcutta some time between 1939 and 1960. I know, he was for a considerable time active in the Goethals library, being mainly concerned with Muslim culture and civilization.
Etienne Sougné, Belgium

Dear Father,
Congratulations. It is some achievement to be invited to the Communist Party to address its members. Best wishes.
Archbishop Henry D’Souza, Kolkata

Dear Father,
I am happy to let you know that at last I have finalized my research visit to Calcutta! I was delighted to see the news item on your lecture at the CPM meet.
John Lourdasamy

Dear Father,
Thank you for sending me the Goethal news. My new novel spans six generations of a Marwari family, which migrated to Calcutta after the rail-lines were laid between Delhi & Calcutta around 1860.It has a lot of history-of the city of Calcutta, of the Bengalis and of the struggle for independence.
I wish to see two new books in your library, which cover the history of the Anglo-Indian community in Calcutta.
Alka Saraogi

Dear Father,
I need the following sections of the books dealing with the Nilgiri tribes: Bulletin, vol. II, No. 1 - Anthropology of the Badagas, Irulas, Paniyans Vol II, No. 2 Dravidians and the Toda petition. Published by the Madras Government Museum. Madras. 1896-1906. (Book No: 7A/204).
Sundaradevan Nanjiah, Chennai

Dear Father,
I am happy to receive the GOETHALS Bulletin Jan-Mar 2002. Nice to hear about the first Governing Body Meeting of GILRS.
M. Hansda


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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