Friday, June 14, 2013

The Pundits of Kashmir by J.J. Modi, 1915

Jivanji Jamshedji Modi's paper 'The Pundits of Kashmir' (1915) for Journal of the Anthropological Society of Bombay (Vol. X, No. 6, pp. 401-85) was probably one of the first writing on pandits that looked at them from the prism of an ethnographic questionnaire. An interesting work because some of the topics touched here were mostly left unsaid by Pandit writers of the time.

Check: An additional division of Pandits along language spoken, Malechchas of Mirkhula as Zoroastrian fire worshipers, no marriage with outsiders, no talking in front of elders for married couple, no to polyandry but yes some cases of polygamy, mechanics of divorce, dressing differences between followers of Shiva and those of Shakti, river in Lar as nakali Ganga, rare cases of private prostitution, yes to meat, no to beef, pork and eggs, no to onions, tomatoes, carrots as they can cause 'excitement', can only eat uncooked food sitting with other Hindus and no food with others, yes to opium, charas and wine while some non-pandit Kashmiris brew Kehwa with snuff.

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We have come a long way.

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2 comments:

  1. The Pundits of Kashmir by J.J. Modi, 1915

    Dear, a PDF that can be downloaded... if it won't infringe on any copyrights. A third person perspective on early last century of our "civilization" .. always wanted to something like this. Dinesh

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    1. I have updated the post with a direct download link. Anyone with a google account can now download it using one of the menu options. And these works are now in public domain based on the year of publication.

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