Kashmiri Pandits and Their Diversity (A Socio-Demo-Genetic Profile)
|Author:||Aloke K. Kalla|
|Publisher:||B.R. Publishing Corporation|
|Other Details||9.00 X 6.00 inch|
The present work is a serious and detailed Anthropological study, conducted to examine the bio-social phenomena of the two groups of Kashmiri Pandits or Brahmins, who after having suffered in the past, repeated waves of Islamic persecution, moved out of the valley and sought shelter in various towns of North India.
This, carefully considered study, investigates, whether socio-cultural isolation of the two groups of Kashmiri Pandits the old and the new migrants, or who are still-living in the valley, has brought any difference in their demo-genetic constitution.
A wealth of data has been collected and analysed to suggest their links with their site of origin, as well as the changes they have undergone to adapt to their local environment.
Born on December 31st, 1942, Dr. Aloke K. Kalla the author of the present book, has done his Ph. D. in Anthropology, from department of Anthropology, University of Delhi. A learned scholar, he is serving as a Reader in the same department. Apart from publishing numerous research papers and articles in Indian and international journals, he has been the principal investigator of project "Demogenetic Dynamics of 'Taza' and 'Purana' Kashmiri Pandits", and joint investigator of "A Bio-Demographic study of the people of Delhi- U. P. border" sponsored by the U.G.C. He has participated in various national and international conferences.
In recent years increasings attention has been given to population structure which is the product of interrelationship. between biological and social components. The dynamics of human populations is determined by demographic structure, in terms of patterns of fertility and mortality, migration and the effect by these on age and sex composition. Population size and distribution, population movement and patterns of fertility and mortality have an impact on the genetic and social. structure of human populations. Social institutions inhibit the marital relations between human populations.
The present study deals mainly with the demographic structure of the Kashmiri Pandits by employing bio-social interactions. The book gives a good description of occupation, income, educational experience, religious affiliations, disease, genealogical composition, geographical and social mobility of the 'Purana' Kashmiri Pandits and Taza' Kashmiri Pandits to delineate their population characteristic.
Bio-Social scientists never tire themselves in examining the existence of small communities in India and come up with interesting data. The Parsee and the Kashmiri community are amongst the smallest of the influential social groups living and working on the sub-continent, who have been the subject of repeated study. The efforts have been mainly, to find reason why the two small communities continues to wield such widespread social influence. Anthropologists have however probed below the skin to study the bio-social phenomenon in the Parsees and Kashmiri groups and reveal some of the peculiar genetic dynamics operating against, or in favour of these small social groups. The latest study of Dr. Aloke K. Kalla, Department of Anthropology, University of Delhi entitled "The Kashmiri Pandits and their Diversity" (A Socio Demo-Genetic Profile), adds to the literature on the diminishing community of Kashmiri Pandits.
The Kashmiri Pandits, or Brahmins, are a very small group left in their pure genetic form, after having suffered in the past repeated waves of Islamic prosecution by invaders from Afghanistan. There were forced conversions, and marriages, and people moved out of the valley and sought shelter in various towns of North India. Those who were scattered, still continued to show a phenomenal instinct of survival which is primarily due to the tradition of marrying within the community. Yet, the small community of the Kashmiri Pandits has shown a split, because one group has remained within the confines of the Kashmir valley, while another group has remained in the last 300 years definitely isolated outside the valley and particularly in North India in the Indo-Gangetic plains.
Kashmiri Pandits (or Kashmiri Brahmins) have been considered to be descendents of the so called "Aryans" in the purest form. The Aryan ancestry of the Kashmiri Brahmins has been stressed upon by Kalhana in his "Rajtarangini", Thompson in his "History of India", Monier Homer Williams in his book "Modern India and the Indians", George Campbell in his book "Ethnology of India" and some other ethnologists and anthropologists. According to George Campbell, The Kashmiri Brahmins are quite high-Aryan in the type of their features-very fair and handsome, with high chiselled features, and no trace of intermixture of the blood of any lower race. It may be partly race and partly occupation, but they have certainly greater refinement and regularity of feature than the Afghans and other of a rougher type, with, however, a less manly looking physique and a colourless ruddy. and more inclining to a somewhat sallow fairness. The high nose, slightly aquiline, but by no means what we call Jewish or nutcracker, is a common type. Raise a little the brow of a Greek statue, and give the nose a small turn at the bony point in front of the bridge, so as to break the straightness of line, you have then the model type of this part of India, to be found both in the living men and in the statues dug up in the Peshawar valley. There are also a good many straight noses, and somet varieties, as in all places but much less departure from an ordinary handsome standard than in most countries. The figure of the ordinary working Kashmiri is strong and athletic. But none of them are martial, and the Brahmins are, in this respect, no exception".Book's Contents and Sample Pages
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