Discussion:
Goanet Reader: The Inquisition, a beating stick?
(too old to reply)
Goanet Reader
2009-07-14 05:17:08 UTC
Permalink
The Inquisition, a beating stick?

DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha

There's no point getting defensive about the realities of the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?

Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive responses,
and accusations.

I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a small
set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding of
the Goa Inquisition. Recently, because of such recurrent
debates, one ran into more critical views[1] that challenges
our traditional understanding of the Inquisition. This only
made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas. It was he who played the
most important role -- at least in the sub-continent -- in
shaping our understanding of the Inquisition. Priolkar wrote
around the 1960s, quite some time ago, and often in Marathi.
I wish I had been more fluent in that language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted in
Goa this year. In between, the Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based
Voice of India press also published a second impression in
1991. To look at the VoI's ideology, google for a list of
books published by it, or check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations above, but
there's hint enough about the interest-groups who give
current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The Angle being
referred to is Prabhakar Angle, another writer who didn't
mince his words and spoke out his feelings on a number of
issues, from economics to culture and inter-community
relations.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who was caught up in the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course, as every man has the right to hold his
religious preferences.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

Buchanan apparently had a problem with anything that didn't
fit in with his own views on religion.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice." Interestingly, Buchanan was
"not less indignant at the Inquisition of Goa, than I had
been with the temple of Juggernaut" (sic)

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

David Higgs (in 'The Inquisition in Late Eighteenth-Century
Goa', in Goa; Continuity and Change, edited by Narendra K.
Wagle and George Coehlo (sic), University of Toronto 1995)
gives us another perspective when he acknowledges the role
Priolkar's 1961 study played in shaping the debate.

Higgs writes: "Priolkar drew heavily on secondary sources in
his sketch on the Goan Inquisition, especially on a late
seventeenth-century Frenchman, Gabriel Dellon, arrested in
Goa, whose case was made famous by the denunciatory account
of his experiences published after his return from France."

He calls Dellon's version an "exuberant account of his
misfortunes." Likewise, Higgs points out, Priolkar also used
the "over-imaginative account of a British clergyman, C.
Buchanan, who wanted to think that what he was not allowed to
see in Old Goa in 1808 was what Dellon inveighed at more than
a century earlier."

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the
narrative....

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have
ample documentation [8] about the Black Legend created (for
instance, by the Dutch about the Spaniards, their rivals) in
centuries past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7]
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend


First published in Herald, Goa.
Santosh Helekar
2009-07-14 22:42:29 UTC
Permalink
I am not quite sure what this devil's advocacy of Noronha is all about. Rather, it appears to me that he is trying to paint the Goan historian Anant Priolkar as the devil incarnate. It sure looks like he is doing a shabby hit and run job on this scholar without doing the hard work, himself, of critically reading and reviewing his book on the Goan inquisition, and examining the original sources on which his compilation was based. Using a tactic we are now quite accustomed to in Goan forums Noronha is smearing this man as a Hindu extremist by placing a few choice code words such as "Marathi" and "Hindutva-oriented" in his drivel.

I wish a genuine historian or student of the inquisition would provide us with a balanced and dispassionate analysis of Priolkar's account and the secondary sources that were available to him, so the readers would have real substance to consider rather than be beguiled by superficial smear tactics.

In the absence of such an unbiased thoughtful treatment, let me show you how highly regarded Priolkar's book was among his peers when it first appeared in the early 1960's. Let me quote from two independent scholarly reviews of his book, written by real historians in high profile academic journals. Those who want copies of these reviews can send me private requests for them.

EXCERPT from Review #1
QUOTE
On the whole his account is objective and restrained. He devotes three
chapters to the intolerance towards Hindus. In one he traces the
evolution of religious persecution as a policy prior to the
establishment of the Inquisition in Goa (1561). In another he examines
the methods of conversion, asking rhetorically whether conversions
were obtained "from conviction, for convenience or by
force?"..........................

In the absence of the trial records, Priolkar reprints the French
physician C. Dellon's classical account of his imprisonment and trial
by the In- quisition in Goa in the XVllth century (using an English
translation published in Hull, 1812) and the less known but perhaps
more effective "Ac- count of the Inquisition at Goa in 1808" inserted
by the British Dr. Claudius Buchanan in his Christian Researches in
India (London, 1812, 5th ed.)..........................

Priolkar does not exaggerate the intolerant zeal of the Christian
missionaries, neither does he try to understand it. For the late XVIth
century his thesis is confirmed by other material which had not been
available to him. A good example of it is a Franciscan chronicle,
Conquista espiritual do Oriente, written by Fr. Paulo da Trindade
between 1630 and 1636 and being published only now by Fr. Felix Lopes,
O. F. M. (Vol. I, Lisbon, 1962.)
UNQUOTE
-----Review by Gerald M. Moser of ?The Goa Inquisition. Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in Goa by Anant
Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society,
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1964), pp. 483-484; Published by:
American Oriental Society.

EXCERPT from Review #2
QUOTE
Despite the catchpenny title of The terrible tribunal of the East
which the wrapper of this book bears, the book itself is what it
purports to be: a dispassionate and objective account of the Goa
Inquisition from 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is
difficult for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint about the
so-called and self-styled 'Holy Office of the Inquisition', and indeed
there is no particular reason why he should, but Dr. Priolkar has
certainly achieved this feat. Perhaps he devotes too much space to
Drs. Dellon and Buchanan, for the former escaped comparatively
lightly, and the Goa Inquisition was a mere shadow of its former self
in Buchanan's day, but the author has made excellent use of all the
relevant Portuguese material which is available in print. He has
rightly relied heavily on the documents from the Goa archives
published by J. H. da Cunha Rivara a century ago, and on the more
recent archival publications by A. Baiao and Panduronga
Pissurlencar........................

Dr. Priolkar has performed a valuable service in combing these works
for the facts and presenting them in reliable and readable form.
UNQUOTE
----- Review by C. R. Boxer of ?The Goa Inquisition; Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India by
Anant Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1964), pp.
233-234; Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School
of Oriental and African Studies

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Goanet Reader
DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha
There's no point getting defensive about the realities of
the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?
Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a
debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's
past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive
responses,
and accusations.
Paulo Varela Gomes
2009-07-15 02:05:48 UTC
Permalink
Dear Frederick,

At long last, a modern point of view on the Inquisition. At long last, someone looks
intelligently at the issue. This is groundbreaking stuff. I only hope people in
Portugal and India grow up to it and pursue the research along the lines you
indicate. Congratulations.


Paulo Varela Gomes
Delegado
Funda??o Oriente - India
175, Filipe Neri Xavier Road
Panjim, Goa, INDIA



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Mario Goveia
2009-07-15 14:16:35 UTC
Permalink
Date: Tue, 14 Jul 2009 15:42:29 -0700 (PDT)
From: Santosh Helekar <chimbelcho at yahoo.com>

I am not quite sure what this devil's advocacy of Noronha is all about.

Mario observes:

Hey, Santosh,

What about "devil's advocate" do you fail to understand?

By his own admission, Noronha is obviously advocating for the devils who perpetrated the Inquisition:-))

As a Goanet sage said recently, "I don't know what all the fuss is about"

The Inquisition was not good. It was a dark period in Christian history perpetrated by religious fanatics who also had no problems with the concept of colonising by force distant lands populated by dark skinned people and forcing them into certain lifestyles. Christ said nothing about forcing anyone into believing his teachings.

That's the bad news. The good news is that it stopped long ago. Nothing can be changed now. The case is closed.

Trying to rewrite Goa's ancient history is like putting lipstick on a pig.

In the meantime, back in the real world, we are hearing of Russian thugs who have apparently purchased immunity from dadagiri in Goa.
Goanet Reader
2009-07-14 05:17:08 UTC
Permalink
The Inquisition, a beating stick?

DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha

There's no point getting defensive about the realities of the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?

Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive responses,
and accusations.

I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a small
set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding of
the Goa Inquisition. Recently, because of such recurrent
debates, one ran into more critical views[1] that challenges
our traditional understanding of the Inquisition. This only
made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas. It was he who played the
most important role -- at least in the sub-continent -- in
shaping our understanding of the Inquisition. Priolkar wrote
around the 1960s, quite some time ago, and often in Marathi.
I wish I had been more fluent in that language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted in
Goa this year. In between, the Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based
Voice of India press also published a second impression in
1991. To look at the VoI's ideology, google for a list of
books published by it, or check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations above, but
there's hint enough about the interest-groups who give
current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The Angle being
referred to is Prabhakar Angle, another writer who didn't
mince his words and spoke out his feelings on a number of
issues, from economics to culture and inter-community
relations.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who was caught up in the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course, as every man has the right to hold his
religious preferences.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

Buchanan apparently had a problem with anything that didn't
fit in with his own views on religion.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice." Interestingly, Buchanan was
"not less indignant at the Inquisition of Goa, than I had
been with the temple of Juggernaut" (sic)

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

David Higgs (in 'The Inquisition in Late Eighteenth-Century
Goa', in Goa; Continuity and Change, edited by Narendra K.
Wagle and George Coehlo (sic), University of Toronto 1995)
gives us another perspective when he acknowledges the role
Priolkar's 1961 study played in shaping the debate.

Higgs writes: "Priolkar drew heavily on secondary sources in
his sketch on the Goan Inquisition, especially on a late
seventeenth-century Frenchman, Gabriel Dellon, arrested in
Goa, whose case was made famous by the denunciatory account
of his experiences published after his return from France."

He calls Dellon's version an "exuberant account of his
misfortunes." Likewise, Higgs points out, Priolkar also used
the "over-imaginative account of a British clergyman, C.
Buchanan, who wanted to think that what he was not allowed to
see in Old Goa in 1808 was what Dellon inveighed at more than
a century earlier."

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the
narrative....

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have
ample documentation [8] about the Black Legend created (for
instance, by the Dutch about the Spaniards, their rivals) in
centuries past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7]
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend


First published in Herald, Goa.
Santosh Helekar
2009-07-14 22:42:29 UTC
Permalink
I am not quite sure what this devil's advocacy of Noronha is all about. Rather, it appears to me that he is trying to paint the Goan historian Anant Priolkar as the devil incarnate. It sure looks like he is doing a shabby hit and run job on this scholar without doing the hard work, himself, of critically reading and reviewing his book on the Goan inquisition, and examining the original sources on which his compilation was based. Using a tactic we are now quite accustomed to in Goan forums Noronha is smearing this man as a Hindu extremist by placing a few choice code words such as "Marathi" and "Hindutva-oriented" in his drivel.

I wish a genuine historian or student of the inquisition would provide us with a balanced and dispassionate analysis of Priolkar's account and the secondary sources that were available to him, so the readers would have real substance to consider rather than be beguiled by superficial smear tactics.

In the absence of such an unbiased thoughtful treatment, let me show you how highly regarded Priolkar's book was among his peers when it first appeared in the early 1960's. Let me quote from two independent scholarly reviews of his book, written by real historians in high profile academic journals. Those who want copies of these reviews can send me private requests for them.

EXCERPT from Review #1
QUOTE
On the whole his account is objective and restrained. He devotes three
chapters to the intolerance towards Hindus. In one he traces the
evolution of religious persecution as a policy prior to the
establishment of the Inquisition in Goa (1561). In another he examines
the methods of conversion, asking rhetorically whether conversions
were obtained "from conviction, for convenience or by
force?"..........................

In the absence of the trial records, Priolkar reprints the French
physician C. Dellon's classical account of his imprisonment and trial
by the In- quisition in Goa in the XVllth century (using an English
translation published in Hull, 1812) and the less known but perhaps
more effective "Ac- count of the Inquisition at Goa in 1808" inserted
by the British Dr. Claudius Buchanan in his Christian Researches in
India (London, 1812, 5th ed.)..........................

Priolkar does not exaggerate the intolerant zeal of the Christian
missionaries, neither does he try to understand it. For the late XVIth
century his thesis is confirmed by other material which had not been
available to him. A good example of it is a Franciscan chronicle,
Conquista espiritual do Oriente, written by Fr. Paulo da Trindade
between 1630 and 1636 and being published only now by Fr. Felix Lopes,
O. F. M. (Vol. I, Lisbon, 1962.)
UNQUOTE
-----Review by Gerald M. Moser of ?The Goa Inquisition. Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in Goa by Anant
Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society,
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1964), pp. 483-484; Published by:
American Oriental Society.

EXCERPT from Review #2
QUOTE
Despite the catchpenny title of The terrible tribunal of the East
which the wrapper of this book bears, the book itself is what it
purports to be: a dispassionate and objective account of the Goa
Inquisition from 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is
difficult for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint about the
so-called and self-styled 'Holy Office of the Inquisition', and indeed
there is no particular reason why he should, but Dr. Priolkar has
certainly achieved this feat. Perhaps he devotes too much space to
Drs. Dellon and Buchanan, for the former escaped comparatively
lightly, and the Goa Inquisition was a mere shadow of its former self
in Buchanan's day, but the author has made excellent use of all the
relevant Portuguese material which is available in print. He has
rightly relied heavily on the documents from the Goa archives
published by J. H. da Cunha Rivara a century ago, and on the more
recent archival publications by A. Baiao and Panduronga
Pissurlencar........................

Dr. Priolkar has performed a valuable service in combing these works
for the facts and presenting them in reliable and readable form.
UNQUOTE
----- Review by C. R. Boxer of ?The Goa Inquisition; Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India by
Anant Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1964), pp.
233-234; Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School
of Oriental and African Studies

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Goanet Reader
DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha
There's no point getting defensive about the realities of
the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?
Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a
debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's
past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive
responses,
and accusations.
Goanet Reader
2009-07-14 05:17:08 UTC
Permalink
The Inquisition, a beating stick?

DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha

There's no point getting defensive about the realities of the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?

Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive responses,
and accusations.

I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a small
set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding of
the Goa Inquisition. Recently, because of such recurrent
debates, one ran into more critical views[1] that challenges
our traditional understanding of the Inquisition. This only
made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas. It was he who played the
most important role -- at least in the sub-continent -- in
shaping our understanding of the Inquisition. Priolkar wrote
around the 1960s, quite some time ago, and often in Marathi.
I wish I had been more fluent in that language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted in
Goa this year. In between, the Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based
Voice of India press also published a second impression in
1991. To look at the VoI's ideology, google for a list of
books published by it, or check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations above, but
there's hint enough about the interest-groups who give
current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The Angle being
referred to is Prabhakar Angle, another writer who didn't
mince his words and spoke out his feelings on a number of
issues, from economics to culture and inter-community
relations.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who was caught up in the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course, as every man has the right to hold his
religious preferences.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

Buchanan apparently had a problem with anything that didn't
fit in with his own views on religion.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice." Interestingly, Buchanan was
"not less indignant at the Inquisition of Goa, than I had
been with the temple of Juggernaut" (sic)

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

David Higgs (in 'The Inquisition in Late Eighteenth-Century
Goa', in Goa; Continuity and Change, edited by Narendra K.
Wagle and George Coehlo (sic), University of Toronto 1995)
gives us another perspective when he acknowledges the role
Priolkar's 1961 study played in shaping the debate.

Higgs writes: "Priolkar drew heavily on secondary sources in
his sketch on the Goan Inquisition, especially on a late
seventeenth-century Frenchman, Gabriel Dellon, arrested in
Goa, whose case was made famous by the denunciatory account
of his experiences published after his return from France."

He calls Dellon's version an "exuberant account of his
misfortunes." Likewise, Higgs points out, Priolkar also used
the "over-imaginative account of a British clergyman, C.
Buchanan, who wanted to think that what he was not allowed to
see in Old Goa in 1808 was what Dellon inveighed at more than
a century earlier."

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the
narrative....

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have
ample documentation [8] about the Black Legend created (for
instance, by the Dutch about the Spaniards, their rivals) in
centuries past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7]
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend


First published in Herald, Goa.
Santosh Helekar
2009-07-14 22:42:29 UTC
Permalink
I am not quite sure what this devil's advocacy of Noronha is all about. Rather, it appears to me that he is trying to paint the Goan historian Anant Priolkar as the devil incarnate. It sure looks like he is doing a shabby hit and run job on this scholar without doing the hard work, himself, of critically reading and reviewing his book on the Goan inquisition, and examining the original sources on which his compilation was based. Using a tactic we are now quite accustomed to in Goan forums Noronha is smearing this man as a Hindu extremist by placing a few choice code words such as "Marathi" and "Hindutva-oriented" in his drivel.

I wish a genuine historian or student of the inquisition would provide us with a balanced and dispassionate analysis of Priolkar's account and the secondary sources that were available to him, so the readers would have real substance to consider rather than be beguiled by superficial smear tactics.

In the absence of such an unbiased thoughtful treatment, let me show you how highly regarded Priolkar's book was among his peers when it first appeared in the early 1960's. Let me quote from two independent scholarly reviews of his book, written by real historians in high profile academic journals. Those who want copies of these reviews can send me private requests for them.

EXCERPT from Review #1
QUOTE
On the whole his account is objective and restrained. He devotes three
chapters to the intolerance towards Hindus. In one he traces the
evolution of religious persecution as a policy prior to the
establishment of the Inquisition in Goa (1561). In another he examines
the methods of conversion, asking rhetorically whether conversions
were obtained "from conviction, for convenience or by
force?"..........................

In the absence of the trial records, Priolkar reprints the French
physician C. Dellon's classical account of his imprisonment and trial
by the In- quisition in Goa in the XVllth century (using an English
translation published in Hull, 1812) and the less known but perhaps
more effective "Ac- count of the Inquisition at Goa in 1808" inserted
by the British Dr. Claudius Buchanan in his Christian Researches in
India (London, 1812, 5th ed.)..........................

Priolkar does not exaggerate the intolerant zeal of the Christian
missionaries, neither does he try to understand it. For the late XVIth
century his thesis is confirmed by other material which had not been
available to him. A good example of it is a Franciscan chronicle,
Conquista espiritual do Oriente, written by Fr. Paulo da Trindade
between 1630 and 1636 and being published only now by Fr. Felix Lopes,
O. F. M. (Vol. I, Lisbon, 1962.)
UNQUOTE
-----Review by Gerald M. Moser of ?The Goa Inquisition. Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in Goa by Anant
Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society,
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1964), pp. 483-484; Published by:
American Oriental Society.

EXCERPT from Review #2
QUOTE
Despite the catchpenny title of The terrible tribunal of the East
which the wrapper of this book bears, the book itself is what it
purports to be: a dispassionate and objective account of the Goa
Inquisition from 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is
difficult for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint about the
so-called and self-styled 'Holy Office of the Inquisition', and indeed
there is no particular reason why he should, but Dr. Priolkar has
certainly achieved this feat. Perhaps he devotes too much space to
Drs. Dellon and Buchanan, for the former escaped comparatively
lightly, and the Goa Inquisition was a mere shadow of its former self
in Buchanan's day, but the author has made excellent use of all the
relevant Portuguese material which is available in print. He has
rightly relied heavily on the documents from the Goa archives
published by J. H. da Cunha Rivara a century ago, and on the more
recent archival publications by A. Baiao and Panduronga
Pissurlencar........................

Dr. Priolkar has performed a valuable service in combing these works
for the facts and presenting them in reliable and readable form.
UNQUOTE
----- Review by C. R. Boxer of ?The Goa Inquisition; Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India by
Anant Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1964), pp.
233-234; Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School
of Oriental and African Studies

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Goanet Reader
DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha
There's no point getting defensive about the realities of
the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?
Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a
debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's
past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive
responses,
and accusations.
Goanet Reader
2009-07-14 05:17:08 UTC
Permalink
The Inquisition, a beating stick?

DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha

There's no point getting defensive about the realities of the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?

Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive responses,
and accusations.

I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a small
set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding of
the Goa Inquisition. Recently, because of such recurrent
debates, one ran into more critical views[1] that challenges
our traditional understanding of the Inquisition. This only
made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas. It was he who played the
most important role -- at least in the sub-continent -- in
shaping our understanding of the Inquisition. Priolkar wrote
around the 1960s, quite some time ago, and often in Marathi.
I wish I had been more fluent in that language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted in
Goa this year. In between, the Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based
Voice of India press also published a second impression in
1991. To look at the VoI's ideology, google for a list of
books published by it, or check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations above, but
there's hint enough about the interest-groups who give
current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The Angle being
referred to is Prabhakar Angle, another writer who didn't
mince his words and spoke out his feelings on a number of
issues, from economics to culture and inter-community
relations.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who was caught up in the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course, as every man has the right to hold his
religious preferences.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

Buchanan apparently had a problem with anything that didn't
fit in with his own views on religion.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice." Interestingly, Buchanan was
"not less indignant at the Inquisition of Goa, than I had
been with the temple of Juggernaut" (sic)

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

David Higgs (in 'The Inquisition in Late Eighteenth-Century
Goa', in Goa; Continuity and Change, edited by Narendra K.
Wagle and George Coehlo (sic), University of Toronto 1995)
gives us another perspective when he acknowledges the role
Priolkar's 1961 study played in shaping the debate.

Higgs writes: "Priolkar drew heavily on secondary sources in
his sketch on the Goan Inquisition, especially on a late
seventeenth-century Frenchman, Gabriel Dellon, arrested in
Goa, whose case was made famous by the denunciatory account
of his experiences published after his return from France."

He calls Dellon's version an "exuberant account of his
misfortunes." Likewise, Higgs points out, Priolkar also used
the "over-imaginative account of a British clergyman, C.
Buchanan, who wanted to think that what he was not allowed to
see in Old Goa in 1808 was what Dellon inveighed at more than
a century earlier."

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the
narrative....

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have
ample documentation [8] about the Black Legend created (for
instance, by the Dutch about the Spaniards, their rivals) in
centuries past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7]
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend


First published in Herald, Goa.
Santosh Helekar
2009-07-14 22:42:29 UTC
Permalink
I am not quite sure what this devil's advocacy of Noronha is all about. Rather, it appears to me that he is trying to paint the Goan historian Anant Priolkar as the devil incarnate. It sure looks like he is doing a shabby hit and run job on this scholar without doing the hard work, himself, of critically reading and reviewing his book on the Goan inquisition, and examining the original sources on which his compilation was based. Using a tactic we are now quite accustomed to in Goan forums Noronha is smearing this man as a Hindu extremist by placing a few choice code words such as "Marathi" and "Hindutva-oriented" in his drivel.

I wish a genuine historian or student of the inquisition would provide us with a balanced and dispassionate analysis of Priolkar's account and the secondary sources that were available to him, so the readers would have real substance to consider rather than be beguiled by superficial smear tactics.

In the absence of such an unbiased thoughtful treatment, let me show you how highly regarded Priolkar's book was among his peers when it first appeared in the early 1960's. Let me quote from two independent scholarly reviews of his book, written by real historians in high profile academic journals. Those who want copies of these reviews can send me private requests for them.

EXCERPT from Review #1
QUOTE
On the whole his account is objective and restrained. He devotes three
chapters to the intolerance towards Hindus. In one he traces the
evolution of religious persecution as a policy prior to the
establishment of the Inquisition in Goa (1561). In another he examines
the methods of conversion, asking rhetorically whether conversions
were obtained "from conviction, for convenience or by
force?"..........................

In the absence of the trial records, Priolkar reprints the French
physician C. Dellon's classical account of his imprisonment and trial
by the In- quisition in Goa in the XVllth century (using an English
translation published in Hull, 1812) and the less known but perhaps
more effective "Ac- count of the Inquisition at Goa in 1808" inserted
by the British Dr. Claudius Buchanan in his Christian Researches in
India (London, 1812, 5th ed.)..........................

Priolkar does not exaggerate the intolerant zeal of the Christian
missionaries, neither does he try to understand it. For the late XVIth
century his thesis is confirmed by other material which had not been
available to him. A good example of it is a Franciscan chronicle,
Conquista espiritual do Oriente, written by Fr. Paulo da Trindade
between 1630 and 1636 and being published only now by Fr. Felix Lopes,
O. F. M. (Vol. I, Lisbon, 1962.)
UNQUOTE
-----Review by Gerald M. Moser of ?The Goa Inquisition. Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in Goa by Anant
Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society,
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1964), pp. 483-484; Published by:
American Oriental Society.

EXCERPT from Review #2
QUOTE
Despite the catchpenny title of The terrible tribunal of the East
which the wrapper of this book bears, the book itself is what it
purports to be: a dispassionate and objective account of the Goa
Inquisition from 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is
difficult for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint about the
so-called and self-styled 'Holy Office of the Inquisition', and indeed
there is no particular reason why he should, but Dr. Priolkar has
certainly achieved this feat. Perhaps he devotes too much space to
Drs. Dellon and Buchanan, for the former escaped comparatively
lightly, and the Goa Inquisition was a mere shadow of its former self
in Buchanan's day, but the author has made excellent use of all the
relevant Portuguese material which is available in print. He has
rightly relied heavily on the documents from the Goa archives
published by J. H. da Cunha Rivara a century ago, and on the more
recent archival publications by A. Baiao and Panduronga
Pissurlencar........................

Dr. Priolkar has performed a valuable service in combing these works
for the facts and presenting them in reliable and readable form.
UNQUOTE
----- Review by C. R. Boxer of ?The Goa Inquisition; Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India by
Anant Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1964), pp.
233-234; Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School
of Oriental and African Studies

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Goanet Reader
DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha
There's no point getting defensive about the realities of
the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?
Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a
debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's
past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive
responses,
and accusations.
Goanet Reader
2009-07-14 05:17:08 UTC
Permalink
The Inquisition, a beating stick?

DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha

There's no point getting defensive about the realities of the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?

Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive responses,
and accusations.

I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a small
set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding of
the Goa Inquisition. Recently, because of such recurrent
debates, one ran into more critical views[1] that challenges
our traditional understanding of the Inquisition. This only
made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas. It was he who played the
most important role -- at least in the sub-continent -- in
shaping our understanding of the Inquisition. Priolkar wrote
around the 1960s, quite some time ago, and often in Marathi.
I wish I had been more fluent in that language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted in
Goa this year. In between, the Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based
Voice of India press also published a second impression in
1991. To look at the VoI's ideology, google for a list of
books published by it, or check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations above, but
there's hint enough about the interest-groups who give
current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The Angle being
referred to is Prabhakar Angle, another writer who didn't
mince his words and spoke out his feelings on a number of
issues, from economics to culture and inter-community
relations.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who was caught up in the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course, as every man has the right to hold his
religious preferences.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

Buchanan apparently had a problem with anything that didn't
fit in with his own views on religion.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice." Interestingly, Buchanan was
"not less indignant at the Inquisition of Goa, than I had
been with the temple of Juggernaut" (sic)

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

David Higgs (in 'The Inquisition in Late Eighteenth-Century
Goa', in Goa; Continuity and Change, edited by Narendra K.
Wagle and George Coehlo (sic), University of Toronto 1995)
gives us another perspective when he acknowledges the role
Priolkar's 1961 study played in shaping the debate.

Higgs writes: "Priolkar drew heavily on secondary sources in
his sketch on the Goan Inquisition, especially on a late
seventeenth-century Frenchman, Gabriel Dellon, arrested in
Goa, whose case was made famous by the denunciatory account
of his experiences published after his return from France."

He calls Dellon's version an "exuberant account of his
misfortunes." Likewise, Higgs points out, Priolkar also used
the "over-imaginative account of a British clergyman, C.
Buchanan, who wanted to think that what he was not allowed to
see in Old Goa in 1808 was what Dellon inveighed at more than
a century earlier."

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the
narrative....

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have
ample documentation [8] about the Black Legend created (for
instance, by the Dutch about the Spaniards, their rivals) in
centuries past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7]
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend


First published in Herald, Goa.
Santosh Helekar
2009-07-14 22:42:29 UTC
Permalink
I am not quite sure what this devil's advocacy of Noronha is all about. Rather, it appears to me that he is trying to paint the Goan historian Anant Priolkar as the devil incarnate. It sure looks like he is doing a shabby hit and run job on this scholar without doing the hard work, himself, of critically reading and reviewing his book on the Goan inquisition, and examining the original sources on which his compilation was based. Using a tactic we are now quite accustomed to in Goan forums Noronha is smearing this man as a Hindu extremist by placing a few choice code words such as "Marathi" and "Hindutva-oriented" in his drivel.

I wish a genuine historian or student of the inquisition would provide us with a balanced and dispassionate analysis of Priolkar's account and the secondary sources that were available to him, so the readers would have real substance to consider rather than be beguiled by superficial smear tactics.

In the absence of such an unbiased thoughtful treatment, let me show you how highly regarded Priolkar's book was among his peers when it first appeared in the early 1960's. Let me quote from two independent scholarly reviews of his book, written by real historians in high profile academic journals. Those who want copies of these reviews can send me private requests for them.

EXCERPT from Review #1
QUOTE
On the whole his account is objective and restrained. He devotes three
chapters to the intolerance towards Hindus. In one he traces the
evolution of religious persecution as a policy prior to the
establishment of the Inquisition in Goa (1561). In another he examines
the methods of conversion, asking rhetorically whether conversions
were obtained "from conviction, for convenience or by
force?"..........................

In the absence of the trial records, Priolkar reprints the French
physician C. Dellon's classical account of his imprisonment and trial
by the In- quisition in Goa in the XVllth century (using an English
translation published in Hull, 1812) and the less known but perhaps
more effective "Ac- count of the Inquisition at Goa in 1808" inserted
by the British Dr. Claudius Buchanan in his Christian Researches in
India (London, 1812, 5th ed.)..........................

Priolkar does not exaggerate the intolerant zeal of the Christian
missionaries, neither does he try to understand it. For the late XVIth
century his thesis is confirmed by other material which had not been
available to him. A good example of it is a Franciscan chronicle,
Conquista espiritual do Oriente, written by Fr. Paulo da Trindade
between 1630 and 1636 and being published only now by Fr. Felix Lopes,
O. F. M. (Vol. I, Lisbon, 1962.)
UNQUOTE
-----Review by Gerald M. Moser of ?The Goa Inquisition. Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in Goa by Anant
Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society,
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1964), pp. 483-484; Published by:
American Oriental Society.

EXCERPT from Review #2
QUOTE
Despite the catchpenny title of The terrible tribunal of the East
which the wrapper of this book bears, the book itself is what it
purports to be: a dispassionate and objective account of the Goa
Inquisition from 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is
difficult for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint about the
so-called and self-styled 'Holy Office of the Inquisition', and indeed
there is no particular reason why he should, but Dr. Priolkar has
certainly achieved this feat. Perhaps he devotes too much space to
Drs. Dellon and Buchanan, for the former escaped comparatively
lightly, and the Goa Inquisition was a mere shadow of its former self
in Buchanan's day, but the author has made excellent use of all the
relevant Portuguese material which is available in print. He has
rightly relied heavily on the documents from the Goa archives
published by J. H. da Cunha Rivara a century ago, and on the more
recent archival publications by A. Baiao and Panduronga
Pissurlencar........................

Dr. Priolkar has performed a valuable service in combing these works
for the facts and presenting them in reliable and readable form.
UNQUOTE
----- Review by C. R. Boxer of ?The Goa Inquisition; Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India by
Anant Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1964), pp.
233-234; Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School
of Oriental and African Studies

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Goanet Reader
DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha
There's no point getting defensive about the realities of
the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?
Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a
debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's
past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive
responses,
and accusations.
Goanet Reader
2009-07-14 05:17:08 UTC
Permalink
The Inquisition, a beating stick?

DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha

There's no point getting defensive about the realities of the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?

Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive responses,
and accusations.

I've long wondered over the identity and ideology of a small
set of people who have shaped the globe's understanding of
the Goa Inquisition. Recently, because of such recurrent
debates, one ran into more critical views[1] that challenges
our traditional understanding of the Inquisition. This only
made one more puzzled.

About Anant Kakba Priolkar, it is a bit of a puzzle to
understand the man and his ideas. It was he who played the
most important role -- at least in the sub-continent -- in
shaping our understanding of the Inquisition. Priolkar wrote
around the 1960s, quite some time ago, and often in Marathi.
I wish I had been more fluent in that language!

Priolkar's book "The Goa Inquisition: The Terrible Tribunal
for the East" was published in 1961, and printed at the
Bombay University Press (Fort, Bombay). It was reprinted in
Goa this year. In between, the Hindutva-oriented Delhi-based
Voice of India press also published a second impression in
1991. To look at the VoI's ideology, google for a list of
books published by it, or check the Geocities page here [2]

Historian Dr Teotonio R de Souza writes:

A.K. Priolkar was a Bombay-based Goan Saraswat
Brahmin who produced literary output as linguist
and historian in the 1960s. His research served
to buttress pro-Marathi and pro-Hindu interests.
he emphasized the excesses of [the] Inquisition
and the cultural backwardness of Goan Christians
and their Conkani 'dialect'. He reserved to
Marathi the distinction of being the true literary
and cultural language of Goa.... I wish to classify
this type of writings as "Priolkar-Angle
literature". [3]

One may not agree with some of the categorisations above, but
there's hint enough about the interest-groups who give
current-day fuel to the Inquisition flames. (The Angle being
referred to is Prabhakar Angle, another writer who didn't
mince his words and spoke out his feelings on a number of
issues, from economics to culture and inter-community
relations.)

In his book, Priolkar relies heavily on the accounts of
Buchanan and Dellon, the latter who was caught up in the
Inquisition. Who were these persons, really?

Dig a little and one finds that Claudius Buchanan (1766-1815)
was "a Scottish theologian, an ordained minister of the
Church of England, and an extremely 'low church' missionary
for the Church Missionary Society." [4] Nothing wrong with
that, of course, as every man has the right to hold his
religious preferences.

But for more interesting insights, you need to go here [5].
Keep reading around these pages, as it's not easy to
capture the essence of a book in a few cut-and-paste
paragraphs here.

Buchanan apparently had a problem with anything that didn't
fit in with his own views on religion.

We learn, among other things, that Buchanan "resorted to a
simple juxtaposition to demonstrate the superiority of
rational Christian life to a morally repugnant Hindu culture.
Christianity and Hinduism were [to him] inverse reflections
of one another, but Christianity had demonstrated its effects
and the civilizing power to overcome all the crimes and
superstitions that tormented India."

His "encounters" while touring India are interesting too. He
meets native Syrian Christian communities along southwestern
India's coast, who trace their lineage to a legendary
first-century visit by Jesus' own apostle, Thomas. Buchanan
wanted to see the Syrian branch transplanted on the Church of
England. He visits Roman Catholic populations in the south,
and is shocked to find priests "better acquainted with the
Veda of Brahma than with the Gospel of Christ".

His encounter with the Inquisition is described from page 91
onwards of the book Was Hinduism invented? [5] by Brian
Kemble Pennington. As Priolkar mentions, he visited Goa at
the time when British troops were stationed here. (Or, in
Priolkar's words, "The forts in the harbour of Goa, were then
occupied by British troops [two King's regiments, and two
regiments of Native infrantry] to prevent its falling into
the hands of the French.")

Author Brian Kemble Pennington says Buchanan's "resulting
account of Catholicism in India included not only clerical
abuse, empty ritual, moral laxity, and papal tyranny, but
even a hint of human sacrifice." Interestingly, Buchanan was
"not less indignant at the Inquisition of Goa, than I had
been with the temple of Juggernaut" (sic)

These are fine individuals through whose eyes we rely on to
understand our past (or to play political games in the
present).

David Higgs (in 'The Inquisition in Late Eighteenth-Century
Goa', in Goa; Continuity and Change, edited by Narendra K.
Wagle and George Coehlo (sic), University of Toronto 1995)
gives us another perspective when he acknowledges the role
Priolkar's 1961 study played in shaping the debate.

Higgs writes: "Priolkar drew heavily on secondary sources in
his sketch on the Goan Inquisition, especially on a late
seventeenth-century Frenchman, Gabriel Dellon, arrested in
Goa, whose case was made famous by the denunciatory account
of his experiences published after his return from France."

He calls Dellon's version an "exuberant account of his
misfortunes." Likewise, Higgs points out, Priolkar also used
the "over-imaginative account of a British clergyman, C.
Buchanan, who wanted to think that what he was not allowed to
see in Old Goa in 1808 was what Dellon inveighed at more than
a century earlier."

I see no reason why current day debates/battles in Goa should
be fought through the biases of North European colonisers
versus Southern European ones. The long-time (and often
unfair to the latter) Christianity-versus-Judaism bitterness.
The Protestant-versus-Catholicism tug-of-war and more.
And Hindutva's post-1925 attempts to score points against
The Other at any cost whatsoever.

Both Buchanan and Dellon get quoted copiously in Priolkar's
work.

In the book 'Histories of heresy in early modern Europe' [6],
author John Christian Laursen writes:

From the moment it appeared, Dellon's work aroused
great interest by reason both of its content and of
the discursive and exotic nature of the
narrative....

Jansenists and Gallicians found here an
illustration of the brutality and hypocrisy of the
judicial processes of the Holy Office.
Pro-Protestant and anti-Spanish Frenchmen who
abominated the Inquisition -- whether Spanish or
Roman -- for a variety of political and religious
reasons were also avid readers of Dellon's work.

Accused of pro-Calvinism, but above all identified
with the Gallican policy championed by Louis XIV,
to whose court Dellon had been admitted, the text
was subject to a variety of interpretations and
underwent significant alterations in the course of
the author's revisions.

So, who's taking up this strong language of polemic and using
it for today's purposes? When you come across counter-views
that challenge past perspectives and claims on the
Inquisition, it's time for a re-think. More so when we have
ample documentation [8] about the Black Legend created (for
instance, by the Dutch about the Spaniards, their rivals) in
centuries past, due to colonial and religious rivalries.

[1] See, 'The Inquisition: Another Point of View'
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[2] http://www.geocities.com/voi_publishers/
[3] http://bit.ly/De5PJ
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Claudius_Buchanan
[5] http://tinyurl.com/lvtxj6
[6] http://bit.ly/tQfjf
[7]
http://lists.goanet.org/pipermail/goanet-goanet.org/2009-June/178915.html
[8] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Legend


First published in Herald, Goa.
Santosh Helekar
2009-07-14 22:42:29 UTC
Permalink
I am not quite sure what this devil's advocacy of Noronha is all about. Rather, it appears to me that he is trying to paint the Goan historian Anant Priolkar as the devil incarnate. It sure looks like he is doing a shabby hit and run job on this scholar without doing the hard work, himself, of critically reading and reviewing his book on the Goan inquisition, and examining the original sources on which his compilation was based. Using a tactic we are now quite accustomed to in Goan forums Noronha is smearing this man as a Hindu extremist by placing a few choice code words such as "Marathi" and "Hindutva-oriented" in his drivel.

I wish a genuine historian or student of the inquisition would provide us with a balanced and dispassionate analysis of Priolkar's account and the secondary sources that were available to him, so the readers would have real substance to consider rather than be beguiled by superficial smear tactics.

In the absence of such an unbiased thoughtful treatment, let me show you how highly regarded Priolkar's book was among his peers when it first appeared in the early 1960's. Let me quote from two independent scholarly reviews of his book, written by real historians in high profile academic journals. Those who want copies of these reviews can send me private requests for them.

EXCERPT from Review #1
QUOTE
On the whole his account is objective and restrained. He devotes three
chapters to the intolerance towards Hindus. In one he traces the
evolution of religious persecution as a policy prior to the
establishment of the Inquisition in Goa (1561). In another he examines
the methods of conversion, asking rhetorically whether conversions
were obtained "from conviction, for convenience or by
force?"..........................

In the absence of the trial records, Priolkar reprints the French
physician C. Dellon's classical account of his imprisonment and trial
by the In- quisition in Goa in the XVllth century (using an English
translation published in Hull, 1812) and the less known but perhaps
more effective "Ac- count of the Inquisition at Goa in 1808" inserted
by the British Dr. Claudius Buchanan in his Christian Researches in
India (London, 1812, 5th ed.)..........................

Priolkar does not exaggerate the intolerant zeal of the Christian
missionaries, neither does he try to understand it. For the late XVIth
century his thesis is confirmed by other material which had not been
available to him. A good example of it is a Franciscan chronicle,
Conquista espiritual do Oriente, written by Fr. Paulo da Trindade
between 1630 and 1636 and being published only now by Fr. Felix Lopes,
O. F. M. (Vol. I, Lisbon, 1962.)
UNQUOTE
-----Review by Gerald M. Moser of ?The Goa Inquisition. Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in Goa by Anant
Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Journal of the American Oriental Society,
Vol. 84, No. 4 (Oct. - Dec., 1964), pp. 483-484; Published by:
American Oriental Society.

EXCERPT from Review #2
QUOTE
Despite the catchpenny title of The terrible tribunal of the East
which the wrapper of this book bears, the book itself is what it
purports to be: a dispassionate and objective account of the Goa
Inquisition from 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is
difficult for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint about the
so-called and self-styled 'Holy Office of the Inquisition', and indeed
there is no particular reason why he should, but Dr. Priolkar has
certainly achieved this feat. Perhaps he devotes too much space to
Drs. Dellon and Buchanan, for the former escaped comparatively
lightly, and the Goa Inquisition was a mere shadow of its former self
in Buchanan's day, but the author has made excellent use of all the
relevant Portuguese material which is available in print. He has
rightly relied heavily on the documents from the Goa archives
published by J. H. da Cunha Rivara a century ago, and on the more
recent archival publications by A. Baiao and Panduronga
Pissurlencar........................

Dr. Priolkar has performed a valuable service in combing these works
for the facts and presenting them in reliable and readable form.
UNQUOTE
----- Review by C. R. Boxer of ?The Goa Inquisition; Being a
Quatercentenary Commemoration Study of the Inquisition in India by
Anant Kakba Priolkar?; Source: Bulletin of the School of Oriental and
African Studies, University of London, Vol. 27, No. 1 (1964), pp.
233-234; Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of School
of Oriental and African Studies

Cheers,

Santosh
Post by Goanet Reader
DEVIL's ADVOCATE/Frederick Noronha
There's no point getting defensive about the realities of
the
past. But what happens if these 'realities' are not quite
accurate, and, in fact, based on a whole lot of myth?
Goans have long debated the Inquisition. Once again, a
debate
broke out in cyberspace about this very aspect of Goa's
past,
and, as usual, brought up a whole lot of defensive
responses,
and accusations.
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