Announc: 5th Dowry Conference in India

Yashwant Malaiya malaiya at CS.COLOSTATE.EDU
Thu Feb 3 17:57:50 UTC 2000

Regarding N. Ganesan's question:

The book is "Parvar Directory" (in Hindi) published
in 1924 Published by Singhai Pannalal Raes edited by
Pandit Tulsiram. The book is basically an internal
detailed census report of the community with a listing
for each village. Among other things, it mentions male
literacy 71% and female literacy about 10% (including
children). For comparison, adult literacy in the community
today must be 100%.

Parvar is one of the "84" (so it is said) Jain communities.
(jnatis or castes). In the inscriptions it is called
Paurapatta or Purvada. It is a trading community .

Some of you know that the mother of Mahendra, son of Maurya
Ashoka, was the daughter of a merchant of Vidisha.
The vihara at Sanchi is only a couple of hours from Vidisha
by bullock-cart. It is believed by some that the
Paravars represent the same merchant community.

Back to "bride burnings", I think they do occur. Has anyone
studied how many of the reported burnings are actually
suicides? The reporters are quick and eager to report
the sensational news, but they never pursue the details.

Most of you must have heard about the Ambati family
that was arrested in India on dowry charges (one son
had an MD at age 16). Practically none of the reorters
have reported on the outcome of the case. If anyone
is researching this subject using newspaper reports only,
they are looking at a very small part of the facts.


-------response to:
N. Ganesan Asked:

Interesting. What is the caste discussed in the 1915 book?
Among tamil castes also, the "toTuvilai" (`bride-price'/parisam)
paid to girls' families has decreased or stopped; Reversely, dowry
is getting established; previously dowry was only with Chettiars.

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list