Fr. Adrian Caussanel – on Paravas – 3

It is not out of place to make a few remarks in respect of the Paravas . Are the Paravas mixed race? The opinion advanced by writers is certainly untrue and ungrounded historically. Not a single caste in India is more cautious in matrimonial union. The supposition that there had been intermarriages with Portuguese is merely a fable. Any man who has deeply examined matters comes to the conclusion that Paravas are scrupulous to excess in their contracting marriages and this results from the autonomy of the caste before their conversion.

If the Paravas are so strict in their marriage matters, it is not only by the spirit of their caste. They are moved by the same motives the Jews had to marry in their tribe. They are Paravas and want nothing but to remain as Paravas. Other castes are in need of caste titles. The Paravas need no titles, but wish to be Paravas simply. The addition of Pattangatti or Fernadez etc in some place is given, as it is customary now to say SIR. But the Paravas acknowledge it as a title of their caste. So by caste denomination the Paravas are quite different from the rest of Indians.

(This was written by Fr. Adrien Caussanel in 1901. Now there is a change noticed due to migration from shores, education, employment, erosion of commitment to Faith and above all due to regressive dowry system– Ed)

2 thoughts on “Fr. Adrian Caussanel – on Paravas – 3

  1. This note is NOT about the above article.

    When I was a child, I remember my mother always had a stock of “Fr. Caussanel’s Plaster” or ‘Plasthiri’, which was a panacea for all kinds of boils, swellings etc. It was a blackish brown substance which had to be heated, transferred to a square piece of Gauze or cotton cloth and applied to the affected part. The pain would disappear and the toxic matter would be drawn out as pus in a few days.

    My father used to get this from Brother Rayar, the infirmarian, in St. Joseph’s College, Who used to be referred to as “Aaththa” or Mother by the Manapad boys, according to Mummy. Her brother Antony did his B.A. there.

    Is this ‘plaster’ still available with the Jesuits and was it the medical recipe of this Fr. Caussanel? Could someone please enlighten me?

    Christine Gomez

  2. Yes, it is available – but with the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, a religious Congregation Fr Caussanel founded (headquarters in Palayamcottai). They have dispensaries and the plaster is readily available with them.

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