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Notes on the Geography of Northern India: Calcutta Monuments: Photo 13

world pictures Northern India: Calcutta Monuments




This is the place, visually not especially dramatic, where Katherine Mayo began her inflammatory book Mother India (1927), which nominally attacked child marriage but at a deeper level openly admired India's Muslims while disparaging Hindus.  Her hook was the goat sacrifices that take place here daily--today, as in her time. 

Murray in 1882 wrote that "a man of the name of Chandibar was the first priest appointed to manage the affairs of the temple.  His descendants have now taken the title of Haldar, and are at present the proprietors of the building.  They have amassed great wealth, not so much from the proceeds of the Temple lands as from the daily offerings made by pilgrims to the shrine."  Even today, guides will seize upon the naive foreigner, give him a quick once-through, and then put on the squeeze.

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