- Published: 03/08/2009
- ISBN: 9781846270994
- 272 pages
The Last Jews Of Kerala
Separated by a narrow stretch of swamp-like waters, and distinguished by the colour of their skin, the Black Jews and the White Jews have been locked in a rancorous feud for centuries. Only now, when their combined number has diminished to fewer than fifty and they are on the threshold of extinction, have the two remaining Jewish communities in south India begun to realise that their destiny, and their undoing, is the same. Living in Cochin alongside this last generation, Edna Fernandes tells their story from the illustrious arrival of their ancestors from the court of King Solomon, through their long heyday of wealth, tolerance and privilege to their present twilight existence, as synagogues crumble into disuse and weddings become a thing of the past, leaving only funerals.
A touching, investigative account ... Fernandes movingly captures the sombre, embattled mood of this population in countdown mode
Fernandes' material is fascinating ... The story of these Jews is so compelling and the author's reporting of it so assiduous ... Indeed, she has unearthed gems
From the Same Author
Home to all the major religions, India is also, inevitably, host to virtually every type of religious fanatic. No other nation has witnessed as much proselytizing or heard as many war cries in the name of God as India. For centuries, Hindus, Christians, Sikhs and Muslims have waged bloody wars, sought violent conversion and declared jihad against their enemies, as their religions have been hijacked by the forces of fundamentalism. In Holy Warriors, Edna Fernandes travels to the country’s recent and past theatres of religious extremism – from Kashmir to Gujarat, Punjab to Goa – to meet the generals and foot soldiers of communal wars who assert their faith in rhetoric and rage. Theirs are stories of bigotry and bloodshed, insecurity and despair, but Fernandes listens with understanding, tolerance and a deft sense of humour, and paints a uniquely vivid and clear-sighted picture of a country divided by dogma.