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Consciousness about self-identity and history is an offshoot of colonial rule. Governments in independent India that largely inherited the economic and political structure of the colonial rule fueled this consciousness by adopting the policy of caste-based reservation in matters of public utility and services. Manifestoes issued by political parties during elections guarantee relocation of castes.
Thus, communities segmented as castes are in constant flux and often claim higher social status while providing data for lower economic status. The Parathavar community that was deeply exposed to colonial rule by the Portuguese, Dutch and English by virtue of being inhabitants of the Pearl Fishery Coast was no exception to this trend.
This book, though presented as a collection of articles, looks into the social, economic and religious past of the Parathavar community prior to their embracing Christianity and seeks to compare that with the developments after conversion.
These articles are attempts to collect historical information from the memory of noted writer and Sahitya Academy winner R. N. Joe d’Cruz and compare it with the information gleaned from archives, field visits and presentations situated within the historical context. Hence, this scholarly work is purely apolitical and academic. But, it provides critical input for understanding the consciousness of the Parathavar people and others in the present.