Researchers on the Bombay Presidency, epigraphy, and the history and folklore of Karnataka have the advantage of a solid foundation laid by an extraordinary gentleman, John Faithfull Fleet. A British I.C.S. officer, whose love for India and its people is well documented, Fleet held various positions such as Assistant Collector, Magistrate, and Educational Inspector in the Southern Division, and Assistant Political Agent in Kolhapur and the Southern Maratha Country. His perception and views are to be found in his books and in the innumerable articles he contributed to various journals viz. Indian Antiquary, Epigraphialndica, and The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society and other journals of repute. He had the distinct advantage of knowing Sanskrit as well as Kannada in all its dialects. His books, The Dynasties of the Kanarese Districts of the Bombay Presidency from the Earliest Historical Times to the Muhommudan Conquest of A.D. 1318, The Inscriptions of the Early Gupta Kings and their Successors (1889), forming the third volume of the Corpus InscriptionumIndicarum, are regarded as shining examples of his impeccable erudition. He established a model for the modern scientific method of treating Indian epigraphical records and settled once and for all the true epoch of the Gupta era. His work on India was a pure labour of love.
Leela. B. Jois was formerly Librarian of the South Indian Education Society's College of Arts and Science, Mumbai. Her book Mysore Sankritika Sankathana in Kannada was published by the Kannada Department of the Mumbai University in 2010. She has contributed to a number of journals like Indica (journal of the Heras Society), Freedom First and the journal of the Itihas Academy, Karnataka. She has participated in various national seminars. Leela is a prominent member of various cultural organizations and has a deep understanding of Carnatic music.
Purnima Srikrishna has worked as a lecturer in English at the Dr. B. M. N. college of Home Science, S.N.D.T. University, Mumbai. She was awarded a research grant by the Telang Memorial Scholarship for 2004-05 by the Asiatic Society, Mumbai, to pursue her doctoral research on The Vidyashankara Temple at Sringeri'. In 2006, the Luigi and Laura Dallapiccola Foundation, Edinburgh, also awarded her a scholarship to pursue her doctoral research. She was awarded a PhD by the University of Mumbai in 2010. She has presented papers at many seminars and conferences such as the International Conference on 'South India under Vijayanagara, Recent research in art and archaeology' at Sophia College of Women, Mumbai, which has now been published by Oxford University Press (2011). The paper she presented at the Seminar on 'Krishnadevaraya and his Times—Cultural Perspectives' has been published by the K.R. Cama Oriental Institute, Mumbai (2013). She has delivered the 20th Justice Telang Memorial lecture at the Asiatic Society of Munabai and has been invited to deliver lectures at various other institutions such the Cama Oriental Institute, the Dakshinamnaya Sharada Peetham (Sringeri), Kannada University (Hampi), the J.C.B.M. College (Sringeri) and the Heras Institute and L.S. Raheja College of Arts and Commerce, Mumbai.
Think of the British and their legacy in India: one thinks of railroads, the administrative, legal, postal and education system, solid stone buildings and, of course, hill stations set up and made accessible at exotic places. Rarely, if ever, does one sit back and think of the research oriented, dedicated, talented and assiduous band of an extraordinary league of gentlemen driven by curiosity, who laboured hard and long in the most daunting of circumstances and took as much pride, if not more, than our countrymen, in the legacy and great past of India.
This lacuna is attempted to be filled by the Asiatic Society of Mumbai whose management in its collective wisdom has made a start in this direction. Over the period of the next few years, monographs of some outstanding British scholars, who set bench marks in their areas of research, will be published. John Faithful! Fleet's recognition rests on his role as an epigraphist, although he came to India as an officer of the administration of the British Government. His extraordinary work, one must never forget, was done after office hours. It is awe inspiring to think that this man not only mastered Sanskrit, But also the different dialects of the Kannada language, and aced a body of work on which many a scholar bases his work. To condense his voluminous contributions to a mere hundred pages is a daunting task, but we are sure we can least whet the appetite of the reader to learn more about this and extraordinary gentleman.
This research was helped and guided by many people. We thank them all for their time and kindness from the bottom of our hearts.
We are especially grateful to Dr. Aroon Tikekar, former President of the Asiatic Society of Mumbai, Ms. Kathy Lazenbatt, Librarian of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Dr. Richard Blurton, Curator, Department of Asia — the British Museum, Mr. Dorian Leveque, APAC Reference Services, British Library London, The Maharashtra State Archives, the Library of the Asiatic Society, Mumbai, and the Library of the Mumbai University, Fort, for all the prompt and excellent help rendered to us. We also acknowledge the inspiration and guidance of late Professor S. K. Havanur.
|A Note from the General Editor||vi|
|II||Indian Official Career||4|
|III||Ethnography: Fleet and Folklore||9|
|IV||Paleography: Fleet, the Epigraphist||36|
|A) Service record||58|
|B) An original letter signed by Fleet||60|
|C) A notice of the Resolution of the Government||61|
|D) Mandsor inscription||63|
|E) Five Kanarese ballads set to Western music||64|
|F) Fleet's gift to the British Museum||67|
|G) List of articles by Fleet in various journals||68|
Item Code: NAP591 Author: Leela B. Jois and Purnima Srikrishna Cover: Paperback Edition: 2014 Publisher: Indus Source Books ISBN: 9788188569625 Language: English Size: 8.5 inch X 5.5 inch Pages: 110 Other Details: Weight of the Book: 160 gms