Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Friday, Oct 14, 2005
Google



Kerala
News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary |

Kerala - Kozhikode Printer Friendly Page   Send this Article to a Friend

Copy of first book printed in Kerala released

Special Correspondent

KOZHIKODE: `Doctrina Christam,' believed to be the first book to be printed in Kerala, was released, with a detailed historical introduction by K.J. John of the University of Calicut, at a gathering of academics and religious scholars here on Thursday.

Doctrina Christam (meaning Christian doctrine) is also considered to be the first printed vernacular book in India. Its is believed to have been printed for the first time in Kerala in 1578 at Kollam.

A copy of the book edited by Dr. John was presented by Joseph Kalathiparambil, Bishop of Kozhikode, to T.P.M. Zaheer, MLA, to mark its release. The book was published by Arnos Padiri Cultural Forum, Kozhikode.

Joy James, Provinvial, Kerala Jesuit Society, who presided over the function, remarked that the printing of the book in 1578 marked the beginning of a revolution to bring knowledge, till then the prerogative of the elite, within the reach of the common man with the help of printing technology.

Doctrina Christam was written in "Malayalam Tamul" by Fr. Henrique Henriques, a Jesuit priest. It contains the original text in Tamil, transliteration in Malayalam script, translation in Malayalam and its English version. The lone original copy of the book is in the library of Harvard University, U.S.

Dr. John pointed out that printing in India had its origin in Goa in the year 1556. The facilities for printing were made available in St. Paul's College of Jesuits. Doctrina Christam by Francis Xavier, which was in Portuguese, was the first book to be printed. It came out the next year.

The translation of this text in Tamil was printed at Kollam 21 years later. This book, entitled Doctrina Christam In Lingua Malabar Tamul, was the first book to be printed in Kerala.

The year of publication given in Roman numerals can be read as 1578. The translator's name mentioned in Tamil agrees with Anrique.

The book deals with basic tenets of Christianity as it is viewed by Catholic Church. It also contains the Church's commandments, prayers, confessions that a believer has to make, sacraments, the details of major and minor sins and theological virtues.

The book also bears a graphic design which is also considered the first of its kind in the country and has only 16 pages long.

Dr. John said Tamil language has been called Lingua Malabar Tamul in the book since Malabar was a synonym for Kerala and it included native States of Travancore, Cochin as well as Malabar district which was once part of Madras Presidency.

The Tamil English Dictionary by Graham Shaw which appeared in 1779 calls itself a Malabar and English Dictionary. T.B. Venugopala Panikker, former Head, Department of Malayalam, University of Calicut; N.M. Karasseri, Professor, Malayalam; and K. Moidu, former president, Calicut Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and K.F. George, Assistant Editor, Malayala Manorama, also spoke.

Printer friendly page  
Send this article to Friends by E-Mail



Kerala

News: Front Page | National | Tamil Nadu | Andhra Pradesh | Karnataka | Kerala | New Delhi | Other States | International | Opinion | Business | Sport | Miscellaneous | Engagements |
Advts:
Classifieds | Employment | Obituary | Updates: Breaking News |

Sivananda Orphanage


News Update


The Hindu Group: Home | About Us | Copyright | Archives | Contacts | Subscription
Group Sites: The Hindu | Business Line | The Sportstar | Frontline | The Hindu eBooks | The Hindu Images | Home |

Copyright 2005, The Hindu. Republication or redissemination of the contents of this screen are expressly prohibited without the written consent of The Hindu