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Q: Captain Nemo's religion? ( Answered 4 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Captain Nemo's religion?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Books and Literature
Asked by: ivanjohnson-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 11 Oct 2005 07:38 PDT
Expires: 10 Nov 2005 06:38 PST
Question ID: 578854
In Jules Verne's "Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea" and "The
Mysterious Island," Captain Nemo is described as having been, before
he renounced civilization (in 1857) and set to sea, Prince Dakkar, of
Bundelkund (or Bundelkhand), India.
In that time (mid-1800s) and in that place, would the Prince be more
likely to be Hindu or Moslem (or Jain, or Zoroastrian, or...)?

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 Oct 2005 09:05 PDT
Bundelkund has historically been primarily Hindu, with a significant
Jain population as well.

What sort of information would you like to know in terms of Capt.
Nemo's possible affiliation with one or the other of these religions,
or some other religion entirely?

Let us know how we can best assist you.


Clarification of Question by ivanjohnson-ga on 11 Oct 2005 09:21 PDT
I well understand--as pafalafa-ga notes--that Hindu was (and is) the
predominant religion in that region of India.  But the religion of the
Rajas and Maharajas was not necessarily the predominant one.  I'm
trying to find out, with as much specificity as possible, what the
religion of the ruling caste and royal family would (most likely) have
been, in Bundelkhand, in the 1850s.

Again: thanks.  Great handle, by the way.  I'll be whispering it, all over Turkey.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 Oct 2005 09:23 PDT
>>I'll be whispering it, all over Turkey<<

You, and Soupy Sales, and The Muppets!

I'll see what I can dig up on the ruling caste of the time.


Clarification of Question by ivanjohnson-ga on 11 Oct 2005 10:57 PDT
Thanks, <paf>.  Let me know what you find.

Request for Question Clarification by pafalafa-ga on 11 Oct 2005 14:54 PDT
Best I can come up with is that the leaders of the states in the
Bundelkhand in the 1850-1860's were generally referred to as Rajahs,
which I understand to be a Hindu title.

However, I also came across reference to one state in the Bundelkhand
described as the only Moslem state in the province.

Nothing about possible jain rulers has turned up thus far...


Clarification of Question by ivanjohnson-ga on 12 Oct 2005 07:46 PDT
Thank you, paf; thank you, galingoc-ya and myoarin-ga!  

I type these words contentedly and delightedly, considering my
question well-answered.

You have my gratitude.
Subject: Re: Captain Nemo's religion?
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 12 Oct 2005 08:18 PDT
Rated:4 out of 5 stars

Glad you got the information you needed.

My thanks to galingoc-ga and myoarin-ga for an assist on this one!


search strategy -- searched Google and various 19th century newspaper
and history databases for [ Bundelkund OR Bundelkhand ]
ivanjohnson-ga rated this answer:4 out of 5 stars
The community response I got from all three of my respondents was
gratifying.  This is open-source research at its best.

Subject: Re: Captain Nemo's religion?
From: galincog-ga on 11 Oct 2005 14:10 PDT
This website discussese Nemo in the League of Extraordinary Gentleman
context.  However, they do some ethnic analysis from "The Mysterious
Island" that you might find interesting.

In particular, they note that Nemo's uncle was Muslim (this is based
on the Verne text, not the comics).  However, Nemo in their analysis
of the comics is that Nemo is Sikh and/or Hindu.  In any case, there
is a good discussion of the different possibilities in the historic
Subject: Re: Captain Nemo's religion?
From: myoarin-ga on 11 Oct 2005 14:56 PDT
Here is the dope.  Bundelkund was an Indian State/Principality near or
including the city of Gwalior, which Akbar, the first Mogul ruler
captured, but Bundelkund remained a semi-autonomous state under the
Moguls,  Paf is correct, the inhabitants are predominantly Hindu, and
there were Jains (Akbar destroyed some Jain carvings at Gwalior).

But, Bundelkund came under British rule in 1803 as the first site
explains (everybody can read Danish in old German type, I am sure). 
At least you can see the year at the end of the article, and a couple
of lines above, it is said that the people were Hindu.
The second site, much briefer, confirms that it came under British
rule at the beginning of the 1800s.
The third site is an Italian translation of an 1877 (?) article in
"The Standard" that tells that after the Rajah of Bundelkund died, his
wife committed sutty (or suttee).  This is a Hindu custom, so Nemo,
aka Prince Dakkar, would have been a Hindu.

Any questions?  ;)

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