It was a hectic day. From the time he alighted from the Pushpak Express early morning, till 7:00 in the evening. In between there was a bumpy ride all the way to Malihabad, where it was quite an ordeal convincing 30-odd temperamental Pathans that giving mouth swabs would in no way interfere with their observance of the Ramzan fast. Still, there he was, 7:30 pm sharp, at the Taj Residency Bar for the appointment.
Tudor Parfitt Professor of Jewish Studies at the
"I became interested in Jewish studies in the mid-Sixties while I worked as a volunteer in
A man of many pursuits, Dr Parfitt was in
A front page article in The Times was followed by the book Operation Moses, the story of the exodus of the Falashas from
"A year later at a lecture in
"I found it hard to believe but found that their rituals and practices were essentially Semitic in character. They said they had come from the North and went to a place called Sena, and from there they came to
That launched him on a journey that took him halfway across Africa to a remote corner in southern
A similar pursuit brought him to
Whether that connection is established or not, remains to be seen। But what all this research is leading to, is to establish the identity of several lost cultures in the world.
"People are getting an identity they didn't have before. The Blacks were brought to continents other than
Dr Tudor says, "Genetics for the first time is giving us incontrovertible evidence that racism is false. The modern world since the Second World War has been at great pains to put different cultures on an equal footing. But the idea that the differences between people should not divide humanity but be a cause to celebrate has mostly gone unappreciated. Post-WWII, the modern world concentrates on similarities. Biology and genetics are showing us that we are literally identical."