THE LIGHT OF ANDAMANS | ISSUE 28 | 2 MAR 2012
Trilok Nath Pandit: Doyen of Andamanese Studies
T.N. Pandit is the unquestioned doyen of Andamanese studies and the most deeply learned and most widely-read of anyone who has ever interested himself in matters Andamanese. Pandit's grandfather was a traditional scholar of Persian, Urdu, Hindi and Sanskrit while his father was a professor of English. Other members of the family were Sanskrit scholars, lawyers and judges.
Initially wanting to be a zoologist, T.N. Pandit acquired a BSc degree in botany, zoology, English, Hindi and Kashmiri in 1955. In 1958, he received a M Sc in social and cultural anthropology from
. Post-doctoral studies on a Government of India Research scholarship in anthropology followed and in 1962 he was appointed to a lecturership in social anthropology at that same university. Delhi University
In 1966 the young scientist joined the Anthropological Survey of India and was almost immediately posted to Port Blair where he arrived on 20th March 1966. Far from being breathlessly keen to make his first acquaintance with the Andamanese Negrito, he admits today that he had resisted his appointment to such a remote place where he felt terribly alone and home-sick at first.
Dr. Pandit was to remain with the Survey for 26 years and to rise within its ranks through senior anthropologist at Port Blair to Deputy Director of the Survey at Port Blair and
. For most of the year 1992 he was officiating Director of the Survey at its Calcutta headquarters before retiring at the end of that year. Calcutta
Dr. Pandit is a well-known figure internationally. He has attended many conferences and has traveled widely in
Germany, England and . Wherever he was, he and his wife made it a point to visit the major local museums and to visit local concerts and other cultural events. (Source: www.andaman.org) Hungary