In India, anything that is Hindu or vedic will be instantly branded
Sandhya Jain has exposed this hypocrisy in her review of Dr Chakraborthi's book,
"The battle for ancient India"
The concluding part of her article interested me:-
"All people of the subcontinent are heirs of the Indus civilization.
It links the deep south through the find of a polished celt with
incised Harappan script signs near Cuddalore, and several sites with
antennae copper swords of the upper Gangetic Valley copper hoard type
as far as Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu and a tea estate in Kerala.
Above all, it is not easy to note any non-Indian tradition in the
figure of the Sramana from Mohenjodaro or any other sculptural relic
of this civilization."
This is now an accepted fact.
But where we differ is how this mix-up happened.
The One Aryavartha following the one Sanatana Dharma
made this happen.
Return of the Vedic Saraswati : Sandhya Jain
Dilip Chakrabarti derides the tendency to reduce historical debates to
slogans of 'secularism versus communalism', writes Sandhya Jain
Dilip K. Chakrabarti: The Battle for Ancient India . An Essay in the
Sociopolitics of Indian Archaeology. Aryan Books International, New
Delhi , 2008. Price: Rs. 390/0; pp. 173.
As water-starved Haryana urges the Oil and Natural Gas
Commission for drilling machines to rediscover the paleo channels in
which the once-mighty Saraswati may be flowing silently, it may solve
one of the most vexatious issues of Indian history. Plagued with water
disputes with Punjab and Rajasthan, the state where Sri Krishna gave
the famous command to do one's duty, may soon unravel the truth of a
river once hailed as 'best of mothers' and more lately mocked as
Colonial Indology and its modern avatars may soon face a reality
check. Dilip Chakrabarti takes this negative legacy head on in his
latest work, deriding especially the tendency to reduce debates to
slogans of 'secularism versus communalism'. On the Aryan Invasion
Theory (now Aryan Migration Theory), he argues that the history of
ancient India must be judged in its own terms and no claims of
externally inspired diffusion of its cultural development be made
unless there is strong supportive evidence and the hypothesis can be
justified in clear geographical terms.
Chakrabarti notes that when Dayaram Sahni went to excavate Harappa in
1920, the abundance of pre-historic Palaeolithic, Mesolithic and
Neolithic remains, including Neolithic settlements in the south, and
the 'Copper Age' was known. Any perceptive archaeologist would realize
India had a pre-historic civilization before its documented history,
especially in view of the occurrence of seals with unknown writings
and art-style at Harappa . It was known that ancient India had a long
history of trade and commerce with different countries, including
Egypt , in the second millennium BC. Unfortunately, the theory about
Indian 'races' and languages and the myths of Aryan and Dravidian
invasions were invented before the Bronze Age Indus civilization was
discovered; hence the finds at Harappa and Mohenjodaro had to fit into
an entrenched paradigm.
In 1924, John Marshall reported that in the third millennium BC or
even earlier, the peoples of Punjab and Sind lived in well-built
cities with a mature culture, developed arts, crafts and pictographic
writing. He was clear this civilization developed in the Indus Valley
itself, and noted its possible religious ambience, mentioning R.D.
Banerji's finding of a tank at Mohenjodaro which he felt was a
charanamritakunda, "receptacle for the holy water used for the washing
of the sacred image." At Harappa , archaeologists found a small mound
suggestive of an image shrine, though it is difficult to say if image
worship existed then. Chakrabarti says this is a hint to seek
reflection of the Indus religion in prevailing rituals of Hinduism.
R.P. Chanda created the confusion about the builders of Harappa and
Mohenjodaro and the Rig Vedic Aryas. He believed the Indus
civilization was both pre- and non-Vedic. Yet Chanda also tried to
view the Indus civilization within the framework of Indian tradition
by identifying its yogic tradition as the root of one of India 's most
important spiritual dimensions; he also realized indebtedness of the
Buddhist and Jaina traditions to the Indus civilization. Mortimer
Wheeler formalized the Aryan invasion to explain the demise of the
Indus civilization in 1947, and the idea acquired hegemonic status in
academia though convincingly disputed by B.B. Lal (1953) and G.F.
P.V. Kane examined the relationship between the Harappan civilization
and Vedic Aryans in his Presidential Address to the Indian History
Congress in 1953. He argued that as Mohenjodaro and Harappa were major
cities, "the remains of dead bodies would have been found on an
enormous scale" in the event of an Aryan attack, and not limited to 26
skeletons at Mohenjodaro! The cities could have been deserted because
the rivers on whose banks they stood shifted. Kane compared the
internal evidence of the Rig Veda and excavated evidence of Indus
settlements and found reverence for water and the Pipul tree in both.
Regarding the occurrence of bulls on Indus seals, he noted that the
Rig Veda referred to Indra and other gods as Vrishabha (bull).
Astronomical references in the Rig Veda and Brahmanical literature
suggested that the Rig Vedic people were earlier than the Indus Valley
people, but as the evidence was meagre it was best not to dogmatise.
Tackling the festering dispute over the horse, Chakrabarti says horse
bones have been identified in and before Harappan contexts by
competent professionals like B. Nath of the Zoological Survey of
India. Moreover, Harappans could have imported horses from central
Asia as Shortughai was on the border.
The Cholistan archaeological survey showed the course of the
Ghaggar-Hakra denoted the core area of origin of the Indus
civilization, prompting S.P. Gupta to coin the term Indus-Saraswati
civilization, as Ghaggar-Hakra denoted the Saraswati riverbed.
Scholars challenge the view that the Rig Veda describes only an
agricultural- cum-pastoral society. Bhagwan Singh has listed various
crafts and professions, navigation, overland trade and commerce,
housing and urban centres; while R.S. Bisht has shown that Dholavira
was divided into three distinct parts: upper, middle and lower,
corresponding to the Rig Vedic parama, madhyama and avama.
Chakrabarti argues that as the spread of this civilization was not
limited to the Indus valley, there is no justification to call it the
Indus Valley civilization; Marshall called it the Indus civilization.
While Indus-Saraswati civilization does better justice to its sheer
extent and the role of the Saraswati in its genesis, it does not cover
the whole territory; hence he favours Harappan civilization. Moreover,
in the current political context, Indus Valley civilization gives it a
Pakistan twist. What refreshing candour.
Chakrabarti concludes that the archaeological sequence of all areas
covered by Indus civilization sites shows no break in any relevant
area, or any evidence of new cultural inroads which cannot be
explained geographically with reference to the Oxus-Indus-Pamir-
eastern Iran political and economic interaction sphere. He feels the
Harappan tradition tempered with unidentified regional elements laid
the roots of the entire cultural development of the upper Ganga plain,
given that the antennae swords of the Gangetic valley copper hoards
have been verified as belonging to the Harappan tradition.
All people of the subcontinent are heirs of the Indus civilization. It
links the deep south through the find of a polished celt with incised
Harappan script signs near Cuddalore, and several sites with antennae
copper swords of the upper Gangetic Valley copper hoard type as far as
Ramanathapuram in Tamil Nadu and a tea estate in Kerala. Above all, it
is not easy to note any non-Indian tradition in the figure of the
Sramana from Mohenjodaro or any other sculptural relic of this