The pilgrimage of the country whose memories the world is reminding us of..!
UNESCO has declared Dholavira in Gujarat as a World Heritage Site. It is the 40th such site in India that is included in this list of UNESCO. Senior journalist Rajesh Badal is highlighting Dholavira and its importance.
That day, many people were calling among themselves and asking – “What is this Dholavira?”
In the list of World Heritage. India’s fortieth anniversary. Believe me, till that day thousands of educated people had not even heard the name of Dholavira.
The memory of the golden heritage Dholavira
When it was discovered that another powerful document was found in the excavation of the Indus civilization, then they became silent and indifferent. Some such reaction, as if saying – “Do you talk about digging, what’s the big deal in this.”
In our village too, an idol came out after digging the foundation of a house. We put it in the temple – this is the sensitivity of our society towards its own heritage.
Such disregard for archaeological heritage is hardly in any other country. Actually, it may seem strange to people to start a talk with this conclusion, but it is true.
In the life of us Indians, pilgrimages like Dholavira do not hold any special importance.
Dholavira is getting prestige all over the world and in India, it is asked what is this evil?
Nevertheless, knowing about Dholavira today will only increase our pride. In fact, to understand the importance of Dholavira, it is necessary to know some stories before that.
Indian archaeologist neglected
All of us Indians have been studying our history from the Indus Valley Civilization. It is not even a hundred years since this civilization had made its presence felt on the world map in 1924.
At that time India was not divided and around Mohenjodaro (ie the mound of the dead) on the banks of the river Indus, British officer John Marshall and Indian archaeologist Rakhal Das Banerjee, Pandit Madho Swarup Vatsa carried out excavation campaigns.
Although two years ago Rakhal Das Banerjee was excavating a Buddhist stupa in 1922 when he got this treasure of Mohenjodaro. He had got some mudras. But his report was put on hold.
In fact, the British wanted to take the credit for it themselves. This tug-of-war between the Indian and the white knowledgeable began in the eighteenth century itself.
In that century, there were many historians and archaeologists like Ramakrishna Gopal Bhandarkar, Rajendra Lal Mitra, Bhagwan Lal Indraji, who challenged the conclusions of white historians at a time when no one could even imagine.
In a way, we can assume that the British kept on plundering the credit by diving into the mainstream of Indian knowledge and the Indian scholars remained neglected.
Indians had given a great knock in Indian archaeology long back. But those were the days of slavery.
The foreign rulers used to dwarf their achievements and even sold their half-baked facts under the label of complete knowledge. This conflict continued till independence.
However, when Mohenjodaro’s findings came out, there was panic all over the world. It was proved that the civilization of India is the oldest.
Earlier only the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, China, Babylon and Rome were recognized. The Indus civilization turned out to be the first of them. Therefore, this civilization became popular in the whole world.
The excellence of the Indian Society
The special feature of the Indus civilization was that India had preserved its social traditions and way of life even after thousands of years and it lived in the same way except for some changes.
The English historian A.L. Basham writes in his book The Wonder That Was India-
The present society is completely cut off from the civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia and Greece, but India has preserved its Vedic and mythological knowledge even today.
Since the British had taken all the sources of power into their hands, the later history also grows more or less giving them credit. But I will try not to ignore Indian scholars.
According to this, William Jones started this series in 1783. He was a judge in the Calcutta High Court. He was really influenced by Hindustani culture.
He came to India and got knowledge of one language like Hindi, Sanskrit, Arabic, Persian, Turkish and Hebrew. Jones founded the Asiatic Society in 1784. It was his efforts, due to which interest in Sanskrit texts increased in Europe.
A young officer, James Prinsep, later joined the Asiatic Society. He was the Secretary of the Society and was in charge of the Calcutta Mint. He studied the Brahmi script for the first time and was successful in reading the inscriptions of Emperor Ashoka.
Alexander Cunningham was in the team of James Prinsep, who was considered the father of Indian archaeology.
When the British government created the post of India’s first archaeological inspector in 1862, ie one hundred and sixty-nine years ago, Alexander Cunningham was appointed on it.
This is where the formal journey of Indian archaeology begins. During Cunningham’s tenure, ancient buildings were read, inscriptions were translated and archaeological excavations started in India.
When Curzon became Viceroy, there was some improvement and expansion in archaeological exploration since 1901. He appointed John Marshall to the post of Principal Director of the department.
This same Marshal, with the help of Madhoswaroop Vats, presented the Indus civilization to the world. Rakhal Das Banerjee’s contribution went marginalized.
In 1922, RD Banerjee obtained some coins from Mohenjodaro, the centre of the Indus Civilization. The excavation continued.
Remains continued to be found. Around the same time, Cunningham also acquired some coins at Harappa.
Now after studying the relationship between these two and the remains of civilization buried in the ground, it was yet to work on the conclusions.