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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Time to Dismantle ASI?

It may be time to dismantle Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) and create a new institute - semi-sarkari and semi-private one.

No not because ASI said Hinduism is based on mythology. We hear that everyday - from non-Hindus talking about mythology of Hinduism and from unsuspecting Hindus, and some people in the know, talking about such and such festival or action is based on religious mythology - especially, for some reason, news journalists. We are used to mythologizing Hinduism.

But we are not used to this:

However, a mere named reference cannot conclusively prove the fact that the formation is actually a man-made structure. The existence of human remains, whether in the form of bones, etc, or in the form of other artefacts, is primary to prove archaeologically the existence and veracity of a historical fact. No such human remains have been discovered at the site of the formation known as Adam’s Bridge. [The Hindu]
I suppose it's being secular to ignore Bharatiya names but use western names - Adam's Bridge for Rama Sethu. But my quibble is with "no such human remains have been discovered at the site." Is ASI claiming that it already did a archaeological survey of area between southern tip of Indian peninsula and northern Sri Lanka? Did it already go through the earthly layers of Kali, Dwapara, and Treta yuga (may be even through Satya yuga). Based on it's claims, apparently it did. I am sure most of this information is a secret because I couldn't find anything about such extensive survey on ASI website on past and current archaeological sites.

As Francis Fukuyama would say Satya yuga, with no evil in the world, is probably the end of history. So even if ASI didn't go through the Satya yuga layer, looks like ASI has done pretty thorough job of archaeological finds in the country. It may be time to dismantle ASI. And to create a new semi-private institution of experts to just to keep up the ASI approved archaeological sites - both mythological and non-mythological.