I picked this article about the fascinating ruins of Dholavira from the TOI e-paper, a few days back.
While presenting the budget, our Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said that five archaeological sites will be developed as “iconic” destinations. These five sites are – Rakhigarhi, Hastinapur, Shivsagar, Dholavira and Adichaunallur. For a history buff like me, this was the best announcement made by the FM.
Every time I think about the partition of India, it defies logic because the Harappa and Mohenjadaro sites, the Martand Sun Temple and Guru Nanak’s final resting place Kartarpur atleast should have been part of India. Pakistan has no appreciation for these places while they are significant for India. Anyway, no point in lamenting about things past.
Unfortunately for India, post independence too, the governments that were formed never gave importance to our history, culture or traditions. None of the archaeological sites that were unearthed got much attention. I am sure we have lost several artefacts and historically significant clues about our past. While we don’t have to dwell in the past, India’s past was glorious and something to be proud of. Just take the Indus valley civilisation – we had paved roads, flush toilets, baths, piped water and sanitation/hygiene etc 5000 years back !! The rest of the world with the exception of Egypt was living in caves and hunting for food. We celebrate the invaders who chose to destroy our temples and culture, but feel no pride in the achievements of our ancestors. I have no problem with the Taj Mahal being showcased, because it was built by Indians, but the only structure to have been built top down anywhere in the world is the Kailash Temple at Ellora …. no one speaks of that. Why?
Do read the article about Dholavira – they had city planning, paved roads, buildings built with geometric precision, water conservation and they grew millets. All this in 3500 BCE … nearly 5500 years back. Why wouldn’t you feel a sense of pride as an Indian ? What was happening in England around this time – stone age was ending and they were figuring out agriculture rather than being hunter-gatherers. In the middle-east, the Mesopotamian civilisation was beginning …. hmmm, and the Americas? In North America, Paleo-Indians migrated from the East :):) whose descendants were massacred to make way for the then “British” and other caucasians to become Americans 200 years back…..