When Michael Wood’s history of India was first shown on British television I wrote a post about it. Now that its doing the rounds for the second time on America’s PBS the series is again garnering lots of comments.
The big debate, of course, is (and has been for a long time) about the Aryan Migration Theory and whether India’s Vedic culture actually came from outside India. Turkmenistan to be precise. The consequences of that being a fact is that whatever we as Vaishnavas consider to be of unique antiquity is actually an import that was pragmatically embraced by the residents of that land we now know as India.
Of course, neither the historians nor the archaeologists will concede that the reverse might be true: that Vedic culture ebbed and flowed throughout the region, certainly reaching the Russian steppes, but that it originated in India.
Back in January 2002 I got really excited about the discovery of an ancient city in the Bay of Cambay, off Gujarat. 120 feet below the surface, some of the artifacts found here, including human remains, were carbon-dated to around 9,500 years ago. It was the oldest city ever discovered and pre-dated not only the Harappan ruins, but also the Pyramids. “History books will have to be re-written” said one commentator.
That was all of 7 years ago. In January 2009 the history books have not been re-written and, although I’m an innocent and under-informed member of the public – and not very well connected to the world of archaeology – I do have my ears to the ground regarding India. And I’ve not heard anything.
I mean, if someone were to discover in Sweden conclusive proof that it was the Vikings who discovered America first, and not Christopher Columbus, you can bet the Swedes would shout it from the rooftops.
Despite India’s seeming apathy to really take ownership of its historical legacy, preferring instead to send rockets to the moon while its ancient wonders crumble, you’d think that this was at least one story to tell the world.
I will try to find out what happened over the past seven years. Meanwhile you can read something about it on a new page (above)
BBC revealed the news here