(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)
October 27, 2013
Govt’s Gold Hunt:
Obnoxious and Medievalist
a field day here in contemporary
As folklore in the locality suggests that the king, before being executed, hid his treasures in the fort complex adjacent to the palace. But this was just hearsay; no substantial evidence was offered till now to suggest that this folklore had any material basis. In many parts of the country, thousands of such local gossips must be doing the rounds inspiring ‘storm in tea cups’ in numerous rural chaupals!
there is nothing unusual in a country like
sadhu, Sobhan Sarkar, is from Mytha block of
Having heard that the Indian government is facing a crisis, he claims to have taken it upon himself to inform the government, through minister Mohant, that this gold could be recovered and this could greatly help relieve the difficulty of the government. In fact, he had shot off a letter to the prime minister who is also the president of Archaeological Survey of India to this effect.
And strangest of the strange things happened. After minister Mohant’s visit to the area, ASI has started excavating the area from October 18. The government in New Delhi is generally attacked by its critics for suffering from ‘paralysis’; but the promptness with which the ASI has been tasked to act on this question can surely take the wind out of the detractors sail!
The sadhu in question, however, seems to be speaking with a forked tongue! On the one hand, he has been claiming that he has put his credibility on the chopping block by making such a precise prediction. But having seen the mad rush among locals and demands already coming up for sharing the booty once it is ‘recovered’, Sarkar told reporters “Officials of the Archaeological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of India started working here in the first week of this month (October). Since the area is spread over 60 acres, they failed to locate the point. Then I went with them and pointed out the spot. They made two holes and realised there was a possibility of huge stock of gold buried in the earth.” And, added, “ASI may reach the point where thousand tonnes of gold is buried, but they cannot touch the treasure without the permission of my gurus. If at all they try to ignore my suggestion, the gold will vanish from there.”
A local sadhu making such stupendous claims is one thing; but it is totally horrendous that ASI and the government are drawn to his tunes like the mice in ‘pied piper of Hamlin’.
organisation which was envisaged in its modern form,by no less
Having come across this bizarre behaviour of the government, dusting off an old report of the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture which was tabled in both Houses on November 25, 2005 became pertinent. The unanimous report by the Committee titled “Functioning of the Archaeological Survey of India” had lambasted the then NDA government and particularly the ministry of culture for misusing the ASI to perpetrate ‘myths’.
It will be worthwhile to recall the context. Jagmohan, the then minister for tourism and culture, had forced the ASI to initiate the Saraswati heritage project which aimed at providing legitimacy to the existence of Saraswati river which finds repeated references in epics and Hindu mythology. The report of the Parliamentary Committee completely debunked the attempts by the government to legitimise and perpetrate a myth through clear violations of the functional procedures of ASI. The ASI cannot take up any excavation without a reference to the Central Advisory Board of Archaeology (CABA) or else without a recommendation from any independent academic body. In fact, while doing its study, the Committee also found that how governments have systematically undermined the official decision to establish ASI as a scientific and technical department.
As, media reports clearly suggest that the present exercise by ASI also suffers from a similar unlawful course. The excavation has not been suggested by the standing committee of CABA or any academic body as the ASI’s mandate requires.
on the violation of this requirement, an official of ASI has
works under the union culture ministry, which ordered it to
start excavation at
Unnao. The dig was not discussed by the standing committee.
Director-General gives permission for excavation as per the
It is pathetic that Nehru’s own ilk presides over this proliferation of medievalism. Does the government really believe in such utter ‘colourful imagination’? Is the government so desperate for money?
also pitched in this sordid saga, exposing his real colours.
In his initial
reaction, he had lampooned the government for its official
patronage of the
gold hunt thus “The world is laughing at
reported that two silver snakes were buried in the earth at
the spot where
Narendra Modi addressed his election rally in