The Nehruvian and Marxist Slaughter of Hindu Inscriptional Studies

How the Nehruvian establishment aided and abetted by Marxists masquerading as historians destroyed Indian epigraphy.
The Nehruvian and Marxist Slaughter of  Hindu Inscriptional Studies

Read the Previous Episodes in this Series

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Indian Epigraphy or an Invitation to Profundity: Where the True History of India Resides
The Nehruvian and Marxist Slaughter of  Hindu Inscriptional Studies
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The Golden Age of Indian Epigraphy
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Deciphering Hindu Inscriptions: A Brief Tour
The Nehruvian and Marxist Slaughter of  Hindu Inscriptional Studies

— 5 — 

WHILE EPIGRAPHY is undoubtedly a daunting profession, Indian epigraphy, especially, the study of Hindu inscriptions is also a sacred calling depending on how one regards it. It is also a science, craft and art. Purely speaking from the confines of my limited reading, a gold standard introduction to the subject is D.C. Sircar’s authoritative volume, Indian Epigraphy. This used to be the textbook for M.A. students of history for several years in universities in Bengal and Orissa.

This apart, Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri’s classic work in Kannada, Purātatva śōdhane (Archeological Research) is an invaluable guide on the subject. It too, was prescribed as a textbook for postgraduate history students for several years at the Mysore University.

Other excellent works include D.C. Sircar’s Select Inscriptions Bearing on Indian History and Civilisation (in two volumes) and Indian Epigraphical Glossary, and G.H. Ojha’s Bhāratīya prācīn lipimālā (Ancient Indian Scripts) and Prachin Bharatiya Abhilekha (Ancient Indian inscriptions )in Hindi.

The downfall of Indian epigraphy after independence is another but familiar chapter in the tragic saga of our cultural destruction manned, helmed and directed by Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi, and frontally executed by Communist Party workers disguised as historians and scholars.

We have already noted the encyclopaedic and expert-level, multidisciplinary knowledge required for a study of inscriptions.  However, after independence, a new breed of “historians” began to pass conclusive verdicts over crucial points in our history in a messianic tenor without knowing even a syllable of Sanskrit, forget understanding inscriptions, which are the most authoritative raw material for writing Indian history. As early as December 1961, Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri traced the progressive vandalism of the archeology and epigraphy departments as follows:

The Mysore Archeological Department…came under the Mysore University… Dr. M.H. Krishna became its Director in 1929. From then onwards till 1948, he continuously included details of new inscriptions and coins in its annual reports. He incessantly strove to write learned works on the Chalukya and Hoysala sculptures. He commissioned and himself did field work at Chandravalli, Brahmagiri and other archeological sites… He had resolved to write scholarly works on the history of Mysore numismatics, and endeavoured to publish volumes 13, 14 and 15 of Epigraphia Carnatica. But after his retirement, the department began to rust. A few years later, the [ancient] gold coins in the Museum were stolen under the watch of its Director… The Archeology Department has not published a single annual report in the last sixteen years… now the Department does not have a full-time Director…no new epigraphical research has been done in Karnataka over the last several years… from the past thirty-two years, Archeology Research was a compulsory subject in Kannada and History Honours… now, the Honours degree itself has been abolished.

Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri: Bhāratadalli purātatva śōdhane: Prajāvāṇi, 10 December 1961

From this perspective, the well-known story of the slaughter of Indian history by Marxists could not have been so effective without first destroying archeology and epigraphy. Or, if not destroying, at least rendering them toothless and de-mainstreaming them. Akin to a manifestation of poetic justice, the epochal litmus test for the Marxists came during the excavations at Ayodhya in the aftermath of the destruction of the disputed structure in 1992. Indeed, the Marxists had no answer to the conclusive findings of the team of archeological experts led by Dr. B.B. Lal.  The event is too familiar to bear repetition here.

In other words, the inestimable value of the work and the cultural dedication of the aforementioned pioneering epigraphists was butchered by a determined group of ideological merchants committed to the undoing of India’s peerless cultural heritage. What these past luminaries of epigraphy have done is nothing short of a lasting civilisational service. Their bequest is akin to a discharge of Sāmskrtika rṇa (Cultural Debt) because they were innately attuned to the  impulses of our civilisation, which was birthed not by kings but by Rishis.

— 6 — 

BUT TO REITERATE the evident truth, it is clear that our epigraphs reveal the real history of Bharatavarsha in an all-encompassing fashion. They also tell us how to look at our history: i.e., as an agglomeration of facts or as a gigantic repository of values. The former approach gives us dates and names and lists and tables and figures and graphs while the latter dignifies our spirit and purifies our lives and souls. The following is Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri’s majestic epigraph that brilliantly expounds on the real value of studying inscriptions. Indeed, some meanings of the word epigraph include “injunction,” “dictum,” “quotation,” and “maxim.”

What is the benefit of studying archeology and epigraphy? The foremost duty of epigraphy is to unearth truths. But no matter how much information we discover about the past, is it really possible to pronounce an unambiguous verdict on the life and lifestyle of our people in ancient times? To what extent can we learn about our culture through lifeless epigraphic or archeological fossils? Things like the mind and Atman are not “research topics” in the true sense. The human body is a collection of fluids that don’t cost more than five rupees. However, what is known as Ātma-samskr̥ti (culture of the soul) is invaluable. In that case, this question arises: to what extent can epigraphy reveal this Ātma-samskr̥ti ? Archeology and epigraphy rely on the aids provided by the physical sciences. However, unlike these sciences, one cannot arrive at definitive conclusions solely through epigraphy. Epigraphy is thus also an art in and by itself. The study of epigraphy will not attain fruition by merely collecting facts and information from inscriptions as some people claim. The researcher must also be an artist. Along with collecting artefacts, he must also expound upon their real meaning that informs the intellect and ennobles the emotion.

Dr. S. Srikanta Sastri: Purātatva śōdhane. Sumeru Sahitya, Bangalore, 2016. Text on back matter.

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