[INDOLOGY] online symposium: Indian Ocean and Epigraphy | 1000-1300hrs CET | Dec 10, 2021

Dean Michael Anderson eastwestcultural at yahoo.com
Fri Dec 10 03:14:02 UTC 2021

 Yes, I also knew S.R. Rao and I agree that he was a Hindu traditionalist. But I don't think I'd call him a Hindutvavadin since, if I remember correctly, and I may misremember, he was strongly against the right-wing politicization of archaeology.
The same was certainly true of a similar scholar, B.B. Lal, who opposed Hindutva politics.
I think it's valuable to retain the distinction between right-wing Hindutva politics and Hindu traditionalists who may believe in things like an antiquity of Hindu civilization far exceeding that accepted by the mainstream scholarly community but who do not support various right-wing political agendas.
But to return to my original question, which I did not expect to diverge into a discussion of politics. :-)
In addition to the submerged buildings off the coast of Dwaraka in Gujarat, there were reports of buildings seen off the coast south of Chennai when the waters receded during the tidal wave before they returned with a vengeance. Submerged buildings are common off the coasts of many countries due to the long-term rise of sea levels, so there's nothing controversial about it.
But I guess there hasn't been much follow-up that's known on this list. Dwaraka, of course, is also near Pakistan so I doubt the Indian government is going to want the Massachusetts Institute of Technology or Wood's Hole sending their research submarines over there. 


    On Friday, December 10, 2021, 05:45:06 AM GMT+5:30, Dominik Wujastyk <wujastyk at gmail.com> wrote:  
 The first reports of the underwater archaeology near Dwaraka were written by S. R. Rao.  He was an innovative archaeologist and managed to convince the Indian navy to work with him.  He did indeed find man-made remains of walls etc. underwater.  However, he was a staunch Hindutva supporter and promoted the idea that he had discovered Kṛṣṇa's original city.  I visited him, years ago, and I speak from personal experience of our conversation.  In my view, his published work is a mixture of excellent and innovative underwater archaeology and fanciful interpretation. 
Best,Dominik Wujastyk  
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