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Moenjodaro might have been washed away

I just read this message (pasted below) from the Director of the World Heritage Centre on impact of Pakistani floods on the Archaeological Ruins at Moenjodaro, Sindh. While millions are suffering this is also a huge tragedy. The response of the UN is a little disappointing – yet another damage assessment when water recedes. While rescue and relief efforts continue, UN must also arrange for a small team of locals to visit the area and suggest immediate and urgent measures to get something done. By no means I am suggesting that this should take precedence over saving human lives but this issue also deserves urgent attention.

In addition to their dramatic consequences for the affected people, to which the World Heritage Centre […]

August 13th, 2010|Arts & Culture, History, Pakistan|4 Comments

Capitulating Rajas: why Taliban might not be resisted

My new piece for The Friday Times

South Asian history is a tale of capitulation of local elites before external invaders. Be it the Aryans, the Mongols or East India Company officials, we have always relented, and sometimes quite painlessly. This is an area of history that remains less explored as it conflicts with the grand narratives of ‘resistance’ and nationalist myths we love to construct.S

A phrase locked into our cultural memory – Hunooz Dilli Door Ast (Delhi is as yet far away) explains this historical pattern. It has become a metaphor for the insularity of the elites and the powerlessness of the common people. The complacency that Delhi, the capital of the Islamic empire was not accessible to the hordes of invaders, was the tragic reaction by debauched kings, local Rajas and their henchmen who were either men of straw or active collaborators. […]

Saving Kahoo Jo Daro

Read this impassioned appeal in the press – it also alerted me to the situation that haunts this ancient relic.

The city is built beside an old Buddhist metropolis of 4th century. There are remnants of the Stupa in ancient city known as Kahoo Jo Daro.

The Stupa on Moen Jo Daro , Kahoo Jo Daro and some other un-excavated Stupas can be classified as the lower Indus basin sites. They are different in art & material. Mud & terracotta is widely used instead of stone. […]