Starting from the year 2014, researchers of Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Bengaluru branch, have been carrying out the archaeological digs for two years in Keeladi (also spelt Keezhadi) in Sivaganga district. Keeladi is located 12 km from Madurai at the banks of Vaigai river. ASI researchers unearthed more than 5600 archaeological artefacts so far. The central government, which allows for 5-10 years of digs in north Indian sites, dragged its feet to give permission to the third year research in 2017 at Keeladi. Finally, on February 20th permission for further excavations is granted. However, we should be clear about the motives of Hindutva forces and keep continuous vigilance to ensure uninterrupted work.
Archaeological researchers say that among the digs made so far in Tamilnadu, the Keeladi dig is more important than the one at Adhichanallur. More than 10 buildings, 102 trenches, wells protected with terracotta rings, big decorated pots, potteries, terracotta drainage system, coins and jewels of Chola and Pandiya era, etc have been dug out at Keeladi. They have been dated to be around 2300 years old and thus belonging to 200-300 BC.
According to Keeladi findings, Tamils have had a civilization of planned urban settlement before 2300 years itself. In addition, theirs have been better than those of other contemporary civilizations. Planned drainage system, walls with kiln bricks, terracotta furnaces, wells with terra-cotta protective rings, etc are definite proofs of a higher civilization of Tamils. All these defeat the claims that the verses of Sangham era are only imaginations. Keeladi findings are very important relics of a flourishing civilization at the banks of Vaigai river. DMK leader Mr. Karunanidhi has stated that Keeladi dig is the most important and foremost out of the digs made in Tamilnadu so far.
The remnants of Sindh civilization have been found through the digs made at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro in 1930s. This civilization has been assessed to have been in its zenith between 2600 AD and 1600 AD. Till then, pre-historical Indian history was written based on Vedas. Rig, the oldest Veda, dates back to 1700 AD to 1200 AD. Sindh civilization, with well developed farming, planned urban settlements, trade links with other developed civilizations; etc was proven to be more advanced in time and mode of production than the Aryan civilization based on grazing cattle, nomadic life and temporary settlements.
Similarly the findings of planned urban civilization of Keeladi show the possibilities of clarifying the links that existed between Sindh and Southern Indian civilizations and also the possibilities of explaining the differences between Vedic civilization based on cattle rearing and Sindh and Dravidic civilizations based on farming.
Mr. Amarnath Ramakrishna, a superintending archaeologist working in ASI said that this finding is a proof that Sangham era has had urban centres, that this is the first time the structures so old have been found and that all of them have been built with kiln brick, that this dig has brought out the urban civilization of Sangham period and that they have to do more proper digs to gather more details.
But, the Brahminic forces try to bury these keeladi findings that go against their ‘faiths’ of One India, Aryans as the sons of soil, Sindh civilization as Aryan, southern civilization as part of Aryan civilization, etc which go against scientific and historical evidences. The aim of Brahminic oppressors is to halt further digs. It is the duty of scientific researchers and progressive forces to strive against these machinations and fail them.
Last September when the ASI decided to take Keeladi antiquities to Mysore, Progressive forces in Tamilnadu objected to it strongly. When they went to court to stop the shift to Mysore, the court allowed the shift to Dehradun. They asked the Tamilnadu government to safeguard them in Tamilnadu itself by creating a museum and protecting them, to continue the dig and thus spread the greatness of Tamil antiquity worldwide. But, the corrupt government of Jaya-Sasi-OPS-ADMK disregarded them. There is no doubt that the antiquities once taken to Dehradun or Mysore will be put aside unceremoniously and left to rot. The digs that were happening at the site were ground to halt by Modi’s government on purpose.
The central governments have been constantly disregarding the archaeological digs and studies of antiquity and sculptures in Tamilnadu. The proof of a planned urban civilization near Madurai in Tamilnadu around 2-3 century BC is a terrible blow to the pet theory of ‘One India’ of Brahminic gang and an irrefutable proof of an ancient civilization better than Vedic Aryan civilization. It is to suppress this fact that the BJP in power at the centre is stalling the dig.
We gathered in a great numbers for the right of Tamils to conduct Jallikattu against Delhi power and succeeded. Similarly we should struggle for protecting the artefacts of Keeladi, continuing the digs and bringing out the greatness of Tamil civilization opposed to Brahminical hegemony.
– Translated by nesan
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Photos : Courtesy frontline