AMU celebrates ‘Indian Democratic Traditions’ with lecture on Harappan civilization

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Aligarh : Prof Vasant Shinde, CSIR Bhatnagar Fellow and former Vice Chancellor, Deccan College, Deemed University provided evaluated evidence of democratic systems in India evolving over the ages since the ancient times.

He was delivering an online lecture on ‘Harappan-The Pioneering Architect of the Democratic System in the World Archaeological Perspective’ of the Centre of Advanced Study, Department of History, Aligarh Muslim University on November 24 to celebrate ‘Indian Democratic Traditions’ under the University Grants Commission (UGC) guidelines.

“The Panchayati system of ancient India was a forerunner of modern democracy. We are a diverse Nation and all Indians are connected by strong democratic values and systems that evolved over the ages since the Vedic times”, said Prof Vasant.

He added: “The excavations of Harappa provide evidence of a highly organized civilization which existed around the Indus River. The Indus Valley civilization is one of the oldest civilizations in the world and it achieved a high level of sophistication at an early stage and flourished for many centuries. The ruins of Harappan civilization reveal that people living there had a well-organized social and economic structure”.

Covering all important aspects, Prof Vasant highlighted Harappan civilization’s contributions to Indian civilization and culture in particular and the world in general.

“Most of the cultural traditions which we do follow today in South Asia, are mainly the cultural elements continuing since Harappan times”, he said, pressing that the misconception around Harappan culture dying down in the second millennium BC is not true.

“In the decay period, people dispersed in different parts of South Asia. Those cultural elements continued in one way or the other”, stressed Prof Vasant.

Presiding over the lecture, AMU Vice Chancellor, Prof Tariq Mansoor talked about archaeological museums of the University where a number of well preserved antiquities are on display.

He invited Prof Vasant to visit AMU and share his expertise with faculty members, researchers and students.

In the welcome address, Prof Gulfishan Khan (Chairperson, Department of History) said: “ AMU has a well rooted scholarly tradition of archaeological research and inquiry and the university founder, Sir Syed Ahmad Khan in his work, ‘Asarus Sanadid’, provided a classic account of the monuments and environs of the pre-colonial city of Delhi. He noted research in the field of epigraphy and numismatics and decoded Brahmi and Kharoshti scripts and the identification of Piyadassi with emperor Asoka”.

She also spoke about the contributions of former faculty members, Prof R C Gaur in the excavation of Atranjikhera and M D N Sahi, who excavated Jakhera. Excavations of these sites pushed back the use of iron in India around 1200 BC.

Prof Gulfishan also extended the vote of thanks.

Deans, faculty members, students and researchers from various university departments attended the programme.