Tuesday, August 4, 2009

As the sun set on the Raj ...

One evening in early August 1943, Brigadier General Mortimer Wheeler was resting in his tent after a long day of poring over maps, drawing up plans for invasion of Siciliy. Mortimer Wheeler was invited to become the director general of archaeology by the India Office of the British government in its last years of rule in South Asia ...Summoning a general from the battlefields of Europe was an extraordinary measure, an admission both of the desperate condition of Indian archaeology and an acknowledgment of its vital importance. (from The Strides of Vishnu: Hindu Culture ... - Google Books).


This is one question that has long puzzled me!

Why would the glorious British Empire, on which the sun never set, struggling for its very existence, in the middle of WW2, suddenly pull a general back from the battlefield - and put him into archaeology! Especially, when it was clear that they would be departing from India - sooner rather than later.

Just why

Considering what theories came from Mortimer Wheeler's rather fertile 'imagination' and his rigourous archaeological process, raises even more questions. There may be the facile answer that the British were after all 'searching for history and truth'.

It is this one incident which possibly contains answers to many unanswered questions like: -

  1. The amount of energy expended by the West in defending the Aryan Invasion /Migration Theory,

  2. The lack of access to Indian scholars of the archaeological sites in Pakistan,

  3. The many myths in Indian history,

  4. The clues to the partition of India

  5. The dating problems
et al.

Again ... just why?

Just why would an imperial power, struggling for its very existence, suddenly pull a general from the battle field, in the middle of WW2 - and put him onto the job of digging dirt.

Only one explanation fits - it had to be a struggle for a existence at a higher level!

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