Many readers have commented that the ASI’s excavation for gold in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh — following a priest’s claim that Raja Ram Baksh Singh appeared in his dream and told him that 1000 tonnes of gold lie beneath his fort — has kept the locals and other elements away from the area. Law and order, and protection of private and heritage properties are police functions, not the ASI’s.
If there was an apprehension that unscrupulous elements would dig the site, police protection could have been provided. Experts could have then conducted a scientific study and taken the decision to dig. That way, the ASI could have avoided the charge that it has encouraged superstition.
The discovery of the organic structure of Benzene (C6H6) and the invention of the sewing needle were based on clues obtained in dreams; the creation of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson was based on a dream; the famous “Devil’s Note” was composed on the basis of a dream; Abraham Lincoln is supposed to have foreseen his death in a strange dream; in the Old Testament, the Pharaoh of Egypt was forewarned of a drought in a dream that was divinely interpreted by Joseph. All dreams may not come true. But a few dreams do provide hints of events that follow.