Digging for ‘dream’ gold (Oct. 20) at the Daundiya Kheda village in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh, is the hottest news now. I do not want to say whether it was correct on the part of the Archaeological Survey of India to go for excavation based on the dream of a priest. The Geological Survey of India has claimed that the excavation was planned after it noted the presence of some metallic object in the fort built by Raja Ram Baksh Singh.
It is not clear whether the presence of the metallic object was noted before or after the dream. If it was noted earlier, why didn’t the government start the excavation immediately? Why did it opt for the exercise after the priest claimed the king visited him in his dream?
The treasure hunt in a ruined fort is nothing short of absurdity. Nobody in the ASI has as yet explained what hard evidence there was, apart from the miraculous vision of the priest, to embark on a deployment of its forces and resources.
The spectacle of crowds thronging to watch the tamasha, which included a solemn puja presided over by the ASI, would turn the stomach of anyone who knows that the Constitution asks Indians to cultivate a scientific temper.
Are we living in the medieval times? A priest says a king appeared in his dream and told him that 1000 tonnes of gold (from where did he get the exact number, one wonders) lie buried under a fort and the ASI starts digging to retrieve it. The whole world must be laughing at us.
If another priest claims that a Viceroy of the old British empire appeared in his dream and told him some treasure was lying under Rashtrapati Bhavan, will the government direct the ASI to demolish it to retrieve the wealth?
I am glad the ASI has come into the picture. Or else, the entire area would have been filled with pits and the fort destroyed by greedy people looking for the treasure. The area is at least in safe hands.
G. Amarnath Reddy,
Friedrich Kekule’s dream was the basis for discovering the ring structure of Benzene. Maths wizard Ramanujan credits Goddess Namagiri with visiting him in his dreams and solving mathematics problems. There are many more such instances.
In a nation which is gripped by electoral madness, caste wars and communal skirmishes, we will probably be better off sleeping for longer hours and having more dreams.
Embarking on a gold expedition based on a priest’s vague dream without any scientific basis was the last thing expected of the ASI. With the scientific expertise available to us, it is bizarre to imagine a government organisation promoting superstition.
T. Arun Chandran,
Keywords: Letters to the editor, Digging for ‘dream’ gold, Shobhan Temple, Unnao temple, Raja Rao Ram Bux Singh fort, Unnao district, Archaeological Survey of India, excavation work, treasure hunt, priest's dream