A new hypothesis that links the Vaigai civilisation, represented by the ongoing archaeological excavation at Keezhadi near here, with Indus civilisation on the basis of exact names of places was put forth by R. Balakrishnan, Additional Chief Secretary, Odisha, here on Friday.
Clarifying that no conclusions could be made at this stage when experts of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) were still working on the site at Keezhadi, Mr. Balakrishnan, a multidisciplinary indologist, said that questions around Indus Valley civilisation and Vaigai Valley civilisation were two sides of the same coin, notwithstanding the gap in time and space.
Delivering the ‘Keezhadi oration’ at the inaugural function of Sangam 4, an event to celebrate the greatness of Madurai, Mr. Balakrishnan recalled an early Dravidian hypothesis that people of the Indus Valley had migrated to another land and said that the names of places in south Tamil Nadu bore exact resemblance to those in Indus Valley region, comprising parts of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.
He was of the view that Indus Valley, which had abundant archaeological evidence, lacked in literary references while it was the converse in the case of Vaigai Valley.
Mr. Balakrishnan said that there were still about 500 names in the Indus Valley which were alien to north Indian languages.
But their replicas were found in south Tamil Nadu, especially on both banks of the Vaigai.
He pointed out that names like Korkai, Madirai, Vanji and Thondi existed now in the Indus Valley and this could not be deemed accidental.
Added to this were the symbols of the Indus Valley unearthed in Keezhadi. Mr. Balakrishnan said that the proven or potential archaeological sites along the Vaigai had exact counterparts in the Indus Valley but only future research could confirm the link.
The parallels between the Indus Valley and Keezhadi were the brick structures, size of burnt bricks, weights, playthings and red and black earthenware.
Keezhadi was very much reminiscent of the Lower Town of the Indus Valley.
Mr. Balakrishnan, while amplifying his argument, said that Tamil should not be defined as a State language as it was the language of a civilisation and it had outlived every period. And Keezhadi was not a mere town but a threshold to the Vaigai civilisation and it would provide the missing link with the Indus Valley.
He concluded his talk by making a plea that people should not allow the Vaigai Valley civilisation to be harmed by ‘katta panchayat.’
G. Gnanasambandan, Professor Emeritus, Thiagarajar College, in his talk, recalled the greatness of Madurai with references to ancient literature.
The other firsts of the city were: the first poem of Subramania Bharathi was published here; the first song for a talkie was penned by Baskaradas and Mahatma Gandhi took the historic decision of becoming a ‘half-naked fakir’ in Madurai.
The ASI team, led by K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, which is involved in the Keezhadi excavation, was honoured on the occasion.