History that does not have evidence will not endure: Amarnath Ramakrishna

Mr. Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist with ASI, stresses the need for scientific studies of history; says it is regrettable that teachers and scholars are not questioning dubious claims made about historical events by Central govt.

March 06, 2024 04:56 pm | Updated 08:11 pm IST - TIRUCHI

K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India,  Chennai, speaking at a seminar at Bishop Heber College in Tiruchi on Wednesday.

K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India, Chennai, speaking at a seminar at Bishop Heber College in Tiruchi on Wednesday. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The archaeological finds at Keeladi have helped date the Sangam age of Tamil history and literature, paving the way for evidence-based research into the era, K. Amarnath Ramakrishna, Superintending Archaeologist, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI), Chennai, has said.

Mr. Ramakrishna, who first worked at the Keeladi site excavations in Sivaganga district in 2015, was speaking as resource person at a State-level conference organised by the Departments of Tamil and History at Bishop Heber College in Tiruchi on Wednesday, March 6, 2024. The conference, held in collaboration with Chennai-based Save History Movement, was titled ‘From Sindhu to Porunai’, and traced the importance of ancient civilisations that existed along Indian rivers.

“Students should study history and archaeology in a scientific manner, so that it can be validated with proof. It is not enough to make grand statements; history that doesn’t have evidence will not endure, and it is essential to preserve our identity,” said Mr. Ramakrishna.

The ASI official added that it was regrettable that teachers and scholars were not questioning dubious claims made about historical events by the Central government. “Carbon dating of inscriptions has helped us prove the age of Tamil language as among the oldest in the world. Still, there are reports about Sanskrit being older than Tamil. Sangam literature has a rich heritage and is closely linked to the land. Even so, many people have questioned the veracity of Sangam culture, because the evidence has either been destroyed or not fully discovered,” he said.

Earlier, in his keynote address, A. Karunananthan, coordinator, Save History Movement, said it was important to stop rewriting of history. “The stress on ‘Vedic era’ education has led to a diversion from factual truths of other, more ancient civilisations. Certain communities and figures are either lionised or vilified according to political convenience,” he said.

S.S. Sundaram, professor and head, Department of Indian History, Madras University, and A. Balakrishnan, chief adviser (special initiative) to the Chief Minister of Odisha, also spoke on the occasion.

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