Epigraphists in Mysuru and rest of India will stage a silent protest in their respective offices on Thursday in protest against the restructuring of the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).
The restructuring exercise completed recently has given a short shrift to the epigraphists and even some of the existing posts have been surrendered, according to the department officials.
Though they made representations to the authorities to highlight the importance of epigraphy in the study and interpretation of India’s history, the restricting exercise has ignored the role of epigraphy, according to former epigraphists who have since retired from the department.
They pointed out that in the new scheme of things there was more importance to horticulture and gardening rather than deciphering the inscriptions and publishing them so as to fill gaps pertaining to the country’s past.
As per the restructuring exercise of the ASI, 70 posts have been created to recruit horticulturists including 55 horticultural assistants. But not a single post related to epigraphy has been notified.
Underlining the seriousness of the issue, the epigraphists said for a country the size of India, there are only 5 epigraphic assistants for field survey and deciphering the inscriptions. While the headquarters of the Epigraphy branch is in Mysuru, there are branch and regional offices in Nagpur, Lucknow and Chennai.