The river Saraswati has become invisible again, this time because of political reasons. Union Minister for Culture and Information and Broadcasting, Jaipal Reddy announced last week in Parliament that there was no evidence of Saraswati. The NDA government had sanctioned a project for detailed and extensive archaeological work based on initial investigations. Renowned archaeologists, like Dr Wakankar, had done preliminary work and had concluded that the invisible river'sroute and existence can be traced with more work and use of high-tech methods. Satellite imagery supplemented it and dozens of archaeological sites along the route established the historic river.
Shri Jagmohan, as the then Minister for Culture had sanctioned the project, allocating Rs 4.98 crore for a year. However, Reddy, answering questions in the Rajya Sabha on December 6, said the studies conducted at nine sites had not yielded any proof. This is blatant suppression of facts.
Reddy also said that the UPA government has not extended the project because of this reason. Under the NDA, the Saraswati project was cleared by the advisory board, which means that the project had been vetted by archaeologists and geologists. But the present government did not think it necessary to go to the advisory board again to find out if the project was worth continuing or not. The fact that the CPM (Nilotpal Basu) was more interested in knowing ?who? was behind the project than the academic veracity of it, makes it clear that the Saraswati project is yet another victim of UPA's?undo? governance. The UPA government is systematically using the comb to fine-search projects and studies that would throw light on ancient India. It is as if they are afraid of discovering it to be ?Hindu?.