Tracing the Indian gene and culture to the Harappan civilisation, Indus Valley Civilisation expert Dr Vasant Shinde said we all carry the Harappan civilisation gene and culture.
“From Bengal to Gujarat, we are carrying the same Harappan gene and following the same Harappan culture,” said Dr Shinde. He was speaking at a symposium organised by the Indian Museum in Kolkata to celebrate the centenary of the discovery of the Harappan civilisation at Mohenjo Daro and Harappa.
To mark the occasion, the Indian Museum organised an exhibition displaying artefacts from the Harappan civilisation. “Some of the objects are being exhibited for the first time in the history of the museum,” The Times of India quoted AD Chowdhury, director of the museum.
Explaining the continuity of the Harappan civilisation, Dr Chowdhury said, “Chicken tandoori, for instance, is a product of Harappan civilisation. Archaeologist BB Lal discovered tandoor and fossilised chicken bones at Kalibangan to ascertain that tandoori chicken is of completely Indian origin, not an import from elsewhere.”
Without knowledge about the Harappan civilisation, there was a huge gap between the stone age and the stupa period. This was bridged with the discovery of the Harappan civilisation in 1920-22. “The discovery of the Harappan civilisation actually bridged a big gap between the stone age and the stupa period of the Buddhist age in just one stroke. Now, we can proudly say that we have continuous history from the stone age to modern time, quite unparalleled in the world,” said Dr Shinde.
Dr Shinde added that the Harappan civilisation gradually moved from the Indus and Saraswati basin along the Indo-Gangetic plain and left its imprints all along with it. Pottery, very similar to the Harappan ones of 1900 BC, was found in West Bengal’s Midnapore.
Explaining the movement of the civilisation, Dr Shinde said, “…The genetic studies and scientific re-modelling of the skeletons of Harappan people that was carried out between 2000 and 2020 laid bare the most interesting aspects of the continuity of the civilisation till date. The image re-modelling of the remains of Harappan men and women from Rakhghari site (Haryana) revealed an amazing resemblance to modern-day Hariyanvi men and women.”
He added, “However, we need to relearn a lot of things from our Harappan forefathers. One of them is water conservation and water harvesting that they practised in Dholavira, a rich Harappan site. Dholavira used to be a desert in Harappan time. But they turned Dholavira, a city, completely green with water available round the clock. They used to harvest water during monsoons, checked dams at canals and used it efficiently. In modern days, we have failed to replicate the model.”