Sarasvati: A real river which was denied a real existence and given a mythical identity is being revived now. It is interesting to see that a large number of geological studies including satellite mapping, underground drills and archaeological surveys have found out many interesting things which are going to have profound impact on India and world. Let me list a few of the explorations:
a. A vast network of underground river-type water network ranging from Himalayas, trajecting through the regions of Himachal, Haryana, Rajasthan,Gujarat, and Cholistan (Pak) exists which contains water at a depth of 50-60 meters
b. ONGC has started its drilling in many parts of Rajasthan to extract this underground water of river Saraswati for local consumption @tends of thousands of liters of water per day from the depth of 35-40 meters. For surprise, the age of water from majority of drills have been found to be 4000 years old!! it means that water is resting beneath the earth for 4000 years!!!
c. Nearly 2000 out of 3000 sites associated with Indus Valley civilization are in the Sarasvati river basin
Research findings and its simulation (done at IISER)
The Politics of Research and Exploration
Research and exploration to these findings were regularly hindered by secular governments in the center and state. But since satellite images and geological studies done in different times by scientists of BARC, ISRO, ASI, Sarasvati Nadi Shodh Prakalp, ONGC, Geological Survey of India, Central Groundwater Authority and many other organizations have now proven the existence of the river, ruling governments in Center, Haryana and Rajasthan which were earlier opposing the existence of this river are now seeing it as a political opportunity.
Some of the associated major political developments include:
a. In 2002, NDA Government under the then Union Culture Minister Jagmohan in June 2002 announced excavations to trace the river’s course. He named a team of four experts – Baldeo Sahai of ISRO, Ahmedabad, archaeologist S Kalyan Raman, glaciologist Y K Puri and water consultant Madhav Chitle – for the task. But even earlier, States like Haryana had begun their study of the ‘underground river.’
b. Jaipal Reddy the then Culture Minister slashed the planned budget of the above project from Rs 36.02 crore to Rs 4.98 crore in order to keep a SECULAR IDENTITY of the government.
c. As a head of Parliamentary Standing Committee on Transport, Tourism and Culture; Sitaram Yechury of CPI(M) castigated probe agencies for ‘wasting’ time and money over the study of the mystery river. He stated “The ASI has deviated in its working and has failed in spearheading a scientific discipline of archaeology. A scientific institution like the ASI did not proceed correctly in this matter.”
d. A non-government organization (NGO), Saraswati Nadi Sodh Sansthan, has also been working for the revival of the ancient river through its entire track. Two major seminars were held on this issue on October 22, 2008 and November 21, 2009 at Kurukshetra where representatives from ONGC, Geological Survey of India and Indian Space Research Organisation were invited. This gave a strong momentum.
e. Excavations in Thed Rajasthan unearthed an entire city on the banks of the dried river. Further mapping of nearly 3000 sites associated with 4000 BC to 1500 BC in North-western India shown that 2000 of them lie in the Sarasvati River Valley!!!! This study followed by Satellite images compelled the caretakers of SECULARISM to accept the existence of River Sarasvari!!
f. In a major development, the SECULAR Government’s first acknowledgement came in response to an unstarred question in Rajya Sabha on December 3 2009 by Prakash Javadekar (BJP), who wanted to know whether satellite images & underground explorations had “established the underground track of Saraswati, and if so, why should the precious water resources not be exploited to meet growing demands.” Since the issue was political and had association with nearly 20 crore living in western & northern India. SO, the Union Water Resources Ministry quoted in writing the conclusion of a study jointly conducted by scientists of ISRO, Jodhpur and the Rajasthan Government’s Ground Water Department, published in the Journal of Indian Society of Remote Sensing. The government quoted that “clear signals of palaeo-channels on the satellite imagery in the form of a strong and powerful continuous drainage system in the North-West region and occurrence of archaeological sites of pre-Harappan, Harappan and post-Harappan ages beyond doubt indicate the existence of a mighty palaeo-drainage system of the Vedic Saraswati river in this region… The description and magnanimity of these channels also matches with the river Saraswati described in the Vedic literature”
Scope for National Water Grid
National Water Grid is also expecting a big scope in these findings as it will assist in following future activities:
a. Diverting parts of water of rivers like Sutlej, Yamuna and some other small rivers through canals to the age-old pathway of Saraswati River. This will in a way commence the interlinking of rivers in Northern India
b. Revival of this river is going to support over 20 crore people directly or indirectly in the states of Haryana, rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh. In fact Pak will be also indirectly benefited.
c. It is going to help Water Grid in making its increase its sphere of activities over a larger region and on a bigger cause
d. The river, when revived will flow through Rann of Kachh converting this vast dry-land into great greenary
e. The revival plan includes that the river will be made navigable. So, a new era of inland navigation in North Western India will be ushered
Tectonic Impact of these research on History
These developments are going to have profound impact on the history of India. Major expected impacts include
a. End to the conception that Sarasvati was a mythical river, not a real one
b. Renaming of the Indus Valley Civilization as Indus Sarasvati Civiliation
c. End of Aryan Invasion Theory !!! hence end of theories like nomadic Aryans destroyed the urbanized Harappans
d. End of the Arya-Dravida racial theory
e. All dates of Indian ancient history will change
Some new set of debates will start which includes:
a. What was the culture of Indus-Sarasvati people? Was it Vedic?
b. What is the chronology of Vedic and Indus-Sarasvati civilization
c. How will the presence of Hindu deities like Mitra, Varuna, Indra in Central Asia and in Middle Eastern civilizations be explained? Since there will be no Aryan Migration theory so how will Indian influence in these regions be explained?
d. What was the expected date of Mahabharata war?
e. What exactly happened to the mighty Sarasvati River, will it happen to any other river? If yes then in what conditions?
f. What was the flow of culture from rural Vedic civilization to urban Harappan civilization then back to a mixture of rural-urban Janpads? Why this path?
g. The governance structure of Indus-Sarasvati civilization is still unexplained, so how will this be defined? Findings of the old City of Dwarka has lot of meanings. But was Dwarka the Capital city of this civilization with each center of the civilization having a kind of quasi-democratic government which facilitated the great development the form of which is still unknown to human civilization? Was it something like an attempt to create Sata-Yuga?
h. Where do urbanization find space in Vedas? Was Vedic era divided in multiple eras each having diff perspective towards life, nature and philosophy?
i. The complex script & language of Indus-Sarasvati is still beyond conclusion. What will be the new discourse around it? Will Dravidian Origin survive or Indo-Aryan origin survive?
Events will continue…………
In the political sphere of India, Nationalist forces will find a new dimension of asserting the Indianness of everything ranging from Vedas to Indus-Sarasvati. On the other hand, non-nationalist forces including those of communists, “secularists”, Dravidians and Nehruvians will find it difficult to divide & mislead people by dividing and confusing them in the name of races (Aryan-Dravidian); castes (Aryans are upper caste people while natives are backwards or Lower Caste people); or foreign origin of the idea of India (thus supporting the British Ideas of conquering India to make it civilized) and many more things. What will be written in Indian textbooks? What will happen to SECULARISM which tries to associate itself with anything non-nationalist?
It is sure shot that Hindutva forces will showcase the world the revival of River Sarasvati as an evidence of greatness and oldness of Hindu civilization. Moreover the greatness with which the cities were built and governed; economic activities managed; and peace & stability ensured will find new creative expressions in all art & visual forms creating as much impact as that of the Mahabharata & Ramayana. People will take more and more interest in ancient Indian texts and will try to explain Indus-Sarasvati civilization creating a fresh generation of proud Indians which has the knowledge about motherland and pride of being Indian.
One of the most important areas where revival of Sarasvati river and establishment of the idea of Indus-Sarasvati civilization will be the impact on Scientific community and Intellectuals of India. This single event will:
a. Make Indians feel pride in all speheres of Science, technology, business, administration and many other fields.
b. If Sarasvati river is desired to be kept clean then it will create enormous momentum in Scientific Community to develop river ecosystems and sewage treatment systems.The whole of urban lifestyle can be redefined leading to large number of innovations in the field of humanities, Sciences, Engineering and Environmental Studies.
c. If people are strongly motivated then the new settlements around this river will be developed along the foorsteps of Indus-Sarasvati Civilization creating a large number of clean & planned cities and urban settlements in North-Western India. These cities will act as masterpiece inspiring all other cities of the sub-continent.
d. Political Pandits will find a new scope to devise a new form of governance which will be egalitarian and democratic like Indus-Sarasvati Cities.
e. Communists which are currently the biggest opponents of accepting Harappan Culture a Vedic Culture should take this truth as an opportunity to rethink and reposition themselves. They can propose different kind of governance models which will ensure equality; rule of Law; minimum Government and maximum Governance; and how the same can be traced back to the Vedic periods giving their ideas a strong legitimacy and Indian outlook. Current communists are good for nothing. They have no idea about India. They just follow Hegel, Marx and all other western people which considered India to be a pre-history: a land of nomads, uncivilized and mystics. So, proposing new models for governance will give communists an opportunity to wash their sins and contribute to the resurgence of great Civilization called Bharat. (Again here Bharat doesn’t mean Hindu or communal)
f. Secularists try to associate anything Indian or Hindu or Vedic with communalism. It is absolutely wrong. I don’t know how the denial of existence of any river makes one person SECULAR. Contribution to revival of Sarasvati also needs redefining SECULARISM. Secularism is all about allowing multiple peaceful progressive ideas to co-exist without fear of prosecution or subversion. In no way Secularism means supporting Aryan Invasion Theory. So, revival of this river will also give SECULARISTS to reinvent themselves and try to explore the atheist parts of Hinduism, Vedas and try to link it with the Harappan Civilization. This will be a completely green zone giving them a great opportunity to wash their sins and contribute to the resurgence of great Civilization called Bharat. (Again here Bharat doesn’t mean Hindu or communal)
All of these developments will create enormous opportunities for intellectuals & scientists to make experiments, free their imagination from preconceived notions of badness about everything Indian and create something out of blue which doesn’t exist in India and World.
Appendix-1: Outlook of plans for revival of the river Sarasvati
The details of the projects which could accomplish the Rebirth of River Sarasvati with optimal use of
1. Glacial sources of water,
2. Water harvesting and
3. Interlinking of rivers as part of a National Water Grid to achieve Vision 2020.
Brief Overview of the plans and ongoing projects are listed here (http://www.eshiusa.org/Articles/Sarasvati.pdf)
1. Sarasvati River: Bharatiya civilization http://www.eshiusa.org/Articles/Sarasvati.pdf
2. Collection of News Articles: http://www.stephen-knapp.com/recent_research_on_the_sarasvati_river.htm
3. Saraswati – the ancient river lost in the desert, A. V. Sankaran, IISC http://www.iisc.ernet.in/currsci/oct25/articles20.htm
4. The Saraswati was a Major River by K S Valdiya http://www.omilosmeleton.gr/pdf/en/indology/The_Saraswati_was_a_Major_River.pdf
6. Many more articles not to make the list longer