New Delhi: A committee formed by the culture ministry has suggested that efforts should be made to find a correlation between the ancient Indian history and the epics such as the Ramayana and the Mahabharata, people in the government familiar with the matter have said.
The committee on ‘holistic study of origin and evolution of Indian culture since 12,000 years before present and its interface with other cultures of the world’ was formed in November 2016 and had a tenure of one year. It wrapped up its proceedings in November 2017. The committee consisted of bureaucrats, archaeologists and academics.
“The committee’s mandate was to trace Indian culture from way back and compare it with other cultures across the world. It has got nothing to do with Hinduism or Islam. It is about our civilisation," culture minister Mahesh Sharma told PTI.
According to the minutes of a meeting of the 14-member committee, its chairman and Archaeological Survey of India’s (ASI) former joint director general K.N. Dikshit spoke about recent researches that have thrown new light on ancient civilisations. During the meeting, Dikshit said the Indian civilisation dates back much earlier than it has been believed. “It is essential to correlate these dates with the Vedas and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharata," Dikshit said.
He said the Rig Veda, which was earlier believed to have been composed around 1,500 BC, was now being assigned to the Harappan civilisation period by many scholars, thus indicating a co-relation between the two. People familiar with the matter in the culture ministry say the committee’s report is being collated for a final decision.