India’s heritage is on sale for a mere Rs 96 lakh reported Jaya Menon. An ancient Temple Chariot from Tamil Nadu is on sale on Social Media for a mere Rs 96 lakh by a Mumbai based businessman. Rajkumar Jain a dealer in restored furniture has put on sale a wooden chariot believed to be from a 100 year old temple in Tamil Nadu. The Chariot measures 11ft x 11ft and is on sale on premises of his Mumbai shop Anemos in Raghuvanshi Mills Compound, Lower Parel.
What is shocking is that the businessman has an authentication letter from the “government-approved valuer of works of art” approving the price tag – Rs 96 lakh. The authentication letter is signed by former curator of Prince of Wales Museum, Bombay Shridhar Andhre, a government-approved valuer of works of art.
When journalist Jaya Menon went to the sop posing as a potential buyer she “was informed by Jain that the chariot could be transported anywhere, even abroad to auction houses like Sotheby’s or Christie’s, but after obtaining a ‘no objection certificate’ from the ASI’s antiquity department.”
When asked about the source of the chariot Jain told her that “Temples are very discreet when they dispose such artifacts. They deal through their preferred agents and choose to remain anonymous.” He also said that “he got the chariot in several parts, packed into a few gunny bags and later reassembled.”
Smuggling antiques outside India is a multi-billion dollar activity. Very few kingpins of the racket get caught. US-based dealer Subhash Chandra Kapoor, who was nabbed recently, came into the police net after many months of liaisoning between Interpol and CID’s Idol Wing.
According to Jason Felch, co-author of Chasing Aphrodite, that describes the role of American museums in the illicit antiquities trade, at least 236 rare artefacts were supplied by Kapoor to museums across the world, which included, among others, New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art.
The story of antiques, idols, artifacts and manuscripts smuggling from India is an old one started by the unusual and unholy alliance between the British and Catholic Church to destroy traditional Indian Knowledge Systems. This story has been told in detail in our book India in Cognitive Dissonance – an explosive hard-hitting myth-buster, a timely reminder for the decadent Indian society and a masterpiece on Indian geopolitics published by GreatGameIndia. Below is an excerpt from the book.
To destroy the Indian pride in their astronomical and mathematical knowledge British missionaries and administration paid huge bribes to a few scholars in Ujjain asking them to proclaim a date for an eclipse that was incorrect by two days. This was published in all the governor’s almanacs and on that date millions gathered to glimpse the eclipse and to take holy dip in the rivers.
But when the eclipse did not occur in main river confluences, the carefully placed British agents and Catholic fathers trumpeted to the schooled millions that Indian astronomical knowledge was fake and absurd. The British then informed the distraught faithful that according to superior British scientific calculations the eclipse would occur in next three days which proved true to the amazement of the public.
Thus therefore instead of all the shouting about “Indian Sciences” and sloganeering about “Vedic Vimanas” and the “Pride of our ancient Past”, what would be a far more solid and concrete step to take in this direction would be for Indian Physics departments to follow up the course on advanced Classical Hamiltonian Mechanics, where students learn the basics of astronomical planetary orbital calculations with a course on calculation of the Calendar. This should not be too difficult to do at all given that it is already being done!
This fraudulent act of psychological war on the Indian mind came to light only around 1985 through the writings of the German and French scholars who were conducting a study on retrospective reconciliation of astronomical facts. Even NASA’s declaration a decade ago about adapting astronomical tables of India into their computations could not restore the lost sense of pride in the Indians even to this day.
We have been taught that we have nothing to offer, our history is less than 5000 years old (even our current Prime Minister approves of it), that we have no cultural values and that any culture is given to us by foreigners (as shown in this recent example of our review of the movie The Lost City of Z). We were slowly but methodically conditioned to accept that whatever is English is Science and that what is not English is not Science; and on our socio-political front, we were conditioned to accept that the West is equivalent to English.
The Europeans who decried the British destruction of Indian knowledge were appalled by the fraudulent methods adapted by British to destroy scientific knowledge. Witnessing this massive disruption of mind and psyche of the Indians, the Germans and French did what they could do best within their limitations. Knowing the greed of British, the French and Germans offered as much cash as possible to salvage anything of value from India. So for a full century the plundered wealth of India – from manuscripts to artifacts to statues were auctioned in London’s famous auction centers – and dutifully the Germans and French paid for and bought them. But what shocked the Germans the most was that when they returned one such statue to the current Indian Prime Minister, not one single member in the Prime Minister’s entourage asked the basic question: “how did the Germans get this statue in the first place?”