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A homage to Hindu civilization.

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    Tuesday, 13 September 2016 | Kumar Chellappan | in Oped
    Image result for kumar chellappan

    People who seek to frame the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, must be cautious while levelling baseless allegations. Even after nearly seven decades of the incident, there are many unanswered questions associated with the murder
    Congressmen and Marxists, who blame the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh for the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, should be cautious while making the blunt charge. There are many unasked questions and unanswered queries associated with the 1948 murder of the Mahatma by Nathuram Godse, who was the then editor of Hindu Rashtra — a newspaper owned by the Hindu Mahasabha.
    The killing continues to be mired in controversies nearly seven decades after the incident. People who were occupying power, both in Government and outside, at the time of the assassination, blamed the RSS for the gruesome incident. The latest in the controversy is the legal cobweb into which Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi has fallen after making an allegation. Rahul Gandhi has been hauled to the court of law by an aggrieved RSS activist. The Congress scion is speaking in different voices on different days.
    Nathuram Godse, the assassin, might have been a member of the RSS, but he switched over his allegiance to the Hindu Mahasabha, an entirely different organisation. It should also be noted that KB Hedgewar, a prominent member of the Hindu Mahasabha, quit the organisation over ideological differences and launched the RSS in 1925. This itself proves that the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha are two different entities. The truth is that while the Hindu Mahasabha struggled to survive and grow as an organisation, the RSS found instant acceptability among the people and left the Hindu Mahasabha gasping for air.
    Godse left the RSS and joined the Hindu Mahasabha because of the decision of the Sangh to abstain from active politics. It was the intransigent stance of Mahatma Gandhi, that India should stand by its word and pay Pakistan Rs55 crore as per a deal reached out between the two countries at the time of partition, that prompted Godse to do away with the Father of the Nation.
    In his final statement read out to the court which sentenced him to death for the killing, Godse had made it clear that his decision was a fall-out of Mahatma Gandhi’s decision to undertake a fast unto death to force the Indian Government to make the payment to Pakistan. Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, the then Deputy Prime Minister, had declared on January 12, 1948, that India would not make the payment till Pakistan kept away from Kashmir. 
    Sardar Patel knew well that the amount to be paid by India to Pakistan would be pumped to create chaos, confusion and crisis in Kashmir. But following the threat of fast issued by Gandhi on January 12, 1948, and the commencement of his fast on January 13, 1948, the Government of India decided to dump its earlier decision and go ahead with making the cash payment to Pakistan. A communique regarding the payment of the amount to be made to Pakistan was issued by the Government on January 17, 1948.
    “As soon as he read the news item on the teleprinter about Gandhi’s fast, Nathuram Godse must have thought that all other plans should be set aside. Care had to be taken to see that Gandhiji did not interfere with the democratic working of the Government. According to Godse, it was a matter of life and death for the nation”, wrote Gopal Godse in the introduction to Nathuram Godse’s book, Why I Assassinated Mahatma Gandhi? It was written in the format of a statement by Nathuram Godse and submitted  to the trial court which sentenced him to death.
    What happened after the killing of the Mahatma was that the RSS was banned and all its top leaders were arrested. It is an open secret that there was no love lost between the Sangh and Gandhi, with the latter going out of his way to appease the Muslims. This appeasement especially antagonised the survivors of partition.   
    Marudur Gopalan Ramachandran, an eminent writer and thinker in Kerala, who undertook deep research into Gandhi’s assassination and Nathuram Godse’s character, has made some interesting observations. It is known to all that Nathuram Godse was a prominent member of the Hindu Mahasabha at the time of the killing. Why were the leaders of Hindu Mahasabha were not grilled or probed by the investigators? Why was not the role of the Sabha investigated by the police? Why was Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee, the then president of the Sabha, was not questioned even once by the police?” asks Ramachandran.
    He also points out that Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee, a lawyer, was elevated as a judge of the Calcutta High Court within months of the Gandhi assassination. Later, Chatterjee contested the first general election (1952) as a Hindu Mahasabha candidate from Hooghly and won with a good margin. He reached the Lok Sabha as an independent candidate supported by the Communist Party of India in the 1963 by-election. Chatterjee, who contested the fourth general election in 1967 as an independent candidate again, and supported by the communists, won with big margin.
    He contested the 1963 and 1967 elections from Burdwan. With his passing away, the seat fell vacant and the CPI(M) fielded his son Somnath Chatterjee from the same constituency. In course of time, Somnath Chatterjee rose to become the Speaker of the Lok Sabha with the support of the Congress.
    Ramachandran says he has some genuine doubts about the political leanings of Nathuram Godse. “Leaders of the CPI(M) and the Congress should ask Somnath Chatterjee, who was this Nathuram Godse when they meet the octogenarian leader next time”, said Ramachandran.
    While we will leave the doubt to be clarified by people who matter, two prominent persons in the country expressed their helplessness in answering the question. MGS Narayanan, former Chairman of Indian Council of Historical Research, is not at all amused by people who blame the RSS for Gandhi’s assassination. “I am at a loss of words and cannot explain why the Hindu Mahasabha was not probed and its leaders not questioned. It is also a mystery why Nirmal Chandra Chatterjee was made a High Court judge” Narayanan said.
    V Kalyanam, (95), private secretary to Gandhi at the time of the assassination, could be the only person alive who had close interaction with the Mahatma. Kalyanam was hardly five metres away from Gandhi when Godse fired the three bullets. “I cannot say whether it was the RSS or some other organisation which was behind the assassination of Gandhi. But the RSS was not unhappy over the killing. It had always criticised Gandhi for his views”, Kalyanam says. To the question on why the Hindu Mahasabha, to which Godse belonged, was not at all probed, Kalyanam responds that it would remain unanswered.

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    PM hints at more action to unearth black money 

    Kobe: Hinting at more action to unearth black money, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said those holding unaccounted money will not be spared and there is no “guarantee” that no further steps would be taken after December 30 till when people can deposit the demonetised notes.
    He assured honest people that they will not face any trouble.
    “I would like to announce once again that after the end of this scheme, there is no guarantee that something new will not be introduced to punish you (thikane lagane ke liye),” Modi said.
    He was addressing the Indian community at a reception here.
    “I make it very clear that if anything unaccounted comes up, then I will check its records since Independence. Will deploy as many people as required for this. Honest people will not face any problem. No one will be spared. Those who know me, they are intelligent as well. They think it is better to offer it in Ganga than in banks,” Modi said.
    He was referring to reports of the demonetised Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes flowing in Ganga river.
    Modi termed the demonetisation as “Swachhata Abhiyan” and hailed the undaunting spirit of people despite their hardship following its announcement on November 8.
    “I salute my countrymen. People stood in line for four hours, six hours but accepted the decision in national interest the way people of Japan tackled the aftermath of the 2011 disaster,” he said.
    “I thought long and hard about the possible difficulties and it was also important to keep it a secret. It had to be done suddenly but I never thought I will receive blessings for this,” he said.


    0 0 monitoring cash crunch after currency ban: Jaitley
    The FM at the press conference. ANI
    New Delhi, November 12
    Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday said he was constantly monitoring the cash crunch following the recent demonetization move in the country.
    The FM was addressing a press conference here on the current demonetization move.
    Jaitley said it is a massive operation to replace 86 per cent of currency under circulation. The SBI alone had done Rs 2.28 crore transactions in the past two days; the total banking transactions were around five times of that, he added.
    The minister said the SBI alone had got Rs 47,868 crore deposits in the past two days; total deposits in all the banks must be around Rs 2 lakh crore to Rs 2.25 lakh crore, he added.
    The RBI bank currency chests numbering 4,000 had enough currency stocks, Jaitley assured.
    He said there was a spike in bank deposits only in September during the last one year, largely due to the 7th Pay Commission arrears being released in August.
    The Finance Minister appealed to the people to stagger depositing the defunct currency and not to crowd the banks.
    He said it would take two to three weeks to re-calibrate two lakh ATMs to vend out new Rs 2,000 and Rs 500 notes.
    He said stock details had been sought from jewellers on reports of dealings in defunct currency, adding that the government would not allow any illegal transaction in bullion. 
    He said the supposed chip in the Rs 2,000 note and digital lockers were mere rumours.
    Jaitley said the first few days would be periods of inconvenience but long-term benefits to economy would be greater. He said there were reports of misuse of Jan Dhan accounts, and the department concerned would look into any unlawful activities. 
    In short term, there would be some disruption to the economy, but once the currency is available the advantages would be far more, he asserted. PTI

    Published: November 12, 2016 15:05 IST | Updated: November 12, 2016 16:21 IST  

    Recalibration of ATMs will take some time, says Jaitley

    • Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
      The Hindu
      Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday. Photo: R.V. Moorthy
    • Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference at National Media Centre, New Delhi on Saturday.
      Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley addresses a press conference at National Media Centre, New Delhi on Saturday.
    • The Hindu

    "RBI exploring if more smaller currencies need to be circulated... govt. will decide if banks have to operate on weekends as well".

    Banks and ATMs on Saturday witnessed more chaos and even longer queues as cash-starved people jostled to exchange and withdraw money at bank branches, even as cash dispensing machines went dry soon due to heavy rush.
    Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley held a press conference at the National Media Centre, New Delhi after a meeting he had with heads of three banks, including SBI, the country's largest bank.
    Highlights of the presser:
    3.55 pm: ''RBI exploring if more smaller currencies need to be circulated to meet the requirement.
    3.52 pm: Depending on the rush, government will decide if banks have to operate on weekends as well.
    3.49 pm: There are some recommendations pending with the government on concessions to encourage cashless transactions.
    3.47 pm: Government advises people to deposit money in their accounts and withdraw.
    3.46 pm: In some States, banks will be open on Mondays.
    3.45 pm: Government has definite information on terror funding and procurement of weapons.
    3.44 pm: Cheque is more safe mode of payment.
    3.43 pm: Government will ask Banking Affairs Secretary for instructions to banks on helping senior citizens in smooth exchange of notes.
    3.41 pm: More security features in new notes; would be difficult to counterfeit them.
    3.38 pm: Large wholesalers need not just rely on cash transactions. The experience in the last two-and-a-half days is that any exception would lead to misuse. No concessions to any section in currency exchange.
    3.37 pm: Today the energy is concentrated on smooth and quick replacement of money. Enforcement Directorate and other departments concerned are keeping a close watch on any illegal activities.
    3.36 pm: Big regret is that people are getting inconvenienced, but currency replacement of this magnitude will cause problems. There are long but orderly queues.There are reports that money has been deposited in Jan Dhan accounts. This will be checked.
    3.33 pm: Those in businesses should start using digital payment gateways, cards and banking system. Life will become simpler in the new financial system that is only viable option.
    3.31 pm: Currency chest has sufficient cash, which is being transported to banks and post offices.
    3.30 pm: People spreading rumours, like the one related to salt price. A close watch being kept on reports of bullion being used to convert cash.
    3.29 pm: Some have alleged that bank deposits increased from July to September, alluding that the information on currency exchange was leaked. However, as per RBI records, In the last one year, there was a spike in deposits in in September only. It was due to disbursal of pay commission arrears.
    3.26 pm: Among political reactions, there were irresponsible ones too. Some people have problems from the efforts to cleanse the system. Some are asking for one more week.
    3.25 pm: Since new notes are of diffirent sizes, it is taking time to recaliberate the ATMs. That is why mostly Rs.100 notes are being dispensed from ATMS right now. Recalibration will take some time.
    3.23 pm: Technology limitations are there, since secrecy was important. Two lakh ATM machines could not be calibrated for dispensing new notes.
    3.22 pm: There are challenges in execution; people are turning up in large numbers and they will keep coming in the next few days. The government requests them that the deposit time is till December 30.
    3.21 pm: Currency replacement of such magnitude takes time.
    3.20 pm: A sum of Rs. 7,868 crore deposited in the SBI; total deposits estimated five times more. SBI exchanged notes of 58 lakh people. Twenty-two lakh people operated at ATMs, 33 lakh have withdrawn.
    3.18 pm: The SBI, which handles 20-25 per cent of total banking, has till 12.15 p.m. today conducted 2.28 crore transactions. Five transactions involved in banks:, cash deposit, withdrawal from cash, cash to cash exchange, ATM cah withdrawal and cah deposit machines being used. This apart from post offices.
    3.16 pm: Twenty to 25% of banking in India is by the SBI.
    3.15 pm: When govt decided to replace Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 notes, there were expectations that in couple of days, people would queue up to replace a significant part, 86 per cent. It is a massive operation.
    3.14 pm: Finance Ministry monitoring currency replacement constantly.
    3.13 pm: Banking personnel should be lauded for their tireless work. "Government thanks primarily two sections. There is huge rush for currency replacement. But, people are cooperating despite problems. Bank employees also working day and night to execute the work properly."

    Printable version | Nov 12, 2016 4:24:25 PM |
    Jaitley slammed the Oppositon for condemning government for the move, Jaitley said that different political reactions are coming out of which some are really “irresponsible”. “Congress said it’s our money why should we join the line . But how do we know whether you have paid tax on your money,” said Jaitley.

    Dismissing criticism over demonetisation of Rs 500/1000 notes, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley on Saturday that people will face difficulty for the first few days but it is a massive operation to curb black money. He added that it was not possible for the government to inform people about this decision in advance as “we had to maintain its secrecy as well”.

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    India Set To Acquire 100 Armed Avenger Drones From The US

    India Set To Acquire 100 Armed Avenger Drones From The US
    The Indian Air Force is set to acquire its first missile-armed unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) from the US. The Indian Air Force has for years said it needs armed drones - weapon systems.
    In the past, the US has refused to provide armed Predator drones to India, which have been used in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, for fear that New Delhi would turn the weapons against the Pakistanis at a time when Washington sought robust cooperation in the fight against Al Qaeda.
    However, with the geopolitical landscape having shifted in recent years towards battling against Daesh in addition to improving relations between Washington and New Delhi in a bid to contain China, the US has signalled a willingness to provide India with lethal unmanned aerial vehicles.
    The details of procurement of up to 100 armed Predator C Avengers for the India Air Force will be discussed with the outgoing US Secretary of State Ash Carter during his visit to India this December. If the deal goes through, it will make India the largest operator of this drone in the world after the United States.
    Progress in talks has largely been made possible by India joining the Missile Technology Control Regime (MTCR) and being declared a "major defence partner" of the US. India formally applied for membership to MTCR in June of 2015, and with the support of the United States and France, became a member on June 27, 2016.
    India may also discuss the purchase of 22 unarmed MQ-9 Predators during Carter's visit. The Indian Navy is looking to acquire more UAVs for its surface fleet. The Navy operates two squadrons of the IAI Heron and the IAI Searcher Mk-II UAVs purchased from Israel and plans to add at least two more squadrons.
    A pair of MQ-9 Reapers parked at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.
    A pair of MQ-9 Reapers parked at Creech Air Force Base in Indian Springs, Nevada.
    Avenger drone includes stealth features such as internal weapons storage and will support weapons used on the MQ-9 Predator, the deadliest drone in the world. The Hellfire anti-tank missiles fired from the Avenger can strike targets eight kilometers distant. The Avenger also has the ability to detect and track targets across the Line of Control (LoC) and attack them while flying well within Indian airspace. It can fly for up to 18 hours to reach targets 2,900 km away.
    Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar is expected to point to Paksistan’s inaction against militant groups like Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) and Jaish-e-Muhammad (JeM) that pose a direct threat to the national security of India in order to justify the transfer of drone technology.

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    This is an addendum to the following notes which discussed the scorpion hieroglyphs on 46 + 19 artifacts (i.e. 46 Ancient Near East (ANE) & Bharata seals and 19 orthographs & seals from Harappa (Indus) Script Corpora: 

    Harappa script hieroglyphs plaits of hair, scorpion, ficus religiosa signify dhāu'metal,red chalk'मृदुmṛdu, bica, loh'iron,copper' 

    2. Meluhha seafaring metal merchants on 46 ANE & Bharata seals. Harappa script hieroglyph bicha'scorpion' signifies bica'haematite, ferrite stone ore'.

    Thanks to Tom van Bakel, the following four ANE seals have been identified which also signify 'scorpion' hieroglyph.

    Cylinder-seal impression; a griffin and a tiger attack an antelope with its head turned back. The upper register shows two scorpions and a frog; the lower register shows a scorpion and two fishes. Syro-Mitannian, fifteenth to fourteenth centuries BCE, Pierpont Morgan Library, New York. Published: Civilizations of the Ancient Near East, p.2705 Fig. 9

    Kur. mūxā frog. Malt. múqe id. / Cf. Skt. mūkaka- id. (DEDR 5023) Rebus: mū̃h'ingot'mũhe'ingot'mũhã̄ = the quantity of iron produced at one time from the furnace.

    bicha'scorpion' rebus: bica'haematite, ferrite stone ore'

    kola'tiger' rebus: kol'working in iron, blacksmith'
    mr̤eka, melh 'goat' Rebus: milakkhu'copper'.PLUS krammara'head turned back' rebus: kamar'artisan, smith'.

    British Museum number: 122127  Description: Quartz var chalcedony (green jasper) cylinder seal; battle of the gods; two bearded gods, both wearing skirts, are facing each other, grasping the same staff, and each seizing hold of the other's horned head-dress. A naked and bearded archer kneels and aims an arrow at a captive who is alsobearded and wears a striped shirt and a pointed cap. His arms are tied behind his back and he has a rope round his neck which is held by a similarly attired figure who faces his prisoner. He holds a mace in the other hand. In the field between the archer and his victim is a scorpion (? or bird-lion) roughly cutover a few cuneiform signs; chipped top and bottom.Culture/period: Akkadian Date:2400BC-2200BC Materials:jasper (?) chalcedony (?) Dimensions: Height: 2 centimetres, Diameter: 1.3 centimetres Acquisition name: Purchased from: Joseph Dumbakly Acquisition date: 1930 Acquisition notes: Reported to Trustees 27 September 1930 Department: Middle East  BM/Big number: 122127  Registration number 1930,1015.3 Published: British Museum

    kamaḍha'archer, bow' Rebus: kammaṭa'mint, coiner'.
    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'
    British Mueum Museum number86905 Description White marble cylinder seal; contest frieze - bull grasped by nude hero, with  curled  hair, who also holds another bull; scorpion. Culture/period Early Dynastic III term details Production placeMade in: Asia term details(Asia) Materialsmarble DimensionsHeight: 2 Acquisition name Purchased from: I Élias Géjou  Acquisition date1900 Department Middle East  BM/Big number86905 Registration number1900,0115.6  Published: British Museum

    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'
    barad, balad'ox' rebus: bharat'alloy of pewter, copper, tin'

    Briggs Buchanan, William Halo and Ulla Kasten Early Near Eastern Seals in the Yale Babylonian Collection. p.175, fig 456. 

    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'
    barad, balad 'ox' rebus: bharat 'alloy of pewter, copper, tin'
    koThAri 'crucible' Rebus: koThAri 'storekeeper'kuThAru'armourer'

    Source for the four pictures: Tom van Bakel, Scorpions symbolize fertility on Near East cylinder seals as well as on an Indus stamp

    Image result for scorpion ancient near east seals
    Cylinder seal; BM 122947; U. 16220; humped bull stands before a palm-tree, feeding froun a round manger or a bundle of fodder; behind the bull is a scorpion and two snakes; above the whole a human figure, placed horizontally, with fantastically long arms and legs, and rays about his head.

    पोळा [ pōḷā ] 'zebu' rebus: पोळा [ pōḷā ] 'magnetite, Fe3O4' ferrite ore 
    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'
    nAga'snake' Rebus: nAga 'lead' Alternative: kula'hooded snake' Rebus: kol'working in iron'
    d.han:ga = tall, long shanked; maran: d.han:gi aimai kanae = she is a big tall woman (Santali) Rebus: d.han:gar ‘blacksmith’ (WPah.)
    tagaraka 'tabernae montana, fragrant flower' rebus: tagara'tin'
    ranga 'thorny'; Rebus: ranga'pewter, alloy of tin and antimony'

    Scorpion with a Plant
    (ca. 3500–2900 B.C.)
    Seal no. 31 Morgan Library and Museum.
    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'
    karba'culm of millet' rebus: karba'iron'  kaṇḍe'ear of millet' rebus: khaNDa'implements'

    Lion-Armed Demon with Human Torso and Legs; Two Scorpions; Small Seated Figure, and Crossed Lions
    (ca. 2750–2600 B.C.)
    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'items_per_page=10&page=1
    Image result for scorpion ancient near east seals
    Metmuseum. Cylinder seal and modern impression: scorpion-man, deities, one on winged lion
    ca. 8th–7th century B.C.
    Quartz, crypto-crystalline
    1.61 in. (4.09 cm)
    Stone-Cylinder Seals
    Credit Line:
    Rogers Fund, 1987
    Accession Number:

    Cylinder seal and modern impression: scorpion-man and bull-man attacking kneeling nude male Period:Neo-Babylonian

    Date: ca. 8th–7th century B.C.

    Dimensions:1.42 in. (3.61 cm)
    Classification:Stone-Cylinder Seals
    Credit Line:
    Gift of Martin and Sarah Cherkasky, 1983
    Accession Number:
    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'
    barad, balad 'ox' rebus: bharat 'alloy of pewter, copper, tin'
    Berlin Vorderasiatisches Museum (Museum of the Ancient Near East)
    GF 1750, Seal Stone and Impression, Scorpion man 
    bicha 'scorpion' rebus: bica 'haematite, ferrite stone ore'. The scorpion-man is an iron worker, worker in bica'haematite ore'.
    <bichi>(B)  {NA} ``^scorpion''.  #3521.

    Kh<bichi>(B)  {NA} ``^scorpion''. bicha ‘scorpion’ (Assamese) Rebus: bica ‘stone ore’ (Mu.)

    This rebus reading explains why 'scorpion' hieroglyph recurs on many Mesopotamian artifacts, kudurrus and cylinder seals. Associated with a person (for e.g. as a ligature), the 'scorpion' hieroglyph connotes working with 'iron stone ore' -- bica.

    Impression of an Ur III seal with a royal introduction scene (Pierpont Morgan Library, Morgan Seal 292). Courtesy of the Pierpont Morgan Library. Discussed in: Eppihimer, Melissa, 2013, Ashur: The old Assyrian rulers' seals and their  Ur III prototype, in: Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 72, No. 1 (April 2013)
    It is  significant that the scorpion is shown in front of the person being interviewed. This is a phonetic determinant of his profession. He is a worker in 'iron stone ore', bica. Hieroglyph bica means: 'scorpion'.

    S. Kalyanaraman Sarasvati Research Center November 12, 2016

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    Lutyens zone works to derail PM Modi’s currency move

    By MADHAV NALAPAT | New Delhi | 13 November, 2016
    The public and economic dislocation caused in the aftermath of the currency-based surgical strike has shown to those officials close to the PM the importance of ensuring administrative reform at an early date.
    Associates of Narendra Modi say that from the start of his innings as Prime Minister of India, it was clear from his approach how far he actually was from the characterisation of Modi as vindictive. PM Manmohan Singh sent one of his own Cabinet colleagues to jail and was well on the way to a second meeting the same fate, even while others were made to resign after allegations of gross impropriety. On the contrary, Prime Minister Modi ensured that an official clean chit was given to the then Minister for Coal (Manmohan Singh) during the precise period when numerous allocations were made on the verbal and “unsigned chit” recommendations of key UPA members. No other UPA-era minister has been the subject of even an FIR, much less a CBI prosecution. Indeed, the UPA-chosen director of the CBI, Ranjit Sinha and many other officials were allowed to serve out their terms with dignity and retire with traditional honour. Many key positions within the Modi-led NDA government remain filled by officials who were active in the service of UPA ministers, including some who have been reported as having facilitated illegal transactions, including through the stock, commodity and currency markets. Indeed, several at the top of the present government’s civilian bureaucracy have long had close and open contact with the Lutyens Zone, including with Congress president Sonia Gandhi, who has long been the uncrowned empress of this pool of resourceful and influential policymakers.
    The public and economic dislocation caused in the aftermath of the currency-based surgical strike announced by Prime Minister N.D. Modi on 8 November has shown to those officials close to him the importance of ensuring administrative reform at an early date. “Without an efficiently functioning government machinery, the historic plans of Prime Minister Modi will not succeed”, a key official warned, adding that “this needs to be a priority for the coming year, so that from 2018 onwards, people will feel the positive difference” caused by Modi coming to power at the national level.
    Modi took office on 26 May 2014 with four key governance objectives: (a) making quality education widely accessible at all levels, including technology and vocations; (b) creating a framework for affordable healthcare that would place stress on prevention through measures such as vaccination and providing disincentives to toxic consumables such as tobacco; (c) ensuring that infrastructure reaches a scale and standard as would ensure that citizens be given a smooth interface to live and to work; and (d) work towards an enabling environment for the Knowledge Era that would place emphasis on high internet speeds and universal availability, as well as such essentials as freedom of speech. Thus far, the record has been less filled with spectacular outcomes than expected when Modi took office, and for this, those in government who are committed to his goals are pointing to the administrative machinery, and in particular its still colonial-minded and ossified higher echelons, where procedures and customs from the British-era past have not only been preserved but expanded upon so as to harass the citizen and deny him the rights and freedoms present in other major democracies.
    There has been a continuous campaign designed to portray Narendra Modi as an over-centraliser, whereas his close associates point out that he is known by those working with him as a decentraliser. As an example of the Modi approach to national governance, senior officials point to the Ministry of Human Resources Development. They say that a single agency and its satellite bodies have not and cannot ensure world-class educational standards. In such a context, a suggestion is to recruit global talent to fill some of the posts within major centres of learning, rather than confining the choice to those resident in India. In a similar way, a fresh approach has been suggested towards key posts in the Central government and its agencies. This is to ensure lateral entry of domain knowledge experts and those from the private sector with a proven record of practical achievement to at least 30% of middle and top jobs. “If the ratio is less, the change will be too small to be effective”, a senior official pointed out, adding that “the present system of reserving almost all the highest jobs to those from a single service (the IAS) needs to be replaced so as to ensure that those from all services are given the opportunity to serve in key posts”. Another pointed out that “it makes little sense to have someone with a History and not a Mathematics background as Head of Statistics, or to place a doctor who has joined the IAS in Sports rather than in Health or a Chartered Accountant in Animal Husbandry”. Senior officials committed to the transformational plans of Prime Minister Modi say that in the 21st century, domain expertise is crucial to good decision-making, and “this is conspicuous by its absence within the higher bureaucracy”.
    It may be mentioned that the IAS as a service is not First Among Equals but a Superior Service, the way the Imperial Civil Service was in the past. Almost all IAS officers reach the highest pay scales in the bureaucracy or in PSUs during the course of their career, and enjoy a two-year advantage over other services when promotions are being decided. Since the start, they have had the benefit of the same One Rank One Pension scheme that has been so difficult for Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar to navigate through the civilian bureaucracy. Although in theory those IAS officers who are incompetent or dishonest are weeded out, in practice this almost never happens. Instead, obviously incompetent or corrupt officers are frequently protected until they retire with pensions intact. “Any closed group without competition or effective accountability cannot deliver results”, an official pointed out, adding that in general, “senior officers abhor change and regard procedures as crucial while outcomes do not matter”.
    Those watching with dismay the efforts of the Lutyens Zone to slow down or sabotage key Modi initiatives say that apart from 30% lateral entry from outside officialdom, key posts should be open to all services and not simply to a single group. Among ministries where outside experts are needed, including at the top, such officers in sync with Modi’s goals pointed to Electronics, Telecom, Health, HRD, Defence and Civil Administration. Based on their experience, they say that “more than 40% of officers are deadwood incapable of achieving results” and of the balance 60%, “more than a quarter are corrupt”, some obviously so and yet escaping scrutiny and censure. Many of these officers said that the Administrative Reforms Commission headed by M. Veerappa Moily needed to be retrieved from the dustbin “as several of its conclusions and suggestions are relevant to present needs”. They say that the manner in which the currency initiative of Prime Minister Modi is being implemented, the glitches and procedural lapses in the details of Modi’s bold scheme, show the need to make administrative reform a key priority during the next six months “so that the crucial (to the 2019 polls) 15 months after that can ensure smooth and complete implementation” of Prime Minister Modi’s governance and policy initiatives.
    Meanwhile, it is becoming obvious that the present government’s light hand on those at the top of previous administrations who were guilty of past misfeasance on a gargantuan scale needs to get replaced with greater accountability and punishment, if the Lutyens Zone is to be scared off from further acts of sabotage in the remaining period of Prime Minister Modi’s term in office.
    There is 1 Comment Submitted by shiv (not verified) on Sun, 2016-11-13 06:24
    Modi's concentration before elections was to undermine fellow contestants to PM ship and having won, his current concentration is to collect a set of close confidents and give a feeling of stability.Voters did not voting for this given the reaction of the voters to this highly unsettling demonitisation of currency.He has little clue how to decouple the strong crooked regime built by crooked congis.He has little clue what practices of the current government he needs to jettison to redirect the country towards progress.There are lots of stupid policies built by the british which continues to this day.It has made India bureaucratic and the administrators highly corrupt.He is blundering along.Since DrSwamy is becoming more vocal in his critisms of the way he is running this administration, he has taken this huge step of demonitisation to show DrSwamy he means business.But then he can easily falter if the fellow crooked administrators do not play ball.Modi's obstinacy will be his downfall and egoism of not collecting and keeping people like DrSwamy will be a disaster for honest people of this country who want a lasting change.

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    13669680_10154390954882422_3117132854209866719_n-1Mehul Shah


    An Open letter to Arvind Kejriwal by CA Mehul Shah.

    To explain the probable Logic behind issuing New 2000 Rupee Note instead of 1000 Rupee Note.

    Sir, I am a practising Chartered Accountant aged 28 in Surat and I was very hopeful that you would support the Notification for Demonetization of Currency and was very eager for your Reaction because your very entry into Politics was for supporting any small move to reduce Black money and Corruption and after all, this was indeed a very big and bold move….!
    But after going through the video released yesterday, my expectations from AAP as a Commonmen were shattered once again because I believed that a person of such stature and designation as you would spread positivity all around without any ifs and buts to make this Mega Clean-up Drive possible and rather help the common men in mitigating the problems rather than nagging about the same and hence I would like to bring to your knowledge the following Points.

    Point 1
    As you have stated in your Video that it took full 2 days for you to understand the various aspects of the Scheme and even after consultation with various Experts , you could not basically understand the Logic of why 2000 Rupee Notes were released instead of 1000 Rupee Note, I would like to make an attempt to tender my best possible logic ( Please enlighten me if I am wrong somewhere) as follows:
    Sir, let us Simply take 2 Scenarios to understand the funda !
    Scenario A : If as per your suggestion , Rs. 2000 Note are not issued but only New Rs. 1000 Notes are issued.
    Lets say , for example Mr. X has Rs. 1,00,000/- black money in 100 Old Notes of Rs. 1000 each.
    Mr. X divides those Rs. 1,00,000/- into 10 Equal Bundles, each comprising of 10 Old Notes of Rs. 1000 each and puts each Stack on a Table.
    On Day 1 , in the morning Mr. X would deposit the first Bundle i.e. 10 Old Notes of Rs. 1000 valued at Rs. 10,000 into the bank and on same Day 1 in the Evening he would withdraw 10 New Notes of Rs. 1000 again valued at Rs. 10,000 and put it in the Locker in his house.
    Now the real Game starts.
    On Day 2 : Morning , Mr. X would deposit the second bundle of 10 Old Notes of Rs. 1000 valued at Rs. 10,000 kept on the Table. However in his books of accounts submitted to Income Tax Department, he will show that he has deposited the same 10 New Notes which was withdrawn on Day 1 : Evening ( which is actually still lying in the Locker of House )
    On Day 2 : Evening , Mr. X would again withdraw 10 New Notes of Rs. 1000 valued at Rs. 10,000/- and keep the same in Locker . So at the end of Day 2, Mr. X has Rs. 80,000 on Table in Old Notes and Rs. 20,000/- in New Notes in Locker.
    Now Day 3 will come in next week as limit of Rs. 20000 per week.
    The same exercise shall continue till Day 10 and by the end of Day 10, Mr. X shall have no Old Notes and Rs. 1,00,000 in 100 New 1000 Rupee Note in the Locker.
    However, to the Income Tax Department, Mr. X has shown that he was having only Rs. 10,000/- as black money initially ( i.e. one bundle of 10 Notes of Rs. 1000 ) and he has rotated the same Rs. 10,000/- by depositing it into Bank account in the morning and withdrawing it in the evening and again redepositing the same on next day and so on.
    Thus, Mr. X has paid tax only on initial Rs. 10,000 whereas he has managed to convert all his Black money of Rs. 1,00,000 into new Notes.
    This Modus operandi is called Peak theory i.e. theory of rotation of same money which is accepted by most of the High Courts and Tribunals. Revenue is also helpless to catch Mr. X because the above scenario can also occur in genuine cases where you withdraw money from bank to purchase something and then when you think that no good deal is available, you may again deposit the same money into your bank account and are not required to pay tax again.
    Scenario B : Watch what happens when PM issues New 2000 Rupee Note instead of 1000….!
    Mr. X deposits first bundle of 10 Old Notes lying on Table in the Bank on Day 1 : Morning and then he withdraws 5 New Notes of Rs. 2000 on Day 1: Evening and keeps it in locker.
    Now on Day 2 : Morning when he goes to deposit second bundle of 10 Old Notes of Rs. 1000 each and wrongly shows the Income Tax Department that he has redeposited the same money which was withdrawn on Day 1:Evening – Bingo !!!
    He is caught red handed !! because the Bank slip on Day 2 submitted to bank shows deposition of 10 Notes of Rs. 1000 each whereas the Govt knows that Mr. X could never have withdrawn on Day 1 any note of Rs. 1000 because they were never Printed !!!!
    Now Isn’t it really a Master Stroke by Mr. Narendra Modi, the beloved Prime Minister of our country ?!
    Sir, you have stated in the Video that if Someone gives you the logic of issuing New notes of Rs. 2000 instead of Rs. 1000, you will Salute the PM and support him in his endeavour. I hope this explanations finds you in good health and I am waiting for the support in full sense.
    Even if the above explanation is not completely true, we should rely on and respect the PM of our country who is elected through clear democratic majority.
    Further, the fact that when someone is holding the new Rs. 2000 Rupee Note , he is phychologicaly getting a sense of freshness that the country is in the growth phase. Messages are being circulated not to write anything on New Notes. Imagine if the Govternment would have never issued new higher denominations notes with inflation and growth we would still be dealing with Annas and Pavlis!!
    Sir, the above example also gives you an explanation as to why the withdrawal limit is kept so low because the above modus operandi can still be done with Rs. 500 note however, the incentive would be less because Mr. X cannot withdraw more than Rs. 10000/- in a day and even if he withdraws Rs. 10,000/-, there is every possibility that Banks shall give Mr. X, 2000 Rupee note. So Mr. X cannot follow the above modus operandi.
    And believe me Sir, each and every condition in the Notification is seen to take care of the problems likely to be faced by Citizens and at the same time making sure that such Sophisticated theories are not resorted to by Black money hoarders, but questioning everything in the name of Freedom of Expression may create Panic situations or bring out Loopholes and hamper the success of reforms.
    Point 2
    Sir, you have again criticised and stated in the Video that printing Rs. 2000 rupee note will help to increase Corruption because Stacking those Rs. 2000 Rupee Notes would require lesser Space as compared to Stacking Rs. 1000 Notes.
    In this regard, I would like to ask that Sir, have you come across any case where the “Babus” have not taken any bribe and done work honestly because they had a small Bag which could not be fitted with Rs 1000 Notes ?!
    Or have you come across any Businessman who has declared unaccounted money solely because there was no space to keep those Rs. 1000 Notes !!
    Point 3
    As stated in the Video by you, it is true that inspite of PM efforts, there shall be dubious commission agents and unaccounted Investment in gold through jewellers, but as far as I remember when the jewellers were on strike for 45 days when our PM levied excise duty on gold in month of April 2016, it was you who supported their strike. It shows that whenever some changes are suggested to regulate a particular Market, AAP opposes them and then now you nag that the Gold market is unregulated.

    Infact I believe that the PM had a full blue print for the development of our country right from Day 1 of his being elected if I recall my last 3 years as a Professional.
    Firstly they asked for all the bank account number in your Return of Income
    Then they linked your PAN with Aadhar

    They linked all the subsidies, pension and other benefits directly to your bank account through Direct Benefit Transfer Scheme.

    Then they gave opportunity to all the common men to open an account with bank through Jan Dhan Yojna
    They entered into revised treaty with most of the countries in which unaccounted money goes through HAWALA e.g. Mauritius and thus the route of Black Money coming from Mauritius which everyone knew is stopped.
    They passed few strict laws to overcome the evil of black money such as Benami Transaction Act and Foreign Black Money Act
    They levied Excise duty on Gold.
    They also made TCS compulsory for Cash transactions above 2 lakhs.
    They withdrew lakhs of pending income tax and service tax litigations where Common men had won at Appeal level and Department had gone further.
    They also entered into information exchange agreement with such countries.
    Then they gave last opportunity to all black money hoarders through Income Declaration Scheme, 2016
    Now they have a Scheme for Dispute Resolution Panel again to reduce Litigation till December 2016.
    Now the masterstroke, that they have banned Rs. 500 & Rs. 1000 denominations.
    Not only the destination of this whole process is commendable but even the journey or the chronology of these events is interesting which explains the ultimate destination and who knows , may be the journey is still not over and the ultimate destination may still be the Swiss Account holders!!
    Point 4
    Further, you have stated in your Video that penalty would be levied at the rate of 200%. The said statement has created a panic and people have stated discounting their own hard earned cash.
    Being in Income tax Department in the past , you ought to know that as per the present Income Tax Act,1961 penalty is never levied on Cash deposits but on “concealed income”. Hence when the common men is depositing Cash in hand which is duly accounted or out of his past savings and even out of unaccounted current years income whose return is yet to be filed, there shall not be any penalty if there is no mismatch between returned income and assessed income. Even the Government Officials in their statement used the words “underreporting” or “mismatch”. To understand the definition of “underreporting”, Sir please refer Section 270A of the Income Tax Act or go through the following article:
    No penalty on high denominations notes deposited into bank if such amount is declared in return of income by paying appropriate tax
    Instead you could have encouraged the citizens to pay appropriate Tax.
    Point 5
    Nowhere in the Video have you stated anything relating to Fake currency or Counterfeit Notes because you know that the issue of Existing Fake Currency is solved foolproof.
    Which situation would be better ?
    Scenario A:
    A Labourer standing in queue to exchange Notes from bank for a Short term.
    Scenario B :
    A Labourer working hard whole day to get a Fake Note at the end of the day?!
    The issue of Terrorrist Funding is also tackled but you chose to remain silent on the same.
    You have stated that Modiji should have infused Rs 100 Note from before and it would have been you only to have said in this video that “Arre ATM se do din pehle se hi Sirf Rs. 100 ki Note bahar aa rahi thi toh sab ko pata tha , yek koi Secret nahi tha”

    Now Sir, if I am to believe that you really don’t understand these simple concepts even after consulting with Experts for 2 days as already described by you, I am deeply saddened because the common men believe that you are an IITian and have spent considerable time in Income Tax Department also.
    Contrary to the same, If I am to believe that you already know the benefits of demonetization which I first learnt in Standard 8 when subject of economics was introduced to me and the concept of Peak Theory which is described by me above and which I learnt with my very limited experience while pursuing my profession of Chartered Accountancy , then I am more saddened and feel AAP Party as more dangerous because I believe that above any religion, politics or reservations in any caste or creed, it will always be education which shall uplift the common men and it is the common men who have elevated you to a position where you are looked by millions as their Idol and it is your duty to educate them and spread knowledge and not keep them in ignorance to preserve your vote bank.

    I am grateful to all my Teachers who have selflessly shared their knowledge and some fellow members of CA fraternity who are playing an active role in creating awareness and educating Commonmen about the positive consequences of Demonetization true to the Jewel crowned to the profession as “Partner in Nation Building” and I would therefore like to advise the citizens not to sell the notes at discounted prices or deposit the cash into bank accounts of other benami persons in fear of penalty. Further, do not claim any bogus expenses or bogus loss to gain more trouble. Do not manipulate accounts by creating bogus cash on hand. Be sporty and pay tax honestly to buy peace of building capital.

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    I deliberated if I should post this rubbish on my blog. 

    But, then, it is a good way to expose a pseudo-financial expert of Congress. 

    His inane definitions and nitpicking about 'demonetisation' and 'notes exchange' is unfit to be read by even an elementary school child. 

    The only point he makes without reading CA Mehul Shah's open letter to Arvind Kejriwal is about Rs. 2000 new note. 

    Aha, the financial expert PC is stumped by the master-stroke of NaMo. PC, read CA Mehul Shah.

    The Congress-Mukt Bharat is a reality with financial experts advising the miniscule Congress Party on how to cope with NaMo triumphs against kaalaadhan.

    The best way to mitigate the evil effects of kaalaadhan is to bring back the monies stashed in foreign currencies by Politically Exposed Persons (PEPs according to the UN definition) in tax havens. 

    Simply, bring in the monies, Bharat's wealth back into Bharat's financial system.

    Else, PC should end up with his newfound penchant as a columnist.


    Across the aisle: Old notes for new is not game-changer

    The reality is the old notes will be replaced by new notes. Hence, the true test will be the answer to the question ‘what proportion of the old notes will be tendered for replacement’? It is only the notes that are not tendered that will be ‘demonetised’ in the true sense of the word

    Written by P Chidambaram | Published:November 13, 2016 12:40 am

    RBI, reserve bank of india, inflation, inflation rate, niti aayog, money supply, currency ban, new notes, notes ban, narendra modi, black money, indian express news, businessAs long as taxable income and non-taxable income co-exist, when money passes from one person to another, it may change colour.
    Money, inherently, has no colour. In most countries, specified money transactions are taxed. This gives rise to two classes of money — money that is not taxed and money that is taxed. If money that is liable to be taxed is not offered to tax or otherwise escapes taxation, that money is usually referred to as unaccounted money or ‘black money’.
    The best known tax on money is income tax. It is regarded as a progressive tax — more the income, more the tax. Not many are happy to pay income tax. They view income-tax rates as excessive and income-tax as confiscatory.
    Non-taxable income
    The tax evader is regarded as a villain. Sometimes, wrong persons are dubbed as villains. If, for policy reasons, a significant part of the incomes earned by the people is not taxed, those incomes are perfectly legal and legitimate. The best example is India where agricultural income is not taxed but is legitimate and legal income.
    As long as taxable income and non-taxable income co-exist, when money passes from one person to another, it may change colour. Consider money passing from a farmer to a shopkeeper to a doctor. Depending upon who is a taxable entity, it may turn from white to black and to white again.
    Besides, as any economist will point out, black money is not entirely ‘stock’. Mostly, it is a ‘flow’. In the old days, perhaps unaccounted money was stored as cash — the proverbial ‘under the mattress’. Nowadays, unaccounted money is mostly hidden in real estate, buildings, bullion, jewellery and shares/securities.
    All of the above, make it difficult to stop the generation of unaccounted money and it is also difficult to detect the flow of unaccounted money.
    Not demonetisation
    A few days ago, the government announced that currency notes of the denomination of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 had been ‘demonetised’. ‘Demonetisation’ has a special meaning. It means that the currency note of that denomination will, henceforth, be a scrap of paper! Nothing of that kind happened.
    The government’s notification of November 8, 2016, withdrew the “legal tender status” from the notes of the two denominations but made it clear that those “holding these notes can tender them at any office of the Reserve Bank or any bank branch and obtain value thereof by credit to their accounts”. So, we can be clear on one thing, there was no demonetisation, and the government’s spokespersons would be well advised to avoid that word. The correct way to describe the decision is ‘Old notes for new’!
    Both the government and the RBI have declared three objectives for the ‘Old notes for new’ decision. Firstly, to “tackle counterfeiting Indian banknotes”. This is nothing new, the RBI does this from time to time, new series notes are issued and the old series notes are impounded over a period of time and destroyed.
    The second objective is to “curb funding of terrorism through fake notes”. This is really a part of the first objective.
    The third objective is to “nullify black money hoarded in cash”. The assumption is that unaccounted money is stored in Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes and therefore they must be “nullified”. At the end of March 2016, there were 1,570 crore
    Rs 500 notes and 632 crore Rs 1,000 notes in circulation, representing 85 per cent, by value, of all notes in circulation. Step one: pull them out by forcing people to deposit them in banks within a 51-day period ending on December 30. Step two: if it is true demonetisation, destroy the notes, which for obvious reasons the government dare not do — unless it wanted a revolution!
    The reality is the old notes will be replaced by new notes. Hence, the true test will be the answer to the question ‘what proportion of the old notes will be tendered for replacement’? It is only the notes that are not tendered that will be ‘demonetised’ in the true sense of the word.
    Put on thinking cap
    There are many uncertainties and unknowns in the government’s plan:
    1. How did the government come to the conclusion that the Rs 500 note was, in the present day, a high denomination note?
    2. Was the government prepared to handle the demand for new notes? The first few days have been utterly chaotic and people have been put through a lot of hardship.
    3. What will be the cost of replacing the old notes with new notes, including the cost of printing the new notes? My estimate is Rs 15,000 to Rs 20,000 crore. Was the cost worth the effort?
    4. The present cash to GDP ratio is 12 per cent. Will it come down to the world average of about 4 per cent?
    5. The value of the high denomination notes currently in circulation is about 15 lakh crore rupees. Will that value come down significantly?
    6. Will gold imports surge indicating that unaccounted income/wealth will seek refuge in bullion and gold jewellery?
    7. How will the government’s plan stop the generation of fresh black money?
    8. And the most puzzling aspect: how will the government’s objectives be met if new and higher denomination series of notes (Rs 2,000) are introduced?
    I have been derisively referred to as a columnist. Will the bloggers, if not the ministers, please answer the questions of this columnist?
    Website: @Pchidambaram_IN

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    Odisha's civilisational link with Indonesia 

    Sunday, 13 November 2016 | Rup Narayan Das

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    This cultural, civilisational, and political connect should be used imaginatively to take the relationship between India and Indonesia and their people to greater heights. Rup Narayan Das suggests how
    Every year on Kartik Purnima in November, the people of Odisha — earlier known as Kalinga and Utkal — observe the age-old tradition of leaving miniature papers boats or boats made of stems of banana tree, with earthen lamps or candle lights and marigold flowers, in the river and ponds to commemorate the State’s hallowed past of maritime trade with the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Bali.  This festive tradition is called Bali Yatra, meaning a voyage to Bali.
    Today, the State and its people may not be as dynamic and enterprising as they used to be during that glorious bygone era, but the tradition continues. An international conference thoughtfully captioned ‘The Kalinga Indonesia Dialogue’ is being organised in the State Capital Bhubaneswar on November 14. The high-profile conference ideated by Ambassador Lalit Mansingh and supported by the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), the Government of Odisha, and the premier Ravenshaw University will be graced by dignitaries including former President of Indonesia, Megawati Sukarnoputri, Governor of the State Dr SC Jamir, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, and Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan. 
    The Patnaik family of Odisha and the Sukarno family of Indonesia share an enduring relationship, continuing and carrying forward the civilisational and cultural connect between Indonesia and Odisha. It is believed that the legendary Biju Patnaik, a dear friend of former Indonesian President Sukarno, had suggested the name of his daughter, who subsequently became the President of Indonesia.
    Much before India’s ‘Look East policy’ and subsequent ‘Act East policy’ was formulated, Biju reached out to Indonesia during the incipient years of India’s Independence and decolonisation when Indonesia was under the repression of the Dutch rule. The grateful nation Indonesia is beholden to the valour and bravery of Biju, who flew in Indonesian Prime Minister Sutan Sjahrir from Indonesia to New Delhi to enable him to participate in the Inter-Asia Conference in March 1947 to gather support for the cause of Indonesia’s independence.
    Be that as it may, historians and researchers have come out with rich archeological and literary evidences establishing proof of Odisha’s ancient maritime trade with the countries of Southeast Asia.  It is claimed that the great Chinese traveller and Buddhist monk, Hsuan-tsang, in his scholarly treatises makes a mention of the existence of ports like Tamralipta in Kalinga from where traders sailed to Sri Lanka, China and other countries in the region. Similarly, Greek traveller Ptolemy claimed to have mentioned the sea route to Southeast Asia from Kalinga.
    A stone carving of ships on the Brahmeswara Temple in Bhubaneswar is a testimony of the sea voyage of the people of Kalinga. This stone carving is preserved in the State Museum of Odisha in Bhubaneswar.  Similar archeological evidence is also available at the Sun Temple in Konark and the Jagannath Temple in Puri. Stone carvings collected from Konark and preserved at the National Museum in Kolkata also point to the existence of maritime trade of the ancient Odisha with the countries of Southeast Asia.
    Evidences are also available in tradition and cultures of Odisha and those of some countries of Southeast Asia, especially in Indonesia, such as in folklore and legends. According to one such popular folklore Taapoi, once seven brothers left for foreign shores for trade and commerce leaving behind their dear sister under the care of their wives, who instead of taking care of their sister-in-law tormented her. When the bothers returned, they punished their wives for the ill-treatment of their sister.
    At a time when soft power plays an important role in the relationship between nations, the efforts of the Odisha Government to promote a comprehensive relationship with Indonesia must be supported. Domestically, there is increasing thrust on the role of States in foreign policy-making, which is traditionally under the domain of the Union Government. This is what is called paradiplomacy.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis on cooperative federalism has resonated well in the domain of foreign policy as well. At a time when the economic dimension of foreign policy occupies primacy, States are now competing to attract foreign direct investment. New policies, such as establishment of industrial zones and costal manufacturing zones, offer opportunities to tap foreign direct investment. The Ministry of External Affairs has also established a dedicated wing to deal with the Centre-State relations, particularly to facilitate foreign direct investment. 
    As far as India’s import of coal is concerned, Indonesia occupies third position in India’s basket. Odisha’s ports of Paradip and now the Adani-owned Dhamra Port offer a good opportunity for shipment of coal from Indonesia. The State Government can also propose to the Union Government to establish sister city relations between some cities of the State, like Cuttack or Bhubaneswar, with Indonesian cities for promotion of people-to-people contact and exchange of cultural programmes.
    The State Government can also set up Chairs in its own universities or propose to the Central Government to set up such Chairs at the Central University of Orissa in Koraput. Similarly, the State Government can ask the ICCR to sponsor a Chair in the name of Biju Patnaik in an Indonesian university, such as Udayana University. The ICCR has instituted Chairs in the name of Rabindranath Tagore in some universities abroad, including one at Kunming University in China. Through such Chairs, lectures and seminars can be organised and research can be conducted on the theme of civilisational and cultural contact between Odisha and Indonesia.
    In India’s relationship with Indonesia, Odisha occupies a significant position, and this cultural, civilisational, and political linkage should be used imaginatively to take the relationship between the two countries and their people to greater heights.

    The writer is a Director in the Research and Information Division of Lok Sabha Secretariat. Views expressed here are personal

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    How I got involved in an effort to decipher Harappa (Indus) Script

    VEDIC RIVER SARASVATI AND HINDU CIVILIZATION: S. Kalyanaraman (Ed.) The re-discovery of Vedic River Sarasvati is a major research effort that redefines the ancient history of Bharata. See:Kalyanaraman, S., 2008, Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization, New Delhi, Aryan Books International, 
    ISBN 13: 9788173053658

    This book is a compilation of papers presented at a Conference on "Vedic River Sarasvati and Hindu Civilization" held at India International Centre, New Delhi from Oct. 24 to 26, 2008. Participants included scholars from many disciplines including ancient Indian history, archaeology, space imaging, hydrology, meteorology, glaciology, seismology, ice-age geodynamics, sea-level changes, metallurgy and other earth- and life-sciences. The Conference explores the validation of a consensus that the ancient civilization that emerged and prospered on the banks of Vedic River Sarasvati is the precursor to the civilization that is known and exists today as Hindu civilization, establishing a continuum of human society and achievement. As a result of archaeological explorations since 1947, it became clear that over 80% of about 2600 archaeological sites were not on the banks of river Sindhu but on the banks of Vedic River Sarasvati mentioned in Rigveda in 72 rica-s. Underscoring the indigenous evolution of Hindu civilization on this river basin, theories propounded earlier about Aryan invasions/migrations stand negated. Projects are ongoing to revive the river which provides an impetus for establishing a National Water Grid.

    This left the unresolved issues of the identity of the Sarasvati people, the language of the civilization, the purport and content of the messages left behind by the people on Harappa (Indus) Script inscriptions. A resolution of these issues is a critical area of research in Proto-Historic studies of the civilization. 

    Hence, the effort which had commenced in 1978 continued and was brought to fruition by the publication of 16 books until 2016, conclusively establishing the nature, functions and purport of the writing system, decipherment of over 7000 inscriptions mostly on seals and tablets (including 218 copper tablets) and data mining evidencing the contributions made by Bharatam Janam to metallurgical advances of the Tin-Bronze Revolution along the Maritime Tin Route from Hanoi to Haifa, a route which preceded the Silk Road by 2 millennia.

    From about 2000 inscriptions recorded in Mahadevan concordance (Mahadevan, Iravatham, 1977, The Indus Script: Texts, concordance and tables, Delhi, Archaeological Survey of India), the corpora have grown to over 7000 inscriptions thanks to the further excavations at Harappa (by Harvard project group called HARP begun in 1986), and reports of explorations/excavations in Kalibangan, Dholavira,Banawali, Bhirrana, Farmana, Binjor, Gola Dhoro (Bagasra), Khirsara, Rakhigarhi, Balakot, Ropar, Ganweriwala. Persian Gulf sites such as Failaka, Bahrain, Salut,  have yielded so-called Dilmun seals with Harappa (Indus) Script hieroglyphs. Many cylinder seals and artifacts from Susa, Mari and other sites of Ancient Near East also have yielded Harappa (Indus) Script hieroglyphs as signifiers of metalwork transactions. Three pure tin ingots were found in a shipwreck in Haifa. The ingots had Harappa (Indus) Script signifiers. ranku 'antelope' ranku 'liquid measure' rebus: ranku 'tin' dATu 'cross' rebus: dhAtu 'mineral ore' mũh 'face' Rebus: mũhe'ingot'. muhã 'quantity of metal produced at one time in a native smelting furnace.' This lexeme also explains why the expression mleccha-mukha means 'copper' (Samskrtam) corcordant with milakkhu'copper' (Pali). Thus, the corpora have now grown to include over 7000 inscriptions, an adequate database to validate any cryptographic investigation.

    Linguistic studies have also advanced beyond identification of Indo-Aryan, Dravidian and Munda (Austro-Asiatic) families in Bharat into the formulation of a Bharata (Indian) sprachbund, which is a linguistic area where language families interacted and absorbed language features from one another. FBJ Kuiper prepared a lexis of Munda words in Vedic and Samskrtam. Emeneau, Colin Masica and Kuiper postulated the Indian sprachbund recognizing the existence of vocables which cannot be explained as mere borrowings but possibly as substratum words of the civilization area. The compilation of Indian Lexicon (comparative dictionary of 25+ ancient languages including the three language families of Vedic, Indo-Aryan, Munda and Dravidian) provided over 8000 semantic clusters evidencing the Indian sprachbund

    The idea of a Linguistic Area is linked with the term sprachbund which was introduced in April 1928 in the 1st Intl. Congress of Linguists by Nikolai Trubetzkoy. He made a distinction between Sprachfamilien and Sprachbunde: the distinction in classifying languages was suggested by Trubetzkoy in order to avoid 'missverstandnisse und fehler' (trans. misunderstandings and errors). 

    The metaphor of a 'family' gets expanded to an area of intense cultural contacts among people resulting in the formation of a sprachbund.

    What is a sprachbund?

    "First, the languages of a Sprachbund show certain similarities in the field of phonetics, morphology, syntax and lexis. Secondly, the languages of a Sprachbund belong to different families. They are neighbouring geographically, as Trubetzkoy has show, using the example of the Balkansprachbund...In contrast to the genetically defined family of languages (genus proximum), the Sprachbund comprises a typologically defined group of geographically neighbouring language whose common features are derived from mutual influences (differentia specifica)." (Schaller, Helmut W, Roman Jakobson's conception of 'sprachbund' in: Cahiers de l'ILSL, No. 9, 1997, p.200, 202). R. Jakobson published in 1931 three articles about the question of Sprachbund. He also noted that the phonological system of Serbo-Croatian is a remnant of proto-slavic languag features.

    In Ancient India, Dravidian, Munda and Indo-Aryan languages shared a number of features that were not inherited from a common source, but were areal features, the result of diffusion during sustained contact.(Emeneau, Murray (1956), "India as a Linguistic Area", Language32 (1): 3–16). 

    The delineation of Indian sprachbund of the Bronze Age is based on the metallurgical vocables and expressions so diffused during sustained contacts along the Maritime Tin Route.

    The database lexis of metalwork words and expressions provided by the Indian Lexicon could be matched with Harappa (Indus) Script hieroglyphs and read rebus, following the method used to read Egyptian hieroglyphs.

    Cartouches on the palette show name: NarmerImage result for combined animals indus script
    Asko Parpola has demonstrated the rebus method of reading the ancient Harappa (Indus) Script by citing the example of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The Narmer Palette provided a clear rebus rendering of the Emperor's name by hieroglyphs n'r 'cuttle fish' + m'r 'awl, chisel' as signifiers of the composition: Nar-mer to pronounce the name of the Emperor. (

    A good compendium of attempts at decipherment of Harappa (Indus) Script is in the first volume of Gregory Possehl's magnum opus in 3 volumes. The first volume (1996) is titled Indus Age: The writing system: 
    • Possehl, Gregory L., 1996. Indus Age: the writing system. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press; New Delhi: Oxford IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 29 cm, xiv, 244 pp., 16 pl. Hb ISBN 0-8122-3345-X & 81-204-1083-1.
    • Possehl, Gregory L., 1999. Indus age: the beginnings. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press; New Delhi: Oxford & IBH Publishing Co. Pvt. Ltd. 29 cm, xxxvi, 1063 pp., 580 b/w ill. Hb ISBN 0-8122-3417-0. Reviewed: Asko Parpola, The Times Higher Education Supplement, 3 Dec 1999.
    • Possehl, Gregory L., 2002. The Indus civilization: a contemporary perspective. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press. 29 cm, xi, 276 pp., ill., maps. Pb ISBN 0-7591-0172-8. Hb ISBN 0-7591-0171-X.

    Gregory Possehl's is the only work which includes a Gazetteer of Sites of the civilization. This Gazetteer is a revelation: about 2000 sites (out of 2600) are NOT sited in Indus river valley but in Sarasvati River Basin.

    Gregory Possehl provides a succinct evaluation of the failed attempts at decipherment and recalls the brilliant insights provided by Cyril Gadd who identified Indus Script seals in Ancient Near East and also explained the hieroglyphic nature of a 'sign' of the script citing the example of a seal: 
    Image result for water-carrier seal gaddSeal impression. Ur. C.J. Gadd, Seals of ancient Indian style found at Ur, Proceedings of the British Academy, XVIII, 1932, pp. 11-12, Plate II, No. 12; Description: water carrier with a skin (or pot?) hung on each end of the yoke across his shoulders and another one below the crook of his left arm; the vessel on the right end of his yoke is over a receptacle for the water; a star on either side of the head (denoting supernatural?). The whole object is enclosed by 'parenthesis' marks. The parenthesis is perhaps a way of splitting of the ellipse (Hunter, G.R., JRAS, 1932, 476). An unmistakable example of an 'hieroglyphic' seal.

    John Marshall also commented on the writing system in his first report.

    “The Indus inscriptions resemble the Egyptian hieroglyphs far more than they do the Sumerian linear and cuneiform system. And secondly, the presence of detached accents in the Indus scriptis a feature which distinguishes it from any of these systems.” (Mohenjo-daro and the Indus Civilization, Being an official account of archaeological excavations at Mohenjo-daro carried out by the Government of India between the years 1922 and 1927, in 3 volumes, London, Arthur Probstain, 1931, Vol.1, p.424).

    The major reason for the failed decipherments of the past is that the insights of Cyril Gadd and John Marshall were not pursued; the insight was hieroglyphic nature of the Harappa (Indus) Script.

    By ignoring the insight, 150+ decipherments (Kalyanaraman, S., 1988, Indus Script, a bibliography, Manila, Philippines) attempted to assign 'syllabic' values to the 'signs' of the script and almost always ignored the imperative of deciphering the pictorial motifs or field symbols which occupied space on majority of seals and tablets and which constituted hieroglyphic components of the writing system. Some decipherers just wished away the pictorials as 'totem symbols' and started with the assumption that the 'signs' constituted texts which could represent 'names or titles'.

    It is well-known that the seals and tablets were used in trade transactions. It is also well-known that many seals and tablets could be traced in Ancient Near East (opcit., Gadd, C.,  Seals of ancient Indian style found at Ur, in: Proceedings of the British Academy, XVIII, 1932).

    This meant that the messages of Harappa (Indus) Script had to be explained in the context of trade with neighbouring civilizations. If the messages related to trad, did the seals/tablets record trade transactions? This question was NOT posed and answered in the past decipherments.

    The decipherments also failed to note an important feature: that many inscriptions were recorded on metal -- on copper plates and on weapons/implements themselves. BM Pande, Inscribed copper tablets from Mohenjo-daro: a preliminary analysis, in: DP Agrawal & A Ghosh eds., Radiocarbon and Indian Archaeology, Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Bombay, 1973, pp. 305-322).

    Copper plates with inscriptions

    Source: Copper plates from Mohenjo-daro: an analysis of 46 tablet groups of 218 copper tablet inscriptions (After Parpola, 1994, fig 7.14)

    A list of Inscribed metal tools

    Broken axe, Chanhu-daro (C-40) inscribed on both sides.
    Ingot. Chanhu-daro (C-39)
    Chisel. Kalibangan (K-121). Wt. 210 g.
    Parallels broken chisel (tang) Mohenjo-daro (DK-7856). Wt. 165/343 g/
    Axe. Kaibangan (K-122). Wt. 476 g.
    Parallels axe Mohenjo-daro (DK-7835). Wt. 1910.030 g.
    Knife. DK-7800
    Spearhead DK-7857
    Axe. DK-7855. Wt. 262 g.

    (Note: Of the five metal objects from Mohenjo-daro, four were found 'at the low level 24.4 ft.[ and one (copper knife) was found 18.4 ft. below datum. (Mackay 1938: 454; Vol. II. Pl. CXXVI #2.3 and 5, Pl. CXXVII #1, Pl. CXXXI; Vol. II. Pl. CXXXIII#1).Mackay 1938: Vol. 1, p. 348, Vol. 2, Pl. XC,1; XCVI, 520.

    see: Pettersson, JS, 1999, Indian Journal of Historyh of Science, 34(2): 89-108

    Chanhu-daro Pl. LXXIV and Mohenjo-daro: copper and bronze tools and utensils (an inscriptions line mirrored on a zebu seal)

    Indus writing on utensils and metal tools page:6

    Chanhu-daro, Pl. LXXIV & Mohenjo-daro: copper and bronze tools and utensils (an inscription line mirrored on a zebu seal)

    This typological analysis of inscriptions on copper plates and on metal implements should have been pursued by decipherers to unravel the messages conveyed. 

    These are explanations for the failure of the decipherment efforts of the past.

    The failure to decipher the copper plate inscriptions ia a major failure given the fact that many early epigraphs of the historical periods of Bharat were on copper plates. The possibility of this tradition of copper plate inscriptions is also evidenced on a Pre-Mauryan copper plate called Sohgaura plate read in Brahmi by John Fleet in 1894. (Fleet, JRAS, 63, 1894 proceedings, 86, plate, IA 25. 262; cf. Sohgaura copper plate/B.M. Barua. The Indian Historical Quarterly, ed. Narendra Nath Law. Reprint. 41).

    W.Theobald had pointed out in 1890 and 1901, and described 342 'symbols' on early punch-marked coins. (W. Theobald, 1890, Notes on some of the symbols found on the punch-marked coins of Hindustan, and on their relationship to the archaic symbolism of other races and distant lands, Journal of the  Asiatic Society of Bengal, Bombay Branch (JASB), Part 1. History , Literature etc., Nos. III & IV, 1890, pp. 181 to 184) W. Theobald, Symbols on punch-marked coins of Hindustan (1890,1901). This lead was pursued by CL Fabri indicating the parallels with Harappa (Indus) Script hieroglyphs. (Fabri, CL, The punch-marked coins: a survival of the Indus Civilization, 1935, Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, Cambridge University Press. pp.307-318.)

    These leads of Sohgaura copper plate with a top line using Harappa (Indus) Script hieroglyphs and tens of thousands of early coins of Bharat using such hieroglyphs should have been pursued and evaluated in the decipherments The failure to do so explains the failure of the decipherments.

    Many pictorial motifs are not merely pictographs but also narratives. For e.g., tablet M478 narrates 1. jungle clearing which should have led to the recognition of a rebus reading of erga' jungle clearing' with rebus: erako'molten cast copper'; 2. a person on a tree branch (spy): heraka 'spy' rebus: eraka'copper'; 3. tiger looks back; Hieroglyph: Looking back: krammara 'look back' (Telugu) kamar'smith, artisan' (Santali); 4. Hieroglyph: tree: kuṭhi 'tree' rebus: kuṭhi 'furnace' (Santali).  
    Mohejodaro, tablet in bas relief (M-478)
           m0478B tablet erga = act of clearing jungle (Kui) [Note image showing two men carrying uprooted trees].

          eraka, hero = a messenger; a spy (Gujarati) heraka = spy (Skt.); er to look at or for (Pkt.); er uk- to play 'peeping tom' (Ko.) Rebus: eraka, arka ‘copper’ (Ka.)

     All the 500+ 'signs' of Harappa (Indus) Script are also hieroglyphs. Dennys Frenez and Massimo Vidale have demonstrated the orthography of the script as composed of hyper texts by combing hieroglyph elements.

    Frenez Dennys, & Massimo Vidale, 2012, Harappan Chimaeras as ‘Symbolic Hypertexts’. Some Thoughts on Plato, Chimaera and the Indus Civilization

    Image result for chimera indus

    This demonstrates that each hieroglyph-multiplex is a composition of orthography signifying various creatures and phenomena as components of the hypertext. Reading each component and rebus rendering in Indian sprachbund lexis of metalwork words, results in the decipherment of all 7000+ inscriptions as metalwork catalogues.

    The resultant decipherment of metalwork catalogues provides a database of the contributions made by Bharatam Janam, the artisans and artificers in particular to the Tin-Bronze Revolution of the Bronze Age.

     This compound Bhāratam Janam is attested by Viśvāmitra in Rigveda:
    viśvāmitrasya rakṣati brahmedam bhāratam janam Trans. This mantra of Visvamitra protects the Bharata people. (RV 3.53.1).

    The language of Indian sprachbund which provided the metalwork lexis is called Meluhha (cognate Mleccha). The lexis is traceable as spoken forms of words recorded in Indian Lexicon

    S. Kalyanaraman, 2016, Harappa Script & Language: Data mining of Corpora, tantra yukti & knowledge discovery of a civilization, Amazon 

    This is a treatise, a formal and systematic written discourse on knowledge discovery of a civilization in two domains of knowledge 1. Archaeo-metallurgical advances during Bronze Age Revolution; and 2. Invention of a writing system to document, in Meluhha (Harappa) language, technical details of these advances anchored on the imperative of supporting long-distance trade transactions by seafaring artisans and merchants. The objective of the treatise is to unravel the semantics of Dharma samjnA or Bharatiya hieroglyphs using a method of data mining. The method of data mining of Harappa Script Corpora of over 7000 inscriptions is based on the principles of tantra yukti.
    S. Kalyanaraman
    Sarasvati Research Center
    November 13, 2016

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    This is an Addendum to:

    http://bharatkalyan97.blogspot .in/2016/11/on-failed-attempts -at-decipherment-of.html  

    On the failed attempts at decipherment of Harappa (Indus) Script and outline of a breakthrough Indian Lexicon to read rebus Meluhha hypertexts

    Just as a hypertext catalogue of metalwork is orthographed signifying hieroglyph elements, as noted in the URL, the so-called 'signs' are also orthographed as a hypertext composition of hieroglyph components.

    This is demonstrated by the orthography of Sign 417 (Mahadevan concordance).
    Sign 417
    This composite sign is orthographed by combinations of the following signs:

    Sign 12 Variants (Variant 1360 is used to create Sign 417)


    Sign 342

    Sign 15 is combination of  Sign 12 & Sign 342

    Sign 59
    Sign 373
    Sign 171


    Sign 417 is a combination of Sign 12, Sign 59, Sign 373 and Sign 171.

    Sign 417 is read rebus by reading rebus the component hieroglyphs on Signs 12, 59, 373 and 171

    Sign 12 
     kui 'water-carrier' (Telugu) rebus: kuhi 'smelting furnace' (Santali)
    Sign 59 ayo, aya 'fish' (Munda) rebus: aya 'iron' ayas 'alloy metal' (Rigveda)

    Sign 373 
    mũh, muhã 'ingot' Note: This bun-ingot is also signified as a split parenthesis ()

    Sign 171 
    N. ̄de ʻ harrow S. ḍ̠andārī f. ʻ rake ʼ, L(Ju.) ḍ̠ãdāl m., °lī f. (CDIAL 6153) rebus: dhatu'mineral ore' (Santali)  dhātu n. ʻsubstance ʼ RV., m. ʻ element ʼ MBh., ʻ metal, mineral, ore (esp. of a red colour)ʼ; dhāūdhāv
    ʻ a partic. soft red stone ʼ(Marathi) धवड (p. 436) [ dhavaa ] m (Or धावड) A class or an individual of it. They are smelters of iron (Marathi)(CDIAL 6773).  

    Thus Sign 417 is a catalogue of metal work involving kuhi 'smelting furnace'; 2. dhatu 'mineral ore' 2. ayas 'alloy metal' (to produce) 3. 

    mũh, muhã 'ingot'. 

    Sign 417 demonstrates the technical specifications of the metalwork carried out by artisans of the civilization. This could also have constituted the cargo of metal alloy ingots produced out of smelting furnace carried by a seafaring Meluhha merchant.

    S. Kalyanaraman
    Sarasvati Research Center
    November 13, 2016


    0 0  PM Modi lays the foundation stone for New Green Field International Airport

    QuotePM Modi lays foundation of the New Green Field International Airport & Electronic City in Goa
    QuotePM Modi appreciates the State of Goa, for its progress
    QuotePM lauds Manohar Parrikar for taking Goa to new heights of progress: PM
    QuoteWith the new airport the impetus to tourism will be immense: PM
    QuoteA digitally trained, modern and youth driven Goa is being shaped today. This has the power to transform India: PM
    QuoteWe took a key step to help the honest citizen of India defeat the menace of black money: PM
    QuoteI was not born to sit on a chair of high office. Whatever I had, my family, my home...I left it for the nation: PM
    QuoteYes I also feel the pain. These steps taken were not a display of arrogance. I have seen poverty & understand people's problems: PM
    Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister began by congratulating the team which enabled India to successfully host the BRICS Summit in Goa a few weeks ago. The Prime Minister appreciated the State of Goa, for its progress.
    Talking about the Airport project, the Prime Minister said he is happy that the promise made by former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee is being fulfilled. He said this will benefit Goa, and give an impetus to tourism.

    Referring to the Electronic City project, he said a digitally trained, modern and youth driven Goa is being shaped today, which has the power to transform India.Referring to the recent decision of the Union Government on demonetization of Rs. 500 and Rs. 2000 currency notes, the Prime Minister said that on 8th November many people of India slept peacefully, while a few are sleepless even now. He said the Union Government has taken a key step to help the honest citizens of India, in defeating the menace of black money. The Prime Minister thanked all those who have been contributing to ensuring the success of the demonetization exercise. He said he also feels the pain, and these steps taken were not a display of arrogance. He said that he has seen poverty, and understands people’s problems.

    He recalled that in 2014, people had voted to free the nation from corruption. He also mentioned the various steps that have been taken by the Union Government to curb black money. 
    The Prime Minister said that if any money has been looted in India and has left Indian shores, it is our duty to find out about it. He said that he was not born to sit on a chair of high office, adding that whatever he had, including his family, and his home, he had left to serve the nation. 

    More projects lined up to finish corruption, Modi says

    Panaji, Nov. 13 (PTI): Scrapping the old 1000- and 500-rupee notes to flush out black-money was just the beginning.
    Prime Minister Narendra Modi indicated on Sunday he has “more projects” in mind to rid the country of corruption and was ready to face the consequences as forces are “up against me” with their 70 years of loot being in trouble. 
    ”This is not an end. I have more projects in mind to make India corruption-free. .... Cooperate with me and help me for 50 days and I will give you the India you desired,” Modi said, five days after springing demonetisation on the people.
    Modi was here to lay the foundation stone of a new airport at Mopa and launch work on electronic city project in Goa. 
    "We will take action against 'benami' property; This is major step to eradicate corruption and black money ... If any money that was looted in India and has left Indian shores, it is our duty to find out about it,” he said. 
    ”I know that (some) forces are up against me, they may not let me live, they may ruin me because their loot of 70 years is in trouble, but I am prepared,” Modi said in a speech which saw him getting emotional a few times. 
    He said the people voted against corruption in 2014. “I am doing what I was asked to do by the people of this country and it had become clear from the very first meeting of my Cabinet when I formed the SIT (on black money). We never kept the people in dark.” 
    Hitting out at previous governments, the Prime Minister said they “neglected this ...we took a key step to help honest citizen to defeat the menace of graft.”

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    सांगड sāṅgaḍa'joined animal', rebus saṅgaha'arranger, manager'sã̄gah 'building materials'

    barad, balad'ox' rebus: bharata'alloy of pewter, copper, tin'

    miṇḍāl'markhor' (Tōrwālī) meḍho a ram, a sheep' Rebus: mẽṛhẽt, meḍ, mRdu'iron'

    kola‘tiger’ kol‘blacksmith’ khōṇḍa m young bull, bullcalf.rebus:kũdār 'turner, engraver'

    mr̤eka, melh'goat' rebus: milakkhu'copper'

    The horned person is korebus: ‘workshop’ eraka‘upraised hand’ rebus: erako ‘moltencast, copper’. meḍ 'body' rebus: meḍ 'iron'. Thus, moltencast copper, iron workshop.


    S. Kalyanaraman
    Sarasvati Research Center
    November 13, 2016

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    Fight against Fake

    Modi’s masterstroke against black money and terror funding has won him kudos. Just how much is at stake, The Tribune takes a look

    Published on: Nov 13, 2016, 12:56 AM
    Fight against Fake
    A child shows the new Rs 2000 note after exchanging old Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in Chennai. PTI

    Black hole

    • Pakistan has allegedly pumped in fake currency worth Rs 70,000 crore
    • A report by Washington-based think-tank Global Financial Integrity estimated that India lost $344 billion in illicit fund outflows between 2002 and 2011
    • The World Bank in July 2010 estimated India’s parallel economy at 20.7% of the GDP in 1999. It rose to 23.2% in 2007
    • In the last 5 years, growth in 500 and 1,000 rupee notes was steeper; 500 rupee notes grew 76% between 2011 and 2016, while in the same period, 1,000 rupee notes rose by 109%
    • On Sept 30, a three-month window closed for people to declare their illegal wealth and escape prosecution by paying a total tax and penalty of 45%
    • Over Rs 65,000 cr of black money was declared by 64,000 people under the income disclosure scheme
    It was a bright afternoon in the national capital on November 8. There was a flurry of activity at the Prime Minister’s Office: Narendra Modi was to meet the three Service chiefs along with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. The PM was to meet the President too. The impending meetings set off all sorts of rumours, given the tense Indo-Pak border situation. Even before Modi came out of Rashtrapati Bhawan, it was announced that the he would address the nation on Doordarshan at 8 pm. It was the perfect day for news hounds. And for the PM, too. 
    All eyes were glued to the TV, a rare moment for any Prime Minister, indeed. Then came the bombshell: Modi shot down Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 currency notes over the Indian financial spread. “Black money and corruption are the biggest obstacles in eradicating poverty,” the PM said. By the stroke of midnight of Nov 8 these notes ceased to be a legal tender. “Another surgical strike,” exclaimed a reporter.
    Modi has twin objectives: hit hard at black money facilitated by hawala transactions and unaccounted domestic wealth; neutralize Fake Indian Currency Notes (FICN) linked to terror funding. It is well-known that most illegal wealth is stashed in high denomination currency notes. The estimation of the total non-taxed cash transaction in the system could only be known after December 30. Until then Indian citizens are allowed to deposit or exchange the two high-denomination notes. The decision to introduce new Rs 2,000 notes as well others is guided by “logistical reasons” as exchanging high-value notes with smaller ones would create a chaos. 
    “It’s perhaps the most significant move ever taken to curtail the parallel economy. It will give a sharp boost to all formal channels of payments, which, in turn, will help the formal economy to grow at a faster clip in the long term,” said ICICI Bank Ltd managing director and chief executive officer Chanda Kochhar. Officials associated with financial & revenue intelligence refer to a study conducted by the Kolkata-based Indian Statistical Institute (ISI) and the National Investigation Agency (NIA). Two things came to the fore: a) intelligence sources put the FICN of the face value of Rs 70,000 crore (allegedly pumped in by Pakistan); b) the total visible FICN is estimated at only Rs 400 crore. 
    Intelligence reports say around 80 per cent of the FICN is routed to India through Bangladesh. The NIA has been engaging with its counterparts in Dhaka to crack down on gangs involved in the activity in that country, particularly at airport and ports. Another area of concern is ‘hawala channel’ being extensively used by Pakistan’s ISI to finance terror networks. The hawala operators would generally stock Rs1,000 and Rs 500 denomination notes because these were easy to handle due to less volume.
    To check counterfeits, Finance and Home ministries, RBI, security and intelligence agencies are working in tandem. An FICN Coordination Group is functional in the Home Ministry to share intelligence among various security agencies.

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    Zinc and Brass in Archaeological Perspective



    J. S. Kharakwal ,


    L. K. Gurjar


    Brass has a much longer history than zinc. There has been a bit of confusion about the early beginning of zinc as several claims are made out side of India. Both literary as well as archaeological records reveal that production of pure zinc had begun in the second half of the first millennium BC, though production on commercial scale begun in the early Medieval times. This paper attempts to examine the archaeological record and literary evidence to understand the actual beginning of brass and zinc in India.
    Keywords: zinc brass smelting 
    How to Cite: Kharakwal, J.S. & Gurjar, L.K., (2006). Zinc and Brass in Archaeological Perspective. Ancient Asia. 1, pp.139–159. DOI:
     Published on 01 Dec 2006


    Zinc (Zn) is a non ferrous base metal, which is generally found in bluish-white, yellow, brown or in black colour. Its chief and important minerals are sphalerite or zinc blende, smithsonite, calamine, zincite, willemite and franklinite. As it boils at around 900° C, which is lower than the temperature it can be smelted at, therefore it is difficult to smelt this metal. Hence zinc technology was mastered later than that of copper and iron. For pure zinc production, therefore distillation technology was developed, in which India has the distinction of being the first. Zinc is used for galvanising iron and steel, brass making, alloying, manufacture of white pigment in chemicals and medicines. But in ancient times it was mainly used for brass making. In fact brass has a much longer history than zinc. Brass can be produced either by smelting copper ores containing zinc or copper and zinc ore in reduced condition or by mixing copper and zinc metals.
    Early evidence of zinc has been claimed from several parts of Europe and Middle East e.g., Switzerland, Greece, Cyprus and Palestine. But all these claims, except for the evidence of the sheet of zinc from the Athenian Agora (300 BC) are doubtful (Craddock et al., 1998: IS). Recent studies have shown that such small percentages of zinc may occur due to accidental use of copper ore associated with zinc or its ore.
    Brasses containing up to 25 percent zinc have been reported from the fifth and third millennium BC contexts from China, but it seems that they did not play any role in the development of zinc production technology in the Far East. It is generally held that the Chinese started using zinc and brass from the last quarter of the third century BC when the Han Dynasty flourished in China. Craddock and Zhou have suggested that zinc was introduced in China through Buddhism around 2000 years ago. However, Weirong and Xiangxi (1994: 16-17) inform that the earliest literary record about brass mentioned as tutty is known from the Buddhist literature belonging to the Tan dynasty (619-917 AD). Brass (thou-shih) was not a common commodity in the early centuries of the Christian Era at least prior to 3rd century AD in China. Bowman et al.(1989) have analysed 550 coins ranging from 3rd century BC (Zhao dynasty) to the late 19th century (Ch'ing dynasty). They have found that the percentage of zinc suddenly increased by 20% or even up to 28% in brasses of the early 17th century AD. It is also supported by the well known textual evidence of T'ien Kung K'ai Wu, written in 1637 (Sung and Sun 1966). It is the first definite evidence of metallic zinc in China, which also mentions details of alloys used for coins. Weirong (1993) has examined ancient Chinese literature and archaeological record and claims that metallic zinc was not used in China prior to the 16th century AD.
    As far as India is concerned the firm evidence of zinc smelting is known only from Rajasthan. The antiquity of mining various types of ores in Rajasthan goes back to Bronze Age (mid-fourth millennium BC) as the evidence of Ganeshwar-Jodhpura cultural complex in north Rajasthan and Ahar culture in southern Rajasthan would indicate (Agrawal and Kharakwal, 2003; Misra et al. 1995; Shinde et al. 2001-02). Both these cultural complexes have yielded over 5000 copper-bronze objects (Hooja and Kumar, 1995) ranging from 4th to 1st millennium BC. Apart from these, the Mesolithic site of Bagor in Bhilwara district also yielded a few copper arrowheads (Misra, 1973). There are large number of ancient copper, iron, lead working and smelting sites across Rajasthan in the Aravallis, indicating a long tradition of metallurgy. Besides metal tools, a variety of pottery, beads of semi precious stones, terracotta, paste and other antiquarian material is known from such early settlements. These early farmers were practicing diverse crafts using pyrotechnologies. It appears that large scale production of different metals e.g., copper at Singhana, Toda Dariba, Banera, Suras, Bhagal, Kotri, lead-silver at Ajmer, Agucha and Dariba, zinc at Zawar and iron at Dokan, Iswal, Karanpur, Loharia, Parsola, Bigod, Jhikari-Amargarh, belonging to the medieval times (Kharakwal, 2005) was the result of such long experience of metal technology involving pyrotechniques. In fact the Aravallis are a polymetallic zone like Anatolia.
    This paper is an attempt to present an overview of the archaeometallurgical researches on zinc and the position of zinc and brass in archaeological perspective in India.

    Zawar: The Oldest Production Center of Zinc

    Zawar (24°21'N; 73°43'E) is located on the bank of the River Tiri, about 38 km south of Udaipur town in the Aravalli hills in Rajasthan (Fig. 1). It is the only known ancient zinc smelting site in India (Craddock et al., 1985). The entire valley of Tiri at Zawar is marked by immense heaps of slag and retorts, which indicate a long tradition of zinc smelting at Zawar. On some slag-mounds are found remains of houses made of used retorts (Fig. 2) and stones, perhaps belonging to the smelters/smiths. 
    location map
    Fig. 1: Map showing location of Zawar (after Craddock et al 1985) 
    site photo
    Fig. 2: Residential structures made of discarded retorts 
    Though archaeometallurgical activity at Zawar was casually recorded by several Indian and British scholars between 17th and 20th century, the credit of highlighting the importance of the ancient remains however goes to Crookshank (1947), Carsus (1960), Morgan (1976), Strackzeck et al. (1967) and Werner (1976 see in Gurjar et al., 2001). Perhaps these reports encouraged P.T. Craddock of British Museum and K.T.M. Hegde of M.S. University of Baroda to initiate archaeometallurgical study at Zawar jointly with Hindustan Zinc Limited, Udaipur in 1983 (Craddock et al., 1983, 1985; Gurjar et al., 2001; Hegde, 1989; Paliwal et al., 1986; Willies, 1984). This team carried out extensive investigations both for ancient mining as well as smelting of zinc at Zawar. They discovered incredible evidence for mining and furnaces used for zinc smelting, besides primitive smelting retorts from the dam fill at Zawar.
    Besides Zawar, the evidence of early zinc mining and smelting has also been found 2 km south east of village Kaya in form of a small retort heap and ancient mine workings in the adjacent hills. It is the northwestern continuation of Zawar mineralization. These remains have not been studied in detail but considering the shape of retorts it can be safely concluded that they are of the same period. Kaya is located 6 km north of Zawar, and about 15 km south of Udaipur town.


    Zinc ores are widely distributed in the country, but major deposits are found in the Aravallis. In recent years one of the largest lead-zinc deposits have been discovered at Agucha in Bhilwara district (Tewari and Kavadia 1984), though the well known ancient lead-zinc workings are located in the Zawar area of Udaipur district. Zinc (Zn) is generally found in veins in association with galena, chalcopyrite, ironpyrite, silver and cadmium and other sulphide ores (Raghunandan et al., 1981). The Aravalli range in southern Rajasthan is composed of rugged and gorgeous hills of pre-Cambrian metamorphic rocks with narrow valleys. These rocks are rich in zinc ore in the form of sphalerite veins in association with galena and copper bearing deposits. This mineralized belt of Zawar extends for about 25 km. The major mineralization of sphalerite and galena with varying quantities of pyrite have been found in the form of sheeted zones, veins, stringers and lenticular bodies (Raghunandan et al., 1981). Since these minerals are quite distinct from each other it was possible to separate them manually and this explains why zinc mining and smelting developed only at Zawar.
    There are extensive remains of old workings in Zawarmala, Mochia Magra, Balaria, and at Hiran Magra in Zawar area in the form of deep trenches, shafts, open stopes, long serpentine galleries and inclines. These mines are narrow and vary from 10 to 300 m in length. There is extensive evidence of underground mining too (Fig. 3). It appears that this mining continued for several hundred years as indicated by the enormous mound of slag and smelting debris.
    site photo
    Fig. 3: The ancient mine in Zawar 
    Once the ore was located on ground, based on the presence of gossan or mineralized veins, the miners followed the down ward extension along dip and pitch of the ore-shoot and developed huge inclined stopes and chambers underground. These stopes and branched chambers were supported by finger like inclines further down. Arch shaped pillars (about 4XSm) were left to support the roof while developing such stopes and chambers (Gurjar et al., 2001). Mining was carried out by fire setting as evidenced by the rounded profile of galleries and stope chambers, the supporting pillars, smooth surface of rock faces with sooty deposits and the floors are buried deep in charcoal, ashes and calcined rocks (HindZinc Tech 1989). After dousing the fire the rocks were broken with chisels, pick axe, hoes and other iron implements. A few such objects have been discovered from Mochia mines (Craddock et al., 1989: 62, p13). Extensive use of wood in the form of ladders, roof support, haulage scaffold (14C date: 2350±120 BP) have been found in the mines.
    Extensive open pit mining followed by underground method was carried out at Rajpura Dariba. An opencast mine of lead-zinc (300 m long and 100 m wide) developed over east lode at Dariba, (Raghunandan et al. 1981 :86-87) is a remarkable evidence of ancient mining technology practiced in southern Rajasthan. Excavation carried out by Hindustan Zinc Limited in 1986 has brought out the presence of massive timber revetment in the hanging wall of the open pit. This consists of three or probably four benches each 4m high with closely placed vertical posts, held back by three pairs of horizontal timbers and are pinned by long timbers to provide support to weak hanging wall.
    Here, in one of the underground mines of the East Load the miners reached up to a depth of 263 m, in the 3rd 4th century BC (Craddock et al. 1989:59; Willies et al. 1984). Such mines are rarely known in the ancient world. A 14C date from Dariba indicates that deep underground mining had begun in the second half of the second millennium BC. At Agucha also extensive evidence of mining of rich galena pockets datable to the Mauryan times has been discovered (Tiwari and Kavdia, 1984: 84-85). The smelting debris and mining clearly indicates that it was carried out for lead and silver.
    For dewatering mines launders of hollowed timber (3 m long and 20 cm wide) were used, which have been dated back to 2nd century BC (Bhatnagar and Gurjar, 1989: 6). It is likely that some kind of buckets may have also been used for pulling out water from such deep mines. The possibility of shallow depressions at certain interval in the slanting wall of the mines for collection of water can not be ruled out.
    A few shallow conical and U shaped pits have been reported in hard rocks at Baroi and Dariba. They may have been used for crushing/ breaking rock fragments in order to separate and beneficiate the ore before smelting. At Dariba such pits having a diameter of 27-30 cm and 60-70 cm deep were found close to a large opencast in calc-silicate rock. While at Baroi in Zawar these were 8-12 cm in diameter and 10-18 cm deep and found on the surface next to ancient mine workings.
    It is interesting to note that mining of such non-ferrous metals was also recorded in the contemporary literature like Kautilya's Arthasastra (2.12.23, 2.17.14 & 4.1.35), which mentions that there was a superintendent of mines in the Mauryan Empire (Kangle, 1972). His duty was to identify metals and establish factories. While describing silver ores the text clearly mentions that it occurs with nag (lead) and anjan (zinc). Since there is extensive evidence of mining and smelting of lead, zinc and silver at Zawar, Dariba and Aguchha in Rajasthan, it is quite likely that Kautilya was aware of this activity. Harry (1991) points out that the imperial Maurya series of coins, particularly silver ones, containing one fourth of copper, strongly indicates the mining of silver and zinc from southern Rajasthan. Mining of such ores had surely begun in Rajasthan by the middle of the first millennium BC, if not earlier.
    Some scholars have argued that Zawar should be identified as Aranyakupgiri of the Samoli inscription (Halder, 1929-30) belonging to seventh century AD. The word Aranyakupgiri of the inscription perhaps stands for deep well like mines. Of course such mines were there in Zawar during this time, but the inscription may refer to the mines of Basantgarh located near Samoli in Sirohi district rather than Zawar.
    The underground mining of ores at Agucha, Dariba and at Zawar may have been the result of a gradual development of mining technology in Southern Rajasthan going way back to the middle of the fourth millennium BC when Bronze Age cultures had just appeared on the scene in the region.
    What is interesting is the fact that no evidence of smelting of zinc has been found so far prior to 9th century BC. Craddock et al. have pointed out that mining of zinc ore was surely done in Zawarmala in 3rd-4th century BC. Perhaps the evidence of smelting ranging from 4th century BC to 9th century is buried under the massive dumping of retorts and smelting debris and temple complexes. The evidence of a large stone structure and Early Historic pottery shapes exposed near the Jain temple in old Zawar also confirms the same. 
    Table 1. Radio Carbon Dates for Zawar Mines (After Gurjar et al., 2001)
    BM No. Context Material Date BP Calibrated dates
    BM-2017R Retort charcoal modern 1550 to 1635 AD
    BM-2065R Retort charcoal modern 760 to 360 BP
      wood 2350±120 285 to 255 BC
    BM-2149R LW/1982/1,
    Launder in escape route
    wood 2140±110 365 BC to 90 AD
    BM-2222R Trench layer 3 charcoal 240±110 1510 to 1690 AD or
    1730 to 1810 AD or
    1925 AD to modern
    BM-2223R Site 30, N side of furnace charcoal 530±50 1320 to 1345 AD or 
    1390 to 1435 AD
    BM-2243R sample 33, site 34 charcoal 350±130 1420 to 1670 AD
    BM-2484 site 5, layer 3, slag heap charcoal 100±45 1695 to 1730 AD or 
    1815 to 1920 AD
    BM-2485 site 14, layer 3 charcoal 1950±60 25 BC to 115 AD
    BM-2486 site 29, layer 2, small pit or hearth charcoal 200±35 1660 to 1675 AD or
    1745 to 1800 or
    1940 AD to modern
    BM-2487 site 2, trench 2, slag heap charcoal 1930±80 40 BC to 145 AD;
    170 to 180 AD
    BM-2488 site 7, trench 2, slag heap charcoal 1370±80 595 to 720 AD or
    740 to 765 AD
    BM-2638 furnace block charcoal modern  
    BM-2639 ZWLW/22, Pratap khan charcoal 2040±70 160 to 135 BC or 
    125 BC to 25 AD
    BM-2481 ZM/LW/85/13 small chamber off main galleries charcoal modern modern
    BM-2482 ZM/LW/85/14 short ladder way wood 2150±110 365 to 100 BC
    BM-2483 ZM/LW/85/8, burned layer wood 2180±35 355 to 290 BC or
    250 to 195 BC
    BM-2634 ZWLW/87/26, top chamber charcoal 1340±100 600 to 790 AD
    BM-2338 support timber western slope wood 
    (outer ring)
    170±50 1660 to 1695 AD or
    1725 to 1820 AD or
    1860 to 1865 AD,
    1920 to modern
    BM-2381 Gallery wood 
    (outer ring)
    2360±60 750 to 720 BC or
    525 to 385 BC
    BM-2666 ZW/LW/87/32 charcoal 390±50 1440 to 1520 AD or
    1590 to 1629 AD

    The consistency of these radiocarbon dates clearly suggest that mining activity was carried out during the Early Historic period and medieval times (Craddock et al., 1989:48).
    Traditionally Maharana Lakha or Laksha Singh (14th century), who was ruling in the last quarter of the 14th century, is believed to have re-opened these mines. He might have opened several new mines rather than reopening the old ones. Besides, Maharana Pratap (16th century) is also credited for opening new mines at Zawar. One of the major mines at Zawarmala is known after him. It seems that large scale production of zinc continued despite political instability in southern Rajasthan during the late medieval times.
    It was Abul Fazl who for the first time in 1596 in his well known Ain-i-Akbari recorded the zinc mines of Zawar (Blochmann, 1989: 41-43). The mining and smelting activity was not only registered in the contemporary local records and literature (e.g., Nainsi ri Khyat in 1657; Bakshikhana Bahi 91, Rajasthan State Archives records of Udaipur and Bikaner and others) but also in the writings of several scholars of the 19th and 20thcentury, mostly British (Anon, 1872; Brooke, 1850; Carsus, 1960; Erskine, 1908; Shyamal Das, 1986 I (originally published in 1886): 305; Tod, 1950: 221-222).
    Mining of several ores for example iron, copper, lead was being done as late as the 19th century in several parts of Rajasthan. Unfortunately the Zawar zinc operation came to a halt around 1812 AD, unlike the Chinese traditional zinc smelting. A few British officers attempted to restart these mines in the middle and late nineteenth century with the financial support of Maharana Sarup Singh (1842-61), Shambhu Singh (1861-1874 AD) and Sajjan Singh (1874-1884 AD), but failed. It is believed that due to political instability in Mewar, frequent attacks of the Mughals, Pindaris and the Marathas and recurrent famines in the 18th century these mines were abandoned.

    Smelting and Production

    The entire valley of the Tiri in Zawar is dotted by massive dumpings of slag and earthen retorts indicating a long tradition and commercial production of zinc. Several radiocarbon dates (see table 1) bracketed between 12th and 18th century also conform this activity. Gurjar et al. (2001: 633) write, "the earliest evidence of zinc smelting on industrial scale is the carbon date of 840±110 AD for one of the heaps of white ash removed from zinc smelting furnace. The fragment of relatively small, primitive retorts and perforated plates found in the earth fill of dam across the Tidi (Tiri) river may belong to the period or they must at least predate the dam itself. It appears that the main expansion of the industrial phase of zinc production began at Zawar sometime from 11th or 12th century".
    At Zawarmala a bank of seven distillation furnaces (Fig. 4), roughly squarish on plan (66x69 cm), were discovered by Craddock et al. Each furnace had two chambers, upper and lower, separated by a thick perforated plate of clay. It is presumed by the excavators that the furnaces may have looked like truncated pyramids and their height may have been about 60 cm. Brinjal shaped earthen retorts, filled with charge, were placed on the perforated plate in inverted position in the upper chamber. As many as 36 retorts were placed in each furnace for smelting and they were heated for three to five hours. The retorts were made in two parts and luted together after filling the charge. To prepare the charge the ore was subjected to crushing and grinding and mixed with some organic material and cow dung! rolled into tiny balls and left in the sun for drying. These balls then were placed in retorts after drying. A thin wooden stick was placed in the narrow opening of retort, which perhaps prevented falling of charge in the lower chamber before heating when they are initially inverted in the furnace, and at the same time would facilitate the escape of zinc vapour formed during heating. Such special retorts, ranging from 20 to 35 cm in length and 8 to 12cm in diameter, were developed by the metallurgists at Zawar for zinc distillation. Identification of different size of retorts is sure indication of different shape and size of furnaces at Zawar, as the evidence of a bigger furnace (base 110 cm square) from old Zawar would also indicate. After heating, zinc vapor was collected and condensed in the lower chamber in small earthen pots. It was surely an ingenious method that was devised for downward distillation of zinc vapour by the Zawar metallurgists. Thus, it was for the first time anywhere in the world that pure zinc was produced by distillation process on a commercial scale at Zawar. Gangopadhyay et al. (1984) and Freestone et al. (1985) have carried out technical studies of ore and retorts. Craddock (1995 :309- 321) compares these furnaces with koshthi type furnaces illustrated in Rasaratnasamuchchaya, an alchemical text datable to 13th century, and other earlier texts on the same subject. Thanks to the joint efforts of the Hindustan Zinc, British Museum and M.S. University Baroda for such wonderful discovery that is possibly the ancestor of all high temperature pyrotechnical industries of the world. 
    site photo
    Fig. 4: Zinc smelting furnaces at Zawar
    It has been estimated that each retort may have been filled with one kilogram of charge out of which 400 gram of zinc may have been produced. Thus each furnace produced around 25 to 30 kg of zinc in one activity of smelting. It has been estimated that 600,000 tons of smelting debris at Zawar, produced about 32,000 tones of metallic zinc in four hundred years (between 1400 and 1800 AD). If we estimate this production from 12th century to 18th century the quantity of metal would certainly be more than 50,000 tonnes. Colonel Tod in his well known work, Annals and Antiquities of Rajasthan, has reported that the mines of Mewar were very productive during the eighteenth century, and in the year of 1759 alone the mines earned Rs. 2,22,000 (Tod, 1950: 222, 399). Tod writes that about haifa century ago these mines were earning Rs. three lakhs annually. Dariba mines yielded Rs. 80,000. He has recorded these mines as Tin mines of Zawar. Since we do not have any evidence of ancient tin working in Mewar region his tin mines must be nothing but zinc mines of Zawar. Moreover the Imperial Gazetteer of India Provincial Series Rajputana (1908: 52) clearly mention that these mines were famous for silver and zinc and were worked on a large scale until 1812-13 when the worst famine took place (Kachhawaha, 1992: 26-27; Malu, 1987; Singh, 1947).
    The production of zinc was perhaps very high under the rule of Maharana Jagat Singh and Maharana Raj Singh during 17th century as the local records of AD 1634-35 and 1657 reveal that annual revenue of Zawar was rupees 2,50,000 and 1,75,002 respectively. It is also clearly indicated in the record that per day income of these mines was Rs. 700; this estimate was confirmed by Muhnot Nainsi in his famous work Nainsi ri Khyat (1657) (Ranawat, 1987). Another record belonging to the reign of Maharana Raj Singh, reads that the revenue earned in a year from Zawar was Rs. 17,96,944 (Bhati, 1995: 1, 2, 11, 12, 14). Gurjar et al. (2001: 634) have examined a record of the same king dated to 1655 AD, preserved in the State Archives, Udaipur which mentions an income of Rs. 1,70,967 in a single month from Zawar! We are however, not sure whether this income was obtained only from mining and smelting. As the entire area of Zawar is gorgeous and agriculture may not have been enough to generate revenue, therefore it is likely that the entire revenue was earned from mining and production of zinc. Erskine (1908) also informs that these mines were certainly an important source of income right from fourteenth to early nineteenth century as they yielded more than two lakh rupees annual revenue for Maharana's treasury at least until 1766. Thus the annual income from Zawar was quite handsome and it is likely that due to large scale production of zinc Zawar may have become one of the main sources of state revenue and an important trade centre between the 12th and early 19thcentury AD. The discovery of an earthen pot containing a coin hoard datable to 16thcentury by L.K. Gurjar in 1984 (Gurjar et al. 2001) at old Zawar also suggests that this area was an important commercial center. There are remains of few structures on top of a hillock at Zawar, which, according to knowledgeable villagers, belong to Vela Vania (a trader known as Vela). Perhaps Vela Vania was involved in zinc trade.
    It is worth mentioning here that most of the existing forts, huge water reservoirs, temple complexes, water structures, and other monuments in Mewar were built between 10th and 18th centuries AD. It is likely that the revenue earned due to brisk trade of zinc at Zawar was utilized for construction of these large monuments.

    Zinc and Brass in Archaeological Perspective

    Only a few Harappan bronzes have yielded a small percentage of zinc. For example Lothal, a Harappan sites in Gujarat (2200-1500 BC) (Rao, 1985), has yielded around haifa dozen copper based objects containing zinc, which varies from 0.15 to 6.04 % (Nautiyal, et al. 1981). One of the objects (antiquity No. 4189), though not identified, contains 70.7% of copper, 6.04 % of zinc and 0.9% Fe, which could be termed as the earliest evidence of brass in India. From Kalibangan, another Harappan site in north Rajasthan, a long spear head of copper was found containing 3.4% of zinc (Lal et al.2003: 266). There is some evidence of brass from the early Iron Age when we come across two examples from Atranjikhera (1200- 600 BC), a Painted Grey Ware culture site in the Ganga doab. One of the objects leaded bronze contains 1.68% tin, 9.0% lead and 6.28% of zinc whereas the other one assayed 20.72% of tin and 16.20% of zinc (Gaur 1983: 483-90). Unless we have more examples of bronzes containing appreciable percentage of zinc replacing tin, arsenic or other elements we can not infer that the Bronze or Early Iron Age cultures were aware of the nature and property of zinc. Nevertheless these examples perhaps represent the early or experimental stage of zinc in India. The archaeological record indicates that in the second half of the first millennium BC the percentage of zinc started increasing and intentional use of brass appears on the scene. Such evidence has been found from Taxila, Timargarh and Senuwar.
    Taxila, located about 30 km north of Rawalpindi in Pakistan, has yielded a large variety of metal objects including those of copper, bronze, brass and iron (Marshall, 1951 :567 -69). Several brass objects datable from the 4th century BC to 1st century AD have been discovered. One of them was a vase from Bhir mound, which predates the arrival of the Greeks at Taxila (Biswas, 1993) and has assayed 34.34 % of zinc, 4.25% of tin and small quantity of lead (3.0%), iron (1.77%) and nickel (0.4%). Another evidence of real brass was discovered recently at Senuwar in the Ganga Valley from the Northern Black Polished Ware (NBP) levels (Singh, 2004: 594). It has 64.324% of copper and 35.52% of zinc.
    Brasses made by cementation method generally contain less than 28% of zinc and rarely could go up to 33% (Werner, 1970). Since the examples of Taxila and Senuwar have yielded more than 33 % of zinc, therefore these are the earliest definite examples of real brasses. They must have been made by mixing metallic zinc with copper. Zinc is a volatile metal and due to its low boiling point (907° C), which is lower than the temperature it could be smelted, it is difficult to smelt. Unlike other metals, it comes out in the vapour form from the furnace and gets reoxidised, if it is not condensed. Craddock et al. have pointed out that zinc ore was mined way back from 5th century BC (PRL 932 430±100 BC; BM 2381 380±5O BC) at Zawar and metallic or pure zinc was produced here by distillation process for the first time in the world. The production of metallic zinc has been traced back to 9th century AD at Zawar, but there is a strong possibility that the older evidence is buried under the immense heaps. Though Taxila folks were aware of the distillation process (Habib, 2000), yet in the absence of definitive evidence we cannot claim that they employed this process for obtaining zinc. It is possible, though not proven that metallic zinc was produced at Zawar way back from the 6th century BC, from here it reached at Taxila and Senuwar. The other possibility is that zinc was scrapped from the cooler parts of the furnaces at both sites!
    Besides these, Prakash (Athavale and Thapar, 1967: 132 table IV) and Mahurjhari in Mahararashtra (Deo, 1973; Joshi 1973:77), Asura sites in Chhotanagpur region (Caldwell, 1920: 409-411; Roy, 1920: 404- 405) have yielded brasses, which have been dated to the second half of the first millennium BC. Most of these brasses have more than 15% of zinc and some of them contain between 22 to 28 percent of zinc. This kind of evidence clearly points out they were made by cementation process.
    Several circular or rectangular punch-marked and other coins of brass, . bracketed between the 2nd century BC and 4th century AD (Smith, 1906) (see Table 2), are known mostly from northern India. Since none of them is analysed we do not know if they are real brasses (objects containing more 28% zinc are called real brasses) or made by cementation process. What is interesting is that most of these coins belong to the regional kings, indicating popularity of brass in India. This kind of evidence goes against the assumption that the Greeks introduced brass in India. The archaeological record clearly points out that the Indians knew brass prior to the arrival of the Greeks. 
    No. Period King/Site No. Shape Reference
    1 200 BC Gomitra 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 205
    2 200 BC Mitasa (Gomitra?) or Satasa 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 205
    3 2nd cent. BC Unidentified 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 194
    4 2nd cent. BC Gomitra (Mathura) 1 Circular Smith, 1906: 193
    5 2nd cent. BC Uttama Datta (Mathura) 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 193
    6 2nd cent. BC Bhavadatta (Mathura) 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 193
    7 2nd cent. BC Purushadatta (Mathura) 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 192
    8 2nd cent. BC Amoghbhuti (Kuninda king) 6 Circular Smith, 1906: 168-169
    9 2nd cent. BC Rajanya (Naga or Narwar) 4 Not stated Smith, 1906: 179-180
    10 2nd cent. BC Asvaghosa (Kosam) 1 Circular Smith, 1906: 155
    11 150 BC - 100 AD Dhana Deva (Ayodhya) 1 Rectangular Smith, 1906: 148
    12 150 BC - 100 AD Siva Datta (Ayodhya) 3 Rectangular Smith, 1906: 149
    13 150 BC - 100 AD Ajaverma (Ayodhya) 1 Circular Smith, 1906: 150
    14 125 - 80 AD Hagamasha (Satrap of Mathura) 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 196
    15 100 BC Audumbara king 1 Circular Smith, 1906: 166
    16 1st cent. BC - AD Yaudheya kings 3 Not stated Smith, 1906: 181
    17 1st cent. BC - AD Agnimitra (Panchala and Kaushala) 2 Circular Smith, 1906: 186-187
    18 1st cent. BC - AD Bhumitra (Panchala and Kaushala) 1 Circular Smith, 1906: 187
    19 1st-1nd cent. AD? Devasa (Kosam) 8 Circular Smith, 1906: 207
    20 1st-1nd cent. AD Unidentified 1 Rectangular Smith, 1906: 201
    21 2nd cent. AD Unidentified 2 Circular Smith, 1906: 203-204
    22 3rd-4th cent. AD Pasaka (Kushana type) 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 89
    23 Medieval Unknown (Jajjapura/i) Sri Siva type 1 Not stated Smith, 1906: 333
    24 3rd-4th cent. AD Basata (later Kushana) 5 Not stated Chatterjee, 1957: 103
    Table 2: Early brass coins of lndia (After Smith 1906)

    Beside coins, several other brass antiquities have also been reported from the Early Historic sites in Uttar Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, which include lids, caskets, bangles, finger rings, utensils, icons, chariot and religious object and utensil (Biswas, 1993, .1994: 360; Biswas and Biswas, 1996: 132).
    Since zinc could change the colour of copper and impart it a golden glitter, it was preferred for making Hindu, Buddhist and Jain icons throughout the historical period. For example among the brass icons of the Himalayan region (from Tibet to Gandhar) lead is present in appreciable amount and the percentage of zinc varies from 4 to 35 (Chakrabarti, and Lahiri, 1996: 108-109; Reedy, 1988). Obviously these brasses were made by selection of ore, cementation process and mixing metallic zinc with copper. In the absence of a source of zinc in the Himalayan region it may be suggested that metallic zinc may have been supplied from Zawar. The higher percentage of lead in these brasses clearly suggests that it was deliberately added to increase the casting ability of the metal. Such leaded brasses were called kakatundi in ancient India.
    Craddock (1981 :20-31) has reported analysis of 121 Tibetan and Himalayan icons/metal works by atomic absorption spectrophotometer for 13 elements in each sample down to 10ppm level. He has shown that as many as 45 artifacts have more than 28% of zinc, which might have been made by mixing copper and zinc. The percentage of zinc in such artifacts ranges from 28 to 54. It seems that most of the brasses of his list belong to Medieval and later Medieval times.
    From Phopnarkala and East Nimar, in Madhya Pradesh, several standing brass images of Buddha have been discovered (Sharma and Sharma, 2000) assigned to the Gupta-Vakataka period (5th-6th centuries AD). These brasses contain high percentage of zinc ranging from 21 to 30%, which means that they were made by cementation process (Tondan, 1983).
    In the first half of the seventh century AD (AD 629-645) Hiuen Tsiang, a Chinese scholar of Buddhism, extensively traveled in India. He saw a magnificent vihara(residential complex of Buddhist monks) of brass near Nalanda under construction during the reign of Raja Siladitya (Harshavardhan AD 606-647). It would have been more than 100 feet long when completed (Beal, 2000 vol. ii: 174). He also noticed brass images (teou-shih) of Buddhist and Brahmanic deities at several places in northern India (Beal, 2000 vol. i: 51, 89, 166, 177,197, 198, vol. ii: 45, 46,174).
    The metal art of Eastern Indian complex, mainly coming from Bihar, West Bengal and Bangladesh, is also fairly well known. A large number of ancient bronzes, belonging to Pala and Sena School of art datable between 8th to 12th centuries AD contain considerable amount of zinc (Leoshko and Reedy, 1994; Pal, 1988; Reedy, 1991a, b).
    A large number of bronzes and brasses mostly icons of Jain and Hindu deities, containing appreciable amount of zinc, have been reported from various parts of Gujarat, and are datable to 6th to 14th centuries AD (Swarnakamal, 1978). Most of the late medieval brasses were made by mixing metallic zinc with copper as the percentage of zinc has been found to exceed more than 28%. In some cases lead is present up to 9.5%, which must have been useful rending fluidity to the metal. It is likely that all these brasses were made of using metallic zinc from Zawar. Biswas (1993) writes that the icon of seated Tirthankara dated AD 1752 from Gujarat is one the finest example of the late medieval brasses in India, which was made a few years before the Maratha invasion of Mewar. 
    Table 3: Elemental percentage of brasses datable to 14th to 18th centuries AD 
    (after Biswas, 1993 and Swarnakamal, 1978)
    No. Object Provena. Period Cu% Zn% Sn% Pb% Fe% Impurities
    1 Ambika Gujarat 1350 68.4 18.5 1.6 9.5 - Fe, Ag, Bi
    2 Model of temple with 4 doors " 1480 68.6 28.9 0.2 1.6 - Fe, Mg, Bi  
    3 Vishnu-Narayan " 1485 58.9 36.8 0.5 2.1 - Fe, Al, Ag, Si, Mg, Bi
    4 Rajput Prince Rajasthan 15th-16th 72.9 21.8 0.4 2.7 1.0 Al 0.3, Mg, Ag
    5 Kal Bhairava Gujarat 1554 76.7 13.8 1.2 6.3 1.5 Al, Mg
    6 Chauri Bearer Gujarat 17th 58.3 35.5 1.5 2.3 0.8 Fe, Ni, Al, Ag, Cd, Si, Mg   
    7 Dipalakshami Rajasthan 17th 58.8 33.2 0.9 4.5 - Al 1.6, Mg   
    8  " Gujarat 18th 52.8 39.9 1.1 2.9 - Fe, Al   
    9 Tirthankara (seated)   Gujarat 1752 62.3 36.0 - 0.5 - Fe, Ag, Bi   
    10 Sadakasari Lokesvara form of Avlokitesvara Nepal   60.5 35.3 2.75 2.37 - Fe, Ni, As, Au  

    Table 3 contains a few brasses from medieval and late medieval period of India, most of which have a high percentage of zinc. All those examples containing more than 33% were certainly made of metallic zinc. In some cases lead is present up to 9.5%, which must have been useful rending fluidity to the metal. The metallurgists were obviously skilful to produce high quality of brass. It is quite likely that all these brasses were made by using metallic zinc from Zawar. The Mughals, who ruled over India between 12th and 16th centuries, had metal karkhanas (factories), in which a large number of brasses for example utensil, decorative pieces, guns, mortars and so on were produced perhaps employing zinc from Zawar (Neogi, 1979: 40-42).
    It is held that the artillery made of iron, bronze and brass was introduced in India during the Mughal period. Large cannons and guns made of brass have been reported from Agra, Bengal and other places (Neogi, 1979). There are a few brass cannons at Udaipur too, which might have been made by zinc obtained from Zawar.

    Bidri Ware

    The Bidri Ware of Bidar in South India, belonging to medieval period, is well known for its glossy black surface decorated with exquisite silver inlay art (Gairola, 1956). It is a zinc alloy decorated with silver or gold inlay. La Niece and Martin (1987) have done detailed technical study of27 vessels of this ware from the Victoria and Albert Museum's collection. Their results show that the content of zinc varies from 76 to 98%, copper 2 to 10% and lead 0.4 to 19%. Lead isotope studies have indicated that the zinc was not obtained from Zawar for Bidri ware (Craddock et al. 1989: 52-53). This kind of result has brought about a challenge to look for other zinc production sites in India, if this metal was not imported from outside!

    Literary Evidence

    Ayurvedic treatises such as Susrut Samhita (5th century BC) and Charak Samhita (2ndcentury BC) record the use of essence of various minerals and metals e.g., gold, silver, copper, tin, bronze and brass for preparation of medicine. These texts also mention that the instruments used for curing delicate parts of the body were made of gold, silver, copper, iron, brass, tooth, horn, jewels and of special variety of wood (Datt Ram, 1900: 12; Sharma, 2001 II: 444). Both these texts record brass as riti or ritika. It is interesting that both Charak Samhita and Susruta Samhita refer to pushpanjan, which was prepared by heating a metal in air and was used for curing eyes and wounds (Chikitsasthanam 26.250) (Shukla and Tripathai, 2002: 661; Ray, 1956: 60). This could be identified as zinc oxide as Craddock (1989: 27) points out that "no other metal would react in the air to produce an oxide suitable for medicinal purpose". Therefore, these Ayurvedic texts are perhaps the earliest literary evidence of zinc in India.
    Kautilya's Arthasastra is one of the earliest firm datable (4th century BC) textual evidence for mining and smelting of metals, which reveals that the director of metals was responsible for establishing factories of various metals such as copper (tamra), lead (sisa), tin (trapu), brass (arakuta), bronze (kamsa or kamsya), tala and iron (Kangle, 1960 vol I: 59 and vol II: 124; Kangle, 1972 vol II: 108). Brass has also been frequently mentioned in ancient Sanskrit and Buddhist literature and was popularly known as harita, riti, ritika, arkuta or arkutah, pitala and so on (Chakrabarti and Lahiri, 1996: 149; Neogi, 1979: 41; Sastri, 1997:208). The term kamsakuta of Digha-nikaya and Dhammapada Atthakatha has been interpreted as brass coins by Chatterjee (1957: 104-111). He strongly argues that brass currency was in vogue between 6th and 4th century BC in India, though we don't have chemical analysis of known coins of this period. Darius I, a Persian king, had a few Indian cups, which were indistinguishable in appearance from gold except for their smell (Hett, 1993: 257). This may only be the Indian brass.
    Strabo quotes the explanation of Nearchus about India, who traveled the north-western part of this country with the Macedonian army in 4th century BC, and writes that "they use brass that is cast, and not the kind that is forged; and he does not state the reason, although he mentions the strange result that follows the use of the vessels made of cast brass. that when they fall to the ground they break into pieces like pottery" (Jones, 1954: 117). This kind of evidence indicates that Indians were making brass way back in 4thcentury BC. But we do not know whether it happened due to absence of lead or high percentage of zinc?
    The alchemist Nagarjuna is well known for his treatise on alchemy titled Rasaratnakara, which was perhaps originally written, as Biswas (1993: 317, 1994: 361-362; Ray, 1956: 116-118) argues, between 2nd and 4th century AD and compiled around 7th or 8th centuries AD. Nagatjuna was certainly a great scientist, who, for the first time, not only described cementation process but also zinc production by distillation technique (Biswas, 1993: 317; 1994: 361-362; Ray 1956: 129). This is therefore the earliest literary evidence, which records that brass is an alloy of copper and zinc. Rasarnavam Rastantram, an alchemical text datable to 12th century AD, is an important alchemical text, in which both brass and zinc have been recorded. This text clearly records zinc making process (Craddock et al, 1989: 31; Ray, 1956: 118), besides different kinds of zinc ores e.g., mratica rasak, gud rasak and pashan rasak. Apart from these there are a few other alchemical texts such as Rasakalpa, Rasarnavatantra, Rasprakash Sudhakar of Yasodhara, Rasendrachudamani of Somadeva and Rasachintamani of Madanantadeva (all datable from 10th to 12th centuries AD), also explain different kind of brasses and zinc- making by distillation process (Ray, 1956: 171-191). The description by Yasodhara for extraction of zinc appears to be the best one as Craddock et al.'s (1989) work has shown that it fits well with the process used at Zawar. These texts reveal that koshthi type furnaces were used for smelting and had an arrangement of two chambers separated by a perforated plate. For distillation tiryakpatana yantra were used. The Rasaratnasamuchchaya, a late 13th or early 14thcentury work of iatro chemistry, is the best available literary evidence of zinc production process. In fact the zinc smelting process described by Yasodhara earlier has more or less been repeated in this text besides the illustrations of apparatus by Somadeva. Bhavamisra in the 16th century in his well known work, Bhavaprakasanighantu, recorded as many as seven different kinds of alloys (upadhatus) including bronze and brass (Chunekar and Pandey, 2002: 609). He has recorded two different kinds of brasses such as Rajariti and Brahmariti. Besides, two other types of brasses (pittala) i.e., ritika and kaktundi have also been recorded (Neogi, 1979: 41).
    Besides these, Allan (1979: 43-45) cites the work of Abu Dulaf, Al-risalat al-thqniya,datable to 9th-10th centuries AD, who described production of a variety of tutiya in Iran. He recorded that the Indian tutiya was preferred in Persia (Allan, 1979: 43-45), which obviously might have been better than the Persian one. It is likely that the Persians imported Indian tutiya. The Persians also recorded Indian tutiya as the vapour of tin (Allan, 1979: 44), which might be zinc (Craddock et al. 1989: 74) from Zawar. Thus the Persian literary source also supports production of zinc in India in 9th-10thcenturies AD. And brass has surely longer history than zinc.
    All the aforesaid literary references clearly suggest that metallic zinc was known in India several centuries before the actual dated evidence of commercial production at Zawar.
    Thus the aforesaid archaeological and literary evidence indicates that Indians had started using zinc rich ores from second millennium BC, though we can not claim that it was intentional. Of course stray discoveries of brasses have been made from Bronze and Early Iron Age sites, but we can not conclude that it was a common metal. The discovery of coins and other objects indicates that it became popular only in the second half of the first millennium BC.

    Zinc in Europe

    William Champion established a zinc-smelting furnace in 1738 AD at Bristol in England and started commercial production in 1743. His furnace was quite similar to the Zawar example with downward distillation (Day, 1973:75-76). What is interesting is that Champion used exactly the same technique of distillation per descensum that was used at Zawar and even used 1.5% (weight) common salt in the zinc smelting charge (Biswas, 1993: 327). Thus his arrangement of retorts and technique was identical to Zawar. Dr. Lane is believed to have smelted zinc ore at his copper work in Swansea in 1720 (Porter, 1991: 60) around 20 years before Champion started zinc production in England. Was it Lane who came to Zawar and learnt zinc smelting technique and attempted it at Swansea, from where Champion, Henkel and 'others copied the Indian process!
    Craddock gives credit to the Portuguese ships for transporting zinc from India to China and eventually introduction of zinc technology. He emphatically states that the Zawar process is the ancestor of all known zinc smelting techniques in the world.


    Though, early evidence of metallic zinc is known from Athenian Agora and Taxila (datable 4th to 2nd centuries BC), there is no evidence of regular production of metallic zinc at these sites. However, recent discovery of brasses from Senuwar has now strongly indicated that metallic zinc was surely being produced during the Early Historic phase in India. It can be suggested that zinc was no more a rare metal. To date the oldest evidence of pure zinc comes from Zawar as early as 9th century AD, when distilration process was employed to make pure zinc. The Bhils of Southern Rajasthan are held to be the aborigines of this region (Hooja 1994) and prepare alcohol by traditional down-word distillation method. Interestingly zinc was also produced Zawar by using same principle of distillation. Moreover, Brooke (1850) has recorded that until 1840 the Bhils of Zawar knew distillation process of pure zinc. Therefore the credit of innovating special retorts and furnaces for distillation of zinc surely goes to the Bhil tribe of Southern Rajasthan. It was surely this local knowledge which they could successfully employ for distillation of zinc. Thus the Zawar metallurgists brought about a break through in non-ferrous metal extraction around 12th century, if not earlier, by producing it on commercial scale. On the other hand in China commercial production of zinc started almost three hundred years later than India. It appears that brass was introduced in China in the early centuries of the Christian Era through Buddhism, though the idea of zinc distillation process may have traveled in 16th century via international trade to China. From China it was exported to Europe in the middle of the 17th century AD under the name totamu or tutenag, which was derived from Tutthanaga - a name of zinc in South Indian languages (Bonnin, 1924; Deshpande, 1996). However, Indian zinc had already reached Europe prior to this and had created great curiosity about this metal. Thus the commercial production of zinc at Zawar had begun almost three hundred years earlier than China, if not earlier. Therefore, Zawar has globally stolen the march by becoming the oldest commercial center of zinc in the world. William Champion's furnace in the 18th century at Bristol was based on Indian downward distillation process, the idea of which may have reached there through the Portuguese or East India Company or by some European traveler. Hence Zawar, in the words of Craddock, is the· ancestor of all zinc production techniques of the world. It was an industrial activity, which laid the basis of various modern chemical and extractive industries.


    We would like to record our sincere thanks to Prof. D. P. Agrawal and Rajiv Malhotra for constant encouragement to work on archaeometallurgy in Rajasthan. We are grateful to Profs. P. T. Craddock, V. H. Sonawane, K. K. Bhan, Toshiki Osada, G. L Possehl, V. S. Shinde, K. S. Gupta, S. Balasubramaniam, Michael Witzel, Meena Gaur and Drs Piyush Bhatt, S. Aruni, Shahida Ansari, P. Dobal, J. Meena, R. Barhat, B. M. Jawalia, S. K. Sharma, Vishnu Mali, H. Chaudhary and Mr. P. Goyal, L. C. Patel and Miss Noriko Hase for helping us at various stages while collecting data for this paper.


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    Sung, E-Tu Zen and Shiou-Chuan Sun 1966 (trans.). Chinese Technology in the Seventh Century (T'ien Kung K'ai-wu by Sung Ying-Hsing). Pennsylvania State University Press, Pennsylvania.
    Strackzkk, J. A. and B. Srikantan 1967. Geology of Zawar lead-zinc area, Rajasthan, India. Memoirs of the GSI 92: 47-83.
    Swarnakamal 1978. Metallic Art and Technology of Gujarat. Museum and Picture Gallery, Baroda.
    Tewari, R. K. and N. K. Kavida 1984. Ancient mining activity around Aguncha village, Bhilwara district, Rajasthan, Man and Environment 8: 81-87.
    Tondan, B. N. 1983. Phopnar Bronzes - a scientific study by atomic absorption, emission spectrographic analysis and their metallography, National Museum Bulletin,New Delhi 4, 5 and 6: 150-151.
    Werner, O. 1970. Uber das Vorkommen von Zinc, Erzmetall 23: 259-269.
    Weirong, Zhou 1993. A new study on the history of the use of zinc in China, Bulletin of the Metals and Museum 19: 49-53.
    Weirong, Zhou and Fan Xiangxi 1994. Application of Zinc and Cadmium for the dating and authenticating of metal relics in ancient China, Bulletin of the Metals and Museum22: 16-21.
    Willies, L., P. T. Craddock, L. K. Gurjar and K. T. M. Hegde 1984. Ancient lead and zinc mining in Rajasthan, India, World Archaeology 16(2): 222- 233,



    Thomas Wilson curator of US National Museum had in 1894 presented a remarkable Annual Report on Swastika symbol and its migrations. This work is advanced further with the Indus Script decipherment of the Meluhha glosses: sattva 'glyph' Rebus:sattu, satavu, satuvu 'pewter' (Kannada) In the context of archaeometallurgical indicators, the svastika hieroglyph multiplex seems to have connoted an alloying process of zinc with other minerals to create pewter or brasses of various kinds. Svastika hypertexts appear in remarkable contexts of Indus Script Corpora which help prove the early significance of this hieroglyph related to metalcasters and turners' work involving creation of new alloys during the Bronze Age. 

    Focus of this note is on one hieroglyph: svastika evidenced on Indus Script Corpora and deriving the semantics of the hieroglyph and rebus-metonymy rendering in Indus Script cipher.

    Svastika hieroglyph multiplex is a remarkable hypertext of Indus Script Corpora, which signify catalogus catalogorum of metalwork.

    Svastika signifies zinc metal, spelter. This validates Thomas Wilson's indication --after a wide-ranging survey of migrations of the hieroglyph across Eurasia and across continents -- that svastika symbol connoted a commodity, apart from its being a hieroglyph, a sacred symbol in many cultures.

    "Spelter, while sometimes used merely as a synonym for zinc, is often used to identify a zinc alloy. In this sense it might be an alloy of equal parts copper and zinc, i.e. a brass, used for hard soldering and brazing, or as an alloy, containing lead, that is used instead of bronze.

    Hieroglyph: sattva 'svastika' glyph Rebus: sattu, satavu, satuvu 'pewter' (Kannada) సత్తుతపెల a vessel made of pewter ज&above;स्ति&below; । त्रपुधातुविशेषनिर्मितम्  jasth जस्थ । त्रपु m. (sg. dat. jastas जस्तस्), zinc, spelter; pewter. 

    मेढा  [ mēḍhā ] m A stake, esp. as forked. 2 A dense arrangement of stakes, a palisade, a paling. 3 A twist or tangle arising in thread or cord, a curl or snarl.(Marathi) Rebus: meḍ 'iron, copper' (Munda. Slavic)

    dhollu ‘drummer’ (Western Pahari) Rebus: dul ‘cast metal’

    The Meluhha gloss for 'five' is: taṭṭal Homonym is: ṭhaṭṭha brass (i.e. alloy of copper + zinc). Glosses for zinc are: sattu (Tamil), satta, sattva (Kannada) jasth जसथ् ।रपु m. (sg. dat. jastas ज्तस), zinc, spelter; pewter; zasath ् ज़स््थ् ्or zasuth ज़सुथ ्। रप m. (sg. dat. zastas ु ज़्तस),् zinc, spelter, pewter (cf. Hindī jast). jastuvu; । रपू्भवः adj. (f. jastüvü), made of zinc or pewter.(Kashmiri). Hence the hieroglyph: svastika repeated five times. Five svastika are thus read: taṭṭal sattva Rebus: zinc (for) brass (or pewter).

    *ṭhaṭṭha1 ʻbrassʼ. [Onom. from noise of hammering brass?]N. ṭhaṭṭar ʻ an alloy of copper and bell metal ʼ. *ṭhaṭṭhakāra ʻ brass worker ʼ. 1.Pk. ṭhaṭṭhāra -- m., K. ṭhö̃ṭhur m., S. ṭhã̄ṭhāro m., P. ṭhaṭhiār°rā m.2. P. ludh. ṭhaṭherā m., Ku. ṭhaṭhero m., N. ṭhaṭero, Bi. ṭhaṭherā, Mth. ṭhaṭheri, H.ṭhaṭherā m.(CDIAL 5491, 5493).

    h182A, h182B

    The drummer hieroglyph is associated with svastika glyph on this tablet (har609) and also on h182A tablet of Harappa with an identical text.

    dhollu ‘drummer’ (Western Pahari) Rebus: dul ‘cast metal’. The 'drummer' hieroglyph thus announces a cast metal. The technical specifications of the cast metal are further described by other hieroglyphs on side B and on the text of inscription (the text is repeated on both sides of Harappa tablet 182).

    kola 'tiger' Rebus: kol 'alloy of five metals, pancaloha' (Tamil). ḍhol ‘drum’ (Gujarati.Marathi)(CDIAL 5608) Rebus: large stone; dul ‘to cast in a mould’. Kanac ‘corner’ Rebus: kancu ‘bronze’. dula 'pair' Rebus: dul 'cast metal'. kanka ‘Rim of jar’ (Santali); karṇaka  rim of jar’(Skt.) Rebus:karṇaka ‘scribe’ (Telugu); gaṇaka id. (Skt.) (Santali) Thus, the tablets denote blacksmith's alloy cast metal accounting including the use of alloying mineral zinc -- satthiya 'svastika' glyph.

    A Gold Rhyton with two tigers;  svastika incised on thigh of tiger; found in historical site of Gilan

    sattu (Tamil), satta, sattva (Kannada) jasth जसथ् ।रपु m. (sg. dat. jastas ज्तस), zinc, spelter; pewter; zasath  ज़स््थ् or zasuth ज़सुथ ्। रप m. (sg. dat. zastas  ज़्तस), zinc, spelter, pewter (cf. Hindī jast). jastuvu;  रपू्भवः adj. (f. jastüvü), made of zinc or pewter.(Kashmiri). Hence the hieroglyph: svastika repeated five times. Five svastika are thus read: taṭṭal sattva Rebus: zinc (for) brass (or pewter). *ṭhaṭṭha1 ʻbrassʼ. [Onom. from noise of hammering brass?]N. ṭhaṭṭar ʻ an alloy of copper and bell metal ʼ. *ṭhaṭṭhakāra ʻ brass worker ʼ. 1.Pk. ṭhaṭṭhāra -- m., K. ṭhö̃ṭhur m., S. ṭhã̄ṭhāro m., P. ṭhaṭhiār°rā m.2. P. ludh. ṭhaṭherā m., Ku. ṭhaṭhero m., N. ṭhaṭero, Bi. ṭhaṭherā, Mth. ṭhaṭheri, H.ṭhaṭherā m.(CDIAL 5491, 5493).

    The drummer hieroglyph is associated with svastika glyph on this tablet (har609) and also on h182A tablet of Harappa with an identical text.

    dhollu ‘drummer’ (Western Pahari) Rebus: dul ‘cast metal’. The 'drummer' hieroglyph thus announces a cast metal. The technical specifications of the cast metal are further described by other hieroglyphs on side B and on the text of inscription (the text is repeated on both sides of Harappa tablet 182).

    kola 'tiger' Rebus: kol 'alloy of five metals, pancaloha' (Tamil). ḍhol ‘drum’ (Gujarati.Marathi)(CDIAL 5608) Rebus: large stone; dul ‘to cast in a mould’. Kanac ‘corner’ Rebus: kancu ‘bronze’. dula 'pair' Rebus: dul 'cast metal'. kanka ‘Rim of jar’ (Santali); karṇaka  rim of jar’(Skt.) Rebus:karṇaka ‘scribe’ (Telugu); gaṇaka id. (Skt.) (Santali) Thus, the tablets denote blacksmith's alloy cast metal accounting including the use of alloying mineral zinc -- satthiya 'svastika' glyph.

    The distinction between pictorial motifs and signs gets blurred in many compositions presented in the script inscriptions.

    Thus, a svastika  appears together with an elephant or a tiger  The 'svastika' is a  pictorial and also a sign--Sign 148

    Mohejodaro, tablet in bas relief (M-478)

    m0478B tablet erga = act of clearing jungle (Kui) [Note image showing two men carrying uprooted trees].

    Aḍaru twig; aḍiri small and thin branch of a tree; aḍari small branches (Ka.); aḍaru twig (Tu.)(DEDR 67). Aḍar = splinter (Santali); rebus: aduru = native metal (Ka.) Vikalpa: kūtī = bunch of twigs (Skt.) Rebus: kuṭhi = furnace (Santali) ḍhaṁkhara — m.n. ʻbranch without leaves or fruitʼ (Prakrit) (CDIAL 5524)

    era, er-a = eraka = ?nave; erako_lu = the iron axle of a carriage (Ka.M.); cf. irasu (Ka.lex.)

    era_ = claws of an animal that can do no harm (G.)

    era female, applied to women only, and generally as a mark of respect, wife; hopon era a daughter; era hopon a man’s family; manjhi era the village chief’s wife; gosae era a female Santal deity; bud.hi era an old woman; era uru wife and children; nabi era a prophetess; diku era a Hindu woman (Santali)

    •Rebus: er-r-a = red; eraka = copper (Ka.) erka = ekke (Tbh. of arka) aka (Tbh. of arka) copper (metal); crystal (Ka.lex.) erako molten cast (Tu.lex.)  agasa_le, agasa_li, agasa_lava_d.u = a goldsmith (Te.lex.)

     Hieroglyph: Looking back: krammara 'look back' (Telugu) kamar 'smith, artisan' (Santali)

    erka = ekke (Tbh. of arka) aka (Tbh. of arka) copper (metal); crystal (Ka.lex.) cf. eruvai = copper (Ta.lex.) eraka, er-aka = any metal infusion (Ka.Tu.); 

    ^  Inverted V, m478 (lid above rim of narrow-necked jar)

    The rimmed jar next to the tiger with turned head has a lid. Lid ‘ad.aren’; rebus: aduru ‘native metal’

    karnika 'rim of jar' Rebus: karni 'supercargo' (Marathi) Thus, together, the jar with lid composite hieroglyhph denotes 'native metal supercargo'.

    kuTi 'tree' Rebus: kuṭhi = (smelter) furnace (Santali) 

    eraka, hero = a messenger; a spy (G.lex.) kola ‘tiger, jackal’ (Kon.); rebus: kol working in iron, blacksmith, ‘alloy of five metals, panchaloha’ (Tamil) kol ‘furnace, forge’ (Kuwi) kolami ‘smithy’ (Te.) heraka = spy (Skt.); er to look at or for (Pkt.); er uk- to play 'peeping tom' (Ko.) Rebus: eraka ‘copper’ (Ka.) kōṭu  branch of tree, Rebus: खोट [ khōṭa ] f A mass of metal (unwrought or of old metal melted down); an ingot or wedge. 

    karn.aka = handle of a vessel; ka_n.a_, kanna_ = rim, edge; 

    kan.t.u = rim of a vessel; kan.t.ud.iyo = a small earthen vessel

    kan.d.a kanka = rim of a water-pot; kan:kha, kankha = rim of a vessel

    svastika pewter (Kannada); jasta = zinc (Hindi) yasada (Jaina Pkt.)

    karibha 'trunk of elephant' ibha 'elephant' Rebus: karba 'iron' (Tulu)

    kola 'tiger' Rebus: kol 'working in iron' krammara 'turn back' Rebus: kamar 'smith'

    heraka 'spy' Rebus: eraka 'moltencast, copper'

    meDha 'ram' Rebus: meD 'iron' (Mu.Ho)

    bAraNe ' an offering of food to a demon' (Tulu) Rebus: baran, bharat (5 copper, 4 zinc and 1 tin) (Punjabi. Bengali) bhaTa 'worshipper' Rebus: bhaTa 'furnace' baTa 'iron' (Gujarati)

    saman 'make an offering (Santali) samanon 'gold' (Santali)

    minDAl 'markhor' (Torwali) meDho 'ram' (Gujarati)(CDIAL 10120) Rebus: me~Rhet, meD 'iron' (Mu.Ho.Santali)

    heraka 'spy' (Samskritam) Rebus:eraka 'molten metal, copper'

    maNDa 'branch, twig' (Telugu) Rebus: maNDA 'warehouse, workshop' (Konkani)\karibha, jata kola Rebus: karba, ib, jasta, 'iron, zinc, metal (alloy of five metals)

    maNDi 'kneeling position' Rebus: mADa 'shrine; mandil 'temple' (Santali)

    Fig. 183. (After T. Wilson opcit)
    “Burning altar” mark associated with
    Swastikas. Etruria (Bronze Age). "They belonged to the Bronze Age, and antedated the Etruscan civilization. This was demonstrated by the finds at Corneto-Tarquinii. Tombs to the number of about 300, containing them, were found, mostly in 1880-81, at a lower level than, and were superseded by, the Etruscan tombs. They contained the weapons, tools, and ornaments peculiar to the Bronze Age—swords, hatchets, pins, fibulæ, bronze and pottery vases, etc., the characteristics of which were different from Etruscan objects of similar purpose, so they could be satisfactorily identified and segregated. The hut urns were receptacles for the ashes of the cremated dead, which, undisturbed, are to be seen in the museum. The vases forming part of this grave furniture bore the Swastika mark; three have two Swastikas, one three, one four, and another no less than eight." (T. Wilson opcit p.857)
    Fig. 175. (After T Wilson opcit)


    Serpents, crosses, and
    Swastikas (normal, right,
    left, and meander).
    Goodyear, “Grammar of
    the Lotus,” pl. 60, fig. 9
    Fig. 174. (After T Wilson opcit)
    Athens. Birch, “History of Ancient Pottery,” quoted by Waring in
    “Ceramic Art in Remote Ages,” pl. 41, fig. 15; Dennis, “The
    Cities and Cemeteries of Etruria,” i, p. 91. "The Swastika comes from India as an ornament in form of a cone (conique) of metal, gold, silver, or bronze gilt, worn on the ears (see G. Perrot: “Histoire de l’Art,” iii, p. 562 et fig. 384), and nose-rings (see S. Reinach: “Chronique d’Orient,” 3e série, t. iv, 1886). I was the first to make known the nose-ring worn by the goddess Aphrodite-Astarte, even at Cyprus. In the Indies the women still wear these ornaments in their nostrils and ears. The fellahin of Egypt also wear similar jewelry; but as Egyptian art gives us no example of the usage of these ornaments in antiquity, it is only from the Indies that the Phenicians could have borrowed them. The nose-ring is unknown in the antiquity of all countries which surrounded the island of Cyprus." (p.851, T Wildon opcit)

    "The Swastika has been discovered in Greece and in the islands of the Archipelago on objects of bronze and gold, but the principal vehicle was pottery; and of these the greatest number were the painted vases. It is remarkable that the vases on which the Swastika appears in the largest proportion should be the oldest, those belonging to the Archaic period. Those already shown as having been found at Naukratis, in Egypt, are assigned by Mr. Flinders Petrie to the sixth and fifth centuries B. C., and their presence is accounted for by migrations from Greece." (p.839 T Wilson opcit)

    "Whatever else the sign Swastika may have stood for, and however many meanings it may have had, it was always ornamental. It may have been used with any or all the above significations, but it was always ornamental as well. The Swastika sign had great extension and spread itself practically over the world, largely, if not entirely, in prehistoric times, though its use in some countries has continued into modern times." (T. Wilson, p.772)

    Fig. 166. (After T Wilson opcit)
    Perrot and Chipiez, “History of Art in Phenicia and Cyprus,” II, p. 300, fig. 237;
    Goodyear, “Grammar of the Lotus,” pl. 48, figs. 6, 12; Cesnola, “Cyprus, its
    Ancient Cities, Tombs, and Temples,” Appendix by Murray, p. 412, pl. 44, fig. 34.
    Fig. 158. (After T Wilson opcit)


    Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City.
    Goodyear, “Grammar of the Lotus,” pl. 60, fig. 15.

    Fig. 178.(After T Wilson opcit)


    Musée St. Germain. Ohnefalsch-Richter, Bull.
    Soc. d’Anthrop., Paris, 1888, p. 674, fig. 6. (After Fig. 201, T. Wilson, p.864)Spearhed with svastika (croix swasticale) and triskelion. Brandenburg. Germany. Waring, 'Ceramic art in remote age,' p. 44. fig. 21 and 'Viking age' I, fig. 336
    Fig. 202 (T. Wilson opcit).


    Chantre, Matériaux pour l’Histoire Primitive
    et Naturelle de l’Homme, 1854, pp. 14, 120. After Fig. 220 (T. Wilson opcit.) Stone altar with svastika on pedestal. France museum of Toulouse De Mortillet. 'Musee Prehistorique', fig. 1267 
    After Figs. 231 to 234 (T. Wilson, opcit.). Ancient Hindu coins with svastika, normal and ogee. Waring, 'Ceramic art in remote ages,' pl. 41, figs. 20-24
    . After Fig. 235 (T. Wilson opcit). Ancient coin with svastika. Gaza. Palestine. Waring 'Ceramic art in remote ages,' pl. 42, fig.6

    Fig. 32. (After T Wilson opcit)
    From a figure by Fergusson and Schliemann.
    Plate 5. Buffalo with Swastika on Forehead. (After T. Wilson opcit)
    Presented to Emperor of Sung Dynasty.
    From a drawing by Mr. Li, presented to the U. S. National
    Museum by Mr. Yang Yü, Chinese Minister, Washington, D. C. "In the Chinese language the sign of the Swastika is pronounced wan, and stands for “many,” “a great number,” “ten thousand,” “infinity,” and by a synecdoche is construed to mean “long life, a multitude of blessings, great happiness,” etc.; as is said in French, “mille pardons,” “mille remercîments,” a thousand thanks, etc." (T. Wilson opcit, p.800)

    The possible migrations of the Swastika, and its appearance in widely separated countries and among differently cultured peoples, afford the principal interest in this subject to archæologists and anthropologists...The Swastika was certainly prehistoric in its origin. It was in extensive use during the existence of the third, fourth, and fifth cities of the site of ancient Troy, of the hill of Hissarlik; so also in the Bronze Age, apparently during its entire existence, throughout western Europe from the Mediterranean Sea to the Arctic Ocean...Professor Sayce is of the opinion that the Swastika was a Hittite symbol and passed by communication to the Aryans or some of their important branches before their final dispersion took place, but he agrees that it was unknown in Assyria, Babylonia, Phenicia, or among the Egyptians...Whether the Swastika was in use among the Chaldeans, Hittites, or the Aryans before or during their dispersion, or whether it was used by the Brahmins before the Buddhists came to India is, after all, but a matter of detail of its migrations; for it may be fairly contended that the Swastika was in use, more or less common among the people of the Bronze Age anterior to either the Chaldeans, Hittites, or the Aryans...Looking over the entire prehistoric world, we find the Swastika used on small and comparatively insignificant objects, those in common use, such as vases, pots, jugs, implements, tools, household goods and utensils, objects of the toilet, ornaments, etc., and infrequently on statues, altars, and the like. In Armenia it was found on bronze pins and buttons; in the Trojan cities on spindle-whorls; in Greece on pottery, on gold and bronze ornaments, and fibulæ. In the Bronze Age in western Europe, including Etruria, it is found on the common objects of life, such as pottery, the bronze fibulæ, ceintures, spindle-whorls, etc. (pp. 950, 951)

    Source: Wilson, Thomas, 1894, The Swastika, the earliest known symbol and its migration. Annual Report, US National Museum, pages 757-1011. Washington, DC. Govt. Printing Office.

    Thomas Wilson, Curator, Prehistoric Anthropology, US National Museum. His work on the Svastika (spelt swastika) presented in Annual Report 1894 (pp. 763 to 1011) is available at (Photo from an obituary written by OT Mason, 1902. After Fig. 10 in:

    Thomas Wilson notes in the Preface: "The principal object of this paper has been to gather and put in a compact form such information as is obtainable concerning the Swastika, leaving to others the task of adjustment of these facts and their[Pg 764] arrangement into an harmonious theory. The only conclusion sought to be deduced from the facts stated is as to the possible migration in prehistoric times of the Swastika and similar objects. No conclusion is attempted as to the time or place of origin, or the primitive meaning of the Swastika, because these are considered to be lost in antiquity. The straight line, the circle, the cross, the triangle, are simple forms, easily made, and might have been invented and re-invented in every age of primitive man and in every quarter of the globe, each time being an independent invention, meaning much or little, meaning different things among different peoples or at different times among the same people; or they may have had no settled or definite meaning. But the Swastika was probably the first to be made with a definite intention and a continuous or consecutive meaning, the knowledge of which passed from person to person, from tribe to tribe, from people to people, and from nation to nation, until, with possibly changed meanings, it has finally circled the globe." (ibid., p. 764)

    In the historical periods, starting from ca. 3rd cent. BCE, some hieroglyphs of Indus Script get venerated as sacred symbols. This cultural phenomenon is explained by the occurrence -- in Jaina Ananta gumpha of Khandagiri caves -- of svastika hieroglyph together with 'lathe/furnace standard device' and 'mollusc' component in hieroglyph-multiplex variously designated by art historians as s'rivatsa/nandipada /triratna. 

    Why did Indus script hieroglyphs -- e.g., svastika, portable furnace, pair of fish, fish tied to a pair of molluscs, safflower, pair of fish, fish tail -- get venerated as sacred symbols, displayed on homage tablets, say, on the Jaina AyagapaTTa अयागपट्ट of Kankali Tila, Mathura, ca. 1st or 3rd century BCE?

    The context is clear and unambiguous from a pair of glosses of Indian sprachbund attested in Kota language: kole.l 'smithy' kole.l 'temple'. Indus script hieroglyphs which signified products and resources of a smithy (e.g., minerals, metals, alloys, smelters, furnaces, supercargo) also signified the cosmic phenomenon held in awe by the Bharatam Janam, metlcaster folk that mere dhatu 'minerals or earth stones or sand' could upon smelting yield metal implements, and weapons. The operations in a smithy/forge became a representation of a cosmic dance. Hence, kole.l signified both a smithy and a temple.
     Srivatsa with kanka, 'eyes' (Kui). 
    Begram ivories. Plate 389 Reference: Hackin, 1954, fig.195, no catalog N°. According to an inscription on the southern gate of Sanchi stupa,
    it has been carved by ivory carvers of Vidisha.Southern Gateway panel information:West pillar Front East Face has an inscription. Vedisakehi dantakarehi rupa-kammam katam - On the border of this panel – Epigraphia Indica vol II – written in Brahmi, language is Pali –  the carving of this sculpture is done by the ivory carvers of Vedisa (Vidisha). 
    Ta. kaṇ eye, aperture, orifice, star of a peacock's tail. Ma. kaṇ, kaṇṇu eye, nipple, star in peacock's tail, bud. Ko. kaṇ eye. To. koṇ eye, loop in string. Ka. kaṇ eye, small hole, orifice. Koḍ. kaṇṇï id. Pe. kaṇga (pl. -ŋ, kaṇku) id. Manḍ. kan (pl. -ke) id. Kui kanu (pl. kan-ga), (K.) kanu (pl. kaṛka) id. Kuwi (F.) kannū (S.) kannu (pl. kanka), (Su. P. Isr.) kanu (pl. kaṇka) id. (DEDR 1159).

    śrivatsa symbol [with its hundreds of stylized variants, depicted on Pl. 29 to 32] occurs in Bogazkoi (Central Anatolia) dated ca. 6th to 14th cent. BCE on inscriptions Pl. 33, Nandipāda-Triratna at: Bhimbetka, Sanchi, Sarnath and Mathura] Pl. 27, Svastika symbol: distribution in cultural periods] The association of śrivatsa with ‘fish’ is reinforced by the symbols binding fish in Jaina āyāgapaṭas (snake-hood?) of Mathura (late 1st cent. BCE).  śrivatsa  symbol seems to have evolved from a stylied glyph showing ‘two fishes’. In the Sanchi stupa, the fish-tails of two fishes are combined to flank the ‘śrivatsa’ glyph. In a Jaina āyāgapaṭa, a fish is ligatured within the śrivatsa  glyph,  emphasizing the association of the ‘fish’ glyph with śrivatsa glyph.

    (After Plates in: Savita Sharma, 1990, Early Indian symbols, numismatic evidence, Delhi, Agama Kala Prakashan; cf. Shah, UP., 1975, Aspects of Jain Art and Architecture, p.77)

    Khandagiri caves (2nd cent. BCE) Cave 3 (Jaina Ananta gumpha). Fire-altar?, śrivatsa, svastika
    (hieroglyphs) (King Kharavela, a Jaina who ruled Kalinga has an inscription dated 161 BCE) contemporaneous with Bharhut and Sanchi and early Bodhgaya.

    clip_image004[3]Tree shown on a tablet from Harappa.
    [Pl. 39, Savita Sharma, opcit. Tree symbol (often on a platform) on punch-marked coins; a symbol recurring on many tablets showing Sarasvati hieroglyphs].

    Kushana period, 1st century C.E.From Mathura Red Sandstone 89x92cm

    Ayagapatta, Kankali Tila, Mathura.

    Vishnu Sandstone Relief From Meerut India Indian Civilization 10th Century Dharma chakra. Srivatsa. Gada.

    Rebus: dhamma 'dharma' (Pali) Hieroglyphs: dām 'garland, rope':
    Hieroglyphs: hangi 'mollusc' + dām 'rope, garland' dã̄u m. ʻtyingʼ; puci 'tail' Rebus: puja 'worship'

    Rebus: ariya sanghika dhamma puja 'veneration of arya sangha dharma'

    Hieroglyph: Four hieroglyphs are depicted. Fish-tails pair are tied together. The rebus readings are as above: ayira (ariya) dhamma puja 'veneration of arya dharma'.

    ayira 'fish' Rebus:ayira, ariya, 'person of noble character'. युगल yugala 'twin' Rebus: जुळणें (p. 323) [ juḷaṇēṃ ] v c & i (युगल S through जुंवळTo put together in harmonious connection or orderly disposition (Marathi). Thus an arya with orderly disposition.

    sathiya 'svastika glyph' Rebus: Sacca (adj.) [cp. Sk. satya] real, true D i.182; M ii.169; iii.207; Dh 408; nt. saccaŋ truly, verily, certainly Miln 120; saccaŋ kira is it really true? D i.113; Vin i.45, 60; J (Pali)

    सांगाडा [ sāṅgāḍā ] m The skeleton, box, or frame (of a building, boat, the body &c.), the hull, shell, compages. 2 Applied, as Hulk is, to any animal or thing huge and unwieldy.
    सांगाडी [ sāṅgāḍī ] f The machine within which a turner confines and steadies the piece he has to turn. Rebus: सांगाती [ sāṅgātī ] a (Better संगती) A companion, associate, fellow.Buddha-pada (feet of Buddha), carved on a rectangular slab. The margin of the slab was carved with scroll of acanthus and rosettes.  The foot-print shows important symbols like triratna, svastika, srivatsa,ankusa and elliptical objects, meticulously carved in low-relief. From Amaravati, Andhra Pradesh, being assignable on paleographical grounds to circa 1st century B.C --2nd century CE,

    An ayagapata or Jain homage tablet, with small figure of a tirthankara in the centre, from Mathura
     The piece is now in the Lucknow Museum. 

    An ayagapata or Jain homage tablet, with small figure of a tirthankara in the centre and inscription below, from Mathura
    An ayagapata or Jain homage tablet, with small figure of a tirthankara in the centre and inscription below, from Mathura. "Photograph taken by Edmund William Smith in 1880s-90s of a Jain homage tablet. The tablet was set up by the wife of Bhadranadi, and it was found in December 1890 near the centre of the mound of the Jain stupa at Kankali Tila. Mathura has extensive archaeological remains as it was a large and important city from the middle of the first millennium onwards. It rose to particular prominence under the Kushans as the town was their southern capital. The Buddhist, Brahmanical and Jain faiths all thrived at Mathura, and we find deities and motifs from all three and others represented in sculpture. In reference to this photograph in the list of photographic negatives, Bloch wrote that, "The technical name of such a panel was ayagapata [homage panel]." The figure in the centre is described as a Tirthamkara, a Jain prophet. The piece is now in the Lucknow Museum."
    View of the Jaina stupa excavated at Kankali Tila, Mathura.
    Manoharpura. Svastika. Top of āyāgapaṭa. Red Sandstone. Lucknow State Museum. (Scan no.0053009, 0053011, 0053012 ) See:

    Ayagapata (After Huntington)

    Jain votive tablet from Mathurå. From Czuma 1985, catalogue number 3. Fish-tail is the hieroglyph together with svastika hieroglyph, fish-pair hieroglyph, safflower hieroglyph, cord (tying together molluscs and arrow?)hieroglyph multiplex, lathe multiplex (the standard device shown generally in front of a one-horned young bull on Indus Script corpora), flower bud (lotus) ligatured to the fish-tail.  All these are venerating hieroglyphs surrounding the Tirthankara in the central medallion.

    Pali etyma point to the use of 卐 with semant. 'auspicious mark'; on the Sanchi stupa; the cognate gloss is: sotthika, sotthiya 'blessed'. 

    Or. ṭaü ʻ zinc, pewter ʼ(CDIAL 5992). jasta 'zinc' (Hindi) sathya, satva 'zinc' (Kannada) The hieroglyph used on Indus writing consists of two forms: 卍. Considering the phonetic variant of Hindi gloss, it has been suggested for decipherment of Meluhha hieroglyphs in archaeometallurgical context that the early forms for both the hieroglyph and the rebus reading was: satya.

    The semant. expansion relating the hieroglyph to 'welfare' may be related to the resulting alloy of brass achieved by alloying zinc with copper. The brass alloy shines like gold and was a metal of significant value, as significant as the tin (cassiterite) mineral, another alloying metal which was tin-bronze in great demand during the Bronze Age in view of the scarcity of naturally occurring copper+arsenic or arsenical bronze.

    I suggest that the Meluhha gloss was a phonetic variant recorded in Pali etyma: sotthiya. This gloss was represented on Sanchi stupa inscription and also on Jaina ayagapata offerings by worshippers of ariya, ayira dhamma, by the same hieroglyph (either clockwise-twisting or anti-clockwise twisting rotatory symbol of svastika). Linguists may like to pursue this line further to suggest the semant. evolution of the hieroglyph over time, from the days of Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization to the narratives of Sanchi stupa or Ayagapata of Kankali Tila.

    स्वस्ति [ svasti ] ind S A particle of benediction. Ex. राजा तुला स्वस्ति असो O king! may it be well with thee!; रामाय स्वस्ति रावणाय स्वस्ति! 2 An auspicious particle. 3 A term of sanction or approbation (so be it, amen &c.) 4 Used as s n Welfare, weal, happiness.स्वस्तिक [ svastika ] n m S A mystical figure the inscription of which upon any person or thing is considered to be lucky. It is, amongst the जैन, the emblem of the seventh deified teacher of the present era. It consists of 卍. 2 A temple of a particular form with a portico in front. 3 Any auspicious or lucky object.(Marathi)

    svasti f. ʻ good fortune ʼ RV. [su -- 2, √as1]Pa. suvatthi -- , sotthi -- f. ʻ well -- being ʼ, NiDoc. śvasti; Pk. satthi -- , sotthi -- f. ʻ blessing, welfare ʼ; Si. seta ʻ good fortune ʼ < *soti (H. Smith EGS 185 < sustha -- ). svastika ʻ *auspicious ʼ, m. ʻ auspicious mark ʼ R. [svastí -- ]Pa. sotthika -- , °iya -- ʻ auspicious ʼ; Pk. satthia -- , sot° m. ʻ auspicious mark ʼ; H. sathiyāsati° m. ʻ mystical mark of good luck ʼ; G. sāthiyɔ m. ʻ auspicious mark painted on the front of a house ʼ.(CDIAL 13915, 13916)

     Nibbānasotthi (welfare). saccena suvatthi hotu nibbānaŋ Sn 235.Sotthi (f.) [Sk. svasti=su+asti] well -- being, safety, bless ing A iii.38=iv.266 ("brings future happiness"); J i.335; s. hotu hail! D i.96; sotthiŋ in safety, safely Dh 219 (=anupaddavena DhA iii.293); Pv iv.64(=nirupaddava PvA 262); Sn 269; sotthinā safely, prosperously D i.72, 96; ii.346; M i.135; J ii.87; iii.201. suvatthi the same J iv.32. See sotthika & sovatthika. -- kamma a blessing J i.343. -- kāra an utterer of blessings, a herald J vi.43. -- gata safe wandering, prosperous journey Mhvs 8, 10; sotthigamana the same J i.272. -- bhāva well -- being, prosperity, safety J i.209; iii.44; DhA ii.58; PvA 250. -- vācaka utterer of blessings, a herald Miln 359. -- sālā a hospital Mhvs 10, 101.Sotthika (& ˚iya) (adj.) [fr. sotthi] happy, auspicious, blessed, safe VvA 95; DhA ii.227 (˚iya; in phrase dīgha˚ one who is happy for long [?]).Sotthivant (adj.) [sotthi+vant] lucky, happy, safe Vv 8452.Sovatthika (adj.) [either fr. sotthi with diaeresis, or fr. su+atthi+ka=Sk. svastika] safe M i.117; Vv 187 (=sotthika VvA 95); J vi.339 (in the shape of a svastika?); Pv iv.33 (=sotthi -- bhāva -- vāha PvA 250). -- âlankāra a kind of auspicious mark J vi.488. (Pali)


    [quote]Cunningham, later the first director of the Archaeological Survey of India, makes the claim in: The Bhilsa Topes (1854). Cunningham, surveyed the great stupa complex at Sanchi in 1851, where he famously found caskets of relics labelled 'Sāriputta' and 'Mahā Mogallāna'. [1] The Bhilsa Topes records the features, contents, artwork and inscriptions found in and around these stupas. All of the inscriptions he records are in Brāhmī script. What he says, in a note on p.18, is: "The swasti of Sanskrit is the suti of Pali; the mystic cross, or swastika is only a monogrammatic symbol formed by the combination of the two syllables, su + ti = suti." There are two problems with this. While there is a word suti in Pali it is equivalent to Sanskrit śruti'hearing'. The Pali equivalent ofsvasti is sotthi; and svastika is either sotthiya or sotthika. Cunningham is simply mistaken about this. The two letters su + ti in Brāhmī script are not much like thesvastika. This can easily been seen in the accompanying image on the right, where I have written the word in the Brāhmī script. I've included the Sanskrit and Pali words for comparison. Cunningham's imagination has run away with him. Below are two examples of donation inscriptions from the south gate of the Sanchi stupa complex taken from Cunningham's book (plate XLX, p.449). 

    "Note that both begin with a lucky svastika. The top line reads 卐 vīrasu bhikhuno dānaṃ - i.e. "the donation of Bhikkhu Vīrasu." The lower inscription also ends with dānaṃ, and the name in this case is perhaps pānajāla (I'm unsure about jā). Professor Greg Schopen has noted that these inscriptions recording donations from bhikkhus and bhikkhunis seem to contradict the traditional narratives of monks and nuns not owning property or handling money. The last symbol on line 2 apparently represents the three jewels, and frequently accompanies such inscriptions...Müller [in Schliemann(2), p.346-7] notes that svasti occurs throughout 'the Veda' [sic; presumably he means the Ṛgveda where it appears a few dozen times]. It occurs both as a noun meaning 'happiness', and an adverb meaning 'well' or 'hail'. Müller suggests it would correspond to Greek εὐστική (eustikē) from εὐστώ (eustō), however neither form occurs in my Greek Dictionaries. Though svasti occurs in the Ṛgveda, svastika does not. Müller traces the earliest occurrence of svastika to Pāṇini's grammar, the Aṣṭādhyāyī, in the context of ear markers for cows to show who their owner was. Pāṇini discusses a point of grammar when making a compound using svastika and karṇa, the word for ear. I've seen no earlier reference to the word svastika, though the symbol itself was in use in the Indus Valley civilisation.[unquote]

    1. Cunningham, Alexander. (1854) The Bhilsa topes, or, Buddhist monuments of central India : comprising a brief historical sketch of the rise, progress, and decline of Buddhism; with an account of the opening and examination of the various groups of topes around Bhilsa. London : Smith, Elder. [possibly the earliest recorded use of the word swastika in English].

    2. Schliemann, Henry. (1880). Ilios : the city and country of the Trojans : the results of researches and discoveries on the site of Troy and through the Troad in the years 1871-72-73-78-79. London : John Murray.

    Views of Koenraad Elst and Carl Sagan on Svastika symbol

    "Koenraad Elst points out that swastika had been a fairly prevalent symbol of the pre-Christian Europe and remained pretty much in vogue even until the 20th century. British troops preparing to help Finland in the war of winter 1939-40 against Soviet aggression painted swastikas, then a common Finnish symbol, on their airplanes. It was also a symbol of Austrian and German völkisch subculture where it was associated with the celebration of the summer solstice. In 1919, the dentist Friedrich Krohn adopted it as the symbol of the DAP because it was understood as the symbol of the Nordic culture. Hitler adopted a variant of the DAP symbol and added the three color scheme of the Second Reich to rival the Communist hammer and sickle as a psychological weapon of propaganda (Elst, Koenraad: The Saffron Swastika, Volume 1, pp. 31-32)...Besides pre-Christian and Christian Europe, the swastika has been depicted across many ancient cultures over several millennia. Carl Sagan infers that it was inspired by the sightings of comets by the ancients. In India, it was marked on doorsteps as it was believed to bring good fortune. It was prevalent worldwide by the second millennium as Heinrich Schliemann, the discoverer of Troy, found. It was depicted in Buddhist caverns in Afghanistan. Jaina, who emphasize on avoidance of harm, have considered it a sign of benediction. The indigenous peoples of North America depicted it in their pottery, blankets, and beadwork. It was widely used in Hellenic Europe and Brazil. One also finds depictions of the swastika, turning both ways, from the seals of the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) dating back to 2,500 BCE, as well as on coins in the 6th century BCE Greece (Sagan, Carl and Druyan, Ann: Comet, pp. 181-186)" loc.cit.:

    Svastika is a hieroglyph used in Indus Script corpora.
    It denoted jasta, 'zinc'

    A hieroglyph which is repeatedly deployed in Indus writing is svastika. What is the ancient reading and meaning?

    I suggest that it reads sattva. Its rebus rendering and meaning is zastas 'spelter or sphalerite or sulphate of zinc.'

    Zinc occurs in sphalerite, or sulphate of zinc in five colours.

    The Meluhha gloss for 'five' is: taṭṭal Homonym is: ṭhaṭṭha ʻbrassʼ(i.e. alloy of copper + zinc).

    Glosses for zinc are: sattu (Tamil), satta, sattva (Kannada) jasth जस्थ । त्रपु m. (sg. dat. jastas जस्तस्), zinc, spelter; pewter; zasath ज़स््थ् or zasuth ज़सुथ् । त्रपु m. (sg. dat. zastas ज़स्तस्), zinc, spelter, pewter (cf. Hindī jast). 
    jastuvu; । त्रपूद्भवः adj. (f. jastüvü), made of zinc or pewter.(Kashmiri).

    Hence the hieroglyph: svastika repeated five times. Five svastika are thus read: taṭṭal sattva Rebus:  zinc (for) brass (or pewter).See five svastika on Mohenjodaro prism tablet (m488)
    The text inscription on the tablet reads: cast bronze supercargo. It is notable that sphalerite can also be of high iron varieties and hence, the use of ibha 'elephant' Rebus: ib 'iron' together with svastika on a Mohenjodaro tablet.

    Hence, the gloss to denote sulphate of zinc: తుత్తము [ tuttamu ] or తుత్తరము tuttamu. [Tel.] n. Vitriol. పాకతుత్తము white vitriol, sulphate of zinc. మైలతుత్తము sulphate of copper, blue-stone. తుత్తినాగము [ tuttināgamu ] tutti-nāgamu. [Chinese.] n. Pewter. Zinc. లోహవిశేషము.துத்தம்² tuttam, n. < tuttha. 1. A prepared arsenic, vitriol, sulphate of zinc or copper; வைப்புப்பாஷாணவகை. (சூடா.) 2. Tutty, blue or white vitriol used as collyrium; கண் மருந்தாக உதவும் துரிசு. (தைலவ. தைல. 69.)
    சத்து³ cattun. prob. šilā-jatu. 1. A variety of gypsum; கர்ப்பூரசிலாசத்து. (சங். அக.) 2. Sulphate of zinc; துத்தம். (பைஷஜ. 86.)

    Hieroglyphs, allographs:

    தட்டல் taṭṭal Five, a slang term; ஐந்து என்பதன் குழூஉக்குறி. (J.)

    தட்டு¹-தல் taṭṭu-To obstruct, hinder, ward off; தடுத்தல். தகையினாற் காறட்டி வீழ்க்கும் (கலித். 97, 17) Tu. taḍè hindrance, obstacle Ma. taṭa resistance, warding off (as with a shield), what impedes, resists, stays, or stops, a prop Ka. taḍa impeding, check, impediment, obstacle, delay(DEDR 3031)

    Ta. taṭṭi screen as of cuscuss grass, rattan, etc., tatty; taṭṭu screen folded or plain;taṭukku screen, mat, seat. Ma. taṭṭi screen, tatty, mat used as a door; taṭukku little mat for sitting on, as of school children. Ka. taṭṭi frame of bamboos, etc., a tatti, matting, bamboo mat; taḍaku, taḍike frame of bamboos, straw, leaves, etc., used as a door, blind, screen, etc., tatty; daḍḍi tatty, screen, curtain, what screens or encloses, cage; flat roof of a house. Tu. taṭṭi screen or blind made of split bamboos, cadjan, palm-leaves, etc.; daḍèscreen, blind; taḍamè a kind of stile or narrow entrance to a garden. Kor. (O.) taḍambe a gate. Te. taḍaka hurdle or tatty, screen made of bamboos, etc.; daḍi screen of mats, leaves or the like, fence. Kol. (SR.) taḍkā plaited bamboos, thatch; (Kin.) taṛka mat; (W.) daṭam door Pali taṭṭikā- palmleaf matting; Pkt. (DNMṭaṭṭī- fence; Turner, CDIAL, no. 5990 (DEDR 3036)1. Pa. taṭṭikā -- f. ʻ mat ʼ, taṭṭaka -- m. ʻ flat bowl ʼ; Pk. taṭṭī -- f. ʻ hedge ʼ, ṭaṭṭī -- , °ṭiā -- f. ʻ screen, curtain ʼ; K. ṭāṭh, dat. °ṭas m. ʻ sackcloth ʼ; S. ṭaṭī f. ʻ Hindu bier ʼ; L. traṭṭī f. ʻ screen ʼ; P. taraṭṭīṭaṭṭī f. ʻ bamboo matting, screen ʼ(CDIAL 5990)

    *ṭhaṭṭh ʻ strike ʼ. [Onom.?]N. ṭhaṭāunu ʻ to strike, beat ʼ, ṭhaṭāi ʻ striking ʼ, ṭhaṭāk -- ṭhuṭuk ʻ noise of beating ʼ; H.ṭhaṭhānā ʻ to beat ʼ, ṭhaṭhāī f. ʻ noise of beating ʼ.(CDIAL 5490)

    Ta. taṭam road, way, path, route, gate, footstep. 
    Ir. (Bhattacharya 1958; Z.) daḍḍa road.  Ko. daṛv path, way.(DEDR 3014)

    Rebus readings:

    தட்டான்¹ taṭṭāṉ, n. < தட்டு-. [M. taṭṭān.] Gold or silver smith, one of 18 kuṭimakkaḷ, q. v.; பொற்கொல்லன். (திவா.) Te. taṭravã̄ḍu goldsmith or silversmith. Cf. Turner,CDIAL, no. 5490, *ṭhaṭṭh- to strike; no. 5493, *ṭhaṭṭhakāra- brassworker; √ taḍ, no. 5748, tāˊḍa- a blow; no. 5752, tāḍáyati strikes.

    *ṭhaṭṭha ʻ brass ʼ. [Onom. from noise of hammering brass? -- N. ṭhaṭṭar ʻ an alloy of copper and bell metal ʼ. *ṭhaṭṭhakāra ʻ brass worker ʼ. 2. *ṭhaṭṭhakara -- 1. Pk. ṭhaṭṭhāra -- m., K. ṭhö̃ṭhur m., S. ṭhã̄ṭhāro m., P. ṭhaṭhiār°rā m.2. P. ludh. ṭhaṭherā m., Ku. ṭhaṭhero m., N. ṭhaṭero, Bi. ṭhaṭherā, Mth. ṭhaṭheri, H. ṭhaṭherā m.(CDIAL 5491, 5493)

    Tatta1 [pp. of tapati] heated, hot, glowing; of metals: in a melted state (cp. uttatta) Aii.122≈(tattena talena osiñcante, as punishment); Dh 308 (ayoguḷa); J ii.352 (id.); iv.306 (tattatapo "of red -- hot heat," i. e. in severe self -- torture); Miln 26, 45 (adv. red -- hot); PvA 221 (tatta -- lohasecanaŋ the pouring over of glowing copper, one of the punishments in Niraya).(Pali)

    தட்டுமுட்டு taṭṭu-muṭṭun. Redupl. of தட்டு² [T. M. Tu. taṭṭumuṭṭu.] 1. Furniture, goods and chattels, articles of various kinds; வீட்டுச்சாமான்கள். தட்டுமுட்டு விற்று மாற்றாது (பணவிடு. 225). 2. Apparatus, tools, instruments, utensils; கருவி கள். 3. Luggage, baggage; மூட்டைகள். (W.)Ta. taṭṭumuṭṭu furniture, goods and chattels, utensils, luggage. Ma. taṭṭumuṭṭu kitchen utensils, household stuff. Tu. taṭṭimuṭṭu id.(DEDR 3041)

    அஞ்சுவர்ணத்தோன் añcu-varṇattōṉ, n. < id. +. Zinc; 
    துத்தநாகம். (R.) அஞ்சுவண்ணம் añcu-vaṇṇam, n. < அஞ்சு +. A trade guild; ஒருசார் வணிகர் குழு. (T. A. S. ii, 69.) அஞ்சுபஞ்சலத்தார் añcu-pañcalattār

    n. < அஞ்சு + பஞ்சாளத்தார். Pañca-kammāḷar, the five artisan classes; பஞ்சகம்மாளர். (I. M. P. Cg. 371.)