History not only essential, but inescapable: Indologist Balakrishnan

Bhubaneswar, Dec 15: “History is not just essential, it is inescapable” said Indologist Dr R. Balakrishnan here on Saturday.

Delivering the 19th Lecture of Odisha Knowledge Hub Lecture series organized in the secretariat conference hall, the Indologist said, “Study of history is essential for rooting the people and events in their right perspective. Rootless people are often ruthless people”.

Dr Balakrishnan said history “is a narrative” and the historical events happened long before man started writing about those.

“As such, there is always an element of ‘narration and story-telling’ in the history,” he added.

Each tribe, each community and each institution has a story to tell which adds to the treasure of history, Dr Balakrishnan said adding, the oral history and collective memory in different parts of the Indus Valley civilization has not been appropriately built into the literature of history.

Citing the examples of the icon of Sun God at Konark wearing a horse riders’ high shoes, giraffe in Konark panels, two genetic types of

elephants on the walls of Konark, association of the name Chandrabhaga with Konark temple and many other evidences, Dr Blakrishnan hypothesized that Konark was a multi-national product of Odisha.

There might have been international events in Kalinga, the old name of Odisha, he suggested.

Introducing Dr Balakrishnan to the audience, Additional Chief Secretary and Development Commissioner Asit Kumar Tripathy said that Balakrishnan’s focus is on Indus Valley Civilization.

He follows a multi-disciplinary approach to map the post Indus migrations and trace the carried- forward legacies of Harappan culture.

“Because of his scholarly reflections and discoveries on Indus Valley

Civilization, he has been awarded Doctor of Letters ( Honoris Causa) by Periyar Maniammai University,” Tripathy added.

His research papers on Konark; Ancient links between Kalinga and Indonesia; Genesis of Sun worship in Odisha; and, Plural foundations of Jagannath Culture etc have brought many unknown facets Odishan history to world intelligentsia-forum during contemporary times, the Development Commissioner said.

 Tripathy added, apart from his research works on Odisha, Dr Balakrishnan guided and shaped many important Government publications like “The Cultural Atlas of Odisha”, “Charles Grome’s Report on the Temple on Jagannath”, “Nabakalebara-2015-A Visual Grandeur”, “ 80 Years of Odisha Budget’ and “ Listening Window”-Vol-1 of OKH Lecture series. His recent book Abadha Padachinha is the Odia translation of his research articles on Odisha.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik joined the lecture through video conferencing from his office room.

Chief Secretary Aditya Prasad Padhi presented OKH memento to Dr Balakrishnan on this occasion.

Advisor Odisha Skill Development Authority Suboroto Bagchi along with Additional Chief Secretaries, Principal Secretaries, Secretaries of various departments, historians, linguists, Professors from Universities

and Colleges participated in the open house discussion after the lecturer.

          In view of growing popularity of the lecture, it was extended to two other conference halls of Odisha secretariat and various district head quarters through video conferencing.

The Collectors along with senior officers, students, teachers, researchers from various parts of Odisha participated in the lecture through this video conferencing.

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