Indus Valley Opening Address by Navin Doshi

Opening Address to the Conference Proceedings by Navin Doshi:


Good Morning Friends:

We are gathered here to learn about the Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization, an amazing human society, we believe, have flourished 5000 years ago, establishing itself as the largest and most sophisticated urban culture in history. The ruins of this impressive civilization are twice the size of the Egyptian and Sumerian societies combined. The fact that these archaeological sights exist in two nations separated by a common partition, gives me a moment to pause and consider how so much of our world is divided and even antagonized by differences of religion, economics, philosophy, and just plain old politics. However, if we go back in time to review human history, we discover that each one of us, comes from a common ancestor and hence we are all related to each other. Based upon an article in the New Yorker Magazine, the most we are to anyone in the world is 50th cousin.

Well, with the aide of H.G. Welles’ “Time Machine”, let us go back tens of thousands of years. Ponder with me our oldest great, great grandparents originating in Ethiopia. Witness the first African tribes of Homo sapiens migrating to Asia, to India and then to Java and Sumatra. Concurrently, see with me these same ancestors parting and migrating to the north to China and America in the East and to Europe in the west. Observe the children of the first Homo Sapiens as they spread out and from a common origin began to divide into many tribes. Soon the tribes begin warfare for domination and much later on, rulers begin to control different tribes and those rulers become nations that colonized most of the world. Abridged histories are written—often by the rulers of the time or the nations that dominated those moments in our past. Still, these nations, these civilizations all started as one.

As we return to the recent years, we discover that we are reconnected in some shape or form. With today’s technology of the internet, cell phones and GPS systems, we are coming closer and closer to becoming one ocean of humanity again. This ocean of humanity is expanding its awareness in every field of human endeavor. However the holly grail in all these fields is the same that is unification, unification of four fundamental forces of Nature or the unity of human consciousness. It is the mental conditioning that has divided into warring tribes. We must remove this conditioning for our exponential growth within and without.

In many ways America represents the ancient past more than ever, for we see in America a rising diversity of cultures and peoples that have literally transformed its society. In humor, some time in 1970s, I would give my prediction to my friends that America is following the path of diversity that India has paved; I believe that has come true. Diversity in America is truly a mosaic of peoples from around the world. People from every nation on earth have migrated to experience the “American dream.” Perhaps that is why our new president has captured the imagination of people all around the world. He is the dream becoming reality. He has a father with roots in the oldest tribes of Homo Sapiens originating from Africa and a mother with European roots, one of the youngest tribes of Homo Sapiens. In America the mixing of tribes, or what I term “cross-pollinating” back to our origins, is thriving. In America, Irish immigrants married British immigrants even though they often hated each other in Europe. In America, Iranian Muslims marry Iranian Jews, even though they might find it very difficult to go back to Iran. Jefferson called Europe the land of “endless tribal wars” and yet in America French marry English, Italians marry Germans, and so on. I believe the cross pollination is one of the best courses to remove conditioned tribal revenge and retribution.

The objective of this conference apparently is to discover and learn more about our ancestors, and our roots in India. Though it may be difficult, it is necessary to remove our tribal bias. And I’m sure our participants will be giving their presentations without any bias.

In some ways, we are like the blind men of Hindustan having a strong belief in their own perception of an elephant. When each touched the elephant these blind men described it uniquely from their point of view. A good way out is to accept the results of all participants. Inconsistent results, if any, should be reexamined. Integration of the consistent results obtained from different fields of endeavor should give us the true image of the elephant. Here the “elephant in the room” is the missing river Saraswati, and how it disappeared.

We often forget how far we have progressed through co-operation in every human endeavor going back in time. Our ancestors, co-operating with each other, would kill a huge mammoth for food, build pyramids in Egypt and Mexico, and construct miles of the Great Wall of China.

I am sure the audience will agree that, after these scholars give their presentations, there will not remain any doubt into an undisputed coherent truth of our ancestors who had settled on the banks of the Sindhu and Saraswati rivers. Please note: the ancestors I’m referring to are the very same ancestors of all of us—no matter what part of the world our parents come from since they all are the children of the tribes of Homo- Sapiens originating in Ethiopia.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you to be a part of this conference, specially friends including Naresh, Dinker, Vikram, Jitu, Bhupen, and Bhupesh sharing the cost of this conference. Last but not the list, hard work of Nalini, Chris, and Debashish has made this conference possible. Please give them a hand.

Thank you.

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