Mohenjodaro ‘Dancing Girl’ is Parvati, claims ICHR journal

December 26, 2016

The author claims that the Dancing Girl is Parvati because “where there is Shiva, there should be Shakti”.

Written by Ritika Chopra | New Delhi | Updated: December 26, 2016 12:07 pm

Mohenjodaro dancing girl, Mohenjodaro, dancing girl Mohenjodaro, Mohenjodaro artifacts, Mohenjodaro famous artifacts, Mohenjodaro news, India newsDates back to 2500 BC

The iconic ‘Dancing Girl’ of Mohenjodaro is Goddess Parvati, further proof that people of the Indus Valley Civilisation worshipped Shiva, claims a new research paper published in Itihaas, the Hindi journal of the Indian Council of Historical Research.

The research paper, titled ‘Vedic Sabhyata Ka Puratatva (Archaeology of Vedic Civilisation)’, authored by Thakur Prasad Verma, a retired professor of Banaras Hindu University, makes a case for the Vedic identity of the Indus Valley Civilisation and reiterates the longstanding claim of Right-leaning historians that Shiva was worshipped by the inhabitants of this civilisation. Verma’s interpretation of the Dancing Girl, dating around 2500 BC, as a Hindu goddess – the first such claim – is in line with this argument.

The research paper goes on to say that several artefacts excavated from Mohenjodaro point to Shiva worship in those times. According to Verma, the famous ‘Seal 420’, a seal of a horned figure sitting in yogic posture and surrounded by animals, is strong evidence of Shiva worship. The identity of the figure in the seal has often been the subject of debates. While archaeologist John Marshall in 1931 saw a “prototype of Siva” in this figure, historians have later differed with this interpretation and some have even suggested the figure is of a woman.


Further, to prove Shiva worship in the Indus Valley Civilisation, Verma states that the trefoil pattern seen on the shawl of the ‘Priest King’, another iconic sculpture excavated from Mohenjodaro, is sign that the king was the follower of a Hindu god. The trefoil pattern, he says, resembles the Vilva or Bilva leaves that are used to worship Shiva today.

The author then goes on to claim that the Dancing Girl is Parvati because “where there is Shiva, there should be Shakti”, a manifestation of the Goddess, though “till date, no one has identified any idol or statue of Parvati in Harappan Civilisation”.

Historian and Jawaharlal Nehru University professor Supriya Verma said this was the first time anyone had said the Dancing Girl could be Parvati. “Till date, no archaeologist has ever interpreted the ‘Dancing Girl’ as a goddess, let alone Parvati. This particular artefact has always been seen as the sculpture of a young girl. It is difficult to say anything more than that. The elaborate terracotta female figurines were described by Marshall as mother goddesses, although he categorised some of the other terracotta female figurines as either toys or as being associated with magic,” Verma said in an email to The Indian Express.

The latest edition of ‘Itihaas’ was released last month. This is the first edition of the journal published during ICHR chairman YS Rao’s tenure. Historian Sachidanand Sahai is the chief editor of the journal.

Fallacies of Proto-Indo-European — Nicholas Kazanas

December 26, 2016

Fallacies of Proto-Indo-European

Kazanas, December 2016

0.There was a P(roto)I(ndo-)E(uropean) language 10.000 years ago. Its reconstruction is impossible now despite enormous efforts by fanciful scholars. The closest extant language is (old) Sanskrit.

  1. I do not belong to the small circle of sanskritists, classicists and others who reject the existence of PIE. Admittedly there is no hard evidence for this language – no texts, no fragments anywhere. But the astonishing similarities that unmistakably exist between Sanskrit, Old Greek, Latin and other languages cannot be dismissed as chance events or borrowing or wave-influences. The languages involved starting in the East and moving westward are chiefly these: Sanskrit (or Vedic or Old Indic), Avestan (or Iranian in Ancient Persia/Iran), Tocharian (in Central Asia), Armenian, Hittite (Luvian, Palaic and few others in what is today Turkey), Slavic (branches in Russia, Bulgaria, Serbia, Czechoslovakia, Poland and few other areas), Albanian, Greek, Latin (and few other dialects in today’s Italy, Spain, France and Rumania), Celtic (Old Irish/Welsh), Germanic (the largest family with Gothic, Old High German, Old Icelandic etc) and Baltic (=Latvian, Lithuanian and Old Prussian).

From these ancient languages various scholars have over almost two centuries now, starting around 1800, “reconstructed”, so they claim, the ancient PIE. I shall not cite any of these reconstructions, except on rare occasions as absurd examples, because they are all imaginary, having no true basis in reality, since no trace of PIE itself has survived. Some laws of change and interrelation between (some of) the extant languages are valid since they are based on actual lexemes (=forms of words). But as soon as one moves out of these few oases of rationality, one wallows in uncertainty and conjecture.

  1. Let me start by giving some examples of close similarities. I leave out Avestan (or Iranian) because in most case the lexeme is very similar to Sanskrit. But I deal with some Indo-Iranian affinities in §8, below.

belly : S(anskrit) udara , Gk hoderos, L(atin) (venter?) uterus, B(altic) vēderas .

flesh : S māṃsa, Toch(arian) misa, Arm(enian) mis, Sl(avic) mesa, Alb(anian) mish, G(er)m(anic) mimz/mensā, B mesa.

knee : S jānu , Gk gonu , L genu , Gm kniw.

molar(tooth): S jamba, Toch keme, Sl zebn, Alb(anian) dhëmb, Gk gomphos.

Some human relations.

father : S pitṛ/pitar , Gk patēr, L pater, C athir (Celtic lost |p| almost everywhere), Gm fadar .

mother : is found in various forms in all except H(ittite)

son : S sūnu , Toch soy, Sl synǔ, Gk hui-, Gm sunu(s), B sūnus.

Natural phenomena

dawn : S uṣās ,  Gk ēōs, L au[s]rora, Gm eostre, B  aušra.

fire : S agni , H agnis, Sl ognǔ, L ignis , B ugnis.

rainwater : S abhra, Arm amb, Gk ombro, L imber.

star : S star- , Toch śreñ/ścirye, Arm astl-, Gk astēr , L stella , C sterenn , Gm stairnō .

Man-made objects

awl : S ārā , Gm al/āla , Old Prussian ylo , B yla .

butter : S sarpis , Toch sälyp-e, Alb gjalp, Gk helpos, Gm salba.

house :  S dhāma, Sl domǔ, Gk dom-a/-o, L domus.

wheel :  S cakra , Toch kukäl, Gk kuklo-, Gm hwēol.

Some verbs

be : S asti, Gk esti, Gm ist etc etc.

beget : S jan-, Gk gen-, Lt gen-, C gen-a/i.

grab : S grabh, H karp, Sl grabi-, Gm gre(i)pan, B grābt.

put : S dhā- , Toch täs/tēs, H dai, Sl dĕ-ti,  Gk ti-thē-, C do-di, B détí.

think : S man, Sl mǐnĕ-, Gk mna-/main-, L me-min-, C de-moin-, Gm mun, B many.

There are hundreds more. But enough examples have been given to show that far too many lexemes have close resemblance to assume anything other than a genetic relation. That is to say, the languages mentioned descended from one original mother tongue and each retained many or few aspects according to the influences it received once they had split, when groups of people speaking the original PIE began to diverge and move to different distant areas.

  1. Apart from lexemes there are similarities in the declension of nouns and conjugation of verbs and in syntax. Moreover, there are similarities in themes and motifs in mythology and in several customs, laws and social practices.

Below are the 1st Sing, 1st and 3rd Plural persons of the verb to be:

  Sanskrit Hittite Greek Germanic(Gothic)
sing 1 asmi ēšmi eimi im
pl 1 smas ––– e-smen sijum
pl 3 santi ašanzi eisi/enti sind

Except for the Gothic sijum ‘we are’ the resemblances are so close as to need no further comment.

I shall close this section with one of the many mythologems that are common to three or more IE cultures. Versions of this are found in the Sanskrit, Greek, Celtic and Germanic (Scandinavian) cultures.

In the Vedic literature we find Saraṇyu, daughter of creator god Tvaṣṭṛ, marrying the Sungod Vivasvat. But soon afterward she disappeared leaving behind her a shadowy likeness and assumed the form of a mare. Vivasvat located her, assumed the form of a stallion and mated with her. As a result the twin horse deities Aśvins were born.

In Greece, goddess Demeter disappeared to escape the sexual harassment of seagod Poseidon. She assumed the form of a mare. Poseidon located her with the aid of Sungod, became a stallion and mated with her. As a result was born a noble horse Areion and a girl. Then the goddess was worshipped in Arcadia as Demeter Erinus (=Saraṇyu: a sure cognation).

In Scandinavia the gods asked a giant-mason to build for them a huge wall within a certain date and would win a goddess as reward. With the help of his horse Svadilfari, the mason worked very fast and would win the bet with the gods. So they sought the help of Loki, god of tricks and transformations. He became a mare and kept distracting the mason’s horse. Thus the gods won their bet as the mason was unable to finish on time. The mare became pregnant and bore the eight-legged horse Sleipnir, the fastest ever. This was given to kinggod Odin.

Again the similarities are quite extraordinary when one considers how far apart the three traditions were and how none of the intermediate IE or non-IE cultures had this legend. But the element of sex with a mare is found in other legends and the Irish should be mentioned here. In one tribe in Ulster, the future king had to mount a white mare before his coronation. Then the mare was slaughtered and cooked and all people involved in the ritual partook of the mare’s meat.

In some IE countries bestiality was forbidden except for mares and in some cases cows. Wherever Christianity was established all bestiality was  prohibited.

  1. It is an established fact that we scholars love conjectures, models, suppositions, theories, about all subjects. When the similar IE languages were discovered and explored in the 19th cent, the desire arose naturally to find the mother tongue PIE. This was not forthcoming and it is unlikely that it will be discovered. So linguists specialising in this area, comparativists, began to contrive this PIE on the basis of the facts in these extant languages. They thought then, and now many of them are certain, that PIE could be “reconstructed”. The early attempts in the 20th cent were not very satisfactory and one generation after another “improved”, as they thought, on the work of the previous. By the 1990’s they felt confident that their methods had been refined and become very exact and scientific. And soon thereafter followed several studies presenting the last word on comparative IE philology and the reconstructed mother tongue PIE. (E.g. B. Fortson 2004, N. Ritt 2004, J. Clackson 2006.)

The first fallacy is that the comparative method is “scientific” and can offer predictions.   And the comparativists are very proud of their “science” – although there are some few who dissent and consider all this a waste of time (e.g. Leach 1990; Angela Marcantonio 2009, 2013).

There are in fact no predictions outside observable phenomena in the fairly rich documentation of comparatively early languages like Sanskrit, Avestan, Greek and Latin. For instance, Sanskrit |ś| appears in Greek most frequently as |k|, as in S daśa = Gk deka for the number 10, and S śăta = Gk he-kato for the number 100. But S /ś/ appears in Greek as |p| also, as in S aśva = Gk hippos for horse. When Mycenaean Greek was deciphered in mid-20th cent., it was discovered that it had iqo-/iqe- for horse. So the equation S |ś| = Gk |k| held true if |k| = |q|.

This discovery is, of course, no prediction at all. Because the other Greek dialects do not conform to this rule and the causes for the disparity are totally unknown.

In any event, the scientific predictions and reconstructions should concern the PIE itself. But this cannot be verified. Thus we are asked to accept the results of a “scientific” method that can in no way be verified. And this proposition comes from scholars who are regarded as mature, serious and well-educated. Yet they disregard one of the most basic conditions of scientific investigation: the results must be amenable to independent verification.

  1. Closely related to the previous fallacy, is the fallacy that PIE can be reconstructed.

It cannot. Apart from the impossibility of verifying the reconstructions since we have no genuine, original PIE linguistic facts, the data available from the various IE extant tongues contain many variations and contradictions. It is acknowledged by the more sober, older scholars that the extant languages descend not from the PIE itself but from dialects that had descended from it.

  1. Burrow who wrote a study of Sanskrit (1955, revised 1973), that still remains a standard text, wrote: “In the case of Indo-European it is certain that there was no such unitary language which can be reached by means of comparison… In fact detailed comparison makes it clear that the Indo-European that we can reach… was already deeply split up into a series of varying dialects” (11: 1973).
  2. Szemerényi, an eminent comparativist in his day but now out of favour and fashion, writes on one page that “the first task of the Indo-Euroepanist is … the fullest possible reconstruction of the Indo-European” to be used as “a starting-point for the interpretation of the system and its prehistory” but on another page writes that we need the reconstructed forms for easier reference (one form rather that the many in the diverse IE tongues) and elsewhere cites other scholars who assert that “complete forms cannot be reconstructed at all” (1996: 33)!

Like Szemerényi and others, I think all indoeuropeanist comparativists are aware of the absurd side of the matter, that is of reconstructing a language that cannot be verified, that is spoken by nobody and has no texts whatever! Don Ringe also, a respected contemporary comparativist, mentions the difficulties of reconstruction (2004: 1117). Yet the indoeuropeanists continue their “scientific” reconstructions degrading every sense of science and scientific investigation. In 2000 Calvert Watkins published The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots , while others publish textbooks for students!!!

It is customary to place an asterisk initially on every reconstructed lexeme (e.g. *deiwos = S devas ‘god’) but Watkins has put no stars on his roots: anɘ ‘breathe’ (PIE *h2en-?!!?) = S an; gnō ‘know’= S jñā ; mē ‘measure’ = S  stā ‘stand’ = S sthā; yag ‘worship’ = S yaj ‘sacrifice’; etc. So readers uninformed in the subject may well think that these concoctions are actual roots of an actual language. This is a minor difficulty. Watkins indulges at length in misleading everybody by not providing adequate information or by providing only secondary inessential facts. E.g. root anɘ : he refers to L anima ‘soul’ and derivatives, to Gk anemo ‘wind’ and derivatives and the name ‘Enid’ from Welsh eneit ‘soul’. But he does not say that only S has the root (dhātu) itself √an and the conjugation of the verb ‘to breathe’!

The epidemic with proto-languages has spread to linguistic studies of other groups of languages, like Afro-Asiatic, Dravidian, Finno-Ugric, Kurtvelian etc. Even within IE family, the comparativists deal with Proto-Germanic, Proto-Celtic, Proto-Italic (i.e. Latin etc) and so on. R. Woodward edited, with the help of numerous other comparativists, in 2004, the Cambridge Encyclopedia of Ancient Languages (Cambridge, Britain). Chapter 17, incidentally, describes briefly in 14 pages and in “scientific” terms, the IE Protolanguage admitting that it is not attested but “reconstructed”.

However, the mentality behind this reconstructed PIE is not all that different from the belief, current in St Augustine’s time in the 4th cent CE that all languages descended from Hebrew. It was Joseph Scaliger (1540-1609) who first challenged this mainstream inane notion.

  1. Another fallacy is very subtle: it is the tacit assumption that the reconstructed forms are actual and experts in this imaginary field discuss and argue among themselves as if they are realities.

If by some miracle a tablet should be discovered from say 10 000 BCE with a genuine (fragment of a) text of PIE, these experts would not recognise it as such because, I am sure, it would be vastly different from their reconstructions. I shall explain the reasons for my certitude below (§§ 7-11).

In an effort to convince others of the validity of the reconstructions, the IEnists use two analogies: one is the depiction of an animal, a drawing, in a biology textbook which is according to J. Clackson, “an idealised depiction”: the drawing corresponds to the creature (cat or caterpillar) but it is not the same as it (2013:270). Obviously the learned comparativist does not see the frightful fallacy here. The cat or caterpillar is drawn from real life; they are existing entities and the artist, or photographer in our days, has actually seen the animal itself and has not “reconstructed” it from scattered pieces, here and there, as philologists do!

The second analogy is the “map” of the sky and “constellations” like the Orion. These are presented in two dimensions whereas the actual positions of stars differ in depth and distance in space: some lie further away from earth than others (Clackson 2013:271). Here too our comparativist falls into the same fallacy. Sky-maps and constellations are real objects seen and photographed, not a concoction of pieces from different constellations in different areas of heaven as seen by us. The PIE tongue is not seen or photographed from real PIE elements: it is a new formation “reconstructed” with entities from different languages and projected as “real”. What has actual existence are the extant languages; the PIE is an imaginary collage, a conjectural projection without any real existence except in the linguistic books!

  1. The development of reconstruction has not been a straight line. At first Sanskrit was given prominence. Eventually a more “democratic” approach prevailed but one that regards Hittite as an older and closer descendant of the PIE. And since Hittite has a sound that came to be designated “laryngeal”, i.e. |h̯|, gradually this sound and variants were introduced to fill many gaps and solve difficulties met in comparisons. At one time these laryngeals were 10, now they have been reduced to 3. But they are wilfully introduced even in languages that do not have them, like Sanskrit and Avestan!

Sanskrit is not given the attention it deserves because it is regarded as more “modern” than Hittite, Iranian (=Avestan) etc.

This is due to the wretched AIT, the Aryan Invasion/Immigration Theory. This states that the Indoaryans (=ancient Indians/Aryans) came from Iran into N-W India c 1700 after spending some time in Iran with the Iranians and speaking a common Indo-Iranian protolanguage. They spread southward and eastward into the Gangetic plain driving the old natives south into the Dravidian area of India, or reducing them into the servile class.

This absurd Theory, like so many others, has become mainstream doctrine. It ignores glaring facts. The Avestan hymns say that the Iranians themselves wandered much before settling into South Iran and the first place they passed from was the Land of the Seven Rivers (in N-W India and Pakistan). A Sanskrit text, again, Baudhāyana’s Śrautasūtra (18.14) says that there was the Āmāvasa migration from Saptasindhu (Land of 7 rivers) westward and the Ṛgveda hymn 6.61.9,12 says that the 5 Aryan tribes spread beyond the seven sister-rivers!

However, I leave this fallacious theory as I have deconstructed it in my Vedic and Indo-European Studies (N. Delhi, 2015) and in numerous other publications.

According to my reading of anthropological, archaeological, genetic, linguistic and literary data, all expounded in detail in my two books (2009, 2015), the original IE homeland was in the larger area of Saptasindhu and covering Bactria. From there the various IE-speakers radiated to their northern and north-western and western migrations. The Avestan speakers are the last to leave and for this reason their tongue Old Iranian bears the greatest resemblance to Old Indic.

Baudhāyana’s ŚrautaSūtra 18.14 mentions two migrations: one eastward, the Āyava; one westward, the Āmāvasa producing the Gāndhāris, Parśus (=Persians) and Arāttas (=of Urartu and/or Ararat on the Caucausus).

  1. Another fallacy is the notion of uniform phonological change in the selfsame environment.

This does sound most reasonable. In fact, it is quite otherwise in the actual world of the texts. I shall take only one example from Sanskrit and Avestan, since they are such close relatives and neighbours, the sonorant vowel ||, which is by full consensus held to be PIE.

Observe please that this ||, remains in fact in all the Sanskrit words but changes variously in the corresponding Avestan!

S ṛṣṭi ‘spear’; amṛta ‘immortal’; vṛka ‘wolf’; vṛkṣa ‘tree’; ākṛti ‘form’
A aršti ;  amǝša ; vǝhrka ; varǝša ; ākǝrǝti

There are, in fact, more variations in Avestan – ōrǝ , ar , ra …

Writing on Kurylowitz’s ‘laws of change’, Heinrich Hock, one of the most eminent IE comparativists stated – “a prediction of when a change will or must occur is impossible” (1991:211).

  1. Another fallacy is the division into satem and centum languages: satem being Sanskrit, Avestan, Baltic etc; centum being Tocharian, Greek, Latin etc. As is generally known, the distinction is due to the appearance of palatals in satem (from Avestan ‘one hundred’ = S śata) and of velars (gutturals) in the centum (from L ‘one hundred’). However, this distinction is not so absolute as one might think. Palatals are found in some places in centum tongues and velars in satem.

The Baltic languages are three: Old Prussian, Latvian and Lithuanian. Well, in Lithuanian we find god Perkunas (and variants = Sl Perenu) who is cognate with S Parjanya. Thus S has the palatal |j| as is proper for satem but Lithuanian has the velar |k| which is proper to centum languages.

  1. The biggest fallacy and central to any discussion regarding the Protolanguage in IE studies is exposed by the presence of roots or more correctly dhātus ‘lexical seedforms’ in Sanskrit. When all the paraphernalia of PIE reconstructions are laid aside the investigator finds that, in plain fact, only Sanskrit and Avestan (to a much lesser degree) have roots! The other IE languages have verbs and nouns etc but not roots, as such, from which verbs and nouns etc are derived. Even Sanskrit has many words that cannot be analysed or traced back to a dhātu (apart from borrowed words): e.g. kakud ‘peak’, nṛ/nara ‘man’, putra ‘child/son’, balakṣa ‘white’, śūdra ‘servile’ etc. But it has 2000 dhātus all told and about 700 fully active in the early language.

In his Dictionary Walkins gives 5 roots ser, and of these he connects number 2 with S ̦√sṛ > sarati/sisarti ‘moves/flows/runs’ and then gets lost in the labyrinth of IE complexities. This |sṛ| is not found as an independent word noun or adjective, but is found in S as stem in sṛ-t ‘running’, sṛ-ta ‘having gone/passed’, sṛti ‘way’ etc. Then there are sara saraṇa, sarit, sāra, sārin etc. This is found also in a cognate form in Tocharian salate, in Gk hallomai and L salio, all meaning ‘leap/rush’, but only as verbs, not as roots and with very few derivatives. The most curious fact is that its derivative saras ‘eddy, whirl, wave, lake’ is in the name of the ancient river saras-vatī. This is cognate with Avestan haraxvaiti, also a river’s name; but there is no root nor other word connected with this harah in Iranian, so it stands alone! The mainstream theory, that wants the common Indo-Iranian tongue and culture in Iran, says that the Indoaryans went to Saptasindhu and there gave their version of the name to a river to remind them of their former country. This of course is utter, wilful nonsense, because saras has a rich family of lexemes and a dhātu but the Iranian haraḥ is a lonely orphan! So the movement must have been the other way round and the Iranians just lost dhātu and derivatives retaining only the name and memory of the river in Saptasindhu. (See§7-8.) Otherwise, it is impossible that the Indoaryans left Iran with only harah/saras and once in their new habitat started developing other lexemes and the dhātu √sṛ.

  1. Of the 700 dhātus in the early Vedic texts, 200 are found in the root-form as nouns or adjectives and also stems for verbs. Thus Vedic has √īś (m) ‘lord’ and verb īś-e ‘I reign’; but also derivatives īśa, īśin, īśvara etc. Similarly √ruc > ruc (f) ‘lustre’ and á-ru-ruc-at ‘one shone’ (in a past tense, called reduplicated aorist); but also derivatives ruk-ma, ruca-ka, rucin, rocana etc. Similarly √sad > sad (adj) ‘sitting’ and verb á-sad-at (aorist) ‘one sat’. 200 such dhātus with their families of derivatives (nouns and verbs etc) form a very rich inheritance – considering that no other IE language has anything. Tatiana Elizarenkova, the renowned Russian vedicist, put it like this: “the verb-root [=dhātu] is basic to both inflexion and derivation…it is irrelevant that for some root as such nouns are not attested”(1995: 50). Sanskrit has organic coherence.

The most telling aspect for the antiquity and significance of Sanskrit is precisely this organic coherence arising from roots generating verbs, nouns etc. This functions with the regular use of suffixes, verbal and nominal. I shall give only two examples, but the instances are hundreds.

S has the stems pad/pād- (weak/strong) ‘foot’ and √pad > vb padyate ‘befalls, falls’. Since the foot is the bodily part that in movement constantly rises and “falls” we see semantic as well as phonetic agreement. Gk has pous (Gen podos) and L pes (Gen pedis); Armenian, Hittite and Tocharian have similar cognates for ‘foot’. But none has a cognate verb like S √pad- ! Gm does have ge-fetan ‘to fall’ (Old English) and has cognates fôt/fuoz ‘foot’. Slavic also has pada/pasti ‘falls’ but no other nominal cognates. Lithuanian has the verb peduoti but its padas is ‘sandal, shoe’ (not foot).

The IE cognates for “daughter” present a similar case. S duhitṛ for daughter is the √duh and the suffixes i-tṛ, as in pitṛ ‘father’, aritṛ ‘rower’, aśitṛ ‘eater’ etc. The verb is duḥ- > dogdhi ‘extracts, milks’ (hence duhitṛ = milkmaid!). Gk thugatēr, Gmc tohter, Sl dušti and Oscan (old Italic) futir , have no other plausible cognates in their total diction. Surprisingly neither Latin nor Hittite have any cognations for IE daughter! The others have the noun but not the verb.

  1. I could give dozens of more cases which show this organic coherence in Sanskrit, which is totally absent in other IE tongues (See my 2015: ch 2). In another paper, “Rigvedic All-comprehensiveness”, I show that most of the significant cultural and linguistic IE features common in the other IE cultures are found in the Ṛgveda. All other branches show enormous losses in all respects – except erosion.

Is this aspect known and studied in depth by IEean comparativists? Perhaps. But they do not draw the natural conclusion that Sanskrit alone should be the basis for PIE. The other languages are made up of highly eroded and fragmented materials. In my view all the mainstream academic publications on the subject of reconstructing PIE are worthless.

Edmund Leach, provost of King’s College Cambridge, wrote many years ago: “Because of their commitment to a unilateral segmentary history of language development that needed to be mapped onto the ground, the philologists took it for granted that proto-Indo-Iranian was a language that had originated outside India or Iran…. From this we derived the myth of the Aryan invasions”. But he went further: “Indo-European scholars should have scrapped their historical reconstructions and started again from scratch. But this is not what happened. Vested interests and academic posts were involved” (Leach 1990:238).

I am afraid that the edifice of IE linguistics and reconstructions continues to be based on those “vested interests”.





Burrow T.                 1973  The Sanskrit Language, London, Faber & Faber.

Clackson J.               2007  Indo-European Linguistics, Cambridge (Brit), CUP.
2013  The Origin of the Indic Languages… The Indo-European Model, in Marcantonio (ed) 2013, ch9.

Fortson B.                2004  Indo-European Language & Culture Oxford, Blackwell.

Hock H.                      1991 Principles of Historical Linguistics 2nd ed, Berlin, NY, de Gruyter.

Kazanas N.                 2009 Indo-Aryan Origins… N. Delhi, Aditya Prakashan.

2015 Vedic & Indo-European Studies N. Delhi, Aditya Prakashan.

Leach E .                    1990 “Aryan invasions over four millennia” in Culture through Time (ed) E. Ohnuki-Tierney, Stanford, Stanford University (227-245).

Marcantonio A.       2009  (ed) The Indo-European Language Family: Questions about its Status Washington, Journal of IE Studies Monograph Series No 55. «Most reconstructions are artefacts».
2013 (ed with Girish Nath Jha) Perspectives on the Origin of Indian Civilisation N. Delhi, D.K. Printworld; Center for Indic Studies, Univ. of Massachussets, Dartmouth (MA).

Ringe Don               2004 in Woodword R. (ed) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the World’s Ancient Languages, Cambridge (Brit), CUP.

Ritt N.                     2004  Selfish Sounds & Linguistics… Cambridge (Brit), CUP

Szemerényi O.        1996  Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics (1990 transl from German) Oxford, OUP.

Watkins C.              2000  The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots Boston/NY, H. Mifflin Co.

Rāṣṭram — Chandas & Harappa Script संस्कृति, culture & प्रकृति, civilization

December 26, 2016


The idea of rāṣṭram which merges Cosmic Principle and Material Reality is outlined in the context of two works announced in this monograph.

Harappa Script hieroglyphs 1. echo chandas metaphors of 8th millennium BCE 2. data archive अर्थ artha, ‘wealth’ of Rāṣṭram, from 4th millennium BCE. One example is provided by the metaphor of varāha in chandas which is a hieroglyph rendered rebus (vikalpa) in Harappa Script Meluhha cipher.

Culture is a pattern of behaviour, civilization is a material expression.

In a time dimension, Harappa Script of Sarasvati-Sindhu civilization is प्रकृति ‘material expression’ of संस्कृति, ‘Veda culture continuum’. [प्रकृति is original or primary substance; in the सांख्य phil.) the original producer of (or rather passive power of creating) the material world (consisting of 3 constituent essences or गुणs called सत्त्व , रजस् and तमस्) , Nature (distinguished from पुरुष , Spirit as माया is distinguished from ब्रह्मन् in the वेदान्तs).संस्कृति is f. making ready , preparation , perfection VS. &c; hallowing , consecration BhP.; determination, effort.] 

In a space dimension, the culture and civilization are evidenced respectively, 1. in the ancient texts of Veda and 2. in Eurasia along the Maritime Tin Route from Hanoi (Vietnam) to Haifa (Israel).

The roots of संस्कृति, Veda culture (exemplified by rāṣṭram) and प्रकृति, Sarasvati-Sindhu Civilization (exemplified by Harappa Script) are traceable to 8th millennium BCE.

The common link is seen in the stunning depictions of Varaha as personification of Veda, in chandas tradition from 8th m. BCE.

The depictions continue in Harappa Script tradition of the Bronze Age Tin-Bronze Revolution from 4th m. BCE.

Varaha anthropomorph is an expression as Veda Puruṣa पुरुष, the very embodiment of Veda.

Puruṣa पुरुष is ‘the cosmic Being or Self, Consciousness, and Universal principle.’ This is a principle which creates all life and explains creation. The principle is a combination of material reality (Prakriti) and non-material, inexorable dharma-dhamma –aksara अक्षर  ‘non-changing’

Splendid and without a bodily form is this Puruṣa पुरुष , without and within, unborn, without life breath and without mind, higher than the supreme element. From him are born life breath and mind. He is the soul of all beings.— Munduka Upanishad

The limbs of the Veda, vedanga, according to this Upanishad are:

  1. Siksha (Phonetics)  :

  2. Vyakaranam (Grammar)

  3. Chandas (Metre)

  4. Nirukta (Etymyology)

  5. Jyotisha (Astronomy)

  6. Kalpa (Rituals and Mathematics) (Note: With the Harappa Script cipher we can add one more art&science discipline to complement language studies, mlecchita vikalpa, cryptography or hieroglyphic writing system. mleccha, milakkhu also mean ‘copper’. Meluhha  (aka mleccha) is defined as parole (lingua franca or spoken forms of language) of Bharata sprachbund, language union).

Harappa Script manifests the material reality (Prakriti). Veda manifests the non-material (Samskriti) cosmic principle of order called dharma-dhamma.

The common link  is seen over 10 millennia years of story of civilization of Eurasia, in अर्थ  in a tripartite structure of metaphors, which uses synonyms: resources which yield wealth, products as wealth and knowledge systems as wealth.

Metaphors of chandas (language of the Veda) find their echoes in the rebus Meluhha (spoken forms lingua franca or parole) renderings on Harappa Script cipher to data archive metalwork catalogues.

anthro3Only one hieroglyph is incised as an inscription text on Sheorajpur anthropomorph of ram’s horns with spread legs. Together with the fish-fins, this hypertext is a mleccha rebus rendering of the plain text: meḍ aya kammaṭa karṇaka ‘iron (metal) mint merchant, helmsman’

ayo meḍh ‘metal merchant’ ayo mēdhā ‘metal expert’

PLUS कर्णक m. du. the two legs spread out AV. xx ,133 rebus: karṇika कर्णिक ‘steersman’.

Note: mēdhā also has the semantics of: ‘dhanam, wealth and yajna’. An allograph: M. mẽḍhā m. ʻ crook or curved end (of a horn, stick, &c.) ʼ with the same cipher rendering of plain text occurs on ancient punch-marked coins which use symbols in Harappa Script metalwork tradition.

Medha = nipuṇa, pravīṇa, abhijña, vijña, niṣṇāta, śikṣita, vaijñānika, kṛtamukha, kṛtin, kuśala, saṅkhyāvat, matimat, kuśagrīyamati, kṛṣṭi, vidura, budha, dakṣa, nediṣṭha, kṛtadhī, sudhin, vidvas, kṛtakarman, vicakṣaṇa, vidagdha, catura, prauḍha, boddhṛ, viśārada, sumedhas, sumati, tīkṣṇa, prekṣāvat, vibudha, vidan, vijñānika, kuśalin   yaḥ prakarṣeṇa kāryakṣamaḥ asti।arjunaḥ dhanurvidyāyāṃ nipuṇaḥ āsīt।

मेधा f. mental vigour or power , intelligence , prudence , wisdom (pl. products of intelligence , thoughts , opinions) RV. &c Intelligence personified (esp. as the wife of धर्म and daughter of दक्ष) MBh. R. Hariv. Pur. மேதை¹ mētai , n. < mēdhā. 1. Supreme intelligence, powerful intellect; பேரறிவு. 2. Greatness; மேன்மை. (சூடா.) 3. Person of supreme intelligence; பேரறிவாளி. (சிறுபஞ். 22.)

Medhasa (adj.) [=Vedic medhas, as a — base] having wisdom or intelligence, wise, only in cpds. bhūri˚ of great wisdom Sn 1131; & su˚ [Ved. sumedhas] very wise Vv 222 (=sundara — pañña VvA 111); Pv iii.77 Medhāvin (adj.) [medhā+in=*medhāyin>medhāvin; already Vedic, cp. medhasa] intelligent, wise, often combd with paṇḍita & bahussuta: D i.120; S iv.375; Aiv.244; Vin iv.10, 13, 141; Sn 323 (acc. medhāvinaŋ +bahussutaŋ) 627, 1008 (Ep. of Mogharājā), 1125 (id.); Nd2 259 (s. v. jātimā, with var. other synonyms); Dh 36; J vi.294; Miln 21; DhA i.257; ii.108; iv.169; VvA 131; PvA 41.Medhā (f.) [Vedic medhā & medhas, perhaps to Gr. maq˚ in manqa/nw (“mathematics”)] wisdom, intelligence, sagacity Nd1 s. v. (m. vuccati paññā); Pug 25; Dhs 16, DhsA 148; PvA 40 (=paññā). — adj. sumedha wise, clever, intelligent Sn 177; opp. dum˚ stupid Pv i.82. — khīṇa — medha one whose intelligence has been impaired, stupefied J vi.295 (=khīṇa — pañña).(Pali)

Hieroglyph: So. ayo `fish’. Go. ayu `fish’. Go <ayu> (Z), <ayu?u> (Z),, <ayu?> (A) {N} “^fish”. Kh. kaDOG `fish’. Sa. Hako `fish’. Mu. hai (H) ~ haku(N) ~ haikO(M) `fish’. Ho haku `fish’. Bj. hai `fish’. Bh.haku `fish’. KW haiku ~ hakO |Analyzed hai-kO, ha-kO (RDM). Ku. Kaku`fish’.@(V064,M106) Mu. ha-i, haku `fish’ (HJP). @(V341) ayu>(Z), <ayu?u> (Z)  <ayu?>(A) {N} “^fish”. #1370. <yO>\\<AyO>(L) {N} “^fish”. #3612. <kukkulEyO>, <kukkuli-yO>(LMD) {N} “prawn”. !Serango dialect. #32612. <sArjAjyO>,,<sArjAj>(D) {N} “prawn”. #32622. <magur-yO>(ZL) {N} “a kind of ^fish”. *Or.<>. #32632. <ur+GOl-Da-yO>(LL) {N} “a kind of ^fish”. #32642<bal.bal-yO>(DL) {N} “smoked fish”. #15163. (Munda Etyma)

Rebus: Ayo & Aya (nt.) [Sk. ayaḥ nt. iron & ore, Idg. *ajes — , cp. Av. ayah, Lat. aes, Goth. aiz, Ohg. ēr (= Ger. Erz.), Ags. ār (= E. ore).] iron. The nom. ayo found only in set of 5 metals forming an alloy of gold (jātarūpa), viz. ayo,loha (copper), tipu (tin), sīsa (lead), sajjha (silver) A iii.16 = S v.92; of obl. cases only the instr. ayasāoccurs Dh 240 (= ayato DhA iii.344); Pv i.1013 (paṭikujjita, of Niraya). — Iron is the material used kat)e)coxh/n in the outfit & construction of Purgatory or Niraya (see niraya & Avīci & cp. Vism 56 sq.). — In compn. both ayo˚ & aya˚ occur as bases. I. ayo˚: — kapāla an iron pot A iv.70 (v. l. ˚guhala); Nd2 304 iii. d 2 (of Niraya). — kūṭa an iron hammer PvA 284. — khīla an iron stake S v.444; M iii.183 = Nd2304 iii. c; SnA 479. — guḷa an iron ball S v.283; Dh 308; It 43 = 90; Th 2, 489; DA i.84. — ghana an iron club Ud 93; VvA 20. — ghara an iron house J iv.492. — paṭala an iron roof or ceiling (of Niraya) PvA 52. — pākāra an iron fence Pv i.1013 = Nd2 304 iii. d 1. — maya made of iron Sn 669 (kūṭa); J iv.492 (nāvā); Pvi.1014 (bhūmi of N.); PvA 43, 52. — muggara an iron club PvA 55. — sanku an iron spike S iv.168; Sn 667.  II. aya˚: — kapāla = ayo˚ DhA i.148 (v. l. ayo˚). -kāra a worker in iron Miln 331. — kūṭa = ayo˚ J i.108; DhA ii.69 (v. l.). — nangala an iron plough DhA i.223;iii.67. — paṭṭaka an iron plate or sheet (cp. loha˚) J v.359. — paṭhavi an iron floor (of Avīci) DhA i.148. — sanghāṭaka an iron (door) post DhA iv.104. — sūla an iron stake Sn 667; DhA i.148.(Pali)

barāh, baḍhi ‘boar’ vāḍhī, bari, barea ‘merchant’ bārakaśa ‘seafaring vessel’

anthropomorphvarahaAnthropomorph, Varaha. Harappa Script

A composite copper anthropomorphic figure along with a copper sword was found by Dr. Sanjay Manjul, Director, Institute of Archaeology at the Central Antiquity Section, ASI, Purana Qila in 2005. This composite copper anthropomorph is a solitary example in the copper hoard depicting a Varāha ‘boar’ head. The Anthropomorphic figure, its inscription and animal motif that it bears, illustrate the continuity between the Harappan and Early Historical period.

Hieroglyph: mẽḍhā ‘curved horn’, miṇḍāl ‘markhor’ (Tōrwālī) meḍho a ram, a sheep; mē̃ḍh ‘ram’ Rebus: Медь [Med’] (Russian, Slavic) ‘copper’.

मृदु, मृदा–कर ‘iron, thunderbolt’  मृदु mṛdu ‘a kind of iron’ मृदु-कार्ष्णायसम्,-कृष्णायसम् soft-iron, lead.

Santali glosses.

Sa. <i>mE~R~hE~’d</i> `iron’.  ! <i>mE~RhE~d</i>(M).

Ma. <i>mErhE’d</i> `iron’.

Mu. <i>mERE’d</i> `iron’.

  ~ <i>mE~R~E~’d</i> `iron’.  ! <i>mENhEd</i>(M).

Ho <i>meD</i> `iron’.

Bj. <i>merhd</i>(Hunter) `iron’.

KW <i>mENhEd</i>


— Slavic glosses for ‘copper’

Мед [Med]Bulgarian

Bakar Bosnian

Медзь [medz’]Belarusian

Měď Czech

Bakar Croatian


Бакар [Bakar]Macedonian

Miedź Polish

Медь [Med’]Russian

Meď Slovak


Бакар [Bakar]Serbian

Мідь [mid’] Ukrainian[unquote]

Miedź, med’ (Northern Slavic, Altaic) ‘copper’.
One suggestion is that corruptions from the German “Schmied”, “Geschmeide” = jewelry. Schmied, a smith (of tin, gold, silver, or other metal)(German) result in med ‘copper’.

ayo meḍh ‘metal merchant’ ayo mēdhā ‘metal expert’

PLUS  karṇika ‘spread legs’ rebus: karṇika कर्णिक ‘steersman’.

barāh, baḍhi ‘boar’ vāḍhī, bari, barea ‘merchant’ bārakaśa ‘seafaring vessel’.

eka-shingi ‘one-masted’ koḍiya, khondā   ‘young bull’, koṭiya ‘dhow’, kũdār ‘turner, brass-worker’ kunda ‘fine gold’. Thus, the anthropomorph signifies a steersman/helmsman, metals expert, metals turner (brass worker, goldsmith), metals merchant with a dhow, seafaring vessel.

Normally, the one-horned young bull is associated with hypertext of ‘lathe PLUS brazier’. Sheorajpur where this anthropomorph was discovered is on the banks of Ganga in Kanpur District. An ancient temple in the village is Kereshwar Mandir. The Sheorajpur anthropomorph is a धम्म र्संज्ञा dhamma saṁjñā ‘duty signifier’ — like a calling card proclaiming his or her professional expertese in metal work and responsibility as a steersman of a cargo boat — sangaDa ‘double-canoe, catamaran, seafaring vessel’. The combination of animal parts (by inscribing a ‘fish’ hieroglyph on the chest of the ‘ram, curved horn’ anthropomorph) is sangaDa rebus: sangaDa ‘double-canoe’. A rebus reading may also signify Vajra samghAta ‘adamantine glue’ or metallic calx.

Image result for varahaVaraha and Bhumi, Badami

feetofbhudevi.JPGImage result for udaya giri adi varahaVaraha & Bhudevi (feet), Khajuraho; Varaha & Bhudevi Udayagiri caves

Image result for varaha sarasvati

Varaha and Sarasvati, Khajuraho

Image result for udaya giri adi varahaCoin with Varaha (Vishnu Avatar) on a Gurjara-Pratihara coin 850-900 CE, British Museum.


पृथिवी,  अग्नि

 havir yajna, pAka yajna


लक्ष्मी, द्रव्य, श्री

 Soma yajna


भारती,  वाक्

 AtmA is devatA, RishikA is वाच् आम्भृणी

Image result for gadyanaImage result for gadyanaKadambas of Hangal, Gold Gadyana in the name of Nakareshwara, the patron deity of Bankapur (1100-1200 CE), MCSI-I 225, 4.22g. Gadyana, வராகன்¹ varākaṉ n. < Varāha. 1. Viṣṇu, in His boar-incarnation; வராகரூபியான திருமால். (பிங்.) 2. Pagoda, a gold coin = 3½ rupees, as bearing the image of a boar; மூன்றரை ரூபாய் மதிப்ுள்ளதும் பன்றிமுத்திரை கொண்டதுமான ஒரு வகைப் பொன்நாணயம். (அரு. நி.)

अध्य्-ात्म  [p= 23,2] n. the supreme essence. AtmA is the devatA of RV 10.125; Soma —atma yajnasya (RV 9.2.10)

इला [p= 168,2] f. (closely connected with /इडा and /इरा , qq.v.) flow; speech; the earth , &c; » इडा. ऐल [p= 234,3] n. plenty or abundance of food or refreshment;इड [p= 164,2] m. N. of अग्नि (who is to be addressed with prayers , or invoked with the stream of flow of praise) VS. ii , 3; इलावृत n. one of the nine वर्षs or divisions of the known world (comprehending the highest and most central part of the old continent , cf. वर्ष) MBh. BhP. Ma1rkP. VP. &c; Pulastya was one of saptarishis, one of ten Prajapatis, mind-born sons of Brahma.Vishrava was the son of Pulastya; Vishrava’s wife was Ilavida or Ilavila. The son of this union was Ailavida or Ailabila. Ailabila performed austerities and became Kubera, the lord of riches.

भूमि a [p= 763,1] f. (Ved. also nom. भ्/ऊमी gen. abl. °म्यास् loc. °म्याम्) the earth , soil , ground RV. &c

मही 1 [p= 803,2] f. (cf. 2. म्/अह्) , ” the great world ” , the earth (cf. उर्वी , पृथिवी) RV. &c &c (in later language also = ground , soil , land , country); du. heaven and earth RV. i , 80 , 11 ; 159 , 1 &c ( Naigh. iii , 30); pl. waters , streams RV. ii.11 , 2;v , 45 , 3 &c

लक्ष्मी [p= 892,3] = द्रव्य L. f. (nom. /ईस् , rarely /ई ; also ifc. as mf. , but n(इ). ; cf. लक्ष्मीक) a mark , sign , token RV. x , 71 , 2 Nir. iv , 10; (but in the older language more usually with प्/उण्या) a good sign , good fortune , prosperity , success , happiness (also pl.) AV. &c; N. of the goddess of fortune and beauty (frequently in the later mythology identified with श्री and regarded as the wife of विष्णु or नारायण ; accord. to

  1. i , 45 , 40-43she sprang with other precious things from the foam of the ocean when churned by the gods and demons for the recovery of the अमृत q.v. ; she appeared with a lotus in her hand , whence she is also called पद्मा ; accord. to another legend she appeared at the creation floating over the water on the expanded petals of a lotus-flower , she is also variously regarded as a wife of सूर्य , as a wife of प्रजा-पति , as a wife of धर्म and mother of काम , as sister or mother of धातृ and विधातृ , as wife of दत्तत्रेय , as one of the 9 शक्तिs of विष्णु , as a manifestation of प्रकृति &c , as identified with दाक्षायणी in भरताश्रम , and with सीता , wife of राम , and with other women) ib. (cf. RTL. 103 ; 108 &c ); N. of various plants (Hibiscus Mutabilis ; Mimosa Suma ; turmeric ; a white तुलसी ; = ऋद्धि , वृद्धि , प्रियङ्गु , and फलिनी) L.

भारती N. of a deity (in RV. often invoked among the आप्री deities and esp. together with इला and सरस्वती accord. to Nir. viii , 13 a daughter of आदित्य ; later identified with सरस्वती , the goddess of speech) RV. &c; speech , voice , word , eloquence , literary composition , dramatic art or recitation MBh. Ka1v. &c

सरस्वती f. (of स्/अरस्वत् q.v. under स्/अरस्) a region abounding in pools and lakes MBh. i , 7745; N. of a river (celebrated in RV. and held to be a goddess whose identity is much disputed ; most authorities hold that the name सरस्वती is identical with the Avestan Haraquaiti river in Afghanistan , but that it usually means the Indus in the RV. , and only occasionally the small sacred rivers in मध्य-देश [see below] ; the river-goddess has seven sisters and is herself sevenfold , she is called the mother of streams , the best of mothers , of rivers , and of goddesses ; the ऋषिs always recognize the connection of the goddess with the river , and invoke her to descend from the sky , to bestow vitality , renown , and riches ; elsewhere she is described as moving along a golden path and as destroying वृत्र &c ; as a goddess she is often connected with other deities e.g. with पूषन् , इन्द्र , the मरुत्s and the अश्विन्s ; in the आप्री hymns she forms a triad with the sacrificial goddesses इडा and भारती ; accord. to a myth told in the VS. xix , 12 , सरस्वती through speech [वाचा] communicated vigour to इन्द्र ; in the ब्राह्मणs she is identified with वाच् , ” Speech ” , and in later times becomes goddess of eloquence » below) RV. &c; N. of a well-known small river (held very sacred by the Hindus ; identified with the modern Sursooty , and formerly marking with the दृषद्वती one of the boundaries of the region आर्य-देष and of the sacred district called ब्रह्मा*वर्त [see Mn. ii , 17] in RV. vii , 95 , 2, this river is represented as flowing into the sea , although later legends make it disappear underground and join the Ganges and Jumna at Allahabad ; » त्रि-वेणी , प्रयाग) ib.; speech or the power of speech , eloquence , learning wisdom MBh. Ka1v. &c; a cow VS. viii , 43

वाक् [p= 936,1] in comp. for वाच्. वाच् [p= 936,1] f. (fr. √ वच्) speech , voice , talk , language (also of animals) , sound (also of inanimate objects as of the stones used for pressing , of a drum &c ) RV. &c (वाचम्- √ऋ , ईर् , or इष् , to raise the voice , utter a sound , cry , call); Speech personified (in various manners or forms e.g. as वाच् आम्भृणी in RV. x , 125 ; as the voice of the middle sphere in Naigh. and Nir. ; in the वेद she is also represented as created by प्रजा-पति and married to him ; in other places she is called the mother of the वेदs and wife of इन्द्र ; in VP. she is the daughter of दक्ष and wife of कश्यप ; but most frequently she is identified with भारती or सरस्वती , the goddess of speech ; वाचः साम and वाचो व्रतम् N. of सामन्s A1rshBr.; वाचः स्तोमः , a partic. एका*ह S3rS. )

अर्थ [p= 90,3] [p= 90,2] mn. ([in RV. i-ix only n. ; in RV. x six times n. and thrice m. ; in later Sanskrit only m.]) aim , purpose (very often अर्थम् , अर्थेन , अर्थाय , and अर्थे ifc. or with gen. ” for the sake of , on account of , in behalf of , for “); substance , wealth , property , opulence , money; (hence in astron.) N. of the second mansion , the mansion of wealth (cf , धन) VarBr2S.; affair , concern (Ved. often acc. /अर्थम् with √ इ , or गम् , to go to one’s business , take up one’s work RV. &c ); sense , meaning , notion (cf. अर्थ-शब्दौandअर्थात् s.v. below and वेदतत्त्वा*र्थ-विद्)

Bharata artisanal competence in metals technologies is exemplified by Wootz (ukku) steel sword presented by Purushottama (Porus) to Alexander on the banks of Jhelum river and Delhi (Besnagar) or Kodachadri non-rusting iron pillars.

alexanderA painting in Steel Authority of India Institute, Ranchi.

kodachadriKodachadri temple, Karnataka and iron pillar. Culturally, smithy/forge was the temple of Ancient Bharata. kole.l ‘smithy, forge’ was also kole.l ‘temple’ a rebus expression repeatedly signified on Harappa Script Corpora points to the roots of weltanschauung of adhyatmika traditions of Bharata from ca. 8th millennium BCE. A priest of this ancient temple was shown on an exquisite statue of Mohenjo-daro with Harappa Script hieroglyphs (ca. 3rd millennium BCE) to signify that he is smelter and purifier (of smelted minerals). A dance-step and a woman with a wick-lamp signified on bronze statues are exemplars of the Bronze Age Revolution which impacted Bharatam Janam, ‘metalcaster folk’, an expression used by Viśvamitra in Rigveda (RV 3.53.12).

Significance of Harappa Script decipherment to explain the wealth of Bharatam ca 1 CE

It is a fact of great historical significance that Bharata accounted for 32.9% of World GDP in 1 CE.[i]

At the turn of the Common Era, Bharata was indeed a land of bahu-suvarnaka, riches of gold and metallurgical excellence as evidenced by the decipherment of Harappa Script.

This cultural continuity foundation built over millennia sets the tone and tenor for the History and Culture of Bharata.

angus[i] Pace Angus Maddison’s work for OECD.

The challenge is to extend this bar-chart back in time by about 8 millennia and enquire into the sources of wealth (Global GDP) recorded in 1 CE.

An enquiry into the sources of the wealth of Bharata (India) in 1 CE takes us on a pilgrim’s journey upto the 8th millennium BCE, based on the recorded evidence of Veda texts validated by archaeological evidences mostly from 4th millenium BCE.

Economic History of Ancient India–Artha, ‘wealth’ of Vedic rāṣṭram

This thesis is organized in the following sections:

Section A. rāṣṭram, seafaring merchants, artificers

Section B. Earth as wealth, wealth of minerals, metals

Section C. śreṇi, economic institution to create wealth

Section D. śyena, Varāha, metaphors of 1) mineral, metals wealth and 2) earth as wealth: सोमःसंस्था brahma-somāraṇya

Section E. Work is worship as an economic dictum

This volume is a sequel to the successful decipherment of Harappa Script Corpora as metalwork catalogues. Rigveda which is the oldest document of the civilization of Bharata contains unambiguous indicators related to the idea of rāṣṭram which is, in effect, a pathway for wealth creation for the commonwealth of people, ensuring abhyudayam for all and environment including flora and fauna. While attempts have been made to reonstruct the Economic History of the World (pace Angus Maddison) from 1 CE, there have been no major efforts to rewrite the Economic History of the millennia Before Common Era, say, from the days of the Rigveda dated ca. 8th millennium BCE. This monograph is a preliminary attempt at building upon the idea of rāṣṭram as the movement of wealths across communities as commonwealths and at narrating historical evolution of śreṇi as a social corporate form. In this attempt, significant leads are provided by the decipherment of the Harappa Script Corpora; in particular, the unique ceramic stoneware responsibility badges with Harappa Script which describe the assignment of specific functions to participants in a guild. The treasurehouse of ancient texts of Bharata provide the literary framework to define the weltanschauung of the people of the rāṣṭram. Archaeological discoveries, sculptures and iconography help validate this framework chronologically in an extensive contact area of Hindu Veda civilization that travelled along a maritime Tin Route stretching from Hanoi (Vietnam) to Haifa (Israel) through Eurasia, about two millennia before the dawn of the Silk Road.

Given the complex nature of the task, this volume is but a continuum of Harappa Script primer –Cryptography for metalwork trade (2016) and will continue to be a work in progress as multi-disciplinary researchers report their findings to enable us to narrate the History and Culture of Bharata.with fidelity. In a nutshell, this is an extraordinary history governed by the primordial value of dharma-dhamma as performance of one’s responsibilities for abhyudayam and nihśreyas—a veritable Pilgrim’s Progress in an enquiry from Being to Becoming, uniting the ātman with the paramātman. Economic history of Ancient Bharata is a story of artha in civilization – artha as defined in Kautilya’s Arthasastra: “The subsistence of mankind is termed artha, wealth; the earth which contains mankind is also termed artha, wealth; that science which treats of the means of acquiring and maintaining the earth is Arthasastra, Science of Polity.” (R. Shamasastry, tr., Kautilya’s Arthasastra, p. 607). The weltanschauung of Meluhha people who encrypted Harappa Script is expressed in a precise, unambiguous example of Harappa Script cipher: kole.l ‘temple’ rebus kole.l ‘smithy, forge’ (Kota language). This is an affirmation of a value system which governed the life-activities of Bharatam Janam that ‘Work is worship’. This is the principal lesson learnt from the Economic History of Ancient Bharata. Metalwork is one form of creating wealth of a rāṣṭram. अहं राष्ट्री संगमनी वसूनां (RV 10.125) ātmā is devatā of the sukta (RV 10.125); Soma is ātmā of yajna. Creation of wealth is dharma and a positive affirmation of one’s life activity consistent with one’s proclivities and competence. ಕಾಯಕವೇ ಕೈಲಾಸ kAyakave kailAsa — Basava. The idiom means: work is worship. mēdhā also has the semantics of: ‘dhanam, wealth and yajna’.

Table of Contents

Section A. rāṣṭram, seafaring merchants, artificers

Idea of rāṣṭram

Identifying Harappans as Mleccha, Meluhha, Indo-European speakers

Excerpts from ancient texts explaining some select terms of lingua franca 

Wealth created by seafaring trade in Ancient Bharata

Annex. Catamarans built in Malabar coast compare with sewn boats of 19th cent.BCE Ain Sukhna, a Red sea port

Section B. Earth as wealth, wealth of minerals, metals

Agricultural wealth, cotton textiles, forest products

Material resources, fire-workers, ayas and Bronze Age wealth from metalwork

Preface: Mleccha and Chandas: ferryman and scholar

Semantics of mleccha derived from ancient texts

ayas Vedic gloss in hieroglyph modifiers of Indus script, indicators of semantics of soma as a metallurgical process

A Munda gloss for fish is ‘aya, ayo’. Read rebus: aya ‘iron’ (Gujarati) ayas ‘metal’ (Vedic)

Section C. śreṇi, economic institution to create wealth

śreṇi, corporate Hindu economic institution

Historical evolution of śreṇi as a social corporate form

Corporate organization of artisans and traders

Co-operation to acquire wealth combined with social ethic

Corporate laws comparable to laws of guilds or śreṇi in Bharata

Nature of self-realization linked to ethical behavior: dāna; datta ‘[humans], give’!

Framework of rules for ethical behavior

Guild Laws (śreṇi dharma)

Guild Structure

Fundamental duties of the Guilds

śreṇi dharma, or social capital, the missing element of economics

Embedding social ethic in capitalism and socialism

Dharma saṁjñā Corporate badges of Indus Script Corpora, ceramic (stoneware) bangles, seals, fillets

Ceramic stoneware responsibility badges with Harappa Script

Khetri copper belt

Anthropomorphs as Harappa Script hypertexts

Section D. śyena, Varāha, metaphors of 1) mineral, metals wealth and 2) earth as wealth: सोमःसंस्था brahma-somāraṇya

śyena, orthography, Sasanian iconography. Continued use of Indus Script hieroglyphs

Varāha’s caṣāla as Harappa Script hieroglyph metaphor records weltanschauung of Veda culture & wealth of Rāṣṭram

Sarasvati as vāk signifies Rāṣṭram

Chandogya in 8 chapters is Vedantic philosophy

Spectacular Vedic discoveries of Binjor (4MSR)

Binjor yupa inscription on Indus Script seal is यष्ट्वा बहुसुवर्णकम् सोमः संस्था

Binjor seal

Yupa inscriptions

Contents of Mulawarman Yupa Inscriptions
Bahusuvarnaka बहुसुवर्णक

Item 1: Mortals do not taste Soma

Item 2: माक्षिक, the fly, betrays Soma

Item 3: Reference to Soma in the dual and plural

सोमःसंस्था brahma-somāraṇya, principal source of wealth of Ancient Bharata

Notes on brahma-somāraṇya (AŚ.2.2.2)

What then are the etymology & semantics of ‘Elo! Elelo! He’lava, he’lava !!’?

Soma, wealth

Śreshtri ‘squirrel’ rebus: Śreshthin, seTh ‘guild-master’

Detail of terracotta bangle

A. Meluhha, Proto-Indo-European speakers & contributions to evolution of languages of Bharata sprachbund (language union, linguistic area

B. Wealth of Bharata Rāṣṭram, significant contributions to world GDP and early corporate forms of śrḗṇi (guilds)

Octagonal yupa, caṣāla, ‘snout of boar’, Skambha Sukta, lingodbhava

Skambha Sukta AV (X.7,8) is an ādhyātmikā excursus into ātman and link with paramātman 

Atharva Veda (X.7,8) — Skambha Suktam

Vālmiki Rāmāyana refers to the performance of Vājapeya

Binjor: eight-angled yupa in yajna kunda

Procedure for vājapeya soma yāga

Process of carburization of metal explained as a metaphor in Vedic text शत-पथ-ब्राह्मण

Sarasvati sculptural frieze on the caṣāla चषाल ‘snout of boar’

Section E. Work is worship as an economic dictum


Harappa Script data archives of wealth creation




Arun Jaitley’s speech in Rajya Sabha on JNU

February 25, 2016

Published on Feb 25, 2016

Arun Jaitley’s speech in Rajya Sabha on breaking India activity in JNU. Shri Jaitley termed those who organized and participated the “breaking India” event in JNU Delhi under the title of ‘ A country without post office” as ultra leftist. Jaitley said Congress lost two PMs to terrorism. They should condemn this more strictly than we are. Jaitley said associating Dr Ambedkar with separatists like Afzal is sacrilege. Jailty quoted.

Full text of Railway Budget speech 2016 and other budget documents

February 25, 2016

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    Launch of unreserved, superfast trains, Antyodaya Express & Deen Dayalu coaches illustrate our unwavering commitment to serving the poor.


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    A passenger centric without any fare hike. यात्री की गरिमा, रेल की गति

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    Our efforts to comprehensively transform railways will gain even more momentum with this development oriented .

Full text of Railway Budget speech 2016 and other budget documents

Indian economy for dummies — S Gurumurthy

February 25, 2016

NaMo, MUDRA Bank has to succeed as SabkaVikas fulcrum. Remove the RBI bottlenecks.


Indian Economy for Dummies

Published: 18th February 2016 04:46 AM

Last Updated: 20th February 2016 09:50 AM


It’s that time of the year when ‘experts’ throw around intimidating economic jargon to ‘advise’ the government and ostensibly enlighten us all on what’s wrong with our economy. Starting today, we bring to you well-known commentator on political and economic affairs S Gurumurthy’s three-part series, Indian Economy for Dummies, to make the subject intelligible and less intimidating. In the first part, he lays bare hidden truths behind some obvious facts that are the most difficult to detect and missed in the Indian economic discourse, policy and budget-making.

Truths hidden in facts about India that are obvious to the naked eye are missed in Indian economic discourse and budget-making. Do you know that the share of corporate sector in national GDP is just about 15% after drawing Rs 18 lakh crore credit? And that it created just 2.8 million jobs? The informal sector on the other hand generates 90 per cent of jobs in India

>>Related: Indian Economy for Dummies – II

Obvious fact, hidden truth

Look at some of the obvious facts about the Indian economy. Household savings have been rising post-liberalisation despite average interest rates falling since the 1990s. Most of household savings get into low-yielding bank deposits even though the Indian stock market has been growing at a compounded rate of 14 per cent a year since 1991. The growth in Indian per capita spending is slower as compared to the rising per capita income despite the intense consumerist agenda powered by liberalisation. Indian households trust banks, gold and properties and not stocks as much. Indian public and private — domestic and foreign, listed and unlisted — corporates put together improved their share of national GDP from a mere 12% in 1991 to a mere 15% — by just 3% in over two decades of a policy regime that red-carpeted the corporates, particularly foreign. The share of listed corporates in the national GDP is just about 5% even now. And the share of the companies figuring in the Sensex is minuscule. These obvious facts hide some basic truths about the Indian economy. But economists tend not to see the hidden truth behind obvious facts. They even blame the obvious facts for the economic ills of India. They fault Indians for not investing in stocks and for not producing risk capital. Indians invest in gold, thus making their savings unproductive, they charge. And yet, they turn blind to the under-performance of corporates altogether. Hidden truths behind obvious facts are the most difficult to detect. Because unless one asks why it is so, the truth behind the obvious will remain hidden. Only critical minds can ask why and get at the truth — like only Isaac Newton did not blame the apple for falling but asked why apples were falling and brought out the truth of gravitational pull hidden in the obvious fact of the falling apple. The truths hidden in facts about India that are obvious to the naked eye are missed in Indian economic discourse. And therefore in policy and budget making in India. The elitist nature of the guild of economists in India, who look to the West for handling the problems of India, is the reason for their ignorance about the hidden truth behind obvious facts.

>>Related: Is Selling PSBs to Foreigners Rajan’s Agenda?

Insulated, arrogant

The profession of economists had become so respectable in the 20th century West that economists became more respected than elected leaders, who even fear them. After the 2008 crisis, The Economist magazine [July 19-24, 2009] wrote, “On the public stage, economists were seen as far more trustworthy than politicians” but added, “in the wake of the biggest economic calamity in 80 years that reputation had taken a beating. In the public mind, the arrogant profession has been humbled.” But despite that, economists still have an intimidating influence over politicians. But who are economists and what is economics? Decades ago [1973] J K Galbraith, a celebrated economist himself and a diplomat, wrote that economic services are ‘ideological’ and ‘consist in instructing several hundred thousand students every year’; the instruction is ‘inefficient’ but nevertheless ‘implants imprecise, but serviceable, set of ideas’ in the minds ‘of even those who are opposed to it’; they are ‘led to accept what they might otherwise criticise’. Galbraith concluded: “As such, it serves as a surrogate for the reality for legislators, civil servants, journalists, television commentators, professional prophets, — all, indeed, who speak, write or act on economic questions”.  The subject of economics and the guild of economists could not have been demystified more eloquently. What Galbraith meant is that the profession of economists is an oligarchy which perpetuates its own agenda by enforcing conformity within, not just to dominate over the elected political system, but to direct the whole public discourse. Is it not time then that the subject, economics, which has been monopolised by a self-perpetuating set of experts, is demystified, made less intimidating and less elitist? Is it not time that all intelligent people are made to understand the hidden truth behind obvious facts? The popular book series ‘For Dummies’, which claims to present non-intimidating guides for readers new to different subjects, deals with all subjects under the sun. With more than 200 million books sold, the series now covers over 2,700 titles, but surprisingly the subject of economics is not one of them! Therefore, economics for dummies is long overdue. Here is a first edition of it — an essay on Indian economy for dummies to start with. Just take one obvious and undisputed fact and see how the economic establishment looks the other way.

Jobless corporate growth

A study [July 2013] by Credit Suisse Asia Pacific India Equity Research Investment Strategy revealed that after more than two decades of economic liberalisation, the share of the formal sector, (namely the public and private corporate sectors together) in national GDP stood at just 15 per cent and that of listed corporates was just 5 per cent. Despite all the pampering by the government and economists, the formal sector’s share of the nation’s GDP improved by just 3 per cent in more than two decades. In this period, the sector had received foreign investment by debt and equity of over $550 billion and also drew over Rs 18 lakh crore from banks as credit. But how many jobs did it add in this period? Believe it, just 2.8 million! Economists would never mention the huge investment into the formal sector nor the insignificant number of jobs added by it, so that they need not answer either why it produced such jobless growth or ask who else provided the jobs. When I brought this to his notice, a shocked N R Narayanamurthy told me that as the software sector itself had added 3.5 million jobs, it meant that the rest of the corporate sector had actually cut jobs by over 700,000, rather than adding any. Did any economist or prime minister ever speak this hard truth that the big corporates do not provide jobs to the people? Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke this truth when he unveiled the Mudra finance scheme to the non-corporate sector on April 9, 2015. He said: “People think it’s big industries and corporate houses that provide higher employment. The truth is, only 12.5 million people are employed by big corporates, against 120 million by MSME sector.” He reiterated it when he wrote to small businessmen on April 15, 2015.

Unfunded job rich sector

And where from then did the jobs and people’s livelihood come? The Credit Suisse study says that 90 per cent of the total of 474 million jobs in India is generated by the non-corporate sector which contributes half the national GDP. The study labels this sector in the global language as the informal sector. But it adds that unlike in the West, where the informal sector is largely an illegal sector, in India it is legal business which remains informal only because the government has been unable to reach out to it. The Economic Census (2013-14) says that some 57.7 million non-farming and non-construction businesses yield 128 million jobs. The census classifies them as Own Account Enterprises (OAEs), implying it is self-employment. The census finds that over 60 per cent of OAEs are run by entrepreneurs belonging to Other Backward Castes, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes; more than half the OAEs and as many jobs provided by them are in rural areas; and nine out of 10 OAEs are unregistered. But this sector, which ensures both social justice and is rich in generating jobs, gets just 4 per cent of its credit needs from the formal banking system and the rest at usurious rates of interest. Here is a paradox. The banks fund corporates which add very little jobs. They are unable to fund the OAEs which generate ten times the jobs the corporates provide.

Citing the Credit Suisse study, The Economist magazine (August 2013) wrote that the best way the Indian informal economy may be formalised is to provide formal finance to them. The capital employed in the 57.7 million units is about Rs 11.4 lakh crore, according to the Economic Census. This informal (cash) financing takes place outside the formal monetary system supervised by the Reserve Bank. The Mudra finance scheme is based on the experience that banks cannot fund this sector. It has devised an innovative method of associating existing large Non Banking Finance Companies providing finance to this sector as National and State Level Coordinators and the small ones as Last Mile Lenders. Without co-opting the existing non-formal finance players, the OAEs cannot be funded.

This innovative effort is being effectively thwarted by a warped bureaucracy — Reserve Bank and the Department of Financial Services acting together. They are effectively scuttling the new Mudra Law promised in the 2015-16 Budget to institute the new financing model. Their objection is that if informal financing is formalised, that would add to the systemic risk. Is allowing close to Rs 12 lakh crore sub-monetary cash economy sourced in black and illegal monies to operate and gain interest rates ranging from 24 to 360 per cent, distorting formal savings, investment, and interest rates not systemic risk? Will the Raghuram Rajans and Department of Financial Services answer? Result, the Prime Minister’s Mudra finance scheme is being delayed, if not stymied by professionals who just want to keep their CV good for their career progress within the guild of economists.

In the second of a three-part series on the Indian economy ahead of the presentation of the Union Budget, well-known commentator on political and economic affairs, S Gurumurthy argues that the Indian family’s instinct to save in banks rather than spend at stores, which is similar to that of Japanese families, has insulated the economy from global crises. However, this cultural aspect has not been given due consideration when it comes to policy and budget-making efforts in the country. This, he explains, is due to the Western bias of Indian economists.

Domestic Impulses

Recall the economic discourse in the 1990s when, threatened by a forex crisis and nearly defaulting on its external debts, India liberalised its economy to allow free foreign investment and foreign trade. The nation was told then that as Indians did not save enough, the economy did not generate adequate capital, and therefore foreign investment was needed for growth. Emphasis was also laid on exports and foreign trade as the main drivers of growth. Looking back from the vantage point of 25 years of liberalisation, it is self-evident now that foreign investment has played but only a secondary role in the Indian growth story. The Indian economy grew primarily through domestic savings, which rose from 21 per cent of GDP in 1991-92 to as high as 37 per cent of GDP in 2009 and now hovers around 31 per cent. Domestic capital formation rose from 22 per cent in 1991-92 to a high of over 38 per cent in 2011-12.

Besides, it is not export but household consumption, close to 60 per cent, which was the mainstay of the nation’s growth. (In contrast, household consumption in China is around 36 per cent, which implies the disproportionately high external dependence of China.) Net foreign investment in India during two decades of liberalisation averaged around 3 per cent of national investment. Foreign investment mainly funded external deficit more than development within. Domestic impulses — in terms of both investment and demand — were therefore the core factors in the Indian growth story, the external forces being additives, though not unimportant. The world began taking notice of India as a domestically driven economy. Additionally, the Global Entrepreneur Monitor Study (2002) found that India (18 per cent) was ahead of China (12 per cent) and US (11 per cent) in entrepreneurship. This helped brand India as entrepreneur-led. But the Indian-establishment economists would still underplay the domestic impulses and speak and celebrate only the role of the external drivers in the Indian growth story.

Stable Families

What is often, if not totally, missed in the Indian discourse, and in the budget making, is the undeniable fact that the household sector is the strongest and stablest component of the Indian economy. Family savings rose from 16 per cent of GDP in 1991-92 to a high of  25 per cent in 2009-10. This is because of the relation-based cultural life that marks India out from the contract-based individualist West. Except for a fraction of ultra-westernised Indians, family is not a contract to live together, terminable at will. It is an integrated cultural institution of mutually dependent persons bound by relationships of caring and sharing. It takes care of the elderly and the infirm, the ill and the jobless, which constitutes its propensity to save. In most of the West, family functions have been taken over by the State through social and health security, which, in substance, means nationalising families.

The families being rid of their relational responsibilities, their propensity to save weakened and consequently the household savings in US which was 80 per cent of US national savings in 1960 nosedived to minus 20 per cent in the third quarter of 2006. Savings turned just a subject of personal choice of the atomised individual and ceased to be a cultural, filial responsibility. The sense of duty to the near and dear, more than one’s own rights, which is inherent in Indian family culture acts as the bulwark against the unbridled individualism of the modern West. It needs no seer to say that culturally India belongs to Asia, not Europe or America. As Barry Bosworth of the Brookings Institution wrote, in Asia savings are dynastic, not personal. The idea of a rational economic man, who acts only in his self-interest, does not apply to Asia or India where filial relations undermine self-interest.

As families in the West were nationalised, traditional government functions like water supply, road building and public utilities, began to be privatised. Significantly, in the US, nationalisation of families and privatisation of government went hand in hand from around the late 1970s. Liberal economic policies, largely imported from the US, have not been able to change the cultural behaviour of Indian families. This was brought out in the Economic Survey 2007-8 (see page 3 Table 1.2/para 1.4). The income-consumption-saving for the period 1981-2 to 2007-8, which covered 10 years of command economy and 16 years of liberal economy demonstrated that the ratio of spending to savings declined from 64 per cent in 1991-2 to 58 per cent in 2007-8 — implying that Indian families have defied consumerist trends encouraged by new economic policies. Noting this fact, the Survey says, “The average growth of consumption is slower than that average growth of income primarily because of rising savings rates.” It concludes: “Year to year changes in consumption also suggest that the rise in consumption is more gradual and steady process, as any sharp changes in income tend to get adjusted in savings rate.”

The behavioural model of Indian households has a lesson for policy makers — that is, shopping is not, and cannot become, central to Indian families. But, in the US, as the famous American anthropologist Marshall Sahlins says  shopping is the culmination of modernity. When an Indian household gets extra income it does not go straightaway to the shops. It saves rather than spends it. If the Pay Commission report is implemented, it will not cause instant inflation as the RBI governor seems to fear. This cultural differential is missed in the economic discourse and therefore in policy-making in India.

Similar to Japan, not US

Indian families, generally like Asian ones and particularly like the Japanese, are hooked to banks as the preferred savings vehicle. The bank deposits to GDP ratio in India was 34 per cent in 1992, and is over 70 per cent now — doubling as a proportion of GDP. The Indian stock market yielded a compounded annual return of 14 per cent between 1991 and 2015. Despite that the people have queued up before banks to deposit their savings. The share of equities in the total savings stood at less than 2 per cent in seven out of the 11 years (2004 to 2014). It exceeded 3 per cent only in three years (2007 to 2008) when there was an unprecedented boom in the stock markets. In the four years ending fiscal 2014, the share of stocks in national savings has been less than 2 per cent.

Elite economic thinkers often fault Indian families, which seek safe investment models, as backward and unenlightened. Some even fault them for saving too much. In early 1990s, Dr Jagdish Bhagwati, the India-born US economist, advised the Indian government to make policies to cut family savings by half so their consumption spend would rise. Fortunately, Indian families defied his advice. Actually, as their incomes expanded, Indian families ramped up their savings but maintained their moderate consumption. They lived within their incomes and hardly borrowed to spend. This alone insulated India from the contagion effect of the global crisis in 2008. Had Indian families followed the prescription of experts, they would not have saved as much as they did, which dramatically increased the national investment and GDP. Nor would they have avoided debts that would have risked and even bankrupted them. Indian families compare favourably with Japanese households which too are habituated to save and, like Indians, are also addicted to keeping their savings in banks, not in risky stocks. The economists of the West used to deride the Japanese financial system as inefficient for this reason. But when the monetary crisis hit the West, the Bank of Japan had the last laugh and proudly claimed that the Japanese financial system was safe and sound unlike the Western.

In a paper published in the Bank of International Settlements Site (BIS paper no 46, May 2009) two officials of the Bank of Japan (Shinobu Nakagawa and Yosuke Yasui) wrote: “The average Japanese household has a financial balance sheet that is far more conservative” than that of households in West, with “cash and deposits” representing “half of total financial assets”. In contrast, the ratio for US households is only 16 per cent and in Europe, about one-fourth to one-third. The authors asked, “Why do Japanese households prefer deposits so much over more risky financial assets” when other financial instruments are well-developed and heavily traded in Japan, unlike in some other Asian markets? They answered, “the elderly Japanese were educated to believe that saving through bank deposits was a virtue”. They went on to assert “that the Japanese household sector, far from being a shock originator, is rather a shock absorber” even as they admitted that the risk is therefore “concentrated in the Japanese banking system”, which “continues to be a matter to resolve.”

This is precisely the Indian situation. The risk of financing business is on the Indian banks like it is on the banks in Japan. The Japanese banks, like the Indian ones, also have the same issue of Non-Performing Assets. How they handle the NPA problem will be relevant to India. But the RBI, prone to looking at the West, ignores the Japanese parallel, which is nearer to the Indian filial and financial system. With the result that the RBI is strangulating the Indian economy by applying Western standards when the nation is struggling to come out of almost a decade of economic destruction by the UPA, particularly UPA II. This is a topic by itself.

The author is a well-known commentator on economic and political affairs.


If news reports are to be believed, the Finance Ministry seems to be caving in to the RBI strategy to sell Public Sector Banks and is raising the limits of FDI in banks to 49% — thus virtually paving the way for handing the PSBs, which are at the heart of the national economy, to global financial interests. If the RBI Governor succeeds, it will be a disaster for India.

PSBs, the core

An obvious truth, but, that hardly figures in public discourse, is that Indian financial economy is bank-driven — more precisely, it is Public Sector Bank (PSB) centric. Economic thinkers and policy makers seem to regard the PSBs as a problem, rather than as the most valuable financial asset of Indian economy. It is undeniable that banking in India almost means PSBs, which hold 80% of the deposits of commercial banks. As the Indian economic establishment looks at only the Anglo-Saxon economies, which are market-driven — read equity market — they do not seem to be conscious that the world’s most efficient economy, Germany, too is largely bank-led. Yet another equally efficient economy, Japan, is also equally dominantly bank-led. In both Germany and Japan, unlike in the US or England, stock markets do not have primacy — either to mobilise capital or to distribute it.

>>Related: Indian Economy for Dummies – I

Look at India’s financial structure. Nine-tenths of Indian savings is in safe investment models. More than half of it in banks. The deposits in PSBs amount to over 50% of the GDP. Besides mobilising four-fifths of deposits, PSBs are involved in building financial architecture for formalising the economy on a phenomenal scale, which the private banks cannot even think of. For example, PSBs have opened some 78% of the 20.7 crore accounts under the Prime Minister’s Jan Dhan Yojana (PMJDY).

With Regional Rural Banks accounting for 19% of the PMJDY accounts, private banks contributed just 3% of the accounts. The PSBs’ share of Mudra loans for micro businesses is 60%. Even though bank deposits yield just half as the stocks do, 40% of the Indian household savings move into banks. The celebrated stock market, which offers double the return as the banks, hardly attracts 2% of the nation’s savings. While the public prefer to put their savings in banks, they seem to have enduring trust in PSBs. The Indian economy is not just bank-led, it is PSBs-led. Yet, there is not a word about what good work the PSBs do or about their successes in the economic discourse.

   >>Related: Indian Economy for Dummies – II

Worse, the PSBs which are at the heart of the national economy are ceaselessly trivialised, derided and demeaned in the nation’s economic discourse. Their failings are highlighted and their merits suppressed. The dislike for PSBs appears more ideological — and less logical. The main objection to the PSBs is that they are state-owned.

The ideology is that if the PSB ownership is turned private, they will become efficient — because efficient market theory abhors public ownership. It needs no seer to say that the private global banks regarded as the biggest and the best in US had all but declared bankruptcy in 2008. They had to be rescued by government. Private ownership, while it may promote efficiency, does not assure solvency. In fact, their super efficiency itself led to bankruptcy.

Global banking complexity

Recently (Feb 16, 2016), Bloomberg wrote a chilling analytical story titled, “The European Banks face a frightening future”. They are all celebrated global banks — Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays, UBS, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, UniCredit and Standard Chartered.

But they had laid off close to 75,000 employees since 2008. In 2008, the experts said that the crisis happened because of lack of regulation. According to Bloomberg, now the banks say that, “regulation has made the world more dangerous”. The chairman of the Eurogroup, made up of Euro area’s finance ministers, countered, “Don’t say we have over regulated the banks” adding that it is the opposite, as what is impeding economic recovery are “the effects of a financial crisis” which was “not caused by over regulation”.

The truth is that the banking industry in the West has become complex. The truth again is that they are struggling over how to become simple again! Say Bloomberg analysts: “In the end, the banking industry troubles can be traced to one thing — the cost of complexity. From the moment the banks went global in the late 1990s, skeptics decried these behemoths are too big to manage, let alone too big to fail. But the institutions thrived on the very creation of complexity in their products and in the markets.”

Former Deutsche Bank CEO Josef Achermann said, “There’s once again a flight to simplicity. That is what the regulators are demanding… The unbundling of banking services is undoubtedly complicated and perhaps even fraught with unseen dangers. And it is really all about getting back to basics.” There is a message for India in the Bloomberg report. What is the problem of these banks? They are not banks as the Indian economy or people or law understand. Indian law defines banking as “accepting for the purpose of lending or investment of deposits of money from the public”. This is simple banking. If these global giants, who had complicated the idea of banking and messed up themselves, their and world economy, bought out the PSBs, would they manage them better? Or mess them up as they have messed up themselves?

Sledge hammer approach

The RBI is applying the Basel banking norms developed for the complex banking business of the West on the Indian banking system which is simple but highly regulated. Applying Western banking norms for provisioning for Non-Performing Assets (NPAs) in Indian banks is to apply the rules of the rogue Western game of Rugby for the simple local game of Kabaddi. One simple differential is sufficient to show how inappropriate are the provisioning rules of Western banking to Indian banks. The provisioning rules are intended to ensure that depositors and investors are protected.

The Statutory Liquidity Ratio (SLR) and Cash Reserve Ratio (CRR) together absorb and protect 27.5% of bank deposits. Actually, Indian banks’ investment is almost close to 30% in government securities. Therefore, over 35% of the bank deposits are protected by government securities. Nowhere in the world such actual security cover is available to depositors. Again, the Indian banks protect and de-risk themselves by personal guarantees and collaterals. None of these realities are reckoned by the RBI in devising its “sledge hammer approach”, as a leading banker described Raghuram Rajan’s fiat to banks — particularly PSBs — to provide for stressed assets or get lost.

RBI looks to West

What is the extent of NPAs which is making the RBI governor restless? A report in the Forbes magazine (Feb 16, 2016) says, quoting Credit Suisse, that the NPA levels of Indian banks would move to 6.6% by March. The Indian banks have reported much higher NPA levels in the past. NPAs remained around 8-9% from 2003 to 2011. Thereafter, it began declining — to 6.5% in 2012, 4.5% in 2013 and 4.9% in 2014. When the economy was doing very well between 2003 and 2011, the NPA levels have been far higher.

The sledge hammer approach should have been adopted then, when the banks and the economy could well have absorbed it. Nations pass through such phases. The NPAs in Japanese banks ranged from 8% to 9% in the 1990s till 2001 and it was 7.5%  in 2002 (BIS paper No 46 May 2009) and only thereafter, it began to fall. Despite the NPAs exceeding a $ trillion, the Bank of Japan did not take the sledge hammer in hand, like Rajan is doing.

The Japanese banks, which were all private, were not writing off bad loans because of inadequate capital — like the PSBs. Yet, the banks were not compelled to provide for bad loans, because that would have caused imminent crisis of confidence in the banking system. The government stepped in to support the banks with public funds to the extent of 30 trillion yen. Whenever private banks face crisis, the government becomes the ultimate saviour. This was true of the Japanese banking crisis of 1990s and of the US financial crisis of 2008. When the State steps in, confidence gets restored in private banking. That is not the case here. There are three critical differentials which are the protective walls of the Indian financial system and Indian economy.

First, there is no capital account convertibility which will expose Indian banking to global finance. Next, India has rightly not opened the banking system to foreign investment. Third, PSBs are state-owned. These three basic facts ensure that PSBs face no imminent threat. Threat to banks from NPAs is imminent when they are privately owned; they are open to foreign ownership and the currency is full convertible. Disregarding the basic strengths of the PSBs, Rajan appears to turn a prudential issue into a banking crisis. Would Rajan have taken the sledge hammer if the PSBs were privately owned? He would never have because that would have set off a banking crisis. Is he then doing it only because the PSBs are state-owned banks?

Design to sell PSBs to foreigners?

The RBI’s NPA policy appears to be more the outcome of an ideological accountant’s mindset than the product of a practical banker’s wisdom. When the world over, central banks are buying stressed assets and junk bonds held by banks to de-stress the banks and make them carry on their business, Rajan is doing precisely the opposite. He is coercing the banks to provide for NPAs, when he knows that they do not have the surplus to absorb the loss.

It means the banks will need to be recapitalised to the extent of losses. Here Rajan goes one step further and virtually makes it impossible for the government to recapitalise. He is morally coercing the government to meet the fiscal targets. That is not his domain. That is the sovereign business and Parliament’s function. He knows that if the government were to cut fiscal deficit, it cannot recapitalise the PSBs. Is he then compelling the government to privatise the PSBs? That is, forcing the government to sell them to foreign banks as the scale of capital needed to buy the PSBs is not available with private corporates in India.

If news reports are to be believed, the finance ministry seems to be caving in to the RBI strategy to sell PSBs and is raising the limits of FDI into banks to 49% — thus virtually paving the way for handing the PSBs to global financial interests. If Rajan succeeds, it will be a disaster for India. But it is bound to do good for Rajan, as the world of free market will idolise him for privatising and globalising the hardcore of Indian financial system — the PSBs. His CV will become the most sought after when he retires in the coming winter. Why then should he bother about what happens to India? But surely, the Modi government should be bothered about India. Isn’t it?

NaMo, ignore GST, nationalise kaalaadhan

February 24, 2016

Budget 2016: Common man and the Government

With the Union Budget just around the corner, what are the challenges faced by the government ?

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Budget – What is the common man looking for?

It is the season of union budget. This is the time of the year when dreams, hopes and expectations run high in the country. Starting with the average person on the street to the corporate scions, all sections of the society are looking forward to a slew of concessions from the union finance minister. The last working day of the month of February is one of the most crucial days of the year which could make or mar the dreams of millions of people for the next 365 days.

If the promises given by the former finance ministers while presenting the union budgets are to be taken seriously, the living standard of the common man should have gone up by leaps and bounds over the last few decades. There was this finance minister from Tamil Nadu who had no qualms in peppering his budget speeches with names of Bollywood blockbusters like Main Hoon Na? Chak De! India and what not. It is another matter that all his budget proposals ended up like rotten masalas and he himself is facing a series of criminal cases ranging from money laundering to official impropriety. He also ensured that the economy of the country has gone to the dogs.

The sad truth is that even after 69 years of independence, the life of the common man continues to rot. One has to struggle to meet three square meals a day and clean drinking water. This is despite the fact that the country is bestowed with some of the best rivers in the world through which billions of cubic feet of water is wasted into the Bay of Bengal and Arabian Sea. States like Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala are on  an eternal war over sharing of river water and lowering the height of dams which are more than 150 years old.

Travel by trains or buses in India is the most uncertain thing in the  world. There is no guarantee that you will reach the destination as per the schedule announced earlier. Rail tracks need to be replaced, while the condition of Indian highways is better leave unsaid. The only guarantee is the number of toll booths along the highways which are strict and sincere in collecting the boots.

The fair price shops in the country(also known as ration shops) which distribute essential commodities like rice, wheat, sugar and kerosene could be identified from a distance of one kilometre thanks to the foul smell emanating from the rice and wheat stock! The poor need to eat only this kind of stuff, say the bureaucrats. Isn’t it possible for us to have public distribution shops of the same standard as that of super markets which we see in modern shopping malls?

Shouldn’t we have buses and trains of global standards which travel much faster so that we could save our time and money? Shouldn’t we have super speciality hospitals which could be accessed by all irrespective of their financial standings? Shouldn’t we have educational institutions where our children could complete their formal and informal education at affordable costs?

These are the issues which have to be answered by the finance minister while he present the union budget for the year 2016 – 2017. The finance minister says Indian economy is strong and growing but also blames the Opposition for not helping the government to enact legislations in parliament. For the last one year, I have been reading the news that the country’s fortunes would undergo a change only if the government could get the Goods and Services Act  (GSA) passed in  Parliament. Since both the Congress and Communists have personal hatred for the Prime Minister, it is certain that they would not allow the government to pass either this legislation or any other law which may benefit the common man.

What is a matter of concern is the government’s excessive obsession with the GST Bill? This Bill has become a hostage in Sonia Gandhi’s hands. It is understandable also as she always considers the Prime Minister as Mauth Ka Saudagar (Merchant of Death). It is another thing that the poor lady does not know the meaning of the term because all has done is to read from the script in Italian language handed over to her by the likes of Aiyer and Anand Sharma. If only the Prime Minister agrees to bail her out of the corruption charges, the signora* will agree to help the government in the GST Bill imbroglio.

Is the GST Bill that important? (We will come to it in the next post…)



*signora – courtesy title for a married woman in an Italian-speaking area, equivalent to Mrs.

Is GST Bill that important for India or can Budget 2016 deliver more?

GST Bill’s importance is over-stated, according to economists.

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GST Bill's importance is over-stated, according to economists.
GST Bill’s importance is over-stated, according to economists.

Is the GST Bill  that important for India?

Is it possible for India to survive without the GST Bill? “The belief that the GST Bill is the ultimate solution about financial reforms is a bogus statement,” says Dr Srinivasan Kalyanaraman, a former banker with the Asian Development Bank who has witnessed the growth and downfall of many an economy. He pointed out that instead of wasting precious  time of the government, the finance minister should go for implementing the Govinda Rao committee report which suggested the merger of Central Excise and Services Taxes. “This could be distributed among the States as per the recommendations of the Financial Commission to the Government of India. The GST Bill is just a cover and all one has to do is to ignore it,” said Dr Kalyanaraman.

Dr Kalyanaraman, a PhD in public accounts, also wants the finance minister to simplify the tax regime. “Let’s have a single point tax system for the whole country”, he said.

The finance minister is also reported to have expressed his apprehensions about mobilisation of resources as he needs a lot of money for implementing the recommendations of the Seventh Pay Commission. India could be the biggest country in the world which has employed an army of civil servants. The politicians decide the quality of the government based on the number of people each government recruits to run government offices. The only beneficiaries in this process are the employees themselves because they get the best pay and perks for not doing any work. There is job guarantee, monthly pay packets and assured pension after the age of 60.

The union government can go on recruiting all the people in the country as government employees and pay them a consolidated monthly salary as it has the resources to do so without compromising on the security of the nation. The Kala Dhan or the black money kept in tax havens abroad is the solution for this problem. Why Indian money should be kept in foreign banks? It should be kept in Indian banks. This is one of the promises, made by the BJP and its star campaigner during the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. Though Modi did not boast that he would fill the bank accounts of the poor people with Rs 15 lakh each, he did assure that the black money stashed away in far off countries would be brought to India and used in the development process.

Ace lawyer Fali Nariman during his tenure as Rajya Sabha member had introduced a Private Member’s Bill for the restitution of the black money to India. It is self explanatory. Nariman’s proposal reads like this: “Steps should start with an enactment (maybe, an ordinance on the day the new Govt. assumes office) that all wealth held in foreign bank accounts, in excess of $100000 should be treated as nationalised and all the account holders’ money should be remitted to Reserve Bank of India with immediate effect thus bringing all these foreign currency monies into India’s financial system. The monies will be held in the accounts holders’ names and they will be given an opportunity to prove bona fide nature of the holdings”. .

Two steps to be initiated by the Government could resolve this issue permanently.

  1. Issue an ordinance the way Indira Gandhi nationalised private banks in 1969.
  2. All monies reverted to India’s financial system should belong to Indian citizens and the owners of the accounts would be given an opportunity to prove the bona fides of the holdings before further transactions are allowed in these accounts.

Aback of the paper calculation shows that a mind boggling $1.4 trillion is stashed away in foreign banks. “Bring it back to India and deploy the same in Mudra Scheme launched by the Prime Minister, the Make in India campaign and Insure the Farmers against crop failure . We can abolish the income tax altogether and earn the blessings of millions of poor people who have to pay the government a per cent from their hard earned savings.

The restitution of the Kala Dhan would also support the Swachh Bharat scheme of the Prime Minister, the National Water Grid and the project to Inter Link major Indian  Rivers. This is the time to unleash the economic potential of the country. There is the law passed by the Swiss Federation namely Restitution /Repayment of illicit wealth. Politically exposed persons are defined under the United Nations Law. The government of India could enact a law and bring back the Kala Dhan stashed away in tax havens abroad”, opines Dr Kalyanaraman who has literally made this campaign his life’s mission.

Jaitley is presenting his third union budget and this could be the last but one chance he is getting to earn the goodwill of the public of the country. If he is going to declare a series of infrastructure projects and welfare schemes, he needs money. Instead of selling off the family silver (which is also known as shares of public sector enterprises) he can mobilise more resources by taking steps to bring black money stored in foreign countries. Jaitley’s time has come and it is time he performed.
1. The conversion rate used in this article is 1 USD = 68.63 Rupees.
2. Text in Blue points to additional data on the topic.