A conference titled “International Conference on the Sindhu-Sarasvati Valley Civilization: A Reappraisal” is being held in Los Angeles on Feb. 21 and 22, 2009.
The aim of the conference is to discuss, reconsider and reconstruct a shared identity of the Sindhu (Indus) and Saraswati cultures, using archaeological and other scientific evidence as well as Vedic literature. For two days eminent archaeologists, linguists, anthropologists, historians, religious studies specialists and geneticists will present and discuss their findings on the salient issues of the Sindhu-Saraswati civilization and assess its contribution to Indian culture. The conference hopes to inform the general educated public about the contribution of these early South Asian cultures to world civilization, and about the issues and problems of interpretation related to them.
The title of the conference itself will cause alarm among one section of historians who believe that Indus Civilization and Vedic culture have nothing in common. Now the ritual will start with the precision of the south west monsoon and words will start pouring – Hindutva, Gujarat, rich NRIs, minorities, oort cloud etc. This is despite the fact that some of the participants — Jonathan Mark Kenoyer (University of Wisconsin), Jim G. Shaffer (Case Western Reserve University), Carl C. Lamberg-Karlovsky (Harvard University), Edwin Bryant (Rutgers University), Maurizio Tosi (University of Bologna, Italy) and Nicholas Kazanas (Omilos Meleton Cultural Institute, Athens) —- are not even Hindus.
These conferences, whether ideology driven or not, are happening regularly in India and United States. Also the rivalry between the AIT camp and the opponents has resulted in a great debate which would have been one sided otherwise. For a historian who is not bound by dogma, these discourses are educational, since it brings out data, which would have remained buried.
Note: The conference is free for public.