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Wanted: Epigraphists

Though there are sufficient epigraphists in ASI, some posts are vacant due to the lack of qualified candidates. Without epigraphists, who read inscriptions and make sense out of it, ancient and medieval history cannot be studied properly. That is the opinion of Noboru Karashima, a pre-eminent scholar on the medieval history of south India

Of epigraphy IAS officers did not know anything, and as a consequence the Epigraphical Office has suffered. For a considerable period until recently there was no recruitment of new epigraphists in the office. When I first went to Ooty in 1962 to the Epigraphical Office, the atmosphere was active and intellectually dynamic. Dr. K.V. Ramesh, Dr. B.R. Gopal (he is no more) and Dr. S.H. Rithi were young epigraphy assistants who subsequently did very good work. Now that atmosphere has been lost, as there has not been any encouragement for epigraphists for a long time. Unless the knowledge of epigraphy develops, no ancient or medieval history of this country can be studied. These days most scholars, Indian and foreign, depend on summaries of the inscriptions that appear in the annual reports. They therefore don’t go into the material.[An interview with Japanese scholar Noboru Karashima (via IndiaArchaeology)]

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