NEW DELHI: A day after her budget speech where she said Harappan script had been deciphered made her a target of Twitteratis, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, in an interaction with journalists on Sunday, again reiterated that “deciphering has happened.”
“The guilds of Saraswati-Sindhu civilization & the Harappan seals are remarkable… Words from the Indus Script-hieroglyphs have been deciphered,” the FM had said, She went on imply that words found in the script include: ‘Takara Kolimi’ (or) Tin smithery, Sreni or Guild’, ‘Sethi’ or wholesale merchant and ‘Poddar’ or ‘Assayer of metal into treasury’.
However, most historians hold that the Harappan script has yet to be deciphered. A prize of $ 10,000 offered as reward by an anonymous donor in 2004 through Steve Farmer, still remains unclaimed. Before that, comparative historian Farmer along with Michael Wizel, Harvard’s professor of Sanskrit and Indian Studies, had argued that the Harappan seals do not represent a written language.
A research paper in the magazine ‘Science’ by Rajesh Rao did claim that a statistical analysis of Indus Valley inscriptions shows it was a written script, but it could not come up with a deciphering of the language, say historians. The Harappan civilisation existed in a time period range of between 5,500 BC to 1,500 BC.
Archaeologists have found thousands of short inscriptions, most of which have 4 to 5 symbols. The symbols have remained an enigma for most. “There is a Right-wing historical prescription that Harappans had a link with Aryan civilisation and that Aryans are indigenous,” said Prof Aditya Mukherjee, formerly of the Centre for Historical Studies, JNU.