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Kerala Dalit group under scanner: police October 5, 2009

Posted by reader111 in Hindu Rights Register, Kerala.
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Indo-Asian News Service
Kochi, September 29, 2009

The Kerala police are looking into the activities of a Dalit organisation after two of its key leaders were arrested in a murder case, an official said in Kochi on Monday.

Speaking about the Dalit Human Rights Movement (DHRM), Director General of Police Jacob Punnoose told reporters in Kochi, “We know of this organization but we have to probe whether they have any terror links.” Meanwhile, Leader of Opposition Oommen Chandy criticised the police for not doing enough to curb the activities of DHRM.

He was speaking to reporters in Thiruvananthapuram after visiting the house of Sivaprasad, a resident of Varkala who was brutally murdered allegedly by a DHRM activist last Wednesday.

DHRM has a strong base in Varkala, especially among the numerous colonies where Dalits live.

“It is unfortunate that the Kerala home department failed to find out the activities of the DHRM. Even though there have been increased reports of DHRM taking to violence, the police failed to act. At the same time, one should not brand all Dalits in this manner,” said Chandy.

Two activists of the DHRM arrested on Sunday were remanded in judicial custody on Monday. Those arrested include Ashokan, an advocate, and Das – both key leaders of DHRM.

Meanwhile, Sasi, a resident of one of the colonies where DHRM has a strong presence, told reporters that while his close relatives had joined the DHRM, he had not.

“Since I refused to join them, I was badly beaten up by my own brother, though we never had any enmity before,” said Sasi, who ekes out a living doing odd jobs. Another person from the same place said the activities of DHRM are quite strange.

“The members of this group, even if they belong to the same family, address each other in a different manner. Their ideology too sounded strange and was not acceptable to me and I stayed away,” said the person.

Kumari was in tears as she recounted to reporters how her son was brutally beaten up by members of DHRM after he refused to join them.



Symbols akin to Indus valley culture discovered in Kerala October 5, 2009

Posted by reader111 in hinduism, History, Kerala.
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PTI 29 September 2009, 10:26am IST

KOZHIKODE (KERALA): A rock engraving indicating clear remnants of Harappan culture, has been found in the Edakkal caves in neighbouring Wayanad 
district, linking the Indus Valley civilisation with South India.

“There had been indications of remnants akin to the Indus Valley civilisation in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, but these new findings give credence to the fact that the Harappan civilisation had its presence in the region too and could trace the history of Kerala even beyond the Iron Age,” said historian M R Raghava Varier.

The unique symbols integral to the Indus Valley culture traced in Harappa and Mohanjedaro region that stretched up to Pakistan were found inside the caves during recent excavations by the State Archaeological Department.

Of the identified 429 signs, “a man with jar cup, a symbol unique to the Indus civilisation and other compound letters testified to remnants of the Harappan culture, spanning from 2300 BC to 1700 BC, in South India,” said Varier, who led the excavation at the caves.

The “man-with-the-jar” symbol, an integral remnant commonly traced in parts where the Indus Valley civilisation existed, has even more similarities than those traced in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, he added.


Indus Valley symbols found in Kerala October 5, 2009

Posted by reader111 in History, India, Kerala.
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Ramesh Babu, Hindustan Times
Thiruvananthapuram, September 29, 2009

A rock engraving similar to the unique sign of the Indus Valley civilization — a man with a jar — has been found in Kerala for the first time.

The engraving provides a significant southern link with the 600-year-old Indus Valley civilization that flourished in the northwestern part of the Indian sub-continent between 2300 BC and 1700 BC. Harappa and Mohenjodaro, both now in Pakistan, were the principal towns of the developed urban civilization discovered in the 1920s.

The Dravidian or an equally vibrant civilization existed in southern India during this period, historians said.

The engraving seems to have been made with a stone axe in a linear style to portray a two-dimensional human figure. It was discovered at the Edakkal caves in Wayanad district, 450 km north of state capital Thiruvananthapuram, last week.

Archaeologists and historians are excited with the “unique” discovery.

“What is striking in the Edakkal sign is the presence of an Indus motif, which is rare. The jar is the same as the Indus Valley’s. But the human figure is slightly different. This is where the influence of the Edakkal style really dominates,” said historian M R Raghava Varrier, who identified the sign during the excavation.

“The occurrence of the sign, which is the most characteristic symbol of the Indus script, is very significant,” he said.

Varrier said there had been indications of remnants similar to the Indus Valley civilization in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu. But this new finding clearly establishes the fact that the Indus Valley civilization had its presence in the south, he said.