1. Stone Age and Indus Valley Dialogues of Nehru in subtitles are taken word by word from the original source, his book – Discovery of India. People in that time didn’t live in homes or edifices. but used to live caves They used to eat plants and meat of hunted animals. These early men knew how to draw. Using sharp stones and wooden sticks, they used to make animal figures over cave walls. Early man must have had fear and reverence, towards wild animals. And initially they would have been worshiped. Then human figures also started appearing in murals. which were kind of like sorcery. Dancing and story-telling would also accompany. so as to achieve success in hunt. Man’s first step towards civilisation was hunt in groups, and share among themselves. Each person was to care about the group first, and later about themselves. If the group or clan faced any danger, then all were to fight together with unity. If someone lagged behind in collective responsibility, then he were to be expelled from the group. Tribal people of current times use tools made of iron. But by excavating sites of prehistorical period we come to know of such a time, when tools were made of stone. stone for scraping, cutting and sawing. stones like arrowheads, axes and knives. Many among these tools must have been used by binding along with wooden sticks. just like arrowheads. People who used these tools are considered from Paleolithic age. Because they utilised tools and weapons made of stones. By the end of Paleolithic age, earth’s climate warmed up. Thick forests replaced frozen rivers. Those residing in these forests were also from a different race. They are considered from later stone age. An important feature of this race was agriculture. which gave enough rest to man, and more time for new inventions. Clay pots started being made, which were used to cook food. Stone tools got better than before. Animals like sheep, goat, dog and cow were domesticated. weaving of cloths began. These people now started living in huts and mud-houses. An interesting result of agriculture was, that people began establishing villages and towns. Along side large rivers, or in fertile valleys. population started dwelling. where there was no shortage of water and food. More than required grains were deposited in stores. This was begining of excess value. People got more time for thoughts, trades came into existence. Art and craft progressed. In many places like Kot-Diji in Pakistan, and Kalibangan in Rajasthan We find evidences of that developed rural-civilisation, which was gradually transforming into urban-civilisation. The conditions that are to be met, for any urban civilisation to develop, they are : production more than consumption, trade-system, easy means for movement of goods, rules for size and measurements, use of silver, gold, grains or coins for selling goods, a religion based on regulations and laws, and well designed architecture. And only after fulfilling these conditions, Indus Valley Civilisation could be developed. This ancient India culture is the basis of civilisation of today’s India. How interesting, and unlikely it is, that from the beginning of history, till today, the unending series of Indian culture and life is intact. The superiority of Indus Valley Civilisation seems to be connected to trade. It was an urban civilisation. where the merchant class was wealthy. and evidently played an important role. The streets, lined with stalls and what were probably small shops, give the impression of an Indian bazaar of today. Indus Valley Civilisation, also known by the name ‘Harappa Culture’, in its golden age, from 2500 BCE to 1900 BCE, extended from hills of Baluchistan, to plains of Indus river, and from Kutch, Kathiawar to Ghaggar-Yamuna valley. Mohenjodaro and Harappa dominated the plains of Indus. Lothal was capital of Kathiawar. Kalibangan was major city of eastern province. and Dabarkot, of western province. Influence of Indus civilisation was also realised outside its borders, till western and central Asia. Indus Valley Civilisation was part of that trade, which stretched from lower plains of Mesopotamia, connecting both ends of Persian Gulf, passing through western Iran and Baluchistan, through Sindh, spread in the internal parts of India. Prime waterways of this civilisation were river Indus and its tributaries. Other important evidences of trade via rivers and sea waterways are dockyard in Lothal, and anchors made of stones and ancient jetties discovered in Dwarka. During the reign of Sargon of Akkad, things from Lothal and Mohenjodaro, like necklaces of precious stones, pearls etc, articles made of ivory, conchs, etc, and probably, goods made of cotton as well, were exported to cities of western Asia. According to clay-stamps and rock edicts of that time, Today’s Makran coast was known as Magan, and western coast of India was known as Meluha. Sailing boats used to travel from India to Gulf of Akkad. Ships coming from Meluha, Ships coming from Magan, Ships coming from Dilmun, all reached the shores of Akkad’s harbour. We find thus this Indus Valley civilisation connected and trading with its sister civilisations of Persia, Mesopotamia, and Egypt and superior to them in some ways. It would seem to follow that the craftsmen
of the Indus cities were, to a large extent, producing “for the market”. What, if any, form of currency and standard of value had been accepted by society to facilitate the exchange of commodities is however, uncertain. Magazines attached to many spacious and commodious private houses mark their owners as merchants. Their number and size indicate a strong and prosperous merchant community. A surprising wealth of ornaments of gold, silver, precious stones and faience of vessels of beaten copper and of metal implements and weapons, has been collected from the ruins.’ There were markets of International trade in the cities of Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. Where goods from various sources used to be cleaned, assorted, packed and then sent to its destination. From these two centers, caravans used to go far south up to Karnataka in search of metal and raw materials On the other hand, crossing borders, they used to go to Afghanistan, Iran and central Asia. Just as today, goods are sent to other places after it is packed and marked appropriately for identifications, Indus civilisations seals must also have been used in the same manner. Most of the symbols on these seals are that of animals. Indus civilisation was dependent on trade. But how would the merchants gain profit? What was that force, which maintained that clear class-division, which was necessary for trade to flourish. The control on system for common people can be inferred from temples and power of priest class. Although, we do not find large god-statues of that time, however, we do find structures on mounds, just like Ziggurat temples of Mesopotamia. Intercourse of travellers with female-priests living near Pushkar was a ritual of worshiping goddess. which is still present as a tradition of god-maids in south. Finding of large number of idols in ruins, resemble with idols worshiped in many regions India even today. The reason for not finding large statues idols of gods in Indis Valley, may be worshiping living goddess, which is still practiced in Nepal. The crux is, that only religion-domination could keep Indus civilsation survive for 500 years. Who were these people of the Indus Valley civilization and whence had they come? We do not know yet. It is quite possible, and even probable, that their culture was an indigenous culture and its roots and offshoots may be found
even in southern India. Temples, women-worship, and prayers to idols, are not found in early Vedic religion. and it is possible, that under the influence of Non-Vedic people’s traditions were adopted in later Hindu religion. What happened to the Indus Valley civilization and how did it end? Some people (among them, Gordon Childe) say that there was a sudden end to it due to an unexplained catastrophe. Or a changing climate might lead to a progressive desiccation of the land and the encroachment of the desert over cultivated areas. And in any event climatic changes must have only affected a relatively small part of the area of this widespread urban civilization, which, as we have now reason to believe, spread right up to the Gangetic Valley Possibly, the reason behind end of this civilisation is decline of its trade. Another belief is, that around 4000 years ago, Indus Civilisation was gradually destroyed due to spread of Aryans By destroying dams on river made by Indus people, Aryans completely damaged their very foundation of agriculture. It is discussed in Vedas that Indra got those water-streams freed, which were bound by Asurs. “Rakshas was lying on uneven land like a black serpent….. when Indra used his super-strong weapon to attack him, then rivers stopped flowing, the earth stated moving, large stones and boulders started rolling by wheels of chariot, and all the bound streams of water started flowing fetterless over the body of daitya. This civilisation did not end abruptly, as was believed earlier. It had to undergo phases of transformations in its form. This transformed phase of 1600 BCE to 1900 BCE, is known as Later Harappa Period. After this, Aryans spread. And just like it has always happened in history, they gradually absorbed the influences of already existing civilisation, and accepted many aspects of it. It was sheer chance that led to the discovery of these ruins in these two places. There can be little doubt that there lie many such buried cities and other remains of the handiwork of ancient man in India. Between this Indus Valley civilization and today in India there are many gaps and periods about which we know little. But there is always an underlying sense of continuity, of an unbroken chain which joins modern India to the far distant period of six or seven thousand years ago when the Indus Valley civilization probably began. It is surprising how much there is in Mohenjo Daro and Harappa which reminds one of persisting traditions and habits— popular ritual, craftsmanship, even some fashions in dress.