Archaeology and Politics in the Third World, with Special Reference to India

Dilip K. Chakrabarti

in The Oxford Handbook of Public Archaeology

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199237821
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Archaeology and Politics in the Third World, with Special Reference to India

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This article identifies the role of colonial and postcolonial influences on Indian archaeology and the problems for Indian archaeology thereby engendered. It addresses key issues in the history of archaeological heritage management. There is a major gap between the accepted norms of archaeological research and heritage management, and the ground-reality. One of the reasons why such a gap has come up is the indifference of the Indian educated class to archaeology. A good liberal education based on a respect for the country's past need not necessarily avert the tensions based on ethnicity and religion, which affect monuments. In countries where an overwhelming number of people live below the poverty line, such tensions are only likely to increase in future. Non-partisan voices of sanity are needed, and there is a better chance for such voices to emerge if there is a broad-based liberal system of historical education in the country.

Keywords: colonial; postcolonial; Indian archaeology; heritage management; historical education

Article.  7963 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Contemporary and Public Archaeology

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