Thursday, March 18, 2010

Loot of Indian artifacts; Goan too and also those of the mind

From India it was the Amravati marbles (200 B.C - 250 A.D., earlier referred to as the Elliot marbles) among other artifacts. Some of the most comprehensive and celebrated sculpture in the British Museum are the Buddhist limestone reliefs from Amravati.

Read, on

The Hindu, Feb 11, MMX:
In 1830, some of these marble slabs were taken to decorate a market square at Masulipatam and in 1854 they were brought to Madras Museum, along with the other pieces excavated by Walter Elliot, Commissioner of Guntur. In 1859, many of them were shipped to British Museum, London. They were popularly known as Eliot marbles, after Walter Elliot. Later, about 180 marble pieces were excavated from Amaravati and added to the Madras collection.

Again, from the Hindu via;
Who owns antiquity by A. Srivathsan.

If one looks at Nepal, its an absolute horror to learn how statues were hacked in temples in the Kathmandu valley. Read,
Lain Singh Bandel. In their case all the temples were active/in use places of worship.

The thing is, as those western societies were evolving they were looking out for themselves—collecting stuff, etc. If one looks at the connoted and denoted meanings they collected “everything.” There was deep collusion between the colonialists and our Gnyani classes and well as assorted subservients, who I presume permitted themselves to be convinced that it was productive to “sell asunder,” and/or to do their bidding. Basically those mawkish sibilants are still with us, and will continue to be for some more time.

On the Goan end, we got taken in at various levels considering that our overall understanding of even religion art and symbology (even at a devout level; forget artistic) is very scant. Until recently people would burn statues (marfim, ivory) when the heads would be broken etc. This means that there was something seriously screwed up with our mindsets. On top of it many believed those statues were made of wood with paint/plaster applied, and the knowledge that they were made of ivory (not wood) benefited quite a few others. Perhaps this was taught them—as Mervyn Maciel inquired about the
kurpa(grace) bit, in the Dev borem korum thread on Goanet. I believe certain ideas were inculcated into Goans. Basically dinned in, and there was a collusion between ecclesiastical authorities and the landed gentry. It turned exorcistical in that we were considered as being all sick, and had to be molded into something else. Various other groups aped the two top pillars in society as their understanding of things opportunistic were slowly solidified. To be filled with grace (kurpa) and making sure that people appeared innocent must have been one of it. It must have been good social engineering, but a lot (probably the whole nine yards) of this was manipulative.

In fact I heard that Goans who moved to Mumbai were scared of holding on to that card (forget what it is called) which could be useful in getting Portuguese citizenship. In fact people were convinced by others (Goans) what good is it, chuck it away. Some of those naysayers are now in Portugal after throwing a side punch at their simpler Christian brethren. Then our own priests went two steps ahead and shortened people's surnames in Mumbai. They could not wait and leave the old generation alone. They has to test their new found modernity in the big city.

Our priests have sold out a lot too, and they know who they are. So the machils, reliquaries, furniture, ciboriums are gone. I believe they are no longer getting the training in history, archirtecture, artifacts, etc. Even the presumed intelligent one who travel abroad for Youth conference this, and Abstinence Conference that, are full of something—for sure not
kurpa. People must be respected and cherished for their graciousness and egalitarianism, not for the ability to steal (at various levels). What is worse is that many of our god men (including priests) are absolute robbers. Please note the distinction between a thief and a robber. My way of seeing things is simple. Do what you must, and it that means “fancying a shag (all manners of this expression),” well OK—but understand what ones actions do/could do negatively to beliefs, families, marriages—and be comfortable in facing what comes your way.

Do not be Janus-faced.

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