Strikingly odd conclusions or opinions, which go beyond ordinary understanding of a reader, attract a ridicule or disdain. More often than not, he (reader) is sceptical of the findings. This situation is more pertinent to the Posts, discussing Place-names of Tulunadu in this Blog. These place-names are a sort of riddles, hard to crack. The other day, I confronted Ravi with a teaser on Bijai and Bejja (Post-251). I observed, “Our obsession to ‘African Tribes’ should not be over-emphasised.” His quiet reply was very direct: “Many of the history items are obviously obscure. These aspects are not documented so far totally. I am only to thread through these strings, using logical evidences of migration patterns. I know that you are sceptical of these all. Naturally, anyone should be sceptical to begin with. But what makes a sense is that when deduced strings are logically matching with one another. Alternate explanation, if any, should correlate in space and time, to be realistic.” Yes, Ravi is ‘ploughing a lonely furrow’ when he is not following trodden path.
It is difficult to sift, weigh and conclude when materials are scattered. These are available in the form of monuments, inscriptions, popular legends, historical writings (genuine or skewed), some loose strands of writings, i.e. superficial data, and fossil/archaic words, traceable in place-names but hinting to some base language, lost, assimilated or forgotten. Origin of such words is not clear. Evocative words or some other links tend to rouse some interest or impulse to search for some long-lost or forgotten materials of history.
Obelisks of Persepolis
Not so long, I chanced to glance through a Book: ‘A History of Babylonia and Assyria’, written in 1900 AD by Roberts William Rogers. He gives a vivid picture of how the strange language(s) used in inscriptions on the Obelisks or Pillars of Persepolis in Persia (erstwhile Iran) are deciphered. This involved several travellers and decipherers, spanning from 14th Century to 19th Century. They are all laymen in history and linguistics. Being ignorant about the history of these pillars, locals engaged in pillage of these structures for building purposes and/or in spoiling the ruins. Noting and observations of way-farers, led the group of learned men to decipher three languages. A simply small note by a European Friar, named Odorific(us), in his Travelogues in 14th C. inspired European travellers and instigated other European States to send ambassadors to Iran. They picked up the thread left by their predecessors. Method used by George F. Grotefend (a German born on June 9, 1775) was ridiculed as unscientific and his decipherment was rejected. Gottingen Academy of Sciences refused to publish his Paper, fearing of risking a bad name. His Paper saw the light of the day with the help of his personal friend A.H.L. Heeren, who published it in his book on Ancient World, as an Appendix. Others who followed Grotefend proved him to be correct.
Let the readers know that we are not historians in the real sense, i.e. learned ones, nor linguists. It is our inquisitiveness and interest that drives us to dabble.in the subject. It is for readers to reject or accept the postulations wholly or partially. Indifference by readers is discernible by the negligible comments or feed-backs coming forth. Note how the successive attempts to solve the mystery of inscriptions of Persepolis ruins culminated in adding up ‘materials in a new and substantially correct form’. It is a slow process but aimed at the purpose to leave materials for others to carry forward and improve. Consensus of opinion is possible only when a group of like-minded people – learned or otherwise – work together. The rediscovery of Babylonian and Assyrian languages (considered as ‘wonder of ages’) is made in Iran, away from those Lands. Let us rediscover our Land, called the Tulunadu, mention of which is found in place-names in travelogues of foreigners.
Hosabettu Vishwanath, Pune
13th September, 2010
Books for Reference
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- Tuluvala Baliyendre. Compiled by N.A.Sheenappa Hegde,Polali,Sri Devi Prakashana,Parkala,1929/1999
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