An essay which covers an indepth interview with scholar Iravatham Mahadevan and his response to Asko Parpola's study of the Indus Script and writing or communication system.
Q [uestion, by Omar Khan]: Where were you born and where did you grow up? A [nswer, Iravatham Mahadevan]: Welcome to Madras Mr. Omar Khan. I am Iravatham Mahadevan.
A: My early writings were a little premature, I now realize. I was over-enthusiastic. Like most other scholars in the field, I realized as time went on that it is an extraordinarily difficult problem.
A: Apart from my concordance, the only other work of note I could mention to you is my proposal that the mysterious cult object that you find before the unicorn on the unicorn seals is a filter.
Q: What do you think the relationship is between the Indus script and the Brahmi script, since you know both of them? A: Several scholars have said that there is a relationship between the two, that
Q: Do you believe that the Indus script represented a single language or could it have represented a multiple number of languages? A: This is a very interesting question.
Q: To have the same language over such a wide area and time, what does this imply about the political or social organization of the culture? A: To me one conclusion is irresistible.
Q: Don't you think they may have written on other objects, like palm leaves or cloth? A: This has been suggested by Parpola and others, that they probably wrote on cloth or on leaves like birch
Q: Lets come to the specific signs. What do you believe may be some of the best interpretations offered of certain signs? A: Like all Dravidian scholars, I too began with Father Heras.
A: As regards the other signs, the position is even weaker. There is the famous terminal sign, the most frequent sign, which occupies ten to twelve percent of all Harappan writing.