Using Indus Valley expertise to tackle some Current Issues in South Asia

A clever paper looking at how far we have drifted from some of the better ancient Indus ways of living. Delivered by the author at the International Youth History Congress on February 26, 2018 at Maharshi Dayanand College, University of Mumbai, it contrasts sanitation, agriculture, water management and other features of life then and now - with now not looking so good. Dave offers fine insights and contrasts that are too easy to lose track off as we marvel at the technologically sophisticated world we live in today. Dave, who is also author of the well-researched and compelling novel Trade Winds to Meluha concludes with a plea for education and a rekindled awareness of the positive lessons we can draw from ancient Indus practice. His long view looks towards the young as those to take up the challenge to improve an off-kilter present.

Among the major problems faced by India and its neighbouring countries are those in the fields of civic administration, agriculture and employment. These are addressed inadequately not only due to the shortage of funds, but also due to the confused priorities of governments. The relics of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Lothal, Dholavira, Kalibangan, Rakhigarhi and hundreds of smaller sites all over Pakistan, and western and North-West India offer us pretty good peek into how the Indus Valley people or the 'Harappans' resolved those pressing issues four millenniums ago. Instead of wrangling over the cultural past, the Indians and the Pakistanis need to value their predecessors' achievements, and use that as a guideline to improve the future generations' living conditions. This paper examines some ways to do that, and suggests how young minds in certain professions might profitably utilize them for the benefit of the society.

Fair disclosure: Vasant Dave is longtime Community Manager for