Kochi, Feb 24: A pro-RSS cultural outfit on Wednesday, Feb 24 opposed the alleged move by Kerala government to include controversial Pattanam excavation in President Pranab Mukherjee's programme during his visit to Kodungallore later this week.
"We strongly protest the move to include controversial Pattanam excavations in the programme of the President who visits Kodungallore (in Thrissur district on Saturday) to launch the first phase of Muziris heritage project," Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram, headed by RSS ideologue P Parameswaran, said in a release here.
Alleging "an agenda by a particular religion to wrongly interpret historical facts" with regard to Pattanam, R Sanjayan, joint director of BVK said the Pattanam excavators had been giving contradictory statements on archaeological finds in the media and quite different versions in articles published in journals and Kerala Council of Historical Research (KCHR) reports. "
There is a move to include exhibition of artifacts claimed to be from Pattanam archaeological site as part of the President's programme," Sanjayan said.
He said KCHR's 'Pattanam excavations' near here to identify ancient Indo-Roman port of Muziris on the state's coast has been challenged at various fora, including the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI). "We are questioning unscientific approaches adopted by KCHR for excavating the site and it is being probed by the ASI," he said.
Sanjayan said eminent archaeologists and historians such as Professors Dilip Chakrabarthy, MGS Narayanan and R Nagaswamy have questioned the authenticity of the Pattanam excavations associated with Muziris project.
"The association of many foreigners, who are not archaeological experts but theologians, with this project have raised suspicion in the minds of the academicians," he said.
The RSS-linked organisation said it has written to the President to apprise him of the issues related to the controversial project. "The Pattanam excavations lacked transparency and hence the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram submitted complaints to the Union Ministry of Culture and the Archaeological Survey of India," he added.