Bengal-born archaeologist Majumdar who lost his life in Sindh

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Road leading to Gorakh be named after Majumdar to commemorate his painstaking work for the archaeology of Kachho and his murder in the same area

By Aziz Kachailo

Nani Gopal Majumdar, one of the great archaeologists of world, was born on December 01, in 1897 in Bengal but was assassinated on November 11, 1938 at the bank of Nain (River) Gaaj of Johi Taluka in district Dadu, where he had initiated mission just 14-days before his death. The mission was aimed at the research in exploring the relationship between Persian and Indus civilizations.

Majumdar had explored the archaeological sites rapidly and wondered the world.

Majumdar had a multidimensional personality. He knew the coin deciphering, petroglyphs, languages of Prakrit and Sanskrit. He could guess the age of any period by observing the statues of that period. History and archaeology were his favorite subjects. He started his career in 1924 as a curator at Rajshahi Museum. Later, he joined Sir John Marshal and worked for the excavation of Moen Jo Darro from 1925 to 1927. He was joined by Mr. E.J.H Mackay and Dayaram Sahini for that excavation. Sir John Marshal was impressed greatly from his performance and appointed him as an Assistant in Archaeological Survey in India in 1927, where he worked till his death. During the excavation of Moen Jo Darro, he developed great interest in the history, culture and archaeology of Sindh.

He loved archaeology madly. That is why he explored and found over 60 new sites from 1927 to 1938 and worked on them. Such enthusiasm and zeal made him famous in archaeology throughout the world and he was called a fast explorer. His objective was to do research for Indus civilizations and copper Age centers in Iran to explore cultural relationships between Indus and Iran.

Majumdar rejected the concept of great historians that Moen Jo Darro and Harappa belong to Sumerian civilization. He stepped down in the plains, deserts and hills of Sindh and achieved substantial success. He found 30 mounds at various places in Sindh and proved that original inhabitants of Indus were the creators of this civilization, who gave strength and glitter to Moen Jo Darro and Harappa. His research work was appreciated and recognized at international level. He traveled some 2000 miles through Indus Valley to unearth the association between Iran and Indus. During that greatest expedition of Sindh, he visited Pandhi Wahi, Tharar Takri, Dinb, Buthi Dinb, Maasooman Ji Buthi, Kaloyan Jo Darro (Site of Ali Murad Shahani), Kahoo Jo Darro, Chanhoo Jo Darro, Dhamrah Ja Darra, Sudheran Jo Darro, Jhaakar Jo Darro, Gaji Shah, Rohel Ji Kund, Kalan Kot and many other sites in Larkana, Khirthar and  Kachho. Aamri is the most important of them, which is the mother of Moen Jo Darro and Harappa civilization.

Excavation of Aamri mound revealed the Aamri civilization, which was recognized as a distinction in the subcontinent, that first period of Amari was ancient than that of Moen Jo Darro and Harappa. He gave his account about archaeology of Sindh in his book “Exploration in Sindh”. In fact, this book is the treasure trove of the archaeology of Sindh. The uniqueness of his work is the detailed account of every excavation, wherein he had described the number of ditches, depth of ditches, findings and comparison of the similar findings.

His assassination at the Rohel-Jee-Kund, along the bank of Nain Gaaj, at the foot of Khirthar Mountain in Kachho area of taluka Johi district Dadu, is still a mystery. One view about his murder is that the Hur movement was in full swing in those days and Majumdar with hat on his head, seemed as an Englishman, and fell prey to that movement. Another opinion is that he was assassinated by a notorious dacoit of the area known as Meeran Sarkheel Jamali. The dacoit wanted to plunder the money in boxes lying with Majumdar. It was a pure act of loot and plunder.

Majumdar had to send all the findings of excavations to Dadu treasury for safe keeping. The dacoit might have thought such parcels full of money and costly material or gold and silver and then had killed Majumdar. Anyway, the assassination of Majumdar is a black spot on Sindh and is not blotted out despite the lapse of several decades.

It is said that great poet and philosopher Rabindarnath Tagore reproached Late Sobho Gianchandani about the assassination of Majumdar and expressed discontent on it, when latter met him.

All the same, it is the need of hour to construct a memorial at the assassination spot and the main road leading to Gorakh, be named as Majumdar Road, to commemorate his painstaking work for the archaeology of Kachho and his murder in the same area.

14 thoughts on “Bengal-born archaeologist Majumdar who lost his life in Sindh

  1. Very interesting to know about this forgotten hero of Archeology . We know about the work of another Bengali archeologist Rakhal Das Banerjee in connection with Mohenjodaro excavation, but Majumdar is almost forgotten in Bengal .

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