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Cultural Contacts with India

Nature volume 143, pages 713714 (29 April 1939) | Download Citation



IT may be recalled that at the meeting of the Royal Society of Arts at which Mr. Barger described the results of his archaeological investigations of the evidences the spread of Indian cultural influence to the Oxus and beyond, when Lord Zetland, Secretary of State for India, was in the chair, attention was directed in the discussion which followed to the importance of the study in Britain of the culture and archaeology of India as an influence making for closer contact between Great Britain and India. Lord Zetland, when presiding at the twenty-ninth annual meeting of the India Society at Burlington House on April 24, took advantage of the occasion again to emphasize the importance of such cultural contacts. Pointing out that politics was not the only link between Great Britain and India, he referred to the invitation which he himself had tendered to Sir Leonard Woolley, when Lord Linlithgow, as Viceroy, had intimated that he would welcome the visit to India of an archaeologist of world-wide distinction. This intimation was evidence of the interest taken by the Viceroy in the archaeological problems of India. In the result Sir Leonard Woolley had produced a report of the highest interest, which contained suggestions for the future work of the Archaeological Department. Lord Zetland went on to say that although we were living in times of financial stress, when it was impossible to devote as much money as could be wished to work of this character, he was not without hope that the outcome of Sir Leonard's visit would be greatly to the advantage of the cause of Indian archaeological exploration and research. His concluding remarks were especially noteworthy: “As a people”, he said, “we should surely stand condemned if, when judgment was passed on us at the bar of history, it should be said of us that we had neglected in our long contact with India those cultural values, which alone raised man above the level of the animal world and were an index of his achievement in the domain of the spirit.”

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