This post has been self-published on Youth Ki Awaaz by Youth Ki Awaaz. Just like them, anyone can publish on Youth Ki Awaaz.

Excavation In Unnao On The Basis Of A Sadhu’s ‘Golden’ Dreams: Where Are We Heading?

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

By Usha Rani Das:

3rd February, 1962: Millions of Indians chanted prayers and lit sacrificing pyres as ‘doomsday period’ (as predicted by Hindu astrologers) began. It was predicted that six planets, the Earth, the Sun and the moon aligned in one line to bring war of destruction on the world- that the earth would be “bathed in the blood of thousands of kings.”  This does not end here. It is believed that it was only after wasting tons of butter and around 35 crore rupees that the war was averted. If that time, the lack of scientific advancement was an excuse for such superstitions, then what excuse are people going to give for the ASI excavation in Unnao on the basis of a sadhu’s dream, in this 21st century!


Yes, you heard it correct. The Center has directed the Archaeological Survey of India and the Geological Survey of India to survey and excavate the area near the 180-year old Shiva temple of Raja Ram Baux Singh’s fort on the basis of a sadhu’s golden dreams. Seer Shobhan Sarkar sent a letter to the Union minister of State for Agriculture and Food Processing Industry, Charandas Mahant, stating that the Raja came to his dreams and told him about the 1000 tons of gold buried under the ground in Unnao, Uttar Pradesh. The area was surveyed by GPS first. The ASI and GSI have found something which is not earth. And hence, to satisfy their curiosity they started their historical excavation. They are least interested in gold. A century old earthen pot has much more worth to them than gold. Amidst tight security, jam-packed curious onlookers, food-stalls, chanting of prayers; the excavation started on 18th October, 2013, costing the government lots of money.

Living in an era of reason over religion, we will be wrong in not carrying out the excavation after ASI and GSI found something which is not earth. We must always look for the truth. Dismissing the matter on the basis of superstition will be nothing but avoiding the truth. No! I am definitely not saying that the sadhu’s dream is true. Surely, the seer’s dream is nothing but dubious claims. The fact that ‘something’ which is not earth is there and the question as to the real reason the seer came to know about it which he is hiding behind the disguise of religion fueled my curiosity. Hence, I would like to go with former President of India, APJ Abdul Kalam who has backed the excavation on the basis of ASI’s reason and science. I do want to see the end of it.

Such a news coming up before the election of 2014 and with the air filled with political war of words, one is sure to get political views about such incidents. Some say it is politically biased, that it is a Congress plan to distract attention from Modi’s Kanpur rally. Modi said “bring back black money instead of chasing pipe dreams.” But just because another work is in process or is more important and plausible, does not justify stopping another work based on the benefit of doubt.

As to the question of media coverage and hype, media is doing their work covering each and every happening all around the world. It is not that media is not showcasing other relevant news like Radia investigation etc. just to forecast a sadhu’s dreams of gold. But media is just stating facts now. It should criticize the Government for even considering the letter. By giving the directives for a go ahead on the basis of dreams, we are only encouraging superstition in the country. We should not even consider giving such dubious claims a second thought unless and until such events are backed by iron- clad facts, history and reason. The government was wrong in giving in to such superstition. Sadly, the media’s role in reprimanding the shameful act is negligible.

But when encountering such matters of right and wrong, one must confront both sides of the motion. We must not avoid the consequences which we have to face if the dreams do prove right. These ‘Godmen’ will gain immense power over common people. More and more devotees will follow up. Religion will win over reason. These can only be avoided by reason and the truth. Instead of merely stating the facts, the media should investigate the matter as to how the seer came to know about it. Media must be the Sherlock Holmes in this faith over reason case. For it is in their power only to enlighten the world about the reason and discard superstition. Otherwise it will only be a repetition of “Ganesha Milk Miracle” of 1995. Media hyped the news but failed to state the scientific reason behind it. If the media’s current standpoint is justified or not can only be concluded after the outcome of the excavation, whether it just states facts or investigates the truth.

In spite of many possible negative outcomes, one must endure this excavation till the end for it is only then can we know the truth and can draw the conclusion over the Gold Rush of India. Until and unless we endeavor for the truth, there is no difference between us and the ‘Godmen’ who voluntarily ignore the truth.

You must be to comment.

More from Youth Ki Awaaz

Similar Posts

By India Development Review (IDR)

By Jyotsna Richhariya

By IMPRI Impact and Policy Research Institute

Wondering what to write about?

Here are some topics to get you started

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

An ambassador and trained facilitator under Eco Femme (a social enterprise working towards menstrual health in south India), Sanjina is also an active member of the MHM Collective- India and Menstrual Health Alliance- India. She has conducted Menstrual Health sessions in multiple government schools adopted by Rotary District 3240 as part of their WinS project in rural Bengal. She has also delivered training of trainers on SRHR, gender, sexuality and Menstruation for Tomorrow’s Foundation, Vikramshila Education Resource Society, Nirdhan trust and Micro Finance, Tollygunj Women In Need, Paint It Red in Kolkata.

Now as an MH Fellow with YKA, she’s expanding her impressive scope of work further by launching a campaign to facilitate the process of ensuring better menstrual health and SRH services for women residing in correctional homes in West Bengal. The campaign will entail an independent study to take stalk of the present conditions of MHM in correctional homes across the state and use its findings to build public support and political will to take the necessary action.

Saurabh has been associated with YKA as a user and has consistently been writing on the issue MHM and its intersectionality with other issues in the society. Now as an MHM Fellow with YKA, he’s launched the Right to Period campaign, which aims to ensure proper execution of MHM guidelines in Delhi’s schools.

The long-term aim of the campaign is to develop an open culture where menstruation is not treated as a taboo. The campaign also seeks to hold the schools accountable for their responsibilities as an important component in the implementation of MHM policies by making adequate sanitation infrastructure and knowledge of MHM available in school premises.

Read more about his campaign.

Harshita is a psychologist and works to support people with mental health issues, particularly adolescents who are survivors of violence. Associated with the Azadi Foundation in UP, Harshita became an MHM Fellow with YKA, with the aim of promoting better menstrual health.

Her campaign #MeriMarzi aims to promote menstrual health and wellness, hygiene and facilities for female sex workers in UP. She says, “Knowledge about natural body processes is a very basic human right. And for individuals whose occupation is providing sexual services, it becomes even more important.”

Meri Marzi aims to ensure sensitised, non-discriminatory health workers for the needs of female sex workers in the Suraksha Clinics under the UPSACS (Uttar Pradesh State AIDS Control Society) program by creating more dialogues and garnering public support for the cause of sex workers’ menstrual rights. The campaign will also ensure interventions with sex workers to clear misconceptions around overall hygiene management to ensure that results flow both ways.

Read more about her campaign.

MH Fellow Sabna comes with significant experience working with a range of development issues. A co-founder of Project Sakhi Saheli, which aims to combat period poverty and break menstrual taboos, Sabna has, in the past, worked on the issue of menstruation in urban slums of Delhi with women and adolescent girls. She and her team also released MenstraBook, with menstrastories and organised Menstra Tlk in the Delhi School of Social Work to create more conversations on menstruation.

With YKA MHM Fellow Vineet, Sabna launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society. As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Read more about her campaign. 

A student from Delhi School of Social work, Vineet is a part of Project Sakhi Saheli, an initiative by the students of Delhi school of Social Work to create awareness on Menstrual Health and combat Period Poverty. Along with MHM Action Fellow Sabna, Vineet launched Menstratalk, a campaign that aims to put an end to period poverty and smash menstrual taboos in society.

As a start, the campaign aims to begin conversations on menstrual health with five hundred adolescents and youth in Delhi through offline platforms, and through this community mobilise support to create Period Friendly Institutions out of educational institutes in the city.

Find out more about the campaign here.

A native of Bhagalpur district – Bihar, Shalini Jha believes in equal rights for all genders and wants to work for a gender-equal and just society. In the past she’s had a year-long association as a community leader with Haiyya: Organise for Action’s Health Over Stigma campaign. She’s pursuing a Master’s in Literature with Ambedkar University, Delhi and as an MHM Fellow with YKA, recently launched ‘Project अल्हड़ (Alharh)’.

She says, “Bihar is ranked the lowest in India’s SDG Index 2019 for India. Hygienic and comfortable menstruation is a basic human right and sustainable development cannot be ensured if menstruators are deprived of their basic rights.” Project अल्हड़ (Alharh) aims to create a robust sensitised community in Bhagalpur to collectively spread awareness, break the taboo, debunk myths and initiate fearless conversations around menstruation. The campaign aims to reach at least 6000 adolescent girls from government and private schools in Baghalpur district in 2020.

Read more about the campaign here.

A psychologist and co-founder of a mental health NGO called Customize Cognition, Ritika forayed into the space of menstrual health and hygiene, sexual and reproductive healthcare and rights and gender equality as an MHM Fellow with YKA. She says, “The experience of working on MHM/SRHR and gender equality has been an enriching and eye-opening experience. I have learned what’s beneath the surface of the issue, be it awareness, lack of resources or disregard for trans men, who also menstruate.”

The Transmen-ses campaign aims to tackle the issue of silence and disregard for trans men’s menstruation needs, by mobilising gender sensitive health professionals and gender neutral restrooms in Lucknow.

Read more about the campaign here.

A Computer Science engineer by education, Nitisha started her career in the corporate sector, before realising she wanted to work in the development and social justice space. Since then, she has worked with Teach For India and Care India and is from the founding batch of Indian School of Development Management (ISDM), a one of its kind organisation creating leaders for the development sector through its experiential learning post graduate program.

As a Youth Ki Awaaz Menstrual Health Fellow, Nitisha has started Let’s Talk Period, a campaign to mobilise young people to switch to sustainable period products. She says, “80 lakh women in Delhi use non-biodegradable sanitary products, generate 3000 tonnes of menstrual waste, that takes 500-800 years to decompose; which in turn contributes to the health issues of all menstruators, increased burden of waste management on the city and harmful living environment for all citizens.

Let’s Talk Period aims to change this by

Find out more about her campaign here.

Share your details to download the report.

We promise not to spam or send irrelevant information.

A former Assistant Secretary with the Ministry of Women and Child Development in West Bengal for three months, Lakshmi Bhavya has been championing the cause of menstrual hygiene in her district. By associating herself with the Lalana Campaign, a holistic menstrual hygiene awareness campaign which is conducted by the Anahat NGO, Lakshmi has been slowly breaking taboos when it comes to periods and menstrual hygiene.

A Gender Rights Activist working with the tribal and marginalized communities in india, Srilekha is a PhD scholar working on understanding body and sexuality among tribal girls, to fill the gaps in research around indigenous women and their stories. Srilekha has worked extensively at the grassroots level with community based organisations, through several advocacy initiatives around Gender, Mental Health, Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights (SRHR) for the indigenous in Jharkhand, over the last 6 years.

Srilekha has also contributed to sustainable livelihood projects and legal aid programs for survivors of sex trafficking. She has been conducting research based programs on maternal health, mental health, gender based violence, sex and sexuality. Her interest lies in conducting workshops for young people on life skills, feminism, gender and sexuality, trauma, resilience and interpersonal relationships.

A Guwahati-based college student pursuing her Masters in Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Bidisha started the #BleedwithDignity campaign on the technology platform, demanding that the Government of Assam install
biodegradable sanitary pad vending machines in all government schools across the state. Her petition on has already gathered support from over 90000 people and continues to grow.

Bidisha was selected in’s flagship program ‘She Creates Change’ having run successful online advocacy
campaigns, which were widely recognised. Through the #BleedwithDignity campaign; she organised and celebrated World Menstrual Hygiene Day, 2019 in Guwahati, Assam by hosting a wall mural by collaborating with local organisations. The initiative was widely covered by national and local media, and the mural was later inaugurated by the event’s chief guest Commissioner of Guwahati Municipal Corporation (GMC) Debeswar Malakar, IAS.

Sign up for the Youth Ki Awaaz Prime Ministerial Brief below