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Democracy in Maldives

Sir, — This refers to the impression that Maldivians' do not value their ancient heritage ("Democracy in the Maldives," by V. Suryanarayan, Oct. 2). Historical studies and the National Museum in the Maldives have gone through significant changes in recent years. The ancient relics enjoy a decent and prominent display in the museum today. A few years ago, an extensive Buddhist stupa complex was excavated in the island of Kaashidhoo with Norwegian collaboration. The site is open to tourists of neighbouring resorts. A number of inscriptions, one in Brahmi dating back to the 5th-6th century A.D, have been brought to light for the study of international scholars. Several recent publications on the ancient heritage have come from the National Centre for Linguistic and Historical Research, Male, and from many European scholars. Many young Maldivians have taken up heritage studies.

A predominant section of the academia of the neighbouring countries, Sri Lanka and India, and a bunch of Orientalists of the language school were partly responsible for the picture of the early 1990s painted by Prof. Suryanarayan.

Dr. P. Raghupathy,
Formerly, Professor of South and Southeast Asian Studies,
Utkal University of Culture, Bhubaneswar

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