Ahir for rules to stop melting of ancient coins
TNN | Jan 16, 2016, 03.30 AM ISTNagpur
Minister of state for chemicals and fertilizers Hansraj Ahir on Friday said that he will pursue with the government the need to frame rules to prohibit melting of ancient coins. He said he will hold a discussion whether the act of melting should be brought under prohibition or not. "I personally believe that melting such precious heritage is a cruel act and the government should work on making strict laws to stop it from happening," he said.
"Ancient coins which form a very important proof of ancient civilization have been underrated by several generations. All they see is the value of metal the coin holds," said Ahir while addressing a three-day first international seminar on 'Gupta coinage' organized by the Coin Society of India held at a city hotel on Friday. Society chairman Prashant Kulkarni, trustee Chandrashekhar Gupta, professor at Boston University Pankaj Tondon, researcher on Gupta coinage from Netherlands Alen Raven, former vice-chancellor of Kavi Kulguru Kalidas University Pankaj Chande, numismatic researcher from Oxford University Shailendra Bhandare and numismatic researcher from the United States Sanjeev Kumar were seated on the dais.
Former president of Numismatic Coin Society of India SK Bose, who is spreading awareness among people against melting of ancient coin said, "It has been because of the role of coin societies that people instead of melding coins are coming to us to know the historic value of such coins."
Talking about Gupta coinage, Ahir said, "In Indian history, the Gupta kings' rule between 3rd and 5th century AD is considered as a golden era. Every single coin that was minted in that age was made in gold, called 'dinaar'. It signifies the level of prosperity we had then. Being a Lok Sabha member I am realizing that India is slowly coming back to where it was."
Talking to TOI about the significance of 'Gupta', Kulkarni said, "There is one peculiar thing about every Gupta coin. Minted in gold, they all had exquisite pictorial representations punched on them, unlike other coins which usually have scripts or symbols.
The Guptas have a series of coins depicting various qualities that a king should have. One coin showcases a king playing Veena, signifying that a king should have a sense of music. On other coin, a king is performing 'Ashvamedha', depicting strength. There is also a coin in which the king is shown as lion slayer."
"Gupta has always stood as a proud dynasty. The famous Nalanda University flourished in the reign of king Kumar Gupta who gave a lot of importance to education. We all know about Sanskrit scholar Kalidas lived during the reign of King Chandra Gupta ll," he said.
(Reporting by Shakti Singh)
Source: Times of India