ASI to join Tamil Nadu in Keezhadi site research: Minister

Contrary to popular belief, the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) is not an enemy of Tamil culture but it will join hands with the state Archaeological Department to jointly excavate the fourth phase of Keezhadi archaeological excavation, said Minister for Tamil Culture ‘Ma Foi’ K Pandiarajan, at Keezhadi in Sivaganga, on Tuesday.
ASI to join Tamil Nadu in Keezhadi site research: Minister
Minister for Tamil Culture ‘Ma Foi’ K Pandiarajan inspecting the artefacts at Keezhadi


Pandiarajan also visited the Keezhadi and Azhagankulam archaeological sites and inspected the artefacts unearthed from Keezhadi. During the inspection, he interacted with the officials of the state Archaeological Department, where they explained about the history of the unearthed artefacts. Interacting with the media, he further said that the fourth phase of excavation at Keezhadi would commence after the North- East monsoon ended. As the excavation at Azhagankulam had been completed, the entire team would be shifted to Keezhadi for the work along with ASI. The motive of the Department is to find the link between the unearthed artefacts and to determine the nature of civilization that had existed at Keezhadi. 
Pandiarajan also said that the creation of a Harvard Tamil Chair is a proud moment for Tamil people across the world and the state government had contributed Rs10 crore for the chair. Apart from the government, many celebrities such as musicians AR Rahman, GV Prakash, actors Vishal and Karunas, had donated a large sum for the Harvard Tamil Chair. 
Conceding that merely on the basis of donations made, the government cannot interfere in the functioning of the Tamil Chair, Pandiarajan said and added that they have however requested that the Head of Harvard Tamil Chair should be a Tamilian. He also said that based on proofs that Raja Raja Cholan had conquered an island in Malaysia, the state government requested Harvard Tamil Chair to undertake research on the same. 
Speaking about the onsite museum at Keezhadi, he said the state government had allotted two acres of land and Rs 10 crore but the ASI had to grant permission.

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