I am reproducing comments of Prof. Gupta since they are extremely relevant to the subject of ancient Indian history. Although comments are specific in the context of multiple claims for the timing of Ramayana, they apply equally well to timing of Mahabharata and many other key instances of Indian history.
He also demonstrates, by his own example, how each interested individual can contribute in his/her own capacity to push for the growth of knowledge.
I reproduce his comments below.
“Historicity of Ram and dating of his era is an issue of national importance and of utmost public interest. I am greatly confused by various claims ranging from 12,240 BCE to 1200 BCE for the year of birth of Sri Ram. Each claim is based on astronomical calculations. I don’t know anything about astronomy or the methodology adopted by Saroj ji, Nilesh ji or other researchers. I am not in a position to say who is right and who is wrong. I believe that there are only five or six specialists and they must sit together and reach a consensus.
If one of the dates is accepted by the general public due to much hype and publicity, and it is proved wrong later, the general public will lose faith in the astronomical method. It will be a great disservice done by well-meaning people. It will be counter-productive to the cause in the long run.
To the best of my knowledge, Nilesh ji has presented a critique of the works of other researchers on the dating of era of Ram, but not the vice versa. I had met with and heard a lecture by the late Mr Pushkar Bhatnagar ji soon after publication of his book. I am sure that had he been alive, he would have surely discussed the matter with Nilesh ji.
Bhatnagar ji’s work is being propagated and extended by Saroj Bala ji and her institute, I-SERVE. She has organized two international conferences on historicity of the Vedic and the Ramayan eras. She is a pioneer in bringing people together on this subject. She has the resources. Therefore, I had suggested to her that instead of a big conference, she may consider holding a brainstorming of all those involved in astronomical dating of Vedas, Ramayana, and Mahabharata. She told me that “We want no discussion. Our dates are final.” Saroj Bala ji has alleged on this blog that I have ‘grossly misquoted’ her. If she feels that, so be it. I don’t want to join issue with her. I greatly welcome her statement that she is agreeable for a discussion with Nilesh ji about dating of Ramayana and Mahabharata. I sincerely wish that it happens
I also request Nilesh Oak ji, to plan a brainstorming session on his own initiative during his next visit to India.”