National Museum gets new chief and he has an Ayodhya connection
The Central government on Monday appointed Dr Buddha Rashmi Mani as the Director General of the National Museum.
New Delhi: The Central government on Monday appointed Dr Buddha Rashmi Mani as the Director General of the National Museum.
Dr Mani is an ex-Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) official who was part of the team that had discovered remains of a likely temple during excavation at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
The Indian Express reported on Tuesday that Dr Mani's team had kicked up a row in 2003 when it stated in its excavation report that features of a 10th-century temple were discovered beneath the site where the now-demolished Babri Masjid stood.
Dr Mani was later removed from the team by the ASI on the directions of the Allahabad High Court.
Dr Mani retired as Additional Director General of ASI in 2015.
Shortly after his appointment was confirmed, Dr Mani told the newspaper that he stands by his team's findings.
“Of course, I stand by what our team found. I was replaced because I refused to dig any further, which the court wanted. I felt there was no need to dig any further. So they said the leader of the team has to be changed,” Mani told the newspaper.
He appealed that people should not view his appointment as a “reward” from the Centre, currently ruled by a BJP-led government.
“If the BJP wanted to reward me, it could have given me promotions during my service. I retired as ADG of ASI,” he said, adding, “We are lucky to have a dynamic personality like Narendra Modi as our Prime Minister.”
Dr Mani can continue as DG, National Museum for three years or till attainment of age 70, an order by the Department of Personnel and Training states.