India’s 1947 release from the British Empire wasn’t the clean break most movie goers who enjoyed Ben Kingsley in Ghandi believe it to be. Shameless looting, stripping gold from temples and anywhere else something shined and glistened was the last minute Order of the Day. Tangible wealth, the precious metal kind, nearly disappeared from the sub-continent as a result of the mega-heist but not all of it into the pockets of Brit squaddies and sahibs.
Ancient cultures buried valuables in wells as a general rule because there wouldn’t be any damage or dissipation in volume to metals returned to the ground. And they didn’t always make a map with X marks the spot to pass down for it’s recovery in future. Cataclysmic events always leave a story to pass down within a family unit so it was left to a clever grandson to work out location and as rules in Karma favour ‘goodness’, some take generations to recover.
The recent find of hidden treasure reveals another reliable method for preserving wealth, hide it in plain sight and make sure that sight isn’t too attractive. Delapidated buildings around an Indian temple complex denote a level of poverty but as history tells us, priests of any kind never starve in a famine. It was as true during India’s upheavel as in the Irish Potato tragedy where the fat clergy gained weight and the famished peasants got the spiritual psyche-out.
The Indian silver bullion is the property of the temple but they’e not saying much at this point because they don’t want to curse their luck. The silver bars weren’t actually lost so what’s there to celebrate? No doubt the men from OSI are already on the plane with 17 tonnes of US T-bills they’d be happy to trade for the entire cache.