Tag Archives: Aryan Invasion Theory

DNA study junks Aryan invasion theory 

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Harappan site of Rakhigarhi: DNA study finds no Central Asian trace, junks Aryan invasion theory

The Aryan invasion theory holds forth that a set of migrants came from Central Asia armed with superior knowledge and arms and invaded the existing settlements to establish a more sophisticated civilisation in India and pushed the original inhabitants down south.

The much-awaited DNA study of the skeletal remains found at the Harappan site of Rakhigarhi, Haryana, shows no Central Asian trace, indicating the Aryan invasion theory was flawed and Vedic evolution was through indigenous people.

The lead researchers of this soon-to be published study — Vasant Shinde and Neeraj Rai — told ET that this establishes the knowledge ecosystem in the Vedic era was guided by “fully indigenous” people with limited “external contact”.

“The Rakhigarhi human DNA clearly shows a predominant local element — the mitochondrial DNA is very strong in it. There is some minor foreign element which shows some mixing up with a foreign population, but the DNA is clearly local,” Shinde told ET. He went on to add: “This indicates quite clearly, through archeological data, that the Vedic era that followed was a fully indigenous period with some external contact.”
According to Shinde’s findings, the manner of burial is quite similar to the early Vedic period, also known as the Rigvedic Era. The pottery, the brick type used for construction and the general ‘good health’ of the people ascertained through the skeletal remains in Rakhigarhi, he said, pointed to a well-developed knowledge system that evolved further into the Vedic era. The study has, in fact, noted that some burial rituals observed in the Rakhigarhi necropolis prevail even now in some communities, showing a remarkable continuity over thousands of years.

Shinde, who is the vice-chancellor of the Deccan College, Pune, was the lead archaeologist in the study while Rai, who is the head of the ancient DNA laboratory at Lucknow’s Birbal Sahni Institute of Palaeosciences, did the DNA study.

MINOR TRACES OF IRANIAN STRAINS

According to Rai, the evidence points to a predominantly indigenous culture that voluntarily spread across other areas, not displaced or overrun by an Aryan invasion. “The condition of the human skeletons, the burial…all show absence of palaeo-pathology symptoms which could indicate ailments due to lack of medical care. The persons here were healthy; denture morphology showed teeth free of any infection; bones are healthy, as is the cranium,” Rai told ET.

He also discounted the notion of any violent conflict. “There are no cuts and marks which would be associated with a population subjected to warfare. All this indicates that the people were receiving well-developed healthcare and had full-fledged knowledge systems.” The excavations in Rigvedic phase, he said, corroborate this. “This points to greater continuity rather than to a new Aryan race descending and bringing superiorknowledge systems to the region,” Rai said.

The Rakhigarhi study, he said, while showing absence of any Central Asian/Steppe element in the genetic make-up of the Harappan people, does indicate minor traces of Iranian strains which may point to contact, not invasion.

The Aryan invasion theory holds forth that a set of migrants came from Central Asia armed with superior knowledge and arms and invaded the existing settlements to establish a more sophisticated civilisation in India and pushed the original inhabitants down south. Rakhigarhi is one of the biggest Harappan civilisation sites spread across 300 hectares in Hisar, Haryana. It’s estimated to be 6,000 years old and was part of the mature phase of the Harappan period.

Rai disclosed that 148 independent skeletal elements from Rakhigarhi were screened for the presence of DNA molecules at the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology in Hyderabad. Of the 148 skeletal remains, only two samples yielded any relevant DNA material.

Meanwhile, hectic last-minute efforts are on to get additional genetic details of the DNA material. One of the DNA samples recently faced contamination in a Seoul laboratory and efforts are on to segregate it. Samples were sent to laboratories in Seoul and Harvard for establishing accuracy. The contamination, Rai said, is unlikely to have any major bearing on the study’s primary findings.

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Read More on BBC and the Aryan Invasion Myth

 

 

 

 

 

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Goldie Behl should give a second thought to his serial on ‘Aryan Invasion’ theory

goldie-and-rajivRajiv Malhotra, an eminent public intellectual, has raised a red flag through his FacFacebookdeo post on an upcoming TV serial by well-known masala movie producer Goldie Behl of Rose Movies fame.

Rose Movies has made many good movies over years. However, Goldie Behl has more flops to his credit than hits. Now he has moved onto the small screen. Name of the proposed serial is ‘Aarambh’. It is his take on ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ – a theory long discredited by new scientific researches by archaeologists, genetic studies, linguistic studies and historical evidence. ( Ed : Read about how the theory is discredited – Here )

Rajiv Malhotra’s contention is based on the fact that shooting has already begun. As per insiders, it is based on AIT. Interestingly, Vijayendra Prasad who gained global fame from his super hit movies‘Bahubali’ and ‘Bajrangi Bhaijan’ and many more in South is supposed to be writing for this serial. While other movies of his are work of fiction and he could take huge flights of fancy, this serial is not a fiction.

A simple disclaimer about this serial being work of fiction will not absolve it of the crime of raising social tensions by giving new oxygen to so-called Aryan-Dravid divide. Imagine somebody making a fictional serial on Prophet Mohammed or Jesus and putting a disclaimer that it is a work of fiction. I am sure, nobody will buy it. Such a fictionalization of the oldest living civilization will not be a good idea.

Aryan Invasion Theory was invented by Max Mueller under the aegis of British. This myth was further perpetuated by Bishop Caldwell to serve British interests, as Malhotra explains. Nobody in India had bought this idea but it was used for political gains in last 60-70 years first by Dravidian movement spearheaded by Periyar Ramaswamy Naicker. It is being revived more seriously since last two decades or more by Church to exploit the political situation, especially in South to run its conversion factory.

Genetic studies, latest being by Harvard group of scientists, had convincingly proven that genetic pool of people in North (supposedly Aryans) and South (supposedly Dravidian) is the same. They come from same stock. Linguistic studies show deep connects between languages of north and south India with lot more in common in words and grammar. Archaeological proofs show no violence or war in Harappan belt that displaced Dravidians from Harappan civilization to south. There is no sign of any violence in these places. A new theory that people moved out from Harappan and Mohanjo Daro belt due to drying up of river Saraswati is backed by scientific evidence. How can then a serial show something that is blatantly wrong? ( Ed : Read Report Here)

This AIT was perpetuated for political gains by interested parties beginning from British. A serial through mass media like TV will definitely leave a mark on the new generation that is reading neutered and castrated history and has no time to go to the internet to understand the real history and legacy of this ancient land. So, this fiction will shape their thoughts as history. This could give air to social disrupters.

Only recently Ashutosh Gowarikar fictionalized Mohanjo Daro civilization. He did take a lot of creative liberties; but not to the extent of legitimizing AIT.

We know our film makers are quite lazy about research. Our movies about history and ancient Indian culture are witness to this. There seems to have been no attempt to study alternative view point by the producers. Rajiv Malhotra has appealed to the makers to evolve more scholars, discuss the ideas thoroughly and take a common view before going ahead with this ambitious project which may end up doing more harm than good. Rose Movies may make good money but at the cost of the integrity of this nation and hurting glorious civilization of India.

We do hope better senses will prevail and Goldie Behl will revise his plans based on established truth, around which he can fictionalize with love stories or drama or anything interesting for his show business. No nation can afford to damage its heritage and still hope to gain the respect of the world.

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Ramayana and Mahabharata – History and not myths

The new chairman of ICHR argues that faith and reason can go hand in hand in the writing of history.

OUTLOOK INTERVIEWS YELLAPRAGADA SUDERSHAN RAO

http://www.outlookindia.com/article/Ramayana-Mahabharata-Are-True-Accounts-Of-The-PeriodNot-Myths/291363

The media describes him as an RSS man and the author of the Mahabharata Project, but very little is known about the mild-mannered historian from Telangana in academic circles.Yellapragada Sudershan Rao, the new chairman of the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), describes himself as a colonial historian and argues that faith and reason can go hand in hand in the writing of history.

You have lashed out against Marxist historians and their interpretation of history. Why is the writing of history a Right vs Left debate?

I think it is time to think about India’s history from an Indian perspective. For the last 60 years, our writing and understanding of history has been influenced by the West. Indian research has been far too dependent on the West to write its own history. We are dependent on their translations and interpretation. And, these are my personal views, history writing in India is Euro-centric and imperialistic. The ICHR, I understand, is in the process of acquiring digital records from centres of history in the US and Europe. This will not only give us access to our own records but will also aid us in writing history from our perspective.

You have been appointed by the BJP government. Don’t you think institutions such as the ICHR should be free of politics?

The MoU (memorandum of understanding) prepared by the founding fathers of ICHR gave the powers to the government to appoint heads of social and historical institutes. I have no qualms in admitting that these appointments are political. Have previous heads of social institutes been questioned about their appointments? Why are these questions asked only about me? The government has been formed by a democratic process. It has been elected by the people. To question that is to question democracy itself. Unlike other social institutes, the ICHR attracts a lot of attention because history is an important subject. But history belongs to the people. We have not shown or written a comprehensive history of India to the people of India. History is by the people, for the people and of the people.

You are the author of the Mahabharata project? What is the project about?

There is a certain view that the Mahabharata or the Ramayana are myths. I don’t see them as myths because they were written at a certain point of time in history. They are important sources of information in the way we write history. What we write today may become an important source of information for the fut­ure in the future. When analysed, of course, they could be declared to be true or false. History is not static. It belongs to the people, it’s made by the people. Similarly, the Ram­ayana is true for people…it’s in the collective memory of generations of Indians. We can’t say the Ramayana or the Mahabharata are myths. Myths are from a western perspective.

What does that mean?

For us, the Ramayana and the Mahabharata are true accounts of the periods in which they were written.

But shouldn’t the writing of history be rooted in historical evidence and research?

Western schools of thought look at material evidence of history. We can’t produce material evidence for everything. India is a continuing civilisation. To look for evidence would mean digging right though the hearts of villages and displacing people. We only have to look at the people to figure out the similarities in their lives and the depiction in the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. For instance, the Ramayana mentions that Rama had travelled to Bhad­ra­chalam (in Andhra Pradesh). A look at the people and the fact that his having lived there for a while is in the collective memory of the people cannot be discounted in the search for material evidence. In continuing civilisations such as ours, the writing of history cannot depend only on archaeological evidence. We have to depend on folklore too.

Are you for correcting the writing of history?

I won’t put it that way. But real history has to come through. I am a follower of truth. The ICHR should encourage research about India and Greater India—from Southeast Asia all the way to Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran. There is enough archaeological evidence to show the connect of our civilisation there.

What is your view on Ayodhya?

Is it not a fact that mosques as structures came to be in India in 1000 AD? Is it not a fact that the mosque was built by a lieutenant of Babur? A historian can only enlighten people on the facts of history. Historians can at best say evidence of earlier remains of a Hindu structure are there. Conflicting views are created by political leaders. If Ayodhya is not the place of Ram, where did he live? Looking at the present structures in Ayodhya, we can see people still living the way that finds a mention in the Ramayana. Historians can only give their opinion to enlighten people.

Doesn’t correcting history pose a problem? Why only cast it in the context of two communities? How about Dalits and untouchability?

The question of untouchability is relatively recent, as recent as 3,000 years. And it has its basis in the economy. It was not based on social status. Did we hear of untouchability before this period of 3,000 years? Let me give you an example. Sage Vishwamitra went to a Dalit hut and asked for dog’s meat as he was hungry. The Ramayana and Mahabharata are replete with instances of different castes, did we find a mention of untouchability there?

As a historian, are you trying to give a religious interpretation to history?

I am a Hindu and a Brahmin. To be a Hindu isn’t a religion. In my personal practices, I can adopt religious practices of the community to which I belong—as a Shaivite or a Vaishnavite. But that is not what being a Hindu is about. Reli­gi­ons are recent manifestations. I feel the­re’s only Sanatana Dharma. There was no conflict between communities or on religious lines as there was only one sanatana dharma. Now there are several reasons for conflict to take place. Besides, Muslims are the only ones who have retained their distinct culture. Can Christians or Muslims say all religions are one? A Hindu can say that. There was no conflict when there was sanatana dharma, Conflict or contests came about when temples were destroyed and mosques built on the sites in medieval times.

Didn’t Hindus destroy Buddhist monuments?

I agree. But Buddhism was on the wane then, in decline. But were thousands of people killed as they were in the raids to the Somnath temple? I won’t use the word corrections here. But the real history has to come up

BBC Accepts that the Aryan Invasion theory is flawed

This is a very important article which calls the cloak off the most damaging theory concocted by the British and served to Indians. Most of the apparent differences that are seen in Indian society like the North-South Divide, Upper caste – Lower caste divides, language problems, can be related to the Aryan-Dravidian theory. I believe that this theory to be the most successful chapter of the British  ‘Divide and Rule” policy. They employed Muller as part of Macaulay’s grand scheme to devalue Indian history. So much so, that today we have large sections of “educated Indians” who undermine their own heritage and consider that the British rule as a great chapter in India’s history.

Ayush

The original link has been moved by BBC into archives

https://web.archive.org/web/20060705184146/http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/history5.shtml

Aryan Invasion archive

One of the most controversial ideas about Hindu history is the Aryan invasion theory.

This theory, originally devised by F. Max Muller in 1848, traces the history of Hinduism to the invasion of India’s indigenous people by lighter skinned Aryans around 1500 BCE.

The theory was reinforced by other research over the next 120 years, and became the accepted history of Hinduism, not only in the West but in India.

But many people argue that there is now evidence to show that Muller, and those who followed him, were wrong.

Others, however, believe that the case against the Aryan invation theory is far from conclusive.

The matter remains very controversial and highly politicised. The article below sets out the case made by those who believe that the Aryan invasion theory is seriously flawed.

The case against the Aryan invasion theory

The Aryan invasion theory was based on archaeological, linguistic and ethnological evidence.

Later research, it is argued, has either discredited this evidence, or provided new evidence that combined with the earlier evidence makes other explanations more likely.

Some historians of the area no longer believe that such invasions had such great influence on Indian history. It’s now generally accepted that Indian history shows a continuity of progress from the earliest times to today.

The changes brought to India by other cultures are not denied by modern historians, but they are no longer thought to be a major ingredient in the development of Hinduism.

Dangers of the theory

Opponents of the Aryan invasion theory claim that it denies the Indian origin of India’s predominant culture, and gives the credit for Indian culture to invaders from elsewhere.

They say that it even teaches that some of the most revered books of Hindu scripture are not actually Indian, and it devalues India’s culture by portraying it as less ancient than it actually is.

The theory was not just wrong, some say, but included unacceptably racist ideas:

  • it suggested that Indian culture was not a culture in its own right, but a synthesis of elements from other cultures
  • it implied that Hinduism was not an authentically Indian religion but the result of cultural imperialism
  • it suggested that Indian culture was static, and only changed under outside influences
  • it suggested that the dark-skinned Dravidian people of the South of India had got their faith from light-skinned Aryan invaders
  • it implied that indigenous people were incapable of creatively developing their faith
  • it suggested that indigenous peoples could only acquire new religious and cultural ideas from other races, by invasion or other processes
  • it accepted that race was a biologically based concept (rather than, at least in part, a social construct) that provided a sensible way of ranking people in a hierarchy, which provided a partial basis for the caste system
  • it provided a basis for racism in the Imperial context by suggesting that the peoples of Northern India were descended from invaders from Europe and so racially closer to the British Raj
  • it gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier
  • it downgraded the intellectual status of India and its people by giving a falsely late date to elements of Indian science and culture

More evidence

New research reveals the ancestral populations of India and their relationships to modern groups

Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study
25 September 2009
THE TIMES OF INDIA

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Aryan-Dravidian-divide-a-myth-Study/articleshow/5053274.cms

HYDERABAD: The great Indian divide along north-south lines now stands blurred. A pathbreaking study by Harvard and indigenous researchers on ancestral Indian populations says there is a genetic relationship
between all Indians and more importantly, the hitherto believed “fact” that Aryans and Dravidians signify the ancestry of north and south Indians might after all, be a myth.

“This paper rewrites history… there is no north-south divide,” Lalji Singh, former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and a co-author of the study, said at a press conference here on
Thursday.

Senior CCMB scientist Kumarasamy Thangarajan said there was no truth to the Aryan-Dravidian theory as they came hundreds or thousands of years after the ancestral north and south Indians had settled in India.

The study analysed 500,000 genetic markers across the genomes of 132 individuals from 25 diverse groups from 13 states. All the individuals were from six-language families and traditionally “upper” and
“lower” castes and tribal groups. “The genetics proves that castes grew directly out of tribe-like organizations during the formation of the Indian society,” the study said. Thangarajan noted that it was
impossible to distinguish between castes and tribes since their genetics proved they were not systematically different.

The study was conducted by CCMB scientists in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School,
Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. It reveals that the present-day Indian population is a mix of ancient north and south bearing the genomic contributions from two
distinct ancestral populations – the Ancestral North Indian (ANI) and the Ancestral South Indian (ASI).

“The initial settlement took place 65,000 years ago in the Andamans and in ancient south India around the same time, which led to population growth in this part,” said Thangarajan. He added, “At a later stage,
40,000 years ago, the ancient north Indians emerged which in turn led to rise in numbers here. But at some point of time, the ancient north and the ancient south mixed, giving birth to a different set of population.
And that is the population which exists now and there is a genetic relationship between the population within India.”

The study also helps understand why the incidence of genetic diseases among Indians is different from the rest of the world. Singh said that 70% of Indians were burdened with genetic disorders and the study could
help answer why certain conditions restricted themselves to one population. For instance, breast cancer among Parsi women, motor neuron diseases among residents of Tirupati and Chittoor, or sickle cell
anaemia among certain tribes in central India and the North-East can now be understood better, said researchers.

The researchers, who are now keen on exploring whether Eurasians descended from ANI, find in their study that ANIs are related to western Eurasians, while the ASIs do not share any similarity with any other
population across the world. However, researchers said there was no scientific proof of whether Indians went to Europe first or the other way round.

Migratory route of Africans

Between 135,000 and 75,000 years ago, the East-African droughts shrunk the water volume of the lake Malawi by at least 95%, causing migration out of Africa. Which route did they take? Researchers say their study of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands using complete mitochondrial DNA sequences and its comparison those of world populations has led to the theory of a “southern coastal route” of migration from East Africa through India.

This finding is against the prevailing view of a northern route of migration via Middle East, Europe, south-east Asia, Australia and then to India.

The Aryan Invasion – Time To Forget it

The Aryan Race: Time to Forget About It?

Shrikant Talageri speaks on Aryan Invasion Theory

http://youtu.be/fu9Co8b-G1c