“The Falsification of Indian History” – The Eminences

via H. Balakrishnan published on October 13, 2009

Letter to Indian Express

Dear Sir,

Reference the ‘gibberish’, that passes for scholastics in history – ” Indus Valley predated Aryan culture ” – (TNSE-11 OCT).

When we open a history book used in our schools today, we find that it invariably begins with a description of the Indus Valley Civilization. It usually starts off with an account of the two major sites Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, followed by a brief description of what was found there. Our children will also be told how this civilization went into decline and finally disappeared by 1500 BCE. The main cause of this disappearance, our cildren will be
told, was the invasion of India by nomadic tribes from Central Asia called ‘Aryans’. Our children will then be told they drove away the dark-skinned Dravidians to the South and their most important literature is the Rig Veda. And, that very same ‘colonial
construct’ is mouthed by ‘Eminent Historian’ Iravatham Mahadevan, as your report clearly tells !! Q.E.D. !!

First things first. The most common use of the word ‘Arya’ in classical Sanskrit is an ‘honorific’ i.e equivalent to the English ‘Sir’. It could also, in Sanskrit, be a term of endearment like ‘Arya-Putra’. The Rig Veda uses this term as an adjective, invariably to
imply finer qualities as : ” prajA AryA jyotiragrAh” (children of Arya seek and are led by Jyoti – where Jyoti is to be taken as enlightenment- in a spiritual sense). Where does the ‘ invading Aryans’ fit into this scheme of things?!!

“Eminent Historian” Mahadevan stated : ” There had been fewer Aryans who had ‘MIGRATED’ and that they were considerably less in number to the vast indigenous population of the Indus Valley civilisation”.  Oh Yes!! We are aware of the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ being whittled down to the ‘Aryan Migration Theory’!! We await with bated breath the grandiose announcement at the next History Congress, the discovery of the ‘Aryan Tourism Theory’. Nobel Prize winner Sir Naipaul had wondered what was the visa procedure then for ‘touring Aryans’!! One of the consequences of all this ‘myth creation’ – colonial & missionay construct’- has been that many of the acheivements of the Indian civilization are now attributed NOT to Indians, but to their ancestors before their arrival in India.

Your report stated: ” He discussed Aryan and Dravidian legacy in the linguistic connotation”. Open source literature by ‘other truthful’ historians not forming part of the ‘Eminent Historians’ Club, have already noted of the ‘moves afoot’ by these ‘Eminences’ to present ‘their theory in linguistic terms’. I am surprised that ‘His Eminence’ Mahadevan did not mention the ‘Theory of Double Invasion’ that the Dravidians had to suffer – first at the hands of the Scythians and thereafter the Aryans !! A ‘Theory’ invented by Bishop Caldwell !!

Here is a contrarian view,on linguistics, published way back in 1997 !! Mario Alinei is Professor Emeritus at the University of Utrecht, where he taught from 1959 to 1987. He is founder and editor of Quaderni di semantica review. Until recently, he was president of Atlas Linguarum Europae at UNESCO. He presented a paper at an International Seminar, entitled: “TOWARDS AN INVASIONLESS MODEL OF INDO-EUROPEAN ORIGINS: THE CONTTINUITY THEORY”, published in: Papers from the EEA Third Annual Meeting at Ravenna 1997 -Vol. I Pre-and Protohistory – Edited by M. Pearce and M. Tosi, BAR International Series 717,pp. 31-33. The learned Professor stated:

Surprisingly, although the archaeological research of the last few  decennnia has provided more and more evidence that no large-scale invasion took place in Europe in the Calcholithic, Indo- European linguistics has stubbornly held to its strong invasionist assumption, and has continued to produce more and more variations on the old theme.

– It must also be pointed out that if we take into consideration not only Uralic but world languages and peoples considered globally, we will observe that the continuity model is the most general one, as it is applied, albeit not in detailed theories, to most African,
Asiatic and New World languages and peoples.

– The question then arises: why should only Indo-European (IE) people, despite evidence to the contrary, continue to be seen as invaders of their present territories? Clearly, the answer is ideological. For the invasion model was first advanced in the nineteenth century, when archaeology and related sciences were dominated by the ideology of colonialism, as recent historical research has shown. The successive generations of linguists and
archaeologists have been strongly inspired by the racist views that stemmed out of colonialism. Historians of archaeology (e.g. Daniel 1962, Trigger 1989) have repeatedly shown the importance of ideology in shaping archaeological theories as well as theories of human origins, while, unfortunately, linguistics has not followed the same course,and thus strongly believes in its own innocence.

– Yet there are innumerable proofs of ideological bias in linguistic work. In particular, many fundamental works on IE origins written in the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth are based on racist views. Let me quote, as one among scores of examples, Pictet, one of the founding fathers of IE studies, who in the middle of the nineteenth century, in the foreword of his most famous book, spoke of  the Aryan race in the following terms: ” a race destined by Providence to dominate one day the entire globe…Privileged among all others for the beauty of blood, and for the gifts of intelligence, … this fertile race has created, as a powerful medium of development, a language which is admirable for its richness, its vigour, its harmony and for the perfection of its forms” (Pictet 1859-63)

– A final argument for the Continuity Theory can be drawn from current research by geogeneticists, who have discovered that the correlation between the world distribution of languages and that of genetic markers is highly significant. If this is so, as it must be assumed, then the Continuity Theory would be a much more suitable framework also for European language origins than mass invasions, followed by catastrophic processes of language substitution.

Thus a ‘colonial, racist & missionary construct’ is still being ‘clung to’ like a shipwreck survivor by our ‘Eminent Historians’ – in our 62nd Year of Freedom from the Raj !! And, talking of ‘genetic markers’,the Oxford geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer, in his pathbreaking book ” Out of Eden: The peopling of the world” – (2003) – tells the reader that our ancestors used to live in Africa 150,000 years ago. A small group of homo sapiens left Africa some 80,000 years ago and settled along the South Asian coast from where they spread out to colonize different parts of the world. All non-Africans in the world today are descendants of a small group of South Asians living south of a line from Yemen to the Himalayas, especially along the Indian coast. This ‘founder group,’ from which all non-Africans are descended, barely survived the fallout from a volcanic eruption in Sumatra known as the ‘Toba Explosion’ 74,000 years ago. Climate changes have been the drivers of both evolution and migration. By relating these movements to ecological upheavals, what he gives us is the genetic history of modern humans correlated with the natural history of our planet.

Equally interesting is the message of the M17 genetic marker, which some have sought to identify with the ‘Aryan’ gene. It appears in India, Iran, Eurasia and Europe, but has the greatest intensity and diversity in India showing that the Indian population is the oldest. This means that proponents of the Aryan invasion (or migration) have got both the origin and the direction of movement wrong.

While on the subject of DNA, a report in the Times of India of 25 Sep 2009 and entitled ” Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study ” , stated: ” 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”.

Again. ” 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.”

Further. ” 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 report went on to add:

 “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.”  

Finally, the country that sponsored the “Aryan Invasion Theory” was Great Britain during the ‘Raj’. There was a report dated 30 Sep 2005, datelined from London, on the BBC website
– ” Religion and Ethics: Hinduism “.

The report stated:

” 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”.

” There is now ample evidence to show that Muller, and those who followed him, were wrong. Why is the theory no longer accepted? The Aryan invasion theory was based on archaeological, linguistic and ethnological evidence. Later research has either discredited this evidence, or provided new evidence that combined with the earlier evidence makes other explanations more likely. Modern 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 Aryan invasion theory denies the Indian origin of India’s predominant culture, but gives the credit for Indian culture to invaders from elsewhere. 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, it 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 “

In the light of the foregoing, instead of justifiably being proud of the fact that India represents the ‘Oldest & Unbroken Human Civilization’, that should fill our hearts with pride, we have these despicable ‘Eminent Historians’ who ‘Negate’ our History and Civilisational ethos. And what does one say about the newspaper that publishes this ‘trash’?  ‘SECULARISM’ eh?

Any wonder then, the sub-title of Arun Shourie’s ‘rip-off’ of these ‘mercenaries’ titled ‘ Eminent Historians ‘ reads as:

” Their Technology; Their Line; Their Fraud “
.

Fits ‘His Eminence’ Iravatham Mahadevan to the ‘proverbial Tee’!!

Supreme Court Justice Markandey Katju had in the recent past, while presiding over a Bench, stated words to the effect that given a chance, he would hang the corrupt from the nearest
lamp-pole. On the same analogy, if I had any power, I would ‘love’ these ‘Eminent Historians’ to face the ‘firing squad’. They deserve no mercy for the systematic rape of Mother India and Her history they have indulged in all these years. And, in the process teaching a negated & warped history of our Civilization to our children.

VANDE MATARAM

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