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Aryans In India: Old Debate Triggers New Debate
Posted on 11/11/2002 3:08:30 PM PST by blam
Aryans In India: Old Debate Triggers New Debate
New Delhi, Nov 11 (UNI) An Ancient India historian today said his remarks on academic debate over Aryan invasion were torn out of context by the Director of the New Delhi-based National Council of Educational Research and Training.
''He should read my book,'' Prof D N Jha said, commenting on a suggestion by Prof J S Rajput that his remarks perhaps implied a shift from the theory of Aryans' foreign origin.
Prof Rajput's suggestion came in a statement voicing satisfaction over scholars' ''professional'' remarks on the publication of the Council textbook on Ancient History for XI graders.
''Even Professor D N Jha, an esteemed scholar of Ancient India who has himself authored several books, has accepted that the Aryan invasion theory is a matter of academic debate,'' Prof Rajput said.
''This admission, coming from Prof Jha, is particularly significant in that his books never mentioned anything else than the Aryans' foreign origin theory,'' Prof Rajput said.
''The previous authors of NCERT's textbooks on Ancient India, Professors Romila Thapar and R S Sharma, had also shied from mentioning the India-origin theory of Aryans,'' he went on. ''We are happy that the new NCERT publication has already made an impact.'' Reached for comment, Prof Jha said, ''He should read my book. My position is clear that the Aryans' origin was foreign. The debate I referred to is on the manner of their arrival-- whether it was migration rather than invasion, as I held in my earlier writings.'' He said in his book 'Ancient India-- An Introductory Outline' published in 1977 he took the view it was an invasion, but he updated it and duly recorded it in another book called 'Ancient India in Historical Outline' published in 1998.
Prof Jha said the overall view in the debate-- which scholars say is more than 100 years old-- was balanced in favour of migration of Aryans as opposed to an invasion by them. ''I don't think there is much evidence of Aryans having an indigenous origin in India. They came from outside.'' Another scholar, Prof Arjun Dev, a former Professor of History and Head of the Social Science Department in the Council, said the Council remarks appeared intended to mislead by portraying a debate on the manner of Aryans' arrival as one on their origin.
He said it reflected eagerness of the establishment and its ideologues to try to prop up a communal ideology. The insistence on the Aryans' Indian origin is integral to this ideology.
He cited how Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarsanghchalak Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar accounted for nationalist leader Bal Gangadhar Tilak's view that Aryans hailed from the Arctic by saying Arctic had been a part of India
TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: aryaninvasion; aryans; debate; godsgravesglyphs; india; indusvalley; indusvalleyscript; new; triggers
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posted on 11/11/2002 3:08:31 PM PST
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarsanghchalak Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar .....
This is the guy's name? How does he even remember who he is?
posted on 11/11/2002 4:37:11 PM PST
posted on 11/11/2002 4:47:23 PM PST
"This is the guy's name? How does he even remember who he is?"
His friends and family call him 'Junior'.
posted on 11/11/2002 7:25:17 PM PST
Whoever the "Aryans" were, they had an Indoeuropean language very similar to those old Persia and of some other Near East civilizations. It appears some of them stopped off in Persia and the rest went on to India, given the similarities.
Indian tradition has the Aryan invasion coming from the north and pushing the original inhabitants to the south. The pattern of languages on the subcontinent today supports that scenario, with Dravidian (non-Indoeuropean) languages in the south and in Sri Lanka, but only in a pocket or two in the north where Hindi and other descendants of Sanskrit predominate.
This "Indian origin" thing resembles the idea put out in this country that Ancient Egypt was peopled by blacks. That is, it's a modern invention to encourage ethnic pride. Perhaps next the Brits will decide that the Norman invaders may have come from Scotland or Wales.
posted on 11/11/2002 7:41:50 PM PST
posted on 11/11/2002 7:48:44 PM PST
The Mitanni, Medes, Hittites and Philistines were the other Indo-European groups in the Mid East.
very similar to those old Persia and of some other Near East civilizations.
Editor wanted. Must work for peanuts.
posted on 11/11/2002 8:14:19 PM PST
The Mitanni, Medes, Hittites and Philistines were the other Indo-European groups in the Mid East.
That looks pretty good. Are you sure the Philistines weren't Semitic?
posted on 11/11/2002 8:15:15 PM PST
Heard of them, but remember little.
posted on 11/11/2002 8:22:06 PM PST
Ok, here goes.. if you care:
"Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh" is the name of an organization (Hindu fascist). "Sarsanghchalak" is the name of a position within that organization. "Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar" is his name. Think of it as "Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard John Doe".
posted on 11/11/2002 8:23:42 PM PST
posted on 11/11/2002 8:25:46 PM PST
South-Asians (India and Pakistan) are genetically caucasian, where is the controversy?
Oh, those guys. Yeah. Chinese Turkestan was a bit outside my thinking.
Looking at my own question about the Philistines: they were probably refugees ("sea people") from Crete after the big Thera volcanic popoff best remembered through a haze of legend as the downfall of Atlantis. (It was really the Minoans on Crete.) It looks from a cursory scan tonight as though their language hasn't been deciphered very far.
Maybe refugees from the Black Sea flood in 5600BC?
Thera exploded in 1628BC. (...and in my opinion, provided the fireworks for the Exodus.)
posted on 11/11/2002 8:37:45 PM PST
"Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Sarsanghchalak Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar"
The name of the person is Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar. "Sarsanghchalak" , transliterated into English would mean President and "Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh" is the name of a cultural organization. I hope that clarifies.
posted on 11/11/2002 10:40:45 PM PST
To: AM2000; keri; BlackIce; anu_shr
"Ku Klux Klan Grand Wizard John Doe".
Not very surprising that you choose to slander certain people and organizations and mislead the others with your hate propaganda.
posted on 11/11/2002 10:45:35 PM PST
Well Akash - you know it better - RSS and KKK are brother organisations which promote the same ideology - Aryan supremacy and hate for others. In Indian context - Aryan supremacy is expressed through the Brahminical order of caste system which is called the varna system. And Varna means color. The symbol is close too... the swastika.
posted on 11/12/2002 5:18:46 AM PST
Now that you tell me that you are uninformed let me enlighten you by saying that the swastika is an ancient hindu symbol which was appropriated, albeit with a modification by Hitler. As regards the RSS, let me tell you that the RSS does not believe in any form of supremacy of one caste/race(choose whatever you like....) over the other. Over the years it has unobtrusively tried to break up caste barriers. It recognizes that casteism is the soft underbelly of hinduism. To sum it up, the RSS is a cultural organization aiming at alleviating the cause of the Hindus and in raising Hindu awakening. It does not threaten anyone.
On a side note(and one more in tandem with the drift of this thread) I must say that history is merely a matter of standpoint. It is also politically expedient. The latest researches show that the Aryans were indeed indigenous people and not invaders. The Muslims and British found it convenient to promote this aryan invasion theory as it provided them with an excuse for their alien presence in India. Most westerners are loath to accept this change in theories, for then ugly questions would come up. For if it were proved that the Aryans were indigenous to India and from there spread to the rest of Asia and Europe, they wouldnt be able to tolerate the thoughts of having darker skinned ancestors. But fear not. It is never the object of these researchers to prove anything about the ancestors of the Westerners. For all they care the westerners could claim inheritance from Martians.
Which is why coming back to you "anu_shr" I must repeat that history is a matter of standpoint. If someone(most likely a subversive commie history writer) has drilled the thoughts that you expound in your post then you need to take a relook. Which is also the reason, why the history books were changed in the first place.
posted on 11/12/2002 6:03:19 AM PST
The usual theory was that the Philistines of the Coast were related to the Dorian Greeks and were part of the Sea Peoples who invaded Egypt but were defeated. They may conquered what was left of Minoan Culture. They introduced iron weaponry into Canaan. No wonder they were a tough group to beat.
posted on 11/12/2002 6:29:31 AM PST
The Swastika In Ancient India
posted on 11/12/2002 6:41:56 AM PST
Things are going to get even more "interesting" after the Iranians throw off the yoke of the mullahcracy.
They may not stop there. Perhaps they will discard Islam entirely. Perhaps they will attempt to recreate the empire of Xerxes. Already there is an Aryan nationalist movement in Persia (Iran). These people are adamant that they are the purest of the racially pure.
They look down on Parsees (the Zoroastrians who fled Persia to India to escape the Islamic conquest) for having mixed with Dravidians, and claim that Iranians were the Aryans who invaded India. Their symbol looks runic and vaguely resembles a cross between the swastika and the "double lightning" bars of the Nazi SS.
Most westerners are loath to accept this change in theories, for then ugly questions would come up. For if it were proved that the Aryans were indigenous to India and from there spread to the rest of Asia and Europe, they wouldnt be able to tolerate the thoughts of having darker skinned ancestors.
I disagree. Anything that allows the European cultural elites to wallow even more in "white guilt" will be snapped up eagerly by them (which is a bad thing in my opinion). Any indications that Europeans had darker skinned ancestors will be shrugged off by Europeans in general as no big deal (which is a good thing in my opinion).
posted on 11/12/2002 7:11:07 AM PST
(I found this article through the links you provided. I find it curious that this picture of the 'earliest writing' is the same one that is used in the link I provided in post#23 as an example of pottery dredged up from the underwater 'civilization' from 9,500 years ago. Something is wrong)
'Earliest writing' found
The fragments of pottery are about 5,500 years old
Exclusive by BBC News Online Science Editor Dr David Whitehouse
The first known examples of writing may have been unearthed at an archaeological dig in Pakistan.
So-called 'plant-like' and 'trident-shaped' markings have been found on fragments of pottery dating back 5500 years.
Dr Richard Meadow of Harvard University: "We may be able to follow the history of signs."
They were found at a site called Harappa in the region where the great Harappan or Indus civilisation flourished four and a half thousand years ago.
Harappa was originally a small settlement in 3500 BC but by 2600 BC it had developed into a major urban centre.
Harappa was occupied until about 1900 BC
The earliest known writing was etched onto jars before and after firing. Experts believe they may have indicated the contents of the jar or be signs associated with a deity.
According to Dr Richard Meadow of Harvard University, the director of the Harappa Archaeological Research Project, these primitive inscriptions found on pottery may pre-date all other known writing.
Last year it was suggested that the oldest writing might have come from Egypt.
Clay tablets containing primitive words were uncovered in southern Egypt at the tomb of a king named Scorpion.
They were carbon-dated to 3300-3200 BC. This is about the same time, or slightly earlier, to the primitive writing developed by the Sumerians of the Mesopotamian civilisation around 3100 BC.
"It's a big question as to if we can call what we have found true writing," he told BBC News Online, "but we have found symbols that have similarities to what became Indus script.
Work at Harappa is likely to fuel the debate on early writing
"One of our research aims is to find more examples of these ancient symbols and follow them as they changed and became a writing system," he added.
One major problem in determining what the symbols mean is that no one understands the Indus language. It was unique and is now dead.
Dr Meadow points out that nothing similar to the 'Rosetta Stone' exists for the Harappan text.
The Rosetta Stone, housed in the British museum since 1802, is a large slab of black basalt uniquely inscribed with the same text in both Egyptian hieroglyphs and Greek.
Its discovery allowed researchers to decipher the ancient Egyptian script for the first time.
The Harappan language died out and did not form the basis of other languages.
Dr Meadow: "The earliest inscriptions date back to 3500 BC."
"So probably we will never know what the symbols mean," Dr Meadow told BBC News Online from Harappa.
What historians know of the Harappan civilisation makes them unique. Their society did not like great differences between social classes or the display of wealth by rulers. They did not leave behind large monuments or rich graves.
They appear to be a peaceful people who displayed their art in smaller works of stone.
Their society seems to have petered out. Around 1900 BC Harappa and other urban centres started to decline as people left them to move east to what is now India and the Ganges.
This discovery will add to the debate about the origins of the written word.
It probably suggests that writing developed independently in at least three places - Egypt, Mesopotamia and Harappa between 3500 BC and 3100 BC.
posted on 11/12/2002 7:21:16 AM PST
The article and comments might interest you. (I'd also like to have your opinion on the RSS.)
I keep hoping someone will actually define "hindu-fascist." Maybe I'm simply missing the definition...
posted on 11/12/2002 11:42:50 AM PST
akash theres a very interesting book on VOI by srikant telagari (sic) who effectively argues that in fact the "aryans" moved west out of India after the drying of the sarasvati
i will post an article on the sarasvati
posted on 11/12/2002 2:59:23 PM PST
Wow! I just love these history threads. Keep posting them. They're a great relief from the all-politics-all-the-time threads on FR.
the Philistines weren't Semitic
The Sea Peoples came down from the Black Sea area.
He must have very big checks.
posted on 11/12/2002 4:28:31 PM PST
. As regards the RSS, let me tell you that the RSS does not believe in any form of supremacy of one caste/race(choose whatever you like....) over the other. Over the years it has unobtrusively tried to break up caste barriers. It recognizes that casteism is the soft underbelly of hinduism >>
I do hope you are right about this one. The day RSS and its band of brothers start to think life of one dead cow is infinitely inferior to that of 5 dead untouchables - I will start believing RSS words on Hindu unity. RSS wants to embrace caste system and not break it because without castes there is no Hinduism. The ultimate aim of a Hindu is to achieve Moksha ( unity with God /Salavation ) and get out of the cycle of births and rebirths. Brahmins are closest to that path to Moksha having done great stuff in their previous birth.
"Untouchable" castes are lowest in the hierarchy and can hope to move up in next birth by sufficiently "brahminising" themselves by not eating beef/flesh and having clean habits. They however cannot become brahmins in the same birth or by marrying upwards ( which is rare anyway )
RSS needs to come clean and denounce this interpretation of Hindu philosophy. This philosophy came up in ancient times to perpetuate Aryan supremacy and prevent Aryan blood from being corrupted by the dark , dravidian blood. The proof of it is that most Brahmins and other upper castes even in South of India have very light skins. Many have blue and grey eyes as well. The caste system has been an excellent tool to preserve racial purity in India. Numerous anthropoligal studies have proven this. You need one though ... just look at the guys.
The "new" history being created by the Hindu nationalists ( not Indian nationalists ) is pure fiction - based on myths , lies and no scientific studies
posted on 11/12/2002 8:39:27 PM PST
Thanks for the pic !!!
posted on 11/12/2002 9:12:51 PM PST
To: anu_shr; BlackIce; HinduAmerican
"The proof of it is that most Brahmins and other upper castes even in South of India have very light skins."
Ever heard of someone called Govindacharya, a BJP/RSS idealogue. More to the point, have you ever seen what he looks like. He is as dark and as swarthy as they come and he is a South Indian Brahmin.
posted on 11/13/2002 6:17:26 AM PST
You missed one of the points ...
"Untouchable" castes are lowest in the hierarchy and can hope to move up in next birth by sufficiently "brahminising" themselves by not eating beef/flesh and having clean habits.>>> over several generations castes adopt habits and move up the chain by announcing one fine day they are Brahmins changing their surnames even. this process is called "Sanskritization" as described a sociologist called MN Srinivas. This happened primarily in south of India where it was possible for SOME racially impure to become Brahmins after a while. Govindacharya - if you will notice - had a very controversial career in RSS with the purist Brahmin lobby after his blood - including alleging an affair with lower caste leader of BJP. His career has got nowhere.
Again if you look at caste hierarchy - the darkest are the untouchables and getting lighter as you look up the hierarchy. Brahmins are more or less an exclusive club. Exceptions are there and I have explained the reasons.
please do some reading on caste system and caste mobility over centuries.
posted on 11/13/2002 7:22:07 AM PST
Oh lord not this racial thing again
as for reading on the caste system, i suggest u read the book "castes of mind"
posted on 11/13/2002 10:35:28 AM PST
To: keri; anu_shr; akash
I'd also like to have your opinion on the RSS.
I don't know much about the RSS and frankly it doesn't interest me much
simply because I don't think it is very important.
Suffice it to say that I don't rate India very high
on the list of countries where fascism is a menace.
(Unlike certain other countries not far from India).
posted on 11/15/2002 7:36:14 PM PST
To: akash; anu_shr; keri
In the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations in Ankara, Turkey
there is a famous heraldic ornament from Catal Huyuk
dating from 2500 B.C.
It is decorated with 19 swastikas.
The ancient swastika is found in many cultures
including the Hindu, Buddhist, and pre-Buddhist Tibet.
It adorns temples both Hindu and Buddhist
not just in India
but even as far away as Korea.
On one occasion
while dining in a Chinese restaurant
staring idly at the wall decorations
I was startled to notice a pair of swastikas.
In Hindu theology
the clockwise turning swastika represents the positive forces of the universe.
(One ALWAYS circles a temple or shrine in the clockwise direction.)
A swastika turning counter-clockwise represents forces tending to destruction.
The Nazis adopted the counter-clockwise swastika as their emblem.
posted on 11/15/2002 7:54:55 PM PST
Thanks for the information. I always learn something from you.
posted on 11/15/2002 8:06:23 PM PST
To: Mitchell; keri
I thought you might be interested in my post #39
since it bears on the origin of the Indo-European languages
which I mentioned to you some time ago.
(not my theory, since many others proposed it before me)
is that these languages originated in present day Turkey
more particularly, in the Anatolian plain.
The archaeological site
(umlauts over the U's and a cedilla under the C)
("Fork Mound" in Turkish)
is the oldest in Turkey
and probably one of the oldest cities in the world
dating back at least 8000 years.
I believe it was the source of the Indo-European languages.
The swastika is one little piece of evidence for this theory.
(By the way, I never have seen this ornament mentioned anywhere
in any of the articles, or polemics, about the origins of IE.)
The Hittites who are the earliest known Indo-Europeans
and inhabited Anatolia about 1800 BC
also used the swastika in their art.
in the stunningly beautiful bas-relief engraved on a bare rock face
near the tiny village of Ivriz
(not far from Catal Huyuk and very rarely visited by tourists.)
I also agree with those who say
there never was any 'Aryan invasion' of India
but rather a gradual migration of farmers
who moved steadily across the plains over the centuries
in search of new land.
posted on 11/16/2002 12:01:04 AM PST
posted on 11/16/2002 12:05:05 AM PST
Thank you for the ping to this interesting thread.
On the idea that the early Indo-Europeans lived in what is now Turkey: Based on which words are found in cognate form across all the Indo-European languages, and which words are not, I understand that one can analyze which animals and plants the original speakers of Indo-European were familiar with. I've read that this places the early Indo-Europeans further north (around Poland maybe?) and far from the sea. But I certainly don't have the linguistics knowledge necessary to judge this (nor the biology); maybe it's all wrong.
posted on 11/16/2002 12:14:54 AM PST
Ping to #41 and #39.
posted on 11/16/2002 12:23:57 AM PST
posted on 11/16/2002 12:53:32 AM PST
Swastica found in a Tocharian grave in east central China.(Tarim Basin) Dated 1500BC
posted on 11/16/2002 5:55:47 AM PST
"On one occasion while dining in a Chinese restaurant staring idly at the wall decorations I was startled to notice a pair of swastikas."
It is used as a good luck charm in China.
posted on 11/16/2002 5:59:07 AM PST
"My belief (not my theory, since many others proposed it before me) is that these languages originated in present day Turkey more particularly, in the Anatolian plain."
I've read linguistic studies that support that idea.
In the book Noah's Flood by Ryan & Pittman, they propose that the roots of the IE languages (and farming) were spread from the Black Sea region all across Europe, etc by the refugees of that flood in 5,600BC.
posted on 11/16/2002 6:05:45 AM PST
The Jains Flag of India
posted on 11/16/2002 6:11:33 AM PST
Amazing flag. The Jains have some unusual eating habits.
posted on 11/16/2002 6:24:29 AM PST
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