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Aryan Invasion Theory - Current Impact

 

As Koenrad Elst said…

‘’Until the mid 19th Century , no Indian had ever heard of the notion that his ancestors could be Aryan Invaders from Central Asia who had destroyed the native civilisation and enslaved the native population. Neither had South Indians ever dreamt that they were the rightful owners of the whole subcontinent, dispossessed by Aryan Invaders who had chased them from North India, turning it into Aryavarta, the land of the Aryans. Nor had the lower caste people heard that they were original inhabitants of India, subdued by the Aryans and forced into prison-house of caste, which the conquerors imposed upon them as an early form of Apartheid.’’

 Aryan Invasion Theory - Current Impact 

The repercussions of the Aryan Invasion Theory could be seen in the post Independent India as well. The division of India into North India and South India on linguistic basis is the most obvious pattern in this picture. The whole of Southern Indian states claim to be the continuation of the ancient Dravida Desa. Tamil ethnicity champions to be the soul of this Dravidian remark. The most obvious argument is that the southern Indian languages belongs to the Dravidian group of language on linguistic basis.

The present-day politics, especially in the state of Tamilnadu glorifies the ‘great Dravidian culture’ where the political parties celebrate it as their ethnic identity

Here is the leader of the opposition citing the Aryan Invasion in the Indian Parliament on the occasion of Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkars 125th Birth Anniversary.  

 


Western Academic Imposition 

Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian Constitution himself had rejected the Aryan Invasion theory. An eminent scholar who had studied the Vedas, devoted a complete chapter to examine the issue in his book ‘Who were the Shudras?’

Citing extensively the Vedic sources which as per Western Scholars, suggest a distinction between an Arya and Dasa/Dasyu, he said:

"The theory of invasion is an invention. This invention is necessary because of a gratuitous assumption that the Indo-Germanic people are the purest of the modern representation of the original Aryan race. The theory is perversion of scientific investigation. It is not allowed to evolve out of facts. On the contrary, the theory is preconceived and facts are selected to prove it. It falls to the ground at every point. '

Dr. Ambedkar concludes:

"The Vedas do not know any such race as the Aryan race. There is no evidence in the Vedas of any invasion of India by the Aryan race and its having conquered the Dasas and Dasyus supposed to be the natives of India. There is no evidence to show that the distinction between Aryans, Dasas and Dasyus was a racial distinction. The Vedas do not support the contention that the Aryans were different in color from the Dasas and Dasyus....."

Ambedkar was aware of the hold of this theory over the masses and scholars alike. He offered a succinct explanation.

"Why the Aryan race theory is not dead because of the general insistence by European scholars that the word varna, means color and the acceptance of that view by a majority..."

"The British were visualised as being the last of the invaders in a chain beginning with the Aryans. He could clearly see the implications of such ill-founded hypotheses which colonial Indology imposed on India and which Indian scholars went on repeating ad nauseam. 

Conclusion 

As we go deep into the subject, we may get reminded by an event in Hindu mythology about the churning of the great ocean (Samudra Manthana). One can find the innumerable treasures coming out from this chaos.  The debaters took the evidence from Archaeological, Linguistic, and Historical records to support their arguments. The efforts to unveil the credibility of this theory opened many matters related to the British colonial policies, the Linguistic attribution of the Indo-European Languages and gave importance to the material evidence which otherwise would struggle to find meaning in the archaeological excavation and finally exposed the indigenous character of the Indian culture.

New Theories  

But as Mahatma Gandhi once said, that it is difficult to stop an idea that has taken root than to have stopped it from being planted. The AIT was one of the first attempts to take the orgins of the oldest living Vedik traditions outside of India, and is not the last. These attempts keep continuing in varied forms 

- Aryan Vs. Dravidian (A.I.T)
- Vedic Vs. Tantric
- Hindu Vs. Buddhist
- Brahmins Vs. Lower Caste
- Sanskrit Vs. Tamil
- India Vs. South Asia
- Yoga Vs. Modern Yoga
- Spiritual Vs. Religious
- Hinduism Vs. Hindutva 

 

References

Müller, Georgina (1902) The Life and Letters of Right Honorable Friedrich Max Müller. Vol 1. London: Longman, pp. 357–358

Talageri, Srikanth (1993) The Aryan Invasion theory A Reappraisal. Aditya Prakashan New Delhi.

Dhavalikar , M.K (2007) The Aryans - Myth and Archaeology. Munshiram Manoharlal Publication, New Delhi.

Jorg Esleben; Jörg Esleben; Christina Kraenzle; Sukanya Kulkarni (2008).Mapping channels between Ganges and Rhein: German-Indian cross-cultural relations. Cambridge Scholars publication. ISBN 9781847185877.

Eliot Weinberger (2000). Karmic Traces, 19931999. New Directions Publishing. p. 174. ISBN 9780811214568.

http://archaeologyonline.net/artifacts/aryan-invasion-history.  retrieved on 10/11 /2016

The Invasion That Never Was - By Michel Danino and Sujata Nahar and Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches. Reprint of Pakistan or The Partition of India. Education Department. Government of Maharashtra 1990 Vol. 7 p.302). Refer to chapter on First Indologists and European Imperialism.