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Aryan Invasion - Dr. Koenraad Elst

Aryan Invasion - Dr. Koenraad Elst

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Published by prasadkarkare
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 civilization and
enslaved the native population. Neither had South-Indians ever dreamt that they were the
rightful owners of the whole subcontinent, dispossessed by the ¯Aryan invaders who had
chased them from North India, turning it into A¯ryavarta, the land of the A¯ryans. Nor had
the low-caste people heard that they were the original inhabitants of India, subdued by
the ¯Aryans and forced into the prisonhouse of caste which the conquerors imposed upon
them as an early form of Apartheid. All these ideas had to be imported by European
scholars and missionaries, who thought through the implications of the ¯Aryan Invasion
Theory (AIT), the theory that the Indo-European (IE) language family had spread out
from a given homeland, probably in Eastern Europe, and found a place in Western and
Southern Europe and in India as cultural luggage of horse-borne invaders who subjugated
the natives.
One of the first natives to interiorize these ideas was Jotirao Phule, India’s first modern
Mahatma, a convent-educated low-caste leader from Maharashtra. In 1873, he set the
tone for the political appropriation of the AIT: “Recent researches have shown beyond
a shadow of doubt that the Brahmins were not the Aborigines of India ( . . . ) Aryans
came to India not as simple emigrants with peaceful intentions of colonization, but as
conquerors. They appear to have been a race imbued with very high notions of self,
extremely cunning, arrogant and bigoted.”

Dr. Koenraad Elst, Belgium, makes it clear that the theory was a propaganda of British to divide & rule Indians.
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 civilization and
enslaved the native population. Neither had South-Indians ever dreamt that they were the
rightful owners of the whole subcontinent, dispossessed by the ¯Aryan invaders who had
chased them from North India, turning it into A¯ryavarta, the land of the A¯ryans. Nor had
the low-caste people heard that they were the original inhabitants of India, subdued by
the ¯Aryans and forced into the prisonhouse of caste which the conquerors imposed upon
them as an early form of Apartheid. All these ideas had to be imported by European
scholars and missionaries, who thought through the implications of the ¯Aryan Invasion
Theory (AIT), the theory that the Indo-European (IE) language family had spread out
from a given homeland, probably in Eastern Europe, and found a place in Western and
Southern Europe and in India as cultural luggage of horse-borne invaders who subjugated
the natives.
One of the first natives to interiorize these ideas was Jotirao Phule, India’s first modern
Mahatma, a convent-educated low-caste leader from Maharashtra. In 1873, he set the
tone for the political appropriation of the AIT: “Recent researches have shown beyond
a shadow of doubt that the Brahmins were not the Aborigines of India ( . . . ) Aryans
came to India not as simple emigrants with peaceful intentions of colonization, but as
conquerors. They appear to have been a race imbued with very high notions of self,
extremely cunning, arrogant and bigoted.”

Dr. Koenraad Elst, Belgium, makes it clear that the theory was a propaganda of British to divide & rule Indians.

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Published by: prasadkarkare on Nov 28, 2008
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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02/17/2013

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Update On The AIT*
Dr. Koenraad Elst
[*Original format available atVoice of Dharma]
 
2
 
i
PREFACE
This book on the developing arguments concerning the¯Aryan Invasion Theory consistsof adapted versions of papers I have read: the first at the World Association of 
Ved 
icStudies (WAVES) conference on the Indus-Saraswat¯i civilization in Atlanta 1996, the thirdat the 1996 Annual South Asia conference in Madison, Wisconsin and in a lecture at theLinguistics Department in Madison; the fifth contains material used in my paper readat the second WAVES conference in Los Angeles 1998; the second and fourth were readat lectures for the Belgo-Indian Association, Brussels, and at the Etnografisch Museum,Antwerp. Overlaps have been kept to a minimum. Here and there, sections of my book
Indigenous Indians
(Voice of India 1993, outdated as far as the fast-moving¯Aryan invasiondebate is concerned) have been reused in adapted form.My thanks are due to the late Dr. L`eon Poliakov and to Dr. Bernard Sergent for ourcorrespondence; to Prof. B. B. Lal, Prof. A. K. Narain, Prof. Andrew Sihler, Prof. LambertIsebaert, Dr. Herman Seldeslachts, Dr. Erik Seldeslachts, Dr. Edwin Bryant, Dr. BeatriceReusch, Mr. Jose Calazans, Mr. Bhagwan Singh and Mr. Shrikant Talageri for the enlight-ening discussions; and to Mrs. Yamini Liu, Mrs. Manju Jhaver, Mr. Krishna Bhatnagar(and friends), Dr. Manohar Shinde and Mr. Shrichand Chawla for their material help. Ialso thank the publishers for their patience: it so happens that the writing and editingprocess has been bedeviled by technical and other hurdles.The greatest hurdle has been my own anxiety in treading unsure ground, where everyhypothesis which is now carrying the day may be blown away by a new discovery tomorrow.Even now, it hurts to release a book in mid-debate, knowing that much of it will bedated by the time a new consensus will have evolved. But then, I am confident that thispainful awareness of uncertainty has been the right attitude and the best starting-pointfor uprooting the false certainties of some and for clearing the bewilderment of others.While too many debaters are still at base one, unfamiliar with the newest arguments andinsufficiently alert to the strong and weak points of the several types of evidence in thebalance, I hope this books helps the debate in moving on and reaching its conclusion.Koenraad ElstBrecht (Belgium)20 May 1999

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