The Myth of the Aryan Invasion Theory
Anupam Manur 2/16/2009
“The Aryans came down from central Asia and invaded India in 1500 BC, after destroying the Harappan civilization and they brought with them the rich Vedas” – That’s exactly how my 9th standard History text book reads. Shocking, now, not then. I have to admit that I was quite disappointed that the one greatest wealth (Vedas) that India has was given to us by outsiders. However, something was fishy in the whole scheme of things. Something didn’t add up. Acting upon this hunch, I decided to do a bit of investigation and found out that many scholars had already been in this place and had disproved every inch of the theory.
1.1 BRIEF BACKGROUND TO THE AIT:
In the beginning of the 18th century, Germany, France and England started taking a very special interest towards the study of Asian cultures and Indian society in particular in the context of British India. This gave birth to Indology as an academic discipline in the 19th century with pioneers such as William Jones, Colin Mackenzie, Henry Thomas Colebrooke, Max Müller, etc, largely affected by the romantic Orientalism at that time (see my post on Orientalism). Indology mainly involved studying the ancient scriptures of the Hindus (Vedas, Puranas, etc), which was facilitated by new volumes of Sanskrit-English and Sanskrit-German dictionaries that were being published. One of the most important breakthroughs was Max Müller’s edition of the Rigveda, which appeared in 1849-75. The main objective of the Indologists was to rediscover India’s glorious past and give it to the Indians. Noble indeed! Needless to say, things were not quite as it seems, as I shall try to uncover the hidden agenda.
1.2 THE THEORY ITSELF:
In the late 19th century and early 20th century, many seals were found in the Harappan region (now in Pakistan). This led to a fervent excavation campaign and the result of which was the discovery of the ancient civilization of the Harappans. The fact is that the people inhabiting this area seemed to have moved out and the civilization had perished. Then, the task of the archaeologists and Indologists of the time was to try to explain this mysterious phenomenon as to why such a great civilization had perished. That it was great, there was no doubt because it was one of the most ancient urban settlements which displayed ingenious city planning, advanced knowledge of science and astronomy, efficient municipal governments
which placed a high priority on hygiene, sewage and drainage systems, public baths, granaries, etc. The moment was opportune and it was seized by the scholars and archaeologists who tried to explain this by propounding the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), which I shall briefly restate in the following passages after dealing a bit about the theoretical background... It has to be remembered that, at that time, there were no Indian scholars who were writing about Indian history but there was an abundance of literature from the West, as mentioned earlier, owing to the birth of Oriental Studies and Indology. Abbé Dubois is perhaps one of the first such western historians who has tried to explain the origin of the Indian population and their presence in India. He stayed in India for nearly 30 years, in which he collected a large volume of data pertaining to the Hindu traditions and customs. A thorough missionary agenda in mind, his aim was to present the Hindus as barbaric and superstitious and not possessing any inherent greatness. His manuscript was bought by the British East India Company and appeared in an English translation under the title Hindu Manners, Customs and Ceremonies in 1897 with a Prefatory Note by the Right Hon. F. Max Müller. “It is practically admitted that India was inhabited very soon after the Deluge, which made a desert of the whole world. The fact that it was so close to the plains of Sennaar, where Noah's descendants remained stationary so long, as well as its good climate and the fertility of the country, soon led to its settlement.” (Dubois, 1897) He explains: 'According to my theory they reached India from the north, and I should place the first abode of their ancestors in the neighbourhood of the Caucasus.' The reasons he provides to substantiate his theory are utterly unconvincing-but he goes on to build the rest of his migration theory (not yet an 'Aryan' migration theory) on this shaky foundation. It was Max Müller, the German scholar (who was, supposedly, an authority on the Vedas), who first or the most notable to propound the Aryan Invasion Theory. According to him, the only reason to explain the disappearance of the Harappans was due to an external invasion of their cities. To firmly establish the link between Europe and India (through the concept of the Aryans), Müller and others suggested that the Aryans were a nomadic tribe who were allocated a place that was halfway between Europe and India. They chose the mystical and elusive place called “Central Asia” (how precise!) from where they moved down towards India and entered India from the North, though they do not take the trouble of explaining which passes they traversed or any other geographical details. They then went on to destroy the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro with the help of their Vedic God Indra and that the dark-skinned indigenous people (Dravidians) were the ones on whom they imposed their religion and their caste system. The Aryans supposedly enslaved the native Dravidians and wiped them out from the Indus valley civilization (this idea stemmed from the fact that a few skeletons and bones were found in these sites). The entire Harappan civilization was supposed to have been massacred by the invading Aryans. The Dravidians, in fear of the onslaught fled from their thriving civilization and migrated to the south of the Indian subcontinent. However,
they could not help but accept the superior culture of the Aryans and thus, though belonging to different races, the North and South followed an almost identical Hindu culture. The chronology of these events becomes all too important, as we shall see later on. Max Müller, a firm believer of the Biblical chronology, tried to establish the periods of these events using the same. According to the Bible, humankind originated from one pair of humans– Adam and Eve, who were created around 4005BC. The great flood took place in 2500 BC, the only one to survive the flood was Noah, and thus all humans are descendents of the sons of Noah. If this was the case, then logically, the Aryan invasion could have occurred only after 2500 BC. Based purely on conjecture, Müller gave about 500 years for the regeneration of human kind and another generous 500 years where the Harappan civilization thrived. Thus, he arrived at the conclusion that the Aryan invasion would have occurred in 1500 BC. Since the Aryans were the superior race who were capable of having literary culture (though they were nomadic), they are the ones who imposed the Vedas on India. Thus, we have to remember that the dating of the Vedas also becomes extremely important in order to prove or disprove the Aryan Invasion theory (the Hindus, however, believe that the Vedas are Anadhi, having no beginning or end, which is also the belief of the author, but for the sake of academic interest in the invasion theory, we shall consider the first written records of the Vedas). Western scholars decided to apply their own methodologies and, in the absence of reliable evidence, postulated a timeframe for Indian history based on conjectures. Considering the traditional dates for the life of Gautama, the Buddha, as fairly well established in the sixth century BCE, supposedly pre-Buddhist Indian records were placed in a sequence that seemed plausible to philologists. Accepting on linguistic grounds the traditional claims that the Rigveda was the oldest Indian literary document, Max Müller allowing a time-span of two hundred years each for the formation of every class of Vedic literature, and assuming that the Vedic period had come to an end by the time of the Buddha, established the following sequence that was widely accepted: Rigveda c. 1200 BCE Yajurveda, Samaveda, Atharvaveda, c. 1000BCE Brahmanas, c. 800 BCE Aranyakas, Upanishads, c. 600 BCE
1.3 WHERE DO THE ARYANS COME FROM?
What is not so well known in India is that our footloose Aryans, not content with overrunning the Indian subcontinent, invaded Europe too! And thereby hangs an instructive tale. For Christian Europe, long uncomfortable with what it thought to be a Hebrew ancestry, was eager, to find for itself an identity distinct from the Jewish; the sudden appearance of the Aryan race out of the misty plateaus of Central Asia was seen as a godsend, especially in the strong anti-Semitic atmosphere of the nineteenth century. Thus was born one more myth, this time of the Aryan European, Christian of course, and preferably Germanic. (Nahar, 1996) It had the added advantage of confirming the “natural” supremacy of the white race.
Though there was hardly any sort of proof for such theories, it still widely gained momentum in the rising fervour of European Nationalism. Year after year, raging debates went on across borders to determine which European people was the true descendent of the Aryan “master-race,” and therefore which nation could claim a divine right to dominate others. Europe witnessed “the ridiculous and humiliating spectacle of eminent scholars subordinating their interest in truth to the inflation of racial and national pride.” The most vociferous were undoubtedly the proGermanic. Germany seemed to have won the race in claiming descent from the Aryan race. After the Franco-Prussian War of 1870-71, Aryanism became a nationalist dogma in the newly unified German state. In fact, it came to be doubted that the Aryans’ “original homeland” was not at all in Central Asia, and several scholars sought to prove on “scientific grounds” that it really was Germany (Central and Western Germany, to be precise!). When in 1924 Hitler wrote in his Mein Kampf, “The Aryan alone can be considered as the founder of culture….a conqueror who subjugated inferior races,” he was merely echoing and amplifying dozens of nineteenth-century savants who had written as many thick tomes to buttress their fantasy. A few years later, full-blown Nazism was no more than a monstrous – but in a way perfectly logical-application of their race theories, with consequences we know.
Swami Vivekananda who has long been refuting the Aryan Invasion Theory made this comment: "Our archaeologists' dreams of India being full of dark-eyed aborigines, and the bright Aryans came from - the Lord knows where. According to some, they came from Central Tibet; others will have it that they came from Central Asia. There are patriotic Englishmen who think that the Aryans were all red-haired. Others, according to their idea, think that they were all black haired. If the writer happens to be a black haired man, the Aryans were all black haired. Of late, there was an attempt made to prove that the Aryans lived on the Swiss lake. I should not be sorry if they had been all drowned there, theory and all. Some say now that they lived at North Pole. Lord bless the Aryans and their habitations! As for the truth of these theories, there is not one word in our scriptures, not one, to prove that the Aryans came from anywhere outside of India, and in ancient India was included Afghanistan. There it ends." (Vivekananda)
END OF PART I
W H Y D O W E N E E D T O D I S P R OV E T H E T H E O RY ?
What are the effects or consequences of such a theory? Why do we need to disprove it? What did the British and other European scholars gain by doing so? Why is it relevant today to talk about a theory that was constructed over a hundred years ago about a particular phenomenon that occurred 3000-4000 years ago? All these questions and answers diffuse into an overlapping schema of deconstructing academic falsity, which has had an overbearing socio-political undertone to it. “Aryan Race and Invasion Theory is not a subject of academic interest only, rather it conditions our perception of India's historical evolution, the sources of her ancient glorious heritage, and indigenous socio-economic-political institutions, which have been developed over the millennia. Consequently, the validity or invalidity of this theory has an obvious and strong bearing on the contemporary Indian political and social landscape as well as the future of Indian nationalism.” 1
Dr Dinesh Agarwal in his article “Demise of the Aryan Invasion Theory”.
Let’s look into some of the effects of the theory on Indian society today and the motives behind the construction of such a theory.
2.1 HISTORICAL EFFECTS
2.1.1 RATIONALISING COLONALIZATION:
Firstly, by constructing such a theory of Aryan invasion, the British received the perfect justification for their own invasion of India. How? By proving that the present population of India was never truly the original inhabitants, and that they had been constantly invaded upon, they could justify saying that they are not really doing anything different from those invasions of the past. The main argument was that they are merely re-enacting what the Aryans had done a couple of thousand years ago upon the native population. Since, the Aryans had invaded, plundered, oppressed and pressed their culture on the native population, the Mughal rulers’ conquests and those of the British themselves were perfectly justified as an extension of the previous invasion and meting out to the Indian Aryans what they had done to the Dravidians. In effect, it gave the British a way to rationalize their brutal exploitation and domination of India. It also seemed to lessen the severity of the equally brutal Muslim invasions of India prior to the British arrival. This is perhaps the most terrible use of AIT by the historians. India was described as a land dominated by foreigners ever since its inception. Karl Marx even wrote that the whole history of India was a series of invasions. By showing that the Hindus are mere upstarts and squatters on the land (as they themselves are in America, Australia and other places), they can set up their own claim. For then neither the Hindus nor the Europeans are indigenous and as to who should possess this land, becomes merely a matter of superior might. While this kind of reasoning might seem far out and implausible to us today, it must be mentioned that the British Empire would use any kind of argument to justify their cruelty and injustice. I am not trying to say that they went into the entire exercise of creating the myth just for justification purposes, as it is too small a motive if we consider the magnanimity of the other astute and scheming motives.
2.1.2 CULTURAL TECHNOLOGIES OF RULE:
How does one conquer a nation? One way is by the sword, but that is outdated and implies quite a heavy cost of operation, loss of men, etc. The other way is the one that Nicholas Dirks and Cohn refer to as the “Cultural Technologies of Rule”, or what is more commonly known as the “Divide and Rule policy”. The formula is quite simple. Enter a land, divide the people on any possible lines, break their solidarity, prove to them that they are not worthy masters of themselves, and evoke a need in them to be ruled by a “superior” kind, which happens to be the British. This play has been enacted over and again in many colonies of the British and it worked to perfection here in India also.
So how did they divide India? On the basis of religion, i.e. Hindus and Muslims is very easy to comprehend and is well known. That was the easier task of the British. However, for some time, they were confounded as to how to break the Hindus. How could they break into the fairly well unified and cohesive Hindu social structure? How could they pit sections of the Hindu society against another? Well, by the introduction of the Caste System, of course. I am not trying to credit the British with the creation of the caste system but it was the British who objectified, reified and transformed the existing social stratification system of the Hindus, with all its merits and demerits into the sole and overarching social identity of the Hindus. They overemphasized the importance of caste as the only identity of the Hindu. That was the first true politicization of caste. After assuming all importance to the caste, they then used the same to divide the Indians (read Dirks for more). What does this have to do with AIT? Simple, they proposed to the lower caste “Dravidian” castes that they were the result of historic oppression from the “Aryan” upper castes namely the Brahmins who were the sole authority on the Vedas. This was in continuation with their theory that since the Aryans were the ones who gave the Vedas to India, it is only legitimate that they should be the sole authority over it. While creating animosity between the upper and lower castes using historical arguments was much easier, the greater task still lay in trying to break the Brahmins, who were firmly rooted in their culture and traditions. The moment that they could win over the upper castes and make them adulate Western culture and traditions, that was their true victory and could be rest assured of a long stay in India. Let me bring in a little bit of history... Well before the 1857 uprising it was recognized that British rule in India could not be sustained without a large number of Indian collaborators. Recognizing this reality, influential men like Thomas Babbington Macaulay, who was Chairman of the Education Board, sought to set up an educational system modelled along British lines that would also serve to undermine the Hindu tradition. He believed that the conversion of Hindus to Christianity held the answer to the problems of administering India. His idea was to create an English educated elite that would repudiate its tradition and become British collaborators. The key point here is Macaulay's belief that 'knowledge and reflection' on the part of the Hindus, especially the Brahmins, would cause them to give up their age-old belief in favour of Christianity. In pursuit of this goal, he needed someone who would translate and interpret Indian scriptures, especially the Vedas, in such a way that the newly educated Indian elite would see the differences between them and the Bible and choose the latter. Upon his return to England, after a good deal of effort he found a talented but impoverished young German Vedic scholar by the name of Friedrich Max Müller who was willing to undertake this arduous task. (Rajaram) This was the genesis of the herculean task of translating and interpreting the RigVeda and Max Müler’s commitment to the conversion process was always persistent, exemplified by his letter to his wife: “It [the Rigveda] is the root of their
religion and to show them what the root is, I feel sure, is the only way of uprooting all that has sprung from it during the last three thousand years.” The main objective now, as stated earlier was to separate the Brahmins and their Vedas. How could they achieve this task? By reducing the value of the Vedas in the eyes of the Brahmins. The theory not only stole the antiquity of the Vedas but also, in a single blow, was successful in invalidating most of the Hindu traditions described in the Vedas. The post-dating of the Vedas has serious consequences. For starters, by assigning the invading Aryans as the original authors, it made the Vedas a borrowed tradition. Can you imagine being told one day that something you’ve been practicing for over 3000 years is actually borrowed from outside and is not really that old or great. In addition, one has to remember that by 1500 BC, the Greek and Egyptian cultures were already thriving, and by assigning a later date to the Vedas, it makes it borrowed knowledge. The Vedas were made to be derived from the Middle Eastern cultures, especially the Greek culture, which is an absolutely absurd proposition. It allowed the science of India to be given a Greek basis, as any Vedic basis was largely disqualified by the primitive nature of the Vedic culture: In fact, the opposite is true. If the theory of Aryan invasion and its proposed period were true, this discredited not only the Vedas but the genealogies of the Puranas, and all the kings mentioned in these scriptures including Lord Krishna, Rama, Buddha etc. would become as fictional characters with no historical basis: Which simply means disowning and discarding the very basis and raison d'être of the Hindu civilization (Agarwal, 1995). In short, on the basis of this theory, the propaganda by these scholars was made that there was nothing great in the Hindu culture and their ancestors and sages. And most Hindus fell for this devious plan. It made Hindus feel ashamed of their culture - that its basis was neither historical nor scientific. The Vedas were the work of nomadic shepherds and not the divine revelations or eternal truth perceived by the rishis during their spiritual journey, and hence there is nothing to feel proud about India's past, nothing to be proud of being Hindu.
2.1.3 WHITE SUPREMACY:
When, in the eighteenth century, a few European thinkers began to try and fathom India's philosophy and religion, they were so struck by the depth, the ancientness, the richness they saw, that they soon declared India to have been the "cradle of the human race" and the "birthplace of civilization" in the words of Dohm, a German scholar, and the Hindus to be "the gentlest of people." The great Voltaire also held this view: "We have shown how much we surpass the Indians in courage and wickedness, and how inferior to them we are in wisdom. Our European nations have mutually destroyed themselves in this land where we only go in search of money, while the first Greeks travelled to the same land only to instruct themselves." He concluded, "I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges, astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc." Many of the early
travellers to India of the time (the exceptions being found mostly among the missionaries) tended to share this enthusiasm. "All history points to India as the mother of science and art". William Macintosh wrote. "This country was anciently so renowned for knowledge and wisdom that the philosophers of Greece did not disdain to travel thither for their improvement." Pierre Sonnerat, a French naturalist, concurred: "We find among the Indians the vestiges of the most remote antiquity.... We know that all peoples came there to draw the elements of their knowledge.... India, in her splendor, gave religions and laws to all the other peoples; Egypt and Greece owed to her both their fables and their wisdom." I admit that this is not the place to indulge in glorifying Indian culture but I am trying to point out the dominant world-view at that particular period. For, during the 19th century, with the birth of fervid European nationalism and racial glorification, all this drastically changed. The Europeans could not support acknowledging the fact that the birth of civilization and everything it included like science, art, mathematics, astronomy, architecture, etc could be pointed out to some remote and dark corner of the World, especially with their firm belief that ‘if it is great, it has to be white’ dogma. How could they possibly rob India of its greatness and project the same onto themselves? The answer lay in proving that the knowledge and wisdom existing there is not original and belongs to a race, of which they are a part. This gave birth to one of the greatest academic blunders: the creation of the myth of the Aryan Invasion. However, this wouldn’t be enough. They also simultaneously proved that India had plunged into darkness later by amassing large amounts of information on the customs, traditions and religious practices of the native population (refer back to Abbé Dubois), to only later dismiss them as being barbarous, dangerous, uncivilized, outdated, etc. Juxtaposed with the justification argument, the British actually tried to convince the world that it had arrived with the noble intention of rescuing India from its darkness. The British were anxious to clothe their greed in lofty ideals: the "white man's burden" of civilizing (and, naturally, Christianizing) less enlightened races, the "divinely ordained mission" of bringing to India the glory of Europe's commercial and industrial civilization, and so forth. Articles, pamphlets, speeches, thick volumes began pouring forth by the hundreds year after year in praise of the "tremendous task of rescuing India" from the darkness into which she had fallen. (Agarwal, 1995) Understandably, the recognition of India's far more ancient and refined civilization made such noble motives untenable. Thus began a systematic campaign to disparage not only this civilization, its culture and society, but the very roots of Hinduism by falsifying History with AIT.
2.2 THE MODERN EFFECTS
2.2.1 THE N-S DIVIDE:
While these are some academic and colonizing antecedents, we must equally consider the modern effects of such a theory, else it would be an incomplete picture. Nowhere in History has any single theory, singlehandedly, caused so much havoc in so many domains of life. Moreover, it has to be firmly kept in mind that such a theory is universally accepted and even taken for granted unquestioningly. Post-independent India has witnessed some serious challenges to its nationalintegrity and we can, in fact, shift part of the blame on the AIT. The continuous struggle on part of the Tamil state to break away from India and establish a republic can be attributed to their firm belief and acceptance of the AIT. Their claim is straightforward: they rely on the AIT to prove that they are the original inhabitants of the country and simultaneously, the antiquity of the Tamil language. Since, the Dravidians were conquered and forced down to the south, the Tamilians readily relate to this set of Dravidians and the supposed historic oppression by the dominant Sanskritic Aryans. Thus, they are able to achieve a two-fold objective: of being able to justify their claims for a separate nation and secondly to prove the antiquity of the Tamil language and that it is the true original and oldest Indian language which would then translate into being the oldest language in the world, as against what is commonly believed to be Sanskrit. With the deconstruction of the AIT, their claims would no longer become tenable. Apart from this, it is also the general cause of tension and animosity between the North and the South in India. The southerners (“Dravidians”) generally mistrust and feel bitter about the Northerners (“Aryans”) due to the fictional historic oppression and thus make claims for compensation, antiquity, etc in the same breath. This has effectively created a North-South divide on racial lines grâce à imagination of a few gifted and talented historians, which is readily used by the politicians for petty vote bank politics. Thus, disproving the theory and more importantly, making it publicly known through the rewriting of the text books becomes imperative in order to achieve national integration. In short, the communists used the Aryan Invasion theory as the basis for their history of India, substituting the caste war of the Brahmin invaders from Central Asia for the European class war model. Dravidian nationalists used it to their advantage, claiming an older purer Dravidian culture that was different from that of the Aryan invaders from the north. The Dalits used it to identify themselves with the original inhabitants of the country enslaved by the invading Brahmin dominated Aryans.
2.2.2 THE COMMUNIST AGENDA:
Yet, unfortunately, quite strangely and for no apparent reason, India possesses a unique breed of Marxian and other pseudo intellectual Historians (Romilla Thapar would prove to be an exemplary leader in this context) who are only too happy to subscribe to these pejorative colonizing ideas. Even against concrete counterevidence against such a theory, our historians are rather determined in their stance
and refuse to correct the historical academic fallacy, leading to a continued life span for outdated and dangerous ideas. Moreover, it is this unique group of leftist historians who have managed to crawl their way to the governing bodies of educational committees, who are responsible for framing the syllabus for fresh unpolluted minds to read, digest and inculcate. As aforementioned, my ICSE (the premier educational governing body) textbook carries an entire chapter dedicated to the Aryan Invasion theory belting out one lie after another, with no consideration to the kind of effects it could have on young minds especially in the realm of national pride. Any attempt to correct this by great scholars (like Jha, BB Lal, etc) will be branded as Hindu-fundamentalists attempting to distort history for the glorification of Hinduism. I will leave this idea here and proceed to the next aspect, as our famed Marxist historians need another voluminous article in praise of them. We have to realize that by negating the antiquity of the Vedas, its spiritual and scientific value and by, finally, claiming it to be borrowed, they are successful in churning out a large army of young students who are no longer proud of their culture or nation, juxtaposed with the simultaneous and incessant glorification of the Western culture has lead to a pathetic vicious cycle of imitation of the latter and discarding the former. How can one expect India to truly progress, economically and morally; and how can one expect India to be truly united if such debasing theories are allowed to float about unchallengedely?
END OF PART II
D I S P R OV I N G T H E T H E O RY
Now that we have had a grasp over the intentions behind such a theory and the multifarious effects it ensures, the task now lies in disproving the theory. I have to admit, though, that compared to the previous two sections, this task is of relative ease as there have been scores of scholars and archaeologists who have already achieved this feat and my task is to just state these findings. Unfortunately, however, these findings have been continuously discarded as ‘Hindutva agenda’ or ‘Saffron scholarship’. I shall present the facts, it is really upto you to decide whether it is the coloured ramblings or plain unbiased facts. Disproving the theory entails certain quintessential approaches/ methods. As aforementioned, the dating of the Rig Veda is absolutely essential, for, if it can be proved that the Rig-Veda dates earlier than the supposed date for the Aryan Invasion, then it is clear that the Vedas was innate to the Harappans and thus, Indians. Once having done this, we must find clues within the Rig-Veda itself to falsify the theory and finally, we must also prove that there really was no invasion as such based on archaeological findings and it becomes equally important to provide an alternate and more credible version of the evacuation of the Harappan sites.
3.1 DATING THE RIG-VEDA
The dating of the age in which the Vedic literature commenced and thrived has a detrimental effect on the Aryan Invasion question. The oldest of the Vedas, the RigVeda, is full of references to places and natural phenomena that occurred in what is modern day Punjab and Haryana and must have unmistakably been written in that part. The date at which it was composed is absolutely essential to the dating of the Aryan Invasion (presuming that there was one), for whether they came from abroad or they were natives, one thing will be sure: they were certainly completely Indians without a trace of memory of their original home. The dating of the Rig-Veda, as done by Max Muller is, as mentioned, 1200BC and received considerable criticism even during his time on a number of grounds. Maurice Winternitz, for example, based his estimate on purely philological considerations: "We cannot explain the development of the whole of this great literature if we assume as late a date as round about 1200 BC or 1500 BC as its starting point." There is much sense in what he says. It is not possible to cram all
the philosophical, linguistic, cultural and scientific developments, which are evident in the Vedas, into just a few centuries, for, we have to remember that the Vedic age was over by the time of the Buddha, which is the 6th century. However, this will remain as an argument of plausibility and is not sufficient enough to disprove the older chronology. The most explicit chronology would be provided by astronomical markers of time.
3.1.1 ANCIENT HINDU ASTRONOMY 2
In 1790, a Scottish mathematician, John Playfair demonstrated that the starting date of the astronomical observations recorded in the tables still in use among Hindu astrologers had to be 4300 BC. Though this was ridiculed by some and called absurd, it was not refuted by any scientist. Basically, Playfair demonstrated that the Vedas contained observations of astronomical events dating back to the 4000 odd BC. This was claimed as an attempt by the Brahmins to falsely claim antiquity of their texts by providing astronomical observations of the past as presented in their scriptures by back calculation. In retaliation, Playfair showed that this kind of advanced back calculation was in fact impossible. Backcalculation of planetary positions is a highly complex affair requiring knowledge of a number of physical laws, universal constants and actual measurements of densities, diameters and distances. Though Brahminical astronomy was remarkably sophisticated for its time, it could only backcalculate planetary position of the presumed Vedic age with an inaccuracy margin of at least several degrees of arc. With our modern knowledge, it is easy to determine what the actual positions were, and what the results of backcalculations with the Brahminical formulae would have been (Elst, 1998), e.g.: ""Aldebaran was therefore 40' before the point of the vernal equinox, according to the Indian astronomy, in the year 3102 before Christ. (...) [Modern astronomy] gives the longitude of that star 13' from the vernal equinox, at the time of the Calyougham, agreeing, within 53', with the determination of the Indian astronomy. This agreement is the more remarkable, that the Brahmins, by their own rules for computing the motion of the fixed stars, could not have assigned this place to Aldebaran for the beginning of Calyougham, had they calculated it from a modern observation. For as they make the motion of the fixed stars too great by more than 3'' annually, if they had calculated backward from 1491, they would have placed the fixed stars less advanced by 4° or 5°, at their ancient epoch, than they have actually done." (Playfair, 1790) Therefore, it turns out that the data given by the Brahmins corresponded not with the results deduced from their formulae, but with the actual positions, and this, according to Playfair, for nine different astronomical parameters. This is a bit much to explain away as coincidence or sheer luck..
This section largely involves the work of Dr. Koenraad Elst, from his paper “Astronomical data and the Aryan question” as I have little knowledge of astronomy myself.
Fabricating astronomical data going back thousands of years calls for knowledge of Newton's Law of Gravitation and the ability to solve differential equations. Failing this advanced knowledge, the data in the Brahminical tables must be based on actual observation. So far we’ve seen that the astronomical events that are recorded in the Rig-Veda could not have been back-calculations but the ancient Hindu seers were actually present and recorded it based on observation, which gives vital clues regarding the dating of the Vedas. The next task is to find the events as such, if I could call them that, which could give us an idea of the exact dates.
3.1.2 THE START OF THE KALI YUGA: 3
Hindu tradition makes mention of the conjunction of the "seven planets" (Saturn, Jupiter, Mars, Venus, Mercury, sun and moon) and Ketu (southern lunar node, the northern node/Rahu being by definition in the opposite location) near the fixed star Revati (Zeta Piscium) on 18 February 3102 BC. This date, at which Krishna is supposed to have breathed his last, is conventionally the start of the so-called KaliYuga, the "age of strife", the low point in a declining sequence of four ages. Bailly and Playfair had already shown that the position of the moon (the fastest moving "planet", hence the hardest to backcalculate with precision) at the beginning of KaliYuga, 18 February 3102, as given by Hindu tradition, was accurate to 37'. Either the Brahmins had made an incredibly lucky guess, or they had recorded an actual observation on Kali Yuga day itself.
3.1.3 THE PRECESSION 4 OF THE EQUINOX:
The truly strong evidence for a high chronology of the Vedas is the Vedic information about the position of the equinox. The phenomenon of the "precession of the equinoxes" takes the ecliptical constellations (also known as the sidereal Zodiac, i.e. those constellations through which the sun passes) slowly past the vernal equinox point, i.e. the intersection of ecliptic and equator, rising due East on the horizon. The whole tour is made in about 25,791 years, the longest cycle manageable for nakedeye observers. If data about the precession are properly recorded, they provide the best and often the only clue to an absolute chronology for ancient events.
The next few sections are a little tough to comprehend if one is not familiar with the Hindu calendar and astronomy in general. 4 For the uninitiated, precession refers to the regular motion of a spinning body such as a spinning top or a planet, in which the axis of rotation describes a cone.
If we can read the Vedic and post-Vedic indications properly, they mention constellations on the equinox points which were there from 4,000 BC for the RgVeda, through around 3100 BC for the Atharva Veda and the core Mahabharata down to 2,300 BC for the Sutras and the Shatapatha Brahmana. However, our dear Communist historian Romila Thapar, amongst others, still believes that "planetary positions could have been observed in earlier times and such observations been handed down as part of an oral tradition" (Thapar, 1992), so that they "do not constitute proof of the chronology of the Vedic hymns". This is perhaps one of the most illogical arguments that I have come across, for she is implicitly acknowledging that accurate astronomical data were indeed made from the 5th millennium onwards, and that they were preserved for more than two thousand years, an unparalleled feat in oral traditions. If such a feat is not an indication of literacy and of written records, at the least, it supposes a mnemotechnical device capable of preserving information orally, and the one that was available then was verse. So, some poems with the memory aiding devices of verse, rhythm and tone must have been composed when the information was available firsthand, i.e. close to the time of the actual observation, and those hymns would of course be the Vedic hymns themselves. There are scores of other astronomical references in the Rig-Veda, each of which gives us the date for such an event occurring. These dates range from 3000 odd BC uptil 5000-5500 BC (inferences drawn from the Saptharishi cycle, etc). Whichever date we might choose as the earliest recorded astronomical observation, it is definitely at least a couple of thousand years older than the date given by Max Müller.
3.2 MAJOR FLAWS IN THE AIT
Presuming for an instant that the Vedas were given by the nomads, there are few questions that are begging to be answered by the defenders of the theory. Most importantly, how is it that the invaders who scripted the Vedas have not mentioned a word about their original habitat? It is a peculiar phenomenon where rich descriptive accounts regarding the flora, fauna, forests, rivers, mountains, etc of the Indian subcontinent are found but not a single mention of their homeland. There are constant references to India as their holy land. Why don’t they consider their original home as their holy land? There is no mention of any location outside the mainland of India in any of the Vedic texts! If Aryans came from Europe, then why haven’t the so-called Aryans mentioned any of the European locations in any of the Vedic or related texts? The farthest location away from India towards the west mentioned in the Vedas is Kadhahar of present day Afghanistan, which was called Gandhar in the Vedic texts and was said to be the kingdom of Shakuni. Why haven’t any of the texts mentioned about their European locations? Why is there no Vedic text that talks about migration from Europe? “If the Aryan Hindus were outsiders, why don't they name places outside India as their most holy places?
Why should they sing paeans in the praise of India's numerous rivers crisscrossing the entire peninsula, and mountains - repositories of life giving water and natural resources, nay even bestow them a status of goddesses and gods.” (Agarwal, 1995) We are also aware that for all ancient civilizations, rivers were the mains source of sustenance and each of these civilizations, in whatever capacity, adulate these rivers and sing praise of them. In the Vedas, Saraswati, Yamuna, Sindhu, Ganga, etc are all mentioned constantly but the question arises as to why the Aryans did not mention any European or Central Asian river, which would have been their source of life previously? The range of questions does not end here. Further, if the Aryans did come from outside and destroyed its inhabitants and their civilization, why is it that they did not occupy it? The wandering tribe could not have asked for a better home. For, the fact is that the excavations of these sites clearly reveal that these townships had been abandoned. Was the Harappan town, with all its modern, urban facilities not good enough for them? In addition, if, in fact, they did decide not to inhabit Harappa, where did they settle? Moreover, if the original inhabitants, the Dravidians, were indeed pushed down to the south, how come there is no Aryan-Dravidian divide in the respective literatures and historical traditions? We know that, prior to the arrival of the British, the North and South were not culturally or politically hostile to each other. In fact, the contrary is true. There was a continual intermingling and exchange of culture between the two. The Sanskrit language, the so-called Aryan language was the lingua franca of the entire society for thousands of years. For example, “the three great figures of later Hinduism - Shankaracharya, Ramanujam and Madhavacharya were Southerners who are universally respected in the North, and who have written commentaries on Vedic scriptures in Sanskrit only for the benefit of the entire population. Even in the ancient times, some of the great Sutra authors like Baudhayana and Apastamba were from South. Agastya, a celebrated Vedic rishi, is widely venerated in the South as the one who introduced Vedic learning to the South India.” (Agarwal, 1995) One of the most important practical and historical complication that arises out of accepting the AIT is the logical wondering about who were the original inhabitants in the south? Was South India uninhabited? Unlikely. Then, did the original inhabitants welcome the Dravidians who were pushed down with wide, open arms? How is it that the Dravidians were accepted without any hostility or at least a grudge? It just does not make sense. The final truth is that there were neither Aryans nor Dravidians.
3.2.1 THE REAL MEANING OF THE WORD ARYA
True, the Rig Veda and the other Vedas and Puranas have, at times, mentioned the word Arya. It was dear old Max who is again credited with the introduction of the word Arya into the English language as referring to a racial, linguistic category when propounding the AIT. This is glaringly a false conception of the term, which, he himself has admitted later on. Nonetheless, it was unquestioningly accepted.
The real meaning of the word Arya, however comes to mean ‘a gentleman’, goodnatured, righteous person, noble-man, and is often used like 'Sir' or 'Shree' before the name of a person like Aryaputra, Aryakanya, etc. In Ramayan (Valmiki), for example, Rama is described as an Arya in the following words: Arya - who cared for the equality to all and was dear to everyone. V.S. Apte's Sanskrit-English dictionary relates the word Arya to the root r-,to which a prefix a has been appended to give a negating meaning. And therefore the meaning of Arya is given as "excellent, best", followed by "respectable" and as a noun, "master, lord, worthy, honourable, excellent", upholder of Arya values, and further: teacher, employer, master, father-in-law, friend, Buddha. Thus, we see that even in the myriad of meanings and connotations that the word carries, relative to different interpretations, like all Sanskrit words, nowhere does it mean a race or a linguistic group. This linguistically absurd idea was the result of a complete misinterpretation and mistranslation of Sanskrit by Müller. Etymologically, according to Max Müller, the word Arya was derived from ar-, "plough, to cultivate". Therefore, Arya means - "cultivator" agriculturer (civilized sedentary, as opposed to nomads and hunter-gatherers), landlord, etc. In fact, scientific literature now confirms that there are primarily only four races in the world. There are only four primary races, namely, Caucasian, the Mongolian, the Australians and the Negroid. Both the Aryans and Dravidians are related branches of the Caucasian race generally placed in the same Mediterranean sub-branch. The difference between the so-called Aryans of the north and the Dravidians of the south or other communities of Indian subcontinent is not a racial type. Biologically all are the same Caucasian type, only when closer to the equator the skin gets darker, and under the influence of constant heat, the bodily frame tends to get a little smaller. Moreover, these differences cannot be the basis of two altogether different races. Similar differences one can observe even more distinctly among the people of pure Caucasian white race of Europe. Caucasian can be of any colour ranging from pure white to almost pure black, with every shade of brown in between. Further, a recent landmark global study in population genetics by a team of internationally reputed scientists over 50 years reveals that the people habited in the Indian subcontinent and nearby including Europe, all belong to one single race of Caucasian type. According to this study, there is essentially, and have been no difference racially between north Indians and the so-called Dravidian South Indians. The racial composition has remained almost the same for millennia. This study also confirms that there is no race called as an Aryan race. (Luca Cavalli-Sforza).
3.2.2 WARS AND SKELETONS
The Rig-Veda contains references to wars that have occurred during its period. This is used by the ‘invasionists’ to further their claims about the war between the dark skinned Dravidians and the fair-skinned Aryans. This is a gross misinterpretation of the Vedas and as we shall see, has no connection whatsoever to an invading tribe.
So what do these wars that are mentioned refer to? They can be studied under two broad categories: (Agarwal, 1995) • The Wars between forces of nature: Indra, the Thunder-God of the Rig Veda, occupies a central position in the naturalistic aspects of the Rig Vedic religion, since it is he who forces the clouds to part with their all-important wealth, the rain. In this task he is pitted against all sorts of demons and spirits whose main activity is the prevention of rainfall and sunshine. The clouds are depicted in terms of their physical appearance: as mountains, as the black abodes of the demons who retain the celestial waters of the heavens (i.e. the rains), or as the black demons themselves. Thus, it is a conflict between the rain(pure, white) and the clouds(dark, evil). This, in no way, is to be construed as the war between white Aryans and black Dravidians. This is a perverted interpretation from those who have not understood the meaning and purport of the Vedic culture and philosophy. Most of the verses, which mention the wars/conflicts, are composed using poetic imagery, and depict the celestial battles of the natural forces, and often take greater and greater recourse to terrestrial terminology and anthropomorphic depictions. The descriptions acquire an increasing tendency to shift from naturalism to mythology.
Actual conflict between different groups: Iranians are known to have been originally residing in Northern India, but had an ideological schism from the Vedic Indians. Due to which, they moved out to the North West. However, there were quite a few wars between the two groups. The Iranians not only called their God Ahura (Vedic Asura) and their demons Daevas (Vedic Devas), but they also called themselves Dahas and Dahyus (Vedic Dasas, and Dasyus). The oldest Iranian texts moreover depict the conflicts between the daeva-worshippers and the Dahyus on behalf of the Dahyus, as the Vedic texts depict them on behalf of the Deva-worshippers. There also mentions of the various conflicts between different indigenous tribal groups over natural resources and various minor kingdoms to gain supremacy over the land and its expansion.
There have been a few skeletons that were excavated from the Harappa and Mohenjo daro sites, which is conveniently explained as the bodies of the warriors who fought the battle against the invaders. However, consider the facts properly. A city of 3 miles in circuit has given way to only 37 skeletons, which can be attributed to the Indus Valley period! Does that represent a war? They were all found in the area of the Lower Town - probably the residential district. Not a single body was found within the area of the fortified citadel where one could reasonably expect the final defence of this thriving capital city to have been made. (Dales, 1964) Further, one can reasonably expect some sort of souvenirs from the war. The war site can expect to have burned fortresses, arrowheads, weapons, pieces of armour, smashed chariots and bodies of the invaders or defenders, etc. Nevertheless, the
extensive excavations at these sites provide not even a clue to such an invasion having been taken place.
3.2.3 INDUS SCRIPT DECIPHERMENT
S. R Rao, a renowned Indian archaeologist, who worked in the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India), has done extensive research on the Indus script. This work has borne fruitful results, as he has been able to bridge the gap between the ancient Indus script and the Brahmi script. The language that he deciphered belonged to the Aryan language family after all. The people who resided at Harappa, MohenjoDaro, and other sites were culturally Aryan is thus confirmed by the decipherment of the Harappan script and its identity with Sanskrit family. The Harappa culture was a part of a continuing evolution of the Vedic culture, which had developed on the banks of Saraswati River. Among the many words yielded by Dr. Rao's decipherment are the numerals aeka, tra, chatus, panta, happta/sapta, dasa, dvadasa and sata (1,3,4,5,7, 10,100) and the names of Vedic personalities like Atri, Kasyapa, Gara, Manu, Sara, Trita, Daksa, Druhu, Kasu, and many common Sanskrit words like, apa (water), gatha, tar (savior), trika, da, dyau (heaven), dashada, anna (food), pa(protector), para (supreme), maha, mahat, moksh, etc. While the direct connection between the late Indus script (1600 BC) and the Brahmi script could not be definitely established earlier, more and more inscriptions have been found all over the country in the last few years, dating 1000 BC, 700 BC, and so on, which have bridged the gap between the two. Now it is evident that the Brahmi script evolved directly from the Indus script. (Rao, 1991)
126.96.36.199 HORSEPLAY AT HARAPPA
In 2000, N. Jha and N. S Rajaram published a book “The Deciphered Indus Script”. The findings of this book are astounding. It simultaneously achieves a two fold objective: It links the ancient Indus script to the Vedic culture and also proves that the script on the Indus seals are perhaps the oldest available ‘writings’ by any human civilization. “In the Indus seals, we have in all probability the mother of alphabetic writing” is the conclusion drawn after Jha’s phenomenal work. Though the seals were found in 1920s, it could not be appropriately deciphered previous to Jha’s work because of the dogma of the AIT. It is impossible to decipher unless the Indus script can be seen as a predecessor to the Brahmi script and its content cannot be comprehended unless seen as part of the overall Vedic culture. This was yet another blow to the Theory. However, strangely, this phenomenal work by Jha and Rajaram was sidelined and ‘scholars’ such as Steve Farmer and Michael Witzel were more interested in horses. They go on to label the book as ‘Hindutva propaganda’ (Michael Witzel, 2000). Their main qualm with the book is that the authors have misrepresented a particular seal where a bull is shown to look like a horse.
It is impossible not to question: ...why bother with one unimportant seal when the book gives a complete methodology and one hundred tables of deciphered readings covering over fifteen hundred Harappan seals? In a book of nearly 300 pages, there are just two footnotes about the horse. (The article by Witzel and Farmer occupies ten pages of small print followed by a two-page article by ‘eminent historian’ Romila Thapar about horses.) The point is that the defenders of the AIT have held that the Harappans did not have horses and it was this point that made them weak and susceptible to the Aryans who had a fairly good cavalry. By proving that horses were, in fact, known to the Indus civilization before the supposed invasion of the Aryans, their entire theory falls flat. Thus all of this horseplay is nothing but a desperate attempt on part of the Western academicians, Indologists and the tribe of Thapars (communist Historians) to save the theory from being completely discarded. “The Frontline article is part of the campaign to somehow save the crumbling edifice of the Aryan invasion version by creating diversions and raising the spectre of ‘Hindutva propaganda’. The real agenda is clear: protect their discredited Aryan invasion/migration version and the non-Indian origin of the Vedic civilization by labeling opponents as ‘Hindutva propagandists’. The rest is diversion.” (Rajaram N. S., 2000) “Men like Witzel are successors to these colonial-missionary scholars, while Indians like Thapar and her tribe, are their camp followers. Our book exposes this. So their tactic is to discredit the book by attacking us personally. This is exactly what the ‘Secularists’ did to the distinguished archaeologist B.B. Lal when he exposed their lies at Ayodhya. More things change, more they remain the same.” (Rajaram N. S., 2000) What reason do the duo give for their long article criticizing Jha’s and Rajaram’s work? What importance is a horse seal from centuries old civilization to the German and American scholars? Why, its the ‘White man’s burden’ card played all over again. Can’t Indians think for themselves and decide the authenticity of the work? Apparently not, which is why they feel they have to caution us. “We fear for India and for objective scholarship.” (Michael Witzel, 2000) So Witzel and Farmer have to save India and Indians from being corrupted by devilish ‘heathens’ and ‘natives’ like Rajaram, Jha and Talageri! But seriously, who are they trying to kid? Surely, there must be other reasons why someone like Witzel should go to such length to attack two writers who he himself dismisses as of no consequence. One reason is probably emotional. Witzel is a German Romantic. His heroes still are nineteenth century German Indologists like Bothlingk and especially Oldenberg. Therefore, it is natural that he should be attached to nineteenth century German ideas like the ‘Aryan nation’ and the ‘Aryan invasion’. But there is a more serious concern: fear of academic survival in the face of ‘downsizing the humanities’ at American universities. The collapse of the Aryan Invasion model of history, which the work records, and which is receiving wide notice, could not have come at a worse time for the likes of Witzel. Their careers and reputations are at stake. This is what one needs to understand. Harvard, like many other universities, in America is not interested in funding research offices and programs that are unproductive and which does not attract new students. Thus,
unless Witzel and his likes do not weave research papers regularly, off goes their funding. That apart, horses were really found in Harappa. Numerous excavated sites along Indus valley and along the dried Saraswati river have produced bones of domesticated horses. Dr. SR Rao informs us that horse bones have been found both from the 'Mature Harappan' and 'Late Harappan' levels. In fact, as far back as 1928, John Marshall, Director General of the Archaeological Survey of India had written about Harappan sites: “Among the domesticated animals were— the humped long horned Indian bull (Bos Indicus) (of which to judge by the frequency of the remains large herds must have been maintained), the sheep, pig, dog, horse and the elephant.” And he is quite specific about the horse: “The horse in the Indus Valley was the small ‘equis cabalus’ near akin to the Indian country bred.”
3.3 DAVID FRAWLEY’S PARADOX
The Harappans of the Indus Valley have left profuse archaeological records over a vast region - from the borders of Iran and beyond Afghanistan to eastern UP and Tapti valley, and must have supported over 30 million people and believed to be living an advanced civilization. And yet these people have left absolutely no literary records. Sounds incredible! The Vedic Aryans and their successors on the other hand have left us a literature that is probably the largest and most profound in the world. But according to the AIT there is absolutely no archaeological record that they ever existed. Either on the Indian soil or outside its boundaries. So we have concrete history and archeology of a vast civilization of 'Dravidians' lasting thousands of years that left no literature, and a huge literature by the Vedic Aryans who left no history and no archaeological records. The situation gets more absurd when we consider that there is profuse archaeological and literary records indicating a substantial movement of Indian Aryans out of India into Iran and West Asia around 2000 BC. (Frawley, 1999) Sanskrit is supposed to be the language of primitive invaders and yet it is, by the opinion of many, one of the most refined languages in the world. It has been regarded as the best language for computers because of its clarity. How can a nomadic primitive tribe develop such a sophisticated language while a highly advanced civilization with intense knowledge of maths and science has no literary developments at all? Sanskrit is also a highly self-contained language developing organically out of specific roots, quite unlike English, which is a mixture of various different languages like old German, Danish and French, with an admixture of Greek and Latin, reflecting a land that was invaded by many different peoples. This also goes to show that Sanskrit was home to the Indus Valley Civilization.
3.4 THE REAL EXPLANATION
Though for many years now, renowned scholars and academicians have been refuting the AIT on numerous grounds but, were not able to provide a firm alternative explanation to the reason of the abandonment of the Harappan cities. The final nail on the coffin of the AIT was delivered with the finding of the dried course of the river Saraswati. In the Rig-Veda, the honour of the greatest and holiest river was not bestowed upon Ganga but upon the River Saraswati. a mighty flowing river all the way from the Himalayas to the ocean across the Rajasthan desert. The Ganga is mentioned only once while the Saraswati is mentioned at least 60 times. In 1910, G E Pilgrim published a landmark paper in which he drew attention to an alluvial deposit of great antiquity found stretching all the way from the Himalayan foothills to the Sind gulf Pilgrims imagined the deposit to have been laid by a primitive river. Recent satellite imagery by the NASA and ISRO have shown a dried up river bed along this course. Geological excavations have also proven the same. The River Saraswati seemed to have changed directions atleast four times in her lifespan, each time shifting to a more westerly alignment according to geological data. She seems to have been massive, up to five miles across in her heyday, flowing through Hanumangarh in Rajasthan to Marot in Pakistan as divulged by satellite photography. The Post Graduate Research Institute, Deccan College has worked out the changing routes of the river in detail. About 4000 BC, Saraswati in her original course emanating from the Himalayas lay in a south-west direction passing through Mathura and Panchbhadra to the mouth of the Kutch. With the climate turning drier, the flow shifted between Sirsa and Nohar through Bikaner. The next shift occurred with the flow through Rangmahal, also in Rajasthan. In the tertiary stage she wended her way through Jaikkal and Hanumangarh during the Indus civilisation and in the fourth and final stage she flowed westward from Samargarh to merge with the Indus, thereby losing her independent identity'. (Rao V. G., 2000). And therefore, the river, finally, dried up by 3000 BC. This has two serious implications. Firstly, as mentioned earlier, the Rig-Veda is full of praise to this particular river. The river called Saraswati is the most important of the rivers mentioned in the Rig Veda. The image of this 'great goddess stream' dominates the text. It is not only the most sacred river but also the Goddess of wisdom. She is said to be the Mother of the Veda. A few Rig Vedic hymns, which mention Saraswati River, are presented below: ambitame naditame devitame sarasvati (II.41.16) (The best mother, the best river, the best Goddess, Saraswati) maho arnah saraswati pra cetayati ketuna dhiyo visva virajati (I.3.12) (Saraswati like a great ocean appears with her ray, she rules all inspirations) surpassing all other rivers and waters: visva apo mahina sindhur anyah;
pure in her course from the mountains to the sea: sucir yati girbhya a samudrat (VII.95.1-2) If the river dried up by 3000 BC, then it must have been flowing in its full intensity at least a 1000 years back when she would have deserved the praises accorded to her in the Veda. This proves that the Rig-Veda belongs to a period of at least 4000 BC, much earlier than the supposed invasion. The second important implication is that it proves that the Harappan civilization was formed on the bed of the River, much like any ancient civilization. Numerous archaeological sites have also been located along the course of this great prehistoric river. A 350 km land survey conducted in 1985 by V S Wakankar from Adibadri to Somnath has yielded over 160 more sites on the dried-up course of the river. Thus, when the river did dry up in 3000 BC, the Harappans, who were dependent on the mighty river, moved along with the river when she changed her course. The ending of Indus Valley and the Saraswati civilization was due to the constant floods and drought in the Indus area and the drying up of the Saraswati River. There was no invasion or battle but merely an ecological change that made the Harappans abandon their home and move towards other perennial rivers, which could provide sustenance. This is the truth and there ends the matter!
We have seen that the AIT was the invention of a few parochial and nationalist scholars, which is used till date for political ends. The far-reaching consequences of this theory cannot be overstated and, as we have seen, never before in history has any theory been so abused to subjugate a group of people. The truth is clear: there was never an invasion but the city was deserted because of ecological reasons. The Rig-Veda dates clearly earlier than 3700 BC and the Indus script can be placed on a continuum of the evolution of the Sanskritic script. Based on Vedic testimonies, Puranic references, archaeological evidences, and all the accounts presented here above, the most realistic and accurate chronological events of the pre-historic period of India should be fixed as follows:
• • • • • • •
Vedic Age - 7000-4000 BC End of Rig Vedic Age - 3750 BC End of Ramayana - Mahabharat Period - 3000 BC Development of Saraswati-Indus Civilization - 3000-2000 BC Decline of Indus and Saraswati Civilization - 2200-1900 BC Period of Complete chaos and migration - 2000-1500 BC Period of evolution of syncretic Hindu culture - 1400 - 250 BC
Finally, we should remember that this was just another tool in the British armor in their colonial expansion agenda, which is strangely supported by a blindly following group of Indian historians and has, unfortunately, succeeded in permeating the mindset of the Indian population.
Therefore, while acknowledging its falsity on the personal level is the first step, much needs to be done with regards to exposing the myth in the eyes of the public. This perhaps, entails sweeping out of irresponsible, dishonest and ideologically fixed academicians from prominent posts, who decide what the young minds imbibe and simultaneously endeavour to rewrite history based on facts and academic honesty!
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Thapar, R. (1992). The Perennial Aryans. Vivekananda. The Myth of Aryans and non-Aryans. Madras.