Aryan Invasion
 
Editorial
   


The image of the Pashupati seal and of the same Yogi on the Gundestrup Cauldron from Western Europe shown below tells the story of the Aryan Invasion and the nineteenth century discipline called Indology that created the theory.

The Pashupati seal from India is nearly five thousand years old, while the Gundestrup Cauldron was made a little over two thousand years ago.

This means: while scholars have been telling us about an 'invasion' of Indo-Europeans from Eurasia to India, what evidence there is tells us exactly the opposite a recorded movement in ancient times from India to West Asia and Europe.

Lest this be misunderstood, let me point out that this is only one item in a large body of evidence that shows a westward movement out of India in ancient times. For more details of this remarkable finding, I refer you to the feature review of Shrikant Talageri's new book 'Rigveda: A Historical Analysis' reviewed in the book section. All this is more than enough to shatter the myth called the Aryan Invasion Theory.

But this is only part of the problem. The real problem is that Indology is based upon a materialistic view of civilization contrary to that of India and its Dharmic traditions. The insidious field known as Indology , a creation of alien interests with their own axes to grind. It is not enough if we expose the distortions that are part of the current version of history.

We must strike at the root of the problem and expose the forces that created these distortions to serve their own interests. When we do so, what we find is that the Aryan invasion theory is only the symptom, an external manifestation.

The real insidious force is the academic discipline known as Indology. It was a product of colonial interests and missionary propaganda, sometimes adjusted according to communist and leftist ideologies. Even today, as there are attempts to revise curriculum in schools and museum displays in India, there are howls of protests from academic Indologists in the West and Church groups in India crying foul at what they call 'saffronization'.

After all, what we are looking at is defining the relationship between Harappan archaeology and the Vedic literature, the oldest literature of India. Both are thousands of years older than Christianity and Islam. Only Hinduism has roots going that long back. So how can it be 'saffronization' when we try to interpret pre-Christian and pre-Islamic texts and artifacts in a Hindu framework. This is the level to which scholarly discourse has sunk.

In the first place, why Indology at all, and not Indian history? We don't have Europology or Americology, but only European history and American history. A field like Indology or Egyptology comes into being only when it falls into the hands of outsiders. Unless the forces that led to its creation are defeated, and their distortions erased, India and her image as well as her future as a civilization will remain bound by shackles created by hostile forces.

At the same time we must recognize that any effort challenging the status quo is bound to arouse the reaction of the establishment. We are already seeing this. Instead of reasoned arguments and refutation, there are charges of Hindu chauvinism and communalism. But one must press on, for there is no squatters right when it comes to scholarship.

What we are witnessing now is a new freedom struggle - a struggle for recovering Indian history and culture from colonial hands and minds. The unraveling of the Aryan invasion myth is part of the de-colonization process. Untruths must be exposed and uprooted. This issue makes a beginning in that direction by providing a background on the subject, and highlighting works that address the problem of Indology in a fundamental way. It consists of articles and detailed reviews of four books that examine the foundations of ancient Indian history going back to the Vedas.

Our goal in this issue is to take steps towards breaking this colonial anachronism and bringing out the truth. Our weapon in this is an independent study of the

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primary sources. This is an area in which many Indian scholars of an earlier generation and a good many of the present, especially those belonging to the establishment have fallen short.

As Sri Aurobindo wrote:[That] Indian scholars have not been able to form themselves into a great and independent school of learning is due to two causes: the miserable scantiness of the mastery of Sanskrit provided by our Universities, crippling to all but born scholars, and our lack of sturdy independence which makes us over-ready to defer to European authority. These however are difficulties easily surmountable.

Happily, Sri Aurobindo's wish is becoming a reality. In the work of scholars like Sethna, Talageri, Natwar Jha, and others we have the makings of a new school of learning that combines mastery of traditional Indian learning and the modern scientific method. With the rise of greater historical awareness on the part of the Hindus, and a new school of scholarship, they fear for their careers and their reputations. It only needs to be nurtured and its message spread.

Added Note: From AIT to AMT
Recognizing that the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) has collapsed, proponents of the Aryan Invasion have now floated a supposedly new idea under the label of Aryan Migration to get around the contradictions resulting from the invasion hypothesis. The whole Aryan invasion/destruction of Harappa has been proven to be an historical blunder of monumental proportions, though it is yet to be rectified in history textbooks and popular accounts.

It's former supporters, left without any real evidence of an Aryan Invasion, have now been reduced to looking for some limited Aryan intrusion in post-Harappan times. They have also resorted to refuting the Vedic nature of early ancient civilization in India, not by a comprehensive examination of the data, but by diversionary tactics that seek to bypass obvious evidence by bringing up irrelevant data and arguments.

An example of this is furnished by the recent flurry of motivated articles in the popular press that claimed that horses were unknown in Harappan India until brought in by the invading Aryans.

This was soon refuted by pointing out that the Rigveda describes a horse that is anatomically quite distinct from the Central Asiatic breeds; nor is there any trail of Central Asian horses coming into India from the northwest to substantiate the invasion hypothesis. In fact, the horse evidence, which has become the argument of last resort for the Aryan invasion advocates, furnishes one of the strongest refutations of the invasion. This is described in detail in the chapter 'Looking Beyond the Aryan Invasion'.

In view of these well-established facts, we attach no significance to this recent repackaging of the invasion theory as the Aryan Migration Theory or the AMT. It is a distinction without a difference. The goal is still the same: to make the Veda and its language to be of foreign origin and deny any connections between the archaeological and literary records of ancient India.

All the old contradictions remain as with the old theory with some new ones arising from biological and genetic data. The AMT like the old AIT fails to examine the massive evidence linking the Vedic Sarasvati River with Harappan civilization, and fails also to explain the irrefutable continuity of culture in the region.

It glosses over contradictions, hoping for an unknown mechanism, yet to be discovered, to explain the mystery of how India became Aryanized after Harappa, within a very short period, without any significant migrations or destruction. Where is any literary, historical or archaeological evidence showing the transition from the Harappan to the Vedic.

This only further highlights the bankruptcy of the entire approach. In this regard, the old AIT was at least more honest and looked for more genuine and verifiable information to support it. The AMT is devised as a theory that does not require evidence; in fact even ignores evidence in an effort to hide the fact that all the evidence proposed for the AIT has been refuted.

Where the AIT was created to explain the linguistic evidence relating Indian and European languages, the AMT has as its goal the denial of inconvenient evidence which means practically all the evidence. The AMT therefore is more subterfuge than theory, that substitutes evasive rhetoric for facts.
 

 
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