By: Dinesh C. Sharma (http://indiatoday.intoday.in)
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 10, 2011 | UPDATED 10:22 IST
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 10, 2011 | UPDATED 10:22 IST
Widely believed theory of Indo-Aryan invasion, often used to explain early settlements in the Indian subcontinent is a myth, a new study by Indian geneticists says.
The origin of genetic diversity found in South Asia is much older than 3,500 years when the Indo-Aryans were supposed to have migrated to India, a new study led by scientists from the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, says. The study appeared in American Journal of Human Genetics on Friday.
Prof. Nicholas Kazanas, Director, IMILOS Meleton Cultural Institute, Greece, delivering a lecture on 'The Collapse of Aryan Invasion Theory and the prevalence of Indigenism' at IIT-Madras on 26th February 2011.
Please refer to mu previous posting on September 2nd, 2010, titled
"The Myth of the Aryan Invasion Theory".
The theory of Indo-Aryan migration was proposed in mid-19th century by German linguist and Sanskrit scholar Max Muller. He had suggested that 3,500 years ago, a dramatic migration of Indo-European speakers from Central Asia played a key role in shaping contemporary South Asian populations and this was responsible for introduction of the Indo-European language family and the caste system in India.
"Our study clearly shows that there was no genetic influx 3,500 years ago," said Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj of CCMB, who led the research team, which included scientists from the University of Tartu, Estonia, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai and Banaras Hindu University.
"It is high time we re-write India's prehistory based on scientific evidence," said Dr Lalji Singh, former director of CCMB. "There is no genetic evidence that Indo-Aryans invaded or migrated to India or even something such as Aryans existed". Singh, vice-chancellor of BHU, is a co-author.
Researchers analysed some six lakh bits of genetic information in the form of SNPs drawn from DNA of over 1,300 individuals from 112 populations including 30 ethnic groups in India.
The comparison of this data with genetic data of other populations showed that South Asia harbours two major ancestry components. One is spread in populations of South and West Asia, Middle East, Near East and the Caucasus. The second component is more restricted to South Asia and accounts for more than 50 per cent of the ancestry in Indian populations.
"Both the ancestry components that dominate genetic variation in South Asia demonstrate much greater diversity than those that predominate West Eurasia. This is indicative of a more ancient demographic history and a higher long-term effective population size underlying South Asian genome variation compared to that of West Eurasia," researchers said.
"The genetic component which spread beyond India is significantly higher in India than in any other part of world. This implies that this genetic component originated in India and then spread to West Asia and Caucasus," said Gyaneshwar Chaube of University of Tartu, Estonia.
If any migration from Central Asia to South Asia took place, the study says, it should have introduced apparent signals of East Asian ancestry into India. "Because this ancestry component is absent from the region, we have to conclude that if such an event indeed took place, it occurred before the East Asian ancestry component reached central Asia," it said.
Response by the readers: Santi Vardana
The word Aryan comes from Sanskrit and it means "one who knows the purpose and value of human life". However, the British wanting to divide and rule India, employed Max Muller, a morally bankrupt German, to cook up and mis-translate the Vedas and Puranas. This is to demoralize the Indians so that they would lose faith in their scriptures and their religion. The purpose is to convert all Hindus to Christianity and to rule India.
The British presented themselves as ‘new and improved Aryans’ that were in India only to complete the work left undone by their ancestors in the hoary past. This is how the British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin put it in the House of Commons in 1929:
Now, after ages, the two branches of the great Aryan ancestry have again been brought together by Providence. By establishing British rule in India, God said to the British, “I have brought you and the Indians together after a long separation; it is your duty to raise them to their own level as quickly as possible brothers as you are.”
Baldwin was only borrowing a page from the Jesuit missionary Robert de Nobili (1577 - 1656) who presented Christianity as a purer form of the Vedic religion to attract Hindu converts. Now, 300 years later, Baldwin and the British were telling Indians: “We are both Aryans but you have fallen from your high state, and we, the British are here to lift you from your fallen condition.” It is surprising that few historians seem to have noticed the obvious similarity.
In the circumstances it is hardly surprising that many of the ‘scholars’ of Indology should have had missionary links.