Indigenous Aryans

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Indigenous Aryans, also known as the Out of India theory (OIT), is the idea that the Aryans are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent.

Quotes[edit]

  • "The claim that the āryas are indigenous to India can therefore be reconciled with the relationship of Indo-Aryan to the rest of Indo-European only under one of two hypotheses: Either the other Indo-European languages are descended from the earliest Indo-Aryan, identical or at least close to Vedic Sanskrit, or Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the ancestor of all the Indo-European languages, was spoken in India and (the speakers of) all the Indo-European languages other than Sanskrit/Indo-Aryan migrated out of India. For convenience, let us call the first alternative the ‘Sanskrit-origin’ hypothesis, and the second one, the ‘PIE-in-India’ hypothesis" “….the ‘Sanskrit-origin’ hypothesis runs into insurmountable difficulties, due to the irreversible nature of relevant linguistic changes [….but….] the likelihood of the ‘PIE-in-India’ hypothesis cannot be assessed on the basis of similar robust evidence” .... “The ‘PIE-in-India’ hypothesis is not as easily refuted as the ‘Sanskrit-origin’ hypothesis, since it is not based on ‘hard-core’ linguistic evidence, such as sound changes, which can be subjected to critical and definitive analysis. Its cogency can be assessed only in terms of circumstantial arguments, especially arguments based on plausibility and simplicity”
    • Hans Hock. HOCK 1999a: “Out of India? The linguistic evidence”, p.1-18 in “Aryan and non-Aryan in South Asia: evidence, interpretation, and ideology” 1999. (Proceedings of the International Seminar on Aryan and non-Aryan in South Asia, Univ. of Michigan, October 1996) Quoted in [1] [2]
  • Talageri’s master key is the internal chronology of the Rg-Veda. Basing himself on two centuries of Western scholarship, from 19th-century German Veda scholar Hermann Oldenberg to present-day AIT champion Michael Witzel, Talageri compares the contents of the oldest layer, largely coinciding with books 6, 3 and 7; of the middle layer, books 2 and 4; and the youngest layer, comprising books 1, 5, 8, 9 and 10. Covering every verse and every instance of every data category considered, and comparing the three periods, he finds a shifting focus in the names of animals, plants, rivers, landscape features, technology, ancestors, ethnic groups, and in personal name types and verse forms. His finding is this: the old layer was indubitably composed in the Yamuna/Sarawati region, which was to remain the centre of gravity of Vedic culture; the middle layer’s horizon expands westwards as far as the Indus; while the youngest parts are also familiar with Afghanistan. This is exactly the opposite of what the AIT predicts. In an invasionist scenario, the oldest layer would obviously be based in Afghanistan and be as yet unfamiliar with India’s interior, which would then only be settled in the younger period.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.
  • In such a situation, where any scholar, Indian or Western, who finds that the facts indicate an Indian homeland, has to struggle against a strong tide of prejudice in Western academic circles (not to mention the deeply entrenched leftist lobby in Indian academic circles), it is clear that establishing the truth about the original homeland is, practically speaking, an uphill task.
    • Talageri, S. The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis (2000)
  • Northern India is the only place where place-names and river-names are Indo-European right from the period of the Rigveda (a text which Max Müller refers to as “the first word spoken by the Aryan man”) with no traces of any alleged earlier non-Indo-European names.
    • Talageri, S. The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis (2000)

Quotes about Indo-Aryan migration[edit]

  • In the days when historians supposed that history had begun with Greece, Europe gladly believed that India had been a hotbed of barbarism until the “Aryan” cousins of the European peoples had migrated from the shores of the Caspian to bring the arts and sciences to a savage and benighted peninsula. Recent researches have marred this comforting picture—as future researches will change the perspective of these pages. In India, as elsewhere, the beginnings of civilization are buried in the earth, and not all the spades of archeology will ever quite exhume them.
    • Durant, Will (1963). Our Oriental heritage. New York: Simon & Schuster.
  • We reiterate that there is no indication in the Rigveda of the Arya‘s memory of any ancestral home, and by extension, of migrations. Given the pains taken to create a distinct identity for themselves, it would be surprising if the Aryas neglected such an obvious emotive bond in reinforcing their group cohesion. Thus their silence on the subject of migrations is taken here to indicate that by the time of composition of the Rigveda, any memory of migrations, should they have taken place at all, had been erased from their consciousness.
    • ERDOSY 1989: Ethnicity in the Rigveda and its Bearing on the Question of Indo- European Origins. Erdosy, George. pp. 35-47 in ―South Asian Studies vol. 5. London 40-41 Quoted in Talageri, S. G. (2008). The Rigveda and the Avesta. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • There is no evidence to show that these Vedic Aryans were foreigners or that they migrated into Sapta-Sindhu within traditional memory... The Vedic literature is intensively Indian in tradition, technique and outlook. ... So far as is known, none of the Sanskrit books, not even the most ancient, contains any distinct reference or allusion to the foreign origin of the Indians. ... Migrating races look back to the land of their origin for centuries.... The Vedic Aryans... must have lived in the Sapta-Sindhu so many centuries before the Vedic period, that they had lost all memory of an original home.
    • KM Munshi, Quoted from B.B. Lal in : Indian History and Culture Society., Devahuti, D., & Indian History and Culture Society. (2012). Bias in Indian historiography. 9
  • [In spite of the impression created in popular literature, archaeology has by no means demonstrated that there was an Aryan immigration into India. Even the new levels in accuracy do not affect the following status quaestionis of the Aryan Invasion theory:] “The question of Indo-European migrations into the subcontinent of India can, at best, be described as enigmatic.”
    • David G. Zanotti: “Another Aspect of the Indo-European Question: a Response to P. Bosch Gimpera”, Journal of Indo-European Studies, 1975/3, p.255-270, spec. p.260., quoted in Elst, Koenraad (1999). Update on the Aryan invasion debate New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

Quotes about Aryan Invasion Theory[edit]

  • “There is not a particle of evidence suggesting the invasion of India by the Aryans from outside India… The theory of the Aryan race set up by Western writers falls to the ground at every point… the theory is based on nothing but pleasing assumptions and inferences based on such assumptions… Not one of these assumptions is borne out by facts… The assertion that the Aryans came from outside and invaded India is not proved and the premise that the Dasas and Dasyus are aboriginal tribes of India is demonstrably false… The originators of the Aryan race theory are so eager to establish their case that they have no patience to see what absurdities they land themselves in… The Aryan race theory is so absurd that it ought to have been dead long ago.”
    • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, Volume 7 edited by Vasant Moon, Education Department, Govt. of Maharashtra Publications, Mumbai, 1990. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • “the support which this theory receives from Brahmin scholars”.... “ is a very strange phenomenon. As Hindus they should ordinarily show a dislike for the Aryan theory with its expressed avowal of the superiority of the Aryan races over the Asiatic races. but the Brahmin scholar has not only no such aversion, but he most willingly hails it. The reasons are obvious. The Brahmin… claims to be a representative of the Aryan race and he regards the rest of the Hindus as descendants of the non-Aryans. The theory helps him to establish his kinship with the European races and share their arrogance and their superiority. He likes particularly that part of the theory which makes the Aryan an invader and a conqueror of the non-Aryan races. For it helps him to maintain his overlordship over the non-Brahmins.”
    • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, Volume 7 edited by Vasant Moon, Education Department, Govt. of Maharashtra Publications, Mumbai, 1990. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • “The theory of invasion is an invention. This invention is necessary because of a gratuitous assumption which underlies the Western theory. The assumption is that the Indo-Germanic (sic) people are the purest of the modem representatives of the original Aryan race. Its first home is assumed to have been somewhere in Europe. These assumptions raise a question: how could the Aryan speech have come to India? This question can be answered only by the supposition that the Aryans must have come into India from outside. Hence the necessity for inventing the theory of invasion.”
    • Dr. Babasaheb Ambedkar Writings and Speeches, Volume 7 edited by Vasant Moon, Education Department, Govt. of Maharashtra Publications, Mumbai, 1990. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Several people who have examined Indo-European scholarship have drawn parallels between research about the Proto-Indo-European world and myths, in the sense of narratives aobut origin. Indo-European research has, in many ways, been an attempt to write the origin narrative of the bourgeois class - a narrative that, by talking about how things originally were, has sanctioned a certain kind of behavior, idealized a certain type of person, and affirmed certain feelings. Certainly, there have been some scholars who have not identified themselves with the Proto-Indo-Europeans, but they are few.
    • Arvidsson, S. (2006). Aryan idols: Indo-European mythology as ideology and science. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.319-320
  • “the bulk of the peoples now inhabiting India may have been the descendants of a new race from more northern latitudes, even perhaps, as argued by Mr. Tilak, from the Arctic regions; but there is nothing in the Veda, as there is nothing in the present ethnological features of the country, to prove that this descent took place near to the time of the Vedic hymns or was the slow penetration of a small body of fair-skinned barbarians into a civilized Dravidian peninsula.”
    • Sri Aurobindo. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Nevertheless a time must come when the Indian mind will shake off the darkness that has fallen upon it, cease to think or hold opinions at second and third hand and reassert its right to judge and enquire in a perfect freedom into the meaning of its own Scriptures. When that day comes we shall, I think, discover that the imposing fabric of Vedic theory is based upon nothing more sound or true than a foundation of loosely massed conjectures. We shall question many established philological myths,—the legend, for instance, of an Aryan invasion of India from the north, the artificial and inimical distinction of Aryan and Dravidian which an erroneous philology has driven like a wedge into the unity of the homogenous Indo-Afghan race; the strange dogma of a “henotheistic” Vedic naturalism; the ingenious and brilliant extravagances of the modern sun and star myth weavers. (...) Western Philology has converted it [the word arya] into a racial term, an unknown ethnological quantity on which different speculations fix different values....
    • Sri Aurobindo,1910-1914, quoted from Sri Aurobindo, ., Nahar, S., Aurobindo, ., & Institut de recherches évolutives (Paris). India's rebirth: A selection from Sri Aurobindo's writing, talks and speeches. Paris: Institut de Recherches Evolutives. 3rd Edition (2000). [3]
  • “Although in various other academic fields and area studies, such as race science, postcolonial scholarship has completely deconstructed and exposed the colonial investment in the propagation of certain theories, the field of Indology, at least in present-day Western academic circles, has been very suspicious of these voices being raised against the theory of the Aryan invasions”
  • During the 1935 Parliament debates on the Government of India Act, Sir Winston Churchill opposed any policy tending towards decolonization on the following ground: 'We have as much right to be in India as anyone there, except perhaps for the Depressed Classes [= the SC/ STs], who are the native stock.'
    • Winston Churchill. (According to some interpretations of the Aryan Invasion Theory, the upper castes in India are not of the native stock) Reproduced in C.H. Philips ed.: Select Documents on the History of India and Pakistan, part IV, p.315. , and quoted from Elst, Koenraad (2002). Who is a Hindu?: Hindu revivalist views of Animism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and other offshoots of Hinduism. ISBN 978-8185990743
  • In the Third Reich, even schoolchildren knew from their textbooks that this [= the Aryan] race had spread from the north to the south and east, and not the other way around.
    • Savitri Devi, Souvernirs et Réflexions d'une Aryenne, p 273, quoted in Koenraad Elst: The Saffron Swastika, p. 561
  • By the time I was a junior in high school, I was convinced that racial differences are real and inherent and that the forced integration of our schools and society would have dire consequences. It seemed obvious that America would undergo a slow transformation to a racially mixed society with a corresponding demographic change similar to that of ancient Egypt and ancient India. Perhaps there was time, I thought - even if it took a few generations - to rally the EuropeanAmerican to the truth and thus prevent the looming tragedy. ... Aryans, or Indo-Europeans (Caucasians) created the great Indian, or Hindu civilization. Aryans swept over the Himalayas to the Indian sub-continent and conquered the aboriginal people... The word Aryan has an etymological origin in the word Arya from Sanskrit, meaning noble. The word also has been associated with gold, the noble metal and denoted the golden skinned invaders (as compared to the brown skinned aboriginals) from the West. Composed in about 1500 B.C., the Hindu religious texts of the Rig Veta tell the story of the long struggles between the Aryans and the aboriginal people of the Indian subcontinent. Sixteen Aryan states were partitioned by the sixth century A.D., and Brahmanism became the chief religion of India. The conquering race initiated a caste system to preserve their status and their racial identity. The Hindu word for caste is Varna, which directly translated into English, means color. Today the word is usually associated with occupation or trade; but that is because occupations evolved on the basis of skin color and ethnicity. The most pale skinned were called the Brahmin. These were the warrior-priest class, the top of the social ladder. The Untouchables (or Pariahs) were the racially mixed in the bottom caste. ... As I walked over the ancient road and through the patches of dry weeds toward the temple, I reviewed all that I had read about India and all that I had seen firsthand. I recalled the fact that the highest classes were the lightest-skinned, that nothing was more insulting to an Indian than calling him "black," that "Varna" {caste) is the Indian word for color.The original language of the ancient Aryan invaders, Sanskrit, is an ancient Indo-European language with direct links to every other European language. Ancient Sanskrit literature even has descriptions of Aryan leaders as having light eyes and hair. As I neared the temple, I thought about the splendor that once was and about the dreadful squalor I had witnessed since my arrival in the India of today. ... I noticed that the temple's dome had partially caved-in. Only two walls remained standing. Still closer, I saw thousands of pockmarks eroding the structure. Each of them had once housed a precious stone, but these had long ago been pried loose and picked clean. I wondered if all the monuments of Europe and America would eventually endure the same fate as this one. ... It was at that point that I realized who I am. I am an Aryan — a word that has evolved through the centuries to denote those of our race who are racially aware and racially committed. Before I saw that half-breed little girl in the ruins, I was a racially conscious White person. Afterward I was a White person who had become completely committed to the preservation and evolutionary advancement of his people. Not only was I awakened to the truths of race, I was awakened to the sacred purpose of all those who came before us, and those who will follow us in the unbroken spiral toward the heavens. I had become an Aryan.
    • David Duke, My Awakening: A Path to Racial Understanding, 1998.
  • At some time in the second millennium BC, probably comparatively early in the millennium, a band or bands of speakers of Indo-European language, later to be called Sanskrit, entered India over the northwest passes. This is our linguistic doctrine which has been held now for more than a century and a half.
    • Emeneau, M.B., 1980, Language and linguistic area: essays by Murray B. Emeneau selected and introduced by Anwar S. Dil, Stanford University Press, p.85.
  • One thing which keeps on astonishing me in the present debate is the complete lack of doubt in both camps. Personally, I don’t think that either theory, of Aryan invasion and of Aryan indigenousness, can claim to have been "proven" by prevalent standards of proof; even though one of the contenders is getting closer. Indeed, while I have enjoyed pointing out the flaws in the AIT statements of the politicized Indian academic establishment and its American amplifiers, I cannot rule out the possibility that the theory which they are defending may still have its merits."
  • A wholly different political element in Prof. Hock's contributions concerns his characterization of the non-invasionist school. He repeatedly identifies it as the “Hindu nationalist” school. But this mistakenly attributes a political identity and motive to a scholarly hypothesis about ancient Indian history. I don't call the AIT party “the European racist school” or the “Dravidian chauvinist school” eventhough those terms do explain the motives behind at least a part of the pro-AIT polemic, past or present.
    • Elst K. Asterisk in bharopiyasthan: Minor writings on the Aryan invasion debate (2007)
  • Incorporated in the theme of Aryan whiteness, the AIT became a crown piece in Adolf Hitler’s vision of white supremacy: here was the proof of both white superiority and of the need to preserve the race from admixture with inferior darker races. Had not the white Aryan invaders of India subdued the vastly more numerous brown-skinned natives, and had they not lost their superior white quality by mixing with the natives and becoming more brown themselves? In the Nazi view, the Aryan invaders had retained a relative superiority vis-à-vis the pure black natives by means of the caste system, but had been too slow in instituting this early form of Apartheid, so that their type was fatally contaminated with inferior blood. .... The subjugation of the black natives of India by the white Aryan invaders was, in the Rassenkunde (“racial science”) courses in Nazi schools, the clearest illustration of the superiority of the white and especially the Aryan race.... The “Aryan” theme failed to kindle any sympathy in Hitler for the brown Aryans of India. He spurned the collaboration offer by freedom fighter and leftist Congress leader Subhash Chandra Bose because he preferred India to be under white British domination. And he ordered the extermination of the Gypsies, Indian immigrants into Europe. Nonetheless, anti-Hindu polemicists cleverly exploit the ambiguity of the term “Aryan” to associate Hindus with Hitler. ... To quote Hindus as speaking of the “Aryan race” without explaining the semantic itinerary of the expression is tantamount to manipulating the readership into reading something into the phrase which Arya Samaj spokesmen and Aurobindo never intended. To Hindus, Arya, or “Aryan” in English texts, simply means “Hindu”, nothing more, nothing less.... As for the Nazi connection, let us at any rate be clear about an easily verifiable fact: in so far as the Nazis cared about Indian history, they favoured the AIT.... Indeed, the AIT happens to have the same historical roots as the race theories centred on white superiority which culminated in Nazi racism. in the 19th-century race theories, Indian civilization had to be the work of white people, who, like the modern Europeans, had colonized India by subjugating the dark natives; later, the mixing of the white Aryans (in spite of a belated attempt to preserve their purity through the caste system) with the dark natives caused the decline and “feminization” of the conquering Aryan culture, which invited a new conquest by Europeans taking up the “white man’s burden” of bringing order and enlightenment to the dark-skinned people living in social, intellectual and spiritual darkness. The AIT was an essential part of this view, and Nazism a slight radicalization.
  • Contemporary Euro-nationalists uphold the pro-invasionist tradition... Certain rightist circles, vaguely known on the Continent as the Nouvelle Droite, devote particular attention to the Indo-European heritage, invariably claiming a European homeland..... This trend has enlisted the contributions of eminent scholars, and their political views need not detract from the validity of their argumentation, but the political dimension is undeniably and explicitly present, e.g. AIT supporters Varenne and Haudry are, or were members of the Scientific Committee of the French nationalist party Front National.
    • Elst, Koenraad (2007). Asterisk in bharopiyasthan: Minor writings on the Aryan invasion debate.
  • 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. ... No, the European... will never cease duping us into believing that we have no more right to this land than he has.
    • Golwalkar, M.S. We, p. 7-12. also in Elst, K. (2010). The saffron swastika: The notion of "Hindu fascism". I.166
  • I have always felt that the idea underlying this theory has a basis other than the purely scientific or historical one.
    • Ganganath Jha, 1940. Quoted from B.B. Lal in : Indian History and Culture Society., Devahuti, D., & Indian History and Culture Society. (2012). Bias in Indian historiography. 8-9
  • We know that the Hindus in India are a people mixed from the lofty Aryan immigrants and the dark-black aboriginal population, and that this people is bearing the consequences today; for it is also the slave people of a race that almost seems like a second Jewry.
    • “Wir wissen, dass die Hindu in Indien ein Volk sind, gemischt aus den hochstehenden arischen Einwanderern und der dunkelschwarzen Urbevölkerung, und dass dieses Volk heute die folgen trägt; denn es ist auch das Sklavenvolk einer Rasse, die uns in vielen Punkten nahezu als zweite Judenheit erscheinen darf.”
    • Adolph Hitler. Jäckel & Kuhn 1980:195, quoting Hitler 1920, quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.
  • "The claim that the āryas are indigenous to India can therefore be reconciled with the relationship of Indo-Aryan to the rest of Indo-European only under one of two hypotheses: Either the other Indo-European languages are descended from the earliest Indo-Aryan, identical or at least close to Vedic Sanskrit, or Proto-Indo-European (PIE), the ancestor of all the Indo-European languages, was spoken in India and (the speakers of) all the Indo-European languages other than Sanskrit/Indo-Aryan migrated out of India. For convenience, let us call the first alternative the ‘Sanskrit-origin’ hypothesis, and the second one, the ‘PIE-in-India’ hypothesis" “….the ‘Sanskrit-origin’ hypothesis runs into insurmountable difficulties, due to the irreversible nature of relevant linguistic changes [….but….] the likelihood of the ‘PIE-in-India’ hypothesis cannot be assessed on the basis of similar robust evidence” .... “The ‘PIE-in-India’ hypothesis is not as easily refuted as the ‘Sanskrit-origin’ hypothesis, since it is not based on ‘hard-core’ linguistic evidence, such as sound changes, which can be subjected to critical and definitive analysis. Its cogency can be assessed only in terms of circumstantial arguments, especially arguments based on plausibility and simplicity”
    • Hans Hock. HOCK 1999a: “Out of India? The linguistic evidence”, p.1-18 in “Aryan and non-Aryan in South Asia: evidence, interpretation, and ideology” 1999. (Proceedings of the International Seminar on Aryan and non-Aryan in South Asia, Univ. of Michigan, October 1996) Quoted in [4] [5]
  • The invading Aryans were more advanced and referred to the conquered Indians as “Dasyu” — the “dark ones” or slaves. Indo-Aryan poetry (the Rigveda ) is full of stories of war against the Dasyu, and reflects the stark racial divisions between the conquering Aryans and the conquered Indians. The Rigveda, the original holy book of the Aryan conquerors of India, contains a great many references to the race of the conquerors and the conquered. According to this book, the leader of the Aryan invasion was one Indra, and his role in “slaying the Dasyus” (the Negroids in India) is a prominent theme.
    • Arthur Kemp, March of the Titans: A History of the White Race, 1999.
  • To be sure, neither Jones nor anyone else was wrong to perceive strong and systematic similarities among Sanskrit, Latin, Greek, and the rest. The question is what one makes of these similarities, and one steps onto a slippery slope whenever analysis moves from the descriptive to the historic plane of linguistics. In specific, reconstructing a "protolanguage" is an exercise that invites one to imagine speakers of that protolanguage, a community of such people, then a place for that community, a time in history, distinguishing characteristics, and a set of contrastive relations with other protocommunities where other protolanguages were spoken. For all of this, need it be said, there is no sound evidentiary warrant.
    • Lincoln, B. (1999). Theorizing myth: Narrative, ideology, and scholarship. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. p.95
  • Why do serious scholars persist in believing in the Aryan invasions?... Why is this sort of thing attractive? Who finds it attractive? Why has the development of early Sanskrit come to be so dogmatically associated with an Aryan invasion?… Where the Indo-European philologists are concerned, the invasion argument is tied in with their assumption that if a particular language is identified as having been used in a particular locality at a particular time, no attention need be paid to what was there before; the slate is wiped clean. Obviously, the easiest way to imagine this happening in real life is to have a military conquest that obliterates the previously existing population! The details of the theory fit in with this racist framework... Because of their commitment to a unilineal segmentary history of language development that needed to be mapped onto the ground, the philologists took it for granted that proto-Indo-Iranian was a language that had originated outside either India or Iran. Hence it followed that the text of the Rig Veda was in a language that was actually spoken by those who introduced this earliest form of Sanskrit into India. From this we derived the myth of the Aryan invasions. QED. The origin myth of British colonial imperialism helped the elite administrators in the Indian Civil Service to see themselves as bringing `pure' civilization to a country in which civilization of the most sophisticated (but `morally corrupt') kind was already nearly 6,000 years old. Here I will only remark that the hold of this myth on the British middle-class imagination is so strong that even today, 44 years after the death of Hitler and 43 years after the creation of an independent India and independent Pakistan, the Aryan invasions of the second millennium BC are still treated as if they were an established fact of history. (...) Common sense might suggest that here was a striking example of a refutable hypothesis that had in fact been refuted. Indo-European scholars should have scrapped all their historical reconstructions and started again from scratch. But that is not what happened. Vested interests and academic posts were involved. Almost without exception the scholars in question managed to persuade themselves that despite appearances, the theories of the philologists and the hard evidence could be made to fit together. The trick was to think of the horse-riding Aryans as conquerors of the cities of the Indus civilization in the same way that the Spanish conquistadors were conquerors of the cities of Mexico and Peru or the Israelites of the Exodus were conquerors of Jericho.
    • Sir Edmund Leach. "Aryan invasions over four millennia. In Culture through Time, Anthropological Approaches, edited by E. Ohnuki-Tierney, Stanford University Press, Stanford, 1990, pp. 227-245.
  • “The Americans, English, Dutch and the Portuguese got hold of the poor Africans, and made them work hard while they lived, and their children of mixed birth were born in slavery and kept in that condition for a long period. From that wonderful example, the mind jumps back several thousand years, and fancies that the same thing happened here, and our archaeologist 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 Thibet, others will have it that they came from Central Asia… Of late, there was an attempt being made to prove that the Aryans lived on the Swiss lakes. I should not be sorry if they had been all drowned there, theory and all. Some say now that they lived at the 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.”
    • Swami Vivekananda. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • “And what your European Pandits say about the Aryans swooping down from some foreign land, snatching away the lands of the aborigines and settling in India by exterminating them, is all pure nonsense, foolish talk! Strange, that our Indian scholars, too, say amen to them: and all these monstrous lies are being taught to our boys! This is very bad indeed… In what Veda, in what Sukta, do you find that the Aryans came into India from a foreign country? Where do you get the idea that they slaughtered the wild aborigines? What do you gain by talking such wild nonsense?”
    • Swami Vivekananda Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.

Aryan invasion theory and archaeology[edit]

  • [the idea of an Aryan invasion of India in the second millennium BCE] has recently been challenged by archaeologists, who ― along with linguists ― are best qualified to evaluate its validity. Lack of convincing material (or osteological) traces left behind by the incoming Indo-Aryan speakers, the possibility of explaining cultural change without reference to external factors and ― above all ― an altered world-view (Shaffer 1984) have all contributed to a questioning of assumptions long taken for granted and buttressed by the accumulated weight of two centuries of scholarship.... [the perspective offered by archaeology], "that of material culture […] is in direct conflict with the findings of the other discipline claiming a key to the solution of the ‘Aryan Problem’, linguistics" ...Archaeologists and anthropologists... [like] Jim G. Shaffer and Diane A. Lichtenstein, who “stress the indigenous development of South Asian civilization from the Neolithic onwards, and downplay the role of language in the formation of (pre-modern) ethnic identities”; J. Mark Kenoyer, who “stresses that the cultural history of South Asia in the 2nd millinnium B.C. may be explained without reference to external agents”, and Kenneth A.R. Kennedy, who concludes “that while discontinuities in physical types have certainly been found in South Asia, they are dated to the 5th/4th, and to the 1st millennium BC, respectively, too early and too late to have any connection with ‘Aryans’.”
    • George Erdosy, Preface, The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture and Ethnicity edited by George Erdosy, Walter de Gruyter, Berlin-New York, 1995.
  • The Aryan invasion of India has somehow gone missing from the archaeological record.
  • In any event, all three models [Anatolian Neolithic, Near Eastern, Pontic-Caspian] require some form of major language shift despite there being no credible archaeological evidence to demonstrate, through elite dominance or any other mechanism, the type of language shift required to explain, for example, the arrival and dominance of the Indo-Aryans in India.
    • JP Mallory, Twenty-first century clouds over Indo-European homelands, 2013, quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.
  • “[This] episode of elite dominance which brought the indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European family to India (…) may have been as early as the floruit of the Indus civilization (…)”
  • The Indo-Aryan invasion(s) as an academic concept in 18th- and 19th-century Europe reflected the cultural milieu of that period. Linguistic data were used to validate the concept that in turn was used to interpret archaeological and anthropological data.What was theory became unquestioned fact that was used to interpret and organise subsequent data. It is time to end the "linguistic tyranny" that has prescribed interpretative frameworks of pre- and proto-historic cultural development in South Asia.
    • Jim Shaffer, 1984, ‘The Indo-Aryan Invasions: Cultural Myth and Archaeological Reality’ in Lukacs JR (ed) The People of South Asia: the Biological Anthropology of India, Pakistan and Nepal, Phenum, NY. p.88.
  • ‘A diffusion or migration of a culturally complex ‘Indo-Aryan‘ people into South Asia is not described by the archaeological record.‘
    • Shaffer (1999:245), quoted in The Languages of Harappa. Witzel, Michael. Feb. 17, 2000.
  • Although the overall socioeconomic organization changed, continuities in technology, subsistence practices, settlement organization, and some regional symbols show that the indigenous population was not displaced by invading hordes of Indo-Aryan speaking people. For many years, the ‘invasions’ or ‘migrations’ of these Indo-Aryan-speaking Vedic/Aryan tribes explained the decline of the Indus civilization and the sudden rise of urbanization in the Ganga-Yamuna valley. This was based on simplistic models of culture change and an uncritical reading of Vedic texts...
    • JM Kenoyer, quoted In The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture: The Indo-Aryan Migration Debate, Edwin Bryant, 2001,p.190

Aryan invasion theory and philology[edit]

  • So far as the Rig Veda is concerned, there is not a particle of evidence suggesting the invasion of India by the Aryans from outside India... So far as the testimony of the Vedic literature is concerned, it is against the theory that the original home of the Aryans was outside India.
    • B.R. Ambedkar Who were the Shudras, 1946
  • “whether the whole story of an Aryan invasion through the Punjab is not a myth of the philologists.”
    • Sri Aurobindo. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • Direct testimony to the assumed fact is lacking, and no tradition of an early home beyond the frontier survives in India.
    • A.L. Basham, Oxford History of India, [6] quoted in S. Talageri, The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993)
  • “The Aryan invasion of India is recorded in no written document and it cannot yet be traced archaeologically but it is nevertheless established as a historical fact on the basis of comparative philology.”
    • Burrow [1975:21], quoted in Elst, Koenraad (2018). Still no trace of an Aryan invasion: A collection on Indo-European origins.
  • “no tradition of an early home beyond the frontier survives in India.”
    • The Oxford History of India by Vincent A. Smith, edited by Percival Spear, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 3rd edition 1970. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • The Iranians had retained a distinct memory of the Indo-Iranian common home in their mythology but the Indo-Aryans... have nothing to say on the point. [... There is a ] distinctively Indian Rigvedic culture... a distinct product of the Indian soil.
    • BK Ghosh, in : The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. I: The Vedic Age edited by R.C. Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publications, Mumbai, 6th edition 1996. , quoted in S. Talageri, The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993) [7] quoted in S. Talageri, The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993)
  • “it really cannot be proved that the Vedic Aryans retained any memory of their extra-Indian associations”.
    • The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. I: The Vedic Age edited by R.C. Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publications, Mumbai, 6th edition 1996. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • The scene of traditional history opens in India [and it comprises] the whole of Northern India extending in the east upto Orissa... [There is a] total absence of extraterritorial memory in the Rig Veda... It really cannot be proved that the Vedic Aryans retained any memory of their extra-Indian associations.
    • A.D. Pusalker, in : The History and Culture of the Indian People, Vol. I: The Vedic Age edited by R.C. Majumdar, Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan Publications, Mumbai, 6th edition 1996. , quoted in S. Talageri, The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993) . quoted in S. Talageri, The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism (1993), 51, 180.
  • Indian tradition knows nothing of any Aila or Aryan invasion of India from Afghanistan, nor of any gradual advance from thence eastwards.
    • Ancient Indian Historical Tradition by F.E. Pargiter, Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi-Varanasi-Patna, 1962. Quoted in Talageri, S. (2000). The Rigveda: A historical analysis. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
  • I have consulted during the last ten years or so, a large number of Veda scholars of international repute such as.... and thy affirmed that there is not, in the hymns, any direct or indirect memory of a pre-Indian home in the minds of the authors!... But it is certain that by the time the hymns were composed they had lost all memory of ever having lived outside India (including eastern Afghanistan). A people who invented.... could not have in a few hundred years forgotten their earlier home.
    • KC Verma, , quoted in Devahuti, D., & Indian History and Culture Society. (1980). Bias in Indian historiography. Delhi: D.K. Publications. p. 50-51

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