UNITED STATES, April 22, 2018 (Swarajyamag by Aseem Shukla and Swaminathan Venkataraman): Nearly a decade ago, when the Hindu American Foundation (HAF) began its textbook entanglements in California, much of the most acrimonious contentions hinged on what was then dogma – the Aryan invasion. American school children were taught that “Aryans”, speaking Sanskrit, had mounted on horses, descended through the Khyber Pass, and destroyed the extant Indus Valley Civilisation (IVC). The hapless IVC people – dark skinned, of course – were said to either be driven deep into South India or enslaved as the lowest castes or untouchables by the fair skinned ritualists with their fire sacrifices and foreign chants they carried down from Central Asia. Confronted by the archaeological evidence that there was no evidence of war-like devastation in the ruins of Harappa and Mohenjo Daro (just migrations likely due to drying of rivers, as a just published study again demonstrates) or that the Vedas, the ostensible historical record of those Aryans, actually carried no record of destruction or subjugations, the “Aryan invasion” silently morphed into the “Aryan migration”.
No wonder then that just a pre-release of a not yet peer-reviewed article anchored by noted Harvard geneticist David Reich was breathlessly trumpeted by the political inheritors of the Indic race theory. The scientific basis of this paper by Reich’s group is by now well-known. Briefly, DNA samples from the Steppes (present day Russia and Kazakhstan), Iran/”Turan” (present day Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Tajikistan) and the Swat Valley of Pakistan were analysed. There were no DNA samples analysed from the actual sites of the IVC. A comparison of the ancient DNA was made to DNA samples from hundreds of living Indians from various castes and regions.
Despite the premature pronouncements, and let’s be clear as to what is answered and what remains firmly in the realm of conjecture after this latest Reich study. First, it is important to recognize that, while there were some voices claiming Indo-European languages spread from India to Europe, most of those uncomfortable with the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ were opposed not to the idea of people moving into India from the Northwest but rather to the insistence of an invasion, and to racially charged theories about how such an invasion destroyed the IVC, directly displaced the “Dravidian race” and created a birth-based caste system. Such theories are now held only by political ideologues and deserve no place in scholarly discourse or school textbooks. Indians should know their origins and their history; and they need no longer blame that history for today’s realities.
Much more at “source” above.