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Aryan Invasion/migration Theories & Debates -2 - dhu - 02-11-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->x-post from Ramana

Out Of Africa -- Bacteria, As Well: Homo Sapiens And H. Pylori Jointly Spread Across The Globe

The migration paths taken by modern man as he colonized the world. 60,000 years ago, Homo sapiens left his original home in East Africa - taking the bacterium Helicobacter pylori with him. The abbreviation kyears stands for thousand years. (Image: Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology)

ScienceDaily (Feb. 16, 2007) — When man made his way out of Africa some 60,000 years ago to populate the world, he was not alone: He was accompanied by the bacterium Helicobacter pylori, which causes gastritis in many people today. Together, man and the bacterium spread throughout the entire world. This is the conclusion reached by an international team of scientists led by Mark Achtman from the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology in Berlin, Germany. The researchers also discovered that differences developed in the genetic makeup of the bacteria populations, just as it did in that of the various peoples of the world. This has also given scientists new insight into the paths taken by man as he journeyed across the Earth (Nature online, February 7, 2007).

More than half of all human beings are infected with Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that can cause stomach ulcers. Like humans, the bacteria are also split up into numerous regional populations. A team of scientists led by Mark Achtman at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, François Balloux at the University of Cambridge and Sebastian Suerbaum at Hanover Medical University have found signs of the parallel evolution of man and H. pylori. Using mathematical simulations, the researchers demonstrated that H. pylori must have left East Africa at the same time as man - around 60,000 years ago. This astonishing conformity was uncovered by scientists when they compared the nucleotide sequencing patterns in the DNA of human and H. pylori populations.

In order to characterise the individual populations, the scientists employed the principle of isolation by distance. According to this principle, the genetic distance between two populations has a linear correlation with the length of the migration paths taken since they were separated. "It's actually quite logical," explains Dr. Mark Achtman, "because in the time that elapses after a population leaves its point of origin, the number of mutations in its genetic makeup continually increases."

However, while man was spreading throughout the world, human populations had to repeatedly pass through what scientists call genetic bottlenecks: when a population shrinks, the gene pool also becomes smaller. These losses in genetic diversity linger, even when the population starts once again to increase in number. Since the Homo sapiens populations usually had to pass through several genetic bottlenecks on their way across the globe, their genetic diversity declined the further they journeyed from their origin in East Africa.

Scientists have now uncovered similar signs of historical population migration in the genetic makeup of H. pylori. However, the genetic diversity of the bacteria is larger than that of man. This paves the way for researchers to use H. pylori data to work out the migratory movements of modern man. "The parallels between the spread of man and of H. pylori are truly astonishing," says Achtman. "This bacterium could help us attain further information on aspects of human history that are still hotly disputed today if we analyzed H. pylori in conjunction with human data." For example, after leaving East Africa, the H. pylori population spread through limited localities in southern Africa, West Africa, Northeast Africa, India and East Asia. <b>The genes of bacteria isolated in Europe, for instance, reveal influences from Central Asia - an indication that human immigrants came to Europe from Asia.</b>

Original work:

An African origin for the intimate association between humans and Helicobacter pylori

Nature online, February 7, 2007<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 02-12-2008

Darwin’s legacy

On February 12, 2009, most of the world will celebrate the 200th birth anniversary of a great scientist whose theory — based on incredibly laborious empirical observation and once-in-a-millennium insights — forever changed humankind’s perceptions of itself and of the natural world around. Next year will also mark the 150th anniversary of the publication of Charles Darwin’s great work On the origin of species by means of natural selecti on, or the preservation of favoured races in the struggle for life. The five years (December 27, 1831-October 2, 1836) the English naturalist spent on board H.M.S. Beagle in a round-the-world voyage gave him the opportunity to study and compare the fauna, flora, and geology of many distant lands. It led him to wonder about the diversity of life forms he found and why creatures occupying similar environments in places around the globe could be so vastly different. The idea that biological species were not immutable but were capable of change was in itself not new at the time. Darwin would have been familiar with the speculations of his own grandfather, Erasmus Darwin, and the French zoologist, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck. But within a couple of years following the Beagle voyage, Darwin was going much further. He was thinking about a common origin for all life on the planet when he sketched in his notebook a ‘tree of life,’ implying that all species had diversified from a common stalk.

However, Darwin was not the only one thinking along such lines. In 1858, he received a letter suggesting ideas remarkably like his own; it was from Alfred Russel Wallace, who was collecting biological specimens in south-east Asia. Papers putting forth both points of view were duly presented at a meeting of the Linnean Society of London. The Origin of Species (as Darwin’s 1859 magnum opus came to be titled in 1872, in the sixth edition) marshalled a vast body of evidence and presented his arguments in favour of evolution driven by a process of natural selection that allowed traits best suited to a particular environment to spread in a population. Evolution and a common origin for all life lie at the heart of biology. In an essay strikingly titled ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of revolution,’ the geneticist and evolutionary biologist Theodosius Dobzhansky declared: “Without that light [biology] becomes a pile of sundry facts — some of them interesting or curious but making no meaningful picture as a whole.” The elucidation of the structure of DNA, the unravelling of the genetic code, and the ability to sequence the entire genome of even complex organisms have served only to lay bare the processes that produce life, which all living organisms share, and show how evolutionary pressures act on those processes. As though this were not enough, Darwin’s ideas have inspired, over the past century-and-a-half, “powerful images and insights in science, humanities and the arts,” as an essay in Nature reminds us.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 02-17-2008

Why is the Indus Research Centre in South India. Are they trying to create an image of a Dravidian language in Indus script. Are they trying to make it a political issue by making a Dravidians being invaded by Aryans. Every thing is interesting.
Talk on Indus script today

Staff Reporter

CHENNAI: A lecture on ‘Is the Indus script indeed not a writing system?’ will be delivered by Indus script expert Asko Parpola at Roja Muthiah Research Library, Taramani, at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday.

Mr. Parpola is professor emeritus of Indology Institute for Asian and African Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.

He has studied the Indus script for over four decades. Mr. Asko Parpola is also the chief editor of ‘Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions’, a multi-volume work comprising photographs of collections in India, Pakistan and other parts of the world.

The Indus Research Centre of the library, functioning on the Central Polytechnic campus in Taramani, was set up in 2006.

It has been operating under the guidance of honorary consultant Iravatham Mahadevan and has been organising several lectures.

For more details, contact the library over the phone at 22542551/52.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Guest - 02-17-2008

<b>The Row over Indus Script:

Why Asko Parpola's paper questioning Michael Witzel was not published?</b>

<b>"Scripts, Non-scripts and (Pseudo) decipherment":</b> The Dravidologists have been so enthusiastic in declaring that Tamil has been the most ancient language on the earth[1]. In fact, there are Dravidian protagonists who swear that all languages originated only from Tamil[2]. For them, Tamil originated even before the creation of stone and sand (Kal thondri manthodra kalatte thondreya Tamizh). They also vouchsafe that the IVC people spoke only Tamil. Of course, the Western Indologists one way or the other interpret that, though the IVC / Harappans were illiterate[3], even though they spoke Dravidian language[4]. However, A Workshop on "Scripts, Non-scripts and (Pseudo) decipherment" held on July 11, 2007 at the Braun Auditorium, Stanford University In conjunction with the 2007 Linguistic Society of America Summer Institute, in which the decipherment of Indus script cropped up and the learned Western scholars decided to criticize such methodology. Of course, Michael Witzel[5] and Asko Parpola[6] had fought with each other in deciding the linguistic question and writing capabilities of IVC people. Now, let us see what happened at the Stanford University[7].

<b>The Stand of Steve Farmer: </b>Steve Farmer, one of the controversial Indologists of Harvard University, in his paper, "The strange case of the so-called Indus script: distinguishing writing from non-linguistic symbols" ( delved on the evidence of many types that has accumulated in the last half decade that the so-called Indus script was not a speech-encoding or writing system in the strict linguistic sense, as has been assumed since the first Indus artifact carrying symbols showed up in the 1870s (Farmer, Henderson, and Witzel 2002; Farmer, Sproat, and Witzel 2004; Sproat and Farmer 2005). This find is radically changing views of the oldest Indian civilization and has awakened new interest in issues involving non-linguistic symbols, pseudo-decipherments, and related topics addressed in this Workshop. He tried to illustrate a variety of nonlinguistic symbol systems, propose a typology of scripts and non - scripts based on semantic and phonological grounds, and discussed the light recent studies of Indus symbols throw on ways of distinguishing the two classes of symbols. He concluded with a discussion of ways in which our archaeological understanding of Indus society is deepening as a result of abandoning the traditional Indus-script thesis (Weber, Fuller, and Farmer 2007). Thus, Farmer has maintained his stand that the so-called Indus script was not a speech-encoding or writing system in the strict linguistic sense.

<b>Michael Witzel, the other Indologist:</b> The summary of Michael Witzel[8] of Harvard University under the caption was, "The language or languages of the Indus civilization": Indus signs remain "unread" in part because the linguistic nature of the signs is in question and since little is currently known of the language or languages spoken in the Indus civilization. However, two contemporary sources can shed light on this: some 30 loan words in Mesopotamian inscriptions from the Indus (or the Dilmun) areas, and some 200-300 words in early Vedic texts composed in the northern section of the Indus civilization. Both point to a language that was prefixing in nature but radically different from agglutinative, suffixing languages such as Dravidian. Even if Indus signs do not encode full phrases or sentences of a spoken language, as recent studies suggest, determining the languages spoken in the region may be useful in interpreting Indus symbols, which may (like heraldic signs, Mongolian tamghas, and similar nonlinguistic symbol systems) contain occasional puns even without systematically encoding language. Thus the question of associating any language with Indus script is not sustainable.

<b>Asko Parpola opposes the above two! </b>However, Asko Parpola of University of Helsinki presented his paper, "Is the Indus script indeed not a writing system?" with slides[9] after him questioned the above two and his other colleagues. His summary was as follows: In December 2004, Steve Farmer, Richard Sproat and Michael Witzel published (in Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 11: 19-57) an article[10] entitled "The collapse of the Indus-script thesis: The myth of a literate Harappan civilization." The authors deny that the Indus script constitutes a real writing system in the sense of being tightly bound to language. In this presentation he reviewed their arguments, repeating what he had already stated in a paper published in 2005 (Transactions of the International Conference of Eastern Studies 50: 33-44) and adding some further considerations. He, thus questioned the Michael Witzel, Steve Farmer & Co.

<b>From Stanford University to Taramani, Chennai! </b>However, the row over the scholars of Western Universities took a different turn, when Asko Parpola paper was not only criticized by his opponents, but also not published! So, the wrangle over decipherment of Indus script of the Western Indologists has been imminent with biased scholarship spilling over academic skirmishes. So perhaps, it was decided by some Indian friends that Asko Parpola would be invited and he would present the same paper here, that too, right now in Madras / Chennai, the bastion of Dravidian protagonists, ideologists and scholars. "The Hindu" gave the coverage like this:

Talk on Indus script today

Staff Reporter (The Hindu February 16, 2008)

CHENNAI: A lecture on `Is the Indus script indeed not a writing system?' will be delivered by Indus script expert Asko Parpola at Roja Muthiah Research Library, Taramani, at 10.30 a.m. on Saturday.

Mr. Parpola is professor emeritus of Indology Institute for Asian and African Studies, University of Helsinki, Finland.

He has studied the Indus script for over four decades. Mr. Asko Parpola is also the chief editor of `Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions', a multi-volume work comprising photographs of collections in India, Pakistan and other parts of the world.

The Indus Research Centre of the library, functioning on the Central Polytechnic campus in Taramani, was set up in 2006.

It has been operating under the guidance of honorary consultant Iravatham Mahadevan and has been organising several lectures.

For more details, contact the library over the phone at 22542551/52.

<b>Asko Parpola presents the same paper in Chennai also:</b> So Asko Parpola came and presented his paper, ""Is the Indus script indeed not a writing system?" with slides on February 16, 2008 at Roja Muthaiah Library, Taramani. V. C. Kulandaiswamy, introduced the speaker before the august audience which included many historians, scholars and others. Iravatham Mahadevan, Chempakalakshmi (retired Professor of JNU), Natana Kasinathan (former Director of State Archaeology department), R. Madivanan (the Dravidian IV script decipher), R. Krishnamurthy (Dinamalar editor), S. Swaminathan, P. Ramanathan, K. Venkatachalam (Dravidian Indology Group), N. S. Valluvan, Srinivasan, K. V. Ramakrishna Rao (Independent researchers), lecturers and students from Tamil, Linguistics and history departments of local colleges[11]. After the presentation, the discussion started.

First Natana Kasinathan asked as to why no reference about Mehargarh was made. Asko Parpola replied that the Mehargarh layers had no correlation with the script under study.

Next, K. V. Ramakrishna Rao asked whether he presented the same paper there at Stanford University. He clarified that he presented the paper but it was not published and it would be published by Iravatham Mahadevan. When asked that he was still discussing about the linguistic and non-linguistic aspects of the Indus script and therefore, whether he could answer directly, he replied that Indus script has been linguistic based. When he was asked about the depiction of IVC script and symbols on Soghura Copper plate, one of the conveners prevented him telling that already it was late and more questions were not welcome.

R. Madvanan asked his view about Indrapala's Sri Lanka finding of an inscription that has both IVC symbols and Brahmi script. Asko Parpola replied that he never heard about such an inscription. However, there has been an article, "Aryan or Dravidian or Neither? A Study of Recent Attempts to Decipher the Indus Script (1995-2000)", by Iravatham Mahadevan published in ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF VEDIC STUDIES (EJVS) Vol. 8 (2002) issue 1 (March 8), which is brought out by Michael Witzel and Company. Can be accessed at: I. Mahadevan, in deed not only mentions about it but also discusses about it at length. Ironically, Asko Parpola has been in the Editorial Board! However, he kept quite when Asko Parpola revealed his ignorance about it! Really, it is a wonder how the scholars of international repute have been like this in the case of Indus script decipherment!

Other two-three persons made some general remarks appreciating his lecture.

<b>What is the problem with Western scholars in the case of Indus Script?</b> Earlier Steve Farmer accused that R. Madivanan indulged in the forgery of Indus script specimens[12]. About this, I. Mahadevan says like this:
Indus Script found in a Santhal village in Bihar

4.11 Mathivanan has also read the symbols painted on the walls in a Santhal village in Bihar as written in the Tamil language in the Indus script. Here I have to make a brief digression to explain the background to this discovery.  N.K. Verma, an officer of the Bihar Administrative Service who has made a special study of the language and culture of the Santhal tribe in Bihar, published a Paper in 1993 claiming to have found symbols in Santhal wall paintings looking like the signs of the Indus script.  He also claims to have learnt the phonetic values of the symbols from the village priest.  His study has revealed the occurrence of 22 out of 26 letters of the Roman alphabet in the Indus inscriptions from Mohenjodaro published by Marshall.  This discovery enabled him decipher the Indus script.  He found in the Indus inscriptions not only Santhali words but also words in Sanskrit, Hebrew, Persian-Arabic and English.  He knew he was on the right track when he was able to decipher an Indus inscription which reads hai pig 'this is pig' on a copper tablet which has also the figure of a pig (earlier identified by others as a  rhinoceros).  He reads another inscription as eft 'elephant' on a sealing which has the figure of an elephant on it.  When Verma sent me a copy of his Paper, I noticed the extraordinarily close resemblance of Verma's drawings of the Santhali symbols to the Indus signs published by me in the ASI Concordance (1977). At that time I did not think much about it; but now Mathivanan's book throws fresh light on this curious affair.

4.12  In the course of his fieldwork, Mathivanan visited the Santhal village in Bihar accompanied by Verma and met the village priest.  He reports seeing the priest writing the symbols on the walls.  He also records that the priest 'was taught every detail about the Indus civilisation by Verma'.  The colour photographs of the 'Santhali-Indus' paintings published by Mathivanan in his book are revealing.  The symbols are painted in black in large size on freshly white-washed blank walls.One of the photographs shows the village priest writing a long inscription of 14 symbols in two lines on a blank wall.  The painted symbols do not look like tribal art at all.  After closely studying the photographs, I suspect that the ultimate source of the freshly painted symbols on the walls of the Santhal village is the Sign List published in the ASI Concordance. In any case, unless the existence of the 'Santhali-Indus' symbols is confirmed by independent evidence of drawings or photographs published before 1920, the date of the discovery of the Indus civilisation,it would be prudent on the part of the would-be decipherers not to rely on the Santhali wall paintings reported by Verma (emphasis by the author).

So I. Mahadevan has mildly put is what Steve Farmer has bombarded in an aggressive manner. But, why the Indologists should stoop down to such fraudulent activities and forgeries? That too why only Indian Indologists should be targeted? Definitely, the frauds and forgeries in history cannot be tolerated, as it is a great crime on the humanity. Therefore, it is imperative to analyze the background or circumstances as to whether Western or Indian in the context. Again history of such IVC indulgences go back to John Marshall.

<b>ASI Manipulations in Publishing Reports on IVC:</b> The ASI headed by the British had evidently interests which were beyond the principles of archaeology or history and hence, the persons headed manipulated and even suppressed the reports prepared by Indian Officers. R. D. Banerji, the Superintendent of ASI, who worked with John Marshall had to such experience. When John Marshall wrote on the Monuments of India in Cambridge History of India (1922), considering the cyclopean walls of Rajagriha to the ancient moist remains of India, expressed his ignorance about the great monuments of of Mahanjadaro underneath the stupa site. However, in 1921 itself Harappa was established as a chalcolithic site by Rao Bahadur Daya Ram Sahni. In 1922 Prof R. D. Banerji found similar chalcolithic remains at Mohanjadaro beneath a Buddhist stupa. He conducted excavations at three sites and submitted a report, bringing thus, entirely a new pre-Buddhist civilization to light. R. D. Banerji submitted his report with notes, charts and photographs in 1926 to the then Director General of Archaeology, John Marshall. He concealed it for four years and returned it on Januay 16, 1930 without original copy of Banerji. Even it was returned not by Marshall through H. Hargreaves without giving any reasons. The unpublished Report has been published perhaps only in 1994 after more than 60 years[13]. Thus, here evidently, the British did not want any new pre-Buddhist civilization existed after IVC to come to light. Ironically, the photographs of the excavation, artifacts etc., submitted along with the report were also reported as missing by H. Hargreaves[14]. Earlier, Dr. Alois Anton Fuhrer, Editor of Epigraphica Indica was dismissed from the service[15] in 1898 for his forgery of creating Buddhist Urns and with Asokan inscription on them[16].

<b>Indians have to careful with the Indologists:</b> Indians are therefore bewildered by the claims of Indologists to whom they should believe? Why ignoring the advanced civilization of Indus Valley, the scholars should have indulged in such polemics among themselves accusing each other. How the civilization could have disappeared and all of sudden Mauryan Empire could have emerged as an Empire? Why the gap between IVC and Mauryan Empire is not explained by the historians? Among all these controversies, now Pakistan claims that IVC has been theirs and it was a Mohammedan civilization. Now it is not known how the Dravidians could lay claim on the IVC!




[1] There have been thousands of such books, e.g, K. Pungavanam, The World's first Language –Tamil, International Institute for Tamil Studies, Taramani, Chennai, India.

[2] Devaneya Pavanar was proponent of such hypothesis, which is believed to be proven truth by the Dravidian protagonists. Earlier, one Arunagiri Nadar has published small books forcefully derving words of all world languages from Tamil.

K. C. A. Arunagiri Nadar, Tamil, It's Contribution to the European Languages – An Etymological Survey, 438, Poonamalle High Road, Kilpauk, Chennai – 600 010, 1975.

[3] Steve Farmer, Illiterate Harappans, see his website:

[4] Iravatham Mahadevan, Asko Parpola have been unanimously and persistent in their interpretation though they delve on the issues of Vedic Aryans, Brahmanical religion, Saptarishi etc.

[5] Michael Witzel has been the famous writer on IVC, if one reads "The Hindu" regularly. The "India's only Newspaper" might not publish the articles of R. Nagaswamy, K. V. Raman and others, even if they point out the mistakes in his articles and write-ups!

[6] Asko Parpola, the Finnish Indologist, has come to Madras / Chennai many times and lectured on IVC, Indus script, Aryans-Dravidians and so on. He asserted that all the skirmishes of IVC had been between "Aryans and Aryans" on February 28, 1989 {}Indian Express Feb.28, 1989]. K. V. Ramakrishna Rao's (a Chennai based independent researcher) criticism appeared in Indian Express on March 6, 1989 under the caption, "Riddles of IVC". In his another lecture, he declared that Rama was a Dravidian!

[7] Summaries of these papers can be downloaded from the Stanford University site.


[9] All slides without pictures of the seals are downloadable from the site:

[10] Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 11: 19-57

[11] The author tried to get the names of others, but the staff of the Roja Muthaiah Library expressed their inability as the "papers" (the list of persons who attended the lecture who signed with their e-mails and phone numbers) had gone to the file.

[12] Steve Farmer, The First Harappan Forgery: Indus Inscriptions in the Nineteenth Century,

[13] R. D. Banerji, Mohanjadaro A Forgotten Report, Prithivi Prakashan, Varanasi – 221 095, 1944.

This is actually a photocopy of the typed script report (duplicate) submitted to John Marshall and returned unpublished (original retained by himself).

[14] Letter D. O. No. 839 – 456 dated the 16th January 1936 of the Director General of archaeology of India, New Delhi.

[15] Government of India Proceedings (Part B), Department of Revenue & Agriculture (Archaeology & Epigraphy Section), August 1898, File No. 24 of 1898, Proceedings Nos. 7-10 (National Achieves of India, New Delhi).

P. C. Mukheji, Report on a Tour of Exploration of the Antiquities in the Tarai, Nepal, JRAS, 1898.

[16] T. A. Phelps, Lumbini on Trial: The Untold Story, see the article posted in

H. Luders, On Some Brahmi Inscriptions in the Lucknow Museum, JRAS (UK), 1912, fn, p.167.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 02-19-2008

<b>Aryan invasion story 'a western myth'</b>
Sunday, 02.17.2008, 10:11pm (GMT-7)
India Post News Service

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->CHICAGO: An eminent Indologist and a visiting professor at the University of Houston, Dr Pramod Pathak has challenged the basis of age old theory perpetrated by Western scholars about the invasion by Aryans in India and of driving the Dasuys South ward.Talking to the media in Chicago, Dr Pathak said that his study and research revealed that the Aryan invasion theory is a myth and it is perpetuated by the English scholars from the time of their invasion of India in the 17th century.The British regime fabricated the history of India to suit their motive to establish and perpetuate their political, social and religions institutions in India.

They would succeed in their nefarious game because they had both the political power and opportunity to misguide the Indian people. It is now an accepted historical fact that Max Muller promoted the invasion theory and accordingly formulated the dates of Vedic origin and the differences in Aryan and Dravidian cultures so that English rulers could divide the societies bringing out the issues of race and color.<b>Max Muller, according to historians was a British employee, specially appointed to rewrite the history of India.</b>

This becomes obvious as one refers to Lord McCauley, who wrote that in order to perpetuate the English rule and institutions in India they should "produce such a group of people, who would be Indian in blood and color, but English in taste, opinion and intellect."Explaining the genesis of the subject, he said that when <b>he was working for his Ph.D. thesis he came across the hymn II.34 in the Atharva Veda in praise of the God Pashupati. It praises the Lord of beasts - Pashupati, who historians later considered as the master of quadruped and bipeds.</b>

He immediately correlated it with the famous Pashupati seal form the Indus Culture and <b>presented a paper in the Archaeological conference, which was well received. It appeared that the seal was pictorial representation of the AV hymn II.34. It led him to consider the possibility that followers of Atharva Veda were part of the Indus culture</b>. Dwelling further on this aspect he continued to observe that in the Rigveda there were conflicting entities, namely Aryans and Dasas. Rig-Vedic hymns describe that Indra destroyed ninety-nine "pur"s of Dasas.

These "pur"s are described as <b>"ayasi" i.e. metallic</b>.<b>According to the current and prevailing views, Aryans invaded India, destroyed the culture there and established their hegemony. Their main enemies were the "Dasa" people.</b> Dr Pathak said, "I had the opportunity to study the <b>Indo-Iranian texts. These texts mention people called "Daha", "Dahae" or Dasa. These Daha people belonged to the southern part of Iran. I then came across references to the tribe called "Dahamarda" stayingin the Seistan province of Afghanistan.</b>

Their villages were named as <b>"Deh" i.e. "Desha" and name of one village was "Dah bashi Deh". It is fully Sanskrit origin name i.e. "Dasa Bhashi Desha". It raised doubts as to whether the enemies of the Aryans were in India or in South Afghanistan.</b>Further studies in the environment of Afghanistan revealed that very intense winds blow in Afghanistan for four months.
These are known as "Bad-isad-o-bist". According to some Iranian sources this name is of Sanskrit origin. "Bad" is "Vata" i.e. wind, " Sad" is Shata and "bista" is "vimshati" i.e. twenty. All that meant winds of hundred and twenty days i.e. exactly the four months. </b>These winds have resulted in great erosion of the landscape in the deserts of central and south western Afghanistan and created thousands of small circular butts or hillocks formed due to wind erosion.

These are capped with stone cover of red stones, called Suhr-da-Gall i.e. red earth in local language. <b>There was an excellent paper by Wilhelm Rau "Meaning of Purs in the Vedic literature". He concluded that Vedic "Pur"s do not represent well laid cities of Indus but were temporary shelters made of stones. All this information fitted so well to confirm that Dasas of the Rig-Vedic lore were the people from Seistan, Afghanistan.</b>

Their temporary bastions were the "Pur"s destroyed by Indra as mentioned the Vedas. These evidences greatly changed my opinion, which I had learnt as a student and even after. <b>So the idea that Aryans invaded India and enslaved local people, whom they called Dravidians were definitely preplanned and perpetrated on the Indian subjects by the British rulers with ulterior motives of advancing their interest of promoting their own religious and educational values, said Dr Pramod Pathak.Dr Parhak is a Visiting Professor at the University of Houston</b> and conducted courses on History and Culture of India.

He is the founder member of the Mahatma Gandhi Library at Houston and invited lecturer at the interfaith meets and Unity Church at Houston. He has written eight books and several research articles on the Vedic and Ideological topics and on Ramayana. He is an expert on the Indus culture seals and has given interpretations of these.He studied the history of Ancient Afghanistan and wrote a book "The Afghan Connection" based on these studies.

It deals with pre-Buddhist ethno-archaeology of Afghanistan. The idea that Sanskrit was an alien language and a Central Asian Race (Aryan) invaded India and brought with them their language, Sanskrit was promoted by Western scholars in order to show that Aryans were also invaders like Greeks, Huns, Arabs, Mughals and later English and Europeans.
They wanted to deny that India from time immemorial was called, "Aryavart". Its inhabitants were called Aryas and the ancient borders of India extended up to Iran. So the ancient Iranians continue to called themselves as Aryans. </b>The details of these and many other findings on the Vedic entities are to be found in his book, <b>"The Afghan Connection"</b>.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 02-22-2008

<b>Must Read</b>

This is a very interesting scientific finding which debunks the Aryan Invasion Theory(AIT) and the aryan v/s dravidian divide.

The scientific study also shows "even the high castes share more than 80 per cent of their maternal lineages with the lower castes and tribals." <b>And</b>
“it was not possible to confirm any of the purported differentiations between the caste and tribal pools,” a momentous conclusion that directly clashes with the Aryan paradigm, which imagined Indian tribes as adivasis and the caste Hindus as descendants of Indo-Aryans invaders or immigrants.

By Michel Danino


Along with the birth of anthropology, the nineteenth century saw the development of semi-scientific to wholly unscientific disciplines, such as anthropometry, craniometry or phrenology. Unquestioningly accepting the prevalent concept of race, some scientists constructed facial and nasal indexes or claimed to measure the skull’s volume for every race, of course with the result that the white race’s cranium was the most capacious and its owner, therefore, the most intelligent; others went further, insisting that amidst the white race, only the Germans were the “pure” descendants of the “Aryan race” which was destined the rule the earth.

In India, from 1891 onward, Herbert H. Risley, an official with the colonial government, set about defining in all seriousness 2,378 castes belonging to 43 “races,” all of it on the basis of a “nasal index.” The main racial groups were Indo-Aryan, Turko- Iranian, Scytho-Dravidian, Aryo-Dravidian, Mongoloid and Mongolo-Dravidian.

Unfortunately, this imaginative but wholly unscientific work weighed heavily on the first developments of Indian anthropology; in the 1930s, for instance, B. S. Guha studied skeletons from Mohenjo-daro and submitted a detailed report on the proto- Australoid, Mediterranean, Mongoloid and Alpine races peopling the city, all of them “non-Aryan” of course. Long lists of such fictitious races filled academic publications, and continue to be found in Indian textbooks today.

In the wake of World War II, the concept of race collapsed in the West. Rather late in the day, anthropologists realized that race cannot be scientifically defined, much less measured, thus setting at naught a whole century of scholarly divagations on “superior” and “inferior” races. Following in the footsteps of pioneers like Franz Boas,1 leading scientists, such as Ashley Montagu,2 now argued strongly against the “fallacy of race.” It is only with the emergence of more reliable techniques in biological anthropology that anthropometry got a fresh chance; it concentrated not on trying to categorize noses or spot “races,” but on tracing the evolution of a population, on signs of continuity or disruption, and on possible kinships between neighbouring populations.

In the Indian context, we are now familiar with the work of U.S anthropologists Kenneth Kennedy, John Lukacs and Brian Hemphill.3 Their chief conclusion, as far as the Aryan debate is concerned, is that there is no trace of “demographic disruption” in the North-West of the subcontinent between 4500 and 800 BCE; this negates the possibility of any massive intrusion, by so-called Indo-Aryans or other populations, during that period.

Die-hard proponents of such an invasion / migration have therefore been compelled to downscale it to a “trickle-in” infiltration,4 limited enough to have left no physical trace, although they are at pains to explain how a “trickle” was able to radically alter India’s linguistic and cultural landscape when much more massive invasions of the historical period failed to do so.5 Other proponents still insist that “the Indo-Aryan immigrants seem to have been numerous and strong enough to continue and disseminate much of their culture,”6 but do not explain how the “immigrants” failed to leave any trace in the anthropological record.

<b>A powerful new tool</b>

In the 1980s, another powerful tool of inquiry came on the scene: genetics, with its growing ability to read the history contained in a human body’s three billion bits of information. In particular, techniques used in the identification of genetic markers have been fast improving, leading to a wide array of applications, from therapeutics to crime detection to genealogy. Let us first summarize the basic definitions relevant to our field.

In trying to reconstruct ancestry, biologists use two types of DNA, the complex molecule that carries genetic information. The first, Y-DNA, is contained in the Y- chromosome, one of the two sex chromosomes; it is found in the cell’s nucleus and is transmitted from father to son. The second, mtDNA or mitochondrial DNA, is found in mitochondria, kinds of power generators found in a cell, but outside its nucleus; this mtDNA is independent of the Y-DNA, simpler in structure, and transmitted by the mother alone. For various reasons, all this genetic material undergoes slight alterations or “mutations” in the course of time; those mutations then become characteristic of the line of descendants: if, for instance, the mtDNAs of two humans, however distant geographically, exhibit the same mutation, they necessarily share a common ancestor in the maternal line.

Much of the difficulty lies in organizing those mutations, or genetic markers, in consistent categories called “haplotypes” (from a Greek word meaning “single”), which constitute an individual’s genetic fingerprint. Similar haplotypes are then brought together in “haplogroups,” each of which genetically identifies a particular ethnic group. Such genetic markers can then be used to establish a “genetic distance” between two populations.

Identifying and making sense of the right genetic markers is not the only difficulty; dating their mutations remains a major challenge: on average, a marker of Y- DNA may undergo one mutation every 500 generations, but sudden changes caused by special circumstances can never be ruled out. Genetics, therefore, needs the inputs from palaeontology and archaeology, among other disciplines, to confirm its historical conclusions.

<b>India’s case</b>

Since the 1990s, there have been numerous genetic studies of Indian populations, often reaching apparently divergent conclusions. There are three reasons for this: (1) the Indian region happens to be one of the most diverse and complex in the world, which makes it difficult to interpret the data; (2) early studies relied on too limited samples, of the order of a few dozens, when hundreds or ideally thousands of samples are required for some statistical reliability; (3) some of the early studies fell into the old trap of trying to equate linguistic groups with distinct ethnic entities — a relic of the nineteenth-century erroneous identification between language and race; as a result, a genetic connection between North Indians and Central Asians was automatically taken to confirm an Aryan invasion in the second millennium BCE, disregarding a number of alternative explanations.7

More recent studies, using larger samples and much refined methods of analysis, both at the conceptual level and in the laboratory, have reached very different conclusions (interestingly, some of their authors had earlier gone along with the old Aryan paradigm8). We will summarize here the chief results of nine studies from various Western and Indian Universities, most of them conducted by international teams of biologists, and more than half of them in the last three years; since their papers are complex and technical, what follows is, necessarily, highly simplified and represents only a small part of their content.

The first such study dates back to 1999 and was conducted by the Estonian biologist Toomas Kivisild, a pioneer in the field, with fourteen co-authors from various nationalities (including M. J. Bamshad).9 It relied on 550 samples of mtDNA and identified a haplogroup called “U” as indicating a deep connection between Indian and Western-Eurasian populations. However, the authors opted for a very remote separation of the two branches, rather than a recent population movement towards India; in fact, “the subcontinent served as a pathway for eastward migration of modern humans” from Africa, some 40,000 years ago:

“We found an extensive deep late Pleistocene genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians, provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both populations. Our estimate for this split [between Europeans and Indians] is close to the suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe.”

In other words, the timescale posited by the Aryan invasion / migration framework is inadequate, and the genetic affinity between the Indian subcontinent and Europe “should not be interpreted in terms of a recent admixture of western Caucasoids10 with Indians caused by a putative Indo-Aryan invasion 3,000–4,000 years BP.”

The second study was published just a month later. Authored by U.S. biological anthropologist Todd R. Disotell,11 it dealt with the first migration of modern man from Africa towards Asia, and found that migrations into India “did occur, but rarely from western Eurasian populations.” Disotell made observations very similar to those of the preceding paper:

“The supposed Aryan invasion of India 3,000–4,000 years before present therefore did not make a major splash in the Indian gene pool. This is especially counter-indicated by the presence of equal, though very low, frequencies of the western Eurasian mtDNA types in both southern and northern India. Thus, the ‘caucasoid’ features of south Asians may best be considered ‘pre-caucasoid’ — that is, part of a diverse north or north-east African gene pool that yielded separate origins for western Eurasian and southern Asian populations over 50,000 years ago.”

Here again, the Eurasian connection is therefore traced to the original migration out of Africa. On the genetic level, “the supposed Aryan invasion of India 3000-4000 years ago was much less significant than is generally believed.”

A year later, thirteen Indian scientists led by Susanta Roychoudhury studied 644 samples of mtDNA from some ten Indian ethnic groups, especially from the East and South.12 They found “a fundamental unity of mtDNA lineages in India, in spite of the extensive cultural and linguistic diversity,” pointing to “a relatively small founding group of females in India.” Significantly, “most of the mtDNA diversity observed in Indian populations is between individuals within populations; there is no significant structuring of haplotype diversity by socio-religious affiliation, geographical location of habitat or linguistic affiliation.” That is a crucial observation, which later studies will endorse: on the maternal side at least, there is no such thing as a “Hindu” or “Muslim” genetic identity, nor even a high- or low-caste one, a North- or South-Indian one — hence the expressive title of the study: “Fundamental genomic unity of ethnic India is revealed by analysis of mitochondrial DNA.”

The authors also noted that haplogroup “U,” already noted by Kivisild et al. as being common to North Indian and “Caucasoid” populations, was found in tribes of eastern India such as the Lodhas and Santals, which would not be the case if it had been introduced through Indo-Aryans. Such is also the case of the haplogroup “M,” another marker frequently mentioned in the early literature as evidence of the invasion: in reality, “we have now shown that indeed haplogroup M occurs with a high frequency, averaging about 60%, across most Indian population groups, irrespective of geographical location of habitat. We have also shown that the tribal populations have higher frequencies of haplogroup M than caste populations.”

Also in 2000, twenty authors headed by Kivisild contributed a chapter to a book on the “archaeogenetics” of Europe.13 They first stressed the importance of the mtDNA haplogroup “M” common to India (with a frequency of 60%), Central and Eastern Asia (40% on average), and even to American Indians; however, this frequency drops to 0.6% in Europe, which is “inconsistent with the ‘general Caucasoidness’ of Indians.”

This shows, once again, that “the Indian maternal gene pool has come largely through an autochthonous history since the Late Pleistocene.” The authors then studied the “U” haplogroup, finding its frequency to be 13% in India, almost 14% in North-West Africa, and 24% from Europe to Anatolia; but, in their opinion, “Indian and western Eurasian haplogroup U varieties differ profoundly; the split has occurred about as early as the split between the Indian and eastern Asian haplogroup M varieties. The data show that both M and U exhibited an expansion phase some 50,000 years ago, which should have happened after the corresponding splits.” In other words, there is a genetic connection between India and Europe, but a far more ancient one than was thought.

Another important point is that looking at mtDNA as a whole, “even the high castes share more than 80 per cent of their maternal lineages with the lower castes and tribals”; this obviously runs counter to the invasionist thesis. Taking all aspects into consideration, the authors conclude: “We believe that there are now enough reasons not only to question a ‘recent Indo-Aryan invasion’ into India some 4000 BP, but alternatively to consider India as a part of the common gene pool ancestral to the diversity of human maternal lineages in Europe.” Mark the word “ancestral.”

After a gap of three years, Kivisild directed two fresh studies. The first, with nine colleagues, dealt with the origin of languages and agriculture in India.14 Those biologists stressed India’s genetic complexity and antiquity, since “present-day Indians [possess] at least 90 per cent of what we think of as autochthonous Upper Palaeolithic maternal lineages.” They also observed that “the Indian mtDNA tree in general [is] not subdivided according to linguistic (Indo-European, Dravidian) or caste affiliations,” which again demonstrates the old error of conflating language and race or ethnic group.

Then, in a new development, they punched holes in the methodology followed by studies basing themselves on the Y-DNA (the paternal line) to establish the Aryan invasion, and point out that if one were to extend their logic to populations of Eastern and Southern India, one would be led to an exactly opposite result: “the straightforward suggestion would be that both Neolithic (agriculture) and Indo-European languages arose in India and from there, spread to Europe.” The authors do not defend this thesis, but simply guard against “misleading interpretations” based on limited samples and faulty methodology.

The second study of 2003, a particularly detailed one dealing with the genetic heritage of India’s earliest settlers, had seventeen co-authors with Kivisild (including L. Cavalli-Sforza and P. A. Underhill), and relied on nearly a thousand samples from the subcontinent, including two Dravidian-speaking tribes from Andhra Pradesh.15 Among other important findings, it stressed that the Y-DNA haplogroup “M17,” regarded till recently as a marker of the Aryan invasion, and indeed frequent in Central Asia, is equally found in the two tribes under consideration, which is inconsistent with the invasionist framework. Moreover, one of the two tribes, the Chenchus, is genetically close to several castes, so that there is a “lack of clear distinction between Indian castes and tribes,” a fact that can hardly be overemphasized.

<b>genetic map</b>

This also emerges from a diagram of genetic distances between eight Indian and seven Eurasian populations, distances calculate on the basis of 16 Y-DNA haplogroups (Fig. 1). The diagram challenges many common assumptions: as just mentioned, five castes are grouped with the Chenchus; another tribe, the Lambadis (probably of Rajasthani origin), is stuck between Western Europe and the Middle East; Bengalis of various castes are close to Mumbai Brahmins, and Punjabis (whom one would have thought to be closest to the mythical “Aryans”) are as far away as possible from Central Asia! It is clear that no simple framework can account for such complexity, least of all the Aryan invasion / migration framework.

The next year, Mait Metspalu and fifteen co-authors analyzed 796 Indian (including both tribal and caste populations from different parts of India) and 436 Iranian mtDNAs.16 Of relevance here is the following observation, which once again highlights the pitfalls of any facile ethnic-linguistic equation:

“Language families present today in India, such as Indo-European, Dravidic and Austro-Asiatic, are all much younger than the majority of indigenous mtDNA lineages found among their present-day speakers at high frequencies. It would make it highly speculative to infer, from the extant mtDNA pools of their speakers, whether one of the listed above linguistically defined group in India should be considered more ‘autochthonous’ than any other in respect of its presence in the subcontinent.”

We finally jump to 2006 and end with two studies. The first was headed by Indian biologist Sanghamitra Sengupta and involved fourteen other co-authors, including L. Cavalli-Sforza, Partha P. Majumder, and P. A. Underhill.17 Based on 728 samples covering 36 Indian populations, it announced in its very title how its findings revealed a “Minor Genetic Influence of Central Asian Pastoralists,” i.e. of the mythical Indo- Aryans, and stated its general agreement with the previous study. For instance, the authors rejected the identification of some Y-DNA genetic markers with an “Indo- European expansion,” an identification they called “convenient but incorrect ... overly simplistic.” To them, the subcontinent’s genetic landscape was formed much earlier than the dates proposed for an Indo-Aryan immigration: “The influence of Central Asia on the pre-existing gene pool was minor. ... There is no evidence whatsoever to conclude that Central Asia has been necessarily the recent donor and not the receptor of the R1a lineages.” This is also highly suggestive (the R1a lineages being a different way to denote the haplogroup M17).

Finally, and significantly, this study indirectly rejected a “Dravidian” authorship of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization, since it noted, “Our data are also more consistent with a peninsular origin of Dravidian speakers than a source with proximity to the Indus....” They found, in conclusion, “overwhelming support for an Indian origin of Dravidian speakers.”

Another Indian biologist, Sanghamitra Sahoo, headed eleven colleagues, including T. Kivisild and V. K. Kashyap, for a study of the Y-DNA of 936 samples covering 77 Indian populations, 32 of them tribes.18 The authors left no room for doubt:

“The sharing of some Y-chromosomal haplogroups between Indian and Central Asian populations is most parsimoniously explained by a deep, common ancestry between the two regions, with diffusion of some Indian- specific lineages northward.”

So the southward gene flow that had been imprinted on our minds for two centuries was wrong, after all: the flow was out of, not into, India. The authors continue:

“The Y-chromosomal data consistently suggest a largely South Asian origin for Indian caste communities and therefore argue against any major influx, from regions north and west of India, of people associated either with the development of agriculture or the spread of the Indo-Aryan language family.”

The last of the two rejected associations is that of the Indo-Aryan expansion; the first, that of the spread of agriculture, is the well-known thesis of Colin Renfrew,19 which traces Indo-European origins to the beginnings of agriculture in Anatolia, and sees Indo-Europeans entering India around 9000 BP, along with agriculture: Sanghamitra Sahoo et al. see no evidence of this in the genetic record.

The same data allow the authors to construct an eloquent table of genetic distances between several populations, based on Y-haplogroups (Fig. 2). We learn from it, for instance, that “the caste populations of ‘north’ and ‘south’ India are not particularly more closely related to each other (average Fst value = 0.07) than they are to the tribal groups (average Fst value = 0.06),” an important confirmation of earlier studies. In particular, “Southern castes and tribals are very similar to each other in their Y-chromosomal haplogroup compositions.” As a result, “it was not possible to confirm any of the purported differentiations between the caste and tribal pools,” a momentous conclusion that directly clashes with the Aryan paradigm, which imagined Indian tribes as adivasis and the caste Hindus as descendants of Indo-Aryans invaders or immigrants.

In reality, we have no way, today, to determine who in India is an “adi”-vasi, but enough data to reject this label as misleading and unnecessarily divisive.



It is, of course, still possible to find genetic studies trying to interpret differences between North and South Indians or higher and lower castes within the invasionist framework, but that is simply because they take it for granted in the first place. None of the nine major studies quoted above lends any support to it, and none proposes to define a demarcation line between tribe and caste. The overall picture emerging from these studies is, first, an unequivocal rejection of a 3500-BP arrival of a “Caucasoid” or Central Asian gene pool. Just as the imaginary Aryan invasion / migration left no trace in Indian literature, in the archaeological and the anthropological record, it is invisible at the genetic level. The agreement between these different fields is remarkable by any standard, and offers hope for a grand synthesis in the near future, which will also integrate agriculture and linguistics.

Secondly, they account for India’s considerable genetic diversity by using a time- scale not of a few millennia, but of 40,000 or 50,000 years. In fact, several experts, such as Lluís Quintana-Murci,20 Vincent Macaulay,21 Stephen Oppenheimer,22 Michael Petraglia,23 and their associates, have in the last few years proposed that when Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa, he first reached South-West Asia around 75,000 BP, and from here, went on to other parts of the world. In simple terms, except for Africans, all humans have ancestors in the North-West of the Indian peninsula. In particular, one migration started around 50,000 BP towards the Middle East and Western Europe:

“indeed, nearly all Europeans — and by extension, many Americans — can trace their ancestors to only four mtDNA lines, which appeared between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago and originated from South Asia.” 24

Oppenheimer, a leading advocate of this scenario, summarizes it in these words:

“For me and for Toomas Kivisild, South Asia is logically the ultimate origin of M17 and his ancestors; and sure enough we find the highest rates and greatest diversity of the M17 line in Pakistan, India, and eastern Iran, and low rates in the Caucasus. M17 is not only more diverse in South Asia than in Central Asia, but diversity characterizes its presence in isolated tribal groups in the south, thus undermining any theory of M17 as a marker of a ‘male Aryan invasion’ of India. One average estimate for the origin of this line in India is as much as 51,000 years. All this suggests that M17 could have found his way initially from India or Pakistan, through Kashmir, then via Central Asia and Russia, before finally coming into Europe.”25

We will not call it, of course, an “Indian invasion” of Europe; in simple terms, India acted “as an incubator of early genetic differentiation of modern humans moving out of Africa.”26

Genetics is a fast-evolving discipline, and the studies quoted above are certainly not the last word; but they have laid the basis for a wholly different perspective of Indian populations, and it is most unlikely that we will have to abandon it to return to the crude racial nineteenth-century fallacies of Aryan invaders and Dravidian autochthons. Neither have any reality in genetic terms, just as they have no reality in archaeological or cultural terms. In this sense, genetics is joining other disciplines in helping to clean the cobwebs of colonial historiography. If some have a vested interest in patching together the said cobwebs so they may keep cluttering our history textbooks, they are only delaying the inevitable.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Guest - 02-22-2008

Acharya et al look what I found ?

photos of Aryans in the mountains of Pakistan.[/IMG]

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Guest - 02-22-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->photos of Aryans in the mountains of Pakistan. <!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->
End product of MiddleEast invasion.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Guest - 02-22-2008

It's part of propaganda, Akhtar Abdur Rahman's pics included with 'Aryans' from mountains of Pakistan. ha

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 02-22-2008

Kalash people are similar.
Tajik and Uzbek people are also similar. They have features of blond and color eyes and this features show up in Kazakhstan and even inside China in Uiguir region.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Guest - 02-22-2008

yeah .. from the colorful headgear etc it seems it's a bunch of Kalash photos.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 02-24-2008

November 04, 2007 (Organiser)
<b>What ails Archaeological Survey of India?</b>
By M.R. Mallya

The people of India were shocked at the untruths the ASI purveyed in the affidavit, “No proof that Rama existed. Ramar Sethu is not man made but a natural formation…” When there were loud protests, the government backed down and sought a revised amendment, which is yet to be issued.

No doubt people’s emotions moved the government to change its ways. But the basic issue is that the ASI and the history department under the government are doling out incorrect history which is not in accordance with the truth or with historical methodology that is observed all over the world, except in India.

Ancient history of India, whether in the time of the Rigveda or the Ramayana, had few monuments because the then Aryans were not great builders, unlike the Egyptians and Mesopotamians. The Aryan altars were in the open spaces and there were no temples at that time. Naturally there are no archaeological ruins, but the Rigveda and the Ramayana is true history. This is not only true of India but also of Israel in whose history Noah and Moses figure prominently thought there are no archaeological ruins. The same is true of ancient China and Greece.

History is much more than archaeology. The basic function of archaeology is to tend the ruins and confine their remarks to its interpretation.

The ancient history of the world is based on ancient narrations like the Rigveda and the Ramayana in India, the Bible and the Talmud in Israel and Chinese narrations in China even when they are not supported by archaeology. Nobody calls these narrations ‘mythological texts’ except in India. This happened mainly because of the early Europeans who had little regard for our traditions and whom our servile historians still copy.

In all ancient narrations of various countries, besides the core happenings, there are occasional exaggerations and mythic episodes. Historians omit them and complete their history and thus are the ancient history of Israel, Greece, China and India compiled. To call our ancient narrations, itihasa (history), ‘mythological texts’ shows the persistence of obsolete habits by archeologists in India. Let us recall that 2000 years back Kalidasa wrote his epic poem Raghuvamsa on our past history as even then recorded. Let us recall that an Englishman, ICS, and Sanskritist, Pargiter compiled ‘ the ancient India historical traditions’ which included Bharat, Rama etc. and he believed that it is the true history of ancient India.

No doubt the dates of ancient history need to be carefully studied, but we do not realise the importance of tradition, which is deep rooted and persistent in its manifestation. It is that which gives a specific feel of a people with an ingrained ancient culture. As Ananda Coomarswamy said of the Indian peasant, he may be illiterate but he is cultured (due to the imbibed tradition).

The hold of tradition is strong. Here is a book by Alan Machado on the history of the Mangalorean Christians written by a Catholic and describing mainly the lives of the Christians, their sufferings under Tipu Sultan etc. But how does he begin his book? By calling it ‘Saraswati’s Children’, because his people have a longstanding tradition that they, Konkani-speaking migrants, came from the banks to the Saraswati river, now no more. The book pictures the old Saraswati river as now reconstructed.

When in 1860s, Francisco Gomes, wellknown Goan who was in Portugal, was introduced to Lamartine the French poet, he said, “I am an East Indian, I come from the race that produced the Mahabharata and invented the game of chess.”

It was tradition that transformed Coomarswamy from an Anglican gentleman to a great Indologist. Similarly, Raimando Pannikkar, born to a Spanish mother and an Indian father, ex-Jesuit, renounced his priesthood and now calls himself a ‘Hindu Christian’, as tradition and reason assert themselves.

When we visit Prayag the priest there mentions that at the Triveni Sangam, the Ganga, the Yamuna and the Saraswati meet. But where is the Saraswati? we ask. It is underground, he replies. One more myth to swallow, we say. But today it is revealed that sometime in 2000 BC the mighty Saraswati was disturbed due to tectonic reasons and its water was diverted some into the Beas and some into the Yamuna river. The historical river and the Triveni Sangam are factually correct as our tradition maintained.

Tradition is a help in understanding ancient history. One should be cautious in overlooking it unless there are very valid reasons.

<b>Forming of ancient history </b>

About 150 years back in 1857, when the East India Company was ruling, there was practically no ancient history of India as given in the standard texts with the Aryan invasion theory, Indus ruins, the Vedic age etc. (James Mill’s version of History of India, 1818, written mainly for Europeans cannot be taken seriously). Among the Europeans none was sure about how early Indian history was. They did not consider Indian history as old as Mesopotamian.

But the Indian people were aware of the deep culture, its epic stories and religious traditions. Folk plays and the theatre conveyed to the people their past history etc. (Surprisingly some of the Greek observers who came with Alexander recorded that Indians even then had a long line of kings ruling in the past.)

Between 1860 and 1930 the framework of our ancient history had been formed by well-meaning Europeans with their views, including philology, epigraphy and archaeology and to some extent genealogy as given in the Puranas.

But this history was not structured on our ancient tradition/narrations like the Vedas and Puranas, the Ramayan and the Mahabharata, or the Jain scriptures or the Sangam literature of the South. The new history was based on assumptions, inferences or guesswork on crucial issues, for example

Some doubt has been cast on the antiquity mentioned, as there are now better ways of dating by radiocarbon studies, etc. Shri Dhavalikar has also mentioned that archaeologically there have been cases where the oldest skeletons have been dug whose history is supposed to be later than what I have stated about our antiquity.

If Egypt and Mesopotamia and even China can have ancient dates in their history why are India’s old narrations questioned? I have no quarrel with so many other dates that have been found, but that does not affect the dates now given subject to marginal variations. Some of the modern dates are not always reliable when we go to old history. I have commented on it in Ancient India, Search for a True Chronology (AISTC) p.p. 198-199. One also has to realise that archaeology by itself does not help in dating in India because Aryan civilization was not known for monumental buildings etc in the early Vedic age. Absence of archaeology is also true of China, Greece, and Israel for the ancient period. That is why the eminent archaeologist Dr. S.R. Rao who wrote the foreword to my book did not object to the ancient dates mentioned there. The first archaeological ruins that are significant which we encounter are the ruins of the Dwarka temple submerged in the sea that Rao discovered, which has been mentioned in AISTC.

Incidentally, even in the present history textbooks there are no archaeological ruins for Chandragupta Maurya and Bindusara in 300 BC. It is only in Asoka’s time that the rock engravings come to light.

In short our chronology does not overstate the antiquity of Indian history.

Even if the dates based on nakshatra is disregarded, we still have to base it on the flow of the historical Saraswati river between 8000 and 2000 BC. Our chronology and Rigveda age is again confirmed.

A part from Pargiter A. D. Pusalkar has written on the same subject in History and Culture of the Indian People (HCIP) p.p. 271-336. His dates from Manu to the Mahabharata age is from 3100 BC to 1450 BC which broadly synchronizes with our chronology. But he wrote in 1951 when our history was still dominated by the western/Cambridge historians and his chapter are treated as historical traditions.” (Both Pargiter and Pusalkar believed it to be authentic history). Besides the HCIP treats the Aryans, at one place as earlier to 3000 BC and yet they are again treated after the Indus valley civilization as having come to India later. Both these alternatives are allowed in this book, which has significantly not given any chronology at the end of the book. In AISTC we have treated the Puranic age as authentic history occurring earlier to and part of the Indus Saraswati civilization.

Indic civilisation which included Vedic civilization was essentially pluralistic even from the beginning, as I have repeatedly emphasized in AISTC. There were Panis who were traders and from whose colonies coastal India was known as Melakha (called Mlechcha by Vedic Aryans) by the Mesopotamian traders etc. There were Jains, Vratras, and even Naga kings during the Gupta period. Indic civilization composed many tribes with different religions. Our western indologists fail to undrstand and have reduced ancient India to a sort of battleground of Aryan versus others.

<b>In Genetics and the Aryan Debate (Puratatwa. No. 36, 2005-6) by Michel Danino, </b>he assesses these complex issues of geneticists and social scientists. In the end he states, “So the southward gene flow that had been imprinted on our minds for two centuries was wrong, after all the flow was out of, not into India.” The Y-chromosomal data (relating to males) consistently suggest a largely South Asian origin for Indian caste communities and therefore argue against any major influx from regions north and west of India, of people associated either with the development of agriculture or the spread of Indo-Aryan language family. This debunks Colin Renfrew’s hypothesis that traces Indo-European origins in the beginning of agriculture to Anatolia, imagining Indo-European entering India around 9000 BP.( Before Present) along with agriculture.

After reviewing some of the latest genetic studies, Danino concludes that none of them lend any support to differences between North and South Indians or to any lines of demarcation of castes and tribes. Secondly, India’s considerable genetic diversity as verified even for period of 40 to 50,000 years proves, “In simple terms except for Africans, all humans have ancestors in the North West of the Indian peninsula. In particular, one migration started around 50,000 BP towards the Middle East and Western Europe. Indeed nearly all Europeans…can trace their ancestors to only four mt DNA lines which appeared between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago and originated from South Asia.”

In short genetically and scientifically Aryan invasion into India is a false idea and the chronology given by textbooks is misleading.

The true chronology is in accordance with tradition, ancient narrations, astronomy and historical geography. The present textbook ancient history is not based on correct data, is contrary to tradition and its inferences are wrong. It needs to be discarded. True history will open up to a rich and suppressed Puranic Age. It will help in interacting history and mythology of India and the West.

It is high time that the authentic history of ancient India is written and popularised through textbooks. We have many Puranic scholars and historians with a sense of integrity and understanding of India’s traditions. They could easily write such a book if they are engaged.
(The author can be contacted at 120, Grihalakshmi Colony, 2nd Stage, 3rd Main, Kamalanagar. Bangalore-560 079.)</i>

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - Husky - 03-02-2008

I know this is not a question and answer session, but I have questions. Thought I might as well ask them. Maybe someone here has time to answer or correct anything I've misunderstood in the following posted by Ramana:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Germ in belly proves Aryan theory

Hyderabad, Feb. 5: India got its genes through Indo-Aryans and the Neolithic practices and languages from the Fertile Crescent that makes up the ancient Egypt and the Mediterranean region. A joint study by Ms S. Manjulatha Devi, Irshad Ahmad and a few others of the city-based Centre for Liver Research and Diagnostics, Deccan College of Medical Sciences and Allied Hospitals, and the Centre for DNA Fingerprinting and Diagnostics, supported the hypotheses related to the gene flow in India through Indo-Aryans.

The scientists conducted the study on Helicobacter pylori, a pathogen that lives in human stomach. The species of H. pylori that is found in present day Indian population is similar to that of the European strain inhabiting the stomachs of people who live in the West. "This perhaps conveys the message that H. pylori was most probably introduced to the Indian subcontinent by ancient Indo-European nomadic people and our findings are, therefore, consistent with the idea of a possible gene flow into India with the arrival of Indo-Aryans," the scientists pointed out.

According to the study, H. pylori might have arrived in India at the same time when Indo-European language speaking people crossed into India around 4,000 or 10,000 years ago. The city scientists arrived at the conclusion that as H. pylori co-evolves with its host, the multiple population and sub-population of the pathogen speak about ancient human migrations. Since it was not clear how different waves of human migrations in South Asia shaped the population structure of H. pylori, the city scientists went for mapping genetic origins of the present day H. pylori in India and its genomic comparison with hundreds of isolates from different geographic regions.

"All the isolates analysed revealed European ancestry and belonged to H. pylori sub-population named hpEurope," they said. This simple looking organism has now emerged as a reliable biological marker for host-pathogen co-evolution and ancient human migration. It could even provide an insight into human origins and migration. The study is consistent with the hypothesis of co-evolution of H. pylori with human and could form a reliable foundation to test and reconstruct gene flow into India with the arrival of Indo-Aryans or otherwise, they added.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I've been looking this over and it only produces more questions instead of answering things concretely. Part of this has to do with the way things are formulated in the news report (and may be made clearer in the published article of this research - if and when such a thing comes out), but some other questions are rather basic.

Basic questions first:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->According to the study, H. pylori might have arrived in India at the same time when Indo-European language speaking people crossed into India around 4,000 or 10,000 years ago.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->No pro-AIT/AMT person has contended that IE speaking peoples came to India in that time-frame. So there is a fundamental mistake they've made here. It doesn't add up with anything else proclaimed about the AIT/AMT by its supporters. If the H pylori dates any event to that timeframe it still is meaningless as evidence for the pro-AIT/AMT side because the timing is sadly all wrong for WitSSel and his buddies. Herr WitSSel orders it to be 1800 bce (3800 bp) or later, no earlier - "Linguistically impossible do you hear." "Ja, wir horen es, Herr Kommandant!" replied the stroedels.

(2) Why is it that the Indian H. pylori strain(s)'s evolution as per the above research does not align with other genetics data coming in from Kivisild, Oppenheimer et al? Do the researchers not need to take that into account before they start turning data into a story of "what probably happened"? Because there are conflicting stories now.
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->"This perhaps conveys the message that H. pylori was most probably introduced to the Indian subcontinent by ancient Indo-European nomadic people and our findings are, therefore, consistent with the idea of a possible gene flow into India with the arrival of Indo-Aryans," the scientists pointed out.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->So no. This message that it "perhaps conveys" is rather inconsistent with other data. Why ignore that? Or are they saying only one research area's data is right and should be used to reconstruct the history of human migrations with? In that case, why do they choose H pylori DNA data over human DNA data? Do they not figure human DNA data might explain things more directly? (Personally, I think they should take everything into account and - if there must be stories - adjust stories accordingly.)

(3) I'm not sure what they are saying here. Or rather, they could not possibly be saying what it looks (to me) like they're saying:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The scientists conducted the study on Helicobacter pylori, a pathogen that lives in human stomach. The species of H. pylori that is found in present day Indian population is similar to that of the European strain inhabiting the stomachs of people who live in the West. [...] Since it was <b>not clear how different waves of human migrations in South Asia shaped the population structure of H. pylori</b>, the city scientists went for mapping genetic origins of the present day H. pylori in India and its genomic comparison with hundreds of isolates from different geographic regions.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Here's what I'm reading: present Indian H pylori strains are similar to European strain (that is, what is present in Europeans). Next, they appear to be assuming different waves of human migrations into the Indian subcontinent (bold bit above), and saying they don't understand how that has influenced current H pylori in India. Therefore they "went for mapping genetic origins of the present day H. pylori in India and its genomic comparison with hundreds of isolates from different geographic regions". If I'm reading this right, then what does the same data tell them if they did NOT assume human migrations into the subcontinent?
Like I said, they could not be saying what I think they're saying. Otherwise it comes out looking like that dreary circular reasoning again. That couldn't be - imagine, scientists applying circular reasoning. Not that the article is devoid of that altogether: without proving Oryans they're talking about them. Grandiose. But can't hold it against them - other researchers have done the same. Problem is, the way it is now, it doesn't even speak of the same question-marked entities ("Indo-Oryans"), because the timeframe of 4,000 - 10,000 years ago is talking about a different thing.

(4) <!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->The city scientists arrived at the conclusion that as H. pylori co-evolves with its host, the multiple population and sub-population of the pathogen speak about ancient human migrations.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Maybe the reporter has misconstrued what they said. Else, it's another case of how these city scientists are totally ignoring earlier research. If so, these guys will/should never get published, because it's been established for some years that H pylori can indeed be used as an indicator concerning human migrations:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Science 7 March 2003:
Vol. 299. no. 5612, pp. 1582 - 1585
DOI: 10.1126/science.1080857

<b>Traces of Human Migrations in Helicobacter pylori Populations</b>
Daniel Falush,1 Thierry Wirth,1 Bodo Linz,1 Jonathan K. Pritchard,2 Matthew Stephens,3 Mark Kidd,4 Martin J. Blaser,5 David Y. Graham,6 Sylvie Vacher,7 Guillermo I. Perez-Perez,5 Yoshio Yamaoka,6 Francis Mégraud,7 Kristina Otto,8 Ulrike Reichard,1 Elena Katzowitsch,8 Xiaoyan Wang,1 Mark Achtman,1* Sebastian Suerbaum8

Helicobacter pylori, a chronic gastric pathogen of human beings, can be divided into seven populations and subpopulations with distinct geographical distributions. These modern populations derive their gene pools from ancestral populations that arose in Africa, Central Asia, and East Asia. Subsequent spread can be attributed to human migratory fluxes such as the prehistoric colonization of Polynesia and the Americas, the neolithic introduction of farming to Europe, the Bantu expansion within Africa, and the slave trade.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> Come on, if I can find this article, so can they.

(5) Now comes more confusion. As the above ScienceMag abstract shows, current H pylori strains' origins have (thus far) been traced back into <b>Africa, Central Asia and E Asia.</b>
But the following article forgets H pylori has any origins in Central Asia, but brings in Europe instead (unless CA suddenly means "Europe" - that would be quite a nazi statement of them, since the nazis first started talking about expanding their European base into C Asia. When did people first start substituting Europe for C Asia anyway? And does this mean that CA's Turkmenistan is now in Europe? <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> I think it wants to enter the EU now....)
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Another faithful member of the human road show is Helicobacter pylori, a bacterium that inhabits half the stomachs in the world. It is a usually well-behaved guest, but gives its hosts ulcers when it acts up. Its pattern of geographic distribution matches that of its host’s migrations, Dr. Mark Achtman of the Max Planck Institute in Berlin and colleagues reported in the journal Nature last month.
There are five ancestral populations of H. pylori — two in Africa, two in Europe and one in East Asia. But all had a common origin, Dr. Achtman said, in a bacterium that started to spread out from East Africa 58,000 years ago, give or take 3,000 years. This is the same time period in which modern humans are thought to have begun their migration out of Africa. The match in dates “implies that H. pylori was present in Africa before the migrations, suggesting that Africa is the source of both H. pylori and humans,” Dr. Achtman and colleagues conclude evenhandedly.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd--> The same article also declares:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->From samples collected around the world, Dr. Page W. Caufield and colleagues at New York University have found that the bacterium can be assigned by its DNA to several distinct lineages. One is found in Africans, one in Asians and a third in Caucasians (the people of Europe, the Near East and India), his team reported in last month’s Journal of Bacteriology.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->So now Indians are not Dravidioids and Oryans but all are Caucasians instead. <!--emo&:blink:--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/blink.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='blink.gif' /><!--endemo--> Rather different from what the recent 'Indian study' on H. pylori has been saying.... Anyways, are they defining Causasians here with "the people of Europe, Near East and India", or are they talking about the spread of that third strain? :confused It actually looks like the former to me.

And what to make of this one:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->Molecular genetics has also been used to determine whether H. pylori is a recent colonizer of man or is an ancient infection. According to these studies, man has probably been colonized by H. pylori for eons. One-thousand-year-old pre-Colombian mummies had H. pylori present as fecal antigens. Similarly, some Venezuelan strains appear to resemble Asian strains, suggesting an origin from Asia. Maori strains from New Zealand are also sometimes of Asian type. So H. pylori molecular genetics mimic human migration patterns over the past 50,000 years.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->Hmmm, when they talk of the Asian type, do they mean the C Asian strain or the E Asian one.... (Unless we're still talking about C Asia as if it's the new Europe....)

(6) Final question for now. And it's a confusing one to explain.
Going by what I have understood of that news report about the work of "Ms S. Manjulatha Devi, Irshad Ahmad and a few others", India's H pylori is only being mapped now:
<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->the city scientists went for mapping genetic origins of the present day H. pylori in India and its genomic comparison with hundreds of isolates from different geographic regions.<!--QuoteEnd--><!--QuoteEEnd-->I'm going to dump the flashy "Europe=Central Asia" and talk about these two regions as the distinct entities that they actually are.
The research paper in Question (4) above posits Central Asia as an origin for one or more H pylori strains. Is that the precursor for those in Europe?
How is/are our strain(s) related to those of Central Asia? And how is it related to the European one(s)? And where, how do we fit in with respect to other originating strains? If the Indian one is only being mapped now, why assume Oryans and therefore assume that the strain came from Europe (see Question (3))? Can't the current situation of H pylori in India be understood in the context of the bigger picture, rather than them having to fit it in in the present understanding of the spread and evolution of H.pylori - as if the current H pylori world mapping is frozen and all new data must fit in the existing pattern - by making comparisons to who it must have been inherited/transmitted from?
This is assuming I have read the news report right. As I said, I found it increasingly confusing.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-02-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-Husky+Mar 2 2008, 02:20 PM-->QUOTE(Husky @ Mar 2 2008, 02:20 PM)<!--QuoteEBegin--><b>Traces of Human Migrations in Helicobacter pylori Populations</b>
Daniel Falush...

Helicobacter pylori, a chronic gastric pathogen of human beings, can be divided into seven populations and subpopulations with distinct geographical distributions. <b>(1st) </b><b>These modern populations derive their gene pools from ancestral populations that arose in Africa, Central Asia, and East Asia. </b><b>(2nd)</b>Subsequent spread can be attributed to human migratory fluxes such as the prehistoric colonization of Polynesia and the Americas, the neolithic introduction of farming to Europe, the Bantu expansion within Africa, and the slave trade.

they are clear about an initial southern route dispersal of H. Pylori, with a later subsequent spread to the west (grouped along with the late colonizations of Polynesia, North America). this corresponds with oppenhemier's model.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-03-2008

<!--QuoteBegin-->QUOTE<!--QuoteEBegin-->A footnote in J.P. Mallory (In search of the Indo-Europeans) says that Anna Davies carried out a cursory examination of the Greek vocabulary, which revealed that less than 40 per cent of it could be ascribed a transparent Indo-European etymology, 8 per cent had established non-Greek origins and about 52 per cent had no clear etymology.

This is a footnote to the statement that ``Yet the linguistic evidence taken as a whole does indicate that the Greeks did borrow a considerable number of elements from a non-Greek language.``

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-03-2008

Johanna Nichols:

<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 03-04-2008

‘I do not believe in a full decipherment’ of the Indus script

S. Theodore Baskaran

Eminent Finnish Indologist Asko Parpola on the status of research on the undeciphered script, the new Dholavira finds, whether the Indus script was a system of writing, the Dravidian-Aryan question, the present state of Sanskrit and Vedic studies in Tamil Nadu and Kerala, and the Tirukkural.

— Photo: Shaju John

Asko Parpola: “I am convinced that some two dozen specific signs have already been deciphered, because in these cases there appears to be sufficient confirmation — it all makes good sense together.”

Asko Parpola’s field of specialisation is Sanskrit, especially Vedic Sanskrit, and the Indus Valley Civilisation, particularly its script, on which he is one of the world’s leading authorities. This renowned Indologist from Finland has done significant research on the Sama Veda, having studied it under the guidance of a Namboothiri scholar of eminence from Panjal, Kerala. Dr. Parpola is Professor Emeritus of Indology and South Asian Studies at the University of Helsinki. About 4,000 seals have survived from the Indus Valley Civilisation, which flourished around 2600-1900 BC. The two volumes he co-edited, Corpus of Indus Seals and Inscriptions (Helsinki, 1987 & 1991), are considered the standard work in the field. His study concludes that the Indus script encodes a Dravidian language. The Indus script is perhaps the most important among ancient systems of writing that are undeciphered. Excerpts from an interview with Dr. Parpola, who was in Chennai recently to deliver a lecture at the Indus Research Centre at the Roja Muthiah Research Library:
I learn that you have come to Chennai straight from Dholavira in Gujarat. Have the new finds in Dholavira, like the signboard, made any difference to our understanding of Indus script?

Yes... the Dholavira signboard is the first example of what we could call monumental inscriptions. Each sign is about 30 cm high. The usual sign on a seal is less than one cm, as you know. The board itself is three metres long. We have also got some new seals and artifacts. However, though these are important finds, they do not bring about any fundamental change in our understanding of the Indus script.
What is the present status of research on the Indus script?

We shall soon have all the material relating to the script in an easily accessible form, in good photographs, or as good as we can get, and also all sorts of indexes and concordances. Thus, good manuals will soon be at hand. As far as decipherment is concerned, we can run various computer programmes that can help in classifying the Indus signs into groups of functionally similar signs. But the real decipherment can only come from making detailed informed guesses and then testing them, seeing if they have enough support from different kinds of evidence. The main thing is that the hypotheses follow strict rules and agree with generally accepted knowledge: the history of writing, proven methods of decipherment, and linguistic and historical evidence.
You have stated in your book Deciphering the Indus Script (London, 1994) that the script cannot be fully deciphered in the present state of our knowledge. Are you hopeful of an eventual full decipherment of the Indus script?

I do not believe in a full decipherment. But I am convinced that some two dozen specific signs have already been deciphered, because in these cases there appears to be sufficient confirmation — it all makes good sense together. In principle, we have a real chance of decipherment only with those signs that we can clearly identify pictorially.
There is a recent controversy that the Indus script is not a system of writing at all. What are your comments on this?

In December 2004, Steve Farmer and his two colleagues published an article where they mention several reasons why the Indus script cannot be writing. In the paper I presented here in Chennai, I examined each one of their nine arguments, concluding that none holds water. For instance, they claim that there is no repetition of signs within a single Indus seal, emphasising this as the most important indicator. But I can quote many examples where such repetition is found.

Another claim was that no longer texts in other writing media like palm leaves have been found at Indus sites. We know from Greek sources that cotton cloth was used as writing material in 325 BC in the Indus Valley. But preserved Indian texts written on cotton cloth date from more than a thousand years later. We know for certain that the Indus people had cotton, but only microscopically small remains of cotton have been preserved in association with metal objects.

Farmer and his colleagues do not discuss the evidence supplied by the Indus sign sequences, which make it virtually certain that the Indus script is writing. How else can we explain that in hundreds of sequences, the signs are always written in the same definite order? If they were just non-linguistic symbols, why did they follow such rules, and did the Indus people keep long registers of sign orders in all the many dozens of sites?
How did you reach the conclusion that the Indus script is Dravidian?

We started with the premise that from the point of view of linguistic history, Dravidian is the most probable alternative. There are several language families in South Asia, the biggest being Indo-European and Dravidian. About a hundred years ago, some 25 per cent of people in South Asia spoke a Dravidian language. Numerically Dravidian is the most important among the non-Indo-European languages of the subcontinent. Brahui, a North Dravidian language, is still spoken in the Indus region. The Munda languages are mainly spoken in eastern India by rather few people and their linguistic relatives are in South-East Asia. The only non-Indo-European language family of South Asia from which there are widely accepted loan words in the Rig Veda is Dravidian. And when applied to the Indus script, Dravidian puns make sense.
Is there scope for further collaboration between Indian and western scholars in studying the Indus script?

I have discussed the possibilities of collaboration. Personally I would be very happy with such a development. Iravatham Mahadevan has been preparing the ground for further Indian research work in this field. India is one of the leading countries in information technology. You have a wealth of young IT experts, and some of them are eager to work on the Indus script. I cannot do this work myself, and would have to hire experts to update our concordances. But no formal decision of collaboration has yet been made. (The Indus Research Centre at Roja Muthiah Research Library Chennai has an ongoing collaborative project with the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research, Mumbai and the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai. A team of experts had a discussion with Dr. Parpola on this subject – Theodore Baskaran.)
You are a Sanskritist by training. What attracted you to study the Indus Civilisation?

I went to the university to study the classical languages of Europe, Latin and Greek. In those days we had to choose three subjects and Sanskrit sounded an interesting choice. It became my main field. The Indus Script attracted me when a friend offered to help with computers in any problem relating to my field. At that time, in the early 1960s, the Greek ‘Linear B’ script had recently been deciphered. It was a great sensation in those days. [Linear B is a script used for writing Mycenaen, an early form of Greek.] And India had its Indus script to be studied.
Do the archaeological data help in understanding the seals?

Definitely. Information like where and with what other material a particular seal was discovered can provide us some leads. Let’s say a seal comes from a room where other artifacts point to the practice of a particular craft, for instance bead-making. Then “bead-maker” might be mentioned in the seal. This is just one example of how we may get clues to proceed further.
You have learned the Sama Veda from a traditional guru in Kerala. What is your assessment of the present level of Vedic and Sanskrit studies in Tamil Nadu and Kerala?

I have studied Jaiminiya Sama Veda, which is one of the rare Vedic schools, surviving only in South India. In Kerala there are just a handful of scholars who can chant Jaiminiya Sama Veda and they are old, so the future of this particular tradition is rather bleak there.

In Tamil Nadu the prospect is much better, as there is a vigorous Jaiminiya Sama Veda pathasala near Tiruchi with a number of students and a dedicated teacher. In the case of other Vedic schools, the situation is less critical and there are some very good centres of Sanskrit studies in both Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
Some Indian scholars claim that the Aryans never came from outside India and that the Indus Civilisation was Vedic. What is your stand on the Aryan-Dravidian debate?

The urban civilisation of the Indus Valley differs greatly from the predominantly nomadic culture described in the early Vedic texts. For one thing, the domestic horse, which occupies an important position in Vedic religion and culture, is not represented among the many animals depicted on Indus seals, nor is there any unambiguous bone evidence for the presence of the horse in South Asian before 2000 BC. The horse is not native to South Asia, and was introduced by outsiders in post-Harappan times.

I have always found it most unfortunate that the past is politicised and used for other than scholarly purposes. As far as the Aryan-Dravidian dichotomy is concerned, it must be remembered that ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’ are linguistic and not racial terms. There is no pure race, and Aryan and Dravidian speakers have been in contact with each other in South Asia from the start of their encounter. Ever since the Aryan speakers came to India from Central Asia, this militarily powerful minority group <span style='color:red'><i>(No Evidence exists for this myth of military powerful group)</i> would have mixed with the local population. Centuries of gradually increasing bilingualism eventually led to a large-scale language shift, making almost the whole population of North India Indo-Aryan speakers. Linguistic and religious fanatics inflame a wrong sort of nationalism, which has led to great ills both in South Asia and elsewhere. Ancient traditions of language must not be used to divide people.</span>
You had said that lexicography is well advanced in Tamil and Malayalam. What are the reasons?

Tamil has a long literary tradition, especially after the discovery of the Sangam texts. S. Vaiyapuri Pillai did great work in compiling the Tamil Lexicon and after him Murray Rajam initiated further important lexicographic work. The Malayalam Lexicon of the University of Kerala is following this lead. I hope Tamil scholars will extend their work to the study of cognate languages, in particular small tribal languages with no native linguists, and thus enlarge the understanding of the common prehistoric background of all Dravidian languages. The study of the Indus script suffers greatly from inadequate knowledge of ancient compound words, which have not survived in Tamil or Malayalam, but [have] possibly [survived] elsewhere.
You recommended creation of linguistic archives. Could you elaborate this?

Not only linguistic but also folklore material should be collected and published. This is necessary for traditions that do not have a written tradition. Instead, tribal languages do have oral traditions of songs, legends, and stories. In Udupi, Professor U.P. Upadhyaya and his wife Susheela, along with their colleagues, have done exemplary work in collecting a rich database of folklore material and using this as the basis of a six-volume Tulu Lexicon. We badly need similar work on the remaining Dravidian languages, which are all the time losing their ancient vocabulary with the increasing influence of Indo-Aryan and English.
<img src='' border='0' alt='user posted image' />
I learn you are translating Tirukkural into Finnish. How is the progress? What is your experience?

Fifteen years ago, I could recite by heart the first hundred stanzas of Tirukkural. I gave lectures at Helsinki University on this Tamil classic that I greatly admire, and translated into Finnish prose almost one half of the text. Unfortunately I have since then not found time and opportunity to finish the job, but I hope this will be possible in the future.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - ramana - 03-04-2008

The disicple is feted but the guru is unknown Nampoothri scholar from Kerala. What happened to the time when the disciple was known for having studied under a guru?

<!--emo&Sad--><img src='style_emoticons/<#EMO_DIR#>/sad.gif' border='0' style='vertical-align:middle' alt='sad.gif' /><!--endemo-->

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - dhu - 03-04-2008

There types are incapable of understanding guru-disciple relationships. It has always been an anthropologist versus native informant set-up for them. Glean as much raw material, plug into few dominant formulas derived from disguised theology, lecture others for their own mistakes and minutely engineered disruption, deny causation, deny some more, look aghast, dismiss, feign ignorance, feign anger, start over again.

Aryan Invasion/migration Theories &amp; Debates -2 - acharya - 03-04-2008

As far as the Aryan-Dravidian dichotomy is concerned, it must be remembered that ‘Aryan’ and ‘Dravidian’ are linguistic and not racial terms. There is no pure race, and Aryan and Dravidian speakers have been in contact with each other in South Asia from the start of their encounter.

This statement is repeated over and over that it is linguistic speakers but why do they make it a group of people who can conquer other people. They should not be talking about conquering people when language cannot be used to conquer people.

This encounter of two different language speakers is very strange since these two groups do not have any historical markers. The entire creation of this group is a manufactured image and carried forward for decades without anybody questioning the authenticity of the theory.

The start of the encounter between the two groups is also arbitrary. There is not date or reference for why that perticular date is chosen as the encounter between the two groups.

This two groups and their story of encounter is a fascinating fantasy which has been accepted by the elite in India for more than 100 years.