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Tuesday / April 25.

The 150 Year Old Debate Should Come to a Conclusion

By Shreyas Prakash

Edited by Namrata Caleb, Senior Editor, The Indian Economist

 The Delhi University’s Sanskrit Department is all set to do intensive research in order to rewrite India’s history. It aims at disproving the German linguist Max Mueller’s 150 year old Aryan Invasion theory using academic facts and archaeological grounding. The project was launched last week by OP Kohli, Gujarat Governor and Dinesh Singh, Vice Chancellor.

Although Max Mueller’s theory was an honest effort in trying to establish a plausible link between the similarities of Sanskrit with the myriad of European languages, it was so deeply entrenched in Victorian and Eurocentric prejudices that it looked more as an establishment of the European dominance by falsifying history.

The controversy first erupted when Max Mueller claimed Aryans had migrated from Central Asia at around 4000 BC and reached India and settled in India at around 1500 BC. However there has been a staunch opposition to this  theory, even now, by several Indologists ever since.

Since the AIT has been strongly backed by the Western intellectuals, valid archaeological, scientific, scriptural and even genetic evidences were quickly refuted by the intelligentsia.

The Out of India theory received less backing from the West, which was an exact antithesis to the Aryan Invasion Theory. It stated that humans migrated from India towards Europe and East Asia following the drying up of the Saraswati river.

The evidences are a plenty. The Rig Vedas which were written before 1900 – 2600 BC had no mention of any migration or invasion in the texts which suggests that the drying up of the river occured sometime later. In addition to that, The satellite imagery also show the path of the extinct Saraswati river. Also, the Radiometric dating of the Indus – Saraswati places the age of the civilization to around 7200 BC. This clearly shows that migration didn’t happen atleast 9000 years ago.

Human genome sequencing provides a fascinating nexus. R1a1a gene which is found in North India and East Europeans, South Siberia, Tajikistan and North Eastern Iran had its oldest strain in Gujarat-Sindh-Western Rajasthan region reiterating the theory of outward flow of migration from India. This makes us go even backwards in timeline, as all evidences ranging from Archaeology to Genetics point to an Indian origin, and migration If any,should have been atleast 40000 years ago.

However due to the recently found political backing owing to the change of government, The Sangh parivar might be tempted to bring about a distorted Supremacist theory that tries to assert its dominance, distorting some of the facts. This move is likely to gain political colour as it is more likely to fit the RSS Ideology, given that all the  evidence support it. As the Opposition may view this as Indian saffronization, there should be unbiased research by the DU Scholars to date the origin and migration of ourselves, in order to establish the true identity of India.

The very fact that we were an indigenous tribe, an outcome of a remarkable river which sustained the growth of a remarkable civilization restores pride among Indians. This research can held in re-establishing our ethnic identity, provided by thorough inspection and a proper revalidation of the factual.

Bharadwaj from DU’s Sanskrit Department has also questioned as to why we should continue teaching the Euro-centric theory to our children especially when there is so much evidence at hand. However, the Department head has strongly denied that this was an attempt to validate a particular party line and that they were only interested in putting forward a convincing argument to know about the deeper truths of a civilization which flourished to a great extent.

The history scripted by the Victorian elite still remains unchanged. And the time has come, to examine. Whether it is OIT, or the AIT. The nation wants to know the truth.

 Shreyas Prakash is currently based in Coimbatore and is an undergraduate student doing his penultimate year in National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli. He is very keen about making a change in the Renewable energy sector through social entrepreneurship. He is a co-founder of ‘Turfcoin’ – a social startup that aims at reducing plastic waste throughout India. His passions are Street photography, Contemporary abstract painting, Pencil sketching, Indian history and Vedic studies other than Content writing.