Synthetic Syntax
         Date: 08-May-2018
Karnataka CM calling PM Modi as the “North Indian import” is the latest in the series of many attempts by the Congress party to endorse the artificial “Aryan-Dravidian” divide. A revisit to the views of Ambedkar and Nehru to locate a historical context

Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah has called Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Uttar Pradesh counterpart Yogi Adityanath “North Indian imports” during the election campaign for May 12 polls in Karnataka. Unsurprisingly, Siddaramaiah is going too far and crossing all possible lines to achieve his goal. First, he tried his best to divide the votes on the basis of religion and caste by playing the Lingayat issue.

Recently, while tweeting, the Karnataka Chief Minister belaboured that, “I remember how Pulakeshi II defeated the powerful North Indian King Harshavardana on the banks of Narmada.” The comparisons here are so stark to be missed. The “North Indian imports” and such figures of speech are explicit in the divisive agenda of the Congress party.
 
The agenda of trying to create artificial divide between South & North has a long history. We must evoke the issue as to how the divide was a British construct, which was taken up without any questioning by the likes of Jawaharlal Nehru. While on the other hand, Dr Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar critically questioned this divisive construct and debunked the myth.
 
Myth of ‘Aryans versus Dravidians’
 
Dr Ambedkar was the quintessential humanist. He studied the so-called Aryan race theory and racial interpretation of Indian society and rejected it. For example in his Who were the Shudras (1946), he called the theory of Aryan invasion as well as the idea of Aryan race ‘an invention’.
 
After examining all the sides of the argument, Babasaheb categorically stated that, “The theory of the Aryan race is just an assumption and no more (emphasis added) It is based on a philiological proposition put forth by Dr Bopp in his epoch-making book called Comparative Grammar written in 1835.” (BAWS, Vol. VII,p. 86)
 
On the question of Aryan invasion, Babasaheb again, succinctly suggests that, “There is a paucity of references in the Rig Veda to wars between the Aryans on the one hand and the Dasas or Dasyus on the other. Out of the 33 places in which the word occurs in the Rig Veda only in 8 places is it used in opposition to Dasas and only in 7 places is it used in opposition to the word Dasyus. This may show the occurrence of sporadic riots between the two. It is certainly not evidence of a conquest or subjugation.” (Ibid. p. 75)
 
Further, it has been stated that, “Whatever conflict there was between Dasas and the Aryans, the two seem to have arrived at a mutual settlement, based on peace with honour. This is borne out by references in the Rig Veda showing how the Dasas and Aryans have stood as one united people against a common enemy.”
 
Babasaheb has rested the case while authoritatively arguing that “The theory of invasion is an invention. This invention is necessary because of a gratuitous assumption which underlies the Western theory. The assumption is that the Indo-Germanic people are the purest of the modern representatives of the original Aryan race. Its first home is assumed to have been somewhere in Europe.” (Ibid. p. 78)
 
He debunked the whole “racial” divide which was a British construct through scientific researches. In his work on ‘Untouchables’ he underscored the point that race had nothing to do with the social dynamics in India, “If anthropometry is a science which can be depended upon to determine the race of a people... (then its) measurements establish that the Brahmins and the Untouchables belong to the same race. From this it follows that if the Brahmins are Aryans the Untouchables are also Aryans. If the Brahmins are Dravidians, the Untouchables are also Dravidians...”
 
On the other hand, Jawaharlal Nehru got himself glued to the artificial division created among Indians by the British scholarship and administrative intervention. In his most popular work The Discovery of India (1946), Nehru without any deliberation out rightly announced that “Aryans poured into India in successive waves from the north-west.” (p. 69) Therefore, Nehru believed that Aryans were invaders and therefore, he clubbed them with Iranians, Greeks, Parthians, Bactrians, Scynthians, etc. It is amusing that how an intellectual stalwart like Nehru cited an imperialist like Vincent Smith to validate all these claims. Nehru went ahead to suggest that, “The coming of the Aryans into India raised new problems- racial and political. The conquered race, the Dravidians, had a long background of civilisation behind them, but there is little doubt that the Aryans considered themselves vastly superior and a wide gulf separated the two races.” (p. 81)
 
Unifier Ambedkar—Divisive Nehru

 
 
While Dr Ambedkar and Nehru both dealt with the same issue of alleged “racial division”, it is surprising that how they reached to starkly different conclusions. Having written and finalised their respective works, namely Who were the Shudras and The Discovery of India in 1946 only, both the leaders must have been aware of the on-going researches and available literature on the subject.
 
Why did Nehru persist with the artificial ‘Aryan-Dravidian divide’ and go ahead to divide the whole nation on the basis of the linguistic states?
In Nehru’s defence one could argue that The Discovery of India was written inside prison where sufficient literature was not available for consultation. But Nehru lived for about a decade and a half after the book came into light. Why he did he not try to revise it? Why did he not incorporat any changes and become a unifier like Ambedkar? Why did Nehru persist with the artificial ‘Aryan-Dravidian divide’ and go ahead to divide the whole nation on the basis of the linguistic states?
 
All these queries lead us in one direction. While Babasaheb worked extensively for politically and culturally unifying Bharat, Nehru, his party Congress, and his successors worked to break it. Ironically, Babasaheb didn’t find a single mention in Nehru’s The Discovery of India.Unsurprisingly, Nehru’s acolytes and family members are still trying to disrupt the unity of Bharat. An artificial divide which was debunked by Babasaheb decades ago, is still being cemented by the Congress leaders like, Siddaramaiah.