The Aryan invasion, the Arya-Anarya controversy, the clashes between the Aryans and the Dravidians, and much more research related to this theory and claims as well as counter-claims keeps coming up. However, there is no trace of unanimity among this, but only differences of opinion can be witnessed. Therefore it is necessary to know what exactly the theory of Aryan invasion and/or migration is. Who actually propounded it? And what exactly was their purpose? Is there any truth in this theory? This new series- 'Theory of Aryan Invasion', which unravels the riddle of basic questions like these and many more.
The British policy:
‘Break and rule’ was the very deceitful yet effective British method for achieving their political aims. In order to successfully implement this policy, the British purposefully and very cleverly planted some vicious tricks in India during their rule here. At the same time, humiliating others in order to establish their own ethnic superiority in the world was also a part of their scheme. They did the same experiment on Indians. One of the controversies in Indian history that they have implanted in a very brutal manner is the ‘Aryan migration or the theory of aggression’, also known as the ‘Aryaprashna’(question regarding the Aryans.)
Migration of Aryans
Sir William Jones, a British judge who came to India in the 18th century, caused a great linguistic incertitude. Mr. William Jones learned Sanskrit as he felt that it was necessary to know the Indian culture for effective imparting of justice. It was he, who discovered many similarities between Sanskrit and some European languages. On the basis of that, he elaborated that the Aryans, who spoke Aryabhasha (language spoken by Aryans), were not actually residents of India but visitors or migrants from outside. They migrated to India from the steppe regions of Central Asia and settled down here. He paved the way for this problem by bulldozing his theory on Indians! This is come to know as 'Aryan Migration Theory - AMT'.
Going a step further, Mortimer Wheeler, a former director-general of the Archaeological Survey of India, first proposed the theory of Aryan invasion in the middle of the twentieth century. Excavations at Harappa, Mohenjodaro and Lothal in the Indus Valley during the 1920s and 1930s revealed that a very progressive civilization was in existence there since ancient times. Coming from Central Asia or its southward i.e. Iran, a tribe called 'Arya' invaded the region and came to these cities in the Indus Valley. They slaughtered some of the indigenous Dravidians of that area and drove out the rest. From there, the refugees moved eastward and south across India and settled there. The Rig Veda and other ancient scriptures illustrated the power of Indra, the king of the Aryans. One of his names is Purandar, which means 'the destroyer of towns (Pur). These are the towns that he has blown up and destroyed! Thus Indra is responsible for all this destruction (-Indra stands accused!). Mortimer Wheeler also argued about the time frame of this invasion by claiming that it must have taken place sometime between 1800s BC and 1500 BC. This is known as Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT).
Similarly, many other Western scholars have taken this research further by blindly following these two. For this purpose, these so-called scholars started to base their knowledge on the disciplines of linguistics, archaeology, genetics, DNA propagation research, anthropology, etc. Proponents of this theory sometimes used the word ‘invasion’ and sometimes ‘migration’ to suit their intentions. But no matter how much they altered words, the basic issue remained the same. That is - the Aryans are 'strangers' from outside and they have encroached on the 'indigenous' people.
Numerous books, dissertations, research articles have been published all over the world explaining exactly how this ‘so-called migration or invasion’ took place. In the same way, many writers, thinkers, journalists, columnists, speakers, leaders, etc. appear to base their content design on this theory.
Some people even use different sub-theories of this view. These sub-theories are playing a very decisive role in creating chaos by dividing the society in numerous ways. It was rampantly used for many spicy headlines like 'Aryan-Dravidian Struggle', 'Foreign Invaders and Indigenous Struggle', 'Rama vs. Ravana', 'Durga or Mahishasurmardini vs. Mahishasur', 'Savarna vs. Dalit', 'Brahmin / Kshatriya / Vaishya vs. Shudra', etc.
The same misleading theory has been taught in history for all these years in almost all school-colleges and university syllabi in India. At least four generations in India have been burdened under this false learning. That is why; even the parents, grandparents or teachers of the present generation do not feel that their children are learning something untrue and unwanted.
The different anti-social elements are constantly engaged in efforts to divide the Indian society and instigate perennial infighting among them. One of the major aspects of this plot is to fabricate captivating narrative about how one fraction in Indian society is inflicting atrocities on other parts by disparaging them. These disruptive forces conveniently twist the prevailing traditional stories. People who are quick to erupt by believing in such stories are used as fuel to escalate quarrels. The troublemakers take enough care to keep this fuel burning at any cost. These anti-social elements serve their own interests by spreading fires of hatred all over the country. Their real interest lies only in keeping the society in turmoil by using such provocative and bizarre events because that is the main source of their livelihood.
If one traces the roots of such struggles, it is clear that the core of it lies in the question about Aryans and related debates. This issue is controversially present not only in India but reached to the global level. Later, many Indian researchers/scholars began to study these disciplines and refute this theory rationally. Yet, not all scholars in the world agree with such research. The real reason is that accepting the truth would hurt their ego. In addition, it destroys their 'personal interests’ involved in and around such debatable issues. As a result, the world looks at this problem as an 'unsettled issue.'
Dear readers, thus, this is the theory by and large - defeated on the test of scientific evidence and on an ideological level also, but comprehensively succeeded in eroding the self-esteem of Indians! Unfortunately, it is very much alive in the form of all separatist movements. Therefore, it is indispensable to completely dismantle such a theory. In this series, we will take a look at the exact nature of this theory, its various stratums and refutation by Indian scholars.
(To be continued…)
(The writer is a scholar of the ancient history, culture, art, literature, philosophy of India - i.e. Bharat Vidya or Indology from Pune, Maharashtra)
(Translated by Dr Pranavkumar Ratnaparkhi, an assistant professor of English at HPT Arts & RYK Science College, Nasik, Maharashtra)