Aryan debate keeps on attracting silly politicos: A response to Shoaib Daniyal

A brief response by Dr. Koenraad Elst to a Scroll.in article by Shoaib Daniyal on the Aryan debate.

In June 2015, Scroll.in published an article by Shoaib Daniyal on the Aryan debate, wherein he ridiculed the Out of India theory by comparing it with Intelligent Design or a Flat Earth Hypothesis. Here is a brief response by Dr. Koenraad Elst to the article.

Dear Editor of Scroll.in,

While I don’t much mind an ignorant pen-pusher pontificating about the Aryan invasion debate, some concomitant modesty would at least be in order. Ridiculing any scepticism about the 19th-century Aryan invasion theory (AIT) merely shows that he is quite unaware of the state of the art.

So he equates the rivalling Out-of-India Theory (OIT) with Flat Earth and Creationism. But it is very easy to find material evidence against both the latter, such as the fossil record. By contrast, your contributor is quite unable to muster any evidence against the OIT. Even Harvard professor and AIT champion Michael Witzel admits that no material evidence of Aryans moving into India has been found “yet”, i.e. after two centuries of being the official hypothesis sucking up all the sponsoring. So your correspondent thinks himself superior, successful where the greatest specialists have failed?

A year ago I was participating in a Delhi conference on the Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization. While there, I received an e-mail from one of the world’s foremost specialists on the linguistic aspect of Indo-European origins, HH Hock, all the way from the US. Predictably, he upheld the now-dominant invasion scenario and added that no one takes the Out-of-India Theory seriously today (though it was the dominant assumption from 1786 till ca. 1820). Among linguists, this is approximately true: Nicolas Kazanas, Shrikant Talageri and myself have been in splendid isolation in those circles. But then, linguists who can competently argue in favour of the AIT are hardly more numerous. As I have verified at several specialist conferences, most concerned linguists don’t work on the problem of the origins, which has an aura of obsoleteness, and blindly follow the dominant theory because it happens to be what their textbooks contained. Which is what non-linguists like the cited team from Auckland also do.

However, while I read this e-mail, I was surrounded by the creamy layer of Indian archaeology. Each professor read his paper presenting the findings at a particular Harappan site where he was digging, and each of them reported a complete cultural continuity, no trace of an invasion. Sitting next to me was the dean of Indian archaeology, the nonagenarian professor BB Lal. When he was young, he made his name by “proving” that the archaeologically attested Painted Grey Ware indicated the Aryans on their way into India. That “proof” is still cited till today in favour of the AIT, at least in India. But in reality, Lal himself has renounced that hypothesis decades ago, realizing that his posited link with Aryan invaders was itself based on a tacit acceptance of the omnipresent AIT. Today he emphasizes that there is no trace at all of any Aryan invasion.

You choose to poison the debate by insinuating a Hitler reference into it. Suit yourself, but again it proves your ignorance, for Hitler was a zealous follower of the AIT. If the OIT has been associated with Hindutva (wrongly, for VD Savarkar, who launched this political concept, was an AIT believer), its alleged political use is at any rate only a trifle compared to the AIT. The OIT has been upheld mostly in one country for a few decades by a few scholars without any political power. By contrast, the AIT has been used politically for some 160 years by major state actors such as the British empire and Nazi Germany, and in India by Jawaharlal Nehru, the Ambedkarites (though BR Ambedkar himself emphatically rejected it), the Dravidianists, the missionaries and of course the secularists. If you don’t like the mixing of scholarship with politics, you should first of all lambast the AIT, not the OIT.

May Allah (or whoever serves as God to you secularists) give you the wisdom to keep your mouth shut on topics you don’t know enough about.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Koenraad Elst

Disclaimer: The facts and opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author. IndiaFacts does not assume any responsibility or liability for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information in this article.
  • Ziprun Khi

    why not do a DNA test of all Brahmins? Case closed.
    But no one deny the fact Hindutva created one of the world most brutal Caste system … Agree?

  • R. Singh

    Ignorance is bliss !

    Fortunately, thanks in a large part to the efforts of Dr. Elst, and others, we are better informed.

    The internet is a wonderful tool, and enabler.

    • Cybil Peril

      Too superficial….sorry…

  • Cybil Peril

    Entire Western White witty world is one, when it comes to prove that Eastern races are children of Ham and deserve to be “civilized’ (soft word to replace Islamic Jihad). Thus they (Easterners or dark skinned ppl) need to be converted and “civilized. When an American Lawmaker asked an Indian Attorney in Whitehouse, “What’s ur religion”? She retorted, “Hinduism”. Oh Hinduism, “Sunni or Shia”! This the enlightenment of a most advanced country’s lawmaker, when US claims herself as “First World” on this earth. Shameful. Elst may not be aware of this crude truth of an American lawmaker asking this witty question on the floor of Whitehouse.

  • Infinite Wisdom

    God bless you for bringing facts and logic to the debate polluted by Congi Jihadi “scholars” whose hearts and minds are full of hatred for Hindus and therefore they are blinded to facts and logic.

  • Vidya

    The Michael Witzels of this world are coy about having a full on open debate with the OIT proponents.They weasel out of any debate by pretending their opponents are not qualified. Their hypocrisy shines through their smokescreen. They imagine they are successfully denying legitimacy to the OIT proponents but , as we say in India, Satya meva jayate. The strength offered by the truth will see the OIT proponents through.

  • P. B. Josh

    Now a days, DNA analysis should be used to demolish this fake theory of Aryan Invasion/migration.

  • Anirudh Vikram

    This chap “shoaib daniyal” is nothing but a 5th columnist judging by the kind of articles he is writing.

  • arindam

    A ray of hope for Out of India proponents who may get a chance to prove their hypothesis:for the first time human skeltal remains of inhabitants of Mohanjodaro civilization Rakhigardhi site have been recently found in the exacaveted site in Haryana by Dr Shinde of Deccan college.
    These skeletan remains have been sent to South Korea for dna analysis and by means of software the facial features,skin tone etc will be known from the skeletons found.
    This provides the exciting opportunity for the first time to see how the inhabitents of this ancient civilization looked like.
    In case the inhabitents resemble in looks and dna wise the present people of Haryana,the much touted AIT can be thrown out lock stock barrel.
    The ramification of the above findings are mind boggling.
    Let us await the result of the analysis.

  • Jaya

    What should perhaps stand out is that – despite tons of data to the contrary – the supposedly enlightened academia are unable to factor in new information. It may be particularly hard if ones paycheck and one’s self worth is linked to NOT being able to factor in new information. The other question one needs to ask ( to these departments of indology) in these universities that – given that they are completely unable to provide a voice to emic views and are only able to focus narrowly on etic views ( which are increasingly looking agenda driven) – are these universities centers of learning or propaganda factories ?

  • Dr Elst has given short shrift to AIT, Scroll.in & Shoaib Daniyal. Where do we get these Rotten Coconuts from?

  • Krishan Kant

    Very informative article…thanks

  • Vichinthitha

    The article is timely. Thank you Dr Elst. The need to take the message that the Aryan Invasion Theory is Not an established fact to the masses requires an importance as much as the demonetization if not more for the future of this country.

    • Cybil Peril

      This post isn’t d last one. Keep yourself ready 4 everyday such cunning posts by Western academics whose job is to manufacture “other” history to prove their Goebbelsian myths. British created d German Max Muller to write or re-write Manusmriti and other Hindu scriptures (parallel) 2 divide and rule. It became handy 4 British to quote their “version” of Manusmriti and punish d Indians for prevailing over in Law Courts. Incidentally Muller never visited India though he wrote volumes of Hindu scriptures and was heftily rewarded by British in London.

    • Cybil Peril

      Elst is a Belgian Catholic though now he refutes his Catholic leanings and calls himself an Indologists, a term manufactured by Western elites. Funny, because there is no such parallel words like Britology, Frenchology, etc. This term itself should be regarded as vestige of colonial mindset to deride the colored race. Bible is said to label Indians as sons of Ham, a cursed son of Noah. God knows its veracity. All imaginary, with no proof. Even the date of birth of Jesus (if he ever existed since there are now studies on its falsehood) is controversial or if Jesus ever existed. Elst must beware of points I’m making.

      • R. Singh

        Dr.Elst is a Dharmic person, whom follows Dharam- The Righteous Path to Enlightenment.

        What would he have to afraid of?

        • Cybil Peril

          Yeah, know him well. Catholics r too clever to know them. I recommend you spend a little more time to study the syubject of colonial Indias. If you are serious, kindly spare a bit of ur valuable time. Otherwise these fellows look for easy prey to use them to divide our society. Their educational set up of mission is so vast that they locate gullible ppl easily. I hope, u won’t take it personal on u. With full respect 2 u…!

          • R. Singh

            Dr. Elst may have been born on a Christian country.

            That does not make him a christian..

            Read his works, and judge for yourself.

            Besides, even a christian can follow the path of Dharam and seek enlightenment.

            There is no restriction.

            Take it easy

          • Cybil Peril

            Oh, well, I’m so glad to know you as one person on this planet who claims to know about me everything that even I don’t know. Salute your wit. Keep up ur elitism, shall serve u better n more in time. Taske it uneasy….

          • R. Singh

            What is elitist about seeking Enlightenment????????

          • Cybil Peril

            Thank u…..???????????????????????????

  • Abhishek Singh

    THE COLLAPSE OF ARYAN INVASION THEORY

    1. After Europeans arrived in India, they discovered that Sanskrit was very similar to European languages, Russian etc. With time, they came up with Aryan Invasion theory. The theory says a group of nomads invaded India and displaced the existing population down south or subjugated them. Its these nomadic Aryans who wrote Vedas, Puranas and other early Hindu texts. The date of the oldest text Rig Veda was decided as 1500BC.

    2. In 1920s, archaeologists discovered the Indus valley civilization cities. It was instantly announced that these cities were destroyed by invading Aryans. The skulls found on the site were cited as the proof of massacre of native Indians by the invading Aryans(it was later found untrue, conclusively). By the scientific dating methods, it was figured out that Indus valley civilization cities dwindled and extinguished between 2200BC-1900BC.

    3. In 1990s, the geological and hydro-logical data based on satellite imaging, etc proved that Saraswati dried up exactly the same time when Indus valley civilization went down(2200BC-1900BC). Also, most of the sites of the civilization were based on the bank of Saraswati.

    The most important river mentioned in Vedas was Saraswati. Vedas described Sapt-Sindhu, a group of rivers comprising Ganga, Yamuna, Saraswati, Sutlej, Vyas, Ravi and Sindhu. Yamuna and Sutlej were described as tributaries of Saraswati. The later texts detailed the drying up of the river.

    Before the emergence of scientific evidence of dried up Saraswati river, the “Macaulayian Historians” declared this river so vividly described in the Vedas and other ancient texts as “mythical”. Once satellite evidence firmly proved the existence of this mighty river and presence of so called Indus valley civilization settlements in its banks, the “Macaulayian historians” are coming up with ridiculous arguments to defend the Aryan theory.

    4. Since 2000 onwards, a series of studies done by geneticists proved that there has been no major population migration in India since many tens of thousands of years. Most of the studies put this timeline as last 50,000 years. One such detailed study was done by Harvard University and CCMB in 2009 and the results were presented in the most prestigious journal of science, the “Nature” journal. All the major studies one in this area are unanimous that no major population migration happened in last many tens of thousands of year.

    5. In both Sanskrit and Tamil ancient texts, there is no mention of any large scale invasion/migration into India by a group of foreigner Aryans.

    6. British found this theory very useful for their political needs in India and propagated it for the purpose of divide and rule. Aryan invasion theory was taught in school and college text-books and hence most of the current day Indians continue to believe in it, unaware that this theory has lost ground since last sometime.

    Among the many seriously damaging implications of this flawed theory, these are the few –

    a) The entire ancient history of India pre-1500BC was termed as “myth”

    b) The Aryan-Dravidian divide was used to create separate identities and incite one segment of Indian against other.

    -Abhishek Singh

    • Politeindian

      Wonderfully well articulated!

    • Well put

    • Cybil Peril

      Fully agree and also recommend the book – Breaking India by Rajiv Malhotra and Arvind Neelkandan. It is not this AIT but the reconstruct of Manusmriti by Western Orientaliosts was used and manufactured by ruling colonial Britishers for their partisan rule. British and other European colonisers used and still using Academia for brainwash to justify their fraud for sucking the aliens. Hence even if AIT is bunked off, it is still handy to keep it going in Goebbelsian style to demoralise the prey.

    • Cybil Peril

      Chennai is highly infested by the Evangelical education institutions whereby they have managed to brainwash the youth through so called academia. result: 1. Kundankulam agitations. 2. Recent Jallikattu agitations against SC Order. This one has been a disastrous episode as it will lead to more in other States like Karnataka, Maharashtra, etc. Their plan to fragment India is doing well enough through so called divisive academia. That’s y, I recommended the book by Rajiv Malhotra and Arvindan Neelkandan – Breaking India. They have done extensive researches and produced this marvel on the entire historical background of Christian society to eliminate coloured races by conversion or annihilation.