Intro: There has always been confusion about the Aryan Invasion theory and the word Arya. One main reason that the theory has been called into question is that there is no primary evidence to support it.
Let’s face it upfront, if after 20 years someone changes your identity, more so distorts it; and people around you begin to behave differently just because you have a blurred identity, it could be devastating and enraging at the same time.
If the impotent fury seething inside finds no resolution and you can do nothing to reclaim your original identity, with time one will come to terms with the changed reality. The agony of a buried identity however, will continue to resurface and pinprick your conscience time and again.
Going beyond an individual’s identity crisis, on a larger canvas, if a marginal group distorts historical contexts and alters the identity of an entire civilization to such an extent that the whole generation grows up with an inherited inferiority complex, it can shake the foundations of a proud society.
Marxist historians happen to be one such fringe group in India. This group has authored history and school text books, which generations have grown up with.
|The first point to note is that the idea of the Aryans as foreigners who invaded India and destroyed the existing Harappan Civilization is a modern European invention; it receives no support whatsoever from Indian records – literary or archaeological. The idea of the Aryan race was a significant aspect of the German nationalistic movement.
Source: Aryan Invasion—History or Politics?
By Dr NS Rajaram
The theory of Aryan invasions, propagated by Marxist historians, has divided India in North-South division. With passage of time North India got branded as “Aryan” and south India as “Dravidian”.
Where North Indians have been painted as invaders, South Indians have come to be considered as the original inhabitants of this land.
What really is the Aryan Invasion Theory?
According to theory postulated by Marxist historians, northern India was invaded by “ARYANS” a white race who descended from Central Asia around 1500 BC. These white-blond Aryans displaced most of the original inhabitants, which included annihilation of an earlier civilization that flourished in Indus Valley. The invading Aryans imposed their culture and language on the subjugated populations.
Important to know here is, who were these Indus Valley people? It is said these people belonged to Dravidian race and on losing out to the invaders were subjugated to a lower caste status in society.
Central to the Aryan invasion theory is that- Arya is a racial group- their invasion, their white skin reflect they were from outside India etc.
Guidance suggests, it was Friedrich Max Muller (1823-1900), an ardent German nationalist and scholar of Sanskrit, who introduced the word ‘Arya’ in the year 1853 into English and European usage to propagate the Aryan racial theory.
In 1888 he wrote
“I have declared again and again that if I say Aryas, I mean neither blood nor bones, nor hair, nor skull; I mean simply those who speak an Aryan language… to me an ethnologist who speaks of Aryan race, Aryan blood, Aryan eyes and hair, is as great a sinner as a linguist who speaks of a dolichocephalic dictionary or a brachycephalic grammar,” (Max Muller, Biographies of Words and the Home of the Aryas, 1888, pg 120.)
Similarly, in Vedic literature, the word ‘Arya’ is not defined in connection with racial group, rather the word Arya means noble, it expresses an ethical and social ideal, an ideal of well-governed life, courtesy, nobility, straight dealing, courage, gentleness, purity, humanity, compassion, protection of the weak, liberality, observance of social duty, eagerness for knowledge, respect for the wise and learned, and quest for social accomplishments.
It seems Marxist historians distortions knew no bounds because one such historian Romila Thapar in her book “Early India” went onto claim that upper caste Hindus in 1920s accepted the Aryan invasion theory, primarily to identify themselves with the British.
But prominent Indian leaders like Swami Vivekananda, Babasaheb Ambedkar, and Sri Aurobindo remained strong opponents of the Aryan invasion theory.
Swami Vivekananda in a lecture to an international audience gathered at USA had remarked: “And what your European Pandits say about the Aryans swooping down from some foreign lands snatching away the land of aborigines and settling in India by exterminating them, is pure nonsense, foolish talk. Equally strange is that our Indian scholars too say ‘Amen’ to them.”
Likewise, Sri Aurbindo said “So great is the force of attractive generalisations and widely popularized errors that the entire world goes on perpetuating the blunder talking of the Indo-European races, claiming or disclaiming Aryan kinship and building on that basis of falsehood the most far-reaching political, social or pseudo-scientific conclusions.” How prophetic, if we consider that this was written some twenty years before the growth of Nazism with its claims to “Aryan kinship,” (Source: On the Mahabharat-By Sri Aurobindo-Aurobindo Ashram Pondicherry. 1991 pg 10.)
Bhimrao Ramji Ambedkar in his book, Who were the Shudras’ devoted a complete chapter on the subject – Shudras versus Aryan.
Babasaheb, as Ambedkar was popularly known as, wrote: “The theory of invasion is an invention. This invention is necessary because of a gratuitous assumption that the Indo-Germanic people are the purest of the modern representation of the original Aryan race. The theory is perversion of scientific investigation. It is not allowed to evolve out of facts. On the contrary, the theory is preconceived and facts are selected to prove it. It falls to the ground at every point.”
Though many Indian leaders and historians have consistently rejected the Aryan invasion theory, but their views have been largely ignored.
Marxist historians based out of prestigious institutions like Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi (JNU) keep spreading falsehood, perpetuating a distorted history through school text books authored by some of them. Their view of Indian history holds the nation to be in a flux as a multi-nation state that would have us believe “India is not one nation but a collection of several separate nationalities”.
This highly politicised Aryan invasion doctrine has blurred the vision of successive generations to such extent that much of current generation has been alienated from its rich cultural heritage.We continue to teach our students, even today, what our colonial masters wanted us to learn as an enslaved nation.
Hitesh Rangra (The writer is a social media activist and political commentator)