The Aryan-Dravidian debate belongs to the dustbin – say a few BJP politicians. To make this claim, they must be pseudo-intellectuals who are willing to accept scientific claims only if it fits their neo-Nazi ideology.
Disclaimer: The scientific studies about the Aryan and Dravidian divide should help anyone get a clear understanding of how humans have evolved in this subcontinent and how they are equal and unique in their own way. And it should also make clear that no particular group of people has the right to dehumanize, dominate and exploit others.
The Aryan-Dravidian debate has been settled by science in the beginning of this century. Before we get into the debate, let’s understand one simple truth:
In essence, no modern human, including Hitler, can claim ethnic purity. Our ancestors, thousands of years before, bred with or in simple language, slept with other species like Homo erectus, Neanderthals, Denisovans and so on.
Studies have shown that you, me and all the other human beings have 2% or more genes from Neanderthals.
So, let’s not believe that “I and my ancestors are pure and you and yours are not”.
All of our ancestors were players and they freely roamed around the planet after originating Out of Africa, in their pursuit of survival. Some believe that the ancestors of Indian aboriginals originated in India and so they moved ‘Out of India’ and inhabited Europe and Central Asia. This theory has no scientific proof.
After getting Out of Africa, some got settled earlier and some loved being nomads and homeless and took their time before settling down in one place. Don’t think that once settled they didn’t move to another place. Climatic conditions have rendered some of their settlements uninhabitable and so they had to make moves again to different places.
For example, the habitants of Harappan Civilization were forced to relocate to different places when a severe drought led to their decline.
The Harappan Civilization (10,000 to 8000 BC)
One of the oldest urban civilizations in the world, the Harappan civilization, happened in the Northwestern part of the country we call India today, around 10,000 to 8000 BC.
The landscape then was inhabited by the First Indians, the aboriginal population, also known as the Dravidians. The ancestors of this Dravidian population reached the present day subcontinent nearly 80,000 years ago from Africa.
How do we know they are the Dravidians? Linguistic, archaeological evidence, and DNA studies are proofs. If you can understand the jargon, please refer to the book Early Indians by Tony Joseph. Do not call him a Soros agent if you do not have any scientific evidence to counter the claims mentioned in the book.
The Dravidians solely were not responsible for the Harappan Civilization. A group of Iranian farmers (no they are not the Aryans) from the Zagros mountain region happened to settle near the Balochistan region. They mingled with the First Indians, their agriculture practices coalesced, their languages synthesized and the Harappan Civilization came into existence. Those who are known as Aryans are not yet there in the picture. The migration of Iranian farmers is the first of the four migrations that happened in the Indian subcontinent.
When the Harappan civilization declined due to a severe drought, people started moving away and settled in different places in the Indian subcontinent and must have even moved to other countries. International borders came very late, no?
Two other migrations are Austro-Asiatic and Tibeto-Burman migrations. These migrations have also heavily influenced the Indian culture of today. Don’t think that they are inferior to the other two migrants because they have not contributed considerably to the India we know today.
Lastly, came the Aryans (1500 to 1000 BC)
When this cultural amalgamation was happening, around 1500 to 1000 BC, Steppe Pastoralists from Central Asia came to the Indian landscape. They were a warrior tribe, and didn’t like settling down. They were skilled and their expertise in horseback riding and their domestication of horses were pivotal in changing the dynamics of warfare and trade.
They again mingled with the local population and India again became a melting pot of different cultures.
Now, we can divide India into two different landscapes. To the West and the East of the Ganges Plain.
To the West, the Aryans, formed a new blend of culture with other migrants and aboriginals. To the East of the Ganges Plain, the first Kingdom of India was formed. The Maurya Empire, under the leadership of Chandragupta Maurya, expanded its rule across much of the Indian subcontinent in the 4th century BCE, and its capital, Pataliputra (modern-day Patna), was situated on the eastern side of the Ganges River.
While the Eastern part of the Ganges was adopting Buddhism, a new Vedic religion was gaining prominence in the West. What are today called Holy Scriptures were written during this period and some well-known popular figures became the protagonists and people who moved away and got settled in remote regions become antagonists in these epics.
While the rulers of the East have been patrons of Buddhism, the first dynasty that adopted the Vedic religion was the Sungas. And with that Buddhism started seeing its decline.
In the West, around 100 AD, the practice of Caste system came into existence. The top layer of the caste system became advisors to Kings and they kept the other segments as inferiors.
How did this come into practice?
It might not have happened suddenly, but eventually over a period of time for purely political reasons. The caste system has to be seen as a socio-economic change rather than a religious decree. But the people at the top of the hierarchy are the ones who contrived such a scheme.
In the South
The Dravidians are considered among the earliest inhabitants of India, with many of them settling in the southern region of present-day India. But remember the fundamental truth – ethnic purity cannot be claimed by anyone. Their culture, like many others, evolved through a fusion of various influences brought by multiple waves of migrants.
But the caste system was alien to them. When those who followed the Vedic culture in the north moved to the South they carried the hierarchical societal structure with them to exploit the masses here.
Looking at the caste differences, the Justice Party of India was formed in the South.
The Justice Party of South India, also known as the South Indian Liberal Federation, was a prominent political party in the Madras Presidency of British India, which is now part of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu. The party was founded in 1916 with the primary objective of addressing the social, economic, and political issues faced by the non-Brahmin communities in the region.
he Justice Party was established in 1916 by prominent leaders and activists, including Dr. T. M. Nair, B. Munuswamy Naidu, and Sir Pitti Theagaroya Chetty. The party was formed in response to the dominance of Brahmins in various aspects of society, including politics and administration.
If you’re pondering who the first Indian might be, according to Tony Joseph, they would likely be living in a remote forest or mountain as a member of an indigenous tribe in South India. Ironically, those who proudly identify as Indians today may not even view such a tribal first Indian as their equal in society.
The Aryan Invasion or migration debate is highly controversial. Some who disagree with the invasion theory argue for the Out of India theory, which suggests that the people of India originated right here on this land, rather than coming from Africa. This is a sign of belief that their race is pure, just like how Nazis believed that their race is pure, how Zionists believe that they have birth rights over a piece of real estate, how Islamic extremists believe that they have the right to take other lives to politically protest against the West.
In this context, the debate underscores the significance of social justice as the foundation of a civilized society, emphasizing the importance of fairness and equity in promoting harmonious coexistence.
And not to dehumanize and marginalize the minorities of this country.