From: Mark DeFillo
Message: 8865
Date: 2001-08-30

I have read on the subject of IndoEuropean origins and the Aryan Invasion
(of India) Theory for a number of years, looking carefully at scholars from
all points of view, from those who say that savage Aryans invaded India,
destroying a great Dravidian culture, to those who say that India is the PIE

As far as I have been able to see from all of this, it appears that the
origin of the AIT was the speculations of the early Indologists, who were
Christian, many of them actual missionaries with admittedly subversive aims
(to try to disprove Hindu history and religion in order to convert the
Indians)... the famous Boden chair of Sanskrit was founded specifically with
this same aim. At the same time, these scholars also had the preconceived
notion that European culture depended on the Romans and Greeks, and that
anything before the Roman conquest was nothing more than crude savagery.
Knowing that the Indo-European history of Europe was apparently a string of
invasions, it must have seemed quite reasonable to assume the same for
India, coupled with the fact that India has been suffering a string of
invasions for a number of millennia. All this shows the background of their

As far as fact goes, I have seen no substantial (hard) evidence for the
Aryan Invasion of the famous theory. For what it is worth, the traditional
literature of India has no mention of such an invasion. Neither any part of
the Dravidian literature, nor any part of the Sanskritic literature (Hindu,
Buddhist or Jaina) that I have heard of suggest anything of the sort. I also
find it relevant that both literatures (as distinguished by language family)
apply the name "Aryan" to both Sanskritic and Dravidic speaking peoples.
While there are variations between the cultures of North and South India,
there are also copious parallels.

On the other hand, the extreme opposite, the "Out of India" theory held by
some Hindu nationalists also appears inaccurate, and contrary to traditional
literary evidence. This literary evidence comes out of the academic world of
the millennias-old civilization of India.

While there are Hindu nationalist scholars who insist that India must be the
homeland of IndoEuropeans, and that Sanskrit is the "real PIE", there are
others that have a more balanced and objective viewpoint. In Europe and its
colonies there are "white supremacists" who sometimes deny that the people
of India are "real Aryans"; similarly, these more extreme Hindus deny that
Europeans are "real Aryans."

As for the more balanced viewpoint, while it has a respectful attitude
towards India's earlier generations in its unbroken line of academics, it
also uses archeology and other disciplines that can provide other forms of

What do they find? While there are archeological sites along the Indus
river, there are far more that belong to the same culture along the banks of
the dried up Sarasvati and its former tributaries. Every indication is that
this culture gradually shifted to the Ganges river, as ecological changes
dried up Sarasvati and created a desert in her place. But no sign of massive
war or invasion. These scholars see clear continuity between the Saraswati
river culture and the Ganges river culture.

Did Aryans ever invade India? Of course... the lands north of India were
always full of Indo-Aryan speakers. And the literature of India clearly
states that the area north of the Himalayas also had many "Aryan" kingdoms.
Similarly, therefore, some Hindu nationalist scholars conclude that the
Urheimat was a area centered on the mountains north of India, and including
all the surrounding regions, including northern India. Aside from that, it
is worth remembering that ancient India was bigger than the modern state
called India, and extended further in most directions, including into Asia.

They do, in fact, recognize a possible migration into India of Aryan
culture, but far earlier, in the aftermath of the last great Ice Age.
Invasions and warfare probably occurred in both directions, but they see no
reason to think of any "Aryan Invasion" as a key turning point in the way
portrayed by the non-Indian mainstream theory.

In short, I see the ideas of the more-objective of the Indian scholars as
the most balanced in regard to taking into account the full spectrum of
relevant evidence.

Mark DeFillo

Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at