PART ONE IS :
PART TWO OF TWO PARTS
The Aryans were Indigenous:
Neither Invaders nor Immigrants
Former Director General,
Archaeological Survey of India
My attention has been drawn to an article published by Tony Joseph
in The Hindu,dated June 17, 2017, which, in essence, tries to say
that The Vedic Aryans came toIndia from outside.
I would like to apprise the readers of the reality of the situation.
I have published many books on the subject, each one dealing with a specific
aspect of the issue. The latest book,The Rigvedic People
: Invaders?, Immigrants? Or Indigenous?,published in 2
clearly explains, using evidence
of archaeology, hydrology, C-14 dating andliterature, why the
Aryans were neither I
indigenous. I present here my arguments, as briefly as possible .
At the root of the trouble lies the dating of the Vedas to 1200 BCE
by theGerman Scholar Max Muller. He did it on a very ad hoc basis
and when his contemporaries
methodology, he surrendered by saying,
“Whether the Vedas were composed in 1000 or 2000 or 3000 BC
no one on earth can ever determine.” The pity is that inspite of such
a candid confession by Max Muller himself many of his followers
even today stick to this date, or at the most give concession to
In 1920s the Harappan Civilization was discovered and
dated to the3rd millennium BCE on the basis of the occurrence of
many Indus objects in the already dated archaeological contexts in
Mesopotamia. This led to the immediate conclusion that since,
according to Max Muller, the Vedas were not earlier than1200 BCE,
the Harappan Civilization could not have been the creation of the
In 1946 Mortimer Wheeler (later knighted) excavated
Harappa and discovered a fort over there. On learning that in the
Vedic texts Indra has been described as puramdara i.e.
‘destroyer of forts’, he jumped to the conclusion that the
Vedic Aryans, represented by Indra, invaded India and destroyed
the Harappan Civilization. But, it must be stressed that there no
evidence of any kind of destruction at Harappa.
In support of his Invasion thesis, however, Wheeler referred to some skeletons at
Mohenjo-daro which he said represent the people massacred by the
Invading Aryans. But the fact is that these skeletons had been found
in different stratigraphic contexts
debris which accum
ascribed to a single event, much less
to an Aryan Invasion.
The ghost of ‘Invasion’ re-appeared in a newavatara, namely that
of ‘Immigration’.Said Romila Thapar in 1991: “If invasion is
discarded then the mechanism of migration and occasional contacts come into
sharper focus. These migrations appear to have been of pastoral
cattle breeders who are prominent in theAvesta andRigveda.
Faithfully following her, R. S. Sharma elaborated: “The pastoralists who moved to the Indian
border land came from Bactria-MargArchaeological
Complex or BMAC which saw the genesis of the culture of the
These assertions of Thapar and Sharma are baseless. In the first place,
the BMAC is not a product of nomads. It has fortified settlements and
silver axes, highly ornamented human and
animal figurines and excellently carved seals. But what is more important
is that no element of the BMAC has ever been found east of the Indus
which was the area occupied by the Vedic people. So there is no case
whatsoever for the BMAC people having migrated into India.
Now, if there was Vedic people
indigenous? To answer this question we must first find out the correct
Rigveda. It refers to the river Sarasvati
nearly seventy times. The river dried up before the composition ofthe
Panchavimsas this text avers.Today this dry river is
identifiable with the Ghaggar in Haryana and Rajasthan.
On its bank stands Kalibangan, a siteof the Harappan Civilization.
An Indo-Italian team, under the leadership of Robert Raikes, bore holes in the
dry bed to find out its history. Raikes wrote an article in Antiquity (UK),
captioning it: ‘Kalibangan: Death from Natural Causes. C-14 dates show
that the flourishing settlement was suddenly abandoned because of the
drying up of the Sarasvati around 2000 BCE
discovery? Since the Sarasvati was a mighty flowing river during the
Rigvedic times, the Rigveda has got to be earlier than that date. Thus, at least
a3rd millennium-BCE horizon is indicated for the Rigveda.
We now pass on to another very important statement in theRigveda Verses 5
and 6 of Sukta 75 of Mandala 10 enumerate all the rivers serially from the
Ganga and Yamuna on the east to the Indus and its western tributaries on
the west. Inother words, this was the area occupied by the Rigvedic people in
the 3 rd millennium BCE (the minimal date arrived at for theRigveda,
referred to in the previous paragr Now, if a sim
culture flourished in this very area
in the millennium BCE’, the inescapable answer shall have to be,
‘The Harappan Civilization’words,the Rigved and Harappan
Civilization are but two faces of the same coin.
The Harappan Civilization, which attained its maturity in the
3 rd millennium BCE, had its formative stages at Kunal and Bhirrana
in the Sarasvati valley itself, taking the beginning
back to the 5th-6th millennium BCE
were the ‘sons of the soil’. And since, as alr eady established,
the HarappanCivilization and the Rigved are but two faces of
the same coin,the Vedic Aryansipso facto were indigenous. They were
neither invaders nor immigrant
The application of DNA research to the Aryan debate is nothing new.
The re nowned scientist Sanghamitra Sahoo and colleagues had
declared: “The sharingof some Y-chromosomal haplogroups
between Indian and Central Asian populations is
between the two r ,
with the diffusion of some Indian-specific lineages northward.”
both literature a Baudhayana Sra,
a later Vedic text,mentions that Amavasu, a son of Pururavas and
Urvashi, migrated westwards and his progeny are the Gandharas,
Persians and Arattas. Moving through these regions, a section of the
Vedic people reached Turkey where a 1380-BCE inscription from
Boghaz Koi refers to a treaty between the Hittite and Mitanni kings
mentioning as witnesses the Vedic gods Indra, Varuna,
Mitraand Nasatya.Further, there a treatise on horse-training
by one Kikkuli, which uses Sanskrit terms likeekavartana,
dvivaratanaandtrivartana,meaning thereby that the horses
under training should be made to make one, two or three rounds
of the prescribed cou
of the Vedic Aryans themselves?
Let us, therefore, analyze the facts coolly and not remain
glued to the19thcentury paradigms!