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Primary basis of Hindutva claim of Aryan origin has been thrown out of window as a result of new research

By Sadhan Mukherjee*
It is quite obvious that “genetic evidence” and “Hindutva theories” are mutually exclusive. The Hindutva preachers find it very difficult to accept archaeological and other evidences as these contradict their propaganda line. Hence the best way for them is to reject these offhand since they do not have any evidence to the contrary.
Already there is considerable problem for them in accepting any evidence as to who were the forefathers of people who originally inhabited this subcontinent. The National Institute of Biomedical Genomics (NIBG) in Kalyani, West Bengal, had recently thrown a spanner so to say in the Hindutva propaganda mill.
Through their research, the scientists at NIBG have come up with a the conclusion that three brothers came out of Africa, not two as is usually believed who spread the human race from out of Africa. It is also underlined that only the male members of these humans first moved out of their habitat to other areas.
The research paper of this group of scientists has been published last year in “Nature Genetics” journal. After protracted research, these scientists came to the final conclusion that the genes of Jaroa and Ongis in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands are distinctly different from those who settled down in the Indian mainland from that of the two brothers or one of them or their progenies.
The human development story has many twists. Science holds the view that some 20 lakh years ago Homo Erectus was born in Africa. Evolution of many years made them into what is named as Homo Hydelbergensis. The remains of their skeletons have been found. Research indicated that this group of humans lived some six lakh years ago in today’s Ethiopia.
Some two lakh years later, this group of humans came out of Africa and they divided into two streams: One went to Europe and they evolved into what is termed as Neanderthal humans. The other group moved to the East and they became what is known as Denosivans (the name came from Russia’s Denisova cave where a human finger bone was found).
The Hydelbargensis humans also underwent changes and from among them were born the Homo Sapiens. The ancestors of modern human beings -- Homo sapiens were also born in Africa. They also came out of Africa roughly 50000 years ago and spread out. They met the Neanderthal and Denisovans. The interesting fact is that the ancestors of all three – the Homo sapiens, Neanderthal and Denisovans – are the same. But are their forefathers only these three brothers? Or there is someone else?
This question has been puzzling the scientists for long. The NIBG scientists provided answer to this question. They found out that the genetic structure of men in the Indian mainland differs from that of the men in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. It may not therefore be correct to assume that it is one of the sub-streams of men that settled in the Indian sub-continent moved to the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
The “Out of India” theory ignores the well-attested historical evidence of cultural influences on the Indian sub-continent of the Old Persians, Greeks, Huns, Turks, Mughals and the interaction and acculturation that all such invasions brought with them
Who were the forefathers of these people then in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands? The gene pattern of Jaroa and Ongis people in Andaman and Nicobar islands also differ from that of the tribal population of the Pacific Ocean region.
Strangely, the DNA construction pattern of the Jaroas and Ongis does not even match with the DNAs of the other two human groups, Neanderthal and Denisovans; the first originated in Europe and the second in Siberia, Russia and spread to various parts of Europe and probably central Asia.
Many new discoveries about the origin of man in different regions of the world are being made now as science and research tools improve. For example, the discovery of a fossil finger in 2015 of Homo naledi, followed by the discovery of two teeth fossils has questioned the traditional concept of evolution. The latest findings on genetic study in the Andaman and Nicobar islands have put the Hindutva propagators in a frustrating situation.
The primary basis of the fundamentalist claims, especially of Hindutva and origin of Aryans, seem to have been thrown out of the window as a result of this research. In a post written in www.scroll.in click HERE to read), Shoaib Daniyal quoted from the well-known article of journalist Tony Joseph in “The Hindu” using the findings of a scientific paper that collated most of the latest genetic studies on the subject.
He concludes that the DNA evidence actually supports the Aryan Migration to India theory where human beings speaking various streams of Indo-European language (may be dialect), later described as the Aryans, and came into North-West India. They came only around 4000 years ago. Thus they cannot be the original inhabitants of this subcontinent.
This is a very vital finding. It knocks out the basic plank of Hindutva propagandists. If the so-called Aryans came to the Indian subcontinent as late as 4000 years ago, then the inhabitants in the Indian subcontinent prior to them who lived in Mohenjo Daro, Harappa and other areas must be treated as the original inhabitants of the Indian sub-continent, and not the Aryans whose “bloodline” the Vedic “Hindus” claim to follow.
RSS now also claims that any person who was born here is a Hindu that is of Aryan bloodline. Some of them might have been later forcibly converted into other religions like Islam, Christianity and so on.
Even the Congress party at one time under Gandhi claimed that Indian nationalism means that any one born within the territories of British Indian Empire was an Indian and that Aryans (Hindus) were its original inhabitants. Some even argued that aboriginals (or adivasis) must restrict themselves to the jungles. The RSS expanded that concept. It was backed by Savarkar. RSS’ Guru Golwalkar went to extent of advocating racial purity and demanded that all non-Hindus must be expelled or treated as second class citizens.
Mundari and Dravidian languages are older than Sanskrit. So speakers of these languages lived here prior to Sanskrit-speakers. Second, so far no Pandit in Sanskrit or any other language has been able to decipher the seals of Harappa. Even the languages spoken in the Indus Valley Civilisation have not been deciphered till date. How are the Aryans therefore the original inhabitants of this land? Did they settle in Indus Valley where civilisation started some 8000-9000 years ago?
If "Aryans" came to the Indian subcontinent 4,000 years ago, then its inhabitants prior to that who lived in Mohenjo Daro, Harappa and other areas must be treated as its original inhabitants
If not then, they are not the oldest or the original inhabitants of this subcontinent. The Hindutvawallahs have not been able to tackle the antiquity of Dravidian and Mundari languages. So they concentrated on Northern India and the origin of Aryans here. Even that does not seem to be safe.
Daniel points out that while the genetic evidence are still coming in, linguistic and archaeological evidence that is already there favour the Aryan Migration Theory. To counter this Hindutva protagonists have been developing the “Out of India” theory whereby it is claimed that the Indo-European languages originated in India and then spread to Eurasia. Many academicians have held this to be “a Hindutva fantasy”.
That fantasy apart, it cannot be asserted that the roughly 9000-year old Indian civilisation cannot owe its origin to the Aryans. This amounts to asserting, as Shoaib Daniel underlines, that the Hindu supremacy is really a false argument. He quotes Talagiri (a noted ‘Out of India’ theory votary) who even claimed that the Rig Veda “is the oldest and hoariest religious text of the oldest living religion in the world today: Hinduism.”
Shoaib goes further and asserts that “one culture (Vedic), one language (Sanskrit), one people” is an extension of “Bharata ueber alles”. It reminds one of the foremost Nazi party slogans: “Deutschland, Deutschland, ueber alles” (Germany, Germany above all). Now one may add there will be soon “one leader” (ein fuehrer) in India as in Germany besides one tax which has been set in motion on July 1.
The “Out of India” theory ignores the well-attested historical evidence of cultural influences on the Indian sub-continent of the Old Persians, Greeks, Huns, Turks, Mughals and the interaction and acculturation that all such invasions brought with them. That is why now there is an attempt to erase the intermediate period from after the British rule to the winning of independence in India. As Shoaib concludes: In other words, history is being written with an ulterior motive in mind, that of “nation building, a la Hindutva model where “facts count little, dates mean nothing”!
---
*Veteran journalist



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