Sunday, November 28, 2010


NEW DELHI - The seminar “How deep are the roots of Indian civilization? An archaeological and historical perspective” was inaugurated by Ministry of Culture Secretary Jawahar Sircar on Thursday. It focuses on creating awareness in civil society about recent archaeological and historical researches, and also to promote understanding and relevance of Indian civilization in modern times. The three-day-long seminar is organised by Draupadi Trust in collaboration with knowledge partners Archaeological Survey of India and Indian Archaeological Society. The former ASI Director-General Prof. B. B. Lal spoke about “postulates [that] have been distorting our vision of India’s past”. Among these is the belief that the Vedas are no older than 1200 B.C. and that Vedic people were nomads. Recent excavations at sites in Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana and Gujarat and a fresh study of Vedic texts, he said, have proved that most of these postulates are “ill- founded.”

According to Prof. Lal, these excavations proved that the Rigveda is older than 2,000 BC and people of this civilisation were not nomads. Quashing the “Aryan invasion theory” he said that the Harappan civilisation did not become extinct, and C-14 dating procedures proved that Harappan and Vedic people were indigenous, not invaders or migrants. Other session has focussed on the life and practices of Harappan and Vedic civilisations, including presentations by renowned scholars and archaeologists from India and abroad. - (

Mr. Sircar stressed the importance of a “serious study on the subject of antiquity of Indian civilisation” and urged scholars to base their research on rational, not emotional basis. Other lectures were the scientific findings of the geographic identification and significance of Sapta Sindhu by California State University; the drainage system in north-west India with regard to river Saraswati by Central Arid Zone Research Institute and Indian Space Research Organisation. Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) is not just a subject of academic interest; rather it conditions our perception of India’s sources of its ancient glorious heritage, and fountainhead of its culture and spiritual and secular knowledge: the Vedas.

According to the Western view of Indian history, the Mahabharata was probably just a petty skirmish between tribes, if it ever happened at all, and Rama most likely never even existed. In fact, the only thing definitive the textbooks said about Indian history was that a group of tall, fair-skinned nomads called Aryans invaded India, displacing the native population and creating the current Indian culture. All of Indian history, as Indians understood it, was merely mythology or the musings of some talented storyteller. ... The Indian psyche and social system has suffered greatly because the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), and some measure of justice must be exacted before these wounds can heal. By discrediting AIT, Indians can regain pride in their ancient and glorious history, and use it as a foundation to build a more united, stronger India. ... The British also used the AIT to ‘divide and conquer’ India. “They promoted religious, ethnic, and cultural divisions among their colonies to keep them under control” (Frawley 1996).

“Hindu Wisdom - A Tribute to Hindusim”
by Sushama Londhe -
“Aryan Invasion Theory: Revising History to Change the Future”
Siddhartha Jaiswal - Stanford University

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