“It is ironic that science took 200 years to catch up with the imprecise conjecture based on linguistic assumptions and constructs which have themselves been passed off as science.”
– Dr. Shiv Sastry
(following is an excerpt from upcoming book of Dr. Shiv Sastry. All copyrights belong to Dr. Shiv Sastry)
One of the early genetic markers relevant to languages was something that was called “R1a” and was found to occur in Eastern Europe, Eurasia and India. This gene marker is found in the Y-chromosome (that is in men only) and was hailed as the Indo-European “Aryan” marker gene that could possibly be linked with the spread of proto-Indo European languages. The gene marker was found in skeletons and mummies from the steppe regions of Eurasia as well as in faraway places like Germany and India and was assumed to be the gene associated with people, who were given the name “Aryans”, who allegedly conquered their way to India starting from Eurasia.
However, as genetic research became more sophisticated and widespread, the R1a story changed.
In 2010, a group led by Underhill published a paper dealing with R1a. They discovered that the R1a marker has sub-parts that were present in different population. One such R1a related marker called M17 was present in people from India, the Eurasian steppes and Eastern Europe and Russia. This had been found in mummies discovered in Eurasian graves as well. But the M17 marker was found to have its oldest origins in western India – around the Gujarat region and was about 12,000 years old in this area. In other areas, the M17 marker was much less old – down to about 6000 years in some parts of Europe. This basically means that R1a cannot have spread from Europe to India and if at all, the spread is likely to have occurred from India towards Europe. Further evidence comes from the discovery of another gene marker associated with M17, called the M548. The M548 marker is found widely in eastern Europe among people who have M17. But the M548 marker is less old, at about 6000 years and is absent among Indians, ruling out the possibility of Europeans carrying that marker having migrated from the steppes to India any time in the last 6000 years. This finding in itself rules out any invading or “clan by clan” migrations to India from Eurasia 4,500 years ago.
In an earlier paper in 2003, Kivisilid and others had already noted that the M17 marker was oldest in south Asia, and that it was present in high frequencies among Dravidian language speaking Indian tribal groups such as Chenchus, Valmikis from Andhra Pradesh and Kallar tribals of Tamil Nadu. The language spread theory made up on linguistic grounds had postulated that these Dravidian speaking tribals were the “Dravidians” who were driven south by the invading Aryans, who later avoided intermarrying with these groups by creating a caste system where Aryans formed the high castes and the tribals formed the lowest castes. The presence of these so called “Aryan” genes among Dravidian language tribals makes nonsense of the Aryan-Dravidian theory, a basically racist concoction that has been carried too far my modern day linguists and anthropologists.
Genetic studies have also discovered that genes found among Indians are are among the oldest in the world. In a study of mDNA inherited from the mother Kivisilid and colleagues note that that a component called the haplogroup M “was brought to Asia from East Africa, along the southern route, by the earliest migration wave of anatomically modern humans, 60,000 years ago”. The paper goes on to note that “Less than 10% of the maternal lineages of the caste populations had an ancestor outside India in the past 12,000 years” What this means is that Indians share a lot of extremely ancient genes that cut across all caste groups. Meanwhile the study also notes that Indians totally lack a certain gene (that serves as protection against HIV infection) that is commonly found in Europe, central and west Asia, showing that there has been virtually no gene flow (or major migration of people from those regions) since that gene arose. Another finding was remarkable one of male inherited Y chromosome markers that could be linked to the patrilineal “gotra” system of India among both tribals and high caste populations, disproving the idea that gotras were created as part of the caste system by invading Aryan speakers of Indo-European languages from Europe.
A 2009 study by Sharma and others took the genetic studies relating to Indians to a new level. This group of researchers studied the genes of hundreds of high caste Brahmin individual and compared them with the genetic signatures of thousands of lower caste Indians. They also correlated these findings with the genetic picture of hundreds of Greeks, Macedonians and central Asians, whose ancestors have all been credited with bringing a language that became Sanskrit language to India. Earlier studies had predicted that upper caste groups in India would show a genetic resemblance to people from central Asia and Eurasia while lower caste groups would show a greater genetic difference from those groups in support of the language spread theory. This theory was proven wrong in the 2009 study. It was found that the M17 sub group of R1a most probably originated among an Brahmin (upper caste) group in India and was not brought in from outside. But even among the lower caste groups the age of the sub group R1a was much older than the age of the same sub group in central Asians and Eurasians. This finding supports the possible origin of the M17 sub group in the Indian sub continent, and simultaneously rules out the possibility of the gene having been carried into India by migration of anyone – Indo-European speakers or not in the 1500 BC to 1000 BC time frame. In fact the findings suggest a migration of men carrying the M17 marker towards Eurasia. On average the Indian origin genetic markers were the oldest – being two to three thousand years older than the European markers. These findings go against the theory that invaders or migrants from Europe or Eurasia migrated to India and invented the caste system to ensure that they remained at the top of the social pecking order. It is likely that the caste system was invented in India and cannot be associated with the migration of Indo-European language speaking people from the west.
A research study of genes of south Indians in Tamil Nadu in the extreme south of India was done by Arun Kumar and colleagues and published in 2012. The study showed that genes shared between caste Brahmins and among tribal people dated back to a period far earlier than the time frame stated by the hypothetical migration of Brahmins carrying European genes to South India. The study concludes “The study populations from Tamil Nadu were characterized by an overwhelming proportion of Y-chromosomal lineages that likely originated within India, suggesting a low genetic influence from western Eurasian migrations in the last 10 Kya.” 10 Kya means 10,000 years, a fact that places these findings thousands of years before the supposed invasion or migration of Aryans from Eurasia, bringing language and caste with them
Furthermore the research study by the Sharma group referred to earlier study showed that there was no particular difference in gene distribution between upper and lower caste groups in India. In both upper and lower caste groups, genes that were common in central Asians were seen only in low frequencies. This finding once again shows that there was no migration or invasion of people from Europe or central Asia to India, and that the caste system was not established as the invading (or migrating) proto-Sanskrit speakers from Eurasia formed separate high caste groups in India. If there was no large scale invasion or migration, the idea that proto-Sanskrit was brought to India by these groups is false. The latter theory, built up on unreliable linguistic grounds can be discarded by the findings of genetic studies.