What is the Aryan Invasion/Migration myth?
It is about language, not migration. The story is that a technologically superior race called Aryans created a super-language that spread all over Europe and Asia. It is imagined that Aryans originated in an area somewhere between Europe and Asia and fanned out like spokes of a wheel riding on chariots pulled by horses, conquering and imposing their language on Europe and India. Those languages became “Indo-European languages” spoken between Ireland and India.
Why does it matter?
Unfortunately, it matters most only to Indians because it erases and discards ancient Indian history. It does nothing to European history and European philologists (historical linguists) and historians have no problem with it. For them, it is a minor quibble that is being raised by a bunch of right-wing Hindus
How does AIT affect Indians?
It discards and denies Indian history on many counts. AIT claims that an Indian origin source, the Rig Veda mentions a people called “Aryans” who used to wage wars on chariots driven by horses. This is false. The adjective “Arya” meaning noble in the Veda has been modified to the noun “Aryan” – to indicate a race of people. The racial connotation has been denied but never erased. It is claimed this race could only have come from Eurasia where horses and chariots have been found in antiquity as compared to the sparse findings of the same in India.
Who created the Aryan Invasion Theory?
AIT/AMT was almost wholly created by European historical linguists (Philologists) who went ahead and wrote an entire history of how a mother language to modern “Indo-European languages” was created somewhere in Eurasia and spread around the old world. Even today archaeology and Indian or Zoroastrian textual evidence are rejected in favor of linguistic constructs.
When is this Aryan Invasion said to have taken place?
This is a critical point, but I will restrict the date to what is stated for India because it is this date which denies all Indian history prior to that date. The Aryan invasion is said to have taken place between 1500 and 1000 BCE. It cannot be older or more recent because other theories built up by linguists will fail if the date changes. Hence that date is defended like crown jewels.
Why is the 1500-1000 BCE date important for the theory?
For European linguists – it cannot be older than 1500 BCE. In fact, if the date goes older than 1800 BCE then it will tear down the “evidence” claimed for the so-called ‘Hittite language” and the “Mitanni texts”. It will make Sanskrit (called Indo-Aryan by linguists) older than both those entities and kill the language spread theory. For Indo-European linguists, the language spread theory is more important than Indian history. But for Indians, our history is either discarded as fake or compressed into a short 500 years by the theory. If the date is made more recent than 1000 BCE – then the language spread theory by linguists cannot survive. So the 1500 to 1000 BCE dates are critical to them and totally fake for Indians.
Can the Aryan Invasion/Migration theory be shown to be false?
Yes. But this is not a trivial exercise. In 200 years a lot of fake constructs have been made and tens of thousands of pages written in support of a theory essentially cooked up by linguists. I have written a lot on these issues but I will briefly mention the points that are either faked or denied
Did the language that became Sanskrit come to India from somewhere else within the stated period on 1500-1000 BCE?
There is absolutely zero proof for any such language at the point of origin. There is no text, tablet, pottery shard or narrative. The idea that the language started off from some area in Eurasia is completely imaginary. Note that some people nowadays claim that there was a language called Proto Indo-European (PIE) spoken. But PIE is only a hypothetical language. Even linguistics reference texts do not claim that it was a spoken language. Without any proof of the language at the point of origin, it has been claimed that people brought IE language to India.
How can linguists be so stupid as to make a patently false claim? Who is fooling whom?
No. Linguists are not stupid. They claim that there is indirect proof of language. Rig Veda mentions “Horse, wheel and chariot” while there have been archaeological findings of horses, wheel and chariots in the Eurasian steppe. The language was found in India, but the archaeological link to items mentioned in all IE languages have been found in Eurasia. This is claimed as proof that the same language (or its precursor) was present in Eurasia. Incredibly, a mention of horses and chariots in the Rig Veda is equated with graves 4000 km away. This is simply an assumption with zero proof. It is one of the weakest links in the linguistic theories, the proverbial “elephant in the room” that basically weakens the current AIT based language spread theory.
But isn’t it true that India did not have horses, chariots, and wheels even by the time of the Indus valley civilization?
This is totally false. It is an area where Indians will need to re-educate themselves. Horse bones of the true horse, Equus caballus have been found in Bagor in Rajasthan dating back to 3500 BCE. Horse bones dating well before 1500 BCE have been found in the Indian valley civilization. True horse bones dating to 2000 BCE have been found in UP. Toy wheels on carts and chariots have been found in the Harappan area from 3500 BCE. A complete war chariot from 2000 BCE has been found in Sanauli near Delhi. The world’s earliest pained images of chariots have been found in central Indian cave art dated back to the late microlithic and early Chalcolithic period (2500-1500 BCE). The 1500 BCE Daimabad bronze chariot was found in Maharashtra 2000 km south of the Khyber pass at a time when India was supposed to have no chariots or wheels.
Is there any other positive evidence that the AIT dates are wrong?
Yes. Two more. One is the Saraswati river evidence and the other is in archaeoastronomy
What is the Saraswati river evidence?
An entire book can be written about this. The Vedas and post Veda texts refer to a mighty river situated to the east of the Indus in north-west India. Earlier texts speak of a huge river. Later texts speak of a river that dried up in the desert. The river is said to be the western border of a land called Aryavarta with the Himalayas in the north, Vindhyas in the south and Haridwar in the east. These are clearly Indian landmarks but there is almost no river today (only minor monsoon-fed streams exist). However modern satellite imagery, riverbed-core drilling, and paleo-climatological studies have proven that there was just such a mighty river exactly in that area from 10,000 BCE but which started drying up by 6000 BCE and was pretty much dry by 2000 BCE. It so happens that the IVC/Harappan remains lie along the site of this mighty river, but the Vedic period was probably much earlier.
How can I claim that the Vedic period was much earlier?
The proof lies in Archaeo-astronomical references in ancient Indian texts. Herman Jacobi (1850-1937) was both a Sanskrit scholar and an astronomer, a unique combination of skills that allowed him to notice, in the Rig Veda, what linguists with no understanding of astronomy, or astronomers with little knowledge of the Vedas could never notice. Jacobi’s serendipitous discovery was a passage in the Rig Veda V.18-19 that described a full moon on the day of the winter solstice in the month of Phalguna. Jacobi correctly dated the event back to a time in the third millennium BCE or earlier. It turns out that another Indian scholar had actually discovered similar references in ancient texts even before Jacobi. In 1893, Bal Gangadhar Tilak had noted a reference in the Rig Veda of the occurrence of the vernal equinox in the constellation Orion, dating the event back to 4,000 BCE. More recently, people like Nilesh Nilakanth Oak have taken this work to new heights by examining every single archaeoastronomical reference in old texts to test for validity against modern astronomical knowledge. Oak is now showing dates that are astonishingly remote, and while the dates may be a topic of some disagreement, they are all older than the rigid 1500-1000 BCE dates demanded by linguists to support their theory via a fake Aryan myth story.
What about genetics? Hasn’t genetics proven that there were migrations? In fact migrations from steppe around 1500 BCE?
The Aryan Invasion theory is about language movement, not just people movement. It is not enough to show people movement, one must prove language movement.
There are two important preconditions to make a claim that people from place A took their language to place B and introduced that language for the first time in place B. First there must be incontrovertible evidence that the migrants from place A actually used to speak the language that they took to place B in the prehistoric era that they migrated. Second, there must be evidence that the language they carried with them did not already exist in the “place B” to which they migrated. Anything less is conjecture. Not science.
There is zero evidence of language in steppe or any other area to make the claim that it was brought to India. The horse and chariot ideas have been discredited and disproved. Any migration carrying IE language to India for the first time has to be shown to have occurred before 2500 BCE because, as mentioned above. there is powerful evidence of IE language having been in India by 2500 BCE and most likely for millennia prior to that. The 1500 BCE date fails on multiple counts and along with it the Aryan migration myth.
Didn’t IE languages spread with Agriculture?
Well, if they did then IE languages were in India by 8000 BCE because there is firm evidence of Agriculture in Mehrgarh (Pakistan) by 9000 BCE and in UP in India by 8000 BCE.