Against Aryan Invasions

Samar Abbas abbas at IOPB.RES.IN
Sat Dec 5 18:31:54 UTC 1998

Dear Bapa,
  You have questioned the relevance of my repost of Ved Acharya's article.
Ved Acharya's views are NOW BEING TAUGHT IN INDIAN SCHOOLS. Yes,
- "Homer and Shakespeare copied Sanskrit classics" is now taught in UP
   schools, and forms part of the syllabus
- "Germans and Anglo-Saxons are emigrants from the Indus Valley." is also
   taught to kids.
- "Out-of-Africa is wrong, the Aryans evolved in India" is also taught.
- "Dravidian and Indo-European languages are derived from Sanskrit" are
   also taught.

  These were recently introduced into the syllabi of UP schools, and an
attempt is being made to introduce these teachings into all Indian
textbooks. If this hadn't been the case, I would never have posted the
message. Yes, NEVER. This was the backdrop to my post, and it should be
evident, since you are the only one complaining about its relevancy,
that most list members `got the message' the first time around. Please
note that I am not condemning or supporting this, I just brought these to
the attention of list members.

    I however stand by the following statments:
- " What Ved Acharya has explicitly stated, is implicit in many serious
   indological theories"
- " What Ved Acharya has said, is believed in by the majority of

    Please note that it is just a small step from saying that
`All Indo-European languages are derived from Sanskrit' to
`All IE languages are degraded from Sanskrit'.

  I did not say anything against these notions, I just stated them. If you
do not accept them, please say so, rather than blaming me. Surely
what is being taught in Indian schools is relevant to Indology, because
the next generation of Indians are going to hold to these ideas. I only
brought this to the attention of the list members, it is up to them to
accept this or not.

  Ved Acharya differs only slightly from what serious indologists say, eg.
while Indigenous Indologists claim that Aryans evolved from apes in India
instead of Africa (implicit in their arguments), he holds that Brahma
created the Aryans. He also points out that Out of Africa is against the
Indigenous Aryan model; the Aryans in this case came from Africa and all
other theories (incl. the usual Central Asian origin) are out the window.
This is again relevant since there was some discussion on this list as to
whether linguistics or archaeology was more relevant. The fact is, it may
actually be genetics which finally decides the question.

Some more replies are below:

On Fri, 4 Dec 1998, Bapa Rao wrote:

> The Indology list charter says that the list is for discussions among
> practicing indology scholars, and others are welcome to read, but are
> definitely discouraged from posting.

You are implying that I have violated the charter for the indology list.
First, let me clear myself:

- I have not indulged in any personal attacks on this list. Many others
  have and one need only follow the thread `Vicious Debate' to see what
  kind of attacks are made. One can also read the replies to my posts to
  see how `vicious' people can be. I, for my part, have never referred to
  any body on this list, and have never attacked any person.

- I have only posted articles of relevance to the discussions going on.
  The thread on Urdu was not started by me, as you can check by going to
  the archives. It arose out of a discussion of the number of speakers of
  that language, which necessarily bears on its origin. I also did not
  start the thread on Aryan Invasions. The debate was going on, so I
  posted something I thought relevant. From the replies, the list also
  thought them relevant, maybe unconventional.

- The only theory I supported was the Ghaznavid Urdu model. Even here I
  never used any personal attacks, but only attacked the models.
  I never said anything in support or against Aryan Invasions. I just
  reposted somthing which was posted to usenet. I have seen less relevant
  posts on this list.

> Also, re Samir Abbas's crude revisionst theories about the linguistic
> history of Urdu:

They are not revisionist; they were the views held by Prof. E.C.Sachau,
a highly distinguished scholar, almost 100 years ago. He was of the
opinion that Urdu originated in the Ghaznavid camps.

 It has also gained a kind of quasi-acceptance, if you read the replies
carefully. It goes against what is taught, but is logical. Being
unconventional, people are unwilling to accept it in public.

> I would certainly hope, for the sake of integrity of
> the field of indology, that, if a graduate student of indology came up
> with such a purported historical chart, his advisor would do the student
> the kindness of telling him that "crappy" and "bogus" aren't
> inappropriate terms to describe his thesis and his methodology.

 I invite you to come up with scientific evidence against what I have said
about Urdu. I have given my references, and more importantly, the facts. I
invite you to do the same. As I have said, what I have stated in

> Samir Abbas, if you consider yourself a researcher, be kind enough to
> provide the name of the institution you work for, so that I can take
> appropriate precautions.

 Should I understand such `precautions' would involve some complaints to
my `colleagues' and `instructors' ?

  You state that you think I have violated the Indology charter. So do you
now imply that I should be removed from the list ? If so, please state so

> I read the list mainly to add to my
> knowledge of indology, but there is also an important side-effect of
> fostering meta-impressions of the state and quality of the field in
> general.

This is important, Indology is a vast field conering History, Archaeology,
Anthropology (and thus Genetics, Molecular Biology etc.) and many other
fields (Mathematics, etc.) which at first sight are not related to
Indology, but every worker in the field must know. So postings should
involve crisp to-the-point `facts' rather than long philiosophical
discussions. Thus the indigenous Aryan theory has a bearing on evolution,
genetics, etc. which was not evident from the other more factual and
detailed discussions.

> Talk of knocking down
> strawmen and shooting fish in a barrel. Both amusing activities, no
> doubt, but they are not research.
> With that background, I would like to understand if the recent postings
> of Samar Abbas are thought to represent serious professional
> "Indological" opinions. I find it astonishing that a serious researcher
> (assuming Abbas is one) would take unbaked opinions like those
> purportedly of Ved Acharya
 You can verify that Ved Acharya actually posted the message at the date I
had given to the newsgroups by going to (In case
your statement may be misunderstood that they represent my opinions).

 You raise an objection that Ved Acharya is not an `Indologist'. That is
true, but if he isn't, why are the books of many other religious leaders
constantly quoted ? I don't want to give any names.
People constantly quote from books that are published
by people who have links to religious organizations. So what is wrong if I
post an article posted by a religious person ? If my posting was not
serious, then what about theirs ? The views aired by Ved Acharya are
spread into millions of ears every day and are implicitly held ny many
serious indologists. Moreover, he has raised serious
questions which were not answered on this list before.

> below and pass them off as a "good summary"
> of a position on a controversial research issue.


A good summary because he touches on anthropology, genetics, evolution
etc. Many revisionists have left out large blanks in their works, such as
what they feel about evolution, Out-of-Africa etc. Ved acharya has done
that. He may sound mad, but he leaves no blanks.


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