Indo-Aryan migration vs Indigenous origin - scholarly debate

Charles cponcet at IPROLINK.CH
Tue Mar 17 04:14:28 UTC 1998

In his very interesting and thorough message of March 15th, S KRISHNA
made a number of comments on Frawley's book. Since Krishna's comments
were extensive, I am taking the liberty not to reproduce them hereunder
and I would like to react to his message as follows :
        I totally agree with Krishna's point that Frawley's book at times is a
bit like a tourist guide but this could come from the fact that their
primary audience was not Indians or NRI but Westerners, most of whom, if
they have any interest in India, will have been exposed to the Aryan
invasion "history" which Frawley and Feuerstein set out to debunk.
        Also, some of their other claims - plainly wrong I agree - about
western maths or science being supposedly in infancy until Indian wisdom
came along should perhaps be excused as merely a consequence of the
authors' general irritation with and antipathy towards Western values
and attitudes.
        In other words, the somewhat "new age" or "let's all go to Kathmandu"
style of the book should not disguise the value and the strenghth of
their main point : the West may have been wrong - and stubbornly so - on
a crucial part of the history of the sub continent, for more than a
        The REAL questions are therefore :
                a) Are Frawley and Co right about this ?
                b) If they are, this should be spread all over the planet and people -
scholars particularly - should junk the "Aryan invasion" fairy tale for
        Since I cannot claim to be a scholar - or even an expert - in the field
of Indology, I would be very interested to know how the specialists
react to this new theory. I might add that as a matter of pure logic and
compared to other historical facts, I have never been happy with the
idea of these "Aryans" supposedly turning up suddenly, destroying a
civilization without leaving any records and then pushing the Dravidians
through to South India.
        To make my point about Western attitudes, let me quote Jean Herbert, a
very gifted translator and Indologist who died in the early eighties. He
was living in Geneva and once told me that in the thirties, when he was
translating Vivekananda into French, a professor of Indology and
Sanskrit at the Sorbonne once told him  "mr. Herbert, why do you have
any interest in this local commentator ?".
        Wouldn't a scholarly tradition which produced this kind of nonsense be
perfectly capable of inventing an Aryan invasion which never took place
        Your comments will be most welcome.

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