Indo-Aryan im/e-migration (scholarly debate)
Jan E.M. Houben
JHOUBEN at RULLET.LEIDENUNIV.NL
Tue Mar 17 13:19:35 UTC 1998
What would be a good way to discuss the Indo-Aryan im/e-migration problem on
the Indology list? Trying to reach agreement between all scholars on a single
theory is probably not realistic. But we could try to reach agreement on the
types of arguments to be used, probably only: pratyakSa and anumAna. Linguistic
pratyakSa evidence counts, but may be a bit tricky, depending on 'trained
perception' and thus open to be influenced by biased presuppositions.
I have been keeping track of proposals for publications which would be
important in an Indo-Aryan im/emigration debate next May for which all those
wishing to participate could prepare themselves (see below). The list is soon
becoming too long, and one of the purposes of the debate next May (for which Dr
Klostermayer should indeed be invited) could be to churn the ocean of all
possible relevant publications, and to come with briefly stated main arguments
for different theories, and with a shortlist of publications really crucial to
the debate. For instance, Hock's article on retroflexes (see earlier postings)
pre-fixes a period of Aryan-Dravidian harmony to the Vedic period, but it does
not say anything directly on Aryans coming into or going out of India. It is
only relevant to the Indo-Aryan im/e-migration debate to the extent that it
places great question marks behind ONE of the traditional arguments for
emigration. On the other hand, Erdosy's "Language, material culture and
ethnicity" (see earlier postings) seems more centrally important for the
In the mean time, in the archive of this very Indology List I found a posting
of Raoul Martens, dated 16 Jan 1998, with several references on "the Indus
script", "Aryan Invasion Theory" and "horse in Indus valley". This could form
the basis of a list of literature for "the other side of the argument".
The posting mentions also addresses of various websites, but several of these
seem to have become outdated. I was only successful at the site
This contains postings with reviews of recently appeared books, and it seems
that books "debunking Aryan Invasion" are extremely popular (does this reflect
the popularity of the subject with Indian readers or the policy of the
maintainers of the site?).
Under the sub-address
a review of four "new age" antiAryanInvasion books may be found: In search of
the Cradle of Civilization, by Feuerstein, Kak and Frawley; Myth of Aryan
Invasion by Frawley; Politics of History: Aryan Invasion and Subversion of
Scholarship, Navaratna Rajaram; Return of the Aryans by Bhagwan S. Gidwani.
Proposals for publications which would be important in the Indo-Aryan
I noted: Tue, 10 Mar 1998 21:29:38 +0100, Lars Martin Fosse:
I would like to suggest another paper appearing in the same volume as
Erodsy's (The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia: Language, Material Culture
and Ethnicity). The paper is written by Michael Witzel and is called
"Rgvedic history: poets, chieftains and polities"). Then not only the
linguistic and the archaeological dimension would be covered, but also the
Thu, 12 Mar 1998 23:36:49 EST
From: Palaniappa <Palaniappa at AOL.COM>
The views of late Candrasekaraendra Sarasvati (ZankarAcArya) of Kanchi should
also be considered here. According to him, the racial connotation of the terms
Arya and Dravida was due to the Divide and Rule policy of the Whites.
(teyvattin2 kural, vol.2, 35). In a discussion of the 'research of the Whites:
good and bad' ("veLLaiyar ArAycci:nallatum keTTatum" teyvattn2 kural, vol. 2,
p. 234-244), he discusses the work of Indologists and Orientalists (Max
Mueller, William Jones, Arthur Avalon) and their approach to Vedic studies and
By the way, is there any reason why the IA experts do not seem to consider
Kuiper's book (in which he discusses Deshpande's thesis) as worthwhile to
include in their discussion, Indo-Aryan Invasion "focussed discussion"?
Fri, 13 Mar 1998 12:08:14 -0800
From: Luis Gonzalez-Reimann <reimann at UCLINK.BERKELEY.EDU>
A recent article that mentions this is G. V. Vajracharya's "The Adaptation
of Monsoonal Culture by Rgvedic Aryans: A Further Study of the Frog Hymn,"
in the Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies 3,2 (1997).
About a month ago a text was mentioned by
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