Book review: Indus Age- the Writing System by Gregory L.Possehl.

Lars Martin Fosse lmfosse at ONLINE.NO
Sun May 2 16:00:59 UTC 1999

Vishal Agarwal wrote:

> My understanding is that Dr. Rajaram does not deny that the anscestors of
> modern Indians might have come from a region outside the Indian
> Subcontinent--they only suggest that such a conclusion is not at all
> warranted by the Vedic texts and any attempts to relate the words of Vedic
> texts to other findings are  questionable.

The way I read Rajaram, he certainly would deny the so-called "invasion" theory.
My point was not to start this debate all over, but rather to point to the fact
that lack of information in Indian sources does not necessarily mean that the
migration did not take place. Talageri's reading of the Vedas and Puranas is
more problematic than Talageri himself and Rajaram would seem to realize. I am
now trying to work out an epistemological argument related to these matters for
a paper which I am preparing, and I am afraid that you will have to wait for my
paper for a more detailed answer.

> I am not congizant of the oral traditons of Scandinavians but I sure that
> even if they survive and have been recorded. they will not match the Vedic
> lore in extent or in antiquity.

That is perfectly correct. The sources are about a 1000 years old. But
Scandinavian religion is extremely archaic, and the historiography of Snorri
would very likely have contained a myth or account of origins if such an account
had been available to him.

> There are some ancient literatures like
> those of the Zoroastrainians, which allude to a migration from the east, and
> not from west, as suggested by many modern Orientalists.

East and west are always relative entities. I believe that airyanam vaejo has
been assumed to be in Bactria somewhere, but I am not an expert on these
matters, so I'll let them rest.

> In his book "The Aryan Ivasion Theory and Indian Nationaislm", Srikant
> Talegeri has infact scanned the Puranas and the Vedic Lore to demonstrate
> that they, at best, allude to a migration from the Gangetic plains to Punjab
> and westewards thereafter and so on. Supporters of the Aryan Invasion theory
> might dismiss this entire book by questioning (without any basis) the
> historicity of the Pauranic accounts, but that is hardly an argument.

It is an argument if you explain why you dismiss the Pauranic accounts. Since
you obviously distrust the invasionists, let me suggest that you read Dilip K.
Chakrabarti on the Puranas in his book Colonial Indology. Ch. is not an

Best regards,

Lars Martin Fosse

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