Fw: Re: AIT, NEW genetic evidence

Koenraad Elst koenraad.elst at PANDORA.BE
Mon Jan 10 14:24:06 UTC 2000

Dr. Wujastyk, list members,

The term AIT has passed a number of times in the headers of recent Indology
messages, so I guess I shouldn't feel inhibited from volunteering my two
cents' worth on the most consequential topic in current indology.  On Sun, 9
Jan 2000, Dr. Nupam Mahajan quoted genetic research:

> > "Assuming that they are largely of western-Eurasian origin, we may ask
> > when their spread started. We obtained divergence time of 9300 +/- 3000
> > years."

There is no doubt that some so-called Caucasians moved south in the distant
past, esp. during the Ice Age when northern regions were inhospitable.  But
for equating them with Proto-Indo-Europeans, 9300 BP is a bit early, isn't
it?  And equating them with the Vedic Indo-Aryans is simply out of the

> > Their low frequency but still general spread
> > all over India plus the estimated time scale, does not support a recent
> > massive Indo-Aryan invasion, at least as far as maternally inherited
> > lineage are concerned.

Effectively.  What the quotations amount to, is that there is simply an
absence of genetic evidence for a post-Harappan Aryan invasion.  That
doesn't prove that such invasion never happened, but merely fails to prove
that it did happen.  Only, this isn't the first field where the evidence of
the epoch-making Aryan invasion fails to show up.  We are already faced with
the complete absence of literary evidence, and numerous archaeologists
(including invasionist Shereen Ratnagar) have asserted the complete absence
of archaeological evidence for such an Aryan invasion.  As for the
astronomical evidence, some explain it away as admitting of divergent
chronological interpretations (see EJVS's latest), others explain it as
decisive evidence against the invasion scenario, but no one has made a
credible case showing the astronomical evidence to *indicate* an invasion
scenario.  After wiping their archaeological and literary trail in one of
the greatest cover-ups in history, the Aryan invaders now turn out to have
obliterated their genetics traces as well.  It amazes me (well, having some
experience with this debate, I'm not *really* amazed) that in discussing
these genetic findings, list members continue to modulate the details of the
supposed Aryan invasion rather than considering the more obvious
explanation, viz. that there was no Aryan invasion.

True, there is a loophole: our knowledge of the subject is still in its
infancy, and there remain many unknowns. In particular, these findings are
based on the genetic material passed on in the female line, so nothing is
said about any data pertaining to the male line.  Quite expectedly, this
gets interpreted as if the geneticists had declared that there is no
evidence in the female line, but in the male line, there is.  Thus, Samar
Abbas writes:

> Naturally, the `Aryan' offspring of such unions would inherit the mt DNA
> which has been analysed, displaying Semitic [= West-Asian?] or Mulatto
ancestry. All
> maternal trace of such an `Aryan invasion' would of course have been wiped
> out. A fact confirmed by the two excellent papers cited by Dr N. Mahajan.

To the extent that we have seen them, the papers cited do not confirm the
existence of "such an 'Aryan invasion'".  They also leave open the
possibility that no genetic invasion in the male line will be found,  at
least not more than in the female line, making this 9300 BP migration a real
immigration of a whole community rather than an all-male raid.  At any rate,
all we have is a slim genetic inflow during the Glacial and immediately
post-Glacial south- and southeastward expansion of the so-called Caucasian
race, not a late- or post-Harappan invasion of the Vedic Aryans.

Of course, our poor geneticists labour under the assumption, assured to them
by the Indologists, that the Aryan invasion is a fact of history.  So, all
while denying any evidence for it, they pay a little reverence in the
direction of the established paradigm, using the understatement "did not
make a major splash", yet correctly classifying the Aryan invasion as merely
a supposition:

> > "The supposed Aryan invasion of India 3000-4000 years before present
> > therefore did not make a major splash in the Indian gene pool. This is
> > especialy counter-indicated by the presence of equal, though very low,
> > frequencies of the western Eurasian mtDNA types in both southern and
> > northern india.

The limited genetic influx described by them affects almost the whole of the
Indian population, and is clearly distinct from any specifically Aryan
invasion.  Many authors (most lately Bernard Sergent) have written that the
Dravidian population (leave aside their language) is predominantly of
Mediterranean stock.  Their general view is confirmed by these findings: a
section of the white race from West Asia entered India in pre-Harappan times
(possibly bringing the Neolithic Revolution with them), filling up the whole
subcontinent, mixing with the natives of varying hues of brown and yellow.
Whether they also brought the Dravidian languages remains an open question;
it is perfectly possible that the newcomers adopted the language of the

Of course, this is not a definitive conclusion, as many genetic findings are
still awaited, but it is what an informed observer can deduce from the data
presented to us by Dr. Mahajan.

Dr. Koenraad Elst

More information about the INDOLOGY mailing list