query on new Genetics finds

Veeranarayana Pandurangi veerankp at GMAIL.COM
Sun Sep 4 09:30:37 UTC 2011

dear all
sometimes ago one of our friends gave this news on new genetics finds. I
dont know if there are any reviews of this new find.
please provide link if there is anything else discussion/review etc.
there is a link below to the open magzine portal.

"*The story of our origins"*

*Open Magazine*, May 28, 2011.


*"The first thing that the evidence suggests is that the origins of
Hartosh's R1a1 haplogroup lie in India. Thus, a large part of Central Asia,
Southern Russia, Ukraine onwards to the Czech Republic may well be populated
by a 15,000-year-old migration from India. Given the timeframe of the
origins of the R1a1 haplogroup in India, it is important to note that this
does not rule out a subsequent re-entry of people from Central Asia bearing
this marker into India at a much later date.* As further sub-lineages of
Hartosh's R1a1 are studied, it may well be possible to answer even this

The second part of their conclusions rests on the fact that the proportion
of R1a1 in some Brahmin groups such as those of West Bengal is as high as 72
per cent. This indicates that the origins of Brahmins as a caste may well
lie in the R1a1 haplogroup. But since the antiquity of the Ra1a haplogroup
in tribals such as Central India's Sahariyas is older than it is among
Brahmins, *it is reasonable to believe that Brahmins may not be entrants
from outside but may have originated as a caste from the tribal population
of this country."*

*Read on...*
28 May 2011
  The Story of Our Origins
 DNA tests on a cross-section of Indians including John Abraham and Baichung
Bhutia reveal surprising truths about our origins
 BY Hartosh Singh

 Just where did our ancestors come from? Indian diversity has long been
reduced by many historians to a simple story of an invasion of Aryans
pushing Dravidians further south in the Subcontinent. But an analysis of the
genes that Indians bear throws up enough evidence to rubbish that theory,
pointing instead to a far more complex set of migrations—and perhaps reverse
migrations—many millennia earlier than commonly supposed.

 To get a clearer picture of our origins, *Open* sent DNA samples of a
couple of celebrities, John
 and Baichung Bhutia<http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-d>,
alongwith those of four magazine staffers to the National Geographic Deep
Ancestry Project. Based on the genetic markers thus identified and other
research conducted by scientists, we present a plausible map of our origins.
Be prepared for some surprises


*‘The diversity of India is tremendous; it is obvious; it lies on the
surface and anybody can see it. It concerns itself with certain mental
habits and traits. There is little in common… between the Pathan of the
North-West and the Tamil in the far South. Yet…there is no mistaking the
impress of India on the Pathan, as this is obvious on the Tamil…The Pathan
and the Tamil are two extreme examples; the others lie somewhere in
between…It is fascinating to find how the Bengalis, the Marathas, the
Gujaratis, the Tamils, the Andhras, the Oriyas, the Assamese, the Canarese,
the Malayalis, the Sindhis, the Punjabis, the Pathans, the Kashmiris, the
Rajput, and the great central block comprising the Hindustani-speaking
people, have retained their peculiar characteristics…’*


 Nehru, even in his romanticism, was only stating what every observer of
India has always noticed—the tremendous diversity of people in India, not
just in terms of customs and culture, but in religion, caste and appearance.
The obvious question has always been: where does this diversity come from?
Take, for example, caste: did the system evolve in India, or did it
originate outside and become part of the country’s social structure? Were
our different language groups, such as Dravidian and Indo-European, brought
in by different sets of migrants? The questions are endless, and the answer
to any one of them lies in the answer to the most basic question of all:
where do we Indians come from? How was the Subcontinent settled?

 Attempts have been made to answer these questions with evidence drawn from
fields as varied as linguistics and archaeology. Despite the inroads that
have been made, the question has not even come close to being answered, and
even the partial answers that have been on offer have been a source of
contentious debate. For one, the Aryan Invasion theory—suggesting that an
invasion of Indo-Europeans displaced the original Dravidian inhabitants of
north India, which found favour at one time and was later rejected and
denounced—addresses only a small part of the Subcontinent’s diversity as a

 But results from an entirely different area of human study suggest that
there may be a satisfactory answer to the question, and it lies in our

 For each of us, our physical characteristics are encoded in the DNA that we
carry within each cell of our body. A study of our DNA (see ‘The Science of
DNA Testing<http://openthemagazine.com/article/living/the-science-of-dna-testing>’)
allows us to trace our ancestry. In case of men (and for women by testing
their brothers or father), we can trace our line of paternal  descent, our
father’s father’s father’s… father, by studying the Y-chromosome; and in
case of both men and women, we can trace our line of maternal descent, our
mother’s mother’s mother’s… mother, by studying mitochondrial DNA.

 This field, now over two decades old, has slowly been refined to the point
where events in our distant ancestry can now be studied. Not only are the
new answers on offer fascinating, there is also the certainty that with each
passing year, they will be refined, questioned and challenged to the point
where we would be able to make definitive statements about our past. One
such project is National Geographic’s Deep Ancestry that is compiling data
from across the world on people who want to determine their distant

 We sent six samples, four men and two women, of people from various parts
of India to the National Geographic Project (NGP), and, based on the results
we have obtained (see the case studies listed in the right column), we have
attempted to map out a representative history of what can be said today
about the peopling of India. To do so, we have not only sought elaboration
from Ramasamy Pitchappan, principal investigator, India, of the NGP, we have
also spoken to a leading Indian geneticist, RNK Bamezai, director of the
National Centre of Applied Human Genetics (NCAHG) at Jawaharlal Nehru
University and vice-chancellor of Jammu University.

 Of course, having collated all this research material and inputs, the final
responsibility of the interpretations made rests with *Open*.


 Sometime between 60,000 to 90,000 years ago, humans first moved out of
Africa by crossing the Red Sea. This, in all likelihood, occurred during a
glacial period when the earth was at its coldest, and falling sea levels
would have shrunk the distance between Africa and Asia at its narrowest to
barely 11 km. Crossing into Asia, surviving on a diet rich in shellfish,
these early humans who left Africa stayed close to the coast as they made
their way round to South Asia.

 The strongest evidence of this is offered by the study of mitochondrial
DNA, which indicates the maternal line of descent (see DNA analysis ofSohini
Chattopadhyay and Haima
 of *Open*). All human beings outside Africa are descended from two female
lines, termed Haplogroup M and N. It is unclear  whether the two female
lines evolved while humans were still in Africa or shortly after, but the
available evidence suggests both lines were present in that first migration
from Africa to South Asia.


 M – 60 per cent

 N – 25 per cent

 U*  – 15 per cent

 **A sub branch of N that is found in larger numbers in the northwest of the

*The vast majority of the Indian population carries Sohini and Haima’s
Haplogroup M, whose antiquity in India dates back at least 60,000 years ago,
if not more. Since mitochondrial DNA is passed down in direct line of
maternal descent, this suggests that the female population of India dates
directly back to that first exodus of humans from Africa.*

 The N Haplogroup and its sub-haplogroup U are also found in India, but show
up in high frequencies largely in the Northwest. Even these groups seem to
be largely of great antiquity in the Subcontinent. There seems to have been
very little migration of women into the Subcontinent after the first
settlers arrived here. According to Bamezai, who advises caution in saying
anything more than warranted by the data, this is not so surprising: “The
mobility of males was much more—raiding parties or for that matter armies on
the move even today are largely male.”


 The men who are believed to have migrated to India along with women as part
of the first coastal migration from Africa are identified by the Haplogroup
C. This marker is found in less than 5 per cent of the Indian population
today. These migrants seem to have moved further along the coast, settling
in East Asia and Australia.


 H – 30 per cent

 R1a1— 20 per cent

 R2a — 15 per cent

 L – 10 per cent

 O and related markers – 10 per cent

 Others – 15 per cent

*In rather broad terms, it is possible to make some generalisations. H is
found in greater percentage among the Austro-Asiatic tribal population, L
among the Dravidian language (such as Tamil and Telugu) speaking non-tribal
population, R1a1 among speakers of the Indo-European languages (such as
Hindi, Punjabi and Bengali). But there is no way on this basis to
distinguish any individual from another. An individual with R1a1 could as
well be a tribal as an Indo-European language speaker. Nor can discrete
groupings be identified in any clear-cut way. The L marker could be found in
the north of the country, and H could show up among some Brahmins.*

 What we do know for sure is that the earliest large-scale male settlers in
the Subcontinent belong to the line defined by Haplogroup F and its branch
Haplogroup H (see the DNA analysis of John
Both these haplogroups are found in significant percentages in the Indian
tribal population, reaching a combined percentage of well over 30. The F
Haplogroup dates back to at least 45,000 years in the Subcontinent. John’s H
haplogroup, which is not found anywhere else in the world in any significant
proportion and has hence been termed the ‘Indian marker’, has an antiquity
in the Subcontinent of at least 25,000 years. Interestingly, though, it is
found among Europe’s gypsies, indicating their Indian origin.

 A related line descended from Haplogroup F, termed Haplogroup L (see the DNA
analysis of Sharad
is also found in significant numbers in South India, especially Tamil Nadu
among the non-tribal population. Again, this is a haplogroup rarely found
outside India and has an antiquity of around 25,000 years.

 Two other significant haplogroups found in the Indian population are R1a1
(see the DNA analysis of Hartosh Singh
and R2a, both found deep in the line of descent that goes back to Haplogroup
F. Their antiquity in India dates back 15,000 to 20,000 years ago.

 Hartosh’s R1a1 is found in higher proportions in the north of India and
among upper-castes, reaching a proportion of nearly 50 per cent in Punjab
and over 70 per cent in such caste groups as West Bengal Brahmins. But it is
also found in the South and among the tribal population, reaching a
proportion of well over 25 per cent among the Chenchu tribals of Andhra. R2a
mirrors the distribution of R1a1, but it has a far more evenly spread across
the geography of the Subcontinent and the hierarchy of castes; in some ways,
it is a pan-Indian marker, a significant marker that has not shown up in the
small sample sent by Open to the NGP.

 There are also an assorted number of other markers, such as the D
Haplogroup (see DNA analysis of Baichung
This haplogroup is found in large numbers in East Asia and has likely
reached Sikkim from Tibet. It is also found among some northeastern tribes
that bear Haplogoup O as the other important marker.


 The first male settlers of the Indian Subcontinent would have accompanied
the women, whose descendants still inhabit the Subcontinent, on the first
coastal migration from Africa. They are identified by the Haplogroup C
marker, found in less than 5 per cent of the Indian population. According to
the NGP, the presence of both John’s and Sharad’s haplogroups (H and L) in
India can be explained by two separate migrations, one from the Middle East
and the other from Central Asia, both dating back some 25,000 to 30,000
years ago.

 The NGP goes on to describe the first encounter between the men from the
original settlement of India with those who arrived later. The genetic
trail, the NGP states, ‘provides some tantalizing clues as to what may have
happened when members of the Indian Clan and the [earlier settled] Coastal
Clan met. The [mitochondrial DNA] of people in this region preserves
evidence of the early coastal dwellers in the female lineage, but
Y-chromosome frequency for the Coastal Clan is very weak—around 5 per cent
in southern India, and even less frequent going farther north. These data
suggest that the descendants of the Indian Clan may have mated with the
women of the earlier coastal population, but that the coastal men were
killed, driven off, or otherwise prevented from reproducing.’

 Pitchappan elaborates, “Probably initial colonies consisting of males and
females settled and expanded. In the later migrations, either the males were
by themselves or they came accompanied by very few females. Local males
could have resisted and could have been exterminated, while females may have
been amalgamated.” He adds that other possibilities are also conceivable,
such as matrilineal societies by which the incoming males could have been
amalgamated: “There is some evidence to suggest that settlements in the
Dravidian belt were female centric.” He points to the existence of
matriarchal societies in the South, such as Kerala’s Nairs, as the survival
of an older tradition.

 But stories such as this are speculative at best. In the Indian context,
they are reminiscent of the possibilities once cited to describe the entry
of Indo-Europeans into India, the so-called Aryan Invasion theory.

 The evidence so far, however, seems to suggest that the presence of both
John’s and Sharad’s haplogroups in India could be well explained by an
earlier arrival of the super-ancestral F haplogroup in India. In fact, it is
quite likely that either the F haplogroup arrived as part of the coastal
migration along with the C haplogroup, to which it is very closely related,
or it evolved here in males who were part of the earlier migration. If so,
it would make sense that the antiquity of a great majority of the Indian
male population also goes back to the out-of-Africa coastal migration.

*In fact, much of the genetic evidence seems to suggest a South Asian origin
for the F haplogroup. This haplogroup and its lines of descent account for
perhaps 90 per cent of the male population in the world. Contrary to
received wisdom, this would imply that much of the globe outside Africa was
settled by outward migrations from South Asia dating back to over 50,000
years ago. Certainly, the distant origins of the modern European population
seem to lie in South Asia, emphasising the crucial importance of this region
in understanding the peopling of the globe.*

 But beyond such speculation, which will be settled as more and more data is
gathered by projects such as the NGP, the one thing that can be said with a
degree of certainty is that *the antiquity of both the L and H haplogroups
in India suggests that a majority of the Indian male population can trace
its presence in the Subcontinent back at least 20,000 years if not earlier.*


 This brings us to perhaps the most contentious of markers, Hartosh’s R1a1.
The NGP states: ‘Some linguists believe that the Kurgans, nomadic horsemen
roaming the steppes of southern Russia and the Ukraine, were the first to
speak and spread a Proto-Indo-European language, some 5,000 to 10,000 years
ago. Genetic data and the distribution of Indo-European speakers suggest the
Kurgans … may have been descendents of M17 (the genetic marker that
identifies the R1a1 haplogroup). Today a large concentration—around 40 per
cent—of the men living from the Czech Republic across the steppes to
Siberia, and south throughout Central Asia are descendants of this clan. In
India, around 35 per cent of the men in Hindi-speaking populations carry the
M17 marker, whereas the frequency in neighboring communities of Dravidian
speakers is only about ten percent. This distribution adds weight to
linguistic and archaeological evidence suggesting that a large migration
from the Asian steppes into India occurred within the last 10,000 years.’

 This NGP claim goes far beyond what the genetic data warrants. Says
Bamezai, after looking through the NGP results published in this article,
“For me as a scientist, it is necessary to be very conservative in my
claims. Any broad conclusions require much more work and detailed study of
not just haplogroups, but sub-haplogroups. I think the migration paths
described in these cases are in question. I feel R1a1 originated here and
contributed to Central Asia rather than the other way around.”

 A key 2009 paper published in the *Journal of Human Genetics* by Bamezai
and his colleagues at JNU argues this point further: ‘Many major rival
models of the origin of the Hindu caste system co-exist despite extensive
studies, each with associated genetic evidences. One of the major factors
that has still kept the origin of the Indian caste system obscure is the
unresolved question of the origin of Y-haplogroup R1a1, at times associated
with a male-mediated major genetic influx from Central Asia or Eurasia,
which has contributed to the higher castes in India. Y-haplogroup R1a1 has a
widespread distribution and high frequency across Eurasia, Central Asia and
the Indian subcontinent... To resolve these issues, we screened 621
Y-chromosomes (of Brahmins occupying the upper-most caste position and
schedule castes/tribals occupying the lower-most positions)... for
conclusions. A peculiar observation of the highest frequency (up to 72.22%)
of Y-haplogroup R1a1 in Brahmins hinted at its presence as a founder lineage
for this caste group. Further, observation of R1a1 in different tribal
population groups, existence of Y-haplogroup R1a in ancestors, and extended
phylogenetic analyses of the pooled dataset of 530 Indians, 224 Pakistanis
and 276 Central Asians and Eurasians bearing the R1a1 haplogroup supported
the autochthonous [indigenous] origin of R1a1 lineage in India and a tribal
link to Indian Brahmins.’

 The conclusions bear restatement. *The first thing that the evidence
suggests is that the origins of Hartosh’s R1a1 haplogroup lie in India.
Thus, a large part of Central Asia, Southern Russia, Ukraine onwards to the
Czech Republic may well be populated by a 15,000-year-old migration from
India. Given the timeframe of the origins of the R1a1 haplogroup in India,
it is important to note that this does not rule out a subsequent re-entry of
people from Central Asia bearing this marker into India at a much later
date.* As further sub-lineages of Hartosh’s R1a1 are studied, it may well be
possible to answer even this question.

 The second part of their conclusions rests on the fact that the proportion
of R1a1 in some Brahmin groups such as those of West Bengal is as high as 72
per cent. This indicates that the origins of Brahmins as a caste may well
lie in the R1a1 haplogroup. But since the antiquity of the Ra1a haplogroup
in tribals such as Central India’s Sahariyas is older than it is among
Brahmins, *it is reasonable to believe that Brahmins may not be entrants
from outside but may have originated as a caste from the tribal population
of this country.*

 It is a strong claim, one that hints at possible discoveries that may lie
ahead as the genetics of the Indian population is studied in greater
detail. *The one conclusion, though, that is unlikely to change is the one
Bamezai emphasises over and over: “Groups we seem to see as distinct have
overlapping genetic signatures. In fact, two castes that may have great
hostility towards each other may carry the same signatures. Caste, tribe and
religion in India do not have any genetic basis.”* Trite as it may sound,
the conclusion is inescapable, there is unity in this diversity.



Bal, Hartosh Singh. May 28, 2011. “The Story of Our Origins.” *Open Magazine
May 29, 2011).

“Haplogroup D.” May 28, 2011. *Open Magazine*.
http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-d (Accessed May 29,

“Haplogroup H.” May 28, 2011. *Open Magazine*.
http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-h (Accessed May 29,

“Haplogroup L.” May 28, 2011. *Open Magazine*.
http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-l (Accessed May 29,

“Haplogroup M.” May 28, 2011. *Open Magazine*.
http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-m (Accessed May 29,

“Haplogroup R1A1.” May 28, 2011. *Open Magazine*.
http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-r1a1 (Accessed May
29, 2011).

Reich, David et al. print. “Reconstructing Indian population history.” *
Nature* 461(7263): 489-494. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature08365.

*tattvaanveShaNam*. June 15, 2010. “The Great Aryan Hoax: Exposed by
June 20, 2010).

*tattvaanveShaNam*. June 15, 2010. “The Great Aryan Hoax.”
http://www.tattvaanveshanam.org/2010/06/15/the-great-aryan-hoax/ (Accessed
June 20, 2010).

“The Science of DNA Testing.” 2011. *Open Magazine*.
May 29, 2011).

Times News Network. Sep 25, 2009. “Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study.” *The
Times of India*.
September 26, 2009).
Veeranarayana N.K. Pandurangi
Head, Dept of Darshanas,
Yoganandacharya Bhavan,
Jagadguru Ramanandacharya Rajasthan Samskrita University, Madau, post
Bhankrota, Jaipur, 302026.

अथ चेत्त्वमिमं धर्म्यं संग्रामं न करिष्यसि।
ततः स्वधर्मं कीर्तिं च हित्वा पापमवाप्स्यसि।।
तस्मादुत्तिष्ठ कौन्तेय युद्धाय कृतनिश्चयः।
निराशीर्निर्ममो भूत्वा युध्यस्व विगतज्वरः।। (भ.गी.)

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