Monday, May 27, 2024
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Excuses for violence

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Editor,
The theory propounded by some readers linking CAA (and fictitious NRC) as the cause of recent spate of racial killings of innocent persons in Meghalaya exposes their vicious mindset. Why then Meghalaya witnessed most of the racial killings in the pre-CAA era right from 1979? In West Bengal too, violence and killings are intrinsic part of their political culture for over half century which also predates CAA. The reason for so much violence particularly in West Bengal is nothing but the continuity of tradition of violence that has been accepted by the general people since 1960s. Although the actors and directors have changed with the passage of time, but the script has remained almost the same in any violence prone state like West Bengal and Meghalaya. Right thinking people instead of justifying killings should endeavour to raise their voice against all forms of violence in order to break the chain so that no more innocent lives are lost.
Yours etc.,
NK Kehar
Shillong-3

A genetic analysis of Aryan invasion theory
Editor,
What we encounter in textbooks often shapes our beliefs. Having grown up reading about the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ from my early school days, I too continued to believe that Hinduism was foreign to India, as also suggested in a recent article by Bhogtoram Mawroh (ST, Dated April 11). This belief I carried along until I came across works about the ancient treatises authored by Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, as well as the influential writings of prominent Western intellectuals such as Voltaire and Schopenhauer. However, after much effort and critical study, I eventually came to understand a deeper, more accurate truth.
Vivekananda saw the idea of “Aryan Invasion Theory” as nothing more than colonial tall tales, conveniently spun to justify Western supremacy over Eastern civilizations – sort of like giving a scholarly veneer to cover up their intrinsic notoriety and imperialistic ambition. Sri Aurobindo in his writings, logically emphasized the continuity and depth of Indian civilization, suggesting that its spiritual and cultural traditions developed locally over millennia. He viewed the idea of an Aryan invasion as part of a colonial narrative that undermined and misrepresented the ancient history of India and its civilization. Not only did the aforementioned spiritual leaders reject the hypothetical AIT outright, but so did Mahatma Ghandhi, Lala Lajpat Rai, and Rabindranath Thakur.
Nevertheless, with major breakthroughs in “genetic science,” many aspects previously considered “unknowable” have become quite clear. Yes, genetic studies have over the years gained the ability to understand “human history,” and mass population migration by simply studying microscopic DNA. Here, I wish to reiterate that the successive findings from genetic researchers in the late 20th century dealt a significant blow to the ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’.
Studies of DNA samples from ancient skeletons in the region have revealed a lack of gene flow from outside populations into India in the last 10,000 to 15,000 years, which would suggest a large-scale migration or invasion was more fiction than fact. The eminent French archaeologist and author, Jean-Paul Demoule, has underscored the complete lack of archaeological evidence for any abrupt invasion. He argued that the available evidence completely fails to substantiate the historical narrative of a sudden incursion by Indo-Aryan groups.
What is no less astonishing is that the idea of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) was proposed as recently as the 19th century by our colonial masters and was ‘absolutely unknown’ to anyone before then. Well, the prime motive of the British was to “sow” the seeds of discord and antagonism between the Aryan and Dravidian groups in order to prevent them from uniting and standing together on a common platform. It was a devious mission towards a divide and rule policy. However, regrettably, even after being thoroughly discredited by the aforementioned modern thinkers and leaders, Indian academia continued to propagate AIT as true, as if clinging to a sinking ship!
Very importantly, nowhere in the extensive ancient scriptures, including the Vedas, Upanishads, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and Yoga Vasistha, nor in the voluminous mythical folklore and tales, is there any mention of Aryans invading or migrating to India from the West. These ancient treatises elaborately discuss the now-defunct Saraswati River, where the Vedic civilization flourished.
However, we have nothing to say if some people still hold ‘Aryan Invasion Theory’ close to their chests, as advanced by the likes of Max Mueller and celebrated by intellectuals with a specific ideology.
Very interestingly, after serious studies of the ancient literature and history of the East, Francois Voltaire proclaimed: “I am convinced that everything has come down to us from the banks of the Ganges — astronomy, astrology, metempsychosis, etc. It is very important to note that some 2,500 years ago at the least, Pythagoras went from Samos to the Ganges to learn geometry…..”.
Furthermore, the eminent American historian and philosopher Will Durant, praised the ancientness of India with great admiration by saying: “India was the motherland of our race, and Sanskrit the mother of Europe’s languages. India was the mother of our philosophy, of much of our mathematics, of self-government and democracy. In many ways, Mother India is the mother of us all.” It is immature to doubt the scholarship of the world-acclaimed researcher who was credited with the 11-volume series — ‘The Story of Civilization’.
While Mark Twain was fascinated by the Indian system of knowledge that he visited India and called it ‘the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech,’ should we still doubt the land that we stand on, the land that nourished us?”
Come what may, the truth should not be smothered by false speculation and false narratives spread by those with devious motives to hurt the nation. Indeed, the DNA of lies has already been decoded. The erroneous notion should not become the opium of the learned!
Yours etc.,
Salil Gewali,
Via email

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