the AIT - true or hoax of the century ???

Discussion in 'Hinduism' started by prajapati, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    [font=Arial,Helvetica][size=-1]Until the mid-19th century, no Indian had ever heard of the notion that his ancestors could be Aryan invaders from Central Asia who had destroyed the native civilization and enslaved the native population. Neither had South-Indians ever dreamt that they were the rightful owners of the whole subcontinent, dispossessed by the Aryan invaders who had chased them from North India, turning it into Aryavarta, the land of the Aryans. Nor had the low-caste people heard that they were the original inhabitants of India, subdued by the Aryans and forced into the prisonhouse of caste which the conquerors imposed upon them as an early form of Apartheid. All these ideas had to be imported by European scholars and missionaries, who thought through the implications of the Aryan Invasion Theory (AM, the theory that the Indo-European (IE) language family had spread out from a given homeland, probably in Eastern Europe, and found a place in Western and Southern Europe and in India as cultural luggage of horse-borne invaders who subjugated the natives.[/size][/font]

    [font=Arial,Helvetica][size=-1]One of the first natives to interiorize these ideas was Jotirao Phule, India’s first modem Mahatma, a convent-educated low-caste leader from Maharashtra. In 1873, he set the tone for the political appropriation of the AIT: “Recent researches have shown beyond a shadow of doubt that the Brahmins were not the Aborigines of India (…) Aryans came to India not as simple emigrants with peaceful intentions of colonization, but as conquerors. They appear to have been a race imbued with very high notions of self, extremely cunning, arrogant and bigoted.”1 Ever since, the political reading of the AIT has become all-pervasive in Indian textbooks as well as in all kinds of divisive propaganda pitting high and low castes, North and South Indians, speakers of Indo-Aryan and of Dravidian languages, and tribals and non-tribals, against each other.[/size][/font]

    [font=Arial,Helvetica][size=-1]Today, out of indignation with the socially destructive implications of the politically appropriated AIT, many Indian scholars get excited about supposed imperialist motives distorting the views of the Western scholars who first introduced the AIT. They point to the Christian missionary commitment of early sankritists like Friedrich Max Müller, John Muir and Sir M. Monier-Williams and of dravidologists like Bishop Robert Caldwell and Reverend G.U. Pope, alleging that the missionaries justify their presence in India by claiming that Aryan Hinduism is as much a foreign import as Christianity. They quote Viceroy Lord Curzon as saying that the AIT is “the furniture of Empire”, and explain how the British colonisers justified their conquest by claiming that India had never been anything but booty for foreign invaders, and that the Indians (or at least the upper-caste Hindus who led the Freedom Movement) were as much foreigners as their fellow-Aryans from Britain.2[/size][/font]

    [font=Arial,Helvetica][size=-1]About the use of the AIT in the service of colonialism, there can be no doubt. Thus, during the 1935 Parliament debates on the Government of India Act, Sir Winston Churchill opposed any policy tending towards decolonization on the following ground: “We have as much right to be in India as anyone there, except perhaps for the Depressed Classes [= the Scheduled Castes and Tribes], who are the native stock.”3 SO, the British Aryans had as much right to Aryavarta as their Vedic fellow-Aryans. Indian loyalists justified the British presence on the same grounds, e.g. Keshab Chandra Sen, leader of the reformist movement Brahmo Samaj (mid-19th century), welcomed the British advent as a reunion with his Aryan cousins: “In the advent of the English nation in India we see a reunion of parted cousins, the descendants of two different families of the ancient Aryan race”4.[/size][/font]

    [font=Arial,Helvetica][size=-1]However, it doesn’t follow that the AIT was conceived with these political uses as its deliberate aim. The scholars concerned were children of their age, conditioned by prevalent perceptions and prejudices, but they sincerely believed that this theory explained the available data best.[/size][/font]








    from







    http://koenraadelst.voiceofdharma.com/books/ait/index.htm
     
  2. Silverbackman

    Silverbackman Prince Of Truth

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    What about the Indo-European language family? The languages of English, Hindi, Persian, and even Sanscrit are Indo-European, so doesn't that suggest some migration or invasion occured from the West? Unless that is Europeans and Persians got their language from India, considering many people think Sanscrit as the first Indo-European language;).
     
  3. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I think this is the third time you've dropped a link to that site. Please note that CR is not a personal soapbox or linking free-for-all for third-parties.

    I'm moving this thread to the Hindu board, where it can perhaps be better addressed.

    As for the topic at hand - certainly interesting counter-claims have been made against AIT, but there is the very real danger that the engine for criticism is blind nationalism, rather than a considered scholarly debate. 2c.
     
  4. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    sanskrit and old persian/avestan are sister languages.

    no invasion or migratiuon occured cos no evidence has ever been found - but the evidence to the contrary is galore.

    persians ARE indians.

    and sanskrit is the oldest of all the languages in the indo-european family, yes.


    brian - that site is comprehensive and has authoratitive material about many subjects.


    as for the counter claims you mention - i hope you know how the original 'claim" of ait was made - google aryan invasion theory and you will know - on pure speculation !! or read the book to whick i pasted the link. the original proponents of ait were missionaries - one max mauler believed that the world was formed on wednesday at 9 o'clock 6000 years ago in 6 days flat !! so thats how "scholarly" they proponents were !!

    koenraad elst is one of many many real trained historians who have debunked the whole ait with more proof then you could ask for. merely ascribing the counter theory to "blind nationalism" - when the ait itself was the child of nazism and white supremism - just wont fly.






     
  5. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Try looking back at previous discussions - we've been over the Aryan invasion theory before:

    http://www.comparative-religion.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1124

    Discarding it as a child of nazism would be disingenious because the theory was around long before National Socialism.

    And certainly I've seen some aggressive strains of Hindu nationalism on this board already, so I'm quite aware that the whole AIT is as much a political vehicle now as it was then, simply in reverse.
     
  6. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    would not be too disingenious - cos though the "brand name" nazism came later, the attitude was there from well,.. a long time.


    yes its a political vehical now too. only thing is indians have a right to straighten out their history, even if they do it politically.
    being a political vehicle per se' cant be wrong.

    colonials concocted this canard to further their scavenging/looting ends.

    we try to straighten it out, albeit poitically or for political ends, cos its (AITs) been proven wrong and failed repeatedly under closer scrutiny.

    also where as ALL the original proponents had either missionary or colonial axes to grind and ends to achive, most of the ones who debunked this aryan invasion hoax (concoted by amateurs like max muller and other non historians) are themselves historians/academics - though their counter arguement has been taken up by some political/nationalist vehicles.

    for example.. koenraad elst is neither a hindu, nor a nationalist, even less a politician. but his book is hosted by a pro-hindu site.


    besides i fail to see how you can disprove the counter-theory on the allegation tha its totally a "hindu nationalist" thing - at least their arguements check out from historical, archeological, linguistic, (most importantly) chronological (ie. the aryan connection is reverse. further you go from india the more recent and dialute the evidence of aryanism becomes.) and all other points of view.



    did you read the book though , the one to which i posted a link ???
     
  7. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    No time to read the book, I'm afraid.

    Certainly I'm not whole-heartedly supporting the AIT theory - I've already been corrected on that. :)

    But with the rise in Hindu nationalism, and some of its recent activities (and, ironically, it's sometimes veneration of National Socialism) means that I do not expect general theories establishing the pre-eminence of the Indian nation, and history, are going to be entirely without more extreme elements of politics driving it.
     
  8. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    er/... where did you get the connection with "national socialism" ?

    and what "activities" are you talking about??
    there are no extermination camps in india.

    besides i have already pointed out, its not these hindus you describe as national socialists who have debunked the theory.
    trained historians, linguists, archeologists etc have.
    its found favour amongst a section of hindus though - the non marxist kind. and yes they are trying to gain political milage out of the counter theory.

    dont make the counter AIT theory wrong though.
     
  9. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    I have friends in India who have complained of nationalist Hindu politics, and additionally that some Hindu nationalists ironically have a strong regard for National Socialism.

    That doesn't mean to say that India has Death Camps, and it doesn't mean to say that any counter to AIT is therefore entirely politically motivated - I'm simply pointing out that I see room for the argument to become unbalanced, at least in the short-term.
     
  10. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    the first 2 lines dont conclusively prove anything. just your friends opinions.


    there is room for using the counter arguement for polital reasons yes.
    which dont make them lesser arguements tho.
     
  11. iBrian

    iBrian Peace, Love and Unity Staff Member

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    Certainly they don't prove anything - they weren't meant to, other than explain why I raised National Socialism in the conversation, when you asked.

    And I think we are both in agreement with this - but it will be interesting to see how this develops over the next few years.
     
  12. prajapati

    prajapati Cosmic Otter

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    i too am keeping my fingers crossed.
     
  13. 17th Angel

    17th Angel לבעוט את התחת ולקחת שמות

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    Old but sue me....

    Why in Hinduism is this blanket over peoples eyes lol... Oh there are no castes...... Of course there isn't...... lol The top castes were all filled by Ayran people.... Tis history. Lighter the skin the better. I guess that is one of a few things with hinduism I dislike. (castes)
     
  14. redindica

    redindica New Member

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    Alex...If you do your research, I think you'll find castes in Sikhism/Islam/Buddhism and Christianity in India.
     
  15. Bhargava

    Bhargava New Member

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    Aryan Invasion theory is disproved by archaeologists, and it was a made up story by British. British made this story in 1800's when they wanted to break the Indian culture and by belittling the Indian culture they wanted to destroy the self-respect of Indians, and they have been successful...
     
  16. redindica

    redindica New Member

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    Very true.

    I think the Victorians were looking for the original language spoken by the peoples of the world centering round the story of the Tower of Bable (one CANNOT disassociate Chritianity from any discussion on this subject).

    And found the oldest (discovered at the time) to be Sanskrit and a good candidate for this pro-language, and they surmised that the heathen "Hindu" Indian couldnt have anything to do with that could they? So they invented a European worrior tribe that bought civilisation to this nasty area.

    I get upset everytime I think of it (you may have gathered this).

    Also calling the new hindu political movements as National Socialist is 1/ Lazy and 2/European scarmongering.

    I'll have more to say when I have time.

    Peace to all.

    :)
     

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