Romila Thapar: No Aryan Invasion

For the many of you who think it was people like Romila Thapar who maintained the Aryan Invasion Theory, here is some news: She was “against it”:http://www.hindu.com/2004/03/22/stories/2004032201661001.htm all the time.

bq. If he had read anything on the debate among historians concerning the Aryan theory, he would have known that for the last 30 years I, together with other historians, have been refuting the concept of an Aryan race or a Dravidian race. I have stated categorically in “A History of India,” Vol. I, published in 1966, that Aryan is a linguistic term. I discussed this in greater detail in my presidential address to the Ancient Indian History Section of the Indian History Congress in Varanasi in 1968, where I argued that Aryan is a linguistic label and not a racial category. And just for the record, since I am frequently misquoted on this by some people, I argued further that although I did not accept the notion of an Aryan invasion, I did support the idea of a graduated migration of Aryan-speaking peoples from the Indo-Iranian borderlands into north-western India. This resulted in an interface of various cultures and this interface needs to be explored � and many of us have done so, as would be apparent from our other publications on the subject. [via "The Hindu":http://www.hindu.com/2004/03/22/stories/2004032201661001.htm]

Updates:

Subramanian Swamy – “Swamy’s reply”:http://www.sulekha.com/redirectnh.asp?cid=330223

Sandeep – “The High Priestess Speaks Again!”:http://sandeep.vesana.com/mt/archives/000008.html#more

9 Responses to Romila Thapar: No Aryan Invasion

  1. Jivha March 22, 2004 at 10:33 pm #

    So you accept the Aryan migration theory right? ‘Cos that’s what Thapar offers as the alternative.

  2. JK March 23, 2004 at 8:57 am #

    Jivha, I started reading her books only recenly. There is this whole other theory about Sapta Sindhu Civilization, that has not gained much acceptance.

  3. raghu reddy March 23, 2004 at 11:29 am #

    While Romila Thapar cleverly claims to have disowned the AIT long ago — making a virtue of necessity — fact is that she had not a murmur of protest when all these years the dubious theory was being taught in NCERT history books. This is a classic case of hunting with the hounds and running with the hare. She wants the Aryan-Dravidian bigotry to be taught in schools, except that she doesn’t want any of that muck to stick to her.

  4. raghu reddy March 23, 2004 at 11:50 am #

    JK,

    Looked around a bit. Nice blog. Mature, sober, balanced.

  5. JK March 23, 2004 at 8:57 pm #

    Raghu, Thanks for the comments

  6. Raghu Reddy March 24, 2004 at 11:32 am #

    Delicious.

    Mark my word: Comrade Romila Rhetorician Thapar’s response is going to be more obfuscation. She will probably claim that Swamy is seeing a contradiction where none exists. She will snicker at Swamy, and claim that history is not for mere economists like him. She will deliver a little lecture on shades of grey, which is her enlightened approach, vs black-and-white, which is ignoramus Samwy’s style. She will theorize that between Aryans the race, and Aryans the non-race, there exist many other possibilities which the narrow-minded Swamy is not aware of.

    Boy, if I can read her mind like this, am I not as “talented” as Comrade Thapar herself!

  7. Alka March 26, 2004 at 8:35 am #

    I have read Sandeep post earlier. Then I remember one incident. She is a true blue ultra and mega secular person. When Talibans were busy Bombing Bamiyan Buddha, she declared that those were not the statue of the Buddha at all! The whole world was requesting Taliban regime to protect this ancient heritage, but not she. I think from being a historian, she has become a mega archiologist too! She HAS to be one to defy all the archiological evidences.

  8. Vishwas Punekar September 2, 2005 at 11:10 am #

    I would like to ask Ms. Romila Thapar whether she has read the critical study of her book about ‘Somanatha’ by Mr. V.S. Sardesai.
    And I would like to know her views about that book.
    Please send your comment at punekar@VSNL.com
    Thank you and Best Regards,
    Vishwas Punekar.

  9. Sushmita November 14, 2005 at 6:55 am #

    The Romulan – uh, sorry, Romila has probably only changed her mind on account of:

    http://jorde-lab.genetics.utah.edu/elibrary/Kivisild_1999.pdf
    “Deep common ancestry of Indian and western-Eurasian mitochondrial DNA lineages”;

    http://evolutsioon.ut.ee/publications/Kivisild2000.pdf
    “An Indian Ancestry: a Key for Understanding Human Diversity in Europe and Beyond”;

    (Both by Kivisild et al.)

    And of course, the book by Stephen Oppenheimer “The Real Eve: Modern Man’s Journey Out of Africa”.

    All of which trample repeatedly on the AIT.

    After what I suspect was The Romulan’s spying (or her goons’ spying) in forums where people were discussing these results from genetics, she quickly decided that “Oh no, I can’t be wrong! No one will listen to me ever again. I can’t be ignored! That would be the same as death.”

    Hence, her quick but messy ‘recovery’ by arguing about semantics. I.e. that she never really believed in the AI-theory, that she always said that Aryan wasn’t a race. Well, duh. No reliable scientist post-Nazis ever dared talk about Aryans as a race! Even the most important man who practically coined the idea (if not the phrase), Max Mueller, ‘recanted’ of it and said it was a linguistic group. If she had ever referred to the Aryan as a race/ethnic group before, she’d have shown her ignorance in this matter too and have been branded the fascist that she is. Who said that fascism and communism were opposites? They’re different words for opposite extremes meeting in the same place: Romila.

    I shouldn’t be unkind to the Romulan. Uh, on second thought, I can.
    Let her cry for attention all she wants in the future and the best she’ll get is people tolerating and indulging her whining, like we do a child’s tantrum, by utterly ignoring her until she stops.
    She deserves to be ignored, that will be the best punishment for her falsification of history and current events and for trying to brainwash our children.

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