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The Aryan Invasion Theory

http://www.bbc.co.uk/religion/religions/hinduism/history/history5.shtml The Aryan Invasion Theory

One of the most controversial ideas about Hindu history is the Aryan invasion theory.

This theory, originally devised by F. Max Muller in 1848, traces the history of Hinduism to the invasion of India's indigenous people by lighter skinned Aryans around 1500 BCE.

The theory was reinforced by other research over the next 120 years, and became the accepted history of Hinduism, not only in the West but in India.

There is now ample evidence to show that Muller, and those who followed him, were wrong.

Why is the theory no longer accepted? The Aryan invasion theory was based on archaeological, linguistic and ethnological evidence.

Later research has either discredited this evidence, or provided new evidence that combined with the earlier evidence makes other explanations more likely.

Modern historians of the area no longer believe that such invasions had such great influence on Indian history. It's now generally accepted that Indian history shows a continuity of progress from the earliest times to today.

The changes brought to India by other cultures are not denied by modern historians, but they are no longer thought to be a major ingredient in the development of Hinduism.

Dangers of the theory The Aryan invasion theory denies the Indian origin of India's predominant culture, but gives the credit for Indian culture to invaders from elsewhere.

It even teaches that some of the most revered books of Hindu scripture are not actually Indian, and it devalues India's culture by portraying it as less ancient than it actually is.

The theory was not just wrong, it included unacceptably racist ideas: it suggested that Indian culture was not a culture in its own right, but a synthesis of elements from other cultures it implied that Hinduism was not an authentically Indian religion but the result of cultural imperialism it suggested that Indian culture was static, and only changed under outside influences it suggested that the dark-skinned Dravidian people of the South of India had got their faith from light-skinned Aryan invaders it implied that indigenous people were incapable of creatively developing their faith it suggested that indigenous peoples could only acquire new religious and cultural ideas from other races, by invasion or other processes it accepted that race was a biologically based concept (rather than, at least in part, a social construct) that provided a sensible way of ranking people in a hierarchy, which provided a partial basis for the caste system it provided a basis for racism in the Imperial context by suggesting that the peoples of Northern India were descended from invaders from Europe and so racially closer to the British Raj it gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming India for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier it downgraded the intellectual status of India and its people by giving a falsely late date to elements of Indian science and culture

P.S. BBC later on pulled this article out after it was pressurized by a lobby of anti-Hindus.

Fact or Fiction @ http://www.gosai.com/chaitanya/saranagati/html/vedic-upanisads/aryan-invasion.html

"I do not see into the future, nor do I care to see. But one vision I see clear as life before me is that the ancient mother has awakened once more, sitting on her throne - rejuvenated, more glorious than ever " - Swami Vivekananda