Moving Towards South Asian Confederation
  Vision of Unity - Part I


This section contains excerpts from writings of Prof Kittu Reddy of Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Puducherry, notably from two books, A Vision of United India –Problems and Solutions(2005)  and History of India—A New Approach(2004), both published by Standard Publishers(India),New Delhi. Besides teaching Sri Aurobindo’s social and political thought at Sri Aurobindo International Centre of Education, he has also conducted regular sessions with the Indian Army on Indian Culture, the Mission of India and Motivation and Leadership.

The excerpts from Prof Reddy’s books are titled in context and preceded by relevant notes.



Note : The Aryan-Dravidian conflict is now being considered as a myth imposed on the Indian psyche with disastrous political consequences. In the excerpt below, Prof. Kittu Reddy gives an overview on how the myth is being demystified in academic circles. The Journal section in this website contains a complimentary write-up describing the political ramifications of the Aryan myth.




Let us see how this theory of the Aryan invasion came about. According to L. Poliakov this theory had its origins in the 18th century when the Europeans were involved in an effort to free themselves from origins in Judaism and identify their true origins. Commonality in the Sanskrit and ancient European languages seemed to point to the origins of the Europeans in India. But the historians of the time, under political compulsions wanted the British to appear superior to the heathen Indians; therefore when they saw the similarity between Sanskrit and ancient European languages like Greek and Latin, They were eager to use this as evidence of European hegemony over Indians. In order to fulfill these aims, they conceived of an original Aryan homeland in Central Asia from where the Aryans decided to invade Asia and Europe. No reasons were given for this invasion. Once this theory was put in place, the historical research that followed was motivated by this political view of things.  

However, there were many eminent scholars and personalities - like Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo – who contested this theory right from the beginning. Yet the theory of the Aryan invasion was propagated and remains widely prevalent in India even today.

Let us look at some of the new light that has been thrown upon this theory in the light of archaeological and scientific evidence.

Before we go into the new evidence, let us see the basis on which the theory of Aryan invasion and its corollaries were founded.

This theory was founded on three fundamentals:

1. There are two distinct races in India - the Aryan and the Dravidian.

2. There are two distinct language groups in India – the Sanskritic and the non sanskritic that correspond to the North Indian and South Indian languages.

3. The Vedas themselves refer frequently to ‘Aryans and Dasyus’ , which indicates the tall and fair North Indian and the dark skinned and short Dravidians. 

Today each one of these theories is being seriously questioned and in fact being proved of doubtful validity. Now archaeological evidence – most importantly of the river Saraswati – and the new and modern dating system throw the whole Aryan invasion theory into disarray.

The Aryan invasion idea is becoming rejected worldwide in the light of the new archaeological evidence that contradicts it.

In a recent academic paper it is argued that there is an indigenous development of civilization in India going back to at least 600 B.C. It proposes that the great Harappan or Indus Valley urban culture 2600-1900, centered on the Saraswati river of Vedic fame, had much in common with vedic literary accounts. It states that the Harappan culture came to an end not because of outside invaders but owing to environmental changes, most important of which was the drying up of the Saraswati. Note the conclusion.

“That the archeological record and ancient oral and literate traditions of South Asia are now converging has significant implications for regional cultural history. A few scholars have proposed that there is nothing in the “literature” firmly placing the Indo-Aryans outside of South Asia, and now the archeological record is confirming this.

“We reject most strongly the simplistic historical interpretations, which date back to the 18th century, that continue to be imposed on South Asian culture history. European ethnocentrism, colonialism, racism, and anti-Semitism significantly diminish these still prevailing interpretations. Surely, as South Asian studies approach the 21st century, it is time to describe emerging data objectively rather than  perpetuate interpretations without regard to the data archeologist have worked so hard to reveal”.

This is a statement by a noted western archeologist specializing in ancient India, James Schaffer of Case Western University as part of his new article, ‘Migration, Philology and South Asian Archeology’.


Today there is dramatic evidence relating to a Vedic river known as the Saraswati. The “Rig Veda” mentions the Saraswati as a “mighty river” originating in the Himalayas and following southwest towards the Arabian sea, it refers to the Saraswati as “the best of the rivers” (naditama) and “a great river” with perennial water. Another epic, the “Mahabharata” says the river disappeared underground somewhere near Sirsa town in Haryana.

The people of India today regard the Ganga (Ganges) as the sacred river, but it was not so in ancient times. To the Vedic people the sacred river par excellence was the Saraswati, a great river running in a course more or less parallel to the Indus but well to the east. This was long regarded as a mythical river. Beginning in the 1970’s, satellite data showed that such a river once did flow as described in the Rigveda. Following this discovery, in a great exploration of several thousand miles, the late V .S. Wakankar traced the course of this ancient river. We now know that this great river had dried up completely by 1900 B.C, if not earlier. The people who composed the Vedas must have been well established in India by then, long before 1500 B.C – The date assigned for the Aryan invasion. The geological society of India has also probed this from various perspectives.


In recent articles in the British journal, Current Biology, there are references, which have major implications for India. Based on genetic tests, the articles note that a key mitochondria DNA of the Western Eurasian strain accounts for no more than 5.2% in Indian populations, as against over 70% in European Countries. Simply put, this means that the supposed Aryan invasion is contradicted by genetics. The conclusion is that neither was there any Aryan invasion nor even any significant Aryan immigration.

Further this study shows that this genetic strain is present in roughly the same proportion in North and South India. This again goes to prove that there is no genetic divide between the so - called North Indian Aryans and the South Indian Dravidians. Thus the dichotomy created by these historians has according to the latest scientific evidence no basis at all.

Other factors, which have discredited this theory, are the decipherment of the Indus valley script. It was Natwar  Jha who deciphered first the Indus valley script and announced it in 1996.

As a result, the model of Indian history based on the Aryan invasion stood shattered by Science and Objective Research. There was a serious debate over the validity of the model, with archaeologists - both Indian and Western - insisting that they found no support for any invasion in ancient times. At the same time, being ignorant of Sanskrit, most archaeologists found it difficult to interpret archaeological data that are identified with the Vedic Civilization. Jha’s knowledge of Sanskrit and his decipherment took a step towards this and the resulting readings provide clearly defined historical context for the Harappans by linking their archaeology to the Vedic literature.



What made this possible was Jha’s Vedic scholarship along with his mastery of paleography. He showed that the language of the Harappan seals is Vedic Sanskrit, and their written massages have close connections with the Vedic literature. This solved a fundamental problem by providing a historical context from the Harappans. Jha’s breakthrough was the result of applying and empirical methodology to the primary sources, backed by great scholarship. His decipherment is very much a pert of this approach- one that combines modern science and ancient records.

At the same time N. Rajaram had arrived at a similar conclusion. His conclusion was based on a combined study of the mathematics of ancient Indian texts known as the Sulbasutras and the architecture of Harappan cities. He writes “The mathematical precision displayed in the carefully laid out cities and structures of the Harappan Civilization had convinced me that its architects and builders must have had access to fairly advanced mathematics - of the kind found in the Sulbasutras” Further a study of Harappan archaeology and Vedic literature shows that Vedic mathematics texts were used in the design and construction of carefully planned cities of the Harappan civilization. The American mathematician A. Siedenberg has established that both Old Babylonia (1900-1750 BC) and the Egyptian Middle Kingdom (2050-1800 BC) borrowed heavily from Vedic Mathematics, which was already well known in Harappan times.

Today, a great deal of research is being done on languages in India. It has been found that there are thousands of words in the Tamil language that are common to Sanskrit. It is quite possible to believe from the same root, from one another, which preceded them.

Thus the theory of an Aryan invasion and of two different races in India – the Aryan and the Dravidian – stands discredited; similarly the dates of the Vedas become much earlier than that of the Harappan and Mohenjodaro period. We shall have to wait a little longer till the research now being conducted all over the world comes to a definitive conclusion; in the meanwhile the least we can do is to disabuse our minds of the Aryan invasion theory and its corollary theories that are being taught in most text books.   



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