There is an enormous body of proof that indicates the Aryan Invasion Theory to be an entirely false and fabricated—indeed, to be little better than a figment of the racially inspired British colonial industry. By stimulating this discredited hypothesis, the American academies virtually single out Hindu civilization and society for an unfavourable description and reveal its followers – the students of Bharatiya origin – to mock and subtly portray Hindu Dharma as impaired. This is a classic illustration of Hindudvesha (Systemic Hinduphobia). 

In many American academies, the teaching curriculum on Hindu Dharma is built around an an outdated frameworks called the Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory (AIMT). This theory hypothesizes that a group of cattle cowhand from Central Asia, called Aryans, settled in Bharat around 1,500 BCE. This company of cattle herders, the theory implies, were victorious in inflicting their social commerce—including a rigid caste system – on the indigenous multitude.

There is now an enormous body of proof that shows this to be an entirely inaccurate and made-up story—indeed, to be little more than a figment of the racially motivated British colonial enterprise. By promoting this discredited theory, the American schools deny the Bharatiya origin of Bharat’s prevailing civilization and theology while giving praise for it to invaders from elsewhere.

If the goal of teaching is to stimulate sacred and artistic diversity, instill a sense of satisfaction in one’s origin, eradicate roots of intolerance, and develop a feeling of self-worth, then the current schooling method about Hindu Dharma and the Bharatiya society fails significantly in its assignment. On the negative, it effectively pinpoints out Hindu Dharma, revealing its adherents – the pupils of Bharatiya descendence – to heckle and subtly picture Hindu Dharma as inadequate. In the recent world, no child would like to be associated with a system of belief represented as hierarchical and oppressive. It singles out Hindu culture and civilization for negative portrayal – a classic example of Hindudvesha (systemic Hinduphobia). 

This article gives a comprehensive background of the Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory, how it came into being, and why it does not stand up to the new scientific evidence and should be dropped from the school curricula. 

Aryan Invasion/Migration Theory – Brief history

In the mid-18th century, the British East India Company, having gained political control over large parts of Bharat, started programs to conduct linguistic, cultural, and ethnological studies of the Bharatiya people.

In the 1780s, William Jones, a British philologist and High Court Judge of the East India Company, discovered remarkable similarities between Sanskrit, Bharat’s ancient scriptural language, Greek, Latin, and many other European languages [1].

In 1786, Jones published his results, declaring a common origin of these languages. This led to speculations of an “Out of India” (OIT) theory, which postulated that the Europeans came from an advanced civilization in Bharat. Not unexpectedly, OIT was received by the Europeans as a serious affront to their presumed civilizational superiority over other races. In the wake of Jones’ publication, Sanskrit language and texts became a major study area among European scholars.

During the first half of the 19th century, German scholars, while searching for their civilizational roots, came to identify themselves with the valiant heroes of the Sanskrit epic, Mahabharata[2]. This belief developed into a hypothetical construct, the primary tenets of which were as follows: The Germans and the Bharatiyas were branches of a common warrior race and were the original heroes of the Hindu epic Mahabharata The great epic was subsequently ruined by the villainous Brahmins with their
redactions and manipulations[3].

Intermixing of the Indo-Germanic people with the indigenous backward-dark-tribals resulted in racial degeneration of the Bharatiya branch of the Indo-Germanic race. On the other hand, German people represented the pristine version of the original Indo-Germanic stock.

Max Mueller, a German scholar of Sanskrit at Oxford University, is believed to be the first one to articulate, in 1848, the idea of an Aryan people while formulating his now famous (or notorious, depending on your viewpoint) “Aryan Invasion Theory” (AIT). Since it was introduced, AIT has undergone several revisions. Its current postulates stand as follows[4]:

The original inhabitants of Bharat were “dark-skinned” Dravidians who established a peaceful, highly developed urban civilization known as the Harrapan or the Indus Valley Civilization.

According to his theory, around 1, 500 BCE, a nomadic ( a member of a people who have no fixed residence but move from place to place usually seasonally and within a well-defined territory.) race known as the Indo-Aryans invaded and conquered Bharat from the West. These ‘Aryans / Indo-Europeans’ were proposed to have a variety of homelands, including Central Asia, Scandinavia, North Germany, Hungary, and Ukraine. They allegedly destroyed the ancient Dravidian civilization, oppressed the locals, and drove them to relocate to the south of Bharat. (It is worth noting that Mueller’s timeline for the Aryan invasion was inspired by his belief in the infallibility of the Biblical view of human history, which proclaimed the beginning of humanity in the year 4004 BCE and the Great Flood in 2349 BCE). 

The Indo-Aryans were white-skinned people who spoke Vedic Sanskrit, wrote the Vedas, and enforced Indo-Aryan religion (what we call Hinduism today).

In the late 20th century, in the face of the mounting evidence against AIT, the theory was further refined into what is now known as the Indo-Aryan Migration theory (IAMT), according to which the Indo-Aryans migrated into Bharat rather than invaded it.

Meanwhile, German scholars, building on their worldview of shared ancestry with the Bharatiya people, coopted Mueller’s idea of the Aryan race into their ancestral identity. The resulting Aryan Race theory was to take an ugly turn in the first half of the 20th century when Adolph Hitler[5] adopted it and weaponized
it against the Jewish people – with devastating consequences for the latter.

Inspired by Mueller’s ideas, Herbert Risley, the Director of Ethnography and Census in the British colonial Government, developed a Nasal Index measurement tool. This Nasal Index, much like Phrenology, became an essential tool of Race Science to classify the traits of Bharatiya communities.

During the 1871 census survey of India, the word “caste” (English translation of the Portuguese word casta) was first used to classify the Bharatiya society, thus overlaying and distorting the existing social structure based on a fluid Varna-Jati framework [6].

Risley’s Nasal Index was used extensively to force-fit large swaths of the indigenous population into the caste taxonomy developed by the British bureaucrats. One of the newly created groups was named simply “the criminal caste” on the claim that they were biologically suitable for making a living exclusively by criminal means!

In the wake of the 1871 census, courts were filled with cases of people objecting to the high-handed enforcement of the caste classification. However, the hubris of the colonial system would prevail over their objections.full-width

Middleton, one of the two census superintendents in 1921, observed that the so-called occupational castes had been primarily manufactured and almost entirely preserved as separate castes by the British Government. “We pigeonholed everyone by caste and if we could not find a true caste for them, labeled them with the name of a hereditary occupation. We deplored the caste system and its effects on social and economic problems, but we are largely responsible for the system we deplore”.

Footnotes (Appear IF YOU CLICK ON Reference Number)

  1. [1] Jones, William, A dissertation on the orthography of Asiatick words
    in Roman letters, Asiatick Researches, 1: 1–56 (1786).

  2. [2] Bagchee and Adluri, The Nay Science, p.56

  3. [3] Here the Brahmins – the educated/intellectual segment of the Indian
    society – were being gratuitously cast into a villainous role to create
    a plausible explanation for why the great epic, Mahabharata, had failed
    to glorify the Indo-Aryan people. This highly prejudicial casting of the
    Brahmins would become a permanent feature of all subsequent discourse
    about Indian society.

  4. [4]
    Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT)

  5. [5] Hitler’s rare utterance on the Hindus was a racial interpretation of
    the AIT, “We know that the Hindus in India are a people mixed from the
    lofty Aryan immigrants and the dark-black aboriginal population and that
    this people is bearing the consequences today; for it is also the slave
    people of a race that almost seems like a second Jewry” (Conrad Elst,
    Still No Trace of an Aryan Invasion, p.104, Aryan Book International,

  6. [6] Dirks, Nicholas B (2001), Castes of Mind: Colonialism and Making of
    Modern India, Princeton University Press, Chapter 9.

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