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Questioning Sat’s history

Published: 
Wednesday, July 11, 2018

In his column of 07/07/18, Maha Sabha leader Sat Maharaj continues to propagate the historical falsehood that the ancient population of India was entirely indigenous and that there was no migration of Aryans into the sub-continent. This dispute goes back centuries and historical and archaeological analyses have never settled these questions, in no small part due to propaganda pushed by Hindutva ideologues who, like Christian fundamentalists who use the Bible to argue that human evolution cannot be true, base their beliefs about history on ancient Hindu texts like the Vedas.

Now, however, the mapping of the human genome and advances in DNA analysis has settled most of these ancient arrival questions beyond a reasonable doubt. Thus, we now know that farming first came to the Indus valley from Iran about 9,000 years ago; that two separate populations settled in northern and southern India between 4,000 and 3,000 years ago; and that these two populations began mixing within the past 4,000 years, during which period the Rig Veda was composed drawing on mythological elements common to Iran, Greece, and Scandinavia. Indians today are all descendants of this mixing, with the original northern population genetically drawn from Europeans, Central Asians and Near Easterners, while the southern population was a fusion of farmers who migrated from Iran and the hunter-gatherers of South Asia. There is no varna (caste) or jati (sub-caste) which descends from a pure ancestral group or single individual.

Interestingly, the Y-chromosome is mainly descended from the northern populace, while maternal mitochondria is almost entirely from the south Indians–that is to say, ancient north Indian men passed on their genes to a far greater extent than south Indian men because the northern men took or were favoured by south women. This, no doubt, was one of the bases of the so-called “Aryan invasion,” which has now been confirmed by science.

KEVIN BALDEOSINGH,
Freeport

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