1887
Volume 1, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2543-3164
  • E-ISSN: 2543-3156
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Abstract

The category and the paradigm of ideas associated with it remains highly controversial in contemporary India, and the history, status, and impact of this concept are contested at many levels. This paper starts with the assumption that the genesis of this concept lies in Western linguistic theorizing, and analyzes in outline the reception and impact of Aryan Invasion Theory and the postulation of an Aryan-Dravidian divide. Radical Hindu nationalists reject all aspects of the colonial scholarship of India; other Indian scholars see Western scholarship as authoritative to the extent that it falls within the framework of secular modernity. The argument made here is that the entire Aryan paradigm rests on a faulty set of academic presumptions and that its impact has been more long lasting and destructive than even the application of race theory to the understanding of India. In this sense the paper accepts the criticisms made by radical Hindu nationalists of colonial linguistics, and this raises further complex issues about knowledge production and application, scholarly expertise and authority.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/lcs.00002.hut
2019-04-12
2019-09-20
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Ballantyne, T.
    (2002) Orientalism and race: Aryanism in the British empire. Basingstoke: Palgrave. 10.1057/9780230508071
    https://doi.org/10.1057/9780230508071 [Google Scholar]
  2. Banerjee, S. C.
    (2016) Brahmo Samaj as an actor in the dissemination of Aryan invasion theory (AIT) in India. International Journal of Asian Studies, 13, 19–59. 10.1017/S1479591415000182
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S1479591415000182 [Google Scholar]
  3. Baugh, J.
    (2000) Beyond Ebonics: Linguistic pride and racial prejudice. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. Basu, T., Datta, P., Sarkar, S., Sarkar, T., & Sen, S.
    (1993) Khaki shorts saffron flags. Hyderabad: Orient Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Bernal, M.
    (1987) Black athena: Afroasiatic roots of classical civilization: The fabrication of ancient Greece, 1785–1985. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bhutia, L.
    (2016) An ideological tussle develops over references to India and Hinduism in American textbooks. Open Magazine, May20 2016 Available at: www.openthemagazine.com
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Biswas, S.
    (1995) Autochthon of India and the Aryan invasion. New Delhi: Genuine Publications.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Bryant, Edwin
    (2001) The quest for the origins of Vedic culture. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/0195137779.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/0195137779.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  9. Campbell, L.
    (2007) Why Sir William Jones got it all wrong, or Jones’ role in how to establish language families. InJ. Lakarra and J. Hualde (Eds.), Studies in Basque and Historical Linguistics in Memory of R. L. Trask (pp.245–64). Bilbao: Universidad del País Vasco.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Chakrabarti, D.
    (2009) India: An archeological history. (2nd ed). New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198064121.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198064121.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  11. Chamberlain, J.
    (Ed.) (1991) The Ram Khamhaeng controversy: Collected papers. Bangkok: Siam Society.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Clarke, J. J.
    (2002) Oriental Enlightenment: The encounter between Asian and Western thought. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Cohn, B.
    (1996) Colonialism and its forms of knowledge: The British in India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Colebrooke, H. T.
    (1873) On the Sankrit and Prákrit languages. InE. B. Cowell (Ed.), Miscellaneous Essays: A New Edition with Notes, vol.2 (pp.1–32) London: Trübner. First published, Asiatic Researches, 7: 199–231 1801.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Cowan, R.
    (2010) The Indo-German identification: Reconciling South Asian origins and European destinies 1765–1885. Rochester, NY: Camden House.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Das, A. C.
    (1921) Rigvedic India. Calcutta: University of Calcutta.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Deshpande, M.
    (2006) Aryan origins: brief history of linguistic arguments. InR. Thapar (Ed.), India: Historical beginnings and the concept of the Aryan (pp.98–156). New Delhi: National Book Trust.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Deshpande, S.
    (2003) Contemporary India: A sociological view. New Delhi: Viking.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Dirks, N.
    (2001) Castes of mind: Colonialism and the making of modern India. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Doniger, W.
    (2014) The Hindus: An alternative history. New York, NY: Penguin. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199360079.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  21. Elst, K.
    (1991) Ayodhya and After: Issues before Hindu Society. New Delhi: Voice of India.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Farrar, F.
    (1878) Language and languages. London: Longmans, Green.
    [Google Scholar]
  23. Figueira, D.
    (2002) Aryans, Jews, Brahmins: Theorizing authority through myths of identity. Albany, NY: State University of New York.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. Fosse, L.
    (2005) Aryan past and post-colonial present: the polemics and politics of indigenous Aryanism. InE. F. Bryant & L. Patton (Eds.), The Indo-Aryan controversy: Evidence and inference in Indian history (pp.434–467). Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Friese, K.
    (2001) Liver is not mutton. InCivil Lines: New writing from India, Vol.4 (pp.7–34). New Delhi: Permanent Black.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Gellner, E.
    (2006) Nations and nationalism. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press. First published 1983.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Gidwani, B.
    (1994) Return of the Aryans. New Delhi: Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Greenberg, J.
    (1955) Studies in African linguistic classification. New Haven, CT: Compass Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. (1987) Language in the Americas. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Harris, R.
    (1981) The language myth. London: Duckworth.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Havell, E.
    (1918) The history of Aryan rule in India: From the earliest times to the death of Akbar. London: Harrap.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Heller, M., & McElhinny, B.
    (2017) Language, capitalism, colonialism: Towards a critical history. Toronto: The University of Toronto Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Hobsbawm, E., & Ranger, R.
    (Eds.) (2012) The invention of tradition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781107295636
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107295636 [Google Scholar]
  34. Hutton, C.
    (2005) Race and the Third Reich: Linguistics, racial anthropology and genetics in the dialectic of Volk. Cambridge: Polity.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. (2013) Fictions of affinity and the Aryan paradigm. InM. Messling & O. Ette (Eds.), Wort-Macht-Stamm: Rassismus und determinismus in der philologie (pp.89–103). Munich: Fink.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. (2017) Phonocentrism and the concept of Volk: The case of modern China. InA. Morris-Reich & D. Rupnow (Eds.), Ideas of “race” in the history of the humanities (pp.273–296). London: Palgrave. 10.1007/978‑3‑319‑49953‑6_11
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-49953-6_11 [Google Scholar]
  37. Ilaiah, K.
    (1996) Why I am not a Hindu: A Sudra Critique of Hindutva philosophy, culture and political economy. Calcutta: Samya.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Jones, Sir William
    (1799) On the Hindus. The third anniversary discourse, Delivered 2 February, 1786. The works of Sir William Jones (Vol.1, pp.19–34). London: G.G. and J. Robinson.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Kaiwar, V.
    (2003) The Aryan model of history. InV. Kaiwar & S. Mazumdar (Eds.), Antinomies of Modernity: Essays on race, Orient, nation (pp.13–61). Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 10.1215/9780822384564‑002
    https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822384564-002 [Google Scholar]
  40. Kelly, L.
    (2016) California’s Hindu textbook controversy: Redefining Hindu American identity. Unpublished masters thesis, University of Toulouse. Available at: dante.univ-tlse2.fr/2308/13/Kelly_Leah_M12016.pdf
  41. Laine, J.
    (2003) Shivaji: Hindu King in Islamic India. New Delhi: Oxford University Press. 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195141269.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195141269.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  42. (2014) Censorship in brown and white. South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, 37: 708–716. 10.1080/00856401.2014.966940
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00856401.2014.966940 [Google Scholar]
  43. Leach, E.
    (1964) Political systems of Highland Burma. Boston, MA: Beacon Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Leifer, W.
    (1971) India and the Germans: 500 years of Indo-German contact. Bombay: Shakuntala.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Leopold, J.
    (1974) The Aryan theory of race in India 1870–1920: Nationalism and internationalist versions. The Indian Economic and Social History Review7, 271–297. 10.1177/001946467000700204
    https://doi.org/10.1177/001946467000700204 [Google Scholar]
  46. Malhotra, R.
    (2014) Indra’s net: Defending Hinduism’s philosophical unity. New Delhi: HarperCollins.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Malhotra, R., & Neelakandan, A.
    (2011) Breaking India; Western interventions in Dravidian and Dalit faultlines. New Delhi: Amaryllis.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Maw, M.
    (1990) Visions of India. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. McGetchin, D.
    (2009) Indology, Indomania, and Orientalism: Ancient India’s rebirth in modern Germany. Madison, WI: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Messling, M.
    (2016) Gebeugter Geist. Rassenlogik und Erkenntnis in der modernen europäischen Philologie. Göttingen: Wallstein.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Misra, S. S.
    (2005) The data of the Rigveda and the Aryan migrations: Fresh linguistic evidence. InE. Bryan & L. Patton (Eds.), The Indo-Aryan Controversy; Evidence and inference in Indian History (pp.181–233). London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Momin, S.
    (2017) When the last dome fell: A first-person account of the Babri Masjid demolition. The Hindu, December6 2017 Available at: www.thehindu.com
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Morris, R.
    (Ed.) (2010) Can the subaltern speak? Reflections on the history of an idea. New York, NY: Columbia University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  54. Mortimer, J.
    (1983) Annie Besant and India 1913–1917. Journal of Contemporary History, 18, 61–78. 10.1177/002200948301800104
    https://doi.org/10.1177/002200948301800104 [Google Scholar]
  55. Müller, F. M.
    (1860) A history of Ancient Sanskrit literature, so far as it illustrates the primitive religion of the Brahmans (2nd ed.). London: Williams and Norgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. (1912) Biographies of words and the home of the Aryas. London: Longmans. First published 1888.
    [Google Scholar]
  57. Nanda, M.
    (2000) Postmodernism and religious fundamentalism: A scientific rebuttal to Hindu science. New Delhi: Navayana.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. (2004) Prophets facing backward: Postmodern critiques of science and the Hindu nationalism in India. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. (2009) The God market: How globalization is making India more Hindu. New Delhi: Random House.
    [Google Scholar]
  60. (2016) Science in Saffron: Skeptical essays on history of science. New Delhi: Three Essays Collective.
    [Google Scholar]
  61. Palacas, A.
    (2001) Liberating American Ebonics from Euro-English. College English, 63, 326–352. 10.2307/378997
    https://doi.org/10.2307/378997 [Google Scholar]
  62. Pereltsvaig, A., & Lewis, M.
    (2015) The Indo-European controversy: Facts and fallacies in historical linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781107294332
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781107294332 [Google Scholar]
  63. Prashad, V.
    (2012) Uncle Swami: South Asians in America today. New York, NY: The New Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  64. (2014) Wendy Doniger’s book is a tribute to Hinduism’s complexity, not an insult. The Guardian on-line, Feburary12 2014, available at: www.theguardian.com
    [Google Scholar]
  65. Pulgram, E.
    (1959) Proto-Indo-European reality and reconstruction. Language, 35: 421–426. 10.2307/411229
    https://doi.org/10.2307/411229 [Google Scholar]
  66. (1961) The nature and use of proto-languages. Lingua, 10: 18–37. 10.1016/0024‑3841(61)90109‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-3841(61)90109-7 [Google Scholar]
  67. Ramaswamy, K., Nicolas, A. de, & Banerjee, A.
    (Eds.) (2007) Invading the sacred: An Analysis of Hinduism studies in America. New Delhi: Rupa.
    [Google Scholar]
  68. Ramaswamy, S.
    (2004) The lost land of Lemuria: Fabulous geographies, catastrophic histories. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 10.1525/california/9780520240322.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520240322.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  69. Ramirez, D., Wiley, T., Klerk, G. de, Lee, E. and Wright, W.
    (Eds.) (2005) Ebonics: The urban education debate. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
    [Google Scholar]
  70. Renu, L. N.
    (1994) Indian ancestors of Vedic Aryans. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan.
    [Google Scholar]
  71. Rocher, R., & Rocher, L.
    (2012) The making of Western Indology: Henry Thomas Colebrooke and the East India Company. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  72. Said, E.
    (1978) Orientalism. New York, NY: Pantheon.
    [Google Scholar]
  73. Saraswati, S. V.
    (1996) Āryāvart (The Original habitat of Aryans). New Delhi: Vijaykumar Govindram Hasanand.
    [Google Scholar]
  74. Schlegel, F.
    (1819) Über J. G. Rhode: Über den Anfang unserer Geschichte. Wiener Jahrbücher der Literatur8, 413–468.
    [Google Scholar]
  75. Seth, S.
    (2009) Putting knowledge in its place: Science, colonialism, and the postcolonial. Postcolonial Studies12, 373–388. 10.1080/13688790903350633
    https://doi.org/10.1080/13688790903350633 [Google Scholar]
  76. Shankar, Shalini
    (2008) Desi land: Teen culture, class, and success in Silicon Valley. Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 10.1215/9780822389231
    https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822389231 [Google Scholar]
  77. Steadman-Jones, R.
    (2007) Colonialism and grammatical representation: John Gilchrist and the analysis of the “Hindustani” language in the late Eighteenth and Nineteenth centuries. Oxford: Blackwell.
    [Google Scholar]
  78. Talageri, S.
    (1993) Aryan invasion theory: A reappraisal. New Delhi: Aditya Prakashan.
    [Google Scholar]
  79. Tavakoli-Targhi, M.
    (2003) Orientalism’s genesis amnesia. InSucheta Mazumdar (Ed.), Antinomies of modernity: Essays on race, Orient, nation (pp.98–124). Durham, NC: Duke University Press. 10.1215/9780822384564‑004
    https://doi.org/10.1215/9780822384564-004 [Google Scholar]
  80. Thapar, R.
    (1989) Imagined religious communities? Ancient history and the modern search for a Hindu identity. Modern Asian Studies23, 209–231. 10.1017/S0026749X00001049
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0026749X00001049 [Google Scholar]
  81. (1996) The Theory of Aryan race and India: history and politics. Social Scientist24, 3–29.
    [Google Scholar]
  82. (2000) The Past and prejudice. Revised edition. New Delhi: National Book Trust.
    [Google Scholar]
  83. (2001) Syndicated Hinduism. InG.-D. Sontheimer & H. Kulke (Eds.), Hinduism Reconsidered (pp54–81). New Delhi: Manohar.
    [Google Scholar]
  84. Theertha, S. D.
    (1941) The menace of Hindu imperialism. Lahore: Har Bhagwan.
    [Google Scholar]
  85. Tilak, B. G.
    (1903) The Arctic home in the Vedas. Poona: Tilak Brothers.
    [Google Scholar]
  86. [ToI] (2010) Supreme Court lifts ban on James Laine’s book on Shivaji. The Times of India, July9 2010 Available at: timesofindia.indiatimes.com
    [Google Scholar]
  87. Toref-Ashkenazi, C.
    (2009) Der romantische mythos vom Ursprung der Deutschen. Friedrich Schlegels Suche nach der indogermanischen Verbindung. Göttingen: Wallstein.
    [Google Scholar]
  88. Trautmann, T.
    (1997) Aryans and British India. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press. 10.1525/california/9780520205468.001.0001
    https://doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520205468.001.0001 [Google Scholar]
  89. (2006) Languages and nations: The Dravidian proof in colonial Madras. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  90. Vickery, M.
    (1991a) The Ram Khamhaeng inscription, a Piltdown skull of Southeast Asian history?InJ. Chamberlain (Ed.), The Ram Khamhaeng controversy (pp.3–52). Bangkok: The Siam Society.
    [Google Scholar]
  91. (1991b) Piltdown Skull – Installment 2. InJ. Chamberlain (Ed.), The Ram Khamhaeng controversy (pp.333–418). Bangkok: The Siam Society.
    [Google Scholar]
  92. Warren, W.
    (1885) Paradise found: Cradle of the human race at the North Pole. Boston, MA: Haughton Mifflin.
    [Google Scholar]
  93. Willson, A. L.
    (1964) A mythical image: The ideal of India in German romanticism. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  94. Witzel, M.
    (2005) Indocentricism: Autochtonous visions of ancient India. InE. F. Bryant & L. L. Patton (Eds.), The Indo-Aryan controversy: Evidence and inference in Indian history (pp.341–404). Abingdon: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  95. Wongthes, M.
    (2003) Intellectual might and ational myth: A forensic investigation of the Ram Khamhaeng controversy in Thai society. Bangkok, Thailand: Matichon.
    [Google Scholar]
  96. Wright, R.
    (1998) Sociolinguistic and ideological dynamics of the Ebonics controversy. The Journal of Negro Education67, 5–15. 10.2307/2668235
    https://doi.org/10.2307/2668235 [Google Scholar]
  97. Yap, A. C.
    (2016) South Asian Community Debates “South Asia”, “India” Ahead of Textbook Updates. NBCNews, May16 2016 Available atwww.nbcnews.com
    [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/lcs.00002.hut
Loading
  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Aryan , Aryan Invasion Theory , colonial and postcolonial linguistics , Dalits , Dravidian and Hindutva
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error