Nilesh Oak wrote:I am presenting my talk at next conference on - What will falsify (kill) AIT? (truly, What killed AIT)
Nilesh let me point out something that bugs me in this entire debate. Many of us desi "science types" for whom English is a layer of language added on top of our mother tongue often do not see the manner in which western academia use a web of rhetorical constricts and straw men to obfuscate and take the debate in a direction that is bound to reach a dead end. The concept of "Aryan Invasion" and our objections to the "Aryan Invasion Theory" is an example.
I will use an example of a conversation I had with a 10 year old nephew of mine many years ago
Vikram: "What lives 5 feet underground, is green in colour and eats stones?"
Vikram: "The Green Stone Eater. But let me ask you a serious question this time"
Vikram: "If you drill a hole through the centre of the earth so it comes out the other side and drop a stone in it what will happen?"
Me: "Blah blah blah.."
Vikram: "No. Wrong. The Green Stone Eater will eat it up as soon as it goes down 5 feet
In this childish joke the existence of the Green Stone Eater has been established initially. In the second step the fate of what happens to rocks inside the earth is being discussed, with the Green Stone Eater being reintroduced if necessary. Arguments about the fate of the stone are diverted to the fake Green Stone Eater. If you argue about Green Stone Eater you are then fighting a strawman, leaving aside the subject of what happens to the stone.
The Aryan Invasion Theory is similar. First the straw man concept of Aryan was cooked up -like Green Stone Eater.
As a second step it was claimed that Aryans invaded India (or migrated) bringing language. If you object to the latter and say that there was no evidence of invasion you are by default accepting that "Aryans" existed. And this type of argument has in fact led to the side effect of people not knocking down the straw man while they debate the life story of the straw man.
Trying to rebut AIT but showing that there were no migrations is a mistake and that mistake is being repeated by genetics studies. Migration is not the issue. The Aryan race simply did not and does not exist and could not have migrated.
I think everyone would have understood this easily if they had said "Martian Invasion Theory". If that had been the idea then everyone would have pounced on the "Martian" word and asked wtf are Martians? But what has happened now is that Western academia have moved away from "Aryan" are are saying "language migration". we are still stuck on Aryan. We need to blow down the Aryan (and related Dravidian) straw man and start looking at the core issue of "Language migration"
I think language migration needs to be addressed with the following questions:
"If language was brought by some people from point A to point B, what is the evidence that the language existed in point A?"
Culture is not the same as language. People will be hard put to differentiate the culture of Maharashtra from that of Karnataka. Yet one is "Indo-European language" and the other is "Dravidian language". Finding evidence of culture is does not indicate finding language. For an outside observer the culture of a person from France is no different from someone in Germany.
Linguistics - especially "Philology" or "historical linguistics" which is no different from "phrenology" or voodoo magic has been used to write history and that edifice must be torn down.