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History of India

Johann
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Re: History of India

Postby Johann » 25 Sep 1999 05:05

I'm sorry Mathew, but your 1st post did seem defensive and close minded to me. Your next post was qualitatively different, and in a good way Image . One of the problems with the net is that my basis for judgement is limited to the words I can see on the screen. <P> Sure, there have been Mongol invasions of Europe, but most of them have been one time deals by a group less than a 100th the size of native population. They would be swallowed and their genes added to the pool. It doesn't translate into any significant alteration of the population; they haven't all become Mongloids by virtue of it. At most it might make a group, say the Magyars more distinctive than the other ethnic groups around them. What about those who did not inherit from these mongol invasions? are they no longer Caucasians? <P> Regarding your comments on Science, I won't pretend that every scientist out there completely disassociates himself from his pet theories, but the standards of the scientific community as a whole have increased tremendously. I can only ask you to try an compare the published papers in the natural sciences and medical sciencefrom say 1865 and 1995, and compare their rigourousness. See how many, and what kind of unproven causal links are automatically assumed<P> Regarding AIDS, we've only been aware of the diseases existance for a mere 20 years; it simply wasn't common enough to the medical authorities and the general public even be identified before that. The largest reports of AIDS came fom Africa, and within the US the largest number of initial reports did come from the gay and African American communities. Your assumptions are going to depend on the data available. The second wave of reports had no shortage heterosexual and white victims, so it became clear that there was no direct causal link.<P><BR>I knew that this was something of an AIT vs. MIT thread, but I never discussed either theory as such. Then again people judge by whats on their screens, not what's in your mind. I should have made my position clear from the start

Sagar
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Re: History of India

Postby Sagar » 25 Sep 1999 07:05

Johann,<P>I am a biologist or at least one aspiring to be a biologist. Your explanations are very lucid. <BR>******<P>The term Caucasoid, as Johann pointed out is used in an anthropological sense i.e. from shape of skull, nose, forehead, etc. Using that criteria Algerians, Indians, Finns, Russians, Turks, etc all belong to this group. So far as I know there is no genetic trait that can classify humans into distinct 'races' i.e there are no common traits that classify all of them in a single group and distinct from others. All humans have genes that are basically the same - the outward differences that you see (and make a fuss about) are very small manifestation of minor differences in human genes. So when two groups diversify from a common ancestor you can use a genetic roadmap to get back to the genetic makeup of the ancestor. This is how you can claim that the two descendent groups emerged from the same ancestor. <P>Sathydas,<P>As Johann pointed out there is nothing called Indian 'race' or German 'race' or Arab 'race' in the genetic sense. These are ethnic classifications based on language, region, cultural habbits, and ofcourse commonality of physical appearance. Different human tribes have come together to form such 'races' or have diverged from a common 'race' into different distinct 'races'. Using the criterias explained above Indians and Europeans are distinct races (I am using the term 'race' in the above context). Anthropologically they probably had a common ancestor along with most non-Mongoloid people in Asia minor, Central Asia, etc. Linguistically also they seem to have commonalities and proponents of AIT have sought to explain it by a common ancestor language called proto-Indo-European from which the Latin and Sanskrit family of languages diversified. This is one reason why they looked for a common region of origin and sought to establish it in the East European steppes. The minority theory here is that it is Sanskrit which is the mother language and all else derived from it. According to this theory then there is no need for divergence from a common geographical region but rather migration from the place of origin of Sanskrit to the other regions.<P>Bottomline is it is not necessary to deny anthropological data to deny the AIT. The AIT has a very poor basis on many counts. At the same time anthropological data cannot be denied and it does suggest that most Indians are Caucasoids in origin (of course if you tell that to the Southern Baptists they are going to call you anti-Christ). I do not see what shame there could be in having common ancestors with Europeans, Arabs, Turks, Armenians, Iranians, etc. say 10,000-20,000 years back. As Indians our identity is very distinct.<P><BR>Johann,<P>Although the castes were endogamous they were not racially homogeneous nor was there absence of inter-caste mating (albeit mostly outside marraige). The caste groups also acquired new members along the way - from new groups adopting Vedic civilization to invaders being assimilated. The color distinction between Brahmins and Shudras are not sufficiently distinct to say that they belong to distinct racial groups. Most people in the North, North-West are fairer than those in the South, South-East regardless of caste e.g. Kashmiris of all castes are extremely fair. So I do not think the caste system progressed along racial lines or at least racial lines alone. When it progressed it adopted communities and gave them a place in the hierarchy even when they belonged to the same race. Forest dwellers or communities at the edges of society were generally kept at a distance not becasue they belong to a different race but because a) they were supposed to be outside civilized society or b) because they were supposed to engage in unclean activities.<P>Although these groups were endogamous, upper caste men often fathered children with lower caste women. In these cases the family either moved to a new settlement and adopted a new caste or if the father refused to live with the lower caste woman the children were adopted by the woman's own caste or she moved to a new geographical location and adopted another caste. Alliances between upper caste women and lower caste men although rare were not unknown. Social barriers like social ostracization were kept in place to prevent such things from happening. Thus, there was genetic mobility although to a less extent than would have been without caste. The study that I reported basically claims that the tribals (adivasis) have rarely mixed with upper castes by using genetic markers. Whenever they have mixed, an alliance between a upper caste man and a tribal/lower caste woman has caused them to move to a new geographical location. With middle castes there is much more genetic fluidity. This suggests that genetically the interaction between these caste groups can be identified using certain genetic markers. This is an outcome of practicising endogamy. It does not necessarily suggest a racial basis for caste. <BR>This study is by no means a comprehensive one. The truth is that there is no genetic data to identify a particular race from another (and it is seriously discouraged out of fear of giving racists a handle). What one can follow is the flow of certain genetic markers - which does tell a lot at times.<P>I personally think that caste is more complicated than the racial theory of AIT. Vedic civilization itself suggests a mixture of skin colors e.g. the very fair skins of Nakul, Sahdev and the Ashwini brothers to the very dark skin of Ram, Krishna and Draupadi.

Johann
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Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: History of India

Postby Johann » 25 Sep 1999 07:26

Thank you, Sagar, I always appreciate compliments from a professional, or even a soon-to-be professional Image<P> Thank you for bringing up the issue of out of wedlock children fathered by upper castes- I hadn't considered that. <P> Yes, I too am cautious about the paper you posted, after all 125 samples (out of a population of a billion), 6 markers and 2 alleles don't make for an exhaustive or comprehensive study, but they do suggest what it's outcome might be. <P> <BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial">quote:</font><HR>...of course if you tell that to the Southern Baptists they are going to call you anti-Christ...<HR></BLOCKQUOTE> <P>As for the Southern Baptists, I <I>like</I> to tell them that I'm the Anti-Christ. Image

Sagar
BRFite -Trainee
Posts: 54
Joined: 21 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: History of India

Postby Sagar » 25 Sep 1999 22:56

Actually I should make a correction to my last post. Indians are Caucasoid, Austric and everything in between. <P>Robert,<P>I have heard the Neanderthal to European theory but there is no proof as such. A lot of Punjabis along with other North-Western Indians are Indo-Greek, Indo-Scythian and Indo-Turkic in origin which is why they resemble Meditarraneans more. Do you know that Iranian priests (Mogs) settled in Bengal which could explain why a lot of Bengali Brahmins have surnames which do not resemble any other in India? <P>So we have to understand that migration to and from the subcontinent has been continuous in our recorded and unrecorded history. It is like a big mesh of different fibres which makes it difficult to untangle into distinct fibres. It is too complicated to be explained by a single theory alone.

Sagar
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Posts: 54
Joined: 21 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: History of India

Postby Sagar » 25 Sep 1999 23:00

Robert,<P>I agree with a part of what you said i.e. I have seen many Indians with very sharp features but dark skin color.

Sagar
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Posts: 54
Joined: 21 Oct 2002 11:31

Re: History of India

Postby Sagar » 25 Sep 1999 23:06

Sorry about not saying everything in a single post. Quantas of brainwaves coming out - Image<P>Johann,<P>Is there any reference to the term 'Aryan' in European literature pre-Max Muller era? As far as I know there isn't. The term 'Aryan' is limited to India and Persia. But I want to verify if this is true. <BR>

Johann
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Posts: 2075
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Re: History of India

Postby Johann » 26 Sep 1999 00:10

Sagar; certainly not in the wider literature. However Oxford, Cambrige, Leipzig and other major centers of learning all had scholars involved wih Sanskrit, but their interests were basically linguistic in nature. This was obviously a small group, but they did have access to to the vedas, so I'm sure they were familar with the term. Muller was interested not just in Sanskrit, but in India itself. He saw learning Sanskrit as a means of unlocking the history and origins of India, and making a mark in the academic world. The reading public both in Britain and Europe was interested too; they heard all these exciting stories from their colonies, but didn't really know much about the peoples or histories, or how it tied in with European and biblical history. He held lectures with titles like "<I>India: What Can It Teach Us?</I> " and published plenty of books. As the only tallking head in his field, the public basically accepted what he had to say as gospel. Muller actually rejected the theory of an Aryan 'race' later on but it was too late, the concept had already taken hold.<P>

Raj
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Re: History of India

Postby Raj » 26 Sep 1999 01:30

Sagar,<BR>IIRC Ireland means the land of Aryans?<BR><p>[This message has been edited by raj (edited 25-09-1999).]

Johann
BRF Oldie
Posts: 2075
Joined: 01 Jan 1970 05:30

Re: History of India

Postby Johann » 26 Sep 1999 02:42

There is an enormous range of body types in the World, and that goes for Europe too, some of it is genetic, some of it is diet and exercise. The average height in Holland has gone up by 35% since WW2, and it's till rising slowly. Archelogical evidence shows that the average European was considerably smaller and lighter the further we go back we go in the past.<P> As for the neanderthals, we know so little about them it's almost meaningless to speculate. We don't know for sure if they even co-existed with Homo Sapiens, or whether they were indeed a seperate species at all (which would rule out the cahnces of interbreeding). <P> Rajan, Eire is supposedly a corruption of 'Arya', or 'Arya-land'. Sounds a bit thin to me. I do know a few linguists who have commented on some very peculiar similarities between Sanskrit and Gaellic including words identical in meaning and pronnunciation. Lithuanian shares such similarities apparantly. <p>[This message has been edited by Johann (edited 25-09-1999).]

Sagar
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Re: History of India

Postby Sagar » 26 Sep 1999 05:48

Robert wrote:<BR>There were specials on the Discovery channel a while back on the matter of the Neanderthals. They even had experts from Harvard confirm that<BR> modern Europeans do have Neanderthal genes in them, and it was "nothing to be ashamed of".<P> Perhaps it is due to their Neanderthal heritage that they have recessive genes. I think it is due to their recessive genes that when a a non-Euro<BR> and Euro have a child, almost always the cchild looks 100% like the non-Euro side. <BR>*******<P>Interesting but I am quite certain that as of now there is no solid acceptance in the mainstream that Europeans have Neanderthal genes. It is a theory backed by some scientists. However, it is not impossible. The prevalent theory was I believe that Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens diverged at the same time - while one perished, the other survived. Their having come together and bred is not an impossibility although again it is not established.<BR>**********<P>Johann,<P>I wanted to know if the term 'Aryan/Arya' finds any mention in European literature/mythology/history/religion prior to the contact that modern Europeans made with Indic culture.<P>There are certain similarities between Irish customs and Vedic customs and that of hymns of the Celtic bards and the Vedic rishis. There is a site on that - I will try to post it if I can find it.


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