Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate

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Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate
Author Koenraad Elst
Country India
Language English
Subject Indo-Aryan migration
Publisher Aditya Prakashan
Publication date
1999
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OCLC 313906300
LC Class DS425 .E57 1999

Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate is a 1999 book by Koenraad Elst.[1] It was first published in August 1999 through Aditya Prakashan. The book discusses various aspects of the Indo-Aryan migration debate and concludes by proposing a chronological order for the events in the spread of Aryans Out of India.

Synopsis[edit]

In this book, Koenraad Elst argues that the theory of an Aryan invasion of India has not been proven by prevalent standards and that all relevant facts can just as well be explained with alternative models. In the last chapter of the book, Elst writes, "One thing which keeps on astonishing me in the present debate is the complete lack of doubt in both camps. Personally, I don’t think that either theory, of Aryan invasion and of Aryan indigenousness, can claim to have been “proven” by prevalent standards of proof; even though one of the contenders is getting closer. Indeed, while I have enjoyed pointing out the flaws in the AIT statements of the politicized Indian academic establishment and its American amplifiers, I cannot rule out the possibility that the theory which they are defending may still have its merits."

Unlike many proponents of the Out-of-India theory, Elst maintains the validity of the comparative-linguistics approach,[2] which sets him apart from other proponents like Georg Feuerstein in his book In Search of the Cradle of Civilization.

The book and his views on the Aryan invasion debate were discussed by Harvard professor Michael Witzel[3] and other professores, including George Cardona,[4] Edwin Bryant,[5] Hans Hock.[6]

Witzel also argued: "Elst disingeneously insists on calling any migration or even a “trickling in” an “invasion.” However, immigration/trickling in and acculturation obviously are entirely different from a (military) invasion, or from overpowering and/or eradicating the local population."[7]

  • Elst " Indigenous Indians. Agastya to Ambedkar (Voice of India 1993): Part of this book is a first treatment of the Aryan homeland debate, now very much dated because of the many new developments in this controversy. Still relevant is the part about the various political uses of this debate, particularly to pit Indians against other Indians on the basis of an entirely false dichotomy between invaders and natives. It shows the similarities between European anti-Semitism and Indian anti-Brahmanism. Original at the time, but fairly common knowledge now, is the revelation of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar’s harsh Islam criticism, of his important but confused history of the caste system, and of his opposition to the Aryan Invasion Theory. The Ambedkar chapter was also separately published as Ambedkar, a True Aryan (Voice of India 1993). "
  • Elst: " Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate (Aditya Prakashan 1999): An overview of the debating points in the ongoing controversy about Indo-European origins. While a few points were wrong or have been superseded, most of the book remains valid. Its overview of the political use of the AIT and some of its linguistic arguments have not been repeated anywhere else ever since."

Quotes[edit]

  • The greatest hurdle has been my own anxiety in treading unsure ground, where every hypothesis which is now carrying the day may be blown away by a new discovery tomorrow. Even now, it hurts to release a book in mid-debate, knowing that much of it will be dated by the time a new consensus will have evolved. But then, I am confident that this painful awareness of uncertainty has been the right attitude and the best starting-point for uprooting the false certainties of some and for clearing the bewilderment of others. While too many debaters are still at base one, unfamiliar with the newest arguments and insufficiently alert to the strong and weak points of the several types of evidence in the balance, I hope this books helps the debate in moving on and reaching its conclusion.

References[edit]

  1. Dietrich, Thomas Karl (2011). The Culture of Astronomy: Origin of Number, Geometry, Science, Law, and Religion. Bascom Hill Publishing Group. pp. 65–66. ISBN 1935098756.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  2. Michael Witzel in The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History by Edwin Francis Bryant, Laurie L. Patton RoutledgeCurzon, 2005 ISBN 0700714626, 9780700714629
  3. for example in Michael Witzel in The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History by Edwin Francis Bryant, Laurie L. Patton RoutledgeCurzon, 2005 ISBN 0700714626, 9780700714629
  4. Cardona, George. The Indo-Aryan languages, RoutledgeCurzon; 2002 ISBN 0-7007-1130-9
  5. The Quest for the Origins of Vedic Culture By Edwin Bryant. Oxford University Press
  6. Michael Witzel in The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History by Edwin Francis Bryant, Laurie L. Patton RoutledgeCurzon, 2005 ISBN 0700714626, 9780700714629
  7. Michael Witzel in The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History by Edwin Francis Bryant, Laurie L. Patton RoutledgeCurzon, 2005 ISBN 0700714626, 9780700714629
  • Linguistic Aspects of the Aryan Non-Invasion Theory, In Edwin Bryant and Laurie L. Patton (editors) (2005). Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and Inference in Indian History. Routledge/Curzon. ISBN 0-7007-1463-4.CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links[edit]