Rakhigarhi DNA Analysis: busting the Aryan Invasion myth

“A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes” – Mark Twain.

For centuries, a lie known as the ‘ARYAN INVASION THEORY (AIT)’ was first propagated by the British colonizers and later passed on by various vested interests, based entirely on false science, assumptions & convoluted logic.

We owe this web of lies to the questionable linguist Max Mueller and archaeologist Mortimer Wheeler who conveniently ignored available artefacts, mis-interpreted Sanskrit Vedic texts and tried to force-fit events as per a Biblical timeline. Following their lead, many indigenous and foreign archaeologists, historians and writers continued propagating this theory, some out of ignorance and others simply because it suited their agenda.

But as they say, ‘you can run with a lie but you can’t hide from the truth. Eventually truth will catch up’. And that is what has happened! As scientific advancements are made, a lot of evidence has stumbled out which prove that AIT was a misplaced concept that had no basis in reality.

As more and more sites of what is actually Saraswati-Sindhu Civilization (SSC) are being dug up, overwhelming archaeological, linguistic and other evidence is coming out in the public domain, thus rendering the AIT irrelevant, false and outdated.

Now, internationally renowned archaeologist Prof. Vasant Shinde of Deccan College, Pune has discovered 5000-year-old DNA evidence, from the largest SSC site of Rakhigarhi in Haryana, that conclusively proves that present day Bharatiyas are direct descendants of the SSC people and that so called Aryans neither invaded nor migrated to Bharat. DNA and other evidence from Rakhigarhi indicates that SSC was indeed the Vedic civilization that continues to be practised even today.

Ancient DNA from the Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization was found in this individual buried at Bharat’s Rakhigarhi archaeological site. (Credit: VASANT SHINDE)

Rakhigarhi

Rakhigarhi in Haryana is arguably the most important SSC site discovered till now. Spread over 550 hectares, it is double the size of Mohenjo Daro. Ongoing excavations at this over 5000-year-old site have provided evidences of the place being a major manufacturing and trade hub, and study of skeletal remains showed no sign of violent conflict and a manner of burial quite similar to the early Vedic period.

In 2016 interview, Prof. Vasant Shinde had said “Scientists have, for the first time ever, succeeded in extracting DNA from the skeletons of the Indus Valley Civilisation. More skeletons have been found during the ongoing excavation season from mound 2 for further analysis. Three different institutes of world repute are conducting the DNA analysis for a foolproof study, so there is no scope of any contradiction”.

A team led by geneticist David Reich at Harvard University succeeded in obtaining DNA signature from a few skeletal remains. They developed a new scientific technique to extract and study DNA from the petrous bone of the inner ear of a 5000-year-old skeleton of a woman. The results of the aforementioned DNA have brought to light some very interesting findings and have established firmly that AIT was nothing but a myth. Here are some of these findings: 

1) No DNA strands either from Iranian or Steppe pastoralists in the Rakhigarhi sample shows that these people were indigenous and they independently developed farming practices in Rakhigarhi.

2) DNA of the Rakhigarhi sample matches with those of modern Bharatiyas. 

3) Continuity of culture is visible from Rakhigarhi to modern times which is seen in both the genetic and archaeological data. Urbanization was introduced by these indigenous people. 

Other archaeological sites

Several archaeological sites have thrown up ample evidence that points towards indigenous origins of Bharatiya civilization and developments starting from as early as 7000 BCE. These sites such as Mehrgarh, Girawad, Mitathal, Farmana, Kunal etc are strewn across the Saraswati-Sindhu river basin on both sides of the border, and now sites are also being found in Gangetic plains and places like Odisha. 

Fire altars have been found at 5700-year-old Lothal SSC site in Gujarat that relate to ancient Vedic Yagna practices. So archaeological & genetic evidence are both now saying that no ‘Aryans’ invaded or migrated into ancient Bharat and that indigenous people, ancestors of present day Bharatiyas, have been inhabiting this land since times immemorial. 

Why was the Aryan Invasion Theory created?

For a long time now Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) or its variant Aryan Migration Theory (AMT), has been passed off as the truth. It started with the likes of colonial and western archaeologists, linguists and ‘historians’ such as Mortimer Wheeler, Max Mueller and F. Bopp among others. Nehru in his book ‘Discovery of India’ and Lokmanya Tilak also talked of Aryans having come from outside. Dr. Ambedkar, however, strongly refuted this theory in his book ‘Who were Shudras?’. 

Initially, it was said that Aryans invaded Bharat and pushed the indigenous people towards the South. When no traces of war or evidence supporting this view was found, which was simply based on finding one pile of skeletons, propagators of this view began to say the Aryans migrated in waves into Bharat and imported their Vedic knowledge and lifestyle which were alien to original inhabitants of Bharat.

AIT gave a historical precedent to justify the role and status of the British Raj, who could argue that they were transforming Bharat for the better in the same way that the Aryans had done thousands of years earlier.

The AIT premise was also used as a perfect tool by the British to divide the Hindu society and the state of Bharat. The North Indian “Aryans” were then pitted against the South Indian “Dravidians,” along with high-caste against low-caste, mainstream Hindus against tribals, Vedic orthodoxy against the indigenous orthodox sects, and later to neutralize Hindu criticism of the forced Islamic occupation of Bharat, since “Hindus themselves entered Bharat in the same way as Muslims did.” Even today, the theory has still been used as the basis for the growth of secularist, Marxist and other #BreakingIndia forces like Dravidianists. Even some feudalistic Hindus have bought into the theory to prove their ‘superiority’ over other Hindus.

Conclusion

These DNA results not just reject Aryan invasion/migration theory, but also prove that hunter-gatherers who roamed Bharat were the ones who actually founded the early Sindhu-Saraswati Civilization (SSC) somewhere around 7000 BCE or more. With time, a material culture developed giving rise to an urban civilization, but the genetic makeup remained the same.

It has also been established that Vedic culture was indeed developed by indigenous people in the Sindhu Saraswati basin and that continues to live even today, making Hindu Vedic culture the oldest surviving continuous culture. 

This is but the beginning of a story that would unravel more mysteries as more studies are conducted and evidence unearthed. While we are unearthing new evidence, it is perhaps time to safely bury the Aryan Invasion/Migration myth that has been propagated for far too long to serve the agenda of a few.

References

https://www.cell.com/cell/fulltext/S0092-8674(19)30967-5

https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/09/genome-nearly-5000-year-old-woman-links-modern-indians-ancient-civilization

https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6457/eaat7487

https://www.tribuneindia.com/news/haryana/rakhigarhi-more-important-than-mohenjo-daro-data/231004.html

https://www.hindupost.in/6000-year-old-rakhigarhi-burials-were-done-in-rig-vedic-fashion-dna-study-finds-no-central-asian-trace/

https://www.stephen-knapp.com/aryan_invasion_theory_the_final_nail_in_its_coffin.htm

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/kolkata/Varanasi-is-as-old-as-Indus-valley-civilization-finds-IIT-KGP-study/articleshow/51146196.cms

http://www.asianage.com/india/all-india/260517/artefacts-of-4000-year-old-civilisation-found-in-odisha.html


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About the Author

Maitri
A opinionated girl-next-door with an attitude. I'm certainly not afraid to call myself 'a proud Hindu' and am positively politically incorrect. A Bharatiya at heart who loves reading, music, sports and nature. Travelling and writing are my passions.