Evolutionary biology cannot prove any theory about a linguistic homeland: Koenraad Elst – Scroll.in

Human migration out of Africa to India and then to Europe.

The following comments are in response to a Scroll.in article called Video: an animated map shows how Sanskrit may have come to India by Shoaib Daniyal.

Koenraad Elst♦ Thanks to Scroll for mentioning my name in an article lambasting the Out-of-India Theory as a Hindutva concoction similar to the Flat Earth theory. 

The OIT was actually the first Homeland theory of Indo-European, prevalent till ca. 1820, and had nothing to do with the 20th-century ideology of Hindutva. (Of which I am a published and consistent critic, but if the author has to compensate for his lack of hands-on understanding of the controversy by labelling better-informed people as “Hindutva”, so be it.)

A research result from evolutionary biology cannot possibly prove any theory about a linguistic homeland, because genes don’t talk: you can genetically (or archaeologically) prove any migration you want, but then you still don’t know what language the people concerned spoke.  This is usually pointed out by the opposing camp, by the believers in an Aryan invasion of India, because the non-linguistic evidence is so massively going against their pet scenario: whereas in Central Europe, plenty of archaeological and genetical evidence proves an Indo-European invasion from the east ca  2900 BCE, such evidence is totally lacking in India. Thus, it has freshly been shown that the lactose tolerance (milk-drinking habit) of the Europeans resulted from this overwhelming immigration from the East: through Ukraine (where the cows’ genes show Indian ancestry) ultimately from India.

Textually too, the Vedas (and in more detail though by hearsay, the Puranas) report emigrations from, not immigrations into India during the period concerned. In linguistics too, the last bulwark of the non-Indian homeland theory is coming down step by step through the work of Nicholas Kazanas, Shrikant Talageri and myself.

Prof B.B. LalRemember the Ayodhya controversy: for 20 years we were lambasted and ridiculed in similar terms by the Indian secularists and their dupes in Western academe. But we were proven right while the secularists and their dupes have egg all over their faces. The pillar-bases proving (among many other things) the demolished Hindu temple in Ayodhya were first dug up by BB Lal, the same man who jettisoned his earlier Aryan invasion beliefs and now, at 90+, elaborates the Out-of-India scenario and declares: “Vedic history and Harappan history are but two sides of the same coin.” He was lambasted for his Ayodhya findings just as he is still lambasted for his stand on Indo-European history, but he was proven right then and is now being proven right again. — Koenraad Elst


♦ What a poor piece about how Sanskrit came to India. It’s reflective of the mediocrity in Indian media where lazy bloggers-turned-journalists dish out “factual” pieces on complex topics (such as history in this case) with minimal rigour, research or objectivity. For example, the writer Shoaib Daniyal makes sweeping inferences based on one  research study (inflated as “seminal”), multiple references to Wikipedia and a PowerPoint slide-turned-video to support it. And that’s the extent of his rigour to explain the history of a civilisation going back 6,000 years. — Ankit S.


♦ Can you please provide documents on how you come to this conclusion? Anyone can make graphics to say that man came from Mars. Does the author have any archaeological evidence, or is this just false propaganda. — Alokjyoti Bal


♦ This was a very informative piece. The potshot at the Sangh Parivar was unnecessary. Why can’t an article on Sanskrit be only about Sanskrit? It will just give some people an excuse to start trolling. The influence of right-wing groups (both Hindutva and Islamist) is often amplified by too much media attention. — Soumyakanti Chakraborty


♦ Scroll.in started like a beacon of liberal press. With this article, it buries the myth.

The way you have so polemically dumped the alternative theories reeks of a bigoted agenda. The author seems to be a twenty-something with little exposure to the world of theoretical research or of the way history evolves.

The question whether Sanskrit evolved from Latin/Persian or vice-versa is still being debated amongst international historians. Suffice to say that language colleges in Europe still teach of Sanskrit as the “Mother of all languages” (I am sure you won’t check the curriculum for your petty-minded article).

It is sad that a progressive website has tumbled down to such depths of shallow journalism. I think you must stop considering yourself as history experts. You are not. — Kulveer Singh


♦ I have come across several stories in Scroll.in which talk of Hindutva Loonism. It appears that authors are direct descendants of Macaulay and other Europeans who could not digest anything which showed India in good light.

In fact there is no Hindutva except in the minds of Congress and leftists, the public school educated and the missionaries (Muslim or Christian).

I have no link to BJP or RSS or Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Reading of Indian history with an open mind has brought me to same conclusions. The term Hindu refers to natives of India adhering to indigenous culture. For political reasons,, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs have been separated, not in too distant a past. All these Indian faiths are to be contrasted actually with Semitic religions, which have the aim of eliminating all native or Indian religions.

Most of your articles are a step in that direction. Confuse Hindus. Belittle Hindus. And degrade Hindus. Expedite the destruction subtly.

If Padmini is likely to be a fiction, so is Jodha, so is the greatness of Akbar, so is the moaning of Babar about absence of gardens in India, which might have been destroyed by Muslim invaders—one finds lots of references to gardens in Sanskrit literature. Why always speak of “Hindu” fiction and remain silent about fiction of other communities.

Why not accept that sati, purdah and degradation of status of women in Indian society was a result of Muslim invaders. Why not accept that most Hindus became Muslims due to Jazia and Christians due to patronage and financial temptations in the name of charity.

Everybody from writers on Scroll.in to PK to OMG berate Hindus while other religions, races and ethnicities have plenty of ills. It is irritating. Please editor, either follow a balanced approach or abandon touching subjects that denigrate and hurt Hindus and their culture.

Hindus have an eternal existence. They should be a  world heritage. (I remember in an article in Scroll.in the writer lambasted the eternalness of “Hinduism”.). Your authors always question beliefs of Hindus. They do not have courage to question Muslims or Christians.  — Anil Dutta 

» Source: Scroll.in, 27 June 2015

Swastika Sanskrit Etymology

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