Romila Thapar: No Aryan Invasion – II

“Few days back”: Romila Thapar in a letter to the editor to The Hindu said that all along she had maintained that there was no Aryan Invasion. I am currently reading her book Early India: From the origins to the AD 1300” Here are some exceprts

Indo-European and Indo-Aryan are language labels, but in the nineteenth century these were also incorrectly used as racial labels and this confusion persists. The correct usage should be “Indo-European-speaking people” and `Indo-Aryan-Speaking-people’, but the shortened labels, Indo-European and Indo-Aryan are commonly used. Language is a cultural label and should not be confused with race, which although also a social construct, claims that it has to do with biological descent.

Some migrated to Anatolia, others to Iran, and some among the latterm it is thought migrated to India. In the texts composed by them, such as __Avesta__ in Iran and the __Rig-Veda__ in India, they refer to themselves as __airiia__ and __arya__, hence the European term, Aryan.

There are clearly many sources of information on the beginings of Indian history. Archeological evidence is chronologically more precise, but cannot be used to identify any culture as ‘Aryan’ since archeology, in the absence of a script cannot supply information on a language. Unfortunately, the Harappan script remains undeciphered. The theory of an Aryan invasion no longer has credence.

So there you have it, right from the horse’s mouth. There was no Aryan Invasion. Aryan is a language label. Aryans composed Rig Veda.


  1. Also, there were multiple waves of migrations. This is true for most part of the Asian political entities today. China’s Han culture is a mix of several assimilated cultures. So are the “pure” Japan and Korea that detest immigration.

    The National Geographic documentary “Journey of Man” ought to be made compulsory in Schools.

  2. I am not a historian but as i percieve it ,it was DWARVES/ELVES near(mount amanoh) syria and assuria (around 5000 BC) who some times fought together and then pledge friendship to fight the choas horde of morkar.and first due to massive migration of romany people migrated towards india.and this migration continued simultaneouly of DWARVES(DRAVINS)AND ELVES( LATER KNOWN AS ARYANS)so it never was really a ARYAN invasion but a migration.

  3. i am a student of BA (hons) english at Jamia Millia Islamia.we have been going through the harappan culture in last few lectures .we have read about the shiva pashupati seal. most of us believe that he was the male deity. let us assume that in a few decades the present human civilisation comes to an abrupt end and centuries later our civilization is the subject of study in classes. so will they conclude that we worshipped the lion capitol or sardar patel who appear in our coins and govt seals.what is the other basis which has made the historians lay such a confident statement about the male deity

  4. Tapti, It is not just a belief that people worshipped anyone seen in coins, you have to take into consideration the social life of that era. From other scriptures you come to know that during that time, people put on coins the things they worshipped. But anyone knowing the social life of current period knows that we put even pictures of Rajiv Gandhi on stamps.

    The study of history is not just archeology, but a combination of various disciplines.

  5. as far as i aknow the script of the times of indus valley civilisation has not yet been deciphered. what are then the scriptutrs you rely on the mahabharata or puranas or something of that sort that came hundreds of years later. does not the change in social behaviour demand a consideration

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