The just released findings of the genetic study by Harvard and CCMB researchers had strongly refuted the Aryan- Dravidian divide and the invasion theories.
The researchers are in a mood to accept that the study of our past requires a multi-disciplinary approach as it is quite old. In my own understanding of past of Bharatha varsha, from our indigenous texts, here are my views which I think must be borne in mind in fine-tuning the insights of this research.
- It is said that the high FST among Indian groups could be explained if many groups were founded by a few individuals. Our contention is that the first inhabitants were rishis who were the maanasa puthras of Brahma or formed on their own or 'planted' in the earth to people the earth. They were the poorva rishis who became the Gothra pravathakas. Already discussed in the following post:-
- As per this narration found in most texts of Hindu dharma, group maanasa puthras were responsible for creating distinct groups of people in this Manvanthra that started with the rise of Himalayas. The Gothra rishis were many and they created distinct groups within these people. There were no marriage relations within the same gothra. There were strict restrictions in marriage relations followed until the current generation. So there is less scope for variation.
- This might have resulted in recessive diseases within groups according to researchers, but at the same time these groups were not exposed to many worst diseases that are rampant in the West. For instance the kind of various cancer related diseases are unheard of in Indian masses. From astrological point of view, I can say that Jupiter has not been adverse in most lives of Hindus all these generations. But I can not say the same for the upcoming generations. The exposure is there due to rise in inter-marriages which have no sanction in Sanatana dharma.
- The land mass of these people was not what it is now. There was no Bay of Bengal some 9000 years ago. The land was very huge stretching from Africa and extending to Australia. The present southern boundary of India was made 5000 years ago when the sea rose for the 3rd time in the Indian Ocean. I have discussed this with textual evidence many times in this blog.
- Such vast landmass was home for a variety of groups of people who moved out in course of time due to survival or other reasons.
- The other reason I have in mind is what I think explains the connection between ANI (Ancestral North Indians) and the people of the Middle east.
- The proof of this factor is found in Valmiki Ramayana 1-55 – 2 & 3. Viswamittra wanted to take possession of Shabala, the sacred Cow of sage Vasishta. In order to foil the efforts of Viswamittra, the sacred cow capable of fulfilling any wish created Yavanas and Mlecchas along with other sects – so says Ramayana.
- "From the 'hums' of her mooing Kaamboja-s similar to sunshine are born, from her udder Pahlava-s wielding weaponry are born, from the area of her privates Yavana-s, likewise from her rectal area Shaka-s, and from her hair-roots Mleccha-s, Haariitaa-s along with Kirataka-s are issued forth. [Valmiki Ramayana, 1-55-2, 3]
- These people are the ones whose connection to India is not yet understood by anyone in the world. The descendants of these people – particularly yavanas (greeks) and Mlecchas (of Persian gulf) are found to share some connection with North Indians, according to this study.
- The Ramayana revelation is that they were indeed created by or brought into picture by sage Vasishta at the time of fight with Viswamittra.
- There is yet another mention of 3 groups of people driven out of the country (Bharatah varsha) by King Sagara, the 20th king in the lineage of Rama (Ikshvakus) of which Rama was the 40th king. (Valmiki Ramayana 1-70- 33 & 34) That was the first instance of fighting among close families which was retaliated by getting them thrown out of the country to the fringes. Middle east, Caspian sea locales were the boundaries of Bharata varhsa in those days. These people were stripped of their "Arya-hood" of living a noble life and were restrained from following Vedic dharma. That is why they were regarded as Mlecchas.
- These people were later requisitioned by Vasishta to fight against Viswamittra. From then onwards, we can find acceptance of Mlecchas in Hindu society for help in wars. They have participated in Mahabharata war too.
- The connection between north Indians and Middle East and Europe can thus be analyzed.
- I am planning to bring out an article on this on the basis of contribution to astrology by these Mlecchas and yavanas. Perhaps that will bring a better insight to the connection between Indians and Middle East people which was misinterpreted all these decades from the flawed perspective of Max Muller.
- Given below are the comments by Dr Kalyaraman, followed by the info and links to the study results.
- As Dr Kalyanaraman has stated, the study has reiterated our contention that this Land of Bharat was very ancient, was the root of the only Dharma of all worlds and it must be our endeavor to preserve this Dharma.
From the report:-
We propose that the high FST among Indian groups could be explained if many groups were founded by a few individuals, followed by limited gene flow. This hypothesis predicts that within groups, pairs of individuals will tend to have substantial stretches of the genome in which they share at least one allele at each SNP. We find
signals of excess allele sharing in many groups.
They go on:
Six Indo-European- and Dravidian speaking groups have evidence of founder events dating to more than 30 generations ago...including the Vysya at more than 100 generations ago...Strong endogamy must have applied since then (average gene flow less than 1 in 30 per generation) to prevent the genetic signatures of founder events from being erased by gene flow. Some historians have argued that 'caste' in modern India is an 'invention' of colonialism in the sense that it became more rigid under colonial rule. However, our results indicate thatmany current distinctions among groups are ancient and that strong endogamy must have shaped marriage patterns in India for thousands of years
Two features of the inferred history are of special interest. First, the ANI and CEU form a clade, and further analysis shows that the Adygei, a Caucasian group, are an outgroup...Many Indian and European groups speak Indo-European languages, whereas the Adygei speak a Northwest Caucasian language. It is tempting to assume that the population ancestral to ANI and CEU spoke 'Proto-Indo-European', which has been reconstructed as ancestral to both Sanskrit and European languages, although we cannot be certain without a date for ANI-ASI mixture.
Comments from Dr Kalyanraman:-
We all are aware on social endogamy and caste division of India and this paper is a solid evidence that the sanatana dharma is deeply rooted. It can be also true that there are two roots of major civilizations.
But there are several shortcomings in the study reported in Nature of 24 Sept. 2009:
1) They have used population Santhal on the centre of "ancestral South India" which is not correct. ASI should be recalculated keeping real South Indian populations. Santhal is an East Indian population which has a East Asian genetic input.
2) The main problem of this paper is showing the upper caste closer to Central Asians and Europeans which is the same fault, which has been done by Bamshad and Stoneking in their older papers on India! The North Indian ancestry which they have misinterpreted as derived from central Asians and Europeans is actually is the genetic component of Indus people who have migrated from west to east after drying up the river Sarasvati.
3) The dates of any founding lineage can't be calculated by the method used in this paper becase SNP's don't give any algorithm to calculate the time. Therefore, we think that south as well as north ancestry is quite old and needs further exploration.
It is clear that the genetic studies consistently point to
1) indigenous evolution of the present-day Bharatiya and
2) demolish the Aryan-invasion/migration as a myth.
This myth was indeed a creation of indology, as Eurocentric academics sought to find their origins and ended up in India and could not stomach the possibility that India had an indigenously-founded and evolved civilization ca. 5th millennium BCE which ran counter to their wrongly perceived 'white-man's burden' of civilizing forest-dwellers and cattle-keepers who could not even domesticate cultivation of food-crops.
Indigenous Indians: genetic studies
Here are three genetic study reports. Two reports on Indian population genetics appeared in Nature of 24 Sept. 2009 and another on the origins of Zebu in South Asia in Molecular Biology and Evolution, Sept. 21, 2009. These studies throw light on the indigenous evolution of human population and zebu cattle in ancient India.
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/12019127/nature08365 David Reich et al., Reconstructing Indian population history (Nature, Vol. 461, 24 Sept. 2009)
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/12019195/Aravinda-Chakraborthy_Comment-on-Reich-et-al_Tracing-India's-invisible-threads Aravinda Chakravarti,Tracing India's invisible threads (Nature, Vol. 46, 24 Sept. 2009)
http://www.docstoc.com/docs/12019170/Chen-et-al_2009_MBE_Zebu-cattle-are-an-exclusive-legacy-of-the-South-Asia-Neolithic (Shanyuan Chen et al, Zebu cattle are an exclusive legacy of the South Asian Neolithic, Molecular Biology and Evolution, OUP, Sept. 21, 2009). Zebu is depicted on Indus script (Sarasvati hieroglyphs) and is often recognized as the signature-tune of Indian connections in Mesopotamian civilization finds of the 4th-5th millennium BCE.
Earlier genetic reports include the following, detailing ongoing genetic researches in many scientific institutions:
Dr. Petraglia (University of Oxford): "Today, humans are concerned with the effects of burgeoning population size and climate change. By pulling together an interdisciplinary and international group of scholars, we address the correspondence between environmental change, population size increase and technological innovations in prehistory. Our research programme sets a new research agenda for those who wish to understand the prehistory of India, but also to those investigating similar issues worldwide. Our study, centering on archaeological sites across South Asia, and includingnew field research in the Kurnool District of Andhra Pradesh, finds that microlithic technologies are much earlier than assumed, and go back to at least 35,000 years ago. There are few better places to conduct this research than in India. India is blessed with a rich archaeological record that can be used to test many theories of human adaptation and survival."
Dr. Gyaneshwer Chaubey (Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of Tartu, Estonia): The extremely interesting outcome of this research is finding the same result by genetics, palaeoenvironmental as well as archaeological researches. The high genetic diversity in South Asian populations came from the large number of people who were already present in the subcontinent 35 thousand years ago. It is also notable that the South Asians have highest number of maternal lineages coming out directly from the root. We observed that the most of such lineages have an emergence time around 35 thousand years. The archaeological and palaeo-environmental findings reached to the same conclusions suggesting a population expansion before LGM (last glacial maxima). It supports the indigenous South Asian in-situ development of maternal gene pool in to the subcontinent rather than any major influx out of the subcontinent. This study stress the need of interdisciplinary approach for reconstruction of the complex population histories of South Asia, which needs to be resolved through the interaction of genetics, anthropology, archaeology and linguistic approaches.
Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study
HYDERABAD: The great Indian divide along north-south lines now stands blurred. A path breaking study by Harvard and indigenous researchers on
ancestral Indian populations says there is a genetic relationship between all Indians and more importantly, the hitherto believed ``fact'' that Aryans and Dravidians signify the ancestry of north and south Indians might after all, be a myth.
``This paper rewrites history... there is no north-south divide,'' Lalji Singh, former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB) and a co-author of the study, said at a press conference here on Thursday.
Senior CCMB scientist Kumarasamy Thangarajan said there was no truth to the Aryan-Dravidian theory as they came hundreds or thousands of years after the ancestral north and south Indians had settled in India.
The study analysed 500,000 genetic markers across the genomes of 132 individuals from 25 diverse groups from 13 states. All the individuals were from six-language families and traditionally ``upper'' and ``lower'' castes and tribal groups. ``The genetics proves that castes grew directly out of tribe-like organizations during the formation of the Indian society,'' the study said. Thangarajan noted that it was impossible to distinguish between castes and tribes since their genetics proved they were not systematically different.
The study was conducted by CCMB scientists in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School,
Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. It reveals that the present-day Indian population is a mix of ancient north and south bearing the genomic contributions from two distinct ancestral populations - the Ancestral North Indian (ANI) and the Ancestral South Indian (ASI).
``The initial settlement took place 65,000 years ago in the Andamans and in ancient south India around the same time, which led to population growth in this part,'' said Thangarajan. He added, ``At a later stage, 40,000 years ago, the ancient north Indians emerged which in turn led to rise in numbers here. But at some point of time, the ancient north and the ancient south mixed, giving birth to a different set of population. And that is the population which exists now and there is a genetic relationship between the population within India.''
The study also helps understand why the incidence of genetic diseases among Indians is different from the rest of the world. Singh said that 70% of Indians were burdened with genetic disorders and the study could help answer why certain conditions restricted themselves to one population. For instance, breast cancer among Parsi women, motor neuron diseases among residents of Tirupati and Chittoor, or sickle cell anaemia among certain tribes in central India and the North-East can now be understood better, said researchers.
The researchers, who are now keen on exploring whether Eurasians descended from ANI, find in their study that ANIs are related to western Eurasians, while the ASIs do not share any similarity with any other population across the world. However, researchers said there was no scientific proof of whether Indians went to Europe first or the other way round.
Migratory route of Africans
Between 135,000 and 75,000 years ago, the East-African droughts shrunk the water volume of the lake Malawi by at least 95%, causing migration out of Africa. Which route did they take? Researchers say their study of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar islands using complete mitochondrial DNA sequences and its comparison those of world populations has led to the theory of a ``southern coastal route'' of migration from East Africa through India.
This finding is against the prevailing view of a northern route of migration via Middle East, Europe, south-east Asia, Australia and then to India.
One dose does not fit all Indians
Hyderabad: The paper Reconstructing Indian population history, which appeared in the September 24 issue of Nature, has medical implications for the nation's inhabitants. It will also have socio-political ramifications since it undermines the purported Aryan-Dravidian divide that continues to dominate popular consciousness, says Lalji Singh, former director of the Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology, Hyderabad. The institute was part of the international research team which conducted the genetic study.
What are the medical implications of the findings?
We have found that India is genetically not a single large population, but a combination of smaller isolated populations. We understand that the incidence of genetic diseases among Indians is different from populations in the rest of the world.
Will the findings have an impact on the pharma sector?
Pharmaceutical companies are worried because the findings suggest that there cannot be a single medicine for all the people. Since India comprises smaller groups of people with different genetic structures, drug trials should take into account the ethnicity of a population under study.
The findings about the so-called Aryans or the North-South divide are politically sensitive. What does the paper say?
We have strong genetic evidence that today's South Indians and North Indians have a common ancestry. The Ancestral South Indians and the Ancestral North Indians were migrants from Africa thousands of years ago (which predates the coming of the Aryans and the subsequent confinement of the Dravidians in the South). Our findings do not agree with racial theories such as those propounded by scholars like (German philologist and Orientalist) Max Müller.
Does that mean there were no Aryans?
Aryans could have been a group of noble people within the Indian community. But one thing we should remember is that our research focused on pre-historic ancestry, meaning the ancestry prior to the evolution of language or writing (the categorisations of Aryan or Indo-European and Dravidian are primarily linguistic). The historic (linguistic) ancestry will, again, be completely different. We conducted the research to find the ancestral Indian.
What will be the impact of the findings on facts like the wide variance in skin colour and language among Indians?
Skin colour is a different issue. We can find out the reasons behind the difference in skin colour and we will do that in our next project. But colour need not be constant and can change due to subsequent genetic mutations. Language, definitely, is an important thing and the issue here is about the Indo-European language theory. In 1786, Sir William Jones, an employee of the East India Company came up with this name (Indo-European) after noting similarities between European languages and Sanskrit. But both must have evolved from an ancestral, primitive