December 12, 2017

Indian DNA and Civilization – Reflections (Oct 2015)

  1. First of all we must differentiate between hardware and software. A person with any DNA (hardware) can adopt any culture (software) he wants. Hence, the issue of whether Indians share common DNA is unrelated to where their languages came from – as it is possible for cultures to travel.
  1. I do believe based on everything I have read that there is a common DNA substratum shared by all Indians. Hence there is no such thing as separate Aryan / Dravidian DNAs.
  1. Remaining still on the hardware side, there were many immigrant groups entering the country each bringing its own DNA pool. Africans were brought as slaves by the Muslims in the past 800 years. Portuguese settled in Goa, British and French in many parts of India. Many Brits had Indian wives – this was a common part of British high society in India until 1857, after which time it was British policy to discourage Brit from marrying Indians. Then the Brits based in India started having concubines and affairs and had children from these.
  1. Typically, the Middle East Muslims and European Christians each raised their Indian offspring in their respective religions. So in a variety of ways, the DNAs of various foreign peoples started to mix within India. Some of the new groups formed their own separate jatis while others mixed with the Indian mainstream. So the shared DNA substratum has ethnic diversity within it as well.

Indians also migrated outwards in all directions. For instance, many Indians were taken as slaves to Central Asian slave markets during the Muslim rule and sold at various prices. This is well documented. At times the trades involved lakhs of slaves taken in long journeys.

  1. Indians were also brought to Middle East for various kinds of high paying jobs – like they go today.
  1. Similar DNA mingling occurred across other countries – within Europe, Turkey as a major mixing ground of people from many places, etc. Even Chinese are not of homogeneous DNA.
  1. None of the above tells us by itself where Sanskrit, Vedas etc originated. That needs to be researched as an independent issue. Of course if there are very large scale migrations then the people tend to take their entire cultural portfolio with them.
  1. I dont believe that Sanskrit/Vedas came from elsewhere. Archeological evidence suggests these originated entirely in India.
  1. People who made India their home (including most foreign migrants) adopted this common Indian civilizational matrix as theirs.
  1. But the cultural software also includes many exported and imported modules. For instance, Sanskrit-Old Iranian seemed to influence each other; specific details are unclear. It is likely that Vedic ideas and practices migrated outwards to varying extents. Again scanty data available and more research needed. Indian traders brought back many things they learned overseas.

 We should not look for either/or binary models. Rather I prefer an open architecture with complex flows taking place. Much of the world was this way until the Abrahamic religions closed human kind into closed mindedness and closed territories. Hence the way races/cultures are being studied today is reductionist and is under the influence of exclusivist thinking.

Picture Credit:  en.wikipedia.org


Author Rajiv Malhotra Born in 1950, Rajiv Malhotra is an Indian American researcher, writer, speaker and July 18, 2008 Washington 061public intellectual on current affairs as they relate to civilizations, cross-cultural encounters, religion and science. He studied physics at St. Stephens College in Delhi and went for post-graduate studies in physics and then computer science to the USA.

Rajiv served in multiple careers, including: software development executive, Fortune 100 senior corporate executive, strategic consultant, and successful entrepreneur in the information technology and media industries. At the peak of his career when he owned 20 companies in several countries, he took early retirement at age 44 to pursue philanthropy, research and public service. He established Infinity Foundation for this purpose in 1994.

Rajiv has conducted original research in a variety of fields and has influenced many other thinkers in India and the West. He has disrupted the mainstream thought process among academic and non-academic intellectuals alike, by providing fresh provocative positions on Dharma and on India. Some of the focal points of his work are: Interpretation of Dharma for the current times; comparative religion, globalization, and India’s contributions to the world.

He has authored hundreds of articles, provided strategic guidance to numerous organizations and has over 300 video lectures available online. To best understand Rajiv’s  thoughts and contributions, his books are a good resource. Besides Invading the Sacred, in which Rajiv is the main protagonist, he has authored the following game changing books:

Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism

Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines; and

Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity

The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive or Liberating, Dead or Alive?

Academic Hinduphobia: A Critique of Wendy Doniger’s Erotic School of Indology

Currently, Rajiv Malhotra is the full-time founder-director of Infinity Foundation in Princeton, NJ. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Center for Indic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and is adviser to various organizations.

Infinity Foundation has given more than 400 grants for research, education and community work. It has provided strategic grants to major universities in support of pioneering programs including: visiting professorships in Indic studies at Harvard University, Yoga and Hindi classes at Rutgers University, research and teaching of nondualistic philosophies at University of Hawaii, Global Renaissance Institute and a Center for Buddhist studies at Columbia University, a program in religion and science at University of California, endowment for the Center for Advanced Study of India at University of Pennsylvania, lectures at the Center for Consciousness Studies at University of Arizona.

Rajiv Malhotra inspired the idea of Swadeshi Indology Conference. The first ever Swadeshi Indology Conference was held at IIT, Chennai from July 6 to July 8, 2016. This conference hosted well-researched papers that highlighted the discrepancies and mistranslations in the studies of Indology done by Prof. Sheldon Pollock. This conference is the first of a series of conferences that have been planned to address multiple issues raised by Western Indologists requiring astute examination, analyses and rejoinders, culminating in a published volume with a selection of papers.

 Another major initiative of the Infinity Foundation is the HIST series. The HIST (History of Indian Science and Technology) series is a compilation of multi-Volume History of Indian Science and Technology based only on solid academic scholarship, and not on wild extrapolations. To accomplish this, each volume was subjected to rigorous peer reviews. The following volumes have already been published and printed as part of this IF project:

  1. Marvels of Indian Iron Through the Ages
  2. Indian Zinc Technology in Global Perspective
  3. Water Management and Hydraulic Engineering in India
  4. History of Metals in Eastern India and Bangladesh
  5. Harappan Architecture and Civil Engineering
  6. Beginning of Agriculture and Domestication in India
  7. History of Iron Technology in India
  8. Indian Beads History and Technology
  9. Himalayan Traditional Architecture
  10. Animal Husbandry and Allied Technologies in Ancient India
  11. Harappan Technology and Its Legacy
  12. Reflection on The History of Indian Science and Technology
  13. Chalcolithic South Asia: Aspects of Crafts and Technologies
  14. Traditional Water Management

Rajiv Malhotra has an active Facebook following with about 8 hundred thousand followers.

He also has an online discussion group. He can be followed at:

Facebook: RajivMalhotra.Official

Web: www.RajivMalhotra.com
Twitter: @RajivMessage

Join Rajiv Malhotra for his FB LIVE Broadcasts

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About Rajiv Malhotra 32 Articles
Author Rajiv Malhotra Born in 1950, Rajiv Malhotra is an Indian American researcher, writer, speaker and July 18, 2008 Washington 061public intellectual on current affairs as they relate to civilizations, cross-cultural encounters, religion and science. He studied physics at St. Stephens College in Delhi and went for post-graduate studies in physics and then computer science to the USA. Rajiv served in multiple careers, including: software development executive, Fortune 100 senior corporate executive, strategic consultant, and successful entrepreneur in the information technology and media industries. At the peak of his career when he owned 20 companies in several countries, he took early retirement at age 44 to pursue philanthropy, research and public service. He established Infinity Foundation for this purpose in 1994. Rajiv has conducted original research in a variety of fields and has influenced many other thinkers in India and the West. He has disrupted the mainstream thought process among academic and non-academic intellectuals alike, by providing fresh provocative positions on Dharma and on India. Some of the focal points of his work are: Interpretation of Dharma for the current times; comparative religion, globalization, and India’s contributions to the world. He has authored hundreds of articles, provided strategic guidance to numerous organizations and has over 300 video lectures available online. To best understand Rajiv’s thoughts and contributions, his books are a good resource. Besides Invading the Sacred, in which Rajiv is the main protagonist, he has authored the following game changing books: Being Different: An Indian Challenge to Western Universalism Breaking India: Western Interventions in Dravidian and Dalit Faultlines; and Indra’s Net: Defending Hinduism’s Philosophical Unity The Battle for Sanskrit: Is Sanskrit Political or Sacred, Oppressive or Liberating, Dead or Alive? Academic Hinduphobia: A Critique of Wendy Doniger’s Erotic School of Indology Currently, Rajiv Malhotra is the full-time founder-director of Infinity Foundation in Princeton, NJ. He also serves as Chairman of the Board of Governors of the Center for Indic Studies at the University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, and is adviser to various organizations. Infinity Foundation has given more than 400 grants for research, education and community work. It has provided strategic grants to major universities in support of pioneering programs including: visiting professorships in Indic studies at Harvard University, Yoga and Hindi classes at Rutgers University, research and teaching of nondualistic philosophies at University of Hawaii, Global Renaissance Institute and a Center for Buddhist studies at Columbia University, a program in religion and science at University of California, endowment for the Center for Advanced Study of India at University of Pennsylvania, lectures at the Center for Consciousness Studies at University of Arizona. Rajiv Malhotra inspired the idea of Swadeshi Indology Conference. The first ever Swadeshi Indology Conference was held at IIT, Chennai from July 6 to July 8, 2016. This conference hosted well-researched papers that highlighted the discrepancies and mistranslations in the studies of Indology done by Prof. Sheldon Pollock. This conference is the first of a series of conferences that have been planned to address multiple issues raised by Western Indologists requiring astute examination, analyses and rejoinders, culminating in a published volume with a selection of papers. Another major initiative of the Infinity Foundation is the HIST series. The HIST (History of Indian Science and Technology) series is a compilation of multi-Volume History of Indian Science and Technology based only on solid academic scholarship, and not on wild extrapolations. To accomplish this, each volume was subjected to rigorous peer reviews. The following volumes have already been published and printed as part of this IF project: Marvels of Indian Iron Through the Ages Indian Zinc Technology in Global Perspective Water Management and Hydraulic Engineering in India History of Metals in Eastern India and Bangladesh Harappan Architecture and Civil Engineering Beginning of Agriculture and Domestication in India History of Iron Technology in India Indian Beads History and Technology Himalayan Traditional Architecture Animal Husbandry and Allied Technologies in Ancient India Harappan Technology and Its Legacy Reflection on The History of Indian Science and Technology Chalcolithic South Asia: Aspects of Crafts and Technologies Traditional Water Management Rajiv Malhotra has an active Facebook following with about 8 hundred thousand followers.