Ashadha 2 Vik Samvat 2067. Yugabda 5112: June 16, 2010

1. FESTIVALS: AMARNATH YATRA TO BEGIN ON JULY 1: This year's annual pilgrimage to the holy Amarnath caves in Jammu and Kashmir will begin July 1 and end on Aug 24. Claimed to be over 5,000 years old, inside the main Amarnath cave lies the Shiva Linga formed from ice. It waxes during May to August and gradually wanes thereafter. This lingam is said to grow and shrink with the phases of the moon, reaching its height during the summer festival.
Lakhs of devotees are taking the pilgrimage for last 20 years traversing the rough terrain and the weather amidst turbulent security conditions in Kashmir. The registration of the pilgrims for the Amarnath Yatra will begin June 5 at 121 designated branches of the Jammu and Kashmr Bank across the country, said RK Goyal of the shrine board.
2. POLITICS ENDANGERING NATIONAL SECURITY - MOHAN BHAGWAT: Addressing the valedictory function of the month-long Third Year traning camp of RSS at historic Reshim Bagh grounds of Nagpur on June 7, Sarsanghachalak Shri Bhagwat warned that China was laying railway lines along the Arunachal Pradesh borders to facilitiate supplies to the forces. But the Bharatiya forces still depend on the mules for transportation.
Drawaing a comparision he said the situation was exactly the same in 1962 when the Chinese attacked Bharat with full preparedness and inflicted a humiliating defeat on Bharat. The Bharatiya leaders then were busy blowing the trumpet of Panchasheel and our forces were not equipped even with the warm clothing and footwear necessary to stay in that difficult Himalayan region.
While explaining RSS stand on providing constitutional safeguards to those weaker sections of the society, the RSS Chief asserted that the organization always supported reservations to the sections of the society who remained neglected for hisotiral reasons. He however questioned the motive of the government behind this current exercise of caste-based census. The Chief Guest on the occasion Shri Jyoti Prasad Rajkhowa, former Chief Secretary of Assam, took a detail view of the problems facing the North-Eastern region.
Earlier, the swayamsevaks performed spectacular physical demonstrations such as Gopuram (pyramids), Niyuddha (unarmed combat drill), Yogasanas, and Vyayamyoga and of course the most attractive band platoon (Ghosh) presented the best symphony of music. Sarvadhikari Dr Darshan Lal Arora gave the details about the camp in his introductory remarks and welcomed the guests. Shri Ram Harkare, Vidharbha Prant Sah-Sanghchalak was also present on this occasion.
3. SRI P. PARAMESWARAM, HINDU OF THE YEAR 2010: As a thinker, a philosopher, a reformer and current president of Vivekananda Kendra, P. Parameswaran—the recipient of Hinduism Today’s 2010 Hindu Renaissance Award—strives to defend both Bharat and Hinduism, which to him are inseparably linked.
Parameswarji was born to a devout Hindu family in a small Kerala hamlet in 1927. A brilliant student all through school, he received a B.A. in history and became a pracharak of RSS. He worked with Jansangh, Deendayal Research Institute before he founded the Bharatheeya Vichara Kendram in Keral in 1982 aimed at national reconstruction through study and research. Parameswaran also founded the International Forum for Indian Heritage, a think tank to defend the subcontinent’s rich cultural roots. In 1997, in recognition of his effort in teaching the principles of Hinduism, Parameswaran was awarded the Bhaiji Hanuman Prasad Poddar Award instituted by Bada Bazaar Library of Calcutta. In 2004, the President of Bharat awarded him the prestigious Padma Shri—Bharat’s greatest honor for civilians.
The Hindu Renaissance Award was created in 1991 by the founder of Hinduism Today to recognize and strengthen Hindu leaders worldwide.
4. VESAK DAY CELEBRATION BY VSS SINGAPORE: Vivekananda Seva Sangam organised another event on May 28 to celebrate Vesak Day and to share knowledge about Buddha and Buddhism. This event, held at Buddhist Temple near Clementi Fire Station, started at 4:15 pm and continued unstopped until 6:15 pm. It got a spiritual touch in presence of 3 Buddhist Monks who enlightened audience with their thought provoking speeches. A big achievement of this event was that lot of new generation speakers emerged who proved that they are no less than experienced adults in speaking on highly intellectual topics like Buddha’s life, Buddhism’s principles, similarities between Hinduism and Buddhism and its expansion across Asia etc. Group also did a quick meditation to practically experiment Vipasana on Vesak Day. This event was another attempt by VSS to engage local Bharatiya & associations in furtherance of its vision of universal brotherhood.
5. BHARAT TO PATENT YOGA ASANAS: The Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) has prepared patent formats of nearly 900 yoga asanas (postures), to prevent European and American companies involved in fitness-related activities from claiming them as their own.
These asanas will all be included in the digitalised Traditional Knowledge Library (TKDL), set up by the council to collect and record traditional treatment therapy knowledge. Medicines and yoga asanas registered with it enjoy the status of being patented.
"Video recordings of the asanas are also being made and recorded to prevent them from being stolen," said TKDL director Dr VK Gupta.
Gupta said a number of countries had already laid claim to around 250 of these postures. Some foreign companies have even patented some of them. Foreign companies have been selling some of the yoga postures as therapies to relieve stress or backaches.
6. INDUSTRY GROWS 17.6% IN APRIL: Bharat’s factory output bettered expectations to expand at 17.6% in April, marking a near 20-year high achieved on the back of copious domestic consumer demand, a revival in exports and higher infrastructure spending but also got boosted by a low base effect. While the best show by the manufacturing sector since December 2009 raised hopes of an 8.5% GDP growth rate in the ongoing fiscal, it also reinforced expectations of a further rate hike by the RBI next month.
Analysts said the strong industrial showing in April coupled with a normal monsoon would put the economy on an 8.5% growth trajectory in 2010-11. "The industrial growth can be equal to the growth rate last year and, therefore, taking that into account and if agriculture performs reasonably well during the year, one should hope to get a growth rate close to 8.5%," prime minister's Economic Advisory Council chairman C Rangarajan said.
7. GOM CLEARS BILL ON VOTING RIGHTS FOR NRIS: Hoping to strengthen the Bharatiya diaspora's connection to their country, a group of ministers (GoM) on cleared a draft bill that will allow persons holding a Bharatiya passport but studying or working abroad to vote, if they are in their constituency on election day.
Overseas Indian affairs minister Vayalar Ravi said "This was a long standing demand of people holding Bharatiya passports especially in the Gulf. We hope to bring it in the Cabinet soon,''
"According to the present bill, Bharatiyas who are living abroad will be able to vote from their constituency. Their name will not be struck off the electoral list only on the basis of their absence,'' a source said.
There are an estimated 50 lakh NRIs globally and in a signal to their growing influence and strength, PM Manmohan Singh had announced in January that the government would make efforts to ensure that NRIs had voting rights by the next polls.
8. PAK NATIONALS ALLOWED LONG STAY CAN NOW EXTEND VISA: In a move which may pave the way for certain categories of Pakistani nationals to get Bharatiya citizenship in due course, the Centre has relaxed norms for those who have been staying in Bharat for long and asked states and Union territories to consider cases for extension of their long-term visa (LTV) without insisting for validity of their passports.
Pakistani nationals who come under such categories are: members of minority communities in Pakistan; Pakistani women married to Bharatiya nationals and staying in Bharat; Bharatiya women married to Pakistani nationals and who returned due to widowhood or divorce and having no male member to support them in Pakistan and cases involving extreme compassion.
9. BHARAT TO BUILD 50K HOMES FOR DISPLACED SL TAMILS: Bharat on June 9 announced major sops for Sri Lanka, including a programme to construct 50,000 houses for Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the northern and eastern provinces. In his meeting with PM Manmohan Singh, President Mahinda Rajapaksa also expressed gratitude for the $800 million offered by Bharat for railway projects in Sri Lanka.
Singh and Rajapaksa also agreed on establishing Bhartiya consulates in Jaffna and Hambantota to reinforce consular cooperation. Hambantota is crucial for Bharat because of the increasing Chinese influence in the region. China is helping Sri Lanka build a major port in Hambantota.
According to foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, Singh emphasised the need for urgent steps to resettle the remaining IDPs and urged Sri Lanka to undertake speedy rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts in the northern and eastern region. Rajapaksa, on his part, reiterated his determination to evolve a political settlement acceptable to all communities.
10. BHARATIYA-ORIGIN MIT DEAN IS OBAMA PICK FOR TOP SCIENCE POST: President Obama on June 4 announced his intention to nominate Bharatiya-American engineering scholar Subra Suresh, a 1977 graduate of IIT Chennai, as director of the US National Science Foundation (NSF) even as his administration cranked up its engagement with Bharat on the science,technology,and education front.
Suresh, till recently dean of engineering at the famed MIT, will have to be confirmed by the Senate.The NSF, the science counterpart of the National Institute of Health, is a United States government agency that supports nearly a fifth of all fundamental research and education in America in all the non-medical fields of science and engineering.It has a budget of more than $7 billion.A 1977 graduate of IIT Chennai,
11. MUSINGS FROM A III YEAR SHIKSHARTHI: I got an opportunity attend the Tritiya Varsh Sangh Shikshaa Varg from May 9th, 2010 through June 8th, 2010 at Nagpur.
On May 9th, a lot of Shikshaarthis started arriving from all the different corners of Bharat. Very good arrangements were made to bring everyone from the train station. There were eleven vehicles, including two mid-sized buses, transporting Shikshaarthis from the train station. All in all – there were 881 Shiksharthis, 85 Shikshaks and 40 Prant Pramukhs at the Varg! Many of the Shikshaks were Jilla Pracharaks or Vibhag Pracharaks as well as Jilla and Vibhaag Karyakartas from different part of Bharat. Mananeeya Bhagaiyaaji was Palak Adhikaari for the Varg and as such he was present during the entire 30 days. His presence and guidance during the Varg was inspiring. The staying arrangements were Prant-wise for the first three days and after that it was Gana-wise. In each Gana, there were 22 Shikshaarthis from various parts of the Bharat. Bharat is divided into 40 Prants for Sangh Work and there were Shikshaarthis from each and every Prant as well as various sections of the society as well in terms of professional, educational, and economic stratas.
The entire vyavastha for the Varg was amazing. There were 38 different Vibhaags in Vyavastha including Jal (Water) Vibhaag, Bhojan Vibhaag, TransportationVibhaag, Vaidya (Hospital) Vibhaag etc. There were several Bal Swayamsevaks involved in Vyavastha with a lot of discipline and dedication. It was inspiring to see how each and every person in Vyavastha was dedicated for the entire 30 days to keeping everyone healthy and well during the Varg.
As we hear often about the experience of staying with Swayamsevaks from different parts of Bharat in Tritiya Varsh, it is truly unforgettable. The experience of Unity in Diversity is mesmerizing. Also, talking to Karyakartas from Kerala, North East and Jammu and Kashmir about the challenges and opportunities in terms of Sangh work was inspiring. There is certainly an optimistic sense prevailing in all areas of Bharat in general, in spite of severe and intense challenges facing Hindu Society in Bharat. Lot of exchange of information and ideas took place during the informal interactions among the Shikshaarthis, Shikshaks and Prant Pramukhs. Many Karyakartas had deep, real and experiential insights into the complex issues facing the country and Hindu Society. The dedication to the work of Sangathan was also amazing – there were Shikshaarthis who were missing their Siblings’ weddings to be in the Varg.
A few of the very memorable moments in the Varg were a MahaKhel as well as two Patha Sanchalan (one was in the late evening/night). MahaKhel involved the entire Varg – including all the Shikshaarthis, Shikshaks, and Prant Pramukhs. The Path Sanchalans were very good and had the feel and message of victory as the Mukhya Shikhakji said before starting the Patha Sanchalan:
Overall, the Varg was all that it was thought to be and more. The strength, reach and impact of Sangh is felt during Tritiya Varsh!
(Darshan Soni, USA )
12. THREE-DAY TRAINING CAMP OF HINDU JAGRAN MANCH for its workers in Delhi Prant, was organised at Sewa Dham from May 28 to 30. A total of 124 activists underwent organisational training at the camp.
Speaking at the concluding ceremony,Uttar Kshetra Sanghachalak Dr Bajrang Lal Gupt said Hinduism is the most modern way of life and is not outdated as is termed by some illiterate scholars. Earlier, inaugurating the camp Delhi Prant Pracharak Shri Prem Kumar stressed the need to activate the educated people in various social activities. Others who addressed the camp were Kshetra Sampark Pramukh Laxman Dev ji, and President of Hindu Manch, Delhi, Shri Jai Bhagwan ji Chauhan.
13. NRI DEVELOPS SINGLE-DOSE RADIATION THERAPY FOR CANCER: A Bharatiya oncologist is among 3 experts in the UK who have achieved a breakthrough in the treatment of breast cancer after a 10 -year trial that demonstrates that a single dose of radiation during surgery is just as effective as prolonged course of radiotherapy. Goa-origin Jayant Vaidya, at the University College, Royal Free and Wittington Hosptials, designed and led the trial called (TARGIT) involving 2,000 women along with oncologists Jeffrey Tobias and Mike Baum.
14. THAW IN KATHMANDU: The three-point agreement clinched by Nepal's three main political parties the Unified Communist Party of Nepal-Maoists, the Nepali Congress and the Communist Party of Nepal-Unified Marxist Leninist has saved Nepal from a major political crisis. But now it seems that the parties are in agreement only on one issue: extending the term of the constituent assembly, which was to expire last Friday, for another year. Each party appears to interpret the other two points, namely, implementation of past agreements and the resignation of Prime Minister Madhav Nepal to pave way for a national unity government, differently. Hopefully, these parties will not let disagreements destroy the consensus to work together for a new constitution.
The points of contention between the parties are similar to ones that emerged after the 2008 elections. Nepal Maoists wanted their armed cadre to be inducted into the army. Other parties refused. Another outstanding issue is the Young Communist League of the Maoists, which other parties want disbanded. The Nepali Congress also wants property confiscated by the Maoists during the rebellion to be returned to its original owners. The NC and the CPN insist that these issues must be resolved before a national government under the leadership of the Maoists is formed.
The Maoists must realise that parallel state structures will not help the cause of multiparty democracy or the rule of law, both of which are promised in the draft constitution the party released this week. Nepal's political parties need to set aside their differences and work together to consolidate the gains of the anti-monarchy struggle. Otherwise, the future may be even worse than the past. (Editorial, Times of India, Delhi June 1, 2010)
15. SECOND CHICAGO HINDUISM SUMMIT CONCLUDES SUCCESSFULLY: Passionate speeches, a rapt audience, reverberations of an auspicious conch were just some of the highlights of the second Hinduism Summit held in Chicago on 5 June. The Summit was held by the Forum for Hindu Awakening (FHA) and the Lake County Hindu Temple. Around 100 attendees in person and 200 attendees online took the benefit of this event.
Shri. Dileep Thatte, an ardent student of Hindu philosophy, spoke on 'Learn the basics of Hinduism to counter misconceptions'. His lively speech spoke about how to get the youth of today interested in Hinduism.
Shri. Shrinarayan Chandak spoke about the anti-Hindu bias in the media. Shri. Chandak, a graduate of IIT Madras and IIT Chicago, is a founding board member of Sewa International that is serving the needy through healthcare and education. Shri. Chandak's presentation clearly illustrated the anti-Hindu bias in the media, its reasons and what can be done about it. The solutions he presented were based on Sree Krishna's teachings and resonated with the audience.
Others spoke during the summit were Smt. Kalpana Sharma, a volunteer of the Spiritual Science Research Foundation (SSRF), Shri Hakumat Shroff of Lake County Hindu Mandir, Dr. Richard Benkin, a human rights activist, author and speaker.
16. BHARATIYAS THE THIRD LARGEST IMMIGRANT GROUP IN US: The US is home to about 1.6 million Bharatiya origin people, making them the third-largest immigrant group in the country after Mexicans and Filipino, a Washington-based think tank has said.
Between 2007 and 2008, the number of Bharatiya immigrants surpassed the number of Chinese and Hong Kong-born immigrants for the first time since at least 1960, said the Migration Policy Institute in its latest report.
In addition, people with Bhartiya ancestry have also immigrated to the US from the Caribbean, East Africa, Canada, and the United Kingdom, said the report authored by Aaron Terrazas and Cristina Batog.
About one-quarter of Bharat-born men in the labour force work in the information technology industry. Nearly half of all Bhartiya immigrants resided in California, New Jersey, New York, and Texas, it said.
Of the 2.3 million members of the Bharatiya Diaspora residing in the US in 2008, 66.4 per cent were born in Bharat, including individuals born in Bharat to at least one parent who was a native-born US citizen.
In terms of academic achievement, Bharatiya immigrants were better educated than other immigrants and the native born. In 2008, 73.6 per cent of Bharatiya-born adults age 25 and older had a bachelor's degree or higher compared to 27.1 percent among all 31.9 million foreign-born adults and 27.8 per cent of all 168.1 million native-born adults.
Bharat's top telecom player Bharti Airtel said it has successfully concluded a $10.7-billion deal to acquire the African assets of Kuwait's Zain, making it the world's fifth largest mobile phone services company. 'Bharti is now among the five largest mobile operators in the world. This will further strengthen the historic Indo-Africa economic and social ties and provide a big boost to South-South cooperation,' said group chairman Sunil Mittal.
The total customer base of Bharti now stands at over 180 million in 18 countries. Prior to the deal, Bharti had operations in Bharat, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
18. NATIONS FIRST AND THE LARGEST SOLAR ELECTRICITY PLANT has been set up in Yalesandra village of Bangarpet taluk of Kolar district in Karnataka. situated in a rural place, Yelesandra farmers now can water their farms when sun shines. Nearly 20 neighborhood villages will also receive uninterrupted power supply during the day due to this solar power set up by Karnataka Power Corporation Limited (KPCL). The unit is set up in around 15acres and with the expense of 59 crores. About 15000 units of electricity will be produced per day. by this amount of electricity nearly 600 pump set are running of 10HP capacity.
19. SHRI VISHWA NIKETAN: Pravas: Shri Ravikumar, sah samyojak Vishwa Vibhag will tour SriLanka in 3rd week of June. Visitors: Darshan Soni , USA.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Alongwith education, which generally deals only with acadmic accomplishments; we need to develop more altruism and a sence of caring and responcibility for others. – The XIV Dalai Lama
SINCE the dawn of civilisation, man has been asking questions such as ‘who are we?’ and ‘where have we come from?’ Until 1858 it was universal belief that man is special creation of God. In 1858, based on phenotypic transition of various organisms including plant and animal species, Charles Darwin proposed the theory of evolution and wrote a book The Origin of Species. Eight years later in 1871, he wrote a book The Descent of Man. Based on the anatomical similarities, he declared that the chimpanzee and the gorilla are our closest living relatives and predicted that the earliest ancestors of humans would turn up in Africa, where our ape kins live today. Now it is widely accepted view that modern human diverged from a common ancestor of chimpanzee and human nearly 6-7 million years ago. Based on fossil records found in Africa, it is now believed that modern human originated from a single mother about 160,000 years ago in East Africa.
East-African mega-droughts between 135 and 75 thousand years ago, when the water volume of the lake Malawi was reduced by at least 95 per cent, could have caused their migration out of Africa. The obvious question to ask is which route did they take? Our study of the tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands using complete mitochondrial DNA sequences, and its comparison with the mitochondrial DNA sequences of the world populations available in the database, led to the theory of southern coastal route of migration through India, against the prevailing view of northern route of migration via Middle East, Europe, south-east Asia, Australia and then to India. Our earlier study revealed that Negrito tribes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, such as Onge, Jarawa, Great Andamanese and Sentinelese, are probably the descendants of the first man who moved out of Africa.
This raised many questions such as: (i) what is the origin of mainland tribal and caste populations?; (ii) are there any population(s) in mainland India, which are close to Andamanese?; (iii) how much affinities the Indian populations have with Andamanese?; (iv) did the Indians contribute to the early human spread?
In order to answer these questions and to explore the ancient history of India we have harnessed genomic technology.
Ancient roots for India’s rich diversity
India represents one of the largest human biodiversity pool in the world. There are 532 tribes, 72 primitive tribes and 36 hunters and gatherers. Although the genome sequences of any two unrelated people differ by just 0.1 per cent, that tiny slice of genetic material is a rich source of information. It provides clues that can help reconstruct the historical origins of modern populations. It also points to genetic variations that heighten the risk of certain diseases. In recent years, maps of human genetic variation have opened a window onto the diversity of populations across the world, yet India has been largely unrepresented until now.
To shed light on the genetic variability across the Indian subcontinent, we analysed 132 Indian samples from 25 groups on an Affymetrix 6.0 array, yielding data for 587,753 SNPs after restricting to markers with good completeness. To span the widest range of ancestry in India, we sampled tribal groups from 13 states and 6 language families (Indo-European, Dravidian, Austro-Asiatic, Tibeto-Burman, Great Andamanese and Jarawa-Onge). We also sampled caste groups mostly from Uttar Pradesh and Andhra Pradesh to permit comparison of traditionally "upper" and "lower" caste groups after controlling for geography. With tens of thousands of independent loci, we could estimate Fst (F-statistics) - accurately with just 2-9 samples per groups (with average standard error of + 0.0011). We also merged our data with 155 European (CEU), Chinese (CHB), and West African (YRI) samples from HapMap, and 938 samples from the Human Genome Diversity Panel (HGDP).
We analysed these data to address five questions about Indian genetics and history. Does the Indian subcontinent harbour more structure than Europe? Has strong endogamy been a long-standing feature of Indian groups?
Do nearly all Indians descend from a mixture of populations, one of which was related to Central Asians, Middle Easterners and Europeans and probably lived in north India? Are tribal groups systematically different from castes, and do some tribal groups provide a good approximation for the ancestral populations of India? What is the origin of the indigenous Andaman Islanders?
All mainland Indian groups have inherited a mixture of ancestries
We provide strong evidence for two ancient and genetically divergent populations that are ancestral to most Indian groups today. One, the "Ancestral North Indians" (ANI), is genetically close to Middle Easterners, Central Asians, and Europeans, while the other, the "Ancestral South Indians" (ASI), is not close to any group outside the subcontinent. By introducing methods that can estimate ancestry without accurate ancestral populations, we show that ANI ancestry ranges from 39-71 per cent, and is higher in traditionally upper caste groups and Indo-European speakers. Groups with only ASI ancestry may no longer exist in mainland India.
The finding that nearly all Indian groups descend from mixtures of two ancestral populations applies to traditional "tribes" as well as "castes". It is impossible to distinguish castes from tribes using the data. The genetics prove that they are not systematically different. This supports the view that castes grew directly out of tribal-like organisations during the formation of Indian society.
The one exception to the finding, that all Indian groups are mixed, is the indigenous people of the Andaman Islands, an archipelago in the Indian Ocean with a census of only a few hundred today. The Andamanese appear to be related exclusively to the Ancestral South Indian lineage and therefore lack Ancestral North Indian ancestry. In this sense, they are unique.
Understanding their origins provides a window to look into the history of the Ancestral South Indians, and the period of tens of thousands years ago when they diverged from other Eurasians. Our project to sample the disappearing tribes of the Andaman Islands has been more successful than we hoped, as the Andamanese are the only surviving remnant of the ancient colonisers of South Asia.
Medical Implications
Our findings revealed that many groups in modern India descend from a small number of founding individuals, and have since been genetically isolated from other groups. In scientific parlance, this is called a "founder event". It has medical implications for Indian populations. Recessive hereditary diseases - single gene disorders that occur only when an individual carries two malfunctioning copies of the relevant gene - are likely to be common in populations descended from so few ‘founder’ individuals. Mapping the causal genes will help to address this problem. The widespread history of founder events in Indian populations helps to explain why the incidence of genetic diseases among Indians is different from the rest of the world. For example, an ancient deletion of 25 bp in the cardiac myosin-binding proteins-C gene (MYBPC3) is associated with heritable cardiomyopathies as well as with an increased risk of heart failure. Its prevalence is high (~4 per cent) in the general populations from the Indian subcontinent. However, this mutation is completely absent among the people from the rest of the world.
The finding that a large proportion of modern Indians descended from founder events means that India is genetically not a single large population; instead it is best described as many smaller isolated populations. Founder events in other groups, such as Finns and Ashkenazi Jews, are well-known to increase the incidence of recessive genetic diseases; and our study predicts that the same will be true for many groups in India. It is important to carry out a systematic survey of Indian groups to identify which ones descend from the strongest founder events. Further studies of these groups should lead to the rapid discovery of genes that cause devastating diseases, and thus will help in the clinical care of individuals and their families who are at risk.
Indo-European family of language and the concept of Aryan and Dravidian
The story of Indo-European family of languages was proposed by Sir William Jones before the Asiatic Society at Calcutta in 1786 (Jones, 1786). The Indo-European concept was a real breakthrough of scientific linguistics, linking languages widely separated in space, forming two blocks - an eastern one of Persian and Indic languages and a western European block, separated from one another by Semitic and Turkic languages. The Indo-European concept was anything but obvious - the idea, that is, that the two blocks of languages, so distant from one another, are nevertheless related to one another. Its discovery by Jones and others not only created a new science of language but it radically recorded existing ideas about the relations among different natives or races of people. Jones (1746-1794) was an employee of the East India Company who developed the Indo-European concept. He also made important identifications of words in the Romanic or Gypsy languages with Sanskrit (Jones, 1786). Marsdens’ (William Marsdens 1754-1836) early paper, comparing the Gypsy language with Hindustani, makes him one of the co-discoverers of its Indian origins.
Max Muller, who was one of the first to apply the Aryan name to the Indo-European concept identified the racial-linguistic entity as racially white and was instrumental in the formation of the racial theory of Indian civilisation.
The kings of South India, like the Chola and the Pandya dynasties, relate their lineages back to Manu. The Matsya Purana moreover makes Manu, the progenitor of all the Aryans, originally a south Indian king, Satyavrata. Hence these are not only traditions that make the Dravidian descendants of Vedic rishis and kings, but those that make the Aryans of North India descendants of Dravidian kings. The two cultures are so intimately related that it is difficult to say which came first.
The present research findings are consistent with the view of one school of thoughts that the Aryans and Dravidians are part of the same culture and we need not speak of them as separate. However, it contradicts the second school of historians such as Max Muller who for the first time applied the Aryan name to the Indo-European concept. It strongly suggests that dividing them and placing them at odds with each other serves the interest of neither but only serves to damage their common culture.
Our study is important in highlighting important questions still open for future research. One priority is to estimate a date for the ANI-ASI mixture; this may be possible by studying the length of stretches of ANI ancestry in modern Indian samples. Inferring a date is important, as we expect that it would shed light on the historical process leading to the present day structure of Indian groups. A second priority would be to follow up on the observation that many Indian descended from a small number of founders. The groups with the strongest founder effects can then be analysed to identify genetic variants that we predict will account for substantial rates of recessive disease in these groups. Have Eurasians descended from the Ancestral North Indians? This is the question we would like to address in our future research activities.
Some Suggested reading:
1. Dandapany PS, Sadayappan S, Xue Y, Powell GT, Rani DS et al. (2009) A common Cardiac Myosin Binding Protein C variant associated with cardiomyopathies in South Asia. Nature Genetics 41, 187-191.
2. Reich D, Thangaraj K, Patterson N, Price AL, Singh L (2009) Reconstructing Indian population history. Nature 461, 489-494.
Scholz CA, Johnson TC, Cohen AS, King JW et al. (2007) East African megadroughts between 135 and 75 thousand years ago and bearing on early-modern human origins. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. (USA) 104, 16416-16421.
3. Thangaraj K, Singh L, Reddy AG, Rao VR, Sehgal SC et al. (2003) Genetic affinities of the Andaman Islanders, a vanishing human population. Curr Biol. 21, 86-93.
4. Thangaraj K, Chaubey G, Kivisile T, Reddy AG, Singh V, Rasalkar A, Singh L (2005) Reconstructing the origin of Andaman Islanders. Science 308, 996.
5. Trautmann TR (2004) Discovering Aryan and Dravidian in British India. Historiographia Linguistica. XXXI: 1, 33-58.
(Dr Lalji Singh, former Director of Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology (CCMB), Hyderabad, delivered the seventeenth Bhaorao Deoras Memorial Lecture in Lucknow on May 12. This article is based on that lecture. )