Thoughts on genetics, Aryan debate and dharma


[Preface: We have in this blog already discussed the Aryan influx hypothesis issue. From my previous posts in this matter, readers will note that my stand has been very cynical w.r.t. any proposed influx. I have presented comments and inferences by various geneticists and their research papers, which go against any influx. However, I am always open to discussion and new ideas. I welcome any fresh evidence and any perspective provided it has the weight of scholarly analysis. One such scholarly analysis recently came to my attention, which I have excerpted in this post.]

The publication of a new paper on Indian population genetics studies has once again elicitated some excitement over the Aryan question. Some of the authors of the paper made some very strong statements against the colonial theory of Aryan invasion turned euphemistic migration turning trickle-in theory.

Widely believed theory of Indo-Aryan invasion, often used to explain early settlements in the Indian subcontinent is a myth, a new study by Indian geneticists says.

“Our study clearly shows that there was no genetic influx 3,500 years ago,” said Dr Kumarasamy Thangaraj of CCMB, who led the research team, which included scientists from the University of Tartu, Estonia, Chettinad Academy of Research and Education, Chennai and Banaras Hindu University.

“It is high time we re-write India’s prehistory based on scientific evidence,” said Dr Lalji Singh, former director of CCMB. “There is no genetic evidence that Indo-Aryans invaded or migrated to India or even something such as Aryans existed”. Singh, vice-chancellor of BHU, is a coauthor.

The comparison of this data with genetic data of other populations showed that South Asia harbours two major ancestry components. One is spread in populations of South and West Asia, Middle East, Near East and the Caucasus. The second component is more restricted to South Asia and accounts for more than 50 per cent of the ancestry in Indian populations.

“Both the ancestry components that dominate genetic variation in South Asia demonstrate much greater diversity than those that predominate West Eurasia. This is indicative of a more ancient demographic history and a higher long-term effective population size underlying South Asian genome variation compared to that of West Eurasia,” researchers said.

“The genetic component which spread beyond India is significantly higher in India than in any other part of world. This implies that this genetic component originated in India and then spread to West Asia and Caucasus,” said Gyaneshwar Chaube of University of Tartu, Estonia.

A very knowledgeable Hindu blogger whom I admire and agree with on most matters, and who is a highly educated (evolutionary) biologist by training (if I have deduced his identity correctly), had this to say on this latest Metspalu, et. al., 2011 paper.

A recent paper by Metspalu et al in AHJG adds additional data to the growing material on the genetics of the Indians. The paper has several issues that are rather unsatisfactory – chief among them is the attempt to meaninglessly hand wave on OIT and AIT. The AIT is sitting right there in their data, yet they attempt to obfuscate the issue in somewhat amateurish ways. But that is not something we wish to discuss today because there is new work that might be published relatively soon that will smash the OIT theory for good.

Interestingly, while the authors of an earlier paper (Reich et. al. 2009) have spoken against AIT/AMT (albeit indirectly) in a press conference, their paper itself has been interpreted by many as supporting AMT (Breaking India, Appendix A). A discussion of their paper in Nature by Dr. Aravinda Chakravarti makes interesting reading. On one hand Dr. Chakravarti seemingly supports AMT. On the other hand, he also supports Reich, et. al. that current Indian population is admixture of ANI (Ancestral North Indian), ASI (Ancestral South Indian), both of which groups have remote ancestry in India (can be traced back to around 40,000 to 65,000 years). Of course, the paper itself mentions that ANI has affinity with Europeans. If we go by geneticists, this affinity would imply that there was/were major migration(s) out of the Indian subcontinent which contributed to the non-African genetic population of the world. Geneticist Oppenheimer says,

For me and for Toomas Kivisild, South Asia is logically the ultimate origin of M17(Y-DNA Haplogroup R1a, associated with the male Aryan invasion theory) and his ancestors; and sure enough we find the highest rates and greatest diversity of the M17 line in Pakistan, India, and eastern Iran, and low rates in the Caucasus.

In his book, “The Real Eve”, Dr. Oppenheimer traces the genetic origin of Europeans and Central Asians to a single mother who lived in the Indian subcontinent, whom he calls the “Eurasian Eve”. This inference points to the autochthonous origin of the genetic population of the Indian subcontinent, which agrees with the results of many genetic studies, including but not limited to, Sharma, et. al. 2009,  Sengupta, et. al. 2006, Sahoo, et. al., 2006, Metspalu, et. al., 2004. Not surprisingly, while Bamshad, et. al. 2001, which seemed to support a invasionist/migrationist model had the professional Aryanists jumping up and down, vast majority of subsequent genetic research, which go against any so-called Aryan invasion or migration into India, don’t elicit the same excitement from them.

Interestingly, some professional Aryanists theorize that even if the Indian subcontinent is the genetic origin for Central Asian and European populations, that still doesn’t rule out a migration of Sanskrit speaking (or PIE speaking) “Aryans” into the subcontinent around 1500 BCE (or around that time). Now some questions arise with this theory. How major was this theoretical migration to have contributed language and beliefs in such a scale? Did Sanskrit develop in the subcontinent prior of this said migration? Or, did the ancient migration out of the subcontinent carry PIE into Central Asia, Europe? If we go by genetic studies, among others, Metspalu, et. al., 2004 clearly state that since the initial settlement of South Asia by modern humans, when this region may well have provided initial settlers who colonized much of Eurasia, gene flow in and out of India has been very limited. Metspalu, et. al., 2011 also provide the same thesis. Co-author Gyaneshwar Chaube of University of Tartu, Estonia explicitly states this in an aforementioned quote from India Today. However, given the possibility of new research disputing this out-of-India model, as mentioned by the editor of mAnasataraMgiNI, we eagerly await that publication.

In any case, even though the invasionist model has been largely discarded by the professional Aryanists for a migrationist (and even trickle-in) model, there are still significant mainstream books, sites, etc. that talk of conquering light skinned Aryans and defeated dark skinned natives. It may still take significant amount of time before this Aryan debate is settled once and for all. While genetics holds the key, as long as there exists political reasons for patronizing the professional Aryanists, namely, the Marxist history engineers of India and their occidental Eurocentric associates, the results and inferences of genetic research won’t reach textbooks that easily. That said, it will probably take another decade of more genetic evidence, on top of what we already know, to put an end to this Aryan debate once and for all.

Notwithstanding the direction genetics studies take, it is important to dissociate dharma/Hinduism from the Aryan theories. The soul of India has always been dhArmika be it Hindu, Buddhist, Jain or Sikh. Wherever dharma has ceased to exist, secessionist activities have taken root. The nations of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh stand as testimonies to what happens once the population is converted from dharma. If the break India agenda is to be foiled, among other things, there needs to be a resurgence of dharma in India. Whether dharma “came to” India from outside or not shouldn’t really be the focus. Focus should be that dharma is that soul of India and cleansing of dharma enables the break India agenda. Of course, if genetic studies of the last few years is any indication, the evidence for autochthonous origins of the Indian population groups and hence dharma is gradually mounting. While any new paper may as well change this, after some deliberation I have come to believe that it is definitely befitting to decouple the whole Aryan influx matter from dharma/Hinduism. Otherwise, we will merely be playing into the hands of our civilizational opponents.

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Genetics delivers another blow to Aryan myth


Genetics exposes yet again, what has been known for some time now. That the Aryan invasion/migration theory[1] is at best a questionable hypothesis and at worst a consummate mendacity. In the past, an article was published in this blog which emphatically proved[2] that modern genetics goes against the colonial concoction of the Aryan invasion theory and its later euphemistic version the Aryan migration theory[3]. Recently, Open Magazine carried a series of articles exploring the genetic origins of Indians[4][5][6][7][8][9][10], where results and inferences presented refute the Aryan invasion/migration theory.

To get a clearer picture of our origins, Open sent DNA samples of a couple of celebrities, John Abraham and Baichung Bhutia, alongwith those of four magazine staffers to the National Geographic Deep Ancestry Project. Based on the genetic markers thus identified and other research conducted by scientists, we present a plausible map of our origins.

To interprete and present their results they collaborated with Ramasamy Pitchappan, principal investigator, India, of the National Geographic Project (NGP), and a leading Indian geneticist, RNK Bamezai, director of the National Centre of Applied Human Genetics (NCAHG) at Jawaharlal Nehru University and vice-chancellor of Jammu University.

Excerpts from the results are provided here. Emphasis added.

In fact, much of the genetic evidence seems to suggest a South Asian origin for the F haplogroup. This haplogroup and its lines of descent account for perhaps 90 per cent of the male population in the world. Contrary to received wisdom, this would imply that much of the globe outside Africa was settled by outward migrations from South Asia dating back to over 50,000 years ago. Certainly, the distant origins of the modern European population seem to lie in South Asia, emphasising the crucial importance of this region in understanding the peopling of the globe.

…the antiquity of both the L and H haplogroups in India suggests that a majority of the Indian male population can trace its presence in the Subcontinent back at least 20,000 years if not earlier.

Geneticist Bamezai says,

…I feel R1a1 originated here and contributed to Central Asia rather than the other way around.

A research paper published by Bamezai, et. al in the Journal of Human Genetics in 2009, further says,

Many major rival models of the origin of the Hindu caste system co-exist despite extensive studies, each with associated genetic evidences. One of the major factors that has still kept the origin of the Indian caste system obscure is the unresolved question of the origin of Y-haplogroup R1a1, at times associated with a male-mediated major genetic influx from Central Asia or Eurasia, which has contributed to the higher castes in India. Y-haplogroup R1a1 has a widespread distribution and high frequency across Eurasia, Central Asia and the Indian subcontinent… To resolve these issues, we screened 621 Y-chromosomes (of Brahmins occupying the upper-most caste position and schedule castes/tribals occupying the lower-most positions)… for conclusions. A peculiar observation of the highest frequency (up to 72.22%) of Y-haplogroup R1a1 in Brahmins hinted at its presence as a founder lineage for this caste group. Further, observation of R1a1 in different tribal population groups, existence of Y-haplogroup R1a in ancestors, and extended phylogenetic analyses of the pooled dataset of 530 Indians, 224 Pakistanis and 276 Central Asians and Eurasians bearing the R1a1 haplogroup supported the autochthonous [indigenous] origin of R1a1 lineage in India and a tribal link to Indian Brahmins.

Interestingly, Bamazai, et. al. 2009 agrees with the authors of Reich, et. al. 2009[11][12] who have said that as per genetic studies, castes grew directly out of tribe-like organizations during the formation of the Indian society. Reich at. al 2009 further say that current Indian society is an admixture of groups of human settlement in the Indian sub-continent which can be traced back from 65,000 to 40,000 years.

The Open Magazine genetics tests results further state,

…the evidence suggests is that the origins of Hartosh’s R1a1 haplogroup lie in India. Thus, a large part of Central Asia, Southern Russia, Ukraine onwards to the Czech Republic may well be populated by a 15,000-year-old migration from India.

…the proportion of R1a1 in some Brahmin groups such as those of West Bengal is as high as 72 per cent. This indicates that the origins of Brahmins as a caste may well lie in the R1a1 haplogroup. But since the antiquity of the Ra1a haplogroup in tribals such as Central India’s Sahariyas is older than it is among Brahmins, it is reasonable to believe that Brahmins may not be entrants from outside but may have originated as a caste from the tribal population of this country.

The results of the Haplogroup R1A1 tests[13] and the analysis of geneticists further reinforce the completely autochthonous origin and antiquity of the Indian population.

The diversity and antiquity of Haplogroup R1a1 in India suggests its origins lie in South Asia. The haplogroup has been found in substantial numbers among some tribes such as the Sahariyas of Central India and the Chenchus of Andhra where its age seems to be well over 15,000 years. This allows for just one possibility, a migration out of India to Southern Russia onward to the Czech Republic and even Scandinavia.

In summary, the crux of the resuts and analysis point to

  1. the origins of Indian subcontinental population being autochthonous, i.e., in the Indian subcontinent itself.
  2. the antiquity of Indian subcontinental population going back to around 50,000 years, and perhaps even more.
  3. Indian subcontinent being the origin of most of the current non-African population of the world.
  4. migration of population from Indian subcontinent to Central Asia, Southern Russia, etc.

These results are in agreement with the prevalent genetics research and inferences of geneticists previously presented in this blog[14]. In the face of incontrovertible archeological evidence contrary to any Aryan invasion, many “scholars” have moved to a euphemistic Aryan migration theory. In fact some even propound a ridiculous Aryan trickle-in theory. However, as genetics research of the last few years have shown, the migration that could have occurred is a migration out of the Indian subcontinent.

With genetics research only getting better and more cutting age, it is a matter of time before the Aryan invasion-turned-migration-turning-trickle-in theory is consigned to the funereal pyre of mendacious tripe. So far this theory has been kept alive only through the efforts of the Marxist history engineers of India and their Eurocentric associates in the west. The Indian Marxist history engineers have colored textbooks with their ideological biases to propound the Aryan invasion/migration theory for decades. Even though there exists no historical or archeological evidence for any invasion or migration of so-called Aryans into the Indian subcontinent. With genetics research vindicating this truth, one hopes, sooner rather than later, textbooks will be cleansed of Marxist-Eurocentric ideological tripe and Indian history is freed from the clutches of the professional Aryanists.

ENDNOTES

[1] ^ (tattvaanveShaNam. “Exploring the Aryan Myth”. June 15, 2010)
[2] ^ using results of genetics research and inferences, observations of geneticists.
[3] ^ (tattvaanveShaNam. “Genetics and the Aryan myth”. June 15, 2010)
[4] ^ (Bal. The Story of Our Origins. May 28, 2011)
[5] ^ (“The Science of DNA Testing”. Open Magazine. May 28, 2011)
[6] ^ (“Haplogroup M”. Open Magazine. May 28, 2011)
[7] ^ (“Haplogroup H”. Open Magazine. May 28, 2011)
[8] ^ (“Haplogroup L”. Open Magazine. May 28, 2011)
[9] ^ (“Haplogroup R1A1”. Open Magazine. May 28, 2011)
[10] ^ (“Haplogroup D”. Open Magazine. May 28, 2011)
[11] ^ (Reich et al. Print. 2009)
[12] ^ (Times News Network. Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study. Sep 25, 2009)
[13] ^ (“Haplogroup R1A1”. Open Magazine. May 28, 2011)
[14] ^ (tattvaanveShaNam. “Genetics and the Aryan debate”. June 15, 2010)

BIBLIOGRAPHY

Bal, Hartosh Singh. May 28, 2011. “The Story of Our Origins.” Open Magazine. http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/the-story-of-our-origins (Accessed May 29, 2011).

“Haplogroup D.” May 28, 2011. Open Magazine. http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-d (Accessed May 29, 2011).

“Haplogroup H.” May 28, 2011. Open Magazine. http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-h (Accessed May 29, 2011).

“Haplogroup L.” May 28, 2011. Open Magazine. http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-l (Accessed May 29, 2011).

“Haplogroup M.” May 28, 2011. Open Magazine. http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-m (Accessed May 29, 2011).

“Haplogroup R1A1.” May 28, 2011. Open Magazine. http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/haplogroup-r1a1 (Accessed May 29, 2011).

Reich, David et al. print. “Reconstructing Indian population history.” Nature 461(7263): 489-494. http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nature08365.

tattvaanveShaNam. June 15, 2010. “Genetics and the Aryan debate.” http://www.tattvaanveshanam.org/2010/06/15/genetics-and-the-aryan-myth/ (Accessed June 20, 2010).

tattvaanveShaNam. June 15, 2010. “Exploring the Aryan myth.” http://www.tattvaanveshanam.org/2010/06/15/exploring-the-aryan-myth/ (Accessed June 20, 2010).

“The Science of DNA Testing.” 2011. Open Magazine. http://www.openthemagazine.com/article/living/the-science-of-dna-testing (Accessed May 29, 2011).

Times News Network. Sep 25, 2009. “Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth: Study.” The Times of India. http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2009-09-25/india/28107253_1_incidence-of-genetic-diseases-indians-tribes (Accessed September 26, 2009).


Genetics and the Aryan myth


Preface

This post in “Exploring the Aryan myth” series [1] will cover related genetic studies.

Overwhelming genetic evidence against Aryan invasion or migration

Kivisild et al. 2003 [2] emphasize that the combined results from mtDNA, Y-chromosome and autosomal markers suggest that Indian tribal and caste populations derive largely from the same genetic heritage of Pleistocene southern and western Asians and have received limited gene flow from external regions.

Kashyap 2006 [3] reports in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Science that most modern Indians descended from South Asians, not invading Central Asian steppe dwellers. A blogger did dwell upon an interesting point [4].

What is really interesting about the article though is not its mention of AIT being disputed but the surreptitious (and easily overlooked) mention of “technology” amongst things that do not appear to be indigenous and may have come from outside the region (excerpt: “If steppe-dwelling Central Asians did lend language and technology, but not many genes”)

Oddly though, nowhere in the article is there any evidence of “technology” being borrowed from Central Asia.
I wonder if this is just a bad copy or a subtle attempt at undermining the “scientific and technological achievements in ancient India? (Please read: “Does no one remember the Indian contribution to Technology?“)

Scientific and technological achievements in ancient India (Bharata) are however a tangential topic and will be covered in a different post.

Sharma et. al. 2009 [5] proposed “the autochthonous origin and tribal links of Indian Brahmins” as well as “the origin of R1a1* … in the Indian subcontinent” [6]. Hinduism Today provided a very lucid summary [7] of of this highly technical paper.

  1. If Central Asians invaded India to form the high castes, you would expect that brahmins have many Central Asian genes. They do not.
  2. R1a1 genes associated with high caste brahmins are highly concentrated in India but sparse in Central Asians.
  3. Brahmins, scheduled castes and tribals all show a common genetic ancestry.
  4. The age of this yet to be determined common parentage goes back, in India itself, to at least 9,000 years and possibly 20,000 years, leaving no genetic support for recent migrations.

Several recent studies of the distribution of alleles on the Y chromosome,microsatellite DNA,and mitochondrial DNA in India by Centre for Cellular and Molecular Biology scientists in collaboration with researchers at Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT have cast strong doubt on the idea of a biological Dravidian “race” distinct from non-Dravidians (read Aryans from the Max Mueller, Romila Thapar, Michael Witzel, et. al. “school of thought”) in the Indian subcontinent. [8] [9]

A more exhaustive list of genetic evidence that debunks any Aryan invasion or migration is available at [6], and is quoted here.

The Aryan Invasion Theory is False – Genetic Evidence

  • No trace of “demographic disruption” in the North-West of the subcontinent between 4500 and 800 BCE; this negates the possibility of any massive intrusion, by so-called Indo-Aryans or other populations, during that period.
  • Deep late Pleistocene genetic link between contemporary Europeans and Indians, provided by the mtDNA haplogroup U, which encompasses roughly a fifth of mtDNA lineages of both populations. Our estimate for this split [between Europeans and Indians] is close to the suggested time for the peopling of Asia and the first expansion of anatomically modern humans in Eurasia and likely pre-dates their spread to Europe.”
  • Haplogroup U, being common to North Indian and “Caucasoid” populations, was found in tribes of eastern India such as the Lodhas and Santals, which would not be the case if it had been introduced through Indo-Aryans. Such is also the case of the haplogroup M, another marker frequently mentioned in the early literature as evidence of an invasion: in reality, haplogroup M occurs with a high frequency, averaging about 60%, across most Indian population groups, irrespective of geographical location of habitat. Tribal populations have higher frequencies of haplogroup M than caste populations.”

– U.S. anthropologists Kenneth Kennedy, John Lukacs and Brian Hemphill.

  • Migrations into India “did occur, but rarely from western Eurasian populations.”  There are low frequencies of the western Eurasian mtDNA types in both southern and northern India. Thus, the ‘caucasoid’ features of south Asians may best be considered ‘pre-caucasoid’ — that is,  part of a diverse north or north-east African gene pool that yielded separate origins for western Eurasian and southern Asian populations over 50,000 years ago.

– U.S. biological anthropologist Todd R. Disotell.

  • There is a fundamental unity of mtDNA lineages in India, in spite of the extensive cultural and linguistic diversity, pointing to a relatively small founding group of females in India. Most of the mtDNA diversity observed in Indian populations is between individuals within populations; there is no significant structuring of haplotype diversity by socio-religious affiliation, geographical location of habitat or linguistic affiliation.

– Scientists Susanta Roychoudhury and thirteen others studying 644 samples of mtDNA from ten Indian ethnic groups.

  • mtDNA haplogroup “M” common to India (with a frequency of 60%), Central and Eastern Asia (40% on average), and even to American Indians; however, this frequency drops to 0.6% in Europe, which is “inconsistent with the ‘general Caucasoidness’ of Indians.” This shows, once again, that “the Indian maternal gene pool has come largely through an autochthonous history since the Late Pleistocene.” U haplogroup frequency 13% in India, almost 14% in North-West Africa, and 24% from Europe to Anatolia. “Indian and western Eurasian haplogroup U varieties differ profoundly; the split has occurred about as early as the split between the Indian and eastern Asian haplogroup M varieties. The data show that both M and U exhibited an expansion phase some 50,000 years ago, which should have happened after the corresponding splits.” In other words, there is a genetic connection between India and Europe, but a far more ancient one than was thought.
  • If one were to extend methodology used to suggest an Aryan invasion based on Y-Dna statistics to populations of Eastern and Southern India, one would be led to an exactly opposite result: “the straightforward suggestion would be that both Neolithic (agriculture) and Indo-European languages arose in India and from there, spread to Europe.” The authors do not defend this thesis, but simply guard against “misleading interpretations” based on limited samples and faulty methodology.
  • The Chenchu tribe is genetically close to several castes, there is a “lack of clear distinction between Indian castes and tribes.

– Twenty authors headed by Kivisild – Archaeogenetics of Europe – 2000.

  • “Language families present today in India, such as Indo-European, Dravidic and Austro-Asiatic, are all much younger than the majority of indigenous mtDNA lineages found among their present-day speakers at high frequencies. It would make it highly speculative to infer, from the extant mtDNA pools of their speakers, whether one of the linguistically defined groups in India should be considered more ‘autochthonous’ than any other in respect of its presence in the subcontinent.”

– Mait Metspalu and fifteen co-authors analyzing 796 Indian and 436 Iranian mtDNAs. 2001.

  • Geneticist Toomas Kivisild led a study (2003) in which comparisons of the diversity of R1a1 (R-M17) haplogroup in Indian, Pakistani, Iranian, Central Asian, Czech and Estonian populations. The study showed that the diversity of R1a1 in India, Pakistan, and Iran, is higher than in Czechs (40%), and Estonians[12].
  • Kivisild came to the conclusion that “southern and western Asia might be the source of this haplogroup”: “Haplogroup R1a, previously associated with the putative Indo-Aryan invasion, was found at its highest frequency in Punjab but also at a relatively high frequency (26%) in the Chenchu tribe. This finding, together with the higher R1a-associated short tandem repeat diversity in India and Iran compared with Europe and central Asia, suggests that southern and western Asia might be the source of this haplogroup”.[12]
  • “Given the geographic spread and STR diversities of sister clades R1 and R2, the latter of which is restricted to India, Pakistan, Iran, and southern central Asia, it is possible that southern and western Asia were the source for R1 and R1a differentiation.     ”

– Kivilsid – 2003

  • Based on 728 samples covering 36 Indian populations, it announced in its very title how its findings revealed a “Minor Genetic Influence of Central Asian Pastoralists,” i.e. of the Indo-Aryans, and stated its general agreement with the previous study. For instance, the authors rejected the identification of some Y-DNA genetic markers with an “Indo-European expansion,” an identification they called “convenient but incorrect … overly simplistic.” To them, the subcontinent’s genetic landscape was formed much earlier than the dates proposed for an Indo-Aryan immigration: “The influence of Central Asia on the pre-existing gene pool was minor. … There is no evidence whatsoever to conclude that Central Asia has been necessarily the recent donor and not the receptor of the R1a lineages.”
  • “Dravidian” authorship of the Indus-Sarasvati civilization rejected indirectly, since it noted, “Our data are also more consistent with a peninsular origin of Dravidian speakers than a source with proximity to the Indus….” They found, in conclusion, “overwhelming support for an Indian origin of Dravidian speakers.”
  • The frequencies of R2 seems to mirror the frequencies of R1a (i.e. both lineages are strong and weak in the same social and linguistic subgroups). This may indicate that both R1a and R2 moved into India at roughly the same time or co-habited, although more research is needed. R2 is very rare in Europe.

– Sanghamitra Sengupta, L. Cavalli-Sforza, Partha P. Majumder, and P. A. Underhill. – 2006.

  • “The sharing of some Y-chromosomal haplogroups between Indian and Central Asian populations is most parsimoniously explained by a deep, common ancestry between the two regions, with diffusion of some Indian-specific lineages northward.”
  • “The Y-chromosomal data consistently suggest a largely South Asian origin for Indian caste communities and therefore argue against any major influx, from regions north and west of India, of people associated either with the development of agriculture or the spread of the Indo-Aryan language family.”
  • “Southern castes and tribals are very similar to each other in their Y-chromosomal haplogroup compositions.” As a result, “it was not possible to confirm any of the purported differentiations between the caste and tribal pools,” a conclusion that directly clashes with the Aryan invasion theory which purports that male European Aryans chased tribal adivasis and aboriginals down south.

– Sanghamitra Sahoo,  T. Kivisild and V. K. Kashyap. –  2006.

  • When Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa, he first reached South-West Asia around 75,000 BP, and from here, went on to other parts of the world. In simple terms, except for Africans, all humans have ancestors in the North-West of  the Indian peninsula. In particular, one migration started around 50,000 BP towards  the Middle East and Western Europe: “indeed, nearly all Europeans — and by extension, many Americans — can trace their ancestors to only four mtDNA lines, which appeared between 10,000 and 50,000 years ago and originated from South Asia.”

– Lluís Quintana-Murci,Vincent Macaulay,Stephen Oppenheimer,Michael Petraglia,and their associates

  • “For me and for Toomas Kivisild, South Asia is logically the ultimate origin of M17(Y-DNA Haplogroup R1a, associated with the male Aryan invasion theory) and his ancestors; and sure enough we find the highest rates and greatest diversity of the M17 line in Pakistan, India, and eastern Iran, and low rates in the Caucasus. M17 is not only more diverse in South Asia than in Central Asia, but diversity characterizes its presence in isolated tribal groups in the south, thus undermining any theory of M17 as a marker of a ‘male Aryan invasion’ of India. One average estimate for the origin of this line in India is as much as 51,000 years. All this suggests that M17 could have found his way initially from India or Pakistan, through Kashmir, then via Central Asia and Russia, before finally coming into Europe.”

– Stephen Oppenheimer

  • A (2009) study headed by geneticist Swarkar Sharma, collated information for 2809 Indians (681 Brahmins, and 2128 tribals and schedule castes). The results showed “no consistent pattern of the exclusive presence and distribution of Y-haplogroups to distinguish the higher-most caste, Brahmins, from the lower-most ones, schedule castes and tribals”. Brahmins from West Bengal showed the highest frequency (72.22%) of Y-haplogroups R1a1* hinting that it may have been a founder lineage for this caste group. The authors found it significant that the Saharia tribe of Madhya Pradesh had not only 28.07% R1a1, but also 22.8% R1a*, out of 57 people, with such a high percentage of R1a* never having been found before. Based on STR variance the estimated age of R1a* in India was 18,478 years, and for R1a1 it was 13,768 years.
  • In its conclusions the study proposed “the autochthonous origin and tribal links of Indian Brahmins” as well as “the origin of R1a1* … in the Indian subcontinent”.
  • S. Sharma, argued for an Indian origin of R1a1 lineage among Brahmins, by pointing out the highest incidence of R1a*, ancestral clade to R1a1, among Kashmiri Pandits (Brahmins) and Saharias, an Indian tribe.

– Sharma et al 2009

  • “This paper rewrites history… there is no north-south divide.”
  • “There is 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.”
  • “Impossible to distinguish between castes and tribes since their genetics proved they were not systematically different.”
  • 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.

– Thangaraj and Singh at a press conference.
–  “Reconstructing Indian Population History”, David Reich, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Nick Patterson, Alkes L. Price & Lalji Singh, 2009


REFERENCES

[1] http://www.tattvaanveshanam.org/2010/06/15/exploring-the-aryan-myth/

[2] T. Kivisild, S. Rootsi, M. Metspalu, S. Mastana, K. Kaldma, J. Parik, E. Metspalu, M. Adojaan, H.-V. Tolk, V. Stepanov, M. Golge, E. Usanga, S.S. Papiha, C. Cinnioglu, R. King, L. Cavalli-Sforza, P.A. Underhill, R. Villems, The Genetic Heritage of the Earliest Settlers Persists Both in Indian Tribal and Caste Populations, The American Journal of Human Genetics, Volume 72, Issue 2, February 2003, Pages 313-332, ISSN 0002-9297, DOI: 10.1086/346068. (http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/B8JDD-4R1VVG3-G/2/2af0a571c5129c92bda01054a004e210 )

[3] http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2006/01/0110_060110_india_genes.html

[4] http://satyameva-jayate.org/2007/05/24/ait-and-sneak-attack/

[5] http://www.nature.com/jhg/journal/v54/n1/full/jhg20082a.html

[6] http://sites.google.com/site/r2dnainfo/R2-Home/Aryans/reasons-why-the-aryan-invasion-theory

[7] http://www.hinduismtoday.com/modules/wfdownloads/visit.php?cid=34&lid=77

[8] Ancestral Populations Of India And Relationships To Modern Groups Revealed ScienceDaily (Sep. 24, 2009)Reich, David; Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Nick Patterson, Alkes L. Price, and Lalji Singh (24 September 2009). “Reconstructing Indian population history“. Nature 461: 489–494.

[9] Aryan-Dravidian divide a myth : Study TNN, Sep 25, 2009, The Times of India