A brief, selective history of India

[Just putting together some thoughts. Welcome fact checking / corrections / perspectives.]

28,000 years ago
The oldest definitively identified Homo sapiens fossils yet found in South Asia are Balangoda man. Named for the location in Sri Lanka where they were discovered, they are at least 28,000 years old.

10,000 years ago
Indians who are lactose-tolerant show a genetic pattern regarding this tolerance which is “characteristic of the common European mutation.” This suggests that “the most common lactose tolerance mutation made a two-way migration out of the Middle East less than 10,000 years ago. While the mutation spread across Europe, another explorer must have brought the mutation eastward to India – likely traveling along the coast of the Persian Gulf where other pockets of the same mutation have been found.

Most of the first wave of Caucasoids into India were proto-Dravidian who migrated into India around 4,000 BC from a region later known as Elam in modern day Iran. The Dravidian languages were brought to India by immigration into India from Elam. Samples from the Indus periphery population are always mixes of the same two proximal sources of AASI and Iranian agriculturalist-related ancestry.

The Indo-Aryan migrations started in approximately 1,800 BCE, after the invention of the war chariot, and also brought Indo-Aryan languages into the Levant and possibly Inner Asia. It was part of the diffusion of Indo-European languages from the proto-Indo-European homeland at the Pontic steppe, a large area of grasslands in far Eastern Europe, which started in the 5th to 4th millennia BCE, and the Indo-European migrations out of the Eurasian steppes, which started approximately in 2,000 BCE.

The Proto-Indo-Iranians, from which the Indo-Aryans developed, are identified with the Sintashta culture (2100–1800 BCE), and the Andronovo culture, which flourished ca. 1800–1400 BCE in the steppes around the Aral sea, present-day Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The proto-Indo-Iranians were influenced by the Bactria-Margiana Culture, south of the Andronovo culture, from which they borrowed their distinctive religious beliefs and practices. The Indo-Aryans split off around 1800–1600 BCE from the Iranians, whereafter the Indo-Aryans migrated into the Levant and north-western India.

1500BC to 1000 BC
The Aryans established themselves in India by defeating the natives whom they called Dasas or Dasyus. The period when the Aryans first settled in India, is known as Early Vedic Period.

1000BC to 600BC
The Aryans spread to Indo-Gangetic plains in the later Vedic Period and this region came to be known as Aryavarta. The Aryans were the first people in India to know the use of iron and brought horses along with them.

The Rigveda was written in Sanskrit, an Indo-European language.
A reasonable date close to that of the composition of the core of the Rigveda is that of the Mitanni documents of northern Syria and Iraq (c. 1450–1350 BC), which also mention the Vedic gods such as Varuna, Mitra and Indra.

The Mahabharata was written

7BC to 3AD
The Ramayana was written – which mentioned the mythological character Rama. (In 2019 the Indian Supreme Court granted this mythological character legal standing.)

At that time, all the Central Asians, Middle Easterners, Europeans, Dravidians living across the Indus River in Pakistan were called (H)Indus by the Central Asian and Middle Easterners and Europeans who were on the other side of the river

0AD Jesus was born

The Christian faith was introduced to India by Thomas the Apostle, who supposedly reached the Malabar Coast (Kerala) in 52 AD.

Christian communities were firmly established in India by the 6th century AD

570AD Mohammad was born

623AD the first mosques were built in India by seafaring Arab merchants

So for thousands of years outsiders kept arriving into India and bringing with them whatever was in vogue at the place where they were coming from

1400s the Portuguese traders came to the subcontinent

1600s the British, Dutch, Danish & French came to the subcontinent

1858 – the British established complete rule over all the kingdoms in the subcontinent

1947 – the British left the subcontinent leaving the kingdoms and regions to determine their own future. Some aligned with a redefined territory called India, some aligned with a redefined territory called Pakistan, and some like Kashmir decided to stay independent.

1948 – Pakistan attacked majority-Muslim Kashmir whose Hindu king decided to then join India instead in return for protection. A war was fought. The U.N. stepped in. It was decided to conduct a plebiscite so the people could democratically choose where they want to be. But till date the conditions have never been neutral enough for the vote to take place. (In 2019 India revoked the special status the Kingdom of Kashmir was awarded while the issue was supposed to get sorted and completely annexed it into India.)

1948 – Gandhi was assassinated by a fellow Indian who belonged to a political party called the RSS – a right wing, nationalist, para-military organization.

1949 – Hindu activists broke into a mosque in the city of Ayodhya and placed idols of Rama and Sita inside claiming the mosque sat right on top of the physical place where the mythological character Rama was born. People were led to believe that the idols had ‘miraculously’ appeared inside the mosque. None of the Hindu texts prior to this year mentioned Ayodhya as a place of religious significance and it had no history of Hindu pilgrimage.

1960 – the center of the British India empire, the State of Bombay, was split into two smaller states Gujarat & Maharashtra along linguistic lines. The city of Bombay was given to the newly formed state of Maharashtra. In 1995 a local political party renamed the city to Mumbai and rewrote history claiming that Bombay was part of the Maratha heritage despite absolutely no Maratha presence in Bombay until the British built the first fort on what was otherwise just swampy land. Pune was the seat of the Maratha heritage but it is now relegated to a second tier city. All major landmarks in Bombay are now named after Maratha rulers and icons.

1964 – the VHP was formed. An affiliate of the RSS, “to organise, consolidate the Hindu society and to serve and protect the Hindu Dharma.” In 2018 it was classified by the CIA as a militant religious organization.

1965 – Goa, the last remaining European colony in India was won by the government of India in war with the Portuguese.

1980 – the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other Sangh Parivar affiliates began an agitation to build a temple to Rama in Ayodhya, with the Bharatiya Janata Party lending political support to the movement. In 1990, the government of India decided to implement some of the recommendations of the Mandal commission, and announced that twenty-seven percent of government jobs would be reserved for people from lower-caste backgrounds. This announcement threatened the electoral constituency of the BJP, which decided to use the Ayodhya dispute to unite the Hindu vote by mobilising anti-Muslim sentiment.

1990-1992 – the BJP announced a rath yatra, or “chariot journey” across the country to Ayodhya. The procession was led by L. K. Advani, and involved thousands of kar sevaks, or volunteers, from the Sangh Parivar. The yatra began in Somnath on 25 September 1990, and passed through hundreds of villages and cities. It traveled approximately 300 kilometers a day, and Advani often addressed six public rallies in a single day. The yatra caused an outpouring of both religious and militant sentiments among Hindus, and became one of India’s biggest mass movements.
The yatra also triggered religious violence in its wake, with riots in cities across North India. As a result, Advani was arrested by the government of Bihar as the yatra passed through that state, and 150,000 of his supporters were also arrested by the government of Uttar Pradesh. Tens of thousands of activists nonetheless reached Ayodhya and demolished the 16th-century Babri Mosque, resulting in a pitched battle with security forces which left 20 dead. These events caused further Hindu-Muslim riots to break out across the country, in which hundreds were killed. Muslims were often the victims of these riots. Following these riots, the BJP made significant gains elections, both at the national and the state level, on the back of religious polarisation caused by the yatra.

2014 – a RSS and VHP member, who was personally banned from the U.K. & the US for his human rights violations record, was elected the Prime Minister of India. Narendra Modi. He belongs to the organization that murdered Gandhi.

2019 – the Supreme Court of India upheld the demolition of the mosque and cleared the path for building a Hindu temple there instead. A constitution created in 1950 was used to go back in time to resolve a dispute claimed to be from the 1500s. Under this distorted interpretation, people who arrived to India in 700BC (the Aryans from Central Asia) are allowed to displace / destroy / usurp the people who already lived here (the Dravidians), but people who arrived in 700AD (more central Asians and middle easterners) are selectively and retroactively disallowed from that.

2019 – Kashmir’s special status which protected its Muslim population was revoked, all politicians were placed under house arrest, the military swarmed the state, the internet and cellphones were shut down, and the annexation was complete.

2019 – the constitution of India was amended to require a religious test for Citizenship. If you claim to be Hindu, you have a path to citizenship. If you are not Hindu, you don’t have a path to citizenship.

If we look at history – many Indians today (both Hindus and Muslims) are just a bunch of Europeans and Central Asians fighting with each other in a new place they moved to only since 1500BC!

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