Danino 2, The Aryan Controversy

2, The Aryan Controversy

This is the second in a series of lectures given by the French-Indian historian Michel Danino covering recent findings in ancient Indian history that I will be showing in the weeks to come.

The Buddha’s teaching did not, of course, arise in a vacuum, but came within the development of a culture that had already had 1,000s of years of progress and change, and, because of that, to understand the teaching properly, it is important to know the background.

In this week’s lecture, Danino discusses the Aryan Invasion of India theory. For a long time scholars have believed that the Aryans were a people who migrated across Iran and eventually into the Indus Valley areas, where they violently overthrew the then current civilisation, and meanwhile driving the Dravidians back into the main peninsular and eventually down into the southern regions thereof.

Danino in this lecture discusses the evidence both for and against the theory, shows how at least parts of it are owing to colonial influence, and makes a brave attempt to put forward the indigenous origins counter-theory.

The subject is very complex, and unfortunately Danino has to cut short the lecture before he gets to some of the most interesting parts he lays down at the beginning (his ideas about genetics).


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