Challenging Marxists historians, Sanskrit scholars from various universities across India on Monday asserted that they were “rewriting history” and challenging a few notions about the origin of Vedas and influx of Aryans in the country.
The Indian scholars, who were attending a symposium in Delhi University when these claims were made, passed a resolution at the end of the Symposium that said:
“There are evidences in the Persian tradition which suggest early Vedic chronology. It is high time to reassess the dating of Vedas and other Vedic text which is very essential for our national identity.The concerned authorities should accept the chronology based upon astronomical tool and supported by archaeological evidence in the education system,”
Further detailing their claims, the scholars said that that the Vedas date back to 6,000 BC and hence are older by nearly 4,500 years compared to what is currently believed. Thus, the Vedic civilization is much older than the Indus Valley civilization.
The national symposium was discussing the topic “Chronology of Vedic Literature – A Reassessment” and was organised by DU’s Sanskrit Department. During the three day symposium, Sanskrit scholars from various universities questioned the period of composition generally ascribed to the Rig Veda, that is 1,500 BC and placed it after the decline of the Harappan Civilization. They also dismissed the view held by many historians and archaeologists, which is also present in various textbooks, by calling it as Marxist and “Max Muellerist” view.
The meet, which was being supported by HRD Ministry and was in association with Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratisthan, Ujjain, assumed significance as the topic of Vedas has seen renewed debate ever since Narendra Modi led BJP government came to power in year 2014.
There has also been a lot of discussion about incorporating Vedic literature and Vedic maths in school curriculum, with various right-wing leaders even lamenting that the current education system is heavily influenced by the colonial past. Talking about the timing of the “Gopatha Brahmana”, that is the only genre of the prose texts describing the Vedic rituals associated with the Atharvaveda, Dr Niranjan Jena of the Viswabharti University said:
“Gopatha Brahmana was not composed in a definite period of time. It is compiled in different periods of time between 7 BC to 6 BC.”
Further elaborating on this, HOD, DU’s Sanskrit Department, Ramesh C Bharadwaj during his keynote address at the symposium had said:
“The original date of Rig Veda has been debated for long. The Marxists have gone all out to establish that Indus Valley civilisation is older than Rig Vedic era. The fact that Aryans came to the plains of India and pushed the Dravidians southwards is also not true, Much before the Indus Valley civilisation, the plains of India had a flourishing culture of its own, which can be established through the Rig Vedic texts. The history needs correction and chronology needs to be fixed.”
Bhardwaj then later submitted a project to the Indian Council for Historical Research, seeking funding to conduct research on the mentioned subject and said:
“Our dates do not match with the mainstream dates established by the historians and there is evidence to suggest the Aryans never invaded but were indigenous and developed into the Harappan civilisation.”
Other noteworthy names that attended this symposium include Chairman of the Indian Archaeological Society, K N Dikshit, Director of Bhogilal Leherchand Institute of Indology, G C Tripathi, and scholars from Shantiniketan, Calcutta University and Benares Hindu University.