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Does it matter now if someone was an Aryan: Romila Thapar

02, Oct 2015

Historian Romila Thapar said that in the current context, attempts were being made to follow two directives — the rewriting of history and the “cleansing” of institutions with “cultural pollution”.
Written by Aranya Shankar | New Delhi | Published:October 2, 2015 3:10 am
In the backdrop of the shocking murder of Kannada scholar and rationalist M M Kalburgi, public intellectuals from various fields, under the aegis of the Indian Writers’ Forum Trust, organised a discussion on ‘Revisiting Cultural Resistance’ at the India International Centre on Thursday.
Speaking at the function chaired by writer Githa Hariharan, historian Romila Thapar said that in the current context, attempts were being made to follow two directives — the rewriting of history and the “cleansing” of institutions with “cultural pollution”.
On the rejection of the Aryan invasion theory by speakers at a seminar by Delhi University’s Sanskrit department, Thapar said the issue was “complex” but becoming “less crucial”. She also criticised the seminar’s efforts to push back the date of the creation of the Vedas. “The issue of Aryan invasion is very complex but I think the matter is becoming less and less crucial with time. Does it really matter now if someone was an Aryan? With regard to astronomy as a historical tool, I think only a historian of astronomy can comment on its reliability. Sanskritists — no matter how good their Sanskrit is — cannot determine it,” she said.

 

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