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Recent findings in archaelogy and related fields have led scholars to replace "invasion" with "migration" in the "Aryan invasion" theory. E.g. Romila Thapar in this edition of The Penguin History of Early India.

Further discoveries (E.g. the satellite mapping of the Saraswati river) have forced a relook at the whole idea of Aryans entering India through the North-West corridor. However, such discoveries remain confined to academic journals or remain scattered in different scholarly silos until somebody collects them and analyzes them collectively.

What are, if any, books/articles which have done this collective analysis in the last couple of years?

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+1, as I'd like to see answers too. However, where tribal peoples are concerned, the difference between a "migration" and an "invasion" are so minute that its hardly worth wasting breath over. –  T.E.D. Apr 26 '12 at 13:35
can you elaborate precisely what do you consider "Aryan invasion theory" and what would you consider as a "demolish"? For example, would you consider Aryan "diffusion" or "migration" as a "demolish"? –  Anixx Apr 26 '12 at 19:00
@Anixx : "Aryan invasion theory" is widely understood to mean an "invasive, destructive" movement of people into India through its NorthWestern corridor from Central Asia, and that's the definition I go by. Aryan "migration" is another, more recent version of the theory, but it starts from the same assumptions. As for demolish, I am referring to "demolish"ing the theory itself (it's not related to diffusion or migration) –  talonx Apr 27 '12 at 8:11
@Anixx Clarifying the last point - I would not consider "migration" as a demolish, in light of recent evidence, hence the reason for including it in the question title with "invasion". –  talonx Apr 27 '12 at 8:18
talonx, what other possibilities remaining? That they came to India by another way? Do you mean this to be the demolishing theory? –  Anixx Apr 27 '12 at 8:31
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2 Answers

Well, you linked to Indus Valley Civilization, which is considered the native civilization of India. If one rejects the Aryan invasion/migration theory he should conclude that this civilization spoke an Indo-European language as the modern Indians do.

But as it is known that Indo-Europeans originated in eastern Europe, this only puts the supposed migration of Indo-European peoples into India further in time.

I do not know whether you would consider pre-Aryan indo-European migration to India as a "repellation" of the Aryan invation theory, but if you reject that any tribe of Indo-Europeans ever migrated to India, you evidently propose that Indo-Europeans originated in India and that all branches of Indo-European languages derived from Indic languages such as Sanskrit.

The latter idea is contrary to all scientific evidence, so I am sure you will have a hard time finding any academic source to support such claim.

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OK. I've looked into this as best I can. And I'll preface this by saying Indian history is my weakest point, so I didn't really have an opinion on this going in.

First off, for a tribal people like the Iranians/Aryians there really isn't a dime's worth of difference between a "migration" and an "invasion". All of Eurasia was settled by this time, so when a tribe moves into a new area, the old inhabitants have to be pushed out somehow.

You could try to picture some kind of peaceful coexistance and absorption if you want, but that would certianly fly in the face of the historical record we have for these same Iranian peoples' arrival at the same time in the near east. They pretty much wiped out the Elamite poeple in Persia, and the Akkadians in Mesopotamia. They weren't using all those chariots for circuses.

So now let's follow your link, like you suggested. Any time I see an interesting book on Amazon I like to read the favorable reviews and the unfavorable ones. Often the unfavorable ones contain the most information. Here's the one for the book you linked. I won't quote it here because it is both too long, and to detail-filled to really cull parts of it.

Still, this is just one guy. So the next step is to hit the Wikipedia page for the author. This should give us a good idea of how accepted his theories are among historians.

Well, there we find out that this is one in a series of books by this same author that reinterpret history in a rather unusual (and Hindu-nationalist) manner.

Bryant (2001) commented that Frawley's work is more successful in the popular arena, to which it is directed and where its impact "is by no means insignificant", rather than in academic study and that "(Frawley) is committed to channeling a symbolic spiritual paradigm through a critical empirico rational one".

In a series of exchanges published in The Hindu, Michael Witzel rejects Frawley's linking of Vedic literature with the Harappan civilisation and a claimed lost city in the Gulf of Cambay, as misreading Vedic texts, ignoring or misunderstanding other evidence and motivated by antiquity frenzy. Witzel argues that Frawley's proposed "ecological approach" and "innovative theories" of the history of ancient India amount to propagating currently popular indigenist ideas.

Bruce Lincoln attributes autochthonous ideas such as Frawley's to "parochial nationalism", terming them "exercises in scholarship ( = myth + footnotes)", where archaeological data spanning several millennia is selectively invoked, with no textual sources to control the inquiry, in support of the theorists' desired narrative.

Basically what these critics are saying is that (according to them) it seems he decides what he wants the history to be, then goes out and looks for facts to back it up. It should go without saying that good science does things the other way around.

I note on this same page that there's actually a Wiki page for the Indigenous Aryans theory. Reading through there, it appears the theory itself isn't taken particularly serioiusly by the various historical and scientific communities it touches on. To give an example, one of the largest sections in there is titled "Pseudoscience and postmodernism".

Regardless, you may buy his argument, and he may even turn out to be right. However, getting back to your question, I think it is fair to say that you aren't in fact going to find a lot of serious published research along these same lines.

I am sorry.

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I'm not trying to "picture" any specific scenario here. I'm not a professional historian. Yes, I am Indian and trying to find the current state of research on this.Going by the responses I usually receive depending on which "camp" the responder is supposed to be in, it's pretty difficult to determine the actual state of affairs. Contd... –  talonx Apr 28 '12 at 15:34
Contd...I would like to add, however, that I'm viewing this not just from a purely historical perspective, but also keeping in mind recent (and not so recent) works on allegations of Eurocentrism in historical writing, and hence the interest in the so-called Hindu-nationalist writers. Here's a balanced Preface from a book on the subject edited by the same Bryant you cite from Wiki - bit.ly/IyqwIf (See Introduction by Laurie L. Patton) –  talonx Apr 28 '12 at 15:34
Well, my answer is just addressing the current state of scholarship. I will say that I don't think there is much doubt that a lot of the analysis of the available facts has been horribly stilted by the fact that it has mostly been done by those of European ancestry. The part that makes me despair is when the response is not to reanalyze the same information logically, but to make up entirely new information with the apparent purpose of compensating. Every peoples I've ever looked at end up having a long history of accomplishments to be proud of, without having to resort to extreme revisionism. –  T.E.D. Apr 28 '12 at 16:10
Yes, there are extremists on both sides. Let's hope the facts come out in the end. –  talonx Apr 28 '12 at 16:12
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