Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Year End Musings

The year seems to be ending with the first sign of the physical existence of the Maoist in Kerala. I’m persuaded to wonder if the Maoist incursion was the only woe that was missing in God’s own State. When conversions and home comings are the rage of the day, perhaps the insurgents will baptize the tribal in the hills of Kerala into their ways. And could someone blame and cry wolf for that?

Leopard cannot and will not change it spots. The question if it is the ‘will’ or ‘cannot’ that stand out can be debated. But the fact remains that the spots that were before, stays put. But yet, I like many others hoped for the impossible. The shenanigans orchestrated these days through the charade called “Home Coming” is falling flat against the thesis and the scholarship put forth by eminent historians that India is a land where 92 percent of the present population are descendants of emigrants. It was believed at a not so distant time that Dravidians were the original inhabitants of India, that view has since been considerably modified. Now the generally accepted thesis is that the pre-Dravidian aborigines- the ancestors of the present day people, who we call Adivasis (Scheduled Tribes), were the original inhabitants. So factually speaking most of us will have to leave the sub-continent lock-stock& barrel, because we simply do not belong here and we criminally usurped the land of the original inhabitants or say the early inhabitants.

 Mercifully the extraneous factor that always decided our economic fate – the crude oil price has plummeted southwards and the Leopards could revel in the fortuitous boon that has come about. Though that has not alleviated our plight and the hardships in our daily chores, the Leopards could quote statistical wonders that have come to play in their favour. Foreboding of a return of the mother and son and the coterie of sycophants are also helping the felines.

While we brace ourselves for more aggressive posturing of the Leopards who simply cannot shed their parentage, people in Kerala have something to cheer when the year whimpers out. The Gandhian KPCC President V.M.Sudheeran has lost out with his obstinate autocratic style of functioning, one that perhaps he simulated from his icon Mohandas Gandhi. Tipsy days are back again and here to stay and Sundays can be reveling as before. That is the sole solace that seems to strike a chord in me in this whole year that went past.


Happy Kitten said...

To give credit to VMS, I think even he never wanted all the bars to be closed. It was just another game by the CM.
As for conversions, let everyone be converted if in the end they get at least a few paisas.

Rama Ananth said...

I am quite sure that all this conversion hungama would fizzle out. people are no longer interested in such gimmicks. Of course it is a different matter if they get some free bees by converting.like for example I know some maids who have converted to Christianity because of some free bees. The fact is people go into such things because of some compulsion, not out of belief.

KParthasarathi said...

The only cheerful note in the year to end soon that brought solace to you evoked smile in my face.
The other things like Maoist incursions,conversions/homecomings are not encouraging signs for the growth of economy.

Manjun Edangan said...

I don't think '92% Indians are later migrants' gives an accurate picture.

If we go by population genetics studies, it could be more than 99% based on male lineages. I mean only a section of tribals (again only Dravidian) could be called the first settlers. However, if we identify ourselves with our maternal lineages then almost all Dravidians and majority Indo-Aryans could be original inhabitants.

Even among tribals, the Austro-Asiatics (mostly Santals) are certainly not original inhabitants if you consider their language and the dominant male lineage (which is common among Austro-Asiatics in SE Asia and South China).

The Tibeto-Burman tribes are entirely a different topic.

Most of the Dravidian tribal male lineages are common to non-tribal Dravidians. They also make up a big chunk of middle and lower castes of north India. It should be noted that only a section (or linguistic branch) of the Dravidians have become sedentary.

Of course, 'home coming' is an absurd emotional ploy. Using that logic, all Dravidians should throw away the religious features that are of Sanskritic origin. But many of the Hindutva crowd anyway believes Sanskrit is the mother of all languages.

Ramakrishnan Ramanathan said...

I thought UPA was bad enough. I find BJP rule worse and far more incoherent ! We are headed for the worst crisis ever in modern times ! Yet here is wishing you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Anilkumar Kurup said...

@ Manjun Edangan ,
Thank you for coming on to the Blog. I see from your postings your forte.Interesting . ( though I could not see the "follow" icon on your blog.

My brief opinion is based on the materials I have come across, ranging from the essays of Romila Thapar, The National Geographic etc. I’m no scholar or even purport to be a freshman in Indology and Indian history let alone ethnography. ( Id like to mention here it is acknowledged that that further research is required. Then history is what it is seen in the light of evidence at hand ).
A Supreme Court judgment projects the historical thesis that India is largely a country of old immigrants and those pre-Dravidian aborigines, ancestors of the present Adivasis, rather than Dravidians, were the original inhabitants of India.(Refer this with the The Cambridge History of India (Volume I), Ancient India).

The tremendous diversity of India has to be explained. How else can that be done if not following the thesis of the large-scale migrations and invasions into India over thousands of years. The various immigrants/invaders who came into India brought with them their different cultures, languages, religions, etc., which accounts for the tremendous diversity in India. India being a land of pastoral plenty simply was tanatlising to live upon.
How else can we explain the homogeneity we see in China which simply is absent in Indians?
Also,Quote,”…thus the generally accepted view now is that the original inhabitants of India were not the Dravidians but the pre-Dravidian Munda aborigines whose descendants now live in parts of Chotanagpur (Jharkhand), Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, etc., the Todas of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, the tribals in the Andaman Islands, the Adivasis in various parts of India (especially in the forests and hills), for example the Gonds, Santhals, Bhils, etc.”
I mentioned the statement of emigrants to question the basis on which the BJP and the saffron brigade attempt to re-write history to suit their agenda. Likewise is their attempt to place the Vedic period with the prime period of the Harappan civilization. The miserable gap of 1000 years between the two adds to the desperation and misery of the saffron brigade. Though people like Dheendayal Batra must be burning midnight oil to accomplish the agenda.
The nonsense called “ghar vapsi” is as nonsensical as the first conversion itself. And it is also an open secret that most conversions happen out of gratification and by means of lure.

@ Happy Kitten,Credit or brickbats to VMS, the fact is prohibition will not work. I guess it is the same folks who argue for death penalty because they think that will prevent murder and killings

@ K Parthasarathi,

Ha yes the silver lining at the year end.

@ Rama Ananath,

Yes. And people must throw out this as they have done with the temple issue.

Usha Menon said...

It is an accepted fact that most of the Indians,including Aryans,Dravidians and even so to say, Adivasis, all are

rudraprayaga said...

Such a sensitive issue if sensibly tackled bringing hurt to none,yield of peace can be harvested.
Reg.conversion and home-coming,both are illegitimate I think. Propagating faith is in its peak in Christianity(esp. Pentecost).Many a time they target youths(family no exemption) and become successful hurting the very feelings of parents.All cannot think in broad line that all the faiths are tantamount.
So many examples we witness around.One I had written in this blog site itself earlier.
A father an unceasing patient of cancer wanted her daughter to be wedded before his last breath.The girl did not stand by her father's last wish,but acted on her choice of marrying a groom from another faith converting to that faith despite her father's desire for not converting at least.

So conversion is totally an unacceptable deed may it be X or Y.Transforming as Hindus create alarm and 'hangama' and vice versa is left unnoticed.All these exercises should be curtailed. There shouldn't be any special concern and privilege in the name of minority.All are Indians and all should enjoy equal rights. A day will come when all sorts of conversion ends as everything has a conclusion.

And history no eye-witness is alive.Those who wrote history are human beings who very well might have added their whims and fancies.Approaches and facts are different and even approach to a fact will differ as per person and time.Numerous versions we read here and there, who knows what the fact is ?
Even once I read somewhere that a P.M has kept locked the versions of current history glorifying that person's time of Governance.I am a person who cannot gulp history,though I like it.

It is praiseworthy that you write the things after studying the available info.I signed in expecting this topic in your blog.

Reg.migration and in-habitation of countries,even if the history speaks truth those who stay in a country for millenniums, are the natives.

Manjun Edangan said...

I must say providing references and sources for claims based on population genetics studies is a daunting task. We don't have any academic book that considers all the research done since late nineties in this field.

However, some of the claims of the old research certainly can't be justified with the latest developments.

>>A Supreme Court judgment projects the historical thesis that India is largely a country of old immigrants and those pre-Dravidian aborigines, ancestors of the present Adivasis, rather than Dravidians, were the original inhabitants of India.<<

As I mentioned before that only a section of Dravidians have become mainstream. According to linguistics, Dravidian languages are grouped under;
North, Central and South. Among these some of the languages in South Dravidian branch are non-tribal. The rest in South and all in North and Central are tribal languages.

>>”…thus the generally accepted view now is that the original inhabitants of India were not the Dravidians but the pre-Dravidian Munda aborigines whose descendants now live in parts of Chotanagpur (Jharkhand), Chhattisgarh, Orissa, West Bengal, etc., the Todas of the Nilgiris in Tamil Nadu, the tribals in the Andaman Islands, the Adivasis in various parts of India (especially in the forests and hills), for example the Gonds, Santhals, Bhils, etc.<<

Let's consider each of the tribes individually.

Austro-Asiatics (supposedly the first settlers): Munda and Santhals
Dravidians: Toda and Gond
Indo-Aryans: Bhils

The main paternal lineage of Austro-Asiatics is Y-chromosome O2a. This is common in SE Asia. However, their matrilineages are common to all Dravidians and majority north-Indians.
Y-chromosome evidence suggests a common paternal heritage of Austro-Asiatic populations - Vikrant Kumar et al. (2007)

The main paternal lineage of Dravidian tribes and (in fact most of the Dravidian castes) is H1. The paternal lineage (H1) is observed almost exclusively in India and rarely outside.

High Resolution Phylogeographic Map of Y-Chromosomes
Reveal the Genetic Signatures of Pleistocene Origin of
Indian Populations, Trivedi et al. (2007)

Toda is an exception here. They appear to have migrated much later based on their paternal lineages. Their matrilineages are the same as their other Dravidian neighbours.

Manjun Edangan said...

Bhils have R1a1 as their main lineage which is the biggest lineage of Indo-Aryan speakers. However, if their original language was something different then owing to their present among Indo-Aryan speakers, it could be gene flow from the surroundings. Their matrilineages are shared by majority Indians. This paternal lineage, R1a1, is observed among big chunk of Indians (the largest lineage among north-Indians), Central Asians and Eastern Europeans.

The male lineage, Y-chromosome of Jarawas (D)is observed in eastern Asia (Tibet, Japan etc..). However, their matrilineage is the same as majority Indians. This male lineage is hardly observed in India.
YAP insertion signature in South Asia Chandrasekhar et al.(2007)

Now, only one of these "pre-Dravidian" aborigines (which includes incidentally, Dravidians) could be the first settlers. It should be noted here that only Dravidian tribal paternal lineages could be called native to India.

However, there is still another mystery. There are few Dravidian tribes (part of South Dravidian languages) who have a Y-chromosome lineage, F(or undifferentiated F), which is believed to be the first lineage migrated to India. This is found in tribes like Paniya, Irula etc...
Population Differentiation of Southern Indian Male Lineages Correlates with Agricultural Expansions Predating the Caste System
Arun Kumar et al. (2012)

Among non-tribal Dravidians, there are other male (Y-chromosome) lineages like R2, L1, J2 and R1a1. Among these, >90% people carrying R2 and L1 could be found India. J2 is shared with western Asia. If Dravidians came from outside then a small percentage of J2 clan should be the one that enforced a language on Dravidian people. A highly unlikely (if not impossible)situation.

I suppose, if we go by these studies a safe bet for native identity is in our maternal lineages. However, we don't really know the language spoken by the earliest female settlers.

Manjun Edangan said...

Regarding conversions, since I believe all religions are untenable, I don't see anything wrong with taking money and converting. I would be bothered if the poor take money for voting. Taking money for something that is irrelevant doesn't count. But the hope is rationality prevail in the end for a major chunk of population.

I'm hoping Christianity in India will meet the same fate as Christianity in Europe (not many staunch believers and majority have become seculars) as there is direct fight between church and science. At least I find many non-believers among Malayali Christians. I would like to know the proportionate atheist population among different religions in Kerala. I think Hinduism(or the caste system) and Islam pose the bigger threat to the development of India.

Locomente said...

Hailing from Kerala... This makes me think... And hope that the new year brings hope and better days with it...

Back after a long gap... I shall catch up other posts soon... Thanks a lot for your constant support in my virtual vacations... May this New Year bring happiness and smiles..

Haddock said...

Like that pre-Dravidian aborigines theory......