The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur’s 2022 calendar on the theme of “evidence” for “rebutting the Aryan invasion myth”, which got communists’ knickers in a knot when it became public last week, is just the beginning of a project to bring forth the real history of the country denied by the politically motivated scholars who occupy academia. Indologists overseas are planning to hold workshops on the subject, according to the professor behind the calendar’s concept.
The calendar, titled “Recovery of the Foundations of Indian Knowledge Systems”, covers the topics of “recognition of the secret of the Vedas” and “reinterpretation of the Indus Valley Civilisation”, apart from the portion on the ‘Aryan invasion’.
The assertion in the calendar came in for acerbic trolling on social media from the leftist gentry fond of the idea that was floated first by the colonial power to convince Indians they were as foreign to the soil as the British and thus the freedom struggle was meaningless. While the communist education system introduced to the country through the backdoor of Indira Gandhi’s quid pro quo with leftist MPs in 1969, against which they supported her in the parliament while she constituted the Nurul Hasan Committee for Education, the communists subsequently revised “invasion” to “migration” when no fossil in support of a armed conflict could be found at the sites of what they called the Aryan civilisation. Author of the book Early Indians Tony Joseph, a propagandist in the league of Wendy Donniger and Audrey Trusche, commented on Twitter on 26 December about “the distressing transformation of centres of excellence”.
Joseph cited the 2019 genetic study “The Formation of Human Populations in South & Central Asia” which, he stated, was an example of the “strong, multi-disciplinary evidence for migration of Central Asian Steppe pastoralists into the Indian subcontinent between 2,000 and 1,500 BCE”, ignoring other evidence such as the pre-Toba tools excavated from Jwalapuram, Andhra Pradesh, the Toba super-eruption, Stone Age hominin fossils found in the Narmada valley of Madhya Pradesh, the age of the submerged city of Dwarka off the Gujarat coast, several instances of emigration and immigration like the Indian farmers moving towards what is now Iran thousands of years before the Indus Valley Civilisation, etc.
This is not the first time we are looking for further antiquity of our land and its people. A group of marine scientists had, way back in 2002, told us that an archaeological site off the west coast of India could be 9,000 years old. Pottery and wooden blocks from the Gulf of Cambay were too advanced to be Palaeolithic (Old Stone Age). The 7,000-year-old Nandeeshwara Temple at Malleswaram in Karnataka and evidence from genome sequencing that revealed that farmers from India moved to Iran 7,000-8,000 years ago certainly point towards a way of living — namely farming — far more advanced than the cave-dwelling prevalent in the Stone Ages. [Excerpts from an essay by Sirf News’ Editor-in-Chief Surajit Dasgupta published in Swarajya in August 2016]
Brought out by the Centre of Excellence for Indian Knowledge Systems, IIT-Kharagpur, which was inaugurated by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on 18 December, the calendar aims at “bringing out the truth”, said Prof Joy Sen, chairperson of the centre who is credited with the “concept and research” of the calendar.
Prof Sen, a professor of the Department of Architecture and Regional Planning at IIT-K, chalked up the criticism of the calendar on social media to those “conditioned in the old ways”. In fact, in a lecture uploaded on YouTube in 2019, he had argued for what he called the “Aryan invasion that never was”.
Prof Sen told communist newspaper The Hindu yesterday, “Within 72 h, we received 1,000 emails about the calendar, of which 800 were positive, 100 were positive and negative, asking us to change something, and about 60-70 were caustic, which shows their colonial hangover… Actually, when you talk against things, you make them more popular.”
He stressed that younger people were reaching out to express interest in the calendar, for which orders had been received from “the Bay Area [San Francisco] to Japan”. “Overseas scholars are planning workshops on it,” the professor said.
According to Prof Sen, the wrong information in textbooks had “destroyed pillars of national confidence”. “The people with a real scientific bent of mind have appreciated the calendar. There will always be an uncle in the family who is conditioned in the old ways who will have a problem,” he observed.
The IIT-K calendar carries the names of the advisory team that guided its making. It includes IIT-K Director Virendra Kumar Tewari, All-India Council for Technical Education Chairman Anil D Sahasrabuddhe and Sanjeev Sanyal, the principal economic adviser in the Ministry of Finance who has authored several books of history and geography like Land of the Seven Rivers: A Brief History of India’s Geography, The Indian Renaissance: India’s Rise after a Thousand Years of Decline, The Ocean of Churn: How the Indian Ocean Shaped Human History, etc.
The pages of different months are dedicated to the Indus and Brahmaputra rivers; reincarnation, eons of time; cosmic symmetry; and explanation of the “Aryan invasion myth”.
Then Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had announced the setting up of the centre for Indian knowledge systems at IIT-K on 6 November 2020. The centre’s website says it was set up for inter-disciplinary research on Indian history; advanced archaeological exploration; Indian language systems, aesthetics systems and systems of geometry and mathematics; and Indian systems of welfare economics and planning, among others. Prof Sen is listed as the only faculty member on the website.
Download the calendar from this PDF.