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The Rise And Rise Of Megan Thee Stallion: Juicy J, Scott Storch, LilJuMadeDaBeat & More On The Houston Rapper's Emergence...
1 month ago
NewsGRAMMY.com spoke to the producers and creatives behind Megan Thee Stallion's sound about working with the GRAMMY-nominated rapper, what diehard Hotties would be surprised to learn about her, and why her influence goes beyond musicMax MertensFor Women's History Month 2021, GRAMMY.com is celebrating some of the women artists nominated at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show. Today, we honor Megan Thee Stallion, who's currently nominated for four GRAMMY Awards. From her no-holds-barred mixtapes to making inescapable chart-topping hits, few artists in recent history have had a more stratospheric rise than Megan Thee Stallion. The Houston rapper, born Megan Jovon Ruth Pete, began writing raps as a teenager but started getting attention when she posted videos of herself freestyling on Instagram while a student at Prairie View A&M University. Even in those early clips, one of which saw her battling male opponents in a cipher, Thee Stallion (a nickname given to her because of her towering height) displayed the poise and fiercely unapologetic raps that would soon make her a star. A handful of critically-acclaimed projects, including 2018's Tina Snow EP and 2019's Fever mixtape, showcased the rapper's ability to create different personas and challenge gender stereotypes in the genre and society. In August 2019, she released the single "Hot Girl Summer" featuring Nicki Minaj and Ty Dolla $ign (inspired by the body-positive catchphrase popularized on social media by her and her fans known as "Hotties"), scoring her first No. 1 on Billboard's Rhythmic AirPlay Chart. Despite personal tragedy—both her mom (a former rapper and her first manager) and grandmother passed away in 2019—the 24-year-old was well on her way to being a household name. She guested on songs by artists including Chance the Rapper, Gucci Mane, and Khalid, and signed a management deal with Jay-Z's Roc Nation. */ Last year was a major one for Pete. The rapper kicked off 2020 with her collaboration alongside singer Normani, "Diamonds," which appeared on the superhero blockbuster Birds of Prey soundtrack. She earned her first No. 1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart for the surprise Beyoncé-assisted "Savage" remix (proceeds from the song went to COVID-19 relief efforts in Houston), a full-circle moment for Pete, who has named the Houston singer as one of her biggest inspirations. A few months later she collaborated with another powerhouse artist, Cardi B, on her sex-positive, record-breaking anthem "WAP." If all that wasn't enough, she was also named one of TIME Magazine's 100 most influential people. Pete ended the year by releasing her highly-anticipated debut album, Good News, which featured City Girls, SZA, Big Sean, 2 Chainz, and more. With four nominations at the 2021 GRAMMY Awards show, including Best New Artist, GRAMMY.com spoke to Scott Storch, LilJuMadeDaBeat, Helluva, Juicy J, and OG Ron C about working with the rapper, what diehard Hotties would be surprised to learn about her, and why her influence goes beyond music. LilJuMadeDaBeat: "Megan is literally one of the most genuine people I've ever met in my life." LilJuMadeDaBeat, born Julian Mason, has had a front-row seat to Megan Thee Stallion's ascent. In 2018, when the rapper signed to Houston independent label 1501 Entertainment (started by former baseball player Carl Crawford), the Dallas-born producer got the call to start working with her. His productions can be heard on Tina Snow and Fever. "We just locked in and started going crazy," he explains to GRAMMY.com. "Some of those early beats we made literally sitting at my kitchen table in Houston." One of those beats became "Big Ole Freak," a Tina Snow highlight which sees Pete boasting about her sexual prowess over a bass-heavy beat, and her first song to chart on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The pair bonded instantly over their love of '90s/'00s Texas rap groups like UGK (Bun B and UGK) and Three 6 Mafia, whose music was a major influence on their work together. */ "Anybody that knows me could tell you Pimp C is my favorite rapper. When I met Megan, he just so happened to be her favorite rapper too," says Mason. He even ended up sampling "Sippin On Some Syrup," Three 6 Mafia's 2000 collaboration with UGK and Project Pat, on "Big Drank," which appeared on Pete's 2019 Fever (the cover depicting the rapper as a 70s Blaxploitation heroine). Fittingly, Three 6 Mafia co-founder Juicy J executive produced the project and appears on the track "Simon Says." Mason also produced "Cash Shit," a Fever standout featuring DaBaby. "She called me and was like 'I want a beat with no melody' and I was like 'Okay cool,'" he says. It would be the first of many Megan Thee Stallion songs to achieve success on TikTok, with users choreographing elaborate dance routines. (When Ohio teenager Keara Wilson posted a video of her dancing to "Savage" on March 10, 2020, it quickly went viral, with celebrities including Hailey Bieber, Jessica Alba, and Pete herself doing the challenge on their accounts.) The rapper ended 2020 as TikTok's most listened-to artist. From the beginning, the rapper harnessed social media to both build her fanbase and control her own narrative, despite the detractors that come with the territory. "I hate that a lot of people try to paint her as a bad guy on social media," says Mason. "Megan is literally one of the most genuine people I've ever met in my life, she'll do anything for me, and I'll do anything for her." Helluva: "[Working with her] just gave me confidence to know an artist of that status could use my beats." Detroit producer Helluva was surprised Pete was a fan of his beats before they started working together. "I didn't even know people outside of Detroit even heard my beats like that," he tells GRAMMY.com. Previously known for his work with Detroit rapper Tee Grizzly, whose song "No Effort" directly inspired Pete's 2018 track "Freak Nasty," Helluva ended up working on her 2020 Suga EP and Good News. Originally intended to be released as her debut album on May 2—her late mother's birthday—she ended up dropping Suga at the beginning of March 2020 amidst label contract disputes (A judge ended up granting her permission to put out the project). */ Besides collaborations with Oakland R&B singer Kehlani and Atlanta rapper Gunna, the EP also featured production from coast-to-coast GRAMMY-winning hitmakers including The Neptunes, Timbaland, and J. White Did It. Helluva contributed two songs, "Ain't Equal" and the Tupac Shakur-sampling "B.I.T.C.H.," the latter of which Pete performed on "The Tonight Show." "Once she was giving me a shot at it, I wasn't going to miss my shot," he says. "[Working with her] just gave me confidence to know an artist of that status could use my beats." Suga spawned the rapper's biggest hit to date, the infectious, J. White-produced "classy, bougie, ratchet" anthem "Savage," and its accompanying internet-breaking remix with Beyoncé, who she met at a New Year's Eve party. The remix featuring co-writing from The-Dream and Starrah quickly reached number one. Juicy J: "She's showing women empowerment. We make music every day that's good, but when you can actually give a message too? That's dope." When producer and rapper Juicy J first heard Pete rap he knew she was going to be huge. "I was like 'Man I ain't never heard no female rap like this,'" he tells GRAMMY.com. "She writes her own stuff, she's in the studio telling the engineer how she wants her voice to sound, she's hands-on with everything." He'd later co-produce "Hot Girl Summer" and multiple songs off Good News, and Pete would guest on his 2020 album, The Hustle Continues. Juicy J was also impressed with the rapper's "Saturday Night Live" debut. On Oct. 3, 2020, she took the opportunity to make a statement after months of protests and racial reckoning. She performed in front of a screen displaying the words "Protect Black Women," along with quotes from Malcolm X and activist Tamika Mallory calling out Kentucky Attorney General Daniel Cameron over his handling of Breonna Taylor's death at the hands of three Louisville police officers. */ "We need to protect our Black women and love our Black women, 'cause at the end of the day, we need our Black women," she said during the performance. "We need to protect our Black men and stand up for our Black men, 'cause at the end of the day, we're tired of seeing hashtags about Black men." A few days later, she wrote an op-ed for the New York Times titled "Why I Speak Up For Black Women" about her experiences as a Black woman in hip-hop. The piece also touched on her political activism. "She's showing women empowerment," says Juicy J. "We make music every day that's good, but when you can actually give a message too? That's dope." Scott Storch: "She is very down to earth and that's what gives you longevity in the game." After all her success, expectations were sky-high for Good News, but neither Pete nor her collaborators were fazed by the pressure. Besides long-time producers LilJuMadeDaBeat, Juicy J, and Helluva, she also recruited veteran beatmakers including Cool & Dre, Mustard, and eight-time GRAMMY winner Scott Storch, who helped her pay homage to the music that she grew up listening to on the album. Opener "Shots Fired," in which the rapper scathingly addresses the July 2020 incident where she was shot in the foot twice, samples Notorious B.I.G.'s Tupac-dissing "Who Shot Ya?" and "Girls in the Hood" (featuring Young Thug) flips Eazy-E's 1987 classic "Boyz-in-the-Hood." */ "I was playing with some ideas and melodies and always loved that classic sound of Eazy-E," Storch shares with GRAMMY.com. "I reworked the original sample, replayed all the instruments, and had [co-producer] Illa put some drums behind it. As soon as it was done we thought this could be something special." Unsurprisingly, Good News topped the U.S. and international charts and made year-end lists including Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, and the Los Angeles Times. The "Savage" remix picked up three GRAMMY nominations (Record of the Year, Best Rap Performance, Best Rap Song), and Pete was nominated for Best New Artist. Of the rapper's potential, Storch adds, "She is very down to earth and that's what gives you longevity in the game. She isn't impressed by all the Hollywood smoke and mirrors and cares so much for her fans." OG Ron C: "Now the labels are calling asking 'Who's the next hot artist in Texas?'" Pete's achievements have paved the way for the next generation of Lone Star State artists. Houston DJ and Chopstars collective founder OG Ron C, who has remixed several of her projects including Suga, has seen firsthand the new attention she's brought to the city. "The fans love her. I've been breaking artists around my city for a long time from Slim Thug to Mike Jones, Paul Wall, Lil Flip, the list goes on," he tells GRAMMY.com. "It's always amazing for me to see because I know what Texas artists fight through just to get a point where other people say 'Oh yeah man, we like you and we jamming you.'" */ Ron C is now a general manager at 1501, and points out there's infrastructure and opportunities for Texas rappers and producers today to reach a national platform that didn't exist in the '80s and '90s. "We never had the luxury of being an entertainment hub, we didn't have the luxury of Lyor [Cohen] or Clive [Davis] or LA [Reid] walking around the city and just so happened to see somebody on their grind, or happen to hear somebody's music," he says. "Now the labels are calling asking 'Who's the next hot artist in Texas?'" Inside The Visual World Of Beyoncé And Black Is King, Her "Love Letter" To Black Men Megan Thee Stallion Photo: Courtesy of Megan Thee Stallion GRAMMYs Facebook Twitter Email......
Call for new writers of colour as entries open for 4thWrite short story prize...
2 months ago
The Guardian and publisher 4th Estate’s annual award for unpublished writers of colour offers £1,000 to the winner, and publication on theguardian.comThe Guardian and 4th Estate’s short story prize dedicated to writers of colour has been running for five years. And as Black Lives Matter protests and the subsequent boom in reading lists and publishers’ statements showed, more than ever, that UK publishing must do more to elevate and celebrate a more diverse range of voices in literature – every year, not just when it is in the news.Back with a new name, the 4thWrite short story prize is open for entries for 2021, with all unpublished writers of colour invited to submit a short story of up to 6,000 words by 30 April. This year, the stories will be judged by Nelle Andrew, literary agent at Rachel Mills Literary; Liv Little, writer and founder of gal-dem; poet and playwright Inua Ellams; Aimée Felone, co-founder of the publisher Knights Of; Anna Kelly, the editorial director at 4th Estate; and Claire Armitstead, the Guardian’s associate culture editor. Continue reading.........
Oscars Voters Top 9,000, and You Can Thank Agents for That...
2 months ago
The last 12 months have been rough for Hollywood agents, with the pandemic drying up new film deals and the practice of packaging under fire. But when it comes to the Oscars, agents might be the new secret weapon. The proof is in the December 2020 branch count from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. It shows that the organization has passed the 10,000 mark in members for the first time ever and that the Oscars will have more than 9,000 eligible voters for the first time in more than 75 years. The strange thing about the count is that 893 more people are eligible to vote for the Oscars this year than they were last year: 9,362 in 2021, compared to 8,469 in 2020. This came after a year in which 819 film professionals were invited to join the Academy — in other words, even if everybody who was invited to join did so, and not a single existing voter died or retired, there still wouldn’t be enough new members to account for all 893 new voters. Also Read: Oscars Reveal Record-Breaking Lists of Contenders in Documentary, International Categories (Compare this to 2018, when 842 people were invited to join but the number of voters only increased by 567. Given deaths and retirements, that’s typical.) So why did the number of voters increase so much? Agents, that’s why. During the same June meeting in which the AMPAS Board of Governors approved the list of new invitations, it decided to move all the agents in the Academy from associate membership status to members-at-large. Associate members can’t vote for the Oscars; members-at-large can. And just like that, members-at-large had a bigger 2020 influx of new members than any of the Academy’s 17 branches, growing by 166. The number of associate members, meanwhile, dropped from 208 to only 95. So while there’s no telling what kind of impact those newly-enfranchised agents will have on Oscar balloting this year, they’ve already made their presence felt. And you just know that after the kind of year the agencies have had, they’d love to provide the swing votes in a category or two. Also Read: Oscars Best Picture Screening Room for Voters Hits 200 Movies - But Not 'Tenet' The December branch count, mind you, is not the final word when it comes to this year’s Oscars. Because the ceremony has been pushed back to late April and nomination voting doesn’t begin until early March, an additional, upcoming branch count will determine the actual number of potential voters this year. (Those totals will likely be very similar to December’s.) But the count, when compared to the similar count from December 2019, does show how dramatically the Academy grew over the last year. The number of Oscar voters briefly topped 9,000 in the 1940s, when members of some Hollywood guilds were allowed to vote even though they weren’t Academy members. But that rule ended in 1945, and the number of voters has never again been that large. All 17 branches increased in size during 2020, with the Documentary Branch having the largest growth for the second consecutive year, from 486 to 597. Its increase of 111 members was by far the largest, with the Marketing and Public Relations Branch having the second-largest growth of 84, followed by the Short Films and Feature Animation Branch with 83 and the Executives Branch with 71. Also Read: How a Weird Oscar Season Might Depress the Number of Best Picture Nominees The branches with the smallest growth were Cinematographers, which grew by 13; Costume Designers, 14; and Casting Directors, 17. Here are the December 2020 branch counts, which will be adjusted slightly before Oscar nomination voting takes place. Actors: 1,363 (2020 increase: +39) Casting Directors: 145 (+17) Cinematographers: 286 (+13) Costume Designers: 168 (+14) Directors: 564 (+38) Documentary: 564 (+111) Executives: 662 (+71) Film Editors: 372 (+27) Makeup Artists and Hairstylists: 225 (+19) Marketing and Public Relations: 598 (+84) Music: 376 (+31) Producers: 618 (+35) Production Designers: 384 (+41) Short Films and Feature Animation: 823 (+83) Sound: 541 (+38) Visual Effects: 587 (+42) Writers: 509 (+24) Members-at-Large: 544 (+166) Total voting members: 9,362 (+893) Associate Members: 95 (-109) Total active members: 9,457 (+780) Retired members: 844 (-16) Total members: 10,301 (+764) Related stories from TheWrap:Independent Spirit Awards Move to Thursday Before the OscarsIn a Weird Oscars Race, 2020 Is Forcing Voters to Redefine What a Movie Is5 Years After #OscarsSoWhite, Film Academy COO Is Pushing to 'Institutionalize the Good' | PRO Video......
The Intimate Suggests the Epic: A Year in Small Press and Indie Publications by...
3 months ago
The Intimate Suggests the Epic: A Year in Small Press and Indie Publications by A round-up of titles published by independent presses in 2020. As 2020 comes to a close, BOMB celebrates the new titles released from small and independent presses and the conversations that they inspired. From fractured journeys of personal growth to sweeping reckonings with ancestral pasts, celebrate the indie presses that brought us fiction, nonfiction, and poetry this year when we needed it the most. 7.13 Books Each of Us Killers by Jenny Bhatt "[Jenny Bhatt’s] luminous debut short story collection, Each of Us Killers (7.13 Books), focuses on the ethos of work. Whether a place of employment is a wealthy owner’s home or the shop of a very small village that becomes the scene of a gruesome crime, Bhatt studies how work, and the relationships it forges, foment both trusting and toxic environments." --Anjali Enjeti “I spent over a year and a half querying this collection—I’ve been around the block enough to know that I don’t fit the preferred mold. I’m not young and haven’t written this big novel about love and sex… I support South Asian literature because I want different kinds of stories. We are capable of writing other stories. We as a community of South Asian writers should be vocal to speak out against gatekeepers and push away these timeworn tropes expected of us.” --Jenny Bhatt From Older People Do Reinvent Themselves: Jenny Bhatt Interviewed by Anjali Enjeti Archipelago Books The Society of Reluctant Dreamers by José Eduardo Agualusa "The story takes place against the complex political backdrop of Angola and follows Daniel Benchimol, who dreams of interviewing famous figures from history—Jonas Savimbi, Muammar Gaddafi, Julio Cortázar. After finding a camera on the beach, he becomes entranced with the subject of the woman in its photographs, an artist who turns her dreams into art." --Bibi Deitz “I often dream characters, book titles, and sometimes whole plots. I remember the story of a French poet who when he went to bed would hang a sign on his bedroom door: 'Silence—poet at work.' It’s the same with me." --José Eduardo Agualusa From Dreams Are Instruments of Liberation: José Eduardo Agualusa Interviewed by Bibi Deitz Catapult You Exist Too Much by Zaina Arafat "Zaina Arafat’s much anticipated debut novel, You Exist Too Much (Catapult), is a magnetic read… It’s an aching book, preoccupied with intergenerational trauma, the cultural and emotional rifts between a first-generation Palestinian-American woman and her immigrant parents, and the various forms of isolation she experiences. But it’s also a warm and occasionally hilarious read that plays with the narrator’s unconscious knowledge and embodied memory, especially when it comes to her difficult relationship with her sometimes loving, often overbearing, and occasionally furious mother." --Ilana Masad “I did not know that I was going to be writing about desire and all the different contexts in which it manifests in the book. I thought I was going to be writing about desire in the context of romantic love, and specifically in the context of unrequited love. From there, it led to desire around food, and to love that comes from other sources besides romantic love, desire for home and a homeland….” --Zaina Arafat From Desiring the Unattainable: Zaina Arafat Interviewed by Ilana Masad City Lights Publishers Natch by Sophia Dahlin "The world of Natch is, in part, an old world. A world where horny herds people take a break and steal time from their lords by exchanging dirty verses with each other. But her work doesn’t founder in nostalgia. Dahlin’s poems are for our time, for our yucky and seductive mouths and lips, and we should all be stealing hours from our lords to revel in it." --Brandon Brown "I feel very free to misuse terms, because I’m not an academic, not at all! So, I called the book Natch because it sounds like nature, the natural. And the natural is vexed, for me and the beloveds in that book, for many reasons—being queer and having to rally the community to get gay pregnant, or having one’s own body and sexiness slurred by those invoking 'the natural.'" --Sophia Dahlin From The Natural is Vexed: Sophia Dahlin Interviewed by Brandon Brown Coffee House Press THRESHOLES by Lara Mimosa Montes "With its aphoristic lines and longer paragraphs, [Montes] is constructing a sort of anti-monument: to events in her own life that resist description; to the past and present of the Bronx; to contemporary artists and writers and friendships; in the spirit of the artist Gordon Matta-Clark; against death but not without deep engagement with loss." --Lucy Ives "I don’t understand how an author becomes a character, or when a carefully coordinated set of truths becomes literature. I just know that it happens all the goddamn time." --Lara Mimosa Montes From Turning Toward the Thrashing: Lara Mimosa Montes Interviewed by Lucy Ives Copper Canyon Press Indigo by Ellen Bass "There’s a saying that happiness can only be found where there is denial of nothing, and Bass’s poems look plainly at the world. The grace in watching as the cartography of your aging body follows the patterns you once saw in your parents, the finely-honed joy of being a wife, a mother, a lover, or a cook in a land where only contradiction and beauty hold dominion." --Wallace Ludel "When we talk about being enlarged and transformed and enriched, it can sound like it’s all good, but of course, you have to be brought to your knees for that. I think of those life experiences as throwing me down hard, over and over, enough that my edges are smoothed."--Ellen Bass From The Poem is an Exploration: Ellen Bass Interviewed by Wallace Ludel Feminist Press A World Between by Emily Hashimoto "Emily Hashimoto’s debut novel, A World Between (Feminist Press) is an incredibly refreshing exploration of how the bond between two queer women of color evolves over the course of a decade. Hashimoto spins some serious queer theory into delicious rom-com realness, pushing past the bounds of [Adrienne] Rich-era notions of gender and womanhood. Down with the patriarchy and on with the romance!" --CQ "I’m a hopeless romantic and I wanted to read about women falling in love, even for the first time… I’m not trying to define my own genre here, but I don’t think I’ve read a lot of stuff like A World Between, at least not for queer women. Unfortunately, it’s still revolutionary-ish to write and read something fun about women falling in love and having sex with other women." --Emily Hashimoto From The Queer Continuum: Emily Hashimoto Interviewed by CQ Graywolf Press Catrachos by Roy Guzmán "Guzmán casts a wide aural and theoretical net of flirtatious fossils, litigious ghosts, and bodies liberated from maps. The bright, barbed mouthfeel of these poems snapped me out of my pandemic brain fog, and I was hungry for someone, anyone, that I could read to." --Aegor Ray "Even when I was writing a lot of this work, I thought, Holy shit, are you sure you want to say this, Roy? Are you sure this is a statement that wants to be said? Then I was like, Yeah, push it… Push it real good." --Roy Guzmán From A Queer Origin Point: Roy Guzmán Interviewed by Aegor Ray McSweeney’s Heaven by Emerson Whitney "Heaven is a toast to the incongruence of identity, the beauty of imperfection, the marriage of contradiction—an all-around messy and beautiful display of triumph. It’s a story told in fragments, but what is selfhood if not fragmented?" --Greg Mania I believe in welcoming the discomfort of not knowing and the complicatedness of that: curiosity helps, so does noticing when I’m really trying to “figure it out” or force something to make sense. I have a good friend who regularly talks about having a sticky note on his bathroom mirror that says, “It’s not going to go the way you think,” and then another one on the front door that says, “It’s not going to go that way either.” --Emerson Whitney From It’s Not Going to Go the Way You Think: Emerson Whitney Interviewed by Greg Mania Milkweed Editions The Galleons by Rick Barot "[The Galleons] moves through the marrow of a family’s journey from the Philippines to the Americas—simultaneously widening and pinpointing the trauma of colonialism. Rick’s work has always been a space of visceral listening. These poems remind me of scientists pressing their ears against the ice, listening for whale sounds." --Jane Wong "My grandmother died at ninety-two years old in 2016, and The Galleons is partly an elegiac consideration of her long life... When I began The Galleons and thought of how I would represent her life, I knew that I didn’t want to write reconstructive narratives about what she experienced… As a poet I was drawn to representing what was intimate--the glimpse, the fragment, the image, the anecdote--knowing that the intimate could suggest the epic." --Rick Barot From The Trail of Connections: Rick Barot Interviewed by Jane Wong Nightboat Books Sun of Consciousness by Édouard Glissant "From Glissant I am learning how to stand between two worlds: the beauty of nature and the darkness of history. Sometimes the rift between them looks endless, but the important thing is the present. That’s my personal insight into Sun of Consciousness. In Western ideology, it’s crucial to have definitions. As he says, 'Who hasn’t dreamt of the poem that explains everything, of the philosophy whose last word illumines the universe, of the novel that organizes all the truths, all the passions, and conducts and enlightens them?' I believe Glissant understands how fragile that need for definition is." --Miho Hatori, reviewing Sun of Consciousness From Édouard Glissant’s Sun of Consciousness a review by Miho Hatori Semiotext(e) Reverse Cowgirl by McKenzie Wark "Wark refuses to call this book a coming-of-age tale, even if it ends up marking her coming-into-identity as a trans woman. If the text may initially feel dystopic in spite of its moments of ecstasy that transcend and descend, it ends in a space of utopic self-invention." -- Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore "Reverse Cowgirl is not autobiography or memoir in that I don’t claim to arrive at any truth of the self.... You could say it’s about losing my mother so young, or you could say it’s a product of a rather obtuse kind of gender dysphoria. Or that I’m just an asshole. What I do know, as a writer, is memory and sensation. What I don’t know is how to interpret what those mean. I don’t want to take away the reader’s pleasure in the text of knowing more about me than I do." --McKenzie Wark From Departing from the Template: McKenzie Wark Interviewed by Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore Soft Skull Press Figure It Out by Wayne Koestenbaum "Seeking pattern, a detectively reader might observe the first four essays could each be said to turn toward the senses, different elements of touch, sight, smell, and sound. Yet the pattern is disrupted, and those who expect an essay on taste will be confronted with, instead, death. What unifies these essays isn’t an exploration of a single subject, as has been the case in Koestenbaum’s monographs, such as Humiliation; here, the collection’s title might be read as the writer’s wry, modernist incitement: Figure it out.” --Tracy O’Neill, reviewing Figure it Out From Wayne Koestenbaum’s Figure It Out a review by Tracy O’Neill Soho Press Sensation Machines by Adam Wilson "Sensation Machines (Soho Press), is an ambitious book with a broad social message and a polyphonic narrative structure. Tackling broken systems and the fragility of marriage, it’s a story anchored by characters who are funny, inept, driven, depressed, and hopeful—sometimes all at once."—Kimberly King Parsons "The book took nine years to write, and a lot of those nine years were spent moving in wrong directions…. I also did other things during those nine years, like get married, and become a parent, and I’d like to think that Sensation Machines reflects my attendant maturation." —Adam Wilson From Fun Stuff: Adam Wilson Interviewed by Kimberly King Parsons Tolsun Books Devil’s Lake by Sarah M. Sala "[Sarah M. Sala’s] poems reveal the love of queer community—and the terror against that love—in a world where queer people get killed and erased. And yet, she knows how to take the small gifts of our lives and push them together until we cannot believe how abundant they are."—CAConrad "It feels surreal—both to see the manuscript in print, but also for the book to enter the world as we fight for social justice amidst a pandemic. Devil’s Lake identifies and reckons with the status quo—presenting and reimagining how we treat “the other” in the United States. It’s my hope that the collection also models how we might practice radical vulnerability and tenderness toward one another." —Sarah M. Sala From Poetry is Made of Atoms: Sarah M. Sala Interviewed by CAConrad Tupelo Press Blood Feather by Karla Kelsey "Here, history, its textual artifacts, and its discontents become an alterity or an otherness that speaks through the poet, revealing the seismic shifts of power, agency, and influence buried beneath our current moment."—Kristina Marie Darling "The book began as a six-sentence dramatic monologue, spoken by an aspiring actress in Los Angeles, whom I invented as I wrote. While I wanted the monologue to give the flavor of individual experience, I also wondered about the cultural and social forces that resided behind this young woman’s words. To investigate this I took each sentence from the monologue and located a potential thread of philosophy, history, or other form of cultural or personal narrative connected to the essence of the sentence." —Karla Kelsey From Power as a Verb: Karla Kelsey Interviewed by Kristina Marie Darling Ugly Duckling Presse Syncope by Asiya Wadud "[Syncope is] a choral book-length poem that focuses its attention towards the 'Left-to-Die' boat, a small rubber vessel on its way from Libya to Italy carrying seventy-two passengers whose cries for help and assistance from various governments were ignored for fourteen days. Only eleven of the passengers survived. In Syncope, what emerges is at once document, lyric, eulogy, chorus or as Wadud subtitles the poem, 'A reckoning, a recitation, a dirge, an imprint.'” --Emily Skillings "I repeat myself and use anaphora and repetition so much in an effort to remind us that we have been here before. It’s a way to burnish something, memorialize it—eulogize it, create a rightful reverberation around it." --Asiya Wadud From Burnished, Etched, Emblazoned: Asiya Wadud Interviewed by Emily Skillings Verso Glitch Feminism by Legacy Russell "I shouted 'Yes!' at the screen. It was one of those reads.... What caught my attention was the sharp way that Russell connects questions of race, gender, sexuality, tech, and aesthetics—like sounding a magnificent chord, rather than the one-note takes that so often come out of Internet writing." --McKenzie Wark "The thing that manifestos share with artists is that both are able to extend beyond the restrictions of a standard narrative. They can be ambitious and wild and experimental. They can set out new rules for things that haven’t even been built yet. They can make demands that feel impossible, but give us all something to work toward." --Legacy Russell From The Gentrification of Memory: Legacy Russell Interviewed by McKenzie Wark Wave Books Selected Works by Yi Sang Yi Sang (1910–1937) was a poet and a short story writer during the Japanese occupation of Korea. Despite his brief literary career, he left behind perhaps the most influential body of work in modern Korean literature. Suffering from tuberculosis, Yi Sang channeled the pain of his illness as a metaphor for the tumultuous world in the early twentieth century. "... These expressions of loneliness and guilt, drawn from the poet’s personal illness and hardships, speak to us in our time of pandemic and economic downfall." --Jack Jung, reviewing Four Poems From Four Poems by Yi Sang Other Beloved Titles from 2020 Common Notions Hope Against Hope: Writings on Ecological Crisis In Hope Against Hope, the Out of the Woods collective investigates the critical relation between climate change and capitalism and calls for the expansion of our conceptual toolbox to organize within and against ecological crisis characterized by deepening inequality, rising far-right movements, and—relatedly—more frequent and devastating disasters. While much of environmentalist and leftist discourse in this political moment remain oriented toward horizons that repeat and renew racist, anti-migrant, nationalist, and capitalist assumptions, Out of the Woods charts a revolutionary course adequate to our times. Featherproof Books I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking by Leyna Krow In I’m Fine, But You Appear to Be Sinking, the strange collides with the mundane: close to home and far from it, in suburban neighborhoods and rural communities, with cycling apocalypses and backyard tigers. Each story stands alone, but they are connected through reoccurring imagery and a shared theme of protagonists in emotional peril. At its core, this collection is imbued with mystery, oddity, humor, and empathy, but what it really wants to show us is that we’re never really alone—most especially when we’re certain that we are. Futurepoem Wild Peach by S•an D. Henry-Smith Wild Peach is a multisensory roaming of landscape and interior, often (but not always) in near stillness and varying light. The power to disrupt and obscure language is an essential tool in protecting this multimodal endeavor; in this project, poetry and photography warm the taste of memory, exploring nonlinear, non-narrative time through the sonic offerings of image and text—and the Outdoors, the interpersonal, and all offered onto. New Directions Hurricane Season by Fernanda Melchor Translated from the Spanish by Sophie Hughes The Witch is dead. And the discovery of her corpse—by a group of children playing near the irrigation canals—propels the whole village into an investigation of how and why this murder occurred. Rumors and suspicions spread. As the novel unfolds in a dazzling linguistic torrent, with each unreliable narrator lingering details, new acts of depravity or brutality, Melchor extracts some tiny shred of humanity from these characters that most would write off as utterly irredeemable, forming a lasting portrait of a damned Mexican village. NY Tyrant The Complete Gary Lutz For nearly three decades, Gary Lutz has been writing quietly influential, virtuosic short fictions of antic despair. In barbed sentences of startling originality, Lutz gives voice to outcasts from conventional genders and monogamies—and even from the ruckus of their own bodies. Making their rounds of daily humiliations, Lutz's self-unnerving narrators find themselves helplessly trespassing on their own lives. O/R Books Pen Pal: Prison Letters from a Free Spirit on Death Row by Tiyo Attallah Salah-El Tiyo Attallah Salah-El died in 2018 on “Slow Death Row” while serving a life sentence in a Pennsylvania prison. He was a man with a dizzying array of talents and vocations: author, scholar, teacher, musician, and activist: he was the founder of the Coalition for the Abolition of Prisons. He was also, as is apparent from the letters that make up this book, an extraordinarily eloquent correspondent. 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Wendy’s Subway The Odd Years by Morgan Bassichis Every Monday in 2017 and 2019, comedic performance artist Morgan Bassichis created a to-do list. The Odd Years is a collection of those lists, which served both as a way to generate material for live performances and as a place to archive the logistical, emotional, and political business that just kept piling up throughout this two-year project. A record of routine and impossible tasks—some completed and others left unfinished—The Odd Years is one response to the oddness of times in which intensified crisis becomes ordinary. Roof Books I am, am I, to trust the joy that joy is no more or less there now than before by Evan Kennedy Short lyric essays meditate on routines and habits, as well as elusive pleasures like reading and travel. These topics serve as prompts for exercises of attention and examination of its lapses. Deeper into the book, the speaker’s anatomy is pared away, resulting in a voice engaged in direct address, attempting devotion.......
The World Prison Brief is 20! Roy Walmsley, its Founder and Director, reflects on the journey so far, in conversation with Catherine Heard....
World Prison Brief
6 months ago
Since its launch in September 2000, the World Prison Brief (hosted and published by the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research, at Birkbeck) has become a gem of a resource – a completely unique database, giving open access to a wealth of information on prison systems worldwide. It now provides data on almost every country in the world. With a website visited over a million times a year and data relied on by policy makers, journalists, researchers, international agencies, NGOs and activists across the world, the Brief has gone from strength to strength. CH: Roy, congratulations on this incredible milestone! I feel very lucky to have such a solid foundation for our World Prison Research Programme. You must be proud to have spotted the need and conceived the idea for the Brief? RW: I’m not sure about pride, but I’m very pleased that it has proved useful. That was my goal – to fill a gap in knowledge and thereby enable better dialogue about comparative prison population levels. CH: Let’s go back to the start. Before the launch of the database in 2000 there were a couple of years of hard graft, tracing and analysing prison populations data from various sources. How did you become interested? And what was that early work like? RW: After university I worked as a probation officer. Then I moved into criminal justice research at the Home Office. I became deputy head of the Home Office research department, and was part of the UK delegation at the annual meetings of the United Nations Commission on Crime and Criminal Justice. Later, I was seconded to the UN as a consultant on the improvement of prison standards. This international work convinced me of the need for worldwide data on prison population levels and I decided I’d try to put this together. CH: What challenges did you encounter at the start? RW: Obviously I needed to present the data in a consistent way. So it was important, for example, to ascertain that the figures I traced covered the whole prison population, not just the sentenced population, and that they were the total at a specific date (or a daily average), not the total number of people who had passed through the prison system over a given year. That in itself proved challenging given the variable approaches taken by prison administrations to collecting and publishing their own figures. CH: The result of that initial tracing work was the first ever World Prison Population List. What did that contain? RW: Yes, by the end of 1998 I had put together a List which contained, for a total of 180 countries, the prison population totals, and the rates per 100,000 of the national populations, which I called the ‘prison population rates’. It was published in early 1999 and has been updated periodically since – the 12th edition came out in November 2018. CH: And how did the World Prison Brief website come about? RW: I wanted to show more details about the prison population in each country – for example, information about the number of pre-trial prisoners, the number of women, of children and of foreign prisoners. I also wanted to provide an indication of overcrowding by showing the occupancy levels in the prisons. In 2000 Professor Andrew Coyle, Director of the International Centre for Prison Studies (ICPS) gave me the opportunity to do exactly this. And at 5pm on Thursday 28 September 2000, the World Prison Brief was launched on the ICPS website by Professor Nils Christie of the University of Oslo, the world-renowned criminologist and sociologist. Data was presented on 200 countries. CH: Since 2000, the website has gone from strength to strength. Can you tell us about the main developments in terms of its scope and functionality? RW: The key developments have been: The steady addition of more countries. The Brief now provides prison population numbers for all the world’s independent countries, except for Eritrea and North Korea (which never produce figures), and Somalia, where figures are not available for all parts of the country. It also provides data for all dependent territories apart from those with very small populations. The introduction of the ‘Highest to Lowest’ lists showing where each country comes in terms of prison population and occupancy levels and the proportions of pre-trial, women and foreign national prisoners. The introduction of information about trends in prison population levels and in pre-trial/remand imprisonment and female imprisonment. And two further lists have been introduced - the World Female Imprisonment List (since 2006 - fourth edition 2017) and the World Pre-trial/Remand Imprisonment List (since 2008 - fourth edition 2020). CH: One of the worst effects of the steady rise in prisoner numbers that the Brief has been charting since 2000 is overcrowding and the terrible living conditions it produces. What are your reflections on prison overcrowding and how occupancy data should be interpreted? RW: The World Prison Brief provides an indication of overcrowding by showing the official capacity as stated by each administration and the occupancy level. This is only an indication of overcrowding because many countries set their official capacity at a level which allows so little space per prisoner that, according to international standards, anything close to 100% occupancy in such countries should be regarded as serious overcrowding. But it’s generally accepted that if a country’s prisons hold more prisoners than the official capacity that the country has set for its prison system (in other words the prison system has an occupancy above 100%), this is a clear sign that there is indeed overcrowding in the system. And that is what can be ascertained from the World Prison Brief. CH: Obviously the data on the Brief and in its publications are only as good as the official sources they are drawn from. RW: That’s right, of course. The more accurate and timely the national data, the better the Brief and its prison population lists will be. There are some notable gaps. China does not publish the total held in pre-trial detention and in the other forms of detention that are under the Ministry of Public Security. And in some countries pre-trial detainees who are held in police facilities are not included in official prison population figures. I’ve already mentioned the absence of data for Eritrea, North Korea and parts of Somalia. The publication of figures for some countries are published after a long interval and many countries in Africa and Western Asia (the Middle East) do not release figures on any regular basis. CH: If the official sources are wrong or late, this is a limitation on the accuracy of the database. How can we tackle this? RW: Our colleague, Helen Fair, does a huge amount of work to track down additional figures for countries that don’t regularly publish data, scouring news reports of speeches by government ministers and discovering numerous other published documents. We also invite researchers, NGOs and other national experts to draw our attention to additional data and to point out any official statistics that they consider unreliable. CH: Do the Brief’s comparative and trend data operate as a spur to countries to reduce their prisoner numbers? RW: I think so, yes. One example is the explicit policy of Kazakhstan to reduce the prison population such that its prison population rate no longer places the country in the 50 countries the Brief shows to have the highest levels. CH: And Barack Obama, when he left office, wrote an article for the Harvard Law Review on the President’s role in advancing criminal justice reform, citing data from the Brief to show what an outlier America had become in its prison population rate. RW: Yes. A number of American experts have made the same point but perhaps the voice of such a high-profile figure will be making some impact. CH: As the Brief was officially launched in 2000 some people might assume its data only go back as far as 2000. But, in fact, it’s a treasure trove for penal historians isn’t it, more so now than ever before? RW: Although the Brief was launched in 2000 it includes trend data going back further than that. The country pages show prison population data at two-year intervals back to 2000 (where that has been traced) and the ‘further information’ tab reveals pre-2000 data, where available, going back further at approximately five-year intervals. Also added to the site since its launch, and available via the ‘further information’ tabs, is trend information on pre-trial/remand imprisonment and female imprisonment. What’s more, new data has recently been traced for over 30 countries, showing prison population levels pre-1950. The data can now be accessed via the Brief. CH: What would you hope for the Brief in years to come? Are there other categories of information you’d like it to cover? RW: It would be good to provide additional information on those detained in the world’s prisons. Useful topics would be: length of time spent in pre-trial detention; length of sentences being served by convicted prisoners; numbers of older prisoners; numbers of deaths in prison and the causes. Information on some of these topics is available, for example, for European countries through the Council of Europe’s Annual Penal Statistics (SPACE), but only a small number of countries elsewhere record and publicise data of this kind on a regular basis. To go beyond that small number would require extensive research which would be difficult to replicate on a routine basis. CH: Looking back, what, for you, has been the Brief’s main contribution so far? RW: It is in the interests of every country to be familiar with the basic statistics on its prison population. Only then can it make appropriate policy decisions. An important consideration, in making these decisions, can be to compare its prison population level with those in other countries. They can now do so via the Brief – which many do, as we see from the inclusion of international comparisons in their annual reports, citing the Brief as their source. I think it’s fair to say that the World Prison Brief has contributed to the discourse on the use of imprisonment around the world. It is quoted widely by Governments, by prison administrations, by NGOs, in academic articles and journals, in regional and international conferences and in the media. CH: Thank you, Roy, for the immense contribution you’ve made to improving understanding of the use of imprisonment around the world. ______________________________________________________________ ICPR’s prisons research team: Catherine Heard is a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute for Crime & Justice Policy Research, based at Birkbeck, University of London. Catherine directs ICPR’s World Prison Research Programme, incorporating the World Prison Brief. For more information on ICPR, go to: https://www.icpr.org.uk Roy Walmsley is Director and Founder of the World Prison Brief, hosted and published by ICPR. For more information on the Brief and to access its data and publications, go to: https://www.prisonstudies.org The prisons research team at ICPR also includes Professor Jessica Jacobson, Director of ICPR and Reader in Criminal Justice, and Helen Fair, Research Fellow and World Prison Brief researcher. Note: The World Prison Brief was originally based at the NGO, the International Centre for Prison Studies, then moved to ICPR in 2014 following the merger of the two organisations. ......
A Detailed Reply to A Joker (Arnaud Fournet)'s Review of my Book...
Shrikant G Talageri
11 months ago
I. A Detailed Reply to a Joker’ (Arnaud Fournet)'s “Review” of my Book.Shrikant G Talageri19/5/2010.[Foreword: I wrote my third book book, "The Rigveda and the Avesta―The Final Evidence" in 2008. Arnaud Fournet, one of the most third-grade "scholars" I have ever encountered, wrote a "review" of the book. This man, by his own testimony, received my book for review from Koenraad Elst on 18/5/2009. Within four days, he had "read" the whole book, written and completed a cheap and abusive "review" of the book, consulted with Elst, and then posted it on the internet on 22/5/2009. This third-rate person makes it clear that he had not read any of my earlier books, knew nothing whatsoever about Indo-Iranian studies or the Rigveda before this, had never heard about the OIT, and yet (in spite of the clear evidence that he had not bothered to read the book under "review" either) he managed to produce and post this "review" in four days!This whole exchange had five parts:1. His "review" on 22/5/2009.2. My reply to it on 19/5/2010: "A Detailed Reply to a Joker (Arnaud Fournet)'s 'Review' of My Book". 3. His "review 2" on 29/5/2010: "Review of Talageri 2 Unassailable".4. My reply to his "Review 2" on 1/6/2010: "More Jokes from Fournet".5. His post on Indology List dt. 11/6/2010 and my post dt. 12/6/2010.The whole exchange, started by him, is tedious, ugly and messy. I am posting nos. 2, 4 and 5 above, today on 6/5/2020, since I see that my posts are completely missing on the internet while his posts are very much there. It is not pleasant or very readable, but it is necessary that my replies to his bile should also be on record].Niraj Mohanka has, on 10th April 2010, sent me, presumably to elicit some reaction from me, the following comments by Arnaud Fournet made during the course of a discussion on an internet discussion site IndiaArchaeology@yahoogroups.com.:“This book proves nothing but that Talageri still has a very long way to go before he understands what the issues are about and how to write a book…. I suggest you read again the review I wrote nearly one year ago. I read it again recently and I see little to change… For the time being, nobody addressed the real issues contained in the review and keeps on dreaming on never-exist fairytales”. Fournet refers here to a “review” he had published on www.scribd.comon 22nd May 2009 ─ that is nearly a year ago, of my third book “The Rigveda and the Avesta ─ The Final Evidence” (Aditya Prakashan, New Delhi, 2008). I had read this “review” at that time itself; but, after the initial reactive indignation that I naturally felt after reading a pointless and pompous diatribe against my book written in a jeering and sneering tone, I soon realized that there was really nothing to “reply” to in that “review”: it was so utterly pointless and irrelevant. [Later, I was informed that another, even more vicious and vindictive, review had been written in a Bangalore journal by an Indian writer who has had his knife in me since quite some time. I did not think that other review even worth procuring and reading]. I decided at that time that I really could not waste my time replying to every Tom, Dick and Harry of a writer who chose to vent his spite and venom on my book or on myself just to satisfy his itching fingers, unless he really had something concrete to say about the data, facts and evidence contained in my book. Sad to say, Fournet’s review had nothing concrete at all to say about my book, and did not really merit any serious reply.But it appears Fournet is under the impression that his “review” has silenced me and others like me who choose to keep on “dreaming on never-exist [sic] fairytales”. And perhaps friendly readers would like or expect me to give some reply. So I am writing this “reply” in order to clarify once and for all as to what would constitute a genuine review of my book which would merit a reply from me; and the best way of doing this is by giving a counter-review of Fournet’s “review” of my book, to demonstrate how there are absolutely no“real issues” at all “contained in the review”, however fondly Fournet, egged on by the Farmer-Witzel pack of jokers, may be under the impression that he has managed to fool everyone into believing that there are. In fact, Fournet’s review really shows him up as being a joker par excellence.First, let me clarify what my book is all about. The core heart of this book is the first section which presents absolutely new and absolutely conclusive evidence about the chronology (relative, internal and absolute) and the geography of the Rigveda and the Avesta. This evidence itself is enough to smash the AIT into smithereens and to prove the OIT; or, at the very least, to make it clear that it would require complete and extremely radical amendments to the AIT to produce a new version of an AIT which would try to accommodate all these chronological and geographical factors into a non-Indian homeland theory. The second section of the book only dots all the “i”s and crosses all the “t”s (often repeating material from my second book along with an array of new evidence and logical arguments) in order to show how the OIT alone fulfils all the requirements and solves all the problems of the IE Homeland question. Any discussion on the second section can only follow a discussion on the first section of my book. The first section of my book proves beyond the shadow of any doubt that 1) the period of composition of the latest parts of the Rigveda (latest not only according to my criteria but according to the internal chronology accepted by consensus among western academicians) goes back into the late third millennium BCE at the latest, 2) that the proto-Iranians and the proto-Mitanni emigrated from India during the period of composition of these latest parts, and 3) that the proto-Iranians and the pre-Mitanni Indo-Aryans, in the periods preceding this late period, i.e. in the periods preceding the late third millennium BCE at the latest, were inhabitants of areas to the east of the Sapta Sindhava region with little or no prior acquaintance with areas to the west.This is proved, not on the basis of empty rhetoric of the kind which characterizes Fournet’s pathetic “review”, but on the basis of pages and pages and pagesof detailed and complete (i.e. non-partisan) data, facts and evidence ─ concrete evidence which can be verified or else can be exposed if false.Only and only after this evidence in the first section of my book is discussed, and either conclusively proved wrong (with the help of an alternate, and equally detailed and complete, analysis of the chronological and geographical data in the Rigveda and the Avesta), or accepted but within an attempted alternate AIT hypothesis, can any discussion spill over into the second section of the book.This reply to Fournet’s “review” of my book will have three sections: I. The Real Issues contained in the first section of my book.II. The “Real Issues” in Fournet’s “review”.III. Postscript: How to write a review.First, let us see how Fournet deals with the core “real issues” contained in my book.I. The Real Issues contained in the first section of my book.The first section of my book is loaded with detailed masses of concrete data covering all the possible occurrences of a large number of categories of words in the Rigveda, relevant to the historical analysis of the Rigveda and the Avesta, complete with hymn and verse numbers. This is solid data, arranged systematically in tables, charts and lists, the veracity of which can be verified or disproved with very little effort. The text of the chapters very systematically explains the logical significance of the detailed charts and lists, and the very precise conclusions that can be drawn from this data. This data, and the conclusions which automatically and logically flow out from it, constitute the crux of the first section of the book, but Fournet totally fails or refuses to even glance at this data and evidence: in fact, he finds that there are “frequent interruptions of the text by copious references to the hymns and verses of the Rig-Veda and by lists of names or nouns. Many of these references should have been preferably dealt with otherwise, so that the reasoning and the text of the author would not be constantly chopped […] All these textual and typographic features are hindrances for the reader to understand what the writer wants to say and sometimes to find the text itself amidst the references” (notwithstanding that “the reasoning and the text of the author” and “what the writer wants to say” are based solely on these copious references and wordlists rather than on empty rhetoric!). And, again, about chapter 1, “About half the pages are references which could be synthesized and organized otherwise as annexes”, and about chapter 2, “Most of this part is references or tables”. But, in spite of having all these concrete masses of references and data, along with detailed explanations about their meaning and import, virtually thrust on him in the main body of the text rather than in extraneous and avoidable annexes, Fournet resolutely ignores it all, and sums up his conclusions about the chapters on the basis of vague, impressionistic and opinionated comments which totally fail to make even the pretence of an examination of any part of the data or even to take it into consideration: Chapter 1 gives a complete analysis of the names and name elements common to the Rigveda and the Avesta, and shows how the major body of these names and name elements (and, incidentally, even various categories of compound word types which form these name elements), which form the common cultural elements in the two books, are found right from the earliest hymns of the Avesta (the Gathas) but are found in the Rigveda onlyin the Late Books and hymns: precisely, in 386 hymns in the LateBooks I, V, VIII-X, but in only 8 hymns in the Early and Middle Books II-IV, VI-VII (all 8 of which are classified by the western scholars as Late hymns within these earlier books!). Fournet sweeps aside this overpowering data, without examination, with the remark: “We have no particular opinion about the conclusion and the method used to reach it. We tend to think that this point is not as crucial as the author seems to believe”; Chapter 2 gives a complete typological analysis of all the meters used in the Rigveda, along with an analysis of the chronological evolution of the meters, and shows how the meters used in the Gathas, the earliest part of the Avesta, are meters which in the Rigveda had evolved only by the time of the Late Books of the Rigveda. Fournet, again sweeps aside this concrete data, without examination, with the remark: “This chapter is abstruse and it is hard to figure what these statistics actually prove”. Chapter 3 examines the geographical data in the Rigveda in complete detail, and shows how the Vedic Aryans in the periods of the Early and Middle Books of the Rigveda, i.e. in the periods before the development of the common Indo-Iranian culture which took place in the period of the Late Books of the Rigveda, were located to the east of the Punjab, with little, if any, knowledge of areas to the west. Again, without examining any of the copious data given, Fournet dismisses the inevitable conclusions arising from this data with the evasive remark: “Ultimately, the conclusions drawn from the Rig-Veda depend on the relative chronology chosen or determined for the books. Circularity is a permanent risk”.Thus, Fournet sweepingly dismisses the copious data in chapters 1 and 2, without examination, on the ground that it is not “crucial” or that it is “hard to figure out”.Worse, he dismisses the copious data in chapters 1, 2 and 3 on the additional ground that the conclusions drawn are not acceptable since the veracity of these conclusions “depend on the relative chronology chosen and determined for the books”, and that different scholars have proposed different chronological orders for books II-VII from the one proposed by me in my books (which is VI, III, VII, IV, II, V). Fournet simply refuses to examine, or even to consider, all that copious data, and simply dismisses my conclusions with a contemptuous Gallic shrug, and the escapist remarks: “We do not have the expertise to determine which order (or if another one) should be preferred.[….] These philological technicalities should be addressed and discussed by competent specialists of the field”, Here, he deliberately ignores the fact that Chapter 4 of my book makes it very clear that the veracity of the conclusions drawn by me in the first section of my book does not in any way depend on my own chronological order for books II-VII. The conclusions actually stand confirmed purely on the basis of the consensusamong academic scholars (the “competent specialists of the field”) that the family books II-VII are older than the non-family books I VIII IX X, and that, of books II-VII, book V is closer to books I VIII IX X than to the other family books, so that we get twodistinct groups of books on the basis of a near consensus among academic scholars: an earlier group consisting of books II III IV VI VII and a latergroup consisting of books V I VIII IX X. Fournet himself confirms the major part of this consensus classification: “All agree that the books I VIII IX X are the most recent and disagree about the order of the other six ones, admittedly the oldest”. And the fact is that all the “copious references to the hymns and verses of the Rig-Veda” and all the “lists of names or nouns” which Fournet regards as “frequent interruptions of the text” in my book, and as data to be ignored or dismissed, fall into two distinct and clear cut categories in their patterns of distribution in the Rigveda in line with these very two groups of books. Therefore, even without the help of “competent specialists of the field”, even Fournet should have been able to verify whether my conclusions are right or wrong by simply checking the veracity of my data. Fournet’s remarks on Chapter 5 are even more surprising. In Chapter 5, I have clearly shown how all the Mitanni name types are found only and exclusively in the later group of books (V I VIII IX X in 112 hymns) and missing in the earliergroup of books (II III IV VI VII, except in 1 hymn classified by western academic scholars as a late hymn in these earlier books). Fournet does not just find my conclusion (that the data shows that the Mitanni IA language is younger than the earlier parts of the Rigveda) unconvincing, but he finds that “If any conclusion can be drawn out of these data, we would conclude that they prove the Rig-Veda, as a whole, is younger than this Mitanni Indo-Aryan-oid language, contrary to the author’s claim”! How on earth, given that even he accepts that “all agree” that books I VIII IX X are “the most recent”, does he find that “these data” ─ which clearly show that the “Mitanni Indo-Aryan-oid” names are found only in this “most recent” group of books, and are totally missing in the books which are “admittedly the oldest” ─ without any examination to disprove the veracity of the data, lead to the conclusion that “the Rig-Veda, as a whole, is younger than this Mitanni Indo-Aryan-oid language, contrary to the author’s claim”? Just how does this joker’s brain function?So far, discussions on the Indo-European question have been based only on rhetoric and airy assumptions. When references from the Rigveda have formed any part of the evidence presented by either the OIT side or the AIT side, they have consisted mainly of stray references picked up from the text, interpreted by adding all kinds of values absent in the actual words, and made the starting points or first links of chains of similar interpretations one leading to the other and ending in momentous conclusions which bear no direct connection with the original references cited. Many of the astronomical interpretations of Vedic references cited by OIT writers fall in this category. The textual “evidence” for the AIT as a whole is almost entirely based on such interpretations: the most telling example is the way one stray word, anās, occurring just once in the whole of the Rigveda and never again after that in any other text, was taken as a-nās rather than an-ās which it actually was, translated as “nose-less” and further interpreted as “snub-nosed”, and consequently treated in countless scholarly works over two centuries of western Vedic scholarship as evidence that the alleged native non-Aryan Indians, whom the alleged Aryan invaders/immigrants encountered when they allegedly entered India, were “snub-nosed”. The data and statistics which fill the first section of my book to the overflowing ― the “copious references to the hymns and verses of the Rig-Veda” and all the “lists of names or nouns” which Fournet regards as “frequent interruptions of the text” in my book ― form the very crux of my book and of the evidence presented by me. They consist of complete lists of concretewords (i.e. words taken in their accepted literal meanings, rather than with symbolic or value-added meanings) of different categories (including personal names, and names of animals, rivers, etc.), and the particular picture consistently depicted by the very regularpattern of distribution itself, of these words (as also of other data like meters), forms the crux of the evidence. The summary of this evidence is spelt out so clearly (in the section entitled “What the Evidence Shows”, pp. 43-49 of my book) that even a half-witted person, if he took care to actually read the section instead of writing an abusive “review” based only on his predetermined agenda, should have been able to understand it. And the inevitability of the conclusions drawn by me from this evidence is also spelt out so clearly (in the section entitled “Can this Evidence be refuted?” on pp.135-142 of my book) that any reviewer without sand in his brains (if, of course, he had bothered to read and understand what I have written) would have thought ten times before being so summary in his dismissal of the evidence without examination. There is only one Rigveda (as there is only one Avesta, and one known and limited treasury of Mitanni words), so it is not really possible to challenge this evidence by citing alternativeequally complete lists of words showing a differentregular pattern and therefore a different picture; but a genuine critic would have examined the actual lists given by me in detail to check the extent to which they are genuine and complete, and to which they do indeed show the pattern of distribution claimed by me and justify the historical and geographical conclusions reached by me, and would have based any criticism on such an examination. However, Fournet completely shuns examining this copious data which conclusively establishes the chronology of the composition of the Rigveda as going back into the late third millennium BCE and beyond for the beginnings of the latest parts, and, almost like a joke, merely reiterates the incredible (in view of all the data in the first section of my book) proposition: “The standard traditional time bracket from -1500 to -1000 BC for the composition of the Rig-Veda disqualifies the OIT as constructed by the author”!Fournet, like Witzel before him in his criticism of my earlier book, shows the same utter contempt for concrete references, data and statistics, and the same total reliance on mockery and on empty rhetoric. What Fournet proves in this review, as we shall see in detail, is that the onlyway in which writers like him, including Witzel before him and other likely critics after him, can afford or dareto deal with my book is by completely ignoring the copious references, data, statistics, and other hard evidence actually presented by me, and the conclusions which unavoidably proceed from this material, and by substituting jeering rhetoric for analytical reasoning. The fact is not that “nobody addressed the real issues contained in the review”; the fact (to put it crudely but accurately) is that polemicists like Fournet and Witzel just simply do not have the guts in their balls to address the “real issues” in my book.Any review which steadfastly avoids dealing with the concrete data overflowing on every page of the first section of my book ─ avoids examining all the data and either showing that significant portions of that data are false, or showing convincingly that the data leads to conclusions other than those drawn by me ─ is a Big Zero, howsoever much the reviewer may pat himself on the back (and have his back patted by like-minded jokers) that he has effectively made mincemeat of my book merely on the basis of a barrage of rhetoric, polemics and derision. Fournet’s “review” is nothing but a joke played by a sick joker to win the gleeful applause of other like-minded jokers.It is up to the reader to read both my book (the reading of which Fournet claims his review renders unnecessary) as well as Fournet’s “review” and to decide for himself:a) what exactly the “real issues contained in the review” are, and whether they really require to be addressed at all; and also whether or not Fournet himself has in fact addressed the very real issues in my book in his “review”, andb) whether it is I who do not understand “how to write a book” (and have to learn “how to write a book” from this joker), or whether it is Fournet who does not understand how to read a book, or how to understand what he is reading even when it is set out in plain English.II. The “Real Issues” in Fournet’s “review”.Fournet steadfastly refuses to examine the masses and masses of concrete, complete and verifiable data in the form of references, data, facts, statistics and evidence given in the first section of my book, presumably on the ground that they do not constitute “real issues”. So what exactly are the “real issues” he is “reviewing” in his “review”?The “real issues” in Fournet’s “review” are all purely pedantic and polemicalissues, and the review by and large consists of a series of monologues consisting of long, convoluted and extremely confused polemical discussions on different subjects: e.g. the phrases “AIT” and “OIT”, the concept of “Indo-Iranian”, the concept of “Indo-European”, the phrase “develop”, and the concept of cultural change and transformation. The rest of the “review” is devoted to a pedantic criticism of the book as a whole. The monologues, as well as the rest of the “review”, consist mainly of detailed semantic discussions on the meanings of different words and concepts and Freudian psycho-analyses of my alleged basic misuse or misunderstanding of these words and concepts. Before examining the “real issues” raised by Fournet, it is necessary to understand two very basic aspects of Fournet’s “review” which become clear from every word and line written by him:First of all, it is clear that Fournet’s “review” is not written with the intention of seriously examining what I have written in my book: it is written with the sole and only aim of sneering and jeering at anything and everything written in the book, and ridiculing and deriding my hypothesis and my person. This will become clear as we proceed with our examination.Secondly, it is also clear that Fournet’s “review” is based on the principle that “ignorance is bliss”; or rather, that “ignorance is power”, since it removes all ethical, moral and logical inhibitions and constraints in criticizing and deriding. Thus, Fournet sees no need to acquaint himself with any of the basic background material behind the book, and proudly proclaims his ignorance almost as a qualification: to begin with, he has not only not read my earlier books, but he finds that “The book does not require any prior reading of the two other books by the same author, which were on the same topic”. In the same vein: “We are not a specialist in Vedic or Indo-Iranian studies”; “Before reading the book, we had about no expertise on the OIT, apart from the vague idea that the OIT tries to promote India as a possible homeland of the Proto-Indo-European language”; “we would have appreciated to see what evidence in the Rig-Veda substantiates the claim of ‘a mighty Sarasvatī in full powerful flow’. Be it right or wrong, and we have no opinion, such a claim requires to be duly documented and proved by a philological analysis, and this analysis is lacking”; “the tribe names, Druhyus, Anus and Pūrus ― we have not checked that point ― […] The pages (258-273) are dedicated to an outpour of considerations on typically Indian cultural items, among which the Druhyus, Anus and Pūrus ‘tribal conglomerates’. We are not familiar with these items and we cannot describe what added value this section of the book might bring.”; “The book ends with the evocation of the ‘Battle of the Ten Kings’ (p.370). We must confess to having never read or heard what this epical event is”. Can a person who has not read the two earlier books “on the same topic” by me, who knows little about Vedic or Indo-Iranian studies, who knows virtually nothing about the OIT, who knows so little about the Rigveda that he does not know that the Rigveda speaks of a mighty Sarasvatī in full powerful flow, and has never heard about Druhyus, Anus and Pūrus, or about the Battle of the Ten Kings, presume to write a review of my third book which claims to be the Final Evidence on the subject of Vedic and Indo-Iranian history (within four days of receipt of the book: he received it on 18/5/2009, while the “review” was first posted on 22/05/2009) ― a “review” claiming to be so accurate (“accurate enough for people to assess what the book is, when they have not read it themselves”) that it can eliminate the need for his reader to expect anything more substantial or illuminating from a direct perusal of the book? As we proceed with our examination of his critique, it will be clear from his criticism not only a) that he is proudly ignorant about all the background issues which form the topic of my three books, b) that he has not read what I have written in my two earlier books with which this third book forms a continuum, and c) that, even as far as this third book itself is concerned, he has completely ignored all the masses of “frequent interruptions of the text” in the form of references, data and statistics; but also, d) that he has not bothered or seen the need to really read even the “text” of this third book, beyond searching for passages for quotation, or scouring the text to count the number of times I have used certain words, or checking out which words are “missing” in my book, or hunting out words which he can subject to a long discussion in order to allege a semantically wrong use of those words by me ─ the most telling testimony to this is the fact that he comes across any reference to the Battle of the Ten Kings for the first and last time only in the last paragraph of my book (p.370)! e) that even the portions he has quoted often include only parts of sentences, wherein his criticism shows that he has not read the other parts of the very sentences that he is actually quoting, and f) that even when he quotes full sentences, he is not able to understand what he has read and quoted. All this makes it all the more of a joke when he tries to copy Witzel’s tactic of listing out things which I “do not know” and “have not mentioned” in order to show my alleged ignorance about the subject or my alleged failure to understand the issues involved. Now an examination of Fournet’s “real issues”, which will help us to understand his agenda and his methods, as also to comprehend the psychological and intellectual level of his “review”:1. The smell and colour of my book: The first “real issue” for Fournet, is the smell and colour of my book: “The first contact with the book has reminded us of a Sanskrit grammar we bought in China some years ago and which is our main source on that language: Fan Yu KeBen. The size, the smell, the pages, both whitish and yellowish, have kindled the same impression”. The smell and colour of the book (which I at least do not find notably different from the smell and colour of the books published by any normal western publishing house: if anything, Aditya Prakashan books are notably better than most of them) are obviously “real issues” more worthy of notice and comment than the copious “interruptions” in the form of references, data and statistics.2. Review-politics: Even the very fact that the book was sent to him for review by Koenraad Elst is a “real issue” worthy of snide comment. Fournet takes care to inform us at the very outset of the “review” that the book has been reviewed more or less as a favour to Koenraad Elst: “The copy, received 05/18/2009, was sent by Koenraad Elst, a personal friend of the author, after we accepted his proposal to (try to) review it. For the sake of courtesy, we had proposed that our review could be read by the author before being made public, but this proposal has been rejected by K. Elst. We have never had direct contact with the author.” Fournet ends his “review” with the remark: “We are still wondering why K. Elst has proposed that we (try to) make a review of Mr. Shrikant Talageri’s book. We are not sure that our review is what they have expected.”Koenraad Elst, at my own general request in the first flush of publication of the book, proposed sending my book for possible review to various people. That is the standard procedure when a new book is published, when a debate or discussion is sought to be initiated on the contents of the book. The proposed reviewer, naturally, always has the right, for whatever reason or even without assigning any reason, to refuse to review the book; or, if he reviews it, to criticize it in all legitimate terms (and even, I suppose, if that is his nature, in illegitimate terms). What distinguishes Fournet is his unique and peculiar code of “courtesy” whereby he reviews the book, but at the same time takes care to suggest in the body of his review a) that the review is more or less being undertaken almost as a favour, b) that the author was indirectly offered the chance to read the review before it was made public (perhaps in the expectation that the author would be so terrified on reading his devastating critique that he would desperately plead for a kinder review, and this plea could also then be jeeringly publicized in the body of the “review” when finally published?), c) that the author and his friend confidently expected a glowingly favourable review and would probably be embarrassed at it turning out to be a critical one after all, and d) that he himself is ultimately mystified as to why he was ever approached at all to do the review (but not, apparently, about why he did ultimately review it!). In truth, I am equally mystified on this point. On being asked, Koenraad told me that Fournet was a writer with “unconventional” ideas, and therefore he (Koenraad) felt that he would be more receptive to “new ideas”. Apparently Koenraad felt that having “unconventional” ideas was a qualification of an open and honest mind, and also that this assumed qualification was sufficient to automatically eliminate the need to have the ability to read and the brains to understand what one is reading!3. Fournet’s mental trauma: The tumultuous emotions that raced through Fournet’s breast as he ploughed his way through the book is also another “real issue” eloquently placed before the readers. A sample: “[…] In the course of reviewing the book, in the middle of the reading of section 2, we realized that the self-imposed goal of remaining neutral made increasingly no sense. We erased neutral and chose empathetic, because this word expresses open-mindedness without hostility or assent. After that, a deeper understanding of the way the author uses some key words and of their real meanings and implicit presuppositions made it clear that the word empathetic may be misinterpreted as a kind of implicit assent. We then opted from the somehow psychoanalytical anamnetic, which expresses our distantiated conviction that we have reached deeper and deeper layers of the mental construction of the author’s OIT: the explicit contents, the implicit framework, the key words and the political vested interests. During that process of anamnesis of the author’s version of the OIT, we have been successively disconcerted, assiduous, amazed and frightened [...]”. The above, incidentally, is a representative sample of the style of the entire review, like that of an essay written by a school student for an elocution competition: pedantic and flowery language, with verbose and pompous words, phrases and sentences to be delivered with the right melodramatic pauses, intonations, expressions and gestures.4. Pedantry in academic writing: After his outpourings on his feelings while reading my book, Fournet turns to my bibliography, followed by my preface. A little later, he turns to the textual organization of the book and the fonts used by me. Still later, he refers to the maps in my book. At the end of his review, he refers to my index. We will take up these issues here ─ bibliography, preface, textual organization, fonts, maps and index ─ as they all fall in one broad category of incidental aspects of the book as distinct from the direct subject matter of the book in the form of data, facts, evidence and conclusions. Since the facts, data, statistics and evidence given by me are to be ignored as non-issues, these become the “real issues” in his review. As in Witzel’s “review” of my second book, every failure on my part to follow the reviewer’s views on the proper table manners and etiquette of academic writing (i.e. academic equivalences, in my writing, to a failure to use the right knife, fork or spoon while eating different dishes, to keep the cutlery and napkin in the right place, to start and to stop eating a particular course at the correct moment, to open and close my mouth in the right manner while eating, to chew the food the requisite number of times, to follow the correct rules of table conversation, to sit in the right position and at the correct angle, etc.) becomes a major “real issue”, and every comment by the “reviewer” on each of these “failures” becomes a devastating indictment of my book, of my theory, of the evidence presented by me, and of the OIT itself. It shows not only that I do not know “how to write a book”, but automatically also that I do not “understand what the issues are about”!Since the criticisms are mainly pedantic or polemical, my reply to them will be on the same level: My bibliography: Fournet begins by noting that the bibliography is “very short for such an issue as the PIE homeland”. This comment is superfluous since I have made the following clear statement in the preface: “I have not adopted, and will never adopt, the fraudulent system of providing long bibliographies containing the name of every single book ever read by me (not to mention books not read by me but culled from the bibliographies of other books). The only books in my bibliography are those books actually quoted by me, and those referred to in any significant context”. Fournet quotes only the last part of this statement, and takes comfort in thinking he has discovered the following which gives the lie to my claim: “It must nevertheless be noted that Oldenberg. 1888. Prolegomena, are discussed and cited in the chapter 4 but do not appear in the bibliography”. While it is true that Oldenberg’s Prolegomena not being included in the bibliography is an omission, it does not really give the lie to my claim: if Fournet had understood English, he would have realized that what would have given the lie to my claim is not omissions, but inclusions in my bibliography of books neither actually quoted by me nor referred to in any significant context. Fournet continues: “it contains very few works with a real linguistic content. Paradoxically, (historical) linguistics is nearly completely absent in a book that claims to deal with the issue of the PIE homeland”. Here we see the familiar tactic of continuously demanding what is not in the book instead of examining what is actually there! Fournet shows clearly that he has totally failed to understand what my book is all about: the very title of the book indicates that the central topic of the book is a textual exegesis of the Rigveda and the Avesta, and this is the subject matter of the first section, which constitutes the bulk of my book. There is hardly any place for general linguistic discussions in this section. The second section of my book also has little place for books containing general discussions on linguistics, even Indo-European linguistics (indeed, the writings on every single technical aspect, and item of data, concerning every single branch of study of Indo-European linguistics, could fill out a number of encyclopaediac volumes or even a small library), except where they contained data, discussions or arguments pertaining to the debate on the geographical location of the Indo-European homeland, and relevant to the subjects under discussion. So, in view of my ethical refusal to fraudulently list out in my bibliography long lists of books read and unread just to show my erudition (take any article or paper by Witzel, for example, and see how many of the endless number of books listed in the bibliography really have any place in the concerned article), my bibliography contains just the right number of books dealing with (the relevant aspects of) linguistics.After a critical reference to the book by Chang, 1988, quoted by me, Fournet resorts to the following year-wise analysis of the books in my bibliography: “the years of publication of the 73 references listed in the bibliography are: before 1906 7 books, between 1907 and 1985 14, after 1986 52. We cannot believe that so little worth quoting has been written during the 80 years from 1906 to 1986 on the issue of the PIE homeland. What is more, 23 out of the 52 modern references are from Talageri himself or from Witzel”. Fournet clearly has no idea at all what my book is about, not having seen the need to read it before reviewing it. Naturally, the majority of the books quoted are after 1986, since it is in the last twenty years that the Indo-European homeland question has hotted up, and all the various pros and cons of the AIT-vs.-OIT debate have been vigorously debated (and the linguistic aspects mainly by Witzel and myself, and also Hock as quoted in my book), including points and arguments made in earlier publications. The early foundations of Indological study go back mainly into the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, so again some books of that period are likely to be quoted. Given the subject matter of this book, very little indeed “worth quoting has been written during the 80 years from 1906 to 1986 on the issue of the PIE homeland”. In any case, I was not aware that scholarly etiquette demands that when quoting from different books, a writer is supposed to meticulously allot an impartial quota of an equal number of books for every year or decade! Further: “some books have been selected and quoted more or less extensively because they agree with the author. From the textual and argumentative point of view, this practice adds nothing real and could be avoided. It amounts to pro domo propaganda”. Nothing exposes the bias and hostility behind this fake “review” more than these comments. To begin with, not one single OIT writer has been quoted by me throughout the entire book: all the quotations without exception are from the scholarly writings of AIT scholars i.e. scholars who would implicitly or explicitly be on the AIT side in any debate (although I have given due credit to two OIT supporting writers, on pp.102 and 338, when I have made certain points; but I have not actually quoted these two writers, both of whom are non-Indian and both hostile to me, and nor are they a part of the bibliography under criticism). If the writings of these AIT scholars “agree with the author”, surely it is something for Fournet to ponder over seriously instead of branding it as “propaganda”. But these “agreeable” quotations are not the only ones quoted by me: I have also quoted and exposed the fallacy of almost as many AIT arguments which do not “agree with” me (Witzel, Hock, Lubotsky, etc.). All this is apart from the fact that the overwhelmingly largest number of references in my book are not from any writers, AIT or OIT, but directly from the original sources: the Rigveda and the Avesta ─ and it is these original references that polemicists like Fournet and Witzel dread the most and avoid like the plague.My preface: The first thing Fournet points out about the preface is the following: “The Preface (21 p) actually starts on page XVIII and not XV as indicated in the contents”. Obviously, I cannot answer for this printer’s or publisher’s error.He then notes: “the preface includes a listing of ‘errors’ and ‘mistakes’ made in the author’s previous works […] This could have been preferably located somewhere else, after the bibliography for example”. So far, this criticism is legitimate: I, in hindsight, would go further and say that this list of errors was really an unnecessary “interruption” not only in the preface but in the book itself, and could even have been dispensed with altogether. But Fournet does not stop here; he goes on to make the following pointless and petty comment: “The meaning of these errata in the preface seems to be that the author has made his own mea culpa and that other people, presumably non OIT supporters, should do the same”! Freud? Holmes? No, it’s Hercule Fournet! [Fournet tells us a little later on that the book “can be read in a [sic] several ways: a surface reading of what the writer writes explicitly and deeper readings of what he assumes and thinks but does not write”. Clearly, this master psychologist cum detective has no place for the explicit data given on the “surface” and his whole “review” is based on these brilliant “deeper” pieces of Hercule Fournetian mind-reading, as we will see many times in his review!]. About my claim in the preface that my book would prove conclusively that India was the original homeland of the Indo-European family of languages, Fournet makes the following profound observation: “It can be underlined that the wording is ‘homeland of the Indo-European family of languages’ and not ‘(Proto-)Indo-European homeland’”! In continuation of this diversionary play on words, Fournet continues: “The author mentions the word ‘Proto-Indo-European’ only once, when referring to Hock’s works: ‘the Proto-Indo-European language (as much ancestral to Vedic as to the other ancient Indo-European languages)’ (p.210). This hapax word is not listed in the index. The author claims to have found the location of something that he about never describes by its name” (note again the profundity of the last sentence!). Apart from scouring my book to find out which words are missing in my book which he feels should have been there, or in examining the semantic sense in which I have in his opinion misused certain other words, one more aspect of Fournet’s “review” consists in counting the number of times I have used certain words. But he does not seem to have been very meticulous even in this utterly pointless venture: the phrase “Proto-Indo-European” is found at least 25 times in my book in this full form, and at least 40 times in the form PIE, and the word “Indo-European homeland” is found at least 8 times (notably even in the very title of the second section of the book)! Fournet’s criticism of my preface also includes a polemical monologue on the phrases AIT and OIT, apparently provoked by my references to the AIT-vs.-OIT debate in my preface. This we will examine separately. The textual organization of my book: Fournet tells us at the very beginning of his review: “The book does not have an explicit conclusion”. Later, he goes into more details about how “the textual organization of the book is unusual and defective”: “There is no explicit conclusion, the preface includes errata for previous books and transliteration conventions. The section 1 includes subchapters with titles like Appendix 1 and 2 and Footnote that are in fact incorporated in the body of the text. […] The book does not begin with a programmatic presentation of what the author plans to state or prove in the section 1. […] The multiple goals, compounded with the defective textual organization of the book, contribute to the opacity and lack of fluidity of the section”He writes that it is difficult to know “what the author plans to state or prove in the [sic] section 1” since I do not “begin with a programmatic presentation” of it, but immediately tells us that his own “understanding is that he wants to clear several issues at the same time: one is the relative chronology of the books and hymns of the Rig-Veda, another is their absolute chronology, another is the relative chronology of the Rig-Veda and the Avesta, another is to argument [sic] in favor of the supposed westward movements of the Rig-Vedic Indo-Aryans, one more is to expose the perceived fraudulences of the so-called Western scholarship, as exemplified by Witzel”. Now obviously Fournet does notget all this “understanding” from his brilliant detective abilities but from the very title of the section itself, as well as from the titles of the chapters and sub-chapters and headings and sub-headings, quite apart from the fact that the first few paragraphs of every chapter state very clearlywhat “the author plans to state or prove” in that chapter, and the conclusions arising from the data in each chapter and sub-chapter are repeatedly hammered into the readers’ attention throughout the concerned chapters and sub-chapters. Each chapter is a step-by-step progression from one point to the next: the first two chapters show that the common “Indo-Iranian” culture originated in the Late Rigvedic period; the third shows us where the Indo-Aryans and proto-Iranians were (i.e. deeper inside India, and not in Central Asia) in the period precedingthis period of development of a common culture; and the fourth clarifies how the chronological basis behind all these conclusions is not just the internal chronology of the books postulated by me but the one agreed upon by a consensus of western scholars from Oldenberg through Witzel to Proferes. The fifth chapter analyses the Mitanni Indo-Aryan names and shows how this analysis parallels the analysis of Avestan names in chapter one; and the sixth one shows how this Mitanni data now allows us to arrive at a rough absolute chronology for the Late books of the Rigveda. And, as Fournet himself puts it, “repetitions and refinements of some key points provide a helpful guideline as to where the author is ultimately going”. Obviously, no amount of (more) spoon-feeding could have sufficed to prevent these determinedly querulous complaints.About my preface, yes, I could have included the transliteration conventions elsewhere, and, as already stated, dispensed altogether with the errata. But, my inclusion of a Footnote as a subchapter in chapter one, and Appendices 1 and 2 as subchapters in chapters 3 and 4, was very logical: those subchapters pertained only to the particular chapters concerned and not to the section as a whole. And yet, they needed to be distinguished from the main point of the chapters concerned: e.g. the main point of chapter 4 was that the internal chronology of the Rigveda, on the basis of which one inevitably arrives at the conclusions reached in the other chapters of section 1, is based on the consensus of western scholars, and that these conclusions simply cannot be rejected without rejecting altogether this consensus of two centuries. The matter in the appendices consisted merely of additional discussions on this internal chronology, so they were distinguished as appendices. The failure of a pedantic critic to understand this logic cannot be construed as a failure or shortcoming on my part. The fonts used by me: “another feature is the letter fonts, sizes and cases which often vary within any given page.” This is counted as “one of the hindrances for the reader to understand what the author wants to say”. Now, Fournet cannot be referring here to the “fonts” used for writing Vedic and Avestan words, since those are absolutely essential. He is therefore obviously referring to my use of italics and bold letters. I have used bold letters only in titles and sub-titles and also in two special circumstances: one, in every quotation from other writers, to distinguish what is being quoted from what I myself am writing, and two, in distinguishing the hymn number from the verse number in giving references from the Rigveda. Also, in chapter one, they are statedly used to highlight names common to the Rigveda and the Avesta. I think all these uses of bold letters should in fact be useful in helping the reader to understand better what I want to say. Likewise, the different “sizes” of the fonts are also used only in titles and sub-titles; and as for “cases”, capital letters are likewise used in titles and sub-titles, and in giving references of books, e.g. WITZEL 1995b:35. Italics are also often used for specific purposes: in chapter one, they are used to distinguish the common (to the Rigveda and the Avesta) half of the names from the other parts. Again, all this should be useful to readers, rather than a “hindrance”. In the case of italics, perhaps I have the habit of using them a bit too much to emphasize words (apart from the fact that the printers have wrongly used italics in subtitles in chapters 2 and 3 where I had indicated bold letters), but that happens to be my style of writing, and I think, like every other writer, I too have the right to my own way of writing. Some of it may be very irritating to many readers; but if any of this actually prevents the reader from understanding what I want to say, it can only be if the reader, like Fournet, has set out determined not to understand what I want to say. My maps: About the maps in my book: “the pages (p.213-258) are dedicated to a detailed description of the scenario proposed by the author, with 6 maps and their related comments. At the first look, we have not been able to understand what the area on the low-quality maps was. The maps are centered on Afghanistan with present-day borders of the different states surrounding Afghanistan”.To begin with, if he is able to immediately tell us that the “maps are centered on Afghanistan with present-day borders of the different states surrounding Afghanistan”, what was the need to first claim that he was not able to understand what the area on the maps was? He describes the functional maps as “low-quality”, and earlier in his review, he jibes that “a map like the one Talageri’s book displays on p.226 could have been printed in Pictet’s book in 1859”. (Complete with the borders of post-1947 India, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and with the inclusion of Anatolian and Tocharian, both identified as Indo-European only in the early twentieth century)? The above comments are not only cheap, they are also cowardly: would Fournet have had the guts to say the same thing about, for example, the map depicted on pps.294-295 of H. H. Hock’s article “Historical Interpretation of the Vedic Texts”, in the Volume “The Indo-Aryan Controversy: Evidence and inference in Indian history”, Routledge, London and New York (Indian edition), 2005? They are not only as functional (“low-quality”) as my own maps, they are also much, much less accurate: in the maps, the Indus throughout seems to flow from well within the borders of present-day India before flowing out through Gujarat, to the east and south of the gulf of Kutch, rather than through Pakistan and out through Sind. Further, Fournet complains: “The borders of the former Soviet republics (Uzbekistan, Kirghiztan, Kazakhstan) are missing” on my map. All borders are missing in Hock’s map, including those of India, Pakistan and Afghanistan.My index: “The Index is divided in two: a General Index and a Sanskrit Word Index. Some words are conspicuously absent from the index: AIT (but not OIT), PIE, proto-language, PreRigVedic (but not PostRigVedic). K.Elst is cited in the index in bold type with no page number.” Criticisms of structural things, like the preface, bibliography, maps, fonts, index, and the names and arrangements of the chapters and sub-chapters (sections) of a book, must, in general, necessarily be subjective, since in most of these matters the author must be the natural person to decide what is best suited for his purpose in each of these respects. Moreover, such criticism is always grossly disproportionate and dishonest (besides being totally inadequate as a substitute for criticizing the actual data and logic presented in the book). About his petty criticism of my index: I can genuinely say my index is the most complete index possible necessary for any analytical study of the material presented in my book, unlike my two earlier books whose indices had not been prepared by me and in which many key words in those books are missing in the index. Of course words like “AIT (but not OIT), PIE, proto-language, PreRigVedic (but not PostRigVedic)” are absent from the index, but so are words like Aryan (but not ārya), Indo-European, Rigveda and Rigvedic, and most of the (Rigvedic and Avestan) personal names in the book except those discussed or mentioned in the book in a distinctive or important context. Words which refer to the central theme of the entire book and are therefore not reference-specific, as well as words not mentioned in my book in any important quotable or referable context, are obviously excluded from my index. Such criticism for the sake of criticism can be made of any book: I challenge Fournet to send me a complete book written by him, and I will produce a long, and much more relevant (than the words cited by him) list of words from his book which are “conspicuously absent from the index”. [Incidentally, Elst in the index in bold type with no page number is a printer’s or publisher’s error for which I am not answerable].5. AIT-vs.-OIT: Included in the preface is a polemical monologue on the terms AIT and OIT which contains many profound gems. But first, a look at two instances in this monologue where Fournet tries to show up my ignorance, by citing things of which I am supposed to be “unaware”, and only ends up showing his own ignorance:One: “[…] there are several competing theories about the PIE homeland, other than the OIT, which differ both in datation (from the Paleolithic to the early Neolithic to the late Neolithic) and in location (from the North Pole to the Balkans to Southern Russia to Anatolia). What the author (and presumably the other OIT supporters) calls the AIT is to be understood as one of the mainstream theories: the one which describes a homeland in the Pontico-Caspian area in Southern Russia and a dispersal of the original community around -4000 BC. The bibliography includes two books: from Mallory, who supports this Pontico-Caspian homeland, and from Gamkrelidze and Ivanov, who support Eastern Anatolia as original homeland. Talageri seems to be unaware that his short bibliography includes two works proposing two theories”. If Fournet had done his homework, he would have seen repeated references in this book, as well as in my second one, to Gamkrelidze’s Anatolian homeland theory as a distinct one from the Pontic-Caspian homeland theory: in this very book, notably on p. 222-23 (where in fact, in a sense, the Anatolian theory is even bracketed together with the OIT rather than with the Pontic-Caspian theory!) and on p.246. This is apart from the different homeland theories referred to in my first book, and the detailed analysis of Tilak’s Arctic theory in my second one. Two: “The author seems to be unaware that the OIT has nothing revolutionary at all and that the OIT theory is one of the first theories developed by European scholars in the XIXth century and one of the first to have been dismissed”. Again, if Fournet had done his homework, he would have known that this fact, that the Indian Homeland theory was one of the earliest theories which was later dismissed, is one of the favourite talking points for those writers from the OIT side who, like Fournet from the AIT side, concentrate only on polemics and rhetoric, and therefore only a particularly naïve or stupid person would assume that I could be “unaware” of it. It is, moreover, referred to by me in my first book which discusses the history of the homeland debate. As for the word “revolutionary”, it does not simply mean “new” or “for the first time”; it means “something which introduces radical change”, even if it is the revival of an old idea or system; and the OIT, when it is accepted, will certainly introduce a radical change in the writing of world history. Fournet objects to the word “revolutionary” above, and later on also to the phrase “new hypothesis”: “the OIT is not a ‘new hypothesis’ (p.XIX) but one of the oldest theories dismissed more than a century ago”, and even quotes in detail two eighteenth-nineteenth century European writers who need not concern us here (incidentally, for some unknown reason he chooses to quote a writer who advocates the “vast plateau of Iran” rather than India as the homeland!). Here Fournet deliberately obfuscates the meaning of what I have written: I have not claimed that the OIT itself is a “new hypothesis” but that the particular OIT hypothesis presented in my book is one: the full sentence used by me on p.XIX, which Fournet does not quote, is as follows: “it is easier to attack the nonsensical notions and wishful writings of more casual or biased OIT writers than to deal with a logical and unassailable new hypothesis backed by a solid phalanx of facts and data”. My hypothesis (as opposed to the “Sanskrit-origin” hypotheses of most OIT writers) is a new “PIE-in-India” hypothesis backed by a completely new and unassailable range of data, evidence and arguments.The monologue on AIT-vs.-OIT contains many such “time pass” comments and objections [It also contains a longish illustration of the writings of some eighteenth century French writer, which we can safely ignore]:Fournet basically objects to the very terms OIT and AIT. He attributes this “creation of an alternative between OIT or AIT” to the OIT writers: he calls the AIT a label “created by the OIT supporters”, and refers to the OIT as “what is called the ‘Out of India Theory’ by the author and the other OIT supporters. It can be added that the same name is used by the non supporters to describe the OIT”. So far as the term OIT is concerned, it was actually coined by the AIT writers themselves (perhaps to rhyme with AIT): it was not used by me even once in my two earlier books. So I cannot answer for this term.But, the phrase “Aryan Invasion Theory” ─ shortened to AIT again by the AIT writers themselves ─ was first used, in the present debate, by me in the title of my first book in 1993, “The Aryan Invasion Theory and Indian Nationalism”. So let us see Fournet’s querulous objections to this term:Firstly, Fournet objects to this alternative between OIT and AIT since it lumps together all the other homeland theories other than the Indian homeland theory “as if there were only one non Out-of-India Theory”, clearly because it gives the Indian homeland theory a special position vis-à-vis the other homeland theories. But he deduces the answer to this objection himself in his Hercule Fournetian manner: “A plausible explanation is that the author lumps together all these divergent theories into ‘the AIT side’ because they all share the feature of having Vedic and its present day daughter languages come from somewhere else than the present-day borders of India”. Fournet does not realize how valid this explanation is (although his use of the phrase “daughter languages” shows he has not read pp.281-288 of my book, and is unaware of or oblivious to the complexities of so-called “Indo-Aryan” linguistics): while the homeland debate on the linguistic side is primarily concerned with linguistic change and development and not with geography-specific data, the debate on the textual and inscriptional side is based primarily on the data in the Indo-Aryan Rigveda and the Iranian Avesta and secondarily on the data in the Hittite and (again Indo-Aryan) Mitanni-Kassite records, all of which are geography-specific. The Rigveda has been interpreted throughout as the record of the Vedic Aryans moving into the Vedic territory from the northwest/north/west. In this alleged movement, whether they originally, before they allegedly entered this territory from the northwest/north/west, came from South Russia, Anatolia, Eastern Europe or the North Pole, or somewhere else, is a negligible point in the data analysis, so all these homeland theories fall in one category. But if it is shown that they actually moved into this territory from the east/southeast, then the only homeland theory indicated, i.e. the Indian homeland theory, or OIT, obviously falls into a distinctly second alternative category.But Fournet also objects to the term AIT because of the word “invasion” inherent in it. He tells us the AIT label “created by the OIT supporters” is “not far from being a libel” when it is “used to describe present day scholarship”, since “this kind of invasionist schemes was very much fashionable in the good old days of European colonialism […] it has become unpalatable to everybody at the beginning of XXIst century”. This kind of objection is only to be expected from Fournet, who has clearly not read the numerous internet debates in which the tendency of AIT writers to use terms like “migration” and “trickling-in”, even while they describe blatantly invasionist scenarios in detail, has been repeatedly exposed. He could read pps.317-322 of my book, for starters, very, very carefully ─ particularly p.322.Like a naïve child, Fournet also puts forward this objection: “India did not exist thousands of years ago as a state and did not have (its present-day) borders”, so we cannot describe an invasion “of India” in that remote period, nor perhaps talk of an “Indian” homeland. So until we can specify with documentary proof what exactly every place in the world was named in the remote period under discussion, every geographical statement by us about that period using present-day geographical terms becomes redundant and wrong! If we prove that the original homeland was within India, we are of course wrong because there was no “India” with “(its present-day) borders” at that time. Of course, when Fournet talks about “Southern Russia”, “Anatolia”, “Balkans”, and so on, all these territories existed since eternity with their “present-day” borders and names! Fournet further fine-hones his objection: “the concept of invasion, i.e. an instantaneous and conscious trespassing of an established state border, is absurd when dealing with Vedic times and the Antiquity (of whatever place)”. How innocent and idyllic! Fournet is of course, unaware that the recorded history of West Asia ─ even before the date of 1500 BCE postulated for the alleged Aryan invasion ─ is full of descriptions of established states (Egypt, Assyria, Persia, etc.) invading the territories of other established states. Or of the detailed descriptions in the Bible of the Jews coming from Egypt and invading established states in Palestine. And, certainly, of the fact that the Rigveda itself, in the description of the battle of the ten kings (which Fournet only encounters on the last page of my book), describes Sudas’ invasion of the established states of the Anus. The city-states of the Indus Valley, whatever their identity, were certainly “established states” before 1500 BCE, and it is their alleged invasion that the AIT definitely describes.Fournet uses the word “libel” to describe the use of the term AIT by the OIT writers; but indul......
The Identity of the Enemies of Sudās in the Dāśarājña Battle in the Rigveda...
Shrikant G Talageri
11 months ago
The Identity of the Enemies of Sudās in the Dāśarājña Battle in the RigvedaShrikant TalageriTo most people with a general knowledge of India and Hinduism, the most famous war or battle in ancient India is the Mahābhārata war described in India's Great National Epic of the same name.However, to people with a much deeper knowledge of Indian and Hindu history and texts, and to Indologists and Vedicists, there is another very important and moreancient battle in India's history: the Dāśarājña battle described or referred to in the seventh Maṇḍala (book) of the Rigveda: more specifically in VII.18 and 83, and also referred to in VII.19 and 33, and indirectly in VII.5 and 6.This battle has always been grossly misinterpreted by the Indologists to be a battle between invading "Aryans" and a coalition of "non-Aryan natives". But as has been clearly shown in my various books and articles, the battle was very clearly a battle between the Pūru Bharataking Sudās and his warriors on the one side, and a coalition of tribes mainly belonging to the Anu or Ānava tribal conglomerate on the other. These Anu tribes were the ancestors of the various Iraniantribes―and also of the Greeks, Armenians and Albanians―of latter-day history.This completely revolutionizes Indo-European history. As per the linguistic analysis, the twelve known branches of Indo-European languages were together in a contiguous area of mutual contact, in and around the Proto-Indo-European Homeland, till around 3000 BCE. The first branch to separate from the rest was the Anatolian (Hittite) branch. The next was the Tocharianbranch. Then the five European branches: Italic, Celtic, Germanic, Baltic and Slavic. Finally, five branches were left in the Homelandafter the departure of the other seven, and these five Last Branches―Albanian, Greek, Armenian, Iranian and IndoAryan―developed certain new linguistic features in common which are missing in the other earlier departed branches:a) A “complete restructuring of the entire inherited verbal system” (GAMKRELIDZE 1995:340-341,345), with the formation of athematic and thematic aorists, augmented forms and reduplicated presents.b) Oblique cases in *-bhi- (GAMKRELIDZE 1995:345).c) The prohibitive negation *mē (MEILLET 1908/1967:39).d) Also, some of these developed a change of *s > h from initial *s before a vowel, from intervocalic *s, and from some occurrences of *s before and after sonants, while *s remained before and after a stop (MEILLET 1908/1967:113): Greek, Armenian and Iranian.The official theory, not based on any records or other evidence but only based on speculations and arguments, holds that this Homeland was in the Steppes.But the recorded evidence of the Rigvedic hymns places all these fiveLast branches in the Punjab, on the banks of the Paruṣṇī (Ravi) river, at the time of the Dāśarājña battle.Obviously there is opposition to this evidence from the entrenched vested interests: i.e. the AIT-theorists. Therefore it is necessary to clarify it again in clear terms.We will examine the validity of this evidence as follows:I. The Evidence in the Dāśarājña hymns.II. The Doubts and the Objections.III. The yardsticks: Data, Logic and the Weight of the Evidence.IV. The Evidence Again.I. The Evidence in the Dāśarājña hymnsThe basic evidence, as given in my earlier books and articles, is as follows:Sudās, the Vedic (Indo-Aryan/Pūru) king enters the Punjab area from the east and fights this historical battle against a coalition of ten tribes (nine Anu tribes, and one tribe of the remnant Druhyu in the area), and later these tribes start migrating westwards.The Anu tribes (or the epithets used for them) named in the battle hymns are:VII.18.5 Śimyu.VII.18.6 Bhṛgu.VII.18.7 Paktha, Bhalāna, Alina, Śiva, Viṣāṇin.VII.83.1 Parśu/Parśava, Pṛthu/Pārthava, Dāsa.(Another Anu tribe in the Puranas and later tradition is the Madra).These tribal names are primarily found in only two hymns, VII.18 and VII.83, of the Rigveda, which refer to the Anu tribes who fought against Sudās in the dāśarājña battle or "the Battle of the Ten Kings". But see where these same tribal names are found in later historical times (after their exodus westwards referred to in VII.5.3 and VII.6.3). Incredibly, they are found dotted over an almost continuous geographical belt, the entire sweep of areas extending westwards from the Punjab (the battleground of the dāśarājña battle) right up to southern and eastern Europe:Iranian:Afghanistan (Avesta): Sairima(Śimyu), Dahi (Dāsa).NE Afghanistan: Nuristani/Piśācin(Viṣāṇin). Pakhtoonistan (NW Pakistan), South Afghanistan: Pakhtoon/Pashtu (Paktha).Baluchistan (SW Pakistan), SE Iran: Bolan/Baluchi (Bhalāna).NE Iran: Parthian/Parthava(Pṛthu/Pārthava).SW Iran: Parsua/Persian (Parśu/Parśava).NW Iran: Madai/Mede(Madra).Uzbekistan: Khiva/Khwarezmian (Śiva).W. Turkmenistan: Dahae (Dāsa).Ukraine, S. Russia: Alan (Alina), Sarmatian (Śimyu).Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian:Turkey: Phryge/Phrygian (Bhṛgu).Romania, Bulgaria: Dacian(Dāsa).Greek:Greece: Hellene (Alina).Albanian/Illyrian:Albania: Sirmio/Sirmium (Śimyu).The above named historical Iraniantribes (particularly the Alans and Sarmatians) include the ancestors of almost all other prominent historical and modern Iraniangroups not named above, such as the Scythians (Sakas), Ossetesand Kurds, and even the presently Slavic-language speaking (but formerly Iranian-language speaking) Serbs, Croats, Bulgariansand others.II. The Doubts and the ObjectionsMany people, not necessarily only those rejecting the evidence, have asked some questions about how these Rigvedic tribes have been identified with the Iranian-etc. tribes of latter-day. One reader of my article "The Full Out-of-India Case in Short" has very genuinely asked: "In the verse 7.83.1 you have identified the word 'pṛthuparśavo' as tribes (Pṛthu/Pārthava and Parśu/Parśava) but Griffith has translated this word as 'broad(pṛthu) axes(parśu)'. So how did you come to the conclusion that the word 'pṛthuparśavo' are names of some tribes and not broad axes?"Another, in the comment section of my above article, asked Koenraad Elst: "Do you agree with Shrikant Talageri that Hellene are descendant from the Rig Vedic Alina tribe?"It is possible that some readers may have genuine doubts or queries about these identifications, and, given the tendency among many Indian writers to freely indulge in such "identifications" based on chance or coincidental similarities in name, such questions are valid and must be clarified.But it must be borne in mind that this article is meant to clarify these identifications for people who are genuinely open-minded and want to know the Truth in these matters, and not for objectors of the heckle-and-troll variety. Those can never be "convinced" and there is no need to explain anything to such people, since they are not interested in the Truth and will only simply brush aside all the evidence, whatever evidence is put forward, without blinking an eyelid.There is the "Aesop's fable" about the wolf and the lamb:A lamb is drinking water at a mountain stream. A little further up the hill, a wolf, also drinking from the stream, notices the lamb and decides he wants to eat that lamb and tries to think of an excuse to do so. He loudly calls out to the lamb and asks him why he is muddying the water of the stream that he, the wolf, is drinking from. The lamb answers that he can't be muddying the water, since he is downstream and the wolf is upstream. In any case, says the wolf, aren't you the same lamb who was calling me all kinds of names from a distance about one year ago? The lamb answers that he cannot be, since he is new to the area and is only a few months old. The wolf snarls in rage and says, anyway, if it wasn't you, it was your father. And he pounces on the lamb and kills and eats him up.The people who refuse to accept the Rigvedic evidence that we are dealing with here, even after reading this article, are in the category of that wolf: they are not arguing because they really believe in something or have any genuine doubts or objections; they are arguing with a purpose in mind. Their purpose is to reject the evidence.Well, there is nothing that can be done about these wolves. This article is meant for intelligent and honest human beings.III. The yardsticks: Data, Logic and the Weight of the EvidenceSo how does one evaluate any evidence? There are three yardsticks: data, logic and the weight of the evidence. Another requirement is intelligence and honesty.To illustrate how such evidence can be understood, let me give one very hypothetical example. You are at a loose end, and you casually pick up a story-book in English that you see lying around, and start reading it, without paying much attention to the title or author. You read through 8-10 pages. The story is about a small boy named Boris, whose father is a carpenter in a village. The story begins with the boy being given some breakfast by his mother, and then he leaves for school. On the way he speaks to his neighbor, then he meets various friends also proceeding to the school. They stop on the way to buy sweets from a village shop and have some altercation with the grouchy shopkeeper. They then go on to school, and then follow some descriptions of the classes conducted by two or three schoolmasters. That is as far as you have reached, when you misplace the book somewhere outside the house and that is all you know about it: later you cannot find the book.A friend turns up and asks you what the book you were reading was about, and you tell him. He asks you where the story is situated: is the village, in the story, a Russian village or an English one?What you have read till now does not mention the country. But you have one immediate piece of data: the boy's name is Boris, which (you happen to know) is a Russian name. So the village, you logically feel, must be in Russia. It is a story of a Russian boy in a Russian village.But, persists the friend, it may just be a coincidence that the name sounds like a Russian name. And even if it is one, the boy may actually be in England. After all, the present PM of the UK is Boris Johnson. Also, there was an old and famous British actor named Boris Karloff. A little research shows that Boris Johnson was named Boris by his parents after a friend who was an immigrant from Russia. And Boris Karloff was a stage name adopted by the actor (1887-1969) borrowed from a novel which had a Russian character named Boris Karlov, and his actual name was William Henry Pratt. Nevertheless, the friend persists, there couldbe a boy in an English village named Boris, for whatever reason.However, racking your brain, you remember the names of the neighbor and the shopkeeper, and of some of the friends and schoolmasters of Boris, in the story―and they are all Russian names. Now logic dictates that this could only be in a Russian village and not in an English one.Why not, insists the friend? There are areas in England today filled with immigrants from some particular country even Indian neighbourhoods. This story could be situated in a Russian neighbourhood in England.You now realize that your friend is not really interested in knowing where the story is situated. He is just determined, for the heck of it or for reasons of his own, to make you "accept" that the location may not be in Russia and could be in England.Then you remember another point: the story mentions the year, if not the country, in which the story is supposed to be taking place: it is 1890 (although the actual book itself is a new one). Now it is extremely unlikely that there could have been a Russian neighbourhood in England in 1890.But, as expected, your friend refuses to accept this as any kind of evidence. He insists that since the data (so far as the 8-10 pages you have read and remember) does not actually mention the country, it could be either Russia or England. More likely England, since the book is in English and not Russian!!For a moment you are irritated: the data, the logic and the entire weight of the evidence makes it very clear that the story is located in Russia and not in England. Then you suddenly realize: why on earth are you even discussing the subject with that friend? Does it make the slightest difference to him? Can you "convince" him, or is it even at all necessary to "convince" him? Does it matter what he thinks, or claims or feigns to think? What a waste of time!! So you just give a tired and bored yawn, and firmly change the subject.[As an irrelevant aside, the phrase "bored yawn" was used by me in my second book, where I wrote: "Some academic scholars have sought to prove such a migration by asserting that the Rigveda itself was composed in the west: 'Brunnhofer, Hertel, Hüsing and others, argue that the scene of the Ṛgvedais laid, not in the Punjab, but in Afghānistān and Irān'. [HCIP, p.248]. However, this view is so absurd, and so clearly contrary to the geographical facts of the Rigveda, that it can be dismissed with a bored yawn.'' (TALAGERI:2000:343-44). In his cantankerous review of my book, "Westward Ho:…", Witzel took note of this phrase: "Occasionally, however, T. lapses into 'a bored yawn' (p.344)", which I found so funny that I have a soft corner for this phrase ever since].Well (to return to the issue on hand) , the entire weight of the evidencegives us the identity of the enemies of Sudās in the Dāśarājña battle in the Rigveda as Iranians-Armenians-Greeks-Albanians. There is no need to "convince" people of the type represented by the friend above. It would be an unbelievable waste of time to even try.But there is a need to present the weight of the evidence before more logical and honest questioners.IV. The Evidence Again1. So let us examine the weight of the evidence, starting with pṛthu-parśavahin VII.83.1: is it "the Pṛthus and the Parśus", meaning the names Pṛthu/Pārthava and Parśu/Parśava, literally "the Parthians and the Persians"? Or does it mean "with broad axes"? The thing is that this combined phrase, pṛthu-parśavah, is not found anywhere else, not only in the whole of the Rigveda, but in any subsequent text in the whole of Sanskrit literature, so clearly it is not a common idiomatic "phrase".And the word parśu does not mean "axe" at all: the word for "axe" in both the Rigveda (where it is found in 11 verses) and in later texts is paraśu, which is a different word altogether.Parśu, which is found exactly four times in the Rigveda, means "rib" in I.105.8 and X.33.2, and is the name of a person in VIII.6.46.The word in the sense of "rib" makes no real sense in the context of VII.83.1, but the Indologists do not want to create problems for themselves translating it as "the Pṛthus and the Parśus", literally "the Parthians and the Persians", so they either try to translate it clumsily as "holding some kind of broad (pṛthu) weapon or tool", or somehow treat the word as a reference to the "ribs" of the chest. So each translator makes up his own meaning (Sāyaṇa, obsessed with ritualistic translation, and ignorant of historical implications, treats it as the "ribs" of a horse, used for cutting the kusha grass for the sacrifice!):Griffith: "with broad axes".Peterson: "with broad axes".Wilson: "with large sickles".Grassmann: "with broad sabers" (i.e. swords).Sāyaṇa: "with the large rib-bones of a horse"Geldner: "with swollen chest".Jamison: "the broad-chested ones".However, as Griffith points out in the footnote to his translation of the verse, "Ludwig declares that the former meaning is perfectly impossible, and argues that pṛithu-parśavahmust mean 'the Pṛithus and the Parśus'".The clinching evidence that the phrase does indeed mean "the Pṛthus and the Parśus", apart from the fact that the combination of the two words is not found anywhere else, is that the first word Pṛthu (Pārthava) in VII.83.1 definitely refers to a tribe and not to the adjective "broad": the leader of the alliance against Sudās in the battle is Kavi Cāyamāna (VII.18.8), whose ancestor Abhyāvartin Cāyamāna is clearly called a Pārthava in VI.27.8.[Incidentally, like the phrase pṛthu-parśavah, the name Kavi Cāyamāna is also camouflaged in most translations, the notable exception being Wilson].But the evidence of "the Pṛthus and the Parśus", literally "the Parthians and the Persians", does not stand alone. Every next step produces additional, and more and more weighty, evidence that the enemies of Sudās in the battle were, to begin with, proto-Iranian tribes:2. The other tribes named in the hymn include the Pakthas and the Bhalānas (VII.18.7). Is there any doubt about who these two tribes are? The words here cannot be identified as anything else but the names of tribes, and they are too distinctive and peculiar to be identified as anything but references to the two Iranian groups found immediately to the west of the Punjab-Sind line in Pakistan today: the Pakhtoons/Pashtuns and the Bolans/Baluchis. Even Witzel, among many others, makes the very obvious identification of the Pakthas with the Pakhtoons(incidentally also identifying the word Parśu with Persians!) and of Bhalānas with the Bolan pass area in Baluchistan:"Parśu~ Old Pers. Pārsa 'Persian', Paktha 8.22.10 (mod. Pashto, Pakhto)" (WITZEL:1999a:24, 2000a:§11)."the Bhalānas tribe took part in the Ten Kings Battle (RV 7.18) that settled the suzerainty of the Bharata chieftain over the Panjab tribes. The Bhalānasare identified with the Bolān pass and river near Quetta in Baluchistan" (WITZEL:1999a:24).And again: "The southernmost tribe mentioned in the RV are the Bhalānastook part in the Ten Kings Battle (RV.7.18) and are certainly to be located near the Bolān pass and river near Quetta" (WITZEL:2000a:§11)So here we have, to begin with, four very prominent historical Iranian tribes whose ancestors were undoubtedly present as inhabitants of the Punjab at the time of the Dāśarājña battle: the Persians, Parthians, Pakhtoons, Baluchis.In 2001, after my second book, there was a desperate attempt by Witzel to do some firefighting with a broad sweeping and uncouth denial: "The eager efforts made by many Indian scholars of various backgrounds to rescue these lists as representing actual historical facts173"[fn.173: "The latest example is Talageri (1993, 2000) who builds a whole imaginative prehistory of South Asia on such 'data': with an early emigration of the Druhyu branch of the Aryans to Iran and Central Asia in the 5th millennium BCE, including such fantastic etymologies and identifications as Bhalānas = Baloch (who only appear on the scene after 1000 CE!), Bhṛgu = Phrygians, Madra = Mede (Māda), Druhyu = Druids, Alina + Hellenic people, Śimyu = Sirmio (Albanians), etc. -- these are Oakish cases where even Elst (1999: 192 sq.) does not always follow him"] (WITZEL:2001a:57).This diatribe above represents a classic example of the brazen and fraudulent nature of the western vested interests backing the AIT:a) See Witzel here superiorly telling us that the Baluchis "appear on the scene after 1000 CE" in sharp contradiction to his own identifications published just two years, and one year, earlier, and in fact even as early as 1995 (WITZEL:1995b). Note that Witzel earlier even specifically identified the Bhalānas as "Aryans": "the IA Bhalānas" (WITZEL 1999a:37).b) Needless to say, when there are four clear identifications of the enemy tribes of Sudās in the battle with four major Iranian people of later times, this determined "scepticism"―to the point of sharp criticism and rejection―of a whole other bunch of identifications which add to the weight of the evidence, is clearly nothing but outright chicanery and mendacity. All these are not names culled from different sources or from some long, late list of persons from some extended Puranic account or from the Epics. They are all names found in just four verses from two hymns out of the 1028 hymns and 10552 verses of the Rigveda, all these names pertaining to a single historical event.Note that while he summarily and sweepingly rejects as "Oakish cases" the massive evidence identifying the names of the tribes with the inescapably near-identical names (many identified even by himself) of latter-day Iranian and other Indo-European groups, he persists to this day in propagating the theory that the battle was a battle between invading "Aryans" represented by Sudās and native "non-Aryans" represented by the enemy tribes―in insolent defiance of the fact that he cannot produce any evidence at all, not even a single "Oakish case", showing that the names of the enemy tribes are Dravidian, Austric, Burushaski, Sino-Tibetan, Andamanese, Sumerian or Semitic, or anything else linguistically "non-Aryan".In fact, as recently as 2016, he published, in his Electronic Journal of Vedic Studies, an article by a "scholar" repeating such trash―see my article "Stuhrmann, Witzel and the Joke that is Western Indology".By his logic―and with there apparently being no need for him to produce evidence for his linguistic assertions and dissertations and for his very "imaginative prehistory of South Asia" (without any data)―he could well claim that the enemy tribes of Sudās were Japanese, Aztec, Inca, Eskimo, Maori, Papuan or Hottentot!3. Before moving on to the other tribes, it would be significant to see the leaders of the enemy coalition. The battle hymn tells us that the king of this coalition is Kavi Cāyamāna (VII.18.8), and the priest is Kavaṣa (VII.18.12).Both these names are Iranian names found in the Avesta: Kauui, Kauuaša.Taking this backward, we see that the ancestor of Kavi Cāyamāna, AbhyāvartinCāyamāna, is called a Pārthava in VI.27.8. Going forward, the main royal dynasty in the Avesta (after the Iranians have moved from the Punjab to Afghanistan) is the Kauuiiān (Kayanian) dynasty descended from their ancestral king Kauui. Still much later in time, it is the Parthians (Parthava) of ancient Iran who claim to be descended from this Kayanian dynasty.4. Going to the larger picture, we must note the collective identity of the enemies of Sudās in the battle: they are tribes belonging to the Anu or Ānavatribal conglomerate: the battle takes place on the Paruṣṇī river, and the hymn tells us that the land taken over by the Bharatas was the land of the Anu: "Indra at once with conquering might demolished all their strong places and their seven castles; the goods of Anu's son he gave to Tritsu" (i.e. to the Bharatas): VII.18.13. This point is also noted by P L Bhargava: "The fact that Indra is said to have given the possessions of the Anu king to the Tṛtsus in the battle of Paruṣṇī shows that the Anus dwelt on the banks of the Paruṣṇī" (BHARGAVA 1956/1971:130). The area, nevertheless, continues even after this to be the area of the Anu, who are again shown as inhabitants of the area even in the Late Books: "The Anu live on the Paruṣṇī in 8.74.15" (WITZEL 1995b:328, fn 51), and even in later historical times, where it is the area of the Madra and the Kekaya, who were Anu.Even apart from the Iranian names of the Anu tribes in the battle, there is more evidence that they were proto-Iranians: a) According to the accounts in the Puranas, the Anu were originally inhabitants of Kashmir and areas to its west before a large section of them migrated southwards and occupied almost the whole of the Punjab: these northern areas are even today the areas of the Nooristani languages which have proto-Iranianlinguistic features.b) The Puranas narrate this migration from the north: "One branch [of the Anu], headed by Uśīnara,established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab […] his famous son Śivi [Auśīnara] originated the Śivis [footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner" (PARGITER 1962:264).The name Auśīnarais an Iranian name found in the Avesta: Aošnara.c) In later historical times, the name Anuis prominently found at both the southern and northern ends of the area described in the Avesta: Greek texts (e.g. Stathmoi Parthikoi, 16, of Isidore of Charax) refer to the area and the people immediately north of the Hāmūn-ī Hilmand in southern Afghanistan as the anauon or anauoi; and Anau is the name of a prominent proto-Iranian or Iranian archaeological site in Central Asia (Turkmenistan).There is plenty of detailed evidence showing the Iranians migrated from India, but this massive evidence is connected with terms like dāsa, with the history of the priestly classes, and with geographical data in the Avesta, etc., so we will not detail it here, since here we are primarily concerned only with the identity of the enemies of Sudās. Whoever is interested can go through this evidence elsewhere (TALAGERI:2000:202-231; TALAGERI:2008:265-273).5. The names Alina and Śimyu as enemy tribes in the battle are very important. Like the pairs Pṛthu-Parśu and Paktha-Bhalāna, so important in Iranian history, the pair Alina-Śimyurepresents a pair of very important historical tribes which spread the furthestin later times: as far as South Russia and Ukraine in the north andas far as southeastern Europe in the south.The Alina and Śimyu spread furthest in the north as historical Iranian or Iranized groups―the Alans and Sarmatians―who are the ancestors not only of many later Iranian people like Ossetes, Kurds and Scythians (Shakas), but also many presently Slavic-speaking people like Serbs, Croats, Bulgarians and others.And Alina and Śimyu, the original groups, spread furthest in the south in even earlier times, and reached southeastern Europe with their original languages which became the Hellene (Greek) and Sirmio(Illyrian, modern Albanian) branches of Indo-European.Now, the objectors who say these identifications are far-fetched should note the following facts:a) If four of the names of the tribes in the Anu coalition who fought against Sudās in the battle can be so clearly and irrefutably identified with the names of four very prominent Iranian tribes of latter-day history (Persians, Parthians, Pakhtoons and Baluchis), then it becomes a matter of very special pleading to deny similar identifications of the other names, out of the few names mentioned in just four verses in two hymns referring to the battle, without investigation and serious consideration.b) The two names are very significant names since they are found only in the Rigveda, and are not found anywhere else in any Indian text or record after that.In fact, Alina is found only once, in the battle hymn in VII.18.7. Śimyu occurs twice in the Rigveda, and the two occurrences only strengthen the significance of the total disappearance of the name from later texts: it is found in VII.18.5 for the enemies of Sudās, and in I.100.18 for the enemies of Sudās' descendant Sahadeva (I.100.17) who has taken the expansion further westwards.c) The two words are clearly not part of the Vedic or Sanskrit vocabulary, not only because they are not found anywhere else, but also because the word Alinaat least is phonetically a non-Vedic word: the linguistic normal for Vedic and in fact for Vedic-Avestan (including Mitanni) words, is that the Indo-European "l" is represented by "r"―the Avesta, and the Mitanni records, in fact do not have the "l" sound at all, and its occurrence in the Rigveda is a result of influence from easterndialects, which are supposed to have retained the "l" in many words.[This, incidentally, is strong linguistic evidence for the OIT, see TALAGERI:2008:283-285].The names in the hymns are therefore clearly the self-appellations of the two Anu tribes (the proto-Greeks and proto-Albanians), and their exact phonetic forms in the Rigveda are the approximate forms of these self-appellations as pronounced by the speakers of the PūruVedic language. In spite of that, the identification is very clear: Vedic"a" represents Greek "a", "e" or "o", so the Rigvedic Alina could be a representation of a Greek Eline (note: the modern Greek pronunciation of their name Hellene is Elini-ka). Śimyuis certainly a representation of the ancient Albanian/Illyrianself-appellation Sirmio.d) These two words clearly leave a historical trail east-to-west from the Punjab to southeastern as well as eastern Europe, which would be too much of a coincidence if the strong similarity in names was purely accidental:Alina(Sanskrit equivalent of a Greek Eline) found in the battle hymn as the name of an Anu tribe in the Punjab. Later it is found as Hellene,the Greeks in southeastern Europe. Finally, as Alan, or Alani in Roman records, (which would be an Iranian equivalent of a Greek Eleni), an important Iraniantribe which migrated northwards and westwards towards eastern Europe.Śimyuis first found in the Old Book 7 in the Rigveda as the name of an enemy Anutribe in central Punjab, then in the New Book 1 as the same enemy tribe now in Afghanistan (in the area beyond the Sarayu river). Then it is found in the Avesta in Afghanistan as Sairima. Then it is found as Sirmio, the ancient Illyrians/Albanians in southeastern Europe―the capital city of the Illyrians was Sirmium. Finally, as the Sarmatians―Iranian Sarmaha, or Sarmatae in Roman records, an important Iraniantribe which migrated northwards and westwards towards Ukraine. Too much of a "coincidence" if the similar words refer to differentpeople. The Alina who migrated furthest retained their Greek name and language (Hellene), while those among them who settled down on the way got linguistically absorbed into the Iranian branch (Alan).We also see here an important historical phenomenon: the tribal group which migrates furthest retains its linguistic identity, while those of that tribe who remain behind, or on the way, get absorbed into the surrounding linguistic group:The Śimyu who migrated furthest retained their Albanian identity and language (Sirmio), while those among them who settled down on the way got linguistically absorbed into the Iranian branch (Avestan Sairima, later Sarmaha).We will see this phenomenon similarly repeated in the case of two more names.6. Next we see the name Bhṛgu mentioned as the name of one of the enemy groups in the battle hymn, which can be identified with the Phrygians or Phryge, the ancient representatives of the Armenian branch of IE languages.As we saw earlier, Witzel treats this identification also as an "Oakish case". Here he clearly seems to reject linguistically confirmedidentifications: that Vedic bhṛgu = Greek phleguai = Phrygian phrygeis an accepted linguistic case. In fact, this identification, even without the help of modern Linguistics, was made as long ago as in the ancient Greek records of Herodotus. The Wikipedia entry on an ancient tribe called Brygestells us: "The earliest mentions of the Bryges are contained in the historical writings of Herodotus, who relates them to Phrygians, stating that according to the Macedonians, the Bryges 'changed their name' to Phryges after migrating into Anatolia".Again we see: the Bhṛgu who migrated furthest retained their Thraco-Phrygian/Armenian name and language (Phryge), while those among them who settled down on the way got linguistically absorbed into the Iranian branch (as their priestly class the Āθrauuan), and those who remained behind got linguistically absorbed into the Indo-Aryan branch (as the priestly class of Bhṛgu). The Armenians, in the Caucasus area, lost the name, but retained the original language much influenced by Iranian.7. Now we have a strong set of sevennames of enemy tribes from the battle definitely covering nine historical Iranian-Armenian-Greek-Albanian tribes: Persians, Parthians, Pakhtoons, Baluchis, Alans (and Hellenes), Sarmatians (and Sirmios), and Phrygians. It would be churlish to still be too "sceptical" of the identifications. The following are two such cases:Two more tribes in the list are Śivaand Viṣāṇin, both named in VII.18.7. [No, they are not Śivaand Viṣṇu! The context is clearly of enemy Iranian tribes].About Śiva, we already saw Pargiter's reference to this tribe: "One branch [of the Anu], headed by Uśīnara, established several kingdoms on the eastern border of the Punjab[…] his famous son Śivi [Auśīnara] originated the Śivis[footnote: called Śivas in Rigveda VII.18.7] in Śivapura, and extending his conquests westwards […] occupying the whole of the Punjab except the northwestern corner"(PARGITER 1962:264).Curiously, Witzel also notes this connection with Śivi: "Śiva (= Śibi?)" (WITZEL:1995b).This Anu tribe of the Śivascan easily be identified with the Khivas or Khwarezmians of latter day Uzbekistan.That leaves Viṣāṇin. I identified this tribe, admittedly speculatively, in my books with the Nooristanior Piśāca people: the proto-Iranians of the north. Witzel, in his review of the second book, put it as: "the Viṣāṇin, identified, for no good reason at all, with the 'Piśācas (Dards)". My logic for the identification was that p and v are sometimes interchangeable in the Rigveda (paṇi=vaṇi), and the final n could become cin later times (bolan=baluch), so viṣāṇ could be piśāc.This is admittedly speculative logic, and this last named word could be rejected as a mere, and non-justifiable, speculation, made just to round off the list. So I will not add this name in the list at the end of this article.8. Now we come to a word which is regularly used in the battle hymn for the enemies of Sudās: dāsa.This word is used in the Rigveda to refer to all non-Pūru people, but specifically to the Anu or proto-Iranians. This is proved by the fact that while the word is used in an inimical or hostile sense throughout the Rigveda, it is used in a good sense in threehymns: in VIII.5.31 (where the Aśvins are depicted as accepting the offerings of the dāsas), VIII.46.32 (where the patrons are directly called dāsas) and VIII.51.9 (where Indra is described as belonging to both āryas and dāsas). These three hymns belong to a special group of four hymns in the Rigveda, where (in three of them) the patrons gift camels to the composers of the hymn, and (in three of them) western Indologists (including Witzel) have identified the patrons as being kings with Iraniannames.Also, daha means "man" in the Iranian Khotanese languageFurther, the Avesta has names with both dāsa and the related dasyu: Dāoŋha, Daŋhu.frādah, Daŋhu.srūta, Ātərədaŋhu, Jarō.daŋhu, Ərəzauuaṇt-daŋhзuš.But, as in many such cases, dāsacould also be the name of a particular Iranian tribe (perhaps in fact, the ancestors of the Khotanese, known as the eastern Sakas).In any case, we find a trail of this tribal name also spreading westwards: the Dahi in Afghanistan in the Avesta, and later the Dahae in W. Turkmenistan. And also the Thraco-PhrygianDacians in southern parts of eastern Europe.9. And finally, back to a very important Anu tribe which happens to be not mentioned in the Rigvedic battle hymn: the Madra.Although not mentioned in the battle hymn, they are a very important tribe in Indian history: in fact, in the Puranic accounts, the two most important Anu tribes of ancient Punjab are the Madraand Kekaya. Obviously this is the post- Dāśarājña-battle ancient Punjab known to the Puranas and Epics―the Anu tribes of the battle, no doubt, are better known, as we saw, for their roles in world history after their departure from India. But anyone who knows the Epics knows the Madraand the Kekaya, and also the Gāndhār further west. Though they are Anu, they are Indo-Aryanized Anu of the area long after the battle (which took place in the period of the Oldest Books―6, 3, and 7―of the Rigveda, well before 2500 BCE). At the same time, though Indo-Aryanized, they remain perhaps in many ways rivals of the eastern Pūru. In my third book, I have pointed this out in some detail (TALAGERI:2008:105-6).But, though not mentioned in the battle hymns in the Rigveda, the ancestors of these two tribes must obviously have been part of the Anu population, and perhaps the alliance against Sudās as well, and some of them may have formed part of the westward movement of the Anu Iranians out of India. We have no evidence of this in respect of the Kekaya (even if the name may remind the reader of some Parsi friend named Keki, short for Kaikhushroo), but we do have evidence of a very important Iranian tribe outside India: the Mada (Medes or Medians).Again, we see the phenomenon, of the Madra who migrated furthest retaining their Iranian name and dialect (Mada/Mede/Median), while those who remained behind got linguistically absorbed into the Indo-Aryan branch (Madra) while retaining their tribal identity as Anu.So this is the full case for the proto-Iranian-Armenian-Greek-Albanianidentity of the enemies of Sudās in the Dāśarājña Battle in the Rigveda.It may be noted again that:1. This evidence (except for the name of the Madra) is based wholly on names mentioned in just four verses in two hymns out of the 1028 hymns and 10552 verses in the Rigveda, and all pertain to one singleevent.2. The identity of these names is unwittingly backed, in a large number of cases, even by western scholars opposed to the OIT (like Witzel), as we have seen. And the historical Iranian tribes and other (Armenian-Greek-Albanian) people with these names are found in later historical times in a continuous belt covering all the areas from the Punjab (the scene of the battle) to southeastern and eastern Europe:Afghanistan: [Avesta: Sairima, Dahi] (and NW Pakistan): Pakhtoon.Iran: SE (and SW Pakistan): Baluchi, NE: Parthian, SW: Persian, NW: Mede.Uzbekistan: Khiva.Turkmenistan: Dahae.Turkey: Phrygian.Greece: Hellene.Albania, Slovenia: Sirmio.Romania, Bulgaria: Dacian.Ukraine, S. Russia: Alan, Sarmatian.3. The names correspond to the names of ancient tribes or people belonging to exactly those fourbranches―Iranian, Armenian, Greek, Albanian―of Indo-European languages which, according to the linguistic analysis, were (along with Indo-Aryan) together in the IE Homeland after the departure of the other seven branches.Can all these be "coincidences" or "Oakish cases"?Should one accept all this massive evidence, or simply accept, without any evidence at all, that the enemies of Sudās in the battle were Dravidian, Austric, Burushaski, Sino-Tibetan, Andamanese, Sumerian or Semitic, or anything else linguistically "non-Aryan"? Perhaps, Japanese, Aztec, Inca, Eskimo, Maori, Papuan or Hottentot? Appendix: The Eastern Front (added 22/4/2020)As the title of the article makes clear, it deals with the enemies of Sudās in the Dāśarājña battle. However, Dr Kalyanaraman has raised the point that the article is incomplete if it does not deal with all the names of the enemies of Sudās as given in the battle hymn VII.18. He is right: I am selectively dealing with the OIT aspect of the Dāśarājña battle, but since the main hymn dealing with this event is the battle hymn VII.18, it is necessary to deal with the hymn as a whole as well―and this includes other battles and other names in this hymn .. The battle hymn VII.18 does contain some more names of the enemies of Sudās, both by tribe and by personal name:VII.18.6: Turvaṣa, Yakṣu, Matsya.VII.18.11: Vaikarṇa.VII.18.18: Bheda.VII,18.19: Bheda, Aja, Śigru, Yakṣu.VII.18.20: Devaka Manyamāna.Who were these persons (Bheda, Devaka Manyamāna) and tribes (Vaikarṇa, Aja, Śigru, Yakṣu, Matsya, Turvaṣa) and what was their role in the battles of Sudās?As we know from the Rigveda, Sudās' campaign of expansion and conquest starts in Book 3, where he performs a yajña and lets the horse loose and starts conquering "east, west and north" (III.53.11) under Viśvāmitra's priesthood. The yajña was in the Haryana homeland of Sudās, and he first (under Viśvāmitra) conquers eastwards in the region of the Yamuna.Later, under Vasiṣṭha's priesthood, Sudās moves in the westward direction, towards the Punjab, and fights the Dāśarājña battle on the banks of the Paruṣṇī (Ravi) in central Punjab.The battle hymn VII.18 is composed after Sudās completes all his conquests and the dust has settled down, by the Vasiṣṭhas, who receive gifts from Sudās (at the end of the hymn), and the hymn refers to all the battles of Sudās in a glorificatory summarization of his valour.These other names in the hymn, which we have not dealt with earlier, pertain largely to his earlier eastern battles on the Yamuna. It may be noted that these names are distinctly different from the earlier names, and cannot be similarly identified with Iranian and other tribes. And they all clearly represent the east:Thus VII.18.19 clearly tells us that the battles involving Bheda, Aja, Śigru and Yakṣu took place on the Yamunā. The previous verse, 18, again refers to Bheda, and the next verse, 20, to DevakaManyamāna. All these are clearly earlier and eastern battles.VII.18.6 refers again to the same Yakṣu, thus making it clear that this verse also refers to the earlier eastern battle. This is confirmed by the other two names in the verse: Turvaṣa and Matsya:Turvaṣa and Yaduare the two great tribes (of the Five Tribes, or tribal conglomerates) to the south of the Yamuna, and this clearly shows that at least the Turvaṣaare directly named among the enemies of Sudās in the eastern battle.Significantly, the name Yakṣu in the hymn is very regularly identified by Witzel, in practically every article of his, with the Yadu. In one place, he tells us: "Yakṣu 'sacrificer'―a pun for Yadu" (WITZEL:1995b).Matsya is extremelyimportant: the Matsya kingdom is one of the sixteen Mahajanapadas described in texts referring to the pre-Buddhist era, and it was located to the southwest of the Yamuna, south of Haryana. This analysis of the eastern enemies of Sudās in the Yamuna battle proves that it was already in existence in the time of the Old Books of the Rigveda!That leaves only the Vaikarṇa, mentioned alone (in fact as the name of two allied tribes) in VII.18.11. It is not certain whether this tribe fought in the eastern battle or the western one, but it occurs among the western verses. For what it is worth, it may be noted that Witzel frequently associates this word with Vaēkərəta, the Iranian land mentioned in the Avesta: "Vaikarṇa (cf. Vaēkərəta V.1.19)" (WITZEL:1999b). And again "the caturgaoša in Avestan: v.i" (WITZEL:1995b).If correct, we have here one more Iranian connection. Actually, there is one final word left to be explained to round off the whole hymn: the word Pūru, referred to critically in VII.18.13. This is notable, since it is known that Sudās and the Bharatas (also called Tṛtsus in this hymn―although, since the word is used only by the Vasiṣṭhas and onlyin three of the hymns which refer to this battle, i.e. in VII.18,33,83, it is assumed by some people to be a reference to the Vasiṣṭhas themselves) are themselves a sub-tribe of the Pūru.So what exactly is this critical reference to the Pūru? What does it indicate?As pointed out repeatedly and in great detail in my books and articles, the Pūru are the Vedic "Aryans", the "People of the Book" in the Rigveda, and the Bharata (to which Divodāsa and Sudās belong) are a sub-tribe of the Pūru, but the Bharata Pūruare the particular "People of the Book" in the earlier period of the Family Books (2-7) before the Rigveda became a general Pūrubook.The Rigveda therefore refers to the Pūru(meaning particularly the Bharata Pūru) throughout the Rigveda in a benevolent and first-person sense. But in two cases, where there is some conflict or difference of interest between the Bharata Pūruand the other or non-Bharata Pūru, to whom the word then refers, the references are critical: VII.8.4 and VII.18.13. One of the two references is in the battle hymn.Does this mean that the non-Bharata Pūru were also among the enemies of Sudās in the battle, as many scholars interpret? It is not impossible that this should be the case at least in the earlier eastern phase of the campaign, since it is clear that Sudās was an ambitious conqueror, and we have the numerous references to "āryaand dāsa enemies" and "kinsmen and non-kinsmenenemies", and finally Viśvāmitra's hymn in Book III which refers to the eastwardbeginnings of Sudās' campaign and explicitly tells us (III.53.24) that the Bharatas, when they set out to do battle or conquest, do not differentiate between kinsmen and non-kinsmen.But, apart from that, there is no direct reference to the Pūru in references to the eastern battle. They are mentioned in the battle hymn in the verse which talks about the Tṛtsus(i.e. Sudās and the Bharatas) taking over the lands and properties of the Anu.However, in the Dāśarājñabattle hymn (VII.18.13), which is westward oriented―in the direction opposite to the eastern Pūru―it is not likely that these Pūru could be directly involved.And indeed, the reference is so vague (since it refers to the Pūru as "scornful" and talks of defeating them "in sacrifice" rather than in actual battle) that it can lead to different interpretations:1. Many scholars sweepingly include them among Sudās' enemies in the Dāśarājña battle which is clearly extremely unlikely, although this could be modified to take this as a reference to the earlier eastern battle.2. In my books, I have suggested that the Pūru may have "scornfully" refused to align with the Bharatas in their westward campaign, and hence were expressly snubbed in the victory yajña. 3. Some others―Jamison, Stuhrmann, etc.―treat them as allies of the Bharatas, and the verse in question as a dispute over the "spoils".[IMPORTANT ADDITION 24/4/2020: As I never paid attention to the eastern battles, beyond noting that they had taken place, in my earlier books and articles, until I started out on this appendix to this article two days ago, let me make note of a fact that I found out today; the Matsya referred to in the eastern Yamuna battle in VII.18.6 along with the Turvaṣa and Yakṣu(=Yadu) are also a branch of the eastern Pūru, so it could well be that at least this section of the eastern Pūru counted among his enemies in the eastern expansions of Sudās]. In any case, the exact role of the other non-Bharata Pūru in the hymn and battle does not change the main historical consequence of the war: the westward emigration of the Iranian, Armenian, Greekand Albanian ancestral speakers. BIBLIOGRAPHY:BHARGAVA 1956/1971: India in the Vedic Age: A History of Aryan Expansion in India. Upper India Publishing House Pvt. Ltd. Lucknow, 1956.GAMKRELIDZE 1995: Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans: A Reconstruction and Historical Analysis of a Proto-Language and a Proto-Culture. Gamkrelidze, Thomas V. and Ivanov, V.V. Mouton de Gruyter, 1995, Berlin, New York.MEILLET 1908/1967: The Indo-European Dialects. Meillet Antoine (tr. Samuel N. Rosenberg). Alabama Linguistic and Philological Series No. 15, University of Alabama Press, 1967.PARGITER 1962: Ancient Indian Historical Tradition. Pargiter F.E. Motilal Banarsidas, Delhi-Varanasi-Patna, 1962.TALAGERI 2000: The Rigveda: A Historical Analysis. Aditya Prakashan (New Delhi), 2000.TALAGERI:2008: The Rigveda and the Avesta: The Final Evidence. Aditya Prakashan (New Delhi), 2008.WITZEL 1995b: Rgvedic History: Poets, Chieftains and Politics. Witzel, Michael. pp. 307-352 in “The Indo-Aryans of Ancient South Asia”, ed. by George Erdosy. Walter de Gruyter. Berlin.WITZEL: 1999a: Early Sources for South Asian Substrate Languages. Witzel, Michael. in MOTHER TONGUE, Special Issue, 1999.WITZEL 1999b: Aryan and non-Aryan Names in Vedic India. Data for the Linguistic Situation, c.1900-500 B.C. Witzel, Michael, 1999, Harvard.WITZEL 2000a: The Languages of Harappa. Witzel, Michael. Feb. 17, 2000.WITZEL 2001b:WESTWARD HO! The Incredible Wanderlust of the Rgvedic Tribes Exposed by S. Talageri, at http://users.primushost.com/~india/ejvs/ejvs0702/ejvs0702a.txt......
A Concise Guide to Writing Fiction Set in the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic Period 2600-1700 BCE...
Shrikant G Talageri
1 year ago
[A few words about this article:1. It has been published on the IndicToday site very recently.2. Two parts of it, pertaining to Dravidians, have already been put up on my blogspot recently.3. It has two purposes: firstly, to provide background data for anyone writing fiction set in the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic period 2600-1700 BCE, and secondly, even otherwise to present an overall picture introducing the reader to the historical scenario in India during that period] Any fiction set in the Mature Harappan period (that is, the period of composition of the New Rigveda) must keep in mind various relevant factors. Before going into those factors, the prehistory of this period, as per the myths recorded in the Puranas, must be kept in mind:The beginnings of Indian history, according to traditional information in the Puranas, begins with a reference to the first king Manu Vaivasvata who ruled over the whole of India, and he was succeeded by his ten sons, who subsequently ruled over the different parts of India. These ten sons, according to the Puranas, were Sudyumna, lkṣvāku, Prāṁṣu, Śaryāti, Dhṛṣṭa, Karuṣa, Nariṣyanta, Pṛṣadhra, Nābhāga and Nabhagodiṣṭa, and these as per the Puranic traditions, were the ancestral figures for the inhabitants of the different parts of the whole of India.The actual Puranic data concentrates on the history of the descendants of only twoof the reportedly ten sons of Manu: Ikṣvāku (whose descendants are referred to as Aikṣvāku or Ikṣvāku) and Sudyumna (who, on the basis of a mythical story in which, due to a curse, he becomes a woman and then is again reconverted into a man, is also given the masculine name Iḷa and the feminine name Iḷā , and his descendants are consequently referred to as Aiḷa or Iḷa).The history of the descendants of the other eight sons is not recorded or discernible from the accounts.The Aiḷas are treated in myth and tradition as members of the Lunar race, and the Ikṣvākus as members of the Solar race.The Ikṣvākus are located in the eastern half of the northern area: in present-day terms, in eastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.The Aiḷas, who form the central focus of the Puranic accounts, are located to the westand south of the Ikṣvākus. However, even here, the Puranic accounts are more-or-less ambiguous (or confused) about the history of the entire Aiḷa lineage, and only concentrate on the history of descendants who are mythically identified as descended from the five sons of an Aiḷa king named Yayāti: Yadu and Turvasu/Turvaṣa, sons by his wife Devayānī , and Druhyu, Anu and Pūru, sons by his wife Śarmiṣṭhā. These are located as follows:a) To begin with, the Pūrus are located in the Central areas around Kurukṣetra, (Haryana and western Uttar Pradesh), the Anus to their north (Kashmir and the areas to their immediate west in northernmost parts of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan), the Druhyus to the west (present-day northern and central Pakistan), the Yadus to their south (Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra) and the Turvasus (to the east of the Yadus).b) A series of battles in the pre-Rigvedic period leads to a realignment in the northwest: the Druhyus are pushed further out into Afghanistan, while a major section of the Anus expands southwards and occupies the major part of the former areas of the Druhyus.c) The dāśarājña battle in the period of the Old Rigveda leads to a further realignment: the Pūrus expand westwards into the same (northern and central Pakistan) areas and a major section of the Anus expands outwards into Afganistan leading to a further northwards push to the Druhyus who spill out into Central Asia.The end result is that by the time of the New Rigveda, which is the period archaeologically referred to as the Mature Harappan period, we find the following situation in India in 2600-1700 BCE:I. The Mature Harappan Civilization and its Neighbors.1. The Mature Harappan civilization is spread out over the whole area of the Rigveda (from westernmost Uttar Pradesh and Haryana to Afghanistan), whose components are sections of three tribes with possibly the last remnants of a fourthone:a) the central Pūrus in the eastern parts (mainly Haryana and eastern Punjab),b) the eastern Anus and western Pūrus in the western parts (most of northern Pakistan), andc) the western Yadus in the southern parts (Gujarat, Sind) along withd) the last remnants of the Druhyus in the westernmost border areas.They had all developed together as a composite more-or-less Pūru-ized "Indo-Iranian" civilization.To their north, in the original Puranic area of the Anus, we still find the northernAnus, the ancestors of the Nuristani and Dardic people. 2. To the west of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic areas, we have:a) the central Anus in the major part of Afghanistan (with remnants of Druhyus still in their midst) who had developed into the proto-Iranian, or pre-Avestan and Avestan, civilization.b) other sections of western Anus further west expanding westwards into Iran: the ancestors of the proto-Armenian, proto-Greek and proto-Albanian speakers later to migrate westwards towards southeastern Europe. They were followed by other sections of the central Anus (proto-Iranian tribes, who spread westwards and northwestwards), and also a section of westernPūrus (the proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryans). 3. To the north in Central Asia, we have the Druhyu people, including:a) the Uttara-Madras in the west (the proto-Hittites, with sections of them migrating westwards towards the Caspian Sea in their historical movement towards Anatolia),b) the Uttara-Kurus in the east (the proto-Tocharians, who remained in the region till they became extinct a thousand or so years ago), and, between the two,c) remnants of the other Druhyus (ancestral speakers of the proto-Italic, proto-Celtic, proto-Germanic, proto-Baltic and proto-Slavic languages), the main body of whom were already migrating westwards through northern Eurasia on their way towards eastern Europe.The migrating Druhyus were also accompanied or followed by small sections of Anus and Pūrus who carried Iranian and Indo-Aryan linguistic elements into the Uralic areas (leaving traces of their ancient presence in the present-day Finno-Ugric languages).4. To the east of the "Indo-Iranian" Harappans within India, were the eastern Pūrus in the major part of western and central Uttar Pradesh. They extended eastwards in the southern parts of Uttar Pradesh perhaps as far as Kashi in the latest parts of the New Rigvedic period. But their culture had evolved differently from the Harappan culture, and was more akin to the culture of the Ikṣvāku culture to their north and east: in northeastern Uttar Pradesh and Bihar.5. To the south of these northern areas were the areas of the Yadus and, to their east, of the Turvasus: in Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh-Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat and northern Maharashtra.6. To the east of these areas, in Jharkhand, Orissa and Bengal and further east (greater Assam) were the areas of the speakers of the Austric languages.7. To the south, in southern Maharashtra, Karnataka, Telangana-Andhra Pradesh, Tamilnadu and Kerala, were the speakers of the Dravidian languages.8. In the border-areas of India - the Land of the Descendants of Manu - there were three more linguistic groups: the Andamanese people in the Andaman Islands, the Burushaski people in the areas of the northern Anus (in Gilgit in POK), and the Sino-Tibetan speakers in Ladakh, Tibet and the Himalayas. 9. Far out in the west outside the Indian sphere, the Mesopotamians (Sumerians, Akkadians) were having trade relations with the people of the Mature Harappan civilization, and Indus seals have been found at Akkadian sites from 2600 BCE onwards.This is the picture of ancient India, which, during the Mature Harappan period (= the New Rigvedic period) already had a tradition (long before latter-dayPersians and Greeks called them "Hindus") of a unique composite identity as the descendants of a common ancestor to whom the Puranas at least give the name "Manu".II. Hinduism.The Hindu religion is an amalgam of the religious features of all the different parts of India, not all of which are derived from the Vedas or the Vedic religion (which was only the religion of the first three northwestern areas named above):1. This northwestern religion is represented in the religion of the Anus (as in Iranian Zoroastrianism), the Druhyus (as in the Druidic religion of the Celts, and the Romuvan religion of the Lithuanians) and the Vedic texts of the Pūrus; and consisted of (a) worship of the elements, (b) the performance of fire-sacrifices, and (c) the composition and recitation of hymns.[Being more systematically organized, and having developed a unique and unparalleled technique of recording its sacred hymns by a mnemonic system known as the ghaṇa-pāṭha, this Pūru religion spread all over the rest of India in the next few millennia, absorbing, and in fact losing itself in, the diverse religions of the other "descendants of Manu", leading to the formation of modern-day Hinduism: the Parliament of all the religions of all the Descendants of Manu].2. The religion of the Yadus to their south in particular was more naturalistic, and consisted of the worship of mountains (e.g. govardhan parvata), forests and groves, trees and animals, etc. This was probably a basic feature of the kind of religion which prevailed over most of the rest of India, especially the areas of the easternPūrus.3. The religion of the Ikṣvākus to the east was more deep or spiritual, based on intuition, thought, logic and debate, and it is in their regions that we find the seeds of most of the philosophical and spiritual aspects of present-day Hinduism, including the Upaniṣads, Buddhism, Jainism, and even materialistic philosophies like the Cārvāka.4. The areas of the Austric speaking people to the east contributed much of present-day Tantric rites and beliefs, and perhaps even the concept of reincarnation.5. The areas of the Dravidian speaking people to the south (with perhaps some inputs from the Austric speakers of the east) contributed what is today the most central aspect of Hinduism: idol-worship, with all its accompanying features.To understand the centrality of idol-worship in Hinduism, note that this includes all the following features:1. The worship of consecrated idols, whether of:a) The lingam,b) "Rude blocks of stone" with eyes painted on them, orc) Roughly, or finely, carved, or cast, images of stone, metal or some other material. 2. The most popular Hindu deities in every single part of India, including Ayyappa of Kerala, Murugan of Tamilnadu, Balaji of Andhra, Vitthala (originally) of Karnataka (=Vithoba of Maharashtra), Khandoba of Maharashtra, Jagannatha of Orissa, etc., or the myriad forms of the Mother Goddess, with thousands of names, in every nook and corner of India. Also every single local (originally tribal) God and Goddess in every remote corner of India, in the form of the kuladevatās, the gṛhadevatās or the grāmadevatās of local tribes and communities.[In time, of course, myths were formed nominally associating many of these deities with one or the other of the main Gods and Goddesses of Puranic Hinduism as their manifestations, these Puranic Gods themselves being additions from different parts of India to the Hindu pantheon (or originally Vedic Gods like Vishnu and Rudra with basic characteristics adopted from the other local and tribal deities). But these associations were not an imposition “from above”, they were the result of popular local myth-making and part of the consolidation of the national popularization of the local deities: the deities mostly retained their local names, forms, myths, and special rituals and customs, and became all-India deities, objects of pilgrimages from distant areas].3.The entire process of idol-worship:a) Treating the idols as living beings: bathing, dressing and feeding them, putting them to sleep, etc.b) Performing pūjā by offering flowers (the word, which first appears indirectly in a very late interpolated verse in the Rigveda, is derived from the Dravidian pū or "flower"), water, milk, bananas and other fruits, coconuts, clothes and ornaments to the idols.c) Performing āratī by waving lights in front of the idols, and ringing bells;d) Singing with cymbals, and performing music and dance before the idols;e) Partaking of prasāda, of food offered to the idols.4. The entire system of idol-temples and pilgrim-centres, with sacred tanks and bathing-ghats, and of temples, and temple-festivals with palanquins and chariot-processions.Other vital aspects of Hinduism which are missing in the Vedic religion, but were adopted from the other Descendants of Manu, are:1. The use of ash, kumkuma, sandalpaste, turmeric, etc. for smearing or anointing on the idols, and/or on the foreheads of worshipper. From this follow two very fundamental outward symbols of Hinduism today:a) The tilak marks (of whatever material) on the forehead.b) The sacred saffron colour, and, by implication, also the saffron flag. 2. The idea of soul, and the concept of transmigration of souls, and rebirth. [This concept forms a very fundamental aspect of Hindu philosophy, and is the one concept accepted by all the schools of Hindu philosophy including the Buddhist and the Jain (only excepting the cārvāka and other nāstika schools of thought)]. 3. The enumeration of the days by the phases of the moon, the tithis. [The importance of the pañcāṅga (the annual calendar based on the tithis) in ritualistic Hinduism can never be underestimated]. 4. Zoomorphic aspects of Hinduism:a) The worship of certain animals, birds and reptiles. b) The concept of God coming down to earth in the form of zoomorphic avatāras (Narasiṁha, Kūrma, Matsya, Varāha); and, incidentally, even the very concept of God coming down to earth in the form of avatāras.c) The concept of every God and Goddess having a "vehicle" or some special animal or bird (Viṣṇu's Garūḍa, Gaṇeśa's mouse, Kārtikeya's peacock, Śiva's bull, Durgā's lion, etc). 5. A host of concepts, and socio-religious rituals, rites, superstitions and taboos (for example, the concept of the "evil eye" and rituals for its removal, or taboos against cutting nails at night, or beliefs in different types of spirits and demons) and important ethical concepts (vegetarianism, adopted from the Jain traditions of a section of the eastern Ikṣvākus). 6. Several sacred cities, rivers, mountains, lakes and tanks, located all over India outside the Vedic area, and ancient myths and legends associated with them (often adapted to Puranic mythology).7. A very wide range of materia botanica (coconuts, bananas, rice, sandalwood, turmeric, etc.) used in Hindu worship, native to the non-Vedic parts of the country and not referred to in Rigvedic rituals.NOTE: This spread of the Vedic religion from Haryana to the rest of India was no different from the spread in later times of Buddhism and Jainism from Bihar to the rest of India, and had no elements of "invasion" or "imposition" in it: all these three are component members of modern-day Hinduism. If anything, there was a very much higher degree of acceptance and absorption of religious rituals, concepts, Gods and philosophies in the spread of the Vedic religion. We must keep in mind that except for the Vedic hymns and yajñas, and the Vedic/Sanskrit language, there is little of the Pūru Vedic religion in present-day Hinduism, except as an invisible umbrella layer covering all the different aspects of Hinduism Category One. And even the Vedic rituals are performed in originally non-Pūru religious contexts: in temples and in the worship of idols, all of which were acquired from the Dravidian speakers of the South, and which, as we saw, have today a much more central and dominant role in Hinduism than the original Vedic religious contexts.What do I mean, above, by Hinduism Category One? As I put it at the very start of my article on "Are Indian Tribals Hindus?":"According to the Constitution of India, laws framed for Hindus apply to the following three categories of people:(a) to any person who is a Hindu by religion in any of its forms and developments, including a Virashaiva, a Lingayat or a follower of the Brahmo, Prarthana or Arya Samaj, (b) to any person who is a Buddhist, Jain or Sikh by religion, and (c) to any other person domiciled in the territories to which this Act extends who is not a Muslim, Christian, Parsi or Jew by religion.Thus, according to the constitution, every citizen of India, except a Muslim, a Christian, a Parsi or a Jew, is legally a Hindu. The constitution draws a distinction between three categories of legal Hindus:(a) Hindus Category One(consisting of all those who can still be categorised as full-fledged Hindus within the Hindu religious fold, including members of sects having antecedents traceable to mainline Hindu religious texts or individuals),(b) Hindus Category Two(consisting of members of the three sects, namely Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, founded by Hindu individuals, which originated as sects within the Hindu religious fold, but, in the course of history, came to acquire a more distinctive religious identity), and(c) Hindus Category Three(consisting of members of indigenous religious groups native to India, not founded by any particular individual, following ancestral forms of belief or worship not specifically having antecedents traceable to mainline Hindu religious texts or sects).[Hinduism is a Parliament of all the three categories]The people who are outside this purview themselves belong to two categories:(a) ex-Hindus, i.e. Muslims and Christians, who, by and large, are converts from the Hindu fold, and(b) non-Hindus, i.e. Jews and Parsis, who, in spite of different degrees of intermingling with local people, are by and large historical descendants of non-Hindu refugees or migrants from outside India"].To put matters in perspective about the three categories of Hinduism, let me quote a large section of my earlier article on "Are Indian Tribals Hindu?":Keeping in mind that by tribal religions, we are referring only to the Hindu Category Three religions (Sarna, Donyi Polo, Khasi, Meitei, Garo, and possibly others practiced by more microscopic sections of other isolated tribes), since the other tribals are themselves fully conscious that their religious practices are 'Hindu' (which is why they clearly declare their religion to be 'Hindu' in the census, as accepted even by the Joshua Project), can we say that these Hindu Category Three tribal religions are neutral between Christianity and Hinduism?The first and most fundamental factor which places Hinduism and these tribal religions in one fundamental category completely distinct from Christianity is the geographical factor. Hinduism Category One, Hinduism Category Two and Hinduism Category Three religions are all Indian religions, as distinct from Christianity which is a foreignimport.This has further automatic implications. It means that the sacred places, the sacred rivers, mountains and groves, the sacred plants, animals and birds, the materials used in religious rituals, etc. of allthe three Categories of religions are Indian. India is the stage of activity of the acts and events involving all the historical and mythological characters in the narratives of all these religions. The languages in which the original religious lore, poetry and traditions of allthese religions are couched are Indian languages. The traditional religious music, the traditional religious food, the traditional religious costumes, etc. of all these religions are representative of the traditional culture of some part or the other of India. The traditional religious beliefs and rituals of all these religions are derived from their Indianancestors. This geographical factor alone and in itself is so important that Dr Ambedkar placed emphasis not only on the necessity of placing in one legal class the followers of all religions other than those of foreign origin (Islam, Christianity, Zoroastrianism and Judaism), but put the matter in even more categorical terms with specific reference to the question of conversion itself: 'If the depressed classes join Islam or Christianity, they not only go out of the Hindu religion, but they also go out of the Hindu culture…What the consequences of conversion will do to the country as a whole is well worth bearing in mind. Conversion to Islam or Christianity will denationalize the depressed classes' (Dhanajay Keer: 'Dr Ambedkar: Life and Mission', p.279). That conversion to Christianity (or Islam) would 'denationalize' the converted Indians, with adverse 'consequences'for 'the country as a whole' was very clearly a matter of deep concern to him.But the geographical factor is only the beginning. Quite apart from the fact that there is no form of religious belief or philosophy (from atheism, through agnosticism, to all forms of 'theism', and from the most 'ahimsak' philosophy to the most violent bloody rituals) which is not found in some part or the other of Hinduism, and which therefore, basically makes it almost impossible to point out fundamental opposition between Hinduism and any particular tribal religious system, the fact is that all the tribal religions have features which fit into the most basic accepted definitions of standard Hinduism: idol-worship, totemism, polytheism, pantheism, animism, worship of the elements and of nature, belief in reincarnation, ancestor worship, etc., every single one of which is pure anathema to Christianity. Note that in the Wikipedia entry on the Karbi tribe, quoted earlier, we are told with a straight face that the 'practitioners of traditional worship believe in reincarnation and honour the ancestors'. In fact, almost all these elements, and even most of the local deities in every village and town of India, which are now the core of Hinduism, entered standard Hindu religion from these very local tribal religions in the course of millenniums of mutual interaction and influence; even as every local tribe and community preserved its own religious traditions without interference, a circumstance which would have been impossible in a Christian dominated country. And by this is not meant only some mediaeval Inquisition-instituting and Crusades-mongering Christian country: see what has been the fate of other Pagan religions which have fallen prey to the Proselytising Armies in the very citadel of the Proselytisers, the U.S.A., which, along with its other white colleague nations (in Europe, Australia and the Americas), is always first and foremost in condemning any curbs on “religious freedom” (read curbs on missionaries) in India, and which prides itself on being the beacon of internal Democracy and Freedom:'From the 1600s European Catholic and Protestant denominations sent missionaries to convert the tribes to Christianity. These efforts intensified during the mid 19th century through mid-20'th as US Government and Christian churches' joint efforts forcibly registered Native Americans as Christians, which caused contemporaneous official government records (and sources that reference these government records) to show 'Christianity' as the majority religion of Native Americans for the past 100 years. These forcible conversions often occurred through US government and Christian church cooperative efforts that forcibly removed Native American children from their families, and forcibly moved those Native children into a Christian-US government operated system of American Indian boarding schools (aka The Residential Schools) where Native children were indoctrinated in European Christian beliefs, mainstream American culture and the English language. This forcible conversion and suppression of Indigenous languages and cultures continued through the 1970s.As part of the US government's suppression of traditional Indigenous religions, most ceremonial ways were banned for over 80 years by a series of US Federal laws that banned traditional sweat lodge and sun dance ceremonies, among others. This government persecution and prosecution continued until 1978 with the passage of the American Indian Religious Freedom Act (AIRFA).' (Wikipedia entry on 'Native American Religion')All this, please note, was being done blatantly and on a war footing in the U.S.A. till 1978. Must we assume there was a sudden magical about turn in that year which miraculously brought about an overwhelming love for the indigenous religions of the native American Indians in the hearts of those who had been carrying on the above mentioned activities so blatantly till then, and that the suppression and persecution completely ceased thereafter?When those same ruthless forces of Christian Evangelization, who thought nothing of indulging in the above barbarism to destroy the native religions of the U.S.A., send their Proselytizing Armies into India to do the same to the native religions of India (whether Hindu Category One, Two or Three), clearly it is the duty of all the native religions to unite against the common enemy. And clearly it is not only the right of Hindus to protect the tribals (whether Hindu Category One, Two or Three) from the depredations of Christian missionaries, it is their sacred duty to protect their fellow-Indians and fellow-Hindus from these wolves. Anyone who has read beyond the leftist and missionary sponsored articles in the media blaming Hindu organisations, every time there is conflict over conversions in tribal areas, will see that the conflicts are basically between the converted tribals and the non-converted tribals, the latter literally fighting a last-ditch battle for the preservation of their ancestral religions from the Proselytising Armies with their multi-pronged military divisions.Note: (1) Hinduism Category One itself is basically a Parliament of (Indian) Religions. (2) If there are some religions born out of mainstream Hinduism (Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism) which have acquired distinctive identities over the centuries, they have still remained part of the Hindu cultural stream (having a common history, a common viewpoint towards life, common religious symbols like Om, respect for Sanskrit as a Sacred language and for the saffron colour as a Sacred colour, vegetarianismas an ideal ethic, similar religious-philosophical terms and institutions, etc., and, as Dr. Ambedkar pointed out: 'The application of the Hindu Code to Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains was a historical development, and it would be too late, sociologically, to object to it. When the Buddha differed from the Vedic Brahmins, he did so only in matters of creed, but left the Hindu legal framework intact. He did not propound a separate law for his followers. The same was the case with Mahavir and the ten Sikh Gurus' (Keer, p.427).) And, (3) if some tribal religions have retained or acquired identities with a distinctive name, all these are included within the different Categories of Hinduism (One, Two and Three), which together form a Full Parliament of Indian Religions. In fact, all these Categories of Hinduism fall within a larger Parliament of World Religions,namely Paganism (which includes all the native religions which existed in the world before the rise of the Abrahamic Religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam).III. Data and Devices for Elaboration of Historical Identities.Any story or novel placed in the area and period of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization must keep the following points in mind:A. The Various ethnic groups within or from the Harappan area:1. The Mature Harappan = New Rigvediccivilization itself has a western part centered around the Indus and an eastern part centered around the Sarasvatī:a) The people of the eastern part are mainly the central Pūrus in Haryana.b) The people in the north of the western part, in the Greater Punjab area (now united in an area which, in the Early Harappan = Old Rigvedic period before the westward expansion of the Bharata Pūrus led by Sudās, was probably predominantly Anu) consist of a combination of mainly the eastern Anus and the western Pūrus.c) The people in the south of the western part are mainly the western Yadus in the south in Sind and Gujarat, in the areas of the ports and coastline.Perspective: These internal divisions among the people of the Mature Harappan civilization could form one of the features lending dimensions and nuances to the storyline: perhaps by showing romance, friendships, rivalries, etc. between individualsbelonging to different groups..While doing this, the following points must be kept in mind:All these various people are equally Indian and equally part of the Harappan civilization as well as of our ancestral heritage, and a non-partisan attitude must be shown in showing the different relationships and internal equations between the various groups: there should be no prejudice in depicting heroes and villains. The good people and bad people, peacemakers and mischief-mongers, broad-minded or cosmopolitan people and narrow-minded or orthodox people, etc. would naturally be found among all the groups.In referring, if ever, to past events where Sudās and the Bharata Pūrus expanded into the western part, there should again be a distribution of opinions and attitudes among the various characters in the story, perhaps even an emphasis on disapproval of such imperialistic conflict.2. It must be remembered that these different groups have ethnic links with people outside the actual Mature Harappan civilization:a) The western Pūrus in the northern-western part of the civilization have ancestral links not only with the central Pūrus in the eastern part, but also with the eastern Pūrus spread out in the Uttar Pradesh area beyond the Harappan area.b) The western Yadus in the southern-western part of the civilization have ancestral links with other Yadus to their east (Rajasthan, Madhya-Pradesh) and south (southern Gujarat and northern Maharashtra) on the periphery of the urban civilization or outside it.c) The eastern Anus in the northern-western part of the civilization have ancestral links with the western Anus in the westernmost areas: i.e. the border areas with Afghanistan and in Afghanistan itself (the proto-Avestan and Avestan Iranians) and the last remnants of Druhyus in that area.Perspective: All these are factors which can be woven into the storyline and narrative from a sympathetic viewpoint, perhaps even showing how the characters balance ethnic relationships with groups outside the Harappan area with civilizational relationships with other groups within.3. There are many northwestern groups who departed from India:a) The various groups of Druhyus:the Uttara-Kuru (Tocharians) in eastern Central Asia,the Uttara-Madra or Hittites/Anatolians (in western Central Asia, from where they migrated westwards around the Caspian Sea into Turkey), andthe main Druhyu groups (the proto-Italic, proto-Celtic, proto-Germanic, proto-Baltic and proto-Slavic speakers in that order) on their way from Central Asia to eastern (and in the course of time to the whole of) Europe, and the trail of remnants of these people left in Central Asia.b) The various groups of Anus:the western Anus (proto-Albanian, proto-Greek and proto-Armenian, in that order) already spread out in this period from Iran (and areas to its north) to the Caucasus and south-eastern Europe, andthe central Anus (the proto-Iranian tribes) in Afghanistan and border areas of Central Asia, poised to spread out later over the whole of Central Asia, Iran and the Steppes right up to eastern Europe, absorbing and Iranianizing in their wake the remnants in these areas of the earlier western Anu emigrants.c) The groups of western Pūrus who migrated out of India in the wake of the two (Druhyu and Anu migrations): the Pūrus (and Anus) who migrated northwards and westwards through the Steppes into eastern Europe, taking (now extinct in those areas) forms of Indo-Aryan and Iranian speech which influenced the Finno-Ugric languages; and the Pūrus (proto-Mitanni and proto-Kassites) who migrated into the Zagros mountains of Iran, later to spread out into West Asia and establish (around 1500 BCE) the Mitanni kingdom in the Syria-Iraq area. Perspective: A new dimension can be introduced concerning memories and old tales (perhaps retained and related by bards or wise rishis/elders), or contemporary accounts (maybe through some individuals returning back from those distant lands, or through traders), concerning some of these groups who had departed from India.4. There were originally three priestly classes in the northwest:a) the Druhyu in the west (priests of all the western tribes who were also called by the general name Druhyu on account of the name of their priestly class, who survived as the Drui or Druid among the Celts in Ireland),b) the Bhṛgu or Atharvan (priests of the Anus) andc) the Angiras (priests of the Pūrus).That these were the three classes is confirmed by the Vedic, Avestan and Celtic records: the Avesta (Vendidad 19) shows an Angra and a Druj as the rivals of Atharvan Zarathushtra, the Rigveda (VII.18.16) records a Bhṛgu and a Druhyu as the enemy priests of the enemy coalition, while the Angiras are the priests of the Pūru Bharatas from the earliest period.In later post-Rigvedic times, the Indo-Aryan vs. Iranian conflicts are remembered in both the traditions by converting one of the two names for "Gods" into "demons": for the Avesta, the Gods are Ahuras and the demons are Daevas, while for the Vedic tradition, the Gods are Devas and the demons are Asuras. Further, the priest of the Gods in the Puranas and Epics is Bṛhaspati, an Aṅgiras, and the priest of the Demons is Kavi Uśanas Śukrācārya, a Bhṛgu. The Bhṛgu or Atharvan were the wisest and most innovative of the three classes of priests, and are remembered in both the other traditions for the introduction of the yajña or fire-worship rituals: the Bhṛgus are credited for this in the Rigveda itself, and in Celtic tradition the eternal fire is associated with the temples of a Goddess named Brigit. (Later Bhṛgus developed the cremation rites in the tenth book of the Rigveda and in the Atharvaveda, which, because of its association with the Bhṛgus, was initially considered outside the pale of orthodoxy, and was later adopted into the fold by calling it the Atharvāṅgiras Samhita).In the Rigvedic period itself, one section of the Bhṛgu priests, Jamadagni and his descendants dissociated from the Anus and became affiliated to the Pūrus. Seven other priestly families came into existence besides the original Aṅgirases and Bhṛgus: i.e. the Viśvāmitras, Vasiṣṭhas, Agastyas, Gṛtsamadas, Kaśyapas, Atris and Kaṇvas, as well as a composer family from among the Bharata kings.Of these, the Bhṛgus continued to lead the pack:a) the Bhṛgus are enumerated first in the gotra-pravara lists,b) Kṛṣṇa in the Bhagavadgita says "among priests, I am Bhṛgu",c) the Bhṛgus are the only family to have recensions of all the four Vedic Samhitas: in fact the only recension of the Rigveda is a Bhṛgu recension (Śākala), and the main writers associated with all the subsidiary texts (the Padapatha, the Anukramanis, the Rigvidhana, the Ashtadhyayi and the Nirukta) all belong to Bhṛgu gotras (Śākalya, Śaunaka, Pāṇini, Yāska).So do the writers of the one system of philosophy associated with Vedic ritual (Pūrva Mīmāṁsā = Jaimini), the Rāmāyaṇa (Vālmīki), and the final redactors of the Mahabharata (not Vedavyāsa himself, who was a Vasiṣṭha).It is persons from Bhṛgu gotras who later gave shape to the most distinctive and prominent Indian positions on kāma, artha, dharma and mokṣa: Vātsyāyana, Kauṭilya, and Ādi Śaṅkarācārya.Perspective: All these distinctions can be kept in mind while writing stories, all the while keeping a neutral stance between inter-family rivalries.Also, there is a distinct difference between these settled and organized rishis and another class of holy men who are classified as "muni" in the Rigveda (though we would today regard both muni and rishi as the same): these are referred to in 4 hymns in the Rigveda (VII.56.8; VIII.6.17; t17.14; X.136-2-5), and the term apparently refers to wandering sadhus, also called keśins because of their long hair left flowing as they literally seem to fly through the air. In historical or geographical terms, it seems to be a word for holy men from the forests in the interior of India outside and to the east and south of the Harappan civilization areas. [To put it unambiguously, the difference today between shaven-headed brahmin priests with a choti, and sadhusmeditating in forests and mountains with long hair and matted locks, was in the Vedic period the difference between rishis and munis. In our films and in popular perception, all the ancient rishis are depicted like the present-day sadhus, but actually in the Vedic period, they were rather like present-day brahmin priests!] B. The Technology of the Mature Harappan civilization:The Mature Harappan civilization was one of the most highly advanced civilizations of the time in many ways. All these features (apart from the trade angle mentioned above) have to be introduced into the storyline, perhaps by associating important characters with the various features:Some of the very important features are:1. Town-planning, egalitarian architecture and the brick-making industry.The main centre of Rigvedic composition was in the eastern half of the Harappan civilization, on the banks of the Sarasvati, among the centralPūrus. And the hymns of the Rigveda were composed mainly as hymns to be recited in religious contexts: bricks are referred to in the Yajurveda in connection with the construction of fire altars.2. The bead-making industry:The making of beads and ornaments was a very important industry in the Mature Harappan civilization, and these beads and ornament materials were a major item of export to the west.Significantly, the word maṇi for "bead" or "ornament" (found only in the latest part of the New Rigveda in I.33.8 and I.122.14), is the onlygeneral word (apart from personal names and names of Gods) taken westwards by boththe proto-Avestan Iranians and proto-Mitanni Indo-Aryans from the Harappan area.3. Cattle-breeding and Dairy-farming:Strangely, while people love to claim that the Harappans were "urbanites" (in contrast with alleged "Steppe pastoralists" who are claimed to have brought Indo-European languages into India), the truth is that cattle-breeding and dairy-farming was one of the main industries in the Mature Harappan civilization: of course outside the urban city-limits.[The wikipedia article on "Cattle" unambiguously tells us: "Archeozoological and genetic data indicate that cattle were first domesticated from wild aurochs (Bos primigenius) approximately 10,500 years ago. There were two major areas of domestication: one in the area that is now Turkey, giving rise to the taurine line, and a second in the area that is now Pakistan, resulting in the indicine line[….] European cattle are largely descended from the taurine lineage". All other academic sources regularly point out that "the Indus Valley Civilization" was one of the two centers of domestication of cattle. No-one has been able to show the presence of the western cattle, bos taurus, which would necessarily have been the species of domesticated cattle that "pastoralists" from the Steppes would have brought into India. The Indian cattle in the area before and since Harappan times have been the Indian zebu humped cattle native to that area itself. On the contrary, very recent scientific studies have confirmed that the Indian humped zebu cattle, domesticated in the Harappan area since thousands of years, suddenly started appearing in West Asia around 2200 BCE, and by 2000 BCE there was large-scale mixing of the Indian zebu cattle, bos indicus, with the genetically distinct western species of cattle, bos taurus, in West Asia. Thus we have three very distinct animal species native to India - the elephant, the peacock and the domesticated Indian zebu cattle - appearing in West Asia exactly coinciding with the presence and activities of the Mitanni in West Asia at the time, thus confirming that the Mitanni people were migrants from India to West Asia around 2200 BCE: https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6449/173]4. Ship-Building and Ports:In the southern parts, in the region of the western Yadus, in Sind and Gujarat, ship-building, port construction and management, and trade through the seas, constituted the main industries.5. Elephant Breeding and the Ivory Industry: Breeding of elephants, ivory-carving, and the export of ivory and ivory-products, were major industries in the Harappan area from very early pre-Harappan times. [As I have shown in detail in my article "The Elephant and the Proto-Indo-European Homeland", the word for elephant/ivory was taken westwards by at least three distinct groups of Indo-European emigrants, as testified by Greek eléphas(Mycenean Greek erepa), Italic (Latin) ebur, and Hittite laḫpa-, all, like the Vedic ibha-, derived from an original *ṛbha- (with the same etymological meaning as the later word hastin). Ivory products, and even baby elephants, were exported to Mesopotamia and further west. Ships carried Harappan ivory not only to ports on the Horn of Africa (from where the ivory as well as the Egyptian name for it, derived from East Cushitic *ʔarb- 'elephant', itself derived from the pre-Vedic word *ṛbha- were carried into Egypt) but also as far as the coast of Portugal and the south-western coast of Spain as far back as 3000 BCE].6. Agriculture and Urban Grain Management, and the Pottery Industry:That agriculture was independently (of West Asia) developed in the Harappan area has been overwhelmingly confirmed recently by archaeologists and even geneticists! The administrative machinery for collecting, storing and distributing the agricultural products in the different parts of the urban and rural parts of the Harappan civilization must naturally have been a major industry in itself. The huge granaries are also witness to this.Needless to say, the pottery industry was also a part of this rural-urban composite system.7. Water-management and the Drainage System:This was one of the two most unique features of the Harappan civilization which put it far ahead of all contemporary civilizations, and ahead of almost all other urban areas even to this very day! That the Harappans had pipes and coveredunderground drainage systems is something unbelievable. Obviously there must have been a regular administrative "municipal" system seeing to the smooth working of all this, with regular paid employees!8. Street Lighting System:This was the second of the two most unique features of the Harappan civilization which put it far ahead of all contemporary civilizations, and ahead of almost all other urban areas even to this very day: the Harappans had street lights, obviously not electrical ones, but lights which had to be lighted every evening or night, and therefore, again, a systematic administrative system to carry out all this, again with regular paid employees.These are some of the features of the civilization which can be brought out in the storyline, the cast of characters and the narratives.[Needless to say, many more can be thought of: e.g. the mining of metals like copper, etc. in interior areas of India, copper items producing industries, metal exporting traders and guilds - the possibilities are almost unlimited].One more important point to be remembered is that the central part of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic period (2600-1700 BCE) was the time when two important technological innovations were developed in and around the northwestern parts of the Harappan area - the area where the proto-Mitanni Pūrus and the proto-Iranian Anus were poised to migrate westwards to their historical frontiers. These were:a) the domestication of the Bactrian camel, which is recorded in the Rigveda (in VIII.5.37; 6.48; 46.22,31) as being gifted by kings with what various western scholars (including Witzel) describe as Iranian names to Vedic rishis; andb) the invention of spoked-wheels and spoke-wheeled chariots, which are totally missing in the Old Rigveda but suddenly appear in the New Rigveda.The introduction of these in the Harappan civilization, and their socio-economic and technological effects, could provide ideas for plots and situations in the storyline.C. Links with Western Civilizations:The main known links of the Harappans with western civilizations are those with the Mesopotamians or Babylonians. It is known that the Harappans traded with Mesopotamia: two words identified as Babylonian words are found in the Rigveda, both in book 8 which is the heart of the Mature Harappan period, and both have connections with traders. They are:1. bekanāṭa (money-lender to traders referred to in the same verse) in VIII.66.10 and2. manā (a unit of measure which is still used to this day) in VIII.78.2.Perspective: The thriving commerce between the Harappans and the Babylonians can be introduced into the storyline, through traders from Babylon or Harappan traders who travel regularly to Babylon. These two words can also be introduced in some way (e.g. with someone explaining their meaning and contexts to a curious Harappan citizen).D. The Southern Dravidian Connection, and the East and North within India:As we saw, the period of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization and culture was a culturally very rich and diverse one, where the people of this civilization had not only developed into a unique highly evolved civilization in the technical sense, but had developed strong trade relations with civilizations and areas far to their west. Harappan ships travelled not only to the ports of the Gulf, but probably into the Mediterranean Sea as well. Can it be possible that the areas of the south and east within India itself remained unknown to them, or remained out of the sphere of their contacts?As we saw, Indian tradition squarely places the Harappan civilization in the areas of the Anus, the western and central Pūrus, and the western Yadus. But it recognizes the relationship of these people with the people and cultures of the other parts of India: the eastern Indo-European speaking people (the Ikṣvākus) as well as the Dravidian speaking people of the South and the Austric speaking people of the East, all of whom are classified as descendants of a mythical common ancestor, whom the Puranas call Manu.So why is there no reference to these other people to the South or East?As we saw, the only evidence in the New Rigveda of the rich trade relationship with Mesopotamia is in the shape of just two words, bekanāṭa and manā. So we cannot expect detailed accounts of the South and East in the localized hymns of the Rigveda in that early period. But surely there must have been somerelationship, and this must have left some evidence in the text? In reaction to the invasionist tendency to search for linguistic evidence of "pre-Aryan natives", there is usually a reaction-tendency on the part of Indians to reject the presence of non-Indo-Aryan, especially Dravidian, elements in the Rigveda. This is also correct in the sense that civilization and culture developed differently in different parts of the country, and the Rigvedic culture of the northwest in its initial stages (i.e. in the Old Rigveda, restricted to Haryana and its immediate environs) need not necessarily show elements from other parts of India. But what about in the period of the Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization with its far-reaching trade contacts and relations?In my 2008 book "The Rigveda and the Avesta - The Final Evidence", I noted the situation as follows: "Witzel’s first linguistic arguments, in section 11.5 (WITZEL 2005:344-346) have to do with what he calls 'Linguistic substrates'. This issue has been discussed in great detail in TALAGERI 2000:293-308 (and earlier in TALAGERI 1993:197-215). We will not repeat all the arguments and counter-arguments here, except for stressing the difference between 'substrate' words and 'adstrate' words (see section 6B of chapter 6 earlier in this book). In fact, let us accept that there may be some adstrate words of Dravidian or Austric origin in 'Indo-Aryan' ― perhaps we protested a bit too much in our earlier books, due to the implications sought to be drawn from such alleged 'non-Indo-Aryan' words in Classical or even Vedic Sanskrit. The word kāṇa 'one-eyed', in the RV, for example, is obviously derived from the Dravidian word kaṇ 'eye'. Other, not implausible suggestions include the words daṇḍa and kuṭa". (p.292).As a matter of fact, an examination of the actual Rigvedic data shows us that the Rigvedic culture included some Dravidian elements. These elements were not residual elements of an original Dravidian Harappan civilization invaded and taken over by invading "Aryans", as often suggested, they are new elements imported from the Dravidian South. This is proved by the fact that:1. They are not found in the Old Rigveda, and the geographical names in the Old Rigveda show that Dravidian speaking people never lived in the Harappan area before or during that period.2. They are found as incidental elements in the New Rigveda, in a period which shows massive oversea trade contacts even with foreign places like Mesopotamia, and which is the period preceding the Avestan and Mitanni eras: the common elements with the Avesta and the Mitanni are abundantly found in the same texts and hymns which show these incidental Dravidian elements.3. The Indian traditions and linguistics unambiguously and very clearly connect the people associated with these elements with the South. And these people are not inimical to the Rigvedic culture but a part of it.There seem to be at least two distinct streams of originally Dravidian speaking rishis:1. To begin with, the Rigveda contains two important words - very important and common in later Sanskrit as well as in modern Indo-Aryan, but found only once each in the Rigveda - of undoubtedly Dravidian origin. These are:a) the verbal root pūj- "to worship (an idol) with flowers", derived from the Dravidian, e.g. Tamil pū-, "flower", representing a form of worship totally unknown to the Vedic culture, and representing the religion of the South.b) the word kāṇa, "one-eyed" or "cross-eyed", very clearly derived from the Dravidian, e.g. Tamil kaṇ, "eye",When we examine where these two words are found (both in the New Rigveda), it is as follows:a) pūj- in VIII.17.12, attributed to Irimbiṭhi Kāṇva, b) kāṇa in X.155.1, attributed to ŚirimbiṭhaBhāradvāja.It cannot be a coincidence that both the words are composed by two different rishis with such strikingly similar, unusual and non-Indo-Aryan names. The rishi-ascriptions in book 10 are very often garbled - in my 2000 book "The Rigveda - A historical Analysis", pp.25-26, I had written "Maṇḍala X is a very late Maṇḍala and stands out from the other nine Maṇḍalas in many respects. One of these is the general ambiguity in the ascriptions of the hymns to their composers. In respect of 44 hymns, and 2 other verses, it is virtually impossible to even identify the family of the composer" - and it is perfectly possible the composer of X.155 is also the same as the composer of VIII.17, i.e. Irimbiṭhi Kāṇva.The name is clearly Dravidian: in fact, we still have a place in Kerala named Irimbiḷiyam: it is not impossible that this, or a nearby area, is the home-area of this Rigvedic composer - more than 4000 years old! Note that there are two more words in the same hymn, VIII.17, which have also been identified as Dravidian:a) -khaṇḍ- in VIII.17.12,b) kuṇḍa in VIII.17.13,and, to crown it all, the word muni, found in only 4 hymns in the whole of the Rigveda, and referring to holy men from the non-Vedic areas of the East and South within India, is also found in the next verse: in VIII.17.14. That we should have so many indications in three consecutive verses is incredible but extremely significant.Very clearly, this rishi Irimbiṭhi is a person from the Dravidian South who, in a manner similar to members of different religious orders in present-day India who are found in parts of India other than their area of origin, migrated to the busy cosmopolitan Mature Harappan = New Rigvedic civilization area from the South and subsequently became a Rigvedic rishi.2. But Indian tradition has one more, and a very important, rishi who is unanimously and resoundingly associated, in the traditions of both the North and the South, with the South: Agastya. Puranic and Epic tradition tells us that Agastya migrated to the South and settled down there. But here is what Wikipedia has to say:"Agastya was a revered Vedicsage of Hinduism. In the Indian tradition, he is a noted recluse and an influential scholar in diverse languages of the Indian subcontinent. He and his wife Lopamudra are the celebrated authors of hymns 1.165 to 1.191 in the Sanskrittext Rigveda and other Vedic literature. Agastya appears in numerous itihasas and puranas including the major Ramayana and Mahabharata. He is one of the seven or eight most revered rishisin the Vedic texts, and is revered as one of the Tamil Siddharin the Shaivism tradition, who invented an early grammar of the Tamil language, Agattiyam, playing a pioneering role in the development of Tampraparniyan medicine and spirituality at Saiva centres in proto-era Sri Lanka and South India. He is also revered in the Puranicliterature of Shaktism and Vaishnavism. He is one of the Indian sages found in ancient sculpture and reliefs in Hindu temples of South Asia, and Southeast Asia such as in the early medieval era Shaiva temples on Java Indonesia. He is the principal figure and Guru in the ancient Javanese language text Agastyaparva, whose 11th century version survives. Agastya is traditionally attributed to be the author of many Sanskrit texts such as the Agastya Gita found in Varaha Purana, Agastya Samhita found embedded in Skanda Purana, and the Dvaidha-Nirnaya Tantra text. He is also referred to as Mana, Kalasaja, Kumbhaja, Kumbhayoni and Maitravaruni after his mythical origins."Even more to the point: "The etymological origin of Agastya has several theories. One theory states that the root […] is derived from a flowering tree called Agati gandiflora, which is endemic to the Indian subcontinent and is called Akatti in Tamil. This theory suggests that Agati evolved into Agastih, and favors Dravidian origins of the Vedic sage".He is a "non-Aryan Dravidian whose ideas influenced the north […] In Southern sources and the North Indian Devi-Bhagavata Purana, his ashramis based in Tamil Nadu, variously placed in Tirunelveli, Pothiyal hills, or Thanjavur".Therefore, despite later legends taking him from the North to the South, historically he was probably a Dravidian sage from the South who, or rather whose descendants, migrated northwards and became an important part of the Rigvedic priesthood, being recognized as a separate and independent family of Rigvedic rishis:a) Tradition shows him to be different from the other Vedic rishis, more of a recluse and a forest-dweller, who prefers to stay away from the glamour and lucre of urban settings and royal patronage.b) He is totally absent from the major part of the Rigveda, and his descendants have hymns only in the New Rigveda (mainly in book 1, where most of the Dravidian words are found) but tradition not only outside the Rigveda but even within the Rigveda (VII.33.10) consistently portrays him as an ancient Rishi contemporaneous to Vasiṣṭha.c) The only reference to him, outside the New books 1 and 8 (I.117.11; 170.3; 179.6; 180.8; 184.5; VIII.5.26), is an incidental one in a RedactedHymn, probably redacted by a descendant, in VII.33.10. And this hymn has a Dravidian word daṇḍa in the next verse VII.33.11. 3. The arrival of the Irimbiṭhas and Agastyas into the Rigvedic area in the Mature Harappan period seems to have brought in a small stream of Dravidian words, which stream became a small flood in later post-Vedic Classical Sanskrit.The following is a list of other words allegedly of Dravidian origin, found in the Rigveda: vaila, kiyāmbu, vriś, cal-, bila, lip-, kaṭuka, kuṇḍṛṇācī (?), piṇḍa, mukha, kuṭa, kūṭa, khala, ulūkhala, kāṇuka, sīra, naḍa/naḷa, kulpha, kuṇāru, kalyāṇa, kulāya, lāṅgala. They are found only in the New Rigveda and in the Redacted Hymns, except for the occurrence of mukha in IV.39.6, kulāya in VII.50.1, and kulpha in VII.50.2. But note that Arnold (whom Hock cites as an expert on these matters) has classified both these hymns IV.39 and VII.50 also as Redacted Hymns on metrical grounds: so we do not find a single one of these Dravidian words in the Old Rigveda! The references (other than those already mentioned) are found as follows:Redacted Hymns:VI. 15.16; 47.23; 75.15.III. 30.8; 53.6.IV. 57.4; 58.8.New Rigveda:I. 11.5; 28.1-6; 29.6; 31.9; 32.11; 33.1,3,3; 46.4; 97.6,7; 144.5; 162.2,19; 164.48; 174.9; 191.1,3,4. VIII. 1.33; 43.10; 77.4.X. 16.13; 30.5; 48.7; 81.3; 85.34; 90.11-13; 102.4; 173.1,2..Remember, these Dravidian rishis and words are found in the New Rigveda before 2000BCE, nearly two millenniums before the Tamil Sangam Era! And also long before the first appearance of the Mitanni in Syria-Iraq and the Indo-European Iranians (Persians, Parthians, Medians) in Iran! So the Vedic-Dravidian relationship is an old and friendly one.[A few other words, often gratuitously and unwarrantedly - and controversially - sought to be branded as Dravidian words, such as mayūra, phala, bala, gardabha, puṣpa, puṣkara, are rejected by most linguists as Dravidian words:a) Witzel (although he continues to insist it is a "non-Aryan" word borrowed by Sanskrit, inspite of the fact that the name is a purely onomatopoeic name derived from the Sanskrit root mā) rejects mayūraas a Dravidian word in his article "Aryan and non-Aryan names in the Vedic India" (although this is particularly an article in which he goes berserk identifying as non-Aryan even words like Yadu and Pūru!!!).b) Rendich Franco (in his "comparative Etymological Dictionary of Classical Indo-European languages") gives the PIE roots and cognate forms in Greek and Latin for the word phala, and likewise the PIE root for the words puṣpaand puṣkara. c) Mallory and Adams (in their "Encyclopaedia of Indo-European culture") point out that bala is derived from PIE *belos, calling it "the strongest etymology containing the very rare PIE *b-", and give cognate forms in Greek, Latin and Old Church Slavic.d) The word gardabha, though a late word found only in the New Rigveda and Redacted hymns, has a cognate form in Tocharian kercapo, in Central Asia, and in any case, the donkey is native to the northwest and not the south, and cannot be derived from the Tamil kazhutha under any circumstance].Perspective: But how is all this to be interpreted? Although there were important Dravidian rishis from the South within the Vedic ethos in the New Rigveda, the Pūru Vedic religion (similar to the religion of the Anus and Druhyus) was different from that of the East and the South: its main features were worship of the elements, fire-worship in the form of yajñas, and the composition, memorization and recitation of hymns. We have already seen the religious features of the other parts of India in section II above (Hinduism). Therefore, although there were Dravidian rishis in the Mature Harappan era and area who participated in the Rigvedic and post-Rigvedic religion and culture, the actual native religion of the South, with its emphasis on idol-worship and temple culture (described earlier), represented a very different ethos which must already have contained and developed the early seeds of most of the rich arts, crafts, architecture, cuisine (minus, of course, specific items like potatoes and chilies which were introduced by the Portuguese a few centuries ago from the Americas), and music and dance unique to India associated with idol-worshipping Hinduism today.All this can be depicted in the storyline in countless ways:1. There can be local priests belonging to the Irimbitha and Agastya clans active in the storyline.2. There can be traders from the Dravidian South coming to the Harappan ports and interior cities for trade and their interaction with the local traders and Harappan citizens (in which Dravidian words and items can be introduced, including references to southern spices).3. There can be Harappan traders going in ships to trade in the South, or Harappan travelers, coming back with awed tales, told to fascinated Harappan listeners, about the great temples, rituals and ceremonies, arts and crafts, and performing arts witnessed there. Also, about the great mountains, forests and wildlife of the South.4. For good measure, we can also have:a) old bards relating old lore about the people of the South and East as representing the southern and eastern descendants of Manu, orb) mystic seers going into a trance and foretelling about future times when evil worshippers of strange religions would come to India from far-off areas and, with the help of diverse disruptive elements within the land, try to create schisms among the descendants of Manu by pitting the Southern descendants of Manu against the Northern ones. 5. Likewise, there can be ways of introducing, in a respectful friendly and fraternal manner, references (by other Harappans travelers within the frontiers of India) to the languages and cultures, natural wonders, and the religious features (already described in section II earlier) of the other parts of India - of the easternYadus, Ikṣvākus, the Austric speakers, and further eastern people; as well as the peoples in the Himalayas; and maybe even in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Lanka. ......
Don't Know Much About History...
10 years ago
The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry [above, as depicted in an 1890 lithograph by Louis Kurz and Alexander Allison showing the ill-fated attack on Fort Wagner in 1863], one of the first formal units of the United States Army to be made up entirely of African American men, fought on for the North and the Union - no matter what you read in a Virginia history text book.File this one under 'Things I Couldn't Make Up'. Those of you who hear a Southern accent and automatically think "red-neck, racist moron", well shame on you. Shame on you, but I can also understand why the Southern drawl does conjure up 'slow' in your mind. There's the cliche about the 'South' and American History: namely that nothing has happened in this country - nothing worth remembering, anyway - since Lee surrendered to Grant at Appomattox Courthouse.There's a lot of truth in that, although it is still a cliche. Yet that cliche isn't helped by recent news out of Virginia that there's some history text books being used there with the following factual inaccuracies:1) New Orleans began the 1800s as a bustling U.S. harbor2) The Confederacy included 12 states3) The United States entered World War in 19164) Men in Colonial Virginia commonly wore full suits of armor5) No Americans survived the Battle of the AlamoFor those of you who don't recognize those as inaccuracies, the correct answers are:1) It began as a Spanish colonial harbor2) It had 11 states3) The U.S. entered the war in 19174) No they didn't5) A few did surviveAnd these are just some of the errors - there are literally dozens of them - that historians have found in Virginia's textbooks since state officials ordered a review of textbooks by Five Ponds Press in response to an article in the Washington Post back in October.The Post article in particular highlighted a very interesting claim in one textbook that said African American soldiers fought for the South in large numbers during the Civil War. Even your average moron - just on intuition - knows that's probably not true. That's the kind of 'history' one could find in Southern textbooks in the early 1900s; I'd thought we'd taken care of that. Apparently not.Our Virginia: Past and Present, the textbook including the African Americans fighting for the South claim, has many other inaccuracies. And similar problems were found in another book by Five Ponds Press, Our America: To 1865. Yes: I'm guessing to many Southern racists they do consider it 'our America' until 1865."I absolutely could not believe the number of mistakes - wrong dates and wrong facts everywhere. How in the world did these books get approved?" Ronald Heinemann, a former history professor at Hampden-Sydney College, asked the Post rhetorically. He reviewed Our Virginia: Past and Present. In his recommendation to the state, Heinemann wrote, "This book should be withdrawn from the classroom immediately, or at least by the end of the year."As I say, it all started after the Post reported that Our Virginia included a sentence saying that thousands of black soldiers fought for the South. That claim is one often made by the lunatic fringe and other Confederate heritage groups but rejected by most people here on Earth. The funniest part was the response of the book's author, Joy Masoff. With a straight face she said at the time that she found references to this 'fact' while doing research on the Internet. And you're wondering why 67% of Americans think George Washington fought in the Civil War?!To deal with the embarrassment, Virginia officials commissioned a 'blue ribbon' panel of experts to review all history textbooks. The results are disturbing, to say the least. Some reviewers submitted lists of errors that ran several pages long. State officials plan to meet January 10, 2011 to review the historians' concerns. "The findings of these historians have certainly underscored and added urgency to the need to address the weaknesses in our system so we don't have glaring historical errors in our books," said Charles Pyle, a spokesman for Virginia's Department of Education. His brother, Gomer, was unavailable for comment.As for the publisher, Five Ponds Press [based in Weston, Connecticut of all places] doesn't even try to deny that its books have errors. "Most of the items you reference have been identified, and we sent a notice a week ago to the Virginia Department of Education with our intent to make these edits in the book's next printing," Lou Scolnik, owner of Five Ponds Press, wrote in an email response to questions from the Post.At least Scolnik is an honest crook. The Virginia Department of Education has been telling people for years that they have the strongest 'standards' required of textbooks in the entire country. Those 'standards' - brilliantly called the Standards of Learning - includes lists of themes that each textbook must cover. It turns out, those standards aren't so stringent after all.For one thing, the reviewers that the department uses are not scholars. No. They are often elementary school teachers. Now, no offense, but my experience has been that most elementary school teachers chose that speciality because their base of knowledge doesn't exceed the sixth grade. I'm not sure they should be the ones reviewing the textbooks. Gomer's brother pretty much proved that with his ridiculous statement that, "Teachers [reviewing the books for facts] are not reading textbooks front to back, and they're not in a position to identify the kinds of errors that historians could identify." Really. That's what he said.Five Ponds Press has cornered a growing portion of Virginia's $70 million-a-year textbook market. Many larger publishers employ professional historians, but all of the books by Five Ponds Press have been written by Masoff, who is not a trained historian. I'm doubtful she's a trained anything. If you'd like to read some other titles by Masoff, Google Oh, Yuck! The Encyclopedia of Everything Nasty and Oh, Yikes! History's Grossest, Wackiest Moments. No, really: those are the titles. Unfortunately, Masoff may be looking for work now: Scolnik said Five Ponds is in the process of hiring a professional historian from a Virginia university. Wow - there's a novel idea.Four of the five experts reviewed books published only by Five Ponds Press. The fifth reviewer, DePaul University sociology professor Christopher Einolf, has written a book on a Civil War general. He reviewed Civil War content in nine Virginia textbooks published by companies other than Five Ponds Press.Einolf's review found that one book - from publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt - has particular problems. Einolf took issue with some characterizations, saying, for example, that Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman did not "destroy" Atlanta but instead burned portions of the city. While I realize that's little consolation to the people who went up in flames, but nonetheless there is a difference between destroying a city and beating the hell out of it.Einolf also found problems with the textbook's treatment of Pickett's Charge. While the suicidal thrusts involved 5,000 men, it actually involved more than 10,000. 5,000, 10,000 - what's the difference, right? In a shocker, Einolf said many of the other books neglect key elements, such as the role of African Americans in 19th-century Virginia. "Making a mistake is one thing. Ignoring the role that African Americans played in the state is almost as bad," Einolf told the Post. Actually, Professor, I think the latter is worse than the former, but this post isn't dedicated to the wonders of those in higher education.Perhaps the most succinct word on all of this came from historian Mary Miley Theobald, a former Virginia Commonwealth University professor. She reviewed Our America and concluded to the Post that it was, "just too shocking for words. Any literate person could have opened that book and immediately found a mistake," she said.The key words there, folks, are 'any literate person'. That disqualifies most elementary school teachers right there.copyright 2011 by EBBP Redux. If you are reading this on a blog or website other than EBBP Redux or via a feedreader, this content has been stolen and used without permission.......