New Delhi, Sep 29: Sanskrit scholars from various universities on Monday asserted “rewriting history” and upholding the nation’s identity as they challenged few notions about the origin of Vedas and influx of Aryans in the country.
“There are evidences in the Persian tradition which suggest early Vedic chronology. It is high time to reassess the dating of Vedas and other Vedic text which is very essential for our national identity.”The concerned authorities should accept the chronology based upon astronomical tool and supported by archaeological evidence in the education system,” said a resolution passed by the scholars during a symposium at Delhi University here.
The scholars claimed that the Vedas date back to 6,000 BC and hence are older by 4,500 years compared to what we thought and Vedic civilisation is older than the Indus Valley civilisation. The resolution was passed during the valedictory session of the national symposium on “Chronology of Vedic Literature- A Reassessment” organised by DU’s Sanskrit Department.
During the three-day meet, Sanskrit scholars from various universities questioned the period of composition generally ascribed to the Rig Veda which is about 1,500 BC, placing it after the decline of the Harappan Civilisation.
They also dismissed the view-upheld by historians and archaeologists and presented in textbooks – as Marxist and “Max Muellerist”.
The meet at DU was being supported by HRD Ministry and organised in association with Maharshi Sandipani Rashtriya Veda Vidya Pratisthan, Ujjain. The seminar assumes significance in light of the fact that there has been a renewed debate about saffronisation of education ever since Narendra Modi government came to power.
Various right-wing organisations have pressed for incorporating Vedic literature and Vedic maths in school curriculum, lamenting that the existing education pedagogy is heavily influenced by the colonial past.
Notable academicians including the Chairman of the Indian Archaeological Society, K N Dikshit, Director of Bhogilal Leherchand Institute of Indology G C Tripathi, and scholars from Shantiniketan, Calcutta University and Benares Hindu University were among those who attended the conference.
Touching on the issue of the timing of the “Gopatha Brahmana”, Dr Niranjan Jena, Sanskrit professor at Viswabharti University said, “Gopatha Brahmana was not composed in a definite period of time. It is compiled in different periods of time between 7 BC to 6 BC.” The Gopatha Brahmana is the only Brahmana, a genre of the prose texts describing the Vedic rituals associated with the Atharvaveda.
“The original date of Rig Veda has been debated for long. The Marxists have gone all out to establish that Indus Valley civilisation is older than Rig Vedic era. The fact that Aryans came to the plains of India and pushed the Dravidians southwards is also not true,” HOD, DU’s Sanskrit Department, Ramesh C Bharadwaj said in his keynote address.
“Much before the Indus Valley civilisation, the plains of India had a flourishing culture of its own, which can be established through the Rig Vedic texts. The history needs correction and chronology needs to be fixed,” he added.
Bhardwaj who has also submitted a project to Indian Council for Historical Research, seeking funding to conduct research on the subject, said, “Our dates do not match with the mainstream dates established by the historians.” He said there is evidence to suggest the Aryans never invaded but were indigenous and developed into the Harappan civilisation.
2015 Kashmir Despatch