Book: "The March Of The Aryans; Author: Bhagwan S. Gidwani; Publisher: Penguin India; Pages: 680 pages; Price: Rs.599
This is probably the beginning of Sino-Indian diplomacy forged over textiles... Long before the Aryans came to India, a team from ancient Bharat Varsha had visited China, known then as Kosa Karas, to exchange silk for cotton, says Canada-based historian, filmmaker and writer Bhagwan S. Gidwani, the author of the just-published, "The March of the Aryans".
Rishi Skanda, an ancient seer, had established an "ashram" near the source of the Sindhu river in Tibet, which attracted a number of local people.
"One of them presented to the "rishi (sage) a cloth of soft, sleek silk. The sage was told that the silk, brought by a traveller from north, was made from the cocoons of domesticated worms. The traveller had been delighted to exchange silk for the finest cotton made in the Sindhu region," Gidwani recounted to IANS.
The sage "sent the silk cloth to the ruler Karkarta Bharat, who began series of consultations between the weavers' guild and the guild of merchants about the possibility of producing silk".
The merchants guild decided to organise a team to travel north with the sage's help. The team, comprising 54 local residents from Tibet and six weavers from the Sindhu region, left for the "Land of Kosa Karas" in what can be described as the first bilateral visit.
Such interesting odd bits aside, a large portion of "The March of the Aryans" is devoted to the Aryans leaving India - and then returning to their homeland again after realising that no land in Asia and Europe was as peaceful as India. It is an attempt to put the misconceptions about the Invasion of Aryan theory, propounded by many, right.
Gidwani argues that the Aryans did not invade the country but gradually integrated into the country's pre-Vedic spiritual culture.
"The Aryan impulse to leave Bharat Varsha (India) arose after the assassination of their spiritual leader, Sindhu Putra, as the apprehension was that the murder had been plotted by the lords of the lands," the writer said.
After Sindhu Putra's death, many had their Aryan lands and farms confiscated for no fault. But overriding all the fears was their belief that "somewhere under the vast sky there must be the 'Land of Pure' where their assassinated spiritual leader (Sindhu Putra) resides". And they went out to search for that land.
"But wherever they went, they found degradation, brutality, injustice, slavery," Gidwani said.
Eventually, it dawned on those wandering Aryans that their homeland of India was better than the rest of the world into which they had tumbled in their futile search for a home earlier.
The "March of the Aryans" details their knightly deeds and attachment to the concept of "Daya (compassion), Dana (charity) & Dharma (righteousness)".
In their ancestry, the Aryans were Hindus. "I stress that never did they belong or considered themselves as a different people. Many, at different times, have tried to highlight the difference between the ancient Hindu and the Aryan in support of the Aryan invasion theory of India which I hope 'March of the Aryans' clearly shows as false and frivolous, thereby agreeing with those who had questioned the Aryan Invasion theory," Gidwani said.
The British, in presenting the Aryan Invasion Theory offered no proof. They did not need to. Hundreds of Indian historians rushed forward to earn their doctorates, promotions, patronage and government-aided jobs and positions for supporting the British theory of Aryan Invasion of India, Gidwani says.
The book tries to prove that the British "invented" the Aryan Invasion theory and this myth was created to prove that Indians were incapable of ruling themselves.
It is set in 8,000 BC and says that the Aryans originated from India in 5,000 BC.
The writer, who has researched the reign of the ancient king Bharat in his book, says the king, after whom the country is named, encapsulated the spirit of an uncorrupted India.
"Bharat loved his country, tolerated no corruption, never engaged in favours to friends and family, he would never permit criminals to be part of his Cabinet nor divide communities to secure votes... He was different from the post-Gandhian politicians who have turned politics into a lucrative profession," Gidwani said.
Gidwani is also the best-selling author of the "The Sword of Tipu Sultan", which was adapted into a tele-serial.
(24.08.2012 - Madhusree Chatterjee can be contacted at email@example.com)
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Updated Date: Aug 24, 2012 23:31:00 IST