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IIT’s calendar on “Aryan invasion myth” is “just the tip of the iceberg”: professor

The allegations made in the calendar have come under heavy criticism on social media from writers

The Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur’s 2022 calendar on the topic of “evidence” to “disprove the myth of the Aryan invasion,” which sparked controversy when it went public last week, was ” just the tip of the iceberg, ”with academics abroad planning to hold workshops on the topic, according to the professor behind the concept of the calendar.

The timeline, titled “Recovering the Foundations of Indian Knowledge Systems”, covers the topics of “Recognizing the Secret of the Vedas” and “Reinterpreting the Indus Valley Civilization”, except for the part on “ the Aryan invasion ”.

The claims made in the calendar have come under heavy criticism on social media from writers and those who have looked into the issue. Author of the book The first Indians Tony Joseph commented on Twitter on December 26 “the overwhelming transformation of the Centers of Excellence”. He cited the 2019 genetic study “The Formation of Human Populations in South and Central Asia” which he said was an example of “strong, multidisciplinary evidence for the migration of pastoralists from the steppes of Asia. central to the Indian subcontinent between 2000 and 1500 BCE ”.

“Explode the truth”

Brought to you by IIT’s Center of Excellence for Indian Knowledge Systems, which was inaugurated by Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on December 18, the timeline aimed to “bring out the truth,” Professor said. Joy Sen, president of the Center who is credited with the calendar’s “concept and research”.

Professor Sen, a professor in the Department of Architecture and Land Use Planning at IIT-K, attributed the criticism of the calendar on social media to those “conditioned the old fashioned way.” In fact, in a lecture uploaded to YouTube in 2019, he gave his argument for what he called “the Aryan invasion that never existed”.

Talk to The hindu On Wednesday, he said: “Within 72 hours we received 1,000 emails regarding the schedule, including 800 positive, 100 positive and negative, asking us to change something, and around 60 to 70 were caustic, which shows their colonial hangovers. … In fact, when you speak out against things, you make them more popular.

He said young people were reaching out to express interest in the schedule, for which orders had been received from “the Bay Area. [San Francisco] in Japan. ”“ Foreign academics are planning workshops on this, ”he said.

According to Professor Sen, the misinformation contained in the textbooks has “destroyed the pillars of national confidence”. “People with a real scientific bent liked the calendar. There will always be an uncle in the family who is conditioned the old way and has a problem, ”he observed.

Names of the advisory team on this matter

The calendar bears the names of the advisory team that guided its realization. It includes the director of IIT-K, Virendra Kumar Tewari, the chairman of the Pan-Indian Council for Technical Education, Anil D. Sahasrabuddhe, and Sanjeev Sanyal, senior economic adviser at the Ministry of Finance.

The pages of different months are devoted to the Indus and Brahmaputra rivers; reincarnation, eons of time; cosmic symmetry; and explanation of the “myth of the Aryan invasion”.

The then Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced the establishment of the Indian Knowledge Systems Center at IIT-K on November 6, 2020. The centre’s website says it was established for interdisciplinary research on Indian history; advanced archaeological exploration; Indian linguistic systems, aesthetic systems and systems of geometry and mathematics; and Indian systems of welfare economics and planning, among others. Professor Sen is listed as the only faculty member on the website.