Indians — their civilization, language, and religion — are the multilayered, composite product of many different sources, now mixed to produce the modern population.
A significant portion of Indian DNA, almost half by some accounts, is derived from the aboriginal inhabitants of India, possibly descendants from the human populations that arrived there in the first waves of migration out of Africa by 50,000 years ago. They have been labeled by geneticists as Ancient Ancestral South Indians (AASI). AASI DNA is particularly prominent in mitochondrial DNA (passed through the female line), indicating that there was consistent selective mixing between aboriginal women and high-status males from populations from outside of India, probably buoyed by innovative technologies such as agriculture and metallurgy. Much of the rest of Indian DNA comes from the Middle East, with some input from the Central Asian steppe. Originally, this genetic population was labeled Ancestral North Indian (ANI), since this genetic component is more prominent in North India. It was in India that the two waves of agriculture and population movements from the Middle East and China met. While wheat was introduced from the west, rice was brought by Austro-Asiatic groups, today represented by the Mundas in eastern India, part of a language family that includes Vietnamese and Khmer. While Austro-Asiatic farmers seem to have originated from southern China, and displaced the original AASI-like inhabitants of Southeast Asia, by the time these rice farmers reached India around 4,000 years ago, they seemed to have become more dispersed.
Between 3,300 and 1,300 BCE, the urban, Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) thrived, mostly inhabited by communities of Iranian farmers somewhat mixed with aborigine Indians. Scholars are dependent on excavations and genetics in order to understand its nature. It was probably a collection of independent city-states and communities, speaking various languages of multiple origins, considering that the farmers who migrated there did so in several waves. While in one sense, the IVC can be seen as a civilization with cities, art, and administration, in another sense, it was also part of an expanding wave of agriculture into the subcontinent, perhaps the most urbanized portion of it. This wave had previously been stalled for thousands of years in what is today’s Pakistan, presumably because the Middle Eastern crops of its farmers were not adapted to growth in the rest of the subcontinent. However, rural, agricultural settlements probably fanned out from the Indus Valley into the rest of the subcontinent in the third millennium BCE.
While genetically, farmers from Iran contributed to most of the DNA of the northwestern subcontinent and the IVC, some farmer groups began to fan out, mix with the aborigine Indians in much of what is present day India, and establish agricultural communities throughout the subcontinent. Somewhere, in this process of admixture, and expanding wave of agriculture, new stone tools, social organization, and rituals, the Dravidian peoples and language family was born. Recent linguistic analysis has found that the Dravidian language family is approximately 4,500 years old (2,500 BCE), which coincides nicely with the South Indian Neolithic period, a period after 3,000 BCE when archaeologists have noted the expansion of cattle rearing, lentil farming, and hilltop villages radiating out from the Godavari River basin in Karnataka and Telangana.
In the Eurasian steppe, the Indo-Europeans, an ancient people, who proved to have an enormous impact on world history and whose descendent languages are highly successful, arose. There is overwhelming genetic, archaeological, and linguistic evidence that the source population of the Indo-Europeans were “ancient agro-pastoralists (herders)” originating from the western Eurasian steppe in modern Ukraine, Russia, and Kazakhstan and their population was formed from a mixture of ancient European hunter-gatherers, ancient Siberians, and farmers from northwestern Iran. Indo-European sites were characterized by their use of the wheel and horses, which was probably the innovation that allowed their rapid spread after 3,000 BCE. Indo-Europeans spreading west into Europe displaced much of the original European population, at that time descended from the first waves of Middle Eastern farmers, who themselves had displaced the previous hunter-gatherers..
One group of these pastoral Indo-Europeans migrated to what is today’s Central Asian steppe. Archaeologists refer to these people as the Andronovo culture, better known to linguists as the Indo-Iranians. Most Indo-Iranian groups referred to themselves as some variant of the term arya, meaning noble; this is the etymology of both the modern country of Iran, and the Aryans of India.
How did Hinduism originated is a difficult question. The accepted theory is that Hinduism was evolved after the historical meeting between the Aryans and Dravidians. Some claim that Hinduism is mainly an Aryan culture whereas the others claim that it is mainly a Dravidian culture.
The most basic division of the Indian society is of Aryans and Dravidians. According to this division, nearly 72% of Indians are Aryans and 28% are Dravidians. The north Indians are the descendants of Aryans and the south Indians are Dravidians. The languages spoken in five states of south India are considered Dravidian languages and most of the languages spoken in the north are considered Aryan languages. The general script of the Aryan languages is different from the general script of Dravidian languages. The Indians also distinguish themselves by the general north Indian accent and general south Indian accent.
According to general Indian legend, the Aryans arrived in north India somewhere from Iran and southern Russia at around 1500 BC. Before the Aryans, the Dravidian people resided in India. The Aryans disregarded the local cultures. They began conquering and taking control over regions in north India and at the same time pushed the local people southwards or towards the jungles and mountains in north India. According to this historical fact the general division of Indian society is made. North Indians are Aryans and south Indians are Dravidians. But this division isn’t proper because of many reasons. Many Indians immigrated from one part of India to other parts of India and not all local people of north India were pushed southwards by the Aryans. Some stayed and served the Aryans and others moved to live in the forests and the jungles of north India. Before the arrival of the Aryans there were also other communities in India like Sino-Mongoloids and Austroloids. There were also other foreign immigrations and invaders who arrived in India, from time to time.
There are many that completely doubt that there was ever any Aryan invasion in India. This skepticism is based on the dating of the Aryan invasion of India and the fact that Hinduism and the caste system are believed to have been established as the result of the meetings between the intruding Aryans and original residents of India, the Dravidians. The caste system is believed to have been established by the Aryans. The fair skinned Aryans who occupied parts of India established the caste system, which allowed only them to be the priests (Brahman), aristocracy (Kshatria) and the businessmen (Vaisia) of the society. Below them in hierarchy were the Sudras who consisted of two communities. One community was of the locals who were subdued by the Aryans and the other were the descendants of Aryans with locals. In Hindu religious stories there are many wars between the good Aryans and the dark skinned demons and devils. The different Gods also have dark skinned slaves. There are stories of demon women trying to seduce good Aryan men in deceptive ways. There were also marriages between Aryan heroes and demon women. Many believe that these incidences really occurred in which, the gods and the positive heroes were people of Aryan origin. And the demons, the devils and the dark skinned slaves were in fact the original residence of India whom the Aryans coined as monsters, devil, demons and slaves.
Today Hinduism is a very matured and highly useful religion with very rich philosophies in this world. Whoever have contributed to this growth, all those great people should be applauded, irrespective of whether they belonged to Arctic or Antarctic. What matters is the truth. It is rightly said, “Let good things come from all the directions.”