This is a very important point I am going to make today about a new TV series which is coming out on Aryan Dravidian divide. This is being produced by a very prestigious group of people based in Mumbai. So this is important for you to know and it’s so important that I want you all to understand carefully the details I am going to give you. How do I know this fact – because it is not official and what we should all do about it and why it is a serious problem? This serial could create social, communal tensions and things like that and we should prevent it. We should approach the authorities who are doing this kind of a TV serial and try to argue with them and discourage them in a very friendly manner, in a very civil kind of a manner.
So here’s what I heard. Somebody I know who follows me well and is a credible person, was asked to audition for a role as an Aryan soldier in this TV serial, which is to be broadcast by Star Plus, a very big TV company.
The script and the story is written by K. V. Vijayendra Prasad, same person who wrote the script of superhit film Bahubali, so he is an important script writer. The producer-director is Goldie Behl of Rose Audio-visuals. Goldie Behl is a well-known person, his family is well known, he has done some important work, and he is a credible person.
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So the story is about how Aryans come and conquer, invade and defeat Dravidians. That is the sort of the background within that they will show drama and love stories and fights and whatever but that (Aryan Dravidian divide) is the core message and this is a very dangerous thing because it is incorrect. It is also socially irresponsible. It is politically dangerous. I will discuss why I feel that this is the case.
Now we don’t know who is the researcher behind this serial. May be it is some mythologist like Devdutt Pattanaik who gets his knowledge from Wendy Doniger or from Western Indologists such as Pollock and so on. Maybe it is some Western Indologist or some Indian sepoy or student of theirs, we don’t know; Or may be it is just suni sunai baat, hearsay gossip that these people picked up. So we should ask the people associated with the serial, whether these facts are true? I asked two or three people to independently verify about this and they made some inquiries and they were able to tell me that this is true.
I haven’t checked the facts but some credible people; more than one have, and they tell me that this is what is currently going on. So the shooting of the episodes has started. The serial is not “just on the drawing board” but the shooting has started and details on exactly when it will be shown and whether it be for three months, six months or nine months, that depends on the TRPs also; but those details I could not get. So I am just telling you what I know.
The Aryan Dravidian divide is a very dangerous thing which the breaking India forces are marketing for different reasons that are not in our best interest. If you read my book Breaking India you will see a very detailed argument, lots of details, lots of information on why this theory is wrong. You look at genetic data, you look at linguistic data, you look at data from archaeology- these are the kind of information that you look at, in order to understand whether this is true or not and you can reach your own conclusions but it is not something that people can take for granted. The evidence is strongly against it.
The foreign Aryan theory was started by the British. They hired Max Mueller a German; and East India company hired him and he came up with this theory. Then Bishop Caldwell, another British person also perpetuated this theory and between the two of them and their students and followers they perpetuated this theory. In India they didn’t accept it. Neither in north, nor in south; nobody accepted it. But in the past 50 to 75 years only; only from the past say 1950 onwards this thing started getting traction and became politicized for vote banking and for identity manipulation.
Then recently some Christians started adopting it because it helps them convert people by separating them from one other. Subaltern theorists who are kind of leftists, they started using this theory and all the breaking India forces came together to adopt this Aryan Dravidian divide theory. It is being kept alive not by evidence but by politics. This is very important to understand.
And those of you who think that it is only art and it is only fiction and so forth; I am telling you that what starts in scholarship ends up changing your daily lives. It affects policy, it affects media, it affects the myths that people start believing in. This has been true since many ages. If you look at our own Itihasa, if you look at Kavya – Kavya is a very important mode of transmitting messages to the popular level. So Vedic ideas are transmitted through dance and through stories- that’s also ideas being transmitted through art. So good things can be transmitted through art and bad things can be transmitted through art. Nazis used art for transmitting their ideas; church uses art for transmitting its ideas, Marxists use them. ISIS uses all these kind of media to transmit their ideas. So the transmission using such media is a very well-known fact, so I request viewers not be naive and say oh it is only fiction, it is only a serial. The point is that these things are very important methods of brainwashing or influencing people.
So let’s look at factually what we know about this issue. I’m going to refer to a very recent book by one of the most eminent archaeologist in the South India. His name is Nagaswami. He is in his eighties, a very eminent scholar, exceedingly well known, highly credible – he just came up with a new book – launched in the last two months – called Tamil Nadu the land of the Vedas. Unlike this belief that Vedas and Sanskrit were brought by foreign Aryans and Tamil land had nothing to do with it; and that Tamils were invaded; they were Dravidians; there was conflict and hostility –Nagaswami is an archaeologist – not somebody who is using some text only or hearsay but is using actual physical evidence.
Physical archaeological evidence is the ultimate evidence. Here are some things he has written in his book: He says all the great Tamil kings of the Sangam age performed Vedic rituals – Vedic Yagnas. They also followed prescriptions of Dharma Sastras. The ancient Tamil King studied Vedas, Vedangas and performed daily yajnas, mentioned as Panch Mahayajnas. So this is all from the oldest Tamil literature and physical evidence.
In birth rites, death rites, marriage rites etc, the ancient Tamils followed Vedic injunctions. The Kings appointed Vedic scholars as their ministers and presented them with lands. Even the selection of judges was made after a pass in an exam on Dharma Sastras. So this is a very important book for you to read.
Then you look at the latest DNA evidence, genetic evidence. It doesn’t show a big divide between one group and another group in India. It shows that Indians, while we have diversity as a group are very different from others in other parts of the world. You look at linguistic evidence; you look at various kinds of artifacts – Now they also discovered archaeological site in South India- which is over 2,000 years old – this site has many resemblances with archaeological sites in the north India; so we know that there was a movement among people, ideas, texts, spiritual ideas and so on.
So this friend of mine was auditioning to be an Aryan soldier who would be going and invading and attacking and brutalizing Davidians – if this information is true we ought to contest it. So I think that just putting a little disclaimer from the producer’s or channel’s side that all this is not meant to be the truth it is meant to be fiction – I don’t buy it – I think that’s irresponsible.
I mean imagine if somebody came up with some atrocious fabricated story about Muhammad – completely fabricated – which shows him to be doing all kinds of horrible things or something about Jesus or someone and just put a little disclaimer saying all this is just fiction, I don’t think people are going to accept that. So why are Hindus supposed to sit back and accept all this kind of nonsense?
And it’s not just for Hindus – the Aryan Dravidian divide is not just a problem for Hindus – it’s a problem for all Indians because it will create a lot of conflict – it will worsen the conflicts and the divisiveness and the fragmentation that we already have.
So I would request the producers and directors and Star Plus and also the story writer Mr. Vijayendra Prasad;I would like to request Goldie Behl – all of these people to please pause and consult some scholars with alternative viewpoints – bring them together – have some panel discussions – do not jump into this so quickly and hastily because you might trigger something pretty bad. And if they are doing all this which I haven’t confirmed but if they are doing all this and they don’t take heed of this message and this kind of friendly advice, I think they should be then held responsible if they actually produce things which would create such social harm, spread poison, spread enmity among people. I don’t think you can say – in the name of tolerance or in the name of freedom and all that – this is more sedition than just expressing freedom.
So this is for the government to take note of. It is for people to consider public interest litigation but I think that the we should be respectful of people who are doing this movie – listen to their point of view rather than judging them too prematurely – rushing to conclusions, rushing to judgment. Let’s listen to what they have to say.
So this is just an opening call for a conversation: an opening call that says let’s have a dialogue with these people. I’m available any place they want to meet to discuss this sort of thing and on the other hand if they just want to proceed – I think that would be a real tragedy for all serious Indians and therefore I am concerned.
(Taken from one of the FB live events of Rajiv Malhotra)