Resources on the Aryan Migration Debate

The Aryan Migration Debate is one of the most controversial topics in South Asian studies today. It centers primarily on the origins of the Indo-Aryan or Vedic people in what is today India, Pakistan and parts of Afghanistan. But it has implications for understanding the entire Indo-European language family stretching from India to Ireland and from Scandinavia to Turkey, as well as influences upon other ancient cultures such as Mesopotamia and Egypt.

 

The Aryan Migration Theory (AMT) is held by most mainstream scholars who have long felt that the evidence shows the Indo-Aryan people entered South Asia as a branch of the larger Indo-European language family and that the modern South Asian culture is formed primarily from the interaction of these Indo-European immigrants with the native peoples of the region. This has been challenged, increasingly in the past few decades, by proponents of what has been called the Out of India Theory (OIT). They hold that the Indo-Aryan Vedic culture is, in fact, native to South Asia and thus the origins of the Indo-European culture must therefore also be native to South Asia and that the Indo-Europeans expanded out of India into what became the rest of the Indo-European linguistic and cultural area. Actually, OIT is not an entirely accurate description for the wide range of theories held by these primarily Indian scholars. 'Indigenist' is probably a better term because some scholars hold merely that the Vedic culture is indigenous to India although the ultimate homeland of the Indo-European language family may have lain outside of India in the remote past.

 

The East West Cultural Institute does not take a position on either side of this debate. We provide the following references to both sides of the debate, as well as those in the middle or tangential to it, in the hope that increased understanding and discussion of the issues and data involved will lead to better communication and improved scholarly methodology among the various groups investigating this fascinating and fundamental period in human history.

 

A) Book Resources

 

B) Internet Resources

 

C) Journal Articles (Forthcoming)