Tag Archive: aryans


Mahabharat is one of my favorite mythological books along with Iliad. Somehow I find it more real compared to Ramayana. Although many in India regard Ramayana as “the” book, I personally beg to differ. For me Ramayana symbolizes bondage but Mahabharata unleashing of spirits and thoughts, for someone who does not like bondage much, Ramayana might not excite much (Though I guess that talk might be blasphemous to some. I would just say it is the choice of having something spicier ).

Mahabharat offers a variety of characters whom we in this present world could relate to and I would be trying to give my own understanding of the characters as time goes on, hoping to find some answers myself too in the process. Additional to that I can say Business Sutra  reignited my interest for it providing a different perspective and a deep insight into Mahabharat. I enjoy the Business Sutra very much started on CNBCTV18 in which Devdutt Pattanaik  talks about mythology. I can honestly say that it is a delightful experience listening to him. I have rarely seen someone describe and enlighten people about Indian manuscripts and old age text like he does and use it in terms of management.

In the coming posts I would talk and think about certain characters which made me think and question. For a list they would be as follows:

  • Bhishma
  • Karna
  • Arjun
  • Yudhishtar
  • Bhim
  • Krishna
  • Duryodhan
  • Shakuni
  • kunti
  • shantanu
  • Ganga
  • Nakul and sehdev
  • Draupadi
  • Durshashan
  • Balram
  • Ghatotkach
  • Barbarika or Khatushyamji
  • Abhimanyu
  • Dhitrashtra
  • Gandhari
  • Pandu
  • Satyawati
  • Dronacharya
  • Sanjay
  • Vidura

Now one would try to start it generation by generation but would dare say that it would not always be that restrictive……. It may vary as per my admiration for the character (and mood)  so bear with me who ever will read it,apologies before hand if it puts you off. It will be more in terms my understanding of these characters…

Regarding the last post and most importantly regarding the ARYANS and SCYTHIAN.  There has been a substantial finding by many scholars, who classify Scythians as a sub-family of  Aryans. As these Scythian were the Eastern European-Indo-Iranian proto people who migrated into north India in 2 century BC. There is always a likelihood of being identified differently from the original Aryan natives in India who have been living there since 4ooo BC. ( atleast of what is known.)

The Pashtuns, Yakuts,OssetiansKazakhs and Jats claim their linage from Scythian WAR-LORDs  which is substantiated, but that may not be true or Rajputs who claim “PURE” Aryan blood ( They might be a product of ancient Aryans who came to Sub continent earlier, they have no connection to Scythians but must be part of larger Aryan family).   Pashtuns for one are part of eastern Iranian bloodline, with Greek DNA added. Jats also are a by product of Eastern-Iranian bloodline.  Jats are a Scythian-Aryan ethnic group with traces of Greek ancestry( Though the historical records showing as Scythians, a sub family of Aryans. They are classified as Indo-Aryan ethnic group by modern day scholars).

As history show that prior to Scythians , Indo-greeks use to rule north-west Indian sub continent.  These kingdoms were defeated by the Scythian warriors, who then married many Indo-greek and Indo-aryan women. The formation of a “new” race in sub-continent took place.

There are a few links which one would like to offer, for those who wish to read about Scythians:

http://listverse.com/2010/01/05/top-10-interesting-facts-about-the-scythians/

http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/dragons/esp_sociopol_dragoncourt02_01.htm

http://www.imninalu.net/Eurasians.htm

http://heritageinstitute.com/zoroastrianism/saka/index.htm

http://www.vnnforum.com/showthread.php?t=52282

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Azes_II

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scythians

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aryan_race

http://www.lost-civilizations.net/scythians.html

Scythian women

They represented the equality as they fought along side their men in battlefields. In the current central Asia one could only find the traces of such equality.The act of war was one in which the Scythian women are said to have participated in equally with the men. Scythian women were tattooed like their mates, and the ancient historian Diordorus commented that Scythian women ‘fight like the men and are nowise inferior to them in bravery’.

It has been recorded that Scythian women had to kill three enemies in battle before marrying, and that a mastectomy of the right breast was performed on female infants so that their pectoral muscle wouldn’t weaken and they would be able to brandish a sword better.

http://www.fscclub.com/history/scyths-e.shtml

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazons#Scythians_and_Sarmatians

http://anti-amazon.blogspot.com/2010/11/iranian-peoples-sarmatians-women.html

Indo-European identity part-II

(Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and north Indian genesis)

Some phenotypes of current south Asia seem to keep the track of this ancient migration from Central Asia occurring during bronze age.

Kalasha woman from north pakistan

Young Kalash woman from the Chitral district of north-western Pakistan

The famous Afghan girl with piercing green eyes.

Sharbat Gula, the famous Afghan girl whose photograph was on the cover of the National Geographic.

Little girl from Afghanistan

Afghan father and his son

Afghans from the village of Deh-e Hazara

Wakhi girl (Afghanistan)

Wakhi girl from the extreme east of Afghanistan, a region located between the south of Tajikistan, the west of China and the north of Pakistan

Afghan kids

Afghan kids in Jalalabad (Afghanistan)

Afghan children

Afghan children from Panjshir

Little Afghan girl from the Hazarajat region of Afghanistan

Little Hazara girl (Afghanistan)

North Pakistanese girl (maybe Nuristani)

Young girl from the north of Pakistan

South Asian man from north Pakistan with an Europoid appearance.

Man from the north of Pakistan

Paksitanese little boy

Pashtun boy from Pakistan

Man from Chitral (north of Pakistan)

Man from the Chitral district (North Pakistan)

Young teen from northern Pakistan, south Asia

A teenager from northern Pakistan

The south of Asia was the homeland of bright and famous ancient civilizations, culturally and linguistically Indo-european, especially India (of the Indo-aryan linguistical family) and Iran (formerly known as Persia, of the Iranian linguistical family).

It was at the end of the 18th century, that sir William Jones realized the relation between European languages and south Asian languages such as Sanskrit, inaugurating then the existence of the now famous Indo-european language family theory.

Latin, for instance, has many similarities with Sanskrit. Indeed, how couldn’t we link words such as vox (voc-is), “voice“  in Latin and vac in Sanskrit (also “voice” ; found in many other Indo-european languages, e.g. Tocharian vak/vek or Hittite huek), candor (“bright whiteness” in Latin ) and candra, “moon” in Sanskrit, ignis (“fire” in Latin) and agnis (“fire” in Sanskrit, Agni also being the god of fire – also ugnis in Lithuanian and ogon’ in Russian, all meaning “fire“), Latin jugum (meaning “yoke“, also derived from the same proto-indo-european word) and Sanskrit yugam, giving the word yoga (also in the ancient greek zugon, Tocharian yuk or Hittite yukan, among many examples), Latin nebula and Sanskrit nabhas (but also Hittite nepiš, German nebel and Russian nebo, for instance, meaning all either “cloud“, “mist” or “sky“), or pater (“father” (a word also related) in Latin) and pitar in Sanskrit (also the ancient greek pater or Tocharian pacer, and many others). Likewise, we can find some similarities between the declension suffixes in both languages (examples : -ibus at the plural dative and ablative cases in Latin and -ebhyas in Sanskrit in the same cases).

When it became obvious that most of the languages of Europe and most of the languages of south Asia were related, then started the search for an explanation to such an astonishing geographical extent. Many theories have been erected to try to solve the puzzle of the origin of the extent of this language family and to discover the original population responsible for this situation and their ancestral homeland.

The Kurgan hypothesis explains the repartition of the Indo-european languages in Eurasia by the successive migrations of pastoralist populations living north of the black sea (in what is nowadays east Ukraine and south Russia), whose arrival is visible in the archeology. In this theory, the early Indo-iranians originated in the region between Russia and north-west Kazakhstan between 2,500 BCE and 2,000 BCE (the Abashevo culture of Russia is also considered possibly a good candidate for the origin of the proto-indo-iranian language by some (The fact that it was influential in the origin of the Sintashta site (a site just east of the Ural mountains often considered as having the oldest visible expression of indo-iranian practices) could support this view as well)) and were subsequently found in the Andronovo culture of central Asia. Also, the fact that the Andronovo culture was followed by the Indo-iranian-speaking Scythians/Sakas (who clearly seem spawned from it (there is an archaeological continuity between these cultures)) seem to clearly make this theory the most logical one.

The Gandhara grave culture of the north of Pakistanis also seen as the advance of Indo-iranian populations in south Asia. The presence of proto-Indo-iranian loanwords in Finno-ugric languages (such as Estonian and Finnish) and in languages from the east of the Caucasus can be seen as supporting this theory of the Indo-iranian ethnogenesis (Interestingly, among the terms that the ancient Finno-ugric language borrowed to the ancient Indo-iranian language seems to be the “arya” word (source)).

A spreading of the Indo-european languages in Eurasia from neolithic agriculturalist populations seems very unlikely as the proto-indo-european language had words for the wheel (examples : Latin rota, Sanskrit rathas, Irish roth and Lithuanian ratas (a root also meaning sometimes “chariot” in a few languages)) and a metal (examples: Latin aes (bronze), Sanskrit ayas (iron), Gothic aiz (brass; coin) and old Norse eir (bronze), among others), which seems to exclude, de facto, the oldest typical neolithic time. The fact that the stem for “horse” (*ekwos ; the satem version of it in Sanskrit is ‘asva) is also present in the original language, the proto-indo-european language (a root visible in these few examples : Latin equus, Mycenian iqo, Gaulish epos, Tokharian B yakwe or old Irish ech), also excludes both south Asia and neolithic as the geographical origin and the time of the proto-indo-europeans, as the horse was apparently absent of south Asia until the last part of bronze age (this animal (as domesticated one) was apparently also absent of south-west Asia and in a big part of Asia minor until the same historical time (informations about the horse domestication)).

The study of ancient Indo-iranian languages also seems to support an origin of this language family from outside of India (source).

Girl from south Asia

An Indo-iranian ethnogenesis in the steppes of central Asia is still currently the most popular theory among the specialists.

The Gandhara grave culture, located in the north of Pakistan in the Swat valley, sees the arrival of the horse in south Asia during bronze age and a few points allows for a (still controversial and hypothetical) link with the early Indo-aryans. The funerary practices, for instance, show several similarities with other supposedly Indo-european practices and there are many similarities with the Andronovo culture traditions. They also could fit quite well with the RigVedic descriptions. These traditions are clearly the mark of a change in this region, at this time.

In the Kurgan theory, the first Indo-iranians supposedly arrived around 1,800 BC-1,600 BC in south Asia from central Asia. These populations were apparently in large part of Europoid type as hinted by several studies (see the central Asia article), which seems confirmed by the admixture estimates of south Asian populations that do have an european component even if in low quantity (examples here or here (or here for a higher resolution of the latter) | source : dienekes.blogspot.com)

Young man from the eastern Afghanistan or the north of Pakistan

Within a geographic continuum going from the south-east of Tajikistan, eastern Afghanistan (especially Nuristan) down to the north of Pakistan, the Europoid phenotypes are more frequent. The area is also apparently the place of a (slightly) higher frequency of the haplogroup Y-DNA R1a1a than in the neighboring areas.

Chitral kid (Pakistan)

Little child from the Chitral district of north Pakistan

Supporting the theory of migrations from central Asia into south Asia, the presence of the very mutation (mutation T-13910 of the lactase phlorizin hydrolase (LCT) gene) providing the lactose tolerance (here more precisely the lactase persistence) among European populations is also found in south Asia, especially in the the north-west of India (source). This clearly shows that south Asians and Europeans share a specific mutation and as such as specific relation of which west Asians are excluded (this allele is obviously only very marginal and residual among west Asians and likely the result of Indo-european migrations of little demographic impact).

The lactase persistence T-13910 alleles frequency in the world

Approximative frequency and spread of the lactase persistence T-13910 allele of the LCT gene. We can see that South Asians and Europeans share a specific mutation for lactase persistence. A correlation of that allele with Y-DNA haplogroups R1a1a, R1b1a2 (ex-R1b1b2), R1b1c (ex-R1b1a) and at least haplogroup mtDNA H (quite visible in north Africa on the map) seems obvious. (click to see bigger)

A 2009 study (Kallur N. Saraswathy et al., Brief communication: Allelic and haplotypic structure at the DRD2 locus among five North Indian caste populations) also emphasized the genetic flow inherited of populations extraneous to India within the upper caste populations of north India.

The dopamine D2 receptor (DRD2) gene, with its known human-specific derived alleles that can facilitate haplotype reconstruction, presents an important locus for anthropological studies. The three sites (TaqIA, TaqIB, and TaqID) of the DRD2 gene are widely studied in various world populations. However, no work has been previously published on DRD2 gene polymorphisms among North Indian populations. Thus, the present study attempts to understand the genetic structure of North Indian upper caste populations using the allele and haplotype frequencies and distribution patterns of the three TaqI sites of the DRD2 gene. Two hundred forty-six blood samples were collected from five upper caste populations of Himachal Pradesh (Brahmin, Rajput and Jat) and Delhi (Aggarwal and Sindhi), and analysis was performed using standard protocols. All three sites were found to be polymorphic in all five of the studied populations. Uniform allele frequency distribution patterns, low heterozygosity values, the sharing of five common haplotypes, and the absence of two of the eight possible haplotypes observed in this study suggest a genetic proximity among the selected populations. The results also indicate a major genetic contribution from Eurasia to North Indian upper castes, apart from the common genetic unity of Indian populations. The study also demonstrates a greater genetic inflow among North Indian caste populations than is observed among South Indian caste and tribal populations.

[pastmists : interestingly, among the populations being the closest of the north Indian upper castes, in this specific study, we find  the Chuvash people (a Turkic-speaking people of Russia whose haplogroups and autosomal profile  reveal they are still largely from the ancient “Europoid” autochthonous non-Turkic substrate) [pastmists: the Finns and even the Russians are close too, seemingly confirming this view] living west of the Ural mountains, where was located the already mentionned Abashevo culture, during bronze age. Is this a sign that the Aryas had come from  populations in this general region (and of this historical culture), or maybe more generally from a region close to the Ural mountains?]

Aishwarya Rai without make-up

Aishwarya Rai, famous Indian actress

Asko Parpola, a Finnish scholar, evokes a few points supporting the migration of Indo-iranian populations in India during bronze age in this excerpt of an interview:

Hindu.com : “Some Indian scholars feel that the Indus Civilisation is Aryan [i.e. Indo-iranian] and connected with the Rig Veda. You are a Vedic scholar and you specialise in the Indus script too. So what is your reaction to this standpoint?”

 

Asko Parpola : “Rigvedic hymns often speak of horses and horse-drawn chariots, and the horse sacrifice, ashvamedha, is among the most prestigious Vedic rites. The only wild equid native to the Indian subcontinent is the wild ass, which is known from the bone finds of the Indus Civilisation and depicted (though rarely) in its art and script. The domesticated horse is absent from South Asia until the second millennium BCE. Finds from Pirak and Swat from 1600 BCE show it was introduced from Central Asia after the Indus Civilisation. The earliest archaeological finds of horse-drawn chariot come from graves dated to around 2000 BCE in the Eurasian steppes, the natural habitat of the horse. There are also ancient Aryan loanwords in Finno-Ugric languages spoken in northeastern Europe (for example, the word for ‘hundred‘ in my own language Finnish is ‘sata’ [i.e. the same word than in Indo-iranian]). Some of these Aryan loanwords represent a more archaic stage of development (that is, are phonetically closer to the older Proto-Indo-European language) than Rigvedic Sanskrit. It is very likely that these words came to Finno-Ugric languages from Proto-Aryan spoken in the Volga steppes [i.e. in Russia].”

(Source)

Indian man fom the north of India

Indian man from Haryana (north of India)

North Indian woman

Woman from North india

Indian woman from Rajathan

Woman from Rajathan (north-west of India)

Although often contested, some sentences from the RigVeda, the oldest holy book of Hinduism, are interpretable through an ethnic lense. In this text, the enemies of the Arya, the Dasa, are often associated with the darkness and blackness and sometimes the literal words of black (or dark) skin are written.

Example from the Mandala IX, hymn 73 :

5. “Blowing away with supernatural might from earth and from the heavens the swarthy skin which Indra hates.”

which can be opposed to the following sentence from the Mandala I, hymn 100 :

18. “The mighty Thunderer [i.e. Indra] with his fair-complexioned friends won the land, the sunlight, and the waters.”

[From the Ralph T.H. Griffith translation]

A few of such instances can be found in the RigVeda.

Young Indian boy

Young Indian boy from Rajasthan

Young orphan girl from Northewest India

Young orphan girl from rajasthan

Young Indian girl from Rajasthan

Young orphan girl from Rajasthan, a region of north-west India, whos the sister of the girl above

Young Indian girl from Kashmir, northwest of India

Young Indian girl from Kashmir, northwest of India

Although rare, blue or green eyes are findable in India. The Buddha, a prince of the north of India living in the 6th century BC and  whose real name was Siddhartha Gautama, is said, in the oldest written source of Buddhism, the Pali canon, to have had very blue eyes (“abhi nila netto” literally meaning “very blue eyes“). Similarly, Bodhidharma, an Indian monk of the 6th century AD, founder of the Zen Buddhism, also credited with the martial arts tradition of the Shaolin temple, was nicknamed “the blue-eyed barbarian” by the Chinese.

Little Indian schoolgirl

Little Indian schoolgirl from Uttaranchal, a region of the north of India

Young men from Heam, in the north of India

Young men from the north of India

Indian Girl from the north of India

Girl from the north of India

Indian girl

Indian girl

Sikh girl from Bangalore (India)

Sikh girl from Bangalore (India)

Indian woman from the Madhya Pradesh

Indian woman from the Madhya Pradesh (India)

Little Indian toddler

                  Pakistan

Little Kalasha girl from the North pakistan

Little Kalash girl from the Hindu-kush (North pakistan)

Little Kalash girl of the chitral district

Little Kalasha girl of the chitral district of North Pakistan

Little Kalasha girl from Chitral (North-west Pakistan)

Little Kalash girl from Chitral (North Pakistan)

Kalash children (Chitral, North Pakistan)

Kalasha children (North Pakistan)

Young Kalash girl (Chitral)

Young Kalash woman (North pakistan)

Young Kalash man

Young Kalash man (Chitral, north-west of Pakistan)

Kalash baby from Romboor, Chitral district in North Pakistan

Kalash baby from Romboor, Chitral district

Kalasha kids, Chitral

Kalash kids, Chitral

 

 

 

Kalasha child, Chitral, North Pakistan

Kalash woman from Chitral (Pakistan)

Kalash woman from the north of Pakistan

Kalash woman and her baby (Chitral)

Kalasha woman and her baby (Pakistan)

Little Kalasha girl with red hair from north Pakistan

Little Kalash girl with red hair from Chitral, Pakistan

In the north of Pakistan, some individuals also frequently show a strikingly europoid appearance. The most well-known of these populations where theses characteristics are visible are the Burushos of the Hunza valley (speaking a non-indo-european language, Burushaski) and the Kalash (or Kalashas, like the former name of the Nuristanis of eastern Afghanistan) a population of the Hindu-kush speaking an Indo-iranian language. The Kalash, the Burusho and the Nuristani claim to be descendants of the Alexander‘s army (another legend of the Kalash also claim a link with the Kushan) but so far the genetic tests have not seen any link with Greek or Macedonian populations (Very few tracks have been found among the Pathans (a.k.a. Pashtun) of Pakistan though). It is quite possible that these south Asian populations are actually partly the visible remains of the ancient Indo-iranian populations that probably came from central Asia during bronze age and mixed with the local populations, as the DNA tests have revealed that populations of bronze age south Siberia, strongly supposed to have been early Indo-europeans, had such characteristics.

Pakistanese children from the Hunza valley

Pakistani children of Karimabad, Hunza Valley (Pakistan)

Burusho girl of Hunza, Pakistan

Young Burusho girl (left) of the Hunza Valley (north Pakistan)

Young Hunza girl (north Pakistan)

Young girl from Hunza (north Pakistan)

Isolated people of the Hindu Kush mountains in the north of Pakistan (in the Chitral district), the Kalash are a polytheistic ethnic group speaking the Kalash language, a Dardic language (a language group considered as a subgroup of the Indo-aryan language family) of the Indo-iranian language family. Their traditions are said to be close to the ancient pre-Zoroastrian Iranian and ancient Indian Vedic traditions.

source : http://pastmists.wordpress.com/

Afghanistan :

Afghan child from the Uzbek community

Afghan child from the Uzbek community

Little girl from Herat, Afghanistan, not far from the Iranian border

Little girl from Herat, Afghanistan, not too far from the Iranian border

Little child from Afghanistan

Little child from Afghanistan

Afghan man with very blue eyes

Blue-eyed Afghan man from Herat, a city not far from the north-east Iran border

Young Afghan from a refugee camp in Iran

Young Afghan from a refugee camp in Iran

Little Afghan girl

Little Afghan girl

Picture of an Afghan boy from a refugee camp in Semnan, Iran

Picture of an Afghan boy from a refugee camp in Semnan, Iran

Hazara girl from Central Afghanistan

Hazara girl from Central Afghanistan

Hazara children, Afghanistan

Hazara children, Afghanistan

Young Hazara boy

Young Hazara boy (Afghanistan)

Young Afghans

Young Afghans

The words of Zoroaster (a.k.a. Zarathustra), the famous Persian sage, described the place of origin of the Aryans (Aryanam Vaejah) in terms that led some historians to believe he was maybe referring to a place in central Asia (excerpt from “The Cambridge ancient history by John Boardman)

Individuals with Europoids features, though rather rare, are findable in these regions as well, like in all the regions where Indo-european languages have been spoken or are currently spoken. It can probably be seen as a legacy of bronze age migrations from central Asia, (and originally from the north-east of the black sea, according to the Kurgan theory).

Little Pashtun girl from the Tribal area

Little Pashtun girl from the Tribal area

Pashtun man from Afghanistan

Pashtun man from Afghanistan. It seems that the term “Pakhta” in the RigVeda is a reference to the ancestors of the Pashtuns (a.k.a. Pakhtuns or Pathans), hinting to the ancient existence of this ethnical group in this region.

In the eastern part of Afghanistan, in a region named Nuristan (formerly known as Kafiristan), Europoid phenotypes are not that rare. The Nuristani (previously known as Kalasha before their conversion to Islam in 1895) are a people living in a very remote and isolated mountainous region of east Afghanistan, in the Hindu-Kush mountains. They maintained their very old pre-islamic traditions, believed to be derived from the antique Indo-iranian traditions of yore, and were polytheistic before being conquered and islamized in the end of the 19th century. They are speaking in a specific branch of Indo-iranian language family (sometimes perceived as having evolved from an archaic branch of the family (i.e. spawned from a different branch than proto-iranian or proto-indo-aryan within the indo-iranian family)).

Little Kalasha girl (Afghanistan)

Little Nuristani girl (Afghanistan)

Kalasha boy from eastern Afghanistan

Nuristani boy from eastern Afghanistan

Little Nuristani girl (Afghanistan)

Little Nuristani girl (1971)

Nursitani girl (notice the tattoo reminding of the Hindu Tilak/bindi)

Nuristani girl (notice the tattoo reminescent of the Hindu Tilak/bindi)

Nuristani schoolgirl (Afghanistan)

Nuristani Girl of Afghanistan

Nuristani Girl of Afghanistan (the tattoo resembles the Hindu bindi (or tilaka))

Little girls from Nuristan

Little girls from Nuristan

It is interesting to note that the regions where the Europoid phenotypes are the most frequent are also the most isolated places where population movements and mixing was much rarer.

Some people believe these Europoid phenotypes are actually the results of rapes by the USSR army during the invasion of Afghanistan that took place from 1979 to 1989. Though, it is very unlikely for several reasons :

  1. It’s already difficult to imagine the Russian army changing the face of Nuristan (especially such an isolated and difficult to access mountainous region), in 10 years – especially since it was a region it didn’t control.
  2. There are photographs of Nuristani from before the Russian invasion such as this one from 1971 (8 years before the invasion) .
  3. Europoid phenotypes are found way further in Asia (north-west China, India, north Pakistan, etc…) that in the area the USSR troopers operated, even though they are not frequent.
  4.  We know by archeological findings and ancient DNA that individuals with such characteristics existed deep into Asia (and it seems confirmed by a few Mummies as well) not so far from these regions (more will be said about this in the next articles).
  5. We have ancient writings that confirms that such features are found in these regions from a long time. For instance, a Chinese buddhist monk from the 7th century describes the population of a kingdom in what is nowadays either south Tajikistan or north-eastern Afghanistan where most of the people had blue eyes (source : Si-Yu-Ki: Buddhist Records of the Western World | the page before the excerpt can be found there in searching “Ta-mo-si-tie-ti“)

Kurdistan :

The Kurds are a people located partly in Turkey, north Syria, north of Iraq and north-western Iran and speaking an Iranian language. They are generally associated with the antique Medes, an ancient “Persian” people having likely brought the ancestor of the Kurdish language in this region. Haplogroup Y-DNA R1a1a is found at a low frequency in west Asia, except among the Kurds where this male lineage reaches about 20% of the local male population.

Here are a few examples of europoid phenotypes found among the Kurdish population :

Kurdish boys from northern Syria

Two Kurdish boys from northern Syria

Little Kurdish boy

Little Kurdish boy

Little Kurdish child

Little Kurdish child

Kurds

Kurds

 

Peshmerga Kurd with Daughter

Peshmerga warrior Kurd with his Daughter

 

               IRAN:

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf, Mayor of Tehran

Mohammad Baqer Qalibaf (Mohammad-Bagher Ghalibaf), Mayor of Tehran

Ayatollah Yazdi (Iran)

Ayatollah Yazdi, former minister of justice of Iran

Ali Larijani, chairman of the Iranian parliament

Ali Larijani, chairman of the Iranian parliament

Mohammad Reza Golzar, Iranian actor and musician

Mohammad Reza Golzar, Iranian actor and musician

Iranian woman

Iranian woman

Old Iranian man

Old Iranian man

Little iranian girl

Little Iranian girl

Little peasant girl from Khorasan (Iran)

Little peasant girl from Khorasan (Iran)

Little Qashaqii girl from Iran

Little Qashaqii girl from Iran

Young Iranian girl from Ar-panah

Young Iranian girl from Ar-panah

Young Iranian schoolgirl

Young Iranian schoolgirl

 

Jats in general

Jat

ETHNONYMS: Jāṭ, Jaṭ, Jatt

Orientation


Identification and Location.  Jat live predominantly in large parts of northern and northwestern India and in southern and eastern Pakistan, as sedentary farmers and warriors ( with some are pastorals).  Jat is a race much like the Irish, Ossetians, KurdsYakuts, Kazakhs  and the pashtuns.  In India most of these communities are integrated as a caste into the locally prevalent caste system, so that they could be accommodated in Hinduism (as Hinduism is considered a religion by default for all Indians).However, a Jat can be a Sikh, Hindu or a Muslim (Christian and Buddhist too in some case).

Their population is  mostly concentrated in the regions of Jammu, Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh/ Harit Pradesh, Parts of Madhya Pradesh, kutch in Gujrat and Delhi.In Pakistan, they are in Pakistan Punjab, Baluchistan, Kashmir and sindh region.In the past century increasing population pressure on land has led to large-scale emigration of the peasant Jat, especially from India, to North America, the United Kingdom, Malaysia, and more recently the Middle East. Within India many rural Jats had started to look towards Urban settlements in hope for better lifestyle and jobs.

As per some researchers, sedentary farming Jat and the nomadic pastoral Jats (in gujrat as claimed by researchers and documentary makers) are of entirely different origins; few believe that the two groups are of the same stock but that they developed different life-styles over the centuries. Neither the farmers nor the pastoralists are, however, to be confused with other distinct communities of peddlers, artisans, and entertainers designated in Afghanistan by the blanket terms “Jat” or Jaṭ.

The latter terms are considered pejorative, and they are rejected as ethnonyms by these peripatetic communities. In Pakistan also, among the Baluchi- and Pashto-speaking populations, the terms were, and to a certain extent still are, used to indicate contempt and lower social status.

Demography. No reliable figures are available for recent years. In 1931 the population of all sedentary and farming Jat was estimated at 8,377,819; in the early 1960s 8,000,000 was the estimate for Pakistan alone. Today the entire Jat population consists of several million more than that.

Linguistic Affiliation.

Jats speak languages and dialects that are closely connected with local spoken languages of the Indo-Iranian Group.  Arabic-derived Urdu is used by Jat Muslims, while Jat Sikhs and Jat Hindus use the Gurmukhi (Punjabi) and the Devanagari (Hindi) scripts, respectively.

History and Cultural Relations

Little is known about the early history of the Jat, although several theories were advanced by various scholars over the last 200 years. Some authors argue that they are descendants of the first Indo-Aryans, others suggest that they are of Indo-Scythian stock and entered India toward the beginning of the Christian era. These authors also point to some cultural similarities between the Jat and certain other major communities of the area, such as the Gurjar, the Ahir, and the Rajput, about whose origins similar theories have been suggested.

In fact, among both Muslims and Sikhs the Jat and the Rajput castes enjoy almost equal status—partly because of the basic egalitarian ideology enjoined by both religions, but mainly because of the similar political and economic power held by both communities. Hindu Jat consider the Gujar and Ahir as allied castes; except for the rule of caste endogamy, there are no caste restrictions between these three communities.

In other scholarly debates about the origins of the Jat, attempts have been made to identify them with the Jarttikā, referred to in the Hindu epic the Mahābhārata. Some still maintain that the people Arab historians referred to as the ZuṠṠ, and who were taken as prisoners in the eighth century from Sindh in present-day southern Pakistan to southern Iraq, were actually buffalo-herding Jat, or were at least known as such in their place of origin.

Another scholarly view point stating that Jat race is a combination of Indo-greek, Scythians and Indo- Aryan stock (namely Mauryans of the Dynasty of Chandragupta Maurya, Grandfather of Great Ashoka). It was after many years of inter marrying that a new name and identity came into being which was collectively called as Jats.

Indo-Greek

This  view point seems to be more scientific and has a good logic unlike a certain community’s belief that they come from some fire etc. and proclaim themselves to be the ‘authentic‘ warriors from the bloodline of a ‘Brahminical god‘ whose name and existence is mythological (a way to subside their inferiority complex ,propagation of superstitious blind faith and to enslave masses).

With the arrival of Islam (both Salafi and Sufi) in 10 to 12 Century AD  many Jats converted to Islam and it lead to socioeconomic prosperity for them. For rest of Hindu Jats who were mostly peasants and pastorals (as Sikh religion was not born) the fight for empowerment and against exploitative condition was long and brutal in many ways (mainly by Priestly class which are known as Brahmins, from the hands of Ruling elite who claimed warrior status  (but their credentials are doubtful) and finally from Islamist who invaded and ruled India in subsequent centuries too ).

In the seventeenth century a (Hindu) kingdom was established in the area of Bharatpur and Dholpur (Rajasthan) in northern India; it was the outcome of many centuries of rebellion against the Mughal  Empire, and it lasted till 1826, when it was defeated by the forces of the British East India Company.

Farther north, in the Punjab, in the early years of the eighteenth century, Jat (mainly Sikh) organized peasant uprisings against the predominantly Muslim landed gentry; subsequently, with the invasion of the area—first by the Persian King Nadir Shah and then by the Afghan Ahmad Shah Abdali—they controlled a major part of the area through close-knit bands of armed marauders operating under the leadership of the landowning chiefs of well-defined territories.

A Sikh Jat became King of Entire Punjab for 40 years who was called Maharaja Ranjit Singh , he employed a policy of secularism where Muslims, Hindus and Sikhs lived in harmony from many years before Britishers annexed it in 1850.

Because of their martial traditions, the Jat, together with certain other communities, were classified by British administrators of imperial India as a “martial race,” and this term had certain long-lasting effects. One was their large-scale recruitment into the British-Indian army, and to this day a very large number of Jat are soldiers in the Indian army.

Many Sikh Jats in the Indian part of Punjab were involved in the  movement for the creation of an autonomous Khalistan, Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale (14th Chief of the Damdami Taksal )  was a Sikh Jat, it has been said that he was neither for and nor against the creation of Khalistan (though many of his followers were in favour for creation of Khalistan and considered him a spiritual leader for the movement) . Those who were Muslims were closely associated with the movement of Pakistan as the 1st prime-minister of Pakistan was Liaquat Ali Khan who was a Muslim Jat. India’s 5th prime-minister was Chaudhary Charan Singh who was a Hindu Jat.

Settlements

The Jat as a whole are predominantly rural. Over the last 400-500 years there has been increasing sedentarization of Jats; this trend increased rapidly in the last decades of the eighteenth century when many pastoralists settled in the central Punjab under the auspices of Sikh rule there owing to the philosophy of Sikhism (since earlier the Mughal rule did not favor them and their rule were draconian towards non-mu slims . Sikh rule brought about massive land reforms ).

This continued over a very large area with the expansion of irrigation in British imperial times. Before that some Jats were peasants but in few regions only.

Most Jat peasants lived in flat-roofed houses made of baked or unbaked bricks in large compact villages, with few open spaces within the inhabited area; all villages have cattle sheds, village commons, and wells or ponds. Depending on the region and the precise community, Jat  peasants used a variety of huts, mostly made of reed mats and wood, that are fairly easy to dismantle. The reed mats are woven by the women.

Kingdoms and Royalty

The royalty among Jat has been in existence for more than 1000 years (records could be found with the respective families) but after 1699 it rose rapidly as more warriors revolted against the Mughals and formed their respective kingdoms. Following is the list of some notable kings and queens among Jats

Rajasthan

Uttar Pradesh

Punjab

Madhya Pradesh

Kinship, Marriage, and Family

Kin Groups and Descent.

All Jat are divided into several large, usually dispersed clans. Most clans are de facto maximal lineages, which are further segmented; among Jat peasants this segmentation takes place at four broad levels. The minimal lineage is composed of a group of households, which had formed a single household two or three generations previously; they may still share a common courtyard and have joint rights to a well.

Marriage.

While among Muslim Jat the practice of exchange marriage takes place at various levels of lineage organization, among Hindu and Sikh Jat no such exchange marriages are allowed, and the rule of exogamy is such that a man may not marry a woman who has any of her four grand-parental clans in common with his.

Polygyny was allowed though not common (this was discontinued for Sikh and Hindu Jats, once Hindu Marriage act came into being in 1950s).

Among all Jat, widow remarriage is permitted (unlike certain communities in India who use to enjoy burning widows alive and gave it religious color to give sacrosanctity to this barbarity or consider them a bad omen);

For a widow levirate is required or a she is not allowed to remarry outside the maximal lineage, especially when she has children by her late husband.

The practice of female infanticide, also known among the peasants, has dropped sharply. A woman’s relationship with her husband’s kin is organized according to a basic pattern of avoidance with seniors and of joking with those younger than the husband. Brothers share a common duty toward their sisters and their children.

Sikh-Hindu Marriages

Marriages among Sikh Jats and Hindu Jats are encouraged and are considered a sense of deep pride, since such Sikh-Hindu marriages reinstates the concept of brotherhood among the two distinct communities within the ethnic group, which in turn evokes nostalgic times of when they fought together against tyrannical Mughals.

Definition of Jat Status in Jat Blood Law

The status of being a Jat is defined by the Jat blood (DNA) of the Father and mother of the offspring (Children). The Scythians warriors that invaded the Punjab region and India in general were men (males). Each one of them took native women as wives namely Indo- Greek and Indo-Aryan. The children produced from that joining were the first Jats. The Status of being a Jat in Jat Blood Law is decided by the father’s Jat blood (the DNA Y chromosome of the father being from Central Asia).

If a Jat Man marries a Jat Woman in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given Full Jat status (100% Jat) by Jat Blood Laws and Scythian blood. If a Jat Man marries a Non-Jat Woman in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given Half Jat status (50% Jat) by Jat Tribal Blood Laws. If a Jat Woman marries a Non-Jat Man in Jat Blood Law the children from that marriage are given No Jat status (0% Jat) by Jat Blood Laws.

Father Mother Child Status (%)
Jat Jat Full Jat (100 %)
Jat Non-Jat Half Jat (50 %)
Non-Jat Jat Non-Jat (0 %)
Non-Jat Non-Jat Non-Jat (0 %)

Note: Historically and currently, Pure Jats (Full Jats) are commanded by Jat Law to marry other Pure Jats (Full Jats) to prevent their future offspring (children) losing Full Jat Status and losing (DNA) blood membership of the Jat community i.e. Scythian DNA of their forefathers. Once blood membership of the Jat community is lost by becoming Half Jat (50 % Jat) or Non-Jat (0 % Jat), it is impossible for future descendents (e.g. grandchildren or great grandchildren) to ever become Jat again (100 %). Historically, Half Jats (50 % Jat) have found it very difficult for themselves to be accepted for marriage by Jat families (100 % Jat families). A decision to marry outside of the Jat community is PERMANENT (DNA) blood wise and can NEVER be undone for any potential children of that individual. Therefore, marrying outside of one’s Jat community is almost never done due to the seriousness of the outcome.

Note —  (However, from a scholarly viewpoint if they are marrying into other Scythian or Indo- Greek descendants or that matter even Caucasians, then it should NOT be a problem.)

Domestic Unit.

Most Jat peasant households consist of lineal joint families, with the parents and one married son; many units are nuclear and some are collateral-joint, with two married brothers and their offspring living together. Among  Jat the nuclear family and the lineal joint family are the most common domestic units.

Inheritance.

Among those with land, all sons inherit equal shares in terms of both quantity and quality. Formerly, a man’s wives shared equally on behalf of their sons, irrespective of the number of sons each had. Although in theory inheritance of land follows a strictly agnatic principle and daughters and sisters do not inherit, daughters’ sons have been observed de facto to be among the inheritors in many cases.

Sociopolitical Organization

Social and Political Organization.

All Jat are divided into patricians; among the sedentary communities, each of these has a hereditary headman. By and large, the villages in which Jat farmers live, together with non-Jat, are under the jurisdiction of a clan council, and this council, of which every clan headman is a member, is the decision-making unit at the community level. Traditionally in these villages Jat farmers were integrated as patrons into the patron-client system prevalent in the area. Their clients were members of various service castes; however, this system has largely broken down today.

Wealthy Jat landowners have entered local, regional, and even national politics since the beginning of this century, and in many areas they are still active as influential representatives of farmers and rural folk in general. Among the pastoral and peasant Jats of the Indus Delta, the clans are organized on the hierarchical principle of age, with the oldest man of the oldest lineage being at the head of the pyramid, followed by the eldest men of the younger lineages.

Conflict. A frequent source of conflict within the minimal lineage is land; such conflicts often take place between agnatic collaterals, since their lands usually border each other. Factional conflict is fairly common at a broader level.

Religion and Expressive Culture

Religious Beliefs and Ceremonies.

A Jat can be Hindu, Muslim, or Sikh, and in 1931 over 50 percent of the entire Sikh population was constituted by Jat. Many ceremonies, especially those accompanying the rites of passage, are common to all Jat, irrespective of religious denomination. Among Hindu Jat there are in addition numerous local or more widely prevalent religious beliefs and observances.

These include knowledge of certain but by no means all major mythological figures (gods and goddesses) of the Sanskritic tradition and the celebration of several festivals, both seasonal and annual, both of the all-Indian Hindu Great Tradition and of the localized Little Tradition.

The Muslim Jat populations have a strong tradition of venerating a large number of local saints (pīr ). Although most are officially Sunni, they have a large number of Shia traditions, and one group of Jat are Ismaelis.

Till recently Sikh Jat, though very conscious of their distinct religious identity, were not very meticulous in their observance of the precepts of Sikhism. Most of them still observe Hindu marriage rites and till recently followed Hindu funeral customs; the majority also employed Brahmans as family priests. In most villages inhabited by Sikh Jat there is the shrine of a Sikh martyr of old that acts as an ancestral focus for the minimal lineage.

Various supernatural beings play a role in Jat life and are common to most Jat irrespective of creed; belief in many of them is widespread in the region as a whole. (This however is not accepted and considered good by many educated Jats )

Bhangra

Bhangra is jat folk dance prominently focused in Punjab and now instilled in the culture of Sikhs, thought this sort of dance is not done by jat of rest of the parts but Pakistan Punjab Jats and Indian punjab Jats practice it more often.

Ghoomar and Gidda

Gidda and ghomer are the regional folk dances performed by the jat women in an festive season. In either of them they narrate a story by dancing on the folk song. Ghoomer is performed more by the Jat women of Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana. Whereas Gidda is more Punjab culture oriented.

Gidda as dance  is derived from the ancient ring dance. One of the girls plays on the drum or ‘dholki’ while others form a circle. Some times even the dholki is dispensed with. While moving in a circle, the girls raise their hands to the level of their shoulders and clap their hands in unison. Then they strike their palms against those of their neighbors. Rhythm is generally provided by clapping of hands.

Giddha is a very vigorous folk dance and like other such dances it is very much an affair of the legs. So quick is the movement of the feet in its faster parts that it is difficult for the spectator even to wink till the tempo falls again. The embroidered ‘duppattas’ and heavy jewelry of the participants whose number is unrestricted further exaggerate the movements.

Armed forces 

Owing to their martial race tag many Jats (Sikh, Muslim and Hindu) have been part of armed forces of many countries namely India, Pakistan, United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and United States of America .

In India, 25th Chief of Army Staff has been a Hindu Jat (Gen Dalbir Singh Suhag) and 24th was a Sikh Jat (Gen Bikram Singh).

Air Chief Marshal Arjan Singh (Aulakh) was 3rd Chief of Air Staff of the Indian Air Force from 1964 to 1969. He is a Sikh Jat. He has been given honorary title of Marshal of the Indian Air Force , highest rank in Indian AirForce.

In Pakistan Army many Muslim Jats have risen to top ranks and a known face is Maj Gen Asim Bajwa.

16th chief of Army for Pakistan is Qamar Javed Bajwa who is a mulsim jat from Bajwa clan in Pakistan Punjab.

Apart from Indian and Pakistani Army, Jats serve in huge number in United States and United Kingdom Army (mostly of the faith of Hindus and Sikhs, especially whose forefathers had migrated to these countries).

Jats have a sizable number in the police forces too of all the above mentioned countries. In India the most notable name is of Kanwar Pal Singh Gill also know as KPS Gill , who was the director-general of Punjab and was instrumental in finishing of the Khalistan terrorist movement.

There have been Jats who rose to become Police commissioners of Delhi and Mumbai. The two most important cities in India.

.

Economy

 

Though traditionally Jat were associated to be farmers and Army men in British Army but over the decades with independence they have started to started to feature in various economic activities such as real estate, hospitality, sports, Doctors , engineers, Teachers, Researchers, Acting etc.Though some population does still practice agriculture as a form of living  but generally the pattern is shifting towards urban jobs and they are employed in large no in government jobs at various levels as it is considered safe bet for children from poor or low middle class families.

In the last 2 decades or so many Jats have turned entrepreneur with the thriving Indian economy and are gaining rich dividends, many Indians have also gone to west and made millions there. Gurbaksh Singh Chahal is another self made millionaire of Jat Sikh descent. KP SINGH of DLF is such name in India. Gaurav Dhillon is the Chairman and CEO of SnapLogic which is an enterprise application and data integration software development company that helps organizations connect business applications and Web services.

Arts.

The women of the nomadic Jat were very skilled in needlework and embroider various textiles using threads of many colors in the delta region but mainly black and red in the north; tiny pieces of mirror are also used to decorate these textiles. Though with Modernization they have started gaining entry into respected schools and colleges there by enhancing their skills. Amrita Shergill is a famous female Jat painter who is well respected for her work. Reena Dhaka and Ranna Gill are  also an example of  female jat fashion designer.

Death and Afterlife. Jat hold conflicting views on life after death. Some believe in the traditional Hindu concept of rebirth, others believe in going to Hell or Heaven, but many believe that there is no existence after death and that there is no form of life besides the present one on Earth.

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