Overview for Asterisk in Bharopiyasthan: Minor Writings on the Aryan Invasion Debate
Unlike many books on the Aryan Invasion debate, the present collection of papers does not promise to terminate the debate with a final judgment. It merely puts on record a number of arguments developed in recent years, mostly in an actual debating content: on the linguistic aspects, the astronomical chronology, some lesser-known political contents, even the ego factor in the debate. None of it is very eccentric, in fact it all remains safely close to the mainstream save for a few consequential details. Unlike many Indian participants, the author completely accepts the notion of a Proto-Indo-European language from which all the extant member languages of the Indo-European (Bharopiya) family have evolved. He also accepts the principle of reconstruction of hypothetical ancient and unattested forms (Marked with *asterisk) from newer attested ones, the way palaeontologists deduce the existence and properties of dinosaurs from fossil bones. He even goes along with the classical view, contested by some postmodernists, that for a language to exist, it must be spoken by an actual community of people, and that this community must have lived somewhere. So yes, there was a Proto-Indo-European speech community (no, not "Aryan race"), and there was a homeland where that community flourished. There is no need to challenge these basic assumptions even if one insists on challenging the specific details about the whereabouts of this "somewhere". While not prejudging its location, we may provisionally name it Bharopiyasthan, Indo-European-Land. That is the X, the unknown that we seek to turn into a known. The location of Bharopiyasthan, where the adventures of Asterisk took place, has not yet been established for sure. But some false trails can already be closed off, so that we can focus better on more promising options. Our knowledge of Indo-European and ancient Indo-Iranian history is advancing quite well. This collection is intended as a little contemplation of some achievements and obstacles along the way.
Koenraad Elst (Author)
Forty three year-old Belgiam author of more than 15 books on Indian nationalism, history, politics, religious conflict and such topics, Koenraad Elst was born in Leuven, Belgium, on 7 August 1959. He is a graduate of Indian and Chinese Studies and of Philosophy from the University of Leuven. His books include the massive, two-volume The Saffron Swastika: The Notion of 'Hindu Fascism', Decolonizing the Hindu Mind, Ayodhya and After: Issues Before Hindu Society, Update on the Aryan Invasion Debate, and others. His works range from a discussion of multiculturalism and language policy issues to ancient Chinese history and philosophy, comparative religion, and the Aryan invasion debate.