While the genesis of the Aryan myth has been thoroughly studied in the European context (Poliakov 1974; Olender 1992; Arvidson 2006; Demoule 2014), its rise and misuses in the Indian context have not received due attention (Elst 1999; Bryant 2001; Danino 2006; Malhotra & Neelakandan 2011), to the extent that long-exploded racial theories continue to be bandied about and harnessed by diverse ideologies.This lecture will trace the arrival of the Aryan myth in India in the colonial era and its induction into the Raj’s sociocultural arsenal, especially on the anthropological, linguistic and cultural fronts. While most of the Indian intelligentsia accepted and internalized it, a few notable dissenters remained unheard and will be given a voice here.
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