Why Has India Been A Nation Of Such Intrigue?

2126 words - 9 pages

India has been a nation often invaded and commonly conquered. The most famous colonization of India would be by the British, starting in 1858 and lasting for almost a century later (National Geographic 321). Why has India been a nation of such intrigue? One of the reasons may be its surplus of natural resources. However, in the prehistoric subcontinent of India, the lack of unity throughout and constantly warring kings as well as their nations made India a simple country to colonize. Mark Twain once described India: “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great-grandmother of tradition. our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” India has been colonized by a variety of nations, including the Arabs, Persians, Ghaznavids, Scythians, Pallavas, Pahlavas, Portuguese, and French. By analyzing the trend of India’s colonization by three powerful nations, the Aryans, the Greeks, and the Mughals, an understanding of how India’s culture came to be can be developed.
One of the first foreign invaders in India, the Aryans, created the backbone of Indian culture and opened the path for other invaders into India. A controversy among many historians would be the entrance of the Aryans into the Indian subcontinent. There are four main theses, in regards to the Aryans coming to India: Aryan Invasion Thesis, Aryan Migration Thesis, Indigenous Aryan Thesis, and Out of India Thesis. The Aryan Invasion Thesis states that the Aryans invaded India, while the Aryan Migration Thesis claims there was a migration instead of an invasion. Indigenous Aryan Thesis and Out of India Thesis both claim that the Aryans are natives of India. The only difference is that the Out of India Thesis explains the Aryans migrated to the rest of the world from India (Groves 1-2). Proof of these theories are mostly linguistic with little archaeological evidence. If the Aryan Invasion Thesis or Aryan Migration Theses are true, then the Aryans’ descendants are the Medes and Persians, since the Aryan civilization likely spent a lengthy amount of time in Afghanistan and Russian Turkestan (“Origin”). Compared to the Indus River Valley civilization, the Aryans were inferior when entering India (“Aryans”). The Aryans were illiterate and nomadic (“Origin”), compared to the grand city of Harappa (National Geographic 68). Additionally, the Aryans were light-skinned, which hinted their origin outside of India. As the civilization arrived into the subcontinent, they immediately became enemies with the Dravidians (“Origin”). The migration or invasion of the Aryans was in waves that went through Iran, and through cultural diffusion, the civilization incorporated several elements of the Oxus culture (National Geographic 69). They finally entered India in 1500 BC (“Aryans”). The occupation of the Aryans in India is divided into three periods the Early,...

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