The great prophet and patriot, Swami Vivekananda, questions the very edifice of the theory of Aryan – Dravidian racial division in India. He was unequivocal in condemning this myth and doesn’t leave anything ambiguous in his observations. He observed: “And what your European Pundits say about the Aryan’s swooping down from some foreign land, snatching away the lands of the aborigines and settling in India by exterminating them, is all pure nonsense, foolish talk! Strange, that our Indian scholars, too, say amen to them; and all these monstrous lies are being taught to our boys! This is very bad indeed.
“I am ignoramus myself; I do not pretend to any scholarship ; but with the little I understand, I strongly protested against these ideas at the Paris Conference. …And this I say to you—to our Pundits—also, ‘You are learned men, hunt up your old books and scriptures, please, and draw your own conclusions’.” And this is very significant, since we have all along been trained to tell parrot-like whatever the British had to say about us, without cogitating the least as to what it conveys and if it is the truth. On the contrary it is venerated as the Vedic dictum–the ultimate truth. Never have our historians tried to unravel the veil of myth woven around the nation’s heritage, culture and history– all by themselves, instead of hankering for authentication by an ‘elite’ alien race. And this has proved to be our undoing, with so many divisions perpetrated long after the very for these have been obliterated by a vigilant and agile national leadership. The bourgeois politicians have everything to gain by way of trumpeting this cacophony and camouflaging their miserable failures in the milieu that ensues. An astute mass should be the last to succumb to such divisive ‘philanthropy’ of these ‘bountiful’ philanderers.”
With regard to the Sri Rama – Ravana conflict in the ambience of an Aryan – Dravidian racial conflict Vivekananda has this to say:
“In what Veda, in what Sukta, do you find that the Aryans came into India from a foreign country? Where do you get the idea that they slaughtered the wild aborigines? What do you gain by talking such nonsense? Vain has been your study of the Ramayana; why manufacture a big fine story about it?
“Well, what is the Ramayana? The conquest of the savage aborigines of Southern India by the Aryans! Indeed! Ramachandra is a civilized Aryan king, and with whom is he fighting? With King Ravana of Lanka. Just read the Ramayana, and you will find that Ravana was rather more and not less civilized than Ramachandra. The civilization of Lanka was rather higher, and surely not lower, than that of Ayodhya. And then, when were these Vanaras (monkeys) and other South Indians conquered? They were all, on the other hand, Ramachandra’s friends and allies. Say which kingdoms of Vali and Guhaka were annexed by Ramachandra ?”
[ Courtesy: TATTVA DARSANA, Vol. 16, No. 1, Feb-Apr 99]
There is a theory that there was a race of mankind in Southern India called Dravidians, entirely differing from another race in Northern India called the Aryans, and that the Southern India Brâhmins are the only Aryans that came from the North, the other men of Southern India belong to an entirely different caste and race to those of Southern India Brahmins. Now I beg your pardon, Mr. Philologist, this is entirely unfounded. The only proof of it is that there is a difference of language between the North and the South. I do not see any other difference.
We are so many Northern men here, and I ask my European friends to pick out the Northern and Southern men from this assembly. Where is the difference? A little difference of language. But the Brahmins are a race that came here speaking the Sanskrit language! Well then, they took up the Dravidian language and forgot their Sanskrit. Why should not the other castes have done the same? Why should not all the other castes have come one after the other from Northern India, taken up the Dravidian language, and so forgotten their own? That is an argument working both ways.
Do not believe in such silly things. There may have been a Dravidian people who vanished from here, and the few who remained lived in forests and other places. It is quite possible that the language may have been taken up, but all these are Aryans who came from the North. The whole of India is Aryan, nothing else.
These are the excerpts from the book ‘Swami Vivekananda: Prophet of Patriotism’, 150th Swami Vivekananda Jayanti Commemoration Number of TATTVA DARSANA, Edited by Sadhu Prof. V. Rangarajan