ICHR conference to have paper questioning Aryan migration theory

Another paper will be presented claiming that British and Indian governments suppressed information on disappearance of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose.

Updated - December 04, 2021 10:44 pm IST

Published - March 04, 2018 09:30 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Papers ranging from those seeking to question the Aryan migration theory to claiming that British and Indian governments have suppressed information on the disappearance of freedom fighter Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose will be presented at a three-day conference being organised by the Indian Council of Historical Research (ICHR), beginning Monday.

Newly appointed ICHR chairman and archaeologist Arvind Jamkhedkar will deliver the presidential address at the conference titled ‘Indian History: Emerging Perspectives’ on Monday.

Philological evidence

A perusal of the programme of the conference suggests that papers seeking to question the Aryan migration theory — that cites philological evidence to claim that Aryans came to India from outside around 1500 BC — constitute a crucial part of the programme.

The debate has raged on for decades now, and archaeologists like B.B. Lal and the late S.P. Gupta argued over decades that there was no archaeological evidence for Aryan migration.


The conference will see a paper by Koenraad Elst, author of ‘Negationism in India: Concealing The Record of Islam’, on the linguistic evidence in relation with the issue. ICHR member Michel Danino will present a paper, ‘Fabricating Evidence in Support of the Aryan Invasion–Migration Theory’.

Another paper by Shrikant Talageri is titled ‘The Rigveda and the Aryan Theory: A Rational Perspective’.

Papers on science

The conference will also have papers on science in Indian history, with Amartya Dutta presenting a paper on ‘Mathematics Gems in Vedic and Sutra Literature’ and K. Ramasubramanian presenting a paper, ‘The Kerala School of Astronomers and their Discovery of Calculus’.

Activist and intellectual Madhu Kishwar will present a paper on the ‘Feminine in Indic Imagination’.

Medieval historian and author of the NCERT medieval India textbook written during the Vajpayee government’s term Meenakshi Jain will present a paper ‘Islamic Iconoclasm and the Hindu Response’.


While historian Saradindu Mookerji will present a paper on the Wahabi and Faraizi movements in the 19th century, J.K. Bajaj will speak on ‘Changing Religious Demography of the Indian Subcontinent during British Rule and in the post–Partition period’.

RTI reply

The paper claiming that governments had concealed information on Netaji’s “disappearance” will be presented by Purabi Roy, an ICHR member who has written a book claiming that Netaji did not die in a plane crash and was seen alive in Moscow after that.

However, as late as May 2017, the government had in an RTI reply said Netaji had indeed died in the air crash, media had reported.

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