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By Amar Tejaswi
New research carried out by anthropological scientists from the Estonian Biocentre and the University of Delhi claims that events of the mythological epic Ramayana occurred in reality thousands of years ago. Scientists say that results of their genetic studies, with existing data, show genetic signatures of tribal groups featured in the Ramayana such as the Gonds, Kols and Bhils. Gonds are a prominent group in Adilabad district of Telangana.
Researchers claimed that populations in the Indian subcontinent can trace their ancestors to more than 60,000 years back. Scientists say that this is proof of the authenticity and actual occurrence of the events described in Ramayana, which would have occurred more than 12,000 years ago. The Gonds, Kols and Bhils are believed to be the ancient tribal groups of the region and have found mention in the Ramayana. Authenticity of the mythological text has been questioned several times. While there have been voices proclaiming the authenticity of the Ramayana, research to prove it has increased in recent times.
Dr Vadlamudi Raghavendra Rao, professor of anthropology, University of Delhi, and one of the authors of the study, said, “Definitely, the events described in Ramayana occurred in real. Our research has showed close
genetic affinity of these tribes to other ethnic groups. We have shown that there is continuity in the populations groups living here. Other researchers are working to prove other angles of this.”
The study was carried out by Estonian Biocentre researcher Gyaneshwar Chaubey, Institute of Scientific Research on Vedas, Dr Saroj Bala and Dr Raghavendra Rao. The Bhil, Kol and Gond are three major Indian tribes that have been widely acknowledged in the epic Ramayana, particularly in the chapters Ayodhyakanda, Aranyakanda and Kishkindhakanda. Gonds are prominently found in Adilabad district and other states and number about 40 lakh.
The research study says since these tribes are inhabitants of the country since the Stone Age, their genetic affinity to existing populations show the authenticity of the Ramayana.
Researchers said these tribal groups form a closed cluster with Dravidian groups, known as inhabitants of South India.
Research on three ancient tribal populations of the Indian subcontinent has once again brought to fore the Indo-Aryan migration debate. The study has rejected any migration into the Indian subcontinent in the last 12,000 years, thereby rejecting the Aryan invasion theory.
Anthropological scientists said there has been continuity in lineage since the Neolithic period, rejecting the conventional theory of the influx of the Indo-Aryan populations. The research study, carried out by Estonian Biocentre and University of Delhi, concluded: “Our high-resolution analysis portraying the three ancient tribal populations strongly rejects any incoming genetic signal of large-scale, recent (during the post-Neolithic) migration either of the present Dravidian or the Indo-European speaking populations to the subcontinent.”
Dr Vadlamudi Raghavendra Rao, one of the authors of the study, said, “DNA evidence is direct evidence and DNA dating is also possible in studies. Our results show continuity in the lineages and we would like to say there is a lot of sharing and the genetic footprint of these tribal groups is being shared by other ethnic populations.”
Scientists claimed that absence of any migration into the Indian subcontinent shows the flaws in the Indo-Aryan theory, which suggests that humans migrated from Africa to the Mediterranean region and then to the Indian subcontinent through the northwestern part of the present day country.
This latest study, however, claims migration occurred from the Indian subcontinent to the European region. Other scientists have also corroborated this theory that has come up in recent times. Critics say that the propagation of the Indo-Aryan theory is a “saffronisation” of history. But, the hard-rock reality of recent researches denied the Aryan invasion theory astray.