Who attacked and drove the tribals into the forests? Writes Justice Katju

Amalendu Upadhyaya
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By Justice Markandey Katju

In his article on Adivasis, the eminent Indian ecologist Dr S. Faizi writes that the adivasis were driven into forests by invading Aryans

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I wrote him my response as follows :

Dear Dr Faizi

I have read your article. You have made a mistake in saying that Adivasis were driven into forests by invading Aryans. No, they were driven into forests by invading Dravidians. The Aryan invasion of India was later than the Dravidian invasion.

The Dravidians originally lived in parts of present-day Pakistan and Afghanistan, and the proof of this is that there is a Dravidian language called Brahui which is still spoken by over a million people, mostly living in Balochistan in Pakistan.

As I said in my article What is India, India is broadly a country of immigrants ( like North America ), to which people from the northwest ( and to a lesser extent from the northeast) migrated seeking a comfortable life.

The original inhabitants of India were not the Dravidians, as earlier believed, but the pre-Dravidian tribals, whose descendants are the present adivasis, e.g. the Bhils, Gonds, Santhals, Todas, etc and they speak the Austric group of languages, which is very different from the Dravidian group of languages like Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam.

The Dravidians invaded India and pushed the pre-Dravidian tribals into forests, and later the Aryans invaded India and pushed the Dravidians southward into south India. Some remnants of these Dravidians, who originally lived in present-day Pakistan but continued living there even after the Aryan invasion, are the Brahui speakers of today.

Justice Katju

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