Posted on: 16 April 2016

The Aryan-Dravidian Divide Is A Political Myth

The Aryan-Dravidian Divide Is A Political Myth
By David Frawley
Swarajya - April 13, 2016

Traveling throughout India, including much time in the south, I have been trying to make sense of the proposed Aryan-Dravidian divide, and the call for a pure Dravidian culture that one hears in Tamil Nadu.

The first thing one notices is that the most pure Sanskrit names are found in Tamil Nadu, extending to Dravidian political leaders like Jayalalitha and Karunanidhi. Yet this is just the beginning of numerous connections between the culture of south and the north.

If you are looking for the region of India where ancient Vedic teachings are best preserved, you will find it in Dravidian Kerala, where ancient Vedic rituals and fire sacrifices are regularly performed with precision and devotion.

In the south one finds the largest Hindu temple complexes, dwarfing anything in the north. Yet the temples are of the same great deities as Shiva, Vishnu, Devi and Ganesha as in the north. Southern temples reverberate with the same Sanskrit chants, as in the north, with some chants in Tamil as the north has some in Hindi.

Shiva, a Dravidian God?

Dravidian nationalists tell us that Lord Shiva was a Dravidian God expropriated by the northern Aryans. Yet Shiva is the great deity of Varanasi, Kashmir, Kedarnath and Kailas in the north, with the Ganga flowing down his head as a Himalayan God. Varanasi is said to be one of the oldest cities in the world.

The great Vedantic teachers over the last 1500 years have come from the south: Shankara of Advaita Vedanta (non-dualist), Ramanuja of Visishtadvaita Vedanta (qualified nondualist) and Madhva of the Dvaita Vedanta (dualist) school.

If one does pilgrimage to the Char Dham in the north the four Himalayan sacred sites of the Hindus one learns that these great shrines were renovated by Shankara, the great Vedantic guru of Kerala. Priestly families from the south run many Himalayan temples, as in the case of Badrinath today, where the Rawat or chief priest must be chosen from certain Kerala families.

Read more: The Aryan-Dravidian divide is more real than imaginary

 View Post on Facebook

Comments from Facebook

PadmaBhushan V?madeva ??str? ?????? ????????, Great scholar on Hinduism, - Veda, - Ayurvedic -Vedic Astrology- Vedic Yoga,-Mantra -Meditation etc

The divide is a mythical one. Its origin can be traced back to the time when Europe divided itself along the lines of Teutonic/Germanic, Slavic, Latin/Roman, Jewish, Roma and so on and so forth and imagined the existence of such a structure in India. Though outwardly anti-caste, one wonders why the then colonial rulers propagated 'martial race theory' or in terms of local administration preferred people from certain castes and backgrounds. The answer is simple. It had everything to do with European emphasis on heredity. But India is far complex in this regard. Let alone India, where for thousands of years people have been co-existing and mingling, is it any longer possible to accurately decipher who is a Brazilian or Jamaican of pure African and European ancestry? The answer is a befitting no. Those who knowingly focus on this mythical divide have sure vested interests. If needed, they can w**re their mothers for their selfish interests.

Obviously David Frawley needs more education in Southern Indian cultures and explore India with his heart and mind,avoid other peoples agendas and write commentaries with scholary zeal rather reactive disillusionment.

The only palpable divide is in the mind. And guess what? With India's partition, it was Pakistani generals who voraciously ate the vomit of the old caste-based 'martial race theory', thereby bringing bifurcation, as well as disastrous political consequences for the nascent state. Martial race theory, which too was influenced by the idea of the imaginary North-South/Aryan-Dravidian divide, was propagated by some Pakistani army generals, whose ancestors had long forsaken Hinduism, but who were still conducting their social affairs by reference to their castes and clans. One doesn't need to go that far. One need only to read Ayub Khan's or Benazir Bhutto's autobiographies. Ayub had a disdain for Suhrawardy, but was full of praise for Sikh valour. In Benazir's case, she directly and indirectly accepted the intellectual superiority of Bengali Hindus over Bengali Muslims, considering the latter to be the converted weaklings. I don't subscribe to these views. But they are representatives of the elite Pakistanis' mindset. There's a true incident, which Khushwant Singh jokingly narrated on some occasions. He once asked a certain Pakistani minister friend of his about Sun Yat-Sen, the quintessential Chinese leader. The minister didn't know who he was and replied: "Hoga koyi sharif Bangali Hindu." :D

This false rubbish was created by western scholars who thought only westerns were intelligent so they tried to measure brain size etc. But this was not the case in India so they tried to explain that since westerners had ruled India as Aryans India had such a rich culture. There is no archeological or DNA lineage study evidence

Dravidian or Aryan : now we all are Indian.Our Culture is having diverse variety.Let it be our source of motivation and pride.

The Research...

Robert Caldwell hypothesis & the damage done ( )

Kodaikanal ( )

Dattaram Phadte

All these divides are unnecessarily presumed & built into the people's minds for political mileage. All are uniquely great, not comparable.

Kamalahasan Ramaswamy

without any kind of explanation ,how can you dub it as "reactive disiilusionment'(which itself is a stupid and nonsensical phraseword))the "trimoorthees"(triads) of Hindu religion and culture are Brahma Vishnu and Shiva .


Narasimhan Rajkumar

Hemant Rajopadhye

My friend, I find Nehru,the chicha, a culprit !~!~!~!

He certainly made some mistakes. I, however, doubt if he or, for that matter, others had too many choices, given what was thrust upon them. Striking the balance between the centripetal and centrifugal forces was infinitely more tough in those days. But the good thing is India is rising. Politics of every kind should be made subservient to the nation, whether that nation is India, America, Bangladesh or even the tiny Tahiti.

Myth has to be broken by spreading this info.

I liked your most of the posts. I would like if you follow ' rajiv malhotra' who is doing outstanding work about 'misinterpret ion of Hindu culture and vedic text by western thinkers' I think its remarkable and huge work he is doing for last 25years. He is doing scientific study with documentary proofs. Worth to spend some MBs

Whatever is said about Aryan invasion is only a hypothesis and conjuncture. Not an undisputed fact

The article by Frawley barely scratches the surface of Indian social and cultural history, and tries to take a stand in a contrarian way - claiming that there is no divide.This explains the phrase, if you are looking for rationale, but sorry cant afford you the luxury of reverence here.

And why you mentioned who is trimurthi (which many already know and dont disagree) as an addendum for your question/argument is beyond my reasoning. Hope you have had one!

True..people often play havoc with Indian history...especially the leftists...

The so called dravidian languages Telugu, Kannada and Malayalam are having 4 sound syllables like in Sanskrit then how these people are being called dravidians. One idiot called Mallikarjuna Karge SEnior congress Leader?? in Lok sabha even pinpointed this divide during the previous session. shame on congress.

"luxury of reverence" ",reactive disillusionment"...the utterances of a puny mind - with the inflated ego of the ridiculous,the ostentatious blabber of worthless didactic tomfoolery.if 'many already know"' what is the confusion ?maybe you are not in the :many"

This tells me nothing about what David Frawley said, and I would hereafter respond to only insightful comments.

Our Faith (Gods), culture, DNA, motherland, even languages are also inter-connected and originated from one. We are one... Aryan-Dravidian Theory were discussed and altered after Britishers to divide us.... See how SriLanka used the same tactics and supported Buddhism mainly and forced it's people almost mainly Hindus to accept Buddhism. Now only 13-15% Hindus are left in SriLanka. And today in Tamil Nadu and other parts of Southern India all these divide politics are still used by politicians just to stop any other Central Parties like BJP or Congress. I felt bad when a senior politician like Mr.Mallikarjun Khadge said such word with no proof supporting his point. We pray to same God and Goddesses, chant Vedic mantras which originated from Sankstrit, we carry names which are also from Sanskrit and Vedic and Hindu Culture then how Dravid is different and Aryan is different with different language. Aryan means good/faithful/truthful. And Aryavart means one who lives near Himalaya .... And Dravid means South, Dravid word too came from Sanskrit. I said all this to a brainwashed freshly converted fool who was frequently vomiting bad words for Hindus and keeps on saying rest of the people are outsiders. After my explanation and answer he was like totally silent with no answer I even gave him total unlimited time to just prove his point.

'Dra-vida' means land where three oceans meet . Its like westerners and Arabs call all of us 'hindus' because beyond sindhu river all geographical area is call hindu.

Dravid means South (southern part of Bharat). And Aryan means obedient or good character. Aryavart means people who live near Himalaya. Rest are lies created for own benefits by Britishers and Missionaries to rule over then and convert people.

Nonsense. It is hardly a political divide. Divide lies in culture, languages, and biology. Although the divide is slowly but surely declining, but there were days when the Dravidians had insisted that they did not want to be part of Aryan India and had wanted a homeland of their own.

and when were those days? Nonsense you say sir without any hint of irony?

?? ????? ?? ??? ?????? ???? ???,?? ?? ?????? ?????? ???? ???? ???????

I don't agree with what he's saying. He's making it all sound so simple. Indian history is very complex and any efforts to reduce it like this will go against academic & archaeological research. Don't really have time to take all the statements apart but just one example: Frawley says, "In the south one finds the largest Hindu temple complexes, dwarfing anything in the north. " Many (or most of) the Hindu+ Jaina temples & even Buddhist architecture of Northern India were destroyed during the Islamic invasions. Also, if you refer to history books, Hinduism probably spread slightly later to the South & then survived better precisely because of geography. (i.e. protection against Islamic invasions, etc.) Also well worth going through the current DNA research on Indian genes. Just a quick response...

Well Vamdev Shastri aka David Frawley has done quite a research on this topic. Even his book the The Hidden Horizon explains the myth of Aryan Invasion Theory.

Neither a divide of culture nor of biology, linguistic diversity and cultural unity is feature of whole subcontinent, problem is neo-religions that divide people, ironically all religion someway or other propose that things started from a single point but took different courses in their development, unlike what we know as Hinduism all other religions later developed are religion-less political ideologies that never accept that diversity is inherent design of nature and that God is infinite because he is infinitely diverse and not a single monotonous endless entity, so they say there was no nation called India and no religion named Hinduism. they failed to comprehend vastly generous and universal principles of Vedas.

Aryan Invasion theory doesn't stand the test of time. There are plenty of clues going against it. But a BIG caution! Any alternative must also stand the test of logic and archeological backing. Right now all theories are under doubt.

There are so many similarities between Aryans of Persia and Tamilians, so that it looks like the Persians have gone from India and not come from central Asia. And so many more!

This obersvations only proved that two cultures have mixed very well.

No, there were no two cultures. Only one. It became 2 and more when people moved outward in different directions.

Allow India handle itself the crucial present for little more time. The titles for being Aryan is local name or foreign one lost significance between BLOOD SHED 1947-1984 for Punjab chapter.The historians for the reasons of many an academic exercise threw in FIRE BALL IDEAS to test capacity of society for digestion. Values hold no VALUES in India for the reasons of Failure in to discipline HUNGER .PHEF

point to ponder -- we are obsessed to be called 'Modern'. Are we really become modern or we r becoming only westernise. Today we think we became independent. yes we became independent only geographically but still have colonial mindset. Colonial time westerners used 'our men' army against us to rule and today they are using 'our media men' army. we r loosing our original essence.

Interpretative Common observation like many people

What else can we expect from Swarajya....

Where's the need for a DNA certificate to follow a culture. If at all originated from different strains we have followed one culture, now for long enough to be lawful descendants of the same. This is only of academic or hystorical interest now. Those who try read more in that surely have a design, agenda.. Beware of them.. Be it Mallukarjun or Jayalalitha or new free thinkers.

How come you portrayed Dravidian King as evil and Aryan King as God...I'm confused of your making of so-called story and cannot digest to educated group. South Indian Hindus are Shiva worshippers.

Education, priesthood and closeness to the power centres have all along been inalienable fundamental right of Brahmans. Even Nepal mandirs are manned by Brahmans whether south or north Indian. They were the ones to brief and converse with the travellers who came across the far off lands. Their accounts were heavily influenced by the Brahmans. The visible integration of Aryan and Dravada cultures happened under these dubious circumstances.

What will happen to DMK and AIADMK :-) Their existence is on the hypothesis of Aryans from Europe pushing out native Indians (Dravids) to southern parts of India !!! It is now proven scientifically that such a thing never happened. All the vote bank divisive politics goes for a toss :-)

And how deeply it struck roots...there must be a million books in the last 100 years that repeat this falsehood.

Ha..Ha.. What an amusing 'Logic'.. he will argue that there is no divide between Black and White population of U.S. because Blacks in U.S. All wear same dress, speak same language, go to same Church, have similar names as the Whites there.. Or trying to separate Culture original inhabitants of Spain from that of Romans/Visigoths By 'travelling extensively in U.S./Spain..argument can be extended to each and every area on this planet called Earth.. :-P :-D

Has he solved the problem of clear-cut identification methodoly for separating ethic/genetic/cultural groups in an area on the basis of current sociological behaviours? :-P :-D

When, during which period of history? Or are u talking of post independence?

Left influenced n educated so called intellectuals will still insist on North South divide n Aryan Invasion myth, even though Max Mueller the propounder of the AI theory himself had admitted it was not the truth

Did any of you brought this book and read it

Most of his finding are wrong he mixed with Kerala tradition and Tamils. Who funded his project definitely not a political myth.

Manish Bhati GK

There probably was not an Aryan invasion but there almost certainly was longterm Aryan migration.

Who are Dalits..and tribes of India... Aryans or Dravidians or what..

May be during Harapan period. But

Dalits are as much Aryans as anyone else.

STs are mostly adivasis of respective lands.

Some adivasis are migrants from Sindhu civilization.

Aryans and Dravidians may be racially same people, but that has to be proved yet.

The supposition that a distinction does not exist between Sanskrit and Tamil culture is equally exaggerated. One need only compare the Manu Smriti with the Thirukkural to see the difference. Vishnu is a minor deity in Vedas; he is elevated by being identified with Thirumal of South India. Shiva is a wild yogi in the North, who is equated with the aesthetic god of dance, nattanam adinar of the South. And the blood craving Kali, a tribal deity of Bengal becomes civilized by being called Mariamman. Tamil culture has a great deal to offer in its own right.

Whatever. Let it be a myth for these people. Then will these people take up the 'politics' of ending this myth by aggressively propagating inter-marriage across all sorts of division in what they call 'India'? Let that be their prime agenda: the genuine 'right wing' politics. Then the 'myth' will be no more relevant. No one can 'politically divide'.

I don't think anyone in India even considers Aryan invasion of India as part of its history.. No one even mentions it because it's never an event in history for Indians. It may be the history taught to the Western world as they wanted to make India 's knowledge, scriptures, Sanskrit their own, in trying to prove to the world that they actually never copied borrowed India' s knowledge. It's only outside India that people mention Aryan invasion

Why go far, just read the write-ups on following websites:, and

Also remember, neither Aryans nor Muslims could annex South India - only the British succeeded using clever diplomacy and chicanery. Throughout the Indian history, South India had great kingdoms and dynasties - Vijaynagar, Cholas etc..

Even the greatest India empire of Mauryas, did not include whole of South India. And Chola empire had extended up to Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia and Sumatra.

olha q lindo Marianna Carvalho Dos Santos