Social Scientist. v 28, no. 320-321 (Jan-Feb 2000) p. 1.


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Editorial Note

A view is being assiduously propagated of late, with the active endorsement of the Hindutva forces, that the "Aryans" are the true authors of the Indus culture, that the movement of "Aryans" into India is a myth, that the Indus and Vedic cultures are identical, that the Vedas are the only source of the Indian culture, and that the Vedic age began in the fourth millennium B.C. Two of the articles in the current number of Social Scientist are devoted to a discussion of this whole range of issues. U.S. Sharma, in the lead article of this issue, is concerned with the relationship between the Indus and the Vedic cultures. He presents a host of evidence to question this claim of identity of the two cultures, an^J argues instead, taking the Harappan horse inter alia as his evidence, that there was a process of interaction between the late Harappan and the Vedic cultures. But even the claim that there was any substantial direct interaction between the main Indus and the Vedic cultures is problematical, owing to the fact that the important elements of the Indus culture had completely disappeared by 1500 B.C. Sharma makes fascinating use of linguistic evidence to argue that the Indo-Aryans learnt advanced agriculture from the chalcolithic people.

A parallel piece by R.C. Thakran takes up, among other things, the date of origin of the Vedic Age. The claim that the Vedic Age began in the fourth millennium B.C. runs contrary to all evidence relating to the migration pattern among the Indo-Aryans. Besides, no archaeological support is available for the assertion that the technical knowledge required to fashion the Indo-Aryan chariot existed in the fourth millennium B.C.. Indeed even the horse, so closely associated with the Indo-Aryans, cannot be dated back to so early a period on any valid archaeological grounds.

Social Scientist has been publishing regularly the text of the Annual P.C. Joshi Memorial Lecture delivered in Jawaharlal Nehru University under the auspices of the Archives on Contemporary History. By a singular coincidence we are publishing in the curent number the texts of two lectures delivered in successive years by two of the most outstanding creative writers of modern India, Ali Sardar Jafri and Bhisham Sahni.

Ali Sardar Jafri discusses the work of Hafiz Shirazi, the famous 14th century Persian poet, and brings out the democratic, humanistic, and indeed revolutionary, content of his poetry. Hafiz is often misunderstood as a mere pleasure-loving poet, but his celebration of the "Tavern"



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