Aryans vs Dravidians
People living in North India have been referred to as Aryans, and those belonging to south India have been labeled as Dravidians for the last many centuries. How and when this division of Indian people came along, is questionable and indeed full of anomalies. The fact that there are differences in skin color as well as languages made people believe in this dichotomy, which was planted by British, to divide Indian people so as to be able to rule over them easily.
It suited the interests of the British to divide Indians on the basis of their racial affiliations, and they cleverly divided Indians into two distinct races saying Dravidians are those living in South of India. They said that Dravidians are the original inhabitants of the country, and they lived in all parts of the country till Aryans arrived in the country from the north and pushed Dravidians downwards in the country so that they remained confined in the south while the Aryans dominated the north and central India. Indians were made to believe that north Indians are descendants of Aryans while south Indians are the descendants of Dravidians. The fact that there is a vast difference in terms of language, culture, art and clothing besides food habits between tribes living in north India and those living in south India helped in confirming this differentiation of races as suggested by the British.
Caste system in India is believed to have originated with the arrival of the Aryans who chose the classes of Brahmins (priestly class), Kshatriyas (rulers or kings) and Vaishyas (businessmen) and left the lowly category of sudras (untouchables) for the Dravidians and the descendants of Aryans that were a result of cross between Aryans and the local Dravidians. In fact, there are many stories in Indian folklore where wars between fair skinned Aryans and dark skinned Dravidians have been described. But the fact that the date of Aryan invasion of India is around 1500 BC belies these stories as most of the events in Hindu religion have taken place much before this date.
For centuries, we believed that Aryans were aliens who invaded India coming from Iran and southern Russia. They crushed Dravidians and pushed them downwards and into mountains and forests. However, this division of Indians into Aryans and Dravidians is not valid and proper as is evident from recent findings that archeologists have brought to light. The epic wars of Ramayana where Aryans fought with devils of the south and then Mahabharata, the epic battle between Pandavas and Kauravas are believed to have taken place at least 7000 years ago, which is much earlier than the probable date of Aryan invasion.
It is possible that European scholars who subscribe to the dichotomy of Aryans and Dravidians failed to see the use of the word Arya, which comes from Sanskrit language, and means the pure or good. Swastika, which is the symbol adopted by the Nazis in Germany and claimed as their own is found in Hindu scriptures and credited with Arya tribes living in ancient India much before Aryans invaded India.
What is the difference between Aryans and Dravidians?
• Indians were divided into Aryans and Dravidians by British, to suit their interest and to rule the people of the country easily.
• It was easy to spread this dichotomy because of the perceived differences between north Indians (Aryans) and south Indians (Dravidians).
• Aryans were fair skinned, tall, and spoke a different language from Dravidians who were dark, short and spoke Dravidian language.
• Recent excavations have proved that Aryans arrived in India much later (1500 BC) while Indian society has been divided into castes much before (around 7000 BC).
• European scholars writing history did not think much of the word Arya used in Sanskrit meaning pure and good.