A brief History of Dilawar

My ancestor were so happy living in Iran. Avestan was their mother tounge. It was written right to left and have a strong emphasis on minute phonological differences.

One day I dont know what happened, a group of dissidents broke away. They were literally pissed off. Why? Hard to say. May be because they were dissidents and did not like others hushing them up. Or may be, they were just pissed off. They decided that they must leave and start their own. It could well had been a case of ‘get lost you ass******”. But whatever was the case, they did not like the status-quo.

So they took their horses and came to settle in North India. They called themselves ‘aryan‘ which was derived from Avestan. They may have killed and displaced a large number of ‘dravidian‘ over there who were the native of this land. Dravidians now live in South India and are proud of their longest surviving ‘culture’ despite of this colossal plundering. My ancestors must have been a ruthless tribe when it came to its own benefits. A characteristics which we still posses. Aryans, as they called themselves were fond of horses. In fact, old Indus-Valley civilisation never knew of horses. All of they knew were bulls and cows.

So pissed of my ancesstors was with their Aventan brothers that they came up their own language and gave it name ‘Sanskrit’ (the perfect one). They must have liked to make things perfect. I like that. They did not like to write the way their Avestan brothers did. They wrote  left to right. In addition, I don’t know why, they did not like the sound of ‘h’. They replace ‘h’ with ‘s’. So Hapta-Hindu became Sapta-Sindhu, Ahura is now Asura, Harxvati is Sarasvati and so on. But this did not stop here, often the meaning of gods were also reserved, . Not surprisingly, Ahura were gods in Avestan, Asura is the demon in Sanskrit. Indira is king of god for the Sanskrit, He was demon for the Avestan. Seriously something really bad must have happened among them.. In fact, the oldest Avestan is so similar to the oldest Sanskrit that you can translate text in one language to another by applying few phonological changes. Like so:

Blue is Avestan, Black is Sanskrit. The ə symbol represents the mid central vowel (schwa) like the “e”s in “taken”. First line is Aventan, second is in Sanskrit.

təm amavantəm yazatəm

tam amavantam yajatam

surəm damohu scvistəm

suram dhamasu savistham

miθrəm yazai zaoθrabyo

mitram yajai hotrabhyah

Initially, ‘arya’ meant ‘to till’. This was considered a noble profession. This, still, is considered noble. I myself is a son of farmer. Then  they decided that there should be the the division of labour and came out with caste-system. Arya in this age came to mean ‘the noble’, why? Elites were not in ‘agriculture’ so they came up with this meaning to reclaim this title. So few of my ancestor became Noble, and the person who did farming is considered Mlichcha (the lower one, not-pure). The Sanskrit was refined in this period and the best grammar in the world was written by Panini. A new language was evolved which is called Prakrit. Prakrit was spoken by the masses and Sanskrit was reserved as the language of learning, a prerogatives of elites – the brahmos (Brahmins). Pratrik was considered a language of Malichcha (the lower ones). In fact, even in these days, Sanskrit is replaced by English in letter and spirit. The language which evolved from Prakrit (e.g. Hindi and its relatives) is now spokes by masses and considered the language of Malichcha by English-speaking elites (never mind the lip-services – which largely comes from the slight embarrassment for not being able to honour their mother-tongue. Its better to call it native-tongue so the embarrassment will be less. The word ‘mother’ has  morality related to it also.). In few years, their literature could be found in museum with the tag, “Look, your ancestor used to read this.”.

My ancestor was very curious about universe. Their whole knowledge was centered around the universe. Astrology and Mathematics were intertwined. Whatever they knew, they put it in ‘Vedas’ which literally meant ‘to know’. This was their science. I am so proud of them. It was a pleasing a incident and they met with us (peacefully, first and last time) these days and learned mathematics from us. The westerns learned it from them and hence the foundation of mathematics were laid. The decimal number system discovered here and spread throughout the world. The world now know that decimal system was invented in India due to generous references given by Muslim scholars in their writings. When ‘Vedas’ came to end, we called it Vedanta, ‘The end of knowing’. Why would they do that? I can not say! Perhaps they stopped appreciating the changes. Perhaps that was the worst thing to happen in our life.

Since then my ancestor lost sight which way they are going. Hinduism was never been a religion, it was considered a way of life. Now its been downgraded to a religion and people fight over it everyday almost all the time – in fact there was a time in which the most narrowed version of Hinduism (Hindutva) came to fore. Perhaps the strongest quality of Hinduism lies in its chaotic nature for allowing every kind of infusion into it, that is why it survived (to quote Ashish Nandy).

Being in a rich and fertile land is not easy. Lot of people vie for it. Han Chinese attacked these lands. Few stayed, married here and settled down in the areas now called Haryanam, Punjab and near by places. Few of them are known as Jats. Alexander came to India and few of his soldiers stayed here. They married the local princess. They now belong to a much wider idea of ‘Rajputs‘. A clan of them in known as Chauhans. They have a rich tradition and not to mention larger than life Chauhan king, the Prithviraj Chauhan who is fondly remember for his valour among the old and for his love affair with princess Sanyogitika among the teens. My forefathers belonged to this clan. They have been known for a fierce individualism which is the hallmark of them and the reason of their downfall. Grouping always have benefits over individual but anyway they dies with pride, that is enough for me. Chauhans are generally considered soft in nature, quite a painful insinuation in the land which is surrounded by more feudal clans of Jats, Vishnoi, Thakurs, Chaudhary etc. Perhaps this is because due to the fact that domestic violence is the lowest among them. So the childhood is passed without witnessing much violence and that mellowed them down.They also have a long tradition of treating women with utmost pride and dignity. I am so proud to share that heritage.The relative sanity of my village is due to the lack of interest in alcohol and other manly stuff. One of my teachers in High School who was a Jat used to lash out on his fellow Jats, “These Chauhans, they have learned to learn. And you….!”

So I stand here in front of you. My first name is like Muslim as to prove my Iranian links. There is symbol of ‘OM’ permanently tattooed on my right hand as to symbolize my ‘Vedic roots’. My clan shares their genes with Greeks who are quite famous for their Mathematics and Philosophy. And of course not to mention the educational exposure which I have been through which is by large is Western. I inhibit in myself a long and rich history. This makes me warm again and again.

END NOTES:

[1] On Rajputs, See John Key, “India”. In fact he devoted a full chapter on them.
[2] Avenstan and Sanskrit links see “Early India” Romilla Thapar; pp 8, 112, 232.(See index page of this book for more details).[3] I did a internet sortie for various information (I plead guilty).
[4]  Handbook on Rajputs .


dilawar

Advertisements

Author: Dilawar

Graduate Student at National Center for Biological Sciences, Bangalore.

1 thought on “A brief History of Dilawar”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s