Aryan is in fact a linguistic term indicating a speech group of Indo-European origin, and is not an ethnic term. However this inaccuracy has become so current in historical studies of early India that it would sound unduly obscure to refer to the Aryans as 'the Aryan speaking peoples'. In Sanskrit, however, the word 'Aryan' means 'a noble man'. Aryans were the most illustrious race in history. They were tall, fair complexioned, good-looking and cultured people. Groups of Aryans are said to have settled in different countries and developed some of the most remarkable civilizations of the world. People belonging to the various parts of the world claim themselves to the proud descendents of the Aryans. In fact Adolf Hitler used the German pride of being the descendant of the Aryans as his tool to spread racial hatred against the so-called non-Aryans, during the World War II.
Original Home of the Aryans It is generally believed that they were not the original inhabitants of India. Many theories have been put forward in favor and against the argument. Some historians say that the original home of Aryans was Central Asia. Others are of the opinion that their original home was in southern Russia (near the Caspian sea) or in the south-east Europe (in Austria and Hungary). German scholar Max-Muller thought that the original home of the Aryans was somewhere near the Caspian Sea. From there they had migrated to the European countries. Two groups of Aryans are said to have come to Persia and India. The Aryans who had migrated to India are known as the 'Indo-Aryans'. They were the first people who entered India through the north-western passes. The common descent of the Aryans is also indicated by the fact that Sanskrit, the language of the Indo-Aryans, is closely related to many languages of Europe and some languages of Western Asia. From this it can be concluded that in olden times the ancestors of these people who spoke similar languages must have once lived as neighbors. Bhagwan S. Gidwani in his book 'The Return of the Aryans' contends that Aryans were the original inhabitants of India and from here they migrated to other places in the world. He argues that if Aryans did migrate from other places to India then why is there no reference to those places in their books, such as Vedas, Puranas, Upanishads, etc. According to Bal Gangadhar Tilak Aryans originally inhabited Siberia but due to the falling temperature had to leave Siberia for greener pastures.
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