RIAZ HAQ — Harvard geneticist Dr. David Reich’s Indian counterparts were highly resistant to the Harvard team findings about origins of modern-day South Asians.
Reich’s team came to the conclusion — after studying the Y-chromosomes of present-day Indians, — that male ancestors of the vast majority of Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis came from West Eurasia, Central Asia and Iran.
Y-chromosomes are passed from father to son while mitochondrial DNA is passed from mother to children.
Some Hindu Indian scientists have used mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) samples, extracted from the bones of recently discovered ancient skeletal remains of a woman in Rakhigarhi in Haryana, to claim the local indigenous origins of all Hindus.
According to Reich, “Based on their own mitochondrial DNA studies, it was clear to them (Indians) that the great majority of mitochondrial DNA lineages present in India today had resided in the subcontinent for many tens of thousands of years.They did not want to be part of a study that suggested a major West Eurasian incursion into India without being absolutely certain as to how the whole-genome data could be reconciled with their mitochondrial DNA findings. They also implied that the suggestion of a migration from West Eurasia would be politically explosive. They did not explicitly say this, but it had obvious overtones of the idea that migration from outside India had a transformative effect on the (South Asian) subcontinent.”
To see why the Indian researchers believed the acceptance of West Eurasian origins of present-day Hindus would be political explosive, it is important to understand the myth of racial purity that underlies the Hindu Nationalists’ racist ideology. Refer to book by Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar, leader of the Hindu Nationalist RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh).
Reich divides Indians into two major groups: Ancestral North Indians (ANI) and Ancestral South Indians (ASI). Based on DNA studies, he finds that the ANI have much higher percentage of ancestral DNA from Central Asia and Iran than the ASI.