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Historical Evidence


Chapter 1
Scythic Origin of the Rajput Race
by
Mulchand Chauhan

About the time when the Roman Empire was collapsing, the northwestern and western parts of India were under the control of Scythic empires. Indeed, many of the tribes active in the disturbances following the fall of Rome appear as rulers in western India. At the peak of its power, the Scythic or Saka kingdoms stretched from the Vindhyas to the Oxus, from Persia to Bihar. They played a significant role for several centuries in Indian history. These mainly Sun-worshipping and Zoroastrian kingdoms eventually collapsed as a result of Brahmanisation, with the once-glorious Saka dynasties being crushed under the Brahmin yoke. Brahmanisation led to the destruction of the Scythic heritage of these peoples, and their nastik (non-Vedic) Sun-worshipping religions were submerged in the sea of Brahmanism. It was only in the early 19th century that Col. Tod noticed the striking similarities between the Rajput and the Scythic races, writing that -

"It is a singular fact that there is no available date beyond the 4th century for any of the great Rajput families, all of whom are brought from the North. This was the period of one of the grand irruptions of the Getic races from Central Asia, who established kingdoms in the Punjab and on the Indus. `Pal' or `Pali', the universal adjunct to every proper name, indicates the pastoral race of these invaders."

-- [ Tod.II.2.n4 ]

Phylogeny

Phylogenetic (study of the tribal relations) evidence clearly indicates that the Rajput races are of Indo-Scythic descent. The major extant Indian branches of the Scythic (`Saka') tribes and their historical ancestry are shown -

Modern Rajput Race
Ancestral Scythic Race
Reference
Jat Getae or Jutii [ EB ]
Gujjar, Gujarati Khazar [ EB ]
Thakur Tokharian [ EB ]
Abhira Avars [ EB ]
Saurashtri Sauro Matii (Sarmatians) [ EB ]
Saka Scythii [ EB ]
Madra Medes [ Cakra.10 ]
Dahya Rajcula Dahae [ Met. ]
Sessodia Sassanian [ Met. ]
Trigarta Tyri Getae [ Cakra.16 ]
Sulika Seleucid [ Cakra.16 ]
Sisunagas of Magadh Sse [ Cakra.10 ]
Magadhi Magii [ Cakra.10 ]

Other tribes classed as Scythic are the Malavas, Arjunayanas, Yaudheyas, Sivis, Parthians, Kushans & Trigarttas [ Cakra.16 ]. The Keraits of Mongoloid race were referred to as Kirata [ Cakra.10 ]. The Sanskritic Aryan texts refer to the Scythians collectively as `Saka', the Mongoloids as `Naga' or `Kerait' and the Negroids as `Sudra'; a word related to the stem `Sud - ' in `Sudan'. Thus, recent genetic evidence indicates that the Sudroids of India are in fact the Sudanic Negroids who settled in India in ancient times. There is nowhere any concept of a monolithic "Hindu" race mentioned anywhere even up to the Puranic period.

The Sakas are mentioned as being clearly distinct from the Aryas. Indeed, such well-known Saka races as the Sogdians and Cathii are all represented amongst the Indo-Scythic races :

" He [ the historian ] would find the Soda, the Catti, the Mallani, affording in history, position of nominal resemblance, grounds for inferring that they are the descendants of the Sogdi, Cat'hi and Malli, who opposed the Macedonian in his passage down the Indus."

-- [ Tod.II.256 ]

Col. Tod notes that " The Gets or Jits and Huns, hold place amongst the 36 royal races of ancient India." [ Tod.II.256 ]

The Gujjars are the 8th largest Punjabi caste after the Jats, Rajputs, Pathans, Arains, Brahmans, Camars and Chuhras [ Ibb.182 ]. The highest authorities have declared them to be the ancient Khazars who entered India :

"They [ Gujjars] are identified by General Cunningham with the Kushan or Yuchi or Tochari, a tribe of Eastern Tartars. About a century before Chrsit their chief conquered Kabul and the Peshawar country; while his son Hima Kadphises, so well known to the Panjab Numismatologist, extended his sway over the whole of Upper Panjab and the banks of the Jamna so far down as Mathra and the Vindhyas, and his successor the no less familiar king Kanishra, the first Buddhist Indo-Scyth prince, annexed Kashmir to the kingdom of Tochari. These Tochari or Kushan are the Kaspeiraei of Ptolemy, in the middle of the 2nd century of our era, Kaspeira, Kasyapapara or Multan was one of their chief cities."

-- [ Ibb.182 ]

The Indo-Aryan terms Gujjar and Kushan is clearly derived from the original name Khazar via the standard rules of phonetic change. Thus, Indo-Aryan languages universally lack the -kh- and the -z-, transforming them into -g- and -j- respectively. By end of the 3rd century, a portion of the Gujjars had moved south down the Indus and by the mid-5th century there was a Gujjar kingdom in South-Western Rajasthan. They were driven by the Baluchis into Gujarat [ Ibb.182 ]. Gujarat remains their stronghold to the day, and they settled there in such large numbers that the very name `Gujarat', the `Land of Khazars' came to be applied to the tract :
"Gujarat is still their [ Gujjar ] stronghold, and in that district they form 13.5 % of the total population."

-- [ Ibb.183 ]

Adding the other Saka tribes present in Gujarat, such as the Rajputs, the Saurashtrians or Sauro Matii and the Kathiawadis or the Catti one obtains well over half the entire population of the region. It is little wonder that this is the case, for the Gujarat-Rajputana region was the locus for the glorious Saka kingdoms of yore. The list of Rajput rajcula (royal races) indeed clearly mentions the Huns and other immigrant Sakas :
" so late are 7 centuries ago we find Getes, Huns, Catti, Ariaspas, Dahae, defnitely settled and enumerated amongst the Chhaties rajcula [of the Rajput ]."

-- [ Met. 185 ]

The Rajput Sesodias are the seed of the Sassanid Noshirwan [ Met. 198-200 ] whence the Mewar kings are descended, a circumstance which justified Shivaji's descent. General Cunningham also considered the Jats to be Scythic :

" General Cunningham and Major Tod consider the Jats Indo-Scythic [ Tod's Raj. I.52-75 and page 96-101 Madras reprint ] [ Cunningham, ASI reports, II, p.51-61 ] Cunningham identifies the Jats with the Zanthii of Strabo and the Jatii of Pliny and Ptolemy and holds that they probably enterd the Punjab from their home on the Oxus very shortly after the Meds or Mands (also Indo-Scythic) and moved into the Punjab in the 1st century BC "

-- [ Ibb.97 ]

The Parthians also settled in India in large numbers : "Arrian, who resided in the 2nd century at Barugaza (Baroach) descrbies a Parthian sovereignity as extending from the Indus to the Nerbudda." [ Met.184 ]

The Indo-Scyths were designated by the names of animals, just as their Scythic forbears : " The Indo-Scythic tribes were designated by the names of animals, Barahas or hogs, Noomries or foxes, Takshacs or snakes, Aswas and Asis or the horse." [ Tod.II.185.n1 ]

Numismatics

Abundant survivals of the Scythic era of Indian history can be gleamed from the numismatic record. The frequency of archaeological discoveries of Saka coins reaches its maximum in the Rajputana-Gujarat region, the traditional locus of the Saka Kshatrapa kingdom.
" Based on analysis of coins, inscriptions, archeological finds and early Indian/Buddhist/Chinese/Greek/Persian manuscripts dating back to 500 BC, historians and ethnographers (e.g. Cunningham, Tod, Rapson, Ibbetson, Elliot, Ephilstone, Dahiya, Dhillon, Banerjea, Sharma, Sinha, Shrava, Puniya etc.) have shown that the traditional agrarian and artisan communities (e.g. Jats/Gujars/Tarkhans/Khatris/Rajputs/Lohars/Yadavs etc.) of the entire northwest are the descendants of Scythian tribes from central Asia (an aggressive and expansionist old Iranian speaking culture) who settled north-western southasia in successive waves between 5th century B.C. to 5th century AD. Sociological and ethnological information collected in colonial censuses shows that the majority (+65%) of the population of the northwest ("Sakasthan" including Punjab, Rajasthan, Gujarat, northern Maharashtra and western UP) is of Saka origin . Terms like "Sakasthana" appear on ancient Saka inscriptions found as far as Mathura in western Uttar Pradesh (formerly, United Provinces)."

-- [ Khalsa, Ch.2 ]

In addition, many of the coins of the Sakas include Greek legends. This indicates that the Greeks were absorbed into the Rajput stock, and that the Rajputs of today possess a considerable Greek ancestry.


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