Saturday, November 26, 2005

William Jones

A name that most Indians haven't heard of. The original orientalist, proponent of the Aryan Invasion Theory and the person to whom we owe our understanding of the subcontinent's ancient history.

As a Philologist, Jones' crowning achievement was the indepth study of the classical Indian tests. He is best known for observing the affinity between Sanskrit and other Indo-European Languages. The following observation of his had wide-ranging implications on Indian history and altered our racial sense.

The Sanscrit language, whatever be its antiquity, is of a wonderful structure; more perfect than the Greek, more copious than the Latin, and more exquisitely refined than either, yet bearing to both of them a stronger affinity, both in the roots of verbs and the forms of grammar, than could possibly have been produced by accident; so strong indeed, that no philologer could examine them all three, without believing them to have sprung from some common source, which, perhaps, no longer exists

Here are some examples that reveal a startling similarity between an oriental tongue and its distant occidental cousin :

Sanskrit Latin Meaning

trayas tres three

devas divus divine

sarpa serpens serpent

Words for 'father' in different Indo-European languages -


pitar (Sanskrit)

pater (Latin)

pater (Greek)

padre (Spanish)

pere (French)

father (English)

fadar (Gothic)

fa∂ir (Old Norse)

vader (German)

athir (Old Irish--with loss of original consonant)

It can be said that Sanskrit is much closer to Spanish in origin that it is to Tamil.
The more I read about William Jones' work, I find it increasingly hard to conceive the existence of a Pan-Indian race or an 'Indian' family of languages, as claimed by our obscurantist nationalists.

It's sad though that linguistic research of this kind that could provide a link to our obscured past doesn't get much press in our country.

Here's a fascinating page that explores this topic in greater detail


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