The Racial Theory of Indian Civilization

Thomas R. Trautmann

in Aryans and British India

Published by University of California Press

Published in print March 1997 | ISBN: 9780520205468
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520917927 | DOI:
The Racial Theory of Indian Civilization

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This chapter explores the concept of the so-called racial theory of Indian civilization. It explains that the abrupt decoupling of race and language was a reaction against the Aryan idea, particularly against the assertion that Indians were kin to Europeans, and that it attacked the authority of the comparative philologists and Sanskritists. The deepening time of race formation acted to solidify the idea of race as an entity independent of language. In addition, the acceptance of the new Darwinian reading of the history of biological forms invalidated claims that India's ancient literature was a testament of the primitive state.

Keywords: racial theory; Indian civilization; race and language; Aryan idea; comparative philologists; Sanskritists; ancient literature

Chapter.  11052 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Anthropology

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