Historical definitions of races in India

Historical definitions of races in India

Various attempts have been made, under the British Raj and later times, to classify the population of India according to a racial typology. After the independence, in pursuance of the Government's policy to discourage community distinctions based on race, the 1951 Census of India did away with racial classifications. The national Census of independent India does not recognize any racial groups in India.Kumar, Jayant. [http://www.censusindia.gov.in/ Indian Census] 2001. September 4, 2006.] In India, "Dravidian", "Indo-Aryan", and similar words are generally considered as linguistic terms, rather than ethnic terms.Fact|date=September 2008

Some scholars of the colonial epoch attempted to find a method to classify the various groups of India according to the predominant racial theories popular at that time in Europe. This pseudo-scientific racial classification was used by the British census of India. It was often mixed with considerations about the caste system, as well as conflating linguistic groups (such as Dravidians and Indo-Aryans) with "races".Fact|date=September 2008

Recent studies of the distribution of alleles on the Y chromosome,cite journal
last = Sahoo
first =Sanghamitra
authorlink =
coauthors = Anamika Singh, G. Himabindu, Jheelam Banerjee, T. Sitalaximi, Sonali Gaikwad, R. Trivedi, Phillip Endicott, Toomas Kivisild, Mait Metspalu, Richard Villems and V. K. Kashyap
title =A prehistory of Indian Y chromosomes: Evaluating demic diffusion scenarios
journal =Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences of United States of America
volume =103
issue =4
pages =843–848
publisher =
location =
date =2006-01-24
url =http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/full/103/4/843
doi =10.1073/pnas.0507714103
id =
accessdate =
] microsatellite DNA, cite journal
last = Sengupta
first = S.
authorlink =
coauthors = et al.
title =Polarity and temporality of high-resolution y-chromosome distributions in India identify both indigenous and exogenous expansions and reveal minor genetic influence of Central Asian pastoralists.
journal =Am J Hum Genet.
volume =78
issue =2
pages =201–221
publisher =The American Society of Human Genetics
location =
date =2006-02-01
url =http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?tool=pubmed&pubmedid=16400607
doi =
id =
accessdate =2007-12-03
] and mitochondrial DNA cite journal
last =Sharma
first = S.
authorlink =
coauthors =Saha A, Rai E, Bhat A, Bamezai R.
title =Human mtDNA hypervariable regions, HVR I and II, hint at deep common maternal founder and subsequent maternal gene flow in Indian population groups.
journal = J Hum Genet.
volume =50
issue =10
pages =497–506
publisher =
location =
date =2005
url =http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez?db=pubmed&cmd=Retrieve&dopt=AbstractPlus&list_uids=16205836&query_hl=1&itool=pubmed_docsum
doi =10.1007/s10038-005-0284-2
id =
accessdate = 2007-12-03
] in India have cast overwhelmingly strong doubt for a biological Dravidian "race" distinct from non-Dravidians in the Indian subcontinent. The only distinct ethnic groups present in South Asia, according to genetic analysis, are the Balochi, Brahui, Burusho, Hazara, Kalash, Pathan and Sindhi peoples, the vast majority of whom are found in Pakistan. [Human Genome Diversity Project]

Martial races theory

The Martial races theory was a British ideology based on the assumption that certain peoples were more martially inclined as opposed to the general populace or other peoples.Heather Streets. "Martial Races: The military, race and masculinity in British Imperial Culture, 1857-1914"] The British divided the entire spectrum of Indian ethnic groups into two categories: a "martial race" and a "non-martial race". The martial race was thought of as typically brave and well built for fighting but were also described as "unintelligent". [cite journal
title = Martial Races and Imperial Subjects: Violence and Governance in Colonial India 1857–1914
journal= European Review of History
publisher = Routledge
date=March 2006
] The non-martial races were those whom the British believed to be unfit for battle because of their sedentary lifestyle, but were regarded as cleverer.

The Indian rebellion of 1857 may have played a role in British reinforcement of the martial races theory. During this rebellion, some Indian troops, particularly in Bengal, mutinied, but the "loyal" Sikhs, Punjabis, Dogras, Gurkas, Garhwalis and Pakhtuns (Pathans) did not join the mutiny and fought on the side of the British Army. Modern scholars have suggested that this theory was used to the hilt to accelerate recruitment from among these races, while discouraging enlistment of "disloyal" Indians who had sided with the rebel army during the war. [ [http://countrystudies.us/pakistan/8.htm Country Studies: Pakistan] - Library of Congress]

ee also

* Scientific racism
* Brown people
* Racism by country
* Origins of Indian ethnic groups
* Ethnic groups of South Asia


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