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THE ORIGIN OF RACES IN INDIA


The species known as Ramapithecus was found in the Siwalik foothills of the northwestern Himalayas. This species believed to be the first in the line of hominids lived some 14 million years ago. Researches have found that a species resembling the Australopithecus lived in India some 2 million years ago. Scientists have so far not been able to account for an evolutionary gap of as much as 12 million years since the appearance of Ramapithecus.

The people of India belong to different anthropological stocks.  According to Dr. B. S. Guha, the population of India is derived from six main ethnic groups:

(1) Negritos: The Negritos or the brachycephalic (broad headed) from Africa were the earliest people to inhabit India. They are survived in their original habitat in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The Jarewas, Onges, Sentelenese and Great Andamanis tribes are the examples. Studies have indicated that the Onges tribes have been living in the Andamans for the last 60,000 years. Some hill tribes like Irulas, Kodars, Paniyans and Kurumbas are found only in patches among the hills of south India on the mainland.

(2) Pro-Australoids or Austrics: This group was the next to come to India after the Negritos.  They represent a race of people, with wavy hair plentifully distributed over their brown bodies, long heads with low foreheads and prominent eye ridges, noses with low and broad roots, thick jaws, large palates and teeth and small chins.  Austrics tribes, which are spread over the whole of India, Myanmar and the islands of South East Asia, are said to  "form the bedrock of the people".  The Austrics were the main builders of the Indus Valley Civilisation. They cultivated rice and vegetables and made sugar from sugarcane. Their language has survived in the Kol or Munda  (Mundari) in Eastern and Central India.

(3) Mongoloids: These people have features that are common to those of the people of Mongolia, China and Tibet.  These tribal groups are located in the Northeastern part of India in states like Assam, Nagaland and Meghalya and also in Ladakh and Sikkim. Generally, they are people of yellow complexion, oblique eyes, high cheekbones, sparse hair and medium height. 

(4) Mediterranean or Dravidian: This group came to India from the Southwest Asia and appear to be people of the same stock as the peoples of Asia Minor and Crete and the pre-Hellenic Aegeans of Greece. They are reputed to have built up the city civilization of the Indus Valley, whose remains have been found at Mohenjodaro and Harappa and other Indus cities. The Dravidians must have spread to the whole of India, supplanting Austrics and Negritos alike. Dravidians comprise all the three sub-types, Paleo-Mediterranean, the true Mediterranean and Oriental Mediterranean. This group constitutes the bulk of the scheduled castes in the North India. This group has a sub-type called Oriental group.

(5) Western Brachycephals: These include the Alpinoids, Dinaries and Armenois.  The Coorgis and Parsis fall into this category.

(6) Nordics: Nordics or Indo-Aryans are the last immigrants into India. Nordic Aryans were a branch of Indo-Iranians, who had originally left their homes in Central Asia, some 5000 years ago, and had settled in Mesopotamia for some centuries. The Aryans must have come into India between 2000 and 1500 B.C. Their first home in India was western and northern Punjab, from where they spread to the Valley of the Ganga and beyond. These tribes are now mainly found in the Northwest and the Northwest Frontier Province (NWFP). Many of these tribes belong to the "upper castes".


     
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