Author: Rajesh Kochhar
Publisher: Orient Longman
ISBN/UPC (if available): 81-250-1080-7
A bestseller, now in paperback edition, this work serves as a virtual primer to the major issues of Indo-Aryan origins. Written in an extremely lucid style with laudable detachment and restraint, this book is remarkable for its openness and lack of bias.
Was the Rgveda composed in Afghanistan? Was the Ghaggar River once the mighty Sarasvati of the Rgveda? Were the Rgvedic people and the Harappans the same? Was Rama's Ayodhya in India? In 'The Vedic People', well -known astrophysicist Rajesh Kochhar provides answers to these quintessential questions of ancient Indian history. Drawing upon and synthesizing data from a wide variety of fields - linguistics and literature, natural history, archaeology, history of technology, geomorphology and astronomy- the author presents a bold hypothesis which seeks to resolve several paradoxes that have plagued the professional historian and archaeologist alike.
Arguing that a major part of the Rgveda was composed in south Afghanistan (after c.1700BC) before the Rgvedic people entered the Punjab plain and well before they moved east of the Ganga River, the author asserts that during their migrations the Indo-Aryans not only carried with them their rituals and hymns but also place and river names which they selectively used.
PRAISE FOR THE BOOK:
That an astrophysicist had published a book on Vedic people made one wonder what would surface. It turns out to be a sensible and down-to-earth book for the interested general reader. Kochhar's book points out to the diverse sources that have to be consulted in order to chart the arrival and establishment of the Vedic people, and the range is immense. - Romila Thapar in The Outlook
What sets this book apart from the others is the author's command on the language, and the sheer felicity and brevity with which he writes, making his point sharply, concisely and clearly. - The Sunday Tribune
The book bears the stamp of the author as a reputed scientist. Very informative maps are furnished. This highly scholarly book from the eminent astrophysicist would be very much enjoyed by students of history, not only for the conclusions reached but for the tenor and logic as well. - The Hindu
Kochhar is not out to make a political point. What his book affirms - and reaffirms, given the number of primary sources he has studied and cited - is that Indian civilization has been on a constant march eastwards. Comparing the Avestan culture of Iran to Vedic life in India, he sees them as flowing from the same fount. - India Today
In an age when the past is seen thorough the ideological filters, the discipline of history needs an arsenal of academic rigor, combining historical methodology with cross discipline analysis to establish its claim as a social science. This book is a lucid example of how that can and should be done. Kochhar's book is like a breath of fresh air. - The Hindu
Rajesh Kochhar's approach is the well-balanced one of a natural scientist. His conclusions are notably different from the slew of recent revisionist re-writings of Indian history, whose schemes project the Rigveda into a hoary, improbable past, well before any horses and chariots were found in South Asia. Kochhar's book is a long needed corrective to such adventurous - and potential dangerous - theories. He puts us back on the firm ground of facts and their explanation.. - Michael Witzel, Professor of Sanskrit, Harvard University
This is a fascinating book with a wealth of information culled from the latest researches on the subject, presenting a certain number of original hypotheses which are consistent, in many areas, with what can be known from the Vedic texts themselves and logical in their overall arrangement. - The Statesman
Kochhar's work is remarkable for presenting a masterly synthesis of reasonably up-to-date specialized writings on the subject. His multi-pronged reconstruction of vexed problems is quite thought provoking. - K M Shrimali in Biblio
Clearly, the Vedic period is mired in mystery and only an interdisciplinary approach like the one used by Kochhar can extricate it from the cobwebs of inherited prejudices. - Sourish Bhattacharya in The Hindustan Times
Rajesh Kochhar's excellent 'The Vedic People' serves as a virtual primer to the major issues of Indo-Aryan origins. His blend of scientific skepticism, systematic logic and original thought will require the widest attention. - J P Mallory, author of 'In Search of the Indo-Europeans'
Rajesh Kochhar writes with laudable detachment and restraint, whilst carefully discussing a mass of data . This book is a sound and well-argued account of much recent research is remarkable for its openness and lack of bias. - F R Allchin, The Ancient India and Iran Trust, Cambridge
Kochhar is not a dishonest man. He does not manipulate the evidence and he freely mentions data which on closer examination against his own position. His fresh and independent approach in extracting a credible Aryan invasion scenario from the data makes him dissent from much standard AIT lore. - Koenraad Elst, Leuven, Belgium