"Hindutva's Rediscovery/Appropriation of its Ancient Past

Author(s): Cynthia Humes

Year: 2017


Religious proponents are increasingly challenging academic research on India and its religious past. Book burnings, petitions, and even riots, have resulted when religious adherents have felt maligned by the scholarship of academic archaeologists and historians. In my presentation, I will introduce and clarify the complicated history and major debates regarding key archaeological finds in South Asia. In particular, I will discuss debates regarding the history of the "Aryan" and the Indus Valley Civilization. I will elucidate ideologically-inspired interpretations of the South Asian archeological record, particularly by those called Hindutvādins, and those who write, blog, and speak about (and against) them. I next describe some of the major controversies that in the past several decades have flared into increasingly virulent interactions between Hindutva proponents, indigenist theorists, and academic interpreters. I then highlight major accusations by academics of partisan pseudoarchaeology and pseudoscience, and close with comments regarding what these debates foretell of the future of Indus Valley archaeological scholarship.

Cite this Record

"Hindutva's Rediscovery/Appropriation of its Ancient Past. Cynthia Humes. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431719)


Spatial Coverage

min long: 59.678; min lat: 4.916 ; max long: 92.197; max lat: 37.3 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 14887