GENETICS OF bhaartiy veDik PEOPLES
FROM HINDUISM TODAY: MONTREAL,
CANADA, February 15, 2004:
Current Biology, a technical magazine, carries an article on the Indian caste
system in its recent edition. The summary reads:
"The origins of the nearly one billion people inhabiting the Indian
subcontinent and following the customs of the Hindu caste system are
controversial: are they largely derived from Indian local populations (i.e.
tribal groups) or from recent immigrants to India?
Archaeological and linguistic evidence support the latter hypothesis,
whereas recent genetic data seem to favor the former hypothesis.
Here, we analyze the most extensive dataset of Indian caste and tribal Y
chromosomes to date. We find that caste and tribal groups differ significantly
in their haplogroup frequency distributions; caste groups are homogeneous for
Y chromosome variation and more closely related to each other and to central
Asian groups than to Indian tribal or any other Eurasian groups.
We conclude that paternal lineages of Indian caste groups are primarily
descended from Indo-European speakers who migrated from central Asia 3,500
years ago. Conversely, paternal lineages of tribal groups are predominantly
derived from the original Indian gene pool.
We also provide evidence for bidirectional male gene flow between caste and
tribal groups. In comparison, caste and tribal groups are homogeneous with
respect to mitochondrial DNA variation, which may reflect the sociocultural
characteristics of the Indian caste society."
HPI would like expert comments on the research,
which arrives at different conclusions than earlier DNA studies. E-mail
If you wish to have the full report please click on the following hilite:
CURRENT BIOLOGY WEB SITE: Independent Origins of Indian Caste and Tribal