Panel Discussion: The Peoples of Early India

This panel brings together authors of new work about the origins, migrations and identities of the human streams that converged to form the earliest groups inhabiting the South Asian subcontinent. The participants will discuss the latest discoveries in ancient history, Indus Valley archeology, population genetics and global demographics that allow us to revisit ideas of race, culture, language and ethnicity dominating Indian historiography and discourses of cultural nationalism since the 19th century, including major categories like Aryan, Dravidian, Harappan and Elamite.


Romila Thapar is a historian, professor emerita at Jawaharlal Nehru University and the author or editor of two dozen books on ancient India. She received the Kluge Prize for History in 2008. Most recently, she has published in Which of us are Aryans: Rethinking the Concept of our Origins (Aleph 2019).

Tony Joseph is a writer, columnist and journalist, and former editor of Business World Magazine. Most recently, he is the author of the bestselling Early Indians: The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From (Juggernaut 2018).

Kai Friese is a writer and has been the editor, over the years, of India Magazine and Outlook Traveller, among other magazines. He is currently a Managing Editor at India Today. Most recently, he has published in Which of us are Aryans: Rethinking the Concept of our Origins (Aleph 2019).


Ananya Vajpeyi is an Associate Professor at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies, Delhi. She is currently completing two books about the history of the Shudra as a category in Indian texts and society, from the classical literature to the writings of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. 

Friday, 9 August 2019
5.30 pm, CSDS Seminar Room
29 Rajpur Road, Delhi