Brahmo Samaj as an Actor in the Dissemination of Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT) in India

  • Subrata Chattopadhyay Banerjee


Dissemination of a scientific theory does follow, often, a circuitous route. It is a widespread notion, supported by eminent scholars that noted linguist and religious scholar; F. Max Müller is responsible for the dissemination of Aryan Invasion Theory (AIT), who played in the hands of imperial interests. In this paper, I argue that there were other stakeholders in the process of widespread acceptance of AIT. In particular, the Brahmo Samaj, a prominent socio-religious reform association in nineteenth century India, played a major role in the spreading of AIT. The prominent leaders of Brahmo Samaj, actively or passively, corroborated with Müller in that process. I closely examine the development of affairs during that time and attempt to establish the fact that development of a scientific theory is not a unilateral process, but rather strongly influenced by the sociopolitical environments of the time.


Consulted Contemporary Journals and Magazines

  1. Anon. (1870). The Inquirer. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  2. Anon. (1870). The Record Supplement.Google Scholar
  3. Anon. (1873) Charles Dall entry. The Free Church of Scotland Monthly Record.Google Scholar
  4. Anon., 1884. Daily News, 9 January.Google Scholar
  5. Anon. (1884). Glasgow Herald. Glasgow Herald.Google Scholar
  6. Anon. (1866). India Office Library John Lawrence Collection. MSS.Eur.F.90/31 (Letters to Secretary of State, Vol. 3). No. 58 to Lord Cranborne. Calcutta. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  7. Herald, M. (1873). Missionary Herald. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  8. The Inquirer. (1877). The Inquirer. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar

Printed Sources

  1. Anon. Retrieved 2012-10-15. In: Official Brahmo website. Scholar
  2. Bagal, J. C. (1942). Modern Review, Vol. 72.Google Scholar
  3. Collet, S. D. (1877). Letter from Keshab to Sophia Dobson Collet, 10 December 1875. Reprinted in The Brahmo Year Book (1877). s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  4. Collet, S. D. (1870). In: S. D. Collet, (ed.), Keshub Chunder Sen’s English Visit (London: Strahan and Co., 1871), Speaking at a reception in Nottingham. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  5. Datta, M. N. (2010). In: Sri Sri Ramkrishner Anudhyan. s.l.: The Mahendra Publishing Committee.Google Scholar
  6. Livingstone, D. (1858–1863). In: The Zambezi Expedition. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  7. Max Müller, F. (1874). In: “On Missions”,. s.l.: New York: Scribner, Armstrong and Company.Google Scholar
  8. Müller. (2013). Biographical Essays (Original work published 1884). London: Forgotten Books.Google Scholar
  9. Müller. (1881). In: Majumdar certainly expressed this view in a letter to Müller, writing that ‘What you are doing as a philosopher and philologist we are trying to do as men of devotion and faith. It is the same universal recognition of all trut reprint Biographical Essays. Calcutta: s.n.Google Scholar
  10. Müller, F. M. (1884). Biographical Essays. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  11. Müller, K. t. M. (1881, 1884). Keshab to Max Müller reprinted in Müller, Biographical Essays. 2 May.Google Scholar
  12. Sen, A. P. (1993). In: Hindu revivalism in Bengal, 1872–1905: Some essays in interpretation (Illustrated ed.), ISBN 978-0-19-563140-1. New Delh: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  13. Sen, K. C. (1870). In: S. D. Collet (ed.), The Brahmo Somaj: lectures and Tracts. London: Strahan & Co.Google Scholar
  14. Sen, K. C. (1889). In: The New Samhita or Sacred Laws of the Aryans of The New Dispensation, second edition, Calcutta Brahmo Tract Society. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  15. Sen, K. C. (1901). Keshub Chunder Sen’s Lectures in India. s.l.: Cassell and Company.Google Scholar
  16. Sen, K. C. (1938). In: “Keshub Chunder Sen in England: Diary, Sermons, Addresses & Epistles”, Navavidhan Publication Committee. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  17. Wife, M. M. (1902). In: b. h. wife, ed. Life and Letters Max Müller. vol 1 ed. s.l.: Longmans, Green, and Co.Google Scholar


  1. Arnold, D. (2000). In: “Science, Technology and Medicine in Colonial India”. s.l.: s.n.
  2. Arooran, K. N. (1980). In: “Caste & the Tamil Nation: The Origin of the Non-Brahmin Movement, 1905–1920”. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  3. Bagal, J. C. (1968). In: Hindu Melar Itibritta. Maitri Publication. OCLC Number: 417390882. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  4. Baumer, i. e. (1975). Aspects of Bengali History, For a summary of Adi Brahmo Samaj critiques of Keshabite universalism.Google Scholar
  5. Beckerlegge, G. (1997). Professor Friedrich Max Müller and the Missionary Cause. In: Victorian Britain Culture and Empire. s.l.: Manchester University Press, p. 189.Google Scholar
  6. Borthwick, M. (1977). In: “Keshub Chunder Sen: A search for cultural synthesis”, Miss Collet wrote “To the end Max Müller preserved his faith in Keshub Chandra Sen, and did all he could to uphold him and his work against the attacks made on him in India and England”. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  7. Bose, R. C. (1884). In: Brahmoism; or, History of reformed Hinduism from its origin in 1830,Rajah Ram Mohun Roy to the present time. s.l.: Funk & Wagnalls in New York.Google Scholar
  8. Cunningham, H. (1981). The Language of Patriotism 1750–1914. Hist Workshop J., 12(1), 8–33. Scholar
  9. Farquhar, J. N. (1915). In: Modern Religious Movements of India. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  10. Girardot. (1887). In: “Max Müller”, For the full text, see Monier-Williams, M., The Holy Bible and the Sacred Books of the East, Four Addresses; To which is Added a Fifth Address On Zenana Missions. London: Seeley & Co.Google Scholar
  11. Girardot, N. (2002). “Max Müller’s “Sacred Books” and the Nineteenth-Century Production of the Comparative Science of Religions”. In: History of Religions. s.l.: s.n.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Gleaner, T. C. M. (1878). In: The Church Missionary Gleaner, also took the view that, having once come so close to Christianity, evidence of Keshab’s backsliding into Hinduism was overwhelming by the late 1870s. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  13. Hall, C. (2002). In: Civilising Subjects: Metropole and Colony in the English Imagination 1830–1867. s.l.: Polity.Google Scholar
  14. Healy, F. (1982). The ruination of Indian econmoy, the possibility of research funding organization as a focus for science studies. Oxford, s.n.Google Scholar
  15. Hirschmann, E. R. K. (2004). In: E. R. K. Hirschmann, ed. The name of the newspaper changed, in January 1875, to The Friend of India, in which the Indian Observer is Incorporated, and, in January 1877, to The Friend of India & Statesman. Victorian.Google Scholar
  16. Hudson, N. (1996). In: for a valuable outline of the use of the term “race” in England before the 19th century, see Nicholas Hudson’s “From “Nation” to “Race”, the original of racial Classification in Eighteenth century Thought,” in 18th century’s studies, vol29, no3. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  17. Hughton, W. E. (1985). The Victorian Frame of Mind: 1830–1870. New Heaven and London: Yale University Press.Google Scholar
  18. Kennedy, D., London (2002). In: Britain and Empire, 1880–1945 (London, 2002). s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  19. Koditschek, T. (2011). In: Liberalism, Imperialism, and the Historical Imagination: Nineteenth-Century Visions of a Greater Britain. s.l.: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  20. Kopf, D. (1969). In: British Orientalism and the Bengal Renaissance: The Dynamics of Indian Modernization, (Berkeley, CA,). s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  21. Macpherson, G. (1900). In: Life of Lal Bihari Day, Edinburgh, 1900. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  22. McClelland, K. a. R. S. (2000). In: “Citizenship”, Heathorn, Stephen, For Home, Country, and Race: Constructing Gender, Class and Englishness in the Elementary School, 1880–1914. Toronto: s.n.Google Scholar
  23. McClelland, K. a. R. S. (2006). In: “Citizenship and Empire, 1867–1928”, in Hall and Rose, At Home With the Empire. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  24. Mehrota, S. (1971). In The Emergence of the Indian National Congress. s.l.: Vikas Publications.Google Scholar
  25. Meredith Borthwick (1977). In: Keshub Chunder Sen: A search for cultural synthesis. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  26. Metcalf, T. R. (1964). In: The aftermath of revolt: India, 1857–1870. s.l.: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  27. Milic, M. J. M. a. V. (1980). The Sociology of Science in East and West. Current Sociology, pp. 1–342.Google Scholar
  28. Mookerjee, N. (1970). I point to India. Bombay: s.n.Google Scholar
  29. Mozoomdar, P. C. (1887). In: Life and Teachings of Keshub Chandra Sen. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  30. Mozoomdar, P. C. (1931). In: The Life and Teachings of Keshub Chunder Sen (3rd ed.). s.l.: Calcutta: Nababidhan Trust.Google Scholar
  31. News, I. M. (1873). In: Illustrated Missionary News. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  32. Oman, J. C. (1906). In: “Brahmons Thesist and Moslems of India”. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  33. Panikker, K. M. (1961). In: G. A. &. Unwin, ed. Asia and Western Domination. London: s.n.Google Scholar
  34. Protap Chunder Mozoomdar. (1887). In: Life and Teachings of Keshub Chandra Sen. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  35. Roy, R. R. M. (1884). Raja Ram Mohan Roy 1774–1833’ in Biographical Essays. s.l.: Oxford.Google Scholar
  36. Rozario, D. (1846). Long “letter from Calcutta” Calcutta corresponding Committee of the church Missionary Society: 27th report. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  37. Said, E. (1978). Orientalism. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  38. Sastri, S. (1911). In: History of the Brahmo Samaji vol. 1,. Calcutta: R. Chatterji, 210/3/1, Cornwallis street.Google Scholar
  39. Slater, T. E. (1884). In: “Keshab Chandra Sen and The Brahma Samaj”, Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge, s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  40. Smith, W. C. (1988). Scripture as Form and Concept: Their Emergence for the Western World, Rethinking Scripture: Essays from a Comparative Perspective. New York: State University of New York Pres.Google Scholar
  41. Symondson, A., 1970. In: e. A. Symondson, ed. quoted in The Victorian Crises of Faith,. s.l.:London: SPCK.Google Scholar
  42. Thakur, M. D. (1914). Autobiography of Maharshi Debandranath Thakur. s.l.: McMillan and Co. Limited.Google Scholar
  43. Thapar, R. (2000). Frontline. In: Horseplay in Harappa, vol17, Issue 20. s.l.: India’s National Magazine rom the publishers of THE HINDU.Google Scholar
  44. Thapar, R. S. S. (1996). In: The Theory of Aryan Race and India: History and Politics , Vol. 24, No. 1/3. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar
  45. Todd, M. (1992). In: the early Germans. s.l.: Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar
  46. Whewell, W. E. C. C. G. W. 1. (1837, 1973). reprint of 3rd edition of 1857, publ. Class 1967. In: C. C. Gillispie., ed. “Charles Lyell” Dictionary of Scientific Biography. Vol. VIII. Pennsylvania, Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1973. History of the Inductive Sciences, vol. IV of the Historical and Philosophical Works. Chapter VIII The two antagonistic doctrines of geology. s.l.: s.n.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Subrata Chattopadhyay Banerjee
    • 1
  1. 1.SingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations