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Origin of Jat Race - Tracing Ancestry to the Scythians of Antiquity

Origin of Jat Race - Tracing Ancestry to the Scythians of Antiquity
Item Code: NAY578
Author: Bhupinder Singh Mahal
Language: English
Edition: 2013
ISBN: 9788121512916
Pages: 194 (Throughout B/w Illustrations)
Other Details: 10.00 X 6.50 inch
weight of the book: 0.42 kg
About the Book
B.S. Mahal presents a fascinating kaleidoscope of history of the nomads of the Central Asian steppe. He has garnered and drawn from a vast array of written works, some ancient and some compelling narrative.

Painstakingly researched are the origins and ethnography of Scythians that until now had remained unexplored, indeterminate, and vague. From congeries of steppe nomads the author brings a distinct coherence to Scythian group identity. According to the author the ethnic streams that flow into this affiliation are familial tribes of Indo-Iranians called Massagetae, Tahshak, Alan Dahae, Saka, and Getae.

About the Author
Bhupinder Singh Mahal has an enduring interest in Sikh ethos in general, evolving situations and challenges facing Sikh Diaspora in particular, and a keen interest in Indian history and political sociology, which he has and essays published in Sikh journals, newspapers and magazines in Canada, United States, England, and Indian.

He has lived/worked on five continents that have given him valuable international manifold experience. He has served on several boards and committees (Governor in Council or Order in Council appointments). From 2009 to 2013 Mr. Mahal served as Chairperson, Employment Insurance Board of Referees, and a quasi-judicial tribunal responsible for appeals under Employment Insurance Art.

In 2003 he was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal, created to mark the fiftieth Anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II to the throne, for contribution to Canada, to the community and to fellow Canadians.

In 2007 he was awarded Council Award by the College of Physiotherapists of Ontario in recognition of significant contributions ensuring the physiotherapists provide high quality, competent and ethical services that protect the public interest.

I First wrote on the Antiquity of Jat Race in a book published in the year 2000.1 The book is out of print. The essay "Scythian-the Noble Warrior" formed nucleus of the book, and told the story of the Scythians, their origins and conquests, and the migratory impulse that led some of them to find their way and to settle in Punjab, where their descendants call themselves Jats. As the narrative was brief in outline I decided to review, revise and expound on the theme, and publish it under a new title.

The idea of Jat ancestry first got implanted in my mind in the fall of 1951 when I journeyed from Kenya to India and spent a better part of the year in my ancestral village of Mahil Gaila, located in the district of Jullundur (now Jalandhar). One of the lasting images from those days that remain etched in my mind is of an old frail man, pink complexioned with a gently flowing snow-white beard and a neatly tied white turban, reading or busily writing at his desk on his roof terrace. Affectionately referred to as dipty by everyone, Sardar Ujagar Singh Mahil was my father's taya (uncle). Only decades later, I had measure of this elegant, urbane man, after his younger son, an uncle of mine, was to gift me a copy of his book." Mahil's argument in a nutshell is that Jats are descended from a Scythian tribe Cetae" who were inhabitants of Thrace, a province of Scythia, in what is modem region of southeastern Balkans, and from whence they in- vaded India. He claims that in 200 Bee Indo-Scythians subjugated the Greco-Bactrian kingdom which at the time extended to Jamuna River that included Punjab." Inspired by the author's plea in his introduction that his "brief work is meant chiefly to excite the ambition of interested research worker," and becoming enduringly taken with the subject, I took up the challenge to expatiate on his theme of tracing ancestry of Jat race to the Scythians.

I do not assume specialist knowledge. I admit to extensive use of archeological findings, writings of classical writers and modem day scholars. While sifting through a variety of writings of writers and expansive documentary evidence it became clear to me that even among scholars held in high regard exist differing interpretations of ideas advanced by writers of antiquity. The most challenging and in- tensely captivating is the narrative dealing with the Scythian nomads who in the first millennium wandered the vast steppe stretching from the Mongolian border to the Danube. Their history is virtually lost to us because they left behind no written records or cities or monuments to vouch for their accomplishments. To some extent their story is reconstructed from the objects left in their burial sites attesting to a complex way of life and if it was not for the Greek historian Herodotus the story of the e Scythians, a people of antiquity, would have been lost to the sands of time. Discovery of mound like burial sites known as kurgans in the Eurasian steppe and Altai ignited the interest of archeologists and anthropologists to delve into the no- madic culture of these people that flourished in that region and to provide their specialist perspective. In addition, in the past fifty years, several writers seduced by the steppe nomad, Scythians in particular, had weighed in with their viewpoint. To a large extent their research is based on the works of classical writers (Greek and Roman) who sometimes provide not just obscure explanations or confusing historical perspectives on same event but also confusing ethnos terminology. As to the origin of the Scythians most writers repeat the- theologized version of Herodotus otherwise their origin remains unexplained and unclear. Contradiction al 0 apparently exists with regard to their homeland, one claiming it to be located in what is present day Ukraine while others situate it on the Altai region. These discrepancies arise because Scythians did not tell their story as they had no written language and so their story is narrated by third par- ties (historians and archeologists) that had a daunting task given the paucity of reliable documentation. Mostly the writings about them are collateral to the telling of the history of sedentary peoples or empires, and for that reason they remain a footnote to a larger story.

Book's Contents and Sample Pages

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