Friday, August 1, 2014

The Indo-Europeans (Jats, Ezhavas)

...Ezhavas are brown Caucasians......Jat Sikhs are a lot fairer......only thing they have in common is a martial tradition.....study asserting that the two communities – that have never mixed and live thousands of miles away – are close genetically......
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India is full of interesting people and Jats are of special interest now that we have a Jat as a Chief of Army Staff (COAS). What came as a shock (to us) is the commonality between Kerala Ezhavas (the dominant shudra community) and Punjabi Jat Sikhs (the dominant shudra community).

(Lt) General Dalbir Singh Suhag (Jat but not Sikh), the 26th COAS who took over from General Bikram Singh (Sikh, most likely Jat), has a grand life-story to tell (see below), rising from a humble farm-hand background to be the highest ranked officer of the land, via the Gurkha regiment.

Our best wishes to General Singh and our hope is that we can maintain a "cold peace" in the sub-continent and that our civilian leaders will guide us accordingly.
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DNA samples taken from thousands of Indians have been compared with population groups from other parts of the world, particularly Europe and Central Asia.

The latest one is from Kerala, which is my home state on India’s south-western coast. According to the study, two entirely different castes – Ezhava, also known as Thiyya in northern Kerala, and Jat Sikh of Punjab – show remarkable genetic similarity.


In fact, Ezhavas showed more genotypic resemblance to the Jat Sikh population of Punjab, Turks and Germans than to East Asians, says the study by the Department of Biotechnology & Biochemical Engineering at the Sree Budha College of Engineering in Pattoor, Kerala. 

It was conducted by department head Dr Seema Nair, Aswathy Geetha and Chippy Jagannath under the aegis of Dr K. Sasikumar, the chairman of the institute. It has also been published in the Croatian Medical Journal.

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Before we jump into the study, here’s a little note about genetics. For various reasons, DNA material undergoes slight alterations or mutations in the course of time. The mutations then become characteristic of the line of descendants. These mutations, or genetic markers, are organised into categories called haplotypes. Basically, your haplotype is your genetic fingerprint.

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The Sree Budha study examined DNA from the Y chromosome, which is also known as the male chromosome because it is found only in males. More specifically, it examined Y Short Tandem Repeat (Y STR) DNA present in the Y chromosome. As these DNA sequences are passed from father to son, it is also useful in forensics and paternity testing.

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The Ezhava population was compared with other Indian populations and with selected world populations in order to investigate the pattern of paternal contributions. Nair’s team examined 104 haplotypes among the Ezhavas. Ten were found identical to the Jat Sikhs, which is the highest number among Indian populations, and four to the Turkish population, which is the highest among European populations.

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“The comparison suggests a genetic link between the populations,” says Nair. Ezhavas, she argues, are genetically more similar to Europeans (60 percent) than to East Asians (40 percent).

My interaction with Nair, who comes across as witty and erudite, was primarily fuelled by my search for my own roots. I belong to the same Ezhava community, which is at the centre of this research.

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The Ezhavas have an intriguing history. The most persistent belief is that they are the original people of Kerala – the soldiers of the Villavar (archer) community which founded the Chera kingdom. It is a measure of their martial traditions that among the Ezhavas are the Chekavar – the only kamikaze group of fighters known in Indian history.

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What is intriguing about the study is that the Ezhavas, a Dravidian group, are now being described as closer to Jat Sikhs, Europeans and Central Asians.

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In terms of physical appearance, the Ezhavas are brown Caucasians. However, typical of many Indian communities, there are plenty of very dark and very fair people among them.

On the other hand, the Jat Sikhs who live 3000 km up north are a lot fairer. Plus, Jat Sikh surnames such Mann, Bader, Brar, Dhillon and Virk have an uncanny Germanic resonance.

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Indeed, it is worth mentioning the during the early part of the 20th century Sikh immigrants to the US convinced the Immigration & Naturalization Service to grant them white status. Those days only white Europeans were allowed to enter the United States as immigrants. However, later the INS wised up to the fact that the Sikhs “weren’t that white” and again categorised them as Asian.

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So there you have it. One group of Indians, the Ezhavas, and another group, the Jat Sikhs. The only thing they have in common is a martial tradition. And yet you have this study asserting that the two communities – that have never mixed and live thousands of miles away – are closer genetically than to communities that live close by.

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Meanwhile, down south Nair and Sasikumar say the first report on the Y-STR profile in Kerala population is just the beginning. Expect the unexpected.
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General Dalbir Singh Suhag, who took over as the 26th Chief of Army Staff (CoAS) from General Bikram Singh on Thursday, tilled his land in a remote Haryana village in his childhood.

General Dalbir Singh was born in Bishan village in Haryana's Jhajjar district on December 28, 1954. Many in the village, including his father and uncles had served in the infantry and cavalry units but few would have imagined that the boy who started his education in the two-roomed village primary school would go on to lead the Indian Army one day.

According to sources close to General Dalbir Singh Suhag, the rooms of the school were used for senior classes and he along with his classmates took their lessons under trees.

During his spare time, the young Dalbir would lend a helping hand to his family in tilling his field. This help was crucial during the harvest season. "This was crucial learning for any child. By working the fields, they developed a deep sense of respect for the motherland that bore them their daily bread," the source said.


...It was in 1961 that a development took place which would remodel the life of this boy from Bishan. That year, the Government of India set out to establish Sainik Schools across the country. Chittorgarh in Rajasthan was one of the locations. Dalbir's granduncle was an equestrian instructor at this school and he suggested that the boy study there. Dalbir joined the school on January 15, 1965.

His teachers from the Sainik School days are elated. "I feel that I am 18 again," remarked K S Kang, a teacher who is in his 90s. H S Rathi, another teacher, described Dalbir as: "a very sincere, hard working and obedient student. He was also very good in sports and a gifted basketball player." His English teacher J N Bhargava described him as: "He managed his studies very well. He was humility personified, a man of determination, speed and tenacity of purpose and would do any job assigned to him most obediently."
   


He went on to join the National Defence Academy and in June, 1974, was commissioned to the 4th Battalion of the 5 Gorkha Rifles (Frontier Force). He is the third Army chief after Field Marshal SHFJ Manekshaw and Gen G G Bewoor who was either commissioned into or associated with the Brigade of Gorkhas. "It was a conscious choice I made as I wanted to join only the infantry," says Gen Dalbir Singh of his choice to seek out the Gorkha Regiment, whose soldiers are among the finest in the world.

After serving in Sri Lanka and Jammu & Kashmir, Gen Dalbir Singh raised and commanded a Rashtriya Rifles Battalion in Nagaland and later an Infantry Brigade deeply committed to intense Counter Insurgency Operations in the Kashmir valley.

Gen Dalbir Singh also commanded a Mountain Division in the Kargil-Drass sector. He also served under the Cabinet Secretariat as an Inspector General, Special Frontier Force. Subsequently, he was appointed Eastern Army Commander from June 16, 2012 to December 31, 2013, and later to the post of Vice Chief of the Army Staff (VCOAS) on January 1, 2014.

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Link (1): http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/Indias-26th-Army-chief-General-Dalbir-Singh-tilled-land-as-a-child/articleshow/39372366.cms

Link (2): http://in.rbth.com/articles/2012/06/06/europeans_and_indians_divided_or_united_by_dna_15923.html

Link (3): http://sepiamutiny.com/blog/2011/04/22/the_genetic_ori/
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regards