[This question, "ARE GERMAN AND FRENCH CLOSER TO SANSKRIT THAN MALAYALAM, KANNADA, TELUGU AS THE THEORIES SEEM TO SUGGEST?", was the subject of discussion in certain Hindu circles. This relates to a fundamental point concerning the validity of the concept of "language-families", which would seem obvious to many people but equally unacceptable to many others. I felt this point, elementary though it is, needs to be clarified; hence this article]
[Note added 15/9/2018:
See how even the modern North Indian ("Aryan" language) words are not exactly like the Sanskrit words or like each other, though the connection can be seen or analyzed; but the words in the ancient Indo-European languages given above are almost replicas of each other, like the dialectal forms of a single language. And this is not only with ancient Greek, Avestan and Hittite, but even modern Russian and Lithuanian. But all these languages have evolved separately from each other for thousands of years in different geographical areas with very little historical contacts (and certainly no known historical contacts where the interaction was so total and all-powerful that even such basic words could have been borrowed from one to the other, when there is not a single known example anywhere in the whole world where even closely situated languages with one language totally influencing the other one has resulted in the borrowing of personal pronouns or basic verbal forms). Obviously the "Indo-European" languages are closely related to each other. But the speakers of the languages are clearly not racially or genetically related to each other (while the speakers of different language families in India are racially and genetically related to each other). So this means that these languages have spread from some one particular area to all the other areas in prehistoric times, and (by elite dominance or whatever means) language replacement took place where the people in the other areas, over the centuries, slowly adopted these languages: there can be no alternative explanation. The only question is: from which area? I have shown that it was from North India].
In this particular context, pushing an agenda for the Vedic/Sanskrit language and culture to be treated as the parent of all, even all Indian, languages and cultures, against all linguistic and historical evidence, would not only be unscholarly and unlikely to convince opponents, it would show a lack of respect for other Indian languages and cultures and be extremely counter-productive. While accepting Vedic/Sanskrit language and culture as being the Pan-Indian umbrella of our great and ancient Civilizational ethos and identity, we should also accept that Sanskrit, Tamil, Santali, Lepcha, Burushaski and Andamanese (taking here, for illustration, one representative language from each of the six language-families found in India) are all "different", but all equally Indian and equally "ours", and equally worthy of our pride, respect and protection.
The above is an oft-repeated kind of question in Hindu circles which reject the linguistic distinction between Indo-European languages on the one hand and the Dravidian languages on the other as they feel it creates a division between "North India" and "South India", and somehow makes "North India" closer to Europe than to "South India".
This question has three very distinct components:'
1. Is the classification of languages into different families as "Indo-European" ("Aryan") and "Dravidian" correct?
2. Does this prove an "Aryan Invasion" of India?
3. Does this cause a division between the people of North India and South India, and put the people of North India closer to the people of Europe than to the people of South India?
I. DIFFERENT LANGUAGE FAMILIES.
The division into different families is a linguistic fact. Anyone who sees the evidence cannot reach any other conclusion. Any examination of the Sanskrit vocabulary and grammar with the oldest available vocabularies and grammars of the different Indo-European languages makes it crystal clear that the languages are indeed related to each other. Note some examples here:
1. To begin with, compare the closest relationship words for "father, mother, brother, sister, son, daughter" in Sanskrit: "pitar, mātar, bhrātar, svasar, sūnu, duhitar", and in Persian: "pidar, mādar, birādar, khvahar, hūnu (in Avestan), dukhtar". Compare the normal (not borrowed from Sanskrit) forms in the Dravidian languages.
2. Compare Sanskrit "dvā, tri, catur, panca" with Russian "dva, tri, cetuire, pyac"; or Sanskrit "saptan, aṣṭan, navan, daśan" with Latin "septem, octo, novem, decem". Compare the Persian numerals "yak, du, si, chahar, panj, shish, haft, hasht, nuh, dah" with Hindi "ek, do, tīn, chār, pānc, che, sāt, āṭh, nau, das", and then with Tamil "onṛu, iranḍu, mūnṛu, nāngu, aindu, āṛu, ēzhu, eṭṭu, onbadu, pattu" or Telugu "okaṭi, renḍu, mūḍu, nālugu, ayidu, āru, ēḍu, enimidi, tommidi, padi".
Compare for example Sanskrit tri, Avestan thri, English three, Latin treis, Greek treis, Russian tri, German drei, Lithuanian trys, Albanian tre, Welsh tri, Tokharian tri/tre, Hittite teri-, etc. with Tamil mūnṛu, Malayalam mūnnu, Telugu mūḍu, Kannada mūru, Tulu mūji.
Compare for example Sanskrit tri, Avestan thri, English three, Latin treis, Greek treis, Russian tri, German drei, Lithuanian trys, Albanian tre, Welsh tri, Tokharian tri/tre, Hittite teri-, etc. with Tamil mūnṛu, Malayalam mūnnu, Telugu mūḍu, Kannada mūru, Tulu mūji.
3. Relationship words and numerals can be borrowed, as English "uncle", "mummy" and English numerals are commonly used today by people in the midst of discourse in their own other languages (though it would be difficult to explain how Sanskrit relationship words and numerals could have been "borrowed" wholesale by totally unrelated languages in far-off areas in very ancient times, and how they could completely replace the original words in those languages), but personal pronouns cannot be borrowed:
a. Note the striking and undeniable relationship between the nominative plurals in Sanskrit vay-, yūy-, te, English we, you, they, and Avestan vae, yūz, dī.
Again compare the accusative forms of the same plural pronouns, Sanskrit nas, vas, with Avestan noh, voh, Russian nas, vas, and the Latin nominative forms nos, vos.
b. Compare Sanskrit tu- (English thou) with tū (or variations tu/ti/du, etc.) in all the modern Indo-Aryan languages, as well as in Avestan, Persian, Armenian, (Doric) Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Italian, Russian, Lithuanian, Irish, Welsh, Albanian, German, etc. etc.: practically in every Indo-European language.
c. Compare Sanskrit dative forms me and te (as in kṣamasva-me and namas-te) with Avestan me and te, English me and thee, Greek me and se (te in Doric Greek), Latin me and te, etc.
d. Compare Sanskrit tat with English that; Latin id and Avestan it with English it; Sanskrit tām with English them; and Sanskrit as-ma- with English us. And the root in the Sanskrit dual forms āvā(-am) and yuvā(-am) with the roots in English possessive plurals our and your.
Compare all these forms with the personal pronouns in the Dravidian languages of the South.
4. Take the most fundamental of verbs, the verb "to be", and its most basic present tense conjugational forms: (I) am, (thou) art, (he/she/it) is. The forms in a main representative language from each of the twelve different branches are:
Sanskrit: asmi, asi, asti.
Avestan: ahmī, ahī, astī.
Homeric Greek: eimi, essi, esti.
Latin: sum, es, est.
Gothic: em, ert, est.
Hittite: ēšmi, ēšši, ēšzi.
Old Irish: am, at, is.
Russian: esmy, esi, esty.
Lithuanian: esmi, esi, esti.
Albanian: jam, je, ishtë.
Armenian: em, es, ê.
Tocharian: -am, -at, -aṣ.
[Note added 15/9/2018:
[What are the comparative forms in the Dravidian languages of South India, or even the modern Indo-Aryan languages of the North?
Tamil: irukkiŗēn, irukkiŗāy, irukkiŗān/irukkiŗāḷ/irukkiŗadu.
Kannada: iddēne, iddi, iddāne/iddāḷe/ide.
Telugu: unnānu, unnāvu, unnāḍu/unnadi/unnadi.
Marathi: āhe, āhes, āhe.
Konkani: āssa, āssa, āssa.
Hindi: hũ, hai, hai.
Gujarati: chũ, che, che.
Further, compare the conjugation of the verb "bear" (to carry) in the forms (I) bear, (thou) bearest, (he/she/it) bears, (we) bear, (you) bear, (they) bear, in a few representative old languages from different Indo-European branches:
Sanskrit: bharāmi, bharasi, bharati, bharāmas, bharatha, bharanth.
Avestan: barā, barāhi, baraiti, barāmahi, baratha, baranti.
Gothic: baira, bairis, bairith, bairam, bairith, bairand.
Greek: pherō, phereis, pherei, pheremon, pherete, pherousi.
Latin: fero, fers, phert, ferimus, fertis, ferunt.
Old Irish: birum, bir, berid, bermoi, beirthe, berait.
Old Slavic: bero, bereši, beretŭ, beremŭ, berete, berotŭ.
Again, compare the conjugations in the Dravidian languages of the South.
5. In fact, a deep examination of every aspect of the original basic vocabulary of the different Indo-European languages shows a common origin: English "dewdrops" and Sanskrit "davadrapsa", English "thirsty" and Sanskrit "tṛṣit", English "navy" and Sanskrit "nāva", English "be-tter" and "be-st" and Sanskrit "vasu-tara" (Persian "beh-tar" as used in Urdu) and "vas-iṣṭha" (from "vasu-", good) , English "same" and "other" and Sanskrit "sama" and "itara" (Greek "homo" and "hetero"), even English "fart" and Sanskrit "pārd"!
The relation is fundamental, and covers not only the original roots of the basic verbs, but even the prefixes used to form new words from those roots. Compare the Sanskrit prefixes with their Avestan equivalents in brackets: ati (aiti), antar (antar), apa (apa), api (aipi), abhi (aibi, aiwi), anu (anu), ava (ava), ā (ā), ud (uz), upa (upa), ni (ni), niṣ (niz), para/parā (para/parā), pari (pairi), pra (fra), prati (paiti), vi (vi), saṁ (haṁ), a/an (a/an), duṣ (duz), sva (hva), su (hu), etc. See also some of these prefixes in Greek (as found in countless Greek-derived words used in English): ati (ety), antar (endo/ento, Latin inter/intro), apa (apo/ap Latin ab/abs), api (epi), abhi (amphi, Latin ambi), ā (ana), upa (hypo/hyp), ni (eni), parā (para), pari (peri), pra (pro, Latin pro), prati (proti), saṁ (syn/sym), a/an (in, Latin un), su (eu), etc.
Is there anything comparable in the basic vocabulary, roots and basic word-formation in the Dravidian languages of the South?
It is therefore likely to be counter-productive to adopt the line that German and French are not closer to Sanskrit (in their ancient linguistic beginnings) than Malayalam or Telugu. If we choose to ignore or refuse to accept clear facts, which should become clear from the above examples even to someone who has not studied linguistics and does not know all these languages, can our arguments be taken seriously by any serious person? Must we adopt a line just because it makes us happy, because we want to oppose whatever the opponents are saying, because a captive following will adopt whatever we say as a dogma, or because we have an agenda to uphold? Or should we present the facts, and examine what exactly is shown by the facts and evidence?
II. "ARYAN" INVASION OF INDIA.
The linguistic evidence shows that there were (at least as per presently available data) twelve branches of Indo-European languages which had split from an original ancestral language - unrecorded and hypothetical, but an ancestral language which can be roughly linguistically reconstructed from the available data on the basis of linguistic parameters - which was spoken in one particular geographical area (the Original Homeland) from where different branches migrated outwards in the course of time and settled down in their various earliest known and recorded historical areas.
The evidence does not show that the "Indo-Aryan" (Vedic) branch migrated into India from an Original Homeland in South Russia or anywhere else outside India. It in fact shows (see my books and blog articles for the irrefutable data and evidence) that the other eleven branches migrated from their Original Homeland in northern India into their historical areas in ancient times in circumstances which are recorded in the ancient Vedic and other texts.
The linguists see three stages in the Indo-Aryan heritage: 1. The Indo-European stage (which they place in South Russia) where the Indo-Aryans shared space and linguistic developments with all the other branches. 2. The Indo-Iranian stage (which they place in Central Asia) where the Indo-Aryans shared space and linguistic developments with the Iranian branch. 3. The Indo-Aryan stage (which they place in northern India) where the Indo-Aryans lost contact with the other eleven branches, and shared space and linguistic developments with the non-Indo-European (mainly Dravidian and Austric) languages in India.
However, an examination of the Rigveda shows all the three stages present within the history of the text. This can be illustrated with the history of just one word "night":
1. The common word for "night" throughout the Rigveda is nakt-. It is common to almost all the other branches: Greek nox (modern Greek nychta), Latin noctis (French nuit, Spanish noche), Hittite nekuz, Tocharian nekciye, German nacht, Irish anocht, Russian noc', Lithuanian naktis, Albanian natë, etc.
2. A less common word for "night" throughout the Rigveda is kṣap. It is found in the Avesta (where the word related to nakt- is completely missing except in a phrase upa-naxturusu, "bordering on the night") as xšap: modern Persian shab (as used in Urdu, and in the phrase shab-nam "night-moisture= dew").
3. The common Sanskrit word, which appears for the first time only a few times in the latest parts of the Rigveda, is rātri, which completely replaces the earlier words in post-Rigvedic Sanskrit and is the common or normal word in all modern Indo-Aryan languages as well as in all other languages which have borrowed the word from Sanskrit, but is totally missing in the IE languages outside India (which had already departed before the birth of this word).
All these three stages are geographically located within India, and in fact the three Oldest Books (Maṇḍala-s) of the Rigveda (6, 3, 7, in that order) are geographically restricted to the areas in Haryana and further east (i.e. in the region to the east of the Sarasvati), and it is only during the course of composition of the Rigveda that the geography of the text expands northwestwards.
III. NORTH-SOUTH DIVIDE?
Before examining the apprehension that the acceptance of the "Indo-European" and "Dravidian" language families as two different language families somehow creates a "north-south divide" in India and makes the "North Indians" closer to Europeans than to "South Indians", let us examine some subsidiary arguments:
1. That Dravidian languages also have large numbers of Sanskrit words in them.
2. That Vedic Sanskrit, and not some hypothetical "Proto-Indo-European" language, should be regarded as the ancestral language.
1. Large numbers of Sanskrit words are found in the Dravidian languages of the south because Sanskrit has been important as a source of vocabulary in all modern Indian languages (Indo-Aryan as well as Dravidian, Austric, etc., and even in many of the east or southeast Asian languages) just as large numbers of Greek and Latin words are found in the English language. But there is a difference between related words and borrowed words.
To the lay person, a large number of borrowed words appears to show a relationship. Take the German words: "der Beweiss, die Entwickelung, genau, die Übertreibung, die Erhebung, die Prüfung, das Beispiel, die Erbitterung, die Aushöhlung, überschreiten, vortrefflich…" from a book of comparative vocabulary. They are incomprehensible to an English reader who does not know German. See the Spanish equivalents: "la evidencia, la evolución, exacto, la exageración, la exaltacion, la examen, el ejemplo, el exasperación, el excavación, exceder, excelente…". A person knowing English can guess that the words may mean: "evidence, evolution, exact, exaggeration, exaltation, examination, example, exasperation, excavation, exceed, excellent…". From this "evidence", it looks as if English is closely related to Spanish, and unrelated to German. But actually, English and German both belong to the Germanic branch (and the connections become more and more apparent as we examine older and older varieties of English), and Spanish belongs to the Italic branch. But while German has by and large produced words from its own roots, English has resorted to large-scale borrowing from Italic/Latin and Greek, hence its vocabulary makes it seem related to (Italic) Spanish rather than to German.
Thus, English "book" is related to German "buch", but English has borrowed the word for "library" from Latin "librarium", derived from the Latin word "liber" (French "livre", Spanish and Italian "libro") for "book", while German has coined the word "bücherei" (and likewise Russian has coined the word "knigakhranilishche" from the word "kniga" for book). However, all the European languages, including Latin, the other Italic languages, and English, German and Russian, also use the alternate Greek word "bibliotheca" or "bibliotheque" for "library" from the Greek word "biblos" for "book".
Therefore the fact that there are large numbers of borrowed Sanskrit words in Malayalam, Telugu, Malay or Thai does not show their genetic relationship with Sanskrit. On the other hand, Bengali is related to Sanskrit not because of its large number of borrowed Sanskrit words, but because of the inherited basic vocabulary, grammar and roots.
2. One objection many Hindu opponents of the Indo-European case have is that the linguists postulate an artificially reconstructed "Proto-Indo-European" language as the ancestral form of the various Indo-European languages. The main grouse is: "Why can't Vedic be accepted as the ancestral language?"
This question ignores the fact that no language is static. There is a notable difference between the Vedic language and latter-day (which is also present-day) Classical Sanskrit: Classical Sanskrit has lost the tonal accents of Vedic Sanskrit (udātta, anudātta, svarit), the cerebral liquid sounds (ḷ and ḷh, which become ḍ and ḍh), the end-inflected independent morphemes (which could occur anywhere in the sentence in Vedic, but in Classical Sanskrit are prefixes attached to the beginning of verbs), the subjunctive, injunctive and optative moods, eleven of the twelve forms of Vedic infinitives, the difference between the perfect and aorist forms of the verb, some personal pronouns (like asme, tve, yuṣme, tvā forms for the first and second person), and a large part of the original Vedic vocabulary (found in common with the other branches) while developing new grammatical features and an extremely huge new vocabulary (not found in the other branches).
What is more, there is even a difference between the language in the Old parts of the Rigveda and the language in the New parts: the above example of the very common Sanskrit word "rātri" for "night", which is found only a few times in the very Newest parts of the Rigveda (and very common in the Atharvaveda and in all later texts and times) but totally missing in the Old parts (as well as in the other Indo-European branches) is a perfect example. As I have shown in my books, a huge mass of names, name types, words and metres common to the Rigveda, the Avesta and the Mitanni records are not found in a single one of the 280 Old Hymns and 2351 Old verses in the Old Books of the Rigveda (6,3,7,4,2) but found in 425 of the 686 New Hymns and 3692 of the 7311 New verses in the New Books (5,1,8,9,10): this illustrates the difference between the language of the Old hymns and the New hymns.
Logic tells us that language did not come into existence from the first point when it was recorded: it existed long before that (just as each individual among us has human ancestors going back countless generations beyond the generation for which we actually have records or memories from where we know the name of the ancestor and have recorded evidence of his existence). Further, even after (any) language was recorded, and therefore in a way set on the path of standardization and fixed formulation, it kept evolving and changing: the reader should read any book on the history of the English language and see how totally incomprehensible the earliest recorded English sentences are to us now. So obviously, the Vedic language itself, before the first Vedic hymn was composed and set in a fixed form, was different from the Vedic language in that first Vedic hymn; and as we move further and further back in time the ancestral form of the Vedic language must have been progressively more and more different from the Vedic language that we know. And the linguistic evidence shows, whether anyone likes it or not, that the other branches of Indo-European are descended not from Vedic but from a far, far ancestral form of Vedic, which the linguists have artificially reconstructed and named "Proto-Indo-European".
An objection raised by a person to me was: "why shouldn't that ancestral language be called Proto-Vedic rather than Proto-Indo-European?". This is rather illogical: if that ancestral language was a far ancestor of Vedic, it was also a far ancestor of Greek, Latin, German, English, Russian, etc. It could equally well be asked by a speaker of one of those languages: "why shouldn't that ancestral language be called Proto-Greek/Proto-Latin/… rather than Proto-Indo-European?" Proto-Indo-European is clearly a logical, neutral and non-presumptuous name for the hypothetical reconstructed language.
That Proto-Indo-European is not called Proto-Vedic says nothing about the geographical location of the Proto-Indo-European language in its Original Homeland. While it was an ancestral language to all the known Indo-European languages of the world, it certainly could not have been located all over the world in the geographical areas of its descendant tongues. It obviously existed only in one out of the many geographical areas occupied by its descendant languages. The question is "Which was this area?", and the answer to this question, as I have conclusively proved in my books, is: "In North India". Whatever name the language is given, it was spoken in and around roughly the same area as Vedic: within North India.
So we come to the main question: does all this create a "north-south" divide and make the "North Indians" closer to the Europeans than to "South Indians"?
This is obviously a ridiculous question. To begin with, the people of North India and South India share a common geographical space (India) and (with regional variations in everything) a common long history and civilization, a common religion and common spectrum of culture (food, clothes, music and dance, architecture, lifestyle, etc.), a common modern political and film culture, and even a mosaic of common racial types. In all these respects they both stand together with each other and distinct from the Europeans. It is only in the origins of their languages that the North Indians seem to fall in one category and the South Indians in another.
But is this distinction in language so stark? While the basic vocabulary and origins of the two language families are different, the Indo-European ("Indo-Aryan") languages of North India and the Dravidian languages of South India have evolved together with each other (and also with the Austric languages of east-central India) for well over 3000 years (even as per the Aryan Invasion Theory) with no contacts or very sporadic and casual contacts with the languages of Europe till the European colonialists came and established their empires in India in the last 400-500 years: but even here the contacts were "they" (Europeans) vis-à-vis or versus "us" (both North and South Indians together). The Indo-Aryan and Dravidian languages share not only a very large vocabulary in common, but they have evolved common linguistic features (absent in the European languages) which distinguish them as one group: the cerebral sounds (ṭ, ṭh, ḍ, ḍh, ṇ, ḷ) as opposed to the dental sounds (t, th, d, dh, n, l), common grammatical forms (such as close third persons versus distant third persons: e.g. Tamil ivan vs. avan, Hindi yeh vs. voh, etc.), and a common syntax (so that a Hindi sentence can generally be translated into a Tamil sentence merely by substituting all the Hindi words or phrases, in the same order in the sentence, into the equivalent Tamil words and phrases, and giving a completely coherent sentence; while an English sentence translated word for word into Hindi or Tamil would look funny and grammatically weird). The common features become apparent when Indians speak English: despite differences in accents and pronunciations, both North Indian and South Indian English shares the same "Indianisms": take the most common Indianism of all, the word "only" as in "you only told me!"; no other people in the world use the word "only" in this sense (equivalent to Hindi "hī", Marathi "-ch", common South Indian "-ē" or particular Tamil "thaan"), but all Indians do it.
The languages of Europe have their ancient origins in common with Sanskrit, but belong to different branches of Indo-European languages, and further they have evolved for thousands of years in areas thousands of miles away in Europe, and evolved in completely different and unconnected ways. Even German and English, as we saw (in the coining or borrowing of new words), both Germanic languages within the Indo-European family and geographical neighbours, have evolved so differently as to be mutually incomprehensible. English has evolved into a grammatically simpler language: for example the single English word "the", in German, would be: der (nom. masc., gen fem., gen. pl., dat. fem.), den (acc. masc., dat. pl.), das (nom. neut., acc. neut.), die (nom. fem., acc. fem., nom. pl., acc. pl.), des (gen. masc., gen. neut.) or dem (dat. masc., dat. neut.)!
If the European people speak languages which, in their original ancestral forms, went out from North India, this does not in any way make the North Indians closer to them than to the South Indians, since the Europeans themselves did not emigrate from North India:
1. The Europeans are native people of Europe who, thousands of years ago in prehistoric times, adopted languages which were taken there by migrants from India.
2. In fact, even those people who took the languages into Europe were not necessarily direct actual migrants from India: in any migration theory of Indo-European languages in any direction from any Homeland, migrating Indo-European groups from the Original Homeland (wherever it was located) migrated in waves and in a stop and start fashion, getting racially mixed with umpteen other racial types on the way over the centuries, so that the Indo-European speakers who finally landed in the earliest historical areas of the different branches were not racially identical with the people who had originally started out from the Homeland with the ancestral form of that particular language.
3. There are many things which went out from some part of India in ancient times and were adopted by people from different other areas of the world: this does not make the Indians from that part of India closer to the people from those different other areas of the world than to the people from other parts of India.
a) The languages that went out from India were not descended from Vedic Sanskrit (except in the case of the ancestral language of the Mitanni of ancient Syria-Iraq, or the speech-forms of the latter-day gypsies or Romany people).
b) They belonged to the other eleven branches (i.e. other than "Indo-Aryan" or Vedic).
c) They went off to far off lands in very ancient times, where they evolved separately for thousands of years into their present forms.
Therefore, instead of treating the family difference between the Indo-European languages of North India and the Dravidian languages of South India as a dividing factor in India (and playing into the hands of the enemies of India and Hinduism), we should appreciate the quality of "Being Different", and should be proud of the range and variety within our Indian=Hindu heritage. As I put it in my earlier blogspot article on "Hindutva or Hindu Nationalism", in describing the richness of our Indian=Hindu=Pan-Indic heritage:
"There are three recognised races in the world (Caucasoid, Mongoloid and Negroid), and India is the only area in the world which has all three native to it: the Andaman islanders are the only true Negroids outside Africa. Sometimes, a fourth race, Australoid, is postulated (otherwise included among Caucasoids), and we have it among the Veddas of Sri Lanka. Language wise, six of the nineteen families of languages in the world are found in India, three of them (Dravidian, Andamanese and Burushaski) only in India. And the numerically and politically most important family of languages in the world, Indo-European, originated (as I have shown in my books) in India".
Ideas of Indian Nationalism seem to generally fall onto two opposing camps:
a) Leftist/"Secular" "Nationalism" where the Indian (Hindu) ethos and identity as well as every foreign (Christian, Muslim, etc.) ethos and identity, including in situations where they stand in stark opposition to each other because of aggressive attacks by the latter on the former, are to be treated as equally "Indian" and "national".
b) Rightist/Feudal "Nationalism" where only one particular part of the Indian ethos (Vedic/Sanskrit) is to be treated as THE Indian national ethos and identity from which all other (equally Indian) parts are to be "derived".
But real Indian Nationalism would treat all the different parts of the Indian ethos and identity (as distinct from any foreign ethos or identity) as equally worthy of respect and equally "ours", each in its own right. One particular part of the ethos and identity (Vedic/Sanskrit) should certainly be (as it factually is) recognized and accepted as the Pan-Indian Civilizational Link between the various different parts. And every other "foreign" ethos and identity which has historically found a place in India should be treated with respect (strictly if reciprocated) while strongly countering further aggression from it.