The Human Family
The World is one family – “Vasudhaiva Kutumbakkam” [Sanskrit] yet we are riven with divisions that we have fashioned and defended to our detriment.
What can facilitate our commitment to erase the catastrophic effects of Societal Divisions-Race, Gender, Religion, Caste?
“आ नो भद्राः क्रतवो यन्तु विश्वत:”
Aa No Bhadraha, krutvo Yantu Vishwataha!
Let noble thoughts come to us from every side. Rik Veda I: 89:1
“ I speak for my race and my people. The Human Race and Just people”
Anne Pauline Murray
In a letter to Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. Ms. Lillian Eugenia Smith wrote in 1956, "My warmest greetings to you and your congregation and to your people, who are my people, too; for we are all one big human family. I pray that we shall soon in the south begin to act like one." Lillian Eugenia Smith. [She was an eminent Civil Rights leader at the time of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.] She was an author, white person of wealth, refinement and was highly educated who chose at significant personal cost strongly supported the Civil Rights campaign with vigor and skill- In 1956 her home was burned down alleged by two young white men which resulted in the loss of a great wealth of irreplaceable documents e.g. 7,000 letters on Race relations.
She is one of the individuals whose wisdom and courage, empathy and compassion, erudition and eloquence makes me to declare enthusiastically that I am member of the one Human family who inhabit the far corners of the world. Her first major literary work was Strange Fruit 1944. This ground breaking work and Killers of the dream  are very inspiring and transformative works. It is interesting Mr. Abel Meeropol haunting disturbing ballad about Lynching was called Strange fruit that was made into a song with Mr. Sonny White and sung by Lady Day reached #16 in 1939. Contemporaneously Time Magazine denounced the song as “a prime piece of musical propaganda" for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). The Human family has moved forward by the sacrifices of thousands of members of the Human family in the Americas and around the world.
The third domain I wish to open up to increase your awareness of our origins and movements of our genetically linked ancestors is the map of their genetic odyssey. (The first two have to do with the fossil record.
We are a relatively young species. Modern human made a home for themselves in east Africa about 150,000 years ago and until 2000 generations ago they didn’t stir out of Africa. The so-called races in terms of morphology appear in the fossil record only 30, 000 years ago. Older fossil, Africans, Asians and Europeans are very similar to one and another. Sinodonty, a tooth pattern characteristic of Asia and America appeared only 30,000 years ago.
The Eurasian Adam living in E. Africa with a Y chromosome marker M168 paired with the Eurasian Eve living in the neighborhood with a mitochondrial marker L3. Both M168 and L3 are related several thousands of years ago to Little Lucy.
One branch based on the Y chromosome marker of their begatted generations stayed in Africa and is this marker is designated as YAP or M1. Two of the three Y cluster and one of the two MT DNA cluster traveled out of Africa. More than 60 % of the M mitochondrial marker found in the rest of the world and 90 % of the Y markers come from M168 and L3. It appears that Eve begat L3 and L3 begat M.
M is a rare mitochondrial cluster. M is virtually absent in Middle East and not present in Europe. It is present in India 20 % (coastal areas) and close to 100 % in Australasia. The distribution of the M (MT DNA cluster) is indicative of an early migration out of Africa, which proceeded along the coast to India and South East Asia and to Australasia. It appears Adam begat the M 168 man who lived in Africa. M 168 begat M130 who moved out with ladies having the M (MT DNA cluster) to parts unknown at the time they left Africa. Another group of descendants from Adam (pre- M168) stayed back in Africa. They have a YAP marker or M1. It appears that men with the M130 marker when they left Africa were accompanied by the ladies who carried the Eve’s maker M (MT DNA cluster) along the way after leaving Africa. Did they stop to ask for directions? They must have because they reached Australasia and the Pacific islands when there was no Garmin but they did have Tom Toms.
The Mitochondrial M marker and the M130 (Y chromosome marker) left Africa and took the coastal route to south India and all the coastal sites to Australasia. People with M 130 marker are found Asia, Australia and America only. The males carrying this marker were supplanted to a great extent in India by males carrying the M 20 marker. M20 is an Indian Sub-Continent Marker. These folks came over the Hindu Kush and settled in India 30,000 years ago. There is evidence of their life in modern day Baluchistan (Quetta) dating back 32,000 years. These people spoke what we call the Dravidian language which includes my mother tongue Malayalam and of course Tamil. The Harappa and Mohen Jo daro Civilization is linked to this group of émigrés into India. These were hardy types who braved the treacherous passages through the Pamir Plateau from the plains of South Central Asia and present day Iran. The ancestor of the M20 clan was born to a couple 40,000 years ago in the plains were the US and Coalition forces are arrayed in battle in Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF Not far from the western borders of Afghanistan where Operation Enduring Freedom is being fought to this day. M 20 is the Indian Sub-Continent marker
In the next 30,000 years the clan with the M 9 marker carried the human race to the ends of the earth. M 9 is the marker for the Eurasian clan. This includes all of the people who immigrated to the USA. When the M 20 clan spread through India (the first wave of Eurasian migration into India) they displaced the M130 males and begatted their descendants with the M Mitochondrial marker carrying female members of the M130 clan. About 50 % of the males in South India carry the M 20 marker. The progenitors of the M-9 Eurasian marker who presciently heeded the Biblical injunction to go forth and multiply are another clan bearing the M 89 marker.
It appears that Africa and Europe and Asia were all sort of contiguous 40,000 years ago and at the time when the M 89 marker bearing folks emerged from the Original M 168 bearing Eurasian Adam in East Africa the Sahara Desert had not become impenetrable for even these hardy sons of the prolific and bountiful soil of East Africa. The members of the M 89 clan spread to North east Africa, the middle and near east as well as the Levant. This marker appeared in the Levant about 45,000 years ago. M 89 is the Middle Eastern marker. From the Levant they took the northern route to the heart of Eurasia (The steppes.) This M 89 clan took the Steppe Highway a northern equivalent of the coastal highway that the M130 clan took out of Africa. In short order they traveled from the north of the Gulf of Aqaba (modern day Israel) to northern Iran and the heartland of Asia and Europe.
Although only the straits of Bosporus divided the highway to Western Europe from where the M 89 clan was sowing their oats (wild or otherwise) the marker for the Western European clan appeared 10,000 years later. The M 173 marker appears in the lineage from the M 89 Clan (Middle Eastern marker) to the M 45 clan (the Central Asian marker) and the latter gave rise to the M 173 clan. Surprisingly this marker is much higher 90% in Ireland and Spain at the western most reaches of their migration than other parts of Europe.
The emergence and development of the M 173 clan lead to the mutation and the formation of the M 17 marker. The people with this marker were quite adept in the use of horses and chariots and had the capacity to develop the grammar and the literature of Sanskrit and the Indo - European family of languages. They rushed into India, the second great Eurasian migration into the Indian sub-continent about 10,000 years ago. This marker is found in 35 % of the folks who speak Hindi and live around Delhi. It appears that the locals from the M20 clan were willing to switch from their Dravidian language and social structures to Sanskrit and the Indo-European languages than vice versa. (Except for the folks south of the Vindhya Mountains in Central India who was mainly of the M 20 clan whose genetic minestrone had chunks of M Mitochondrial nutriment and M130 Y chromosome garnishes (from those who took the coastal route from Africa to India and beyond 50,000 years ago.)
Thus the Eurasian Adam (Patriarch) with the M168 marker and his lovely lady L3 (Matriarch) who created progeny with terminal wanderlust appeared in East Africa 50-60,000 years ago. One branch took the Southern coastal route carrying the M130 marker and left Africa 50,000 years ago. Another branch with the M 89 marker moved north on the Steppe highway from the gulf of Aqaba 45, 000 years ago.
The M 130 clan left their mark in South India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Indonesia, Australia, up the coast of China, Korea, Japan to Kamchatka Peninsula and across the Bering strait to Alaska through coastal western Canada (Vancouver) to Coastal Western United states (Washington, Oregon and California).
The M89 clan had two main sets of descendants M172 and M9. M 172 crossed over into South Eastern Europe and M 9 into the near east and Middle East about 40, 000 years ago. The M 9 gave rise to three branches M 20, M 175 and M 45.
The M 20 clan was made up of folks with a hardy constitution who traversed the Hindu Kush and the high Pamir Plateau and colonized India in a major way and founded the Dravidian civilization and established the very developed urban type of civilization for several hundreds of miles along the Indus River (Harappa and Mohen Jo daro) Their Languages Tamil, Telugu, Malayalam and Kannada are still flourishing. The Tamil language and civilization traveled the southern route and established the great civilization in Indonesia, Thailand, Cambodia (Ankhor vat and others) in South East Asia. There are similarities in the traditions o and sea faring ways of the aborigines who populated the islands in the Pacific and Australia and New Zealand the people from Tamil Nadu and Kerala.
The M 175 clan starting around 35, 000 years ago traveled through the daunting badlands of Central Asia, Mongolia in the north as well as Myanmar. Their descendants the M122 clan who arrived 10,000 years ago made it to China and Korea.
The M 45 clan the third branch of the M9 clan traveled north from around the Caspian Sea about 35, 000 years ago and produced the most hardy and talented progeny who stocked most of the globe. The M 45 Clan had two branches one went East, the M 242 Clan and the other did what Horace Greely enjoined his readers to do they went west- these are members of the M173 clan (the western European clan).
The M242 branch crossed northern Siberia from end to end without the benefit of the Tran Siberian railroad and the romantic and intrigue filled story line from Boris Pasternak’s Dr. Zhivago to the Bering strait and their descendants the M 3 clan crossed into Alaska western Canada and continental United States through Meso - America to south America and Tierra del fuego. I wonder where we got the idea for frequent flier miles.
All of the world’s continents except Antarctica were colonized by humans by about 10,000 years ago. In about 40, 000 years a blink of an eye relatively speaking in human evolution or the age of this planet our species traveled from East Africa both across Africa and having left its shores to farthest corners of the Earth without GPS and AAA and the Coast guard or the Marines to bale our ancestors out (until 230years ago).
Further it is only through the last 30,000 morphological changes that are used today to dice and slice these supremely optimistic, superbly conditioned and ingeniously adaptive members of the human race into specific races appeared. These external morphological changes are just that. At the core we are not each a member of sub species of modern humans referred to as race because of our external morphological features.
We descended from the Prototypical Eurasian Adam and his lovely lady L3 going back 60,000 years to the grasslands of East Africa.This group came to India and their descendents were found at the Roopkund Lake. Sree Narayana guru is a great Hindu Reformer’s from Kerala where my parents and Prema’s parents were born and raised. It was his mission in life to establish this Truth. Bapu himself who had caste based prejudices changed his own approach to caste and worked with Sree Narayana Guru to open up Temples to all people regardless of their caste in Kerala by successfully conducting the Vaikom Satyagraha.
Sree Narayana Guru,[Teacher] he was a Hindu Religious leader who sensitized Mahatma Gandhi to address the ills of Casteism in Kerala in the 1930s, [Vaikom Satyagraha that sought to open Temples to Human beings born into the lowest Caste- In 1936 all members of the Human family had equal access to the Temple in Vaikom] He wrote “Man’s humanity marks out the human kind even as bovinity proclaims a cow. Deference to hierarchical rules of Brahminhood (caste consciousness) and such are therefore not wise;
“We are one in kind, one of faith, and one in God is man;
Of one womb, of one form: difference herein is none.
Within a species, is it not, that offspring truly breeds?
The community of man thus viewed, to a single caste belongs.
He who loves all is he who really lives;
Do learn these syllables nine by heart, in the place of lettered charms.”
Hindu scriptures such as the Isa Upanishad and specific stotra such as Manisha Pancakam and the Yaksha Prasna of the Mahabharata support Sree Narayana Guru’s teachings.
The M173 populated western Eurasia and Europe and gave rise to the M 17 who crossed south of the Caucuses Mountains east of the Caspian and Aral Seas and across Middle East and took India by storm with their superior social organization, linguistic competencies and military prowess as well as technology. [The could be one of groups who came from modern azakhstan into India. Some descendents were found in the Roop Kund Lake in Uttarkand, India] Hordes of Genghis Khan and his descendants did the same to the people of India thousands of years later with much more deleterious consequences. However only the British invaders established the kind of Cultural, social and racial hegemony as well as the control of the Indian population by propagating their religion and language established in North West India by the M 17 clan about the time the Indus valley civilization was declining in North India about 6,000 years ago. (Even though the people have long since walked off the world stage the flourishing Dravidian language and the archeological discoveries of their advanced civilization constitute the outstanding legacy of the M 20 clan)
This is quite intriguing and interesting to me because the Scots, the English and the Irish who established their hegemony over the Indian people are descendants of the M 173 clan from which the M17 clan had split 10, 000 years ago before they entered India and established their civilization on a receptive people. Sanskrit and other related languages flourish in India and the religious practices and chants are well established in India.
Especially important to me is the fact that the Sanskrit scriptures that form the priceless patrimony and cultural legacy bequeathed to the Indian people produced great reformers over the centuries of peace and tribulation.
Foremost among these reformers who based their lives and the strategies they developed to transform themselves and help their fellow country men and women achieve Swaraj or self-rule on these Sanskrit scriptures as a pre-requisite to achieve Independence from foreign oppressors is Bapu, Mahatma Gandhiji.
Earlier in this letter I had spoken about the Hindu Ideal achieving Brahma Tejas (Luminosity of a Socrates) and Kshatriya Vīryaṃ (valor of King Leonidas of Sparta) in one’s life time. Mahatma Gandhiji proved it to himself in South Africa and people all over the world that by adopting and adhering to Satyagraha in all domains of life one can acquire and demonstrate that one has the courage and endurance of a warrior without lifting one’s arm or picking up a weapon to attack or defend oneself to achieve. One had to adopt righteous means to achieve worthy goals.
Our best hope to achieve the goal of erasing the catastrophic effects of Divisions-Race, Gender, Religion, Caste is to remind ourselves of our responsibilities to commit ourselves unequivocally and work tirelessly to achieve the goals proclaimed in preamble of the US Constitution. 1. form a more perfect union 2. Establish Justice 3. insure domestic tranquility, 4. Provide for the Common Defense, 5. promote the general welfare and 6. secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity. This will require us to fight through our entire life time for equity in education and vocational opportunities, social justice, individual liberty and adult suffrage regardless of gender and race. In especially patriarchal communities in the USA whole societies and nations globally there are serious consequences that befall girls and women across all strata of society across the life span, [including in organizations like the Military and Religious institutions] and disproportionately affect people of the lower castes. Some examples: female feticide and infanticide, Under 5 mortality, severe pregnancy complications and maternal mortality, child labor, trafficking, child marriage, sexual exploitation, deprivation of educational and vocational preparation for economic and social advancement, community supported Genital mutilation, Facial mutilation, Acid Burning, honor killings, Stoning to death for alleged adultery, dowry killings, Sati, [widows pressed into entering the funeral pyre of husband] and dishonor of widows by both families. [In laws and family of origin].
It is important to support programs that support the achievement of the Millennium Goals and Promises to alleviate the suffering of impoverished peoples globally. In all these areas boy/ girl ratio is widely lop-sided and the groups I have mentioned suffer unremittingly and needlessly but for the specific socio-cultural factors and SDOH that can and must be addressed. The grave circumstances confronting girl children has resulted in Prime Minister Modi to focus the National Attention on and commit its resources the annual observance of the National Girl Child day on January 24th. The key themes that are woven into all of the initiatives are Beti Bacchhao, Beti Paddaoh. [Protect your daughters, Educate your Daughters.] The overarching concept that is celebrated and promoted to gain universal acceptance by men and especially women old and particularly the young [We can’t afford to lose another generation to ignorance] Naari Shakti- the creative energies that women bring to the advancement of the economy and enhancement of the quality of life for about 1in 5 people of the Planet who live on the subcontinent. Thus the Naari Shakti Baddaoh theme encourages and empowers the enhancement and promotion of the contributions made by women and girls to the National wellbeing. We can’t afford to lose another generation to real or feigned ignorance and be them constrained by the inertia buttressed by time honored patriarchal traditions that create stratified hierarchies of power and influence which has already had severe impact on the female child. Dangerous drastic changes in Male: Female ratios among live births and the adverse impact on health, educational, vocational and economic status of girl children. In 2015 India appears to have failed to meet its MPG goals in the crucial areas pertaining to women and children, of the Indian family ten years after the 8 goals were enunciated. [The key goals for the members of the Human family who live in India are the core family oriented goals #3, #4, and #5.]
Target #3 Promote Gender Equality-Eliminate gender disparity in primary and secondary education, preferably by 2005, and in all levels of education no later than 2015
Target #4 Reduce Child mortality: Reduce by two thirds between 1990- 2015 the Under 5 mortality. [U5M] Tragically the situation is worse for girl children because of intentional deprivation and traditional family structures which leaves very little nutritional supports for girl babies and children after the boy babies, children and adult males have had their fill of the often meager resources. This goal must be attained urgently.
Target # 5 Improve Maternal Health: 5 a: Reduce by three quarters, between 1990 and 2015, the maternal mortality ratio. [MMR] Target # 5 b. Achieve, by 2015, Universal access to reproductive health. I would like to call on all those who read this essay to e-mail the PMO- Prime Minister’s office in New Delhi and The President of India to press them to move forward and offer whatever assistance you are able to help almost 20% of the Human Residents of our planet to reach their full potential.
PMO’s email: [email protected] gov.nic.in. President of India: [email protected]
In order to consistently make these judgments and achieve lofty goals one must have a firm commitment and clear understanding of the lessons of the scriptures. This can be attained only by developing Brahma Tejas. A Sanskrit benediction refers to this process of starting with self-transformation as a pre-requisite for approaching a greater than oneself goal of assisting in the transformation of others as it is necessary to receive God’s grace and as well as guidance to succeed in this noble enterprise.
May the wicked become virtuous
May the virtuous attain tranquility
May the Tranquil be freed from their bonds
May the unfettered enable others to attain liberation. [Sanskrit Benediction]
As I reflect on the scriptures in the light of these seminal discoveries I understand the wisdom of these prayers:
Rk Veda: X, 191-3,
Samaano Mantra, Samiti Samaani; Samaanam Manasah Chittameshaam; Samaani Va Aakuti; Samaanaa hrudayaani va; Samaanam astu vo mano yataa vasu sahaasati
Let us be united; Let us speak in harmony;
Let our minds apprehend alike.
Common be our prayer; Common be the end of our assembly;
Common be our resolution/purpose; Common be our deliberations.
Alike be our feelings; Unified be our hearts; Common be our intentions;
Perfect be our unity.
I welcome your responses from near and far; here, there and everywhere. Thank you kindly.
“Only in the freedom of our speaking with one another does the world, as that about which we speak, emerge in its Objectivity and visibility from all sides.” Hannah Arendt.
1. How ancient DNA may rewrite prehistory in India - BBC News
2. Early Indians : The Story of Our Ancestors and Where We Came From | Harappa published by Juggernaut- Tony Joseph
3. Prehistoric art hints at lost Indian civilisation - BBC News
4. Hundreds of skeletons fill this remote Himalayan lake. How did they get there? | Live Science
5. The New Yorker: This Week’s Issue: The Mystery of the Skeleton Lake | Milled
Please read this 5 page Report by Douglas Preston
6. The Mystery of the Himalayas’ Skeleton Lake Just Got Weirder - The New York Times (nytimes.com)
7. The Journey of Man: A Genetic Odyssey by Spencer Wells (goodreads.com)