A skilful assemblage

That repository of so much contemporary knowledge, Wikipedia will tell you that the word Aryan has, as its possible root, the proto indo-european adjective, aryo meaning "to assemble skilfully"... And that is what the latest offering from Three Essays Collective, Gurgaon is- a skilful assembly.

The Aryan: Recasting Constructs, by Romila Thapar is a collection of her essays, The Historiography of the Concept of ‘Aryan’, Some Appropriations of the Theory of Aryan Race and the Beginnings of Indian History, Exploring Societies of the Early Past, The į¹šgveda: Encapsulating Social Change and The Archaeological Background to the Agnicayana Ritual.

Describing the book, TEC say "To identify the Aryan is to search for that which remains elusive. There have been many definitions based on multiple and diverse factors and there are therefore inevitable disagreements about both the identification and the meaning of the concept. It is probably the most complex question in early Indian history and it requires considerable expertise in the interpretation of the evidence which ranges from ecology to philology.

This collection of essays, written over some years, explores these aspects of the theme in a way that furthers our understanding of an early period of Indian history. The constituents that went into the concept have changed from race, ethnicity and elements of nationality to language, status and culture. This has involved recasting the constructs and has inevitably been controversial. The essays explain how the constructs came to be formulated, why they changed and what might be more meaningful interrogations of this history."

In hardcover in our History section, and in Paperback among the TEC titles. Rs 550, 208 pages, ISBN 81-88789-65-8.