There was an Aryan Invasion Theory invented and popularised by the East India Company paid experts and Christian missionaries so as to legitimatise British rule over India which postulated that fair skinned Hindus, termed Aryans were not the original inhabitants of Bharat as Aryan people who composed Vedas came to India from the western countries, some say from the Russian steppes, invaded local inhabitants designated as Dravidians by a British Christian missionary Bishop Robert Caldwell in 1875. The idea behind the AIT was that Hindus themselves being immigrants and foreigners in India had no right to ask the British to leave India, both being foreigners, both being immigrants. According to the AIT Aryans attacked and forced Dravidians to move southwards etc. The Aryan Invasion Theory of armed invasion stands discarded in absence of any credible evidence. Now some argue that Aryans people peacefully migrated into India in small batches over a period of time.
The word dravida has been used many times in Vedas wherein it stands for richness, opulence, wealth etc. Please see chapter IX on “Myths of Aryan Dravida Divide” of my book Vedic Equality & Hinduism for further details.
Divide & Rule imperialists also led a political narrative that fair skinned Hindus are Aryans and dark skinned Hindus are Dravidians but it is not true as many Hindu Gods are dark skinned ( Bhagwan Ram, Krishna. Kaali ji etc.). Some Rigvedic risis too were dark skinned. Rigveda (X.31.11) informs that risi kanva who composed many richas was a dark skinned person. Many South Indian languages have high percentage of Sanskrit words. Now it is accepted that Aryan does not stand for any race.
Prof GF Dales of the Berkley University USA in his 1964 paper informs that in nine years of excavations at Mohen jo Daro he could find only 37 human skeletons some of which had orderly burials. He wrote: “Despite the extensive excavations at the largest Harappan sites, there is not a single bit of evidence that can be brought forth as unconditional proof of an armed conquest and destruction on the supposed scale of the Aryan Invasion”.
Prof Colin Renfrew (Cambridge) in his book “ Archaeology and Language: puzzles of Indo-European Origins” (1988) wrote that as far as he could see there is nothing in the hyms of Rigveda which demonstrate that vedic speaking people were intrusive into India; the coming of the Indo-Europeans into India is just a presumption. Prof Colin opines that we should seriously consider the possibility that the religion and culture of Rig-Veda was essentially a product of the soil of India, and that it was not imported readymade on the backs of the steeds of the Indo-Aryans
MS Elphinstone, (1841) the first Governor of the Bombay Presidency in his book “ History of India” has concluded that there is no reason whatsoever for thinking that Hindus ever inhabited any country but their present one.
Prof Asko Parpola of the Helsinki University with whom I had honour of multiple discussions when I was posted as Indian Ambassador to Finland in his book “Deciphering the Indus script” (1994) has written ( page 22) that Harappan towns of transitional phase were burnt down and destroyed by Harappan people themselves while founding mature Harappan settlements.
Prof J. Mark Kenoyer of the Wisconsin University and many others have suggested that the Harappan civilization did not die but people there had to relocate elsewhere after one of the rivers Sarswati had dried up by 2000BC. Some experts suggest draught and floodings for layers of settlements.
Some writers opine that the Vedas were composed in the present day Afghanistan & Punjab region which richas of Rigveda given below prove to be incorrect. In RV (VIII.2.41), Vibhindu, a King of Kashi has been praised for gifting 48000 cows to risi Medhatithi. Brihaddevata (6.42) informs that Vibhindu was a king of Kashi.
The richa RV (8.2.41) by referring to a King of Kashi shows that Rigvedic risies were there in the eastern Uttar Pradesh too and not confined to Afghanistan and Punjab in the then western India. In RV (8.3.21-24) risi Medhatithi praises king Pakasthaman who was a king of Bhoja in Madhya Pradesh. Rigvedic risika Lopmudra was a daughter of King of Vidarbha, she composed RV (1.179.1-2). Richas RV (8.5.37-39) refer to generous gifts by kings of Cedi in the South Bihar, Central India.
Risi who composed RV (IX.96) and RV(X.179.2) says he belonged to the family of the king of Kashi. In RV (III.53.14) kikatas and their king Pramaganda are mentioned, and, kikatas were inhabitants of area in present day South Bihar. AA MacDonnel in his book History of Sanskrit (page 131) informs that Rigveda refers to a rich and powerful prince Iksvaku who ruled near Ayodhya and founded the Suryavanshi dynasty in which bhagwan Ram was born.
In Rig Veda the Saraswati River has been praised in 71 richas such as RV (2.41.16) etc. which dried up or went underground by 2000 BC. River Ganga has been mentioned in richas RV (10.75.5), RV (6.45.31) and RV (1.116.19). River Yamuna is mentioned in RV (5.52.17). Solar eclipse mentioned in RV (5.40.5-9) took place on 26th July 3928 BC. So Rig Veda must be older than 4000 BC. There is no mention of cotton in the Rigveda but cotton seeds kept in earthen pot were found near Mehrangarh which have been carbon dated to 5000 BC, therefore, Rigveda should be older than 5000 BC. No definite time frame can be assigned to origin or antiquity of Vedas. That is why Vedas are called eternal, sanatan and religion followed by we Hindus as Sanatan dharma, also generally called Hinduism or Hindu religion. In the following richas names of rivers may seen written in devnagari script.
The above richas show that Rigvedic people were there in the Gangetic region, central India and in Vidarbha in South India. In my view the Rigvedic culture pre-dates the Harappan civilization as cotton cultivation was known to Harappan civilization but not to Rigveda. If Rigveda period followed the Harappan period, Rigveda ought to have known cotton. The nuclear dates of the Harappan/Indus valley civilization are estimated to be 3300 BC to 1900 BC, though the Britannica puts the Indus civilization between 2500 BC to 1700BC. But in schools and colleges in India we are taught that Rigvedic people came from outside of India, and that Vedic period followed the Harappan civilization.
Vedas do not mention any territory outside ancient boundaries of Bharat implying that Rigvedic people had not been out of Bharat. Our all religious centres have been within geographical limits of ancient Bharat.
In RV (10.75.5) rivers have been mentioned from the east to west direction. In RV (10.75.6) rivers of Afghanistan west of Sindhu river are mentioned again from the east to west direction.
As many richas of Rigveda mention Ganga, Yamuna, sarswati rivers, and as many richas show risis receiving gifts from kings of kingdoms located in present day UP, Bihar, MP, Maharastra etc., it is obvious that composers of these richas lived near these rivers and in kingdoms in these regions so we Hindus being their descendants are original inhabitants of Bharat and we have first claim over Bharat and its natural resources. We are the only people in the world who can communicate with our ancestors of Vedic period in the same Sanskrit language with same pronunciation and same meanings.