Michel Danino

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Michel Danino (born June 4, 1956) is an Indian author, originally from France.[1] He is a guest professor at IIT Gandhinagar[2] and has been a member of the Indian Council of Historical Research.

A major proponent of the Indigenous Aryans hypothesis, Danino has been subject to severe criticism from the academia for pursuing a sectarian scholarship based on historical negationism. On 25 January 2017, Government of India conferred Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian honor for his contribution towards Literature & Education.[3]

Life in India[edit]

He spent a few years in Auroville, Tamil Nadu. Later, he lived in the Nilgiri mountains for two decades. In 2003 he settled near Coimbatore and accepted Indian citizenship.[1]

Work and reception[edit]

Danino had authored The Lost River: On The Trail of the Sarasvati, which identified the legendary Sarasvati River, mentioned in Rigveda with the current Ghaggar-Hakra River.[4] V Rajamani over Current Science reviewed it in favorable terms and praised Danino for his meticulous research.[5]

Peter Heehs noted one of his another works:- Sri Aurobindo and Indian Civilization, to lack in linguistic knowledge which was made up by attacks on colonial orientalists and half-informed invocations of nationalist orientalists.[6] Heehs also criticized Danino's other works for appropriating Sri Aurobindo in his campaign against the Indo-Aryan migrations and for distorting Aurobindo's speculative views as assertions, by selective cherry-picking from his draft-manuscripts whilst ignoring his published works, which were far nuanced.[6] Others have accused Danino of pursuing a sectarian Hindutva oriented scholarship based on historical negationism.[7][8][9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Pande Daniel, Vaihayasi. "'The Sarasvati was more sacred than Ganga'". Rediff.com. Retrieved 8 August 2011. Technically, I am not a 'foreigner': I adopted Indian citizenship some years ago.
  2. ^ "Michel Danino - IIT Gandhinagar". www.iitgn.ac.in.
  3. ^ "PadmaAwards-2017" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 2017-01-29.
  4. ^ Times of India (23 May 2010). "NON-FICTION The Lost River". Times of India Crest. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  5. ^ Rajamani, V. (2010). "Review of The Lost River – On the Trail of the Sarasvati". Current Science. 99 (12): 1842–1843. ISSN 0011-3891.
  6. ^ a b Heehs, Peter (2003). "Shades of Orientalism: Paradoxes and Problems in Indian Historiography". History and Theory. 42 (2): 169–195. ISSN 0018-2656.
  7. ^ Guha, Sudeshna (2005). "Negotiating Evidence: History, Archaeology and the Indus Civilisation". Modern Asian Studies. 39 (2): 399–426. ISSN 0026-749X.
  8. ^ Chadha, Ashish (2011-02-01). "Conjuring a river, imagining civilisation: Saraswati, archaeology and science in India". Contributions to Indian Sociology. 45 (1): 55–83. doi:10.1177/006996671004500103. ISSN 0069-9667.
  9. ^ Bhatt, Chetan (2000-01-01). "Dharmo rakshati rakshitah : Hindutva movements in the UK". Ethnic and Racial Studies. 23 (3): 559–593. doi:10.1080/014198700328999. ISSN 0141-9870.

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