Indo-Iranian cultural relations are a continuous historical process starting from the gray dawn of the common united life of the ancestors of these twoi great Asian civilizations as part and parcel of the original Indo-European stock. The process has unfolded itself in history through alternate phases of harmony and conflict and has percolated down to our times.
The ancestors of Iranian and Indian Aryans of history are believed to have lived in a common habitat in Central Asia as an undivided ethnic group from the fourth millenium to that of the third millenium B.C. They shared a common life-experience and were inextricably linked-up on the cultural level in spite of their numerous internal differences and conflicts. From this common habitat the inhabitants migrated in two branches towards the west and the cast between circa 4000 and 3000 B.C. Those who moved towards the east entered Iran and India where they were to develop their distinctive civilizations througout the succeeding ages.
The undivided Indo-Iranians aer believed to have lived for abot a millenium (circa 4000-3000 B.C.) In this period they lived a common life and developed a specific Indo-Iranian civilization, culture and religion which we can partially reconstruct by a comparative study of the Veda and the Zend Avesta. There are amazing similarities in their language, culture and religion which strike us as little short of identity.
From time immemorial the Orient has been the cradle of civilization; that amongst all other Oriental countries Iran and India stand first and foremost in their contribution to world culture and that these two nations were the torch bearers of knowledge, the forerunners of a fine civilization at a time when the civilized countries of the modern world were still plunged in dim obscurity of ignorance
countries of modern world were still plunged in dim obscurity of ignorance.
Linguistic affirnities, national kinship and distinctive racial characteristics constitute the inseparable bonds of friendship and fellowship that have brought the two nations together from the earliest times throughout the course of history. These two countries have been tied together by strong and lasting bonds, and, both in ancient times and during the medieval era, their cultures have profited mutually by a continual exchange of knowledge and ideas. These lasting ties prompted Jawaharal Nehru, the first Prime Minister of independent India, to write in his famous book "Discovery of India".
Dr Anu Dhawan