1. Negrito Race

According to J.H. Hutton, the oldest race reaching India was Negrito. They were not very high from the point of view of civilization. They did not know how to cultivate the land, how to make earthen wares or how to make houses.

They are now found in Andman Island only. They could not affect the Indian culture very much. Still, as Suniti Kumar Chatterji says, Indian Hindus learnt to worship the banvan tree for begetting children and for the peace of soul of their dead from Negrito race.

2. Proto-Australoid Race


The race which arrived in India after Negrito or the primitive Australian race. They are specially found in central India or in south east India in the present age. They are also called ‘Austric’ in English and ‘Agneya’ in Hindi. Santhal, Munda, Birhor, Asur, Korba, Coorg, Juang and such other tribes are related to Proto Australoid race.

The people of Australoid race were more civilized than the people of Negrito race. They threw a great influence on the material and religious fields in India. Suniti Kumar Chatterji says that the Indians learnt, in the material field, how to cultivate the land with the help of pick-axe and to grow rice, bananas, coconuts,” brinjals, betel leaves, lemons, jamboo fruit and cotton from them.

The use of vermilion, betel-leaf and nut in their marriage and other ceremonies has been taken from them. It was from them that the words like ‘ban’, ‘lakut’, ‘shalmali’, ‘krikuwaku’, ‘matang’, ‘gaj’, etc., were added to Sanskrit language.

In the religious field, they brought to India many things like the belief in rebirth, various fabulous stories about the origin of creation, a myth about incarnation of God in a tortoise, belief about the existence of gods in stones, the worship of various creatures, like snakes, crocodiles and monkeys, etc., ideas about eatables and non-eatables, about touchable and non-touchable and prohibitions, throwing of the ashes of the dead bodies into the Ganges and the other so called sacred rivers and river- worship, etc.


The interesting stories in Mahabharat and Ramayan about Vasuki, the ruler in ‘Patal lok,’ the origin of the creation from snakes and eggs, interesting stories about Ganesh, etc., have been taken from the mythical stories of this race. Perhaps this very race taught the Indians how to count the dates according to moon-phases and fixation of sacred festivals, etc.

3. Dravidians

The people of Dravidian or Mediterranean race came into India after Proto Australoid race. They were more civilized than the people of both the races which came to India earlier. Their influence on Indian culture was still greater. Under their influence, new gods and new methods of worship came to the Indian religious field.

In fact, the world ‘pooja’ (worship) which means offering of flowers, belongs to Dravidian language. The acceptance of an idol as representative of some God, to offer it flowers and tree leaves, to offer it vermilion and sandal paste, to burn essence before it, to ring bells, to sing, to dance before it, to oner and accept sweets and such other ways of worship were given to Indians by Dravidian race.


The chief new gods, which began to be worshipped under the influence of the Dravidians, are Shiva, Uma, Kartikeya, Hanuman, Shitala and Ganesh etc. The Aryans, who came to India after Dravidians, married Dravidian women becuase of a scarcity of Aryan women, and then the worship of Shiva- linga among the Aryans began.

By reading Padma, Skandha, Shiva, Varuna and other Puranas, it is learnt that saints and other great men among the Aryans tried their utmost to keep away the worship or Shiva-ling from their Aryan religion but their Dravidian wives brought it into the Aryan society. Under the Dravidian influence, the number of gods increased Gods and godesses, village gods, family gods and other gods of Hindu religion, supposed to be thousands in number, are all the result of their influence.

There is no reference to the sacred places of worship and river in Vedas There was prime importance of Yajna in Vedic culture. The importance of the sacred places of worship increased under of the influence of the Dravidians. In the same way, they also preached the worship of the trees like those of tulasi, banyan, pipal, bel and many others.

In Padma Puran, Bhakti says to Narad, “I was born in a Dravidian country, was brought up in Karnatak, lived in Maharashtra for some period and I grew old in Gujrat.” Thus, this system of devotion is also given by Dravidians. It was Dravidians who gave Indians the festivals of Holi and Basant.


4. Aryans

Arynas made the greatest contribution towards the development of the Indian culture. They came to India after the Dravidians. It is their tongue which is in use today in the major parts of India. Their Vedas are the main roots of the Indian culture. The contribution of the Aryans towards the Indian culture has been thus described by Dr. Yadunath Sarkar –

(1) A feeling of sympathy and adjustment.

(2) Wonderful evolution of science and philosophy.


(3) Aryans’ fixation of adjustment among different c&stes through their principles of Varna system.

(4) Spread of civilization among the demons and wild tribes through ‘Tapovan’ system.

5. Muslims

Muslims came to India after Aryans. In his book entitled Influence of Islam on Indian Culture, Dr. Tar achand has written that the influence of Muslims on the various parts of Indian life has been very great and this influence has been seen specially on Hindu customs, on the very minute things of their family, on music, dress, cooking methods, marriage traditions, festivals, fairs and on the institutions and manners of Maratha, Rajput and Sikh courts.


6. British

After the Muslims, the British deeply influenced all the fields of Indian culture. The spread of English language brought hundreds of English words into Indian languages.

The influence of western culture on the prose, novels, one act plays and poetry, etc., in Indian literature can be clearly seen. Western education created a wave of reformation in the whole country. Under the influence of western ideology, Brahma Samaj, Arya Samaj, Theosophy, Rama Krishna Mission and many more names among the social reformation movements in India are specially mentioned.

Western ideas inspired argumentation and reasoning, broad mindedness and freedom of thought. Where on one side, the ideas of equality, freedom and nationality helped in uprooting the social evils like Sati system, killing of female children, child marriage and prohibition of widow-marriage, on the other hand, they created a political awakening in the country. The present form of administration in India is the outcome of the great influence of the British ideology.

The present economic organization, joint stock companies, managing agencies, big factories, production through machines, railways, telegraph, telephone, aero-planes and other means of conveyance and communication are brought to India from the West.

As a matter of fact, it requires a full volume to describe the influence of western culture on India. This influence has regularly been on the increase and it is also needed for the country’s progress, although its assimilation in equally necessary.

The above examples prove the validity of the statement that India has been from immemorial time the meeting place of conflicting races and civilizations marked by a process of assimilation and synthesis.