The volume deals with the history of the concept of Arya and Aryans in East and West, with the linguistic, textual and archaeological evidence in South Asia and beyond.
The terms Aryan and Non-Aryan, corresponding to Sanskrit arya and anarya, can readily be shown that among the literary traditions indigenous to South Asia have always evoked strong responses, both positive and negative, as they continue to do even today; but it can also be shown that while they designate a boundary that is in some sense an ethnic one in the Veda, in other literatures the distinction has a religious or moral character.
There have been reconsiderations and reinterpretations of the terms within and outside of the academy. There is on the one hand the established view of a migration of Aryans into South Asia; on the other hand there are new voices calling the whole endeavour fanciful, motivated by colonialism, “Orientalism”, nationalism, or something else. What is starting is that the criticism of the status quo comes from completely different directions.