There had once been a comment on this blog that the Kashmiris were more Aryan in cultural heritage than the Persians (even if the genetic contribution was the same). At the time I was a bit surprised but in retrospect when I think to modern Persian identity and the Iranian super-strate on top of it (what is Iran; the plateau, the people or the language family?), it’s astonishing to see that most of the influences are Safavid.
When I deconstruct my Persian national identity apart from the Sassanians, Achaemenians and Zoroastrians; it’s really to do with Sa’adi, Ferdowsi and Hafez. The evolution of Persian culture, under the rubric of Islam, has been so complete that as an example even the most hardcore Persian nationalists wouldn’t dare mess with the alphabet.
The Persian language, which is absolutely fundamental to Iranian identity, has wrapped itself around the Arabic alphabet. The pride in the “Aryan racial heritage” is at best correlated with being light skinned etc (in the West lots of Iranians like to bandy about being Aryan to fit in; good for them). However the Aryan heritage doesn’t really figure in a substantial way about what it means to be Persian.
In contract to India where the Aryan heritage is dominant and uninterrupted, constantly tussling with the Arabic-Abrahamic faiths (Islam is equally Arabic as it is Abrahamic; to be a part of the House of Islam is to accept that Arabs are primus inter pares, not exactly equivalent to Brahmins).
Of course Persian is an “Aryan language” but to deny its Semitisation and the glories that the Arabic infusion brought; as well as being the lingua franca (in a literal sense Persians has always had some similarity to France & French culture; is Iran the France of West Asia?) of the Great Gunpowder Empires.
The irony of course is that while Iran is an explicitly Aryan term; India probably is not. While Sindhu is a Sanskrit name for sea, it’s origins are obscure (am to be corrected).