I was talking the other day with my cousin who goes to university in northwest England. He expressed his irritation that people always perceived that he was Muslim, though with the name he sports I can’t blame others too much. I discussed with him some of the perceptions expressed on this weblog, that atheism was very rare among British Pakistanis, but rather more common among Bangladeshis. He agreed with that assessment. He met other Bangladeshi atheists, and plenty of Indians, but no Pakistanis. One aspect which I suspect grates at him is that it is not uncommon for many Muslims to carouse in their youth, so his drinking and conventional dating habits do not mark him as necessarily the non-Muslim that he is. Islam therefore is an identity into which you are born, not a set of beliefs you espouse.
This is a friend’s blog, on which he writes occasional articles about history and complex adaptive systems….Not a lot of material yet, but worth a read.
Andhra Pradesh: 2
Again, vast swaths of the center-north are missing. The lack of Gujaratis isn’t as problematic because the HapMap has them. The HGDP has Pakistani populations, though Zach L. will be gratified that Zack A. is finally doing some more work on Punabis as a whole (not farmers from a particular community). The SVGP has 80 Singapore Indians, who are presumably going to be mostly Tamil. Behar et al. has two low caste groups from Kerala and Tamil Nadu respectively, as well as another group from northern Karnataka which is not specified (as well as Kerala Jewish samples). Finally, the Xing et al. data set has several South Indian groups, as well as Punjabi Arain. Unfortunately due to its peculiar SNP coverage it doesn’t intersect much with the other samples, so it won’t be used much. But note: the massive undersampling of the center-north and eastern India in all of these public data sets. Additionally, it being South Asia, geographic coverage is probably not enough. There is almost certainly a great deal of genetic difference between a tribe in Kerala and the Nasranis.
So here’s the link to 23andMe. It will cost you $260 over the whole year.
On related note, Business Class Rises in Ashes of Caste System. I have a friend who is of the Nadar caste mentioned. His father is a chemist in San Diego. Unfortunately for him he’s very inbred due to marriage customs in his family’s community, something he wants to change in the next generation.
1979 – a significant year in modern history for Muslim countries. It was the year the Shah lost his crown and Khomeini emerged as the leader of Iran’s revolution. The year Bhutto was hanged and the year the Russians invaded Afghanistan.
In the Diaspora 1979 was the year Thatcher came in to power and we had the race riots of the 80s – bringing in the UK Pakistani identity as well.
I was researching some figures on urbanisation in South Asia for my last post, “Is India a dream of the upper castes”.
According to Globalis Pakistan has the highest urban population of South Asia (33% compared to a low of Nepal at 15%; India is around 28%). Interestingly enough however estimates suggest that more than of Pakistan is now urban! Could it be that many of Pakistan’s problem stem from the fact that its a heterogeneous and increasingly urban society vis. a vis the rest of South Asia. Continue reading
Over at the surname thread (yes Britain, particularly London and Urban Britain is very Asian), I read an interesting comment by Jaldhar on the Patels.
I had known that the Patels were the “head of the tribe” but never knew that they were a Shudra caste, as has been implied. They’re very orthodox Hindus and more so probably than the Brahmins at times (Urdu was pioneered by the Muslims and Kayasthas, Hindi by the Brahmin-Banias); however I’m very curious to know what the lower-caste, the Shudras, think of India. By any definable measure they are the majority of India and it is ultimately their voice which will and reverberating through Indian democracy. Continue reading
I’ve zoned out post my panel discussion last Wednesday. Lots of stuff in the air at the moment, moving offices, rewriting scripts etc. I can see the other 3 authors are holding the fort so kudos all around. I read through Razib’s thoughts on Bengali archaeogenetics and I’m still mulling over it.
At certains points of his post he discusses about Islam’s amenity to tribalism and points out an interesting fact that most of the tribals of Bangladesh are not Muslim. The Indian Tribal belt seems to be centred on Jharkand on the east; mountainous and seemingly more impervious to Aryanisation/Sanskritisation than the surrounding low-lands. My thoughts on Islamic conversion have been three fold. Continue reading