A strike in favour of a new state in the Telangana region of southern India’s Andhra Pradesh state has entered its 18th day. Some 800,000 protesting government employees have stopped work, leading to a shutdown of offices, schools and colleges. Continue reading
Going from bad to worse? It seems that tragedy is turning into farce. Pakistan should do something quickly to help the US before the US loses the war (see below). Pakistan’s rational and far-sighted response may now be America’s best hope!
Ani Sen leaves a comment on the Bangladesh thread, which highlights the role of trade in the spread of the Perso-Arabic lexicon into Indic languages (more specifically Bengali but I have read that Gujarati is similarly influenced for the aforementioned reason).
I rifled through his blog and found some interesting posts; I particularly like the counter-focus of his blog into more traditionally Desi topics. A quick comment if the putative river Sarasvasti (between Sutlej & Yamuna) was more prominent (as some people want to rename it to “Sarasvati civilisation” though I do think its likely that the drying up of the Ghaggra-Hakra river caused some sort of decline and migration coupled with the development of iron tools allowing for cultivation of the Eastern regions) why are the IVC sites mostly along the Indus (density of IVC sites here)? Also I have posted pictures of the Dravidian speaking Brahui people, from Afghanistan, and it seems to me that there’s a plausible case for them to be the autochthonous descendants of the region.
The full post is after the jump and draws substantially on a paper from the genocide journal 2003, which goes a very long way to defuse the traditional accusation levied on Pakistan that it “eliminated” its religious minorities or that the precipitous decline of religious minorities was an intentional cause of the state. Considering this is still a sensitive topic this should be treated delicately but also goes a very long way to understanding why, almost unique to history, the “clean” (at a cost of some 200,000-360,000 deaths) separation of religious populations in the Punjab in the absence of any state authority.
“In his book Microeconomics, the Santa Fe economist Samuel Bowles illustrates this problem with a discussion he once had with local farmers in Palanpur, a small village in rural India:
Palanpur farmers sow their winter crops several weeks after the date at which yields would be maximised. The farmers do not doubt that earlier plantings would give them larger harvests, but no one, the farmer explained, is willing to be the first to plant, as the seeds on any lone plot would be quickly eaten by birds. I asked if a larger group of farmers, perhaps relatives, had ever agreed to sow earlier, all planting on the same day to minimise the loses. “If we knew how to do that,” he said looking up from his hoe at me, “we would not be poor.”
Via “Origin of Wealth” (chpt Design Spaces), Eric D. Beinhocker.
By the by the current half-Irish heir to the principality of Palanpur is involved with the Bombay Bicycle Club; a fairly well-known and upscale London Indian eatery.
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”A very interesting map, delineating quite a few realities. For example, one stark divide is between economically wealthy highly secular Christian-based nations in the grey, and the economically imperialised, eastern and traditional Christian-based nations, Muslim, Hindu and other religiously populated nations in the green.” -via Afroz Ali-
The attack, in Teri Mangal on May 14, 2007, was kept quiet by Washington, which for much of a decade has seemed to play down or ignore signals that Pakistan would pursue its own interests, or even sometimes behave as an enemy.
The reconstruction of the attack, which several officials suggested was revenge for Afghan or Pakistani deaths at American hands, takes on new relevance given the worsening rupture in relations between Washington and Islamabad, which has often been restrained by Pakistan’s strategic importance.
The details of the ambush indicate that Americans were keenly aware of Pakistan’s sometimes duplicitous role long before Adm. Mike Mullen, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told the Senate last week that Pakistan’s intelligence service was undermining efforts in Afghanistan and had supported insurgents who attacked the American Embassy in Kabul this month.
There’s a lot buzz on the internet for a new show called Terra Nova. Didn’t we already do this? It was called Earth 2 (Steven Spielberg also had an indirect role in that show). I’m not going to watch it. I don’t have a television, and my online television watching is very circumscribed. But I did note that the family at the center of the drama is what we would call “exotic” or “ethnic” in 1980s:
Alana Mansour, the youngest actress, probably has Middle Eastern ancestry. I don’t know. But the mother is played by Shelley Conn, an Anglo-Indian. More specifically a mix of Sri Lankan and British. And the middle child, Naomi Scott, has a ethnic Indian mother from Uganda. The father and son in contrast are fully European in appearance (and Irish and white Canadian were cast for these roles), but it is not uncommon in mixed-race families for such a variance in physical types to manifest across the set of children.
A pretty fascinating essay, from 1989, which contrasts the “Bengali focus” of Sir Jadunath Sarkar and the more “Muslim emphasis” of Dr Mohar Ali. This comes courtesy of the Bengal Muslim Research Institute UK; a new, innovative and independent research institute which aims to carry out a range of activities about the Muslim history, culture and heritage of Bangladesh and West Bengal. And in so doing it hopes to improve communication, remove misconceptions and promote knowledge, understanding and awareness of Bengal’s Muslim history, culture and heritage. At any rate to quote from the paper: Continue reading