Better in Wales than India

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"One of the very first Indian words to enter the English language was the Hindustani slang for plunder: “loot”. According to the Oxford English Dictionary, this word was rarely heard outside the plains of north India until the late 18th century, when it suddenly became a common term across Britain. ⁣⁣ To understand how and why it took root and flourished in so distant a landscape, one need only visit Powis Castle (Photo 1)."⁣⁣ ⁣⁣ Not many know that this castle located in Wales houses the largest private collection of Indian artefacts in the UK. It "is simply awash with loot from India, room after room of imperial plunder, extracted by the East India Company in the 18th century. There are more Mughal artefacts stacked in this private house in the Welsh countryside than are on display at any one place in India – even the National Museum in Delhi." The stolen riches include a pair of slippers belonging to Tipu that is made from red velvet and leather embroidered with gold thread, and large curved toes (photo 2) and Tipu’s magnificent state tent (photo 3)⁣⁣ ⁣ Source: The Guardian" The East India Company: The original corporate raiders" by William Dalrymple ⁣

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I’m in High Tory mode these days but I find it absurd to ask for the recovery of Mughal artifacts when both India & Pakistan disrespect that historical period.

When Pakistanis can speak decent Dari and Babri Masjid is rebuilt then we can discuss the colonial encounter and its aftermath. Until then there are much better things to complain about.


Modi has failed us but at least he put the Muslims in their place

Indian elections are a marvel to behold. The rules stipulate that no citizen should have to travel more than 2km to vote. So the state goes to the voters. Carrying oxygen tanks, election officials scaled the Himalayas to erect a voting booth in a village in Ladakh, 4,500 metres above sea level. In western India, a polling station was set up for the lone human inhabitant of a wildlife sanctuary. In eastern India, officials trekked for an entire day to reach the sole registered voter, an elderly woman, in a remote village. By the time voting closed on Sunday, some 600 million people had cast their ballots, 10 million of them for the first time.

In 2019, the world’s biggest election was much more than a ritual of democracy. It was the most consequential vote in the lifetime of a majority of Indians alive today. India under Narendra Modi has undergone the most total transformation since 1991. This election has, in effect, been a referendum on whether the republic retains its founding ideals or, if Modi wins another term – and exit polls released on Sunday show him winning with a comfortable majority – it leaps to a place of sectarianism from which return may be close to impossible.

Five more years of Narendra Modi will take India to a dark place

Is this election where the angry Bharat finally dispatches his ailing Mother India?

Continue reading “Modi has failed us but at least he put the Muslims in their place”


Analysing The Election Podcast –

I woke up this morning to commentary on Episode 38:

We had a bit of a twitter exchange though I find it odd that Aashish zeroed in on V by claiming that she was misinformed.

I do not understand a community where the daughter is called Asifa Bano and the father Muhammad Yusuf are *not* Muslim. People who pray to Sai Baba retain Hindu nomenclature and would be understood to be Hindus.

To somehow *disregard* Asifa’s Muslim identity in an increasingly religiously identified India is irresponsible to say the least and to somehow only raise an ethnic angle is only part of the story.

Continue reading “Analysing The Election Podcast –”


Why I find it difficult to debate Hinditvas + liberal Zionists

It gets tiring that I have to constantly abuse Islam & Pakistan simply to avoid the allegation that I’m a double agent. Kabir actually makes a valid point; if India and Indians want to crow about their secular liberal democracy then they have to live up to those values.

Pakistan is not a secular liberal democracy nor is Iran. They are both Islamic Republics, which to varying degrees, reject the values of the Enlightenment. Now I may disagree with that and may want otherwise but this is the constitutional fiber of both countries therefore judging them on a different set of liberal Western values is not even wrong.

Before discussing Shariah or liberal democracies in the case of Irano-Pak; we would have discuss the type of government that they have chosen to have. Britain is technically a theocratic monarchy with an aristocratic upper house so it’s not necessarily that such types of government are incompatible with liberalism or democracy for that matter.

Continue reading “Why I find it difficult to debate Hinditvas + liberal Zionists”


Browncast Ep 38: Indian Elections

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsyniTunesSpotify,  and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.
You can also support the podcast as a patron (the primary benefit now is that you get the podcasts considerably earlier than everyone else…).

Razib & I played host to MJ, Kushal (Carvaka Podcast) and Vidhi.

It was a very long podcast (1hr 40 minutes) and it was really entertaining. Kushal & MJ are BJP-lite while Vidhi (if she was forced to vote) is Congress. We skipped the technical discussion since we will serve that after the elections. Continue reading “Browncast Ep 38: Indian Elections”


As India Saffronises, 9 Questions on her Za’faran sister (IranZamin) with Professor Foltz-

A degree of uncertainty surrounds the origin of the English word “saffron“. It might stem from the 12th-century Old French term safran, which comes from the Latin word safranum, from the Arabic za’farān,[13] which comes from the Persian word zarparan meaning “flower with golden petals”.[14]
As an aside I pilfered this interesting piece from Kabir’s facebook

Continue reading “As India Saffronises, 9 Questions on her Za’faran sister (IranZamin) with Professor Foltz-“