Shady Missionaries

“You may be aware that the Missionaries of Charity (yes, the Mother Teresa’s Group) is right now embroiled in a controversy where it has been revealed that it was involved in selling children

https://www.google.co.in/amp/s/www.firstpost.com/india/ranchi-baby-selling-racket-police-find-fourth-child-given-away-for-free-by-missionaries-of-charity-nun-4747181.html/amp

The fact of the matter is that this organisation and Mother Teresa herself are quite shady characters. Have a look at some of these old videos –

I think you should have a post on this and about how the Vatican goes about its business in India. The Church is, you know, very quick to blame BJP all of their imagined ills so it is necessary we also discuss their not so innocent ways.

Thanks in advance.”

Pakistan – an innovation hub

I just got visited by a very old friend/colleague of mine who I hadn’t seen since I was 18 (I’m 33 now)!

He’s Hungarian and done really well for himself at a big consulting firm (mA). What’s interesting is that he lives in the Middle East but commutes into Pakistan. He’s been more to Pakistan than I have been (haven’t been for a decade).

A few points he made:

(1.) Visas into Pakistan is so difficult to get for Westerners. He wanted to take his family up north for skiing but dropped the idea.

(2) Hotels in Karachi are sh!t. Bombay (Mumbai) and Dubai are far far superior in quality. Food is excellent but hygiene questionable in the Land of the Pure.

(3.) he won’t go to India since that will mess up his Pakistan visa.

(4.) Bill & Melinda Gates are putting a lot of money into Pakistan. For a lot of global corporations Pakistan is in a sweet sport; large, consumer driven economy untapped and somewhat sophisticated BUT awful reputation. So if u cut through the crap Pakistan has great opportunities.

(5.) he’s pioneered an amazing global innovation for his firm using Pakistan as a test case. This isn’t the first time I’ve heard of Pakistan being an innovator hub..

Important WhatsApp Forward on the State of Pakistani politics

This is one of the few times that the Army has dramatically underestimated the will of the Pakistani people. Even though I dislike democratic parties in Pakistan; I stand with the Sharifs. The arguments that they are the only corrupt forces in Pakistan is laughable and derisive.

This has to break the back of the Army and I think the time has come to return to the barracks. The fear of Balkanisation in Pakistan is constantly stirred up by the Army to justify its interference.

Pakistanis are not interested in continued aggression with India and frankly there is only force in Pakistan that perpetuates it. I’m very upset with the Military since I dislike hypocrisy.

Imran Khan is a moron, the Bhuttos are just not a serious force (BB forgot to localise her kids) and it’s only the Sharifs that have that tactile touch to rally the population.

General State

A sinister game is underway to install Imran Khan and his ilk. This is the same man who has labeled a sizable number of people of Punjab as donkeys. His right hand man in KP, Pervez Khattak has said in a rally that “wherever I see flags of PPP and other parties flying over homes, I immediately come to know that the residence is occupied by children of prostitutes.” What Imran Khan’s ticket holder Aamir Liaqat has said about Maryam Nawaz is so disgusting that it cannot even be repeated here! This is the mindset which is going to rule this country in the coming days as DG ISPR has already indicated that this year is the year of change. Continue reading “Important WhatsApp Forward on the State of Pakistani politics”

Caste and the 1,000 Families

I’ve noticed that our caste thread has once again exploded. My new policy is to simply skip over comment threads once they become negative.

I thought I would add 2 points. I’m very suspicious when white liberals “ally” in the war again caste since there is little doubt that caste was tremendously strengthened during the colonial era. I’m not arguing that it was created during the time of the Brits, the genetic data shows otherwise, but for the purposes of administrations & control, rigid lines were always drawn over the population. The Brits were not benevolent masters as so many on this blog like to believe.

I will share a little anecdote since I love stories. A senior female academic of Indian origins who was asked to speak at a conference wrote in asking as to why she was the only woman featured and why weren’t there more women. The white lady academic/administrator replied, very defensively, that “Genderism isn’t the only discrimination there’s racism, class and caste discrimination.”

As soon as I heard that snippet I realised what the white lady was trying to do; a dog-whistle. She was using caste as a way to attack the Indian academic. This is not the only story where this has happened. Another Indian female academic stopped going into a prominent college because everything she went in she was stopped by the porters (Oxbridge college have porters). This didn’t happen to the other white students.

As soon as this story made public there was a reactionary pushback by many white liberals that an “upper caste” Indian was trying to defame the white working class porters. This is bs because caste distinctions isn’t picked on by Westerners.

So I am very suspicious when white people try to get involved in the caste system since frankly it’s none of their business but I applaud that Ms. Girls had the chance to tell her story on her terms.

Finally what about Pakistanis; are we allowed to talk about caste? I’ve reflected on this a fair bit, ultimately I straddle the divide (to some extent) but it’s important to talk about Pakistan’s social system.

I do not think caste is at all operative above the middle classes who are Urducised and Muslimicised. It’s absurd to think caste has any real salience in a culture that takes its cue from Islamic values.

However there is a very strong clique in Pakistan that operate almost as a caste (but much more fluid – think Boston Brahmins) and are the sub-elite. They aren’t the most powerful or the richest or even celebrities but they are on the periphery of all 3 circles and in fact gel them together. I tweeted about them in a thread (I’ll link to it later) but they are the 1,000 families:

(1.) they live in Defense, Karachi; Clifton maybe. You could even go into particular phases

(2.) they school in KGS then go abroad for undergrad. Some stay in the West most (?) return

(3.) “Muhajir” families but most of them are the descendants of the administrators/ministers/leaders of post-independence Pakistan, when Karachi was the capital and migrants from UP provided the initial leadership cadre.

(4.) very well-spoken English and of course some Urdu for effect (Ghalib etc).

(5.) they love their drawing room politics and are entertaining to a fault. Virtually all of them drink.

(6.) they conform to a particular look since Punjabis and Pathans (other foreigners) have also married into this class but overt “ethnic” markers preclude entry into this class. If a family speak Punjabi or Pushto or even Urdu predominantly they simply are not a member of the 1,000 families. All have ultimately foreign origins (Persian, Arab, Morocco but like all recent Indian Muslim elite mostly Afghanistan) with Shijrahs and can usually pass for other parts of the Ummah.

(7.) they love to talk about how Partition was/may have been a mistake (virtually all are liberals) but deep down are the “germ of Pakistan”. They embody and pulsate the Pakistan ideal.

(8.) the other cities in Pakistan are not their territory. Karachi is their only base. Kashmir is another world (that is a Punjab-Isb-Pindi issue) since they all still have residual links into India proper.

(9.) Benazir Bhutto was an honorary member of this class; Sharifs are definitely not. Imran Khan, in his playboy heydays, was but now is not. It’s an ephemeral feeling but when “you know you know.” A lot of their fathers and grandfathers were celebrated Pakistanis either in the diplomatic corp. It’s why Pakistanis were known for being particularly suave in foreign affairs in the 60’s-80’s. This class probably lost power with Liaquat and with the rise of the first military govt; never regained it.

(10.) this class has also fallen on hard times. They became decadent in the 80’s and rely on good marriages and salaried employment to get them through. Not good at business (Memons etc) but rely on political connections.

This wouldn’t be a caste exactly because the boundaries are so slippery and ill-defined. However I would call them a “clique” that verges on a caste since it combines some Islamic and Hindu elements with a very strong colonial overlay.

Beyond the Military, Pakistan raison d’etre is really this highly successful sub-elite. They form that all-important ideological core since they set a national standard that Pakistanis/Pakistaniyat conform too.

The best name for the 1,000 Families are the Neo-Mughals since they embody (much like the Mughals) highly contradictory elements. In one go they are valiant defenders of Islam & Pakistan but on the other hand they are hedonistic and partial to all the “European” vices (alcohol, gambling, adultery, promiscuity). Straddling contradictions is what makes this clique-caste so compelling and a glue to Pakistan.

If India wants to eradicate Pakistan it needs to level Defense and KGS since the ideological core of the nation would be wiped out. The Muhajir psychosis, which is now the Pakistani psychosis, bubbles with them. Without them and their integration of all elite sectors of Pakistani society into a hedonistic socialising partying set; Pakistan would be more like Yugoslavia, which it’s avoided.

Of course the greatest failure of the neo-Mughal class was 1971 since Dhaka seemed to have a great number of these people.

11year old girl gang-raped in Chennai-

This is an extremely disturbing story of a little girl raped in her complex repeatedly by dozens of men and blackmailed into keeping her mouth shut. These cases really need to come to an end now somehow.

I really believe that India needs to urgently revamp its legal code to summary execution when the evidence is on hand especially with regards to crimes on women and children. The idea of “rights” needs to be balanced by a societal need for protection of the vulnerable.

All the men involved should simply be publicly executed as soon as possible to make a statement.

Why am I an Untouchable

'Why Am I An Untouchable?'

Sujatha Gidla was part of the lowest class in India's social hierarchy — the untouchables. When she left India for the United States, she was finally free of caste, but the psychological toll left her feeling inferior for years.

Posted by HuffPost Perspectives on Thursday, July 12, 2018

This is an important video to see- we have of course discussed caste endlessly in BP however it is powerful to see an Untouchable speak about it first-hand.

In some ways Dalit is an euphemism so I’m referring to Ms. Gidla’s use of lingo.

23 & Vidhi

Who knows I ended up marrying a Pakistani in the end! Of course I did tell Vidhi she should be a little more partial to Pakistan considering that she’s one of us.

Of course Sindhi Bhaibands have their ancestry from Punjabi Khatris (Sikhs & Hindus) who migrated down the Indus in the late medieval era. So the heartland of the Sindhi Hindus is really the Indus Valley..

Thankfully and more importantly Vidhi’s only has a slightly increased risk for celiac disease but thankfully as a South Indian born & bred she prefers rice to bread.

It is interesting though just how “Pakistani” the Hindu Indus people are in their culture; very extroverted etc. That’s why Sindhis love Dubai so much; reminds them of their lost homeland, Karachi.

Bhutan

What is BHUTAN? Inside Asia's Hidden Country

Have you ever heard of BHUTAN? It's a tiny country of 800,000 people, sandwiched between India and China in the Himalayan mountains.I arrived here just 2 days ago, and it has REALLY fascinated me in terms of cleanliness, friendliness and natural beauty. Bhutan is unique. It's innovative. They take great measures to protect their cultural identity and natural environment, which consists of 72% forest. There are many other things that Bhutan does, which puts them in another league when compared to the rest of the world. BHUTAN IS THE WORLD'S ONLY COUNTRY WHO:- has banned the sale and consumption of tobacco- absorbs more CO2 than it gives out, making them 'carbon negative'- largest export is renewable energy- measures their country's prosperity by happiness, not wealth- can sentence you to life in prison for killing an endangered animalProtecting their environment has had a positive correlation with the happiness of its people — Bhutan consistently ranks as the happiest country in Asia and top 10 in the world overall. Maybe the rest of the world should take their lead?In this video, I did my best to sum up Bhutan in less than 4 minutes. This will be the first of 5 (possibly 6) videos on the country. Stay tuned to learn more!Follow Drew Binsky for daily travel videos, and come say hi on Insta @drewbinsky 🙂 Music: Epidemic Sound

Posted by Drew Binsky on Sunday, July 15, 2018

I was offended by the use of “chaotic” to refer to India & China.I also dislike the way the massive ethnic displacement of Nepali migrants in Bhutan is casually airbrushed. I called Drew out on that and it sparked a mini-thread on the column.

I do think the “third” world must enact a “mirroring” policy, which replicates visa processes on a reciprocal basis. Passport privilege is the last and most pervasive privilege as it is protected by law.India, China, Pakistan and other such countries should make sure that Western nationals have the same visa processes that they’re citizens have in going to the West.

I deeply dislike some of the casual and condescending comments I see Westerners make about the East (I should really write on the AlphaGo movie I saw at ICML but again that’s deep thinking that doesn’t suit my social mediaesque surface level observations – I leave deep thinking to my wife). Diasporas are in fact deeply unhealthy and I admit that I am a member of a diaspora.

If I had been resident of either Pakistan and/or Iran or even India; maybe my relative progressiveness would have helped my society. Of course the fact that there is a Western option means that a good chunk of the sub-elite (the layer above the middle classes but below the ruling classes) will evaporate to the West.The “sub-elite” is an important constituency because they aren’t as hide-bound as the middles but not nearly as powerful as the ruling castes of the third world.

When they disappear because of migration they take with them thoughts, ideas and sometimes irreplaceable skills. I must sound like a complete hypocritical since I’m a Briton of foreign extraction and I do benefit from the various privileges that accrue from it. I do think though that for a more equitable world that we must go “back home” and effect reform. Continue reading “Bhutan”

Croatia..

It’s been a fairly hectic week since I was Vidhi’s +1 at ICML (international conference of machine learning). It took place in Sweden and I wanted to share some intelligent thoughts about it but as always it’s difficult to go deep when on the move.

Being married to a Sindhi scientist is quite amusing but it leaves me little time to blog.I was really moved by the above post by Ali Zafar; Pakistan shouldn’t be as f*cked up as it is and really needs to do better. Croatia’s spirited play at the World Cup hints at a very cohesive nation state; Pakistan must avoid the fate of Yugoslavia..

I’ve been tracking the movement of the Sharifs and I must say I’m very very impressed by their decision to go back to Pakistan; it’s a rare moment when Punjabi politicians stand up to the Punjabi establishment. The army has overplayed its hand when it’s lost my support; I don’t like the hypocritical singling out of the Sharifs especially when Nawaz is pro-business, pro-India and pro-peace…

South Asia becoming more like the Middle East (in different ways)

NEW DELHI: Adultery must remain a punishable offence so the sanctity of marriage can be protected, the Centre told the Supreme Court today after a petition called for gender equality in the punishment for adultery. The British-era law on adultery says a man having sexual a relations with another man’s wife will get a jail term of five years and a fine. A five-judge bench is expected to hear the case.

The petition challenges the 157-year-old law on adultery and contends not just the man, but the married woman he has a relationship with must be punished, since she is the abettor and not a victim of the crime.

Pushing for a dismissal of the petition, the Centre said, striking down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code and the Section 198(2) Criminal Procedure Code “will prove to be detrimental to the intrinsic Indian ethos which gives paramount importance to the institution and sanctity of marriage”.

Just to forestall any accusations of bias I thought I would excerpt what’s going on in the Land of the Pure:

Karachi's climate change disaster

Pakistan's largest city is running out of water and both the causes and the results are genuinely terrifying. Unreported World found poor infrastructure combining with climate change for Karachi's 20 million citizens.

Posted by Channel 4 News on Friday, April 1, 2016

The story of Pakistan is the story of missed opportunities. I simply don’t understand why Pakistanis can’t get their shit together and get ahead. Venal elites, parasitic institutions and flawed ideologies make for a very toxic state..

Continue reading “South Asia becoming more like the Middle East (in different ways)”