Short Thoughts –

White people are not gods, they bleed: Razib makes important points about class and race.

In contrast, even South Asians who grow up poor in the United States, usually have an ancestral class background which is somewhat elite. While black Americans and South Asians may share common physical features as dark-skinned people of color, most black Americans descend from slaves, while most South Asian Americans are more likely to either be the scions of a genuinely elite family or a prosperous lineage from a rural backwater. If you buy Greg Clark’s argument in The Son Also Rises: Surnames and the History of Social Mobility, then you know that he makes the case that social status is highly heritable when you look across many generations, as opposed to focusing on single generation correlations.

The Universal Law that differentiates an Immigrant from an Expat. An Immigrant goes one social class lower when moving to a new country and an Expat goes one social class higher upon moving to a new country.

So an office worker in the US will be an office manager in Uganda. An office manager from South Asia won’t hold the same position upon emigrating to the US because the cultural adjustment will have to take place (unless it’s Facebook or Googles which is essentially Indian).

At BP our world is very narrowed back to the Desh but Diaspora issues are extraordinarily important. Race intersects with class and the non-Muslim Asian minority is rapidly ascending the ranks. Even among the Muslims one can distinguish certain sub-ethnicites (Mirpuri, Sylethi) as being the more backward variants.

As a final thought privilege can have a deadening effect on the soul. When I contrast myself to my white friends of a similar background; I notice the speed, grit and alacrity which I have is a gift of my immigrant background. The 9-5 paradigm and pub after work paradigm simply does not apply to my life and that’s a big asset. I’m constantly “on” all the time as opposed to alot of my white friends who seem addicted to leisure..

Mind you I don’t know if it’s a good thing that I don’t have an off button.

Other Links: Continue reading “Short Thoughts –”

The Story Of A Tamil Boy’s Revenge


Crinkle-Bottom gives him a few coins which Kanthan receives with both hands outstretched and a bow at about 45 degrees to the direction of gravity.

“Did you see what happened there putha (son)?” the father said to young Thevaram. “Uncle is a rice trader. Rice is the staple food around here. Uncle sets the price of rice. He is also higher in the hierarchy of clusters in our society. So he sets the price of fish also!

“What would happen if there is a hotel here? Kanthan will sell his fish to the hotel at a higher price, wouldn’t he? And uncle Crinkle will lose the economic power he wields over Kanthan. So, he needs the social hierarchy, he needs the God, he need the rituals of the God having a bath once a year, this place has to be declared sacred and the hotel project blocked.”

Such social clustering and hierarchy carries to this day, we ought to note with a sense of shame. It was reported a couple of months ago, in a village neighbouring Couragenagar, when there weren’t enough young people of one cluster to take God to his bath, instead of letting those from other clusters to participate, temple management hired a JCB earthmover!

[ God being taken for a ride: photograph via ]

Genetics is not about “dunking” on Hindu nationalists

I need to weigh in real quick about something I’ve been noticing: geneticists don’t do genetics because they are excited about debunking views promoted by some Hindu nationalists and other Indians of a variety of political stripes. In fact, most non-Indian scientists (as in people who don’t live in India) are not totally savvy to the political and social context in South Asia, and so are not aware of how their results may be taken.

Unlike some scientists, I tend to take a dim view of those who assert we need to be careful about how results are going to be interpreted. Science is science. Interpretation is society. Therefore, I don’t particularly care if someone’s cherished views are refuted.

That being said, I have seen on Twitter and elsewhere exultation by anti-Hindu nationalists about new genetic findings, where individuals are wrong in many details of the implications. In the general broad sketch, they understand some implications, but they clearly haven’t paid attention to the science closely, nor do they comprehend it.

There are many examples of confusions and misimpressions. Here is one: the idea that “Vedic civilization” is exogenous to South Asia. I think we need to be very careful about this because I think one can make the case (and this is my position) that by the time most of the archaic mythos of the Indian Aryans crystallized these people were already highly Indianized. To put the political implications on the table, they were much more assimilated in their elite culture than the Muslim rulers of India or the British ever were (and let’s be honest, these are the comparisons people care about).

Rough back-of-the-envelope calculations on my part suggest that ~15% of the total ancestry of all South Asians is steppe derived. That is, about 50% ANI, which is 30% steppe (70% Indus Periphery). Is this a lot? Or not a lot?

Interpretations differ.

Sons of Pakistani Bus Drivers

How ‘ministerial flop’ became favourite to succeed Theresa May as PM

It’s an interesting article about Sajid Javed and the fact that he is the favorite to succeed TM as PM.

Of course I’m dismissing the hype but the battle between the sons of the Pakistani Bus Drivers is going to be an interesting feature in British Politics. Even though my politics are quite Tory I’m quite sympathetic to Sadiq Khan as I find him more “authentic” than Sajid Javid.

I am of course at risk of hypocrisy because I’m suspect of assimilation while I welcome integration.

As an aside both Sadiq Khan and Sajid Javed were favourites of the Chancellors, Brown and Osborne. Sajid Javed was arm-twisted by David Cameron and George Osborne into supporting the Remain while he was a Eurosceptic but they guilted him into the fact that he owed his political career to them. Mind you Sajid Javed’s last paycheck in the private sector was apparently £3mn and he is self-made (unlike most Tory Politicians) so he’s probably talented than most but there is this earnestness to fit in that is very typical of coloured Tories (to be whiter than white).

They deeply relied on the patronage of wily white men to get through the party and the dramatic ethnic shifts we are seeing in the West must seem like something out of the Roman Empire.

I do remember that there were an astonishing high number of Pakistanis who were interested in politics (both parties). It does make sense Pakistani culture is very extroverted, loves to network and we are usually able to do it without drinking (heavily). Not drinking in a culture drenched in alcohol has distinct advantages..

Why I don’t accept the para-Munda hypothesis

There has been a discussion of Michael Witzel’s ideas in the comments below. Long familiar with his thesis that a Munda-like language was dominant in the northern Indus valley and in the Gangetic plain, I have also been long skeptical of it.

The reason for me is simple: I have leaned to the position that Munda are intrusive from Southeast Asia. Over the past 10 years my confidence in this proposition as grown. Let’s review

1) They speak an Austro-Asiatic language. Most Austro-Asiatic languages are in Southeast Asia and seem to have spread from the north to the south

2) The Munda have genetic signatures on the Y chromosome and some of their traits which are distinctive to East Asians and totally unrelated to any other South Asians. These genetic signatures are not found in South Asia outside of the Munda areas, and northeast India (i.e., they are not present in the Indus or Gangetic plains).

3) The most common Y chromosome of the Munda seems to be from Southeast Asia. That is, Southeast Asian lineages are basal and more diverse than the ones in India.

4) Genetic data from ancient DNA indicate that Austro-Asiatic people did not arrive in northern Vietnam until 4,000 years ago. To me this, this implies they arrived in India well after 4,000 years ago.

5) We now suspect that Indo-Aryans arrived well after 4,000 years ago to the Indus valley. The Munda and Indo-Aryans could not have met in that region 3,500 years ago in any reasonable scenario.

Let’s assume that Witzel and others are correct that the early Indo-Aryans and the languages/toponyms of the Gangetic plains do not show Dravidian influence. How could that be? It could be that in the northern Indus valley a non-Dravidian language was dominant. Consider Burusho, a linguistic isolate. Mesopotamia was long divided between a Semitic north and a Sumerian south.

Second, the genetic data seem to suggest that some Indo-Aryan groups have more AASI and more steppe than groups to their west. North Indian Brahmins vs. Sindhis are an example. To me, this is indicative of the possibility that the Indo-Aryans pushed past areas where Dravidian languages were dominant, and only AASI hunter-gatherers were flourishing. The lack of a Dravidian substrate is because the AASI groups the Indo-Aryans encountered were not Dravidian speakers.


Lawyer Asama Javed is ‘fixer for forced marriage’

Lawyer Asama Javed is ‘fixer for forced marriage’

The video in the link is 5 minutes long and worth seeing. This is pretty shocking since the lawyer, Asma Javed, is (and I’m excerpting):

On the surface Asma Javed 44, appears to be an upstanding member of her community, a political career with the Labour Party, now a partner in a law firm, a governor at a local primary school and on the fostering panel at Bradford Council. Yet her ‘marital advice’ exposes a complete disregard for basic human rights and utter contempt for British values.

What struck me is that Ms. Javed is obviously British born & bred since she easily slips into the Bradistani patois. But her Punjabi/Mirpuri is at native levels; this wasn’t supposed to happen after so many generations in the UK.

Since I’m a BritPak I’m quite the integrationist but in this case something’s got to give.  My thoughts on integration versus assimilation are mainly concerned with High Culture; even though I can understand Shakespeare and actually like it, I’ll ultimately still identify with Ferdowsi & Ghalib (probably the two poster boys for Turanistan)

The Augean Stables that is the British Muslim community needs to be cleansed. This is not a “Pakistani” issue but a Muslim one as we can see in this bit of news as well. Teenager jailed for life over British Museum bomb plot. When did Muslim culture in Europe become so degenerate?


Rakhigarhi sneak-peaks

Over at my other weblog, noting that the Indian press is finally starting to simply report the substantive contents of the Rakhigarhi results. As we all know the media can distort and misrepresent, so we need to be cautious and wait on the final paper, mostly because with that the authors can speak freely and without intermediation. But, I have heard through the grapevine the general results, and the results are exactly what Outlook India is currently reporting.

The Rakhigarhi samples themselves aren’t that interesting to me. But, Niraj Rai seems to be pushing the admixture event with IndoA-Aryans after 1500 BC. This could be a misquote, or, it could be that the researchers from various groups now have enough data to fine-tune their parameters so as to narrow down various admixture timing events.

Iranian and Indian Fields Medallist; Mr. Birkar and Mr. Venkatesh

I learnt about the Fields Medallist, Caucher Birkar, from a comment in BP. To make it even sweeter it so happens Mr. Birkar is from Cambridge so it’s a big win for our fair city in the ongoing competition with the States. Cambridge as a rule of thumb is the best STEM University this side of the Atlantic but MIT & Stanford make a good run for it’s money on a world-wide basis.

At any I immediately went into Internet Iranian mode and pronounced Mr. Birkar as the Second Iranian to win this in a row.. In my rush to proclaim a victory for Iranian I didn’t realise I was technically correct since the Fields Medal is every 4years and he follows into the footsteps of the late & great Maryam Mirzakhani. To my mind Mr. Birkar is British Iranian since Kurdistan is not a nation and even if it were it is still a part of Greater Iranian; as the children of Medians, Kurdish and Azeri identities, are simply subsets of Great Iran.

Vidhi noted that Mr. Venkatesh won the award too (it’s given every 4 years to 4 mathematicians under 40).

Interestingly enough he’s being described as an Aussie Prodigy even though he’s probably a TamBram of some sort (born in Delhi). Immigration doesn’t seem to be working out so badly for Australia:

Professor Venkatesh is just the second Australian to receive the Fields Medal. Dr Terence Tao won the award in 2006. Continue reading “Iranian and Indian Fields Medallist; Mr. Birkar and Mr. Venkatesh”

Around the Brown World

More to follow. I do agree with the hanging bit .. Suggestions for newsworthy items also welcome..