What does Ajit Pai’s race have anything to do with net neutrality?

Not a surprise that Hari Kondabolu goes there. The problem with making everything about racial dynamics is that more white people in the United States might take a page from that. I don’t wish to encourage that.

Also, believe it or not racializing a topic that the majority probably agrees with you on might make it less popular. But if you now talk to people who just agree with you all the time on these things you might not remember that.

Children’s Day

It was Children’s Day in India.

There’s a constant worry about being “outbred” in democratic societies. Instead humankind needs to have a much more rigorous (cultural rather than legal) approach towards child-breeding. Unfortunately our biologies don’t really help; peak fertility coincides with peak career-building time.

Prior to having children, couples should make sure that they are firmly on the path to success.

The Myth of Muslim Fecundity?

I was rifling through Ambedkar’s book on Pakistan (rediscovered it courtesy of Slapstik) and I came across the curious statistic of Sindh’s pre-partition population statistics. I was shocked to see just how high the non Muslim percentage actually was in 1935. The proportion of non-Muslim in Indus province towns is simply astonishing, Karachi & NWFP.

There are 7million Hindus  in a global Sindhi population of 26million Sindhis. If that’s true then that means that Hindus are approximately 27%, slightly shy of their 29.3% figure in 1935.

I haven’t bothered doing the same analysis  for the Punjabi population because of state adjustments of the Indian Punjab after Partition. Here is Bengal’s data in 1935:

The Bengali Muslim population is estimated to be at 55% in 1935. Presently out of 300mm Bengalis worldwide, 185mm (61%) are estimated to be Muslim.

The caveat is that these 1935 Bengali districts don’t include Sylhet. My rough calculations is that the Sylethi population could potentially increase the 55% Muslim figure in 1935 to as high as 58%.

In conclusion the Hindus & non-Muslims of Bengal and Sindh have been able to maintain their relative strength in population even though the Muslim minorities can be said to be poorer and less educated (especially in the case of Sindh, the Sindhi Hindu diaspora is particularly prosperous). There is also the additional factor that Bangladesh has embarked, quite successfully, on family planning and other social projects.

The Myth of Muslim fecundity may have some basis but it is also heavily exaggerated. In this case Demographics is not Destiny.


Ps:These figures are iffy at best since they rely on Wikipedia; for instance the Sindhi Hindu totals do not add up to 7mm but I’m going on what’s generally available.

The right amount of Love

There was an interesting passage in this screed against Quaid-e-Azam:

A man who cannot extend unconditional love to his children, who casts them out for following their hearts, is a cold and callous human being, and not a leader worth following.

I’m not condoning what the Quaid did with regards to Dina Wadia but even so I don’t think material attachments, as a rule, should override ideological underpinnings. Disowning one’s child for marrying outside one’s religion is foolish but there are reasons as to why one would want to disown one’s child.

As an aside South Asia (especially Pakistan) seems moribund in its obsessiveness with the past and after the jump I’ve posted a passage, which my wife sent me, about Mindfulness in the present. Her contention is that the Old World in general looks backward rather than forwards to a gleaming future hence why the best Research Institutes in the world are West Coast USA.

Continue reading The right amount of Love

How the Other Half Dies..

An old video that somebody just sent me. I don’t think the situation of the Hazaras has improved much since then. About the rest of Pakistan, well, terrorism is down, crime is up and down, some things are better.. what do you think?

Hazara boy shares his thoughts about Pakistan..


Review: The Holocaust, A New History

Historian Laurence Rees has spent a lifetime studying the Holocaust, and it shows in this book. This is a very readable (and horrifying) retelling that begins in post-WWI Germany and details all the steps in the somewhat haphazard but ultimately effective process that led to the most horrifying mass murder in history.

The holocaust was not the largest genocide in history in terms of death toll (estimates and definitions vary, so it hard to say with certainty) but Rees makes the case (and I think it is a very reasonable case) that many aspects of this particular genocide are uniquely evil and terrifying and these aspects justify its unique position in the history of human mass murder (and this includes comparison with such immense and horrendous crimes as the Arab and European trade in African slaves).  Anyhow, readers can (and surely, will) make up their own mind about the relative horror of this particular crime, but if they read this book, they will at least learn the full extent of it.

Rees starts with the currents of antisemitism that circulated in 1920 Germany (many of these were pan-European, some were even of Anglo-American origin) and the process by which Hitler rose to power. The book makes it clear that while anti-semitism was commonplace in Christendom, most Germans were not thinking of systematic genocide; but some violent, sociopathic and evil people were dreaming of it, and they gradually coalesced around Hitler and got the chance to put their demonic ideas into practice, using all the terrifying resources of a powerful modern state. Continue reading Review: The Holocaust, A New History

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