Swara Bhaskar’s comments on Pakistan the Failing State

https://youtu.be/QYKxr7gW8Ho?t=15m

Swara Bhaskar doubles down on her Pakistan comments that Indians shouldn’t care what the unsecular failing Pak state does.

I don’t have an opinion on her particular remarks but Pakistan was wrong to ban Veere di Wedding.

Otherwise I agree with Rajeev Masand’s masterful review where he gave it a 2 out of 5 though V&I agree it should be a 3.

Continue reading “Swara Bhaskar’s comments on Pakistan the Failing State”

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Is American culture sharply increasing crime?

The US is currently experiencing the second largest increase in crime since statistics began to be tabulated, the largest increase in crime being in the 1960s and 1970s. From “Crime in California 2016” Table 5, page 9 in document, page 13 in PDF, the total number of forcible rapes in California increased by 49.3% between 2014 (8,562) to 2016 (12,785). From Table 1, page 5 in the document, page 9 in the PDF:

  • Homicides increased 13.7% between 2014 (1,697) and 2016 (1,930)
  • Robberies increased 12.6% between 2014 (48,650) and 2016 (54,769)
  • Aggravated Assault increased 13.8% between 2014 (91,681) and 2016 (104,307)

To better understand the massive US crime wave, I decided to calculate crimes committed  by various ethnic groups.

This article will use California crime data since US national level data on crime for Latino Americans and Asian Americans is usually not publicly released by the US government; perhaps for fear of what such data would show. I suspect that US and Canadian nationwide data would show similar trends. California demographic data by ethnicity is taken from 2015 US Census Bureau estimates. From “Crime in California 2016” Table 30, page 33 in document, page 37 in PDF, “Felony and Misdemeanor Arrests” 2016:

  • Caucasions were 4.99 times more likely to be arrested than Asians
  • Hispanics were 5.91 times more likely to be arrested than Asians
  • Blacks were 17.04 times more likely to be arrested than Asians
  • Non Asian Others (mostly native Americans) were 3.38 times more likely to be arrested than Asians

Arrest data by Asian country are also available; but Asians commit so few crimes that such data would be skewed by the law of small numbers. However you are free to research it yourself. The spreadsheet used for these calculations is available upon request.

Total crimes committed by caucasions, hispanics, blacks and “other” are released by category. “Other” is not broken down into Asian and non Asian other. However if we assume that non Asian others commit 3.38 times as much crime as Asians (a stretch to be sure), then:

Total homides by race from “Crime in California 2016” Table 31, page 34 in document, page 38 in PDF:

  • Caucasions were 2.44 times more likely to commit homicide than Asians
  • Hispanics were 4.44 times more likely to commit homicide than Asians
  • Blacks were 17.23 times more likely to commit homicide than Asians

Total robbery by race:

  • Caucasions were 4.63 times more likely to commit robbery than Asians
  • Hispanics were 7.96 times more likely to commit robbery than Asians
  • Blacks were 44.19 times more likely to commit robbery than Asians

Total rape by race:

  • Caucasions were 3.13 times more likely to commit rape than Asians
  • Hispanics were 5.44 times more likely to commit rape than Asians
  • Blacks were 12.24 times more likely to commit rape than Asians

Total assault by race:

  • Caucasions were 4.44 times more likely to commit assault than Asians
  • Hispanics were 5.48 times more likely to commit assault than Asians
  • Blacks were 15.44 times more likely to commit assault than Asians

Total kidnapping by race:

  • Caucasions were 3.92 times more likely to commit kidnapping than Asians
  • Hispanics were 6.52 times more likely to commit kidnapping than Asians
  • Blacks were 18.42 times more likely to commit kidnapping than Asians

If we assume that non Asian others are 3.38 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians, then from 12.31.2.10:

  • Caucasions were 4.18 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians
  • Hispanics were 5.8 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians
  • Blacks were 25.2 times more likely to be incarcerated than Asians

Continue reading “Is American culture sharply increasing crime?”

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Review: The Spy Chronicles

This is a review of “The Spy Chronicles” (not by me, but by our regular contributor Dr Hamid Hussain), a recent book co-authored by two former chiefs of ISI (the Pakistani intelligence agency) and RAW (the Indian intelligence agency). The book has generated some controversy (a lot of it far-fetched and irrational) and the Pakistani author (Retired General Asad Durrani) has been called to GHQ to provide an explanation and has been barred from leaving the country until an enquiry (conducted by a 3 star general) has been conducted.

The review is by Dr Hamid Hussain.

The full title is: Spy Chronicles: RAW, ISI and the Illusion of Peace. A. S. Dulat, Assad Durrani and Aditya Sinha (Delhi: Harper Collins), 2018.

This book is neither a memoir nor an organized attempt to explain a theory. It is essentially a transcript of conversations. It covers India Pakistan relations, Kashmir, Afghanistan and other general regional and international topics. Two informed individuals from rival countries engaged in a candid conversation and some of their views are not fully in line with the official stance of their respective countries.
In view of unresolved issues between India and Pakistan, there have been several international attempts to bring high former officials of both countries together for dialogue. One effort was to bring former intelligence officials of both countries together. This effort called ‘Intel Dialogue’ was organized by the University of Ottawa. Dulat and Durrani met each other during these ‘Track II’ efforts and developed a kind of friendship. Continue reading “Review: The Spy Chronicles”

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World War 2’s impact on the racial balance of the world

This clip was interesting in WW2’s effect on the racial demographics of the West and white supremacy (that all Western powers including the Allies were keen to maintain).

Much as we lionise the role of Britain in this country for both World Wars; there is a feeling we are living in the aftermath of a massive decompression (lingering on because the Sovereign is still a living link to that period).

The hubris of Empire ultimately culminated in a reality where white people had to share the world and more importantly power. Unless there is a string of right-wing authoritarianism, genocide and/or ethnic cleansing the West is now perpetually multi-racial and multi-ethnic.

As the commentator above makes the point the first coloured migrants were “invited” to help rebuild society in the wake of post-war. It’s an important to remember that it’s rather churlish to invite a generation, then try to somehow disenfranchise them and then tell their children to go “back home.”

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Drinking (alcohol) During Ramadan

The Washington Post has an article by Khalid Diab about the complications that arise around the issue of obtaining alcohol during Ramadan. Excerpts are posted later. As Shahab Ahmed points out in his magnum opus (What is Islam), drinking alcohol is prohibited in Islam, but it is also an established feature of Islamicate culture; i.e. not only is it regularly used (by a minority), it is celebrated in poems and songs, there are rituals associated with its use, everyone knows someone who drinks and drinkers have their own (albeit not always comfortable) place in society. In some countries (Saudi Arabia, Iran) it is strictly prohibited and users can expect serious penalties if caught, but even in those countries a great deal of regular communal drinking does go on. A few more countries (like Pakistan) have prohibition, but with more exceptions than exist in Iran and Saudi Arabia (non-Muslims and foreigners can buy alcohol, some high end hotels have bars, and so on). In several other countries (Egypt, Tunisia, Indonesia, etc) alcohol is widely available and can be purchased in supermarkets and even in small roadside kiosks (what would be called a Khoka in Pakistan). But in all these countries, there is a visible change during Ramadan: many regular drinkers voluntarily give up alcohol for the month and those who continue to drink may go deeper underground than usual. I have friends who cannot go to sleep without one (or several) nightcaps, but who will not touch  drop during Ramadan. They invariably get drunk on Eid.

Some excerpts from Khalid Diab’s article follow:

Although alcohol is considered haram (prohibited or sinful) by the majority of Muslims, a significant minority drinks, and those who do often outdrink their Western counterparts. Among drinkers, Chad and a number of other Muslim-majority countries top the global ranking for alcohol consumption.

Have a Murree with your curry.. Beer from Pakistan

Continue reading “Drinking (alcohol) During Ramadan”

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Book Review: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World

Jack Weatherford is an anthropologist who has spent many years researching the Mongols in general and Genghis Khan in particular. The book is a very sympathetic portrayal of Genghis Khan and his descendants and their impact on world history. It is a very easy read and is an excellent summary of the rise of this amazing man and his (relatively few; a total population of less than a million) people to greatness. And there can be no doubt that Temujin is one of the most remarkable characters in world history; one of those (few) heroes about whom you can confidently say that without them, the history of his people would have been VERY different indeed. He is a one-man refutation of the idea that individuals, no matter how prominent, do not really matter and all we need to study are the aggregate/impersonal/stochastic processes that drive history. Continue reading “Book Review: Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World”

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Sri Lanka, Tamils, Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing?

There have been a few comments with accusations of Genocide, Ethnic Cleansing of Tamils by the Sri Lankan Govt.

First the numbers which are thrown around.

Lankan Tamils Living among Sinhalese
65% of the Sri Lankan Tamils live in Sinhalese majority areas.  After adding up, I was shocked as I was expecting somewhere around 30%.
The numbers are from the 2012 census.  The third column (in Sinhala) are the Indian/Upcountry Tamils.  In comparison less than 1% Sinhalese live in Tamil majority regions.

Diaspora Sri Lankan Tamils
A number that has been thrown is 30% of Sri Lankan Tamils live outside the country.   The numbers say that it is 22%.
Not all of the Diaspora are refugees
a) Some migrate for economic and education reasons
b) The LTTE one child policy.  The LTTE required one child per family to become cannon fodder.   If the family had money, the LTTE would arrange to smuggle the child out to a Western country as a refugee. Thereafter the refugee would have to make monthly donations too.

             

Religious War
The SL Army or the Budhists would never intentionally destroy a Hindu Temple.  The Buddhist, specially those in the Army make vows and pray to Hindu gods for their protection.  Buddha cannot provide protection (like a God), he is a teacher in the Theravada Tradition.  No question Hindu temples were shelled in the North and East when the LTTE used them as shields.  During the last couple of years the Army has been engaged in rebuilding and repairing Hindu Temples

ex LTTE leaders as Govt Ministers
Chief Minister of Sri Lanka’s Eastern Province Sivanesathurai Chandrakanthan, popularly known as Pillayan and Vinayagamoorthy Muralitharan, also known as ‘Colonel’ Karuna was a deputy minister in the Rajapakse govt.  Karuna was responsible for killing of 600 Sinhalese and Muslim police officers who surrendered to the LTTE.   Ahh the vagaries of power politics.

Some Links, all by Tamil authors.

Mass expulsion of Muslims from Batticoloa, Mannar and Jaffna
http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/26412

Rajini Rajasingham Thiranagama: Unforgettable Symbol of Sri Lanka’s Tamil Tragedy
http://dbsjeyaraj.com/dbsj/archives/33112

The Broken Palmyra, the Tamil Crisis in Sri Lanka, An Inside Account 1992by Rajan Hoole (Author), Daya Soma sundaram (Author), K. A. Sritharan (Author), Rajani Thiranagama (Author)
https://www.amazon.com/Broken-Palmyra-Crisis-Inside-Account/dp/B000OGS3MW/

Sinhalization of the North and the Tamilzation of the South
http://www.srilankaguardian.org/2011/06/sinhalization-of-north-and-tamilzation.html

Other articles by Sebastian Rasalingam
https://www.slguardian.org/category/clms/columnists/sebastian-rasalingam/page/2/

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Lanka and Kalinga

Sauvrav said “ I did my schooling in Orissa and there is no mention of any thing remotely Sri Lankan in their school textbooks. The other day i was talking to a friend who is a oriya and he laughed it off as myth

Many references to Kalinga in Sri Lanka primarily the Mahavamsa and Culavamsa and the Rock edicts of Nissanka Malla (1187–1196)

The Coming of Vijaya (Mahavamsa Chapter 6)
In the country of the Vangas[1] in the Vanga capital there lived once a king of the Vangas. The daughter of the king of the Kalingas was that king’s consort.
http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/06-coming-vijaya/

Nissanka Malla (1187–1196)
Son of Queen Parvati and King Jayagopa. This is mentioned in a rock inscription made by Nissanka Malla at Galpota. This inscription describes Jayagopa as being the reigning king of Sinhapura.  Nissanka Malla had two wives named Kalinga Subadradevi and Gangavamsa Kalyanamahadevi.[2] He was also a son-in-law or nephew of Parākramabāhu

Magha of Kalinga (Culavamsa CHAPTER LXXX: THE SIXTEEN KINGS 58-62)
of the day lotuses ? that is of peace ? (a man) by name Magha, an unjust king sprung from the Kalinga line, in whom reflection was fooled by his great delusion, landed as leader of four and twenty thousand warriors from the Kalinga country and conquered the island of Lanka. The great scorching fire ? King Magha ? commanded his countless flames of fire ? his warriors ? to harass the great forest ? the kingdom of Lanka3. While thus his great warriors oppressed the people, boasting cruelly everywhere: “We are Kerala warriors”, they tore from the people their garments, their ornaments and the like, corrupted the good morals of the
The reference is raw OCR
http://books.lakdiva.org/culavamsa/vol_1.html

Mahavamsa and Culavamsa are one of the longest continuous histories. Oral tradition since 3rd century BC and written down in 6th century AD.  It has a consistent dating system, i.e from the death of the Buddha. To quote “It is very important in dating the consecration of the Maurya emperor Asoka,”

Asoka had been lost in India. He was found and identified and dated using the Mahavamsa.

To quote from the Mahavamsa Chapter 5; This Chapter references the Moriyas, Bindusara and Chandragupta among others.
Be it known, that two hundred and eighteen years had passed from the nibbana of the Master unto Asoka’s consecration.

James Prinsep (1799-1840) in his excursions in North India, he and his colleagues like Alexander Cunningham, had come across many an inscription where the letters were clearly inscribed but the Indian scholars whom he and others before him had consulted had been unable to help as they had completely lost knowledge of the alphabet in which these inscriptions were written.

It is said that during medieval times Firoz Shah Tugluk who shifted the Asokan pillars from Topra and Meerut to Delhi invited scholars to read them and none was able to do so.

By this time, scholars studying Indian antiquities had progressed a great deal in the study of Sanskrit, the great classical language of India, and understanding what the inscriptions had recorded did not pose much of a problem. It was clear to Prinsep that the authority who had got these inscriptions installed was a King (raja) calling himself Devanampiya, literally meaning ” the beloved of the gods.” But what was baffling Prinsep and his associates of the Bengal RAS was, who was this Devanampiya Raja?

From his readings of the Mahavamsa and its commentary, the Mahavamsa Tika, Turnour knew of a king named Devanampiya Tissa. This fact was intimated to Prinsep who, not knowing the details contained initially believed that the edicts in North India had been installed by the Sri Lankan king in his overwhelming devotion to the new faith. Not long afterwards Prinsep came across an inscription of a grandson of that Devanampiya Raja and realized that the personage in question was an Indian ruler. Turnor in the meantime having read the Buddhist mission to Lanka, communicated to Prinsep that the Devanampiya Raja of the Indian inscriptions was none other than Dharmasoka, the “patron” of Devanampiya Tissa who had bestowed many gifts, including a second consecration on Mayuryan models and the title Devanampiya on his colleague, the ruler of the small island kingdom called Tambapanni off the southern tip of Jambudvipa.

http://www.island.lk/2004/01/04/featur04.html

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