Twitter trouble..

Razib with his thoughts on Indus in the Mekong & Aryans in China (I should be moonlight as a copy-editor; I just know how to sex things up for the BP readership). I butted into a thread involving Omar and Richard but I’m linking to the controversial bit:

No comment..

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43 Replies to “Twitter trouble..”

  1. Lol. I feel Pakistan is going through what India went through in pre 90 s phase. Since it had nothing much to show off in economic sense it used to feel happy about token white person saying good things about them. (Beatles , Steve jobs , Osho”s and aurobindo followers ) now u see that happening in Pakistan with some American comedian and Scandinavian white Muslim concert etc

    Just like India learnt but still trying to not come out of that phase that soft power is no substitute for hard power. Soon Pakistan will learn it the hard way that the issue is not with the optics but with the economy

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        1. He is a Pak-nationalist troll on twitter, possibly a military (or military-backed) person. I have confronted him on twitter multiple times to challenge his identity and he always gets into tangential arguments, shuts up and then pops up in a different discussion.

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    1. “….it used to feel happy about token white person saying good things about them.”

      What do you mean ‘used to’…? Making token white people say flattering things about India/Indian culture is still good business. As with most other things however, it has been commodified. You have professional reaction givers who are hired to give their takes on whatever… And its all scripted. But popular enough to net millions of views and production of thousands of videos.

      https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=foreigners+react

      You can get a token white persons’s flattering opinion on ANYTHING. From your favorite Indian (including many regional languages) song, movie (or a specific scene) and actor to Indian snacks, festivals or other pop cultural affairs.

      Ever wondered how white people react to the Indian national anthem? Don’t worry, they have it covered.
      Or how about the launch of Indian satellites? Its been done.
      Perhaps the reaction of white people totally clueless-about-cricket to Yuvraj Singh’s sixes are what interests you.. yup. Its there.

      Underneath all those hours and hours of cringe there might be a lesson about gig economy, capitalism, those new service sector jobs etc (channeling Tyler Cowen).

      ‘White Guy in China (Asia)’ jobs are well-known. The token white guy hired to signal competence and trustworthiness. This is sort of similar. In both the white guy is just for hire and says nice, scripted things. And they will be fired if they veer off script. In a sense I feel this is the counterpart of diversity hires in the west. Except of course the latter are hired for the purpose of ritual abuse rather than rutual flattering.

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      1. Yes, thats why “Just like India learnt but still trying to not come out of that phase…” The only difference is we did not have much of hard power or economy at that time and now we have somewhat. We used to get much more happier earlier since thats the only thing we had pre 90s

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  2. I agree with him. Pakistan is very clear that it is an Islamic Republic, with all that that entails. India, on the other hand, is constitutionally secular but there are elements who want to create a Hindu majoritarian society.

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    1. My problem with what Richard and you are saying is that it has no real meaning or value in a discussion. There’s nothing really to take out of it. Since Pakistan’s already got it’s own apartheid enshrined in law we should…? Hold it to a lower standard?

      Also, people are saying Richard is Pakistani, but I am 100% sure he is actually a Westerner because he posts pictures of himself too often to be a fake.

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      1. Pakistan should not be held to a lower standard but India’s hypocrisy should be recognized. In a truly secular state, Muslims are not lynched for eating beef nor does anyone worry about “ghar wapsi” or “love jihad”.

        The party in power in India right now has a certain understanding of Hinduism which they want to impose on the whole country.

        Majoritarianism is a problem in South Asia, not simply a Pakistani problem.

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        1. Those are law and order or social issues. Their communal nature is mainly due to the people involved and not due to the actions of the state.

          The inclination of the party in power doesn’t change the nature of the state. Else, US would be a Christian state when Republicans are in power.

          If anything the Indian state is ‘anti-Hindu’ in the sense that it bends over backwards to provide special provisions to non-Hindu groups. Else, there wouldn’t be a clamour to get declared ‘minority’.

          All of this is obviously not to defend lynchings or violence. But the key issue here is the Indian state’s incompetence at monopolizing violence.

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          1. Ah yes, the “law and order” defense. While the individual lynchings may be conducted by mobs, it must be noted that Mr. Modi and his ministers rarely speak out firmly against them. An anti-Muslim atmosphere has been created in North India.

            Your analogy with the US doesn’t hold as the Republican Party has never said that they want to take separation of church and state out of the constitution. But many BJP and RSS folks do speak of “Hindu Rashtra”. You can surely understand why many Indian Muslims and members of other minority groups would find this phrase problematic.

            It is the duty of a liberal democratic state to ensure minority rights so there is nothing specifically “anti-Hindu” about India’s doing so.

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          2. India has also been having a spate of non-communal lynchings on rumours of child theft etc.

            From the perspective of the state, the prime failure is that *lynchings are allowed to happen at all* not that some of them are communal in nature.

            I think the success of BJP shows the strength of the Indian state’s secularism since it is evidence that India can robustly handle right as well as left leaning parties in power.
            (Remember that India was the first country to have a communist government in one of its states)

            You need to distinguish between social problems and institutional problems. The former take time to solve but eventually get there as long as the institutions are strong.

            Plenty of Republican politicians talk about Judeo-Christian values, whatever that may mean. They do not talk (openly) about amending the constitution because the US is a much more developed state with stronger institutions so they know they can’t force their vision through at the moment.
            Anyway, I try not to ponder too much over American politics. It is just a spectator sport for me.

            “It is the duty of a liberal democratic state to ensure minority rights so there is nothing specifically “anti-Hindu” about India’s doing so.”

            Wrong. It is the duty of a liberal democratic state to ensure individual rights. It should be agnostic to how people choose to group together. The concept of minority-majority does not exist from its PoV.
            The fact that Indian constitution uses ‘secularising instruments’ like RTE etc is a bug not a feature.

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          3. Talking about “Judeo-Christian values” is very different from wanting to erode or destroy the secular nature of the state. The BJP and the Sangh Parivar are hostile to Nehruvian Secularism.

            We will have to disagree on whether it is the duty of the state to protect minorities. I believe that any decent country must ensure that minorities’ religious and cultural rights are protected. India has historically tried to do that, despite the ethnic cleansing that accompanied Independence. Generally, it has done a good job, although there are glaring exceptions like the destruction of the Babri Masjid and the Gujarat pogroms.

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          4. >Those are law and order or social issues. Their communal nature is mainly due to the people involved and not due to the actions of the state.

            It’s not a law and order issue. The groups which run the lynch mob gangs aren’t petty gangs but are directly run by Bajrang Dal which in turn are linked to RSS, the organisation which calls up your prime minister to private meetings to ‘review his performance’.

            >The inclination of the party in power doesn’t change the nature of the state.

            Not true either. A good example is the wave of acquittals for previously charged and confessed terrorists. Look at this shit.

            >https://www.firstpost.com/india/2007-mecca-masjid-blast-verdict-court-acquits-swami-aseemanand-4-others-bjp-demands-congress-s-apology-for-coining-term-saffron-terror-4433559.html
            >”According to News18, in its chargesheet, the NIA had said that the accused were “angered by terrorist attacks committed on Hindus and their temples” and conspired to “avenge” such acts with attacks on Muslim places of worship and places densely populated by Muslims. The blasts were allegedly carried out with a ‘bomb ka jawab bomb’ (bomb for a bomb) mindset. The chargesheet also mentions that Aseemanand reportedly made a confessional statement before a metropolitan magistrate of Tis Hazari Court in Delhi. He had allegedly disclosed the conspiracy behind the bomb blasts in different places, including Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad.”
            >Reactions have started pouring in from all political quarters post the big verdict. BJP leaders have demand an apology from the Congress for coining the term ‘Hindu Terror’. Speaking to CNN-News18, former home minister, Shivraj Patil refused to apologise. He further said that he never used the word Hindu terror. “I never used the word Hindu terror,” Patil said.
            >Former MHA Under Secretary (Internal Security) RVS Mani said that NIA earlier ran the narrative of the government. The initial evidence in the case had come against one Bilal and a Bangladeshi national but it was not pursued. “I had expected it. All the pieces of evidence were engineered, otherwise, there was no Hindu terror angle”, ANI quoted Mani as saying.

            >If anything the Indian state is ‘anti-Hindu’ in the sense that it bends over backwards to provide special provisions to non-Hindu groups. Else, there wouldn’t be a clamour to get declared ‘minority’.

            Aren’t there special provisions for Hindus too like subsidies for pilgrims or caste reservations? In the end it just balances out and your complaint means shit.

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        2. The problem of “True This” or “True That” is that it is just an extension of the great problem i.e. No True Scotsman Fallacy.

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      2. “It’s not a law and order issue. The groups which run the lynch mob gangs aren’t petty gangs but are directly run by Bajrang Dal which in turn are linked to RSS, the organisation which calls up your prime minister to private meetings to ‘review his performance’.”

        Law and order is a state issue. Modi doesn’t have jack to do with it. The chief ministers need to be held to account. In any case, communal violence is a part of the Indian society. That will happen with time and economic growth. This graph might interest you: https://twitter.com/shamikaravi/status/1034116009794392066?lang=en

        “Not true either. A good example is the wave of acquittals for previously charged and confessed terrorists. Look at this shit.”

        The Indian state is incompetent. I have already mentioned that. You can cherry-pick examples to suit any narrative.

        “Aren’t there special provisions for Hindus too like subsidies for pilgrims or caste reservations? In the end it just balances out and your complaint means shit.”

        Lol. It takes really muddled thinking to say that ‘it just balances out’. You’ll get along really well with Indian intellectuals and policy-makers.

        Comment on balancing out bit –
        Those special provisions exist for Muslims as well (Haj subsidy, reservations except in case of SCs). In fact, the selection %age of Muslim OBCs is higher than general category Muslims when it comes to India’s central civil services.
        And not to forget the Hindu code bill was passed in the 1950s. Muslims personal law is still decided by AIMPLB. In addition, the government controls the administration of many Hindu temples, all of whose revenues go to the state. This is not so for other religions

        My complaint is not that these measures are anti-Hindu but that they exist in the first place. The state should fuck off whether these steps benefit the Hindus or the Muslims or the Jains. With time, it hopefully will.

        My final comment –
        I am not really interested in having a flame war. Nor am I interested in defending RSS, whose vision I disagree with to a large extent.
        My point is that calling India a crypto-Hindu state is to miss the point. It is an incompetent state that is trying to correct mistakes and improve, albeit at a slow pace. The society is very diverse and has people with all sorts of extremist views.
        I can understand that for someone from the outside, especially someone looking in from a theocratic state, there might be a tendency to view events from a communal perspective. I can only expose you to a different PoV. You can choose to not change your mind.

        Thanks.

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        1. >Law and order is a state issue.

          Why do you keep repeating the same tired line about it being a law and order issue? It’s not sporadic petty crime. The organisations involved indict themselves, it should be very easy for any state government to crack down on them.

          >The Indian state is incompetent. I have already mentioned that. You can cherry-pick examples to suit any narrative.

          Did you read what I posted? How the hell do you read that article and come out thinking the Indian state is incompetent? It was competent enough to originally have the accused arrested and charged. It’s just that when the other party came into power, it’s very willing to change its definition of what evidence and terrorism actually is to score political brownie points. I’m not sure where incompetence comes into play here when everything behind the acquittals was very deliberate.

          >Lol. It takes really muddled thinking to say that ‘it just balances out’. You’ll get along really well with Indian intellectuals and policy-makers.

          Lmao at the smooth brain who thinks that the mere existence of a Haj subsidy and the ability for Muslim men to have 4 marriages makes a Hindu majority country a de-facto anti-Hindu state but finds something logically wrong with my own comment.

          >Those special provisions exist for Muslims as well (Haj subsidy, reservations except in case of SCs)

          Reservations based on religion are forbidden by the constitution. And yeah, good job proving my argument for me, SC Muslims don’t get reservations for being SC even though they face the same economic and social injustice as any other SC. Using your incredible logic, I could very well claim India is actually an Anti-Muslim state.

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          1. You are right, only a small correction ,ST muslims get reservation and so do section of OBC and SC muslims in some states since they are bracketed along with other SC/OBCs under the caste paradigm.

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          2. I agree this “law and order” defense is very weak. The Prime Minister could have chosen to send firm signals that lynching Muslims is not OK. He chose not to. It’s perfectly clear what Bajrang Dal stands for.

            India is still a secular state (thankfully) though the Sangh Parivar does want to make a “Hindu Rashtra”. If that ever happens, it will be a dark day for Indian Muslims and other minority groups.

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  3. What’s the big deal about an opinion. Anyone is free to have any opinion on India. I am least bothered about it. If it’s that of a historian or a political scientist, then I will sit up and take note.

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  4. “Hindu majoritarian society” means what?

    It is a type of secularism that glorifies and supports all religions since all religions are thought to be true. Some say this is not secularism but a glorification of multiplicity and diversity.

    Some conservative Sunnis feel offended when PM Modi glorifies and eulogizes Islam and the Prophet Mohammed pbuh because they might believe (incorrectly I believe) that Hindus are trying to “Hindu-ize” Islam and Mohammed pbuh. Some are scared by the epistemological export and promotion of universalism and sarva dharma sarva sreshta.

    Some also feel that Hinduttva is supporting a side in the Islamic civil war (Hindu muslims, Sufis, twelvers, sixers, Ahmedis).

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    1. A Hindu majoritarian society is one which privileges Hindus and Hindu customs over the customs of other Indian citizens. One in which Muslims are lynched for their dietary choices.

      A “Hindu Rashtra” is not any kind of secularism, despite what you might think.

      I don’t want to get into another long discussion with you in which neither of us move from our premises, so this will be my last comment to you.

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  5. Is Richard Harris referring to limits on free speech and Shariah law in India?

    If so, then I agree with him that the first amendment of the Indian constitution should be amended and all Indians should get free speech. This was one of four compromises India made in 1947 to back soft Islamist muslims against reasonable Indian muslims.

    Sadly some nonmuslims have started to copy muslims and use these limitations on free speech in a tit for tat. These Abrahamic ideas have no place in the East. They need to be expunged. All humans have a right to free art and free thought.

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  6. Re: Aryans in China

    I mentioned in one of my previous comments that one stream of the first Aryan expedition has not stopped in Hindustan. They continued further to China. This article with genetics results confirms this. In China were discovered some ancient graves (e.g. blonde Caucasian woman) with figures of bull which was a symbol of baccism or bakism (have you heard about this, anan?) i.e. followers of the first Aryan leader Nino Belov Nimrod (Belus) who was represented as a bull (bak – in Serbian). For example, Baghdad got the name based on this. If you search youtube ‘blonde people china’ you can see some descendants, blonde and blue eyes typical Chinese faces what is very rare.

    I found one source (haven’t researched much) that one Aryan dynasty was ruling in China in a period which Chinese call Babylonian period. I consider them as one Indian dynasty in China. The article says that Aryan genes haven’t been found in Japan. However, recently, one brief research has found about 350 Serbian words in Japanese language. It includes the word MED=honey (e.g. it is a root for Medical, etc) which I recently mentioned that is identical in 50 languages. Japanese say MEDI. It means there were some Japanese contacts with Aryans in the past.

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      1. Or, maybe opposite? I know that Croats were trying to find their roots in Iran and found Serbian-like ethnic restaurants with typical Serbian national costumes. There are anyway genetically 92% Serbs. I will make one comment soon about Serbian-Iranian connections.

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  7. “I agree this “law and order” defense is very weak. The Prime Minister could have chosen to send firm signals that lynching Muslims is not OK. He chose not to. It’s perfectly clear what Bajrang Dal stands for.

    India is still a secular state (thankfully) though the Sangh Parivar does want to make a “Hindu Rashtra”. If that ever happens, it will be a dark day for Indian Muslims and other minority groups.”

    Modi has cried on public television and asked people to stop lynchings.

    Muslims are almost never lynched in Inda, say compared with Pakistan, where lynching is far more common. This is a law and order issue.

    Many of the most committed cadre of RSS are Shiites and Sufis. Aren’t they good and legitimate muslims too?

    Most of this stuff is deeply exaggerated by the Indian and global press.

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    1. You are deeply in denial. That’s all I can say.

      This is not a competition between India and Pakistan. This is about destroying Nehruvian Secularism and creating a Hindu majoritarian society that will be hell for Muslims and other minority groups. If that’s your vision of India, go for it. I find it completely reprehensible.

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      1. Hard question to answer.

        In Gujarat, about 40% of muslims vote BJP. But the BJP is different from RSS. I don’t know much about RSS. Maybe I should watch these videos about the RSS (which I have not):
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BQJqO8HQTto
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SWkWXPvFC2M

        Suspect many see the BJP as the least bad of many bad options. My observation is that many Sufi and Shiite religious sites have security protection–to protect them from Jihadi attacks. Many Sufi and twelver leaders in India also have government protection to protect them from assassination.

        I think they prefer the BJP in power because they hope the BJP will give them more police protection and because they “HOPE” the BJP will give them more freedom of speech.

        But I suspect they would prefer an option better than the BJP.

        I don’t know why many Shiites and Sufis join the RSS. Maybe the cynical explanation is because they want RSS protection from Jihadis?

        The RSS has been hosting Sufi conferences since the 1940s. I think they see Sufis as muslim Hindus or Bharatiya Hindus. And maybe they like the way twelver leaders keep reaching out to them. In the 1940s the RSS use to praise Dara Shikoh and Jahanara Begum. They believe that Bharat would have benefited if the right side had won the civil war with Aurangzeb. Whereas the Indian liberals and left tend to empathize more with Aurangzeb.

        Zach, why don’t you interview the RSS and ask them questions? You can meet someone from the London chapter. Ask them very hard questions.

        I think the RSS believe that Indian Christians are a darshana inside Sanathana Dharma, just as they see Indian muslims being a darshana inside Sanathana Dharma. Hindus traditionally have 10 darshanas–including Buddhism and Jainism. The RSS want to add other darshanas into the open source Dharmic ecosystem. This is what the Indian Hindu atheist from the “Carvaka Podcast” says they want. With Sikhs, Zorastrians, Jews, Bon and Taoists that would expand Hinduism to 17 Darshanas from the traditional 10. This view is not universally held by Hindus:
        https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKPxuul6zSLAfKSsm123Vww

        Many practitioner Hindus are suspicious of the RSS too. Not many Hindus know about the RSS. I don’t know a lot about the RSS either.

        My suspicion is that many who favor Sarva Dharma (glorifying all religions as true) have not deeply studied many of the religions they glorify and claim to support. However, they really do support all religions. It is just that this support does not come from a deep understanding.

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  8. The BJP and RSS, as best as I can tell, support the Indian constitution and oppose the concept of a Hindu state. Hindus (and Buddhists and Jains) favor keeping spirituality and politics apart.

    Spirituality is Brahmin Varna.
    Politics, governance, rule of law, security and leadership are Kshatriya Varna.
    Business, product development, process innovation, creativity is Vaishya Varna.
    Unskilled labor is Shudra Varna.

    Brahmins are suppose to stay away from anything other than spirituality. Which is why there are very few Brahmins by Karma today.

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