Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Please keep the other posts on topic. Use this for talking about whatever you want to talk about.

One thing, thanks to everyone who has donated to the Patreon. Weirdly it makes me feel a little more appreciated when I’m editing these podcasts late at night after my work and family are over 😉 Since the “patrons” have some “skin in the game” definitely going to be taking input from them in terms of what the directions are that our podcast, and to some extent the blog, will follow. I started this weblog with Zach seven years ago without any real goal or endpoint, so it’s evolving….

75 thoughts on “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

    1. Indo-Carib, can you write an article about the report? And your thoughts on Indian education reform?

      I have many thoughts on Indian education reform, but don’t feel I know enough.

    1. Eagerly awaiting one with Carl Zha. Very interesting personality. Maybe you can do a reverse show on their Podcast CLASH! and cover aspects like Chinese and East Asian genetics since that is a topic which unusually gets very little mainstream press, unusual because China-issues are everywhere otherwise.

      Also interesting would be academic scene in China, India, West and how much/type-of collaboration is or isn’t there, either in professionals or foreign students and so. Lots of interesting things to discuss.
      One thing I am fascinated with is how does he deal with being a gross minority voice so to speak on the general China-related Twitter-verse platform. It is a vicious domain and filled with heavyweights (academic, political, think-tank, NGO’s and famous journalists) and it is very anti-China skewed.

      Just a few weeks back Jeffrey Sachs ended up quitting from twitter because of the backlash he got for his Huawei article.

  1. This is actually a nice blog. Within half hour of my nightly internet surfing, I end up on this blog, so it must be interesting. However, this blog is disproportionately dominated by this whole goddamn AIT/OIT debate. Honestly, it is just too boring.

    I would like to see some posts from other aspects of life, such as literature, history, science, social norms, contemporary politics etc. Can the blog owners take note please.

    1. If a moratorium is put in place, I hope exceptions will be made for posts like Abdul Majeed’s great Aasia Bibi series. The biggest problem here is that the long-form goldmine posts like that tend to get lost among short personal blogs or posting sprees by AnAn, especially if I’m not checking the blog every day.
      Not that I think personal blogs or AnAn should vanish, but it’d be nice to have regular “best-of” threads to catch up with long-form/especially interesting posts that I’ve missed out on. Perhaps best-of lists could be incorporated into the open threads?

      1. Agree with the suggestion about “best-of” threads.

        I feel the biggest issue is an obsession with certain niche topics like the Aryan Invasion Theory or with trying to factually prove the Hindu epics. Also the Serbian nationalism that spams almost every post (It is alright to have a theory but to repeat it over and over is a bit annoying).

        If there are going to be posts about Pakistan, it would be nice if they were more substantive than simply trying to run down the country.

  2. Razib, why not have many podcasts on many subjects? People will read what interests them. What matters is that the descriptions of the podcasts are good.

    If you say what subjects or guests interest you, chances are someone from the BP greater ecosystem knows them and can land them. In no particular order:
    One large track needs to be China.
    One large track should be technology and economics with an Asian tilt
    One large track needs to be genetics
    One large track needs to be ancient history
    One large track needs to be Islamism and Islamic reform
    One track could be Afghanistan
    One large track could be the intersection of ancient civilizations/cultures/religions with bleeding edge modern science
    Another track could be Hindutva (I like to spell it Hinduttva since it is Hindu plus tattva)
    Another track could be ancient civilization narrative mythological historical stories from their own perspective (what their claims and assumptions are . . . whether booga booga or having actual facts and history embedded)
    Another large track could be post modernism cultural marxism and how it intersects with various other ancient philosophies (European enlightenment classical liberalism, eastern philosophy, Islamicate philosophy, native American philosophy, ancient Greek/Roman/Serbian philosophy, ancient Egyptian philosophy, Chinese philosophy and so forth)

    Obviously the tracks need to be further organized and integrated together. Similar to different sections in an online magazine.

      1. Totally get it. 😉

        You interview some guests. Slapstik interviews others. Omar interviews others. Zach interviews others. [Maybe VijayVan, JR, Numinous, Violet, Frog and others too] Division of labor.

        PS. I vote that Murshid Ustad (Sufi word for Guru) Sayyid Jagguji interviews half the guests. On the other hand the late night shows might lose ratings as millions of people tune into Brown Cast.

  3. I would like to start (ignite 😉 ) an intentionally mischievous conversation. There are many common stereotypes of various Indian communities, for e.g.

    Marwaris/Sindhis- penny pinchers
    Sikhs – buffoons, boisterous
    Punjabis – shows offs, loud mouth
    Bengalis – intellectuals, effeminate
    Tamil Brahmins – overly religious, god fearing
    Muslims – inward looking, ghettoized, fundamentalists
    Gujaratis – business savvy

    I would like to know if readers feel that there is some semblance of truth in these stereotypes. What are their personal impressions when dealing with these communities.

    And let it be free-for-all discussion. No holds barred. Deliberate insults encouraged. 🙂

    For, what is the worth of freedom of speech, if it does not include freedom to insult.

  4. In one of my previous companies, I had a Sardar colleague. Every time he used to go on vacation, he would come back with complete amnesia of his job function. I mean, his complete memory of his role would be wiped clean. He needed to be trained practically from the scratch after every vacation, however short it might be. Needless to say, everybody in the company used to be terrified whenever he used to announce his vacations, because it meant long training hours for the rest of us when he would come back.

    Just my experience of dealing with Sikhs. Others might have had a different experience 🙂

  5. Some stereotypes held by my father (a Telugu man with some amount of education in Karnataka) (and he does not believe these things too seriously and thank heavens for that because that it would make him seem kinda dumb to me if he believes all these things are real though I know for a fact that he is anything but dumb):
    1. Tamil people and Malayalis: cunning and calculating, untrustworthy, in-general bad and evil people
    2. People of Karnataka: quite docile and friendly, highly noble, respectable and admirable people
    3. People of Maharashtra (or of Shirdi only perhaps): untrustworthy, have a tendency to cheat and deceive people

    And my mother once in my childhood made me aware of this Telugu saying, apparently (or she might have made that one up or it might even be fake news), that goes AMdhrulu Arambha shUrulu, which means ‘Telugu people are quite great and enthusiastic at the beginnings of activities [and lose all their capability and vigour and every other nice quality in relation to work as time progresses]’.

    My extraordinarily awesome grandmother does not know many specific locations and cultural minutiae of those locations except Krishna district and erstwhile Rangareddy district so she is not familiar with any regional stereotypes.

  6. I have some

    Gujratis view the sindhis/marwaris the same way the rest of the world view the gujratis, business savy,i have a marwari freind who grew up in gujrat who badmouth the marwari from rajastan because he felt more gujrati than marwari.

    Sikhs (specially outside punjab) : Open hearted /courageous but foolish . They are seen as the embodiment of the hindi saying “Everyone wants a son like Bhagat Singh, but the neighbor’s son”, where we put on “martial” roles on them and expect them to excel.

    Bengalis: The french of India, soft ,girls are bold , dominating and “easy”, boys are pussy, highly cultured , mostly live in their world. Cant fight even if their life dependent on it.

    North India view on South: One unit, “what’s their problem with hindi ?”, comparatively effeminate than north indians, can be bullied.

    South Indian view on North: uncultured Taliban, mad people

    Muslims: Good Muslim(patriotic, non hijabi, Hindu-lite) vs Bad Muslim (ghettoized,beef eater)

    1. “Gujratis view the sindhis/marwaris the same way the rest of the world view the gujratis, business savy,i have a marwari freind who grew up in gujrat who badmouth the marwari from rajastan because he felt more gujrati than marwari.”

      “Sikhs (specially outside punjab) : Open hearted /courageous but foolish . They are seen as the embodiment of the hindi saying “Everyone wants a son like Bhagat Singh, but the neighbor’s son”, where we put on “martial” roles on them and expect them to excel.”
      Bharatiyas are enjoyers of food, studying, gossiping about Bollywood, Tollywood and Hollywood; and keeping up appearances. Definitely not fighters. Bharatiya need Sikhs to protect them or Bharatiya’s are toast. If not for Sikhs all of Bharat would have fallen to Takfiri Jihadis long ago.

      “Bengalis: The french of India, soft ,girls are bold , dominating and “easy”, boys are pussy, highly cultured , mostly live in their world. Cant fight even if their life dependent on it.”
      LOL LOL LOL LOL!!!! Best of the lot

      “North India view on South: One unit, “what’s their problem with hindi ?”, comparatively effeminate than north indians, can be bullied.”
      Something to that.

      “South Indian view on North: uncultured Taliban, mad people”

      “Muslims: Good Muslim(patriotic, non hijabi, Hindu-lite) vs Bad Muslim (ghettoized,beef eater)”
      Very true. Bharatiya love muslim Bollywood actresses.

    2. “Bengalis: The french of India, soft ,girls are bold , dominating and “easy””

      People from repressed cultures find (normal) women from other communities ‘easy’. It’s a funny adjective to use – reflecting more on the user than the one qualified by it.

    1. Maybe Bengalis. They had their glory period under the Brits. Bengali renaissance etc.

      Not sure about Karnataka, especially the northern part. BJP wouldn’t have the appeal it does otherwise.

      1. Well the point was if Indians largely felt as “wounded civilization” as Slapstik says then the BJP would have been far more successful then it is. In my view the North largely has that view while Bengal/South doesn’t. Had Naipual been a son of a South Indian/Bengali immigrant he would perhaps not had the same view as well.

        I agree that Bengali s dont have that not necessarily just because of Brits but they have a different view of Sultanate/Mughals as well. On Karnataka i think you over estimate Hindutva appeal considering the BJP power really emanates due to careful caste collaboration (UC+Lingayat) rather than Hindutva. Before the 90s the Lingayat had a party of their own (Janta Party) whose disbandment LED to BJP rise. If tomorrow Yadavs starts voting for the BJP in Bihar after disbandment of Lalu need not necessarily mean that they are voting on Hindutva but due to caste factors(just like they do now)

        1. Hello Sword-Sharp Sauravji,

          I don’t know if my definition of the term wounded civilisation is the same as yours as is Slapstik’s but what you say is again very likely true to a large extent: the causes may be different in Bengal compared to the south India’s though, excepting Karnataka probably. As far as I can see, in the Telugu and Tamil speaking regions, casteism, clannishness and a vague tribalism completely overwhelm most other domains of Hindu life in general excepting perhaps the life of Telugu Brahmins, Tamil Iyengar Brahmins and religious Tamil Iyers in that order (edit: I’m now inclined to put Telugu Brahmins, and majorly those of the East Godavari type specifically, between Iyengars and Iyers). This may be the major cause of the lack of a type of classical Hindu consciousness in Telugu-speaking regions (Tamil-speaking regions also have a history of anti-classical-Hinduism and anti-Sanskrit views so that also contributes quite probably) perhaps, though it is very likely increasing a lot currently. Kerala’s major current of Hinduism goes back to Ezhava reforms and also the Nambutiri Brahmin self-reform of the last century it appears and thus the classical civilisation is probably quite limited there as well. Karnataka is probably the closest candidate in south India to be a living breathing place for classical Hinduism because all the three schools of Shankara, Ramanuja and Madhva have active adherents in the place and Kannada Brahmins are still quite visibly dominant in the social sphere of Karnataka.

          In addition to the above, one thing I’d like to point out is that, classical Hinduism might not have been so big in history also in some places of south India – these locations might include some Telangana and Rayalaseema districts and also probably some non-Kaveri-delta type areas of Tamil Nadu (am not aware of any of this; just speculating). Basically, I would think that in olden days, the percentage Brahmin population in an area might have kinda predicted the extent of classical Hinduism in that area, and in the Telugu-speaking regions, Brahmins were likely concentrated in the Krishna-Godavari (particularly the Godavari delta) delta at all points in history compared to the other regions and those districts are kinda the most classical-Hindu today (and you have to kinda include Shirdi Sai Baba worship so widespread in Telugu states also here because it is essentially a phenomenon originated by an East Godavari Brahmin apparently, likely a Smarta Brahmin, according to what I read in an article once somewhere).

          1. But again, it is not my intention to disrespect anybody here – I might have been wrong in several places above. For example, there is a certain type of classical Hindu spirit, though unconscious, embedded in the somewhat folk landscape of the religion of Telangana generally perceived by us: I have recently come to know that the river Godavari is actually called Ganga in many Telangana districts. In the context of the Telugu-speaking regions though, Godavari (along with Gautami) is the super-classical name with connections to the Puranic literature and the histories and mythologies of the Godavari delta Telugu Brahmins. But still, Telangana people calling the river Ganga, after the most sacred river for Hindus, is definitely interesting.

          2. Not to forget that many people of Telangana observe Mahalaya Amavasya too, which is not a big thing in the coastal regions, if I’m not wrong. It is probably the case that the religion of Telangana is a blend of classical Hinduism and folk Hinduism.

  7. Interesting perspectives Santosh. Hmmm. Godavari is one of the holiest rivers of all in her own right. This is why so many want to travel to the Godavari river.

    For me the most religious and spiritual place in India is the South (Tamil Nadu/AP in particular). I also find Karnataka, Maharashtra and Telangana to be highly religious and spiritual.

    I have been to Kerala a few times. But don’t feel I understand Kerala as well. I have many, many close Keralite friends. I don’t understand their description of Kerala.

    In most of India muslims, Christians and the rest (Hindu ecosystem blob of blobs) kind of mingle together. They go to each others spiritual centers and are a big happy dysfunctional slightly crazy family. Of these these are the syncretic Hindu tilted muslims. The type that often vote for the BJP. Although to be honest they like most Indians from all faiths don’t really care who wins elections.

    I have been told that relations between Muslims, Christians and the rest are more complex in Kerala. Sure this is not universal. There are Sufi lineages. However these stories of sectarian conflict appear unique to the state. Let me give you an example. Many of you have heard of Ammachi. I have never been to her ashram. However I assumed it was full of Keralite Christians and Keralite Muslims like many other Indian Hindu/Buddhist/Sikh/Jain/Parsi centers. But Ammachi devotees have told me it is not, which I found very puzzling. They said non Keralite christians and muslims come. But not Keralite ones. Again this is hearsay.

    I have heard many other accounts from Kerala that I found bizarre. For example the tension between Syriac (including Thomas) Christians and evangelicals. [I have been told that many Syriac christians are allied with the BJP against evangelicals.] Keralite Hindus fight each other like dogs and cats. I can’t make heads or tails out of Kerala intra muslim relations. And that they all fight each other in ways that are rare in India.

    I have also been told that Keralite intra politics is the most bitter and insane in India. [Which I find hard to believe.]

    1. LOL AnAn! My knowledge is mostly bookish because I’m not at all well-travelled and I could not so far manage to go to even Guruvayur for an old vow (I have never visited Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala in my life so far lol; well it’s perhaps better to count what places I went to rather than not: it would be just Maharashtra and Uttarakhand lol) so I can’t contribute anything much here. And on this bookish basis I’m referring to, I am personally more inclined towards Sauravji’s view in that I also find “north India” (whatever it is supposed to include; the Upper Ganges basin perhaps) to the most religiously, culturally, socially and Kshatriya-like-Dharmic-militant Hindu place (“Hindutva” is really the original and correct Hinduism in many ways lol) on earth in many ways.

      1. I have always noted that Punjabi Hindus, who lost so much in Partition violence are by and large secular people. Always ready to break into Urdu shayari and willing to engage Pakistanis in online forums, and seriously believing in woolly-headed notions about Ganga-Jamani tehzeeb and things like that. On the contrary Maharashtrians, especially Maharashtrian Brahmins, who didn’t suffer any personal loss in Partition are always militantly Hindu. Perplexing to me.

        1. Snake Charmer, very interesting perspectives. Sadly I only really visited (as in a few times) Mumbai (which I still identify as Bombay), which is most definitely not Maharashtra (other than being its most important city :LOL: )

          I am familiar with the following Maharashtra religious and spiritual lineages (and know some practitioners in them):
          —Four Avarna (or untouchable/Harijan/Dalit) siblings who are the spiritual giants of Marathi Hinduism [Nivruttinath (1273 CE), Dnyaneshwar (1275 CE), Sopan (1277 CE) and Muktabai (1279 CE)]
          —The four siblings’ contemporary and admirer Namdev. Note that Namdev’s sayings and teachings feature prominently in the Guru Granth Sahib. Nanaka deeply revered Namdev.
          —Narasimha Saraswati (reincarnation of Sri Sri Paada Vallabha and ashta avataara of Dattatreya)
          —Janardan Swami. He was a great Sufi master. He is thought to have physically met Dattatreya in the form of Narasimha Saraswati and was a devotee of Dattatreya. He had many muslim and Arab devotees. One of his most famous devotees is Eknath.
          —Eknath, disciple of Janardhan Swami (the Sufi)
          —Samarth Ram Dev

          Modern saints (they all revered each other and are treated jointly in many ways):
          —Swami Samarth (reincarnation of Narasimha Saraswati and ashta avataara of Dattatreya)
          —Shirdi (regarded by muslims as a Sufi Auliya Pir Faqir, and by Hindus as the incarnation of Dattatreya (connected to Sri Sri Paada Vallabha/Narasimha Saraswati/Swami Samarth), other Hindus consider him to be an avatara of other deities or Krishna. Shirdi is probably one of the five most visited muslim pilgrimage sites in the world
          —Gajanan Maharaj
          —Gagangiri Maharaj
          —Bidkar Maharaj
          —Upasni Maharaj
          —Janakidas Maharaj
          —Sati Godavari Mataji
          —Hazrat Babajan (Sufi)
          —Hazrat Tajuddin Baba
          —Narayan Maharaj

          Which of these traditions do you find to be Hindutva?

          1. Most of your list consists of figures of medieval Bhakti movement. I am talking about modern day Maharashtrians.

          2. Snake Charmer, what spiritual or religious traditions are the Maharashtrans you speak of affiliated with?

            These are the saints and parampara traditions I am familiar with from the top of my head. There are no doubt many others I am not familiar with.

            Notice I included many recent Maharasthran saints. Note that some of them are very orthodox. But even the most orthodox revere others who are not (including the great Sufi masters). While a very orthodox master might spiritually guide muslims and christians; they might be extremely harsh and disciplinary with people from orthodox Brahmin families and insist that they follow their traditions to the tee.

        2. Okay so the “north India” I was thinking about is actually Maharashtra next door? Anyway sarpamaugdhEyuDu gArU, maybe the Maharashtrian Brahmin religiosity that has an element of militancy attached to it comes from them likely being the major set of descendants of the hot-headed parashurAma?

          1. Santosh, did Parashuraama have children? Didn’t know he did. I thought Parasurama’s people are called Bhaargava after Bhrigu (Parashuraama’s great grandfather, star in the sky, ancient son of Brahma, former sapta rishi from prior manvantara . . . or sapa rishi alumni if you will). Brighu’s descendents are called Bhaargava. Which is complicated since based on my recollection Brighu keeps coming during different time periods (some call them reincarnations). Each with different origin stories.

            I do not agree that Parashuraama was a hot head. He is actually pretty nice. And an avataara of Vishnu.

            The Maharashtra spiritual masters (Sufi and eastern) often appear angry from the outside. They often tell people to get out or get lost. Some people say they are “too angry”. They also burn people and throw things at people and hit them. Nothing wrong with this. It is to spiritually help people. But people are very afraid of them.

            Maharasthtra is one of the main centers of Sufism. Is the issue that the Sufis can get quite upset with Islamists leading to clashes. Where the Hindus/Sikhs side with the Sufis? I don’t know if this is true or not.

            “Maharashtrian Brahmin religiosity” what is their parampara or spiritual lineage. Are they Shirdi Sai Baba devotees?

          2. Lol the Parashurama thing was majorly meant to be a devious attempt on my part to snap into focus the wonderful Sahyadris, their people and the Parashuramic legacy and heritage. That’s all and not meant as any real thing. Now that you mention it, I realise that I don’t know about the later life of Parashurama after his matricide and the wiping clean the earth of Kshatriyas 21 times. I do know that he turns up once in the Ramayana later on but I really don’t know any further about him. He is a celibate, it seems, am I right in considering that? And yes, people with bhArgava type names, gotras, etc. are supposed to be descendants of bhRgu, I also think.

            And yes, Parashurama was also not the archetypal hot head I suppose now. That one is probably dUrvAsa and his descendants (again just joking; I don’t know if he has any real descendants) are supposed to be present among the Telugu Brahmins, going by a Telugu surname that I’m familiar with, present in Telugu Brahmins, that goes dUrvAsula, meaning ‘of dUrvAsulu’.

            And you caught me red handed related to the Maharashtrian Brahmin religiosity thing also, since I too was quite unclear when I myself was writing that. To be honest, all the Brahmins everywhere in India look kinda similar to me but saying that is probably racist (LOL!) so I’ll take it back. Anyway leave it alone, the magic (or the lack of it) is lost now. And as far as I see and I say this with no significant knowledge whatsoever of Maharashtra Brahmins but I generally tend to observe that Brahmins tend to be quite conservative with respect to their theology and don’t easily accept deities worshipped by lower-caste-background Hindus like Ayyappa, etc., at least this is my observation in the Telugu-speaking regions. It may be different related to Shirdi Sai Baba though because there is a strong attachment of this personage to the Dattatreya tradition which is like ultra-orthodox Brahmanical and everyone involved in the recent Shankaracharya-Shirdi controversy from the Shankaracharya to Sai Baba devotees missed this historical fact. But in any case, I still feel that Brahmins in Maharashtra may be sharply divided with regard to the question of the divinity of Shirdi Sai Baba; it’s a conjecture and I may be wrong. Coming to the other question, I read somewhere that Brahmins of Maharashtra similar to the other Hindus of Maharashtra have the concept of Kuladaivatas, like say Bhavani, Ganesh, Vyankateshwar, Mahalakshmi, Panduranga Vitthal, etc. but I can’t guarantee if I’m right.

          3. My guess is that Maharashtrians’ Hindu militant character comes from their sense of loss of their Maratha empire. They think that they were the ruling elites of India, and now they are reduced to ordinariness.

            I have seen the same sense of loss of prestige in Rajputs from Rajasthan too. Kings reduced to commoners. All that remains is tales of faded glory. Must be difficult to swallow.

        3. Snake Charmer, I have noticed that many Indians are very hawkish on Pakistan even if their religious views are syncretic and universalist. Is that what you mean by “militantly hindu”?

          Let me re-phrase, are you referring to Hindus who reject:
          “sarva dharma sarva bhaava”
          If so, can you elaborate.

  8. This thread is missing…. the JAGGU!

    Yo bredrin’ ‘sup? Missed the browcast. Y u don’t interview my bro kabir too. honestly like to learn kathak… those indi nautch girls are my latest fad. Got to get into a kathak groove…

    While i was away in uzbekiston, indians released a song about how awesome I’m. Looks like the ghazis are being praised even before the full-on ghazwa begins to spank the Kuffar arse, mashaAllah! Enjoyz:

    1. Jagguji, please don’t leave us again. I was suffering Jaggu withdrawal.

      The music totally matches your rythmic larger than universe (“larger than life” doesn’t do Jagguji justice) personality. Love the music. Deserves a post by itself!

  9. One aspect of South Indians I noted is that they feel a bit of a complex compared to North Indians. For whatever reasons they think that North Indians have better communication skills (which in Indian context essentially means that they think North Indians speak better English), and are more flamboyant and outgoing.

    One of my South Indian friend surprised me with an off-hand remark that he was being held back in his career because his company prefers North Indians for senior roles, presumably because they are more articulate. And this is when the company he works for is owned by South Indians (HCL America).

    1. This is a bit surprising to me.
      Most of my life I have lived amongst North Indians and they almost always think that South Indians speak *much* better English. There’s even some standup comedy video on it from a few years ago I can’t currently find a link to.

      That plus South Indians are usually considered more academically disciplined.

      Somewhat negative stereotype is that they play by the book while Northies are better at improvising.

      Compare Chatur vs Rancho in 3 Idiots.

      1. Agree with Prats. I would add that South Indians are India’s nerds! :LOL: Thank God India likes nerds.

        Prats, are North Indians regarded as more physically attractive than South Indians by some? Physical attractiveness helps in being promoted to senior positions. Maybe this is the phenomenon Snake Charmer is seeing.

    2. I would put it more like introversion-extraversion factor. Indians as a people generally feel like they are quite extroverted (and according to the Myers-Briggs personality types which are deemed as pseudoscientific for the most part these days, they have this concept of national personalities too in which India gets some type beginning with E which stands for extraversion.) but among them south Indians are probably the least extroverted. That’s why the conflict probably. I myself for example, have a huge complex related to this fact – I always feel so out of place in India and among Indians as I’m so radically introverted and only because of this particular factor and not any other thing (well, at least not so much). I’m in many ways the stereotypical “maladjusted nerd” (but a true low-IQ dumb nerd, not the in-the-process-of-becoming-a-geek nerd lol) that Snake Charmer mentioned a while ago on some thread somewhere.

      1. Santosh, I had not thought of that.

        North Indians might be considered more extroverted. Although I have not heard that before, I can see why that might be so.

      2. But not to say that their extraversion makes them silly stupid people or something. It is just an outer cover. Indians and Indian men in particular are probably the most stoic species on this earth and India’s most important contribution to the world has to be its stoic men.

  10. Santosh, you are way too worried about offending people or making a mistake. No need to be! Relax.

    I am very connected with Andhra spiritual lineages. Which are very close to Maharati ones. [Can someone explain why this is to me?]

    Telegu people have very strong rules of saucha and suchi. Or purity. However they are among the best Sanskrit scholars, musicians and chanters of Sanskrit in the world. They also have a lot of intellectual freedom in their discussions on spirituality. Have you found that this intellectual freedom only applies to people considered “smart” and “learned”? I am trying to understand your perspective.

    I know Telegu people who are incredibly strict about only allowing “real” Brahmins to cook their food. Since most Brahmins are fake, it is incredibly challenging! And this is the least of their rules for purity.

    1. Probably the connection with the Godavari river is what unites faraway Maharashtra and Andhra perhaps, AnAn. The Krishna river is a bit how-to-put-it teeny-tiny-bit less Brahmanical though it is also amply Brahmanical.

      And I really don’t know about most of the other stuff that you have written except that, indeed, Telugu Brahmin poets still have kept the classical saMskRtAndhraM-type literary culture alive and they have single handedly resurrected the old Sanskrit art of avadhAna (avadhAnam?) (I again can’t be bothered about the stupid Sanskrit gender lol) and they do it for Telugu and Sanskrit. Kannada people and Tamil people soon adopted it and do their Avadhanas in Kannada, Tamil and Sanskrit. All the rest of us Telugu people are mostly brutes lol, culturally speaking.

      And sorry very much, I did not understand anything about the cooking thing.

      1. Santosh, these same super strict orthodox Brahmins would gladly take food cooked by a spiritually evolved Avarna (without Varna or foreigner). The rules of Saucha and Suchi were put in place to facilitate mystical experience. But some I think put the letter ahead of the spirit.

  11. Now that I keep thinking about it, it seems there is something to the idea that south Indians on average tend to be more introverted compared to south Indians. Recently I have heard Jordan Peterson saying that extroverted people tend to be more intelligent and creative compared to us dumb introverts so given that north Indians and north-Indian-background people consistently produce a lot of geniuses compared to south Indians (like the ancient Iron Age polities, several classic treatises on the subject of the human condition and the workings of the world in general, and even before that apparently proto-dentistry (!), flush toilets, and then AKS primality test, almost all of the post-Infosys-Wipro-type IT-related and other engineering-startup-related stuff in India), it may be that their relatively high extraversion contributes in making them be more creative, talented and visionary compared to south Indians.

    1. Very interesting. I think there are plenty of genius South Indians too. I haven’t tried to assemble a data base of geniuses so I can’t verify the per capita genius quota by region.

      Having said this, can you think of any state or region in SAARC that has not produced many geniuses over the past 5,000 years?

      Even the economically poor parts of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh are only poor now. They weren’t always poor. At one time they too had geniuses.

      1. Of course AnAn! Afghanistan had the extraordinarily genius Panini! And Bengali people of Bangladesh consume lots and lots of their mAch with relish just like their Indian Bengali brethren so they are bound to be quite genius lol. And no, south Indians generally tend to produce geniuses extremely rarely only – things like Srinivasa Ramanujan are so extraordinarily rare in south India that practically we can count them out and round the number down to 0.

        But anyway, I would be very much interested in your database. Please do make it and preferably make your next post about this topic.

        1. Hi Santosh, random question that your expertise may be able to answer, is it quite common for Dravidian etymons to lose their retroflexion overtime, or in an evolution to a new related word? e.g. retroflex L becoming dental l? Is that the usual direction?

          1. Hello Karan,

            Yes, it is quite a common sound change and the direction is as given by you.

            But if we see it a bit more deeply, it depends on the particular retroflex phoneme under consideration. The reflexes of the retroflex stop *T seem to have been quite stable and they have retained their retroflex nature in many modern Dravidian languages. However, the voiced retroflex lateral approximant *L and voiced retroflex nasal *N are seen to be a bit unstable and they are not phonemic in many languages of the South Dravidian-II, Central Dravidian and North Dravidian today. (Telugu which is a South Dravidian-II language for example underwent a very thorough deretroflexion sound change associated with these two phonemes and we don’t have *L and *N in the native element (replaced by the alveolar lateral approximant *l and alveolar nasal *n respectively) except in Sanskrit (and Kannada also probably) loanwords. However, both -LL- and -NN- do show up as clusters natively due to some morphophonological rules arisen in some environments in the later history of Telugu but then even these tend to get simplified to -ll- and -nn- in non-standard speech forms in many dialects; example: Old Telugu peNDili, ‘marriage’ –> Early Modern Telugu and current Modern Standard Telugu peLLi –> current non-standard dialectal speech forms pelli.)

            Majorly the South Dravidian-I branch (I’m not much familiar with the phonologies of the Nilgiri languages, Tulu and Kodagu so am not including them here for the most part but mainly due to my lack of knowledge), including Kannada, tends to preserve retroflex nasal and lateral as phonemes (it of course preserves the stop *T well also). The deretroflexion sound change that affected the other three branches by a contact-based spread process as opposed to being dependent on genetic descent is also considered by some to be related to the Indo-Aryan sound change of *N –> *n and also *L –> *l that took place in the ancestors of many eastern Hindi dialects, Bengali, Assamese, Nepali, etc. A very short discussion about the possible “north-east trade/whatever network hypothesis” (my coinage) of the 1st millennium AD that this linguistic data points to, is present in the book “Languages and Linguistics of South Asia” , section 2.6.4, authored by linguist Hans Henrich Hock, accessible on Google Books.

            The actual origin of the retroflex lateral approximants, nasals and stops in Proto-Dravidian speech in the first place is a bigger debate. It’s best I won’t get into that now.

  12. Since he’s got caught lying about ‘stan’ and Sanskrit and especially since I wrote that Turkish Islamic occupation in Europe was extremely primitive without any cultural and other legacies, Kabir is again trying to introduce the banning of my comments. He is playing dumb allegedly not knowing that he can avoid my comments by choosing Recent Comments (or Posts). So as his predecessor who my writing about Turkish genocide which decimated the Serb population (and later against Armenians) qualified as historical revisionism and Serbian chauvinism he also talk, without any supporting evidence, about Serbian nationalism.

    I always wrote about Serbia in a context of the actual SA topic (e.g. Islam, Aryans expeditions, ancient languages, similarities with Indian mythology, common history, etc). He states that ‘Aryan issue’ is a niche topic, not understanding that it is the corner stone not only of Indian (& SA) than also of worldwide history which needs to be written again. It is not strange considering that his religious beliefs do not recognise the nations nor the existence of history before the fairly recent point in time. He may also personally accepted the fact that Turkish/Islamic legacies in Europe are the dumbest and the most backward population (Bosniacs) and the bottom of human civilisation (Albanians) which primitivism gives them a competitive advantage to be the leading narco-dealers in the world.

    These examples together with ISIS which was not denounced by any religious leader in the world (including Bosnia and Kosovo) and cases like Aasia Bibi or Kashogi make perception in Europe of strong links between Islam and primitivity. All credit to Zach for his integrity and courage to raise his voice against primitivity and paedophilia. Finally, considering that today’s Pakistan was in areas of the strongest Aryan influences it would not be surprise if Kabir’s ancestors were also Serbs Aryans what he should check by making an appointment to visit Dr Khan at his earliest convenience before his mindset got much worse.

    1. First of all, no one is trying to “ban” your comments. I, for one, don’t have that kind of power here. I was simply expressing the opinion that it is very boring to have your pet theory about Serbians being posted over and over again. I’m sure I’m not the only one that feels that way. Fringe theories take away from the credibility of this blog.

      As for my ancestors: I don’t buy into your theory and neither do I really care whether my ancestors were “Aryan” or not. Most Pakistanis are not interested in the Aryan Invasion Theory vs. Out of India because we don’t have any vested interest in trying to prove that we were always in the subcontinent.

      Finally, comments about people being the “bottom of human civilization” are extremely bigoted and beyond the pale in the 21st century.

      1. “Most Pakistanis are not interested in the Aryan Invasion Theory vs. Out of India because we don’t have any vested interest in trying to prove that we were always in the subcontinent.’

        I would say most Pakistani dont have that because they are “out of India’ anyway so what their to debate. Before Bin Qasim it was all dark ages.

    2. The Serbs, Byzantium, Germanic tribes of Europe, were technologically and culturally advanced before 632 AD. I am stunned that people still argue this point.

      Milan, we should chat some time. Remember that many on the global post modernist cultural marxist establishment celebrate Islamism and condemn moderate Islam.

      Can you share your thoughts regarding the Roman empire? Byzantium? How did they treat Serbs?

      I don’t want to be accused of sectarianism; but I have long noticed the difference between Greek Orthodox and Catholicism. The former has traditionally had more eastern philosophy type streams embedded inside it. [Of course I think the world of John of the Cross and Theresa of Avila.] But I don’t know how to discuss this without being accused of being an anti Christian bigot so rarely do.

      You are right that in the 1990s there was a bit of a backlash against Greek Orthodox by Catholics and Protestants. I think that is over now. Putin has become popular among many conservative Christians. Christians in Europeans, Latin America and North America feel so under siege they need the help of Greek Orthodox. Not sure they fully understand Greek Orthodox, however.

  13. And while we are on this topic, let me write about my observations on some non-Indian national characters too. Some of the most difficult people to work with are Chinese. They are so secretive and insecure that it is extremely difficult to make them part with any information, however innocuous it might be. I mean, even if you ask a Chinese coworker a most harmless question, like where the restroom is located in the building, they will look at you so suspiciously as if you were asking them about some military secret. May be it is their experience of living in a totalitarian state that has affected their psyche at the deepest level.

    Jews- they steadfastly live up to their stereotype of being money grabbers. I have personally seen their parsimonious and greedy character, and felt completely disgusted by it. And I found no difference between American Jews and new Jewish immigrants from Russia. They are all same. Greed for money really runs in their blood.

    Blacks – generally speaking I like them. Others might have different opinion of them, but I never really had any issues with them.

    Arabs- I never interacted with them for an extended period, but I have known people who have worked in Gulf. And I have not found a single person who has liked them. Every single non-Arab working in Gulf countries comes back with pure hatred for them. Apparently the most blatantly racist people on earth.

    1. Snake Charmer the Chinese experience is partly cultural. Someone has to break into their culture to some degree. Don’t want to elaborate more on it now. Personally I really like Chinese people.

      Would you like to see the Asian Capitalists interviewed on Brown Cast?

      There are many different Blacks. From continent. From Caribbean. From Mexico. From Brazil. From the rest of Latin America. From Canada. From the UK. From France. Even inside the US there are several sub-cultures. More on that later.

      “Arabs- I never interacted with them for an extended period, but I have known people who have worked in Gulf. And I have not found a single person who has liked them. Every single non-Arab working in Gulf countries comes back with pure hatred for them. Apparently the most blatantly racist people on earth.”

      It scares me to even write this, but you might be understating your case. Described how Arabs treat Pakistanis and Deshis:

      Let me just share an anecdote which is public source. Lakhdar Brahimi, the UN special representative to Iraq, in 2004 was at a meeting with the Iraqi Governing Council (a group of 25 Iraqi leaders). At the meeting Lakhdar Brahimi, an Algerian, introduced himself as a fellow Arab. Many of the Iraqis in the room were irate [They saw themselves as Kurds, Yezidi, Turkmen, Christian, Babylonian, Sumerian of Gilgamesh stock, Akkadian, twelver, or something else] But on one thing most of them were agreed, they hated the non Iraqi Sunni Arab. Iraqis were treated like animals by non Iraqi Sunni Arabs.

      Between 2003 and 2007 the US forced the Iraqis to meet Arab League representatives (non Iraqi Arabs) to negotiate peace with them and end the war. These sessions became kangaroo sessions. Curse words flying. Even X rated is not a high enough rating for all the horrendous insults flying around. American diplomats would sit in the middle in complete shock. If you didn’t figure it out, these “peace negotiations” went nowhere.

      But then in 2007 and 2008 the Iraqi Army shocked the Arab world by winning a series of massive military victories. Slaughtering the foreign fighters in mass. In America this is sometimes called the “surge”. Of course it was the Iraqi surge. The Iraqis played for keeps. Iraqi violence fell 95%. And then the most amazing thing happened. All the lovely neighborly Arab brothers started flashing fake smiles at the Iraqis. Saying that they loved the Iraqis all along and just wanted to be their best friends forever (BFF). Of course the Iraqis then made peace with the lovely brotherly Arab neighbors. The lovely brotherly Arab neighbors brought the Iraqi resistance (Al Qaeda for home-gamers) back to their home countries and Iraq saw relative peace for a while.

      It is not the policy positions of the Arabs that was the biggest issue. Racism, patriarchy, sectarianism, bigotry, prejudice, fascism, nazism, oppression, exploitation, hegemony, imperialism, colonialism is not great. But it was fine. Iraqis could live with that. It was the rank lying, hypocrisy, fakeness, inauthenticity that got to them.

    2. “Greed for money really runs in their blood”– amazing to see such anti-semitic views being openly expressed in 2019.

      It’s generally not a good idea to generalize about entire races, religions, etc. Maybe you had some bad experiences with individuals, but it is not fair to categorize an entire group based on that. That’s the definition of bigotry.

      1. Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The last hour would not come unless the Muslims will fight against the Jews and the Muslims would kill them until the Jews would hide themselves behind a stone or a tree and a stone or a tree would say: Muslim, or the servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me; come and kill him; but the tree Gharqad would not say, for it is the tree of the Jews.

        Sahih Muslim 41:6985, see also Sahih Muslim 41:6981, Sahih Muslim 41:6982, Sahih Muslim 41:6983, Sahih Muslim 41:6984, Sahih Bukhari 4:56:791

        1. What is your point? There are some Hadiths that would today be considered anti-semitic, which perhaps reflect the historical context of the early Muslims being at war with certain Jewish tribes. That is no excuse for bigotry in 2019.

        2. What a moderate or non Islamist muslim would generally say is that these verses were time specific and not generally applicable.

          One of the reasons for the 14 century civil war among muslims that started 632 AD (and that has seen Islamists kill over 100 million moderate muslims) is debates over verses like this between moderates and Islamists.

          Many minority, moderate and liberal muslims do not accept the 6 hadiths as fully accurate. Islamists respond “this is haram!” (illegal) Islamists retaliate by killing minority, moderate and liberal muslims.

          Another example of verses at the center of the Islamic civil war are the many verses that forbid music. Veedu Vidz the wise elaborates on this here:

          [must watch]

          David, do you think that the world’s 6 billion nonmuslims should stand in solidarity and “ally-ship” with the minority, moderate and liberal muslims against Islamists?

        1. It is not a crime, but it is generally considered beyond the pale for decent people. Bigotry is generally not looked on positively.

        2. Kabir, this is not an argument. This is ad hominem and doesn’t help Jewish people at all. If you really want to respond to Snake Charmer share your own personal experiences with Jewish people and discuss how awesome Jewish people are. That is the way to affect people’s perspectives over time.

          If Zack didn’t tell me otherwise I would suspect you were an internet personality by an Islam and Pakistan critic trying to passive aggressive discredit Islam and Pakistan by presenting a cartoon exaggeration.

          It is sometimes hard to be on “your side” as it were when you seem intent on discrediting your side of the argument.


          Snake Charmer, since many of my friends are Jewish I can’t reconcile your description with by personal anecdotal experiences.

          Jews are the most oppressed people in the history of the world. Honestly my heart cries out for them.

          However whatever Kabir says, you are not a bad person. I think your views of Jewish people will evolve as you interact with more Jews and study Jewish culture. To be with Jews is to love them. Many Jews are Jnaan Margis. Many are Bhakti margis. Many are Karma margis. Some (Kabbalah) are even Raja Yoga margis. What is not to love?

          1. I have absolutely zero patience for bigotry. No one needs to be “awesome” (what a juvenile term by the way) but statements like “greed for money runs in their blood” are completely and utterly unacceptable in 2019.

            Don’t presume to tell me how I should respond to people. It is not appreciated. If people don’t want to be called on their bigotry, they should refrain from making bigoted remarks.

          2. “greed for money runs in their blood”

            Is the reason this bothers you because deep inside yourself you fear this applies to Deshis (SAARC people)? Is it the mirror which bothers you?

            Jewish people are mature and strong. They either don’t care about criticisms of this kind or have a bemused smile. Their mental peace, happiness and loving feeling inside themselves is unaffected. We don’t need to patronize, condescend to Jewish people like delicate young kids needing our protection.

            In any case Snake Charmer should be a natural ally of the Jewish people with similar values and long term interests. Both Snake Charmer and Jews benefit from an alliance with each other. A fratricide between Snake Charmer and the great, good and just Jewish people serves the Islamist and post modernist marxist agenda.

          3. “Greed for money runs in their blood” is a bigoted and anti-semitic statement. It has nothing to do with “Deshis”, “Islamists” or “post-modernists”.

            People should be judged as individuals. Generalizations about people based on their race or religion are usually based on stereotypes and bigotry.

          4. “People should be judged as individuals. Generalizations about people based on their race or religion are usually based on stereotypes and bigotry.”

            Agreed. This is an excellent tear down of Islamism, and post modernist intersectional cultural marxism. This is why there should be no such thing as white guilt, white supremacy, white privilege, asian privilege, majoritarian privilege and the like.

  14. “My guess is that Maharashtrians’ Hindu militant character comes from their sense of loss of their Maratha empire. They think that they were the ruling elites of India, and now they are reduced to ordinariness.

    I have seen the same sense of loss of prestige in Rajputs from Rajasthan too. Kings reduced to commoners. All that remains is tales of faded glory. Must be difficult to swallow.”

    Would this be a more Kshatriya thing? I don’t know but am asking. The Marathas had many muslim allies. However I for one saw them as flawed and am not terribly saddened that they lost the third battle of Panipat in 1761 to Afghanistan.

    Many Marathis have a strong Vaishya or business perspective. Wouldn’t the business minded Marathis be more globalist and capitalist? On that other hand maybe that is what you mean by Hindutva. Since the Hindutva crowd tends to be pro business and pro globalization. Many nominally want to bring back the ancient era of globalization, open source open architecture, freedom etc. Having said this it seems that some of them don’t clearly understand what this means, having become Abrahmized over the past 1000 years. There are now many Abrahamized very confused Hindus.


    I don’t agree on Jews. Jews tend to be the best friends of Deshis. Jews tend to be on founding teams with Deshis. Tend to invest in Deshi start ups or Jewish entrepreneurs tend to be funded by Deshi VCs. Jews and Deshis work together in consulting and Wall Street. Jews are in important roles in many Hindu/Buddhist/Jain/Sikh/Taoist organizations. The current spiritual master and head of the global ISKCON Hare Krishna movement is Jewish.

    To the degree anything you say about Jews is valid, isn’t it equally valid for Deshis?

    Since many of my closest friends are Jewish I don’t fully agree with your observation. But I have seen your comments at BP for a while. You are one of the smartest most nuanced fair commentators here. So what do I know.

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