Some of the most striking findings to come out of Masala relate to body composition. Using CT scans, Dr. Kanaya and her colleagues found that South Asians have a greater tendency to store body fat in places where it shouldn’t be, like the liver, abdomen and muscles. Fat that accumulates in these areas, known as visceral or ectopic fat, causes greater metabolic damage than fat that is stored just underneath the skin, known as subcutaneous fat.
…. Cardiovascular risks tended to be highest in two groups: those who maintained very strong ties to traditional South Asian religious, cultural and dietary customs, and those who vigorously — embraced a Western lifestyle. Those with lower risk are what the researchers call bicultural, maintaining some aspects of traditional South Asian culture while also adopting some healthy Western habits.
This discrepancy plays out in their dietary behaviors. Almost 40 percent of Masala participants are vegetarian, a common practice in India that is widely regarded in the West as heart healthy. But vegetarians who eat traditional South Asian foods like fried snacks, sweetened beverages and high-fat dairy products were found to have worse cardiovascular health than those who eat what the researchers call a “prudent” diet with more fruits, vegetables, nuts, beans and whole grains (and, for nonvegetarians, fish and chicken). People who eat a Western style diet with red and processed meat, alcohol, refined carbohydrates and few fruits and vegetables were also found to have more metabolic risk factors.
I think one of the issues with the “traditional” lifestyle combined with modern affluence is that they aren’t actually eating like their (our) ancestors would eat. Though fried snacks and sweetened beverages are acceptable in vegetarian diets, I doubt that this was on the menu for many Indians who lived on vegetarian diets in the past. The two “bad” dietary options are really converging on modern processed/high cal diets from different pathways.
This may be related to a phenomenon Razib and Omar and their guests observed in the last couple of podcasts: of academics and others on the left in western countries having (and expressing) a really dim view of Hinduism and Hindu civilization, even vis a vis Islam and Islamic civilization.
My guess is that whenever a colonial atrocity is pointed out, even with sufficient evidence, people automatically think of the caste system, untouchability, Sati, etc. at the back of their minds, and that makes them come up with excuses for the coloniser. (Almost no other religion or civilization seems to have so many negatives associated with it in the Western mind, Yoga and stuff notwithstanding.)
Vidhi was saying that India should retaliate whereas I think it should be a more subtle response along the Israeli lines in the West Bank.
(1.) Everytime there are protests in the Valley, India should randomly select a sample of the protestors (maybe a third or so), strip them of their citizenship and bus them to the border so they can join Pakistan. Continue ad nauseam which will help demographics and instil enough fear to dampen potential rioters.
(2.) Abolish Section 377 and bring only the Valley under Central Rule (keep Jammu & Ladakh as it is). India should actively encourage Hindu (not just KP) immigration into Srinagir. Encourage KPs (who are India’s most endangered minority not the Parsis) to breed like rabbits (or like Muslims) and make them agents of the Indian state. Both the tepid tweets by Mehbooba Mufti & Omar Abdullah show the huge disconnect Muslim Kashmiris have with the rest of the Indian State.
(3.) India should begin to demilitarise in Kashmir and retreat to defensible borders on the LOC. With an effective and ongoing occupying force it can keep the Valley sedated with only a fifth of its standing army instead of the current million strong component. The geographic trade of Pakistan conquering Srinagir is losing half of Sindh so Pak won’t engage in conventional warfare.
(4.) BJP’s shameful backtracking on the Citizenship amendment shows the bankruptcy of democracy. The BJP should simply not allow the “new citizens” to settle in NE states, which understandably want to opt out. The “new citizens” should be redirected towards Kashmir & other sensitive regions of India, one million Bangladeshi Hindus in Srinagir will help sort things out.
No one will cry for the Muslim Kashmiris; their cause isn’t as emotive as the Palestinian one. I personally can’t understand the Kashmiri Muslim problem; they are one of the few people in India lucky enough to have Urdu as the official language of their state. They have the unique position of being cultural Pakistanis who have access to the Indian economy so they should buckle down and stop making a fuss.
It is obvious that it’s the Cult of the Holy Pedophile, also known as Muslim menace, behind it all and why it’s so important that Bharat use sickle & all to castrate Islam & its sick ideology once & for all.
The immense success Israel has had in the past two decades demonstrates that tough actions bear fruit and it’s time for the Muslim Kashmiris to step up. The Palestinian cause is far more secular (much less Muslim) than the Kashmiri one and therefore much more worthy.
The central policy challenge of the Bengali famine was that there was more than enough food WITHIN India but that food was not equitably distributed. Hence the British government's reluctance to import food to solve the problem. Plus the small matter of a existential total war.
I was flirting with a lot of topics on what to write but I’m just going to leave these tweets out here. We continued the exchange but my blood is now boiling; Vidhi always like to say “calm is a super-power” but I dislike the presumptuousness and arrogance when dispensing on the evil doings of colonialism in South Asia.
I notice many Indian commentators decry UP/Bihar backwardness but it has to do with British policy of bleeding India through her port cities.
British Development in the Subcontinent wasn’t centred in the most populous areas but rather the most productive. Say what you will about the Mughals (and John makes an uncharitable dig at them in a following tweet) but their development focus remained the UP-Bihar.
They may have been a rentier state par excellence but at the very least at least their wealth flowed back into the geographical territories that comprises modern day India
I was trying to reach out to RajMohan Gandhi for a podcast on his new book on South India. As an aside I’m trying to find people to interview for the podcasts since I want to plan out my schedule where I can.
The bare bones of a settlement are not hard to identify. One, the Hindu side admits the error in demolishing the mosque. Two, the Indian state admits its failure to prevent the demolition. Three, the Muslim side acknowledges the Hindu community’s wish to see a Ram temple rise on the site as also the Hindu community’s belief that a temple had once stood where the Babri Masjid was built. Four, not far from the site, and yet not too close to it, space for a new mosque is made available by the Hindu side and the Indian state. If necessary, the four steps can be simultaneous. In this dream-like scenario, acknowledgment of wrongdoing and restitution leads to justice as well as reconciliation.
I googled to see the state of the “ruins” of Babri Masjid at the moment and this is what I found:
Below is the original, which if I say so myself is a rather majestic piece of architecture. Simple and striking.
Following was in response to several questions regarding Pakistan’s regional challenges and current policies.
Kabuki Dance – Pakistan’s Balancing Act
Pakistan’s challenging regional environment has taken some new turns and new government of Prime Minister Imran Khan is trying to cope up with these challenges. Government’s major advantage is that it has no clash with the dominant army. In many areas of foreign policy, it has ceded significant ground to the army.
Pakistan is in a difficult spot on three issues. First is rapid pace of negotiations between Taliban and Americans with projected quick withdrawal of American troops, second is isolation of Iran and third is potential entanglement in intra-Arab rivalry with United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Saudi Arabia on one and Qatar on the other side. Pakistan is facing these regional challenges in the background of internal political instability and very serious economic downward trend. Part of political instability and associated economic meltdown is due to self-inflicted wounds. Departing from the normal process of check and balance, judiciary and army played an active role in tuning up the system that will have its own set of consequences. It has widened the political gulf and added new fissures.
Regional challenges of Pakistan are directly linked with American policies. We are living in a Trumpian world that has sowed a lot of confusion on all fronts. Every country and non-state player is adjusting positions at such a rapid speed that it is hard to make sense of every move. Pakistan is also caught in this Trumpian world on several fronts.
US policy is in disarray with no coordination between different government agencies. President Trump is using single point agents without full institutional support behind these efforts. In many cases, some power centers of Washington are diametrically opposed to President’s efforts. It is probably right time for withdrawal of American troops from both Syria and Afghanistan. Trump may have realized what Christopher Fettweis wrote in 2008 in his book Losing Hurts Twice as Bad that “bringing peace to every corner of the globe, even those whose stability we have wrecked through our own incompetence, is not necessarily in the strategic interest of the United States”. However, the method in which it is being done has confused both allies and foes. American intelligence agencies are publicly disagreeing with Trump that is unprecedented. In late January 2019, in a hearing at Senate Intelligence Committee, Director of National Intelligence and heads of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), National Security Agency (NSA) and Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) contradicted Trump on security issues. They told the committee that Iran was still abiding by the nuclear deal. Trump had pulled out of the deal stating that Tehran had broken the deal. Furious Trump sent his twitter tirade saying that ‘the intelligence people seem to be extremely passive and naïve when it comes to the dangers of Iran. They are wrong’. Continue reading “Kabuki Dance – Pakistan’s Balancing Act”
I have a suggestion for the bloggers. if you really want this blog to become popular and attract more insightful, witty and intelligent commenters, then you need to outgrow this India-Pakistan never-ending soap opera. This, and the other done-to-death Aryan-Dravidian debate occupies 90% of reading space on this blog.
I guess there’s always a niche for a Westerner to take on “Eastern topics.” I wonder if he would have gotten so much traction or controversy with his work if he was a plain old Sikh?
The Daily Telegraph would have probably not noticed him or been very careful in what it wrote. It is a bit perverse to see what is a hugely important in Indian history now being “milked”.
As an aside name me coloured Shakespearan academics (in Western institutions) or in Western history? It’s rare to see a coloured individuals teach Western history topics to white students; if Coloured are in humanities and academia, it will be in coloured topics. It’s a bit like casting white actors to play Middle Eastern and other ethnic roles.
I was ruminating the other day what was most interesting about that video of the little girl interrupting her dad on the BBC; is that the BBC had taken so much effort to find the one white American academic they could speak to in Korea about Korea.
Now it may seem I’m just having a usual gripe about Colonisers but it’s simply a reflection that the highest echelons of academa still remain steeped in white privilege.
I’ve seen this time and time again in Britain; as Britain begins to “brown”, the white spaces just grow and fossilise. There might be much gripe about diversity but Britain at the top looks and feels extremely different to urban Britain.
Minorities have a few choices at their disposal:
(1.) Struggle to the top but they will have to invisibly “whiten” as they do so. It is essentially adopting
(2.) Just focus on making money and being hyper-bourgeois; leave exciting Bohemian areas to white people.
(3.) Become angry and disaffected to be noticed but so much anger is corrosive to the soul. I get tired of every other tweet being “I cried with rage” about relatively abstract and trivial topics. I wish I could send every SJW to the third world for a 6 month to understand what “real problems are”.
(4.) Do what I do and create another base “back home.” I don’t have much privilege in the West but I sort have privilege in the East as a Westerner (yes it’s a perverse logic). Privilege is really important to get ahead in life and the absurd arguments of SJWs that they need to “atone” for their privilege is essentially that they are so far ahead that they need to give others a lift up.
In the podcast with Kushal Mehra he made an offhand comment that it was strange that conservative American intellectual Ben Shapiro was reading India After Gandhi to understand his country. Mehra’s confusion is simply that Shapiro is on the Right, but he is reading from the perspective of Indian Left to understand India. Though probably hyperbolic, perhaps it would be like a Hindu nationalist reading Howard Zinn’s A Peoples History of the United States to understand America.
I know there are issues India After Gandhi. My friend Reihan Salam thought that Amardeep Singh was entirely too uncritical when he blogged the book many years ago. Since I have no read the book I will not hazard to offer an opinion.
But, the question then remains: what books on Indian history should an American read to offer up some balance? This is a live issue, as an American conservative friend was himself considering reading India After Gandhi before being taken aback by Mehra’s comment about Shapiro and his reading habits.