While I was busy disagreeing with Indthings (the idea that “Pakistan” has a better brand value than India is hilariously untrue) they made a very good point on Raj Koothrapali.
Raj Koothrapali is a shame on all Indian men. I don’t know what Kumail’s character is like on his show but from what I’ve watched on the Big Bang Theory, but Kunal Nayyar does a huge disservice to all Brown People.
I have noticed this trait that Indian (Hindus) men are rather insensitive/unaware of their perception in the wider world but are always keen to stamp Pak/Muslims below them.
I had once read a study (I can’t link on it) that in UP, upper castes were more concerned about their relative ranks than their absolute one (tall poppy syndrome magnified).
I have noticed this with Indian origin Baha’i men. The only time they evidence strong India passions is when I or other Pakistanis around them otherwise they are totally consumed by Persian culture (I may be Turanian online but I’m super Tharoorian offline).
I find it interesting how the discourse is so fixated on Pakistan and Islam when frankly the real damage has been done by colonisation. We’ve been through this before several times but Raj Koothrapali is far more emasculating than Ala’u’ddin Khilji.
Furthermore I can understand why Pakistanis, who are on the outskirts of Brownitude, will swim away if being Brown is being Raj K. It provides an existential question; is it better to be feared (and lusted) as a potential terrorist or mocked as a sexless nerd? That’s probably a very salient question for many Pakistani men in the Diaspora as they tack on identities.
Also I feel this is more acute in the Brahmin centred societies; for instance the Tamils of Sri Lanka are probably one of the ASIest people in South Asia but are very swaggy. They’ve managed to disassociate themselves from the nerdiness of South Asian culture and sort of swim on a much cooler Afram vibe.
This isn’t to somehow absolve Pakistan and Islam; in fact my criticisms of those countries and cultures are much harsher. As Kabir B noted I routinely like to mention casually that Muhammad was a pedophile and was generally rather creepy in his sexual interests (he was busy “marrying” all the daughters of his friends; that’s outright disgusting). It’s an important of normalising that Islam, Quran, Allah and Muhammad are nothing special and are not above criticism in common discourse. “Nothing is Sacred.”
However what I have noticed is that when I condemn Pakistani culture I get praise from the Hinditvas but as soon as I target the shortcomings of Indian men; I’m the archetypal Paki.
One just can’t win and I’m noticing just how male these discussions are. For instance in Majlis when we were giving notions, I proposed
“TH believes that India/Pakistan condones gender violence/rape culture.”
Alot of the backwardness of South Asia is to do with the regressive roles of women. India is undergoing a revolution of sorts hence it will make much more rapid strides than Pakistan, where women are locked in 1950’s mode (in fact in many ways American women in the 50’s are much more progressive than Pakistani women).
One could argue that I’m hypocritical since I don’t target the lens at myself. I don’t believe in insulting individuals but ideology, religion and language are all up for fair game otherwise what’s the point. Furthermore this is “Brown” Pundits not Baha’i or Persian Pundits; IRL I spend a lot of time advocating Brown causes but it would be hypocritical for me not to criticize the immense failings of Brown Culture and where it could improve.
Just to balance it out:
15 thoughts on “Raj Koothrapali is a shame on all Brown Men”
I don’t understand the Bahai Faith very well.
A majority but not all within the Sanathana Dharma family (10 Darshanas plus many Sikhs and others who associate with them) believe in the concept:
—“Sarva Dharma Sama Bhaava Sarva Sresht”
Or that enlightenment can be obtained through an unlimited number of paths and religions. That spiritual progress can be made through all religions. That Bhaava or love unites all religions.
How do Bahai compare to the many different paramparas or sampradayas within Sanathana Dharma?
Would some Bahai want the Bahai to be considered one of the major legitimate respected Darshanas of Sanathana Dharma (alongside Buddhism, Jainism, Chaarvaaka, Ajivika etc.)?
Do Bahai have the Abrahamic concept of conversion?
For example when becoming a Bahai, does someone add Bahai to their existing religions? Do Bahai add Bahai spiritual masters to their existing corpus of spiritual masters and gurus? Is there a negation or rejection of the old?
Do the Bahai accept all the great prophets, masters, saints, Auliya/Pir/Faqir of Judaism, Christianity and Islam? Do the Bahai accept all the masters of Zorastrianism, Yazidi and the east?
While your observations are valid I just wanted to make a point.
First of all most of indian male that are represented in west are mostly upper caste (brahmin) urban indian males who have gone their for better prospects. This is because chances of upward social mobility india for them are slim to none due to reservations. Also during land reallocation in indira era many upper castes lost their ancestral lands so financially and landwise they came to the equal pedestal as that of OBCs. So these guys mostly move to western countries for higher education or better job prospects.
Migration of unskilled indians from lower castes outside india is only restricted to gulf countries who are not generally well represented in western media. Its not because lack of masculinity but just because section of population that generally migrates to west has been traditionally and currently engaged in intellectual and academic pursuits. Even if you observe their caste fellows in india they are in much better shape than their western counterparts.
Also I have to comment that mostly in savarna hindus it is not considered appropriate to hang out with women if you are not married. Only time when you are supposed to think about other gender is when you have started to make a living and are ready to settle down in marriage with a appropriate girl. So this reserved nature of common hindu men coupled with general asocial behaviour of people who are devoted to academic pursuits comes out as being nerdy and awkward. Obviously the showmakers have exaggerated it to make it appealing (and offensive). Watch roadies on MTV if you want to see indian men being ala’u’din khilji.
Last but not least, whatever may people say in this forum, I would reiterate this that the ‘hinduism is not a religion’. Earlier there was ‘varnashrama dharma based hindu society’ but that is now falling apart to make way for ‘Republican constitution based hindu society’. In reality each indian sub-caste is a religion in itself as they inherit peculiar customs , rituals , rites from their community only. For e.g. An iyer in south is almost an alien in TN when we compare his religion and household culture with other TN castes.
A north indian brahmin has nothing in common with a SC from tamil nadu apart from certain gods where even concept of god is different from abrahamic faiths.
Intriguingly the Sindhi subcastes have all but disappeared
For sindhis, I suppose a lot of caste diversity got subsumed into the muslim identity over the ages (not that there aren’t vestiges of it among the latter). The sindhi hindus that arrived in what is now india post 1947 were already a demographically tiny population. It makes sense that they could coalesce into a single caste of sorts. , and currently have a population <3 million. Something i wouldn't have assumed is that the current hindu population of sindh, pakistan is also in the 3 million ballpark. I'd be curious what their caste differentiation is like.
yes those who migrated to india were already living under tough conditions. Difficult to stick to customs in such times. In proper sindh I would assume that still there are sub-castes both among savarnas and backward castes.
Xerxes, I don’t think you should wade into the Islamic civil war by implying that Hazrat Aisha really was 9 during alleged event with the prophet peace be upon him.
Many Sunnis and Shiites deny that this happened. In doing this they are de facto denying that 100% authenticity of current interpretations of Sahih Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and the four other Sunni Hadiths.
Do you really want to argue that current interpretations of the holy Koran and 6 Hadiths are 100% historically accurate?
Mohammed pbuh engaged in political marriages under coercive threats. If he didn’t it is likely that he and all his people (including his young daughter and spiritually evolved master Fatimah) would have been massacred.
Although i consider myself a critique but before criticizing i like to first explain the perspective & source of the perspective and then i try to present my critique with supporting resources. So since you mentioned –
// I don’t believe in insulting individuals but ideology, religion and language are all up for fair game //
Can you define the terms Ideology & Religion ?
To me Ideology & religion are more or less the same i.e. -Ism
As far as language is concerned I think that within next 1-2 generations the humans are going to loose a lot of diversity & one source of diversity is Language. So languages should be preserved as every language in itself is a source of a local culture.
” is it better to be feared (and lusted) as a potential terrorist or mocked as a sexless nerd? ”
I think in the West atleast Indians, Pakistanis, etc are all just brown folk. In South Asia itself I don’t think American TV show stereotypes are relevant.
But even in the West I think the latter stereotype is a lot better, it is easy to counter the negative aspects of the nerd stereotype with swag and social skills. Plus nerds being perceived as being harmless and intelligent helps with White and other types of men being feeling threatened by you stealing their women…
Weirdly I think brown skinned Indians somehow are perceived as more terrorist than say actual Iranians who are more white passing.
see for eg…
Lol I am offended by this post as a self-declared nerd (I got 58 on the Nerdy Personality Attributes Scale test at Openpsychometrics.org (30 being least nerdy and 70 being the most nerdy); the low score disappointed me quite a bit but leave that aside). I don’t watch Big Bang Theory show but it seems the Raj guy is a kindred or a superior spirit (he may score 70/70 on the above test and also some very high IQ which I definitely do not have). Why you slandering him like that?
What about that Dinesh guy in the HBO show ‘Silicon Valley’? He is said to be from Pakistan, and with a name like Dinesh I would generally assume he is a Hindu Pakistani. Or is Dinesh a common or even likely name among Muslim Pakistanis? I never bothered to check if there’s a specific back story to him or it’s just ignorance on the part of the writers of the show. The actor who plays Dinesh is Pakistani Muslim.
What about that Dinesh guy in the HBO show ‘Silicon Valley’?
That’s Kumail Nanjiani, who Zack referred to in the post. I believe his background is Muslim, but I kinda doubt he practices, based on what I’ve read.
The diaspora indian man doesn’t cultivate physical strength and courage in the way others recognize. There is no shortage of virility in the mother country, and i don’t mean insecure raging and mob violence, but real bravery and determination. The confusion is that its in a lot of folks who are invisible, and in riskier, physically demanding occupations. Not limited to them of course.
India is so unequal , and the middle and upper classes so insulated from downward mobility, that labor and physical excellence is remarkably devalued. Being unfit, neurotic and poorly groomed is no disqualification in indian society from pairing with an attractive woman, if one comes from a decent family and has enviable academic pedigree. This is bizarre to many in the rest of the world, and to indians, that a lower middle class american male with no prospects (but physically impressive) could pair with a high status girl (if only for a fling) is puzzling.
Awesome and perceptive comment girmit!
Bharatiyas (or Deshis or Hindustanis) lack Pratyaksha (observation)!
I remember Babu from Seinfeld.
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