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: