40 thoughts on “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

  1. Does anyone know of good books or articles on what Bactria-Margiana complex (BMAC) religion (which I believe is pre-Vedic) was like? Also curious about the pre-Zoroastrian religion of the Iranian peoples. Thanks!

    1. Elena Kuzmina wrote a hefty book on the Origin of the Indo-Iranians (Brill, Leiden)

      and Koenraad Elst’s review of her work.


      “More to the northwest, on the Amu Darya near the Aral Lake, “the newcomers were not numerous but they employed horses and chariots and established elite dominance and adopted the culture of the BMAC.” (p.452, Bactria-Margiana Archaeological Complex) So what she has actually found, is BMAC cultural elements near the Aral Lake. This means the BMAC was expanding northward, precisely what you would expect if you assume the Iranians first settled in Bactria and then expanded into Kazakhstan and onwards to the Urals. We will meet a later movement from Bactria to the west, but this movement took place several times, including in ca. 2000 BCE.”

      Also see.

      An alternative vision of the A. Lubotsky’s list of “Bactro-Margianisms”


      1. MMK, who were these guys around Aral Lake and Amy Darya and which language they spoke?

  2. Re; Londonistan

    One of Eney’s grandchildren, the so-called Brute Trojan, arrived with a large fleet from Pelagon to Albion and landed then in 1103 BC. Wadell states that British and Britain got their names according to this Brute. Brut came with his friends to the Thames (i.e. Temza) River, and there he built a city called New Troya, later referred as Tri-Noventum. The British leader in the war with the Romans in the time of Julius Caesar, was Lud who raised new walls around the city of New Troya and gave it the name Kar-Lud. Then this city was named Lud-Dun and at the end it was – London (Austine Wadell: The Phoenician Origin of Britons, Scots and Anglo-Saxons, Williams and Norgate. London 1925. St. 156). Milton told about London: ‘O city, founded by Dardanian (i.e. Serbian) hands’.

    Samuelis Bocharti (Geographia Sacra: I Pheleg, II Canaan, Cornelium Boutestyn & Jordanum Luchtmans, Lugdunum, 1707) says that the inhabitants of the British Isles were called by the Jews and the Arabs as “Sirvali” and by the Romans as “Siluri”, later “Sorlingi”. Sirvali are Sirbali i.e. Serbs. Wadell says for Picts that are Vans (page 204). That means Veneti, that is, Serbs. The river Temza got the name according to Serbian deities of waters – Tamuz (god of great seas, the ocean), while Tamiza left its name for a large number of rivers.

  3. The government of India is proudly trumpeting their intent to ethnically cleanse Muslims and Christians from India. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/12/india/india-bjp-tweet-intl/index.html

    This has been building in Assam for years, but only for Muslims, and usually in dog-whistle terms. The BJP’s brazen deceleration of their plain intent on the national stage, while including Christians as undesirables, has prompted backlash both in India and internationally.

    This discourse really escalated in the wake of Myanmar’s genocide against the Rohingya. While the civilized world looked on in horror, the Indian-right were absolutely titillated, and openly began moving from “secure the border, deport illegals”, to “throw the Muslims into the Bay of Bengal” (this last one is an actual quote).

    1. They had 5 years to start their plans. And they waited until next election’s voting period.

      That should give you a clue about what their actual intentions are.

      1. They’ve already started in Assam. Citizenship was stripped from everyone who didn’t have proof of citizenship from before Bangladesh’s independence, and a bill introduced to write-in citizenship for all non-Muslims who didn’t have it (therefore leaving only Muslims as stateless).

    2. I don’t know which is worse- that the BJP is promising to take in the refugees – but apparently only selectively OR that so many people are running away from those countries.

      This is a lot like a domestic abuser finding fault with the cops for first saving his children from himself but not his wife and accusing them of misogyny. 🙂

      1. To be fair,

        1) India is too labor-rich and capital-poor, it doesn’t make sense for it to be taking in immigrants on economic grounds.

        2) The subcontinent has two states whose raison d’etre is to be Muslim homelands, they are much better suited, politically and culturally, to take in Muslim immigrants on humanitarian grounds.

        There is a solid humanitarian case to take in non-Muslim immigrants…because we’re the only game in town on the subcontinent. That argument is not true for Muslim immigrants…there are better candidates for host countries that should be taking them in.

    1. Good. We’ll need the USA as a friend now that Russia is trying to sell us down the river.

  4. https://www.cnn.com/2019/04/12/india/india-bjp-tweet-intl/index.html

    “In his speech, Shah said the government “won’t send the Hindus, Jains, Sikhs, Parsis, CHRISTIANS and Buddhists coming in from Bangladesh or Pakistan because they are our brothers and they’ve come here because they’ve faced persecution in those countries (emphasis added)”

    The muslims are not included in the list as the neighbouring Bangladesh is a muslim majority country and by definition muslims cannot be a persecuted minority there. The rest of the CNN piece is just hate propaganda from the likes of well known Hindu baiters like Joseph and Guha. The so called “insinuations” in Guha’s tweet are his own hallucinations and the electorate is not buying it.

  5. The BJP’s original statement included Christians with Muslims, which prompted the backlash. https://qz.com/india/1591557/bjp-threat-to-restrict-indian-citizenship-targets-muslims/

    India ranks worse for persecution of religious minorities than Bangladesh does. https://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/7/2015/02/Restrictions2015_byRegion.pdf

    Many Muslim countries persecute Muslims, where do you think all the Muslim refugees come from? Also, Shias are classified as a persecuted minority in Pakistan. Are millions of Shias allowed to migrate to India now?

    Most of the opposition to Hindu Nationalists come from liberal Hindus in India. Are they also “Hindu-baiters”?

    1. The Pew Study’s social hostilities index asks “Did X Happen At All? Yes/No,” and gives a point for a yes. Of course, a developing, heterogenous country as massive as India will generate many “Yes” answers by virtue of size alone, but the index doesn’t tell us anything about rates or frequency of said events (which are necessary for any rigorous cross-country comparisons).

      Anyways, I’m not a fan of the BJP’s rhetoric over these past few weeks, but it’s just wild talk. Don’t worry too much.

      1. Some things are not acceptable even in “wild talk”. Ethnic cleansing is one of them.

        1. Classic Pakistani hypocrisy. Another bomb attack on the Hazara community a few days ago, no peep about that. Literally hundreds of minorities killed in Balochistan over the past few years but oh no! It’s the bad majoritarian Hindus that are the real villains.

          No wonder the world doesn’t take you folk seriously anymore.

          1. Most of the civilians in Baluchistan that have been killed, were killed by Baluchi-insurgents (openly supported by India). The Hazara/Shia community attack was claimed by ISIS, and such Sunni-Jihadist groups have been in open war with Pakistan since the early 2000’s.

            The above is condemned by virtually everyone in Pakistan, and no government officials support it.

            On the other hand, the statements supporting ethnic-cleansing and genocide in India are made by high-level elected officials. The tens of thousands of Kashmiri civilians killed have been mostly killed by the Indian military with support from the government/public.

            So yes, in this case India is much worse.

          2. No one is defending suicide attacks in Pakistan. But that is not the topic right now. The BJP’s divisive remarks against minorities are.

            Ethnic cleansing is unacceptable no matter which country it occurs in. This constant deflection of the topic to Pakistan reflects your lack of credible argument or ability to defend the BJP’s actions.

  6. “We will ensure implementation of NRC in the entire country. We will remove every single infiltrator from the country, except Buddha, Hindus and Sikhs: Shri @AmitShah #NaMoForNewIndia”

    Once again, Shah is only talking about INFILTRATORS, not the current citizens of India of ANY religion. The following article


    just like the CNN article is hearing whatever they want to hear. Shah isn’t saying that.
    From the CNN article:

    “To a refugee in West Bengal, I want to say, you don’t have to be afraid of anyone. We treat a refugee here as a son and daughter of India and they will be given citizenship,” he added. “The BJP’s pledge is to get rid of the infiltrators.”

    READ. There is no threat to the legally admitted refugees even the MUSLIM ones. He is only talking about infiltrators.

    1. It is also important to understand what the NRC (National Registry of Citizens) is:


      It is meant to protect India from illegal immigrants who pose a threat to the nation’s security

      ““It is our commitment to bring in NRC across the country to chuck out each and every infiltrator. Unlike Mamata Banerjee, we don’t treat infiltrators as our vote bank. For us national security is supreme. We would ensure that each and every Hindu and Buddhist refugee gets citizenship of this country”, he said.”

      But some parties in India do not care about the nation’s security and they want to convert these illegals into their vote banks. And that is why Banerjee is even REVERTING the intent of the NRC to falsely claim that it threatens minority groups who have resided there for hundreds or even thousands of years.

      “Banerjee has repeatedly claimed that the NRC, which seeks to weed out illegal migrants from Assam, will turn even bonafide Indian citizens into refugees.”

      “The BJP is making a determined bid to expand its influence in West Bengal where the support base of the Congress and the Left has shrunk over the years.”

      There in lies the problem. That is what is worrying the lefties and commies in India. They are LOSING and they are losing big time.

    2. Read the quote. He said he’ll remove every single infiltrator “except Hindus/Sikhs/Buddhists”. So being an infiltrator is fine, as long as you aren’t Muslim or Christian.

      The Hindu-right in India do not believe Muslims are refugees, but infiltrators by definition. They’ve already passed a law in Assam stripping citizenship of everyone who can’t prove they’ve been there since before the Bangladesh war, and have put forward a bill that will then grant automatic citizenship to all non-Muslims in Assam who don’t have such papers. Leaving Muslims as stateless people, and as the BJP put it, “thrown into the sea”.

  7. Anyone:

    What was the previous name of the above MMK mentioned river Amu Darya?
    What was the previous name of Hyderabad?

  8. The more I read about Indian political issues these days, the more it seems that nobody is really excited about INC or Mahagathbandhan. It basically seems to be a “pro-Modi vs. anti-Modi” fight.

    For my part, my views on Indian politics are probably closest to those of Gurcharan Das. This may sound weird to this crowd (that focuses on culture war issues), but I’m a neoliberal centrist by mentality, in both American and Indian contexts. I’m not very enthused by Modi and am concerned about the BJP’s recent rhetoric, but nor do I accept the Left’s constant demonization of him and of the Hindu cultural sphere more broadly. I am additionally disappointed that INC (on the letterhead at least) seems to be tacking to the Left (socially and economically) rather than claiming the center.

    So that puts me in the “reluctant BJP backer” camp, though that qualified position has still earned me lots of Twitter hate.

  9. Priyanka Chaturvedi Exposes Party States Cong Netas Misbehaved With Her In Mathura



    प्रियंका चतुर्वेदी ने पार्टी में लगाए गंभीर आरोप, कहा- ‘गुंडों को कांग्रेस में मिल रही तरजीह’

    This is absolutely stunning and disgraceful beyond words. I think Sonia Maino Gandhi needs to pack her bags for Italy along with her children. Good riddance.

  10. I have not exhaustively obtain a basic understanding about the case system and its historical development in NIA but there is an entire chapter devoted to it in Colin Masica’s textbook. Apparently, the case system is quite complicated in NIA grammatically. Parts of it may have been modeled as parallel to Dravidian case system out of various elements inherited from OIA and MIA put to new use in the case system of NIA according to Masica. This much I too intuitively thought at the very beginning of it all but then some devil entered my mind sometime later and made me spectacularly erroneously ideate (without any basis except my personal passion; as usual) that the borrowing was not just of patterns but the actual markers too wholesale.

      1. Hello Karan,

        You may be familiar with the quite complex fusional morphology associated with the OIA case system with several identical markers for different cases (please recall rAma shabda (nominal declension of the stem rAma) if you have learnt it by any chance). Apparently this above aspect – but by no means this alone; I personally doubt if this particular fusional morphology aspect has any major role here at all – of it along with several others led to the case system not being able to maintain itself for long in Indo-Aryan.

        Colin Masica writes the following about the fate of the Old Indo-Aryan case system:

        “The system indeed began to break down in MIA, as a result both of internal pressures and of phonological erosion, until there was so little left that it could barely fulfill the functions that a case system has to fulfill.”

        Then he proceeds to cite a particular Late Middle Indo-Aryan example which still has all direct Sanskrit-descendent endings and not like the case system of modern NIA. Modern NIA has apparently as many as 3 levels of case morphology discernible etymologically (the layering created by tacking on new elements, often from grammaticalised OIA and MIA words, in layers, onto old inherited patterns) but apparently functionally it is very much like the Dravidian case system.

        The Dravidian case system which you may be familiar with is characterised by the presence of 2 layers of markers. The first one generates a so-called oblique stem out of a main stem and all the markers of the next layer representing the nominal morphology including Proto-Dravidian suffixes, later-day postpositions, etc. get suffixed only onto this oblique stem. (Example: Telugu main_stem ‘house’ illu on suffixing Telugu oblique_marker *-nt-i results in the oblique_stem iNTi-. It is to this iNTi- that all the dative, ablative, etc. suffixes and postpositions have to be attached to result in iNTiki, iNTilO, etc. Similarly, Hindi kapaDA, ‘cloth’; oblique_stem kapaDe-; then kapaDeko (dative), kapaDekA, kapaDekI (genitive), etc.)

        It may be the case that the NIA case system is most convergent with Dravidian case system with respect to this particular requirement for the oblique stem that is common to them.

        As for the marker origins of the marker -ko itself, Colin Masica says it the best again in the following:

        “It will be apparent that the most widespread Layer II marker is ko, khe, ke, kai, ka, ku, -kh, -Dk. It has allomorphic variants in some languages. Among those not shown are Konkani kit (with pronouns), Awadhi kit (phonologically conditioned: see Saksena 1971: 215), Oriya ki (after bases ending in -i). The origin of these forms has been the subject of much controversy. It is not even clear whether they are to be ascribed a common origin. Related or not, a pattern of convergence toward this set of forms may be noted, which extends even to Dravidian, most strikingly in the case of Oriya -ku/-ki and the -ku/-ki of neighboring Telugu. Etymological theories, which overlap with those concerned with the Genitive markers, target OIA kRta, kArya, kakSa and the pleonastic/adjectival extension,-ka, -kka. Chatterji and Grierson agree in seeing in many such Datives (also G. -ne vs. –no*) a Genitive form inflected for the Locative. Such use of a Genitive as a Dative would repeat on Layer II what had happened earlier with the OlA/MIA inflections, and on Layer I in the northwest.”

  11. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-04-18/pakistan-finance-minister-steps-down-from-cabinet-amid-imf-talks

    Pakistan Finance Minister Quits Amid IMF Talks, Khan Reshuffle

    “At least two Pakistani local newspaper columnists recently said Umar had displeased the powerful military, which is alleged to have backed Khan during the elections and continues to hold an over-sized influence over the economy and foreign policy..”

    So there are people in the Khan Government who want to set the country on the right track but the powerful military junta will not let them do it.

    1. Considering the state of the economy in the last 9 months, he wasn’t doing the best job. He was going to get fired eventually.

  12. I have a feeling that this Pakistan Govt is a bit of clone of India/USA Govt which sort of wants to manage the “optics” rather than really Governing(especially economy) . The difference with Indian Govt is because the base was so low in the previous Govt(Congress), the BJP even in most cases grandstanding still comes across as doing better work. While in Pakistan i feel the previous Govt(PMLN) did a pretty good job , and the current PTI Govt cannot get away by doing a shady job.

  13. Gandhi family confidante and Congress spokesperson Priyanka Chaturvedi joins the Shiv Sena.



    Key Sonia Gandhi aide Tom Vadakkan joins BJP


    Comment: Time for the Italian mafia to pack up for good.

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Brown Pundits