Open Thread – Brown Pundits

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

I’m reading Buddhism: A History. That inspired me to write The Invention Of World Religions 2,000 Years Ago. One of the assertions in the book which I would be curious as to reader opinion: Advaita has more in common with classical Indian Buddhism than the Mahayana sects of East Asia.

101 Replies to “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

  1. What do you think will be the future of white demographics in the US as time passes by? Do you think a new sort of ‘whiteness’ will arise with the case of hispanics and perhaps certain east asian groups mixing more with the white population? Or do you think the ‘browning’ of America will occur?

  2. white presenting mixed-asians invariably describe themselves as ‘white’ even i they clearly know they have asian ancestry. and mixe-latinos often look white, but obtain underrepresented minority benefits. don’t think that’s sustainable.

    so yeah, i think browning is overrated. i hope my white presenting kids are republican, though their liberal mom has other ideas . 😉

    1. Wow, what a quick reply!

      This is a question that I’ve been wondering about for a while now, and I’ve often found myself weighing the weights in regards to the viability of a white minority being predicted accurately all the way in mid- 2040’s. Also considering how fertility among all ethnic groups continue to tank but especially for minority women.

      I have a hunch that the concept of ‘whiteness’ will shift in its dimension of racial purity to something more visual.

      And of course considering your points on mix-raced identity, I honestly can’t make my own mind this unless another decade passes by.

  3. Razib, I would like to know how would you explain people voluntarily changing their religions, in the light of cognitive origins of religion. If all religions arise due to similar cognitive processes, then there shouldn’t be any need for people to change their religions (basically, any religion will do.) So what makes people change their religions?

    1. A smart person should choose a religion that promises to save him from the Hell …fear of hell is an important thing to maintain the existence of a religion

    2. category error.

      cog origin of religion applies to intuitions about the supernatural etc. these are universal across religions.

      religious confessions and identities are a new feature of complex societies. co-opt intuitions about identity and tribal affinity.

  4. Dalits are creating an alternate universe for themselves. Buddhism as their path to salvation instead of Hinduism, Slogan of Jai Bhim to counter Jai Sri Ram, Bhim Pathshalas to counter RSS shakhas, and now Bhim products as an answer to Patanjali brand.

    https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-insight/story/the-dalit-brand-1576293-2019-08-02

    Many Dalits intellectual have speculated that Dalits have better cultural future than OBC castes, precisely because they have made a complete break from Hinduism. They do not have to subconsciously carry the baggage of being in an inferior position in their cultural sphere, if they fashion a new sphere themselves.

    It will be interesting to see how far this movement will go. What will come next? A new “Dalit” language? Script? Dalit Banks?

    1. OBC’s and Dalits are not at all analogous. A large chunk of OBC’s are mid-caste Hindus who shanghaied there way in to claim benefits.

  5. “Many Dalits intellectual have speculated that Dalits have better cultural future than OBC castes, precisely because they have made a complete break from Hinduism. ”

    LOL. Dalits have not made any break for Hinduism. Its like reading “Hindu” intellectuals to understand Hinduism, today . Intellectuals “want” a certain direction for a community irrespective of whether the community itself is going that way or not. Buddhist dalits are a micro minority (within dalits) and almost all of them are in only one state in India (Maharashtra)

    For better or for worse, the vast majority of dalits are stuck with Hinduism. The reason is the very same thing which Ambedkar thought would emancipate them, reservations. The Hindu – right will tolerate this separate-ness game (“creating an alternate universe for themselves”) as long as its does not become “too-separate”,but if they try to be too separate, unfortunately they will bear even a tougher brunt from the society than they already do.

    1. Yep…article is a masterpiece of wishcasting.

      It is supremely ironic though. India’s expansive reservation scheme was a triumph for the Left…and by raising the station of lower castes and blurring socioeconomic boundaries, it ended up creating an ascendant, OBC-ified BJP.

    1. No, not really. It’s more by occupation (people in the lowest-level jobs, like janitorial jobs, are very likely to be Dalits), but there are lots of Dalits in higher-level and better paying professions these days, so even that’s not much of a marker anymore.

      Contrary to what some people on this blog seem to believe, people in today’s India, at least in the urbanized parts, don’t care to identify each others’ castes at all. It only comes up when people want to get get married because the arranged marriage system, which is the way most Indians like to get married, relies on caste-based networks to find suitable matches.

  6. Are most indians very serious about castes?
    Why dont people of lower caste change their surname and become upper caste?

    1. Because it’s not just the last name. People can tell your caste just by the way you say certain words in most Indian languages.

  7. Razib bro, i think you should spend more time in genetic researches and discover and do cool things instead of focusing on stupid american politics 😃

  8. “One of the assertions in the book which I would be curious as to reader opinion: Advaita has more in common with classical Indian Buddhism than the Mahayana sects of East Asia.”

    Well the situation is slightly different from what I can recall, having read about this subject 4 to 5 years back.

    The origins of Mahayana are connected to the teachings of Nagarjuna and Vasubandhu. They can be credited perhaps with philosophising the Buddhist faith/teachings/beliefs.

    The core of their philosophic doctrine is that the Supreme reality was void or non-existence and everything else was its illusory manifestation devoid of any independent existence.

    The Advaitha doctrine, arose in an environment where major philosophical debates under the patronage of kings and universities was common and where this Buddhist philosophy of non-existence or things propounded by Nagarjuna, Vasubandhu & Asanga was becoming dominant.

    The early exponents of Advaita were Gaudapada, Bhatrihari etc. Mandukya Kārikā, authored by Gaudapada, is considered a seminal Vedantic text and it strong resemblance to Mahayana Buddhist philosophy.

    Essentially, the Advaita Vedantic view differed with the Mahayanic Buddhist view with regard to the nature of the supreme reality. According to the Vedantic view, the supreme reality was consciousness and bliss and not void but that the material and manifest reality was not separate from it but part of that supreme consciousness. In essence, there is no independent existence of any object or being apart from the Supreme Being or Consciousness.

    Adi Shankara was finally able to comprehensively defeat the Buddhist philosophers and made the Advaita doctrine triumphant across the four corners of India. Many old Buddhist centres became Advaita centres. Even some Buddhist goddesses were incorporated into Hinduism.

    The centuries of their origins and interaction leading to eventual philosophical downfall of Buddhism and triumph of Advaita, meant that many of the core philosophical underpinnings of Advaita and early Mahayana ended up being quite similar.

  9. Though buddhism was born in India, why are there so few buddhists in india? Most probably they were persecuted by some kings

  10. they may try. But I see mostly see happa women getting away with it, perhaps because our society conventionally views E Asian features on women as still beautiful but less so on men, granted that is changing with the dissemination of Kpop and then rise of China.

    But among the men, I see many identifying heavily as Asian. I notice happa men marry E Asian women at higher rates than happa women do E Asian men, granted this is merely congruent with ongoing trends.

    People are silly about Latinos. Latino is a cultural, not a racial group, as posters on this blog are entirely aware. Funny that the entirely Euro White descendants of say Hernan Cortez can get full affirmative action benefits, while people descended from largely indentured origin Scotts-Irish appalachians get none.

    The same can be said of the upper vs. lower caste immigrants from India. I don’t feel much, when a Brahmin whose parents are IIT grads complains about affirmative action hurting him. I mean I get the point, but I have a bit less empathy, especially of the person is more “White looking” than the average Indian, which is invariably true on average for the upper caste immigrants.

    But it is sad when S Indian non Brahmin origin people, many of whom have an extensive family history of subjugation, and often have a skin tone darker than the average African American are categorized in the same way as the aforementioned upper caste peoples.

    Granted, a system of pure meritocracy would be best. However, given a system of affirmative action exists, the entire lack of nuance and frankly shear stupidly of these categories coupled with insufficiently using income as a metric have made the whole paradigm a joke.

    Who gets the most benefit? Usually the near full white latino children of professionals or the children of say a Nigerian oil baron and doctor.

    1. warlock

      People are silly about Latinos. Latino is a cultural, not a racial group, as posters on this blog are entirely aware. Funny that the entirely Euro White descendants of say Hernan Cortez can get full affirmative action benefits, while people descended from largely indentured origin Scotts-Irish appalachians get none.

      Who gets the most benefit? Usually the near full white latino children of professionals or the children of say a Nigerian oil baron and doctor.

      Succinct and perceptive. Kudos

  11. /Advaita has more in common with classical Indian Buddhism than the Mahayana sects of East Asia/
    Classical Indian Buddhism split into Mahayana and Hinayana. For Mahayana, most important book is Mulamadhyamika Karika by Nagarjuna and shunyavada is the core of it.
    In fact Advaita has many resemblance to Mulamadhyamika and if not property handled may look like shunyavada. Subsequent Hindu philosophers called Adishankara ‘pracchana Bauddha ‘ ie crypto Buddhist. It is Mulamadhyamika which has inspired Chan and Zen.

  12. As far as core philosophy goes the Mahayana sutras are basically classical Indian Buddhist Sutras. So I think the core philosophy / view / darshana is probabaly quite similar to classical buddhism. There are some unique aspects For eg. A greater emphasis on concepts like “suchness”, but the core seems quite similar.

    Moving away from philosophy to practice, things are much more muddled.

    For eg. Pure Land Buddhism is curently the most popular form of Mahayana buddhist tradition in East Asia. It was never popular in India. And it resembles Hindu bhakti traditions more than any classical renounciate Buddhist tradition.

    Similarly Trika Shaivism and Buddhist Tantra are more similar in practice to each other, than either are to non-tantric buddhist or hindu traditions.

    /The core of their philosophic doctrine is that the Supreme reality was void or non-existence and everything else was its illusory manifestation devoid of any independent existence./

    This reads like an advaita caricature of shuyata. There is no “Supreme reality” in shunyata philosophy, the non-existence OF “supreme reality” does not mean that non-existence IS the “supreme reality”.

  13. i installed a new comment plugin so that characters are capped at 4,000 per comment. i may reduce the length somewhat. a few of the long comments are worth it, but most of them are not

    1. If the rumors turn out to be correct (trifurcation) then this is a historic event for the whole region.

      Once the dust settles, the Modi 2.0 gov will go down in history has having either lost Kashmir or integrated it into India.

      This is all speculative though, not sure what is actually happening in Kashmir.

      1. I guess Modi’s calculation is that maintaining status quo in Kashmir for last 70 years has not helped. Kashmiris are wont to come into streets every summer and indulge in stone-throwing anyway. So any change in state’s status can’t make it any worse.

    2. Israel annexed Golan heights, and trump endorsed it. Now apparently there is a “Trump Heights” neighborhood in Golan heights.

      Can we expect to see a Trump tower coming up in Srinagar soon? 🙂

      1. Fucked. Trying to mend something which ain’t broken. Opens a Pandora box. No one knows what lies ahead

        1. How was it not broken? Completely out of line with the rest of the country.

          Now there are 2 scenarios:

          1) Either separatists prevail and the Muslim majority districts of Jammu and Kashmir become a part of Pakistan

          2) Or India slowly pulls off a Chinese style power play, develops the Kashmir region, and integrates it into the union.

          It will be a political win for the BJP, in either case.

          1. It will be a political win, if you think in a way separation of Bangladesh (in scenario 1) was a political win for the Pakistan army and the Punjabis.

            There is no scenario 2. Neither is India as ruthless as the Chinese ( notwithstanding what our liberals and our right wing believe) , nor is Kashmiri Muslim to rest of India, as close as Tibetians were to Chinese.

            As i have said the situation was never to integrate/assimilate but to manage. Just like we did in the North East.

        2. Unilaterally revoking Article 370 while the state is under President’s Rule is totally unacceptable. Putting the pro-India leaders (Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti) under house arrest just makes it worse. And now the State of Jammu and Kashmir ceases to exist and is replaced by two union territories? This is not going to win hearts and minds in the Valley. Article 370 was the only reason why Kashmir acceded to India. As Mehbooba Mufti pointed out, those who chose India against the TNT were proved wrong and those who are pro-Pakistan have been proven correct. This decision just gives Pakistan exactly what it wants: the chance to grandstand about the oppression of the Kashmiris. There were signs all over Lahore’s Mall Road today protesting India’s actions in Occupied Kashmir.

          1. / totally unacceptable…?
            Unacceptable to whom? Indian govt actions are not bound by whther it is acceptable in Pakistan. has Pakistan taken any of it’s decision in KB or Sindh or Baluchistan whether it is acceptable in India??

            \ Article 370 was the only reason why Kashmir acceded to India. ..\
            Accession to India took place when the then Maharaja signed the Instrument of accession. Period. Nobody dangled 370 in front of Maharaja for him to sign

            \Putting the pro-India leaders (Omar Abdullah, Mehbooba Mufti) under house arrest…\
            Ironically, putting them under arrest is good for them. They can gain some street cred with that as ‘authentic’ political voice. More importantly they may be saved from assassins sent by Pakistan or ISI or Al-Queda.

          2. India cannot unilaterally change the status of Kashmir without the consent of the Kashmiri people. Your own analysts are calling this a constitutional coup. Union Territories are normally made into states. To demote a state into a UT is unprecedented. As a UT, Kashmir will have less power than Goa.

            The Maharaja signed the Instrument of Accession with the understanding that Kashmir would be largely autonomous. That understanding has now been betrayed (if it wasn’t earlier).

            The fact that even the Pro-India leaders are under house arrest shows that India has totally lost the plot. Abdullah and Mufti are seen as collaborators by most Kashmiri Muslims. If the Indian government is even suspicious of them, then is there a single Kashmiri that it is not suspicious of?

            For the millionth time, KP (not “KB”), Sindh and Balochistan are not Disputed Territories but constitutional parts of Pakistan. The fact that you have the gall to compare them with Indian Occupied Kashmir is ridiculous.

          3. I agree Kashmir should not be compared with Baluchistan where the Pakistani army has conducted land and air operations for many decades, killed it’s leaders by sending missiles from helicopters, and now primed wholesale for Chinese exploitation.

          4. No one is defending Pakistan’s actions in Balochistan. However it is not a Disputed Territory but unequivocally part of Pakistan. The International Community does not buy India’s claim of Kashmir being its “integral part”. That’s why neutral organizations speak of Indian-administered Kashmir.

            The Baloch were never promised a referendum. Kashmiris were. You have to be either extremely ignorant or disingenuous to ignore these differences. In any case, India is not a party to the Baloch issue. Balochistan doesn’t border India. Pakistan is very much a party to the Kashmir Dispute.

          5. From Ninan’s Turn of the Tortoise:

            “As for Jammu and Kashmir, according to Haqqani, the last effective UN Security Council resolution on the subject was in 1957, and Pakistan is the only one from among 193 UN members who mentions the issue in the General Assembly.[23] The world has moved on.”

            You can keep calling it a “dispute,” but barring a 3-sigma event or so, it’s India’s for keeps, and the world doesn’t mind.

          6. Kashmir is a dispute, whether you want to deny this fact or not. That is why there is a “Line of Control” and not an international border. Every neutral map clearly marks the LOC. India claims territory currently in Pakistan’s control and vice versa. How can anyone argue that there isn’t a dispute? It is a different matter that the international community is not capable of changing India’s behavior. The international community has not been able to change Israel’s behavior towards Palestine. But no one except hardcore Zionists argues that Palestine is not Occupied. That is simply disingenuous.

            The UN issued a report on India’s human rights violations in Occupied Kashmir as recently as a few months ago. The issue remains very much on the agenda. In any case, even if the world has “moved on”, Kashmiri Muslims are going to continue fighting for their right to self-determination. Putting them under curfew and locking up even the “pro-India” leaders is hardly a recipe for conflict resolution.

          7. @Kabir

            I agree. When you need to move in 40K troops, institute a curfew, arrest political leaders, and institute a sham democracy (in Union Territories, the Center has all the power even when there’s a legislature)… I think it speaks for itself.

            Predictably, this extremely undemocratic move is celebrated by Indians (Hindutvadis, of course, but the distinction between “Hindus in India” and “Hindutvadis” is increasingly blurred; there are basically only Hindutvadis left).

            Dictator Modi is a disgusting and genocidal thug. A democracy is only as good as its electorate, and this is one of the poorest, lowest IQ, casteist, misogynistic, Islamophobic and hateful electorates in the world. It speaks volumes that Indians are sycophants for this dictator, but not that surprising when you look at or listen to the low IQ and hate filled Hindus that dominate India.

            “As Mehbooba Mufti pointed out, those who chose India against the TNT were proved wrong and those who are pro-Pakistan have been proven correct.”

            The vast majority of Muslims who stayed in India didn’t make some philosophical determination about TNT. They simply did not have the means to leave. Those who had the means (and intelligence) left. If any Muslims have the choice still, they should seek refuge immediately in any country other than India. Even Myanmar would be better.

            Things will only get worse from here. Modi and Amit Shah are consolidating power and establishing a Hindu Rashtra.

          8. I don’t think that this is primarily about Hindus vs. Muslims. Rather, many Indians simply don’t consider Kashmiris to be their equals and instead treat them as a colonized people. If any other Indian state was suddenly demoted to a Union Territory people would be up in arms but it’s something to celebrate if it is done to Kashmir. West Pakistanis treated East Pakistanis as a colonized people, even though the religion of both parties in that case was exactly the same.

            The point about TNT was that the tallest Kashmiri leader Sheikh Abdullah considered that Kashmir would be better off in a secular India than in an Islamic Pakistan. Today, his descendant Omar Abdullah has been jailed, despite being a “pro-India” leader. When even the pro-India leaders are under arrest, what hope is there for everyone else?

          9. When J&K was a state, that didn’t exactly endear the Indian government to the locals, did it?

            I agree with you about the demotion though. Should not have been done. Ladakh could very well be a state. So could Jammu and Kashmir each. Trifurcation would have been better. 370 could have remained in force in the Valley. Would have been the best outcome from the PoV of governance.

          10. Kashmiris were already alienated from India. Taking away what little power they had will only serve to increase that alienation. Not to mention that India has finally removed the fig leaf and made their colonization of Kashmir obvious to everyone. That benefits those on my side because you all can no longer hide behind “autonomy”. It’s perfectly clear that what is important to mainstream Indians is the land of Kashmir, Kashmiris be damned.

          11. “It’s perfectly clear that what is important to mainstream Indians is the land of Kashmir, Kashmiris be damned.”

            That’s how territorial nationalism works.
            You could say that 35A ensured there was ethnic nationalism before this.
            No migrant could settle and become a citizen. A woman marrying an outsider would lose her citizenship etc.

            So this is in a way the victory of territorial nationalism over ethnic nationalism. I don’t condone the way it was done but there’re many ways to spin it so that the ‘occupation’ narrative isn’t as attractive.

            Could also look at it from the PoV of the ‘subaltern’. Now the lower castes get access to reservations. Women’s rights are preserved. Social justice all around.

          12. No, this is not how territorial nationalism works unless you think nationalism and colonization are equivalent. If we argue that Kashmiris are citizens of India, then how can such a major decision about their status–Partitioning the state and making it into Union Territories– be taken without their consent? The Governor (who was not elected) concurred with the center’s decision. Ask yourself whether any other Indian state could be reduced into a Union Territory without the consent of the elected representatives of that state. If the answer is no, then why do Kashmiris not deserve the same treatment?

            Kashmir is not a real estate matter. It fundamentally concerns the lives of the Kashmiris–the natives of the land. But what seems to matter to Indians is that the land stays with India. No one cares what the natives think. Pakistan fought a brutal war to keep East Pakistan, disregarding what the people of that region wanted. No one on this blog admires their actions. Why the different standards for Occupied Kashmir?

          13. “No one on this blog admires their actions. Why the different standards for Occupied Kashmir?”

            Don’t force assumptions on me.

          14. It’s a very simple analogy. Pakistan’s actions in East Pakistan (which was not even a Disputed Territory) have been called “genocide” on this blog. All that mattered to West Pakistan was that East Pakistan remain part of the country even though we had nothing but contempt for Bengalis. That is what you are calling “territorial nationalism”. If Pakistan was wrong in keeping Bengalis from self-determination and India was right to intervene than what makes India right in forcing Kashmiris to be part of their country at gunpoint? If your standpoint changes depending on the passport you hold, then you can’t claim to be standing up for any kind of principles.

            I am amazed that reasonable so-called educated people can even attempt to defend all of Kashmir being locked down and people like Mehbooba Mufti and Omar Abdullah being imprisoned. That just reveals how thoroughly colonial their attitude is towards Kashmiris. Good luck winning hearts and minds with that attitude!

          15. Pakistani actions in Bangladesh were genocide by the basic definition of the term. They killed around 3 million people, with in few months and created a massive refugee crisis, their aim was simple-ethnic cleansing of the region. On the other hand, in Kashmir, the limited Hindu population was kicked out.
            Kashmir will have its own elected Legislative Assembly, the status of UT means that the government can decide on foreign matters, which was already a part of 370. Kashmir will have it’s own CM, just like Delhi.
            Bengal was a major refutation of Two Nation theory, as in people wanted Freedom based on ethnicity. Kashmiris want freedom just based on religion, they made it pretty clear by kicking the Pandits. Now, we already had a nation based on religion called Pakistan, funny enough, the Hindus and muslims on both sides were also nor given a choice to choose their own country. Tell me were the Punjabi Hindus in West or Punjabi Muslims in East given a choice?? That’s the result of a partition based on religious basis, people cease to matter and only land has any value. So don’t conflate religious separatism which is Kashmir with Ethnic separatism ie Bamgladesh.

          16. “Genocide” is inherently subjective. East Pakistan was a civil war. It was not Nazi Germany. Your numbers are also disputed.

            The Kashmiri people were promised the right to self-determination by India’s tallest leader. East Pakistan was not a disputed territory and neither were East Pakistanis ever promised a referendum. If it was OK for Bengalis to fight for independence, it is also OK for Kashmiris to fight for freedom from India.

            “people cease to matter and only land has any value”– pretty rich from someone who is defending Indian Occupation of Kashmir.

            Delhi already had control of foreign affairs. That is not the reason for demoting India’s only Muslim-majority state into a Union Territory.

          17. What utter rubbish!!!! Genocide is not subjective, it has a well-defined meaning. Numbers are not contested by any serious scholar on the matter. And what the hell do you mean by “civil war”, this is the same disgusting propaganda used by Turkish nationalists with regard to Armenian genocide.
            “The Armenians were waging war against us”
            or the Soviets- “The Tatars and every single ethnic minority Stalin ran a campaign against were Nazi collaborators”
            or the Serbs- “We just killed some Army boys of age-10-14 because they were waging a war”

            None of these disgusting claims are taken seriously by any reputable scholar and same is the case with Bangladesh, where Pakistani Army ran a campaign of *institutionalized* rape and mass murder of 3 million people, it can be compared to Japan in Nanking. Ukraine during Holodomor was not Nazi Germany, doesn’t change the fact Stalin carried a terror famine against them. What the hell do you want to achieve with Nazi comparisons??

            “If it was OK for Bengalis to fight for independence, it is also OK for Kashmiris to fight for freedom from India.”

            Did you read, what I wrote?? I specifically pointed the difference between Kashmir, which is a religious conflict and Bangladesh was an ethnic one. Sorry, you don’t get to compare the two sides, when one of them kicks out a religious minority. At that very moment, it became obvious that the demand was for an Isalmic state, which we already have agreed to ie Pakistan. Of course the existence of Bangladesh has proven that Jinnah was a moron and his two anion theory failed with in 24 years.

            “That is not the reason for demoting India’s only Muslim-majority state into a Union Territory”

            Again with not reading the whole comment, Kashmir will be like Delhi, it will have its own Legislative Assembly and its own CM. So wrt political rights, little to nothing has changed, with the exception that centrally passed schemes will apply to Kashmiris too.

          18. There are different kinds of propaganda depending on the intelectual levels of its target, from academics, students, women, etc up to the total morons. Obviously, you are in the last group considering the underlining logic behind idiotic sentence constructions.

          19. 1971 was a civil war. East Pakistan rebelled against West Pakistan. The Mukti Bahini committed atrocities as well. Sharmila Bose has stated that the numbers killed were closer to 300,000 than 3 million (not that this is justifiable).

            Kashmiris have been fighting for freedom from India since 1947, long before the Pandit exodus (which I am not justifying in any way). It is convenient for you to frame Kashmir as a religious conflict (bad) and Bangladesh as an ethnic conflict (good). The right to self-determination exists in all cases, whatever the basis for it. Kashmir is a Disputed Territory and it was India’s tallest leader who promised in front of the UN that Kashmiris would be allowed to determine their own fate.

            Ask yourself if any state in India proper could be demoted into a Union Territory. If the answer is no, then you must explain why different standards apply to Occupied Kashmir.

          20. I have come across many disgusting apologetics when it comes to genocide denial, but you are just on another level.
            So lets again look at another examples again.
            Armenians also committed atrocities against Turks and Bosnians also killed many Orthodox Christians. This doesn’t for a second, change the fact that both communities just like Bengalis were victims of genocide.
            Sharmila Bose, seriously??? While you are at it, why not name Grover Furr as an expert on Stalin. Her work has been rightly criticized by many scholars because of the horrible methodology she uses, especially her remarks on mass rape campaign by Pakistani Army. Most importantly, those scholars are also not huge fans of Bengali Nationalism.

            Its a simple fact that Kashmir, unlike early the Palestinian struggle and Bangladesh, is a religious conflict. That’s why in the early days a unification with Pakistan was a demand. Seriously, stop lying and understand the basic difference between two conflicts.
            I didn’t say anything about good or bad, the point is simple, India has already given up land due to religious nationalism. The whole point of partition was to kick out natives, just based on their religion. Sorry not gonna happen again!!!
            Yes, that state is called Delhi, it has a Chief Minister with legislative powers on most things with exception of security. Literally nothing has changed with regard to decision making.

          21. I stopped taking you seriously when I noticed that you were defending Israel on the other thread. What do supporters of Hindutva and Zionism have in common? Oh yeah, hatred of Muslims.

          22. Pakistan’s actions in East Pakistan (which was not even a Disputed Territory) have been called “genocide” on this blog.

            It’s been called a genocide outside of this blog too. In fact, it’s been called a genocide, period. Because there was one.

            Kashmiris may feel oppressed by the Indian security forces in the Valley, but there’s no genocide going on there.

          23. “Genocide” is a subjective term. You can argue that East Pakistan meets that definition. Others can argue that the situation was that of a civil war.

            Kashmiri men have been “encountered” by Indian forces, Kashmiri women have been raped and children have been blinded by pellet guns. This is not “feeling oppressed”. Actual atrocities have occurred.

            In any case, my point was that the different standards being shown towards the Bengali movement for self-determination and the Kashmiri movement for self-determination only reflect people’s nationalistic biases. Genocide is not a precondition for a self-determination movement to be considered moral.

          24. Kabir,

            Hindus have very weird conceptions about what constitutes genocide. They call the Kashmiri Pandit Exodus, where 350 people were killed over 15 years, a “genocide”. Of course, incidents in India where similar numbers of Muslims are killed are called, “riots”.

            The Pak-Bengal war was Pakistan’s fault entirely. 300,000 is the most respected fatality figure I’ve seen. Depending on which definition we are taking, it can be called a genocide.

            Personally, I don’t think something deserves that label unless it involved the attempted erasure of a community (like Punjab during partition). Pakistan, even at its worst, never intended to kill or expel the the great majority of their Bengali population.

          25. \The Pak-Bengal war… 300,000 is the most respected fatality figure I’ve seen. \
            Probably these ‘respected’ fatality figures come from ISPR.

            Banglasdesh govt thinks the deaths during March-December 71 is something of the order of 3,000.000

            http://english.aljazeera.net/news/asia/2010/03/2010325151839747356.html

            Rummel who has spent his lifetime studying genocides, democides and death by governments puts the death figure at about 1.75 million. He has consulted many sources

            http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/NOTE1.HTM

            http://www.hawaii.edu/powerkills/DBG.TAB13.1.GIF

            There many, many observers including TIME reports of the period talk in millions as the number of dead in that 9 month period.

            To dismiss all these things as some Hindu weird conceptions is denial.

          26. I don’t think it has anything to do with Hindu or Muslim. “Genocide” is an inherently politicized term. Indian and Bangladeshi nationalists will call 1971 a “genocide” because it serves their agenda. There are very few universally accepted genocides in history such as the Holocaust and Rwanda. I would not put 1971 in that category since the Pakistani state was not putting people in concentration camps. This is not to defend West Pakistan’s behavior.

            I agree with you that the crucial factor in whether something is genocide or not is systematic and state-sponsored attacks against a population.

          27. @Kabir

            Come on, Kabir. I don’t know anyone other than Pakistanis that don’t regard ’71 a genocide. It’s accepted as a genocide, it just isn’t as well known as the Holocaust and Rwanda. In part this is because the US was supporting Pakistan in its genocide. In part it is because nobody cares about South Asians, especially the darker ones. In part because it was overshadowed by other events (US involvement, Indian intervention, Soviet involvement, Bangladeshi independence).

          28. Stalin had no intention of wiping out the entire Ukrainian population, he only wanted to terrorize them into joining collective farms. Yet Holodomor was nothing short of a genocide, because it targeted a particular community ending up in millions of deaths.
            Even if Pakistani Army didn’t want to erase the entire community, which is highly doubtful. They still targeted amd terrorised Bengalis with mass killings and rapes, it perfectly fits the definition of genocide.
            And that 300000 was an early CIA estimate that was very conservative to begin with. But taking CIA as a source on the atrocities committed by her ally is like asking Ustashe about Nazi crimes.
            Forceful exodus of Pandits was more of an ethnic cleansing, which can be compared with Serb exodus from Croatia.

          29. Pakistan, even at its worst, never intended to kill or expel the the great majority of their Bengali population.

            All Bengalis, no. Hindu Bengalis, it seems yes, based on all credible accounts.

            (I don’t consider the expulsion of Kashmiri Pandits to be a genocide, and I doubt anyone’s labelled it as such. You are again making things up.)

    1. How are you feeling bro? I feel (perhaps wrongly) that if some folks who might be happy with the Govt move it could be your people and Ladakh folks.

      Not sure about Jammu, considering now they become even more co-joined with Kashmir, where the numbers even more starkly against them

      1. I am feeling a little concerned as my parents had to fly to J&K and their plans are now awry.

        For J&K generally, I think it is a very good move. There is a serious potential for economic improvement of the state in the long term, but in the short term there will be more political violence. Ladakh and the SC/STs of J&K (which is why Mayawati supported 370 abrogation) are probably going to be the biggest beneficiaries by far.

        My people are certainly happy. However, their resettlement is far from completion. We shall see…

  14. Modi is prone to making dramatic gestures which really change nothing on the ground (remember demonetization?)

    Kashmiri pundits had the right to return to valley even under article-370. Did anyone go back?

    Problem is not some laws which prevent Indians from other states settling in Kashmir valley. Problem is that nobody would buy houses in a place which is under curfew 6-months a year, and where one is never sure if their kids will return back from school safely.

    Kashmir problem may be political and religious in nature, its manifestation on the ground is ceaseless violence in the streets. Kashmiri youths will continue to throw rocks – and occasionally grenades, at the security forces. Pakistan will keep pumping militants in the valley, and India will continue to maintain, or rather forced to maintain, hundreds of thousands of troops in the valley. I don’t think much will change on the ground.

    1. This is the correct take.

      India and Pakistan are making a big deal about this to appeal to populist sentiments, but this changes nothing on the ground, or really even politically.

      Kashmir will continue its trajectory of becoming India’s West-Bank and Pakistan will continue support for insurgents.

      All this theater was India’s admission that it has permanently lost the people of Kashmir, so if they are going to assume the brutal occupier role, may as well do the thing properly.

      1. How does this not change things politically? Indian states have many more powers than Union Territories. J&K was India’s only Muslim-majority state. Now it is reduced to a “Bantustan” (in the words of an Indian analyst).

        The West Bank is supposedly ruled by the Palestinian Authority. J&K will now be ruled by Delhi through a Lieutenant Governor. Palestinians are not even Israeli citizens. Kashmiris are supposedly Indians. Would any Indian from the mainland be treated the way Kashmiris are being treated today?

    2. It would have been better to trifurcate the state, giving Kashmir their own assembly and letting them do whatever they want. In that way they could have their own mini Azadi (semi autonomy) thing going on, while Ladakh and Jammu could have moved to closer integration.

    3. Is Kashmir violence any different from Khalistan violence (or desire for secession)?
      Yet, one of it seemed to get under control after some police powers are granted.

      Also, all moves from Modi (including demonetization) seem to benefit more corporate powers than general public. Wonder which corporation wants to own more land in Kashmir…and who can buy off insurgents..

  15. some of the commenters here leave comments which are like white nationalist comments, except they are brown. i take a very skeptical view of this sort of stuff so please feel free to be offended if i ban you 😉

  16. Modi’s bifurcation of J&K does not compute. Why not also separate out Jammu if affinity with India was the criterion?

    Modi is trying out radical surgery for a festering wound that was J&K as far as India was concerned. A separate state of Ladakh could facilitate a settlement of the border issue with China. As US power wanes, India may seek to move more equidistant between the US and China. One step to doing this is to settle the border dispute.

    Remember that there has been constant refrain from PoK/Azad Kashmir, as well as Gilgit-Baltistan that they are getting short shrift and they would like the status of full fledged states such as K-P, Punjab, etc. Modi’s calculation may be to open the door to different configurations beyond the borders of India.

    Watch the reaction – or lack of it – from China.

  17. For the recent actions w.r.t. Kashmir, blame Trump and his big mouth. I doubt there would have been such a scramble to pass these bills otherwise.

    On a more general note, Modi and Shah are well on their way toward fulfilling the original 3-goal manifesto of the Hindu right (the raison d’etre of the BJP):
    1. Abolish Article 370: Done
    2. Institute a Uniform Civil Code: Partly done with the abolition of the Triple Talaq
    3. Build a Ram Mandir in Ayodhya: I believe a verdict is going to come down on that shortly, no doubt in favor of the ruling dispensation.

    Momentous days!

  18. Just a procedural remark. After few replys, comment columns become pretty narrow for reading and require frequent rolling down. If it is just me, doesn’t matter. Everyday guys have priority for suggestions.

    1. The best watching Pakistan talk shows over the week. They are totally like “Lets do Jihad now” . My favourtie part is them trying to pronounce hindi words in their Punjabi accent.

      Lot of talks on “Baniyas”, “dal-eet” , “shudar” , “Hindua-vata “, “akkand baharat” ,Sayama Prasad, “Jang Sangha” , “Baharatiya Janta Party”, Chinda-baram

      😊😊😊

        1. Lol someone mentioned on twitter that Imran Khan mentioned RSS and Golwalkar in their parliament .

          I have this curiosity as to what words do we mispronounce which makes Pakistanis go LOL. Perhaps some words from Urdu

    2. Imran Khan didn’t say that Pakistan would undertake suicide bombings. It’s not that far-fetched that some indigenous Kashmiris would not be even more alienated by India’s actions and plan some militant violence. But of course it’s much easier for you to blame Pakistan.

      1. Bro I mean , come on, I am with you, but don’t you think its a bit disingenuous to say Pakistan has nothing to do in Kashmir.

        1. I didn’t say that “Pakistan has nothing to do in Kashmir”. But Imran Khan was not threatening that Pakistan would carry out suicide bombings. The Pulwama bomber was a local Kashmiri. It’s quite likely that the locals would become even more disaffected and some of them may carry out violent actions.

          Pakistan is a party to the dispute and we should continue offering our diplomatic support to Kashmiris. But I am not in favor of any kind of a proxy war.

          1. Kabir, you may not be in favor of a proxy war, but one has been waged by the Pakistani Army for 50+ years. This is a fact.

            The continuing strife in J&K has been a way for the Pakistani Army to continue with its role of the guardian of the state and final arbiter of everything in Pakistan.

            In the past, India was the status quo state as far as J&K was concerned. Every conflict – ’48, ’65, ’71, and Kargil were initiated in some form or another by the Pakistani Army. The only exception was Siachen where the Indian Army was able to capture the heights before Pakistan could do so. It would seem that India has lowered the threshold of provocation coming from Pakistan. There will be costs for India, but one thing is clear, India will react.

            What Modi has done is used an explosive in the logjam that was J&K. While there could be many negative outcomes, there could be some positive ones as well. The most positive outcome for Pakistan could be if it is able to throw off the yoke of its own Army.

          2. Pakistan is not innocent. However, an outside force can only fan the flames of a conflict if the conflict exists in the first place. Kashmiris have been wanting Azaadi since 1947. India jailed Sheikh Abdullah, the tallest Kashmiri leader. India rigged elections and gradually took away the autonomy promised by 370. India has “encountered” Kashmiri men, raped Kashmiri women and blinded Kashmiri children. It is no wonder that there is so much alienation in the Valley. Even if Pakistan were to wash its hands of the whole Kashmir issue, Kashmiri Muslims will continue to fight for freedom from India. This latest step is certainly not going to help them feel any more “integrated” with mainland India.

  19. Anyways, I think that some goods thing that the 370 event indicates are:

    1) The BJP is responsive to its mandate and to the will of Indian voters.

    2) The BJP has the political machinery to make complex plays.

    Both those things bode well for the future of India.

    1. I believe Modi’s game plan is to make established political families of Kashmir (the Abdullahs and the Muftis) irrelevant.

      I am certain a constituency delineation is coming soon. It will give Jammu more seats than Kashmir valley, forever eclipsing the fortunes of valley based politicians. Henceforth the state, or whatever is left of it, will be ruled by Jammu based Hindu politicians and their patrons in Nagpur.

      I think it is a ham-handed, brute force solution. I don’t like it, but I wonder what other options India had. Kashmir problem was in a stalemate for the last 30 years. Something had to be done to break the logjam.

      May be Kashmiris had it coming. Sikhs made their peace with the Indian state, and they are prosperous people today.

      Any way, at least it will give any future central government the opportunity to play the role of good cop, now that BJP has unabashedly decided to assume the role of bad cop. A future central govt may now offer the restoration of special status as an incentive.

      Time will tell.

      1. I dont think it can ever be restored, or even used as an incentive. The liberal-left do not have political colossus like Nehru or will ever have one to restore it. Only Nehru could have done it, and that too during the country founding years, since India was on a weaker wicket eager to snap up as many Princely states as possible with Pakistan breathing down its neck. We had offered even far generous terms to the Nizam than Kashmir got (like Private army and stuff) . So it won’t happen again. And that’s why it was difficult to strike down in the first place.

        The only way it could be restored if you have an Irish-UK type situation where Kashmir forces India to do it.

      2. The Kashmiris needed to make peace with the fact that an independent state is off the table. No state would willingly dismember itself, especially not one in an area as geopolitically fraught as South Asia. To insist that India do so is just fatuous.

        There is much that Kashmiris could have won in the way of autonomy, had they been more cooperative, and the precedent for that is there when we look at Punjab and the Northeast. Unfortunately, the Kashmiris never made peace with being a part of India.

        Maybe they would have without Pakistani interference? I don’t think you could have stood at 1960 and accurately predicted the future paths of Kashmir, Mizoram, Nagaland, and Punjab.

        Anyways, the window for such things is closed now. We shall soon see just what the Kashmiris gained by choosing intractable violence and ethnic cleansing.

  20. Jammu and Kashmir has 22 districts out of which all the ‘unrest’ orchestrated by Pakistan is in 6 districts. These 6 districts were holding the whole state to ransom and blocking it’s economic progress and giving sanctuary to Jihadists in the pay of Pakistan. That game has been called out with this move, even though this could have been refined a bit more. Even out of this 6 districts only 5-6 tehsils are mired in unrest. Now let rest of the people of J&K – now bifurcated – can look after their lives and these tehsils can be zoomed in for pacification

  21. I just hope that there could have been some Hindus in Pak media, who could help Pak media folks with Hindu-right buzzwords .

    Even in India when we have muslims in Indian media our media still has a lot of misconception of muslim-right terminology and ideas. The situation is even worse in Pakistan in that way , since there is hardly any hindu , in the media there.

    I was reading somewhere that the lone Hindu Pak parliamentarian , sort of pushed this idea that Hinduism prohibits Liquor (him trying to curry favor with Muslim parliamentarians) and all the muslim folks were like “yeah.. true that”
    😄😄😄

  22. People of Pakistan Occupied Kashmir have made representations about the Pakistani govt changes the position of POK, without consulting any of it’s local people, pumping in thousands of jihadis , who make mayhem with local shia population.

    https://unpo.org/article/9914

    Gilgit Baltistan was a peaceful land free from religious extremism, sectarianism and prejudice. The people from all school of thoughts were living as members of one family, despite the fact that Shias were in majority. Government of Pakistan breached the State Subject Rules (SSR), settled thousand of people from NWFP in Gilgit Baltistan, and converted the local majority into minority. The language, culture, customs and social values of Gilgit Biltistan had been ruined, and the sectarian movements had been provoked, for fighting with locals. Proper planning had been made for the settlement of outsiders in Gilgit Baltistan, for this purpose Administrative heads from NWFP had been sent to Gilgit Baltistan and housands of acres of land has been distributed amongst outsider to settle them in Gilgit Baltistan. Beside commercial and administrative posts have been awarded to outsider, due to this reason the locals of Gilgit Baltistan is facing external interference.

    Gilgit Baltistan was victimized by these religious extremists in May 1988 when on the consent of General Zia-ul-Haque and official agencies sent 80 thousand militants/Lashkari to attack Gilgit Baltistan. The Lashkari comprised of tribesmen of NWFP and Afghani natives. The Lashkar reached Gilgit after covering a distance of 600 Kilometers by Karakoram Highway. The genocide of Shias was the main aim of this attack. The Lashkars which were fully armed with heavy weapons committed genocide and terror activities in Gilgit, settlements were ruined, human being, animals and un-harvested crops were burnt and the Shia population of Jalalabad were burnt alive. Hundreds of women were raped, humiliated and kidnapped. No case was registered against these militants nor were they asked the reason of the attack on Gilgit Baltistan. The shameless invasion and killing of humans has been concealed from the world and instead it was broadcasted by Pakistani media that Taliban captured the Jalalabad city of Afghanistan.

    .

  23. Epstein dead.

    I distinctly remember one of the Sri Lankan commenter sbarrkum predicted precisely this. Interesting to know that despite being on suicide watch, Epstein “managed” to commit suicide. Looks like if you have friends in high places, you can get help even for killing yourself.

    1. Thanks Scorpion Eater.

      It was an easy prediction.

      Many, myself included predicted he would go before trial.

      Justice is not served when it involves the rich and powerful.

      The circle was huge, left right, center, blue red you name it.
      What about the conspiracy theories of Mossad/Israeli and blackmail
      None of these will proved or disproved.

      So Clinton, Trump etc are off the hook.

      All were probably united in the need for Epstien to go.

      List of People Epstein knew or were in his Book

      http://nymag.com/intelligencer/2019/07/jeffrey-epstein-high-society-contacts.html?

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