I have little value to add on the many comments around “Modi is bad to the bone” piece in The New Yorker, except that this passage jumped out at me:
Other coverage on Republic TV showed people dancing ecstatically, along with the words “Jubilant Indians celebrate Modi’s Kashmir masterstroke.” A week earlier, Modi’s government had announced that it was suspending Article 370 of the constitution, which grants autonomy to Kashmir, India’s only Muslim-majority state. The provision, written to help preserve the state’s religious and ethnic identity, largely prohibits members of India’s Hindu majority from settling there. Modi, who rose to power trailed by allegations of encouraging anti-Muslim bigotry, said that the decision would help Kashmiris, by spurring development and discouraging a long-standing guerrilla insurgency. To insure a smooth reception, Modi had flooded Kashmir with troops and detained hundreds of prominent Muslims—a move that Republic TV described by saying that “the leaders who would have created trouble” had been placed in “government guesthouses.”
From the broadly Left/liberal internationalist perspective, Hindu nationalists express a majoritarian and ethnoreligious self-consciousness. They don’t want what in India is termed “secularism” to be ascendant. I believe that some Hindu nationalists do want for India what was the original vision of Pakistan, a nation-state that has at its core a particular ethnoreligious identity (I believe this is distinct from a “Islamic fundamentalist” vision properly understood in the modern context).
And yet this passage simply glosses over the fact that legal fiat was preserving a particular sub-national identity, that of Kashmiris, the vast majority of whom are Muslims.
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Today Razib talks to Sagar Dubey about being a cosmopolitan world-traveling brown. Sagar lived in eight countries (North and South America) before finally settling down (for now) in Finland.
Razib also asks about Sagar’s impressions of India, while they also talk about how the online world has evolved over the past generation.
There were louder executives at Google. There were brainier ones. There were more aggressive ones and those who were doubtlessly better at throwing a sharp elbow, too. And many more political ones — even if those who have been running one of the world’s most powerful companies continued to think of themselves as benign, long after it was clear to everyone else that they were many things but that.
Most of them are gone. Most are as rich as Croesus. But they’re not at the pinnacle of one of the mightiest companies on the planet.
Because in the end, the nice guy — Sundar Pichai — finished first. Mr. Pichai on Tuesday was named chief executive of Alphabet, the company chassis under which the unbeatable and wildly profitable search engine lives, along with a number of other less impressive initiatives. The soft-spoken executive, who was born in India, had worked his way up a long ladder from product manager to vice president to chief executive of Google. Now this big announcement.
Page and Brin will still control the company. Pichai is the public face. A friend who used to work at Google says
– He’s not too bright – He’s not too courageous – He lacks deep vision
This is probably what you would expect from someone who is there to take Page and Brin’s implied marching orders.
Pichai gets compared to Satya Nadella of Microsoft. But at least Nadella has pivoted Microsoft in many new directions, fundamentally transforming the OS and productivity application company into something much more diverse.