165 Replies to “Open Thread”

    1. I went thro all the 30 mins of the podcast and have to agree with Daniel falush , both w.r.t to the catastrophe facing the UK and limp efforts of the UK gov so far. Today I made a back of the envelope – actually back of the mind- calculation. Reported cases of COVID has increased by a bit more than twice in the last 1 week. The number of cases will hit a peak in 10 or 12 weeks time; that means at the peak the number of reported cases would be 2 to the power of 10 i.e. more than 1000 fold. that means about 5000000 cases in 10 weeks. Even if the death rate is 1.5% , it would be large no of casualties. This takes into account only reported no. Even by UK gov’s statement, the real number is about 5 to 10 times more than reported cases. This is because the latest government advice is to stay at home for a week before contacting the hospitals as the COVID in individual cases may only be mild. So many people having symptoms don’t report to the doctors for the first week.

      As the podcast said, Boris Johnson keeps saying we have taken our decisions or non decisions after consulting scientific opinion , but no one knows what this opinion is or the rationale for it. UK should have been put under lock down 2 weeks back, still it is nowhere in sight.

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  1. We may look back and say that the Coronavirus crisis was actually when the baton of world economic leadership passed from the US to China.

    China appears to have used the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) overwhelming dominance to bring the Corona virus under control in China. This appears to have been achieved through measures that other countries would have considered draconian and unthinkable. Now, we are seeing other countries adopt similar measures in a desperate attempt to control the spread of the virus. While the Chinese economy is going to be badly impacted by the virus in Q1 and Q2 of 2020, it is likely to come out of its slump earlier than the US and Europe. Under pressure from the US, China was already trying desperately to reduce its dependency on US markets and US technology in key areas. This process will accelerate, and the Chinese and US economies are likely to increasingly decouple. China is likely to emerge stronger from the impact of the virus, while the US under the unique leadership of President Trump will struggle to get its act together. As they say, elections have consequences.

    Key indicator – watch China flood the world with aid packages as its manufacturing arm gears up to churn out supplies to fight the virus. This while the US struggles to get its act together and control the virus within its own borders.

    So what does this have to do with India and South Asia? Modi will be under increasing pressure from China to stay neutral as US power wanes in Asia. US will leave Afghanistan and even Iraq to its own devices regardless of whether President Trump wins re-election.

    India’s ability to chart an independent course will depend on whether Modi turns his focus back to revitalizing the economy, rather than nurturing Hindutva. And in this regard, Modi may be running out of time.

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    1. \Chinese economy is going to be badly impacted by the virus in Q1 and Q2 of 2020, it is likely to come out of its slump earlier than the US and Europe.\

      Nope. Coronova virus is just a needle to prick the stock market bubble, asset bubble, corporate loan bubble and a variety of bubbles brought in due to the irresponsible QE and repo policies of different central banks and chinese govt. Chinese corporate credits have gone up by 500% in the last 7 years , many of them for infrastructure projects. Chinese banks will have to decline Govt’s pressure to give more more credits to Chinese companies or they will go bust. Most probably the latter. China has so far run capitalist financial markets through govt fiats; they can run only so much and the end is coming.

      Basically the financial crisis of 2008 was never fixed, it has simply been kicked down the road so far.

      The corona virus has and will impact the western economies deeply; even if they bring it under control in 6 months , very optimistic, the demand would have collapsed from the rest of the world and Chinese supplies won’t be needed even if production is resumed at full scale and shipping is ready to deliver it to the rest of the world.

      In short, the world is going into recession very soon and full scale depression in the next 3 years. This includes China.

      No asset class will be safe in coming financial Armageddon. Better to come out of stock markets totally now , than see it collapse to nothing in the coming months and years. It is better to take losses when it is 10 or 20% and cut the losses than see it decline even more .

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      1. anyway, Hindu Kush mountains are known what they are for a reason. People can post links on an orderthree times of magnitude as those cited in araingang’s attempt at an article on the very reputable, medium, almost as good as his usual reddit posts. There is enough material out there to lie via omission till the cows come home to showcase a particular narrative. But even then, his best case was “these were not the norm” and a lot of instances of a single shrine destroyed or a monk killed. Wow sure compares…

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      2. Punjabi tribal identities predate the existence of Hinduism.

        What is it with Hindus thinking that everything in the world derives from them? Whether plastic surgery, Indoaryan languages, or a basic concept like tribes? Al Biruni’s observation was accurate.

        “The Hindus believe that there is no country but theirs, no nation like theirs, no kings like theirs, no religion like theirs, no science like theirs. They are haughty, foolishly vain, self-conceited, and stolid…According to their belief, there is no other country on earth but theirs, no other race of man but theirs, and no created beings besides them have any knowledge or science whatsoever”

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        1. Nope. No such thing. Show Punjabi existed even as a language before indo aryans who brought the major component of Hinduism. You can’t. No Punjab or proto Punjabi without it. And once again indus traditions assimilated within Hinduism. So maybe you can argue Indus identity. But you can’t because ind aryan one dominates it. Or fake scythian ones among modern Punjabis who brag about R1a grandaddies on anthrogenica or aryans and “scythians” in other circles

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          1. The word punjab is obviously Sanskrit derived. Although these “Punjabis” wouldnt know that. 🙂

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          2. Don’t be intentionally stupid.

            Tribes among Punjabis have existed for thousands of years before the Aryans invaded. Punjabis here meaning the natives of Punjab, not in the sense of speaking Punjabi languages.

            There is zero evidence that Hinduism assimilated Indus culture in any significant way.

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          3. To be factually correct, the word “punjab” comes from Persian. “punj” meaning five and “ab” meaning water.

            Similarly “hind” and “hindustan” also come from Persian.

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          4. It is understandable if Persians couldnt pronounce Indian words like Panch, Aap or Sindhu. It’s downright comical for Punjabis or Sindhis to be learning Indian words from them. 😉

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          5. Your point that “Punjab” is Sanskrit derived is neither here nor there since one can just as easily point to the fact that the name comes from the Persian.

            “Hindustan” is a Persian name. If you guys are so set on denigrating all of Indo-Islamic civilization, you will have to call your country “Bharat”.

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    1. This is mostly shoddy work on the part of Samuel Beal, Dutt and Taranatha

      For example the following describes shaaps (or curses that powerful meditative people with cognitive abilities beyond the scope of general intelligence) gave to others that in turn caused destruction:
      “Hindus burning the Buddhist Nalanda Library, a Brahmin: “performed a sacrifice and scattered the charmed ashes all around. This immediately resulted in a miraculously produced fire. It consumed all the eighty four temples, the centres of the Buddha’s Doctrine. The fire started burning the scriptural works that were kept in the Dharmaganja of Sri Nalanda, particularly in the big temples called Ratnasagara, Ratnodadhi and Ratnarandaka, in which were preserved all the works of Mahayana pitaka…Many temples in other places were also burnt, and the two tirthikas, apprehending punishment from the king, escaped to Assam.” (22)
      Tirthika Brahmin loses debate to Buddhist acarya: “At this, he threw enchanted dust, which burnt the belongings of the acarya, and even the acarya himself narrowly escaped the fire…The tirthika fled.” (23)
      Iconoclasm between rival Buddhist groups: “In a temple of Vajrasana there was then a large silver-image of Heruka and many treatises on Tantra. Some of the Sravaka Sendhavas of Singa island and other places said that these were composed by Mara. So they burnt these and smashed the image into pieces and used the pieces as ordinary money.” (24)”

      Obviously using Siddhis or special powers of the brain and nerrvous system to harm others is inappropriate and strongly condemned. These kinds of people are persona non grata.

      Emperor Shashanka was an idiot moron that no one likes.

      “Shashanka continues: “‘We must remove that statue of Buddha and place there a figure of Shiva’. The officer having received the order, was moved with fear, and sighing, said, ‘If I destroy the figure of Buddha, then during successive kalpas I shall reap misfortune ; if I disobey the king, he will put me to a cruel death and destroy my family’…” (3)”

      His own people refused to obey him because he was disrespecting the 9th Avataara of lord Vishnu.

      “The Emperor targets another sacred Buddhist figure: “Shashanka-raja, when he was overthrowing and destroying the law of Buddha, forthwith came to the place where that stone is, for the purpose of destroying the sacred marks. Having broken it into pieces, it came whole again, and the ornamental figures as before ; then he flung it into the river Ganges…” (4)”

      Wacko Shashanka couldn’t do the crazy perversions he wanted to do.

      “The sobering results in Bengal: “Shashanka-raja having destroyed the religion of Buddha, the members of the priesthood were dispersed, and for many years driven away.” (5)”

      Shashanka refused to donate large amounts of money to certain Sampradayas. These Sampradayas did not like him and moved to neighboring kingdoms in treated them better. This does not violate freedom of art and thought.

      “An episode in North India where Hindus react with extreme prejudice to Buddhist proselytization: “The Brahmins said amongst themselves, ‘The Buddhist priests have raised a quarrel on some question of words.’ Then these wicked men consulting together, waiting for the occasion, destroyed the Sanghardarma, and afterwards strongly barricaded the place in order to keep the priests out. From that time no priests of Buddha have lived there.” (6)

      The Buddhist Sampradayas had many Brahmin priests of their own. From this description they did not own these facilities and the owners chose to evict them. If the Buddhist Sampradayas owned these lands wouldn’t they have either sold them or sued in court? Property rights in the ancient world were sacrocant. They were far more capitalist than America is today for example.

      “Similar episode with Madhava Hindu voicing discontent at Buddhist Gunamati Bodhisattva and his attempt to debate doctrinal differences: “From this time forth give no hospitality to the Sramana heretics ; let this order be generally known and obeyed.”
      “The Brahmans, moreover, deriding him (Bodhisattva), said, ‘What mean you by your shaven head and your singular dress ? Begone from this! There is no place here for you to stop’… the Brahmans would have no words with him, and only drove him from the place.” (7)”

      I am interpreting this as cutting off annual donations to some Buddhist Sampradayas combined with vigorous debate. This is what freedom of art and thought means in practice.

      There are hundreds of Sampradayas debating each other. Many had uncertain donations, sponsorships and recruits. The interplay tapestry between them is beautiful and sweet 🙂

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    2. @INDTHINGS
      What is wrong with you?
      I replied to your ‘research paper’ a couple of days ago and without having courtesy to answer any of the objections you are back quoting same Taranatha(from 17th century) writing about Shunga empire (2nd century BC) and other completely random shit(enchanted dust? Buddhist infighting? killing deer? WTF are you quoting?)
      Kalhana’s (12th century btw) writing about 3rd century BC (made up king) Jalauka. Please read about real Kashmiri kings Harsha (whom the medium shitpost mentions) before posting nonsense.
      Anyways most of the points on the list that are sourced from Rajatarangini are irrelevant/random that have no relation with the topic.
      And finally stop this stupidity about Shashanka(who lived in 7th century btw) first mention of desecration of Bodhi tree by him are from 12th century. Are you wilfully trolling us or really retarded to post the same three sources I had admonished you for?

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      1. Your objections were dumb, there was nothing to respond to.

        Rejecting sources because they aren’t contemporary means you basically have to reject the entire field of Indian history before the arrival of Muslims. You also need to reject the entire field of pre-modern history.

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        1. Yeah sure!
          Like Arthashastra, Nitisara, Harshacharita, Devichandraguptam, Indica, Yajnavalkyasmriti, works of Fa-Hien, Hiuentsang, …..
          No contemporary source material available!
          All hail desert baddus to have given us civilization and culture.
          And I did not reject non-contemporary source material, I am only asking for some more evidence to back their claims about things that happened multiple centuries years ago at the time of writing (for Kalhana).

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          1. Literally half of those texts you just listed are not contemporary to the periods they describe. Fa-Hien was before the period of Buddhists destruction at the hands of the Huns. “Hiuentsang” is Xuanzang, who is cited in the article, and describes the destruction of Buddhism by Hindus.

            There’s a reason the British relied almost entirely on Muslim works to construct Indian history. The contemporary Indian works aren’t great. Which is common in a lot of places, but we don’t just throw everything out and say oh well.

            Why do you want more evidence? The most renown, extensive pre-modern history of Kashmir isn’t good enough lol? Detailed accounts of Chinese monks are no good lol? Again by this standard we’d have to throw out most of Indian history (including most of the recorded acts of violence committed by Muslims against Hindus).

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          2. @INDTHINGS
            Which of the books I mentioned are not describing contemporary events? Fact check before commenting.
            Rajatarangini can not be considered a reliable source for events happening 1500 years(Jalauka or 500 years for Harsha) before it’s composition. It mentions Mihirakula invaded Ceylon. Shouldn’t caution be used in reading it? And why would you give Rajatarangini all the authority if Harshacharita (written 500 years before it during time of Harsha himself) is available?
            Travel accounts of Huantsang are held in high regard (for good reason) but shouldn’t contemporary Chinese travel accounts of Song Yun who actually met Mihirakula be held in even higher regard?
            You are welcome to ask for more evidence of Muslim atrocities on your ancestors and I will happily oblige. By your logic no standard of corraboration should be applied.
            And finally ‘no’ there are so many evidences of Muslim excesses that perhaps an order of magnitude more difficult standard of corraboration can be met.
            You are welcome to beat Hindus for things like the horrors of casteism (and I will happily partake) but there is simply no competition (at least from dharmic faith’s) in the ugliness that Islamic conquerors showed in religious persecution and excesses. You are just so blinded by hatred for your ancestry (or so thoroughly ashamed at having been forcefully converted) that you refuse to see it and try to justify it by citing excesses of one (Hindu) Central Asian Hun king (Mihirakula) in 1500 years of pre Islamic arrival history of Buddhism.

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    3. INDTHINGS
      Mauryan Emperor Ashoka’s destruction of the sacred Buddhist Bodhi Tree: “When Ashoka-raja began to reign, he was an unbeliever, and he desired to destroy the bequeathed traces of Buddha;

      Anything but. If Asoka had done any of these things, the Mahavamsa would have have denounced him.

      Chapter 5
      Twenty-four years he reigned, and his son Bindusära reigned twenty-eight. A hundred glorious sons and one had Bindusara;7 Asoka8 stood high above them all in valour, splendour, might, and wondrous powers. He, when he had slain his ninety-nine brothers born of different mothers, won the undivided sovereignty over all Jambudipa. Be it known, that two hundred and eighteen years had passed from the nibbana of the Master unto Asoka’s consecration. (/i>

      Chapter 11
      Asoka introduces Buddhism to Sri Lanka. Also sends a branch of the Bodhi Tree to Sri Lanka. That tree is still standing and the oldest recorded tree in the world

      When the king saw them he was glad at heart and thought: ‘My friend Dhammasoka and nobody else is worthy to have these priceless treasures ; I will send them to him as a gift.’ For the two monarchs, Devanampiyatissa and Dhammasoka already had been friends a long time, though they had never seen each other.
      http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/11-consecrating-devanampiyatissa/

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    4. INDTHINGS

      Want a reference to Hindus destroying Buddhist Temples

      Culavamsa Chap 80 51-78

      “We are Kerala Warriors” they tore from the people their garments, their ornaments and the like, corrupted the good morals of the family which had been observed for ages, cut of the hands and fee and the like (of people) destroyed many houses and tied up cows, oxen and other (cattle) which they made their own property. After they had put fetters on the wealthy and rich people and had them tortured and taken away all their possesions, they made poor people of them. They wrecked the image houses, destroyed many ceitiyas, ravaged the viharas and maltreated the lay brothers. They flogged the children, tormented the five (groups of the) comrades of the Order, made the people carry burdens and forced them to do heavy labor. Many books known and famous they tore from their cord and strewed them hither and tither. The beautiful, vast, proud ceitiyas like the Ratanavali (cetiya) and others which embodied as it were, the glory of pious kings they destroyed by overthrowing them and allowing alas! many of the bodily relics, their souls as it were to disappear. Thus the Damil warriors in imitation of the Warriors of Mara destroyed in the evil of their nature the laity and the order. Hereupon thy completely invested Pulatthinagara and captured Parakkrama, that man of great might and valour. They put out the Monarchs eyes and plundered all his treasures., pearls, jewels, and so forth. Then the leaders of the soldiers with Manabjaran at the head, consecrated the Kalinga Magha to the glorious dignity of Lanka.

      Now after the Ruler Magha had in this manner taken possesion of the kingdom and attained the royal dignity he dwelt in Pulatthinagara. The Monarch forced the people to adopt a false faith and he brought great confusion into the four sharply divided castes. Villages and fields, houses abd gardens, slaves, cattle, buffaloes and whatever else belonged to the Sihalas he had delivered up to the Keralas.

      https://imgur.com/YeWfNRg

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  2. “Not to argue this persecution was the norm in pre-Islamic India (it wasn’t), but to show first that it happened, and second, how easy it is to construct warped narratives when selectively mining these texts”

    Very true. Indthings portrays this as a norm and some organized genocide. He is guilty ofnthis warped narrative behavior.

    The difference is that many Islamic rules did make this a norm. And there is nothing comparable to the slave trade of hindus Islamic rulers committed. These instances are of small kingdoms and orders of magnitudes several times less. Iconoclasts always existed everywhere. The extent is up for debate. But even your best case araingang admits these were not the norm.

    And your goal throughout was to show Hindus are evil and hurt Buddhists. Clearly, the violence was two sided. People killed each other a lot in ancient times. Congrats. And you agree these people were all Hindus. And seems like they were all over S Asia, contradicting two other arguments you like to make: Hinduism is a fake recent Western construct and that it was not the religion of the NW. Congrats.

    And Razib is right though. People are more forgiving of violence committed by a someone they perceive to be closer in kin than not. That is part of the Hindu angst against Muslims in the subcontinent. To them, they are a legacy of an era of trauma and pain inflicted by outsiders, a constant reminder of a lineage of brethren who continue to spite them with their continued love of Islam. This is also not right. But I see where it comes from.

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  3. while we are all citing goofy stuff here and there, let’s take a look at the common view from Britannica

    ” Scholars do not know all the factors that contributed to Buddhism’s demise in its homeland. Some have maintained that it was so tolerant of other faiths that it was simply reabsorbed by a revitalized Hindu tradition. This did occur, though Indian Mahayanists were occasionally hostile toward bhakti and toward Hinduism in general. Another factor, however, was probably much more important. Indian Buddhism, having become primarily a monastic movement, seems to have lost touch with its lay supporters. Many monasteries had become very wealthy, so much so that they were able to employ indentured slaves and paid labourers to care for the monks and to tend the lands they owned. Thus, after the Muslim invaders sacked the Indian monasteries in the 12th and 13th centuries, the Buddhist laity showed little interest in a resurgence.”

    Looks like the Muslims freed the Buddhists like Saladin did in his benevolent might in the Levant for those oppressed by Christians. Indthings should rejoice with that one.

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  4. lol then their whole identity is indo aryan even if you stand by the “tribal” identities being there. Show me mention jats, arains, gujjars, awans, etc. prior to aryan invasion lmfao. These tribal idebtities and their cultures and hell their namesake inception is with the arrival of indo aryans. Punjabi tribes are a mix of different groups racially with the last being indoaryans , the bringers of much of hindusim, and indoaryan culture aka most of Punjabi culture. You are full of shit if you think these modern tribal identities existed then. Hell some caste ones like Khatris or Chamars and the “Rajput” claims of arains only exist with rigid caste, not just Hinduism. Once again, your lies are easily exposed.

    and lol please. there are yogic poses in the valley architecture and strong evidence of worship of entities like shiva. You contradict yourself like a clown daily on here

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    1. “You contradict yourself”

      Well, I would say your strawmens of me contradict themselves but i have not.

      Your tribal convo is off base. These tribes need not have been the same before the Aryan Invasion to not be Hindu constructs today. Modern Rajput identity did not exist before Mughal arrival and stimulus, that doesn’t make the Rajput identity a Muslim construct.

      Regarding IVC and Hinduism, see my Al Biruni quote above. Why does someone sitting cross legged imply its “yogic” as we know it today? Similar forms are found in ancient Egypt before the existence of Hinduism as well, does that mean Egypt was also Vedic in some way lol?

      The reason this vedic-IVC idea is not accepted is the same reason OIT is not accepted. Its based on very flimsy stuff, and only half-works if your baseline assumption (which is wrong), is that any similarities between IVC and later Hinduism must be the result of direct cultural transfusion.

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      1. at the earliest, these tribes are constructs of the identities that warped together as hinduism came together with indo aryan culture dominating yet retaining some elements of the indus one. they are super hindu. religion of Punjab was Hinduism since indo aryans came and dominanted the declining IVC

        Unless the Rig Veda isn’t hinduism. You are one confused dude. Punjabi identity is pretty modern actually and only came into full fruition with Sikhs. Before that Punjab was broken up into little kingdoms or vassal states of different empires. ie. Porus didn’t call himself a Punjabi

        There is no coherent Punjabi identity of the region until recently. But you can continue to be an ass clown and make a mockery of yourself. You’re at least a little funny today. Maybe you can post more araingang propaganda from reddit later

        Face it Punjab was Hindu. Then mixed with some Buddhism. Now majority Muslim. Land of 500 conquests more than 5 rivers. Should be called

        Pansowjab

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        1. There’s really no point talking to you because you will just ignore what I say and start ranting against a position I never took. Oh well.

          Before I go, Punjab was never Hindu. Sure some Hindus lived there and you can find old temples there, but most of the population wasn’t Hindu.

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          1. To whom are you referring when you are using the term Hindu or in other words define Hindu ?

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          2. I disagree with INDTHINGS here. I think “Punjab was never Hindu” is a stretch. Of course “Hinduism” as such is a modern construct, but you would have to then explain what religion most Punjabis were practicing prior to the coming of Islam. It is commonly accepted that most Punjabis (and most South Asian Muslims) are descended from Hindu converts.

            On the whole issue of whether Islamic temple destruction was “worse” than Hindu destruction of Buddhist temples, I think the point is that destruction of the enemy’s shrines was a normal aspect of pre-modern conquest and a way of demonstrating one’s power. There is nothing specifically “Islamic” about it. Such issues should be left to academic historians to debate and certainly should not be weaponized in order to create a narrative that justifies prejudice against Indian Muslims, who are not responsible for what happened centuries ago and should be treated as equal citizens of the state.

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          3. what were they before? you have no answer. they were Hindu. Hinduism is pretty broad. They were within the framework. What other historical temples were there? What religion? You have no answer. you disown your hindu heritage because it burns to admit you venerate those who subjugated your ancestors on multiple levels from indo aryans to central asian mughals and then the final adoption of an arab ideology

            There were Hindu and Buddhist temples and people there because that is what they were. The elites were Hindu first and locals followed and then Buddhism was thrown into the mix prior to Islamic invasion and genocide

            What were these magical pre indo aryan Punjabis? Who? What religion? What culture? What remnants of it are in Punjab today that do anything close to overshadow the massive Dharmic influence present in the culture today with Islamic influence added in with varied intensity, greater as you move into West Punjab

            You enjoy talking out of your ass and get owned everyday on here. Your fallacious remarks know no bounds. You require the highest order of “proof” for any contrarian views yet make assertions that you can’t defend because they have 0 backing, beyond your pure conformation bias ridden guesswork. You are insecure about your ancestral Hindu past. That’s fine. You are insecure that you are genetically very similar to N Indians, just with a bit more West Eurasian. I get it. You want to be different to justify your nation state as something more than a construct purely 60 years old and then split in two a bit after its inception.

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          4. 1) There was no “genocide”. Had there been one, India today would not still be more than 80% Hindu. To the contrary, the Mughals intermarried with Rajputs, employed Hindus in their armies, etc. You had Muslim kings playing Holi and celebrating Diwali. That sounds like the opposite of “genocide”.

            2) All nation states are constructs to an extent so not sure what your point is here. The Republic of India is just as old as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

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          5. “To the contrary, the Mughals intermarried with Rajputs”

            I would not go far as “intermarried”/ More like vassals providing their women folks to Imperial Harems. So more like slavery.(Even though that would perhaps be too strong, an intermediate phrase perhaps?)

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          6. Saurav,

            When people from two different communities marry, “intermarriage” is the technically correct term. Some of these Rajput princesses became mothers of future emperors, which is obviously a powerful position.

            The point is that the Mughals could not have ruled without co-opting the Rajputs. As I have argued several times on this forum, the consensus among historians is that the Mughals essentially became Indianized. It suits the Hindu Right to create a narrative of “slavery” and “one thousand years of occupation” but this is not historically accurate at all.

            If the intent of the Islamic rulers was to carry out Hindu “genocide”, then they were spectacularly bad at it. Otherwise, the entire subcontinent would be Muslim by now. Rather, they were interested in perpetuating their rule and recognized that this could not happen if they alienated the majority of their subjects too much.

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          7. /Kabir : ‘There was no “genocide”. Had there been one, India today would not still be more than 80% Hindu. ‘/

            Same logic is been used by RW in India to say the Muslim numbers are increasing. Must be best of times to live for them.

            You must hold the things you hear from left to same scrutiny as you do for the views from right.

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          8. “Genocide” has a specific meaning and is a politically loaded term which must not be used loosely.

            If Hindus are the majority community in the subcontinent today, clearly there were no state-sponsored efforts to exterminate them (either that or those efforts failed miserably). The presence of a thriving Indo-Islamic culture clearly indicates that rather than “genociding” Hindus, Muslim kings were Indianized. Why else would Islamic kings be playing Holi–which has nothing to do with Islam?

            The Hindu Right has an insane persecution complex which has no connection with actual History.

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        2. I think some people have problem when their convoluted logic is used against them.

          Hindus are majority today = there was no genocide !
          What is the logic? What was the % of hindus before. What is total population we are talking about? Do you think we can agree on genocide only when the number is decimated like in Pak?

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          1. “Genocide” means something very specific. The Holocaust was a genocide. Rwanda was a genocide. Hindus have always been the majority in the subcontinent. Even the most bigoted Islamic king did not engage in mass killings. They persecuted political opponents but there was no systemized killing on a mass scale.
            I refuse to accept violence being done to the English language in the service of a bigoted nationalist ideology.

            Those who argue that a Hindu “genocide” happened have yet to successfully explain what Muslim Kings were doing embracing Hindu practices like Holi.

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          2. People trying to paint the riots in Delhi (that lead to unfortunate loss of 50+ lives) as genocide now are getting ‘word nazi’ about how exactly genocide word could be used. Wow!

            Modi wished Eid Mubarak the other day !
            He truly seems like a friend of Muslims. They are lucky to have him as their PM in India.

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          3. Let us take the case of the recent genocide of 1971 perpetrated by Pakistani army. Up to 3 million people were killed. A majority (some say up to 80%) were Hindus. The Blood Telegram also highlighted the targeted killings. All of the people killed were ethnically Bengali. The refugee flow of Bengalis into India was in the range of 10 million, again the majority were Hindus.

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          4. The violence in Delhi was a pogrom not genocide.

            Words have definitions and they should be used appropriately, especially when they are politically loaded. If you want to call that being a “word Nazi” then guilty as charged.

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          5. We need to invent many new words in addition to pogrom and genocide. Pogrom = upto a few hundred. Genocide = a 50% or more of entire population. (What percentage of the Begali Hindu population of 1971 is 1-3 million ?) How about a Yahya = killings of upto a few hundred thousand ?
            Then what about when we have a few hundreds on both side ? Is that a mutual pogrom ? Maybe we can call it a Modi ?

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    2. >there are yogic poses in the valley architecture and strong evidence of worship of entities like shiva

      I have to disagree with this. There was an image stamped on a seal of a figure sitting cross legged. Cernunnos also sits cross legged, but that doesn’t make him Shiva. An actual piece of strong evidence would be dating that Nataraja image (a much more specific image) from Bhimbetka caves. If it is considerably older than 2,000 BC then you would definitely have a strong case.

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  5. Man, always felt Pakistan infatuation with Arab(mostly) and Iranian heritage cringe worthy. But this new Indus Valley thing seems even more cringe and desperate.

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  6. Hi everyone, I wrote the post being discussed here, very glad its stimulating interesting discussions. A reader asked me to comment on the utility of the sources and how it relates to the Islamic period, so after skimming some of the responses already here, I figured I’d add some of my own thoughts.

    Its quite reasonable to question the validity of non contemporaneous historical accounts. Its not however reasonable to reject them simply for being so. Similarly, while corroboration from multiple sources is ideal, its often not an option when dealing with early history; this on its own does not disqualify the account.

    Regarding Xuanzang’s account on Mihirakula, I think its pretty solid. Not because there are corroborating accounts that mirror exactly what he says, but because of certain clues. The first Chinese traveler to the region (Fahien) arrives around 400AD, just before the Hun’s invade, and notes a strong Buddhist presence. The next traveler (Song Yun) arrives around 520, 5 years into Mihirakula’s 30 year reign, and notes the inhabitants detest him for his violent/cruel practices and antagonism of Buddhism. Then Xuanzang arrives 80 years after Mihirakula’s reign, notes that many Buddhist temples in the region lay in ruins, and that the Shaivite-Sun cult of Mihirakula is now popular. Even without Xuanzang going on to narrate the tradition of Mihirakula’s atrocities against Buddhists, its pretty apparent what happened.

    Regarding the Rajatarangini vs. the Harshacharita; the former isn’t contemporary, but the latter isn’t serious. I’d encourage anyone who doesn’t believe me (or the various academics who comfortably ignore the Harshacharita entirely), to read it. The author was commissioned by King Harsha to compose a court-epic about his excellency, and it reads like such. I would not take the lack of atrocities in the work to mean anything, much less to mean the Rajatarangini (a work held in much higher esteem) can be dismissed.

    On the relation to the Muslim period; its true we have more accounts of Muslim atrocities against Hindus than we have of Hindus against Buddhists from earlier periods. But this is largely due to the fact that there was much better record keeping in the Islamic period than in any previous period in India, particularly from Muslims. As an example, the destruction of Somanth by Ghazni was recorded with gusto by Persian chroniclers later in his life, but contemporary Hindu sources from Gujarat were silent on it. In fact, nearly two centuries afterward the only related inscription found relates how the temple was recently fortified to fend off raids from a neighboring Hindu polity in Malwa.

    I won’t get into who I think was “worse” between Muslims and Hindus with regards to atrocities (mostly because I think its both unknowable and subjective), but I do think the nature of the violence each party committed while in power was largely the same.

    Apologies for the long comment!

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    1. “But I do think the nature of the violence each party committed while in power was largely the same”

      False equivalence.
      Atleast you should tone down your attempts of whitewashing Islam and demonising natives.
      Indian even didn’t know that ‘Buddhism’ and ‘Hinduism’ are different religions before advent of British. It’s still seen just as a political division by many natives.
      Besides philosophically Buddhism and Hinduism are almost identical and sometimes even inseparable but Islam is annihilatory.

      Are you aware about evolution and assimilation of various ‘Buddhist’ traditions into ‘Hinduism’?
      Are you aware about rampant degeneracy in medieval Sanghas and subsequent disillusionment of general population from the monastic orders? We have plenty of ‘valid’ contemporary sources to prove it but this side of Buddhism is not much debated due to political correctness.

      What Islam did to India was pure evil and any attempt to hide it will be seen as endorsing genocide of our ancestors.

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    2. @Araingang
      ‘Unknowable and subjective’ Yeah sure! All I am wondering is how can someone pretending to be asleep be woken up?

      Now that you are here personally, a few observations on your medium article:

      Outright false:(1),(2),(3),(4),(5),(8),(20),(22),(23)
      Irrelevant and/or meaningless:(6),(7),(10),(11),(12),(13),(16),(19),(20),(24)
      Disputed(may be true but needs further evidence):(9),(14),(15),(17),(21)
      (Appears to be) True: Mihirakula, post by @sbarrkum.

      Where is the equivalence between the two? I can’t see any?
      Also I was just pointing out that Rajatarangini(12th century) cannot be a reliable source for knowing about Gopaditya(claimed 4th century BC), Jalauka(ahistorical) and should be read/used with caution.

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    3. @Araingang
      I suppose the said equivalence is to be found in temples converted into mosques(Quwattul Islam, Alamgiri, Gyanvapi, mathura idgah, Adina, Bhojshala, Ahemdabad Bhadrakali,Dhai din ka jhopara,Martand, I can go on..) or desecrated (Nalanda, Odantapuri, Vikramshila) or jizya, or mass conversions/enslavement/killings. Nothing would disturb your idea of ‘equivalence’ right?

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      1. @bhimrao The most important point such people conveniently forget is that Buddhism didn’t fall from the sky like Islam or Christianity in the subcontinent. The Buddhist traditions were firmly rooted in Indian spirituality and Indian values. Every Indian ‘religion’ whether shramanic or brahmanic was compatible with Indian culture. The ‘disputes’ among Indian religions were mostly philosophical in nature and out of concern of general population.
        Indian religions are apolitical. We don’t have divinely ordained Hindu scriptures asking for annihilation of ‘others’ or divine ‘atrocity literature’ to defame ‘others’.

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        1. Mobbywick

          The Buddhist traditions were firmly rooted in Indian spirituality and Indian values. Every Indian ‘religion’ whether shramanic or brahmanic was compatible with Indian culture.

          The ‘disputes’ among Indian religions were mostly philosophical in nature and out of concern of general population.

          if you rephrase “Buddhist traditions” as Buddhist philosophy as in the teaching s of the Buddha cant agree more.

          Hindu, what is Hindu. The Vedas ? The Rig Veda, where the valiant slew the Dark Dasus. That is not a philosophy.
          No different from the Bible where it says kill all the Amalek (1 Samuel 15:3 )
          Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

          Buddhism:
          In the Mahavamsa the early chapters are a record of the history of the of Buddhism. By Chapter 5 the where the the history of Sri Lanka begins it is semi altruistic. i.e the Kings who are supportive of the Sasna (monastic order) are praised.

          By about the Culavamsa times (post 500AD and worse in in 1200AD), you see the monks becoming more accultured to Hindu ideals, including the laws of Manu.

          Many current day monk-eys have Hindu gods in their Temples. Cant afford to loose businnes to because, the philosophy of the Buddha is not all the helpful. The nearby “Hindu” god who one can cry to
          “Oh Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ?
          My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends.
          Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends,
          So Lord, won’t you buy me a Mercedes Benz ? ”

          Others can comment on below.

          Indian religions are apolitical. We don’t have divinely ordained Hindu scriptures asking for annihilation of ‘others’ or divine ‘atrocity literature’ to defame ‘others

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          1. @sbarrkum
            if you rephrase “Buddhist traditions” as Buddhist philosophy

            I don’t want to rephrase my words. 😋

            “Hindu, what is Hindu. The Vedas ? The Rig Veda, where the valiant slew the Dark Dasus. That is not a philosophy.
            No different from the Bible where it says kill all the Amalek”

            What? Vedas=Bible?
            You perception can’t be more wrong.
            Did you ever explore Vedas on your own?

            I can understand that after centuries of aggressive marketing against Vedas coupled with lethargy or ignorance of practicing Vedic brahmins, people can hold invalid opinions about these texts.

            Vedas are philosophical but in poetic way. They are not product of intellectual vigour of Vedic society(or schizophrenia of individuals)
            but intuitive wisdom of the crowds. Vedas are rooted in nature and are concerned with reality of day-to-day life(unlike later monastic orders who mostly delve in outworldly).
            Infact most of Indian philosophical schools(both Buddhist and ‘Hindu’) have been sprouted/inspired/and sometimes paragalised from Vedic ideas even though they don’t represent Vedic approach towards life.

            If you can give up your preconceived notions about ‘religion’ and ‘philosophy’, if you have sensitivity for poetic expressiveness and most importantly if you have power of discernment then Vedas would literally ‘REVEAL’ themselves to you.

            Till then you can read this book https://www.amazon.in/Call-Vedas-C-Bose/dp/B017SGQ4L2
            It’s good enough for orienting curious minds.

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      2. The false equivalence is most obvious in the attitudes of modern day believers towards the target of their respective “atrocities”.

        There is no residual hostility among Hindus towards Buddhists. Buddhist symbols have been adopted by modern India for its national flag and seal.

        Compare this with Muslim triumphalist attitudes towards the kaffirs they dominated.

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        1. “There is no residual hostility among Hindus towards Buddhists”

          There is also no residual hostility among Muslims towards Zoroastrians, or Christians towards Norse Pagans. Its very easy to not have hostility when your opponent has been vanquished and you sit on the rubble of their civilization, free to pick and choose which aspects to claim or discard without threat.

          When Buddhism was prevalent in India their was clearly lots of hostility.

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          1. LOL. This doesn’t behoove a diligent googler like you. Iran’s persecution of its tiny residual Zoroastrian minority is well documented. Just start with Wikipedia.
            Of course it is not as if Muslims have a particular dislike for Zoroastrianism. They are equal opportunity haters of all faiths except their own.

            This stays hidden so long as they remain below 30 percent or so. Any more than that and Mr. Hyde comes out.

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          2. Read well researched books , for example
            Buddhism in the shadow of Brahmanism by Johannes Bronkhorst.

            There is no trace of hostility recorded towards Buddhism by brahminism. The authors thesis is that Buddhism slowly got more and more sanskritized i.e. dropping Prakrit in favour of Sanskrit and brahminized i.e. Brahmin leaders and that is the reason for it’s eventual absorption into Hindu fold

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  7. what I find funny is that araingang and I are both American S Asian 26 year old med students

    interesting amount of time he has to out in reading all of the Pak “civilization” justifying stuff he does. But he is relentless in his mission

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  8. I think one of the key economic reforms that is required is expanding the judicial capacity to ensure that business contracts are enforced in India. We rank poorly comparable to the worst performing countries in the world when it comes to enforcing contracts. Mainly due to judicial backlog. On ease of doing business, this is where we really fall short. Why is capacity expansion not happening? Is it the fear of judicial activism? To overcome that fear one can always have special purpose courts exclusively for business contract enforcement. Does anybody know more about the barriers to expanding judicial capacity?

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  9. The most absurd thing is the level of delusion folks live in. Like India has the delusion of being a world power, its neighbors live in the delusion that they are the equal inheritors of the ancient India/Indus Valley.

    To the outsiders, for better or for worse, modern day India is the inheritor of Indus Valley and all former Indian cultures, tradition etc. No one associates Punjabi-ness with Pakistan (nor do they do with Punjabi Hindus) but everyone does it with sikhs , whose majority live in India. Similar case with Indus Valley where majority sites are in Pakistan, everyone associates it with India. Similar case with Bangladesh where its high culture derived almost entirely from Hindu Bengalis, while the majority Bengalis live in another country.

    Perhaps the only country which has had some success in appropriating an “Indian” thing is Sri Lanka with Buddhism. But that has to do equally with both SL zealous-ness to appropriate as well as same zealous-ness on the Indian side to discard it. For the other stuff , unfortunately Indian neighbors have to live (as Zia ul haq said) the 2nd rate copy of India, at least in matters of culture and traditions.

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    1. The Indus Valley Civilization is part of Pakistan’s history simply because it is located within Pakistani borders.

      As for high culture, most of the glories of North India are a product of the encounter with Islam. There would be no Mughlai cuisine, Hindustani classical music, Urdu, or the Taj Mahal otherwise.

      Your problem is that you assume that “India” is an eternal thing while Pakistan is a construct. There was no “India” before August 15, 1947. Before that was BRITISH India and before that was “Hindustan”–which was a center of Indo-Islamic culture. The modern nation of “India” is just as old as Pakistan.

      I of course take the position that this history belongs to all South Asians. It is a different matter that the current Hindutva Regime wants to disown the entire Indo-Islamic period.

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      1. /The Indus Valley Civilization is part of Pakistan’s history simply because it is located within Pakistani borders./
        It is part of their history for more than just geography. But then the loudest shouting Pakthings of the country and diaspora come up with gems like Punjab was never Hindu, how they have nothing in common with India or the general vain superiority complex which makes this position untenable.

        /As for high culture, most of the “relatively modern” glories of North India are a product of the encounter with Islam. There would be no Mughlai cuisine, Hindustani classical music, Urdu, or the Taj Mahal otherwise./
        True with the added modification. The area was not an uninhabited desert before this time. And that is another mistake of assuming anything of value in India comes from the indo islamic culture.

        / Your problem is that you assume that “India” is an eternal thing while Pakistan is a construct. There was no “India” before August 15, 1947. Before that was BRITISH India and before that was “Hindustan”–which was a center of Indo-Islamic culture. The modern nation of “India” is just as old as Pakistan./

        Before British it was Hindustan and pray what was it before the turks arrived?? I heard a Pak TV commentator saying it was a primitive tribal society. That would be more appropriate description of Arabia than India before Islam.
        India has a civilization identity since most Indian do own the good and bad parts of its history. Selective reading of history as done from the highest level in Pak disqualifies it. Although you make the right noises, it has to be a sustained opinion from the leadership, opinion makers, etc to believe that this is the consistent position.

        /I of course take the position that this history belongs to all South Asians. It is a different matter that the current Hindutva Regime wants to disown the entire Indo-Islamic period./

        That is as foolish of them as the position by Islamists and not grounded in reality.

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        1. The point is that all nation-states are modern constructs. Though Indian nationalists like to believe that India is some eternal thing, that is just not historically true. It was only under the British that India became one country. The Mughal Empire (and the Mauryan etc) never controlled the entire territory of today’s India. There is nothing sacrosanct about India’s borders.

          No one is claiming that India was a cultural desert before the arrival of the Mughals. I am specifically talking about North India, where much of what is considered high culture (ex. Hindustani classical music) is clearly a product of the syncretic encounter between Persian and Central Asian elements and local traditions. This beautiful “Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb” would not have existed without the Muslim influence.

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          1. / The point is that all nation-states are modern constructs. /
            Exactly , all of them are modern constructs but the few who can make a connection to a rich and continued history since prehistoric times have to play by simple rules. You own up to everything good and bad(i.e be it caste system or vedas/ yoga). Russia is considered the successor to USSR not Kazakhstan.

            No one is claiming that India was a cultural desert before the arrival of the Mughals.
            Good for you but many in the ‘community’ do. Check this gem from Anti CAA rally
            https://twitter.com/LogicalIndians/status/1234774160863199233
            Maybe you should do this as experiment around you and ask about pre islamic history of Subcontinent/ Pak and you will know the answer.

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          2. Your country has existed only as long as Pakistan has existed and has the exact same legitimacy as a country. Today’s India is not British India or Hindustan. That is the bottom line.

            I’m not impressed by random people on Twitter. In your country it is the ruling regime which insists on demonizing the entire indo-islamic culture. This is a violence to history and reveals their total lack of intellectual depth.

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          3. Both became modern nation states at same time. No one is contesting that.

            If the rest of world chooses to associate mostly India with all past cultures its because the other wanted no part of it before arrival of Islam in India through their own actions.
            To that end they are responsible for this. Subsequently it could be corrected too. Just need to change their mindset as nation!

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  10. The debates on such threads always end up mirroring the contentious issues on TV debates and Twitter in India (not sure about the rest of SA), issues that I think should be largely irrelevant to a country that wants to desperately get ahead in the world.

    Was reading David Wallace Wells’s book where it says that India will probably be the worst hit by climate change in the near future. Soon summers in India will literally cook alive anyone unfortunate enough to be exposed to the elements. This matches my own personal experiences of growing up in Mumbai and Hyderabad without AC’s and not being any worse for it, but that’s not possible today. Maybe it isn’t directly linked or maybe people have an instinctive gut feel for these things, there seem to be ever more middle and upper middle class folk who are looking to get out to greener (and cooler) pastures abroad while they can.

    Will the increasing heat stress (literally) make people’s blood boil and exacerbate conflicts? The future outlook isn’t great unless massive steps are taken to make Indian cities more liveable but that’s clearly never going to be sexy enough to win votes for..

    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/07/17/climate/india-heat-wave-summer.html

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    1. I grew up in the 80s and 90s without an A/C too (it was considered an unaffordable luxury). But even today, one can through an Indian summer without an A/C as long as the house/apartment is constructed properly.

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      1. An AC was definitely an unaffordable (and unnecessary) luxury back then, but it’s a basic middle class item now. A couple of decades ago, leafy tree lined streets in Indian cities were not hard to come by, but they’re completely absent from the urban landscape now. Unless one has a house in a green, more upscale part of town, an AC is a necessary evil.

        I sincerely hope the push towards metro construction serves to reduce urban congestion in the long run. But with demand for housing only destined to go up, the incentive for builders to convert every remaining inch of land into soulless concrete high rise is too high to pass up.

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        1. @Siddhart
          Don’t you think high rises are actually the only solution left. In my home city Lucknow the land prices are quite high (~60lakh/1000sqft for land), a very crude estimate of average family (who has any chance to buying a house) income in Lucknow (a city with no industrial activity, no trade, no IT and populated almost exclusively by families of government servants from around UP) would be maybe INR 7 Lakh/annum. The prices(and incomes) would be higher for Bangalore/Hyderabad/Mumbai/Pune type tier 1 cities. A rough estimate for amount of land it takes to plant a (big) tree in green belt/median strip would be ~ 50-100 sqft, this comes up at about 4-6 lakh per tree. I might be very wrong in these estimates so please correct me if there is something I am missing. But the pressure of housing people moving in from small cities of UP to Lucknow is intense. New government housing land schemes are overbooked sometimes a hundred times over. There just isn’t enough land to plant trees. My crude understanding is that high-rises should have been prioritised a long time ago. The giant million people+ new housing projects (Golf city in Lucknow, Jaypee in Noida) seem to be so much more green than even the greenest streets in Bangalore/Pune.
          Side Note:
          Most Indian cities(that I have seen other than Mumbai/Kolkata) are strange in that they have housing in city centers usually 2-3 stories single family homes and high-rises came up in the outskirts (in the last 10 years) unlike in America where High-rises are in the center.
          Conclusion:
          I can’t think of anything other than a shitload of high-rises to meet the demand.
          On Metro:
          I am also very optimistic about metro systems, which in India tbh are much-much better (price/cleanliness/ease) than what I have used in Europe/America/Japan. Once the network length increases and some form of sustainable subsidized profitability is achieved these might be the second best thing that happened to Indian common public in 21st century (after IT jobs).

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  11. https://www.harappa.com/content/roots-hinduism-early-aryans-and-indus-civilization

    recommended read btw. Goes into indus valley contributions

    “Hinduism has two major roots. The more familiar is the religion brought to South Asia in the second millennium BCE by speakers of Aryan or Indo-Iranian languages, a branch of the Indo-European language family. Another, more enigmatic, root is the Indus civilization of the third millennium BCE, which left behind exquisitely carved seals and thousands of short inscriptions in a long-forgotten pictographic script. Discovered in the valley of the Indus River in the early 1920s, the Indus civilization had a population estimated at one million people, in more than 1000 settlements, several of which were cities of some 50,000 inhabitants. With an area of nearly a million square kilometers, the Indus civilization was more extensive than the contemporaneous urban cultures of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Yet, after almost a century of excavation and research the Indus civilization remains little understood. How might we decipher the Indus inscriptions? What language did the Indus people speak? What deities did they worship?”

    intro blurb

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  12. The Upanishads are the primary philosophical treatise of the Hindus, though there are some scattered gems in the Vedas as well. A lot of the monism of Shankracharya is based on the upanishads. The idea of karma, cycles of birth and death , moksha, the idea of sanyasa i.e. leaving samsara all predated Buddhism.
    It is to the credit of Buddha that he incorporated many pre-existing philosophies. The innovation in Buddhism which I think did not have precedent in Hinduism was the idea of anātman( no-self doctrine). While this may well turn out to be true scientifically, anatman seems inconsistent with the idea of karma and cycles of birth and death. Could somebody explain how this is reconciled. I also sort of cling to the idea of self, because without it I feel no sense of purpose or agency. However, I concede that for all we know the sense of self may just be neurological illusion.
    I had a Tibetan Buddhist co-worker who readily acknowledged the Indic roots of Buddhism and the philosophies that pre-dated it, while maintaining that the new innovations made Buddhism uniquely scientific. This is an arguable position.
    To the extent that a lot of the philosophies are shared, I believe in the eclecticism of Dharmic faiths including Buddhism. I deeply respect the Buddha as a spiritual master, though I cling to the idea of self.

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  13. @Kabir

    I dont put too much importance to Indo-Islamic culture since it ins’t unique to the subcontinent. All fusion culture (Andalusian, Byzantine-Arab-Turkish) have their own set of monuments, cultures and arts. I was talking more about indigenous subcontinental products. Already the subcontinent has produced far too little which can be described as world class or unique to the subcontinent. And almost entirely, its “Hindu”

    Since you like scroll, link to couple of articles on what i was really talking about, and which country is seen as real inheritor of “India”.

    https://scroll.in/article/892597/if-pakistan-shuns-the-term-ancient-india-in-its-history-books-is-it-entirely-to-blame

    ” The Republic of India, which emerged after the Partition of British India, embraced its ancient Indian heritage, becoming the visible successor of Ancient India. What helped its cause was the continuity in the names – India. While on one hand, the contemporary Indian state drew historical continuity from its ancient past, on the other hand, its exclusive use of the name “India”, also helped spread the perception globally that it was the only rightful inheritor of the legacy of Ancient India.

    A couple of weeks ago Shoaib Daniyal wrote an incisive piece on Scroll.in in which he pointed out that for a brief moment in the history of South Asia, Muhammad Ali Jinnah objected to the use of the name “India” by the new country, arguing that it should be referred to as Hindustan. Maybe Jinnah anticipated that the Republic of India’s use of the name “India” might gradually exclude Pakistan from this collective Indian heritage.

    In global academia, the term “Indian history” encapsulates the history of the entire region. But in the popular imagination, Ancient India ends up being reduced to relating to the past of Independent India. For example, the demand that the British return the Kohinoor diamond to modern-day India shows how historical India and contemporary India are seen as an extension of each other, with Pakistan and Bangladesh completely sidelined.”

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    1. Most academics use the term South Asia precisely for this reason ( I know the Hindu nationalists here hate the term “South Asia”)

      If the Koh-i-Noor is returned anywhere it should be to Pakistan. It was taken from Lahore, which is a Pakistani city. Also, it is essentially a Mughal jewel and the Mughals were a Muslim dynasty, which the Hindu nationalists who rule India aren’t interested in owning.

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      1. That makes no sense. India is recognized as the modern-day successor to the Mughal state. The fact that it was taken from Lahore is as relevant as if my money was stolen in a foreign country. It would still need to be restored to me.

        Baqistan is not even the home state of Indian Muslims since more of them live in India than in Baqistan. It is more properly the home state of the Punjabi army.

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        1. it is the home state of confused Pak Punjabi Sunni aka fake Ayrabs who exploit the poverty of Pashtuns and Balochis and shit on the “dark” Sindhis and Mohajirs. You get the the benefits of Punjabi racism, Hindu Casteism, and all of the pacifism and love of Islam ;). What a great place with an average HDI of Bihar except a couple of army cities where foreign wealth is hoarded.

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        2. Realistically, the British are never giving the diamond back. But Pakistan has just as good a claim as India. After all, Hindutva India wants nothing to do with Islamicate culture. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

          And you are factually incorrect. There are more Muslims in Pakistan than in India. I had cited the statistics earlier.

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  14. I’m surprised that there is little discussion on the 1971 genocide. Because it has a lot of present day repercussions as well. The genocide in Bangladesh began on 26 March 1971 with Operation Searchlight. The Assam accord cut off date for NRC is March 25, 1971 i.e. one day before the genocide because after the genocide the exodus into India including Assam began.
    It is blatantly unfair to send back the primary targets of the genocide i.e. Hindu Bengalis backed to the land where they faced genocide even if the Pakistan army is not present there. The likes of Jamaat-e-Islami that collaborated with Pakistan are organizations that remain active in Bangladesh. It is because of this genocide that we primarily have the CAA.

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  15. Pakistan is one of the few countries in the world that has perpetrated a genocide in 1971 killing millions and denied the atrocities. Even Germany and Rawanda have reconciled with their past. Like the Turks who deny the Armenian Genocide, Pakistan as a country blatantly denies the 1971 genocide.

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  16. The reason why there is little discussion because the primary “targets” and the beneficiaries (Bengali Hindus) have stayed silent on it. If the Bengali Hindus dont care about CAA (WB were the first legislature to move a resolution against it) , why should other Hindu ethnicities care?

    I would rather all Indian states take a stand on it, and face the electoral repercussions on it.

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    1. This is because of the votebank politics of Mamata Banerjee. She wants illegal immigrants to come into Bengal so that she can come to power. The Bhadralok are too secular and too ashamed to care about the poor hindu dalits who came from East Pakistan. However, the Mathua community ( primarily Dalit hindus from East Pakistan) care and had voted for BJP.
      Even if Bengali elite may not care about Hindus being killed in a genocide, I care. Israel honors Jewish survivors of Holocaust, and we want to push back Hindu survivors of the 1971 genocide back into the place where they faced it. We should be documenting their testimony, building memorials. The apathy is probably because of class,caste and false sense of what secularism is. Shame on us as Indians, us as Hindus. As an ethnic group, as a religion group we are most selfish, so much so that we treat our own people who survived genocide poorly.

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      1. “Even if Bengali elite may not care about Hindus…The apathy is probably because of class,caste and false sense ..”

        Two words. “Hindu-space” 🙂

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        1. But don’t you think from a humanism perspective, we should at least give citizenship to the Bengali survivors, document their testimony even if Bhadralok don’t connect with the Dharmic space etc. I feel empathy for Jewish holocaust survivors though I’m not Jewish. I seriously don’t understand the apathy. Maybe the value of poor people’s lives is low and is completely discounted

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          1. No one gives a damn about people who dont give a damn about themselves.

            Think of how full you must be yourself to really reject a law which will disproportionately help your “own” people. And what does it say about them.

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          2. “Think of how full you must be yourself to really reject a law which will disproportionately help your “own” people.”

            That depends on whether the ‘Bengali elite’ you refer to think of themselves as ‘Bengalis’ first or ‘Hindus’ first. If the former, the CAA blocks more of them from coming than it promotes.

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          3. Didn’t get u. Do u mean Bengali elites want a law where more Bengalis can move from BD to India? I don’t think that’s the case

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      2. Genocide 😂😂😂

        Indians and their genocides. Pandit genocides, Mughal genocides, Sikh genocides. If the local cricket team loses I suspect you hear accusations of genocide as well. The only genocide South Asia has seen was in Punjab during partition.

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        1. Even Partition was not a “genocide”. Ethnic cleansing is the correct term.

          “Genocide” requires state-sponsorship and systemized mass killings.

          The problem with people here is that they use words too loosely to suit their own narratives.

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  17. https://theintercept.com/2020/03/16/india-lobbying-us-congress/
    INDIA LOBBIES TO STIFLE CRITICISM, CONTROL MESSAGING IN U.S. CONGRESS AMID RISING ANTI-MUSLIM VIOLENCE

    “In recent years, Capitol Hill has become a microcosm of the glaring political differences within the South Asian American community, as identity-based groups have wrestled with one another to influence policy and perspectives on India and the diaspora. While Muslim, Dalit, and Kashmiri activists have worked to raise awareness among lawmakers on the injustices their communities confront in the U.S. and India, right-wing Hindu Americans and India interest groups established a dominant presence to wield outsized influence in Congress.

    In August, when Rep. Tom Suozzi, D-N.Y., wrote to Pompeo expressing concern about India’s actions in Kashmir after hearing from his Pakistani and Kashmiri constituents, the backlash he received from Indian American constituents prompted him to hold a meeting with them and apologize for not consulting them first. He later went to “Howdy, Modi,” a political rally in September for the Indian prime minister held in Houston, attended by Trump and more than 50,000 Indian Americans”
    🤣 🤣 🤣 🤣

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  18. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/genocide-us-cant-remember-bangladesh-cant-forget-180961490/

    good lay read. Don’t mind the Pak Punjabi Sunni Supremacist troll. He glorifies rape pretty consistently and has made logical fallacy his personal pass time. Denying genocide is quite disturbing. You should he ashamed. Granted, you praised Schizophrenic Momo the blood thirsty for his rape of many women and chalked it up to virility, so there isn’t much to converse with you about on this topic.

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  19. I’m not Kabir, we agree on Muhammad’s distasteful actions and oppose the Sunni chauvinism of Pakistan. Indians are very sensitive to that stuff however, so its hard not to troll them about it sometimes.

    This isn’t a credible source. The author tries to use “genocide” as much as possible in the piece but can only muster up one quote from anyone who agrees (from India big surprise).

    You probably won’t admit it but I think you agree this wasn’t genocide. Pakistan had no intention of trying to wipe out Bengalis. Punish them, massacre them, cripple them? Sure, all horrible stuff. But there was plainly no intent to erase them as a people. No expert on the topic has ever claimed such either.

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  20. Archer Blood, the U.S. consul-general in Dhaka, Archer Blood, who was witness to the ongoings called it a selective genocide of Hindus. Senator Edward Kennedy talked of the targeting of Hindus and yellow “H” painted on Hindu houses. Time magazine in 1971 stated that “The Hindus, who account for three-fourths of the refugees and a majority of the dead, have borne the brunt of the Muslim military hatred”. David Bergman, an investigative journalist in 1971 in Dhaka refers to the Hindu genocide. R.J. Rummel, in his book, Statistics of Democide: Genocide and Mass Murder Since 1900 said it was a genocide where Hindus were treated as vermin. Even Nixon and Kissinger who hated India and wanted Pakistan to help with the rapprochement with China, referred to Hindu killings in their conversations that is now publicly available.

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    1. None of these are important sources (and are tellingly quite dated) aside from Rummel, who goes overboard and calls every massacre a genocide (accuses Pak of genociding Bengalis, Bengalis of genociding Biharis, etc).

      I’m actually open to the idea that Pak army wanted to genocide the Bangladesh Hindus, as its something that is achievable and consistent with 1970’s Pak ideology. The idea that they wanted to genocide Bengalis in general is just laughable.

      If we are calling the aborted massacres and expulsion of Bengali Hindus genocide, we have to do the same for the Jammu Massacres.

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  21. Hello,

    I just try to educate myself from the posts here. However, I see a consistent misimpression by someone here and thought that since I am a North Indian here-I can comment as well! Please excuse my poor english.

    High culture-
    Hindustani Classical Music- It predates muslims. Here is a wiki link. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindustani_classical_music. If we did not have muslim rule, it would have been a more Carnatic musicish,
    Re Kathak – again predates coming of Muslims in India. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathak
    Muslim rule wiped off any respectability in North India as far as women were concerned with regard to practice of classical art forms . You see them in their pure form in South India as offerings to divine and as part of larger hindu culture. In North India, these art forms were learnt and practiced for the longest part generally by muslim courtesans, tawayafs etc. These poor women were slaves to their male teachers /Ustads and all the abuse the teachers wished to mete out to them. They brought such disrepute to these art forms that no respectable North Indian Hindu men would let their daughters learn this.
    Re- Urdu- With new screen writers who are more from the hindi speaking belt- you slowly see urdu being edged out. I think over the next few years urdu will be shown the door. I think the poor replacement is Hinglish but it is what it is. My mother tongue being hindi, for a long time, I was infatuated with Urdu and I could not understand Tamil aversion to urdu/hindi in India. Since then I have been watching a lot of mid eastern tv shows on Netflix. Now, I understand urdu to be what it is- an improvised language so that the invaders could understand natives. A fusion language at most. Even Ghalib did not think highly of Urdu- preferring to compose his best works in persian, a language, he considered higher. I understand a T]amil’s revulsion towards having hindi being forced on them. Most hindustani classical vocal music that I practice is generally in braj bhasha, a language that was completely sidelined by Mughals. You see earlier poets like Khusro composing in braj.

    If anything these art forms are a gift to Pakistanis or Bangladeshi’s from hindus.

    Also re Mughal cuisine- In Delhi, in most families- this food is considered hotel ka food- a novelty that we had twice a year while growing up. My kids have happily given it up in favor of similar tasting pizza – similar gravy and white bread. It seems that the poster hasn’t tasted other indian cuisines from India- Gujarati, Bengali, UP, Bihar, south Indian (Please forgive me for lumping all of South India in one- Variations too numerous and I am not an expert) etc.

    Please forgive me for a very long post!

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    1. Rohini,

      Of course classical music existed prior to the Muslim influence, but specifically HINDUSTANI music is a product of the syncretic Indo-Islamic culture. As you pointed out, without the Muslim influence North Indian music would be more like Carnatic. It was the Muslims who took music from the temples and turned it into a secular art form at the courts. Khayal for example developed at the court of Muhammad Shah Rangila.

      Kathak was developed by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh.

      Courtesans were some of the most educated and powerful women out there. They were responsible for educating the sons of the aristocracy in proper behavior. This denigration of tawaifs comes from a movement inspired by British colonialism (the anti-nautch movement). It was also at this point that classical music was made “safe” for Hindu women. For example, thumri was de-eroticized and made more spiritual. There is a lot of scholarly work on this.

      The bottom line is that a lot of North Indian high culture is a product of “Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb” and it is very sad that Hindu nationalists want to disown all of it.

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      1. @Kabir
        The courtesan history is very complex and not quite as rosy especially under rule of Wajid Ali Shah who was a irresponsible degenerate. It would be great if there is more discussion on this forum about these aspects of life and culture in Awadh before British conquest.
        I wanted to know what is the state of (Hindustani) music education in Pakistan? What are the major (with long history and pedigree) gharanas based in Pakistan? How many university level courses are being taught? In India I personally know of people who have graduated from Bhatkhande and Viswabharati. Both places are bureaucratic but demanding and rigorous. What is the level of state patronage in Pakistan? It would be great if there were more private/ICCR scholarships for south Asian (Nepalis are already here) students (especially Bangladeshi who have reverence for our shared indigenous culture) to study/apprentice in music.

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        1. Wajid Ali’s Shah’s being an “irresponsible degenerate” is a British characterization of him.

          Hindustani music is struggling to survive in Pakistan because it is associated with “Hindu” culture. The Pakistani state promoted more “Islamic” genres such as ghazal and qawwali at the expense of khayal. There is also the issue of the status of music being contested in Islam while in Hinduism it is associated with the divine.

          However, the Patiala gharana continues to operate in Pakistan. Currently it is represented by Rustam Fateh Ali Khan. Ustad Hamid Ali’s sons have gone into fusion and started a band called “The Raga Boyz”. The All Pakistan Music Conference does a monthly program in Lahore and a yearly festival.

          Music is not taught in universities except at the National College of Arts (NCA) and in Punjab University. This has to do with the idea that it is not encouraged in Islam (despite the fact that many of the greatest artists of Hindustani classical music were Muslim).

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          1. This supposed influence of the Mughals over North Indian culture is like the fantastic job done by the Trump administration in combating the coronavirus. True, they have taken some steps, but the important question is whether in their absence progress might have been faster.

            When you compare the output of Mughal rule on science and the arts with their immediate predecessors in the first millennium it becomes clear that the second millennium hampered Indian growth in all areas except those catering to imperial pleasures. Even the vaunted Mughal architecture is like a child’s scratchings when you compare it with the temple and cave architectures of the previous fifteen hundred years – or those parts of it that survived Muslim rule.

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          2. “Mughal architecture is like child’s scratchings”– There you go denigrating Indo-Islamic culture again. Can’t help yourself.

            Must really hurt you that as far as most of the world is concerned the most beautiful monument in all of North India is the Taj Mahal–an Islamicate creation.

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          3. It doesn’t hurt me at all. It does amuse me to see these claims of being the best of Indian architecture from people who dont know absolutely anything about the vastly more awe-inspiring architectures that came before and who are uninterested in learning anything about them.

            You are welcome to call this Hindu Nationalism or something equally ignorant – although they are not all Hindu.

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          4. Regarding the lack of scientific achievement under mughal rule. I’ve felt it might be part of a broader decline in the east. While in the 16th century, turan and baghdad and other parts of the islamicate world were not what they were centuries earlier, neither were hindu dynasties, like vijayanagar, doing logic and mathematics like their predecessors the rashtrakutas. It would appear the last gasp of creativity in these disciplines was the kerala school of mathematics in the 14th-15th century. That too ended without muslim intervention. After this we’d still see the odd sanskrit treatise on astrolabes, but clearly a declining tradition.

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          5. What makes architecture beautiful is subjective. Still there must be something unique about the Taj that most of the world considers it the supreme monument to love.

            Your need to denigrate Mughal culture is compulsive and clearly stems from some ideological reasons–whatever they may be.

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  22. https://www.thequint.com/voices/opinion/india-bangladesh-liberation-war-struggle-pakistan-mujibur-rahman-indira-gandhi-govt

    Mujibur Rahman’s First Secret Meeting with an Indian Officer—Me

    “I was imagining, with my heart swelling with joy and pride that one man – India’s national poet – Rabindranath Tagore, had composed the national anthems of two nations – ‘Jana Gana Mana’ of India, and ‘Aamar Shonar Bangla’ of Bangladesh. What an honour to India.”

    As i said, India is the inheritor of “India”

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  23. “Most hindustani classical vocal music that I practice is generally in braj bhasha, a language that was completely sidelined by Mughals. You see earlier poets like Khusro composing in braj.”

    Couldn’t agree more Rohini. To add to that, the Hindu-ism of N-India today, is the Hinduism of Tulsidas (Awadhi) and not of the Vedas or the Puranas (sanskrit) .

    Too much time wasted on elite languages like Sanskrit and Urdu and too little on the meat of the traditions which are in local language.

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    1. On Braj Bhasha being “completely sidelined by the Mughals”, here is Dalrymple writing on Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal:

      “In his youth, Zafar was himself a good example of the sort of rounded Renaissance Man that a serious Mughal education sought to produce: he was fluent in Urdu, Arabic and Persian, but had also mastered Braj Bhasha and Punjabi sufficiently to write verse in both” (Dalrymple, “The Last Mughal”, pg. 95)

      If the Mughals were composing verse in Braj as late as the 19th century, one can hardly argue that they “sidelined” the language.

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  24. Kabir, what will we all do without you to enliven this board! Just trying to make mind off the lurking threat!
    “Of course classical music existed prior to the Muslim influence…..The bottom line is that a lot of North Indian high culture is a product of “Ganga Jamuni tehzeeb” and it is very sad that Hindu nationalists want to disown all of it”

    I want to explain by giving an example- Consider Yoga! I hope you will agree that Yoga is a gift from Hindus! There are currently many Christian yogas centers in US where it is claimed that Jesus gave Yoga. Yoga is emptied of all of its Hindu roots while teaching. Now go back 500 years and also forbid any Hindu to have any say at all. Death is the alternative for them. A very superficial Yoga is taught as to be able to, truly learn you will have to find a Guru. On this tiny superficial Yoga, you experiment- even come up with variations. You might give it different names as well like- Mindful meditation, pilates etc. Hindus are too humiliated to write or narrate to say this. Some even co-opt with you to be able to get tiny favors. However, at home some quietly keep it alive by passing onto trusted successive generations. Fast forward, you are now without power. Hindus are rising up. They want to claim their culture. But now you start screaming Ganga-Jamuna tehjeeb! What have the Muslims given here that Hindus did not already have? They could have totally lived with what they had even if they did not come up with anything new.
    I hope the parallels with other Hindu music and dance are a bit more clear!

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  25. “Kathak was developed by Nawab Wajid Ali Shah of Awadh”
    It was not developed by Wajid…
    It exits in its current form – thanks to Wajid Ali..It would have existed in a more Hindu form – maybe performed by Hindu women too, instead of only kings or the highly placed courtesans, during medieval periods where they would have received as much respect as they do in their religious literature.
    “Hindustani music is struggling to survive in Pakistan” I think rightly so. Pakistanis do not want to acknowledge their roots and ancestors. They want to copy everything Arabian. They should give up the Hindu art forms too and learn middle-eastern music. They should not be able to appropriate Hindu culture without acknowledging their roots.
    “Must really hurt you that as far as most of the world is concerned the most beautiful monument in all of North India is the Taj Mahal–an Islamicate creation”
    Personally I do not think Taj Mahal is the most beautiful creation. In fact when we lived in Agra, I must have visited it only twice. I do not like going to grave yards. Almost every famous Church or Dargahs have some graves right where you are supposed to worship!. I try to get out asap while mentally chanting “Hanuman Chalisa”. A lot of Hindus think like that. Taj Mahal has received a lot of publicity though. If you get a chance, go and visit the South Indian temples. You will then understand what beautiful architecture is. Jain Dilware Temples are phenomenal.
    “On Braj Bhasha being “completely sidelined by the Mughals”, here is Dalrymple writing on Bahadur Shah Zafar, the last Mughal”
    Bahadur Shah Zafar’s mother was Hindu. Of course, he might have picked it up from her or learnt it under her influence. He certainly did not write well in it…Dalrymple’s s not considered a respectable historian though he is an engaging writer. I enjoyed reading Last Mughals. You do realize that there was no Braj writer in his famous court of Shayars of Ghalib, Zaukh, Momin etc.. The only King who might have had little bit of empathy towards Hindus was Akbar or Dara Shikoh. It was during Akbar’s time that Tulsidas was able to write Ramcharitamanas and look how much influence it has on Hindus. Just think, had there been Hindu rulers all along how much would have been written in Awadhi/Braj etc.
    Re- Urdu- It is literally derived from interactions between muslim foot soldiers and Hindu soldiers. Its that high brow!. It was considered elite because people who spoke it were considered elite and even after independence, these people continued to yield power. It is being edged away slowly.

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    1. With all due respect, William Dalrymple is a higher authority on Mughal India and colonial India than a random lady on the internet. You want to argue with him, you will first need to engage in the immense amount of archival research he has done. If Zafar was writing in Braj as late as the 19th century, then it is ridiculous to say the Mughals had “sidelined” the language. And yes, his mother was Rajput. Yet there are people on this forum who insist that the Mughals remain forever foreigners despite the fact that they basically even genetically became Indian.

      Pakistanis have just as much claim on Hindustani music as Indians do. You are no one to tell us to learn “middle eastern music”. We are not Middle Eastern and we had a lot to do with the development of Hindustani music. As I mentioned earlier, khayal (the standard modern form of Hindustani music) was developed by Sadarang and Adarang at the court of Muhammad Shah Rangila. This music would not exist in its present form without Muslims. Many of its greatest practitioners were Muslim, such as Bade Ghulam Ali Khan, Amir Khan, Amanat Ali Khan.

      You are not going to win any arguments with me on this. I have a degree in Ethnomusicology and can point to much relevant scholarship to prove my point.

      This Hindu nationalist tendency to denigrate “Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb” is beyond ridiculous.

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  26. I think the markets tell the real story. Everybody wants to talk about how awesome Indian classical music is, hardly anyone pays money to buy it.

    Indian classical music is not as great as a lot of Anglophile Indians vehemently insist. In general our music is kinda average, especially its themes, which are rather simplistic, and not really fit for the modern world. Things have gotten better in recent years, with better and more thoughtful lyrics. Udaan was possibly the best and most relatable Indian music I have heard.

    Our dances are also not athletic, and tend to be on the boring, over complicated side.

    It is a pity that we dont make any video games. We have developed a healthy ecosystem of software development, and have an excellent story telling culture and fondness for puzzles. Should learn from the Japanese how to put it all together to create an engaging, immersive world. Quit worrying about these boring ragas etc.

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    1. Tastes in music and art are subjective. If someone has not been acculturated and taught Hindustani Classical music than of course they will only perceive it as “boring ragas”.

      It is amazing though how openly people feel comfortable dismissing a hundreds years old tradition that is a supreme example of the composite culture of North India. All you are really doing is revealing your own cultural philistinism.

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    2. @vikram
      Indian classical music and classical dances can be ‘boring’ for the people who don’t have sense of Indian aesthetics. Most of Indian arts are based on the theory of ‘Rasa’ which focuses on giving sublime experience of single ‘Bhava’ to the ‘Rasikas'(spectators) during a performance. If the audience is not knowledgeable and responsive then the whole performance can fly over their head.
      Indian arts have spiritual origin that’s why Indian arts have a peculiar ‘stillness'(also found in other east Asain arts) about them which is often misinterpreted as ‘dullness’. The prime objective of Indian arts is to give contemplative and meditative experience to the willing spectators. Unlike western arts Indian arts were not developed for large -scale public performances.
      I think there should be clear difference between dance and the gymnastics. A good Indian dancer also needs to have high stamina and very strong legs to last a few hours on the stage. There are many difficult and ‘athletic’ Karnas in the Natyashasthra but it seems like most of the dancers are too lazy or unfit to master them.
      There is no importance of ‘lyrics’ and ‘voice types’ in Indian classical music because the ‘swaras'(note) themselves are supposed to convey the right ‘Bhava’ or meaning of the music. It’s not like by singing ‘Aakar’ instead of lyrics a singer would create a diferent ‘Rasa’ for the audience. Lyrics are purposefully kept simple and should suit the hidden mood of the ‘Raga’. Here the prime objective of the performer is to generate sense of sublimation(for some people ‘boring stillness’) for the audience. If you have ear for Indian music(I have for both Indian as well as western) then your journey through the raga can be most satisfying thing you would ever do in your life.

      Besides above another reason why Indian arts may not click with some people is because Indians generally suck in respresentation. It’s same with the Indian food we were only able to sell butter chicken and naan till date while Japanese managed to sell smelly raw fish.

      Indian classical musicians(most of them nepotistic) are not even making use of 80% of available Indian music theory. Many people may not know this but Indian music theory also has concept of harmony (just like western music) albeit it has not been touched for centuries. It’s just like traditional Indian food which had so many ‘pasta’/’noodle’ dishes but our present generation knows nothing about them.

      In the end every person has different taste so you don’t have to force yourself to like Indian arts. For each his own.😎

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      1. +1 mobbydick
        Great explanation for someone like me who doesn’t completely get indian classical. Also really liked your analogy about pasta, lol. We have these savoury pasta dishes in our cuisine too!

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        1. @girmit I tried to explore homely traditional Indian food and realised almost every region of India had it’s own version of pasta/noodle type recipies. These recipies are much healthier than foreign refined floor noodles/pastas which are popular(in India and abroad) and can be emulated with wide variety of nutritious Indian millets. If not for our lazy and unoriginal modern Indians we could have marketed them as next ‘it’ thing. I’m also amazed by variety of traditional herbs, vegetables and fruits which used to be part of traditional Indian diet. I cringe hard when I see kids eating garbage in the restaurants. Most important part Indian housewives had good sense of aesthetics which ocassionaly reflected in their food.

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  27. ” In general our music is kinda average, especially its themes, which are rather simplistic, and not really fit for the modern world.”

    As i have said above the overall output of subcontinent is rather meh.There is hardly (indigenous) anything which can be described as world class. Among the few which are, the corpus is entirely Hindu/Dharmic.

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    1. Once again, people’s denigration of Hindustani classical music reveals their own cultural philistinism. Hindustani classical music is one of the greatest examples of art music worldwide. So much so that it is even taught in Ethnomusicology Departments in Western Universities such as SOAS and in music conservatories such as the Rotterdam Conservatory. Of course, just like Western Classical music, it does not appeal immediately to popular tastes and one has to be acculturated into it. One of the differences between South Asia and the West is that in the US, everyone is required to learn something about the arts, whether or not they become an artist. The comments here are like if Italians were to say “Opera is meh” or Germans to denigrate Schubert. You wouldn’t catch Westerners denigrating their own High Culture so casually. People are generally reluctant to advertise their own ignorance.

      As for the corpus being entirely “Hindu/dharmic”, scholarship has demonstrated that Hindustani classical music is a product of the syncretic Indo-Islamic culture.

      https://kabiraltaf.wordpress.com/2018/04/18/a-brief-history-of-hindustani-music

      Of course, musical tastes are subjective and that is totally fine. But there is no need to denigrate one’s own High Culture.

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      1. @kabir Hindustani classical music is certainly one of the greatest art music traditions of the world but you can’t pursue it without it’s ‘Hindu’ characteristics. Once I was watching an interview of a Pakistani Kathak dancer and her attitude was off-putting. She was trying hard to distil Katahk from it’s ‘Pagan’ ‘Hindu’ origins. It’s called cultural appropriation and it’s unacceptable specially because the music theory of ICM and theory of Indian dramatic arts is ‘Hindu’.

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        1. As I said, I think that attempting to “cleanse” a syncretic tradition of either its Hindu or Muslim elements is stupid.

          That Pakistani kathak dancer’s attitude reflects the fact that promoting dance in an Islamic state is a struggle. So she feels compelled to emphasize the Muslim contribution to kathak and downplay the Hindu contribution. You may find it off-putting but surely you can understand where it comes from.

          For me, one of the greatest examples of syncretism in Hindustani music is when a Brahmin like Pandit Jasraj sings “Mero Allah Meherban” in Raga Bhairav. If a Brahmin musician can praise Allah and the Prophet Muhammad, what is everyone’s problem? Similarly, Muslim musicians sing “Jaago Mohan Pyaray” in the same raga.

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        2. @Mobbywick
          @Kabir
          I don’t like the misappropriation and misrepresentation (Hindu origin dislike?) that even higher ups in Pakistan’ dance scene show at all. Perhaps with the kind of de-hinduising (not invoking diety at beginning, changing themes etc) that the likes of Farah Yasmeen Shaikh ji and Indu Mitha ji are doing sometime pretty soon we will see ‘Pakistani classical dance’ term coming up and Bharatnatyam and Kathak being misappropriated.

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          1. I don’t think “misappropriation” is correct. Classical dancers (and musicians) in Pakistan are operating in an extremely difficult environment. In order to keep going, they have to make their art forms acceptable in an Islamic context. That’s why most of them emphasize the Muslim contributions.

            Indu Mitha is one of the foremost (if not THE foremost) dancers in Pakistan. She is also perhaps the only one who choreographs using Bharatnatyam. I think it is very creative the way that she has continued to pass on her art while adapting it to an Islamic context. As a non-Muslim, she has had to struggle even harder to fit in. Her daughter Tehreema Mitha is carrying on the art in the US.

            As for “Pakistani classical dance”, people already speak of “Pakistani classical music” (or “eastern classical”) because the term “Hindustani” is associated with the enemy nation. However, as I explain to people, the music has existed for hundreds of years while Pakistan has only existed as a nation-state for 72 years. Also, Hindustani music (and Carnatic music) are terms of art and mean something very specific.

            I don’t agree with distorting history but one needs to understand the constraints that artists are operating under. What is happening in Pakistan is just the mirror image of what is happening in India–the denial of the Muslim contribution to North Indian culture.

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          2. @Kabir
            You should spend (more?) time in India. I had a very short (three years-weekly) training in Hindustani Classical music and I can make at least some informed comments about North Indian Classical(Awadh and Bengal) music scene. Some people here might sound (or suggest) otherwise but the simple fact is that in no sense anyone who even remotely practices music disowns Muslim Ustads or their contributions. In my time I have always seen the highest form of saint-like reverence and respect being given to past gurus of our own gharanas and others. Ustad Allah Rakha, Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali, Ustad Allaudin Khan are accorded all the obeisance and veneration, feet touching/garlanding of pictures and all, tending to dieties. More famous contemporary masters (in UP) like Ustad Bismillah Khan and Ustad Zakir Hussain are accorded the same by even the general public. So no-one is (or should be) denying any ‘Muslim’ contribution but what is being questioned is this idea that ‘all’ our high culture is a result of middle eastern muslim colonization. I find Taj Mahal and Humayun ka Makbara the most pleasing buildings I have ever seen. But they were built on our(Indian) money, had there not been Mughals there is plenty of proof that some native ruler might have built other fabulous buildings. We(Indians) are not Persians(who designed the Taj) or Arabs or Turks and will never be. Muslims of northwestern India have their own laboratory in Pakistan to experiment with ‘purest and most elegant language'(your words), ‘Pakistani classical dance’, ‘Pakistani classical music’ and such divisive perversions and their convoluted justifications. We(Indians) have our own codes of conduct for inter-community relations and approaching our collective history and I find it bogus when everytime a Pakistani tries to say that we are being a mirror image of Pakistan. Pakistanis voted against this ‘ganga-jamuni tehzeeb'(if it means some sort of syncretism) during partition, and followed it up with their Islamicate constitution they have no claim left on it now. How long do you think could the Hindus ignore this opportunism/double-speak of the Muslims quoting ‘Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb’ and ‘Hazrat Amir Khusru’ in the same line knowing the self-recorded Hindu hatred of the latter ‘Hazrat!’.
            In my eyes respect is being still given where it is due and invaders are being rightfully called out.

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          3. Your Hindutva government doesn’t give visas to people of Pakistani origin–even those of us with foreign nationalities. So thank you for advising me to spend time in India, but it is not going to be possible for the foreseeable future. Take it up with “Hindu Hriday Samrat” if you want the policy to change.

            No one is claiming that ALL the High Culture is because of the Muslim influence. But there would be no Hindustani Classical music in its present form otherwise. No Taj Mahal either. Indians are certainly not Arabs or Persians, but neither are Pakistanis. We are North Indian Muslims who decided to create a sovereign state of our own–for contingent political reasons.

            Hazarat Amir Khusrao was not an “invader”. He was the son of a Turkic nobleman and an Indian woman. The fact that many of you insist on calling anyone with a Muslim father an “invader” says a lot about your own ideological leanings. At what point do people cease being “invaders”? After 200 years?

            You are no one to tell Pakistanis what they have a claim on or not. Hindustani classical music and Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb is my culture just as much as it may be yours. My grandmother was born and bred in Agra. I will damn well go on claiming the Taj and whatever else I want.

            You may respect Muslim artists and practice Hindustani classical music but the rest of your reasoning is typical Hindu nationalism. You seem to not appreciate the constraints that artists in Pakistan operate under. I’m not defending those constraints, simply pointing them out.

            As I have repeated several times, this is a common culture which belongs to all North Indians. We lived together for hundreds of years. But I will not stand for having the Mughals and their contributions being denigrated. This Hindu nationalist reasoning is a-historical and frankly ridiculous. You are welcome to it but be prepared to be called out on the stupidity of your reasoning.

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          4. @Kabir
            @Mobbywick
            @Vikram
            I vehemently disagree with the disparaging of Indian Classical Music and Dance.

            Name one country/culture in the world that produced such expansive treatments of (stage performance-based) dance forms (discount tribal dances) as India has. There is just no competition. All the Martha Grahams, Isadora Dunkins of the west are twentieth-century innovators.

            On music, my guess is that the west overtook us sometime 3-400 years ago with the inventions like the piano, written music and a (more?) comprehensive treatment of theory.

            India does not have the buying capacity to financially encourage our art nor the financial acumen to sell it properly to outsiders but that doesn’t mean there isn’t enough material to be found here. This is equally true for things like painting and sculpture (objectively great people like Ramkinkar Baij not getting their due). Right now we are desperately poor but that is not going to remain the case forever we can still borrow/steal and discover/invent/innovate our way back to the top.

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          5. @Kabir
            This is my issue with ‘Hazrat’ Amir Khusru who himself wrote:
            ” The whole country, by means of the sword of our holy warriors, has become like a forest denuded of its thorns by fire. The land has been saturated with the water of the sword, and the vapours of infidelity have been dispersed. The strong men of Hind have been trodden under foot, and all are ready to pay tribute. Islam is triumphant, idolatry is subdued. Had not the law [of Imam Hanifa] granted exemption from death by the payment of poll-tax, the very name of hind, root and branch, would have been extinguished. ”
            “Thanks to the perennial, well established convention of the world, the Hindu has all along been a game of the Turks. The relationship between the Turk and the Hindu cannot be described better than that the Turk is like a tiger and the Hindu, a deer. It has been a long established rule of the whirling sky that the Hindus exist for the sake of the Turk. Being triumphant over them, whenever the Turk chooses to make an inroad upon them, he catches them, buys them, and sells them at will. Since the Hindu happens to be a (wretched) slave in all respects, none need exercise force on his slave. It does not become one to scowl at a goat which is being reared for one’s meals. Why should one wield a sharp sword for one who will die by (just) a fierce look?”
            “So the temple of Somnath was made to bow towards the Holy Mecca; and as the temple lowered its head and jumped into the sea, you may say that the building first said its prayers and then had a bath… It seemed as if the tongue of the Imperial sword explained the meaning of the text: ‘So he (Abraham) broke them (the idols) into pieces except the chief of them, that haply they may return to it.’ Such a pagan country, the Mecca of the infidels, now became the Medina of Islam. The followers of Abraham now acted as guides in place of the Brahman leaders. The robust-hearted true believers rigorously broke all idols and temples wherever they found them. Owing to the war, ‘takbir,’ and ‘shahadat’ was heard on every side; even the idols by their breaking affirmed the existence of God. In this ancient land of infidelity the call to prayers rose so high that it was heard in Baghdad and Madain (Ctesiphon) while the ‘Ala’ proclamation (Khutba) resounded in the dome of Abraham and over the water of Zamzam… The sword of Islam purified the land as the Sun purifies the earth.”
            I can keep quoting more if you want more. On a different note can you educate me on why did we never have a orchestra tradition and written music? and comment if I am correct writing the following in my previous quote “On music, my guess is that the west overtook us sometime 3-400 years ago with the inventions like the piano, written music and a (more?) comprehensive treatment of theory.”

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          6. @Kabir
            Please check these guys: http://www.iitkgpsandhi.org/sangeet.html
            I could ask around and (try to) introduce you to the professors involved with this. If you are interested to visit maybe (depending on Hindu Hridaya Samrat Shree Shree 1008 Modi Ji’s whims) you might land a visa. We used to have this summer visiting faculty teaching for a couple of weeks thing and it might actually be a great idea for you to come and test the waters for collaboration. But these guys are mostly into computer science enabled research into Ragas and what not. I am not so sure about your research interests.

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          7. You can keep cherrypicking quotes from Hazrat Amir Khusrao. But the man wrote poetry in Hindavi and was a disciple of Hazarat Nizamuddin–hardly an Islamist. This Hindutva habit of weaponizing history is ridiculous. You all need to do serious academic research into History and not just parrot what suits your ideological leanings.

            We don’t have an orchestra tradition because Hindustani classical music is based on melody and not harmony. Even when there is a jugalbandi, the singers or instrumentalists take turns. They don’t play different notes at the same time. Similarly, our music is not written down but passed down orally from ustad to shagird. The need for written music only arises when large groups need to follow the composer’s vision exactly. On a related note, the heroes of our tradition are the artists and not the composers. In the West, it is Mozart, Bach and Beethoven who are more revered than the performers.

            Thank you for thinking of me, but the Indian government asks people of Pakistani origin (even those who don’t even have Pakistani passports) to officially renounce Pakistani nationality before even applying for a tourist visa for India. You can understand that for many reasons we cannot do so. The simple fact is that your Hindutva government doesn’t want any people to people contact between us. One has to wait for INC to come to power.

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          8. ” but the Indian government asks people of Pakistani origin (even those who don’t even have Pakistani passports) to officially renounce Pakistani nationality before even applying for a tourist visa for India”

            Is it true? I didn;t know that. Is it a new requirement?

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          9. Saurav, it happened with my brother at the Indian Consulate in New York.

            We are both US citizens and haven’t had Pakistani passports since we were children.

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          10. @Kabir
            I don’t spar with you out of respect but calling anyone who disagrees with you a ‘Hindutvawadi’ is not fair. If so much evidences of excesses by Sufi ‘hazrats’ is available why would you not accept it already? I am not cherrypicking, these were simply horrible people. Same is the case with (Prophet) Muhammad (pbuh if saying that makes you feel respected). Evidence of his maniacal behavior, cruelty and sexual deviance …. is overwhelming but you will keep defending him.
            On ‘hindutva-wadi’ claim, I am not a gora guy that you can guilt into accepting your demands. It will not work especially on Hindus who on almost every pilgrimage see(stuff like) Mathura idgah(whose rear foundation they pray to), whose venerated Nandi bull still sits hopefully outside the gates of the monstrosity that is Gyanvapi mosque. I am not weaponising history, it is your reluctance to atone for the sins of your(?) forefathers that is causing Hindus to take a stand. If history is so irrelevant why the exaggerated self-flagellations and self burning in Muharram on every street in Lucknow? Are Hindus not allowed to feel sorry for our loss having been wiped clean from Sindh, Balochistan, Pashtunistan(where Hindu Chanakya taught) and Punjab(where Hindu Vedas were written)? (And don’t tell me Shias are not ‘weaponising’ history, yes they very much are. Organizing their community against Sunnis with theatrics on their sense of loss openly every year) Are our mothers who are recorded to have been sold for pennies by Invaders not to be remembered ? Are mountains of skulls erected by Muslim central asians to be forgotten? Especially when there is an enemy at the border that names it’s missiles after them? Muslim(your) version of reconciliation is ‘accept my version or I will try to guilt shame you into accepting’. This one sided respect is not going to work. Khusru and his ilk were not ‘Hazrat’s and you are in denial about (addressing him as such out of respect for you) prophet Muhammad pbuh. As more Hindus become educated they will call this out even louder.
            On the hindutvawadi claim, I am a staunch Samajwadi party guy (a party for whom Muslims vote as a communal block and complain when Hindus return the favor by voting for BJP). Have been nitpicking and calling out small indescretions of Hindu gods in the epics, have been downright disrespectful of Hindu gods and beliefs PUBLICALY. I have never faced any (lame supposed ) shaming as you (and other perpetually offended, intellectualy dishonest and lying) Muslims try to do.

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          11. You can claim to vote for whoever but someone who has issues with Hazrat Amir Khusrao and calls mosques “monstrosities” is definitely a Hindutvadi. Your disgusting remarks about the Prophet of God only confirm this. My views may be irrelevant to you since I am a Pakistani but such remarks about the Prophet are deeply Islamophobic and offensive to 200 million of your fellow citizens.

            Indian Muslims don’t need to apologize for anything. They are citizens of a secular state and not responsible for things that may have happened centuries ago.

            As for being “intellectually dishonest”, the first rule of studying History is that people and events need to be seen in the context of their times. Hazrat Amir Khusrao may have said some horrible things (and I am not about to defend them) but what was the context in which he said them? The problem with Hindutvadis is that they take things out of context and interpret them in a way that suits their modern political agenda. That only reflects the total lack of intellectual depth of the Hindu Right.

            I really have nothing further to say to someone who openly expresses such bigoted views. You are welcome to your a-historical stupidity but just be aware that I have no respect for people who express such bigotry publicly. If you object to being labeled a Hindutvadi then don’t act like one. It’s really that simple.

            I have no issues with Hindus as such. I grew up in the diaspora and have many Hindu friends. But yes, I am firmly opposed to the views of anyone who is to the Right of INC.

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    2. The subcontinent’s recent output is certainly ‘meh’. But I won’t say that India didn’t create world class things in past. Infact Indian were probably most creative lot in their heyday who also gave importance to freedom of the expression.

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      1. Culture thrived under the Mughals, whether it was poetry, music, miniature painting or architecture. The Urdu spoken in Delhi and Lucknow was among the purest and most elegant in the world. This tradition was negatively impacted by British colonialism after 1857 and then by Partition in 1947.

        This tendency to want to “cleanse” North Indian culture of Muslim influence is very disturbing. As is the tendency in Pakistan to want to cleanse culture of Hindu influences (hence the promotion of ghazal and qawwali over khayal). Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb is a part of our history and a beautiful culture that should be owned by all. Congress at least used to promote this idea and a secular vision for India. But of course things have changed now that a narrow ethno-nationalism has taken hold.

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  28. Agree with the commenter above who said that the objective of Indian classical music is to create a meditative atmosphere for the listeners. As someone who learnt Carnatic music for years, I can vouch for this. However there’s a fair bit of innovation in this space, with new instruments (Mandolin Srinivas, Guitar Prasanna) and serious fusion (Shakti, Mahavishnu Orchestra, Agam, Advaita and scores of other modern Indian bands) for a few decades now. However since it’s essentially rooted in the spiritual and religious themes of the era when it would have composed, it’s only natural that it seems dated. When one thinks Western classical, it’s Bach and Beethoven that come to mind, not Philip Glass.

    I foresee that the purer forms of classical music have probably peaked in their penetration of the Indian market, though much can be done to market them internationally. The Chennai Margazhi scene has the potential to be a world class arts and culture event, but due to the narrow mindedness of the Carnatic-going audiences and organizers, it’s fading in popularity even among it’s core group. The scope for fusion however is limitless, and this market is just starting to get tapped.

    The debate around hindu v muslim contribution to indian culture is hilarious. Whatever religious identities the creators of art and culture may have had in the centuries past, they were Indian, and the art forms were rooted in the soil, that should be enough and self-evident. All culture is fluid, foreign influences are bound to come in. To my south indian eyes, I can see foreign influences everywhere in ‘Indian’ architecture for example – the chhatris of Rajasthan, the pagodas of the Sarahan temple, etc. Identities are fluid too, if today Pakistanis feel they’re removed from the Indian culture, so be it, certainly there’s enough about them that’s physically and aesthetically ‘exotic’ in my eyes. However the fact that Indian classical music (Hindustani is very much Indian, it’s rooted in the Gangetic plain) has wide appeal across the border says that Indian art and culture has deep resonance even to foreign sensibilities.

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    1. Hindustani classical music is in no way foreign to Pakistan. It is the High Culture of all of North India, including today’s Pakistan and Bangladesh. Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan was from Kasur, near Lahore. One of the reasons that Hindustani music is struggling in Pakistan is precisely because of this flawed understanding that it is “Hindu” culture. In India also, there were forces that wanted to “rescue” Indian music from the Muslims. Pandit Bhatkhande for example wanted to go back to the “pure” music of the Vedas rather than what he saw as the “corrupt” versions developed by Muslim ustads.

      I agree with you that the religious identities of artists are not all that important. It only becomes important in a context where Hindutvadis want to denigrate all the cultural developments during Muslim rule, including the Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. It is simply a fact that Khayal as we know it today developed under Mughal patronage. There are many scholars who have written on this. Thumri developed under the patronage of Nawab Wajid Ali Shah.

      In Pakistan, musicians emphasize the contributions of Hazrat Amir Khusrao in order to defend their tradition as Islamic against those who are opponents of it. As far as I am concerned, Hindustani music is a beautiful example of syncretism and it is precisely why Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb should be preserved.

      There is this understanding that Carnatic music is “purer” than Hindustani because it is relatively untouched by Muslim influence. But this is a debatable proposition.

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  29. This are two separate things.

    1) Cultural output of the Subcontinent.
    2) How much Hindustani music is “Hindu” or “Muslim” or whatever.

    On (1), I can understand people who are associated with Subcontinental arts and stuff, feeling that its very good. Not far removed from the Hindutva position , that India was the best and all good thing came out of India. But world wide,where money talks , we all know where do India arts really stand. Its all well and good, feeling sentimental about a native product, but frankly in the world of good ideas only the best survive.

    On (2) people more knowledgeable on that front has commented that Hindustani arts , “Hinduism” is the base, and perhaps it would have been in some other form without “muslim” influence. Perhaps Muslim influence did make it better, i dont know. This things are subjective and hardly quantifiable..

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    1. There would be NO Hindustani Music without the Muslims. You would have been left with Carnatic music. Khayal was literally invented at the Mughal courts (the name itself is Persian). These are not opinions but facts proven by scholarship.

      Hindustani Music is performed all over the world in the great cultural institutions of the West (such as the Kennedy Center). I really don’t understand this need to constantly denigrate your own High Culture. It may not appeal to you personally but perhaps that is a function of your lack of acculturation in the tradition.

      Shakespeare and other High Culture doesn’t appeal to a lot of Westerners either. But they simply haven’t been educated enough. These types of comments only parade your own ignorance. Every one is entitled to their own personal tastes, but not being able to recognize High Art is rather bizarre.

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    2. “frankly in the world of good ideas only the best survive.”

      LOL. Let’s see. Greek logic and mathematics were replaced for a long time by medieval superstition and blind obedience of corrupt priesthood. Arab science was replaced by Al Ghazali’s stupidities. Hindu culture gave way to idiotic claims about the past.

      If not for the accident of the Renaissance and enlightenment (or if we had been born a few centuries earlier) one could have successfully defended the thesis that only the stupidest ideas survive and triumph.

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    3. “Its all well and good, feeling sentimental about a native product, but frankly in the world of good ideas only the best survive.”

      This is a bit of a dumb statement and kind of disproves your point.

      Indian art has ‘survived’ for millennia. The current popular forms of art in the world – hiphop, pop music, Hollywood etc are a few decades to a century old. I doubt they’ll even be around a century from now.

      Western classical music itself is in somewhat of a decline but it’ll survive. It’s relatively higher popularity to Indian classical music maybe down to more capital investment over the last couple of centuries.

      If India stays economically at par with the west for a century, would you still expect Indian classical music to be as obscure? I doubt.

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      1. In the West, there is an understanding that exposure to the arts is an essential aspect of a good education. When I was in school in the US, you couldn’t graduate high school without one semester of arts, whether it was visual arts, music, theater, etc. The point was not to create artists but a discerning audience.

        This is not the case in the Indian education system I believe (and certainly not the case in Pakistan). We are too concerned about creating doctors, engineers, and IT people rather than good well-rounded citizens. Of course even in the US there is now a lot of emphasis on STEM.

        Most educated people in the West know something about Mozart, Beethoven and Bach. Most Indians (I would wager) don’t know who Tansen, Sadarang, etc were.

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        1. ‘This is not the case in the Indian education system I believe (and certainly not the case in Pakistan). We are too concerned about creating doctors, engineers, and IT people rather than good well-rounded citizens. Of course even in the US there is now a lot of emphasis on STEM.’
          I used to think on similar lines but then I saw the job market (for non-professional degrees) in India. Recruitment exams with selection rates almost never above 0.5% and number of candidates running into 10s of millions (50 million + for railways recently). It is best if Indians continue producing engineers, doctors and IT professionals for atleast a few(2?) more generations. There is no other way.

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          1. Sure, but there is no reason why those engineers and IT people can’t be exposed to the arts and humanities as well. Some of the IITs have now introduced required humanities education, I gather.

            For one thing, greater training in humanities would inculcate some critical thinking and stop people from being so susceptible to the anti-intellectual views of the Hindu Right and WhatsApp University. Some people are very good at their professional work but have never been taught how to think.

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          2. That’s why I was(am?) trying to poach you to come and teach us in India.
            But I am pretty hopeless about the state of liberal education/humanities in India. Whatever little is imparted gets lost in the poor pedagogical skills of the tutors. ‘Technical’ disciplines are equally poorly taught but the objective nature of material (remembering stuff, mathematical manipulations etc) leads some form of understanding to survive.
            How is LUMS ? I have met a few students from there in my current (American) university. All of them are from much richer families than (their counterparts?) students from India (IIT/NIT people who get educated for free). Is the entrance not competitive ? Or is the fees high? Most have been quite religious (on Indian standards, as expected) too. Another interesting thing was that they are all in experimental chemistry, bio chemistry kind of sciences thing (plus the odd computer science, mechanical engineer) unlike India where we are overwhelmingly into engineering/mathematics. It is my impression that Pakistanis are under lesser pressure from their families/society than Indians/Bengalis to do excel in school. I could be wrong and overgeneralizing so feel free to correct me.

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          3. LUMS is one of the best universities in Pakistan though it does mainly cater to the upper-class. It is comparatively expensive–though there is a scholarship program called the National Outreach Program, which provides full scholarships to students from distant parts of Pakistan who do particularly well on the SAT. It started as a management school but now it has faculties of arts and humanities, business, engineering and law.

            One good thing about LUMS is that it tolerates all kinds of people. You have very religious types in niqab (for girls) and full beards (for guys) but then there are also people dressed like they would be in London or New York.

            On a different note: Here is some “Pakistani classical music”: Ustad Amanat Ali and Fateh Ali Khan performing Raga Multani
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9B4Nt-G7oA

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  30. Music, art etc is a matter of acquired taste and exposure, there is no objective measurement of aesthetic quality. The marketplace is not an accurate measurement of the aesthetic quality of an artform. Recently there was an art installation of a banana duct-taped to a wall which cost $120,000. It has won in the marketplace of ideas. Millions of dollars are spent in the market on abstract art some of which are of questionable aesthetic quality. The fads of the art critics who are Westerners themselves and overall strength of the economy of a place determines what type of art sells.
    The marketplace also values popular culture. Bollywood choreographers/dance troops may well get paid more than Odissi dancers, but Odissi is a beautiful dance form which undoubtedly requires greater skill and classical training.
    India is rich and diverse in terms of classical art forms. Kathak is one of 8 Indian classical dance forms. Hindustani would also have evolved a distinctive quality from Carnatak, similar to how Odissi is different from Bharat Natyam. Each form evolved in a different direction though all have their roots in the Natya Shastra.
    Lastly, those who have no exposure to Indian art forms, have no appreciation for it. This is the danger of deracination. We will all become “wannabe Anglo-Saxons” which is better than being “wannabe Arabs” but only by a small measure.

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    1. Even in era of ‘Bharat Muni’ the Indian dramatic arts were distinguishable in four forms:

      1. Odramagadhi – The music and dancing style of Magadha and Kalinga. Still available in form of Oddisi dance and Oddisi music.

      2. Dakshinatya – The music and dance of Dravidas, precursor of Carnatic music and southern dance forms specially Bharatnatyam.

      3. Avanti – I’ve heard that this style of music is still somewhat traceble.

      4. Panchalamadhyama – The ancient ‘north Indian’ style of dance and drama. It’s technically ‘untraceable’ because it probably morphed into form of ‘Hindustani’ music and ‘Kathak’ dance.

      It’s obvious that arts were varied even in ancient India so the people who claim that that north Indian music would be more like ‘Carnatic’ music without muslim influence can’t be more wrong. Surely it would not have been like present form but it would have had it’s unique identity for sure.

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      1. It was the Muslims who took music out of the temples and into the royal courts, turning it into a secular art form. Khayal was literally invented at the court of Muhammad Shah Rangila.

        Those who want to cleanse North Indian Music of Muslim influence argue that Carnatic music is “purer” since South India came under relatively less Muslim influence.

        This is rapidly becoming a stupid discussion. But the point remains that those who disown “Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb” are doing violence to their own History and culture. You are welcome to keep doing it. But I will keep calling out Hindutvadis on their bullshit (if there were any PakNationalists here I’d call them out on their bullshit too).

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        1. @kabir
          As usual your comment is wrong on so many fronts.
          Indian music, dance and drama were not restricted to the temples but were also part of grand public rituals and festivals.
          On the other hand ‘muslims’ kept the art only for themselves.
          The ‘muslims’ also effectively killed Indian theater.

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          1. I have a degree in Ethnomusicology. Trust me, you can’t win any arguments with me on this topic.

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          2. Here is a typical view on Carnatic music being “purer” than Hindustani:

            “Absolutely.

            Hindustani music being the predominant form of music in Northern India has changed dramatically. Prior to the 15th century the main musical tradition in India was based on the Samaveda. However after the arrival of Muslim invaders from Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia: changes where made to the music to suit the taste of the foreign invaders. An example of this is can be seen in the changes made to the Tritantri Veena, which later became the Sitar.

            Hindustani Music became a degraded tradition through its contact with Persian and Turkic influences. Whereas Carnatic Music, which shares Vedic origins with Hindustani Music has maintained its purity. Virtually unaffected from the influences of foreign Muslim hordes, it remains to this day a legacy of the ancient Vedic people.”
            https://www.quora.com/Is-Carnatic-music-a-purer-Indian-musical-tradition-compared-to-Hindustani-music

            I’m not defending this view, but it is certainly out there.

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  31. While I maintain that Hindustani music would have existed irrespective of invasions and would have its own distinctive quality independent of Carnatak classical, that does not mean the current form of music with all its influences is going to be disregarded. There is no question of purity or impurity. It will be supported and will evolve on its own depending on its current patronage. Similarly, Kathak as one of 8 classical dances will continue to be supported as are others dances. Frankly, even the typical hindutva persons would support Hindustani music and Kathak. Primarily because they have their roots in the Natya shastra. The base is regarding as fundamentally Hindu. The many devotional pieces adds to its Hinduness. While there have been muslim musicians who have excelled in this field, it is not seen as as something Islamic, because there is nothing similar in Central Asia or Turkey or Arabia. Also Islam is not seen to be associated with music or dance, so it is not seen as something Islamic.
    As far as monuments go, it is a different matter. Many monuments have been built after destroying temples. This iconoclasm is unacceptable.

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