Open Thread – Brown Pundits

Talk about what you want. I assume even if you are dying of COVID-19 it will be something about Hindu/India vs. Muslims/Pakistan.

(we’ll be recording a podcast on COVID-19 with Kushal Mehra if you have any questions for him)

43 thoughts on “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

  1. Questions for Kushal:
    1: How much longer do we need for reconciliation b/w Hindus and Muslims of Indian Subcontinent and how it can be done?

    2: Will India in the future will look like Europe with different countries once regions have enough development and local culture and language will dominate different regions?

    3: Do Indian Muslims will be able to connect with the ancient past as much as a Hindu does? (Like a greek person can be proud of ancient Greece)
    4: Do Indian Hindus will able to proud of Mughal Empire( the best bits) as much as Muslims?
    5: Razib if you are seeing this Please ask his opinions on AIT, OIT etc. (Because its clear that culture and language dominates but genes didn’t that mean the population displacement didn’t happen because the no of people in this region were always large. Hence intermixing was the only solution until the caste rules )
    6: His views about the Delhi riots?

    7: According to him do all non Abrahamic faiths of the Subcontinent falls in Hinduism and their adherents as Hindus(example northeastern tribals, ancient dravidian religion, adivasis, munda ,andamanese religion etc.)

    8: Can india be able to cope up if the number of Covid 19 Cases increases in tens of thousands as the government hospitals infrastructure isn’t up to the mark.

    9: Is BJP/Modi regaining the trust of LW media with direct measures?

    10: His views about people like “Professor David Hanke” that can’t stop speaking very negative about BJP and indian people and it look from his tweets that he want something terrible to happen in India?

    1. 1) Not in our lifetime.

      2) N-India has enough “Hindu space” to remain one, cant say about Bengal/S-India/NEast

      3 , 4 ,8 No

      9) LOL

    2. Counterview on your 3rd point: This is the case for the last 300 years, but in some regions, Arabisation is setting in and some swathes of people are getting deracinated in a way that seems to be irreversible. However I suspect that this is purely a material reaction to the oil-rich ME potentates. With the decline of oil, it may be that Indian muslims will start swinging the other way. I suspect Elon Musk will provide more than a butterfly’s flap for Indian history.

      Recently I saw a social vlog by a Pakistani duo who generally comment and discuss “Indian” things. For a change, they did a different subject. Apparently in Pakistan, Punjabis feel intense disgust/shame/self-awareness when speaking Punjabi. So they went on the Pakistani street and conducted interviews. The conversations are simply astounding.

      I, for my part, cannot even imagine an Andhra-ite, Tamilian or Gujarati feeling uncomfortable while expressing in their cultural languages. For me this is more proof that Arabisation is only harmful and will dislocate an individual from her soil, culture and history.

      1. For many decades Punjabi Arya Samajis insisted that Hindi was their mother tongue. It led to the Khalistan movement. Indians are not that different from Pakistanis in rejecting Punjabi

        1. Is that the case? Wasn’t aware of it though. Khalistani movement is fundamentally a de-centralisation force, one of the many splinter energies that wracks India now and then. It had a thin veneer of religion but in the end too many Punjabi elites were invested in the triple layers of government machinery, pan-continental access and commercial linkages to buy into, essentially, a rural/peasant dream. I can perhaps envision the Arya Samaji response as a counter-reaction to the Akali take-over of Gurudwaras which was until then a syncretic affair. On the other hand, Pakistani Punjab is the core state and the Baloch, Sindhi etc. are the outriggers. How would the core reject its own cultural existence?

          1. Urdu is the national language of Pakistan. Punjabis sacrificed their own language for Pakistani nationalism. The smaller provinces all remain proud of their own regional languages.

            My mother comes from a Punjabi family. Her parents used to speak to each other in Punjabi but spoke to their children in Urdu since Qauid-e-Azam had declared it to be Pakistan’s language. Of course, growing up in Sialkot, my mother and her siblings all speak fluent Punjabi as well.

          2. “sacrificed” is a bit much. I mean no one asked muslim punjabis to do that.

            It wasn’t as if muslim punjabis were doing great literature pre partition in punjabi. At least the Hindu punjabis (who are minority within a minority) made Punjabi popular India wide thru Bollywood and all.

          3. Kabir,

            What are you talking about “sacrificing their language”? Nearly all the Punjabis in Pakistan speak Punjabi as their first language. They just hold Urdu in higher regard as the national language.


            Most of the Punjabi literature pre-partition was written by Muslims.

          4. Most of them dont even talk to their own children in Punjabi. Of course my experience is anecdotal.

            Pak Colleague of mine when asked about this said his children know dad is angry when he talks/scolds them in Punjabi instead of Urdu.

          5. Nearly every Punjabi in Pakistan speaks Punjabi as their first language.

            In the diaspora (what you are referring to), Punjabi is often dropped in favor of Urdu.

          6. INDTHINGS,

            Punjabi is not the official language of Punjab province. Urdu is.

            Punjabis make up 50% of the population of Pakistan. By all rights, Punjabi should be Pakistan’s national language. However, the smaller provinces will not stand for this, since they already resent what they see as Punjabi domination. So in some ways Urdu is seen as neutral. In addition, Qauid-e-Azam chose Urdu since he argued it was the prestige language of all South Asian Muslims (obviously false as the Bangladesh debacle showed).

            It is true that most Punjabis continue to speak Punjabi as their first language. But among the upper strata, it is considered a more vulgar language compared to Urdu and English.

        2. Putting the cart b4 the horse. The Hindi registration of Punjabi Hindus was in response to greater Sikh-isation of Punjab after the trifurcation of Punjab and then Anandpur Sahib Resolution. Haryana to spite sikhs made Tamil its 2nd language.

          You can see the evidence where Punjabi Hindus who moved out of Punjab ( like Bollywood-wallas) have no recollection of this bad blood and are main champion of Punjabi language (much to the chargin of sikhs)

          1. Bollywood Punjabis can’t speak Punjabi. They know a few Punjabi catchphrases they mix into their Hindi, but that’s it. I think this is why a lot of North Indians (especially around Delhi) say they can understand Punjabi. Because the “Punjabi” they are exposed to is 90% Hindi.

          2. Their imperfect Punjabi is not in question but the fact that some people find their mother tongue and culture source of shame !

            The case of Mumbaikar Punjabis is exact opposite. They know little according to you but still they are proud about it. Dont try to hide or pretend to be someone they aint.

          3. Hindu Punjabis pioneered being ashamed of Punjabi. British colonial officials noted with amusement during the census how Hindu Punjabis would return Hindi as their language despite not speaking a word of it.

            Bollywood Punjabis do not want to be Punjabi. They want to be Hindi/English (high-culture of India) speakers who speak JUST enough Punjabi to differentiate themselves from the masses of North Indians.

            Muslim Punjabis are similar (Urdu instead of Hindi), but they haven’t abandoned Punjabi (it just comes #3), and they also have a good reason for this since the state of Pakistan rests on Punjabi shoulders (economically, militarily, ideologically, etc), so its natural that they make its high culture their own.

          4. “Muslim Punjabis are similar (Urdu instead of Hindi), but they haven’t abandoned Punjabi ”

            LOL. I will just leave it here


            “until the early 1990s, members of the Punjab Assembly were forbidden to address the House in Punjabi. This ban was temporarily removed by the writer Hanif Ramay who at that time was the speaker of the Punjab Assembly. However, the ban was revived afterwards.

            Some valiant champions of Punjabi continue to propagate the cause of the Punjabi language, but this has been confined to small intellectual circles. They have been demanding that Punjabi be taught in school at the primary level, but no government has accepted the idea.”

            So a language which is banned in the state assembly as well as in primary schools. Of course its not the same as abandoning. Of course.

          5. Saurav,

            Yes, its not abandoned, because every Pakistani Punjabi speaks Punjabi as their first language, and its the common language in informal settings. You are proving my point by citing Urdu’s use in forums like government and newspapers, which as I explained above, is expected.

            Many Hindu Punjabis on the other hand simply can’t speak Punjabi because their parents refused to teach them. That’s abandonment.

          6. Saurav is right. Punjabi is not taught in schools in Punjab nor is it used in the provincial assembly. The reason for this is that Punjabis are the group that identifies most strongly with PakNationalism, which is why they were willing to give up their language in favor of Urdu (of course Punjabi is still spoken in private life).

            I believe that Sindhi is taught in Sindh and Pashto is taught in KPK. Those communities are fiercely proud of their local cultures.

  2. A few days ago, Kushal was tweeting about India not needing to do too many tests (he and Sadanand Dhume were caviling at each other). This was before the grand lockdown was announced. Can you ask him if he still stands by that belief? And why? Without extensive testing, what purpose would a lockdown serve? And how would we ever determine when it’s safe to un-lock ourselves?

  3. ” assume even if you are dying of COVID-19 it will be something about Hindu/India vs. Muslims/Pakistan.”

    I think the frequency has been lowest since i can remember, so there’s that.

    1. Come on, those are the topics that obsess people on BP. Any excuse to go on about “forced conversions” and “1000 years of Occupation” despite having no academic credentials in History and no understanding of how research is done in the Humanities.

      One would think that a global pandemic would shake people out of these patterns, but no.

  4. any views by anybody on the 12 scientists who are in a dissent mode on this virus? some of them sound very convincing.

        1. The situations in New York hospitals – not to mention what is happening in Italy and Iran – should alone be enough to convince people that this is not “just like the flu”.

  5. America has completely failed to contain the coronavirus. Illusions about the country and its capabilities are breaking down by the day. Is this the end of American dominance? Will China surpass us both economically and politically by the end of the decade? What is India’s place in a Sinocentric world order?

    1. Pax Sinica is the biggest threat to India. My hope is that the US realizes that China is a grave threat to the rules-based-world-order and continues it impose ever more tariffs on China after this crises. The world at large should also put China in the dog house for suppressing information about the Wuhan virus. I hope the businesses realize that they have to de-risk their supply chains by diversifying to other countries, hopefully India. But I’m not sure any of the above will happen.

    2. @Indo-Carib I don’t know enough about the US, and am surprised to see relative negativity from those who know more, but with that caveat my impression is that after initially bungling with CDC trying to develop its own tests etc. the current US response is quite amazing. From some sources it seems like they are testing 100,000 people day (Korea was praised for testing 15000 a day, and Korean population is about 15% of that of USA).

      And you have things like this:

      The seemingly miles of beds being set up at Javits. It is absolutely unreal to see what the National Guard & first responders have put together here in just days.— Sarah Boxer (@Sarah_Boxer) March 27, 2020

      Like the Indian media, the US media too seems to have a compulsive habit of a negativism-dominated coverage.


    The Coronavirus Cover-Up
    How the West’s fear of appearing racist obscures the blunders at the beginning of this outbreak

    “China didn’t owe an apology or an explanation to the world: the world owed China proof of its anti-racism. There was no time, of course, to ponder the irony of the most xenophobic despotism in the world, which has interned a million ethnic Uighur Muslims in Xinjiang, cleansed Tibetan Buddhists from their homeland, and deluged restive regions with Han settlers, setting itself up as the certifying authority on what constituted anti-racist behaviour. There was no time to remember that, just three years ago, the state museum in Wuhan had put on an exhibition likening Africans to wild animals.

    There is, alas, no shortage of people looking at this in the manner prescribed by the CPC. The infantile culture wars that have crippled the West—where preening troupes of virtue brandishers who cannot distinguish between the Chinese people and their tormenters parade themselves as enlightened tribunes of the oppressed—have also created a receptive audience for Beijing’s insidious spin. Xinhua, the Communist Party’s news agency that has a history of publishing hideously racist content, now feels comfortable trolling Washington in the language of a woke millennial—“Racism is not the right tool to cover your own incompetence”—because it knows that, rather than being laughed at, its laughable message will be amplified earnestly in the West. We are living through the phenomenon described by Susan Sontag as growing “stupid together”.”

  7. New comer here on this blog. Have two questions to the Indian denizens here:

    1. Since Modi’s gargantuan lockdown, has there been any social media accounts of hospitals getting flooded by sick patients, ICU wards getting hammered, or dead/dying people on the streets like what happened in Iran? Western media have reported extensively on the lockdown, but literally none to my knowledge have tried to report on conditions in hospitals across India….

    2. Read a article today by the SCMP (Hong Kong based newspaper with possible ties to “liberal” elements of the CCP), claiming in all of India, there are at most ~100,000 ICU bed capacity:
    Yes I know it’s not an Indian source, but can anyone in the know confirm or disprove that number? 100,000 capacity sounds omnious in the face of the pandemic….

    1. 1. pl.see dr.harshvardhan’s ( india’s health minister) reply to pranoy roy on ndtv.
      2. all symptomatic cases are being tested, and all asymptomatic suspects are monitored.
      3. about 200,000 are being monitored.
      4. the minister says 20% of the patients need higher support (i.e oxygen) and 5% infected will need ventilator.
      5. he is confident of attending to these.
      6. most innovative ideas such as converting railway wagons to isolation wards are being taken.

    2. // Since Modi’s gargantuan lockdown, has there been any social media accounts of hospitals getting flooded by sick patients, ICU wards getting hammered, or dead/dying people on the streets like what happened in Iran//
      Denizen of india here..I haven’t heard of anything like that. Connected to the public health community and civil society covid response teams as well as journalists, many of whom are predisposed to being critical of the current government and no murmurs of coverups or that freedom to report is being suppressed .

  8. I think this hype (perhaps some other word) of India’s imminent Corona epidemic has got to even Modi (seems a bit shaken) , who does not betray his feeling much.

    In a way its perhaps good, to err on the side of caution. If he emerges stronger, even the economy won’t matter in this term.

  9. I would expect strong variations like this from more Rakhigarhi samples.

    “sample”: “Custom:IRN_Shahr_I_Sokhta_BA2I8726”,
    “fit”: 2.9498,
    “IRN_Ganj_Dareh_N”: 68.33,
    “CustomGroup_Simulated_AASI”: 18.33,
    “RUS_Tyumen_HG”: 9.17,
    “Anatolia_Barcin_N”: 4.17

    “sample”: “Custom:IRN_Shahr_I_Sokhta_BA2I8728”,
    “fit”: 2.5414,
    “CustomGroup_Simulated_AASI”: 50.83,
    “IRN_Ganj_Dareh_N”: 41.67,
    “RUS_Tyumen_HG”: 5.83,
    “Anatolia_Barcin_N”: 1.67

    Just felt like posting it because of the very different amounts of AASI. I8726 is yDNA J2a1h and mtDNA U2c1 while I8728 is yDNA J2 and mtDNA R7.

  10. Opinion: Democrats risk losing support from America’s Hindus by Hari Ravindran on April 02, 2020

    “There is a growing realization in the Hindu American community that Democrats, who present themselves as warriors for social justice, do not believe in justice for Hindus. They are even willing to whitewash crimes against Hindus in order to appeal to Muslim voters. These concerns have grown sharply over the last few months.

    “Central to the issue are reactions to the policies of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is portrayed on the Left as being the Trump of India and disparagingly referred to as a Hindu nationalist. Modi is held in high esteem by many American Hindus. Various Modi policies have been condemned by Democrats but praised by Hindus who see them as addressing historic wrongs against their community.

    * * *

    “This barrage of ill-founded criticism by Democrats against Modi and his supporters, of which only a few examples have been presented here, often in collaboration with Islamic pressure groups, has left many Hindu Americans disillusioned. The community has historically voted for Democrats, but it might be time for a reset.”

    Hari Ravindran is a software engineer living in Seattle.

    1. “Opinion: Democrats risk losing support from America’s Hindus by Hari Ravindran on April 02, 2020”

      Hindu Americans have never been considered a minority in America. So there is no reason for them to support the Democrat party and yet they do because:

      1. A fear of the white man.
      2. A mistaken belief that somehow the liberal white man is more appreciative of their exotic other worldly religion than his conservative cousin.

  11. received an alert from academia- harppan was vedic but tamil was not dravidian- by jayasree saranathan.
    have not read it, but looks interesting…

    1. “but tamil was not dravidian”

      WAAAAAAR !!

      “jayasree saranathan.”

      must be Tam Brahm, those bloody aryans

      If only Periar had been alive, we would have fixed these people right.

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