Browncast Episode 94: Amey and Amit, Indians, not South Asian

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This episode is a discussion with regular guests Amey and Amit, two Right(ish) and American(ish) people of Indian origin. Their main beef on this podcast is with terms such as “South Asian”, and it means and doesn’t mean…

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245 Replies to “Browncast Episode 94: Amey and Amit, Indians, not South Asian”

    1. @Saurav

      “A field-changing history explains how the subcontinent lost its political identity as the home of all religions and emerged as India, the land of the Hindus.”

      Didn’t this “Hindustan” die when the people of undivided India decided that it should be partitioned on the basis of religious demographics because of a belief in the two-nation theory, pursuant to which Hindus and Muslims cannot live together?

      Not sure if it’s reasonable to blame the death of this version of Hindustan on current events; it died when partition happened.

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      1. To me the most ironic part is the congitve bias of ppl who write these books.

        Like lament all u want but who are the people who killed Hindustan? No answer. Why did Hindustan die? No answer. etc
        Because the answers would open up another can of worms, so its better to peddle myths and half truths/ This has been their USP

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  1. Don’t see what the fuss is about to be honest.

    If someone asks me my background I always say Indian rather than South Asian.

    But I got called Paki while growing up so at some level I recognize that we are all brown people in the diaspora.

    I use South Asian when I want to be inclusive of Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Sri Lankan’s, Nepalese etc. Especially when talking about shared cultural or historical heritage.

    I do notice other South Asians tend to emphasize distinctiveness from India. But I think that’s understandable as India is the 800lb gorilla in the region. Bangladesh and Pakistan are distantly tied for second.

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    1. Yeah idk what the fuss about south asia or india.
      When something is inclusive to India use India and for culture, languages etc you can use South Asia.
      When people ( outside of subcontinent)say in videos that GulabJamun (Just for example) is a Pakistani sweet i cringe. You can use south Asia or subcontinent in that case.
      But you can say India is land of the Hindus( both in geographical sense and religious sense) And Pakistan is land of people whose ancestors don’t wanted to be with the Hindus.
      It’s simple.

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    2. Occasionally I do run across a ‘South Asian’ who basically tries to claim that the subgroup they identify with is basically a completely different hominid species from other Indic peoples.

      I used to get annoyed this sort of extreme view, but now I realize that it’s a sort of aspirational desire to be special rather than an attempt at describing reality.

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      1. “Occasionally I do run across a ‘South Asian’ who basically tries to claim that the subgroup they identify with is basically a completely different hominid species from other Indic peoples.”
        They don’t want to be as same as say Hindus/kaffir people. They want to be conquerors i.e Arabs/Turks/Afghans/Persians etc.
        But once they do DNA test like 23 and me even they could not deny the similarities.
        Idk but more people in west seem to be not called or associated with Indic/south asian
        People groups.
        Well Pashtuns and Baloch are only iranic groups present in Pakistan.
        Punjabis (both from India and Pakistan) ,when they live in the west don’t wanted to be considered Indian but punjabi.

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    3. Unless someone is talking specifically about a racial designation, I view “South Asian” the same way I view “he/him.” It’s a political marker and project. It’s also dumbassery.

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      1. It’s just like “European”. And the only group that hates that term is the right wing (Brexit anyone?)

        Ah yes, you too are a Right-wing idiot. Now this makes immanent sense.

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  2. I also don’t see what the fuss is about. “South Asian” is a neutral geographical term describing a region just as “middle eastern” or “European” are. It also doesn’t refer just to India, Pakistan and Bangladesh but to Nepal, Sri Lanka etc. There are contexts in which referring to the regional identity makes sense and contexts where using “Indian” is more appropriate. I don’t think the term is a vast conspiracy by pakistanis to claim the good parts of India’s culture while denying the negative aspects.
    No one is forcing anyone to adopt the south Asian identity. If one wants to go ahead and identify with a particular country, that’s fine. But the term “South Asian” will continue to exist as long as it has academic and practical utility.

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    1. “Here we present theoretical modelling of rare ACE2 coding variants documented to occur naturally in several human superpopulations and subpopulations, and show that rare variants predicted to affect the binding of ACE2 to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein exist in people.”

      “Though the rs4646116 (p.Lys26Arg) allele is found in 1 in 70 Ashkenazi Jewish males, and in 1 in 172 non-Finnish European males, this allele is found at higher frequencies in females.”

      https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.026633v1

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  3. Harmless term really. Gives Non-Indian origin folks (in the west) something to hold on to. Give some Indian origin folks (ethnicities) something to talk about as well ( as noted by Amit).

    India is the cultural inheritor of the Subcontinent, the others live on the scraps. There is nothing to begrudge them.

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    1. “India is the cultural inheritor of the Subcontinent, the others live on the scraps”– This kind of hegemonic attitude is not going to win you any friends.

      Much of “Indian” culture is shared with Pakistan and Bangladesh. Prior to Partition, Lahore was a major center of Hindustani classical music. The first music university, Gandharva Mahavidyalava, was founded there. Indians do not get to claim all of the pre-Partition culture and deprive Pakistanis of history that we are just as entitled to. Ghalib is our poet just as much as he is India’s (in some ways more since he was a product of Islamicate culture).

      When referring to phenomena found within the borders of the Republic of India, “Indian” is the appropriate term. When referring to phenomena shared by two or more countries, “South Asian” is more appropriate.

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      1. As i said Kabir , i don’t begrudge u. u a good guy.

        You can have as much Indian culture (and curry) as you want. 🙂

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        1. I know you mean well, but this kind of a patronizing attitude is exactly what turns other “South Asians” off from Indians.

          You do not get to claim all of our shared culture for hundreds of years. Especially when your country is disowning the Indo-Islamic culture, which is what most of North India’s High Culture is, and which wouldn’t exist if it weren’t for the Muslim influence.

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          1. Agreed with this. Even when I know he is talking in jest, it will instantly antagonize anyone !

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      2. I dont think there is any conspiracy either to deprive Pakistan of its Indian history. No one can do that but they themselves.

        Ask about Panini to a general Pakistani and then you will know how much they are yearning for their share of ‘Indian’ history

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        1. “Ask about Panini to a general Pakistani and then you will know how much they are yearning for their share of ‘Indian’ history”

          I am not sure about that though

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          1. This is an interesting talk in many ways, and fascinating, but also gives rise to many quibbles, so here’s my two bits in defence of South Asia, from one of those ‘lefty-types’– because now what seems to have happened is that you have to either be Hindutva or ‘lefty’ in all these stories:

            (a) The idea of an ‘Indian identity’ that is eternal is pretty misleading. India was known as a geographical entity, but hardly as a unified political entity. ‘Mughal India’ for instance does not coincide, even largely, with Modern India except under Aurangzeb, and even then includes all of Pakistan and Bangladesh and part of Aghanistan and Myanmar. In fact, the opposite argument might be more valid– that the use of the term ‘Indian identity’ unquestionably erases the rest of South Asia, and assumes that the modern India is a successor to all these many and multifarious historical identities. It’s kind of like saying the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ could be studied as ‘Medieval Germany’– whereas they were two completely different entities. In fact, the borders of South Asia are ‘artificial, not organic’– and the term is simply a recogniton of this. Also, looking at the Indian diaspora as a largely Hindu, upper caste disapora ignores many Indians too– some of who do have shared cultural and political afinities with Pakistani-Americans and Bangladeshi-Americans. So maybe you’re also doing what you accuse Kamdar of doing– ‘working through your personal identity issues by projecting them to a country”.
            (b) The ‘Marathas had their own philosophies about Muslims’– many of these beliefs emerged with the rise of an ‘Indian’ nationalism that looked at Muslims as foreigners and interlopers in ‘India’– and these attitudes are precisely the reason why Indian nationalism became largely Hindu. When you talk of a ‘sacred Indian geography’– you;re also talking about an entirely Hindu geography–which then begs the question– is a ‘pure’ Indian culture only Hindu? What we’re seeing right now in India is that in its more distilled form.
            (c) Also, the ‘taxonomy’ isn’t coming only from the West, but also, as you’ve rightly pointed out, from Pakistanis and Bangladeshis who see their histories as getting erased– I’m not talking about ‘Pakistan studies’ which is a charade itself, but even otherwise. Panini, for instance, may not have described himself as a ‘South Asian grammarian’, but he wouldn’t have described himself as an ‘Indian’ either.
            (d) And I’m curious about this ‘delegitimisation of the right-wing’– the right wing was never cancelled in India, in fact, even ‘leftist historians’ ended up giving us this notion of an ‘eternal India’ in school text-books which obfuscated the ways in which the modern republic was a distinct entity. And saying that the right was entirely delegitimised and there was a ‘don’t deviate from the party line’ logic– is something that is coming from a really simplistic view of Indian academia and history–Indian academia was not only about JNU. In fact, right-wing historians after Majumdar and Sarkar have now taken to writing stuff that is virtually parodying history-writing. So frankly, all the propaganda I’m seeing right now, as an Indian working on and living largely in India-is coming from the right, day in and day out, whether it’s about ‘coronajihad’ or ‘CAA protesters being Pakistani fifth-columnists’.
            (e) I’d like to know more about what you think about the ‘deracinated secularism’ or ‘pseudosecularism’ that the INC is supposed to personify, because honestly, I don’t even think its that true– would love to engage with this a little more at some point.

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          2. a) No one can erase another’s identity as long they themselves don’t choose to. So yeah folks who want to choose S-Asia are free to, and i disagree to push an Indian identity on them. Similarly the reverse should be respected. “Indian” identity wala should have the option to “appropriate” all of Indian culture and heritage. Perhaps S-Asia-ist can go looking for their own S-Asian ist culture or whatever.

            Cutting to the chase, there is no reason just because Tamil, Bengali, Punjabis etc think that they are S-Asian-ist and not Indian, other ethnicities should have the same view of ‘their” history vis-v India.

            b) is a ‘pure’ Indian culture only Hindu?

            Perhaps it is and perhaps it isn’t . But who gets to decide that. I assume Indians. And not western S-asians

            d) I agree with both u and Amey, but there is a nuanced debate to be had. Both de-legitimization of right wing history and the rise of cuckoo right wing historians (now) can simultaneously happen. Not an either or. I would even argue that they are related somewhat.

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          3. @Manav Kapur
            There are a lot of people (perhaps a majority) like me who are non-Sanghi and deeply mistrust the Left. Sanghis and Lefties are the most vocal/limelight-hogging/self-aggrandizing groups. Not long ago people would talk endlessly on casteism in Indian politics and how the political power game is between castes. Now, this new shallow idea of left vs Sanghis (Sanghis = economically left but Hindu nationalists) has overtaken our minds. Let us wait till BJP starts facing infighting, anti-incumbency, the revival of caste-based voting and solid competition to put things in stone.

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          4. Quote / The idea of an ‘Indian identity’ that is eternal is pretty misleading. India was known as a geographical entity, but hardly as a unified political entity./
            No one said it was a unified political identity. You dont need to be a political entity to be counted collectively. Similar to greek states like Athens or Sparta, they were not united but were referred to as ‘Greek’ and not geographical terms.

            Quote /‘Mughal India’ for instance does not coincide, even largely, with Modern India except under Aurangzeb, and even then includes all of Pakistan and Bangladesh and part of Aghanistan and Myanmar./
            I dont think North east and extreme south were part of Mughal India even under Aurangzeb but dont think political unity is a requirement here.

            Quote / In fact, the opposite argument might be more valid– that the use of the term ‘Indian identity’ unquestionably erases the rest of South Asia, and assumes that the modern India is a successor to all these many and multifarious historical identities./
            No one is erasing their history except they themselves. There is another post about Ghaznavid invasions. The author (Pakistani Major) writes about invasion into India. Not pakistan or South Asia. I think he is right. Why does Takshashila need to be in northwest South Asia then?

            Quote / It’s kind of like saying the ‘Holy Roman Empire’ could be studied as ‘Medieval Germany’/
            Wrong comparison. If question would have been is Mauryan empire from UP or Bihar. that would be equivalent. Also HRE was said to be founded by Franks who are Germanic people. It was referred to as first reich by early modern historians.

            Quote /Also, looking at the Indian diaspora as a largely Hindu, upper caste disapora ignores many Indians too– some of who do have shared cultural and political afinities with Pakistani-Americans and Bangladeshi-Americans/
            In the podcast it was mentioned the upper caste are leading the leftist bandwagon too. I didnot understand the caste rhetoric other than just bringing it up to discredit the speakers. Which low caste groups have affinities to other countries? I will be happy to be corrected since I didnt understand the reference.

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            Quote /When you talk of a ‘sacred Indian geography’– you;re also talking about an entirely Hindu geography–which then begs the question– is a ‘pure’ Indian culture only Hindu?/.
            Sacred geography as a concept will apply to any dharmic religion. Indian culture is not purely about dharmic religions alone but that is the substrate on which it is built. Just like name Hindustan doesnt mean India is only for Hindus but refers to the historical context.

            Quote / Panini, for instance, may not have described himself as a ‘South Asian grammarian’, but he wouldn’t have described himself as an ‘Indian’ either./
            Plato was citizen of Athens and maybe would have identified as one too but for person from Persia he would have still been Greek. And to same person Panini would have been Indian.

            Quote /In fact, right-wing historians after Majumdar and Sarkar have now taken to writing stuff that is virtually parodying history-writing. /
            Agree with this and it is very sad. They make the term ‘right wing historians’ a joke. But anyone who doesnt agree with left view should not be automatically clubbed with them.

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      3. You have given facts which contradict your own conclusion.

        “Much of “Indian” culture is shared with Pakistan and Bangladesh. Prior to Partition, Lahore was a major center of Hindustani classical music.”.

        True. But what happened after partition, explains why the original conclusion of India being sole Inheritor of most of Indic Culture is true. Because the successor states chose what they wanted to inherit. After partition Pakistan started disowning Hindustani Classical Music. Because it was too “Hindu” apparently. They tried to rename Raga names after Hindu Deities. They tried to change devotional compositions. That failed and ultimately artists started moving into semi-classical forms like ghazal and qawwali. Now Hindustani classical music forms like khayal are learnt by far fewer people in Pakistan than it was before partition. Compare this with the flourishing state of classical music (all forms like khayal, drupad, carnatic etc) in India. AFAIK, older forms like Drupad (which I especially admire) are already extinct in Pakistan.

        Here is quote from Article. Link below
        —-
        As it is, names of ragas had been changed for radio. Shiv Kalyan had become Shab Kalyan. Ragas named after Hindu deities like Shankara and Durga had been banned. But what was to be done with lyrics in which deities; names figured? In an attempt to get around this hurdle, Badruzamman requested a famous poet to rewrite the lyrics. The poet was furious. “Who has given you the right to change old texts?” he thundered. “Those texts carry the history of our tradition. Who are you to destroy that?. Prohibited from practising their art, many khayal singers turned to musical forms like the ghazal and qawwali, which were seen as being part of Islamic culture. They were not encouraged, but they were not banned either, says critic Sarawat Ali. Ghazal and qawwali singers like Mehdi Hasan and Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan brought the full force of their training in classical music to their performance, giving it its unique quality.
        ————
        From
        https://mumbaimirror.indiatimes.com/music-divided-by-partition/articleshow/15681294.cms?utm_source=contentofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst

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        1. Please, tell me something I don’t know. I wrote my entire MMus dissertation on the trajectory of Hindustani Music in Pakistan post-Partition.

          I think that the Pakistani state’s disowning of Hindustani music because it was too “Hindu” was really stupid. Also it is ironic, because khayal is an Indo-Islamic genre and wouldn’t have existed if it had not been developed in the court of Muhammad Shah Rangila. Instead of owning the syncretic Indo-Islamic culture, Pakistan conceded Hindustani music to “Hindu” India. I don’t believe giving up part of your heritage in the service of nationalist myth making is a good thing. And that is exactly what India’s current Hindutva regime is doing.

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          1. “I don’t believe giving up part of your heritage in the service of nationalist myth making is a good thing. And that is exactly what India’s current Hindutva regime is doing.”

            When India’s current regime embraces its Islamicate heritage by, for example, maintaining and promoting Indo-Islamic monuments or delivering speeches from Lal Qila, you complain about that, too. There’s just no winning here.

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          2. I have no issues with Mr. Modi giving independence day speeches from the Lal Qila. It is however, hypocritical to continue to do so while deploring the Muslim era as “1000 years of Occupation”.

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  4. I have heard the podcast so now i can say that their anger and point of view is justified. Taxila(takshshila) is referred to as north-west South Asia is weird because the people living there might or might not not have any memory or know anything about that region. The land is connected to Sanskrit culture and if Pakistan interest isn’t in that culture so technically it should be defined as Indian.
    When we talk about Constantinople its Byzantine Empire not modern day Turkey.
    Borders change after said years doesn’t mean the culture, mythology of the land changes if the people have the memory/texts/history of the land.
    It wouldn’t be a problem if Pakistan officially considered sanskritic culture as the culture of their ancestors or culture of the people living before their ancestors came along(jatts/jats , gujjars, pathans etc).

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    1. Taxila is geographically “north west South Asia”. That is just a fact. It is not part of the Republic of India. Geographical facts don’t change even if the people living in a location are not interested in the previous culture. “India” is a country did not always exist and it is not historically accurate to refer to present day locations as being part of “India”. One would have to be more specific and refer to “Mughal India” (or Mauryan Empire, Gupta Empire, etc).

      It is up to Pakistanis how we choose to define ourselves. We don’t owe anything to anyone. A country created as a Muslim homeland is not going to own the sanskritic culture (whether it should or should not is a different debate). Nehru’s India succeeded in owning all the cultural influences of the land. The current regime is going backwards and wants to disown everything Islamic. However, the most popular tourist attraction in your country remains the Taj Mahal. And even “Hindu Hriday Samrat” gives his independence day speeches from the Lal Qila– A Muslim palace.

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      1. if pakistan owns every place that is part of hindu culture and heritage then i am ok with it. Northwest south asia is still weird just use Taxila or Pakistan.
        Nobody is questioning the beauty of Indo-islamic architecture. India has much more to offer than that i think.
        Your relatives( if any) who arel still be living in India will be considered Indian ?Right.
        Hindus were all over India. Mughals were strong in north india but their presence was all over India. From Kashmir to kanyakumari this region has diverse culture yet connected history. Aristrocratic muslims of U.P, Delhi didn’t want to become part of majority Hindu(non muslim should i say) country so they left. Did their ancestors didn’t considered themselves indian/hindustani before British arrival?

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        1. Yes, my relatives still living in Agra are Indians. “Indian” is a nationality just as Pakistani is. It is not an ethnicity or a race.

          The bottom line is that in order to be historically accurate one needs to speak of the Mughal Empire or (in the case of Taxila) Gandharan civilization.

          The modern nation-state of India is exactly as old as Pakistan and is not some “eternal” construct as the Hindu Nationalists here believe.

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      2. Taxila is geographically “north west South Asia

        this sentence clearly illustrates what exactly is the problem with using south asia instead of India. one almost needs a compass to locate “north west South Asia” on the map! 3 cardinal directions to describe just one region!

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        1. Northwest of the subcontinent is fine. “India” did not exist before 1947 (BRITISH India did, “Hindustan” did, the Gupta Empire did etc).

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          1. North west of the subcontinent sounds so identity-less. At least north west of the south asian subcontinent, if we really want to erase India.

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      3. Quote /It is up to Pakistanis how we choose to define ourselves. We don’t owe anything to anyone.
        /You cant have it both ways. Atleast be consistent on the same page of a blog. I just read earlier statement saying you cant deprive pak of its indian history. Now you say you can choose your definition. If you have a shared history, you dont get to choose. You have to be consistent with the past which is truth.

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        1. The whole point is that our history is shared. However, both modern nation-states emphasize certain things to suit their own nationalist interests. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan has no reason to want to emphasize the non-Muslim past. Why would a country founded as a Muslim homeland be interested in owning what you all call “Indic” culture? It does however see itself as the successor state to Indo-Islamic empires such as the Mughals.

          Similarly–unlike Nehruvian secular India– the current Hindutva regime wishes to disown anything Muslim and wants to create a Hindu country.

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          1. Again I see you making exceptions for Pak cause. If you have a rule please apply it without prejudice.

            I can follow to the point where you say we have shared history. Then I lost you.
            They can model themselves however they want but it has to be consistent with the recorded history. If they want to make Muslim homeland in an area with massive amount of past history and recognition in rest of world, they cant wish it away without being called delusional.
            And at same time being sad that their share of shared history is being taken away from them!
            This is another level of confusion. You dont want to emphasize it and dont want India to own it completely either since pakis will feel bad. I mean decide for once what you want.

            I have repeated many times on this blog that BJP/Modi should emphasize and own up Indo-Turkic part of India’s history as much as any other part of it.

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          2. The rule is this:

            “I have made up my mind about the conclusions.

            Now I am going to make up some bullshit which follows rules of grammar but has only a distant relationship with logic to justify the conclusions. My assertions are not falsifiable, repeatable and can have all sorts of special pleading.

            I am going to hurl personal abuse at anyone who differs”

            The above passes for what happens in sociological studies/postmodern studies/humanities in our universities and much of left wing political discourse.

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      4. @Kabir

        “Nehru’s India succeeded in owning all the cultural influences of the land. The current regime is going backwards and wants to disown everything Islamic. However, the most popular tourist attraction in your country remains the Taj Mahal. And even “Hindu Hriday Samrat” gives his independence day speeches from the Lal Qila– A Muslim palace.”

        It is up to Indians how we choose to define ourselves. We don’t owe anything to anyone. A country created after a violent partition along religious lines, predicated on the idea that Hindus and Muslims comprise distinct nations and peoples who cannot live together, is not going to own the Islamicate culture (whether it should or should not is a different debate).

        “However, the most popular tourist attraction in your country remains the Taj Mahal. And even “Hindu Hriday Samrat” gives his independence day speeches from the Lal Qila– A Muslim palace.”

        This is the issue. If India embraces its Islamicate history by promoting tourism and delivering speeches from Lal Qila, then Pakistanis will shame Indians for not having their “own” history, that everything good in India is its Islamicate history. If India does not embrace its Islamicate history by, for example, restoring ruined temples or renaming holy cities, then India is bad for erasing its Islamicate history.

        There is no winning here. Embrace Islamicate history = ha ha, you have no culture of your own, the only redeemable qualities of your culture is our Islamicate influence, you can thank us when you get the chance. Deny Islamicate history = grrr, genocide, nazis.

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        1. Hoju,

          a) The Republic of India explicitly rejected TNT. Pandit Nehru believed in a state that belonged to all its citizens. It was on the basis of rejecting TNT that India argued that a Hindu majority country could contain a Muslim-majority state (Kashmir). If Modi’s India now agrees with Pakistan that TNT is true, then Muslim Kashmir belongs with the Muslim country. That’s simply logical no?

          b) No one here is arguing that “everything good in India is because of Islam”. The point is simply that if Hindu nationalists are against everything Islamic, then perhaps the PM should find another place to give the independence day speeches from. He doesn’t because the Lal Qila and the Mughals remain symbols of pan-Indian legitimacy.

          I personally believe countries should own their entire culture. Modi’s India is taking a huge step backwards in this regard.

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          1. “a) The Republic of India explicitly rejected TNT. Pandit Nehru believed in a state that belonged to all its citizens. It was on the basis of rejecting TNT that India argued that a Hindu majority country could contain a Muslim-majority state (Kashmir). If Modi’s India now agrees with Pakistan that TNT is true, then Muslim Kashmir belongs with the Muslim country. That’s simply logical no?”

            A few thoughts:
            – In earlier discussions re: Indian Muslims during colonial era supporting the Muslim League and TNT, you were quick to emphasize that this was an elite phenomenon. Only the elite could vote. It’s not like the common Indian Muslim peasant was ardently pro TNT but decided to begrudgingly stay in India for other reasons. I would say it’s the same for Indian Hindus — how many common Indian Hindus knew of ONT and supported ONT?

            – What’s happening in India is not unlike what’s happened to a lot of other postcolonial states. After colonialism, there is a heavily westernized elite ruling class. Because of our tendency to focus on elites and assume that everyone is like the elites, we think of this as some sort of major shift in the masses. People post pics of Muslim countries several decades ago and think oh wow they used to be so Westernized etc., but that’s often just a very small sliver of elite. Over time, as modernization takes place, the masses start taking power; and they tend not to have the same Western ideals. So is there really a change in India or are we just seeing what India really is once power is transferred from a Westernized ruling elite to the masses?

            – It’s easy to support ONT when you’re in the majority; this doesn’t mean that Hindus were necessarily deeply committed to create some utopic GJT nation. And it was wise of Jinnah to suspect this.

            – You have to consider the impact of Partition. Yes, pre-Partition the two main competing ideas among the elites was TNT and ONT. But it is reasonable to expect that once TNT is chosen as the solution and Partition occurs, many of those supporting ONT will change their mind. For example, most English Canadians would say Canada should be one country (and many would be happy to regard Canada as an Anglo-French joint venture), whereas many French Canadians in Quebec would disagree. It’s easy to support ONT for English Canadians because they’re in the majority. If Quebec left and the Francophone percentage fell from 25% to 5-10%, would Canada, 70 years later, still support official bilingualism (which entails that most higher govt jobs require bilingualism; separate school systems; separate health systems; right to use either language in many cases; right to be served in either language in many cases, etc.?). Probably not. And that doesn’t necessarily make English Canadians who supported ONT hypocrites, although certainly some of them may have had a weak commitment toward ONT and were more concerned about practical matters (territorial extent, resources, etc.) Point being, Partition changed everything, especially since TNT was what in fact took place.

            – I think Kashmir is more of a question of realpolitik, but if you want to weave some Hindutva narrative to support keeping Kashmir then I’m sure they’ll be able to come up with something (e.g., sacred geography)

            – Was INC ever really secular? If you go back and watch UNGA speeches from previous Pak leaders, it’s striking how similar the language they use is to what IK has used. INC both externally and internally has often been accused of “soft Hindutva”. As the saying goes, where the Hindu majority ends is where AFSPA begins. And that was under INC.

            – I’m not a big fan of Modi or the kind of Islamophobia he’s encouraging. But I think you are not being charitable in your assessment of what’s happening in India and that you use double standards for India-Pakistan and Hindus-Muslims.

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          2. Quote / If Modi’s India now agrees with Pakistan that TNT is true, then Muslim Kashmir belongs with the Muslim country. That’s simply logical no?/

            Modi’s actions increasingly seem like India agreeing to TNT.
            Agreed !

            But at same time. Pakistan has lost claim to TNT too since it lost Bangladesh. According to your point even Bangladesh has equal claim over Kashmir as much as Pakistan based on Muslim majority.

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          3. Neither did pakistan border bangladesh but were still same country before 1971. Try again.

            Sorry to say but Pak has lost claim on TNT too

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          4. You’re being ridiculous. If Kashmir had been given to Pakistan (following the logic of TNT), it would have been part of West Pakistan. East Pakistan doesn’t come into it at all.

            One of the reasons that the West Pakistani establishment was against Sheikh Mujib in the first place was because he didn’t care about the Kashmir cause at all and wanted to trade with Calcutta since that would have benefited his own people.

            0
          5. Hoju,

            I make no bones about the fact that I hold a constitutionally secular state to a higher standard than a religiously-based one. If India declares itself a “Hindu Rashtra”, I promise I won’t complain at all about Muslims being treated as second class citizens.

            On Kashmir, a “Hindu Rashtra” is not permitted to possess a Muslim colony. Kashmir can only remain part of India if the promises of Nehruvian secularism are upheld.

            I am not at all charitable towards Hindu Hriday Samrat. The man is a naked fascist. No elected leader of Pakistan has ever had the blood of minorities on his hands. It is beyond shameful that your compatriots have twice elected this man Prime Minister.

            0
      5. NorthWest South Asia is the sort of bullshit name excessive political correctness comes up with. History is not geography no matter how much Pakistanis dislike that fact.

        Takshashila was part of Hindu/Buddhist India of antiquity. That carries more meaning than this NorthWest SouthEast foolishness.

        0
    2. Right. Like I said, the point you make about the Byzantine Empire (and what I made about the Qing Empire) is something we instinctively get when we discuss every other part of the world, but Lefties pretend to be dumb about when it comes to India.

      Imagine describing Eastern Manchuria (not in China anymore) as “North Asia”…rofl.

      2+
      1. The fact that you seem to not understand the need to distinguish between current national boundaries and historical ones is either extremely disingenuous or really idiotic. I can’t decide which one is worse.

        Hate to break it to you, but no serious human being thinks that India is “eternal”. That is a Hindu nationalist position. You are totally entitled to it, but all the rest of us in the reality-based community understand that all nation-states are socially constructed.

        1+
        1. “reality-based community understand that all nation-states are socially constructed.”

          Kabir stop being a troll.

          6+
          1. You are an idiot. Stick to medicine and leave social science to people who are actually competent at it.

            If you don’t understand that nation-states are socially constructed and “India” is not “eternal”, you are way out of your depth.

            1+
          2. Kabir, if you would pay attention rather than going on your monologues, you would realize I never actually said “India was eternal.”

            Anyways, you are literally writing comments on the blog of someone who has Azar Gat’s “Nations” in the books he recommends. Think about that, then about what you are arguing.

            3+
          3. Sweetheart, someone actually used the phrase “India is eternal” on the podcast.

            Anyway, I think as someone who (a) has actually studied social science and b) actually lived in South Asia, I know a bit more than a random “Indian-American” doctor from Texas.

            1+
        1. Both suggestions useful in pinpointing the location in readers mind. Anyday better than direction soup for the sake of political correctness!

          1+
      1. Ok just heard the podcast

        The reason why Taxila in North West South Asian was chosen was clearly due to the white curators trying to choose a word that would not offend people from either side of the border. Its a retarded name to satisfy excessive political correctness.

        If ‘Taxila in Pakistan’ was chosen, then some might get irked about the idea that Hindu-Buddhist artefacts from an ancient dharmic age are associated with a modern day islamic state that never existed in that era.

        Likewise, ‘Taxila in ancient India’ would offend Pakistani nationalists who want to erase their indian/hindu/buddhist past.

        The fitting compromise would be ‘Taxila, in modern day Pakistan”. I think ‘Taxila, Pakistan’ is better than retarded North West South Asia.

        1+
  5. South Asia (as a term) began its existence in some obscure State Department bureaucrat’s desk for, perhaps, meeting some legalese requirement towards either clarity or obfuscation. It has persevered though, partly due to the clamouring of the subcontinent’s subalterns.

    However this is a rootless term and has no historical legitimacy. Heredotus refers to the Indies, Strabo/Pliny/Arrian to Indika, the authors of Baburnama to Hindustan and Al-Biruni to Hind. Modern sciences such as Tectonics hold that the “Indian plate” gave rise to the Himalayas, oceanographic frontal systems only contain the Indian Ocean.

    I have been to countless European cities and yet to walk into a “South Asian” restaurant. There are only Indian restaurants (never mind the ownership though!!). But South Asia is a reality because I know that “South Asian” grooming gangs are prowling in Rotherham.

    10+
    1. “South Asia” is just as historically legitimate a term as “North America”. People understand that “North America” includes Canada and Mexico as well as the US. Similarly, “South Asia” is not just India.

      To get offended about this is beyond ridiculous.

      1+
      1. I already stated that the use of the term is a reality today. There is no dissonance in pointing out the ontological and dislocation problems that start arriving when there is an emphasis on its non-existent “de jure” and “de facto” character.

        Should we now refer to Native Americans of the 16th century as Red South Asians, because Columbus went in search of South Asia?

        3+
        1. Native American is the correct term since they were never “Indian” (or South Asian) in the first place.

          1+
          1. Yes they werent. But understand the reason they were named so.

            When you wanted to arrive in geographical location that is called ‘south Asia’ today, one would say we are sailing to India.

            2+
  6. If you don’t understand that nation-states are socially constructed and “India” is not “eternal”, you are way out of your depth.

    just because you read benedict anderson once doesn’t mean you know shit.

    “South Asia” is just as historically legitimate a term as “North America”. People understand that “North America” includes Canada and Mexico as well as the US. Similarly, “South Asia” is not just India.

    i have never heard anyone refer to teotihuacan as an “ancient north american city.” they say “ancient mesoamerican” or “ancient mexican.” north america is a geographical artificiality. it’s not a cultural domain (mexico is part of latin america and quebec is different from english america).

    it’s the fact that the ancients called the land india. not ‘south asia’.

    no one talks about the athenian hegemony or the spartan hegemony or the theban hegemony or the corinthian league or the despotate of sparta. they talk about greece. hellas. like HM said, no one talks about other parts of the world like this. it’s fine for pakistanis and bangladeshis to be allergic to the word india, but all of our ancestors were indians before partition. the muslims of the british raj were *indian muslims* that’s what they called themselves. that’s how they viewed themselves. “south asian” is like the word “judeo-christian.” only a ignorant moron would think that it’s a term with cultural flesh that adds something to the debate.

    10+
    1. The word “India” is associated with the current nation-state that was created on August 15, 1947. There would be no issue if this nation-state had chosen to call itself something else. Jinnah actually suggested this (that the dominions be called “Pakistan” and “Hindustan”).

      My ancestors were BRITISH Indians, NOT “Indians”. That is simply a historical fact. “India” did not exist before 1947. If we want to talk about specifics, we would need to talk about the Mughal Empire, etc.

      Sorry that you don’t appreciate when your Hindu nationalist allies are pushed back against.

      1+
      1. When an entity breaks up and one of them chooses to specifically call themselves a different name, the intent is clear: They want to distance themselves from the old identity. After that to start lecturing the other half on what they should call themselves is hilarious. It is also admission of the fact that the name has some positive brand value that you lack and are wishing the other half were deprived of.
        Tough noogies, nyetnicks.

        2+
  7. The word “India” is associated with the current nation-state that was created on August 15, 1947.

    you are aware that in much of the world all brown people from the subcontinent are referred to as “indian”?

    My ancestors were BRITISH Indians, NOT “Indians”.

    LOL. great burn?

    8+
    1. It’s not a burn, it’s simply historically accurate.

      There was no “India” before August 15, 1947. That’s a fact, whether someone likes it or not.

      1+
      1. alright fam you win.
        There was no “Pakistan” before August 14, 1947. That’s a fact, whether someone likes it or not.
        But greeks called the region Indoi i think correct me pls.
        Alhind by the arabs.
        Hindustan by perisans,central asians(congregation of turkic nations except turkey) .

        0
        1. No one here said that Pakistan existed before August 15, 1947 (the 15th and not the 14th was the actual independence day before it got changed later). But there was no “India” either. Both modern nation-states were created at the exact same time and it is not that India was some primordial thing.

          “Hindustan” referred specifically to the Mughal Empire, which never included all of what is today “India”.

          1+
          1. You are not the first person to state that India and Pakistan have the same antiquity. Very few statements are as illuminating of a national complex as this one!

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          2. It’s just a fact. Sorry it bothers you this much.

            Pakistan was created from BRITISH India not from “India”. The distinction is important.

            1+
          3. This is so ridiculous that I dont know where to start answering it.

            Why did the british name is British india rather than British south asia? It would have made your task of refusing history easier.

            You have resorting to more and more ridiculous arguments the more you try to defend this. Next you will even call Razib hindu nationalist !

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      2. This is a bit like saying Germany didn’t exist before 1989. Or Bengal didn’t exist before 1972. Or Punjab didn’t exist before 1947.

        Need to distinguish between the concept of ‘Pakistan’ and ‘India’. And the republics of India and Pakistan.

        The concept of ‘Pakistan’ is much newer than the concept of ‘India’. The concept of ‘Pakistan’ dates back to the Indian Muslim elite who came up with the 2 nation theory, whereas the concept of ‘India’ dates back to antiquity.

        The Republic of India and the Republic of Pakistan were both founded in 1947.

        Pakistan later became an Islamic republic, lost Bengali territory etc. By your logic there was no ‘Pakistan’ in 1960 only ‘West Pakistan’ and ‘East Pakistan’

        1+
        1. Pakistan existed in 1960. It included “East Pakistan” which later seceded.

          The whole point is that both nation-states were created at the exact same time. No one who is not a Hindu nationalist buys the “eternal India” bullshit. Sorry, not drinking that kool-aid.

          All nation-states are socially constructed. That’s the bottom line.

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          1. Quote /Pakistan existed in 1960. It included “East Pakistan” which later seceded./

            And similarly India as a civilization existed since couple of thousand years. Pakistan and Bangladesh were part of it. They succeeded and some people living there also think they are free to choose their identity.
            Well best luck with that but that doesnt mean you can make India start over again. It continues to own the good and bad part of its history.
            India as nation state might or might not be eternal similar to all other nation state. But India as a idea and civilization entity is as eternal as it can get. You can put China or Greece to that list too!

            2+
          2. Constructivism is irrelevant.

            The social construction of ‘India’ existed long before the social construction of ‘Pakistan’.

            As an example, it sort of makes sense to say a historical site was in British India, modern day Pakistan, but seems odd to say British Pakistan.

            Just because the idea of India is older, it does not follow of course that the nation state of India has more inherent legitimacy than the nation state Pakistan. Or India somehow has a claim on Pakistani territory etc.

            Quite to the contrary, I think the creation of a new concept of a country united by faith represents a tremendous achievement by Iqbal, Jinnah and others involved in the Pakistan movement.

            2+
          3. We don’t say “British Pakistan” because no such entity existed. No one here is arguing that Pakistan existed before August 1947.

            “British India” is not the same as the Republic of India. There were many polities that existed on what is now called “India” throughout History. However, the modern nation-state is only as old (and as legitimate) as the Islamic Republic of Pakistan.

            1+
          4. Didn’t Pakistan cease to exist in 1971 ? Please give yourself some suitably different name. Jihadistan, maybe ?

            Wait. How about Baqistan ? That would make sense.

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          5. The people who seceded chose to call themselves “Bangladesh”. West Pakistan became Pakistan. It’s really not that complicated. But of course you know that and are simply being disingenuous.
            The confusion about “India” arises only because the Republic of India kept the name of British India.

            1+
          6. Quote /The confusion about “India” arises only because the Republic of India kept the name of British India./

            India didnt ‘keep’ name of British India. British added their name to the name of land as it was known since centuries. HIndustan (preferred name acc. to Jinnah) is not a different name either. Mughals didnt invent the name but used the name as was known to them since before arriving here. The name Indica, India, Hindustan refer to same entity across river Sindhu/ Hindu/Indus to outside world. The same is being used logically owning up all the good and bad parts of the history of this region.

            The entities like Pakistan who want to model something out of thin air need to check where they fit in scheme of things and make a coherent story.

            1+
          7. Your own Constitution calls your country “Bharat”. If “India” had used “Bharat” as it’s official name in English as well, then we could use India to refer to the pre-Partition entity. Since that is not the case, alternate terms like south asia become necessary.

            In any case, this is not just about India and Pakistan. Sri Lanka is part of South Asia as well and it was neither part of British India nor the Mughal Empire etc. So using “India” instead of South Asia doesn’t even make sense in many contexts.

            1+
          8. Quote /Your own Constitution calls your country “Bharat”/

            India and Bharat are both name for same entity looking from outside and inside. Similar to Germany & Deutschland. (or Japan and Nippon). One is name given to themselves and other is what is seen from outside. Both can be used concurrently. No contradictions there.

            Ceylon was the name used for Srilanka as far as I know. No one claims that to be India.

            0
          9. Sri Lanka, Maldives, Lakshadweep are all populated by people of Indian origin. Their histories start with ancient India (I see nothing wrong to call all these people South Asian.)

            Anyway they are islands on the periphery of Indian subcontinent, not part of the core mainland.

            I really see no problem in saying that the region which is now Pakistan was part of ancient India.

            It’s not the same as saying that Pakistan is part of modern India. It certainly does not mean that modern Indians ‘own’ Pakistan.

            Maybe this is the fear that Kabir has in his politicised denial of what everyone else in the world pretty much accepts.

            1+
        2. Ok Kabir

          If you want to be historically accurate, during the ancient, medieval and colonial periods the outside world called what is now Pakistan and modern India as India (and it’s related cognates – Indika, Indos, Al Hind, Hindustan etc).

          In the Indian influenced societies of the east like Indonesia/Malaysia they called it Bharat. Even today the word for west in Indonesian/Malay is Bharat.

          Bharat and India (and its cognates) refer to the same geographical cultural region that spans modern Pakistan and India.

          The ancient people of what is now Pakistan played a huge part in Indian culture. The Vedas, Sanskrit culture etc are quintessentially ‘Indian’.

          People like Pāṇini from Gandhara were partaking in that common Indian culture and were well integrated into it. They were even trendsetters.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pāṇini

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gandhari_(character)

          If most outsiders called it India/Bharat in those ancient periods, then there is nothing wrong for people in the modern era to use those same terms to describe the past. The present is a different matter.

          1+
          1. Historical accuracy demands recognizing that there was no “India” before August 15, 1947. This is really not that difficult.

            Depending on the period one is talking about, one can use BRITISH India, Mughal Empire, Gupta Empire, etc. This solves everyone’s problems. No absurd terms while also avoiding the a-historic practice of using a name of a modern nation-state for the entire region.

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          2. Ancient India or classical India are differentiators enough. If it works for greeks it sure can work for India.
            The california board also thought same and did the right thing according to article cited.

            Quote / California educators also ruled that the ancient subcontinent would continue to be referred to as “India,” instead of “South Asia.”/

            /Therefore, the term “India” is something that ought to be embraced by other South Asian countries./

            0
    2. I HOPE THIS DIDN’T CAUSE A WAR
      My bro just read the Quran and now he’s shit
      scared and can’t sleep properly(I am serious). I guess he’s first time came across a book that said in his words ” Disbelievers will go to hell”. I said don’t worry “Old Testament” is worse. Seriously i was like Kushal Mehra was right after reading the quran. He said” I became a Hindu after reading the Quran” and Why is it so bloody and why is god always angry? I recommend all people read the book (good and bad parts ).

      He talked to an indian Muslim and he said that “I don’t not understand it i have just crammed it in Arabic”.

      He talked to Pakistani Muslim girl and she told about the mythology etc and told that She Doesn’t believe in evolution but certain Muslim scientists also did so.

      My question is why is death and suffering so emphasized in Abrahamic text.

      Why do europeans Converted cause they didnt have their own mythology to begin with or due to elite conversion everyone had to convert?

      IS PAGANISM THAT BAD THAN PEOPLE TALK ABOUT ?

      0
    3. My ancestors were BRITISH Indians, NOT “Indians”

      There are quite a few who insist they are Ceylonese.
      Many Burghers (Eurasians) and many Diasporan Tamils.
      Some Sinhalese too.

      Same difference I guess, and valid enough

      0
  8. I agree with Kabir. South Asia is the appropriate term. The area we now know as India, Pakistan and Banglesdesh is also called the Indian subcontinent which is also appropriate. I think of South Asia as Europe. The states and provinces that comprise the modern states of India, Pakistan and Banglesdesh are basically countries. For example, a Bengali is as different to a Punjabi as a Ukrainian is to a Pole.

    Now here’s a question. If say Pakistan also obtained the states of East Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP and Bihar, would that mean Pakistan is more “Indian” then the modern country of India? Or is the modern country of India only India because the majority are Hindu or attest to Brahmanism?

    My grandparents migrated to Pakistan from Bihar. Does that make me Bihari or Pakistani or Indian?

    2+
    1. ” If say Pakistan also obtained the states of East Punjab, Haryana, Delhi, UP and Bihar, would that mean Pakistan is more “Indian” then the modern country of India?”

      In my view yes, but India would still have roughly rest or 40 percent of the “Indian” population, so “Indian” would be contested to say the least.

      ” Or is the modern country of India only India because the majority are Hindu or attest to Brahmanism?”

      Nepal in that way is more “Indian” than India, but it isn’t

      1+
    2. Europe is the correct analogy to South Asia.

      Now imagine if one European country decided it owned all of Europe’s culture? That is the situation here where some Indians think that all South Asian history and culture belong to India.

      1+
      1. @Kabir

        “Europe is the correct analogy to South Asia.

        Now imagine if one European country decided it owned all of Europe’s culture? That is the situation here where some Indians think that all South Asian history and culture belong to India.”

        I would say India (sometimes referred to as the Union of India or Indian Union) is to the Indian subcontinent what the European Union is to Europe.

        Sometimes, the terms EU and Europe are conflated, but it’s easy to pick up on what is being meant by looking at the context. When people say “Buddha was from India”, some will say omg wtf he was born in Nepal, others will say India was established in 1947 etc., but most will understand that “India” in that context is referring to ancient India, not the Republic of India or Nepal.

        1+
          1. @Saurav

            “….. Or we can just say Buddha was born in North West-of-North-East South Asia”

            Lol at that point we might as well start using longitude and latitude coordinates.

            Although I’m sure someone will find a way to get offended by that too.

            Typical Hindutva regime promoting Hindu numerals.

            2+
      2. If the country had contained 80 percent of land mass and the people, i would say they wouldn’t’ be wrong to claim that.

        2+
    3. @Syed

      It is not about one of the countries being more legitimate than other. It is projecting current geopolitics on past.
      Are you a bihari, pakistani or indian?
      You are Pakistani in terms of nationality. You have claim to Indian heritage as much anyone else in subcontinent. But if say one of your ancestors happens to come from say Persia, then most correct way of saying that would be ‘My ancestor traveled to India’ and not south Asia or other disingenuous political constructs

      And Brahmanism is overated as qualification for Indianess. It has become favorite pastime for people on left which have no other point than to keep ‘flogging that dead horse’

      0
    4. “Or is the modern country of India only India because the majority are Hindu or attest to Brahmanism?”

      Not at all. If Pakistan had called itself Muslim India (like how Bangladesh used to be East Pakistan), no one would deny their Indian-ness. Its rooted in their soil, culture and their ancestries.

      But they wanted to break away from their kuffar past, and erase their history.

      1+
    5. “I think of South Asia as Europe.”

      Wouldn’t the equivalent of South Asia be a neutral geographic term like north-west Eurasia?
      Europe is an ancient name, just like India and carries with it some cultural baggage.

      0
  9. One has to make a distinction between past and the present. When referring to the modern nation states or citizens from one of these nation states one can use South Asia as a neutral collective term.
    (eg south asian students’ association)

    But historically or while referring to the place in civilizational continuity India is more appropriate than south Asia.
    (eg Takshashila , a city in ancient northwestern India)

    3+
  10. But historically or while referring to the place in civilizational continuity India is more appropriate than south Asia.
    (eg Takshashila , a city in ancient northwestern India)

    HM’s point is a strong one.

    terrocata warriors => east Asian art
    parthenon => Mediterranean architecture
    pyramids => north African monuments

    these are strictly not wrong. but they sound ridiculous. similarly, using ‘south asian’ for stuff 2,000 years ago sounds weird.

    7+
  11. am the only one amused by kabir’s smugly stupid comments? stupidity is sad. smugness is annoying. but the interaction btw the too is great!

    living incarnation of dunning–kruger effect :=)

    7+
    1. why do we have to go through this every couple months?
      Should we add something to the description of Dunning-Kruger effect.
      For example:”cognitive bias in which people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability *repeatedly*”

      2+
      1. kabir has some peculiarities but he’s actually quite typical of the average ‘arts’ graduate (stem too tbh). these are ppl with degrees who regurtitate barely comprehended facts as you with zero understanding but totally confident that their authority-citing will intimidate you.

        i routinely have to make sure to be overerudite on twitter because the typical liberal things they’re more knowledgable than me on everything since i’m conservative. just how the world is.

        kabir’s presence is useful as witnesses to what the world is. this is his world. we’re just visitors

        6+
  12. also, i assume kabir knows that the greek nation-state was founded in the early 19th century. Greece literally was never a unitary nation-state before that period.

    8+
    1. So what? Most nation-states only date back to the 19th century.

      No one confuses ancient Greece with the modern nation (or Turkey with the Ottoman Empire).

      “India” shouldn’t be equated with British India or the Mughal Empire etc. These were all distinct polities. That is the historically accurate position.

      0
      1. But the city states in present day turkey are still referred to as ‘greek states’ not northeastern Mediterranean states since turkey will feel bad

        1+
  13. “My ancestors were BRITISH Indians, NOT “Indians”. That is simply a historical fact.”

    @Kabir, did you have ancestors before the britishers invaded India? What would you have called them? Do you have any history records which would show- if your ancestors were converts or adventurers from middle east?

    @Kabir- did I ever ask you to look up the Turkish word for “army”. If you get a minute, please look up!.

    “Ghalib is our poet just as much as he is India’s (in some ways more since he was a product of Islamicate culture).”

    Ghalib wanted to be a hindu- he once travelled to Varanasi and fell in live with the city and its evening aarti by the ghats! He wrote an entire masnavi on “Chirag e dair” in 108 verses as an ode to Hinduism. He claims he wants to be born as an Hindu in that. Ghalib was one of the most secular poets.
    He wrote his best works in Persian and looked Downton urdu.
    @Kabir- only muslims think that north indian culture is Muslim culture. Even Bollywood has shed its muslim writers, lyricists etc. Ekta Kapoor has redefined north Indian culture. More hindus visit Kumbh Mela than tourists visit TajMahal in a a year.
    You really live in a world.of fantasy. Actually so does west.
    Right now, Modi is the most moderate of Hindus.
    From what I understand – a lot of hindu philosophy, literature was written in present day POK. Sharadapeeth, another great university is in POK. We Hindus are not giving up anything but it seems Pstan is intent on being a slave to SA masters.
    I have been reading Tarek Fateh’s – Chasing a Mirage. It is an interesting read.
    I think he would be a fun guest on the forum.

    4+
      1. Still better than crypto-pak nationalist masquerading to be secular while pontificating to others.

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        1. I am a firm believer in nehruvian secularism. My long record on this blog proves that.

          When people approvingly cite Tarek Fatah–a known islamophobe– there is nothing further to be said.

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          1. You indeed prove to be a Nehruvian secularist, a genuine one at that, while talking about India. When the topic is Pakistan that is seriously doubtful according to the same record.
            That mostly turns into Pak apologist with sudden new rules, soft spot and special consideration to the requirements of Muslim nation, Nehru be damned.

            I cant defend all statements from Tarek Fatah but he does make a lot of good points. You can critique him or disagree with lot of this views but cancelling on him & anyone quoting him irrespective of context completely does seem excessive.

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          2. It is not at all “excessive” to cancel Tarek Fatah. The man is an open Islamophobe and never has a good word to say about Muslims or Pakistan.

            Sorry, I have zero patience for right-wing “Ex-Muslims”. You are free to have a different opinion.

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  14. I guess people who use South Asia are the same one who argue that Hinduism is a 19th century religion.

    2+
  15. Having heard the podcast, i thought it was a bit of a storm in a teacup, but I see where they are coming from. As any good machine learning nerd would tell you, a good classifier is one which minimises entropy (confusion) when applied, hence the use of a contrived term like ‘NW SA’ is laughable when ancient India could have been used. Literally no one (I hope) thinks that the boundaries of ancient or medieval India end at the Radcliffe line.

    The only contexts in my mind when the use of SA as a term would be meaningful would be for post 1947 contexts when looking to group the diverse peoples from that part of the world. I personally prefer and use Indian Subcontinent, or simply the Subcontinent, as in my mind that does more justice to the diversity packed into that relatively small patch of land. However in the rare instances when Afghanistan, Myanmar and Bhutan are also to be thrown into the mix then maybe SA would be a better term, but I don’t think these term boundaries are sharply defined.

    I do not get the British use of the term Asian for subcontinentals, since that would literally account for the majority of the world’s people from Turkey to Japan. As classifiers go, it’s a pretty bad one when there are far more specific ones available. I do like and use the term Desi when speaking Hindi, but that term doesn’t map onto other languages and regions.

    0
    1. India was created on August 15, 1947. That is why calling Taxila “ancient India” is problematic. It could have been referred to as “Gandhara civilization, now in Pakistan”.

      This whole issue would be avoided if polities were simply referred to by their historically accurate names (Mughal Empire, BRITISH India, etc).

      0
      1. Indian Republic was born then

        India as a civilizational entity starts with IVC which spans modern day NWFP, Punjab, Sindh, Haryana, and Gujarat. If Taxilla is within that space, I think it is fair to call it an Indian civilizational entity.

        1+
        1. Yeah its laughable to deny the common cultural and civilisational base that united all these regions for millennia. As someone already mentioned Panini, the father of linguistics and classical Sanskrit was from Gandhara (as was Gandhari of the Mahabharata).

          Anyway this whole argument is over semantics. It’s probably only people with modern India-phobia who want to deny the obvious.

          In any case Pakistanis are probably the most Indian of all, having Sindh, Mohenjo Daro and Harappa. True sons of the Indus which gives India its name but lies in North-West South Asia.

          0
        2. The culture of the IVC must have preceded the mature period in which the IVC zone could truly be called IVC.

          Personally I would put the origin further back to the neolithic era, same for other places which have had their neolithic like the Balkans, China, various centers in the middle east.etc.

          0
      2. “India was created on August 15, 1947. That is why calling Taxila “ancient India” is problematic. It could have been referred to as “Gandhara civilization, now in Pakistan”.

        Hahahaha, that’s so laughable. Nice one, cracked me up. How many self respecting Indian pre-1947 do you think called themselves British Indians? LOL. All the best mate 🙂

        3+
        1. Sorry the facts bother you so much. Your country was created the exact same day that Pakistan was created. Obviously, the physical land has always been there but there were different polities on it.

          All this “civilizational space” stuff is just bullshit.

          0
          1. You just can’t get over the fact that your entire High Culture (assuming you are North Indian) comes from Muslims.

            Hindu nationalists are beyond pathetic. Grow the hell up.

            0
          2. Well I am not north indian and neither would I not like to owe up the Turkic part of our history.

            But It is still not as embarrassing as owning your entire existence to land, culture & history of dharmic India and still trying to prove otherwise based on romanticizing some invader as done by pak nationalists.

            2+
  16. Jinnah was livid when he heard that modern India would inherit the name ‘India’ prior to partition.

    “He fought tooth and nail that the name “India” should not be allotted to the Congress. He called the place Hindustan until he lost.”

    It is clear why, he did not want Pakistan to appear inferior in antiquity to the general concept of India, which has existed for millennia (probably arising from our common Indus Valley Civilisation).

    1+
    1. Promoting Hindustan instead of India is just about managing the optics. Both come from same river name. Both are given by people outside to those living in the region. Difference is India is more prevalent in the western world since it was given by greeks compared to HIndustan given by Persian and subsequently used by other middle eastern peoples.(I am not sure if fertile cresent people already used it)
      The same logic about everything is a zero sum game where India’s gain is Pakistan loss is being followed right from Mr Jinnah till now.

      2+
  17. @Kabir

    “I have no issues with Mr. Modi giving independence day speeches from the Lal Qila. It is however, hypocritical to continue to do so while deploring the Muslim era as “1000 years of Occupation”.”

    Would you complain if Modi delivered an independence day speech in English, wearing western attire, in a western institution (parliament), while believing that colonialism was a negative experience for many?

    You can think an invasion is bad while still assimilating some of their things, whether technology, statecraft, cuisine, language, or whatever else.

    Iranians have absorbed much from Arabs while still harboring resentments about the Arab conquest.

    Why not just appreciate that he’s retaining some aspects of India’s Islamicate heritage and encourage him to embrace more of it rather than always complaining no matter what the situation is. If next year he doesn’t give a speech from Lal Qila, you’ll complain about that. If it’s complaints no matter what then people will tune it out because the result will always be the same anyways.

    0
    1. Sorry, you do not get to appropriate Indo-Islamic culture while demonizing us at the same time.

      I’d be much happier if “Hindu Hriday Samrat” found a Hindu place to give his speeches from. Too bad there are none with as much pan-Indian legitimacy as the Lal Qila.

      0
      1. I know u mean well, but you are seriously over estimating the influence of Lal-Qila as a “muslim” or pan Indian monument. Most Indians dont know/associate it with mughals, just as they dont associate Indian Parliament with British.

        A better example would be Taj Mahal

        1+
        1. I think Shoaib Daniyal wrote about this and it was shared on BP before.

          The Mughal Empire is perhaps the most historically important pan-Indian empire. The Lal Qila was the seat of imperial authority. This is why Pandit Nehru chose it as the site of his independence day speech. All Indian PMs have followed this tradition.

          However since the current regime hates anything Muslim, it is beyond hypocritical to continue giving this speech from OUR palace rather than one of your own Hindu sites. Perhaps Shivaji’s fort?

          0
      2. Now continue to use same metrics and tell how much should pak be alllowed to appropriate anything in Pre islamic history based on the slurs and hate being showered day in day out since formation of pak. Be it public discourse, textbooks, naming of military tech, etc.

        And please dont come up with ‘but pak being islamic country and india secular, we can do whatever we want while setting high standards for others’

        1+
        1. Personally, I think Pakistan should own all the culture of our land. But a self-consciously Muslim homeland is not going to do so.

          I have just as little patience for those Pakistanis who think Pakistan was created the day MBQ stepped into Sindh as I do for the “India is eternal” crowd on this site. All of you are guilty of historical inaccuracies. Both nation-states are modern constructs.

          0
          1. And most self conscious Indians will own it just like greeks or chinese would. It is not exclusively owned by Republic of India but since other part doesnt want any of it, we are happy to do so.
            The intelligent people in Pak who want otherwise should start with awareness at home rather than forming pressure groups in west to choose some meaningless geographical terms that wont ‘hurt their feelings’ or ‘deprive them of their history’.Treat the cause not symptoms.

            As mentioned earlier Idea of India will be as eternal as it gets (from start of civilizations till now) not to be confused with republic of India which can be called a political entity along with Pakistan, Mughal Hindustan, british India or Mauryan empire. None of them are eternal looking at history.

            Idea of MBQ setting up pak with his invasion attempt is childish at best. It seems more like coming of prophet if you are a believer.

            2+
          2. You do realize that it was not Pakistanis who came up with the term “South Asia”? It’s a term that is used by the US State Department. Surely, you don’t think that Pakistanis overwhelmingly influence the State Department (if only that were true).

            You are free to believe in “eternal India” even though most normal people recognize that it is ahistorical bullshit. Clearly, you have not been academically trained in History.

            Agree that the idea of MBQ setting up Pakistan is ridiculous. But not anymore ridiculous then “Hindutva History”.

            0
          3. Ok they didn’t start it but they can surely do themselves favour by not defending it by coming up with absurd arguments like you did. Ends up backfiring spectacularly.
            Training in history should not be at cost of logic otherwise one keeps parroting same things over and over

            0
          4. There is no point arguing with someone who has no academic qualifications in History. You may be good at your own profession (whatever it is) but you don’t understand basic things like the fact that all nation-states are socially constructed. The fact that you keep clinging to “eternal India” and other such Hindu bullshit proves that.

            South Asia is here to stay as an academic and descriptive term whether you all like it or not. My side has won this war.

            0
          5. If you would have read I never said south asia term should not be used. Just mentioned the context in which it’s appropriate. You seem to be getting exasperated at not being able to ‘win the war’ here. That’s ok.
            Hindu bullshit?
            Replace hindu with Islam and someone will start shouting Islamophobia here.

            3+
          6. BP is a forum friendly to Hindu nationalists.

            In the larger world, my people have won. No serious person believes in “eternal India”.

            0
      3. @Kabir

        “Sorry, you do not get to appropriate Indo-Islamic culture while demonizing us at the same time.”

        He is doing it. He’s doing what you’re saying one does not get to do. And many others around the world do the same (mutatis mutandis).

        “I’d be much happier if “Hindu Hriday Samrat” found a Hindu place to give his speeches from.”

        If he did that, you would be crying that Indo-Islamic heritage is not being embraced.

        “Too bad there are none with as much pan-Indian legitimacy as the Lal Qila.”

        And of course, here’s the flipside of embracing Indo-Islamic heritage: you get lambasted by Pakistanis that the great things of Indian heritage are primarily Islamicate. They say things like:

        “You just can’t get over the fact that your entire High Culture (assuming you are North Indian) comes from Muslims.”

        There.is.no.winning. Always complaining.

        2+
        1. There is no question that he is doing it. But he is a hypocrite (and I have all the rights to call him out on his hypocrisy). If he really wants to disown Indo-Islamic culture (and its modern descendants in India) then it shouldn’t be that difficult to give such speeches from “Chattrapati Maharaj’s” palace instead of Shah Jahan’s.

          No one is saying everything of Indian heritage is Islamic. But certainly most of North India’s High Culture (Urdu, Hindustani Classical music, kathak, Mughlai cuisine) is part of the syncretic Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb that Hindu Nationalists hate so much. At least be consistent.

          0
    1. Sorry, it’s a Muslim palace since it was built by our kings. The boundaries of a modern nation state don’t change that fact.

      0
      1. It was also built with mostly local money and resources.
        And there comes out the paki nationalist from covers. If building a palace make the place yours for eternity what do you say about the whole subcontinent where dharmic religions flourish for millennia?
        Can it change due to some centuries of rule and monuments built on our money?

        4+
        1. You can call me a “Paki Nationalist” but you have revealed yourself as a Hindu Nationalist.
          Too bad the real world (outside of Hindu Right circles) doesn’t buy your bullshit. I am done with you.

          0
      2. Sorry, it’s a Muslim palace since it was built by our kings.

        you sound 8. “our kings” they would laugh their ashraf asses off at that you kala hindu.

        only a Muslim would claim that a building had a religion.

        5+
        1. The building doesn’t have a religion, but it was commissioned by Muslims. In that sense it is a Muslim palace.

          And you have never seen me so you have no basis for calling me “kaala”. I am also not (and have never been) a Hindu. So that comment is just ridiculous.

          I am descended from Ashraf Muslims of North India, thanks very much.

          0
          1. that’s what the real turco-persians called fake ashrafs like you jackass. black hindus. they were explicit about when they met fellow ‘white people’, Europeans, in the 17th century. we all know most of your ancestors worshipped little idols in your homes Hindu. the evidence is on your face.

            your comments are like the moronic mirror image of Hindu twitter. but you probably don’t realize that

            1+
          2. I don’t need a DNA test to prove anything. I know exactly who I am– A Muslim of North Indian ancestry.

            Pakistanis in general are not as obsessed with DNA as Indians seem to be.

            Calling my ancestors “Hindu” is neither here nor there. Some of my ancestry is from Iran, so I very much doubt those people were ever Hindu. As for the ones who may have been converts, it’s irrelevant since we have now been Muslim for hundreds of years.

            I will admit to not being Turko-Persian though.

            0
          3. @ Razib
            A short trip from subcontinent to middle east(saudia, emitrates et al) is sufficient even if one is not familiar with literature/history to know this.
            Better to be proud representative of one’s own heritage than live in infamy under burrowed/imagined one for the majority of people we are talking about. But the ‘Ummah fever’ continues.
            Well that not my battle to fight. One can only hope for better future.

            2+
          4. I’m quite comfortable with my heritage–the Indo-Islamic culture of North India.

            As for Hindu or “dharmic” culture, not really bothered with it either way.

            For the millionth time, I have no issues with Hindus as such. I absolutely loathe Hindutva on the other hand.

            0
          5. “A Muslim of North Indian ancestry.”

            Correction – A Muslim of North South Asian ancestry.

            6+
          6. Quote / Pakistanis in general are not as obsessed with DNA as Indians seem to be/
            I guess they know nothing good/noteworthy, according to them, is ever going to come out of that test anyway.

            3+
          7. “the Indo-Islamic culture of North India.”

            How dare you.

            It’s the South Asian Islamic culture of North Central South Asia.

            1+
          8. I don’t think there’s anything particularly great about being Ashraf.

            Just pointing out that calling me a “kaala Hindu” is ridiculous. You people don’t know what I look like so commenting on my complexion is neither here nor there. As for “Hindu”, I was born a Muslim and have never gone back from that.

            0
  18. I propose we revise all recognised history books on the south Asian subcontinent.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indo-Greek_Kingdom

    This must now be called the South Asian-Greek kingdom. Or even better the North West South Asian – Mediterranean kingdom.

    All history books saying that the Rig Veda was composed in ancient India, should now be revised to ‘the Rig Veda was composed in North-West South Asia’ or the ‘Rig Veda was composed in modern Pakistan’.

    All ancient literature which refers to the modern Pakistan area as cognates of India (such as in ancient Greek literature) should be retconned to ‘North West South Asia’.

    2+
  19. kabir,
    your comment is similar to the case that the land on which gyan vapi mosque is built belonged to hindus so, now they should take control of it.

    0
  20. Term South Asia got its popular construct when California BOE started changing its school textbooks to replace India with South Asia. From what I vaguely remember, it was fueled by academia. It received a huge push back from the larger indian community and they were largely successful in stopping the change by showing the absurdity/falseness of the term as it was applied in the books.
    However, it has stuck since then and from what I can make out from my friends in academia (liberal arts) in US, it is considered to be fashionable to use South Asia. I also see that they are largely ignorant of Indian history. Other commonality is that they hate Modi.
    Friends in academia( science/tech), are devout mostly- chant and do their puja. They do their work and ignore it.

    1+
  21. Also, when we look for Indian restaurants in US -one can easily figure out which one is Indian or Pakistani and some Bangladeshi-

    Indians will largely claim India Palace Indian kitchen, India Gate, Krishna’s kitchen, swagatham, Desi something etc. Their identity is large and clear.

    Pakistani ones will be – Shalimar, Taj, Shahi, Khan etc. Sometimes, it is not easy to make out from the name- say Masala thing- then next thing is to look at the payment counter – there will be a diety with an aggarbatti lit or photo of Guru Nanak.

    Next is to look at the menu- a lot of Indian ones will avoid beef. However, that is not that commonplace esp in NYC.

    South Asia remains confined to amreeki bhadralok in liberal arts spheres.

    0
    1. Sorry, I call BS on this.
      There are plenty of Indian-run establishments called Taj, and most Indians are proud of the Taj Mahal and don’t think of it as a ‘muslim’ monument. It was made designed and built by Indian hands, and it’s beauty is undeniable. I also don’t believe that art and architecture (or languages, literature, music etc.) can be reduced to direct comparisons like Hindi > Urdu or Tamil > Telugu or Carnatic > hindustani. Call me a romantic, but they’re all outpourings of human expression and creativity and deserved to be de-politicised.

      The India v SA debate reminds me of the embarrassing fracas between Greece and Macedonia that the rest of the world rolled it’s eyes at. It was clear that the rest of world looked at the entire region as India / Al-Hind / Hindustan, but that doesn’t mean modern India gets to claim the entire legacy for itself like how how Italy does not get to claim the Roman Empire for itself.

      2+
      1. “but that doesn’t mean modern India gets to claim the entire legacy for itself”

        Unfortunately (or fortunately) for the outside world, India does. For the outsiders the “legacy” Pakistan inherits is stuff like cuisine and muslim monuments that too which are in Pak areas (forget even muslim monuments of India areas). Even non -muslim stuff of Pakistan areas(Indus Valley, Taxila) are not readily associated with Pak.

        The situation is so bad that even genuine things like Nepal claiming the Buddha or Bangladesh being the more genuine inheritor of Bengali-ness is sometimes brushed aside and linked with India.

        0
        1. Thats unfortunate !
          But I think if they promote that aspect of their history surely the world will know about it and India should help the ones who are interested in this direction.
          Pakistan will clearly have to come clean on its self identification to help their cause.

          0
        2. Well my more famous namesake did spend most of his life preaching in India (Sarnath), and apart from Lumbini the modern Buddhist trail is all in India so its quite natural that India has a stronger ‘claim’ on the Buddha. Descendants of the shakya clan are also quite numerous in India.

          I’m curious why you think Bangladesh has more claim to authentic Bengaliness – in a purely numeric sense that may be true, but if you compare cultural output (works of Bengali literature, movies, music, etc) and other markers of Bengali culture (Durga Puja, cuisine, etc.) I’m not so sure…but hey, I’m just a Tamil guy so what would I know

          1+
          1. LOL, I told u right, both examples show how large India’s shadow looms over S-Asia ist.

            There is no proper answer to all this. Its how it is.

            1+
      2. If I recall correctly, the issue between Greece and Macedonia was that there is a province in Greece known as Macedonia and therefore Greece thought that by choosing this name the ex-Yugoslav republic was making territorial claims on Greece. That’s why it insisted on “FYROM”. The country is still officially called “North Macedonia” to distinguish it from the Greek province.

        I imagine India would not have been particularly happy if in 1947 Pakistan had chosen to call itself “West India”.

        0
        1. As far as I know (could be wrong) name North Macedonia was a compromise brokered by EU. It wants to come in EU and supposedly was one of the condition. However they are still not in due to other issues.

          I cant tell about others but it would have been great to have West India. It would have maintained all connection to ancient India and there would have been not much opposition to term ancient India from Pakistan. Not sure it would have satisfied the majority who want nothing with India though.

          On a lighter note would have been great to watch cricket match between West India and West Indies.

          0
          1. “West India” could have implied some territorial claim on the rest of “India” just as Greece feared from the name “Macedonia” for FYROM.

            In any case, the whole point of Partition was to create a sovereign Muslim homeland, so a name like “West India” would have defeated the purpose entirely.

            0
  22. “Sorry, it’s a Muslim palace since it was built by our kings. The boundaries of a modern nation state don’t change that fact.”

    @Kabir, you sound very non secular when you claim Shah Jahan as your own because he was a muslim. Would you claim Maharajah Ranjit Singh as your own? He did rule over large swathes of current day Pakistan. Your pan-muslim identity crisis is rearing its head.

    2+
    1. I don’t owe any explanation to someone who cites Islamophobes like Tarek Fatah.

      You Hindu nationalists are beyond pathetic. You may have found a friendly home on BP but the larger world only has contempt for people like you.

      0
  23. @ Kabir but I didn’t cite anything from Tarek Fatah and his book. I only said I am reading it, it was interesting and it would be fun to get him on this forum.

    2+
    1. The fact that you would read a book by someone openly Islamophobic and anti-Pakistan and you think it would be “fun” to have him here says a lot about you.

      0
      1. Quote /The fact that you would read a book by someone openly Islamophobic and anti-Pakistan/

        Wow. just wow. Are we not supposed to read books you dont approve of. Just short of issuing fatwa on BP about whose books one can read to qualify to comment here.

        You could suggest calling Audrey Truschke in the episode after Tarek Fateh to relax your mind.

        4+
        1. You can read whatever you want, but I have the right to judge you based on the type of authors you take seriously.

          I believe right-wing Islamophobes like Fateh should be deplatformed but since I’m not in charge of BP and the powers that be here are sympathetic to Hindu Nationalism (or at least not opposed to it), it’s quite possible that he would be invited .

          0
          1. Random thoughts:

            Post-partition India is strange because Indian Muslim Nationalists succeeded in creating a seperate Muslim nation (Pakistan).

            Hindu nationalists during this time period were abject failures who resorted to murdering Gandhi.

            Indian Hindu nationalists owe much of their recent success to the success of the Indian Muslim Nationalist project of Pakistan in previous decades.

            Some Hindu nationalists in India have publicly praised Jinnah. Most prominently perhaps L.K. Advani.

            Overall the creation of Pakistan made India emphasize more of a Hindu religious identity.

            —————————————

            Similarly I think Post-Bangladesh Pakistan is strange.

            Because Pakistani Bengalis succeeded in creating their own ethnostate in the East, the West Pakistanis started to emphasize their North West South Asian ethnic distinctiveness as a sense of identity.

            Basically they started to see themselves as broadly ethnic Pakistani.

            So just as the creation of Pakistan made India trend towards a religious identity. The creation of Bangladesh made Pakistan trend towards a united ethno-lingusitc identity.

            The Hindu Ummah and the Pakistani volk are both reactionary inventions of tradition.

            Joy Bangladesh.

            4+
          2. Makes sense. A lot of Hindu RW support is reactionary. To see or remedy it in isolation is a mistake.

            0
          3. @Sumit

            “Hindu nationalists during this time period were abject failures who resorted to murdering Gandhi.

            Indian Hindu nationalists owe much of their recent success to the success of the Indian Muslim Nationalist project of Pakistan in previous decades.”

            Yes and no.

            The reality is that INC itself has largely been soft Hindutva both pre- and post-partition.

            Of course a 75% Hindu majority will want to keep the country united. It gives Hindus a much larger domain in which they are dominant. Of course, some Hindus (including perhaps Nehru) were deeply committed to things like GJT. But for the most part, it was probably driven by more practical matters — why not keep Pakistan under a strong Hindu majority?

            It’s just like Kashmir. Even the most ardent Hindutva person will want to keep Kashmir even if it is Muslim. No Hindutva person is going around saying lets kick out Kashmir.

            Jinnah was indeed smart in seeing that.

            It’s also somewhat like how English Canadians want French Quebec to be a part of a united Canada. Sure, some of them deeply like Quebec, but I think for many it’s more about being able to have more territory and resources while being comfortably secure in a majority position demographically.

            0
    2. Rohini, this person quotes his Ashraf identity at the least opportunity and practices intellectual untouchability by refusing to engage if you so much as mention the name of a mlechchha like Tarek Fatah.

      Despite his Persian and other pretenses he is still under the spell of casteism. Best not to sully him with something so grubby as facts and logic.

      3+
      1. I reject Tarek Fatah because of his right wing views and Islamophobia. It has nothing to do with “casteism”. I would reject anyone who has such views no matter what their racial background.

        0
  24. “Yet the debate over whether to call the ancient subcontinent India or South Asia mostly revolves around pointless semantics. Ironically, the same sort of Hindu groups that so adamantly advocate for the continued use of the term “India” in U.S. textbooks are the ideological cousins of those in India who hate the name, given its Western origins, and would rather call both the modern country and the ancient civilization by its native name of Bharat. After all, nobody in ancient India called the region “India,” with terms like Aryavarta and Jambudvipa being the most commonly used in ancient literature.

    While Hindu and right-wing Indian groups often do make some valid points–they should not be dismissed offhand–some elements of these groups are becoming increasingly rabid and incoherent in their quest to seize control and politicize debates on India’s history, leading to the sort of intellectual incoherence seen in this India-name debate and a variety of exceedingly strange theories, as I discussed in the third issue of The Diplomat magazine. There eventually needs to be some sort of dialectic between the intellectual demands of right-wing groups and academics; otherwise, two parallel versions of Indian history that have little in common with each other will continue to emerge.”
    https://thediplomat.com/2016/05/south-asia-or-india-an-old-debate-resurfaces-in-california/

    0
    1. “There eventually needs to be some sort of dialectic between the intellectual demands of right-wing groups and academics; otherwise, two parallel versions of Indian history that have little in common with each other will continue to emerge”

      I am not too sure of that. In this battle the “Indian”-ist has advantages which the S-Asian ist don’t.

      The India-ist has mimicked the left now and has more credibility since they are the “sons of the soil” and its their history which the “white” academia is teaching. After a point the white academia will have to leverage their Left/Pakistani/ BD allies to fight this battle since they lack credibility. And the left/academia coalition just doesn’t have the numbers. That’s the reason the Indian-ist could stall the change.

      There is a limit to “white” academia on Asia. They can be accused of not having skin in the game. That;s the reason Darlymple actually chooses harmless topics to write books on, while a brown historian can get away by writing far stronger stuff.

      0
      1. I understood from article that while calling ancient history by terms other than India dont make sense the Hindu RW who hates anything western including names given by outsiders need to be reigned in. Also the legacy of ‘ancient India’ is shared by all modern countries and not exclusive property of India.

        I dont think majority of India-ist have any other view and I would expect most people to leave protest at this decision. Do you read that any differently?

        0
        1. The Indian-ist coalition contains both RW and non ideological folks ( the majority) . It was a good entry point for RW to show its power in US, where the left had the upper hand in academia (surprise , surprise !) . It took a relative non issue and turned it into culture war, which even gained sympathy from left of centre folks (like the writer)

          The whole ” RW hates the name India” done by the writer is monkey balancing to show that the Right might be right on this topic (grudgingly) but overall its wrong.

          Having tasted blood look what the RW did to the changes on topics like caste (where the left coalition was on stronger ground, with bigger coalition) which was prescribed by California school boards. They used the exact same methods to approve/stall changes to textbooks.

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_textbook_controversy_over_Hindu_history

          0
  25. Karan wrote:
    “All history books saying that the Rig Veda was composed in ancient India, should now be revised to ‘the Rig Veda was composed in North-West South Asia’ or the ‘Rig Veda was composed in modern Pakistan’.
    Even the strongest believers in Aryan Invasion Theory do not doubt that the Ganga and the Yamuna (leaving aside the dried up Sarasvati for the moment) are mentioned in the oldest books of the Rig Veda. So the above statement is patently absurd.

    1+
  26. “In any case, the use of terms for the sake of political neutrality is not new in the history of the Subcontinent: Barrow notes for instance that while the British cartographers, initially associating the Subcontinent with the Mughal Empire, used the term ‘Hindustan’, to designate the region, the word ‘India’ imposed itself from the late 19th century onwards, not only because ‘Hindustan’ had several meanings, either covering entire India or referring only to northern India, but also because the word had a Muslim connotation (and Bharatvarsha and Jambudvipa had a Hindu one) whereas ‘India’ was a more ‘neutral’ category that would better convey a meaning of the Subcontinent as a ‘single, bounded and British political territory’ (Barrow 2010: 40). ”
    https://journals.openedition.org/samaj/3800

    0
  27. Oh Pakistanis are plenty obsessed. Go on anthrogenica or Pak defense and every other thread is a racialist one where GED match kit agenda drive retrofitting data mining and cherry picking of studies along side biased photo comparisons reign supreme to show how the “tall fair aryan caucasoid mixed with turko mongol persian conquerors of the subcontinent” are “superior” to the “black shit stained weak cowardly frail short low IQ hindoos.”

    Quora has a good bunch of it too. The 3% comment seems to be pretty popular. I do give them one thing. Genetics at least stopped the N pakistani BS Greek claims

    3+
    1. the lack of interest in DNA is a kabir thing. he has no interest in science. this is why he is so casual and free about making shit up and not making a coherent and contingent argument.

      ‘if it feels good, say it’

      3+
      1. It’s not about a lack of interest in science, it’s about not being obsessed with exactly how much percentage of some particular race one is. I know who I am and some test isn’t going to change that.

        No Pakistani I know is into this minute breakdown of racial genetics or whatever.

        0
        1. then all these forum people are big outliers?

          Why aren’t Indian on congruent fora given that benefit of the doubt?

          1+
    2. Was skeptical about this claim,

      So I did a search for the term ‘genetic’ on the sub-reddits r/India and r/Pakistan (which I think are fairly broad / netural).

      https://www.reddit.com/r/pakistan/search/?q=genetic&restrict_sr=1

      https://www.reddit.com/r/india/search/?q=genetic&restrict_sr=1

      r/Pakistan seems more interested than r/India in genetic distinction between different Indic peoples.

      r/India seems more interested in stuff pertaining to diseases esp. Covid-19.

      1+
  28. @Sidhartha,
    “Sorry, I call BS on this.
    There are plenty of Indian-run establishments called Taj, and most Indians are proud of the Taj Mahal and don’t think of it as a…depoliticised”

    Hey Sidhartha, I agree with you. This checking out restaurants is just a fun thing that I do. I agree that no language is superior. I speak hindi myself which is nothing but spoken urdu. I just don’t get how Kabir gets to brush the entire north Indian culture as muslim culture. We have hundreds of languages and dialects within north India itself. The dialect of eastern UP/Bihar is more in tune with old awadhi, maithili etc. I would have loved to learn telugu which is supposed to be a beautiful and poetic language. The impression that Tulsidas had on north India in nirth Indian and even countries like Surinam is amazing.
    The original founding fathers in India wanted to have a link language ie. Hindi for entire India, that is why push by BJP from time to time. However the only link that was needed was Hindusim which seems to be working now more than ever.

    0
    1. ” However the only link that was needed was Hindusim which seems to be working now more than ever.”

      Well… 😛

      0
    2. “The only link needed was Hinduism”– 200 million Indian Muslims would disagree. People in the Muslim colony of India Occupied Kashmir would disagree.

      Thanks for openly coming out as a Hindu nationalist.

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      1. Kabir stop being dumb.

        The prototypical Indian is Hindu. Muslims can assert their Indianness…and Hindus don’t need to. And that gives the game away.

        Similarly, the prototypical American is White. I could assert my Americanness…and a White dudebro doesn’t need to.

        4+
        1. Clearly, you have some weird obsession with your race and don’t feel truly American. I grew up in the US (though I was born in Pakistan) and I don’t feel any less American because I’m not White. The US will in any case soon be a majority-minority country.

          Similarly, the founding fathers of India believed that the state belonged equally to all its citizens, regardless of their religion. It’s only recently that the Hindu majoritarian colors of the country have revealed themselves.

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          1. “I don’t feel any less American because I’m not White.”

            White people don’t have to say things like this. That’s the entire point.

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          2. You clearly have a complex. That’s your problem.

            States belong to all their citizens (at least they should) not just to the majority. But I can’t change your way of thinking.

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    3. Dont completely agree with hinduism as religion being the ultimate glue. Common culture which can be called Hindu culture since it exists beyond sindhu, is more of the reason. Even if it is not a monolith (there is a vast expanse of land & huge population not to have variations) people living inside have more in common with each other than with other parts of world. This is also applicable to most christians or muslims in general.
      Although some parts of Muslim community have increasing got influenced by middle east due to large expat population in recent decades. Once the oil money goes away and indians have enough money to take a trip to middle east to see for themselves, this can get cured hopefully !

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      1. Yes. It’s the core foundational culture which I believe formed in the Indus Valley Civilisation. The vast majority of Indians whether they from North of South have most of their DNA ancestry from the Indus Valley Civilisation. From caste to curry and everything in between. Even the extreme south (Tamil Nadu) has always been part of the Indus cultural sphere, and they were organically linked for millenia since the times most of their ancestors migrated south from Gujarat.

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        1. Agree totally.
          Caste systems have deeper resonance and stronger hold than varna system brought by vedics right upto extreme south in TN.
          IVC has more influence on subcontinent than any later invasion /migration.

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  29. “Well 😛”

    Why did different states join India, not Pakistan? What commonality holds Tamil Nadu to UP or Mizoram? The priest at Badrinath Temple is from Kerala even though the languages are different. The sanskrit chants are the same. No need to push a common language.

    1+
    1. “Why did different states join India, not Pakistan? What commonality holds Tamil Nadu to UP or Mizoram? The priest at Badrinath Temple is from Kerala even though the languages are different. The sanskrit chants are the same. No need to push a common language.”

      What binds us together is speeches from Lal Qila. The imperial seat of Mughal power. Whether Nehru or Modi, when they speak from there, they harness this immense power gifted to us by great Ashrafs. People in TN and Sikkim all immediately recognize the authority emanating from Lal Qila and submit.

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      1. The geographical extent of “India” is a result of British colonialism. Otherwise Tamil Nadu for example was never part of Delhi-based empires.

        It is not wrong to say that the British unified modern “India” which was otherwise just a collection of different kingdoms.

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        1. Consider reading up on the Delhi Sultanate’s great contributions to South India and the Aurangzeb’s Nawab of the Carnatic. Thought you would know more about “your” kings.

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          1. The Mughals never incorporated Tamil Nadu into their Empire. The Northeast wasn’t part of their kingdom either.

            It is simply a fact that the boundaries of modern India were mostly created by the British.

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    2. While I agree with Hinduism being a glue that unites the country. It is not the only thing. Jains, Buddhists, Sikhs, Christians and Parsis easily embrace the Indian identity. There are common Indian cultural traditions. I think only Muslims self alienate themselves from the country (not all, but many). That’s the nature of Islam and the ummah first ideology. As one Christian from UP even told me “Christianity is our religion, Hinduism is part of our heritage” before he shared his love for Mahabharata.

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    3. “The priest at Badrinath Temple is from Kerala ”

      Should actually check him out, might be a commie. Commies are sly like that

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      1. @Saurav,
        Priest at Rameshwaram are from Ayodhya. Even at Pashupatinath, the priests are from Kerala. Shankaracharya has a seat at Joshimath. Adi Shankaracharya started this practice, it seems. The Char Dham yatra is also along the same principle. I don’t know who started this – maybe Adi Shankaracharya? Adi Shankaracharya did more to unite India than anybody else. This is the glue that is holding India together.

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          1. @Saurav,
            I believe a case has been filed by Subramaniam Swamy to liberate Indian temples from (commies aka Indian government). People are hopeful! 😉

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    4. It’s not a case of what made them join India. It’s more a case of what made people leave India. The answer is very simple. ISLAM.

      Tell me why Punjabi Sikhs and Hindus for the most part had no problem coexisting, and both migrated east at time of partition.

      2+
      1. It wasn’t “Islam” that made people leave BRITISH India. It was politics.

        Both Sikhs and Hindus migrated east because the basis of Partition was that Pakistan was the Muslim homeland and India was the Hindu (or non-Muslim) homeland. Sikhs and Hindus had plenty of issues. 1984 comes to mind.

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        1. @Kabir,

          The Hindu- Sikh riots – I would call Congress supporters- Sikh riots instead of Hindu. As I have written before, Hindus have the ecosystem of supporting all kinds of faiths- Jains, Sikhism, Budhhists, Parsees, Saibaba, etc. These survive due to the reverence that the hindu populace has for anyone who is considered divine, sometimes to its detriment. These are times of peace in India. If Sikhs and Mughals were still at war then the hindu families would have been providing 1 son to the Sikhs; otherwise their numbers would have dwindled. The whole Sikh insurgency was fuelled by Pakistan and of course the local Bhindrawale. I forget the details now. Similarly, the hindu families are providing alms/shelter to the Jain munis on their constant travels.
          If most Hindu population knew how much the sufis were responsible for their own annihilation, then I doubt they would visit those Mazaar’s as they do now. I have been too, to many Mazaars with reverence, before internet.

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          1. And now we’re denigrating Sufis? Despite your attempts to sound reasonable, you just keep proving my case that you are a Hindu nationalist. Please cease addressing comments to me. I have no patience for people like you.

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        2. The question is why is Pakistan a Muslim homeland and India a non-Muslim homeland (the reality it’s not even a non-Muslim homeland as 200million Muslims proves).

          Why are all non-Muslims of different religions lumped together? That speaks volumes. If all other religions can co-exist together, but only Islam and Muslims are a special case.

          Why did Muslims of that era find it so hard to co-exist with non-Muslims?

          It’s because Islam is quite clear in segregating believers from kuffar, while other religions are far less hateful to non-believers. You can see this around the Islamic world and in Muslim diasporas in the west. The ummah exists, and so does the (often hateful) exclusion of kuffar. I have seen and experienced it countless times. It does not mean that Muslims can’t be friends with non-Muslims. But there is a palpable barrier based on religious segregation.

          The genocide of Sikhs in 1984 by Hindu chauvinists does not represent the average relationship between Hindus and Sikhs, and indeed of Sikhs and India.

          Most of the Sikhs I know have far more issues with Islam than Hinduism.

          3+
          1. Partition occurred because of the failure of the Indian National Congress and the Muslim League to compromise. It has nothing to do with the inherent nature of “Islam” (however one chooses to define that).

            This kind of simplistic thinking about an entire religion is extremely reductionist.

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          2. And now we are quoting “dharmapedia”– Wow, really objective and academic.

            I am done engaging with people like you.

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    1. Whatever, thankfully I was born to people who were already practicing the one true faith.

      And we have been upper-middle class professionals for generations thanks.

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      1. side note. They must have been quite liberal to let your pursue music. Mine would disown me if I did that and use all sorts of emotional blackmail to get me out of it. won’t work as well now of course, but I was mentally much weaker at 18

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        1. Both my parents are extremely fond of Hindustani music. They were the ones who introduced me to it. I was honestly much more interested in Western music (growing up in the US and all).

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          1. The Western equivalent to Hindustani music would be the art music tradition. Things like symphonies and opera.

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  30. “And now we are quoting “dharmapedia”– Wow, really objective and academic.

    I am done engaging with people like you.”

    @Kabir, you want to live in an echo- chamber. You don’t want to know why almost 50% of India voted for Modi.
    Here is a link to Sitaram Goel’s writing and the book on Sufis. Most people have not read Sawarkar but they have read Sitaram Goel or his thoughts which are distilled in “dharmadispatch”. Sitaram Goel was a former commie who became a hindu supporter.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hindu_Temples:_What_Happened_to_Them

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