A collective religion in an individualistic age

Recently on Twitter someone asked why people of subcontinental backgrounds who leave Islam don’t refamiliarize themselves with the religion of their ancestors. One response could be “well actually, my ancestors weren’t really Hindu…” I think this is a pedantic dodge. In places like Iraqi Kurdistan and Tajikstan some people from Muslim backgrounds are embracing a Zoroastrian identity.

Iraqi Kurds turn to Zoroastrianism as faith, identity entwine:

In a ceremony at an ancient, ruined temple in northern Iraq, Faiza Fuad joined a growing number of Kurds who are leaving Islam to embrace the faith of their ancestors — Zoroastrianism.

Years of violence by the Islamic State jihadist group have left many disillusioned with Islam, while a much longer history of state oppression has pushed some in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region to see the millennia-old religion as a way of reasserting their identity.

“After Kurds witnessed the brutality of IS, many started to rethink their faith,” said Asrawan Qadrok, the faith’s top priest in Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region.

But to be clear, not all the ancestors of the Kurds were Zoroastrian. Some were Christians. Others were probably Jews. The largest numbers on the eve of the Arab conquest were probably a mix of folk mountain pagan, with a patina of Zoroastrianism among the elites. Additionally, modern Mazdaist Zoroastrianism is only a single stream, and one strongly shaped by its Islamic captivity.

And yet on some level, it makes sense that Kurds convert to Zoroastrianism to reconnect with their ancestral Iranian tradition. It is part and parcel of that tradition. Similarly, people of Muslim subcontinental background turning toward Sanata Dharma is not crazy, even if their ancestors were Buddhist or pagans of some sort.

But there’s a problem with “converting” to Hinduism: modern Hinduism is organized around jatis, and being Hindu means being part of the community, and membership in that community is a matter of birth, not choice. Someone who was raised a Muslim and converts to Hinduism can’t just join one of the many local jatis. Of course, there are devotional sects such as ISKON, but these are exceptions, not the rule.

Obviously the same problem occurs in Islam and Christianity. I have read of converts to Islam who were single talk about the difficulty of finding a spouse since they have no “connections” within the community, and being single as a Muslim convert can be very isolating. But, Islam has within it more of an acceptance, like Christianity, that conversion of individuals is possible and even meritorious. Hindus are more ambiguous and ambivalent.

In the premodern world, Hindu communitarianism was a good fit. But in a more individualistic world, it puts Hinduism at some disadvantage.

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158 Replies to “A collective religion in an individualistic age”

  1. Nobody is gonna convert to hinduism from pakistan because of its islamic identity. Indian muslims can evolve to be more pluralistic, which they already are because i have talked to them and there general behaviour is more hindu than not but still they won’t convert because of islamic culture and urdu culture and the need to save it.(Hindus should own it tbh)

    The only people converting back are dalit christians(because of affirmative action) as well as other christians. Its surprsing how most of the christians from Maharashtra and south have Sanskrit names.

    Hindus are becoming like Jews i guess , progressing and still holding onto traditional beliefs.

    Iranians are the least religious people(perception of Iranians living in the west from Youtube) and more ethno nationalistic people than Muslims that’s why conversion is easy , easier for kurds being a minority.

  2. very good points. ok, traditionally Hinduism did not allow a ‘single event’ conversion , even though historically Hunas and certain other pre-Islamic central Asian tribes have adopted Hinduism and become Rajputs . By single-event I mean baptism or reciting Shahada , etc. So, present day Hinduism has to invent a single event after which someone can call himself/herself Hindu. I don’t know whether Hare Krishna or Arya Samaj do ‘conversion’ . Apart from Jati is an issue . On the one hand , Jatis are in a flux in India itself ; due to urbanization or other ‘equality ideals’ . Secondly if there are thousands of converts , they can form a jati or Jatis and join the Jati dynamics , which has not been properly studied. Ghar Wapsi, if it is to be successful is to be done on a large scale for millions, instead of 10 or 20 for photo ops which bring more negative reaction from others. I don’t see any insuperable issues in that.

  3. Alright, Hinduism has some baggage which does not allow large scale conversions . What about Sikhism, they have a better press in terms of social interactions ? why did sikhs not go for lareg scale missionary activity in India or rest of the world . They are an ethnic religion now.

    1. Probably because of punjabi pride that gives sikhism an ethnic element even though religious text are not ethnicity based. All the dharmic faiths are quite universal in their approach.
      People converted initaially to Sikhism but due to discrimination of certain groups meant that they now have their own leaders etc.
      Even most of punjabi hindus i hve met(khatri especially) are basically Sikhs ( they go to gurudwara more than temples) but put hindus in their personal details.
      There is a fear of sikhs as strong people and manly yet there is respect for sikhs as well . Idk its complicated.

      1. I have not seen this in the diaspora. My dad did not see this growing up in New Delhi. Hindus primarily went to temples.

        And the Muslim and non Muslim Jutts in diaspora is mostly a Jutt/Jatt/Jat thing. Still itnisn’t common. Regardless, that is literally the most hardcore tribalistic population in India. Ethnic chauvinism is literally a cultural tenet. All other S Asians are basically taught to be not as good and fake foreign origins are also reinforced and emphasized. Lol even on the pathetic bodybuilding misc, reddit incel subforums, YouTube comments, basically wherever you go in the dark corners of the internet there is a vocal segment of Jatts distancing themselves from the rest of S Asia, especially when S Asia is being criticized. They have hardcore loyalty and pride in the perceived ethnic supremacy, relative to other groups.

        Funny thing is that most I meet in the US or in New Delhi were just typical looking S Asians. They have this minority of Nikki Hayleyoids that they emphasize as being their “real” representatives.

        Take a look at these reddit comments

        “Its still pretty evident in some of the ABCD crowds. I remember 2 25 year old punjabis straight saying this 3rd Punjabi wasn’t a true punjabi because he was darker skinned. They were like his mom wasn’t a Jatt(even though mom was the fairest one in the family) and so he doesn’t count as true Punjabi.

        Mind you they were both born in Canada and I was just appalled that even calling them out on it, they would never realize how racist that sounded.”

        “Im half Punjabi and young Punjabis are always so happy to be light skinned lol and talk shit about darker desis from else where. Its so lame that ppl born in Canada, US etc would be on this lame shit. Like this isnt India. The funny thing is no one cares about this shit except Indians. Ive heard some say dark Indian guys cant get girls because they’re dark and the light skinned ones can. Punjabis are the largest Indian group in Canada and they dont do any better than other Indian guys. Being a light skinned desi is only a hit amongst Desis”

        “I think just because I called them out on being kind of racist that they shifted it to him not being 100% Jatt.

        Also the whole Jatt thing in Punjabi culture is disgusting. It’s way too prevalent among the crowd in Western countries.”

        Bollywood and other N Indians playing along and reinforcing this anti social supremacist tendency also doesn’t help.

        1. You’ve got to chill on the Jatt thing.

          Sure they display a certain level of pride but they’re not the only Indian group to do that.

          Tamil Brahmins for one come to mind, though they are more subtle and often self-deprecating.

          Each such group is pretty small in India and no one really gives a fuck about them on a day-to-day basis.

          Even most educated Indians don’t know who Jatts are. Jaats of Haryana are generally more commonly known due to their recent sporting success and their presence in and around Delhi.

          I guess Jatts have relatively greater visibility in the west but I expect their percentage in the diaspora to go down as other states get richer and send more migrants abroad.

        2. Well i haved met many Haryanvi Jaats both from rural and urban. Rural tend to be more into Sports than Urban who are like any other Indian. very straightforward people can be a bit casteist but intentionally and hardworking also very tribalistic and nationalistic at times.

          The Jatt punjabi thing is true in the west i guess the tribe comes first then Sikhism then India(in some cases) especially in the desi contest.

          Haven’t met any sardarji saying i am jatt and saying color based discriminatory stuff. Many sikhs i have met are the nicest people. But what can i say i didn’t go to punjab yet jatt belts. Maybe people are different there.

          1. diaspora is just worse off. Social rep of Indians is poor in the West so many, though still a minority, try to (unsuccessfully) distance themselves with these tribal labels. That and Khalistanis are very very vocal and organized in the West.

        3. Khalistanis are the scum of the diaspora.
          Especially idiots like Humble the Poet. Idiot gives shouts out to Pakistani Punjabis as if Pakistani Punjabis think of Khalistanis (and Sikhs in general probably) as nothing more than dumb tools to antagonize Indians. And in typical woke SJW fashion criticizes Israel but never anything on Palestine.
          I think I mentioned this before but their maps of Khalistan are literally the best memes I’ve seen.

        4. A very large number of Hindus regularly visit and serve in Gurudwaras but obviously much less than Temples.

  4. even though historically Hunas and certain other pre-Islamic central Asian tribes have adopted Hinduism and become Rajputs .

    and the ahom.

    these groups became Hindu over time as a community. so they ‘worked well’ within the hindu-jati framework.

    the hindu-jati framework doesn’t work well in the west, which is why most native-born ‘hindu americans’ are pretty irreligious, like jews, and a minority convert to Christianity. you can probably write off western hindus, but India itself is becoming more individualistic, which might cause issues with Hinduism as it is structured now

    1. The only chance of revival if “white” people convert en mass to sect like Hare krishna. Indian people love when whites adore their religion but not when own people muslims do it.

  5. Or they can leave behind religion in general and focus more on the problems with their countries. Just a thought.

  6. RSS is already giving out a really good option in a very poor packaging by stresssing on their Hindu cultural identity.

    You dont have to convert to anything. Just be a nominal muslim or christian, and modify the most absolute Abrahamic of the beliefs ( just one god and that too mine, rest are false). Align with the sensibilities of majority like touching elders feet, respect for cow, etc and you are good to go. Maybe say Vande mataram for added effect.

    Now most of these things are done by ‘not so good’ muslims already (in rural India for eg) Slowly ‘Ram Rahim is one’ takes over and there is no reason to put your finger in people eye with conversion event.

    Now the more extreme RW does want to put a flag on it for political gains with those ghar wapsi photo ops.

    1. The belief that there is no god but Allah is the most fundamental tenet of Islam. If one abandons that, then one is not a “nominal” Muslim but not a Muslim at all.

      This need to make people identify with “Hindu culture” and say “Vande Mataram” is reflective of majoritarianism. People should be treated as equal citizens even if they choose not to identify with the symbols of the majority’s culture. One can say “Vande Mataram” if one wishes or not say it (whatever the case may be).

      1. “If one abandons that, then one is not a “nominal” Muslim but not a Muslim at all.”

        Why you gatekeeping being a Muslim?

        1. I this day and age everyone needs a role model from both communities who can discuss Religion. But india has no full freedom of speech. Vir Das’s netflix show ”Hasmukh’ got complaint filed for bad depiction of lawyers.

          He is bit too woke to be honest saying indian superhero would be a cow on interviews with Conan O’Brien i guess.

          1. Quote / But insisting that Indian Muslims are actually “Hindu” is incredibly offensive. /
            No one in right mind said that. The discussion is about being hindu in past, or a cultural hindu, and thats not a religion.

            Quote / The opposition to “Vande Mataram” comes from two things. It is seen as a hymn to Durga /
            In illustrations I have seen that is India personified as person. Nothing else. Source being anti muslim: If same metrics are applied on what Islam has written about idolters then tell what hindus should be doing to denounce the same? Any iota of injury will not be tolerated but we will have free run attitude is wrong!

            Quote /Surya Namaskar is seen as praying to the sun god or something./
            then do the same in random direction wrt sun. Also yoga is not only about surya namaskar alone.

            Quote / However, as I keep stating, I really don’t care what people choose to do. I simply protest when other people insist that they do it./
            And I am also repeating I believe in individual liberty but the sort of cultural and political overtones that have been employed and social force used is also equally wrong!

          2. Do look up “Anand Math”. The context makes clear how Islamophobic the author was.

            Whether “Vande Mataram” is a hymn to Durga or to “Bharat Mata” is irrelevant to Muslims since for us bowing to any type of entity other than Allah is completely unacceptable.

            There are good reasons that “Vande Mataram” was not chosen as the Indian national anthem and “Jana Gana Mana” was. Pandit Nehru and Congress clearly realized that a song which was so offensive to one section of Indians could not work as the national anthem.

          3. As I said should be left to individual without being forced to choose from either side.

            And cultural hindu is not religion. There is no religious injury there and people must stop insisting on finding one in every case.

          4. If a community doesn’t want to identify as “cultural Hindu” (whatever that means) that is their right.

            All this harping on “your ancestors used to be Hindu” is counterproductive. Our ancestors may have been whatever but they converted to Islam. That is the important fact.

          5. And then how others react to that community within boundaries of law is their right.

            Its not limited to India, same has been seen with face covering burkha etc in west too.

          6. You will have to define what “cultural Hindu” means. If “Hindu” is used as a geographical term, then I am OK with it. However, the confusion arises because this word now suggests a religious identity. People don’t like being told that they are really something else other than what they identify with.

            The difference between India and the West is that Muslims in the West are not natives of the land but immigrants. If you immigrate to a country, then you presumably agree to assimilate to some extent with the majority’s culture (otherwise why go there?). It is absurd to move to the West and then demand Shariah.

            However, Indian Muslims are native to India. So they should be allowed to live in their own country and practice their religion (within the boundaries of law) without being forced to identify with things that they don’t like. If an individual Muslim is interested in “Hindu culture”, fine. If not, that should be fine as well.

          7. You keep going in circles. Best of luck with that.

            By reading the comments on this page you should know what it means!
            Most people understand and have been following, there are some who like to be obstinate. People do react then in kind. Cant have your cake and eat it too.

          8. It’s on you to define what “cultural Hindu” means. But if you don’t care to do that, it’s no skin off my back.

          9. One can only awaken person who is actually asleep not one who pretends to be asleep.

            Rest everything was defined already.

          10. No, everything was not “defined already”.

            Serious question: is Indian culture by definition Hindu culture or is there such a thing as a secular Indian national culture that belongs equally to everyone (for example Bollywood)?

            The issue I have with a lot of people on this site (even the soft Hindutva types) is the implication that Indian=Hindu.

          11. I can only speak for myself here. Hindu as much as hindustan, indus, india, indica, indo all have a geographical origin. That is actively used to denote a place, religion, people and also culture.
            Moreover there definitely exist some sort of distinctiveness that was evident to everyone crossing over into subcontinent.

            Now for some reason some people living within this region have made their own life uneasy by trying to split the hair about defining these names in most narrow sense or in total random manner.

            Using it narrowly results in perceived injury to their religious identity. Other times as was evident in some other discussion here, there is randomness involved too. Like jinnah wanting India to take hindustan name and not India. They are all same in my eyes.

            People using hate and racism to define hindu (called hindoo, more the ‘o’s more the hate in speakers mind) are they same ones feeling offended by its use. Problem lies with them not rest of us.

            Reading some comments you would have seen most Indian Hindus are not
            even passively trying to proselytize forget actively. Some nutjobs do use it for political gains but even they are not doing any serious effort like handing Bibles on road that could be experienced in Europe.

            With that all said even if RSS says we consider everyone hindu I think its incredibly inclusive and not in any way threatening. They don’t have to do anything special other than common sense stuff most have been doing since ages. It is exact opposite to some obstinates who take a very narrow view of their own religion to expel people or practices. Then the same logic is used by them to find offence in a large hearted term from others and actively prohibit people from doing everyday things they haven’t had problems with in centuries. And that too not at individual level which can be fine but through social coersion to put out political statement. This active acts of driving wedge between people and their natural culture (called hindu culture here ) to mimic some far away foreign culture infuriates people more than any religious practice.

            ( Here I have to add a big disclaimer that organization like RSS should talk and act consistently, sometime there is disconnect between what is said and done which puts me off. Also use more intelligent people instead of political hooligans to put across the message in efficient manner)

        2. There are certain things in Islam that are non-negotiable. The Kalima declaring belief that there is no god but Allah and that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is his prophet is one of them. You can be a Muslim even if you never pray or fast or go on Haj. But if you don’t sincerely accept the Kalima, you have not met the minimum requirement of belonging to the religion.

          Similarly, one cannot call oneself a Christian if one doesn’t believe in Christ.

          1. Just acknowledgement of your past is enough for me. You can believe in whatever i don’t mind.

          2. My ancestors were Muslims from British India. I have no problem acknowledging that. Some of them at some point may have converted to Islam and I’m not bothered by that either. I personally was born a Muslim and a Pakistani.

            It’s just a historical fact that most South Asian Muslims are descended from Hindus. What greater acknowledgment are you looking for? If like the Hindu Right you think Indian Muslims need to identify as “cultural Hindus”, that’s a ridiculous majoritarian demand.

          3. Quote /If like the Hindu Right you think Indian Muslims need to identify as “cultural Hindus”, that’s a ridiculous majoritarian demand./

            That is just a fact for numerous rural muslims even now and many more people before the gulf influenced Wahhabism started to spread with gulf returned laborers. So no, this is not a new idea. It was called simply Hindustani Musalman.

            On other hand the increasingly fanatic interpretation where people have to sever all other ties even when they are not religious in nature is driving most of ills in Islam today.

            As you mentioned in a comment, vande mataram is seen as national slogan not religious. But to portray that in particular way, to show a true muslim cannot utter it or practice yoga without compromising his religion is really the Ridiculous demand of fanatic and fundamentalist people and not the other way around.

          4. Look obviously Muslims all over the world share cultural elements with whichever society they happen to be a part of. And there is nothing wrong with that. But insisting that Indian Muslims are actually “Hindu” is incredibly offensive. If people choose not to identify as Hindu, no one has the right to make them do so.

            The opposition to “Vande Mataram” comes from two things. It is seen as a hymn to Durga (whom obviously Muslims don’t believe in). Also the song comes from an anti-Muslim work of literature. That is the context for why it is controversial.

            Surya Namaskar is seen as praying to the sun god or something. And again, we are not supposed to believe in any kind of god but Allah. However, as I keep stating, I really don’t care what people choose to do. I simply protest when other people insist that they do it.

      2. @Kabir
        Man how do i explain this . I read your previous comments some are good some not so but “vande mataram” is pledge to mother india the land. If you think in your head about oh this is heretic or pagan then you will not say it but if you consider yourself indian first there shouldn’t beany problem.

        The belief of allah is the one is ok but aknowledgement of paganistic / heretical gods should be a reformist movement in Islam. After all your ancestors were hindus too.

        1. I have no issue with people choosing to say “Vande Mataram”. But those Muslims who are uncomfortable or unwilling to say it since it is actually a hymn to a mother goddess have the right not to say it. A central tenet of Islam is that Muslims bow to Allah alone. Leave aside the fact that the poem comes from an extremely anti-Muslim Bengali novel. Basically, I’m saying that chanting such a slogan should not be a test of citizenship.

          One can respect the right of Hindus to believe whatever they want and at the same time believe that there is only one true God. Respecting someone else doesn’t require one to accept false beliefs themselves. Any faith that “acknowledges pagan gods” is by definition no longer Islam.

          1. But what does acknowledging that fact have to do with the present? As far as I’m concerned, it’s neither here nor there. Some ancestors may have been Hindu and due to some contingent circumstances (whatever they were) we aren’t any more.

        2. i think there is incommensurability here. the idea of *acknowledging* other gods is pretty antithetical to Abrahamic religions. some of the liberals in Christianity are doing do so. so it’s not impossible.

      3. Relax O khalifa!

        Read the topic being discussed in this post before starting the pontification we all have by-heart by now!

        Razib was asking about re conversion to Hinduism for people who have got disillusioned with Islam like in case of Kurds. And in that context I said one should still be relaxed and not orchestrate any conversion event.

        Did you read anywhere that this should be done by compulsion for all Indians? For people still not disillusioned they can continue to believe in their one god. Still respect for other religions and general cultural sensibilities of people you live with is expected from everyone.

        Quote /If one abandons that, then one is not a “nominal” Muslim but not a Muslim at all./

        There are numerous ways to be called not a Muslims at all and also get that included in some constitutions. Ask Ahmedis !
        To identify with local culture is normal. To make sure that doesnt happen citing religious injury is anomaly. Using common cultural practices that are being followed since ages to unify people is much better than cite smallest of deviations to disqualify people.

        I have never defended in my post people on RW who are using violence in this matter or throwing anti national labels around.

        1. The minimum requirement of being Muslim is belief in the kalima. All the rest is negotiable.
          The whole issue with ahmedis is that they supposedly don’t accept that prophethood ended after the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). However, I do not believe the state should decide whether someone is Muslim or not.
          Local cultures should be respected of course. But insisting that people say “vande materam” even though (for whatever reason) they are uncomfortable with it is unacceptable.

          1. Accept the idea of not forcing people totally. And foolish videos making people say stuff makes us like Taliban or ISIS. Such forceful actions only alienate people further not bring them closer.

            But there is a need to rein in the mullahs & other actors too who keep on forcing people not to say this , or do that or else they will commit blasphemy or some other sin. Is that not also a form of force? Specially when it is not in opposition to base tenets of their religion.

            In a perfect world if certain set of people dont want to do something based on their feelings its ok. No one should force them.
            When leaders in organized religions use this as show of strength and political statement, I think the whole thing needs to be seen neutrally and not selectively.

          2. I don’t think people should be forced to do anything. If a Muslim wants to say “Vande Mataram”, I have no problem with it.

            Even blasphemy laws technically only apply to insults to Allah and His Prophet. Though of course there is enormous potential for misuse.

  7. Or they can leave behind religion in general and focus more on the problems with their countries. Just a thought.

    this is not realistic for most people. most people are emotionally needy for a skyfather, and religion has utilitarian benefits in terms of creating social scaffolding for societies and the people within them.

    the religious mania of the social justice left emerged out of rapid secularization over the last generation. basically if you don’t give people a religion, they’ll make one.

    1. Yea but I think you can and should take silly things tat have no utility out of religion. What’s the utility of respect for cows? Or saying vande mataram? The only benefits I can think of any religion is that the Protestant work ethnic has literally created the modern world.

      Also I think you meant Skyperson. We don’t know how the skygod identifies. We wouldn’t want to piss off the SJW woke crowd.

      1. “Vande Mataram” is a nationalistic slogan and not a particularly religious one– at least that is what we are told.

      2. Quote /Yea but I think you can and should take silly things tat have no utility out of religion. What’s the utility of respect for cows? Or saying vande mataram?/

        There is indeed no utility for any of that. I agree. But then I also see no utility in whole idea of religion itself.

        There should be some people dedicated in every religion who take out stuff which makes no sense according to the times. That will save a lot of lives.

        At the same time, giving some people free pass and subjecting some others to critical analysis like the people on left (and some self professed liberals here) do doesnt leave a good taste !

  8. Could a similar thing happen when people can reconvert from Christianity to previous religion of their memory is long gone?

  9. Many pakistanis are already part of jaatis that have sikh/hindu subgroups. Ive seen it before me, tribal bonding between muslim and non-muslim jutts. But, this really only works in the diaspora. More realistically, I could see buddhism as an option to revert to and “own” without feeling feeling like you’ve sold out to brahmin/bania adversaries. And finally, I’ve known pak-nationalists (believe it or not) evolve along their journey from orthodoxy to sufism to being very interested in yoga sutras and vedanta. Embrace the philosophical heritage (which is theirs too, even if reverence for it had lapsed) and not the cultural accretions.

  10. What I’m getting from the post and the comments is that it’s well-nigh impossible for Muslims (or anyone else) to become Hindus on an individual basis. Perhaps if Muslims decide to become Hindus en masse, like Huns or Ahoms, they could form a “Muslim” jati that replaces the Quran with the Vedas.

    This is indeed a limitation of Hinduism if the goal is to assimilate Abrahamic minorities in India (I’m not sure I agree with the goal, but I’m following the logic.)

    Moving back to the individual Muslim and their choices, one way out of Savarkar’s trap (i.e., allegiance to a foreign land makes one inherently un-Indian) is to accept Mohammed as the last prophet and follow the Quranic instructions but forswear any love for, or allegiance to, Arabia. Going on a Haj would then be no different from say, an admirer of Shakespeare visiting Stratford. But I have little knowledge of the Quran, so I don’t know if this is theologically tenable.

    1. Every single Muslim prayer is in the direction of Mecca. So no “forswearing love for Arabia” is untenable.

      However, praying in the direction of Mecca does not mean agreeing with any of the policies of the Saudi government.

      1. Hahaha, Kabir wants to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds, it seems.

        Do as you will, but then don’t complain when Muslims are seen as having outside attachments and being part of another civilizations stream. Because as you have emphasized, that is indeed the case.

        1. Praying towards Mecca doesn’t make Muslims fifth columnists or mean that they are part of a different “civilization” than their Hindu neighbors. Neither does it imply any loyalty to the Saudi government. Most Muslims all over the world are loyal to whatever state they happen to be citizens of.

          “Civilizations” are defined by food, language, clothing and other cultural features and not solely by religion.

          1. “Civilizations” are defined by food, language, clothing and other cultural features and not solely by religion.

            empirically religion and language are the most important.

  11. Future Hinduism will probably look like ISKCON or Buddhism, or maybe even become more like Islam.

    That doesn’t thrill me, but ultimately Hinduism as we knew it was never going to survive modernity, and where it goes isn’t up to me anyways, so I don’t care too much one way or another.

    1. A vision of future Hinduism akin to Buddhism or Iskcon is a good thing, IMO. On the stage of world religions, Hinduism currently is really rooted to the subcontinent down to a regional level, which makes it a weird and messy for those who may be interested in converting. A visit to any temple outside the subcontinent makes this clear, there are almost no local converts anywhere except maybe the few who attend with an Indian spouse. In the UK for example the Tamils have their own temples, and the Gujus & Punjabis their own.

      Buddhism on the other hand was always more universalist and open to expansion, which is evidenced by the lightning fast spread it saw in the few short centuries after the Buddha’s passing across Asia. It clearly attracted non-Indians and its message was well received, and it was conducive to being used by Political powers with various rulers calling themselves the defenders of the faith (Dharampalas) and convening Buddhist councils. While it currently isn’t a proselytising faith, reading the works of Hiuen Tsang and others gives me the sense that converting people to Buddhism was seen as a moral obligation in the past. Even until the modern times, various Europeans like Heinrich Harrer have referred to Tibet pre-1950 as a perfect theocracy, where every aspect of life was governed by the faith. Buddhism seems to be a Indian template of a Abrahamic-style universalist religion with the twin advantages of not having the baggage of too much Indian-ness, and not suffering from the more retrograde aspects of the Semitic faiths. It’s also individualistic, it perfectly crystallises the core Hindu concepts of Dharma, Karma and Rebirth without the over-extensive philosophy and rooted folksiness of HInduism, making it in my mind an ideal dharmic faith for a seeker in this age

      1. I agree with the logic but organized religion is like bureaucracy which develops its own life.

        As it becomes bigger I am not sure it will turn out any different than Abrahamic major religions. Less and less space to wriggle,pick and choose

        1. This ‘space to wriggle,pick and choose’ is the core of what the post is about. Faiths which have a lot of wriggle room tend to be very loosely defined, which is a mixed bag in this age of individualism. They’re less demanding and require less compromise to one’s lifestyle, but they also appear more wooly and less structured especially to those on the outside looking in. Sometimes people just want some simple structure and a sense of shared community that a more streamined belief system can provide.

  12. You are partially correct & wrong at the same time –

    Jati’s {acc. to my theory} were accommodated as pre-existing communities with these common factors – Region, Language & customs, Profession etc. Jatis are not required beyond their uses in some rituals. Infact the largest parts of Hinduism are local unorganized traditions {Tantra, Sects & so on……}

    The real problem in Hinduism is not having a ‘common’ framework of rules & beliefs, so whenever a person interested in conversion would inquire about it he/she would get either extremely conservative & religious advices {in the mold of Abrahamic traditions} from RW or completely ambiguous {i.e. mostly philosophical} advices from LW.

    Second reason is how Hinduism has been vilified for centuries among most if not all Abrahamic traditions & communities. Hence misinformation about it are far & wide. Ask people to name 5 things they remember when they hear Hinduism & see for yourself {Caste will be no. 1 most of the time}.

    Last but not least – Disinterest among large Hindu community for conversions both ways i.e. Conversion to Hinduism & Conversion out of Hinduism.

    ISKON is not Hinduism it is a Cult.

    Politicization of each community in India has killed all ethics or morality and made Jatis more essential than religion {shows the power of identity denomination & it’s relation to politics}. Once political theorists understood how India’s majority has been kept in check by ‘Jati division’ they ran with it & brought it to global arena.

    I don’t see any future for Hinduism esp. the way all institutions have worked against it for so long. The current ‘Hindutva’ politics is the last punch Hindus have tried but they are completely dissatisfied with how govt. has work politically as they have not touched most important issues Hindus want them to address but have only focused on specific ‘contentious’ issues which they can politicize & maximize which is exactly what India’s Left wing parties have done till now. After this i think both Hindutva & Hinduism both will be done & Indians will become mirror image of the West in East.

    Check these papers to note how Hinduism has been bounded by scholars by using the charge of revivalism against it.

    History, the Hindu Right, and Subversion of Brahmanical-Hindu Political Thought

    https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aMHADwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA240&ots=RK8rngdOng&sig=8aKu7naXP6XTnZfGwI4h8uaQr7M&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

    That’s how Hindus are denied agency in global arena & their politics has been so divided internally thanks to colonial ‘Divide & rule’ project that they have forgotten that they were Hindus now each jaati can be considered as separate religion.

  13. You are partially correct & wrong at the same time –

    Jati’s {acc. to my theory} were accommodated as pre-existing communities with these common factors – Region, Language & customs, Profession etc. Jatis are not required beyond their uses in some rituals. Infact the largest parts of Hinduism are local unorganized traditions {Tantra, Sects & so on……}

    The real problem in Hinduism is not having a ‘common’ framework of rules & beliefs, so whenever a person interested in conversion would inquire about it he/she would get either extremely conservative & religious advices {in the mold of Abrahamic traditions} from RW or completely ambiguous {i.e. mostly philosophical} advices from LW.

    Second reason is how Hinduism has been vilified for centuries among most if not all Abrahamic traditions & communities. Hence misinformation about it are far & wide. Ask people to name 5 things they remember when they hear Hinduism & see for yourself {Caste will be no. 1 most of the time}.

    Last but not least – Disinterest among large Hindu community for conversions both ways i.e. Conversion to Hinduism & Conversion out of Hinduism.

    ISKON is not Hinduism it is a Cult.

    Politicization of each community in India has killed all ethics or morality and made Jatis more essential than religion {shows the power of identity denomination & it’s relation to politics}. Once political theorists understood how India’s majority has been kept in check by ‘Jati division’ they ran with it & brought it to global arena via ‘Oppression Olympics’.

    I don’t see any future for Hinduism esp. the way all institutions have worked against it for so long. The current ‘Hindutva’ politics is the last punch Hindus have tried but they are completely dissatisfied with how govt. has work politically as they have not touched most important issues Hindus want them to address but have only focused on specific ‘contentious’ issues which they can politicize & maximize which is exactly what India’s Left wing parties have done till now. After this i think both Hindutva & Hinduism both will be done & Indians will become mirror image of the West in East.

    Check these papers to note how Hinduism has been bounded by scholars by using the charge of revivalism against it.

    History, the Hindu Right, and Subversion of Brahmanical-Hindu Political Thought

    https://books.google.co.in/books?hl=en&lr=&id=aMHADwAAQBAJ&oi=fnd&pg=PA240&ots=RK8rngdOng&sig=8aKu7naXP6XTnZfGwI4h8uaQr7M&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q&f=false

    That’s how Hindus are denied agency in global arena & their politics has been so divided internally thanks to colonial ‘Divide & rule’ project that they have forgotten that they are Hindus rather now each jaati can be considered as a distinct religion in itself {Indian Left’s dream – As they believe it will end authoritarian threat in India}.

  14. @Razib. I’m a Bengali who left Islam in my early 20s. I initially wanted nothing to do with religion, however, I found myself looking for an identity few years later. I found myself reading a lot about the history of the subcontinent and tried to find affinity to Dharmic traditions, not because of belief, but I felt isolated, like i didn’t belong to a community anymore. I thought, Buddhism and Jainism first, as they cantered around Bihar (I guess Hinduism too, formalising during the Gupta era), however, I had to be honest. My ancestors probably converted to Islam, possibly 800 years ago. Turkic expansion of the NorthEast in a bid to cultivated more land and add tax revenue, perhaps caused peasant class or subservient photo Bengali peasants to convert (community leaders –> en masse). Prior to this, they may have been Buddhists, unlikely Jains, but the association was probably loose, and even if it was strong, they didn’t really have a ‘hand’ in it so it was nothing to be proud of. Hinduism, prior to Buddhism, however, even then, the Hindu culture we know of today was cultivated by native IVC motifs, not likely from the soils of Bengal. IVC motifs, with a Vedic foundation, but Bengalis are not really bronze age Sintashta warriors from the bronze age steppes of Kazhakstan and Russia. We have as much steppe as East Asian. Our ancestors were most likely animists, as rigid Hinduism etc were the rites of the elites.

    Again, I am in no position to convert to any religion, i’m competent in history and science (biomed), I know where these religion stem from. I just wanted to visit temples (tried when i visited Singapore, Thailand) to ‘feel’ like I have a belonging.

    I know now that it is not possible. I feel no affiliation to these traditions. Razib, is your situation similar to mine, or did you go through a period of experiencing a loss of identity?

    PS. Razib, leave Kabir alone, lol. That video was hilarious. If this is your sense of humour, we would make great friends

    1. Razib, is your situation similar to mine, or did you go through a period of experiencing a loss of identity?

      yeah, i never really did go through that. i never believed in Islam or any religion, and never had or have a strong ‘communal’ identity. but i’m pretty atypical. i’m very anti-SJW too.

      if i had to convert/identify with a religion it would definitely be a more individualistic form of Buddhism. it’s the closest thing the east has produced to greek philosophy.

      i bow before no gods.

      (my wife and kids are atheists too)

      1. I feel the same way. Grew up in a mixed Hindu/Sikh famiy. Never identified with either. Too many weird traditions. Plus I like beef and being clean shaven lol. Buddhism sounds cool although I freely admit the presence of Buddhism among Kushans, Sakas and Tocharians is pretty cool to me. I like the idea that Buddhism was a reverse of the typical Central Asian to South Asian relationship

        Also refreshing to find South Asians who are anti SJW. SJWism is the worst religion alive.

        1. I mean even Pashtuns have decent amount of AASI. The Dasyu made it quite far 😉

          And Buddhism had syncretic elements with Hinduism with some patronage to Hindu Gods by Buddhists then, hence the Kushan greek influenced depictions of Hindu Gods.

          This abstract non theistic version of Buddhism wasn’t exactly how it was commonly practiced. Heck Buddhism in many sects has tons of superstition with several levels to heavens and hells and different demi gods. Jainism has the same stuff.

          1. This abstract non theistic version of Buddhism wasn’t exactly how it was commonly practiced..

            yes. it existed, but really go popularized in the 19th and 20th centuries through interaction with the west. see the impact of Olson et al on Sri Lankan buddhism

          2. Razib says

            abstract non theistic version of Buddhism

            but really go popularized in the 19th and 20th centuries through interaction with the west. see the impact of Olson et al on Sri Lankan buddhism

            Protestant Buddhism and the purported revival of non theistic Buddhism.

            In practice, almost zilch non theistic Buddhism. There is some lip service by the upper class well read Buddhists, but for all that believe in Gods and spirits.

            They (upper class educated) may not have a gods statue in their house, but will drop offerings at the various gods on the road. The ancients gods of Lanka, the gods of the four corners (Hatharavaram Deviyo). In addition they will go to Kataragama once a year to get the car, whatever blessed.

            Every Buddhist temple has some pre Buddhist gods chapel (not too big) in a corner. A pusari is employed by the Temple to do the rituals. People come in to the temple, worship the Buddha, recite verses to pay homage to the great teacher. Next they head to the gods chapel to ask for a Mercedes Benz.

            Most of the Buddhist Priests believe in gods and invoke them often. A very non theistic priest is most likely a Christian Convert or a foreign priest.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddhism_in_Sri_Lanka#Buddhist_revival

      2. Being anti- SJW is not atypical anymore lol. I’m very very anti SJW, it’s corny to the max. The epicentre of SJWness is in America, I just watch and laugh. The West is definitely falling. I’m planning on moving to Singapore one day. I have family in Malaysia and Singapore. Wouldn’t want to bring up my kids in Europe anymore.

        My great grandad immigrated to England but left after 2 years cause he thought the people were ‘dirty’ and unhygienic. His son, my grandad immigrated, but he too left after a few years. My dad came young, 13 yrs old. But all he wanted to do was go back to Bangladesh with my mum and 2 brothers but we never did. It’s weird, financially, we are fortunate, we live in a nice 4 bedroom detached house ina small village (1212 people). But there is no community, I don’t like the culture (SJW), I’m very traditional and eastern in my outlook. I remember going to a 3D printing studio (I wanted to make a miniature me lol). The Chinese owner and I talked for ages about how I should take up eastern traditions (it was a mix of Buddhist and Chinese folklore medicine, something ‘point’, apparently the West uses ‘cold’ medication that’s harms the body and We should use ‘hot’ medication to open up our ‘shakra’, like drinking hot ginger etc. I, being and atheist took all this as absolute garbage in my head but I felt it was so sweet that he was going through it with me like we had some Eastern connection, and these Western people don’t know what they’re doing lol. I’ll never forget it.

        It’s funny how know, I too am looking towards the east.

        1. well theravada is the buddhist tradition that is the most ‘brown’

          (i should admit that one of my brothers is a shingon buddhist priest; he converted)

          1. Its funny because, as a child, my dad and cousins would listen to alot if Hindi songs from 90s Bollywood, we were living at that moment (good ol’ days) and watched all the classics in Bollywood movies. I remember admiring Salman Khan (I always took him to be the good guy), and Shah Rukh Khan (with his motorcycle and leather jacket as the bad guy lol, how things have changed). As I got older, in my teens, it became uncool to be desi. We started listening to RnB and Gangster Rap, if you didn’t, you were weird. But, as i came into my late teens, I started becoming my own and fitting into my identity based on my preferences. The world was saturated with Rap, and it would bore me, I couldn’t relate at all, and every teen, especially young Desis emulated the ‘street’ scene. I began listening to old skool (90s) Spanish romantic songs (Enrique, Soraya, etc, I knew no spanish), it was my escape and identity. But like Ive mentioned, after leaving Islam, as i reached my mid 20s, I did yearn for a community to belong to. Like I’ve mentioned, no dharmic lifestyle (and to enphasisze again, this is not about belief, all religions are made up, look at history, its clear where these stories came from, and how these religions formulated), seemed fitting for me, it was too complex, adhered by a conglomerate of castes, speaking different languages at different ends of the subcontinent, most times slinging dirt on each other (whose ethnicity is better etc, the usual low self esteem gibberish, NW VS S. etc).
            It was then that i decided to take a more cultural approach, screw religion traditions; i began watching 90s bollywood movies i would watch with my dad and cousins. im not going to lie, i loved the beautiful evergreen romantic song of that era, its beauty is timeless, still amazes me how we produced consistently good music throughout the 90s. The bollywood movies, songs, actors/ess of this generation, don’t fit the bill now though, corny to the extreme, hyper westernised.
            FWIW @Razib, I think we yearn to be part of community (its how we adapted throughout our evolution as primates), when we are in the minority. i think its easier to be ‘individual’ when your swarmed by people exactly like you. So, your situation is definitely atypical. As a minority, even though I’ve been treated with kindness throughout my life from all ethnic backgrounds, I literally never had any reason to bemoan being a minority, never had any fights in my life, and always got along with people. I just grew up realising, ‘this isn’t my country or the country of my ancestors”, ‘I’m in a way only a guest’, any niceness i received was out of hospitality. Some Bengalis integrated fine, they had plenty of white friends etc, i, however, became more reserved and preferred to find a more desi centric company of friends. I tried looking into local buddhist centres, but they were filled with white ‘hippy’ types which put me right off, i was expecting a more desi/asian congregation.
            When I went to Singapore, i felt much more at home, hence my urge to immigrate there. No matter how strong the austro asiatic malay faces were or indian the tamil faces were (depending on skin tone as im very light brown, people think im iranian), I felt home. Funnily enough, when i did take a stroll into Little India to feel close to Bangladesh, the Tamils restaurant owner knew i was foreign! They were too polite and tried to explain to me how to eat daal!!! I had a vegetarian meal on a banana leaf, the owner was way too hospitable, giving me free onion bajji etc. I appreciated it, it was sweet, but i kinda felt irritated because i came here for brotherhood! They didn’t see me as desi because of my skin tone. But the Malay, Chinese and Indian Gujaratis I was with in my hostels were fine, we went merlion together.
            I think im still figuring myself out. I may just become an ‘individual’, what would that look like? I am a desi, but, i have no religion, don’t follow any customs, love 90s evergreen bollywood songs, and at times 90s spanish romance songs, work in a microbiology lab, love travelling, soon to be (one day) immigrant to Malaysia/Singapore, centre right in politics, traditional mindset, not into sports but likes watching MMA, kinda like basketball, love Japanese food, Mexican is good, too etc. Who knows.

        2. ” I’m very very anti SJW, it’s corny to the max.”

          How come the two Bengals so different? Its so bizarre.

      3. Your kids too. Maybe some kind of Indo-Norse mythology could work for them based on cultural heritage.

    2. @Salman

      I am neither devote Hindu myself nor have a great urge to convert people to Hinduism. But i think in the given options I can just about have any belief up to atheism and still be a Hindu within its boundaries. There are no set ideals to be followed nor any authority that could disqualify. I have never chosen consciously to be one but there is no worthwhile reason to go away from it.

      Quote /We have as much steppe as East Asian. Our ancestors were most likely animists, as rigid Hinduism etc were the rites of the elites./
      You are right. But what religion can let come closest to that in modern settings?

      Dharmic religions should be marketed as revenge of the extinct religions ideal for the individualistic age. Everyone can get their pick from available variations or customize one for themselves.

      1. But i think in the given options I can just about have any belief up to atheism and still be a Hindu within its boundaries.

        it’s ridiculous to convert to atheist Judaism. or atheist Hinduism. these are ethnic identities.

        1. Well you are right. But then I am talking to brown pundits here for whom it might not be a problem.

          But I get the point. There is no way to be atheist white Hindu in same way. But I think they can borrow from Hinduism whatever they like to recreate their religions of yore.

          Anyway the aim is keep it local and in no way to make everyone bow their heard in direction of india.

  15. What’s a good source for a lay Hindu (who’s familiar with Mahabharata, Ramayana etc) to get a broad overview of Indian philosophy?

    The kind of survey literature Razib usually suggests people to get started with.

    1. I honestly don’t know much and am not into proselytizing but go to SVYASA in Bengalore if you ever get free time to get a feel for Hinduism. It has a Ayurvedic hospital and runs perhaps one of the very best yoga education B.Sc. program in the country. Does not have ashram/cult/baba vibe at all, more like a spa/hospital for really sick people. The yoga-meditation-lectures(mostly Vedanta) protocols are rigorous (>12 hours of compulsory guided practice per day). Took my parents there for back and gastrointestinal problems. Had almost no faith it would work but was surprised by the quality of doctors and instructors there. The head of institute is a IISc PhD in MechE who served on IISc’s faculty and worked in NASA-Marshall,U-British Columbia, Harvard and Imperial College, awarded Padma-shree in 2016. He is personal trainer to Modi (who spent time living in SVYASA) and Kejrivaal(spent time on retreat there) both. The main medical doctor(who btw is awesome) came from the UK in the 80s. Place has some (minuscule) Sanghi association but is very secular and welcoming, saw some Arab people there for treatment (Arabian friends of Mallus perhaps?), lots of Christian and Muslim medical students and doctors. And people from all over the country. One of the most eye opening ‘Hindu’ experiences I have ever had.

    2. 1,ramakrishna mutt has several small books on indian philosophy and upanishads.
      2. radhakrishnan’s principal upanishads is also good.
      3.sri arobindo kapalisastry institute’s books on vedas are good.

  16. So there is a difference b/w mass scale ahoms conversion and the proposed mass scale conversion of Indian muslims/christianity to Hinduism, and why the latter is almost impossible.

    The ahoms didnt come from any caste and after conversion they became a caste, but in latter scenario muslims and Christians already have some caste attached, so conversion to Hinduism does not serve any purpose. This can be contrasted with white Christians/muslims who convert thru ISCON, fall in the former category.

    Also i think its premature to say that Hinduism final destination is an ISKON like thing. From what i see in India atleast , its being pulled in different direction and at least in the North its becoming a sort of ethno-religious tribal allegiance, where the nominal Hindus are opting out, while the true believer is simultaneously less religious (than his parents) and more identitiary (with Hindu-dom). Of course Southern India Hinduism still has remnants of the older milder Hinduism, but it wont remain untouched for long.

    1. I’m not a fan of any religion or religious nationalism but is there anything more annoying than Muslim and Hindu nationalists when it comes to South Asia but when it comes to America are far left SJWs. This is the most annoying type of person on earth.

      1. In India u get a variant of that, liberals opposing Hindu nationalism in Delhi, while promoting ethnic nationalism in their own state.

        1. That’s so fucking weird. These people probably see the negative practices in Hindusim as evidence of the moral depravity of Hindus but the negative practices in SIkhism, Islam. Christianity and Hinduism as cultural misunderstanding and due to Hindu domination. Just American SJWs replacing whites with Hindus.

        2. One of faculty at my program is a DMK-tard and Tamil chauvinist who apparently (corroborated by discussions with co-residents) singles me out for abuse. And he has a deep hatred of Modi and Hindu nationalism (he told me this, I said nothing.)

          Stuff like this is why I don’t mind Modi/Shah. You can quibble with them about the pace of economic reform or whatever, but ultimately, these are the men standing up for you in a world where lots of people hate you.

          1. To me what even funnier is their inability to understand what drives Hindu nationalism. Some of them have even asked me genuinely.

            I am like man if there is any set of people who can understand fighting for things like identity and all, the first people should be you. And here u are asking me all this.

  17. As someone said, maybe the answer is Buddhism. When you strip caste from Hinduism, is it really very different than Buddhism anyway? Comes across kind of Roman Catholic (with all their Saints Days and Shrines and focus on Mary) vs a more simplified or austere Protestantism.

    Or maybe you have a Hinduism with all the color and gods and legends and philosophical threads, but without caste, and that might actually be more appealing to a lot of people than Buddhism.

    1. Buddhism is:
      1) Hinduism for export.
      2) Hinduism for smart people.

      Shankaracharya was called a chadm-Baudha (Buddhist in disguise). I am no scholar but from what I have read Advaita Vedanta does seem to be closer to Buddhism than rest of Hindusim.

      The problem is that most people(including myself) are not smart/sincere enough to do meditation for extended periods. This dilutes the essence of Buddhism. The other thing that irritates me is too much focus on contemplating suffering/disease/death. Hopefully reading/practicing more will clear things out.

  18. Castes were never fossilized in the Indian milieu, whether yesterday or today. The last few caste census have been showing self-regulating tendencies in terms of numbers and supra-groupings. Newer castes are emerging all the time. Caste is the basis of economic and political competition so it is not hard to see why there is a feedback loop into the social structure of caste itself.

    I can understand why an individual in the West might think that caste is a tripping factor on the altar of conversion. But in India, it is an equal enabler for movement into and out of Hinduism. The outwards movement is well known. But the philic factor has always lain outside the western gaze.

    For a crypto-Hindu, the first step into Hinduism is caste consciousness. It is the grain of sand that will irritate the mollusc at first, the defense mechanism kicks in to form the layer that will eventually result in a pearl. Any social group that struggles to negotiate with its peers and superiors will find that the first stumbling block is the lack of a boundary layer that its rivals will penetrate with impunity to break down any unity.

    The core of Hinduism, in all its streams and sects and philosophies, has held “equality at birth” to be a false proposition. Nature simply does not do that. A newly born fawn is gobbled by a leopard, while its mother watches helplessly. This is one of the earliest stories in the Upanishad tales. All Abrahamic streams and modernist governance that stem from it seek to nullify Nature’s inequality at birth via laws, codes and economic restrictions (taxes). Manu, in his treatise, asks the observer to ponder a forest where all trees are equally thick, an ocean where all fishes are equally big and a night where the stars are equally bright. Equal treatment of unequals will further inequality, not reduce it.

    Caste is a sub-optimal method to address Nature’s diversity. But to return to our original premise, the crypto-Hindus of India are finding caste an useful tool to self-identify and organize. Pasmanda Muslims in Bihar and Nadar Christians of Tamilnadu are fine examples of caste-based social and political movements who have also started to practice endogamy very visibly in newspaper ads and matrimonial sites.

    Give it another thousand years, the forest will reclaim the city.

    1. Looking at my own extended family in India. Caste out-marriage rates are approx. 50%. in my generation.

      Several of these were actually arranged marriages, or where they met through some online marriage website.

      All out marriages were with other educated, young professionals from different communities. So assortative mating continues it seems even in lieu of caste based discrimination.

      1. this is a radical departure from what the genes tell us has been norm for 1,500 years. outmarriage rates inferred from genes closer to 0.5% per generation

        1. Speaking of genes again I hear Fataynovo samples are being released soon.

          Also do you how inbred Indians are? Would this explain why we seem like an unstable mix of two different races?

          1. Razib has said 80% of all human breeding in history has been 2nd cousins or closer. Everyone is inbred. Granted the, “hur dur arranged marriage ruined Indian genes” argument, as if bartering daughters to tribal kin is anything uniquely Indian…

            I notice a vibe you see some genetic fault with Indians and the other thread you venerated the steppe people for “at least we have some robustness from them.” You are also pretty pessimistic about India’s future, as if the nation is inherently meant to fail. And you specifically outline ethnicity and culture and not just culture. Why so down on Indian genetic heritage man? You act like its a fail and hardwired to ensure future failure. Have you been hanging out on the alt right 4chan parts of the internet long? Plenty of echo chambers of white incel autist hate to brainwash Indians into hating themselves.

          2. lots of indians are inbred. lots of paks too. bangladeshis a lot less!

            marrying outside of jati will increase health automatically.

          3. Razib has said 80% of all human breeding in history has been 2nd cousins or closer. Everyone is inbred. Granted the, “hur dur arranged marriage ruined Indian genes” argument, as if bartering daughters to tribal kin is anything uniquely Indian…

            this is something some ethologists say. i think it’s too extreme. for some indian jatis it is true that everyone is basically a 2nd cousin. but outbreeding happens a lot in other groups too. it’s complicated

        2. that means incredible progress. Hope it continues

          And I have noticed this in my family. My cousins have married Sindh is, Punjabi, Uppite, Telegu, couple of Whites in the US thrown into the mix.

        3. Yes so looking at my parents generation caste out-marriage rates are far lower.

          And all the people who married outside of their caste in their generation were “love marriages”.

          Now I am finding some of my cousins are sometimes having “arranged marriages” or meeting people on Shadi.com or similar websites outside of their caste and linguistic community which to me indicates a higher level of social acceptance.

          Slightly off topic, but vice did an interesting story recently on arranged LGBTQ marriage agency scam in India:

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyeYvsFv7pM&t=68s

      2. Some amazing straight-mixing examples in my near family/friends (ordered as Female-Male):

        Punjabi-Telugu
        UP-Kannad
        UP-Tamil
        Punjabi-Bengali
        Bengali-Jat
        Nepali-Mallu
        Nagaland-UP
        German-UP
        French-Bengali
        Bengali-Swedish
        Bengali-Bulgarian
        Kannad-American

        Half-breed babies are the cutest. Gives me high hope we will get rid of caste soon enough.

        LGBTQ couples:
        Bengali-Mallu
        Bengali-UP
        UP-African American
        UP-Caucasian American
        Mallu-Chinese

        Indian people are sleeping around a lot.

    2. “A newly born fawn is gobbled by a leopard, while its mother watches helplessly. This is one of the earliest stories in the Upanishad tales. ”

      just curious but which Upanishad?

      1. @Bhimrao – my mistake, it isn’t from the Upanishads – but from the Hitopadesa/Animal fables

    3. “Manu, in his treatise, asks the observer to ponder a forest where all trees are equally thick, an ocean where all fishes are equally big and a night where the stars are equally bright. Equal treatment of unequals will further inequality, not reduce it.”

      @ugra. you are such a manuwadi! wait till behen mayawati succeeds modi, and your theories gets ripped to shreds.

      1. Modi has already done his bit in assaulting Manuwad, he is the first OBC prime minister in India to have successfully completed his term in office. The earlier one, Deve Gowda, was forced out of office within 2 years into his term. All other prime ministers have been either Brahmins or Khatris.

        OBCś are the new Brahmins.

  19. I don’t think we’re destined to fail but I haven’t seen the progress I thought we would have made by now. I used to be hopeful but looking at how fast East and Southeast Asia developed is depressing. I’ll change my view if we can design and build a metro system by ourselves.

    1. Also I’m a big sports fan and its depressing to not have a single good athlete in the NFL, NHL, MLB or NBA (and almost no up and coming college athletes to suggest that will change soon).

    2. “I’ll change my view if we can design and build a metro system by ourselves.”

      Do you mean a metro rail system? Isn’t that already happening?
      There are 13 cities with operational systems, 7 in construction stage, and many more in planning.

      1. India is killing it at building metro rail systems efficiently, cost-effectively. C-tier places like Jammu, Jabalpur and even shit-show cities like Kanpur are getting one. The existing ones are well maintained and compare favorably to even Japanese ones, miles ahead of American(NYC) and most European metro systems.

        If by Metro you meant new cities then you should see newer bits of Pune, Noida and Kolkata. The real problem with real estate is that people don’t have the money to buy the apartments not any quality/planning/supply issue.

        1. Its pretty cool that places like Jammu and Sringar are getting metro systems. And the Delhi Metro from everything I’ve read is world class.

          Were these designed by Indians? Are we producing the trin cars too or buying from China?

          I thin Razib made a good point about not emulating China and focusing on agriculture and services and not producing cheap shit.

          I agree with that. We should become an agricultural behemoth with a focus on expensive goods (high quality rice, high quality tea, increase coffee production,focus on vanilla production, saffron, create an actual cocoa industry in South India). Become a leader in IT but also innovate and not just be code monkeys for Western Companies. And also focus on cutting edge industrial production (appliances, cars, train cars, boats) and become a leader in rare earth element processing (I believe Afghanistan has an abundant supply that need to be processed) as well as clean energy.

  20. so i didn’t add: marriage is one way to assimilate into an ethnic religion. so that’s an option. and in an individualistic society this will happen more.

    in the USA 50% of jews outmarry. 40% of kids raised as jews, 30% Christians, and 30% as mix/nothing/both

    1. In India it will never work, I am totally hopeless with Islam it is a one way street (especially marrying Muslims) with a steep downward gradient. A few cases:

      1) Why people cry ‘unfair’ when it is usually only Hindu girls marry Muslims?

      1.a) I personally know at-least three instances of Muslim fathers beating/intimidating their daughter’s Hindu boyfriends and marrying off their daughters young. In my experience Muslim girls are far less likely to properly rebel against family (run off, defend in-front of police, go to help-groups). Muslim girls are substantially more two faced(repressed?) about their sexuality. Many in the cities are involved romantically and sexually with Hindu guys while being overtly religious/conservative (wearing head covering, sharing silly verses/face covered selfies on social media etc) the problem is that they don’t put up the same amount of fight that Hindu girls show for marriage.

      1.b) Insistence on converting. Muslim guys are quite accommodating of their Hindu partner/future-wife’s religious beliefs but I have known Muslim girls who have explicitly broken up long term(>5) years relationships due to guy refusing to convert to Islam.

      1.c) ‘We are superior fair/noble syed/irani/turk who ruled over you’ racism from Muslims against us kaala Hindoo people. In practice this is even worse than (the widespread and inhuman) racism/caste-ism of upper caste Hindus. Manifests itself in so many day to day activities where Hindus are falling head over heels to accommodate Muslim beliefs but never the other way round because of innate deep-rooted exclusive-ism (ass-holery) of most Muslims. Again, I am not begging mercy or accommodation I am just stating how things are.

      2) Inevitable greater ghettoization of Muslims as the prices in newly built housing developments will favor economically stronger Hindus. Better locality => Better school => More Money => Repeat. Lack of enough Muslim philanthropic professional/scientific educational institutes. This community is going into siege mode and India does give affirmative action quotas for Muslims to equalize the field but they are loosing out to even OBCs/SCs.

      2a) The more Muslims feel under siege the deeper ditch (of religiosity, exclusion) they will dig around themselves. This community needs a lot of good motivational examples to emulate in order to stand up. What they get are stupid ‘Sir’ Syed and his ilk of Maulana-heroes. Think about how great would it be to see an Indian Muslim Astronaut? I once overheard three Muslim kids aged 10-12 (2 girls in Hijab and Abaya and a little boy) talking to each other if they wanted to become IAS civil servants or work for ISRO and make Chandrayaan. I almost cried listening to the bit about Chandrayaan, India should do more to inspire and unleash it’s Muslim talent.

      Went off topic at the end. Apologies.

      1. “‘We are superior fair/noble syed/irani/turk who ruled over you’”

        +1 to this.
        As a 7th grade kid in school, I knew which of my Muslim friends were Syed before I knew my own caste.

        I have generally seen assholery more towards fellow Muslims than towards Hindus, though could be a different case in marriage situations.

        Should be added to the list above with Jatts and Tamil Brahmins as folks with excessive pride in their ethnicity.

        1. My mom’s side is all Saurasthra Gujaratis but they moved to Hyderbad post independence. Ashraf Muslims of Hyderbad can be insufferable with this too.

          And agree to all of what Bhimrao said. The asymmetry in dating is not due to the fact that Muslim men are all casa novas. The pressures are very different on both sides.

          And Hijabi S Asian girls are def two faced. Many sleep around covertly, especially in the era of apps like Tinder. Being a decent looking S Asian guy, gives you an “in.” In some ways, it is initially a nice notch on the belt because of how stereotypically “forbidden” the fruit is.

  21. Religions tend to be silly generally but I find Hinduism to be on the sillier end of the spectrum.

    1. Maybe try hardcore stuff of Vedanta and Yoga. Some silly looking things like chanting(might), singing bhajans start making sense others never do.

      There are atheist-Hindu schools too. Much to explore and most importantly unmatched wiggle-room to modify and customize.

    2. “Religions tend to be silly generally but I find Hinduism to be on the sillier end of the spectrum.”

      sillier than scientology?

  22. It is amazing how little SAs know about some things, here is the example of Jatts and Scythians (in Serbian – tramps, bums, drifters>nomads; any other meaning?). And this is only because they don’t want to know. I wrote before an extensive comment and included the thoughts of 20-30 worldwide historians, modern and classic. >“Even most educated Indians don’t know who Jatts are”<. This includes the most of pundits. My impression is that groupthink and many psychological barriers still exist for people afraid to face the uncertain or, possibly, unwanted truths and they keep chasing own tails from topic to topic.

  23. I am not sure the presence of jati/caste indentities makes Hinduism collectivist. Being a Patel or Yadav has little to do with nishkama karma or satya. After all, there are plenty of Muslim Patels, Jats and Tyagis.

    Hinduism can be very individualistic. Just look at the architecture. Traditional Hindu temples, even grand ones like those in Madurai are designed for one on one worship in the garbhagriha. Bhishma literally tells Karna that “Dharmakshetra main har vyakti akela hota hain” (every individual is alone in the field of religion).

    Diaspora practices can be quite different, because the problems are different (isolation, fear of loss of identity).

  24. Its just a strange experience. I grew up in a neighbourhood where we befriended local bengali, indian, and two chinese families, all recent immigrants. One of the Chinese girls would come to our house to borrow onions, I think they were cantonese, they would be invited to our house to eat chicken and rice and tandoori my dad would bring from the restaurant, he was a chef. The father of the other Chinese family on the opposite street was good friends with my dad and gifted me my first bike, a pink bike, previously belonging to his daughters. I’m a dude, but even still. The point is, recent immigrants seemed to have formed a tight knit, more cohesive type of kinship in the 90s. Now, everyone has moved on, and live individualistic lives, a very Western adaptation.

    Likewise, I grew up with an older cousin who looked like the exact twin of Amitabh Bachchan, he would try to convince us kids that it was him when watching these bollywood films. Their resemblance was uncanny so we kinda believed him. His younger brother would be constantly humming hindi songs. Things have changed a great deal now! They’re married with children, and more Islamic minded. Those days of desiness is like a bygone era. They’re much more islamic now in terms of identity than being desi. And its the same with Pakistanis and other Bengalis in the West. They’re initially desi in their ways, however, since the 2000s have become increasingly engrossed in their Islamic identity.

    What happened/happening? I think, when confronted with Westernized culture, native desi culture appears embarrassing to the growing teen, they want to imitate the natives and what’s popular. thats fine, they’ll listen to their music, watch their movies, speak in their slang, and do as impressionable teens do. However, as they mature, they make a startling discovery – they’re not native, this isn’t their culture. Their self esteem takes a hit, and we desis by our nature are self hating, low self esteem inclined people. So, they look towards their more ‘exotic’ persian and arab counterparts, very west eurasian looking, beautiful, more seductive. Little by little, they start praying 5 times a day, have a beard, ditch the salwar kameez for a thobe, the toothbrush for a miswak, read scriptures daily, and presto, they are part of a wider, more appealing identity, that of the Middle East. Its a strange phenomenon, but I’ve seen the shift so much with recent immigrants growing up. Women used to gather with saris on special occasions, now with hijab, and in some cases burka.

    Its worth noting, Arabs/Arabized people are not interested in religion by in large in my experience, in fact 25% of them leave the religion once they immigrate to Western nations. Could it be that, due to their ‘West Eurasian’ appearance, they don’t suffer an identity crises? Some are very ‘street’ in their demeanour and rough, but for a people who understand the Quran, they don’t seem to care for it much. Desi, illiterate of it, will push it down your throat to convince you of its linguistic miracles.

    Just strange.

    1. Absolutely true. Order they try to convince is something like

      Northern Euro>Western Euro>Southern Euro> Eastern Euro> Levant> N Africa/Iran>Arabs> NW S Asia> Northern/Western S Asia> Eastern and Southern S Asia

      People who aren’t really thinking too hard just go with the flow with such a subconscious hierarchy and try to “one up” or more on what they are. There are just more status points associated with this particular racial cline.

      1. The phenotypic stereotyping here is so cringe, lol
        Granted Indians may be on the darker shade of brown….*shrug* so?
        If rates of dating white chics can be used a metric, anecdotally in the UK the darker Afro-Carib and SL dudes leave the Indians and Pakis waaayyy behind. It all boils down to confidence and grooming

  25. Were these designed by Indians? Are we producing the trin cars too or buying from China?

    I mean civil works is pretty straight-forward for Indians, we reached that level of competence maybe 20 years ago. There are no civil engineering structures that our engineers can’t really design/build if money is available. Check out the Chenab rail bridge, will make you feel happy. Our engineering issue are in things like lack of investment, no support for creativity and poor financial management(in government sectors) acumen.

    For metros, I think some new (Austrian tunneling method) machines are sometimes brought in from China but most of the stuff ie design, planning, building, assembly is done by us. Train cars have been imported a very few times from China(super cheap) but are mostly manufactured by BEML (government owned but manufacturing Hyundai designs), Alstrom and Bombardier in India.

    Designing train cars, bogies etc is a different ball game all together. We started quite late, give it another two decades and investment we will crack(or copy) it too.

    ‘I think Razib made a good point about not emulating China and focusing on agriculture and services and not producing cheap shit.

    Too many unemployed, hungry people, the more work we can generate by whatever means the better.

    I agree with that. We should become an agricultural behemoth with a focus on expensive goods (high quality rice, high quality tea, increase coffee production,focus on vanilla production, saffron, create an actual cocoa industry in South India). Become a leader in IT but also innovate and not just be code monkeys for Western Companies. And also focus on cutting edge industrial production (appliances, cars, train cars, boats) and become a leader in rare earth element processing (I believe Afghanistan has an abundant supply that need to be processed) as well as clean energy.’

    Maybe do something about it not just plan. Check out the Epigamia yogurt guy, he is an ABCD (https://in.linkedin.com/in/rohan-mirchandani-5b3b4543) built a fortune selling greek yogurt in India. India is a chaotic place, but ‘chaos is a ladder’. Even creating $300/month jobs can remove so much unnecessary human suffering in India. Do something about it.

  26. But why do they tend to look towards persian/arab culture and not western culture if they want to transform. Indian scientists and reformers are very renowned in Western world but not in the diaspora i guess. I guess they need a no of diasporan who are influential and kind of proud of desi culture only then the problem could be solved.
    People from the subcontinent read greek philosophy never indian philosophy because of its link to a majority religion/way of life.
    I telling ya its the game of color. arabs wants to be western . Indian muslim wants to be persian/arab. Only thing that can save india is taking technological achievements of the west and progressing and evolving their own eastern ideas. Or like a unified religion from all indians should be great.

  27. No one wants to be Indian in the West if they have an out. I mean if you’re a Gujarati growing up in New Jersey there’s no other option, what else can you be? But if you’re Pakistani, well if you squint a little most of them don’t look too different from Middle Easterners anyway. The Pakistani workers in my neighborhood Pak curry takeaway look noticeably lighter and more “West Eurasian” than the average Indian. White people in the West are not the connoisseurs of complexion differences and features that desis are, which means they typically consider Pakistanis in normal dress to just be Indian, but if you dress Islamic and are into that, most people will conversely see you as Middle Eastern.

    But Bangladeshis? There is no way they can pass as anything other than Indian, forget about Middle Eastern. Not only appearance (although especially appearance). The food, the culture, everything is just Indian Bengali, very very far on the continuum from any Iranian or “steppe” or West Eurasian influence. I have a hard time believing Bangladeshi Americans growing up in Queens for example try to blend in with Middle Easterners.

    1. They don’t show much West Eurasian influence in their phenotype but I think they still have a lot of that ancestry.

    2. lol Pakistanis look very different from middle eastern people on average. But yes, a greater proportion do tend to pass than Indians which just makes sense, in the context of genetics.

      Mohajirs and Pak Punjabis, two heavily indid groups are overrepresented in US pak diasproa. They are lighter on average compared to say Gujaratis and more W Eurasian shifted (about 10% more steppe in place of AASI on average but similar or sometimes less mesolithic iranic levels) but the overlap is big enough that even someone Guju like me gets asked enough if is “Pak, Bangla, or Indian.” There is definitely a generic “brown” look most people have.

      But yes religious garb means a lot. Also Americans aren’t that familiar with phenos in general. The S Indian programmer killed by the angry white racist dude a few years ago looked super Telegu and that guy called him an “Iranian” before he shot him in cold blood.

      Also, Sikhs are targeted like that too. They look quite Indian typically. Yeah a few Nikki Hayleyoids but that isn’t the majority.

      American producers casting S Asians to play terrorists because they feel mainstream White Americans would be too uncomfortable with actual MENA actors who likely would resemble them more also probably plays a role.

    3. “ I mean if you’re a Gujarati growing up in New Jersey there’s no other option, what else can you be? ”

      Well there is a Gujarati actress (Tinsel korey / harsha Patel) who has made a career out of pretending to be a different type of Indian (Native American) and got roles in the Twilight saga And married a real Native American guy to seal the deal. So it is possible, just difficult.

      Bangladeshis just need to be a bit more creative, maybe rebrand as a SE Asian / Persian hybrid group.

      1. There also Gujaratis who embrace it like Kal Pen, Dev Patel, and Sheetal Sheth.

        Sheetal Sheth, despite her green eyes, doesn’t fake it. She used to get annoyed at people who referred to her as non-Indian looking. She is a practicing jain and proud of her heritage.

        I hope people just behave less like self haters. They don’t need to be uber religious or go down the rabit hole of diasproa indian nationalism, but they should at least be happy with who they are and not need to “fake” it. Therefore, when they achieve some success the stereotype can be slowly changed.

        This is harder. So the easy escape is just to pretend to be something else…

        1. Indian american cultures can dissociate with “Indian-ness” depending on how much their culture is integrated with “Hindu-ness”, if you come from a culture where the culture has enough non Hindu-ness to stand on its own, its possible they can dissociate.

          So you can have Punjabi, Bengali and Tamil-american but not UP or Bihari american. Gujjus are in an interesting spot since they collectively have enough social capital and standing to really dissociate but their culture is intertwined enough not 2 have a clean break.

          1. Gujjus don’t want a clean break. Like Pak Punjabis consider themselves the quintessence of what it means to be Pak, Gujus do the same with India
            Guju kids make jokes about their parents accents and stuff. But they are very very unlikely to disassociate from Indian identity, even when their phenotype makes it possible (not all Gujus look like Paresh Rawal despite what the internet steppe supremacists want you to believe). Sardar Patel embodies this unity mentality and Pan-S Asianess a lot.

            With the Modi era, Gujus see themselves as the torch carriers of Hindus of the West and the right wing Indian global initiative, especially in Patidar BAPS type circles.

            Gujjus are also in unique phenotypic position. They are very middling genetically. In Guju families, some look streotypical Punjabi while others can look tamil, sometimes in the same nuclear family. It is nuts. There is this unity of crossroads with Gujus.

            Also, the culture is very compromising and self deprecating, so that’s another aspect that allows them to move around fluidly and mingle. They laugh at themselves as much as others do. But dharmic Gujjus also have their own issues, like more hard core anti-islam stance than Indian bengalis or tamils. They also contribute to the cheap streotype.

            The guju diet and exercise habits are literally the worst of the subcontinent. So the physique stereotype is also very bad. Young generation is changing it a lot but the middle aged ones. Man, they are either obese or pot bellied. it’s bad.

            Actually, though I know a few gujju uncles in my parent’s social circle who have run marathons, both are Patels. One of their wives did it too. They are upper class IT people. It is really impressive, in terms of norms breaking.

          2. Yeah as i said, Gujjus can (since they have more distinctiveness in the west than tamils and bengalis, and perhaps rivaling punjabis) but its complicated.

  28. While working at my first job out of college, I had a female Parsi coworker who’s family was from Mumbai. She had grown up in the USA and referred to herself as Iranian-American. My Marathi coworker friend just recently from Mumbai on an H1-b visa quipped to me that 20 years was enough to make her American, but 1000 years wasn’t enough to make her Indian.

    1. “More Hindu” people, “Less Hindu” people and “Non Hindu” people , directly proportional to their relations with India-ness

    2. That’s because within the liberal upper middle to upper class circles most professional Indians roam in, being “Iranian” is seen as “cool” and “exotic” in America. Indian ethnicity has a huge “dork, smelly, culturally backward” stereotype associated with it

      Actually, middle america is probably better in terms of this type of disparity than the coasts. Currently, Indians aren’t so much a protected PC class. Hence, characters that are really caricatures like Raj Kuthrapali are still an easy and non controversial sell.

      I like Texas more than NJ/NY/Cali, in this regard.

      1. Another thing is that Middle America (and to some degree conservatives in general) is ignorant when it comes to South Asia and might not know all the stereotypes/negative aspects whereas liberals are very familiar with the stereotypes or negative aspects and will stereotype you as representing the worst of your ethnicity(as misogynistic Hindu nationalists with no respect for hygiene or the environment)

    3. Strong ethnic groups in the subcontinent are the Malayalis, Marathis, Telugus and Tamils. The reason, their elites still produce a literature that their masses consume. These regions also have a strong cinema.

      Gujaratis are semi-active on this front, Bengalis surprisingly lower than I expected. But then, almost all the talented and creative Bengalis have to move out of Bengal to succeed.

  29. I have the exact same experiences. Sometimes ignorance is the best thing. People might view you as different but they don’t have those negative preconceived notions.

  30. Also, it is just not non-PC yet to shame Indian immigrants over “gang rape, Kashmir, dirtiness, poverty, disorder, caste violence, Hindutuva” yet. It is actually “woke” to do so. Which is totally fine actually. But the issue is double standards.

    Pak has those same issues just less open defecation and more terrorism. But Pak’s association with radical islam helps them with liberals. Muslims are now a protected class for liberals. So asking moderate Muslims about the existence of radical islam is considered taboo. A liberal is a lot more likely to ask for why Modi is behaving “like Hitler” with CAA than why Pak’s government continues to support the Taliban and is salivating at the Taliban taking more and more control in Afganistan, with their support, as the US withdraws. Hiding Bin Laden is something that also only conservatives tend to bring up.

    Pakistanis also don’t trash each other. Maybe a Punjabi may see Mohajirs are uglier because they look more Indian but that is the extent of it. Indians trash each other a ton, especially S and N Indians. N Indians will say, in front of white liberals, that S Indians are ugly and dark and have a poor fashion sense and are exclusively responsible for “dork” streotype. S Indians will say N Indians are reasons for open defecation, rapist, smelly, religious extremist, and backwards streotypes. And everyone shits on Gujaratis for being cheap lolol.

    1. I really don’t care anymore tbh. Most western liberals are ugly , dorky, morally bankrupt tools who project their shortcomings onto South Asians.

      1. agreed. Issue is that they are gaining power fast. They have taken over the whole democratic party. They control the House. And take hostage the moderates with their ideas. Once they have an executive, it was going to be over. Thank god no Bernie.

        The will win soon enough. That’s the danger. They are too big of a block to ignore and just let the other side propagandize away with.

        1. Yea but I think once they get power they’ll fuck it up to the point nobody will ever vote for them again. I’m stuck though because I don’t like Trump but Biden is an senile,SJW imbecile who is likely going to try and court the far left (Stacey Abrams as VP? LOL) and a hypocrite on top of that too (especially when it comes to the sexual assault allegations against him).

          1. yeah this time the options are actually the worst they have ever been. American has entered a second Gilded Age with Trump. And there is no telling, when things will get better.

            I would vote for Nikki Hayley. She seems like a good leader. She also pushed for india to be a permanent un sec council member before she was even that popular and before when it was politically expedient.

            but that’s for 2024. Lately, though she did go a little wacko with “Sikhs thing Jesus is also son of God aka Il Omkar” bit that she did. But she knows her base so who knows

        2. This was always bound to happen at some point. Americans are prone to ideology and flights of fancy, they get to do that because their country is powerful and unassailable.

          Maybe things won’t ever get to the Nixon-Kissinger level nadir in Indo-US relations, but they’re definitely due for a downturn the next time a Dem takes office, who will either kowtow to the Wokes, or be a Woke himself.

          Fortunately we Indians are smart enough not to keep all our eggs in one basket, and the BJP sees the writing on the wall and is calculating what may happen.

          1. I’m not a Modi but the woke morons seem him as worse than Hitler so Indo-US relations are going to take a nosedive for sure if a Dem comes into office. And woke morons are already echoing CCP talking points so I’m sure they’ll sell the nation off to the Chinese too making it a double wound on South Asia.

            I also hope the female president is a Republican just to rub it in the face of smug SJWs.

          2. “I also hope the female president is a Republican just to rub it in the face of smug SJWs”

            So in a funny way i can pre-empt what would eventually happen, since it has already happened in India.

            Through the 90s when we OBCs were the bulwark against the Hindu right in N-India, liberal used to fete us as the savior of Indian constitution and such. Cut to 2000s when our kind started gravitating towards the Hindu right, and a woke friend just asked me “Is Modi really an OBC? and if he is an OBC, are OBC really that different from upper castes, you were the foot soldiers of Hindu right anyways”

            Long story short the female republican president will no longer be a woman according to SJWs

  31. Middle Easterners have something manly about them, by reputation. Also, going back for a long time, Islam was thought of as closer and less alien to Christian civilization than Hinduism was. 9/11 destroyed a lot of that feeling of semi-closeness, but maybe it’s still there just a bit.

    Indians in the USA have the disadvantage(?) of being quite successful on average (so you don’t feel at all sorry for them), fully fluent in English and with the American-born generation with white American culture generally, but still clearly foreign and clannish and I don’t know, a bit too good at office politics and “taking our jobs”. East Asians have the advantage of a good reputation dating back to Japan’s opening, being seen as non-confrontational, and also frankly their women are popular with upper-middle-class American guys which rubs off on relations with the entire group.

    1. Are you a man or a woman bulbul, may i ask?

      Or i guess they haven’t met gujjars and jatts/jatts? They are the manliest but just doesn’t wanna break rules and laws or participate in martial arts(in america ).

      1. Manliness is defined a bit differently in the US than it is in India. You have to be associated with violence that is popularly known to be “manly,” unless you are White. The exception is exceptional physical size. Most Jats and Gujjars, AT MOST, average like white Americans. Yes some are taller, but I am talking averages.

        Black Americans destroy everyone in bodybuildign aesthetics and sports and have violent image. Middle eastern men have a violent image as well. Hispanics, despite shorter stature and smaller frame on average, have a violent reputation from gangs and drugs.
        In Canada, Punjabi Sikhs have a tough reputation from gang violence. Tamils are getting one now in Toronto for the same darn thing.

        The only group I can think of without a violent rep but a “manly” rep that isn’t white are Samoans. Guys like Rock and in general have a massive frame compared to pretty much everyone on the planet, has given them a very manly rep. They too have “war” associations with maori.

        Martial race stereotypes will not save your ass or being a bit bigger on average compared to other people because the game being played is very different. The former is unknown, except maybe for Sikhs to some degree and only recognize with turban which also gets terrorist manly stereotype. The latter just isn’t true because White Americans tend just to be bigger on average. I do not want random responses of Great Khali, Great Gama, Jinder Mahal, etc. lol. These are not common people.

        India’s Gandhi style “nonviolence” stuff just makes most Americans LOL. They respect it, but they also think it is a sign of weakness. The only time that stuff looks good was when the Nation of Islam under Malcolm X and the Black Panthers were threatening to do violent shit. Then suddenly MLK looking to Gandhi and looking all peaceful was taken seriously as an alternative. Otherwise, there is no respect for that approach.

        1. Don’t undermine indians that much. There is less gang violence compared to western societies.
          Gujjars had a bad reputation in my area some time ago but now the clashes and fights are fewer. Jatts and jaats have also civilized ( doing thing other than traditional jobs) now.
          If there were gang violence like america in India. Idk how many people would’ve been killed every day for to gang violence.
          Its quite weird how many people on the left in the west don’t want India to succeed ( at least with Modi in power).

  32. I don’t think American liberals care very much at all about Indians. There’s not much projecting going on because Indians don’t loom large in the imagination. Most of the Indians they know are Ivy League educated Indian Americans who talk and act educated upper-middle-class white, right down to the SJW aspect. I think there’s a touch of discomfort with those elite Indian-Americans getting a little too big for their britches on a personal level (and still being quite clannish and socializing largely with each other), but that’s about the extent of the attention. Modi is unpopular because India is held to a higher standard than Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. That’s good not bad.

  33. I’m a dude by the way, lol. I thought it would have been obvious from my writing style.

  34. @Razib. End this thread please. Carry it over to ‘Open Threads’. It’s just turning into pure politics and away from the subject matter.
    Thanks

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