56 thoughts on “Brown Pundits Reader Survey #3”

  1. Will you present the data in graphs and tabular form in newer posts to come?

    1. Last week I asked (a reward) question – what the link between the Bing’s image is (appeared on PC screen after turning on) of Stonehenge and Jats. That guy almost gave a right answer. If you put the ruler on the map you can see what is in the middle. Celts and Jats are the west and east migration wings of the same group of people. Druids are actually, Drewids (i.e. in Serbian – Tree-ids) because they conducted their service under the trees. Stonehenge is in a Wiltshire which got its name from the Serbian tribe Wiltsa which migrated to this area. The capital city is Salisbury, its old name was Serbarium. In brief, Celts, Serbs and Jats are cousins. Celts and Serbs had identical names until the 13th c.AC when Celtic names, language and sports were prohibited by English (by Edward Longshanks).

        1. Yep, thank you. Celts also originated in Vinca and their mission was to go, find new land and not to come back. Their names were Geti i.e. Goths i.e. Galls. Greek (who were not white) called them Celts what meant – whites. SA researchers and ordinary people should investigate what is the link between Celts (Serbs) and Jats. I presented one their path from Balkan via Egypt to India. There is so many information about them engraved on pharaoh’s tombstones. I also mentioned a destruction of their former town Kedem (now in Israel). Hopefully, one day Razibishka will confirm or negate these linkages from the genetics point of view. I also mentioned that Celts had identical names with Serbs until the 13 c.AC when their language, names and sports were prohibited by law. However, there are so many Serbian toponyms in UK which were brought by Celts. Some Serbian names remained among Irish. For example – Tara. Bruce (Springsteen) is also a Serbian name meaning ‘whetstone’ – a stone wheel which is used for sharpening of axes and knives. Interesting, isn’t it? I am sure that he (and Bruce Willis) would be surprised if they knew the meaning of their names.

  2. Weird to see people talk about caste in this Blog and when time came to enter it they didn’t.

  3. The spreadsheet format of results is a great idea! Where there is an excel, can a pivot be far away?? 🙂

    I just had to verify some of my own anecdotal observations with the data in the sheet.

    1. Most of the respondents from OBCs/ShD identify as Centre/ Right. A very small number identifies as Left. Within my own community, I can sometimes glimpse this understanding. Socialism is “status-quoist” and preserves privilege for the upper castes while a centrist/reforms-oriented right opens the doors for many of the locked-out communities.

    2. This one puzzles me. Most of the respondents who think Hindu Nationalism is bad identify with “No Religion”. Unless there is an undefined bias or a masking effect in play, this makes no sense. What competing values/interests could make this play out in reality?

  4. Interesting note, 3 out 4 sikhs think hindu nationalism is a good thing, and the fourth took a view of “mixed”. Diaspora leftists try to position sikhs as part of some subaltern resistance collective. That conception feels really dated for people in India.

    1. LOL, this reminded me of a Sikh friend who felt Hindu Nationalism is too mild, He was like, Bro you need to get more jaats into the fold, too many baniyas, leading the pack.

  5. Amusing to see a couple of responses which identified their jati as Patel, yet identified their caste as Vaishya, when Patels are among the most well known/prominent peasant (Shudra) castes of India. Either they have advanced so much socially/economically that these Patels now abandon their origins and identify with ritually higher Varnas, or they think they’re Vaishya because their family owns businesses, or this is a typical diaspora vagueness in understanding of their own history.

    1. Kem cho.

      I put Shudra for varna, didn’t answer for jati. I am a ‘Patidar’.

      I remember at one point as a teenager, based on internet research. I told my dad we are Shudras. He was like nah Shudras are different.

      More recently with some patidars agitating for affirmative action in gujarat. He told me seems you were correct. haha.

      So i think there is some unawareness, to fair my dad is 3rd gen in his family to become an engineer so he is also a ‘Patidar in name only’. Possibly more ignorant than average about caste stuff.

      Personally I kinda identify most with the nomadic scheduled caste Indian groups based on amount of travel pre-covid, and hopefully post-covid as well.

      1. Patels are shudras and cluster on average with mid caste S Indians like Reddys and Kammas. But their cluster is extremely wide. I have seen some Patels who look like NW agricultural tribes and are like 35% S Indian on Harrapa and then other Patels who look like tamil dalits and are like 65% S Indian. The range is incredible. They are truly some of the most diverse people on the subcontinent. It might explain some of their Pan nationalism with figures like Sardar Patel

      2. “So i think there is some unawareness, to fair my dad is 3rd gen in his family to become an engineer so he is also a ‘Patidar in name only’.”

        In many regions i feel there is now a demarcation of upper OBC and lower OBCs. My OBC family has many members married to UCs and that too in pre 90s India. Patidars, Yadavs, Marathas marrying with UC isnt news. So in a way i guess ur dad is correct that Shudras are different. Also i think the term Shudra is no more in vogue in N-India at least, and is more prevalent in sanksritized S-Indian stuff.

        P.S The first time i was called a shudra was from S-Indian guy in school, and laughed it off , even though he was correct. LOL

        1. “Shudra is no more in vogue in N-India at least, and is more prevalent in sanksritized S-Indian stuff.”

          Interesting, I was listening to some arguments the patels were making to obtain OBC status in Gujarat (which ultimately failed)

          Seemed obvious to me the guy advocating it would mention Shudra status and use that identity to bolster their case as being non-forward caste.

          But the guy just kept talking about how some farmers are poor, not everyone has a lot of land, lives in the city, etc.

          Seemed strange to me that he would not embrace Shudra varna.

          Might have won over the woke crowd in the west to their cause…

          BTW I don’t have a dog in the reservation fight personally, but all of my family seems to be anti-reservation afaik

        2. “i feel there is now a demarcation of upper OBC and lower OBCs. ”

          This is unfortunate to be honest.

          India needs less demarcated caste group nonsense not more.

          50% or so of cousins in my generation who live in India are married outside their caste and outside linguistic group as well.

          i am hoping the trend continues. caste is an unnecessary layer of stupidity.

        3. “Interesting, I was listening to some arguments the patels were making to obtain OBC status in Gujarat (which ultimately failed)”

          So that;s where it ties to my reference of upper and lower OBC.

          Patidars ARE categorized as OBCs in India, already. Just like Marathas and Lingayats. But they were non reserved OBCs . The reason y Patidars agitation did not use the word Shudra because first its not understood anymore in N-India (shudras are more dalits now and since dalits have their own category , no one uses shudra) , and despite how much all OBCs would want reservation, they still have enough ego/self identity to not associate themselves as shudras.

          P.S: the last time shudras was used by prominent guy was ex CM of UP, Akhilesh Yadav, and soon he backtracked as soon as it was pointed out that he is married to a Thakur.

      3. haha, I’ve had the exact same conversation with my parents when i was younger.

  6. I am learning a lot here from Saurav, caste stuff is so confusing to me.

    So another couple of questions, no offence intended to any community or person.

    I love you all and have no emotional attachment to this stuff personally. Just curious about this opaque topic.

    When I look up Vaishya varna Wikipedia entry it’s seems to fit agriculturalists and pastoralists how did it come to mean moneylender?

    Also what’s up with the Rajputs? They are basically a made up caste from the Middle Ages. How come they are considered legitimate Kshatriyas? But Marathas and Jatts are not?

    Also why are there so many endogamous Sub-categories of every damn group ? I have a fob friend who claims he is 4 different subcastes of Marathi Brahmin. And he told me one of them is the ‘highest’. I forgot which one.

    1. Patels are shudra

      Vanias are vaishya. Vaishya were land owners and partook in agricultural trade early on but moved to cities. shudras became big land owners later.

      Rajputs are kshtria

      Brahmins are Brahmins

      there are two levels of shudra. Forward caste and backward caste. Forward caste are the shudras who obtained power via land ownership. Backwards caste are shudras who are functionally peasants.

      Dalits are the lowest of the low peasants

      Schedules tribes are tribals outside of society

      Shudras and Rajputs have a big variation in genetics btw. There were empires headed by both. Power dynamics shifted a lot. Vaishya and Brahmins more stable.

      Wiki says vaishya traders in “grains and spices” that was moreso original loan. Also money lenders are often land owners. What do you confiscate when people don’t pay loans? The collateral aka the land.

      Also, mostly patels got land ownership in non monarchy era. Monarchy era the king owns the land. The rest are peasant farmers, warriors, artisans, and merchants.

      Patels were peasant farmers. But they have majority Gujarat population. and India had big land reforms. So over time, they have obtained a shit ton of power in Gujarat.

      Google old British census of Gujarat. Upper caste was defined only as Rajput, Brahmin, and Vania.

      1. “Also, mostly patels got land ownership in non monarchy era. Monarchy era the king owns the land. The rest are peasant farmers, warriors, artisans, and merchants.”

        AFAIK Patels used to be a pretty poor community till the early parts of 20th century. There are still some residual communities of Gujarati Patels in Bihar who went there to find work. This will sound absurd today.
        (Or at least used to be till 15-20 years ago)

        They are OBCs equivalent in status to Kurmis of north India. Some Kurmi politicians talk about a pan-Kurmi alliance but I don’t that has worked out. Nitish Kumar is a Kurmi politician. Gangwars, Sachan are some common UP Kurmi surnames.
        But Patels are a hardworking group and transformed the land that they got. They used that to migrate to the US and bootstrap the community.

        Kheda district, which is the epicentre of migrants in US has some of the best cultivated lands in Gujarat, almost reminiscent of Punjab. Sardar Patel was also from this region.

        Pop history based on my stay in Anand in the late 90s. Anand was earlier a part of Kheda district but was carved out as a separate one for administrative purposes.

        Even in the 90s, Anand seemed different from the rest of the country. Most of my classmates had some NRI relatives. We even had one of the earliest Pizza Huts in the country. Folks from Baroda would come over to have pizza there.

        1. Accurate in so far as Patels = Kurmis* (Kanbi in guarati)

          Patel was a title that is fairly similar to Desai or Amin which are still used by many kanbi patidars.

          But in the 1800s all kanbis got land under British land reforms. The British were attempting to maximize productivity and tax revenue and they felt kanbis were more industrious.

          So they all co-opted the title and also became more sanskritized overall.


          * Well there are also non-Kanbi patels. Of these the Jatt Patels (Anjana Patels) and Koli Patels are the most common. But still a small minority. There are a few Parsis who use Patel as a surname as well, but very uncommon.

          Hope that clears it up. re: Patels

          1. patel sir name is also used by some lingayaths. patil which is a derivative of patel is widely used in lingayat community in north karnataka.

        1. when economies developed. all trade was in agriculture before. when economies matured. the peasant shurdras became land owners as vaishya became more urban

          1. Nothing to do with Jainism and Ahimsa ?

            Jains are discouraged from agricultural work for religious reasons

            You are probably aware many Vanias used to be Jainas before ‘converting’ to Vaishanva Hinduism under the Bhakti movement.

            Seems like there might be some connection there.

          2. “when economies developed. all trade was in agriculture before. when economies matured. the peasant shurdras became land owners as vaishya became more urban”

            Sill doesn’t make sense to be honest. Banias are a very successful group but they don’t really map to the Vaishiya varna per Hindu scripture.

            Manusmriti just says Vaishiyas “raise cattle”

            Mahabharata defines Vaishiya as:
            ” those who were inclined to cattle rearing and living off the plough”

            at one point in the Mahabharata as part of the Gita it says:
            “Agriculture, cattle-rearing and trade are the duties of the Vaishyas”

            Correct me if I am wrong, but don’t think there is any record of extensive Bania pastoralists, or landholders in Gujarat, Rajasthan or Punjab at any point in history. And still none to this day.

            Doesn’t make sense that a varana described as ‘agriculturalists and pastor-lists completely disappears from its traditional occupations.
            And 100% of them become pure moneylenders / merchants, many of whom practice a religion that discourages agriculture.

      2. Also why are there so many endogamous groups in India. When hindu scripture lists 4 ?

        Like I mentioned earlier there are more than 4 endogamous groups of Brahmins in Maharashtra alone. How did that come about ?

        No one seems to have answers to what are in my view interesting questions about caste.

        1. because caste was initially more fluid and unstable. many little kingdoms and groups formed. it froze in time around 2000 years ago around the time of the Guptas. Before that endogamy was less strictly enforced. Different kingdoms and cultures developed with mixing. It all froze in time then

        2. I am aware. My family is Jain lol. We are not supposed to identify with caste. But many guju jains do. Most are vania.

        3. There are five and half (and not four) endogamous marathi brahmin communities. The half is counting the ones who consider themselves halfway between kshatriya and brahmin.

          If you ask any of them, they will tell their community is at the top. So you know right away how much to believe in that. Deshastha are considered the local brahmins. So their plane landed first in pune from serbia as our serbian uncle iamMT would point out. The other subgroups have their own origins with migration to MH proper at different later times.

          So what are the implication of having so many subgroup in single varna? One would expect one big caste atleast in case of brahmins or vaniyas if they appeared on the scene in one event and restructured the society in light of their philosophy.

          I think this just tells that the caste is much more deep rooted than varna in subcontinent and it most probably predates the indo aryans themselves. Periyar guys will be sad to know that they cant wash their hands of it. After brahmins are long gone from power in south the castes live on. The rest is power play with one group trying to control other group given their relative strength.

          It has proved unfortunately to be resistant to countless invasions and disruptions. It has even transcends the religious conversion events. Hopefully we will see the end of it.

      1. I am quite familiar with Patels lol

        After rise in prosperity under the British, due to land reforms aimed at streamlining taxation.

        They are also a well studied caste by Anthropologists in terms of invention of tradition and sanskritization as all the Gujarati kunbis rose in socio-economic status and adopted the ‘patidar’ title.

        Because it happened very recently, I was just wondering if similar shifts have happened in the past. Where entire groups of people rose or fell in the caste hierarchy.

        I think Rajputs are one such example probably.

        Brahmins are the most stable probably followed by Banias.

        Currently the ‘patels’ (leuva / kadva patidars) do NOT have OBC status in Gujarat @saurav is incorrect in that regard,

        Here is a list of castes with OBC and other status in Gujarat

        1. yes rajputs were quite unstable. Hence loterally every single caste in Punjab outside of Brahmins, baniyas, and dalits claiming rajput.

          Arains, jats, khatris, etc. all do

        2. Arre, in India there are communities considered OBC reserved category AND a larger OBC Community. For example Marathas, Jats, Kapus and Patels fall in the 2nd category. They do not get reservation, that need not mean they are not OBC.

          The Patidars are analogous to Patels of UP as well who are Kurmis (OBCs in UP).

          Finally, its widely accepted in India that UC community in every state is roughly 15-20 on average. If Patels are considered UCs than they alone are roughly 15 percent of pops. If Marathas are considered that makes UC pops 50 percent. So on and so forth. So we would need a different formulation altogether then.

          1. India is a big place there is variation between states.

            In Gujarat, in particular, Kurmis / Patels are not on either reservation or non-reservation OBC lists.

            Here is a “List of O.B.C. Communities meant for Central Government reservation” (reservation OBC)


            Here is a “List of Socially and Educationally Backward Classes declared by Gujarat State” (larger non-reservation OBC as you call it)


            Seems in Bihar / UP Kurmis are on a larger non-reservation list which is causing confusion. But in Gujarat they are not based on the primary sources I just linked above.

  7. I think following options can be updated
    Caste Identity
    Others > ‘Blank space to fill’

    Mother Tongue
    Others > ‘Blank space to fill’

    This is because our caste identity is Rajput and we would never refer ourselves as Kshatriya.
    Also, I was surprised to not find Bhojpuri in the mother tongue section.

  8. 15 out of the 28 left leaning (left/center left/far left) subcontinental origin people seem to think Hindu Nationalism is Good or Mixed.

    Seems pretty high to me.

    1. Prats, this one doesn’t surprise me. Hindu nationalism isn’t incompatible with a welfare state/social democracy. I’m skeptical of viewing it as a conservative movement, as it doesn’t try to preserve or restore a traditional social order in the way that western conservatives aim to. Even if we take a very cynical view of hindu nationalists, and assume they are covertly pursuing brahminical hegemony, it isn’t as though an absolute brahmin-bania hegemony has existed in recent historical memory in most regions.

      1. @Girmit

        “I’m skeptical of viewing it as a conservative movement, as it doesn’t try to preserve or restore a traditional social order in the way that western conservatives aim to.”

        I agree. I usually think of Hindutva as a type of progressive movement. The de-emphasis (and often rejection) of caste and support for redistributive economics are pretty radical.

        I am surprised at the results mainly because I did not think self described leftists of subcontinental origin viewed it as such. The usual image is of people who are stridently against anything RSS or BJP.

        Seeing as most of these are based in North America, I think an explanation might be that they are Democratic Party supporters who would be classified as being on the right by Indian standards.

  9. most of the developed world is a brahmin bania hegemony. Look at who runs the US…

    Pak is a warrior caste run state and that is a big reason it hasn’t hit potential.

    Bangla has gone shudra manufacturing route

    1. warlock, i don’t see the west or japan that way. If anything, they are warriors par excellence. Bania isn’t really businessman/industrialist as much as it is merchant/trader, and the distinction is important. Some may even suggest that the weakness of indian manufacturing is due to the industries being undertakings of merchants integrating the production side of the value chain, rather than craftsmen expanding and scaling. The industrial revolution in the west was not an undertaking of moneylenders alone. When it comes to “brahmins”, the anglo world at least has a huge skepticism of credentials and bureaucracy. So we have CEOs and founders with unfinished degrees and we let private sector leaders float into civil and foreign service. The french are a bit different with their grand ecoles and standardization of everything. But the characterisation of the west or the US in particular as a knowledge society must also accommodate its eclectic pragmatism. I do agree with what is being frequently editorialised upon in recent years in saying the US has become a stratified society with a sanctimonious haute managerial class that assortively mates and acts as a gatekeeper of opportunities. But still, the common trumpian amercan rejects this and sees it as the effete degeneracy that it is, the fetishisation of knowledge. The latter does evolve into an abstruse brahminism but anglo folk are too practical not to undo it.

      1. good points. I agree except for the fact that the Japanese military was castrated post WWII

  10. More importantly the system should allow for mobility between the groups. The knowledge or merchant class cannot be allowed to be fenced by select group. If it is gets frozen and passed on by birth in these select group, it is destined to fail sooner or later.

    That is true to some extent for today’s stratified US society but definitely true for Indian society where it is long overdue by millennia

  11. ” Hindu nationalism isn’t incompatible with a welfare state/social democracy. ”

    Hindu nat main grouse against the left is the social view rather than economical. The current Indian govt has only expanded the social welfare programs of the previous regimes.

    There are some differences though. They do want a welfare state BUT for its own people (Hindus) first. Also they are more right (as much as possible) economically than Left, due to their brahmin-bania base who after 90s have totally ceded public domain (to OBC/Dalits) and moved to private enterprise. So you would get some reforms (GST, IBC , labor and agriculture etc) still. But it has also resulted in total collapse of the public sector like Healthcare , education which is expected when the elites start establishing private islands.

    1. I agree, although it might be helpful to see hindu nationalists as a collection of different movements that are cohabitating under the BJP/NDA. Theres a dominating anti-marxist current in it for sure, i’d even say its more essential than islamoskepticism. The latter needs to be milked only as long as it takes for a credible pan-hindu national identity to form. The anti-marxism doesn’t go so far as libertarianism in any way, and is very statist.

      1. “The anti-marxism doesn’t go so far as libertarianism in any way,”

        Any political party which wants to remain competitive in India will be somewhat left of center, within that spectrum BJP is the most right. The best example is even when throughout the world all nations are paying upto 10 percent of GDP as cash transfers/subsidies, the current BJP govt is holding its nerve and acting fiscally as responsible as possible. This is what a critic of this govt has to say


        “Thanks to this focus on liquidity support and risk underwriting instead of across-the-board spending, India’s debt might remain under control instead of exploding. Most importantly, Modi’s government has not been foolish enough to reverse decades of painful institutional reform and demand the central bank start monetizing its debt

        Caution is wise. Unlike many of their global peers, India’s policymakers seem to recognize that, faced with an unprecedented emergency, their primary responsibility is to keep things stable until it is clear how best to intervene. It’s not to dissolve one institutional constraint after another on the pretext of fighting this crisis.

        Modi’s economic record has been far from exceptional, so how has his government proven so astute at this moment? Perhaps it’s because the prime minister himself is something of a fiscal hawk. For now, look to Modi’s India as a global example, not a disappointment.”

  12. Did Chinese troops cross into Indian territory and injure a number of Indian troops in the last day

  13. Razib is recreating a virtual Indian world here according to the shastras, a modern one that allows for the inclusion of Syeds, as well as sub-divisions based on self-assessment to form categories not included in the original caste system (e.g. forward/backward obc). It is not necessarily an innovation because Indians have always further divided their caste groups into subcategories not founded in the religious texts, Kayastha is only one example, but consider Gaud Brahmins, Saraswat Brahmin etc, and then Rajput which is neither fish nor fowl. There must be thousands of them
    The purpose of such categorization in a forum like this one can only be sociological, enabling Razib to study responses to issues caste wise. Genetically, as he himself as often demonstrated none of the castes are amenable to categorization. Brahmins are not one category across India, neither are Rajputs, nor the Dalits. If they discover genes for valour, intelligence or commerce some day it may be possible to find correlates in the castes associated with these attributes, and confirm that the categorization was scientifically accurate, but till then we are forced to go by the record. That shows that Brahmins are intelligent, Banias money minded and Rajputs fighters, but how do we know how much of these qualities is due to nurture and how much to nature. If Brahmin stock came from the original thinking types, and Rajputs from the aggressive sorts then their offspring are likely to resemble their parents in behaviour, thereby setting up a category. Rajputs and Brahmins were bred for fighting or thinking – Nothing divine about that, only tautological – Banias cannot help making money then, they were bred to it. (Though, going by the marks obtained at the entrance exams to Medical and Engineering colleges the Banias beat Brahmins by a wide margin in brains as well).
    The trouble of course was that all Brahmin kids are not intelligent, just as all Rajput offspring are not fighter cocks. When a Brahmin boy showed a fighting spirit and a disinclination to studies, he was (and is) cast aside as a dullard, just as a thinking Rajput child got hammered for being a coward. A chamar’s son had to be a chamar.
    Along with various mathematical and philosophical discoveries the Brahmin thinkers created the Indian world, by defining categories and gave them names. The caste system may have served some purpose before it transmuted into a breeding experiment probably, if not one to preserve benefits for unintelligent offspring who would not make it on their own, and it prevented untold numbers of Indians in 100 generations from following their true vocation. These categories, we know today, are not always true or even mostly true, except perhaps to the extent that there is value in Social Darwinism. Modern Indians who post on this site according to caste categories are displaying a Pavlovian response that Razib’s questionnaire will capture. The five kinds of Maharashtrian Brahmin and the Patel history have value as objects of antiquarian enquiry; relicts of an outmoded model of society that is as accurate as the geocentric theory of the universe. Yet some Indians continue to discuss human behaviour as if these categories are real even when, the genetics des not validate them. As a wise man once said, the nation that distinguishes between the thinking man and the fighting man is apt to have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.

  14. I am just one of the 2 of the Iyengars in the list. The other guy is a god believer , so that leaves me out in line 20.

    1. Well after the Dravidian purge i am surprised that there were still 2 left from ur tribe 😛

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