Pass the samosa, spare the postcolonialism

Edward Said’s Orientalism was a work of scholarship. I think it was a very mixed work of scholarship (better as a critique than a plausible interpretation of the facts, in keeping with the author’s expertise as a literary scholar rather than a historian). But it was one of the later 20th century works which ruminated on the impact and power of the colonial experience.

Its influence has echoed down through the past two generations, and not to good effect. One could actually understand the argument of Orientalism. The argument of much of mass-level postcolonialism is inchoate, while its academic variety is insular and unintelligible.

Consider this piece from The Juggernaut, Keeping Up with Cultural Appropriation:

What qualifies as cultural appropriation is complicated — some advocate for cultural sharing, while others call it cultural theft. Cultural appropriation is “taking intellectual property, traditional knowledge, cultural expressions, or artifacts from someone else’s culture without permission,” according to Susan Scafidi, the founder of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School, in her book Who Owns Culture: Appropriation and Authenticity in American Law. This “taking” can occur in a variety of ways, from creative collaborations to cringe-inducing Halloween costumes.

Taking cultural elements without permission from a less predominant culture in a specific context is at the heart of appropriation. “It involves a culture with relatively more economic, social, or political power taking from a culture with less power, and so it involves an unequal relation,” explained Rina Arya, professor of visual culture and theory at the University of Huddersfield.

First, as an empirical matter, the individuals of a “less predominant culture” who object to cultural appropriation are invariably privileged, deracinated, and Diasporan or Diasporic in their cultural influence. People who reside in Japan, for example, have no problem with white people wearing kimonos. Instead, it is Asian American activists. Therefore, you have the farce a few years ago of an Indian American woman explaining to a Japanese art curator why white people in kimonos is “problematic.”

There are two points of this post:

– Is there anything of value in 2020 in the way postcolonialist academia views the world? I’d stay no. What’s the “postcolonial” angle on Chinese aggression Ladakh? Yes, the British borders matter, but note that the Manchus invaded Nepal without the influence of white people. Academic postcolonialism is sterile, offers no novel insights, and frankly centers white people and Europeans to a degree that is idolatrous.

– Second, mass-postcolonialism with its concepts such as “cultural appropriation” is not fertile toward cultural creativity. Rather, it promotes a vague and unclear essentialist idea of cultures, societies, and presumes a lack of dynamism and a static element of power relations. The Romans conquered Greece, but in their turn, they were conquered by Greek culture. One could say they “appropriated” Greek culture, but the synthetic glories of Greco-Roman art and thought would not be possible without the “appropriation.”

Contrast the above piece with another one from The Juggernaut, “Not Indian Enough”. Yes, it trades in some signaling to woke shibboleth, but it explores an interesting topic that is genuinely novel and not simply a rearrangement of cognitive furniture.

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123 Replies to “Pass the samosa, spare the postcolonialism”

  1. I feel the same woke Indians who cry apportion here (in the west) on white folks, are themselves seen as white (not Indian enough) back in India.

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  2. It is rather underwhelming to see a lack of reference to Gandhi while parsing a dismissal of post-colonialism’s utility. After all, he is considered by many, including Mandela, as the father (no capitals) of the Post-Colonial.

    His theory of non-violence completely bypassed the traditional prescription of a violent Marxist uprising as the only answer to colonialism (Fanon). In doing this, Gandhi achieved an enduring legacy that is visible on a daily basis to 1.5 billion people.

    Your premise may be right when applied to pure theoreticians. Gandhi was a practitioner, as was Mandela and their stamp is visible in practical applications from environmental science to frugal engineering .

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    1. Malcolm X reply re non violence

      In India, it was an elephant sitting on a mouse.
      In the US it would a mouse trying to sit on an Elephant

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  3. gandhi is substantively relevant to the first half of the 20th century. the civil rights movement was about internal decolonialization.

    i don’t think these figures/movements/ideas are relevant for 2020. the great challenge of this century will be dealing with the asian-recentering of the world’s geopolitics.

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    1. Gandhi’s clarity in divining a post-colonial world and the roles Indians could play for themselves without any need for colonial overlordship – and then communicating this successfully to the whole body of Indian intellectual class/masses – was revolutionary.

      It seems simple enough now in 2020, but many Indians then couldn’t imagine governance without a British hand in it. Gandhi deftly sidestepped Savarkar, Bose and Bhagat Singh – the likes of whom he correctly diagnosed as Indians yearning for equality in European power structures. His major success was preventing or delaying the conversion of the urge to self-rule from matemorphosing to equal treatment.

      African-Americans have not experienced a similar “Gandhian” apotheosis. They are still struggling with 20th century problems, failing miserably with the “hand-me-down” frameworks of King – whose only object was to become “equal to the Whites”.

      If anything, I see that African Americans need a century of Gandhian self-rule within a geographical enclave in the North American continent to heal and re-form. I have a long running suspicion that the Black cultural reception of Wakanda represents a proto-belief in that direction.

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  4. Indian people don’t really mind when other nations modify aspects of Indian culture and take it up as their own, they lack the Abrahamic mindset of “don’t do it that way, this is how you do it right” and the culture functions more as an open-source kernel where innovation and fusion with other traditions are not opposed and sometimes celebrated.

    Buddhism and Hinduism are versatile, yoga can be modified, spices have innumerable permutations in cuisine, philosophical discussions are open and not subject to coercion, fusion music and dance is popular, Indians don’t feel like a “less predominant culture” within the subcontinent itself, it’s up, front and centre, so people are comfortable enough in their skin for others to pick up the baton.

    “taking…from someone else’s culture without permission” take permission from who exactly? No one’s trademarked any of the above unless it’s a special recipe or a music album. Is this similar to an Anglo-Indian demanding that his permission is taken before Indians start putting on suits? Lots of important things would never happen if innovators had to take permission from everyone, like salsa dancing.

    Is there a glut of seats/students for these courses at universities? Perhaps that might explain why they have to search for new issues, there may be an oversupply and the market hasn’t performed a correction yet. For many middle-class Indians, the writers discussing these things might as well be living on another planet.

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    1. Yeah dont talk about religion. This post isn’t about that.
      If i wear Jeans and Shirt that means i am culturally appropriating the west.
      I would be happy infect if western people wear indian/ subcontinental clothes.

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  5. ronen, don’t make everything dharmic vs. abrahamic. it’s old.

    really 99.9% of ppl don’t know what the hell these ppl are talking about.

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    1. Yes, in hindsight I see that the comparison was unnecessary.

      Cultural appropriation makes more sense for African and Native Americans who didn’t have much of a voice until recent history because of the power distance. The Indians were willing migrants, and the ones who talk about these things tend to be from privileged sections as you say, so it wouldn’t be as relevant in their context. Especially since a majority of Indians are ok with it.

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    2. While, the stress on religion might be passe, I have experienced the interiors of Indian households to be more eclectic than those of the West. Especially at the level of upper middle classes. In India such households had no theme. Czech crystal and Raja Ravi Verma coexisted happily.

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  6. They always focus on the power dynamic part. Otherwise cultural appropriation is almost always non whites utilizing white culture and inventions.

    There was an interesting discussion on American BBQ. A lot of blacks feel they invented it because slaves did the cooking when in reality BBQ is a Amerindian thing appropriated by Europeans and made better with European ingredients and methods (lots of German and Czech influence in Texas for example).

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    1. BBQ: Not just US First Nations invention.

      Just age old hunter type gather cooking all over the world.

      In Mid east, lamb sheep will be spit roasted over a slow fire.

      In the US, often parties, specially Hispanic and African American will have a pigling roasted on an open fire spit.
      Dangerous, if not cooked properly or pig that forage in human garbage. Trichonosis.

      Roast pig, lamb etc was common in Europe.
      Barbecue, is just a step to make the process faster.

      http://www.innatthecrossroads.com/suckling-pig-in-plum-sauce/

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      1. I think you’re confusing American BBQ with grilling in general. BBQ is not just a step to make the process faster. In fact its the exact opposite. It relies on the concept of cooking “low and slow” (low temperatures and slow cooking times). This isn’t really found anywhere other than the US from what I know.

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        1. Quite the opposite I think to slow cooking. Americans like their meat charred on the outside, and pink or bloody inside. It is done on heat high enough to char but not cooked long enough to cook the insides. It is possible in the West because they eat young animals bred for tenderness. Indian grilling is the opposite. We don’t like our grilled meats charred, which happens in kabab shops with heavy business. That is when we get heavily seared meat which is tough to eat because the insides are still not done.
          The best Indian grills are slow cooking without much or hardly any sear on the outside but cooked through within. It is also a necessity because Indian meat is tough.

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  7. They always focus on the power dynamic part. Otherwise cultural appropriation is almost always non whites utilizing white culture and inventions.

    There was an interesting discussion on American BBQ. A lot of blacks feel they invented it because slaves did the cooking when in reality BBQ is a Amerindian thing appropriated by Europeans and made better with European ingredients and methods (lots of German and Czech influence in Texas for example).

    Also I thought Gurkas were East Eurasian.
    This guy looks very Indian.

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

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    1. “Also I thought Gurkas were East Eurasian.
      This guy looks very Indian.”

      Gorkhas are a group of hill tribes who collectively acquired the “Gorkha” identity barely 250 years ago in the wake of conquest of Nepal by Shah dynasty. Previously they simply went by their tribal identities like Gurung, Magar etc.

      Interestingly enough, Nepali elites belonging to Brahmin and Chhetri castes are usually not known as Gorkhas. So the Nepali royal family, being a high caste Chhetri, were not Gorkhas in the strict sense.

      That being said, the subject in question probably has east asian genes in him. All hill Nepalis, including Brahmins, display a hint of east asian blood in them. Last king of Nepal, a direct descendant of Prithvi Narayan Shah clearly showed E asian bloodlines.

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

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      1. No surprise. Can’t live in close proximity without mixing. Clearly East Asians settled the highest valleys first. But I would imagine the Terai and plains areas were settled by AASI first and then Indo-Aryans followed by admixture with Sino-Tibetans.

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    1. I agree attribution is the real issue. Exchange is not a big deal…

      For eg. contributions of African Americans tended to filter out to the masses via White intermediaries who often refined and added to the ideas / music / style etc.

      African Americans were treated like second class citizens and there is a racist narrative that they are not just born into unfortunate circumstances but are actually limited by something inherent in their being.

      Then people who hold to far right narratives then use lack of African American contributions as an excuse to justify their beliefs in how they are inherently incapable completely ignorant of AfAm contributions.

      There are lots of examples like this, it’s not always a black vs white thing.

      Then there is also colonial mentality where people start of have insecurities about their own worth of that of their people. Which can manifest in many ways.

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      1. Highest prison population in the world.

        While the United States represents about 4.4 percent of the world’s population, it houses around 22 percent of the world’s prisoners. Corrections (which includes prisons, jails, probation, and parole) cost around $74 billion in 2007 according to the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.

        Then add for profit prisons to the mix.

        Even Canada, the disparity between First Nation vs Colonialist Invaders and Immigrants is huge.

        eg:
        a) 30% of Prison population, while only 5% of Canada’s population
        b) 15 year life expectancy disparity

        The best being that Canada and partner US considers itself the moral police of the world. Now that the US is no longer in the UNHCR, Canada is the one pushing the resolutions in UNHCR against Sri Lan

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        1. “Now that the US is no longer in the UNHCR, Canada is the one pushing the resolutions in UNHCR against Sri Lan”

          the war that sri lankan army waged against the tamil rebels was one of the “dirtiest” war in the recent memory. in the closing stage of the war 40 thousand people were crammed into a narrow strip of land and they were all done to death. god only knows how many of those were fighters and how many were just civilians.

          at least someone is speaking on their behalf. the silence of other countries, including india, is shameful.

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          1. closing stage of the war 40 thousand people were crammed into a narrow strip of land and they were all done to death.

            5,000; 10,000; 40,000 and 100,000 are numbers that are thrown around. Of course, those throwing the numbers have no clue.

            So lets pick a number, 10,000. A human body is approx half a meter wide. So to bury 10,000 dead, you need a 5 km trench. Do you realize haw long it takes to dig a 5km trench.

            Again no clue as to how many bombs would be needed to kill 40,000. The estimated dead in Nagasaki was 40K-80K.

            Anyway, Canada and the West can make all the resolutions they want. The West and the UN are becoming irrelevant as events unfold.

            And just to remind you, Scorpion, the LTTE was trained by India. Thats why Sri Lankans will never trust India.

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          2. @sbarrkum, i know in these kind of stories people of have a tendency to throw up random figures, but the 40,000 figure i quoted comes not from some cheap conspiracy theory website, but from the UN. this figure first appeared in a report of the UN secretary general’s panel of experts on sri lanka. The whole report is available on the internet here.

            https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Report_of_the_Secretary-General%27s_Panel_of_Experts_on_Accountability_in_Sri_Lanka/Executive_Summary

            I will simply post the relevant para…

            137. In the limited surveys that have been carried out in the aftermath of the conflict, the percentage of people reporting dead relatives is high. A number of credible sources have estimated that there could have been as many as 40,000 civilian deaths. Two years after the end of the war, there is still no reliable figure for civilian deaths, but multiple sources of information indicate that a range of up to 40,000 civilian deaths cannot be ruled out at this stage. Only a proper investigation can lead to the identification of all of the victims and to the formulation of an accurate figure for the total number of civilian deaths.

            and your calculations regarding the length of burial trenches etc are meaningless. an army conducting war time atrocities will not allow the courtesy of burials in neat rows to its victims. they will simply cremate the bodies, or bury them in large pits stacked on top of each other. (the way nazis and soviets used to dispose their victims).

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          3. Sbarkkum is a good example of “people love other people’s liberals but not their own”. Or other countries’ leftists / freedom fighters etc but not their own.
            He keeps going on and on about Shudra oppression in India while simultaneously claiming most of what he perceives to be good about Indian as having come from Shudras..( Hello Buddha was a blue bloods Kshatriya.. Chanakya who made your favorite Maurya empire was a Brahmin. most of Buddha’s early disciples were Brahmins and Vaishyas)..but when it comes to Sinhalese vs Tamils ( all Shudras and non Info Aryan ) there is no end to the justifications about what was a truly brutal campaign waged by the Sri Lankan military.
            India did train the LTTE for a brief time but then sacrificed thousands of soldiers and a PM trying to do the right thing. And for three decades has done nothing but stay out of the mess or sometimes help the Sinhalese ( Buddha’s Ahimsa message has clearly not been internalized by the Sinhalese). He says the Sinhalese will never forget India’s one decade worth of support for the LTTE ( although their genesis is in Tamil suppression by the Buddhists). I say India should not forget the 100s of thousands of Tamils killed by the Sri Lankan government . They were humans too and at least more related to Tamil Indians even if they are all Shudras too ( Tamil Shudras don’t get love from sbarrkum).
            Sbarrkum – if you are reading this , don’t take it personally. Just pointing out the hypocrisy ( always hard to see your own) . I do enjoy all your posts and look forward to more:)

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          4. but multiple sources of information indicate that a RANGE of UP TO 40,000 civilian deaths cannot be ruled out at this stage.

            UN basically saying, we dont know jack shit.

            Remember, the is the UN that said Iraq has WMD and allowed invasion. Ditto with Libya.

            Scorpion If I were you I would worry about
            a) All those Muslims being killed by Hindus a
            b) Occupation of Kashmir (why not allow UN in)
            c) Getting your Infant mortality down*
            d) More toilets and less public defecation
            e) Get ready for the Pandemic deaths

            Anyway because of high Infant mortality, 5 million children/year die.

            Here are a few numbers
            India Infant mortality 130/1,000 (1960) and 37/1,000 (2015)
            Sri Lanka Infant mortality 72/1,000 (1960) and 8/1,000 (2015)
            China Infant mortality 9/1,000 (2015)

            Birth rate in India is 19.3/1,000.
            i.e. We use a billion as Indias population, then 193,000,000 births per year.

            Now for that means India has 28/1,000 more infant deaths more than China (37-9)
            Thats and astounding 5,404,000 (5 million infant deaths)
            193,000,000*28/1,000= 5,404,000.00

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          5. justanotherlurker
            India did train the LTTE for a brief time but then sacrificed thousands of soldiers and a PM trying to do the right thing.

            India was trying to carve out a separate state or at least a Federal territory that would be its client do Indias bidding.

            India trying to do the right thing
            Maybe thats how Indians see it. Sri Lankans see it as, India following up to ensure their territorial ambitions. The LTTE client had gone rogue and had to be corrected.

            Too bad, Indian trained LTTE, Killed Rajiv Gandhi and plus a couple of thousand Indian soldiers. The SL govt stood aside laughing their head off, and even supplied arms to the LTTE. Plenty of war crimes on Tamils by the Indian soldiers too.

            justanother, I assume you dont know I am 3/4th Tamil. There are a reasonable amount of Sri Lankan Tamils, who oppose not just secession, even a Federal Territory.

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          6. Sbarkkum is a good example of “people love other people’s liberals but not their own”. Or other countries’ leftists / freedom fighters etc but not their own.

            Ha, ha, I was just called “extreme right” from a dear friend. Now, liberal.

            I would label myself, Nationalist and quite left wing. Oppose Globalization, immigration , land reform/distribution, equal wages for my country*, Sri Lanka. I would advise the same for other countries.

            Buddha was a blue bloods Kshatriya.
            Buddha was a Prince, but not Kshatriya, no different from Chandragupta and Asoka. None of the older Buddhist texts make that claim.
            http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/02-race-mahasammata/

            *I am a Sri Lankan. No, residency,passport of any other country. I lived, studied and worked in the US for 25 years. Student visa and 3 H1B visas. No different from Sri Lankans working in Mid East.

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          7. sbarrkum:
            You misunderstand. I didn’t call you a liberal – I called out the hypocrisy of people that love other countries’ liberals but are quite “right wing” in their own country. I would agree with your friend’s assessment.

            Not sure what the Mahavamsa says but in 500BC most rulers in Bihar were Khastriya..Vardhman Mahavir a contemporary of Buddha and a Shraman himself was from a similar background. Your supposed Shudra revisionist theories don’t change the truth. Kinda fun that the supposed southern Shudras, the pure ones from Sri Lanka are following a North Indian high caste, Indo Aryan price and his religion which was nourished and spread by countless Brahmans well into the 8-9th century AD 🙂

            Secondly, your being 3/4th Tamil doesn’t have much bearing here. I had a Sri Lankan Tamil roommate in the 2000s. He had a group of Sri Lankan Tamils (as an aside, one of them was a super smart post doc at Stanford). This guy, my roommate, talked about how he hated the Sinhalese..especially after he and his family had to flee for their lives during the 84 Tamil killings in Colombo. He said he even supported the Indian cricket team against Sri Lanka until he moved to India (IIT Chennai) for his BTech and his Indian college mates would treat him as a Sri Lankan and not Indian..He had no love for Rajiv Gandhi but he absolutely hated the Sinahlese government. This is a guy whose family still lived in Colombo/Sri Lanka and who had lived there all his wife (he was not diaspora).
            More recently I came across an interview of Maitreyi Ramakrishnan a Sri Lankan Tamil Canadian actress who plays the lead in the Netflix hit Never Have I ever (by Mindy Kaling). She said something to the effect of “I don’t identify as Sri Lankan much given their treatment of my people (Tamils)”.
            Hundreds of thousands of Tamils have died, and Sinhala chauvinists have made Tamils second class citizens. So your holier than thou attitude about Shudras/Buddhist this and that is in contrast with the reality of Sri Lanka and its people. Just pointing that out.
            As far as India is concerned, India was wrong to train the LTTE but quickly course corrected and has rightly stayed away and neutral. You guys are lucky that Indians are generally rational characters focused on material advancement and not martial/conquest glory (unlike our neighbor to the West) because otherwise it would not be difficult to mess with a country of 20M whose only neighbor is India, and one with a major ethnic fault line and a highly dissatisfied minorty. India would get hurt but Sri Lanka would go back to the 80s. I don’t advocate this at all for pragmatic reasons as well as humanitarian, just pointing the obvious out.Your polticians are smarter and much more conciliatory towards India – they after all have to run the country 🙂

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          8. So your holier than thou attitude about Shudras/Buddhist this and that is in contrast with the reality of Sri Lanka and its people. Just pointing that out.

            justanotherluker,
            Why dont you fix the shit (literally) in your home country.

            If you recall, all this came about because I said, Canada (taking the baton from US) was trying to be the moral arbiter for SL.

            Anyway all the false moral posturing of the US and the west is being stripped away.

            Good luck if you live in one of those countries.

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          9. India bullies all the smaller countries in the neighborhood–Sri Lanka, Nepal, etc. Only Pakistan cannot be bullied since we have nuclear arms. Otherwise Indians would have invaded Lahore again (as they did in 65).

            “India would get hurt but Sri Lanka would go back to the 80s”– This exact attitude of trying to be the regional hegemon is why none of your neighbors like you.

            sbarrkum is right. Indians have no business criticizing any other country while continuing the Occupation of Kashmir. It’s completely hypocritical. Kashmir is the Palestine of South Asia.

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      2. African American contributions to music and food are well documented.
        No one should use a race’s contribution to justify racism.
        However, its undeniable that the majority of contributions in the ancient world came from the Southern Europe, West Asia, India and China with little to no Northern European/African contribution.

        The modern world on the other hand is built mostly by Jews and Western Europeans with some contribution from Asians (south and east).

        People shouldn’t rewrite history either.

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      3. sbarrkum:
        And regarding your glee at Indian deaths (1500), perhaps somewhat understandable, but to put in context, the Sinhalese military lost 30K plus men (as per your govt). This is in addition, presumably to thousands (tens of thousands?) of police and civilian deaths. This is about 0.2% of Sinhala population. The equivalent for India would be about 3M deaths.

        I am not counting Tamil deaths since you don’t seem to care about their casualties.

        It wasn’t cheap for you guys. And you were as brutal, as majoritarian as anyone else. The whole Shudra Buddhist thing didn’t matter when it came to your self interest and domination over a different ethnic/religious group. and it was quite expensive.

        Just adding a perspective from a different angle 🙂

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        1. Your supposed Shudra revisionist theories don’t change the truth. Kinda fun that the supposed southern

          justanotherluker,
          I assume you know a few 3rd-4th Gen Indian Eurasians. They have a tinge of European because of some long distant European ancestor. However, they think they are European

          You are no different, claiming Indo Aryan with a tinge of steppe in you. Little bit of advice, pull your pants down and examine your nether regions. If its black you have deep Shudra (AASI) ancestry. Your denial of that fact is the revisionist part.

          one with a major ethnic fault line and a highly dissatisfied minorty. India would get hurt but Sri Lanka would go back to the 80s.
          Your polticians are smarter and much more conciliatory towards India

          Current govt is polite to India. When Modi came to SL, he repeated thrice, implement 13th amendment. That is an amendment for power sharing (almost federal) forced on us by Rajiv Gandhi. Gotabya, current president completely ignored that.

          Anyway, SL has pivoted East. Now you probably realize why the govt has leased the Hambantota harbor to the Chinese. Chinese will help SL protect their assets.

          He said he even supported the Indian cricket team against Sri Lanka
          but he absolutely hated the Sinahlese government.

          I am sure there a plenty Muslims in India that hate the Hindu Govt. Probably wave the Pakistan flag too during cricket matches.

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          1. sbarrkum:

            [I assume you know a few 3rd-4th Gen Indian Eurasians. They have a tinge of European because of some long distant European ancestor. However, they think they are European

            You are no different, claiming Indo Aryan with a tinge of steppe in you. Little bit of advice, pull your pants down and examine your nether regions. If its black you have deep Shudra (AASI) ancestry. Your denial of that fact is the revisionist part.]

            For a well read guy, your understanding of Indian dynamics is quite shallow. Indians, in general, unlike the elite of our Western neighbor, don’t hark on any European/Steppe/ Non Indian ancestry. In fact, the most right wing ones insist on Out of India, asserting the full Indianness of all (but especially high caste) Indians (I think that there is not much evidence for that, but that’s a different topic)

            My point about your Shudra exceptionalism is that a) The reality of Sri Lanka belies it b) Funnily you guys follow a high caste Indian guy whose religion was spread with the assistance of many other high caste Indians..This is just an aside and a swipe at your constant harping on the Shudra nature of Sri Lanka and your purported sympathies for “Shudra oppression” in India.

            Everbody in India as AASI, which is part of both ANI and ASI..While we don’t need to get into the color of my nether regions, I am quite aware of my ancestry – more ANI but significant ASI plus some/very little NE Euro + Caucasian etc..No East Asian, or African (as per 23andMe). My ancestry is Rajput (assuming old Kshatriya + newer 1st to 5th century entrants + Shudras) + Vaishya and this is borne by clan names, traditions and written history. I am not different from other Indians, especially North Indian “Shudras”. Everybody in India is roughly the same which is why it is hard to call out one caste from another based just on looks (although inbreeding etc has had some impact). India is ruled by Shudras currently (Modi is a maha Shudra that all upper caste sing paens to) and has been may times in the historical past too..It seems Indian Shudras in general have many more achievements than from a certain southern country (though they have a cleaner country + higher HDI –> result of a smaller population,island geography etc ..similar to many such countries in Africa and the Carribean..nothing exceptional).
            While you talk about Sri Lankan historical achievements like irrigation etc, it seems your country has been quite middling overall. No notable achievements in philosophy, religion, astronomy, math, surgery, medicine, metaphysics, empires (our Tamil Shudras, your nemesis, built empires in Southeast Asia, for example) or in the present times science, literature etrc. Yes, it’s a small country but not that small..Your Shudras need to step up as ours are really going places 🙂

            [Current govt is polite to India. When Modi came to SL, he repeated thrice, implement 13th amendment. That is an amendment for power sharing (almost federal) forced on us by Rajiv Gandhi. Gotabya, current president completely ignored that.]

            Yeah, even America can’t run it’s writ fully over smaller countries. That doesn’t mean much.

            [Anyway, SL has pivoted East. Now you probably realize why the govt has leased the Hambantota harbor to the Chinese. Chinese will help SL protect their assets.]

            Yes, that’s fine..Sri Lanka is sovereign and can make its decisions..But if this goes against India’s security as it is likely to, expect some tensions/action in the future. Can’t forget we need to live next to you and vice versa. Heck our Western neighbor is truly exceptional in many ways (lol), and we still try to work it with them.>Can’t wish away neighbors.

            [He said he even supported the Indian cricket team against Sri Lanka
            but he absolutely hated the Sinahlese government.
            I am sure there a plenty Muslims in India that hate the Hindu Govt. Probably wave the Pakistan flag too during cricket matches.]

            yes some do..but my point was that there are many, many, perhaps majority (or significant minority) that really resent Sinhala domination, and have memories of their oppression and killing. You were trying to sweep that away with your 3/4th Tamil credentials (haha)

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          2. My (long) response to sbarrkum seems to be stuck in a queue. No problem but hope the BP gods clear it. Don’t want to type all of that again:)

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        2. While you talk about Sri Lankan historical achievements like irrigation etc, it seems your country has been quite middling overall. No notable achievements in philosophy, religion, astronomy, math, surgery, medicine, metaphysics, empires (our Tamil Shudras, your nemesis, built empires in Southeast Asia, for example)

          I agree, Sri Lanka has middling size temples, no palaces to speak of. What the ancients did was build huge network of reservoirs and canals for the public good.

          Rainfall in 2/3rds (North and East) is no different from say Eastern South India (1500mm to 2000mm). Same source of rain, North East Monsoon.

          Now have a look at satellite map.Much of South India and North India are brown. Sri Lanka is completely green. That is because of the 30K reservoirs and canals connecting them. Most built more than 1,500 years.
          https://imgur.com/a/iypOA8o

          (our Tamil Shudras, your nemesis, built empires in Southeast Asia, for example)
          Much of this extensive irrigation system and the Buddhist temples were destroyed by my direct male ancestor from Kalinga.
          https://imgur.com/h6u0HUa

          Back to Sri Lanka’s non achievements.
          What people in Sri Lanka concentrate is on having a nice, happy life, not chasing money in ones whole life The poorer go to the Mid-east, build a house, with nice kitchen, big veranda and toilet. NOTE: Toilet, even in remote villages, when they build a house, the first is a nice Toilet.

          One of the places where toilets and cleanliness does not happen is among the Indian Tamils who work on the estates. Like the Indian quarter of Singapore, it is filthy despite the abundance of water.

          So, kitchen, veranda and toilet then Sri Lankans go into full time relax mode. If you see someone working like a maniac, that is probably some Indian.

          really resent Sinhala domination, and have MEMORIES of their oppression and killing.

          Not going to debate on “oppression”.
          However, the keyword is MEMORIES.

          In India, still
          a) Muslims are still being killed and oppressed.
          b) Kashmir is under occupation.
          c) Huge infant mortality
          d) No toilets and public defecation

          Maybe you need to fix those issues, before pointing fingers at others

          both ANI and ASI..While we don’t need to get into the color of my nether regions, I am quite aware of my ancestry – more ANI but significant ASI plus some/very little NE Euro + Caucasian etc..No East Asian, or African (as per 23andMe). My ancestry is Rajput (assuming old Kshatriya

          Ha, ha claims IndoAryan/European. Your black nether regions are a dead give away of your dominant ancestry. What you need is Fair and Lovely.
          There is a African American (and Sinhalese) saying that is appropriate for you. Probably cant repeat here.

          1+
          1. Sbarrkum:
            Don’t project your compelxes onto others 🙂 we are quite secure in our identity as Indians – migration or not from 3000 years ago is a fact and not relevant anymore. for your sanity we will pretend that Sri Lankan Shudras are the epitome of human race. Never mind that North Indians are predominantly SHudra leave alone South Indians.
            As for your barbs about Indian achievement etc remember China was poorer than India only 40 years ago 🙂 where are they now?:)
            You guys can enjoy your lazy island nation lifestyle ( no different from other island nation’s with tourism heavy economies – even those without much history like the ones in the Caribbean). Nothing special about middling Lanka.
            We will work on bigger things – like Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan ( thanks to my North Indian ancestors you understand those words quite well).
            Have fun and see you around
            PS: also within Lanka it seems the achievers are all Tamil – or at least that used to be the case before the majoritarian Sinhalese crushed them. something amiss in Sinhalese character 🙂 although thbk God for that – because due to that we have a cheap island paradise for our vacations close to India 😉

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          2. justanotherlurker

            We will work on bigger things – like Chandrayaan and Mangalyaan

            I would also suggest, you work on little things too, like Toilets and Infant Mortality.
            Trickle down does not work. Big Palaces and Temples dont lift up poor peoples lives.

            Now that a you are at it, please read my post a few weeks. (link below).

            Some very relevant points for India
            Nation State: Democracy, mature or not is not a panacea in this kind of crisis. The nation state with the population vested in sacrifices for their common good and destiny is the most well placed to ride out this crisis (eg Korea, Taiwan). Unhappily, globalization has eroded the common purpose of a nation state. At the upper end of society, the educated and high wealth are vested in the nation coming together. The fault lines are at the lower end of society. Semi-skilled and unskilled are pitted against immigrants. The poor are divided by racial lines. This part of society has no vested interest in a democracy or a nation state.

            City vs Rural: Cities are dependent on food supply lines, power and water to name the least. Resources are dependent on City/Local govt. Sense of community, is questionable. Rural communities on the other hand for the most part can be self sufficient assuming they have one critical resource, water available locally. Obviously, suburban are intermediate, once again the critical factor being locally available water.

            If you read that article, notice I dont mention the US (where I lived and worked for many years) or India.
            The reason being the fault lines are so huge, societal collapse was almost invevitable. I expected the end of the year, next spring for the US.

            I would be be very very afraid for India in the coming months. That is a firm prediction.

            So all I say, lurker is what you said “Have fun and see you around” hopefully.

            https://www.brownpundits.com/2020/05/23/covid-19-consequences-factors-and-world-view/

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  8. There are cases where cultural association can be harmful.

    Consider the word “swastika”.

    The Nazis called their symbol a “ hakenkruis” (hooked cross) in German.

    But the British had started to use the Sanskrit word from their colony in India.

    Now that symbol and the word swastika are internationally associated with hate. The word ‘hooked cross’ is not because they used the Indian term.

    A bit like if someone uses an Apple logo on a product that blows up and kills people. Not good marketing.

    3+
    1. Interesting incident related to swastika. While looking at photos from India my colleagues ( mostly German but also a dutch Jewish guy) were really shocked to see swastikas in religious events and in temples.
      I said it is a religious symbol from long time and continues to be used as such.

      2+
      1. One of our Hindu neighbours has a tiny swastika on their doorstep which probably shocks the mailman and other delivery people who spot it.

        0
        1. I think they are already playing it down. Generally people put quite big ones when they move into a new house or when there is an auspicious event.

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  9. What about Tandoor oven used in Cooking foods/bread is a positive aspect of cultural appropriation.
    Its kind of a Cultural Diffusion with spices from the east and preparation techniques from the west i.e west and Central Asia.

    Similarly Is there anything that the West asia has culturally appropriated from Indian Subcontinent apart from Say Shatranj(Chess)?

    But i think the appropraition is weird when not done organically/naturally / over time . For example appropriating Native American by the Middle Eastern populations.

    2+
    1. “Similarly Is there anything that the West asia has culturally appropriated from Indian Subcontinent apart from Say Shatranj(Chess)?”

      A lot of math.

      3+
      1. Yeah thats probably right. The decimal number system.
        Actually west has grown rapidly as they have taken the best of all the conquered cultures. Be it customs,sciences , clothing,food etc.

        3+
        1. “west has grown rapidly as they have taken the best of all the conquered cultures”

          a) How did they conquer enough cultures to even be in a position to choose the best bits?
          b) How did they determine what was the best to adopt in the knowledge of the conquered?
          c) Copying knowledge does not imply growth, merely re-arrangement. So how did they grow over and above the best in point b)?

          3+
          1. I think thrugh military superiority and the building of stable societies.

            They’ve also built societies that has allowed groups like Indian -American to thrive.

            3+
    2. Similarly Is there anything that the West asia has culturally appropriated from Indian Subcontinent apart from Say Shatranj(Chess)?

      this is an ignorant comment.

      1) many greeks/classical people admitted a debt to ‘gymnosophists’ (jains literally), which mean indian philosophers. plotinus for example claimed contact with indians. this shaped monistic western philosophies and in some ways christianity.

      2) this was a lot of influence from indian & central asian people during the abbassid period.

      6+
      1. Yeah Is was asking rather than implying anything. I don,t know more history than you so i think i’ll take your word for it.

        5+
    3. “ Similarly Is there anything that the West asia has culturally appropriated from Indian Subcontinent apart from Say Shatranj(Chess)”

      Sugar, number system, probably yogurt as well.

      And since you mentioned t-shirt and jeans. Indians have a trump card in this game since use of cotton originated in India.

      I don’t consider any of this appropriation, just a bunch of people trading and learning from each other.

      Stuff like this is where I can understand why people take issue:
      https://www.wbrc.com/story/24001310/mcadory-high-school-apologizes-for-trail-of-tears-sign

      2+
      1. Cotton and domesticated chicken are likely both IVC inventions. KFC should be renamed IVC 😉

        5+
    4. The tandoor did not come here from the West. It existed in India as long ago as the Harappan civilization.

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  10. I dont even understand who’s culture is getting appropriated though. Who died and made woke Indians custodian of Indian culture. Indians back in India seem 2 have no problems. But somehow Padma Lakshmi has a problem with “Chai-Tea”.

    And there is this strange breed of even woke-r Indians who have a problem with Padma having a problem with Chai-tea and why doesn’t see say talk about caste and “systemic racism against dalits” . This whole thing is bonkers.

    4+
    1. Probably Dalits living in USA should talk about Systemic Racism rather than other groups.

      4+
        1. Yeah i guess so. I was talking about dalit (IN USA) talking about oppression in India not in USA. I could’ve framed my comment better.

          If they talked agout historical oppression of some communities it would be better i think.

          4+
          1. Whether Dalit in USA or in India, dalits should be the one talking about it , not woke Sharmas and Iyers. They will just use u and throw u under the bus once their work is done.

            We know it since they did the same 2 us (OBC) in the 90s

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  11. “We know it since they did the same 2 us (OBC) in the 90s”
    Who is ‘they’ and what did they do to OBCs in the 90s?

    As far as I see OBCs actually did very well economically and socially in the 90s. They gained real political power as well as economic upliftment all throughout India. In the South OBCs probably are just as well off as upper castes. In the economically depressed North lots of them gained access to education and now fill govt. services in bureaucracy, army and police.

    This is the very reason why OBCs are into Hindutva now. They are economically stable enough to think about cultural stuff. Akhilesh Yadav is as comfortable getting photographed in temples as his father was in Skull caps around his Muslim party members. Akhilesh’s wife even welcomed the Ayodhya temple decision.

    Even Dalits seem to be following a similar trajectory at least in the North. They are just a couple of decades behind.

    3+
    1. Well we fought for it, and didn;t let leftist hijack our movement, and also played both sides. Dont forget both Mulayam and Kalyan Singh were OBCs. 🙂

      Only limited point was if dalits allow wokesters then they be used and thrown away once their uitlity is served against Hindu right, just like we were,whether in US or in India. The same folks who supported us during Mandal , today ask us if we are that different from UCs anyway (since we support Hindu right), and that dalits are the REAL depressed people. Soon Dalits 2 will no longer be depressed people once they support the Hindu right, and tribals will become the new depressed people.

      4+
    1. Do you know the history of this region? I read somewhere that the Muslim Bropkas once had more land in Ladakh before the incursion of the Tibetan empires.

      This is why I think it would have been much better if everything south of the Himalayas was settled by AASI or ANI. IMO China’s getting away with this shit to some degree because it claims people are same on both sides of the border. If the people were ethnically different it’d be viewed as an act of aggression and persecution.

      0
      1. Chinese are ethnically quite different from Tibetans.

        Also AFAIK China doesn’t dispute Indian claim on Ladkh / Leh etc, past actual line of control. Pakistan does.

        0
        1. They’re East Eurasian so not racially different. China claims Tibet and by extension area like AP or “South Tibet” as they call it.

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          1. Japan sort of used racial reasoning in WW2 to claim Chinese territory. The Chinese use historical reasoning to claim AP not racial. There are many East Asian groups that are more racially / ethnically similar to the Han Chinese than Tibetans.

            Important thing in the context of Ladakh Buddhists is they want to be part of India over China, or Kashmir.

            Not sure if you can understand Hindi, but here is a speech from a Ladakh MP in Indian parliament when India seperate it from Jammu and Kashmir to give you an idea of their PoV.

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VyeLa35o9TY

            1+
  12. Ladakh obviously has had Indo-Aryan settlement in Kargil in the form of Bropkas. I wonder if they extended more east in ancient times.

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  13. People think too much about culture. Culture is meant to be lived and experienced, not thought about and analyzed to the point of obsessiveness.

    If you want to think, spend time thinking about math and science and engineering. May lead you down rabbit holes but they will be fun rabbit holes, unlike the “postcolonialism” and “woke” bullshit.

    (2 cents of advice from an increasingly aging and cranky individual.)

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  14. If you want to see the extent of self-victimising and absurd brown wokeness, look at this:

    “https://www.today.com/food/let-my-building-burn-owner-damaged-minneapolis-restaurant-supports-protest-t182789”

    Please sir, take away my only livelihood. Good guilty American, sir, just like white liberal.

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    1. there are layers within this story.

      the owners are of bangladeshi descent. why would they name their restaurant after gandhi?

      and gandhi would be aghast that 70 years after his death, the only remaining use of his name is to sell indian food. (and a cheap one at that. a chicken tikka masala in these restaurants is simply the pieces of preservative soaked chicken mixed in a generic curry paste).

      and gandhi wasnt known as a “foodie” anyway. a true gandhian restaurant would feed its patrons bland vegetarian food without even salt or ghee, if not just force them into fasting. 🙂

      and lastly, the aforementioned bangladeshi restaurant owner doesnt stand to loose a single dollar. the insurance company will foot the entire bill anyway.

      farce within farce.

      2+
      1. That’s what I got at below. He might even stand to benefit financially. Doesn’t stop the liberal morons in the diaspora from patting themselves on the back though,.

        1+
  15. On the ABCDesis subreddit they were posting about that as if its a good thing. They also had a Desis for Blacks post. Even though blacks hurt us via affirmative action and commit hate crime against us we should support them. Fuck out of here.

    4+
  16. And by support I mean support riots and their burning of our businesses. No wonder South Asians are seen as soft wimps by most of the populace. Some of them, like that guy above, are entering soy boy cuck territory.

    3+
    1. I’m also sure that this will make virtue signalling whites cream themselves. They pay lip service, we pay livelihoods.

      1+
  17. I’m hoping that guy actually doesn’t believe the crap he’s spewing but secretly just happy about the insurance payout. Hope we don’t have actual woke SJWs among us.

    2+
  18. I am seeing lots of “woke” whites posting this story and talking about solidarity. When they burn their own shit down, then they can talk about real solidarity. Until then, they should piss off.
    They love to talk about all this BS to look holy and woke, but sure as hell will never actually do anything to change it

    1+
    1. I don’t think that’s the normal response from most whites. Just the “woke” morons like you said. There was a rioter saying they are going to bring the riots/looting to the suburbs and the majority of white people responded exactly the way you would expect them too. By mentioning their second amendment rights.

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  19. @Justanotherlurker

    You summed it up perfectly. A lot of people want other countries to embrace liberalism (including things like open borders) but not their own. Like Indian-Americans supporting unrestricted immigration (and government benefits for said immigrants) from Latin America. These same idiots probably wouldn’t like it if there was massive Bangladeshi/African/whatever immigration to India along with government benefits for those immigrants. They’d complain about demographics being altered through immigration and the liberals trying to gain votes and such.

    Same thing with the Muslims who are liberals when it comes to US politics but pretty hardcore nationalist right wingers with no tolerance for people of other religions when it comes to their home countries.

    3+
  20. “I’m hoping that guy actually doesn’t believe the crap he’s spewing but secretly just happy about the insurance payout.”

    I hope Lurker and Jatt are right. But i fear that increasingly they have started believing it . I see some evidence that this has started infecting even my (FOBs, recent immigrants, or in line to be citizens) folks as well

    3+
  21. “Muslims who are liberal in terms of US politics but hardcore right wingers in their home countries”– Yes, just like all those Indian-Americans who vote Democrat in the US but support the Hindutva Regime at home.

    Hypocrisy exists everywhere.

    1+
  22. Many dont understand.

    As layers by time immigrants feel entitled. So who lays the rules.

    For arguemets sake is Razib an American. Or because he is married white does it consolidate his claim.

    Do African Americans (15%) and Hispanics (15%) dispute that claim.

    Anyway, Grand Funk Railroad
    It was not the coolest band in my grad school (1990’s) To me they were singing words of loss and want of MAGA. In my opinion nothing wrong . so long as you dont destroy other countries.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0x6chChxzV0

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  23. @Sbarrum and Kabir. I came upon this thread in search of the Dhulipala one, which seems to have vanished. I should like to discuss your comments on Kashmir made at the end of May, late though I am. I want to refute the following two comments in particular.
    From Kabir,
    “Indians have no business criticizing any other country while continuing the Occupation of Kashmir. It’s completely hypocritical. Kashmir is the Palestine of South Asia.”
    From Sbarrum,
    “Scorpion If I were you I would worry about
    a) All those Muslims being killed by Hindus a
    b) Occupation of Kashmir (why not allow UN in).
    Now, I am as opposed to Hindutva and its fundamentalist position as any liberal Indian Muslim, so this is not a defence of the BJP. However, there have been more Muslims killed than Hindus in all riots since independence. A study some decades ago showed that though Muslims were as complicit as Hindus in starting riots they always got the worst of it in the end. The position has not changed under Modi. What has changed is the assault on individual Muslims on the cow account. Those killings are indefensible, and I am glad that we have not had such incidents in the last couple of years, or at least none to my knowledge.
    It was on Kashmir that I really wanted to engage with you folk, on the basis of facts, not emotions.
    So, for one, Kashmir is not occupied territory, nor analogous to Palestine, and second, the UN role ended some decades ago in a stalemate which neither India nor Pakistan has done anything to reverse. Despite the HR situation, (which can form a separate discussion) and India’s shameful violation of the constitutional guarantees embodied in Art 370, the solution to the problem lies entirely in the domestic realm.

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    1. Onlooker,

      I am well aware that in a technical sense Kashmir is not Occupied territory. According to India’s Constitution, Kashmir is a part of India. This contrasts with the West Bank which even Israel doesn’t claim. However, if you speak to most Kashmiri Muslims they will tell you that they feel that New Delhi is an Occupier. The analogy to Palestine is very clear. Just as Gaza is a prison camp, the Valley since August 5,2019 has been in lockdown without internet access. The changes in domicile law that allow non Kashmiris to become permanent residents of Kashmir (which was previously open only to State Subjects) are analogous to Israel illegally settling its own citizens on Occupied Palestinian Territory. The intention is clearly to change the demographics in Kashmir and over time reduce the Muslim majority.

      Kashmir remains on the agenda of the UN and is universally recognized as a Disputed Territory. That is why there is an LOC and not an International Border. UNMOGIP is allowed to work in Azad Kashmir. It is only India that refuses to let the UN see what is happening in the Valley.

      As for “the solution to the problem lying entirely in the domestic realm”: This is factually not true. Kashmir is NOT a Domestic issue as India likes to claim. It is an international dispute to which Pakistan and the Kashmiri people are parties. The only acceptable resolution is one that takes the legitimate interests of all stakeholders–India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri people– on board.

      Bottom line is Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiri people–Not to either India or Pakistan. It is for the natives of the land to determine which country they wish to join or even if they wish to become independent. Pandit Nehru, India’s founding father and greatest leader, promised that the Kashmiri people would not be tied to India at gunpoint. India has betrayed that promise.

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  24. J&K is the term I shall use because the word Kashmir is an inaccurate synecdoche. The analogies with Palestine are the result of propaganda mainly by Pakistan which has been taken up in Kashmir as well. Jammu and Kashmir is not occupied territory in every sense of the word, not just technically, or because it is included in the Constitution. Its Sovereign, the Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India. That right was his by virtue of the laws under which the British vacated India and which right, Pakistan’s leaders insisted, belonged to him alone, not to his subjects. The Indian army was invited into J&K by the Maharaja because his dominions were invaded by an irregular army sponsored by a foreign power. That power, Pakistan, later directly joined the invasion force and sent troops into Ladakh, Jammu as well as Kashmir.
    The analogy to Palestine because of the lockdown after 5th August had some merit. It is no longer true and has not been since the lockdown was lifted after the first three months. Internet functions at 2G. This BJP government has treated J&K very badly in its second term, and I entirely oppose its policies on J&K and particularly in relation to Kashmir. That is however a matter for separate discussion. Analogies with Palestine were drawn decades ago, not just after 5 August ’19.

    “Kashmir remains on the agenda of the UN and is universally recognized as a Disputed Territory. That is why there is an LOC and not an International Border. UNMOGIP is allowed to work in Azad Kashmir. It is only India that refuses to let the UN see what is happening in the Valley.”

    J&K remains on the UN business list only because there seems to be no way of getting it off. The disputed territory of J&K commonly known as the Kashmir dispute is about Pakistan disputing the inclusion of the territory in India. The UN could not solve the dispute, so it lies dormant. Under Chapter 6 of the dispute settlement mechanism there is nothing further the UN can do. India’s stand is that there is no dispute because the territory is a part of India. Since it is India that took the matter to the UN and because it no longer wants to proceed through the mediation of that body, the UN can do nothing more. You must remember that there is an International Boundary as well as a LoC (earlier the Ceasefire Line). The International Boundary extends to the vicinity of Naushera in Rajouri District, thereafter the LoC proceeds North till Siachen.
    UNMOGIP still has offices in J&K and their Officers still visit but are no longer accepted as having a role by India. This happened because of the Pakistan sponsored insurgency. The role of UNMOGIP in any case was never to observe and report on how the residents of J&K were being treated. It was set up to ensure that the two sides did not come into conflict on the CFL. After the CFL became the LoC India stopped bothering about UNMOGIP. They would summer in Kashmir but no one paid them any attention except when some issue became a rallying point for separatists to congregate. Then there would be a ritual march to the UNMOGIP office where a memorandum was reluctantly accepted.

    “Kashmir is NOT a Domestic issue as India likes to claim. It is an international dispute to which Pakistan and the Kashmiri people are parties. The only acceptable resolution is one that takes the legitimate interests of all stakeholders–India, Pakistan and the Kashmiri people– on board.”

    This is an oft argued point, but quite baseless in law. First. though it became an international dispute because of the failure of Nehru and Patel to see through Mountbatten and accepted his advice to refer the matter to the UN, it is now a uni-national dispute. As far as India is concerned, Pakistan is the aggressor. Second, Kashmiris are not a party any more than Dogra or Ladakhs or Gujjars are, or any other category of the former subjects of the Maharaja. These are baseless factoids that have established themselves in the discourse. As I mentioned earlier the person to decide was the Maharaja, not the people. ‘The people’, so to speak, trace their claimed right to two sources – India’s promises and the UN resolutions. Both are inauthentic because the UN cannot confer any right upon any people as a result of proceedings under Chapter 6. The rights of the people (of former undivided India) rested entirely on the terms which the British laid down when departing. If there was no UN plebiscite it was because Pakistan did not agree to the terms that the UN laid down for holding one – repeatedly. Pakistan is an aggressor, not a stakeholder.

    So, what about India’s promise?

    There is none in fact. Hari Singh in his letter of accession did not ask for a plebiscite. It was suggested to him by the Governor General. Into the letter of acceptance Mountbatten inserted the sentence, it is ‘our wish’ that when matters have returned to normal the decision to accede should be confirmed by a referendum conducted by His Excellency. Matters did not return to normal and the Maharaja himself did not remain. A referendum was not a right that India gave the Maharaja’s subjects, nor could it because it had no authority to do so with the Maharaja in charge; it was merely the Governor General’s wish. India had not voted in a government – we were a dominion. His Majesty’s representative wished the Maharaja would hold a plebiscite when things became normal. That is not an Indian promise. And, in fact, since the people were not the ones to decide even a promise was not required.
    Nehru however did promise. He announced in Lal Chowk in 1948 at a massive public rally that India would hold a referendum. This promise by Nehru, did not confer a right to a referendum. It was maladroit though, and dishonest in the light of later events, because Nehru decided early on that no referendum was necessary. In any case Nehru was being dishonest. He had no authority in 1948 to hold a referendum in J&K, or even promise one. It was the Maharaja alone who could. All this changed in January 1949 when the UN ceasefire came into effect and scheduled a plebiscite. This superseded the whole referendum business.

    “The changes in domicile law that allow non Kashmiris to become permanent residents of Kashmir (which was previously open only to State Subjects) are analogous to Israel illegally settling its own citizens on Occupied Palestinian Territory.”

    Your analogy is false. There is no difference between Indians of J&K and other Indians as in Palestine where a two nation solution has often been spoken of. Second, Non Kashmiris have been State Subjects along with Kashmiris since the beginning. The dynamic here is not one way. Muslims in J&K, especially Kashmiri Muslims were happy to have Rohingya Muslims settle in Jammu (not Kashmir), but would not let West Punjab Hindu refugees who fled Pakistan for Jammu, become State Subjects. Decades ago Sheikh Abdullah made arrangements to settle Yarkandi Muslims in Srinagar (on the shores of the Nagin Lake) while refuting any claims of the Tibetans to settle in Ladakh. This communal thing is double edged.
    The intention of the BJP government is certainly malafide. It has no problem with such a law in Nagaland or in Himachal Pradesh, but wanted it gone in J&K. The hope was of course that more non Muslims could be settled in J&K. However, settling non Muslims in Kashmir is not possible. There is no land for them to settle, nor will Kashmir’s Muslims sell land to non Muslims for settlement. It is not like Pakistan where Punjabis have been settled on unwilling Baluch land. Nor, to develop the argument is it like Gilgit Baltistan where Pakistan’s government has been settling Sunni Pashtuns against the will of the Ismaili Shia Gilgits and Shia Baltis. This is not a case of whataboutery or tuquoque-ism. Pakistan violated the laws governing J&K by splitting the part of J&K State under its control and settled non State Subjects long ago – so what are you complaining about?
    “Bottom line is Kashmir belongs to the Kashmiri people – Not to either India or Pakistan. It is for the natives of the land to determine which country they wish to join or even if they wish to become independent. Pandit Nehru, India’s founding father and greatest leader, promised that the Kashmiri people would not be tied to India at gunpoint. India has betrayed that promise.”

    That bottom line is a facile truism, invented in the case of Kashmir by the National Conference after 1953. J&K does not belong to Kashmiris alone; nearly half the population is non Kashmiri. The principle never stood the test of time and has been overridden at various times by the divine right of kings, by conquests, treaties, laws and agreements. The valley of Kashmir belongs to Kashmiris, if you can define them satisfactorily, just as Baluchistan belongs to the Baluch, Nagaland to the Nagas, or Punjab to the Punjabis. There is nothing special about the Kashmiri case. Kashmiri Pandits, whom the Muslim terrorists drove out, say they are Indian, the Muslims say they are Pakistani or whatever, the Dogra say they are Indian, as do most Gujar, and certainly Ladakhis. Shia Kashmiris, and Jammu Muslims are confused. How can SAS Geelani be a Kashmiri if he claims to be from Gilan in Iran.
    Natives in India were not allowed to determine what political grouping they could join. That went out with the Cabinet Mission Plan. That is why Pakistan does not let the Baloch leave, or Sri Lanka the Tamils.

    2+
    1. It seems there is no point in talking to you since you are going to take the Indian nationalist position.

      No matter what you want to believe, Kashmir is a DISPUTED TERRITORY. It is NOT India. This is why the entire international community uses “Pakistan-administered Kashmir” and “Indian-administered Kashmir”. India is the only party that believes Kashmir is an “integral part” of India. Please speak to any Kashmiri Muslim and they will let you know how they feel. As for “Occupied”, you all believe that Azad Kashmir and G-B are “POK”. We believe that the part of the former princely state under India’s control is Indian Occupied.

      The entire princely state was Muslim majority in 1947. Had it been part of British India it would have gone to Pakistan. Since it was a princely state, the ruler got to decide. However, he was advised to take into account the demographics of his state. When the Nawab of Junagadh acceded to Pakistan, India insisted that a plebiscite be held there since the population was Hindu. Clearly, India has no principles and just did what allowed them to take over territory. Hyderabad Deccan was literally incorporated into India at gunpoint.

      Though legally Hari Singh got to decide, morally a Hindu Dogra from Jammu had no right to decide anything for Kashmiri Muslims. My ancestors who were ethnically Kashmiri despised the Dogras of Jammu and for good reason.

      Kashmiris were promised a referendum by India’s greatest leader. Your comparison to Balochistan etc is untenable since a) Balochistan is unequivocally part of Pakistan and no other country claims it and b) No one ever went to the UN and told the Baloch they could have a referendum.

      Finally, the Pandit exodus is a blot on the Kashmiri freedom movement. However, the Valley was Muslim majority long before the 1990s. According to the logic of Partition, it does not belong with Hindu India. And as India becomes more and more of a Hindu Rashtra, the case for having a Muslim colony becomes more and more untenable.

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  25. All this talk is mostly meaningless. It doesn’t matter what the UN said, or Bhutto said or Nehru said. The LOC is the border, the 4point formulae,porus borders or max autonomy etc that time has passed. Neither country is powerless enough that either China, US or UN would be able to impose a solution on them.

    As for Kashmiri they will remain an unhappy lot

    2+
    1. If the LOC is the border then you Hindu Indians should shut the hell up about Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. Including those regions in your domestic weather reports is beyond ridiculous since they have never been part of “India” ever since that country was created in 1947. The Muslims of those regions have no desire to be ruled by Hindus. The people of G-B rebelled against the Hindu Dogra in 1947. All they want is their rights as Pakistani citizens (including the right to be represented in Parliament) but unfortunately they are tied up with the Kashmir Dispute. If we officially annex G-B or AJK, we will be legitimating India’s annexation of the Valley. This is why neither of these two regions are defined in Pakistan’s constitution as part of Pakistan.

      I love how people who are non-ethnically Kashmiri think they have the right to decide anything for Kashmiri Muslims. It’s not your land. The natives of the land are the only people who have the moral right to decide their future.

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      1. Well i dont understand why India can;t claim GB and A-Kashmir, if Pakistan can claim Jammu and Ladakh, doesn;t it? Every argument u used for GB and A-Kashmir is true for Pakistan as well , for Jammu,Ladakh (never ruled or doenst want to be ruled by Pakistanis). Pakistan hasn’t relenquished its claim.

        Considering what Pakistan has done in the J&K, won’t u say India showing weather reports IN GB,AK as mostly benign? At least i would. Also finally what GB,AK constitutional issues is, its b/w those regions and Pakistan, if u want to annex them , go ahead, if not then also its fine. Dont make it an Indian issue, like everything in life, there are choices and consequences.

        Also on non ethnic Kashmiri, its rich that Pakistan which has the same domicile laws etc already implemented from the 70s is complaining about the very same laws which have been implemented now in the 2020 Indian Kashmir.

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        1. If (as you claim) the LOC is the border then the Hindutva administration should stop talking about “reclaiming” AJK and G-B (which “India” has never administered). India should stop printing maps which show Gilgit and Muzaffarabad as part of India (which is beyond ridiculous and everyone knows it is counter to reality). If it doesn’t do this, then you all are not serious about the LOC as the border.

          If we annex G-B and AJK we will have prejudiced the resolution of the Kashmir Dispute and legitimated India’s Occupation over the Valley.

          Kashmir doesn’t belong to mainland Indians like you but solely to the Kashmiri people.

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    2. @Saurav
      Why were Sindh’s Hindu majority areas bordering India not partitioned on the lines of Assam’s Shylet being given to Pakistan? Was it a compensation to Pakistan for a unfavorable line in Gurdaspur.

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      1. Only Punjab and Bengal were partitioned. Every other province of BRITISH India went intact to either dominion.

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      2. ONLY @Saurav
        I ask because I was reading more about the forced conversion of little girls in Sindh and the shamelessness(inability?) of Indians in not helping Pakistani refugees that flee Sindh.

        Context:
        Acronymistanis will obviously deny all this after completely annihilating native culture and in distant future maybe even explain these forced conversions and sexual depravity by convenient things like little girls wanting upward social mobility, breaking free caste boundaries, compatibility of feminism and Islam etc. And maybe Mian Mithoo of SUFI Bharchundi Shareef Dargah will be venerated as a hero with missiles and what-not named after him. Also, put in the regular sacrifices were made on both sides etc.

        This is what I read and bothers me, if only someone had pursued Sindh’s case things might have been different:
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1947_Sylhet_referendum

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        1. It is not just Islamic apologists whitewashing history. Even the Pakistani left sometimes explain partition as the righteous rebellion of Muslim peasantry against rapacious Hindu landlords, moneylenders etc.

          One hopes that peasantry is enjoying their victory in the Socialist Republic of Pakistan.

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        2. No one is denying forced conversions. Pakistani Hindus are citizens of Pakistan and it is the State’s duty to protect their rights. The State is failing in that duty.

          Again with “Acronymstanis”- This is just disrespectful at this point. Pakistan may have originated as an acronym but for more than 70 years it has been the name of a sovereign state. Basic respect demands that you use the word “Pakistani”.

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        3. No one can help any ethnicity (Sindhi Hindus) which does not want to help themselves.

          The Sylhet example is the good example where the Assamese were pragmatic and let go of their own land so as to remain with India. They did not depend on wishy-washy Congress promises, nor on supposedly Bengali Hindus solidarity . So they proactively severed off their own land to protect themselves.

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  26. *yawn*
    The battle lines have been drawn, all the arguments that can be made have been made on both sides. The Kashmir question has been debated ad nauseum in every forum ever, no one’s going to change their mind.

    I was in Orissa back in Feb, and was surprised to find a Tibetan Buddhist monastery in Jiranga nestled in the green hills of the Eastern ghats. There’s a small but well established Tibetan community there, and I met a few that made it to India relatively recently (10-15 years ago). I was under the impression that all the Tibetans in India had come over in the 50s and 60s but there’s a steady trickle even now. The ones I asked were reticent to say much, but I got the impression that life in Tibet under the CCP is as stifling as it gets. Makes me wonder if there ever there was a Tibetan resistance, it probably got crushed ruthlessly before it could break through to the world’s attention

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    1. You can yawn as a non-Kashmiri. This issue is life and death for the Kashmiri people though you don’t seem to give a damn. Typical statist Indian.

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      1. Let us discuss this on the basis of facts not feelings as dispassionately as possible. Eventually you may come around to agreeing that what you believe to be true is not necessarily so.
        As I said J&K is not all Kashmir. Using Kashmir to describe the whole of the former princely State is incorrect in every way possible. In the Indian part of J&K no one who is not linguistically and ethnically Kashmiri calls himself one. Poonchis are Poonchis, Kargilis Kargilis, and Mirpuris Mirpuris. They do not want to be taken for Kashmiri and no one does. Kashmiris certainly know who they are and dismissively refer to non-Kashmiri Muslims as Gujjar, or at best, Pahari. Muslims of Rajouri and Poonch call themselves Pahari, when they are not of Gujjar stock, and this so-called Pahari component extends into Uri and even Tangdhar where they speak a sort of Potohari, not Kashmiri. The West calls the whole territory Kashmir out of ignorance, just as North Indians ignorantly called all South Indian Madrassi, or when Kashmiris thought any place outside Kashmir was Punjab.
        Since this discussion is based on fact, not beliefs let me state that POK is indeed occupied against the wishes of its present and former legal sovereign, India (formerly it was Hari Singh). India is thus not occupying J&K, no matter how separatists describe its situation.
        And, since you keep saying that I should consult Kashmiri Muslims for their views, I have to admit that I know a great many Kashmiri Muslims, more perhaps than you possibly can, and am fully cognizant of their views. I have had lively discussions with them, many of whom I count as good friends.
        I am glad you brought up the matter of Junagadh and Hyderabad. Let us discuss the issue on the basis of historical realities and discover who is the real hypocrite.

        “The entire princely state was Muslim majority in 1947. Had it been part of British India it would have gone to Pakistan.”

        Not entirely true. It would have been subject to the kind of process that Punjab underwent. Indeed, historically speaking, if Gulab Singh had not bought his kingdom Kashmir valley may have remained a separate entity colonized by British settlers. The territory now called POK and Jammu Division would have been retained in Punjab. In any case a kind of Radcliffe process would have given three districts of Jammu to India and the rest to Pakistan. Hard to say what would have become of Ladakh.

        “Since it was a princely state, the ruler got to decide. However, he was advised to take into account the demographics of his state.”

        If you read up on your history you will find that it was Mr. Jinnah who insisted that the Rulers of the Princely States had the authority to decide to which country they would accede. Congress wanted the right to be given to the people to decide, and Nehru was particularly vocal about it; the Muslim League however was adamant. Why, you may ask. I explain at the end of this post.

        “When the Nawab of Junagadh acceded to Pakistan, India insisted that a plebiscite be held there since the population was Hindu. Clearly, India has no principles and just did what allowed them to take over territory.”

        The Junagadh story is more complicated than that. As mentioned above Congress wanted plebiscites in all the Princely States where the religion of the majority of the population was different from that of the Ruler. Congress hoped this would bring Junagadh into its kitty and possibly, with Sheikh Abdullah at the helm even Kashmiri Muslims might vote for India. Nehru had been cultivating the Sheikh for a long time. The All India Muslim League vehemently opposed this demand. When the Nawab of Junagadh acceded to Pakistan, Jinnah promptly accepted the accession. Do you think that was fair? It was, by his lights, because it was done under the principle he advocated. Why then did he object when Maharaja Hari Singh acceded to India. He should not have, nor should Pakistan have made any claim to J&K. But Jinnah did, and that is where the hypocrisy started.
        Now you may say that India forcibly entered Junagadh and held a plebiscite. It was not quite like that. Within Junagadh, and subsidiary to it were two other Princely States, Mangrol and Babriawad, both with Muslim Rulers. Both wanted to accede to India, which the Nawab Junagarh would not allow. Indian troops went in to secure Babriawad and Mangrol. When they did that the Nawab fled on his plane, taking his dogs but leaving a wife behind. India then held a plebiscite in Junagadh to confirm accession to India. So far I don’t see any Indian hypocrisy; it is all on the Pakistani side.
        Coming now to Hyderabad. You probably know that Jinnah wanted the Nizam to accede to Pakistan. Mir Osman Ali, like Hari Singh wanted to remain independent and would not join either country. And like Hari Singh who sympathized with India, Mir Osman Ali’s sympathies lay with Pakistan to whom he also gave a loan. Pakistani hypocrisy evinced itself not so much in Junagadh as it did over Hyderabad. The State was neither contiguous nor Muslim majority but Jinnah and Liaqat Ali Khan wanted it to be Pakistan. Now comes the real hypocrisy. On 1st November 1947 Mountbatten and Nehru were to visit Pakistan. Nehru shied off at the last minute saying he was unwell, so Mountbatten went alone. He carried an offer from Patel for Jinnah. By that time, you will remember Indian troops had already landed in Srinagar and were gearing up for battle with the tribal raiders. Patel’s offer to Jinnah was this – Lay off Hyderabad and keep J&K. It was a fair offer; Patel had no interest in Kashmir and India could not afford a hostile country located entirely within itself. Jinnah and Liaqat refused the offer. Liaqat Ali told an interlocutor he was not so crazy as to exchange the rich territory of Hyderabad for the mountains of Kashmir.
        As for India’s subsequent take over of Hyderabad, please remember Delhi had been trying for over a year to get the Nizam to see reason. His policies became captive to a clique of his courtiers led by Syed Qasim Razvi who later defected to Pakistan when Indian troops went in. The justification for the Indian action were the atrocities of the armed Muslim Razakars who had been organized into a group of 200000 strong and went about terrorizing and murdering Hindus. Part of the Razakars were the Majlis Itehad ul Musalmeen, an organization set up earlier to forcibly convert Hindus to Islam. After the Indian takeover there were revenge killings in Hyderabad of course. India did take over Hyderabad forcibly just as Pakistan took Baluchistan, but the former Hyderabadis are not complaining, the Baloch are.

        “Though legally Hari Singh got to decide, morally a Hindu Dogra from Jammu had no right to decide anything for Kashmiri Muslims. My ancestors who were ethnically Kashmiri despised the Dogras of Jammu and for good reason.”

        What is immoral about having a ruler of a different religion. That principle would render the entire history of Muslim rule in India an immoral enterprise. Indeed, it would make Muslim rule in Kashmir from the time of the Shahmiris immoral, and the immorality continues till the Muslims became the majority in Kashmir. I don’t go in much for despising communities different from mine. Hate is a contagious business and needs suppressing, and it is very difficult to find a good reason for despising a whole community.

        “Kashmiris were promised a referendum by India’s greatest leader. Your comparison to Balochistan etc is untenable since a) Balochistan is unequivocally part of Pakistan and no other country claims it and b) No one ever went to the UN and told the Baloch they could have a referendum.”

        As I explained previously, the referendum promised by Nehru was superseded by the UN mandated plebiscite. That plebiscite was never held because the conditions under which it was to be held were never fulfilled. I shall mention the two main reasons here. First, Pakistan had to withdraw all its troops and the irregulars from all the territory of the Maharaja. Pakistan refused to do that. That was the main reason why plebiscite was abandoned. The second reason is that during discussions the Pakistanis insisted that the plebiscite could not be held with Sh. Abdullah as the Prime Minister. They feared that under his leadership, even with UN supervision, Kashmir’s Muslims would vote for India.
        Can the UN plebiscite be held now? The question is speculative. Does anyone believe that Pakistan will withdraw its forces from the area it illegally occupies? A more important reason why it cannot be held is that Pakistan has agreed in a treaty to close all UN proceedings and deal with the Kashmir issue bilaterally. Are you aware that this is the gist of the Simla Agreement?

        “Finally, the Pandit exodus is a blot on the Kashmiri freedom movement. However, the Valley was Muslim majority long before the 1990s. According to the logic of Partition, it does not belong with Hindu India. And as India becomes more and more of a Hindu Rashtra, the case for having a Muslim colony becomes more and more untenable.”

        When Jinnah insisted on his demand for Pakistan it was on the presumption that Hindustan would be a Hindu country run by a Hindu party called Congress. That was Muslim League theory; Pakistan, a Muslim country for Muslims and Hindustan, a Hindu country for Hindus. If India is now indeed in danger of becoming a Hindu Rashtra why do the Pakistanis object. Is that not what they have said all along, that India is pseudo-secular, attacking the Indian ethos set by Nehru as did the BJP from a different angle using the same terminology.
        If Pakistanis were so concerned about the logic of the Partition of India why did they accept Junagadh’s accession. Why did they want Hyderabad to join Pakistan, Finally why did Jinnah personally offer the Maharaja of Jodhpur a blank cheque on his conditions for joining Pakistan. And why did he even try to win over Bikaner. Jinnah even wanted the Nawab of Rampur to join Pakistan and made efforts in that direction. And while we are on the subject of hypocrisy let us also talk of Baluchistan. Jinnah, as the lawyer of the Khan of Kalat had been arguing precisely that it was not a normal Princely State before Pakistan was created, but as GG Pakistan he ordered it forcibly incorporated. The Khan was forced to Pakistan at gunpoint and there no referendum to confirm this. Kalat’s brother revolted immediately and there have been ongoing revolts against Pakistan ever since. Who will take the case of the Baloch to the UN. They are, like the Kurds, an oppressed people divided among more than one nation with no one to speak for them.
        Jinnah wanted J&K and Hyderabad, he lost both. He wanted Jodhpur and Junagadh and Rampur and Bikaner. He encouraged Travancore to declare independence. He was fully in agreement with a united independent Bengal which included Assam. He was doing everything he could, principles be damned, to have a small disoriented Hindustan with even Nawab Bhopal encouraged to join Pakistan if he could, or remain independent. To my eyes that was the real hypocrisy.

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        1. There is no further point in this discussion. You seem to be a typical Indian nationalist who will find any and all justifications for Indian rule over Kashmir. I am not a Pakistani nationalist. If I were, I would have taken the Pakistani State line of “Kashmir banega Pakistan”. Instead, I advocate for the Kashmiri people to decide. If the majority of Kashmiris choose to stay with Hindu India, I will stop advocating Kashmiri independence.

          You may know a lot of Kashmiri Muslims but you are not one. I am from an ethnically Kashmiri family (though they had moved to other parts of British India prior to 47). These are my people you are talking about.

          The Simla Agreement does not say that Pakistan can no longer take the case to the UN. If India refuses to discuss the matter bilaterally, then multilateral action remains an option.

          I can only refer you to Christopher Snedden’s book “Understanding Kashmir and Kashmiris”. Since he is neither a Pakistani nor a Muslim, surely you will agree that he doesn’t have a vested agenda.

          You are free to believe your own version. However, since this is not a matter of physical science but of History, there is no one “truth”. What sounds perfectly rational to an Indian Hindu does not appear so to a Kashmiri Muslim.

          Lastly, India is a secular state on paper. But in reality it is becoming more and more of a Hindu Rashtra. In the past, it was possible to argue that as a secular state, there was no reason that India couldn’t contain a Muslim majority state. However, there is no moral justification for a Hindu Rashtra to contain a Muslim-majority colony.

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      2. As I said earlier there is no special circumstance that allows Kashmiris a special right denied to other Indian separatist communities or Baluchis, except the UN resolutions. Plebiscite under those resolutions was blocked by Pakistan’s refusal to withdraw its troops.
        How is it a matter of life and death for Kashmiris? The population of Kashmir (excluding Jammu division and Ladakh) went up from 2,5 million in 1951 to roughly 7 million in 2011. This is even after expelling approximately a quarter of a million Pandits. The census of 2021 may be delayed but I estimate that there are close to 9 million Kashmiris living in the valley including the hundred thousand odd Sikhs.
        When a people feel threatened they migrate. Just like the Hindus of Sindh and Bangladesh do. I believe that except for couple of thousand militants and a handful of their ideologues no Kashmiri has sought refuge in Pakistan or in any other country.

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        1. This is my last comment on this. Not interested in “dialogue” with Statist Indian nationalists.

          You seem to never have heard of the Jammu massacres where the Hindu Dogra regime ethnically cleansed the Muslims of Jammu and drove them to seek refuge in Pakistan. Otherwise even Jammu province would not have been Hindu majority.

          Many of us Pakistanis are actually ethnically Kashmiri. Cities like Lahore and Sialkot are full of our community.

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          1. Many of us Pakistanis are actually ethnically Kashmiri

            kaeshiryi kaetyah shu’r zaay
            aasyi na tas maeji ti pay 🙂

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  27. I have read Snedden’s book. What is new in that. You keep stressing your Kashmiri roots. Have you ever been to Kashmir? Your ethnic connection to Kashmir matters little. You have not lived there and you cannot speak the language, I am certain, and you must have shed all cultural trappings of Kashmir, but you keep getting emotional about it. I am invested more in Kashmir as a human than you can ever be or imagine, but I try and discuss the subject rationally, warts and all. You cannot even claim to be more concerned about Kashmir than I am with your second hand emotions inherited through embellishment of oral memories, akin to the Khalistanis of Canada.
    I have put the facts before you You could refute none of them, but you claim to be able to speak for Kashmir on the strength of some diluted genetic link. Don’t reply if you cannot be objective.

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    1. There are no “facts”. There is only your interpretation of the facts– the standard Indian nationalist one. You are entitled to that interpretation but don’t expect it to change anyone’s mind.

      The bottom line is that people from India proper have no moral right to decide anything for the Kashmiri people. It is not your land. It belongs to the natives.

      You are a Statist since you deny a people their right to self-determination. That is a frankly colonial position.

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      1. And just to preempt the usual Indian nationalist recourse of comparing Kashmir to Balochistan:

        I believe in the right to self-determination for all peoples. However, Balochistan is unequivocally part of Pakistan and is not claimed by any other country. No Pakistani leader ever promised in front of the International Community that the Baloch people would not be tied to Pakistan by force.

        The issue thus is no concern of Indians (just as freedom struggles in Nagaland etc are no concern of Pakistanis). Islamabad must address the legitimate grievances of the Baloch people and if all else fails let them go their own way. But this is a purely domestic issue.

        Kashmir, on the other hand, is DISPUTED TERRITORY. Pakistan is a party to the conflict. No amount of Indian nationalist “facts” can change this.

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    2. diluted genetic link

      I think this tendency of Pakistanis (but not just them, also many Indians) to claim ancestry from Kashmir – most of it false – may have some deeper Indic cultural roots. Kashmir valley perhaps acted as the Hindu Shangri-la (and I don’t blame them!) and I believe Abul Fazl also makes this remark in Ain-i Akbari.

      Perhaps the cultural tendency survived the conversion of the locals and now embellished with the modern Muslim-land syndrome. Anyway, ko addhā veda…

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      1. I am not falsely claiming anything. My maternal great-grandfather never left the Valley, even though his wife and children moved to Amritsar. He is buried in Srinagar. According to my mother her ancestors on her father’s side were native Kashmiris and may quite possibly have been Pandits prior to embracing Islam.

        My father’s paternal lineage belongs to the Mir caste. He knows exactly where they used to live in the Valley before moving to various parts of British India.

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        1. Thanks for the personal history but I am not accusing anyone specific of falsely claiming Kashmiri ethnicity. Just saying people claim it more than is the average for hankerings after other Indic cultures.

          What’s more having known Kashmiri culture intimately I actually find it odd. If anything, I want to be Punjabi – who in my view are *way* cooler – though a little too emotive on the partition thing sometimes. But maybe that’s the charm…

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          1. “I think this tendency of Pakistanis (but not just them, also many Indians) to claim ancestry from Kashmir”

            I am not aware of any Indian ethnicity trying to claim ancestry from Kashmir. Who are they? Do u mean select Brahmin groups claiming lineage?

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      2. I think it is because kashmiris are streotyped as very “fair” with the “sharpest features” of the subcontinent more than anything else. If a sino tibetan or AASI shifted people lived there, you would expect to see fewer false claims. Phenotype is a huge part of Kashmir issue. People don’t IMO fully acknowledge depth of racial angle in S Asia.

        Punjabis are “cool” because they benefitted off British military recruitment a lot and monopolized N Indian cinema. Also, windfall of close proximity to both Pak and Indian capitals. They also portray light skinned West Punjabi Khatris as their typical look, something people yearn for the same way they do for what they think is the Kashmiri look.

        Race is far more important to understanding S Asia than it is even understanding the U.S. Despite their similar original respective sins of caste and slavery, the former has a much longer and deeper history of it.

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        1. You are overplaying race in the South Asian context. The fair skinned Kashmiri/Punjabi look is not as important as you think it is.

          South Asians are racially the same as each other anyway. There is nothing equivalent to White people importing Africans as slave labor and the systemic racism faced by their descendants. Perhaps the caste system and “untouchability” is the closest equivalent.

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  28. There is not one fact I have stated that is an interpretation. You can find all of them in the historical record. Please point out where I have ‘interpreted’ facts.
    As I said, I find your passion for Kashmir akin to that of the Khalistani Sikhs living in Canada who express feelings for Punjab they have never visited, never experienced, and known only in tales told by their the elders. You seem to have some Kashmir ancestry, but not enough to justify the passion you exhibit and use as a shield to defend yourself from the facts.

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    1. For what it is worth, most Pakistanis know f-all about Kashmir, even fairly educated ones (like Cambridge-grads and stuff). KQ of average Pakistanis is like an order-of-magnitude less than Indians. I think to a large degree just reflects state propaganda.

      Indian view is affected by state narrative too but a) Indian education is a state-subject and many states of the Union (rightly) don’t give a shit in their curricula and b) in so far as it exists, it reflects the transactional attitude of Indian policy. “We can be part of the Union too what makes them special” POV. The sort of thing EU citizens felt for the most part on Brexit.

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    2. Look, we are not discussing the physical sciences but the Humanities (History and diplomacy). There is no objective “truth” in these disciplines. You believe in your Indian nationalist interpretation and that’s fine as far as it goes. But don’t expect to change the minds of people who do not accept your premise that Kashmir is the property of the Indian State. Kashmiri Muslims and Pakistanis have a very different interpretation of the “facts” than Indian nationalists. If it were all so simple, this would not still be a subject of dispute at the UN.

      This is getting boring, so I’ll bow out.

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      1. Yeah true, thankfully the fate of Kashmiris lies in the hands of Indians (and by proxy N-Indians) who we all know are the only sane people in the discussion unlike Kashmiris or Punjabis. 😛

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