94 thoughts on “Open Thread – Brown Pundits”

  1. A couple of agricultural reforms passed earlier this month will finally give farmers a degree of independence in selling their produce.

    The long-run benefits should be seen in a couple of years and hopefully encourage entrepreneurship within the rural smallholders, the agronomist Ashok Gulati spoke at length about this here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aaYGqBKAUj8

    So many important government decisions appear to lose screen time on Indian media channels and gets replaced in a few days by high-octane low-quality TRP stuff. Many people don’t seem to have the attention span necessary to absorb complex subjects even if it’ll benefit the society in the long run.

    1. I totally like the way this Govt is going about introducing “stealth” reforms. They learnt to survive in the first term. Now they are learning to flourish. Neither the Indian media, the public or the intelligentsia is capable of debating revolutionary change in a sane manner.

      They will apply excessive context to simple incremental changes. Look at the extreme-polation applied to CAA. It was a simple law meant to help persecuted religious minorities. It was turned in to a existential crisis for some of Indiaś citizens. Delhi paid the price for this fanning of the flames.

      1. There was in interesting debate the other day, as to how much this Govt is reformist and it was put somewhere in the middle. I think people in India do not understand or differentiate reforms and overall economic management. They think its one and the same

        NDA 1 did more economic reforms than Rao’s 1992 , but in terms of critical-ness Rao’s reforms were bigger. Of course the loss of 2004 has become a memory of waterloo for the BJP , and now they shy away and relent when push comes to shove. I am pretty sure the Babudom and the states will combine to throttle the agriculture reform.

        Its the same case with UPA (04-14) with NDA (14-24) when the dust settles. The UPA had no reforms and drove the economy with high GDP, essentially accruing more and more deficit and increased Social sector spending (NREGA, farm loan waivers). The Modi years surely will end with average lower growth than UPA with lower deficit numbers. But since deficit is something which future generation pays no one seems to care.

        Even now i dont understand y the BJP still tries to be a fiscal hawk in a free-loader country. Its politically impossible to sustain.

        1. The survival of NDA-2 and birth of NDA-3 is a very important milestone in the political economy of India. Many, many called the elections of 2019 as the Fourth Battle of Panipat. Modi seems to have cleanly dodged all the fatal missiles that NDA-1 could not dodge in their re-election campaign in 2004.

          First off all, India is still the kind of economy completely amenable to Keynesian intervention. No amount of theorizing can change that. Chidambaram and Co overdid it in subjecting the basic engine to all sorts of interventions leading to runaway deficits and inflation.

          Modi’s success lay in doing the same thing but in limited measures. Sonia and NAC were feeding Keynesian stuff like food to the masses, Modi did it like medicine. In small doses but very effective. DBT helped in plugging the leaks. Lower growth but massively reduced inflation and manageable unemployment. The toppings were all the cultural stuff and actions on the border.

          I hope NDA-3 is a bit more reformist on economy front now and radical on the security/borders issues. It will pay off again. Just need more of the same!

    1. Wow, that’s a game changer. Shows that it didn’t just stay in Africa. There must be more sites in Eurasia to be found.

  2. New insights into the origins of Andronovo/Indo Iranians.

    Davidski says unpublished ancient DNA from Fatyanovo-Balanovo (Eastern Corded Ware) is R1a Z93>Z94. Confirming that is where Andronovo come from.

    Fatyanovo-Balanovo is in Northern Russia, not in the Pontic Caspien Steppe.

    According to Wikipedia, it was created by migration of Corded Ware people from Central Europe into Russia. Which fits with Andronovo having 30% Farmer ancestry.

    I assume this is exactly what you expected.

  3. What is interesting to me is……..

    Srubnaya in 1800-1200 BC, in a sense returned to their home in the Pontic Caspien Steppe. They lived outside of it for 1,000 years, aquired 30% Central European ancestry.

    Then, in Iron age in 900 BC, Iranians also returned to their home in the PC Steppe. They too arrived mixed, with 30%+ admixture from multiple places in Asia.

    This puts the historical CImmerians and Sarmatians and Scythians into context.

    They lived in the Indo European homeland, they were Indo European-speaking, they had mostly Proto Indo European ancestry….

    But they weren’t even close to being pure. We would like to pure remanents of Proto-Indo Europeans but they were not. They were mixed, they were the product of two different back migrations into the PC Steppe.

    One from Central Europe back into the PC Steppe, and then one from Central Asia back into the PC Steppe.

    So they had a fascinating history, which stretched from Poland to Kazkahstan.

    It is not the story of most ethnic groups.

    Looking at a Cimmerian in 700 BC, going back in his ancestry 2,000 years, you have his ancestors migrating as far west as Poland and as far east as Kazakhstan, picking up admixture everywhere they went but always returning home.

    1. It would be kind of cool if they still existed today. Wonder what their religion and identity would have been like.

  4. To those of you living in USA/the Anglo/Western world, how do you deal with the people there? They are actually very arrogant,sadist,unfriendly,racist and cruel…how do you get along?
    This is a serious question

      1. No,I am not talking explicitly about racism. I also believe that people are less racist than they used to be in the past.

        But I’ve personally known some who shared their experiences of garbage-bag being thrown on them in UK. I think whether the people are racist enough or not depends on the state/city.

        1. As someone with dark skin, I feel far less racism in the US and Canada than India.

          There have been a couple of minor instances of profiling where race may have played a role, but it is a minor inconvenience in the grand scheme of things.

          I think racism has been wrongly identified as the main reason for disparate outcomes between groups.

  5. karnataka has opened up buying and selling of agricultural land. this is interesting.

  6. How much West Eurasian admixture do Sino-Tibetans like (Ladkhi, Baltis and Sherpas have). Follow up to the studies showing 40% + western ys in Ladakhis and fully western ys in Baltis.

  7. It is not the story of most ethnic groups.

    seems not uncommon on the steppe though. look at the recent oirat/kalmyk moves east to west and back east.

  8. Hi Razib

    I would like to point out Steve Hsu is currently being maliciously and falsely attacked on Twitter in a cancel culture attempt to have him removed at MSU. As you both share an interest in genomics there is some overlap in your and his audience. I would encourage yourself and your audience to support him.


    Steve’s Blog

    MSU Admin org chart:

    1. Unfortunate to see Steve Hsu being targeted, one of the most level headed people out there.

      I know him his unsuccessful run for run for Harvard’s Board of Overseers. Where he ran on a slate that was against anti-asian discrimination in the admission process.

      Wonder if this is why he is being targeted. As a pro-BLM person, the silencing of mildly dissenting viewpoints like Steve’s in this purge is deeply troubling.

    2. The cancel culture stuff is really worrying. The left has climbed down from its embrace of free speech to something that resembles a theocracy itself.

      Despite all this and my own strong feelings about my religion, nation and culture and the sham ‘secularism’ of the left whether in India or elsewhere, I (and I’m sure there are others like me) would still be uncomfortable about being labelled RW since the left is still the only side that cares about climate change, environmental degradation, vegetarianism, sustainability and worker’s rights and I care deeply about these too. Whether in India or elsewhere, the RW would willingly sacrifice the environment at the altar of ‘progress’ or enrichment.

      I’m yet to see an alternative to the labels of left and right that captures something that folks like me would get on the side of. Wonder if there are political ideologies in any country that might fit this..

      1. “only side that cares about climate change, environmental degradation, vegetarianism, sustainability and worker’s rights and I care deeply about these too.”

        I feel that you are being unfair to the Indian RW here by projecting onto them values of the US or western RW.

        Vegetarianism is not something Indian left is ever going to fight for.

        Indian RW does not contain climate change deniers in the mould of Republicans. We are an energy poor country and dependence on fossil fuels has hamstrung our foreign and also internal policies. So moving away from them is not a solely leftist prerogative and the right recognizes that.

        Similarly, at the stage of India’s industrialization, excessive focus on workers’ rights is only going to be counterproductive. We are falling behind Bangladesh and Vietnam. I do understand that this particular topic is more contentious than others. But I do not think Indian RW is particularly bad given our station.

        Indian RW has its own problems but it’s fundamentally different from western RW’s.

        1. Fair points.
          I did mix up the American and Indian RW, but realise that while there’s a few things in common there’s probably more that sets them apart.

      2. \RW would willingly sacrifice the environment at the altar of ‘progress’ or enrichment.\

        Are you sure ?
        The regimes which degraded the environment utmost were USSR and China in their quest for ‘progressive’ industrial policy.

  9. Anonymous Berkeley professor debunks the mainstreams media lies about systemic racism.

    A counternarrative exists. If you have time, please consider examining some of the documents I attach at the end of this email. Overwhelmingly, the reasoning provided by BLM and allies is either primarily anecdotal (as in the case with the bulk of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ undeniably moving article) or it is transparently motivated. As an example of the latter problem, consider the proportion of black incarcerated Americans. This proportion is often used to characterize the criminal justice system as anti-black. However, if we use the precise same methodology, we would have to conclude that the criminal justice system is even more anti-male than it is anti-black.

    Would we characterize criminal justice as a systemically misandrist conspiracy against innocent American men? I hope you see that this type of reasoning is flawed, and requires a significant suspension of our rational faculties. Black people are not incarcerated at higher rates than their involvement in violent crime would predict. This fact has been demonstrated multiple times across multiple jurisdictions in multiple countries.

    And yet, I see my department uncritically reproducing a narrative that diminishes black agency in favor of a white-centric explanation that appeals to the department’s apparent desire to shoulder the ‘white man’s burden’ and to promote a narrative of white guilt.

    If we claim that the criminal justice system is white-supremacist, why is it that Asian Americans, Indian Americans, and Nigerian Americans are incarcerated at vastly lower rates than white Americans? This is a funny sort of white supremacy. Even Jewish Americans are incarcerated less than gentile whites. I think it’s fair to say that your average white supremacist disapproves of Jews. And yet, these alleged white supremacists incarcerate gentiles at vastly higher rates than Jews. None of this is addressed in your literature. None of this is explained, beyond hand-waving and ad hominems. “Those are racist dogwhistles”. “The model minority myth is white supremacist”. “Only fascists talk about black-on-black crime”, ad nauseam.

    These types of statements do not amount to counterarguments: they are simply arbitrary offensive classifications, intended to silence and oppress discourse. Any serious historian will recognize these for the silencing orthodoxy tactics they are, common to suppressive regimes, doctrines, and religions throughout time and space. They are intended to crush real diversity and permanently exile the culture of robust criticism from our department.

    Increasingly, we are being called upon to comply and subscribe to BLM’s problematic view of history, and the department is being presented as unified on the matter. In particular, ethnic minorities are being aggressively marshaled into a single position. Any apparent unity is surely a function of the fact that dissent could almost certainly lead to expulsion or cancellation for those of us in a precarious position, which is no small number.

    I personally don’t dare speak out against the BLM narrative, and with this barrage of alleged unity being mass-produced by the administration, tenured professoriat, the UC administration, corporate America, and the media, the punishment for dissent is a clear danger at a time of widespread economic vulnerability. I am certain that if my name were attached to this email, I would lose my job and all future jobs, even though I believe in and can justify every word I type.

    The vast majority of violence visited on the black community is committed by black people. There are virtually no marches for these invisible victims, no public silences, no heartfelt letters from the UC regents, deans, and departmental heads. The message is clear: Black lives only matter when whites take them. Black violence is expected and insoluble, while white violence requires explanation and demands solution. Please look into your hearts and see how monstrously bigoted this formulation truly is.

    No discussion is permitted for nonblack victims of black violence, who proportionally outnumber black victims of nonblack violence. This is especially bitter in the Bay Area, where Asian victimization by black assailants has reached epidemic proportions, to the point that the SF police chief has advised Asians to stop hanging good-luck charms on their doors, as this attracts the attention of (overwhelmingly black) home invaders. Home invaders like George Floyd. For this actual, lived, physically experienced reality of violence in the USA, there are no marches, no tearful emails from departmental heads, no support from McDonald’s and Wal-Mart. For the History department, our silence is not a mere abrogation of our duty to shed light on the truth: it is a rejection of it.

    The claim that black intraracial violence is the product of redlining, slavery, and other injustices is a largely historical claim. It is for historians, therefore, to explain why Japanese internment or the massacre of European Jewry hasn’t led to equivalent rates of dysfunction and low SES performance among Japanese and Jewish Americans respectively. Arab Americans have been viciously demonized since 9/11, as have Chinese Americans more recently. However, both groups outperform white Americans on nearly all SES indices – as do Nigerian Americans, who incidentally have black skin. It is for historians to point out and discuss these anomalies. However, no real discussion is possible in the current climate at our department. The explanation is provided to us, disagreement with it is racist, and the job of historians is to further explore additional ways in which the explanation is additionally correct. This is a mockery of the historical profession.

  10. i think that’s fake for two reasons

    1) person would have been outed

    2) the person uses “to” instead of “from”. that’s a britishism

    obv i agree with large parts of it, but i think it’s fake

    1. Nice informative presentation. Just saw the whole thing minus the q & a last night half asleep.

      1. there was some interesting stuff, especially on H & R2. with some hindsight now i think some of the ‘deep lineages’ in these may be attributable to the long-term presence of individuals with east iranian affinities in NW south asia from the late pleistocene on.

        that being said i’m pretty skeptical of the r1a arguments since it seems genotyping+large sample sizes are going to cause some distortions. but i need to read the paper to make a definitive conclusion.

        (the coalescene dates are always something i’m iffy about too)

        1. Any Ancient DNA? Is he suggest H and R2 have been in South Asia since the Mesolithic? Didn’t R2 originate somewhere in Siberia?

  11. will any future indian leader have the political capital to treat the chinese leadership the was modi did to xi?

    once the current heat cools down, how will indians react to china?

  12. When talking about superintelligence, everyone mentions the names of Tesla, Einstein or Hawking. However, according to some claims, at the top of the list of the most intelligent people in history is a man whose name few people know – William Sidis. He started speaking at the age of five months, and at the age of seven he spoke seven foreign languages. His IQ is higher than 250. He enrolled at Harvard as a nine-year-old and died of a stroke at the age of 46. On the other hand, the IQ of the greatest scientist in the history of mankind, Nikola Tesla, was, according to some claims, between 230 and 250.

  13. Some discussion on the macroeconomics of the COVID19 crisis and the mostly libertarian economic ideology of the Establishment Republican Party:

    “Hello President Trump: Let’s Not Repeat the Economic Tragedy of the 2010s in the 2020s.” https://naimisha_forest.silvrback.com/hello-president-trump-let-s-not-repeat-the-economic-tragedy-of-the-2010s-in-the-2020s

    “If President Trump wants to bring the economy quickly back to full employment, he will have to confront the Establishment wing of his Republican party. The clash – if it comes – will be over Establishment Republican hostility to government spending. More spending will be needed to bolster an economy staggering under the blows of the COVID19 pandemic and the BLM/Antifa riots, as well as for the public investment in infrastructure, innovation, and worker skills required to lift America’s long-run growth potential. In the 2016 election, Mr. Trump did well to break with Establishment Republican orthodoxies on globalization, trade, and immigration. He should break with their worn-out doctrines on macroeconomics as well.”

  14. Bollywood is finally getting it good
    Pretty much every trending hashtag is about Bollywood and nepotism

  15. Mah-Life, Mah-Rules, Mah-Narrative

    “In a surprise move, Governor of the Punjab Province of Pakistan Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar has made the teaching of the Quran with translation mandatory in all universities in the province”

    “The notification states that a student will not be awarded a degree if he or she does not study the Quran — the holy book of Muslims — with the Urdu translation.”


      1. Either ways with Pakistanis reading Quran, India should be happy:
        1) If they become even more retarded reading Arabic literature, it inevitably will make their lives more miserable.
        1.a) At the very least there will be billions of man-hours wasted in reading the damn thing.
        2) If they become atheist and reconnect with their Indian-roots that is a good outcome for us too.

        1. Correction: *millions not billions.

          Pakistan doesn’t produce enough graduates to waste that many man hours on reading.

          1. Don’t you have anything better to do than troll Pakistan?

            Or has your own third-world country sorted out all its problems?

            As for “Indian roots”: Clearly you don’t understand the basic fact that “Indian” is a nationality. Pakistanis don’t have “Indian” roots. We were never part of the socially constructed entity created in 1947. We were subjects of the BRITISH Indian Empire and now we are citizens of a sovereign Muslim-majority homeland. Sorry it bothers you so much that we didn’t consent to be ruled by Hindus.

        2. Correction: North West South Asian-ness* or East of Middle Eastern-ness* not Indian-ness.

    1. Not sure why you care, since you are not a Pakistani.

      In any case, many of us don’t agree with this move. It suits PTI’s politics though. As many people had pointed out before PTI came to power, they are just an “educated Jamaat-e-Islami”

      If you refrain from trolling Pakistan, I will not respond to you. But this passive aggressive stuff is not going to be let slide.

  16. Do you think there is truth to the fact that pretty much invented everything people love about Middle Eastern and North Indian food?


    rogan josh
    dalut ki chaat

    Middle East
    manti / aushak/ joshpara
    adana kebab
    baba ganoush
    kibbeh nayyeh
    kafta kebab
    kurt yogurt

    Or are most of these Persian, Indian, Arab and Greek anyways? And I’m too easily influenced by people rewriting history?

    1. These are probably dishes that have supplanted native equivalents. I reckon the names were adopted and the native names dropped without changing the actual food itself.

      Reason I say so is that I’ve had samsa and pilaf at an Uzbek restaurant, and apart from the names they’re nothing like the Indian equivalent. They look, smell and taste different and have different ingredients. I found them bland and flavourless. The uzbek waiter was quite apologetic to our Indian group, lol how the times have changed since Babur’s times

      1. I thought they were Persian anyways no? I saw that list on another site but it seems most of those dishes were Persian/Arabic/Greek imo but I could be wrong. Wouldn’t most Mughal chefs have been Persian/Pashtuns anyways?

  17. I feel like postcolonial scholars treat White men like gods.

    And then he said, Let there be two genders: and there were two genders.

    1. Keep an eye on the silence of “Chinese” parties of India and the *ethncities* which have voted them for 40 years (and still vote them)

  18. Can someone explain what issues Nepal has with India?

    I visited some Nepalese forums and many of the posts appear to have an undercurrent of hostility. Perhaps it’s because they’re bordered by UP and Bihar and believe the rest of India has the same socioeconomic and civic dynamics? Is there a racial angle to how the valley Nepalese view the Madhesis and the Indians across the border?

    On another note, do Nepalese even want an open border with India, or is that something they’d like to do away with? India has had problems with terrorists from third countries entering the country via Nepal because of its more liberal visa policy. Would reintroducing visas be an issue?

    A big problem the central government historically has is that long-term foreign policy goals fall prey to petty domestic disputes. Indian policy towards Sri Lanka in the 1980’s was held hostage by politicians in Tamil Nadu, relations with Bangladesh are dependent on what happens in West Bengal. The Nepal policy of the 2000’s was filibustered by Indian communists who held sway over the government then, they were more concerned about ideology instead of seeing things from a geopolitical angle, and are partly responsible for the strength of the Nepalese communists now. There were rumours that the 2015 blockade was connected to the Bihar elections. Then there’s I.K. Gujral who was prime minister for less a year and he dismantled Indian counter-intelligence operations out of some sentimental Punjabiyat, it didn’t end well and the country paid the price in Kargil ’99 and Mumbai ’08. He even tried to abandon Siachen but got vetoed by the military.

    The Lutyens types policymakers and analysts in Delhi base their actions upon what’ll help make friends with academia, journalists and politicians in the West. They need to let go of Nehruvian idealism and make realistic long-term decisions in the country’s self-interest which is what normal countries do.

    1. Q) “Can someone explain what issues Nepal has with India?”

      A) “The Nepal policy of the 2000’s was filibustered by Indian communists who held sway over the government then, they were more concerned about ideology instead of seeing things from a geopolitical angle, and are partly responsible for the strength of the Nepalese communists now.”

      Also check who India;s NSA was around that time, and from which state, and the NSA after that and from which state 🙂

      When ur own country communists supported the Chinese in 62 war, India;s expectation was Nepali communists siding with India. Kautilya rolled in his grave

      1. Maybe don’t steal Nepali land.

        No one likes the regional hegemon. You all think you are a “superpower” which is totally delusional.

        The only reason you can’t bully Pakistan is because we are also a nuclear weapon state.

        1. “Maybe don’t steal Nepali land.”

          The border there has existed since 1865, even the Chinese opened up trade in the Lipulekh pass back in 1997. The land belongs to the people from the local Garbiyang and Gunji villages, whose ancestors also had land in present-day Nepal before abandoning it after the Treaty of Sugauli in 1816.

          “The only reason you can’t bully Pakistan is because we are also a nuclear weapon state.”

          India having nukes didn’t prevent Pakistan from invading in Kargil ’99.

          1. Nepal obviously has a different perspective, which I guess you all haven’t bothered to find out. Not used to smaller countries in South Asia not taking dictation from “big brother”.

            It is because Pakistan has nukes that all you people can do are “surgical strikes”. If we didn’t have them, you people would have crossed the International Border like you did in 1965 when we repelled your attack on Lahore.

          2. “If we didn’t have them, you people would have crossed the International Border like you did in 1965 when we repelled your attack on Lahore.”

            Operation Gibraltar would like to have a word with you.

          3. Yes, Pakistan crossed into Occupied Kashmir which is a DISPUTED TERRITORY. If India had crossed the LOC, it would have been one thing. But crossing the Undisputed International Border was something different.

            Anyway, the point remains that since we now have nukes, you can’t even imagine pulling off shit like that.

          4. The crossing was a response to Operation Grand Slam. You appear to be supporting the fact that Pakistan started a conflict and invasion but then complain that the response wasn’t along expected lines and how you wanted it to be.

          5. I’m not justifying Pakistan sending irregulars into Occupied Kashmir.

            But there is a huge difference between crossing into a DISPUTED TERRITORY and an actual International Border.

            The point remains that you can’t even dream of crossing our International Borders ever again. Even your “surgical strikes” saw reprisals by our air force.

            Much easier to bully Nepal than to deal with countries that are as strong as you (Pakistan) or stronger (China).

          6. “But there is a huge difference between crossing into a DISPUTED TERRITORY and an actual International Border.”

            Op Grand Slam didn’t cross the LoC but the Working Boundary, which runs between Jammu and Pak Punjab. You seem to be of the view that Pakistan can carry out invasions from Punjab but India can’t do the reverse.

          7. “Working Boundary” is a Pakistani term.

            You people officially consider that an International Border. Thanks for conceding my country’s position that Jammu is also part of the DISPUTED TERRITORY.

            Lahore is UNDISPUTED Pakistani territory and yet you people invaded it. Completely unacceptable. And impossible for you to do ever again since we now have nukes.

            Now go worry about China which is kicking your ass as we speak.

          8. “Lahore is UNDISPUTED Pakistani territory and yet you people invaded it. Completely unacceptable.”

            If Pakistan starts a war they don’t get to decide where the opposing force invades or not. India wasn’t interested in any war, Ayub Khan thought he could get away with Kashmir and invaded from Punjab, I don’t see why he didn’t expect retaliation in the same province.

          9. Crossing a settled International Border is obviously a bigger escalation than crossing a ceasefire line.

            That’s an elementary fact.

          10. The biggest escalation is starting a war in the first place. If a dictator chooses to invade a country he doesn’t get to tell the other party to retaliate only in certain places and not in others.

          11. You seem to be very slow. You don’t get the basic difference between a DISPUTED TERRITORY and a country’s sovereign territory.

            This conversation is pointless.

    2. The Nepal question is one I’ve wondered about myself. There’s a free border and open movement of people, remittances from workers in India making up quite a large % of GDP, Nepali citizens allowed to work in Indian gov’t positions, etc. Nepali speakers of relatively recent origin are the majority in Sikkim and North Bengal, contrast this to the way they were booted out of Bhutan. I genuinely don’t see what the grounds for grievances are.

      I’m not sure about the racial angle though, there’s plenty of Indians who have unsavoury impressions of Nepalis.

      The big country-small country dynamic and some genuine instances of ‘bullying’ can be seen in so many places around the world. China-Vietnam, USA-Mexico, Russia-Ukraine or Russia-Georgia, etc. Is India-Nepal even in this category?

      As an aside, the various border disputes in the subcontinent (Durand Line, McMahon line, Treaty of Sugauli, etc. are a painful reminder of British imperialists entering into unequal treaties and drawing borders willy-nilly, and the successor states having to pick up the pieces.

      1. “the various border disputes in the subcontinent (Durand Line, McMahon line, Treaty of Sugauli, etc. are a painful reminder of British imperialists entering into unequal treaties and drawing borders willy-nilly”

        Many of the borders weren’t willy-nilly, some of them make sense (eg. following mountain ranges). The point is even if the British didn’t make the borders someone in the administration had to, this statement makes the assumption that the local rajas and nawabs would do a better job of drawing borders. One look at the princely state map of India will tell you that this is not the case, and ethnic, religious, and linguistic lines didn’t play a role in determining the geographic territories of the various kingdoms. With a few exceptions, many of the nobility cared just for pomp and prestige without much thought for their demographics.

        In the case of the McMahon Line, the Qing empire itself was an imperial power and entered into unequal treaties with most of its neighbors at its zenith in the 1700s during the 10 great campaigns. The present Chinese claim is based on a maximalist position that Arunachal was part of Tibet during its conquest by the Qing (it would be similar to Germany claiming the Congo because they occupied Belgium in WW1&2). That is like saying that the Qing conquest of Tibet was legitimate but the British administration of Arunachal is illegitimate. The Chinese aren’t particularly disfavourable to unequal treaties, they’re just opposed to treaties that are unfavourable to THEM in particular.

        The Durand Line is likewise, Afghanistan did gain some territory (the Wakhan corridor and some other areas) as a result of the agreement that fixed the western border. Various Afghan kings were quite uppity and invaded India a couple of times. Some Pashtuns were opposed to the line in 1947 but they’re mostly fine with the status quo now. The reason the normally bombastic Shah Mehmood Qureshi doesn’t bring up the McMahon Line in his occasional tirades on India is that the legitimacy of the Durand Line lies on the same administration.

        As for the Treaty of Suguali, even if it didn’t happen, the Nepalese had conquered large areas where the Pahari tribes resided in Uttarakhand in a not-peaceful way, those tribes wouldn’t be happy being administered by Nepal. Whichever way you see it, some people would be left unhappy by any treaty that would be drawn up after the impending war.

        Tl;dr: Even without the British, India would have had issues deciding its borders with the neighbors.

        1. “Afghans invaded India”:

          Newsflash genius, “India” is a SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED entity and never existed before August 15, 1947.

          If you mean BRITISH India or the Mughal Empire, use the historically correct terms.

          1. Kabir, i (mostly) support u, but now u are pushing it by making “socially constructed” arguments

          2. It is simply a fact that “India” as a nation-state didn’t exist before 1947. ALL nations are socially constructed.

            Anyone who insists otherwise is guilty of Ahistorical thinking.

          3. “ALL nations are socially constructed.”

            Some have deeper roots than others, this is a content free phrase imo.

            Anyone who insists otherwise is guilty of Ahistorical thinking.

            Notions of “anyone”, “insisting”, “guilt”, “historicity”, and “thought” are all social constructs

          4. The fact remains that there was no “India” before August 15, 1947.

            Sorry, Indian nationalists, but you’re going to have to learn to deal with this fact.

            BRITISH India was NOT “India” neither was the Mughal Empire (Hindustan).

            Your nation is just as constructed as mine.

        2. Great comment.
          I wasn’t taking sides in the unequal treaties bit (since most border treaties will be seen as unequal by the defeated party). Just that the various border disputes could be traced back to the Brits and their various motivations at the time (Great Game, etc). Whether any princely state would have done better is a counterfactual at this stage.

          Ofc the world knows that the CCP claims on Arunachal, Ladakh, Sikkim etc. are maximalist BS. Only a matter of time before they start claiming Vladivistok

          1. Do you know why those regions have Indian y dnas? Ladakh at ~40%. I thought Hindus and Buddhists didn’t mix or did they aborb an older Indian population>

  19. Is there any chance of a SAT like (private) exam to take over standardized high-school testing in India. CBSE exams at high school level are a joke anyways. This year the remaining exams (due to Corona) have been cancelled and grades allotted via schools. With optional central testing the whole thing is without teeth.

    I ask this because too many kids get high grades in these exams and this ‘false’ promise in academics emboldens parents to push them extra hard and burn out over the next two years. Maybe an exam that tests for aptitude and interest. I am fine with the 12th standard exam, with maybe a few tweaks but the 10th exams are a waste of time.

    1. “Is there any chance of a SAT like (private) exam to take over standardized high-school testing in India.”

      Do you mean like the Gao Kao in China? Many parts of India are in unequal socioeconomic situations and those who observe state-level education boards are cognizant of this fact. Then there’s the issue of cheating, with a state-level paper a leak can be contained to within, say Bihar, but if it’s a national exam then the states with lower security for question papers would throw the entire national exam system in jeopardy. Besides, many of the better colleges in India have their own entrance exams, and won’t give up their autonomy for competing for the best students.

      “I am fine with the 12th standard exam, with maybe a few tweaks but the 10th exams are a waste of time.”

      Two exams serve as a cushion in case one of them doesn’t go well, especially since these grades are used right up to graduation level for employers to sift through candidates. Many students also directly head to coaching schools after the 10th standard exams, and they concentrate more on the college entrance exams rather than the 12th standard, so it provides for comparison with others in case they shift to the state boards, which vary greatly in quality across the country.

      “I ask this because too many kids get high grades in these exams and this ‘false’ promise in academics emboldens parents to push them extra hard and burn out over the next two years.”

      There’s a post-college graduation demand-side problem where the economy just can’t provide enough jobs for the number of people passing out. The two-year burn out is a result of the lack of employment opportunities for those from lesser-known colleges. If people have a sense that there are enough jobs in the country to go about then the rat race wouldn’t be as severe.

      1. I am unfamiliar with Gao Kao. Cheating really boils down to lack of will to stop it. Indians in general lack integrity and a full proof anti-cheating system is not that hard if there is institutional will.

        This is anecdotal but I have seen Chinese students cheat aggressively on home-works and tests, fake results, misreport/misrepresent data and even publish bogus-wrong research. I have a nagging suspicion that they are even worse than us in integrity department. Time will tell.

        I think that there is not even one employer in the world(India) who cares about 10th grades. Utility of 12th ends after university (DU,Loyola,Xavier,Christian,AMU,BHU type) admissions. If it is entirely useless why do people even bother with 10th standard exams?

        I agree that if economy sucks everything else sucks.

        1. “Homeworks”– the word is HOMEWORK: singular not plural.

          People who can’t write correct English should really not be commenting on anything.

  20. Someone commented that Tamils are 60% West Eurasian but given Basal Eurasian, AASI and ENA in Iran_N and ENA in Steppe_MLBA does that actually seem likely? Even NW Indians are not 60% West Eurasian if we take that into account.

    1. You can’t define “West Eurasians” as an actual phylogenetic “lineage”. All West Eurasians are a mix of Basal Eurasian, ENA, and something related to the main stream of ancestry seen with the Upper Paleolithic populations of Europe (Kostenki14 and company).

      I mean, WHG had ENA admixture… ANE had ENA admixture… CHG had ENA admixture… Iran_N had ENA admixture… etc.

      As a result, all living “West Eurasians” have ENA admixture. So, why focus on northwestern South Asians?

      ^ Anyway, that’s all based on some very tentative models.

      An easier, less conceptually taxing method of defining West Eurasians is to just use clustering methods on genetic data, and to then simply examine how the “clusters” turn out.

      It’s not exactly that simple, and we can’t completely ignore the actual complexities of ancient admixture… but for the purposes of pragmatic ease, and for the purposes of quick classification of our data (with a recognition that all classifications are partially founded on a level of “irreality”), it’s a good way of doing things.

      These methods can be as basic as k-means, or as sophisticated as fineSTRUCTURE.

      ^ And as per these various methods, if you want only 3 “clusters” of human populations (which is admittedly much too little), then you have one huge cluster stretching from Ireland to northwestern India (or as it’s often called, West Eurasia), vs Sub-Saharan Africans and East Asians+Americans+most tribal and scheduled caste South Asians (ENA. Yeah, many of these populations are partially “West Eurasian”, but we aren’t concerning ourselves with the deeper dynamics).

      It’s a basic, undisputed result that’s typical across all methods used for clustering human populations into “populations” that aren’t predefined (again, from k-means, to mCLUST, all the way to fineSTRUCTURE). Sindhis, Jatts (all kinds, from Pakistani Punjab to Haryana), Rors, Khatris, Kashmiris, and all Brahmins (north, south, east, and west) are part of the same big, broad cluster as the Irish or the Hungarians or Moroccans or Iranians or Yemenis.

      Which aligns rather nicely with the physical anthropology too: all of these populations have always been construed as “Caucasoid”, from the very beginning of that concept’s conception.

      If you want examples of such clustering, I could post examples (once I have time).

      1. I’m having trouble believing WHG had ENA admixture. I think there’s some sort of ENA shifted ghost population that accounts for this shift. Or maybe that is the SE Asian ancestors of K2b/P? That would at least account for ENA in ANE although I’ve heard Tianyuan is a very bad fit for the ENA in Yana.

        Anyways do you think we could have this conversation offline?

      2. honestly, you can extend that to most of India. Gracile indids are the most common phenotype in India, per old school anthropology standards. They are considered a caucasoid subtype under the greater “indid” umbrella. So it extends beyond those NW types. They were just considered more of a Nordid stock than the Mediterranead types of the more gracile peoples of the gangetic plains and Deccan. This is barring tribals, SC castes, and dalits. Upper castes (Kshatriya, Brahmin, and Vaishya [not always included but they often wear the sacred thread])+OFCs+OBCs do form the bulk of the Indian population.

  21. Can someone explain how the r/India subreddit turned so partisan the past couple of years? Some of the posts over the last few months don’t even attempt neutral reporting.

    Chinese strategy seems to be based on staving off any economic sanctions or any cut in imports by India. What could influence the thought process of Indian leaders vis-a-vis popularity ? A retreat to original position by Chinese at the border along with status quo in terms of trade OR curbs in imports from China but continual fights at the border without retreat by China. If the Indians are passionate about land , China would retreat to its original position but force India to maintain status quo in terms of imports from China. If Indians are passionate about curbing imports from China and encouraging indigenous industries , China may not relinquish land easily and the skirmishes may go on albeit without escalation. China has much more to lose in case of escalation of fights.

  23. @Razib

    not being sarcastic and with respect I think however sincere your efforts to look at Indian history deeply and distill the most relevant and unbiased details, the battle lines have already been drawn. No one is going to budge then why even make the effort? Isn’t it all (the bp/Indian stuff not the gnxp) worthless or at the very least not worthwhile?

    This cycle of dysfunctional conversations repeats over and over again and truthfully I am guilty of trolling too. But now I am tired, even more so after realizing that nothing is changing.

    Wave after wave of salivating/begging usually smart Indians will want to immigrate to the west and give BS reasons to not help our own, Gora and Yellow people will keep kicking our ass at everything, North-west-south-Asian-Indians will remain retarded and all brown people will remain (relatively) pathetic. None of this is changing, no consensus, no agreement, no reconciliation or understanding is ever going to emerge here on these threads. If nothing is changing on the ground then why even bother? Or should we do it only out of genuine scholarly curiosity?

      1. @Jatt_Scythian
        On threads:
        I used to think that there is just misunderstanding between Indians living in Republic of India and Pakistan. I also though that people are in general truthful and can be reasoned with, that they are capable of having consistent, unbiased views and natural humility. Really disappointed.

        On India:
        In brief I want Indians to have a better life, at-least a live able life. I want them to be happy, confident and healthy. I get especially horrified when I look at the malnutrition/stunted/wasted/anemic numbers in India. You can’t even imagine how bad life is for Indian people who live in slums next to perpetually on fire mountains of trash near Najafgarh drain. Travel to some places in Jharkhand and the bleakness and lack of human-life’s dignity will stare you in the face. I want things to change, I want us to be prosperous and do well in things that others are doing good at like economy, science, arts, literature, sports.

        I think it is criminal for smart/educated brown people to not reach out and help our own. I get especially unnerved by those pretending to be Gora people themselves and not giving thought to others left behind. Do something dammit there are literally hundreds of millions in India who need us.

        Some preaching:
        For starters those of us who can should be building businesses that employ Indians because ultimately all of it boils down to money.

        My credentials:
        Had been very active with rural education through National Service Scheme in my college days. Currently (in US grad school) working with a participatory development NGO in India on projects I know for sure will have large impact.

  24. not being sarcastic and with respect I think however sincere your efforts to look at Indian history deeply and distill the most relevant and unbiased details, the battle lines have already been drawn. No one is going to budge then why even make the effort? Isn’t it all (the bp/Indian stuff not the gnxp) worthless or at the very least not worthwhile?

    most people are stupid or ignorant. but there is the Elect.

    the truth matters on some level. your mileage may vary.

  25. Yeah, i would say these things have reached a certain equilibrium in the sub continent. Everyone goes around doing or claiming their own thing. Perhaps new research and all shift perspective but only a little.

    That’s what i was initially surprised as to how seriously people take genetics and minute details regarding all this stuff.

    1. Are you well versed in economic matters?

      What’s the potential for industry in India?

      Climate change will wipe out most cocoa production from West Africa by the 2050’s. WHat’s the potential of South India becoming the world foremost cocoa producer?

      Also I think countries will try to shift their supply chains away from China. What’s the potential for India to replace China in things such as appliance production? What about rare earth element production and such?

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