Open Thread – 08/01/2020 – Brown Pundits

I think when we started the Brown Pundits Browncast we planned a ~1 time a week affair. As it happens it’s not that regular. The Browncast will be gone for 3 weeks, and then come back every other day for a week. Really you should subscribe at one of the options (just click the link in the strip above the latest podcast).

If you want to hear the podcasts early, please become a Patron. I do post them early. Sometimes hours. Sometimes days. Now and then weeks. And on an occasion here and there months. There is also a podcast you can’t hear unless you are a patron since the person interviewed was up for a government position, and they thought it would be best to remove all public opinions for the moment.

The open threads are getting super long, and I will try some non-WP option at some point. Also something with a killfile. I’m pretty relaxed on censorship with the open threads…but at some point, the nastiness is going to turn people off.

I am frustrated by the historical ignorance of many readers of this weblog and “India” Twitter. So a question, if there are three history books someone should read on the West, India, and China, what would they be? I have plenty of suggestions but I’m wondering what the reader would say.

I’m not going to post a separate show notes episode for Kushal Mehra and myself talking about caste, but it’s up.

347 thoughts on “Open Thread – 08/01/2020 – Brown Pundits”

  1. Hmm, I haven’t read much about India, but the last two books I read were the following. Aside from Keay, you’re probably not going to find a good survey that’s not wholly ideological (eg Guha).

    – Mughal Warfare
    – War and Peace in Modern India

    Regarding the West, I’m more well-read on this. I will leave it to only America for now, I would start with Herring’s “From Colony to Superpower,” it’s probably the best one-volume history of American diplomatic/military history there is (read it in college, long ago.)

    1. The poll will be closed in a few more hours, so if you haven’t voted yet, but wish to do so then this is the last chance.

    1. Please stop taking my name in vain.

      I am not and have never been “Hindu”. I was born into a Muslim family, thanks to Allah.

        1. God forbid. I will never abandon the true God for idol worship.

          If you want me to go away stop taking my name all the time in this passive-aggressive fashion.

          1. idol worship? met think the kufar doth protest too much!

            tawhid in the streets, but so much shirk in the sheets kabir…the lord on high knows you bow low before kali queen of skulls!

          2. I will never bow to anyone except the one true God: Allah.

            Calling a Pakistani Muslim “Hindu” is extremely insulting.

          3. Shit Kabir I didn’t know you were a Hindu. That’s so cool. We ought to do something for Diwali together this year.

          4. I don’t worship idols.

            As for Diwali, the greatest Indo-Islamic Dynasty (the Mughals) used to celebrate it. I have no problem with wishing people well on their celebrations. But that doesn’t change the fact that I was born a Muslim and will die a Muslim. Leaving Islam is probably the worst sin a Muslim can commit.

          5. \Leaving Islam is probably the worst sin a Muslim can commit.\
            Yes in the eyes of Muslim; but the very fact that you have left Islam means within your conscience you are clear and you have committed nothing objectioanable or in the eyes of non Muslims (majority of mankind) you have committed no sin. The latter may heave a sigh of relief.
            BTW, it is curious you bring the Christian idea of sin for leaving Islam ; I thought apostacy is matter of treason against Umma and sharia; that is the reason why it invited the wrath of Muslims.
            I thought in Christainm scoeity sin and sinners may be punished by god – but society and laws are more lax

          6. Kabir says he doesnt worship Idols.

            I ask, what is that phallic Black meteorite you Moslems bow and pray towards on a daily basis? And why do you lick this phallic black stone while on pilgrimage in Mecca? Perhaps the homophobia we see in Moslem countries is actually a sign of a hidden/latent fascination for the phallus/BBC. That African blood from the slave trade certainly made its mark. No harm, I say indulge your fantasies. But let the Arab women have their fun too. I’d love to see more Kanye West-esque couples except with Arab Muslim women in tow. They need BBC too.

          7. Not only did they celebrate Diwali, they were such Ram bhakts that they destroyed most of the temples in Ayodhya.

          8. It is a historical fact that the Mughals celebrated Diwali and Holi. There are plenty of illustrations to prove it.

            But please feel free to continue with your Hindutva history.

          1. Yes, If you are thanking your ancestors, then you should thank the Fire God for keeping them alive from the Islamic invaders. Who knows, they might’ve been Christians/Jews also.

          2. All that matters to me is that they were Muslim. Even if they were originally Christians or Jews, Christians and Jews are “people of the book” and worship the one true God. They are not idoloters.

          3. You have no idea why my ancestors may have converted to Islam (neither do I). The only relevant factor for me is that we have been Muslim for hundreds of years.

          4. If you go by how Islam was spread across different parts of the world, Persia wouldn’t have been any different. Iran was a major polity for quite some time, so if a well read, culturally superior population (To Arabs) can get completely converted in a 200 years with out force, that would indeed be a miracle.

    2. It was truly hilarious.
      There was that guy srikiant krsn… Who is A rare supporter of AMT who also seemed agitated. I have seen his blog – lot of stuff over there. He might make a good guest for brown cAST.

      Btw hindutva twitter too serious n angry to get jokes on them. Hope they change over time.

  2. West- From Dawn to Decadence by Jacques Barzun.
    India- India Through the Ages by Jadunath Sarkar.
    China – A new history by Fairbank and Goldman

  3. For ancient history I rely on Upinder Singh’s books. Find them the least ideological. Her latest on political violence in ancient India is also very well written. Lot of textual information on Ancient India – Hindu and Buddhist thought. The textbook of Indian history by her is also a good read though very textbook like.

    Aa I mentioned earlier in some open thread I am also looking to read up Sarkar and other RW historians.

    I like Guha’s books on modern history though I can see some bias from time to time. Meaning to read Meenakshi Jain/Shourie and Sitaram goel too.

    Recently also read the Gita Press and Making of Hindu Rashtra by Akshaya Mukul. Extremely interesting book which gets slightly repitative towards the end. But an eye opener for the uncelebrated (Heroes or Villiansn as per ones preference). Whatever be one’s preference Potdar comes across as a extremely fascinating individual.

    1. Gaurav, also check out A Prehistory of Hinduism by Manu Devadevan. For China read, China’s Cosmopolitan Empire: The Tang Dynasty by Mark Edward Lewis, about so called “golden age ” of China.

      1. Curious, I’ve mentioned “a prehistory of hinduism” on this forum before. I feel like it would add a lot to the conversations here because it offers an addition theses on the genesis of hindu identity beyond usually stated options. How compelling was it for you?

        1. I remembered reading the author interview

          “Your comments on the brouhaha over Jack Dorsey holding up a placard saying ‘Smash Brahminical Patriarchy’?

          I find such slogans very interesting for a rather bizarre reason. They embody a strange contradiction as it were, for they occur as value-loaded expressions even when they are semantically hollow. The word ‘Brahminical’ is reduced to a porous signifier that can contain anything and everything that a progressive mind abhors. It is in this sense similar to the shallow ways in which terms such as ‘feudal’ and ‘medieval’ are used as adjectives for anything that is authoritarian and undemocratic. Ask the placard holders what ‘Brahminical’ means, and you will either face an outburst of reactionary self-righteousness, or be accused of affiliations with Hindu fundamentalists. The more sober among the placard holders may present you with a poor summary of the Manusmriti and a poorer assessment of its advocates, as if there are people in India whose lives are modelled after the Manusmriti to the last letter. The time is perhaps ripe now for us to admit that progressive movements in India have not only used the word ‘Brahminical’ with little sense of awareness or discretion, but have dogmatised it beyond redemption, even by the standards of mediocre political rhetoric.“

          1. couldn’t agree more –
            As if with a swish of wand we remove Brahminism patriarchy will be gone ?
            One more tragedy with the use of these words is the average person doesn’t really get these labels. As if there is a definition somewhere in primary education on Brahmanism.
            And in general, wrt sexism/patriarchy – I often think it works both ways – culture -> Religion and Religion->culture.

          2. Brahminism like many other reified concepts becomes more useless the more removed one is from the original context..It leads to this over-projection of qualities. For example, theres plenty and more patriarchy in shudra culture, and yet the woke diaspora romanticizes the idea that it could only be an imposition by brahminic hegemony. Its sort of inconvenient to discover then that brahmins, holding many other factors equal, often give great freedom to their daughters that I don’t see to the same degree in my community. That said, i do think there is an overcompensation by many hindnat types to treat the concept as illegitimate altogether. It might be in want of a renaming, but the concept need not be so negatively charged, and is quite useful.

        2. @girmit

          Very compelling, I enjoyed that he finds a sensible middle ground between the often ridiculous antiquity attributed to Hindu religion and equally absurd ideas that Hinduism was invented by the British in the 19th century. I learned a lot. You seem to have good taste in books. Do you have a good reads list or record of books you recommend on these topics? We can also connect over email or social media

  4. So, with all the talk on racism/colonialism, it brings to mind one of my favourite films:
    “The Party”

    Yes Peter Sellers is in brownface, and yes it is incredibly offensive (by today’s standards), but I find it hilarious. He gets down all the mannerisms of an Indian Uncle perfectly, including repeating something they find phonetically entertaining (birdy num num).

    Any thoughts?

  5. India twitter is pretty bad… even worse than American twitter and that’s saying something.

    I recently read William Dalrymple’s The Anarchy which I thought was a fantastic book. I know a lot of people hate on him, but its excellent insight into the events which led to the takeover by the East India Company.

      1. Kabir’s short biography from his personal website:

        “I am a Pakistani-American writer and musician. I hold a B.A. Degree from The George Washington University, where I Majored in Dramatic Literature and Minored in Western Classical Music (Voice). I have also studied Hindustani (North Indian) Classical Vocal from an early age. During my undergrad education, I also spent two years in Pakistan, where I studied Literature and Social Sciences–including Anthropology and Philosophy. Currently, I am based in Lahore and am teaching a course on the History of South Asian Music at one of Pakistan’s premier universities.”

        Samples of my singing can be heard at”

        I thought you said you had a Master’s degree in Hindustani Classical Music Kabir? I don’t see that listed here. Did you forget to lie about it here? Also, your singing sucks donkey balls. I’d rather hear my dog bark than listen to that cacophonus BS.

        1. This is just nasty for no good reason. Razib takes shots at him, but it is also his blog, his rules. If everybody talks trash like this, then it’s game over for any kind of good faith conversation. I would say the same if someone trashed you in an intensely personal way. Please reconsider your tone, there are very few south-asian spaces online that haven’t devolved into hostile drive-by trolling as the only way of expression.

          1. Thanks girmit. These kinds of personal attacks are not on. This dude has actually posted my personal face pictures somewhere online (that’s in a comment in moderation). That’s completely unacceptable and I would ask that they be taken down immediately.

            I’m not the only person he’s gone after like this. He did the same to warlock as well. Clearly, the dude has some issues.

          2. yeah, i agree with this. chill out a bit APthk. making fun of kabir’s pomposity is fine, but don’t engage in serious slurring.

        2. Dude, not done, and not cool.

          There’s a big difference between teasing or good-natured ribbing/trolling, and this sort of personal attack. Show some decency. Show some respect for the man’s truly legit accomplishments and achievements, and basic humanity when talking to people. Disagreement and disrespect are worlds apart.

          @Kabir – we’re with you on this one.

  6. I want to see some life on the podcast, can you invite any artist, like musicians experimenting with fusion music (for example, Indian Raga, etc.) or a fiction writer about Indian (S.A) diaspora in the US? Too much of politics and culture war going on without any “actual” culture.

  7. Pakistan beat Afghans black and blue. This is pre-mediated bloodshed, what is going on here? Whats the point of this?

    ” Some of the most intense border clashes between Pakistan and Afghanistan in recent years left at least 15 civilians dead on the Afghan side on Thursday, officials said.
    Afghanistan accused Pakistani forces of firing heavy artillery into civilian areas after protests by communities on both sides who were demanding the reopening of a nearby border crossing that Pakistan had closed to try to limit the spread of the coronavirus.”

    1. You are presenting the Afghan side of the story. The Pakistani side is here:

      “The Foreign Office said in a late evening statement that Pakistani troops had responded to firing by the Afghan forces. “Pakistani Force did not open fire first and responded in self-defence only,” the FO said, rejecting Afghan allegation of firing at the civilian population.

      Information Minister Senator Shibli Faraz said certain people had tried to cross the Chaman border forcibly and at the same time gunshots were fired from the Afghan side. ”

  8. Calling a Pakistani Muslim “Hindu” is extremely insulting.

    so pakistanis must be extremely insulted whenever they are in iran or the arab world, because that’s what they see when they see the likes of you. it’s like that scene in annie hall when woody allen’s character imagines his gf’s family is seeing him as a hasidic jew. the arab looks at your hindu face and sees krishna dancing with the gopis.

    your ancestral gods are within you, always winking out whenever you bow down before the semitic sky god you worship.

    1. My father’s ancestors were from Iran in any case so the entire point you are making is totally irrelevant.

  9. razib is doing ghar wapsi better than 99% of bhakts even though he’s being an edgelord/ironybro while at it.

    1. I condemn the attack ( may he rest in peace) but I also see you always blowing the news out of proportion.
      Everyone has equal rights in India.
      Muslims for what I Have seen live around the Mosques and in Clustered societies (economic developement is necessary i think). The mewat region is absolutely backward and gangs run riots across the town. My father says they are
      not resilient to change i.e schooling, way too political , massive fertility rates etc.
      Things like killing, lynching happens because pf cocky youths(boys) and lawlessness and low level corruption.

      You Will never know unless you spend some time here.
      I think Kabir you are real Pakistani Nationalist and a real troller and believer in Islam.
      the more you interact with Dumb types the more your hatred towards india will increase and I don’t want that to happen.

      1. If you don’t see the significance of attacking a Muslim for supposedly carrying beef on Eid ul Azha, I can’t really help you.

        “Everyone has equal rights in India”–I’d like to believe that, but with Hindu Hriday Samrat in charge it’s just not true anymore.

        I don’t hate India, I hate Hindutva. There is a difference. I come from an extremely liberal Pakistani family. We have always looked up to Nehruvian Secular India and are deeply saddened to see it being destroyed daily. I have studied Hindustani classical music (including bhajans). Not exactly an “Islamist” despite what people here would like to think.

        I have been to India when I was much younger (Delhi and Agra). My dadi’s relatives still live in her ancestral home in Agra. Unfortunately, Hindu Hriday Samrat is not going to give Pakistanis (even those of us who are foreign citizens) visas.

        1. I wonder what would happen if I slaughtered a Pig in public and carried some Pork meat with me in a basket in a busy market in Karachi or Lahore, all the while wearing a shirt that says “Om” on it while wearing the sacred threads on my wrist. Maybe they will garland me… with a grenade necklace.

          1. Ah yes, hypothetical whataboutery. Learn better argumentation “White passing” troll. Go back to school.

            India is a SECULAR state. Pakistan is an ISLAMIC Republic. If you think beating someone with a hammer on SUSPICION of carrying beef is acceptable behavior in a SECULAR state, you have severe issues.

          2. Oh really?

            Some are of the opinion that it is actually a secular state or “semi-secular”.

            Muhammad Ali Jinnah certainly espoused such views. Or Imran Khan for instance, who has indicated something along those lines in the past: “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan on Thursday declared that “every Pakistani is equal by rights regardless of their religion” and that “state has no religion”.

            In a photo post on his ‘verified’ Facebook account attributed to him, it was stated “every Pakistani is equal by rights regardless of their religion; state has no religion”.

            Leaders of the center and center-left parties like MQM’s Altaf Hussain, PPP’s slain leader Benazir Bhutto and ANP leaders have all spoken in favour of secularism before but this is the first time that PTI chief has professed the idea of a secular state.”

            Also, while religious hate crimes are certainly bad, I dont see how they prove that India as a whole is not a secular state. Some fine reasoning there. By that logic, I can claim that even the US is not a secular state, since it has suffered from a spate of religous hate crimes in the past decade, ranging from attacks on Sikhs to Jews to Muslims to Orthodox Christians to even Hindus:


            Then again, why do I even bother replying to you. Oh right. I like proving just how knowledgeable you are. Please teach us more of your big-brained wisdom, oh wise one.

          3. Clearly you know nothing about Imran Khan. He’s a right-wing born-again Muslim. PTI is a Right-wing Party.

            The clue is in Pakistan’s name: The ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of Pakistan.

          4. @Apthk

            Why would Pakistani Muslims care about you carrying pork in public? They don’t think the pig is their mother like Hindus think about the cow, they don’t eat pig coz they think it’s unclean. So they might pity you for carrying the meat of an unclean animal but they wouldn’t lynch you lol.

            Your attempts at even whataboutery are pathetic.

          5. @Curious

            Exactly. Muslims despise the pig. It has nothing to do with compassion for sentient creatures. Easy to mix up hate and love.

        2. Maybe people have been frustrated with the application of Weird ” Pseudo Secularism” in India and corruption charges with dynastic tendency didn’t sit well with Indians( mostly hindus obviously) that’s why they voted for modi.
          I was a NDTV watcher, Dhruv Rathee follower and not-anti but not-pro modi but after the behavior of the left with succumbing alternative speech and the worldwide left phenomena I stopped watching the Mainstream media full stop.
          I have never heard Hindu Hriday Samrat before you said it.
          Probably beacuse i don’t go Social Media often.
          Are you @KabirAltaf?

          1. Being frustrated with “pseudosecularism” (an extremely problematic Right Wing term) does not in any way justify beating a Muslim man with a hammer.

            “Hindu Hriday Samrat” is what your PM’s followers call him. Google it.

            Yes, you have learned my full name. Good for you.

  10. I will never know what’s serious or what is trolling in all the Comments ( especially Kabir and Hoju).
    Question Is Kabir @KabirAltaf?If you are then your ancestors are cleraly Iranian( dark hair pale skin). You should be proud of that.


    “Steeped in the anti-god, anti-Brahmin and anti-Hindu philosophy of its ideological fountainhead Periyar and piloted for long by the Hindu-bashing M. Karunanidhi, the DMK endured a rough ride with the state’s Hindu majority. The party could remain one of the top two contenders thanks to its devoted vote bank and the absence of Hindu consolidation. It took full advantage of Hindus voting more on caste lines, and by swinging Muslims, Christians and a section of Dalits.”

    1. Whatever her Faults Amma was a charismatic figure to us non Tamils, in way Stalin will never be.

      Saurav, do you anticipate aidmk/bjp making inrodes or expected swing towards DMK in next assembly elections

      1. DMK. I know my shit, man. It’s not for nothing I call them “less hindu” regions. ?

        1. As someone who swings from Support to Hindutva to moderate opposition to it – I would be glad to have at least one huge state ruled by Anti-Hindutva forces for a semblance of balance.

          BTW on a lighter note – It seems you are in deep disagreement with David Frawley and his ilk – they maintain that south of Deccan the true Hinduness increases (whatever that means).

          My own belief was that politics in TN is not Hindu – but i will take your word for it .

          1. //My own belief was that politics in TN is not Hindu – but i will take your word for it .

            TN politics is a mixture of religion/caste, culture/language. What you see is a sort of a Us vs Them/minority complex that unites them. With religious conversions and minority vote consolidation, Hindus are also consolidating. They may/may not vote for BJP, as they are not the sole Hindu party and with their obsession over Sanskrit and cultural homogenous policies, they will never be one.

            Also, any one that says there is no religion angle in TN, just go through the list of candidates, their caste and obviously their religion. Obviously an outsider would find it difficult to understand the caste dynamics, but for the last 40+ years that’s how elections are fought in TN, EVR’s so called self respect revolution not withstanding.

          2. Why take my word for it? We could all listen to what politicians say in the south about Hinduism, half of the things which would end any politicians Carrier in the north. Even for the Dalit politicians of the north

            And unlike commentators here, politicians know the pulse of the people. Because like their Carriers depend on it and they mostly mouth what their “people” want and think.


            ☝️ exhibit an opposition North Indian politician

        2. Less “Hindu”, LOL. Ok.

          May be if it wasn’t for some one like Adi Shankarachrya, India would’ve been a Jain nation.

          1. Jay, maybe we are less authentically hindu (culturally) in the same way that anglo-americans, who’ve done a lot of proselytisation globally, are less christian than say the greek or syrians orthodox for whom the traditions of the early church are probably more intelligible. If anglo-celtics have projected their individualism onto their faith via methodism and other reformist denominations, then perhaps aryanized dravidians, like shankara, took bhakti for ishtadevtas and vedanta advaita theology (that may have been partly inspired by the phenomena of “little” gods and shrine culture of the south), to rebut the nastika traditions. South indian hinduism is also more institutionalized than it is in the north at first glance. Acharyas/swamis vs random babas.

          2. All I can say is , There is a real life state of South Indian Hinduism. And then there is the make believe state of BP commentators of South Indian Hinduism.

          3. //All I can say is , There is a real life state of South Indian Hinduism. And then there is the make believe state of BP commentators of South Indian Hinduism.

            Ha, make believe. As I said earlier, go back and look at the candidacies of the 2 major parties. The 3 major communities in TN (Vanniyars, Gounders and Thevars) with close to about 50-55% of the population strongly identify themselves with Hinduism and they are present in North, West, Central and Southern parts of the state. When JJ banned the animal offerings in the state, these communities openly and defiantly broke the law citing religious and cultural continuity. Just look at the number of temples in the TN, the majority of folks that go to both Tirupathi and Sabarimalai are from TN. Hindu consolidation is what making the DMK leaders pasting posters saying they are not against Hinduism but Brahmins. Such is politics in TN.

            If I may ask, are you from TN? Lived there for any period of time? If you got no as an answer, then I might have a better grasp on the ground situation than you.

          4. //Jay, maybe we are less authentically hindu (culturally) in the same way that anglo-americans,

            Yes, in the eyes of the “I’m more authentic than you crowd” from the Gangetic belt. But then the South also has its cultural epicenters, so the inspiration need not just come from the Ganges, we could get it from Vaigai also.

          5. Jay

            At least other S-Indian folks (like Girmit,prats,Hoju) concede the fact in terms of politics, Hinduism casts a long shadow on N-India than it does in other parts of India . The dispute is if that can it be further attributed to “Hindu-ness” of a region, i believe so, but others disagree, thats fine.

            But if ur contestation is that even S-Indian politics is even more Hindu than N-India, then perhaps we have to just agee to disagree. Because that’s view is just so outside the pale that not even the most fervent S-Indian Hindutva guy could claim that.

          6. Saurav, I’m hardly a Hindutva guy, in fact, as an atheist I’m far from it.

            There is a reason BJP is struggling in the south other than Karnataka. My basic contention is this – you cannot paint the same “Hindu politics” brush for the south with which you see the north. Whether its the Lingayats and Gowdas of Karnataka or the Vanniar/Gounder/Maravar combo in TN, all the power groups are unashamedly Hindu and they display it publicly from both ADMK and DMK. Lets just agree to disagree and move on.

          7. @Saurav,

            Maybe politicians of the South don’t have to be self-consciously Hindu because it is given?

            What matters is caste politics and both Telugu states are ruled by reddys, even if one of them is Christian on paper. They participate in temple ceremonies, invite preachers of Hindu Puranas in the name of Telugu promotion because all older literature is also religious literature.

            I don’t know how more Hinduism is measured because all northies I encountered have very little grasp on tradition even if they are high on Bhakti.

          8. @Jay

            I’m with you but it’s pointless. I don’t think he’s really open to a different understanding of the situation.

        3. \ I call them “less hindu” regions. \

          Saurav , Moar Hindu, can you tell why today 3/8 is important in Hindu calender?

          1. @Hoju
            Yes Upakarma for Yajurvedis- for Sama and Rg different days. I did it with the priest remotely .

  12. Here is current reading list:

    1. China – a history by John Keay (reading)
    2. Adi Parva – Protop Chandra Roy (reading)
    3. Shivaji – Jadunath Sarkar (read)
    4. The Wonder That Was India (to read)
    5. Klaus Bringmann – A History of the Roman Republic (to read)
    6. History of Ancient and Early Medeival India – Upinder Singh (to read)

    I especially keen to know what others will recommend for Indian and Western History.

    1. Even more ironic is mormons building Las Vegas . They went their with all injuctions against gambling, and they made the gambling capital of the world

      1. The Mormons didn’t build Las Vegas it was the Jews and the Italians (but mostly the Jews).

  13. Kabir, how much do you get paid for fighting with the Kafirs on this platform? Seriously, either you really believe in what you showcase here or you get paid for fighting constantly. I personally would like it if you’re doing this ‘shindig’ on this platform for getting paid by someone (organization), which means that the world is short of one more Islamic supremacist.

    1. If the “kafirs” (your word not mine) would stop attacking Pakistan and/or Islam, I would stop commenting here.

      1. “If the “kafirs” (your word not mine) would stop attacking Pakistan and/or Islam, I would stop commenting here.”

        i dont get this part too. there are a million and a half websites on the internet where islam is attacked ritually every day. obviously you dont police them all. so why such an obsession with BP?

  14. “The clue is in Pakistan’s name: The ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of Pakistan.”

    kabir, the sum total of all your arguments is this – since pakistan calls itself ‘islamic” republic, it has a license to enact all sort of stone age laws and indulge in behavior repugnant to modern sensibilities.

    this is akin to a criminal saying – hey, i admit i am a criminal, so now i have got a license to commit all sorts of crime.

    if this is what it is, then of course it is a winning argument. no more questions. you win!

    1. I hold Secular states to higher standards than religiously-based ones. I have repeatedly been extremely clear about this.

      If India calls itself a “Hindu Rashtra”, I won’t complain no matter how many Muslims you all lynch.

      1. Absolutely agree with Razib about u Kabir

        When all you have is hammer everything you treat as a nail.

        I have tried my utmost to be civil and engage with you.
        If you are going to react to tweets where I am complimentary to your point but also make a larger point as if I am ignoring horrible lynchings or condoning them i tend to think about the advice some commentators had made of not engaging.

        Seems utterely useless if you just ignore all nuance and just keep repeating asinine sentences to someone trying to engage with you

    1. He has been copy pasting same Mantras with Hindu Hriday Samrat or Islamic state of Pakistan or Nehruvian or secular state.

      I bet he has repositories of different long form mantras to throw at digital heretics with 280 character versions for twitter.

  15. Three books each, or three total?
    I thought the Harvard History of Imperial China series was a great introduction. The first three books on the Qin/Han, post-Han interregnum, and the Tang are all by the same author, and form a nice set-piece together. And it stops just in time for the reader to switch over to Mote’s Imperial China: 900-1800, if they’re still interested. Of course, those three books don’t cover anywhere close to all of Chinese history, but early Chinese history is the biggest knowledge gap, and fixing that will fix most of the stupidity.

  16. Some of this with Kabir might just be what he views as battles worth fighting. He think Pak is probably too far down Zia’s ideological islamist society rabbit hole. It isn’t worth so much angst and discussion.

    But he views India’s slide towards Hindutuva as something that can be prevented from going further and even reversed. He yearns for the Nehruvian version of secularism that he probably saw in Indian society, all the way through the end of Manmohan Singh’s tenure.

    It’s like you have two kids: one rebelled so hard that disciplining them anymore isn’t really worth it He or she is a lost cause. On the other hand, the other kid has been historically good but now has started to imitate his badly behaved sibling. You then are scared things will slide down a slippery slope to hell. So you put down the hammer on that kid.

    People on the outside just view you as partial to the rebellious kid. The reality is that you might actually love the other kid more because at least you have not lost hope to the extent that you compromise your higher standards for them.

    I actually think Kabir loves India more than he loves Pak.

    1. That makes sense, I don’t begudgde him but to hammer on asinine sentences at people seriosuly engaging with you agreeing with you to the 95th percentile. But unless it’s 99.9 it’s not Kosher for him. After a time it just becomes frustrating then people will naturally abandon engagement and just keep on trolling

      Just like SJWs in the West wrt to cancel culture

      1. there are cases where ppl agree 100% with kabir but he misunderstands and FLIPS HIS SHIT.

        the first time it’s funny. the 100th it’s just sad.


    1. I missed some comments here, so I don’t know why people are saying Kabir is a crypto Hindu.

      But reminds me of the historical poet Kabir who was probably a crypto Hindu (nath yogi):

      (Body) Tan: musalman…
      (Mind) Man: hindu…
      (Heart) Hriday: Bhagwan.

  17. **Trolling** **Busy people please ignore, nothing of value here**

    Interesting to see how damp the response to the murder of a ‘blasphemy accused’ brown American by a Pakistani in a court house has been so far. What would have been the response from the USA if he was a white guy? sanctions? lobbing a few missiles? prisoner swap?
    But yeh suvidha iss skin color pe uplabdh nahi hai.
    (this facility is not available for brown US citizens)

    Shameless worms will live in secular countries and continue approve of ‘punishment’ for Blasphemy. Sapole (baby cobras)! piss on you.


    Islamist slogans are catchy
    Nara-e-takbir la-laa-lu-lakabar
    Pakistan ka matlab kya? La-lilla-la-lilal-laa!
    and my favorite ‘Gustakh e rasool ki saza? sar tan se juda! sar tan se juda!’

    Our slogans are lame in comparison.


    btw Tim Berners-Lee is perhaps the greatest man of our times for having given us the opportunity to freely speak our minds, “fuck the schizophrenic pedo baddu”
    Thank you! to everyone who made this technology possible and made it safe to blaspheme against the slaver-warlord and his cunt of a god.

        1. Inquilab Zindabad
          Vande Mataram
          Jai Jawan, Jai Kisan
          Dilli Chalo
          Jai Hind
          etc sound so lame

          Mediocre but still catchy:
          ‘Tum Mujhe Khoon Do, main Tumhe Ajadi Doonga’
          ‘Ram Lala hum aayenge mandir wahin banayenge’

          Best ever:
          Tilak Taraju aur Talwar, maaro inko juute chaar.

  18. “So a question, if there are three history books someone should read on the West, India, and China, what would they be?”

    I have not read many books on the west and China so I would refrain from any recommendations.

    For India, I would suggest everyone to peruse the NCERT text books for grades from 6th to 10th. They are available free online and are written in a very accessible manner.

    They are published by the National Council of Education Research and Training and are standard across most of the country.

    The value in reading these lies mainly in understanding how the lay middle to upper middle class Indian thinks about history.

    In addition, RS Sharma (ancient, medieval) and Bipan Chandra (modern, freedom movement) are authors that are extensively read by people preparing for the Civil Services exam conducted by the Union Public Services Commission (UPSC). The exam is used to recruit India’s higher bureaucracy.

    This should give people a fair idea about how Indians view their history.

    This then also makes it easier to situate the Marxist and Hindutva readings of history that one comes across on Twitter. And to understand why certain opinions are considered so beyond the pale.

    1. I had a quick look at History for classes 6/7. There is nothing of OIT or AIT or anything which Hindutvavadis are accused of. In fact the history taught to young kids has not changed at all over many decades , from Jawaharlal Nehru’s time. There is talk nof language families in India, etc. Impressed, unless someone goes with a fine toothcomb thro all the volumes and disabuses my impression.

      many years of Hindutva BJP prominence e has not changed history taught in schools

  19. Just had a look at the Alexa rankings for this blog: the traffic stands at #355,022 internationally and #38,964 for India, that’s quite good actually. A few extra functions like bold, italics, underline and hyperlink could make the comment system more convenient to use and encourage greater engagement.

    That also got me wondering, has part of the improvement in traffic rankings been due to the increase in comments on the past many posts? If that is so, then maybe it’s prudent to continue with having a few comments on each open thread be a flame war? Indirectly speaking, could the higher average viewership due to said arguments eventually result in a few potentially good commentators finding this blog every few weeks? Casting a wider net as they say.

    1. Replace all the open closed parentheses with open and closed angle brackets (the triangular ones found on the same keys as comma and fullstop)

      for underline type
      (a) your text (\a)
      for bold
      (b) your text (\b)
      for italics
      (i) your text (\i)

      To troll with extra likes change vpn and hit like.

    2. 1. Markdown support would be good for text editing. Simple and universal.
      2. One-third of the comments on the previous open thread were either by Kabir or in response to him.

      Kabir is basically to BP what Trump is to Twitter.


    “This isn’t new in Pakistan. This has happened many times in the past — even before Partition. Take, for instance, the 1929 case of Ilm-ud-Din, an illiterate teenager who stabbed to death a Hindu publisher, Mahashe Rajpal, for releasing a book on the Prophet. Din believed that the book, which he hadn’t read, had hurt the religious sentiments of Muslims. His case was fought by Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and he was hanged to death. Poet Iqbal, while burying Din, tearfully said, “The educated people like us just could do nothing, while this carpenter’s son scored a point.” Today, there is a mausoleum for Din in Lahore and he is revered as a ghazi (warrior), shaheed (martyr) and a saint.

    Despite all this, the Punjab assembly just passed a controversial bill to protect Islam. In the garb of religion, the idea is to curtail free thinking. Banning a hundred textbooks over photos of pigs in a maths question, banning maps showing Kashmir as part of India, or the wrong birthdates of Jinnah and Iqbal. Then there is a Punjab Assembly member who wants designer beards criminalised because it is a sin. And a possible ban on TikTok is always kept handy — a warning was recently issued to the Chinese app because its content was leading to “extremely negative effects”. Not too long ago, the PTI wanted a ban on the Japanese cartoon Doraemon. What did Doraemon ever do to the PTI?”

    1. “banning maps showing Kashmir as part of India”– Hello pot calling kettle black! Have you ever seen Indian maps? They falsly show Muzaffarabad and Gilgit as “India” although those areas have never been part of “India” ever since that country was created. India even forces Google Maps to comply with Indian law and display these distorted maps.

      Why should Pakistani children be taught from maps that show AJK as India? Naila Inayat writes in an Indian publication so of course trashing Pakistan is a requirement.

  21. Some ramblings…

    Just something of interest to the COVID-19 crowd. The drug Remdesivir is promising regarding the parameter of reducing length of hospital stay for critically ill COVID-19 patients, though not significant (approaching however) in the Hubei trial was in the the US REMDACTA trial. In the latter, the mortality benefit was close to reaching significance but the sample size was not sufficient (trending that way at least with upper limit of risk ratio at 1.04).

    The proposed mechanism of action is viral RNA dependent- RNA polymerase chain terminator aka something that hinders viral replication. Therefore, viral load should, if the proposed mechanism is the one by which the drug is working, decrease faster in the Remdesivir vs. control patients. This was only sort of seen:

    Hubei China Trial

    “Viral load decreased over time similarly in both groups (figure 3A). No differences in viral load were observed when stratified by interval from symptom onset to start of study treatment (appendix p 10). In the subset of patients from whom expectorated sputa could be obtained (103 patients), the mean viral RNA load at enrolment was nearly 1-log higher in the remdesivir group than the placebo group at enrolment (figure 3B). When adjusted for baseline sputum viral load at enrolment, the remdesivir group showed no significant difference at day 5 from placebo, but a slightly more rapid decline in load (p=0·0672).”

    Some thoughts on why this wasn’t seen strongly (basically why aren’t we seeing big drop in viral load, if the drug seems to have benefits clinically)

    1. As the quote says from the trial (DOI 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)31022-9), at baseline there may have been a viral load difference between the remdesivir group and the placebo group by a full log, given that was what was observed in the 103 patients for which expectorated sputum (coughed up) could be obtained. For the rest, the baseline viral load was from nasopharyngeal swab. Granted, adjustments were made for this when making the final calculations for effect on viral load down the line. But ideally, this should be something that is stratified for moving on, when assigning treatment groups. The 103 patients may or may not be representative. But a full log difference between those groups with no difference seen in nasopharyngeal swabs is a bit suspect.

    2. There was only a slightly more rapid decline seen in viral load between the rem vs. placebo in the Hubei Trial. But there was benefit (though not significant) in reducing hospital stay and mortality. Int he higher powered US trial (below), there was a significant improvement in hospital stay (11 days vs. 15 days). I wish viral load were used as a parameter in the REMDACTA trial. It would be interesting if the decline in viral load were quite modest or even non existent, yet clinical benefits were still seen.

    REMDACTA Trial

    “Preliminary results from the 1059 patients (538 assigned to remdesivir and 521 to placebo) with data available after randomization indicated that those who received remdesivir had a median recovery time of 11 days (95% confidence interval [CI], 9 to 12), as compared with 15 days (95% CI, 13 to 19) in those who received placebo (rate ratio for recovery, 1.32; 95% CI, 1.12 to 1.55; P<0.001). The Kaplan-Meier estimates of mortality by 14 days were 7.1% with remdesivir and 11.9% with placebo (hazard ratio for death, 0.70; 95% CI, 0.47 to 1.04). Serious adverse events were reported for 114 of the 541 patients in the remdesivir group who underwent randomization (21.1%) and 141 of the 522 patients in the placebo group who underwent randomization (27.0%)."

    3. If basically the drug is supposed to work one way to result in benefits for the patient and the drug doesn't seem to be working that way ie. an agent that has shown clinical benefit and is proposed to impair a virus's replicative ability, yet it doesn't do that all that much at all, then there is likely a secondary mechanism at play. I wonder what they could be.

    PMCID: PMC7202249 good for deeper dive into MOA

  22. Interesting time to be a new resident. Just happy there is enough PPE.
    Corona patients are actually mostly dreadfully boring on an intellectual level. Right now few things beyond supportive care work and the management is mostly algorithmic based off of big wig decisions amd supply availability. Of course, their situation is tragic and I have tremendous empathy, given my mother was afflicted adds another layer as well (she is fine now). But the management is pretty redundant.

    What seems to work, when it does, is corticosteroids later in the illness for reducing the body’s inflammatory response. Remdesivir works better earlier as does IL-6 inhibitor tocilizumab. Basically, I discussed above why there are some potential contradictions between the known MoA of the prior and its benefits. The latter is proposed to work by inhibiting an important signaling molecule in the body, IL-6, which enhances inflammation.

    Inflammation is the process of transporting and recruiting the body’s defenses to areas it deems in trouble (areas afflicted by disease or injury). The end result no matter if the response is warranted or not, tissue injury via friendly fire or almost exclusive friendly fire, as in the case of auto immune disease.

    Just anecdotally, some patients of mine who were super hard to wean of vents, got better pretty rapidly with the addition of steroids. Now was this just hapstance and they would have improved regardless? Maybe. But steroids have shown mortality benefit in preprint trial data. And anecdote increasingly supports their use.

  23. So, I talked to my paternal grandfather (80+ years old) and I got to know names of his father, grandfather and great grandfather. Because my father’s side are commoners we don’t have records going much further. My mother’s side will have records going a lot further back and they also have a tradition to remember the names of all the ancestors once every year whenever they do a remembrance day for the most recently died family member. My father’s side doesn’t have any such sophisticated rituals although both the sides have a festival day to remember all the ancestors in general kinda like ancestral worship day.

    1. In both sides of my family we have song of the ancestors, that is about how each generation of ancestors lived. Goes up about 10-12 generations in father’s side and about 6 in mother’s side. Some instances are quite funny. Talks about plague (I guess 1897 one) wiping out the entire clan with only one pregnant lady surviving, also a few lines about an ancestor who lost his wealth smoking pot, another one whose wife ran away, another one who was a wrestler, another one who was very honest, simple and was tricked into indentured servitude, another one who made pilgrimages to Jagannath, Rameshwaram, Puri and Uttarakhand. The pictures of the later ones i.e. my great grand father and great grand mother (paternal) are in the puja place to be prayed to everyday.

      For some better off families I have heard there are family tree records kept by priests in Haridwar or Gaya. Mine might have one in Gaya because I remember being told that a large donation was made by my father for his great grand father’s peace in Gaya, let me find out.

      1. When someone dies we (mother’s side) have a custom of singing a song on his/her death day. Usually a sub-caste of the Yadav caste (called Erra Golla in our area) in Northern Telangana was in charge of this tradition and they keep track of important events of a family that he is in charge of. When a person passes away from that family this person composes a song for them. They usually take a calf or cow as a payment for the service. Another way people remember the lineage is by writing the names with the local brahmin or matham (mutt). However only some castes had this privilege of keeping track of genealogy.

    2. Yeah, I see this difference on father’s side and mother’s side too. I don’t even know my paternal grandma’s name.

      My mother’s side has long history because they do it on thaddinam and very strict about it. Even I know my great-great grand father’s history on that side for both maternal grandparents. (One of the great great grand father apparently lost a court case under British rule and lost his riches, and so grandma had to slum it in the village lol)

      Perhaps longevity and literacy on mother’s side kept the oral histories live. Maternal grandmother was proud of narrating the greatness of their family until she passed away at 85. Her family records are at local prominent temple where they are still in charge of annual procession.

    1. lyrics and visuals are good quality. music sucks. sounds like a generic punjabi pop song. but overall an admirable effort. keep it up.

      1. Meh.
        What a waste of such great talent. Now he will never get to work in India. Atleast if the song sounded good it would have been a parting middle finger to India worth remembering.
        But yes, keep it up.

  24. Any good information on the overall impact of COVID on South Asian countries so far, not also health but also economic? Here’s a quick effort to compare the US to Europe. Contrary to the impression pressed by the US media about the absolute incompetence of the Trump administration, it may be that the US done better than Europe overall, at least so far in 2020:
    “Dollars versus Death – Are US COVID Outcomes Better than Europe?”

  25. @Kabir, I haven’t read through this entire thread, or any of the recent threads at BP, but if you are worried about India becoming a Hindu Pakistan, so to speak, a state with an official religion, I don’t think that is the long-term future in India. Personally, I get the sense that the recent increase in anti-Muslim sentiment is Indians getting that “out of their system,” or redressing what they see as a special treatment. There’s a lot of suppressed rage and frustration directed towards Muslims in India, for a variety of historical reasons, but I have a feeling that after a few decades (or less) things will cool down.

    India doesn’t aspire to be Pakistan, it aspires to be the next USA. And just like the USA is a secular nation with a predominantly Christian population, culture and outlook, India will probably become the same thing: a secular nation with a predominantly Hindu population, culture and outlook. What that means in practice is that there will be plently of Hinduism in government, just like lots of American politicians talk about Jesus, God, my personal savior, America’s God given mission, new Jerusalem/City on a Hill, etc. But Muslims are too big a percentage of the Indian population for them to be repressed forever. And other minorities are prominent enough in their own right, like Christians who seem to have a decent reputation in India, and Jains and Parsis who are disproportionately successful in business. Aspects of “secularism” will probably go away, like special treatment for Kashmir, or a different set of family laws for Muslims. But the USA doesn’t have that either, and I think you would agree that the USA is secular and a model for India to follow.

    1. What will make things to cool down & how many divergent, divisive paths it can tread to in the meantime?

      History of India has a repetitious pattern and only 1 thing has United it: Religion, first Gandhi’s pacifist, now Modi’s fascist. First could be rescued, second has a history of rooting it’s own self out.

      1. Please don’t call that creep Gandhi Hindu. He brought in the Koran to Hindu temples, attacked Hindu patriots like Shivaji Maharaj, ate beef intentionally when he was younger, supported secularism (which is anti-Hindu), and was a pussy.

        1. Advik,

          Are you an internet personality spoof? If you are not, Gandhiji is highly respected in the east (Sanaathana Dharma). The east has thousands of sampradaayas. All are at least partly true in my view (Sarva Dharma). You may disagree with Gandhiji Sampradaaya and have your own. But Gandhiji’s Sampradaaya is part of Sanaathana Dharma.

          On Islam:

          What is your take on Shirdi Sai Nath, Kabir, Nund Rishi etc.?

          1. I’m not an internet spoof. I am someone who sincerely believes Godse was a deshbhakt. In fact, I wish he came twenty years earlier then far less damage would have been done.

            I don’t like it when Muslim men try and take part in Hindu rituals. I believe that male Hindus should control every part of Hinduism. However, I like how some Muslim women look so they are welcome to join if they take on male Hindu spouses.

    2. The US would never allow a historic minority place of worship to be destroyed because of the beliefs of the majority. The US Supreme Court would never justify this crime and allow the majority to build their place of worship on the ruins of the minority place of worship.

      In the US, members of a minority religion would never be lynched because of their dietary choices.

      Comparing Hindu majoritarian India to a true secular state like the US is beyond ridiculous.

      1. You people have no right to criticize India. Look at your own Islamic majoritarian shithole. Can’t even give people accused of blasphemy due process. There’s so many layers of horribleness to that I won’t even begin to unpack it.

        1. I have repeatedly argued that it is only the State that has the right to punish people for Blasphemy and that too after following all due process.

          Pakistan is not hypocritical. The clue is in the name: “ISLAMIC REPUBLIC of Pakistan”. We don’t pretend to be secular while acting as a Hindu Rashtra.

          Those who are OK with Babri Masjid being destroyed by a mob in a SECULAR state shouldn’t open their dirty mouths about Pakistan.

      2. Native American burial sites continue to be destroyed in the United States.

        Painting with broad strokes, Hindus are a historically colonized and subjugated people.

        The Masjid was built over one of the holiest sites in the religion. In a sense not too different than a confederate statue erected to remind Black Americans in the south of their place.

        That said I disagree with the Masjid demolition.

        They could have come to an amicable compromise with the Muslim community like what happened with the repeated sacked and rebuilt Somnath temple. With the current rebuilding in 1951. The mosque at the location was moved to a different site, with consent from the Muslim community, in the aftermath of the partition of India and the establishment of a pure Muslim homeland in the West and the East.

        1. “Hindus are a historically colonized and subjugated people”– That is the Hindutva narrative. I don’t buy it.

          In a Secular state, there is NEVER any excuse to destroy a minority place of worship.

          “India” was not partitioned. BRITISH India was. “India” was created on August 15,1947 at the exact same time as Pakistan. Historical accuracy matters.

          1. “That is the Hindutva narrative. I don’t buy it.”

            Well the Hinduva narrative includes some sort of overly glorious past, stretching back into eternity, till Islam arrives on the scene. I think that is a false narrative.

            But the cultural and religious oppression of Hindus under the Islamic rule of India is a fact. The destruction of temples is a fact etc.

            I would argue a repeated denial of these facts, alongside the creation of Pakistan is what allowed anti-Islam sentiment to rise in Hindus. Once these things are resolved within the Hindu psyche I don’t see the anti-Islam stuff as having the same level of appeal.

            There are absolutely no religious reasons for Hindus to be opposed to Islam or Muslims.

            “The republic of India” was created on August 15,1947 at the exact same time as “West Pakistan”.

            The idea of India or the Hind or whatever you want to call it is older and goes back further.

            The demand for Muslim homeland was from Indian muslims, ‘British Indian’ if it makes a difference. There was no popular demand from Hindus to partition and Hindutvadis of the time were marginal misfits who resorted to murdering Gandhi.

            For what its worth I think the future of India is urban, and relatively irreligious, maybe some lip service to dharmic stuff but thats about it.

          2. Dr. Richard Eaton is the canonical authority on this temple destruction business. I trust him much more than the Hindutvadis.

            If Hindus were so “oppressed” under the Mughals, then the sepoys would not have turned to Bahadur Shah Zafar as the legitimate ruler of all of North India.

            The Hindutva narrative is a fascist 20th century construct. It is a distortation of South Asia’s history.

          3. “Dr. Richard Eaton is the canonical authority on this temple destruction business.”

            What does he have to say on the subject ?

            “If Hindus were so “oppressed” under the Mughals, then the sepoys would not have turned to Bahadur Shah Zafar as the legitimate ruler of all of North India.”

            If the British had never invaded India possibly the Marathas would have used the Mughal emperor as a figurehead to legitimize their claim. That is not evidence of anything ?

          4. Richard Eaton:

            The point about the 1857 Mutiny was that the Hindu sepoys obviously were not bothered by Bahadur Shah Zafar’s religion and still believed he was their legitimate ruler. So all this rhetoric of Hindu “oppression” and Hindu “genocide” rings hollow I’m afraid.

            I particularly like Hindu “genocide”. 80% of India’s population is still Hindu, so the Mughals were really bad at “genocide” if indeed that was their goal. More likely the Hindutvadis using the term just don’t know what the definition of “genocide” is in English.

          5. I never used the word genocide, obviously there was no large scale population replacement most Muslims have mostly Indian subcontinent ancestry. Even in Pakistan.

            But Hindus and Hindu culture were subjugated, and oppressed. Their places of worship destroyed by Muslim rulers and invaders.

            Nothing in that temple article suggests to me otherwise. It lists atleast 80 examples of temple destruction.

            I think the fanatical zeal of the destruction would probably have been lower than ISIS but somewhat higher than the current persecution of religious minorities in Pakistan.

            Contrast this with how Hindu kingdoms historically treated Zoroastrians, Jews, Christians.

            The earliest mosque in the Subcontinent was in south India and stood unharmed through centuries of hindu rule till it was destroyed by the Portuguese. (It has since been rebuilt)


          6. Those of you have a problem with Dr. Richard Eaton are free to bring your own Ph.D historian.

            I will always defer to someone with an actual Ph.D rather than random internet commenters.

        2. @Sumit


          I don’t want to see things demolished but I wish things were framed and presented differently. A place like the Qutb complex should be framed in such a way as to provoke reflections on the importance of religious tolerance and to acknowledge the trauma suffered by adherents of Dharmic religions for centuries. 27 Hindu and Jain temples were destroyed to make the Islamic monuments of the Qutb complex.

          There needs to be truth and reconciliation rather than mob violence.

          But when some segments refuse to even acknowledge things as they were, it seems hopeless.

          1. +1. Create an audio and visual show on what exists vs what was there before. Project it on Qutub wall for all to see. That would be more powerful than breaking it.

  26. Just watched the first two episodes of A Suitable Boy. I think it is more bearable than what some people are saying. And one of the reasons for it is the all-Indian cast and Indian locations. I really wouldn’t have been able to tolerate it with some random British “Asian” set.

  27. Lol @ anniversary of 370 removal.

    (400,000 new J&K UT domicile certificates in a month)

    1. This is not that difficult to understand. The Objectives Resolution of 1948 states that sovereignty belongs to Allah alone and that no laws can be made repugnant to Quran and Sunnah. Blasphemy is a crime under Islamic Law and no one in Pakistan can call for these laws to be removed. PPP only asks for them not to be misused.

      1. Meaning that the entire Overton window in Pakistan is extremist. Being liberal there (in the mainstream sense) is no badge of honor. Just another flavor of extremism.

        1. The Objectives Resolution is part of the Pakistani Constitution.

          So many people from the PPP have been martyred for their center-left ideology. Governor Taseer was assassinated merely for suggesting that the Blasphemy Laws should not be misused. Shaheed Mohtarama Benazir Bhutto herself was martryed by a terrorist. Don’t underestimate the bravery it takes to be center-left in Pakistan.

          1. “Governor Taseer was assassinated merely for suggesting that the Blasphemy Laws should not be misused. ”

            Perhaps his dad should have had the same foresight….

      2. @Kabir

        Why do so many diaspora Pakistanis believe that Imran Khan is left / liberal?

        Asking out of curiosity, not a rhetorical question.

        I know quite a few diaspora Pakistanis (in Canada and the US), and they are very left wing here but also support IK thinking that he is the choice of the left.

        This doesn’t seem consistent with what I’ve read elsewhere (and from you) that PPP is the left.

        Does left / right apply well to Pak politics?

        1. Anyone who believes IK is left/liberal is very misguided. He is a Right-wing born again Muslim. One only has to look at his third wife to see the image he is trying to project. She is completely covered up in burqa and is a “Peerni”.

          PTI is a center-right party. Many of its ministers are people who were in power under General Musharraf. Their new proposed national curriculum includes more religion in it for third graders then even the madrassa curriculum does.

          In Pak politics, PPP is center-left, PML-N is center and PTI is center-right.

        2. “ I know quite a few diaspora Pakistanis (in Canada and the US), and they are very left wing “

          There are left wing Pakistanis ? Under which rock ?

          1. Lol well I guess they claim to be liberal. But in reality they seem more like the Mehdi Hassan type. A soft Islamist who knows how to recite the right mantras to confuse the gullible Western left.

      3. Pakistan seems weirdly strict even in comparison to other Islamic countries.

        The Asia Bibi case was messed up.

        On the surface it’s a Blashphemy case of a Christian woman accused of Blasphemy by a Muslim woman.

        But when you look at the details, it seems likely that the dispute stems from a Dalit Caste woman drinking from an Upper Caste well.

        It’s really strange.

        1. We don’t have the concept of “Dalit” in Pakistan. It’s a Hindu concept.

          That said, many Muslims consider Christians to be lower-caste than them. Probably because many Christians are from the former “untouchable” classes.

          1. If there is no concept of Dalit in Pakistan then how do you explain Krishna Kohli? She is a Dalit who is part of the PPP party in Pakistan and has some power there. It seems that Hinduism brings the caste system where ever it goes, which is a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it.

          2. Well “Dalit” is a term used by activists in some marginalized non-savarna groups in India starting in the 20th century. It’s not a Hindu term pre se.

            But i know what you mean.

            Sad to hear that some remnants of the caste system persist in Pakistan. Tbh.

  28. In regard to some comments here…

    In spite of many years of media satanisation and permanent deep state propaganda, many pundits know what’s happened in Kosovo In late 90ies. In a nutshell, Islamic Albanians who are 17. c.AC intruders, are trying for years to steal this land from Serbs. It is unfortunate that Turkish occupiers for 350 years of ruling (in Kosovo, 400 years) were so primitive that haven’t built anything worth, not even houses for own living. This, 90 km in radius area, is a home of 2000 Serbian monasteries, churches and sacred places, some of them are 1000 years old. There is not ONE Albanian, Islamic monument in Kosovo.

    Last month was published a capital book with pictures and documents about Christian Serbian heritage in Kosovo&Metohia. On p.47, for e.g., is a map of major cultural sites in Kosovo. Pundits who are interested in researching cultures and histories can see, in this impressive book for free on this site, many of Serbian monasteries and fresco paintings which survived the centuries of Islamic destruction and terror and make some parallels with a similar history in SA.

    1. Americans are descendants of 17th century invaders too, you know. “They’ve only been here 350 years!” isn’t going to be a convincing argument for most people.

  29. I wasn’t trolling Razib sir I am someone who sincerely likes Godse.

    you’re a zoomer LARPER who lives in the USA. you provide me your information so you know i can confirm that (your IP matches where you supposedly live too).

    it’s fine for American browns to have views…but kids barely out of college who have spent most of their life in the USA and live on the west coast expressing weirdo right-wing-faschy-RSS views is kind of LARP-cringe. kind of like weirdos who are are monarchists in billings, MT or something, or salafis who live in portland, OR.

    though if your love of Muslim women is truth, i assume you are creepin’ around fremont all the time? 🙂

    1. Razib sir I am honored that you would write to me in a comment. I just wanted to say that I’m still in college due to health issues I had while in high school but I’ll be graduating this December and then it will be off in the workforce for me. Also, I think I mentioned this when I talked with Kabir a couple of days ago but I think the RSS is a bunch of soft pussies who haven’t done shit for male Hindus. The RSS spends way to much time pandering to Muslims and Christians for my liking and their political party hasn’t deported as many Muslims out of India as I would like. The kind of people I admire is Sitaram Goel and Tapan Gosh, folks who have been kicked out of the RSS because they love male Hindus so much that they are unwilling to make any compromises. Cupertino (where I live) isn’t as close to Freemont as it may seem on a map so I can’t go there as often as I’d like but my uncle does live there. To tell you the truth I haven’t really had much experience with women because of my cringe and possessive my parents are but after I move out in the next year or so I fully intend to take your suggestion and go hunt for some Muslim (Sulli) women in Fremont.

      1. “Sulli” is a religious slur. This kind of language should not be allowed on this blog.

        On Lord Ram: You are entitled to your religious beliefs. But no serious scholar would argue that he was anything other than a legendary character. Sorry that you find facts “Hinduphobic”. Ram is not a historical figure like Jesus of Nazarath or the Prophet of God (pbuh).

        Also, love the fact that you needed to tell us you are Brahmin. Casteism is disgusting.

        On homosexuality in the Hindu Scriptures:

        Professor Madhavi Menon has a witten a book on desire in India. Ayyapan is considered the son of Shiva and Vishnu, conceived when Vishnu was in the form of Mohini.

        1. As a proud half Punjabi Brahmin, I can assure you sulli is not a religious slur but just the word for female Muslims in Punjab. You can find millions of Sikhs across the world who use this word.

          Lord Ram was a hundred percent a real person and I ask you if he wasn’t then how was Moses real? I accept there is more evidence for Jesus and Muhammad because they are recent but Lord Ram was millions of years ago.

          How is my telling someone that I am Brahmin casteism? By this logic when Indians fill out the census form and tell the government their caste they are being casteist.

          Manusmriti explicitly condemns homosexuality and the story of Ayappa is about how Shavaite and Vaishnavaite teachings were merged together not any gay stuff so please stop your lies.

          1. Find me a reputable (non-Hindutvadi) historian who thinks “Lord Ram” is anything other than a myth. I’ll wait.

            On Ayyappan, I’m going to trust Professor Madhavi Menon more than a random college student on the Internet.

            “Sulla” is a Punjabi Slur. Just because Sikhs also use it against Muslims doesn’t make it not a slur. It’s not a word ever used in polite company (neither is “katua”).

  30. Advik,

    “I’m not an internet spoof.”
    Never heard of you until a few hours ago. If you are sincere, I have never met or heard of any human being like you.

    “I am someone who sincerely believes Godse was a deshbhakt.”
    The RSS, VHP, Shiv Sena and BJP all strongly condemn what Godse did to Gandhiji. You are the first person I have ever encountered to praise Godse.

    “In fact, I wish he came twenty years earlier then far less damage would have been done.”
    This is a position many have. Have you read Aurobindo’ writings on Gandhiji?

    “I don’t like it when Muslim men try and take part in Hindu rituals.” You and who else? 0.1% of Hindus? What are your thoughts on Kabir, Nund Rishi and Shirdi Sai Nath?

    “I believe that male Hindus should control every part of Hinduism.”
    What is a Hindu? What is Hinduism? For example, do you consider the Nakshatras to be Hindu (other stars and Galaxies)? Do you consider the more than 50 non homo sapien species (or interdimensional entities or aliens depending on how you interpret them) extensively discussed in the Shastras to be “Hindu”? Do you consider Brahma, Hiranyagarbha, Mahat (multi-verse) to be Hindu? How about other multiverses?

    “male Hindus” What about the many LBGTQ saints and sages and non homo sapiens from the Shastras?:
    —mother/father/non binary of Vali and Sugriiva
    —Krishna (who transformed into a woman to marry Iraavan)
    —Sapta Rishis

    Since they are not strictly “male” I guess they are not “Hindu” and do not play a role in what you call “Hinduism”.

    “However, I like how some Muslim women look so they are welcome to join if they take on male Hindu spouses.”

    Are you trying to offend and set off people? This is inappropriate.


    You like to needle Kabir a bit much. You write like an internet personality.

    1. “You’re the first person I’ve ever encountered to praise Godse”

      Are you not familiar with Sadhvi Pragya Thakur? She openly called Godse a “deshbhakt” in the Lok Sabha. She’s still a BJP parlimentarian. Obviously they don’t find this view as disgusting as you think.

      1. Sadhvi Pragya Thakur is the most beautiful woman on the planet in my honest opinion. I would give away a million dollars to take her out on a date. She is proof that despite how it may seem to me in Cupertino female Hindus are not a lost cause. I realize that Sadvhi and I are of different castes (I’m Brahmin and she’s Rajput) but I honestly think that if I ever met her or a girl like her in real life no matter what her caste was (or how she looked, smelled, or even what she ingested) I would lock that girl up in no time. Maybe I should start going after Rajput women- they’re descended from Lord Ram (who despite what your Hinduphobic ass says was a real person) and seem to be more traditional than Brahmin girls.

    2. I’m not familiar with Auribondo’s writings in general but I do hope you understand that I meant I wished Gandhi was killed twenty years prior to 1947. Hell, I would have been fine if he had been dunked into a cold bucket of water upon birth.

      I have thoughts on Kabir (whose writings I’ve read) and Sai Baba as well but I haven’t heard of the other guy you mentioned once in my life. I think Kabir was actually a Hindu whose family had converted to Islam very recently to escape the caste system but they themselves still followed Hindu rituals for the most part. As for Sai Baba, I think he was a scam artist and I am disgusted when I see other Hindus worship him do I will admit that my family does have a little thing for him in our house as well. From what I’ve read about Sai Baba he may have been what Kabir’s life would have been like if he had been born several hundred years later. It seems that Sai Baba wanted to become a Hindu himself but it was very difficult to convert at the time because the Arya Samaj, Brahmo Samaj, and liberal Hinduism in general just didn’t exist. That isn’t to say that the concept of Ghar Whapsi did not exist but that it was tough to come around in a time when we were all so divided by religion. I’m also disgusted that a man of Muslim birth could claim to be a reincarnation of Shiva who would only come back in the form of Hindu. Going back to a slightly earlier point you made about only 0.1 percent of Hindus being upset my Muslims taking part in Hindu rituals I think this is patently false and the controversy over Faiz Khan in proof of this. Hinduism is a space for Hindus and we’d respect if the rest of you just stay the hell out of it. I’m clearly not as knowledgable about Hinduism as you are but if I had to bet my house on it I’m willing to say that most Hindus would want me as a guardian of the faith over you because unlike you I see it as something more than some really good weed.

      I really hate to break this to you but there is no such thing as an LGBT Hindu saint in our theology. Homosexuality is explicitly condemned in Manusmriti and no real Hindu priest would preside over a gay wedding or endorse the lifestyle.

      I’m not trying to set anyone off with my statement about Muslim women I’m just keeping it real and letting you all know that I think Muslim women should marry Hindu men at high rates.

  31. Re: all the flame wars with Kabir.

    I wish we stopped comparing India with Pakistan. Serves no purpose than to flatter ourselves.

    The only thing that should be compared to Pakistan is the state of Uttar Pradesh.

    India as a whole should rather look upto peers like north America, Europe, or China.

    I also wish Pakistanis stop drawing false equivalences with India to justify their society’s ills. They’d do well to look upto South Korea or Germany or even Indonesia.

    Both of us are thinking too small.

  32. two podcasts in patreon

    – conversation with a secular indian very anti-hindu nationalist

    – conversation with a scholar in Islam and political science

    1. Heard the first 1st one Razib, Tony_Secularist
      Were you guys as frustrated doing the podcast as I was listening to it ?

      I felt he had really deracinated views about Indian politics and Hinduism/Hindutva. As a Person who identified with Liberalism in India I was really frustrated listening to the guest. Still have 20 odd mins to listen

      1. gaurav, do you want to come on and present your views?

        i think if we can *focused* on one issue for an hour it would have gone better.

        the main critique i would present of tony’s views is that he does not seem to engage in the same critique of islam he does of india, which i get. notice i asked him if he thought islamic civilization was ‘superior’ because he basically seems to think indian civilization has nothing to be proud about.

        1. I would like to do so Razib;

          Though now I feel I shouldn’t hold his views to the standards of someone who lives in India and follows stuff in and our daily though. From the western lens often all nuance is lost and everything might become caricatures

          1. Go on podcast buddy, make our N Indians proud. If there is anything missing in the browncast is an authentic N Indians voice, which sometimes Razib has to defend ??

  33. advik,

    1) your comments are too long. i get it, you are in college and you have marginal time, but it’s annoying. probably part of your indian heritage as indian commenters have this problem

    2) chill out on the troll quotient or I’ll start expurgating

  34. advik,

    i’m going to sleep. if i wake up and see a 50 comment shit show I’ll ban you. no one else is as amused by your baiting of kabir as you are.

          1. Speaking of the phrase “Jai Shree Ram” have you seen how fucking hinduphobic the Wikipedia page for it is? It lies and says that Ram is normally shown as effeminate and that the phrase is a hate slogan. My Dad gives money to Wikipedia every god damn year and this is how they repay him? Honestly, leftists should not be allowed to examine Hinduism.


    “But I see this as a truce, and even a concession of our culture hawks that English is too useful to be denied to students beyond their early formative years.

    The suave Westernised Indian has receded in public life, and the non-English speaking Indian is rising. Even so, the guardians, champions and beneficiaries of Indian culture have faced a problem—their cultural wares, languages especially, have not been of use to the young. Without being of material use, a cultural colonizer will merely get physical territory and not people’s minds.

    Millions of young Indians who do not wish to pursue knowledge are trapped in meaningless education, wasting the best years of their lives, purely to obtain a piece of paper. If the young are gainfully employed and they receive love for the actual work they do, instead of pursuing charlatan degrees, cultural hawks may note, half of all activism will cease to exist”

    1. Two things that stand out –

      1. It is possible to discontinue any degree and then go back finish it, say, after 5 years.

      2. Learning experience till Form 5, no more textbooks.

  36. So all this rhetoric of Hindu “oppression” and Hindu “genocide” rings hollow I’m afraid.

    I particularly like Hindu “genocide”. 80% of India’s population is still Hindu, so the Mughals were really bad at “genocide” if indeed that was their goal. More likely the Hindutvadis using the term just don’t know what the definition of “genocide” is in English.

    kabir is wrong about oppression, but right about the genocide.

    the crazy hindutva rhetoric about genocide means that ppl won’t dig deeper into the structure of oppression which islamic rule explicitly outlined and systematized. i’m not saying this pejoratively. islam is organized in a way that non-muslims are less privileged and marginalized from political power. that’s a feature, not some made up bug.

    1. They exaggerate with “genocide” because for years their “oppression” was ridiculed. So now they over correct

      A bit like how we exaggerate british colonialism.

      1. some of the ahistorical things i’ve seen ‘secularists’ say, the crazy hindutva theories make a lot more sense. basically there is not much attempt to grapple with reality as it is as opposed to making shit out for the sake of propaganda

    2. I agree that focusing on genocide is a poor strategy; dead men tell no stories. There is also a quasi-argument from hindutva side that caste endogamy solidified because of external invasions and a lot of women were captured as slaves.

      Is it possible to analyze mt-dna to figure out the percentage of female slaves? Is the resolution too low for such analysis? Has there been too much migration in the background to come to such conclusions.

  37. Latest Islmic hero Teycip Erdogan slowly undoes the hardwon rights of women in Turkey under Kemalist outlook
    Erdoğan: Equality between women and men is against nature
    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has once again upset women with his derogatory statements. According to Erdoğan, the main task of women is to give birth, and women should not do the same jobs as men.
    This is the most (once) secular Turkey , now regressing

    In 20 years, there will be little difference between Turkey and Pakistan

    1. Why do you constantly rip on Pakistan? The country is totally fine in my honest opinion. In fact, my only problem with them is that so many Pakistani Muslims don’t like pro-male Hindu policies.

        1. What’s so funny about that? It’s true Pakistani Muslims despise male Hindus because the only way that they can convert us is by giving up one of their women in the process which is something that they hate to do. Male Hindus (from India to Nepal, to Bali, to George Harrison) are the most handsome, smartest, fittest, and cleverest of all people so it stands to reason that people are going to hate us. Greatness inspires envy.

          1. I wouldn’t have used a Pakistani Muslim’s gif to signify our greatness but yes we are in fact the best.

          2. If “male Hindus” are so great why is it the most popular male stars in Bollywood are all Khans (Shahrukh, Amir and Salman)? Why were “Hindus” going gaga about how gorgeous Fawad Khan is? Face the facts. Pakistanis are much more attractive than Indians. We happen to be fairer skinned on average for one thing.

            Of course some “male Hindus” are attractive. Shahid Kapoor and Ishaan Khattar are examples. But then their mother is Muslim.

          3. Razib sir I hope that this does not meet your standards for banning but I think Kabir crossed several lines in this one. You’re a real piece of work you know that Kabir. First of all the success of the Khans in Bollywood has little to do with their looks but a lot more to do with the fact that Bollywood understands that showing male Muslims on the screen will keep money coming in from Muslim customers. Also, I have no idea who the other person you mentioned is so that would put a hole in your “Hindus” are going gaga over their looks theory. I never made any remark about Pakistanis being bad looking at all and in fact, I find many of your men and women quite beautiful. Now to get to your point about you guys being fairer skinned. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Yes, you guys have more Arab admixture than we do but your colorist remarks are hugely offensive to me. My family happens to be reasonably dark-skinned for North Indians and my best friend is a dark-skinned South Indian brahmin. Do you have any idea how many young women in India hurt themselves because of their inferiority complex over having dark skin? Also, I have no idea who the last two people you mentioned are as well but didn’t you say that Muslim women can’t marry non-Muslim men to me just a couple of days ago? What changed Kabir? Is it ok for my bisexual ass to go after some Muslim chicks now? Anyways I’ve been reading your blog and I greatly respect your intellect. I personally have never insulted Islam on this blog or in real life in any shape or form and would appreciate if you could stop insulting Hinduism.

          4. A ridiculous comment from you about how great “male Hindus” are was met by an equally ridiculous comment from me. But now you complain that “Kabir has crossed several lines”. You can dish it out but you can’t take it? Laughable.

            You really claim you don’t know who Fawad Khan is? Indian women have been going gaga for him ever since he appeared in the Pakistani drama “Humsafar” and the Indian movies “Khoobsoorat” and “Kapoor and Sons”. His career in India was only stalled because of the ban put on hiring Pakistani actors in Bollywood.

            Shahid Kapoor is also a famous Bollywood star, so your claiming you have no idea who he is is not very believable.

            According to Islamic Law, Muslim women can’t marry non-Muslim men without the man converting. But they can obviously marry under secular laws.
            You have actually written on this blog that you would have liked Mahatma Gandhi to have been killed 20 years before 1947 or you would have preferred him to die at birth. You’re a disgusting extremist. As for “insults” to Hinduism, you find even a factual statement that no non-Hindutvadi historian believes that “Lord Ram” ever existed “insulting”, so sorry I’m not going to meet your ridiculous standards.

          5. I wasn’t calling your family extremist. I’m glad they protected Sikhs during 1984. This isn’t about your family, it’s about you.

            Your comments about wishing Gandhiji dead are so disgusting that none of the “male Hindus” on this forum supported you. I have a lot of disagreements with many of them, but no one else has gone so far as to wish that the Mahatma had been killed at birth. Such comments are completely beyond the norms of acceptable discourse.

            I grew up in the US. My social circle included a lot of Indian-Americans since I studied Hindustani music. Everyone was deeply familiar with Bollywood. I really doubt that you had to Google Shahid Kapoor (but it is possible that you are the exception who doesn’t care for Bollywood)

          6. You’re so fucking lucky that Razib sir babies you, Kabir. I had a perfect comment written down that would have destroyed you and Razib deleted it because he didn’t want you to go on one of your signature 50 comment meltdowns.

            First off I said that male Hindus are better not Indians. There are male Hindus in Pakistan too or do you not consider them to Pakistani. Last time you told me they serve in your military and are police officers, in other words they are doing more for Pakistan than you are!

            I don’t watch Bollywood because my family is half Punjabi Hindu we have a much different culture than Hindi speaking cowbelt people (who among which the Hindus don’t watch Bollywood as much because it’s Muslim propaganda).

            As someone who was molested at a young age, I’d like to tell you Gandhi can go straight to hell for all I care and I don’t care if anything I say about that pussy rapist offends you or anyone else.

          7. Razib “sir” doesn’t “baby” me– That assertion would strike most people here as quite bizarre.

            Notbing you say can “destroy” me. Please, you’re a child.

            Bollywood is “Muslim propaganda”– and we are in bizarro land again.

            Gandhi ji didn’t rape anyone. Sorry, you can’t make such allegations without proof. The Mahatma was one of the greatest Indians ever and only Hindutvadi extremists would ever say otherwise.

          8. @Kabir

            You say you are liberal but the colorism and sexism keeps coming out. The concern over what women wear; the ascribing of ownership of said women’s honor to the men of their ethnicity or religion; and of course, the colorism, including classic racial terms of abuse like “black madrasi”.

            I would have thought growing up in the US would change some of these sensibilities (as it has to a significant percentage of diaspora desis), but it still seems to lurk underneath the veneer of liberalism for you.

            I hope you reflect on these observations in a constructive way. Be better.

          9. Hoju,

            Before lecturing me, why don’t you first condemn your fellow “male Hindu” who has actually wished for Mahatma Gandhi to have been killed at birth? That’s the most digusting thing anyone has ever said on this blog.

          10. LOL, I know wishing someone death is bad, but this baby Gandhi being killed reminded me of the whole controversy around baby Hitler in Jeb Bush campaign in 2015 primaries. 😛

      1. \Why do you constantly rip on Pakistan?\
        I don’t think I ‘constantly’ rip Pakistan even though I take your point

        All said and done, India socially and historically is in the same boat as Pakistan, Turkey and other asian country i.e. how to modernise a traditional and religious country with equal rights for all, equal oppurtnities, and how to run polities with all citizens considered equal, irrespective of sex, race, religion.
        Turkey made a determined attempt in the 20th century and looked like a success. It is sad to see successful modern countries undoing their success. Pakistan, is explicitely created on a anti-nodern premise , yet we want to find out whether it can otherwise create a modern polity free of traditional bigotry , and look for signs of success or otherwise. India being a open country politically and socially can’t insulate totally from what is happening in Pakistan. India is not like China, which can be a self-sufficient and sealed world by itself


    Ram Temple ceremony: US groups, citizens write to New York mayor, oppose Times Square display

    “ Prominent community leader and President of the American India Public Affairs Committee Jagdish Sewhani on Wednesday said that arrangements are being made to celebrate the historic moment in New York on August 5, when Prime Minister Narendra Modi is scheduled to lay the foundation stone for construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya.“

  39. Name dropping does not convince anyone in matters of history.

    yeah. and he’s not canonical anyway, that’s a stupid way to refer to a scholar (speaking as someone who has read and appreciated eaton’s work).


    “ De-ritualising Hinduism

    These instances signify the growing process of de-ritualisation of the Hindu religion, primarily by the trustees of Hindutva, thereby pitting Hindutva against a section of religious authorities. Hindutva’s response to such criticism has been to invoke the paradigm of subaltern religiosity wherein disregard for the ritual domain is an accepted practice since the Bhakti movement. Doing so not only labels the dissenting Brahmanical religious authorities as obscurantist and ultra-orthodox, but also magnifies Hindutva’s appeal among the subaltern masses, the numerical majority.

    Nevertheless, Hindu conservatism is the last bastion that right-wing populism seeks to vanquish effectively.“

    A superb article on Trads vs hindutva. Every word, gold.

    1. “In the case of old Indian votaries at the national level, and political Islamists and liberation theologists at the global level, the status of religion is either superior to or on a par with the political. Nowhere do we find religion to be inferior to the political in these cases. ”

      Sounds a lot like secularism to me. Supports my point that Hindutva is a progressive force.

      I would be interested in seeing a discussion between Sajjan Kumar and Asim Ali.

      Maybe Asim Ali needs to re-evaluate his definition of the term.

    2. That Hindu article is pure idiocy, they make a mountain out of a molehill and then they insist that there are now a series of mountains and they provide evidence of a great and new phenomenon.

      I would never trust the Hindu for political or social commentary, they have long ceased to be of any import other than giving an insight into the minds of old communists. I used to be an avid reader more than 20 years ago.

      If you call this as Hindutva fighting traditional Hinduism, then what do you call the below?

      1. Shivaji’s courtiers overruling the Maratha Brahmins who denied the right of coronation to him, on the grounds of a lack of Kshatriya-hood. They then invited another Brahmin from Varanasi who did the rituals.

      2. Raja Raja Chola I overruling the Dikshitars of Chidambaram temple to retrieve the works of the Nayanmars in order to publish them.

      What were these events signifying? Were they some kind of revolt against traditional Hindu practices? A big NO!

      A general note of caution – The Hindu wears faction-tinted glasses and they will detect class struggles and sub-altern movements in the flickering of a ghee Diya.

      The marxist thinkers classified the Bhakti movement under a sub altern struggle without any idea of Nirguna and its origins in the Vedas.

      Coming to the fixing of the date, it is based upon Vaastu Muhurta and in no way violates any Agamic principle. That article was pretty silent on what was the violation. Fabrication!

    3. Hindu nationalism is wrongly called Right-wing populism. Populism is a cuss word in these kind of analysis simply becuase other kinds of political ideas are not popular and can’t get people to line up behind them.

      A good artilce by Krzysztof Iwanek on whether BJP is conservative.

      Conservative also means culturally and economically conservative. Swatantra party – now defunct – was much nearer a conservative party.

    4. I am the last person to defend that Chinese paper, but the article is good. And from time to time one should keep an eye on what ur opponent says about u ?

  41. Those of you have a problem with Dr. Richard Eaton are free to bring your own Ph.D historian.

    your point is on point, but your attitude toward credentialism is stupid.

    this is like thinking that if you have a bank in the country will be rich because banks make wealth. rather, banks are institutional faces for a whole structure of investment etc. that generates productivity.

    i am reminded by your citation of *imagined communities*, the most assigned book to undergraduates. you take stuff in like this to be gospel, but that’s because you are too ignorant to understsand the limitations of scholarship and where that scholarship is strong or not strong (most of the undergraduates who *imagined communities* make much grander generalizations than anderson himself does in the book).

    1. The other side doesn’t even bother citing PhD scholars nor do they understand that History is a proper academic discipline that one needs to be trained in. Amateur IT workers are not to be taken seriously.

      I’m still ahead.

      1. Since you are keen on Ph.D holders to read, here is one

        Elst is a trained linguist in sanskrit apart from being indologist and sinologist. Docorate in Asian Studies
        Elst perceives Hindutva as a tool to decolonize and revitalize the mental and cultural state of Indians, based on a continuity of Hindu tradition and identity.
        Follow that man for a better understanding of India and profit from his writings

        Unlike many historians including Ms Thapar or Jeffrelot , he knows his sanskrit and liguistics and all the indological arguments

        1. I don’t follow Right-wing people.

          And it’s DR. Thapar and not “Ms.” Thapar. When you engage in the effort to earn a PhD, you get called DR for the rest of your life. Calling a woman PHD “Ms.” is misogynistic.


    Catching up on old podcasts. Interesting conversation. But please, we should have females on! They are not hard to get.

    Deshis are far more colorism and physical attractiveness oriented than Europeans or North Americans. Altough if someone goes to an elite university and is a billionaire–not even that matters.

    India is more physical attractiveness oriented than class concious and more class concious than Jati concious in general. I think India is fast losing interests in Varnas.

    The connection between Varna and Jati has been disrupted by the British and Indian constitution and “reservation.” For example if the Shankaraachaarya of Kanchi makes someone a Brahmin–legally they remain an SC or ST. Having said this they are a Brahmin within the Advaita Sampradaaya. Before the English came–such a person’s descendents could switch to Brahmin. But how does that work now? Swami Vivekananda before becoming a “Swami” was a Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya or Shudra depending on someone’s point of view. Post becoming a Swami he was Avarna.


    I don’t accept the woke assumptions of the universe as valid in the first place and reject their understandings of power, intelligence, privelege, supremacy in their entirety.

  43. Catching up on old podcasts. Interesting conversation. But please, we should have females on! They are not hard to get.

    i don’t know any women. all i know is my viking 🙂

  44. Listened to the podcast with Tony_Secularist. Will post my comments once its posted here. Honestly i would say his views are not outside of what i have heard from vanilla liberals folks, so i would cut him some slack.

    1. Maybe. But even ppl from Wire and Co don’t use language like “Hindus are doing this “, “Hindus have taken over the state”

      Or missing the point that Maharashtra which is suddenly the darlic of Indian liberals as it is 66% secular government with 34% former Hindutva. So Mumbai police giving threats to random Muslims “encounter kar dunga” seem very much exceptions (hence not valid argument) or fictional (I don’t want to cast aspersions on Tony but I find the claim a bit incredulous).

      Apart from that I have heard no “liberal” call GST “facist”. Only Su.Swamy calls is stupid consistently but he is anything but liberal I guess.

      1. “Apart from that I have heard no “liberal” call GST “facist”.”

        Fascism is a conveniently accessible adjective. People use it when they have to complain.

        My NRI friend got stuck in India due to the lockdown. She’s pretty apolitical nationalist types but suddenly started calling BJP fascist because flights to the US were off.


    “India’s extremism problem on the other hand is very much an international one. The swag that Hindutva seeks and demands will always be unrequited because it far exceeds any historic or material truth about India or Hindu supremacy. In fact, Hindutva rage is fuelled, at least in part by a very keen awareness in India, of India’s limits. India’s vulnerability to British Raj, its continued inferiority complex with respect to Western powers, its failed attempts to dominate Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka, and its embarrassing daily defeat in Srinagar and across the Kashmir Valley. The more India fails, the more deeply it invests in Hindutvavadi rage, both as the solution to its domestic problems of poverty, a lack of sanitation, and the teeming illiteracy and desperation of hundreds of millions, as well as the solution to its regional and global ambitions.

    August 5 has cost India dearly. But it isn’t Pakistan that has exacted the price. That heavy lifting was done by the PLA soldiers that beat over two dozen Indian soldiers to death. Like so many of India’s other humiliations, this is a product of a fundamental mismatch between the ambitions of Hindutvavadi (and secular) hawks, and the realities of half a billion Indians that survive on less than two dollars a day.”

    Pakistani liberal ☝️

    1. All these sapole (baby cobras) (like Shoaib Akhtar, myriad actors-actresses, singers) will line up for visas and work if given any opportunities. Sadak-chaap-bhikharis.

      Isse (mah narrative se) badhiya toh thoda IT engineering hi padh liya hota, kamse kam kuch toh khud kar lete.

      btw did you see the new map of Pakistan? China is trolling us and this is some good diplomacy, we should take notes, very soon we will get bitch-slapped by Bangladesh too.

      A bunch of new Pakistani dramas are about to stream on Zee5, interestingly one of them stars most-handsome-ghazi actor who spews hate for India. Lets allow their viewership increase and some money to flow into Pakistanis before banning them.

      Also, Pakistan seems to have formally claimed Junagarh.
      I suppose it is time for Afghanistan to publish a map too 🙂

      1. Yeah saw the maps. They claiming junagarh ??

        Also Interesting as to what they chose not to do.
        For example why didn’t they claim Hyderabad as well. Also low hanging fruit was LOC which they could have made it “undemarcated” as LAC but they chose not to do that. That was strange, perhaps a larger game plan. Also didn’t claim Siachin.

        1. They did claim Siachin.
          Siachen is to the west of their claimed LoC which according to them runs upto Karakoram pass.

          Why do you think were Indian leaders so stupid for so long to repeatedly offer peace to a belligerent Pakistan. Magnanimity and self importance beyond our means, this is what happens when lame morality/strategy/diplomacy lessons are drawn from ahistoric/impractical Hindu myths.

          A not so well known cases of unrequited Indian goodwill:

          Salal Dam

          Atal Bihari Vajpayee in his usual vanity and characteristically unprofessional diplomacy utterly destroyed this dam for no real gain.

          “After having reached a bilateral agreement with Pakistan in 1978,with significant concessions made to Pakistan in the design of the dam, reducing its height, eliminating operating pool, and plugging the under-sluices meant for sediment management, India completed the project in 1987. The concessions made in the interest of bilateralism damaged the long-term sustainability of the dam, which silted up in five years. It currently runs at 57% capacity factor. Its long-term future is uncertain.”

          I mean only a very pretentious man with little appreciation of technical details and no respect for advisors can do something as silly as this.

          Sangh by its very nature breeds such leaders, good orators, grassroots people with no respect for professional advice. Whenever I see/read Sanjeev Sanyal and Shaktikanta Das and Nirmala Sitharaman I weep for our future.

          1. Bhim

            Just like with Nepal we are missing the woods for the trees. In Nepal, the current commies are headache, but who brought the commies in power there. Similarly, the whole Salal dam issue happened because of Indus water treaty. And we all know who was the architect of the treaty.

            On Sanyal and co, i think you are being a bit harsh. They are not as bad as they come across

          2. I also find Sanyal a polished mediocre finance guy who thinks he is better at everything.
            The certainty and bombast with which he talks about history – especially blasting Ashoka; or the Whole Harappan was Aryan Spiel.

            Might be my bias but any case person who can support Demonitization with a straight face and passion – I find it tough to take that person seriosuly. Especially if the person comes from a trained background of finance/eco.

            Razib has written somewhere that he stopped communicating with Razib over AIT. Well that’s pretty juvenile teenage shit. Even hardcore Hindutva RSS people appear are immensely more respectiveful and mature

          3. Razib says
            Perhaps more strange for me is that the above piece was passed around favorably by Sanjeev Sanyal, who I was on friendly terms with (we had dinner & drinks in Brooklyn a few years back). I asked him about the slander in the piece and he unfollowed me on Twitter (a friend of Hindu nationalist bent asked Sanjeev on Facebook about the articles’ attack on me, but the comment was deleted). It shows how strongly people feel about these issues. )

            He apparently has written couple of books on OIT so this petty behaviour might be financial and not political

          4. I think partisans do what they are expected to do. He is a member of the current Govt, so not an independent voice. A similar example is Moeed Yusuf , currently special advisor to Imran Khan, and used to head a think tank in US. His views now closely mirror Imran’s RSS=Nazis points, something who have heard him b4 would marvel how much they guy has really changed.

            Closer Home, we still have multiple economist who support Indira Gandhi’s demonetization AKA takeover of banks as the best economic decision in India ever. So someone going out on a limb to support demonetization doesn’t surprise me. Overall India’s intellectual capital on the economics is pretty OKish and regardless of who’s is in power they have the similar analysis and remedies. In larger scheme of things Sanyal,Sitharaman etc have hardly much impact on the economic choices this Govt takes.

        2. I honestly don’t see what’s so different about this “new” map of Pakistan. Official maps of Pakistan have always included Indian-Occupied Kashmir and have marked it as Disputed Territory. Many official maps of Pakistan have also included Junagadh. As far as we are concerned, the Nawab of Junagadh legally acceded to Pakistan in 1947. It’s just as “legal” as the Hindu Dogra “aceeding” Kashmir to India.

    1. I hope for Kerala’s sake, middle east remain an attractive target for migration. I can only imagine the social ruckus in KL if and when there is an economic upheaval in the middle east.

    2. Northern Kerala has a problem with radical Islam that should be acknowledged and fixed. But I hope the BJP doesn’t use it as pretext to pull a Kashmir on Kerala.

      This is a bit tangential but…

      It’s sad how the Hindu RW just keeps churning out stories that portray Kerala, TN, and Bengal in a very negative light. It goes viral quickly and even the national media and public figures run with it. Often becomes nasty attacks on the peoples as a whole, with ethnic and racial overtones.

      The control over media that the Hindu RW has is not a good sign for democracy in India. Nor is demonizing states that don’t vote for you rather than being mature about political disagreements or even trying to win the other side over.

      Like I remember that Kerala elephant story taking off like a rocket and around the same time there was a social media clip showing live animals being buried alive in Bihar but one gets ignored the other gets intense focus.

      It’s of course partly related to the usual anti-Muslim bigotry. Many Muslims live where the elephant was killed and it probably was a Muslim culprit (I don’t know, didn’t follow the news). But it’s also the political angle against states that don’t buy in fully to the Hindu nationalist sentiment.

      I had friends on WhatsApp saying stuff like (paraphrasing) ‘95% literacy rate but still savages’ and ‘rather poor and moral than sophisticated and heartless’, and those seemed to largely reflect public sentiment.

      It frankly alienates those who would otherwise have been open to being persuaded.

      1. I dont think BJP will ever do a Kashmir on any mainland states. In Bengal where there own cadres are killed, and there is lot more calls to dismiss the Govt, it doesn;t do so. Even on Kashmir, it just used the prevalent Governor rule to push thru the changes.
        Contrary to perception, BJP puts more weight age to electoral and democratic mandate since that’s what gives its legitimacy against left/liberal constitutional, “idea of India” type of folks.

        1. I think the point is, BJP is mastering and institutionalizing the art of horse trading. From North East to Karnataka, they have done it far more than any other previous Congress govt’s have done. They do not need to do a Kashmir, but if they even do a Bengal or MP, it still is a problem and they stand to loose credibility.

    3. Wonder if they picked a Muslim bomber from India to attack a Sikh gurudwara to send a message.

      (I.e the animosity is religious not ethnic)

    1. Looks interesting,
      You know your music well bro – listened to the clip on Soundcloud

  46. trump forcing microsoft to take over tick tok by sept. is more like dalhousie in company days. after this may be darlymple will write a book on this.

  47. Just Heard the latest podcast.
    It was Very weird and kind of probable as what was going to happen after 5 min into it.
    Boy o Boy we are gonna have a Comment fest in the latest post.
    This was idk kind of weird only thing i can agree on
    Hindutva Trolls
    Casual Muslim Discrimination ( sometimes killing )
    Ram Janmbhoomi Agrument was alright( The proof of birthplace of Lord Ram).
    The clear view in his mind was Hindu vs Muslim and Nazi India.
    Didn’t know the complexities of caste/religion dynamics of Rural India.

    How is GST bad can someone tell me?
    Didn’t talk about single good thing like
    section 377, triple Talaq , toilets etc

    Didn’t talk about freedom of speech, police reforms, Infrastructure building, Educational policies, territorial integrity etc.

    Was on his Ravish Kumar shit i guess.( If you know you know)

    The podcast could’ve more juicier if you talk about Kashmir occupation ( im joking) by India.
    I think Omar Sir left midway was downturn in some sense cause he was kind of bridge between Mukunda and Tony.

      1. This is an old Haaretz piece, which Imran Khan used in his tweet to defame Hindutva and India. The author Shreik Rao wote another piece saying while fascism is a threat in India, it is a reality under Islam and how KPs were driven out by religious motivations

    1. They should just show images of Muhammad in Times Square too, to balance things out.

    1. I voted for Mesolithic as Indian tribal people have substantial Iran_HG. I wonder if Yhaplo H brought those genes to the tribals. Y H being from Aurignacian Levant originally met Iran_HG people somewhere west of Indus and then migrated further east, eventually meeting real AASI communities and forming ASI?

  48. this blog is attracting young brown edgelords who are pushing it too far in the comments. i will start to be stricter even in the open-threads.

    the issue is when you are a ~20-year-old male you have no limits and restraint. i remember i was one. but i don’t want this to turn into brown-chan

        1. Oh, I thought so because you wrote that comment right after I posted, and I was inactive on the previous open thread and just wrote 2-3 comments on the one before that

          Sorry for blowing up that 450+ comment thread btw

    1. I left /pol/ a couple of years ago because they started attacking male Hindus constantly and I share your concerns about this place turning into a version of it. I hope that it doesn’t happen. I am a big fan of your Razib sir.

        1. Kabir is just one guy though all the other Muslims using this website seem really kind besides like you said Kabir is actually a Brahmin. /pol/ had posts glorifying white supremacy constantly it was bat shit crazy and I don’t know how I used it. By the way Razib I have an idea for a podcast you should have Ashish Dhar aka (@Infinitchy) on and talk to him about caste. I think you’ve brought a lot of raita wing people on and now it’s time for you to bring on a traditional Hindu.

          1. kabir is not a brahmin. his mother’s ancestors were balmiki

            i’m having that guy on soon. probably next week we’ll record. just gotta get schedules to work

          2. Did you mean to say he is Valmiki Dalit on his mother’s side? I was just saying he’s Brahmin based on your earlier post ridiculing him as one. I have nothing against the guy it’s just I wish he would stop demeaning Hinduism constantly.

            It’s good that you’re having Ashish Dhar on that guy is incredible.

  49. General doubt about biology/genetics

    What exactly determines distance between ones eyebrows? Which population group would you say has the closest eyebrows (even if it’s a guess)? Found a report about synophrys (aka unibrow) being found in almost 12% of Oman’s population
    “A unibrow is part of normal human variation, but can also stem from developmental disorders.”

    Can consanguinity cause unibrows?

  50. Probably the latest podcast was one of the worst in recent times on brownpundits. Tony, I am sorry to say could not stand ground on any topic. When asked about whats the most illiberal thing the Indian govt has done, he quotes “GST”. Heck, I am a right winger and I can quote better examples. I stopped listening after this, could not go on.

    No value add provided by this podcast

  51. I’d go back and live in the NCR area in a heartbeat, IF I had the requisite resources. I just won’t be able to make as much money in India in my chosen profession. If I was super-rich however, I would be back in the homeland real quick. Buy one of those huge, ultra-luxe farmhouses that cost northwards of $10 million — $15 million, hire an army of help and security, and live a life of peace and luxury with amazing food and culture, while living with fellow Rors/Hindu Jatts and others.

    Who could say no to a house like this, in a great, safe, exclusive and clean neighborhood that is also gated:

    Or this:

    Or even this:

    Good stuff. I remember I once visited a friend who lived in the neighborhood of Moti Bagh while we were on vacation in Delhi; I was astonished to see how clean, green and safe it was. Everything was pristine. Even the air quality was great. And the homes were absolutely fabulous. No wonder parts of the NCR area have a higher HDI than some European countries. Look it up if you dont believe me!

      1. I should add that his being Jain is not relevant to his ideology or politics. I just mentioned it as a matter of fact


    “ Notwithstanding the criticism levelled against Ramayana in scholarly and activists’ circles, Ram appealed to the masses in his way. It has been especially true ever since Tulsidas wrote the Awadhi version of Ramayana: the Ramacharitmanas.

    The beautiful devotional poetry took Ram to every household in north India irrespective of caste or community. It left a deep imprint on the emerging Bhakti movement with Ram becoming the universal deity in almost all its strands. And just like Ram united Hindu society in the medieval age, it once again united Hindus in the 20th century CE.

    For several smaller Dalit and OBC castes, the Ram Mandir movement was the first mainstream political mobilisation in post-independence India. It was for the first time that they appeared on the political map of the country and in the consciousness of political parties. It politicised them, mobilised them around their caste myths and legends and enabled them to assert their place under the Hindu identity.

    In a way, the conclusion of a five centuries-old struggle is laying down the foundation of a new future of Hindu society and polity.“

    1. I’m excited as fuck for today’s events. The faster the old secular India can be buried, the better.

      1. I thought you said you were White? But now you sound like a typical Hindutvadi.

        Why would a White person be “excited as fuck” for a bhumi phujan of a temple being built where a mosque should be?

        This is a day of shame for all decent Indians. Not only are criminals being rewarded with their temple but it is also being done on the anniversary of the annexation of Kashmir. A real message being sent to minorities by Hindu Hriday Samrat.

  53. Vividly remember the heady days of temple movement. As kid growing up in the 90s, it was hard to escape getting influenced by temple movement. Those were heady days, the days when most Hindu households had the iconic image of Ram against the backdrop of proposed temple.

    As is the case now, the secularists had their worn out commentary and on the other side you had this passion borne out of the angst.

    1. I think that the secular lot were not as beleaguered in the 90s as they are today though. I remember some left politicians coming to UP and holding big jansabha in different areas. Though it was “arranged” by Mulayam. Something which is unthinkable today.

      Had the same situation of today been prevalent then, the temple would have been then itself perhaps ??

      1. Yeah, BJP, VHP were the fringe.

        I did not understand much of politics then, but clearly remember Pranab Mukherji’s statement after V. P Singh formed the government on TV about BJP which won 2 seats in the previous election winning 85 seats.

        I think the writing was pretty much on the wall for Congress then. If not for Rajiv’s assassination BJP could have won higher number of seats and would have been in a pole position.

        It is not easy to build and get a movement of this scale going, it was not just a political movement it was cultural one. Many liberals who equate Ram Jamabhumi movement to a mere political movement do not consider the cultural and its impact on the Hindu populace. This was to be seen wide across India in the 90s.

        1. I remember those days growing up, in fact there was a grass roots mass movement that was collecting bricks and/or money for the temple. Until then you don’t often see RSS shakas in the south, but that RJB was that turning point. I don’t particularly recall if it was before or after the structure was broken, but I distinctly remember adults and kids participating over the weekend.

  54. Today is such a significant day for India. Watching it feels kind of surreal. I haven’t been pro RJB movement, though sympathetic to it & understanding of it. Now that it’s happening, it is hard not to be interested. I hope to visit once it is built. I’m not religious / believer but still, there’s a significance to this that goes beyond whether you believe this or that.

    Jai Shri Ram

    1. Anyone who is “sympathetic” to the RJB movement and who uses the fascist slogan “Jai Shree Ram”– a slogan which Hindutvadis force Indian Muslims to recite while being lynched– is no one to comment about anyone else’s liberalism.

      You’ve just revealed your true Hindu fascist colors. The mask is off.

      1. Anyone who is “sympathetic” to the pakistan movement and who uses the fascist slogan “La ilahi illallah” or “allahu akbar”– a slogan which Muslims force Hindus to recite while being lynched– is no one to comment about anyone else’s liberalism.

        You’ve just revealed your true Islamist fascist colors. The mask is off.

        1. Making anyone recite the Kalima while lynching them is completely unacceptable.

          I’m a Nehruvian Secularist. I hate Islamists too and would counter them if there were any on this blog.

        2. Allahu Akbar is the signature tune of terrosists of Muslim background. Twin Towers or bombings in Afghanistan is always accompanied by AA

          1. And you’ve just revealed your Islamophobia (for the umpteenth time).

            “Allah hu Akbar” simply means “God is Great”. It is tragic that it has been perverted in this fashion.

            Similarly “Jai Shree Ram” is fine in itself but now it is associated with lynching minorities. I don’t think Sri Ram (if he existed) would have wanted that.

  55. I think Hindutva has peaked today.

    There’s much too hubris. It’s all going to be downhill if we don’t fix the economy and the demographic liability, especially if China keeps bitch slapping us from time to time.

  56. Senator Pat Geary:
    I despise your masquerade, the dishonest way you pose yourself. You and your whole f***ing family.

    Michael Corleone:
    We’re both part of the same hypocrisy, senator, but never think it applies to my family.


    Another trad crying, as some big movie star once said “Pushpa, i love tears re” 😛

    Muscular Nationalism Vs Constitutional Idea of India

    The ideas upon which this new nation state is being formed, however, are not new – they can be traced back to the muscular nationalism of leaders such as Lokmanya Tilak and Lala Lajpat Rai, publishing houses such as Gita Press, poetry and fiction of Bankimchandra Chattopadhyay, essays of Ramananda Chatterjee and Sister Nivedita, historical works of Jadunath Sarkar and R C Majumdar, and at its most extreme, to the ideas of Savarkar and the raison d’être of organisations such as the RSS and the Hindu Mahasabha, founded in the 1920s and the 1930s.

    These ideas clashed with the Constitutional idea of India that eventually triumphed in 1950 and while the moderate strands wove themselves into the life of the republic, a more radical essence lurked in the shadows until the 1980s. The movement for a Ram temple, that culminated in the demolition of the Babri Masjid and nationwide violence in its wake, was to be the vehicle for its return into the mainstream of India’s consciousness.

    This is the larger picture. When you zoom in there is Ayodhya – a real place with real people. It also happens to be my ancestral home town – an impressionistic medley of dialect, food, songs, folklores, traditions, difficulties, eccentricities, peculiarities, humour and micro-histories that run in my bloodstream. A place now made invisible by a grand socio-political project that has also obscured my own identity as a devotee of Ram and as an Indian who does not subscribe to the hegemonic view of what it means to be either in India today.”

    1. This is a false dichotomy between mascular nationalism and Constitutional India. Even if Tilak and others were alive today, they would definitely abide by the Const.
      Consitutional procedures and ways must not be set aside in favour mob rule and musclemen with whatever slogan – Hindutva slogans oe Seculartva slogans. That is the route to a soft state. India will become like Pakistan where an innocent can be gunned down in a court room and the assassin feted by one and all.


    “For far too long, Hindus have been subject to foreign dominations. In one of my previous articles for ThePrint, I have argued how the rise of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was the manifestation of the collective subaltern. There is a special place for Dalits and OBCs in the evolved Hindutva matrix. The whole idea behind mooting a fictional alliance between Dalits and Muslims is an attempt to break the Hindu unity.

    Dalits, like the upper castes, have shouldered the duties and obligations of the Hindu civilisation since time immemorial. That the majority of Dalits are unapologetic Hindus is a testament to this fact. Regardless of the overtures by the missionaries and the Marxists, Dalits are and will eternally continue to be loyal and devoted followers of Sanatan Dharma.”


    “Poor and Desperate, Pakistani Hindus Accept Islam to Get By
    Drawn by jobs or land offered by Muslim groups, some Hindus, facing discrimination and a virus-ravaged economy, are essentially converting to survive.

    Treated as second-class citizens, the Hindus of Pakistan are often systemically discriminated against in every walk of life — housing, jobs, access to government welfare. While minorities have long been drawn to convert in order to join the majority and escape discrimination and sectarian violence, Hindu community leaders say that the recent uptick in conversions has also been motivated by newfound economic pressures.”

    ☝️ Indus people

    1. And who exactly is defending this?

      Nice attempt to distract from the death of Nehruvian Secularism in Hindu India. Everyone’s Hindutvadi masks are finally coming off today.

      1. @Kabir – why do you keep using the phrase ” Hindu India” ……the extra qualifier is redundant like “Chai Tea”…..:-)

        1. Because it was supposed to be SECULAR India. It has only become HINDU India since Hindu Hriday Samrat has made it his mission to destroy Nehruvian Secularism.

  60. Shit I need some NY-Style Pizza Blanco with Ricotta and Pork Sausage, STAT! Really hits the spot with a nice Hefeweizen. Pity I’m not in the Tri-State area. The DMV area has the most awful food. Avoid if you are a foodie.

  61. Don’t understand all the brouhaha about the Ram temple as if this is something unknown and revolutionary to Indian politics and society. One might recall Patel’s role in the reconstruction of the Somnath temple and President Rajendra Prasad’s presence at the inauguration nearly 70 years ago. In fact, this is the same old script of Indian politics going back to the 18th and 19th centuries: cow, temple, Hindu revivalism.

    The answer for the political Hindu perpetually lies in going back to some mythical idealized past; it is always Ram Raj time in these parts. Somebody else (some impure Mleccha, probably) will be inventing the future, we Hindus can just be parasites on their technology, their political arrangements and their vision of society, while we talk endlessly of our glorious past, Vedic flying machines and cry about temples razed down long ago.

    In other words, none of this is new, it’s the depressingly familiar story of Hindu escapism of the last 1000 years.

    1. “we Hindus can just be parasites on their technology, their political arrangements and their vision of society”

      Then your field of view is most likely just overcrowded with political stuff. Follow science and technology more.

      1. IsThisReal, which fields of science and tech do you feel indians are making big impacts? My observation has been that there aren’t a whole lot of indians in the fundamentals sciences and pure math. There are tons of success stories in applied stuff and research within western institutions of excellence of course, but the social capital needed to sustain that platform is harder than participating in it. A quasi-intelligentsia of a few million people at home and abroad out of 1.3 billion isn’t an impressive yield on human capital, and won’t create a developed society.

        1. @girmit – this sounds like some marxist game of “show me some evidence so that I can sit in judgement on it”. Do you read or have you not seen mainstream articles on Indian achievements in STEM?

          Then again you implied some sort of absolute linear number for human capital yield that India has to cross in order to create a developed society. Creating imaginary metrics and then insisting that Indians must not celebrate their religion/culture until they reach that target sounds exactly like trad nonsense.

          It is this kind of false equivalence from some high priests that creates cultural illiteracy in Indian society.

          1. @Ugra, can you point me to some sources/stats that address our achievements in STEM fields? I always like keeping abreast of the latest developments/achievements of our people.

          2. @APthk
            Mathematics is the tip of the spear.
            So for starters two field medals won by Manjul Bhargava and Akshay Venkatesh.

          3. Yes, to our ancestors, Mathematics was the king of all the sciences, like the “Crest of a Peacock”. I wanted to learn more about relatively obscure scientists, perhaps people like Y. Subbarow, who were not given their due during their lifetime, yet left an idelible impression on the discipline they worked in.

            BTW, are you aware of any work done by Indians (both way in the past and in the present) on electricity and magnetism? Did we play a role in the revolution that brought electricity to people all over the globe?

            I am aware that without Zinc mining/refinement that came from India, Volta wouldn’t have been able to build a Voltaic cell, and ergo, batteries and everything that came from them wouldn’t exist, but are there any other such connections I am ignorant about? I feel that much of our heritage in the metallurgical sciences has not been properly attributed to us.

            For instance, I remember reading that the Bronze age wouldnt have been possible without tin, and tin deposits in that period were concentrated in the Indus Valley area, and not further West. I truly believe that all the metallurgical ages were in great part only possible due to the ingenuity of our ancestors. Iron Age, Bronze Age, Copper Age, Steel Age, etc all originated due to the metallurgical expertise of our ancestors. Without Wootz Steel for instance, where would the modern world be? Wukku from Tamil -> Wootz Steel/Damascus Steel -> Found in everything from automobiles to trains to cars to spaceships. What do you think about this?

            BTW, is it true that the lead engineer for the SpaceX Dragon spaceship is an Indian?

          4. @Apthk

            Not really the chief engineer but one of the top guys (maybe like one in top 100) there. btw does anyone know how someone can get through the ITAR requirements? I had heard SpaceX doesn’t hire foreigners.

            In Electromagnetism a few famous ones everyone knows about:

            J C Bose made radio before Macaroni but didn’t receive credit.

            C V Raman won the Nobel Prize for research related to scattering.

            I am sure there will be many more that better-read people here can name. I do know of quite a few great particle physicists and astrophysicists that have come out of India.

            But compare the facilities in even mediocre US universities vs those in even old-IITs/IISc. We are utterly outgunned, its Jet planes vs bow-arrow.

          5. ugra, i don’t need indians to be some kind of STEM master race to feel proud of my heritage or parse journals for indian names because my views have formed from within a university. I will join anyone celebrating the great work indians are doing, but I’m not fooling myself that these people are especially representative of their nationality. Consider the context of the comments that preceded mine.

        2. I’ve posted those lists on some of the previous threads, there are many more prizes that I didn’t mention because that list was kinda getting long. let me know if you can’t find that thread. And I was sort of talking from a religious angle here (because that’s where the discussion started).

          As far as research-oriented achievements go, there are just too many awards, hard to go through each and every one. The latest person I’ve come across is Madhavi Krishnan, won the Corday-Morgan Prize for the year 2020. Born and raised in Tamil Nadu, did her undergrad at Anna University, works at Oxford now.

          “A quasi-intelligentsia of a few million people at home and abroad out of 1.3 billion”

          There are only 1.2 billion Hindus to begin with, and 85% live in India. The key factor is that only 78 million Indians make close to $10 a day. There’s not a whole lot of people you can expect stuff from to begin with. It’s not easy to gauge right now, but I’d say the performance has been decent so far. About a decade or so from now, when there are more people with better incomes, we’ll have a clearer view.

          Fundamental science and math require a strong foundation right from school level, and India clearly lacks that (curious to see how the new education policy will work out). It’s evident from the fact that both the Indian-origin Fields Medal winners were raised in foreign countries. And both Manjul Bhargava and Akshay Venkatesh excelled right from school level.

          Another problem is that people from India and similar countries are generally very hesitant to move towards research. Everyone keeps chasing a job with a decent pay to support their family. Only ever met one person in my entire life who had a straightforward goal of getting into research. This is once again a problem involving income levels.

          On the first day of college, they asked how many students had to end up taking comp. sci. because their parents asked them to, and the majority raised their hands, all because the general notion among parents is that IT companies have more jobs and pay well (engineering took a major blow this year though).

          Indian companies really need to invest a whole lot more into R&D though. They’re way too rigid about sticking to their domains (or “core competence” as C. K. Prahalad calls it).

          Hopefully the Govt. opening up the space program to private companies will stir something positive.

          India’s first Nobel Prize in the sciences came in 1930, the next one came 38 years later in 1968, then 15 years later in 1983, then again 15 years later in 1998, then 11 years later in 2009, and finally 10 years later in 2019.

          If Lars Heikensten is right then we should indeed be seeing more winners from India in the upcoming decades (although winning the Nobel is not always that straightforward, I guess, many deserving people missed out on it, and don’t know what kind of impact COVID-19 will have on any of this)

          1. @IsThisReal I would love to communicate with you further about this topic. If you can, please link me to that thread and also, if you have an email address I can reach you at, please let me know. I wanted to discuss this topic in detail. Thanks.

    2. Looser mindset #1 (Cynicism masking shame): Hinduism doesn’t really exist, Hindus have no contributions.

      Looser mindset #2 (Pride masking shame): Hindus invented vimanas, and nuclear weapons and shit.

      Maratha Mindset (Action leading to winning): The past doesn’t define the future. We are here now, making things happen!

  62. Important read re China and India.

    It also wants India to join hands with China in building an open, multipolar, pluralistic, and participatory global economic order.

    indicate that China sees a clear strategic advantage over India as long as the border dispute drags on. With the deployment of 20,000 to 40,000 troops, China can keep India’s political and military leadership occupied by border issues.

    As a nation, India will miss the opportunity for economic development because of resources diverted to maintain the Line of Actual Control. As a result, New Delhi will fail to prioritize socioeconomic development, divert its scarce financial resources to protect barren territory, and derail the nation’s economic progress.

    My sbarrkum comment
    No different from the US, where by choice they have wasted scarce resources of never ending wars and bailing out fats cats while failing to prioritize socioeconomic development and fighting the virus war

  63. @Ugra, can you point me to some sources/stats that address our achievements in STEM fields? I always like keeping abreast of the latest developments/achievements of our people.

    it’s “our” now is it? 😉

    1. What can I say? I’ve learned the error of my ways. I’d rather be a Big-tent guy with people like Razib Khan on my side, than a small tent guy that only has Mughlai Food and Caucasian features to his name. Besides, I will always have some AASI blood, gotta rep that to the top. Sorry, not sorry 😉

      EDIT: I plan to donate all of my wealth to the upliftment of the poor, high-AASI populations of India, as I need to ensure that they reach their full potential and leave a lasting, positive impression on the world. My grandfather did much in this regard, and I plan to inherit and propagate his legacy. From Athletics to Academics, I will build a foundation that helps these impoverished, disenfranchised people become world-beaters in their respective fields, so that AASI blood is washed of any perceived stigmas it has. Who knows? I might even be born an Irula one day?

  64. Kabir posts are hypocritical coming from a Pakistani. India was at best pseudo secular to grab as much land as possible. After 1947 though their real colors started to show up. Hindutva who was shunned before 1947, started rising. Congress turned even more communal in response but that was not good enough.

    In south asia neither ethnicity or religion is guarantee of progressive society. Look at Bangladesh, they have successfully reduced bengali hindus. Reducing their population from 22% in 1972 to less then 10% today.

  65. TLDR: to-be archaeology masters(quaternary prehistory) tempted to apply for masters in paleogenetics(msc. archaeociences), wud lack of prior training prove to be a problem later?

    Razib, I’ve yet another yearly career-related question, this time for you because you’re the sole person conversant in this that I’m acquainted with(I’ll admit tho that this is also an attempt to digress from the hullabaloo here of late)
    I’ll be completing my masters in quaternary prehistory next year, and plan to pursue another masters, this time in archaeological sciences(the masters i’m currently enrolled in is not as much scientifically rigorous as I’d want it for to be able to consider myself decently prepared for a phd later), more probably at some Western European department. I would have to start applying as the new year commences, and was thus perusing a lot of the relevant programmes. I recently came across this 2-year archsciences masters at Tuebingen, with 6 different specialisations(but it doesn’t have the one i wish to specialise in i.e. geoarchaeology). What piqued my curiosity is that one of the specialisation track is paleogenetics, and this was flummoxing bcuz i’m yet to come across another prog that coalesces archaeo and genetics, or even scholarly work or scholar that does so(i know you for one do, but i wonder if you did as part of your undergrad training too). There’s not even one single person in my department who could be called even a novice to genetics; there are only biological anthropologists, geologists, botanists, palaeontologists etc(being surrounded by only these was another reason that getting to know of paleogeneticists was much surprising). So what i want to ask you is, would you advise me to apply for this prog(i’d apply only for the palaeogen track, if i wud) considering I don’t have any prior training in genetics(or even biology). Although their website outlines that one would have to go through basic courses if one lacks prior knowledge of chosen specialisation, but I’m still dubious, considering the application would be quite an investment of both time and money(I’d have to apply and prepare for the DAAD too, as i’m quite sure i wont be able to self-fund).

    What do you say?

  66. And one small question Razib, I recollect a pic of yours here in which you were standing besides a banner of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists(i’m sure you were wearing a hat too). So do you identify as a physical anthropologist yourself? Do all geneticists do? And if all do not, how do we make a distinction between those who do and who dont? I mean what does one grp study or is interested in which the other isnt in?

  67. On Ram Mandir discussions, especially cultural reclamation, secularism, …

    What has gone into the minds of people here? This is some next level BS being peddled. And some senior people here including Razib are fanning this nonsense without any understanding or evidence.

    Did you guys not know a temple was going to be built since the Supreme court verdict about the same?

    Has any of you seen the Million people rallies Mayawati hosted? or the manpower Mulayam can field? Such fickleness of understanding in the face of regular electoral victories ? People (especially those who read too many books) make up causation/connections/stories because it makes them sound cool not because it is correct representation of the textures and colors in a society.

    You are all welcome to waste more time on random apocalyptic predictions, end of secularism, blah blah blah… but please note that until last week everyone was chilling out. I know you guys will get bored and move on to something else in a couple of days but the discussions have gone into weird tangents that have no truth on the ground.

    This is some brown sahib type thinking and sounds silly. For example (respectfully disagreeing with what) Razib says:

    ‘tbh secularism always struck as me as fake’
    what does that even mean? What would have prevented this perception of ‘fakeness’?

    ‘whenever i interacted with my parents hindu friends. privately indians, like bdeshis and pakistanis, are generally religious and identitarian. this brings the public and private more into alignment.’

    Again what is that supposed to mean? Replace Hindu by Russians, Vietnamese … anything and the sentence still stands. These are noise/gibberish sentences not ideas or keen-observations.

    Again, everyone is welcome to keep talking about ‘elite project’, ‘civilizational inferiority’ etc. If any of this is genuinely moving or well thought out you guys will be talking about this (i.e. this supposedly monumental moment in India’s history) with same vigor for longer. Otherwise know that I told you first that this whole random talking is BS, when in a weeks time you will be discussing Maheshwari wedding aunties.

    Matlab kuch bhi bakwas chal rahi hai!

    1. Was about to post this report.

      Brain-drain is kinda the most natural way things can progress in a poor country like India, and the ultimate goal is obviously to put a stop to it. However chasing H-1B hasn’t had an entirely negative effect-

      Here’s the paper-


    Who needs a Google Map? Naya Pakistan is Naya Mapistan

    “According to the new map, Junagadh in Gujarat, which doesn’t even share borders with the country, is now in Pakistan. As if geography could stop Germany and Japan from sharing a border for our PM. Why stop at Junagadh? Claim Delhi too. Hoist the Pakistani flag on Red Fort. It’s much easier to achieve this on a piece of paper. Wonder why Bangladesh wasn’t added back to the Pakistan map. Oh, never mind.

    Don’t threaten us with war, we will release a song
    How do you evoke anti-India sentiment on Kashmir without some songs? If last year was India ja, ja Kashmir se niikal ja, meri Jannat mere ghar se nikal ja, 2020 echoed with Ja chod de meri wadi — a proud production from Pakistan military’s PR wing ISPR. Giving voice to the new song was Shafqat Amanat Ali — the playback singer who has sung numerous Bollywood songs, including a tribute to Mahatama Gandhi when he sang his favourite bhajjan. Ali may have successfully spewed hate against India, but his love for Pakistan was on full display when he forgot lines from Pakistan’s national anthem before a cricket match against India in Kolkata in 2016. We forgave him for this forgetfulness.

    But singing is harmless. Next time there is tension on the borders, an antakshiri match should be arranged on the LoC. A lot of time has been wasted waging wars with weapons. Singing and dancing should be the new decider. “

  69. Black Khalsa flag destined to fly atop red fort.
    Delhi Panjab ~ Panthic heartland – from dil – heart – dilli

  70. This breaking of idols and places of worship is nothing new for the “secular”, “humanist” invaders. (as are some of the people here that are keen to cast Ghazni in that image).

    Please stop the nonsense and read up by books by Al-Burini first.

  71. Like it or not Hindutva is going to become more of common theme for all political parties in India. Until now “Hindu” was never a vote bank. Today the reality is that Hindus are now a formidable vote bank.
    Thus you see parties espousing the Hindu causes. No wonder Rahul became a Jendudhari Brahmin (funny that Modi is OBC and Congress had bring out Rahul’s remote Brahamanical connection to counter Modi).

    Priyanka Gandhi expressed happiness over Shilanyas, Kejriwal is happy, Kamal Nath (MP congress chief) sent 11 silver bricks for the temple construction. Bhupesh Bhagel Congress CM of Chattishgarh is beatifying temple for Sita in Chattisgarh. Even the Samajwadi party has suddenly discovered the virtues of Ram.

    This has been a slow build up and will continue to progress. You would expect the differentiator in future to be other things and not just Hindutva. Congress becoming a Hindutva party is a welcome development.

    More on this from the 2018 elections:

    1. “ No wonder Rahul became a Jendudhari Brahmin (funny that Modi is OBC and Congress had bring out Rahul’s remote Brahamanical connection to counter Modi“

      I have said that u can put a shankracharya against modi and modi would still win more Hindus. I still get where Rahul Gandhi came up with Brahmin idea though. The idea of Brahmin triumphing an OBC is a very conservative UC trad idea. They still see themselves as upholder of Hinduism, ignorant of the fact that the world has moved on.


    “To be sure, the larger political motivation for both Mandal and mandir went beyond the immediate cause being championed. It was to capture political power. The protagonists of Mandal wanted to unite the socially backward against upper castes. This necessarily involved causing fissures in the Hindu vote. The BJP, in keeping with its ideological worldview of Hindu nationalism, has always wanted to consolidate the majority Hindu vote. How did the BJP gain support among the votaries of Mandal? Mandal worked by creating fissures in a monolithic Hindu vote bank. The BJP has undermined Mandal by creating further fissures in this vote bank.

    Conscious efforts to create a subaltern Hindutva narrative and promote local heroes, as was seen in Modi’s reference to Maharaja Suheldev – a lower caste king who fought against a nephew of Mahmud of Ghazni – during his speech at Ayodhya on 5 August, only increase Mandal’s political challenge by creating tensions between Muslims and the Hindu OBCs and SCs. Mandal’s initial success in countering the BJP was based on an electoral unity between Muslims, OBCs and SCs.”

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