Browncast Episode 120: Gaurav Lele, Liberal from a soft Hindutva background

126 Comments

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify,  and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

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in this episode we talk to Gaurav Lele. Gaurav is a software engineer in Pune who identifies as an liberal Indian from a family with some RSS connections, so he is able to see “both sides” to some extent. He is also an impressive human being in that he seems to be willing to change his mind based on evidence.. Gaurav also writes on Medium and Culture Trip , including a very interesting long post on Pakistan.  Gaurav Lele

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126 Replies to “Browncast Episode 120: Gaurav Lele, Liberal from a soft Hindutva background”

  1. Finally a podcast with a liberal who is grounded in reality rather than that fake “liberal” Tony or whatever. Listening to this one

    1. Tony has clear secularist principles. He openly called “Hindu Hriday Samrat” a murderer. No excuses for the Gujarat POGROMS.

      #BeLikeTony

  2. I agree with most of the points which Gaurav mentioned. If only every liberal was this reasonable.
    While listening to this podcast, I came across this news:
    https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1293287309182459906
    The minority community attacked a Dalit MLA’s (he is from Congress) house and burnt it . Now where are our “Tony” kind of liberals condemning this?

  3. What a breath of fresh air! This guy was very calm, rational and reasonable. Although I think he’s not truly appreciating the threat that Islam poses to India. I still broadly agree with many of his criticisms of the BJP.

    I found it interesting when he says that he is not a part of Hindutva because he’s an atheist. Shows the importance of classical Vedic religion if Hindutva is to expand. Good lesson for us Hindutvavaadis.

  4. Very well articulated views. My disagreements were on all areas, but also all but one very minor. I’ll just make my point on the one that seemed jarringly out of character – I’m making an assumption here Gaurav is apathetic towards Muslims law allowing 4 wives. I should state up-front that I know rates of polygamy in Muslims is exaggerated, but 1 in 20 is still about 20 million, most of whom by definition are women (if he doesn’t believe this, then ignore the rest).

    Gaurav mentioned he asks his friends why it bother them if Muslims have 4 wives, and how does it affect them personally? For a self-declared liberal who sees positives in modernity, to me this seemed to be inconsistent. These are citizens of India, and there is no reason to believe the 3 additional wives want it that way, or that they are empowered to support it. For someone who sees reduction in casteism over time a major positive issue (I agree), he should also support other social areas of improvement. Otherwise it reeks of moral relativism, and frankly condescending of Muslims (that many of them wouldn’t want this). He likely holds this opinion because perhaps some his Hindu friends probably talk about the 4 wives thing with some derision rather than genuine desire to see Muslims be uplifted, but that’s no reason to not support it in principle.

    Yes, I know that in absolute numbers, there are more non-Muslims that are polygamous. So in fact, this is to help empower women regardless of religion. If I was a betting man, I’d say no UCC for Gaurav?

    My overall view is Gaurav takes contrarian positions to hedge against “potentially damaging majoritarianism.”

    1. Also relevant in light of Supreme court’s judgement today that ensures daughters and sons get equal inheritance. Unfortunately, it’s only for Hindu women. Muslims women get half the share of their brothers.

    2. I don’t hold that moral relativistic position. The argument I made was an argument you make when you get frustrated – and that’s when I often make that argument. I am 101percent for UCC and feel let down our ancestors that it doesn’t exist – if BJP government manages to bring it i believe it will be really good for future generations.

      But support to UCC from Hindu Trad POV is something I find amusing. These same ppl completely opposed the Reforms of Hindu code Bill and other legislation.
      I agree positions evolve and ppl change – but I still find it mildly amusing

      1. At least most young Hindutva supporters would support those reforms. That opposition might have more to do with being uneducated or being raised in a very different India back in 50s. But supporting UCC is still independent of this. One might be in favour of a conservative or a liberal law and at the same time believe that there should be one law for all. Not believing in UCC is, quite frankly, the most anti-secular stance. I find the so called principled opposition of many Muslims and even liberals to CAA to be comic when they don’t believe in a UCC.

      2. @Gaurav:
        Glad to hear it – agree with hypocrisy of views. We all do it, and glad you call out your friends on it. I appreciate it when people call me out on it when I do it.

  5. I actually made notes during this podcast because he was being specific and very articulate, so I wanted to know where I stand on each view – personal curiosity as I’m a Punekar myself (kinda) and so I could easily have been in those shoes.

    I found it amazing that individually on each point of discussion, the distance between my and his views was very small. But on aggregate, it was consequential enough that we probably disagree on all policy issues – amazing how politics works.

    One more thing I’ll mention is about the “polarization” and “division in the world” that gets mentioned so frequently. I have a completely opposite view. The division was always there – for the first time in history, people are finally talking to each other because their thoughts are broadcast. People aren’t living in echo chambers NOW, they were in echo chambers BEFORE (i.e. their small circle of family and friends). We’re finally talking to each other. So this “Abrahamization” of Hinduism is a misnomer – and we’re a culture that has a history of caustically disagreeing with each other. It’s just that now it’s happening all the time, not just at the elite level, and we haven’t figured out new rules of engagement. Since Indians are too busy or too lazy, the rules for discourse will come from the West, and we’ll adopt it. Spoiler alert: we’ll claim we invented them first, and there will be a smidgen of truth in it, but not enough to claim “bragging rights.”

      1. Without twitter, this would be Page 12 news in local language newspaper. Having said that, I try to not get caught up in individual cases and look at moving averages to see if there’s an improvement. Especially when politics is involved. India needs to up it’s police capacity, like Gaurav mentioned – for that we need a strong economy (don’t know how to get there – I’ll have to consult my jyotishi for it).

    1. Wrt Abhrahamization of Hindu society – it’s largely based on experience. Even that has some positives – I have been following the raw deal Hindus get in the West and agree the soft position is a handicap when other religions play with different rules. But I sympathise with that only up to a certain extent – beyond that I feel it’s counterproductive.

      Good to hear you r a fellow पुणेकर !
      You based in Pune or Elsewhere ?

      1. The biggest problem for me is that there can’t be any meaningful dialogue between Hindus and Muslims because of the blasphemy laws and other restrictions on free speech. A Muslim is free to say that I will eternally burn in hell because the quran says so but in turn I can’t say that this teaching of the Quran is bad! A certain degree of Indianization of Muslims is a must for our society to become more cohesive and while one part of it involves the civil elements of the two societies engaging in worthwhile talks, it’s also important that the state be firm enough to rein in the extreme elements, which are disproportionately Muslim.

        1. Truth and reconciliation has to be the goal. It may not happen today, but should in some form of shape. It’s a monumental task, and hence we should start with the low hanging fruits first – in order of difficulty:
          1. Hindu all castes vs Dalits,
          2. Indian government vs Sikh victims,
          3. Hindus vs Muslims,
          4. Muslim Ashraf vs Pasmanda,
          5. Indian seculars vs Hindutva brigade. i.e. use humour and don’t be so serious all the time.

      2. Grew up stone throwing distance from Kesariwada, now snow throwing distance from the Canadian Rockies (ok, not that close).

        So I’m an armchair Hindutvadi – really no “true” skin in the game and for that reason, I consider your views are more important than mine. Incredible that you’re able to keep calm, I’m only able to do so due to distance.

    1. It’s really amazing that you can be this petty and rude to someone who has always stood up for you when others attacked you on Brownpundits.

      1. It’s not about being “petty”. It’s about being clear and precise in the use of the English language.

        “Liberal” means something specific. “Soft Hindutvadi” is something else.

        He also called himself “center-left” but doesn’t support INC– India’s actual center-left party.

        1. If you had heard the podcast – you would know better – I clearly said I have voted for parties allied with congress.
          Congress hasn’t ever stood for election from my constituency.

          1. OK, I stand corrected.

            But the post is labeled “liberal from a soft Hindutva background”– liberal and “soft Hindutva” are contradictory terms.

          2. @kabir he changed his mind on modi / bjp. from mildly pro to against.

            i thought the podcast was very good.

            the guy seems like an independent thinker, even though i don’t agree with him on a few of things.

    2. If someone believes in the idea of Pakistan they’re not a Gandhian or a Nehruvian. They’re an Islamist.

      1. You clearly don’t know what “Islamist” means. I have never advocated for Sharia law. My long record on this site will prove that.

        I happen to have been born a Pakistani citizen. I want my country to continue to exist and for its territorial integrity to not be violated. There’s nothing “Islamist” about that position. I want a Pakistan in which minorities are treated well, in accordance with the values of Islam.

          1. Pakistan is not a secular state, so one can’t argue on the basis of secularism.

            One can only argue on the basis of what Islam says about the respect due to minorities.

        1. So will you volunteer when it comes time to tell the Kalash to convert or die? You could even pick up a sharia-approved sex slave.

          1. What an Islamophobic comment!

            Groups like ISIS don’t represent true Islam. Telling people to “convert or die” is not true Islam.

            And newsflash: Pakistan is not run on Shariah but on the Constitution of Pakistan.

            The point (which you clearly missed) was that one can’t argue on the basis of secularism in a state that doesn’t claim to be secular. One can appeal to human rights or to Islamic expectations for minority treatment.

      1. No, “soft Hindutvadis” aren’t liberals.

        Liberals in India support INC or parties to INC’s left.

  6. So agree with some of the points ( these days I am getting
    more alarmed about anti-muslim rhetoric ).

    One I disagree with Gaurav, and find completely morally reprehensible is a failure to make it easy for non-Muslims from Pakistan and Bangladesh to get refugee status and citizen ship in India. (CAA)

    I genuinely don’t understand why there is so much opposition to this issue.

    The reality is that British India was partitioned on the basis of Islam vs non-Islam in 1947, and these non-Muslims were left behind even after a great deal of population transfer and are now being persecuted.

    They should be given an easy way to get status in India. There is tremendous popular support in the country. And no other country is going to care about these people.

    And the left and liberals are happy to abandon their lives under the guise of some soft of abstract idealism / legalism of 1 nation theory etc.

    1. True. Whether TNT is true or not gayi tel bechne, fact is partition actually happened, and had consequences.

      Humanitarian reasons for CAA aside, it’s domestic votes impact was cherry on top. Sometimes this vote bank cynicism turns off people.

      As for the rest of the world, nobody gives a crap about the suffering of people far away to be honest. As more countries find spine to take on China for their own financial independence, their media will criticise Pakistan also, if you know what I mean. It just won’t be because they care about the oppressed people.

    2. CAA strengthens the logic of TNT. Pakistani Hindus are not Indian citizens. Neither are Indian Muslims Pakistanis.

      CAA (and TNT) implies that non-Muslims in Pakistan are really “Indian” and Muslims in India are really “Pakistani”. This was the logic of the Nehru-Liaqat Pact which made each country accountable to the other for the treatment of minorities.

      This type of logic is completely unacceptable in a secular state.

  7. https://theprint.in/opinion/pov/opposing-ram-in-1990s-was-easy-yadavs-secularism-will-be-tested-with-krishna-in-2020/479772/

    “Opposing Ram in 1990s was easy. Yadavs’ secularism will be tested with Krishna in 2020”

    “The reason Krishna puts the 1990s’ ‘secular heroes’ of UP in a bind because the Hindu god is believed to hail from the Yadu dynasty. Mathura was his city. Both Mathura and Braj have a large Yadav population.

    But where Krishna truly becomes the ‘Yadav icon’ is in the ‘pride’ he instils among the community members for being the source of Bhagavad Gita, the Hindu scripture that is part of the epic Mahabharata and holds cultural and religious significance of Bhagavad Gita among Hindus. British anthropologist Lucia Michelutti, wrote in her 2002 PhD thesis Sons of Krishna: the politics of Yadav community formation in a North Indian town that “the Bhagavad Gita is portrayed as ‘the book of the Yadavs’.””

    Project moves to the second stage, and the last defenders of secularism have their back to the walls 🙂

  8. Few thousand Pakistan hindus have migrated to India after Modi 2014. All they have done is make life difficult for hindus back in Pakistan. Proving a fact that hindus cannot be trusted.

    India too doesnt want them in large numbers apart from lip service. I doubt India could accommodate 3-4 million foreign hindus in already densely populated country with little farm land for their own citizens. Family of 11 Pakistani hindus found dead in India few days ago is good exemple what awaits them.

    Plus they are dalit bhils and not fair and lovely Pakistani muslim. Average Indian doesnt droll over Pakistani dalit women but fair and lovely muslima. Its what drive their obsession with Kashmir.

  9. “I’m a Chitpavan Brahmin”– So nice that you felt the need to announce to the entire world that you’re a Brahmin. Imagine if I went on this podcast and said “I’m a Syed Muslim” (I’m not but for the sake of argument). So castist!

    “I have Islamophobic tendecies in me but I try to control them”– And Muslims are eternally grateful I’m sure.

    “minority appeasement”– typical Right-wing use of language.

    Finally, your spoken English accent is really distracting 🙁

    1. On “defanging the idea of Pakistan”:

      a) It’s kind of pretentious that you think your view of the idea of Pakistan even matters. You’re not a Pakistani. It is for us to decide what our country’s principles are. You all also have full rights to become a Hindu Rashtra, and there’s nothing Pakistanis can do about it (though we will obviously have feelings about it).

      b) The best way to change the “idea of Pakistan” was to practice Nehruvian Secularism. I come from an extremely liberal Pakistani family and always looked at secular India as a model of a South Asian state that hadn’t succumbed to majoritarianism. But with the constant violence against the Muslim minority and all the “Jai Shri Ram” stuff, even someone like me is more and more convinced every day that the Qaid was right and that Hindus and Muslims cannot live together. Thankfully, we have a sovereign Pakistan where we can eat beef without being lynched, slaughter cows on Eid ul Adha, and never have to say “Vande Mataram”.

      Finally the idea of “Hinduizing” Indian Muslims is extremely offensive and colonialist.

    2. So I did this too (state caste) when I was on once but only because I know the question will be asked anyways if you try to dodge it. And there’s nothing wrong with that — Razib is right to ask the uncomfortable question that shapes and contextualizes some of our experiences.

      You’re getting riled up for no reason.

  10. I would recommend all the BP listeners BEFORE putting labels on yourself, acknowledging privilege ( very casteist to acknowledge you come from privilege / denying privilege is also casteist btw) , being honest about your motivations or honestly analyse yourself to consult Kabira the Great – the Nehruvian secularist who defends Sunnah Laws, the Liberal Defender of Blasphemy laws, the inheritor of Quaid-e-Azam, the Corrector of Desi Accents, the Destroyer of Nuance, the Desi Social Justice Warrrior, the Woke opposer of Hindutva, the certifier of Labels, the Koh-i-noor of Hindustani classical music and the last remaining hope for realisation of the Paraside project that was Islamist Azaad Kashmir.

    I have made the great mistake of not consulting Kabira and am doomed to swend the rest of my social life atoning for these sins. But I would gladly do so – I expect the Great man would accept me if I keep atoning

    1. LOL. Nice attempt at sarcasm.

      But seriously, I counted: You said “I’m Brahmin” at least three times.

      If someone says, “I’m Syed” that many times, you all would be up in arms.

      And after listening to the whole thing, you don’t sound like a liberal at all, just someone who condemns the worst of Hindutva’s excesses. I mean, we Muslims are really grateful you don’t want us lynched. Thank heaven for small mercies.

      1. the last time i am probably going to try to engage – with clarifying things for other Commentators as well.

        Caste is not a non-salient part of Indian life – being from any caste – it shapes who you are – who you spend your time with, who are the default idols in your upbringing.
        And i did not utter even once – i say and i said – i come from a brahmin family. Which is not trivial in Indian politics which to this day continues to be shaped by caste considerations.
        One cant divorce ones caste and privilege especially in the particular community come from has deep ties with the RSS and Hindutva movement – the accused conspirators of assassination of Gandhi (Godse,Apte, Savarkar) come from that community as well as some of the strong Gandhians (Vinobha Bhave, Gadgil etc) . Its the legacy of caste which is salient in an Desi grows up to be – not something glossed over.

        On the other hand – 3-4 years ago i did not mention my caste- because i thought i am beyond the label and it adds nothing to me. I was told by a dear friend from Dalit background that its only UPPER CASTEs who can arrogantly deny existence of caste and act as if they’re beyond the repercussions of caste in India.

        1. Oh Bhai jaan, everyone can hear it for themselves. At least three times “I’m Brahmin”. No sorry CHITPAVAN Brahmin.

          Disgusting.

          You’d be OK with someone repeatedly saying “I’m Syed”?

          1. I come from ABC family is different from I am ABC.
            Basic linguistic bhai. Surely a man of your brilliance would understand the subtle difference.

            As Muslim atheists say – I come from a muslim family – I am not a muslim.

          2. Now you’re arguing semantics.

            Any way name-dropping your caste is not attractive. Work on it along with that rather atrocious accent.

            Thank god, when I speak I sound like a White person. Some benefits to being brought up in the US. 🙂

          3. Y would anyone be up in arms if u keep on mentioning ‘Syed’ ? U can keep on mentioning for all i care. If u are one u wont need to do though.

            For us non muslims, Syed means nothing, since Mohammaed doenst mean anything to us, nor does his lineage.

      2. If someone says, “I’m Syed” that many times, you all would be up in arms.

        no, because Islam is about equality, right? you and your fellow travelers make caste constitutive of Hinduism, so caste is important. we ask caste regularly on podcast because it’s relevant. we wouldn’t ask if someone was a syed because it doesn’t really matter at all and most syed’s are totally made-up anyhow (ali rizvi excepted).

        1. You asked his caste once. He said “I’m a CHITPAVAN Brahmin”.

          He then name-dropped “Brahmin” at least twice more. We got it the first time.

    2. @Gaurav
      You dont need to explain. If it sounded abnormal there would have been more comments.

      Kabir has these meltdowns every once in a while. And dont bother explaining him anything because he goes on auto mode with a same series of arguments over and over again like an automated chatbot.

      1. Yes you r right.. I tend to be more defensive on accusations of Casteism – than any other accusations.
        Other labels about Hindutva or Anti-Islam or Right left / class I don’t care about.

  11. “Thank god, when I speak I sound like a White person. Some benefits to being brought up in the US. 🙂”
    And yet cannot continue to live in the United State because I am unemployed and have to mooch on my parents.

    1. Haha,

      Earn in dollars and spend in rupees.

      And who wouldn’t want to live in a mansion with many servants?

      But you wouldn’t know, slumdog.

      1. This is PROBLEMATIC and OFFENSIVE.

        Raw classism on display. Mask fell off and hit the ground and shattered. This is one mess your servants can’t clean up for you.

  12. Work on it along with that rather atrocious accent.

    god you’re an asshole. muhammad is probably thinking that about you in heaven two btwn his sessions

        1. You’re not a medical doctor, so keep the medical opinions to yourself.

          My family has actually produced medical doctors from the time of the British Raj.

          1. Oh shut up,

            Sorry you’re not from a family that was upper middle class professionals even during the Raj. Sorry you don’t sound like an Englishman when you speak English.

            Must suck to be poor

  13. Sorry you’re not from a family that was upper middle class professionals even during the Raj. Sorry you don’t sound like an Englishman when you speak English.

    my rule of thumb is that those who brag about their lineage have nothing about themselves to brag about.

    we all know this to be true 🙂

      1. And I don’t go on and on about my IQ. Insecure much?

        bragging about yourself is different than bragging about your ancestors. i do understand why you don’t brag about your mental acumen though you drop in the fact that you are well off and that your ancestors were well off. the latter is all true surely and we have evidence of the degree of your mental acumen.

        when you brag about being well off or not a ‘black madrasi’ or not having an indian accent in English (OK, never heard this as a ‘brag’) at least that’s about yourself. bragging about your ancestors, that’s next-level pathetic.

        a disproportionate number of ppl commenting here are from well-off backgrounds for various reasons. bragging about this is totally irrelevant to everything, and ironically illustrates that you are of genuinely low substantive class.

        you call yourself a Muslim, but your brag about your upper-middle-class ancestors. i have enough Muslim upbringing to know how you should feel about yourself.

        1. if you told us your father was a street sweeper, but you managed to do what you did in life, we’d actually be impressed. that’s real class and we’d honor you for it. but as it is your bragging about your background is just pathetic.

    1. One upvote per IP address must be what this website allows. If you use a VPN, you can easily bypass that and keep upvoting your own posts. The unemployed can then pretend that many others agree with their posts.

        1. I did it maybe twice or thrice in the past. Lost interest eventually.

          I clearly commented ‘I did it’, when you guys had asked who was screwing with the like button the last time. I did it to encourage ‘him’ to go full retard more often. I really enjoy his outbursts.

          I had gone as far as arranging a DDoS script to automate it from a ‘resourceful’ :p friend of mine . Never could get it to work on my own.

          1. @Saurav
            Barring seriously unproductive days, it is seasonal, depends on conference deadlines or advisor’s mood. Most of the times I comment (or troll) because I have nothing to do while running long simulations or if my deep-mind is figuring out some debugging issue.

    1. LOL.

      The people around here don’t know Urdu poetry or Hindustani classical music.

      We had a Hindutvadi actually proud of the fact that he doesn’t know who Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib is. That is truely pathetic.

      I am anything but a parvenue. We were doctors and lawyers even under the British.

        1. And lawyers, lol.

          My great-aunt went to England to study in the 1950s. Most of you people can’t say that for yourselves.

          Lower-middle classes 🙁

          1. “Islamist” is a slur. I have never once advocated for Sharia Law. You must find proof or withdraw that allegation.

            On the other stuff, I’m surprised you can’t tell when I’m trolling.

          2. That’s your definition of Islamist. It is not the only definition. The PPP is an Islamist party. The entire mainstream political spectrum in Pakistan is Islamist.

            Ah, the good ol’ ‘I was just joking gaiz’ approach to not owning up to what you say.

  14. KABIRAJA,
    I am very comfortable with my Strong Marathi Accent with all the Strong Rs, Strong T,D (Retrospectives) and the unique sounds ( ळ – ण – ज्ञ – क्ष ).

    Most people with Marathi mother tongue will have this accept to varying degrees.

    1. You have a good accent and please wear your accent on your sleeve. I have a fairly thick accent as well and that did not stop me from successfully completing my PhD. Even when I teach, I give a disclaimer to students that I have an accent and I will write some key terms that I do not pronounce “correctly”. All of my students had enough culture to not make fun/denigrate my accent. To anyone who makes fun of your accent, FUCK THEM.

  15. Nice pod. Liked it. Being a soft hindutva person, I can understand most of the points raised by Gaurav. I would contend with Gaurav on two main points.

    First, I think all the non-hindutva parties at the center do not see India as their ideological homeland. Most of the principles of INC is just a naive copy-paste of western liberalism that is laughably inapplicable in Indian context. The less we speak about the left, the better. Frankly, hindutva is not at all engaged as an academic discipline and there is zero academic space so that it does not evolve into a true ideological alternative to western liberalism.

    Second, for better or for worse, only pro-hindutva politicians at the center have been low on nepotism and low on corruption. Non-hindutva parties have had extremely sketchy track record when it comes to corruption. It probably steps from the ideological homeland. In the last 6 years, there are zero high level corruption charges in the present government. All the idiots who bark at Rafale corruption are basically clueless.

    1. Regarding non-Hindutva parties, I think I disagree that they don’t consider this their homeland. I completely agree on the nepotism and corruption front. It’s a leap to assume the former (ignore Gandhis here). The reason for corruption could be varied like simple ambition and opportunism, history of dadagiri in family, reason to get back at upper class now that low class people have some chance now. Im thinking those Gaurav voted for, Lalu, and present day SS in MH.
      The reason for BJP non corruption at top level is that they have specifically made it their MO.

      It’s not all all party members are doodh ke dhule down the ladder- by publically announcing intent of clean governance they hope to set a precedence and its inevitable that some of their own members (mid or lower) will get caught (justice will be delayed if not denied) The public damage done is significantly mitigated when top level corruption doesn’t happen (Chidambaram, Gandhi.. /n). All this will revert if the country doesn’t cultivate next gen through proper human resource dev.

      1. I feel it’s the Strong leadership of Modi and the २०१४ campaign which was anti corruption that has reduced corruption in BJP.

        Till people like us and others dont openly donate to politics and raise funds for campaigns I fear corruption will remain overwhelming. Even to fight a MLA election with good chance – ppl need to raise ५ crores I hear for competative seats.

        The wealth of my standing BJP MLA has risen some 10fold or much more Astronomically in 10 yrs. I almost voted for him as I don’t oppose Local BJP governments as much as I do at center. But couldn’t vote seeing his rising financials. mind you the NCP guy though hardworking had similar numbers.
        No option left but NOTA.

        1. I think Modi realistically has only 2 topics now on which he can contrast himself on, wrt Congress. Hindutva/nationalism and corruption. He would be very particular that these final 2 things dont go out of his hands. That;s why he keeps someone as worthless as Susu-swamy on his side, since he can go around wrecking havoc even though there might be nothing in a scam and all.

          On top level corruption i think Modi has just a winners take all type of corruption at the centre. Earlier any interested party used to pay both side of aisle, and either side wouldn’t mind. This time with electoral bonds and all, the Govt knows exactly who’s paying how much to either side and there would be consequences.

          1. I know someone who works up a bit high in DLF, and if u know their politics, the Govt is squeezing them dry 😛

  16. IMO Indian accents sound much better than posh English ones. Worship of RP is the #1 sign of an insecure colonial mindset, whether it’s coming from Americans or Indians/Pakistanis.

    1. There’s the upper-class Indian accent and then there’s the example we had on the podcast. Huge difference.

        1. I’m trying to get under your skin. Is it working?

          Just ban me already and spare us all the hearburn.

          1. You’re not a trained psychiatrist (or even an MD) so your “diagnosis” is irrelevant.

            If I wasn’t getting under your skin you’d just ignore me or quietly ban me.

          2. Dude, nobody is gonna ban you. Your idiocracies drive up the engagement on this blog . It’s another thing you can boast about

          3. You’re right, RK keeps me around for a reason.

            Plus, I think he likes berating me.

            I almost wish he would ban me though. I’m getting quite sick of you Hindutvadis.

      1. No, they’re both much better than posh BBC accents.

        Sounds like someone has a lot of work to do on de-centering colonial speech norms.

  17. Christ, this dude Kabir devolves every conversation. BTW, I’m a lawyer and studied indian classical music for a decade and I know kannada, tamil and sanskrit poetry soo what? Every time he posts its some asinine comment

    1. You can’t even pronounce the word “Aurangzeb” correctly. Plus you defend Hindutva.

      There was an Indian-American guy on another thread who boasted about not knowing who Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib–only the greatest Urdu poet ever– was. That level of derision for Indo-Islamic culture is just pathetic.

  18. @Kabir

    “I almost wish he would ban me though. I’m getting quite sick of you Hindutvadis”

    If only nobody was forcing you to frequent this blog

    1. I’ve been commenting here for years, long before most of you Hindutvadis showed up.

      If people didn’t constantly attack Pakistan and/or Islam, I’d be happy to leave you all to discuss which South Asian ethnicity is more “White passing” or go on and on about the Aryan Invasion Theory. But at least every Open Thread involves someone trolling Pakistan and Islam.

      1. I have been commenting longer than you on BP, Kabir. So what? You are gonna leave if I ask you?

        Have you considered that you could be the one attracting more and more Hindutvavadis here? (Of course it’s good for business).

        As Razib says, seems like you are a closet Hindu stuck in Pakistan because you can’t survive without your family’s mansion. And apparently with neglected upbringing devoid of true kindness or charity. Sad.

        I will pray for you to Lord Hanuman to bless you with courage.

        1. seems like you are a closet Hindu stuck in Pakistan because you can’t survive without your family’s mansion.

          watch it. he’s deep in the closet. now he’s going to accuse you of being a black elephant-worshipping cow-dung eating madrassi. who is lower middle class to boot!

        2. Pray to “Lord Hanuman” to teach you to write grammatical English. The grammar and usage above is absolutely appalling– a really sad reflection on India’s education system.

          And I’m sorry you don’t have a mansion. Sucks for you.

          1. Kabir, please stop insulting Hinduism, it’s not like you’re a Dalit or anyone with a reason to hate Hindus, you’re an Ashraf Muslim who has all the privilege in the world. Also, why should an Indian speak proper English? It isn’t their native language plus the only reason you know proper English is because you were raised in America.

          2. “The only reason you know proper English is because you were raised in America”–

            No, idiot. My parents went to convent schools in Pakistan and were taught English by Irish nuns and priests. My family has been educated since the time of the Raj and have been speaking proper English since then.

            I cannot stand ungrammatical English. Please learn the language before commenting on the Internet.

            And weren’t you banned again? Hindu extremist troll.

          3. You have to be the most classist guy I have ever interacted with in my life and keep in mind I am a Brahmin. Everyone you don’t like is beneath you and doesn’t deserve to live- honestly, I don’t know if a person like you can have any friends in the real world. Maybe the person you are mad at just didn’t have the same access to resources as you and didn’t have the great Ashraf lineage that you have. My advice to you is just calm down a little bit.

          4. Where did you get “doesn’t deserve to live” from?

            I don’t need advice from a Hindu extremist troll who wished Gandhi ji had been murdered at birth. Keep your opinions to yourself.

      2. ” I’d be happy to leave you all to discuss which South Asian ethnicity is more “White passing” or go on and on about the Aryan Invasion Theory ”

        Are your for real? 😅That’s like unimaginable level of dumb when I think that’s what you understood from the posts here.

  19. ‘I’d be happy to leave you all to discuss which South Asian ethnicity is more “White passing” ‘

    out of the mouth of the crazy.

    i hope for less of this chatter myself

  20. That’s your definition of Islamist. It is not the only definition. The PPP is an Islamist party. The entire mainstream political spectrum in Pakistan is Islamist.

    I’ll perhaps align with kabir here a bit. i think he uses hindutvati too liberally, and i think ‘islamist’ should also be used cautiously. all Pakistani parties are Muslim chauvinist in some way. but not necessarily Islamist. one can be a Muslim chauvinist without wanting to base society around Islamic principles in a deep way (which is Islamist).

    1. Yes. All Pakistani political parties have to operate within the constraints of the Pakistani Constitutition. Jamaat-e-Islami is an “Islamist” party. PPP is not. Their ideology was literally socialism (OK, “Islamic socialism”) at one point. Bilawal Bhutto celebrates Holi and Diwali with Pakistani Hindus. You wouldn’t catch anyone from JI doing this.

      As for “Hindutvadi”, I use this word for anyone who voted for “Hindu Hriday Samrat” or supports policies like CAA.

  21. kabir is my BFF on this blog now. 🙂 i find kabir’s classism so endearing. so charmingly old fashioned. millennials will never understand it.

    also, kabir, i am sure you are a “khandaani ra’ees”. pure old money. new money simply doesn’t have this level of class.

    unfortunately most hindutva-wadis will never understand you, simply because they are not rich. in fact hardly any hindu nationalist comes anywhere near being rich. the problem is that power was hijacked by leftist/liberal politicians (the so called “nehruvian secularists” ) immediately after independence, and they took over all the nice colonial bungalows in lutyen’s delhi. hindu nationalists were left to hang out to dry on “shakhas”. ha ha.

    but please don’t haul away taj mahal, as you threatened the other day. pak govt doesnt have necessary engineering skills to reassemble it in lahore.

      1. i am so glad you put the NY times link there.

        i had known the story of wilayat khan and how she came to occupy malcha mahal property. there was always a mystery about the family’s origin. the article conclusively proves them fraudsters. it brings a closure to the story.

        what is astonishing is an ordinary woman appeared out of thin air to claim aristocratic decent, and made even the government of india believe her. only in india!

    1. “ pak govt doesnt have necessary engineering skills to reassemble it in lahore. ”

      Why though? Of course we can outsource bhimrao to assemble it for them.

      1. taj mahal also houses the graves of shah jahan and mumtaz mahal. i am not sure if it is permissible in islam to move their graves. kabir should know.

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