Open Thread – 08/15/2020 – Brown Pundits

348 Comments

Dog days of summer..

One of the things with Indian American analysis of Indian culture/politics is the unselfconscious filtering of it through an American lens, rather than Indian. It’s annoying to listen to news shows where they interview an Indian American about Indian culture, and the interviewer and guest proceed to discuss Indian culture through the lens of American concerns, without ever acknowledging what’s going on. To give an example, talking about ‘colorism’, but immediately pivoting to anti-blackness.

1+

348 Replies to “Open Thread – 08/15/2020 – Brown Pundits”

  1. What are some examples of the scenario you described? I don’t think I’ve ever seen it happen once in my life. That being said I don’t watch most lamestream media outlets and I spend most of my time working on graduating c*llege.

    1. I read the last sentence but I’ve never witnessed this happening myself. I thought you would send me some YouTube links to this kind of thing happening with some left-wing Indian people. In my experience, Indians don’t tend to have much sympathy for blacks (not me I have black friends) for some reason.

    1. Congratulations to Pakistan on their Independence and I hope that India can soon become a Hindu Rashtra just like Pakistan is the Islamic Republic.

        1. I would correct myself. I wasn’t being funny or flippant about Covid. I am totally a Covid Hawk.Been one since early March. Many of my family n frnds I know have suffered greatly. Currently my city is at the Peak of outbreak. So I am no where casual about it.

          Just I found it weird that there have never been Covid discussions on any Open threads. As it’s the biggest thing going on.

          There can be N number of flame wars without being flippant or joking – just arguments about the issue namely.
          HCQ Remdesivir, fomite transmission, airborne transmission lockdown vs herd immunity – and all worthwhile discussions to have.
          I was hoping for these these last few open threads.

          1. I guess the threads are populated by more engineers than doctors to get into those arguments. We listen to people who know what they are talking about.(@warlock). Also, probably not enough time to complete all CFD simulations of airborne transmission…😀
            Data collection in covid rooms is taking too long.

            From purely data analytics, it’s clear we have very noisy data which means we need a lot more data and analysis to average out the noise and find anything of value. The most detailed questions need a more high quality data.
            On the risk management perspective, when the prediction error is too high, a good strategy is on consequence mitigation, I.e., err on the side of caution. None of the debates you mentioned are debates in the country I live.
            There was no lockdown imposed. People have started WFH and self-isolated pretty quickly. They masked up and now the big talk is about homeschooling vs. Back to school. Somehow I don’t think that would cause a flame war on BP.😀
            I won’t discredit Russian vaccine out of hand. They do have pockets of excellence. But I guess there’s a lot of potential for all kinds of optics by the very nature of uncertainty.

          2. A look back at this whole mess would be fascinating from the way science has changed – acted reacted and re-reacted in view of changing data – especially wrt transmission of airborne/aerosolized/fomite.
            I have been very skeptical of the fomite transmission theory – there is no robust data to support it even in other respiratory ailments. but it somehow continues to be held as the gospel / first degree of prevention. But people generally tend to be safer than sorry – hence i feel it gets continued.

            We have lot of debate here about the degree to which things should be opened – lot of tragic economic consequences here. The Pune district alone had 7 suicides from barbers till End of July. The numbers cross country would be truly catastrophic.

          3. Re:fomite transmission, it is a safety theatre much like airport screening for security theatre. I don’t think taking off shoes at security line adds any more safety than wiping door handles multiple times. We do it because it’s something we can control better even if it is of marginal utility.
            (Design optimization has mostly the same philosophy. The most sensitive parameter may be the one with least control through design.)

            One of the things that our government did during early days was to announce financial support for four months to everyone. This helped everyone enormously in the short term to self-isolate. I can’t comment on what is the right thing to do for a country like India. Any trade-off would involve substantial suffering to some portion of the population.

      1. Warlock had posted a summary of drug trials being carried out in an earlier open thread.

        If he has time, I’d love to know about the progress on vaccines and drugs since then.

        What do people think of the Russian vaccine?

        1. yeah i saw warlock’s post last week;
          Russian vaccine – dunno what to believe really- but putin seems confident enough to use it on his daughter (if that can be believed)

    1. The king of the North is Modi, and we know no other King. Barbarians of the North West, bend the knee!

      1. “Hindu Hriday Samrat” looked like a sabziwallah with his turban over his face as a mask.

        Imran Khan looked so sophisticated in contrast yesterday

        #BringbackMughalRule

        1. Barbarians with good looks are still, barbarians 😂. Intellect/culture differentiates the barbarians, not their looks.

          1. We gave you your entire High Culture. Hindustani Classical Music, shalwar kameez, Urdu, Mughlai cuisine, Urdu, Taj Mahal.

            You people were pathetic until we showed up 🙂

          2. You can take literally all of that to Pakistan from India if you would like. The second a true Hindu Extremist government comes to power in India, we won’t have any place for that kind of shit so it could look good in Lahore or wherever you want it.

          3. Oh, little Advik! The Taj is what brings all the tourist revenue to your Bharat Mata.

            #Pathetic Hindutvadi.

          4. >Little

            I’m 5’11” not exactly super tall but not short either. Also, I don’t care how much revenue it brings in but it’s a symbol of our oppression.

          5. “We gave you your entire High Culture. Hindustani Classical Music, shalwar kameez, Urdu, Mughlai cuisine, Urdu, Taj Mahal”

            Hindustani classical music – existing hindu ragas + mideast influence. Hmm
            Shalwar kameez – that’s not our ‘high culture’. Maybe it is for you
            Urdu – prakrits + a smattering of farsi/arabic whatever. Not our high culture as well, it is non existent in India today.

            Imbecile claiming lice-stricken barbarians brought culture to India 😂 culture wasn’t born when a pedo raped a girl in 7th century.

          6. Oh, God! We have to do this again.

            I have a degree in Ethnomusicology. Do not argue with me about Hindustani Classical music. You are almost certainly less knowledgable than I am.

            Khayal would not exist if it were not for Hazrat Amir Khusrao and the qawalbacche gharana. It was further developed at the court of Muhammad Shah Rangila by Sadarang and Adarang. The patron and the musicians were all Muslim. All the major 19th century gharanas had Muslim founders.

            Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib–the greatest Urdu poet ever– was born in Ballimaran. Educated Indians even today understand how great he was.

            Your comments about the Prophet of God (pbuh) and Hazrat Ayesha only reveal your Islamophobia and total lack of class. Hindutvadi.

        2. I would be happier if IK looked like a sabziwallah or chaiwallah if he knew what he was doing. Our idiot awaam doesn’t know any better than to gush over his looks.

          1. I’m not a fan of the regime. But he’s much better than “HHS”.

            If you ask me, I think Maryam Nawaz should be made Queen of Pakistan and Junaid Safdar should be Prince of Wales. A centrist Kashmiri-Punjabi Dynasty. What could be better?

        3. “Khayal would not exist if it were not for Hazrat Amir Khusrao”

          Did they create it from scratch, or just built upon the dhrupads ? You seem to have sidestepped my question and written how ‘Muslims’ created khayal😂. To speak your language, if they did, they copied dhrupad from ‘hindus’ and added some elements. Nothing extraordinary or very orginal. Not sure what you studied in your course.

          1. Khayal is the most prominent modern genre of hindustani classical music.

            If it makes you happy, I’ll restrict my claim specifically to khayal. It is definitely an indo-islamic creation.

        1. Anything which glorifies a romanticed past with it’s “heroes” is suspect in my eyes – ISIS is an epitome of that. Does not matter whether it comes from bollywood or further afield.

    2. If Indian Muslims are the legitimate rulers of North India, does that mean they are not a backward class and hence ineligible for the Affirmative action reservation program of the Indian state?

      Hmmm – this train is interesting

  2. Happy Independence day. May our unfortunate countries see better days ahead.

    Some lines from the An Area of darkness

    “‘Out of its squalor and human decay, its eruptions of butchery, India produced so many people of grace and beauty, ruled by elaborate courtesy. Producing too much life, it denied the value of life; yet it permitted a unique human development to so many. Nowhere were people so heightened, rounded and individualistic; nowhere did they offer themselves up so fully and with such reassurance. To know Indians was to take a delight in people as people’.”

  3. We frequently talk about brain drain from India to the west.

    But there’s also a small and growing entrepreneurial expat community in India. Some might even be called ‘migrants’. Not NGO/development sector types or country heads but people with proper skin in the game.

    Examples:
    Jonathan Bill, CEO of CreditMate
    Lizzie Chapman, CEO of ZestMoney
    Greg Moran, CEO of ZoomCar

    I have Chinese and French acquaintances working on startups in Bangalore as well, though they haven’t hit the same level of success yet.

    There’s a lot of potential in the Indian growth story to attract talent, especially from Africa, M-E, SEA. We should leverage that.

    I think that if Indian cities were more livable, we’d see more such people.

    1. Not sure how I missed this comment, but it I agree completely.

      Aside from livability, a big issue I imagine is the visa hassle. Not an issue for Indian origin folk like myself, but it is for a lot of talented people.

      The world is not flat, but it’s getting there.

  4. In Great Britain, in 40 days – from June 19 to July 31 – twice as many people died from the common flu than from the terrible corona virus!

    Specifically: 6,626 people died from flu and pneumonia that are not related to COVID-19, and 2,992 patients died from diseases caused by coronavirus infection!

  5. Let’s rename this blog to something that better reflects the type of people who are here:

    Brahmin Pandits. Or Better yet CHITPAVAN Brahmin Pandits.

    #Hindutva

    I’ll never forget our CHITPAVAN friend’s dialogue “I have Islamophobic tendencies. But I try to control them”– priceless (and in that horrible accent to boot). Can you please learn to speak like Rajdeep Sardasai or Karan Thapar? At least upper-class Indian English doesn’t grate on the ear. 🙂

    1. Dude can you go one day without having a hissy fit on this blog. We know you were triggered by his browncast episode, you made it abundantly clear on its comment section. Can you please move on now.

      1. “Dude”, I’m partially trolling but I’m also slightly serious. “Brown” includes Pakistani Muslims and it’s been made very clear that we are not the target audience for this forum.

        “Muslim-hating Hindutvadi Pundits” sums you all up much better.

        1. Dude, which part of the “pundits” you didn’t get?

          Don’t blame others for your ignorance and “chai-tea” suggestions.

          Since when mullahs are being called pundits in Urdu? Leave trolling to people who posses wit.

          1. Maybe you should learn to spell “possess” first. Your English spelling and grammar is truely atrocious!

            What do they teach you people in India?

          2. Also, it’s not “you didn’t get” but “didn’t you get”.

            Your English grammar is the sign of someone really lower middle class. Stick to Telegu, you pathethic engineer.

          3. Kabir, i’ve got an offer for you. How about both us upper-class old-money south asian raees start a podcast(or any other online platform u wish) giving elementary english lessons to these pathetic illiterates, inhabitants of that primitive hindu ecumene? We could call it “AngreziSeekhJaahil”. The money cud be split 90:10, bcuz frankly speaking, getting to work wid u wud more than compensate me in return for the investment. What do u say, brother?(And i’m also up for anything more serious between us two as we get closer, i’ve an unusual proclivity to go weak in the knees interacting with khandani raees men like u;) )

          4. Wow, if you think a standard Canadian and American English phrasing is “lower middle class” and “bad grammar”, I highly doubt that you have a “degree in English Literature”.
            If so, you were robbed.

    2. You have a serious hatred of Brahmins which is surprising considering your Ashraf ancestors displaced us from the top of the social hierarchy with such ease. Also, it’s really funny to hear you complaining about “Islamaphobia” considering you are an undisputed king of Hinduphobia (hell you could get a job at Equality Labs). You have stated that Lord Ram did not exist and consider a Brahmin stating their caste as bigotry. Also, from what angle did Gaurav come across as a Hindu Nationalist? Besides his relative being an RSS member I didn’t really see anything off about him in fact he comes across as pretty left-wing guy. Also, his “Islamaphobia” doesn’t seem grounded in Hindutva but New Atheism which is worlds away from Hindutva. As for Gaurav’s accent, it doesn’t seem any worse than your fellow Pakistani Omar and it’s unfair of you to compare a middle-class guy like Gaurav to upper-class snobs like Sardesai and Thapar. Oh and good luck with your name change for Brown Pundits I’m sure the management of this site, all of whom consider you a nutjob who is only good for entertainment, will take your advice seriously.

      Peace out! Jai Shree Ram! Jai Shree Krishna! Jai Parshuram!

      P.S. Kashi aur Mathura baki hai!

      1. “Lord Ram” is a FICTIONAL CHARACTER. Of course you’re entitled to believe in whatever fiction you like.

        Get over it.

          1. The Prophet of God (peace be upon him) was a REAL PERSON.

            Your “gods” are all figments of your mind. You people pray to elephant headed idols.

            Bloody fools.

      2. Did you miss the part where the man said “I have Islamophobic tendencies but I try to control them”– straight from the horse’s mouth

        1. I addressed that point please read what I wrote carefully (I realize reading isn’t your strong suit).

          1. >Sweetie

            Are you coming on to me? I thought you said male Hindu male Muslim relationships were haram?

          2. You might be saying that I’m a child right now Kabir but I think that’s all a trap by you to get into me. You want me so bad it’s driving you mad.

    3. यस्य सर्वे समारम्भाः कामसङ्कल्पवर्जिताः।
      ज्ञानाग्निदग्धकर्माणं तमाहुः पण्डितं बुधाः।।4.19।।

      “The wise call that person a pundit who’s actions are free desires and expectations and who’s actions shine in the fire of knowledge”.

      Those who lust after 72 virgins in heaven can never be pundits.

      1. And we’re back to “72 virgins”– another typical Islamophobic trope. You people aren’t even original.

  6. https://theprint.in/national-interest/its-our-economy-not-her-genes-thatll-influence-kamala-harris-view-of-india/482017/

    “That’s the test we need to apply to Kamala Harris now. It is OK for us all to carry stories and videos on her fine masala dosa-making skills, idli-sambar love, or as we notice on Tam-Brahm Twitter, Mylapore and Besant Nagar in Chennai fighting over who owns her. But to think that her view on India will be coloured by her DNA is nonsense.

    In the summer of 1991, we were in the IMF’s darbar to borrow, and mortgaging our gold reserves. The Punjab insurgency was at its bloodiest, and Kashmir picked up too. The fightback by the Rao government was determined, if brutal. It brought a big push-back from the Western human rights community. The first Clinton Administration was caught up in it. That’s when even the accession of Kashmir to India was questioned.In 1999, he got the Pakistanis to behave on Kargil, and made a visit to the subcontinent where he spent no more than a few scores of minutes in Pakistan. All he did on that short stopover was to remind the Pakistanis, somewhat menacingly, that lines on the map of the subcontinent could no longer be redrawn in blood. Now, that wasn’t the Clinton of his first term.

    What changed between Clinton’s two terms? Did he sit under some oak equivalent of the Bodhi Tree for his enlightenment? What changed was India’s economy, and thereby its global stature.”

  7. https://youtu.be/GgEWn2N4uNk
    Skyroot’s Raman Engine test fire video. It’s in 4k!

    https://youtu.be/AiLOhj9PXEMl
    This video goes into much more detail than the article I had copy pasted on the last open thread. There is also some exclusive information in this video as he (the youtuber) had interviewed the CEO of Skyroot some time back (along with those of other Indian private aerospace companies). This is in hindi but it has good english captions

  8. “Your “gods” are all figments of your mind”
    The same can be said about your “allah” (hissy fit incoming in 3..2..1)

    1. Sure, the existence of Allah is a belief not an objective fact.

      But monotheism is a major philosophical advance over the primative Greek or Hindu gods.

      I mean elephant heads? Talking monkeys? Are you people supposed to be taken seriously?

      1. लभेत सिकतासु तैलमपि यत्नतः पीडयत्
        पिबेच्च मृगतृष्णिकासु सलिलं पिपासार्दितः ।
        कदाचिदपि पर्यटञ्छशविषाणमासादयेत्
        न तु प्रतिनिविष्टमूर्खजनचित्तमाराधयेत् ॥

      2. “I mean elephant heads? Talking monkeys?”
        Why is it any more preposterous than your ‘prophet’ claiming he split the moon in two, angels descending from the sky etc

        “But monotheism is a major philosophical advance over the primative Greek or Hindu gods.”
        Seems like a subjective opinion to me.

        1. Karen Armstrong has written about how the Jewish invention of one all powerful God was a major philosophical advance over the gods of the pagans.

          But whatever. You’re entitled your beliefs. But you aren’t entitled to troll the Prophet of God (pbuh).

  9. Kabir is like a non-playable character from a role-playing video game. His reactions are limited to a number of pre-programmed replies that depend on the input. All inputs are then funneled into a small number of discrete outputs that don’t change irrespective of the presentation of nuance and relevant information. If the input is positive, you’ll gain his acceptance, if it’s anything middling then he’ll school you, and if it’s something he doesn’t like, you will get proverbially chased down with a sword in hand.

    On being upset, he presents statements such as ‘this conversation is pointless’, ‘do not address me again’, ‘I demand an apology’, ‘you will cease speaking to me’, ‘we will DESTROY you’, and so on and so forth, like the speech notes for a game designer programming an NPC for a Windows98 RPG. And yet, just like an NPC in a game with low RAM, he will return to address those very same readers in the next blog post, forgetting about all the threats, mudslinging, and gaslighting he made a few hours ago.

    Reading his comments can give one a greater headache than what Humayun had after he fell down the stairs. His arguments circumambulate with no end in sight but he pulls it off dangerously, like a pirouetting dervish of doom with a sharpened whirling skirt cutting apart anyone in his way. His knowledge disseminated across the internet the past few years exceeds the sum total of information that existed in the books burned in Baghdad back in 1258.

    Rumour has it that even today he religiously searches through blog posts and twitter from his mansion in Lahore, typing furiously at any perceived microaggression, with empty bottles of Zamzam cola lying around him, and underage boy servants prostrating before him for his personal pleasure.

    Kabir is omnipresent. Kabir is omnipotent. Kabir is omniscient.

    Can we ever escape Kabir?

    1. I always get a feeling kabira went back to Pakistan because…… Of a lot of underage boy servants 😂😂

  10. Kabir is a true Hindu. Even after living in the US and UK, he continues to practise public defecation.

    I am sure he puts his janeu aside while commenting here.

      1. What makes being us being Hindu primitive? Can you explain it to us clearly because you’re the only one on this site with no control of their emotions in the presence of total strangers (which is a sign of primitiveness)?

          1. One day a gang of IYIs was passing by tribal people worshipping their tribal god. The IYIs mocked the tribals who were prostrating in front of their god and who were spiritual in their own way.

            The IYIs could not see the god, but could only see the ass holes of prostrating people.

          2. You can have your beliefs, but you shall NOT troll Lord Shri Ganesha, the Remover of Obstacles and Son of Mahadeva. Bloody Islamist.

          1. And now my co-religionists are ruling your people in the Kashmir Valley. We’ll be sure to be every bit as “tolerant” and “cosmopolitan” as your great Mughal rulers 🙂

  11. Surely the mods can put a stop to this madness? Whats the value of add of this trolling? If I want flame wars, I will head to twitter.

  12. Kabir, stop whining about how this place is anti-Muslim. This isn’t the Pak Defence forum where you should go if want a safe space. 90% of your recent posts are screaming matches with someone else and it is a chore to scroll through threads of the many, many, many posts of exchanged abuse. The Almighty, the Holy Prophet, Quaid-e-Azam, Islam, Sahabah and Muslims past, present and future aren’t affected by what is being posted here. It does seem to be affecting your mental health and now it seems like you are enjoying and inviting the trolling contests.

    1. If they can troll Pakistan and Islam, I can troll them right back. Until the powers that be ban me.

      It doesn’t take genius to notice that it is considered perfectly acceptable here to insult the Prophet of God (pbuh) in the vilest manner. But when you go for their religion, people get so upset. Hypocrites.

    2. ONLY @Ali (others make your own separate comment, it is a pain to scroll through so much poop)
      **Not trolling just curious**

      “The Almighty, the Holy Prophet, Quaid-e-Azam, Islam, Sahabah and Muslims past, present and future aren’t affected by what is being posted here.”

      But it does! When more (non-moronic) people will find about the truth about their ‘heroes’ they will stop being religious. It is right in-front of their eyes, why is it so hard to see?

      Not trying to appear unbiased to curry favor but one look at Ashwamedha Yajna verses in Vedas are enough to see what kind of people wrote them. Why is it so hard for Muslims? its not that Quran is rich in philosophy/contemplation like Upanishads either, Muhammad’s debauchery is for everyone to see and I doubt even by then extant standards he would be called even a overall decent human being. What part of Maria-al-Qibtiyya and countless other stories not abundantly clear? Why this madness and feigned ignorance?

      Is it just ‘my truth, my narrative’ in the end?

      1. @Bhimrao No believing Muslim believes the Prophet was a debauch. He was monogamously married for 25 years to one woman Khadija from when he was 25 to when she died. His marriages after that were primarily to widows, concubines he emancipated and to cement tribal alliances. The marriage to Aisha looks weird to modern eyes but was not atypical in that era. She was very proud to have been his wife and became one of the most important Muslim public figures for decades after his death. Even in the US girls were getting married at the age of 12 to older men in pioneer country in the mid 19th century.

        Religious Muslims are raised with a large amount of stories about the life of the Prophet recounting his sayings, behaviour, good deeds etc. It is emphasised how he lived his life by displaying honesty, kindness, generosity, fairness, simplicity of living, moral uprightness, gentlemanliness, moral and physical courage, justice, charity, welfare, empathy and mercy are the model which Muslims should base their lives on.

        1. Thank you for responding.

          We have irreconcilable differences on how you (mis)represent the sex-slaves related stuff (and other things) as benign but I appreciate the insights. I can already see where this exchange will inevitably go.

          Because I am the one who requested you to answer I will respectfully call it quits here, again, thank you very much.

          1. Well, I am not an expert on the history of that era and am only relating what I know. Giving concubines as gifts was normal practice for the powerful. Per the Quran, sexual intercourse with concubines is only permissible if one is married to them.

        2. Ali,
          I have always found the example of prophet one of significant progress over the existing customs in 7th century. Especially giving legal and inheritance rights to women which was unheard elsewhere around 7th century.
          What’s tragic imho is the followers haven’t made anyway close to the progress made by the prophet despite claiming to follow him.

        3. Ali, i am sure muslims look upon muhammad with reverence. the reason is that muslims’ views are colored by a quasi-familial relationship with muhammad. like, they think of him as an eccentric grandfather in the family whom you have to accept, warts and all. you dont question your own family. (i hope i am putting my point across successfully).

          from an outsider’s perspective, muhammad doesnt come across as a pleasant personality. muslims may think of his marriages as some sort of favor to these women, for any neutral observer many of these marriages appear motivated by plain lust, or desire for dominance.

          take the story of safiyya for example. muslims will claim that muhammad did her some sort of favor by marrying this 18 year old girl when he was in his ripe 50s. the backstory is that muhammad killed her husband, father and brothers in battle, massacred her entire tribe and captured her as a war booty. now what option did a hapless girl caught in the midst of cutthroat arab tribals have, other than assent to become muhammad’s wife? muslims may call it “marriage”, i will call it outright rape. ( islamic literature suggests that she was prone to excessive weeping in her life. have muslims ever bothered to ponder why?)

          the story of zaynab – all islamic sources agree on the basic outline of the story. she was married to muhammd’s adopted son zayd. muhammd caught a glimpse of her during a visit to his son’s house, and fell for her beauty. so he forced/persuaded/goaded his adopted son to divorce his wife, and married the woman himself. as the act was repugnant even in the eyes of medieval arabs, right on cue angel gabriel brought a message directly from allah putting his stamp of approval on the act! wow, just wow.

          almost all of muhammad’s marriages have some seedy story behind them. his modus operandi was simple. he would wage unprovoked war on some unsuspecting tribe, kill all of its male members, and distribute the captured women to his followers. he would naturally keep the prettiest women for himself. later he would manumit some of these slave women and marry them formally. that is farcical to neutral eyes. in fact, one of these captured women, rayhana bint zayd was so proud that she rejected muhammad’s offer to free her and marry her. she chose to remain muhammad’s slave rather than sanctify his crimes with veneer of “‘marriage”.

          and you talk of muhammad’s moral uprightness, gentlemanliness and what not. take the cases of sexual violence against the enemy women for example. now, i fully agree that rape of captured women was a norm in arabia in muhammad’s times. but, shouldn’t we expect that as a “messenger of god” he should have suppressed the practice? no. instead, what we get from quran and hadiths is muhammad’s wholehearted approval and encouragement of the sexual violence, with he himself leading by example!

          now, of course you must be reading islamophobia in my post. the fact is i admire many islamic personalities from history. saladin and babar for example had genuinely large-hearted and royal persona about themselves. unfortunately, however much i read about muhammad, he doesnt appeal to me as a man.

          1. From a Dharmic POV this stuff is irrelevant if Muslims don’t believe it to be true.

            If Muslims believe Muhammad is a noble, charitable, and saintly individual. Then they seek to emulate that (like all the religious Muslims I know) then that’s great.

            If Muslims believe Mohammed was a rapist, plunderer who enslaved tribes, and stoned adulterers and they seek to emulate like ISIS did then it’s bad.

            The main issue is there seems to be enough material there to make an ISIS type view justifiable, esp. to someone that sort of an extreme personality or overly logically driven to his own detriment (think an extreme STEM personality).

          2. I don’t believe Safiyya’s tribe (Banu Nadir) was massacred at the Battle of Khaybar, that was mostly a succession of siege warfare and I don’t recall it resulting in many casualties. The Muslim MO was to offer mercy to all who surrendered which usually resulted in quick, relatively bloodless victories. Marrying the defeated womenfolk of an opposing tribe was a standard way of cementing a peace treaty. Again Saffiya does not appear to have been mistreated and like Aisha she was a publicly prominent Muslim figure in the decades after the Prophet’s death leaving behind a substantial estate upon her death.

            The case of Zainab is more problematic but it appears to have been one of mutual attraction. Zainab was high status, spirited, beautiful and ambitious and it would not be surprising if she was keen to become a wife of the man at the top of the food chain rather than Zaid (a former slave of the Prophet’s first wife Khadijah). She was also wife #5 of Zaid’s six wives and the Prophet would become her third husband. After Zaid divorced Zainab, the Prophet instructed another high status Quraish tribeswoman to marry him and she become his wife #6. Zaid commanded numerous military expeditions before and after his divorce of Zainab and per Aisha was never asked by the Prophet to serve in an army without leading it. He was left in charge of Medina as its governor one month after the divorce when the Prophet went on an expedition. There is no indication there was any rift between the two. Zaid was the one who accompanied the Prophet to Taif and protected him with his own body when a mob started stoning both of them. He was the third person after Khadijah and Ali to accept Islam.

  13. In the Netherlands, there are a group of immigrants from the South American country of Surinam. They are double distilled – they were already immigrants there from India – taken by the English as plantation workers 150 years ago.

    They have preserved their customs and religion but it’s almost like a time capsule, their inflexion, manner and mores are stranded from the current Indian Era. I interact with them and find a pleasure that simply springs from the realisation that I might be interacting with Indians from 150 years ago.

    They recognise Varna but not Jati. Marriages are endogamous within the community. But also many mixed couples, where the woman is Surinamese and the man European. The men tend to marry within. They have a fascination for the Old Country and the older folks undertake pilgrimages. The younger ones are mostly into tourism. OCI card is a big hit. There is a strong distrust of Muslims, but no animosity. A few of them have found Jesus, but still culturally desi.

    Curious part is a lot of them have a strong predilection for services over business or research. Somehow this brings me to ask whether this trait is not a relic of the socialist era but rather stemming from inherent mental wiring of Indians.

    1. Suriname is not the only Indian outpost. I am friends with a family like this who are from Curacao. Taken as indentured labour by the Dutch from Bihar, multiple generations lived in Curacao, and sometime in past 70 years their ancestors moved to Netherlands.

  14. “The Taj is what brings all the tourist revenue to your Bharat Mata.”
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism_in_India
    U.P (the state where Taj Mahal is located) gets less foreign tourists than the states of Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu respectively. I’m not saying that the Taj Mahal doesn’t draw tourists to India but it isn’t as much of a draw as Kabir thinks it is. The top two states have less islamic influence than their northern brethren(especially in the case of Tamil Nadu) so it’s not like India wouldn’t have been able to get as many tourists as it does without the Indo-Islamic architecture (provided our temples hadn’t been destroyed in the north)

    1. When White people think of India they think of the Taj.

      You’ll have to suck up the fact that the most prominent symbol of your country is the tomb of a Muslim queen.

      1. What do “White People” think of when they think of Pakistan?

        After all the nonsense about living in a mansion, American accent, professionals since British era etc. Can’t take you seriously anymore.

        Honestly I think some of stems from being a Pakistani nominal Muslim who enjoys the finer things in life.

        If you were born in India where differences are much more accepted perhaps you would have been fine.

        1. When White people think of Pakistan (if they even know where it is) they think of the Taliban. There’s no shame in admitting I’d rather be called a slumdog than have another discussion about the Taliban.

          As for the rest, if Hindutvadis can troll me I can troll them right back. I love all decent Indians that vote for the center-left.

  15. great stuff on where we all came from on these blogs and brilliant snapshot of the human species in the comments.

  16. Uncomfortably for the RSS types in India, the Hindu nationalist BJP prime minister addresses the country on Independence day from the Lal Qila (Red Fort) built by Shahab-ud-din Muhammad Khurram aka Shah Jahan, the great Mogul emperor.

    As BP guest Shoaib Daniyal points out, the few times there has been a pan- India sovereign empire, it has usually been in the hands of Buddhists (Asoka), Muslims or Christians (the British).

    1. “the few times there has been a pan- India sovereign empire, it has usually been in the hands of Buddhists (Asoka), Muslims or Christians (the British)”

      Yes of course, Chandragupta and Bindusara (the predecessors of Ashoka) were Buddhists, who says they weren’t. Also Ashoka totally didn’t convert after the Kalinga war (8 years after his rule started). Why would he, he was a Buddhist since his birth. In fact, his ancestors had been buddhist even before the buddha had been born. They just loved buddhism that much (sarcasm if you cant tell)

      1. He didn’t convert after the Kalinga war. He converted in the fourth year of his rule. He was a Buddhist during Kalinga war.

        1. In reality no one ruled Tamilakam and Kerala from the north except Brits who ruled the world for that matter.. Go Tamizh. So saying Mauryas and Moghals ruled the entire country is just BS. They didn’t even rule NE.

          We have just conveniently chosen all non Hindu kingdoms as great kingdoms.
          Kushanas are ignored. They ruled large parts as well. Atleast the entire India north of Vindhyas.
          Gupta’s – though they didn’t rule over as large area as Mauryas or Moghals – they ruled larger areas and can be argued that that kingdom was richer than either Mauryans or Moghals.
          Harsha also ruled significantly large kingdom. And then there was the Maratha empire.

        2. @Bhimrao
          Is it conclusively proved. I checked before I wrote that but I only read Wikipedia and it only said that the Sri Lankan tradition supports him converting at the fourth year of his rule.

      2. The fact remains that for the majority of its existence the Mauryan empire, which was only rivaled in its extent later by the Moguls, was ruled by Buddhist and Jain emperors.

        1. Both these kingdoms ruled sparse populated Afghan region – geographical extent maybe yes. But that too for a mere 20 years each during Ashok n Alamgirs time.

          Wouldn’t a better measure be population of subcontinent ruled over? Including the populous parts of East and South

      3. Narasingha Deva

        About Chandragupta, Bindusara and Asoka in the Mahavamsa. Seems to imply they were jains.

        http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/05-third-council/

        The memory of Asoka was lost in India. Found and identified using the Mahavamsa, the longest continuous history in Sout Asia with a consistent dating system, i.e. the passing of the Buddha.

        The latter part of this post gives how Asoka was IDed

        https://www.brownpundits.com/2018/06/01/lanka-and-kalinga/

        1. sbarrkum:
          What does Mahavamsa say about Chandragupta, Bindusara and Ashoka’s Jainism? Does it elaborate on their beliefs prior to Ashoka’s conversion?

          Also, Samprati, Ashoka’s grandson from Kunala (the blind, son of his Jain queen Padmawati) was also Jain. Some historians call him the Jain Ashoka for his patronage of Jainism and in his role in spreading Jainism across the subcontinent.

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

      4. But the thera perceived the destiny of the king’s son Mahinda and of his daughter Samghamitta, and foresaw the progress of the doctrine that was to arise from (them)

        Those two lights of the doctrine, who brought great blessing to the island of Lanka, received the pabbajja in the sixth year of king Dhammäsoka. The great Mahinda, the converter of the island (of Lanka), learned the three pitakas with his master in three years. This bhikkhuni, even like the new moon, and the bhikkhu Mahinda, like the sun, illumined always the sky, the doctrine of the Sambuddha
        There are more details of Mahinda and Sangamitta in Chapter 13: The coming of Mahinda.

        Footnotes 6-8 says Mahavamsa Tikka (commentary) has more details of the Moriya dynasty. Anyone knows of the Mahavamsa Tikka online.

        6-On the Moriya dynasty and on Canakka and Candagutta see Mah. Tika, pp. 119-123; Kamb. Mah. V. 995-1090. Candragupta’s minister, Canakya, is also known to play an important part in the Mudraraksasa. See SYLVAIN LEVI, Le Theatre Indien, pp. 226 ff. A work on politics, ascribed to him, the Kautiliyasastra, still exists. HILLEBRANDT, Uber das Kautiliyasastra und Verwandtes. Cp. also L.A. 38, 1909, pp. 257 ff. [↩]
        7-On Bindusara and on Candagutta’s death see Mah. Tika, pp. 124, 125; Kamb. Mah. V. 1092-1128. [↩]
        8-On Asoka’s birth and early youth, see Mah. Tika, pp. 125-128 ; Kamb. Mah. V. 1129-1198. [↩]

      5. As per rock edicts, he became Buddhist after the Kalinga war.

        Ashoka then made the first edicts in the Indian language, written in the Brahmi script, from the 11th year of his reign (according to his own inscription, “two and a half years after becoming a secular Buddhist”, i.e. two and a half years at least after returning from the Kalinga conquest of the eighth year of his reign, which is the starting point for his remorse towards the horrors of the war, and his gradual conversion to Buddhism). The texts of the inscriptions are rather short, the technical quality of the engraving of the inscriptions is generally very poor, and generally very inferior to the pillar edicts dated to the years 26 and 27 of Ashoka’s reign.

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

    2. Is it really all that uncomfortable?

      Feels like a straw man to me. RSS considers Buddhists to be Hindus anyway.

    3. Curious seems to be one from the Lefty/Muslim alliance and his knowledge of history is appropriately selective. As for the Maurya dynasty:
      Chandragupta the founder was a “Hindu” and later became a Jain
      Bindusara was a “Hindu” by all accounts and most of the expansion of the empire across the subcontinent happened under him: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bindusara
      Ashoka was a “Hindu” when he expanded the empire further and only later became a Buddhist.
      Samprati his grandson and successor and perhaps the last great Maurya was a Jain and great patron of Jainism..

  17. Speaking of Indian Americans – Mindy Kaling. I don’t want to say that she isn’t Indian, and she has experienced what we have.

    That said, how “Indian” is she? She looks like the token trotted out Brown person from white society. She really reminds me of someone trying so hard to shed their roots and identity (Veramindi Chokalingam), but once “wokeness” became a thing, she starts trying to cash in on the “POC” and “Child of Immigrants” line.

    Whites let her, because she is basically one of them with a brown face, so they can touch themselves and feel enlightened by hearing banal profundities from a brown face. Even Kamala Harris can pronounce Dosa, while Kaling kept saying “Dough-sihs” on a cooking show.

    One thing we Desis need to do is reclaim our voice. There are a lot of SJW brown people who are popular, but we need to tell the left that there is such a thing as white proximity, and that wokespeak is a way of filtering out most brown voices.

    This means honestly calling out Mindy Kaling and the whites around her, and getting some broader South Asian voices involved. There are 1.7 billion of us, and it seems to be (formerly) wannabe white-girl Mindy that speaks for us.

    1. Her mother spoke Bengali and English. He father spoke Tamil and English. She only heard English being spoken in her household growing up as that was the only language her parents could communicate with each other in. She grew up in Cambridge, MA where as recently as 2010 there were only 1,000 or so Indians in the city. So it’s not a surprise she has little attachment with Indian culture since she had minimal exposure to it.

      1. Fair enough, but my rebuttal is this:

        A) you don’t need to know a language to be able to have a basic grasp of pronunciation. Even if they spoke different languages, South Asia is a sprachsbund with certain areal features, and I’m sure her parents didn’t pronounce it dough-sihs, so it’s still a lingering affectation on her part.

        Also, I grew up in an English speaking household, but can pronounce my own name and most words from Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Marathi, Urdu, and the Dravidian languages. Sindhi has some very different consonants, and Bengali has very different vowels, but I still don’t sound like the White Guy in Lagaan when saying these words.

        B) If she was really so unexposed, then why is she the voice of Indian Americans? I grew up in a very white world, and I know others from mixed community households, but we all tried to engage our own culture and traditions. We still feel uncomfortable trying to be an “Indian” voice.

        If she’s been that out of it, she needs to shut up, and whites around her need to clue up. There are better voices.

        1. She does comedy shows, I doubt she set out to become a representative voice of Indians when she herself has admitted she only knows a little about the culture. She is frankly not particularly attractive and not someone the American entertainment establishment would be inclined to favour. She has accomplished what she has done with a lot of hard work and luck. Maybe if more Indian Americans went into the media instead of safe professions there would be more typically Indian representatives.

          And people have varying facility with languages. I come from a household where Urdu and Punjabi were spoken by my parents and spent ten years growing up in Lahore, Pakistan. Despite achieving a good grade in the high school language exam in Urdu, my pronunciation of it is still horrible and an object of much mirth for my wife.

          1. Really? I always found that Punjabi is harder to pronounce, and if you overdo it, you sound like you might be doing a slightly offensive impression of a Punjabi person. Same thing with Dravidians languages, I have noticed. You have to try hard to get the pronunciation down, but go too far, and you might be committing a hate crime.

    2. Here’s a question — do Indian Americans have to be exactly like Indians in Indians culturally to be labelled authentic (and by who?) or else, it’s that they are exactly the same culturally as “white Americans” and nothing else, and no option otherwise.

      African Americans and Jewish Americans aren’t told they have to be like Africans in Africa or Israel Jews to be authentic, and that it’s either that or they’re “just like another (often implicitly, white) American”. We acknowledge that African/Jewish Americans have the ability to both see themselves as a diaspora while not being the same as their distant ancestral lands’ culturally nor the same as their host culture. Even when they pronounce their names differently than “old country folks” (e.g. Malik pronounced “Ma-LEEK” or Bernstein pronounced “STEEN” not “-stein”), they don’t get flak for being inauthentic (just authentic in a diaspora way). By contrast, people have said that (NPR reporter) Lakshmi Singh isn’t pronouncing her name correctly because she says the first syllable like “lack” but she clarified that that’s the way she pronounces it as a member of the Indo-Caribbean diaspora.

      Homelanders, or sourcelanders, if you’d prefer, (and people in the host country, say non-desi Americans) alike often seem to lack this idea that you can be authentic in a diasporan way without importing the homeland’s culture exactly (and if you are separated from it, you must receive feedback from it constantly). Many groups like the Amish, Mennonites left the “old country” long ago and thus have a culture not like it, but have not assimilated to the new country either — they’re something different altogether.

      I’m not saying rich “white liberal-like” SJW Indian Americans should be the archetype but hey there’s lots of Indian American or other south Asian American identities (plural) — Punjabis in the Central Valley, rich upper class SJW suburbanites that have Brahmin roots they won’t acknowledge like everyone points out here, fine, all the way to people like Bobby Jindal and Nikki Haley. And you have people who are academically interested in South Asia, like our own super knowledgeable Razib here even if their cultural upbringing isn’t in a South Asian enclave.

      But let’s not narrow things down to a binary — be exactly like “old country”, “be exactly like the dominant, majority (if you can even say majority nowadays) American culture that you might as well be a WASP with the surname Smith”.

    3. Recently, someone tried to their SJW activism in a facebook group (Subtle Telugu Traits), oh man, they got roasted so much! I love Telugu people, many of them are naturally conservative even the ones living in the West.

      SJW was saying something like Indian Hindus don’t like medieval Mughals/Afghans because they don’t have Aryan heritage and Indian Hindus don’t complain about Nadir Shah because Iranians have Aryan heritage. Same thing with kanishka, he is respected because he’s a Scythian but not Mughals. She was basically trying to enforce that “white guilt” on brown upper caste peoples. Her history was so off, I don’t know where to start, she was just assuming things left and right. Man she got roasted, I loved it!

      Btw, Razib, if you delete a comment or take such a step I think it’s wiser to let the person know that you deleted it. You can simply post the OP name and his post as [deleted]. My first post this weekend probably got deleted or waiting in the sandbox.

    1. Thank you. I come to this blog for interesting convo, most of which has for the past few posts just became trolling. To be frank, we need a bit of sincere leftists in this blog, though.

  18. Happy independence days to Pakistanis and Indians.

    Congratulations to dear Israelis and Emiratis. A great beginning in inter-Semitic relations.

  19. Read Viktor Frankl’s book “Man’s search for meaning” on his harrowing experiences in nazi concentration camps, yesterday.

    Specifically detailing how devoid of much pleasure, or creative meaning he was still able to survive.

    Worth a read, I think people familiar with dharmic philosophy will see some parallels with Frankl’s logotherapy.

    1. It boils down to inscriptions vs literary traditions. Mrittyunjoy is raising doubts on the accuracy of the Srl Lankan traditions, and that’s a valid point. However, like he points out, there are prominent scholars who disagree with the timeline of the inscriptions and take the literary traditions to be more accurate. One simple problem about inscriptions is that there might be a considerable delay between when they are sanctioned and finished building. The citation from John Fleet, makes a convincing case for the literary traditions holding more weight. It’s one of those things that we might never know for sure. That also means that the popular narrative which has been built in the minds of school children in unfair and this shouldn’t really exist in school text books.

      A piece by former BP guest Mrityunjay as response to TrueIndology

      Did you mean this as someone who’s written articles here, which I’ve found, or a podcast, which I couldn’t find?

    2. This is going to be a comment essay, but I will try to moderate myself.

      Its important to understand that almost all narratives of Asoka stem from the Dipavamsa and other Buddhist literature. The Indians “cancelled” Asoka from their narratives and king-lists, so to say, other than a few passing mentions. The hagiography is entirely found in Buddhist lore.

      The legend/persona of Devanampiya Priyadarshi has been many centuries in the making. Too many unexplained and perplexing nuances exist. Our historians (or distorians) close their eyes in pursuit of a grand narrative. A few facts –

      The minor rock edicts and minor pillars are all related to Buddha and his teachings and span a small-er geographical area (MP, Bihar, UP, Orissa, Andhra). The name, Ashoka, only appears in the minors.

      The major rock edicts and pillars never mention Buddha or his teachings but only proclamations of principles. They are found as far as Afghanistan. Only the name Devanampiya or Priyadarshi is found in the majors, never Asoka.

      On the 7th Major Pillar, Devanampiya states that this message may be re-written on other pillars, wherever they may be available or found (kind of like a whatsapp forward). This gives rise to the startling speculation that Devanampiya DID NOT BUILD the pillars, but merely ordered inscriptions on them. Now a lone standing pillar is a typical motif of a temple, the Dhvajastamba. Also it has important theological significance in the form of the connection between the temporal and the spiritual, the earth and skies, the Svarloka and Bhuloka.

      The other major dissonance is that birth of the Buddha is not settled! Tibetan, Chinese, Cambodian and Indian literature puts the Buddha in the 2nd millennium BC. Its only the Srilankan chronicles that have put the date in the 1st millennium (the country that is the farthest from Lumbini). Prinsep and William Jones (they were brilliant Indologists!!) really messed up with their sheet anchoring. Consider the evidence – Megasthenes never gives any indications of Buddhists in his travels, Plutarch and Strabo only talk of gymnosophists (naked men) who might have been Ajvikas, Jainas or Nagas. They never talk about Buddhists!! This almost persuades me that Buddhism was dead or extinct in India in the period 2nd century BC to 1st century AD. The revival happened later on.

      Both the IVC phases and the First millennium BC of Indian history has never been properly examined in terms of all these variations. It fits up only in the eyes of Western Indologists!

      1. The other major dissonance is that birth of the Buddha is not settled! Tibetan, Chinese, Cambodian and Indian literature puts the Buddha in the 2nd millennium BC. Its only the Srilankan chronicles that have put the date in the 1st millennium (the country that is the farthest from Lumbini).

        Could you tell me some good sources to read up about this? I knew that Indians traditions don’t agree with the dating of Indian history mostly through the example of Shankaracharya. Indologists have dated his birth to 788 CE but most Indian traditions date him back to the mid first millennium BCE. I always found that a bit weird because he never misses out on criticizing all Indian philosophies other than Advaita but he makes no mention of Islam, which obviously entered Sindh around 50 years before his birth. I didn’t take this too seriously though. Do you know anything about this controversy? I ask as someone who is deeply inspired by him and am incredibly interested in his roots.

        This might also strengthen Milan Todorovic’s point about Buddha having Aryan roots. If he was born in the second millennium BCE, then it’s rather conceivable that as the prince of a kingdom, he might have been one of the early descendants of Aryans in India.

        1. There is quite an established tradition of Puranic scholars who have been disputing the William Jones sheet anchor and the work of other Indologists. Their core argument is very impeccable, to meet arbitrary and personal qualms, western Indologists have chopped the Puranic king lists in the following manner –

          In the rear, cut off any Indic scholarship of dates at 1500 BC (alleged IE invasion)
          Towards the front, they telescoped Ashoka by almost 600 years

          The rear part has been discussed to death on BP. Its the Ashoka/Chandragupta synchronisation which is on very shaky grounds. Everything is based on a single word – Sandracottus – whose provenance is now lost. This was first noted and published as a theory in 1953 by Kota Venkatachalam, a scholar in Andhra Pradesh.

          His startling claim is that Megasthenes was a ambassador at the court of Chandragupta II (of the Gupta dynasty). The Guptas were ruling in 300 BC and not in 300 AD. Alexander’s contemporary in India were the Guptas, not the Mauryas.

          His original book – link below
          https://jambudveep.files.wordpress.com/2011/02/the-plot-in-indian-chronology.pdf

      2. Ugra, Green Veggies and Gauravi

        No question, the Rock and Pillar edicts, supersede any literary sources.

        I really suggest reading the Guha Majumdar post. It well researched and referenced.
        https://www.youthkiawaaz.com/2020/08/when-did-emperor-ashoka-embrace-buddhism/

        Some points
        Edicts vs Literary and Dates
        The Mahavamsa also has serious problems of discrepancies with other sources.
        eg: Ashoka sent Buddhist missionaries to Sri Lanka: according to Edict 13, it was in 260 BCE, while Mahavamsa pegs it at 255 BCE

        I dont think 5 years is a big deal. Also a consistent 5 year discrepancy in other dates too,
        Maybe an issue with dating of Asokas consecration as the dates of Edicts are based on year after consecration eg 13th Major Rock Edict When king Devanampriya Priyadarsin had been anointed eight years, ….

        On Asoka and DevanamPiya being different Kings
        The identification of Devanampiya and Ashoka as the same person is established by the Maski and Gujarra minor edicts, which use both these terms for the king

        https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Maski&action=edit&section=2

        Its only the Srilankan chronicles that have put the date in the 1st millennium (the country that is the farthest from Lumbini).
        The Mahavamsa and other chronicles date the passing of the Buddha as 543 BC. This year has been used consistently for over 2500 years in Sri Lanka. All historical are dated, in the Year of the Buddha. 2020 AD is 2563 Buddist Era.

        According to Asoka Pillar in Lumbini the Buddha was BORN in 643. i.e. lived for 100 and died in 543 BC.
        https://whc.unesco.org/en/list/666/

        Sri Lanka maybe the furthest from Lumbini, but has been State sponsored Buddhist for over 2000 years. Chandragupta, Bimbisara, Asoka were part of day to day stories taught to children among the Sinhalese, even though forgotten in India.

        Just as much as the Ramayana and Mahabarata are part of the Indian ethos, the Mahavamsa is the core ethos of the Sinhalese and the land chosen by the Buddha.

        Of Note from Edicts Wiki
        i) Louis Renou called it “the great linguistical paradox of India” that the Sanskrit inscriptions appear later than Prakrit inscriptions, although Prakrit is considered as a descendant of the Sanskrit language.

        ii) Ashoka was probably the first Indian ruler to create stone inscriptions, and in doing so, he began an important Indian tradition of royal epigraphical inscriptions.[121] The earliest known stone inscriptions in Sanskrit are in the Brahmi script from the first century BCE

        1. @sbarrkum

          Neither the Ashoka Pillar or the Mahavamsa/Dipavamsa provide any dates in the Gregorian calendar. There is no such thing!!

          They provide only linearity in a limited context (King on throne x years after death of Buddha). These dates were synchronised with the help of Greek (Yavana) accounts that helped set the events wrt Gregorian calendar.

          The whole basis is the interpretation of William Jones of the word Sandracottos with Chandragupta Maurya. However the rest of Greek accounts do not describe any kind of Buddhist religion in either the king’s court or in the country. There are many Chandraguptas in Indian history – in the Gupta Dynasty and also the Maurya Dynasty.

          Even stranger is that the Greek accounts do not talk about Asoka or Piyadassi at all! Considering that the Greek acquaintance extended for 200 years after Alexander’s death, this is quite mystifying.

          https://sreenivasaraos.com/2012/09/07/why-is-the-year-of-alexanders-death-important-to-indian-history/

          1. Ugra
            Neither the Ashoka Pillar or the Mahavamsa/Dipavamsa provide any dates in the Gregorian calendar. There is no such thing!!

            They provide only linearity in a limited context (King on throne x years after death of Buddha). These dates were synchronised with the help of Greek (Yavana) accounts that helped set the events wrt Gregorian calendar.

            I assume you know how to convert Centigrade to Fahrenheit. Linear, and two anchor points give the conversion equation (because units are different,need two points).

            Its the same with Buddhist Calendar and Gregorian calendar convertable,
            a) with just one anchor point, because the unit of measure is the same
            b)continuous

            There are many anchor points, i.e. events dated by both Gregorian and Buddhist Calendar to cross check.

            Note that the Buddhist Calendar has been used continuously to this date, in the Buddhist Theravada countries, like Myanmar and Thailand. Every date is based on the Buddhist Calendar, i.e. number of years after the death of the Buddha. In Sri Lanka the Mahavamsa or Rock inscriptions are incribed along the lines “In the year 1020 of the Buddha, King so and so built this reservoir Y”

            It was in India that there wasnt a consistent system. i.e. inscriptions by a King would refer to the number of years SINCE HIS coronation.

            There are many Chandraguptas in Indian history – in the Gupta Dynasty and also the Maurya Dynasty.

            I think that the major Indian empire in 3rd century BC was that of Chandragupta II of the Gupta dynasty.

            No issue of thinking above. If you use Indian sources and their inconsistent date system, can come up with any answer.

          2. @sbarrkum

            Your use of Celsius/Kevin as an example is revealing because you seem to think there is some sort of “absolute zero” beyond which historical events cannot plunge.

            The Mahavamsa specifically indulges in this sort of cuckoo-land histrionics. It suffers so much from the convert’s zeal that it makes the grandiose claim that the date of Sinhala population of Ceylon coincides with the Buddha. Apparently the precursors of Sinhala left India exactly on the demise of the Buddha and reached Ceylon. Somewhat like every Muslim claiming to be a descendant of the Prophet.

            Many of William Jones contemporaries criticized the sheet anchor as lacking in basis, but Jones passed away within a year of his making teh connection. It is quite possible that he did not even know the existence of Chandragupta II (Vikramaditya)

          3. Ugra
            Your use of Celsius/Kevin as an example is revealing because you seem to think there is some sort of “absolute zero” beyond which historical events cannot plunge.

            First, I did not mention Kelvin, just Fahrenheit and Celsius.

            I see you dont even understand O/Level science of units of measure. The choice of “zero” in different systems is a matter of using a verifiable “anchor” point.

            Herein begins a basic Science Lesson.
            The Zero in Celsius is the temperature at which water freezes at standard pressure. Similarly, a Kilogram is the weight of 1 liter of Water (@STP). A liter is 1 cubic decimeter i.e. 10cm x 10cm x 10cm.
            Freezing point of water in the Fahrenheit scale/measure is 32F @STP. You can look up how the Farenheit Zero was defined.

            There is an absolute zero beyond which human historical events cannot plunge, i.e when homo sapiens evolved. I am not going to confuse you with Kelvin measure.

            The Mahavamsa specifically indulges in this sort of cuckoo-land histrionics. It suffers so much from the convert’s zeal that it makes the grandiose claim that the date of Sinhala population of Ceylon coincides with the Buddha. Apparently the precursors of Sinhala left India exactly on the demise of the Buddha and reached Ceylon. Somewhat like every Muslim claiming to be a descendant of the Prophet.

            Hmm, much like your knowledge of units of measure, you know very little about the Mahavamsa.

            a) There is no mention of “Sinhala” (or Arya) in the Mahavamsa, i.e. History upto approx 300AD. History from 300AD to present is the Culavamsa. I am not sure if Sinhala is not mentioned in Culavamsa. In the Culavamsa, clearly stated, the Arya are the other*.

            b) It was not Sinhala people, but Vijaya from Kalinga and 700 men who landed on the day of the Buddhas passing. I quite agree that the arrival on the day Buddha passed is quite fanciful.

            c) Mahavamsa, pretty clear that there was an existing Yaksha civilization when Vijaya landed. Many mentions of Vijayan dynasty sharing Kingship with the Yakshas. Also Nagas, by inference of names of Kings.

            d) Vijaya had children from Kuveni a Yaksha but discarded her. He and his men got down women from Pandyan (Pandu) women from Madurai.

            *Whole lot of issues re Aryans, Pandyans in the Mahavamsa are not considered Aryan. In the Culavamsa they are considered Aryans. Pandyans and Sinhalese seem to have been allies most of the time. A discussion for later.

            From the Mahavamsa: The coming of Vijaya
            Then did the king cause Vijaya and his followers, seven hundred men, to be shaven over half the head3 and put them on a ship and sent them forth upon the sea, and their wives and children also. The men, women, and children sent forth separately landed separately, each (company) upon an island, and they dwelt even there. The island where the children landed was called Naggadipa4 and the island where the women landed Mahiladipaka5

            But Vijaya landed at the haven called Suppäraka6, but being there in danger by reason of the violence of his followers be embarked again.

            The prince named VIJAYA, the valiant, landed in Lanka, in the region called Tambapanni on the day that the Tathagata lay down between the two twin like sala-trees to pass into nibbana.

            http://mahavamsa.org/mahavamsa/original-version/06-coming-vijaya/

        2. Sbarrkum,
          Yeah, the post by Mrintinjay is very well researched & argued. thats why i jumped into this debate.

          “i) Louis Renou called it “the great linguistical paradox of India” that the Sanskrit inscriptions appear later than Prakrit inscriptions, although Prakrit is considered as a descendant of the Sanskrit language.”
          I dont find this a paradox – i also find it a bit Sanskrit supremacist to claim Prakrits are descendants of Sanskrit. It could easily be argued that the various Prakrits and Sanskrit developed together from the Vedic cluster of languages. The meaning of the word Prakrit makes it clear that Prakrits are more organic than Sanskrit.
          Apart from that one can speculate quite reasonably that Sanskrit was never spoken & understood by more than minority – so public edicts would naturally be in Prakrits and Pali

          1. @ sbarrkum

            You do not seem to recognize the use of Mahavamsa to insinuate that history began on the island of Ceylon only with the arrival of Buddha/Buddhism. It was a political work 2500 years ago, it is political now. Its use to attest historical events is very faulty.

            The earliest Sinhala-Tamil riots in the 20th century began on this very issue!

          2. You do not seem to recognize the use of Mahavamsa to insinuate that history began on the island of Ceylon only with the arrival of Buddha/Buddhism. It was a political work 2500 years ago, it is political now. Its use to attest historical events is very faulty.

            The Mahavamsa never makes a claim or insinuation that history began with the arrival of Buddha or Buddhism. Buddhism arrived approx 300 years after the point of time where the Mahavamsa begins.

            The Mahavamsa is a chronological record of the Kings of Sri Lanka starting with the Vijayan Dynasty. It is also a record of Buddhism in Sri Lankan, and how Kings or invaders helped or destroyed the Buddhism and the monks.

            The earliest Sinhala-Tamil riots in the 20th century began on this very issue!

            How so, do you care to elaborate.

            Probably a comparison with the Mahabarath, Ramyana, Laws of Manu on the issues of womens rights and Hindu Muslim clashes might make the whole discussion “very interesting” may I say.

          3. I learnt about the riots in a different context and in a different time, not related to our current discussion. But I still remember how the Mahavamsa figured in it

            Ugra, you have given three links. I see the Mahavamsa mentioned often in the articles.
            What I dont see is the link between some text in the Mahavamsa and the riots.

            A little bit of advice, direct the reader to what you see or understand from your links. please give a little synopsis of articles. Add a quote or two emphasize the gist of what you see.

            eg
            Manusmiriti (Laws of Manu) are integral part of Indias philosophy and ethos. It is possible that these laws, are still relevant and translate into
            a) high incidence of child abuse
            b) High incidence of rape
            c) Discrimination against women

            From Laws of Manu Chapter 9
            3. Her father protects (her) in childhood, her husband protects (her) in youth, and her sons protect (her) in old age; a woman is never fit for independence.

            94. A man, aged thirty years, shall marry a maiden of twelve who pleases him, or a man of twenty-four a girl eight years of age; if (the performance of) his duties would (otherwise) be impeded, (he must marry) sooner.
            https://www.sacred-texts.com/hin/manu/manu09.htm

            Ugra, you type posts on riots are like my saying below without any references and text.

            The riots against the Muslims and destruction of their mosques are result of the Ramayana.

          4. If there is anything which Hindu liberals/trads have done over the years is to propagate to non Hindus, that Manusmtiti is some sort of a Bible of Hindus. That the book hardly anyone had heard about for better part of century and was “re-discovered” by the British in the 19th century tells a lot a about its importance

          5. yupp. agree with Saurav; closest thing to Bible/Quran has to be Gita not the Manusmriti.

            Though i wouldnt say Manusmriti / Arthashashtra and other dharmashashtras are that irrelevant. Though the texts were lost,the message was very much alive in the society. It can be argued as some Hindutva folk do – that these texts sprang up from the collective amalgamation of existing consensus on secular rules / varna / kingship etc as attested in Arthashashtra. I would say these texts were the result of formation of certain ideas with these texts carrying out their amplification/consolidation.

            This line of reasoning would also hold true for the Sramana traditions – for those who like to see them as separate from larger currents of Brahmanism – they also appear as mainstreaming of existing minor thoughts in the Upanishads & even later Vedas.

          6. I would argue its pointless to find any Koran or Bible in Hinduism. No single book, including Gita or any Dharmashatras has been
            read by even 10 percent of Hindus. In a funny way India’s Bible is Tuslidas’s Ramayana, since at least a plurality of Hindus have read it. But then again calling it as Bible is a bit like declaring Hindi as India’s national language.

          7. Yup. In addition respectful creative liberties taken with even Ramayana are celebrated by the masses – not opposed on pedantic and dogmatic points

      3. @Ugra
        https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kandahar_Bilingual_Rock_Inscription
        I think that this Inscription disproves the hypothesis that Ashoka only ruled the area of modern day U.P ,Bihar, Odisha, M.P and Andhra Pradesh. It (Kandahar Bilingual Rock Inscription) is considered to be the first rock Inscription of Ashoka and it is situated in Afghanistan. The wikipedia page also said that the greek text (it is in 2 languages) referred to Ashoka as ‘King Ashoka’ while the Aramaic text called him ‘Priyadarsin’ but when I looked at the source (https://archive.org/stream/in.gov.ignca.67068/67068#page/n125/mode/2up) I found that both the translations call him ‘Priyadarsin’

        1. Haha…sounds like a Wiki editor playing creator.

          BTW the significant difference in content and names between minor edicts/pillars and major edicts/pillars suggests they were done by different kings and in different eras.

          I think that the major Indian empire in 3rd century BC was that of Chandragupta II of the Gupta dynasty.

          1. How does it differ from what I said? Let me re-iterate….

            Major edicts/pillars do not use the name Asoka and they do not talk about the Buddha or his teachings. They are found as far away as Afghanistan.

            Minor edicts/pillars use the name Asoka (twice). They only talk about Buddha and a personal devotion. They are found in a limited geographical are confined well within India.

            And the lions on the pillars show a close aesthetic resemblance to similar art from 800 BC (Greek, Achaeminid, Assyrian). Definitely a big gap in the era!

          2. Ugra,

            Seems you dont read much and shoot from the hip.

            Please, read the book that Narasingha Deva referenced. It describes and gives the text of all minor and major edicts.

            Asokan studies, Sircar, D.C 1979
            https://archive.org/stream/in.gov.ignca.67068/67068#page/n65/mode/2up

            And the lions on the pillars show a close aesthetic resemblance to similar art from 800 BC (Greek, Achaeminid, Assyrian).

            I suggest you read up Greco Buddhist Art. One of the reasons why Sri Lankan Buddhist temples differ greatly with Hindu Temples. eg less ornate, less color, simple lines etc.

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greco-Buddhist_art

          3. @sbarrkum

            There is considerable research that disagrees with the notion of Asoka or Buddha being in the timelines, as what they are currently made out to be. Sarat Chandra Das, DS Triveda, Jinasena, Troyer etc.

            More recently, archaeology is suggesting that the Lumbini shrine is older than it is.
            https://www.nationalgeographic.com/news/2013/11/131125-buddha-birth-nepal-archaeology-science-lumbini-religion-history/

            You talk like a status quoist in the manner that all questions of history have been settled. The Indian Puranas, Buddhist Lore (Kalachakra Tantra) put Buddha in the Late 2nd Millennium BC and Early First Millennium BC.

            And the current dating is based on an anecdote, un-dateable stone inscriptions and a historically unreliable source that is 1500 kms away from the scene of action.

  20. Regarding Indians vs. Indian Americans, should the solution be to clearly delineate Indian vs. Indian American identity? Sometimes Indian is shorthand for Indian American colloquially if you’re among Americans (yes, just like for the others — Italian can be shorthand for Italian American, Mexican shorthand for Mexican American) when the contrast is clear but when the contrast isn’t, make it.

    It’s about time people engaged in this — after all, African Americans aren’t asked to speak about Africa as often in the same way (or people won’t explicitly do it as much, though pan-Africanism as a sentiment exists), and even Hispanic Americans, though recent immigrants too, seem to position their identity more about a homegrown one (they get interviewed more about say, social issues with the Hispanic American experience inside the US, not problems in Latin America).

    Part of the problem is Indian Americans (actually Asian Americans it seems) get asked to have their opinion on “their culture” which is implicitly then linked to Asians in Asia (don’t know if the fault lies in the reporter or reportee — who has a more vested interest in conflating Americans of a certain descent with those in the homeland?) much more than many other groups.

    And before people say “well, it’s because they tend to be first/second gen. immigrants”, I say, that’s not relevant (plus even groups that aren’t predominantly new immigrants like Jewish Americans get asked about Israel, which ancestrally they’ve long not had recent roots from time-wise, even if they visit recent), because as long as you are American you get to speak about your experiences/your lens the US, you can speak as a member of the diaspora too (which is valid, diasporans carrying some cultural elements or heritage abroad even if it has changed, or the homeland has changed, doesn’t mean they don’t still have diaspora identity), not from the perspective of the homelanders in the homeland.

    But we need to stop this lazy conflation of the diaspora and the homeland. Both voices are valid. But both voices aren’t interchangeable. If people understand that for African Americans and Africa, and Jewish Americans and Israel, they should for Indian Americans and India. Instead you get either Indian Americans talked about as if interchangeable with white Americans (or “general American culture”) or go whole hog with “Indian Americans are just like Indians in Indians and can comment on all the issues”. Neither extreme used to characterize *all* Indian Americans is insightful.

    1. I agree somewhat that “clearly delineate Indian vs. Indian American identity” would help. The thing is folks who would be votary to that aka woke Indian Americans like Jaypal, Khanna, Kaling etc themselves use their hyphenated identity to forward their professional life. Kaling didn’t harp much abt her Indian roots in her previous avatar because there was hardly any use of it in the pre “diversity” Hollywood era. A bit like how Harris doesn’t talk much abt Indian part since she can talk about her Black part.

      That;s the reason things like CAA, Kashmir are being forwarded ostentatiously by Indian americans in random places like Seatlle city council and all. Indian Americans don’t want to delineate because it helps them and since they dont have much authentice Indian american identity/experience to speak of. Its not like Indians in India and haranguing them to speak for India.

      1. A lot of the examples are politicians/public figures though.

        Politicians have always been like that, not just Indian American. Lots of American politicians love going to their old country of origin and showing off (Irish etc.) but are totally fine with saying they’re 100% real American. Using some aspect of their identity when it’s convenient and jettisoning it when it’s not. People put the spotlight on communities they know personally but lots of ethnic communities in minority/diaspora places are like this.

        On not delineating, you can act like you care about homeland issues as a diaspora member without saying you’re the voice of those in the homeland (and that is true no matter which side you’re on when it comes to “homeland” issues).

        I’m sure many Jewish Americans have an opinion on Israel, but they don’t purposefully conflate themselves with Israeli Jews. I’m sure many Chinese Singaporeans have an opinion on the country of China in the world, but they go out of their way to say they’re Singaporean Chinese not Chinese Chinese.

        Indian Americans can think of themselves as diasporans removed from but still interested in the homeland, or Americans with opinions (some may lobby, some may not care) on their ancestral lands but without claiming to be a voice of the people residing there, but may sympathize with one side or another.

        As an analogy, many African Americans cared a lot about apartheid south African and anti-colonial movements in Africa in the 20th century — they spoke about shared struggles against anti-black racism in distant far away countries from the US but that didn’t mean they were purposefully claiming or appropriating the experiences of Africans in Africans.

        And finally Indian Americans’ identity is whatever experiences, lifestyles, communities they have or live in stateside in the US, regardless of if they immigrated long ago or recently. That’s my view for any community — some communities start with colonization or conquest (old-stock Anglo-Americans, native Americans, African Americans), others through voluntary immigration (e.g. most Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans) but they are American (or insert any other minority community in a nation, though this is most relevant for new world ones) regardless of where they started.

        Once they landed in the US and make their home their, their history starts there (at an individual level, family level, community level of whatever), and people who are both their neighbours and those far off in their ancestral country should understand that.

  21. https://www.huffingtonpost.in/entry/the-right-wing-hindu-hypernationalist-politics-of-mani-ratnam-s-films_in_5f382534c5b69fa9e2fc3eef

    “The Right-Wing Hindu, Hypernationalist Politics of Mani Ratnam’s Films” ~ Dravidian vs Hindu

    “Spokesperson for Akhand Bharat

    While the question of caste has been completely absent throughout his filmography, the Dalit-Bahujans of Dharavi and the Adivasis of central India have been Hinduised. The Hindu-Muslim binary was evoked in Bombay (1995) but only to paint the Muslim as an aggressor. The Dravidian movement that championed federalism and the Left movement that brought the plight of workers to the fore have been caricatured, while ruthless capitalism has been romanticized.

    In his essay The Worst Thing About “Birth of a Nation” Is How Good It Is for The New Yorker, film critic Richard Brody writes about the dangers of problematic politics and how it is made effective by brilliant filmmaking. He argues that while DW Griffith’s film Birth of a Nation (1915) was repugnantly racist, it has become difficult almost impossible to ignore it for how it marries inventive cinema with shocking injustice. Add to the fact that the film also offers some humanly profound moments.

    But unlike DW Griffith or Leni Riefenstahl, Mani Ratnam chooses a much subtler approach, peddling a softer form of Hindutva.”

    1. I think it’s reasonable to say that Mani Ratnam’s trilogy of terrorism movies (Roja, Bombay & Dil Se) had a soft INC style Hindutva message. But at the same time I guess if you stretch Hindutva as a term or category far enough it begins to lose meaning or use.

      1. I am amused at the surprise of Left/Dravidian forces when they find Tam Brahms politics wrt to Hindutva. I mean considering the Dravidian politics wrt Hinduism and Brahmins, what did the Dravidians expect? Of course Mani Ratnam politics is what is expected. Dravidian in the streets, Hindutva in the sheets.

  22. The groundswell of anguish and anger in reaction to Sushant Singh Rajput’s death is unprecdeneted in its intensity and persistent attacks on nepotism (and by extension class priviliege). Another example of the masses rising up and asking for their due rights from the upper class priviliged who (in their view) have unfairly cornered all opportunities. It is also a revolt of the rooted against the deracinated. On the one hand India is becoming Westernized too fast (sex in every movie, live in relationships all over etc) but also at the same time becoming proud of its history, Dharmic ethos etc..
    Can you imagine any of the Kapoors, Bhatts etc being able to sing the words of this Bhajan, and so well?
    https://twitter.com/anjanaomkashyap/status/1294182415552753665

  23. We need some Sikh commentators here. I have been fascinated by the open alliance between Islamists, Paknationalists and extremist/Khalistani Sikhs for a while. To that has now been added the woke-liberals of the West for whom Muslim is a protected category now second only to trans gay Black women..
    Their (Khalistani Sikhs) rabid anti-India stances have now been supplemented with open Hinduphobia..Wonder what moderate Sikhs in India and the west think of all this.

    1. Sikhism is a religion built on dislike of Hinduism so I don’t know what you expect them to add to the conversation.

    2. I wish Sikh history had taken a different turn, Continued to identify as Hindus, and spread their influence throughout India, rather than becoming a Punjabi ethno-religion.

      Sikhi is of the unique among dharmic traditions for:
      1. Discouraging detachment from worldly affairs
      2. Khalsa

      1. as a ppl they have learned to forgive but not forget very well.
        they’re much more likely to hold emotions that appear contradictory with ease.

        Sikh community has tried its utmost best to get over the partition – hindus n muslims still are haunted by its ghosts. Sikhs have even digested 1984 to a certain extend and moved on with their lives.

        Something that always continues to astound me

      2. Too much is being asked of the sikh community. We Hindus haven;t been fair to them, and for a proper rapprochement, a honest conversation should have been initiated long back. Instead we throw words like Khalistani etc who tries to address the topic. Of course forces inimical to India will use them.

        The whole issue suffers from the standard Indian response to every issue. Keep silent and let the issue slide.

    3. @justanotherlurker @Sumit @Saurav

      “Wonder what moderate Sikhs in India and the west think of all this.”

      In my friends group, the person most favourably disposed to Hindutva is Sikh. The kinds who use ‘librandu’ without any qualms when with me.

      “I wish Sikh history had taken a different turn, Continued to identify as Hindus”,

      It doesn’t matter as long as there is reciprocity. I’d rather have ten other religions spring out of Hinduism. That’ll reflect some intellectual ferment.

      “and spread their influence throughout India, rather than becoming a Punjabi ethno-religion. Sikhi is of the unique among dharmic traditions for:
      1. Discouraging detachment from worldly affairs
      2. Khalsa”

      Agree with this. I wonder why they don’t do it. And instead of going out and proselytizing in the rest of the country, they are slowly ceding ground to Christian missionaries even in Punjab.

      “Too much is being asked of the sikh community. We Hindus haven;t been fair to them,”

      Both agree and disagree. Hindus treat them as they’d any other caste with Sikhs’ demographic. But more should be done considering the wounds from the past.

      “The whole issue suffers from the standard Indian response to every issue. Keep silent and let the issue slide.”

      I’ll use Saurav’s argument and say that there’s no political capital to be gained and so it’s not done. Need a real ‘leader’ to initiate something like this.

    4. I daresay the attitude of moderate Sikhs towards Khalistanis is the same as that of moderate Hindus towards RSS fanatics or of moderate Muslims towards Islamist fundamentalists.

      1. Onlooker:
        Interesting that you equate RSS with Khalistanis. In my mind RSS is the equivalent of your Akalis or SGPC although unlike SGPC RSS doesn’t have religious authority or control of temples.
        Can you elaborate on the position of moderate Sikhs? Also are you in India or the diaspora?

        Prats and Saurav:
        [n my friends group, the person most favourably disposed to Hindutva is Sikh. The kinds who use ‘librandu’ without any qualms when with me.]

        Interesting. What is his caste background? As in Khatri or Jatt or something else? I feel there is a strong caste angle to Sikh politics that gets hidden because any non-Hindu group is looked at as a monolith. Like there is caste/sect politics within Muslims in India but commentators tend to treat them as a single group.

        “I wish Sikh history had taken a different turn, Continued to identify as Hindus”,

        [Agree with this. I wonder why they don’t do it. And instead of going out and proselytizing in the rest of the country, they are slowly ceding ground to Christian missionaries even in Punjab.]
        Yes, this is quite interesting and disappointing. Sikhism of all Dharmic religions should /could be on the forefront of empowerment of lower caste/poor people but what we see in Punjab is rampant casteism and Jatt supremacy despite these types of things being what the vocal anti Hindu Sikhs use to beat Hindus with.

        [Both agree and disagree. Hindus treat them as they’d any other caste with Sikhs’ demographic. But more should be done considering the wounds from the past.]
        Curious, as to what you would propose be done? I feel for their legitimate grievances (1984 convictions etc) but a lot of is just grievance mongering and stems from insecurity of a Dharmic religion vs Hinduism and fear of being subsumed in a Hindu identity (legit concerns btw)

        [I’ll use Saurav’s argument and say that there’s no political capital to be gained and so it’s not done. Need a real ‘leader’ to initiate something like this.]
        I think someone like Amarinder with strong nationalist credentials plus Congress background (given the allergy of radical Sikhs to anyone associated with Hindus) would be a good candidate to bring out greater reconciliation. What if Amarinder were to start his own party and ally with the BJP? One very likely possibility is that he will lose a portion of the Sikh votes but might gain a lot of Hindu votes (and they are 45% of Punjab)

        1. JustanotherLurker

          ‘Interesting that you equate RSS with Khalistanis. In my mind RSS is the equivalent of your Akalis or SGPC although unlike SGPC RSS doesn’t have religious authority or control of temples.’
          It is an interesting subject and a useful starting point for comparison of sectarian attitudes. Hindu fundamentalism does not involve political separation the way Sikh and Muslim separatism does because it is not necessary.
          Muslim fundamentalism of course does not necessarily fall into the separatist category. The Muslim League was looking for Muslim political power, not Islamism. The Deobandis, by and large, were opposed to the partition of India, as was the founder of the Jamaat e Islami Maulana Maududi, who is said to have referred to our neighbouring country as ‘Palidistan’ when it was yet in the offing, and called Jinnah ‘Kafir e Azam’. Nowadays of course Muslim fundamentalists find sustenance from and often originate in Pakistan, but Deoband in UP has, till now, stayed away.
          Sikh fundamentalism is different from Sikh extremism, which is allied to the concept of a Sikh nation, earlier referred to as Sikhistan and later Khalistan. Sikhistan emerged briefly during the Partition era, and died out, as the Akalis merged into the Congress with whom they had allied during the freedom movement. The Akalis revived their organization for the 1957 elections and played a strongly communal role thereafter. That is a whole separate story and need not concern us here, because it involves an extended discussion of communal Punjabi Hinduism in the form of the Arya Samaj.
          What does concern this discussion is whether the Akalis are the equivalent of the RSS. I think not. Hindu communalism wears the garb of nationalism. The RSS can manifest both fundamentalism and extremism as shown by its offshoots manifested in the likes of Togadia and the various Sadhvis whose views are dressed in saffron to identify them with the national interest. The Akalis are quite happy to be left alone to fatten off Gurdwara funds. The Khalistanis did not emanate from the Akalis, they were forced on them, by the Congress when it lost power. Kapur Singh ICS, founder of the Khalistani sentiment, Gurtej Singh IAS one of its ideologues and Bhindrawale himself were never Akalis. The Akali Dal can be charged with pusillanimity before the Khalistani extremists, not of giving them birth. We see a similar pusillanimity in the Congress whose leaders have taken to competing with the BJP in religiosity. Let us remember that neither Patel nor Rajendra Prasad sported tikkas in public.
          The RSS ideology is not secessionist because it does not need to be. It has a nation, and it has taken control, except for some States, but that does not mean it is any the less rabid than the extremist Khalistanis. Muslim fundamentalists have taken control of Pakistan. Sikh extremists would like to take control of a Sikh territory as well.

          It is unlikely that Sikhism could have spread over India. It could not even spread over Punjab, for reasons which can be discussed separately.
          Incidentally, the Akali Dal has no religious authority. That comes from control of the Akal Takht which is located within the Golden Temple. The Akalis control the Gurdwaras through elections. For a long time Congress tried to defeat them. The courts have now ruled that non Khalsa Sikhs may now vote for gurdwara management, and it is just possible that the Akalis may lose control some day of the Gurdwaras of Punjab which they control.

        2. JustanotherLurker

          ‘Interesting that you equate RSS with Khalistanis. In my mind RSS is the equivalent of your Akalis or SGPC although unlike SGPC RSS doesn’t have religious authority or control of temples.’
          It is an interesting subject and a useful starting point for comparison of sectarian attitudes. Hindu fundamentalism does not involve political separation the way Sikh and Muslim separatism does because it is not necessary.
          Muslim fundamentalism of course does not necessarily fall into the separatist category. The Muslim League was looking for Muslim political power, not Islamism. The Deobandis, by and large, were opposed to the partition of India, as was the founder of the Jamaat e Islami Maulana Maududi, who is said to have referred to our neighbouring country as ‘Palidistan’ when it was yet in the offing, and called Jinnah ‘Kafir e Azam’. Nowadays of course Muslim fundamentalists find sustenance from and often originate in Pakistan, but Deoband in UP has, till now, stayed away.
          Sikh fundamentalism is different from Sikh extremism, which is allied to the concept of a Sikh nation, earlier referred to as Sikhistan and later Khalistan. Sikhistan emerged briefly during the Partition era, and died out, as the Akalis merged into the Congress with whom they had allied during the freedom movement. The Akalis revived their organization for the 1957 elections and played a strongly communal role thereafter. That is a whole separate story and need not concern us here, because it involves an extended discussion of communal Punjabi Hinduism in the form of the Arya Samaj.
          What does concern this discussion is whether the Akalis are the equivalent of the RSS. I think not. Hindu communalism wears the garb of nationalism. The RSS can manifest both fundamentalism and extremism as shown by its offshoots manifested in the likes of Togadia and the various Sadhvis whose views are dressed in saffron to identify them with the national interest. The Akalis are quite happy to be left alone to fatten off Gurdwara funds. The Khalistanis did not emanate from the Akalis, they were forced on them, by the Congress when it lost power. Kapur Singh ICS, founder of the Khalistani sentiment, Gurtej Singh IAS one of its ideologues and Bhindrawale himself were never Akalis. The Akali Dal can be charged with pusillanimity before the Khalistani extremists, not of giving them birth. We see a similar pusillanimity in the Congress whose leaders have taken to competing with the BJP in religiosity. Let us remember that neither Patel nor Rajendra Prasad sported tikkas in public.
          The RSS ideology is not secessionist because it does not need to be. It has a nation, and it has taken control, except for some States, but that does not mean it is any the less rabid than the extremist Khalistanis. Muslim fundamentalists have taken control of Pakistan. Sikh extremists would like to take control of a Sikh territory as well.

          It is unlikely that Sikhism could have spread over India. It could not even spread over Punjab, for reasons which can be discussed separately.
          Incidentally, the Akali Dal has no religious authority. That comes from control of the Akal Takht which is located within the Golden Temple. The Akalis control the Gurdwaras through elections. For a long time Congress tried to defeat them. The courts have now ruled that non Khalsa Sikhs may now vote for gurdwara management, and it is just possible that the Akalis may lose control some day of the Gurdwaras of Punjab which they control.

          1. @Onlooker
            “It is unlikely that Sikhism could have spread over India. It could not even spread over Punjab, for reasons which can be discussed separately.”

            I would be really curious to know what you think are the reasons behind this.

          2. “Sikhistan emerged briefly during the Partition era, and died out, as the Akalis merged into the Congress”
            I want to know more about this “Sikhistan” as I haven’t heard anything about it before.

  24. On another forum I saw claims that Turks are responsible for every dairy based product in Central Asia. This includes the mast, mast o khiar, doogh, chakka, sarshir, lighvan panir consumed by Iranians and Afghans. The leben, labneh, ashta/geimar, shanklish cheese, halloubi and nabulsi cheese consumed by Arabs. As well as the dahi, chakka, doodh na puff/dalut ki chaat consumed in India. Is there any evidence they invented any of those products? Or is is just typical Turkish trolling? Did they invent anything in NWFP cuisine like the rice style (cooked with meat stock and cumin) or naan?

      1. My mom had once said that she used bananas to make malpua. I dont know if that is popular or just a regional recipe.

        1. Looks regional. The basic recipe has remained unchanged. Barley was used in Vedic times, now its mostly wheat.
          Also Honey was used as sweetener then instead of sugar.

          1. @NM

            Honey was the usual sweetener rather than sugar until recent times almost everywhere in the world. Sugar was not so cheep until recent times.

      2. For some reason ghee is attributed to the NE of the subcontinent (Sino-TIbetans?), Is there any truth for that?

    1. he leben, labneh, ashta/geimar, shanklish cheese, halloubi and nabulsi cheese consumed by Arabs. As well as the dahi, chakka, doodh na puff/dalut ki chaat consumed in India. Is there any evidence they invented any of those products?

      Here is a time line…

      https://books.google.ca/books?id=7LYHFGLJQNQC&lpg=PA6&pg=PA5#v=onepage&q&f=false

      Basically Indian Dahi, Chaas, etc predates Turkish mentions by a few thousand years.

      Antiquity in India seems slightly exaggerated, but even so. It is well before 800 AD, which is the date given for turkey.

      But the word “yogurt” in the english language comes from Turkish. That combined with Turkish and Greek nationalistic sentiment is causing confusion.

      1. I am confused by the list in that book. In 800 AD what it now Turkey was Byzantine Empire (and Abbasid Caliphate in the eastern territories). Are they referring to the Central Asian Turks during that time? But yogurt (or whatever names it was called in ancient times) is surely much older than 800 AD, that is why its origins are so obscure and debated.

        Also, kefir origins have nothing to do with China or anywhere nearby.

        1. Wikipedia says kefir originated in the North Caucasus or a neighboring region. So it is a Georgian or Russian thing?

          What about doogh/ayran? And Persian sarshir or Arab geimar/ashta?

          Also I agree. Yogurt is definitely older than 800 AD. It probably dates to the Neolithic. I also think it was invented by Turks but also by other people. It wouldn’t surprise me if like butter it was invented two, three, four , five, six times.

          1. @Paul A

            Yes, kefir is a Caucasus thing, it was not produced anywhere else until its popularization in recent centuries.

            The other products you mention have older and more obscure origins.

      2. Would you say raita, rabri, ras malai, ghee, chakka are all indigenous to the North of the subcontinent?

        What about Parsi doodh na puff or makha malai?

        1. @Paul A

          The Aryan culture was surely very dairy-focused, but I do not know where exactly each of those products you mention originated.

          1. Thanks.

            Also interesting about kefir. I assumed it was Turkish.

            Yogurt imo was invented multiple times for sure. At least twice (by Turks and West Asians independently). it wouldn’t surprise me its even more than twice. Turks have their own word for it. Arabs call it leben, Persians mast, Indians dahi, greeks had something similar too with a different name.

          2. @Paul A

            The popularization of kefir in Turkey is even more recent, only in the last 20 or 30 years or so. 🙂 But even today it is not consumed much, yogurt and ayran are consumed a lot more. Also, almost no one produces kefir at home in Turkey except people with recent Caucasus immigrant origin while yogurt and especially ayran are still produced a lot at homes despite their widespread sale in the markets.

          3. I’ve never tried kefir despite seeing it in supermarkets. Is is good?

            On a related note does anybody know which part of South Asia eggplants, cucumbers, mangos are native to? Are they a SE Asian import?

            Also basmati rice is supposedly a hybrid of japonica rice as well as aus rice. How did each of those get to South Asia? Are they native? Did they come through trade or human migrations? Sino-Tibetans and Austroasiatics in South Asia aren’t really big rice cultivators.

          4. @Paul A

            I have tasted kefir a few times, have never been a fan of it. When we have milk and ayran, I do not feel a need for another dairy drink, much less a betwixt and between one like kefir.

          5. Paul A: Kefir tastes like any other milk-based drink. It’s a better option than milkshakes, not as good as lassi.

  25. “I don’t believe Safiyya’s tribe (Banu Nadir) was massacred at the Battle of Khaybar, that was mostly a succession of siege warfare and I don’t recall it resulting in many casualties.”
    Ali,
    Since you are being pedantic, here are the full details. Safiyya’s father and head of banu nadir, Huyayy had been executed by Muhammad 2 years earlier during the events that unfolded after the battle of the tench. Safiyya’s mothers tribe, banu qurayza was completely annihilated by muhammad in this earlier conflict. All the adult males of banu qurayza, numbering about 800-900, were beheaded, and women and children were sold into sexual slavery.

    two years later, during the battle of khaybar, safiyya’s husband Kinana was killed. (he was actually tortured to death in front of muhammad for refusing to reveal some hidden treasure. some compassionate acts from a man of god!). banu nadir wasn’t completely destroyed like banu qurayza, but it was totally subjugated, forced to give up women to muahmmad, and made to pay annual tribute. safiyya was a spoil of war during this conflict. now, can any sane person think she had any power to refuse muhammad in her situation?

    anyway, these are just details, and getting bogged down in details misses the larger point. after all, muhammad’s acts were par for the course for any average medieval warlord. the larger point is, we don’t venerate any average medieval warlord as a messenger of god and create a religion around them. for an outsider, following a religion centered on muhammad is as ludicrous as following a religion centered on julius caesar or napoleon bonaparte.

    i dont doubt the sincerity of muslims and their faith in the exemplary character of their prophet. faith is a funny thing. when you have faith in something or some person, the brain automatically shut down any faculties that may question the faith. what i am telling you is how their faith is viewed from the outside.

    in fact, i suspect muhammad’s personality is what kept islam from completely submerging brahmanical heartland of ganga jamuna doab. this was a region dominated by hindu upper castes with fair amount of literacy. it may be one thing to sway the rustic jatts of punjab or the illiterate peasants of bengal delta, but totally different ball game to convert brahhmins and other literate castes who would question muhammad’s conduct before falling for him.

    in fact, if hinudus were to be forced to abandon the religion of their forefathers, they would rather go for christianity than islam. much less is known about the life of jesus, but at least whatever is known is pretty clean.

    so here is my (tongue-in-cheek) advice for the pakistani bros in this forum. for the sake of peace in the subcontinent, they should consider converting en-masse to christianity. that way they will be able to keep their goddamn monotheism and their otherness from hindus, and will not be on the defensive over the conduct of their prophet.

    1. @Scorpion Eater

      Just out of curiosity. What is the thing that discomforts you so much about Pakistani Muslims being defensive about their prophet? Does it offend or threaten you as an Indian Hindu, does it make Pakistani Muslims more aggressive towards you and your people? Would they be more peaceful according to you had they been Christian or converted en masse to Christianity today? Just curious.

      1. @onur

        Maybe this may help:

        1) Christian prophet actually was a nicer character than muhammad. Someone you could have a beer with.

        2) There are more similarities in the Hindu revelation (cf Bhagavad Gita) and the Christian one, than with Islam. Krishna is closer to Christ. More palatable.

        3) Christians seem like more civilised people. Indians learnt maths from English and taught maths to the Arabs. Why would you want to convert to the religion of the technologically inferior culture?

        4) While Hindu RW hates both Christian and Muslim proselytism, I think latter religion has a longer history of strife in India

        1. Adding some points:

          5) Christian missionaries, whatever their motives, have contributed a great deal to society in general by building schools, colleges, and hospitals. This has created goodwill even among folks who are not particularly well disposed to Christianity.

          6) Christians are also willing to meet Indians mid-way. You don’t need to change your name or your general way of living, or learn a new language. So it’s not seen as cultural colonization to the same extent as adopting Islam and miming Arabs.

          An attempt to Indianize Christianity:
          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Krista_Purana

        2. ) Christians seem like more civilised people. Indians learnt maths from English and taught maths to the Arabs. Why would you want to convert to the religion of the technologically inferior culture?

          most were not arabs. This is also pig ignorant & stupid.

          A kabirworthy comment. Are you an English grad?

          1. Lol @ Razib
            I was paraphrasing how the average Hindutva person would respond. It seems like I was successful 🙂

            PS: I am not an English grad.

            PPS: Onur relax. These are not my own views but the sort of reasons Hindu RW chaps are likely to provide (and I was being a little tongue-in-cheek).

    2. @Scorpion Eater
      I am not sure how correcting your assertion that the Prophet massacred Banu Nadir counts as being pedantic. Also you prefer to rely on sources which are most supportive of your negative view of the Prophet and Islam and leave out details which either give context or contradict the negative view. The Prophet was not in the business of wholesale massacre. While many warriors of Banu Qurayza were given a heavy punishment for breaking their mutual defence treaty, some were pardoned and allowed to go into exile. Also why you are surprised Banu Nadir was punished afterwards? They laid siege to Medina with the Meccans at the Battle of the Trench which would have resulted in the annihilation of the Muslims if it had succeeded. You make it sound like the Prophet was Genghis Khan sitting on a throne depopulating Arabia left, right and centre. Up until the last five years of his lifetime after receiving divine revelation, the Muslims were only one defeat away from extinction.

      I doubt the Brahmins of medieval India had much awareness of Islamic history, they were likely not interested in anything foreign. They were at the top of the food chain in their own religion, that was reason enough for them not to give any consideration to conversion. The illiterate Bengalis and Jatts were much, much further down so the egalitarianism of Islam and lack of Brahmins and other upper caste Hindus offered a major upgrade.

      Also the divinity of Christ is a major no-no, plus we have already been circumcised so it would be Judaism for us.

      1. Are there records that show (lots of) lower castes converted to Islam for its egalitarianism? Or is it just something leftist-historians (Irfan Habib, Romila Thapar) and Islam/Pak-apologists make up like Ayesha Jalal’s convenient ‘theories’? I don’t see anyone converting out of a caste easily/voluntarily (except in areas of aggressive, money-lead Christian missionary activity) despite grave (but not as grave as shown on TV) abuses. I ask because Indian Islam is not egalitarian like it is portrayed at all, there are caste-based marriages, caste-hierarchies etc.

        Also just a humble suggestion to both parties: lets not discuss the prophet, it won’t end well. Let it slide, why make enemies when we can have friends?

      2. “You make it sound like the Prophet was Genghis Khan sitting on a throne depopulating Arabia left, right and centre.”

        Ali. you are right here. muhammad was of a much more moderate temperament than chinggis khan. his career of warfare of much less bloody than that of chinggis khan. i would probably shit my pants just looking into chinggis khan’s eyes. with muhammad i could do business with. just recite the kalima, agree to pay 20% of my war booty to him, and i am in. (i would pass on the offer to keep sex slaves though).

        there is a subtlety here though. muhammad was conquering arabia, which was his homeland. he needed military labor of arab bedouins for his upcoming campaign against byzantine empire. i know that conquest of mecca was fairly peaceful. but then, mecca was the city of the quraysh, the kith and kin of muhammd. he couldnt have survived in power for a day after massacring quraysh.

        even chinggis was quite restrained when he was subjugating the nomadic tribes of mongolia. after all he was building his armies with these defeated tribes. his full fury erupted only when he descended on china and khwarazm and started exterminating people like pests.

        and i am not going by any sources inimical to islam. in fact, the entire life story of muhammad comes to us solely from islamic sources, for the simple reason that he was largely unknown outside of arabia in his lifetime.

      3. @Ali

        Also the divinity of Christ is a major no-no, plus we have already been circumcised so it would be Judaism for us.

        I think the main factors making a community resistant to conversion to a specific religion or denomination (take note of the stress on the word “specific”) are basic and material things like dietary habits, lifestyle and subsistence that have relevance to that specific religion rather than theological and abstract subjects. For instance, I have read that one of the Christian denominations (Orthodoxy or Nestorianism, I do not recall which one) prohibits consuming horse meat and other horse products and had failures spreading in the Eurasian steppe because of this. I also have read that, conversely, the Russians resisted to converting to Islam because of their alcohol drinking habits. Of course, the Pakistani Sunnis living in Pakistan or another Sunni-majority country will be more resistant to conversions to any other religion or denomination than those living elsewhere on average, regardless of the similarities of that religion or denomination to Sunni Islam. Of course, that is different from the issue of resistance to specific religions or denominations.

    3. @Scorpion Eater
      ” All the adult males of banu qurayza, numbering about 800-900, were beheaded, and women and children were sold into sexual slavery.”

      Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: (from his view point)
      *’I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had not were not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair’*(Abi Dawud 4404)

      **This Hadith doesn’t necessarily mention that Prophet Muhammad killed them**

      *Narrated Abu Said:
      **’The people of Quraiza agreed upon to accept the verdict of Saad bin Muadh.** The Prophet sent for him (Saad) and he came. The Prophet said (to those people), “Get up for your chief or the best among you!” Saad sat beside the Prophet and the Prophet said (to him), **”These people have agreed to accept your verdict.” Saad said, “So I give my judgment that their warriors should be killed and their women and children should be taken as captives.”** The Prophet said, “You have judged according to the King’s (Allah’s) judgment.”’(Bukhari 4121&6262)*

      Very details can be known from Abu Said’s narration. No other Hadiths TMK give this much details about the incident of Banu Quraiza. So I am preferring this Hadith over other Hadiths. This is may be because Abu Said himself may have witnessed the incident. According to his narration, **the order of execution was given by Sa’d bin Muaz & the tribe of Quraiza agreed with this verdict.** Males who didn’t reach puberty were not executed. It specifically mentions that **warriors were sentenced to death**. I haven’t yet found any Hadith which says about the number of men executed. Different historic sources give different numbers of men executed. The number varies from 40 to 700.

      * But according to this narration, ** Muhammad neither ordered the execution of those Jewish men nor he killed them personally**

      I would say, from a neutral perspective, Muhammad’s marriages were mainly for political reasons and for spreading Islam and not for his personal lust. The 1st woman,Khadiza, he married was an elderly woman who was divorced several times.

      But critics might be right about the child-marriage part though i think he married Ayesha to strengthen relationship with Abu Bakr.

      Muhammad forgave many of his worst enemies and there is absolutely no evidence that he ever took part in rape.

      He was definitely not genocidal. He always tried to avoid conflicts as much as possible.

      Based on historic sources, he had a nice,polite,brave and charismatic personality.

      If you want to know about any religion, you should know it from sources of that religion and not from sources that are entirely dedicated against the religion.

      You are free to disagree with me.

  26. Ayran is like doogh right? What’s the origin of that?

    I also wonder if there is a connection between cacik, mast o khiar and raita?

    1. @Paul A

      Do not know the origin of ayran and dough since they are very old, but they are pretty much the same drink.

      Cacik and similar products seem to have Greater Iran origins, at least in their case there are more clues about origins.

  27. “Christian prophet actually was a nicer character than muhammad. Someone you could have a beer with.”

    totally agree slapstick. jesus probably preferred wine, and i am a scotch person myself, but beer is a nice middle ground. muhammad’s tight ass views on alcohol makes it additionally difficult to deal with him.

    this brings up my another observation on islam. islam is largely a packaging of muhammad’s tastes and distastes. muhammad didn’t like alcohol, so there is a total ban on it. he liked sex, so islam has dollops of it.

  28. That christianity has been tempered by economics, powers of the state and greco roman heritage is used as a positive for christianity itself. This is foolish. I do not consider jesus to be a peace loving person, I see him as a schizophrenic person who was bigoted, “He called a pagan women as bitch, as she was looking for medicine for her kids, only after she calls him master, he considered so”. There are various statements he makes that seem to suggest, his view was political . Fact is, He was executed by romans, that forced a dialectical concession from chrisitans. They now had to explain away as to how was it that their supposed God got killed by mortals. And one of the reasons for why jews reject him as messiah is that he did not win as kings are supposed to. So the marketing explanation was that he died for others sins. As he says himself, he is not here for peace but to bring sword, and in that context he says, to bring division in families and society.And in other contexts violence is implied, Etc. Not much interested in this except to say there is much ambiguity. What is absolutely clear is that the bigotry he unleashed upon the world caused deaths of millions, whole countries conquered etc. What christians tell about themselves is more a case of marketing than truth.

    Had muhammad been born into roman empire, I would assume he and his followers too would have been tempered by the same. There is much of greco roman heritage and traits present in western Christianity , much of tribalism of arabia present in Islam. And a very large part of why Christianity is different is just down to these quotes of paul. It is a far more Machiavellian religion than Islam is.

    ” Though I am free of obligation to anyone, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the Law I became like one under the Law (though I myself am not under the Law), to win those under the Law. To those without the Law I became like one without the Law (though I am not outside the law of God but am under the law of Christ), to win those without the Law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men, so that by all possible means I might save some of them.I do all this for the sake of the gospel, so that I may share in its blessings.

    Run Your Race to Win
    Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? Run in such a way as to take the prize. Everyone who competes in the games trains with strict discipline. They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable. ”

    “They do it for a crown that is perishable, but we do it for a crown that is imperishable.”

  29. Clearly these idiots never read the bible.
    Jesus is not your Buddha or jain monk or a peacenik hippie. He was a bigot.

    But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a large millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. ”
    Christian violence did not come out of nowhere but from jesus the guy himself. To use a phrase of slapstick, it was the roman plumbing that managed the sewer . Arabs polytheists were not so good at this plumbing. .

  30. @Slapstik and Prats

    Thanks for your points. Muslims came to the Indian subcontinent with Greek science, philosophy and engineering and over time they also spread a sophisticated Persianized culture with advanced architecture, literature, arts and state administration in addition to the above. It was not one inferior culture conquering a superior one, rather, one advanced civilization conquering another advanced but politically fragmented civilization through military skills, but also partially Islamizing it over time through more sophisticated mechanisms made possible by the advanced culture. Do note that we are not talking about the modern Islamic world, but the times when the Islamic world had one of the most advanced civilizations in the world.

    Of course, none of these change the life story of the Islamic prophet and its differences from the life story of Jesus, or the differences between the content of the Quran and the Bible. But, it is not the content of the holy books of these religions or the life story of their central figures that are the main determiners of the structure of these religions and the civilization that take shape around them over the centuries. Otherwise they would be pretty static, homogeneous and less open to interaction with other civilizations and cultures. I think the Islamic civilization first lost its previous dynamism and then was gradually surpassed by the developing Western civilization because its urban centers and networks lost their independence and vitality in the face of the the growing political-religious alliance and its centralizing dynamics, which have nothing directly to do with the Quran or Muhammad. The Seljuk hegemony, Mongol invasion and hegemony, Mamluk hegemony and finally the Ottoman hegemony all served to increase the level of this centralization, which peaked in the 15th and 16th centuries and finally the Ottoman-ruled Islamic world exploded at the end of the 16th century and the beginning of the 17th century due to the over-centralization, over-taxation and overuse of resources and then a centuries-long disintegration followed, but it was a disintegration of a civilization, not just the central religious-bureaucratic elite, so was fatal for the Muslim world. But South Asia was not much affected by this process, so remained rich, civilized and productive until falling into the hands of the British thieves called the British East India Company. The succeeding British Raj was benevolent and positive for South Asia, but when it had come to power in the middle of the 19th century, the British East India Company thugs had already stolen the riches of South Asia and turned it into a backwater, it was too late for the Indian subcontinent.

    1. @Onur – whatever you wrote doesn’t square with the fact that Ijtihad was closed to Muslims by the 10th century.

      I haven’t read or seen a “Guns, Germs and Steel” theory for the subcontinent. But artillery, cavalry techniques and taxation innovation were some of the advancements introduced into the subcontinent.

      1. @Ugra

        Those theological matters are largely trivial. Besides, the ijtihad claim is exaggerated.

    2. It is a common misconception that Greek philosophy came to India with the Muslims. Philosophical contact between India and Greece extends at least to the time of Alexander’s invasion of Punjab, and indeed to earlier times between the Achaemenid intermediation when Indians and Greeks met each other at the Persian capital. Indian science benefitted from Greek astronomical knowledge well before the Muslim invasions. Some Greek philosophy is considered as influenced by Indian philosophers, particularly rhw Sceptics, and Pyrhonism from the Buddhist Nagarjuna and his Madhyamika doctrines. Indian influence on the Greeks is suspected in fact from the time of Pythagoras and through him on Plato.
      There have been contacts between India and West Asia well before the Muslims came into the picture. The idea that anything Persian or Greek came with Islam is a factoid.
      Muslims influence to North India affected architecture, language, music, dress and modes of cooking meat.

  31. Re dairy – the oldest cheese is not from Egypt than from Vincha.
    Also, Yavans were not Greeks than Serbs.

    1. Skyroot is fully enabled and seeded by ex ISRO employees. So not surprised to see them go directly to 4th stage engines.

      1. @Ugra
        Whats with the 4th stage engines and being seeded by ISRO people? One through three stages are solid rocket motors so I am guessing they would be some derivative of (the ancient) S125 from PSLV?

        btw I thought that upper stage engines have massive bells (diffuser). Why is the one in video so puny?They have 4 of these in upper stage so I am sure they don’t really care about the over/under expansion stuff. Not a rocket motor person but these would be very inefficient.

        Forgive and forget any inaccuracies/technical-loopholes in my questions and feel free to correct.

        1. The hot money/angel funding is all there in 4th stage engines only. Lower stages are all commodities with big ass propellant tanks that are designed for crude throwing power.

          Only Elon put back the engineering magic in lower stages by finding a way to recover them.

          These guys are no Elon and they also know there is no money in propellant tanks.

          Question is how long before a South Block babu wakes up and realises these guys are in MIRV territory? Straight to jail…

          On the other hand, they could be angling for ISRO contracts…..

          1. How is this related to MIRV?

            They are based out of Hyderabad so hopefully Babus will not have a clue what they are doing. One big reason IT companies grew was because they were in Bangalore, out of the Babu’s prying eyes. K T Rama Rao is on their side so there is some hope.

            Indian Civil services are a really overconfident bunch who think they can comment on and interfere in everything by virtue of passing a silly exam. I had considered sitting for it (being from UP) but I saw even India’s dull Academia >>> IAS/DGP/SP…

          2. @bhimrao

            A re-throttle-able upper stage is a requirement to stagger warhead release. And that’s what these guys have tested with the Raman engine. They must be knowing the consequences, so there must be some sort of official sanction required.

          3. I think Babus don’t understand so much, also with so many former ISRO people in their ranks it would be reassuring for the government. The only risk is proliferation (obviously these guys don’t have any bomb so it is threatening only in some foreign power’s hands) and eventually Indian ITAR type rules will have to be made. This is the first time any Indian individual would have Bond villain tech.

  32. So I thought there would be more Kamala talk. So given she is explicitly on the ticket for her Blackness and her typical D views on India I am curious what Indian-American voters think?

    1. https://www.thequint.com/news/world/kamala-harris-black-american-woman-vice-president-joe-biden-trump-indian

      “Kamala Will Be a Black American VP, Stop Amplifying Her Indianness
      Kamala Harris and Her Race to the White House: While brown is attractive, America is about Black and White

      And, honestly, Black is how she largely projects herself. That’s politically savvy: historically, in America, it is Black that is the counterpoint in the race debate; brown and yellow are only sidelights. Brought up, by her own admission, with her sister as “proud Black women” Kamala absorbed her parents’ commitment to the civil rights movement, sang in a Black church choir, went to the historically Black Howard University in Washington DC and joined the country’s oldest Black sorority. When asked about her Black heritage, she said, “It affects everything about who I am.”

      If Biden wins, Harris will play an important role on India policy and will strongly espouse mainstream Democrat concerns; even Uncle Balachandran has said her human rights will come before her Indian origins. If we can wrap our head around that reality, we will not be disappointed the first time she makes a statement that we don’t like on human rights or civil rights or Kashmir. If we don’t throw a national party, we will not suffer a national heartbreak.”

      ~India’s ex Ambassador to US

  33. Couple things for new BP readers and for those interested to research further:

    • Vincha’s civilisation lasted for 2500 years spanning neolith, Coper and Iron Age
    • During the maximum of the Ice Age in Vincha (Balkan) lived 95% of the world population
    • White race originated in Vincha
    • From 14k-6k BC was the global melting of ice forming Manyinsko lake in Siberia which was two times bigger than Mediterranean.
    • 5700-5500 BC was the last (biblical) flood when the size of 200 Niagaras flooded Black Sea which in one year doubled and its level raised for 120m. Since this flood starts Serbian counting of time in Vincha and this calendar was used until the 19th c.AC (now is Year 7529)
    • European genes are maximum 6000 years old, Balkan genes are 25000+ years old what is consistent with human migrations from Vincha in all directions which started in 4000BC

      1. That guy is refreshingly honest. Saw a speech by him.

        “Musalmanon ki maujudgi hindustan mein hazaar saal se zyada se hai. In hazaar saalon mein humne ilm mein kya izaafa kiya hai?”

        (Muslims have been present in India for more than a thousand years. In this thousand years, what have we contributed to knowledge?)

        I wish more people from all communities asked this question.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG75RaZORxU

      1. Just like there exists a real world Hinduism and BP commentators world of Hinduism, similarly there exists real world cutting edge military technology, and then a make belief “superior” military technology of HAL

      2. If HAL is ever privatized ( i wouldn’t put my money on it though) , at least it will produce something worthwhile from the bucket loads of contracts and subsidies it gets from the Govt. And if its really as good a product and all fault lies in Indian military, then some 3rd country (and yeah Vietnam,Philippines doesn’t count) will line up to buy what they built.

        1. Did Vietnam and Philippines ever buy anything from us?
          Vietnam is buying puny coast guard ships from L&T because we gave them money to do it but I don’t think they will ever spend their own cash on us.

    1. This is the one thing about India that boggles my mind. Like they really live in a bubble and don’t have an honest understanding of how far behind they are in some areas.

      There is a reason the Indian Navy doesn’t want the HAL built copter – because it sucks! It just flat out sucks. Engine hours, reliability, etc are all key factors that make a huge difference. Most products HAL makes are Russian copies made even shittier domestically and with lower quality control. Privatize the whole sector and introduce competition. Most importantly understand iteration and improvement on a platform over time.

      On a related note. Between China, India, and Pakistan, I would argue Pakistan has the best Air Force. F-16’s with AMRAAM missiles are way better than anything China and India are producing which is basically copies of old Russian junk. Rafale is the only real hope. Whatever you do please don’t make them in India and please order 200 of these mfers if you want to have any hope of fighting China and Pakistan at the same time.

      If you wanna have a real laugh, check out the Aircraft carrier Baku we bought from russia and the cost overruns. We ended up getting a shitty 40 old carrier for 5 times the price.

      1. Largely agree but “5 times the price” is not factually true.

        In the end everything boils down to money. We are a desperately poor country, really can’t afford 200 fancy jets.

        1. Well we could still afford more if IAF would just want Rafaele. No, they want Rafaele + also the older scrap which Russians have sold us. We want all goodies of all worlds, as if we are going to fight WW3 or something.

          1. I think that is to appease Russians, and it is a bribe worth paying. We have been ‘negotiating’ to buy their small helicopter for the past 5 years so that in every year’s Indian PM-Putin meeting there is some ‘weight’.

          2. I used to believe that. But frankly the S-500 deal shows that we do not need to buy older crap from them. That deal it enough to humor the Russians, it not like they will use their veto for us in UN against China.

            But the recent visit of Rajnath showed apart from humoring them, IAF/HAL genuinely wants those Russian stuff.

          3. I think you meant S-400 because they will offer us S-500 around 2035. Russians suck at fighter planes(when pitted against West) so they put a lot of energy into AAMs. It is like Ford making excellent trucks because no one buys their horrid sedans. Other than nuclear submarine and AAMs they have nothing else that is world-beating. We are already buying both of these items.

            HAL wants it because Nashik line will close down, they want to keep doing screw-driver assembly. IAF wants them as replacements for the large number of Russian planes that have crashed and no new procurement in sight. What I really hate about all this is the ’emergency procurement’. IAF is perpetually in emergency mode or siesta.

    1. More info on a similar case

      https://www.livemint.com/Politics/nhjt6MOGlMa6rA5PlxM29K/A-Rajas-43year-battle-to-reclaim-ancestral-property.html

      ” In fact, the ruling party’s defence in Rajya Sabha during the debate for the passing of the bill centred mostly around the Raja’s case, with it being said that the former Raja, “who threw his weight behind the idea of a separate Muslim nation” sent his wife and son “back to become Indian citizens and claim Indian property”. Finance minister Jaitley also said that the Raja’s family had lost the title to the properties in 1965 so the question of inheriting these does not arise.

      However, none of these cases have been as high-profile as that of the Raja of Mahmudabad’s given his family legacy, the association with Jinnah and the sheer magnitude of the real estate at stake. The amendment to the Act, however, removes all ambiguity vis-à-vis ownership while attempting to create a different class of citizens, the children of enemies. “

  34. I’m really curious about the origin of these products in South Asia.

    cotton (where in India is it native to)
    sugarcane
    wild silk (was found in the IVC but the silkworms are more associated with SE Asia)
    Chicken (was it domesticated here? from which wild fowl?)
    Eggplant (where in India is it native to)
    cucumbers (same question as eggplants)
    mangos ( same question)
    basmati (how did japonica and aus rice get to India)
    ghee (is it Indo Aryan or Sino Tibetan)
    doodh na puff/dalut ki chaat (Turkish origins or is there something similar in Iran)
    tandoors (are they from mesopotmia or the IVC?)

  35. I’m really curious about the origin of these products in South Asia.

    cotton (where in India is it native to)
    sugarcane
    wild silk (was found in the IVC but the silkworms are more associated with SE Asia)
    Chicken (was it domesticated here? from which wild fowl?)
    Eggplant (where in India is it native to)
    cucumbers (same question as eggplants)
    mangos ( same question)
    basmati (how did japonica and aus rice get to India)
    ghee (is it Indo Aryan or Sino Tibetan)
    doodh na puff/dalut ki chaat (Turkish origins or is there something similar in Iran)
    tandoors (are they from mesopotmia or the IVC?)
    cashmere (are the goats from Tibet or the region from NE Iran to Kashmir)

    Unfortunately google doesn’t get more specific than India or even South Asia for some of these products or doesn’t say how they got there.

    1. The chicken we have are domesticated version of Red jungle fowl – still present in the wild in significant numbers. Once we assume we haven’t seen the roosters before they appear beautiful birds indeed.

      Tandoor doesn’t seem to be singular feature of IVC – could’ve easily be developed at multiple places.

      Ghee definately seems Indo Aryan from the Vedas – it’s called Ghrta in old Sanskrit unless I am mistaken.

      Japonica rice seems to have gotten to India with Munda rice farmers around 3000 yrs ago as per current understanding.

      Cotton seemed to be cultivated in IVC – for a plant that needs dryness Sindh Gujarat seems to be an intelligent guess.

      Mangoes Eggplant cucumber – I feel the data is weak to make any speculations.

      Sugarcane cultivation could be either Indian or SE asia – but its first attested in Ayurvedic literature around 500bce

    2. The chicken we have are domesticated version of Red jungle fowl – still present in the wild in significant numbers. Once we assume we haven’t seen the roosters before they appear beautiful birds indeed.
      Tandoor doesn’t seem to be singular feature of IVC – could’ve easily be developed at multiple places.
      Ghee definately seems Indo Aryan from the Vedas – it’s called Ghrta in old Sanskrit unless I am mistaken.
      Japonica rice seems to have gotten to India with Munda rice farmers around 3000 yrs ago as per current understanding.
      Cotton seemed to be cultivated in IVC – for a plant that needs dryness Sindh Gujarat seems to be an intelligent guess.
      Mangoes Eggplant cucumber – I feel the data is weak to make any speculations.
      Sugarcane cultivation could be either Indian or SE asia – but its first attested in Ayurvedic literature around 500bce

  36. Cotton could be native to Punjab or Maharashtra,
    It is now believed that the chicken is native to SE Asia not India. To me the Indian wild fowl looks sufficiently like a chicken.
    Hard to say about mangoes and aubergines. They are found all over the subcontinent. Different varieties fruit in different seasons. Ripe mangoes are available in South India when mangoes are yet to flower in Punjab.
    Basmati is a sub Himalyan species from North India. I doubt if its varietal history is available anywhere. There are other fragrant varieties different from Basmati.
    Tandoors are found in the IVC ruins. Whether they got there from Mesopotamia or the other way round is hard to say.
    The Pashmina goat is not from Kashmir. It is from Ladakh and Tibet. However the Ladakhis are not adept at cleaning and spinning its hair. That job is best done in Kashmir by Kashmiris. An inferior form of Cashmere is found in Mongolia which is from where the bulk of the world’s Cashmere comes through China. Kashmiri Pashmina (cashmere) is finer and therefore softer.
    Ghee is known to be Indian for millenia finding reference in the religious texts of the first millenia BC.

  37. Actually there was a paper arguing that japonica arrived through trade and Austroasiatics speakers would have farmed another type of rice.

    Rice cultivation existed in India before an Austroasiatic ever set foot in India.

    Trade via Central Asia is the most likely route. I’ll post the papers when I find them.

    It does seem the pashmina goat is from Ladakh although 80-90% of goats in Afghanistan and Northern Pakistan also produce good quality cashmere. Seems strange Kashmiris imported goats from Tibet instead of Afghanistan or Northern pakistan.

    Thanks for the info guys. Good to know not everything is asociated with Austroasaitcs or Tibetans.

    1. Kashmiris don’t import goats from Ladakh, they import the hair, which they clean, spin and weave. The pashmina goat grows the fine hairs only in winter at altitudes of 14000 feet. It is combed out in the spring. It would not grow in Kashmir’s milder winters.

  38. “In either case Proto-Munda agriculture was not particularly rice focused, indeed reconstructible rice vocabulary is meagre, but focused on tubers (including taro), millets (and it is unlcear if these are the Chinese or Indian millets originially), and pulses, water buffalo and maybe pig.”

    “Early rice agriculture in India has nothing to do with Munda, and was probably already well-underway when Proto-Speakers arrived. As I indicated, the most logical point of arrival for japonica rice into South Asia is via Central Asia trade, which gets going in a big way around 2000 BC, or shortly before. See also the evidence for the arrival of wheat in China: http://archaeobotanist.blogspot.com/2010/07/arrival-of-wheat-in-china.html

    http://archaeobotanist.blogspot.com/2010/07/dialog-on-rice-in-indian-cultural.html

  39. Regarding the dating of the Buddha and Maurya dynasty etc:

    The Jain Vir Nirvana Samvat beginning with nirvana of Mahavira began in 527 BC

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vira_Nirvana_Samvat#:~:text=The%20Vira%20Nirvana%20Samvat%20(era,is%20still%20used%20in%20India.

    “The Vira Nirvana Samvat (era) is a calendar era beginning on 7 October 527 BCE. It commemorates the Nirvana of Lord Mahaviraswami, the 24th Jain Tirthankara. This is one of the oldest system of chronological reckoning which is still used in India.”

    “The earliest text to mention 527 BCE as the year of Lord Vardhaman Mahavira’s Nirvana is Yati-Vrishabha’s Tiloya-Pannatti (5th century CE).[1][2] Subsequent works such as Jinasena’s Harivamśa (783 CE) mention the Vira Nirvana era, and give the difference between it and the Shaka era (beginning in 78 CE) as 603 years, 5 months & 8 Days.[3]”

  40. Also citrus seems to come from Assam. How ancient are Austroasiatic, TibetoBurmans and Indians in that region?

    1. Wrt genetic data we can’t say where they were. But when they mated with the steppe+IVC+aasi populations and that comes around 1000BCE onwards.
      These groups could’ve easily been present albeit isolated in the North East and East India and only mixed when populations on the fringes and in the core both simulateously expanded. But this seems Pure speculation

      1. I figure AASI and/or IVC_N would have already been in Assam given it is just the easternmost part of the Gangetic plains. Seems silly that those populations stopped expanding at a nonexistent border and allowing groups from SE Asia or Tibet to get there first. Both Austroasiatics and Tibetoburmans in Assam are about 3000-4000 years old, I assume there were IVC or AASI like people there before 2000-1000 BC.

        1. AASI must have been there for sure.

          About IVC presence, I remember Razib mentioning lack of climate adaptation of IVC people as reason that could have prevented them from migrating deeper earlier.

          1. Is AASI a purely East Eurasian component? I imagine ydna H1 and H3 were major lineages among AASI people and given the presence of ydna H2 in Neolithic Levant and Europe I assume there is some connection to the west even if very ancient.

            It doesn’t seem like all that much is native to the Indo-Gangentic plains. Is there any truth that most crops (minus the West Asian package) came through Sino-Tibetan and Munda migrations. I’m holding out hope that cotton, eggplants, cucumbers and mangos are native to the plains. Maybe rice came through trade.

            There was also silk in the IVC but the silkworms are from further east and today seem to be cultivated by Tibeto Burman or Munda peoples. Also its curious why the IVC people couldn’t domesticate wild fowl and that had to come from SE Asia.

          2. My understanding is that mangoes are from the Assam/Burma borderlands. One lineage crossing the mountains is the great phylogenetic divergence between all known Indic cultivars and Southeast asian ones.

          3. Either way – any such speculation would be on very weak grounds before we get any solid archaeological pointers before 1000BCE from the northeast and the east.

            That said – the Dense & wet forests of the east would require some adaptive changes than the forests of Central India – wouldnt be as easy as just crossing the Ganga & Brahmaputra (that is also a tall task for primitive people – as challenging as crossing shallow seas).

  41. Hi Razib,

    Your podcast is great but you really gotta step the game up on your audio equipment and mixing process. It really distracts from the content and make some episodes downright unlistenable.

    Didn’t know how else to communicate this, thanks!

    1. Most of sound quality issues is just about people being noobs about mics. And using bad mics at the outset.

  42. Seroprevelance results from Pune out.
    Average 52% seroprevelance in 6 wards. These wards were mostly poor localities (lot of slums and chawl type shared spaced)

    60% people living in areas smaller than 150sq ft have anti bodies.
    The IFR for these 6 wards would be 0.1 +- 0.05

    The sample was very small though – just 1500

  43. With Turkey having a special crisis (burned almost 50% of FX reserves this year alone) among EMs, I am struck by the fact that a much-boosted supposedly “model country” for moslems is now going down in flames, albeit slowly. Their own internal crisis is being masked by Corona.

    That leaves only Malaysia among moslem-majority countries that can be said to be reasonably successful without overreliance on fossil fuels. Malaysia has some of that, but its biggest exports are electronics/manufacturing. In short, it has a future beyond oil. The big hope other than that would be Indonesia and to a lesser extent Bangladesh. I have dim views on much of the MENA region.

    The Israel-UAE deal only solidifies what everyone already knew: there is no coherence nor loyalty among the Ummah. Perhaps we shouldn’t have expected as much (given all the frictions among European countries), but it is still notable. Pakistan may break off and create their own rival org to OIC due to kashmir.

    In terms of civilisational heft, Islam isn’t doing well. The recent BP episode on moslem stagnation couldn’t have come at a better time.

    1. It’s all Erdoganomics, believe me. Turkey will recover instantly if his voodoo brand of economics ceases. Last year’s high inflation should have lead to higher interest rates. But Erdogan decreased them.

      His finance minister isn’t complaining though. ….because he is his son in law!! These are special levels of bananadom.

      1. TBF Turkey rise within the non Oil Islamic world was also due to Erdogan economics. So he does deserve some credit of Turkey’s economy rise in 2000s. Its only after the fallout with Gulen , he lost his marbles

        1. @Saurav
          But wasn’t almost every economy growing in the 2000s. Did Erdogan enact some tough reforms that unleashed the growth or was it due to the good condition of the global economy (the same as most other countries)

          1. I did read somewhere his rise from Istanbul’s mayor to Premier had to with some free market economic reforms. He was initially pushing for both EU as well as normalized the Kurdish relation, so safer borders and such. Also when he tookover Turkey was coming out of recession so tough place to be. All in all, he did a decent job in 2000 wrt to economy.

            On a broader point i think we should not be churlish by not allowing credit to economic growth, even by external factors, to folks in charge. I mean its not their fault that the external environment turned out to be good. In India case, MMS mid 2000s growth was also due to same factors, where he hardly moved one finger on reforms. In Modi’s case his tenure is marked with record low energy prices, reducing India’s largest Import bills. So all in all these things balance out someway or the other.

  44. Was looking for some works to read on china , its history (other than john keay,have it) and confucius. Their ideas of religion, social order etc.I humbly request people to provide details. Also about bhakti movement. Thank you.

    Was looking to online resources, and noticed some missionary works on chinese classics and the preface says it all. It was a better world where people say upfront what their prejudices are. Now, everything is hidden.

    “The four books by By the Late Rev, DAVID COLLIB
    The following Version of the Four Books was undertaken, in the first instance, for the purpose of acquiring some knowledge of the Chinese Language. After
    the whole had been written, it occurred to the Translator, that if carefully revised and illustrated by quotations
    from the most approved Comments, and by occasional
    remarks on the fundamental errors in religion and morals,
    which, in too many instances, the work discovers, it might perhaps be of some use to the Chinese who study
    English in the College, not only by assisting them in
    acquiring the English Language, but especially in leading them to reflect seriously on some of the fatal errors propagated by their most celebrated sages. This circumstance forms the only apology which the Translator can offer for the frequent repetition of what must, to the
    European reader, appear common place remarks, but
    which it is hoped, may, by the divine blessing, prove
    useful to some of the deluded heathen who read the
    translation. …

    all the varied aspects in which it is presented to our view. For, the Four Books may be considered a fair specimen of what men in the age and
    circumstances in which their authors were placed could
    attain in the Science of Religion and Morals. What their attainments were, we shall leave the reader of the following pages to judge for himself, merely remarking,that the Christian who peruses them will see abundant
    reason to be grateful that he had been taught a ” More
    excellent way” while the lnfidel will find little in support of his favorite theory, viz. that a special Revelation of the Divine Will is unnecessary.”

  45. Random thought – There are all these YouTube videos of asian and Caucasian teenagers playing paganini’s caprice on violin. Where are the desi violinists? Or for that matter, the desi guitar virtuoso? Is it that the musically inclined of subcontinental extraction tend to pursue Carnatic and Hindustani music?

    1. For (Western style) Violin the answer is simple: We don’t have any good teachers, no orchestra of any repute and not even a mediocre conservatory. I have been a student at Calcutta School of Music and closely seen Calcutta Chamber Orchestra people who used to teach us. To be frank compared to even C-grade music schools in the US even our very best (schools and poor artists) suck.

      We do have the discipline and will to slog as can be seen here:
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3yK0y3-NGw
      But no resources! Zero! Zilch! Nada!

      Poverty sucks

      1. I don’t see Indian American kids taking up the violin either, and these folks you linked to seem to be ethnically and culturally tibeto-burman

        1. 1) ‘Ethnically and culturally Tibeto-Burman’
          LoL! I don’t really care, Indian-passport + Loyal to India = Indian. Some promising talent in north east on account of missionary activity.

          2) ABCD Indians in US
          Lots of ABCDs here who can comment. All music education boils down to a committed mother. My gross generalization is that the culturally rich (as in music training wise) mothers are in love with ‘Indian culture and arts’ while the upstarts who have ‘cut the crap’ to make what would have been multi-generational economic/social changes in one generation don’t see any utility in Music/Arts. One of my batch-mates who came from a village in Bihar and is opening a coding intensive high school there strongly believes that teaching anything other than C/C++ coding and Python scripting is the **only** worthwhile education. Similarly beneath the skin deep pretensions Indian parents in the US get down to business and say ‘fuck it! become a doctor’ they know the game they are playing very well even though their children might have other delusions.

          1. correction:
            * teaching anything(music, literature, history…) other than coding in C/C++ and Python is *not* worthwhile.

      2. There is little interest in Western Classical music in India. We continue to be absorbed in our own music, unlike the Chinese and Japanese who do not have equivalently nourished native traditions. There are violonists playing in Indian classical music styles. Check out Kala Ramanathan on youtube; she is superb. I was enchanted with her Maru Bihag; her Kedara is equally good.

      3. There is little interest in Western Classical music in India. We continue to be absorbed in our own music, unlike the Chinese and Japanese who do not have equivalently nourished native traditions. There are violinists playing in Indian classical music styles. Check out Kala Ramanathan on youtube; she is superb. I was enchanted with her Maru Bihag; her Kedara is equally good.

    2. Is there any new genre of music that has been created in India in the last 75 years.
      Like rock n roll, jazz, hip hop, EDM etc.

      My perception is that apart from high brow classical stuff, most music in India is subsumed by Bollywood. So musical sub-cultures are not able to form.

      Is that the case?

        1. “Actually music of AR Rahman is an evolution. He has used modern technology to create new taste.”

          I agree. I do think a lot of individual composers are experimenting with such stuff because of Rahman. Ex – Amit Trivedi

          But is it a new genre?
          All of it falls under Bollywood/Tollywood music. If it’s not film music then we just call it generic ‘fusion’.

      1. Can write tomes about this. This used to be a major discussion point among my music-school peers. As an utter novice my view is that Hindustani classical(and I am guessing Carnatic too) people will forever remain absorbed in their own music. We need fresh schools and patrons to create new music and dance forms something like what Chandigarh was for cities. It needs to be completely alien and fresh, shockingly different from what is already there.

        On minor innovations that have happened over the past century:
        1) Bansuri as we know it in Hindustani Classical music was (re)invented barely a 100 years ago.
        2) So many (western copycat) innovations like Electric Sitar(Zitar) of Niladri Kumar, Mohan vina aka hawaii slide guitar of Pandit Vishwa Mohan Bhatt, ….. etc etc etc. Can name quite a few of this variety.
        3) We now have world class authentic rappers not just pretenders.
        4) Sound design/production have vastly improved in the last 10 years alone.
        .
        .
        . there will be others I am missing.

        Hindustani/Carnatic music is firmly ‘brahmanical’ in its insistence on ritual purity, respect for traditions and changes in it will be glacial.

      1. Nemanya is urban and his mother was a professor, it was fairly easy for him. There is a very different example of a poor Roma boy from a remote and very passive, poor village, who is a self-taught violinist. Somehow, an ethnomusicologist Faith (!) from London (probably England’s Roma) heard about him and yarra, yarra, yarra, she came to his village, took him to London and around the world to play concerts, BBC, ABC, The Guardian, etc, he became famous.

        They got married, he is now a teacher of Roma music at London Music Academia but considers his poor village as their home. His wife learned to speak Serbian and feel well accepted by the remote village citizens. This is 1.55 min report in the Prime News, they speak Serbian, but this (folk) music says all:

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4v1M8Go9kU

    3. Violin is a pretty hard instrument with western hold. With Carnatic hold there are very many great violinists, just random you tube search for “Raghumvamsa Sudha” gets you plenty (highly recommend dwaram venkataswamy naidu just for the pleasure of it). Check out Krish Ashok SoundCloud for great fusion.

      China is a different story because they lost most of their traditional music under cultural revolution and people took up western classical when they are allowed to.
      There are stories of world class concert players and soloists how their parents saw learning music as a defiance against the regime.

      I would have made my son learn violin until he rebelled and I didn’t want him lose all love for music (he does piano now). Either kids needs amazing fine motor skills (and obedience) or parents need infinite patience for violin to work at concert level (check out Twoset violin on YouTube to see why it isn’t going to be a thing among desis).

      New music genres are happening all the time but Indians aren’t rich enough to turn them out as cultural phenomena. Just like coffin dance, k-pop, kolaveri di became sensational with proper promotion and catchy tune.

      In India too, it was difficult to find music teachers of any kind growing up since traditional view of girls need music as credential for marriage turned to girls needing engineering degree 😊.
      I took up violin at 29 with western hold. After many years, it is a decent vara Veena.. 😂. Lol.

      1. “Violin is a pretty hard instrument with western hold.”
        +1

        “Either kids needs amazing fine motor skills (and obedience) or parents need infinite patience for violin to work at concert level (check out Twoset violin on YouTube to see why it isn’t going to be a thing among desis).”

        1) I love those two dudes but why do they make you think that Violin won’t get popular among desis?

        2) I think to learn Violin one needs some talent and a very patient mother.

        “After many years, it is a decent vara Veena.. 😂. Lol.”
        what is vara veena?

        1. 1) I think their episodes on Asian mothers/relatives and how their families weren’t very happy at their musician choices are informative.

          Also, both of them dedicated years at this, and sometimes show disappointment at not being soloists even with their amazing talent. (Like all phds being judged against not being professors).

          2) Vara Veena is a beginner song in Carnatic classical music.

      2. Raghumvamsa Sudha?? it is raghuvamsa suta, meaning raghu vamsa’s son. suta becomes sudha in tamilians mouth!!!

    1. That article is something. Wouldnt this cause a whole lot of friction with the conservatives in Islam? Whats the impact going to be?

        1. @Bhimrao
          Quran has always been a contested book ; many people believe or like to believe Quran is the perfectly preseved word of God with one copy in heaven and anotehr copy passed through Prophet Mohammed to mankind. What Muslims hold in hand today is exactly that.
          This traditional narratives has many holes in it.The present approved version of Quran – called hafs – was approved in 1984 by Saudi Arabia and called Fahd version as King fahd was in SA at that time. Actually this was the edition made by Al-Azhar Uni for Cairo schools in 1924. It looks like in North Africa, they use a different version from Authorised version.

          Even now you can buy many versions of Quran, which are different from this Hafs – in many Quran book stalls. An interesting talk on different versions of the Quran from the earliest time i.e. 7th C
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hka9KF6y4rw&t=769s
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2_v6BkxYtEc&t=1s

          The earliest copies of Quran are in what is called -Rasm . These are in earliest Arabic alphabet which did not have dots to make different consonant. Later they started to put dots and which makes lot of words/sounds giving different meanings. That can be one reason for lot of versions.

          I don’t know whether this caused frictions within Islam

  46. State sponsored Pakistani jihadi-terrorists in Bosnia on the move…(Google translated)

    Fahrudin Radoncic, (muslim) leader of the Alliance for a Better Future of Bosnia and Herzegovina called on the Bosniak muslim member of the B&H Presidency, Sefik Dzaferovic, to resign if he is unable to appear before (muslim) citizens protesting against illegal migrants or if he does not declare Pakistan’s ambassador to B&H persona non grata.

    Radončić stated that Džaferović non-stately supported the Embassy of Pakistan in BiH, which systematically hid the identity of thousands of illegal migrants, and that in that way he encouraged illegal migrants to rush to BiH, while completely ignoring the domestic police forces.

    1. Can’t Turkey cause problems for you? Are you an Indian? Why is Pakistan causing problems for you? Why do Pakistanis make life difficult for everyone? What did you ever do to them?

      1. @fulto
        Keeping in mind the fact that the pakis dont even recognise Armenia because of it’s dispute with Azerbaijan even though Azerbaijan itself recognises it, I dont really think that the Serbs (or any other Balkan country) would need to attack them first for them to start promoting terrorism in the Balkans.

      2. I am an Indian descendant, my ancestors in ancient time (much before Nemanya’s ancestors) took their elephants and emigrated from India (according to oit!)… I wrote before…longer story.

        In a nutshell, Bosnia is a jihadi frontier, and this is a brief explanation of the civil war in 90ies in Bosnia. Somehow, it was divided in a muslim/catholics and Serbian half. Muslims (25 years ago took the name Bosniacs) want the whole Bosnia for them and even more (parts of Serbia with Kosovo, Macedonia) and to make a Caliphate from Bosnia to Indonesia.

        Muslim politicians together with Pakistani government organised 3000 terrorists to come to Bosnia on fake travel visas. There are also 9000 other jihadists on standby. This is also a part of the wider game (war) which is underway in Europe which include Ukraine, Belorussia, Northern stream 2, Southern (Turkish) stream, EU, Russia, Kosovo, Bosnia, Syria, S400, etc. There are blockades of roads in a muslim half of Bosnia and physical conflicts btw local muslims and fake Pakistani immigrants who disturb their local communities.

      3. @Milan Todorovic

        I am an Indian descendant, my ancestors in ancient times

        You don’t have to be genetically Indian to adopt Indian culture and values. If you need an introduction in Vedas, Upanishad, etc., various people — like in this forum — will surely help you out. I suppose due to the past history of Europe, the people there only think in terms of race: Such reductive thinking leads nowhere. If your ancestors liked some traditions, values and languages of others, they can incorporate them within their existing cultural milieu; no fight to the death — or slavery — needs to happen.

        @Narasingha Deva @Milan Todorovic
        Well, Pakistanis are barbarians, so what can you expect from them? I can understand their quarrel with India; however, they have not left alone even Southern Europe! Nevertheless, their present nuisance value is entirely because of Western Europe and the US pampering; all others are paying a price for their follies.

        1. In brief, point by point…

          Of course, I do not need to be genetically Indian…but it can help especially if, genetically, I have kinship with at least 200 million of Indo-Indians. Thanks for Vedas (it is coincidentally the same word in Serbian so as many other Sanskrit words), etc, thanks, I will ask various people here to enlighten me. Europe is not all about race and (Indo)Serbians never practiced slavery in last 10000 years or so.

          It is not up to Pakistanis alone, the picture is a bit bigger and related to civilizational levels, some groups progress, some staying in the place, but some go back (e.g. in Bosnia). S.Europe is nothing specific, it is everywhere where the last groups appear. That’s right, EU and US deep states are directing these two groups, in fact, they brought them to Bosnia and they will activate jihadists when it suits them.

  47. Was looking for some works to read on china , its history (other than john keay,have it) and confucius. Their ideas of religion, social order etc.I humbly request people to provide details. Also about bhakti movement. Thank you.

  48. Also, is there any study that looks at caste endogamy across India, the timeline and see which groups/communities were more egalitarian and which were not. How about places like Andhra/south where the varna system did not take hold.

    Thank You.

  49. If Kashmiri Muslims and Kashmiri pundits are genetically identical but we clearly know(from hundreds of records of temple desecration and mass murders by Sufi saints) that
    1) conversion was via coercion (degree may vary)
    2) there were castes in Kashmir although they different castes were genetically identical

    What is the difference between this Bangladesh? There also there is evidence of coercion and violence to force conversions and people are genetically similar(no jatis) . Why do people apply different theories when looking at these two?

    1. Anyone? Genetics ppl? @Razib @thewarlock? @Apthk?
      rephrasing:
      Genetically similar population today does not imply no jatis existed in the past as can be seen in Kashmir.
      Why does genetically similar population today does imply caste system did not solidify and no jatis existed in Bangladesh?

  50. Just asking commentators for views !

    Is the Liberal Right more Heterodox than the Liberal Left ( which can be illiberal ) ?
    Recent writing, twitter interactions and Podcast I did seems to suggest that.

    Right has engaged in good faith much more often with me than the left has over the years. This may be down the my peer circle which is mostly liberal right – but I find this scale in anonymous/social media and real left as well.
    I continue to moderately identity with the Liberal Left – but it appears they don’t want me 😂😂
    Maybe it’s the Apostasy/Blasphemy rules of co travelers rubbing of the Left

  51. A 2010 interview with Kamala Harris by a tamil online magazine Thendral . Interview should have taken place in Englsih , but only Tamil translation is given
    http://tamilonline.com/thendral/article.aspx?aid=6705&fbclid=IwAR1Ko9MmZ3VthOQZOrve1rf61YblplgJgM-XGeDMbyhwGqjQzxC0yux3my0
    Kamala says their family had collected a person tall amount of Amar Chitra Katha. If she has read or absorbed ACK, lot of Indian themes would be in head subconciously
    To another question whether she learnt Carnatic music , she says she did but did not practice it, but it is in her blood. Her mother used to sing.

    Her granddad , retired civil servent, used to take her on walks in Besant Nagar Beach, in which he he used to passionately discuss political things and corruption with his friends, , which she absorbed

    1. Political Gangs(most likely gangs of the same political party) opposed to him cut off his hands for political reasons. There is no evidence that the incident was connected to sectarianism or Islamism. It was an incident of political violence.

      Most of my hindu friends have wore that Kalawa(red coloured thread) in their hand. Nobody has any problem with that.

      In fact, in present Bangladesh Hindus are actually privileged due to recent geo-political trends. For example, there are more Hindu OCs in the police forces than that of Muslim OCs. Situation is similar in many other important positions related to law enforcement.
      I am not saying this to express resentment.

      Dont spread hatred and twisted facts. lol.
      Fake & partial online news is nothing uncommon.

      I guess you are some indian troll who pretends to be European.

      PS: I am not Anti-Hindu

  52. @Razib, You should remove comments by trolls that contain serious fake news from unpopular news sites since fake news can be literally fatal.

  53. So what do we hypothesize the settlement history of the eastern Gagentic plains (Assam/Bangladesh)?

    1. The Gangetic delta around Bengal is the IE homeland. The earliest Aryans streamed into UP, then Haryana, into Punjab proper and then into Iran and then onto the Steppes. A group also entered West Asia. Then the people from the Steppes flooded into Eastern Europe and into Europe proper via various riverine paths.

      1. Bravo (seriously) for the courage! I haven’t seen any such assertion before by anyone. Razib, please mark somehow this comment in your archive for future researchers. It just confirms my above statement given to fulto that I am an (ancient) Indian descendant. Only, the word ‘Indian’ may need to be updated to reflect the name at the time of the (e)migration. Because, the next step is to add the timeline of migration. There are other positive consequences. We finally know the place of origin of Slavics, they haven’t fell down from Mars what also confirms one of my key assertions.

        Razib also should reconsider his theory of ‘latin peasants’ in Balkan. However, maybe there is no contradiction, they could be an earlier wave of migrants before Slavics came to Balkan? In addition, this theory nicely fits with the official world history which had this missing link (the origin of Slavics). Only, Vincha is a small problem which needs to be explained but it can be done on the way.

        There is an uphill battle now to provide dozens (hundreds!) of evidence to confirm the theory (so far there is none). I would expect in future comments to see details of languages, mythology, toponyms, timelines even genetics. We will have a big topic for discussions here at BP for the next couple years. I look forward reading BP comments.

      2. @Milan Todorovic
        We know where Indo-Aryans composed Vedas: It was on the banks of the perennial Saraswati river, i.e., around Western UP and Harayana in India. Saraswati river was perennial only during 9-4.5 kya, i.e, from 7000-2500 BC (approx.). Linguistically, India works as a homeland. Moreover, you don’t have to be descended from India to speak a similar language to Sanskrit.

        My recommendation is: if you think Serbia is the homeland, you should prove it first linguistically; how PIE broke into daughter languages have to be explained logically and coherently.

        1. Don’t get me wrong, I do support the formulation of the IE homeland origin as it was done above. I haven’t seen (although may already exist) that anyone so specifically proposed the place (the time should be added). Serbia cannot be IE homeland because neither Serbia nor Serbs existed at that time. But maybe Vincha is. As I said I don’t care where is the place, only important for me that the place of Slavics’ (i.e Serbs) origin was found, that they didn’t come from Mars and upon arrival assimilated poor latin peasants.

          And yes, if today’s India is the IE homeland it means that my ancestors also originated there and I can state the Indian origins as well. I encourage you to keep collecting and presenting supporting evidence and harmonize this theory with Razib (re: genetics), Tallageri (re: linguistics), MMK (re: mythology) and Nilesh (re: everything).

        2. @Milan Todorovic
          The genetic ancestry is not so simple: An ancestry is formed after the mixing of multiple cultures. As an example, you should look at Steppe_EMBA and Steppe_MLBA; and how they are different. Furthermore, even without mixing, people can adopt other practices: Spread of Buddhism — and languages Pali, Sanskrit, etc. — is a prominent example. After looking at all the evidences, we can then conclude or form an opinion regarding what happened.

          Regarding Serbs, they became what they are after multiple admixtures. You can surely say that you have Indian descent, but in my opinion, it would be jumping the gun; if you really want to claim an ancestry, linguistically, Iranian ancestry makes more sense.

  54. https://www.wsj.com/articles/what-kamala-harris-isnt-saying-about-her-mothers-background-11597944590?redirect=amp#click=https://t.co/oyyeLr63gV

    What Kamala Harris Isn’t Saying About Her Mother’s Background

    “In her book, Ms. Harris airbrushes her mother’s community from her story. The words Tamil and Brahmin don’t appear at all. At one point the senator mentions that Gopalan won an award for her singing in India, but not that it was for Carnatic music, a classical art form closely associated with Tamil Brahmins.

    Add to this the pitfalls of identity politics. Beginning in the early 20th century, anti-Brahminism became a hallmark of Tamil politics. Numerically larger castes—Brahmins accounted for only 2.5% of the population—mobilized on the basis of group identity. In the 1960s they introduced sweeping quotas in education and government employment that forced many Tambrams to seek opportunities elsewhere.

    The identity entrepreneurs who dominate Tamil Nadu politics justify reverse discrimination—7 in 10 college admissions and government jobs in the state have long been filled using quotas—on grounds of historical grievance. It’s undeniable that Tambrams had advantages, and many of their ancestors held views about social hierarchy that rightly grate on our modern sensibilities. Nonetheless, the community’s marginalization and migration is also a textbook example of the folly of pushing identity politics too far.”

    1. Saurav and VijayVan

      There is story making the rounds among Sri Lankans that PV Gopalan and wife are Sri Lankans Tamils
      Her grandfather Mr P. V Gopalan is from Manipay, Jaffna and Gopalan’s wife Mrs Rajam Gopalan is from Batticaloa. Sri Lanka.

      Mr P.V Gopalan was a civil servant under the British govt. He moved to South India and her daughter Shymala Gopalan was born in South India.

      Thereafter they moved to New Delhi and thence to California, where Shyamala married Donalad Harris-a Jamaican.

      Their daughter is Kamala Devi Harris. She was born in Oakland California.

      ==========
      Seperately
      I have a friend a doctor who shared a photo taken in Zambia. He says it is him, Kamala and others as children. According to him PV Gopalan is his granduncle. Said will fill in details when we meet, who knows when.

      Ring of truth, because know his parents were very well of Doctors and served at some point somewhere in Africa.
      ——————
      Anyway if this is true, then PV Gopalan is a Vellala caste, not Brahamin

      I guess time will flush out the truth.

      1. This is indeed funny story, as they say success has many fathers. Gopalan and Rajam are typical Iyengar names, it would be hard pressed to see some one named Rajam and they are not Iyengars, let alone Brahmins.

        1. Gopalan and Rajam are typical Iyengar names, it would be hard pressed to see some one named Rajam and they are not Iyengars, let alone Brahmins.

          The most famous Gopalan, Marudhur Gopalan Ramachandran, i.e. MGR
          M.G.R. was born in Kandy, Sri Lanka,[citation needed] to Melakkath Gopalan Menon and Maruthur Satyabhama[4] from Palakkad, in the modern-day state of Kerala

          A cursory search of Jaffna + Gopalan will come up with some names.

          Sep 21, 2013 – JAFFNA, Sri Lanka (Reuters) – A member of a Sri Lankan election … emeritus at Zee Entertainment; R Gopalan appointed new chairman

          May 19, 2020 – Kanagalingam Gopalan‏ @KanaGopalan May 20. More … As you mentioned LTTE fully controlled JAFFNA only 6- 7 years.

          May 26, 2007 – … Gopalan Senthooran, 28, and Gopalan Gangatharan, 24, owners of business establishments in Thirunelveli in Jaffna came to Colomb

          FB: about Nakeswary Gopalan. Education. Jaffna Hindu College. Jaffna. J/Jaffna ..

          Search on Ceylon Tamils for Rajam
          https://ceylontamils.com/search/index.php

          Rajam Rajanathan
          Doreen Rajamanohari Breckenridge
          Mary Therese Rajamalar Manuelpillai
          Rajamallika Kadirgamar

          Most of these names get shortened eg using first part or second. eg Rajamanohari to either Rajam or Manohari

          1. Fair enough, but IMO chances of them being Vellalars from SL are slim if not impossible.

            Gopalan is a typical Krishna/Vishnu name and most of SL are Shaivite, with some rare pockets of vaishnavites.

            Not so the case for TN and Kerala. Infact, most Divyadesam’s are in Thanjavur and surrounding districts. The only other group of Gopalan’s you would see are the Madhwas from Karnataka/MH. Almost of the Iyengars can trace their roots back to one of these places, and each of these villages/towns would have an Agraharam with some of their relatives still living there. Gopalan came from one such place called Painganadu. There are pretty good in documenting their family history and migrations in their family deity going back to many centuries.

            Similarly, “Rajam” as a standalone name is more prevalent with Iyengar than any others, a simple google or facebook search will give you that. The other names in the family, “Sarala”, “Shyamala”, “Mahalakshmi” are all again Brahmin names.

          2. Regardless of this, for political reasons, she has always identified herself as black, so all this ancient history is moot 🙂

          3. You said
            Gopalan and Rajam are typical Iyengar names it would be hard pressed to see some one named Rajam and they are not Iyengars, let alone Brahmins.
            As pointed out there are Gopalans in Sri Lanka.

            Not sure if you can read Tamil, but here is a picture from her village temple of their financial help. And look at all the other names, all are Brahmins/Iyengars.
            There are pretty good in documenting their family history and migrations in their family deity going back to many centuries.

            Cant read Tamil. Anyway how come this Gopalans have not been documented.

            Similarly, “Rajam” as a standalone name is more prevalent with Iyengar than any others, a simple google or facebook search will give you that.

            First and foremost, because someone uses Rajam you have no idea if it is standalone or shortened form without looking at some document. That is true Mrs Rajam Gopalan. Heck we dont even know what P. V, of PV Gopalan stands for.

            Anyway I did a FB search
            This FB page would guess noy Iyengar, i.e. Rajam Wickremesinghe
            https://www.facebook.com/rajam.wickramasinghe.1

            I dont know you know the others that came up on search are Iyengar
            https://www.facebook.com/search/top/?q=rajam&epa=SEARCH_BOX

            Rajam

          4. Fair enough, but IMO chances of them being Vellalars from SL are slim if not impossible.

            I gave a rumor passing around Sri Lankan circles. I just said, if true and from Manipay, PV Gopalan would be Vellala.

            Anyway I am no fan of Kamala, her politics (tough on black crime) or her morals (sleeping with Willy brown to get ahead).

            You are welcome to claim Kamala to your Iyengar fold.

          5. Nah man, no on all three counts – not a democrat, not a fan of Kamala and definitely not an Iyengar.

          6. @Jay

            Gopalan is a name among Tamils and Malayalees. Rajam occurs both Iyer and Iyengar , male and female. Google Rajam Iyer. One of the first Tamil novels in the 19th C was authored by Rajam Iyer . I know a female Tamil academic based in the US with the same name

          7. @Vijay

            Yes, its a typical brahmin name, Gopalan itself could be an Iyer name, but being a Vishnu/Krishna name it is kept predominantly in Iyengar families.
            I also know a female Tamil academic in the US who used to teach Physics with the same name.

      2. sbarrkum
        Gopalan and Rajam are prevalent among Tamil speakers in India and SL, and some otehr south Indians. That said , look at these phtos
        https://twitter.com/SreeIyer1/status/1293580896579158017/photo/1
        Kamala’s birth certificate – Middle name Iyer Kamala’s birth name is Kamala Iyer Harris born on County Almeida.

        Look at the family pic with her grandparents
        https://twitter.com/SreeIyer1/status/1293580896579158017/photo/1
        Gopalan is a typical iyer with sacred thread. Mrs Gopalan has a typical Iyer 9 yard saree (Jay- Iyengar 9 yard saree is a bit different)

      3. sbarrkum

        (I wrote something like this 2 hours ago; i thought it appaered , now can’t see it; anyhow here it goes)
        Gopalan is name known among Tamils/malyalees in India and SL .

        Look at the birth certficate of Kamala – she was born as Kamala Iyer Harris
        https://twitter.com/SreeIyer1/status/1293580896579158017/photo/1
        Look at the family pic with granddad/mum

        https://twitter.com/SreeIyer1/status/1293577970800451589/photo/1
        Gopalan is with sacred thread and quite relaxed. His wife has a typical Iyer 9 yard saree ( Jay- Iyengar 9 yard saree is a bit diff)

Comments are closed.