185 thoughts on “Open Thread – 09/05/2020”

    1. If he wants to engage with an actual practicing Hindu rather than throw bait at low hanging fruits (rabid twitter trolls), I wouldn’t mind hopping on this one if I can make the time.

      1. You should I guess;
        You can even reach out to him; his views and methods and argument style r very unique though;

        On separate topic -I would really want to have an agnostic / deist/ theist survey in India. I guess India has lot more non believers than one expects

      2. More power to you for trying to engage with such a person but I for one believe it’ll be a total waste. Some of the ex-muslims seem to be suffering from PTSD and it might be harsh to say so but they are damaged goods. While I sympathize with them, their understanding of other religious cultures is colored by their experiences of Islamic societies. It’s understandable that they become emotional while talking about any religion and behave like an immature kid. However, that also means that they have become intellectually lazy in categorizing religions and lack the intellectual tools to properly discriminate between different religions.

    2. Armin’s personal background does matter in terms of how much offence ppl would take to his comments.

      As an Iranian origin ex-Muslim he can get more leeway in criticizing Persian or Islamic culture or the religion because it’s can be assumed that he is not coming from a place of identitarian malice.

      From Armin’s POV he is probably not being a Muslim identitarian when he calls goddess kali sexy.

      However from an Indian Hindu POV here we have some Mid-East Muslim sounding guy shitting on Hindu culture.
      It would be different if someone with more Hindu credibility referred to Kali as sexy.

      It’s similar how a black comedian can make fun of black culture. A Jewish comedian can make fun of Jewish culture. Etc.

      Btw, this isn’t exactly taboo in Hinduism, although there are a range of views:


  1. @ fulto

    I have just seen your a la Frankenstein map from the previous OT. It looks like a joke. Can you explain? What is Iranian, it seems that Russian spoke Iranian? Tocharian and Greek on the same map? What is so huge Celtic in continental Europe? Which is the period presented there? Must be after the 7th c.AC because Slavic did not exist earlier? Etc.

    1. The image mentions: “The Indo-European language groups as of 500 B.C.E, along with selected isoglosses.”

      Balto-Slavic remaining in close contact with Iranian is very well known. It also has loan words from Iranian along with sharing the most isoglosses with it.

      Both Baltic and Slavic emerged later on as separate language groups, but before their break they existed together as dialects; every language has dialects — a very common phenomenon.

      1. 500 BC? Excellent. At that time Slavics did not exist. Officially did not exist in Europe because the official history says that they came to Europe in the 7th cAC from unknown location. What does it mean Italic in Italy? Maybe the language spoken by Raseni (i.e. Etruscans), Latin was not spoken yet in Rome? Tocharians in the 5th c.BC?

        Future Russians (still Serbs at that time) spoke Iranian? Considering that Iranian (Aryan?) was not older than 2000BC, which language they spoke for thousand of years before Iranian? Where continental Euro Celtics came from? In 500 BC Greeks did not have this name yet and lived only on the coast and were vassals to the Macedonian kingdom. Where is Macedonia, which language was spoken there, this is 150 years before Alexander?

        Linguists usually do not want to publish maps with dates to be seen which languages were spoken at the point in time and regularly present idiotic political maps with so-called Indo-European languages where include even for e.g. non-existent Bosnian language. Even this map is not coherent with official history because it presents so-called Slavics in Europe in 500 BC (Khanishka will be disappointed with this).

        1. “Future Russians (still Serbs at that time)”

          Milan needs to be given his own Discovery channel TV show.

          1. Top Ghan again? Welcome, I am glad that you have recovered after falling from the Hors. If you are more regular on these waves, I would not need to write anything. But, we should be patient until you reach the threshold that it is not needed to chew up everything for you. You may know the joke about a man who was drowning in the river and calls on St Peter to help him. Ok, says St Pitt, I will help but you also should a little bit wave with your little hands.

            Well, let see “…members of the genus R1a1 from Balkans, who lived there 12000 years ago, after two hundred and something generations erupted in the East European Plain, where 4500 years ago appeared the ancestors of modern Russians and Ukrainians with the same R1a1 genus.

            Five hundred years later or (4000 years ago) – these “Pre-Slovens” (originally from the Balkans) arrived to the southern slopes of Ural mountains, and four hundred years later (3600 years ago) they headed toward India, where now live more than 100 million of their descendants, members of the same R1a1 genus, the Aryan Genus. Aryans, because they used to call themselves that way, and that name is recorded in the ancient Indian Vedas and in the Iranian tradition. The same people who are descendants of the “Pre-Slavic” genus, or their close relatives. There’s no, nor there ever was, any “assimilation” of the R1a1 haplogroup, and these almost identical haplotypes are easy to detect. They’re identical with “Slavic”.

            Another wave of Aryans, with the same haplotypes, departed from Central Asia and reached the Eastern Iran in the third millennium BCE, and those are the Iranian Aryans.

            Finally, yet another wave of representatives of the genus R1a1 moved to the south and reached the Arabic Peninsula, Gulf of Oman, where is today Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates. The local Arabs felled in dismay when they received the certificate test-results of the DNA haplotype and haplogroup R1a1 testing. “Pre-Slavic”, “Indo-European” – call it what you like, but the essence is the same – Aryan. And those certificates established the areal boundaries of the ancient Aryan’s expeditions. Calculations below show the time of these migrations – some 4000 years ago.”

            Well, the Russian name was first mentioned in the 8th c.AC, the names of other ‘Slavics’ much later. The term ‘Slavic’ itself (invented to suppress Serbian name) was from the 7th c.AC. Before that, Russians and Slavics were Serbs (spoke Serbian language). Serbs have the alternative name – Raseni or Rashani (Greeks red this as Thracians) who were followers of the goddess Reasa or Rasa (Greeks’ replica is Gea), the goddess and patron of agriculture. From this Serbian name, today’s Russians got their name. The same name got Prussians, who are germanised Serbs, who were converted in the 12th c.AC but spoke Serbian until 200 years ago when it was prohibited by law. Enjoy the journey!

      2. @MIlan Todorovic
        Firstly, the map is approximate; not exact. Secondly, Tocharian existed till 8th century AD. Thirdly, Proto-Italic was being spoken in the Italian Peninsula in the first millennium BC. Fourthly, what was spoken before Iranian in Turan cannot be answered by a map based on 500 BC language spread. Fifthly, Balto-Slavic is a language grouping; they became separate languages in 7th century AD; Proto Slavic existed near to Iranian as shown in this map. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Balto-Slavic_lng.png)

        1. Yep, Tocharians lived for 2500+ years before Chinese and Uyghur people came there. Who were these R1a people with same genetics as Aryans? No other answers about Iranian spoken future Russians, where ‘Slavics’ and their language(s) originated, where is Macedonia and what was their language, non-existent Greek name at that time, what is proto-Italic and who spoke this language, where is Raseni (Etruscan) language of people who founded ‘western’ civilisation, which language was spoken in Vinca, when Slavics came (if they came) to Europe and in same time lived ‘next to’ Iranian, Iranian was spoken in today’s Russia but we don’t know which was language there before, etc. Thanks for you answers, at least with this map linguists under pressure tried to incorporate all historical falsifications and make some system but, it seems, they made a shit pie.
          Stay cool, don’t worry too much about this.

  2. Am I being too cynical when I dismiss people like Irshad Manji or Armin Navabi as essentially am ineffectual relic of small amounts of western assimilation? I don’t see them having any influence in the broader Islamic world. They seem to basically be capturing a small and reform-minded audience living in Western countries (urban, upper-middle class) as well as a substantial non-moslim audience which seems to want their ideas to flourish more than moslems themselves.

    I’m not even sure I would want them to succeed. Lack of religion in the West, or at least a very neutered form of Christianity we have, may not be an unalloyed good. People tend to find secular/political substitutes for religion rather quickly, and we have seen the effects of that in the West over these past few months.

    1. you don’t know what you are talking about tho it’ss plausible enough. armin’s main goal is the Islamic world and it does seem like new atheism has some legs there. it’s invigorating and not boring and spent.

      armin is pretty weird. but he’s just one person

    1. It’s an interesting find ; but it’s not Chariot as Chariots r defined IMO – no spoked wheels – no Horse buried or no evidence of Horse Drawn Cart/Chariots.

      Spoked wheels make great deal of difference IMO- the function of Chariot is maneuverability and speed – doubt that could be done without Spokes.
      The Daimabad Hord Bull Driver carts and other IVC carts fit the description of Sanauli Chariot imo.

      About warrior culture – there is no doubting that – the weapons in the hoard r impressive ;

      Another thing to notice is the sight is not very long from Rakhigarhi.

      Experts will also have to comment on the Dating techniques used. Still a lot to find in there I guess

    2. @NM
      Firstly, animal driven cart does not become a chariot even if it has spoked wheels. It is the shape of the carriage that decides whether it is a chariot or not. On this account, Sanaulli carriage is a chariot without spoked wheels.

      Secondly, there is no evidence that “early” Yamnaya had anything to do with horses as a famous genetic study has unambiguously demonstrated. Despite that, IE scholars consider Yamnaya to be late PIE. India, therefore, having horse drawn chariots is immaterial in any case.

      The reason why Sanaulli find is important is because India possessing only carts and not chariots of any type was the key argument in rejecting it linguistically as PIE. Now, the linguistic argument is gone.

    3. @NM

      Sanauli is a great find for Indian archaeology as a paradigm.

      1. It’s a vast necropolis.
      2. Situated perfectly in the region which has long been idealised as the Mahabharata setting.
      3. Perfect identification with OCP, BB Lal already theorised that OCP culture was the Mahabharata culture more than 40 years ago.
      4. The age is near perfect – I think that the Mahabharata occurred around 1900 BC despite some protestations to much earlier dates.

      The chariot itself is stunning!! It has caused much heartburn among Western Indologists as it precedes the supposed arrival of Aryans by almost 300-500 years and that too in the interior North, not even the Northwest.

      As usual, the suspects have started shifting the goalposts. You can look to Gaurav’s comment, parroting something without understanding it’s significance.

      It’s a bit like saying that the earliest steam engined trains are not trains since you cannot see the overhead electric lines.

      Main points on why it’s a chariot –
      1. A horse and a pair of oxen are different in gait and pacing posture. Therefore the halter for the animal’s neck is completely different. The mechanism for the horse has to be at a higher position, so it has to start low to enable a efficient transfer of momentum. The Sinauli chariot is exactly like that.
      2. The whip for a ox driven cart and a horse is completely different. The one found at Sinauli next to the chariot is exactly like the modern one for a horse. Such continuity in design!!

      I have never heard of warriors going to battle on oxcarts, either in literature or from field excavations or from the practical viewpoint. The amount of weapons next to chariot leaves no doubt about the owner’s profession.

      1. Ugra and timepass; I am not being rhetorical –

        what I am interested in the Sanauli chariot is from Mahabharata argument –
        How does Mahabharata fit with IVC during 2000BCE; And how does it fit with Rakhigardi – by accounts one of the largest urban settlements of IVC? On a basic level may be Mahabharata can be argued to be pre IVC as it plays on the Haryana UP region big time. It doesn’t mesh well with IVC; It text doesn’t have urban settlements as we have found in IVC; the text matches more for the Pre Mahajanpadas archeology with Iron use; Sanauli is all Copper/Bronze not iron – Mahabharata is clearly Iron age IMO;

        So in my view its either Pre IVC or Post IVC; I can’t get how it can be contemporary with IVC – explain if you guys have a good explanation

        Many argue that Mahabharata could be pre IVC from the OIT POV; but again it would have to prove that Pre IVC there were some Iron cultures – as has been claimed by some in Gangetic plains/ Deccan

        1. @Gaurav

          The primary deity in Mahabharata is Vishnu. It took place in an area adjacent to the IVC – BB Lal is very clear. It is not the history of the inhabitants of the IVC! It’s the OCP.

          The Mahabharata took place around the years 1900 BC.

          By using terms like post IVC and pre IVC, you imply that the rest of India was empty or lifeless.

          1. Ugra,

            It’s not that I imply rest of India as lifeless ; there r clearly archaeological cultures up till Ahichahtra and even upwards in the Himalayan foothills and down till Deccan around end of IVC.

            I particularly find it difficult to find MahaBharata contemparary with IVC cause the MahaBharata text has no recollection of giant organized urban settlements which are about 70-80 km from Kurukshetra. Additionally mahabharat is also clearly Iron Age IMO; Sanauli is not iron; once Iron is usable – it seems unlikely IMO that warrior cultures would continue to use copper/bronze. Mahabharat is intimately aware Gandhara to Bengal. That doesn’t match with IVC that we know of.
            Incidentally BB Lal had initially speculated date of MahaBharata as 900bce if i m not mistaken;
            But I guess we will talk past each other on that point.

            It’s Manjul who has recently speculated it as 1500-2000bce I guess.

            Have you guys seen the image of Bull Cart/Chariot from Daimabad Horde ? Would u call it a chariot or a cart ?

          2. @GauravL

            IVC is just one of the cultures of India. It withered away because of climate change. And therefore we see it’s ruins on the banks of Saraswati and her tributaries.

            The cultures near the Yamuna and Ganges have survived without any interruption. People continue to live in the cities on the banks of these rivers. They have built and rebuilt over past cities.

            Your confusion is a perfect example of survivorship bias.

        2. @GauravL,

          I am curious to hear why you think Mahabharata text doesn’t support urban settlements.

          We have the famous mayasabha and wonders of architecture. For all purposes neither Indraprastra nor Hasthinapura are villages.

          So, I am wondering what specifically makes you think that urban layout and Mahabharata won’t go together?

          1. Some instances in text seem to point at use of Wood in construction;
            the Mayasabha building has special place because it is said to have employed a builder who has specialized in construction. It’s held up like an exception – not something which was common. Apart from the descriptions which i have read closely seem to be along the lines seen in Ahichahtra or some Gangetic plains settlements which are dated to post IVC period;

            I may be totally speculating – but the vast lands under IVC need to have some uniform rules / customs / systems / institutions to support it – be it trade run/ political or financial – contrast that to MahaBharata where the economies are less trade dependent and more Agro-pastoral. Cows are often seen as currency which is consistent with Vedic times throught early Janapadas but doesn’t click for me with Urbanization.

            Add to this the complete absense of Horse in IVC – I know there r claims by Danino and others about finding few Equid bones here and there (Lothal or Surkotada) but i m not convinced by that reasoning. Even when I had not seen the other side (witzel, Anthony, etc) I was unsure about the Horse issue. The core story is too dependent on Horses and Chariots IMO.

            Also as u had at some point earlier said about Iron in Deccan which I looked up. Yes there is some speculation about that I can gather. But IVC is clearly pre Iron and so seems Sanauli. Mahabharat works With Iron IMO

          1. Thanks for your appreciation. Here are some other links that you may like:
            1. http://arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2018/08/vedic-ritual-along-saraswati.html
            2. The person makes interesting arguments that definitely should be taken into account (he also worked in ISRO and DRDO): महाभारत कब हुआ? – Mrugendra Vinod https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKXV-IyLhZk&ab_channel=CentreforIndicStudies
            3. Arya per Sita in the Ramayana arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2019/04/arya-per-sita-in-ramayana.html
            4. Maps relevant to the riddle of the Saraswati arunsmusings.blogspot.com/2005/12/maps-relevant-to-riddle-of-saraswati.html

  3. The archaeologists seem to think that this was not Harrappan:

    The pottery recovered from Sinauli belongs to OCP culture. No Harappan pottery or any other pottery except OCP was found from the graveyard of Sinauli. The grave in question belongs to the OCP people who were late contemporaries of Harappans.

    The typical Harappan pottery shapes like vessels with bulging bodies and stem bases, cylindrical jars, jars with Sprofile, all with beaded & beaked lips, dish on stands with ledged rims, basins & Indus Goblet, tumblers and cups are not to be found among purely OCP sites which are found independently from mature Harappan sites even in western U.P.


    1. Actually, OCP culture [1] — formed between 4th millennium BC to 2nd millennium BC — is contemporary to IVC.

      According to wikipedia:
      OCP culture was a contemporary neighbor to Harappan civilization, and between 2500 BC and 2000 BC, the people of Upper Ganga valley were using Indus script. While the eastern OCP did not use Indus script, the whole of OCP had nearly the same material culture and likely spoke the same language throughout its expanse.[4][5] The OCP marked the last stage of the North Indian Bronze Age and was succeeded by the Iron Age black and red ware culture and the Painted Grey Ware culture.


  4. It’s sad that he received violent threats but online anonymity brings that out against a wide variety of people. Nothing special there. On the point of personal attacks against him and his family, I believe that was completely fair according to the rules of the game that Armin started. When you make fun of something that people hold dear, don’t be surprised when they make fun of something you hold dear, including your family. I saw a tweet wherein he mentioned that he won’t be visiting India due to this incident. It’s funny how someone could expect any population to welcome a foreigner who makes fun of their culture.

    1. yeah this thing is blowing up. I mean hatred of what amounts to basically AASI attributable looks has been rampant in recent history. There is a reason Indians are considered even bottom tier among the lowest of the low community, incels.

      Darker skin, “tropical features,” and relatively low lean body mass on average are considered repulsive. Nixon basically implies Pakistanis are less clever but not as ugly. I mean makes sense. They are less shifted on average along the spectrum of aforementioned traits. I think people underestimate how much racial hatred and contempt there really is for what can basically be summed up as the AASI heavy pheno

      This is also why we get hardcore racist NW S Asian trolls, Hindu and Muslim Jat alike ;), who come on here and talk about how different they are. Some hide it better than others. But it ends up boiling down to racial hatred. I am happy the most recent one professed it so bluntly several times as the origin of his insecurity of association.

  5. Chittadhara:

    “One has to be incredibly stupid to deny that steppe population did not come to India. They did.”

    1. @Milan Todorovic
      Whether Steppe migrants came to India is unproven right now; it may just be Indus_Periphery people having some Steppe ancestry returning home. This is because Narsimhan et al. have fit a distal model not a proximal model. Other competing models exist, but it was only this model that fit their nice little theory. Without more data, it remains just that: a model.

      1. Can you explain (at least some model) the same r1a genetics btw. millions of SAsians and Serbs (Slavics)?

      2. @Milan Todorovic
        Sorry, I don’t know the answer. There is not enough data to infer what happened; I don’t want to speculate needlessly. Maybe you are right, maybe not.

  6. in my opinion, what nixon and kissinger said is exactly what a northie and southie think here , and also talk about it in closed circles.

  7. in my opinion, what nixon and kissinger said is exactly what a northie and southie think here , and also talk about it in closed circles.

    1. lol they really hate themselves that much. they seriously think of themselves as the ugliest people on average in the world? Sad if true.

  8. Really interesting podcast of economics prof. Karthik Muralidharan on Indian education: https://seenunseen.in/episodes/2020/8/9/episode-185-fixing-indian-education/

    Some points to ponder in the conversation:

    16:00 – 90% of education service delivery functions are with states so that’s where outcomes need to be graded.

    21:10 – The Sen-ien view is that development is not just GDP but about capability and health + education is a large part of that.

    27:21 – Where the market analogy breaks down in schooling is that schooling is a club good that includes some and excludes others, they aren’t trying to max market share.

    32:50 – The govt. plays 3 different roles in the ecosystem: as a policymaker, a regulator, and a provider. The role of the private sector is dramatically different in these 3 sections. As a policymaker the private sector is an ally, as a regulator the private sector is an equal, but as a provider the private sector is a competitor.
    A majority of the structure of govt. departments in personnel and budget in education work as a provider, so the govt. as a provider is how decision makers look at the policy-making and regulation, since the provider doesn’t want the competition and gets in the way of the public interest compared to the govt. as a policymaker it causes a conflict of interest.

    40:00 – A lot of left-libertarians believe in minimizing the heavy handedness of the state, but also believe in reducing the effects of the genetic lottery to the extent possible by providing more purchasing power and dignity to the poor and allow them to participate in the market.

    41:47 – One way for democracy to deliver greater services is to decentralize much more. The level of aggregation is so high that you’re expressing preferences over so many dimensions about what you care about in one vote that decentralization allows the unbundling of the vote and allows the local vote to concentrate on service delivery and create democratic accountability.

    1:07:48 – Physical vs. human capital in education: 10 years after WW2, universities that lost their physical capital due to bombings had completely recovered, whereas 50 years later universities that lost intellectual capital (mainly Jews) still did not recover.

    1:12:55 – On reducing class size, matters the most when children are very young. At older ages it’s not very cost effective.

    1:23:18 – An enormous variation in learning outcomes within the same classroom, partly the effect of the no retention policy. As it’s impossible for a teacher to cater to this variation, so s/he defers to completing the curriculum.

    1:38:40 – Inefficiency in competing in the market results in being sorted out of the system, and the natural selection gets rewarded in the form of profitability. Even best-intentioned bureaucrats have limitations in terms of technical capacity and time horizon, and responds mostly to pressure groups around.

    1:43:17 – Hilarious Hindi line by educational functionary.

    1:47:50 – Individual line departments have zero incentive for cost effectiveness, because they’re trying to maximize their own budget. In a world of limited resources cost effectiveness is a moral imperative, as these problems of human development are so pressing.

    1:56:05 – Education around the world is a local service, by voting for a mayor who’s main output determination criteria would be service delivery.

    1:59:33 – High performing organizations are characterized on autonomy on process to frontline workers with accountability for outcome. In the govt. it’s the opposite, micromanaging on process with zero accountability for outcome.

    2:13:08 – Foundational literacy and numeracy defined as point where can you read to learn? Primary school (for the first 3 years) to learn to read for the purpose of capability to read to learn.

    2:25:18 – Much better health outcomes from investing in roads rather than clinics, as clinics are locally sub-scale but roads allow for the logistics to bringing people where there is scale.

    2:54:27 – There’s no guarantee that a private school would accept kids as they are essentially clubs, where exclusion happens on multiple characteristics like interviewing what the parents do, schools should compete on effectiveness and not selection.

    3:08:50 – The impossible trilemma in service delivery, i.e. the government has an execution deficit, the private sector has a trust deficit, and civil society has a scale deficit. Civil society has intentions and ability to deliver but is limited by fundraising, govt. has scale and legitimacy but can’t execute to save its life, the private sector can execute and scale but beyond a stage of growth outcomes can’t be improved by squeezing inefficiencies out and they become rent seekers.

  9. I mean he’s not wrong. Nobody thinks Indians (both men and women) are particularly attractive. Nobody really fetishizes us. Plus many of us are skinny fat, have bug eyes, broad noses, dark circles under the eyes. Not to mention being short and extremely hairy.

    Granted some of this can be overcome. I shave every day, get my back hair waxed, remove nose and ear hair. Constantly in the gym to avoid having a typical Indian physique.

    1. diet, fashion sense, working out can all ameliorate this. 2nd gen Indians in the US look WAY better than most Indians in India, from what I’ve seen, based on my biased western perspective

      I notice in YouTube videos. People from MENA don’t look that diff in their homelands. They look almost equally well fed and sometimes even more fashionable.

      Indians are just very very poor and malnourished. And the beauty standards of the Global North shit on darker skin and tropical features. Hence, this unfortunate combo kinda screws Indians within the looks reputation department,not to mention the self hatred filled worshipping of our most West Eurasian people, putting them at the centers of our entertainment, modeling, and hospitality industries.

      AASI lives matter 😉

      1. Nobody likes tropical features tbh. Even among blacks, asians and middle easterners this is the case.

        All those things can help but nothing fixes bug eyes, broad noses and dark circles under the eyes in addition to short stature and general lack of robustness and athleticism.

    2. Most of what you mention is a function of poverty and a survivalist society.

      Average height is a generational issue that’ll increase when 30% of the country isn’t malnourished and a majority of parents have an idea of childhood nutrition.

      Skinny fat can be fixed by a workout routine, which in today’s world is correlated to leisure time and body awareness, dark circles are caused by stress and overwork and can be handled with good skincare.

      On average between 20 and 30% of the Western world is obese, for the US it’s over a third. As for body hair, there’s a large variation among Indians, it ranges from a lot to not much. Middle Easterners on average have more body hair, and so do many Europeans but lighter hair on lighter skin makes it less visible.

      If visual media is your cue then it’s mainly people in the top 20% of attractive who get most of the attention there, especially if it targets the 18-35 audience seeing how youth is celebrated in the dominant media spaces.

  10. Nobody thinks Indians (both men and women) are particularly attractive

    I find Indian women quite attractive. I don’t find Southern Indian women to be less so just because they’re darker. I’ve noticed that Southern Indians – and this includes men, too – often have softer facial features than Northerners. I can see a clear difference between Indians and Middle-Easterners. Many Indians often have straighter, smaller noses and more subtle features. I find that appealing.

    I still rate white women, particularly Northern European women, to be more attractive but this is also “home bias”.

    1. @principia:

      If I may ask, what is it that interests you about India?

      You said previously that you’re from a Germanic country, I don’t know whether you include Scandinavia in that category, but I have been to the larger 4 Germanic states – Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Netherlands, and Flanders in Belgium, and the locals there had a polite detachment from any detailed information on India. It wasn’t much of a topic of conversation compared to East Asia which is developed or South-East Asia that they considered more tourist-friendly.

      A few of them who visited the country mildly told me that they didn’t enjoy it as they had low chaos & dysfunction tolerance, especially being where they’re from. The ones that enjoyed it were the alternative living, vegan/ yoga/ spiritual types. I would rarely see the credential-seeking working rich 20 and 30 somethings wanting to work in India, as they’d prefer Singapore/ Hong Kong (the past version, not today)/ Japan/ Korea/ UAE/ rich Chinese coastal cities, and leverage the purchasing power from there to visit the more exotic Asian locales. The exception being the international organization and NGO types who needed the cred from poorer places for their career.

      Not that I have any issues with it, some places are more comfortable to live than others, especially if childhood upbringing is taken into account. That being said, I also didn’t notice many negative stereotypes from them about India apart from the normal dirty/ poor/ women’s safety topics. There wasn’t the same…fear – what they felt socially from some Middle Eastern migrants or geopolitically from the Chinese.

      1. Sorry for the late reply.

        If I may ask, what is it that interests you about India?

        My interests in India are purely abstract. I don’t have any personal connection nor any political reasons. I’m fascinated by the question how it withstood the Islamic onslaught in a way that pagan Europe did not withstand the Christian one.

        India is also more accessible than China. Indians themselves are typically more extroverted and elite discourse in India is in English for the most part, which makes it easier to delve deeper into a society. India being a democracy also means that the media is more willing to be frank and socially critical in a way that Chinese or Vietnamese media won’t, as their reporting is stale and anodyne.

        I would rarely see the credential-seeking working rich 20 and 30 somethings wanting to work in India, as they’d prefer Singapore/ Hong Kong (the past version, not today)/ Japan/ Korea/ UAE/ rich Chinese coastal cities, and leverage the purchasing power from there to visit the more exotic Asian locales. The exception being the international organization and NGO types who needed the cred from poorer places for their career.

        I think a controversial but unsaid issue here is cultural liberalism. Poorer countries like Vietnam or the Philippines offer plenty of sexual opportunities for a 20-something middle-class male Westerner. India does not, outside of a small niche of highly liberal/westernised urban middle-class women. And even then, my impression is that social mores are considerably more conservative than in the West. For single men in their 20s and 30s – the most likely demographic willing to try out new countries with little to lose – these rather nether region matters… matter. Though it is not “polite” to talk about it openly.

        For women, sexual adventures are perhaps less important but India has a bad reputation when it comes to women’s safety. So there’s that repellant. (For men, my impression is that safety is largely a non-issue in terms of violence/assaults. Scamming is a different matter).

        I also think that Indian cities are more chaotic and dirtier than in SEA, even to visit, which is probably not helping matters. Westerners are sticklers for such things. Pollution is a recent more pressing issue as well, especially for those with families where children are vulnerable.

        But over the long-term, there’s no reason why India can’t become more attractive. I personally hope it doesn’t become as sexually liberal as Thailand/Philippines etc, but if incomes rise and cities become cleaner, I could well see a stream of 20-somethings come to India to work for a few years and then move on.

        It’s actually kind of bizarre how little most people here know about the country despite it being huge. The same can also be said about China or even most non-Western countries. I feel like Indians (at least middle-class Indians) know far more about us than vice versa. Hopefully this will balance itself out over the years.

        People like me are a bit of an oddity in that I don’t have a personal, economic or political stake in India. My interest is purely intellectual. Can’t explain it more than that, given that I have no connection to India where I live.

        1. I know a Swedish guy who finds India absolutely fascinating. But his one complaint was that he felt Ebony women were more attractive. He also had a strong dislike of Russian’s. Interesting fellow.

  11. People like Armin Navabi do not come out of a void. It is useful to ask “who, whom?’ in these situations. During the time of the Iraq war, Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Irshad Manji were promoted as honest critics of Islam. They had credibility as they were Muslim or former Muslims. Ali and Manji were parroting the neocon propaganda of Islam as a “nihilistic cult of death.” They called for a Western led war against Islam.

    Now we have Armin Navabi, an ex Shia Muslim, born in Tehran parroting the same Islam is a “nihilistic cult of death” just when neocons in the US are preparing for a war against Iran.

  12. @Ronen

    That episode was probably one of the best I’ve listened to regardless of topic in a long time. I find Amit Varma’s podcast to be pretty underwhelming otherwise.

    Karthik is entirely correct that there is a huge crisis in Indian education and it isn’t about spending. Indian teachers earn a lot in relative terms compared to their median peers. Yet outcomes are terrible, outside of a few niche elite schools.

    This is fundamentally a socio-political question. Why is there not more political accountability of the terrible educational outcomes in India? It’s a topic I’ve touched on before. It’s not because Indian parents don’t care. Even very poor ones will go to enormous lengths to educate their kids.

    This is also why I am somewhat more pessimistic on India vis-a-vis Vietnam, given that Vietnam invested much more comprehensively and crucially also held its teachers and schools to account in a way that India just has not. The result is that India’s human capital is far below potential, which will limit its future growth prospects until this bottleneck is removed.

    1. Wrt to India vs Vietnam.

      Vietnam stands to benefit a lot more from decoupling than India does.

      It is a lot closer to China, geographically, culturally, and politically.

      If the US starts putting up trade restrictions on Chinese made products. A lot of manufacturing companies will find it to be a relatively easy shift to start making electronics for export to America in Vietnam rather than Guangdong.

      India is more of an unknown entity.

      I think India has an edge in some industries (medicine / pharmaceuticals). And perhaps if the government becomes competent enough to leverage India’s internal market to start building manufacturing competence.

      I am not familiar with the Vietnamese or Indian education system. So can’t comment on the differences.

      But when I was in Saigon, it struck me as interesting to see translated copies of ‘Sapiens’ being sold on the street. In Mumbai my impression was that all the copies being sold would be in English.

      So I think India’s failure to make up its mind with regards to language has hurt the education system quite a bit.

      I think the education problem will be solved to some degree in India by the shift to internet based learning, rather than government intervention or NGOs.

      Overall I am more bullish on Vietnam than India. But I am still bullish on India.

      1. @Sumit

        Yes, I agree with you on the language issue. The new NEP will hopefully ameliorate this. I’m fairly postive on India in the long-term, but unless there is a watershed change in how primary and secondary education is being done, “long-term” could mean a very long time indeed.

  13. Do not know too much about him. Is it a reaction towards Charlie Hebdo republishing the cartoons? He is just going after low hanging fruit.?

  14. Did something happen to the Matt Yglesias interview? I listened to ~3/4ths of it, but it seems to have since disappeared from the podcast app and isn’t on the website.

  15. Kushal Mehra the Carvaka hosted a podcast on the topic ; Razib was there as well. Check it out – makes good conversation. Though I don’t tend to agree with nuances Kushal was making I get where he was coming from.

  16. I watched Armin’s Podcast last night. He was addressing that by just posting the Kali Maa sexy poster on Twitter he have enraged people he didn’t know can enraged to this level.
    He did it on purpose obviously. He don’t care about religious feelings. He just wanted to show that people like that cut across religious ground.

    People that made the attacks on her late mother( by posting adult memes of her) just proves his point and gives him more power.

    I have seen worse sexual images of all maa’s Kali,Durga,Radha etc on Reddit made by artists but there intention was to create art by appropriating.

    Also he said that Muslims called his death etc when he tore the quran but no one made the effort to make his dead mom memes.

    I am weird to this post i have already seen stuff on Khajurao temples ( i.e prime example of Hindu sexual liberty ) and modern images of Hindu Gods as Masculine Hunks and Godesses as feminine beauty.
    The Rural Pagans( mostly young bloods and people who have encountered first time what FOE really means) have finally found that they can say what they want and have made Hinduism look like any other basic Human religion with reactionary people as we can see in the comments and memes.
    I have been on the internet like 2-3more years than them and also because i watch English YouTubers i know the value of FOE.(Pewdiepie is the proponent of Free speech )

    Is there a tribal god angle here( Is Kali Maa tribal god of Bengali/Bihari people that decent from Austro-Asiatic peoplespeaking groups)
    What’s you hypothesis?

    1. I guess it’s who is doing it that matters – the fact that he is an Ex Muslim in west made it worse; ppl have too much time IMO. As you said I have seen worse images with much less outrage. It’s also almost like He raised his game and Hindutva twitter wanted to raise there.

    2. People that made the attacks on her late mother( by posting adult memes of her) just proves his point and gives him more power.
      It doesn’t prove his point. It is *your assumption* that one attack is completely fine and the other is completely evil. Your view is basically “What I declare offensive is unacceptable but what others declare offensive and I don’t is acceptable”. Your view is what is consistent with liberalism and libertarianism, but you would do well to understand that there are people who don’t subscribe to these views.

      1. I didn’t say its fine or not fine .
        Both Action and Reaction was fine. I was alluding that he succeeded in his work i.e uncovering the abrahamic/ blashphemous nature of people in general.

  17. He has exposed his own fan base of some Trigger happy Hindus that will follows him.
    You just have to say these things to have a fan base.
    1 Pakistani are Descended from Hindus.
    2 India is becoming a SuperPower in the world.
    3 Say shit about Islamic ideology and theology.
    4 Muhammed-Aisha Jokes.
    5 Shit about Islamic Invasions and Praising Ancient Culture( this is a fair point).

    I know someday this gonna backfire when they criticize Hinduism without even criticizing it.( Just a photo is enough).
    Thank god i am not on twitter or else i would be mentally disturbed.

    INDIANS in india can’t handle the ridicule that lChristianity face in the west cause india doesn’t have free speech in that regard.

    1. INDIANS in india can’t handle the ridicule that lChristianity face in the west cause india doesn’t have free speech in that regard.

      Well not sure if you are aware of this, but Christianity has waned in the west. The new faith of Woke Justice has arisen to fill the void.

      Try blaspheming against any Woke ideas on twitter, youtube, or just studying something academically that may possibly go against its ideology. And see how far you get. lol

      Like the old religions there are of course many good things about Woke, so this isn’t a direct criticism.

      Just saying the west has its own sacred cows, wearing the wrong type of red hat at the wrong place in America can put you at risk of equal physical harm as wearing a turban in other places.

      The stronger the emotional attachments you have to your sacred cows the further you are from spiritual enlightenment from a Dharmic point of view.

      But if you want to win at the game of human social competition then this sort attachment is fairly irrelevant.

      1. Yeah man I agree. Its kind of the nature of social media.
        Intellectual or online mobs are still better than physical mobs.
        Frustated and velle of the world come and utter rubbish,feel good and then sleep thinking they are the best.

        1. I am observing some Wokish stuff from hindutva right as well. Not to the extent slapstick implied in the piece about Saffron woke – but I feel it’s ascendent

  18. One Hindu tweeter Ronak Agarwal has succeeded in counter-triggering Armin Navabi:

    ArminFor you: Hindu Mother Goddess is mythical and non existent. Insulting her is fair game for you.For that person: Your mother was just a collection of cells and she is also non existent. Insulting her is fair game for him.Do you see the problem with lack of respect now? https://t.co/LGw4QjhCkT— True Indology (@TIinExile) September 6, 2020

    Those libertarian-types here who think Armin Navabi’s comments were fine but Ronak Agarwal’s was not, I would like to hear your view – not based on your libertarian/liberal axiom (for that would be circular reasoning) but on more fundamental human considerations – why Armin is not wrong but Ronak Agarwal/True Indology is.

    Just as trads don’t want to litigate their fundamental assumptions on caste or Chingiz Khan, I find libertarians/liberals not wanting to litigate their fundamental assumptions either. They have always managed to get away because they attracted the elite in the society, so others were always craving their approval. Now that leftists have overplayed their hand and libertarians have tried to underplay their hypocrisy as needed to signal their “sophistication”, both these establishments are not going to get as freee a run as they used to.

    For the record, true indology has clarified that it is not something he doesn’t detest doing, but the analogy should be understood:

    I personally detest both the ideas. Insulting someone's mother and insulting mother goddess. And I am not justifying any abuse. I just wish some people realise all humans hold some ideas dear and don't like those to be insulted.The pain of insult is the same— True Indology (@TIinExile) September 6, 2020

    One Hindu reaction I saw:

    Rohan Aggarwal is the hero Hindus need, but not the one they deserve right now https://t.co/aqgLGipw8W— Jean V Dubois (@doubtinggaurav) September 6, 2020

    1. Yeah its a good counter agrument from scientific point of view.
      You just have to adhere to the Twitter Terms of service.
      Comments like killings,raping,beheadings etc are not tolerated by twitter.

    2. I can’t explain why I feel that Agarwals comment crossed a line rationally. Maybe I can try later.
      Mind u I got uncomfortable seeing the kali pic despite being an atheist but I felt Agarwal went too low. Coz maybe I value humans (esp mothers) over gods.
      But TrueIndology didn’t at all cross any lines.

      1. Fair enough @GauravL. Will be interested in hearing if you articulate more later. To be sure, to me too involving someone’s mother feels harsher than invoking a deity, so to me the difference is one of degree rather than of kind. What got my goat was this subtle hint that “being covered under freedom of expression, it is a cool thing to do” – everyone knows that that is a wrong argument (they don’t apply it to fat-shaming or misogyny or racism or to individual humans), but nevertheless condone it when the target is a group they don’t like, because it lowers the standards for how nice one has to be to that group.

      2. @GauravL

        You forgot an important distinction. Where are dead people now, according to atheists? Making fun of a real, live person is different from that of a dead person.

        Rohan Agarwal pointed out an important hole in the beliefs of atheists. Where do dead people go? Why are they getting triggered?

        1. I am with Vivekanand on this; his famous discussion with a Gora Britisher – where he essentially asks what’s in the portrait of your father. I get it its the same as in someone’s Idols. But Armin’s level and some of his troll responses level are different IMO.
          At EOD he sort of knew what he was getting into and he has worked it to his advantage; And this will provoke other new atheists to pull same shit and get similar response i guess

    3. A collection of cells is still existent so the analogy doesn’t map out. Anyway there is no need to rationalise this twitter squabble.

  19. The whole freethinker gang of atheists getting triggered because Armin’s dead mother is in a NSFW meme is funny as fuck! Is there some Canadian law that prohibits lowbrow comedy against dead people?

    Actually this validates the insight that atheists tend to invest ALL their spiritual energy into ancestors. This is in the absence of a otherworldly dimension that they deny themselves. They tend to exaggerate the importance of historical matters, roots and origins (like genetics, anthropology, urbanism etc).

    I have a funny anecdote about Periyar, the incorrigible atheist. There is, even today, an annual competition to judge the best, well maintained temple in TN by the Kanchi Mutt. There is a temple in Erode that kept on winning continuously in the 70s. On enquiry, it was found that it was the Kuldevatha of Periyar’s family and Periyar himself donated a sizeable amount to keep up the temple. Because this now somehow was both funny and self-validating to the Kanchi Mutt, they enquired further if Periyar had a change of heart at death. Apparently Periyar’s father asked his son to continue the upkeep as long as possible. So indeed, Periyar bequeathed an amount for the temple at his death. Apparently the religious beliefs of his father were important than those of common people, whom he regularly dissuaded from going to temples.

    What’s sauce for the atheist goose is ketchup for the theist gander!!

    1. Periyar was a very bitter and uncouth man IMO; I can’t get why he is such a big thing in the South. Didn’t even comes across as principled.

      1. Periyar was from the Telugu speaking elites. They were in TN since the Palayakkarars (Polygars). This community lost their powers to the British. And the British invested in Tam Brahms to be the cornerstone of their edifice in Madras Presidency.

        Periyar’s invective towards Brahmins also had a historical grievance. This is not very well known to a lot of people.

        1. i was told that he was from a kannada speaking family. nayakas and palegars are kannada speakers.

          1. It’s widely disseminated that he was from Kannada speaking family. But the Vaishnavite fervour (2 Vishnu names in Venkatappa Ramaswamy) combined with the Balija Naidu caste points to a Telugu origin. It is atypical for Kannada Nayaks.

            The fact that he knew Telugu very fluently from childhood is a giveaway.

            A lot of Periyar has been conveniently sanitized in the last 40 years. Telugu speaking communities aren’t well received in the Dravidian parties.

      2. “I can’t get why he is such a big thing in the South.”

        South has few heroes to speak of during the Brits time (and immediate aftermath) who are somewhat Pan-Indian. Almost all of them were Chidambaram -esque , folks who cant win municipality, but are seen as erudite in N-India. So they latch on to whatever few “mass” leaders from that era who had some contribution one way or the other.

        So what if one doesn;t have an Ambedkar , one can always “invent” own dravidian version of him.

        1. Yeahh – they had some congressmen though – Rajaji, Kamaraj – but were they mass leaders ?
          Periyar is a one unique character from the country – is there any good biography or unbiased essay on him you would recommend

          1. There is none to my knowledge. Most are either hagiographies by dravidians and their apologists “house Tam Brahms” .

            To put in context he is what Shivaji is to Maharashtra.

  20. Just throwing out a suggestion:

    Could we try to get Saagar Enjeti to come on the podcast?

    – He co-hosts a show called Rising with Krystal Ball. They’re both economically left, but socially Saagar is more conservative and Krystal more progressive. Good show to watch and they both have some heterodox views (as in they don’t just always follow what their tribe wants them to).

    – He is pretty popular on Twitter.

    – On the other hand, maybe he’s too popular to get him to come on. And he doesn’t really share views about India and stuff, definitely more Indian American with an emphasis on American.

    1. This will increasingly be the brown equivalent of what high-status white leftists like Elizabeth Warren do when they fake (native) Indian ancestry.

      It’s pathetic all around.

  21. https://golfcharliepapa.blogspot.com/2020/09/a-dire-prediction-disastrous-military.html
    Curious about punditeer commentary on the scenario laid out above. Will India cross the nuclear threshold under this scenario? The author assumes otherwise.

    In a nutshell, China uses US distraction from the post-election mail-in ballot crisis to launch a quick war against India in mid-November along with Pakistan. Pakistan annexes J&K till the Chenab. China annexes Arunachal/South Tibet and makes Ladakh, Sikkim, as well as Nagaland, Mizoram (basically non-Indic northeast) indpependent buffer states between India and China. Kinetic actions stay below nuclear threshold and end before 2021 rolls in. Pax Sinica then prevails in Asia. Pakistani Jihadism for further territorial gains vs India restrained by China. Hindutva humiliated in India, but continues to rule by exploiting religious fissures. India joins BRI etc…, forgoes a blue-water navy, and achieves middle income status by mid-century under Chinese dominance.

    1. That’s a scary prospect. Sadly I think it’s hard to count on the US to intervene (to neutralize China) in the manner the USSR did (to neutralize the US).

      This would be the greatest loss suffered by a nuclear power yet, I think. Hopefully the fear of MAD would restrain China, but who knows.

    2. I don’t think this scenario is likely. How does China benefit from this? “They can’t possibly be that stupid” is a question I’ve stopped asking when it comes to America, but I still have higher hopes for the intelligence of China’s elite.

      The epilogue is complete fantasy, and the CPC has to know it. India won’t take a humiliating loss like that and just become China’s bitch. It’ll be the start of a permanent, seething grudge, held by a nuclear power on China’s doorstep. And what does China gain for the eternal enmity of India? A few worthless mountain territories, and a temporary rush of nationalist fervor.

    3. Some pundits watch things from Indian perspective, but they should do this from Chinese perspective. From this perspective, eventual benefits exceed the cost paid for this. There is another story (I may write about this) how US is engaging various players and is planning to include India in the surrounding of China (and Russia, but this is different story) and cut the Belt and Road and Chinese supply lines. Chinese can stay and watch how India’s military power (especially nuclear) grows to match Chinese military power. The next step would be that US blocks trade routes in Chinese Sea around islands in dispute. Or, they can, by following Sun Tzu tactics, do pre-emptive attack while they still have advantage (Japan is also a part of the US story), protect their border by buffer zone made of semi-dependent puppet countries/territories and install Pakistan as a permanent danger directed to the soft stomach of India, which will take into account the sizeable taqiyya population in India which is easy to activate as jihadists.

      If I am Chinese decision maker, I would be thinking along these lines, the time is not their ally. What India should do? For the beginning, they should seriously study own ancient history and 1000 of years of on/off fighting Chinese and coexisting with them by the Aryans’ ‘Chinese’ wing (it is worth mentioning that actually Aryans gave them the name). If India, like some frustrated pundits here, pushes the head into the sand, the future is bleak. Waking up will be painful. They should also consult those whom Chinese in ancient times called ‘northern people’ and who are actually cousins of the Aryans ‘Indian’ wing.

    4. In principle China can damage India militarily; howevr India is too proud to be China’s junior partnet , which role Pakistan is happy to do. Even after all this Pakistan won’t get J&K
      Howver that will confirm the worst fears of the rest of the world about China, which will lead to strong anti-China alliance. It would be a strategic blunder. Already India has joined Quad4 due to Chinese threats so far, any large scale adventure by China will lead to a complete rupture with India.
      It will be like Russia- West relations after the grab of Crimea/east Ukraine

    5. More plausible scenario is that China takes military action to grab Siachen Glacier and parts of Ladakh, if not this year then very soon. I am sure Indian military planners are also thinking of these eventualities and deploying accordingly.

    6. If China attacks India bigtime, the situation will be like that after Hitler’s grab of Suedentenland and subsequently Czechioslovakia , and Austria in 1938. After that no one was under illusion about Hitelr’s hegemonic ambitions using military means. That will unify many countries against China

    7. Having read on the 1962 war, and being aware of the sobering reality of our armed forces, I think people here are overrating the ability of India’s military to fight a two front war.

      Our main advantage vis-a-vis these two countries is on the naval front. Remove that theater, and a combined China-Pakistan army and air force is possibly three times as strong as what we have.

      I think the underlying reason for such an attack might not be long term strategic goals, but the fact that Xi is under enormous pressure at home.

      1. Fighting and capturing territory is different than defending your own. There is a reason y India cannot annex parts of Pakistan (not nuclear) because its a more coherent territory than it was in 71, even though on power differential it roughly what China has over India. Once the battles shifts from grey zones to Indian controlled or China controlled territory, no side would be able make those video games like thrust. Especially if one has to just sit back and defend. Plus China advantages of sitting on Tibetan plateau and making faster maneuvers in the immediate border is mitigated once they cross and are actually in those heights. And since Indian side consists of mostly those mountains they are more acclimatized than the Chinese. .

        On 2 front war, there is a reason y Pakistan has been silent or denied its possibility. Its because Pakistan still doesn;t want a clean break from US and the western world and move to China’s orbit if it can help it. Any sign of military colluding with China in an active war, will not only strengthen Indian alliance but it will pose a choice to Pak’s (western-oriented and Arab inclined) elite 2 hard shift totally towards China. They might their separate maneuvers on the West/Kashmir, but that;s something we know they can do independently of China.

        1. Yes, US opprobrium would hold Pakistan back, but can we be sure that Pakistan would become a pariah in the West after fighting in disputed, Muslim-majority territory ?

          1. Yeah, if the Muslim majority territory it seeks to fight for already have a status quo imposed on it by western countries. Its not like its fighting to liberate Xiankiang.

            In the 90s the west had no or negative views about India, and Pakistan even a bigger favorite of US, and that’s was the closest they came to wrest Kashmir.

    8. The article is tragic – so many defeats in just a few paragraphs!! The blogger has suffered some form of abuse, probably parental.

  22. Saurav same question I have never read anything more deluded than that and becoming a Chinese vassal lmao.

    1. I see some of the points lifted from Pak defense forum and such though. So not totally out of the blue, but it takes this whole thing to a different level where Pak defense folks be like “Bas kar pagle, Rulayega kya?”. BTW there are some silver linings in this analysis for India as well. I mean….

      My rule of thumb on all this “analysis” is what any analysis talks about Modi. The more outlandish theories there are on Modi, the more outlandish the analysis.

  23. Saurav pak defence forum is the most deluded site i have ever come across this article underestimates India and overestimates both Pakistan and China as it would have been easier to write China will take everything apart from UP and Bihar and get it over with instead of writing what he has the guy should have just written that he hates Modi and therefore wants everything written in the article to happen.

  24. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pohxVTG5uaA

    (the talk is in maratha so i have added a summary) –
    Sharad Pawar speaks about Savarkar in 1989 – lavishly praising his Freedom struggle, work against Caste & even subtly supports Savarkar’s definition of Hindutva;
    How much polarized we have become as a politically partisan entity is really astounding – Today Savarkar is unpalatable for anyone on the left 😛

    1. After savarkar’s death, Indira gandhi opened his portrait in LokSabha and eulogised him. In any history of Freedom struggle in India , his name will be in the forefront. Hindutva/antiH split came decades later. In politics and history , nothing is inevitable. Existance of Pakistan was not inevitable – so was rise of Hindutva

    2. There are people who talk in forked tongue and then there is Pawar, in a league of his own.

      “Existance of Pakistan was not inevitable – so was rise of Hindutva”

      And thank god for both cases

  25. What do you guys think the outcome of China controlling our rivers will be? Its unfortunate that this is the case. Egypt is in a similar place.

    1. Well the rivers flow through India to Chinese ally Pakistan. And to neutral Bangladesh.

      So a bit different from Egypt’s situation.

  26. Been looking up this Armin Navabi guy and realized that he is psychologically brave / crazy enough to have been a radical Islamist jihadi if he was a true believer.

    But instead he lost his faith, became a humanist, and now the only thing he is harming is some religious people’s “sentiments”.

    So if I wanted to reduce radical Islamism I think the best thing is just fund a bunch of atheists and spread atheist material all over social media. Especially in local languages.

    It won’t have any impact on the vast majority of Muslims who are pretty much just psychologically normal people not prone to extremism.

    But I suspect the people brave / crazy enough psychologically to become jihadis based on their convictions are the same people who are brave / crazy enough to become ex-Muslims and face death threats etc.

  27. If there is something universally wrong about bringing Armin’s mother into it, it’s that the zealots think Armin’s offense justifies their own. If insulting the Mother Goddess and insulting someone’s mother are equally reprehensible, that does not mean that Armin committing one offense justifies Hindutva trolls committing the other. His mother did nothing wrong, and neither did any of her other family members who would be horrified by the troll material. It’s like shooting someone’s child because they shot your own, instead of shooting the actual culprit.

    At another level, I have more respect for Armin because even if I disagree with his principles, I know that he’s a man of principle. But the kind of person who instinctively turns to insulting someone’s dead mother has no principles. Would any respectable Mother Goddess want her devotees to go around insulting other people’s dead mothers, even in her defense? You get the sense that these people are just looking for an excuse to act like the lowest form of human being possible.

    1. Some thoughts:

      It would be interesting if he contested endogamy doesn’t imply Hinduism and go down that rabbit hole. Basically take your assumption at face value and then challenge the link. I don’t know how. Maybe state Buddhism had some of that, despite Buddha rejecting caste. It wouldn’t be an easy case to make.

      Alternative: state that despite the fact that the people of the NW were Hindu, their culture was significantly different enough to offer a rational continuum of split between the Gangetic plains and Indus Valley peoples.

      His whole goal, a he states himself, is to show Pak as a civilizational entity different enough from anything in the modern day Republic of India, to justify the existence of Pak on civilizational grounds. I don’t think he wants to abandon this at any cost. He wants a civilizational narrative to justify his greater Punjab ethno- nationalism. Pak to him isn’t about S Asian Islam. To him it is about proving the people of the lands of the indus are distinct enough from gangetic plains people to be thought off as separate historiographical entities from the ancient era onwards, thus justifying the creation of Pak civilizational grounds. He wants almost an Israeli type justification for Pak.

      To him, gangetic plains= Hindu. So showing no era in Pak was majority Hindu is key. Hence his affinity towards Buddhism.

      Side point. He likely also wants to evoke the idea that the people of modern day Pak, as separate civilizational entities, were somehow more egalitarian via their Buddhism and hence more advanced in thought, something that can be easily conveyed to Western audience, insofar as superstitious and polytheistic Hinduism looks uncouth, to say the least, compared to deeply philosophical Buddhism. This is a rather superficial understanding but one that is widespread and thus perhaps worth pandering to.

      Interesting guy. Him and I are literally the same demographic, S Asian 2nd gen men in their 20s in medicine. HM is a bit older. Notice any similarities among us?

      1. ” He likely also wants to evoke the idea that the people of modern day Pak, as separate civilizational entities, were somehow more egalitarian via their Buddhism and hence more advanced in thought, something that can be easily conveyed to Western audience, insofar as superstitious and polytheistic Hinduism looks uncouth, to say the least, compared to deeply philosophical Buddhism”

        Very Dravidian blueprint.

        1. \Very Dravidian blueprint\
          Rubbish. Dravidian movement leaders like EVR had no philosophical inclinations much less any love for Buddhism. Drav movement is not an intellectual movement nor has it produced any intellectuals. It is mostly public meetings, drama, cinema type with all guns blazing on brahmins. When Ambedkar was about to convert to Buddhism , EVR advised him against it saying if he wants to reform Hindus and Hinduism, better stay within it . All EVR wanted was anti-brahminical civ , i.e. Indian Civ on it’s head

          1. U can try as much as u want to retrofit Dravidian into Hinduism, because its the new flavor in the town. But no one really believes that Dravidian has anything to do with Hinduism (or that fashionable term folks use AKA Brahman-ism)

  28. It would be interesting if he contested endogamy doesn’t imply Hinduism and go down that rabbit hole. Basically take your assumption at face value and then challenge the link. I don’t know how. Maybe state Buddhism had some of that, despite Buddha rejecting caste. It wouldn’t be an easy case to make.

    so it’s not just endogamy. Muslims have lots of endogamy, and i’m hearing rumors that ancient DNA is gonna show endogamy shows up in lots of places with islamicization. it’s endogamy at a particular time and magnitude. first cousin marriages produce really really long segments. that’s not what you see in north indian hindus. their segments are shorter, and indicative of narrow marriage networks.

    the implication of the paper is that it happened at about the same time as north India. that is way too coincidental for me.

    i don’t know anything about airangang, nor do i care tbh. but there is clear motivated reasoning in his comments when it comes to the genetics. i know that well enough to see where he’s making a mistake, and twisting things to fit his own priors.

    as far as genetics re: pak vs india

    sindhis arguably do exhibit rupture. they are ‘weird’ with lots of IVC and less steppe. but punjabis are pretty straightforward part of the north indian continuum.

    1. isn’t Ariangang our very own INDthings? they have the same bullshit, laughable ahistorical arguments and interest in genetics

      1. no. indthings is a troll and atheist (also half white). airangang is a Muslim and quite sincere. i just think he’s extremely skewed by motivated reasoning just like hindu nationalists. he knows the answer and he’s gonna see what he wants to see the data

  29. There is almost identical situation in the Balkan. So-called ‘Bosniacs’ (25 years old term) are Serbs converts to t-men. The most of this conversion happened about 200-250 years ago. These people still have unconverted close relatives and cousins. Sometimes, one of two brothers converted, and one remained Christian to help each other in these uncertain periods when the future was unknown. They even have the same Serbian surnames. Earlier, they were even declaring Serbian nationality and t-men religion (e.g. the Bosnian president during 90ies). And, what’s happened recently?

    Now, they do not recognize that they have ever been Serbs. They claim that they are descendants from so called ‘bogumils’ (‘dear to God’), which were one stream within medieval Serbian church and state they were not Serbs. They even go further in the past and claim that their ancient ancestors were some ‘Goths’. They even invented new language for themselves, Bosnian, which is identical to Serbian, but all world linguists got direction from ‘deep state’ that they should recognize this language as genuine. Because we often have here some idiotic linguistic maps which present Bosnian as one of IE languages although the difference with Serbian is like US East and West Coast English. The point is that they were almost civilised like any other Euro nation but it took just couple years that many of them slipped back for several centuries in the past and became jihadists. That is a guidance for India. Relatively peaceful t-men population in India, when ‘deep state’ find their interest, very quickly will be transformed into jihadists which will disintegrate the country.

    1. @Milan Todorovic
      Why do you hate Bosnia? You follow a semitic religion; they also follow one. You can all follow a combined semitic religion and get together as one. Won’t it be great?

      1. Your comments sometimes look like good humour and sometimes as kindergarten’s kid writing. First, I don’t hate anyone because I simply do not have time nor energy for this. Obviously, you know less about Balkan’s history than about SA history (I could be wrong). So called Bosnia was a Serbian land for since Vinca and only Serbs lived there (not even latin peasants). During Turkish occupation some Serbs under pressure converted and became the worst enemy of Christians with same genes, language and history. They conducted several genocides against them during the Turkish rule, during the WW1, WW2 and 90ies. The converts are generally the worst people in the world, without any moral, without any shame, without any history or culture, they have only hate.

        Communists’ politics was to destroy Serbian national corpus and because of this they created artificial Muslim nationality (!) (so as Macedonians, Montenegro, Kosovo). Today’s Bosnia is a half muslim and a half Serbian republic with a ceremonial central presidency. The problem with Bosniacs is that during their conversion one half of their brain was removed. In this half was their historical memory, previous culture, reverence for ancestors, sense for modernity, art and aesthetics, logic, truth, shame. As the dumbest group in Balkan (genes cannot help in this) which actively practice taqiyya they are an excellent medium for making thousands of jokes. In spite of many bad things they did, you rather feel sorry for them instead of hating them.

      2. @Milan Todorovic
        I suppose there is too much hatred for reconciliation to work; even Turkey has abandoned its bid to be a part of Europe. I am aware of some parts of Serbian history: I know that Murad I was killed by a knight of Despot Lazar in a battle. It was not enough to halt the conquest of Serbia by Ottomans though.

        1. Yep, it is pretty simplified. Actually, it was a Serbian Pyrrhic win, where they lost all nobility. Turks also had heavy casualties, went back to Asia and did not come back in the following 75 years. When they came back again Serbia was defenceless. Because many consider that Serbs lost the Kosovo battle where other Europeans did not want to help. They were more afraid of the strongest Christin kingdom in Europe then from Muslims. They left Serbia to bleed while protecting the border of European Christian civilisation. Serbia never recovered biologically nor economically from this.

          This coalition btw Muslims and Catholics (both are converts) continued in all conflicts until today. It was the case in the recent civil war and today’s Bosnia is a confederation of Muslim/Catholics and Serbian Republic. Americans, who supported Muslims in war against Serbs, did not allow forming separate entities because they are afraid of Islamic state and they keep pushing for centralized Bosnia where Christians would keep eye on jihadists. Muslims are not happy with a half of Bosnia, they intend to expel Serbs and conquer the whole Bosnia. They are on standby (including 3000 jihadists sent by Pakistani government and 9000 others) and waiting for signal (from deep state) to move on. All previous is relevant to SA and there are parallels.

  30. (Google translated)…In conclusion, the Pentagon emphasizes that “Beijing has global ambitions” and that it will try to strengthen its military presence around the planet. Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, the United Arab Emirates, Kenya, the Seychelles, Tanzania, Angola and Tajikistan are listed as potential countries where China could open its military bases.

    The American response to the “Chinese danger”, especially in the region of the Pacific and the Indian Ocean, was formulated by the Secretary of State for Defense, Mark Esper. He suggested that countries in the region, such as India, Japan and Australia, make the United States a kind of new NATO that would deter and prevent China from expanding.

  31. The Spanggur standoff is heating up. Chinese are bringing more targets into the theatre. India has occupied the heights which is sufficient to retain a 9:1 advantage. Needs to be seen if China takes the bait. Whatever happens, the relationship is transmogrified since August 2020.

    1. China is not the only problem; they are teaming up with Pakistan who has activated its sleeper cells and military against India. You can see a lot of media reports related to terrorists from Delhi and Kashmir. With West busy and uninterested, the next few months are the most crucial.

  32. Hey Razib, is there anyway to subscribe to the patreon content by paying a lumpsum rather than recurring fee? I’m very forgetful and lose track of these cc automated payments

    1. yeah. 2nd gen american s asians look way better on average compared to native living desi counterparts. I think nutrition, exercise,and grooming matter a ton.

      1. Marrying outside of family / caste might also contribute to better health when looking at 2nd / 3rd gen.

  33. I have been following BP for a year now. I am impressed by the immense knowledge that you all share about the intricacies of the caste structure and how it shapes India.
    I would love to read accounts of someone who have had first hand experience of rural customs and role caste plays in daily lives of rural people.

    1. I think the Modi govt might just bite the bullet, take the loan and pay the states. Either that or risk the cess going after 2022. After 2022 the center has no obligation to foot the states bills.And all the laggard (consuming) states which benefited from GST and now jumping up and down for compensation as if GST cess was some god ordained right, will suffer for not meeting the center midway. That would have benefited the states long term, as they could have prolonged the cess period. But again its the state’s loss, and who we are to judge

      It will free up resources for centre after 2022 to go on a mega handout schemes which will come handy in their 2024 elections.

    1. With regards to Brown republicans like dinesh d’souza and white people…

      @12:00: you are siding with your oppressors in the hope that they will side with you when the war begins, they will not…

      With regards to being “Indian” as a Kashmiri Pandit.

      @14:30 saying I am Indian, when my family is Kashmiri is much more loaded… maybe I am Pakistani

      Lolol. what a piece of work.

      1. Well i know KPs whose views are on the same line, on lines of “we too good to be Indian, and y r Biharis Indian”

  34. went on Pak reddit. Interesting. They even recently cited “debate” between Razib and araingang recently. They all cite his medium articles for “Hindu oppression of Buddhists” stuff. It’s quite rich lol

    1. They all cite his medium articles for “Hindu oppression of Buddhists” stuff. It’s quite rich lol

      If India was majority Buddhist instead of majority Hindu, “ancient-Pakistanis” would talk about how they were all Hindus, and would actually have a more coherent narrative.

      Early Vedic Hinduism originates as more of a Western Indo-gangetic plains (Haryana, Punjab) religion.

      Early Buddhism originates as more of an Eastern Indo-gangetic plains (UP, Bihar, Bengal) religion.

      This really is just like OIT people. Missing the forest for the trees.

      1. He is credited to have been a legendary warrior with exceptional skills. Porus fought against the Macedonian Serbian Emperor, Alexander the Great in the Battle of the Hydaspes (326 BC), thought to be fought at the site of modern-day Mong, Punjab, which is now part of Pakistan. Though not recorded in any available ancient Indian source, some descriptions of the battle and the aftermath of Alexander’s victory, anecdotally say that after the defeat and arrest of Porus in the war, Alexander asked Porus how he would like to be treated. Porus, although defeated, proudly stated that he would like to be treated like a king. Alexander was reportedly so impressed by his adversary that he not only reinstated him as a satrap of his own kingdom but also granted him dominion over lands to the south-east extending until the Hyphasis (Beas). Porus reportedly died sometime between 321 and 315 BC.

    1. I think of the Indian Jewish castes, only the Baghdadi jews and Cochin jews were undisputedly recognized as jewishi initially.

      The Bene Israel and a couple of other castes faced more of an up hill battle in terms of recognition from Israel.

      Economist Pia Maleny is Indian jewish, not sure which caste / tribe.


  35. In general, the NW gang can be quite toxic foe being relatively more caucasoid. Differences in religion just amplify this. I call them out. Some apologize and try to reconcile when they find error in their ways. I gain respect for them, even if I don’t agree with some of their views. Others don’t change. Most do though. I have good whisperer success rate

    1. @thewarlock
      I trust I am one of the privileged few that are lucky enough to have gained your trust and respect? I know that I respect you as an individual for sure. I also like Farsan (Khaman et al.) and Shrikhand now, ever since my Gujju neighbor forced me to eat some over tea a couple weeks ago. Good stuff. Patras still rule supreme though.

      BTW, this is my mug in all its glory: In da club: https://imgur.com/a/VkBu7ZS

      Cleaned up: https://imgur.com/a/8V6ksmI

      Please dont quote, will delete later.

    1. I had been told by Telugu friends that Jagan is just nominally christian and he is actually Hindu , LOL.

  36. Wow all the drama popped off over labor day weekend. Razib vs Araingang, Kissinger vs Indian looks, Atheists vs Hinduvadis.

    1. more Nixon lol. Indira really rubbed him the wrong way or maybe he was upset she didn’t at all lol. But in all seriousness,very sad how much weird sexual hatred he had.

    2. Kissinger also said something about the mental stage of Pakistan (his allies) , but we can leave that for now.

  37. Chugged through some reading I missed.

    The subtleties on the genetic papers is mostly lost on me. What Araingang says makes sense. What Razib says also makes sense. We’ll probably know definitive answers when more data and samples become available.

    Also I don’t think Araingang is trying to substitute Islamic Pakistan for the Indus Rashtra. That’s probably closer to my view, and the handful of other truly secular/atheist Pakistanis found online. We are dramatically outnumbered by devoutly Muslim Pakistanis, who are also picking up the Indus theme to rework Pakistan identity, without abandoning the centrality of Islam. Araingang is the most articulate of the bunch, but there are a ton of such users online doing similar work.

    This by the way is where Pakistani identity is going, in some shape or form. The train hasn’t left the station yet, but the passengers are getting on board. I’m in some Pakistani discord and twitter groups, and its not just diaspora/Western-oriented people, there are provincial level politicians from Punjab who visit, and look like they are buying in.

    1. We’ll probably know definitive answers when more data and samples become available.

      this is true. i’m quite open to changing my modal view, which is only modest confidence right now. but tbh i doubt airangang is. just like OIT don’t.

    2. Araingang is narrative first, facts second type of guy. Just my impression. I am sure he means well. But his entire schtick seems to be to add civilizational significance for modern Pak nation state, one that is easily differentiable from the Indian one. Anything to distance from Hindu Indians at all costs seems to be the narrative.

      It is the game to pin the casteist sins of S Asia, the original sin, on the gangetic plains and to justify tearing the civilizational possible united republic apart on more than just religious grounds. Yes a united India only really existed to the great extent under Asoka and that too not all of the South, but there was a chance for it in 1947.

      Regardless, Pakistanis want to feel comfortable with what they did on more levels. Fine. If it helps them sleep better at night and contribute less to global and regional terror and try their hand at development great. If they own their dharmic past more,maybe they will stop their atrocious treatment of Hindus and lower castes. Maybe just maybe, intellectually honest ones will challenge these Indus Buddhist narrative obsessed folks with the reality of a pretty connected continuum with bharat to the point of being just a compartment of the whole indian civilization.

      But let’s see. And btw, Araingang himself has admitted on reddit that Patels are pretty close to the original IVC people, with little to no steppe and all aasi and IPE. And IVC encompassed all of Gujarat and enough of Haryana. The legacy is shared at the most intimate level no matter what Pakistanis think. And Buddhism is an eastern ganga tradition. Yes we can go rant about Nepal but people take the to be what it really spread as from its original base.

      And this non caste argunent excludes urban areas which araingang has argued were caste influenced. So let’s take out Brahmin, Khatri, and dalits. Next, the tribes left in rural areas like Jats are also in India and mant are hindu. So this racial exclusionism maybe can work on a relative level but no where near absolute. Even in the best case of the argument connections are constant.

      I guess his namesake ethnic group can be an exception. Maybe they were the benevolent. Funny thing is they claim rajput as well. As Hindu origin as can be.

    3. ” That’s probably closer to my view, and the handful of other truly secular/atheist Pakistanis found online. ”

      U do realize u used “secular/atheist” and “Pakistanis” in the same sentence, right?

      I mean….

      1. he may be onto to something. Online there are a ton of Pak Punjabi hardcore ethnonationalist supremacists who are only nominally Muslim. Race is the biggest thing and disparaging Indian phenotype and connecting to a “Hindu character” with less worth. They are the main ones extending olive branches of offer of more solid alliances with khalistanis.

        People joked when Bajwa called Modi pushing “dravidian” oppression of kashmiris. It was no accident. These people really view themselves now as some oppressed aryan race. And historically too. A noble people who were liberated with Islam and were Buddhists under the thumb of hindu oppression before. Of course more “caucasian and beautiful” just like the end less misleading quora posts go on and on about

        1. Ignore those losers. BTW, I was going to post my mug but it seems Razib didnt want that to happen, so I guess my face will always remain a mystery. Might be a good thing, dont want people using my picture for nefarious purposes.

          1. Not mystery for me. There are such South Europeans faces with stronger jaws which remain me of the German goal-keeper Sepp Maier:


            However, the term ‘Caucasoid’ will be abandoned as inadequate and obsolete as soon as it is officially confirmed the ‘IE’ birthplace. I guess, it may get the name of their birthplace or the language spoken there.

  38. If Pakistanis want to say they inherit indus legacy on racial grounds, they have to make a relative case because they have more steppe on average. S Indian mid castes and patels with little steppe are closest to indus people. If they want to say, they still have access to legacy because of steppe, then everyone in India also has claim to IVC on racial grounds. On geographic grounds there is a good chunk of IVC land in India. And these birdaris may not be called castes formally but they sure as hell function like them with endogamy and traditional professions like Jat farmers and herders, khatri merchants, and arain rajput soliders historically. That too until recently when everyone started doing more of everything.

    They can run for their identity. They can hide behind their castles of steppe, benevolent buddhism, and 10-15% higher steppe average proportion all day. But they can’t hide.

  39. of course provincial level politicians are interested!

    Genetics has shattered their conqueror descendent false reality.

    What they have left is a plausible deniability game. Basically models will show a strong direction. But there is still room for err. They will pick the err that favors their narrative. They will then stack those. Araingang organizes it well for them. An ideologue like him who is smart, active, and writes well is the perfect person to do it. It is expert level propaganda. Basically, it assembles things that are unlikely but still possible and puts them all together for a comfy narrative.

    They are hard then hard to overturn because the data will take years and often raises more questions than it answers so the goal posts can still shift. Or one can take historical route where things are murky and numerous interpretations of texts exist, and there is enough subjective wiggle rook to play the same game.

    It is all too convenient

  40. Could not follow the last few threads missed out on a lot of action.

    Here is an whatsapp forward type video on public sentiment of Pakistanis on a Hindu temple:


    And these snakes cry Islamophobia in the west!

    My position on Pakistanis is harder than wurtzite boron nitride now. Whenever these bhikharis show up at Indian hospitals to beg for patching up their lever/kidney/heart/child or medicine we should remember these.

    1. Did I mishear or did the guy from the 5:00 actually say “Gurdwara nahi banna chahiye”?

      Unsurprising but interesting

  41. https://indianexpress.com/article/business/companies/mukesh-ambani-reliance-industries-to-offer-20-billion-stake-in-retail-arm-to-amazon-6590384/

    Seems like Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man, is quckly selling out most of his stake to various US companies. The irony here is that US capital is colonising India faster under a purported “right-wing” regime than under any left-wing ones.

    I guess US investment is more postively seen in India than Chinese investment, but it is still a form of foreign domination. If the US ends up owning large parts of critical Indian business behemoths, then it will add another layer of leverage against the country.

    1. … and i in turn welcome our free market overlords, better than those commie overlords and their ‘Indian’ enablers.

  42. i’ve seen weird quora posts where NW indians and others are compared, and the NW indian photos are all Bollywood stars, and the indians are random peasants. reminds me of 2000s era nordic vs southern European arguments where nordic supremacists post pics of Hollywood blondes vs. sicilian peasants

    1. Insecurity leads one to do all sorts of dumb and asinine things. It is the root of all hatred and often rears its ugly head in the form of racism and other-ism. Unfortunately many South Asians, NW included, have massive amounts of insecurity, for a veritable cornucopia of reasons. A shame really, because it really gets in the way of progress and success. I can only hope that the status quo is altered going forward, and that South Asians become more secure in their identities. Time will tell what transpires. I am optimistic, don’t let me down South Asian peeps.

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