166 Replies to “Open Thread – 03/27/2021 – Brown Pundits”

    1. TN Ninan is one of the best Indian commentators. I’ve followed him for over five years. His analysis of Bangladesh is no less stellar. I found this passage to be particularly important:

      New tests now await Bangladesh. It risks losing major trade and tariff benefits that it has so far enjoyed because the country moved a couple of years ago from being classified as a least developed country, to developing country status. The first category enjoys duty-free and quota-free access to many rich-country markets, most importantly the European Union, which is now in the process of applying standard developing country yardsticks to Bangladesh.

      This means new duties on Bangladesh’s exports into the EU but also limits on access to the generalised system of preferences (GSP). More than 60 per cent of Bangladesh’s exports go to the EU, and well over 80 per cent of the country’s exports comprise textiles and garments. This one-market, one-product specialisation has brought with it vulnerabilities that Dhaka has to address if it is to sustain growth, on which so much depends.

      Bangladesh has done well, but it has not diversified its economy the way Vietnam has been able to. That remains its number one challenge going forward.

  1. I joined a really nice Facebook group a few weeks back. It has Indians, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis and the odd Afghani sharing photos of beautiful natural sites and buildings within their countries, details from migrants of their pre-Partition ancestral homes and reminiscences of their parents and grandparents of good friends they left behind when they left. Lots of positivity and friendliness. Strict moderation policy in place so anyone looking to troll is swiftly given the boot.


    1. Better relations can be achieved after Pakistan has paid compensation for all the lives it has taken and damaged in India.

  2. Priyanka Chopra Jonas made some remark in the mould of secularism – apparently with good intentions only – and Muslims are losing their shit on Twitter.


    She said, quoting verbatim, “My dad used to sing in a mosque…I was aware of Islam.”

    Some of the M crowd commenting on this twitter timeline is young, like 19, and even they are expressing out loud the harami aspects of this statement. It is quite funny. PCJ should try harder to gain this crowd’s approval (maybe put her mother in a niqab). Nehru would approve.

      1. I was expecting a more violent response to his visit.

        Yeah, BD cannot match Pakistani standards for societal violence! Whatta letdown 🙂 Rookie levels of radicalisation. Pump up those madrassa levels.

    1. @fragment_and_activities
      There have been protests and social boycott of sikh bjp leaders too (https://m.timesofindia.com/city/ludhiana/farmers-protest-against-bjp-leader-grewal-in-patiala/amp_articleshow/80222117.cms)
      I don’t mean that religion played no part in it (especially because they wouldn’t want to accidentally remove someones turban while beating so maybe they wouldn’t have beaten him of he was turbaned sikh) but I think most people are exaggerating the religious conflict dimension of it.

    2. @fragment_and_activities
      There have been protests and social boycott of sikh bjp leaders too (https://m.timesofindia.com/city/ludhiana/farmers-protest-against-bjp-leader-grewal-in-patiala/amp_articleshow/80222117.cms)
      Not saying religion played no part in this (mainly because they wouldn’t want to accidentally take off someones turban so maybe they wouldn’t have beaten him if he was a turbaned sikh) but I think many people are exaggerating the religious conflict angle in this

  3. Why does anything Modi touches turns to shit?

    He visited a couple of Hindu temples in Bangladesh; Hefazat-e-Islam protested, police fired, ~10 Hefazat people died and now they are burning government offices, Hindu temples, buses – you name it.

    I have not seen such a “panauti” in my life.

  4. Graphic video shows moment of deadly Uber Eats carjacking by teen girls

    South Asian rights groups silent.

    As an Uber Eats driver lay dying on a Washington, DC, sidewalk, the two teen girls who allegedly stun-gunned and carjacked him easily climbed from the wreck — and even tried to run away, graphic new video shows.

    The video also records some of the last words spoken by the driver, Mohammad Anwar, a father of three who immigrated from Pakistan — “This is my car!”

    Anwar, 66, died when he was flung from the car onto a sidewalk after the girls, ages 15 and 13, stun-gunned him and drove off with him still clinging to the side of his Honda, authorities say.


    1. S Asian groups must stand up. Very wrong if they don’t. BLM sure as hell won’t and neither will leftists. The two perps need to be in prison forever. Sad to see a hardworking law abiding immigrant killed like this. Indian groups must speak up. It does not matter this man is Pakistani. He is a S Asian bruda. We must show solidarity.

      1. This is really sad, man.

        My brother is moving to US for grad school in July. Should I be concerned because of this BLM and anti-Asian related violence?

        1. Dont fret too much. US is any day safer than conventional N-Indian city. Unless you are like upper class Indian who is the one dishing out “Do you know who my dad is ? “.

          Grad school is also somewhat insulated from real world. By the time he moves to real world , he will be well attenuated where to speak up and where to not.

        2. Murder rates in the US are about twice those in India. There really are two Americas, usually divided by a freeway. On one side, the murder rates are at West European/East Asian levels, on the other side more like Latin American levels. The population split between these two sides is approximate 70/30.

          The situation is very different from India where there isnt such a stark geographical divide between rich and poor areas in urban regions.

          1. > The situation is very different from India where there isnt such a stark geographical divide between rich and poor areas in urban regions.

            I have always believed that having slums right beside wealthy buildings/houses is a good thing. It makes people aware of their privilege.

            If the poor are away from the rich, the rich don’t care. In Indias case at least they have to be a little conservative about flaunting their wealth. We all know how much people were angry about the Ambani Atillia building.

          2. Murder rates in the US have had a big spike over the last year- the estimated rates for 2020 (no public nationwide data have been released yet, so this is all inference) are about 17% higher than 2019 and about 33% higher than 2014.

        3. I don’t think its need to worry, but street smarts/rules of engagement are different in the US and its good to familiarize oneself. This applies to staring and such things in particular, and one must ignore woke homilies about race. It is not safe to linger in certain neighborhoods after dark. I say this as someone who ignored this advice when younger, but i knew what i was getting into.
          Regarding homicide rates in India vs the US. My impression is that the gap is effectively wider than the data shows in that a crime blotter in india seems to have a lot of family members killing each other over property, wife and lover kill husband ect; whereas the US has more random trouble, people impulsively attacking one another for sport. The poor in india also usually don’t go after middle/upper class ppl, knowing the law will come down on them particularly hard. There is hardly an exception like this in the US.

    2. The increase in crime rates driven by lax policing as a response to BLM will hurt minorities including black people.


  5. There was some discussion on female workforce participation, especially among the upper middle classes in the previous Open Thread.

    Over the last week, due to Holi get togethers and calls I have had the opportunity to talk to some family acquaintances. In most cases, these are people of my parents age, who are looking for spouses of their kids (who are my contemporaries). The topic of marriage came up almost every time.

    One thing I observed was that women who are mothers of sons have a very different view of gender roles than women who are mothers of daughters.

    Some of them are really accomplished themselves. Doctors, executives, professors. But they expect their daughter-in-laws to pull their weight and not be the ‘revolutionary’ kind.

    Has this been the experience of other folks here as well? Is there some study on this?

    1. A son is supposed to take care of his parents in their old age in most South Asian cultures. Women know other women well, and know that the ”revolutionary” type of women will not accept traditional gender roles in a marriage, will not look after the husband’s parents in old age, and will try to separate the son from the parents to avoid that responsibility. This is why even accomplished old women would not want their sons marrying such career oriented types.

    2. “Some of them are really accomplished themselves. Doctors, executives, professors.”

      I think the point here might be these jobs were taken up for instrumental reasons of material acquisition and financial security. In my own observations, I have noticed that most Indians of my parents generations do not seem to like their professions and have a lot of cynicism/contempt for their fellow professionals.

      The prospective daughter-in-law is seen in the same context of acquisition and security.

    3. Have always felt that the number and gender of children changes a family’s vibe. Can walk into a living room and tell the difference between a family with 3 daughters vs 3 sons. To your point, a friend’s mother is a successful lawyer in BLR, progressive and into the arts ect. She has two sons and her attitude to their prospective mates was one of suspicion and imputing motives.

  6. I hope this tweet somehow finds its way to the Indian Twitter. This is the Iranian generation that grew up with Indian movies and on top of all the absolute Bollywood gem that was Sholay (1975), which is the film that these party goers are humorously reenacting. Made my day 👏👏 https://t.co/9mKkR5WcYj— Kaveh Abbasian (@KavehAbbasian) March 28, 2021

    Which reminds me to ask, how has the popularity of Bollywood (for cultural and non-political reasons) in various central Asian/MENA countries done over time? I suspect a decline but don’t really know. In relatively more recent times I have heard of the popularity of some Hindi serials in perhaps a different set of countries such as Ivory Coast.

    If a decline has really happened, what would one attribute it to? The gradual replacement of the urduized-elite pretend-syncretism from 1850’s with Americanization of Indian uppity tastes? Can one say that in the 1970’s Indians wanted simple entertainment without any pretense of intellectualism or pseudo-aspirationalism or westernization-signalling in locales or food (I didn’t have a burger until much after I saw a burger being ordered in a college cafeteria in a Hindi movie), and that the central Asians etc. could relate to?

    1. @froginthewell

      Once every month, I hire a 50 year old Indonesian woman to clean some of the harder to access places in my home. Once the job is over, she sits down for a cup of tea or some refreshments. On one of these occasions, a Tamil movie (tearjerker) from the 1960s was playing on the telly. She just sat down and watched the movie till the end. I think it’s the Indian cultural motifs (mother-son dynamics, inheritance flux on familial structure, navigating modernity) that appeal to a diverse audience.

      Modern Indian entertainment products still have a huge pull on Asian and African audiences. The original Sanskritic high-culture (Ramayana, Mahabharata) has pulling power on many levels.

      There is a segment of Bollywood that has successfully deracinated itself and seeks to pull Indians into a global monoculture where the villains are decided by Western mores (traditional roles, sexual signalling, demonisation of patriarchy etc). Preaching is a central pillar. Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Aamir Khan are leading this wave. Whether it will survive for long is another question.

      1. @Ugra: Interesting. One doesn’t find much takers for Indian content in China though, except for Dangal. But I have heard anecdotal comments about Rajinikanth and Japan. Don’t know about Korea. I remember seeing some version of Hindi serial playing in a channel in Vietnam. So I have a hard time putting these together and figuring out which box to put this one into, what is the set of cultures that can relate to India?

        Regarding the Abrahamic countries, can one say Indian serials tend to have popularity in Islamic countries, not in Christian countries (what about Israel)? Some connection with WEIRDness?

        Your talk of an Indonesian woman reminded me of this tweet which was quite strange to me: https://twitter.com/porbotialora/status/1243867631263703042

        1. @froginthewell

          Get ready to be surprised with some out-of-turn facts I picked up along the past few years –

          1. Indonesian constitution is based on the principles of Pancasila.
          2. The Indonesian national language is Bahasa. It is Austronesian, but they call it Bhasha!
          3. The national airlines is called Garuda
          4. Their currency is rupiah – the 20000 denomination note has Ganesha on it.
          5. Their national motto is Bhinnaka Tungal Ika (Unity in Diversity). Ika is, yes, One.
          6. Their national emblem is Garuda, the eagle
          7. The motto of the Indonesian National Police is “Rastra Sewakotama” (Service for the Nation)
          8. The leader of the Indonesian independence movement (their Gandhi) – Sukarno – was named after Karna
          9. This is my favourite one – the most right wing Islamist party in Indonesia, PKS (Partai Kaedilan Sejahtera) – routinely idolises Bhima – as a symbol of anti-corruption.

          Indian cultural exports from 1000 years ago – never, ever ceases to amaze me! Different breed of men.

    2. It seems to me that the popularity of Bollywood has been decreasing in India as well. Covid plus all the mud slinging during farmer protests might have signalled the death knell.
      (This is purely an anecdotal observation, though)

      Now people have so much choice on YouTube, TikTok etc. Movie stars are not what they were. Only way Bollywood can survive is if it can make event movies to compete with MCU.

      1. @Prats This is anecdotally my perception as well, though I can’t claim to know what people in their 20’s think.

  7. I think in general the popularity of movies has declined/stagnated across the world, with the advance of video games. The value, depth and immersion you get out of a $ 20 God of War/Last of Us is worth 4 or 5 blockbuster movies IMO.

    In the US, a sort of split seems to be emerging, with movies and TV shows targeting the female audience (who now have high spending power) and adult males primarily spending time and money on games.

    1. Cynically hoping BJP loses Assam , Bengal and Tamil Nadu. Far too much resources being spent with negligible ROIs.

      1. Why did the greater hindu region of up gave 10 out of 80 seats in 2004 and led to Vajpayee’s loss?

  8. https://moderndiplomacy-eu.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/moderndiplomacy.eu/2021/03/29/a-bengalese-response-to-modis-type-of-nationalism/amp

    “These results will practically provide responses to the question of how they see India – as a Hindu state, or a state for all its groups, or a state for all its citizens; then, to the question of how they see themselves – as Indians, or Hindus (or Muslims), or Bengalese; then, to the question of how they see the future of Bengal – as a part of India or a sovereign, independent state, or, perhaps, as united with East Bengal (Bangladesh); also, to the question of whether they see West and East Bengal (Bangladesh)as a single historical unit or as two separate units; finally, to the question of whether they see immigrants coming from East Bengal (Bangladesh) as foreigners to whom the borders should be closed, or as brethren to whom the borders should be open, or simply as an economic problem, so that their influx must be strictly controlled.”

    Less-Hindu people.

    1. > If this growth takes place in a scope that will strengthen the idea of Bengal’s sovereignty, it will be possible to witness a phenomenon that may be termed nationalism-in-the-making, which rarely occurs in practical-political life.

      Let them just think about it. What will ensue will put Abraham Lincoln to shame. Bengali “Bhodrolok” under estimate the viciousness of the Indian state.

    2. You still haven’t answered my question?why are Hindus of lesser hindu region more likely to vote for bjp?

  9. @Rock

    “Why did the greater hindu region of up gave 10 out of 80 seats in 2004 and led to Vajpayee’s loss?”

    Why was it incumbent on UP Hindus to vote for Vajpayee and save the BJP? We atleast gave Vajpyaee 10 seats, what was the count of the lesser-Hindu regions again?

    Wasn;t it time for supposedly Hindu region of South and East to also have their numbers count. Why should we always be the one to carry the Hindutva project and other Hindus resting on our hard work, while they want every damn thing under the sun from the BJP. And BTW we gave BJP 40-50 odd seats through out the 90s , something which other lesser Hindu regions will take generations to come close.

    For example, If CAA is so important for Bengalis, y were they squatting all these 70 years? And y do they need a party like BJP who they havent vote for like ever to implement it?

    “?why are Hindus of lesser hindu region more likely to vote for bjp?”

    I guess u must be living under a Rock, since when did lesser Hindu regions vote for BJP? Kerala, Bengal or Tamil Nadu?

    1. Bengali Hindus did vote for a higher percentage in 2019 elections than up and bihar.do some calculations.

    1. think the western woke have a vegetarian agenda. One prong of it is the environmental sustainability angle and the other is the repeated emphasis on plant based diet being linked to better health outcomes. Can already see the mental gears churning wherein they’d like to classify red meat as low priority junk, remove subsidies for it and perhaps open it to “sin tax”. Indian leftists are inverted in this regard of course, the whole significance of dietary chastity here has a different valence.

    2. I am a lifetime vegetarian. I grew up in the West. Growing up, there was an effeminate streotype. It is less than before and most common among people in areas where hunting and fishing is big, typically more rural areas. If anything, it is viewed as gender neutral now,among my colleagues, and also viewed as more selfless and positively austere. It was either neutral or helpful in the dating game. It made me come off as more compassionate and environmentally conscious, whether I communicated my rationale for it or not. People also are just generally surprised I am vegetarian, given my degree of muscle for my frame and strength levels. Even that is becoming less of a shocker, with more atheltes going vegan and vegetarian and doing just as well, as long as protein is kept adequate.

      1. I really think the vegetarian / plant based = weak thing doesn’t really exist anymore.

        So many vegetarian athletes and fighters.

        To be honest it is one of the reasons I started eating meat. And then eventually gave it up after realizing.

        My gf eats meat but thinks its “amazing” that I am vegetarian.

    3. Very few of the Indian males here are vegetarian as far as I know. This includes people from castes traditionally seen as vegetarian, the only exception might be Jains. Apart from a RSS leaning Kannadiga Brahmin, not a single South Indian Brahmin I know is vegetarian.

      Regarding dating, there was some kind of switch that flipped in the late 2000s or early 2010s I think. I genuinely cant think of a single Indian guy a few years younger than me who has an Indian wife or girlfriend. The other halfs are invariably white and in some cases Latin/Hispanic. Maybe internet/youtube has something to do with this ?

      Vegetarianism and dating in general are more serious problems for Indian women here I think.

      1. Statistically Indian Americans are the among the most endogamous. This is changing. But a far cry from most are with Latina and White women, in terms of even recent marriage stats. And yes, most American Jains remain vegetarian. Vegatarianism in Jain households is taught more in a moral framework of non violence rather than a ritualistic purity framework. The latter is more prevalent in Hindu teachings, despite the prior also being there. But I truly think the philosophical reasons that go into ethics for vegetarianism make it so Jain American households stay vegetarian in the 2nd generation. Also, many Indian men and women date around and then end up in LTRs with other Indians.

        There is also a resurgence of vegetarianism among Indian American men in my broad friend-family group at least. Some viewed eating meat as a form of rebelling early on. Then they have reverted back to vegetarianism as part of general White American liberal woke culture of viewing as ethically and environmentally better, the prior narrative actually not being that different from Jainism’s.

        Side note, my cousin is in the leadership of PETA India. He is a hardcore vegan and big promoter of it in India. He has a surprising number of upper class takers in the increasingly healthy Hyderbadi populace.

        I recently also saw the Netflix movie, Paggliat. The movie has a vegetarian Muslim female character, interesting to see.

        1. I know some younger folks in bangalore who are getting into veganism via the western culture. Among them malayali catholics and one muslim.

          1. “I know some younger folks in bangalore who are getting into veganism via the western culture. Among them malayali catholics and one muslim.”

            Hehe. I have observed this as well. There’s a bit of a what goes around, comes around energy to it.

            One of my flatmate in Bangalore was a baniya from Delhi who had worked in the oil and gas industry and had lived in Europe and Middle East. When I met him, he was a hardcore meat eater. Over the next couple of years, he turned into a complete vegan. I attribute it partly to a Netflix documentary that he saw that scared the shit out of him with respect to cancer and partly to his girlfriend, who was a progressive musician vegetarian types.
            (His fear of cancer didn’t stop him from smoking and stoning, though.)

            We sometimes used to have arguments when his tofu and my paneer got accidentally mixed up in the same gravy. Then we’d pick the two coagulates apart by poking them. I hate tofu.

        2. Indo-Americans/South-Asians and Indians moving to the US as students/workers in their 20s are two completely different populations. I have hardly seen any intersection between these two groups. I believe Numinous was inquiring about migrants, but I might be wrong.

        1. Stop worrying about who is in or not into someone because of race. People who disqualify others, in the dating game, solely because of race are just not worth dating in the first place. Just be confident, fashionable, fit, and respectful. Do the best you can do making yourself desirable and putting yourself out there in the dating world. What you get is what you get.

          And yes, I know Indian men who date black and latina women. I know one guyanese guy of Indian origin dating an Afro-latina woman. But these men and women didn’t date each other with some racial paradigm in mind. Is there possibly some subconscious bias in the dating world? Sure. But it isn’t the main factor. Just make yourself as attractive as you can be and put yourself out there. That’s how you will maximize success.

        2. To take Dominican women as an example, yes, they do. They may even claim to have Indian ancestors, and however improbable that is, or if you think they are confusing Taino with Tamil, just don’t correct them.

        3. “Do you know if Afro Latinas like Indians? Thanks.”

          As far as African-American and Latina women, in my experience yes. I haven’t ever interacted with enough “Afro-Latina” women specifically (if you mean, e.g., Dominicans, Cubans etc. with African descent) to say.

          But, America is a big country, you can probably find people with whatever tastes you’re looking for.

  10. https://foreignpolicy.com/2021/03/30/modi-india-farmers-protests-agriculture-reforms-rich-versus-poor/

    Yup. Finally straight truth from a Western pub.

    “Despite what activists and Western celebrities supporting the protests would have us believe, most of those who’ve been protesting the new laws since September aren’t drawn from the ranks of marginalized subsistence farmers driven by debt and despair to the edge of suicide. They represent instead the politically powerful (and heavily subsidized) remnants of India’s traditional landlord caste. These farmers fear that the laws will help large agribusinesses undermine the current state-directed system for buying farm produce and ultimately lead to the dismantling of the price support system on which they depend. They are demanding that the government repeal the reforms and guarantee the future of price supports.”

    It has been estimated that Jats own roughly three-fourths or four-fifths of all agricultural land in Haryana and eastern Punjab, respectively. Nearly all medium- and large-scale farmers in both states are reputed to belong to the Jat community. The farm protesters’ claim to have mobilized 200,000 tractors for their Republic Day rally on Jan. 26 confirms the prevalence of relatively large-scale farmers among the protesters, given that few Indian farmers own enough land to practice mechanized agriculture. Even today, the typical Indian farmer is still 10 times more likely to own a bullock than a tractor.


    Activists of the United Hindu Front hold pictures of Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg and Barbadian singer Rihanna in New Delhi on Feb. 4.
    Why Rihanna and Greta Thunberg Are Taking on India’s Modi
    Farmers shout as they block a highway during a protest at the Singhu border near New Delhi on Dec. 18.
    Why India’s Farmers Won’t Stop
    Farm incomes in Punjab and Haryana are the highest in India, with the average farmer in these states earning more than twice the national average and nearly three times as much as their neighbors in nearby Uttar Pradesh. They also garner the lion’s share of government support. More than 90 percent of their cropland is covered by heavily subsidized irrigation. And the government buys almost the entire output of Punjab and Haryana farmers at minimum support prices that are set far above market levels. The results are huge and growing official stockpiles of wheat and rice, much of which ends up being given away to the country’s poor—or simply rotting in place.

    The Jat farmers of Punjab and Haryana have long lobbied India’s government to maintain an agricultural system that is both economically wasteful and environmentally destructive. And why shouldn’t they? India is a democracy, and in a democracy, the squeaky wheel gets the grease—and the subsidies. The fact that India’s richest farmers are vocally demonstrating for policies that secure their livelihoods should come as no surprise. And the fact that they have convinced international celebrities and activists like Rihanna, Greta Thunberg, and Meena Harris to take up their cause is perhaps a bit odd but nonetheless impressive.

  11. https://twitter.com/ANI/status/1376924493902270467

    “During my 2nd campaign, I visited a temple where the priest asked me my ‘gotra’. I told him – Maa Maati Manush. This reminds me of my visit to Tripura’s Tripureshwari temple where priest had asked me my ‘gotra’ & I had told him too ‘Maa Mati Manush’, actually I’m Shandilya: WB CM”

    ☝️ Every Bhadralok after few drinks 😛

  12. Sumerian and Sanskrit – musically – the find of 2020!!

    Shail Vyas is a Homi Bhabha Fellow who has been engaged in archaeo-musicological research of wind and drum instruments excavated at the Indus Valley Civilization (IVC) sites. During this endeavour, he stumbled upon extensive similarities between Sumerian instruments excavated at Syria, Babylon and the IVC artifacts.

    On a hunch, he started to compare the words for musical instruments in Sumerian and Sanskrit. Over 70 words for describing instruments have very similar words in Sanskrit. In statistical terms, over 50% of Sumerian words for music/instruments have a common etymology in Sanskrit. He says it is highly unlikely that such an extensive parallelism for technical instruments could be coincidence.

    One thing led to another and he started to compare other words from the Sumerian register to both Rgvedic and Early Sanskrit. More and more confluences began popping up – that are simply astounding.


    Whether you are AMT or OIT, you should watch this video. I have a theory on how outsiders figure out connections that specialists ignore. Linguists in this case have already proclaimed Sumerian to be a language isolate from the third millennium BC. Laurence Waddell, Gamkrelidze, Ivanov have all noticed IE relationships in Sumerian words.

    Both RS Bisht and Vasant Shinde have added their comments to the work of Shail Vyas. This is quite an important work that adds heft to the growing AMT falsification body.

    Bonus – the Sumerian word for bead is Hindum. The IVC was known high quality faience and steatite beads. These beads have been found at almost all archaeological sites in the Middle East.

    1. “When will India have that?”

      Lol. Why do you want us to be subjected to such atrocities.

      “Perhaps Trushcke VS Razib”

      Razib is a really smart guy. But the historian is versed in the dark arts of woke rhetoric. I fear she’ll end up chewing Razib out and you’ll see clips floating around the internet with titles like
      “Female historian expertly shuts down mansplaining apologist for Hindutva”

      1. I am pretty sure Razib will have some ace up his sleeve. Also Truschkey i feel is not that great at woke-ness, i feel there are far superior brown and white women on twitter.

  13. “oil and gas industry meat eater” “progressive musician vegetarian types”

    It is interesting how professional and personal/political choices tend to get mixed up.

    On the other hand, one disadvantage of moving to the US as an Indian is that the probability of having a musician type in your circle is close to zero. Plenty of oil/gas/silicon/C++ industry types though.

    1. I think the probability of such a thing 10 years ago would have been low in India as well. But dating apps have made mixing up much more common.

      Maybe it’d be the same for younger migrants from India to US. Could also depend on location.

      A friend moved from Bombay to New York and was pretty happy at the dating options that opened up. Then he moved to Seattle, where he says his dating life is inferior to Bombay since all he ever matches with are desi women working at Microsoft or Amazon.
      He also feels that white/black women in Seattle do not swipe on Indian guys unlike in NY.

  14. GNXP open thread is closed so I am posting this here.


    As a response to the article’s mention of a first Levant attempt at 100K years ago:

    There might have been three attempts with Apidima at 210,000 years ago representing the earliest one. May or may not be linked to a 190,000 year old find from Israel, should push the date back from 100K to ~200K for the first attempt in the discrete attempt-based scenario.
    I think that things were more complex then that, with homo sapiens ancestors moving around north Africa every now and then maybe leaving behind a few separated groups like the one from Apidima, the one from Caramel and the later 100K year old remains. IIRC Razib Khan and others have talked about a potential back and forth between Africa and southeast Asia route of moving hominins going on from long before the time of the earliest homo sapiens.

    1. This one was interesting….the author is Muslim Afro Latina. I sympathised with her until the middle of the article when I realised she only wanted to marry Muslim Arabs. Special case of reverse racism!! Stupid enough to get published by Al-Jazeera.

      1. I sympathised with her until the middle of the article when I realised she only wanted to marry Muslim Arabs

        That’s not accurate. She mentions in her text that she was dating South Asians too but faced the same prejudices.

        reverse racism

        Doesn’t exist. There’s only racism. Don’t use terms like “reverse” but it implictly centers the debate around some forms of racism as more authentic/serious than others.

        1. @principia

          Lets be honest here. In the article it is clear that she only went on to potential South Asian males after being rejected by Arabs.

          I think we got our lines crossed over reverse racism. It definitely exists – the other name for it is affirmative discrimination – and is widely practiced as policy in the US.

          Perhaps this is where she got that idea that people could be coerced into some “equal opportunity” game in the marriage market. Selecting a mate is definitely linked to evolutionary/hardwired cultural criteria in the brain. This game is discriminatory by design!! Thats why I called that article stupid.

  15. So I decided to borrow ‘India in the Persianate Age’ by Richard M. Eaton after a personal recommendation by razib. On the very first page the author thanks Audrey Truschke for her contributions and feedback, calls her an excellent scholar. The vast majority of thanked names are either Western or Islamic. I had to exert enormous energy not to throw away the book right there and right then.

    I soldiered on. The author immediatedly starts his book by lamenting religious divides. He then spends an inordinate amount of time bashing into the reader the notion that the Islamic invaders shouldn’t be seen as moslems, but rather as ‘turkics’. When confronting the narrative that contemporary historians and histographers were often very explicit in their religious text (with a clear anti-Hindu animus), Eaten merely handwaves these concerns away by claiming that just because these historians saw the world in stark religious terms, doesn’t mean that the people on the ground did. Maybe. But the people on the ground didn’t set policy; elites did. Eaten never made a strong case why these chroniclers were outliers among their peers.

    Suffice to say, I was not impressed with the book.

    1. Someone was promoting a melodrama facebook page, should share this there.

      Interesting to see how unpopular Imran Khan is. Makes sense how imperative it is for the Pakistani army to keep Nawaz out.

      1. Indians and Pakistani liberals are still in their echo chambers claiming Imran Khan is ”deeply unpopular” and actually thinking that Nawaz Sharif has any chance of being PM again. In before IK wins the next elections, just as easily as he won the recent vote of confidence. I watch journalists like Najam Sethi and Raza Rumi for comedic relief these days talking about the imminent demise of this government.

        1. I was commenting on what I saw on the video of live, on the ground Pakistanis who definitely dont seem ‘liberal’ based on their opinion of Hindus and temples.

          I had actually thought he was rather popular, was quite surprised to see the disapproval.

          1. There is no real liberal conservative divide in Pakistan, not anymore. The liberals are a very tiny minority and pretty irrelevant now, while the extremists are also being pushed back. That video is shit, and presents one side of POV (but I am sure people spreading it know that).. just as this video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bJmrKrp540U&t=378s) spreads the other side.

            Fact of the matter is, Islamist, Secular, Feudal they all joined forces against Imran Khan, who enjoys popular support still. His popularity cuts across different ethnic groups, and across the liberal/conservative divide. If elections were held today, he will be PM again.

  16. My complaint – South Asians should be banned from Wikipedia. You get idiocy like this on most Hindu/India related topics:
    “God Ayalnatunulaivuchanru is Ishtadev of Gulti community in Telangana. Many worshiper know Mahavatar Takavaltolilnutpam is Avatar, predicted by most esteemed Lord Guguji”
    Either that, or there should be a statement that comes up every time they comment or contribute online, in words as they would understand them:
    “Learn write English, stop type nonsense”

    1. @Aditya

      There is nothing irrelevant about those posts. Some small towns are getting on to the information highway and are writing about themselves. Even with the left-bias of Wiki, it shows that it is democratic to those who want to write about their milieu.

  17. https://thewire.in/communalism/narendra-modi-bangladesh-temple-pratapaditya-satkshira-matua-orakandi

    “Such is the syncretic history of Bengal and its resistance to outside rule, celebrated in its history and folklore.

    No amount of false Hindutva propaganda, attempts at appropriating its historical icons and characters, and tendentious visits to temples with an eye to influencing Hindu voters in West Bengal can falsify this history.

    Rather, with his visit to the Jessoreshwari temple, Modi has possibly inadvertently revived the memory of a bygone era and icon of Bengal’s history whose life and struggle was totally antithetical to the divisive agenda he and his party espouses. It is time for the people of Bengal to recognise this, and defeat this divisive propaganda and politics.”

    Less Hindu people

    1. What is so gold about it? This is a classic Pak ultranationalist perspective. There is nothing supposedly so gold about that. It is rosy about CPEC, mischaracterizes farmer’s protest, mischaracterizes Afghan peace process, spreads lies about the 1965 war, and just in general takes digs at India and glorifies Pak’s military industrial complex as a source of underlying security upon which economic gains can be built rather than the corrupt rent seeking entity it is. When he said Sikhs a group are regretting not joining Pak and the protest is about little guy farmers against big corporates or that India started the 1965 war, I almost fell out of my seat laughing. Even funnier is when he said India will not progress without resolving the Kashmir issue. Yeah, it won’t progress optimally until Pak accepts current LOC as the border, something offered to them before. But it has progressed quite a bit in the last 70 years with the issue simmering. Lol he says Pak support of Taliban is what Afghan people want. That is hilarious. It is what the radical islamist section of Afghanistan wants. Yes it s a sizeable chunk. But another massive chunk does want the less radical current government. The guy didn’t say anything new. He just defended status quo Pak nationalist perspective.

      What was so enlightening Saurav? Please tell me. Hell Qureishi is far less biased on here. This guy approaches Araingang level bias. The whole talk is using fancy language and historical narratives to tell the intellectual English-speaking part of the Pak population exactly what it wants to hear.

      1. “ I almost fell out of my seat laughing.“

        That’s why it’s gold.

        Btw I could hardly remain in my seat. 😂😂

    2. usual pakistani ‘Strategic thinker’ hotair. The interviewer is too fast , and even faster in Urdu going at 45 rpm. He sounds amatuerish. Are all interviews in urdu is very fast?

  18. 1) CPEC is quite good for Pakistan and this is something nobody contests in Pakistan, no matter what their political or religious leaning is. Chinese loans are a very small fraction of Pakistan’s total foreign debt, and the Chinese provide better interest rates and extremely flexible terms when compared to the leeches at Paris club in the West. CPEC has strengthened Pakistan’s rail, road and power infrastructure and this is quite visible now for everyone to see.

    2) Pakistani military industrial complex is accepted and praised in Pakistan and Pakistani military enjoys wide popularity in all sections of society.. People are aware they meddle in politics but are mostly fine with it, no matter who is PM or COAS, people’s trust in the military is high.

    3) Afghans are conservative bunch, especially the Pasthuns, and the Taliban enjoy popular support in most of the Pasthun population. The alternative to the Taliban are Western imported leaders that are propped up by corrupt warlords, that don’t accept the Durand line either, the choice for Pakistan is easy to make. Any country will support the side that is friendly to them in their neighborhood, when their alternative wants to claim half your country. It’s just geopolitics.

    4) Current Indo-Pak peace talks won’t last. Kashmir for Pakistan is not just about Muslims, but also about critical water sources in a changing climate. It is not in Pakistan’s interest to accept LOC as border and give India key to all it’s water sources. I expect hostilities to resume after few months of exchanging doves.

    1. “Afghans are conservative bunch, especially the Pasthuns, and the Taliban enjoy popular support in most of the Pasthun population”

      america had been against restoring monarchy in Afghanistan after it’s invasion. That could’ve placated the conservatives. I wonder if pak had any role in convincing US to do this as a stable and non islamist afghanistan is against their interests

    2. The pakistani army controls media, political parties and economy. So they control any narrative about what is good for pakistan and they have the pakistani social elite by their balls. Not surprising the 4 points of S.Quaerishi

      1. The Pakistani army does not control the internet, and internet forums /youtube news / bloggers and vloggers have been around in Pakistan accessible to everyone for more than a decade now. If everything was so draconian, why is there no rebellion against the narratives of the army? If anything, there is a seismic shift in favor of the army against traditional politicians, either on the left or the right. So this is an excuse you could use 20 years ago and get away with but its not a credible analysis today.

        1. @S Querishi

          You have arguably a first-hand experience of things over there. If everything is hunky dory according to you, then why do the Armed Forces feel compelled to carry out coups at regular intervals? This is not my opinion but the record – Pakistan has the highest number of coups among South Asian countries.

          Indian elites regularly diss their governments and armed forces. While Pakistani elites praise theirs extravagantly. Really a North Korea – South Korea cultural difference!!

          1. Most Pakistanis don’t treat democracy as a holy cow that is sacrosanct. Besides when was the last coupe? 1999 – pre internet era. One can argue that the internet would have leveled things off if the army was so unpopular as implied by posters here, but this is not how it turned out.

            //Indian elites regularly diss their governments and armed forces. While Pakistani elites praise theirs extravagantly. Really a North Korea – South Korea cultural difference!!//

            You are right, I think in this example, India with the most internet shutdowns in the world could be compared to North Korea.

          2. @ S Quereishi

            Don’t shift the topic to some arbitrary statistic on Internet (we could discuss that separately).

            While the nascent democracy of Pak could be more egalitarian, the Punjabi elites act via the armed forces to suppress democratic impulses of the non-Punjabi segments. So it is the reason why the elites of Pakistan treat democracy flippantly.

            Pakistan will face a real problem if at allows democracy to flourish – because 56% of the voting population are Punjabis. On the other hand, non-Punjabis like Pathans, Mohajirs etc. are well represented in the armed forces and punch above their weight.

            Bonus fact for you – Only 1 out of 4 military dictators in Pakistan have been Punjabis.

            Therefore tacitly the Punjabi civilian elites allow the non-Punjabi Army Chiefs to make their coups successfully. The elites are happy, the non-Punjabi populations are happy and the armed forces are happy. The average Punjabi gets shafted. The system is balanced and runs harmoniously.

            Even Imran Khan, the current Army installed PM is non-Punjabi.

            The 1999 coup lasted until 2008!! Musharraf enforced emergency in 2007 and postponed the general elections. On the other hand you might be right. 2008 might be the pre-internet era in Pakistan.

          3. This analysis seems like it was done 50 years ago and someone is just repeating it in 2021!
            But keeping that diatribe about Punjabis aside, what you are describing a political system that seems like a well oiled machine where majority of the population and ethnic groups are happy.

            You also seem to ignore that Musharraf was ousted because he was considered too pro-American. He was mildly popular in Pakistan before 2007, and he only started downhill because he started crackdown on Islamists within the country. The main politician against his rule leading protests and rallies was Imran Khan himself.

        2. \there is a seismic shift in favor of the army against traditional politicians\
          Why should any country have a siesmic shift like this unless the army has worked overtime to bring about this state of affairs.

          Even people in Myanmar are dying in hundreds against the new found power of the army to dispose of democratic regime.

          1. It was your claim that ”The pakistani army controls media, political parties and economy. So they control any narrative about what is good for Pakistan and they have the Pakistani social elite by their balls”
            They don’t control the internet. Yet surprising there are few if any voices against the army on the internet, whether in Pakistan or outside amongst the diaspora. If they are such a malevolent force, why do Pakistanis at home or abroad by an large do not talk against the army? Not sure how you can spin the justification that the army controls the diaspora as well?

          2. latest in the long line of ‘forcibly disappraered jouranlists” , apart from forciably disappeared political activists is someone called Sarmad Sultan

            Which journalists can speak against the pakistany army especially where it hurts them when so many have disappeared and abducted by ‘unknown’ persons.

          3. Diaspora are not journalists, nor are diaspora journalists any more anti-army..and in this age of internet and social media, they provide a good indication of what kind of regime is present in their home country. The diaspora of countries of some of the common dictatorships are firmly against the regimes back in home country. Countries like Russia, North Korea, Iran, Afghanistan, Egypt, etc come to mind. Do you see the diaspora of Pakistan amongst these countries? No.

            This is just proving the point I already made: Pakistanis home or abroad, don’t care about democracy, and especially some western concept of a secular democracy. Pakistan army as an institution is quite popular at home and abroad despite free internet media. Usually the only ones that are anti-army are a) ethno-nationalists b) ethno-nationalists paid by foriegn states c) communists and secular socialists.

          4. \only ones that are anti-army are a) ethno-nationalists b) ethno-nationalists paid by foriegn states c) communists and secular socialists.\

            Oh, there must be 1000s of journalists and political actvists who must be paid by foreign governmnets


            1000s of Baloch abducted by the army



            Instead of going to the Gulf countries working for a pittance in abominable conditions, Pakistanis may as well stay at home and get paid by foreign governments

            This is how pakistan army became popular among the people by making sure it’s critics disappear

  19. https://twitter.com/deepsealioness/status/1377612757831389206

    “Marwari come from Hindi belt, settle down here, learn the language sparingly and then forget all the development they enjoy and vote for bjp !! Should states stop people from migrating? This kind of betrayal is so low life

    This is not xenophobic as I am trying to understand a situation. North Indians who spoil india abd ask Durg Indians to fix the country is the problem . We provide all rights to Marwaris here, we just don’t want our rights snatched

    India’s progressive S-Indians ☝️

    1. I mean, internal migration within multiethnic countries has always caused discontent and political friction. Within Russia/Soviet Union, China, Nigeria, most other multiethnic countries as well. India doesn’t seem any different than the norm, frankly I’m surprised that there isn’t more discontent about internal migration. Although I guess there is some (as the Brown Pundits folks pointed out a while ago regarding the controversy about subway signs on the Bengaluru subway).

    2. From what I hear , it was not marwaris and it was thousands of hindi speaking workers in coimbatore who gave a welcome to BJP leaders plus local tamil Hindutva outfits. Just by calling all Marwadis, it helps form polarized binary from the text book of any fascist/nazi movement ‘Progressive’ view of things is an utter sham ; Congress and CPM are also part of this. OTOH these twitter hyped up parochialism won’t help election prospects in any way, positively or negavtively

  20. Global Gender Gap Report 2021 is out-

    Surprisingly, biggest blow came from the ‘political empowerment’ category, and not ‘Economic participation and opportunity’ like I expected (jobs lost due to the pandemic).

    Score for ‘political empowerment’ fell from 0.411 to 0.276.
    Score for ‘Economic participation and opportunity’ fell from 0.354 to 0.326.

    However, India is still well above the global average of 0.218 for ‘political empowerment’, and well below the global average for ‘Economic participation and opportunity’ of 0.583.

  21. @Ugra

    “Sumerian and Sanskrit – musically – the find of 2020!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIabz0I2dhM

    The usual OIT “linguistic” garbage. Lexical comparisons done without looking at any etymological dictionary or scholarly publication, and based on mere look-alikes. For instance:

    The Sumerian musical instrument miritum is named after the city of Mari (< mārītu ‘from Mari’), while Sanskrit mṛtyutūrya ‘a kind of drum beaten at funeral ceremonies’ is first attested in the Rājataraṃgiṇī (twelfth century CE) and obviously derives from the word mṛtyu ‘death’.

    Sumerian endu ‘a song’ cannot be related to Sanskrit sindhu ‘a particular rāga’, a term which is only attested starting from the Saṃgīta-sārasaṃgraha, a nineteenth-century musical treatise.

    Just these two examples may suffice to silence the author of that Youtube video.

    1. @Francesco Brighenti

      The comparison of Sumerian with Indo-Aryan, Sanskritic and IE languages have a long and distinguished history.

      Laurence Waddell already published a Sumerian-Sanskrit dictionary in the 1920s and proposed an Aryan origin for the Sumerian civilization and language.

      Gamkrelidze and Ivanov also proposed relatinoships between Sumerian and IE.

      Gordon Whittaker also thinks that the Sumerian script could have IE sounds for some pictograms.

      More recently, Aleksi Sahala, a researcher from Finland thinks that there are many concepts and words having cognates with IE (2009).

      So Shail Vyas is following up on many leads that have already been generated. He is a music composer himself but he has picked up on archaeological leads and has tried to achieve an outsider’s view. It is not easy to become a Homi Bhabha Fellow.

      Several drums have been discovered in-situ at graves in IVC necropolises. So drumming at funerals is not a 12th century invention in the Indian mileu.

      You probably do not read archaeological journals a lot so it is easy for you to get convinced. Why don’t you try to falsify all the words instead of just two? You might end up learning something.

  22. https://openthemagazine.com/cover-stories/among-the-believers-2/

    “To the Bhadralok, Bengal’s exceptionalism is a continuation of their privilege that they wish to guard zealously. But to the others, mainstreaming of Bengal is an instrument of their cultural assertion and aspiration. In this battle of narratives and contested claims about the authentic and the spurious, issues like the roots of anti-incumbency and Hindutva, the chanting of “Joi Shri Ram”, the pitch of outsider vs insider, welfare schemes versus aspirational youth, among other things, need to be analysed from the vantage point of a looser binary—the anxiety of the Bhadralok pitted against the assertion of the marginalised masses.

    The immediate response from the Bhadralok was a twofold assertion: one, Ram has never been central to the popular religious imagination of Bengal. Thus, the provocative sloganeering must have been BJP’s handiwork. Two, those chanting must have been primarily Hindi-speaking migrants settled in Bengal. Many of these claims employed the ‘No True Scotsman’ fallacy by arguing that no true Bengali would chant a religious slogan that owes its origin to the Hindi heartland. These claims are informed by Bengal and Bengali exceptionalism.

    On being asked why they did not opt for other religious slogans, the answer was the assertion that Ram is as integral to Bengal as to the rest of India. At Bishnupur in Bankura, the claim that Ram was a part of everyday life was substantiated with reference to how the Ramayana is inscribed even on the famous Baluchari silk sarees from the district. In North 24 Parganas, a group of OBCs (Gwala Ghosh) and SCs like Matuas defended the centrality of Ram. In a district like Purulia, where the Mahato-Kurmi caste dominates politics, respondents from the Kumbhakar (potter) caste, who aspire to compete with the Mahato-Kurmi, invoked their affinity to Ram to emphasise their greater affinity to BJP. This mismatch between the narrative on the ground and that of the intellectuals brings us to another contention about the nature of BJP in Bengal.”

  23. https://fiftytwo.in/story/the-dig/

    “An even larger question loomed. Based on linguistics [4] and continuity in cultural legacies, connections between the Indus Valley Civilisation, or IVC, and old Tamil traditions have long been suggested, but concrete archaeological evidence remained absent.

    Evidence indicated similarities between graffiti found in Keeladi and symbols associated with the IVC. It bolstered the arguments of dissidents from the dominant North Indian imagination, who have argued for years that their ancestors existed contemporaneously with the IVC.

    Over six seasons, nothing that could be characterised as an object of worship emerged from the Keeladi excavations. This seemed to be further evidence that Keeladi could not be linked to the Vedic civilisation of the riverine plains of North India, considered the wellspring of Hinduism.

    In recent years, the results of any new research on early India have invited keen political interest, because proponents of Hindu nationalism support the notion of Vedic culture––including the Sanskrit language, a pastoral economy dependent on cattle, and the origins of a caste hierarchy––as fundamental to the origins of Indian civilisation.

    But the IVC is a pre-Vedic culture. A long, contentious debate on whether Vedic culture originated in what is now Indian territory or was the result of complex patterns of migration and settlements has, so far, thrown up little evidence of the former. The Keeladi excavations further challenge the idea of a single fountainhead of Indian life. They indicate the possibility that the earliest identity that can recognisably be considered ‘Indian’ might not have originated in North India.”

    Oh my Periyar !

  24. BP seems to be slowly declining? Guess people have said what they wanted to, and fought over what mattered to them. After all, there are only so many hot topics and they have all been beaten to death

    1. It seems to me that the action has moved on to Substack and Clubhouse. Both Razib and Omar are busy and Zack has left BP. So there aren’t frequent new posts anymore.

      There’s only so much people can argue over in the Open Threads.

      1. Prats Bhai, any updates on start-up? How has work/life been?

        I started working at a Bay Area deep-tech company.

        Spent time travelling North India extensively this winter Khajuraho, Orccha, Jaipur, Ajmer… Orccha is a hidden gem, highly recommend the place. Chatturbhuj is MINDBLOWING I had never seen anything like it, Ramraja has the best temple aaratis and the most handsome Rama idol, the fort and ruins around are beautiful, the river is American-west level clean. The history of Bundela line of kings is glorious.

        Went inside old havelis in Sanganer, Jaipur where all the textile block printing is done for brands like Fab India and hand-made paper making units with amazing craftsman-ship.

        Also went to Bithur, Naimish, and other pilgrimages. (It is believed/told that) Naimish is the place where Satyanarayan katha was first told. Also the place where a bunch of famous sages like Surdas, Suka (of Shrimad Bhagwat fame) and Vyasa himself lived.

        Naimish somehow moved me, it has a B-grade Varanasi feel to it with the irritating pandas but I felt peace making parikramas in the chest deep waters of chakra-kund. Men were not staring at women, there were beautiful Srimad-Bhagwad Book’s poojas happening on the steps which I witnessed from inside the water. There are many old and new temples and sites like Dadhichi-kunda, Vyasa-gaddi, Veda-Purana temple etc. Must go with parents.

        The temples and monastries pulled down to build Adhai din ka Jhonpara Mosque in Ajmer must have been beautiful.

        Then also spent time in a couple of tiger reserves-Pilibhit and Panna. Well managed and good value for money.

        1. Bhim bhai, doing well. I was wondering why we haven’t heard from you in a while. Congrats on the new job!
          Learn the deep-tech stuff well and get your company to open offices in NOIDA/Bangalore some day.

          I have been good. Shut down the startup and took a break. Mostly worked on fitness and cooking. Now joining a really promising battery startup here in Delhi.

          I considered moving abroad over the last year. But then health issues with parents sort of crystallised the decision to stay here. Now I feel I’ll be too old to emigrate and build a life in the west after I put in some time in the new job. So for better or for worse, I’ve tied my fate to India.

          Great to hear about your travels. I have been to Orchchha. Really nice place. I’d like to travel more across north India at some point outside of the usual touristy circuits.

      2. @Saurav Bhai,

        How is life?

        Read your posts mentioning plans about returning to India.

        2 cents –
        If you do come back try and start something of your own or bring other opportunities here. This place needs jobs and businesses, remember why you left in the first place. Baki sab batein bakchodi hain.

        1. Life is ok-ish Bhim. How have u been. Congrats ur job.

          I agree i cant work much back in India. Unless i work remotly for a US client or something. Anyhow i was thinking of taking a clear break from my profession and last year has allowed me to think about my options. Wanted to spend some more time with parents, and it gave me a reality check on what are the important things in one’s life.

          Not sure i would venture into business or start up. I am the wrong person. Let see how things pan out.

      3. @Prats

        I remember you closing the old startup. I was wondering if you were onto a new one.

        The battery scene will boom. It will be good for early entrants, eventually the Chinese will make it a commodity.

        Wishing your parents good health.


        I have been doing well. Usual life/work chik-chik.

        I have a friend who moved from Google Mountain View to Google India a few months ago. I didn’t ask explicitly but word was that he retained a big chunk of his American salary. India isn’t going anywhere, make a good plan and share it with us if it works.

  25. The Tom Booth podcast: I think Tom was referring to Loschbour but he might have confused it with the Swiss Bichon man @ 17:30. But yeah, Cheddar man was very much like Loschbour man, closer to Loschbour than to say Villabruna or any other Italian WHG. This is because both Loschbour and Cheddar man have a little bit of the Magdalenian ancestry, but less than what is found in late Iberian HGs like Canes, Chan and La Brana. LGM Iberians in turn had more of this different HG ancestry than late Iberian HGs. The highest amount is in Belgium from 15,000 years ago,. Belgium 15K years ago > Germany around the same time > France a little later > Iberia from 20K years ago > late Iberians and Swiss HG.

    The real western European hunter gatherers had less WHG ancestry than Italian HGs.
    As for WHG yDNA: Most of it is I2, I have not heard of any I1 being found in a WHG yet. Probably because of how I1 is defined based on more recent mutations. But there is pre-I1 in later Iberians, so pre-I1 could be a Magdalenian lineage.

    1. Is democracy one of those words whose definition changes based on the whims of whoever is using it?

    2. I looked at the profile of the author. Dude graduated college in 2017.
      How do these morons making grand pronouncements even get published.

  26. Calculated to backfire: Maths and physics can’t be optional for engineering entrance

    The AICTE decision reflects misplaced concept of flexibility and deals a heavy blow to the engineering education system.

    The Approval Process Handbook released by the All India Council for Technical Education for the forthcoming year wherein it announced that physics and mathematics will no longer be compulsory subjects in classes X and XII for entry to engineering and other technical education programmes was a bombshell for academics and scientists all over the country and outside.

    National Education Policy 2020 states that the highest priority must be given to mathematics at the pre-primary level and in some ways speaks of making mathematics mandatory at that level to achieve foundational literacy and numeracy skills. Mathematics develops our reasoning capability, helps us to cultivate analytical thinking, quickens our mind, and can be applied in day-to-day life. But what has actually happened is the reverse.

    The provision of multiple choices of courses in the NEP has been perversely interpreted to mean and include core subjects like physics, mathematics, chemistry and other sciences, whereas it was only to be within electives — a complete misplaced concept of flexibility. A section of students may benefit from this but for the country as a whole it could prove to be the proverbial trojan horse.

    Mathematics is one of the most distinguished disciplines which has a “continuum” of applications, from “zero to infinite”. At times, it “differentiates” between “chaos” and “stability” and sometimes it “integrates” different disciplines of knowledge. From basics to advanced concepts, mathematics finds use in all. If engineering is the body, mathematics and physics are its “atma”. There cannot be engineering without physics, chemistry and mathematics. No amount of “bridge” programmes that the Handbook talks about can fill the gap, if the student does not have sufficient mathematics or sciences background.


    1. You can have mathematics and physics as optional subjects in large universities where students can choose among different majors like they do in the US.

      In an Indian style engineering college, you can’t really fail a lot of students because that will create a politically uncomfortable situation. And students who realise that engineering is not for them won’t have any other way out. Ultimately, leading to the disastrous consequence of even more unemployable graduates with engineering degrees being churned out.

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