254 Replies to “Open Thread – 04/30/2021 – Brown Pundits”

  1. @ Razib – look forward to reading it, thanks for spreading the wisdom for free (heh) among us mortals!

    Here’s the entirety of the comment I’d meant to post at the Hindutva thread but got clipped –

    (1) I don’t agree that the Bhakti movement was triggered by C Asian Muslims. AFAIK the movement started from the deep south which had seen no islamic conquest, and then spread Northward. I suspect the anti-caste angle is more significant in its emergence, but the islamic aspect may have accelerated its spread in the north

    (2) The brahmins tempering Hindutva isn’t true everywhere – in S India the Brahmins are still more likely than other castes to be pro-Hindutva.

    And while there’s no global alliance of the Right wing, I think that Hindutva is unique among RW movements in being progressive in its views on the role of women in society, not oppposed to LGBT folk and not opposed to market driven capitalism and westernisation (as long as a certain hindu aesthetic is maintained). This would make it the RW movement that is closest to ‘wokism’ but I think that’s down to certain moderating features of Hinduism rather than anything else.

    Where does Hindutva does fail is its inability to provide a positive vision for the future for a multi-religious and multi-ethnic nation. Bashing up on elites, western media and muslims works electorally but has its limits. And is the ideology capable of running a modern 21st century nation? The experience of the recent past shows us that a Hindutva-run government has limitations in providing economic growth and has exposed laid bare certain nascent darker tendencies in society such as centralisation of power under a strongman and anti-intellectualism.

    It may come across as elitist, but I’d say that Hindutva would do better by staying away from power and governance and letting more qualified folk who are less reflexively anti-western do the hard lifting of moving India into the future. Instead, its niche should lie in agitating for Hindu causes such as temple management and equality of educational institutions, and acting as a counterweight to government power.

    +8
    1. @Siddharth, We disagree on most topics and barely interact in these threads, but +1 for standing up to megalomania.

      +3
    2. “Instead, its niche should lie in agitating for Hindu causes such as temple management and equality of educational institutions, and acting as a counterweight to government power.”

      Truer words were never said. Hindutva’s main purpose should be a institutionalization of a modern Hinduism which accepts the differences in religious traditions across India, root out social evils amongst Hindus, provide support to weaker sections, run educational institutes, medical colleges etc. All this is already underway but needs to systematized. If this is accomplished no matter who comes to power in India, Hindus as a people would not find themselves at the short end of the stick.

      +4
    3. It may come across as elitist, but I’d say that Hindutva would do better by staying away from power and governance and letting more qualified folk who are less reflexively anti-western do the hard lifting of moving India into the future.

      I would not call this elitist (that has connotations of a Western construct) but Brahminical. See Brahmins perfected the power of detachment and that famous “Neti-Neti” principle. Do nothing and just sit around spouting inanities (or eyes closed). We got dragged through five centuries of absolute degradation thanks to this detachment. And a whole lot of Indians starting aping the Brahminical mode.

      And remember all the men and women who somehow made the critical contribution at the right time – Shivaji, the Sikh Gurus, the Jagat Seths who manouevered to get the British against Siraj Ud Daula….and of course Gandhiji. They all took action and the right action at the right time. Do you find it odd that these were not Brahmins? The counter to Nehru’s meaningless posturing and intellectualism was Sardar Patel, a man of action and not a Brahmin. A lot of Brahmins also got out of the perpetual “paralysis by analysis” mode. In fact, Jaffrelot considers the initial RSS founders as a group of “breakaway Brahmins” who had forsworn the traditional sobriety of their community.

      Hindutva neutralises the Brahminical mode of detachment.

      To propel India to her rightful place, we must discard detachment and neti-neti. To make changes, power is needed. Therefore Hindutva must pursue power in all its forms. Art 370 did not vanish because of agitations. It disappeared because Amit Shah got out of his car with a To-do list one fine morning. It disappeared because Modi accumulated a brute majority. Period.

      To make changes, you need power – loads and loads of it. How hard is this to understand?

      I wanted to post all of this on that ridiculous piece of quackery but the closet woke went about cancelling comments.

      +7
      1. Shivaji, the Sikh Gurus, the Jagat Seths who manouevered to get the British against Siraj Ud Daula….and of course Gandhiji. They all took action and the right action at the right time. Do you find it odd that these were not Brahmins?

        This is inaccurate to the point of stupidity- from 17th century itself (not RSS brahmins in late 20th century) you would find a lot of people with deep Brahmanical thought (not just brahmins) who took ACTION – be it the Peshwas, variety of leaders of 1857 right up to Tilak (who was deeply and proudly traditional not just Brahmanical elite) leading up to Savarkar (who as you might say wasn’t from the typical Brahmanical thought)

        +2
      2. “Hindutva neutralises the Brahminical mode of detachment.”

        there is actually some modicum of truth in this. brahmins have a propensity towards armchair intellectualism and idle pontification. but to give credit where it is due, it is one caste which is still pan-indian in outlook. it is one caste that has still not formed a caste based party.

        0
        1. “…it is one caste that has still not formed a caste based party.”

          You are both right and wrong on this one. Yes, the Brahmins have not agitated for a party but they did stumble on to one by accident and made it their spiritual home – Congress. If only Gandhi had picked Sardar as the first PM! Now the period between 1950s and 1980s are epochal for the Indian polity in terms of three factors.

          One, Brahmins dominated the political landscape in far higher numbers (PMs and CMs) than their natural constituency would have allowed them to. You can check the stats for Congress leaders.

          Two, the Brahminical mode of detachment found a perfect expression in the socialist economic philosophy. a match between the Hawai Slipper and the Chewing Gum. Manu Joseph says that this union also moderated some of the excesses of socialism/communism found in other countries. But in general, socialism allowed the Brahmin leaders to wallow in inaction and even call it a virtue!! Nehru’s aversion to business/industry/army should never be viewed as a personal quirk but rather the very dominant manifestation of Brahminical detachment.

          Three, the Gangetic Brahmins (CEOs of Cuckold International) revived their love affair with Ganga-Jamuni Tehzeeb (after the horrors of Partition), put some lipstick on it and sold it to the whole of India as “secularism”. This consolidated the electoral power of Congress across India.

          So this three headed Cerebrus became the soul of independent India – M Love, Socialism & Brahminical detachment. So when Slapstik (Uddrahaitavaya??) wrote that Brahmins temper Hindutva, I had to slap myself.

          +2
      3. “I would not call this elitist (that has connotations of a Western construct) but Brahminical. See Brahmins perfected the power of detachment and that famous “Neti-Neti” principle. Do nothing and just sit around spouting inanities (or eyes closed). We got dragged through five centuries of absolute degradation thanks to this detachment. And a whole lot of Indians starting aping the Brahminical mode”

        @Ugra – mate, I totaly see where you’re coming from. But you’re assigning Brahmins too high a significance in history, me thinks. Ritually, yes Brahmins did play a great (obviously) but you’re denying other groups agency when you attribute India’s past failures solely to Brahmins – heh lets just say everyone failed across the board 🙂 I doubt that Brahmins were really present in real corridors of power or commerce until relatively recently. And there are arguments that the presence of Brahmins in certain regions did prevent wholesale conversion of society to Islam – make of that what you will.

        Let me make it clear that I’m no fan of Brahminism/tradism. A lot of the failures of the past CAN indeed be attributed to them such as the hoarding away of knowledge and literacy from other groups, which led to India never really becoming a scientific powerhouse.

        You argue that for HIndutva power is important in achieving its goals – maybe. But I see a lot of NRI hindus (not saying that you’re one of them) use words such as Indic, civilisational, dharmic, etc. too freely and think that the ends of a mythical hindu civilisational superstate justify any means necessary while being the first to flee the country given half a chance. I think that fast growing economy and decent standard of living are far more important regardless of which government delivers it, and that the past few years (especially the recent events around covid) have shown the failures of this government and ideology in delivering that.

        +5
        1. @Siddharth

          But you’re assigning Brahmins too high a significance in history, me thinks. Ritually, yes Brahmins did play a great (obviously) but you’re denying other groups agency when you attribute India’s past failures solely to Brahmins – heh lets just say everyone failed across the board

          No I did not. I was pointing out that the most important leaders who played important roles within the last 400 years were non-detached in their actions. They pursued power without any hesitation. This is counter to the standard Indian behaviour of non-engagement with the temporal world. This was obviously has roots in the metaphysical tradition of India where Brahmins played a leading role.

          0
    4. On Razib dada’s post:

      He is grossly over-estimating India. There are just two elements to India’s current claim to a seat: (a) Its population and (b) Its religious exports in history.

      There is little to none hard civilizational prestige in being Indian. Pakistanis and Bengalis mock us constantly for our sem-2-sem despite being relatively more pathetic and by definition being Indians. You should see the ridiculous things Pak-nationalists (like Aryangang) say to prove that their ancestors were Buddhist not Hindus! As if that being Buddhist detaches them from India!

      We have commenters here from Sri Lankans who scorn at India despite being us. Even Bhutanese don’t like us, other than lay Nepalis and (new and old) Hindu expats in the new world no one really wants to associate with us. To some we are dark and to others we are dirty, to all we are heathens.

      Forget the endless adulation that West (and Saudi/Persians) receive from their satellites and colonies, compare our situation with just China and see the prestige that comes with itsy-bitsy associations like having been a part of historical silk road etc.

      Who are India’s civilizational allies? Who is our Pakistan (for Saudi), who is our Belarus (Russia), our Israel (US) ?

      There will be some passive respite from this with the inevitable and irreversible defanging of Islam.

      On the active measures, ‘Maratha mindset’ with what LKY would call ‘becoming more useful for the rest of the world.’

      +5
      1. @Bhimrao

        There is little to none hard civilizational prestige in being Indian.

        For now. This is largely a function of India’s low income. India does have more civilisational influence than China. Influence is not the same as respect.

        You should see the ridiculous things Pak-nationalists (like Aryangang) say to prove that their ancestors were Buddhist not Hindus! As if that being Buddhist detaches them from India!

        That is largely just reflective of their own neuroses and self-hatred.

        Who are India’s civilizational allies?

        South-East Asia would be an obvious candidate. Possibly Europe if the paganist movement ever starts to take off. I see Christianity mostly being venerated by the old. The young are either becoming committed ideologues of multiculturalism or they are increasingly looking towards the ancient, pre-Christian past.

        +1
        1. “they are increasingly looking towards the ancient, pre-Christian past.”
          Where can I see this?

          “South-East Asia would be an obvious candidate.”
          SE Asia is its own world. They do not look towards us for any kind of leadership spiritual or otherwise.

          We are trying to hang on to weak threads for validation. Too much time and effort has been wasted in retrofitting ‘achievements’ of India to somehow draw a parallel with the west. What is so shameful in accepting that ancient Indians were terrible geographers, lazy historians and OK-ish generals. Countries with lesser credentials have risen from nothing in present day while we kept seeking respect and recognition for minor accomplishments of our distant ancestors.

          Become competitive, get rich, preserve democracy, build a big ass army, play with economics that works, build shitload of roads and in general make the idea of being Indian 10X more attractive than idea of say being Bangladeshi. That is what the US does to coconuts in one generation claiming to be 100% American, that is real dominance and prestige.

          +4
        2. //That is largely just reflective of their own neuroses and self-hatred.//

          Or it’s more a statement of fact. Sindh, Baluchsitan, KP, GB have all been Muslim and Buddhist longer in the last 2500 years than they were ever ”Hindu” (whatever that meant in history). Punjab & Kashmir are a bit more evenly contested. Regardless, Pakistanis already think they got a better religion and subscribe to that religion’s civilizational appeal. It’s bit hard to argue that Hinduism was historically more successful than Islam from a civilizational perspective and even if you make that argument, that’s your opinion man, we don’t buy it.

          I personally don’t see the need to deny any Hindu heritage that people of Pakistan may have, but it does seem practical to downplay it in the face of Hindutva / Akhand Bharat types, especially when they make irredentist claims on land using that argument.

          +1
          1. I dont think most converts were thinking of how historically successful a religion was while adopting it. Most Pakistanis would be Christian today by that logic.

            Someone needs to dig deeper into why relations between Hindus and Muslims in the greater part of the Indus valley became *so* antagonistic. This doesnt seem to be the case in the Bengal region, or in South India. I think it might have something to do with caste. Tensions between Jats and Sainis/Khatris/Agarwals in Haryana are still enough to give BJP a very shaky government there at the height of the Modi wave.

            These tensions likely predate modern times and might have crystallized as Hindu-Muslim tensions in the broader Indus region.

            0
          2. I think you are under the wrong impression that the average Punjabi or Sindhi is seething with anti-Hindu sentiment. Nothing like that.It’s not a parallel to Hindutva sentiments on Muslims, at all, based on what I have observed. Hindus have not been anymore than 10% in the Indus corridor even in early 20th century, and are not more than 1% in West Punjab in the past 70 years. Even in Sindh where they formed a quarter of the population pre-1947, most of them were urbane elite or concentrated in the marginal areas of the Thar desert. The urbane Hindu money lenders all migrated to India, and got replaced by Hindustani Muslims. So the average Indus Muslim on the street does not see Hindus as a threat and is unconcerned about them. Usually animosity towards India which sometimes translates as anti-Hindu in Upper Punjab region is solely due to Kashmir flaring up. The average Punjabi layperson is much more concerned about Qaidiyanis than they are about Hindus, and the average Sindhi is more concerned about those Urdu Speakers than Hindus.

            +1
          3. I would say average Sindhi speakers seems more and more concerned abt Pastho speakers than urdu speakers lately.

            +1
          4. //I dont think most converts were thinking of how historically successful a religion was while adopting it.//

            No they don’t, but the point is this: People think that people converting into Islam are self hating individuals who hate their ancestors and gave up their ”own” history. This is a very Hindu centric view of looking at things so I understand where this stems from. But Hindu or Buddhist converts into Islam don’t think they have lost anything at all, and for those that care about history, they simply substituted one civilization’s history with another, albeit more successful one. Not very different than the Hindus (or Muslims) who emigrate to the west and lose their religion, their children will eventually adapt the Western civilization as their own.

            +2
          5. Saurav
            nah I would not think they really are concerned about the Pasthuns like they are about UrduSpeakers.. it’s to do with the language.. young Sindhis are unlikely to learn Pastho but they all learn Urdu and use it. My Sindhi friends even speak a very Urduized version of Sindhi while the more older versions are considered unfashionable and something that rural folk speak. The nationalists don’t like this trend one bit and blame the Hindustanis for it still, despite us not having any sort of real power for almost half a century.

            +1
          6. Well more than langauge i was hinting at ethnic tensions b/w the three. The Sindhis were ok as long as Pathans were their hired gun to take on Mohajirs. But what happens when the hired gun wants to be the boss?

            Very interesting corollary to Mumbai politics. The Congress in Mumbai used N-Indian immigrants to take on Marathi politics of Shiv Sena. Soon the N-Indians started to develop their own politics, throwing their weight behind BJP, and Congress was left hi and dry.

            0
          7. Perhaps in the future they may be considered a threat by Sindhi nats, but right now they aren’t. Sindhi nats – being the commies that they are – are less concerned about the economic well being of Sindh and more about its cultural sanctity, and the biggest threat to that is spread of Urdu.. Urdu media still dominates in Sindh and Urdu speakers dominate its largest cities, so they are target for all propaganda.

            I think in the coming decades, Pasthuns will become the dominant force not only in Karachi but entire Pakistan. They are hardworking, enterprising and surprisingly quite outward looking when it comes to business.. they have immigrated to almost ever major city and town in Pakistan in large numbers. They started off doing hard labor work and menial jobs, moved up to set up small businesses, monopolized the transport sector and now even dabbling with money lending. Because of their presence everywhere, they will form an important political force.

            Interesting to know about N-Indians in Mumbai. As someone who knew little about Mumbai politics outside bollywood, I always though Mumbai was North Indian dominated due to Hindi media.. up until very recently when I learnt about the Shiv Sena vs BJP antagonism.

            +2
          8. Do you anticipate this new Pakistani Pashtuns to break away from Afghan pashtuns in terms of thinking and mannerism , since it looks like Taliban will be back in power in Afghanistan.

            For example what would be Pakistani pashtun view if lets say the Durand line issue comes up? Earlier the Pakistani pashtuns of Fata etc would stay strategically silent on the question. I am assuming this new gen Pakistani Pashtuns will nationalistically pushback, a bit like how Indian muslims used to against Pakistan.

            0
          9. I am yet to see a really entrepreneurial Pashtun, unless of course driving your own cab and securing a visa via some fraud in considered an achievement. Hardworking ok, forward-looking maybe but in popular imagination who doesn’t have these qualities other than Bengali commies, Paharis and Kashmiris?

            0
          10. I think you are unnecessarily singling out just some communities of lacking entrepreneurial skills. On the contrary, you can count entrepreneurial communities , on your one hand. The others are all socialist/commies.

            +1
          11. @Saurav
            I will concede this one. Most others suck too. A gult (telugu) friend told me how all the bordering lands of Mahrashtra are being bought over by Telugus while Marathis (of Marathwada and Vidarbh ?) drink alcohol, sell ancestral land, do petty politics and chill. Similar broad generalization applies for Odias, Bundelis etc

            0
          12. @Saurav

            I think Pak Pasthuns are neither here nor there on the Durand line issue and it really depends on who you ask.. most want open borders with Afghanistan in concept and will pay lip service to it, but economically they would rather the flow of Afghans be limited into Pakistan as it only increases their competition. Apart from PTM (which is still quite fringe and mostly have support in FATA) no other party from KP usually raises this issue in any significant way.. which is why I think Pakistan will always be interfering in Afghanistan geopolitically for the foreseeable future..

            @Bhimrao

            Very few Pak Pasthuns really move abroad to the West so it’s unlikely you will meet them.. most are Afghan refugees that travelled on Pakistani passport.. Pak Pasthuns usually migrate as general labor to the Middle East. In Pakistan however, you will see them involved in almost every trade. They haven’t dominated industry yet but that’s not far off

            0
          13. @Saurav

            I dont live there so it’s hard to gauge feeling on the street and my interactions is based on Pasthuns in Karachi (many who come from FATA as well) .. I think they are neither here nor there on the Durand line issue and it really depends on who you ask.. most want open borders with Afghanistan in concept and will pay lip service to it, but economically they would rather the flow of Afghans be limited into Pakistan as it only increases their competition. Apart from PTM (which is still quite fringe and mostly have support in FATA) no other party from KP usually raises this issue in any significant way.. which is why I think Pakistan will always be interfering in Afghanistan geopolitically for the foreseeable future..

            @Bhimrao

            Very few Pak Pasthuns really move abroad to the West so it’s unlikely you will meet them.. most are Afghan refugees that travelled on Pakistani passport.. Pak Pasthuns usually migrate as general labor to the Middle East. In Pakistan however, you will see them involved in almost every trade. They haven’t dominated industry yet but that’s not far off

            0
          14. @ S Qureishi
            I do understand the muslims have problem with Akhand Bharat people even many Hindus do. But your Proposition that SIndh W Punjab and Frontier had “Buddhist” majority is based on the premise of architecture of Takht i Bahi type and other monuments I suppose. This is simply not true! Buddhism did flourish in these areas but it was again an “elite” religion in those areas. Similar analogy can be put in Medieval era where Islam was ONLY reserved for Ashrafs. The Majority of the masses remained overwhelmingly Hindu. This has been proven through Numismatics- Most Shakas, Kushanas, Indo-Greek coins had Siva,Laxmi and Vishnu as motifs. The same goes for Mahmud of Ghazni, Ghori and even other Delhi Sultans who had Hindu gods and goddess as inscribed in the coins and used Sanskrit and Prakrit. The perception that Buddhism became dominant religion is simply based on architecture and royal architecture. Iran also went through same phases in the same period where they had Greeks and Parthians as their rulers till Sassanians arrived on the scene,
            Another proposition you made regarding Hindu population that constituted West Punjab and Sindh is again based on false premise- Census 1931 I refer because Bhagat Singh’s memoirs mention migration of “Non Muslims” from West Punjab to Eastern Punjab states as Muslim league started radicalizing the Muslims. Census 1931 puts Lahore divisions excluding Amristar and Gurdaspur at 32.3% Non Muslim, Rawalpindi as 17% Non Muslim and Multan as 22% non Muslim. Ambala Division had 16% Muslims which as according to Census 2011-India still has 16.43% Muslims. Jullunder division in India ONLY showed decline in Muslim population. Sindh’s demography remained similar even in Census 1941 with 29% Non Muslims. I make a point that India was NOT obsessed with Pakistan for its treatment of minorities till 2014. Since 2014, somehow Pakistan started obsession with Muslims in India, Indians specifically Sikhs and Hindus retaliated with same obsession. What is the psychology behind Pakistani’s mind that “Hindu Nationalist” becomes the PM? While their own Prime Ministers, Governor General Jinnah were “Muslim Nationalists”. I see many Pakistani commentators talking secularism is in danger in “India”. “Islam” is in danger in Pakistan and “Islamophobia” in France. Do explain these issues

            0
      2. “You should see the ridiculous things Pak-nationalists (like Aryangang) say to prove that their ancestors were Buddhist not Hindus! As if that being Buddhist detaches them from India”

        An interesting phenomenon, a lot of pak-nationalist positions can be boiled down to ‘we’re not like the gangetic plain folks’. I’m neither from neither region, but it does sound like a cope when its clear that pak’s have wholeheartedly adopted a gangetic language and gangetic schools of religion (deobandi, barelvi). The gangetic region has far more historical significance for islamic history in india while current-day pak was the badland frontier hence their push to find their identity westward – and there’s some truth here of course as those regions were once part of the achaemenid, arab and afghan empires. The gandhara thing is laughable though, all the best to them in trying to separate it from hindu history as that region has produced chanakya, panini etc. and has a large significance in hindu epics.

        +5
        1. “its clear that pak’s have wholeheartedly adopted a gangetic language and gangetic schools of religion (deobandi, barelvi). The gangetic region has far more historical significance for islamic history in india while current-day pak was the badland frontier”

          TBF this is not unique to Pakistan. All religions in India find their historical significance and origins in gangetic belt only. That hasn’t stopped the Sinhalese to think that Buddhism is not uniquely Sri Lankan thing. Nor it has stopped folks in Eastern and Southern India to think/feel they are “more Hindu” than N-Indians. Laughable really, but still.

          So yeah Pakistani feeling their region is uniquely muslim is not really an outlier.

          0
    5. “The brahmins tempering Hindutva isn’t true everywhere – in S India the Brahmins are still more likely than other castes to be pro-Hindutva.”

      an idle intellectual speculation. is it within the realm of possibility that core dravidian nationalist castes of tamilnadu may siege the leadership of hindutva moveemnt in S india, and astonish everybody by laying claim to be the hindu-est of all hindus.

      wasnt chola empire, their reference point to past glories, a hindu empire after all.

      0
      1. ” is it within the realm of possibility that core dravidian nationalist castes of tamilnadu may siege the leadership of hindutva moveemnt in S india, and astonish everybody by laying claim to be the hindu-est of all hindus.”

        i know we are all shooting from the hip, but just lets not go there 😛

        +2
  2. hey slapstick, (your new handle उद्ररुहैन्वीय is too difficult for me to pronounce. i am too subaltern for your highfalutin sanskrit). i jotted down a couple of lines of comments on your post on woke hindutva, which you promptly deleted without explanation. normally, i wouldn’t be bothered. commenting on blogs is a time-wasting procrastination poison i want to move away from. your treatment of my comments was precisely the medicine i needed to get back to work. unfortunately cant help visiting blogs on a dreary work day, just to recharge.

    your problem is that you have all the pretentions of elitism, but no substance to back it up. you start writing with the flourish and airs of a scholar, but the superficiality shows up just a couple of sentences down the line.

    in other words, you have all the vices of razib, but none of his virtues. i had a couple of run-ins with razib on these pages and characteristically he resorted to name calling. but he ultimately earned my respect because at heart he is truly democratic. he will let the readers comments stay however much he disagrees with them. and if he doesnt know enough in any knowledge area, he will admit freely. you are basically a wanna-be razib. but you still have lot of work to do to reach that level.

    you can start by trying to be humble. it shouldn’t be too difficult for you, given that the reasons to be humble are already there within.

    you can acknowledge your inadequacies in the fields of history and humanities in general, and working on them. and we are there to help.

    PS- what is the meaning of your new handle “उद्ररुहैन्वीय”. (i dont know something, so i ask. hope you take the hint.)

    cheers.

    +11
    1. Yeah, the definition of Hindutva according to the author is from someone who never talked to a RSS guy. The rest of the post is similar with ThePrint, TheWire, The Hindu editorials and OPEDs.

      +2
    1. The figure is *wrong* for 50% of procurement. Modiji (haraami numba 1) wants *states to procure vaccines* themselves that will be twice as expensive, i.e., $4.12 than if centre had done it all and taken money from states; the rate is more expensive than a lot of other countries in the world. *A masterstroke by Modiji* for winning headlines, but India has lost and we can see the deplorable sight of people cheering the wasting of India’s public money for the enrichment of businessmen no matter how *capable* because Modiji won’t haggle so that he can win elections.

      +2
      1. I thought I already clarified this on another post. SII clearly posted a statement explaining the rates.

        Read the second point clearly-
        https://twitter.com/SerumInstIndia/status/1385899831705538560

        Other countries are NOT getting it for cheaper. The initial batches were cheap ($2 – $6) in many countries because they had invested in the vaccine early on. And out of these initial roll-outs, India’s rate was the cheapest.

        Whereas what you’re trying to imply is that all other countries are still being sold Covishield at such cheap rates.

        The vaccine is now being sold for $2.15 in the EU and $3 in the UK.
        Keep in mind that AZ is supplying UK and EU while SII is supplying India. And SII has to pay a 50% royalty fee to AZ.

        Also, it’s not like the vaccine procured by the centre is going to Mars. It’s ultimately being distributed among the states for free.
        We just finished two phases in this manner.
        You’re looking at the “omg state govts. are being made to pay” part, but not the free doses part.

        While I do think Govt. should buy all doses and then distribute (assuming this doesn’t significantly slow the rollout), is SII capable of selling every dose at 150?

        +3
    2. @ IsThisReal
      You should read Point 1 of the tweet you linked. SII states that government price is *far cheaper* if done in large quantities. Why is government not doing so? I am *not demanding* SII should sell for Rs 150. I am asserting the price overall would be cheaper for *India as a whole* if central govt does procurement. Also, SII makes profit at Rs 150 too as confirmed by SII CEO.

      Right now, so much money is getting wasted because govt. wants to do politics. Earlier, govt. exported as part of vaccine maitri vaccines that had no contractual obligations. Now this.

      Furthermore, SII CEO *on record* confirmed that if he criticises Modi, his head will be chopped off. Man, how horrible Modiji can be that he will not even stop gundagardi towards @Saurav’s God and an important contract manufacturer.

      +1
      1. I am *not demanding* SII should sell for Rs 150. I am asserting the price overall would be cheaper for *India as a whole* if central govt does procurement. Also, SII makes profit at Rs 150 too as confirmed by SII CEO.

        Govt. has also been helping them manufacture by providing money. You and I ARE demanding that SII sell everything at 150 when we say we want the centre to procure everything.

        Furthermore, SII CEO *on record* confirmed that if he criticises Modi, his head will be chopped off.

        Man, stop twisting words.
        He said-
        “If I give you the right answer, or any answer, my head would be chopped off… I can’t comment on the elections or Kumbh mela. It’s too sensitive”
        He’s making it clear that picking any side at all is gonna earn him a lot more hatred (hence the ‘any answer’ part). People have gone batshit crazy with their opinions on certain issues. He’s not willing to take any stance at all, right or wrong. He has bigger issues at hand (like vaccinating a country of 1.3B).

        And the real reason why he left India is there in the interview. He made it clear-
        “The calls come from some of the most powerful men in India. They come from the chief minister of Indian states, heads of business conglomerates and others demanding instant supply of Covishield. “Threats” is an understatement.”

        +1
  3. I see slapstick article caused a furore. The uneasiness with hindutva rise is found in many Hindu trads. People who see their religion now metamorphosize into something else. I see that in my own older generation who were quite religious , Sanskrit speakers , ritualistic. But this is the fate of all Hindu-dom. Coming soon to south / eastern India and other less Hindu regions.

    An article which articulated it better than I can.

    https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-conservative-challenge-to-hindutva/article32262217.ece

    “ This unique characteristic signifies a new hierarchy between religion and politics. Here, religion is not only relegated to an inferior position but has also been effectively vanquished and used as a handmaid by the political. “

    0
    1. Quoting from this article
      https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/op-ed/the-conservative-challenge-to-hindutva/article32262217.ece


      Amir Chand of Sanskar Bharti, an RSS outfit, stated, “In collaboration with the Ministry of Culture, we are debating the removal of portions from the Manusmriti which are anti-Dalit and anti-women and often quoted in arguments against Hindu scriptures.”

      Balmukund Pandey, the head of Akhil Bharatiya Itihas Sankalan Yojana, another RSS outfit, announced a plan for modifying the Ramayana to weed out verses that are not in sync with the ideal image of Ram.

      but how do you “remove” the portions of manusmriti? how do you “modify” ramayana? which authors hold the copyright of these texts that they will grant you the permission? which publishing house owns the publishing rights so that they will come out with a “revised” edition of these texts?

      stupid idea really. a non-starter. rather than trying radical stunts like these, hindutva proponents will be better off acknowledging that hindu religious texts were written in a different era, and parts of them have come into dissonance with modern sensibilities. these obsolete portions should not be treated as guiding principles. that is where the matter should rest.

      but the very fact these ideas are being bandied about says a lot about hindu culture. contrast this with islam. what will be the fate of some one calling for the alteration of qur’an?

      0
      1. “but how do you “remove” the portions of manusmriti? how do you “modify” ramayana? which authors hold the copyright of these texts that they will grant you the permission? which publishing house owns the publishing rights so that they will come out with a “revised” edition of these texts?”

        Though it might seem outrageous , i see this happening in the next decade. RSS and Hindu right pushing the subaltern characters (Eklavya, Sabri, Guha) of this texts, repudiating Manusmriti. In fact the revising is already on if u look closely.

        0
  4. @Numinous you mention in a recent comment:
    If an evangelical told me I would burn in hell for eternity unless I accepted Jesus, I would laugh in their face and point out all the absurdities (and even savagery) in the Bible. That would send them packing….
    What I would not do is start (or subscribe to) a political movement founded on rejecting modernity, a severe victimhood and inferiority complex, and glorifying a fictional version of our past.

    How about “I am a woman. If a male colleague told me I was inferior to men, I would laugh in his face… That would send him packing…. What I would not do is to start or subscribe to a feminist view founded on victimhood and inferiority complex and science denial.”

    My point is that people follow double-standings in their expectations from others of how to respond to mockery or humiliation:
    (i) If a group you like is mocked, the response is of sympathy;
    (ii) If you a group you don’t have any sympathy for is mocked, the response is to expect unreasonable levels of rationality and stoicism and “confidence” and “security” from them.

    You can respond in whichever way you like, but if you cannot be sensitive to Hindus citing their personal narrative of harrassment, at least don’t be dismissive of them.

    +6
    1. How about “I am a woman. If a male colleague told me I was inferior to men, I would laugh in his face… That would send him packing…. What I would not do is to start or subscribe to a feminist view founded on victimhood and inferiority complex and science denial.”

      Yep, I agree with this. Also with an analogous racist statement made by a white person to a black person, if you want another example. We know the result of the feminist and BLM movements, don’t we? WOKE, WOKE, WOKE!

      In fact, your analogy precisely makes the point Slapstick tried to make in his article.

      I dislike victimhood and like confidence. People with fragile egos IMHO ought to look into themselves and either derive confidence from their positive attributes or cultivate some. Of course I know this is hard. I was fat throughout my childhood. (If you’ve not been a fat kid, you’ll have no idea the amount of crap that gets thrown one’s way.) But I learned to take pride from other things (like my academic prowess) and eventually got my fitness under control too.

      +2
      1. We know the result of the feminist and BLM movements, don’t we? WOKE, WOKE, WOKE!

        You speak as if feminism has always been searching for fringe things like manspreading.
        Do you not agree that feminism and civil rights movement were born to address real and actual issues? While Hindutva does take things too far sometimes, it tries to addresses a problem that the left pretends doesn’t exist.

        Anyway, feminism/BLM/hindutva aside, the original point was about the commenter telling how someone casually told them they’re gonna burn in hell.

        A Muslim collegemate of mine told me the exact same thing (pretty sure I’ve mentioned him on BP before, it’s the Zakir Naik wannabe guy).
        You know what I did, Numinous? I laughed at him. Is that confident enough?
        I also told him to live his own life to the fullest and not worry about entering hell and heaven because those things probably don’t even exist.

        Dude sends me Zakir Naik videos on Whatsapp (videos where Naik talks about atheism and stuff, because I told my collegemate that I’m not a very religious person). When I break it down to this guy that Naik is just talking bs and clearly explain why, he tells me “you just don’t get it”.
        Wasn’t a day at college when this guy wouldn’t ask for my help. Even messaged me a few times after college was over because he needed help clearing placement tests and interviews.
        I’m not claiming to be a genius or anything, but I’m certainly smarter than this guy. Doubt there’s anything he’d understand that I won’t.

        You and I may not be bothered (someone else may) when a clown like this walks up and says dumb stuff. I don’t mind a 100 more folks like him saying silly stuff (talking about 1-on-1 convos irl). They aren’t gonna offend me or make me feel inferior in any manner.
        But the fact still remains that telling people they’re gonna burn in hell for not following your religion is problematic behavior. Could possibly even resort to violence in the name of religion someday (no dearth of news reports).
        Whereas you’re more concerned about the person narrating their experience “not being confident” enough.

        It’s nice that you’ve managed to become a confident individual and want others to be confident too, but it isn’t all about confidence.
        Feeling bad about what was said is one thing, being wary of such behaviour is another.

        +7
        1. Do you not agree that feminism and civil rights movement were born to address real and actual issues?

          Indeed. Please understand that every comment I make is not meant to be a complete thesis of my views on a particular topic. I’m usually making a narrow point in response to another narrow point. Hope people can read comments in that spirit rather than over-extrapolating.

          I’m completely supportive of the so-called second-wave feminism spearheaded by Betty Friedan and others a few decades ago, one that sought legal equality and equality of opportunity for women. I am also very much in support of the civil rights movement led by the likes of MLK Jr, which resulted in a concrete transformation of American law and society. Indeed, someone like me probably wouldn’t have been welcome in the US were it not for the efforts of the civil rights leaders of the mid-20th century.

          What I’m not a fan of is the modern tendency to pretend nothing ever changed: men are always misogynists, whites are always oppressors, etc., that seems to have taken over the intelligentsia in the states. And the over-sensitivity to speech that many not even be offensive but can be misconstrued as such.

          +1
    1. Whining loudly for anything and everything is a pan-left wing phenomenon, ‘everything is bad, we don’t know how to fix any of it’
      For Lucknow we paid upwards of 2 Lakhs for each non ventilator patient. In Kanpur we paid about 90K for a week. If given a chance I will happily pay for the vaccine.

      My brother’s former colleague, now a professor in Hyderabad died a few days ago of Covid. He was paying upwards of Rs 50K per day in ICU. A patriot he had refused to move to London and in the end his friends had to pool money to pay for his treatment.

      Despite these horrors people continue to bitch about SII, one of the two organizations who actually did something commendable on their own.

      I have also noted the heights of stupidity and meddling into executive that the judiciary has gone to in these times. These assholes are no ‘honourable’ justices worthy of our respect, just some babus, as petty as the ones in defense ministry, pretending to be judges.

      In India no one is allowed to make profit. But we want our 13th pay commission and vidhayak nidhi now.

      +3
  5. I think I see the word “subaltern” here as frequently as I would hear the phrases/words along the lines of “insofar as,” “nuance,” “changing narrative,” and “points of crystallization” on the debate circuit.

    +1
  6. I have a hypothesis as to why Gujaratis became so obsessed with Muslim political influence in Delhi. I think it is a mirror image to the Pakistani Punjab obsession with Hindu influence in Delhi.

    During the medieval period, both these regions constituted the frontiers of the core Mughal Empire. Pakistani Punjab bordered the Pashtun tribal areas, while Gujarat bordered the Maratha rebel areas. Neither the Punjabi Muslim elite (traditionally aristrocratic, not militariazed until British rule) nor the Gujarati Hindu elite (traditionally and still merchant/traders) developed an independent political identity. Both regions were subject to frequent raids from the Pashtuns and Marathas respectively.

    So power and influence in Delhi became important for both sets of elites to perpetuate and extend their wealth and power.

    0
    1. Sound hypothesis. I didn’t respond to your question earlier because I frankly don’t know the answer.

      0
    2. @Vikram
      The mechanics of how your hypothesis operates may be valid. I do think that raw animosity is a pre-condition for that. The social hypothesis that makes sense to me is that more vegetarian pops have inherent disdain for muslims. If you don’t break bread with people than there is only so much political unity you can have. Its why maratha’s lean NCP despite having the most high prestige traditon of opposition to islamicate power. Its why in karnataka lingayats lean BJP and vokkaligas don’t. I know this doesn’t explain assam, maybe they are so far outside the ambit of mainland india cultural dynamics, and the force of illegal immigration is so intense, that their only hope is central patronage from the one party that won’t sell out on that issue.

      +1
      1. girmit, if vegetarianism was the real explanatory variable, we would see the same degree of animosity between different Hindu castes, polarized by this factor. As far as I can tell, meat-eating is not an absolute taboo in most Hindu cultures, it is just seen as an avoidable indulgence.

        If there was something deeper than politics, it could be the rules regarding women. Extreme seclusion of women is more of an Arab Muslim practice though, not Persian. In South India, where Arabian Islam is more influental and Hindu women seclusion is not as prevalent as in the NW, we see less animosity. Where Hindus do seclude women about as much as Muslims (Rajasthan, Haryana, Punjab, West UP), we see more animosity.

        All this points to contingent political and economic competition as the main reason, rather than more base attributes.

        0
        1. @vikram
          It’s a taboo in many upper caste communities to varying degrees, and a pretext for social segregation. In my direct experience, vegetarian hindu castes practice housing discrimination against meat-eating ones (i’m not a crusader on this issue, just mentioning it). It becomes a factor in vetting marriage prospects. Also its predictive of which hindu communties will accept muslims as neighbours. Its not cooincidental that the BJP has its southern stronghold in the most vegetarian part of the most vegetarian southern state (lingayat-dominated north karnataka). The BJP also has difficulty in kerala and the eastern seaboard of TN, AP,OR WB; The least vegetarian areas. It could also explain why the non-vegetarian hindutva of the Shiv Sena needs a separate vehicle from the BJP. Eventually, elite vegetarians establish the aspirational tastes for shudra/OBC in urban areas and beyond.
          Regarding economic competition, muslims in the south if anything are far more economically dynamic than in most other regions besides gujarat. Compare shivajinagar in bangalore to aminabad in lucknow. Whether real estate, general trade, or retail, they far exceed the visibilty of their co-religionists in the north. And to your hypothesis, it does cause friction on the street level, but not to a level that becomes a factor on the level of state politics.

          +1
          1. girmit
            Also its predictive of which hindu communties will accept muslims as neighbours. Its not coincidental that the BJP has its southern stronghold in the most vegetarian part of the most vegetarian southern state

            Great insight. Thanks.

            +1
          2. @girmit,
            one of the major reasons for north karnataka to support bjp is that it had a big congress(o) camp, lead by the likes of hegde and veerendra patil. with patil going back to congress(I), hegde held this vote for janatha parties. with hegde’s and janatha’s demise, anantha kumar, who was orginally from dharwad, managed to get this lot into bjp. bjp cleverly is putting a lingayath cm as their representative. it is interesting to see, what happens after yeddi’s fade out.

            0
          3. I think BJP in KN will become like Congress is in Gujrat once Yedi fades out. A perenial 2nd party with a consistent 30-35 percent vote, with Congress winning majority . Espically if DK weans away Vokalingas away from the fading JDS. Either that or pre-empting its vote erosion, JDS makes a deal with the devil (BJP) so that it return to power and hold on to its vote.

            0
          4. @brown
            Indeed, thats the backstory in my understanding as well. Also the JD(U) to BJP wholesale shift, so these guys aren’t really dyed-in-the-wool BJP. Lingayats have some contradictory political impulses. On one hand there is a very well developed thought tradition of brahmin-scepticism and regional pride. On the village level, the vernauclar islam isn’t so oppositional to the lingayat-inflected hinduism of the masses, the plethora of syncretic sacred places in north karnataka is a JNU professors wet dream. On the other hand, given the history of betrayal by congress, urban lingayats became reluctant BJP backers, but are now unapologetic. We are in an awkward place of having once been at the forefront of brahmin-scepticism but now having to explain being handmaidens of the RSS.

            +1
          5. BJP has transformed. It isn’t a brahmin bania party anymore. It is a pan dharmic party, one that views India as a homeland for dharmic people

            0
    3. 2 points (which I may be completely wrong about):
      1. Isn’t it the case that the parts of Gujarat that seem to have the most anti-Muslim animus also have a significant Sindhi population? Like Godhra? Does anyone have data to either support or disprove this?
      2. My understanding is that the RSS has done a lot of useful social work and provided welfare services in Gujarat, and as a side effect, increased goodwill for the Hindutva cause. I know for a fact that they did a lot in the aftermath of the 2001 earthquake, for example.

      0
  7. Good quote

    “if exit poll predicts Secular government’s win and election results do not reflect it, it is safe to conclude that EVMs were hacked. And if exit polls predict that BJP will win, it is Godi media trying to manufacture consent so that BJP can freely tamper with the EVMs and there’s no ex post outrage about this. There’s simply no reason to believe that people on their own, exercising their franchise, will elect fascist, minority genociding government. Unless of course the electorate itself has turned bigoted, fascist, minority hating bunch. In that case the elections are useless and Secular front should overthrow the fascist regime, replace the electorate and then hold a free and fair election where only right kind of parties can be elected to power.”

    +1
  8. Razib’s friend Richard Hanania has a good column titled “why is everything liberal” https://richardhanania.substack.com/p/why-is-everything-liberal?utm_campaign=post&utm_medium=web&utm_source=twitter

    There is a blurb from Scott Alexander in there which explains a lot of current day politics—

    “When elites use the government to promote elite culture, this usually looks like giving grants to the most promising up-and-coming artists recommended by the art schools themselves, and having the local art critics praise their taste and acumen. When the populace uses the government to promote popular culture against elite culture, this usually looks like some hamfisted attempt to designate some kind of “official” style based on what popular stereotypes think is “real art from back in the day when art was good”, which every art school and art critic attacks as clueless Philistinism. Every artist in the country will make groundbreaking exciting new art criticizing the government’s poor judgment, while the government desperately looks for a few technicians willing to take their money and make, I don’t know, pretty landscape paintings or big neoclassical buildings.

    The important point is that elite government can govern with a light touch, because everything naturally tends towards what they want and they just need to shepherd it along. But popular/anti-elite government has a strong tendency toward dictatorship, because it won’t get what it wants without crushing every normal organic process. Thus the stereotype of the “right-wing strongman”, who gets busy with the crushing.”

    +3
  9. Re Slapstick’s “Indian Woke wear saffron”, he follows the lineage of the Nehru-Gandhi congress. As I have said before, 20th century indian politics can be explained with following high level observations–
    1A. Congress as a vehicle of Punjabi (PB, HR, JK) Brahmins, Khatris, UP Brahmins + Thakurs, Marwaris + trading castes.
    1B. Communists as a vehicle of KL and WB Brahmins. These groups were tiny slivers of populations in their respective states but had disproportionate control of land, wealth and politics.
    1C. JanSangh/BJP as vehicle of MH brahmins.
    2. The various regional parties as vehicles of dominant peasant castes. NCP, the different flavors of JD etc.
    3. The other smaller castes who are not numerous enough to matter on their own. They strategically align with either local Group 1 or Group 2 depending on transient/local factors.
    4. Muslims are similar to group 3 but more strategic as a votebank.

    Group 1A has had tensions with Jats in PB, HR. Group 1C has had tensions with Marathas in MH. Group 1B cynically took control of communist leadership to not end up at receiving end of proletariat revolution.

    One could make a valid argument for groups 1A, 1B, 1C to come to a modus vivendi to rule India and share the spoils. In last 150 years, only group 1 has demonstrated the intellectual, economic and organizational heft needed to rule a diverse polity like India. Group 1 can rely on support of Group 3 in all regions. In some regions group 2 will be cast out and in other group 3 will be cast out.
    This scenario has more than 50% chance of playing out in the next few decades. Whether the vehicle is bjp or congress or some other party is irrelevant. Strategy over tactics !

    +1
  10. “I think you are under the wrong impression that the average Punjabi or Sindhi is seething with anti-Hindu sentiment.”

    Well, I was talking historically, not today. I do agree with you to a great extent, I dont think the average Pakistani cares too much about Hindus today, they are about 1% of the population, and much of that 1% are marginalized Dalit populations in Sindh.

    But historically, the antagonism was very much there, the brutal and total ethnic cleansing in British Punjab and Sindh was the final culmination of that process. In contrast, there are still about 15-20 million Bengali Hindus in Bangladesh, about 25 million Bengali Muslims in India.

    +2
  11. “I think you are under the wrong impression that the average Punjabi or Sindhi is seething with anti-Hindu sentiment. Nothing like that.It’s not a parallel to Hindutva sentiments on Muslims, at all, based on what I have observed.”

    this is resorting to subterfuge. you are talking about present times when the presence of hindus/sikhs in the western punjab is already a distant memory. deep animosity against hindu/sikhs obviously existed in the past, otherwise pakistan itself wouldn’t exist.

    bloodiest of partition violence took place in punjab. between muslims and sikhs it was downright genocidal. strange that somebody would downplay that.

    +2
    1. Radical NW haleems and their apologists downplay their bigotry quite a bit. They follow the same pattern of dominating other traditions via violence and discriminatory laws or pushing them to the brink of existence via genocidal means and only then paying lip service to “diversity” like IK does but with locals still oppressing the now tiny minorities.

      0
  12. Seems like election results are on expected lines. Though it might seem absurd this results are good for BJP/Modi. This will allow them cut down on wasteful expenditure on less Hindu regions. Tamil Nadu where they were trying to spend their way out of the mess, and getting zilch support from the populace. Ditto with Bengal , but to a lesser extent. With these states now firmly with opposition parties, resources can diverted back to core Hindu-regions. UP is up next.

    I also see BJP dialing down on CAA, since they have an alibi of not winning Bengal. And its a major issue in Assam. So one in hand is worth two in the bush. Mostly bye bye CAA.

    0
    1. Seems like election results are on expected lines. Though it might seem absurd this results are good for BJP/Modi.

      This is correct – in Bengal they are now the main opposition party – up from just 3 seats in 2016. Sometimes BJP sets its sights so high that even the consolation is legendary.

      Congress has received a bad shellacking. They are even losing the fight to become opposition in some states. In TN, DMK has a simple majority – doesn’t require allies like Congress. In Bengal, they are now out of the mental picture for voters.

      +1
      1. Yeah, i mean folks opposed to Modi are rejoicing at Bengal results, as if BJP lost Bengal, and as if Modi is Bengali. Of course in their own home turf everyone is a Tiger. That BJP seats have increased 30 times, and can fight on its own in a non N-Indian state, is remarkable. But then let the opposition rejoice.

        To me Assam seems more significant as with its high Muslim pops , its turning into a stable non N-Indian state where BJP will be there or there about, like N-East version of Karnataka, for a long time to come.

        0
  13. Or it’s more a statement of fact. Sindh, Baluchsitan, KP, GB have all been Muslim and Buddhist longer in the last 2500 years than they were ever ”Hindu” (whatever that meant in history).”

    this is a tired debate, but i will wade into it anyway. punjab and sindh obviously hosted substantial hindu population (where else did the migrant punjabi/sindhi population in india really come from?).

    also, pak nationalists seem to remember their putative “buddhist” ancestry far more fondly than evidence warrants. buddhist history in punjab and sindh seems to have followed more or less same trajectory as the rest of india. there is no evidence of any significant buddhist population in sindh and punajb during mughal empire or delhi sultanate period, or even prior. kind of amusing to see pak-nationalists inserting a buddhist angle in every debate on their identity.

    and baloch and pashtuns are really different people. they have never thought of themselves as part of the indic cultural sphere. i read in some pakistani author’s book that as late as ayub khan’s times (that is 20 years into pakistan’s existence), the pashtun tribes of fata called themselves “afghans”, and punjabi muslims living east of them as “hindis”. so much for the pakistani nation that is supposed to have existed for 5000 years.

    +3
    1. // the pashtun tribes of fata called themselves “afghans”, and punjabi muslims living east of them as “hindis”//

      technically their historic name is Afghan, the ‘A’ in Pakistan stands for ”Afghania” it has little to do with Afghanistan as a country (which is less than 50% Afghan/Pasthun itself)

      However if you think this type of nationalism is limited to Pashtuns, you would be surprised. Sindhi nationalists love to call Muhajirs ”Hindustanis” or ”Indians” as well, and this is Sindhi nationalists in Pakistan I am talking about who think Hindu Sindhis are better than Muslim Punjabis or Muslim Muhajirs. They think even less of Hindus from other areas of India.. and they consider Sindhis having quite a separate and distinct history from rest of India. One of the biggest reasons for Sindh becoming a Muslim League stronghold before partition was because it was amalgamated and administered from Bombay to the displeasure of Sindhi Muslims, and Jinnah was the only major politician in the 1930’s to demand Sindh’s separation from Bombay Province which earned him a lot of political capital.

      While I don’t believe the exaggerations that Pak nationalists do about Pakistan’s Buddhist heritage, or the weird claims about historic Indus unity or a united Indus culture, I do however understand why they elevate Buddhist heritage over the Hindu one. It’s solely a reaction to Indians making irrendentist claims, and I bet you this trend started quite recently after Pak nationalist debates with Hindu/Indian nationalists online.

      +2
      1. You should see the derogatory undertone they use for gangetic peoples, calling them “gangus,” along with the insuitation, if not blunt statement, of “superiority,” both physical and moral, of “Indus people.”

        +1
      2. “I do however understand why they elevate Buddhist heritage over the Hindu one”

        that we all understand. you can call it a defense mechanism against the irredentists claims of hindu nationalists. your detractors will probably call it awkward attempts by a state looking for a basis of nationhood. may be both views are correct. but the fact remains that pak ethno-nationalists’ attempts to forge an imaginary past do not bear serious historic scrutiny.

        (the argument is equally valid for the hyper-nationalists on the other side of the border too. i cant help but sigh in resignation ever time i receive another whatsapp post claiming how prithviraj defeated ghauri 17 times and spared his life each time. but that is a discussion for another time.)

        0
        1. Scorpion
          I am under no illusion that these types of narratives are not an attempt at crafting a national mythology, usually by secular overseas Pakistanis, to draft a geographical basis of nationhood, which is less grounded in religious divide and more grounded in geography. (the Indus gang has not yet been taken seriously by Pakistani residents, at least until now) Indians (Hindu nationalists or secular) also do this when they talk about the glories of ancient Indian civilization and speaking of India as some type of united entity. I am not a believer of that, Indian subcontinent was always an extremely divided place which is why foreigners always had a good time ruling here.

          +1
          1. i must disagree with you lest somebody mistakenly thinks that we have found a convergence of views here. my disagreement with hindu nationalists is only with their extreme fringe (hence the ghauri- prithviraj example). i do not doubt for a moment that india has always existed as far as back as history goes.

            you are again falling into pak nationalist ideological straightjacket, which belabors to find a parity with india in all matters. so in this worldview, if pakistan didn’t exist since ancient times, neither did india. and the hackneyed device to achieve this goal is to use the political disunity of india to deny its very existence.

            all ancient nations, be it china or egypt or iran, have seen alternating periods of political unity and fragmentation. but the political disunity doesn’t mean that the nation simply disappeared from the face of the earth.

            europe was a very fractious and strife torn place in middle ages. yet they always knew that they were a people distinct from say, chinese or indians. whether it was their white race or their christian religion, something separated them from rest of the world and grouped them together. same civilizational consciousness has existed within indians since ancient times.

            india’s civilizational identify and continuity has never been in doubt since at least 2500 years. from ancient greeks to arab sea farers to turkish adventures, they have all known india as a distinct and unique place on earth. can the same be said of pakistan?

            +3
          2. No I completely disagree but I am not going to convince you on it. Civilization? Perhaps. Nation? No. I don’t believe for a second that Europe was some ancient nation, when they spoke different languages, followed different customs and spent the majority of their written history fighting each other. Neither do I think India was ever a nation like you guys imagine it now. For example you drew a border of this Indian civilization at the Indus river and marked the Pashtuns and Balochs as non-Indian, but Punjabis and Sindhis as Indian ethnic groups, but did you know that Sindh basically consists about 40-50% ethnic Baloch who are now Sindhi Speaking, who Sindhis consider as their own (ex Pakistani President Zardari being just one example). What do these people have common with someone from Bengal or UP or Tamil Nadu or even Kashmir? Little to none. Language is the biggest marker of culture, religion being another or prolonged history of centralized rule that establish common laws and norms. And they share none of it with them. You should really listen to some ethno nationalists talk about differences in culture between them and others, to understand how they perceive other ‘Indian’ ethnicities and their culture. People talk a lot of about how Kashmiri Pandits were exiled.. correct me if I am wrong but how many of those Kashmiri Pandits married locals in UP or wherever they are now?

            I am not trying to negate ”Indian” history or shill some Indus history.. I don’t believe there was any Indus nation just like I don’t believe there was any Indian nation.. You can use the term civilization but even that is stretching it when you include fringe areas or as Saurav calls them ” Less Hindu regions”. Events of 1857 really prove the point.

            +1
          3. “You can use the term civilization but even that is stretching it when you include fringe areas or as Saurav calls them ” Less Hindu regions”.”

            I see there are some recent converts to my theory. 😛

            +2
  14. Feels pretty useless discussing politics when thousands are dying every day. This week and the next are probably going to be the worst ones death wise.

    Number of cases might have peaked this week in Delhi but we can’t say for sure since TPR is still very high. The health system in Delhi will continue to be chocked for the next 2-3 weeks.

    I hope there’s some clarity on the vaccine roll out. It’s been a monumental disaster. When millions of lives are at stake, it’s better to pay a premium to secure bulk orders in advance. Something that the more capitalist US/UK/Israel knew while Indians and Europeans bickered on price and ‘equity’ of distribution. Europeans have it bad but not as much as India thanks to their better health system.

    +2
    1. “When millions of lives are at stake, it’s better to pay a premium to secure bulk orders in advance.”

      Mental masturbation alone does not prepare people for seizing opportunities and performing under pressure. Indians are a rural people pretending to be urban by wearing western clothes. Our lack of experience in making things works shows. We need to build a cultural memory of managing and deploying assets. Getting good at starting and growing industry and business is the only way. Why are Americans and Israelis so bold? Because they know what can be realistically pulled off and what can be the consequences.

      Prats bhai, who is your battery company’s customer? There are 10s of battery startups right now. All are buying cells from China and putting them together with transformers, battery management type jazz. Am I correct? What’s the business plan because the day Exide or AMARON looks at this the game will be over.

      +1
      1. There are 10s of battery startups right now. All are buying cells from China and putting them together with transformers, battery management type jazz. Am I correct?

        You are correct. The name of the game is vertical integration. My company is doing battery recycling and reuse as well. So we eventually want to become lithium suppliers. Maybe in 5 years we can manufacture cells but that’s a bit distant. You need at least $500 million to start cell manufacture so lot of ground to cover before that.

        Most of the fly-by-night battery makers will get shut or acquired. Good BMS startups will eventually get acquired by OEMs themselves because of the data collected and tech talent.

        Re:Exide/Amaron – not yet clear where the real value will be captured. It might so happen that vehicle OEMs themselves become huge battery makers. Mercedez-Benz, BMW, Toyota, Tesla etc all have energy divisions of varying sizes that are going to become very competitive with existing battery makers. So vendors that work directly with OEMs will benefit.

        0
        1. https://www.grinntech.com/

          What do you think about these guys? I have a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend … situation with it’s CEO from IIT M.

          To a novice, can you explain what does BMS involve?

          If we make the big assumption that a battery cell can be either be in use or not then this is what I think will be happening:
          1) We will have some models for individual batteries and we will do some sort of system identification to do parameter estimation of individual battery cells.
          2) Now write some performance/cost function and do binary integer programming to figure out which battery cells to use and which not to use.

          Manufacturing is too big a fish to fry at the moment. By the time Indians have enough money the opportunity will be long gone.

          Is there any chance for making money by manufacturing some parts? One of my friend’s family business is to make the plastic casing for Exide. There is good money in it.

          0
    2. Hope you can stay safe, man! You are young, so you should still recover without much ado even if you get infected. (For what it’s worth, I believe the fundamentals of the diseases haven’t changed. Lots of our younger and middle-aged populations, especially the office-goers, have undiagnosed health issues, and I suspect that may account for higher mortality in that age cohort this time around.)

      About vaccines: right now, the sole objective should be procuring (through whatever means, local production or foreign import) as many vaccines as fast as possible without quibbling about prices or patents. In my state (KA), the portal shows basically no availability of vaccine appointments for people under 45 in the entire month of May. I believe that’s the case in most of the states now.

      0
      1. Hope you can stay safe, man! You are young, so you should still recover without much ado even if you get infected.

        That is what I hope, though I know of some people my age and even younger who passed away. So that’s definitely spooked me. I am more concerned that if I do fall sick, I might infect my parents or even if I don’t they’ll be in a lot of stress as they are already having to deal with cases in my extended family and friends circle.

        right now, the sole objective should be procuring (through whatever means, local production or foreign import) as many vaccines as fast as possible without quibbling about prices or patents.

        I agree. It does seem, though that KA has managed the crisis much better than Delhi so far. Arvind Kejriwal, to my disappointment, has demonstrated that he’s not a war time CM. Modi ji and Amit Shah abandoned Delhi anyway since they got vaxxed.

        0
    3. Prats, I know its too early and I know you are in the middle of this, but I have a feeling that the best way to think about what happened with the 2nd wave in India is natural calamity. Fingers will obviously be pointed at the government, and this is fair, but I doubt a different government would have led to a different outcome.

      If you look at the GST collections for March and April, they are at record levels, which indicates that economic activity was extremely high, reflecting the realization of substantial pent up demand. But in a region with still limited vaccination, that can only mean rapid spread of the virus.

      Overall, the US and UK with a population of 400 million developed 4 vaccines in about 6 months, and the Indians with a population of 1300 million could only develop 2 in 9 months. Aside from the initial response, where India did well, this technological gap is the biggest explanatory factor IMO.

      +3
      1. Prats, I know its too early and I know you are in the middle of this, but I have a feeling that the best way to think about what happened with the 2nd wave in India is natural calamity.

        I do think the second wave was inevitable as there was a more infectious variant in the mix. So I don’t have anything to complain on that. My main complaint is with the magnitude of the crisis. This could have very easily been avoided with simple steps.

        Overall, the US and UK with a population of 400 million developed 4 vaccines in about 6 months, and the Indians with a population of 1300 million could only develop 2 in 9 months. Aside from the initial response, where India did well, this technological gap is the biggest explanatory factor IMO.

        India doesn’t have the R&D capacity to develop vaccines but we do have the advantage of scale and large pharma companies. For example, when the western countries were placing orders for hundreds of millions of doses in December/Jan, we tried to be penny wise pound foolish by ordering a very limited number of doses. Had we pre-emptively asked SII and Bharat Biotech for, say, a combined billion doses by June then we might have been in a better position. It wasn’t a very ludicrous proposition at the time and a lot of people had voiced it out. Maybe we were over-confident that since we have local manufacturers, we’ll be able to increase supply at a moment’s notice.

        The one place where our R&D limitation and poor scientific infra did show up was in tracking the variants. That was a missed chance.

        0
        1. @Prats
          India ordered way too few vaccines and have nickel and dimed vendors every step of the way for logistics preparedness. Media didn’t establish the difference between made in india vaccines and india’s vaccines. And finally, any reason covaxin couldn’t have had multiple manufacturers? did they not have enough customers commited? Regretably, all of this just feels like working with closely held indian businesses, the same culture but in the publlic sector.

          0
          1. And finally, any reason covaxin couldn’t have had multiple manufacturers? did they not have enough customers commited?

            I think the reason for this is that it requires a BSL-3 facility, which takes time to build. The government is now getting in on the act but the production is not going to start before year end. All of this should have been done earlier.

            Regretably, all of this just feels like working with closely held indian businesses, the same culture but in the publlic sector.

            I have been quite bullish on India. That’s the reason I am still here. But now I am beginning to wonder if large scale industrialization is ever possible here. People just don’t seem to be able to think big or act. As Bhimrao mentioned above, pure intellectual masturbation.

            +1
  15. https://www.ndtv.com/blog/blog-bengal-sends-pm-modi-a-huge-wake-up-call-2426337?pfrom=home-ndtvelex_bigstories_live

    “The question is whether Rahul Gandhi has the political smarts to act upon this opportunity. This will require him to build bridges with India Inc, the people who control money flows in this country. It will require him to dial down some of his rhetoric. He will also have to appear to be a team player – a young leader who listens to the wisdom of elders in his party. The Congress will have to present Rahul as a face backed by the triumvirate of Manmohan Singh, Sonia Gandhi and P Chidambaram. That will help soften his extremist image to the moneyed and the powerful.”

    Bong-Commie giving advice to Dynast Commie on how to mend fences with India’s industrialists. Blind leading the blind.

    +1
    1. “The Congress will have to present”
      “That will help soften his extremist image”

      People who have never made even shampoo distribution network work properly think that they can bluff the ones who actually built steel, oil and pharma factories.

      Bengali commies are the top mental masturbators out there. Retrofitting excuses, ideology above truth or greater good. He won’t dare to say that Rahul Gandhi is a chaman-chootiya.

      In a few cycles Rahul will become the PM though. Majority of Indians deserve to perpetually suck balls of Nehru family and remain pathetic and useless to the world.

      +3
      1. As I have said earlier Indians deserve a couple of terms of older socialist raj of congress to come back to their senses. The 90s are a distant memory.

        0
        1. What does “coming to senses” mean exactly? Voting for the BJP in even higher numbers than the public already does?

          Obviously, nobody who remembers the Dynasty’s rule wants them to come back. But the present lot ain’t doing a heck of a job governing the country, if you’ve noticed.

          If it’s your case that we have no right to expect or want governance of a better quality, we have only 2 options: (1) suck it up and create our own private enclaves within the country, which is what the middle class has been doing for over 20 years now, or (2) emigrate. Option 1, of course, doesn’t work in emergency situations like a surging pandemic, as so many people are noticing now. It’s one thing to have backup power and large water tanks in one’s apartment complex, it’s a whole another thing to have enough hospital beds, drugs, and oxygen to support lots of people who get sick at the same time.

          +3
          1. [email protected],
            I agree with you that 2nd wave has not been handled properly. But we also need to acknowledge where they got things right. Looks like the gangetic belt has seen improvement in Bare Necessity Index (https://pib.gov.in/PressReleasePage.aspx?PRID=1693202) since 2014. This improvement has been acknowledged even by perennial critics like ndtv. Plus there has been no religious discrimination in these welfare schemes. If there was any, you would have heard a lot about it. Other positives include Aadhaar rollout + DBT and infrastructure upgrades throughout the country, no atm ministries, IBC, clampdown on cross-border terrorism/blasts throughout India.
            Things which need improvement are an effective and transparent feedback loop with the public + giving space to state level and even central ministers more autonomy with clear goals and guardrails.
            This is where the opportunity lies for any opposition but I don’t see anybody waiting on the wings.
            I think some of the “blind” partisanship from some northern commentators here is explained by the difference in experience. In south and MH(at least till recently), change of parties in government does not lead to threats to life and/or livelihood.

            +4
          2. “blind” partisanship

            Have you been to Rahul’s Amethi and Rae Bareilley? There were potholes big enough to qualify as ponds on the main intersection.

            We are not blind. I look at Rahul Gandhi and find him repulsive. I imagine the inevitable day he is going to be the PM and think of the misfortunes of the Indian people destined to get this ass-clown as their PM. He has no brain, no plan, no dick, no credentials, no experience, nothing… just the gift of a great name. He is the Robyn Arryn (GoT Vale) of India.

            +3
          3. I sometimes find this amusing that communities who don’t BJP have even higher expectations from BJP then their own state leaders. And then they rejoice after defeating the BJP as if they slayed a tiger or something. LOL

            +1
          4. You guys misunderstand me. Even Saurav, though he’s been around here a while and seen enough of my comments (but his brain works in a wholly political way; he force fits people into one party or the other.)

            I hold no brief for any political party, let alone our ancien regime. My disgust with how politics used to work when I was young (80s and 90s) turned me off politics (at least in India) forever. I was a somewhat fan of the Vajpayee government, but can’t think of any government before or after that I would get off my ass and vote for.

            If the whole pitch of Modi and his BJP is that they are no worse than “Pappu” or Mamata Didi, that doesn’t exactly fill me with enthusiasm. Since I don’t care about temples, don’t get worked up over cow slaughter, and don’t have animus toward Muslims, there is nothing positive they can offer me.

            Someone above said the Dynasty left its UP constituencies in a poor state. Well, duh, who doesn’t know that. And if te BJP has indeed improved the situation in UP, please, all you UP-wallahs, vote for them by all means. In the places I inhabit or visit (JH and KA), they have done exactly jack; I am in despair at how little has changed since my childhood other than the availability of a lot more consumer goods and restaurants.

            Anyway, I had no wish to talk about politics, much less get into a dispute. It’s been a very stressful time here for the past 2 weeks and promises to be so the rest of this month. I always found politics and election talk useless; now it’s only more so.

            +2
          5. Sorry Numi bhai, wasn’t trying to personally attack U. Got carried a bit.

            I hope that u and family and keeping well. In some ways, i see myself in ur footsteps, living in the states for a bit, and then moving back to India to take care of family 🙂

            +1
          6. [email protected]
            I was trying to understand/explain the hard core bjp support by you and others. Look at entirety of my comment. I agree with you about there being not much development in up/Bihar under earlier governments. I included the bni data to show the improvement since 2014. I understand the risk of development stalling or worse regressing.
            [email protected]
            Curious to know your basis for saying no impact if bjp in KA. Even assuming you only care about bengaluru, metro expansion + suburban railway come to mind. BSY has done a decent job on COVID, although he is tagged as a caste leader both by secular media and his Delhi based rivals within bjp. He was the one of the first CMs to announce utilizing final year medical students + Ayurvedic graduates + hostels as surge capacity. I see reports of center recommending this to other states without crediting him.
            In previous Congress governments, there were couple of high profile suicides by state government officials. It was openly speculated that this was due to escalating “vasuli” targets.
            More over with bjp, regions outside of old Mysore area are getting development funds and these are being utilized properly rather than looted wholesale.

            +1
  16. i feel in a way the bjp has maxed out in bengal. now mamata, will she become more pro muslim as a thank giving gesture or will she move bit towards hindus? i dont think she will change her pro muslim stance.

    0
  17. Bengali voters have been conned again. SAD. I hope Mamata changes. But I doubt it. Bengal will continue down the road of communist economic ruin and radical islamist appeasement. Absolute tragedy for the region LKY once remarked was a place he dreamed Singapore would be like.

    +1
  18. well every party does this kind of analytics before elections. the difference is that when a party does it, it factors the survey results with sentiment, pull and push and eventually lose. when a non political organisation does it, these pulls and pressures are absent. he had significant problems with dmk on this count.

    prashant kishore has been luckly to be on the winning side in all his elections. he has no magic wand. his great skill would have been appreciated if he makes congress wins next loksabha elections!!!. even jds in karnataka spoke to him, and his opinion was that they can get power only in a coalition, which is common sense.

    0
    1. I agree on ur Kishore point. He’s overrated. One thing is that he himself agrees with that assessment.

      On BJP maxing out in Bengal. It has. There is a limit to expand in a less-hindu region. Also like last time when Mamta ‘allowed’ the BJP to expand by cutting the commies to size , this time around she knows the BJP is a real threat. She was blindsided by the BJP;s sudden rise. Bu this time around she is ready, so you will see a lot of political violence and defections away from the BJP. Wont be surprised if BJP shrinks back to being a 10 percent party, as it was before.

      0
          1. The way BJP has handled the covid crisis, I think it might become a 10% party in a lot of states it is dominating.

            The tragedy of the country is that even though people know that Modi doesn’t care for their lives, the options they are left with are the likes of Rahul Gandhi.

            +3
          2. …. and there lies the greatest advantage the BJP has. Though i doubt even without Modi , BJP will fall back to its pre 2014 status. Its solidly a 30 percent party from the looks of it.

            0
  19. oh god!, now that she has lost in nandigram, will her nephew keep the chair warm for her? or in all probability be forced by the party to take oath and win in 6 months time.
    looks very interesting!!!
    on the other hand do a la sonia and ” sacrifice” power??

    0
  20. S Qureishi, can you explain why there is so much consternation about Kashmir in Pakistan if there is no ground level animosity towards India/Hindus ? After all, Pakistan is extremely close to China, who is doing much worse to the Muslims of Xinjiang. It just seems very contradictory.

    0
    1. Many reasons:

      – Kashmir is seen as unresolved business from partition where Pakistan was wronged. some of the bloodiest partition events happened in or around J&K where lot of Muslim majority districts were ethnically cleansed of Muslims. This on top of current state of J&K being Muslim majority and in rebellion against India.

      – J&K has geo-economic, importance w.r.t. to water security and economy for Pakistan (much more than India), along with geopolitical importance with respect to the state’s defenses (which IMO is also India’s real reason for holding it)..
      This is why Pak-establishment will not abandon its claim that easily..

      – Most people don’t know much about Uighurs.. there are few cultural links with them and there is hardly any info coming out on the issue from China. Only western media is reporting it and people don’t trust them, especially after years of negative western coverage on Pakistan. So people simply don’t know or don’t believe it and they don’t care about it if they don’t know or believe in it. China also has social capital in Pakistan, due to a lot development projects, there is no historic animosity or border disputes with them and generally they have always been a reliable ally, so Pak establishment will not sour its relations with them. Also, the Uighur issue is considered more of a separatist issue than a religious one .. so it gets little traction in Pakistan.

      +1
      1. “Kashmir is seen as unresolved business from partition where Pakistan was wronged. some of the bloodiest partition events happened in or around J&K where lot of Muslim majority districts were ethnically cleansed of Muslims.”

        There was a lot of ethnic cleansing from all directions then. Whats stopping Pakistanis from letting bygones be bygones ?

        0
        1. I think if you just look at district by district data, you will see that no Hindu or Sikh or Hindu+Sikh majority district was given to Pakistan, but several Muslim majority districts were given to India in Punjab. Similarly, there were very little Hindus that eventually became Pakistan controlled Kashmir even before 1947, but entire Muslim population of Jammu was ethnically cleansed. Both sides think they got the short end of the stick depending on the vantage point, but if you are just looking at it objectively, you would see partition and surrounding events were pretty one sided. Regardless, it’s the same old circuitous argument again so there is no point going back and forth on this. What we know is that India is happy with the status quo (and has been since the 50’s) while Pakistan is not. Which is why Pakistan keeps agitating on Kashmir.. the land is lifeblood of the rivers feeding Pakistan, it doesn’t bode well for Pakistan if its ceded to India in its entirety just from a security perspective alone. At least this seems to be the thinking of the Pakistani establishment. Obviously Indians may think that its a sinister conspiracy to keep defense budget high to feed the army, but trust me you don’t need Kashmir issue to keep defence budget high in Pakistan.

          +1
          1. Why does Pakistan think that Kashmiris are willing to go along with a separatist project for its own strategic and economic security ? What will Pakistan do if Kashmiris cannot or become unwilling to go along, and reconcile to their equation with Delhi ?

            0
          2. I think if you just look at district by district data, you will see that no Hindu or Sikh or Hindu+Sikh majority district was given to Pakistan, but several Muslim majority districts were given to India in Punjab.
            Weren’t several districts in Sindh Hindu majority?

            [Update:]And this statement: but entire Muslim population of Jammu was ethnically cleansed.
            Entire? This would certainly need a reference given there are so many Muslims in Jammu now.
            I could be missing some point of yours, but if not you seem to be making stuff up.

            +3
          3. @S Qureishi
            You are misleading again. District level data doesn’t show that. It is Malerkotla you are talking about and few sub divisions of Mewat region. You conveniently didn’t mention Sukkur sub-division and Thar region of Sindh which had Hindu majority. All these areas are enclaves. Same things happened in East Bengal too. Rangpur had Hindu majority. Jammu Kashmir as a whole is Muslim Majority. Jammu division south of Pir Panjal had Non Muslim majority with 64% as a province in Census 1941 and NOT as a district. Radcliffe line was built on provincial majority NOT district. Today Jammu Province still has 33.5% Muslims.
            You also conveniently did not mention that Multan division had 22% non muslims, Lahore division excluding Amrister and Gurdaspur had 32.3% non Muslims while Rawalpindi division had 17% Non Muslims. In Indian side, Ambala division which still has 16.43% Muslims compared to 16% in Census 1941. The ONLY demographic shift happened in India was in Jullunder where 37% of Muslim Population was reduced to 0.2% just like that happened in Lahore, Multan, Thar, Sukkur.

            +1
  21. Am I the only one who doesn’t see how BJP supposedly suffered a ‘crushing defeat’?
    They went from 3 seats to 80 seats in WB. Given the high moslem percentage. it is hard for any Hindu nationalist party. In addition, Bengalis tend to be more moderate, which includes moslems, and they also tend to have a strong linguistic identity. The latter was what Pakistanis were whining about prior to the 1971 liberation war, the dastardly Bengalis even refused Urdu and wrote everything in Bengali. These factors helps bridge the religious divide among Bengalis. Didi also ran a frankly xenophobic campaign where she was constantly attacking “outsiders” and encouraged sub-nationalism. Evidently this helped overpowered the tribal appeals of religious identity.

    As forTamil Nadu, it has always been a special snowflake and BJP is seen as the tip of the Northern Hindi belt’s spear. Kerala is demographically unreachable to a Hindu nationalist party, as Christians and moslems gain ground. Only Assam was realistically reachable and BJP did well.

    One way to think about these states is that they are the strongest holdouts (ex Assam) to BJP’s rule. All three have either a strong linguistic identity (TN, WB) or are so demographically different from India as to be unreachable (Kerala). The key test is in states like MH, which could swing either way.

    One more thing. People in democracies often vote differently nationally and locally. For Didi to beat BJP on home turf in a local election with all the built-in advantages is one thing. For her to compete nationally is another thing entirely. I don’t see a national-level candidate that can take on Modi, and a fractured regional party alliance is wobbly. My base case is that the BJP will steamroll the opposition in the next general election.

    +2
    1. From the 2019 elections, i think apart from Maharashtra, fail to see where the BJP has been losing. All the states they were expected to retain, they have retained, all states they expected to lose, they lost. They have also won back Madhya Pradesh. If BJP retains Gujrat and UP, its next test is really at the end of 2023. Some small states in between with not much electoral significance.

      Come 2024 elections , the BJP needs to either hold on to its Bengal or Maharashtra tally . Tough to go against united 3 parties or a TMC, in a non organic region. If they perform decently there, and carry N-India, that would be it.

      0
  22. “But now I am beginning to wonder if large scale industrialization is ever possible here. People just don’t seem to be able to think big or act.”

    Large scale industrial growth needs big networks which can provide capital and expertise. We need more industrial partners beyond the US. There has been some movement in this direction during the current administration: https://tinyurl.com/4p5dv7ae

    Our advantage is that our labor force is quite skilled which is why we can execute complex projects like this: https://tinyurl.com/cwtfypsd

    Long term, India will be ok. We are past the high fertility stage, and parents can by and large invest well in their kids and provide a good workforce and citizenry for the society.

    +1
  23. https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/bengal-saved-india-today-mamata-banerjee-on-landslide-victory/articleshow/82358231.cms

    Bengal saved India today: Mamata Banerjee on landslide victory

    https://www.hindustantimes.com/opinion/the-bengal-model-to-counter-the-bjp-101619971740348.html

    The Bengal model to counter the BJP

    As said b4 , in India every ethnicity think they are India, and the world revolves around them. Even the ones who’s own majority live in a different country.

    +1
  24. I am livid about Bengal results. What a failure. BJP needs to do better. Wtf Begal. You elected a communist radical appeaser in chief.

    +1
  25. With the Bengal Election results, I am afraid of the state of integrity of India. Bangladeshi outsiders are apparently fine, but Gujratis and Indians are outsiders. Shiv Sena also threatened Russia-like disintegration. The real question is whether BJP can win UP

    +1
  26. I see a lot of consternation among the rw in last few weeks , understandably so. A lot of historical parallels though, unfortunately most of them negative. A strong leader but no visible and/or capable 2nd line of leadership ready to lead campaigns or rise up to the occasions if need be. This strong leader gets high/arrogant on his success so far, exacerbated by sycophants all around. Then a series of setbacks happen. Said leader is shell shocked and not visibly leading his troops. Said troops get further demoralized and overall rout begins.
    Can we learn from history or are we just condemned to repeat it?

    +2
    1. Dont worry. This is a setback but Modi has some advantages which Vajpayee didn’t. Right out of the bat, Modi-Shah is far more astute politicians than Vajpayee-Advani ever were. They know the Indian populace far better. Plus 2004 , the right became complacent and Congress victory was against run of play. Now Modi-Shah are better prepared.

      +1
      1. In addition to what Saurav said, Vajpayee was the ultimate parlamentary insider who was willing to throw his own people under the bus to please the Lutyens media. This was most notable in the aftermath of the 2002 Gujarat riots. Modi-Shah by comparison have nothing but contempt for the Anglophone elite and have cultivated their own media nexus, primarily in Hindi media, but also part of the English-speaking TV channels. This is the main difference. Vaypayee was craving the acceptance of the Anglophone elite; Modi-Shah seek to replace them.

        The succession of Modi is a problem. I think Shah will probably be asked to fill his role if Modi’s health deteriorates, with Modi as an “elder stateman” in the background. Long-term, it is hard to say who will take up Modi’s place. People have been talking about Yogi but he doesn’t seem as bright nor as charismatic. I’m ultimately not too worried, however. The structural trend in India is towards Hindutva, Modi just happened to capitalise on it and he’s the biggest political talent of his generation. It would be hard to repeat something like that and we shouldn’t expect every successor to be benchmarked to that level, which would be unfair and unrealistic.

        +1
        1. Also as long as BJP remains somewhat democratic, the next leader might just be even better politician than Modi. Modi had to replace Advani (not the brightest), think of what it would take to outmaneuver Modi-Shah politically.

          Both Shah and Yogi, seem to lack crucial vote bank. Shah is more backroom handler, while Yogi would be lucky if he retains UP(without Modi support).

          0
  27. I read two pieces of content in the last week that typifies long run thinking. One, a tweet from Abhijit Iyer Mitra and the other, an article from Manu Joseph.

    AIM states that the Covid crisis ironically invalidates the Opposition’s (and a hostile media) characterisation of the Modi Govt as fascist. Fascists are strongly associated with cold efficiency, precision and technological brio. India’s act was paved with good intentions and bad mismanagement. It is actually China’s handling of Covid that solidifies it’s image as totalitarian.

    Manu Joseph states that the Indian civilization and society is marked by informality. We have fought Covid like exactly how we approach road safety. Not following traffic rules, no seat belts and no helmet. He also says that this will also help us climb quickly out of this morass. In the long run, informality puts people at the center while formality privileges systems over people.

    +1
  28. 10 dead in political violence in bengal. what happens if mamata will not control it? as usual the liberal press will not squeak about it. the vicious insider outsider campaign by her was also not criticised by the liberal media.
    i was told by a left activist that 10,000 left offices were destroyed in bengal in the last 10 years. the so called secular, progressive image of mamata is only valid outside bengal.

    +2
    1. She is a classic leftist ethnosupremacist islamist appeaser. She is the bangla version of the Birdari ethnonationalist islamoapologist “Indus Gang” that we so frequently encounter here.

      +2
    2. https://twitter.com/swapan55/status/1389249399407091714

      “Alarming situation in Nanoor (Birbhum district) with more than a thousand Hindu families out in the fields to escape marauding mobs seeking to take it out against BJP supporters. Reports of molestation or worse of women.
      @AmitShah
      please rush some security to the area.”

      Ethnicities/Communities which can’t save themselves, dont deserve to be saved. For far too long we North Indians have been carrying the cross for lesser Hindu regions.

      0
      1. @Saurav
        Its the opposite, north indian hindus are unique in struggling to create imperial polities. The greatest gangetic empire, the guptas, were east indian maghadans culturally. India will thrive when led by the maratha mindset, or the kalingan, or the neo-cholas. All have superior discipline and social solidarity. If we wan’t a neo-tughluqid state we will call you for help! 😜

        +3
        1. LOL, “East Indian”? We are not talking about caribbean here. Also have u asked any ‘maghadans’ whether he considers himself “East Indian”.

          And on Maratha mindset etc, the only proper polities were made mostly by N-Indians. Not withstanding whatver fantasy any Krishna Ramlinga- Raju might have written about imperial cholas, or Marathas whose own founder had to fake its own geneolgy as a N-indian. Well i mean he had to, or else who would have taken him seriosuly.

          +2
          1. “Marathas whose own founder had to fake its own geneolgy as a N-indian”
            What were the real north Indians doing while the one who had to fake his genealogy was busy fighting the mughals?

            +4
  29. Glad to see Bengal, Kerala, and TN thoroughly reject Modi and the BJP. India is already dangerously close to being a one-party state.

    I wish them all the best, especially Bengal. The Centre will do everything to fuck with them. And beyond that, the Indian RW hatred for Bengal and its people will grow even fiercer. They will be tarred as anti-nationals, and anti-Hindu. Some in the Indian RW are already asking for President’s Rule and AFSPA to be applied to Bengal, because many of them are sore losers who do not care for democratic norms. Wonder how long before another Operation Searchlight? Hope it never comes to that. But stay strong and vigilant.

    +4
    1. I was wondering if anyone knows the voting trends of Hindu Bengalis. If we assume bjp’s voteshare of 38% is entirely made up of them, then it can be said that majority of hindu voters (population percentage in 2011-70.5%) voted for it. I am also asking because Prashant Kishor had also said that 50-55% of bengali hindus will vote for the bjp in his leaked clubhouse chat.

      0
    2. @Hoju

      “Indian RW are already asking for President’s Rule and AFSPA to be applied to Bengal, because many of them are sore losers who do not care for democratic norms. ”

      Yes RW being sore losers is the only reason for demanding president’s rule, its not like tmc goons burned down the office of the states main opposition party or anything like that (sarcasm)

      +4
  30. Its funny to assume that the BJP is some preeminent force in the Hindi regions, when it has a lame duck government in Haryana, barely squeaked by in Bihar (not really a Hindi region). It got hammered in Delhi and lost in MP and Rajasthan. Prospects for UP are not all that great. The only difference with the other states is the absolute ineptitude of the opposition.

    In that sense, the results in Bengal and Maharashtra are a real setback for the BJP. It wants a full, comfortable majority on its own and knows it needs at least 30 seats (possibly 50 after Covid) outside its current tally to offset anti-incumbency in 2024. Without Bengal and MH thats nearly impossible.

    +3
    1. “Its funny to assume that the BJP is some preeminent force in the Hindi regions, ”

      There is ignorance abt Indian politics, and then there is this ☝️

      0
  31. @Qureishi,
    Pak Pasthuns usually migrate as general labor to the Middle East. In Pakistan however, you will see them involved in almost every trade. They haven’t dominated industry yet but that’s not far off
    well my experience is that ,they are top grade loyal, hardworking human beings.

    +1
  32. One shouldn’t overdo this less-Hindu/more-Hindu framework.

    In other news, covid finally got to me. I am still clueless how I got it. I started showing symptoms suddenly yesterday. I had not left the house in 10 days and I had tested negative in the previous week. I hadn’t even answered the door for deliveries directly in this period.

    The only way I think I could have got the virus is through my window, which faces the balcony of my neighbours, though it’s a good 10ft away.

    These new variants are pretty unpredictable.

    +2
    1. Prats bhai, hope you are doing well. Doctor se baat kar lena yaar time se, kuch kuch medicines prescribe kar dete hain woh logg. Take care bhai.

      0
    2. Prats, I’m very sorry to hear this. Take good care of yourself, and I wish you a complete and rapid recovery! If you have the bandwidth to humor the discussion — if your precautions really were so rigorous, the implications are quite alarming if the only conceivable manner of infection was through air from your window overlooking your neighbors balcony. I’ve come across several other accounts over the past days where people who were strictly isolating (and had no outside contact even with delivery people) are now getting infected, leading them to also conclude it could only have come in through the window. This would be very troubling if it’s true, but I’m skeptical if this really is the case.

      Would you mind sharing what the plumbing is like in your residence, and whether any neighbors immediately above of below you in your building have been infected? Fecal matter contains high viral loads, and flushes can aerosolize this quite efficiently. Do you think this could be a possibility? Most buildings in Indian cities have external sewage piping (sometimes, but not always enclosed by a shaft), and one can imagine aerosol transmission can be a possibility here. In the case of Sars-Cov-1, residents living in a particular wing of a residential tower in Hong Kong were infected via the plumbing on adjacent floors, and also through cockroaches which are very efficient at spreading fecal matter. I’m beginning to wonder if this may be what’s causing some of the people who are strictly isolating to also end up coming down?

      https://www.washingtonpost.com/archive/politics/2003/04/18/in-hong-kong-apartment-tower-sars-virus-spread-through-plumbing/99bcd25f-de85-472a-b084-4f847e0dac9a/

      +1
    3. Thanks a lot, folks, for your concern. I have managed to get the fever under control today and the symptoms are fortunately mild till now. I am eating and drinking properly and haven’t lost sense taste/smell yet. Hope it stays this way.

      I talked to a couple of very experienced doctors and have been taking the medicines they suggested.
      (I am usually very skeptical of over-medication but in this case I am trying to do as I am told.)

      I’ve come across several other accounts over the past days where people who were strictly isolating (and had no outside contact even with delivery people) are now getting infected, leading them to also conclude it could only have come in through the window.

      I have also heard of a few other such cases recently.

      Would you mind sharing what the plumbing is like in your residence, and whether any neighbors immediately above of below you in your building have been infected?

      I don’t have a full picture of the plumbing in the house since I only moved here recently but there is one sewage pipe that travels just outside my toilet next to the vent. So this certainly seems like a theory that deserves to be investigated.

      I will check with my parents about the flats above and below me. They are active on the RWA WhatsApp group. I know that two of the other three flats on my floor have at least one person who is infected.

      0
  33. Kanaga Ranaut got permanently suspended from Twitter today. I feel sad because she is my favourite Indian QVEEN. Her released statement:

    “Twitter has only proved my point they are Americans and by birth, a white person feels entitled to enslave a brown person, they want to tell you what to think, speak or do,” she said. “I have many platforms I can use to raise my voice including my own art in the form of cinema. But my heart goes out to the people of this nation who have been tortured, enslaved and censored for thousands of years and still their is no end to the suffering.”.

    0
    1. @principia
      I am someone who doesn’t like her movies (because they’re mainly chick flicks) and don’t have a high opinion of her generally but a dumb thing I have noticed is that people let their thoughts on her ideology colour their opinion on her acting. A liberal woman I know literally went from saying that she is the best actress in the industry (acting wise) to saying all her roles are similar and she’s untalented. I have seen the same thing with a bunch of other people (especially during the rhea chokroborty drama)

      0
  34. from today’s indian express,

    While the outgoing Assembly had 59 Muslim legislators — 32 were from the TMC, the Congress had 18 and the Left 9 — the next Assembly will have 44 Muslim MLAs, of whom 43 are from the TMC and one from the ISF.

    0
  35. https://twitter.com/rahulroushan/status/1389279407974404097
    “Guess it won’t be an exaggeration to say that BJP is currently facing the same image crisis that Congress faced in 2011. Their bad luck that pandemic triggered it (as opposed to scams as in case of Cong), but can’t control luck. Party needs to realise the gravity of the situation.”
    Given that even he says this, it looks like we are almost at the end of the Modi-Shah era, and at the end of the era when Hinduism had any hope of a come back. My feeling is that the responses in the above thread are mostly from right-wingers, and they mostly agree.

    0
  36. I am a Kanndiga btw. Not from Bombay. Costal Karnataka was part of the Bombay presidency created by the British. But, Savrav’s more Hindu and less Hindu regions is true. Muslims ruled over the more Hindu regions of the central gangetic plains for a thousand year, but it is still a Hindu region. Look at Bengal, Tamil Nadu and Kerala. They are so literate and intellectual that they keep electing useless commies. Atleast Tamil Nadu is competent. The less Hindu a place in India is, the more prone it is to be rebellious and be a drag on the Nation. Even in karnataka, only costal and noth Karnataka is more Hindu.

    +2
    1. “Muslims ruled over the more Hindu regions of the central gangetic plains for a thousand year, but it is still a Hindu region”

      That’s the point i have been precisely making, but have been falling on deaf ears.

      +2
      1. Jats and Marathas actively resisted Mughals and triggered the ultimate demise of Mughal empire unlike the UP/Bihar/HP/UK elites who either colluded or were passively enjoyed “GangaJamuni” tehzeeb 🙂

        +5
      2. This is pretty much the story all over the subcontinent. The only places where Muslims outnumbered Hindus are the places which were ‘settled’ by non-Hindu polities, the lower Indus region (British) and the Eastern Bengal delta (Mughal). There were long-standing non-Hindu polities in the settle South as well, and those remained as Hindu as the Gangetic plains.

        There is a reason why we have Kamban and Saptakanda Ramayanas, but not Sindhi and Seraiki ones.

        0
    2. — my previous comment got lost–
      [email protected]
      Welcome fellow Kannadiga. I am from North KA but a non-dvija. Although you and Saurav have deigned to grant your indulgences to folks with my background, kindly allow me to reject them and call it bullshit for what it is. As a Kannadiga, I feel I have much more common with other dravidian languages and cultures. A quick tour…
      1. TN periyarism went over board with their anti-brahminism rhetoric but you can’t forget the context of total monopoly of TamBrahms during early british period.
      2. KL, I believe ~50 families(Nair/Nambudri) owned most of the privately held land. Similar situation with administrative and other jobs. The farming and lower castes were even forbidden from temples till the temple entry proclamation. As usual, Nambudris switched on to communist bandwagon and top echelons of communist party were again dominated by same set of people. The earlier unearned wealth/pelf of zamindari system was replaced by academic and government jobs although with some quotas for other castes.
      3. WB. very similar situation as KL. A small portion of dvijas, a sizeable muslim minority, disenfranchised farming and lower hindu castes, communist parties led by dvijas.
      4. KA. Lingayats and Vokkaligas have their own priestly class and Mathas. Don’t need social validation from Dvijas. Local fiefdoms and landlords across karnataks were from respective farming castes. They continued local patronage while pledging loyalty whoever were the topdogs (Bahmanis, Mughals, Marathas, British). The farming castes in KA have not been in group competition with Dvijas. Again past history is not a predictor of future behavior.
      5. MH. Till other day SS was bjp longest alliance partner. Now retroactively RW folks are retconning them to have always been bad.
      6. Gangetic Dvija rallied under Mughal flag during 1857 + never launched any serious rebellion against Mughal or Turkic rule for centuries. Peshwas also tactically accepted Mughal governorship.
      7. Jats and Marathas are the only who rebelled and triggered ultimate demise of Mughal rule.

      Forget history, how are TN, KL, WB stopping UP/Bihar from fixing their shit? As Saurav admitted, the south is financially subsidizing the North. But all we constantly hear is endless ranting about commies, dravidians etc. Grow up!!!.

      +8
      1. @Bhumiputra
        Well articluated. I feel you give more credit to jats than necessary, as they seem to have largely just opportunistically filled a power vaccum. Half of India’s problem is that its political culture is rooted in the dysfunctional north. I’m trying to think of another empire that never won a battle, becuase that’s what India as a vehicle for punjabi-hindustani interests is. A millenia of only being courtiers and now expecting them to be leaders, its a bridge too far. We southerners are also to blame, the residue of an inferiority complex keeps us from objecting to this arrangement.

        +3
          1. “Even more sad is that the complex is based on perceived artificial phenotype hierarchy”

            And it contributes to the fierce hatred the Indian RW harbors for Bengal. Some of the things the Indian RW says about Bengali people… my goodness, you’d think they were a West Pakistani soldier from the early 70s.

            +2
          2. @warlock
            True, but thankfully most common folk are oblivious to this. Its the more elite who deprecated their inner-AASI. Part of the complex is economic, despite the overall development levels and median incomes being higher in the south, the northeners whom they had exposure to were often urbane and successful migrants pre-2000. My younger cousins entering adulthood would find this bizarre but 20+ years ago, punjabis and adjacent types were seen as aspirational style icons who’s ebullience was charming. I’d go so far to say that south indians in the US/UK diaspora are more self-deprecating about their racial identity vis a vis north indians than in the homeland. Probably envy the slight advantage of being able to blend in better.

            +1
        1. We are essentially talkin abt apple and oranges here. North at the same time can be dysfunctional and be more Hindu. They are not exclusive.

          +1
          1. For us Dravidian bhumiputras, the view is slightly different. The dysfunction is a result of brahminism, which you conflate with Hinduism.

            +2
          2. I mean, of course, now N-Indians need to know more about Hinduism (and how its actually Brahminism, that they follow). People who invented this religion need to know more. Perhaps Arabs need to learn more about Islam from Pakistan too.

            +1
  37. How to develop the Hindi heartland? will it happen in 20 years? The only way for India to stable is for the Hindi Heartland to prosperous. I am secretly hoping that the decrease in fertility rate in Tamil Nadu and Bengal and high fertility of Hindi Heartland people will mean a pacification of less Hindu people.

    +1
    1. I am a Kannidiga Btw. Bombay karnataka is costal Karantaka. Savrav’s more Hindu and less Hindu regions is true and accurate. You just have to look at Tamil Nadu, Kerala, and Bengal. They are so enlightened that they keep electing commies and islamists.

      0
      1. I see. More converts to my theory. 😀

        Just sad that it took Bengal election for folks to figure it out.

        +1
        1. My parents voted for BJP from the 1990s. The Ram Mandir and Kashmir pogrom woke them up

          0
    2. I don’t think population numbers will impact lok sabha seats, if that’s what ur hinting at. The north and south have a unwritten compact . The north stays silent on its electoral under representation, the south on financial under representation.

      But overall I think north”s more Hindu tendencies are percolating to south and East. I see far more “ more -Hindu “ people in south and East then there were a decade ago. While the opposite is not happening. People who are “ less -Hindu” in the north , their pops have been decreasing, and they have somewhat seceded from hindu-dom altogether. Good if u ask me.

      0
    3. The gap between the Hindi states and coastal ones isnt as a great as it appears on the surface. Agricultural productivity is higher in UP and Bihar than Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, and this is what dictates the incomes of the majority of the population. Higher education enrollment in UP is about the same as Karnataka and Kerala. The richer states simply have more globally connected metro areas, mainly a result of history and politics.

      These problems of connectivity and global partnerships will be resolved as projects like the dedicated freight corridor and national waterways reach completion, and we develop strong relationships with partners beyond the US. On this front, the Modi government has done very well actually.

      +1
      1. @Vikram
        Important points, that the gangetics are actually very strong along a number of factors, human capital first and foremost. Part of my concern with their cultural influence is that despite having the very best human capital, theres so much class stratification baggage. I don’t think we’d bother criticizing UPites if it were not the case. The biggest compliment I can give to any subculture from a poltical economy POV is that they’ve created a dignified society across most strata despite having ordinary human capital. Long story short I can’t get get over how some north indians treat their servants and employees and it concerns me when i see kannadigas mimic that. Better freight corridors are not going to fix something with deep historical roots like that.

        +2
        1. girmit, I can provide anecdotes of South Indians treating their servants very badly, and North Indians vice versa as well. The larger point though is that the Dalits in Uttar Pradesh have managed to evolve an independent political platform, despite their proportion of population being roughly the same as Karnataka. When it comes to marriage, women marrying partners lower than their caste is roughly the same in UP (6%) and Karnataka (9%). We can also try and find out the incidence of SC candidates winning from non reserved constituencies.

          0
          1. @Vikram
            Urbanisation is higher in southern states though, so less of their population is dependent on agricultural productivity than the north

            0
        2. girmit
          from a poltical economy POV is that they’ve created a dignified society across most strata despite having ordinary human capital. Long story short I can’t get get over how some north indians treat their servants and employees and it concerns me when i see kannadigas mimic that.

          Again right on the mark.
          In a parallel comment, Vikram said the North is more productive. I ASSUME the agricultural model in the north is large land holdings and many landless peasant labor.

          Not the greatest for labor to get a decent share of high productivity profits. Or for that matter an egalitarian society.

          +4
  38. What is Mudiji doing about slaughter of BJP workers and Hindus in Bengal? When a party can’t even protect its own workers from Mumtaz Banoo’s goons, how will they talk about protecting Hindu civilization? Amit should send in the CRPF to shoot at sight, at a minimum. Is Mudiji aiming to emulate Gandhi’s eunuchgiri before and during Partition?

    +1
    1. “Amit should send in the CRPF to shoot at sight, at a minimum.”

      This is the vile rhetoric in the Indian RW re: Bengal, just baying for another Operation Searchlight.

      +4
      1. @Hoju
        Adding to lurkers question. What do you think about the possibility that majority of Bengali hindus voted for bjp

        0
  39. maratha reservation quashed.
    hope sc will impose 50% reservation limits on karnataka and tamilnadu.
    also, where can this 10% given to ews be accomodated? and this is a constitutional ammendment.

    0
    1. “hope sc will impose 50% reservation limits on karnataka and tamilnadu.”

      Oh i am waiting for that day, espcially Tamil Nadu. Lot of fireworks expected

      0
  40. https://twitter.com/Swamy39/status/1389741600163520512?s=20

    “India will survive Coronavirus Pandemic as it did Islamic invaders and British Imperialists. We could face one more wave that targets children unless strict precautions now are taken. Modi should therefore delegate the conduct of this war to Gadkari. Relying on PMO is useless”

    LoL. cant think of any other statement on this pandemic that is so loaded politically. targeting islamic invaders and british imperialists at the same time, and having a pot shot at modi too while at it. who would have thought this is a statement about a public health crisis.

    +1
    1. Is he still alive? Man, this tamil version of (good for nothing) Yashwant Sinha should be just made governer of some state in the Andaman or North East so that he can fuck off already.

      0
    1. Lol. So desperate are we that now we are looking for panchayat results. Perhaps next we will look for municipalities results. At least one accepts that politics does define Hindu-regions. Good. Moving in the right direction.

      +1
  41. Head in the sand while the new wave of covid hit India hard, and now allowing their own activists to get slaughtered in West Bengal. How much inept and weak administration will the BJP put up with before seeking new leadership?

    +1
    1. In this matter, I agree what Abhijit Iyer Mitra says- More power to bureaucrats imply more scope for corruption. So, I disagree with the entire premise that its big boost to military.

      0
  42. @Saurav
    Do you consider bihar to be more or less hindi region. Where is it when compared to Maharashtra and Gujarat (because you had once said that a regions hinduness is dependent on its distance from the northern plains)

    0
    1. On Hindu-ness scale, all 3 come under the Northen belt though (notwithstanding what marathi manoos would like to believe) , so the difference is not as pronounced. But if i have to say , then Bihar>Gujrat>MH.

      Also distance is not absolute marker, just one of the many . Gujrat is more distant than parts of Bengal are from Northen plains, and u know my views on both states.

      +1
      1. Dont worry Narsingh, i consider Orissa as a N-Indian state mascarding as an Eastern one. So u folks are safe. 😛

        +2
    1. What has put us in our place is our inability to develop and deploy vaccines rapidly. The Chinese strategy here was much better, develop 5 or 6 vaccines that work somewhat well and rapidly inoculate the population.

      On Omar Ali’s twitter feed there are graphs of how hospitalization trends and rates were virtually the same in the US for high restriction and low restriction states. The virus cannot be ‘handled’ without eviscerating the economy.

      In the vaccine stakes, the Chinese have shown intellectual independence which we havent.

      +1
      1. “The Chinese strategy in XYZ was much better”

        Name one area in which this is not true.

        Indians talk endlessly.

        0
        1. Does anyone read vaccine trials data or not? China isn’t ahead of India in any form of (Covid) vaccine research. Sinopharm and Sinovac are typical communist medicines, high on claims and low on peer reviewed trial data. WHO approvals are pending.

          The best consolidated strategy so far has been that of Astrazeneca-Oxford-SII from conception to trials to production.

          +1
          1. Ugra, my point is slightly different. It is likely that no Chinese vaccine will be as effective as Western or Indian ones. But the feature to be optimized for here was speed and scale, especially for poorer countries. Even a 50% effective vaccine seems to afford protection against serious disease for a large majority. Once that protection is available the pandemic becomes more manageable with preventive measures and clinical interventions. Later, more effective vaccine doses can then end the pandemic completely.

            +1
        2. Agriculture and demographics for starters. These are foundational and will still have the decisive say in the future.

          0
          1. afaik China is the largest food producer in the world. So I don’t know what you meant by it being behind India in agriculture. Indian agriculture and farmers are irredeemable and unfixable, an endless shit show and sob opera, I don’t understand what is there to be proud about?

            Demographics wise its not that we strategized anything, our people are horny our women are jobless. If making babies is really an achievement then Pakistan and Afghanistan must have deployed some noble prize winning strategy.

            +1
      2. Chinese indepenence also involves hacking international pharma producers , including Indian ones, and stealing patents. Chian’s industrail espionage is vast.

        0
      3. @Vikram @Bhimrao

        Surprised to find a certain level of ignorance about BIRAC (Biotech Industry Research Assistance Council) under the Ministry of S&T.

        They have funded several vaccine programs within India all under various technologies, to prevent “eggs in one basket”.

        The most promising is Zycov-D, from Zydus Cadila. It is based on plasmid DNA, risk levels between mRNA and inactivated virus technology. The main advantages are –

        1. Intradermal injection, not intramuscular.
        2. Because it doesn’t use the whole virus, it can be produced in BSL-1 facility, greatly possible to ramp up quickly.

        Results of Phase-3 trials awaited. Expected full production in June.

        0
  43. @Girmit,
    We are in an awkward place of having once been at the forefront of brahmin-scepticism but now having to explain being handmaidens of the RSS.

    well lingayaths seems to be having a broader identity issue. they don’t have a separate temples (although they have a separate clergy), a very different puja method, their names are ‘hindu’, their main god is also worshipped by other hindus, veerashaivas who are their ‘mother’ sect do not renounce hindu ways…..
    in one of the tv debates between, these two groups, a veerashaiva scholar pointed out that most of the lingayath mutts have sanskrit schools, where vedas and associated mantras are taught and challenged the lingayath rep. to close them.
    i have seen lingayath clergy chanting ‘rudra mantras’ in a funeral situation.
    unless lingayaths go the sikh way, it is doubtful if they can really seperate out of the hindu fold.

    0
    1. To cleave Saivism from Hinduism is to negate it. Saivism is older than Vaishnavism within South India and actually IS the institutional/high cultural elite form of Hinduism known to followers.

      +1
    2. @brown
      Its a bit more complicated than that I feel, particularly there’s no consensus on the “mother sect” topic. Veerashaivism and elements that became lingayatism likely have disparate origins and looking at it doctrinally (as opposed to historically) might be to misunderstand the social group. Even the characterization of mathas is too uniform, they each have their own history and traditions and social groups as patrons. The sort of simple inductive reasoning that all shaivistic worship is a subset of a super tradition that then sets the conceptual boundaries of the daughter movements is circular thinking in my view. Shaiva in the verse of the early devotees was usually conceived as a state of consciousness, and the assciated deities like Mallikarjuna or Basappa (the strong bull, but not exactly Nandi) were personal gods. It wasn’t a movement of people rejecting their gods but reimagining their relationships with them.
      To your point about names, I don’t see how traditional kannada names like “mallappa” or “channappa” or “basawwa” are hindu in particular. Lingayats from the anubhav mantap period onwards, as far as my understanding, did not demonize temples as much as hold linga puja as a preferred techinque of meditative worship on a personal god. That the community still recognizes our gramdevata and kuldevatas if anything is a sign that the religion hasn’t given way to absolutism, not unlike buddhists and jains.

      0
      1. @brown and @girmit,
        While doctrinal differences might be real, we should not discount the retail level power struggle between the different sub-castes of lingayaths. Specifically, 1 of the few farming sub-castes (I am from another smaller farming sub-caste) is jostling for the top post(CM) which has traditionally been under the preserve of trading sub-caste. Both these sub-castes have traditionally been in alliance with clergy by bankrolling them. Most of the MLAs and cooperative societies/sugar mills are under the control of this farming sub-caste (atleast in North KA). However at the ground level, there is not much conflict between these 2 subcastes or other sub-castes for that matter, at-least not yet. Plus sub-caste is not a barrier to intermarriage as long as the 2 families are in the same social class. To a certain extent, this intra group jostling has been encouraged/kindled by the left ecosystem since early 2000s. Recall the effort by Siddaramiah to declare Lingayaths as separate religion in 2018. Obviously the reason for encouraging this divide and rule policy is that since 2008, Lingayaths have been solidly voting for Yedi-led BJP giving them 60-80 seats lock. The powers that be can’t have that.
        Re the kannada names not being Hindu, for me, anything which has a local/indigenous origin is Hindu.

        0
        1. “ anything which has a local/indigenous origin is Hindu.“

          … including Stalin, I might add. Can’t forget the great Dravidian king of 10 th century Stalin Stalin Chola.

          0
        2. @bhumiputra
          I dont object to considering “hindu” as a cultural category that means indigenously or indic. And that is the sense I consider myself hindu. But there are others that consider hindu as a traditon with a specific history and governance. They use a bait and switch with hetrodox traditions by insisting on the liberal definition of belonging for political convenience, but then enforce their governance and leadership over the composite group. As if the catholic pope were to invoke unity of all of christiandom, but then in another context sets the boundaries for what lutherans can think or do.
          Totally agree and am familiar with intra-lingayat conflict. A century ago these were genuinely a hundred different castes (with inter-dining restrictions and all that), and what is remarkable is the extent to which its dissolved even among parochial families in the last 50 years, . Even the view of marrying outside the religion/sect (wherever you fall on that distnction) is usually a class based assessment. Where I might disagree with you is in seeing the separate religion movement as a political ploy from the congress party. As in, yes, they were acting opportunistically, but the movement is an old one and I’ve been hearing about it even as a kid growing up in the US many decades ago. In my own family, many of the same people who are strong BJP supporters were also strong supporters of the separate religion movement. They convinced themselves that BJP wasn’t inherently opposed to it, but that supporting the rallies and petitions were the best way to pursue it. It is still a massively popular sentiment among all but two sub castes (who account for <10% of the overall). Realistically, will the separate religion status ever be achieved outside of a politically high stakes situtaion? These rallies across the lingayat heartland of karnataka and MH were absolutley massive and got no national media coverage, even from centre-left. At the end of the day, whether left wing or right, delhi doesnt like anything it can't control.

          +1
          1. @girmit,
            one more ‘ issue’ which incidentally arises is where are the lingayaths placed w.r.t brahmins. are they equal or higher as many claim. now that a section clamours for a bigger slice of reservation , will it make them ‘shudras’ as some brahmins say?
            in mysore-bangalore areas, the dalit groups routinely use basaveshwara’s photo along with buddha, amdedkar, pule, krishnaraja wadiyar!!! in their posters.
            apart from a few ‘ liberal intellectual ‘ types who are ok with this, the janata in the lingayath community are ‘cold’ to being clubbed with dalits.
            that the lingayaths and brahmins are vegetarian confuses many. a tender coconut vendor who confirmed our caste said,’ oh! you are like lingayaths, then!!!’

            0
          2. @brown
            My sense is that the communties that became lingayat in the old mysore region are more on the veerashaiva end of the spectrum. In fact there are certain families that insist that they are “lingi brahmins”. If there can be catholics with pretensions of being brahmins, I see no reason why a group of lingayats couldn’t as well. What you’ve described about the conflation of lingayat and brahmin in that geographic belt checks out, many of my friends from that area say as much. The culture of lingayat communities vary greatly, to the extent that the social role of northern lingayats probably corresponds more to that of southern vokkaligas. Chamarajnagar is a very different social landscape, and the adherents are mainly drawn from obc castes. Even maharashtra lingayats have many different cultural variations, from artisans to commercial castes.
            Also consider that what we practice could be called neo-lingayatism, in that it was resurrected in the early 20th century. Scholars and enthusiasts collated vachanas in a massive exercise in folkloric research to create a canon. Linga-puja was reintroduced to old-mysore veerashaivas, which wasn’t in practice (a kind of ghar wapsi!). Other communities like kurubas that played important roles in lingayat public worship, drifted apart. And in truth, the vachana canon was never fenced off as being in custody of one community , but modernity forces these choices. The kuruba halumatha religion in away is like the proto-religion substrate of the deccan, and controversiallly, I’ve heard it asserted that they are the originators of many practices

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          3. “I dont object to considering “hindu” as a cultural category that means indigenously or indic. And that is the sense I consider myself hindu. But there are others that consider hindu as a traditon with a specific history and governance. They use a bait and switch with hetrodox traditions by insisting on the liberal definition of belonging for political convenience, but then enforce their governance and leadership over the composite group. As if the catholic pope were to invoke unity of all of christiandom, but then in another context sets the boundaries for what lutherans can think or do.”
            Very well said. We see this strategy being employed here by the raita hindutva subtly and the trad hindutva explicitly.
            Just because that is their strategy does not mean we have to acquiesce in that. I mean why would we cut ourselves from our roots.

            On lingayath as a separate religion, I agree there is organic support and some of it is based on maintaining a distinct identity and partly getting a bigger slice of the reservation pie.
            One change I have noticed in recent years is wrt vegetarianism. A lot of the younger urban crowd has taken to eating eggs/chicken/mutton. In rural areas the folks have taken to poultry and sheep/goat rearing in last decade or so. This was frowned up even as later 90s and early 2000s. There is a similar situation wrt joining armed forces.

            +1

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