206 thoughts on “Open Thread, 12/9/2022, Brown Pundits”

  1. Last week German Siemens has won the ~2-3 Billion USD bid to manufacture 1200 9000hp. Their bid was absurdly low.

    India already has two spanking new locomotive factories, a huge American GE plant to manufacture diesel and a French Alstom plant to manufacture electric ones that started around 2018. Our state owned ones are in Chittaranjan(+Dankuni), Varanasi, and Patiala that produce ~1200 engines/year. Add about 100 each/year from GE, Alstom, and Siemens, we will produce ~1500/year.

    Next up is an order for 400 semi high speed Vande-Bharat train sets for ~$5.5 Billion.

    Further a huge private sector rail wheel factory to come up. Between the hundreds of new metro coaches being manufactured annually, aluminium DMUs, new RRTS trainset, new Siemens bogie factory in India, two new(-ish) coach factories, there has never been a better time for Rail in India. Tears of joy 😂.

  2. we need more and more trains, that guy of japan lover has convinced me and others on trains. Also, trains means, everyday walking. good for health.

    1. American cities are pretty horribly designed and car centric, I hope India does not follow suit.

      European and Japanese cities are much better models. Especially given that the cities are older, the countries have less land to expand compared to the USA.

      On a semi-related note, been slowly making my way through the famous biography of Robert Moses by Robert Caro (guy responsible for a lot of NYC public works, also got the car centrism piece wrong imo). Highly recommend.

      1. I don’t understand nor relate to this distaste for cars and the snobbishness that goes with it (American rubes with their cars, enlightened Europeans with their trains).

        Cars are wonderful instruments of individual freedom and autonomy, allowing people to go where they want without being encumbered by other people and the environment (walking around ain’t nowhere as pleasant in Delhi as it perhaps is in Copenhagen, which I have never been to: heat, dust, pollution, undergrowth, spit, pee, shit…need I say more?)

        I loved driving around in my car when I lived in the States (especially in the countryside, to the state and national parks), and so did one of my idols, John von Neumann!

        1. Agreed. I will take a 1 hour long commute in my own car even with traffic over a 1 hour long commute on Japanese subway packed like a sardine.

        2. @Pandit Brown, HJ

          Americans ARE backward when it comes to land use planning and transit (and healthcare).

          What are you guys even talking about? Obviously cars have their place, but in routes where suburban trains are feasible there is no competition. The quality of life difference between a Japanese or European train commute vs a American car commute is 10:1. American commutes suck! The traffic is perpetually jammed, the Caltrain/Bart/light-rail SUCK here! Ask me I do it everyday. Just look at the sheer ugliness of Austin, or Houston 🤮.

          “I will take a 1 hour long…like a sardine.”
          a) Have you every been on a Japanese train? They are fabulous, borderline luxurious, on par or better than Swiss ones. Rush hour is rush hour for cars too! trains will get you there faster.
          b) A one hour commute with car will be a 20 minute one on subway. Plus no parking hassle, cheaper…

          1. Japanese bullet trains sure but not the regular trains that people use to commute. Nothing luxurious about them, you are still standing for 30 minutes to an hour and if lucky sitting. My commute is the same in my car! But agree to disagree there as it comes down to personal preference.

          2. Peace. To each their own.

            Saying Car = Personal Freedom, is propaganda. In most scenarios there are better ways. Americans cope by saying these things because for many good (high quality, high productivity in non-construction sectors) and bad (unionization, bad policy) reasons they are utterly incapable of building civil infrastructure under tight budgets even if they really tried.

            Americans will try to revolutionize transit with EVTOL and Boring (tunnels) tunnels but won’t admit that trains and high density housing are the solution and they have failed.

            Indian (2nd gen, 3rd gen) American opinions don’t matter as much anyways. They don’t have the roots, pride or memory of building infrastructure and institutions. Users not developers.

          3. Owning your own car + cheap gas. It beats any type of public transport. I have discovered and explored thousands of squares kilometers of pristine nature in my 4×4. Not even possible with public transport.

          4. The Japanese and European train experiences also come off as more “luxurious” due to their cultural behaviour. Anywhere else, and one becomes very cynical after heaving dealt with public transport. NYC is a perfect example of obnoxious behaviour.

        3. India does not have the benefit of the sort of blank slate and low population density that Americans did.

          The density and historicity of the cities is much more similar to Asian or European cities.

          Cars have their place but it is precisely because the city is designed for them that walking / biking / metro rail etc becomes extra unpleasant.

          Consider the traffic in Delhi now and imagine if everyone was at a level of wealth approaching America and owned a 4 wheel car.

          Very happy to see Indian cities investing in Metro rail.

          1. I feel like a lot of Indians have a very rosy picture of traffic in the US. Everywhere I have lived in the US (TX, MA and CA) traffic has been terrible, although very organized. I recently met a guy who moved from a house in Fremont to a small apartment near my home. His wife (IP lawyer, so no wfh) could not handle the daily 1.5 hr commute. Poor guy’s parents from India bought a house next to their son in Fremont, but now have to see their grandkid via video calls.

          2. @Vikram,

            I guess peoples’ psychological needs differ. I have a high craving for orderliness and a low tolerance for unruliness and chaos and lack of personal space. At the same time, I have relatively high patience levels, so long commutes don’t bother me as long as I don’t absolutely have to reach somewhere before a deadline, and the commute itself is comfortable (good AC and good speakers capable of playing music and podcasts in my car). To give some numbers, I would generally prefer such a 60-min commute by car over a 30-min commute in a densely packed bus/train plus a significant walk in dusty and hot or humid conditions (which is how it is most of the time in India).

            You are right that Indians who have not been to the States don’t understand how mind-numbing traffic commutes there can get (if you loathe the experience of being in a car, that is), but desis who have not lived in India for a long time have probably forgotten who wretched Indian public transport and pedestrian infrastructure is.

        4. Get onto a suburban thoroughfare with endless fast food joints on either side, where making left turns is about as achievable as faster-than-light travel, where 350 lb people are waiting in 20-car-long drive thru lanes to buy their obesogenic barbecue dinners…

          Then you will see what the car has wrought, and why it needs to go.

          1. Your complaints are valid, though they sound rather trivial to someone who has lived in the US before but now lives and drives everyday in India. If we got rid of all the cars and ramped up public transport in India, we’d still have the same unruly mess we see today.

  3. India’s total tax collection (local + state + centre) is up from $ 50 billion in 2002 to $ 600 billion in 2022. In per capita, this is a 10x in government spending capacity per citizen.

    And it is this revenue expansion which underlies the recent infrastructure investments. The electricity sector, in particular has seen a massive change. The more reliable and cheaper availability of energy should drive a substantial economic expansion for some time.

    However, there are some warning signs that the government is over investing. Also, the government’s appetite for spending and debt is crowding out the private sector’s ability to raise money and invest themselves.


  4. Looking at data on intercaste marriages one thing I noticed is that with more development there are broadly more intercaste marriages.

    On weird outlier is Tamil Nadu, where the intra caste marriages at 97%

    Intra caste marriage rates of other similarly developed states are much lower:
    Gujarat – 85%
    Karnataka – 84%,
    Maharashtra- 83%
    Haryana – 82%
    Kerala – 80%

    Even much less developed states like UP and Bihar have more Intercaste marriage than Tamil Nadu

    Uttar Pradesh- 88%.
    Bihar – 93.86%

    Source: epc2010.eaps.nl/papers/100157

    Any ideas on why Tamil country is uniquely regressive in this regard ?

    1. Caste conflict occurs primarily between dominant castes (Yadavs, Vellalars, Reddy, Maratha) and agricultural laborers (mainly Dalits). The intensity of this conflict is highest where cultivable land per capita is low. This is why the most egregious caste violence occurs in Tamil Nadu and Bihar, where land holdings are small.

      I think the caste violence and rivalry then drives down the rate of inter caste marriage.

      1. Apart from cultivable land per capita, another pattern maybe the absence of UCs in either politics/media/society etc. This pattern holds in PB, MH as well.

      2. @Sumit
        I don’t think TN is an outlier regarding caste violence, at least in the last 20 years. Lived experience and crime statistics don’t show anything particularly egregious. Dalit castes are already politicized, so perpetrating blatant violence and getting away with it is almost impossible.

        Regarding IC marriages, it’s just that TN society is very conservative and prudish. Everybody tries to stay within their lane in terms of romantic and marital relations. I also think this is one reason Hindu-Muslim relations aren’t as bad as in other states with comparable population distribution.

        Among “elite” castes or middle castes that are now “elite”, I see that inter-caste marriages are getting accepted in a few cases; and that too among “equivalent” castes – both castes are land/business owning castes etc; dalit and non-dalit marriages are still very rare.

  5. “Indian (2nd gen, 3rd gen) American opinions don’t matter as much anyways. They don’t have the roots, pride or memory of building infrastructure and institutions. Users not developers.”

    This really hits at the root of well off diaspora’s insecurities. It is the fundamental reason I am opposed to any diaspora involvement in Indian politics at any level. It has to be nipped in the bud.

    1. Cool. You might find the tamil movie Psycho interesting. It has characters named after Gautam/Dakini/Angulimala and touches upon matricide.

  6. @Qureshi,


    Pakistan Railway (PR) got 230 new passenger coaches and 820 wagons from China. Some complete most as knock downs to assemble.

    Very unexpected of them to buy Chinese given how poorly Chinese locomotives performed in PR service. They could have got better ones from Indonesia or Iran.

    PR has infact gone all American on locos and have junked the shitty Chinese ones. They are using the same GE design, albeit in miniscule numbers, that India has.

  7. Good thread on India’s “silent revolution”, i.e. solar boom.


    P.S. on the whole car thing. Public transportation is nice and all, but the real test is how dense you build + how well your cycling infrastructure is. The leader is obviously Amsterdam and Copenhagen. Not only can most car trips be abolished, if the city does its job properly even most bus and metrorides are unnecessary. India has a more challenging climate, but for cities like Bangalore there’s really no excuse.

    1. India is absolutely crushing it at Solar.

      Hail Adani! I love our Gujju Baniya overlords.

      For folks who are interested in diggging more about building better cities:


      I also like CityNerd on YT.

      People here are talking as if Japan or the Netherlands do not have cars! and the Japanese people who gave us Subaru, don’t get to explore nature in 4-by-4.

      I am not against cars, I have one too. I just want my tax dollars to go into making things efficient and bringing commute times down.

      I-35 in Austin will now have 20 lanes!! cutting Austin into two. At some point some Americans must speak against this stupidity.

      I am all for making drivers pay through their noses for road use, and commuters to pay through their nose for trains. Don’t subsidize externalities of cars, why do car owners get to park on roads for free? or everyone subsidizes population wide healthcare (pollution/lifestyle) issues caused by car use?

      1. Subarus make their cars for rallying not off roading, they are shit for going offroad. Toyota Landcruiser and FJ are proper off-road vehicles, but let’s not pretend they are targeted towards the Japanese. The Japanese buy tiny kei cars, and if an average 250 lb American sits in a kei car (if he fits), likely the tires would blow on takeoff.. Most countries in the world don’t have good cars. The only place I saw better cars than USA/Canada is in the UAE. Every other country is absolutely inferior in terms of car culture, and rightly so, they don’t have good roads nor good highways (The US interstate system is a wonder of the world)

        North America just has better cars. In Germany, most BMWs and Mercs you see rolling around town are basemodels, their shitty diesel 1.6l diesel engines. These are not even sold in the US/Canada because they are considered too basic and have no market here. The Germans consider C300 and BMW 330 as ‘higher end’ models than only top managers drive. In North America, this is considered a base model, (they dont even sell anything lower than that here) and every second 20-something with a Job at your local Walmart is riding around in.

        Efficiency is good, Freedom is better. A car provides more freedom to go wherever you want, at whatever time of the day you want, and with whatever luggage you want. The old world is densely populated, so everyone driving is not a feasable solution for them. In North America, with new suburbs popping up everywhere, towns are designed for efficient car usage. The only people who choose to use public transport in a car designed town are ones that cannot get a driver’s license or insurance. The rest already see cars as a superior option.

      2. I put Subaru instead of Toyota (again Japanese btw) because Subaru has a more storied history in 4WD. Their 1975 wagon was the first 4WD passenger car in the US and gave masses first taste of what was possible.

        ‘Efficiency is good, Freedom is better.’

        Maybe for those who are not stuck in traffic every single day. I don’t know why you folks are not getting it. If you never use public transport, I am fine! I am fine with car use, take it to national forest, take it to the lake, take it to your Walmart, eat the $5 Happy meal in them…

        Just support building some subway lines or regular buses in the big cities. At least some traffic will be removed from the road. You get more road for your car others get more comfort. Plus the property prices go up for everyone. Win-Win! Just do it in the major cities where car-only system are not working anymore.

        1. – Subaru’s 4WD system (also Mitsubishi) was developed for rallying, especially to end the dominance of Audi’s quattro.. But none of these companies are known for off-roading.. You need proper ground clearance, body on frame truck chassis, a good suspension (air is preferred), L-slip diff, etc etc Range Rovers, Land Cruisers, Any jeeps or most American trucks can handle it better are purpose built for it, even if 90% of them will never really see mud in their useful lives.

          -Most car commuters stuck in traffic are only stuck there because public transport will take anywhere between 2-4 times the time it takes their traffic laden car commute. I personally used both on my daily commute, halfway used car to reduce the commute time, and the other half of the way to reduce the parking cost downtown.

          — North Americans love to live in detached houses rather than being packed inside apartment buildings in inner cities. This puts pressure to grow outwards, in low density suburbs. Many reasons for this, but usually inner cities are crime hubs and low income, and nobody wants to live there or raise a family there, unless they are part of that socio economic class and have no other options. Public transport is not feasible when population density is lower, and is constantly a sinkhole for your taxes. Many Subrubia Towns still run buses because they want to encourage people using them, and in effort to be ”green”, even allocated specialized bus lanes in the suburbs. But most buses running on them are still empty..

          -Even in inner cities, the affluent class uses their own cars or get chauffeured around by taxi/uber drivers. While the peasant class packs the subways. When you got money, you don’t mind being stuck in traffic, it’s almost always quicker and still better than being stuck beside some homeless guy. This divided is apparent amongst the workforce in most downtown cores across NA. Also, there is a day/night difference between a commute in a corolla and a commute in an X5.

          1. ‘Most car commuters …their traffic laden car commute.’
            This happens because there is no good transit system.

            ‘Public transport is not … a sinkhole for your taxes.’
            Agree. Don’t do it in Suburbs. Also, don’t subsidize suburbs by paying for their roads and sewer lines.

            ‘When you got money, you don’t mind being stuck in traffic’
            Strongly disagree. There are only so many hours in a day.

            I do think Corolla/Civic is too small for American life. I won’t feel safe driving those around trucks. I have a new Hyundai Tucson. It is no X5 but I think a decent trim Camry/Accord is optimal for most and any higher won’t make people less miserable. In India my father has a tiny Suzuki WagonR which is optimal for crowded streets.

          2. – People commuting from suburbs commute in cars, because it’s almost always faster even with traffic. Public transit always becomes feasible to build when density increases, and for many suburbs, this will never happen.

            – People in inner cities commute because they prefer luxury over cost. The commute times are usually the same between car vs subway, even with traffic during rush hour, and much better in a car outside of rush hours.

            In both cases, cars are just better. People only take public transport because it’s cheaper.

            – Most Suburbia towns/counties have their own property taxes, and roads/sewers are paid from that. New suburbs with new builds are paid for by property owners paying development charges on their new homes.

            If cities want to develop mass transit, that’s all fine but it will fail to recoup the costs if the actual costs of building the damn thing in a busy city is actually recouped from users of that transport system reflected on its ticket prices. Most public transport systems are heavily subsidized by the taxpayers

          3. “People commuting from suburbs commute in cars, because it’s almost always faster even with traffic.”
            In many suburbs this holds true. But there are many others where transit has potential. Would building transit take some of these guys off the road? yes. Would it ease congestion and Jammed traffic? Yes. Then do it.

            “Public transit always becomes feasible to build when density increases, and for many suburbs, this will never happen.”
            Agree. But there are so many places where it will work. Europe, Japan, China, India all make it work. What is with this obstinate behavior?

            ‘People in inner cities commute … much better in a car outside of rush hours.’
            This is not true in many cases especially rush hour. Plus finding parking is such a hassle in most inner cities.

            ‘People only take public transport because it’s cheaper.’
            Nothing wrong with saving money.

            “Most Suburbia towns/counties have their own property taxes, and roads/sewers are paid from that. New suburbs with new builds are paid for by property owners paying development charges on their new homes.”
            This is not true. For a start take a look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Nw6qyyrTeI

            “If cities want to develop mass transit… subsidized by the taxpayers”
            I am all for making people pay with subsidies given only to people who are in genuine need like young students, handicapped or poor. In Netherlands I used to happily pay ~20 Euros for a train trip one way to Amsterdam. Make car owners pay for street parking if they can’t prove they have a spot. Make them pay for road repair. Make them pay for pollution in close proximity to homes.

          4. Eh a lot of this doesn’t apply to NYC. But that’s why public transport there is so good. Only the mega mega rich don’t take public transport ever (eg. Trump). And cars are in fact often slower. Also it’s a headache to drive around new york. And parking is its own mess and wastes time.

            Offroading sounds fun. I’ll have to try at some point. Some of my cousins who grew up in rural or semi rural America have trucks and do it a lot.

          5. Bhimrao
            The above video is a good example of how stats are used to arrive at a misleading conclusion i.e suburbs bad.

            –A city’s tax revenue – bulk of it is made up of property taxes. –Property taxes are based on assessed land values x city’s mill rate/levy
            –Suburbia properties (including giant stores) are built on cheaper land, therefore they produce less property taxes, and less “revenue”.
            –Cities don’t make a profit, so they only set a levy that would meet their budget.

            This is why suburbs produce less tax revenue for the city. Their land is cheaper.

            However let’s flip the script:

            Look at the income tax records paid to federal/state/provincial and I bet you that that most of these suburb dwellers are subsidizing the inner cities simply because they have higher income and therefore, higher income taxes paid to federal and state and (in some but not all states, even cities).

            The video claims that a inner city street with dilapidated houses are subsidizing modern looking suburbs, which is absolutely ridiculous. They pay more property tax sure (because their land value is higher) but pull up the income tax records of the houses on that street and I bet you most have a negative income tax rate (they are claiming refundable tax credits like the EIC)

            So it is a much more complicated topic that what is presented and statistics when not looked at holistically will always mislead.

            Ofcourse the governments would want people to stack up in cities! Cheaper to provide government services. But people always vote with their feet. There are many many socio economic factors why people run away from inner cities, but no point on touching them here, what matters is that people want to move further away given the choice. Which brings me back to my original point, the debate between public transport and a car comes down to a simple equation: what does it cost to the individual (include the value of time in cost as well). If cost is equal, almost everyone that has both options, will choose the car. Almost everyone! Whether that’s India, or Western Europe or North America. In India, it will cost much higher to use private transport therefore more people will use public transport, in North America, private transport costs much less, so more use it.

    2. Good luck with getting Indians to cycle to work! Most Indians, for cultural or fitness reasons, will absolutely refuse to cycle for their daily commute. Go to any city in India and you will find plenty of two-wheelers going slower than I have ever driven my bicycle; people use motorized vehicles (with however many wheels) precisely to avoid even minimal physical exertion. On a related note, in villages, people would rather take a “bailgaadi” than walk.

      Walking infrastructure in Bangalore is awful. Most sidewalks are not walkable. Many are not paved properly, producing undergrowth and getting very muddy during the rains. Other parts are used by truck drivers as rest areas. Others have street vendors pitching tents on them. The remaining stretches reek of urine. So, to walk to my neighborhood restaurants or grocery stores, I (like everyone else) end up walking on the edge of the road, dodging traffic.

      All this talk about public transport vs cars is useful in American, Europe, and Japan, where laws are abided and infrastructure is excellent and both citizen and city planner are united in their desire to make public spaces in cities livable and commutable. These conditions don’t exist in India, so the debate is academic. Unless we inculcate these values first, abolishing the sole comfortable means of private transport many of us have would be stupid.

    3. Yes needs to be tailored to the location, Amsterdam and the Netherlands as a whole is extremely flat and not too hot / cold.

      So biking a lot works for them. It doesn’t work as well for the Swiss.

      Taipei would be a good model for Indian cities, the buildings are all built with overhangs on sidewalks for rain and shade from the sun in the hot summer.

      There is extensive metro rail. etc. They also have an extensive shared bike share system which is integrated with the metro rail (same card used + a discount) for last mile transportation.

      There is a bit of a failure of imagination and ingenuity on this in India.

      The covered sidewalks I have seen in India (for eg. Mumbai skywalk) are removed from the rest of the storefronts on ground level and elevated so you have to climb stairs, which doesn’t make sense.

  8. seeing reactions of engerlanders in YouTube. although the english team has more than 50% black players, there are hardly any black faces in the crowd. why?

    1. there are no brown faces in the argentinian team, but seeing a lot of brown supporters in Bangladesh and Kerala

      1. i was commenting on the scenes from england pubs and parks where people watched the match. where are the blacks?

        1. @brown
          The black % of the UK is <4% i believe and skews younger with recent immigrant inflows from Africa. The share amongst middle aged pub goers must be really really small.

  9. France is possibly getting ready for the most incendiary night of Kultuur on the 14th December. Almost 1.5 million Moroccans in France. This will be a night for every talking camp.

    Who will win, though – Europeans or Arabs or Berbers or Africans or Muslims?

    1. No matter what the result, Africa will win because both sides are stacked with Africans. I would have said both sides are also stacked with Muslims but then half the Muslims on the French team are out injured.

      1. @S Querishi

        The Berbers, Africans, Arabs and Muslims have all exited at the same time. Unbelievable!

        1. >The Berbers, Africans, Arabs and Muslims have all exited at the same time.

          I dunno man, the French team is in the final and they are all stacked with Berbers, Africans, Arabs and Muslims.

  10. In the US one needs cars for the same reason one needs guns. Some truths about life in America cannot be discussed publicly since the 1960’s.

  11. And it will continue, regime change, interference in India is only going to continue. As India gets more wealthy and powerful west will use this. get used to it. Smile, take in the insults and get wealthy and powerful. Wait till 2070 and then take action. Only those who bears insults and calumny can achieve their goals.

  12. From Reddit, devastating. Looks like Modi reform rhetoric was just that, rhetoric

    “It has taken one of my NRI friends 16 months (and going) to set up an EV electric motor factory in India. He’s had to get approvals from over 30 national, state-level, and municipal authorities and had his imported production equipment held up at customs for up to 9 months for “inspections” that don’t happen unless he pays customs an “expedited service fee” of up to 20% of the equipment’s value. He’s already scaled down the proposed size of facility twice because he can’t find qualified technicians to staff his production lines and because India won’t lift import tariffs on rare earths magnets.

    To add insult to injury, someone (likely related to one of the 30 authorites he had to get approvals from) copied his logo and is going to various EV companies claiming they’ve already set up an electric motor factory under his company’s brand and they can ship “in a month”… even though that other factory has only made electric motors for golf carts and has none of his actual design IP, which means their knockoffs are almost three times as heavy for the same amount of power, and therefore uncompetitive on the international market.

    Because of all this, his customers have recommended he minimize his production in India as much as possible, and set up production near their production hubs in China instead.”

    1. Unfortunately this sounds very believable. Middle and last mile governance seems intractable in IN.

      1. Not if your last name is Adani or Ambani. They get to hoard all the benefits and subsidies while smaller players get left holding the bag like that NRI guy.

        Then again, wasn’t China very corrupt during its growth phase also? Connected businessmen gave tons of bribes to local officials for favorable treatment, yet they still grew very fast. So while this is bad, is it going to be fatal?

        1. CN has obvious advantages of common ethnicity. In IN, central leadership has to filter the competent pool of people for loyalty. In CN, easier to enforce discipline and purge people who don’t toe the line.

          My 2 cents on this is — you need an understanding at local, state and central level of government plus legal/media. Further it is easier to start something new in an existing hub rather than pioneering in hinterland. This way you are leveraging existing ecosystem and networks. More importantly the rent extractors have plenty of big fish to worry about. As long as you pay the expected rate. I fear this extra cost leaves very few industries where you can be competitive.

  13. Situation in Pakistan is bad and seems getting worse. First-hand account from an overseas Pakistani:


    Unsurprisingly, educated youth are fleeing in droves.


    For a Westerner like me, I suppose it would make me a winner in a zero-sum world, as we get the cream of these poor countries. If a large fraction of Third World elites have at least some members of their extended family in the West, it makes them more easily corruptable and more prone to taking policies which would put them in the West’s good graces. Pakistan itself proved that with Bajwa.

    But I believe in win-win outcomes. A rising non-Western world would probably be better for everyone in the long run.

    Sadly, the heady promise of such a world – that seemed so inevitable in the early years of the 2000s – now looks like a delusion. Even China is stumbling. Western dominance of our world will likely stay with us for much longer than many of us had anticipated.

    1. now looks like a delusion. Even China is stumbling. Western dominance of our world will likely stay with us for much longer than many of us had an

      The first thing to keep in mind is energy is the key factor of an economy.
      China is doing fine in this respect as it is getting energy at a discount from Russia.

      Its Europe that is in deep doodoo. High energy costs because of sanctions. Bad enough that BASF (93 billion revenue) is closing 80 plants and planning to move others out of the country.

      Then Europe going to have to deal with Ukrainian refugees and rebuild a destroyed Ukraine.

      In the US, its just not the country that is in debt, its citizens are awash in debt. Not a sustainable situ even though they are selling gas and oil to Europe at inflated prices.


    2. Europe is a has been and now just a poodle of the US unable to make choices of its own interest

      The US is going to continue to shoot itself in the foot, and dragging its allies down too. The latest being the Chip wars .
      “As a further ban on its chip-making equipment exports to China would cripple the Netherlands’ semiconductor industry and the interest of ASML, the country has tried its best to withstand pressure from the US.”


    3. More shooting of the foot. Yeah, the West is doing fine,

      US and EU sanctions have been a win for China and Russia.
      China will get Russian LNG at a discount and export it to EU at a premium.

      The brains of those who thought of price caps. Russia will sell to any other country other than the EU. The third party country are going to sell to EU via non Western Shipping.
      Shipping and Shipping insurance that was mainly in control of the west is going to move east to China and Russia.


  14. I ran out of oil a while back so I’ve been using butter to make my hotdogs/sausages. Today, I decided to use the chicken stock that I collected from the oven chicken I made a couple days back for the sausages and it was great! Butter was actually kinda bad with the hotdogs/sausages tbh chicken stock I guess just infused the stuff with much-needed flavour

  15. On a more admix related note, I have 3 HarappaWorld results from Rangpur. 1st is mine, one is from my friend and the other is from years back from a dude who posted on some blog.

    S-Indian 43%

    Baloch 27%

    Caucasian 6%

    NE-Euro 4%

    SE-Asian 6%

    Siberian 2%

    NE-Asian 9%

    Papuan 1%

    Beringian 1%


    S-Indian 43%

    Baloch 25%

    Caucasian 3%

    NE-Euro 2%

    SE-Asian 7%

    NE- Asian 11%

    Papuan 2%

    Beringian 2%

    Med 2%

    SW-Asian 1%


    S-Indian 48%

    Baloch 28%

    Caucasian 2%

    NE-Euro 3%

    SE-Asian 4%

    Siberian 2%

    NE-Asian 10%

    Papuan 1%

    Med 1%
    On Genoplot however, my NE:SE Asian ration is like 8:1 and I have around 18% Asiatic, mainly Tibetan/Himalayan.

      1. Son Goku,

        Indeed. And the high NE Asian numbers too due to the Rajbonshis as well as historical interactions with Tibetans through the Pala Buddhist eras as many of the notable Buddhist folks were Bengalis like Atimsa.

        There are even Stupas and whatnot in Dinajpur and stuff. Rangpur Div or the area of it was a part of the historical area known as Kamrupa I think.

        I mailed my raw data to Razib and on the PCA plot, I am like 95th percentile in terms of Asiatic ancestry compared to other Bengalis lol

        I am the Rangpur sample here if you are curious.

  16. Fusion is here, Fusion is not here. Will it still be 30 yrs from now?.

    congratulations. Though it was pretty likely to me that they would reach here first from almost 8 yrs ago. simple set up.

  17. oh! china!!,
    the ‘l o c ization of l a c’ will continue. one good from all this is that it has been made very clear that china and india cannot be friends. just like the 1962 war ended india’s illusions and helped set up r a w and upgrade military and nuclear strength, this phase of chinese torture will only strengthen india.
    would congress govt have acted differently? hope not.

  18. ‘However let’s flip the script’

    This is not a valid ‘flip to script’. Logic demands that people pay for what they consume. Someone don’t get discounted electricity because one pays higher income tax. If it takes more to maintain the roads and sewers and parks in Suburbs then they should pay more in PROPERTY taxes. How does income tax come into picture here anyways?

    Few points:

    1) Even if we accept your logic what about the big box stores? or fast food places with giant parking lots in suburbs?

    2) It is not even clear that all suburbs house high income tax people.

    ‘The video claims that …which is absolutely ridiculous.’
    It also claims that high density mixed-use neighborhoods subsidize suburbs and downtown shopping/business centers subsidize suburbs big box stores. But you ignore it.

    The solution to this is charging people for the services they consume. If the road in front of someone’s house takes more money to repair then the beneficiary should pay.

    ‘So it is a much more… looked at holistically will always mislead.’
    I sort of agree. I am no town planner. I myself live in suburbia, and drive around in a car. I just don’t think not exploring alternatives to reduce traffic is a smart thing to do.

    ‘Ofcourse the governments would want people to stack up in cities! Cheaper to provide government services.’

    Cheaper = More efficient. People who choose to live in Suburbs should pay more for the luxury.

    ‘what matters is that people want to move further away given the choice.’

    This is not true in Asia, Europe… but I do agree this is the sentiment in the US.

    ‘in North America, private transport costs much less, so more use it’
    This is the case because of over investment and hidden subsidies for car usage and road building and under investment into public transit.

    1. Big box stores or fast food joints, how are they subsidized? They are contributing sales and income tax to the governments, even if those governments are not local but they are state and federal.

      Why are you only considering property taxes, but not income taxes. The property taxes collected by city governments are based on property assessment values. If they want the same ”per acre” revenue from the suburbs, they should actually change zoning laws to allow more commercial real estate, attract better employers, incentivizing creating more jobs in suburbia, so property values come to par and so does revenue. But everyone knows that nobody wants to do this, because it works for both sides. The Suburb residents don’t want to live in the city, which is why they fled in the first place so why would they want the city to come to them. And most of the local governments don’t really want it either, because it’s out of their competency level to expand.

      “It also claims that high density mixed-use neighborhoods subsidize suburbs and downtown shopping/business centers subsidize suburbs big box stores. But you ignore it.

      No I don’t ignore it, because it’s bullshit claim. It’s only true if your horizon is limited to that city, and your revenues/expenditure limited to that of the local government (probably the selling point of the consultancy firm that created the video). As I already explained, when you look at all sources of revenue, the entire thing is reversed. 57% of American households did not pay any federal tax last year, I bet you none of them are in the suburb of a major or midsized city, they are either completely rural residents or in inner city residents.

      So if according to your idea of people should pay what they consume, this would mean taxing the poor – bottom half of the population Most cities would become homeless shelters if we start taxing those living in old apartment buildings and dilapidated townhouses . It’s not really efficient which is why progressive taxation works.

      Who knew economic policy is so complicated?

      >This is the case because of over investment and hidden subsidies for car usage and road building and under investment into public transit.

      There is no net hidden subsidy for car usage. On every gallon of gas are local, federal and state taxes charged. On road usage, taxes, license fees, and tolls. Sales tax on purchase of car, sales tax on repairing car. This is used to build roads on which most public transport runs. And if you are talking about underground, subways are extremely subsidized by the taxpayer. People can makeup their own reasons why car usage is bad, but this shouldnt be one of the reasons.

      1. Also, the desire to expand outwards is there in Asia and Europe, just as it is there in USA. However fuel and cars are not as cheap, roads not as good, land not in abundance.. these are limiting factors. Otherwise they will have the same response. Human nature is not that different.

        1. Italy towns sell houses for a dollar in the country side. No one wants to live there.

          – People want to be close to other people.
          – People also want a big living space.
          – People also want to be close nature, beaches etc.

          Therein lies the conflict.

          Someone like Mukesh Ambani or Michael Bloomberg can have massive homes in the most populated / expensive areas of their country.

          Most of us can’t, but that is because these areas are in such high demand. So we move outwards in search of a larger living space.

          Since you are from the GTA just consider areas where the old money WASPs live vs newer immigrants and blue collar white ppl. And patterns will emerge.

    2. ‘Big box stores … they are state and federal.’

      State and Federal governments don’t usually pay for the upkeep of city streets and sewers.

      ‘Why are you only considering property taxes, but not income taxes… competency level to expand.’

      a) If we just argue for arguments sake then there are lots of suburbs that are far poorer than cities.
      b) I want roads, sewer, electricity lines, garbage collection, snow removal, signage, fire department, parks, pipes, … to be treated like a service. If you use more you pay more. I it costs more to get these things to some place they pay more. Irrespective of if poor or rich people live there.

      “No I don’t ignore it, because it’s bullshit claim. It’s only true if your horizon is limited to that city… they are either completely rural residents or in inner city residents.”

      I don’t know anything about demographics of tax payers. But I can see that you might be right. My original argument still remains, roads maintained by the ‘city’ should be paid for by users proportional to how much they owe.

      “So if according to your idea of … taxation works.”
      Charge them for the services they use irrespective of their financial situation. If they are too poor or disabled come up with other fixes.

      “There is no net hidden subsidy for … used to build roads on which most public transport runs.”

      I have been reading up more from Urban Reform Institute, digging around on reddit, strongtowns, …, the whole thing is very agenda driven on the side of folks who are pro-transit, with pro-car people having good points too.

      “And if you are talking about underground… be one of the reasons.”

      Because I can’t come up with a super good unbiased report that compares things I will not argue further on the pro-transit side of cost to government. It does not mean you are right about the costs (which you could be) , just that I don’t have the numbers.

      ‘Also, the desire to expand outwards … Human nature is not that different.’
      I can sort of see the point but I am not sure about this. There are only so many hours in a day, there are only so many central business districts where everyone congregates for owrk, office is 9 hours/day, doing commute for 2 hours/day if you have children and wife at home it makes no sense at all for ’employees’. It is obviously nice to have a backyard and everything, but commute times are unbearable beyond a point. The clear solution is building a frequent+fast rail line and putting tall building near stations. Quality of life wise medium sized European cities were amazing to live in, the housing bit of Bay Area just sucks, I find Sun belt cities like Orlando, Houston, Austin unbearably ugly.

      1. Bhimrao, most local governments don’t have the mandate to make investments in their own city, case in point, most roads and highways are built by federal or state governments, and even when local roads are built by local govts, generally they are fully or partly funded by the state. local governments are only there to provide very basic services, enforce bylaws zoning etc.. they don’t get into making heavy investments into their own city since they can neither run surplus for long nor can they deficit spend. This varies from state to state, county to county, but generally true.

        This is why my point is that you can never really de-entangle the economics between city and state and federal, it’s all connected.

        My entire point is this: people prefer private transport over public transport if cost is same. Rich people in NYC don’t commute via subway, they hire limos/taxis/uber. And cost is not just the cost of the trip but the opportunity cost of time spent commuting. This decision is made by individuals every day when they chose public vs private. I literally commuted for a decade using both and the only reason was that using both produced the most optimal result. For some, that is using only public, for some that is using only their car for the commute. But generally, if cost is same, everyone would choose private transport.

        As for quality of life in cities, you don’t need more public transport, you need better zoning and reduced crime in North American cities. Most inner city areas are not fit to raise a family, and only attract young people or poor people. Apartments buildings mostly cater for single lifestyle with their one bedroom bachelor pads, and houses are either too expensive or located in shitty neighborhoods full of drugs and crime. The suburb is far superior for a family, which is why anyone that wants a family moves there. More space, less cost, better public schools, no crime and near enough to work that it does not cost much to commute (via car). Lots of empty land available in North America, compared to the rest of the world so it’s just natural for people to want to expand.

        1. That is only uber rich celebrity types. You see many people with net worth in tens of millions on subway. Lot of the IB crowd is on them. I know several parents of friends and family friends like that.

          Cars often take longer in NYC rush hour. Many anonymous super rich also take subways. It is just celebrity types don’t want harassment, since they are famous.

          NYC public transport really does have all walks of life use it a lot. Many rich NJ commuters use NJ transit to come in. It’s a huge headache to drive 1.5 hours each way in NYC traffic. Driving is fun with reasonable traffic in less dense regions, where public transport isn’t good.

          Also public transport can facilitate living in far away places and getting best of country and city life. Japan’s bullet trains are an example.

          Lot of rich from NJ suburbs use public transport to go to NYC.

    1. Removing standardized testing…

      Hurts immigrant Asians the most. Followed by the “deplorable” whites. Then poor Hispanics (disproportionately darker skinned), and poor Black people (disproportionately African American).

      Helps rich Black People (disproportionately recent immigrant origin), well connected Whites, Rich Hispanics (disproportionately white)

      Jewish people are part of broader White category for affirmative action but do better than other whites on tests, but they are also better connected so maybe overall neutral ?

      But I imagine it hurts someone from an orthodox community in Borough Park, and helps than a non-practicing but well connected Jewish student from the Upper East side who has been inculcated in all the correct shibboleths.

      Overall I think it increases unfairness, decreases merit, in the pursuit of increasing superficial diversity.

      1. perfect. Hopefully with new caste discrimination, you can emphasize your family’s origins as 4th in 5 tier system and how you have overcome oppression

        Or we can all just lie and claim dalit

        1. “Dominant caste” – for leftists
          “Forward Caste” – indian reservation
          “V4” – for trads

          worst of all worlds. lol.

          1. “Evil Hindu baniya” is quite close. Worse in some contexts.

            Oppressor class for leftists

            Too aasi for Trads

            General category

            Cheapskate evil loan sharks for common man

          2. I do expect overwhelming majority of Indians will lie if there is a chance.

            I don’t get Bania hate anyways. They don’t hurt anyone. Most claims of usuary, especially if they come from Pak Punjabis, are lies. On BP the usual rotlu Dravidians spew hate for Banias forgetting how their own Chettiars were in treated in Burma.

            I have a friend who sat in JEE as a general category in first attempt. Next year he sat again, got a even lower rank than first time but this time he sat as a OBC. He lied/bribed/… to get a OBC caste certificate.

            99.9% of ‘creamy layer’ OBCs lies about their income on their caste certificate to claim reservation. I know very rich, upright, honest folks who managed to get triple digit ranks still lie and claim reservation to get into IIT B/D CS. Many of my school friends with ‘ambiguous’ surnames like Singh/Varma/Kumar/Raj/ … claimed it too.

            There are folks who milk caste for IIT, then IIM, and then IAS. For some, especially the SC/ST ones it is multigenerational. I have never met anyone who abuses the system and feels that they have done something wrong.

            I have a friend whose father is in central government service and hence could not lie about the income. We often jokes that his father choice of work wrecked my friend’s career.

            I also have a hyper left-leaning muslim friend who is the only upright man I know who voluntarily did not claim OBC status. He is a complicated and idealistic guy.

          3. We have a plethora of Parmars and Solankis in our community. These are very popular surnames among SCs and OBCs respectively in Gujarat, although they are also Rajput surnames in the state. The running joke in the family was that those with these surnames should acquire SC/OBC caste certificates to avail of reservations. Fortunately (unfortunately?) since government service or even jobs of any kind are a very uncommon choice, nobody has bothered to so far..

  19. @Bhimrao

    Notwithstanding mine and many other North Americans personal preference for cars, I would bet that millions of Americans would like to live close to the city and use public transport. But for that, the inner cities and trains must be safe and clean. And here’s the problem. Urbanists like NotJustBikes and CityNerd will advocate for high density living on the one hand and support pro-crime policies on the other.

    In countries like Singapore, it’s illegal to even eat on trains and the law is actively enforced. This results in safe and clean trains. In Japan I don’t think there are such harsh laws. But the societal cohesion is high enough, that anti-social behaviors are rare. This also results in safe and clean trains. The Singaporean government concluded that it doesn’t have a high enough societal cohesion so it has to actively enforce harsh laws. The Japanese didn’t have to do any such thing. But both governments have taken a pragmatic approach that results in safe and clean public transport so that everyone from a 10 year old school boy to a 40 year old salary man to 80 year old grandma uses it.

    And now let’s compare it to American public transport. Forget chewing a gum in train, American subways, light rails and buses are often filled with urine and vomit. This however is the least of problem. Violent homeless people and petty criminals have made public transport and inner cities a haven. So anyone who can afford to own a car and live in suburb will do so.

    A while ago I watched a video where a white police officer was questioning a black man for eating a sandwich on train. Eating on trains in that city is prohibited. The police officer was clearly doing the right thing. But the YouTube comments were filled with Americans(who presumably also support the standard left wing policies like pro-public transport) decrying this act of racial injustice. What would have happened if the officer had fined or dare I say even arrested that man like a Singaporean officer might have?

    This is why Americans can’t have nice things.

    1. Well worth repeating.
      In countries like Singapore, it’s illegal to even eat on trains and the law is actively enforced. This results in safe and clean trains. In Japan I don’t think there are such harsh laws. But the societal cohesion is high enough, that anti-social behaviors are rare. This also results in safe and clean trains. The Singaporean government concluded that it doesn’t have a high enough societal cohesion so it has to actively enforce harsh laws.

      The whole concept of Broken Window by Mayor Giuliani. His policies cleaned up NYC in the 90’s.
      When I first stepped foot in NYC it was a hellhole. Drugs and blowjobs in broad daylight in mid town, 42 and Broadway. I was coming from a county with a civil war and even so I was shocked and appalled. By mid 90’s it was mostly cleaned up and gentrified. Apparently within the last ten years things have started deteriorating

    2. HJ,

      I thought you were a American of Indian origin, 2nd gen?

      ‘Notwithstanding … preference for cars’

      This is like saying I prefer Tylenol and won’t take Advil or Aspirin even under special circumstances. Having a preference is fine, but recognize when something stops working.

      ‘I would bet that millions … public transport’

      +1, time is money.

      ‘In countries like Singapore, … enforced.’

      Singapore is a one off case. I myself would never live in Singapore. Chinese people look down on Indians there. They are not a nice people.

      Japanese are not as obviously mean as Chinese but it is borderline impossible to integrate into Japan. I have been told by Chinese folks that Japanese are very racist but my own cultural/behavior ‘sensors’ only ever registered a weird aloofness.

      In Japan, I have seen 5 year old kindergarten kids make commutes with multiple train changes. It was surreal, my Indian nieces and nephews still shit in their pants every now and then at that age.

      ‘And now let’s compare it to … will do so.’

      +1, American transit is very ill kept. People here have lost dignity. I have seen people who piss in transit facilities, stink of vomit,…

      Indian subway systems are world class. Indians in India can feel happy about this.

      ‘This is why Americans can’t have nice things.’

      Yup. The ‘American’ way of living i.e. 40-something ladies in yoga pants and sports bras, fatso ladies in shorts with three quarters of their ass hanging out, men perpetually in gym/basketball wear, fatso men with their armpits showing and underwear four inches above their pants…, crocs and slipeers with socks! does trend towards ever downwards conduct downstream in society.

      Joey B Toonz on the Decline of Today’s Society:

      1. If you want high density, advocate for tough on crime policies rather than leftist urbanist talking points. Once, the inner cities are safe for middle class families, your dream subway trains will naturally follow.

        1. Yes. Racial politics gets ugly with those policies. It’s not an easy hurdle. In the last, they were used by some cops to just target non whites. But the data today shows cops kill people at rates proportional to crimes committed. The issue that prosecuting cops successfully for misconduct is almost impossible. As for lowering urban Black and rural White crime rates, whatever historical stuff led to them going up or systemic issues, things cannot fundamentally change without cultural shift. Because at this point, the imprint of anti social behaviors is very deep. Hence why Obama has even talked about the dearth of adequate black fatherhood. And Leftists went after him for that. Leftists are a huge issue. This comes up repeatedly.

  20. I cut my own hair today. Quickly with a typical household scissor lol just cut off some bangs and side bangs and nothing else. Went well actually.

    1. You use a mirror?

      I like the shape up blade that barbers use for haircuts and beard trim for special occasions. Hard to do that as well at home

  21. The Line has started construction, NEOM is now off the drawing boards. Really ballsy move by MBS, staking his personal cred on this crazy project.

    With the WC in Qatar and the UAE’s Moon Rover, this real action this century will be centered on the Gulf. And talented desis will have yet another region to emigrate to in ever larger numbers.

    The Gulf Arabs going from camel jockeys to sci-fi civ should be a larger story than it is. Still not a fan of their society but good on them for forging their own independent path to modernity.

  22. The Tawang Clash Is a Precursor to What Lies Ahead – War and Peace on China’s Terms

    Neither the Indian government nor the military has any comprehension of the worst that will happen – it’s no longer a question of if, but when.

    The recent clash in Tawang is a firm message from China that it believes India is deliberately and wilfully ignoring its political and military red lines, delineated very clearly by Beijing in recent times. And that the consequence of this would be war, which is increasingly becoming an inevitability. Yet, India continues to mistake the present grey-zone operations – where no shots are fired – by the PLA in Tawang and armed skirmishes as the worst that could happen.

    1. Lol really? I think Indians are well aware of the risk of a hot war and that China has better military hardware and infrastructure. China is the number one most disliked and feared country on Indian opinion polls. But China is the type of country that will take whatever it can get at minimal cost. So not responding to provocation is foolish. Basically India has to establish that there will be some cost to direct invasion. Better to lose while fighting hard than to be a sitting duck blindsided clown like Nehru was in 62.

  23. Hi

    Im new to all this South Asian genetics and did a 23andme ancestry test recently, i ran the results in the harappaworld calculator and got:

    30.01% South Indian
    43.7 % Baloch
    15.2% Caucasus
    9% NE Euro
    ~1% Medeterranean
    ~1% Siberian

    Has anyone else had similar results?

    I was surprised with the high Caucasus result was expecting a higher NE Euro

    1. Lmfao.

      I wonder if she is consciously referencing the the Star Spangled Banner or subconsciously remembers those words from somewhere and thought they sounded cool ?

      A bit ironic considering the “Jana Gana Mana” comes from Bengal.

      1. Jyoti Basu would have committed suicide had he heard this comparison of his beloved Bong-land to USA.

    1. lol Carmack is a gem…

      “more personal pain of seeing a 5% GPU utilization number in production. I am offended by it.”

  24. so, there is this jayant bhandari, a perfect example of christian colonialism and how it transforms natives into REEK. would love razibs , gauravs and others views on people like him. twitter.
    @ /JayantBhandari5
    Such textbook examples are very important. Anthropology is very important for understanding this change in society.

  25. If Indian critics have refutations to Jayant Bhandari’s arguments, I would like to hear them. India has a lot of problems which will not be solved until Indians admit the problems exist. If the Indian economy is thriving, why are thousands of Indian dollar millionaires currently renouncing Indian citizenship and settling in Singapore, UAE and other countries.

  26. I would have preferred it if my last exam was earlier this week so I could go home and have a longer break but my last exam is in the upcoming week looool damn it

    1. Latin people will tell you Argentinians identify as Italian.
      And look down at other Latinx.

      But way to go Messi!

      1. They have a lot of Spanish, German and random sprinkling of other European ancestry as well. McAllister is probably Irish. And fun fact, Argentina had a Muslim President in the 90s, Carlos Menem, born to Syrian immigrants. Well technically he converted to Catholicism before starting his political career, but he had a Muslim wife and had an Islamic burial so don’t think his conversion was all that genuine.

          1. Interesting that his parents gave him a standard Catholic Argentine name like Carlos despite being Muslim. Pressure to assimilate must have been quite high. Also his dad was named Saul, not a common Muslim name either. Possible that he had Christian/Jewish ancestry not too far back.

          2. HJ
            Also his dad was named Saul, not a common Muslim name either.

            Almost all biblical names have arab/islamic equivalents.
            eg Ibrahim=Abraham Yusuf=Yoseph/Joseph

            When you break up Sa-Ul its easy to see arab/semitic origins.
            Arabs write it as Swul, Shaul

          3. @sbarrkum

            Ibrahim and Yusuf are common among Muslims but never heard of a Swul or Shaul. Tbf, Saul is basically nonexistent among Christians as well. Saint Paul changed his name from Saul after all. Only Jews still seem to use Saul, but its not common among them either.

        1. ‘but he had a Muslim wife and had an Islamic burial so don’t think his conversion was all that genuine.’

          I think Jinnah for all practical purposes was Shia, but he was given a public Sunni burial and a private Shia one.

  27. Silly reminders about why PPP numbers are not a meme…..

    NYPD’s annual budget is 5.5 billion USD. This is more than the IAF’s capex budget!

    1. Military spending comparisons between countries are interesting.

      For military purchases from overseas nominal matters.

      For domestic production PPP is more relevant.

      If a country moves up the value chain in domestic military equipment manufacturing as China is doing you can start comparing their military expenditures vis a vis the USA in PPP terms. (Meaning China is spending more than analysts think if they keep using nominal amounts as basis for comparison)

      1. Yes, PPP matters for countries like China who source almost everything for themselves. I would add Russia to that list and to some extent the US. But outside of those three, nominal is a much better measurement. Hopefully India can join the ranks of those three but that will still be many decades to come.

        Also Ugra comparing the IAF with NYPD is apples and oranges but he has already shown his ignorance on multiple occasions, so that’s par for the course.

        1. @principia

          PPP matters when it comes to scaling in manufacturing and public goods (like vaccines, military spending etc). When it involves both, then the effect is magnified. The policing and defence comparison is very much valid.

          One of the main reasons why the Allies were able to prevail in the European theater of WW2 is because of the injection of Indian troops in the Middle East, Anatolia and the North African theaters. It allowed them to guard the energy supply routes while concentrating on the main flank.

          A lesser known outcome of PPP!

          In fact, the US is highly interested in the deployment of Indian troops in theaters of its liking (Iraq etc) because it will sharply cut the budgetary outlay and political outcomes of casualties.

          So it is worthwhile for you to read up on Indian troops who forestalled the Axis in WW2 and contributed to political negotiations between Gandhi, Nehru and the British.

  28. India will not be technological power without private sector universities valuing excellence and in higher number. And the way wars are being conducted, this is v bad. India refuses to make full use of its talent resources.

  29. @Qureshi

    I don’t care but:

    1) Imran baba toh abhi bhi harami nikla. Not long ago you were vouching ki buddha dharmatma ho gaya hai…

    2) If audios are considered manipulated then the paper trail against Pinky Peerni’s pawn shop runs is still rock solid.

    3) Parwez Elahi is such a SOB, he would have fit right into Bihari politics.

    In all of this, the lesson is PTI and Imran were soft on their opponents. He did not play as dirty as these pigs. Hope he learns how to run things when he wins again. I don’t think Asim Munir will let him win.

    Again, no shits given but:

    Bhutto talks shit about Modi… the bridge has been burnt for 7 more years. Good for both sides. I am happy.

    No one will be able to bell the cat (Modi) on age, Modi will still be <75 so won't retire, and once he wins 2024 he won't vacate the seat. Anyways the 75 rule was a face saver for Advani-Joshi-Yashwant-Jaswant-Shourie, Vajpayee was too old and demented to be counted.

    FWIW Modi doesn't forget insults. Not that he can do much to Bhutto or Pakistan.


    Some noise on Pak-Afg border. I think it is under control. Mostly local gundai. But chances of escalation?

    1. @Bhimrao,

      Audios could be manipulated but even if they aren’t, there is no surprising matter and frankly not even sure why this is an issue when these audios seem to be from 2013. Only disappointment in that cases is that IK seem to liked milf TV reporters like Reham Khan and Ayla Malik, when millions of better looking younger women would throw themselves at him even today.

      Regardless, ISI and Pak army is busy producing pornography while borders are left undefended and TTP is carrying out daily attacks, and PML/PPP government has thrown the economy is down the shitter. Meanwhile all their paid journalists are quite busy discussing audio leaks, or watch sale. None of this will affect IK’s votebank in the slightest.

      1. Regarding Bhutto’s tirade against Modi, this is just Zardari setting him up to be the next PM in 10 years. In 10 years, there wont be Modi, there wont be NS and there wont be IK. So it’s quite low risk high reward strategy that gains him the approval of the establishment and also undercut Nawaz on votes in AJK/North Punjab.

        1. zardari should be considered a success par excellence in pak politics. the common opinion when he married benazir was that of a gangu teli or a bumpkin.
          He managed to eliminate his sala, become a senator, a president and also managed a jail term all this by being a baloach.

      2. Ayla Malik was good , 10 years back though.

        I wouldn’t bank on Zardari strategy though. Though there won’t be Modi in 10 years, its increasingly clear that someone who would succeed him will either be his lackey, or even more hardliner than what he is.

        There is no Vajpayee on the horizon, and Congress when it comes to power will increasingly face issues dealing with Pakistan, unlike the 2004-09 period where Vajpayee/Advani presence helped the whole Indo-Pak normalization process.

        1. 10 years is a long time in foreign relations, and I think relations are already at rock-bottom, can’t get worse. Plus PPP has mostly always been anti-India, probably this is their major card to maintain relations with the military establishment, along with keeping Sindhi nationalists/leftists at bay in Sindh..

  30. Finished my last exam of the semester today at long last. Still wished it was earlier so I could have headed home for the break earlier for a longer break but oh well. Gonna head back tomorrow after an appointment.

    The GO Bus and GO train is fun but I hate how uncoordinated shit is, like there are so many delays, cancellations, and other stuff like them mis-announcing the platforms and scheduling stuff. Eh it is what it is.

  31. Just read the post on “A vision for solving India’s caste social crises”.

    Does anyone know to what extent the Śramaṇa movements in the 1st millennium BCE were successful in reducing caste among their followers. Obviously they ultimately failed but during the centuries in which the Śramaṇa movements were in ascendency did they have a noticeable impact on the rigidity of the caste system.
    From modern examples Sikhs as well as Christians and Muslims in India still adhere to the caste system despite belonging to religions where such a system is prohibited.

  32. Visiting Vietnam for the rest of the year. Will be doing Hanoi, Halong, Tam Coc, Hoi an.
    (Any recommendations welcome)

    First observations –
    1. Streets are clean and there are proper footpaths
    India has a gobar + paan masala + littering problem that makes any city in India unwalkable (Kerala and parts of Punjab, HP, NE could be exceptions).
    Is the urban design a result of the French heritage?
    It did remind me a bit of Europe vs India.

    My observations might be biased here because of staying in a posh locality in Hanoi but I don’t see this level of order in Khan Market or Indiranagar either.

    2. There are no beggars. Even poor people seem well clothed.
    It’s a shame that India has not been able to provide the basics to its people. At what level of GDP/capita do we start to feel ashamed of it? Is this a cultural issue? Is it because of some sense of egalitarianism in Vietnam due to communism?

    3. People sitting on their haunches
    This used to be common in India when I was growing up but lately I see much less of it.
    Still quite common here. People just sitting on their haunches staring at the lake.
    Instinctively, seems uncomfortable to me.

    4. People are small and tiny.
    I am not that tall but the general interiors of the place seem not to be designed for people with “normal” heights. Have to duck in a lot of places.

    5. People seem cognizant of religious food proscriptions.
    Vietnamese Airlines has options for “Hindu” and “Islamic” meals. Restaurants here ask if I avoid beef or pork when I ask them for items in the menu.

    6. The air is polluted

    7. Everyone wears a mask.
    Not sure if it’s for the pollution or covid but people voluntarily wear masks in public.

    8. Two wheelers all around
    Scooters seem to be the choice mode of commute. Reminiscent of 90s/00s urban India where you’d see entire families on scooters. That doesn’t happen anymore as often.

    Will add to my observations over the next ten days.

    1. I have a bunch of thoughts but as a tip watch your cell phone in public places.

      When I was in Saigon saw a woman get robbed in front of my eyes by two guys riding up on a motorcycle, grabbing a phone and riding off, before anyone could do anything.

      If you are vegetarian learn the word “chay” and add it as a suffix to different foods. Somehow produces a vegetarian version of that dish. Like “pho chay” or “banh mi chay”

  33. @prats
    Regarding the persistence of India’s inability to maintain public order and hygiene. I think many of us, myself included, erroneously saw those failures as linked to money. After seeing far poorer countries in Africa and economic peers in SE Asia succeed in creating dignified public spaces for the working classes, i think this was a mistake to not hold indian society accountable to a higher standard even when it was very poor. Root cause in my view is the cocktail of vast country + weak local government + ethnic diversity. The instinct to be accountable for one’s surroundings has been trained out of the citizen, more efficiently than if it were deliberate.

    Looking forward to the rest of your travelogue

    1. The same indian when transported to the West has no issues being mindful of public spaces and civic order. Enforcement, broken window theory etc come to mind.

    2. girmit

      When a grad student in US Uni was Building Coordinator/RHD and got upto half of my rent off. Basically had to welcome new student, do two programs per semester etc. Also check check cleanliness etc once a month.

      It was always a problem to get Indian grad students to clean bathrooms and cooking area. Later, would check twice and if it did not get done, informed maintenance and they would come in and clean. The bill would then be divided among the occupants and added to rent bill.
      That normally did the trick. Having to pay money overcame the reluctance to clean shared dirt.

      All it needed was Vim/Comet, Chlorox and elbow grease of about 5mins. I would also give a demo. However, the only thing that worked was to bill the chaps and cleanliness was a breeze after that.

    3. “Root cause in my view is the cocktail of vast country + weak local government + ethnic diversity.”

      Bangladesh is one of the least ethnically diverse large countries in south asia with more than 80% of the population being muslim bengali and without caste. It is also not vast.

      Yet Dhaka or Chittagong do not look any better than large cities in India or Pakistan. From the vidoes I’ve seem it looks worse on average.

      Bangladesh in general is a very interesting as despite being relatively ethnically homogenous it still seems to operate very similarly to India and Pakistan in many areas.

  34. marshmier feels putin will use nuclear bomb if pushed to a corner. by the same logic what prevents Pak from using nuke against India and India using nuke against China?

    1. Putin has more power in russia than any single individual has in India or Pakistan.

      So like in a regime change type scenario there are perphaps fewer people who have the ability to prevent a nuclear strike (with the incentive of usurping power).

    2. Well the elites of India are not causing an existential threat to Pakistan nor are the elites of China causing an existential threat to India. It is beyond belief that the world is watching and doing nothing as the American elite has provoked an existential threat to Russia to preserve American hegemony.

  35. Continuing with my observations…

    Last day in Hanoi today.

    1. Bread
    Surely a French influence. Decent quality bread is easily available.
    Pâté is a common street snack.
    For the equivalent of INR 50 you get good meat and bread.

    2. Café culture
    Another French influence, it seems.
    Every other store in the main districts seems to be a café. Unlike India, these are not places that upsell you sandwiches. You only get beverages and desserts.
    Clear distinction between restaurants and cafés.

    3. Leisure
    People seem to enjoy leisure. You’ll see groups of all ages just sitting and chatting on footpaths.
    The general outdoor food culture of this kind is something that I have only seen in Gujarat in India.

    4. Flags
    Vietnam and communist party flags are ubiquitous. It seems a bit bizarre. There are inspirational nationalist posters all around town.

    5. Communism
    I’m sitting here typing this from a Che Guevara themed café. There’s a communist themed chain of cafés all around town called Cong.

    6. Food
    I realise that as much of a meat eater as I am, I like to fall back on chicken or mutton after a point.

    I tried a Pakistani/Indian restaurant here run by a Balochi. They were playing Raja Hindustani on tv. The food wasn’t much to write home about but interestingly the menu did not have either beef or pork. They also had a vegetarian section.

    On the other hand checked out an upscale Indian restaurant here that was serving both beef and pork. Make of it what you will.

    7. White man, Asian woman
    This pairing seems to quite common among tourists. Rarely seen the reverse.

    8. Vinfast
    Met this desi guy who’s working in the battery team at Vinfast. He seemed quite excited at the prospect of building an EV for the US market.
    Vinfast is certainly making a very bold play here.
    The guy had worked at Mahindra before but didn’t like it much – both from a culture pov as well as from an ambition pov.

    Maybe comes back to the old argument about how the Indian market being large-ish discourages companies from thinking of export. But not large enough yet to spawn multi-billion dollar companies.

    Gotta think about this more deeply.

    As for culture, his diagnosis of why India doesn’t meet its potential was – “jhooth bahut bolte hain.”

    Also was quite interesting chatting with someone who has lived for years in Europe and SE Asia but still speaks with a chaste Awadhi accent.

    9. Vehicles
    I don’t see a lot of cars here. Far too many two wheelers, though. The main reason traffic jams are not as bad as India.
    The entire small car segment (WagonR) is absent.
    You see SUVs, sedans, Porsches but no small cars.
    I’ve seen more luxury cars here in three days than I see in Delhi in a month. Porsche, Rolls Royce, Lexus etc.

    What does this say about the economy?
    Was this a deliberate policy or a result of inequality?

    Top car brands seem to be Hyundai, Honda, Toyota, Vinfast, Ford.

    Honda dominates two wheelers handsomely. I hardly see any electric 2W, though.

    The Vinfast guy told me it’s because the duty cycles of 2W is quite intense. E2W can’t compete yet.

    I see a good market for swapping in that case.

    Indians dominate 2W market globally. Wonder why Bajaj, Hero, TVS et al haven’t made a play here.
    They seem to be focused on Africa and Lat Am.

    From what I hear, Ola might make a play. Let’s see.

  36. Anurag Thakur is nincompoop.

    People can have differing opinions but Yogi is the best CM UP has had in at least the last 50 years. Akhilesh was reasonably good too.

    I don’t see PM potential in Yogi, UP is a hard place to rule and improve, but who knows?

    1. There was rumor that Jp Nadda will be replaced by c r paatil but looks like he is getting an extension.

    2. Thakur can still claim to influence couple of seats in his district. The biggest nincompoop is Piyush Goyal. Guy cannot influence his family to vote BJP, but talks as if he is some sort of super PM. Even Nirmala and Jaishankar know their place and aren’t as obtuse as Goyal.

      Every time i hear Goyal speak, i feel couple of folks vote Congress.

      1. In their hubris Modi-Shah can do it. But there will get a reaction if this position too is given to a Gujrati. Biharis who vote BJP, will have nothing left, while two random Tamils hog central cabinet seats.

        Anurag Thakur is a product of old school nepotism.


        “It was soon after becoming president of Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association (HPCA) in June 2000 that he found ways to climb up in the BCCI ladder.

        He was only 25 at that time, the youngest to become president of any state cricket association in the country. To be eligible for a post in BCCI’s junior selection committee, a plump post in itself, he needed to have been a Ranji Trophy player.

        So, one fine day in the month of November, Thakur just walked into the dressing room of Himachal Ranji team and announced himself captain for this match against Jammu & Kashmir.

        As it would have happened to any other administrator in India, Thakur got a ‘big zero’ as batsman but managed to get two late-order wickets.

        Cricket in Himachal was hit for a six by the son of state’s chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.”

        1. C r paatil is Marathi afaik. Sushi modi is warming the bench. Saw recent parliamentary speeches from him. Not sure if they were blessed or he acting up. I think The sinha clan , Ravi I demand resignation prasad and Rudy are blocking any other Bihari leaders

          1. C.R. Patil is a marathi by birth (‘Patil’ duh!) but he has spent most of his life in Gujrat. He has a medium tier (Gujju-style loan chor) fraudiya past.

            Modi can risk it but there will be consequences.

            Gujjus just don’t have the finesse of Marwaris. Too much local optimization.

        2. “Biharis who vote BJP, will have nothing left, while two random Tamils hog central cabinet seats.”

          India follows the Westminster system which makes it relatively resistant to the pressures of electoral compulsions. The cabinet, especially the CCS of 4, is deemed as the “Efficient” center of administration and not a “Symbolic” center.

          Politically, Modi will be loath to have any Marathis in the CCS as that provides a firm platform for both internal competitors (Gadkari) and the optics of regional dynamics between Gujarat & Maharashtra.

          And….both politicians and the administrators will be loath to repeat the IK Gujral episode as foreign minister. A politically savvy Bihari will be susceptible to the domestic constituency of Muslims and make concessions in foreign policy.

          It is actually unprecedented that two people from the same region are constituting 50% of the CCS. Therefore I think that the appointment of two Tamils into the very important CCS (Group of 4) is not at all random but with precise deliberation.

      2. Goyal, another product of nepotism…

        Yeh saale CA, B.Com., non-quant (i.e. no coding) finance, consulting, … types sab sale farji hote hain … I heavily judge anyone with an MBA.

        In Modi-1 folks were looking (mentally) for continuity of degree-hoarders/activist-ministers talking BS (Chidambaram, Jayram Ramesh, Salman Khurshid, types) in Jayant Sinha, Javadekar, Goyal, …

        1. did not know about this… tbh looking back at some of his twtr posts, he looks like someone most likely to be honey trapped. Unless this is some kinda of trial balloon for normalization under yankee prodding.

          1. The days of Aamir Khan feting jihadi Shan Shahid, and that chameleon Javed Sheikh dancing with Shahrukh are over.

            Saw Ram Setu’s trailer, Akshay Kumar is a national embarrassment.

            Telugu cinema is national cinema at this point while Bollywood is busy swindling Amazon and Netflix.

  37. Pakistan only has import cover for 4 weeks.


    Reminder: In 1991, India was down to just 2 weeks of import cover. India’s crisis was a catalyst for a massive reform drive. Pakistan doesn’t have a shortage of skilled economists like the role that MMS played for India. It has a problem of political leaders who can give the cover needed.

    In other words, Pakistan needs a P. V. Narasimha Rao. Shehbaz is an idiot. Khan isn’t an idiot but he’s reckless with the economy. He made a lot of mistakes and tore up the IMF agreements while being in office.

    Their sovereign credit rating has been downgraded to junk and commercial banks now want 10-12% interest rates on loans given. By comparison, the maturing commercial loans Pakistan will be paying back in the next few weeks had an interest rate of just 3-4%. Libor is at 6%, so Pakistan will be paying an enormous premium due to perceived default risk.

    Hard to escape the conclusion that Pakistan is a de facto failed state and, worse, is likely to remain one for the foreseeable future. I know this might be celebrated in India, but having a failed nuclear-armed state on your doorstep isn’t good news. Pakistan was never in good shape but now the bottom is really starting to fall out.

    1. Their sovereign credit rating has been downgraded to junk and commercial banks now want 10-12% interest rates on loans given.

      Credit agency ratings are just another tool of the US to force counties to their bidding or make them a failed state.

      They did the same to SL and at the same time instigated riots and protest. It was no coincidence that it occured just after Victoria Nuland of “Fuck the EU” fame visit to SL and Pakistan. Imran Khan too got ousted at the same time.

      Guess who got burnt by the rating agencies downgrade of SL. It was western institutions like World Bank and hedge funds like Black Rock (about 70% of SL sovereign debt) . Sri Lanka stopped servicing its sovereign debt. The IMF is trying to give us more loans to service the debt. SL is playing coy, wanting more with less strings.

      China is not worried. They have a nice strategic harbor and less that 9% of the debt.

      Meanwhile, life in SL is chugging along very much normal.

      Another fail for US/West policies. Much like their Oil and Gas sanctions against Russia

  38. hajari nisad or something, he wrote midnight furies book, i knew it then what the person was about.

  39. The CEO of Zoho, arguably one of the best Indian homegrown tech firms, has an interesting thread of what it takes to create a world-beating company and why it matters for India.


    As an aside, India rising in the ranks of world powers will be great for journalism and punditry in general. Indians love to talk and argue unlike the more staid Chinese. Plus the language barrier is basically non-existent in the elite class, which makes transmission of ideas effortless.

  40. meanwhile in bengal:
    i) it appears mamata has made peace with modi/shah. the exodus of bjp m l a s to tmc has stopped. it looks like left and congress will not be legislative space for a long time.
    ii) the agency raids on tmsc has also stopped.

  41. globalisation is preventing muslim minorities integrating into host societies. The globalisation has ensured the attitude of muslims in a society in mixed with ummah and not entirely domicile in its culture. This has a severe impact on society.

    upto which % of population can host societies tolerate to rise in demography further while enforcing own standards/ rules/ morality etc.

    however as spatel pointed out on twitter. all the things i think will help are already there in western countries and it is not helping. free speech, uniform civil code etc is all there in france, uk etc. still u see what is happening. As long as islamic states exist, they inspire muslims minorities in other countries to keep from integrating to host societies and infact, inspires them to reestablish islamic notions, morality, and recreate islamic states with demands of shariah among others.

    one more reason how things are different now than they were 300 to 500 yrs ago.

  42. A hit piece by the Economist on “Holy Cows”
    This is probably soft propaganda for regime change. Modi must go because he is playing nice with Russians.

    I do agree that Hindu Indians “holy cow” business is too much. Not much different from mid east pork or beef restrictions, though.

    Not mentioned is that India is a top beef exporter. 4th largest with 12% of the world market almost the same as US. (Brazil 23%, Aus 13% and US 12%).

    The lynching began with an announcement over the loudspeaker of the local temple: a calf had been slaughtered.

    Meanwhile, India’s cattle population is ballooning. Small dairy farmers have no use for cows once they stop producing milk. They don’t even need buffaloes now that tractors and other mechanised farm tools have become affordable. But with cattle markets shuttered, they can’t sell the animals. Indigent families have no option but to abandon them.

    These stray cows have a miserable existence. In cities, they are hit by cars and choke on rubbish. They starve to the point that their ribs poke through their sagging skin. Those that roam rural areas cause trouble for farmers. In recent years, there have been countless reports of fed-up farmers shooting cows that ambled onto their land and destroyed crops.

    Copy of the original Economist article
    The Myth of the Holy Cow”; After millennia of slaughter and sacrifice, worship and protection, India’s cows have become pawns of the Hindu right.

    1. Even in the American west, horse meat is taboo as is dog meat in most of US and EU.
      Beyond that, the problem of cattle past their prime is a genuine economic one. Most of my folks back in the woods have or are close to giving up on intensive dairy farming.
      Curious how Gujaratis have resolved this problem ?

      1. Even in the American west, horse meat is taboo as is dog meat in most of US and EU.
        Horse meat is not TABOO, it just does not have popular appeal.
        In upper end restaurants it is a speciality as is much Bush Meat.

        Dog meat is not available publicly. But very available among Korean, Filipino and Vietnamese.
        However, yet to hear of lynching of people who eat dog and horse meat in US or Europe. India is no different from Mid East in their intolerance of other views and eating habits.

        1. Lynchings in general are not common in the West in the modern day due to high state capacity.

          Personally I don’t have any special affinity for cows etc. but I know most hindus in India feel differently.

        2. intolerance is there everywhere. we were told that some indians had a horrible time in an srilankan airport as they were wearing clothes with buddha’s picture.
          #French tourists guilty in Sri Lanka over Buddha photos

          he peaceful precepts for which Buddhism is widely known barely figure in his words. Instead, the monk, Galagoda Aththe Gnanasara Thero, talks of his Buddhism in terms of race. Most Buddhists here are ethnically Sinhalese, and Sinhalese make up three-quarters of the island’s population.

          “This country belongs to the Sinhalese, and it is the Sinhalese who built up its civilisation, culture and settlements. The white people created all the problems,” says Gnanasara Thero angrily.

    2. # Not mentioned is that India is a top beef exporter. 4th largest with 12% of the world market almost the same as US. (Brazil 23%, Aus 13% and US 12%).
      – beef export from india is mainly buffaloes and not cows.

      1. brown says
        beef export from india is mainly buffaloes and not cows.
        Really buffaloes as in water buffaloes. Thats a very tough meat and probably cannot be sold as beef in the West.

        Beef by definition is from cattle Bos taurus. The word cow is used for both male a female. Though correctly cow=female and bull=male. Some mistakenly call Bulls buffaloes.

        1. https://theprint.in/economy/indias-beef-exports-rise-under-modi-govt-despite-hindu-vigilante-campaign-at-home/210164/

          New Delhi: India’s beef exports increased, albeit marginally, in the last years of the Narendra Modi government – contrary to claims by a prominent global rights group that said data showed a fall on the back of attacks by cow vigilantes and tougher laws on cow protection.
          Beef exports from India – the world’s largest beef exporter – refer to buffalo meat alone as the slaughter and export of cow meat is prohibited.

          1. world’s largest beef exporter – refer to buffalo meat alone

            I would be a little more sure if the report said water buffalo meat.

  43. when will west not want to turn India into its poodle?. divide and subvert India, it always will because it always tries to do this. It is who they are. That is their understanding of the world. This is all they seek, to dominate, keep dominating, break apart any potential challengers, one way or another.

  44. This Scottish lady obliquely hints that the west should let PK stage another uri or pulwama on IN to bring the uppity Indians down a notch. https://mobile.twitter.com/myraemacdonald/status/1610073087747178504.
    Even CN would applaud and make some conciliatory move towards the west. Broad agreement within these 3 camps about keeping IN in place.
    This has to be seen with latest nyt piece + RG comparing CN-IN border skirmishes to RU vetoing UKR ties with west. Things heating up in the run up to 24.

  45. # sbarrkum
    Don’t you chaps think India belongs to the Hindus.
    The never ending persecution of Muslims, destruction of Muslim Mosques, lynching people for eating beef.

    let me put it this way…
    hindus primarily belong to india. elsewhere they are foreigners of various sorts…
    you guys should live in india for a few months to see and feel the ‘ muslim persecution’. it hardly exists in day to day life.
    on the other hand the privileges muslims as a minority gets is real. i am nor joking!!!

    1. brown says
      you guys should live in india for a few months to see and feel the ‘ muslim persecution’. it hardly exists in day to day life.
      on the other hand the privileges Muslims as a minority gets is real. i am nor joking!!!

      I agree totally. Minorities want special privileges, special laws and some even a sepasrate state.

  46. one way out of the doom and gloom could be sheer envy, if India grows to become richer, then perhaps pakistan out of sheer envy and hatred will also focus on economy.

  47. I think Modi will be end like Reagan. A shift to the right for a decade or two, but a deep shift to the left after that, at least in terms of social issues. Thoughts?

    1. This turn to rightwards happened post shahabano judgement, persecution of kashmiri pandits, and with rise in M population.

      The recognition that their population has risen without any introspection is the reason coinciding with pathetic performance of congress .

      demography is the primary reason. As long as demography is intact, without much cryptos rising, bjp will continue to grow.

  48. If I were Pakistani I would honestly be much more worried about the western border than the border with India.
    A porous border with something like Afghanistan seems incredibly dangerous with the potential for the instability, radicalization, and violence in Afghanistan to bleed over into Pakistan. And that is before even considering the flow of narcotics, weapons and all other manner of illegal goods from Afghanistan to Pakistan. Americans complain about the Mexican border but Pakistan’s Afghan border is an order of magnitude worse even considering the much smaller disparity in incomes.
    Also with the precarious economic situation of Afghanistan after the withdrawal of Western aid it just seems like a ticking time bomb. How is Pakistan going to deal with the millions of Afghan refugees that will inevitably end up in
    Karachi and Lahore when the Taliban government fails to procure enough foreign grain to feed its evergrowing population?
    The rest of South Asia is quite lucky that Pakistan absorbs most of the unrest from Afganistan and that this along with the hostile India-Pakistan border mostly protects them from the probelms of Afghanistan.
    The Western boder, paticularly in the direction of Afghanistan, has been very problematic for South Asia on the whole since the dawn of civilization. For perhaps the first time in history the lands in what is now Pakistan are actually an effective shield for the rest of the subcontinent.

    1. lucky?. Taliban was created and also given new life by pakistan. You really are an idiot. personally, if half of pakistan becomes drug addled, they might actually gain enlightenment.

      1. “You really are an idiot.”
        Go back to reddit. This isn’t the place for such petty insults.

        If it wasn’t for the partition Afghanistan and all of those troublesome tribal regions in Pakistan would have been India’s problem. Thanks to the partition it is only Pakistan’s problem.

        Europe and Iran will end up taking hundreds of thousands of Afghan refugees but the majority will end up in Karachi and Lahore.

        1. before partition, congress was strong in the northwest frontier , Abdul Ghaffar Khan , the non violent popular leader was popular in that region. He was the pashtun leader . pakistan used religion to undermine pashtun identitarianism and undermine the nascent developing afghanistan. I am not under delusion of problem of islamists as everyone here would inform you. But I like my facts being correct first. The problem with islam is that it really is like sandcastles. All the sophistication built gets wiped out with calls for islamists and islamist movements.
          one cant be sure that the situation would be this bad without pakistan’s policies. But that the situation did get this bad after calls for islamists , is not a surprise to me .

          we once again have nothing to be lucky about. pakistan created them. without them, it is not easy to see that region to be as unstable as it is now. The problem then is of M susceptibility to these ideas and their overall population.

          1. It’s just delusional to think that Durand Line issue would have gone away if Pakistan wasn’t created. Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s popularity is overblown both by Indian and Afghan nationalists. His ‘secular’ and ‘non violent’ movement never really gained much ground amongst rural Pasthuns. Islam is not some card Pakistan has played on Pasthuns, Pasthun society has always been deeply and fanatically religious when compared to the next door Punjabi Muslim. This much has been documented again and again by British military officers. Even diaspora anti Pakistan hating Pasthuns would consider you an outsider if you were not Muslim or an exMuslim.

  49. “Although the voter turnout was low (51.00%), 99.02% of the votes were in favor of joining with the Majority of the votes coming from Hazara, Pakistan which represented 50.50% of the total electorate. The turnout was lowest among non-Muslims (1.16%). Among the Pashtuns of rural constituencies, the turnout was low in the districts of Mardan (41.56%) and Peshawar (41.68%), strongholds of the Khudai Khidmatgar movement which boycotted the referendum in favor of demanding a choice to form an independent Pashtunistan or joining Afghanistan. The turnout was highest in Hazara (76.22%), a stronghold of the All-India Muslim League which campaigned for Pakistan”

    abdul gaffar khan boycotted the referendum , pashtuns voted for joining pakistan by 49%, the rest did not vote. Pretty powerful demonstration of abdul gaffar khans influence.


    Stoo bsing where data exists, it puts you now in poor light on other areas. Pakistan at every turn seeks to undermine sub nationalities , pashtuns, balochis, sindhis, etc. It is ok to admit so.dont bs.

  50. pakistanis often are very thinskinned when one points to the artificiality of their project .show them how the sausages are made and they cry out in blind rage huffing and puffing. stay cool, breathe. islam binds muslims vs non muslims, it does not bind all muslims together on its own irrespective of language/ethnicity etc.pakistan as a state therefore suppresses balochis, used religious card in subverting pashtuns, if abdul gaffar khan was not popular, it wouldnt jail him as they did.



    stop lying about what it took to create a nation post partition. It required blood of these groups. and you shed it and keep shedding it.

    1. >Stoo bsing where data exists, it puts you now in poor light on other areas. Pakistan at every turn seeks to undermine sub nationalities , pashtuns, balochis, sindhis, etc. It is ok to admit so.dont bs.

      Nowhere did you actually provide any data that rural Pasthuns were on board with the Redshirts

      Voter turnout of 51% is quite in line with how voter turnout in Pakistan actually is, even throughout Punjab 51% will always be on the high side. The boycott affected mostly Nowshera and Peshawar where the Redshirts had a stronghold. Otherwise it was quite useless.

      The Pasthuns would have chosen independence for sure, like pretty much every state in India on the periphery, and Jinnah actually struck a deal to allow full autonomy to tribes in F.A.T.A which was as good as independence. But when given the choice between India or Pakistan, they would choose the latter every time. If you don’t believe me, read what happened to Nehru when he visited NWFP escorted by Bacha Khan.

      The account is described in vivid detail here in the next post:

      1. 498 page 786 (full text)
        Sir O. Caroe (North-West Frontier Province) to Field Marshal Viscount Wavell
        23 October 1946

        Dear Lord Wavell,

        The last week has been one of great anxiety and no less difficult that we anticipated. As Nehru’s tour progressed, I had an odd sense of watching the unfolding of a new act in a Greek tragedy on the old theme of hubris followed by nemesis. I had never met Nehru before our meeting last week in Delhi, but had always heard of his attractions. But in the eyes of many one feels that his charm must be overlaid by his intellectual arrogance, and I could not help noticing how like he is to his friend Madame Chiang Kai Shek. In a sense during his visit here he showed courage, but it was courage better described as bravado, with something feminine in its composition.

        2. Your Excellency will remember that, when I came to Delhi, on 9th October, the two chief points I made that a visit at this moment, when a Coalition was on the tapes, would be exceedingly ill-timed, but that if he was determined to carry it out he must make the approach on non-party lines, and on no account take round with him the Frontier leaders of one party. As expected, he was deaf to these arguments, in spite of the fact that after I had seen him there came Jinnah’s decision to enter a Coalition.

        3. For some time the League leaders up here had been showing increased activity, and there had been signs of their wishing to make their mark with the tribes. Up to the end of September they had been persuaded, by means direct and indirect, of the dangers of entering tribal territory to make a communal appeal on their own. They feared their lead would be followed by Congress with its money-bags and so kept out themselves. My principle during the last few months has been to tell the tribes that they would be unwise to allow either Congress or the League to make them the subject of a party approach, and that their policy lay in a refusal to deal until both parties came together in the Constituent Assembly.

        The fact that Nehru’s appointment as Foreign Member carried with it power over tribal affairs did not at once penetrate to the tribes, but it did not take long for the Muslim League to understand the implications; and there is no doubt that it was this realisation which decided them to send their emissaries, and particularly the Mullah of Manki, into tribal territory. I considered anxiously at the time whether it would be wise to restrain the Mullah, but this could not have been done without his arrest, and I was not willing to risk this open challenge. As soon as it became known that Nehru was definitely coming to the Frontier to deal through Abdul Ghaffar Khan- and it must be remembered that his decision to do so was taken without consultation with myself and overrode subsequent direct warnings which I went specially to Delhi to deliver-the League decided to intensify their propaganda among the tribes, and the Mullah of Manki went out on a tour, which included Gandab in Mohmand country, a place in the Malakand Protected Area, and Jamrud in the Khyber, the tour being timed just to precede Nehru’s arrival.

        There is no doubt that at those meetings a good deal of fanaticism was stirred up. The Political Agents concerned, under my directions, and the longer-headed among the tribesmen did their best to persuade the Mullah against entering tribal territory, but failed. I think that in the circumstances, and given the fact that Nehru’s tour was obviously intended to push the Congress cause, it would have been wrong to put active restraint against the League’s propagandists going into tribal territory, and an attempt to do so would certainly have led to disturbances. It is noteworthy that neither the Mullah of Manki nor any other important League propagandists went to Waziristan, which since 1930 and until now has remained outside contacts with the Indian political parties of both complexions. The Mullah’s activities had been confined to the Northern tribes around the Peshawar District.

        4. Before Nehru’s arrival, apprehending that his reception, particularly if he were accompanied by Abdul Ghaffar Khan, would be likely to be hostile, I arranged with the Resident in Waziristan for Dr. Khan Sahib to pay a special visit to Miranshah to prepare the ground for Nehru. Khan Sahib is a man of courage and character, and I wanted to show him and the tribes that we were anxious to give him every chance to act the harbinger. Special air transport was laid on, but he showed no keenness and unfortunately never went. Had he gone, it might have made some difference, though not I think much, to Nehru’s reception in Waziristan. I mention the incident to show how anxious I was to give Khan Sahib and people of his way of thinking a fair run in the field.

        5. When Nehru arrived he was greeted by a large and hostile League demonstration on the airport at Peshawar. The situation was ugly, and he had to be slipped out by a back way. Immediately-so immediately that I am convinced that this was part of prearranged tactics-the Political Department was publicly accused by Abdul Ghaffar Khan-an accusation subsequently embroidered by Mehr Chand Khanna, my Hindu Minister-of having staged the demonstration. If anybody really believes this propaganda, or wants to believe it, they have omitted to notice that if I and my officers were so powerful as all this, we would be a great force to be reckoned with! I cannot imagine that even Congressmen in their hearts believe the charge. What they want is to pass on the blame for the hostile reception from themselves, and to find an excuse to sweep away the present methods of control on the Frontier. Nobody of any other persuasion does more than laugh at the assertion, and I gather that the British and foreign pressmen who have been here during the last week saw through these tactics from the beginning.

        6. The next day Nehru started for Waziristan, where the tribal leaders he saw at Miranshah and Razmak gave him an extremely hostile reception. These were not Jirgas, but the real leaders of the tribes who are of course selected by the tribes on tradition and heredity. Abdul Ghaffar Khan made the usual approach so popular in Congress circles, saying that all had been slaves together and were now going to be free. You can imagine the effect of that sort of talk on a gathering of glowering Pathan tribesmen. The Maliks were further enraged by Nehru losing his temper. What they particularly disliked was talk of a regime of love, coupled with arrogant loss of temper. These people-and in this criticism I include people like Khan Sahib-are far to intense too deal with tribesmen. They do not understand that a steady quiet bearing, turning off to a smile or joke when tempers get frayed, is the proper way to deal.

        Moreover, it has been a great shock to the tribes to see a Hindu coming down to talk to them from a position of real authority, and they told him plainly that they regarded Hindus as humsayas(their tenants or serfs), and would have no dealings. Certain factions, for their own ends, have made an approach to Congress. One of them is a faction of Bahlolzai Mahsuds led by a well-known Malik named Hayat, who has been hostile for the last ten years because Government did not raise his allowance to the pitch which he thought he deserved; and there was a friendly gathering of Bhitannis, a tame little tribe many of whom are subjects and not real tribesmen, at Jandola, collected by the Naib Tehsildar dismissed for doubtful practices some years ago. Nehru called the tribesmen to their faces pitiful pensioners, and at the same time I have plenty of information that Congress funds are being used to win over the old hostiles. So we have the spectacle of the recognised allowance-holders of the tribe, who are of course still Government’s allowance-holders, being abused by the Member of the Government in charge, while an attempt is being made to bribe hostile factions out of party funds. There has been a good deal of talk in Congress circles of stopping the tribal allowances, and I wonder whether the pattern may not be to stop the allowances from Government and to replace them with secret party funds to obtain the support on bribery of sections hitherto hostile. If so, the end will be confusion, and the tribes will rise.
        7. Then came the return to the North of the Province. This caused me far more anxiety, as Nehru intended to make journeys by road and not by air. The situation in the Khyber was alarming. The Afridis as a whole, the strongest and wisest of all the tribes, had refused to see Nehru at all. There was a smaller section who were willing to meet him, but they were overawed by the body of the tribe, who have announced a fine on anybody who deals with either Congress or League. The Political Agent had to spend a dangerous day in separating large numbers of armed tribesmen at Jamrud, and anything might have happened. More by luck than anything else he was successful, and the party got through up the Pass. After seeing the Khyber Rifles at Jamrud, Nehru went down with his party to the Afghan frontier, and it was on his way back when he got close to Landi Kotal that the stone-throwing started. This party seems to have been a jumbled collection of Afridis, Shinwaris, and Ningraharis from Afghanistan, no doubt excited by what the Mullah of Manki had been saying a couple of days previously, and I have no doubt that the League had a hand in it. It was entirely unexpected, and the Political Agent (an Indian) showed great gallantry in going into the midst of the melee and himself grappling with the stone-throwers. The party was not armed, and it is clear that an angry demonstration was all that was intended. But the breaking of glass seems to send people mad, and I gather from the Political Agent and from Crichton that if we had not been able, with difficulty, to induce the Khyber Rifles to open fire there would have been disaster. Although his car among others was stoned, neither Nehru nor any of his own companions were actually hurt on this occasion.

        8. The party then went up the Malakand, having wisely given up Shabqadr, where they expected too much opposition. I had not been expecting trouble actually in the Malakand, where the people are generally peaceful, and was pretty certain that the Political Agent (another Indian), who is persona non grata with my Ministry, would be careful to use all his influence to prevent any insult to the party which might be attributed to him. However he failed. At two points on the way back on the following day, the first at Malakand itself and the second at Dargai at the foot of the pass, demonstrations by stonethrowers were made. On the second occasion Nehru, Khan Sahib and Abdul Ghaffar Khan were all injured, and again fire had to be opened to avoid disaster. The party would normally have returned via Mardan and Nowshera, where I had been expecting trouble. The Deputy Commissioner, Mardan, went on ahead and found the road blocked with dangerous crowds. With the greatest difficulty, and overriding the bravado of Dr. Khan Sahib, he managed to persuade Nehru to go back by another route across country via Charsadda, where their passage was unopposed as no one had been expecting them to take that way. There can be no doubt that all these demonstrations were League-organised. They were not armed and they carried black flags. But where they took place on hillsides, the temptation to throw stones overcame them, and the crashing of glass made them dangerous.

        9. Meanwhile the Congress leaders here had been preparing a fine show for Nehru at Abdul Ghaffar Khan’s Ashram at Sardaryab between Peshawar and Charsadda, where he had collected Red Shirts from all over the Province to line the route. Up to the last moment the League had been intending to make counter demonstrations, which might have been the most dangerous item in the whole programme, for I expected a pitched battle between the rival private armies. For some reason unexplained the League luckily called this off at the last moment. Either they felt that they would not be numerically strong enough at this point to deal with the Red Shirt demonstrations, or perhaps in answer to my appeals through Your Excellency Jinnah had done something from Delhi to call them off. This visit was therefore carried out without mishap and with much enthusiasm on the part of the Congress volunteers.

        10. It has been necessary for me for all these tours through the North of the Province to arrange not only Police and Constabulary guards, but for support by troops, and they were carried out in full convoy. The position reached by the end was that Nehru could not go anywhere outside the Cantonment of Peshawar without strong escorts of Police and troops, and my Ministers were in the same position. This is in odd contrast to my own journeys, when I go about the Province entirely without escort. In speaking of the troops I should say that the redeeming feature of Nehru’s tour was the excellent reception he got from them and from the R.I.A.F. at Razmak, Miranshah and elsewhere. And I must add that without their help we might well have suffered a disaster.

        11. Meanwhile the Congress propaganda against the machinations of the Political Department continued unabated, all the opposition met by Nehru and the Ministers being attributed to officers. I suppose the suggestion is that my officials use the Muslim League as an organisation for making the Congress position in the Frontier impossible. Anything more futile or malicious can scarcely be imagined. It is only ten days ago that the Mullah of Manki in a speech threatened to shoot me, if he got the word from Jinnah!

        12. On the last evening I asked if Nehru would come and have a talk with me, and was glad to find him willing to do so. He had not been badly hurt, having bruises on the ear and the chin. He made no direct charge that Political Agents had been behind the demonstrations, but he accused our Indian subordinates of this kind of machination. He also charged the Political Agents in the Khyber and Malakand (both happen to be Indians), and I gathered the Deputy Commissioners of Peshawar and Mardan also, with inefficiency in having been unable to prevent the demonstrations. I told him that I resented attacks on officers who had been subjected to immense strain by his untimely tour and had been doing all that was humanly possible against an outburst of feeling to secure his safety. I said, too, that if he believed that our Indian subordinates were powerful enough to organise opposition of this nature he would believe anything.

        On more general questions I said that, as I had told him, a party approach to the tribal problem was bound to fail, and could not have been time worse than was his approach. I added that, if he had gone round by himself quietly and without losing his temper and told the tribes that he was their guest, he would have been politely received, but it was fatal to take round a party politician like Abdul Ghaffar Khan. If he meant to take with him party politicians, he should have attempted to induce men from all parties to go with him. His answer to this was a tirade against the League, and an assertion that it was not his wont to desert his old friends, of whom Abdul Ghaffar Khan was the chief. He also said that he was coming again as soon as he could, and then gave me a lecture on “the authoritarian habits of the I.C.S.” I told him that in my experience both the Indian political parties were far more authoritarian than any I.C.S officer had ever been, and quoted, in response to a demand for instances, the tendencies towards one-party rule, and when in power to over-ride the law. I asked him what he had achieved by this visit at this moment, to which his answer was that he had learnt many things, good and bad, and instructed himself.

        I said it seemed to me that this tour had put out of court for a very long time any hope of bringing the tribes into the new India peaceful and free from party lines, and that his visit had done more to strengthen communalism and the party approach on this Frontier than anything else could have done. Incidentally one result is like to be the weakening of my Ministry’s position.

        Finally I asked him why at critical junctures he always set out on his own preconceived and published ideas and without hearing the other side, making it hard for him to adjust his attitude later. He said he felt himself unable to comment on his own proceedings, but one thing he must impress on me, and that was that there must be a complete change in the method of Frontier control, and what he termed “the romance of the frontier” must come to an end as soon as possible. Our conversation was amicable enough in tone, but with Nehru, as with other politicians in this country, one seldom finds there is any give and take in discussion. I made several attempts to induce such a spirit by expressing admiration of his courage, and saying that in theory at least in many respects the Congress approach to the Frontier problem was wider and wiser than that of the League, in that it was not conceived on religious and communal grounds. One was left with the impression that this politician of world-wide repute was entirely without any element of statesmanship, and that matters such as timing, adjustment, a quiet approach and a decision after weighing a great issue are beyond his ken.

        13. I had feared throughout that Nehru might be killed, and this in spite of the heavy guards which were arranged. I think we are fortunate in having avoided that tragedy. There is no doubt that this visit has led to an upsurge of genuine feeling some of which is fanatical, and the results are difficult to foretell. It is due to my officers, who have been placed in an impossible position, that something should be publicly said by Your Excellency, and by H.M.G. also, to reassure them, both by way of recognition of all they have done and of their success in avoiding complete disaster, and to make in clear that every man of goodwill sees through the futility of the attacks which Congress is making on them.

        14. There is one other point, and that is that All-India Radio throughout in this matter has acted very much as a mouthpiece of Congress propaganda and has not given the true picture. It quotes what various other party leaders say, giving much more prominence to the Congress point of view[than] to any other, and seems to avoid objective statements of fact.

        15. I should imagine that this business will have an adverse effect on your efforts to get a Coalition going at Delhi, and I must reiterate the warning that the retention of Nehru, or any other Hindu, in charge of Tribal Affairs will prolong disorder and probably lead to tribal risings. Given the manner in which the Interim Government had to be formed, I see that it was not possible to do anything else at the outset, but to continue this arrangement must lead India into great danger.

        Roughly the position is that we have told the tribes that for the time power is with Nehru, and the tribes have told Nehru that they will have none of him. What then is my position with the tribes?

        16. Your Excellency may like to see separately reports from Waziristan and the Khyber, and I will send these later.

        Yours sincerely,
        O.K. CAROE

      2. You also did not answer the question on how you would have resolved the Durand Line issue if Pakistan did not exist. The Pasthuns would not have accepted the Hindu Yoke, they accepted the British presence because they had an agreement which Afghans love to point out ended when the British left.

        Abdul Ghaffar Khan is on record saying later that Pasthunistan project has only harmed Pasthuns, his sons and his party ANP are not seperatist anymore. Meanwhile Faqir Ipi (the leader Afghans love) is also on record saying the Afghans deceived him to fight Pakistan.

        Your comment about Sindh is also quite stupid, since Sindh is the only province that voted to join Pakistan, not once but twice lol

        1. I dont think Durand line would have ever been resolved anyways.

          If India-Pakistan would have been one, Afghanistan would have been India’s Pakistan, with NWFP being Kashmir, while Burma would have been India’s ‘Bangladeshi refugee’ issue.

          1. It would have been much worse. The Pasthuns somewhat tolerated the Muslim Punjabis in Pakistan army, and Pakistan has had good success in eventually integrating them and neutering the threat from Afghanistan. But in the absence of Pakistan, the Pashtuns would not have tolerated the Sikhs in the Indian army whom they had historical beef with. They would also not have wanted to come under what they perceive to be central rule of the Hindus. They would have tried to secede either to Afghanistan or form an independent Pasthunistan. In both cases, this would be a disaster for India as India could not afford to have that area as hostile.

            Many people keep on repeating the lie that the Indus river is a border between civilizations. Both Indians and Afghans have internalized this. Rivers are never borders, mountains are. And anyone geopolitically savvy would know this. India is safe from China because the border is the Himalayan range, imagine if the border was the Ganges river. It would be indefensible.

            Geopolitically speaking, the Durand Line is the best defense India had from western invasion. Mountains are easier to defend once you hold them, than rivers. Russia’s entire foreign policy in the Caucasus and Eastern Europe can be explained by this simple fact. India would have no choice but to embroil itself in the Durand line conflict and it would be even bigger than it is right now.

          2. We just assume the worst, dont we?

            Just like India pacified Kashmir, and Pakistan pacified Pashtun areas, India would have found a way to pacify Pashtuns. In a united Indian army, there would have been large representation of Punjabi muslims, and its only when Pakistan seceded, that Sikhs became the majority in Indian army. Plus all 4 people (Pashtuns, Sikhs, Muslims and rest of India Hindus) were part of Brits army, and went along OK-ish. On Hindu/India central rule, this is something which has cropped up in India (in Kashmir, Punjab, North East) and India has pacified them all.

            Money makes the world go round. The whole Pashtun and Baloch movement which was gaining steam during latter Ayub/Yahya and Bhutto’s era, where their leaders were jailed, fizzled out as soon as Zia came to power, and handed out the goodies.

            India perhaps would have still been embroiled in Durand line mess. But i don’t think it would have fared any worse than what Pakistan has been. In my view it would have been just like how India treats its North East. Throwing money liberally and letting them be.

  51. my evidence was for popularity of abdul gaffar khan, and that there is no evidence yet that things would be this bad. stop changing the goal posts. And you happily stepped away from what pak army does to keep the subnationalisms down.

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