When White Men rule the roost; there are no need for Rules.

I was rifling through the obit of an Oxbridge Historian. What jumped out at me:

With a good degree in the subject, he embarked on a PhD on the Austro-Hungarian army before 1914, though never completed it, and gained a reputation for brilliance sufficient, along with his linguistic abilities, to obtain a research fellowship at Caius in 1965, and two years later an assistant lectureship in Russian history, moving to Jesus College in 1971 as director of studies in history.

I was shocked at reading this because a PhD is a pre-requisite to any academic research path. I mentioned this to Vidhi and she glibly replied back that when it was all white men, there wasn’t really a need for rule enforcement.

It articulated something that I had felt but not been able to voice heretofore. The role of white people constantly acting as gatekeepers and rule-enforcers in my interactions in Britain.

The sanctimoniousness with which I’ve been lectured, always subtle never overt, is something that I’ve internalised over the years.

The identity crisis in the West is marked by the fact that the older generation is one race while the younger generation is mixed with another (and the generation after that is even more tilted). The reflexive reaction of the Establishment is now to make sure that those who take on the mantle must know the law if they will not imbibe in the customs in their Oriental homes.

humblebragging History-

I’m really glad to know that the Greeks (read white people) were responsible for the Ramayan. That’s a huge weight off my mind.

The author apologised in the following tweets but I’m posting it that we may remember. There is a very subtle historical bias that constantly pumps up the Greco-Romans at the expense of other civilisations. It’s a way to justify not only colonialism and a linkage that there has always been something exceptional (and outward looking) about Western Civ.

BP Episode 50: South Asian Subnationalism with Prof. Majeed

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsyniTunes, Spotify,  and Stitcher. Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe at one of the links above.

Professor Majeed and Xerxes discuss linguistic sub-nationalism and the all important Grierson survey in establishing it.

As many viewers will probably notice that many of my interest veer towards language politics (episode 49). Professor Majeed was very forthcoming and gave the background to how linguistic regionalism began to soon complement the intense communalism in pre-independence India.

Many Punditeers usually suggest that x & x language will die out (Telugu, Kannada, Tamil etc), which is hyperbolic.

Languages in India are very healthy

As Daniyal Shoaib said in Episode 49 even Bhojpuri, Mathili and Braj are very healthy. The point of linguistic states is that language survival is pretty much guaranteed but in a Hinglish milieu will there be sufficient language sophistication.

It remains to be seen how much of North India will reconfigure linguistically but the great victory of the Sikhs has been to ensure that Punjabi is a very vigorous and influential language in India, in a way that it is not in Pakistan (though having nearly 3x the speakers there if one includes Saraki & Hindko).

Saraki is probably going to be the biggest transformation of the Pakistani polity- I can’t imagine a separate Saraikistan agreeing to keep Urdu as the provincial language in the same way Punjab, KPK and Baluchistan (all of which are diverse states) have done.

The languages that are threatened are Sindhi in India (Sindhi in Pakistan is the most vigorous linguistic sub-nationalism in South Asia, on par with Tamil), Kashmiri (Urdu has supplanted it for generations) and other minority tongues that are stateless (maybe Tulu and so on). The Adivasis languages are under threat by other state languages as their populations being to mainstream to regional (as opposed to national culture).

Continue reading BP Episode 50: South Asian Subnationalism with Prof. Majeed

weight loss 101

LV was saying instead of always writing at BP on random topics; I should be offering my services (pro bono) on weight loss and weight lifting.

My Six Pack Journey — How I went from Fat to Ripped in 6 months

The author went from 87kg to 65kg. Roughly my height and weight but I started with much more muscle (at 89kg I was still a waist size 34).

I plan for 68.5kg to be my “death weight” so the idea is come what may I’ll stick to that.

I am relying on red meat however as I love it so much (it’s my crutch). A George Foreman grill cooks meat in 5 minutes flat and pair it off with a salad. I don’t put any oil on the meat but I probably should.

Apparently Protein is the most satiating nutrient so I tend to front-load my nutrition first thing in the morning.

I will rebalance my diet once I hit my weight metrics for more sustainability but I have the advantage that I have a somewhat “iron constitution” and I am not “taste-sensitive.”

I also use the mental trick of filling up my fridge and freezer with groceries. Since I have a pathological aversion to wasting any food, it stops me from going out to eat.

My problem is that I am a fast eater; I don’t chew as much as I want to so mindfulness is important in that area.

Apps I use:

Noom (Fitness Pal with Psychology)

Fitbod (for weight lifting)

Peak (for brain training)

Things I Do:

OMAD (one meal a day): I try to limit myself to 1.5kg a week of weight loss (so technically on Tuesday the 25th of June I should be 75.9kg instead of 79.9kg according to my timeline) so I use OMAD to nudge myself downward when I need.

IF (intermittent fasting): I used to do this 8/9yrs ago but I’m sort of building this up. I do find not eating does give a rest to the body.

The fear that if one *starves* the body goes into metabolic shutdown/slowdown seems a bit overrated. A Cambridge Prof, who runs some of the nation’s largest diabetes studies, was telling me that there were two Lancet published studies on the utility of a low calorie diet.

The key in an weight loss is long term sustainability.

It’s not always Racism

A few trends emerged over this week’s. This is separate to MJ’s powerful post, which is about a different framework altogether.

(1.) people are quick to blame racism for everything. In an age of no discrimination; people are going to select on intelligence, beauty and other such features.

(2.) BAME is rapidly being tagged with LGBT.

(3.) BAME runs the risk of being physically unattractive since anything goes.

(4.) White people are even prominent in BAME space so in a lot ways these new identities are more about attention for newer types of elite.

(5.) Elitism may not be about race but class and other selecting factors.

(6.) Utopian conversations is about a world “without an elite” are bs. We should rather have honest conversations about what the elite should be and to what extent should they be in control.

(7.) ego-trips are a thing in idealistic politics and being self-aware is important (thankfully I have V to keep me in check constantly).

(8.) Much like the Jews in the era of civil rights; Dharmic (model) minorities in the West are rapidly gaining control of the anti-establishment narrative in order to colorise the elite. It’s questionable once this batch of Indians, Chinese and other Asians are fully WASPified whether they will retain their sympathies for the next wave of coloured aspirants.

(9.) the contentions that White people and the West are hide-bound racists elides the narratives that we all have a “home back home.” The question as to why none of us want to resettle East is complex (colonialism ruined our countries, material and social opportunity in the West) but it’s a painful contradiction.

(10.) unlike the Aframs, Aboriginals and Native Americans; the West has very few “involuntary minorities.” So any criticism of the West have to tread a fine line and negotiation (hence why I’m suspect of immigrants who join anti-establishment parties).

White Privilege & Protesting

Continue reading White Privilege & Protesting

Launch of my theatre company

While I’m profoundly conservative I’ve been trying to find a space to channel my Social Justice Ghazi tendencies. I’m technically a co-founding trustee but my role is more administrative / organisational as opposed to creative.

I wanted to go more for “unheard voices” but as agreed it’s for anyone who “self-identifies” as a minority.

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Are all Arabs “honorary” Muslims?

Gibran of course was a Maronite and was inspired by his encounters with Abdul Baha. The Belle Époque seemed an especially sensitive time for Oriental spirituality (Grierson and Gandhi were somewhat contemporaneous).

At any rate most Pakistanis would internalise Gibran as one of their own and Tagore as foreign.

I used to be more skeptical about this Arabophilia; like all liberalstanis I used to say Khuda Hafez etc. However I’m of the opinion that pan South Asian nationalism has simply not made enough space for the two competing overarching identities.

In my podcast today with Professor Majeed; we briefly touch on the meta-aspect of Hindi and Urdu. It simply is the dividing civilisational fault lines.

When the Bengalis and Tamils needed to make their choice they were happy to prioritise their meta-identity In 1947 (Bengali were Muslim; Tamils were Hindu). However in 1971 the Bengalis in turn clarified their choice, which culminated in an “Indian-friendly” but distinct nationalism.

Tamil politics on the other hand, interacting and influencing no doubt with Sri Lanka (it’s fascinating that Tamil Muslims politically segregated during the Sri Lankan colonial era culminating in a distinct political identity as opposed to the mainland) is now grappling with the same choice.

It’s absurd to compare modern day India with 1971 Pakistan (the language question has been resolved in the 50’s with the adoption of Bengali so it wasn’t simply a linguistic matter) but the underlying tensions are the same.

Once a side picks their “civilisational” meta-identity then the demand for local identity starts to flourish in the wake of national homogeneisation.

I have begun to become very interested in the Seraiki question. It’s almost the equivalent of Cornwall getting separate constitutional state in the UK (Scotland is a Kingdom, so is NI – the remnants of one, and Wales is a Principality).

The only local or distinct identity Cornwall has in being the Duchy of Cornwall. This is the Prince of Wales’s subsidiary title hence why Camilla is addressed as the HRH the Duchess of Cornwall instead of Lady Diana’s previous and popular title as the Princess of Wales. It is important though since the Duchy Estates are the personal income of the Prince in a way the only other Duchy (of Lancashire) is not.

Interestingly the Duke of Lancaster is HM the Queen (the income from that estate reverts to the Crown, to which she is entitled 15% for the Royal Household’s running costs). The Duke of York is usually given to the monarch’s Spare son; it’s a title Prince Harry will eventually inherit. It’s fascinating to think that one of the oldest and most prestigious titles in the United Kingdom (the Duke of York) will eventually be held by an individual (Archie with Obama as his godfather) who would be considered as black in the United States (and so would his descendants).

But back on topic Lancaster is considered to be a fundamental part of England while Cornwall is an ambiguous territory; close to but not quite Wales.

In much the same way the emerging conversation on Seraikistan will emerge. It’s obviously not as distinct as Sindh but there is a formidable “Seraiki” ethnic identity.

Does that entitle it to a distinct Province? A separate Province would be very good for Pakistan because it would automatically re-jigg the Punjab’s disproportionate role in Pakistan. However as in the case of Andhra & Telangana; there is a fundamental unity to the region inasmuch as there is distinction between them.

It has taken centuries for Britain to express these Constitutional and regional quirks not to everybody’s satisfaction (the Brexit dilemma centres on the NI backstop). How will Pakistan accommodate this?

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