Why I don’t eat Pork


It's the age old question….Why don't people eat pork even when they are not religious?!!!!I never quite understood why, but here is my best attempt at a guess. Many will disagree on the basis of religion and animal cruelty. I welcome these comments too. But it does fall out of scope for this video 🙂 My best guess is that ever since I was 5 years old, I kept hearing: no pork, no pork, no pork. And now, even when I'm not religious, I still don't touch pork.Join me on Nas Daily Global – a new group I'm starting where people discuss these topics and it's awesome. I'm also on Instagram @nasdaily!

Posted by Nas Daily on Thursday, June 21, 2018

This is a really interesting video because Nas asks the question that why don’t secular Muslims eat pork.

It taps into the old Jesuit saying “give me a child till 7 and I will show you the man.” In fact it’s supposedly Aristotle who said it but the idea that initial childhood impressions form our adult views.

Back to the questions of Muslims & pork; it’s the ultimate shibboleth. Allegedly Quaid-e-Azam ate pork; I don’t really know if there is a good quality pork in the Subcontinent but perhaps it was different in the Raj.

In all religions there is that red line of apostasy. In Islam it is pork, in the Baha’i Faith it’s alcohol, for Hindus it’s beef and for Sikhs I guess it would be not wearing the turban?

To requote the late & great Anthony Bourdain in his first seminal article all the way back in 1999:

Like most other chefs I know, I’m amused when I hear people object to pork on nonreligious grounds. “Swine are filthy animals,” they say. These people have obviously never visited a poultry farm. Chicken—America’s favorite food—goes bad quickly; handled carelessly, it infects other foods with salmonella; and it bores the hell out of chefs. It occupies its ubiquitous place on menus as an option for customers who can’t decide what they want to eat. Most chefs believe that supermarket chickens in this country are slimy and tasteless compared with European varieties. Pork, on the other hand, is cool. Farmers stopped feeding garbage to pigs decades ago, and even if you eat pork rare you’re more likely to win the Lotto than to contract trichinosis. Pork tastes different, depending on what you do with it, but chicken always tastes like chicken.

Continue reading “Why I don’t eat Pork”


Sheryl Sandberg desi lookalike speaks out against Trump

I was stirred by Rep. Jayapal’s evocative speech on the ongoing child separation crisis on the US border:

However what struck me as well is that her unique facial structure essentially makes her the coloured doppelgänger of a rather well-known liberal billionairess and advocate.

Image result for sheryl sandberg



The government in Kashmir has fallen. What’s next for this troubled province?

As an aside my own preference is the LOC is a soft border between India and Pakistan. I don’t want any redrawing of the map whatsoever. I would rather Fawad Khan and Mahira Khan be able to act in Bollywood and Pakistani players play in the IPL. I can understand that for some Kashmir is a hot topic but I’m far too invested in Rising India as it is.

However if I see this post degenerate into low quality jingoism on either side; I’ll arbitrarily delete comments.

Comments are free but facts are sacred. If I see unnecessary emotionalism I’ll just remove it- the BP threads have turned into an Indo-PAK flame war and I have stayed my hand but in my own threads I’m going to be much more pro-active.


Wild natives and the white Man’s burden

I was hearing a few stories about the ivory towers of academia and some of the micro-aggressions on display was just shocking. Two that immediately come to mind are:

(1.) there was a particularly famous Desi academic who was holding court in one of the colleges. Many desis came to pay homage to him prompting one (white) academic to sniff to another, “it feels like a Delhi saloon bar here.” This was in full hearing of the coloured academics.

(2.) a particularly (in)famous colonial administrator had visited a college in the 50’s and noting the wild behaviour of the undergraduates, joked “I thought the natives came only in shades of brown.” The implication being that the undergraduates were acting like careless natives in the sun. This is an oft-repeated and humorous joke in certain rarefied circles.

I was livid when I heard this but it prompts me to reflect that regardless of the stress on equality and fairness; the elite churn only enough to preserve their power structure.

What makes micro-aggression so powerful of course is that it is the aggressed who feels trapped. How does one respond since the Model Minority Asian is far too busy assimilation/integrating/succeeding and doesn’t want to cause a fuss. It’s all well and good having a rant on Twitter or a blog but it’s not very likely that a #metoo movement is going to emerge vis a vis micro aggression.

Another interesting observation is that Asians are particularly vulnerable to micro-aggressions because we are a longer-term delayed gratification sort of population; we are looking at that promotion, salary raise to ever truly want to make a commotion.

The art of pushing back banterously without escalating the matter too much should be taught in all citizenship classes..

After the jump my own short thoughts on the staying power of elites.

Continue reading “Wild natives and the white Man’s burden”


The Grand Punditess of Them All

Sharing LV’s recent talk at CogX. Of the 300-400 speakers she was, I believe, the only women (correction – handful of women) speaking on a technical subject so a huge stride forward for #WomenInStem and #IndiansInAcademia (academia in Britain especially in the higher and more complex echelons is astonishingly white). It might be shirk to say so but I suspect Vidhi might be Lakshmi in human form..

Judging from what our beloved commentariat constantly snark about me in the threads it’s astonishing she married a lightweight like me 😉



Caste in Pakistan

I disagree with this notion completely. Caste matters a lot in Pakistan, especially when you need to get something done at a government office. A lot of ‘untouchables’ who converted to Islam still are known as ‘chuhras’ which literally means untouchable. For more information, you can read ‘The Unconquered People: The Liberation of an Oppressed Caste’ by John O Brien. If you go beyond the PakNationalist view of history, Sir Syed was a caste chauvinist, Ali Garh School and later college were reserved for Higher caste Muslims. Religious leaders like Ahmad Raza Khan Barelvi, Qasim Nonotwi (founder of Deoband), Mufti Shafi Osmani, Hussain Ahmad Madni were also against teaching ‘lower-caste’ muslims.

Yes, caste seems invisible in Pakistan’s bigger cities (Lahore and Karachi) and one can say that caste doesn’t play a role in daily life BUT it matters during elections, during matrimonial activities and during dealings with the state bureaucracy. If you ever go to a government office (Police, Judiciary, Income Tax), try looking at the leaderboard of that office’s previous incumbents there and notice how most people on that list have their caste listed after their name. Also, go to the district courts in Lahore or any city and see how many lawyers have mentioned their caste after their names.

Abdul Majeed

As an aside I was googling John O’Brien and came up with a few interesting snippets about the Pak Christian community:

c) Great honour is given to the Bible and compared with many older and more developed Churches in other countries, there is real familiarity with its text and message. There is a richness here which cannot be overlooked. In fact it cries out to be contextualised and deepened. The singing of the Psalms in Punjabi is a very distinctive and enriching feature of church life here. Yet this esteem for Sacred Scripture could be undermining of a real sense of Church inasmuch as it is conceived in rather Islamic terms: there is an unspoken assumption (a false one) that the Bible functions in Church life and theology as the Quran sherif does in Islam. This leads to and is further exacerbated by the prevalence of a literalist and fundamentalist reading and preaching of the text. As a result, all sorts of self-appointed preachers abound, each offering a more exotic explanation and application of the text. Rivalries increase and with them, factionalism. There seems little sustained effort to promote a communitarian reading of Scripture, contextualised on the one hand, by the living tradition of the People of God and on the other, by the concrete struggle for justice and dignity which is the daily bread of our people.

A) Strengths:

The Church which under God’s grace, has come into being here in Pakistan has many fine qualities and strengths:

i. It continues to exist and grow in a non-Christian and non-supportive environment:

ii. It is very much a Church of the poor, God’s chosen ones:

iii. It is engaged in an on-going and far-reaching practical ecumenism:

iv. It is a Church with a profound religious sensibility:

v. There is a growth in local vocations to ministry:

vi. At all levels it is socially involved; both “religiously” and “developmentally”:

vii. It has a highly developed organisational infrastructure:

viii. Among the People of God there is a tangible love for “The Word”:

xi. The Church membership has retained a strong cultural identity: the Church in Pakistan is very much a Pakistani Church.

x. The communities have a very strong identity as “Christians”

xi. Among Pakistani Christians there is a very solid sense of family and kinship.

xii. There is a strong devotional life with many indigenous resources; songs, pilgrimages, Marian meals etc.

This is the light; if there is light there is also shadow!

B) Shortcomings:

i. At nearly all levels, the Christian community can be easily divided by the factionalism (partibazi) which characterises social relations and by the consequences of other internalised oppression:

ii. It is a Church massively reliant on foreign money:

iii. It is constantly under threat externally and internally from fundamentalism and sectarianism:

iv. The Liturgy has been translated but not inculturated:

v. There is an impoverished Eucharistic sense:

vi. A dependency mentality is still very stong:

vii. Politically, psychologically and even physically it tends to be ghettoised:

viii. The culture is consolidated but seldom critiqued by ecclesial praxis and therefore not sufficiently enriched by faith:

ix. In general terms, the leadership remains authoritarian or patenalistic, reinforcing the dominant socio-political pattern rather than offering an evangelical alternative to it:

x. The dignity and role of women are scarcely recognised:

xi. There is little or no missionary outreach:

xii. It mirrors the society in that personal freedom and responsibility are not really valued above conformity.


Caste in US medicine?

My last name “Theetha Kariyanna” has its origin from a small village Theetha and added to it is my dad’s name Kariyanna (a local folk god). Back in my school days, the name was weird to my friends as the name Kariyanna also literally translates to “black brother.” As a kid who was hesitant to loudly say his name clear and loud, I have grown up to say my name loudly with pride as I often do: “Hello there, I am Dr. Kariyanna, your heart doctor today.” I was likely hesitant to say my name loudly because of its literal translation and the fact that it easily discloses my roots in the Kuruba community — sheepherders of south India who fall into the shudra category of the caste system. The fear and hate for the caste system started very early on in my life.

The caste system is thriving in medicine in the U.S. via  Continue reading “Caste in US medicine?”


Swara Bhaskar’s comments on Pakistan the Failing State


Swara Bhaskar doubles down on her Pakistan comments that Indians shouldn’t care what the unsecular failing Pak state does.

I don’t have an opinion on her particular remarks but Pakistan was wrong to ban Veere di Wedding.

Otherwise I agree with Rajeev Masand’s masterful review where he gave it a 2 out of 5 though V&I agree it should be a 3.

Continue reading “Swara Bhaskar’s comments on Pakistan the Failing State”


World War 2’s impact on the racial balance of the world

This clip was interesting in WW2’s effect on the racial demographics of the West and white supremacy (that all Western powers including the Allies were keen to maintain).

Much as we lionise the role of Britain in this country for both World Wars; there is a feeling we are living in the aftermath of a massive decompression (lingering on because the Sovereign is still a living link to that period).

The hubris of Empire ultimately culminated in a reality where white people had to share the world and more importantly power. Unless there is a string of right-wing authoritarianism, genocide and/or ethnic cleansing the West is now perpetually multi-racial and multi-ethnic.

As the commentator above makes the point the first coloured migrants were “invited” to help rebuild society in the wake of post-war. It’s an important to remember that it’s rather churlish to invite a generation, then try to somehow disenfranchise them and then tell their children to go “back home.”


The Crime of Being a Dalit

RAJKOT: A 23-year-old youth was bludgeoned to death near Palara Central Jail in Bhuj on Tuesday night. Police said the murder was the result of a love affair. Police said the victim, identified as Jaideep Garwa, a Dalit resident of Kotai village of Bhuj taluka was in love with a woman from the Muslim community.

Youth murdered over love affair

For the sake of balance. South Asia is a complex and crazy place perhaps it would be better at BP if we all (including myself) took a breather and assess a broader positive outlook.