Episode 14: The Delhi Sultanate

 

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

In this episode of the history podcast, Omar and Jay discuss the period of Delhi Sultanate with Jay and Gaurav. We go over all the major dynasties and also discuss the religious, economic aspects of this time.

As Omar Ali puts it, the legacy of Delhi Sultanate is the legacy of Islam in the subcontinent.

References:-

1. The Emergence of the Delhi Sultanate, 1192-1286 by Sunil Kumar
2. The History and Culture of the Indian People: Volume 6: The Delhi Sultanate
3. India in the Persianate Age: 1000-1765 by Richard M. Eaton
4. Medieval India – Vol. 1 by Satish Chandra
5. Advanced Study in the History of Medieval India: Volume I by J L Mehta
6. A Comprehensive History of India: The Delhi Sultanat (A.D. 1206-1526), ed. by Mohammad Habib and Khaliq Ahmad Nizami

Browncast episode 194: Caste, Hindus in America and Hinduphobia


On this episode of the Brown Pundits Browncast I had a long conversation with  Nikunj Trivedi and Pushpita Prasad of the Coalition of Hindus of North America. One of the things we talked extensively about during this podcast is the Carnegie Endowment study Social Realities of Indian Americans: Results From the 2020 Indian American Attitudes Survey. The survey is rich with data that might surprise (for example, there are as many Bengali speakers as Punjabi speakers in the US, though I suspect this might be due to many ethnic Punjabis putting Hindi down as their mother tongue). But for the purposes of this episode, we were interested in caste identity, and how it relates to Hindus in America.

The Carnegie study takes a shot at the 2018 Equality Labs survey that argues for the pervasiveness of caste discrimination:

A 2018 survey of 1,500 South Asian Americans found that many low-caste members of numerous diaspora communities had endured firsthand experience of caste discrimination. However, the study is not based on a representative sample, raising questions about the generalizability of its findings.

The figure above shows that most Hindu Indian Americans do not live in a caste-homogeneous environment. There are reasons for this. From the text:

Forty-seven percent of Hindu respondents report identifying with a caste, which means the majority (53 percent) said that they do not personally identify with a caste group of any kind. However, there is marked variation by place of birth. Whereas 53 percent of foreign-born Hindu Indian Americans affiliate with a caste group, 34 percent of U.S.-born Hindu Indian Americans do the same.

…Overall, there are 632 respondents in the IAAS sample who belong to the Hindu faith but only 293 who report identifying with a caste group. Of this latter group, the overwhelming majority—83 percent—categorize themselves as General or upper caste. Sixteen percent identify as a member of OBC and 1 percent each identify as Adivasi/Scheduled Tribe (ST) or Dalit/Scheduled Caste (SC).

The latter number, that about 80 percent of Hindu Indian Americans are not OBC, Dalit or Adivasi is exactly what I’ve seen in other data. But perhaps a more important aspect is that large numbers of Hindus in America don’t “affiliate” with a caste group. Some of the American-born individuals may not actually even know their caste group, though the foreign-born ones clearly know their origins as noted in the text:

Figure 21 looks more closely at the caste composition of social networks among Hindus. Seventy-four percent of Hindu respondents who report not identifying with a caste nevertheless know enough to be able to identify the caste identities of their social networks. Only 26 percent of Hindus who do not identify with a caste respond to questions about the caste composition of their social networks by answering “don’t know.” This indicates that even though a large proportion of Hindu respondents say they do not identify with a caste, only a small fraction are unaware of the caste composition of their networks.

What is also striking is how relatively small the differences are between respondents who identify with a caste versus those who do not. While the former report that a slightly higher share of their social network comprises people of the same caste, if one sets aside the “don’t know” responses, the relative differences between caste identifiers and non-identifiers is marginal. For instance, 27 percent of Hindu respondents who identify with a caste report that all or most of their Indian friends share their caste affiliation. Nineteen percent of those who do not identify with a caste group answer similarly. Respondents who acknowledge a caste identity are only slightly more likely to report that some of their social network is made up of people of the same caste (41 percent versus 33 percent for those without a caste identity).

So here is the subtle point: people who do not identify with a caste group nevertheless can often assess whether their social circle is mostly of their caste group or not. The dynamic here is that people are proactively disavowing or denying caste identity personally, but they clearly still know the provenance of their own lineage and that of their friends.

The landscape of caste and America is complex. Nevertheless, today’s social justice activists are trying to reframe it as just another black-white dichotomy, with oppressed Dalits, etc., against oppressive Brahmins.

Finally, we discuss the casual and not-so-casual anti-Hindu comments that are spreading across mainstream discourse. For example, an organization at UC Davis called the Other Collective has said some really bizarre things about Diwali:

Browncast: Is Imran Khan on the Way Out?

Another Browncast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

In this episode Omar talks with Ambassador Kamran Shafi and Dr Mohammed Taqi, two very well known and astute observers of the Pakistani political scene. We talk about the current political crisis and why and how the military may have abandoned Imran Khan, exposing him to a no-confidence motion in the National assembly.

(spotify link did not work in Pakistan)

History of India Series: Episode 5 – The Magadh Era: From Bimbisara to Ashoka

CC BY-SA 2.5 Bpilgrim (talk · contribs) - Own work
CC BY-SA 2.5 Bpilgrim (talk · contribs) – Own work

The History podcast passes through the Magadh era. Mukunda Raghavan and Gaurav Lele talk to us about the sub-continent at the end of the Vedic age and take us all the way to the ruler whose symbols are part of the Modern Indian Republics mythology. Alexander and Vishnugupta Chankaya make an appearance and we speculate on the first recorded caesarean birth.

@raghman36 @gaurav_lele @maneesht

Sources and References:
Books and Blogs
 Upinder Singh – Ancient India.
 Upinder Singh – Political violence in Ancient India.
 Upinder Singh – Culture of Contradictions.
 Romila Thapar – Ancient History
 RS Sharma- India’s Ancient Past
 Javarava’s Raves:  (Blogposts publications etc)
 Greater Magadha – Johannes Brockhorst
 Live History India (Paid + unpaid)
 Early Hinduism — the epic stratification | by Gaurav Lele | Medium
 Free Web Sites – Buddhism – LibGuides at Michigan State University Libraries (msu.edu)
 Excerpts from  : King, Governance, and Law in Ancient India: Kautilya & Arthasastra
PODCASTS:
 The History of India Podcast – Kit Patrick
 Echoes of India Podcast – Aniruddha Kanasetti

Browncast: Major Amin on the Ukraine Crisis

Major Amin – Brown Pundits

Another Browncast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

In this episode we talk to our regular guest, Major Amin. Major Amin is a military historian with long experience of working in Afghanistan and Russia. As a fan of military history he is also a huge fan of the Russian Army, the entity that executed such historic operations as Uranus and Bagration. This bias shows in the podcast today and many listeners will find things they vigorously disagree with, but his views probably reflect a lot of Putin’s (or Russian nationalist’s) own thinking in this affair. In any case, as always he is brutally frank and frequently provocative. Enjoy, and add your comments..

Reason for Russia-Ukraine War: Why did Russia attack Ukraine? Timeline of events that led to Russia Ukraine Invasion

Auto generated Transcript: (unedited, full of errors, but those in a hurry may get the drift) Continue reading Browncast: Major Amin on the Ukraine Crisis

Browncast: Salman Rashid, Travel and History Writer

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Another Browncast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

In this episode Omar and Maneesh Taneja chat with Pakistani travel writer and history buff Salman Rashid. Salman has a very popular youtube channel  and tweets as odysseuslahori  . We chat about partition, pakistan, history and whatever else comes up.

Browncast: Indic explorer on Hinduism, Dharma, etc

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Another Browncast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

In conversation with Indic explorer, Mukunda and Omar discuss a lot of things related to all things “Indic” . Items include how to define Hinduism, why it does not get the respect it deserves and why its most ardent fans may need to “up their game”.. .

Indic (who prefers to remain anonymous for now) can be found on Twitter at @theindicexplor1

Amana Begam Ansari on Muslims and Women in India

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

Amana in a conversation with Maneesh Taneja talks about being a Muslim woman in India. State of affairs, challenges that the Muslim community and the country face, caste dynamics and what makes for a good movie.

@Amana_ansari @maneesht

https://www.youtube.com/c/IndiaThisWeekByAmanaKhalid

 

 

 

 

BrownCast with Rahul Pandita on Kashmir, Delhi Riots, Maoism

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

In this episode of Browncast Omar and I (Gaurav) talk to Rahul Pandita, the journalist and author. We spoke on a range of topics from Kashmir to Maoism. Rahul’s is a refreshingly insightful voice among the English speaking journalists based around Delhi – do check out his writings. His twitter bio is Rahul Pandita.

I would highly recommend his books – especially his memoirOur Moon Has Blood Clots

Below the fold here I am posting the transcript as well. This is auto-generated and unedited, so expect to see MANY errors, but it may help you jump to whatever part interests you, or give you at least a gist of the conversation. Continue reading BrownCast with Rahul Pandita on Kashmir, Delhi Riots, Maoism

Major Amin; a few words on Pakistan, Afghanistan and China

Another BP Podcast is up. You can listen on LibsynAppleSpotify, and Stitcher (and a variety of other platforms). Probably the easiest way to keep up the podcast since we don’t have a regular schedule is to subscribe to one of the links above!

Last time we interviewed Major Amin just after the fiasco of the American withdrawal from Afghanistan. That was a relatively substantive interviey w (you can listen to it at this link: Major Amin on the age of strategic anarchy) and proved extremely popular, so there was a lot of demand to invite Major Amin back for an update. I caught up with the Major in a less than sober mood initially (some of you may have heard that recording) when he expressed his disappointment with how badly things are going in his homeland in somewhat colorful language, but at his request we have now redone this interview (the exact same questions) in a more sober tone. Enjoy.

Brown Pundits