West Bengal, TMC wins!!!

Modi’s BJP Suffers Setback in West Bengal State Elections:

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s party fell far short in its attempt to win control in a fiercely contested state election, one in which its aggressive efforts to get out the vote have been criticized as worsening the country’s surge in Covid-19 infections.

Official results coming in early Monday showed Mr. Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party was poised to win as many as 77 seats in the West Bengal state legislature—a sharp pickup from its previous showings but well short of a majority of the 292 seats being contested.

The state’s governing Trinamool Congress party was on track to win as many as 213 seats. The party is led by Mamata Banerjee, a powerful regional politician who has at times been an outspoken critic of Mr. Modi.

– Does the TMC have an ideology?

– It’s weird that this is a state with 90 million people. India is so populous!

– Are regional parties going to have a lock on the south and east?

A Hindu nationalist in the House?

Slate has published a transparent “hit piece” on Preston Kulkarni, who is likely to win a seat for the Democrats in Houston. I say hit piece because it doesn’t seem deeply reported, but sourced from Pieter Friedrich, who I have mostly seen online as a rather inflammatory activist, not a dispassionate scholar.

A reporter in the area, Chad Washington, notes that believe it or not, people in and around this area of suburban Houston are not very interested in the fact Kulkarni might have “ties” to the Hindu Right.

There are two issues I want to highlight here as to why I’m putting this post up (which to be frank does amplify what I think shouldn’t be an issue at all):

– The demand that people denounce all sorts of things that they claim to barely even understand in the interests of solidarity and popular fronts is pretty ridiculous. Kulkarni is aiming to represent suburban Houston in the House. His opinions on Indian politics are unimportant. There are cases where Muslims are asked to ritually denounce everything under the sun and everyone they may have shared a stage with. That’s bullshit. And this is bullshit.

– It is strange to me how the “Left” can so naturally use the language of xenophobia to attack xenophobia. Here is the title: “Why Are Democrats Backing a House Candidate With Reportedly Shady Foreign Ties?” Foreign ties? I mean, his last name is {{{Kulkarni}}}. He worships elephants! His white mother married a foreigner. What’s wrong with her!

Obviously, the Indian American writer of the hit piece isn’t anti-Indian as such, but this opportunistic recourse to this rhetoric and guilt-by-association won’t end well.

Update: OK the Republicans/Christian Right are now after him.

Kamala Harris embrace of ‘victim identity’ bothers me

Apparently Kamala Harris was admitted to law school through LEOP:

LEOP offers admission to approximately 50 high-achieving students each year—up to 20 percent of the class—who have experienced major life hurdles, such as educational disadvantage, economic hardship, or disability. The majority are students of color. Besides traditional admissions criteria, such as grades and LSAT scores, the program also considers students’ overall potential and the obstacles they’ve overcome. “These are extraordinary students who have been playing while injured in the game of life, but all they do is win,” McGriff said.

Once students enroll, LEOP supports them throughout their tenure at UC Hastings, offering a weeklong orientation, academic counseling, practice exams, and help preparing for the bar exam and job interviews, among other resources and services.

…. LEOP went on to count many prominent alumni among its ranks, including U.S. Senator Kamala Harris ’89; San Francisco Public Defender Jeff Adachi ’85; Adelmise Warner ’01, chief counsel at Pandora; and Andrew Houston ’07, procurement counsel for the University of California’s Office of the General Counsel.

We know a lot about Kamala Harris’ mother’s family. They are upper-middle-class Tamil Brahmins. Her mother did raise her mostly alone. So she was a single mother. But she was also a Ph.D. biomedical researcher.

Here is a profile about her father, Kamala Harris’s Father, a Footnote in Her Speeches, Is a Prominent Economist:

Dr. Harris was raised in a landowning family on the north coast of Jamaica by a paternal grandmother whom he described as “reserved and stern in look, firm with ‘the strap,’ but capable of the most endearing and genuine acts of love, affection and care.” Reserved and highly intelligent, he was more cut out for academia than activism, contemporaries said.

Basically, on both sides of Harris’ pedigree, there is evidence of sub-elite status. Her utilization of the LEOP program seems to be unfair to students who were genuinely disadvantaged.

Being right-wing is just a thing, no matter the color

The Juggernaut has an amusing piece Seema Verma and the #DesiWallofShame, which basically assumes that any brown person (Indian American) who has non-liberal beliefs must be exhibiting either false consciousness or self-interest. The piece reminded me of this PLOS ONE piece, The Moral Stereotypes of Liberals and Conservatives: Exaggeration of Differences across the Political Spectrum:

Across the political spectrum, moral stereotypes about “typical” liberals and conservatives correctly reflected the direction of actual differences in foundation endorsement but exaggerated the magnitude of these differences. Contrary to common theories of stereotyping, the moral stereotypes were not simple underestimations of the political outgroup’s morality. Both liberals and conservatives exaggerated the ideological extremity of moral concerns for the ingroup as well as the outgroup. Liberals were least accurate about both groups.

This part of the piece was quite funny to me:

In the months after Verma was confirmed in 2017, South Asian American activists such as Deepa {{{Iyer}}}, Anirvan {{{Chatterjee}}}, and Esha {{{Pandit}}} started noticing that there was an abundance of Indian Americans in the highest echelons of the Trump administration.

“It was so surprising and jarring to see someone brown supporting policies which harm South Asian communities, immigrant communities, refugees, Muslims, and other communities of color,” explained Iyer. For example, Trump’s efforts to deport DREAMers and other undocumented immigrants could affect over 22,000 Indians and Pakistanis. “A group of us that felt like it would be important to raise awareness and ask, ‘What does that mean when they’re supporting and advancing the goals of administration that is clearly pursuing an agenda of Islamophobia, xenophobia, racism?’”

Many years ago there was an attack on Michelle Malkin as the “Asian Ann Coulter.” Malkin, and even some liberals, suggested that really she was just Michelle Malkin. Her “Asian” ethnicity was immaterial.

Similarly, don’t be surprised that someone of a particular color or ethnicity has views that differ from your own. People are diverse in their views, no matter their physical type or cultural heritage. Since Deeper {{{Iyer}}} is a progressive she doesn’t think that she could ever be racist, but the idea that just because someone is of a particular color they should be the ideology that you prefer they be, that’s kind of racist.

The stupid part of the #DesiWallOfShame is that you should “shame” Veerma, Pai, or Haley, based on their beliefs and actions. Their ethnicity is irrelevant. There’s no #GermanAmericanWallOfShame for Donald Trump.

Why did so many BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) voted Tory? (a)

This is a follow up to:

Why did so many BAME (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic) voted Tory?

It appears that Jews, Indian and African Britons abandoned Labour in droves and voted for other political parties. Would be curious to learn who they voted for. Suspect many voted for the Liberal Democrats.

As described by Veedu Vidz in the above previous Brown Pundit post, moderate muslims also appear to have abandoned Labour en mass. Who did moderate muslims vote for?

Are there any English exit polls? [Updated with this exit poll hat trip Ali Choudhury.] Do we know how Pakistani Britons, Bangladeshi Britons, Indian musiim Britons, muslim Britons in general voted?

In the above conversation it was implied that minorities and people of color in USA vote Democrat. My response is that in America Asian Americans and Latino Americans are “swing voters” not wedded to either party. Black African Americans vote overwhelmingly Democrat. However, I think President Trump will likely do a lot better with the Black African American vote in 2020 than he did in 2016.

From page 26 of the exit poll provided by Ali Choudhury, we can see the following:

  • Labour lost only nine percentage points of the BAME vote
  • Conservative Tories gained only one percentage point in additional BAME voters
  • Liberal Democrats gained only six percentage point in additional BAME voters
  • Other political parties gained two percentage points of additional BAME voters

Labour–if these exit polls are not contradicted by other exit polls–did FAR better in 2019 among BAME voters than I thought (and that many political commentators thought). To my surprise the Liberal Democrats only gained six percentage points of BAME voters (for 12% total) and the Conservative Tories only gained one percentage point in additional BAME voters.

My new question is why did the overwhelming vast majority of BAME Britons vote for Jeremy Corbyn? Why did so few BAME Britons vote Liberal Democrat?

Did the moderate muslim Britons almost universally vote for Jeremy Corbyn? If so, why? Would love to hear from Veedu Vidz and Rakib Ehsan.

What has brown done for you?


I’v bemoaned the hard-Left shift of Indian Americans in political organization and consulting (Bong-commies at every turn!). But there are still neolib centrists around! Tech Veteran’s Fundraising Team Rakes In Cash for Pete Buttigieg Campaign:

Three years ago, Swati Mylavarapu had never worked for a political campaign and attended just a single campaign fundraiser.

Now, the 36-year-old Silicon Valley investor is a financial force behind one of the best fundraisers in the Democratic presidential primary, serving as national investment chairwoman for Pete Buttigieg, a fellow Harvard graduate and Rhodes Scholar whom she has known for half her life.

Indian Americans are 1% of America’s population. And in the older generation of 1.5 and 2nd generation far less (“Generation X”). But they sure are punching above their weight!