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February 20, 2003

Brown & out

From The Economist:


Malaysia's deprived Indian minority gets none of the benefits reserved for Malays

Malaysia's underdogs

PEOPLE of Indian origin account for only 8% of Malaysia's total population, but they make up 14% of its juvenile delinquents, more than 20% of its wife- and child-beaters, and 41% of its beggars. They make up less than 5% of successful university applicants, and own less than 1.5% of the country's share capital. To make matters worse, they are not eligible for any of Malaysia's lavish affirmative-action programmes, which are reserved for Malays and other indigenous people. Other countries may have upwardly mobile Indian immigrants, but Malaysia is fast developing an Indian underclass.

The problem stems from the decline of Malaysia's rubber plantations. British colonialists shipped indentured Indian labourers to Malaysia in the late 19th and early 20th centuries to tap rubber. After independence, many Indians stayed and became citizens, tapping rubber all the while. But over the past few decades of breakneck economic growth, developers have ploughed up many rubber plantations to plant less labour-intensive oil palms, or to build shopping malls and housing estates. The displaced workers and their families have wound up in shanty towns on the outskirts of Malaysia's cities.

Malaysia



Until recently, the government largely ignored the problem. The many well-to-do Indian doctors and lawyers, after all, help to give Indians higher incomes on average than Malays. Many Indian labourers, even, earn more from odd jobs in the cities than rural Malays do from fishing or farming. But unlike poor farmers, explains Denison Jayasooria, the head of an Indian think-tank-cum-charity, they have to buy their own food, pay rent, and travel to work—all at inflated urban prices.

Jaya Partiban, a senator from the Malaysian Indian Congress, the biggest Indian political party, says that the sheltered life of the plantations imbued Indians with a culture of dependence. Furthermore, argues P. Ramasamy, a professor at the Malaysian National University, Indians have little prospect of advancement, since Malaysia's Chinese minority dominates business, and Malays control the bureaucracy. Indians often complain of neglect or discrimination at the hands of civil servants, and harassment by the police.

All these frustrations boiled over into a race riot in a squatter community outside Kuala Lumpur in March 2001. Six people died and scores were injured. To this day, many Indians live in rusty corrugated-iron shacks in Kampung Medan, the scene of the riot. They complain that jobs are hard to come by, especially since employers fear that many Indians may be involved in crime. Although the police have set up three posts in the area since the riots, locals say, only one of the officers staffing them is Indian. There are no playgrounds, sports fields or clubs to tempt their children away from street gangs. The local Indian school, they add, is in a dire state.

The government has at least pledged to change all this. It has promised to move all squatters in the area to subsidised housing by 2005. It is hiring more Indian teachers. It is also financing the Yayasan Strategik Sosial, Mr Denison's outfit, to develop schemes to help poor urban Indians. Most dramatically, it has declared its intention to double Indians' stake in Malaysian companies by 2010—the sort of race-based target normally reserved for Malays. As it is, government officials like to point out, Malaysia's richest man is an Indian: Ananda Krishnan. His fellow Indians, however, tend to view his success rather more cynically; they joke that Mr Krishnan takes up the community's share of the national wealth all by himself.

Posted by razib at 02:02 PM




Out of curiosity, what was the ethnic makeup of the indentured indian labourers in Malaysia?

In the Toronto area, Indians have a lower crime rate than white Canadians (information gathered from the Toronto Star a few months ago), but there is or was an ongoing gang war between Tamil and Sri Lankans gangs which made up a significant portion of the violoent crimes commited by Canadians of East Indian origin.

On the west coast, most notably, Vancouver, it is the Indo-European Indians, from what I can tell, that are responsible for alot of the gang wars in that province. I may be wrong, but many if not most of them seem to be sikhs. Gill is a common surname i see among Indians wanted by police or on trial for some offence or another.

Posted by: the alpha male at February 20, 2003 04:44 PM


the vast majority of indians in southeast asia (malaysia & singapore) are tamil. the social background of migrants to malaysia & singapore though was a bit different-singapore's underclass is malay.

Posted by: razib at February 20, 2003 04:57 PM


I've got a (brown) friend working in Singapore who says that Indian social status there ain't that high either. He's the only brown professional at his firm, and has once been met with that old backhanded compliment (from a Chinses-Singaporean) -- "I'm glad you're not like the others."

Vancouver indo-Canadian gang killings are largely Punjabi Sikh. Socially, they're not far from Italians in NYC (the underclass is largely aboriginal). Bear in mind, the vast majority of BC Canadians of Indian descent are Punjabi. Tamils are a central Canadians phenomenon

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 20, 2003 05:10 PM


See SingStat, Indians are bit lower than Chinese in income, but the gap between Chinese & Indian vs. Malay is rather high....

Posted by: razib at February 20, 2003 07:37 PM


As a brown guy living in Vancouver, its getting hard for me to believe that there are places in North America where we can compete with white people, much-less the chinese (or east Asians in general). Apology in advance to any whites who are offended by my post, but it seems to me that the only people who go to universities in my area are Chinese.

Posted by: Rajon at February 20, 2003 11:28 PM


think me, not we (as in, just because the brown ppl around you are not making it, that doesn't mean you can't-perhaps there is racism, but fatalism sows the seeds of your own failure). browns do fine the US....

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 12:22 AM


a big problem affecting Indians in Malaysia is the poor quality and facilities of their schools. I'm not sure but I think it's partly a result of the low rate of charitable giving among the upper-class Indians, especially as compared to the more successful Chinese-medium schools. but the strange thing is, even though the Tamil-medium school quality is so poor only 4% of Indian pupils enroll in national-type schools.

Posted by: Eric at February 21, 2003 01:01 AM


Out here in Silicon Valley, "Indian mafia" has an entirely different connotation. Vinod Khosla @ Kleiner is our Don Corleone and you can't start any sort of venture without paying a tax to the family (e.g. hiring in quite a few of the brown folk). ;-)

It's pretty interesting to watch the reverse-minority game when youngish, white VC associates angle for invites to Indian entrepreneur events.


Where I grew up, Houston, TX, the 2 dominant (post-Oil collapse) industries are (electrical / software / aerospace) engineering & medicine. You can imagine the rest....

Posted by: vinod at February 21, 2003 08:11 AM


Browns also do fine in central Canada, but the mix of immigration is quite different on the west coast (incl Imbler -- "Ghadr" Razib?) than it is on the east coast.

The west coast has seen Punjabi immigration for almost 100 years. Originally largely labourer class. The USA's brown immigrants are generally from the more educated classes. The resultant North American brown societies differ according to the class background of the founder stock.

In Central Canada, the mix of brown immigrants is becoming more 'normal' and is no longer so heavily weighted towards those with advanced degrees.

Brown immigration to the UK (esp. Pakistani and Bangladeshi immigration) was also labourer focused (in the 50s and 60s) and the resultant societies reflect that.

Over time, US brown immigration will also move that way, and I expect you will see brown gang warfare (Tamils, Bengalis, Sikhs) and a brown underclass there as well.

(Razib, have you ever written about the Hindoo-Mexicans of the central valley in California?)

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 21, 2003 08:11 AM


One correction -- no brown underclass in the USA. I meant something in the hispanic/italian vein, not the black/aboriginal vein.

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 21, 2003 08:58 AM


Gee, I can't wait 'till we have our own "Brown Underclass" in the U.S., too!!

Sigh.

Posted by: Whackadoodle at February 21, 2003 11:17 AM


ikram is right,

things have changed a lot in my short brown life-the "regression toward mean" is kicking into high gear as the cousins of the doctors (the motel owners) bring their cousins (the cab drivers) and so on. things still haven't gone to hell, and being brown is still a bit schizo, you have the KWKI-MART/doctor/engineering reputation.

both godless & me do argue for a more education weighted immigration system partly to prevent the down-grading of the educational level of the brown community-the stuff that vinod talks about, the cachet associated with brownness will disappear when the average educational level drops below the american mean.

that being said, the brown quality that still comes to the US is higher than average. not to get too psychometric-but richard lynn has indicated that the brown IQ is in england is about the same as whites (hindus from east africa are the highest, bangladeshis lowest-lynn has indicated this might have to do with a continum of language fluency and assimilatino, though initial social & genetic capital due to differential levels of selective migration might be at play)-so the situation there is not all messed (the west indian/black IQ is about the same as the US, and ther are resultant higher levels of crime & illegitimacy from that community).

see this City Journal article on the paradoxes of the asian elite and underlcass in england. the brown undelcass in england is mostly muslim (the children of mill workers-but the article points out many have sucessful sibling). and despite this, you still have pecularities like 25% of the medical students in britain being brown (about the same overrepresentation that you have in america, though the base population is much smaller).

the mexican-punjabis are irrelevant to the brown experience, they are "rediscovering" their heritage, they were raised catholic and spanish-speaking by their mothers. the new punjabi farmers in central valley are a different element though, i know from friends i have from fresno & the area they are rather pusy but hard working....

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 01:53 PM


There's a cachet to being brown?!? Not around here. And I'm glad there isn't. I'm a regualar person, not a racial curiosity.

I don't think educational thresholds for immigration work that effectively. Canada has them as part of its points system, but unless you forbid citizens from sponsoring their relatives (politicaly impossible), normal people will immigrate (not just PH.Ds).

And, though I certainly understand the ground rules of this blog, I wouldn't be so quick to jump to genetic explanation for poor performance of Britons of Bengladeshi, Pakistani, and Kashmiri origin.

Bangladeshis genetically inferior ro North Indians? Ayub Khan certainly thought so!

Posted by: Ikram Saeed at February 21, 2003 04:07 PM


It seems as if the Tamils are a paradox ~ they have high educational attainment, but quite a large minority of them are affiliated in criminal/gang activity. Yet the Sri Lankan Tamils in Toronto are also very entrepreunerial. Walk down any street in Scartown and you will be sure to encounter a Tamil store-front sign. They are very prominent in small business ~ the Toronto Tamil business directory is over 1000 pages long, from auto repair to paralegal services to video production! This is a certainly a testament to the Tamil's thrift and hard work and entrepreunerial zest.

The Tamils also seem to place a high value upon education, a disproportionate number of them are Ontario scholars, and a very large percentage of Tamils pursue post-secondary studies (I am not certain of this statistic (can someone please veryify this?) but I heard that Tamils have the highest rate of students pursuing post-secondary studies of all ethnic groups in Canada - and not surprisingly, primarily in medicine and engineering). Unfortunately, the actions of a small criminal minority overshadow the accomplishments of the majority.

http://www.thestar.ca/NASApp/cs/ContentServer?pagename=thestar/Layout/Article_Type1&c=Article&cid=1035777854737&call_page=TS_News&call_pageid=968332188492&call_pagepath=News/News

I believe the quality of the immigrant on his/her culture. Most of these Tamils also arrived penniless as refugees from the civil war Sri Lanka, but because they have strong cultural values, such as emphasis on education and self-reliance, I am certain that the Tamils will become a productive minority in the near future. Being Hindus, they are very unlikely to have fundamentalist leanings (which will make them allies in the West's impending war with the Sino-Islamic axis).

By the way Ikram, are you from Toronto? What neighbourhood do you live in? Brown gang warfare? Brown underclass? I certainly don't think that's likely. Brown ppl are doing very well in Canada. Look at the Millennium Canadian National Scholarship of Merit recipients and check out the disproportionate number of "brown names".

http://www.millenniumscholarships.ca/en/excellencea/winners/local/on/

"Bangladeshis genetically inferior ro North Indians? Ayub Khan certainly thought so! "

Everyone knows the Dravidians are superior :)

Posted by: Sen at February 21, 2003 07:00 PM


well, i just brought up the bangladeshis being possibly genetically less endowed with high levels of g so that everyone knows that i'm open to the possibility-even though i am a bangladeshi by birth & still have bangaldesh citizenship. the low performance of racial north/west indian asians in UK from mirpur in the kashmir/punjab region as well as east indians from bangladesh and compared to gujaratis from the diaspora in east africa is probably cultural, but don't discount possible high levels of g in the narrow genetically isolated mercentile communities of east africa.... and yes-ayub & and his big-milk-tea-drinking crowd thought the "black bengalis" were pussies that couldn't do shit against his "martial race" types-the funny thing is that the east india company, packed with bengalis & tamils (madras & bengal were ruled first) beat the shit out of marathas & sikhs during the wars of conquest-only after 1857 and the sepoy rebelliong did the "non-martial" races get kicked to the curb....

this paradox of high + low levels of success might point strongly to godless' thesis on a very multi-model population.

Posted by: razib at February 21, 2003 08:34 PM


Razib, "Of course Bengalis and Tamils fought well. Determined fighters, these subaltern races. Though certainly not officer material, my good chap. Best when led by their lighter skinned superiors." Now there's something Ayub Khan and Lord Macaulay could both agree on, with varying values for "lighter skinned".

Sen -- The Wests' impeding war with the Sino-Islamic Axis?!? Oh dear. I have visions of Rahim Jaffer and Adrienne Clarkson battling against Stephen Harper and Stockwell 'Doris' Day. What -- you didn't mean that particular 'west'?

Tamils came penniless. Everyone came penniless. Chinese, Algerians, Haitians, Somalis, Ukranians, Irish. There's not much that's more tedious than yet another immigrant group recounting its Horatio Alger story. Tamils do well, but in my view Ismailis and Chinese do better. (And many Tamils I've met have fundamentalist leanings. Though not of the type you seem concerned with)

As for gang warfare. There's plenty on the west coast. 50 to 60 gangland killings of young brown men. Mostly punjabi. It's not carried by the National media much, but the Indo-Canadian times, run by Tara Singh Hayat's son carries details regularly. But underclass is not the right word. If there were a Canadian version of "the Sopranos" or "Kingpin", it ought to be Sikh based. "The Khalsa". Do you think Sheila Copps will hand over the cash for that?

Posted by: ikram Saeed at February 21, 2003 11:01 PM


There was a special on the CBC about 4 months ago that outlined the problems the police were having with the Indo-Canadian community's reluctance to help the police with a number of unsolved "gang" related murders. That in addition to headlines in newspapers and the nightly news tend to focus one's attention on this phenomenon.

In Toronto - there was a period - up until at least 3 years ago, you would hear on the news that Tamil/Sri Lankan (don't know the difference) gangs were thought to be involved in some gangland type murders on a somewhat regular occurrence and a few months - years later when the suspects were caught they appeared to be Tamils/Sri Lankans.

I heard it had to do with Tamils (Tamil Tigers?) hating Sri Lankans or vice versa - don't really follow the situation there or have any idea pertaining to the origins of the hostilities.

Before the Sri/Tamil violence there was a few years when Vietnamese violence was gaining attention but it then dissipated. In the last few years I haven't heard much in the way of Tamil/Sri Lankan gang warfare as black violence and police racial profiling have taken center stage in the Toronto media (as it has since at least the 80's).

When i was young, I once drove through a Tamil district in South Africa and I was horrified by their appearance (don't mean to be insulting). I asked "what the hell are these people?" I was told they were Tamils and my cousins made a few remarks as to their unpleasant appearance. I couldn't wait to get the fuck out of that place - their appearance literally scared the shit out of me. I also remember they were poor - very poor.

I had a classmate in my advanced stream math (Canada) who appeared to be Tamil (could have been brahman - i have no clue - he was very, very, very dark and had Tamil features from what i remember as an early teen travelling through South Africa). He was a great guy - friendly and easy going - and appeared to be a "genius" in math - nothing less than 100% on every test - usually more (bonus questions) and had the highest mark in the class. He was very advanced in mathematics for his age(he was a year younger than us) - appeared brighter than any of his/our teachers - at least in math - he used to spend his class time drawing Slayer and Metallica album covers - he was bored. His dad had an advanced degree in mathematics or in engineering.

I had a roomate at University of Calgary that was from Tamil Nadu (He is a devoted Roman Cathlic) - he looked "North Indian" from what little I know about the indian community (even though i'm indian in ancestry), was very very smart(especially for a religious guy) and he's a good friend. He told me alot about India - first person i really had an in-depth conversation in regards to that nation.

I've noticed that many North Indian muslims (my clan) tend to make a face that conveys disgust when one talks about "Tamils". I've noticed it in my mother, but not my father (liberal, virulent anti-racist) and many a north Indian muslim. Is there some history there or is this just coincidence. I think that alot of Tamils are very poor in South Africa wheras Gujurati's are relatively wealthy. Gujurati's may have come to see themselves as superior - i have no clue. I have a very superficial knowledge of Indian history, culture and tribal affiliations.

Posted by: the alpha male at February 22, 2003 02:24 AM


end of 4th paragraph should read:
....(as it has, off and on since at least the 80's).

Posted by: the alpha male at February 22, 2003 02:28 AM


LOL, man alpha, you are HILARIOUS. fear of a tamil planet my man!

a few facts my north indian muslim brother-the gujarati muslims in south africa are on average the wealthiest part of the asian community (i read this once-there is even a stereotype about this where muslims look down on hindus because of their greater wealth, though the averge muslim income drops if you include the cape coloreds who are "malay"). they are derived from trader communities. the tamils from what i remember were among the poorer ones, while the hindu gujaratis are in the middle.

south india-tamil nadu & kerala, have low birthrates, and kerala has sweden's vital statistics (infant mortality, life expec, etc.), without the hot leggy blondes :( in many ways, compared to north, west and east india, the deep dravidian south is rather civilized. also, as well all know, bangalore & hyderabad in the south are tech metropolii, though both cities have a large hindi & urdu speaking contingent.

north indians don't think highly of south indians sometimes because the latter do not adhere to their canons of beauty. this is not a religious thing-as many male movie stars in india are muslim north indians (the khans-mostly unrelated). to some extent, bengalis had to go through the same thing with punjabis and their mohajir cohorts before 1971, stereotyped are black-skinned snub-nosed (i realized last year looking at pictures of bengali peasants that one of my cousins looked a bit like them, but no one else really does-i had never reflected on possible racial divisions correlated with class before that).

but south indians, especially tamils (though kerala, along with mizoram, has the highest literacy rate in india) are very well represented in the sciences-i once saw a quote that 70% of the physicists in the indian nuclear program were tamil. even a.j. kalam, the muslim president of india is a tamil (he was the father of the indian nuclear bomb)! additionally, i remember my college roommate from singapore assuming i must be really good at math because i was brown (though he thought i looked more malay than indian-not hairy, and not as dark)-later, i realized that almost all the indians he had known were tamil, so of course.... (i'm not bad @ math-but i wouldn't ever dare to say tamil smart, though one of my younger brothers is prolly in that range).

but really, what does it matter? most whites can't tell the tell the diff-we're all pakis to them :) and if they don't think of us as pakis and are female, its all exotic chocolate, no matter if its milk or dark :)

i did hear a funny story about a slutty friend of mine who had sex with this guy, assumed he was black, until he turned the lights on and she saw he had straight hair. he'd worn a baseball cap the whole time they had hung out that day (first time they met)-and was dark with rather non-caucasoid features. he was tamil. she also told me it made sense, because she had thought he had the smallest cock she'd seen on a black guy while they were doing it (i hope that doesn't sound racist? that's a quote).

also-there is a difference between tamil groups in sri lanka. the jaffna tamils have been there for 2,000 years or so, they are the indigenous tamils of sri lanka (also called ceylon tamils). but the tamils who worked in the tea-gardens, called indian tamils, are recent migrants. the indian tamils haven't been too active politically, and are social and economically downtrodden.

don't confuse the tamil brahmin community (iyers and their ilk) with the rest, they'll castrate you for it....

Posted by: razib at February 22, 2003 02:47 AM


Razib:
"i did hear a funny story about a slutty friend of mine who had sex with this guy, assumed he was black, until he turned the lights on and she saw he had straight hair. he'd worn a baseball cap the whole time they had hung out that day (first time they met)-and was dark with rather non-caucasoid features. he was tamil. she also told me it made sense, because she had thought he had the smallest cock she'd seen on a black guy while they were doing it (i hope that doesn't sound racist? that's a quote)."

Now, stories like this are the real reason we come to GNXP...

Posted by: -R at February 22, 2003 03:59 AM


Just to clarify, the Tamils are a Dravidian Tamil-speaking Hindu minority in Sri Lanka. They constitute roughly 15% of the Sri Lankan population and are primarily concentrated along the northern and eastern coasts. The Sinhalese are the “Aryan” Sinhala-speaking Theravada Buddhist majority. (Yes, there are still some brown Buddhists out there…) So a Sri Lankan could be Sinhalese or Tamil or Muslim or Burgher, however most Sri Lankans in Toronto are Tamil.

The Tamil minority claims to have been discriminated by the Sinhala government. A major grievance of the Jaffna Tamils is “standardization”, instituted in 1973 by the socialist Bandaranaike government, in which higher-qualified Jaffna Tamils were denied university admission in favour of low-performing Sinhalese (since Tamils were vastly over represented, especially in the sciences and engineering. Hmm… doesn’t this policy sound familiar?)

As a result, many of these same disaffected youth would later take up arms against what they perceived as the discriminatory Sinhalese government. A traditionally passive, pacifistic agrarian people raised to shun violence and to study suddenly turned militant. The Tamil Tigers are perhaps most ruthless guerrillas in the world ~ they have carried out numerous assassinations of Sri Lankan dignitaries and moderate Tamils, and are renowned worldwide for employing teenage suicide bombers. Much of the Tamil middle-class has fled to the West, and most of the Tigers’ funds are amassed (or extorted) from sympathetic Tamil expatriate refugees in Europe and Canada. (In my view, Tamil militancy is not justified. Blacks in the United States during the Jim Crow era and Indian Tamils in South Africa faced far more discrimination, yet they did not take up arms!)

I honestly believe that Sri Lanka has the potential to become the first developed brown nation. All the cards are there – an educated populace (90%+ literacy rate), gender equality, high life expectancy, low infant mortality, low birth rate and low population growth, a hard-working, education-minded populace. Plus, Sri Lanka’s greatest asset is GEOGRAPHY. Fine natural harbours in Colombo and Trinco, excellent tropical “paradise” climate, and an island strategically located in the heart of the Indian Ocean right smack along shipping routes in between the militant Mid-East, colossal India and China, and emerging Indonesia. Who wouldn’t love to set up an economic or military base there?

Sri Lanka has a lot going for it and once they get this mess with the Tigers resolved, Sri Lanka could become the first great brown Asian lion.

Posted by: Sen at February 22, 2003 05:27 PM


I find this discussion quite interesting and have a few questions :
Are the north indian brahmins as academically successful as the south indian ones ?
Sen in the above post refers to Tamils as sri-lankans only but I always thought that there were Tamils in south india also. What are the people from Bangalore ? Another kind of dravidians ?
On a different note,was hinduism imposed on the dravidians by the (aryan?) north indians or was it homegrown ?
Are the dravidians a purely caucasoid group ? How do they relate to those "tribals" that one sometimes reads about ? How do the Andamanese islanders fit into this mix ? Are there people on the continent itself who are like the Andamanese ?
The dark skinned indians seem incredibly diverse. Some of them look like " white men painted black" and i have no difficulty believing them to be caucasoids. But I've seen some indians who could very easily pass for black africans if they kept their hair short. Are people like that caucasoids too ? Evolving dark skin is easy , but evolving particular facial structure ? Lastly, i've also seen indians who looked exactly like australian aborigenes.
Lastly, who actually rules/ruled in india ? The light skinned, "beautiful", "aryan" northerners or the seemingly more successful, more ingenious southerners ?

Posted by: ogunsiron at February 23, 2003 01:41 AM


i will preface this by saying that i am a northeast indian (bengali) of muslim origin-but as an atheist that doesn't identify particularly with my own natal culture, i think i can be objective :)


I find this discussion quite interesting and have a few questions :
Are the north indian brahmins as academically successful as the south indian ones ?

i suspect in absolute numbers perhaps-there are many more northerners than southerners (depending on any way you plausibly define it). the narrow-sense definition of "northerner" might be the hindi & punjabi speaking peoples of the north-center and northwest. that is 45% of india's population. you could add the gujarati, marathi peoples of the western coast, who speak indo-aryan languages, as well as bengalis, assamese & oriyas who also speak indo-aryan languages (this is the standard 3:1 "Aryan" vs "Dravidian" ratio). i have read that south indian brahmins man the english speaking civil service in many northern cities-one reason to prevent the replacement of english with hindi in all official documents. note that the south traditionally has had less social inequality, patriarchy and communal conflict for whatever reason (not a paradise-but the indian state of bihar would be a "failed state" if it was a self-governing nations. in contrast, the 4 southern states are pretty well governed [excuse some of the antics in tamil nadu], but importantly in different ways-kerala is communist, while karnataka and andhara pradesh have free-market leaning governments (the PM of andhara pradesh is probably the most important politician in the country that won't be a national force because he doesn't have good hindi)).


Sen in the above post refers to Tamils as sri-lankans only but I always thought that there were Tamils in south india also. What are the people from Bangalore ? Another kind of dravidians ?
On a different note,was hinduism imposed on the dravidians by the (aryan?) north indians or was it homegrown ?

bangalore is a multi-ethnic city in a dravidian region-kind of like how brussels in a french-speaking city (mostly) in a flemish part of belgium. bangalore has a large hindi (north indian language) speaking population amongst kannada speakers. there are also plenty of muslims, tamil speakers, and engineers from kerala.

hinduism is a synthetic religion-the brahmins did "migrate" (these are legendary mostly, though are historic migrations) from the north and introduced sanskritic culture-but high culture hinduism, with its concepts of karma, and the shiva cult, own a lot of non-aryan beliefs. modern hinduism is a mix, but i find that it is probably non-aryan spirituality in aryan garb (one could say the same about the greek pantheon, only zeus was explicitly and obviously indo-european of their gods).


Are the dravidians a purely caucasoid group ? How do they relate to those "tribals" that one sometimes reads about ? How do the Andamanese islanders fit into this mix ? Are there people on the continent itself who are like the Andamanese ?
The dark skinned indians seem incredibly diverse. Some of them look like " white men painted black" and i have no difficulty believing them to be caucasoids. But I've seen some indians who could very easily pass for black africans if they kept their hair short. Are people like that caucasoids too ? Evolving dark skin is easy , but evolving particular facial structure ? Lastly, i've also seen indians who looked exactly like australian aborigenes.

there are some tentative connections to australian aborigines. most of the stuff you say is correct, and can also be applied to many northerners who are dark, etc. the averages differ, but outside of a few outliers like kashmir, you'll see a smattering of phenotypes all over the place (ie; tall light tamils and dark punjabis are not unknown-i believe the indian american astronaut who died was punjabi, but she wasn't that "caucasoid" looking facially from what i recall).

Lastly, who actually rules/ruled in india ? The light skinned, "beautiful", "aryan" northerners or the seemingly more successful, more ingenious southerners ?

in what area? politically the hindi-speakers have tended to dominate, though a few southerners have become PM. the current PM is a brahmin from the north, and the nehru dynasty also comes from the same province, though they are ancestrally from even furthern north, kashmir (though the current generation of gandhis, priyanka & her brother are half italian and 1/4 parsee and 1/4 kashmiri brahmin, not representative of the north indian elite by any means).

economically-the pictures is more mixed, and outside of punjab, the northern states tend to lag in a whole host of areas, and bihar is a basket-case as i have said. the most dynamic cities are in the south aside from bombay, which is kind of a west coast city i guess (with a hindi speaking majority i believe).

complicated.

Posted by: razib at February 23, 2003 02:09 AM


I think very few Brahmins went to S.E.Asia. Most of the S.E.Asian Indians may belong to the lower castes whose traditional role has been that of labourers. The richest guy Ananda Krishnan sounds like a Tamil Brahmin.
Besides the Chinese in Singapore are very similar to the Anglo Saxon Whites in Australia and New Zealand. I mean Indians might the most proporous guys in say Guyana, but they did not help convert Guyana into a first world nation. Mauritius (Indians 55% and most came from the poor backward Northern states of Uttar pradesh and Bihar) might be the closest thing Indians did to build a prosporous world country from scratch. But Mauritius is no Singapore or Australia.

Posted by: Subrato at February 23, 2003 10:12 AM


good points about mauritius & guyana....
(also remember trinidad & fiji)

Posted by: razib at February 23, 2003 01:24 PM


In reference to the Tamil crime rate -- immediately after immigration to the US Jews flourished in many areas, including boxing and crime. Even now I know a 55 y.o. Jewish pathologist who has relatives with embarassing Mafia connections. (He's married to a fully assimilated Chinese-American).

Posted by: zizka at February 23, 2003 09:22 PM


I agree totally most people of Bharat in every region are Aryans. Aryans originated in India and Sanskrit is the mother language of Indo-European languages.

Posted by: Jaswant Singh Sodhi at April 24, 2003 05:19 PM


Firstly, I am curious as to why you would quickly make the assumption that Ananda Krishan is Tamil Brahmin. Is it by the virtue that he is the richest man in Malaysia? No, he is not Tamil Brahmin. In fact he attended a Tamil primary school here in Kuala Lumpur and went on to University of Melbourne on a scholarship and then to Harvard for his MBA. I am sure he is very proud of his origins and he could potentially be offended if he unduly shifted focus from his achievements to his indepth racial make up.

Increasingly, Indians all over the world have realised what they ought to be doing.. taking on the world. We had a civilised society long before the western world was civilised (read your history). So stop fretting about what, who, which DNA group you might belong to. I am a half caste Indian..part Tamil, part Andhra and other parts which I am unsure of but my parents assure me its all Indian :-)but I am proud to identify myself as Indian as I am afraid to puzzle the non-Indians by dazzling them with my inherited half caste make up. Indian alone is enough and I am proud to say that wherever in the world that I go to, people seem to acknowledge me first an Indian then a Malaysian. You can't change the way you look (unless you are Micheal Jackson and have an affinity for plastic.. so there you go


I think very few Brahmins went to S.E.Asia. Most of the S.E.Asian Indians may belong to the lower castes whose traditional role has been that of labourers. The richest guy Ananda Krishnan sounds like a Tamil Brahmin.
Besides the Chinese in Singapore are very similar to the Anglo Saxon Whites in Australia and New Zealand. I mean Indians might the most proporous guys in say Guyana, but they did not help convert Guyana into a first world nation. Mauritius (Indians 55% and most came from the poor backward Northern states of Uttar pradesh and Bihar) might be the closest thing Indians did to build a prosporous world country from scratch. But Mauritius is no Singapore or Australia.

Posted by: Krishnavenee at July 27, 2003 09:19 AM


Firstly, I am curious as to why you would quickly make the assumption that Ananda Krishan is Tamil Brahmin. Is it by the virtue that he is the richest man in Malaysia? No, he is not Tamil Brahmin. In fact he attended a Tamil primary school here in Kuala Lumpur and went on to University of Melbourne on a scholarship and then to Harvard for his MBA. I am sure he is very proud of his origins and he could potentially be offended if he unduly shifted focus from his achievements to his indepth racial make up.

Increasingly, Indians all over the world have realised what they ought to be doing.. taking on the world. We had a civilised society long before the western world was civilised (read your history). So stop fretting about what, who, which DNA group you might belong to. I am a half caste Indian..part Tamil, part Andhra and other parts which I am unsure of but my parents assure me its all Indian :-)but I am proud to identify myself as Indian as I am afraid to puzzle the non-Indians by dazzling them with my inherited half caste make up. Indian alone is enough and I am proud to say that wherever in the world that I go to, people seem to acknowledge me first an Indian then a Malaysian. You can't change the way you look (unless you are Micheal Jackson and have an affinity for plastic.. so there you go


I think very few Brahmins went to S.E.Asia. Most of the S.E.Asian Indians may belong to the lower castes whose traditional role has been that of labourers. The richest guy Ananda Krishnan sounds like a Tamil Brahmin.
Besides the Chinese in Singapore are very similar to the Anglo Saxon Whites in Australia and New Zealand. I mean Indians might the most proporous guys in say Guyana, but they did not help convert Guyana into a first world nation. Mauritius (Indians 55% and most came from the poor backward Northern states of Uttar pradesh and Bihar) might be the closest thing Indians did to build a prosporous world country from scratch. But Mauritius is no Singapore or Australia.

Posted by: Krishnavenee at July 27, 2003 09:20 AM


Here is a total and complete ethnological classification of India.
First there were the abhoriginese, who arrived with the first mass migrations out of africa. These make up the australoid and negrito populations.
Then there were the Dravidians who formed the Indus valley civilisation.
They are claimed to be caucasians, of mediterrenean/semitic/sumerian stock. The underclass of this civilisation was the australoid abhoriginese stock.
There was a large amount of mixing.
Then there were the aryas. The aryas flowed out of the northwest khyber pass and conquered and populated India in the same manner and order that a water wave would.
They created the caste system and subjugated the abhoriginese(dasyas) and the mixed dravidians.
During the 1st millenium Ad there were several central asian invasions. It is these invasions that are probably responsible for the prevalence of white skin today. All original Aryan skin would probably be black by now.
To name a few tribes among the invaders, the Scythians(Aryan tribe?), White Huns, Bactrian Greeks, Sakas, Turks and Tartars(muslims) etc.
Therefore today, light skin in India goes often with a nonaryan face, such as the semitic/turkic punjabi look.
I suppose that the Aryan face is rectangular, with a high whatsitcalled index(index of depth).
I have noticed this trait among some of higher caste south Indians with dark skin, and atrophied bodies, but it exists.
A bit like the greek/roman classical model.
To a high degree, the qualities of the tribes and castes of india are a function of their racial composition.(Insert Hitler theory here)
To a large extent also they are the evolved reaction to local environments.(overpopulated swampy Bengal produced small aphysical men, and dry aired rajputana produced--well the rajputs and jats)
To subject a country such as India with its multitudes of high philosophers and apes side-by-side, to the yoke of democracy is a crime against humanity.
Seig Heil!
-Timurlane

Posted by: Timurlane the allknowing at September 23, 2003 01:46 AM