The brown Pandit's Brown can and I am here with our old friend, Kushal Merrick Mehra of the Tribecca podcast, and we are going to do a broadcast on cast. And the reason we are doing this is because of an, I don't know, Internet discussion debate that Kushal and a few of our other friends got into over the last week. I feel like I really haven't seen much of it. I've seen a little bit here and there, partly because the time zone differences are so crucial.
Could you tell us what's been happening? Right here. Thanks for having me again. So just to give a brief background, it all started from a couple of tweets and there I don't want to take names here because I believe we should be sticking to ideas. But it all started from a few Twitter handles talking about Jotty, organize a system where they basically said that Jotty weren't as the system was both based. And and we should we should state it as it is.
And that's what the Shastra Sea. And then it led me to asking a very specific question to one of them as to what are your personal views on that.
And then again, it led to a range of discussions which was followed up on a major discussion online. But this is what I want to surmise. So the discussion that was happening is that is Jotty or not morally defensible? Is Jotty or know broad based and what do the scriptures say?
B, should we be comparing the past with the present, which is what was Jotty or not, if it was birth based? First of all, that's the assumption.
And if it is both based, then should we be comparing Jotty organize the system in the past to the current and of it is today.
And if we do, whether it is good or bad and there are different views on different sites.
So I don't want to start with a very elaborate discussion, but to me, I want to focus on the points made in the discussion till now. And obviously I'm going to follow it up with a lot more than my own Farkash. But so and and I actually wanted to know your views from my evolutionary and genetic point of view.
And I'll ask you a few questions later on, too.
But so to summarize it, this was the discussion about it focused around the efficacy of Jotty or not as a system. Yeah, yeah.
OK, so, I mean, my impression is so some people were making religious arguments, but there were also kind of like utilitarian social arguments going on in there, coming at it from an American perspective, the way I was raised and my family is also Muslim, so maybe that colors my view. Caste, caste, Jotty, Varno, whatever you want to call it, the way it's been, Pakistan, India seems to be quite pernicious. That's kind of like my prior.
But I'm going try to go in this without that sort of viewpoint. So let's let's talk about that. But so but I am curious, Kushal, what is your caste? What is your job? I think it's country. You think it is so so in your family, you barely talked about it to the point where it's kind of vague.
I mean, I remember my writing my cash down in my school report card. That's the only time we had a discussion in our entire life. That's all that taught in our school calendars.
When you take admission, they would make you write your jotty for some reasons, I guess it was because of the reservation system or something of that sort in India school that I was in a private school and they made me like my jati. That's the only time. And we had a very mixed school class, so we had people from all parties. So the lower class, the upper class, I was I was educated in a school, which was very it was not one it was not a singular upper class school.
It was actually very mixed with lower class kids.
And secondly, in my own case, I belong to a family where my mother's side of the family are staunch out of somebody. So I don't know if anybody knows about that so much over here. It was a reformist Hindu movement. And what happens with the artists and is that they are very anti cast and so caste is never brought up in the house. If if any time it is brought up in the house, it is brought up in a very derogatory manner that it is the worst thing that could happen to you in general.
You'll notice I mean, this is my experience, that I've rarely met somebody in my life who is an apologist for caste. At least in my life. So that's my upbringing, so to be very honest, I am sure that it is Katri because I have written it in the school. But if you ask me, have you ever discussed it in the halls, like on a dinner table or a breakfast table, when mom and dad tell me all countries are so awesome, the countries or the countries that not even once in my entire lifetime and my dad, A.R.T., somebody, by the way, my mom's somebody, and not even once in our entire lifetime have we had this word uttered in our house that countries awesome.
Hmm, well, so and you don't you did not have an arranged marriage, correct? No. Yeah, so, I mean, in a way like it wouldn't have come up in your life as much as a lot of a lot of the Indians, you know, your fellow citizens right in your social circle in Mumbai, like I mean, does it ever come up? I mean, are there issues with vegetarianism? You have your own pretty singular philosophy and you're very vocal about it.
Like I mean, how does how do your opinions on this institution, which is pretty central to the lives of many Indians, like, how does that come into play in your day to day life? I'm curious.
So as far as my friends are concerned, cost has never been discussed in our lives at all. Like my friends are not even Hindu, right. My two best friends from my childhood, my best friend from the childhood, were in the same class from grade one to our last year of bachelors, literally in the same school and then in the in the school year in the same class and then in college, obviously were in different classes. But yeah.
So when we went to junior college in India, 11 and 12 was called a junior college. And then you go to a university that you guys call for the bachelor's degree. So he's ajan and we've never discussed, like, I don't know, his cost. I mean, you Indians have a cost, but I don't know his cost. I've never asked him. He's never asked me in other extended friends. So it goes on in cousins or in anybody for that matter maybe.
Look, I lived in Mumbai and in Mumbai. It is not discussed. But I'll tell you, when I got out of there also very I got aware of cost and my consciousness about cost changed. When I started working in rural India and slums in Mumbai. That's when I realized my cost consciousness, that that's the time I really got aware of what cost is when I went to one hundred percent.
Sure you gushingly privilege. And that's when I realized that maybe because I'm an upper crust, I never had to discuss about caste, but anyone in my school and they were lower class, you know. But you just play sport together. You do rough and tumble together. You talk to each other. We still talk to each other. By the way, we have our school reunions. Even Dad, we don't talk about cars.
We don't care about it. But the point is, that's an apologia. There is cost, there is casteism, I have seen it with my own eyes when I go to slums in Mumbai, I have seen it with my own eyes when I worked in two villages for three years non-stop, which are one hundred percent sure you gustman schedule time. And I and my perspective since then has changed completely. Casteism is real. It is pernicious all over our society.
And the people who say that cost has nothing to do with scripture either lying. It has everything to do with scripture. Yes, in the scriptures are not a monolith like Abrahamic religions. Do you love one scripture that will say one thing and the other scriptures that will say another thing. And so you can read the entire Hindu society discuss this, because there are some serious Hindu rumors that have come out of rejection of casteism. So I'm not painting and all of Hinduism as Gustus.
But yes, there are some paradice that means plans or sects or groups in Hinduism that follow a particular guru or follow a particular ideology or a literature that are just. Yeah, yeah.
So I mean, my question to you, your interlocutors, those who are taking the position opposite to you and obviously I'm pretty sympathetic to your own worldview, so I'm not disagreeing with you at all. But what is their argument for why? I don't honestly, I don't care about the religious justification because I don't believe in that. And you don't believe in a lot of that either. What is their functional utilitarian? What is their like? Caste is caste.
Ivana is a useful institution. Social technology for Indian society. What is their argument?
All right. So I actually have questions for you now because I think you are in a far better position to answer this. I look, I'm someone who only looks at things from a moral, ethical and philosophical lens, as anybody who knows me by now should get an idea. I'm not going to comment on science because you are a scientist. So I'll place their positions and I'm going to try to do the best deal man as I can. And if anybody who says that I'm not done a Spielman, I apologize in advance and I will correct myself happily.
But from what I understood is that it is a nature nurture conglomeration here and caste that is an indigenous society leads to a very stable society according to the people who are apologetic about caste or Jeevana, that pre-industrial societies are naturally going to be a bigamist. And bigamy led to our survival, our as in our survival as Hindus. And that's the reason that you are born makes sense at that time.
Now, if now the other argument that I have seen a lot of, quote unquote, conservative Hindus, because I don't know if they're conservative, there are a lot of conservative Hindus and the majority of conservative Hindus actually reject casteism completely lock, stock and barrel. But this section of conservative Hindus always also tend to use Nicholas interleaved. I'm sure you I don't know how to pronounce it Elyon device.
It's called Lendee Effect or whatever. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. So the effect basically says that if a set of ideas or a book or whatever a meme lasts for X number of years, there's a mathematical probability that there's going to last X plus hundred. Right. That's what Lyndy is. Right. Yeah, that it gets more valuable, I think that it gets even like the utility, the returns increase over time.
Yeah, so that's the lendee effect. But what I have understood that the lendee effect for no means whatever makes any moral ethical judgment on the idea itself. It doesn't make any moral ethical judgment on the idea.
So what what is being claimed over here is Jotty organized Lyndy and because Gentiloni is Lyndy and Jotty or not is sensible from a pre-industrial society perspective. Now, if you look at that, then the natural follow up that I turn to us, to them, is that OK, if Jotty were nice lendee, then is slavery lyndy? And if slavery is lendee, then is it, as you present it, to be useful as you presented that you were not to be useful?
Right. That's a fair question. I can draw another parallel right from from some other other religion or, you know, a lot of cultures over the years, the Mediaplex of FGM has survived all this time. So is FGM Lyndy and FGM is lendee. Is that a moral justification from fear for female genital mutilation? Now, these are serious questions that I want to ask from this group.
So if this lendee now let's come on the other side on, if I may say Antigoni leads to, you know, evolutionarily stable societies.
So it's an SS, right. Evolutionary stable's strategy as they use in evolutionary biology or evolutionary psychology, that it leads to survival of the meme or the gene. It's an SS knife. Göteborg is an SS. Then you are making a moral statement, right? It's a moral statement. It's a statement that says that was the right strategy to do at that time. That means it's objective moral statement. Now, Michael, when I tell them that if it's an objective moral statement on that time, then is a prophet of a particular religion conducting certain acts at that point of time, you would you give that kind of leeway and would you give that kind of relativistic freedom to that prophet?
And the same people would say the prophet of that particular religion, which is Prophet Muhammad, and whatever he's done in the Qur'an and whatever he said in the Koran, that is morally bad. But then I would ask them the question and bear with me, please.
That why is that bad? They would immediately compare his antics to the present standard. Then I was like, I just compared Jotty. You are not to the present standard, but you accused me of presentism. But then aren't you doing the same presentism when you compare it to a Prophet Muhammad? So I don't get what they're trying to do. So now my question to you is because you're the scientist and you're the geneticist. So tell me, is Indigo me and evolutionary stable strategy?
I think it is so it is an evolutionary stable strategy insofar as it depends on the social scale that you're talking about. So we have a fair amount of anthropology, ethnography, history, and now we have genetics, including ancient DNA. What I can tell you is when you look at someone's DNA, you can see if they come from an anonymous group. And then if you get multiple people's DNA, you can see how the groups relate to each other.
What I can tell you is when you look at hunter gatherers and not all hunter gatherers, but these are Paleolithic people or just tribal people that don't do agriculture, that are nomadic. Some of these groups are extremely and extremely homogenous to the point where the theories that anthropologists have had, that hunter gatherers are very hostile to outsiders does make a lot of sense. What you see with the rise of agriculture and cities and dense mass societies is this sort of population structure broke down all over the world.
So one fact that I can tell you is that for several thousand years in central Germany, between seven thousand and five thousand years ago, there was a situation where there were Hunter-Gatherer communities that were living nearby to farming communities. And when they looked at the genetics of the two group, they were genetically distinct. And these are communities that lived 10, 15 miles from each other. I think like 20 or 30 kilometers by your measurement. Right. They were they were genetically distinct for two thousand years as Chinese people are from Northern Europeans today.
OK, so that's actually like a that's like a caste system. Like they had two different occupations, very different lifestyles. They were probably we know that they were physically different. So the hunter gatherers had blue eyes and very dark skin where the hunter or the farmers had lighter skin and dark hair and dark eyes. And so they look different. They almost certainly spoke different languages. They lived different lifestyles. Over time, the hunter gatherers disappeared. They were absorbed into the farmers.
And, you know, all of that disappeared over time as the different lifestyles broke down. And you see this in different parts of the world. So one thing that you can say as a broad generalization is the genetic differences between groups in small areas of space has collapsed over the last ten thousand years all across the world as populations have been mixing. That has been something that we've been seeing.
There are exceptions. There are exceptions. India over the last two thousand years is an exception. So some people have said. Well, you know, cars were created two hundred years ago or whatever and all of these things, and in some cases that does seem to be true, but in a lot of cases it's not true. And so if you look at there have been studies where the geneticists were shocked when they initially looked at the results because there's people in a village in Andhra Pradesh and one of them is from this caste and another one's from this caste.
And they keep looking at all these people. And it turns out the two different cars are as genetically different as, say, someone from Sicily is from someone from Sweden in Europe, which basically means in India, you have all of these communities where there are these different parties who are as genetically different as someone from the far north of China. And the far south of China. So in China, in Europe, you have a situation where your genetic relatedness to people is just dependent on how far away you are born from them, that's all.
Unless you're an Austrian Jew. All that matters is distance Ashkenazi Jews are not miscast in Europe traditionally, and so they are different. The Roma, the gypsy are also different, but those are the only two communities that are like that in Europe. In China, there's almost no community like that. It's all about like what what province you're from, what town you're from. And in China, you have situations where these paternal lineages, women marry into them all the time from wherever and they get assimilated into the local lineage.
So you don't see the genetic distinctiveness in India. It's not like that at all. It looks like there was very, very little intermarriage for a really long time across India. So was it persisted? Yes, it's lasted for a long time and there's huge differences. This is not something that the recent creation, but India is actually exceptional. Now, there's one area of the world that has the same sort of genetic differences, I guess, with these inbred clans.
And that's the Middle East with huge multiple generations of cousin marriage. And Pakistan has us, too. But that's a different phenomenon because there are women from the outside that can marry into those communities. And so they're not genetically distinct in the way Indian castes are now. This isn't one hundred percent true. But I can tell you, like all of the ideas that I've ever looked at genetically look exactly the same. Like they have the same ancestors, OK?
They're like a real caste. Similarly, like Dov's from Bihar, like a lot of these communities are very, very genetically distinct from each other. One of the consequences of this, by the way, is Indians probably have a higher rate of disease than they would otherwise have because they're not intermarrying with each other, which means that they have these small populations and you get diseases unique to every community. If they started intermarrying, a lot of those diseases would automatically disappear.
So that is the fact from a scientific perspective now, I will say. I'm seeing quotations in the literature of intermarriage, rates of like five, 10 percent, maybe that's way too high for caste or whatever, not as it's existed to maintain itself for more than two or three hundred years into the future because we're talking intermarriage rates that are like closer to point one percent, OK, to maintain the level of genetic distance that we see between groups. So that's kind of like the high level where.
Yes, like it's existed as an institution in India. But it's really exceptional. There's not too many. Like there are a few cases that I can give you, like the Ashkenazi Jews or the Pygmies in Congo. But those are exceptions to the rule within those societies. Whereas in India, a lot of groups, like most of the groups, are like that. It does actually look like that in Pakistan as well. It's not like that in Bangladesh.
So Bangladesh looks more like a European country where everybody is mixed up with everybody else and nobody really knows the reason for that. But, you know, that's a little exceptional that way.
So so my question is that let's say we assume that we live in post agricultural world where obviously hunter gatherers would a different scenario.
But in both agricultural societies, we become sedentary. And that's why we raise in numbers. And after we raise in numbers, we basically any normal society as you you have disintegrated in the last five to seven minutes. Other than the Oscar analogy, asking to use are a few cases here and there. But basically like the Han Chinese, for example, the Han Chinese, I mean, it's not like they're not an old civilization. They're quite an old civilization.
Right. So here's another old civilization that's just next door to us. And they have hired a lot of intermixing.
And I mean, if so, India is the is the exception, right? India is not the norm. So how the exception being evolutionarily stable strategy is something that I'm not able to wrap my head around?
Well, I mean, so if you think of a parameter space, so if you think of like a space of options, there could be multiple points in that space of options that are adaptively fit.
So that's why you have diversity. That's why you have species diversity. Sometimes the adaptive fit could be at a lower optimum than the others. But so honestly, like I've talked to multiple geneticists and demographers, India confuses all of them because. This should not exist like this level of genetic distinction should not exist, everyone should have mixed in just like everywhere else. So it's a definite unique cultural institution. And, you know, I have hypothesized it could be the Islamic invasions really solidified things into place.
So it looks like the caste border boundaries that we have really, really solidified. Fifteen hundred years ago and the Muslims came, you know, eight hundred a thousand years ago.
So I'm still not able to understand. So for us to make a claim, does he this is a positive claim, right? When we say that society, like the people who are apologetic to cost, who are apologetic to cost, make a positive claim that it is because India had the jotty in the system and because India was in bigamous and bigamous, that it led to our survival as a sect of people. Now now I'm not able to buy that.
I'll tell you why.
My rationale about why I'm not able to buy such a such an extraordinary thing that assumes that if India was not indigenous and that India was intermixing, India would have perished as a civilization. Now, to make a claim that India would have perished as a civilization if we started intermixing needs a lot of a lot of data. I mean, what is their data based on? Because if they were to see the natural case would have been there would be like, look, these are their societies.
They were not they were non-indigenous and they perish. But as we see, the whole world was none other than the Ashkenazi Jews and the Indians in India.
So I still don't get how would that justify this claim? Because this is a positive claim. The burden of proof is on them. Yeah, yeah, honestly, I think it's a weak claim because you're using an end of one. To make the argument that doesn't mean it's wrong, but there are other cases, so I think the question here is just to make the subtext or the implicit explicit, why is India not Muslim like Iran? Like, that's kind of the question, right?
Like with all of these, like, you know, hundreds of years of Islamic rule, yes, India is still majority indigenous and it's civilization like why? Right. And so their argument is, is Jotty Varno is caste. And I've suggested maybe that is why, too. I mean, it's it's kind of a mystery. I do have to say, though, this is not well known, but Iran did have a caste system. It had a tripartite Aryan caste system with priests, the nobility and the peasants.
And so it probably was not nearly as extreme as India. But Iran also did have a caste system. You can also point out that in the Balkans, in Southeast Europe, it was under Ottoman rule for, say, like five hundred years, give or take, depending on where. And there was no caste system there. And if the Balkan people remained predominantly, overwhelmingly Christian. So caste is not a necessary condition, perhaps it is a sufficient condition.
I think what's going on here is let's be entirely frank. There is a social system that people are invested in, that they have some self-worth and pride invested in. And so they are trying to find justifications for that social system in whatever, you know, facts, data, historical evidence that they can find. I think the argument of China in particular is extremely powerful because India and China are the two great Asian civilizations. They're very different in a lot of ways.
And so one of the primary ways they're different is what we're talking about. The China doesn't really have any caste. Not only does China not have any caste, unlike Europe, it never developed a hereditary nobility. So China, China's elite, was always coming up from the bottom and always falling. There was never anyone by the imperial period who were really hereditary nobles. There were some attempts here and there, but it never lasted. And the Chinese traditionally the foundation of their society, the whole ideology revolved around the farmer, around the peasant.
And they were not they were not seen as beneath dignity. They were seen as like the foundation of society. So that's kind of different than in India, where the different groups have their own different professions. And, you know, the farmers, maybe they were kind of respected in some ways, but not really all the time in the traditional hierarchy. They actually weren't kind of like in Europe where peasant is kind of a negative thing traditionally to say.
And so the Chinese are quite different from that. So in China, you have actually quite an egalitarian self identity and they were conquered multiple times and each time they either kicked out the conquerors or they absorb them. So multiple times they actually absorbed their conquerors to the point where the conquerors became Chinese. So that is an alternative scenario. I would say, if you value things in Indian civilisation and caste is not one of those necessarily. You see in the Chinese a model of a very self-confident you continuously long standing civilisation that doesn't need to be broken up into all these and dogmas, little units.
You know, as I think this conversation is making clear, this Jeevana system is kind of unique. And that's just I'm trying to say in a neutral way, it's not the natural state of things for the vast majority of societies. The only analogies that I can find ubiquitously are actually in hunter gatherer societies like what Varno does is it takes an aggregate and it chops it up with the little pieces. And that can be beneficial in some ways, I'm sure.
But it is definitely not the norm in these mass societies. It's not the norm in the Islamic world. To in the Islamic world. You have cousin marriage and you have tribes, but they're not really divided into natural castes, you know, so women can marry in and bind different communities together. So there's really no difference after a while.
Yeah. And another fascinating thing that I find about this is that in the Indian job, you know, Matrix, it's like a and cost structure meshed together and it just creates a mess of its own kind where you have glass within cars and it just creates double hierarchies. It's not just a singular hierarchy, right? It's a hierarchical system where people are just stuck for ages and ages and ages. And and what what fascinates me is that when. When whenever you go out and have these kinds of discussions with the jotty, you are not apologist and then you go on and you just use you know, you use analogies like slavery.
And I would you use slavery as an example and justify it? Because you know what, I'm sorry to say this, and I'm not saying they do that, but a lot of times these things that I hear from Jackie were no apologies. They sound a lot to me like grace, realism and eugenics people. I don't know if I'm being too too harsh, but nor am I claiming that they are like this. But, you know, it scares the living daylights out of me because I've only heard these kinds of weird arguments from people who are either Israelis or, you know, who are into all kinds of weird eugenic fascinations.
So I mean I mean, I've talked to I've talked to Indians and actually not just Hindus.
I've actually talked to talk to Muslims as well, who I mean, it's not a technical part of Islam, but as we all know, there are similar things going on among Indian Muslims and they are quite explicit about the eugenics characteristics and that they think that they're genetically their group is maintains itself genetically superior. So, you know. I mean, a lot of anti Brahmin ism, especially in south India, is due to kind of mutual contempt and the Brahmins do think that they're better looking, smarter genetically superior and they don't really want to mix with.
The non Brahmin people like you can say this in a religious like, oh, they're not Savarin or whatever, but really there's a racial element to it. Right. Yeah. And so it's not just Jotty Varno. I mean, you know, we've talked about on this podcast, like it's a little foreign to me because obviously I'm American and. All brown people are kind of similar to me because that's how we're treating. But among brown brown people themselves, it's quite obvious that like, you know, like Punjabis think they're genetically superior to, like, madras's or that's what they would call them, you know?
And so, I mean, the same thing is playing out in the Jockey Varner contest, I think, where, you know, if you're if you're I don't know if your competition or Brahman or whatever, like you might be from the Konkan post, but maybe you don't want your daughter or son mixing with the other people because you have sharp features and light eyes and perhaps you think you're part Jewish. I don't know. So there's obviously a genetic racial angle that, you know, and as a geneticist, people will say things to me.
They might not say to you because they think I'll be interested in it, you know?
So I've had Indians explain like we keep our blood pure, you know, we don't you know, we you know, I mean, the people that I know, they would not say they do themselves, but they will say, like, the reason we look like Persians is because we kept our blood pure, like people have said that to me. So it's actually kind of true, though, as I've told you, like, people do not intermarry.
Like you look at the genetic data, they don't you know, it's that's that's how it's been. Why don't they intermarry? Like, why do these kamela honestly, you know, I'm not religious. I don't believe in anything supernatural, but it's like there's some supernatural force because historically humans all across the world have had sex with each other when they've had the opportunity. Yeah. And so, I mean, like what is like it's got some some serious social control to prevent that.
And like, you know, we all hear the stories of honor killing type stuff going on in these some of these societies of various religions. And it has to be like really intense like that. That is the only thing that I can see preventing, you know, more intermarriages than than what the genetic data is showing. Right. So, yeah, I think you're right. I think there is a eugenics or a genealogical or racial element to this that's not just spiritual that I get a sense from a lot of people now.
I don't really I mean, people are worried about the distinctiveness of their culture, right, like if you're. Bengalis are not too much like this, actually, I've noticed the difference between a Bengali Brahman and other Bengalis, especially like Castillos, like other brother looks, is not that great compared to, say, a Tamil, Brahmin and other Tamils. But if someone if someone said like, well, you know, I want to preserve our Bengali Brahmin culture so we should only marry with Brahmins.
I mean, that's a legitimate thing to say, even though actually Bengali Brahmins eat chicken and stuff. So it's not that big of a deal. But in any case, maybe they would say that like mixing people up is going to remove a lot of distinctiveness and a lot of particular history. Now, if you value that. You know, that's that's going to be an issue like so let's say that like let's say that like you're. You're an upper caste man and your daughter goes to university in the United States and she meets like a lower caste man and they're both at Harvard.
There's no reservations. At Harvard for lower caste Indians, they don't know the difference, right? Yeah, so you know you know that this this individual is very good at what they do. They're smart and you're like, OK, like, whatever. Like, they're they're smart. I'm going to let them know they should marry whatever. You're happy with that. But the very act of that marriage is going to mean that the grandchildren will be culturally different from you.
And that matters to a lot of people. You know, it doesn't really matter too much to someone like me. My wife is white, you know, and my kids don't know. By golly, that's just a choice that I made, you know? And I it's not necessarily it's it's a personal choice. Right. So if people say it that way, I think that makes sense. But I would say I gave the example of Bengali Brahmins.
That would actually be a totally stupid argument because Bengali Brahmans are actually very, very similar to other upper caste Bengalis. There's actually very little difference in terms of diet and other things. So that's not a valid argument there. It could be a valid argument, I think, with Tamil Brahmins who are much more likely to be a vegetarian. So you could make those sorts of arguments. But what do you do if you have someone who's like, well, I'll be a vegetarian and I'll participate in your religious rituals?
Right. You should be open with that. Open to that. If that's if that's the argument you're making. So you should be open to people converting to your culture if they want you to. If that is your argument, I don't think that that's the only argument. But that is to me is a legitimate argument. It's a real argument. That's how I feel. Yeah, but I find this argument to be very interesting in its own way, that, you know, in Indian society has historically been plural in a way that anybody who comes in was allowed to form their own sect and let's say and do their own thing.
But the only thing that seems not to be allowed is you can't go out of that zone. It's like you can form your own gated community and you guys can live in your gated community and you can do what you want to do in the gated community. But the gated community cannot get out of the gate and marry someone in the other gated community. And that's pretty much the data from the last two thousand years. Right.
So that's more or less like. Yeah. Let me let me clarify this, though. So if you look at if you look at Parsees, there are about twenty five percent Gujarati and seventy five percent Iranian. Where does that. Twenty five twenty five percent come from. It looks like it's all women. And so what seems to have happened is the first generation, they didn't have that many women, so they married native women. Right. You see the exact same thing with the Ben-Israel, with the coaching Jews.
They have Indian ancestry. They have Jewish ancestry. They mixed up initially and then they went and documents. You actually see the same thing with the Brahmins, Tamil Brahmins. They look to be like seventy five percent up from and twenty five percent Tamil. So that's all women. So there is even even within the system of an Nogami that's really strong. There has been some mixing, it's just that they got assimilated. And that's actually traditionally what happens in most societies.
The difference in India is after the initial generations, the barriers go up. Like once you kind of have enough women of your own community, then you don't ever go outside of the community, which is that's the strange part where it's because like men.
They take what they can get in most cultures, so maybe Indian men or maybe Indian men are different. But, you know you know, traditionally that's that's just how it's been.
They take as many wives, you know. So, again, like I can tell you, I can tell you from the perspective of a geneticist, I've talked to many geneticists who are just mystified. They call it deep structure, like within like the same village. Like that's that doesn't make any sense. Like, this has to be like an extremely powerful cultural force that keeps people apart. I mean, so there's been there's been work like recently, like some American writer says, like, well, Indian caste and American caste are like the two worst caste systems and all of the stuff.
But it's like, you know, black Americans are twenty five percent, they're twenty five percent European and ancestry. And that's after three hundred years. That's actually considerably more mixture into the black community than you see in Dallas, for example, like wait like ten to one hundred times more into the black community from white people than you see with Dallas. So I mean, if you want to think genetically caste in India, the John Teavana was like one hundred times more effective than slavery in the United States in keeping the genetics of the groups apart.
OK, so that's pretty good. Yeah, so, I mean, that that indicates there that there was like there was a really, really stable. Set of social practices, I do think, yes, it was beneficial in some ways to somebody, otherwise it wouldn't have existed. It's different, though, to say that it was beneficial in the past. Like it's somehow because I mean, I can tell you, I've already alluded to this from the genetic perspective.
It's not beneficial. It probably makes Indians more likely to have Type two diabetes, various diseases like cardiovascular disease, various sorts of deficiencies. So we know that, you know, that's a fact. But also, if you want to think of India as a civilizational superpower, of being broken apart into a thousand different communities, it's not optimal. You know, so so, for example, even if you think about something like language, so. The Chinese state, they've decided that, like, you know, in like 10, 20 years, ninety five percent of the people are going to know the Beijing Mandarin dialect, which is their national language.
Yeah, there's really no protest anywhere in China because they just accept, well, we're all Han Chinese. Ninety five percent. We're all Han Chinese. We'll have our dialect at home, but we're all going to know Mandarin, right. Of this Mandarin Beijing or just the common language? Well, I mean, in India, as you know. That's a much more controversial and much more controversial thing to say, well, why is it a much more controversial thing to say?
Because people in Bengal and in the South and Tamil Nadu, they're like, well, you know, those Hindi speaking people are different. And they're not like us. Yeah, we're all Indian, but they're definitely not like us in China, they don't really have that same attitude. There are differences. People in the South view, the people in the north as kind of like quiet and not as competitive like their stereotypes. There's all the standard things, right?
China is great. It's a very clannish society, but it's not a very regional society. Chinese regionalism is important because of the food. OK, like that. I think because I mean, yes, they have dialects. They can't understand it, but really they have a really strong identity as one nation, as one people. And so when the central government decides, OK, let's like pick this dialect and we're all use this as a linked language, it's not as controversial because they just accept well, you know, we are ultimately one people in India.
I'm not sure if it's the same. And it's not just Jotty Varno like I I've talked to. I've talked to South Indians, the United States, the people that grew up here, and they've had experiences where, you know, their North Indian friends have kind of been racist towards them with white people where they're like, well, we're not like them, like they're darker and they eat like gross looking vegetarian food. I don't think a Chinese person would like a North Chinese person would ever say that about a South Chinese person to a white person.
I don't think they would think about doing that, OK? I mean, I feel bad I feel bad saying this because it makes Brown people seem bad. I mean, it just seems kind of childish, you know. But I think the brown people do that because they don't think of themselves as one in the same way. Not everybody, a lot some people do a lot. Not everyone would do that, but that sort of behavior comes from this division between the different types of brown people, which makes it easier for someone to just be like, you know, tell a white person like, well, we're not like them.
We're better than them, OK? Like, those are the bad ones where the good it's like that's that sort of mentality I think comes out of these different and dodgems groups that have their own identity, that are very prideful about themselves and are not invested in a pan South Asian identity in the same way. I mean, obviously, on some level they are. And there is this rising Hindu rostro identity which is going across everybody. But that's actually a new thing that that's actually a novelty.
It's it's kind of like a progressive thing in that way. And I think that's what you're running against, where it's like you're promoting that and that is eliminating these differences that these people are invested in. Yes, so what's interesting in this entire scenario, I remember I don't know whom I was talking to, I was on someone's podcast and they had asked me that. So what do you think and what their question was that every society is hierarchical. That's just the way most agricultural societies are.
And it's not that hierarchies are not needed. In fact, it was Nicholas Christakis book. Right. Which actually explains how good and hierarchy should be and how flawed it should be for society to function properly. And it was very interesting that he uses those examples of shipwrecks. What I find in the case of India is that the hierarchies are there where we've just done a Ph.D. in it. It's like we we are the masters of hierarchies. We have hierarchies within hierarchies.
Then we have linguistic problems. Then we have this and that. And you're right. And and this is why people don't get it, that when people I mean, I'm personally I have many problems with the Hindutva movement. But if there is one progressive movement within the Hindu society itself, it is actually Hindutva in its social and political form, which actually wants to smash these cost and class barriers and it wants to get rid of them now. Now, the reason I'm not sympathetic to it is that it's too socialist for my liking because I believe, like I always say, like I am totally on board with America.
When America said he wants the annihilation of caste, I absolutely want the annihilation of the no, I believe that you are is not essential to Hinduism. And what happens with the traditionalist view is that they keep saying that we have these rituals that are very specific to these simple ideas and these these rituals will die if these things die. My acounter to them always is there just because you want your rituals to be alive. Right. And why can't you get people from other caste inside you train them to do those rituals?
At the end of the day, what are rituals? These are repetitive actions performed by trained individuals. Is there anything else to a ritual? That's all it is, right? It's an action performed by an individual. So why can't you get someone out?
You you cross-breed, you cross-breed and you maintain those rituals of what we can have is an encyclopedia of Hindu rituals where everybody who stays in that area. So the ritual should be connected to the geography, not to the caste or to the jotty. The ritual should be geography centric, not jotty centric. Not if that geography has no matter who who stays there, those people in that geography can actually take care of that ritual, take care of their temple, take care of those traditions.
But we have this weird idea in our heads that if we intervene, we're going to be finishing off caste. We're going to finish off Jotty, we're going to finish off Hinduism because Hinduism is nothing but the conglomerate conglomeration of all these traditions.
I personally I think it is ridiculous. If you ask me, I find it to be ridiculous. I think that claim makes no logical sense. And on the other side, I find this very interesting argument that let's say if you are actually having a conversation with the caste apologist or the death, you are no apologist. You so we've had the integrity and non-indigenous society's discussion. Let's leave that now. Let us look into the moral, moral, ethical reason.
That is where I'm really obsessed with. I always ask people to do you think it is morally right? They refused to give an answer. They're like, well, you know, you are falling for presentism. You're trying to put current values on the past as what you do. The same thing when you criticize Prophet Muhammad, you do the same things when you criticize Leviticus and you say Leviticus is homophobic.
You do the same thing when you pick up any other culture in any other book. What do you do when you're doing it? Then you basically compare that culture and what that culture is proffered at that particular time, which is fifteen hundred years ago or two thousand years ago, depending on that culture. And it's dead. And you compare it to the present morality of current society. So you're a presentist when it comes to comparing it to Islam and Christianity and other religions that are outside religions outside of your pantheon.
And you become a relativist because this is what my experience is. And I want to know your views because you seem to be talking to a lot of Hindu, Hindu, Hindu to what kind of folks to I'm not necessarily talking about the progressive ones, but I don't know how many conservative Hindus have you spoken to.
But have you noticed this trend that they become a relativist when it comes to their own religion and they become more present based and objective, more like a model objectivist when it comes to the other person's religion? Am I wrong? No, no.
I mean, and it's not just who you're talking to. This is a human universal. So in the United States, conservatives, they're against moral relativism. I mean, traditionally, it's much more secular now in the last 10 years. But traditionally they're against moral relativism. But then when you talk about the founding fathers, they will tell you, well, it was a different time. So I think everyone does that when it suits their argument in terms of the morality and ethics.
My personal attitude is talking to a friend about this when it comes to different ways, different reasons, you discriminate on who your partner is, because I mean, a lot of this and me like this has to do with marriage. This has to do with people coming together and producing families.
I think discrimination on the basis of religion is actually quite rational because I've seen people when they come together and when they have values that are very different, that can cause problems, even though initially you think it won't because you're in love and all this stuff. So that to me is valid. I am much more skeptical of, again, people's choices or their choices. I don't want to be too judgmental, but I'm very I'm much more skeptical of ideas that our racial difference or a class difference will matter, because I don't think race and class are as important as religion.
To be honest. I also like education can actually make a huge difference. I mean, not in all cases, but, you know, someone who has a Ph.D. marrying someone who has a high school degree, I mean, depending on what kind of relationship you have, that can just be really hard because of the huge different life experiences. And so for me, when people are making arguments, well, what about compatibility? What you. Are evaluating in these compatibilities is telling you what your ethical system is predicated on, my ethical system is predicated more on values.
If you think someone is not good enough to marry your marry your daughter because of who who they are. That's a little weird to me, because it shouldn't be about who they're born, it should be about who they've become. That makes sense. Oh, absolutely.
It's it's what Martin Luther King said. Right. It doesn't matter what what was the color of your skin. It's basically your values. And and it basically and I agree with you.
And this is where I run into problems with most people in my life that I believe that morality at an individual level. I'm not saying that it is absolute, but there is I like the word Sam Harris I used once and he said that there is something called the worst possible misery. Right? There is something like the worst possible misery. It doesn't matter which part of humanity, where you were born. It could have been Homo sapiens seventy thousand years ago or Homo sapiens seventy thousand years after from.
You cannot say that there is nothing like the worst possible misery for that human being or the human being. Seventy thousand years down the line, there is going to be that objective standard. So to say that morality is absolutely relativistic and and there's no such thing as that or you, you know, was amazing. Well, Jackie, what was amazing for whom Jackie Robinson was amazing for the upper class person who's enjoying the fruits of 10000 years of Tagami till now, that it has created a constant and structure where basically the apricots are enjoying it.
I mean, has anybody ever asked a lower casperson that oh, lord, don't you think it is amazing that for two thousand years, but not with not marrying each other, there would be like, hang on, you actually get us to the lowest strata of society. You kept us outside everything, and now you're telling me it's awesome. I mean, it's only the upper class people who seem to be saying that I have never met a single lower cost person in my life who said it was awesome.
I mean, this is this is my problem and this is my problem with this certain section that is becoming very vocal, at least on social media in the circles. These people who are you postmodernists in their outlook? They use post colonialism. And it's very funny.
I mean, I start laughing at times because they will say that we need to cleanse our history textbooks from cultural Marxism. I was like, OK, I'm with you till there. And then they start using postmodernism to justify the bullshit in their own past as like, hang on, I thought you were against cultural Marxism because postmodernism and cultural Marxism are actually bedfellows.
They go around. So it's not like the Frankfurt school starts in 1930 and postmodernism kind of starts with the nineteen sixty one. Liotard comes in and then in 1980, Kimberle Crenshaw basically introduces critical theory and intersectionality and all that stuff.
And that is a marriage of cultural Marxism and postmodernism. I mean, I've read the literature. It sounds like you guys are actually intellectual frauds and I have no other word to use it. And I apologize. It's going to hurt someone who's going to listen to this. But anybody who says I want to get rid of cultural Marxism, but I like this post colonialism thing that Brexit does because it is so convenient for me to blame everything on the white man.
It is so convenient to say that children and women had an amazing life before the Muslims came in, as if we were in a bed of roses. We are holding our hands and we are dancing together and we are also singing Kumbaya. And then you ask them, OK, if you see children and women again objectively because they are making an objective standard statement here, they are objectively better than the children and women who are born in India or who are living in India today.
And what are the variables on which you measure this? Right. There has to be variables like inheritance rights, for example, per capita income, for example, freedom of speech, for example, jail rates, for example, discrimination by the government authorities. For another example. What are those parameters that you are basing this objective statement on that children and women before the Muslims and the British came in? And I'm willing to concede the point that, yes, after the Muslims and British came in, actually, our caste system has become diverse, especially through the British intervention.
And really what he did and the other Viceroys, I actually concede that point.
But to say that these people are the sex of humans had it better in the past than current democratic India, then don't you think these people should provide some kind of objective variable report where it says, OK, look at these parameters and measure them with the parameters today and they are better in the past and then they are not presentist? I am still a pleasantest. If I question them, I don't get it. Then am I going wrong, Reza?
Yeah, no, I mean, I think, you know, there's not much daylight between us. It's like we're friends and we get along, but I think we have very similar values. One thing that I will say, though, is, you know, when you're talking about like what's adaptive, what's in SS, there can be different levels in terms of the scale so that what's adaptive on the level of the community or the family may not be adaptive on the level of the society.
So to give a concrete example, like let's say you're from a Marberry family and you have this history of, you know, being entrepreneurial and all this stuff, and you meet someone at university and they're I don't know, they're they're from their Nazran. They're Catholic Christians. Right. Just I'm just giving me an example. And they're great person. But I mean, it could be that like, OK, like let's say that this is a woman and she's going to marry into your family and she's willing to convert to Hinduism.
That's still going to be like it's overcoming some issues of like cultural fit. And maybe your your parents are just want you just find a minority girl because then her family will be like our family and all this stuff from a rational perspective, that totally makes sense. But for the family, but not like let's snap it up to like the level of the nation state. If you have all of these groups that are just marrying each other and they don't have connections across each other.
That's going to make the society much more fractured and unable to operate as a unit. Now, yes, like it's going to be a little uncomfortable for the parents, for them to have, you know, in-laws. Their daughter in law is from a Christian family. And so maybe, you know, to be nice, they go to South India, they go to Kerala. And this is a totally alien culture. And she her family comes and visits them in Mumbai and goes to a Hindu temple and whatever.
I'm only bringing this up in terms of like this uncomfortable act of bringing these two families from two subcultures together is also an act of binding a nation together. And so I think that's the flip side of like what would you what would you lose if you had much more Dotti to cross jotty intermarriage intermarriages? What you would lose some of this like local community in this particular history, but you'd create a new history and you would create a new community and that new community would scale across the nation.
There's a fair amount of social science that, you know, there's a book by Joe Henrick, which we've talked about, I think called Weird and how the West became particularly prosperous. And the main thesis is actually the way the West became prosperous was the destruction of extended family networks because one extended family networks were destroyed, one, the nation state. The national identity became more important and to all sorts of civic associations that are family related, became important and people became better adapted and well equipped to operate in institutions that were not about the family.
So, for example, a corporation has people who are not in the same family as opposed to a family firm, and family firms cannot scale to the same extent as a multinational corporation, obviously, by definition. Right. So what I'm trying to suggest here is it is difficult and I'm in I'm in, you know, in a marriage where it's like my in-laws are they're not brown. And my parents, well, actually, my sister is also married to like that.
So, I mean, it's like they don't have any Bangladeshi, you know, in-laws, but, you know, that also integrates them more into this country. And so my children have like ancestors, like my children have grandparents born in Bangladesh. They have great, great grandparents born in Norway. And they're just very American, you know, and that's a different thing than if I had married a Bangladeshi American girl and we would have been American, but in a different way and it would have been all about Bangladesh.
And, you know, it's I think people just need to keep the different scenarios in mind and think about what they want. So I think I think Shasha, like you and I and our other friends online that are India, and I think many of you are quite patriotic and you're quite nationalistic. And I think you're being rational when you think, you know, this divisions, these divisions that we have in our society, they make us weaker than we would be.
I think that's just a fact, even if the divisions are comfortable on the individual level and the divisions hearken back to a great history. OK, but like you live in the year twenty twenty, you have Chinese troops in the north, you have Pakistan with missiles to the northwest. So I think that's the scale you're thinking. And what you're thinking is like we need to be one people and we can never be one people. If we kept if we keep thinking of ourselves as a thousand different people.
Yeah, and it's not that I don't value rituals, right? I actually find rituals in different communities and their ways of worshipping actually fascinating. Now, people might say, why? Because you're a materialist. You obviously don't believe in those things as they. I don't have to be a believer in divinity to enjoy it like I love a Sufi saint and a poet called militia from Punjab, I'm sure Omar knows about it. Your co-host and pundit or rabbi will definitely know about it.
So I love reading BULLSHOT, nor do I agree with anything Malatia says. No, but I love reading it. I love going to an Asian temple and see them dance and sing and do the puja. I love all of that now, but my whole point has always been that the efficacy of a ritual to survive does not depend on the survival of that jotty are not complex. I believe rituals. And am I saying that there is no ritual that's going to die?
The dilation of jutsu are not known. There will be many that will die. But you know, the dinosaurs are there and aren't there too, after a few years, every year. I mean, you're you're a biologist. You can back me up here. So many species go extinct. They do, right? Nobody gives a shit. Everything has its time and the. Yes, I mean, I don't get it, so I just look at Ritual's as being some meems are going to survive and we should aspire to make sure that many gnehm survive.
I get the sentiment, but you know what? Look at the larger benefit. It is such a stupid system. I mean, imagine a society where people are not intermarrying for two thousand years. It's a joke. I mean, and when I found that paper, I think it was right or pungency.
I don't remember which paper it was, which I read. And they were like for two thousand years, Indians have not been marrying each other and they're only marrying within their cars is like, wow, what a stupid society. That was my natural answer. It was a stupid society. And if I say that people all you you are, you know, western Thawadi, everything is a Western construct. It's not a Western construct. It's common sense. It's in fact, I'm making the argument of what is more evolutionarily stable.
We we cannot have these archaic systems. And in fact, there is a lot of material that even points out that the reason India got invaded so many times afterwards is because of the silly jotty warning system, because we never had a systematise response to all these invasions that happened in India. And no wonder we got taken over by so many people. And just think about it. If you have the British coming in India, how many of these Britishers were there?
I mean, look at the number of British shows in India. They ruled us for two hundred years. Dick Jotty were not and this broken Indian society have anything to do. Is anybody saying that it is actually jati or not that that saved us? I mean, they also I mean. I think they always say, like the British conquered conquered India with Indian soldiers. Right. The British East India army was mostly Indian officers were were white, British, but now Scottish and English, but few Irish.
But yeah. So, I mean, you have a complex society where, you know. You just need to get to the head of the snake and then you can control the snake, right? And so the society does operate efficiently and in a way, it does create some robustness because you can't take everything over even if you can control it. So the Muslims could take it over, but there was other structure underneath it. The flipside of that, though, is it prevents you from counterattacking as a unit, I think is what you're saying.
And that sounds plausible, right? Because you can't organize all of the different communities together because some community will defect. That's also an evolutionarily useful strategy like you just effect. So, I mean, for example, during the 1857 mutiny, from what I have read and heard, the seats. Defected, yes, they did. Yeah, and why? Well, they have their own history, they had their own beef with the Mongols and there was all this stuff going on and that's just how it was.
So or like, for example, I think the Machar's, you know, they were fighting for the British against the marathon's right. And they're not they were not big fans of the Peshawar's were Brahmins. Right. So, I mean, there's these divisions, these animosities that were used by outsiders from an Indian national perspective. And so, again, I can respect the traditions and I can respect the comfort of just staying within your own community. That's that's kind of normal human behavior, actually.
I mean, most people are like that. It's just that when you make an ideology, a cult, a fetish of it, it starts to get really strange. And I think that's how people react when they see how extreme Indians take it, you know? Yep, and just to add to your point on Mars, I mean, we all know that I'm not talking about you. I do, because I'm a huge admirer of Suwaidi. I think she is the quintessential Indian hero, cutting across costs and class.
But even with the visuals, we all know that history clearly suggests the page was how they treated the Margarite Mahasen Mehta as spittoons. I mean, everybody knows that, right? And no wonder they were married, the bitch was right, who wouldn't be? So this is my whole point.
It all comes down to that there is a better strategy and then there is a micro strategy. That's what you're trying to say. So, Jack, you are not at the macro level, makes no sense, even historically on or on a current basis, on a micro level. You are not might make sense. So the weirdest thing is that if you really cared for India and and I'm not saying that these people who are pejorative are not biologists, I actually don't care for India.
They actually genuinely care for India. These are good people. They actually will do a lot of charity, too, by the way. But their conceptualization at a strategic level and at an objective level and at a moral level is actually so bad that they seem to not get it. I'm not saying everybody who is an apologist is actually a eugenics believer. No, there are some who just have bad ideas. There are some who are just plain evil.
And there are two groups, and that, too, they just have bad ideas and they're not evil and they are they're going to change if you reason with them and you ask them questions, like I always ask this question to everybody, OK, the ritual and the survival of the freedom of the ritual and the jotty is very important. But hang on, what if the ritual is a direct violation of somebody's human rights? Should the ritual survive because the ritual leads to the survival of the jotty?
Or should the human rights survive? Not for me, the answer is clear.
The human right receives your jotty and your ritual. Now, somebody might come back to me and say, but you have to define it very carefully. What is a violation of human rights? Fair enough. I have my philosophical answer is anything that violates the principle.
Indeed, there are answers within this, but if you're going to use a moral relativism to defend the most disgusting practices and then say, oh, you know, they were stable societies and they were this or that, it just leads us to a cesspool of mediocrity. And I see no moral argument for this.
I never like to comment on the science because I believe I'm not a qualified person.
I always give philosophical arguments that I think. Because I think. What you're getting at is that the arguments that the people they're making, they're being disingenuous, it's not the real argument. Right. All of this stuff about Linda and this is like adaptive and then it's like, OK, that's not what it is. It's because. This is what they've done. This is what they're going to do. You know, they always imagined their daughters would marry someone from their community and they're not comfortable.
With the marrying someone from another community, you know, and that's just how they feel that they're like I said, there are people who might be like this and there are just people who are attached to the past.
Like I said, they accused people like me of being guilty of presentism. I accused them of being guilty of romanticism of the past.
Mm hmm. Mm hmm. I mean. I mean, presentism, I mean, like you also use mobile phones and drive around in a car. I mean, it's just like the world is not the way it was a thousand years ago when the Rajai gave the Brahmins some land so that they can have rents while they did. Their rituals to bring glory to the world has changed. And so what are we going to keep from the past and what are we going to change from the past?
These are questions we have to confront. You know, like the Chinese had foot binding, OK? They had like they had like weird practices that they got rid of and some practice that they didn't like. I'm more on like culturally I'm a little bit more on the conservative side, I think, than a lot of people. And I think a lot of things like the nuclear family and, you know, these things work. They make sense. You know, they shouldn't necessarily be abandoned.
But then there are other things that are just arbitrary, cultural. So, for example, I mean, I don't know, like, OK, white dress. On the wedding day. OK, that's a particular Western cultural norm, it's not done in other cultures and it's it's a fine tradition. But like, that should not be a make or break. You know, that's that's just arbitrary aesthetic preference. As I said, in the Indian context, there are reasons to marry within your community, you know, just like there are reasons.
The reason that Muslims sometimes get from marrying your cousin is like, well, you know, she's a relative. So it's just better that way. And, you know, people get along better and they already know each other somehow, you know, so that you can make reasons for these sorts of regressive practices. But it is a fact that the practices that are beneficial on the individual level are comfortable, can cause huge social problems. So, for example, cousin, cousin, marriage, as we know, leads to birth defects.
And I do a lot of Middle Eastern.
I mean, what do you mean to say the first cousin, marriages, marriages, I'm just asking for clarity. Yeah, I mean, if you do it enough generation second cousin marriages can cause problems, too. OK, so one of the problems in some of these some of these Islamic culture is not just Islamic, but it's most most prominent in the Islamic cultures, is that when you have like multiple generations of Cozart marriage, everybody is way closer than cousins.
They're not really genetically they're not first cousins anymore, they're closer, and so that's that's why you're having some serious problems with some of these countries. They need to stop the practice, basically. I mean, they know that they need to OK, they can do the math in the Indian context. There's a milder effect of that happening because these cathe have become related to each other, these jati. But I think the main problem is social, right?
When everybody knows their closest friends are people from their own same community. That's not good for a society. A society needs a lot of different types of connections, a lot of different type of people that are all interacting with each other. And that's how I mean, that's how a lot of the Western societies have such high cohesion traditionally, where you don't have just like these little clannish units. You have, you know, people that are interacting with lots of different types of people.
That's how modern economy and a modern society does the best. So I think I think that that's where I'm at with, like, the social consequences of why, you know, in the present, you need to do things differently. I totally agree with you, and this is my I don't know, man, it just.
And let me tell you honestly, it's not like I'm trying to present a grim picture and eating Indian societies on one side. In fact, Indian society is actually smashing cost. And, you know, I always say this cost is going to be irrelevant in the next hundred years in India without them, without them, in spite of them. I always say them, but it's very important that, you know, I need to talk about stuff like this.
And people I've been accused that you're too obsessed with casteism. I'm not obsessed with casteism. I just believe that some of us and, you know, the left always accuses the left right. I belong to the non left in India. I don't like to call myself right wing because I'm all over the place when it comes to policies like I'm pro reservations, but I'm very much for laissez faire capitalism. So I don't know if I fit the right wing mindset as such.
I'm all over the island, but I'm not on the left, that's for sure. I'm not a leftist. To my point has always been that the left has a distinctive way of identifying hierarchies in society and telling us, look, these are hierarchies and they are rigid and this is a problem. And many times I agree that the left is very good at observing these things.
Where the left messes up is the left actually gives very bad situations most of the times, because most of the traditions of the left are usually in the form of legislation where most of the times, I believe, legislations don't work. What I believe is that when we have such discussions that I'm grateful to you that you're having this discussion with me and, you know, because I needed your scientific expertise, because I just don't get the science right. And even if I get it and if I say it, it doesn't carry any weight because I'm not a scientist.
So my whole aim has always been that the left and the people on the other side who are genuinely liberal and plural, mentally, they should talk about these issues because when we talk about these issues, we actually create an atmosphere where we acknowledge the wrongs of our past and we give solutions which are outside the realm of the government. Because I don't want India to have laws controlling everything, because laws lead to anarchy by the state and it leads to authoritarianism.
What I want, though, is the society acknowledging we messed up and we will change in our own social value. And that's what I'm trying to do. And that's why I talk about these things on my own podcast or whenever I come on your podcast, whenever you have invited me, I try to talk about issues in India. It's not like India is a hellhole or anything. I never say that.
But why I try to talk about these issues is because I believe if I don't talk about it, the left will. And when the left talks about Velar, 50 more legislations coming into parliament and ruining our country. And this. Yeah, yeah, yeah, people need to change their behavior, like laws from on high are not going to do it. I mean, India's are doing it already abolished caste, you know, like 70 years ago or whatever.
Yeah, there's already love. There's already laws. It's not the laws. What I think is really going to change it is economics is modernization, development, you know, living in the city, smaller families, you know, your number of partners is going to be so diverse. It's going to be so wide ranging. People aren't going to be controlled by their parents. They're going to make the choices they want to make. And when you put men and women in the same room, they're going to start looking at each other and then one leads to another and there's babies.
I agree. I agree.
Or is it all right? I think I think it's great talking to you. We should we should have one of your one of your antagonists, one of your nemesis on the on your podcast sometime to talk this through, because I was really curious about what they know because we both had to kind of present the opposition because we're both on the same page, I think, you know. Yeah.
So I'll try to I'll try to find out if somebody is going to somebody is kind of willing to come because let's see, I'll try to find out and maybe connect them to you. And you can talk to them and you can ask them questions because they'll be guarded with me because they'll always be that team. Right. Or he is against me. So he may not be that open minded to my my suggestions. And he's already biased. Maybe they'll be more open with you.
I'm hoping that that could be the case. Yeah, well, I hope so. All right, it was great talking to you, Ben. Yeah, man, it's always a pleasure talking to you. You're awesome. All right, tune in next week for Brown Cast.