August 20, 2012

India drops out of 2012 PISA test

I always try to keep up on China and India test score news, since the topic offers us important clues about the future of the world. From the Times of India:
After an earlier, embarrassing show, India has backed out of this year's Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), a global evaluation process by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Secretariat that gauges where schoolchildren stand alongside their peers from other countries. 
This academic Olympics measures the performance of 15-year-olds in their reading, math and science abilities. 
... In the last assessment, Tamil Nadu and Himachal Pradesh, showpieces of India's education and development, were put through the PISA evaluation and they performed miserably. The idea was that the entire country would participate in the next round of assessment. However, that plan was also dropped.


109 comments:

AKarlin said...

Let's draw close the blinders and pretend the train is steaming along.

Anonymous said...

How about an international pizza test?

Anonymous said...

I think the 2012 ACT and SAT scores will be released pretty soon. I'm actually most interested in seeing how big the white-asian gap is getting to be.

Also, the College Board wrote an amicus brief in defense of affirmative action. I wonder if they're worried that more colleges will dumb the SAT or demand it be modofied if racial preferences were deemd unconstitutional.

Anonymous said...

This is a terrible move and obviates the transparency needed if India is to improve in education. If you won't let yourself see the problem, there is no way you can fix it.

Even Americans, who elite Indians consider dumb (this snotiness is a British inheritance) manage to perform reasonably well, though not as well as Europeans

Anonymous said...

A major difference seems to be that China seems to really care about public infrastructure, including education, whereas India doesn't seem to care at all and has a laid back attitude about it.

DaveinHackensack said...

"A major difference seems to be that China seems to really care about public infrastructure, including education, whereas India doesn't seem to care at all and has a laid back attitude about it."

India is a sprawling democracy, at the federal and state level, so it can't build anything without herding cats. China is an autocracy so it doesn't face those challenges.

Anonymous said...

"India doesn't seem to care at all and has a laid back attitude about it. "

yeah, they are more interested in playing sports, oh wait.

Anonymous said...

"India is a sprawling democracy, at the federal and state level, so it can't build anything without herding cats. China is an autocracy so it doesn't face those challenges."

Yes Yes! Freedom and democracy above all...

including your next meal...

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100177038/a-decade-after-steven-pinkers-the-blank-slate-why-is-human-nature-still-taboo/

Anonymous said...

>DaveinHackensack said...

>India is a sprawling democracy, at the
>federal and state level, so it can't
>build anything without herding cats.
>China is an autocracy so it doesn't face
>those challenges.

Democracy for democracy's sake is a bad idea. Who'd have thought....

Anonymous said...

India is a sprawling democracy, at the federal and state level, so it can't build anything without herding cats.

Yes but its states and localities don't seem to care much about infrastructure either. Even if it's a sprawling democracy and thus can't get things done on a national, federal level, it should be able to get things done at more local levels..

DaveinHackensack said...

"Yes Yes! Freedom and democracy above all..."

I was describing the situation, not endorsing it. If you look at the wealthier and less shambolic 3rd world democracies Brazil and Chile, you see that some key economic policies were implemented during periods when those countries were autocracies.

Anonymous said...

Brazil and Chile, you see that some key economic policies were implemented during periods when those countries were autocracies.

Yes, there was a fascist movement in Brazil called Integralism in the 30s inspired by the fascism in Europe at the time:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brazilian_fascism

Many Brazilian fascists later went on to take positions in the military regime of the 60s-80s.

Kaz said...

@Anonymous @ 10:38

Yep.. The poor consistently vote against their interests and bring in bad and corrupt people. They're used to wage a war against the productive Indian middle class.

Can't have a functioning Democracy with such a burgeoning natural slave population.

Anonymous said...

The well tried and true good ol' fashioned political stand-by of shooting the messenger if you don't like the message.
Can't beat it - refusal to participate, and thus the refusal to be humiliated is always the best policy. "Discretion is the better part of valor", as they say.

Anonymous said...

http://blogs.the-american-interest.com/wrm/2012/08/16/report-from-india-mumbai/

Anonymous said...

How typically Indian.

They are afraid of being exposed.

eah said...

...since the topic offers us important clues about the future of the world.

Uh-huh.

Anonymous said...

India should take care of its sewage and sanitation, projects that require organization and commitment, not special talent. When life becomes more comfortable, I'm sure PISA scores will jump.

Anonymous said...

If Tamils are performing badly, then the rest of India must be utterly terrible.

Anonymous said...

Steve, I noticed that you were purged from Crooked Timber's homeschooling discussion. What was it specifically that you said that caught the ire of John Quiggin et co.?

It's hilarious to see liberals and leftists trying to rationalize their not-so-liberal decisions like when they homeschool their kids. Diversity often wreaks havoc on public schools, but that just cannot be mentioned.

I've wondered why it is that Sweden of all countries has, since the 1990s, a popular charter school system. From what I know about Scandinavian social democrats, I'd think that the last thing they would want is to relinquish government control of education (the decisions may have been made by the "bourgeois" coalition but the left has not tried to roll it back). But perhaps it makes sense in the light of Sweden's changing demographics.

The Frankfurt School said...

The poor consistently vote against their interests and bring in bad and corrupt people. They're used to wage a war against the productive... middle class. Can't have a functioning Democracy with such a burgeoning natural slave population.

MOO HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!!!

Anonymous said...

2016 Olympics are a priority over Pisa

Azra said...

You guys, of all people, should know that the average Indian IQ is not very high (anywhere btwn 80-95 depending on who is doing the counting), so chocking up their scores as due to a problem with their government is like blaming school teachers when African-American kids fail Algebra.

The gov't is putting on blinders at all, on the contrary, they are well aware of the issues which is why they aren't willing to show a poor result to the world. Maybe they feel it would just exacerbate the problem. Who knows? In any case, they could do just as much for improving student academic progress by keeping the results 'in-house' instead of publicly showing it to the world.

iselilja said...

What about China ?

Shanghai did outstanding in the last Pisa test. Will they let the whole country be tested now, or just some special cities ?

Indian guy said...

I don't think was a good decision.

India is making progress, with literacy rising http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Literacy_in_India_1901_-_2011.PNG , but it still has a long way to go.




John said...

I suspect India's main problem is one of organization, priorities, and social relationships.

I suspect that India's extremely low IQ scores, for instance, are not at all reflective of the average capacity of the population, but are an artifact of disinterest, lack of organization, and other social factors.

I can't substantiate any of this, but I just got back from India, and my on the ground impressions were that average people are quite mentally alert and capable - often delightfully so, with a wry, sophisticated humor - but are demoralized, lazy, indifferent, and resigned.

I don't think India will ever perform particularly well on the international stage, and will NEVER develop a culture of efficiency, but I think this is not a reflection of intelligence. They simply don't care; they are too generally demoralized. This kind of demoralized resignation is a cultural artifact, possibly at this point genetically selected for, and is often the product of long ages of over-subtle, over-sophisticated philosophizing and star-gazing.

Anonymous said...

All the indians who constantly boast of the superiority of the indian education over the american system stand shamefully exposed.

Great American Chocolate Bar said...

@Azra, who said:

You guys, of all people, should know that the average Indian IQ is not very high (anywhere btwn 80-95 ...)

Well, one thing the Ron Unz piece has done is remind us how much of IQ /is/ nutrition and nurture, and I'd think that would apply to India as much as anywhere. /not an Indian.

Anonymous said...


India should take care of its sewage and sanitation, projects that require organization and commitment, not special talent. When life becomes more comfortable, I'm sure PISA scores will jump.


What scores? They said they aren't going to take the test.

Anonymous said...

Fatalistic brown people being fatalistic and not bothering to be introspective about it, but at least it avoids the insecurities whites place upon themselves.

Anonymous said...

Even Americans, who elite Indians consider dumb (this snotiness is a British inheritance)

As usual its always YTs fault.

Laid Back? said...

"A major difference seems to be that China seems to really care about public infrastructure, including education, whereas India doesn't seem to care at all and has a laid back attitude about it."

As an American exposed to many Indians in the US and Britian, my experience is the exact opposite.

The Indians I've met in the West (mostly Indian born) are obsessed with monetary success, career prestige and education as the most reliable means to both. Indians I've seen really push their hard kids at academics.

I've seen no 'laid back' attitude wrt education in Indian culture. This comports with research that shows Indian groups of various abilities (eg. Sikhs and Brahmins) all academically outperform given their IQ averages.

As corrupt as China seems, it does appear more unified and nationalistic than India which may explain the much worse infrastructure in India.

Haven't ethnic quotas in India in education and government hiring created mobility for the underclasses? Hasn't this created competition and spurred them to stive academically against each other?

Hacienda said...

"India is a sprawling democracy, at the federal and state level, so it can't build anything without herding cats. China is an autocracy so it doesn't face those challenges."

I heard you can smell the stink of feces as soon as you land in any Indian airport.

The rivers of India are reeking of human feces.

But, India's got democracy, so there's that.

I'm not anti-demomcracy. Just get a grip. Don't make it a fetish.

Anonymous said...

The Steven Pinker link above led me to a Telegraph article which actually quotes and links to Steve Sailer's blog!

http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/edwest/100176876/we-need-to-stop-treating-views-on-immigration-as-an-iq-test-there-are-sensible-ways-to-attract-tourists-from-china/

I'm not sure how thoroughly Steve Googles himself, so I thought I'd point this out here.

BritRob said...

On Indian sport.

Seb Coe is 1/4 Indian.

Anonymous said...

You guys, of all people, should know that the average Indian IQ is not very high (anywhere btwn 80-95 depending on who is doing the counting), so chocking up their scores as due to a problem with their government is like blaming school teachers when African-American kids fail Algebra.

Indian IQ's are probably no worse than Chinese IQ's, given how Indians and Chinese seem to do roughly as well wherever these two immigrant groups are present overseas, such as Southeast Asia and the West Indies. Is malnourishment a factor in low Indian IQ's?

John said...

Even Americans, who elite Indians consider dumb (this snotiness is a British inheritance)

Elite Indians most certainly do not consider elite Americans dumb, and they certainly do not consider non-elite Americans dumber than non-elite Indians.

Some highly insecure elite Indians adopt the affectation of considering everyone who is not an elite Indian dumb and "inferior", but such Indians will often treat even average Americans with respect and consideration, as their pose of "superiority" is just that, a pose and affectation meant to defend a fragile ego.

Asians - including East Asians - are often very insecure around Westerners, and adopt all sorts of exaggerated poses of "superiority" as an ego-saving device, but as a Westerner, if you approach them without arrogance and with a sense that you consider them equals (even if you don't), the pose will melt, the ego defenses will drop, and you will be able to connect on the level of your common humanity. It's quite nice :)

Anonymous said...

I guess they are going to put all their effort into dominating the Olympics that they supposedly did not care about untill they won like 5 medals.

They are projecting to win the Olympics in like 20 years you know.

Anonymous said...

indians have average iq of 120, go check numbers in america. but isn't PISA just for low IQers? anywayz we are going to mars. now who's leading the world again?

Anonymous said...

Even Americans, who elite Indians consider dumb (this snotiness is a British inheritance) manage to perform reasonably well, though not as well as Europeans.


White Americans perform as well as Europeans. And as Europe becomes more non-European, it's scores are declining.

Anonymous said...

India is a sprawling democracy, at the federal and state level, so it can't build anything without herding cats


America is (or was until recently) a sprawling democracy, at the federal and state level.

It's not the system that matters, it's the people in the system.

Anonymous said...

PISA gives a wealth of data. Even among the 10% of test takers in Tamil Nadu from families that had 1-2 cars did poorly, at the bottom end of the world. That really calls into serious question the Indian future. If they don't even have a talented tenth then they can't go far. What if India simply has a talented 3%?

Anonymous said...

http://www.halfsigma.com/2012/08/white-flight-from-asian-schools.html

The fragile ego protection very similar here.

Anonymous said...

By all objective measures India is basically a failed state. After 65 years of independence from foreign rule India remains hopelessly incapable of properly feeding and educating its children. This withdrawal from PISA by the notoriously corrupt and incompetent brahmin-dominated bureaucracy is clearly to avoid their massive, inexcusable failures from being highlighted.

Maybe India should withdraw from the Olympics as well?

pat said...

I don't quite understand what the problem is. They are dropping out for this year. Presumably they will drop back in in a few years when things change politically.

Also presumably these figures are stable from year to year. We can just use last year's figures for now.

Albertosaurus

Anonymous said...

Off-topic, but the BBC has an interesting article about the ethics of circumcising baby boys:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-19072761

The reason why this is really controversial comes out in the second half, and particularly the penultimate paragraph. Oy! So sensitive...

Simon in London said...

Azra:
"You guys, of all people, should know that the average Indian IQ is not very high (anywhere btwn 80-95 depending on who is doing the counting), so chocking up their scores as due to a problem with their government is like blaming school teachers when African-American kids fail Algebra."

Yes - Indian (and Bangladeshi and Pakistani) median ability is very low, and the Indian smart fraction is absolutely tiny - and apparently has mostly moved to America. This is embarrassing to the Indian government, as India has a high opinion of itself - which may not be unreasonable when comparing with Pakistan and Bangladesh, but can have unfortunate consequences when comparing with high-ability nations like China. There was never any possibility of India rivalling China, and frankly that was obvious even 20 years ago.

I have a lot of admiration for Indian accomplishments in civilisation, both indigenous and the the retaining of a fair amount of British democracy and rule-of-law. These achievements are all the more remarkable considering the generally low human capital they have to work with. But Indians would not thank me for comparing them favourably with eg Africa; they see themselves in the big leagues with China, Japan, Europe and the West; and that's a problem.

Simon in London said...

John:
"I can't substantiate any of this, but I just got back from India, and my on the ground impressions were that average people are quite mentally alert and capable - often delightfully so, with a wry, sophisticated humor..."

Jared Diamond said that about Papua New Guinea. I'm sure you could say that about any African country you care to mention. Whereas Slavs or Chinamen, for instance, may often come across as dull and dour - yet score highly on IQ and can build civilisations at least capable of challenging Anglos/Germanics for global dominance.

stari_momak said...

India adopts Eric Cartman's tactics.

Actually though, this is a deadly serious issue for India. After all, its supposed 'rise' has been based in large part as the fons et origio of super smart engineers in the early 21st century. Hey, a desi invented the USB port, right?

So a bad showing in the international tables can inflict non-trivial damage on their 'brand'.

stari_momak said...

"The fragile ego protection very similar here."

"white flight"

I think there are significant differences. A test is just one or two days. An influx of Asian students changes a whole environment -- the whole experience of high school. Parents generally want their kids to experience the 'good times' they themselves did.

And of course, it was whites who established those high schools: why should they have them changed itno imitations of the pressure-cooker, type-prep obsessed institutions across the Pacific. Indeed, if Asians are so great, why do they migrate to be amongst us lazy dullards?

Anonymous said...

Indian lasses faire attitude runs from top to bottom. When I was in Mumbai a few years ago I noticed that even in expensive areas of the city apartment buildings had a rundown appearance.

I asked an Indian friend about this and he said there was no possibility of people taking care of common areas or such matters as painting the building, because no one wanted to assume any communal responsibility.

Anon87 said...

OT: More crops rotting....this time the worst ever!!

Anonymous said...

"if Asians are so great, why do they migrate to be amongst us lazy dullards?"

For the same reason, they also go to Africa.

DaveinHackensack said...

"America is (or was until recently) a sprawling democracy, at the federal and state level."

And it's harder to build infrastructure in the US than China because of that. But India is much more atomized by class/caste politics, religion, language, etc. than the US is.

stari_momak said...

"For the same reason, they also go to Africa."

Really? They are vying to get into the great African learning centers at Timbuktu?

And since you are probably Asian and good at math, give me some numbers -- how many Chinese left for Africa last decade, versus for the US -- with the intention of making it permanent? Heck, I suspect that with Mother India welcoming back its diaspora (the only immigrants it allows), that South Asian migration flow to Africa is net negative.

Anonymous said...

"I don't think India will ever perform particularly well on the international stage, and will NEVER develop a culture of efficiency, but I think this is not a reflection of intelligence. They simply don't care"

They care a great deal *but* only about their extended family. They don't care about public goods or the commonweal.

I think the Chinese are (or were) mostly similar except they have a more, or maybe simply larger, nationalist elite and the effect of industrialization and urbanization so far may have loosened the familial effect more in China than India because of fewer arranged marriages.

Anonymous said...

I don't get it. The indians in NYC are truly smart. A lot of them get into the selective high schools along w the Chinese. A lot of them are doctors and good ones. I think a lot of -ndins problems in -ndia truly is culture--the horrible caste system. Blame Hinduism.

Anonymous said...

"Heck, I suspect that with Mother India welcoming back its diaspora (the only immigrants it allows), that South Asian migration flow to Africa is net negative."

The irony being that after Uganda kicked out its Indians most of them went to...Great Britain. From Wikipedia: "Most of accounted for Ugandan Indians went to Britain which took around 27,200. 6,000 went to Canada, 4,500 ended up in India and 2,500 went to nearby Kenya. Malawi, Pakistan, West Germany and the United States took 1,000 each with smaller numbers emigrating to Australia, Austria, Sweden, Mauritius and New Zealand. About 20,000 were unaccounted for.[

Anonymous said...

Democratic countries have zoning laws, or at least we used to. Twenty years ago, I once asked a 96 year old lady, an electrical engineer, what she considered to be the greatest invention, she answered, "The flush toilet. Whoever says anything different, never lived without one."
Bill Gates should provide pottys for the poor, but that would be too mundane for such a big thinker. Let's face it sickness makes you stupid, they have to clean the place up.

Duke of Qin said...

"The indians in NYC are truly smart. A lot of them get into the selective high schools along w the Chinese. A lot of them are doctors and good ones"

Likely untrue

Indian doctors, at least in the UK are below average.

https://occidentalascent.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/72950_annual_report_2010_11.pdf

Cognitive test results given to medical students in the UK.

Chinese - 2603
British White - 2584
Mixed Race - 2509
Other White - 2480
Asian (Indian) - 2432
Black - 2295

Indians are greater than half a standard deviation behind their Chinese and White British peers.

The Wobbly Guy said...

@stari_momak,

No idea if they plan to stay permanently, but a figure I've seen thrown around very frequently is 1 million - both temp and permanent migrants.
http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/feb/06/chinas-economic-invasion-of-africa

Truth said...

"Bill Gates should provide pottys for the poor, but that would be too mundane for such a big thinker."

Au contraire, mon frere;

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/bill-gates-wants-to-reinv_n_1776230.html

Anonymous said...

Duke of Qin, I think 'Asian' in the British study you posted also includes large numbers of Muslims (Pakistanis and Bangladeshis) and perhaps others (Thais, Kurds, etc.).

Anonymous said...

Why is it that Sailer looks so deeply into all sorts of subjects but won't tell us why he don't write for Vdare no more.

"Sailer drops out of Vdare columns."

Inquiring minds want to know why.

Anonymous said...

There are an estimated 1 million Chinese in Africa (north and sub-Sahara). They have arrived mostly since 2000.

There are well over 3 million Chinese in America. They have mostly arrived since 1980.

They all moved for the same reason. China is crowded and that makes things painfully competitive.

Anonymous said...

"And of course, it was whites who established those high schools: why should they have them changed itno imitations of the pressure-cooker, type-prep obsessed institutions across the Pacific"

Like it or not they have influenced the way of life for upper middle class kids in HS in the US.

Anonymous said...

Also Duke of Qin in that study Asian(Indians/Pakistanis/Bangladeshis/etc.) made up 25% of all medical students(consistent with other stats showing that Indians make up a quarter of all british medical students) despite being less than 4% of the population. All other ethnic groups are at a much lower percentage as per their population( except unsure about Chinese but still only 2% of med students) so it could also just mean that the average is pulled down by the less cognitively endowed Asian(Indian) medical students who might be pursuing medicine due to family/cultural pressure..

Anonymous said...

"But Indians would not thank me for comparing them favourably with eg Africa"

Kenya has done a fantastic job of continuing many British institutions like the free press and courts.

It's elites even have a worldview quite familiar to the Anglosphere. It has been quite tolerant of the 1 million + refugees from Somalia that has flooded its borders in the past 20 years and even taken steps in mass to naturalize and assimilate them. Among the elites there is an open attitude towards this massive level of alien immigration despite the stress it is causing on their society.

Anonymous said...

it could also just mean that the average is pulled down by the less cognitively endowed Asian(Indian) medical students who might be pursuing medicine due to family/cultural pressure..

I am sure you also have an excuse for the low indian IQ, the sorry performance in PISA by indian students, the near-bottom ranking of India in per capita income and the Human Development Index.....

Anonymous said...

When I was in Mumbai a few years ago I noticed that even in expensive areas of the city apartment buildings had a rundown appearance.

Yes, even the ghettos of America look better than the best neighborhoods of India. They also have reliable electricity, water, waste disposal, modern roads etc.

India has probably always been a very shabby place. Here is what the muslim mongol-turk founder of the grand Mughal Dynasty of India, Babur from Central Asia, had to say some 500 years ago about his newly conquered domain:


http://www.economist.com/node/17723207

Hindustan is a country of few charms. There are no good-looking people, there is no social intercourse, no receiving or paying of visits, no genius or manners. In its handicrafts there is no form or symmetry, method or quality. There are no good horses, no good dogs, no grapes, musk-melons or first-rate fruits, no ice or cold water, no good bread or food cooked in the bazaars, no hot baths, no colleges, no candles, torches or candlesticks.

Anonymous said...

"India has probably always been a very shabby place. Here is what the muslim mongol-turk founder of the grand Mughal Dynasty of India, Babur from Central Asia, had to say some 500 years ago about his newly conquered domain"

He didn't grouse about the gold and silver found in India.
He came to India after about 300 years of muslim rule.(most of his empire was in present-day pakistan), it's not like others fared any better.
The previous hindu king of delhi was Prithviraj Chauhan,

"Prithviraj Chauhan defeated the Muslim ruler Shahabuddin Muhammad Ghori in the First Battle of Tarain in 1191 and set him free as a gesture of mercy. Ghauri attacked for a second time the next year, and Prithviraj was defeated and captured at the Second Battle of Tarain (1192)."

The last hindu king of delhi would be Hemu:

"In the words of K.K.Bhardwaj, his triumphant march from Bihar to Dilli (Delhi) can be equated to the Italian campaign of Napoleon: "He came, he saw, he conquered".[38] Hemu never saw defeat in battle and went from victory to victory throughout his life (he died in the only battle he lost)."

The mughal history would have been different but for:

"Hemu led his army himself into battle, atop an elephant. His left was led by his sister's son General Ramiya and the right by Shadi Khan Kakkar. He was on the cusp of victory, when he was wounded in the eye by an arrow, and collapsed unconscious. This led to confusion amongst the soldiers, with no supreme commander to coordinate decisions."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemu

Anonymous said...

The account of an ancestor of Babur in India:

"Timur left Delhi in December 1398 and marched on Meerut. Then he rode up to Haridwar and sacked the holy city on January 23, 1399. Before he crossed the Ganges, he faced stiff resistance from natives at Bhokarhedi. In April, he returned to his own capital beyond the Oxus (Amu Darya). Immense quantities of spoils and slaves were taken from India. According to Ruy Gonz├íles de Clavijo, 90 captured elephants were employed merely to carry precious stones looted from his conquest, so as to erect a mosque at Samarkand – what historians today believe is the enormous Bibi-Khanym Mosque."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timur

Anonymous said...

Apparently the "india being worse than sub-saharan africa" is much myth.


If you still do not believe the absurdity of these malnutrition numbers, compare Kerala and Senegal. Kerala exhibits vital statistics edging towards those in the developed countries: life expec-tancy of 74 years, infant mortality rate of 12 per 1,000 live births and maternal mortality rate of 95 per 1,00,000 live births. The corresponding figures for Senegal are far worse at 62, 51 and 410, respectively. But nutrition statistics say that Kerala has 25% stunted children compared to 20% of Senegal and 23% underweight children relative to 14.5% of the latter. In Punjab, which has a life expec-tancy of 70 years and is the breadbasket and milk dairy of India, 37% of children are stunted and 25% underweight.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


http://www.economist.com/node/17723207

Hindustan is a country of few charms. There are no good-looking people, there is no social intercourse, no receiving or paying of visits, no genius or manners. In its handicrafts there is no form or symmetry, method or quality. There are no good horses, no good dogs, no grapes, musk-melons or first-rate fruits, no ice or cold water, no good bread or food cooked in the bazaars, no hot baths, no colleges, no candles, torches or candlesticks."

Babur hailing from the Turko Mongol ethnic lineage-one of the ugliest ethnic groups.He by his standards was quite ugly -what with large nose warts. So I wouldn't go around criticizing others looks.

As for his other lamentations of India not being a land of plenty, he can blame his Turkic cohorts for the devastation wrought in Northern India in particular.

Around the same time that the hideous looking Babur was moping about the state of Indias hospitality and luxury goods, a Portuguese traveller Domingo Paes was visiting Vijayanagara in Southern India which he described as being the, as large as Rome and "the best provided city of the world.

"The land has plenty of rice and Indian-corn, grains, beans, and other kind of crops which are not sown in our parts; also an infinity of cotton. Of the grains there is a great quantity, because, besides being used as food for men, it is also used for horses, since there is no other kind of barley; and this country has also much wheat, and that good. This country wants water because it is very great and has few streams; they make lakes in which water collects when it rains, and thereby they maintain themselves."

About the marketplace, he writes "Going forward, you have a broad and beautiful street, full of rows of fine houses and streets of the sort I have described, and it is to be understood that the houses belong to men rich enough to afford such. In this street live many merchants, and there you will find all sorts of rubies, and diamonds, and emeralds, and pearls, and seed-pearls, and cloths, and every other sort of thing there is on earth and that you may wish to buy. Then you have there every evening a fair where they sell many common horses and nags, and also many citrons, and limes, and oranges, and grapes, and every other kind of garden stuff, and wood; you have all in this street."


http://cw.routledge.com/textbooks/9780415485432/21.asp

Furthermore another Portuguese traveller Barbarossa to Vijayanagar would take issue with Baburs description of Indians..remember Vijayanagar was in the Dravidian south

"the inhabitants are almost like us- rich,tawny,prosperous and well organized..they are of a brown color ,almost white,they are men of good stature and their physiognomies are nearly like ours"



Anonymous said...

"As for his other lamentations of India not being a land of plenty, he can blame his Turkic cohorts for the devastation wrought in Northern India in particular."

I believe this: Islam turns whatever it touches into sand. It destroys anything in its path...

Historically accurate accounts of India said...

RE: The opinions of Babur the conqueror in the North vs Portuguese travellers in the South.

Babur was a conqueror looking to enjoy and exploit his newfound lands. His disappointments and bitterness are probably more grounded in economic self-interest and experience with the wealth of other cultures trading along the Silk Road to the north.

The Portuguese travellers were missionaries, soldiers of fortune, and merchants seeking new opportunities, financial support and followers. Their motivations are more likely to create propaganda puffery driven by self-interest. One giveaway is the description of southern Dravidians as "of a brown color, almost white".

You may have a point that the previous centuries of foriegn rule may have greatly diminished the wealth and culture of the North (weren't many Northern Brahim genocided?). Also, Southern and Northern India were entirely different worlds at that time.

Anonymous said...

>>Even Americans, who elite Indians consider dumb (this snotiness is a British inheritance)

Most cosmopolitans of every culture consider Americans dumb. I suspect this has to with American provinciality. It's a big place in the middle of nowhere; the weather is nice in most places and there is plenty of food. Why bother about any place else? In contrast, if you're from a fetid island in the North Atlantic like England, your curiosity and wanderlust is bound to be higher.

Anonymous said...

not a good idea to compare the life expectancy between Senegal and India because of HIV in Africa.

Anonymous said...

Yes, it's a pity that Christopher Columbus wasn't aware of Babar's diaries; he could then have stopped wasting his time trying desperately to find an alternative route to India, and instead spent his energies on looking for an alternative route to Uzbekibekibekibekistan and Afghanistan, countries of immense industry, treasures, and value.

Anonymous said...

"Au contraire, mon frere;

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/bill-gates-wants-to-reinv_n_1776230.htm"

Sorry Bill Gates. I am happy though that he shares my recognition of the issue's importance.

I still can't grasp how more Indian people have cell phones than toilets; they have some screwed up priorities.

Steve Sailer said...

Regarding Babur's comments on India 500 years ago, which consists of a long list of everything India doesn't have. I read a book of European Renaissance essays and that appears to have been the global prose style 500 years ago: everybody loved long lists, whether pro or con. Listomania was the global style back then.

Truth said...

Believe it or not "The Toilet Race" is almost like the space program right now amongst a certain subset of engineers.

There are grants, competitions, fellowships, etc., available internationally for anyone who can think of a new plan for human waste disposal, that is not just in developing countries, but in the US and Europe as well, as the water-flush model is considered inefficient and wasteful (think about all of the potential fertilizer going to waste along with water.

Anonymous said...

Hong Kong has done pretty well with water management - another point for the Chinese.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_supply_in_Hong_Kong

Waterless toilets on the cheap are not likely. Water is an excellent means of moving feces because they float (most of the time) and that loss of friction is very energy efficient, also water makes a seal against sewer gas. A mechanical check to hold back gas will definitely be expensive, probably more expensive than a toilet, and high maintenance due to clogging. A toilet has an almost wheel-like simplicity which is hard to improve on. Using sea water works. It is corrosive, but the solution is probably clay, cement or plastic mains and plumbing. Wikipedia didn't go into that much detail.

I forgot to mention, you don't need high water towers for toilet water, a few psi will do to fill the tank. The tank provides the pressure. Maybe it is the greatest invention.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Babur was a conqueror looking to enjoy and exploit his newfound lands. His disappointments and bitterness are probably more grounded in economic self-interest and experience with the wealth of other cultures trading along the Silk Road to the north.

The Portuguese travellers were missionaries, soldiers of fortune, and merchants seeking new opportunities, financial support and followers. Their motivations are more likely to create propaganda puffery driven by self-interest. One giveaway is the description of southern Dravidians as "of a brown color, almost white".


Good point , I hadn't thought of the different motivations of Babur and the Portuguese. That said as pointed Southern and Northern India were different worlds and already by 1500, Northern India was devastated by intermittent yet brutal warfare and famine thanks to Turkic Muslim invaders.Southern India had also suffered but not as much.

As for colors of South indians, he does contradict himself, on one hand he refers to them as tawny and then again"almost white" ,perhaps he was referring to different peoples in Southern India. Remember within Southern India itself there is considerable diversity in skin color( the Greek traveller Megasthenese in the 34d century BC describes Andhras as have similar complexion to Egyptians while Tamils color was akin to Ethiopians).
Also please note that a good number of North Indians had fled to Southern India to escape the Muslim invasions.For e.g. the Saraswat Brahmins who are unambiguously of Kashmiri origin.

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Yes, it's a pity that Christopher Columbus wasn't aware of Babar's diaries; he could then have stopped wasting his time trying desperately to find an alternative route to India, and instead spent his energies on looking for an alternative route to Uzbekibekibekibekistan and Afghanistan, countries of immense industry, treasures, and value."

LOL,beautifully put. Also nice ref to Herman Cain!

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Most cosmopolitans of every culture consider Americans dumb. I suspect this has to with American provinciality. It's a big place in the middle of nowhere; the weather is nice in most places and there is plenty of food. Why bother about any place else? In contrast, if you're from a fetid island in the North Atlantic like England, your curiosity and wanderlust is bound to be higher."

True, a great number of the provincial Americans are descendants of cosmopolitan(for their time) Englishman.
Canadians are far less provincial than Americans mostly because they are still tied to the mother country and much of their land is simply uninhabitable.This leads to a shortage of man power which leads them to invite a good number of people from the third world(for whom Canada is usually a consolation prize) and their cult of muliticulturism.
I personally never saw the wisdom of how Tamils ,Sikhs ,Pakistanis,Africans ,Arabs and others from subtropical and desert climes would be more suited to work in sub zero frigid temperatures than Anglo Celts and other Northern Europeans.
Wouldn't they be better suited if they came to a deal with the Soviets for exporting a good chunk of their population in exchange for cash? It Didn't hurt Israel much!
Just curious-When is the last time such a large number of Southern peoples moved up North?...I mean besides trans Atlantic slavery!

Anonymous said...

As for colors of South indians, he does contradict himself, on one hand he refers to them as tawny and then again"almost white"

There goes the credibility of your source.

South Indians are the darkest sub-set of the dark-skinned Indian race, and you know it. Practically everyone knows it. Yet you quote someone who thinks they are "almost white"....

Anonymous said...

Islam turns whatever it touches into sand.

Not a fan of Islam, but I think it is obscene for a Hindu to be pointing fingers at Muslims. The difference in living conditions between Hindu India and the Muslim middle-east is an indictment of Hinduism, not Islam.


I

Dr Van Nostrand said...


South Indians are the darkest sub-set of the dark-skinned Indian race, and you know it. Practically everyone knows it. Yet you quote someone who thinks they are "almost white"....

Ahem, I already noted that and explained how he could reach such a conclusion.
Indo European speakers in Bengal ,Bihar and UP can be just as dark skinned as South Indians.
BTW by a weird coincidence it is these regions that ruled India and had major powerful empires where the arts and sciences flourished while the more "Aryan" northwest was a backwater whose only claim to fame was getting their ass kicked by Northern barbarians.

Anonymous said...

"I still can't grasp how more Indian people have cell phones than toilets; they have some screwed up priorities. "

Emptying your bowels under open skies is addictive! Talking on the cell-phone while emptying your bowels under open skies, super-addictive!

"not a good idea to compare the life expectancy between Senegal and India because of HIV in Africa. "

Senegal has much lower rate of HIV, quick googling:

'Senegal serves as a model among African countries in its control of HIV/AIDS. The national HIV prevalence rate has been below 1 percent for the past two decades'

India's is around 0.30

And where will one find such lines in american MSM:

"The implication of this and other facts is that Indian children are genetically smaller on average. "

Dr Van Nostrand said...


Not a fan of Islam, but I think it is obscene for a Hindu to be pointing fingers at Muslims. The difference in living conditions between Hindu India and the Muslim middle-east is an indictment of Hinduism, not Islam."

Actually much of Islamic Middle Easts living conditions are indeed an indictment of Islam, there is far more civic order and cleanliness in the Middle East but that results from a combination of oil wealth and despotism!

I would like remind HBD re India sanitation issues that it was the British who introduced open sewers to India!
Most people would do their business in an outhouse type structure or the bushes -it was considered impure to have a toilet inside the house.
Also I would expect whitey to be more accommodating of India ,wasn't it Voltaire who described Paris as" one could smell it before seeing it" ...he didn't mean that in a good way, I doubt London was a whole lot different either!
I would wager that an average city of that era would've much cleaner than the average European city.But of course we can blame the current sorry state of Indian affairs on everything but British rule.
Remember the cardinal rule of white HBDers-any positive aspects of India -thank the British...any negative aspects -proof of Indian inferiority.



Anonymous said...

Actually much of Islamic Middle Easts living conditions are indeed an indictment of Islam, there is far more civic order and cleanliness in the Middle East but that results from a combination of oil wealth and despotism!

Thats hindu logic for you.

And just for your information not all countries of the middle east have oil.

Anonymous said...

Ahem, I already noted that and explained how he could reach such a conclusion.

Anyone who reaches the conclusion that south indians are "close to white" has either never been there or is lying.

And, ahem, any south indian who quotes such a patently false conclusion to prove a point is clearly not interested in the truth....

Anonymous said...

"Remember the cardinal rule of white HBDers-any positive aspects of India -thank the British...any negative aspects -proof of Indian inferiority."

These recent threads involving a lot of comments about India are the divide and rulers practising their craft for when the Indian population is America is larger.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Thats hindu logic for you. "

LOL you sound like a Pakistani

And just for your information not all countries of the middle east have oil."

LOL, this is the foreign affairs equivalent of NAWALT...
Well those not "blessed" with oil such as Jordan and Egypt have more than India. And they are heavily subsidized by the U.S and the wealthy oil producing Arab states.Similarly Syria is subsidized by Iran.



Dr Van Nostrand said...

And, ahem, any south indian who quotes such a patently false conclusion to prove a point is clearly not interested in the truth...."

Again ,I already explained that in another post, if you lack reading comprehension ,its not really my problem.


However your above post gives me some ammunition...So you in agree that not all travellers and conquerers speak the truth!
As I am repeating for the nth time,I have already discounted the Portuguese travellers as per the other posters point re Babur vs Domingo Paes.
Now do you have the integrity to say that Baburs viewpoint is a load of horse manure.
I suspect...not...!So I would appreciate fewer lectures from you on the pursuit of "truth" ..thank you.

Ram Kumar said...

Much of the Middle East is a sparsely populated hellhole with mostly sand and camels to keep company with. It's no accident that the biggest muslim populations are actually in the 'Hindu' Indian subcontinent.

Who are these idiots 'indicting' Hindu India in comparison to 'muslim' mid east? Haven't they heard of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Bangladesh, with collectively 400 million muslims, as well as another 180 million or so in India, and compared their living conditions to 'hindus'? Have they bothered to run some numbers with the entire population of the mid east? Wow, all these high IQ hbd'ers with their wondrous intellects and analytical capabilities. They are supposed to be good at math as well, one is told!

Van Nostrand, I admire you for sticking around and trying to educate some of these fools. A Sisyphean task if there ever was one!

Finally, at the risk of throwing more pearls before swine, I should point out something that should be bleedingly obvious: the term 'Hindu' has traditionally been applied to refer to people who live east of the river Sindhu (Indus in its Hellenized form). Some dumb european at some point must have said that 'Hindus' practice 'Hinduism', which would be exactly like observing that 'Americans', who live in 'America' practice 'Americanism'. But what is Americanism? Well anything really. Everything from the 125 year old Hugh Hefner banging 18 year old models in the Playboy mansion, to the rednecks of Alabama thumping their bibles and claiming that the earth was created 6000 years ago (and dino bones are an evil trick of Satan's), to hippies dancing around naked and high in burning man, and the polygamous Mormons in Utah...This Americanism is an absurd religion where anything goes, with no central founder, scripture, cohesive ideology...And thus it is with the term 'Hindu' and 'Hinduism'. But continue making nonsensical inferences with the wrong set of ground definitions!

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Re Ram Kumar,

Thank you for comments.
Steve Sailer is a incredibly knowledgable,curious and intelligent individual.I wish I could say the same for many of his readers.

I believe you are unneccessarily harsh on Americans, having lived there I can say they are for the most part wonderful people.

However if you are point was the pointing the foibles myriad of subcultures within superculture in reference to how HBDers think Hinduism is a disorganized chaos then its well put.

Dr Van Nostrand said...

Re Indian aka British elitism

It is true that much of Indian elitism stems from the Nehruvian era of the elite attending British boarding and looking down on upon the mercantile society of the American.
I loathe these elitists-they were for the most part crony capitalists and or Fabian socialists who had devastated the Indian economy and society for half a century with their hare brained schemes.
Regrettably too many Brahmins are part of this mostly destructive group.
Id rather admire Ambedkar(the Dalit leader) who tried to get India on a more free market and pro American footing(not coincidentally he was educated at Columbia while others attending Oxbridge).

Ram Kumar said...

Van Nostrand,

You are right: my point about Americanism was meant to be a sarcastic description of how I could make Americans look quite ridiculous by starting my entire analysis on the basis of a terrible definition.

This is what I see being regularly done when 'analyzing' India and its people, especially regarding the union of all of its religious, cultural, philosophical, spiritual, ritualistic, and socioeconomic practices clubbed under 'Hinduism'.

Truth said...

"Van Nostrand, I admire you for sticking around and trying to educate some of these fools. A Sisyphean task if there ever was one!"

Here, Here! Hey, it's a rough job, but somebody has to do it.

Ram Kumar said...


It is true that much of Indian elitism stems from the Nehruvian era of the elite attending British boarding and looking down on upon the mercantile society of the American.
I loathe these elitists-they were for the most part crony capitalists and or Fabian socialists who had devastated the Indian economy and society for half a century with their hare brained schemes.
Regrettably too many Brahmins are part of this mostly destructive group.
Id rather admire Ambedkar(the Dalit leader) who tried to get India on a more free market and pro American footing(not coincidentally he was educated at Columbia while others attending Oxbridge).


In hindsight that all rings true, but remember that in 1947, the capitalist west, including America, was ruled precisely by these sort of ignorant racists who comment on this blog. The idea that India could have adopted anything but socialism, with nationalized industries, after its experience with multinational predatory capitalism that started with the British East India Company (or the experience of the various sundry 'banana' republics in the new world who were colonized by the United Fruit Company), doesn't equate with the reality of that time.

The Indian economy's opening up has coincided with the West becoming more multicultural and less fascist (which it had to in order to fight the 'evil' commies from the Soviet Union). Thus, racists on the comments section of this blog aside, it is possible for countries like India to bootstrap themselves by plugging in to the world economy largely on their own terms (create local employment, transfer knowledge etc).

Anonymous said...

Much of the Middle East is a sparsely populated hellhole with mostly sand and camels to keep company with

Says the Internet Hindu with a straight face. This Ram Kumar is a fine example of the brazenness with which these people lie and deceive. India is a shining, amazing success story they boast ad nauseam while the West is in decline, China is doomed, the Muslims are inconsequential etc. They keep chanting this mantra like brainwashed drones as if it somehow makes the ugly reality of India disappear....


Ram Kumar said...

@"Anonymous 5.13 PM

So one guy with a Hindu name starts posting and you see an entire army of drones coming. So you feverishly start making straw-men and batting them down. Sounds like schizophrenia to me: they have meds for that ya know.

Or you could just be a pakistani. There is a cure for that too: drones. LOL.

Stephen Edkins said...

just read through the comments it seems like the most important fact here which is that China has limited its participation in PISA to Shanghai.

india was represented by two States, worts and all. To attend a school in Shanghai you have either to have been born there or afford top up fees.

Stephen Edkins said...

China is represented in PISA by Shanghai!!! Tamil Nadu and Hamichal Pradesh are both still 70% rural. Neither contains the richest country in India....

Anonymous said...

Stephen Edkins,

Did you read some other articles. OECD did the testing in total 11 provinces in China. Even the kids from poorest rural area in China are about same as the OECD average.

Anonymous said...

@Stephen Edkins

read:

http://akarlin.com/2012/08/13/analysis-of-chinas-pisa-2009-results/