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The Indian Government's 1980s Human Biodiversity Experiment
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In India and Pakistan, there are somewhere around 50,000 Siddis: East African Bantus whose ancestors were brought to India hundreds of years ago by the Portuguese and/or Arab slave trades. Interestingly, back in the 1980s, the Indian government came up with the idea of turning their blacks into champion Olympic runners

Genetics | The race to a better life

[Link fixed]

5 min read . Updated: 07 Sep 2013, 12:03 AM IST
Arun Janardhan, Maulik Pathak
The Siddis were meant to be our biggest discovery, but the experiment missed the mark by a mile

… In the late 1980s, an ambitious project of the Special Area Games (SAG) programme spearheaded by the then sports minister Margaret Alva was implemented in Gujarat and Karnataka. Believing that the best athletes in the world, as showcased by the Los Angeles Olympics of 1984, were of African origin, SAG—formed in 1985 to find special talent outside of major cities—decided to search among the Siddis, a tribe whose origins can be traced back to south-east Africa.

So in 1988, athletics coach Sunder Raju and other officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) travelled to the Gir National Park in Gujarat to find the little-known Siddis, many of whom had settled in this part of the world. In Karnataka, the same story repeated: in Haliyal, Karwar district, from villages like Yellapura and Mundgod, more Siddi children were rounded up by SAI coaches and told to run. Several were selected, sent to SAI centres across the country for further testing and training. …

A few years later, by 1992-93, the initiative ended, with the existing Siddis in camps weeded out and left to fend for themselves. Some founds jobs, others returned to their villages. The genetic supremacy theory that the government wanted to explore lay in ruins.

There is no clear scientific evidence in this case whether the Siddis’ origins made them natural-born athletes. But those who supported the programme say their performance in that short period of time proves they had potential. “What we got were malnourished children,” says Rachana Govil, then SAI’s assistant director in Bangalore, whose late husband Ravannan was one of the coaches for the project. “Inspite of that, with just some months of training, they were winning medals and breaking records.”

There is a combination of reasons why this project petered out. … “Also, they made a mistake: the East African body structure is good for long distance running, but they tried us only for sprints,” says Juje.

 
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  1. Did they try curry powder in the shorts?

  2. Is this from Times of India?

    This is from WaPo:

    To David Chang, the ‘ethnic’ food aisle is racist. Others say it’s convenient.

    If that’s their biggest complaint…

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
  3. Gordo says:

    The genocide of Andaman Islander by India seems to have gone down the memory hole.

    Perhaps the Indian government have an internet squad on the job?

    • Replies: @Korenchkin
  4. bomag says:

    travelled to the Gir National Park in Gujarat to find the little-known Siddis

    ???

    Does National Geographic have a show on intrepid Indians searching the park for these specimens?

    by 1992-93, the initiative ended, with the existing Siddis in camps weeded out and left to fend for themselves

    Sounds like the program became the usual ethnic spoils plan, and the Africans didn’t make the diversity cut.

  5. @Reg Cæsar

    Don’t worry, they’re looking for something else to complain about.

  6. George says:

    “What we got were malnourished children,”

    Maybe that’s the key. If you want your kids to be athletes starve them for years and then feed them only if they run fast.

  7. @Gordo

    More likely that people just don’t give a shit

  8. nebulafox says:

    Didn’t Indira Gandhi once try mass forced sterilization during the Emergency?

    • Replies: @Corvinus
  9. cmpx says:

    Seedis are African on the y chromosome, but mostly native Indian along the maternal line. Maybe that is why they were athletically disappointing.

  10. Corvinus says:

    China is engaging in an action that runs directly counter to India’s noble effort. There is hope that reeducated Muslims can eventually become productive citizens. Maybe Mr. Sailer can comment about this seemingly anti-human biodiversity experiment. I mean, how dare the Chinese employ nurture techniques rather than using forceful means to “breed out” the undesirable traits of Muslims!

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-china-concentrationcamps/china-putting-minority-muslims-in-concentration-camps-us-says-idUSKCN1S925K

  11. Corvinus says:
    @nebulafox

    “Didn’t Indira Gandhi once try mass forced sterilization during the Emergency?”

    Indeed. Three generations of imbeciles was enough.

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-30040790

    Here is a fun fact–In the Deep South, women’s associations played an important role in rallying support for eugenic legal reform. Eugenicists recognized the political and social influence of southern clubwomen in their communities, and used them to help implement eugenics across the region. Between 1915 and 1920, federated women’s clubs in every state of the Deep South had a critical role in establishing public eugenic institutions that were segregated by sex. For example, the Legislative Committee of the Florida State Federation of Women’s Clubs successfully lobbied to institute a eugenic institution for the mentally retarded that was segregated by sex. Their aim was to separate mentally retarded men and women to prevent them from breeding more “feebleminded” individuals.

    I guess women don’t ruin everything after all!

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  12. So what’s got you so turned on to a country that literally can’t get its shit together?

    You might find this comparative discussion of India vs other poorer countries latrine habits, including its SQUAT survey results, informative:

    • Replies: @PiltdownMan
  13. Pheasant says:

    East African Bantus? Is that even a thing?

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  14. Daniel H says:

    So, India has a population of African-American Indians (that’s how the BBC would refer to them).

    This is the first time I have ever heard of this population. So I clicked on the link above which takes us to the Wiki page. Now, in the old days (about 5 years ago, maybe) a presentation of exotic populations in media would harp on native, ancient and traditional aspects of the culture. You know clothes, food, tradition, veneration of elders, how the women folk are chaste, demure, must be separated from the men, typical cultural anthropology rhetoric. Well behold Wikis initial presentation of Siddis. Yes, African-American Indians for sure.

    • Replies: @Mark Brophy
  15. Life Imitates Art: Reminds me of the scene in Airplane! in which Ted Striker, on Peace-Corp-type assignment in Black Africa, teaches half-naked tribesmen to dunk a basketball.

  16. J.Ross says:
    @Pheasant

    Like the Germans whose “homeland” is technically in the Baltic, the Bantu started in the middle north west but eventually enveloped the center, which places Bantu speakers in places like Mozambique on the coast.

  17. nebulafox says:
    @Corvinus

    >China is engaging in an action that runs directly counter to India’s noble effort. There is hope that reeducated Muslims can eventually become productive citizens. Maybe Mr. Sailer can comment about this seemingly anti-human biodiversity experiment. I mean, how dare the Chinese employ nurture techniques rather than using forceful means to “breed out” the undesirable traits of Muslims!

    Firstly, the sole concern of the American government should be China’s external actions toward the United States. Internal affairs of the PRC are not our proper concern, no more than the Hong Kong protests.

    Secondly, the American media tends to miss that this is far more about race than religion. The Hui, who are Chinese in every sense of the word save their diets and their religious obligations, are left unmolested and do not typically identify with the Uighurs at all. As far as the Turkic minorities are concerned, the goal of the Chinese ethno-nationalists in charge in Beijing seems to be encouraging their long-term demographic envelopment through mass Han migration. Another Tibet would be bad for the PRC’s image (they aren’t very good at understanding soft power), so better to cow the Uighurs into submission. I’m sure that Beijing has valid concerns about radicalism, like any other country with a prominent Muslim presence, but that’s really what’s up. The camps are meant to get them to think that resistance is futile.

    I should add that most if not all Muslim countries don’t seem to be up in arms about the Uighurs. Some of them probably are sympathetic to Chinese concerns about terrorism, given their own domestic issues. They don’t care about it enough to refuse Chinese investment or patronage, at the very least.

    >Here is a fun fact–In the Deep South, women’s associations played an important role in rallying support for eugenic legal reform.

    But Corvy, one can’t be cagey about history, right? Turns out that support for eugenics in the late bourgeois age was not just found all over the political spectrum-from Churchill to Trotsky-it was considered a hallmark of worldwide progressive, upper-middle class thinking! After all, what could be more enlightened and liberal than not condemning children and their parents to lead lives of objective misery, all arguments about national interests aside? These ladies epitomized the rational belief of their age that the mass application science could potentially improve society and thus deserved mass social investment, something that we’ve sadly sadly seen decline in the United States in recent decades.

    (I’ll say this for China: they aren’t making that mistake. At all. It it beyond depressing to contrast…)

    This only changed when the legacy of the Third Reich fully impressed on public consciousness what happens when a modern, industrialized state is placed in the hands of dysfunctional racial megalomaniacs. But as the Baby Boomers and their influence on the United States dies out-good riddance-I suspect that a softcore version of eugenics is going to quietly creep onto the border of the Overton Window again, especially given what the Chinese will be doing.

    >I guess women don’t ruin everything after all!

    Mmmph! You don’t need to tell me that.

    • Replies: @Corvinus
    , @anonymous
  18. Corvinus says:
    @nebulafox

    “Internal affairs of the PRC are not our proper concern, no more than the Hong Kong protests.”

    Actually, they are a concern for Christians.

    “Another Tibet would be bad for the PRC’s image (they aren’t very good at understanding soft power), so better to cow the Uighurs into submission.”

    Actually, it is another Tibet all over again. Moreover, better for Who/Whom?

    “Turns out that support for eugenics in the late bourgeois age was not just found all over the political spectrum-from Churchill to Trotsky-it was considered a hallmark of worldwide progressive, upper-middle class thinking!”

    The reality is that white conservatives AND liberals embraced its ideals.

    “These ladies epitomized the rational belief of their age that the mass application science could potentially improve society and thus deserved mass social investment.”

    Irrational belief.

    “But as the Baby Boomers and their influence on the United States dies out-good riddance…”

    They were not as bad as some people make them out to be.

    • Replies: @nebulafox
  19. @The Alarmist

    The UN gets a lot of flak for its political forums and the theatrics therein, but its technical agencies actually do a lot of useful work, and gather data on things worldwide that we would otherwise have no information, whatsoever, about. There’s a WHO graph in this article, that might be of interest.

    https://news.yahoo.com/experts-cast-doubt-modis-claims-170710177.html

  20. nebulafox says:
    @Corvinus

    >Actually, they are a concern for Christians.

    Oh, not necessarily. Christianity is proving to be a big hit in China these days. CPC members are still required to be atheists, but other than that, unless you are smuggling North Korean refugees or planning pro-democracy demonstrations (and most Chinese are uninterested in doing either), you can survive just fine as a Christian in China.

    >Actually, it is another Tibet all over again.

    In the sense that both don’t stand a chance in hell, then yeah. But beyond that, Uighurs don’t have the international pull that the Tibetans have had: as I’ve mentioned, even other Muslim countries don’t care that much about them beyond standard issue platitudes.

    Probably their best bet from a personal standpoint is to intermarry with the Hui, but the issue there is that the two groups don’t identify with each other that much.

    >Moreover, better for Who/Whom?

    Better for Beijing’s interests.

    >The reality is that white conservatives AND liberals embraced its ideals.

    As I stated. (Nor was it limited to whites.) What point are you trying to make?

    >Irrational belief.

    Well, from al-Ghazali to the court traditionalists during the late Qianlong era to George W. Bush, those who have advocated otherwise tend to have a rather deletrious effect on those unfortunate enough to live under them…

    >They were not as bad as some people make them out to be.

    Tell that to somebody whose future has been mortgaged for them.

  21. anonymous[409] • Disclaimer says:
    @nebulafox

    Beijing seems to be encouraging their long-term demographic envelopment through mass Han migration.

    There is no Han migration to southwest Xinjiang where 75% of Uighurs live. There was mass Uighur migration to places like Urumqi where Uighurs were a 10% minority. Uighurs aren’t able to create an economy richer than Tajikistan. So they have to migrate where the jobs are.

  22. jb says:

    The article link is wrong (it goes to Wikipedia instead of the article). The correct link is here.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  23. @Daniel H

    They’re African not African-American, they’ve never been to the Americas, they bypassed it completely and went straight to India.

  24. Tony says:

    I never knew about the negro situation in India.

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