Author Archives: François Gautier

HOW FOREIGN JOURNALISTS VIEW INDIA. The excessive media coverage of the #Nirbhaya rape or the so-called vandalizing of Delhi churches

(which never happened, see: http://www.firstpost.com/india/crying-wolf-narrative-of-delhi-church-attacks-flies-in-the-face-of-facts-2101105.html.), by the western press, raises the question of the fairness of western journalists posted in India.

In my experience, foreign journalists (and photographers) are generally interested in three kinds of India :

  1. a) The macabre and the negative : rapes of course,such as the horrific #Nirbhaya one and the documentary #IndiasDaughter, which wilfully made it look as if every second woman is raped in India, which is totally untrue. There are many more rapes, say in the UK, where it was found that in the town of Rotherdam, 1400 young girls, many of them under the age of sixteen, were sexually exploited by men, mostly Pakistanis, with the police turning blind eye for politically correct reasons :(http://www.forbes.com/sites/rogerscruton/2014/08/30/why-did-british-police-ignore-pakistani-gangs-raping-rotherham-children-political-correctness/) ; the widows of Benares, the caste system as practised in Bihar, Mother Teresa’s place for the dying in Kolkata, kidneys’ traffic in Tamil Nadu, the slums of Mumbai, bride burning, etc. These subjects have their own truth and there does exist in India horrible rapes, terrible slums, unacceptable exploitation of caste, dying people left unattended, or bride burning. But by harping only on these topics, the foreign press always presents a very negative image of India. Foreign writers have also tended to exploit that vein: Dominique Lapierre in his “City of Joy”, which still is a world-wide best-seller and has been made into many films, has done incalculable damage to India, as it takes a little part of India – the Calcutta slums – and gives the impression to the western reader, who generally is totally ignorant of the realities of India, that it constitutes the whole.

b) The folklore and the superfluous : maharajas, of whom Westerners are avid, although they are totally irrelevant to modern India; the palaces of Rajasthan, cherished by the such as Vogue magazine, who regularly sends there photographers and lanky models, who have no idea of India; festivals :Pushkar, the camel fair, Kumba-melas, where photographers love to click on sadhus with cell phones, dance performances in Khajurao… all these have their own beauties, but they represent only a small part of this great and vast country.

c) The politically correct. There must be at least three hundred foreign corespondents posted in Delhi, which should vouch for a variety of opinion. But if you give them a subject to write about – any subject – say Ayodhya, the #RSS, fanatic Hindus, secularism, or Sonia Gandhi, you will get two hundred and ninety eight articles which will say more or less the same thing, even if it is with different styles, different illustrations and various degrees of professionalism (this is not to say that there are no sincere western journalists who write serious stories which do homage to India’s greatness and immense culture; but they are usually the exception). And at the end, the result is more or less the same : a downgrading of India, a constant harping on “Hindu fundamentalism”, on the “fanatical khaki-clad RSS members” or “the persecution of Christians in India”, as recently seen in the vandalizing of Delhi churches, which had nothing to do with Hindu ‘militants’. But the damage is done –– and no Media, including Indian ones cared to rectify it. It is also conveniently forgetting to mention that Christians have found refuge in this country for 2000 years and have often taken advantage of this great Hindu tolerance, witness the crucifying of heretic Hindus in Goa by the Portuguese, or the huge conversion drive today by Pentacostists or Adventists, who have targeted India as a “pagan country to be brought to the true Word” (please check their Internet sites: htpp//www.bethany.com)

These three kinds of reporting about India have been going on for sixty years and very few Indians have dared – or bothered – to complain. But the interesting question is WHY ? Why this always harping on the negative, the folklore, or the politically correct ? Why this uniformity of views and un-originality in the selection of subjects, in a country which is so ancient, whose civilisation is so diverse, so profound, so fascinating, that there are thousands of extraordinary topics, which could be exploited ?

It seems to me there are two important factors, which are at play in every foreign correspondent. Firstly, a foreign correspondent before even being posted in Delhi, has already fixed ideas about India : prejudices, clichés, negative “à-prioris” etc. This is not to say that it is wilfully done, but it is just something which we pick-up unconsciously from the concepts on India floating in the West : Tintin’s stereotyped India – the good maharajas and the bad fakirs; Kipling’s jungle child ready to embrace the good of the Christian civilisation; or else it is the poverty, the dirtiness and the squalor of India which is always over-emphasised in the West and which scares many of us, used to a clean disinfected (and soulless) world.

More subtly even, we western journalists are influenced by what is said about India in the “serious” books of distinguished Indologists, who have got it all wrong : the supposed invasion of India by the Aryans (which, say more and more archaeologists and linguists, never happened); the great achievements of Moghol culture (absolutely untrue: Aurangzeb banned music from his court and even his Muslim musicians protested); the fanaticism of Hindu social and political movements (which were born in the early twenties after nearly thirteen centuries of horrendous persecutions by Muslim invaders and shameless European colonisation); the importance of being “secular” in Modern India and how Nehru was its great father (forgetting to say that secularism has been hijacked by the Congress for its own selfish purpose), etc.… These “wise” historians have unfortunately a very strong hold on the image of India abroad and they give all the wrong ideas to foreign newspapers editors, who in turn expect a certain (Hindu fundamentalism) angle from the stories of their correspondents.

The second factor is simple: India is a vast and complicated country, often contradictory, full of paradoxes, with many castes, religions, ethnic groups, political parties…It is thus extremely baffling to the mind of the foreign correspondent freshly arrived from the United States, for example, where everything is black and white, good or bad (as seen by the denying of Mr Modi’s visa for years). Thus, naturally, the foreign correspondent will turn for advice and information to his counterpart : the Indian journalist, who is frequently witty, brilliant and well informed. And here lies the crux of the matter, because Indian journalists are often the worst enemies of their own country – they are more secular than the secular, more anti Indian than its worst adversaries and often play in the hands of India’s foes (for instance the magazine Frontline should rightly be called the “Voice of China”, as it often echoes the views of the Chinese communist party, which is profoundly inimical to India, or the newspaper the Hindu should be renamed the Anti-Hindu, as it has a profoundly Marxist outlook; so does #NDTV (by the way, as Prannoy Roy is married to the sister of Brindra Karat, leader of the communist party in India). Another important factor which enhances the uniformity of views amongst foreign correspondents, is that New Delhi has become a very superficial and arrogant city, geographically cut-off from the rest of India (does Delhi have any idea of what is happening in the South ?); and there, the foreign correspondents always hear the same stories, whether in the Embassy cocktails, or at journalists’ parties.

It would be nice to say that even though Indian journalism looks at its own country in a very negative manner, it is something which is self generated and that its opinions are formed independently. But unfortunately, this debasing self-criticism, this eternal inferiority complex, this constantly looking at India through a western prism (take the magazine India Today, for instance, who under the misguided rule of @ShekharGupta, vice-president of India Today, does issues on India as a ‘depressed’ country, when any fool who has lived in India for more than a few years, can tell you that there is some much joy here, even in villages) ) This inferiority complex was born at the beginning of this century, when the “moderates” of the Congress Party (which, nobody should forget, was founded by an Englishman, A.O. Hume – strange today that it is another foreigner, however deserving she may be, who president of the #Congress party, tried to stifle the voices of the real nationalists : Sri Aurobindo, Tilak, or Bepin Chandra Pal, who already then, advocated the booting out of the English coloniser – if necessary by force. Thus when the first real cultural, social and political movements, which had at heart the defence of India’s true heritage started taking shape, such as the much decried Hindu Mahashaba, which attempted to counterbalance the Muslim League’s influence, or the even more maligned Rama Rajya Parishad, initiated by Swamy Karpatri, they were ridiculed by the Congress (read: the British pulling the strings of the Congress), who utilised to the hilt its English speaking press to present these Hindu parties as barbaric, fanatical, ridiculous and amplified the problems of untouchability, castes, or cow worshipping, to belittle these movements, which after all, were only trying to preserve India’s cultural and spiritual heritage.

We have then come a full circle: we thought that the western press was negative about India, out of a personal bias, but we have found that it is influenced by the Indian press; we thought that the Indian press was negative about its own country, because of some dark, sceptical, self destructive streak in itself, but we found out that it was a tendency generated by the Congress, which in turn was manipulated by its British. All along the snake was biting its own tail !

Fine ! But where do we start : is it the western press which must first change its views of India and thus influence the Indian media ? Or is it the Indian press which must be more lenient towards its own country and thus influence the western medias ?

Fortunately, since Mr Narendra Modi came to power, times have changed, there is a new mood of nationalism amongst Indians that is reflected more at the moment in the social Media, FB and Twitter, but has not reached yet the mainstream press, which remains critical of Hindus and their movements. This nationalism may have come with some excesses, but it is a sign of times to come and #IndiaToday should take notice of it, for no nation can move forward without some kind of nationalism and pride of itself.

We have got to change the image of India amongst industrialised nations, if only because India needs a lot of foreign investment. Who in the West wants to do business with a country with a backward image and associated with rapes and slums? The Western press is not playing its true role of information. But that should not be a problem – look at China : less than thirty years ago it was considered in the West as the “Red Devil”, a feudal country, totally closed to the world. But then in 1971 Nixon went there and suddenly it became acceptable to do business in China; and today it even possesses in the West an image of a fast, forward, modern nation (although THE CHINESE killed a million Tibetans, gave Pakistan its nuclear technology and still claim part of Indian territory). Many of us are trying to change India’s image abroad, but it’s extremely difficult. I for one, have written so many articles and books, telling France that it needs to look towards India s an economic AND GEOPOLITICAL alternative to China, as India is democratic, western friendly and juridically safe. But French Indianists such as Christophe Jaffrelot who still rules the roost in France when it comes to India write long articles in Le Monde newspaper, speaking about Hindu fundamentalism and saying that India is a ‘soft’ power which never have China’s reach. And the French, including the French embassy in India, would rather listen to #JaffrelotC -not to Mr Gautier.

Thus, unless the Nehruvian legacy of bureaucracy and centralisation is discarded, unless India starts looking at herself differently, unless its people have a little more pride in being Indian, there is very little we can do.

For there is nothing wrong with a bit of nationalism, which any nation needs to have a minimum amount of self-respect. We French are proud of our Revolution, which changed the face of the world for ever; we are proud of Christianity, which gave us an island of sanity and learning during the dark and cruel Middle Ages; we are proud of our philosophers, such as Descartes, who taught us to look at things with a logical and clear eye. And India herself has nothing to be ashamed off: hers is a great civilisation infinitely older than any civilisation in the West; and not only was it great but its inner genius has survived the genocide of Muslim invasions, a stifling colonisation by the British, and even Marxism, which incarnated itself in the minds of India’s intellectual elite and tried to kill the Hindu genius of the land of Bharat.

Isn’t it then time to fulfil the prophecy of Sri Aurobindo, who wrote 100 years ago : “India of the ages is not dead nor has She spoken Her last creative word; She lives and has still something to do for Herself and the human peoples. And that which She must seek now to awake, is not an anglicised oriental people, docile pupil of the West and doomed to repeat the cycle of the Occident’s success and failure, but still the ancient immemorial Shakti recovering Her deepest self, lifting Her head higher towards the supreme source of light and strength and turning to discover the complete meaning and vaster form of Her Dharma.

Then will we, foreign journalists, look at you differently…

François Gautier

ABOUT #BBC, #IINDIASDAUGHTER & #FOREIGN CORRESPONDENTS

I have had the privilege to live for more than 40 years in India.
To my knowledge, only two foreign journalists have stayed so long in this country: Mark Tully, who as you know was for long the South Asia BBC correspondent and myself.
It has long been my opinion that India is A very difficult country to grasp for a foreign correspondent, as it is so different from the West, full of contradictions, paradoxes, baffling parameters, etc. Going from Delhi to Madras, for instance, is like flying from Paris to Athens, because there is absolutely no comparison between the two, as if you have passed from one continent to another. Thus, for a Westerner, say from Europe, where all the countries share more or less the same religion (Christianity), more or less the same ethnic origins (Caucasian), more or less the same food habits (meat) and more or less the same dress code (ties and dresses), India can be a very enigmatic country.
Disinformation about India by the intellectual media .

Yet, not only do we find that Western correspondents are generally posted only for three, maximum five years in India – too short a time to really start getting the ABC of the subcontinent; but also, that most of them have – before even reaching India – very strong and biased ideas, prejudices, misconceptions, on the country they are supposed to report about in an impartial and fair manner. The film #IndiasDaughter will only add to the misconceptions.
Forget the fact that by the time they leave India, these foreign correspondents have even been more reinforced in their prejudices: the Hindu “fundamentalists”, the “persecuted” minorities of India, the “Human Rights” abuses performed in Kashmir by the Indian Army, plus the usual folkloric the stories about India: the “dashing” maharajas (who are absolutely irrelevant to modern India), the “atrocities” on Indian women, as portrayed in a warped and skillful manner by #Lesleeudwin, who has a Pakistani father (see my previous post: no country in the world as India has given such an important place to its women), or the “horrible” sati and bride burning (an old British trick to show Hindus in a bad light).

I was lucky. First I came to India when I was very young, with hardly any prejudices, because I had never really thought about India; I was also immensely fortunate to have spent my first eight formative years in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram of Pondichery, where I met the Mother, a formidable Presence and read at length Sri Aurobindo, India’s modern Avatar, Revolutionary, (the first Congress leader to have advocated India’s Independence, if necessary by force), immense Poet, Philosopher and Yogi (yet totally ignored by today’s Indian youth); I was also extremely lucky that when I started journalism in the early 80s, I did freelancing assignments in rural areas, particularly in the South: Kerala’s extraordinary Kalaripayat, the ancestor of all great Asian martial arts; the beautiful Ayyappa pilgrimage, also in the jungles of Kerala; the Ayanar sculptures in the villages of Tamil Nadu.

And this led to my most important discovery, which endured to this day: namely that the genius of India was (and still is) in its villages – and not in the cities — where an arrogant intelligentsia and a more and more westernized youth, have less and less idea about their roots and culture.
Even so, it took me ten years to feel that I was beginning to understand India and to discard the ideas I had somehow picked-up along the way: that the Congress was the best party to lead India out of communalism; that secularism was the best option for the country, given its incredible ethnic and religious diversity; or that the RSS, the VHP and other Hindu groups were “violent” and dangerous. On a more positive note, it also took me ten years to understand what a wonderful culture and civilization Hindu India had been — and still is in some way: how Hinduism never tried to use the might of its armies, as Islam and Christianity did, to convert other nations; how Hindus always recognized the divinity of other religions and never shied from also worshipping in Buddhist temples, Christian churches, or Muslim mosques; how India, since time immemorial, has been the land of refuge for all persecuted minorities of the world: the Jews, the Parsis, the Syrian Christians, or today’s Tibetans.

It also took me ten years to see, that far from being the fundamentalists described by the British and today’s Indian Marxists, Hindus have been at the receiving end of persecution for 1,600 years: first wave upon wave of Muslim invasions, which tried, in the most ruthless and horrifying manner, to wipe-off Hinduism from the face of the earth; then the more insidious European colonisation – but no less harmful – witness the Portuguese who crucified countless Brahmins in Goa, or the British under whose “enlightened” rule 30-million Indians died of famine. And it is not finished: today’s Hindus are still killed in Kashmir, in Bangladesh (see Taslima Nasreen’s book Lajja), Pakistan or Afghanistan.

It also took me a long time to understand that Indians -Hindus sorry – are sometimes their worst enemies: Indian journalists have often taken-up like parrots the slogans coined by the British to divide India and belittle its civilisation; Nehru blindly adopted most of the set-up left behind by the English, without bothering to borrow from India’s ancient genius and, as a result, India’s constitutional, judicial or educational system is totally non-Indian and only produces western clones.
This is why today, instead of trying to counterbalance the very untrue and negative image that the film #IndiasDaughter is spreading around the world, #NDTV & other Indian Medias are only stoking the fire and adding to the damage.
Cry O my Beloved India. Look at what Thy children are doing to Thou
Francois Gautier

ABOUT #BBC & #IndiasDaughter

There is no doubt that the Nyrbhaya rape was horrendous. No doubt either, that specially in the North, men have often a huge sexual frustration.

But it’s strange, I am lived for nearly forty years in India and I have traveled the length and breadth of this country, like very few western correspondents have. I am even in close touch with villages of Tamil Nadu, populated only with OBC’s and Untouchables. And my experience has been totally – but TOTALLY – different. Yes, there are abuses on women in India, there may be some villages in UP or in some remote tribal belts, where female feticide is practiced (nobody dares say openly that it is mostly by Muslims who want boys); yes, women in India work so hard, toiling in the fields, looking after their children, cooking, cleaning, getting up before dawn and sleeping late; yes, men in India tend to drink a lot and sometimes abuse their wives. BUT I HAVE NEVER SEEN ANY OTHER COUNTRY WHERE WOMEN PLAY SUCH AN IMPORTANT ROLE, WHERE THEY SO WORSHIPPED, REVERED, PRIZED UPON.

The Western media is always keen to do stories on female infanticides, child marriages, or sati cases in Rajasthan. But who knows that no nation in the world has granted such an important place to women in its spirituality and social ethos? “Without Him I exist not, without Her I am unmanifest”, says Sri Aurobindo. Thus in India – and it is true that it is often a paradox, as, because of Muslim invasions, women and even girls who were raped by the millions, had to be hidden – and hence frustration of men grew – were for a time relegated to the background . Yet, the feminine concept as a symbol of dynamic realization, never died: “She is the eternal Mother, who is all Wisdom, all Compassion, all Force, Beauty and Perfection”. It is in this way that since the dawn of times, Hindus have venerated the feminine element under its different manifestations: Makalaxmi, Mahakali, Mahasaraswati, Maheshwari – and even India is feminine: ‘Mother India’. “She is the consciousness transcending all things, she is the emptiness beyond all emptiness, the smile beyond all smiles, the divine beauty beyond all earthly beauties”.

India has had many great female figures, whether warriors such as the Rani of Jhansi, or saints like Amrita Anandamayi (who by the way comes from the lowest caste possible and is worshipped by millions of upper castes Indians – so much for the caste divide, another favorite whipping horse of India’s enemies). Today, behind all appearances – arranged marriages, submission to men, preference of male children in some rural areas (but girls are loved in India like nowhere in the world) , rapes- the role of women in India is essential and it can be safely said that very often, from the poorest to the richest classes, they control –even if behind the scenes – a lot of the family affairs: the education of their children (men in India are often “mama’s boys”), monetary concerns, and men often refer to them for important decisions.

Westerners love to preach India on Human Rights. But countries such as France or the United States, never had a woman as their top leader, whereas India had Indira Gandhi ruling with an iron hand for nearly twenty years; and Sonia Gandhi, a Christian, a Westerner, and just an ordinary MP, reigned for ten years on India like an Empress ! The reverse would be absolutely impossible in the West, where there are proportionately less MP’s than India, which is considering earmarking 33% of seats in Parliament for women, a revolution in human history! This shakti concept is so rooted in the subcontinent, that you have had women Prime Ministers, such as Benazir Bhutto or Kaleda Zia, and now Sheikh Hasina, in Islamic countries (Pakistan and Bangladesh) which are predominantly male-controlled in a much stricter way than India.

India is a vast, complex, often contradictory country, peopled with different races, religions, ethnies… It is normal that there are problems. Rape is a crime and should be punished by death. But women have played and are still playing such an important role in this country, the Shakti concept is such a unique, vibrant, respectful and holy concept, that all Indians, including Indian Christians and Indian Muslims, whose women have somehow benefited from that concept, which seeped into their religion unobtrusively, should be proud of it. Long Live the Indian Woman and her astonishing Grace.

Finally what should be said about the film India’s Daughters, is that it was made by someone who has Pakistani blood – and hence animosity towards India. Secondly, that the BBC should not preach to anybody: some of its stars, such as Jimmy Saville (now dead) were confirmed pedophiles on prepubescent boys and girls. BBC still has a colonial hangover too and thinks it can lecture India. Finally, if you look at rape statistics, there are proportionately, many more rapes in the USA, Denmark and many other western countries than India.
LONG LIVE MOTHER INDIA
François Gautier

#VVIPRacism AND KARMA (“ or what the #BJP manifesto forgot to say”)

Everything has already been said about the hassles that VIP security has created in India : the status symbol it has become for people like Mulayam Singh, or Lalu Prasad, who are not particularly targeted by terrorists; how 70% of the Indian police is tied-up by VIP protection, instead of attending to the problems of its common citizens; how we all suffer at the hands of VIP’s, waiting endlessly in our cars, as the Honourable Sonia Gandhi passes by, or in planes, as the PM’s aircraft is landing; or of being rudely treated by these arrogant and useless Blacks Cats, who all of them should be sent to guard Kargil in winter, so they get a taste of what real security is about. And what about the habit of Indian Prime Ministers and Presidents of chartering a full jumbo jet from Air India for their travels abroad? And when a technical snag occurs, the PM finds it quite normal to requisition another one on the spot, throwing into disarray hundreds of passengers, including many foreigners, as Air India’s planes have a round the clock schedule. Cannot the Prime Minister have his own plane, even if its is more modest than a Jumbo jet ? India after all is a poor country…
Yet we find no mention of the VIP problem in the BJP manifesto, although many of their leaders had personally vouched before coming to power, that their party will address itself to this syndrome, which it inherited from the Congress.

But what has never been said is this : the BJP, although it has, in its eagerness to prove itself “secular”, muted this aspect, prides itself to be a party which has Hindu roots, not in the narrow religious sense, but in the large tolerant tradition of “santana dharma”, which has shaped the lives and psyches of all Indians, regardless of their race or religion. Then has not the BJP leadership read the Bhagavad Gita, the supreme work of spiritual revelation in the whole history of our human planet, which says nearly everything that needs to be known on the mysteries of human life : why death, why life, why suffering? Don’t they remember the gist of what Krishna tells Arjuna : “the body is just an envelope and the soul never dies, but is born and reborn again to complete its works”. Does not the PM know that if he is to die tomorrow at the hands of an assassin, then it will be his karma, that it has been written somewhere in the book of Destiny and that there is nothing that any security in the world, however sophisticated can do about it ? Remember how Ronald Reagan, the most protected man in the world was shot; or how the LTTE always managed to get the Sinhalese and Tamil leaders it targeted although the Sri Lankan, being trained by the Israelis, have one of the best security in Asia ? So why fear death ? Does India always have to ape the West, when it has such deep knowledge in itself of the reality beyond the reality, of the occult truth behind the appearances ? Does not the BJP understand that if it would address itself seriously to the problems of VIP security and tone it down DRASTICALLY, including around the Prime Minister, it would acquire the party tremendous goodwill from the people and as many votes as wining the Kargil war ?

FRANCOIS GAUTIER

EXPLODING THE MOTHER TERESA MYTH

IT is quite extraordinary that the  icon which is Mother Teresa is being defended by Delhi’s chief minister, Arvind Kejriwal, a Hindu at that.

But Mr Kejirwal missed some relevant points, which could be summarized thus:

1) What did Mother Teresa really stand for?

2) Why do some Indians such as Navin Chawla, Prannoy Roy or Arvind Kejriwal, defend her so ardently?

Foremost one should say in defence of Mother Teresa that she certainly did saintly work. After all, there is no denying that it takes a Westerner to pick up dying people in the streets of Calcutta and raise abandoned orphans, a thankless task if there is one. Indians themselves, and particularly the Hindus, even though their religion has taught them compassion for 4000 years, have become very callous towards their less fortunate brethren.

This said, one may wonder: What did Mother Teresa really stand for? Was caring for the dying and orphaned children her only goal? Well, if you have observed her carefully over the years, you will notice that she did not say much. She did speak against contraception and abortion, in a country of more than one billion, where an ever growing population is spiking whatever little economic progress is made, where the masses make life more and more miserable, invading the cities, crowding their streets and polluting the environment; where for 60 years the Indian government has directed a courageous and democratic birth control programme (this must be said, for China has achieved demographic control through autocratic means).

What else did Mother Teresa say: she spoke of the dying in the streets of Calcutta, of course, of the poor of India left unattended, of the misery of the cities. Fair enough, but then it should have been pointed out to her, that she projected – and still projects though she is dead for many years now – to the whole world an image of India which is entirely negative: of poverty beyond humanity, of a society which abandons its children, of dying without dignity. OK, there is some truth in it. But then it may be asked again: did Mother Teresa ever attempt to counterbalance this negative image of India, of whom she was the vector, by a more positive one? After all she had lived here so long that she knew the country as well as any Indian, having even adopted Indian Nationality. Surely, she could have defended her own country? She could for example spoken about India’s infinite spirituality, her exquisite culture, the amazing gentleness of its people, the brilliance of its children…

Unfortunately, Mother Teresa said nothing. For the truth is that she stood for the most orthodox Christian conservatism. There is no doubt that ultimately Mother Teresa’s goal was utterly simple: to convert India to Christianity, the only true religion in her eyes.

Did you notice that she never once said a good word about Hinduism, which after all is the religion of 750 million people of the country she says she loved, and has been their religion for 6000 years. This is because deep inside her, Mother Teresa considered, as all good Christians do, particularly the conservative ones, Hinduism a pagan religion which adores a multitude of heathen gods and should be eliminated.

For make no mistakes about it, there has been no changes about the Christians or Protestant designs on India since they arrived with the Portuguese and the British.

Listen to what Lord Hastings, Governor General of India, had to say in 1813: “The Hindoo appears a being limited to mere animal functions…. with no higher intellect than a dog or a monkey”! Mother Teresa was much more clever than Lord. Hastings. She knew that on the eve of the 21st century, it would have looked very bad if she would openly state her true opinion about Hinduism: so she bade her time. But ultimately is not charitable work, whatever its dedication, a roundabout manner to convert people? For without any doubt the people she saved from the streets ultimately became Christians – and if you ask those “elite” Indians who knew her well, such as the photographer Raghu Rai, a great admirer of her, she always came out after some years with: “it’s now time for you to embrace the true religion” (Rai politely declined).

The second point then is: why does India’s intelligentsia, the Vir Sanghvis, Kejriwals, Chawlas and Sunita Sens, all of whom are born Hindus, defend her? These are intelligent, educated people, they must surely have had some inkling of Mother Teresa’s true purpose. Or did they? Do Sanghvi and Sen, or Naveen Chawla, Mother Teresa’s ever admiring biographer, understand what Mother Teresa really stood for? That she was someone basically hostile to their culture, their religion, their way of life? Does Sanghvi know that Hindu society has always been the target of Christians since their coming here? Does he understand that he and a thousand of his peers, who belong to the intellectual elite of India and keep praising Mother Teresa, even after her death, are doing harm to their country and opening it to its enemies? The Christian influence is very strong in India today, specially after the ten years in power of Sonia Gandhi: it shapes the minds of its young people, in a subtle way, through its schools, which many of the children of the rich attend. It moulds the thinking of the tribes it has converted, particularly in the North-East, where the missionaries have always covertly encouraged separatism (see the remarkable book “Indigenous Indians” by the Dutch Scholar Konrad Elst).

But ultimately it must be concluded that the Indian intelligentsia who defend Mother Teresa and are constantly attacking Hinduism, as Sanghvi or Kejriwal do, are a product of three centuries of English and Christian colonialism, which successfully created an Indian elite cut off from its roots and hostile to its own culture. Mother Teresa was an incarnation of Western post- colonialism and the Nobel Prize she got is their endorsement of her work,

As for the Indian government’s stand on Mother Teresa, it is like biting one’s own tail and it seems quite stupid. Why make Mother Teresa a national figure when she represented and still represents today the worst publicity for India at a time when the country is trying to shed its image of poverty and backwardness under Mr Modi’s leadership? Surely Mother Teresa deserves praise for her work. But there are hundreds of other selfless, courageous individuals in India, who do not hog the limelight and go on with their service to the nation in true Christian humility. The deeds of Mother Teresa should be reviewed in their proper perspective. But then, when she died, the Indian government declared 7 days of mourning!

For make no mistake about it, the wonder that is India, its great culture, its philosophy, its inner spiritual genius is today under mortal threat. It is attacked both from within by its minorities – of which the Christian lobby, although not the most visible, is essentially hostile – see how they have cleverly raked up bogus attacks on Delhi churches and managed to put Mr Modi on the back foot, to the point that he had to attend the ‘canonisation’ of two Indian saints – in the process they may make allies with the Muslims, the other monotheist religion, with whom they partake of the same hate for Hinduism. And from without, by hostile neighbours. And what will India become if the Mother Teresas’ of this world, helped unwittingly by Sanghvi and his peers have the last word? It will lose what makes Her unique on this earth, different from all others, above most of them and become another Westernised, Christianised, standardised society, having lost its soul along the way. Thank you Vir Sanghvi , Arvind Kejriwal, Prannoy Roy, Shekhar Gupta, Navin Chawla !

François Gautier

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PM ABOUT THE DELHI DEFEAT & A UNITED HINDU ELECTORATE

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

First let me tell you that many a times, I felt that some Divine Force was inspiring you – the way Sri Aurobindo said that Churchill was guided by Him to fight the Nazis…

But then, I have to say, as someone who travels extensively in India & has spent a lot of time in Delhi for the last 40 years (I have interviewed 7 Indian PM’s), that nothing much has changed. Your ministers are still as unreachable as the Congress ones, functioning in the same system with four layers of secretaries. Even if you have an important work – there is no way you can meet one of your ministers unless you have some pull. Your MP’s, as the Congress ones before them, once they come to Delhi, with their cars, bungalows, countless aides, and so many sycophants coming for favours, quickly lose sight of why they were elected. You need to send them BACK to their constituencies the way Mao Tse Tung sent back all his cadres to the countryside. Delhi is a microcosm of India and you seem to have lost there some of the Hindu electorate who voted for you UNITEDLY, from the Dalit to the businessmen. Some of us had seen this coming for a few months already.

You need to have around you people who will tell you what the mood of the people is – without ANY FEAR – for I have seen, even with gurus, that their followers always want to please them, flatter them and thus shield them from the truth. It is something inherent to the Hindu psyche. If this had been done, maybe we could have told you that the middle class and lower class Hindus who voted for you, want a change at the grass root level. They are not concerned about Obama and nuclear energy, or the way you are skillfully loosening the Chinese encircling grip, or the remarkable unifying of intelligence and their agencies you are doing with Mr Doval, but about the daily problems and the constant bribes that are asked by petty bureaucrats and policemen. I myself experience this in Maharashtra as I am asked bribes for getting permissions for a Museum, which is free, dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj and a sewa project!

Also they do not understand why you were so fiery and outspoken while campaigning – and now that you are elected, you do not seem any more to be promoting their Hindu causes. They cannot fathom, for instance in their simple minds, why you are being so friendly to Sonia Gandhi, who wanted you in prison or even dead – and why you are keeping away from those who supported you in your darkest hours, when nobody thought that you would become PM. These old friends of yours are still keeping quiet, out of respect for your work, but I know many who are bitter. The common Hindu man does not comprehend either why no one in your Government stands by reconversions of Christians or Muslims to Hinduism. During the last Tsunami, at least 10% of the Tamil Nadu fishermen were converted by Christian missionaries, using financial baits, such as free boats. I was there and SAW it. Or why when one of yours says that Hindus must produce more children, he is booed down. We know that Muslims produce seven to eight children per couple and in some areas of India they are now in majority and will NOT vote for you. It is true that there have been vandalizing of churches in Delhi, whether intentional, or just by some common thieves. But this is an old trick of Indian Christians to evoke sympathy from Obama and C° and bring pressure & discredit upon you. You should know better than that: Christians have been the aggressors in this country & the Pope still thinks that India is a fair target for mass conversions.

We understand that you must be the Prime Minister of all Indians and that you have to rise above sectarism, but there has to be in the public a perception that you are the PRIME MINISTER OF HINDUS BECAUSE IT IS THEY WHO VOTED FOR YOU – not the Muslims – whatever Ram Madhav told you before the Kashmir elections, which is going to be another thorn in your heel (and if you do not remove article 370 soon, most Hindus will lose faith in your government). To cultivate the Muslims, thinking that they will like you in the end, as Mr Vajpayee did, under the influence of the nice but misguided Suddeendhra Kulkarni, is not only a waste of time, but also may ALIENATE YOU HINDU VOTERS, whom you are going to need in four years again and at different state elections.  Let the Muslims of India know that they possess the same rights as any Hindus, Sikhs or Christians, which they actually have, including total freedom of worship, that Hindus have neither in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, but do not go out of your way to please them. When the common man of Delhi sees that you received Aamir Khan, whose film PK, is a deliberate insult to all Hindu gurus & Hindus, they think something is not right. Also they do not understand why so many Hindu gurus and activists such as sadhvi Pragya and Colonel Purohit, whose innocence has been proved, are still languishing in jail. Congress had no qualms in favouring their people and flouting all decent rules. This isn’t about ethics, but if your aim is just, dharmic, and I believe it is, it does not matter what means are used.

The Congress got elected and elected again with mostly the Muslims votes, till Kejriwal came, You need to CULTIVATE THE HINDU ELECTORATE Sir, by making gestures, even if you let your people do them and stand back. And that has to be done QUICKLY. If they are convinced that you are working for them, you will have the two or even three terms you need to achieve a real Renaissance of India. Democracy is a beautiful but skewed system, easy to hijack by adharmic forces. To realise all the great things you have undertaken, YOU NEED A UNIFIED HINDU VOTE.

The trap now is to listen to the Media which says that your party lost in Delhi because of ‘communal’ reasons – vandalizing of churches, statements by your people about reconversions, or your so-called ten lakh suit. This will prod you and your government to go more secular, let go of more of the pledges you made for the Hindu cause during your campaign, the same way the Vajpayee Government veered away gradually from its Hindu ideals – and lost the elections to Sonia Gandhi.

But think of it like that: you got elected in May last year with a massive mandate BECAUSE of your dedicated, sincere and fiery HINDU promises. There is no reason why it should not work the same way now that you have the power. You need to stick by what your pledged Sir – whatever the Media, Obama, your bureaucrats or the Foreign Press says

Namaste

Francois Gautier

25 years since the exodus of the Pandits. Do you know the real history of #Kashmir ?

Do you know the real history of #Kashmir ?
Even as it is 25 years now that the #Hindus were chased out of the Valley of Kashmir by the #Muslims, there is a lot of misconception in people’s mind, both Indian and western, that Kashmir did not always belong to India, or that it is a “disputed area”. This is why FACT (Forum Against Continuing Terrorism) chose to do an exhibition, which was shown with a great success all over the world, including to the US Congress in 2006 (http://refugees-in-their-own-country.blogspot.in/). Here are some of the facts we highlighted.
For two thousand years, the Himalayan valley of Kashmir in Northern India has been the home of Learning and Wisdom. From this small valley have issued masterpieces of history, poetry, romance, fable, and philosophy and many of the greatest Sanskrit scholars and poets were born and wrote in the valley. Kashmir flourished under some of India’s greatest rulers, such as Mauryan emperor Ashoka, who reigned between 273 and 233 BC and is recorded to have founded the old city of Srinagar. Under his sovereignty, many Buddhist scholars, missionaries, and intellectuals permanently settled in the valley. Or the great Hindu King Harsha (1089 to 1101 A. D) who was versed in many languages, a good poet, lover of music and art, making his court a centre of luxury, learning and splendour.
Unfortunately In the beginning of 14th century, a ferocious Mongol warlord, Dulucha, invaded the valley through its northern side Zojila Pass, with an army of 60,000 men. His savage attack ended for all purposes the Hindu rule in Kashmi and he is said to have destroyed many temples and killed thousands of Hindus. Muslim rule was further tightened in 1389, during the rule of Sultan-Sikandar. He banned all celebrations and would not even listen to music. He imposed Jizia (tax on Infidels) upon Hindus and stopped them to use tilak. Almost all the Muslim chroniclers of that time speak of the wholesale destruction of Hindu shrines including the famed ‘Martand’ Temple, and forcible conversion of Hindus to Islam. Thousands of Hindus fled to India to save their religion and holy books, and also to escape the wrath of the Sultan
Then, after a period of relative tolerance and peace, came the rule of Afghans warlords till 1819, roughly a period of 67 years. The very first Afghan governor Abdullah Khan Aquasi, immediately after assuming powers, started a reign of terror. People were looted and killed indiscriminately, and even soldiers began to amass wealth beyond any imagination. Fortunately, in 1819, 30,000 soldiers of Sikh Maharaja Ranjit Singh attacked Kashmir, defeated the Pathans, and the state became a part of Ranjit Singh’s empire for nearly forty years, providing some relief to Hindus in Kashmir. But the British defeated the Sikhs and became undisputed masters of India. Not interested by Kashmir, they sold it in perpetuity for 75 lakhs of rupees (appr 150.000 $) to Maharaja Gulab Singh of the Doghra dynasty (what wonderful merchants the British, who sell something which does not even belong to them!).
By treaty, conquest, or inter-marriages, the Doghras created a state comprised of five major units, which are fundamentally very different from each other in terms of geography and ethnicity and have further complicated the problems of Kashmir: the territory around Gilgit (today in Pakistan), which belongs basically to Central Asia; Ladhak, which is an extension of Tibet and is peopled at 55% by Buddhists and 45% by Muslims; the area around Muzarrafad which is today under Pakistan control, comprised mostly of Punjabi Muslims; Jammu, which in essence belongs to Himachal Pradesh and is Hindu in majority; and the valley of Kashmir, of course, which was Indian Muslim at 95 % in 1947.
Finally, India gained its independence from in 1947 and was disastrously divided by the British, against the advice of saints and seers, such as Sri Aurobindo, along religious lines into India and Pakistan. Although many Muslims chose to stay in India, knowing that they would be granted the freedom of practicing their own religion, most Hindus had to flee Pakistan as they were being slaughtered mercilessly. Maharaja Hari Singh of Kashmir decided to attach his state to free and secular India. Furious, the Pakistan Government invaded Kashmir, and encouraged the Muslim tribal people to carry loot, plunder, death and destruction into the hearths and homes of innocent Kashmiris in general and among Hindus in particular.
Since 1947, Pakistan, aided by China, which also claims parts of Indian territory, has initiated three wars to regain Indian Kashmir, four, if you include the Kargil war fought in the icy reaches of upper Kashmir. Worse, the proxy war which they are waging on India today, by arming, training and financing not only Kashmiri separatists, but also Islamic militants coming from Afghanistan, or even faraway Sudan, has cost the lives of nearly 60.000 innocent people, both Hindus and Muslims. It should be added that Pakistan decided in the late eighties that it would be easier to regain Kashmir if all the Hindus were pushed out by a campaign of terror, both in the valley, where they were a tiny minority and in Jammu where they still have a thin majority. Thus 450,000 Kashmiri Pandits, constituting 99% of the total population of Hindus living in the Kashmir Valley, have been forcibly pushed out of the Valley by terrorists. Since 1989, they have been forced to live the life of exiles in their own country.

People should also be reminded that terrorism in Kashmir is not about separatism only, it is also an ideological struggle with specific fundamentalist and communal Agenda. Terrorist violence aims at the disengagement of the state of Jammu and Kashmir from India and its annexation to Pakistan. It is a continuation of the Islamic fundamentalist struggle.

François Gautier

FACT is building in Pune, amongst the 5 acres, of the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History (fact-india.com), a special building to permanently house our Kashmiri Pandits exhibition. If you wish to help contribute to this very important endeavor, you may contact me at francoisgautier26@gmail.com. FACT is a registered Trust, which has FCRA, Indian, US and UK tax exemption