HINDU POWER: 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES FOR HINDUS (PART II)

  1. Explain the caste system to westerners. Caste is still a curse that hangs around India’s neck. While it is true that 75% marriages are still arranged in India, Hindus in the US, UK and elsewhere, need to whisper in the ears of their western friends that the Indian Government has made tremendous efforts since 1947 to uplift the lower castes. And it has succeeded in great measure. Tell them that your present Prime Minister comes from one of the lowest castes and was a tea seller, that some of today’s Indian Chief Ministers are untouchables, or that one of India’s best known saints, Amrita Anandamayi, who has hundreds of thousands of disciples in the US, UK, & millions all over the world, and has built hospitals, universities, housings for the poor, comes from the lowest caste possible in Kerala.

You can also ask your western friends if the caste system is really that worse than the huge class differences you can see nowadays in Europe or the USA!

 

  1. Dispel the notion that Hindus can be fundamentalists and violent. Hindus need to repeat again and again to their British brothers and sisters that the only country in the world where Jews were never persecuted is India. Tell them that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, or rather in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. Explain that the average Hindu that you meet in a million villages, possesses this simple, innate spirituality in his or her genes and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. It is this ‘Hindu-ness’ (which cannot be experienced if you sit in Delhi most of the time) that makes most Indian Christians different, from say a French Christian, or an Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. Also that Hindus have given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis (Iranian worshippers of Zarathustra), the Jews, the Armenians, or today the Tibetans (the real Tibet is in India now, as the one in the hands of the Chinese has lost much of its Tibetan character). Thus you cannot find less fundamentalist than a Hindu in this world and Hindus in the US, UK & Europe, should immediately react when they read articles in the British Press (often unfortunately from New Delhi-based correspondents) trying to equate Islamic terrorism, which blow-up innocent civilians, to angry ordinary Hindus who burn churches without killing anybody. Tell them that however reprehensible was the destruction of the Babri Masjid (a Mosque built in the 15th century by Muslim invader Babar on a very ancient and holy Hindu temple dedicated to the God Ram), no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this with the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Mumbai, which wiped-out hundreds of innocent, mostly Hindus. Yet, the Babri Masjid  destruction is often described by journalists as the most horrible act of the two. Today, you can argue with your western friends, Hindus are one of the most successful, law abiding and integrated communities in the world. Can you call them terrorists?

 

FG

 

 

 

 

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HINDU POWER: 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES FOR HINDUS

Every 6th person on this Planet is a Hindu and Hindus still constitute the overwhelming majority in India – nearly 80% of the population. Humanity needs thus to re-discover the wonder that is Hinduism, the oldest spirituality still in practice in the world. It is also true that Hindus must to rise to the challenges of this second millennium. Here they are – in order of difficulty.

  1. Break the Polytheist image. One of the most enduring clichés about Hinduism is that Hindus adore a multitude of gods and goddesses, which makes them heathens in the eyes of Christians, thus good to be converted to the ‘true’ God, often with unethical financial baits; & ‘kafirs’ for Muslims from all over the world, particularly from neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, which encourages them to wage a jihad on India.

Yet, Hinduism, whether you want to call it a religion or a spiritual system, is without doubt one of the most monotheist creeds in the world, because it always recognized that the One is Many and that He incarnates Himself or Herself in a multitude of forms – hence the million of gods & goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. Vedic Sages (from the Vedas, the oldest and most sacred Scriptures of Hinduism) had understood that man has to be given a multiplicity of different approaches to the Unfathomable. And truly, for the Hindus, the Divine cannot be “this” or “that” – neti, neti. In its essence, He cannot be several – or even one – and thus can never be perfectly seized by the human mind. Indeed, Hindus, who were once upon a time the best dialecticians in the world (and this is maybe why they are today the top software programmers of this planet), were able to come-up with this kind of equation: a) God is in the world; b) the world is in God; c) the world is God; d) God and the world are distinct; e) God is distinct from the world, but the world is not distinct from God; f) it is impossible to discern if the world is distinct from God or not… Never has the unique nature of Hindu polytheism been better defined.

Hindus in the world need to emphasize to their western brothers and sisters that they have also always recognized the divinity of other religions, as their concept of the avatar (the different forms that the Divine takes at different times to incarnate Himself or Herself in a human form) helped them to accept the reality of other prophets, masters or gurus. It is, for instance, perfectly acceptable for an ordinary Hindu to have on his wall the image of Krishna, alongside the one of Buddha, one of the Christ, with a few photos of the Mecca or even John Fitzgerald Kennedy ! And Hindus have always worshiped at non-Hindu places, such as Velangani, the Christian seat of pilgrimage of South India, or some Sufi shrine in Kashmir or Rajasthan. It should be said too that Hindus never tried to convert others to their own religion, not even by peaceful means, as the Buddhists did all over Asia; and their armies never but oh, never, set to conquer other nations to impose their own culture and religion, as Islam and Christianity did, often in a bloody manner. Thus, Hindus in the West, need to be able to counter in a knowledgeable manner, verbally or in writing (letters to editors, etc.) this wrong polytheist image which has harmed them.

  1. Dispel the image of poverty attached to India. One of the reasons Hindus are not taken too seriously abroad, is that their country, India, is always associated with poverty. True, there is still poverty in India, social inequality, but since 1947, thanks to the Green Revolution, there has been no famine. Hindus in the West can always counter this pervading untruth in the mind of the English, by stating that according to British records, one million Indians died of famine between 1800 and 1825; 4 million between 1825 and 1850; 5 million between 1850 and 1875; and 15 million between 1875 and 1900. Thus, 25 million Indians died in one hundred years under the benevolent rule of the British Raj!

Poverty in India is also commercially exploited by Hollywood and writers. A book such as ‘The City of Joy’, by Frenchman Dominique Lapierre, which was a huge success worldwide, gives the impression that India is a vast slum, which is absolutely untrue – and the author, who often comes to India, had to know that he was inducing his readers in error. As for the film “Slumdog Millionnaire”, which raked-up so many Oscars, it is even more perverse: it says things which are false, portrays situations that are untrue, such as the young boy throwing himself in excrement, to get an autograph of India’s film star Amitabh Bacchan & should have been boycotted by Hindus.

Yet, India is a wealthy country. It is said, even today, because of the socialist policies of previous governments and the heavy taxation, that half of India’s money is in the black. The poverty is only there because of the mismanagement, the dishonesty, and the inheritance of wrong structures. For Indians must be with some of the best savers in the world. And they don’t hoard in abstract concepts: they go in for solid gold, land, cash – and that from the little shopkeeper to the business magnate.

As economic liberalisation is happening in India at this very moment, the rise of India as a superpower will herald the rise of the status of Hindus in the West and all over the world, for today the assessment that every industrial nation in the world casts on another country, is primarily economical. Thus China is respected so much today in the world, not for its political power, which is overshadowed by immense Human Rights abuses (Mao Tse Tung killed 3 million of his own people during the Cultural revolution and it has been calculated that one million Tibetans have been murdered by the Chinese), but by its economic clout. In the same way, India’s image, whose PIB has now overtaken China’s, will shed many of the prejudices attached to her, when the world takes notice of the huge investment possibilities there.

 

(TO BE CONTINUED)

HINDU POWER: : ALL THE GREAT GURUS OF INDIA MUST UNITE

What was called in the ancient times Sanatan Dharma, which has come down to us today under the name of Hinduism, with its many branches, sects and gurus, is in great danger today, as it is attacked by many forces.

The enemies of Hindus are united, even if it is in disunity, even if it is a temporary arrangement based on a common hatred. Christian conversions, the onslaught of Muslim fundamentalism, the abhorrence of communists for Hinduism, the infinite dangers of Globalisation and Americanisation, the disregard of India’s intellectual elite of India for their own culture and spirituality, are slowly but surely making a dent in India’s psyche …

There are so many great gurus incarnated in India at the moment. Yet not only are they not united against the common enemy, or for the common good, but they often compete against each other for disciples or territory and even criticize each other. This is a great hindrance to Hindu Power, that needs the support of all these gurus who have tens of millions of disciples.

Disunity has always been the curse of Hinduism and India and whichever enemy conquered this country, did it not because of superior strength, but because they were helped by Hindu betrayers. Remember the last great Hindu empire, that of Vijaynagar.

The Christians have a Pope, the Muslims the word of the Koran, communists have Der Kapital of Karl Marx, but Hindus are fragmented in a thousand sects, which often bicker with each other.

It is thus of vital importance that Hindu gurus and swamis regroup under one umbrella so as to prop u Hindu Power. Each group and guru will retain its leadership and autonomy but will meet three times a year.
There are too many gurus and swamis all over India and the world and it would not be possible to assemble them all in one group. Thus we propose that the twelve gurus in India who have the most disciples, represent all the other swamis and gurus. Amongst them of course, we should find Satya Sai Baba, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amrita Anandmayi, the Shankacharya of Kancheepuram, Guruma of Ganeshpuri, Shri Ramdev, Satguru Jaggi etc.

The leadership of this group will be rotated every year and so can membership for that matter, as there are quite a few other gurus of India who have a huge following.

It is not only Hinduism which is at stake, but the Knowledge Infinite which came down, through the ages and has survived today only in India in a partial form. This Knowledge only can save the world.

All the gurus can meet three times a year and issue a number of ‘adesh’, which will be binding to 800 million Hindus in India, a billion worldwide. Let Hindus at last understand that not only they have the numbers, but also that they are one of the most successful, law abiding and powerful communities in the world. Hindu Gurus need to give an open, total support to Mr Narendra Modi and his BJP Govt. In the case of removal of Article 370, for instance ALL the gurus should have come in support of it. Trouble is, many of these gurus shy away from saying they are Hindus, although 95% of their disciples are Hindus…

Long Live Mother India

François Gautier

HINDU Power 13 & TERRORISM

Is there such thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’, as the @INCIndia has been trying to prove asked to write this column because I am one of this rare species of foreign correspondents: a lover of Hindus! A born Frenchman, Catholic-educated, non-Hindu, I do hope I will be given some credit for my opinions, garnered after 25 years of reporting in South Asia (for Le Journal de Genève and Le Figaro) – which are not the product of my parents’ ideas, my education or my atavism.

In the early eighties, when I started freelancing in the South , doing photo features on Kalaripayat, the Ayappa festival, or the Ayanars, I slowly realized, on the ground, that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, or rather in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. The average Hindu that you meet in a million villages, possesses this simple, innate spirituality in his or her genes and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. It is this ‘Hindu-ness’ (which cannot be experienced if you sit in Delhi most of the time) that makes most Indian Christians different, from say a French Christian, or an Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. I also learnt that Hindus not only believed that the Divine could manifest at different times, under different names, using different Scriptures, the wonderful avatar concept, the perfect answer to 21st century religious strife, but that they had given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted), the Armenians, or today the Tibetans. In 3500 years of known existence, Hindus have also never military invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others, by force or even by induced conversions.

Thus for me, you cannot find less fundamentalist than a Hindu in this world and it saddens me when I see that the Indian and western Press always try to equate Hindu terrorism with the Islamic one, that machine guns innocent civilians in a night club, kills journalists, blows up planes and generally hates anybody not Muslim. Since @narendramodi came back as Prime Minister of India for the second time; there has been a renewal of hate attacks against him, the @BJP4India and Hindus, accused of communal hatred – lynching Muslims, burning churches, etc. We know that most of these communal incidents often involve persons of the same caste, Dalits and tribals, some of them converted to Christianity and others not. Then, however reprehensible was the destruction of the Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this with the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Mumbai, which wiped-out hundreds of innocent, mostly Hindus. Yet, the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by journalists as the most horrible act of the two. We also all remember how Sharad Pawar, when he was CM of Maharashtra in 1993, lied about a bomb that was supposed to have gone off in a Mumbai Muslim locality.

I have never been politically correct, but have always written – not what is the prevalent trend – but what I have discovered while reporting . Let me then be straightforward about this so-called Hindu terror. Hindus, since the first Arab invasions, have been at the receiving end of terrorism, whether it was by Teimur, who killed 100.000 Hindus in one day in 1399, or by the Portuguese Inquisition which crucified Brahmins in Goa. Today they are still being targeted: there were one million Hindus in the valley of Kashmir in 1900 – but only a few hundred today, the rest having been made to flee through terror. Blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus all over India in the last four years; Hindus, the overwhelming majority community of this country, are being made fun of, are despised, are deprived of the most basic facilities for one of their most sacred pilgrimages in Armanath, when their Government heavily sponsors the Haj; they are witnessing their brothers and sisters converted to Christianity by financials traps, seeing a 84 year old harmless swami and his Mataji brutally murdered, reading of blasphemy about their Gods…

So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, those that the Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, erupt in uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu, then in Khandamal, in Mangalore, and in Malgeaon. And it will happen again elsewhere. What should be understood is that this is a spontaneous revolution on the ground, by ordinary Hindus, without any preplanning from the political leadership. Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting embarrassed, should not disown its brothers and sisters who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard.

Today there are about a billion Hindus, one in every six persons of this planet, one of the most successful, law abiding and integrated communities in the world. Can you call them terrorists? Thus Hindu power can only be secular in nature, and should not be viewed with suspicion, because Hindus are the only spiritual community in the world that accepts the diversity of making and recognize that the world MUST be ONE family. There is no such thing as Hindu terrorism, yesterday, today or tomorrow.

Francois Gautier

The author is the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde lesbelleslettres.com/collections/?collection_id=52

 

 

THE REALITY OF KASHMIR

THE REALITY OF KASHMIR

Is the @BJP4India Govt of @narendramodi, preparing to trifurcate Jammu and Kashmir, thereby rendering null Articles 370 & 35A? That would be a very good and clever move and fullfill MR MODI’S PLEDGE, WHEN HE WAS CAMPAIGNING IN 2014.

Of course, one will witness a huge hue and cry, as usual, from the Indian intelligentsia, the western correspondents, the NGO’s, the Marxists, the US administration, maybe even. But the truth is that Kashmiri Muslims started an armed revolt in name of Islam against the lawful elected Govt of India and chased out by terror, still in the name of Islam, 350.000 innocent Hindus from the Valley of Kashmir, so that they became refugees in their own country. I know, I was there !

We should remember what Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1940: “in Kashmir, the Hindus had all the monopoly. Now if the Muslim demands are acceded to, the Hindus will be wiped out again.” (India’s Rebirth, p. 220) How prophetic ! Because nobody cares to remember today that Kashmiris were almost entirely Hindus or Buddhists, before they were converted by the invading Muslims six centuries ago. True, today these Muslims in Kashmir have not only accepted as their own a religion which their ancestors had rejected, but they have also often taken-up the strident cry of Islam. Does any one remember too, that at the beginning of the century, there still were 25% Hindus in the Kashmir valley and that today the last 400.000 Kashmiri Pandits have become refugees in their own land, they who originally inhabited the valley, at least 5000 years ago, a much bigger ethnic cleansing than any other in the world?

Most journalists say that India alienated Kashmiris through years of wrong policies. But those who have been in close contact with Kashmir, even in its heydays of tourism, know for a fact that as a general rule, Kashmiri Muslims never liked India. There was only one thing that attached them to India, it was the marvelous financial gains and state bounties that they made out of tourism. Even those Kashmiris who are now settled in India make no bones about where their loyalty lies. Talk to them, specially if you are a Westerner, and after some time, they’ll open their hearts to you; whether it is the owner of this Kashmir emporium in a five star hotel in Madras, or the proprietor of that famous travel agency in Delhi: suddenly, after all the polite talk, they burst out with their loathing of India and their attachment to an independent Kashmir.

Today, Kashmiri Muslims have taken over the Souvenir trade in India, whether in Pune or Pondichery – but it’s a one way traffic, as Indians are not allowed to buy land or start business in Kashmir. Thus, if @AmitShah, @AjitDoval and @narendramodi really plan to remove this iniquity, we can only bow down to them: they will do what no other Govt, dared ! Of course, there will be a backlash in the Valley, but Ajit Doval made sure that there are enough troops to deal with it – and with time, Kashmir Muslims, who are businessmen at heart, will settle down. The unrest though will never completely go, as long as India and Pakistan do not reunite – by force or by the will of the people- as both Germanies did and eventually both Koreas will do

 

Francois Gautier

Author of “ In Defense of a Billion Hindus” (Har Anand, New Delhi)  available on Amazon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HINDU POWER 12: The Prithviraj Chauhan Syndrome

It is worthwhile here to recount the story of Prithviraj Chauhan & Muhammad Ghori, because it has a strong moral for today for Hindu Power – or rather the fear by Hindus of their own power.

Prithviraj Chauhan was born at Ajmer in 1166 A.D. & Muhammad Ghori in 1149 in Afghanistan. Ghori’s obsession was India, which he attacked savagely many times, though he was first routed in present day Gujarat by Rajputs and again in Kayadara near Mount Abu, in 1178 A.D. He then decided to enter India through the Khyber pass and first encountered Prithviraj Chauhan at the battle of Tarain in 1191. Prithviraj’s cavalry charged and routed the Muslim cavalry and captured Ghori. Ghori begged for his life & Prithviraj allowed him to go, despite his generals telling him not to do so.

And surely enough, the following year Ghori came again. Prithviraj advanced with his army and sent a letter to Ghori, asking him to turn back as he had been already defeated was spared his life. Ghori replied that he was in India on the orders of his brother, Ghiasuddin, and that he could only retreat after he got a word from him. This letter was sent in the evening and thereafter Ghori moved his camp back a few kilometers to feign retreat. On receiving this letter and seeing Muhammad move his camp back, Prithviraj assumed that Ghori got the message. But Ghori, knowing that Rajputs did not fight in the night, attacked in the early morning hours when Prithviraj and his army were sleeping and thus was able to win this one battle. 40, 00,000 Rajputs were taken prisoners and executed & 22,000 women and children were captured & enslaved.

Prithiviraj was beaten-up and taken in chains to Ghor in Afghanistan There, he was presented before Ghori and fearlessly looked straight into his eyes. Ghori who ordered him to lower his eyes, whereupon Prithiviraj told him how he had treated well Ghori as a prisoner and that the eyelids of a Rajputs are only lowered in death. On hearing this, Ghori flew into a rage and ordered that Prithviraj’s eyes be burnt with red-hot iron rods.
Prithiviraj was regularly brought to the court to be taunted by Ghori and his courtiers and ultimately put to death.

Mr Narendra Modi has been re-elected PM. Will he, again, like a good Hindu, like Prithviraj Chauhan, forgive Hindus’ enemies, such as Sonia & Rahul Gandhi, who have been mercilessly going after him when they were in power for ten years, ruthlessly & shamelessly using the arms of the law, the CBI, the IB, the judiciary, compliant judges, the Election Commission, etc. ?

Don’t laugh: Mr Vajpayee did it before him. He came to power & could have done anything he wanted, but gave orders to leave Sonia Gandhi alone. His Friday man, Brajesh Mishra, is even said to have rescued Rahul Gandhi, when he was caught in the US with a suitcase full of dollars. Did it earn Sonia Gandhi’s gratitude? Not at all! The BJP lost the next elections, as Prithrivaj lost his next battle to Ghauri, and Mrs Gandhi mercilessly went all out after the BJP and Narendra Modi. If she could have had Mr Modi imprisoned, or maybe indirectly killed by Islamic terrorists, as nearly happened when Chidambaram unleashed Ishrat Jahan, by having removed the mention ‘suspected terrorist’ Home Ministry file, on her Mrs Gandhi would not have shed a tear.

It is thus important that Narendra Modi goes after the Gandhi family now that the BJP is again in power. There are plenty of legal justifications to do so: the Gandhi family have stolen from India huge amounts of money: in the Forbes list, Sonia Gandhi is listed one of the richest politicians in the world. Priyanka’s husband has unethically multiplied his fortune by 600 times in a few years. Moreover, this family who has ruined India since independence, and it has ruthlessly been after Hindus, side-lining them, ostracising them, imprisoning their gurus, allowing Islamists to bomb their temples & kill them.

May God protect Mr Modi & the mistake of Prithivaj Chauhan be not repeated

François Gautier

* Author of “ In Defense of a Billion Hindus” (Har Anand, New Delhi)

HINDU POWER 11: ARE WESTERN JOURNALISTS BIASED TOWARDS HINDUS?

When India’s space agency ISRO launched a successful mission to Mars, prior to the successful moon launch in July 19, the New York Times ran a demeaning cartoon, showing an Indian farmer with his cow, knocking at the doors of the Elite Space Club…

And this triggers an important question: 70 years after Independence, are western journalists and correspondents still biased against India – and Hindus in particular, a country they are supposed to report honestly about, so that their readers, who are mostly ignorant, get enlightened?

Well, from a western correspondent himself, the answer is.. YES…

There are four reasons for that sad fact:

  • India is never in the news in the West, unless there is some major catastrophe, or huge elections. Thus, if you want to write and be published, you have to find alternate stories, that often border on the sensational, the marginal, or even the untruthful…
  • Your editor in New York, Paris or London, has often set ideas on India, even though most of the time he or she has never set foot here. You need to toe the line, otherwise you may not be published, which is tough if you are a freelance, that is paid per piece. Most western correspondents thus rein in. I had one guy like that in Paris, Charles Lambroschini, in LeFigaro.fr, who believed that the RSS was the most dangerous outfit in India…
  • Three, or even five years, which is the usual period that foreign correspondents are posted (as well as diplomats) is not enough for understanding a country that is so vast, so diverse, so contradictory sometimes. In fact one needs to go beyond the appearances in India. Indeed, the western sense of the hygienic and the esthetical, is very different from India’s and the first contact of dirtiness, slums, or poverty, often scars the perception of many western correspondents who then refused to go beyond that barrier.
  • Delhi, where everybody is posted, is physically so far from the rest of India, and so disconnected. The same ideas and clichés are heard in parties and embassies’ cocktails and repeated ad infinitum, till every foreign correspondent thinks they are the gospel truth: ‘secularism, minorities, Hindu fundamentalism, human rights in Kashmir, right wing saffron’ etc…

Is this why @CNN or @NYtimes, or the @Independent, haves been particularly nasty in the last few years against #Hindus, the @BJP4India and @narendramodi, even after he was twice democratically elected by 100 million Indians? It feels more like a biased witch-hunt than actual reporting. For instance very very very few western journalists cared to mention that the 2002 Gujarat riots were triggered by the attack by a Muslim crowd of the Sabarmati train, where 56 Hindus, 32 of them women and children, were burnt like animals.

But the pioneer of them all has got to be the @BBC, which has been the inspiration of much of the slant of the foreign journalists against Hindus which seems to stem from an unconscious sense of superiority (same is true of western Indologists). I remember when I used to cover Kashmir in the late 90’s how Mark Tully, then a beacon to all foreign correspondents & Indian journalists, used to say all the time that it was ‘untrue that Pakistan was sponsoring arming and sheltering Kashmiri militants’. Which everybody repeated (bar this writer). He even had a Kashmiri stringer, who was named Yussuf, I think, that informed the militants. When the army arrested him Yussuf, Tully kicked such a ruckus that he had to be eventually released.

Speaking of stringers, the sad fact is that most of the Indian stringers (95% of them Hindus) of major western media outlets, such as @BBC, or @AP, or @CNN, toe the line, that is report what their masters want them to say. In fact they go sometimes even overboard, to paint a negative and clichéd image of their own country. No doubt the Nirbhaya rape was a horrible happening and the guilty should have been punished in a harsher manner (and not released, like the so-called juvenile). But this was so much reported on, so much hyped, particularly by the @BBC, that every westerner thinks now that India is the land of rape. In fact when any western girl wants to travel to India now, she is warned, “careful – you might be raped”. Yet proportionately there are less rapes in India than in Sweden, which has the maximum number of rapes in the world, for instance and it is safer to walk at night in Delhi than in certain suburbs of Washington or Paris.

India should have a look at China, which gets a lot more respect from western journalists. Why? Because China does not take insults lying down. Paradoxically, western journalists have so much more liberty in India, where they can move freely. Whereas in China, they still need permission before going anywhere and need to submit the subject of their reporting. They can be censored too, or their websites even blocked.

Sure, there is no conspiracy that I can see, and most western correspondents come to India with a sincere aspiration to report fairly and faithfully. But again, the first task of a foreign journalist, without being blind to India’s faults – and there are many, but not more than any other country in the world – should be to report truthfully and create some empathy amongst its readers or viewers for a country that is unique and endearing and whose ancient civilization, that viewed the world as One Family, has survived centuries of savage onslaught, including by the British, who are still trying to lecture India. Hindu Power thus needs to deal with this hostile force incarnated by western journalists and correspondents

 

François Gautier