Be aware of your roots

First Published : 21 Oct 2008 12:40:00 AM IST
Last Updated : 21 Oct 2008 10:40:51 AM IST

 

Francois Gautier

AS a Frenchman, I was coached right from childhood that logic, what we in France call Cartesianism, is the greatest gift given to man. Thus, I taught my students in a Bangalore school of journalism that the first tool of a good reporter is to go by his or her own judgment on the ground, with the help of one’s first-hand experience — and not by second hand information: what your parents thought, what you have read in the newspapers, what your caste, religion, culture pushes you into.

 

Yet in India, logic does not seem to apply to most of the media, especially when it touches anything Hindu.

 

One cannot, for instance, equate Muslim terrorists who blow up innocent civilians in market places all over India, with angry ordinary Hindus who burn churches without killing anybody.

 

We know that most of these communal incidents often involve persons of the same caste, Dalits and tribals, some converted to Christianity and some not.

 

Then, however reprehensible the destruction of the Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process.

 

Compare this with the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Mumbai, which killed hundreds of innocents, mostly Hindus. Yet Indian and western journalists keep matching up the two, or even showing the Babri Masjid destruction as the more horrible act of the two.

 

How can you compare the RSS, a bunch of harmless daddies, with the Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist organisation? How can you make of Narendra Modi a mass killer, when it was ordinary middle-class, or even Dalit Hindus, who went out on the streets in fury when 56 innocent people, many of them women and children, were burnt in a train? How can you lobby for the lifting of the ban on SIMI, an organisation which is suspected of having planted bombs in many Indian cities, killing hundreds of innocents, while advocating the ban of the Bajrang Dal, which burns churches when an 84-year-old Hindu swami and his Mataji are brutally murdered? There is no logic in the perspective of journalists in this country when it comes to minorities. Christians are supposed to make up two per cent of the population in India, but last Sunday many major television channels showed live the canonisation ceremonies of sister Alphonsa, an obscure nun from Kerala.

 

Union minister Oscar Fernandes led an entire Indian delegation to the Vatican ceremony along with the Indian ambassador. It would be impossible in England, for instance, which may have a 2 per cent Hindu minority, to have live coverage of a major Hindu ceremony, like the anointment of a new Shankaracharya.What was NDTV, which seems to have deliberately chosen to highlight this nonevent, trying to prove? That it is secular? But it is absolutely disproportionate.

 

Some might even call it antinational.

 

The headline, ‘India gets its first woman saint’, in many newspapers, Indian and western, is misleading.

 

India has never been short of saints. The woman sage from over 3,000 years ago — Maithreyi, Andal, the Tamil saint from early in the first Millennium CE and Akkamahadevi, the 15th century saint from modernday Karnataka, are but a few examples.

 

What many publications fail to mention in this story is that this is the first woman Christian saint, not the first Indian woman saint.

 

Such a statement is OK when it comes, for instance, from the BBC, which always looks at India through the Christian prism, but when it comes to the Indian media, it only shows their grave lack of grounding in Indian culture and history.

 

The same thing is true of Sonia Gandhi, who seemed, even though the Congress should by all means have already collapsed with 12 per cent inflation, scandal after scandal, a nuclear deal with the US that leaves India vulnerable to the Chinese and Pakistani nuclear threat, and bomb blast after bomb blast, still ruling India with an iron hand. Yet newspapers and TV channels keep praising Sonia Gandhi.

 

And the question must be asked: how is it possible that a nation of a billion people, with some of the best minds on this planet, allows itself to be governed by a non-Indian lady, who, however sincere she may be, is actively overseeing the dismantling of whatever is good and true in India? It would be impossible in France for a Hindu woman, or for that matter a non-Christian person, who is just an elected MP, to govern our country from behind the scenes like an empress. Why is it allowed in India and why is the Indian press so selfrighteous about it ? Finally, when will Indians start being proud of themselves and their own culture and stop looking down on their own society ? This inferiority complex, as expressed by NDTV’s live coverage of the canonisation of sister Alphonsa, is a legacy of the British, who strove to show themselves as superior and Indian culture as inferior (and inheritor of the ‘White Aryans’, a totally false theory). Is it not time to institute schools of journalism, both private and public, where not only a little bit of logic is taught, but where students are made aware of Indian history and the greatness of Indian culture, so that when they go out reporting, they use their own judgment and become Indian journalists, with a little bit of feeling, pride and love for their own country? fgautier@rediffmail.com

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7 responses to “Be aware of your roots

  1. “How can you compare the RSS, a bunch of harmless daddies , with the Indian Mujahideen, a terrorist organisation?”
    Oh okay this is what the bunch of daddies (upper caste daddies)have done to India:

    The bunch of harmless daddies butcher 2000 people in Gujarath in 2002, Mumbai 1993etc. Kill and terrorize minorities in India since last 50 years. Kill tribal and indegenous culture of the dalits by replacing with violent aryan gods. Fight for the rights of the landowning upper caste in villages while oppressing the dalit labourers.
    Believe that Indians knew how to make missiles and aeroplanes.
    Believe and propogate the violent teachings of vedas as Science. Believe in vedas and its vedic yajnas which is a huge waste of national resources. Obscrutarian religious fanatics are not harmless daddies.

    Bunch of harmless daddies gimme a break francious. Are you drinking too much of french wine or maybe even the vedic somarasa.

  2. Hey Cheddi don’t you have anu Buddhi?

  3. Cheddi Chikka or XYZ you the person in a pseudo name. I know you are a muslim and showing your anger here. How reasonable was the Muslim invasion on our Indian Civilisation thousand years ago and butchered Lakhs and Lakhs of Hindus and Raped thousands of innocent Hindu women? History repeats itself Bro. Go chill yourself with a Beer. Francois is very much sane.

  4. P. Radhakrishnan

    It is a tragedy of this country. Gandhiji was secular without compromising the faith in his own religion. These so called secular media is a curse on this nation. Unfortunately the colonial mindset has not gone for these English educated intelectuals and they ape the West. Even if anything is good about India, its culture, (e.g. yoga) it has to be told by the West. These people live only for their selfish end and there is a competition to prove among themselves who is more secular and that is for them Hindu bashing. Even as a French man you cry from the roof top, how many see your page? Will they invite you on a debate? No, because you are “hurting” them! When we will get a Vivekanda to rid this country of all falsehood about Hinduism.

    We Hindus are thankful to you.

  5. It is rather sad that it has been an ongoing attempt by the ‘westernised’ media to blame everything on the RSS. I think this is because they cannot stand a Hindu Nationalist. I think it scared the crap out of them because it pulls the pants off their hybrid and often misaligned beliefs about what India really is. But it has succeeded to an great extent, and party so due to the rather cranky old men with their strong ideals who make the RSS what it is. But RSS, IMHO, is really not to blame for 90% of stuff which it is blamed for. The /are/ a bunch of highly opinionated and strongly principled daddies. And all they teach is to have self respect and pride for your religion. I think I am going to join them – they need young blood.

  6. There are about 57 Islamic countries. Yet why are those Muslims not called Muslim Nationalists? There are many in America who consider America to be a Christian nation, but why are they not called Christian nationalists? What is a Hindu nationalist – dictionary definition, please? Is there any other religion with the tag “nationalist” or is it reserved only for Hindus? If so why?

  7. I agree with what you have said. Unfortunately, sanity is rare in India, especially in the English educated. And there are billion dollar industries that deal in ‘souls’….They have a vested interest in keeping people from seeing the truth.

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