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


  1. Suffering places man at the crossroads of phenomenal reality. And in the meantime tears have become our inseparable companion and how can anyone ask us to cry again further?

  2. girish deshmukh

    sir keep it up

  3. Pushapinder Singh Sidhu

    Its sad that we indians ourselves shame this country. I think we need to look at the figures of Rape in USA and compare with India which has a population of 1.252 billion and USA’s population is 318.9 Million. Western and developed countries have more rapes committed than In India,but its a fashion with the Indian media to highlight such incidents just for their own TRP.
    The World should not forget what India is giving in shape Spiritual knowledge as also its a matter of great pride how good our democratic system is…..wish these were highlighted more by the Indian media than the topics which just bring in more TRP ratings.

  4. The BBC always inserts a condescending note on an any India story on it’s website. Even India’s extraordinary Mars mission success had cynical notes inserted on us being a ‘Poor Nation’ or failed rocket launches. So such issues are opportunities for journalistic flagellation. Unfortunately, none of our present day news television channels hold a torch for accurate reporting and model themselves on the lines of BBC or CNN and so it is only natural that the shape a very narrow public opinion.

  5. Dr. Gopal Sharma prof n head dept of Oral Medicine Mumbai

    hats off to your timeless efforts to dig out the essence of hinduism and keeping us enlighten with your wisdom.

  6. Mr. Gautier, please read Sakhi for South Asian Women’s response to “India’s Daughter.” Sakhi is an organization in the US that helps South Asian women facing domestic violence. Even they see the problems with this film, how it paints all Indian men as bad, and takes away Indian women’s agency. It is worth reading and sharing through social media. Please also share with other journalist colleagues, and people like Rajiv Malhotra.


  7. Yes, as of my knowledge about India, your explanation is 1000% correct. Its ashamed to hear from culture-less people about The great culture in a wrong way(Udwin). You done a great job Sir.

  8. Thank you sir for a such a wonderful summary of what this country is going through right now.

  9. Tapan Kumar ar

    As my friend said, spot on.

  10. Absolutely agreed. Thank you Francois for your articulation on this subject, I have been equally disturbed and disappointed in Udwin’s skewed documentary of India, and all the aftermath that is coming with it… I also happen to be an overseas person living here in India for the last ten years – not a correspondent though 🙂 Really wish that your message was heard a little louder and wider though… too many people aren’t listening…

  11. Grate article sir. @ Pushapinder Singh Sidhu …. rape cases either are more or less they are the problem.

  12. Pushapinder Singh Sidhu

    @ Iti Ji…….Rape is a problem and I condemn it in the strongest terms…it should not happen any where….agreed. The issue is our Indian media knows only to highlight such negative things where as there are so many good things also happening in India which they do not highlight since thats not sensational news….thats all I wanted to convey…..Thank you for responding to my comment…..Regards and GOD bless.

  13. Lt Col J W Danday (retd)

    If you touch any of the ‘dividers’ like religion, region and language in this country, you are waking up a ‘sleeping lion’. Rest, let the garbage lie on the road side, let the roads be in miserable shape and let the traffic be in chaos nobody will take notice to protest with the Govt. That is the culture of this country. Yet we are a happy lot as we are used to these conditions since time immemorial. God bless India.

  14. Dear Sir,

    You have mentioned that Udwin is of Pakistani stock. Any citation(s) on this ? I could find none in my search. I would like to emphasize upon it when I share your article on other forums.

  15. Maybe I’m just too dense for your writing, but what I understood from this piece is this: “[In response to India’s Daughters] Well, yeah, but it’s a very diverse country (especially the villages, oh, the villages), so no biggie, right?”

  16. Dear Mr Francois Gautier,

    I agree with much of what is written commented but the India that one lived in is to be experienced and seen with inner eye!!
    The creation and evolution came in as seen by the seers and spread around the world. As the word came first sound OM!! and whole Universe vibrates on that frequency and the Body is small minuscule replica of that Yatha pinde tatha Brahmande– As is your being is the Universe.

    Externally we do need good governance and cleaning of India but intenrally we have lot to share with the world.
    More relevant today the happenings in Isreal , Syria, Iraq, Libiya , Egypt and Yemen etc It is worse than just rape !!

  17. While I really Admire your views and agree to most of them, the moot point about the documentary is not its quality, which I again agree was one dimensional. The point here is is banning everything which goes against the grain of the powers that be is justified.

    Also I’m not sure about how 1000’s of years of persecution of Hindus have anything to with this documentary.

    How different is banning this documentary from using water cannons & tear gas to ward off protesters, and what exactly is the benchmark used to ban.

    And in all fairness the poverty stories of India are as hyped as its mythical past.I guess its just the pendulum swinging both ways for the media.

  18. Very nice way of portraying India!. Totally agree with you on several points.

  19. sunil Khandelwal

    I couldnt really see you get your teeth into anything specific from todays perspective besides touching on India’s history …

  20. Ramani Natarajan

    I agree with much of what Francois Gautier says particularly that India is not homogenous,it is like Europe a collection of states each with its distinctive linguistic and cultural identity.And of course with his view that the western media often adopts a superior and condescending attitude and is quick to generalise.However I cannot endorse his statement that BBC’s “Daughter of India” is spreading an untrue and negative picture of India.Ask the girls,particularly those from lower income groups,in rural India how they are treated by the landlords.Ask women who take public transport in the cities about the groping and obscene remarks they have to face.
    One cannot take a romantic view of “tolerant”Hinduism and wish all this away.Yes,Hinduism is tolerant but what is disturbing in recent years is the rise of the Taliban Hindu

  21. Ankur Pandey

    Quite Impressive
    …and Portraits a true Scenery.
    India has truely been a land of Diversities and we respect and Platform all the members equally.

    We teach वसुधैव कुटुम्बकम् or entire universe is our family.

  22. Singhal Louis

    i dont think Mr. Rrancois Gautier is doing any favours with this article, because my faith in my motherland is not up for any debate, never was and never will be! I’d rather take the criticism and use it to my good, than be swayed by your pretentious thought that the world is trying to look at India through some distorted lens. What happened is undeniable and please do not try to pitch us against other nations by ranking rape numbers! Please don’t!! So what you can do is you can go take a break, have your cup of tea, rest assured that India is more than capable of taking a few punches on the chin, maybe trip and fall down, and stand right back up, and run faster than ever! So Mr. Francois, whatever your intentions are, holier than thou or sinister, you can pack it up and shove it down your fancy shredder, cause we dont need it, thank you very much!

  23. Hear from an Indian woman who decided to leave the country because she never felt safe – the documentary India’s Daughter is true, and it is needed. People like you are not doing India a favor, you are reinforcing a culture of denial.

  24. I read the article and the comments as well. M gautier has highlighted a very important issue.. Ms Udwin comes to India for a few months , interviews people and makes a film… is it enough to understand the mindset of people coming from different backgrounds? Probably not.. it took him 10 years! Probably i am a westernized city dweller too and do not know much about my own heritage .. i am unhappy with the way our media handles this issue.. they are irresponsible and lost.. its misuse of freedom of speech. And i think its a good time to talk about other common misconceptions about the country harboured not just by non indians but people living in the country as well. I am happy to ready this as it echoes my beliefs.. and brings up a few things i never thought about despite having lived here all my life!

  25. Braham Singh

    One bloody documentary showing a real flaw in the average Indian man’s attitude towards women and here we are as if the nation’s been attacked. We ban the documentary, the maker has to flee, we savage every contrary opinon and corral every Western sycophant like this one, to write justifications Indian style – ten words where one would suffice. Yes, other countries have rapes and maybe more than in India. Did the documentary say India has more rapes than anywhere else? No. It highlighted how so many Indian makes think. It’s educational for we Indians to have a look at ourselves. Nothing wrong. Doesn’t demean us. However, our response does.

  26. Shabina Khullar Uppal

    Your article is great about Hinduism. It is a fact that Hinduism is the oldest and the most tolerant religion. It was very ahead of its time, very progressive. We believe in Karma. I agree all the invaders took advantage of the diversity in India and today, after running it dry, the world still feels insecure of its talent. Although, if truth be told, no one needs to do anything, we are our worst enemy.
    I say all the above but the documentary, India’s Daughter has nothing to do with this. It is not pointing fingers at any one particular religion. It is not shaming India. It is just telling the fact about the whole episode of the gang rape. The police did a great job with finding the criminals in record time which was wonderful. The girl was taken to the hospital alive which was a miracle after what actually happened. What is it then in the documentary that our government does not want us to see? The defense lawyers interview – their objectifying women, saying that Nirbhaya/Jyoti deserved it because of watching an evening film. Or was it the rapist’s interview, blaming the girl for challenging them. Or was it the way the protestors were handled? The protests were peaceful to start with. Was it because our leaders had nothing to say?
    Today’s India is not one religion, we are a secular state. It’s the politicians who separate us for personal gains. People like you write articles such as this to divide the masses. No one said anything about religion here. Why are we then discussing Hinduism? Why are we defending ourselves by taking shield of religion?
    I know it happens everywhere in the world, US included. No one is denying that. All that the government needs to do is acknowledge what happened and admit a change needs to be made. In my opinion, Slum Dog Millionaire showed India in a much worse light. This movie is not against any country, it is about a crime against women all over the world, India is just an example. There is no need to be sensitive; instead work towards a change.

  27. François Gautier’s analysis is correct.I am surprised to see what a western journalist could find and described ‘real India’ our own media was a unable to put the truth Gautier has shown.It has become a fashion for some to downgrade our rich cultural heritage only to get applauds from anti Indian lobby and claim to be (pseudo) impartial.

  28. Thank you very much for your regards for India You have mentioned the true realistic picture of India .What BBC did was not correct at least at moral ground.Hope in future BBC will have the common sense . Thank you very much again sir.

  29. When Indian’s are ridiculed we also form part of it supporting. And so Indians have become a target for easy scorning. This is in an attitude of servility in us and has helped this beautiful country being invaded, attacked by terrorist and exploited by foreign companies. Indian’s accommodative,religious and caring. We have been suffering due to these qualities. In the long run it is these qualities that have helped it to live in diversities. How many foreigners have recognised it or tring to learn it. Ultimate win is for India.

  30. Well said Shabina Khullar Uppal, Francois Gautier has caught the bull by the tail. You have hit the nail on the head. This is not about religion, this is about the mentality towards women. It does not matter what religion or culture one comes from but to be raped by drunken barbarians who believe they have the right to be barbaric and that women need to restrict/compromise and limit their lives and freedom because it’s a man’s world is not acceptable. Francois Gautier you have no clue of what you are talking about, your an outsider, you could stay as many years as you would like in India but you would never be able to see the deep rooted mentality of women treated as objects, as possessions to be given away. I am a born and brought up Indian girl of Catholic upbringing and even though we were more liberated than the other Indian communities, as a girl I was put through numerous atrocities and restrictions and limitations cause our parents brought us up conditioned as per society norms where girls aren’t allowed to do this or that. Girls aren’t expected to this or that as it is unacceptable by society. It has been a struggle for us women to get to where some of us are today. I have had the fortune of being able to live in a western world and I can most definitely tell the difference. I can go and see a movie on my own and I won’t be tabooed or talked about. I can even see a late night movie for that matter and get back home safely on public transport. If I did something like that back in India I would be termed as a whore or a loose woman just cause I chose to go and watch a movie on my own and a late night movie at that, even in a cosmopolitan city and coming from an upper middle class upbringing. I am a human being first and a person minding my own business and going about my own life in the way I choose to but will the Indian society allow me to live in peace no they will not, they do not treat me as human being or a person but as an object of lust where they will judge you and run you down and use that as an excuse to abuse you. In the 12 years that I have been out of India I know what freedom is and I don’t abuse it. For all my supposedly frivolous ways I have never once been teased or harassed or bullied or pinched or groped or taken advantage of living away from India. I don’t see why the mentality of the illiterate and literate i.e. the rapist and the defence lawyers resonated the same mentality that it was the girls fault for being out at 8:30p.m. at night. I don’t see how it was those bus people’s business to question her or her boyfriend. I don’t see justification if you as a woman go out after 7p.m. expect to be raped as all men after 7 p.m. have the right to be obnoxious, are allowed to misbehave and expected to be boisterous and unruly and have the right to be barbarian. Please explain that to me Francois Gautier????

  31. I thought the program was done really well. I particularly feel for the parents. They seem such wonderful, caring people. I don’t know what this article got to do with it?? The program is about a horrible rape so what’s religion, history or whatever else that this article mumbled, jumble about got to do with it. Nothing justify what happened, and it is good to see the whole country united in demonstrations against this. It shows a civilized society when people are prepared to come out against evil. Go India. There’s nothing to be ashamed off. I’m glad the BBC done the program. Towards the end of it, one of the women said education is the way to eradicate this problem, and that’s exactly it.

  32. vembar K Ranganathan

    Francois, Thank you for unraveling the agenda behind #Lesleeudwin.

  33. I entirely agree with the author. These films are made to make money like the Slum Dog Millionaire. These films should banned. Period.

  34. India’s Daughter was, to my mind, purely a commercial venture, designed to stoke some sentimental feelings that had waned considerably since the Jyoti Singh case happened. Hence its planned release on Women’s day, orchestrated media blitz and all. Why the name “India’s Daughter” to only Jyoti ( whose sufferings I do NOT belittle), by the way? Don’t the Badaun sisters or the female tourist who was gangraped before her boyfiriend and both thrown off a cliff by the very taxi drivers they had hired in Uttarakhand, are any less “deserving”? And there are plenty more such “Daughters”. This film was nowhere near a documentary. It was a Bollywood tearjerker. Shame on NDTV for blocking its regular broadcast for the hour of the scheduled broadcast (which was banned) of this film.
    And let’s see if BBC comes up with an “America’s Daughter”, for rapes there apparently surpass those in India!

  35. Brilliant piece and true that most of our youth have forgotten our rich past. But still I would support Udwin because I think the highest of Hinduism (as would anyone of his / her own religion) and even a single blemish on it is a tear on Hinduism. And it is time to not shy away from our present day reality which has two India’s and we must try to eradicate the evils in both. What Udwin did in my opinion is to show a mirror to a part of India that we do not frequently admit. This is not to say that we have more rapes or violations compared to other countries, infact per 100, it may be less. But even the minuscule numbers have to be done away with.

  36. sanjay sinho

    playing to gallery is easy , in spite of being in India for so long , you could not understand real India just the Indian politics of playing to gallery . Disappointed at your analysis though , i also have problems with the documentary , but to fan the sense of prosecution in the era of a majoritarian right wing government is nothing less than promoting Fascism

  37. Archana Dubey


  38. Sir,
    Brilliantly written about the diversity of India and I appreciate how much you have understood the country.
    But I have a question for you. I agree that a documentary can create perceptions in people. But will this #Indiasdaughter documentary really create so much harm for the country? Does the doc say that all Indian men or majority of Indian men are rapists? NO. Is it focusing on a particular rape incident? YES. Then how exactly does this change the view about the country? I am sure everyone knows from various sources of news the incidents of rape and violence happening against women in India. Then how exactly does this one documentary make a big difference. There are lots of other things that bring shame to the nation, so compared to that do you really feel that this documentary brings bigger shame?
    To the people who point out US and compare with India I have one point to say. Its not about how many rapes happen in US and we are not for competition or bring shame to the nation by bringing the news of rapes to light. Even a single incident of rape cannot be tolerated. I for sure dont want to wake up to the news of women being raped in our country. Its only recently that more cases are being reported thanks to the media else the victims would rarely get justice. What we need is an environment safe for women and a society where rapes do not happen. I am sure none of you would dare let a lady you know walk around in Delhi alone after dusk. Thats the fear. Then we definitely cannot say India is safe for women. Lets work for that rather than debating what brings shame to the country. If it is embarrassing the nation lets work to get rid of this very embarrassment.

  39. Shabina and Julie… I couldnt agree more with you. I have been battling with people to make them understand this very point. Its not about religion. Its not about embarrassing the nation. Its not about comparing the incidents of rape in India to other countries. Its about making India a safer place for every single woman. I just pray people understand this.

  40. Jyothi McMinn

    Interesting facts and opinions well said. Still domestic and personal violence or rape should never be done by men nor experienced by women. Amazing the trust of humanity and kindness goes thru the window. As an educator I see in my profession to set examples and work for children to respect all at all times and this is hard.to do and teach young chi,dren.

  41. P.Vijayaraghavan

    Thank U Francois Gautier. My father started listening to the BBC regularly in the 1930s….. I followed his path and the while my long stay in East Africa,the BBC used to be my company….. almost 12- 16 hrs a day… even I had developed the habit of reading serious books with the BBC through my radio- equally following both……. the sound from the BBC used to be the “Nightingale’s song to Ruth in the foreign land forlon” AS I have posted my view,BBC has gone down a lot and the decadence started as the last Century was closing up! Hope people like u would revive its old “Glory.” Indeed it is a tragedy that in these days we don’t get radio sets that can eliminate the “racous Grunts” of electronic devices around—-

  42. Good read. Although reading through the article made me wonder if there is a conspiracy going-on to tarnish India’s image onto the face of the world?

  43. Shabina Khullar Uppal

    Thank you to those of you who see the documentary as it really should be seen – for the horrendous crime that it really was, not a ploy to down play India. It really kills me to see how many people have actually agreed with Francois’s analysis just because he stroked their ego. If we continue to be in denial, India will never be a safe place to live. Today you may think you are safe because something like this hasn’t ever happened to you or in your close vicinity. Find out the actual statistics of how many such crimes take place. Think how sometimes even a little girl as young as 3 years old is not safe in her own home because of sexual predators. Imagine if this happened to your wife, daughter or granddaughter. People, this is a wakeup call – do something, fight to make India a safer place. Don’t please continue to live in past glory.

  44. my 2 cents:
    1. By putting some phrases in quotes, the author implies that they are not true. Is he saying that VHP is not violent? That there are no atrocities against women? And what the heck does he mean with this sentence?

    “or the “horrible” sati and bride burning (an old British trick to show Hindus in a bad light). ”

    2. The typo in the hashtag IINDIASDAUGHTER tells me that the author doesn’t let little things like facts or spelling come in the way of the article.

  45. @Vikram Mohan. The Author definitely means well and the spirit of this article is what we need more of.
    When we Indians berate ourselves, we know that some of us are good and some bad. We know that we are only berating the bad ones even though we are choosing to collectively blame an entire group (VHP, RSS, etc). I do it as often as anybody else. But When outsiders look at it, they don’t know the background. They understand what they read, not the long-drawn story behind it. THAT is why, media, ours, theirs, anybody’s, needs to report responsibly. They need to refer to extremist wings of organizations, they need to paint the full picture as opposed to the one that they want to draw attention to. I think that was the point of putting those points in quotes; he is saying ‘it’s not all black or white, so don’t make it look like that with your headlines’.

  46. Reblogged this on Evocations and commented:
    Gautier presents a far greater understanding of India than many Indians

  47. vidyanand shetty

    finally somebody written true essence of India and Indians… we Hindus as mentioned here doesnt mind going to Church and Mosques…i never heard any lecture in temples about other religions.. it was always about reaching god.

  48. Nagaraj Chandrasekhariah

    Television Anchors pretend to be concerned,but in reality,add fuel to the fire.The are the ones who in fact motivate the journalists,Indian and foreign to exploit the constitutional guarantee of freedom of speech and expression and persue their ulterior motives!

    India,that is Bharath is well beyond the reach of those with jaundiced eyes!

  49. M. Gautier, you have had your say, based on some 40 years residence in India. Of course, you were fortunate to live in Aurobindo Ashram and imbibe a lot of that culture, and then work as a journalist. I was born in Trichy, , studied in Madras and served in many parts of the North and South of India. At 83 , I am not sure I accept at face vague all that you say.
    I grant that Udwin was much moved by the tragedy that overtook India’s Daughter and the phenomenal protests that shook the country after that.
    Probably, you would have seen her documentary in a different light, if she had portrayed the cases of some of the 4 and 5 year old children who had been raped, the 70 and 80 year old grannies who had been raped in urban AND rural areas, not because they tried to lure the rapist with loose morals are clinging clothes are inviting gestures and talks.
    I cannot be bothered about comparison. It does not matter if Japanese Prime Ministers were corrupt to the core or French and Italian chiefs of Governments were rakes, I am critical of any damned India who is like them.
    I am equally tired of sundry politicians mouthing words from our myths and Puranas to justify their warped ideas.
    Even today, little children are “SOLD” to so-called sheikhs from the middle East in Hyderabad. They are supposed to be married to these monsters. Actually, after depriving them of their virginity, these monster use them as slaves in their households. Bride burning ? Of course, it is a reality, otherwise why would you have a law enquiring into the death of any woman dying within 7 years of marriage in an unnatural manner?
    As a man, I am ashamed that this idea of a Patriarchal Society was established in this country millenniums ago to continue today to be the bane of almost every girl’s life. You, M.Gautier,cannot refuse to admit that, as a journalist, you have had numerous experiences of so-called leaders of our Nation speaking absolute rubbish when it comes to women, respect for women, their dresses, safety etc. As I suggested above, the fact that an individual appears to be of the female sex, irrespective of age, appearance, dress, health etc, is fair game for any man to turn a rapist and a monster. He will attack her, and if he has one or two similar minded companions gang-rape is a foregone conclusion.
    What is wrong with Udwin portraying a part of the above truth in her documentary. Like much of the rest of this world today, depravity is everywhere just under the surface. ready to show up in all its ugliness.
    There is absolutely no need to try to say a word or two in favour of our wretched nation which has been brought to its present level by its own people. No need to blame the Moslem hordes or the white invasion from England, Portugal etc.
    Pardon me, but your last line should read , “Thy children are doing to thee” and not ‘thou.

  50. Nagaraj Chandrasekhariah

    your response to the veiws expressed by Mr.Francois Gautier is understandable, considering your advanced age and the experience of having witnessed the degeneration of values over tne years.
    But, a nation of our size, history and population has survived by the civilisational , cultural and traditional strengths, notwithstandind the evils perprtraded by asection of the society.
    However, can the list of wrongs that you have rightly mentioned deprive the people of our country to feel proud of the good that the nation can offer to the world?
    Has any such negative publicity detered the wrong doers,other than creating
    an avoidable disgusting feeling in the minds of friendly countries who may
    have a role to play in our future.

  51. Thank you for your kind ,prompt and quite unexpected response. I do suppose we can feel a small amount of contentedness in knowing that we can really offer some useful things to the world; yet the moment one tries to count our Blessings, the associated curses that are there because of the sinister mindset of a large number of our people bothers one.
    For example, spirituality is considered one of the great strengths of our Hindu Way of Life, but how many of our institutions are true to the spirit to the core without blemish? Just yesterday I was talking with a long lost friend who had devoted himself to a Matha here in Bengaluru for several years. He has regretfully dissociated himself because of the greater interest in lucre than in spirituality that pervades the Matha now!
    With Regards to M. Gautier and yourself,

  52. Thanks for Redeeming Indian men by telling the truth which the mainstream media doesn’t want to say… that in India men are not Rapists!, and that India is a country where we respect our women at the most. Thanks for your frank opinion, thanks more for airing it out!!!. Please do follow up with more on these lines…. I mean we do have a lot of accounts to be set straight!

  53. nimala.sharma

    India’s daughter is beautiful documentary .Sad the got has banned it.Would like to know from the rapist lawyer what he has to say to the rape of a nun who was at her convent at her age to go thru this ?very sad if an educated lawyer can justify the rapists act.

  54. Sorry, madam, things have come to such a pause in our country that hitting below the belt is considered the acceptable style of fighting. Just like Sharad Yadav defended his right to speak utter nonsense in Parliament to the chagrin of the people at large, if not of the male MPs present in the House at the time on two days,legal luminaries also do not think twice about what they blurt out and even when they are told, they stick to their words. One very current example is the person of Markandeya Katju ( I hope I got the name right, since I always try to forget him and his sayings which are deplorable in the extreme – and he was a very senior lawyer in his own right, I believe.)
    Very occasionally, I have had opportunities to seen on TV debates in the British House of Parliament or the House of reps in the USA, and very often I also saw debates between candidates for the presidency of the USA. At least in recent years the sights and sounds in our country’s Central and State Houses of legislature have descended to such a nadir, I never bother to switch to TV Channels that produce these rowdy scenes.
    With Regards, Krishnan

  55. reliance1934

    In conclusion……Sir, I take the liberty in opining that Mr.Krishnan’s despair about the situation in our country at the moment only demonstrates his deep concern for all the victims.And when he calls our country as a “wretched nation” the words are used more in pain than in anger.No son or daughter can call the motherland a wretched nation,under any circumstances.As the proud Germans built their country after the war,which was indeed a wretched nation,no Indian can contribute by feeling so ashamed to give up the hope to see the country not marching forward.I ,like most of the readers ,feel very thankful to MrFrancois Gautier for his very thought provoking and enlightening article on the dangerous role played by ill informed foreign journalists,notwithstanding their Indian counter parts competing them. A country with the longest written constitution in the world,bound by the rule of law must ensure stringent punishment to the perpetrators of crime against women or children,without subjecting the victims to arduous judicial process.Legal proceedings should not be lost in time,with hair-spliitng technicalities to bring the culprits to justice.Any way,we have to reconci

  56. reliance1934

    Sent from Yahoo Ma

  57. Harischandra Prasad

    Ms Uppal, your argument is ok if the title was not Indias Daughters. Why ‘Indias’ except to denigrate this great country and its great Hindu culture. The British have not stopped it since the days of Lord MacCawley.

    Mr Krishnan, you still have not understood and perhaps will never – the entire criticism of Gautier has been against people like you, who think they know every thing, are humane, etc., etc., but actually do not relate to your own roots. India is not a wretched country.

  58. Sir, like the legendary Harischandra, you have said nothing but the truth relating to me, in person.
    Just imagine, a 70 year old nun is gang raped and makes big media story; it is followed by another 70 year old woman being raped and murdered.
    Consider, an IAS Officer who has been considered and described as an honest officer and who has taken on the mafia of all descriptions, is found hanging in his own flat. Even before the body is brought down, people who should be responsible by the very nature of their position declare that the man has committed suicide. Where then is the necessity to send the body parts to FSL and to order a CID enquiry? Everyone is horrified by rapes of young people by youths and a Chief Minister of a State says, “Boys will be boys, and will make mistakes. Should they be hanged for it?”
    A party wins reasonable number of seats and is almost compelled to form the Government and from day one it is hounded over its promises to the people of the State which is not a State, to an extent the CM decides to simply surrender and resign. And yet, a big coalition of parties gains a huge majority and gets to rule the country on a huge number for promises, most of which are not going to be kept even at the end of 5 years (Art. 370, AFSPA, Single Civil Code, bringing back lakhs of crores of hidden money and doling out Rs.15 lakhs to each Indian, for example). Yet the major party forms another coalition with its deadliest rival party to form the government in another State, where immediately it is snubbed repeatedly and yet does not feel compelled to withdraw from the coalition.
    You are right, sir, I will never understand anything. After all, I m in my dotage and deserve only to die.

  59. A very well explained point of view about the complexity in attempting to understand India by the author Francois Gautier. Makes much sense. However, I fail to agree with his concluding statement: “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.”

    In my opinion the BBC documentary “India’s Daughter” gives a very valid account of the very sad tale that happened, and does not denigrate India or Indian’s per se – as implied. Yes, there are surely many other points of view that have not been covered, but a documentary can only provide a glimpse of the situation. There has been much debate and unfortunately the points are being politicized by the followers of different parties in support of their own interests, rather than all round condemnation of the depraved behavior and actions – that needs to be highlighted for correction, which the film has tried to focus on and bring to the attention of viewers.

    Indians themselves seldom know or understand each other’s views as Francois has commented in the early part of his analysis, but he himself has failed to apply it in his latter comments in generalization!

  60. In conclusion …….
    My email id has appeared instead of my name and also the letter is incomplete .

    Nagaraj Chandrasekhariah

  61. A R Shashank

    Sir, you have understood India better and are more Indian in your thought and spirit than most young Indian youth of today.

  62. R.Gurumurthy

    Dear Mr.Gautier
    I can write for hours on the ignorance of the Europeans which when coupled with their arrogance that comes out of a false notion of a superior culture, tends to make them vulnerable in taking strong positions on issues.
    Just a point to mention…I recently visited Madrid on an official tour to attend a conference. I politely declined their offer of hospitality (to be precise a lunch and a dinner) saying that I did not want to trouble them to find out an appropriate menu for a “vegetarian” like me, But they wouldn’t listen and insisted that I joined them for one lunch at the least…and what do they serve me? noodles with some seasoning and when I insisted on knowing what it would contain…they would tell me pieces of a “big duck” In fact I initially thought it was a big “dog”, since I couldn’t make out the Spanish version of english. What was more embarrassing, the hosts would give me uncomfortable looks as if I had spoiled their day. Why the hell you call someone if you can’t be a good host …and I must tell you that good host would mean, hosting someone so that the guest is happy…not what you would like the guest to eat. I hope a journalist of your experience could reach out well to those who do not understand the simple concept of what a vegetarian food is and how food doesn’t become vegetarian through puerile actions such as removing the non-vegetarian ingredients from the food!


  63. Well said, Sir! Thank you for your impartial article.

    Mano Chandra Dhas
    Bogota, Colombia

  64. rajveer Shekhawat

    How true (unbiased) are his views on India and the characterisric of Hindus. A true journalist indeed. Shame on Indian tv media are pseudo secularist and every story is made use of to make ulterior move of making money mostly rather than showing true picture and its interpretation. Thank Francois.

  65. Barjesh Singhal

    I only wish that you remain alive for other 100 years.If possible I am ready to give you my balance time.

  66. wonderful piece thank you for what you have written I wish it is read all over the world please try to write book on these lines all Indians will be grateful

  67. Wow!Wonderful experience Francois. ….Thanks for sharing it across.GOD bless!

  68. Basavaraj S Totad

    It is an eye opening information to our young generation, who hate Hinduism, Without knowing the intensions of the western lobby to tarnish image of India.

  69. Excellent write up by Francois. And to hell with NDTV and the so-called sickulars. Francois, finally, thank God we have a Govt at the Centre that values Indianness, and Indian Society, and Bhartiyata. Not the anti-national papal queen who reigned for the last 10 years.

  70. Francois – a virtual hug all the way from Sydney from an Indian who has lived outside India almost as long as you have lived there…… can totally understand what you say about how difficult t is for Westerners to even begin to comprehend India – I have faced stereotypical questions over the years – how do you know English? do you find elephants on the streets? how come you are not a vegetarian?
    “India is, the cradle of the human race, the birthplace of human speech, the mother of history, the grandmother of legend, and the great grand mother of tradition. Our most valuable and most instructive materials in the history of man are treasured up in India only.” Mark Twain
    Found this info on a blog https://learningindia.in/mark-twain-on-india-why-hindus-dont-accept-foreign-gods/ – the blog belongs to a person who identifies himself as only Neil / NM – thanks Neil

    The first excerpt is a story told to Twain on a boat by a missionary to India about some of the challenges he faced. While the missionary’s context is a religious one, I think anyone can find a good application.
    I hope you enjoy it! NM
    “At home, people wonder why Christianity does not make faster progress in India. They hear that the Indians believe easily, and that they have a natural trust in miracles and give them a hospitable reception. Then they argue like this: since the Indian believes easily, place Christianity before them and they must believe; confirm its truths by the biblical miracles, and they will no longer doubt. The natural deduction is, that as Christianity makes but indifferent progress in India, the fault is with us: we are not fortunate in presenting the doctrines and the miracles.
    “But the truth is, we are not by any means so well equipped as they think. We have not the easy task that they imagine. To use a military figure, we are sent against the enemy with good powder in our guns, but only wads for bullets; that is to say, our miracles are not effective; the Hindoos do not care for them; they have more extraordinary ones of their own. All the details of their own religion are proven and established by miracles; the details of ours must be proven in the same way.
    “When I first began my work in India I greatly underestimated the difficulties thus put upon my task. A correction was not long in coming. I thought as our friends think at home–that to prepare my childlike wonder-lovers to listen with favor to my grave message I only needed to charm the way to it with wonders, marvels, miracles. With full confidence I told the wonders performed by Samson, the strongest man that had ever lived–for so I called him.
    “At first I saw lively anticipation and strong interest in the faces of my people, but as I moved along from incident to incident of the great story, I was distressed to see that I was steadily losing the sympathy of my audience. I could not understand it. It was a surprise to me, and a disappointment. Before I was through, the fading sympathy had paled to indifference. Thence to the end the indifference remained; I was not able to make any impression upon it.
    “A good old Hindoo gentleman told me where my trouble lay. He said ‘We Hindoos recognize a god by the work of his hands–we accept no other testimony. Apparently, this is also the rule with you Christians. And we know when a man has his power from a god by the fact that he does things which he could not do, as a man, with the mere powers of a man. Plainly, this is the Christian’s way also, of knowing when a man is working by a god’s power and not by his own. You saw that there was a supernatural property in the hair of Samson; for you perceived that when his hair was gone he was as other men. It is our way, as I have said.
    “There are many nations in the world, and each group of nations has its own gods, and will pay no worship to the gods of the others. Each group believes its own gods to be strongest, and it will not exchange them except for gods that shall be proven to be their superiors in power. Man is but a weak creature, and needs the help of gods–he cannot do without it. Shall he place his fate in the hands of weak gods when there may be stronger ones to be found? That would be foolish. No, if he hear of gods that are stronger than his own, he should not turn a deaf ear, for it is not a light matter that is at stake.
    “How then shall he determine which gods are the stronger, his own or those that preside over the concerns of other nations? By comparing the known works of his own gods with the works of those others; there is no other way. Now, when we make this comparison, we are not drawn towards the gods of any other nation. Our gods are shown by their works to be the strongest, the most powerful.
    “The Christians have but few gods, and they are new–new, and not strong; as it seems to us. They will increase in number, it is true, for this has happened with all gods, but that time is far away, many ages and decades of ages away, for gods multiply slowly, as is meet for beings to whom a thousand years is but a single moment.
    “Our own gods have been born millions of years apart. The process is slow, the gathering of strength and power is similarly slow. In the slow lapse of the ages the steadily accumulating power of our gods has at last become prodigious. We have a thousand proofs of this in the colossal character of their personal acts and the acts of ordinary men to whom they have given supernatural qualities.
    “To your Samson was given supernatural power, and when he broke the withes, and slew the thousands with the jawbone of an ass, and carried away the gate’s [sic] of the city upon his shoulders, you were amazed–and also awed, for you recognized the divine source of his strength.
    “But it could not profit to place these things before your Hindoo congregation and invite their wonder; for they would compare them with the deed done by Hanuman, when our gods infused their divine strength into his muscles; and they would be indifferent to them–as you saw.
    “In the old, old times, ages and ages gone by, when our god Rama was warring with the demon god of Ceylon, Rama bethought him to bridge the sea and connect Ceylon with India, so that his armies might pass easily over; and he sent his general, Hanuman, inspired like your own Samson with divine strength, to bring the materials for the bridge. In two days Hanuman strode fifteen hundred miles, to the Himalayas, and took upon his shoulder a range of those lofty mountains two hundred miles long, and started with it toward Ceylon.
    “It was in the night; and, as he passed along the plain, the people of Govardhun heard the thunder of his tread and felt the earth rocking under it, and they ran out, and there, with their snowy summits piled to heaven, they saw the Himalayas passing by. And as this huge continent swept along overshadowing the earth, upon its slopes they discerned the twinkling lights of a thousand sleeping villages, and it was as if the constellations were filing in procession through the sky.
    “While they were looking, Hanuman stumbled, and a small ridge of red sandstone twenty miles long was jolted loose and fell. Half of its length has wasted away in the course of the ages, but the other ten miles of it remain in the plain by Govardhun to this day as proof of the might of the inspiration of our gods.
    “You must know, yourself, that Hanuman could not have carried those mountains to Ceylon except by the strength of the gods. You know that it was not done by his own strength, therefore, you know that it was done by the strength of the gods, just as you know that Samson carried the gates by the divine strength and not by his own.
    “I think you must concede two things: First, That in carrying the gates of the city upon his shoulders, Samson did not establish the superiority of his gods over ours; secondly, That his feat is not supported by any but verbal evidence, while Hanuman’s is not only supported by verbal evidence, but this evidence is confirmed, established, proven, by visible, tangible evidence, which is the strongest of all testimony. We have the sandstone ridge, and while it remains we cannot doubt, and shall not. Have you the gates?’”

  71. Bhairab Lal Das

    Can you give me names of some foreign correspondent who have worked in North Indian sector specially in U.P., Bihar, West Bengal etc. I appreciate your opinion.

  72. Very interesting, thank you madam. I wonder if the quote from Mark Twain is from hi book, “Innocents abroad” which I had read some 60 years ago. I also remember that Mark Twain had remarked that the bet method to dispose off dead bodies is by cremation, as most Hindus do, because all the diseases etc the corpse would be burnt to ash, whereas the Christian mode of burial is unsafe because the decay of the corpse will spread all bad germs etc into the soil in course of time destroying the earth. There may be some small errors in my recapitulation at this distance, but it is the summary I have always remembered.
    Of course, in addition to the “proof” of Hanuman’s passage from the Himalayan regions to the far South you have mentioned, there are so many places in India where indications (are supposed to) exist of Jatayu’s fall after being killed by Ravana, of Parasurama’s (the avatara before Rama’s ) sojourn in Kerala an so on and so forth !

  73. Hi ,Louis,
    That’s not the way to talk to a foreign Journalist. We should respect him , we respect too those pseudo secularists like you and our journalists..

  74. You wrote :
    #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)
    But in fact she has a Jewish father. And she was born in Israel. Please get your facts straight. What if she was Pakistani ? The image of India is not tarnished by a documentary exposing the sexist attitudes of Indian males but rather by those attitudes themselves that needs correcting.

  75. Tres bien Mr. Gautier. I liked your style in telling the world media and pitiable Indian Media too – you idiots Hindus are not swines and dumb heads. Our culture in India is inclusive and progressive. Not like any other. I am proud to be a Hindu. It not a religion. Its a way of life. the world wants YOGA, PEACE, AYURVEDA, SPIRITUALITY AND KNOWLEDGE. India had all these 10000 years ago. Mr Gautier – is educated – thanks for sharing your wisdom sir. The rest are merely learned – have knowledge and understand of things but not the soul. I have great friends from all religions and have learnt the positiveness of all cultures – though its just 1 % – I still have a long way to go! What is essential essence taken from Mr Gautier’s words are truth and pragmatism. The so called Hindu Outfits – are merely fighting out of anger and frustration – handed over from all and sundry!. Each one condemning another or criticizing the others Religion is a waste on Planet earth. Their contribution is like garbage. We have to live with the stink and rot. If we can manage our wastage – we obviously be better off. Gautier sir more words of inspiration and motivation from you is required to be plastered and cemented all over the world about Humanity. Bhrama for a Hindu, A-Braham for Christians and I-Brahaim for Muslims – is still the creator – who is ONE! Period.

  76. Nice article, trying to present a true picture to the world at large.
    K Vasudevan

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