CRY O MY BELOVED INDIA
@ François Gautier
New Year’s Eve 2000. We are sitting on the Papparsali ridge, above Almora, in the Kumaon hills. The whole Indian Himalayan range – Nanda Devi, Trishul, Panchachuli – lies in front of us in all its splendour, glowing glorious pink in the setting sun. Such majesty and beauty, which gives one a sense of eternity. The valley below us is vibrant with a unique silence that I have only found here. A silence of the Gods, pregnant with a living presence, peaceful, as if nothing can ever happen to us, as if the unhurried, serene existence of generations of families, who have lived and died in this valley for millenniums, had impregnated it with a feeling of timelessness. Far away in the horizon, a few villagers are going back to their homes, a child is shouting somewhere, smoke from the scattered houses climb lazily to the sky. Perfect peace.
Yet, this year, something is missing from the mountains: snow. Whereas in this season, the whole range should be perfectly white, the mighty mountains, except for the tips, show massive ugly patches of brown. In twenty to fifty years, a local environmentalist tells us, the Himalayas might be bereft of snow ! What will happen to India then ? Not only the Himalayas feed India’s rivers, not only they regulate the entire ecosystem of the Indian subcontinent, but they are the soul of India, the cradle of its spirituality. If the Himalayas are slowly dying, India will witness another Saraswati, when this ancient holy river, which preceded the Ganges, gradually dried out and an entire civilization had to migrate.
This year, most of the sources have dried in Almora and there is hardly any water, when the summer is still far away. “It’s because of Global Warming”, we often hear. There is some truth in that, but what our friends do not say, is that unknown to the Indian general public, there has happened over the years a massive deforestation of the Himalayas. In Almora for instance, gone long ago are the oak and indigenous forests and in the twelve years I have come, I have not seen any afforestation done in the surrounding hills. Even worse, the locals could not care less ! Not a day passes by in the area where we live, without one of the few pine trees left being surreptitiously felled down and even the poor mimosas do not escape the villagers’s wrath. “It’s because they feel the forest belongs to the Government and not to them”, says a local NGO. Is it ? But we have witnessed the same phenomenon in Auroville, Tamil Nadu: every time the local villagers are angry after the foreigners there, they cut the trees planted for their benefit ! No doubt the Government of India, which allowed the massive deforestation of the country after Independence, is the main culprit; but in the Kumaon hills, there are also literally thousands of NGO’s, doing woman empowerment, village empowerment, this empowerment, that empowerment, this khadi, that khadi… But bare for two or three of them such as Chirag, Arohi, or NTGC, nobody does tree planting. “It’s the Forest Department’s fault, they are too corrupt”, many NGO’s claim…
Blaming the others has become a favourite pastime of India: the people, to escape doing anything themselves, blame the politicians; the politicians in turn, to get away from their duties, blame Pakistan, or the United States; and the NGO’s blame everybody. But can you blame Pakistan for every ill that befalls India ? Does it make sense to accuse Islamabad every time a bomb explodes in India? Is it not a clever ploy of the politicians to avoid facing the truth: that there is a real problem with Indian Muslims, who do not always know if they are Muslims first – and then Indians, or vice versa ? That there would be no Bombay or Coimbatore blasts, no Sabamarti Express, no attack on the Parliament, without the active support and participation of a sizeable section of the Muslim minority in India ? Isn’t also blaming America for the ecological problems India is facing, an excuse for India’s politicians and people to do nothing about India’s dwindling forest cover and the enormous pollution which is choking this country ? No Government, be it Congress or BJP, has done anything for India’s ecological looming disaster. India’s curse is this age-old Hindu passivity, this lack of civic sense, of commitment for the others, of respect for this wonderful Nature which gives us so much.
The Indian Diaspora, which has exported itself abroad, whether in the US, in UK, in Canada, or in Europe, can play an important role for the future ecological well being of India. Whatever the faults of the West, there is a material consciousness there, a love and respect of Nature. Indians there often have it both ways: they soak the knowledge and material consciousness and being far away from their country, they become more conscious of the values of their roots, civilisation and culture than many Indians in India. If those NRI’s could also realize that they owe a duty towards their own country, which gave them so much in terms of family values, work culture and spiritual ethics. How to repay their debt towards India ? “Invest part of your money here; bring back, part time or full time, your skills; Instil in the country of your birth the love of the material and respect of Nature which you have learnt in the West. Do not live the ground totally free for these thousands of NGO’s who use the poverty in India and some of the abhorrent caste and social inequalities, which do exist in this country, as a tool against India. In fact I would say that one the biggest scams in India today, bigger even than politicians, are the hundreds of thousands of NGO’s, which use billion of dollars of foreign money and do very little work, beyond putting money in their pockets and belittling the Hindus.
Time is running short and there has to be a sense of urgency in our endeavours, even if we keep our faith in the Ultimate victory. And unless Indians both here, and abroad, rise and take their destiny in their own hands, it might become too late: the Himalayas will be totally deforested, there will be no more snow melting, the rivers will be all polluted beyond redeeming, we will all have to drink mineral water and India’s cities will be so choked with smog that they will be become living hells. Cry o My beloved India. Look at what thy children are doing to thee.
Cry o My beloved India. Look at what thy children are doing to thee.
Today, every time an ill befalls India, a bombing here, Global Warming there, it has become a habit of Indian leaders – Hindu leaders, sorry, as the present Government is labelled as a Hindu Government – to throw the blame on the rest of the world: Pakistan for the attack on Parliament, or the United States for the Global Warming. In the same way, Indians always hold responsible their politicians, for all their woes, political, social and even ecological. If it is not Pakistan, it is the Christian missionaries, who are converting downtrodden tribals (who have been neglected by Hindus for centuries).
But history has shown us that the worst enemies of Hindus are Hindus – not Muslims, or Christians, not Pakistan or the United States, as many Hindu organizations, such as the RSS, or the VHP claim. Islam could not break the backbone of Hindu India, in spite of ten centuries of the most violent and concentrated rape, killing, converting, plundering, razing thousands of temples. Nor even the British, who in three centuries of rule, via Macaulaysm, massive conversions and insidious breaking of India’s social system, particularly at the village level, could not subdue the Hindu spirit. Nor even globalisation and Americanisation, which India is so far resisting fairly well, contrary to many Third World countries which got swept away in no time. No, the greatest enemy of India is the passivity of the 850 million Hindu majority, one billion worldwide, inheritors of the most ancient civilization still alive on this planet, holders of the last true spirituality on this earth. We can forgive the writers, intellectuals, academics, all of them Hindus, who continuously, keep belittling, here and abroad, India’s Hindu and ancient culture and way of life. After all, most of them sincerely believe that Marxism is the only answer to India’s inequalities and social injustices. It is thus in the name of Marxism that generation after generation of Nehruvian intellectuals have trampled upon Hindu culture, which they feel has been responsible for casteism and social inequity. The irony of it all is that these Marxist intellectuals have always been a tiny minority of India, and that the overwhelming silent Hindu majority allows itself to be run down, to be despised, to be throttled, all in the name of secularism and democracy, which should be rather called cowardice. The Gujurat riots, however horrible they were, signalled that for the first time Hindus were not taking things lying down and were sending a strong warning to their enemies. And the Indian English media and the foreign press, who got it all wrong in their prediction of the Gujarat polls, instead of ranting about ‘Nazism and Hindu fanaticism’, should do some sincere introspection and realize that Gujraratis are just ordinary Hindus who are fed-up of their way of life being made fun off, of being burnt, their women raped, their parliament and temples attacked.
Many people here are also full of complacency and delude themselves. The other day I was giving a lecture at the Sri Aurobindo ashram in Delhi and an elderly gentleman in front cautioned me not to be too pessimistic. “After all, he said, the world knows about India and the good things Indians do”. Do they ? This is a grand illusion: from France to the United States, from Saudi Arabia to Malaysia, India today is not taken seriously politically, to the point that in its fight against Islamic terrorism, the US uses Pakistan, which whatever its plus points, actually sponsors Islamic terrorism all over the world – and ignores India – which whatever its minus points, is a pro-western working democracy, which has heavily suffered from jihad in the last ten centuries. Does anybody in the world give a damn about Kashmir, where there has been an ethnic cleansing without parallel in the world – 300.000 Kashmri Pandits, refugees in their own country ? Name one country in the world which sympathizes with their plight. If India is to become the spiritual leader of the world, as many of India’s modern prophets, such as Ramakrishna, Vivekananda, Sri Aurobindo, or Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have prophesised, then India has to come-up, industrially, politically, militarily even, in the eyes of the world.
Sri Aurobindo came to announce the ‘supramentalization’ of the earth – man after man – but he and the Mother found that the brightest of their disciples could not follow them past a certain point and that the bulk of their ashram did not understand what they were trying to do. And they both had to leave. People think that bowing down in front of Mother and Sri Aurobindo’s photos, doing some departmental work and daily reading a few lines of Sri Aurobindo’s extraordinary epic, Savitri, equates to doing sadhana. But is not that a delusion too? At some point, we have to cast a frank look at ourselves, at the state of our ashrams, when our Masters are gone, at India and at the world… Are we the way we should be? Are we at the stage the Mother and Sri Aurobindo, Vivekananda, or Ramakrisha, wanted us to be? Sometimes, in her intimate conversations with Satprem (the Agenda of the Mother, Mira Aditi Center), the Mother would despair of the lack of receptivity of her disciples and of this earth. Why did she go? Did, we, her own disciples, fail her, as every disciples have failed their masters throughout the ages and made of their spiritual teachings the rigid and intolerant religions we witness today?
India’s curse is the age-old Hindu passivity, this lack of civic sense, of commitment for the others, which Christians and Muslims possess to a certain degree, this infighting amongst themselves. Last week, I was invited to participate in a workshop in Konarak; the purpose was noble: make of Konarak a living temple where puja and aarthi are performed again, so as to attract more tourists and give back to Konarak its ancient vibrancy. But as soon as I entered the conference hall, two groups started shouting at each other and nearly came to blows: one wanted the conference to be opened to everybody, the other incommunicado. When some kind of order was restored, speaker after speaker gave, in true Indian tradition, empty rhetoric speeches, praising the ‘ancient glorious past of Konarak’ and nothing came out of the meeting. The same phenomenon can be observed amongst the different Indian organizations in the US: no unity, no creating of a powerful lobby on the lines of the Jewish one, so that the upward, law- abiding, rich and brilliant Hindu community of the US can make the voice of India heard. But we witness only squabbling: who will be the President, the Vice President, who will give the vote of thanks, who will be photographed with the US President…How sad… This is also why India’s oldest political party, the Congress, is incapable of finding a worthy Hindu leader amongst its own members, many of whom are intelligent and sincere. And by stooping down to Sonia Gandhi, they are repeating the same old story of India’s ancient princes and maharajas betraying each other and bowing down to a foreign ruler, be it Auranbgzeb, or His majesty’s Viceroy. Who betrayed the mighty empire of Vijaynagar, the last great Hindu kingdom to the Muslims ? Who betrayed India to the British ? Who is betraying India today ? Answer the question yourselves.
Cry o My beloved India. Look at what thy children are doing to thee.
When the BJP came to power, millions of Hindus thought that they were at last getting a Government of their own and that the Marxisation, bureaucratisation and Hindu-bashing, initiated by Nehru and the Congress, would come to a stop.
And after all, is not the BJP the descendant of the first true cultural, social and political movements, which had at heart the defense of India’s real heritage, such as the much decried Hindu Mahashaba, which attempted to counterbalance the Muslim League’s influence, or the even more maligned Rama Rajya Parishad, initiated by the remarkable Hindu monk Swamy
It is true that these Hindu leaders were ridiculed in those times by the British, who used to amplify the problems of untouchability, caste, or cow worshipping, to belittle these movements, which after all, were only trying to defend the ancient culture and spirituality of India’s overwhelming majority community. “Even the Congress, writes French historian Alain Danielou, aping the British, utilized to the hilt its English speaking press to present these Hindu parties as barbaric, fanatical, ridiculous”. Unfortunately, more than three years after the BJP has come to power, nothing has changed in India: the English-speaking press still indulges in Hindu-bashing and it is faithfully copied by the western correspondents, most of whom are totally ignorant of India and turn towards Indian intellectuals to fashion their opinions.
The biggest blunder of Nehru was to initiate the entire bureaucratization of India, if only because it was a system established by the British who wanted to centralize and control everything from Delhi. It was all right when the English were there, they were the masters, made their riches out of plundering India and had no need to be corrupt. But how do you give so much power to an insensitive babu, sitting in Delhi who earns only a few thousand rupees a month and knows nothing about the problems of Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh? Hence corruption and bureaucracy flourished together in India for five decades. Many thought that Atal Behari Vajpayee would rein in the bureaucracy and impose his own ideals on them. But today we find that Mr Vajpayee has become a prisoner of his bureaucrats in the PMO, who are more concerned with projecting a “secular” image of their Prime Minister, than giving him a free hand.
True, the Soviet-type industrialisation, such as massive state industries, big steel, mills and mega dams, which Nehru went for, has been mostly done with. But everybody could see the catastrophic results of India becoming a state owned country which produced sub-standard quality goods, such as Ambassadors, or Kissan jam. And it was anyway Rajiv Gandhi and later Narashima Rao, driven to the wall by nearly empty foreign reserves, who primed the economic liberalization of India. Many of us feel sad, that though the BJP has started in earnest disinvestment, multinationals like Pepsi, Coke or Mac Donald, which bring nothing to India but unhealthy food habits and leave zilch for the poor, have been given a free hand by the BJP.
Without doubt, the biggest hope pinned on the BJP was that it would change the Constitution, which is entirely westernized and adapt it to India’s psyche. Had not Sri Aurobindo, the prophet of modern India, written eighty years ago: “I believe in something which might be called social democracy, but not in any of the forms now current, and I am not altogether in love with the European kind, however great it may be an improvement upon the past. I hold that India, having a spirit of her own and a governing temperament proper to her own civilisation, should in politics as in everything else, strike out her original path and not stumble in the wake of Europe. but this is precisely what she will be obliged to do if she has to start on the road in her present chaotic and unprepared condition of mind”.
But today we see that the BJP has not had the courage and the vision to change any part of the Constitution, whether its electoral system, which is being constantly hijacked by people like Laloo Prasad, who make a sham of democracy, or its presidential system, which gives its President nil powers, while having tremendous pomp and pageantry, in the old style of the Raj. A strong President, who can chose a Prime Minister, who in turn, possesses his own autonomy, like in France, would certainly be an improvement.
Indians are so proud of their judicial system; but isn’t it a carbon copy of the British one, with as a consequence, a flurry of problems, whether it is the political interference in the naming of judges, the incredible backlog of pending cases, or the overcrowding of jails? Again, the Indian judiciary relies for his judgments on western values, on European jurisprudence, which are totally unfit for India. Once more, what has the BJP done, except believing that the judicial system of India, based on false secularism, could solve the Ayodhya problem, an issue so ancient, so deep-rooted, so essential for millions of Hindus, that it should be handed over to India’s contemporary yogis, such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and few moderate Muslim leaders.
In education, Nehru carried on with the British policy of imposing a westernised English system: many of the schools of India, run by Christians missions, produce generation after generation of English speaking diploma holders, who however brilliant, have no clue about their own culture and often spit on it. Here, we have to praise the BJP – but that is because, apart from L.K. Advani, a man of integrity and honesty – the only Minister who has stuck to his ideals, is Murli Manohar Joshi. Slowly, but surely, he has removed decades of maligning Hinduism in history books, of suppressing Indian history and of overly praising the Moghol period. But how much slandering and mud slinging the poor Minister has had to face himself !
The biggest failure of the BJP has to be the tackling of terrorism. The handling of the Dec 99 hijack of the Indian airlines Kathmandu flight was a textbook example of what not to do, of how a Government who wants to appear goody-goody and shrinks from duty and hard decisions, has to later pay a heavy price for its weakness, as indeed India is paying today. Lowly countries such as Malaysia, Saudi Arabia, or Portugal, unashamedly refuse to hand over to India known criminals. There are not only 20 million Bangladeshi refugees in India, but Bangladesh gives shelter to separatist groups which are inimical to India. It would be enough for India to close the Farakkha dam taps for three days, to bring Bangladesh to its knees. But yet again, we see that the BJP is keener to project a Gandhian image of itself, rather than having India’s interests at heart. As for Pakistan, it knows that can get away with anything: Indian leaders only threatens, but do nothing. As a result, India continues to be the laughing stock of the world and the industrialized nations, instead of relying for its war on terrorism on India, a democratic, pro-Western secular and literate country, which itself has been the target of Muslim fanaticism for 15 centuries, totally ignores and bypasses India, depending instead on Pakistan, a non-democratic, non secular, America-hating nation.
Cry o my beloved India. Look at what thy children are doing to thee.
There are two giants in Asia, China and India. And when the two are compared, India always comes out unfavourably. Look at the statistics: China gets over 40 billion dollars as foreign direct investment, while India gets only two billion. China had an export turnover of 322 billion dollars in 2002, while India’s will not exceed 40 billion dollars in 2002-03. China’s official defense budget in 2000 was 14.5 billion dollars. In 2001 it was 17.05 billion. The actual figure could be about three times higher at 50 billion dollars. The People’s Liberation Army ( PLA ) of China which has 40 members in the 160 member Central Commission is insisting on a 17 percent increase in defense budget next year. China is moving, and moving fast.
Yet the irony is that India is a democracy, while China isn’t; India is a pro-Western country, while China is deeply suspicious of the West, particularly of the United States; India has been the soft target of Muslim fundamentalism, while China has ruthlessly clamped down on its own Muslim separatism. Yet the West remains totally enamored of China, while it completely bypasses and ignores India, its innate ally in Asia.
In 1948, China understood that its natural competitor in Asia was India, because India could not only match her in terms of manpower, but also in sheer skills and brains. It hit upon a very simple idea to keep India tied-up: it would support militarily Pakistan, even going to the extent of providing Islamabad with nuclear technology, so that they could have their own Islamic atomic bomb. Today, China supplies 70 percent of military aircraft and main battle tanks (MBT) to Pakistan. Every missile project in Pakistan has been initiated through active Chinese or North Korean assistance and is India specific. The recent Kargil conflict even saw long lines of Chinese trucks along the Karakoram highway carrying military equipment to Pakistan.
By taking over Tibet, Beijing also made sure it would strategically overlook India. It also kept her destabilized, by continuously claiming Indian territories, such as Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Beijing protested the loudest when the BJP exploded its nuclear device in 1998, but this is pure hypocrisy: China has today an estimated stockpile of 400 nuclear warheads ranging from 5 Mt to low Kt warheads. It has a wide range of missiles from 158 Km range CSS-8 weapon systems to the CSS-4 with a range of 13,000 Km. According to the CIA, China has transferred one third of its nuclear arsenal to Nagchuka, 250 kms away from Lhassa, a region full of huge caves, which the Chinese have linked together by an intricate underground network and where they have installed nearly one hundred Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles, many of them pointed at Indian cities. China is also rapidly modernizing its blue water navy to achieve its aim of ‘power projection’. It has a large submarine force of some 71 submarines, though it lacks enough aircraft carriers. China’s immediate naval agenda is to control the sea-lanes of the Indian Ocean, along which a major share of world trade and oil is transported. The US estimates that China would be its main rival by 2015.
China has also been supplying arms to India’s neighbours Burma ,Nepal, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka in order to increase its influence in these countries. To the east of India, China’s close links with Burma has helped it to increase military activities in areas bordering the Bay of Bengal. The Chinese have also built a Signal monitoring station in the Coco Islands. They have opened up the old Burma-China road as well as the Irrawady river for traffic. These will facilitate rapid troop movement as and when required. The Chinese navy has already started using Burma as a base for operations in the Bay of Bengal and the Malacca Straits. To the south of our country, China is trying to acquire naval facilities in Sri Lanka.To the north of India, China has considerably improved its military infrastructure. In Tibet, it has constructed some 13 air bases and is laying the Gormo-Laksha oil pipeline to ease its problem of supplying fuel to its forces in Tibet. The problem of supply will further ease with the construction of a rail link to Lasha on which work is reported to be in progress. On top of that, China still occupies one third of Ladhak, which it took during the 62 war.
China has thus thrown an iron ring around India’s neck. Unfortunately, generation after generation of Indian leaders, starting from Nehru, have decided that India and China were the natural brothers of Asia, the infamous ‘hindi-chini-bhai-bhai’. Shortly before China’s attack in 1962, the Indian Army Chief of Staff had drafted a paper on the threats to India’s security by China, along with recommendations for a clear defence policy. But when Nehru read the paper, he said : “Rubbish. Total Rubbish. We don’t need a defence plan. Our policy is non-violence. We foresee no military threats. Scrap the Army. The police are good enough to meet our security needs.” We know the results of this very foolish assessment.
Even today, bar for George Fernandes, who alone had the courage to say that China is India’s enemy N° 1, everybody keeps mum. Yet the truth is that Pakistan is a small country which has lost all the wars it has initiated against India. Even a nuclear war would be a holocaust for Pakistan, while India would survive. What Indian leaders doe not understand, is that it is not China that has to appeased to contain Pakistan; but rather, ultimately, it should be Pakistan that has to be appeased (in the true sense of the term = making peace with) to contain China. Because everything – bar religion – unites India and Pakistan : customs, languages, culture, ethnic stock, history… Whereas India and China have very little in common, except Nehru’s elusive dream of a socialist brotherhood.
Contrary to Pakistan, China is a huge country, powerful, self confident crafty and it beat India hollow the only time the two Asian brothers fought. How come the BJP, which before coming to power, was the staunchest friend of the exiled Tibetans, has not had the courage to support Tibets’ independence. It would unsettle the Chinese and give them back a taste of their own medicine. For the biggest blunder of Nehru was to betray Tibet, a peaceful, spiritualized nation, who had always acted as a natural buffer between the two Giants of Asia. Iin fact, the Dalai Lama‘s repeated offer that Tibet becomes a denuclearized, demilitarised zone between India and China, makes total sense today and Indian leaders should have immediately adopted it.
India’s great Sage, Sri Aurobindo, had seen clearly in the Chinese game: “the first move in the Chinese Communist plan of campaign is to dominate and take possession first of these northern parts and then of South East Asia as a preliminary to their manoeuvres with regard to the rest of the continent, in passing Tibet as a gate opening to India”.
Cry O My beloved India. Look at what thy children are doing to thee.
A country needs a people who are proud of their own culture and civilisation to move forward. That is what true nationalism – not jingoism – is about. It also requires an intelligentsia which reflects this pride in its newspapers, books, paintings, sculpture, sports even. This is why the US is so powerful today: not only an ordinary citizen is proud to be American, not only a poet is proud to be an American, but a sportsman is proud to represent his or her country and hence does extremely well. But for this overall excellence to be achieved, a country need intellectuals who are in contact with their society, who know their roots, who have been groomed in the intricacy, the subtlety and genius of their own culture, while not being blind to its faults. For intellectuals are those who shape the psyche of a nation.
In India, we find generally that there exists a brilliant intelligentsia, which is at par with most of the Western intelligentsia. Indian intellectuals are fluent in English, write it even better, are cognisant with Western literature, indeed, they can often quote from Camus, Sartre, Freud, Jung, even; know the latest trends in the West, have read the latest books, and can converse on any subject on this earth, be it ecology or fashion… Unfortunately, not only are they totally ignorant about their own culture, but they look down upon it. Not only they have no idea about the greatness of the Bhagavad-Gita Gita, of meditation, of Ayurveda, or pranayama, but they use the best of their talents to run it down, with wit, good English and a nasty and acerbic pen.
These intellectuals are all a product of a man called Macaulay, who more than 200 years ago had the brilliant idea to fashion Sahibs out of brown skin natives and make them not only more British than the British, but also ashamed of their own culture, spirituality and ethos. When they took over India, the British set upon establishing an intermediary race of Indians, whom they could entrust with their work at the middle level echelons and who could one day be convenient instruments to rule by proxy, or semi-proxy. The tool to shape these « British clones » was education. In the words of Macaulay, the « pope » of British schooling in India: « We must at present do our best to form a class, who may be interpreters between us and the millions we govern; a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellects ». Macaulay had very little regard for Hindu culture and education : « all the historical information which can be collected from all the books which have been written in the Sanskrit language, is less valuable than what may be found in the most paltry abridgement used at preparatory schools in England ». Or : « Hindus have a literature of small intrinsic value, hardly reconcilable with morality, full of monstrous superstitions »…
It seems today that India’s Marxist intelligentsia could not agree more with Macaulay, for his dream has come true: nowadays, the greatest adversaries of an « indianised and spiritualised education » are the descendants of these « Brown Shahibs » : the « secular » politicians, the journalists, the top bureaucrats, in fact the whole westernised cream of India. And what is even more paradoxical, is that most of them are Hindus !
It is they, who upon getting independence, have denied India its true identity and borrowed blindly from the British education system, without trying to adapt it to the unique Indian mentality and psychology; and it is they who are refusing to accept a change of India’s education system, which is totally western-oriented and is churning out machines learning by heart boring statistics which are of little usefulness in life. And what India is getting from this education is a youth which apes the West : they go to Mac Donald’s, thrive on MTV culture, wear the latest Klein jeans and Lacoste T Shirts, and in general are useless, rich parasites, in a country which has so many talented youngsters who live in poverty. They will grow-up like millions of other western clones in the developing world, who wear a tie, read the New York Times and swear by liberalism and secularism to save their countries from doom. In time, they will reach elevated positions and write books and articles which make fun of India, they will preside human-right committees, be “secular” high bureaucrats who take the wrong decisions and generally do tremendous harm to India, because it has been programmed in their genes to always run down their own country. In a gist, they will be the ones who are always looking at the West for approval and forever perceive India through the western prism
Murli Manohar Joshi is absolutely right: Indian children should be told about the immense human and spiritual values of their own literature, like we in Europe are brought up on the values of the Iliad and the Odyssey, or the great Greek tragedies. Therefore, education in Indian education has to be more indianised – it is not a question of being “nationalistic”, or “saffron-oriented”, as Indian Marxists are fond of saying, but of knowing one’s own culture : the Vedas, the Bhagavad Gita, the Ramayana, which according to many western scholars stand among the greatest literary works ever written. At the same time, it is true, as Sri Aurobindo pointed out: “that though we must save for India all that she has stored up of knowledge, character and noble thoughts in her immemorial past, we must also acquire for her the best knowledge that Europe can give her and assimilate it to her own peculiar type of national temperament. We must introduce the best methods of teaching humanity has developed, whether modern or ancient. And all these we must harmonise into a system which will be impregnated with the spirit of self-reliance, so as to build up men and not machines”.
How sad, that at a time when the West, sick with antibiotics and a blind medicine, which kills more than it cures, is rediscovering the virtues of Ayurveda, every third shop in India is a pharmacy which sells allopathic medicines. How sad, when the West, sick with materialism, is rediscovering the virtues of Swadeshi, that Coca Cola, Mac Donald, or Ford, are given a free hand in India. How sad, when the West in the throes of violence, depression and stress, is rediscovering the virtues of spirituality and pranayama, that it is not even taught in Indian schools and universities. How sad, when the West, in mortal combat with a religion which says that “unless you believe in my God, I will kill you”, is rediscovering the virtues of Indian Dharma, the only living spirituality left in the world, that it is made fun off by India’s own intelligentsia. If only they knew on what treasure they are perpetually spitting on…
Cry O My beloved India. Look at what thy children are doing to thee.
I have lived for 35 years in India.
I can say without boasting that I am one the few Western journalists who believe in India, believe in the greatness of this country, believe that India is on the way to become a superpower, industrial, economic, social, military and above all spiritual.
All throughout my professional career, both as a journalist and a writer, I have tried not to dwell too much on the negative, the superficial, the anecdotic and the folkloric that most of my peers affectionate when reporting on India . On the contrary, I have strived to the best of my ability to change the image of poverty, of corruption, of untouchability, of the City of Joy and Mother Teresa, which is hanging on India’s neck, since the British, the Christian missionaries and later the Marxists fashioned it.
It has cost me dear: I have had trouble with all the newspapers I have worked for and I have been bitterly attacked by most of the French India specialists who think I am a Right Wing Hindu fanatic and an anti-Muslim, although the only thing I have ever said is that the greatness of India lies in its Hindu ethos – the eternal spirituality beyond the religion, which has influenced even India’s minorities – and that there is a serious problem with Islam in South Asia.
Today I feel sad. By voting out a Government which, whatever its faults, had given back to India some pride, some stability, some recognition in the world, I feel Indians do not really know what they want. As usual, it is not about the people, but the system. There are good people in the Congress, but a party which was founded by a British (Humes), for the British, has had throughout its history some craving or the other for Western rule, as symbolized today, by this irrational hankering of so many Congress leaders and a greater part of the Indian intelligentsia for an Italian Christian to rule them. No doubt, the new Government has some very good people, but it also boasts many members who have only their selfish interests at heart and will pull India down without thinking for a second of the harm they are doing to their own country.
Everybody is raving about coalitions nowadays. But only people who wish India ill, can wish a coalition Government. Because what happens in a coalition such as the one we see today ? A weak Government whereby everybody is pulling on his or her side, where there is no single united aspiration for the good of one’s own country, no rallying point of common programme. Yet, what India needs now is a strong, united Government, which can muster enough popular support and votes in Parliament so as to initiate the changes which this country so badly needs: a common Civil Code, a Presidential system, a reform of the judicial network, an Indianized education curriculum, where you learn about India’s past greatness, about Ayurveda and Vedic mathematics and the science of Pranayama and the history of its proud kings and the art of meditation.
The BJP Government has fallen. You are exulting, O Christians ! You seem to forget how much this country gave you: the first Christian community in the world, that of the Syrian Christians, was established in Kerala in the 1st century. It was welcomed by the local Hindus and Christians there were always allowed to practice their religion in peace, at a time where other Christians were persecuted all over the world. Indeed, it is the Portuguese of Vasco de Gamma and Albuquerque which clamped down on the syncretic, all inclusive Christianity that had evolved in Kerala, thereby splitting the Syrian Church in two.
The BJP Government has fallen. You are rejoicing O Muslims! You seem to forget that Arab merchants came to Hindu India long before the first Muslim invasions of the 7th century. They were also welcome and allowed to practice their religion in peace and to trade as they felt like. It is sad that they joined hands with the invaders and betrayed those who had made them feel at home. You seem to forget, O Muslims of India, that most of you are the descendants of Hindus who were converted four or five centuries ago by terror and violence and who must have endured hell at the hands of Muslim invaders, before a few generations later their descendants forgot their proud Hindu heritage. Whatever happened in Gujarat should be strongly condemned and the Hindu culprits severely punished. But Indian Muslims should also understand that it was a warning that ordinary Hindus are fed up to see their brothers and sisters massacred in Kashmir, burnt in trains and killed everywhere in India by riots engineered by Muslims. Islam has flourished in India in a way that it has not flourished anywhere else: you have a Muslim president now and Muslims are free to practice and preach freely. Do Muslims in India think that Hindus could have one of their own President of Pakistan, or King of Saudi Arabia? No way ! They can’t even practice their faith openly there! And are you also forgetting that the BJP government did so many efforts to reach out to you and prove that they loved you too!
The BJP Government has fallen. You are rejoicing O Marxists ! Burt do you understand that Marxism is dead all over the world; and that even In China it is Marxism in name only, as its Government actually implements capitalist policies ? In India you have been free to practice Marxism as you wish and have democratically governed two sates for decades. Even more, Marxism here is an Indanized brand of Marxism, often with a human face, that was baldly missing in the Soviet Union or China. Don’t you have any gratefulness to the Hindu ethos for that ? And are not most of your converts Hindus themselves, who practice Marxism with a zeal unknown in the world today ? Isn’t it, Mrs Arundhati Roy!
The BJP Government has fallen. Your are rejoicing O members of the Indian intelligentsia ! You think that reading the latest New York Times bestseller, speaking polished English and putting down your own countrymen, specially anybody who has a Hindu connection, makes you an intellectual. But in the process you have not only lost out your roots, you have turned your back on a culture and a civilization which is thousands of years old and has given so much to the world. Your are forgetting what a privilege it is to be born an Indian – and a Hindu at that – inheritors of a spirituality which accepts today that God manifests Himself under different names, at different times, when today the world’s two biggest monotheist religions still think that their God is the only true one and that it is their duty to convert everybody by guile or force.
Maybe it is that Indians need to go through this process painful, maybe they need to be faced with a Government which will show its selfish and ineffective face openly, maybe they need to experience the confusion and the greed of their politicians with full force, before they realize that they had a good Government going before that, one that brought stability and pride to India, not one who is pulling India down, just to please the minorities, the Vatican and the Western powers who do not want India to emerge as a strong and independent nation.
But in the process, India’s economy is going to suffer, it has already lost thousands of crores in stock market crashes. India’s image will again go down in the eyes of the world, India’s foreign affairs will go haywire, with such useless policies as getting close to Palestine in vogue again. And India will get a little more divided along caste, ethnicity and religion, thanks to those who are now in power in Delhi.
At the moment, there are forces at work to destroy India, not by dropping a nuclear Bomb on it, but simply by opening it to Christian conversions, by pitting each one against the other, by blindly copying the fad, failures and excesses of the West, by siding with forces which are inimical to India, by attacking from all sides its ancient spirituality.
For the greatness of India is spiritual. The world has lost the truth. We have lost the Great Sense, the meaning of our evolution, the meaning of why so much suffering, why dying, why getting born, why this earth, who are we, what is the soul, what is reincarnation, where is the ultimate truth about the world, the universe… But India has kept this truth. India has preserved it through seven millennium of pitfalls, genocides and mistakes. And this was meant to be India’s gift to this planet during this century: To restore to the world its true sense, to recharge humanity with the real meaning and spirit of life. India could become the spiritual leader of the world, if only its own people will allow it.
Today I feel sad, sad for India, sad for the world. For India is in mortal danger, its eternal sanatana dharma is under threat from its own people. And if India dies spiritually, the world will die also. India is the last chance for the world to avoid pralaya, self destruction.
Cry O my beloved India, look what thy children have done to Thee.
BRAHMINS AND POLITICS
It has been made out that Mayavati won the UP elections because she fielded a number of Brahmin and upper caste candidates. But the BSP had given 86 tickets to Brahmins and only 24 won, a mere 20% rate of success. The Media is also praising Mayawati for having reconciled Brahmins and Dalits. But hers is only an electoral cold calculation: how to get the votes of the Dalits, the Muslims and the Upper castes in one shot. It worked and she is now entering her fourth term. But will it be better than her previous three terms, will she work for the welfare of the people who elected her ? Probably not. Already, she has transferred hundreds of bureaucrats and police officials and she has stopped all projects implemented by Mulayam Singh. Can you imagine the hundreds of crores wasted by these shelved projects and the chaos in the administration which will take months to straighten out? Is this the way to start a new government and be a Chief Minister for all, including those defeated ? Will Mayawati again enrich her party or herself at the cost of good governance ? Then next time Mulayam Singh will be reelected because of the law and order situation in the State and we will be back to square one !
Every political columnist wants to make out of UP as a study case. But is it a good case? Firstly, UP is the worst example how an Indian state can be mismanaged year after year and how the most populous state of India is also the poorest, the most unlawful – bar Bihar maybe. Secondly, UP has shown India and the world how caste and religion can be manipulated to the maximum cynical extent to get elected- as Mrs Mayawati just did.
But then, Mr Mayawati only borrowed from the Congress book of politics and only improved upon it. It is true that the Congress in turn only took over from the British the art of divisive politics, which is to polarize India on castes and religions: “I am a Muslim first and then an Indian”; “I am a Dalit first and then an Indian”; “I am a Christian first and then and Indian”… Now Mayawati wants Brahmins, who have, whatever their faults, shown patriotism thoughout Indian history (hello Mangal Pandey), to say: “I am a Brahmin first and then an Indian”. Today the Congress wants us to believe all these caste reservations and pandering to the Muslims is done to elevate minorities; but in truth it is just a cynical arithmetic computation: with the votes of the Dalits and the Muslims, anybody can be elected. It is true that the Congress got bashed-up in UP, but is equally true that Mayawati upped them with the same calculation, adding a peppering of upper castes for good effect…
There is also a perversion of statistics and facts. Yes, there are still terrible inequalities in India, extremely rich people and the poorest of the poor. Yes, there are Dalits who are oppressed. But no country in the world has done so much for its underprivileged since 1947. Today, many government academic, bureaucratic and even medical posts in India are held by Dalits and OBC. A Harijan made it to the highest post of President. Today India has another Muslim as President, a Sikh as PM and a Christian as Its ‘Eminence Grise’. Did the US ever have a Black President ? Did France ever boast of a Muslim Prime Minister, or a Hindu President ? No way – and it will take a long time to happen.
In fact today, it is the Brahmins who have become the Dalits of India. Brahmins are in minority in most of the UP villages, where Dalits constitute 60 to 65%; most of the intellectual Brahmin Tamil class has emigrated outside Tamil Nadu; the average income of Brahmins is less than that of non-Brahmins; a high percentage of Brahmin students drop out at the intermediate level ; 75% of domestic help and cooks in Andhra Pradesh are Brahmins; and most of Delhi’s public toilets are cleaned by Brahmins. Yet, contrary to the West, where Christian priests and popes constantly meddled in politics and acquired huge health and land, which led to the separation of the Church and the State under the French revolution, the much maligned Brahmins never interfered in affairs of state throughout Indian history, restraining themselves to advising kings and maharajas on spiritual matters.
Dalits should never forget that castes, which once upon a time was just a an arrangement for the distribution of functions in society, just as much as class in Europe, has been the stick that all invaders have used to put down India – and it is today still skillfully employed by missionaries and Marxists (and the millions of parasite NGO’s who make money out of India’s misery, without really uplifting anything but their own bank accounts, one of the greatest scams today). On top of that, nowadays, it is not the Brahmins who oppress the Dalits, but the OBC. See any village in Tamil Nadu: Dalits are parked in one corner and cannot enter the area devoted to Vanniars, who are just one rung above them.
Is the casteisation of politics in India, as embodied in UP, here to stay? We hope not, as it may lead to the balkanization of India. What is the key to stem this rot? Education. Many Indians do not feel nationalistic enough (except for cricket, the lowest and most worthless denomination of nationalism) and put their castes and religions forward, because they are not groomed in school to be proud to be Indians FIRST. As a Frenchman, I am taught about the greatness of my culture, my religion, my roots. Here in India, children know all about Shakespeare and Shelley, or the latest Time bestseller, but have never read Kalidasa, have no idea who Sri Aurobindo is and have no idea that pranayama is the science of breath, unique to India. As a result, later, the IMM’s and IIT’s just produce brilliant clones, without any root in their culture, who export themselves to the West to stay there, the greatest brain drain in the world. It also produces generation after generation of Indian, who scorn on their own culture and look-up to the West and some of the values like materialism and Marxism, which have failed there. But if right after kindergarten, you would teach children about the greatness of their culture, a little bit of the good of each religion, great poets, saints and epics such as the Mahabharata, which is a universal Scripture, one would produce generation after generation of true Indians.
Ultimately, Brahmins are fools if they think that they will reap benefits by allying themselves with the likes of Mayawati. The hate against Brahmins first shown by the Muslim invaders, then by the British and today espoused by Christian missionaries, Indian Marxists and much of the Indian intelligentsia is too strongly imbedded in the collective psyche. They should remember Mayawati and her mentor Kanshi Ram’s early war cry: Tilak, taraju aur talwar, unko maro juthe char (‘Brahmins, traders and the warrior caste should be kicked’). Already BSP leaders feel that the Brahmin over-drive could alienate them from other upper castes, particularly Thakurs. Thus some backpedaling may happen soon. Look also at what happened to the four hundred thousand Brahmins of Kashmir who fled though terror their homeland without raising a little finger in defense. Today no political party gives a damn about them and many of them are still languishing in refugee camps – in their own country – a first in the sad history of Humanity.
Cry O my Beloved India. Look at what Thy children are doing to Thee.
India prides itself to be the greatest democracy in the world. But actually, there are very few places on this planet where democracy has been so hijacked and perverted.
Noting demonstrates it better than the fact that the Congress is still pushing for Pratibha Patil as the next President, even though more and more scandals attached to her are emerging (the lastest being that she did not transfer the money donated for Kargil by her bank employees). Abdul Kalam must be the most popular president in the history of India. Yet he had to withdraw from the race, because he was the people’s president and not the stooge of India’s political parties. Sonia Gandhi will never forgive him, as he was the one who stopped her from becoming Prime Minister when he told her in the privacy of his chambers that it was unconstitutional to hold two passports – Indian and Italian – as she did for many years (she is not the only foreigner who did so after obtaining the Indian citizenship). Quite a few Muslims regard him suspiciously because, although he is a true Muslim, he respects other religions and is known to keep the Bhagavad Gita and Sri Aurobindo’s Savitri in his study. Thus Mayawati, partly elected by Muslims votes, kept away from him.
How else is democracy perverted in India ? Well, here you have a party, the Congress, who has been going from bad to worse in the last 15 years, came a miserable last in the recent UP elections, and sprung to power by a freak accident because the TDP lost in AP and the communists did well in West Bengal,. Yet, the Congress is all powerful at the moment and is dividing India more and more upon caste and religion lines, thanks to a cynical reservation policy – see how the Shiv Sena sided with Pratibha Patil just because she has roots in Maharashtra. Then you have a foreigner and a Christian lady, who whatever her qualities – honesty, hard work, family values – is just an elected MP, like hundreds of others, and yet rules as the Supreme leader of this country, one whose word can make or unmake anybody. Do you think it would be possible for an Indian and a Hindu to become an un-elected President or Prime Minister behind the scenes in the US, France or Germany ? Absolutely not ! Even India’s Prime Minister, a decent but weak man, is not elected: he was beaten last time he tried it and is now a Raja Sabha MP from Assam, where he has no roots at all …
Democracy in India is also hijacked by cynical mathematics: how to get elected with the votes of the Muslims, who remain the most backward community in India, in spite of having brought to power umpteen Congress Government since Independence; and those of the Dalits, who have had a fair share of benefits, having one of them becoming president of India and so many politicians in power. Mayawati became a master of cynical mathematics: Muslim + Dalits + Brahmin votes = absolute majority. Yet will she do more for the Muslims and the poor of UP than she did in her three previous stints ? It seems doubtful the way she has started, wasting hundreds of crores by scrapping all previous projects, including the Economic Zones and transferring hundreds of officials.
In the name of freedom of expression, Indian intellectuals defend people like MF Husain, who paints Durga, India’s most Holy Goddess being sodomized by Hanuman. Would he dare to show Mohamed’s wife in this manner ? Certainly not: when the Prophet is drawn with a bomb in his turban, a harmless cartoon compared to Durga being sodomized, the entire Muslim world erupt in flames. Husain would already be dead today. Did India’s ‘Free’ press ever care to show on TV or publish in magazines these paintings ? Yet, they are freely available and have been reproduced in a Coffee table book sponsored by Tata Steel with a foreword by Russi Modi. Amongst them: Sita naked sitting on the thigh of a naked Hanuman with his testicles clearly visible;; a bull copulating with Parvati; Durga in sexual union with a tiger; a naked Laxmi, whose vagina is Ganesh’s tilak; a naked Krishna with his feet and hands cut off… And there are more.
The Indian Judicial is stretched to the limit by clever lawyers getting their rich clients off the hook, thanks to judges who go by the book without adapting their judgment to the Indian context, or by bribing hostile witnesses (see BMW case and see how Paris Hilton, celebrity, goes to jail in the US for drunken driving). But in India only poor people land up in jail and it takes seven years to get a case cleared. India’s socialist system, which is still enforced, wanted to tax the rich to subsidize the poor. But in reality, the rich have smart chartered accountants, who twist the laws, while the less fortunate have to pay taxes on small savings and salaries. And of course most of this money never reaches the very destitute.
Finally, here you have a country of 850 million Hindus, a billion worldwide, one of the most tolerant, law-abiding communities in the world. Yet, in the name of democracy, they are governed by a Sikh Prime Minister, when Sikhs are only 2% of India, a (good) Muslim President, whereas Muslims constitute only 20%, and a Christian Supremo, when Christians are a mere 2,5%. Not only that, Hindus in India are made fun of, their beliefs riled at, they are persecuted, as the 400.000 thousand Kahsmiri Brahmins have been, without raising finger in defense, their men hanged, women raped, children disemboweled, becoming refugees in their own country. And the press is mostly silent.
Yes democracy is needed, and a free and democratic India definitely holds (in the long run) an advantage upon an undemocratic China. But the way things are going now, India seems on the verge of losing all that is good and true and valuable within Her – in the name of a hijacked democracy by cynical and self-serving politicians.
Cry O my Beloved India. Look at what Thy children are doing to Thee.
Cry O my Beloved India. Look at what Thy children are doing to Thee.
Cry O my Beloved India. Look at what Thy children are doing to Thee.
Cry O my Beloved India. Look at what Thy children are doing to Thee.