Category Archives: Government

November 2001: A World Upside Down

November 2001: A World Upside Down

” Once you start seeing from the right inner perspective, you will notice that the world appears upside down, as if people were walking on their head”, often commented the Mother of Pondichery. And indeed, if you look at the world today, in this inauspicious beginning of November 2001, what do you see ?

Without any doubt, modern politics is nowadays the torch-bearer of expediency, short-cuts, and falsehood. Since the terrorist attacks of September 11th, all the world leaders seems to be rushing to Pakistan, to pay obedience and offer their unlimited support to President Mushrarraf, an un-elected leader of an Islamic country that has made of jihad a national enterprise. Of course, they come with their arms full of goodies: rescheduling of loans, waiving of sanctions, billions of dollars in credit, that will serve to buy weapons, a sizeable fraction of which will end-up aimed against the third great “Satan” of Islam, after the United States and Israel: India.

And then, as an afterthought, they hop on to India, to give the ever smiling and innocuous Mr Vajpayee a moral discourse on how he should behave himself and make friends with Islamabad, regardless of the fact that Pakistan keeps arming, training, sheltering and encouraging Kashmiri separatists to kill innocent Indians. Is that not a world turned upside down ?

The American war on Afghanistan also looks completely wrong: you do not win a war by bombing from the safety of supersonic planes flying at 10 kms above the ground. There is nothing much left to bomb in Afghanistan anyway, except a few innocent civilians. You do not fight terrorism with terrorism, as Bush is doing, by using Pakistan to “neutralize” the Taliban, which Islamabad created. You do not bomb on the one hand, while feeding the civilians on the others; not only are leaders always product of their own people, as Hitler and Germany amply demonstrated, not only does a nation always pay for its own past karma, as the Dalaï-lama constantly reminds us, but many of these refugees are probably supportive of the Taliban. You do no think that by killing one man – Bin Laden – you will eliminate Muslim fundamentalism, which is today a world phenomenon. You do not ignore, a huge pro-western democracy – India – which has been the victim for centuries of bloody and terrible Muslim invasions and today fights a lonely battle in Asia against Muslim fundamentalism. You do not enroll the help of China, as many of the western leaders are trying to do (Chancellor Shroeder, for instance, is there now, after his visits to Pakistan and India), probably the Taliban’s biggest investor and friend (and sworn enemy if India, even if it fools Delhi by pretending otherwise). China has only one goal today : diminish the United States as a superpower, so that it can spread its hegemony, first on Asia – Taiwan, Tibet, the Spartlys islands, parts of India (Sikkim, Arunachal Pradesh) – and then onto the world. It is true that the United States remains a beacon of goodwill and freedom on our planet, but because of materialism, they have lost their kshatriya spirit which they demonstrated during the first and second world war, when they saved twice Europe from the German hegemonic spirit. Today, they show not only the inability to fight and sustain casualties, but a fear that borders on paranoia. It is also true that a greater majority of Muslims are peaceful law-abiding citizens, but then history has always shown us that it is the violent politically- active minority which sways in the end the silent majority and takes control -witness Kashmir.

Is India faring better? Not at all, what do we see today in India ? Instead of seizing upon this opportunity after the 11th September attacks to strike at terrorism and take bold steps against Muslim fundamentalism, which the world would have, if not approved, at least not condemned, its leaders are just mouthing the eternal empty threats, which do not frighten anybody anymore, or coming out with the most obvious platitudes, such as the Prime Minister declaring on October the 30th, that “we will fight terrorism with tourism”, at a time when everybody knows that tourism is in the dumps ! Muslims in many parts of India are showing their support to Taliban and Afghanistan, by rioting on fridays after the prayers, burning cars and public property, attacking police, as it has been the case in Malegaon, Maharashtra. All over the world today, a spade is called spade when it comes to Muslims manifesting their support to fundamentalism, even in England, which has long turned a blind eye to the fundamentalist cancer spreading in its heart. But what happens when it occurs in India ? Newspapers, such as the Hindu or Indian Express, report it briefly, saying “one community attacked another”, or label it “communal” riots. What communal riots? Are we going to make the Hindus responsible for Muslim burning cars and rioting? Poor Hindus! One newspaper (the Hindu) even brought up the Ayodhya factor in its October 30th issue covering of Malegaon ! Is it not the world upside down? The whole problem is also about Indian journalism, which devotes pages and pages when it comes to attacking its own culture, or lambasting the “saffronization” of India, but reports in only a few lines and without adverse comment, the fact that 800 Muslim-owned hotels in Mumbai, including 5 stars, have decided to boycott American and British products to show that “we no longer tolerate the attacks on innocents in Afghanistan” (Indian Express, October 31, page 9). Is it not the world turned upside down ?

On the external front, India tolerated the terrible mutilation of its soldiers by Bangladeshis early this year, so as not too embarrass the government of the “friendly” Sheikh Hasina, which was facing an election. Unfortunately, she lost by a huge margin, and the unfriendly Begum Khaleda Zia is now in power, with the consequences that once more, a massive pogrom against Hindus has taken place, raping of women and girls, killing innocent and a new exodus of Bangladeshis in the already overcrowded and sensitive North-east. But what does the Government do? Nothing, except sending Brajesh Mishra to Dacca ! It would be enough for Delhi to close the tap of the Ganges water for three days to bring Bangladesh to its knees and thus protect the innocent Hindus of Bangladesh. But no, India, is eternally obsessed to appear goody-goody and has learnt no lesson from its perpetual humiliation at the hands of Muslims and Chinese.

Does not the BJP understand that it was voted to power on the promises of radical changes in the country and a government which would respect the aspirations of the 850 million Hindu community, which feels it has been cheated, despised, neglected, hounded, ridiculed, by 45 years of Nehruvianism ? But the BJP has been too busy looking “secular” and making useless moves such as the Bus trip to Lahore, or the Agra summit, both of which failed, because Pakistani intransigence, to do anything. It is true that once in power, you look at things from a different perspective and you are bogged down by an amorphic and often hostile bureaucracy. But what about the changes in the Constitution, the privatization of Indian Airlines and Air India, the cutting down of the arrogant and useless VIP security, or the whittling of the bureaucracy ? Nothing ! Do they not realize that they are going to be hounded out of power at the next elections and that India will be back to square one ? That today may be is its last chance to make good with its pledges? Do they not realize that no country in the world has any respect for India, that Japan has the discourtesy of sending an ex Prime Minister, whom Vajpayee should never have received himself, to ask India to “exercise utmost restraint”; or that France, towards which India made so many overtures in the last few years, is only dispatching its External Affairs Minister now (he will, of course, also pay a visit to Pakistan) ?

The Mother of Pondichery was right: every time you open a newspaper, or switch on your TV, if you are a little introverted, you will notice that the world is walking on its head and that if it keeps on doing so for a little longer, it will totally lose its balance and lead us to pralaya.

FRANCOIS GAUTIER

" SEVA AND GOVERNMENT "

Source: http://www.francoisgautier.com

In ancient India, the concept of “Seva”, of service to others, was very predominant. It was then felt that the very action of forgetting oneself and giving one’s work towards the welfare of one’s brothers and sisters, was one of the most powerful tools to the realisation of the inner Self. Today, the tradition of Seva is being revived by many contemporary spiritual movements which are creating a new avatar for Hinduism. More than that, for the first time since independence, India has a Government which can boast quite a few Ministers, who are bringing back the practice of service to their country. That is to say, that they are not in power to fill their pockets, but put the betterment of “Mother India”, before their own petty self-interests, or even those of their parties.

One such politician is Dr Manohar Murali Joshi – and amongst all the NDA Ministers, he is the one who has been most targeted by the Press. Yet, Dr Joshi has a mission, an ideal – not for himself but for his own country. The first thing that Dr Joshi feels is that “Indians lack self- confidence”, this very modern and western bend of mind which says: “we can do it” and drives people to go beyond themselves to reach their goals. And it is true : Indians are often self-depreciating and are always comparing their countries to western nations and their achievements. “Yet, says Dr Joshi, we should tell our children that modern computers would not work unless India had not invented the concept of the zero, or that high grade steel in ancient India was so good that Alexander the Great wanted it to fashion his own sword, or that rhinoplastic surgery was performed in Vedic times, long before it was known in Europe”.

Manohar Murali Joshi also believes that Indians lack “esprit de corps”, the team spirit which makes a nation great. “Look at our hockey or crickets players, says Dr Joshi, they are great individually, but cannot perform well collectively on a steady basis”. Dr Joshi could also have added that Indians are probably amongst the most undisciplined people in the world: they always break queues, drive without thinking one second about the other, clean meticulously their own front porch, but throw their garbage in the street, and have hoarded so much black money that if it would surface, it would make India one of the richest nations in the world. And here again, the key is to educate : “It has been stated that Hinduism, being too individualistic a religion, is responsible for this lack of collective spirit, argues Dr Joshi, but nothing is further from truth”. And Murali Joshi to quote from Sri Aurobindo, India’s great avatar of the New Age: “Indian civilisation lived with a noble, ample and vigorous order and freedom; it developed a great literature, sciences, arts, crafts, industries; it rose to the highest possible ideals of spiritual knowledge “…

“It is the British, asserts Dr Joshi, who attacked and ridiculed Hinduism, which they rightly perceived as the main obstacle to their complete hold over India”. And he could have added that they also created “Macaulay’s children”, Indians in body, but British in mind, whose descendants can still be found amongst Indian Intelligentsia ! “Hinduism is very community-oriented religion, contends Dr Joshi, as apart from the concept of seva, look how collective is our temple worship, with its bhajans, or how the old Panchayat system was democratic from the village all the way to the top (and not like today, where everything is decided in Delhi, with the villages having absolutely no say in anything).

What about the environment, which is so degraded today : tigers are being killed at the rate of one day, says a recent report; every year an area the size of France is deforested in India; and the holy Ganges is so polluted that it is not even fit for bathing. Are not those who defecate in the Ganges, cut their own forests and kill tigers, mostly Hindus ? “But on the contrary, replies Dr Joshi, the Scriptures tell us never to urinate in the Ganges, they enjoin us to plant trees at the time of festivities and not to kill animals. It is again the impact of ten centuries of colonisation which has made us forget this very Hindu respect of Nature”.

Finally, unless you educate Indian children about the greatness of their own civilisation, which taught the concept of seva, of collective discipline and respect for Nature’s bounties, there is no way that India is going to produce the leaps and bounds which she needs to become a superpower. You also have to rewrite Indian history, which basically has been crafted by British historians to further their claim of superiority on the “natives”, using false evidence, such as the theory of the Aryan Invasion, which all recent archaeological and linguistic discoveries are proving as false. The history of the independence of India, which has been concocted by Congress historians to show the Congress in the best light, should be reviewed too and Indian children should be told about the untold horrors of ten centuries of Muslim invasions so that they can face their own history.

And this is the task that Dr Joshi has set for himself in the true spirit of seva. Of course, “secular” historians and journalists, who often have such a Marxist-inspired vision of their country, will scream every time Mr Joshi makes a move towards “Indianisation” of what is basically a very bland copy of Western culture. But just think how seven years ago Dr Joshi had the guts to go and raise the national flag in Kashmir on 15th of August. Remember how he was reviled and ridiculed by the Indian Press ? Today he would be hero… “We can do it”…

FRANCOIS GAUTIER