Hindu Power IV

(The downside)

Did @NarendraModi’s #LightningStrike of Balakot against Kashmiri terrorists in Pakistan-held Kashmir break the jinx, which, for nearly ten centuries has undermined Hindu Power?

 I have been praising and defending Hindus so much in the last thirty years, through my articles, books and conferences, that I may be allowed to criticize them too: Hindus are the worst enemies of Hindus. Indeed, we always point the finger at Pakistan, but let me tell you, for having covered Kashmir extensively, that it is the Kashmiri Muslims themselves, from the retired High Court judge, to the Shikara boatman, who want to separate from Hindu India, and that in the name of Islam. Pakistan is only using this discontent for its own selfish purpose, mostly because it wants revenge for the breakup of East Pakistan into Bangladesh, for which it holds India responsible. The same is true of the November 2008 Mumbai attacks: nobody ever bothered to find out who were the local Muslim scouts and suppliers of information, as it’s too embarrassing for a Hindu majority Government to admit that it is its own Muslim community which may want and trigger such attacks – witness the thousands who attended in Mumbai the burial of Yakub Memon after he was hanged.

There is also no way that foreigners could have invaded India without Hindus having betrayed each other, from Alexander the Great, who allied himself with the Hindu king of Taxila (Ambhi) against Porus, also a Hindu, to the sack of Vijaynagar, the last great Hindu empire, which was betrayed by the Lingayats. Today, Hindus still undercut Hindus – the community of exiled Kashmiri Pandits is so divided that you hardly ever hear their voices; Hindu associations in the USA vie with each other for a photo opp with a Congressman, instead of coming under one united umbrella, to have the kind of lobbying power that the Jewish community for instance possesses; even the RSS, which is called the HSS there, often snubs other Hindu organizations. The most lethal enemies of Hindus in modern India are Hindu intellectuals, whom you find in every newspaper, every think tank, every American or British university, always ready to brilliantly denigrate their own culture. I have defended the BJP from the beginning, when MM Joshi went to plant the Indian flag in Srinagar, which I found rater patriotic, though the entire Media made fun of him; and when LK Advani did his Rath Yatra. But I soon discovered that Advani and Joshi could not stand each other and that Vajpayee made sure that Advani never became PM. Today we see Arvind Kejriwal, a Hindu, question the veracity of the strikes against POK of Narendra Modi, another Hindu.

I have criticized Islam a lot in the last thirty years, through my articles, books and conferences, but here I will praise them. There is a universal brotherhood amongst Islam: when I drove from Paris to Delhi, in a caravan of five cars, my best friend was a French Moroccan Muslim, named Ahmed Mzali (he has unfortunately died since then). In every Muslim country, we crossed – Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan – he would say ‘Salaam Alaikum’, and people would smile, open their doors, feed us, shelter us… Try to say ‘Om Namah Shiva’ to a Hindu in New York, London or Delhi: either he or she will look nonplussed, or most likely give you a dirty look ! Indeed, Muslims all over the world are proud of their religion and flash it without any self-doubt. But look at Hindus: many of them are ashamed to be Hindus, to the point that sometimes they wallow in self-denial. Islam has established some moral boundaries which attract new converts to them: no alcohol or smoking for instance. Whereas alcohol is a huge problem in Hindu India, from the villagers who spend their salaries on cheap arrack, beat up their wives and spoil their health, to rich kids who think it’s hep to down a bottle of Black & White whisky in one evening.

We know now that Muslims will die for their beliefs – in fact they will go on murderous sprees if they think their God has been insulted, even as a joke – see what happened in the Charlie Hebdo murders in Paris, an attack that has been silently endorsed by millions of Muslims in the world. But look at Hindus, you can insult their Gods and Goddesses as much as you want – and nothing will happen to you. The painter M.F. Husain knew that very well and that’s why he painted Goddess Laxmi, naked, or Sita being sodomized by Hanuman. He should have asked himself what would have happened to him if he had been a Hindu insulting Islamic beliefs in such a crude and disrespectful manner! Though Muslim countries have their own agenda, they stand by each other – and this is why Pakistan gets so much support in the UN. Every Muslim in the world feels for Palestine, Chechnya or Kashmir. But a billion Hindus in India and worldwide did not give a damn about 350.000 of their own becoming refugees in their own country, for no other fault than being Hindus. If you are a Muslim, you are likely get help anywhere in the world. But Hindus must be the most selfish and individualistic people on this planet. They rarely care about their brothers and sisters in need and those of lower castes. This is why a Mother Teresa was able to come here and do the work that Hindus should have performed themselves, thereby bring to India the worst image possible, that of a country that leaves its old people die on the pavements and abandons children.

Most Muslims pray 5 times a day, wherever they are in the world. I would say that maybe 6% of Hindus in the United States or the UK perform pujas or go to temples regularly. The rest have thrown their religion in the dustbin. It’s not a question of religiosity, but of using tools and checks that you help your life move in a meaningful and straight direction. As there is no concept of sin in Hinduism, but only of karma, Hindus must be amongst the biggest tax cheaters in the world, they mix ashes in cement, methanol in alcohol for drinking, and have no respect for their environment, littering their country with millions of plastic bags polluting their rivers, and devastating their forests. All our Muslim friends, rich or poor, make sure that their children learn the Koran at a young age – but Hindu kids have no clue about their great scriptures, the Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana or Mahabharata. Thus modern Hindu adolescents grow into adults with no respect for their temples and deities. Muslims have reverence for their ancient language, Urdu (formerly Persian), whereas Sanskrit, probably the most scientific language in the world, has fallen in disuse and no Hindu kids want to learn it. Muslims still worship their historical heroes – even Aurangzeb for instance, revered in Pakistan (and in most Indian and western history books), through he was a murderer, not only towards Hindus, but with his own family (he beheaded his brother, poisoned his father Shah Jahan and imprisoned his son). Hindus have no clue about their heroes and heroines: Shivaji Maharaj, India’s Napoleon, is described as a small chieftain and plunderer in most history books; as for Maharana Pratap, the only Rajput who actually fought the Moghols and held Akbar at bay, he is only known in northern India and he too is undercut in history books. Muslims have finally a sense of collectivity and tend to live together in towns and villages, so as to preserve their identities and customs. Hindus in contrast, want to merge wherever they live, in the US for instance, and often become more American than the Americans, thereby forgetting all about their roots.

Thus Mr. Narendra Modi has a huge task in front of him during his 2d term, if he wants to truly rekindle a sense of brotherhood and civic senses amongst Hindus, that would in turn generate true and dharmic Hindu Power. Therefore the need of the hour for Hindus is: UNITE, UNITE, UNITE and the first sign of this collective will, was a Hindu united vote, from the Dalit to the Brahmin, carried back Narendra Modi to power in 2019, so that he may finish his work and break the Hindu jinx of betrayal and fear. But will he? That remains a mystery… (To be continued)

François Gautier

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Will Islam Convert itself

The recent attacks on Hindus in India, under a Govt mostly elected by Hindus, have once again thrown up the same question: Is it possible to dialogue with today’s Islam ? Does it listen to reason ? Does plain logic work ? Will it ever stop killing innocent people in the name of God ?

We keep hearing that what happens in the Valley of Kashmir, or the Mumbai attacks, are the work of the ISI of Pakistan or Bangladeshi extremists. But what they don’t say is that it would be impossible for these people to function unless they have a lot of ground sympathy amongst local Indian Muslims. And the question has to be asked again: why should Indian Muslims go against their own Government, which has done so much for them since Independence ? Why should Indian Muslims target India, a country where they have more freedom than in say Pakistan, or Saudi Arabia ?

Every time also, the Government comes out with the same litany: “these acts are meant to create communal violence, be peaceful, don’t react”. Which basically means, “ You Hindus (who are targeted), keep quiet and get killed. Who cares anyway”. And a few months later, another blast takes the lives of a few more innocent Hindus. But how long will the Hindus keep quiet? This is the question that the Indian Government has to ask itself. Gujarat has paved the way: However reprehensible these acts of mass vengeance were, they have shown that Hindus keep quiet for a long time: they get riled at, they are made fun of, they are despised, their women raped, men killed, children burnt in trains and one day they blow up – and blow up badly. Riots don’t erupt in a few days: they are the fruit of decades, of generations even, of suppressed anger, of frustration, of a silent majority which sees itself more and more marginalized and taken for granted.

Yes, we do occasionally come across wonderful Muslims, open, friendly, who have somehow preserved the knowledge that all religions are the same, that Islam in India owes a lot to the tolerance of Indians, that Hinduism, yoga, meditation and pranayama, are India’s gifts to the world and can be practiced by Muslims, Christians and Hindus alike. I have personally met quite a few of them, within the Art Of Living Family, for example. But they are such rarities. And even those educated Muslims, whom you can talk to, will not go as far as criticizing the Koran. Look at Javed Akhtar’s poetic tearjerker on the Bombay blasts (“As a human being, I shudder to think how can my fellow humans do something so heinous? Are these terrorists made of flesh and blood? Do they laugh and cry like us”?). Not once Akhtar, who has made a favourite pastime of deriding Hindu Gurus, said that all these crimes are committed in the name of Islam and the Koran, “his” religion and “his” Scriptures…

So will Islam ultimately convert itself? Because the problem is not with Muslims, but with the Koran. Will it, instead of feeling totally paranoiac, thinking that it is under attack everywhere, whether it is Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir, or France, realize that it is actually Islam which is the aggressor all over the world, that Muslims who have settled in France or India, or the UK, and which these countries have sincerely accepted, giving them citizenship and the same rights as any French, Indian or German citizens, are actually biting the hand that fed them ? Will the mullahs of Islam accept to sit down and reform the Koran, which is a perfectly acceptable scripture for the Middle ages, when mentalities were very different, but which today still propagates an aggressive, exclusive, and dangerous zeal in its children?

This is what we are all hoping for. This is what most Western leaders secretly crave for, when they go out of their way to praise and favour the moderate Muslims of their country. This is what spiritual leaders like His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are attempting, with a certain amount of success, by speaking to Muslim leaders, fostering ties in Muslim countries such as Iraq or Afghanistan, or reforming Kashmiri terrorists through meditation.

Unfortunately, time is running out. Muslims in India and elsewhere in the world do not understand is that we are slowly losing our innocence. At the moment, Islam still benefits from the sympathy of the media, which constantly negates Islamic fundamentalism, making a hero for instance of the Chechen warlord Shamil Bassayev, recently killed, who organized the gruesome massacre of hundreds of children in Beslan and a villain of Vladimir Putin (or a hero of Sadddam Hussain and a monster of Bush) but it is slowly losing that sympathy. Sooner or later nearly the entire world will wage a war against Islam, from Europe to China, from the Ural to Pakistan.

There will also come a time, which is not very far, where everybody will become wary of anything Islamic. Anyone looking slightly Muslim, in a plane, in a train, in a shopping mall, will be looked upon suspiciously. Anybody with a Muslim name will have problems entering any country. Those who have Muslim friends will quietly stop seeing them or find some excuses not to meet them. It is already happening. Muslims will cry themselves hoarse and speak of persecution. But they will have only themselves to blame: they did not speak up as a community when innocents all over the world were killed in the name of their religion .

And this may be the way Islam will slowly disappear. Muslims with a little common sense, or just maybe with a sense of survival, will start changing their names quietly, they will stop going to the Mosque, they will send their children to Christian or Hindu schools. Governments will clamp down so hard on their own Muslims, there will be so many restrictions on them, that entire families, will move out of the Muslim enclaves you find all over the world, to resettle elsewhere. Jehadis facing certain death even if they are not suicide bombers, will melt back in civilian life. Muslims will slowly lose faith in the righteousness and the power of their own religion, become atheists, or even embrace back Hinduism, as 90% of Muslims in India are Hindu converts. It may take a few decades, a hundred years even, But Islam will surely disappear in the alleys of history and what look now like menacing, dangerous, foreboding force will be looked upon as just another religion that came and passed away..

Unless Islam converts itself…

Francois Gautier

Francois is the South Asia correspondent of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (valeursactuelles.fr), as well as the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde, published by Harmattan.fr. He is also the author of “A History of India as it Happened” (Har Anand, Delhi). He is has built a museum in Pune, Lohegaon.

http://www.factmuseum.com.

Follow him on:

Facebook: @francoisgautierofficial,

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WHAT IS IT TO BE AN INDIAN AMERICAN TODAY ?

What is it to be an Indian today? What is meant by Indian-ness ? What is it to be an Indian abroad – in the United States, for instance ? How much of yourself do you give to your American identity – and how much space do you preserve for your Indian-ness? These are the questions that Indian expatriates should ask themselves today. For we see many of the children of Indians who settled in the US twenty or thirty years ago, merge themselves totally in the American way of life, speak with an American accent, eat Mac Donald, think American… and in the process forget all about their wonderful Indian culture…

I love America and I think, contrary to many Europeans who have demonized the USA, that America always stood fearlessly for freedom, saved Europe twice during the two world wars and today is the only nation willing to face and fight Islamic terrorism. This said, what is it in the American way of life, which fascinates so much Indians ? The fast life ? Right: fast is exciting; but Americans live so fast, eating their breakfast in their cars on the way to work, gulping down these huge amounts of meat and French fries at lunch or dinner, always on the move, that not only they often grow immensely fat, but also catch ulcers and get heart attacks by the time they reach sixty five. What else dazzles Indians in the American way of life ? The lights? True, New York is a fascinating city, with its illuminated skyscrapers, its million of pulsating lights, its giant electronic billboards, its fancy bars, that one feels a kind of throbbing vitality entering oneself as one walks the streets by night. But what a waste of energy, when the world is fast losing its sources of energies; and is isn’t this a kind of artificial vitality, that fades away when one wakes-up in the morning, with a hangover and one has to face the reality of life ? What else ? America’s Nature ? No doubt, the United States boasts some wonderful pieces of nature and Americans have shown us what it means to plant trees and live in a green environment: even Washington is densely wooded. But Nature can also be an illusion here: a highway is never very far from the forest, with its thousands of cars pouring out millions of cubic feet of carbon dioxide, which annihilates natures bounty, as the Los Angeles smog amply demonstrates. Besides, America is an unending suburban concrete jungle, with its boring repetition of mega stores, parking lots, and KFC’s. And when you have seen a city, you have seen them all. What else? The “quality” of American life: barbecue parties, beaches, tattoos, fun and frolic? Yes, except that one out of three American couples divorce within three years, one out of four Americans consults a psychiatrist for depression, bulimia, schizophrenia or plain boredom, and American children regularly indulge in shooting other children, just because they are exposed to so much violence…

Is this the legacy you want to bequeath to your children, O Hindu brothers and sisters, who are longing so much for the American way of life ? For this great brain drain, this bleeding of India’s heart and lungs, which has been going for so long, does not affect only the ordinary middle and upper class “secular” Indian, but also many good Hindus, who put their children in the best US universities and accept the fact that these children will settle in the American way of life and will probably never go back to India. True, their kids get heftier pay checks in the US , better facilities, they escape the Indian bureaucracy, red tape, corruption, slowness… But what are they going to bequeath to their own children in the long run: insecurity, violence, divorce, depression and above all their offspring, unknowingly, will be afflicted by a loss of identity: they will not know, nor feel anymore in themselves, as their grandparents did, this natural space of Indian-ness, which automatically confers certain qualities. What is that Indian-ness?

Firstly and foremost: “I accept you; I accept that you may be White or Black, Red or Yellow, Christian, Buddhist, or Muslim”. Not only that, “but I am even ready to go and worship in a church or a mosque, besides my temple.” “I accept that my Gods are avatars, incarnations of the Divine, but so is Jesus Christ, and also Buddha and even Mohamed”. This an extraordinary statement and a marvelous instrument towards world peace, at a time when the two great monotheist religions of the world, Islam and Christianity still say: “there is only one true God in the world – mine- and if you worship any other god, you are an Infidel and a Pagan and it is my right to convert you by any means, or even to kill you”. The 11th September 2001 attacks are nothing but a result of that dangerous theorem. As a result, Indians adapt easily wherever they go, particularly in the West, as they are very open to western culture. Of course, Indians also go to the other extreme: “not only I accept you, but I am going to become exactly like you – no even Whiter than the White: I am going to denigrate my own culture, spit on my religion, belittle my countrymen”. This is why you come across so often in the US in negative articles on India written by Indians – nay by Hindus. The Gujurat massacres were actually a great opportunity for these Hindu haters, such as Pankaj Mishra, to come out full blast and prove to the world that India is a land of Hindu fundamentalists where nobody is safe, particularly the Muslims “who are regularly victims of pogroms”. P.Mishra conveniently forgot to mention that India is an extraordinary country of freedom, where all persecuted religious minorities in the world have found refuge over the centuries, whether the Jews, the Parsis, the Syrian Christians, or today the Tibetans.

What else ? “I have inherited from my ancestors the tools to become a better man, whatever my religion, ethnicity and profession: a better Christian, a better Hindu, a better Muslim, carpenter, or CEO, IT engineer, or sailor”. What are these tools ? Hata-yoga, India’s gift to the world, which has been copied and imitated everywhere (although Time magazine did a story on yoga without mentioning the name “India” once). What else ? Meditation, this extraordinary technique of coming back to one’s Self, of settling the mind and the body, which is today practiced by millions around the world – another bequest of India to humanity. Pranayama, the science of respiration, perfected by Indians for three millenniums. “Does the breath have any religion”, asks Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the founder of the Art of Living movement, which has spread today in 150 countries?

What first generations Indians in the States should ask themselves today is “How can I repay my debt to India” ? After all not only they got a nearly free education in India which was good enough for them to obtain well paid jobs in the US, but did they not also inherit that certain Indian-ness, which has been a great help to adapt to the American way of life? As for second, or third, or even fourth generations Indian Americans, what they should tell themselves is “”what can I do for my country” ? “In what way can I contribute to this great nation which is India, which is so maligned and sidelined in the United States” ? And the first thing they can do is to counteract the highly unfair and biased press coverage which India gets in America by writing to editors, or challenging the shameful coverage of New York Times (which went all out against Mr Narendra Modi quite a few times), or canvassing their elected representatives.

Finally, Mr Trump has no understanding, no knowledge of India and Hindus in particular, as some of his statements have shown. He also thinks that the problem will be over once he fully withdraws his troops from Afghanistan. He makes a big mistake there: he should have given India a bigger say on the post Afghanistan scenario. By implicitly trusting Pakistan, who actually created the Taliban, he will leave chaos behind him. Aghanistan will be again the prey of the Taliban and jehadis will be free to fully direct their terror toards Kashmir and India – and eventually towards the US, which they bitterly hate. Is it not time for Hindus in the United States to exert infuence on the US Congress and convince them that India is the natural ally – pro-western, democrattic, liberal – in Asia, preyed by Islamic fundamentalism and hegemonic China? But for that, Hindu groups should start regrouping themselves under an “Hindu American” banner. They would thus become a powerful lobby, in the way the US Jewish   influence American politics…

François Gautier

Francois is the South Asia correspondent of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (valeursactuelles.fr), as well as the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde, published by Harmattan.fr. He is also the author of “A History of India as it Happened” (Har Anand, Delhi). He is has built a museum in Pune, Lohegaon.

http://www.factmuseum.com.

Follow him on: Facebook/francoisgautierofficial, Twitter:@fgautier26, Instagram:francoisgautier26. email: fgautier26@rediffmail.com

 

Hindu Power ( Part III)

« Hindus are cowards and Muslims bullies », the Mahatma Gandhi once famously said. And this seems to be fairly true: today at the least sign of trouble, Hindus stay home, shy from confrontation, or outright run away. We indeed witnessed how the 400.000 Hindus of Kashmir, who had done no crime, except being Hindus, fled the Valley of Kashmir under terror, without firing a single shot in self defence, losing all their ancestral homes and lands and becoming refugees in their own country. Hindus who are also persecuted in Bangladesh or Pakistan, and even in West Bengal, in districts where illegal Bangladeshis outnumber them, rarely defend themselves (except under the lone and courageous Tapan Ghosh). In Assam, where the same situation arises, it is the Christian Bodos who took up arms, not the Hindus. How is that possible, when Hindus are still nearly 80 % of India and have their own government that of the BJP, in power at the Center?

Many have tried to analyse this weakening of the Hindu psyche, that resulted in a loss of power for 450 years. Among the causes that have been spoken off, we find Buddhism‘s uncompromising stance on non-violence, which seems to have blunted the Kshatriyas spirit of the Hindus. But that cannot be the total explanation, as Buddhism was wiped out of from India by the successive Muslim invasions, whereas Hinduism survived. Various historians have also pointed out that the biggest genocide in the history of Humanity must be that of the Hindus: from the time of the Hindu Kush (which means the killing of Hindus), when Muhammad Ghori, after having defeated Prithviraj Chauhan, took away in winter 500.000 slaves to Afghanistan, the majority of whom died of cold in the Kyber pass, to Timur , who killed one hundred thousand Hindus in one day. it has been calculated that 100 millions Hindus died directly or indirectly because of invasions. This has left a scar of terror in the Hindu collective unconscious, that can be observed even today, as Hindus panic so easily, and are the most undisciplined community in the word, cheating, breaking queues and always trying to bypass the laws.

Certainly, the British colonisation, though it was much less brutal, left a mark in the Hindu consciousness: Hindus learnt not to think for themselves but to think the way the British did. From great innovators, they became brilliant copiers. The English also fashioned an Indian intellectual class, surviving till today, which looks at India through British eyes, that is negatively, often with contempt and misunderstanding. Mahatma Gandhi added his bit, by his refusal to see the harm that was done to India by his always accommodating Jinnah’s demands, and his equally rigid insistence on non-violence. Indeed, though most history books credit the Mahatma with the freedom of India, it is early revolutionaries, such as Sri Aurobindo or Gangadhar Tilak , who believed in the re-igniting of Hindu power and the booting out the British, by force if necessary, who where its true initiators. Guilty too, the first Prime Minister of India, Nehru, who thought that his country did not need a powerful army, which led to the disastrous defeat against the Chinese in 1962. He also compromised on Kashmir, when the Indian soldiers had the upper hand, and went instead to the UN, thus, legating the problem that is flaring up today in Uri and elsewhere in the Valley. It is this combination of Buddhism, Gandhism, colonisation, Nehruvianism and trauma of invasions, which have eroded, not only Hindu power, but also the capability of Hindus to hold power and wield it efficiently when they have it. Therefore, Hindus, even when they come to head the government of India, have the tendency to stretch their hand first to the enemy, witness Mr Vajpayee going in the ‘Peace bus’ to Lahore, while Musharraf was sending his soldiers to grab Kargil; or Mr @NarendraModi attending Nawaz Sharif’s granddaughter’s wedding and then be caught of guard in Uri a few years back. Compassion can only be exercised when you are strong and ready. Yet, it is not that there is no precedent to learn from: a thousand years ago, Mohamed Ghori rewarded Prithivaj Chahan’s generosity in letting him go free, when he lost the first battle of Tarain, by attacking Chauhan treacherously a year later, blinding him and ultimately executing him…

The irony is that Hindus could take example on how to exercise power from one their most famous Scriptures, the Baghavad Gita and the Kurukshetra war. There we see Krishna, telling Arjuna that on one hand in battle you only kill the body of your enemy – not the soul – as it is indestructible and is reborn later in another body; and on the other, commanding Arjuna to fight physically and ruthlessly, even against people whom Arjuna knows and loves, so that righteousness is re-established. This is what Hindus have lost today: the courage to fight for what they believe in, physically, if need be, and to be merciless against the enemy. The modern Kurukshetra battle today has to be fought against Pakistan, a nuclear nation that is manufacturing terror as others export cars; and even more with China, an intelligent, ruthless and deadly enemy, which is using Pakistan in its proxy war with India.

As we are talking about Hindu Power, we need here to stop and redefine the word ‘Hindu’, which is the subject of much misunderstanding. If one reads properly the Vedas, the Upanishads or the Bhagavad Gita, at no time is it mentioned that Hinduism is a religion. In fact, the word ‘Hindu’ never comes-up for centuries and it seems that it is first the Portuguese who used it to designate people who lived on the banks of the Indus river. What is a Hindu then ? Firstly, he or she is one who recognize that God has many names and scriptures, each adapted to a particular time and people. Secondly, a Hindu refuses to sanction the monopoly of one God, or one Scripture as the only way to salvation. Thirdly he or she believes that each action, good or bad, carries a repercussion in this life or future ones – and that it has nothing to do with the Christian concept of sin – but is just a mathematical equation. Hindus believe also in Dharma, the path of righteousness; but again nothing in common with the American notion of Good & Bad: what helps an individual or a nation towards self fulfilment is Dharma; and what impedes them, is a-Dharma – Chanakya had got it right. Hindus also believe that the soul takes birth in a physical body, dies, gets reborn, until it has attained Perfection. Finally, Hindus over the ages have fashioned tools to help them in their karma and dharma: pranayama, meditation asanas & and all kinds of yoga – of devotion (bhakti), or knowledge (Jana), or perfection in work (karma yoga)….

Thus it could be said that one can be an Indian Christian, an Indian Muslim, an Indian Jew, or from any other religion, and still practice Hinduism – not the religion, but the spiritual belief that all human beings are equal and that the whole world is One Family. In the old times, Indian Christians and Muslims were more integrated in this way of thinking: one remembers that Sufism was prevalent in Kashmir till the arrival of Pakistani and Afghan hard Sunni influence in the early eighties; or that Syrian Christians, till the arrival of the Portuguese, had borrowed many Hindu local customs. Today even, an Abdul Kalam showed us that one could be a true Muslim, and still quote from the Bhagavad Gita; or Leander Paes, born Christian, demonstrates too, that all Christians can be proud to represent India and be great friends of Hindus.

Hence the taking over India by a genuine Hindu Power need not be feared by minorities and should be welcomed by the western and eastern world. For it would mean an India powerful, friendly, but when necessary ruthless, as was the case after the Balakot attacks. It will also, in true Hindu spirit, recognize and respect the wonderful diversity – religious ethnic and cultural – of this great and ancient country that is India…

(To be continued)

 

Francois Gautier

 

HINDU POWER (PART II)

Hindu power, often wielded in a (true) secular manner, by Chandragupta, King Harsha, or the great Shivaji Maharaj, was snatched away from Hindus for centuries, after the bloody sack of Vijaynagar. It came back 450 years later, with the election of Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who bungled the chance, through sheer complacency. Then came Mr @NarendraModi…

Mr Modi, has done an outstanding job in the five years he was in power before being re-elected in2019: he has initiated economic reforms, such as pushing through the much needed GST bill, inaugurated a Clean India movement which is absolutely indispensable, given the present state, restored some of India’s international reputation by making a number of visits abroad and tried to streamline the bloated Indian bureaucracy. Yet, we now notice on the Social Media, specially after all the attacks on Hindus and their places of worships, a certain uneasiness on the part of some of those who voted for him, because they don’t recognize the outspoken, no-nonsense, tough Gujarat CM, in Modi the Prime Minister of India. They understand that as the leader of all Indians, Mr Modi has to rise above partisanship, but they also realize that there isn’t really at the moment a true re-establishing of Hindu power, as temples continue to be under government rule, Indians still cannot buy land or open businesses in Kashmir, while Muslim Kashmiris are selling everywhere in India their carpets and shawls, the Chinese continue to bully India, even blocking its access to the nuclear club (NSG) and Kashmir got out of control, after the unfortunate alliance with the PDP.

Now, why is it that some Hindus feel that Mr Modi may have lost touch with what they expected – rightly so, as they elected him ? They answer is simple: Delhi ! Delhi is a big bubble, plonked all the way up in the North, far from the South, even the Center of India where everything is decided, often in an a arbitrary manner, where journalists, politicians, diplomats, huddle together in seminars, parties and embassy cocktails, repeating the same clichés, which in turn are taken-up by foreign correspondents: secularism, ‘Hindu fundamentalism’ or the eternal obsession of all Indologists – for India’s caste problems (whereas since Independence, if there is one thing that the @IndianCongress did, it is to have worked hard on promoting lower castes, and that quite successfully). Furthermore, while in Gujarat Mr Modi, was in the Center of India, and made himself available to contacts, meeting many people from all walks of life, in Delhi, he is surrounded by a quadruple layer of security, innumerable PA’s, PS’s, high bureaucrats, ministers, which is all a Congress legacy, a straightjacket that he, and his ministers are trapped into, even if it is against their will.

Thus, he may not know anymore, what the common people, who brought him to power, really think and wish. He may also err into believing that hobnobbing with Trump, the Chinese president, or Angela Merkel, is rewarding to the millions of Hindus who have elected him. Neither will the economic progress that India will undoubtedly make in five years under his vigilant rule, as Mr Vajpayee has demonstrated before. Mr Modi, may also be making a mistake by thinking that sending his External Affairs minister to the canonisation of Mother Teresa will earn him the Christian votes in India or that meeting Amir Khan, who signed numerous petitions against him after Godhra, will win him Muslim votes. It is clear after the five years in power of Mr Vajpayee, who went all out to woo the Media, with his (nice) Friday man Suddeendhra Kulkarni, that neither the Indian intelligentsia, nor the Muslims, nor the Christians will ever vote for the BJP.

Right: some of us think that Mr Modi will take all the hard decisions, such as the removal of the article 370, during his second term, as has also now a majority in the Raja Sabha. But the question is: will he? This is doubtful – as the PM started his 2d term, speaking of ‘inclusiveness’ has kept quiet about murders of Hindus and has gone out of his way to woo Muslims, Christians and cricketers (in that order). Does it mean an end – at least for a long time – of (real) Hindu power. Whatever its faults, the Congress knows how to wield power. Though most of its members are Hindus, it does not have any Hindu goody-goodiness or feeling of guilt, about being ruthless, cynical, and using any means, however unethical, to reach its goals.

Many on Twitter or Facebook have expressed the view that Mr Narendra Modi is the best chance for Hindu power that has happened in centuries and that he cannot misuse it. In the next four and half years, that are remaining with him, the Prime Minister needs thus to please his Hindu electorate, in the same way the Congress has shown that it always pleases its own traditional Muslim and Christian voters. There has to be some hard decisions, that are mid-way to those he pledged before being elected, such as removing the perks, travel expenses and Z security for the Kashmiris separatist leaders. Hindus do not understand, especially after the Uri killings, why hundreds of crores of their tax money are spent on those men who advocate a violent separation from India. Mrs Sonia Gandhi had for ten years an Advisory Board, and in this way she was able to get some feel about what the people of India desired. Why did Mr Modi refuse the same proposal that was put up in front of him, so that every month he could listen to the opinions of a rotating board of twelve representatives of Indians from business, religious, societal, or cultural spheres? That would be one way that he gets opinions different to those he receives from his own cabinet, high bureaucrats and entourage who often give “yes ministers” opinions in true Bhakti tradition.

Morever, Mr Modi, while keeping a certain imperial aloofness, needs too to show a tougher image than the one he is projecting now – versus the Chinese for instance that are still claiming huge chunks of Indian territory, built a road between Sinkiang and Pakistan, and are surrounding India from all sides, from Nepal to Burma, from Sri Lanka to Pakistan. Hindus need to be protected: India is the only country in the world where Indians have become refugees in their own country – remember the 400.000 Hindus of the Valley of Kashmir, who where chased out of their ancestral lands and houses by violence. Hindus are also persecuted in Pakistan, Bangladesh, or even Fiji and require support. As one tweeter said: “we need a Putin of India not a second Vajpayee”.

Hindu power however will always be compassionate: Hindu men and women are still today the only people in the world who recognise that God may manifest Himself or Herself at different times, using different names, and different scriptures. This is why a Hindu is still capable of worshipping not only in his own temple, but also to enter in a Christian church or a Muslim mosque, and that with respect and devotion. The reverse is not true. This is the last Knowledge that can save the world from the self-destructing path it has embarked upon: what happens after you die, what is karma, what is dharma, what is an avatar and how the soul, which is God’s spark in you, reincarnates itself from life to life. Mr Narendra Modi was elected to protect this Knowledge and he cannot fail this task. In today’s world, it is necessary, to have not only economic, but also military and even nuclear power, otherwise, as China showed, a nation doesn’t earn any respect. And today India is not respected the way it should, considering that contrary to China, it remains a vibrant democracy, whatever its flaws. Mr Modi thus needs to flex his muscles, while retaining the qualities of all Hindus, which is compassion and love.

Otherwise, the mistake of Pritharivaj Chauhan will be repeated. Remember the battle of Tarain in 1191: Prithviraj’s cavalry charged and routed the Muslims and captured Muhammad Ghori. Ghori begged for his life & Prithviraj allowed him to go, despite his generals telling him not to do so. And sure enough, Ghori came back in 1192 and knowing that Rajputs did not fight in the night, attacked in the early morning hours when Prithviraj and his army were sleeping and thus was able to win this one battle. 40,00,000 Rajputs were taken prisoners and executed & 22,000 women and children were captured & enslaved. Prithviraj’s was also taken to Afghanistan where his eyes were burnt with red-hot iron rods and was ultimately put to death.

Finally a quote from the great avatar of the 20th century, Sri Aurobindo: “Unhappy is the man or the nation which, when the divine moment arrives, is found sleeping or unprepared to use it… But thrice woe to them who are strong and ready, yet waste the force or misuse the moment – for them is irreparable loss or a great destruction”.

Francois Gautier

Francois is the South Asia correspondent of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (valeursactuelles.fr), as well as the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde, published by Harmattan.fr. He is also the author of “A History of India as it Happened” (Har Anand, Delhi). He is has built a museum in Pune, Lohegaon.

http://www.factmuseum.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HINDU POWER (PART I)

Once upon a time Hindus had power: emperors like Chandragupta, who was advised by the remarkable Chanakya, or Kautilya, possessed territories so vast, that they extended from Karnataka till the present day Afghanistan. His soldiers were feared by enemies – in fact, contrary to what western history books tell us, Alexander the Great, who had the most powerful army of this time, encountered tremendous resistance in India and had to retreat, dying from his wounds on the way back to Greece. Yet, Hindu power had discrimination: battles were only fought between kshatriyas, during the daytime and the crops and lives of farmers were never touched. Hindu power could also be ‘soft’: contrary to Christianity and Islam, Hindus never sought to impose militarily their religion and way of life to other nations. Yet, Hinduism went peacefully towards the East and can still be seen today in Bali, Laos or Cambodia, witness Angkor Vat; and towards the West, where it had a great influence on the Greek and Celt philosophy and religion. It should be noted that Hindus, during the centuries to come, gave refuge to all the persecuted religious minorities of the world, from the Jews to the Parsis, from the Christian Syrians to the Tibetans today.

The administration that Chanakya and Chandragupta established, was so remarkable that it was later used by the Mughals and the British with little modifications. Many more great Hindu civilisations then rose-up: in the South, for instance, the Pallavas of king Simhavishnu conquered Ceylon, as well as annexing the Chera, Cholas & Pandya kingdoms. We owe them the superb sculpted temples of Mahabalipuram and powerful cities such as Kanchipuram. Under their rule, Sanskrit went through a revival period and the mandapam technique of temples flowered like never before, as did the Bhakti movement, which gave a fresh dynamism to Hinduism. In the Centre of India, the Vardhamana dynasty of king Harsha, added Bengal and Orissa, to an already powerful empire that included today’s UP, Bihar, and even spread northwards towards Nepal and Kashmir. French historian Alain Danielou wrote « that King Harsha symbolised all that was right in Hindu monarchy, wielding an absolute power, but each sphere of administration was enjoying a large autonomy and the villages were functioning like small republics ».

Even after successive centuries of violent Arabs invasions, Portuguese and Chinese travellers still marvelled at the land of ’milk and honey’ that India was, where practically ‘no beggars could be seen’. The last great Hindu Empire was that of Vijayanagar, where the kings also ruled in a dharmic manner and provided justice, education to all, freedom of religion and the flowering of art and culture. Historians tell us that the sacking of Vijayanagar was one of the most bloody ever in the history of India: rivers ran red with bloods for days, ten of thousands of Hindus were brutally killed, the looting went for six months, all the statues had their noses and ears chopped and every Muslim soldier went back to his land with a bounty of gold, horses, women and slaves…

Hindu power then vanished for nearly 450 years. The British, who rightly understood that Hindus were the principle obstacle to their colonising the land and the minds of India, further undermined Hindu Power by dividing India on the lines of religion and castes, a legacy that lingers even after Independence, and shaping-up in Cambridge and Oxford an elite class of Indians who today still think and act British. In 1947, Nehru who had already embraced the British idea of socialism, saw to it that Hindus still be denied any form of power, by promoting other religions, erasing from history books most traces of Hindu greatness, taking over Hindu temples, and restraining the few Indian Hindu nationalists, whom he had to admit to his Govt, such as the no-nonsense Sardar Patel.

In the year 2000, Hindus at last came back to power, when Atal Bihari Vajpayee was elected Prime Minister of India. Hindus had great hope in him, but Mr Vajpayee, in true Hindu tradition, showed lack of insight, by giving orders to leave Sonia Gandhi alone and driving to Lahore in a’ peace bus’, while Pakistani President Musharraf was sending his disguised soldiers to take over the Kargil hills. The BJP was also complacent, thinking that the little bit economic progress they brought to India, would be enough to win the next elections. But the Congress was re-elected for ten years and Mrs Gandhi, far from being grateful, mercilessly went all out after the BJP and Narendra Modi. And once more, Hindu power was snatched away.

Then Mr @NarendraModi appeared on the scene: he was a remarkable chief Minister of Gujarat, making of his state the most prosperous in India, the less corrupt, the greenest and the only one where ministers actually worked for the people – instead of for themselves or their parties. Many did not forgive him for not calling the army immediately after the anti-Muslim riots, triggered by the burning of Hindu pilgrims in the Sabarmati train, but that did not stop him from positioning himself as a prime ministerial candidate.

More than even Mr Vajpayee, Mr Modi became Prime Minister of India in 2014 on a united Hindu vote, from the Dalits to the Brahmins. Hindus voted Mr Narendra Modi to power, because he pledged many things that they had been yearning for a long time: a Common Civil Code, the removal of article 370, or the building of the Ram temple in Ayodhya. They also liked the fact that Mr Modi was a fiery Hindu, so different from Mr Vajpayee: he called a spade a spade, was not afraid of naming his enemies and was a passionate and eloquent orator. Mr Modi thus became Prime Minister of India with a huge majority, and all Hindus hoped that power had come back to them after 5 centuries, for at least several generations… (to be continued)…

François Gautier

Francois is the South Asia correspondent of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles (valeursactuelles.fr), as well as the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde, published by Harmattan.fr. He is also the author of “A History of India as it Happened” (Har Anand, Delhi). He is has built a museum in Pune, Lohegaon.

http://www.factmuseum.com.

Follow him on: Facebook/francoisgautierofficial, Twitter:@fgautier26, Instagram:francoisgautier26. email: fgautier26@rediffmail.com

I do believe that @NarendraModi is some sort of vibhuti, a divine instrument that comes from epoch to epoch, to do in a decade what would take hundreds of years. Nevertheless…

I do believe that Narendra Modi is some sort of vibhuti, a divine instrument that comes from epoch to epoch, to do in a decade what would take hundreds of years. Nevertheless, even vibhutis are human and since coming to power in this big arrogant bubble that is Delhi, far away from the rest of India, the PM has imperceptibly veered away from his core HIndu-dharmic duty and shed away important reforms, such as Article 35A, the Ram Mandir, the Govt take over of Hindu temples (see what is happening now in Tirupati the most sacred of Hindu temples), the return of Kashmiri Pandits (which will remain a dream), the ABSOLUTELY essential rewriting of school curriculums and history books, etc. Also there is an aura now of an emperor like infallibility, and a certain arrogance, which is not yogic in its essence, around Mr Modi . Like Vajpayee, does he wants to be seen as a reasonable center right leader, who is inclusive of so called minorities, (who have persecuted Hindus for centuries and still continue to bully them), and not be seen as favouring Hindus, who nevertheless remain his core voters? This is a crucial question.
No doubt, as the first month of the second term has shown, Mr Modi will do FANTASTIC work, specially on the economic, social and foreign policy front. This is indispensable, if India is to become a genuine superpower on par with China, the US and Europe and be respected by these (which is not yet the case). But in the Dharmic parlance, in the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita, what is also needed, is a WARRIOR, even ruthless-like approach towards the enemies of Hindus, who are the bearers of the LAST spiritual Knowledge in this world, a consolidation and unification of  Hindus, both in India and in the world, beyond castes and social barriers, so that Swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo’s vision of that Knowledge which the Hindus are holding – ‘what is karma, what is dharma, what happens when I die, why am I reborn, what are the tools to lead a better life, etc’ – spreads openly unto the world and saves it from the certain doom that it is going unfailingly towards.
My feeling is that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) of Narendra Modi, even with @AmitShah as its number two, (who already castigated the Rajasthan BJP chief, when he rightly objected putting Maharana Pratap, a hero of the Hindus, and Akbar, a foreign invader and killer of Hindus (however better he was compared to Aurangzeb), on the same platform),  will shy away from these bold and absolutely NECESSARY steps in the next five years and will keep at arm length those who are seen as too pro -Hindu, such as Dr. Subramanian Swamy or myself (who offered countless times to constitute an Advisory Board that will give Mr Modi genuine feedback on how his visionary reforms percolate – or not – to the ground, as he hears only praise from his core group of high bureaucrats and is a bit cut off from hearing the people’s voice by the 7 rings of security surrounding him and also the sycophancy that any Indian PM experiences).
This said, I remain a staunch supporter of Mr Narendra Modi as he is the best for India and the Indian National Congress  alternative would set back Bharat for centuries.
But maybe I am wrong. What do YOU think?