HINDU POWER: 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES FOR HINDUS (PART V)

Help India become the alternative to China.  Emphasize again and again in western forums that India is the natural economic and geopolitical partner of the USA and the rest of the civilized world. For contrary to China, it is democratic, pro-western, liberal, with a middle class as important as China’s. Tell them that the West has banked all their investments on China, neglecting India, the other giant of Asia, which is a grave mistake because some social upheaval is bound to happen in China sooner or later, as it is now in Hong Kong, because as soon as the authoritarian hold is removed one way or another. Highlight the fact that India is a much safer bet in the long run for western investments. Already India’s PIB has overtaken the Chinese, who are facing a lot of economic difficulties. Tell them that at the very least, the US, UK and Europe should balance their chips by investing half of them in India – the Prime Minister, Mr Modi is in the process of liberalizing the economy and making it easier for foreign investors. Tell them that India is the next economic superpower and that it has a much better human rights record than China.

 It is also very important that you point out that India is the natural geopolitical buffer of the West in an Asia racked by Islamic fundamentalism and the Chinese thirst for hegemony (explain to the British that Beijing is claiming for instance an Indian state as big as England – Arunachal Pradesh). The UK and the US also keep making the mistake of funding and arming Pakistan, even when they fully know that the Pakistanis have unleashed Islamic terrorism not only towards Kashmir, but unto the whole world.

Spread Happiness in the West. “India will become the spiritual leader of the world”, Swami Vivekananda had predicted. Thus share with your western friends the fact that hatha yoga, today practiced by hundreds of millions in the world, is a Hindu invention. Tell them too that Ayurveda, also taking the West by storm, is the oldest medical system still in practice in the world; that much before the West knew it used plants and minerals to cure people, knew that many illnesses have psychosomatic sources, and that Indian doctors practiced plastic surgery 1000 years before Christ. Talk about Pranayama, the most exacting, precise, mathematical, powerful breathing discipline one can dream of. Its effects and results have been observed and categorised by Indian yogis for millenniums. This extraordinary knowledge, brings in very quickly wonderful results in both the well being of the body and the quietude of the mind. Pushed to its extreme, it gives to the disciple deep spiritual experiences and a true inner perception of the world. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has revitalized this science and packaged it in modern terms. Help them to practice meditation, queen of all the yogic sciences, that which is above everything, that without which any yogic discipline is impossible. That which interiorizes us, carries us within ourselves, to the discovery of our true soul and nature. There are hundreds of different mediation techniques, simple, cartesian, easy to experience, which have been devised by Indian sages since the dawn of Bharat. Each one has its own characteristics, each one gives particular results, which has been experienced by the billions of aspirants who have practiced them since the dawn of Vedic times. This is the Wonder that IS Hinduism, tell them.

In conclusion, when the Hindus help shed these prejudices which have been harming their image, they can not only continue to contribute to the world’s economic growth, as they have done for several decades, but also, once they participate more intensely in the political power, be recognized as a distinguished community, with a separate and honored identity. Francois Gautier

 

HINDU POWER: 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES FOR HINDUS (PART IV)

Take political power in the West & Unite.  You know by now that wherever Hindus exiled themselves, they did well, whether as laborers in Mauritius or doctors in the UK or IT engineers in the USA! They pay their taxes, integrate themselves, do not riot, their children top in colleges and universities and generally blend in the culture of the country they adopted. Everybody also knows that some of the biggest multinationals, such as Adobe, Microsoft, Diageo, Mastercard, Google, Pepsi, or others are today headed by Indians – read Hindus.

Yet, Hindus are individualistic people and they tend to look down on politics, as something ‘dirty’. This is why they did not always get the politicians they deserve in their home country. We see today that a lot of Muslims are elected in local boroughs or even towns in the US and UK, or even as Mayor of London. That is good and should be praised. But it is also true that often these Muslim leaders tend to think only of their community and sometimes use their offices to enforce the vision of their particular communities, such as segregated swimming pools, or even try to modify British textbooks. Hindus, with their universal outlook will not do such things. But they need to come out of their shells and stand for elections at all levels of the British political system.

Another drawback of Hindus in the UK and the USA, is that they are terribly disunited and are splintered in many groups, along states of origins, profession, or even castes, sometimes even are at odds with each other. Hindus in the USA & UK should therefore unite under one umbrella organization & the united Hindu diaspora leadership should meet at least once a year with a rotating president.

Explain Narendra Modi. There is a lot of disinformation floating around India, specially after the abrogation of Article 370 by the PM, which saw so much negative and untruthful coverage by the western Media – BBC in particular. We saw how poverty, caste and polytheism still hang around Hindus’ necks, but what about political misconceptions? For instance, Hindus in the West should offer some counter arguments on the disinformation about Mr Narendra Modi, India’s present prime Minister. They should first remind their friends, that Mr Modi had made of his state, Gujarat, the most efficient, most prosperous and least corrupt of all the states of India. Of course, he is labeled “anti-Muslim and accused him of having engineered the 2002 Gujarat anti-Muslim riots. But remind them that these riots were triggered by the horrifying murder of 57 Hindus, 36 of them innocent women and children, burnt like animals in the Sabarmati Express. Riots of that intensity like in Gujarat, do not happen in a day, they are a result of long term pent-up angers and a spark like the killing of Hindu brothers and sisters, whose only crime was that they believed that the God Ram was born in Ayodhya, is enough the ignite the smoldering fire.

Ask your British friends if it is logical that only Mr Modi is targeted? But who went down in the streets in fury in 2002? Hundreds, if not thousands of Gujuratis, not only from the lower strata of society, not only Dalits, but also middle class, and sometimes even upper middle class! Should they also not be judged and condemned? But then it would be the whole of Gujarat who should be hauled to court, an ancient and noble race, who gave so much to India, including Mahatma Gandhi, and today is still exporting all over the world its upright and successful businessmen, to the UK or the US, for instance, where they own most of the motels. Finally, tell them that it was never proved that Mr Modi waited 24 hours before calling the army to quell the riots.

 

François Gautier

HINDU POWER: 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES FOR HINDUS (PART II)

  1. Explain the caste system to westerners. Caste is still a curse that hangs around India’s neck. While it is true that 75% marriages are still arranged in India, Hindus in the US, UK and elsewhere, need to whisper in the ears of their western friends that the Indian Government has made tremendous efforts since 1947 to uplift the lower castes. And it has succeeded in great measure. Tell them that your present Prime Minister comes from one of the lowest castes and was a tea seller, that some of today’s Indian Chief Ministers are untouchables, or that one of India’s best known saints, Amrita Anandamayi, who has hundreds of thousands of disciples in the US, UK, & millions all over the world, and has built hospitals, universities, housings for the poor, comes from the lowest caste possible in Kerala.

You can also ask your western friends if the caste system is really that worse than the huge class differences you can see nowadays in Europe or the USA!

 

  1. Dispel the notion that Hindus can be fundamentalists and violent. Hindus need to repeat again and again to their British brothers and sisters that the only country in the world where Jews were never persecuted is India. Tell them that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, or rather in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. Explain that the average Hindu that you meet in a million villages, possesses this simple, innate spirituality in his or her genes and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. It is this ‘Hindu-ness’ (which cannot be experienced if you sit in Delhi most of the time) that makes most Indian Christians different, from say a French Christian, or an Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. Also that Hindus have given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis (Iranian worshippers of Zarathustra), the Jews, the Armenians, or today the Tibetans (the real Tibet is in India now, as the one in the hands of the Chinese has lost much of its Tibetan character). Thus you cannot find less fundamentalist than a Hindu in this world and Hindus in the US, UK & Europe, should immediately react when they read articles in the British Press (often unfortunately from New Delhi-based correspondents) trying to equate Islamic terrorism, which blow-up innocent civilians, to angry ordinary Hindus who burn churches without killing anybody. Tell them that however reprehensible was the destruction of the Babri Masjid (a Mosque built in the 15th century by Muslim invader Babar on a very ancient and holy Hindu temple dedicated to the God Ram), no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this with the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Mumbai, which wiped-out hundreds of innocent, mostly Hindus. Yet, the Babri Masjid  destruction is often described by journalists as the most horrible act of the two. Today, you can argue with your western friends, Hindus are one of the most successful, law abiding and integrated communities in the world. Can you call them terrorists?

 

FG

 

 

 

 

HINDU POWER: 21ST CENTURY CHALLENGES FOR HINDUS

Every 6th person on this Planet is a Hindu and Hindus still constitute the overwhelming majority in India – nearly 80% of the population. Humanity needs thus to re-discover the wonder that is Hinduism, the oldest spirituality still in practice in the world. It is also true that Hindus must to rise to the challenges of this second millennium. Here they are – in order of difficulty.

  1. Break the Polytheist image. One of the most enduring clichés about Hinduism is that Hindus adore a multitude of gods and goddesses, which makes them heathens in the eyes of Christians, thus good to be converted to the ‘true’ God, often with unethical financial baits; & ‘kafirs’ for Muslims from all over the world, particularly from neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, which encourages them to wage a jihad on India.

Yet, Hinduism, whether you want to call it a religion or a spiritual system, is without doubt one of the most monotheist creeds in the world, because it always recognized that the One is Many and that He incarnates Himself or Herself in a multitude of forms – hence the million of gods & goddesses in the Hindu pantheon. Vedic Sages (from the Vedas, the oldest and most sacred Scriptures of Hinduism) had understood that man has to be given a multiplicity of different approaches to the Unfathomable. And truly, for the Hindus, the Divine cannot be “this” or “that” – neti, neti. In its essence, He cannot be several – or even one – and thus can never be perfectly seized by the human mind. Indeed, Hindus, who were once upon a time the best dialecticians in the world (and this is maybe why they are today the top software programmers of this planet), were able to come-up with this kind of equation: a) God is in the world; b) the world is in God; c) the world is God; d) God and the world are distinct; e) God is distinct from the world, but the world is not distinct from God; f) it is impossible to discern if the world is distinct from God or not… Never has the unique nature of Hindu polytheism been better defined.

Hindus in the world need to emphasize to their western brothers and sisters that they have also always recognized the divinity of other religions, as their concept of the avatar (the different forms that the Divine takes at different times to incarnate Himself or Herself in a human form) helped them to accept the reality of other prophets, masters or gurus. It is, for instance, perfectly acceptable for an ordinary Hindu to have on his wall the image of Krishna, alongside the one of Buddha, one of the Christ, with a few photos of the Mecca or even John Fitzgerald Kennedy ! And Hindus have always worshiped at non-Hindu places, such as Velangani, the Christian seat of pilgrimage of South India, or some Sufi shrine in Kashmir or Rajasthan. It should be said too that Hindus never tried to convert others to their own religion, not even by peaceful means, as the Buddhists did all over Asia; and their armies never but oh, never, set to conquer other nations to impose their own culture and religion, as Islam and Christianity did, often in a bloody manner. Thus, Hindus in the West, need to be able to counter in a knowledgeable manner, verbally or in writing (letters to editors, etc.) this wrong polytheist image which has harmed them.

  1. Dispel the image of poverty attached to India. One of the reasons Hindus are not taken too seriously abroad, is that their country, India, is always associated with poverty. True, there is still poverty in India, social inequality, but since 1947, thanks to the Green Revolution, there has been no famine. Hindus in the West can always counter this pervading untruth in the mind of the English, by stating that according to British records, one million Indians died of famine between 1800 and 1825; 4 million between 1825 and 1850; 5 million between 1850 and 1875; and 15 million between 1875 and 1900. Thus, 25 million Indians died in one hundred years under the benevolent rule of the British Raj!

Poverty in India is also commercially exploited by Hollywood and writers. A book such as ‘The City of Joy’, by Frenchman Dominique Lapierre, which was a huge success worldwide, gives the impression that India is a vast slum, which is absolutely untrue – and the author, who often comes to India, had to know that he was inducing his readers in error. As for the film “Slumdog Millionnaire”, which raked-up so many Oscars, it is even more perverse: it says things which are false, portrays situations that are untrue, such as the young boy throwing himself in excrement, to get an autograph of India’s film star Amitabh Bacchan & should have been boycotted by Hindus.

Yet, India is a wealthy country. It is said, even today, because of the socialist policies of previous governments and the heavy taxation, that half of India’s money is in the black. The poverty is only there because of the mismanagement, the dishonesty, and the inheritance of wrong structures. For Indians must be with some of the best savers in the world. And they don’t hoard in abstract concepts: they go in for solid gold, land, cash – and that from the little shopkeeper to the business magnate.

As economic liberalisation is happening in India at this very moment, the rise of India as a superpower will herald the rise of the status of Hindus in the West and all over the world, for today the assessment that every industrial nation in the world casts on another country, is primarily economical. Thus China is respected so much today in the world, not for its political power, which is overshadowed by immense Human Rights abuses (Mao Tse Tung killed 3 million of his own people during the Cultural revolution and it has been calculated that one million Tibetans have been murdered by the Chinese), but by its economic clout. In the same way, India’s image, whose PIB has now overtaken China’s, will shed many of the prejudices attached to her, when the world takes notice of the huge investment possibilities there.

 

(TO BE CONTINUED)

HINDU POWER: : ALL THE GREAT GURUS OF INDIA MUST UNITE

What was called in the ancient times Sanatan Dharma, which has come down to us today under the name of Hinduism, with its many branches, sects and gurus, is in great danger today, as it is attacked by many forces.

The enemies of Hindus are united, even if it is in disunity, even if it is a temporary arrangement based on a common hatred. Christian conversions, the onslaught of Muslim fundamentalism, the abhorrence of communists for Hinduism, the infinite dangers of Globalisation and Americanisation, the disregard of India’s intellectual elite of India for their own culture and spirituality, are slowly but surely making a dent in India’s psyche …

There are so many great gurus incarnated in India at the moment. Yet not only are they not united against the common enemy, or for the common good, but they often compete against each other for disciples or territory and even criticize each other. This is a great hindrance to Hindu Power, that needs the support of all these gurus who have tens of millions of disciples.

Disunity has always been the curse of Hinduism and India and whichever enemy conquered this country, did it not because of superior strength, but because they were helped by Hindu betrayers. Remember the last great Hindu empire, that of Vijaynagar.

The Christians have a Pope, the Muslims the word of the Koran, communists have Der Kapital of Karl Marx, but Hindus are fragmented in a thousand sects, which often bicker with each other.

It is thus of vital importance that Hindu gurus and swamis regroup under one umbrella so as to prop u Hindu Power. Each group and guru will retain its leadership and autonomy but will meet three times a year.
There are too many gurus and swamis all over India and the world and it would not be possible to assemble them all in one group. Thus we propose that the twelve gurus in India who have the most disciples, represent all the other swamis and gurus. Amongst them of course, we should find Satya Sai Baba, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Amrita Anandmayi, the Shankacharya of Kancheepuram, Guruma of Ganeshpuri, Shri Ramdev, Satguru Jaggi etc.

The leadership of this group will be rotated every year and so can membership for that matter, as there are quite a few other gurus of India who have a huge following.

It is not only Hinduism which is at stake, but the Knowledge Infinite which came down, through the ages and has survived today only in India in a partial form. This Knowledge only can save the world.

All the gurus can meet three times a year and issue a number of ‘adesh’, which will be binding to 800 million Hindus in India, a billion worldwide. Let Hindus at last understand that not only they have the numbers, but also that they are one of the most successful, law abiding and powerful communities in the world. Hindu Gurus need to give an open, total support to Mr Narendra Modi and his BJP Govt. In the case of removal of Article 370, for instance ALL the gurus should have come in support of it. Trouble is, many of these gurus shy away from saying they are Hindus, although 95% of their disciples are Hindus…

Long Live Mother India

François Gautier

HINDU Power 13 & TERRORISM

Is there such thing as ‘Hindu terrorism’, as the @INCIndia has been trying to prove asked to write this column because I am one of this rare species of foreign correspondents: a lover of Hindus! A born Frenchman, Catholic-educated, non-Hindu, I do hope I will be given some credit for my opinions, garnered after 25 years of reporting in South Asia (for Le Journal de Genève and Le Figaro) – which are not the product of my parents’ ideas, my education or my atavism.

In the early eighties, when I started freelancing in the South , doing photo features on Kalaripayat, the Ayappa festival, or the Ayanars, I slowly realized, on the ground, that the genius of this country lies in its Hindu ethos, or rather in the true spirituality behind Hinduism. The average Hindu that you meet in a million villages, possesses this simple, innate spirituality in his or her genes and accepts your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. It is this ‘Hindu-ness’ (which cannot be experienced if you sit in Delhi most of the time) that makes most Indian Christians different, from say a French Christian, or an Indian Muslim unlike a Saudi Muslim. I also learnt that Hindus not only believed that the Divine could manifest at different times, under different names, using different Scriptures, the wonderful avatar concept, the perfect answer to 21st century religious strife, but that they had given refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world, whether the Syrian Christians, the Parsis, the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted), the Armenians, or today the Tibetans. In 3500 years of known existence, Hindus have also never military invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others, by force or even by induced conversions.

Thus for me, you cannot find less fundamentalist than a Hindu in this world and it saddens me when I see that the Indian and western Press always try to equate Hindu terrorism with the Islamic one, that machine guns innocent civilians in a night club, kills journalists, blows up planes and generally hates anybody not Muslim. Since @narendramodi came back as Prime Minister of India for the second time; there has been a renewal of hate attacks against him, the @BJP4India and Hindus, accused of communal hatred – lynching Muslims, burning churches, etc. We know that most of these communal incidents often involve persons of the same caste, Dalits and tribals, some of them converted to Christianity and others not. Then, however reprehensible was the destruction of the Babri Masjid, no Muslim was killed in the process; compare this with the ‘vengeance’ bombings of 1993 in Mumbai, which wiped-out hundreds of innocent, mostly Hindus. Yet, the Babri Masjid destruction is often described by journalists as the most horrible act of the two. We also all remember how Sharad Pawar, when he was CM of Maharashtra in 1993, lied about a bomb that was supposed to have gone off in a Mumbai Muslim locality.

I have never been politically correct, but have always written – not what is the prevalent trend – but what I have discovered while reporting . Let me then be straightforward about this so-called Hindu terror. Hindus, since the first Arab invasions, have been at the receiving end of terrorism, whether it was by Teimur, who killed 100.000 Hindus in one day in 1399, or by the Portuguese Inquisition which crucified Brahmins in Goa. Today they are still being targeted: there were one million Hindus in the valley of Kashmir in 1900 – but only a few hundred today, the rest having been made to flee through terror. Blasts after blasts have killed hundreds of innocent Hindus all over India in the last four years; Hindus, the overwhelming majority community of this country, are being made fun of, are despised, are deprived of the most basic facilities for one of their most sacred pilgrimages in Armanath, when their Government heavily sponsors the Haj; they are witnessing their brothers and sisters converted to Christianity by financials traps, seeing a 84 year old harmless swami and his Mataji brutally murdered, reading of blasphemy about their Gods…

So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, those that the Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, erupt in uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu, then in Khandamal, in Mangalore, and in Malgeaon. And it will happen again elsewhere. What should be understood is that this is a spontaneous revolution on the ground, by ordinary Hindus, without any preplanning from the political leadership. Therefore, the BJP, instead of acting embarrassed, should not disown its brothers and sisters who choose other means to let their anguished voices be heard.

Today there are about a billion Hindus, one in every six persons of this planet, one of the most successful, law abiding and integrated communities in the world. Can you call them terrorists? Thus Hindu power can only be secular in nature, and should not be viewed with suspicion, because Hindus are the only spiritual community in the world that accepts the diversity of making and recognize that the world MUST be ONE family. There is no such thing as Hindu terrorism, yesterday, today or tomorrow.

Francois Gautier

The author is the editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde lesbelleslettres.com/collections/?collection_id=52

 

 

THE REALITY OF KASHMIR

THE REALITY OF KASHMIR

Is the @BJP4India Govt of @narendramodi, preparing to trifurcate Jammu and Kashmir, thereby rendering null Articles 370 & 35A? That would be a very good and clever move and fullfill MR MODI’S PLEDGE, WHEN HE WAS CAMPAIGNING IN 2014.

Of course, one will witness a huge hue and cry, as usual, from the Indian intelligentsia, the western correspondents, the NGO’s, the Marxists, the US administration, maybe even. But the truth is that Kashmiri Muslims started an armed revolt in name of Islam against the lawful elected Govt of India and chased out by terror, still in the name of Islam, 350.000 innocent Hindus from the Valley of Kashmir, so that they became refugees in their own country. I know, I was there !

We should remember what Sri Aurobindo wrote in 1940: “in Kashmir, the Hindus had all the monopoly. Now if the Muslim demands are acceded to, the Hindus will be wiped out again.” (India’s Rebirth, p. 220) How prophetic ! Because nobody cares to remember today that Kashmiris were almost entirely Hindus or Buddhists, before they were converted by the invading Muslims six centuries ago. True, today these Muslims in Kashmir have not only accepted as their own a religion which their ancestors had rejected, but they have also often taken-up the strident cry of Islam. Does any one remember too, that at the beginning of the century, there still were 25% Hindus in the Kashmir valley and that today the last 400.000 Kashmiri Pandits have become refugees in their own land, they who originally inhabited the valley, at least 5000 years ago, a much bigger ethnic cleansing than any other in the world?

Most journalists say that India alienated Kashmiris through years of wrong policies. But those who have been in close contact with Kashmir, even in its heydays of tourism, know for a fact that as a general rule, Kashmiri Muslims never liked India. There was only one thing that attached them to India, it was the marvelous financial gains and state bounties that they made out of tourism. Even those Kashmiris who are now settled in India make no bones about where their loyalty lies. Talk to them, specially if you are a Westerner, and after some time, they’ll open their hearts to you; whether it is the owner of this Kashmir emporium in a five star hotel in Madras, or the proprietor of that famous travel agency in Delhi: suddenly, after all the polite talk, they burst out with their loathing of India and their attachment to an independent Kashmir.

Today, Kashmiri Muslims have taken over the Souvenir trade in India, whether in Pune or Pondichery – but it’s a one way traffic, as Indians are not allowed to buy land or start business in Kashmir. Thus, if @AmitShah, @AjitDoval and @narendramodi really plan to remove this iniquity, we can only bow down to them: they will do what no other Govt, dared ! Of course, there will be a backlash in the Valley, but Ajit Doval made sure that there are enough troops to deal with it – and with time, Kashmir Muslims, who are businessmen at heart, will settle down. The unrest though will never completely go, as long as India and Pakistan do not reunite – by force or by the will of the people- as both Germanies did and eventually both Koreas will do

 

Francois Gautier

Author of “ In Defense of a Billion Hindus” (Har Anand, New Delhi)  available on Amazon