Tag Archives: Aurangzeb

The deviousness of Indian Journalism

Look how Indian journalism is slanted, devious and dishonest :
A few days ago I received an email from Himanshi Dhawan of The Times of India, asking for an interview by email :

De: Himanshi Dhawan <himanshi.dhawan@gmail.com>
Objet: regarding an interview
Date: 5 avril 2017 17:05:25 UTC+5:30
À: fgautier@rediffmail.com

Dear Mr Gautier

I would like to interview you for an article that I am writing. Will it be possible for me to send you some questions on how you developed the passion for India and your work in the field? My contact details are below, in case you have some clarifications. Regards.


Himanshi Dhawan
Senior Assistant Editor
Times of India
Phone: 9811427263
Twitter: @himanshidTOI
@dhawan_himanshi

His questions immediately made me suspicious, so I wrote to him :

On 06-Apr-2017 9:39 AM, “François Gautier” <fgautier@rediffmail.com>
Hi, are you going to write a slanted article, that twists my answers so that it fits your ideas?
fg

François Gautier

And he replied very innocently:

<himanshi.dhawan@gmail.com>
Objet: Rép : regarding an interview
Date: 6 avril 2017 11:32:08 UTC+5:30
À: François Gautier <fgautier@rediffmail.com>

Hello Sir,
I have no intention to “twist” your responses. The article is about academics/intellectuals/ thinkers who find a resonance in BJP’s ideas and philosophy without any value judgement. Would appreciate it if you could answer my questions. Thanks.

So I trusted him and sent my answers, here below:

#You have written widely in praise of PM Narendra Modi , his political accomplishments and his work. When did you begin to feel an affinity towards the BJP and Mr Modi’s idealogies and work?

A. I did not know Mr Modi. But I have a Foundation FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) that does exhibitions on Indian History, as well as great heroes and heroines. We have such one based on Aurangzeb’s firmans or edicts, which are preserved in the Bikaner archives (https://factmuseum.com/aurangzeb-as-he-was-according-to-mu…/), it was attacked in Chennai by goons of the nawab of Arcot, whose ancestors was nominated by Aurangzeb, with the support of the Chennai police then under the DMK’s Karunanidhi and closed down. This was widely reported in the Media and Mr Modi who was chief minister of Gujarat, heard about it and contacted me. He subsequently came to Mumbai to inaugurate our exhibition on Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Vinod Khanna and Gopinath Munde. Subsequently, I met Mr Modi quite a few times in Gujarat. What particularly impressed me was that when I first went to his office, there were no hangers on, no sycophants, only people who came for work. I found the same thing when I visited his culture minister row of chairs and people waiting, while the minister with one secretary taking notes gives 5 mnts to each applicant. This is totally contrary to the Congress policy of most people to meet ministers and MP’s are for favours not work. I also found that Mr Modi was a great ecologist and had a genuine interest in that field, making of Gujarat the greenest, most investor friendly state of India. So I started praising him in my articles, though at that time nobody thought he could become PM of India

#What drew you to the Hindutva idealogy?

A. You have to give me some credit: most journalists in India are mostly their father’s children or their teachers pupils, that is they repeat more or less brilliantly what their atavism has grooved into them from early childhood. I had an upper class catholic education in France and when I came to India, I did not know the difference between a Hindu or a Muslim. In fact, I had many of the ideas that are politically correct today about India – Congress is the best party to unite it; Hindus can be fundamentalists too; or the RSS is a dangerous outfit.. But then I covered extensively Kashmir from the late 80’s till 2000 for Le Figaro, France’s largest circ paper and saw the Hindu leaders I had interviewed earlier such as Dr Tikoo, savagely assassinated by Kashmir Muslims separatists and then was 350.000 kashmiri Pandits flee the Valley under terror, for no other fault than being Hindus, without firing a single shot in self-defense, becoming refugees in their own country, a first in this already sad world. I also witnessed how Kashmir, once a more gentle sufi place (I witnessed the burning by Muslim of the last sufi shrine in Kashmir the Shrahr-e-Sharif), became so easily radicalized by Sunni influences from Pakistan and Afghanistan.
The truth is I don’t know about Hindutva, I only know what Francois gautier saw first hand and now believes in.

#You have listed enemies of “Hindus” including Sonia & Rahul Gandhi, CPI, Aamir & Shah Rukh Khan, the Pope and even Hindus themselves. These appear more like the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) party’s list of political opponents. Would you comment?

A. Once more, your question is slanted, because it contains an indication of what you or your newspaper thinks, without bothering to verify my point of view. Let me say that my experience in 40 years in India as a journalist is that Hindus are the least intolerant of all communities. In fact, it is because they are the only ones in the world who till today recognize that God manifests himself or Herself at different times of humanity’s history, with different names, using different scriptures. This is why a Hindu is able to enter a church or even a mosque andfthe reverse is not true. This is why all persecuted religious minorities found refuge in India all over the ages from the Syrian christians to the Parsis, from the Jews to the Tibetans today. The irony is that Hindus have been the most persecuted in the world. If a proper tally of how many have died at the hand of Muslims invasions was done, it would easily reach a hundred millions

#Your critics feel you are a spokesperson for the BJP. How do you feel about that?

A. Well, the BJP never asked me to be a spokesperson and I would not be one for I speak for Francois gautier. Nevertheless I asked Mr Modi to conduct workshops for his MP’s/Spokespersons so that they know how to answer coherently and efficiently accusations of fundamentalism, speak about conversions, respond to western correspondents’s accusations, but never got an answer. It would be fun to have a westerner working for an Indian Govt, whereas Indians worked so long for their western masters and are still queuing like mad in western embassies to get visas, no?

#Would you join the BJP or RSS?

A. No, though I am an OCI married to an Indian for 30 years. Anyway they never asked me. In fact, since it has come to power at the center, the BJP in many ways resembles other political parties except a few exceptions. That is because they have to function in a system put in place by decades of Indian National rule, where every minister or PM for that matter, has a ring of at least 15 PA’s PS’, peons and security, and also the fact that Delhi is a big bubble far away from the rest of India, which suited the British, who wanted to to control acces to North India, but shoud be decentralized today

#Do you feel #Hindus and Hinduism is misunderstood and a victim of poor image building (the perception of being a polytheist, poor country continues to prevail)?

A. See, the biggest enemies of Hindus are Hindus themselves. No country would have been able to invade India if Hindus had not betrayed Hindus, from Alexander the Great who used the King of Taxila against Porus to the Vijaynagar kingdom, the last great Hindu empire, of beauty justice and Dharma, that was betrayed to the Muslims by the Lingayats. Today some of the most venomous anti-Hindus, particularly in American universities, or even in India, are Hindus themselves. And are not members of the Congress 90% Hindus? I defend Hindus, but I am not blind to their faults…

End of Interview….

….And look how they twisted everything out of context, putting their own slanted views instead of faithfully reflecting what I said. The title itself is demeaning: the word ‘Hindutva’ – when I expressly said that I am foreign born and catholic educated and that my ideas are garnered from on the ground reporting and coming to my own conclusions – for God sake, when I started reporting nobody spoke about Hindutva and nobody thought the BJP or Narendra Modi would come to power. And the word ‘cheerleaders’, which is employed contemptuously in this case. And then he used that discredited historian Irfan Habib who for decades, with the Congress blessings, distorted Indian history books and curriculum without any shame, glorifying monsters like Aurangzeb and putting in cupboards Maharana Pratap or Shivaji Maharaj as mere chieftains or plunderers, just because they were Hindu heroes, yet a million times more secular than Aurangzeb, Ghazni or Teimur as they never harmed the children, daughters and wives of their enemies and never touched a mosque.

My sad conclusion is that Indian journalism has not only not changed, but it has become WORSE. Before it was only the Marxist intelligentsia putting forth their Hinduphobia, now there is the added element of commercialism and paid journalism. Shame on Himanshi Dhawan. If you feel, you can mail him what you think at : himanshi.dhawan@gmail.com, or you can tweet @timesofindia
Francois Gautier

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/…/articlesh…/58085790.cms

@Narendramodi is wrong about Sufism. here is why:

Narendra Modi inaugurated the World Sufism festival – & praised it to heaven. But he was wrong on three sides:
1) Sufism today is just dance and singing with a sprinkling of very basic spirituality. In fact Sufism is defunct in India: in Kashmir, the last sufi shrine, Shrar-E-Sharif, was burnt in the 90’s by militants: and the so called sufi dargah of Ajmer, practices such a rigid Sunni creed, that every Pakistani President makes a pilgrimage there whenever they come to India (as well as all those stupid Bollywood Hindu stars – do Aamir Khan & Shah Rukh Khan go to Tirupati???)
2) what made Sufism different from Sunni Islam in India, was the influence of Vedanta & Upanishads. See how the only great Sufi scholar and saint Dara Shikoh, Aurangzeb’s elder brother (who should have rightly become emperor of India, as he was also Shah Jahan’s favorite), had translated the Upanishads in Persian and kept saying that Islam owed a lot to these ancient Hindu scriptures. Unfortunately, Dara was beheaded by Aurangzeb for apostasy. Today, Dara Shikoh, a true tolerant Muslim is totally forgotten, did not find mention in the world Sufi Forum that the PM inaugurated, while Aurangzeb is everywhere.
3) as the article below explains, Sufism was often used to convert Hindus and Sufis always believed in the supremacy of islam versus Hinduism. It is still so today
In conclusion, do you think, boys and girls that the PM reachiing out to Muslims will pay dividends & that Muslims will vote for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in next sate and central elections???
http://indiafacts.org/sinister-side-sufism/

WHY DOES WILLIAM DALRYMPLE ADORE AURANGZEB SO MUCH???

William Dalrymple has always been a great fan of Muhammad Aurangzeb Alamgir, India’s sixth Mughal emperor (1658-1707). In his two previous books, The Last Mughal and White Mughals, Dalrymple reenacted the British’s fondness for the Mughal period, by directly and indirectly praising the longest reigning emperor after Akbar.

In his forthcoming opus magnum, which will be solely dedicated to Aurangzeb, Dalrymple says he will go further: “Aurangzeb was absolutely fascinating, very self aware, very Shakespearean. By the end of his life, Aurangzeb does becomes a monster of myths, but his final letters are full of regret and awareness about how much he destroyed of what he had inherited”. And he concludes: “What is little spoken is that he was an extremely generous donor of various ashrams and maths. Just the sheer data that can be gathered about his donations to Hindu monasteries is extraordinary”….

Was the emperor such a pious man? Well, just look to what he did to his own family: Aurangzeb, who was neither the eldest, nor the favorite son of his father Shah Jahan, killed his two brothers to ascend the throne, dispatched his father to jail and subsequently murdered him by sending him poisoned massage oil. He later had his own son imprisoned (in his will, he admonished: “never trust your sons”). He was also very cruel to the majority of his subjects, the Hindus, ordering all temples destroyed, such as the Kashi Vishwanath, the rebuilt Somnath temple, the Vishnu temple (replaced with the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares), or the Treta-ke-Thakur temple in Ayodhya. He also made sure that deities of Hindu Gods and Goddesses were buried under the steps of the mosques (like the Jama Masjid in Delhi) so that future generations of Muslims would trample upon them.

Sikhism, the youngest religion in the world, owes its initial phenomenal growth to the persecutions of one man: Aurangzeb Alamgir. The Mughal emperor not only had the Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur beheaded, because he objected to his forced conversions, but he also viciously persecuted the followers of Guru Gobind Singh, whom he had never forgiven for having supported his brother Dara.

The sad thing is that today the Sikh world seems to be growing closer to Aurangzeb and drifting away from its Hindu brothers and sisters, forgetting that their order was originally created to defend them. Indeed, the Shiromani Gurdwara Prabandhak Committee (SGPC), Amritsar, has not uttered a word against Dalrymple’s forthcoming book.

More serious even, the Central Government always eager to please ‘minorities’ has set up a dangerous precedent by removing from its ‘blacklist’ the names of 142 wanted Sikh terrorists and their associates, some of them now in Pakistan.

Among those: Lakhbir Singh Rode, nephew of dreaded slain terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale and chief of International Sikh Youth Federation (ISYF), Ranjit Singh, alias Neeta, a native of Jammu and Kashmir who heads Khalistan Zindabad Force, Wadhawa Singh, chief of Babbar Khalsa International (BKI) and Paramjit Singh Panjwar, chief of Khalistan Commando Force (KCF). Delhi Sikh Gurdwara Management Committee (DSGMC) It is said that President Paramjit Singh Sarna lobbied hard with Sonia Gandhi for this decision.

Aurangzeb’s deadly legacy of murderous fanaticism is still alive in parts of the world; such as Kashmir or Pakistan. The Sikh community should protest Dalrymple books and remember how much they suffered at the hands of Aurangzeb.

SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MUSEUM OF INDIAN HISTORY, PUNE

Dear friends, as I mentioned earlier, I am building in Pune a Museum of true Indian History, dedicated to the great Shivaji Maharaj, who was a Vibhuti, and who does not even have a proper status in India’s History books (forget about the West, where he is totally unknown). The Museum whose address is: Ahead of Marathwada Institute. Vadgaon Shinde road. Wadgaon. Pune 41, is OPEN every day from 9am to 6pm and entrance is FREE. There are now five buildings, each housing a unique exhibitions, such as the one on Aurangzeb, based on his own firmans, or on Maharana Pratap, the only Rajput who actually fought the Moghols and won in Haldighati. Please tell your friends about it. We also have a beautiful temple, dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj and Mata Bhavani, where daily aarti happens every morning at 9.30am

This is a noble, but VERY difficult project, for many reasons. One, there is no tradition of private museums in India, as there is in the West. Two, as soon as you touch at Indian history, it becomes very sensitive and tricky; and three, most philanthropists in India donate to education and health care, but recoil as soon as you mention the subject of Indian History.
But this is a Museum for ALL Indians, particularly dedicated to the Knowledge that stands behind Hinduism & which is the foundation of Indian culture and spirituality.

Thus, I need YOUR help. I am building this Museum on a shoestring budget and bills keep pouring in, while donations are very scant.
FACT is a registered Trust with Indian & UK, US tax exemption. If you would like to help, you could make a donation to: FACT, Account No: 04071450000237, IFCS code: HDFC0000407. We will mail you back your tax exemption certificate and we will honor all our donors.
Please pass this plea on to your friends

François Gautier

SHIVAJI, A HERO FOR MODERN INDIA

Not for myself I fought and ruled, but for God and the dharma, the religion of Hindu nationality which Ramdas enunciated (Conversations of the Dead, Shivaji & Jaysingh, by Sri Aurobindo)

I had heard about Shivaji for a long time without really knowing him well. There are cities in India where I feel ‘at home’, as if I already knew these places The first time I visited Pune, quite a few years back, I felt good, connected, spiritually alive. Was it my imagination? Nevertheless, I attributed this to Shivaji’s presence in His realm. When I finished the Art of Living course which I had come to conduct outside the city, I had a few hours before catching my plane and I set upon finding a museum about Shivaji, which I was sure was bound to exist in the city where he was born. I asked the driver and he took me to the main museum of Pune, the Raja Kelkar museum. It did look nice from the outside and it had indeed a marvelous collection of Mughal antiques which included paintings, instruments, lamps & different types of nut crackers. But I was astonished to see that there was not a single artifact on Shivaji. It did not make sense, because I had already noticed that Shivaji is a hero to most Maharashtrians whatever their political affiliation. I then explored other Pune museums: there is a Tilak museum, a tribal one, a war museum, but nothing on the great son of the soil who was born 60 kms from Pune.
As I finished my disappointing visit of the KeIkar museum, I felt right here and there that I should do something about honouring Shivaji in His city. But first I had to know him. I then set upon buying all the books that had been published about Shivaji. There came my second surprise: I quickly realized that all the biographies of Shivaji were terribly out dated: the most famous and quoted of all “Shivaji and his Times”, by (Sir) Jadunath Sarkar, was written in 1938! My favourite one, Chhatrapati Shivaji, by Setumadhavrao Pagadi, was published in 1973. It is the most recent of mainstream biographies of Shivaji. Now as Frenchman, I grew up hearing about the greatness of Napoleon who lived 300 years ago. And I do know that there is not a year that passes by, without two or three books on his life, his military victories, his mistresses, or his administration, being published.
How does Shivaji compare with Napoleon? Well, admirably. More than that even, as Shivaji surpasses him in many ways. Napoleon was a unique war strategist; and so was Shivaji. In fact, Chaatrapati fought in even more difficult conditions than Napoleon, as he did not have the might of a national army behind him and had to face the powerful and ruthless Mughal Empire of Aurangzeb. Napoleon was a remarkable administrator who made laws, some of them still in use in France; and so was Shivaji: once he conquered a territory, he made sure that it was well and fairly administered, as we will see later. What Shivaji did better than Napoleon then? Shivaji was secular, he believed in the oneness of all religions, though Hinduism was supreme to him. But furthermore, Shivaji was a Vibhuti, a direct incarnation from God who came to succour and help India at a time of great need, when the cruel and a-dharmic hand of Aurangzeb was poised to devastate the whole of the land and eventually make of the Indian subcontinent Dar al-Islam, the house of Islam.
It is necessary to dispel the impressions created by Indian and western historians who have made of the struggle of Shivaji a fight between Hindus & Muslims and an inter-religious struggle. It was not so: Moghuls in the times of Shivaji were still considered as ‘foreigners’. Thus it was a battle between Indians and invaders. Shivaji used his own integrity during this epic fight and mastered all the arts of wars of his time, so as to be that perfect leader. His courage to challenge the Mughals was unparalleled. He was truly a bhakti: SHIVAJI WORKED FOR THE DIVINE, AS GUIDED BY THE DIVINE
Great men and women who walk this earth and are instruments of God, do most of their work while in their physical body. But when they die, I believe they leave something behind, a presence, a will. This day, when I could not find a house in honor of Shivaji, the idea of a Museum of true Indian History, dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj started taking shape in my mind, as our Foundation FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) had already made many exhibitions (see fact-india.com). Pune is the ideal place for this Museum: it’s Shivaji Maharaj’s realm, it is central to India and more than anything, Marathas have a stronger national fiber than in other states and I felt the Museum will be better protected here.
This is a difficult project. Whoever has never attempted to raise money for a Museum should give it a try… I have met hundreds of potential donors, but when I say that I want to build a Museum of true Indian History, it wipes off the smile of their faces and they say they have to consult their board, ha, ha… This is why we are most grateful to those who believed in this project and gave the bulk of the funds and also to the dozens of NRI’s who know me through my writings and trusted me with their donations.
Trying to portray Indian History as it happened, not as it has been written, is also a very sensitive task and at nearly every step, we have encountered obstacles sometimes even from our own people. Yet, Shivaji was an instrument of God and whoever binds him to a particular caste, or even a particular guru, demeans him and hampers his work, for he was a supra-national figure and his qualities of dedication to Mother India, of respect of human rights and honest administration, are needed today. His extraordinary courage in front of adversity, should also be an example to many Hindus, who today, at the slightest threat, go underground.
Please see the photos of what has already been done in the Museum on this link. This is just a humble beginning: we are planning to start the foundations of the main Museum which will house exhibitions from the Vedas to the India of tomorrow. If God, in spite of my shortcomings, gives me the strength, the enthusiasm and the health to do this work, it will be a wonderful and noble project, that will be talked about for generations. But for that we need funds a lot of funds and. I hope all of you will pass along the message to your friends.
The Museum, whose address is: Ahead of Marathwada Institute. Vadgaon Shinde road. Wadgaon. Pune 4, is OPEN every day from 9am to 6pm and entrance is FREE. Please tell your friends about it. we have daily aarti in the temple in the morning at 9.30am
FACT is a registered Trust with Indian & UK, US tax exemption. If you would like to help, you could make a donation to: FACT, Account No: 04071450000237, IFCS code: HDFC0000407. We will mail you back your tax exemption certificate and we will honor all our donors.
Namaste
Namrita & François Gautier/ Trustees FACT

CHAPTER 6 : NEGATIONISM AND THE MUSLIM CONQUESTS (Part II)

Continuing publication of excerpts my forthcoming book: “An History of India as it Happened (not as it was written)”:

It is not only Indian historians, who are negationists, but also western historians and India-specialists. We know that the first historians of Indian – the Britishers – twisted India’s history to suit their theory that they had come to civilize a race which was not only inferior to them, but also was supposed to have been heavily influenced in its philosophies or arts by European invaders – read the Aryans or Alexander the Great. But what is less known is that today many western historians not only still cling to these old outdated theories, but also actually more or less willfully mislead the general European public, who is generally totally ignorant and takes these “knowledgeable” comments about India as the absolute truth. One example is France, which has a long tradition of Indianists, who devote their time and life to the study of India. The main school of historic research in France is called the CNRS (National Center of Social Research), which has a very important South Asia section, of which India, of course, is the main component. Unfortunately, many of these India-specialists are not only Left-leaning, that is they are very close to the ideas of the JNU historians, with whom they are anyway in constant contact, but are also specialists of the Moghol period of India history, which is to say that they are sympathetic to Islam’s point of view on India, while they often consider Hindus as fanatics…

Take for instance one of the recent Indian History books published in France “Histoire de l’Inde moderne” (1994 Fayard / Paris), the authors (there are seven of, all famous Indianists), having subscribed to the usual Aryan invasion theory, accuse Shiva “to incarnate obscure forces” (Introduction III) and of course use the word “fanatics” to describe the Hindus who brought down the Ayodhya mosque. Basically, the book does an apology of he moghol period in India; while keeping quiet about all their crimes. In the chapter dealing for instance with Vijaynagar, the last great empire of free India, which symbolized a Hindu Renaissance after nine centuries of savage Muslim conquests, one cannot but perceive the enmity of the authors for Hinduism. The two young princes, founder of Vijaynagar who were converted by force to Islam when in captivity, are accused of “duplicity”, because they reverted back to Hinduism as soon as they were free; then the French historians highlight the “ambition of Brahmins, who used these two young princes to reconquer the power that at been lost at the hands of the conquering Muslims” (page 54); the book then mentions “the unquenchable exigencies of the (Hindu) central power in Vijaynagar”, forgetting to say that that for the first time in centuries, Hindus could practice freely their faith, that they were not killed, their women raped, their children taken as slaves and converted to Islam. And all this to finally sum up in seven words the terrible end of Vijaynagar, which has left a wound in the Hindu psyche even up to today: “looting and massacres lasted for three days”…

But the authors of “Histoire de l’Inde moderne” do not only run down Hindus, they also glorify Muslims, particularly the Moghols. Babur for instance, this monster who killed hundreds of thousands of Hindus and razed thousands of temples becomes at their hands a gentle hero: “ Babur did not like India and preferred to isolate himself in the exquisite gardens he had devised, with their geometrical design, their crossed canals, which evoked to him the rivers of paradise”. Oh, God what a sensitive poet! And to make it sound even more glorious, the author adds: “there he translated a manual of Koranic law and a Sufi treaty of morals”. Oh, what a saint and lover of humanity… Aurangzeb, the cruelest of the Moghul emperors, has also the full sympathies of the authors: “Aurangzeb seems to have concentrated on himself the hatred of militant Hindus, who attribute to him systematic destruction of temples and massive conversion drives. But this Manichean impression has to be seriously countered (page 126)”… Unfortunately for the authors, as we have seen earlier, Aurangzeb was not only proud of what he was doing to the Hindus, but he had his scribes note each deed down for posterity… In 2006 the same authors published “L’Inde contemporaine”, with the same prejudices and bias against Hindus and their political parties.

These French Indianists have also a tradition of speaking against the BJP, which they have always labeled as “fundamentalist” and dangerous for the “secular” fabric of India, although the BJP has been in power for quite a few years and nothing dramatic has happened to the secular fabric of India. The problem is that these Indianists not only write lengthy and pompous articles in France’s main newspapers, such as Left-leaning Le Monde, explaining to the ignorant reader why is India on the point of exploding because of fanatic Hindus, or how the Harijans in India are still the most downtrodden people on earth (this is why when President Narayanan visited France in April 2000, all the French newspapers chose to only highlight that he was an untouchable and that religious minorities in India were persecuted, nearly provoking a diplomatic incident between France and India), but unfortunately they also advise the French government, who like his citizens, is often shamefully ignorant and uninterested by India. This is why, although there has been a lot of sympathy for the French in India because of their tolerant response to the Indian nuclear tests of 1998 (whereas the whole western world reacted hysterically by imposing absurd sanctions), France has not yet bothered to capitalize on this sympathy and has not managed to realize that India is the ideal economic alternative to a very volatile China.

It would be nice to say that Indian journalists are not blind to this influence of French Indianists and the adverse impact it has on Indo-French relations, but when Christophe Jaffrelot, for instance who wrote many a nasty books on Hindu fundamentalism and is most responsible for the bad image the BJP in France, comes to India to release the English translation of his book, he is feted by the Press corps and all kind of laudatory reviews are printed in the Indian Press. So much for secularism in India.

And, ultimately, it is a miracle that Hinduism survived the onslaught of Muslim savagery; it shows how deep was her faith, how profound her karma, how deeply ingrained her soul in the hearts of her faithfuls. We do not want to point a finger at Muslim atrocities, yet they should not be denied and their mistakes should not be repeated today. But the real question is: Can Islam ever accept Hinduism? We shall turn towards the Sage, the yogi, who fought for India’s independence, accepting the Gita’s message of karma of violence when necessary, yet who had a broad vision that softened his words: “You can live with a religion whose principle is toleration. But how is it possible to live peacefully with a religion whose principle is “I will not tolerate you? How are you going to have unity with these people?…The Hindu is ready to tolerate; he is open to new ideas and his culture and has got a wonderful capacity for assimilation, but always provided India’s central truth is recognised.. (Sri Aurobindo India’s Rebirth 161,173)
Or behold this, written on September 1909: “Every action for instance which may be objectionable to a number of Mahomedans, is now liable to be forbidden because it is likely to lead to a breach of peace. And one is dimly beginning to wonder whether worship in Hindu temples may be forbidden on that valid ground (India’s Rebirth p. 55). How prophetic! Sri Aurobindo could not have foreseen that so many Muslim countries would ban Rushdie’s book and that Hindu processions would often be forbidden in cities, for fear of offending the Muslims. Sri Aurobindo felt that sooner or later Hindus would have to assert again the greatness of Hinduism.

And here we must say a word about monotheism, for it is the key to the understanding of Islam. Christians and Muslims (and Jews) have always harped on the fact that their religions sprang-up as a reaction against the pagan polytheist creeds, which adored many Gods. « There is only one real God they said (ours), all the rest are just worthless idols ». This « monotheism versus polytheism business » has fuelled since then the deep, fanatic, violent and murderous zeal of Islam against polytheist religions, particularly against Hinduism, which is the most comprehensive, most widely practiced of all them. It even cemented an alliance of sorts between the two great monotheist religions of the world, Christianity and Islam, witness the Britishers’ attitude in India, who favoured Indian Muslims and Sikhs against the Hindus; or the King of Morocco who, even though he is one of the most moderate Muslim leaders in the world, recently said in an interview: « we have no fight with Christianity, our battle is against the Infidel who adores many gods ».
But as we have seen earlier, Hinduism is without any doubt the most monotheist religion in the World, for it recognises divine unity in multiplicity. It does not say: « there is only one God, which is Mohammed. If you do not believe in Him I will kill you ». It says instead: « Yes Mohammed is a manifestation of God, but so is Christ, or Buddha, or Krishna, or Confucius ». This philosophy, this way of seeing, which the Christians and Muslims call « impious », is actually the foundation for a true monotheist understanding of the world. It is because of this « If you do not recognize Allah (or Christ), I will kill you », that tens of millions of Hindus were slaughtered by Arabs and other millions of South Americans annihilated by the Christians. And ultimately the question is: Are the Muslims of today ready to accept Hinduism ? Unfortunately no. For Muslims all over the world, Hinduism is still the Infidel religion « par excellence ». This what their religion tell them, at every moment, at every verse, at the beginning of each prayer : « Only Allah is great ». And their mollahs still enjoin them to go on fight « jihad » to deliver the world of the infidels. And if the armies of Babar are not there any longer; and if it is not done any more to kill a 100.000 Hindus in a day, there is still the possibility of planting a few bombs in Coimbatore, Mumbai or Varanasi, of fuelling separatisms in the hated land and eventually to drop a nuclear device, which will settle the problem once and for all. As to the Indian Muslim, he might relate to his Hindu brother, for whatever he says, he remains an Indian, nay a Indu; but his religion will make sure that he does not forget that his duty is to hate the Infidel. This is the crux of the problem today and the riddle if Islam has to solved, if it wants to survive in the long run.

We will never be able to assess the immense physical harm done to India by the Muslim invasions. Even more difficult is to estimate the moral and the spiritual damage done to Hindu India. But once again, the question is not of vengeance, or of reawakening old ghosts, but of not repeating the same mistakes. Unfortunately, the harm done by the Muslims conquest is not over. The seeds planted by the Moghols, by Babar, Mahmud, or Aurangzeb, have matured: the 125 million Indian Muslims of today have forgotten that they were once peaceful, loving Hindus, forcibly converted to a religion they hated. And they sometimes take-up as theirs a cry of fanaticism which is totally alien to their culture. Indeed, as Sri Aurobindo once said: “More than 90% of the Indian Muslims are descendants of converted Hindus and belong as much to the Indian nation as the Hindu themselves”…(Rebirth of India, p.237) The embryo of secession planted by the Mahomedans, has also matured into a poisonous tree which has been called Pakistan and comes back to haunt India through three wars and the shadow of a nuclear conflict embracing South Asia. And in India, Kashmir and Kargil are reminders that the Moghol cry for the house of Islam in India is not yet over.

One of the main reasons I have decided to build in Pune a Museum of Indian History, dedicated to the great Shivaji Maharaj (who is depicted in Indian History books as a petty chieftain and a plunderer), is that it will not be enough to rewrite Indian History in books, it will also have to be done in STONE. Please see our website fact-india.com and contribute financially, if you can, to the making of that Museum (we have US, UK and Indian tax exemption). We are also looking for IT persons to donate time to do presentations, animations & GAMES based on the lives of India’s Hindu heroes: Shivaji Maharaj, Maharana Pratapa, Ranu of Jhansi, Ahilyabhai, the Vijaynagar empire, etc. You can contact me at fgautier@rediffmail.com

PRINCE OF ISLAM

Dear friends, I have often been accused of being an anti-Muslim, but the fact is that I am a brought-up catholic and that before coming to India, I could not make the difference between a Hindu and a Muslim. I guess reporting in Kashmir opened my eyes. Yet I saw in Kashmir what remained of Sufism, before it was snuffed out by the militants.

Great souls, vibuthis, avatars, come and go, but something of their influence & message remains. Dara Shikoh, Shah Jahan’s eldest and preferred son, should have become emperor of India – and then the whole history of Islam – in India and may be in the world – would have changed. But he was beheaded by his brother Aurangzeb, and the more intolerant, violent side of Islam took over. Yet, Muslims in India still have it in them to go back to the Sufi, poetic, mystic, tolerant Islam that Dara had preached and which would usher a UNITED INDIA, where Muslims feel Indians first, while keeping true to their faith.

 

Hence FACT’s latest exhibition, honors this prince of Islam.

We plan to erect a special building for it. As you know, my foundation is always struggling for funds. Thus I appeal to you again to donate generously. FACT is a registered Trust with tax exemption. You can make a donation to: FACT, Account No: 04071450000237, IFCS code: HDFC0000407. We will mail you back your tax exemption certificate. For those of you who wish to donate in Euros, Pounds or Dollars, you can make a direct transfer to: Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT) Account No: 04071170000016, Swift code:  HDFCINBB

Thanking you

#francoisgautier

http://dara-shikoh.blogspot.in/