Tag Archives: francois gautier

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

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Islam and the Bhagavad-Gita

In the last 30 years, I have spoken against Islam and Islamic fundamentalism numerous times in my books as well as in in my articles and conferences. Often thus, I have been often branded as an Islamophobe or a hard-line pro-Hindu…

Yet, when I came to India, I was innocent : I did not know the difference between a Muslim and a Hindu. And as a journalist I had the same prejudices and ideas about India as any other Western correspondent. In fact I embraced the same ideas: ‘secularism, the Congress is the only party that can unify India, Hindus too can be fundamentalists’, et cetera…

But then, I started covering Kashmir during the 90s, when separatism bloomed and violence set fire to the Valley. It is there that I saw the first Hindu leaders whom I had interviewed previously, assassinated in the most savage manner, such as doctors, lawyers, or All India radio broadcasters. And then, when Benazir Bhutto gave her famous speech of ‘Azad Kashmir’, every mosque in Srinagar and the Valley repeated that cry, telling Hindus: “Convert or die”. And in a few weeks, 350,000 Kashmiri Pandits left their ancestral houses and land, for no other crime than being Hindus – and that without firing a shot in self-defence – becoming refugees in their own country, a first in the world.

Thus my eyes were opened and I lost my innocence. Since then, covering many other countries, I witnessed the same phenomenon in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Afghanistan, of Hindus being the target of hatred, as Jews have been for centuries. This set me to study Indian history and I quickly realised that great Hindu heroes such as Shivaji Maharaj or Maha Rana Pratap, had been bypassed in Indian history books, to a single paragraph: Shivaji Maharaj who alone with his wits, extraordinary courage and a few hundred men, defeated the most powerful army of the world of his time, is a ‘plunderer’; and Maharana Pratap, is described as a small chieftain, although he is the only Rajput to have fought the Moghols and to have held Akbar’s army at bay the Hadilghati battle. The irony is that tyrants such as Aurangzeb, who were monsters not only towards Hindus but also with their own family – Aurangzeb poisoned his own father, beheaded his brother Dara Shikoh, imprisoned his son – are lauded in history books as ‘firm but just emperors under whom arts flourished’ (Aurangzeb actually banned music at his court, because it was un-Islamic)….

…It happens that my wife and myself are teachers of the pranayama and meditation techniques of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, which we have practicing for the last 25 years and which have changed our lives, giving us energy, enthusiasm and commitment. We do this free, as a sewa, to partake of this great gift to humanity that originates from India.

During the last Shivaratri celebrations, we taught in Sri Sri’s Bangalore ashram a pranayama course to a batch of Iranians. Our group, which had many girls and ladies, some of them who always covered their heads, was reserved at first, but as the course progressed, there grew a bond of affection and warmth between us all. We could perceive so much love and humanity in all of them. And by the end of the course, we all danced and hugged each other.

Now it is not because I have fought Islam that I did no know before this course that Muslims are as much as the others, decent human beings, warm, family oriented, hospitable. I remember when I drove to India by road from Paris, crossing many Muslim countries. My best friend was then a Muslim French Moroccan. He would say “AssalamoAlaikum », and doors would open, smiles were flashed, we would be dined, entertained, respected. This universal brotherhood of Islam does not exist in the Hindu world.

So this set me thinking: Islam was born in Iran and since Khomeini’s takeover, though it has a Shia majority, Iran has an image of a hard-core Islamic nation, where the Sharia reigns supreme and which is ready even to use a nuclear weapon to impose the supremacy of its faith. Yet these people we taught were the opposite and showed values of refinement and love that are today missing in the western Christian world….

I do understand even more now that most Muslims are good, witness the many human right organizations, journalists or intellectuals that fight for their rights as refugees, at the moment Yet the stumbling block remains the Koran, a wonderful scripture, no doubt, but which was written for people and mentalities of 1400 years ago, when realities were harsh, punishments even harsher and survival a matter of life and death. Nobody has read the Koran properly, except the Islamic terrorists of today: it does say that the Infidels should be slayed, that Islam must be the world religion, that women can be stoned if unfaithful, or that being gay is a crime punishable by death. Logic would say that Muslim scholars of international repute should get together and reform the Koran, as Christians have done, so that it becomes adapted to the 21st century world. Problem is that nobody dares touch it or question it for fear of death. Problem is that even within the most moderate, educated and enlightened Muslims, logic and good sense, stops when it comes to the Koran…

Thus, I will continue fighting Islam, in the spirit of the Bhagavad Gita: so many of my brothers and sisters are in the opposite camp. I have come to love them and respect them too… Yet, I know that willingly or unwillingly, consciously or unconsciously, by accident or by karma, they are born in a religion that is harming the world, that is on the side of the anti-human and anti-divine forces. Therefore it must be challenged, even if it is with love in the heart – and not hatred.

Nevertheless, this course also opened my eyes: Sri Sri reminds us that we are one World family, Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam. Let us not forget that…

François Gautier

The BRAHMAPUTRA LITERARY FESTIVAL

In a conference in Guwahati, the BRAHMAPUTRA LITERARY FESTIVAL
Good organization, good venue, lots of people, students, writers, poets – and this beautiful Assamese touch, that has managed to retain its Indian-ness and can be often seen in its women.
The inauguration was also first-class – except that the speeches by the Minister of Culture Gov Assam, CM, organizers etc lasted for nearly two hours!! Only the speech of Prakash Javadekar the HRD Union Minister, was lively short and to the point… But by that time, everybody was bored and people were not even listening anymore. Why can’t Indians understand that this a Nehruvian format and that all these pompous long and boring inaugurations have to be done with!
Then we broke in sessions and that was a far cry from the glittering inauguration. Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal left the venue with a caravan of 20 cars, with his security jostling the crowd, without a thought. Mr Sonawal is a Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) man – why does he have to follow this @indiancongress VVIP old pattern? Contrast this with Mr Prakash Javadekar, who is ever courteous, mingles with the crowd and does not use his status as a Union Minister to push himself around?
There was hardly a crowd of 30 for our panel, no water and proper organization. The subject was ‘The Word and Public Space’, which was a good one. I spoke about the need to go back to silence, the crowding of the Public Space, the tools that India has offered to writers and journalists to go back to silence for a better intuition, such as meditation, pranayama, hata-yoga, being careful, as there was a Muslim Bangladeshi writer in the panel, to say that breath has no religion and that anybody, whatever his or her religion, could practice it.
I was surprised to be attacked quite virulently by the next speaker, Sanjoy Hazarika, whom I discovered afterwards, is Director: Centre for North East Studies and Policy Research, Jamia Millia Islamia university Delhi. Not only that, but Sanjoy went on to politicize the whole panel discussions, speaking about the persecution of Rohingya Muslims, the mass killings by police in Assam, the innocent who are languishing in Indian prisons… But not a word of course about how Hindus have been killed and chased out of Bangladesh for decades! Obviously, the target of Hazarika was @narendramodi, whom he seems to hate. But virulent journalists like that are often not that courageous themselves. I was pissed at the guy and challenged him to come outside the hall once the session was over.. Which he didn’t
What hurts me is that I do no harm in defending Hindus: I am not hateful, I am not nasty, I don’t preach violence, but I am branded by people like Hazarika like an untouchable, as if I carry the plague, or I am more dangerous than terrorists who kill innocent people by the thousands in the name of a Medieval and cruel Scripture. You would be surprised that westerners who I am helping at the moment as many are facing visa problems, in Auroville-Pondicherry, think the same of me.

ABOUT @DONALDTRUMP’S VICTORY IN US ELECTIONS

Contrary to expectations & contrary to all predictions by TV channels, pundits, intellectuals, Hollywood actors, the Indian Media, etc, Donald J. Trump has won the USA elections. No doubt Hillary Clinton was more knowledgeable when it came to foreign policy and would have made a more seasoned president. But there are FOUR aspects that interest us:

1) This election is mostly about Islamic terrorism: the common American people are fed-up to hear every time that there is an Islamic terrorism act, their politicians say that it has nothing to do with Islam. They also have lost faith in the Muslim community which never acknowledges that these terrorists take their inspiration from the Koran & then complain about Islamophobia

2) Donald Trump will be a friendlier President towards India than Hillary, who has always been pro-Pakistan and was even planning to make her friend and close associate, Huma Abedin, an American of Pakistani-Indian origin, her Secretary of State. Indeed, in a letter dated une 13, 2012, to the State Department Inspector General, five Republican members of Congress claimed that Abedin “has three family members – her late father, her mother and her brother – connected to Muslim Brotherhood operatives and/or organizations”…

3) One notable note facts about Donald J. Trump‘s history in the US elections is that not only the entire Media, American as well as Indian or any other for that matter had predicted that Hillary Clinton would win, but also that shamelessly, for a profession that is supposed to inform people and remain neutral, they shamelessly all tried to undermine Trump in whatever way they could, even if it meant ignore the fact that Hillary Clinton’s emails as released by Wikileaks showed that she knew that Qatar and Saudi Arabia were funding the ISIS and Al Qaeda, while pretending to be part of the American coalition against them.
Does this mean that that journalists or CNN or the BBC News or the The New York Times or of India’s Firstpost or NDTV are going to apologize to their readers or viewers for having misled them? Not at all, they act as if they did not err and find excuses for @HillaryClinton, forgetting that she was badly beaten. It is for us the hapless public to make known to these people our anger and dismay

4) The last fact is that there are a lot of similarities with the election of @narendramodi, who was hated by the Media and the intellectuals. Mr Trump will have to learn a little from the Indian PM, how he rose above party politics and yet remained firm and decisive, whether striking against militants in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, or declaring war on Black Money

 

Francois gautier

ABOUT PRIME MINISTER @NARENDRAMODI’S BANNING OF 500 & 1000 RS NOTES

It’s a great move of Prime Minister Narendra Modi: in one stroke, he got the support of all the common and poor people of India, including even maybe the minorities, such as the Muslims, many of them belonging to the more deprived class of Indians. This would be a major political coup for Mr Modi, that could pave the way for some of the Muslim votes going to the @BJP4India, not only in the UP polls, but also during the next General elections. He of course struck the first blow in the crucial battle against corruption and black money, the twin cancers that are eating away India’s entrails. What has not been said through by the Media, which is trying to see negativities, is that those who are most likely to suffer are political parties like the Indian National Congress, who depend so much on black money for elections.

Narendra Modi‘s unexpected announcement, will hit the real estate developers and traders the most, since both typically deal in cash to avoid paying taxes. But it is Real estate which will suffer the most, as thousands of crores worth of black money are stashed. As all of you who bought a flat know, you always have to pay upto 40% of the property price in black. You can expect now flats to become cheaper!

On top of that, the good news is that this new law is going to hit hard political parties. As you all know, in India, most political parties receive heavy donations in cash without any records. So many politicians have been caught with suitcases full of 1000 rs notes. One of them, the son of ex Delhi Indian National Congress Chief Minister, whom I will not name, even forgot one in a train, showing how routine black money is for politicians. And what about all those Mulayam Singh and Lalu who keep giving laptops free to students, TV sets, etc? where will they find the money? Going by an analysis of Association for Democratic Reforms (ADR) and National Election Watch for 2013-14, the source of funds for most political parties remain opaque. At present, about 75 percent of the source of funds to political parties remains unknown.

Here are some tidbits about Narendra Modi‘s bombshell and its practical consequences:There are 15.7 billion notes of Rs 500 and 6.3 billion notes of Rs 1,000 in circulation in India. Thus, 22 billion notes in the country were junked after midnight. Can you imagine how many black hoarders, politicians, corrupt bureaucrats, builders, contractors, must be wringing their hands this morning? Bravo the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Govt, you did Indian proud. Rs 14 lakh crore–or $217 billion, 86% of the value of Indian currency currently in circulation–has become useless from midnight of 8 November, 2016, as per the Prime Minister Narendra Modi‘s brilliant plan. Rs 500 notes amount to Rs 7.85 lakh crore (approx. $120 billion), while Rs 1,000 add up to to Rs 6.33 lakh crore ($97 billion), according to Reserve Bank of India data.

One of the great successes of this plan is that the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Govt managed to keep it secret till the last moment, otherwise, hoarders, corrupt officials, politicians, builders etc, would have found a way to unload their stashed cash.

Please congratulate your Prime Minister !

Francois Gautier

#MotherTeresa canonization

As a westerner and a born and brought-up catholic, I am aghast that #MotherTeresa ‘s canonization is seen as an occasion of national pride for India, to the point that the @BJP4u government has sent @Sushmaswataj to represent it. Mother Teresa is the worst publicity that can be for an India that wants to move in the 21st century, for her image bring to the minds of westerners poverty, old people dying on pavements, orphans that are abandoned, things that are slowly disappearing in India. I am also shocked at ho much the Indian Media is glowingly reporting it. The @Hindustan Times, or @NDTV must have been paid huge amounts to devote page after page, newscast after newscast to the canonization, which even Christians today think is a sham. Many saints have been discovered no saints at all. And then the question arises: are Indian minds still colonized? Did Macaulay succeed so well in creating a class of brown sahibs, that Indian love to be demeaned, that even the @BJP of @narendramodi, a Hindu party, that is attacked by the very people the Indian Govt is promoting, now falls for this trap?? Cry O My Beloved India: look at what Thy children do to Thee

A PLEA FOR THE SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MUSEUM OF (TRUE) INDIAN HISTORY, PUNE

I am a French journalist, correspondent for ten years of the largest French Daily, Le Figaro and the author of a dozen History books on India (latest: A History of India As It Happened, Har Anand, New Delhi). I was witness of the exodus of 3 lakhs Hindus from the valley of Kashmir & it so touched me that I mounted an exhibition on the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, which was opened in 2005 in Delhi’s Habitat Center by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Followed a series of exhibitions on the Bangladesh minorities, Aurangzeb as he was according to his own records, Maharana Pratap, Ahiliyabai, etc.

At some point, we had so many exhibitions that the idea came to build a Museum of true Indian History. Sri Sri gave us five acres of land near the Pune airport and the project started in 2013. I have a great admiration for Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, as he is the Napoleon of India, an incredible man, who with a few hundred men and his wits only, stood his ground against the  then  most powerful army in the world, that of Aurangzeb. Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj was much more than a warrior: he made laws, built the first Indian navy, was a staunch Hindu, yet donated to Sufi shrines and never harmed the wives and children of his enemies and had a vision of a unified India. Yet, his place in Indian history books is minimal and underrated. Thus we have chosen to honor him in this Museum.

Today we have eight Pavilions, each with a unique permanent exhibition, a Bharat Mata temple dedicated to Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj and a video room. The Museum is open from 9 to 6PM and entrance is free. I am in the process of erecting three new buildings, one for a Portuguese Inquisition exhibition, another for one on Tippu Sultan and one which will have a room with flat TV screens only, each one playing on a loop films, PPT’s, etc.

This is a sewa project as both my wife Namrita and myself continue with our respective jobs, she as a textile designer and myself as a journalist and writer. Thus we depend entirely on donations to move forward. We have a registered trust, FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism), which has FCRA, as well as Indian, US & UK tax exemption.

We would like to take the Museum to the next level and our architect, Sheetal Harpale of Pune, has designed a wonderful building in the shape of a swastika, which will cost about seven crores to make and would be on par with any Museum in the world. Thus we appeal to your generosity –  this is a unique project, but extremely diffcult, as History has remained a taboo subject in India, though it has been distorted first by the British and then by Marxist historians for their own purpose.
Corporates are wary of donating to a Museum of Indian History, as they are used to give to health and education, needed areas no doubt, but as Sri Sri said, “no nation can move forward, unless it faces its own history squarely”.

Thank you
Namrita & Francois Gautier

PLEASE VISIT FOR MORE INFO: https://milaap.org/campaigns/ShivajiMaharajMuseum