Tag Archives: Indian Govt

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE PM ABOUT THE DELHI DEFEAT & A UNITED HINDU ELECTORATE

Dear Mr Prime Minister,

First let me tell you that many a times, I felt that some Divine Force was inspiring you – the way Sri Aurobindo said that Churchill was guided by Him to fight the Nazis…

But then, I have to say, as someone who travels extensively in India & has spent a lot of time in Delhi for the last 40 years (I have interviewed 7 Indian PM’s), that nothing much has changed. Your ministers are still as unreachable as the Congress ones, functioning in the same system with four layers of secretaries. Even if you have an important work – there is no way you can meet one of your ministers unless you have some pull. Your MP’s, as the Congress ones before them, once they come to Delhi, with their cars, bungalows, countless aides, and so many sycophants coming for favours, quickly lose sight of why they were elected. You need to send them BACK to their constituencies the way Mao Tse Tung sent back all his cadres to the countryside. Delhi is a microcosm of India and you seem to have lost there some of the Hindu electorate who voted for you UNITEDLY, from the Dalit to the businessmen. Some of us had seen this coming for a few months already.

You need to have around you people who will tell you what the mood of the people is – without ANY FEAR – for I have seen, even with gurus, that their followers always want to please them, flatter them and thus shield them from the truth. It is something inherent to the Hindu psyche. If this had been done, maybe we could have told you that the middle class and lower class Hindus who voted for you, want a change at the grass root level. They are not concerned about Obama and nuclear energy, or the way you are skillfully loosening the Chinese encircling grip, or the remarkable unifying of intelligence and their agencies you are doing with Mr Doval, but about the daily problems and the constant bribes that are asked by petty bureaucrats and policemen. I myself experience this in Maharashtra as I am asked bribes for getting permissions for a Museum, which is free, dedicated to Shivaji Maharaj and a sewa project!

Also they do not understand why you were so fiery and outspoken while campaigning – and now that you are elected, you do not seem any more to be promoting their Hindu causes. They cannot fathom, for instance in their simple minds, why you are being so friendly to Sonia Gandhi, who wanted you in prison or even dead – and why you are keeping away from those who supported you in your darkest hours, when nobody thought that you would become PM. These old friends of yours are still keeping quiet, out of respect for your work, but I know many who are bitter. The common Hindu man does not comprehend either why no one in your Government stands by reconversions of Christians or Muslims to Hinduism. During the last Tsunami, at least 10% of the Tamil Nadu fishermen were converted by Christian missionaries, using financial baits, such as free boats. I was there and SAW it. Or why when one of yours says that Hindus must produce more children, he is booed down. We know that Muslims produce seven to eight children per couple and in some areas of India they are now in majority and will NOT vote for you. It is true that there have been vandalizing of churches in Delhi, whether intentional, or just by some common thieves. But this is an old trick of Indian Christians to evoke sympathy from Obama and C° and bring pressure & discredit upon you. You should know better than that: Christians have been the aggressors in this country & the Pope still thinks that India is a fair target for mass conversions.

We understand that you must be the Prime Minister of all Indians and that you have to rise above sectarism, but there has to be in the public a perception that you are the PRIME MINISTER OF HINDUS BECAUSE IT IS THEY WHO VOTED FOR YOU – not the Muslims – whatever Ram Madhav told you before the Kashmir elections, which is going to be another thorn in your heel (and if you do not remove article 370 soon, most Hindus will lose faith in your government). To cultivate the Muslims, thinking that they will like you in the end, as Mr Vajpayee did, under the influence of the nice but misguided Suddeendhra Kulkarni, is not only a waste of time, but also may ALIENATE YOU HINDU VOTERS, whom you are going to need in four years again and at different state elections.  Let the Muslims of India know that they possess the same rights as any Hindus, Sikhs or Christians, which they actually have, including total freedom of worship, that Hindus have neither in Bangladesh, Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, but do not go out of your way to please them. When the common man of Delhi sees that you received Aamir Khan, whose film PK, is a deliberate insult to all Hindu gurus & Hindus, they think something is not right. Also they do not understand why so many Hindu gurus and activists such as sadhvi Pragya and Colonel Purohit, whose innocence has been proved, are still languishing in jail. Congress had no qualms in favouring their people and flouting all decent rules. This isn’t about ethics, but if your aim is just, dharmic, and I believe it is, it does not matter what means are used.

The Congress got elected and elected again with mostly the Muslims votes, till Kejriwal came, You need to CULTIVATE THE HINDU ELECTORATE Sir, by making gestures, even if you let your people do them and stand back. And that has to be done QUICKLY. If they are convinced that you are working for them, you will have the two or even three terms you need to achieve a real Renaissance of India. Democracy is a beautiful but skewed system, easy to hijack by adharmic forces. To realise all the great things you have undertaken, YOU NEED A UNIFIED HINDU VOTE.

The trap now is to listen to the Media which says that your party lost in Delhi because of ‘communal’ reasons – vandalizing of churches, statements by your people about reconversions, or your so-called ten lakh suit. This will prod you and your government to go more secular, let go of more of the pledges you made for the Hindu cause during your campaign, the same way the Vajpayee Government veered away gradually from its Hindu ideals – and lost the elections to Sonia Gandhi.

But think of it like that: you got elected in May last year with a massive mandate BECAUSE of your dedicated, sincere and fiery HINDU promises. There is no reason why it should not work the same way now that you have the power. You need to stick by what your pledged Sir – whatever the Media, Obama, your bureaucrats or the Foreign Press says

Namaste

Francois Gautier

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BACK TO THE GRIND

Just came back to Delhi from France, having tried to convince French decision makers that India is the liberal, democratic, pro-western natural investment alternative to China.
But on the first day here, cell phone lines are so saturated that they disconnect, roads are more and more jammed and no progress in infrastructures. Train bookings done three months in advance are still wait-listed, Air fares have increased further and are now out of reach of even upper middle class. A visit to the Jorbagh Post office showed nothing had changed, the same unhelpful sour-face clerk asked for a photocopy of my passport and telling us to go the market to do it! Another visit to the bank (a foreign that at one: Standard Chartered), again proved how little the customer is trusted in India – it’s as if the first assumption is that he or she is here to cheat the bank and it shows how little the Govt has done to make things easier for the potential foreign investor.

In the Imperial hotel where I had a meet, the rich parasites of Delhi gorge on snacks and cakes, served by arrogant waiters, while the poor and talented of this country go sometimes hungry.
The political scene seems too depressingly familiar, with the Congress, which would suffer an humiliating defeat if there was an election now, showing that it is good at one thing: staying in power at all costs.

Yet, one can only hope that the India of tomorrow envisioned by swami Vivekananda and Sri Aurobindo, upon which living gurus such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are working, will one day materialize. FG

INCREDIBLE INDIA http://www.dnaindia.com/india/analysis_reality-does-not-match-incredible-india-ads_1520050

INCREDIBLE INDIA

Nowadays, in every hotel, every railways station, every government office, you can find posters selling « Incredible India ».

I have been a defender of India for many many years, but the Incredible India campaign does not always match the reality on the ground.

Take visas, for instance. Because India’s intelligence agencies did not do their work properly and Headley was able to move around freely around the country, preparing the 26/11 terror attacks, visa rules have been tightened to such an extent that it has become ridiculous. Recently I asked for a visa for my assistant, a French lady, who likes India, and wants to work in India. She would help in the making of La Revue de l’Inde, the only magazine solely devoted to India in the French speaking world, and which props-up India as the natural, liberal and democratic alternative to China… The Indian embassy in Paris offered her a 3 months visa! Visa rules in India are nehruvian and outdated. The Chinese have understood that one needs to open one’s doors if one wants investments. Incredible India!

Take railways. 20 years ago one had to wait for a long time to get a confirmed berth on the Ranikhet Express which connects to two of the most popular hill stations in northern India: Nainital & Ranikhet. Any change? When we booked our tickets, we were waitlisted 12 & 13. A month later, we were still 12 & 13! Lalu Prasad & Mamta Banerjee might start new trains to please their constituencies, but they do not increase the existing capacities and as a result Indian railways have hardly progressed in 20 years, whereas again, the Chinese have clean, comfortable and fast trains. I say fast, because when we finally got confirmed berths on the Ranikhet express, the train was seven hours late and took 14 hours to cover the 378 kms that separate Delhi from Kathgodam, which makes for an average speed of 19 kms an hour. Incredible India !

India is the largest democracy in the world, they say. Is it at the moment? Reliance claims the Government has asked them to spy on a 100.000 phones. What about the other operators? How many phones is this Government spying on? The CBI blatantly lets go of Quatrocchi the only man who could implicate Sonia Gandhi in the Bofors scam, but goes out big time after Hindu ‘terrorists’. There is some progress though, because a few people are beginning to point a finger at Sonia Gandhi (Raja must have shared some of the scam money with the Congress for their election campaigns and we all know that Sonia holds the strings of the purse – hence her immense power), whereas before nobody dared, for fear of some goons ransacking their office or even being killed. Incredible India !

Speaking of mobiles. The 2G scam is not only about mobile operators paying bribes to Mr Raja to buy bandwidth at throwaway prices and sell them a month later at huge profits to foreign companies, as Tata did to Japanese Docomo, it is also about them thinking they can get away with anything and employing strong arms tactics to recover unpaid bills. I have been a customer of Essar, (then Hutchinson, then Vodafone) since 1997, when I paid a deposit of 5000, which is worth at least four more today. In 2008 my 11 year on-time paid connection (9811118828), was arbitrarily disconnected by Vodafone for a disputed bill of Rs 2000 (of unwanted adds while in Bali, which one of the then Hutch executives had agreed to waive). Then on 10.3.10, I received a call on my new mobile from sub-inspector Kripal Singh (08010649949), who said there was a non bailable warrant against me for unpaid mobile bills. He gave me the mobile number of a lawyer at Delhi’s Tees Hazra’s court (09540602039) and that I had to pay him an amount of Rs.7,500/- before 5 PM, otherwise I would go to jail. Most people pay out of fear. Incredible India!

What about banks? There is so much cheating in India by rich people (like Hassan Ali, who has just gone to jail though it is known for years he has 4 fake passports), that the low income lawful customers pay for them. Since five years foreigners can own property in India or even have 100% shares in companies. I am a PIO, so I have every single right that any other Indian have, except to vote. But try opening a trust account, even in a private bank like HDFC. It’s just hell, as your are mistrusted at every step, a hundred forms have to be signed, copies of your PIO have repeatedly to be given and every request starts with a no, no, no. The tragedy in India as it is so centralized with the Government breathing with a million rules on everyone’s necks, that private initiative is stifled, because everybody is so scared that they go even overboard in denying you. Incredible India!

If only Indian politicians could hear what ordinary Indians are saying about them. Our driver in Jaipur who is paid 5000RS a month by a hotel that charges 22.0000 Rs a day for a room, says with a smirk as soon as we get in his car: “India, My India, Incredible India, but everybody is corrupt Sir, I hate them all”. Incredible India!

Good journalism should always balance criticism with positive outputs so that one’s readers should not feel that the world is bleak and hopeless. Let me say then, that India has shown again that when in extreme distress, it can raise its head and correct its headings. The judiciary and the press are fighting the incredible corruption cancer that has taken over Indian politics and some accountability is being primed at the moment.

In Jaipur again, I stumbled in a stadium with over 100.0000 people, many of them youngsters, singing, dancing, breathing, and meditating with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar during the occasion of Shivaratri. That was amazing: Incredible India.

Fgautier26@rediffmail.com

Editor in Chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l’Inde and author of “A New History of India” (Har Anand, New Delhi)

RECIPROCITY & HINDU ANGER

RECIPROCITY & HINDU ANGER

This starts as a beautiful story. Once upon a time, there was a tiny village in South Arcot’s district of Tamil Nadu, called Kuilaplayam. Now Kuilapalayam is like hundreds of villages around Pondichery: it is peopled with Hindu Vanniars, a caste slightly higher than the untouchables, poor, living off agriculture, usually a few meagre fields of cashew nuts. But then Kuilapalayam just happened to be in the midst of Auroville, the international township, founded by the Mother of Pondichery, based upon the ideals of the great yogi and revolutionary, Sri Aurobindo.

Thus Kuilaplayam prospered: its inhabitants learned trades needed for the city: carpenters, masons, craftsmen, some of its children attended Auroville’s schools and were educated along with western kids and in time graduated and went into white collar jobs. From a few cycles 40 years ago, Kuilapalama has today motorcycles, tractors, cars, vans, cable TV, cell phones, etc. The main road of Kuilapalayam which used to boast only shady huts, became lined-up with fancy shops which sell everything, from vegetables to handicrafts.

And then the unavoidable happened: a Kashmiri Muslim from Chennai heard about Auroville and the prosperity of Kuilapalaym and understanding that he could make a packet with so many westerners passing though Auroville, he opened the usual shawls & carpets’ shop in the village. Now Kuilapalayam never counted a Muslim amongst its population in its 1200 years of recorded history; but in the true Hindu tradition, this one was welcomed and nobody raised an objection, although he was competition for some of the other shops. Our Kashmiri Muslim, seeing his success, called his cousin in Kolkata, who came and opened another shop; and that one phoned his friend in Mumbai, who also landed-up and opened a third shop. Still nobody found anything to say. Kashmiris are sociable fellows and they quickly made friends with Westerners, most of them blissfully unaware of the political situation in India, so business was booming, till they were seven or eight Kashmiri shops in Kuilapalayam. And again nobody complained, even when the fellows started doing their naamaz in their backyards. “Isn’t God everywhere and isn’t He Krishna, as well as Allah”, said one of the villagers?

Then Bhoumi, one of the young boys of Kuilapalayam, who had gone to study in Delhi, told his parents when he came back, about the fact that not only no Hindu were allowed to buy land or start a shop in the Valley of Kashmir, where the shopkeepers came from, but that four hundred thousand Hindus, were chased out of the Valley by terror, many of them having been murdered and that many were still living as refugees in camps in Jammu and Delhi. His parents started talking to their friends and there was the first hint of resentment against the newcomers.

Then some elders of Kuilapalayam hear that Mulsims of Kashmir rioted when the Government allotted some land in Amarnath, one of the most sacred and ancient Hindu pilgrimages, high in the Himalayas. Bhoumi’s father went to see a group of Kuilaplayam Kashmiris having tea and told them that Hindus never complained about their government giving billion of rupees in subsidies to Indian Muslims so that they can visit their most Holy place, the Mecca. “But when Hindus, he continued, need shelters, toilets and basic facilities at height of 15.000 feet to worship at one of the holiest places of Hinduism, why do you Kashmiri Muslims deny it to us” ? The Kashmiris looked a bit uneasy, then replied “that anyway the Amarnath ice lingam had been discovered by a Muslim shepherd and that Muslims have always welcomed their Hindu brothers to Armanath”. But this did not convince the Kuilapalayam man who had heard from his son that many grenade attacks had happened over the years against the Amarnath pilgrims. And anger started mounting in Kuilapalayam.

So it is all a question of reciprocity. Most Hindus are peace-loving people. The average Hindu that you meet in a million Indian villages, such as Kuilapalayam, is easy-going and accepts you and your diversity, whether you are Christian, Muslim, Parsi or Jain, Arab, French or Chinese. He goes about his business and usually does not interfere in yours.

In fact Hindus take it a little further: they hate trouble and go out of their way to avoid it. Have you noticed how every time there is a possibility of a strike or trouble, Hindus stay home? Or how – forget about rioting – Hindus never speak-up, complain or protest in a united manner. Not only that, but everywhere in the world, Hindus are hounded, humiliated, routed, be it in Fiji where an elected democratic government was twice deposed in an armed coup, or in Pakistan and Bangladesh, where Muslims indulge in pogroms against Hindus every time they want to vent their hunger against India (read Taslima Nasreen’s book “Lalja”). In Assam, Tripura, or Nagaland, Hindus are being outnumbered by Bangladeshi illegal immigrants and terrorized by pro-Christian separatist groups, such as the Bodos or the Mizos, while local governments often turn a blind eye. Their temples are being taken over in many states like in Kerala or Karnataka, and the donations appropriated by the state governments.

Yet, in 3500 years of known existence, Hindus have never military invaded another country, never tried to impose their religion upon others, by force or even by induced conversions. No, it has rather been through peaceful invasions that Hinduism has stormed the world, whether in the East, witness Angkor Vat, or in the West today, where the by-products of Hinduism, yoga, meditation, ayurveda, pranayama, spread by great gurus such as Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, have been adopted by millions.

Thus Hindus, who accept everybody, welcome all religions, allow Indians from other parts to trade next to them, as it happened in Kuilapalayam, do not receive in return any gratitude and the same respect. On the contrary, they get mocked at, bombs are planted in their markets, their trains; their temples, their five star hotels get attacked, they are chased out of their homelands; television and newspapers make fun of them, their own politicians ostracize them… Hindus recognize the fact that God may manifest at different times under different names, the concept of the avatar – Krishna, Buddha, Mohamed or Jesus Christ. Indeed, Hindus gave refuge to all persecuted minorities of the world from the Parsis, to the Jews (India is the only country in the world where Jews were not persecuted, or killed bar the recent attack on the Nariman house in Mumbai) to the Armenians and the Tibetans today.

The first Christian community of the world, that of the Syrian Christians was established in Kerala in the 1st century and Christians in this country always had freedom of worship and respect from Hindus. But how did Christians repay their Hindu brothers and sisters? When the Portuguese landed in India in the 16th century, their Jesuits started a reign of terror in Kerala and particularly in Goa, forcibly marrying young Hindu girls to their soldiers, razing hundreds of temples to build churches, crucifying Brahmins. Today, Indian missionaries are converting with unethical means innocent tribals and Dalits in states like Orissa with the million of dollars donated by Westerners thinking it is to alleviate poverty. I am a Westerner and born Christian, but I cannot condone conversion from one religion to another by using cash and other financial baits. Furthermore, the new converts are encouraged to look down on their own culture and it creates tensions and havoc in their society as seen recently in Kandhamal.

So, sometimes, Enough is Enough. At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus, the most peace-loving people in the world, those the Mahatma Gandhi once called gently ‘cowards’, those who cringe in their houses at the least sign of riot, erupt in fury – uncontrolled fury. And it hurts. It hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu. It is happening in Orissa now. It may happen again elsewhere, as Hindus are reaching a boiling point.

Yes, one should condemn the pogroms that happened in Gujarat or in Orissa, but one should look also in the causes. It is not only the 36 innocent Hindu women and children who were burnt savagely in a train by a mob of criminals, worse than animals, or the fact that an 84 year old harmless swami and his Mataji were brutally murdered. It is also how much silent frustration and anger must have built over the years, decades, or centuries even, amongst Gujarati or Orya Hindus, that in one moment, normal Hindus, peaceful people, many of them Dalits, tribals, or even upper middle class, came out on the streets of Ahmedabad or the jungles of Khandamal with such fury.

François Gautier