Tag Archives: saffron journalist

Pale Fires Don’t Scorch

col_franco_20090209Deviants of Mangalore and Malegaon are demonised fallaciously   
 Francois Gautier  

Source: OutlookIndia.com
 
 
When I began reporting, I went to interview the RSS leadership in Delhi, expecting, from what I had heard, a few bloodthirsty fascists. I was surprised to meet those old daddies with their long khaki shorts, who would not hurt a fly. Twenty-five years later, the word ‘Hindu Talibanisation’ is being heard amidst the clamour following the odious pub episode in Mangalore. Such incidents should be condemned, as it has no precedent in Indian history—from Prithviraj Chauhan to Shivaji, Hindus respected the women of even their enemies. Yet, I beg to disagree: this is not about the Talibanisation of Hindu groups, it is about their demonisation.

British colonisers in league with the Christian missionaries realised 200 years ago that the biggest obstacle to fully subjugating India was Hinduism, as it was ancient, woven into the fabric of life and held the country together. They set upon defaming Hinduism, by dwelling on what they perceived as its negatives: castes, sati, superstition, etc. Simultaneously, they created in a span of two or three generations a class of Indians who looked up only to the West.

Macaulay, the architect of the scheme, summed it up in his Minute on Education: “We must do our best to form a class of persons, Indians in blood and colour, but English in taste, in opinions, in morals and in intellect.” Macaulay despised Indian culture: “Hindus have a literature of small intrinsic value, hardly reconcilable with morality, full of monstrous superstitions….” The demonisation of Hinduism was apace.

As a result, these Anglicised Indians became ashamed of their own culture. This Western/anti-Hindu outlook was handed down from generation to generation, right down to our age, where many of India’s brilliant and articulate Hindu-Marxist intellectuals, products all of institutions like jnu, or St Stephen’s, keep on repeating, as if by rote, what their hoary forebears were taught by the British. And unfortunately, they pass it back to their friends from the West, neatly marking a full circle. How else could a film like Slumdog Millionaire, made by an Englishman, which literally craps on India from the very first frame, be feted by most of India’s intelligentsia? How else could India specialists like Christophe Jaffrelot peddle to his gullible French readers the spurious theory that there is a “Hindu tradition of terror”?

Politically, the Congress just took over from the British, as I explain in my new book (A New History of India, 2008, Har Anand), and used its English-speaking press to present Hindu social and political parties as fanatical and ridiculous. The goal was to corner the Muslim vote, which was—and still remains—achieved. It does not help today that the supreme leader of India is a Christian. Whether her aides or her ministers (many of them capable people in their own right) rush to gratify her in true bhakti spirit or whether she directly speaks her will, one does not know. But what better way to please her than by equating Hindu fundamentalism with the Muslim one and to turn the flak on to small Hindu outfits which are amateur lambs compared to the Islamic ones?

There are two standards today used by India’s media and intelligentsia. One for minorities and the other for Hindus. It is totally illogical: if 4,00,000 Hindus are hounded out of the Kashmir Valley which has always been their home, nobody protests; but New Delhi has been rooting for Palestinians for four decades and recently donated a million dollars for their welfare. When blast after blast wrecks Indian markets, when trains are bombed, hotels attacked by men worse than animals, intellectuals blame it on Babri Masjid (where nobody was killed) or Gujarat (triggered by the burning of 59 innocent Hindus).But when a few Hindus plan to establish a Hindu rashtra and plot a clumsy, small-scale revenge, they are equated with deadly fundamentalists. A universal theorem is made of their single act, which should stand out as isolated, because Hindus have been for thousands of years tolerant to the point of cowardice. Our intellectuals never theorised when, in Kashmir, militants used to throw acid on women who did not cover up, but now devote reams to the goons of Mangalore.

Finally, to be fair, one has to say that a lot of prudishness has seeped into India because of the Islamic purdah and, later, Victorian stuffiness. Yet, Hinduism always enjoined its adherents to live life fully, including its sexual aspect. We do not want an Indian youth which blindly apes the West: drinking, drugs and promiscuity. But the Hindu political leadership should also shun rough, prudish and moralistic acts which will only alienate its young voters.
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(Francois Gautier is the editor-in-chief of the Paris-based La Revue l’Inde)

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Call a spade a spade

Courtesy: Daily Pioneer

Francois Gautier

In most of the cases, it is Indian Muslim terrorists

I have often been accused of being a ‘Right-winger’, a ’saffron journalist’, a ‘Hindu-lover’. Actually I am proud to be a lover of the Hindus — 850 million in India, a billion in the world, one in every six humanbeings on this planet. I am proud to defend people who have always accepted others, who have given refuge to all persecuted minorities in the world, and who still possess knowledge of karma, yoga, avatar and the hidden realities behind life. People who still produce gurus, ashrams, individuals for us to learn from.

What surprises me the most is that there must be around 200 foreign media correspondents posted in India and that I do not know another one who defends Hindus, except maybe Mark Tully, in a roundabout manner.

I am appalled at what is happening at the moment. For, make no mistake, it is not a question of buying MPs to get through a dubious vote of confidence, it is not even a question of the Communists versus the Samajwadi Party, or even so-called secularist forces against the BJP, or the unleashing of terrorism on Indian democracy. It is, in fact, an all out attack on Hindus and their values.

Nobody wants to call a spade a spade, or else, apologists of Islam will say that Islamic fundamentalism happens because of Palestine or Ayodhya or the Gujarat riots. But make no mistake. All these attacks in Jaipur, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore and Ahmedabad are only targeting Hindus; it is an accident if some Muslims also get killed. Why is it then that at the moment India seems to be paralysed into inaction in the face of an all-out war against Indian liberties and values by Islamic terrorists?

One is really shocked and suspicious as to why Prime Minister Manmohan Singh appears hell-bent to impose upon the nation a nuclear deal with the US which will neutralise India’s nuclear weapons in the face of the aggressive nuclear weaponisation of China and Pakistan, and negate India’s independence in foreign policy, as well as to bring with it immense Westernisation, not to speak of a huge influx of Christian missionaries. Here again, Hindus will lose.

Most of today’s media, sadly, is anti-Hindu. Nothing symbolises this more than CNN-IBN. This channel has chosen to sit on sting operation tapes that clearly show someone close to a very senior Samajwadi Party leader handing over a crore of rupees to three BJP MPs as inducement for abstaining from the trust vote moved by the Prime Minister. If the tapes had been aired, it would have immediately led to the postponement of the trust vote and the UPA would have ultimately lost confidence motion.

Instead, CNN-IBN decided not to telecast the tapes. It sat on them for 24 hours before handing them over to the Speaker. Is this the role of the media? Can a mainstream television news channel, which is associated with a well-known international television organisation, be so partisan and unethical? And get away with it?

Whenever Hindus are hit, the Government looks the other way. It happened when four lakh Hindus were chased out of the Kashmir Valley and many were killed in terrorist attacks over a period of time — both the Centre and the State Government just kept watching. It happened over the recent Sri Amarnath Shrine Board land transfer issue. How dare Mr Omar Abdullah make a self-righteous yet untruthful speech in Parliament and then complain that he was booed?

And now look at the inertia of the Union Government and the media after the Bangalore blasts followed by the the horrible bombings in Ahmedabad, killing more than 50 innocent people.

Does the UPA think that the common citizen of India is a nitwit and does not understand that the Government of India, by pointing its finger at Pakistan’s ISI, or at some Bangladeshi outfit, is trying to deflect attention from the fact that most of the recent terror attacks have been perpetrated by Indian Muslims, with or without Pakistani or Bangladeshi (or Al Qaeda) help?

It is not only a matter of vote-bank in times of election but also a fact that politicians in India want to keep their citizens blindfolded and pretend that nothing is happening. Does not the Government realise that we have all become cynical to its usual conduct on such occasions. It first condemns ‘in the strongest terms’ the ‘barbarous act’ and appeals for calm and ‘communal harmony’, and then gives a few lakhs each to the families of the dead or injured, so that they shut up, and finally never catches the culprits. And so it goes on till the next terrorist strike.

I am a born Christian, but I marvel at the greatness that is Hinduism and Hindus. Ms Sonia Gandhi and Mr Manmohan Singh are doing all they can to cut Hindus to size. Unless Hindus wake up now, unless they realise that they are under attack from all sides, one of the greatest civilisations of all times will slowly pass away. That will be a great loss to the world.