Tag Archives: spiritualism

White man’s burden?

By Francois Gautier
The Pioneer
Tuesday, November 12, 2002

Why do Indians have such an attraction towards white
skin? I am a White and a born Christian – but even after
more than 30 years in India, this attraction in its
people still baffles me. I have looked in my mind for
answers.

When I see Mr Bill Gates coming to give charity to the
poor and ignorant Indians, who do not know how to handle
sex and are on the way to becoming the largest AIDS
reservoir in the world, I wonder: Do Indians really
believe in what the White man says? Do they need a White
man to tell them what to do and what not to do? Actually
the funny thing is that this AIDS scare is an old trick
of hostile NGOs, Christian organisations and the enemies
of India. It is true that AIDS is the scourge of the 21st
century, the great black plague of our era. But more is
being made of it than is necessary, especially in the
Indian context.

World health organisations are fond of saying that India
has the largest population of HIV contaminated cases –
some even speak about 25 millions by 2010. But as every
one knows, AIDS spreads through three agents:
Homosexuality, hypodermic syringes of drug addicts and
prostitutes. Yet, whatever Deepa Mehta or Shabana Azmi
would like us to believe, homosexuality is not very
common in India’s villages, which comprise 80 per cent of
the population; one-sided homosexuality is a Western
phenomenon and it is brought to India by Westernised
Indians.

As for hard drug addiction, again it is not all that
common in Indian villages, except in some of the North-
East border states, many of which incidentally happen to
be Christian. The prostitutes carry the greatest threat
of spreading the disease, particularly in big cities like
Mumbai. Then in turn, those men who have contacted it
will bring it to the villages, when they have intercourse
with their wives. But 25 million AIDS cases?

Again, when I see the fascination that Indians – old and
young, rich and poor, whether from the Congress, the CPI
or even the BJP – have for Congress president Sonia
Gandhi, I wonder: Does India, one of the great ancient
civilisations, need a White woman to govern it? I am sure
she has great qualities, but are Indians so backward that
they cannot find amongst themselves someone intelligent
enough enough to lead them? And what about this craze for
Mother Teresa? She may have been a saint, but nobody has
harmed India’s image in the West as much in the 20th
century. When you mention India in the West, their eyes
light up and they say: “Mother Teresa/ Calcutta/ poor
people/ starving people/ who do not know how to care
after their own underprivileged/ who need a White woman
to show them how to pick-up those dying in the street and
to look after orphans.”

Is this the image that Indians needs today – one that is
harming them, which is stopping Western investors from
investing in India? Yet Mother Teresa is worshiped here,
from Calcutta to Chennai, and when she will be made a
saint by the Vatican, perpetuating this colonial,
superior-minded, Christian symbol of White superiority
over the Brown/Black man, the whole of Indian media will
rejoice in their own mental slavery and the Indian
Government will probably declare a national holiday!

Why don’t Indians understand that Brown is beautiful?
White people spend hours in the beach and put a hundred
cream and lotions to get tanned. Why this obsession in
Indian woman to have white skin? And why this growing
trend to colour their hair blonde? How come the two most
popular actors in India, Aishwarya Rai and Hrithik
Roshan, have very fair skins and blue eyes? Why this
craze about “fair” brides? If you find the answer to
that, you will understand the reason behind Indians’
fatal attraction towards Mr Bill Gates, Ms Sonia Gandhi
and Mother Teresa.

Obviously, colonisation has frozen the Indian mind in
certain patterns and the British made sure, through
Macaulay’s policies of leaving behind them an enduring
complex of inferiority amongst Indians, by constantly
harping on the flaws of Indian culture and inflating
them. This is why Indian intellectuals today repeat what
their masters said before: “Hindus are fundamentalists/
Brahmins are exploiters/ Golwalkar was a Nazi/ Indians
are corrupt and no good.” But that does not explain
everything: Most colonised countries have aped their
masters after having hated them. No, in my mind the
greatest factor behind India’s love of the White is the
absurd theory of Aryan invasion.

According to this theory, which was actually devised in
the 18th and 19th century by British linguists and
archaeologists, the first inhabitants of India were good-
natured, peaceful, dark-skinned shepherds called the
Dravidians, who had founded what is now known as the
Harappan or the Indus Valley civilisation. They were
supposedly remarkable builders: Witness the city of
Mohenjo-Daro in Sind. But they had no culture to speak
of, that is to say no literature, no proper script even.
Then, around 1500 BC, India is said to have been invaded
by tribes called the Aryans: white-skinned, nomadic
people, who originated somewhere in Western Russia and
imposed upon the Dravidians the hateful caste system. To
the Aryans are attributed Sanskrit, the Vedic-Hindu
religion, India’s greatest spiritual texts, the Vedas, as
well as a host of subsequent writings, like the
Upanishads.

This was indeed a masterstroke on the part of the
British: Thanks to the Aryan invasion theory, they showed
on the one hand that the Indian civilisation was not that
ancient and that it was secondary to the cultures which
influenced the Western world, and that whatever good
things India had developed had been as a result of the
influence of the West. Thus, Sanskrit, instead of being
known as the mother of all Indo-European languages,
became just a branch of their huge family; thus, the
religion of Zarathustra is said to have influenced
Hinduism, and not vice versa.

On the other hand, it divided India and pitted its people
against each other, rifts which still endure. Yet, most
recent archaeological and linguistic discoveries point
out that there never was an Aryan invasion and many
historians, including Romila Thapar, are distancing
themselves from it. Yet, most Indians still believe in
this absurd theory.

It is time for you Indians to wake up. You are as great,
if not greater, than the White man. You can do as well,
if not better, than the White man. Not only did your
forefathers devise some of the basic principles of
mathematics, astrology, or surgical medicine, not only
are your people today amongst the most brilliant in the
world – half of Silicon valley is of people of Indian
origin; 30 per cent of UK’s doctors are Indians – but you
still hold within yourselves a unique spiritual
knowledge, which once roamed the world, but which has now
disappeared, replaced by the intolerant creed of the two
major monotheistic religions, which say: “If you don’t
believe in my true God, I will either kill you or convert
you.” Wake-up India. Brown is beautiful, smart and it is
the future.

Francois gautier’s Interview with Tribune

Meet the author
“Content-wise, Indian fiction writers have
little to offer”
Source: Tribune India

Francois Gautier
Francois Gautier

RECIPIENT of this year’s Nachiketa Award for Excellence in Journalism, Francois Gautier is one of those rare writers who mince no words when it comes to telling the truth. Although French by birth, his knowledge of contemporary and historical Indian affairs gives him an unparalleled position among the major writers of non-fiction. He came to India when he was barely 19, an age, in his own words, when the mind has not yet settled into hard and frozen patterns. It was during his stint as a journalist that he discovered the real India while traversing its length and breadth. Unlike most foreign journalist who usually highlight the negative aspects of the Indian society, Francois Gautier talked about the positive aspects as well.

He has been lambasted by his critics for his rather unorthodox writings and applauded by his admirers for acquainting them with the rich legacy of India. His works, spanning over two decades, have been condensed into two books, Arise O India and A Western Journalist’s View on India, brought out by Har Anand Publishers. Not only is the content of his books unusually striking but their spontaneity and lyrical rhythm are also enthralling. The thorough research that has gone into his writings adds a compelling tone to his essays. Aditya Sharma met him for an interview. Excerpts:

When did you come to India for the first time and what was it that held you back ?

I visited India in 1969 with a friend of mine whose father was the last French Governor of Pondicherry. Although India was just another stopover in my journey around the world at that time, but it turned out to be the final destination for me. In Pondicherry I came to know about the Aurobindo Ashram where I got to learn a lot through Sri Aurobindo’s writings. Slowly I found myself so besotted with Indian culture and its pioneering philosophies on spiritualism that I decided to make this country my home.

What were your early experiences in the Aurobindo Ashram like?

When I first went there I discovered an entirely new approach of looking at life. It was as if I had sudden awakened from deep slumber. And later when I met Mother personally, I was left with an ethereal sensation of existence. Her gaze transfixed me and it didn’t take me long to realise that there was more to life than a wholehearted participation in the blind race for material gains.

At what stage of your life did writing begin to interest you?

Prior to coming to India I used to write for a national daily based in Paris. Thereafter after living for a few years in the ashram at Pondicherry, I resumed writing for various national and international papers but this time about Indian affairs.

Did freelancing for various newspapers pay enough for you to be able to support yourself?

It is rather difficult to make one’s ends meet merely through freelancing. The payments made by our various national dailies to such writers are rather nominal, no matter how well they write. I was, however, fortunate enough to write columns for various newspapers based in the West, which fetched me enough to keep myself going.

Some people say that your writings are political, while others feel that you also blend spiritualism into them. In what category would you place yourself as a columnist?

Both politics and spiritualism are inherent parts of our lives. There is actually no distinction between the two. In ancient India it was a rishi who advised the king on the political and other affairs of the country. I only try to combine relevant topics in my columns, be it politics, literature, spirituality, economics or any other subject of significance.

You are quite critical of Gandhi’s policies in your writings and also accuse him of precipitating the process of Partition.

Leaving aside his saintliness, I believe his extreme and somewhat rigid romanticism did enormous harm to India. Right from the beginning he adopted a policy of appeasement towards the Muslim fundamentalists in the hope of making them see light. It, however, never really worked. On the contrary, it led to further demands from them until finally they asked for the partition of the country. History has shown time and again that the policy of appeasement has never worked against bullies. Another classic example of this is Nehru’s policy of pacifism towards China. Did it ever work?

What does India need to do to make all-round development possible?

I believe for that our government needs to drastically revamp its systems.

Besides non-fiction, do you also plan to write a novel or short stories?

I have just finished a novel in French. It is at present with a prominent publisher in France awaiting publication at the earliest. I hope to provide its English translation within a year or so.

Is the story autobiographical?

If the French title is translated into English it will read The Last Caravan to India. It is the story of a Westerner who comes to India and of his impressions of Indian life. It is not strictly autobiographical, although I have, like all novelists, liberally drawn material from my own experiences.

What do you think about the many Indian fiction writers winning laurels outside the country?

Its nice to see Indian fiction writers making their presence feel in international circles. Judging from their style and command over the language, they are evidently quite talented, but content-wise, I think they have little to offer. Most of them end up in catering to western tastes. Unfortunately, many of them have drawn a very dismal and backward picture of India in their stories, which is exactly what the West likes to read.

Besides reading and writing, what other interests occupy you?

I am quite interested in sports and play basketball and go swimming. I also practice yoga regularly. Other than that I enjoy my teaching assignment in a school of journalism at Bangalore where I am a visiting faculty member.

You donated the entire Nachiketa prize money.

Yes I gave away the award money to FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism). Its an organisation which is genuinely involved in helping and highlighting the plight of the Kashmiri Pundits who have ironically become homeless in their own country.