Tuesday, January 15, 2008

An Indian Frenchman

Francois Gautier, like most of you know, is very open about his fondness for India. He likes it so much that he married an Indian & has been living in our beloved country for the past 33 years.

I came across his works years ago when I read his columns on Rediff. Not being an Indian & not belonging to any particular Indian community helps him in being unbiased. I found his work to be that way. If you read most other Indian opinions, you'll see a certain bias/inclination at the cost of objectivity. More often than not, personal views/preferences come out through their works.

Mr. Gautier has been working to bring out the facts about India & it's history. He has started a foundation called FACT, that holds exhibitions to achieve this. Some of them can be seen here. He has taken these exhibitions around the world & has tried bringing out the truth about India's history. Some of the exhibitions were on the Kashmir situation, Shivaji the great Maratha warrior, the truth about Aurangazed & have been greatly appreciated. In the last one, he has used actual facts to bring out the truth about how Aurangazeb sought to spread his empire & faith. His own court records say so. Read this to know the truth. It's surprising, even baffling to know, in the face of all this proof, some of the Hindu bashers still continue to do so blindly. You should criticize Hindus & Hinduism for all that's bad, the Sati tradition, dowry etc. But also acknowledge the truth & see what was done to it. Not everything is bad about the Hindu faith.

It's strange to know how the fact is different from what we've learned or known through popular readings & media. The mainstream media & it's rhetorical ilk often obfuscate the truth. In their penchant for sensation & high TRPs, true journalism is the victim. His works are worth reading. Going through his columns, you'll realise that he has read extensively on India, it's history & it's traditions. Most of us have not done that. Our knowledge of history is based primarily on our school education, which we all know is not entirely fair. Like this article says, the English did it wrong. But we are blessed today with a French journalist who is undoing the injustice meted out to our glorious tradition. One of us should have done this long ago, but we should lend support to his work & help spread the facts.

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