Losing ground to the Western psyche: India’s way

Nava Thakuria

Nava Thakuria

By Nava Thakuria

GUWAHATI, India, 30 October 2019

India, even though getting liberation from British colonial power decades ago, still perceives the Western concept of lifestyles, and its millions of residents feel safe with Western medicinal practices. But India (also known as Bharat and Hindustan) has the most ancient medical system in the world, and Ayurveda (Unnani/Siddha) is still in practice across the vast country.

Francois Gautier, an India-based senior French journalist, while interacting with a group of scribes at Guwahati Press Club on 26 October 2019 through video-conferencing, revealed that Indian ancient scholars realized the importance of plants and minerals in treatments long before the discovery of Western medicines. Moreover, many diseases have a psychosomatic origin, and this should be taken into consideration for treating patients.

But most of the Indian schools and universities still today teach Western concepts, and thus produce some export-worthy youths to Western countries. So the greatest brain drain in the world can be seen among the Hindus, who leave their country to enrich research centers, academic faculties, and medical and engineering groups all over the world, particularly in the US, Canada, and the UK. Most Indians go abroad and eventually settle down there, and finally their successors are lost forever to their country of origin.

Otherwise, Hindus are descendants of an ancient civilization in human history, and Hinduism is the only religion that accepts and respects all the other religious faiths — yet there are many Western journalists and correspondents who are still biased against India. The Paris-born Gautier asserted that the Western media should at least respect the country with the wisest past, which still gives birth to humans with wonderful qualities.

“But most of the Western correspondents posted in New Delhi take little notice about the uniqueness of India, paying almost no respect to the billion-plus nation even after 70 years of its independence. They are supposed to report honestly about India so that their readers, many of whom are ignorant about the great nation, get enlightened,” said Gautier.

Himself a regular contributor to various international publications, including a few from France, Gautier argued that foreign correspondents are normally assigned for four to five years in India, and that is not enough for understanding a country which is so vast, diverse, and also contradictory. More precisely, Delhi is very far from southern or eastern India.

Shockingly, the Indian journalists who regularly write for Western media outlets normally follow the guidelines of their editors, and very often they don’t hesitate to paint a negative image of their own country, exclaimed Gautier. However, he feels that the alternate media has provided space for many Indians, including qualified journalists, to speak on various issues they deem fit for exposure.

“India is never in the news in the West unless there is some major catastrophe or huge elections. Thus, if anyone wants to write for those publications, he or she has to find stories that might often border on the sensational, marginal and even misleading,” commented the outspoken journalist, who has been living in India for many decades now.

Speaking about Hindu tolerance, Gautier opined that it has been a one-way traffic for the Hindus, as they experienced cruel genocides in the sad history of humanity. But Hindus have shown extreme tolerance and Hinduism is the only religion that never tried to convert others. However many Indian intellectuals claim that Hindus are intolerant, fanatic, or fundamentalist.

India’s first Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru was a great admirer of English socialism, and he adopted British constitutional, judicial, and even education systems without considering the exceptional Indian socio-cultural and traditional values. Nehru had to nurture the sentiments of a sizable Muslim population that did not join Pakistan (west or east) and continued to live in India.

“For these reasons, Nehru asked historians to show esteem to Muslim rulers like Akbar or Aurangzeb and ignore the greatness of Hindu warriors like Chatrapati Shivaji, Maharana Pratap, Rani Lakshmibai, and more, knowing that Hindus would not react, not to speak of protesting,” commented the contributor to Journal de Geneve, Le Figaro, and La Revue de l’Inde, along with various Indian newspapers.

Hence Gautier believes that the Indian history should be rewritten, and he has reasons to explain this. For over seven decades, the Indian establishment comprising people from Nehruvian-Marxist and pseudo-secular ideology used to influence everything from school curriculum to public policy to history writing.

It has built up a false narrative that systematically condemned India’s civilizational journey. Since the overwhelming majority of the people here remain Hindus, the establishment tried its best to turn itself as anti-Hindu. It encouraged people to negate anything associated with Hinduism. The tendency extended to reproving the Vedas, Upanisad, Bhagavad Gita, Ramayana, Mahabharata, and also the mother of all Indian languages Sanskrit.

Bringing the reference to Hebrew, the ancient language of Israel, Gautier pointed out that Israeli people, after getting a part of their holy land in 1948, started welcoming Jews from various parts of the world. As they came back to live in Israel a major problem arose because they spoke different languages. The Israeli authority asked their scholars to revive Hebrew, which had fallen in decrepitude, so that everybody can speak Hebrew.

“Today the Hebrew language has unified Israel like nothing else, which should inspire India to revive Sanskrit. The government should invite some dedicated linguists to sit down with Sanskrit scholars for devising a way of simplifying and modernizing the ancient language. I am sure it would energize and revitalize the whole Indian culture” stated the author of “India’s Self Denial”, “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a Guru of Joy”, “A New History of India”, “A History of India as It Happened”, among other articles.

Married to an Indian woman, Gautier also argued that India and Israel share so much in common that both can learn a lot from each other! Hindus and Jews, far from being the persecutors of minorities, have been persecuted for nearly two thousand years and have been the victims of the worst genocides in history. While the German dictator Hitler murdered six million Jews in his gas chambers, Gautier revealed that eighty million Hindus had to die at the hands of Muslim invaders.

About the author

Nava Thakuria is a journalist and media commentator based in Guwahati, Northeast India. He has been covering socio-political developments of Northeast India, along with its neighbours Nepal, Bhutan, Tibet, Myanmar, and Bangladesh, for various media outlets for more than two decades.

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