JOIN THE SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MUSEUM OF INDIAN HISTORY VOLUNTEER GROUP

Dear friends, You can help the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History in 3 ways: 1. All our 22 exhibitions which can be seen on factmuseum.com are meant to circulate FREE. That means, if you want to show them in your city, district , abroad, your family circle, we will send you the High resolution files, which you can print on Flex, which is quite cheap. At the same time, you can organize a fundraiser and explain that this is not only a unique project, probably the only Museum of TRUE Indian History in the world, but also that it is a SEWA mission, entrance is FREE and my wife and myself continue to work in our respective professions she a textile designer, me a journalist and writer, while donating our spare time to the Museum. 2. I need people to mount digital exhibitions for us & games. Example: I have been wanting for a long time to do an exhibition on Vedic Maths (50 panels 3 by 5 feet resolution, with a 200 words caption each and two panels of write up in Hindi and another 2 in English). Also online games, for instance on Shivaji Maharaj extraordinary escape from Agra, or Maharana Pratap Hadilghati battle, which will teach the glorious Indian History to children in a playful manner. 3. And the most important is FUNDRAISING. Each of you should reach to at least 30 people around you, family, friends, whatsapp groups IF EACH ONE OF YOUR CONTACTS DONATES 5000 RS, THAT COME TO 1,5 LAKH to help the Museum grow. As I said earlier, we are concentrating now on a Vijaynagar exhibition, one of the greatest and noblest Hindu empires that ended in such a bloody and violent manner. We have commissioned one of the best painters in India, Ravi Deo (see attached paintings) and plan for a 50 paintings’s exhibition. Each painting costs 40.000 RS, so total cost is 20 lakhs and another 20 lakhs for the building which we want to air condition. So you can all work towards this project and feel that THISI S ALSO YOUR MUSEUM. Ito join as a volunteer, Here is the link https://chat.whatsapp.com/JsRdamFlFsY5hL8h05iMjB

f you want to donate only : https://www.gocrowdera.com/…/help-us-to-build-a-museum…. You can share with at least 30 of your friends

Namaste, Namrita & Francois Gautier

Comment Emmanuel Macron peut-il améliorer les relations avec l’Inde ?

Sans aucun doute, l’Inde s’est réjouie de la réélection d’Emmanuel Macron: l’intelligentsia et la presse indiennes se méfient de Mme Le Pen, sachant qu’elle privilège une France pour les Français, et des nouveaux emplois qui iraient aux Français – et non pas aux étrangers. Ceci est cependant un phénomène universel: les États-Unis ont eux-mêmes restreint le quota des visas alloués aux informaticiens indiens.

Depuis François Mitterrand, on entend sans cesse parler d’un  « partenariat stratégique indo-français » ainsi que d’une « éternelle amitié indo-française ». Lorsque Narendra Modi se rendra à Paris le 2 mai pour rencontrer son « ami » Emmanuel Macron, on terminera incontestablement cette visite par un communiqué chaleureux. Mais cette énième rencontre officielle d’un Premier ministre indien et d’un Président français donnera-t-elle des résultats tangibles et significatifs ? Je n’en suis pas sûr. Sans doute, M. Macron évoquera-t-il l’éternel soutien de la France à l’admission de l’Inde au Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies, mais c’est une promesse vide de sens, car la France sait pertinemment que la Chine – qui a droit de veto, étant l’un des Cinq membres – s’y opposera une fois de plus …

Pourtant, il existe de nombreux autres domaines où l’Inde aurait besoin d’un soutien réel et sincère de la part des français. Au Cachemire par exemple, la France n’a jamais reconnu la suzeraineté légitime de l’Inde sur la totalité du Cachemire, qui a toujours fait partie, géographiquement, culturellement et spirituellement, de sa sphère d’influence. Nous avons accepté que la Chine revendique, à juste titre ou non, Hong Kong, puis aujourd’hui Taïwan … et l’Inde ne nous a jamais contesté notre droit sur la Corse – pourquoi donc n’accorderions-nous pas aux Indiens leur droit légitime sur le Cachemire? Ceci nous démarquerait des États-Unis et du reste de l’Europe, et nous gagnerions ainsi la reconnaissance éternelle des Indiens. Il serait également important que nous nous dissocions du Pakistan, un pays souvent sous dictature, et qui a exporté le terrorisme islamique de par le monde.  Nous devrions également cesser de leur vendre des armes – et ainsi, nous dissocier, encore une fois, des Américains, qui ont toujours considéré que le Pakistan, de par un islamisme soit-disant modéré, constitue un allié privilégié en Asie du sud.

Le deuxième domaine où M. Macron pourrait faire de plus grands efforts, c’est l’économie. La France, quoi qu’en dise le Quai d’Orsay, continue d’investir dix fois plus en Chine qu’en Inde. Sans aucun doute, il est plus facile de faire des affaires en Chine, celle-ci étant sous dictature, où, sous la contrainte, on peut relocaliser en quelques jours des millions de personnes, afin de construire un barrage ou une autoroute. Il est vrai également, qu’il est plus difficile d’investir en Inde, étant donné sa bureaucratie, une certaine corruption qui perdure, ainsi que des règles bancaires et de visas, qui sont obsolètes, et ont besoin d’être réformées. Mais l’Inde étant une démocratie, un peuple qui aime l’Occident, s’y est intégré partout où il s’est exporté, parle l’anglais, possède un système juridique sérieux, n’est-elle pas à la longue un bien meilleur terrain d’investissement français? En tous les cas, remplaçons une partie des jetons que nous avons misés sur la Chine, un pays bien plus volatile, qui tôt ou tard fera face à des révoltes internes, lorsque la soupape de fer sera levée, pour une raison ou pour une autre.

Le troisième domaine où la France pourrait améliorer son soutien à l’Inde, c’est la Défense. Il est inutile de parler de partenariat stratégique, quand tout le monde sait que l’ambition de la Chine c’est de dominer le monde, non seulement économiquement, mais aussi militairement et même d’un point de vue nucléaire. Les Chinois, qui se sont déjà saisis du Tibet, autrefois tampon pacifique entre les deux Géants d’Asie, où ils ont placé des ogives nucléaires pointés vers l’Inde et les États-Unis, revendiquent encore d’énormes territoires indiens, comme l’état du nord-est de l’Arunachal Pradesh. L’Inde est la SEULE nation qui soit suffisamment forte et proche géographiquement de la Chine, pour faire face, de par son armée importante et son arsenal nucléaire, à l’hégémonie chinoise. Emmanuel Macron, plutôt que de fournir des moteurs d’avions et des sous-marins à hélice – devrait leur vendre À CRÉDIT des avions Rafale, ainsi que des sous-marins nucléaires, pour que les Indiens soient en mesure de tenir tête à la volonté chinoise de contrôler les eaux entre la Mer de Chine et l’Océan Indien.

L’Inde est une puissance nucléaire raisonnable : elle a fait exploser deux engins atomiques souterrains, mais a développé son arsenal nucléaire, comme arme de dissuasion, à la fois contre le Pakistan et la Chine. La France devrait donc soutenir l’adhésion de l’Inde au Club Nucléaire exclusif des Cinqs, le même que celui du Conseil de sécurité – les États-Unis, le Royaume-Uni, la France, la Russie et la Chine – au lieu de reléguer l’Inde comme « nation en possession d’armes nucléaires », au même niveau que la Corée du Nord et le Pakistan, deux minables dictatures.

Enfin, par rapport à la guerre russo-ukrainienne, l’Inde est sous pression des États-Unis ainsi que de la Grande-Bretagne, pour condamner ouvertement la Russie. Hors, l’Ukraine est un pays très éloigné de l’Inde, avec un peuple, dont la race, la religion et la culture sont étrangers aux Indiens, et avec lequel ses relations politiques et économiques sont minimes; alors que l’Inde possède une longue histoire avec la Russie, qui lui vend les armes, que les États-Unis et l’Europe lui ont souvent refusées, et achète aujourd’hui du pétrole russe pour ses besoins en énergie. Pour les Indiens, Joe Biden mène une guerre par procuration contre la Russie, utilisant  l’Europe et l’OTAN, alors que le vrai ennemi reste la Chine. New Delhi remarque également que ce sont les fabricants d’armes américains, vendant des dizaines de milliers de drones, de smart bombs ou de mitraillettes au gouvernement des États-Unis, qui sont les principaux bénéficiaires de cette guerre. Le gouvernement indien s’étonne aussi que l’Europe, qui va subir de graves conséquences économiques de ce conflit sanglant et dramatique, ainsi qu’un remaniement drastique de ses cartes géographiques, ne se démarque pas plus des États-Unis. Pourquoi l’Inde devrait-elle s’en mêler ? M. Macron devrait le comprendre.

Sri Aurobindo, le Grand Sage indien qu’admiraient beaucoup Romain Rolland et André Malraux, a dit que la France était le pays qui lui tenait le plus à cœur – et non pas le Royaume-Uni, où il passa toute sa jeunesse. Il est vrai qu’il existe une connivence entre nos deux pays : toute l’Inde aurait même pu devenir française, si Louis XV n’avait pas rappelé le génial Dupleix, qui avait conquis Madras et dont l’armée était aux portes de Bombay. Depuis, il y a toujours eu un décalage entre les bonnes volontés de nos deux pays: lorsque l’Inde devint indépendante en 1947, nous traînâmes les pieds, et il fallut que Nehru menace d’envoyer ses tanks, pour que nous rendions enfin en 1954 Pondichéry et ses quatres autres minuscules comptoirs. Après cela, les Indianistes du CNRS, sponsorisés par l’État français, qui se mord ainsi la queue, ne cessent de ressasser dans nos journaux et nos télélvisions, ainsi que dans leurs livres, les mêmes clichés sur l’Inde – castes, pauvreté, bidonvilles, ou fondamentalisme hindou, ce qui est un absolu contresens, quand on sait que l’hindouisme est la seule religion au monde qui n’ait jamais envahi un pays pour imposer son crédo, comme l’ont fait l’islam et la chrétieneté, et que les hindous n’ont jamais essayé de convertir qui que ce soit, même pacifiquement, comme le bouddhisme.

Il est donc essentiel que nous changions notre regard sur l’Inde, un regard économique, considérant l’Inde comme une terre d’investissements fructueux à longue échéance; un regard géopolitique, l’Inde étant au croisement  de l’Asie centrale et de l’Asie de l’est, seul pays qui puisse faire face à la fois au fondamentalisme islamique, venu du Pakistan, de l’Afghanistan, et même d’Indonésie, ainsi qu’à la tentative d’hégémonie chinoise, qui veut contrôler les mers et les terres, du Tibet, jusqu’aux pays d’Asie du sud, comme le Sri Lanka ou le Népal, qu’elle a endettés, afin de mieux les contrôler, et d’encercler le géant indien. Emmanuel Macron devra donc faire fi des promesses creuses et de traités sans grande portée, et montrer à l’Inde que l’amitié franco-indienne mérite un changement radical de la politique extérieure française.

François Gautier

Correspondant du Figaro en Inde pendant dix ans, auteur d’une “Nouvelle Histoire de l’Inde”, Editions de l’Archipel

FACT & THE #KashmirFiles

As a young journalist, I covered the Kashmir separatist movement approximately from 1989 to 2002. This opened my eyes like nothing else would. In those days, the entire Western correspondents’ corps would periodically descend to Srinagar from Delhi to cover the events in Kashmir. At some point, because of the strife, there was only one hotel open in Srinagar, the Adhoos on the Jhelum Bund. The foremost voice in those days was that of Mark Tully, the bureau chief of the BBC News عربي, and an internationally recognised journalist. The Indian National Congress government was then accusing #Pakistan of funding, arming, financing, and training inside Pakistani Kashmir, the Indian Muslim militants (JKLF in those days), and then sending them back across the LOC border to create havoc. Mark Tully’s contention was that it was not true. And in this, he was followed not only by the entire Western correspondent group, but also by most of the Indian newspapers and magazines, stringers, and correspondents in Kashmir (like India Today).

I was the lone voice that felt it made sense, and wrote so not only in the French and Swiss papers (Le Figaro) I was working for, but also in articles in the Hindustan Times, Indian Express and Bombay’s tabloid Blitz. The ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Hindus (the term ‘Pandit’ is misleading) shocked me beyond belief: I saw for the first time that a people in the name of their exclusive and intolerant religion, could kill, rape, maim, and chase out another people from a different religion, who had lived side by side with them for generations. Till today, the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus hounds me.

In 2004, I received in the Parliament of India, at the hands of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee (photo) the Nachiketa Award for Excellence in Journalism. With it came a cheque of 50,000 rupees and I decided to use the money to curate for the first time an exhibition on the plight of the Kashmiri Hindus https://www.factmuseum.com/kashmiri-pundits/). This exhibition was opened in Habitat Centre, New Delhi, by Srisri , L K Advani, and was visited by numerous leaders of that time, including Murli Manohar Joshi, Dr Karan Singh, and many others. We then travelled India with this exhibition: Bombay, Calcutta, Bangalore, and Chennai. Then, thanks to the help of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar we showed it in many parliaments around the world: Scotland, England, Germany, Poland, Israel, and others, and in 2011 in Capitol Hill, Washington, which led to a US Congress resolution, taking notice of the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits. This was the first time that the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Hindus was brought into the public domain, much before the film #KashmirFiles

I am also proud to say that shortly thereafter, my wife and I put up an exhibition – the first one ever – on the Hindu holocaust https://www.factmuseum.com/hindu-genocide-over-the-years/ from the Hindu Kush, where 500,000 Hindus died, while being taken as slaves to Afghanistan, to Mumbai 2011. This exhibition is now permanently housed at the FACT Museum (the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History, Pune), which Namrita and I started in 2012 on 5 acres of land donated by @srisri. It was not enough for us to have only the Hindu holocaust exhibition and the Kashmiri Hindus Habitat Centre replica, we decided also to show – as they were – the tyrants who were instrumental in that genocide, We have for instance, a unique exhibition on the Goa Inquisition (https://www.factmuseum.com/the-portuguese-and-the-goan…/) another one on Aurangzeb based on his own records, and one on Tipu Sultan (https://www.factmuseum.com/tippu-sultan/) has been unnecessarily and unjustly glorified.

Some of these exhibitions brought trouble; the one on Aurangzeb https://www.factmuseum.com/aurangzeb-as-he-was-according…/ for instance, which we also opened in the Habitat Centre in Delhi, was closed down by the police in Chennai and seized for 6 months after the descendant of the Nawab Arcot who came to see it and complained to his friend Stalin, now Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu, that it was offensive. He was particularly angry at the depiction of the razing of the Somnath Temple, a painting which was based on an edict (firman) of Aurangzeb, which he had approved and stamped with the Emperor’s seal. @narendramodi, who was then the Chief Minister of Gujarat heard about it in an article published by The Hindu, and called me to Ahmedabad. He subsequently flew to Bombay in 2016 to open our Shivaji Maharaj exhibition ‘https://www.factmuseum.com/chhatrapati-shivaji-maharaj-a…/ with Sri Sri.

@ChouhanShivraj @vivekagnihotri The need of the hour for Hindus is to unite, as at present there is an onslaught on this ancient universal spirituality that knows all and accepts all. Why make another Hindu Holocaust exhibition when it already exists and is well documented by historians and is available free online for downloads and is exhibited at the Chhatrapati Maharaj Museum Of Indian History, Pune ?

@factindia is a Sewa project: not only is the entrance to the Pune museum free, but we have uploaded all our exhibitions online, and we encourage people to download them, print them, and show them around the world. Indeed, our exhibition ‘The Defenders of Dharma’ on Sikhism and its sacrifices (https://www.factmuseum.com/the-defenders-of-dharma/) which we inaugurated in the main Gurudwara of Delhi; Bangla Sahib, with Sri Sri and the Sikh leadership, has been exhibited free all over India, as well as in the USA and Canada.

So many people have visited this museum and praised it: Nitin GadkariDalai Lama Uddhav Thackeray along with his son, the present CM of Maharashtra and his wife, and so on … We are immensely happy at the astounding success of the #TheKashmirFiles because it shows that there is a tremendous change in the mentality of Indians, and that they are now able to see and realise the tragedy of Kashmir … Nevertheless, let us not forget that FACT played a pioneering role in that awakening.

Namrita & Francois Gautier

HELP US BUILD YOUR OWN MUSEUM

Dear friends, 

As some of you know, we are building in Pune, 12 minutes from the Lohegaon Airport, a museum of (True) Indian history, dedicated to the great Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj. We now have 20 pavilions, a unique Bharat Mata temple, a reception, a library, an audiovisual room, and our own Art of Living trained pandit who performs daily aartis, pujas, and yagnas. My wife Namrita and I are in the process of opening two new pavilions: one dedicated to Women Warriors of India, with exhibitions on Rani Tarabai of Maharashtra who fearlessly fought the Mughals ; Rani Kittur Chennamma of Karnataka, who died in jail after having taken up arms against the British : the remarkable Ahilyabai Holkar of Madhya Pradesh, who started the first women battalion in India ; and Jijamata, who gave her son Shivaji, the Shakti to combat successfully the formidable Aurangzeb. The other pavilion will host the first exhibition ever on Vijayanagar, the last great Hindu empire, its birth, astounding development along Dharmic lines, and its cruel death at the hands of the Bijapur sultans and their allies. 

The ultimate plan is to build a state-of-the-art, air-conditioned, three-storey museum (see photo), that would compare with the best museums in the US and Europe, and would ideally be situated in the middle of India, where youngsters and old alike can learn and be proud of their glorious history without ignoring their dark side. For this, I need students and volunteers who can help me raise the funds for this difficult and enormous project. This is a little different from crowd-funding: it is called peer-to-peer fund-raising. Those who are interested in volunteering, please fill this Google form by 30/03: https://forms.gle/QDQ7YVMmZSc8XJtx6. We will invite you to a Zoom meeting on 30/03 at 7 pm where we can talk about this project and get you to start a fundraiser for FACT, the Trust behind the museum, which is registered and has tax exemption both in India and the USA.

Namaste,

Namrita and François Gautier

FUTURE CONCEPT OF SHIVAJI MAHARAJ MUSEUM OF INDIAN HISTORY PUNE

#internationalwomensday:

Western correspondents are always keen to do stories on female infanticides in Bihar, child marriages or sati cases in Rajasthan. But who knows that no nation in the world has granted such an important place to women in its spirituality and social ethos?

‘The One whom we adore as the Mother is the divine Conscious Force that dominates all existence, one and yet so many-sided that to follow her movement is impossible even for the quickest mind and for the freest and most vast intelligence’, said Sri Aurobindo in The Mother. It is in this way, that since the dawn of times, Hindus have venerated the feminine element under its different manifestations: in the great Sage’s words, ‘Wisdom, Strength, Harmony, Perfection are their several attributes […] To the four we give the four great names, Maheshwari, Mahakali, Mahalakshmi, Mahasaraswati’.  India has had many extraordinary female figures, whether warriors, such as Jhansi ki Rani, or saints like today’s Amrita Anandamayi, who comes from the lowest caste, and yet is worshipped by Brahmins, Westerners or Dalits alike, another blow to the obsession of Western indologists with the enduring caste system in India. The role of Hindu women in India is thus essential and it can be safely said that very often, from the poorest to the richest classes, they control—even if behind the scenes—a lot of the family affairs: the education of their children, monetary concerns, and men often refer to them for important decisions.

Let me say it emphatically: girls are loved in India like nowhere in the world. I have never seen any other country where women are so worshipped, revered, prized upon—I am talking about Hindu women, of course. Westerners love to preach India on Human Rights. But countries such as France or the United States never had a woman as their top leader, whereas India had Indira Gandhi ruling with an iron hand for nearly twenty years in the 70s and 80s. And then later, at the beginning of the 21st century, Sonia Gandhi, a Christian, a Westerner, reigned on India like an Empress while an elected male Prime Minister took a back seat. The reverse would be absolutely impossible in the West. This shakti concept is so rooted in the subcontinent, that it has seen several women leaders, such as Benazir Bhutto in Pakistan (for two terms), or Khaleda Zia and now Sheikh Hasina in Bangladesh, both Islamic countries.

It is not the United States, England or France which have the most female airline pilots, IT IS INDIA which has the highest number. Recently, an all-female crew, pilots and air hostesses, flew a San Francisco–Bengaluru flight, one of the longest routes in the world. Air India operated 52 flights with all-woman crew on Women’s Day 2019. Indigo, the dominating airline in India at the moment employs 322 women pilots. Is there any airline in the Western world which can boast such statistics?

Don’t let anybody lecture you, O my Hindu brothers and sisters, about the sad condition of Indian women in India. Raise up your voices O Hindu women, and say it aloud: ‘We have a long tradition of freedom, love and courage in this country’. In some of the most ancient epics in Indian history such as the Mahabharata and Ramayana, we find strong, determined, intelligent and graceful characters, such as Kunti, Draupadi and Sita.

The Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History, Pune, strives to show that if France had one Joan of Arc, India had hundreds: we have exhibitions on the extraordinary Ahilyabai Holkar, who raised the first battalion of fighting women, or Rani Kittur Chennama of Karnataka who fought the British and died in jail, or Tarabai of Maharashtra who stood like an empress against the Moghols, or Jijabai, she who gave the Shakti to her son Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, so that he could defeat Aurangzeb, the most powerful emperor in the world at the time!

VIVE LES FEMMES INDIENNES

Francois Gautier