WHO KILLED GAURI LANKESH? The 55-year-old murder of Gauri Lankesh, whowasbulldozed in front of his home on 5 September in Bangalore, shookIndia. Gauri was a well-knownjournalist for opposition to the currentgovernment of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, the current prime ministersince 2014, as well as his support for the Maoistinsurgents - calledNaxalites in India, the name of the village where the movementwasborn. The murder of a journalist, the twelfth in tenyears, has provoked indignation in India and there have been numerousdemonstrations in all parts of the country, both in memory of Gauri, and for freedom of press. The media immediatelyimpliedthatitwouldbeHindusmall groups close to power whowould have sponsored the assassination. So isit in the article of the correspondent of the World, Julien Bouissou: http://www.lemonde.fr/asie-pacifique/article/2017/09/06/une-journaliste-indienne-critique-des- extremist Hindus-KILLED-by-balles_5181857_3216.html. This, however, is a condemnationwithoutjudgment, whichiscontrary to the impartialitythateveryjournalistowes to hisreader, whoisoftentotally ignorant of a country as far away as India - and thus a priori innocent and subject to influence. The question arises exactly: doesHinduextremismexist? Historically the Hindusconstituted one of the mostpeaceful religions in the world, which for exampleneverinvadedanother country to impose itself, contrary to Islam and Christendom. On the contrary, the Hindu influence thatisfound in the East, in Angkor Wat, for example, one of the seventhwonders of the world, or in Greekphilosophy, as noted by manyhistorians Alain Daniélou or René Guenon, has always gone peacefully. Moreover, the Hindus gave refuge to all religiousminoritiespersecuted in the world during the ages: Didyou know that the Christians of Syriawerethus able to findasylum in Kerala more than a thousandyearsago; thatIndiais the only country in the world whereJews have never been persecuted; that the Zarathustrafollowersdrivenfrom Iran, or the followers of the Agha Khan (oftenreferred to as Amadhis in India) who are oftenpersecuted by Sunnis, now live in India, as do Tibetans more recently - and that all these people alwaysfreely practice their religion there and couldprosper in peace? This Hindutolerance, whoserootsplungevery far - in theirsacredtexts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, for example, whichteachesthatGodis One, but that He or Shemanifestsatdifferent times, underdifferentnames, usingdifferentScriptures - hence the acceptance of the 'Other' by the Hindus - have often been one-way. As noted by the American historian Will Durant, "the impact of Islam in Indiawascataclysmic." For the Musliminvaders, Hinduism, withitsthousands of gods, statues, temples full of gold and precious stones, represented 'infidelity' par excellence. There are therefore millions of Hinduswho have passedthrough the sword for refusing to convert. The TurkTamerlane, betterknown to us as Timur the Lame-footed, for example, decapitatedat Delhi on September 12, 1398, a hundredthousandHindus in one day, made a pyramid of heads, and boasted of it for a long time. Independence even in 1947, the Muslimsdemanded a separate state, whichtheycalled the 'Land of Pure' (Pakistan) and massacredbeforeleavingthousands of Hindus, provoking a violent Sikh reactionwhich made the like the Muslims. The shadow of Pakistan nowweighs not only on India, whichisunderattack in Kashmir but also on the world, as Pakistan is the biggest exporter of Islamicterrorism. India's first independent leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, wasawarethatsomeMuslims, knowingthattheywouldstill have freedom of worship and expression in India, hadchosen to remainthere (India has the second largest population Muslims in the world, afterIndonesia), tried to erasehistory books, alluding to the murderous invasions of the Muslim world, and encouragedseveralgenerations of writers and historianswhodrew inspiration from Soviet Marxism to denigrate culture and Hinduspirituality, whichnevertheless gave the world yoga, Ayurveda, chess, Sanskrit or the concept of zero. Of course, as soon as one gets to touchthesehidden histories, one istreated as an Islamophobe, or if one defends the Hindus, one inherits the label of 'Hinduextremist' even if one isborn a Frenchman, a Catholiceducated, and one does not practice the Hindu religion! It isinteresting to note herethat the West isdefending right now (in good faith) the MuslimminorityRohingya of Burma, even if one can not find more peacefulthan a Buddhisttoday - while the 350,000 Hindus of the KashmirValley, whoweredriven out by theirMuslimsfromtheir homes and ancestral lands in the late 1990s, todayrefugees in theirown country, are not entitled to the sameconsideration. To get back to Gauri Lankesh, the truthwill come and wewilleventuallyfindhis assassin. The Indianjudicary, remarkablyindependent of political power, condemneditwithoutpity, whetherHindu or Naxalite. This murder, let us repeat, is to bedeplored, but itis important to do justice to the Hindus for whatthey are and not to accuse themwithoutproofs, for they are remarkable people. Didyou know thattodaythere are one billion Hindus on thisplanet, one in seven people; thattheyrepresent one of the mosteducatedcommunities, whereverthey go abroad, paytheir taxes, cause no riots, killothers and oftensucceedbrilliantly? Let us pay tribute to the Hindus and to Gauri Lankesh, whoalonesymbolized all the freedom of the pressthatexists in India-evenunder a Hindugovernment-for she has bitterlycriticized and neverworrieduntilhersaddeath . By François Gautier, former correspondent of Le Figaro in India; Author of a "New History of India" Editions de l'Archipel, September 2017)

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