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Who killed Gauri Lankesh?

The 55-year-old murder of Gauri Lankesh, who was bulldozed in front of his home on 5 September in Bangalore, shook India. Gauri was a well-known journalist for opposition to the current government of the Bharatiya Janata Party, led by Narendra Modi, the current prime minister since 2014, as well as his support for the Maoist insurgents – called Naxalites in India, the name of the village where the movement was born. The murder of a journalist, the twelfth in ten years, has provoked indignation in India and there have been numerous demonstrations in all parts of the country, both in memory of Gauri, and for freedom of press. The media immediately implied that it would be Hindu small groups close to power who would have sponsored the assassination. So isit in the article of the correspondent of the World, Julien Bouissou: extremist Hindus-KILLED-by-balles_5181857_3216.html. This, however, is a condemnation without judgment, which is contrary to the impartiality that every journalist owes to his reader, who is often totally ignorant of a country as far away as India – and thus a priori innocent and subject to influence. The question arises exactly: does Hindu extremism exist? Historically the Hindus constituted one of the most peaceful religions in the world, which for example never invaded another country to impose itself, contrary to Islam and Christendom. On the contrary, the Hindu influence that is found in the East, in Angkor Wat, for example, one of the seventh wonders of the world, or in Greek philosophy, as noted by many historians Alain Daniélou or René Guenon, has always gone peacefully. Moreover, the Hindus gave refuge to all religious minorities persecuted in the world during the ages: Did you know that the Christians of Syria were thus able to find asylum in Kerala more than a thousand years ago; that India is the only country in the world where Jews have never been persecuted; that the Zarathustra followers driven from Iran, or the followers of the Agha Khan (often referred to as Amadhis in India) who are often persecuted by Sunnis, now live in India, as do Tibetans more recently – and that all these people always freely practice their religion there and could prosper in peace? This Hindu tolerance, whose roots plung every far – in their sacred texts, such as the Bhagavad Gita, for example, which teaches that God is One, but that He or Shemanifests atdifferent times, under different names, using different Scriptures – 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 India was cataclysmic.” For the Muslim invaders, Hinduism, with its thousands of gods, statues, temples full of gold and precious stones, represented ‘infidelity’ par excellence. There are therefore millions of Hindus who have passed through the sword for refusing to convert. The Turk Tamer lane, better known to us as Timur the Lame-footed, for example, decapitatedat Delhi on September 12, 1398, a hundred thousand Hindus in one day, made a pyramid of heads, and boasted of it for a long time. Independence even in 1947, the Muslims demanded a separate state, which they called the ‘Land of Pure’ (Pakistan) and massacred before leaving thousands of Hindus, provoking a violent Sikh reaction which made the like the Muslims. The shadow of Pakistan now weighs not only on India, which is under attack in Kashmir but also on the world, as Pakistan is the biggest exporter of Islamic terrorism. India’s first independent leader, Jawaharlal Nehru, was aware that some Muslims, knowing that they would still have freedom of worship and expression in India, had chosen to remain there (India has the second largest population Muslims in the world, after Indonesia), tried to erase history books, alluding to the murderous invasions of the Muslim world, and encouraged several generations of writers and historians who drew inspiration from Soviet Marxism to denigrate culture and Hindu spirituality, which nevertheless gave the world yoga, Ayurveda, chess, Sanskrit or the concept of zero. Of course, as soon as one gets to touch these hidden histories, one is treated as an Islamophobe, or if one defends the Hindus, one inherits the label of ‘Hindu extremist’ even if one is born a Frenchman, a Catholic educated, and one does not practice the Hindu religion! It is interesting to note here that the West is defending right now (in good faith) the Muslimminority Rohingya of Burma, even if one can not find more peaceful than a Buddhist today – while the 350,000 Hindus of the Kashmir Valley, who were driven out by their Muslims from their homes and ancestral lands in the late 1990s, today refugees in their own country, are not entitled to the same consideration. To get back to Gauri Lankesh, the truth will come and we will eventually find his assassin. The Indian judicary, remarkably independent of political power, condemned it without pity, whether Hindu or Naxalite. This murder, let us repeat, is to be deplored, but it is important to do justice to the Hindus for what they are and not to accuse them without proofs, for they are remarkable people. Did you know that today there are one billion Hindus on this planet, one in seven people; that they represent one of the most educated communities, wherever they go abroad, pay their taxes, cause no riots, kill others and often succeed brilliantly? Let us pay tribute to the Hindus and to Gauri Lankesh, who alone symbolized all the freedom of the press tha texists in India-even under a Hindu government-for she has bitterly criticized and never worried until her sad death . 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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