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François Gautier (born 1959) is a French political writer and journalist based in India, since 1971. He has served as the "South Asian" correspondent for the French-language newspaper Le Figaro. Gautier is the founder of the Foundation for Advancement of Cultural Ties (FACT). He is also the founder of the Chattrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian history (Pune) which is a private museum that houses exhibits on Indian history.
1959 (age 57–58)|
|Occupation||Journalist, historian and columnist|
|Organization||Foundation for Advancement of Cultural Ties|
|Spouse(s)||Namrita Bindra Gautier|
|Website||FACT Museum of Indian history|
|Genre||Politics, Human rights, journalism|
|Subject||Politics, Indian History|
|Notable works||The Wonder that is India, Un Autre regard sur l'Inde|
|Notable awards||Panchjanya's Nachiketa Awards, Bipin Chandra Pal Award|
Francois Gautier was born in 1959 in Paris. He was given an upper-class Catholic education. He attended IDRAC business school in Paris before dropping out to become a writer. He worked in a small newspaper before it was shut down. He then wrote a film script for a friend, but the film was not released.
Gautier came to India at the age of 19 in 1969. He was part of the first wave which came to establish the city of Auroville. He initially did not intend to stay in India for long and intended to travel the world. However, he met Mirra Alfassa and was influenced by her. He spent 7 years in the Sri Aurobindo Ashram, Pondicherry, after that.
In India, he stopped writing for a while and focussed on other activities like meditation and gardening. In 1982, he found an article in a French newspaper, which he considered to be full of clichés. He wrote a letter to the editor suggesting corrections. The editor replied back asking him to write an article. He wrote several more articles for the newspaper. Later, he worked as a writer and photographer for various publications.
He then worked for Journal de Geneve, a Geneva-based newspaper. Then he switched to Le Figaro in mid-90s and began to write for them exclusively. Gautier used to write a regular column for Rediff.com. Gautiers has also written columns for The New Indian Express, DNA India, Outlook India, and others. Gautier is also the editor of La Revue de l'Inde.
Gautier became interested in Indology when he began to travel outside Auroville. Sita Ram Goel contacted Gautier after reading some of his articles in a magazine called Blitz. Goel asked for permission to reprint the articles in a book. Gautier instead wrote the book The Wonder That Is India. Later, the website Hinduism Today republished it online. Following this, Gautier wrote several other books. Gautier has worked on a book about the martial art Kalaripayattu with photographer Raghu Rai.
In 2010, an anonymously authored novel titled Hindutva, Sex and Adventure featuring a foreign radio journalist who came to India and became a Hindutva sympathizer, was released. The book's protagonist was considered a thinly veiled parody of BBC reporter Mark Tully. Initially it was speculated that Gautier may have been the author, but Gautier denied the allegation.
Photography and painting exhibitions
Gautier's FACT organises photography and painting exhibitions highlighting various issues related to terrorism. The organisation's aim is to education people on terrorism and how it affects people living in the region.
In 2003, Gautier started a photograph exhibition titled Terror Unleashed: An Exhibition on Kashmir. It contained photographs highlighting the plight of Kashmiri Pandits. The exhibition also contained statistics on terrorist attacks on Kashmiris.
Gautier has produced a photo exhibition titled A Glimpse of a Tragedy Without an End, covering the plight of the Kashmiri Pandits since 1990. It has been displayed in various places around the world including Houston in 2005.
In 2007, Gautier started a painting exhibition called Aurangzeb, as he was, according to Moghul Records. Using the organisation FACT, Gautier aims to display the exhibition at several places around the world.
In 2012, the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History and a temple dedicated to Bhavani Bharat, both established by Gautier's FACT organisation, were inaugurated by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Ajit Pawar and Nitin Gadkari.
In 2013, during the visit of the Dalai Lama, Gautier and his wife, organised an exhibition on the origin of Buddhism in India and its spread to Tibet at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History, Lohegaon, with the help of materials from the Tibet Museum of Dharamshala. The aim of the exhibition was to educate the local people about Tibetan culture.
Views and opinions
On Indian history
Gautier has also criticized Aurangzeb.
Gautier also admires the writings of Indologist Koenraad Elst. He considers Elst one of the most knowledgeable scholars on India. Gautier has stated that Elst, as an outsider, sees aspects of India which Indians cannot see themselves due to their suffering under two centuries of colonialism.
On Indian politics
Gautier has criticised the United Progressive Alliance government in 2012. He specifically criticised the lack of an effective response by that government in view of continued terrorist attacks on India. He had claimed that the Muslim mullahs were allowed to preach freely, whereas Hindu gurus were being targeted by the media and police. He had criticised the government's attempt to have a census of Muslims in the Indian military and attempt to repeal the Armed Forces (Special Powers) Act, 1958.
In 2011, Gautier attributed Anna Hazare's success in drawing a large number of supporters in his anti-corruption campaign partly to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Gautier observed that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had supported the Jan Lokpal Bill and had promoted it through his Art of Living network.
On Indian journalism
Gautier has said that Indian journalists have a negative view of India and are not proud of their culture. He has criticised the media's usage of the term "Godman" to describe Hindu gurus. Gautier has backed Sri Sri Center for Media Studies, a journalism school in Bangalore, to rectify this situation. Gautier also teaches at the institution.
Gautier has stated that ancient wisdom regarding questions addressing the meaning of life, afterlife, karma and dharma have been preserved in Hinduism. Gautier believes Hinduism is under threat from Islam, Christian missionaries, Marxism and westernisation Gautier has written that the Buddhist philosophy of ahimsa weakened India and made it vulnerable to the attacks of Alexander and other later invaders.
- 2003 Panchjanya's Nachiketa Awards: The Bipin Chandra Pal Award, named after the historical figure Bipin Chandra Pal, was given to Gautier. He donated the money to FACT.
- The Wonder that is India. Voice of India. 1994. ISBN 978-81-85990-17-0.
- Rewriting Indian History. Vikas Publishing House. 1996. ISBN 978-0-7069-9976-1. Online
- Arise Again, O India!. Har-Anand Publications. 2000. ISBN 978-81-241-0518-4.
- A Western Journalist on India: The Ferengi's Columns. Har-Anand Publications. 2001. ISBN 978-81-241-0795-9. 
- India's Self-denial. Auroville Press International. 2001. ISBN 978-81-87373-12-4.  
- A New History of India. Har-Anand Publications. 2008. ISBN 978-81-241-1430-8.
- The Guru of Joy. Hay House, Inc. 2008. ISBN 978-1-4019-2140-8., The guru of joy : Sri Sri Ravi Shankar & the art of living
- A History of India as it Happened: Not as it Has Been Written. Har-Anand Publications. 2013. ISBN 978-81-241-1762-0. excerpt
- Un Autre regard sur l'Inde (in French). TRICORNE. 2000. ISBN 978-2-8293-0215-2. 
- La carvane intérieure
- Quand l'Inde s'éveille
- Apprendre à souffler
- Femmes indiennes, Nouvelle revue de l'Inde, 2
- La nouvelle revue de l'Inde no 6 : spécial 100 ans de cinéma indien
- Spécial Ramayana et sanskrit, La Nouvelle revue de l'Inde, 5
- Spécial bouddhisme, Revue de l'Inde, 4, Juillet-sept. 2006
- Les Français en Inde : Pondichéry, Chandernagor, Mahé, Yanaon, Karikal
- When I first went there I discovered an entirely new approach of looking at life. It was as if I had sudden awakened from deep slumber.
- On the ashram of Aurobindo, as quoted in "Content-wise, Indian fiction writers have little to offer", The Tribune (10 August 2003)
- At some point, after years or even centuries of submitting like sheep to slaughter, Hindus—whom the Mahatma once gently called cowards—erupt in uncontrolled fury. And it hurts badly. It happened in Gujarat. It happened in Jammu, then in Kandhamal, Mangalore, and Malegaon. It may happen again elsewhere.
- Quoted from "The Hindu Rate Of Wrath", Outlook (10 November 2008)
- I have never hidden behind a pseudonym to say what I think. I have been one of the rare western journalists to defend Hindus. I have done it openly, in my own name, with dedication and courage and that has cost me a lot.
- As quoted in "An Irritant Foreign Body", The Indian Express (8 April 2010)
- Finally, Westernisation through television and advertisements, is sweeping across India, and this may be the greatest danger, as westernisation has killed the souls of many Asian countries.
- Sonia has achieved such terrifying power, a glance of her, a silence, just being there, is enough for her inner circle to act; she has subverted so much of the instruments of Indian democracy and she controls such huge amounts of unlisted money that sooner or later this 'karma' may come back to her under one form or the other.
- Indians today live in a country where mullahs can preach secession, while Hindu gurus revered by millions of Hindus are the target of ridicule, media attacks and police assaults.
- Quoted from "This govt is taking the country down with it", DNA India (8 May 2012)
- I believe that the ancient knowledge that stands behind Hinduism is a truth the world needs: why life ? What happens after death? What is karma, what is dharma ? How the divine manifests himself or herself, at different times under different names, with different scriptures…. That knowledge which once roamed the world, from Mesopotamia to Greece, only survives today in India.
- Quoted from "Why I Love To Hate Outlook", Outlook (17 November 2014)
- Koenraad Elst, a Belgian writer who writes on India
- Mark Tully, a BBC journalist who lives in India
- David Frawley
- Yvette Rosser
- "The Rediff Interview: Francois Gautier: "There is an unconscious militant dislike of the Christian world towards Hindu India"". Rediff. 12 February 1999. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- Admin. "FACT - India". www.factmuseum.com. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
- Mohit Sharma (Trendster) (8 December 2014). The Aryanist Journal # 02. Freelance Talents. p. 28. GGKEY:8R5Q1QWNG60. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- François Gautier (2001). A Western Journalist on India: The Ferengi's Columns. Har-Anand Publications. pp. 4–. ISBN 978-81-241-0795-9.
- "Meet the author "Content-wise, Indian fiction writers have little to offer"". Tribune India. 10 August 2003. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Rediff Columns: Francois Gautier". Rediff. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Let all Hindus come together". The New Indian Express. 16 May 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "This govt is taking the country down with it". DNA India. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "The Hindu Rate Of Wrath". Outlook India. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "‘Sethu Samudram canal will affect Kerala coast’". The Hindu. 17 September 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "An Irritant Foreign Body". The Indian Express. 8 April 2010. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Grim portraits of damage in the Valley". The Hindu. 15 July 2003. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Nascent 'Holocaust' museum". The Hindu. 3 September 2003. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Looking back at history". The Hindu. 16 February 2007. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Art for a cause! Whose?". The Hindu. 21 July 2003. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Over 15,000 visit Kashmiri Pandits exhibit in Houston". The Indian Express. 29 August 2005. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Why a Frenchman built a Bhavani & Shivaji museum". DNA India. 13 February 2012. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Tracing Tibet". The Indian Express. 30 July 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "The truth about Aurangzeb".
- "Francois Gautier: The other factor behind Anna Hazare's success". DNA India. 5 September 2011. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "From Francois Gautier". Asian Correspondent. 21 August 2005. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Why the cynicism about Indian gurus?". Rediff. 12 March 2001. Retrieved 28 March 2015.
- "Why I Love To Hate Outlook". Outlook India. 17 November 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "In defence of the ancient culture". The Hindu. 7 November 2000. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Adhere to the truth, PM tells media". The Hindu. 11 May 2003.
- "History And Politics". Har Anand Publications. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- "Also Published". Har Anand Publications. Retrieved 11 April 2015.
- wikiquote:François Gautier
- Blog in French
- Blog in English
- Older blog
- Official website
- FACT India Museum, Francois Gautier's non-profit trust
- Gautier on Rediff
- Gautier on Facebook
- Gautier on Twitter
- FACT India
- Who cares for the Pandits?
- Hinduism Today: Journalist Francois Gautier on Source of Hindu-Christian Violence in Karnataka
- The Rediff Interview
- Will Hinduism survive the present Christian offensive ?
- Mark Tully and Kashmir
- Francois Gautier: Persecution & Distortion of Hindus & their Identity
- Rajiv Malhotra in Conversation with Francois Gautier
- Innovation - India Adopting the Best of the West | Francois Gautier | TEDxSIUKirkee
- Can You Take It Francois Gautier?
- This article uses modified material from the corresponding Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.