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Journalism as the art of living
By Francois Gautier

In a year or so, a unique and revolutionary new Indian school of journalism is going to be inaugurated in Bangalore. In this school, students will not only be taught the complete art of journalism. They will also learn to look at India through an Indian perspective, to cast an eye on the world which will carry some of the knowledge and wisdom of a civilisation -- their own -- which is five thousand years old.

They will, for instance, be taught pranayama, the ancient technique of breathing devised thousand of years ago by Indian sages, so that they know how to regulate their breath in time of stress and thus control their emotions. They will be taught the art of meditation, so that they can get their inspiration from a quiet, strong and silent mind. They will be taught asanas, so that their body is strong and resilient and can endure any physical situation. They will be taught a unique cleansing technique called Sudarshan Kriya, which eliminates toxins and stress from the mind and body.

They will study the Vedas, which contain the ultimate truth, the Ramayana, the Mahabharata, and India's great philosophers like Sri Aurobindo. They will even be taught to sing and dance, so that there is joy and spontaneity in their life and not the dry, intellectual pompousness of the pipe-smoking, Oxford English-speaking journalist, or the chain-smoking pseudo-Marxist... In short, they will be taught the Art of Living.

Sounds preposterous? But these methods should be applied to all aspects of education in India, from the kindergarten onwards, so that schools and universities do not churn out western clones, who have no idea about the greatness and the immense wealth of their own country. And the first thing which should be taught to all students, whether they are toddlers or aspiring journalists, is that there exists a Knowledge - spiritual, occult, yogic - still alive in India, which has died all over the world, where only churches and dogmas survive, although this knowledge was once prevalent in ancient civilisations -in Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece etc. They should also understand that if this knowledge, which is not Hinduism, which is not religious, is left to die in India, it will be gone forever from this world which might slowly drift towards pralaya.

At the moment, India is still living under Nehru's legacy, who had chosen to turn its back on anything which had a spiritual connection and had espoused the Marxist way of life, which produced an immense bureaucracy, corruption and the kind of politicians we see today. It also bred many generations of Indian intellectuals and journalists, who kept running down the greatness of their own country and aped anything that came from the West -- the good and the bad. Today many of Indian newspapers and magazines do not reflect a true Indian point of view, but constantly look at India through a western prism which contains none of the wisdom and knowledge of ancient India.

Take the Pope's visit for instance. Instead of defending India's point of view - as it would have beennormal practice in any other country - by doing some background research on the atrocities committed by the Portuguese in Goa, or about the economic incentives wh-ich missionaries have used -- and are still using - to convert entire chunks of the Northeast and Central India, most of the Indian press went on its usual VHP-RSS-Bhajrang Dal bashing. It is too easy to repeat ad infinitum that Christians in India are only two percent (a nearly ten years old census), because the influence which Christians exert in India is tremendous. Not only do they control the best schools (and hospitals), thus shaping the minds of India's future elite, their sometimes alliance with Marxists make them redoubtable adversaries.

Furthermore, very few newspapers and magazines chose to publish extracts of the Southern Baptist Church's prayer books (the second largest Christian organisation in the US, of which President Clinton is a member) which call Hinduism "satanic" and say that "Hindus live in the darkness of their hearts,which no lamp can dispel". Some of the Christian leaders (the majority of Indian Christians are nice and peace-loving people) have thus been able to take full advantage of this hatred of the Indian press -- which is mostly composed of Hindus -- against any organisation or individual who dares to defend Hindus, and their softness for anybody who attacks Hindus.

It is in this way that the Vatican was able to lecture India on the "atrocities" committed against Indian Christians, without mentioning the much greater atrocities committed against the Hindus who had welcomed so wholeheartedly Christians centuries ago. It is also sad that the BJP, which not so long ago was the target of attacks by these very same journalists, chose to arrest a few of the leaders of those groups who had the courage to stand up for their own ideas. Do you remember, Mr Advani, when you were arrested and branded a "Nazi" by the Indian press, who stood by you then?

So what is needed is a new generation of Indian journalists who willbe proud of their country without being chauvinists, who will be brilliant without being superficial, who will take the best of the west, without being western clones, who will draw inspiration from the knowledge alive in this country, without being bigots. They will be Indian journalists.



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