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July 26, 1959 |
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François Gautier, born 1959 at Fontenay-sous-Bois, in Val-de-Marne, France, is a writer and journalist based in India. He came to India at the age of 19 and spent his first eight years at the Sri Aurobindo Ashram in the "international city" of Auroville in Tamil Nadu. He has been living in India since the 1970s and is married to an Indian. Gautier is one of the few westerners actively defending the Hindutva movement.
Francois Joseph Georges Gautier was born on 26 July 1959 at Fontenay-sous-Bois near Paris to Jacques Gautier, an artist in France and Andree Gautier. His uncle was Father Guy Gautier, the parish priest of the beautiful Saint Jean de Montmartre Church in Paris. He was brought up in a traditional Christian family. He had a strict upper-class Catholic education, but never really fitted in the system. He revolted against it quite early. He was sent to many famous boarding schools all over Europe. His family wanted him to be a businessman. He attended an American business school in Paris called IDRAC, but his interest was in writing. He quit to work in a small newspaper, which quickly folded. He tried his hand at script-writing and wrote the script for a film for a friend whose father, a famous film director, had given him 30,000 francs. The film was never released and soon after, he left for India when he just turned 19. He has lived in India since 1978, and has been associated with Auroville in Tamil Nadu.
He wrote for a national daily based in Paris. Thereafter after living for eight years in the Sri Aurobindo ashram in Tamil Nadu, he resumed writing for various national and international papers but this time about Indian affairs.
During the 1982 Asian Games in Delhi, Gautier chanced upon an article on the Games in a French newspaper, which he found to be full of cliches regarding India. He wrote a letter of correction to the editor in chief, who offered Gautier the chance to write an article; that was his beginning in journalism. In 2001 Gautier gave the inaugural Dr Stanley Samartha Memorial lecture at the Bangalore Initiative for Religious Dialogue on the subject The need for inter-religious dialogue.
Gautier writes for the online website Rediff.com, The New Indian Express, Dainik Bhaskar, Sahara Samay, Outlook and The Sunday Indian. He has also authored the "The Ferengi’s Column" in The Indian Express and "The French Connection" column in the The Pioneer.
Among his books are Un autre Regard sur l'Inde (Editions du Tricorne, Geneva-Paris); Arise O India (Har Anand 1999), Cry O my beloved India A Western journalist on India (Har-Anand 2001), India's Self Denial (Editions Auroville Press, 2001) and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a guru of Joy (India Today Book Club, 2002).
In 2008 Gautier published an op-ed in The Indian Express that accused Sonia Gandhi, leader of the Indian National Congress, of responsibility for the 2006 Mumbai train bombings. He said she had stopped India's intelligence agencies from investigating terror attacks, instead ordering them to focus on "Hindu terrorism". She had "let her Christian and Western background, in four years, divide India on religious and caste lines in a cynical and methodical manner"; Gautier called her an enemy of the Hindus, who had "emboldened fanatics like John Dayal or Valson Thampu ... to radicalise their Christian flock".[dead link]
Books in English
- Arise O India, Har anand, 2000. ISBN 81-241-0518-9
- India's Self Denial Auroville Press, 2001
- A Western Journalist on India: The Ferengi's Columns, Har Anand, 2001. ISBN 81-241-0795-5
- The Guru of Joy: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the Art of Living, India Today Book Club, 2002. ISBN 81-905655-9-1
- Rewriting Indian History, India Research Press, 2003 ISBN 81-87943-27-0
- A New History of India, Har Anand, 2008 ISBN 978-81-241-1430-8
Books in French
- Un autre regard sur l'Inde, éditions du Tricorne, 2001. ISBN 2-8293-0189-7
- Swami, PDG et moine hindou, éditions J.-P. Delville, juin 2003. ISBN 2-84898-003-6
- La caravane intérieure, les Belles Lettres, Paris, 2005 ISBN 2-251-72000-6
- Femmes en Inde, Albin Michel, à paraître, 2004 ISBN 2-226-14226-6
- David Frawley
- Koenraad Elst
- Michel Danino
- Alain Danielou
- Girilal Jain
- Stephen Knapp
- Arun Shourie
- Swapan Dasgupta
- Claude Arpi
- See M. R. Pirbhai Demons in Hindutva, writing a theology for Hindu nationalism, Modern Intellectual History (2008), 5 : 27-53 Cambridge University Press doi:10.1017/S1479244307001527, and Dibyesh Anand Anxious Sexualities: Masculinity, Nationalism and Violence doi:10.1111/j.1467-856x.2007.00282.x BJPIR: 2007 Vol 9, 257–269 p.259. In this article, Gautier expresses his disappointment on BJP's lost during the 2004 elections in India.
- "The Rediff Interview/ Francois Gautier". Rediff. February 12, 1999. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- "Arun Shourie to deliver Stanley Samartha memorial lecture". Asia Pacific Ecumenicaql News. September 2009. Retrieved 2012-04-12.
- Amazon.com: Arise Again O India: Francois Gautier: Books
- Amazon.com: Guru of Joy: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and The Art of Living: Francois Gautier: Books
- Francois Gautier (December 8, 200). "Sonia’s presence in Delhi is costing India dearly". Expressbuzz. Retrieved 2012-04-14.
- Francois Gautier Blog
- Another noble efforts by Francois Gautier
- Interview to Tribune India
- Youtube video on FACTINDIA
- francois gautier's French articles
- Francois Gautier's homepage
- Rewriting Indian history Online Book
- India's self denial by F. Gautier
- Francois Gautier at rediff.com
- A sampling of Francois Gautier's experiences in india
- FACT homepage
- Art of Living
- Francois Gautier Interview on Newslaundry