Former screen idol turned animal rights activist Brigitte Bardot was fined 20,000 euros by a court on France’s Indian Ocean island of La Reunion over a 2019 diatribe where she described its inhabitants as “savages”. “The natives have kept their savage genes,” the animal rights campaigner wrote in an open letter attacking the islanders for their treatment of animals, describing locals as “degenerate savages”.
She took aim at the island’s Hindu Tamil population for sacrificing goats, evoking the “cannibalism of past centuries” as she lashed “a degenerate population still soaked in barbarous ancestral traditions”. Bardot previously went on trial in 2008 for racist slurs made against Muslims. At the time, it was the fifth instance in which she faced a charge of “inciting racial hatred”. In 1996 she wrote in the right-wing Le Figaro that France had too many Muslims.
While Bardot’s attacks on Muslims are more well known, it is the Hinduphobia that should interest us. Deeply entrenched in the western psyche is a fear of the ‘Other’, the ‘Unknown’, the ‘Different’. While diversity and inclusion are now buzz words the reality is far from uniform. Bardot only said openly what western narrative puts into a more congenial packaging.
The Beastly People with a Beastly Religion
Indeed when examining the entrenched Hinduphobia of western civilisation, there is precious little difference that would distinguish Left from Right in the political spectrum. Bardot denounces Hindus in la Reunion as savages with their religious practices. Marxists, progressives and others on the Left would find little issue here. Indeed the classic woke media of the BBC, Guardian and Independent constantly portray anything Hindu in the most negative terms. Any attempt to rectify this is brushed off in the most snide manner; even if the actual facts prove the opposite to the propaganda spewing out from these hate centres.
But just because we have hate from the Left, does not mean that those individuals and propaganda outlets which are right-wing and conservative are somehow more amenable. It was of course Churchill himself who remarked:
“I hate Indians. They are a beastly people with a beastly religion”.
This could easily have been Bardot. Or indeed a host of others.
“Without colonialism, India would not be a country. It would be 357 warring tribes that don’t speak the same language.”
Now Horowitz is founder and president of the think tank the David Horowitz Freedom Center (DHFC); editor of the Centre’s publication, FrontPage Magazine; and director of Discover the Networks, a website that tracks individuals and groups on the political Left.
Yet he himself started out on the extreme Left, by burying himself in Marxism, cultivating close relations with the Black Panther Party, and working with the Trotskyist International Marxist Group to form the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign.
By the 1980s he was supporting Reagan and would later voice support for Trump. But as with his remarks on India, this could very easily be his Marxist incarnation speaking. It was after all Marx himself who lauded British rule as the mechanism by which India could be brought out from its backward state into the modern world. Horowitz shows incredible ignorance with regards to India, which to him remains in classic western colonialist eyes, an anarchic unfathomable place.
For someone who claims to fight anti-Semitism it is even more disturbing because this was a place where Jews flourished for 2000 years without hate form the majority host population; something which his western civilisation that produced ghettos, pogroms and the Holocaust can hardly lay claim to. If colonialism was so good then why did the major famines in India stop only after independence?
What would he make of the epic Mahabharata, which literally means ‘Great India’? Or perhaps most ironically, the Founding Fathers of America who shook off British colonialism itself? But none of this matters. India was savage and the dark skinned pagan natives needed the civilised white man to rescue them.
Of course he is hardly unique in this. Indian-born conservative commentator Dinesh D’Souza has long been a conservative icon, defending his America as the greatest, and laying blame on its ills, especially racism on the Democrat Party.
Yet he might as well be in that party for what he thinks of his ancestral homeland. In his books, D’Souza not only propagates the Aryan invasion theory, but that colonialism helped India with modernity and access to the English language, thereby a host of modern ideas.
Of course history shows that colonialism was not absolutely necessary for this. After being forced to open up to the world in 1855 when the American navy came calling, Japan rapidly modernised without the need for being ruled by a foreign power.
Of course Japan also picked up nasty habits such as colonialism itself by annexing Taiwan and Korea. It would later follow the lead of Germany in picking up fascism and turning this fantasy into what historian Niall Ferguson has described as a macabre mix of a plantation, an abattoir and a brothel. This is why you would never see Horowitz or D’Souza justify colonialism by Japan as having benefited the parts of Asia it conquered and more than the imperialism of the Third Reich. Just as with the Left, the right-wing hate inconvenient facts. But the one area in which conservative commentators would agree with the Left and indeed the Nazi ideologues would be on the issue of caste.
Caste Lives Matter
On 26 October 2021 British conservative writer Douglas Murray responded to the Indian cricket team taking the knee in support of Black Lives Matter”:
Not surprisingly this drew the ire of people in India who at one point even supported him. His response came 2 days later:
Just as with Horowitz and D’Souza not being so keen to draw the attention of how beneficial colonialism was with the empires of Japan and Germany (to which one might add Portugal fighting to keep African colonies as late as 1975), Murray ignores inconvenient facts. The constitution of the republic of India was written by Dr BR Ambedkar, a Dalit of the Mahar caste.
The present prime minister is Narendra Modi, form the Ganchi community of Gujarat which are known as OBC (Other Backward Caste). He grew up in poverty and left school at fourteen to work in a tea stall. Ram Nath Kovind was born into the Dalit community of the Kori caste in Uttar Pradesh.
He grew up in a mud hut and had to walk each day to Kanpur village, 8km (away, to attend junior school, as nobody in the village had a bicycle.
He is now president of India. Murray by contrast attended Eton and then Oxford University. He has said that universities should be elite institutions. Yet here he is preaching to India about caste.
His comments also bring up something more sinister. The linking of BLM top caste. While not stating it explicitly it is that old racist myth that light skinned Aryan invaders came to India thousands of years ago and imposed the caste system on the dark aboriginals.
This has more to do with nineteenth century colonialist fantasies than historical fact. It reflects how white settlers repressed or exterminated native populations in the Americas, Africa and Australia. The present constant preaching of this myth is a nasty remnant from this period. It is a myth which the supposedly anti-racist Left retains; and which unites it with the right-wing such as Douglas Murray. His response to “Indian nationalists” could easily have been spouted by colonised native Marxists such as Arunadhati Roy.
When it comes to India, Left and Right converge into a racist, prejudiced and phantasmagorical mix of Hinduphobia. This is something which has been infecting western civilisation as far back as its inception. For centuries it was the Jews who were hated. Then the Roma were seen as thieving anarchic dark-skinned Gypsies who needed to be exterminated.
In song, literature and then film Africans and African-Americans were depicted variously as cannibals, backward, threatening whites with a high sex drive, yet also submissive, weak and figures of a very nasty racist humour. Chinese were seen as intelligent and scheming.
One need only look at the films based on Fu Manchu to see how the west regarded what it was as the “Yellow Peril”. Now while all the aforementioned have largely been discarded, the view of the Hindu as the backward heathen savage remains. Western commentators on all sides of the political spectrum will not budge from this. Instead they ignore it and use sleight of hand, just as Hitler did when he was faced with the victories of Jesse Owens over the Aryan master race at the Berlin Olympics in 1936.
Missionaries with Lost Purpose
The Beatles song Eleanor Rigby was released in August 1966 just weeks after the furore over John Lennon’s remarks:
The song is about loneliness. Eleanor Rigby is a lonely woman who’s picking up rice in the church after a wedding, living in a dream, in her own lonely existence. She dies and his buried by Father McKenzie, after he has been “Writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear”. That is probably the most important part of the Beatles composition, because as Lennon so aptly said nobody wanted to hear the church anymore. Christianity was waning, but what would replace it?
These fears were articulated in the 1973 cult horror flick, “The Wicker Man”. Here were have Christopher Lee moving on from the portraying the Yellow Peril of Fu Manchu to the pagan peril of Lord Summerisle. He lured policemen Sergeant Howie to his doom as a human sacrifice as part of the Scottish island’s neo-pagan beliefs.
Having ditched Christianity the islanders are shown to be a degenerate bunch: having sex in public, singing songs which barely conceal promiscuity, worshipping the phallus, jumping naked through fire, and perhaps worst of all wanting to sacrifice a staunch Christian by burning him alive in the Wicker Man because their apple crop failed.
This was the future of Britain if it reverted to its pagan past. Of course in some areas now the film seems rather quaint. Britt Eckland deflowering a teenage boy as some sort of sacred act would now be laughed at when this sort of stuff has been superseded by the proliferation of online pornography, dating apps and internet escorting.
Rather than being the upright standard of Christian morals by resisting the seduction by Britt Eckland in the room next door, Edward Woodward as Sergeant Howie would have been there in a matter of seconds, filming and sharing images from his mobile phone on social media. Unlike the film there is not so much an aversion to the church as much as an apathy towards it.
But the film brought out a pagan fear which remains and which is central if we are to understand why the Left and Right unite when it comes to attacking Hindus. It is a belief as irrational yet deeply rooted when Sergeant Howie vainly protests at being led to the Wicker Man with:
“Don’t you see that killing me is not going to bring back your apples?
But this does not matter. It is the ‘theory’ which must prevail. In the god shaped hole left by the demise of the church, the monotheistic jealous god has become the ‘theory’. It is no coincidence that Bardot came from a conservative Catholic family.
Or that D’Souza writes ‘What’s So great About Christianity’, or that Horowitz argues “there never was an anti-slavery movement until white Christians — Englishmen and Americans — created one.” Once an Anglican, Murray describes himself as a Christian atheist.
Of course secularism, atheism, humanism and similar beliefs could only have arisen in a Christian environment. This was of course the same core beliefs that later led to communism and fascism. Faced with the ugly truths of the past, both Left and Right of western culture outsource their guilt by scapegoating Hindus.
To the Left, India is run by a neo-liberal, capitalist BJP of high-caste Hindus (even though the top political slots are the diametric opposite). To the Right, India is run by backward Hindu savages, because Hinduism remains a beastly religion. Indeed both Right and Left feel closer to Islam.
The very fact that Islam is attacked by Horowitz and Murray is yet another internecine conflict that could be found with Catholics and Protestants, or between Stalinists and Trotskyists.
It does not dent one bit the common elements that unite monotheistic creeds against the heathen threat. Now the guilt over slavery, colonialism, racism and apartheid is pushed on India. Caste is seen as a racial construct like apartheid. Because apartheid was evil, caste is evil.
What is the source of caste? Hinduism. How to destroy caste? Destroy Hinduism? Suddenly the sermons of Father McKenzie becomes something which the west is very keen to push on these backward savages.
The west may have no use for such stuff. But it is for export. France is seen as wedded to a very extreme form of secularism. This laicism arose from the conflict between a powerful Catholic Church and the revolutionary ideals of the new republic which replaced Christianity with the Cult of Reason.
Nevertheless as a colonial power, France was very keen for missionaries to convert the dark masses. That is why in former colonies such as Cameroon and Ivory Coast you have much more staunch Christians than largely secular France. In fact the dearth of Catholic priests means that France needs to import from Africa.
As with Britain, when France abolished slavery it still needed labour to work the plantations. As with Britain, slavery became reinvented as indentured labour. India was the course of this new slavery, which much like the kafala system of Gulf states today locked its victims into employment contracts of servitude. On being imported into La Reunion island, the largely Tamil-speaking Hindus were forced to take Christian names and adopt Christianity; all the while practicing their Hindu beliefs in secret. Bardot’s attacks therefore are not unique.
They are part of the wider tradition of anti-Hindu animus. Murray’s reflexive reaction to bring up caste is use of that universal element with which to attack Hindus. Horowitz’s ignorance is widespread and disseminated by the very Left he now battles. As for the Indian-born D’Souza, he openly sees an affinity with radical Islam in stopping the cultural degeneracy in the West. But Hinduism remains the real threat. On that, whatever their political and ideological differences, the Left and Right-wing preachers remain united.