Path breaking Exhibition by Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism
  • An exhibition to be seen by every Indian, especially Hindu.



    The Foundation FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) is showing
    for the first time in Chennai a path breaking exhibit on Aurangzeb "as
    he was", according to Muslim original documents. We have commissioned
    totally 40 original paintings and sketches from miniature painters in
    Jaipur, Rajasthan. Each original oil painting, representing one scene of
    Aurangzeb's bloody reign, commissioned by FACT will be signed and dated.

    This is an exhibition on the reign of the Moghol Emperor, Aurangzeb,
    which shows Hinduism as a timeless cultural manifestation, capable of
    maintaining its unique character and spirit of tolerance amidst
    sustained onslaught.

    There are an incredible number of farhans, original edicts of Aurangzeb
    hand-written in Persian, in India's museums, particularly in Rajasthan,
    such as the Bikaner archives. For the exhibition Aurangzeb's own
    farhans, records and edicts, are the basis. Many of these Farmans are
    still available in their original forms in Government's archives,
    such as the Bikaner Museum. Every exhibit is thus based on sound textual
    tradition, supported by recorded history.

    Place: Lalit Kala Academy, 170, Greams Road, Chennai – 600 006

    Tel/Fax: +91 44 28291692

    Duration: 3rd to 9th March 2008, between 11 AM and 7 PM

    For queries contact Anupama Ranganathan: 9841057563

    Francois Gautier

    Trustee FACT

    41 Jorbagh, New Delhi 110003

    Tel 98118828

    Born in Paris in 1959, François Gautier is a French journalist,
    political correspondent in South Asia during ten years for « Le
    Figaro », France's largest daily for eight years. He is now the
    editor in chief of the Paris-based La Revue de l'Inde
    ( François has written several books:
    "Arise O India" (Har Anand) 1999, "A Western journalist on
    India" (Har-Anand 2001), "Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a Guru of
    Joy" (India Today Book Club, 2003, 60.000 copies sold). He also
    writes regular columns for Indian newspapers, `Ferengi's
    column" in the Indian Express, the "French Connection"
    column in the Pioneer, as well as regular contributions to

    He started FACT-India in 2003 when he got the Natchiketa Award for
    Excellence in Journalism at the hands of the Prime Minister in Lok
    Sabha, New Delhi. Since then FACT, a non-political, non religious
    organization, non-affiliated to any group, has mounted several
    path-breaking exhibitions, the most famous of which, highlighting the
    plight of the Kashmiri Pandits, was shown in the US Congress in 2005,
    leading to a bipartisan resolution by the US Senate in 2006.


    This is an artistic exhibition on Aurangzeb , the great Moghol emperor
    using his own records and firmans (edicts), many of which are still
    preserved in Indian museums, such as the Bikaner archives. François
    Gautier, a Delhi based French journalist and the founder trustee of
    FACT, commissioned painters to depict in the old Moghol style never
    before shown scenes of Aurangzeb's reign, using historical documents
    of impeccable origin.

    Aurangzeb was truly a pious Muslim, copying the Koran himself, stitching
    Muslim skullcaps and enforcing strict laws. Nevertheless, according to
    his own documents, he was also an extremely cruel man – even for his
    times - having his father poisoned, his two brothers killed, and
    imprisoning his own son. He was also ruthless towards his subjects, the
    Hindus, re-imposing the humiliating jiziya tax, forbidding them from
    riding horses, elephants or palanquins and generally persecuting them
    pitilessly. For Aurangzeb did not just build an isolated mosque on a
    destroyed temple, he ordered all temples destroyed, among them the Kashi
    Vishvanath, one of the most sacred places of Hinduism and had mosques
    built on a number of cleared temples sites. All other Hindu sacred
    places within his reach equally suffered destruction, with mosques built
    on them. A few examples: Krishna's birth temple in Mathura, the rebuilt
    Somnath temple on the coast of Gujurat, the Vishnu temple replaced with
    the Alamgir mosque now overlooking Benares and the Treta-ka-Thakur
    temple in Ayodhya. The number of temples destroyed by Aurangzeb is
    counted in 4, if not 5 figures. Aurangzeb did not stop at destroying
    temples, their users were also wiped-out; even his own brother, Dara
    Shikoh, was executed for taking an interest in Hindu religion and the
    Sikh Guru Tegh Bahadur was beheaded because he objected to Aurangzeb's
    forced conversions.

    This exhibition is very relevant today in a world which sees a mortal
    battle between the hard Sunni-Wahabite brand of Islam, which tolerates
    no other, has chased four hundred thousand Hindus from Kashmir and is
    incarnated by the Taliban or the Al Qaida - and the softer, more
    accepting Sufi-moderate Islam of Dara Sukoh and many Indian Muslims. We
    have to have the courage to say it. It is composed of 60 original
    paintings/drawings signed and dated + many original firmans of Aurangzeb
    scanned from the Bikaner, Jaipur and Delhi archives/museums.

    About the painters

    The art of the Moghol miniature is a dying art. Most of the painters who
    still know this craft and are able to mix the water colors which the
    ancient painters used, live in Jaipur, Rajasthan. FACT tracked them down
    and earmarked twelve of them, thanks to the tireless efforts of
    FACT's historian and researcher, Prof Bhatnagar of the Rajasthan
    University. Out of these twelve, only five were found to be creative
    enough to paint entirely new scenes according to the Aurangzeb records
    earmarked by Prof Bhatnagar. They are: Dr Sumeendra, Mr Dharampal, Dr
    Saxena, Mr Kunagal and Dr Chandramani. Each painting is signed and dated
    and each painting is an original never seen before and historically

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