How FACT was born
Fact was born in 2005, when Francois Gautier when got an award of journalism, the Natchiketa Award of Excellence in Journalism in 2006, given by Prime Minister Vajpayee in Lok Sabha Annexe. There was a cheque of 50.000 Rs, which Francois used to start a foundation, FACT (Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism) & mounted an exhibition on the genocide & exodus of Hindus in Kashmir, which he had witnessed firsthand, being a reporter for Le Figaro at that time: http://refugees-in-their-own-country.blogspot.in/. He showed this exhibition to the US Congress in Washington in 2008. Then he mounted another exhibition on the plight of minorities in Bangladesh, having also been there often: http://portrait-of-covert-genocide.blogspot.in/. Later, because in the process of researching for his books, he had seen how much Aurangzeb is portrayed as a stern but just ruler, his foundatio got hold of his firmans, which are still preserved in the Bikaner archives, hired a retired professor of history, V.S. Bhatnagar of the Rajasthan university, to translate them, engaged miniature painters in Jaipur and mounted a remarkable exhibition on Aurangzeb, as he was ACCORDING TO HIS OWN RECORDS : http://www.aurangzeb.info/
The vision of FACT
Is simple: present Indian History as it happened – not as it has been written by the British and blindly taken up as it was in 1947. Highlight Human Rights abuses in South Asia and promote Indian culture.
FACT is a non-commercial trust, which is striving to preserve India’s cultural inheritance which is being eroded today, has also made one of its tasks to revive the art of 17th century miniature painting. Professor Bhatnagar researched unpainted scenes of many remarkable characters, such as Alybai of Indore or Maharana Pratap, and commissioned seven Jaipur miniature painters to recreate these scenes. Each painting, which is signed and dated, has been checked for artistic excellence by Dr Sumendhra of the Lalit Kala Academy Jaipur, and for historical accuracy to the last detail by Prof Bhatnagar. These exhibitions have now been shown all over India and in many parts of the world and have won great acclaim for their excellence in reviving an ancient art, while portraying Indian History as it happened.
TOTAL FUNDS INVESTED IN MUSEUM: 3 CRORES RUPEES
FACT was started in 2003 by Namrita and Francois Gautier to highlight Human Right abuses in South Asia. First FACT exhibition dealt with the ethnic cleansing of the Kashmiri Hindus, four hundred thousand of them having become refuges in their own country . After this exhibition was shown successfully in Delhi and Bangalore, it was displayed in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune in 2006, and Poland, Germany, Israel, England, Holland in 2007. Furthermore, it was brought to the US Congress in July 2006, leading to a bipartisan resolution on the Human Rights of the Kashmiri Pandits in the US Congress . Another exhibition on the persecution of Hindus, Christians and Buddhists in Bangladesh was inaugurated in Mumbai on 18th November 2006 by His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. A path-breaking project on “Aurangzeb as he was“ has been shown in Delhi’s Habitat Centre and is no programmed in Bangalore from 14th to 30th March 2007. A film on the condition of Brahmans and Other Upper Castes was also made in 2007: www.youtube.com/watch?v=P7Xgc4ljHKM)
The successful Kashmiri Pandits’ exhibition, got translated in Mahratti and was shown in villages of Maharashtra, another exhibition/symposium on the persecution of Hindus, Christians and Buddhists in Bangladesh.
The exhibition on “Aurangzeb as he was according to Moghol records“ was shown in Delhi’s Habitat Centre in February 2007 in G gallery Bangalore in April 2007 and then exhibited in Pune in August and Mumbai. FACT have also initiated in 2007 a show Shivaji. FACT has embarked as well on a project to do two exhibitions: one on the 1947 Holocaust of Hindus and Sikhs and the second on the rise of Sikhism as a defender of the Hindu Dharma. FACT plans to bring out audio CD’s on all these subjects to educate people. We have already brought one on the Kashmiri Pandits’ issue, another one on the victims of the Bombay train blasts and of course, a third one on Brahmins and OUC.
- In 2008, FACT commissioned a new project on “Ahilyabai Holkar, the Warrior Queen”,
- FACT has instituted an annual FACT-Shivaji award, (One lakh rupees cash prize and citation) which was given this year to Captain Bana Singh, the “Hero of Kargil” in Mumbai in November 2008.
- FACT is also setting up a FACT-Ahilyabai Award for Women, which shall be offered every year to a contemporary woman incarnating the values of Ahilyabai.
- FACT is retrieving the exhibition “Aurangzeb as he was according to the Moghul records”, which was damaged in Chennai and which we got repaired.
FACT completed in 2008 a path-breaking exhibition “Naxalism, a threat to the Unified Nation of India”, which was first shown in Oslo, Norway, in March 2008 at the Peace & Reconciliation Conference and then at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The exhibition is one of its kind and for the first time screened in India. It then travelled to Bihar, Chattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh.
The exhibition “Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, A Hero for Modern India” was shown in Bangalore, on 27th September 2008, at Gallery G, 38 Maini Sadan 7th Lavelle cross road, and was inaugurated by the Chief Minister, Shri Yediyurappa. This is a miniature paintings exhibition, which met with a huge success in Mumbai last February. It is now in Pune.
In August 2009 Namrita and Francois Gautier went on a US fund-raising tour to raise money for a Museum of Indian History. About 130.000$ were raised in seven cities: Boston, New York, New Jersey, Dallas, Houston, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
On 12th Jan, FACT-will lay the foundation stone of this museum of Indian History in Pune, on land it has obtained. This museum, which will be called the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History, will deal with the History of India from the beginning of its civilization till today. It will educate children of all faiths about the greatness of their cultures, religions and history. The Museum will have at its core a permanent exhibition on Shivaji, the great Hero Warrior of Maharasthra, who will have found at last a shrine worthy of his greatness, in his own home town.
Ahilyabhai, the queen reformer, was shown in Pune’s main art gallery, Balghandavar Mandir on 13th Jan 2010 and a symposium on Indian women and Ahilyabhai took place at the same time in the presence of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
On 14th January, HH SSRS performed the bhoomi puja on the 5 acre land in Waghaon, Pune, where we intend to build the Shivaji Maharaj Museum of Indian History. Our entire team was present: Namrita/ François Gautier, trustees; Mr Girish Doshi, the architect, Mrs Kumkum Naren, FACT’s Pune representative; Mr Gautam Vig, webmaster, Mr E. Rathinam, financial officer & Mr Anand Mathur, chief fund-raiser.
Colonel Anand Thatte, a retired army officer, was appointed project coordinator, with a salary of Rs 30.000 per month, Mr Rao, as overseer and Mr Kamlesh as local architect.
In the course of the year, a site office was built, two wells were dug, water conservation trenches were made, a bougainvillea natural fence was planted and three phase electricity was provided along with a pump and sintex tanks, both on top and below . We also secured all the necessary permissions, as well as the services of a senior lawyer, Mr Srivivasan, who is advising us on all matters.
On 6th April, we commissioned an exhibition on the Hindu Holocaust, from the Hindu Kush, to 26/11. Mr Gautam Vig is in charge of the project.
On 23rd November, we commissioned an exhibition on Maharana Rana Pratap, the legendary Rajput who fought Akbar. Professor Gupta of university of Udaipur will be the chief researcher and it will be done in the ancient style of paintings.
On 4. 1. 2011, we appointed professor Bhadani of Aligarh university to mount a painting exhibition on Dara Sukoh the Sufi scholar, who was beheaded by his brother Aurangzeb for apostasy. Painters in Jaipur, already used for Shivaji exhibition, will do the paintings.
On 10th Jan, the puja and foundation stone for the Mother India shrine was performed on the Museum land by the trustees of FACT, Namrita & François Gautier & Mrs Gayatri Chauhan. Mrs Sheetal Harpale, the architect, was also present. This will be a unique temple in India, which will again spread the concept of India as the Mother, in Sri Aurobindo’s light.
Later in the site office, two Tata Bluesteel engineers explained how we are going to put up temporary buildings next to the temple of a good aesthetic value, so that all our existing exhibitions can be housed, while the main Museum comes-up on the hill.
On 12th, Vasanth, a renowned sculptor from Pondichery, was commissioned to do a bronze rendering of Mata Bharati endowing Shivaji. Also a bust of Shivaji Maharaj
In February, a painting exhibition on Maharana Pratap of Udaipur, the only Rajput to ever have fought and won against the Moghols was commissioned. Professor KS Gupta of the University of Rajasthan and a team of young Udaipur-based painters. Total cost of the exhibition for 50 paintings will e 20 lakhs.
In April, we commissioned a painting exhibition of the history of the Vijaynagar empire. This exhibition is tutored by Dr Ram Agarwal from London and the paintings are done by famous painter ravi Deo from Pune. Cost of exhibition 30 lakhs.
In June the foundations for the main Museum (1st phase) were started on top of the land.
In August the yantra design of the shrine were finished.
In September the Tata Bluescope building was completed at a cost of 20 lakhs. The small amphitheatre was also completed end Of September.
In October the Bharat Mata statue endowing Shivaji and the Shivaji Maharaj statue made at a cost of 5 lakhs, were sent by van to Pune from Pondichery and installed in the shrine in the presence of François and the temple architect.
In November, the Shivaji Maharaj exhibition, completed at a cost of 23 lakhs was installed in the Tata Bluescope building for public exhibition.
With the fixing of the Shivaji Maharaj bust and the quotes from Sri Aurobindo, the shrine was completed end of November.
December. 2d temporary building, in wood started
Mother’s eyes, installed
January. 2d building finished
3rd temporary exhibition building started
Printing of Six huge Shivaji flexes
Printing of Hindu Tolerance and Aryan invasion exhibitions
14th Jan. inauguration o Bharat Mata temple and 3 exhibition halls by HH Holiness SSRS, Shri Gadkari and Mrs Ajit Pawar
May, Building of Aurangzeb hall begins
September, Aurangzeb building completed
November Maharana Pratap exhibition completed
December Building of Ahilyabhai Hall begins
December making of a video room to screen all FACT’s films
December Dara Shukoh Exhibition completed
Jan Inauguration of Aurangzeb Hall by Shri Prafull Goradia
3rd Feb, Inauguration of Maharana Pratap exhibition Ramlila Grounds Delhi by HH Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
23rd Feb. Inauguration of Dara Shukoh Exhibition by Shri Pratap Pawar
July, building a new Tibetan Holocaust Pavilion
August Inauguration of the Pavilion by HH the Dalai Lama
January, Installation of Hindu Holocaust exhibition, the first in the world
March. Inauguration of Video room and canteen
April finishing the Ahilyabhai exhibition Hall
July, USA Fund raising tour
August, beginning of Kashmiri Pandits building
November, commissioning exhibitions the Vedas
In January 2015, we inaugurated our new Kashmiri Pandit Pavilion (photo)
In February 2015 we updated our Bangladesh minorities exhibition
In March 2015, started the construction of our Veda Pavilion
In April 2015, started digging a big pond to store the Monsoon water. It will be lined up with plastic. (photo)
January, started building Portuguese Inquisition exhibition hall
March, commissioned painter for an exhibition, the first of its kind in the world of the history of the Portuguese inquisition in GOA
May, Pond is completed
June, Started another exhibition this for one on Tippu Sultan as he really was
July, Extending our Reception hall to make a room with flat TV screens only, each one playing on a loop films, PPT’s, etc. (photos).
August, Pond is full as we are also harvesting rain water for the dry .
In September 2016, FACT inaugurated its latest exhibition, on the Portuguese Inquisition (photo) the first of its kind in the world, showing how the Inquisition tortured and killed, not only Hindus, but also Muslims and Jews in Goa
In October 2016, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inaugurated a new reception cum library, along with an exhibition hall that is only has of 32inch flat TV screens showing films made by FACT .
In December 2016, another exhibition was put-up: Tippu Sultan, how he really was (a Hindu killer)
January, changed roof of Aurangzeb exbt building, repainted and reprinted the entire exhibition on Indoor flex
Repainted Dara Shikoh hall
Bought books for Library
February, new pavilion for exbt “A Quick Look at Indian History”
March, laid Foundation Stone for Lord Shiva Shrine
June, Inauguration of Dr Kireet Joshi’s Hall
September, Inauguration of Veda exhibition in the light of Sri Aurobindo (designed by Namrita, under the guidance of Prof Kireet Joshi)
The Museum is open from 9 to 6PM and entrance is free. We get about 100 to 500 visitors a day. The future Museum (plan attached), will cost appr. 10 crore rupees. This Museum of 100.000 square feet, will house 70 exhibitions and state of the arts research and archives facilities. It is scheduled to open in 2018
- Sikhs: the defenders of Indian Dharma, Inaugurated by H H Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on 22nd Jan and shown until 7th Feb 08, at Bangla saheb Gurudwara New Delhi The exhibition was not only a huge hit with the sikh community but people from all faiths.
Visitors : 65,000)
Naxalism: Threat to Unified Nation of India First shown in Oslo, Norway, then in Delhi’s Habitat Centre. It had people writing about it in blogs and communities http://naxalism.info
- – Exhibition on persecution of Minorities in Bangladesh, The exhibition has travelled all over India, even in the interior villages of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa. A total of 250,000 visitors appreciated the exhibition.
- – “Aurangzeb as he was according to the Moghul records ” has received a record critical acclaim from critics and common visitors. The exhibition after hitting controversy in Chennai was locked up but we brought it out and will be soon travelling to Mumbai and Ahmedabad, after being screened in Delhi,(March 2007), Pune 20,000 (Oct 2007) and Chennai (March 2008) 56.000 people visited the exhibition.
- – A Hero for Modern India : Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj (8th – 18th mar’08 Mumbai) the exhibition had art lovers, Historians, Students and trekkers as well as Nature lovers interested in Shivaji. The Bangalore leg of the exhibition has had the Chief minister asking to show it in schools and colleges in Karnataka.
- Terror Unleashed, An Exhibition on Kashmir The exhibition has travelled to Delhi, Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Poland, Germany, Israel, England, Holland Scotland, Interior villages in Maharashtra and in the US Congress. As of today a total of 300,000 visitors have appreciated the exhibition.
Ahilyabai Holkar the warrior queen, The exhibition on Ahilyabai Holkar was screened in Jan 2010 initially in Pune, then Indore and later in Mumbai, and other places. The Warrior Queen that rebuilt the Indian spiritual centers across the country which were destroyed or left dilapidated,.
Maharana Pratap the indomitable. The only Rajput who fought the Moghols and actually beat Akbar’s army in Haldighat. Lived a simple life with his soldiers, respected his enemies’ women and children, cared for his subjects and encouraged arts.
Dara Shukoh the Sufi. Shah Jahan’s eldest (and preferred son), a true Muslim, but also a Sufi saint and scholar, who translated the Upanishads and studied other religions. If he had become emperor the whole history of Islam in India – and maybe Islam in the world – would have changed. But Aurangzeb beheaded him.
The History of Tibet. The beautiful history of Tibet and the struggle of it s people since they were invaded by the Chinese in 1959
The Aryan Invasion that never was. This exhibition scientifically shows that the Aryan invasion theory that is taken as the foundation of Indian history, never happened. Yet it is still used by politicians and missionaries.
The Portuguese Inquisition. the first of its kind in the world, showing how the Inquisition tortured and killed, not only Hindus, but also Muslims and Jews in Goa
TV exhibitions. In October 2016, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar inaugurated a new reception cum library, along with an exhibition hall that is only has of 32inch flat TV screens showing films made by FACT .
Tippu Sultan. In December 2016, another exhibition was put-up: Tippu Sultan, how he really was (a Hindu killer)
Vedas & Upanishads in the light of Sri Aurobindo, 70 panels, designed by Namrita, under the guidance of Prof Kireet Joshi. A unique exhibition
FACT FILMS (FACT Videos),
-Brahmins and Upper castes
-The Trauma of Partition
-Mumbai train blasts.
-26/11, the true story
FACT is a registered Trust and has US, UK and Indian tax exemption, as well as FCRA. Donations in Indian rupees can be made at the following account:
Foundation Against Continuing Terrorism (FACT)
Account No: 04071450000237. IFCS code: HDFC0000407
Bank Address: HDFC Bank Ltd., T S No.6, 100 Feet Road
Ellaipillaichavadi, Pondicherry-605 005. Telephone: 0413 2206044