Bonjour India is a cultural programme organized by the French Government to showcase its relationship with India. The programme was held in nearly 30 cities which include Chennai, Kolkata, and Pondicherry. The program captures the tale of how India and France met. For several centuries French preoccupied India and made use of its commodities and was inspired by the country’s literature and heritage. It is also said that the French literature inspired with some of the prominent people from India. The spiritual heritage of India attracted two French people Mirra Alfasa, the head of Aurobindo Ashram and Maximiani Portaz, a famous Mathematician. France was a significant power in India for several years during the eighteenth century.
The Bonjour India talks about the influence of French in India. The book Claiming India by Jyoti Mohan gives a glimpse of the tie-up between Indian and France. In the year 1674, France acquired Pondicherry and established its trading posts. They struggled to capture the market as the British were establishing companies in India. After a century Pondicherry became a famous commercial center ruled by the French. French trading posts were also established in the states of Kerala and Bengal. The French company was headed by Joseph Francois Dupleix who transformed it into a military machine. Several battles including the Battle of Adayar were led by Dupleix to conquer other parts of India. In the year 1763, the empire of the French ruler Dupleix started to collapse. The book “Fragments about India written by a famous French writer Voltaire talks about the defeat and fall of French in India. His writing also helped to understand how the Indian civilization has inspired the French. Voltaire was a passionate writer and wrote about Indian Philosophy based on his knowledge on Indian Vedas.
Anquetil Duperron, a French Indologist came to India in the eighteenth century and pioneered Upanishads and Vedas of the country. He traveled to several parts of the country that includes Pondicherry, Tirunelveli, Bengal, Varanasi, and Gujarat and so that he can get to know about the rich spiritual heritage of India.He also learned several of the historical languages of the country so that he can get understand the Vedas and Upanishads. The ideologies of Anquetil were not always correct as he had stated in his writings that the Upanishads were based on Greek Philosophy.
Anquetil wished that the French could re-establish in India based on their Indological expertise. He took serious efforts to establish control in India. But his wish did not turn into reality. The efforts of Anquetil made Paris a study center for learning Sanskrit in the later part of 19th century. The work of Anquetil influenced several German ScholarsAnquetil.
The above rich history of the two countries is mainly covered in the historical program of Bonjour India. Famous writers M. Mukundan and Madavane from India continue to explore the postcolonial relationship of French and India. The French East India company museum is open to the public in France to know the legacy and connection of the two countries.
The article clearly talks about the cultural program organized by the French Government in India. This program would help to understand the relatiobship of French with India. Really an informative article which talks about the French influence in India. A perfect reminder of the history of both French and India.
Really astonished to know about the people of France who traveled to India and mastered the upanishads and Vedas. It is surprising to know the relationship between Upanishads and Greek Philosophy. It is really interesting to know about how French started to rule some of the states of India.
The books mentioned above in the article gives a clear glimpse of the French influence in India. It is surprising to know how the Indian civilization has created an impact on the French. Several eminent personalities from French people were attracted by the spiritual heritage of India.
A good write-up by the team Limousin. Gives a clear understanding about the past Indo-French relationship. The article talks about how the French started to instill their power in India during the eighteenth century. An informative article to know about the ancient history of both countries.
It is evident from the article that the French could not establish complete control in India. The efforts of a French indologist failed as he tried to bring the entire country of India under the rule of the French. this event is a great remembrance of the past.
Really an interesting post which talks about the ancient history of France and India. The rich cultural heritage of India is the main reason for the French power in India. French people visited the country for various reasons which initiated the relationship between the two countries.
I have read the book Claiming India written by Joyti Mohan mentioned in the above post. The book clearly talks about the Indo-French relationship. The book details about the rise of power of the French in India and how it faded in the later years.
I am really surprised to know about the French Indologist Anquetil Duperron. His interest on the Upanishads and Vedas made him travel to India. He gained knowledge about the spiritual heritage of India by traveling to various places in Inda.
I was a part of the Bonjour India program that was held in Chennai as mentioned in the above post. It was really an interesting and informative program which featured the relationship between France and India. I am happy that I took part in this historic program.
I thank the team Limousin for the above informative post. It enlightened me about the past relationship of France with India. It gave clear glimpse of how France started to establish their power in India. It is really surprising to know the the French government wish to rememebr the past by organizaing an historic program.