Allahabad, Feb 11 and 12 (IANS) — Surprisingly, barring VHP international general secretary Pravin Togadia, who reiterated VHP’s resolve to construct the Ram temple at Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh, even the VHP international president Ashok Singhal did not lay the usual stress on the issue.
A few of the 100-odd saffron-clad sadhus who occupied the elevated dais in the backdrop of huge pictures of all the major Hindu Gods – Shiva, Ram, Krishna, Hanuman and Goddess Durga – did talk about Ayodhya, but it was more in the nature of a passing reference without the rhetoric earlier attached to the emotive issue.
Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) chief K.S. Sudarshan also focussed on the theme of “Hindu unity”. Only towards the fag end of his long speech, did he say: “It is important for Hindus to not only remain united but to also vote in a united way.”
His sentiment was echoed by firebrand VHP leader Sadhvi Ritambhara. “Remember the elections are not very far and this time when you all go to vote you must vote for one particular party; do not allow your vote to get divided,” the saffron-clad vociferous Hindu hardliner Ritambhara told the crowds amid loud applause.
It was Togadia who set the tone for the day by emphasising upon the need for unity. “If Hindus were united then a Mogul Babur would not have been able to pull down the ancient Ram temple in Ayodhya nor would the Mahmud of Ghazni have succeeded in ravaging the Somnath temple or other Hindu shrines,” he said.
“It was in that light that I wish to call upon Hindus to resolve here on the banks of the holy Sangam to cut across all barriers and forge a unity that could pave way for the creation of a true Hindu nation,” declared Togadia.
Singhal went a step further by reiterating his oft-repeated call for reunification of today’s “divided” India into what he described as Akhand Bharat, or Undivided India comprising Pakistan and Bangladesh.
Opposing the government policy on family planning, he urged people to not only have at least four children but to also give up the social evil of female foeticide.
Besides large contingents from most Indian states, about 300 non-resident Indians (NRIs) from 16 countries are participating in the event.
VHP chief for a Hindu political party
Vishwa Hindu Parishad chief Ashok Singhal had given a call on Sunday (11 February) for forming a Hindu political front even as he claimed his organisation had supporters cutting across party lines. “Our objective is to form a Hindu political front through the mobilisation of a strong army of the Hindu voters,” Singhal told a press conference here on the eve of the VHP-sponsored three-day global Hindu meet.
Singhal declined to comment when asked what prompted him to look for the formation of a Hindu party when its political ally, Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), was already fulfilling that role as a Hindu nationalist party.
To repeated queries if he did not consider BJP as a Hindu political outfit, he shot back: “Any political party keen to don the mantle of a Hindu party will have to come under our banner.”
“As far as Hindutva is concerned, we have strong sympathisers in different political parties including the Congress.” Singhal claimed the VHP had “staunch support of a powerful Mumbai-based Congress leader”, though he declined to name the politician.
“One day, you will see the convergence of all such Hindus under the common banner of a united Hindu political front.”
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