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Singhal firm of Ram temple - The Sunday Observer

Habib Beary ()
March 22-28, 1998

Title: Singhal firm of Ram temple
Author: Habib Beary
Publication: The Sunday Observer
Date: March 22-28, 1998

The ational agenda of
Atal Behari Vajpayee's government has dropped the contentious
issues of the Ram temple , Article 370 and the uniform civil
code. But the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, a frontal organization of
the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, says it will continue with its
Hindutva campaign. The compulsion of forming a government have
made the BJP drop the issue from the national agenda . But our
stand has not been diluted, Ashok singhal, the fiery Vishwa
Hindu Parishad president, told HABIB BEARY before the three
day RSS conclave began on the outskirts of Bangalore. Excerpts
>from the exclusive interview:

What do you think of new government's ational agenda=94?

They should work according to the national agenda. People want
a good government. But more than performance, people want out
of these politicians some ethics and some sobriety. This is the
need of the hour. We should not allow our economic sovereignty
ton be bartered.

But the Bharatiya Janata Party has diluted its stand on certain

That n is because of compulsions, but it has not deleted these
issues. They figure in the BJP's manifesto. If it had a
majority, it could act according to its own manifesto.

What about your organization?

We cannot dilute issues. The issues are very much there. Of
course, the people have to decide finally. [But] we will
continue with our campaign. We are not going to dilute our

So Ayodhya, Mathura, and Kashi are still on your agenda?

They are in the agenda. We will persuade people, that is how a
democracy functions.

Doesn't it then look like the BJP has compromised on these

If they have to rule, they have to do it. If they preferred to
sit in the opposition, they need not have done it.

Do you think coalition governments are here to stay?

Of course, for some time it looks like they are here to stay.

How stable do you think Vajpayee's government is?

It is too premature to say anything.

Are you happy with the way it has been formed?

I am [not] unhappy. We are not in politics. Of course we have our
own agenda, we want a government in the country which can fulfil
the Hindu agenda. We want the Hindus in this country to live with

You believe this is not happening now?

It is not happening now. [Under] the previous governments, Hindus
were reduced to third-class citizens'.

What is your opinion of Vajpayee's team?

It is he who has to form the team. Probably he has formed the
best team possible for him.

What is your next goal? We cannot [carry an] agitation [on] for
too long. However, the message has gone [out] that Hindus want to
live with respect. There are, of course, some people who say
December 6 ko kalank lag gaya. [But] there are more people who
say saade charsau saal ka kalank hut gaya.

See what is happening in Kerala. The Communists are trying to
take over the Shivagiri Mutt. They want to take over all the
Hindu shrines and make them a government department. Politicians
should not interfere in the religious affairs of this country.
So, the Hindus will have to agitate.

What will be the stand of the new government towards the

They [the minorities] might feel they are far better off than
under the previous governments. Getting their due share is all
right. But if you say Hindus should live in the country with
disrespect, it is wrong.

Do you see Vajpayee as a moderate?

All of us are moderates. Hinduism is a moderate religion.
Christianity and Islam are aggressive religions.

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