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VHP will not work for any party (Interview with Ashok Singhal)

VHP will not work for any party (Interview with Ashok Singhal)

Publication: Organiser
Date: April 4, 2004

Introduction: We awaken Hindutva

Ashok Singhal, the popular Working President of VHP, feels that though the BJP has detached itself from Hindutva for the time being, people cannot totally discredit it on this issue. For, it still has Hindutva in its heart. "The day will come when BJP leaders would swear their love for Hindutva." The saintly VHP leader spoke to Organiser correspondent Pramod Kumar in New Delhi, on various issues concerning the nation today. Excerpts:

Q.: What would be the role of VHP in the coming general elections?
A.: Since the beginning, the main task of VHP has been to awaken the Hindu society and make them aware of their rights. There are pre-planned efforts to destroy the Hindu culture by our own people. The govern-ment is the biggest reason for this insult of Hindus. But the society has gradually awakened. Though, this awareness is yet to reach the illiterate people, the day they start understanding the large-scale discrimination being meted out to them, the pseudo- secularists will be rejected outright.

The VHP has neither worked nor will work for any political party. We shall continue to awaken the society.

Q.: Will you persuade the Rambhakts to help the NDA government to solve the Ram temple issue?
A.: The Rambhakts know everything. They have seen that the government could not take any concrete step in this direction. They should have done it. However, in the end, they took some initiatives that could have been taken earlier. If they were serious about it, they would have solved it out of court. I suspect they are not serious about it.

Q.: When the Ramjanma-bhoomi movement began, the VHP had emerged as the resurgent face of Hindu society. Now that face appears to be missing. Why?
A.: When rivers join, they develop a resurgent face. But when they flow further, they become deeper and calm. The VHP work also moves like this. Now our work has become more effective. Whatever issue we took up, people accepted them. I don't agree that people do not have enthusiasm now; it is very much there.

Q.: You have mentioned that the Hindu society is going to face a major jehad?
A.: Who supports and indulges in jehad in this country? We have to identify and expose them. The jehadis are getting free training in Pakistan and Bangladesh. Their execution centres are being set up all over the country. The ISI is a parallel organisation in Pakistan that supplies money and other sophisticated weapons to the jehadis. We have to fight against them. If they are not given the right answer now, the country may have to face another Partition.

Hired people cannot defend the country; it needs patriotism. We have prepared such people in the Bajrang Dal. It becomes the duty of the government to join hands with the Bajrang Dal to fight the menace of jehad.

Q.: It appears that the VHP has turned to service activities in remote areas. Why this change?
A.: The VHP has begun so many projects which the media does not report. We make people literate on a large scale. We organise satsangs, celebrate Hindu festivals and work for cow protection.

Q.: Is it possible to sustain the same enthusiasm that one witnessed during the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation?
A.: The organisation is attracting the youth in large numbers; it always had a resurgent face. It can react any time.

Q.: Some people feel that when there is a pro-Hindu govern-ment at the Centre, what is the need to criticise it?
A.: Don't call it a pro-Hindu government. It has also followed the same policy of suppressing the voice of the Hindus that was followed by other governments. This government has suppressed the voice of its own people. There are people in the BJP and the government who are working by suppressing their own feelings.

Q.: Do you feel that the government is not working for Hindu interests?
A.: We have categories of secularists. Most of them are enemies of the Hindus. Will the countrymen vote for Sonia Gandhi, Mulayam Singh or Laloo Prasad Yadav who are the biggest enemies of Hindu society? All of them are running their politics. People have to see that even if the BJP has left the Hindutva for the time being, it has Hindutva in its heart. The day will come when they would develop love for Hinduism. I feel there would be a new incarnation in the BJP in the coming years.

Q.: Do you feel that the dialogue between the Sangh and Muslim leaders would produce fruitful results?
A.: I don't know. Whenever we have tried to bring both the communities together, we have been deceived. We had to face attacks, though they too are the sons of this soil.

Q.: The VHP has been leading the Ramjanmabhoomi movement since the very beginning. Now some people are trying to solve the issue by keeping it out. Why?
A.: Let them try. They will not succeed.

Q.: There are a number of people belonging to other political ideologies, who are joining the BJP. How do you feel about it?
A.: They are coming with political interests. The day they feel that their interests are not fulfilled, they will quit the party. If anybody comes because he is influenced with the ideology and ideals of the party, he should be welcomed.

Q.: What are the other activities of VHP?
A.: The work of VHP is, apart from launching movements on different issues, constructive and both have influenced the political scenario of the country to a great extent. The VHP, through different service projects and Hindu Sammelans, has successfully brought back more than 37,000 people into the Hindu fold only in one district-Banswara of Rajasthan. The results in Beawar (Rajasthan) are also overwhelming where more than 70,000 people have returned to the Hindu fold. This work needs to be done all over the country.

But it needs money, that we do not have. Shouldn't the amount of Rs 1,500 crore, which is received by different temples in Andhra Pradesh including the Tirupati temple, be used to bring back our own people into the mainstream or to stop those who are planning to leave their roots? Today this entire money is in the hands of the forces that are not only enemies of the Hindu society, but are also helping in destruction of the Hindu culture.

Keeping in view the growing menace of jehad, we have started the organisation of Bajrang Dal on a large scale. Whenever the efforts were made to bring Hindus and Muslims together, some people tried to sabotage them. Politicians do not have time to think, but we are preparing the society for self-defence. Those who think that we are dividing the society are wrong. The young generation of Hindu society is attracted towards the VHP. People have lost all hopes from politicians and they have to ensure their protection themselves.

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