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VHP reconsiders Temple issue

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad considers the Gujarat Chief Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi as the hero number one. The VHP executive President, Mr. Ashok Singhal, has described Mr. Modi as the first politician in the country who has taught the Muslims that it can also adopt the same path (of violence)! Mr. Singhal has warned the leaders sitting in Delhi not to level baseless allegations against the Gujarat Chief Minister. These leaders apparently also included some of the top Bharatiya Janata Party leaders, who the VHP alleges, have been deviating from the path defined by the Sangh Parivar.

The occasion for Mr. Singhal for making these remarks was a function to celebrate the 2511th birth anniversary of Adi Shankaracharya at Varanasi. In his Muslim bashing on that occasion, the VHP leader warned the minority community that the Hindus could also explode RDX and trigger trouble. He blamed the politicians for weakening the Hindu community by dividing it in the name of caste, language and region.
 



 

In tune with his comments, the VHP is now taking the 'Gujarat Shourya' message to the people. Under this programme it is conducting training-cum-workshops in which the VHP activists are being given training in firearms and self-defence. Such training-cum-workshops are being conducted in 125 places in U.P. and Uttaranchal.



In tune with his comments, the VHP is now taking the 'Gujarat Shourya' message to the people. Under this programme it is conducting training-cum-workshops in which the VHP activists are being given training in firearms and self-defence. Such training-cum-workshops are being conducted in 125 places in U.P. and Uttaranchal.

The VHP has now apparently relegated the Ram Temple issue to the second place. The VHP considers that the Temple issue has lost its value for its political wing, the BJP. In fact, the Temple issue has become liability for the VHP and the BJP after the March 15 fiasco in Ayodhya when the sants openly charged the Parishad leaders of not being serious in the construction of the shrine. On that occasion, under pressure from the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance government, the VHP had diluted its Shila Pujan for the Ram Temple construction in Ayodhya. The VHP leaders are now talking more of 'Gujarat Shourya' than about the construction of the Ram Temple. There are also hints from the VHP leaders that the Temple issue was taken up by them only to unite the Hindu community and not actually for its construction!

After the flop show on March 15, the VHP had announced that the next phase of agitation to fulfil the construction of Ram Temple would begin in Ayodhya from June 2 with the Purna Aahuti Yagna. This announcement was apparently made to satisfy the sants who are eager for the Temple construction. But the VHP has now made the yagna a low-key affair apprehending that it may create problems for the NDA government at the centre and the Mayawati-led BJP-Bahujan Samaj Party coalition government in Uttar Pradesh.

The VHP knew it well that if any problem was created by it by taking up the Ram Temple Construction in its new phase of agitation from June 2, the coalition government in U.P. may not survive. The VHP had earlier called its activists in large numbers to converge at Ayodhya on June 2 to make the yagna a success. But according to reports, the VHP may bring only a few thousands of its activists there on that occasion.

However, apparently under pressure from the sants, the VHP has convened a two-day meeting of the Margdarshak Mandal at Hardwar from June 22 to decide the future course of action regarding the Ram Temple construction. This will be followed by a week-long VHP governing Council meeting at Ranchi from July 5.

Meanwhile, two more members of the Sadhu Samaj in Ayodhya have come out openly against the designs of the VHP. Mahant Jugal 

Kishore Shastri of Saryu Kunj and Sri Bhavnath Das Maharaj, a former sarpanch of Hanumangarhi, in Ayodhya have said that any Ram Temple constructed by the VHP "by shedding blood of innocent people or by creating communal divide and hatred" will not be acceptable to them. They also said that if the government could ban Students Islamic Movement of India (SIMI), there was no justification for it in not banning the VHP also for the same reason.

P M Damodaran Lucknow

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