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Upananda Brahmachari | HENB | New Delhi | March 22, 2015:: After its glaring “ghar wapsi” campaign, seen by many as a strategy for Hindu consolidation, came under criticism of the secular media and politicos, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) lunches it new agenda to propagate its views on ‘Samarasata‘ (social equality). Retrieving a resolution passed during the 1969 “Udupi conclave” of saints, which said “Hindava sahodaraha sarve (All Hindus are brothers), Na Hindu Patito Bhavet (no Hindu untouchables)/ Mama Diksha Hindu Raksha (to rescue Hindus is initiation), Mama Mantra Samanata (equality is our hymns)”, senior VHP leader Dr Pravin Togadia on Saturday said the organisation will propagate a nationwide campaign in 6 lakh villages against “untouchability”. The Sangh Parivar is of the view that the ostracism of people belonging to the so-called “lower caste” is one of the main reasons for religious conversion, contrary to its philanthropic ideology. The Parivar’s “ghar wapsi” campaign is aimed at bringing back to Hinduism those who converted to faiths in Christianity and Islam.
Now, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) said it was asking Hindu families to reach out to all castes, including Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, forest and hill people, as part of its ‘Hindu Mitra Parivar’ programme. Measures would include “making friends with families of other castes, sharing happy and sad moments, visiting each other’s houses, sharing meals, helping them in educational, medical. legal and entrepreneurial help, encouraging the young to take healthy family photos, selfies and sharing them via WhatsApp, Facebook and other social media”.
“The VHP will ensure people from all castes get to drink the same water wherever there is a common water source, that no Hindu is barred from entering any temple, that there is a single crematorium for all Hindus, irrespective of caste,” Dr Togadia said.
Asked whether this campaign was to stop the conversion of Hindus to other religions, Togadia said: “Even if there was no conversion in the country…and if untouchability was still there, we would have still worked to eradicate it.”
Asking him about the report card of the present Modi Govt, Dr Togadia, who reportedly doesn’t share a good rapport with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, replied he has been “too busy” with his work to assess the performance of the BJP government at the Centre. On the issue of beef ban in some states, he said in the name of personal freedom, one cannot disrespect the tradition and culture of the country or else there could be reactions. Dr Togadia also reminded that 25 states of India has their own legal provision to prohibit cow slaughter in their states. It is now the time for the Central Govt. to enforce a central law to ban both Cow slaughter and beef with all strictures.
On the recent developments in J&K after forming a BJP-PDP Govt there, Mr Togadia said: “Massarat Aalam has been released. Terror attacks are rising. The nation is watching… The Jammu and Kashmir chief minister, with his actions, has compromised national interest.” He, however, declined to comment on the BJP’s decision to ally with the PDP but insisted that “national interest and national security should not be compromised anyway”.
The Hindutva firebrand leader, Dr Togadia also batted for the abrogation of Article 370, a long-time demand of the BJP, saying that the VHP remains committed to it and will struggle for a terror free and prosperous India by making a Hindu Rashtra in India.
Dr Togadia has been banned thrice in recent to attend his public programme in connection with Golden Jubilee Celebration of VHP in Bengaluru (Karnataka), Kandhmal (Odisha) and Udupi (Karnataka).
___with an input from PTI.