श्रीराम जय राम जय जय राम, শ্ৰীৰাংজয়ৰাংজয়জয়ৰাং, শ্রীরাম জয় রাম জয় জয় রাম , શ્રીરામ જય રામ જયજય રામ, ಶ್ರೀರಾಮಜಯರಾಮಜಯಜಯರಾಮ, ശ്രിറാം ജയ് റാം ജയ്‌ ജയ് റാം, శ్రీరాంజయరాంజయజయరాం

THE ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF VISHVA HINDU PARISHAD

THE ORIGIN AND GROWTH OF VISHVA HINDU PARISHAD

Shri M.P. Degvekar Former General Secretary Vishva Hindu Parishad

Historical Background
Achievements
Remedy for Casteism
The Blot of Untouchability Wiped Out
Eradication of Sectarian Differences
Check on Religious Conversions
Efforts to Bring Muslims Into Main Stream
Helping Hindus Abroad
Mass Awakening
And What is the Final Goal?
Basis is Dharma and Final Objective is Human Welfare

Explaining the reasons for his electoral defeat Shri Rajiv Gandhi, former Prime Minister said that it was mainly due to Sri Ram Shila Pujan and Shilanyas organised by Vishva Hindu Parishad. Shri A.B. Vajpayee, leader of the BJP said that his party’s phenomenal success was due to the vigilant public opinion created because of Sri Ram Janma Bhumi programmes. The news media hailed Shila Pujan programme as the product of a genius. Some said that the Shilanyas in fact is laying foundation for Hindu Rashtra. All this speaks a lot about the importance and impact of Vishva Hindu Parishad and its activities in the Socio-religious and national life. During this Silver Jubilee year of the Parishad, it is, therefore, natural that people seek to know as to why and how the Parishad was founded and what its achievements are.

Historical Background

To appreciate the Parishad and its work, we have to recall the socio-political circumstances and the historical background.

Bharat is a very ancient nation with a glorious past and great achievements. Because of its great spiritual knowledge and the most ideal character it has attained the status of Jagadguru i.e. World Leader. The time cycle eroded its physical power and we have become ineffective in the face of the barbaric attacks and aggressions of the foreigners. While the Muslim invaders tried to assert their authority with the sword, the Britishers acted with cunning diplomacy.

The Britishers noted that this nation can be conquered, not merely by the military might, but by deHinduising the nation and they resorted to strategies of eroding the socio-cultural supremacy of the Hindu society in this land. They began attacking the culture and tradition of the Hindu society. They disputed and challenged the very existence of the age-old Hindu nation of this land.

As a matter of fact Bharat has been an acknowledged nation since ages.

“(Mata Bhumi Putroaham Prithivayha)” or “(Rashtre Vayam Jagrayaam Purohita)” Say the Vedas. The epics affirm the same, they declared.

The adage goes “(Janambhoomisch Swavargadapi Gariyasi)” But, due to vested interests, the British have never accepted that we are one nation. They were harping the lie that we never were a nation and that we were only a conglomeration of several kingdoms fighting with each other. They began to talk that India is only a nation in making.

They sought to confuse this nation by confusing the concepts of nation and state. In fact nation is a cultural concept, while state is a political concept. Jaipur, Jodhpur etc. were different states but not different nations. But unfortunately because of the deep impression caused by the railways, telegraphs and other scientific inventions of the west and the obsession of Macaulay’s educational system our social scientists began to doubt our age-old nationhood and dance to the tunes of the English theories about our nation. The results of this malicious conspiracy of the British have permeated into our national life as we witness today. (By including Hindus, Muslims, Parsis, and Christians all alike in the nation concept. they sowed seed, of territorial nationalism.

The Hindu nation as a mere community .the great Hindu nation which conquered the hearts of the world with its noble culture was equated with the Muslims and Christians who came here as invaders and aggressors and the Parsis and Jews who came here as refugees being driven away from their respective homelands. Consequently, any thing Hindu or of national origin is branded as communal and harrow and only things accepted by Muslims and others are considered as national. Thus the prestige and pride of Hindu was undermined in the very land of its origin.

The fundamental unity of the Hindu society was ignored and the diversity like the language, caste, sect etc. was high lighted and tactics of ‘Divide and Rule” based on this diversity, were adopted in a systematic manner to divide the society. They spread hatred among the various sections. In the census – Jains, Buddhas, Sikhs etc. were shown as separate from Hindus. The British conspiracy was further extended in the name of Arya, – Dravida, Brahmin, -non-Brahmin, depressed class and caste Hindus etc., cutting at the very root of the oneness of the Hindu society.

The British further noted that the second big community in this country is that of Muslims who have been demonstrating tendencies of antagonism towards Hindus and every thing Hindu. The British tried to exploit these tendencies and add fuel to the fire of antagonism.

During the freedom movement while the Hindu masses whole-heartedly took part with full devotion to Motherland, the Muslims were restrained and a separate independent identity was prompted. While the Hindus under the leadership of Mahatma Gandhi strived for Hindu- Muslim unity at all costs to achieve independence, the Muslim segment was harping over the two-nation theory and worked for a separate homeland in the name of Pakistan. To please, satisfy and appease the Muslims some of the Hindu leaders sacrificed all sense of pride of Hinduism and even went to the extent of calling Shivaji and Ranapratap as perverted and misguided. But all this was in vain and finally Pakistan was conceded.

Even after partition, the remaining part of the country was not declared as Hindu nation. Instead, .the politicians resorted to further the appeasement and give special privileges to assure themselves of power and the Muslim votes. Even the opposition politicians, who prospered on the congress traditions, have been maintaining the same policy of appeasement towards Muslims and opposition to Hindu interests.

This approach of denying the Hindu Rashtra and the fundamental unity, coupled with the designs of the foreigners has created many problems for the country. Today if we look at the movements for Khalistan, Jharkhand, independent Kashmir etc., it will be evident that big foreign powers are trying to boost up different groups and destroy integrity of Bharat. The only solution for all these problems is consolidating the strength and unity of the Hindus. Keeping this fact in view the Hindu leadership founded the Vishva Hindu Parishad.

It is no surprise that similar ideas and thoughts may occur simultaneously to many persons involved in the national cause. Therefore, it is perhaps not very necessary to discuss as to where the concept of Vishva Hindu Parishad originated. Not one or two, but several people realised the need of a non-political forum for organising the Hindu society which has become weak and defective for several reasons. This state of affairs is to be remedied. Earnest effort in that direction is the need of the hour.

Implementation of these ideas and organised effort in that direction began when the then Sarsangh Chalak of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh Parma Pujaneeya Shri Guruji entrusted this responsibility to Shri Shivram Sanaukar Apte. Shri Apte contacted 600 distinguished personalities through correspondence, personally contacted about 200 thinkers, philosophers, and leading persons of various cults and sects. In addition he contacted about 40 organisations and persons working abroad. Almost all of them agreed with the idea of promoting a great Hindu organisation and expressed a desire that an initial meeting be held to consider the proposal. Accordingly, a meeting was held at Paw, Sandipani Sadhanalaya, Bombay, on the auspicious occasion of Sri Krishna Janmashtami on 29th – 30th of August 1964.

It was decided at the meeting that the name of the proposed organisation shall be Vishva Hindu Parishad and that a world convention of Hindus be held at Prayag (Allahabad) during Kumbha Mela of 1966 to launch the organisation. It was further decided that it shall be a non-political organisation and that no office bearer of any political party shall be simultaneously an office bearer in the Parishad. The following aims and objectives were set before the Parishad.

1. To consolidate and strengthen the Hindu Society.

2. To protect, promote propagate Hindu values of life, the ethical and spiritual in the context of modern times.

3. To keep in touch with all the Hindus living abroad, and to organise and help them in all possible ways in protecting their Hindutva.

Accordingly the conference was held during 22nd-24th ofJanuary1966 on the banks of Thriveni Sangam, with historic success. A stable and permanent shape was given through a well considered constitution and a set-up for the organisation in the presence of thousands of delegates from all over the world and the Dharmacharyas of various Sampradayas and leaders of various sections of the Hindus.

Achievements

What is the achievement of the Parishad during the past 25 years of its progressive journey? It is a wide subject indeed! It is multidimensional, solid and practical. With the massive public support in the country and outside, it has developed into a mighty organisation, true to its symbol of Vata Vriksha, all over, with its socio-Dharmik programmes and service projects under the guidance of the Dharmacharyas. Several wings for organising youth, women, for cow protection, Sanskrit promotion, festival co-ordination and the like were formed and are working. [Activities and progress of these various departments are briefly reported separately .Ed]

Remedy for Casteism

Power hungry politicians; of late have been spreading casteism, casteist politics and castehatred to subserve their electoral purposes. As a result the sense of Hindu unity is getting eroded and the society is getting fragmented. Although reservations were made for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes with good intentions, politicians have developed vested interests under that pretext. It is an irony that the politicians who criticise Hindu consciousness as communalism and narrow mindedness, promote casteism and casteist differences. The cunning diplomacy of the British, which has fostered casteism, has taken ugly turn subsequently. The one and the effective remedy for this malady of casteism, is Hindu consciousness and a sense of pride in Hinduism. The Parishad has successfully promoted this Hindu consciousness and today ‘Proclaim proudly that you are Hindu’ is a household slogan all over.

The Blot of Untouchability Wiped Out.

The practice of untouchability has been a big blot on the Hindu society since long. Many social organisations and all political parties have rejected it and yet it is still hanging over among the ignorant and illiterate and rural folk. Vishva Hindu Parishad has taken up the case. The Dharmacharyas have proclaimed that there is no scriptural basis for this practice. On the other side, the Parishad workers tried to remove this feeling of untouchability by proclaiming the oneness of Hindu society by personal contact, conduct and work. A sense of being a Hindu, and a feeling of being a part and parcel of the Hindu Society is being promoted among the so-called untouchables.

Eradication of Sectarian Differences

Hindu society is Dharma oriented. Dharmacharyas have a great influence on the minds of the people. Dharmacharyas belonging to various cults and modes of worship have come together on one platform and have been exhorting people to rise above the differences of caste, creed and cult in the cause of Dharma and Hindu unity. Acharyas, who were confined to Sadhanas for liberation from the transitory and unreal world, are standing by untidily for the social and national cause. They stood behind the cause of Shri Ram Janma Bhumi and gave a lead to mass awakening. This is good sign for the future of the Hindus.

Check on Religious Conversions

Taking advantage of the poverty, ignorance and neglect shown towards the brethren of the backward sections, the foreign religious propagandists adopted several tactics to convert them into their faiths and alienate them from Hindu Society .The Parishad launched a movement to check this trend and took up several programmes and measures to contact the neglected sections, to assure and provide them the required services and win their confidence for the Hindu Society. As a result of this there has been a certain check on the foreign inspired religious conversions and a way has been paved for the unfortunate brethren, who had to leave Hinduism in the past during peculiar circumstances, to come back into the Hindu fold. In this age of democracy numbers and population count have a great importance. The Muslims and others adopted several methods and tactics to increase their numbers to establish their supremacy and authority in Bharat.

The awareness caused by the Parishad in this connection has to some extent put a check on this, although the seriousness of the problem still continues.

Efforts to Bring Muslims Into Main Stream

In fact a few generations back Indian Muslims were Hindus. The alien religion was forcibly imposed upon them. Swaraj cannot be deemed to be complete unless people are freed from what was imposed upon them. Our tradition has always been of respecting others. And so, we have no objection if some one choose the Islamic mode of worship or the Christian mode of worship. The disagreement or opposition is with the anti Hindu and fanatical elements, which are pro-Pakistan and which cause communal riots in various parts of the country. We can have no opposition to people who accept Bharat, as their motherland and who believe that the culture and traditions of Bharat are their own. Indonesians are Muslims by faith but they feel proud to participate in Ramalila or Rasalila. If the Muslims of this country also behave in a similar manner, there would not be any problem what so ever. That will be keeping them in the mainstream of national life. Parishad is striving to create this awareness among all the people of this country.

Helping Hindus Abroad

During the British period and subsequently many Hindus left for foreign lands for livelihood and earning wealth in those countries. However, they were so scattered that they were not organised as Hindus”. In the midst of the mundane plenty of the west they are constantly anxious that their Hindu identity should not be lost. They are anxious that their new generations brought up in an altogether different atmosphere should not forget that they are Hindus. In response to this urge some thing must be done by us. Realising this, the Parishad undertook to organise the Hindu brethren abroad and render such services they require in between protecting and promoting their Dharma, culture and traditions. A glance at the successful conferences of the Parishad recently held in America or Europe or South East Asia would give an idea about the fruitful efforts in this connection.

Mass Awakening

For decades and decades we are being told that the Hindu society is incapable of uniting and many have come to believe this propaganda. But the mass programmes under taken by the Parishad have nailed the lie. Then the Parishad during Ekathmatha Yagna, organised the Rath Yatras of Bharat Matha and Ganga Matha, all over the country from north to south and east to west, the vast population rose above all the barriers of caste, cult, creed, language and province and stood as a single personality adoring the motherland. Similar was the experience during Sri Ram Shila Puja. The very programmes and their success proclaimed the Hindu unity and oneness to the awe and wonder of the world. It was demonstrated beyond doubt that the Hindu Society is quite alive and kicking. The recent changes in the political complexion too vindicated and confirmed the same.

And What is the Final Goal?

For decades and decades we are being told that the Hindu society is incapable of uniting and many have come to believe this propaganda. But the mass programmes under taken by the Parishad have nailed the lie. Then the Parishad during Ekathmatha Yagna, organised the Rath Yatras of Bharat Matha and Ganga Matha, all over the country from north to south and east to west, the vast population rose above all the barriers of caste, cult, creed, language and province and stood as a single personality adoring the motherland. Similar was the experience during Sri Ram Shila Puja. The very programmes and their success proclaimed the Hindu unity and oneness to the awe and wonder of the world. It was demonstrated beyond doubt that the Hindu Society is quite alive and kicking. The recent changes in the political complexion too vindicated and confirmed the same.

Basis is Dharma and Final Objective is Human Welfare

If the future of the Hindu society is to be bright and glorious, it is necessary to get rid of the self forgetfulness and to arouse a sense of self respect For such a task Dharma alone can be the base. Having accepted this principle the Parishad has adopted.

“(Dharam Rakshati Rakshitah)” as its motto. Here the word Dharma does not mean what is called religion or Mazahab. It means the element that sustains the society.

“(Dharana-Dharama Itayhahoo Dharmo-dharayate Praja)”.

In this sentence the word “Praja” means the entire human society and not merely the Hindus. That is why the very first meeting, held at Pawai, Sandeepani Sadhanalay in 1964 began with the song –

This is an assertion of the task taken up. Even though it is Hindus that are being organised, the ultimate objective is welfare of the world and humanity.

In this material world of struggle for existence, humanity can survive as long as the principle of oneness of humanity and coexistence of all faiths as expressed in ,”(Ekam Satya Vipra Bahudha Vadanti)”is upheld. This is possible only if the generous and spiritualistic Hindu society exists. And hence the effort of awakening Hindus to their values and organising them on that basis.

Once the world gets acquainted with “the Hindu philosophy, outlook and character, the path for human welfare would be clear. The epoch of Hindu awakening, begun now, shall, by the turn of the century, usher in the Hindu nation capable of delivering the goods as predicted by Yogi Sri Aurobindo and Nosturadamus.