November 04, 2004

VHP 'Ram Barat' to pass through Bihar before polls

VHP 'Ram Barat' to pass through Bihar before polls :

New Delhi, Nov 3 [2004] : In an apparent bid to woo Hindu voters ahead of the Bihar Assembly elections, a VHP-backed outfit is organising a 'Ram Barat' (wedding procession of Lord Ram) early December which would traverse a major portion of the state before concluding in neighbouring Nepal.
Organised by the Dharmayatra Mahasangh, the 'barat' would kickstart from Ayodhya on December eight and pass through Varanasi, Ara, Buxar, Patna, Muzaffarpur, Sitamarhi, Benimatti, Darbhanga and Oomgaon before reaching Janakpur in Nepal, where the marriage between Ram and Sita is believed to have taken place.
"It is aimed at creating awareness and strengthening unity, particularly in the wake of terrorist activities taking place along the sensitive Indo-Nepal border", VHP Senior Vice-President Acharya Giriraj Kishore told reporters here.
Around 500 people, including Ram Janambhoomi Nyas Chief Mahant Nritya Gopal Dass, would be taking part in the procession which would also have chariots of religious leaders besides tableaux depicting characters from the Ramayana, he said.
Kishore said VHP leaders at their just-concluded training programme in Gujarat chalked out a year-long programme including a recruitment drive for Bajrang Dal, formation of various committees and celebration of birthdays of Ram, Krishna, Guru Nanak, Mahavir Jain and others. PTI

India: VHP urges Hindus to follow 'eight sons' norm

[Publish Date : 11/2/2004 6:11:00 PM   Source : Indo-Asian News Service]

VHP urges Hindus to follow 'eight sons' norm

Hardline Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) Sunday urged Hindus to follow the 'eight sons' norm to beat Muslims in the numbers' race because they did not care to control their population.

"The options before us are clear: either let their (Muslim's) population grow and India will become an Islamic nation. Or, Hindus should actively adopt the policy of population increase taking a cue from our scriptures which bless a person with 'ashta putro bhava' (beget eight sons)," said Pravin Togadia, VHP international secretary.

"There is, however, a third way, which is that the government should bring in a legislation forcing two-child norm and monogamy for all, including Muslims," Togadia told a gathering of full-time activists of the organisation.

The firebrand Hindutva leader was addressing the ongoing nine-day workshop at this temple town, about 80 km from state's principal city of Ahmedabad, attended by some 600-odd full-time activists from across the country.

Togadia was referring to the recent controversy over census figures that gave the impression that the Muslim population rose by 36 percent during 1991-2001 compared to 16 percent for Hindus.

Addressing the first open session of the workshop, he said the VHP's ideological ally, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), had lost the trust of the people.

VHP international working president Ashok Singhal, too, did not mince his words.

"We want to build temples at all the three (controversial) places, Ayodhya, Kashi and Mathura. The BJP leaders used to request us to drop the last two. We said, we can drop the BJP, but not Kashi and Mathura," he told the gathering.

Naming Islam, Christianity, secularism and Marxism as four "religions" out to harm Hindus, Togadia criticised first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru and former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, while praising first home minister Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel, whose 130th birth anniversary was celebrated Sunday.

"Nehru created all problems. He used to talk of 'nationalist Muslim', but Sardar rightly pointed out that the only nationalist Muslim in the country was Nehru.

"And, then, we have this other gentleman who wishes to become a nationalist Muslim. Vajpayee never had faith in the concept of Hindu Rashtra. He had some talents, nice orator he was, but we want the kind of leader who would have his base in the Hindu society."

Among the decisions taken at the ongoing workshop is the project to celebrate across the country "Ram Mahotsava" during the first nine days of Chaitra (in April) every year on the lines of popular religious festivals after Ganesha and Durga.

VHP's associate Bajarang Dal has decided to enroll two million new members in a year.

--Indo-Asian News Service