Ashok Singhal

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Ashok Singhal
Personal details
Born 15 Sep 1926[1]
Nationality Indian
Political party Vishva Hindu Parishad
Profession Activist Social Work
Religion Hinduism

Ashok Singhal (born 1926) was the International Working President of the Hindu organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for over 20 years until, following a long bout of diminishing physical health, he was replaced in December 2011.[2] Succeeded by Praveen Togadia, Singhal had suffered ill-health and had been "immobile for some time".[3]


Singhal was born in Agra. His father was a government official.[4] Singhal has a Bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Benaras Hindu University Institute of Technology in 1950.[5] Having been in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since 1942, he became a full-time pracharak after graduation. He worked in various locations around Uttar Pradesh, becoming a prant pracharak for Delhi and Haryana. In 1980, he was deputed to the VHP, becoming its joint general secretary. In 1984, he became its General Secretary and, later, the Working President, a role in which he continued till 2011.[6]

Singhal is a trained vocalist in Hindustani music, studied under the legendary Pandit Omkarnath Thakur.[6]

Vishva Hindu Parishad[edit]

After the Meenakshipuram conversions in 1981, Singhal moved to the VHP as the joint general secretary. After noting the main greivance of the Dalit communities in the area as being access to temples, VHP built 200 temples specifically for Dalits. He says that the conversions stopped afterwards.

Singhal was a key organiser of the first VHP Dharma Sansad in 1984 held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, attracting hundreds of sadhus and Hindu notables to discuss the issues of rejuvenating Hinduism. The movement for reclaiming the Ramjanmabhoomi temple was born here.[4] Singhal soon became the chief architect of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement.


  1. ^ "One dies in police firing in Hubli". The Hindu. 15 Sep 2001. 
  2. ^ "Veteran VHP leader Ashok Singhal replaced as VHP Int.president". Kochi: Indian Express. Press Trust of India. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-26. 
  3. ^ "Change in VHP sweet for Sangh". Kolkata: The Telegraph. 20 December 2011. Retrieved 2012-03-26.  |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  4. ^ a b Pokharel, Krishna; Beckett, Paul. "Ayodhya: The Battle for India's Soul". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2014-09-03. 
  5. ^ "Gau Bhakti will lead to good governance, Ashok Singhal". DNA India. 1 Sep 2013. Retrieved 2014-09-01. 
  6. ^ a b "Band of Brothers". Express India. 17 Mar 2002. Retrieved 2014-09-03. 


  • Jaffrelot, Christophe (1996). The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers. ISBN 978-1850653011. 
  • Katju, Manjari (2013). Vishva Hindu Parishad and Indian Politics. Orient Blackswan. ISBN 81-250-2476-X. 

External links[edit]