Ashok Singhal

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Ashok Singhal
Born (1926-09-27)27 September 1926
Agra, India
Died 17 November 2015(2015-11-17) (aged 89)
Gurgaon, India
Nationality Indian
Alma mater IIT BHU
Occupation Leader of Vishva Hindu Parishad

Ashok Singhal (27 September 1926 – 17 November 2015) 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.[1] Succeeded by Praveen Togadia, Singhal suffered ill-health but was working till a month before his death.[2]

Life[edit]

Singhal was born in Agra. His father was a government official.[3] Singhal has a bachelor's degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Benaras Hindu University Institute of Technology in 1950.[4] 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.[5]

Singhal was a trained vocalist in Hindustani music. He studied under Pandit Omkarnath Thakur.[5]

Singhal died on 17 November 2015 at Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon, aged 89.

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.[4]

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.[3] Singhal soon became the chief architect of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement.

Death Strike & Force Feeding[edit]

Former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and VHP leader Ashok Singhal, were found, standing against each other, when Ashok Singhal felt that NDA Government is not taking any further steps in building Ram Mandir. He then said, "NDA government may be going ahead with the support of other parties, but people voted for BJP on the issue of "Ram Temple" only. So Vajpayee should take the initiative to build the temple.", which was not built then.[6]

Ashok Singhal went on death strike demanding construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, and to break his strike "Force Feeding" was done on the orders of Atal Bihari Vajpayee. This saddened Ashok Singhal and badly affected once good relations of Singhal and Vajpayee for lifetime.[7]

Controversial Statement[edit]

Ashok Singhal was right wing and extremist Hindu and openly promoted his views. In every public meeting after 1989, wherever he gave speech, there was definitely talks of Hindu and of Hindu's interest. His most famous statement remained, "जो हिंदू हित की बात करेगा, वही देश पर राज करेगा। अयोध्या तो बस झांकी है, काशी मथुरा बाकी है।", i.e., "Who shall speak of Hindu interest, shall inherit the land. Ayodhya is just a glimpse; Kashi, Mathura are still to go."[8]

References[edit]

Bibliography[edit]

  • 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]