The two-day meeting of central managing committee of Vishwa Hindu Parishad discussed wide range of subjects in Jaipur last week. The main focus of the meeting, however, was on two issues launching of a massive campaign to save Ram Sethu at the earliest and creating of a Hindu vote bank. Its international general secretary Dr. Pravin Togadia gave a new slogan Ram Sethu se Ram Mandir tak (From Ram Setu to Ram Mandir) clearly indicating that for the VHP Ram Mandir is still the major issue.
The venue of the meeting was Jamdoli, the sprawling campus of an educational institution near the state capital, where about 200 member of the committee had the brain-storming sessions to save the Ram Sethu at any cost. Though the final decision for launching the agitation would be taken by Dharam Sansad, meeting in Delhi on July 25, the VHP has already started preparing a blue-print for the proposed agitation, which, its leaders say, would be far bigger than the Ramjanmabhoomi agitation.
The resolution adopted at the meeting said that the Ram Sethu was sacred like Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, for crores of Hindus. There were no buyers in the meeting of the arguments of the Manmohan Singh government that the Sethu was a myth as nowhere in the history it had been mentioned that the Sethu was constructed by vanar sena of Bhagwan Ram to attack Lanka.
The resolution further said that the historical records showed that the Sethu was in use till 14th century. Many foreign travellers, including the Chinese, in their travelogue had mentioned the existence and use of Sethu to reach Lanka.
The meeting also emphasised that all the Hindu forces should be united to build a pressure on the government to abandon its project to create a sea route by demolishing a portion of the Sethu. This was being done under the pressure from USA and some other western countries, it alleged.
The resolution said that various studies and experts clearly said that there were at least five other options for having the sea route. The government should have come out with a project on the basis of one of these five options. This was necessary because religious sentiments of crores of Hindus in the world were attached to the Sethu.
Dr. Togadia and some other leaders rolled out a plan to create a Hindu vote bank of five crore during the next few years. ?Generally difference between the winner and immediate looser is around 10,000 votes in a Lok Sabha constituency. If we have a Hindu vote bank of about 10,000 in each of the Lok Sabha constituency, we could tilt the favour? Dr. Togadia said while spelling out its plan of Hindu vote bank. Some of the leaders, particularly Acharya Dharmendra, were critical of the BJP said that the relations between the RSS and the VHP are like that of father and son and like a good son, we follow its every advise or instruction, without any reservation.