Intro: Vishva Hindu Parishad in the last 50 years of its existence has organised number of mass movements at local, regional and national level. In its golden jubilee year, the VHP again undertook the pride of these movements.
The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) works with the objective of consolidating the Hindu society and to serve – protect the Hindu Dharma. With an increased Hindu activity all over the world, a strong and self confident Hindu organisation is slowly taking shape. VHP is strengthening the grass root level of the Hindu society by absolving the Hindu society and rejuvenating it to express its inherent Hindu Unity.
By taking up issues like Shri Ramjanmabhoomi, Shri Amarnath yatra, Shri Ramsetu, Shri Ganga Raksha, Gau Raksha, the Hindu Mutt- Mandir issue, the religious conversions of Hindus by Christian Church, Islamic terrorism, Bangladeshi Muslim infiltration etc, VHP is proving to be the indomitable force of the Hindu society for the protection of its core values- beliefs and sacred traditions.
Therefore, it goes without saying that we discuss and outline the achievements of the major mass movements organised by the VHP in the last 50 years.
Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Movement
The Ram Janmabhoomi Mandir Construction Movement became synonymous with the VHP; such was the extent and impact of the movement on the Indian psyche and diaspora, not to mention the end results also. Hindus have fought 76 battles to regain the custody of this temple complex after a General of the Muslim Mughal Babur ordered the demolition of the holy temple in 1528. This goes far to show the resolve of the Hindus to take back the temple complex and rebuild the holy temple. On the April 7, 1984, our Religious Congress, in its meeting at Vigyan Bhavan, Delhi took a resolution to construct the holy temple. To achieve this end, it was decided that Ram-Janki Rath-Yatras would be carried out all over the country to awaken the masses on the issue of Ram temple construction. Such was the impact of this Yatra that the erstwhile government had to open the locks of the Ram Janmabhoomi complex on February 1, 1986. History was made when a member of the Scheduled Caste community, Kameshwar Chaupal carried out Shilanyas on November 10, 1989. Despite the ruthless massacre of the Kar-sevaks by the erstwhile state government after the announcement of the kar-seva on October 30, 1990, the kar-seva was indeed carried out. The world saw with amazement, how an ancient religion, had fought back. The sacrifices of the martyrs of November 2, 1990 are still etched in our minds. Despite, the machinations of the Central government and the pseudo-secularists, the Babri structure was finally demolished on December 6, 2012. The 2010, judgement of the High Court gave further credence to the claims of the Hindus; “An external aggressor called Babur had demolished the Ram temple and the structure that had been built at the place was not a mosque.” In the next stage, the construction of a grand temple is on the cards and this can happen anytime in the near future. The mass movement of the past 30 years has now started bearing fruits, the movement has been so extensive that the temple at the site is now not only a Ram temple, but has transformed itself into a national temple. This Hindu renaissance movement has become so large in its impact and scale that many other such movements of the world, pale into insignificance, in its comparison.
Amarnath Yatra Andolan
Nestled in the mountains of the Kashmir valley, the holy site of Amarnath has been one of the holiest pilgrimages. Despite the depredations of the Muslims, this yatra has never stopped. The Islamic terrorists have been regularly attacking the pilgrims to deter them, and thereby achieve their goal of Dar-Ul-Islam. When it became impossible to undertake the yatra because of the terror attacks, the saints and VHP commandeered the Bajrang Dal to take up the challenge. After this, the Bajrang Dal in 1986 resolved that it will undertake the yatra with 50,000 youths. On the resolve of the Bajrang Dal, this yatra which used to see not more than 15,000-20,000 pilgrims during peace times, now saw lakhs of pilgrims turning up. In 1996, more than one lakh pilgrims participated. After this shameful failure of the terrorists, the separatists and pseudo-secularists of Kashmir took it upon themselves to disrupt the yatra.
But, the 2008 movement compelled the government to return the land back to the pilgrims, this was a major victory for this VHP movement, however, now the state government is bent on playing another sinister game by reducing the duration of the pilgrimage. But, the VHP is alert of these machinations and always on its toes. The success of the Amarnath Yatra can become epochal in settling the displaced Hindus back in the valley.
Budha Amarnath Yatra
After the Kashmir valley, the Jammu region too has become the target of the muslim terrorists. The Hindus were fleeing the districts where they were in a minority, the exodus of the Hindus had become commonplace. One of these districts is Poonchh, the Hindus here comprise only 7 per cent of the population. The Bajrang Dal then restarted the Budha Amarnath Yatra. It must be mentioned here that this yatra which had been going on since ancient times had to be stopped because of terror attacks. The VHP has resolved to restart many more such yatras which had to stop because of the terror tactics of the muslim separatists.
VHP is committed to cow-protection ever since its inception. A conference on cow-protection took place in Delhi on 25-26 May, 1987. Under the guidance of Dongre ji Maharaj, another confrence on Gau raksha was held in Kolkata on November 24-25, 1988. Bharatiya Gauvansh Rakshan Samvardhan Parishad was set up in this convention. In the meantime, Al-Kabir, a mechanical abattoir was set up in Hyderabad where cow-slaughter began on a large scale. A mass movement was planned to put a stop to this heinous practice. The saints of the Hindu community toured all over the country to build up an opinion against this cruel practice.
On January 20-21, 1996, Bajrang Dal organised a cow-protection meeting at Allahabad. More than 1 lakh gaubhakt youths assembled here and took a vow to protect the cow and stop the split-up of the nation. 650 posts were established in 1996-97 and 1,50,000 cows were liberated from the slaughter-houses.
The Setu Samundram Project wherein, politicians tried to demolish the bridge built by Shri Ram. In an act of abject flattery, the Central Government gave an undertaking in the Supreme Court that, “There is no proof of the birth of Ram.” This disgrace to the Hindu religion united the Hindus all over the country. A huge Hindu congregation was done in protest of this insult at Rameshwaram on August 26-27, 2007. Then on December 30, 2007, an unprecedented rally was organised in Delhi where 10 lakh Ram-bhakts participated. Though the both the central and the state government turned their heads the other way, the judiciary did take cognisance of this movement and respected the environment and faith of the people so that now there is no way the Ram-Setu can be demolished.
Most of these movements reached their right denouement. The cumulative effect of these programmes is that now the Hindu community stands awakened and solidly united. They are now capable of not only resisting the persecution on themselves but are also capable of developing a resistance against any kind of attack on its faith and beliefs.
-Dr Surendra Jain (The writer is All India Secretary-Vishva Hindu Parishad)