Anyone who came in contact with Ashokji’s magnetic personality became his admirer. He will be remembered as the ultimate unifier of various sects within the Hindu society through Sri Ram Janmabhoomi movement.
“We could see the spiritual aspect of Shri Guruji in Ashokji. He cared for each and every worker like a family member. Everyone who met him thought closest to him. I have seen many times that he won over even those who were ideologically against him. Therefore, he had no enemy—the real shatrujeet.” These words of Ashokji’s former associate Ravi Kumar define his overall personality. Most people knew Ashok Singhalji as a vibrant Hindu leader who led Sri Ram Janmabhoomi movement for over three decades. But he was the man who basically completed many unfinished tasks which were thought unattainable for centuries. He mobilised the saints belonging to various Hindu sects at a single platform and exhorted them to utilise their energy and strength for resolving the problems that the Hindu society and the nation are facing today.
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Tribute by Sarsanghachalak
“The passing away of Ashok Singhalji has left the global Hindu society in deep grief. His death marked the end of his long life with a long drawn battle with death. Ashokji was RSS Pracharak and he was entrusted with the responsibility of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) under the RSS Yojna.
The credit for the huge network of Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) activities all over the world including 73,555 units in Bharat, 20 overseas national chapters, over 35,900 service projects for education, health, self-reliance, rural empowerment, Ved Vidyalayas, and mass-awakening and mobilisation programmes like the Ekaatmataa Yatras in which over 100 million people participated, can undoubtedly be given to the dynamic and caring leadership of Ashokji, as he was popularly known among the workers.
He truly generated confidence, self-esteem and pride among the Hindus in Bharat and elsewhere in the world. He was fully convinced and strongly tried to convince people from different walks of life that so far as the work for the country in terms of Suraksha (national security), Samriddhi (national prosperity) and Swaabhimaan (national self-esteem and Gross Domestic Happiness) is concerned, none should differentiate between people in terms of religion, creed, gender, caste, language, race, etc. He firmly believed that it is the vote-bank politics which is responsible for division and discrimination in society.
He utilised Sri Ram Janmabhoomi movement as a catalyst to materialise the mission of national reconstruction, core integrity and unity. He articulated it at respective levels to the classes and the masses constituting the 125 crore people of Bharat. He caught the imagination of the people as his answers were unquestionable and sometimes his questions were unanswerable in the matter. The issue catalysed greater awakening, mobilisation of manpower and time and socio-economic service activities with the effort to reach out to the six lakh villages of Bharat. It made people all the more motivated workers for national reconstruction in their own way. The D-7, viz., Desh (country), Dharma (Laws and Principles that uphold nature and life), Dev (Divinities), Devasthaanams (Places of Worship), Daya (Compassion), Daan (Charity) and Daman of Shadaripus, is the hallmark combination of his view of Ram Rajya that motives his actions and that of his sahyogis and millions of karyakartas and like-minded people.
Ashokji explored the wide realms of Hindu thoughts and action through consultations with the saints, Mahatmas, scholars and also from a common man’s perspective of things and events and gave a panacea to address the matters concerning the Hindu society. He bridged the gap between Hindu life and Rishi spirit, realising that the highest Rishi spirit must be given currency so that every person tries to become a Saint-Scientist or a Scientist-Saint with the Rishi-goal to transform earthly existence and express through life the Divine Truth locked in matter.
As the leader of various movements and projects, he has been on a hectic and strenuous tour to all nooks and corners of Bharat and many parts of the world since the 1950s, meeting people, addressing audiences, tackling the media, propagating the Hindu cause and winning friends and disarming critics. Indeed it was a rare opportunity to hear him. Every word he said was meaningful, significant and enrichment for all.
As the news of his passing away at 2.24 pm on November 17 aired, people from all walks of life thronged the VHP headquarters in Delhi. His mortal remains were first taken to the house of his nephew at Dwarka in Delhi, and then to the VHP office in RK Puram. The mortal remains were then taken to Keshav Kunj, the RSS Delhi head office, where the karyakartas, associates, friends, admirers and others paid tribute till 2.30 pm on October 18. The funeral procession began from Keshav Kunj at 2.30 pm and reached Nigambodh Ghat at 4.30 pm, where he was given heroic farewell. The last rites were performed his by nephew Salil, son of his elder brother Parmod Prakash Singhal.
Many distinguished personalities reached VHP office in RK Puram, Keshav Kunj and even the Nigambodh Ghat to pay their last respect. Prominent among them were Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Shankara-charya Swami Vasudevananda Saras-wati, Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev, Swami Parmatmananda, Didi Maa Sadhvi Ritambhara, RSS Sarkaryavah Shri Bhaiyaji Joshi, Sahsarkaryavahs Shri V Bhagaiah and Dr Krishna Gopal, former Deputy Prime Minister LK Advani, senior BJP leader Dr Murli Manohar Joshi, BJP president Amit Shah, Union Ministers Rajnath Singh, Arun Jaitley, Smt Sushma Swaraj, M Venkaiah Naidu, Anant Kumar, VK Singh, Dr Harsh Vardhan, Smriti Irani, Radha Mohan Singh, Uma Bharati, Dharmendra Pradhan, Kalraj Mishra, Manohar Parrikar, Prakash Javadekar, Shripad Naik, etc., BJP organising secretary Shri Ramlal, Lok Sabha Speaker Smt Sumitra Mahajan, Governor of Nagaland PB Acharya, Governor of Gujarat Prof OP Kohli, Haryana Chief Minister Manoharlal Khattar, Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh, VHP president Shri Raghav Reddy, working presidents Dr Pravin Togadia and Ashok Chougule, general secretary Shri Champat Rai, general secretary organisation Shri Dinesh Chandra, veteran leader Shri Anandshankar Pandya, Yogi Adiya-nath, Dr Subramanian Swamy and thousands of others.
Doctors said he developed pulmonary infection and pneumonia during his short visit to Allahabad and on October 20 he was brought back by Air Ambulance and admitted to Medanta Medicity. Things improved and he was discharged on November 12 and brought to the VHP head office. But he was re-admitted to the hospital on November 13 night in a critical condition.
Born on September 27, 1926 in Agra, Ashokji was brought up with religious atmosphere at home inculcating a sense of affection to Hinduism. While he was in 9th standard, he was introduced to the rich heritage and spiritual poweress of saints in every walk of life. In 1942, Rajju Bhaiya introduced him to the Sangh. He became a Sangh Pracharak. He served as Prant Pracharak for Delhi and Haryana.
During the ban on RSS in 1948, he went to jail, while performing satyagraha. Once out of Jail, he completed his B.E and became a Sangh Pracharak. He was very near and dear to the then Sarsanghachalak Shri Guruji. Much of his tenure as Pracharak was spent in Kanpur where he came in contact with Shri Ramchandra Tiwari who was an authority over the Vedas.
During Emergency in 1975 he galvanised the masses against the dictatorship of Smt Indira Gandhi. After Emergency, he became Delhi Prant Pracharak. In 1981, when Dr Karan Singh organised Virat Hindu Sammelan in Delhi, the major force behind that conclave was Ashokji and the Sangh. Later on, he was handed over the responsibility of VHP. Salute to such a great soul.