The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hindu rashtra reminder to BJP

Pune, Dec. 27: It looks like a big birthday party at Kondhwa. But looks are often deceptive.

The VHP’s top leaders have gathered in strength 10 km from Pune to find “the next step for our Hindu rashtra” at a five-day brainstorming session.

Its central governing council and board of trustees today passed a resolution “hailing the people of Gujarat for rightly answering the forces of terrorism and extremism”. The resolution called on “everyone” to unite against all those working against Hindutva.

After VHP international secretary Praveen Togadia’s warning to the BJP not to budge from Hindutva and the vision of a “Hindu rashtra”, it was Acharya Giriraj Kishore’s turn to produce the bites. The Ram temple at Ayodhya, he said “is a matter of time”.

The VHP, Kishore said, will leave no stone unturned to get the temple built. Its three-day dharam sansad, beginning on February 22 in New Delhi, will “spell out the plan of action and the route to achieve our objective”, he said.

Togadia took the opportunity to reiterate that “the Gujarat experiment will be replicated in the entire country”. Asked to clarify, he said: “What would be replicated is the organisational networking that was so successful in Gujarat. Within a short time, we had 1 crore volunteers in 10,000 villages.”

Asked if such a move might cause panic among the minorities, Togadia said: “We have no problem with the Parsis and the Jains. We don’t have problems with the Muslim community, but only with the jihadi elements.”

VHP secretary Surendra Jain spun a dramatic vision of India: “Houses robed in saffron like blushing brides, signboards rubbing shoulders with milestones that proclaim India a Hindu rashtra”.

Amid the anti-jihadi and anti-national rhetoric, the VHP’s copywriters feverishly jotted down new slogans. They also found a new name for Congress president Sonia Gandhi: “Lady Jinnah”, for her “support of anti-national forces”.

As the 320-odd VHP delegates - some NRIs among them - at Mahesh Sanskritik Bhawan sketched their blueprint for India’s future, Pune appeared unaware of the feverish brainstorming. The city seemed ready to let the whole thing pass without any fuss.

A VHP leader raged when told of Pune’s apparent snub. “No one in the world can now ignore the VHP and its vision,” he said. He couldn’t resist a freshly written punchline to sign off: “Zamin hamari, asmaan hamara, ab VHP ka daud rahega sunhara (The land ours, the sky ours, it’s VHP’s time now and forever).

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