Shri Ashok Singhal’s Letter to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee

Following is the English translation of a letter that Shri Ashok Singhal, the then working President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, wrote to Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2004.


Respected Atalji,

Sadar Jai Shriram,

I have never had the occasion to address a serious thoughtful letter to you. Today I am feeling the need for it.

In 1947, at the time of Bharat’s Independence, Maharshi Aravinda made it clear that the independence that the country gained on August 15, 1947 was political independence. The mantra that led to independence, according to him, was Vande Mataram; this was the mantra, he said, that had inspired uncounted number of patriotic Bharatiyas to sacrifice themselves for the cause of independence. Sri Aravinda also prophesied that Bharat in the future shall undertake another national struggle to achieve her cultural and political independence. He said that at that time he was unable to “hear” the mantra that would inspire uncounted numbers of Bharatiyas to offer sacrifices for this cause.

I believe that, with the launching of Shri Rama Janmabhumi Movement by the saints of Bharat in 1984, the struggle that Shri Aravinda prophesied in 1947 has been initiated. I am entirely convinced that this movement shall undoubtedly culminate in the restoration of the right of cultural and religious Independence to the Hindu Samaj. Today the mantra that Shri Aravinda mentioned has also appeared; it is inspiring crores of Bharatiyas, from the very young to the old, to offer all kinds of sacrifices and to suffer all kinds of deprivations for the cause.

The mantra is “Jai Shriram“. Nobody has given this mantra; it has appeared on its own.

You probably remember the historic Sangha Shivir (camp) of 1960 held at Indore. In that Shivir, Pujya Shri Guruji had presented a series of talks elaborating on his thoughts at the time. After the All-Bharat Shivir of 1954 at Sindi, this was the second such programme of the Sangha. During that Shivir at Indore, you were staying in the cabin next to me.

Shri Guruji, in his Bauddhika (discourse), put two questions before all of us:

1. Have we become really independent? He probably had the “cultural independence” of Shri Aravinda in mind.

2. What do we conceive to be the borders of Bharat?

Following the Bauddhika, there was extensive discussion on these questions throughout the Shivir. In every cabin, people were holding mutual discussions on these subjects. I have never forgotten that discussion. The questions have been haunting me for several years since then.

Pujya Shri Guruji initiated the Goraksha Andolan (Cow Protection Movement) in the 1950s. A petition containing one and three-quarter crore signatures (urging a national ban on cow slaughter) was handed over to the Honourable President. In 1966, on the occasion of the first Vishwa Hindu Sammelan of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad held at Delhi on November 7, 1966, the decision to hold a massive rally was taken in the presence of Shri Guruji. Following the rally, the Movement took an aggressive form. It seems that through this Movement, Shri Guruji offered us a glimpse of how the internally divided Samaj of 85 crore Hindus could be brought together and organised in a single strand. This indeed led to far reaching political consequences.

Generally, there are few occasions for us to meet; even so we have had several discussions on some basic issues. Following the Goraksha Andolan of 1966, the strength of our parliamentarians in the Lok Sabha had gone up to 36 in 1967; it rose to 91 after the Emergency; but when in 1984 the BJP tried to make Gandhian Socialism as its ideological basis then its strength in the Parliament was reduced to only 2.

At that time I had a serious discussion with you. I told you in clear words that you had tried to put your politics on a secular basis; consequently, the people associated with the Sangha Parivar had become indifferent towards you. The Sangha people do not have the habit or disposition of coming out on the streets to oppose. They merely became indifferent and inactive; and, that was enough for the electoral debacle of 1984. I told you clearly that only “Hindutva” can be the basis for your future.

I also mentioned that Shri Guruji had tried to make us aware of this through his Goraksha Andolan. You responded in a raised voice, saying, “Where has your cow gone now?” I told you right then, that it was not at all difficult to find an alternative (to the Goraksha Andolan); Shri Rama Janmabhumi Andolan is in a way a product of that dialogue of ours.

December 6, 1992 saw the culmination of a struggle that had been going on continuously for four hundred fifty years. A stigma that the nation had been carrying was wiped out. This was the objective of the struggle. Pujya Paramahamsaji and all other major saints of Bharat were there in Ayodhya at that time. The Karsevaks acted according to their directions and under their discipline.

Pujya Devaraha Baba had forecast that the structure would fall with the cooperation of the police, and he had directed that afterwards the debris must be immersed in the river. The Karsevaks followed his directions to the last word. If the suit in the court could not be settled in 40 years, then there was indeed no other way left of settling the dispute.

I am not too saddened by the fact that construction work on Shri Rama Janmabhumi could not be begun. The construction there cannot be stopped by any power on earth. But what has really saddened me is the suffering that the people of Ayodhya had to go through; the memory of that suffering overwhelms me even today while I am writing this letter.

You could have subjected the organisers of the movement to any amount of oppression; they are used to such oppression since the times of Jawaharlal. But recalling what the people of Ayodhya were made to suffer makes my heart tremble even today.

Shri Rama Janmabhumi Andolan was instrumental in placing you in the positions that all of you occupy today; from those positions you let loose a reign of oppression on the people of Ayodhya. This circumstance obliged me to decide to severe all relationship with you and Advaniji.

The political capital that Shri Shyama Prasad Mukherjee built is ours; we have also helped in multiplying this capital through our efforts, and we shall keep making efforts to make this capital grow in the future. But I feel disillusioned about both of you.

I do not want anything. I have not come into this life to take anything from anyone. There has not been one day in my life when I have not prayed to God for the restoration of the lost power of the Hindu Samaj. My Gurudev gave me a Stotra from the Mahabharata; that has been my support.

Sant Prabhudatta Brahmachari made me take four vows before departing; I have to fulfil his unfinished tasks. Pujya Paramhamsaji made me take a vow to fulfil the three unfulfilled objectives of his life; throughout my life I shall expend all my energy and effort to achieve these objectives. But I have also promised to Pujya Shri Sai Baba that I have cleansed myself of the feeling that I alone shall fulfil this Sankalpa.

During the time when Shri Narayana Dutt Tiwari was the Chief Minister, very beautiful Ram-Paidis (steps on the banks of the river) were constructed; people remember him for that. Mulayam Singh undertook the renovation of tanks of the Bauddha times. You ruled in the state and the Centre for several years. During this period many development schemes were announced. But, forget about any great developmental efforts, you could not even get proper arrangements made for the safe-keeping of pilgrims’ footwear. So I feel disenchanted.

Bharat is God’s own land. God protects this land and its religion and culture. China through its short war destroyed communism in Bharat in a single stroke; Krishna Menon, who was in the race as the successor of Nehru, was thrown out of the corridors of power. For eight hundred years, Bharat was struggling alone against the Islamic Jehad.

With the events of September 11, in a single stroke, God arranged to make the Jehadis enemies of the whole Christian world also. Your government was about to be dislodged; through the single stroke of the Kargil War, He got your government re-established even more securely. Remember Him, He alone is the ultimate Truth; your existence also depends upon Him.

You refused to comprehend the directions God sent you. When the Pakistani Jehadis attacked the Parliament, the whole country was united in avenging this atrocity. Like Prithviraj Chauhan, you preferred to forgive. You had written a verse once; allow me to alter it a little:

Not Jaichand’s treason

But Chuahan’s forgiveness

Is the reason

That it happens

To be still dark

That

The dawn has not yet broken

If you had avenged that attack on the Parliament, you would not have lost the state of Uttar Pradesh. At that time it would have also been simple to hand over the Janmabhumi Parisar.

You are offering your hand of friendship to global Islam, including its representatives in Bharat and Pakistan. You are making declarations about the appointment of two lakh teachers of Urdu. Gandhiji also tried to achieve friendship through such pacification.

Dr. Hedgewar said:

Yoyoreva samam vittam, yoyoreva samam balam

Tyorvivado maitri cha, na tu pushta vipushtayoh

(Friendship and enmity are possible only amongst those who are equal in wealth and strength, not between the strong and the weak.)

If your day-to-day behaviour continues to be opposed to the current independence struggle, then we shall have to stand on the side of the saints. The VHP has always been on the side of the saints, that is why the confidence of the saints in the VHP and of the VHP in the saints has remained firm.

If this confidence is broken then not only the Hindu Samaj shall splinter, but there shall be nobody in a position to prevent the further partition of Bharat. Today we are standing like an impregnable wall in the way of the divisive forces.

Virat Purush Shrirama is the ruler of this creation that comprises uncounted number of crores of worlds. The worldly forces count for nothing before Him. We are all tiny instruments in His hands. And I believe that the Sangha Parivar is engaged in His sacred service.

I have told you earlier that I take myself to be bound by the promise given to Mananeeya Bhaurao Deoras; but are you serious about that promise?

Communication with you had stopped. With this letter I am reopening the dialogue.

Sasneha

Ashok Singhal

Working President

Vishva Hindu Parishad

[The letter was written sometime in May 2004; copies of the Hindi letter were released to the press in early August 2004. Full text of the Hindi letter was published in the ‘Punjab Kesari‘ of August 3, 2004.]


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About the Author

Ashok Chowgule
Working President (External), Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Bharat.