Vishva Hindu Parishad - History

History

The right wing Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) organization was formed in 1964 by Swami Chinmayananda as president and former Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) member S.S. Apte as general secretary, with Sikh leader Master Tara Singh as one of the co-founders. But, Dr Harjinder Singh Dilgeer, eminent Sikh historian, in one of his articles, argued that had Master Tara Singh been one of the founders the official literature of the VHP would have mentioned this fact. The VHP, which considers Buddists, Jains and Sikhs as part of the greater Hindu fraternity, officially mentions that it was founded by the 'Saint Shakti of Bharat'. The VHP was first mooted at a conference in Pawai, Sandipani Sadhanalaya, Mumbai on 29 August 1964. The conference was hosted by RSS sarsanghchalak M.S. Golwalkar. The date was chosen to coincide with the festival of Janmashtami. Several representatives from the Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist and Jain faiths were present in the meeting, as well as the Dalai Lama. Golwalkar explained that "all faiths of Indian origins need to unite", saying that the word "Hindu" (i.e. people of "Hindustan") applied to adherents of all the above religions. Apte declared:

The world has been divided to Christian, Islam and Communist. All of them view Hindu society as very fine rich food on which to feast and fatten themselves. it is necessary in this age of conflict to think of and organize the Hindu world to save it from the evils of all the three —.

It was decided at the meeting that the name of the proposed organization would be Vishva Hindu Parishad and that a world convention of Hindus was to be held at Prayag (Allahabad) during Kumbha Mela of 1966 to launch the organization. It was further decided that it would be a non-political organization and that no office bearer of any political party shall be simultaneously an office bearer in the Parishad. The following aims and objectives were set before the Parishad.

  • To consolidate and strengthen the Hindu Society.
  • To protect, promote and propagate Hindu values of life, the ethical and the spiritual in the context of modern times.
  • To keep in touch with all the Hindus living abroad, and to organize and help them in all possible ways in protecting their Hindu identity also popularly known as Hindutva.

The motto of the organization is "Dharmo Rakshati Rakshitah" (धर्मो रक्षति रक्षितः) meaning "Dharma protects its protector".

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