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  DECCAN HERALD,  Monday, February 8, 1999
VHP calls for 'Hindu rashtra'
DH News Service, AHMEDABAD, Feb 7

The eighth dharma sansad of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad asked the Bharatiya Janata Party to ''mobilise the Hindu vote bank`` and form a Hindu rashtra, even as ban on religious conversion was prioritised.

The three-day dharma sansad ended on Sunday on a note of uniting over ''two hundred crore Buddhist and Hindus`` of the world to form a ''Vishal Hindu Front`` - an anti-Christian and anti-Islamic front.

Moving the resolution for unity Buddhist Bhikshu Bhante Gyanjagat saw many similarities between the two religions and culture as well as the laws. President of the Kendriya Margadarshak Samity, the apex body, Acharya Dharmendra Maharaj said that Buddha belonged to the Hindu pantheon of gods. Budh Gaya belonged to the Buddhists. He further added that Jains and Sikhs also belonged to the same Hindu culture.

The VHP`s call for the unity of Buddhists and Hindus was a smart move to mobilise the Asian block of countries.

That the dharma sansad got the BJP government`s sanction was clear from Chief Minister Keshubhai Patel`s attendence on Saturday. Minister of State for Home Haren Pandya and Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Fakirbhai Vahela attended it on Sunday.

STATUTE AMENDMENT: Addressing mediapersons here after the completion of the eighth dharma sansad, VHP International vice-president Giriraj Kishore said the ''VHP hoped that the BJP would amend the Constitution suitably to implement the Hindu rashtra and the Hindu agenda set by the sansad.``

Critical of the BJP goverment for its inability to implement the Hindu agenda, he said: ''It was on crutches.`` The VHP leader said the ''government should work closely with the religious forces.``

Contradicting his stand, the VHP leader said that the BJP was the closest to the Hindu ideology, they would compel the government to implement the 40-point Hindu agenda.

Mr Giriraj Kishore said the VHP would in addition to unting the Buddhists, Hindus, Jains and Sikhs also include Gypsies and ethnic faiths of other pre- Christians era to create an ''anti-imperialist`` front. Their programme of swadeshi meshed very well with the BJP`s agenda.

The VHP also saw an international conspiracy of multinational corporations and the Christian missionaries in promoting consumer culture. Sant Avichaldasji of Gujarat saw an international conspiracy by Christian missionaries in the tribal district of the Dangs.

ADOPTION OF DISTRICTS: Mr Giriaj Kishore said sadhus would adopt a district each and fan out to educate people and counter the activities of Christian missionaries. He saw a major threat by Christian missionaries in the North-East. The adoption of a district was a bid to thwart the activities of the missionaries. Every sadhu who attended the sansad was assigned one district.  Seven districts were assigned in Karnataka.

Since banning religious conversion was focal to VHP`s agenda, they planned to mobilise opinion against Christian missionaries and their inflow of foreign funds, which according to the VHP leader ran into crores.

''Renaisance in the Hindu religion, the VHP realised, was the best way of stopping conversion.``

© Copyright, 1999 The Printers (Mysore)Ltd.

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