Vishwa Hindu Parishad plans to increase its presence from 60,000 villages to one lakh villages

The right-wing outfit completes 60 years in 2024, and currently has presence in 32 countries

Updated - March 10, 2024 06:58 pm IST

Published - March 10, 2024 06:01 pm IST - MANGALURU

File photo of a protest by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Mangaluru.

File photo of a protest by members of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) in Mangaluru. | Photo Credit: Special Arrangement

The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), which will complete 60 years this year, has planned to expand its presence from 60,000 villages to one lakh villages across the country, according to its Central Joint General Secretary K. Sthanumalayan.

Addressing presspersons on the last day of the VHP’s two-day South Karnataka convention in Mangaluru, he said that the VHP’s presence is poor in North-East, Tamil Nadu and Punjab. “The VHP has planned to expand its village committees from 60,000 villages to one lakh villages. Of them, 15,000 committees will be in Tamil Nadu and 10,000 committees will be in Punjab,” he said.

“The committees will be expanded to protect, preserve and propagate Hindu dharma,” he said, adding that the VHP has presence in 32 countries from Japan to Canada. It opened the units in France, Guyana, South Africa, Malaysia, Indonesia and Maynamar recently.

Referring to the upcoming Lok Sabha elections in April-May, Mr. Sthanumalayan said that the VHP will motivate people to achieve 100% voting and “vote for national interest.”

Resolution to oppose Karnataka temple tax Bill

South Karnataka Executive President of the VHP M. B. Puranik said that about 300 representatives took part in the convention which passed a resolution opposing the Karnataka Hindu Religious Institutions and Charitable Endowments (Amendment) Bill, 2024. The Bill was passed by both the Houses of Legislature last month and is awaiting the approval of the Governor.

According to the Bill, the government will nominate the president of the temple management committee instead of the committee members selecting the president from among themselves. It is an attempt to take over the administration of temples by the government, Mr. Puranik said.

He said that the Bill has proposed to constitute a committee to provide infrastructure facilities in the temple surroundings. But building infrastructure facilities in the duty of the government and local bodies and the temple money (donated by devotees) should not be used for the purpose. The money collected from “hundis” should be used for the welfare of temple staff, archakas and create facilities for devotees visiting the temple, he added.

Questioning the government’s move to collet 10% of the revenue of temples having more than ₹1 crore annual income and depositing it in the Common Pool Fund, Mr. Puranik said that the State government is interested only in the funds of Hindu religious institutions. “Why is the government not daring to collect funds gathered by religious institutions of Muslims and Christians?” he asked.

“Anti-Hindu” Congress govt

Mr. Puranik said that the convention passed another resolution which said that the present Congress government followed “anti-Hindu” policy and the VHP opposed it.

He said that a Hindu had donated two acres of land at Chamrajpet in Bengaluru to the veterinary department for the treatment of animals. The land is worth several crores. Now the government has diverted the land to the minorities department, he claimed.

The Joint Secretary of the VHP’s South Karnataka Region Sharan Pumpwell said that the convention also condemned the “pro-Pakistan” sloganeering inside Vidhana Soudha and The Rameshwaram Cafe blast.

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