Puttur: Bharatiya Hindu Parishat – Secular Hindus’ Answer to VHP

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Puttur: A non-political outfit called Bharatiya Hindu Parishat, aimed at countering the influence of Vishwa Hindu Parishat, was formally launched here on Wednesday, Jan 14.


Although it is being touted as apolitical, the lead has been taken by some prominent Congress workers hailing from the Hindu community, like block Congress president Kavu Hemanath Shetty. Those on the dais were attired in saffron-coloured ‘mundus’ and shawl to prove the point that the colour was not a monopoly of any political party or communal outfit.


Formally launching the organization, Shri Keshavananda Bharati of Edneer Math in Kasaragod said that any religion or faith could not be any individual, party or group’s property. Religion should be seen only in observance not for preaching or propagation, he stressed.

Organizations could be compared to the attires adorning the body. They could be dismantled but not the faith. He expressed the wish that this organizaton which had taken birth with the intention of creating awareness among genuine Hindus would not be affected by political taint and effects, he further said.

Shri Esha Vithaladasa Swamji of Shri Kemaru Math said that there was a dire dearth of religious education on Hindu values and teachings. This lacuna should be filled properly. Scriptures were not being read in the present times. Religious education was the need of the hour along with temporal education, he urged.

Kavu Hemanath Shetty, founder-president of BHP, as the organization would be called in short, said that it would work towards social harmony and peaceful co-existence among different communities. The organization would spread its wings to village levels very soon, he said.

Other BHP leaders like Jagannivas Rao, convener Satish Naik, Niranjan Rai Mathantabettu were present.

Pros and cons

Speaking to this writer, the Kemaru Swamiji that he would reiterate that besides providing religious education to the community, general education should be imparted to the least and the neglected among the people. The Hindus of the coastal districts are not communal. They were broad-minded and very tolerant, according to him.

The promoters have claimed that the idea of floating the organization has been discussed with the higher-ups in the Congress party. They have made it clear that it would work in the interests of true Hindu ethos and principles and have kept it out of bounds for communal-minded people.

However, there have been a few sour notes. A few days ago, senior party leader B Janardan Poojary expressed his displeasure over the proposal to launch such an outfit. He even called the step suicidal.

KPCC president Dr G Parameshwar is said to be unhappy over it. On Wedneday, chief minister Siddaramaiah, when asked about the new outfit in Puttur, parried questions with a simple answer that Congress had always remained secular. Minister Vinayakumar Sorake said in Udupi on Wednesday that such an organization was not necessary.

Many local Congress leaders stayed off the launching ceremony, reportedly for fear of a backlash from the minority communities. The launching of the outfit has attained special significance in the backdrop of a faction-ridden situation prevailing in Congress in Puttur.

Kavu Hemanath Shetty, speaking to this writer, said that the party leaders would gradually come around to the concept in due course. He also said that there was no question of hurting the minorities, since whoever he mentioned the idea to had not only wholeheartedly appreciated it but also deemed it long overdue.

He concurred with the Kemaru Swamiji that while a majority of the Hindus were peace-loving, it was a minuscule minority which created trouble. It was to counter this trend that the BHP had been floated.

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