Showing posts with label BJP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label BJP. Show all posts

Hinduism - Where Is The Vishvanath Temple?


At the Vishvanath temple in Benares, the deity Shiva appears in his manifestation as the "Lord of the Universe." Shiva is represented in Vishvanath with a linga, a pillar-shaped image that represents Shiva's symbolic form; the Vishvanath linga is one of Shiva's twelve jyotirlingas, a network of locations thought extremely important to Shiva and where Shiva is uniquely present.

Benares, also known as Varanasi, is one of India's most holy towns; it is especially dedicated to Shiva, with Vishvanath being the most significant of all the Shiva temples there.

The original temple was destroyed by the Moghul emperor Aurangzeb, who built a mosque on the site, and the only part of the original temple that has survived is the Gyan Vapi ("well of knowledge"), into which the original Shiva linga was reportedly cast (to prevent it from being desecrated by Aurangzeb's soldiers).

The original temple was established in 1776 on a location next to the pre-sent temple by the Maratha queen Ahalya Bai Holkar.

Maharaja Ranjit Singh of Lahore eventually covered the temple in gold, earning it the moniker "Golden Temple." Even in previous centuries, the closeness of the Vishvanath temple and Aurangzeb's mosque made for tense relations between the Hindu and Muslim populations, and Benares, like many other northern Indian towns, has seen its share of bloodshed.

The Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP), a Hindu activist group pushing for the "return" of this and other northern Indian landmarks by force if necessary, has recently taken up the demolition of the old Vishvanath temple as a political issue.

The existence and activities of the VHP have heightened tensions between Hindus and Muslims in general.

Given the political benefits that these confrontational techniques have yielded, it is probable that they will continue in the future, and that the Vishvanath temple will remain a focus of strife.

Kiran Atma

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.

Hinduism - What Is The Vishva Hindu Parishad?


 Vishva Hindu Parishad is a Hindu religious organization based in India.

(VHP) Modern Hindu religious group connected with the Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh (RSS), a conservative Hindu organization whose avowed mission is to produce the leadership cadre for a rejuvenated Hindu India.

When RSS leader Madhav Sadashiv Golwalkar met with a group of Hindu religious leaders in Bombay in 1964, the VHP was created.

Their immediate concern was Pope Paul VI's planned visit to India, which they saw as a covert effort to convert Hindus to Christianity, which they intended to combat by founding an organization committed to Hinduism propagation.

With little fanfare and little influence on public perception, the VHP concentrated its concentration for the next fifteen years on opposing Christian missionary operations in northeastern India.

The conversion of some untouchables to Islam in the Tamil Nadu hamlet of Minakshipuram in 1982 was a watershed moment in the VHP's public image.

The VHP seized on this widely reported incident as proof that Hindu identity was in jeopardy, and responded by undertaking a series of inventive public activities, first in Tamil Nadu and then throughout the country.

The VHP's resurgence coincided with the RSS's shift toward activism, as well as the BJP's decision to adopt a more militantly Hindu character.

Many of the VHP's national campaigns coincided with national or state elections, and many of them were concentrated on the effort to erect a temple to the deity Rama in the city of Ayodhya, at the alleged birthplace of Rama.

The intended temple location was occupied by the Babri Masjid, a Muslim mosque erected after the ancient Rama temple was demolished, according to the VHP.

As a result, the temple campaign evoked strong memories of historical persecution as well as the boldness of a resurgent Hindu identity.

The VHP's political involvement has helped the BJP become the dominant political party in most of northern India.

Throughout India, the VHP's advocacy has evoked a wide range of feelings.

Proponents refer to the organization's long history of charitable work and its role in strengthening and defining modern Hindu identity.

Detractors object to the RSS's disdain for legal formalities, as was shown by the destruction of the Babri Masjid in December 1992, as well as its sometimes caustic anti-Muslim rhetoric and, despite its unique institutional identity, its ultimate control by the RSS.

Others have chastised the VHP for seeking to define and regulate the character of "Hinduism" by declaring some "necessary" Hindu practices as antithetical to Hindu heritage.

Other opponents reject the VHP's claim to speak for all Hindus, pointing out that its genuine authority resides in the hands of brahmins and other privileged castes; these critics perceive the VHP as an organization meant to hide its true objective, which is to maintain upper-class power and privilege.

For more information, see Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar D. Damle's The Brotherhood in Saffron (1987); James Warner Björkman's Fundamentalism, Revivalists, and Violence in South Asia (1988); Tapan Basu et alKhaki .'s Shorts and Saffron Flags (1993); Lise McKean's Divine Enterprise (1996); and Christophe Jaffrelot's The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India (1996).

Kiran Atma

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.


Hinduism - Who Are The Jana Sangh?


Shyam Prasad Mookerjee created the Jana Sangh, a modern Indian political party, in 1951.

Despite Mookerjee's previous affiliation with the Hindu Mahasabha, a Hindu nationalist group, the Jana Sangh's leadership was mostly derived from volunteers deployed by the Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh, a conservative Hindu organization (RSS).

By the mid-1950s, the Jana Sangh had evolved into the RSS's political wing, with RSS members occupying the majority of the party's key posts.

The Jana Sangh championed several populist Hindu concerns in its political platform, including a ban on cow slaughter and the prohibition of alcoholic drinks, but the party was also known for its sympathy for farmers, who were one of its most significant constituents.

The Jana Sangh reached its pinnacle in 1977, when it gained ninety-three seats in Parliament in general elections.

It was the biggest single party in the political alliance that toppled Indira Gandhi's Congress Party and brought the two-year martial rule to an end.

This victory was short-lived: the Janata government fell apart over the so-called dual-membership dispute, which stemmed from worries over Jana Sangh members also belonging to the RSS.

Other legislators regarded this as a conflict of interest, and they were also concerned about their government being guided by the RSS, which was seen as a Hindu chauvinist movement.

Outside legislators requested that Jana Sangh members cut all relations with the RSS, which the latter refused to do.

All efforts at compromise failed, and the Jana Sangh MPs and other remnants of the Janata government created the Bharatiya Janata Party when the Congress Party regained power in 1980.

Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar D. Damle's book The Brotherhood in Saffron was published in 1987, while Bruce Desmond Graham's book Hindu Nationalism in Indian Politics was published in 1990.


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Hinduism - What Is The Bharatiya Janata Party(BJP)?

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) is a modern Indian political party with significant Hindu nationalist (Hindutva) roots. 

Many of the BJP's leaders have been RSS members for decades. 

The party was founded as the political arm of the Hindu nationalist group Rashtriya Svayamsevak Sangh (RSS). 

After the collapse of its parent organization, the Jana Sangh, the BJP was established in 1980. 

  • The latter was also an RSS branch, with many of its leaders, including Lal Krishna Advani and Atal Behari Vajpayee, serving as BJP leaders. 
  • The BJP initially adopted a moderate political position and performed badly in the 1984 elections, gaining just two seats. 
  • It took on a much more militant tone in the late 1980s, focusing on the drive to construct the Ram Janam Bhumi temple in Ayodhya as its central concern. 

The BJP gained 86 seats in 1989 and 120 seats in 1991 as the Indian electorate became increasingly religiously divided. 

  • It gained 160 seats in India's 535-seat Parliament in the 1996 elections, making it the biggest single political party in the country. 
  • The Indian president asked the BJP to form a government, but it was unable to do so because it lacked the necessary backing from other parties to obtain a majority of votes in Parliament. 

Brahmins and members of the trade communities, both of whom are religiously orthodox and supportive of the Hindutva ideology, have been the BJP's traditional constituency. 

  • In the mid-1990s, the BJP toned down its Hindu nationalist rhetoric in an effort to broaden its appeal outside its core supporters by moving closer to the political center. 
  • Despite these improvements, the BJP continues to be viewed with mistrust by many established secular parties, which have refused to form an alliance with it. 
  • The BJP's failure to rally such support from the general public was a key reason in the short-lived government's demise in 1996. 
  • The nation was then led by a coalition of thirteen secular political parties united in their opposition to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP). 

However, the BJP has been successful in forming coalitions to establish governments since 1998, and the BJP is presently the ruling party in India winning both the 2014 and 2019 general elections with unprecedented landslide victories

Walter K. Andersen and Shridhar D. Damle's book The Brotherhood in Saffron was published in 1987, while Christophe Jaffrelot's book The Hindu Nationalist Movement in India was published in 1996.

You may also want to read more about Hinduism here.

Be sure to check out my writings on religion here.