Showing posts with label VHP. Show all posts
Showing posts with label VHP. 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.