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Hindu Press International
Kumbh Nagari Focus of VHP Politicking
on 2001/1/20 22:47:02 ( 759 reads )


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ALLAHABAD, INDIA, January 18, 2001: Kumbh Nagari has become the focus of intense politicking over the Vishwa Hindu Parishad sponsored Dharam Sansad. The VHP is attempting to use the Maha Kumbh Mela to advance its Ram Temple agenda. By setting up a camp that towers over the camps set up by the akharas (traditional monastic orders, several with tens of thousands of monks), Shankaracharyas and assorted savants, the VHP is attracting lines of pilgrims to view the Ram temple model as 24-hour pujas and non-stop bhajanas are led by VHP-supporting sadhus. The VHP is attempting to use the association of the Kumbh to sanctify the project and win support of religious leaders at the gathering, and this is where the controversy lies. The Akhara Parishad, an apex body of the traditional orders, had decided to boycott the Dharam Sansad. The VHP has been suspected of funding several akharas to gain their support. Earlier this month three senior Shankaracharyas blasted the VHP for politicizing the issue of temple construction and dissociated themselves from the Dharam Sansad. However, the VHP's diplomatic politicking has since weakened their united stance. (see next, more recent HPI item)




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