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HINDUTVA FASCIST CULTURE

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					             HINDUTVA/ FASCIST CULTURE-2003
                                                                                  Compiled & Edited By
                                                                                              K. SAMU
                                                                         Human Rights Documentation,
                                                    Indian Social Institute, Lodi Road, New Delhi, India

1st Jan
Hindutva brooks no hatred: PM (26)
NEW DELHI, DEC. 31. Describing as "unfortunate and unacceptable" the interpretation that is being put
on Hindutva by "some people in a narrow, rigid and extremist manner," the Prime Minister, Atal Behari
Vajpayee, has spoken against the recent spurt of extremism in the country. "Hindutva is liberal, liberating
and brooks no ill-will, hatred or violence among different communities on any ground," he said in his
'musings' from his holiday camp in Goa. Without naming the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Mr. Vajpayee sought
to distance himself and his regime from the strident voices that have emanated from a section of the
Sangh Parivar after the Gujarat vote. Addressing himself to the critics at home and abroad, he said he
stood by secularism; and, according to him, "secularism is a concept of the state, enjoining upon it the
duty to show respect for all faiths and to practise no discrimination among citizens on the basis of their
beliefs". (Hindu 1.1.03)

3rd Jan
Hindutva will liberate minorities: BJP (26)
NEW DELHI, JAN. 2. The BJP has predicted that the next electoral battle will be fought between "cultural
nationalism" (Hindutva) and "pseudo-secularism" (the terminology-used by the BJP to describe secular
parties which oppose Hindutva). The BJP spokesperson, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said today that a "wave of
cultural nationalism was sweeping through the country (desh mein sanskritic rashtravad ki aandhi chal rahi
hai)." In fact, the party's view was that "Hindutva will liberate Muslims and other minorities from being
second-class citizens." He said that the statement on 'Hindutva' made by the Prime Minister, Atal Behari
Vajpayee, in Goa on New Year's eve had "created confusion among people who use secularism as a
political weapon. (Hindu 3.1.03)

We are not wavering: Thackeray (26)
MUMBAI, JAN. 2. The Shiv Sena leader, Bal Thackeray, today put himself and his party as the foremost
advocate of Hindutva "not wavering according to the winds of the moment" like the BJP or the VHP. Even
the Gujarat victory, he said, was not because of "any Narendra Modi pattern or Gujarat pattern but
because of Hindutva" and nothing else. "What is this pattern they are talking of," he asked. Being
steadfast on Hindutva was the most important thing for the Sena and it was this element in the BJP
ideology that brought the two parties together. On the former Union Law Minister, Ram Jetlimalani's
willingness to defend one of the persons sentenced in the Parliament attack case, Mr. Thackeray said that
Mr. Jethmalani was elected to the Rajya Sabha with the Sena's help. (Hindu 3.1.03)

Vajpayee’s Goa musings pseudo Hindutva: VHP (26)
New Delhi/Mumbai, January 2: THE VISHWA Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Thursday came close to calling
Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Goa musings "pseudo Hindutva", and accused the BJP of duping it
on the Ram temple issue. In Mumbai, another BJP ally, the Shiv Sena, blasted the "dual stand" on
Hindutva. Both the VHP's Acharya Giriraj Kishore in Delhi and Sena boss Bal Thackeray in Mumbai
seemed to suggest there was no difference between Vajpayee and his deputy L.K. Advani in so far as
their shifting stands on Hindutva went. Mocking the "new interpretation" of Hindutva, Giriraj Kishore said
people who were ready to make "any compromise to keep their chair had no right to comment on
Hindutva". He did not name the Prime Minister, but said "one newspaper had described such views as
pseudo Hindutva". (Hindustan Times 3.1.03)

6th Jan
Equating Hinduism with Hindutva is sinister: CWC (26)
NEW DELHI, JAN. 5. Conveying its stand on national security, terrorism and Hindutva in unambiguous
terms, the Congress today described as "sinister" attempts by the BJP to "equate Hinduism with
Hindutva". At the end of the Congress Working Committee (CWC) meeting, the party sought to meet
head-on the BJP's ideological challenge and its attempt to set the political agenda. The Congress also
stated its readiness to consider the possibility of electoral alliances "with like-minded secular parties,"
provided there was a "reasonable appreciation of ground realities." The nine-hour meeting discussed
threadbare the recent electoral debacle in Gujarat, with the AICC general secretary in-charge of the State
doing a lot of explaining. However, the significant feature of the exercise was the Congress' statement of
its position on issues of "national security and terrorism, and the BJP's attempts to blur the distinction
between Hinduism and Hindutva." The CWC resolution accused the BJP and its affiliates of hatching a
"diabolical design to confuse, mislead and misguide the people." (Hindu 6.1.03)

VHP to talk temple plans at convention (26)
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 5: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad will hold a three-day convention of Dharma Sansad at
New Delhi on February 22 and 24 to chalk out the future strategy for Ram temple construction on the
disputed land in Ayodhya. Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, the VHP's international
secretary Praveen Togadia said that saints from every corner of the country would take part in the
grand convention. The VHP has decided to organise Ram bhajan, yajna and prayers in every
state during the runup to the convention. He informed that from now on the VHP will make the movement
of Ram temple construction more intensified. (Hindu 6.3.03)

Togadia’s Hindu state plan starts in Orissa (26)
Bhubaneswar, Jan. 5: Just on the eve of Gujarat polls, international general secretary of the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad, Praveen Togadia had declared establishing India as a Hindu state. The initial exercises in this
direction have already started in Orissa. While thousands of villages in the state are yet to have access to
drinking water and basic health services, the VHP is spending lakhs of rupees and has come forward to
distribute cymbals and mridani's to villagers. Besides the outfit has decided to organize religious functions
like yajnas and homa in all parts of the state to realize the goal. (Hindu 6.3.03)

7th Jan
RSS grounds BJP’s overseas wing, PM is fed up with feuds (26)
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 6: SHAKEN by the unsavoury squabbling within its American parivar', the RSS
has ordered that the Overseas Friends of the BJP(OF-BJP) be dismantled. A direct fallout of the
internecine feud has been the lacklustre participation by American NRIs in the much-hyped conference for
the Indian diaspora being organised this week in the capital. The order to disband the OFBJP was given
by senior RSS leader Madan Dass Devi during an annual Parivar meeting at the Vraj Bhoomi complex in
Pennsylvania in the middle of December. (Indian Express 7.1.03)

PM’’s saffron-green twist: Opp sees red (26)
NEW DELHI, JANUARY 6: THE Opposition today criticised Prime Minister Atal Bihari                Vajpayee's
"negative remarks" on changes made in school history books saying they were directed against Muslims.
"We deplore Vajpayee's tendency to indulge in anti-Muslim inuendoes without any provocation. His
negative remarks made on green colour (with regard to the changes in the educational system) has
connotation too obvious to be missed," Congress spokesman S. Jaipal Reddy said referring to the
association of green with Islam. "It was unfortunate that the Prime Minister could not resist temptation in
making such an insinuation. In our view it does not behove a person occupying such a high office to make
such a comment," he said. (Indian Express 7.1.03)

8TH Jan
Big brother Sangh may endorse PM’s line (26)
NAGPUR, JANUARY 7: IF the general mood at the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) conclave in
Taroda near here is any indication, the big brother of the Parivar is slowly endorsing the "soft-Hindutva"
espoused by Prime Minister Vajpayee in his Goa musings. Sangh delegates pointed out that what
strengthens this view is the fact that veteran RSS leader Rajju Bhaiyya in New Delhi and spokesman M.G.
Vaidya in pro-Sangh daily Tarun Bharat had stood firmly behind Vajpayee's interpretation of Hindutva. The
RSS, said insiders, didn't see a bright prospect for replay of the "Gujarat experiment" in the absence of a
Godhra in states going to polls this year. In fact, overkill of Gujarat pattern may turn counter-productive, so
projecting a "soft, tolerent" face of Hindutva is advisable, they said. (Indian Express 8.1.03)

9th Jan
VHP wants pilgrimage development ministry (26)
New Delhi, Jan. 8: The VHP on Wednesday demanded that a separate ministry be set up for the
development, reconstruction and renovation of pilgrim and cultural centres in India. A ministry of
pilgrimage development would encourage thousands of domestic and foreign pilgrims to visit different
pilgrim centres at various places, VHP leader acharya Giriraj Kishore said. He said that the development
of pilgrims centres could only take place if there was a separate ministry that was entrusted with these
responsibilities. "We will first request the government and if things don't materialise, we will start a public
awareness campaign," he said. (Asian Age 9.1.03)

A gaurav yatra in New York? (26)
AHMEDABAD, JAN. 8. A "Gujarat gaurav rath yatra" on the streets of New York city? This is the
suggestion given to the Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, by a section of the Non-Resident Gujaratis settled
in the United States to "improve" the soiled image of the State abroad. Mr. Modi, however, avoided a
specific commitment to the suggestion but gave an assurance that he and his Government would ensure
that the image of the State was not spoiled again in future. The occasion was felicitation of Mr. Modi and
other members of his Cabinet and some senior BIP leaders by a U.S.-based organisation of the
non-Resident Gujaratis, India-American Forum for Political Education, here on Tuesday for the massive
victory of the BJP in the State Assembly elections and his return as the Chief Minister. (Hindu 9.1.03)

12th Jan
Togadio vows to saffronise voters in Madhya Pradesh (26)
Bhopal, Jan. 11: As Congress president Sonia Gandhi launched the party's election campaign in
tribal-dominated Jhabua on Saturday, Vishwa Hindu Parishad international general secretary Praveen
Togadia swore he will polarise voters in Madhya Pradesh by daubing the state in the colour saffron before
this year's Assembly poll. "MP ko bhagua kar doonga" Dr Togadia said.
He also asked chief minister Digvijay Singh to leave the "Hindu virodhr Congress in case he was serious
about backing the building of the Ram temple. Speaking to reporters, Dr Togadia said the Congress will
pay dearly for persistently mollycoddling 15 per cent of the country's minorities at the expense of the 85
per cent majority. Just as Gandhi had sought to restrain Hindus from taking to violence by rationalising the
activities of jihadi Muslims, the recent CWC resolution was deafeningly silent on the killing of 40,000
civilians and 10,000 security personnel in Kashmir over the years. (Asian Age 12.1.03)

13th Jan
Puri seer backs VHP Hindu Rashtra idea (26)
Bhubaneswar: Close on the heels of the VHP's recent rhetoric on Hindu Rashtra, the Puri Sankaracharya
Swami Nischalananda Saraswati has backed the idea, reports our correspondent. While briefing reporters
in Rourkela on Saturday, the Puri seer said there should be no delay in declaring India a Hindu Rashtra.
He said the political leadership should respect the fact that anyone born and brought up in India is a
Hindu. (Asian Age 13.1.03)

MP turf war begins on RSS land (26)
UJJAIN, JANUARY 12: BJP leader Uma Bharati today flagged off the Bhartiya Yuva Janta Morcha
Satta Parivartan Yatra from the same piece of land in Ujjain that laid the foundation for the ongoing tussle
between Chief Minister DigvijaySingh and the RSS, The land in question is spread over 15,683.08 square
metres adjacent to the Lord Mahakaleshwar temple, less than a km from the banks of Kshipra river and
one of the holiest shrines of Hinduism. It is also the site for the Mahakumbh or Simhasta next year, for
which nearly two crore people are expected to arrive. (Indian Express 13.1.03)

14th Jan
Hindutva will reply if Godhra is repeated (26)
MAIHAR (MADHYA PRADESH), JAN. 12. Joining issue with the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Digvijay
Singh, over assertions that his Government would not allow a repetition of Gujarat in the State, the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Pravin Togadia, said today that "Hindutva would give its reply" if
Godhra-type incidents occurred again. Mr. Togadia was addressing a rally in the temple town after the
conclusion of a two-day training camp for VHP workers. "If there is no Godhra-type incident here, Madhya
Pradesh will remain calm. "But, if there is a Godhra-type incident, there is no need for people like me.
Hindutva will itself give its reply as it happened in Gujarat." The organisation would go ahead with its pro-
gramme of distributing "trishuls" in every village of Madhya Pradesh, despite the State Government ban.
Mr. Togadia said the VHP would not be pressured by any threat. (Hindu 14.1.03)

In Rajasthan, VHP beats desert cold with Hindutva fire (26)
JAIPUR, JANUARY_13: DESPHE the biting cold winds blowing over Rajasthan, hundreds of VHP workers
are silently moving into villages, organising religious meets and making fiery speeches with renewed
vigour. Their motivating factor To four times multiply the number of satsangs and akhadas run by them
and to "awaken the Hindu spirit". At the VHP headquarters in Jaipur, strategies are being drawn up to fan
out across Rajasthan and convince all Hindus to unite. "We want to unite all Hindus, just like in Gujarat.
We want a similar Hindu enlightenment in Rajasthan," says state VHP spokesperson Mahavir Prasad
Parikh. (Indian Express 14.1.03)

15th Jan
Cow slaughter triggers violence (26)
BHOPAL, JAN. 14. Tension gripped Ganjbasoda town in Vidisha district of Madhya Pradesh today as a
mob went on the rampage setting shops on fire after some members of religious organisations gathered
at a house where a cow had allegedly been slaughtered. At the time of filing this report, the situation was
said to be tense but under control.The authorities have imposed night curfew in the town and prohibitory
orders under Section 144 Cr.P.C. in IVidisha, the district headquarters. (Hindu 15.3.03)

20th Jan
BHP criticizes Lyngdoh again (26)
Guwahati: Chief Election Commissioner (CEC) J M Lyngdoh has come under fire from the VHP once
again. The outfit's international general secretary Praveen Tagodia on Saturday attacked him for not
reacting to the Church issuing guidelines to voters and political parties in Meghalaya and Nagaland.
Togadia was speaking to media persons while on a three-day tour of the state.
He said the VHP had come under attack in Gujarat for merely advising voters while in these states, as well
as Chhattisgarh, the CEC remained silent even as the Church intervened directly in the electoral process
by asking voters to support a particular party. He pointed out that the church issuing a guideline to voters
in a secular state amounted to theocracy. (Times of India 20.1.03)

VHP launches anti-Bangla campaign in Assam (26)
GUWAHATI. JANUARY 19: VISHWA Hindu Parishad (VHP) international general secretary Praveen
Togadia has said that Islamic fundamentalist forces are so active in the North East that the status of the
Assamese and other indigenous people of the region would soon become similar to the Kashmiri Hindus.
Togadia, who is on a three-day tour of Assam, alleged that the Islamic forces, backed by the ISI of
Pakistan and provided a base by Bangladesh, were particularly targeting Assam. For this they have the
large number of Bangladeshi illegal infiltrators in Assam to provide them shelter, and their presence will
make the Assam situation even worse than that of Kashmir, he said. (Indian Express 20.1.03)

21st Jan
BJP letter to Sonia on MP temple row (26)
Bhopal, Jan. 20: The Digvijay Singh regime seems determined to needle the RSS-BJP by forcibly
acquiring temple land (wherever possible) either directly in its possession or owned by its supporters. With
the row over the RSS-owned eight-bigha stretch near Ujjain's Mahakaal temple still raging, Madhya
Pradesh BJP president Kailash Joshi has now sought the formal intercession of Congress president
Sonia Gandhi on the long-standing controversy over the Sri Ram temple trust land at Gurubux ki Talliyya
 in Bhopal. In a letter to Ms Gandhi, the state BJP chief has accused the Bhopal District Congress of
 actually grabbing the land to build its office. This, he observed, was tantamount to playing with the
religious sentiments of the majority community. (Asian Age 21.1.03)

VHP lays claim to Ayodhya land again (26)
LUCKNOW, JAN. 20.The Vishwa Hindu Parishad vice-president, Giriraj Kishore, today reaffirmed the
demand to hand over to VHP the "undisputed land" near the Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid site at
Ayodhya for construction of the Ram temple. The stay granted by the Supreme Court in February last year
on transfer of land was only applicable with reference to the VHP programme of Shila-daan. In the present
day context the stay had become infructuous. As such, there was no need for his organisation to move
Court to get possession of the land, he said when asked to react to the Government view that VHP
should move the apex court to seek possession of the land. (Hindu 21.1.030)

22nd Jan
RSS invokes ghosts of partition (26)
AFTER over 50 years, the RSS has decided to honour 600 of its veterans or their family members who
played a "commendable role in saving thousands of Hindus from the clutches of Muslim goons" during
Partition. This move to revive the ghost of Partition fits in with the perennial anti-Muslim campaign of the
Sangh. And it also comes at a time when different constituents of the Sangh Parivar have been consis-
tently making statements against the minorities. The wounds of Partition being common to Sikhs and
Hindus on this side of the border, the move is also a subtle attempt to unite them against the Muslims,
post-Sikh extremism phase. The venue of the proposed function, Amritsar, is just appropriate. The
religious capital of Sikhs with a majority of Hindu inhabitants provides the right synthesis for this goal.
(Indian Express 22.1.03)

23rd Jan
Hindutva is BJP agenda for LS polls, says Joshi (26)
Lucknow, Jan. 22: Human resources development minister Murli Manohar Joshi indicated that the
Hindutva agenda would be a poll issue for the BJP in the next Lok Sabha elections. 'Every party has its
own agenda and more than us, it is our rival parties that have turned Hindutva into a poll issue. How this
issue figures > in the elections can be seen only when elections are held and in state where the BJP is in
power, it will definitely implement its own agenda," he told reporters at a press conference here on
Wednesday. Dr Joshi added that in states where the BJP was running a government in coalition with other
parties, like in Uttar Pradesh, the agenda would be that of the coalition. In UP, where there are reports of
BJP cadres crossing swords with BSP workers, it is the duty of the state leadership to intervene and iron
out differences. (Asian Age 23.1.03)

RSS now tries to cash in on Partition trauma (26)
New Delhi, January 22 : THE RSS has decided to honour 600 of its veterans who played a "commendable
role in saving thousands of Hindus from the clutches of Muslim goons" during the country's partition in
1947. The move, which comes five decades after Partition, fits in with the Sangh's anti-Muslim campaign
that has acquired a shriller tone after the post-Godhra elections in Gujarat. It comes at a time when
several states are going to the polls and the BJP is aggressively pushing its Hin-dutva agenda following
the success of the Gujarat experiment. The step is also seen as a subtle ploy to unite Hindus and Sikhs in
Punjab against Muslims as both the communities share the trauma of the Partition days. (Hindustan
Times 23.1.03)

23rd Jan
Sudarshan scorches Marxists, madarsas (26)
Calcutta, Jan. 22: It was the world according to K.S. Surlarshan, now RSS sarsanghchalak and once
eastern region kshetra sanchalak. . In a speech that slammed all m sight and outside, Sudarshan -atop a
chariot-like structure pulled towards the "Hindu rash-tra by wooden horses - expounded his theory about
communists and Americans, Muslims and madarsas, Christians and missionaries, "Macaulayputra* and
Marxputras" and even the President and Jesuits, Today's rally was the first of the three planned for the
RSS chief’s biennial state visit Careful not to tread o Bengali sensibility, the speech delivered in chaste
Bengali – identified the speaker’s vision of the world with that of some Bengal’s greatest sons like
Rabindranath Tagore, Netaji and Swami Vivekananda. (Telegraph 23.1.03)
24th Jan
RSS to educate swayamsevaks on Ambedkar's views (26)
WHILE THE BJP leadership has asked party's UP unit president Vinay Katiyar to tone down his remarks
quoting B.R. Ambedkar, the RSS has come to his rescue. The Sangh has decided to hold a training camp
educating its workers on the issue. The two-day camp, beginning January 31, would be held in Kanpur. A
circular on this training camp has been issued by the RSS. The      circular     called Ambedkar a social
reformer who had understood the nitty-gritty of untouchability, prevalent in Hindu society. The life and
ideology of Ambedkar would be the main agenda of the training camp, which would be attended by over
250 RSS workers drawn from all over the state, the senior RSS functionary said. Katiyar had recently
stirred the hornet's nest by calling Ambedkar a true Hindu, and highlighted his views on Muslims and the
role they played during Partition. (Hindustan Times 24,1.03)

RSS gets the numbers, Buddha says not enough (26)
Kolkata: The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) rally here brought out a crowd clad in khaki shorts
and black caps, but West Bengal chief minister Bud-dhadeb Bhattacharjee sought to play it down.
Bhattacharjee on Wednesday said RSS chief K S Sudarshan and VHP leader Pravin Togadia were
"unwanted guests". "Togadia and Sudarshan are unwanted guests here. They will come and go but the
people of West Bengal will not heed their hate campaigns. (The two) have little knowledge about the
culture and social fabric of the state," said Bhattachariee at Writers’ Buildings. (Times of India
24.1.03)

30th Jan
RSS rakes up Partition wounds (26)
Chandigarh, Jan. 29: More than half a century after India and Pakistan gained independence from British
rule, the RSS on Wednesday organised a function in Amritsar to honour individuals it views as "heroes of
Partition." More specifically, these were Swayamsewaks who had a role in organising Hindus to counter
Muslims during the bloody Partition riots. RSS national president K.S. Sudarshan disbursed mementoes to
nearly five hundred people including individuals who were actually present during the riots in Punjab or
were relatives of those who have since passed away. A large majority of the recipients were people who
were active RSS members or Swayamsewaks who had actually formed a part of the Hindu offensive
against Muslims living in pre-Partition Punjab. (Asian Age 30.1.03)

Gandhi to blame fw Partition, says RSS (26)
AMRITSAR, JAN. 29. The RSS today blamed Mahatma Gandhi for the country's division, attacked the
media for its "anti-Hindu" bias and asserted that all Sikhs were Hindus.
At a function organised here to honour its volunteers who "saved" Hindus from Muslims, the RSS chief,
K.S. Sudershan, urged Hindus to organise themselves and said the "unnatural partition" of the country
must end. "While Gandhi succeeded in creating and leading a people's movement, he committed two
mistakes: supporting the 'Khilafat' movement and making Jawaharlal Nehru the first Prime Minister. The
end result was that two enemies, Pakistan and Bangladesh, were created forever," he said. "Everyone
makes mistakes but when a big leader makes a mistake, they lead to serious consequences." (Hindu
30.1.03)

Now VHP to save Hindus by insurance (26)
MUMBAI, JANUARY 29: THE VHP plans to start a Life Insurance For Future (LIFF) for Hindus and their
future generations as the organisation feels "Hindus are more unsafe than minorities". VHP international
general secretary Praveen Togadia said here today that the organisation intended to collect 1 per cent of
monthly income from Hindus and in return would safeguard their lives. "Unlike the LIC, which collects pre-
mium for security for life of an insured person, we intend to safeguard future generations of Hindus," he
said. "About 4,000 civilians have been killed by terrorists in J-K and now is the time to act and create
awareness among Hindus, especially youths," Tbgadia said. Tbgadia, who was on a visit to Navi Mumbai
Sports Association at Vashi here, also said the outfit had mobilised 30 lakh youths and distributed three
lakh trishuls, "not to harm anyone but to boost the morale of the Hindus". (Indian Express 30.1.03)

Sudershan’s Hindutva: Muslims, Sikhs Hindus (26)
AMRITSAR, JANUARY 29: "ALL Muslims living in India are Hindus. All Sikhs are Hindus and all Hindus
are Sikhs." RSS chief K.S. Suder-shan gave a new definition to Hindutva as he honoured 495 Sangh
activists for their role in saving Hindu lives during Partition at the 1947 Shaurya Smriti Samaroh' held here
today. Sudershan set the tone for the function when he declared: "All Muslims living in India should
understand that by virtue of living here, they are . Hindus..." Even as the gathering was digesting this, he
added: "For that matter, all the Sikhs are also Hindus and all the Hindus are Sikhs." Citing Guru Teg
Bahadur, the ninth Sikh guru, he said: "He himself acknowledged 'Hum Hindu haun'" (Indian Express
30.1.03)

2nd Feb
Temple construction: RSS to decide strategy at Nagpur meet (26)
KANPUR, FEB. 1. The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) will decide its role in the construction of the
Ram temple in Ayodhya during its four-day Nagpur executive meet starting from March 6. The
organisation would decide on a strategy keeping in mind the decisions to be taken at the VHP's Dharma
Sansad in New Delhi on February 22. M.G. Vaidya, RSS spokesman, told reporters here today that the
Sangh favoured the VHP demand for return of the acquired undisputed land around the Ramjanmabhoomi
to the trust governing it. (Hindu 2.2.03)

3rd Feb
VHP shifts shilas to Ram Janmabhoomi workshop (26)
AYODHYA, FEB. 2. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has shifted to the Ram Janmaboomi workshop
over three lakh special 'shilas' (stones) donated by people from the country and abroad for the
construction of the proposed Ram Temple here, saying that they were not safe in its old office following its
acquisition by the Centre. The VHP media in-charge, Sharad Sharma, said today that marble, granite,
sand and other materials were unique as the name of 'Lord Rama' was inscribed on them in different
languages as well as the name of the place from where they were brought. The Ram Janmabhoo-mi
Yagya Samiti, under a special mass awareness campaign in 1987-88, had collected 3.25 lakh stones from
3.25 lakh Indian villages and other countries too, he added. (Hindu 3.2.03)

4th Feb
Centre makes a new move on Ayodhya (26)
New Delhi: The Centre is once again making an effort to resolve the Ayodhya issue. To this end, the
Prime Minister has invited Jayendra Saraswati, Shankaracharya of Kanchipuram, for a preliminary
discussion. The Shankaracharya. who arrived here on Monday will meet the PM on Tuesday evening.
Sources said two of the PM's cabinet colleagues, law minister Arun Jaitley and defence minister George
Fernandes, will also meet the Shankaracharya during his stay here.
The timing of the visit of the Shankaracharya, who had tried to play a mediatory role a year ago in solving
the Ayodhya tangle, is significant: It comes even as the Centre has begun to explore ways and means to
"release" the so-called undisputed 67 acres in Ayodhya from the stay imposed on it by the Supreme Court
a year ago. (Times of India 4.2.03)

RSS rejects iraq war (26)
Delhi, Feb. 3: The RSS is fully hacking the Vajpayee government in opposing a war on Iraq by the United
States. RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav told the Asian Age on Monday "We
are fully with the government on this issue." He said it was very apparent that "India as a country cannot
become party to this aggression, or war, or whatever they like to call it." The RSS, which generally keeps
out of foreign policy, was unusually categorical on the Iraq issue. Mr Ram Madhav said there was no
justification for a war and this was all pan of a US game plan to capture the oil reserves. This is oil
politics," he said adding that there was no question of New Delhi changing its policy. He laughed when
asked whether he was prepared to jepardise the new found friendship with the US asking How can you
support a friend that goes on committing acts of aggression. (Asian Age 4.2.03)

5TH Feb
Hindutva is BJP’s lifeline, says Uma Bharati (26)
BHOPAL, FEB. 4 Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Uma Bharati said today that "Hindutva" is
not only an agenda for the party but is its lifeline. Addressing a rally of the Bharatiya Janta Yuva Morcha
here, she called upon the party workers to work wholeheartedly for throwing the Congress out of power.
"Hindutva is Indianness and wherever Hindutva has weakened, a question mark has been raised against
Indianness, just like in Kashmir," she said. The concept of Hindutva is very wide and "we will include
Muslims into it as well," she added. Though Bharatiya Janata Party is part of the NDA but this does not
mean that there is a ban on reciting the name of Lord Ram, she said. (Hindu 5.2.03)

We are committed to secularism (26)
SINGAPORE, FEB. 4. The Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, affirmed here today that India's
"commitment to secularism remains absolutely unchanged" in the context of the results of the recent
Assembly elections in Gujarat. Answering questions at the end of his public lecture on "new approaches to
security and development", delivered under the auspices of the Institute of South -East Asian Studies, Mr.
Advani argued that the Gujarat poll results reflected a "protest vote" against the "campaign of calumny
(and) disinformation unleashed" against the Gujarat Government which was now savouring a landslide
election victory. (Hindu 5.2.03)

RSS happy, content, but watches Centre (26)
New Delhi, Feb. 4: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, is apparently pleased with the government's
disinvestment policy in the oil sector, as far as BPCL is concerned. The RSS also seems contented with
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpay-ee's decision to induct Mr Arun Jait-ley into the law ministry and "keep
Mr Arun Shourie out of the commerce ministry." The "happy and contented" RSS is now, however,
keeping a close watch on the Centre's next moves on disin-vesting another pi! PSU, HPCL. It has been
said that the Vajpayee government has toed the RSS line with regard to the disinvestment of BPCL (Asian
Age 5.2.03)

Ayodhya: Govt scouts for legal cover, jaitley gets into the picture (26)
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 4: WITH the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's February 22 dharam sansad likely to
return the spotlight on Ayodhya, the Government today began its search for a legal cover to return the
"undisputed" land it acquired from the Ram-janmabhoomi Nyas. Law Minister Arun Jaitley met the Kanchi
Kamakoti Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi after the latter had a lengthy discussion on Ayodhya with
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, sending out clear signals of the moves afoot. Jaitley was ac-
companied bv External Affairs Minister Yashwant Sinha. Minister of State for Home I D Swami too came
calling. (Indian Express 5.2.03)

6th Feb
Govt. moves court again as VHP mounts pressure (26)
New Delhi: Feb 5: The day Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee met Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra
Saraswati to discuss the Ayodhya issue, the government moved the Supreme Court to vacate its order
banning religious activity in the 67 acres acquired after the demolition of the Babri Masjid in 1992. (Indian
Exp. 6.2.03)

A proud Hindu, EX-CJI regrets misinterpretation (26)
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 5: ASSERTING that there was nothing wrong in the words "Hindu, Hinduism
and Hindutva" and that he was "proud to be a Hindu", former Chief Justice of India (CJI) J.S. Verma said
he regretted his judgement on Hinduism is being "misconstructed and misused" by politicians. "The
politicians, who are practising or using Hindutva to their advantage, are misconstructing and misusing it
(the judgement). They have not appreciated the abstract of the judgement," Verma, who was participating
in Karan Thapar’s Court Martial programme for Sabe TV to be telecast on February 6, said. (Indian
Express 6.2.03)

Togadia warns of agitation (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 5. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today hardened its stance against the courts, totally
rejecting any solution through a judicial verdict while warning the Government to "hand over" the land ac-
quired by it or "face people's agitation". The final goal was the declaration that India is a "Hindu rashtra".
The VHP leader, Praveen Togadia, made it clear that the intention of the trust controlled by it, Ram
Janmabhoomi Nyas, was to build a temple with a sanctum sanctorum "at the very place where the Ram
lala idol stands today". Even if part of the undisputed acquired land was given to it and construction of
temple began "there will be no change in the temple plan". The 'garbh griha' (sanctum sanctorum) would
be at the very place where the makeshift temple replaced the demolished Babri masjid, Mr. Togadia said.
(Hindu 6.2.03)

7th Feb
VHP suspicious about Centre on Ayodhya (26)
New Delhi, Feb. 6: The Centre's decision to move the Supreme Court has apparently failed to placate the
VHP, which now "smells something suspicious" about the entire development. At the same time, the VHP
has     pointed     fingers    at    Kanchi Shankaracharya's involvement in trying to resolve the
controversy. The VHP said, "Last time, he failed. So there is no question of mediation. The VHP on
Thursday made it categorically clear that if "nothing concrete happens," like lifting of the ban on the
undisputed plot, the outfit would abide by the decision taken by the sants and dharmacharyas during the
proposed dharmasansad. (Asian Age 7.2.03)

Modi clashes with Godrej, Bajaj (26)
New Delhi: Gujarat chief minister Narendra Modi was at his abrasive worst on Thursday, telling in-
dustrialists gathered here for an interaction with him under the banner of the CII that he was not prepared
to answer their concerns about law and order in his state. "You and your pseudo-secularist friends," he
thundered at the captains of industry, "can come to Gujarat if you want an answer. Talk to our citizens.
Gujarat is the most peaceful state in the country" Modi said, "You shouldn't go by what is written in the
papers...Gujarat is the only state which can produce a Gandhi, but when required, it can also produce a
Patel --- I think you understand what I mean...."
"I feel the CII has been unfair to Gujarat last year... the Planning Commission... has not asked us about
law and order. In the last eight months, we attracted Rs 8,000 crore of investment. So why are you asking
me about law and order?" he said, adding,"There is no need to give Gujarat a bad name. I know there are
people in this country with vested interests. But what is your interest?" (Times of India 7.2.03)

8th Feb
Govt. hand in glove with VHP: Muslim Board (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 7. Expressing anguish over the Centre's move to get the stay on Ayodhya case
va-cated, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board today charged the BJP-led Government with being
"hand in glove" with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and 'befooling the public for its own political ends".
Categorically ruling out the possibility of any talks with die "culprits responsible for the demolition" of the
Babri Masjid, me Board said it was still open for a discussion with the Government on the issue. "The
Central Government and the VHP are hand in glove in befooling the general public in this respect...By
raking up the issue time and again, me Government wants to divert people's attention from the real
issues, " S.Q.R. Illyas, convener and spokesman of the Board's Committee on Babri Masjid, said here in a
statement issued on the eve of the Board's crucial meeting here tomorrow. (Hindu 8.2.03)

10th Feb
Hindu rashtra is no political philosophy, asserts Advani (26)
New Delhi: India is a Hindu rashtr, but can never become a theocratic state, Deputy Prune Minister Advani
has clarified in an interview with Seshadri Chari which will appear in the February 16 issue of the RSS The
Organiser. A Hindu rashtra and a secular state are virtually ynonymous, he stresses, adding that this
understanding ensured that the trainers of the Constitution did not describe the state as secular. He adds
that the concept of a Hindu is "not a political philosophy, but emanates from the fact that a majority in this
country are Hindus and "Hinduism collectively represents the culture and basic ethos of this COUNTRY .
(Times of India 10.3.03)

12th Feb
Hindutva is a way of life, says Vajpayee (26)
New Delhi: Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee said on Tuesday that Hindutva was neither a religion nor a
form of worship but encompassed all sections of society. Hindutva is not a religion but a philosophy which
encompasses all, irrespective of caste or creed and it is time less, he said at a function in the party office
here to mark the birth anniversary of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya, founder of the erstwhile Bharatiya Jana
Sangh. (Times of India 12.2.03)

VHP warns Centre, asks for disputed land soon (26)
New Delhi, Feb. 11: The VHP on Tuesday stepped up its aggression and asked the government to hand
over the entire acquired area, including the disputed site. The organisation threatened that if its request
was denied, it could lead to claims on thousands of other mosques all over. "We want the government to
hand over to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas the entire 77 acres of acquired land, including the disputed
plot, by February 22 when the dharam sansad meets in New Delhi, VHP leader Praveen Togadia said.
(Asian Age 12.2.03)

Pro-Iraq stand is wrong, back US war: Togadia (26)
New Delhi, Feb. 11: Reminding Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee that the pro-Iraq stand taken by the
then Indian Prime Minister I.K. Gujral during the 1990 Gulf War had seriously damaged India's interests,
VHP leader Praveen Togadia said India should support the US-led war against Iraq, ignoring the "call of
leftists and radical Islamists." Warning Mr Vajpayee that India was walking into a trap laid by the leftists,
whose actions always aimed at weakening the anti-jihadi forces led by the US, Mr Togadia said, "In
international diplomacy, there are no permanent friends or permanent foes but only permanent interests,
India's interest at this moment lies in supporting the US in its fight against Iraq. In taking a no-war stand
against Iraq, India is harming its strategic as well as economic interests because the route to uprooting the
jihadis led by Pakistan and supported by Islamic regimes in the Gulf is through Baghdad. Asian Age
12.2.03)

Togadia now takes on Vajpayee, RSS chief (26)
New Delhi: VHP international general secretary Praveen Togadia — and a member of the Sangh's
Gen-Next — has decided to take on the saffron veterans. A day after RSS organ, Panchajanya, publicised
an interview of RSS sarsanghchalak K C Sudarshan in a forthcoming issue, in which he has criticised the
US' war-mongering and endorsed India's opposition to war with Iraq, Togadia urged the Vajpayee
government to shed its "Nehruvian mindset" and shrug off the influence of "leftists and radical Islamists".
Asked whether he was contradicting Sudarshan and whether there was a division of opinion within the
Sangh, he feigned ignorance of the Sangh's official position. (Times of India 12.2.03)

Polythene chokes cows and Sangh’s scheme to awaken swabhiman (26)
GANDWANI (DHAR), FEB 11: A SCHEME that combines two issues closest to the Sangh Parivar's
heart, the saffronisation of tribals and cow protection, has hit an unexpected hurdle—polythene. Under the
scheme evolved by BJP Mayor Kailash Vijayvargai, stray cattle are rounded up and given to tribals in the
adjoining districts of Indore at Rs 121 through RSS-backed
Dharam Raksha Samitis. But there is a slight hitch. The polythene piling up in the stomach of these cows
during their stay in Indore is leading to a high number of fatalities, a fact that is not going down well with
the tribal beneficiaries. (Indian Express 12.2.03)

13th Feb
VHP does an U-turn on Iraq (26)
New Delhi: A day after backing the US on its proposed offensive against Iraq, the VHP on Wednesday
made a dramatic volte-face and denounced the US moves. VHP vice president Giriraj Kishore
contradicted the group's vocal general secretary Pravin Togadia's call to support a US-led war against
Iraq, terming it his personal opinion. "The VHP believes that the US is behaving like a bully" said Kishore.
"No war should be imposed on a country and the world like this," he said , adding that Iraq was being
treated unfairly When reminded of Togadia's assertion on Tuesday that a war against Iraq would weaken
the "jehadi" forceshe said: "We should not oppose Iraq just because it is a Muslim nation. We are not
anti-Muslim. We are against injustice." (Times of India 13.2.003)

Villagers prevented from attending Hindu Jagran Manch rally (26)
BHOPAL, FEB. 12. The president of the Madhya Pradesh Bharatiya Janata Party, Kailash Joshi, said here
today that his party would lend full support to efforts by the Hindu Jagran Manch to secure unhindered
rights for Hindus to offer prayers at Dhar's Bhojshala near Indore. The Manch organised a huge public
rally in Dhar on February 6, coinciding with "Basant Panchami." Thousands of devotees converged at the
Bhojshala to worshio Goddess Saraswati. At a press conference here today, Mr. Joshi alleged that the
Dhar district administration had tried to create tension and vitiate the atmosphere by slapping criminal
charges and initiating police action against thousands of BJP workers before "Basant Panchami." Cases
under Sections 107 and 111 were registered against 3,500 people living in Dhar's adjoining areas and
efforts were made to "terrorise" the villagers to deter them from reaching the district headquarters on
February 6. (Hindu 13.2.03)

VHP to hold Hindu Sangams in UP (26)
LUCKNOW, FEBRUARY 12: IN ORDER to mobilise support for construction of the Ram temple in
Ayodhya, H the VHP plans to hold E 'Hindu Sangams' (congregations of Hindus) soon all over Uttar
Pradesh. This is in addition to the 'Dharam Jagran Yatras' that have already started with VHP volunteers
moving in different parts of the state to spread messages in support of the temple. The VHP has divided
the state into six administrative regions for monitoring the situation and -Hindu Sangams7, on the lines of
the one held in Kanpur on January 30, are scheduled to be organised in all the six regions. (Indian
Express 13.2.03)

Final war for Ram temple in Ayodhya soon: Togadia (26)
Jaipur, Feb. 12: The VHP is now ready to wage its final war for the construction of the Ram temple in
Ayodhya. Its international general secretary, Mr Praveen Togadia, said it will be this way or that now. 'The
construction of the Ram temple will begin this month, or a Mahabharata will be launched," he said.
Speaking to reporters at the VHP office here on Tuesday night, Mr Togadia said that 10,000 saints
meeting in New Delhi on February 23 will take a final decision in this regard. Mr Togadia, who is on his
way to Pindwara to check out the progress of stone-dressing for the Ram temple, said if the construction
of the temple does not begin now, he will stage a rath yatra. If need be, he is ready to even cross the
border. (Asian Age 13.2.03)

Sena rampage in Delhi against Valentine’s Day (26)
New Delhi, Feb. 12: Shiv Sena activists on Wednesday went on a rampage in Delhi burning and tearing
Valentine's Day cards. They demanded that the "shameless show of Western culture" be banned in the
capital city. Love is in the air. But like every year, the right-wing fundamentalists protested against the
"invasion of Western culture" and demanded a ban on such celebrations. Wearing saffron headbands and
armed with party flags, Shiv Sena activists protested and raised slogans against the celebrations, saying
"Valentine's Day is a symbol of nudity — boycott Valentine's Day." (Asian Age 13.2.03)

14th Feb
Help restrain VHP, BJP tells RSS (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 13. Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party want the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh to
take the initiative to prevent the vitiating of the atmosphere through statements by Vishwa Hindu Parishad
 leaders. The statements could adversely affect the Government's petition before the Supreme Court
asking for a vacation of the stay on religious and other activities on the government-acquired land in
Ayodhya. This view was conveyed to the RSS at a meeting this morning, between BJP and RSS leaders;
at the latter's Jhandewalan office here. The RSS was represented by its general secretary 'sarkaryawah',
Mohan Bhagwat, the joint general secretary 'sah sarkaryawah', Madan Das Devi, and               the  joint
spokesperson, Ram Madhav. (Hindu 14.2.03)

Supreme Court rejects Centre’s plea for hearing before February 21 (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 13. The Supreme Court today rejected the Central Government's plea for hearing
before February 21, its application for vacating the "interim order" passed in the Ayodhya case in March
last year. A three-Judge Bench, comprising the Chief Justice, V. N. Khare, Justice S. B. Sinha and Justice
A.R. Lakshmanan, declined to consider the request after the Solicitor-General, Kirit Raval, "mentioned"
this; morning the plea for an early listing of the case. The judges told Mr. Raval that since the petition was
to come up for hearing on February 21, there was no need for an early hearing. In its application, the
Centre said that there was need to resolve the controversy over the 67.703 acres of "undisputed land."
And that "the continuing state of uncertainty is not in the public interest." Referring to the interim order that
"no religious activity of any kind by anyone, either symbolic or actual, including bhoomipuja or shila puja,
shall be; permitted or allowed to take place" either in the disputed or the undisputed land, the application
said this needed to be resolved. (Hindu 14.2.03)

16th Feb
Gehlot for vigil against communal forces (26)
JAIPUR, FEB. 15. The Rajasthan Chief Minister, Ashok Gehlot, today took strong exception to threats
being held out by Sangh Parivar outfits to convert the State into a "soft target" for replicating the carnage
and mayhem witnessed in Gujarat in the run-up to the Assembly elections later this year. Addressing a
conference of District Collectors, which was joined by the Superintendents of Police on its concluding day
today, Mr. Gehlot called upon the district officials to remain vigilant to the threats of communal forces and
nip any communal trouble in the bud by taking stern action against mischief-makers. "Choosing the path
of truth and justice will help establish trust and congenial atmosphere in districts," Mr. Gehlot said and
affirmed that the "illusion" of Rajasthan being a soft target for communal violence had to be removed at all
costs in the wider interest of people and the country. (Hindu 16.2.03)

17th Feb
VHP volunteers ready for kar seva in Ayodhya (26)
AHMEDA8AD, FEB 16: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Gujarat unit general secretary, Dillip trivedi, today
claimed that at least 10,000 yolunteers were ready in the State to march on to Ayodhya to do "kar seva"
for the construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple if a call is given by the "Dharma Sansad" which is
meeting in Delhi from February 22. He said about 2,000 sants and sadhus from the State would be
attending the Delhi "Dharma Sansad" which was expected to chart out the future programme for taking up
the construction of the temple. (Hindu 17.2.03)

18th Feb
No individual can decide on Ayodhya: VHP (26)
New Delhi, Feb. 17: At a time when the government is trying to resolve the Ayodhya dispute through talks
with minority leaders and legal procedure, the Hindu organisations and saints seem to be working at cross
purposes. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad leaders took strong exception to Kanchi Shankaracharya, Jayendra
Sara-swati's remark that he was the "only representative and the chief negotiator of the Hindus," in the
Ram janmabhoomi issue. Sources disclosed that the Kanchi Shankaracharya made the observation after
the VHP leaders indicated that the final decision on the issue would be taken by the dharam sans ad and
not the Kanchi math.
Despite being invited, the Kanchi Shankaracharya is not likely to attend the VHP's two-day dharam
sansad, beginning on February 22. Speaking at Coimbatore, he reportedly said, "No Hindu organisation
including the VHP or the RSS has any authority to speak about the Ram janmabhoomi issue." He also
asserted: "I am the only representative and the chief negotiator of the Hindus on the issue." (Asian Age,
18-2-2003)

Bhojshala under threat (26)
Bhopal: Around 5,000 Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) activists are planning to force their way into the
Bhojshala Saraswati temple in Dhar on Tuesday. The temple, which coexists with the mosque of Kamal
Moula, is in the midst of a controversy since the past month. While Muslims are permitted to offer namaz
at the complex on Fridays, Hindus can enter the temple once a year — on the occasion of Vasant
Panchmi. The state BJP last week said the party "will support the HJM on the Bhojshala issue". The BJP
clarified on Monday that it will "only support the issue but not participate in the forcible entry". We had
demanded that the ban barring Hindus from entering Bhojshala be removed by February 18 said HJM
convener Radheshyam Yadav. (Times of India 18.2.03)

19th Feb
Police foil attempt to storm Bhojshala (26)
Dhar:The police on Tuesday foiled Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) activists' attempts      to        storm    the
Bhojshala Saraswati Temple here. The activists were not allowed to approach even with-
in 100 metres of the temple. The HJM had threatened to break open locks and force their way into the
temple if the ban on entry of Hindus was not lifted by Tuesday noon. The state government made
strong security arrangements and the entire temple area was cordoned off.
The police resorted to lathicharge and lobbed teargas shells following brickbatting by the HJM activists.
Two policemen and 22 HJM activists were injured. Several shops in the town were also burnt. The police
arrested 150 HJM members, including 50 women. (Times of India 19.2.03)

Hindutva Tug-of-War (26)
Hindu Jagran Manch's attempt to enter Bhojshala temple/ mosque in MP's Dhar district foiled. Muslims
can pray there every Friday and Hindus on Basant Panchami. Ahead of polls slated for year-end, Sangh
Parivar has begun campaign for allowing prayers everyday.

To counter BJP's Gujarat-style Hindutva campaign, MP Congress is focussing on the cow. Recently,
Digvijay Singh wrote to PM urging ban on cow slaughter. Also, posters have come up in state saying PM
eats beef. PM has denied this. BJP has also called for a ban.

On Tuesday, VHP's Praveen Togadia distributed tridents in Rajasthan. He warned against a ban on the
trishul. Rajasthan home minister says not just trishul but all weapons that threaten communal harmony will
be banned. Elections will be held in state later this year.

20th Feb
Dhar bandh turns violent, curfew imposed (26)
Dhar (MP), February 19 : A DAY after police foiled an attempt by Hindu Jagran Manch (HJM) activists to
break into the Bhojshala, tension continued in Dhar with the bandh called by the HJM turning violent.
Curfew was clamped on Dhar city and two other towns in the district. HMJ activists torched a number of
police and private vehicles, beat up police personnel and gheraoed police stations. The police — assisted
by SAP and STF personnel — retaliated with lathi charges and firing. Several police personnel and HJM
volunteers were injured during the skirmishes that went on till evening. Twelve companies of police SAF
and STF have been deployed in the district. (Hindustan Times 20.2.03)

BJP demands bill to ban cow slaughter (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 19. The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) today said it has asked the Vajpayee
Government to bring a Bill to ban cow slaughter and denied the Congress charge on permitting beef
exports. The party also demanded that the Congress clarify whether its central leadership endorsed the
view of the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Digvijay Singh, who has sought protection for cows. 'We
have asked the Government to bring a bill in the current session banning cow slaughter," the BJP
spokesman, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said adding that the party deplored the 'dual standards' on protection
for cows. He said contrary to allegations, there was a ban on the export of beef and all consignments of
meat were subjected to pre-shipment inspections. Quoting an official release, he said, the inspections
were conducted by the State's Directorate of Animal Husbandry and the Ministry of Agriculture and
Commerce. If there is any attempt to export beef the consignment is bound to be seized and the exporter
himself is liable to be imprisoned. Mr. Malhotra said. (Hindu 20.2.03)

Rajasthan weighing ban on trishul (26)
JAIPUR, FEB. 19. The Rajasthan Government, it seems, has decided to act cautiously on the demand
from certain quarters that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's "trishul diksha samaroh" (ceremonial distribution of
tridents) be banned. The Government is weighing the pros and cons of proscribing "trishuls" as was done
by the neighbouring Congress-ruled Madhya Pradesh.
The recent two-day conference of District Collectors and Superintendents of Police here discussed the
issue of "trishul diksha/' being conducted in various parts of Rajasthan. Many police officers expressed the
view that the distribution of the tridents, 13.5 cm long, would create a law and order situation involving
religious groups in an election year. (Hindu 20.2.03)

21st Feb
 VHP distributes tridents in Rajasthan (26)
JAIPUR, FEB. 20. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad again distributed tridents (trishuls) to more than 1,000
persons at Lalsot in Dausa district of Rajasthan today. The ceremony came amid rising concern that the
tridents could be used as weapons in certain cases. According to Dausa District Superintendent of Police,
Sunil Dutt, "nearly 1,100 to 1,300" tridents were distributed at the ceremony, which was attended by
leaders Swami Basantanand and Sam-pat Singh Gujjar. Police said the gathering of nearly 2,000 persons
at Lalsot dispersed peacefully after the 'trishul diksha' ceremony. Members of the VHP, the Bajrang Dal
and other Sangh Parivaar organisations attended the ceremony. (Hindu 21.2.03)

23rd Feb
Dharam Sansad plans agitation for Ram temple.
NEW DELHI, FEB. 22. A nationwide agitation through 'dharnas' and 'satyagrahas' in support of. the
demand for the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya was announced at the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad-led Dharam Sansad here today where several 'sad-hus' and 'sants' directly attacked the Prime
Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, and his Government for using "Ram naam" (the name of Ram) to the hilt
for grabbing power but doing nothing to help construct the temple. On Friday, the VHP leader, Ashok
Singhal, had suggested at a press conference that something "dramatic" would be announced, which
could include a I programme        of   "self-immolation" by 'sadhus'. Instead, the resolution on Ram
Janmabhoo-mi adopted today was a damp I squib with the earlier suggestion of a "march on Parliament"
also censored out. (Hindu, 23-2-2003)

Brick by brick, the temple takes shape in VHP’s karsevakpuram. (8)
Ayodhya: The vermilion-smeared, saffron-clad kar sevaks, chanting 'Jai Sri Ram', are missing this time.
The VHP's piling up construction material in Ayodhya, instead. The design of the Ram temple it wants to
build is so elaborate and ambitious, that pre-fab sections are waiting to be assembled in Ayodhya even
before the Dharam Sansad takes a decision on the construction dates.However, in the event of a
go-ahead, it would take months to dig and lay the 16-20 feet-deep concrete foundation for raising a
platform before actually assembling the pieces. "It's not a 24 hour job we performed on December
6,1992, of demolishing the structure, the construction would take many years," admits a senior VHP
functionary. However, the VHP has a huge head start. In the past two months, several truck-loads of
carved stones and raw material have been dumped in two VHP workshops at Karsevakpuram in Ayodhya.
Fresh stacks of carved stones are piled up every week, leaving little room for fresh arrivals from four
workshops in Rajasthan. "We are ready with stones for the first floor of the proposed temple," claims
Annubhai Sompura. (Times of India, 23-2-2003)

Affidavit given to court on Bhojshala ‘false’: BJP
BHOPAL, FEB. 22. The Madhya Pradesh unit of the Bharatiya Janata Party has launched a frontal attack
on the Chief Minister, Digvijay Singh, on the two vexed issues of Bhojshala and cow slaughter. The State
BJP president, Kaiiash Joshi, today described the affidavit submitted before the High Court by the
Archaeological Survey of India in connection with Dhar's Bhojshala as "false." He, particularly, asserted
that Muslims should not be allowed to offer prayers inside the "temple premises." (Hindu, 23-2-2003)

24th Feb
VHP leaders shift focus to Parliament.
New Delhi, February 23 : IN A show of strength aimed at building pressure on the government and political
parties on Ayodhya, thousands of Hindu sants and religious heads will march to Parliament on Monday.
They will demand a Central legislation to facilitate the handing over of the Ram Janmbhoomi-Babri Masjid
complex to a VHP-sponsored temple trust. The march was decided upon at the two-day Dharam Sansad
of Hindu leaders, who had on Saturday announced countrywide mobilisation on the temple issue.
However; desfiite the aggressive posturing, it Is clear that the Hindu leaders realise they cannot go ahead
with the construction of the shrine till the court clears the transfer of the undisputed portion of the Ayodhya
land to them by the Centre. Hence they are restricting themselves to peaceful protests to avoid prejudicing
the court. Also, they have not announced a date for starting construction. (Hindustan Time, 24-2-2003)

VHP distributes translation of the Quran at dharma sansad. (8)
New Delhi, Feb. 23: A translated version of the holy Quran was distributed on the concluding day of the
VHP-backed dharam sansad here on Sunday but with a purpose. VHP mandarins worked overnight on
the book — The Meaning of the Glorious Quran: An Explanatory Translation by Mohammed Marmaduke
 Pickhall — to specifically mark with pen the portions in the text which they considered as "preaching
hatred against other communities." The book contains paragraphs which were marked with a pen to
highlight the "intolerance" of Islam. Both RSS and VHP leaders had been urging the Muslims to delete
portions from their scripture which "preach hatred against non-believers." Asked why the entire book was
distributed, a VHP functionary said "earlier when we used to distribute selected portions, people accused
us of misinterpretation and misquoting. So we decided to give the entire scripture while highlighting the
objectionable portions." (Asian Age, 24-2-2003)


25th Feb
Ayodhya takes over Parliament proceedings. (26)
New Delhi: The dharna Staged by the VHP sadhus and the "provocative" statements made by them at
the s two-day Dharam Sansad had its echo in both Houses of the Parliament on Monday. The Gongress
and the BJP leaders maintained a studied silence as their back-benchers clashed periodically during Zero
Hour in Kie Lok Sabha. While Congress deputy leader Shivraj Patil was seen signalling to the party MPs
that they refrain from raising the matter parliamentary affairs minister. Sushma Swaraj made a feeble
attempt to en sure that the issue did not figure in the House. Deputy PM Advani and leader of Opposition
Sonia Gandhi sat impassively through the hour-long drama. (Times of India, 25-2-2003)

 VHP wants undisputed land by March. (26)
New Delhi, February 24 : AS THOUSANDS of sadhus and religious heads staged a protest march to
Parliament on Monday, Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas chief Paramhans Ramchandra Das announced a March
deadline for the government to hand over the portion of the land acquired in Ayodhya which is not in
dispute. If the Centre failed to comply with his demand by March 25, the chief of the Ram Janma bhoomi
Mandir Trust said he would forcibly enter the undisputed land with hundreds of thousands of followers and
place carved temple stones there. Paramhans, who took even the VHP bosses by surprise with his
announcement, seems to be heading for another confrontation with the Centre on the temple issue. While
the VHP leadership, under pressure from the government and the RSS, has prevailed upon the Dharam
Sansad to tone down its agitation, it is apparently unable to contain Paramhans, who is known to act on
impulse. (Hindustan Times, 25-2-2003)

Mahatma to share space with Savarkar. (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 24. Capture the state apparatus and then use the symbolism of the state's institutions
to bestow legitimacy on most partisan personalities. Nothing better symbolises this method of re-writing
the past than the proposed unveiling of Veer Savarkar's portrait in the Central Hall of Parliament House.
The ceremony is scheduled for February 26. The man who was accused no. 7 in the Gandhi
assassination case will now share the honours with die Mahatma. The irony is that the President, A.PJ.
Abdul Kalam, has been persuaded to lend the dignity of his office for this re-inventing of Savarkar as a
national hero. As is customary on such occasions, the Publications Divisions will issue a booklet on
Savarkar, serenading him as an unalloyed patriot and freedom fighter. It would be interesting to see
whether any mention is made of Savarkar's mercy petition, dated November 14, 1913, to the British
authorities, pledging loyalty to the Raj. A press release from the Speaker's Office reads: "Savarkar's vision
of India was one in which all citizens would have equal rights and obligations irrespective of caste. (Hindu,
25-2-2003)

When the sants march in. (26)
The rhetoric is tamer, the threats seem blunter. They say the VHP is not on the rampage, as it so
raucously was, this time a year ago. But that is small consolation for those who helplessly watch the twists
and turns of the never-say-die 'Ayodhya issue'. The marching sants, holding aloft their tridents and
placards and threatening an Ayodhya (and/or Gujarat) in every village may have been prevented from
actually gheraoing Parliament on Monday, but there's little comfort to be had in that. The drama played out
during the dharamsansad in the country's capital culminating in the abortive gherao reinforces some very
depressing messages. Of a festering problem and a paralysed political leadership. Of an emotive national
issue virtually surrendered to the street Of debate drowned out by slogans. And yes, of Parliament under
siege.
(Indian Express, 25-2-2003)

 Demolish secularism now, says VHP. (26)
NEW DELHI, FEBRUARY 24 : THE VHP today mounted a counter-attack on its critics and gave a call to
Hindus to demolish one more structure — secularism — to pave the way for the construction of the Ram
Temple at Ayodhya. Parishad working president Ashok Singhal told sadhus on the third day of the Dharma
Sansad that construction of the temple of is not possible till secularists are in power. The Hindus he said,
can't expect any relief as long as nastiks (atheists) hold their sway and these nastiks are none other .than
secularists. "Therefore, in the first phase of our struggle for the restoration of the ancient glory of India, we
will have to root out this ideology. In the next phase, we will have to pre-empt a cultural invasion of the
country by the five most developed nations of the world," he said. (Indian Express, 25-2-2003)

RSS to finalise plan next week. (26)
Delhi: The RSS has endorsed the VHP's agitational programme on the Ayodhya issue, announced at the
latter's Dharam Sansad. However, the RSS protinidhi sabha at Nagpur will decide next week, whether to
"actively" join the campaign. RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav told TNN: "We are happy with the VHP's
decision. When our pratinidhi sabha meets from March 7-9, we will decide whether we will actively support
the VHP's campaign. In that case, all the Sangh outfits will join the agitation." The Sangh's determination
on the Ram Temple issue has not wavered, only its strategy has to do it step by step. Ram Madhav said
he focus would be on "educating" people that "there is Legal backing to the demand that the 'undisputed'
land be handed over to the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas so that those who oppose us on this can be
exposed”. (Times of India, 25-2-2003)

26th Feb
'Hitler of Hindutva' (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 25. Labelling the VHP leader, Pravin Togadia, as 'Hitler of Hindutva', the former Army
chief, Shankar Roy Choudhary, today demanded that Mr. Togadia and some others be arrested under the
POTA before they became a menace for the country such as Bhindranwale. Stating that the country could
face another jolt like that in Punjab in early 1980s when politicians propped up separatist leaders for
narrow political ends who later became uncontrollable, Gen. Choudhary warned in the Rajya Sabha that a
similar situation could arise if Mr. Togadia and others were allowed a free run. The naming of the VHP
leader evoked strong protests from the BJP benches, with the members saying that reference to his name
should be expunged. (The Hindu, 26-2-2003)

No place for Hindutva in deva bhoomi. (26)
As Himachal vots today, it’s bread-and-butter issues-and not religion or identity – which will be the
deciding factor, says Manini Chatterjee.REGARDLESS of who they vote for today, the people of Himaehal
Pradesh have already scored a victory—byensuring that bread and butter issues concerning the material
conditions of their lives prevail over emotive issues of religion and identity. This is particularly significant
because Himachal Pradesh (along with its Himalayan sibling Uttaranchal) forms a region that is steeped in
Hindu religiosity and piety. The Himalayas have been regarded as deva bhoomi the abode of Gods) since
ancient times and countless rishis and munis have made their home in nameless caves and ashrams
across this land. Famous temples dedicated to Shiva and the many incarnations of the Devi apart, the
landscape in both Himachal and Uttaranchal is dotted with shrines, with even the tiniest hamlet boasting of
at least one temple to call its own. It was perhaps the deeply religious nature of the Himachali people that
prompted Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee to raise the temple and cow slaughter issue in his first
election speech in the state. (Indian Express, 26-2-2003)

Parivar has a new agenda: illegal temples. (26)
SANCHI, FEBRUARY 25 : ONE of the two World Heritage Sites in Madhya Pradesh, Sanchi is
Buddhism's pride, its living centre for 1,500 years, beginning three centuries before Christ. Yet today it's
caught in a different matter of faith, witness to a standoff between the Centre and the Archeological survey
of India (ASI) over a Jain temple which has come up near the famed Sanchi stups. In an extraordinary
intervention, the Centre has told the ASI to lay off a Digambar Jain temple, built over the course of the last
decade within 100 metres of the Sanchi complex boundary wall. (Indian Express, 26-2-2003)
It's Sangh Vs civic body in Nagpur. (26)
NAGPUR, FEBRUARY 25 : IMMINENT polls are taking their toll on temples. Days after the Bhojshala
crisis eased out, a new one is brewing in Nagpur over the demolition of a temple by the civic authorities.
Suspected Sangh Parivar activists today attacked the office of the chairman of a local civic body, Nagpur
Improvement Trust (NIT), breaking his cabin door and damaging his official car over the razing of a
Hanuman temple in Omkar Nagar locality. NIT had demolished the temple a fortnight ago describing it as
an encroachment on public land. The issue attained political overtones with BJP MLA from South Nagpur
Mohan Mate on a fast-unto-death for the last nine. (Indian Express, 26-2-2003)

24th Feb
VHP demands death for cow killers. (26)
New Delhi, Feb. 23: The VHP's dharma sansad has demanded that the Centre immediately implement
the recommendations of the Guman Mal Lodha Commission on banning cow-slaughter and that the cow
be declared the national animal. "Under pressure from the Kanchi sankaracharya and other
dharmackaryas and concerned citizens, the Centre set up a national commission in August 2001. The
commission had as its members former Supreme Court judges and a former chief justice of a high court,"
said a resolution on banning cow-slaughter passed at the sansad. "The commission visited every state
and met citizens, sants, dharmacharyas and bureaucrats and based on the data , it gathered, it submitted
its report to the government. But, with deep regret, we have to inform the dharma sansad and crores of
Hindus that the government has put this report in cold storage," it said, The VHP urged the Centre to
make cow-slaughter a non-bailable offence that could incur life imprisonment and even a death sentence
and create a separate ministry to ensure protection to the animals. (Telegraph, 24-2-2003)

25th Feb
Govt loses Godhra voice & face. (26)
Ahmedabad, Feb. 24: A week after claiming that the Godhra case had been wrapped up, the Gujarat
government suffered a stunning blow in court today with the public prosecutor returning the government
brief. The development caps weeks of investigations and a raid on alleged "chief conspirator" Maulana
Hussain Umarji's house that yielded nothing incriminating. P.P. Panchal’s withdrawal, which forced
Gujarat High Court to postpone till March 5 hearing of the anti-terror case against the 123 accused,
follows loud proclamations by the government last week that investigators had pieced together the
conspiracy with the arrest of the cleric. Today, it seems that all the government wanted to do is get some
good press a week before the first anniversary of the torching of the Sabarmati Express that sparked the
bloodiest communal violence in recent memory. Arun Ojha, who will now argue for the government, say
she has not yet "applied his mind" to the case and so cannot say how he would pin down the "guilty".
(Telegraph, 25-2-2003)

27th Feb
Savarkar portrait unveiled. (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 26. Amid a raging controversy, the President, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, unveiled a portrait
of the Sangh ideologue, V. D. Savarkar, in the Central Hall of Parliament today, ignoring the Opposition's
plea to stay away from the function. The Opposition with the exception of the former Prime Minister,
Chandra Shekhar, and a Janata Dal (S) member boycotted the function. A notable absentee was the
Deputy Speaker of the Lok Sabha, P. M. Sayeed, who responded to the Congress' call for boycott while
the Rajya Sabha Deputy Chairperson, Najma Heptulla, attended the function. Dr. Kalam who had been
requested by the Opposition to reconsider his decision to attend the function given Savar-kar's "dubious
role in Indian history" was ushered into the Central Hall to a song penned by Savarkar. The National
Anthem was not played. Lok Sabha officials explained that it was mandatory only when the President
arrived in a ceremonial procession. As the President unveiled the portrait, BJP and Shiv Sena MPs and
their supporters shouted "Swatantryaveer Savarkar Amar Rahe" and kept up the sloganeering right
through the brief function. (The Hindu, 27-2-2003)

BJP reigns and RSS governs. (26)
IS IT seditious or would it amount to an offence at all to write about large-scale killings of Sikh
community members in and around Delhi immediately after the assassination of Indira Gandhi? Is it
seditious or would it amount to an offence or misdemeanour at all to write about the large-scale
manslaughter in Gujarat? These genocides will not only be recorded but will also be written about for a
long time to come. Writing about these episodes is part of freedom of speech and expression. In fact, the
major part of writers' free speech and expression is to write about these injustices. And, by writing, to
transmit the poignancy and trauma experienced by the victims; to educate the people about the injustices
heaped upon the victims and thereby strengthen their resolve to oppose these practices. This, the writers
have the unquestioned right to do. Atrocities cannot be glossed over as unfortunate, anonymous law and
order problems, by portraying them as undetectable, by their very nature. Nor can routine prosecutions
ending in expected acquittals a decade after be considered rendering of justice. The killers of Indira
Gandhi and the former Army chief, A. S. Vaidya, were all apprehended, tried and hanged according to the
rule of law. (The Hindu, 27-2-2003)

Godhra victims’ kin cheated by VHP. (26)
Ahmedabad, Feb. 26: They watched the Vishwa Hindu Parishad rake up hate over the death of their kin in
a tragic train burning in Godhra that lit the spark of communal violence across Gujarat. And then they
watched the VHP heartlessly dump their cause. Anger at the VHP is running high among the relatives of
the victims a year after the burning of the Ahmedabad-bound Sabarmati Express left 59 people dead in
Godhra, a town 150 km from here, on February 27 last year. Many of those who perished were supporters
of the VHP and were travelling back from Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh. "VHP has cheated us in the name of
Lord Ram," wailed Girishchandra Rawal, an 80-year-old resident of the Janata Nagar Housing Society in
Ahmedabad's Ramol neighbourhood who lost his wife Sudha and son Ashwin respectively in the Godhra
carnage and the violence that followed. "Though my son was the head of the VHP branch in Janata Nagar
and was killed in the post-Godhra violence, VHP leaders paid a visit to our area only after violence
subsided bitter Rawal said. (Asian Age, 27-2-2003)

28th Feb
Centre agrees to Hindu prayers at Bhojshala. (26)
NEW DELHI, FEB. 27. Charting a course that does not deviate too much from the Madhya Pradesh
Government's recommendation 'while keeping in mind the BJP demand, the Union Culture Ministry has
decided to allow Hindus to offer prayers at the Bhojshala in Dhar from dawn to dusk on Tuesdays. A
suggestion to this effect was sent to the Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister, Digvijay Sangh, by the Union
Culture Minister, Jagmohan, on Wednesday in response to a formal request received over the weekend,
suggesting that Hindus be allowed to offer prayers on the premises for two hours every Tuesday.
However, with the BJP and the Hindu Jagran Manch insisting that Hindus be allowed to offer prayers on all
days, the Culture Ministry decided to give in to this demand partially by expanding the scope of the State
Government's suggestion. The president of BJP's Madhya Pradesh unit, Uma Bharti, met Mr. Jagmohan
in this connection on Wednesday. Should the Culture Ministry's proposal get the approval of the State
Government, Hindus will now be allowed to offer prayers from sunrise to sunset on Tuesdays while the
monument will be open for sight-seeing on all days as per the rules of the Archaeological Survey of India
(ASI). (The Hindu, 28-2-2003


2nd March
Togadia’s ultimatum on three shrines. (26)
Bhadohi (UP) : The VHP on Saturday said it would be “forced to demand the restoration of lover 30,000
temples destroyed in the past” if the government failed to hand over the three shrines in Ayodhya, Kashi
and Mathura by enacting a legislation. “Every village in the country will be turned into an Ayodhya if the
government fails to restore the owner ship of the three main shrines to Hindus by enacting a law”, VHP
general secretary Pravin Bhai Togadia said. (Times of India, 2-3-2003)

4th March
Islamic Council okays worship by Hindus on undisputed site. (26))
WITH TWO days to go before the Supreme Court takes up the crucial hearing on the Ayodhya issue,
deep cracks have appeared between Muslim organisations. The Islamic Council of India, an umbrella
body of Muslin clerics, has urged Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to allow Hindus to begin religious
activities on the undisputed land at the Ramjanmabhoomi site in Ayodhya. Council Chairman Kari
Muhammad Mian Majhari and a host of other Muslim clerics, including Maulana Ghulam Abdiil Qadir Alvi
from Uttar Pradesh, Maulana Fazle Haq Qadri of Rajasthan, Maulana Usman Gani, Qari Abdul Hassan
Qadri and Maulana Zahid Raja Qadri, have fully endorsed the Centre's move seeking an early disposal of
the case in the Supreme Court and lifting of ban on any religious activities at the acquired site in Ayodhya.
(Pioneer, 4-3-2003)

5th March
RSS likens Bhojshala to Ayodhya. (26)
New Delhi, March 4: "Bhojshala mein utha toofan, jag raha hai Hindusthan,” is the BJP and the Sangh
Parivar’s mantra for the forthcoming Assembly election in Madhya Pradesh. After complete rout in
Himachal Pradesh, the B JP and the Sangh Parivar, particularly the VHP and the RSS, are all set to
transform Bhojshala shrine into a "second Ayodhya" to consolidate the Hindu vote-bank in Madhya
Pradesh. (Asian Age, 5-3-2003)

Pressure to withdraw charity status of RSS, HSS in U.K. (26)
LONDON, MARCH. 4 : Britain's Charity Commission is under renewed pressure to withdraw the charity
status of the U.K. unit of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh, which have
been accused of diverting charitable donations to fund sectarian violence in India. A group of
cross-community social activists from a number of London-based south Asian organisations held a
candle-light vigil outside the offices of the Commission here on Monday evening and later gave a petition
demanding immediate action. The Commission, which is investigating complaints of misuse of funds by
these two organisations, has said that so far it has not established "sufficient evidence" to warrant a formal
inquiry into the affairs of the VHP but it is keeping its activities "under review" and would welcome any
information that might help. The files on VHP would be kept open "pending receipt of any further
information". It has also not ruled out a visit to Gujarat to investigate the allegations. In their petition, the
protestors said that while the inquiry dragged on, money continued to "pour in from unsuspecting donors
in Britain to Hindutva groups in the guise of charity". (The Hindu, 5-3-2003)


6th March
Digvijay drags feet over Bhojshala. (26)
Bhopal, March 5: Madhya Pradesh chief minister Digvijay Singh is continuing to drag his feet over opening
the doors of the Bhojshala for Hindu worshippers despite the implicit go-ahead given by Union minister for
tourism and culture Jagmohan. The general impression in local political circles is that the CM's
procrastination on the matter was apparent from his reply to BJP MP Uma Bharati's letter requesting him
to let Hindus enter the premises without any further delay. In his speciously-worded rejoinder, Mr Singh
claimed that Mr Jagmohan's letter dated February 26 contained no clear directive to the state government
that the Bhojshala be opened when in reality nothing could be further from the truth. Mr Jagmohan's letter
(the second in this connection after the February 13 missive) clarifies the stand of the Archaeological '
Society of India (on whose jurisdiction the MP government had initially put much faith) and the ministry of
culture point by point. (Asian Age, 6-3-2003)

SC to hear Ayodhya case today. (26)
New Delhi: Though hardly affected by the Supreme Court's March 13,2002 order that banned any religious
or symbolic activity in the undisputed 67 acres of acquired land adjacent to the Babri mosque and Ram
temple structure in Ayodhya, the Centre may plead before the court on Thursday for vacating that order. A
five judge Bench headed by Justice S Rajendra Babu will hear the Centre's application for vacating the
stay and also another important petition which seeks continuation of that order since the situation has not
changed. Besides Justice Rajendra Babu, other judges on the Bench are: Justices S S M Quadri, M B
Shah, Santosh H Hegde and Doraiswamy Raju. (Times of India, 6-3-2003)

Govt plea in SG could take a knocking (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 5 : THOUGH the Allahabad High Court's order to excavate the disputed site in
Ayodhya has been welcomed by the BJP, it is likely to have an adverse effect tomorrow on the
Government's application before the Supreme Court to vacate the status quo order on the 67-acre
undisputed land. A five-judge Constitution Bench, which will hear all parties on the Govern-
ment's application filed last month, may be less willing than before to change the position of the
undisputed land in view of today's development in the high court. This is because the excavation order
passed by the high court has greatly enhanced the possibility of expediting the disposal of the
five-decade-old title suits which will determine the fate of the 0.33 acre disputed site on which the Babri
Masjid once stood. (Indian Express, 6-3-2003)

There's structure beneath: Survey firm (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 5 : TOJO Vikas International Pvt Ltd, the Delhi based geological survey company
which was tasked by the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to study the disputed Ayodhya site, today
confirmed that that they had reported an underground structure. Company sources told The Indian
Express that anomalies found underneath the site were connected, indicating that these were not boulders
or rocks but a structure. The findings were submitted to the AS! last month. Labouring through the better
half of January this year, the company used state-of-the-art Ground Penetrating Radars for underground
mapping of the site. The radar sends out electromagnetic waves to study soil layers. The data provided by
the radars is capable of distinguishing between large boulders, rocks and structures buried underground.
(Indian Express, 6-3-2003)

Ayodhya case in top gear, HC asks for excavation. (26)
LUCKNOW/NEW DELHI, MARCH 5 : IN a significant development in the Ayod- hya case, the Allahabad
High Court today ordered the Archeological Survey of India (ASI) to undertake excavation of the disputed
site within a week and complete the process within a month to ascertain whether a temple existed at the
place where the Babri Masjid was built. A three-judge bench of the Lucknow bench of the High Court,
hearing the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit, asked the ASI to start the excavation work within a
week and apprise it of the progress on March 24. The court order came a day before a crucial hearing in
the Supreme Court on whether the undisputed land should be handed back to its "rightful owners" after
making provision for access to the disputed area. Reacting cautiously to the court order, Opposition
parties and some allies of the BJP said it should be accepted by all. (Indian Express, 6-3-2003

7th March
Divide deep over digging site. (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 6 : EXPERTS fear the Allahabad High Court order to excavate the disputed site in
Ayodhya within seven days to determine whether a temple structure preceded the mosque, may open up
a of the civilization, deposits of habitations dating back to 2,500 years can possibly be found anywhere in
the upper and lower Gangetic plains. A host of archaeologists and historians responded to our poser on
how far we can go on digging the past and whether archaeology can provide final answer to the Ayodhya
dispute. (Indian Express, 7-3-2003)

8th March
RSS takes to Ayodhya again. (26)
NEW DHLHI, March 7. — The RSS today declared that it would focus again on the Ayodhya temple
movenient. "It appears that the time is fast approaching for us to once again become active in the Mandir
movement," RSS general secretaiy Mr. Mohan Bhagwat told the organisation's Pratinidhi Sabha (annual
general meeting) in Nagpur. A copy of his speech was released here as well. While presenting the
organisation’s annual report, Mr. Bhagwat stressed that the Ayodhya could not be allowed to remain in
uncertainty — a solution should , be found soon keeping the sentiments of the Hindus in mind". He
appreciated the government's efforts, but slammed the forces trying "to create hurdles to the movement
flaunting arguments rejected by the people long back". (Statesman, 8-3-2003)

12th March
General survey first, then excavation. (26)
Lucknow: The Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High Court on Tuesday ordered a general survey of the
site and layout of the trenches at the disputed land in Ayodhya before the commencement of the
excavation work on Wednesday The court also said the survey, if already done, shall be done again in the
presence of the contesting parties, their counsel or nominees. Officer on special duty Narendra Prasad,
(the commissioner appointed by the special full Bench of the high court hearing Ayodhya matters) issued
these instructions to the commissioner, Faizabad division, director, Archaeological Survey of India (ASI),
and leader of the ASI excavation team, and asked them to submit periodical progress reports to the high
court. He barred them from making any briefing or disclosure to the media. The excavation had been put
off by a day following objections from one of the claimants to the disputed land. The instructions were
issued as per the direction of the special full Bench in relation to the earlier orders passed by the Bench on
March 5 in original suit no.4 of 1989 filed by the Sunni Central Waqf Board. (Times of India, 12-3-2003)

Digging after new survey, rules HC. (26)
Ayodhya, March 11 : IF ALL goes well the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) will on Wednesday begin
excavation at the disputed site in Ayodhya. Work will start after a fresh survey, to be conducted in the
presence of the parties to the Babri Masjid-RamJanmabhoomi dispute. A fresh survey has been
necessitated by a fresh set of guidelines issued by the Allahabad High Court. In accordance with the
guidelines the survey and marking will begin at 10 a.m. A 14-member ASI team will carry out the
excavation with the help of 52 workmen. Special security cards have been issued to the workmen. The
ASI has requested the district administration to provide a crane because some material at the disputed
site may have to be removed. Specific directions have been issued to ensure ASI personnel and district
officials do not talk to the media about the excavations. (Hindustan Times, 12-3-2003)

13th March
Excavation begins amid tight security. (26)
FAIZABAD, MARCH 12. Excavation work began a little after noon today near the disputed
Ram-janmabhoomi Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya as directed by the Lucknow Bench of the Allahabad High
Court to see whether or not a temple had existed where the mosque was built by Mughal King Babar later.
A team of the Archaeological Survey of India, which has been asked ,'to. Conduct the excavation, first
marked the sports to be dug up in the presence of repre- sentatives of the litigants and the local
administration. An area measuring four by four metre has been selected for digging four trenches. The
area lies in the vicinity of Ram Chabutara in front of the makeshift temple constructed after the demolition
of the Babri Masjid on December 6,1992. (Hindu, 13-3-2003)

Imitation Hindutva.
Many Political Shades of Saffron. In Indian politics the obsession with the obvious is so pervasive that
'small' events are rarely perceived for their larger import. Inevitably the processes they signify are ignored
until the trend overwhelms society Elections 6fe ho exception as borne out by the indifference to the
electoral pickings of, for example, the Bahujan Samaj Party or Tamil Nadu's Pattali Makkal Katchi during
their early days. Only when they arrived, years later, as a political force on the 'national scene' did they
merit analysis and study. (Times of India, 13-3-2003)

Cow slaughter banned in most Cong-ruled states.
New Delhi: The Congress on Wednesday pointed out that most of the states governed by the party have
legislations in place against cow slaughter and that the BJP should bring in such a law in Nagaland, where
it is a partner in the new government. Party spokesman Jaipal Reddy explained that the Congress was
only opposing the statutory resolution on cow slaughter on procedural grounds in the Lok Sabha on
Tuesday because cow slaughter is not a Central subject.
Reddy refused to announce his party's stand on the issue saying that the BJP should first get the
proposed Central legislation approved by the NBA partners and then approach the Opposition, and not
through the media, as it is doing now. On the controversy over the voters' list in Madhya Pradesh, Reddy
said that the list was not even final and that if there was any dereliction of duty on the part of the district
collectors, as pointed out by the Election Commission, then the issue should be settled between the EC
and the state government. (Times of India, 13-3-2003)

14TH MARCH
Ayodhya excavation order challenged. (26)
Ayodhya/ New Delhi, March 13 : THE ALLAHABAD High Court's directive to the Archaeological Survey of
India (ASI) to excavate the disputed site in Ayodhya has been challenged in the Supreme Court. The high
court had on March 5 asked the ASI to determine whether a temple existed at the spot where the
demolished Babri Masjid stood. The petition, filed by Naved Yarkhan, said the directive to excavate was in
violation of the Supreme Court order which required that status quo be maintained at the disputed site till
the disposal of the various suits claiming ownership of the 2.77 acres of the disputed site. As the
excavation progresses and VHP and RSS activists stream into Ayodhya, security is being tightened at the
disputed complex and at other important temples. The VHP, it appears, is keen to use the occasion to
activate its cadre and shift the focus on Ayodhya. The VHP hopes to drive home the point that digging
would unearth evidence that a Ram temple existed there. (Hindustan Times, 14-3-2003)

Day 2: Slow on dig, high on RSS slogans.
AYODHYA, MARCH 13 : EVEN as excavation work to determine whether a temple existed beneath the
demolished structure in Ayodhya continued at a snail's pace today, scores of Sangh Parivar activists
shouted pro-temple slogans at the complex. Nearly 100 RSS activists had descended at Kar-sewakpuram
the epicentre of the VHP's activities here last night. They took out a cycle rally to the disputed shrine this
morning, shouting slogans such as "mandir wahin banayenge (we will build the temple at the disputed
site)”. They later went for a darshan of Ram lalla. "They had not come as part of any special campaign '
since their programme was predetermined. They also went on a darshan of other temples," said VHP
secretary Ramphal Singh who arrived at Karsewakpuram this morning. (Indian Express, 14-3-2003)

MCD to ban 'Shakhas’ in parks.
NEW DELHI, MARCH 33. The Delhi Mayor, Jaishree Panwar, today announced that the Congress-ruled
Municipal Corporation of Delhi would not permit holding., of "Shakhas" in MCD parks as these were being
used by, the' Rashtriya Swyam-sevak Sangh leaders to flare communal passions in society. Said to be
basic unit of the RSS, Shakhas are mostly held in municipal parks and open spaces where members
meet daily for an hour either in the morning or evening. About 20,000 RSS swyamsevaks (volunteers)
attend more than 1,500 Shakhas in the Capital, a significant majority of which are held in the MCD parks.
Though the Mayor did not elaborate on how she would ensure that RSS swyamsevaks do not gather in
MCD parks, her announcement is expected to trigger political tension in the Cap-ital between the ruling
Congress and the Opposition BJP The residents claimed that the swyamsevaks dig up park for erecting
the "bhag-wa dhwaj (saffron flag)". (Hindu, 14-3-2003)

Cong is flattering BJP by hoisting Hindutva flag. (26)
WHEN politicians seek to imitate their rivals, they flatter by action. To this category must be relegated
Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister and Gongress leader Digvijay Singh. He has not only cast himself as the
champion of the holy cow but also made it known his daily potion includes a bit of the cow's urine. The
way Congressmen are falling over one another to appear as Hindutva devotees should make the BJP
leaders "fear for their future". Digvijay has also emerged as the protector of temples. He is greatly
concerned that someone else occupies a piece of land that, according to him, belongs to the Mahakal
Temple at Ujjain. The bluff, however was called when a Hindu organisation asked him to open the
Bhojshala for Hindu worship just as the mosque in it constructed by razing the temple, was q>en to
Muslims. The result: some people had to die before Digvijay conceded to the demand. (Indian Express,
14-3-2003)

BJP’s Hindutva a political gambit not real Hinduism. (26)
THE pluralistic character of the Indian society and the principles espoused by the founding fathers of our
Constitution have been put to severe test by the brazen propaganda of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak
Sangh (RSS) and its affiliate organisations with the aim of foisting its communal agenda. In a democracy,
the ideology of apolitical party must reflect the aspirations of the citizens and remain confined to economic
and social issues mat concern the mass of the society. 'It is imperative that any party known for its
philosophy of tolerance and compassion, than to portray it as bigoted. (Indian Express, 14-3-2003)

16th March
Sangh in spot on swadeshi silence (26)
New Delhi, March 15: The RSS was today strapped for an explanation on why its recent Akhil Bharatiya
Pratinidhi Sabha steered clear of the usual economic resolution, which is high on "swadeshi" and critical of
liberalisation. Asked at a press conference on the lack of emphasis on swadeshi, spokesman Ram
Madhav said: "We had a resolution on agriculture which mentioned swadeshi." The resolution in question
was swadeshi only to the extent of attacking genetically modified food and harping on indigenous
research. But in no way did it clash with the BJP-led government's policies. Sangh sources conceded that
articulating views on economics was "far trickier" than speaking on Ayodhya and cow-slaughter. "At the
end of the day, the entire parivar, including the BJP, thinks alike on the last two issues whereas on
economics our house is divided," they said. "A resolution on economic policies would not only be difficult
to phrase but tougher to pass because of the conflicting interests in our ranks." (Telegraph 16.3.03)

17th March
'Let people decide on Ayodhya issue' (26)
AYODHYA, MARCH 16. The ex-Prince of the Ayodhya estate, Raja Bimlendra Mohan Pratap Mishra, who
placed a key role in toning dowitth0 much-hyped 'Shiladaan' last year, firmly believes that the vexed issue
could be resolved amicably forever if left to the people of the temple town. The low-profile 47-year-old
Prince, popularly known as Pappu Bhayya' and 'Raja Saheb', said:
'if left to the Muslims and Hindus of Ayodhya and Faizabad, the issue would be settled in no time. He,
however, believes it was high time that the temple was allowed to be built at the 'undisputed' site as the
"people of Ayodhya are the worst sufferers". (The Hindu, 17-3-2003)

Mayor's move on RSS Shakhas hailed. (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 16. The daring announcement of the Mayor, Jaishree Panwar, last week that
Shakhas of the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh would not be permitted in municipal parks has elevated her
public stature among, the minorities and women in particular. Ms. Panwar, who had made an
announcement in this regard last week after her visit to parks in-'North-West,Delhi wherein people alleged
that women, children and minorities were afraid of going to parks where Shakhas were held, has been
receiving large number of congratulatory calls not only from Delhiites, but also from people in various parts
of the country. "Such a step should have been taken much earlier. People in particular women, are afraid
of visiting parks where RSS Shakhas are held because of the "lathi" wielding swyamsevaks," is the
general comment made by the public. "You have done a commendable job in taking such a decision. It is
the right time that fascists forces are shown the door and they are not allowed to use public space for
furthering their communal agenda and spread venom in a society,” was one of the fax messages received
by the Mayor from Gujarat. (The Hindu, 17-3-2003)

18TH March
Bajrang Dal activists attack Andhra Bhavan (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 17. Nearly 50 Bajrang Dal activists attacked Andhra Bhavan on Ashoka Road here
this evening damaging a few vehicles and windowpanes by hurling stones and flowerpots and creating a
commotion for a few minutes. They were protesting against the preventive arrest of the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad general secretary, Praveen Togadia, in Andhra Pradesh earlier today. The Bajrang Dal activists
caught the entire Andhra Pradesh Bhavan employees off guard as they gathered near the roundabout and
marched towards the building. Though the guard stationed there had closed the gate, one of the hooligans
scaled the wall and opened the gate. Then the entire group barged into the premises and started
damaging vehicles and smashing windowpanes. They also manhandled the guard. (Hindu 18.3.03)

Agitation planned to claim undisputed site (26)
LUCKNOW, MARCH 17. Whether or not the excavations being carried out in Ayodhya by the
Archaeological Survey of India bring out enough evidence to settle temple mosque dispute, the exercise
has given an occasion to all parties to the dispute to project the developments to suit their own interests.
While the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has started building up passions in favour of its demand for transfer of
the undisputed land near the disputed site, the Muslim organisations have expressed scepticism over the
manner in which the excavations are being conducted. (Hindu 18.3.03)

Centre sticks to decision on Bhojshala (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 17. The Centre has decided to stick to its decision to allow Hindus to offer prayers
at the Bhojshala in Dhar from dawn to dusk on Tuesdays as against the Madhya Pradesh Government's
recommendation permitting worship in the temple for only two hours. . r Billing the February 26 suggestion
of the Culture Ministry that Hindus be allowed to worship with small offerings throughout the day on
Tuesday as the "best solution to the problem , the Director-General of the Archaeological Survey of India,
Gauri Chatterji, wrote to the Home Secretary of Madhya Pradesh on March 14 reiterating the same.
(Hindu 18.3.03)
19th March
Nagas eat beef, so CM won’t ban slaughter (26)
New Delhi: The BJP may be in favour of totally banning cow slaughter but the coalition government of
which it is a part in Nagaland is not interested. Nagaland CM Neiphiu Rio told The Times of India on
Tuesday that his administration would oppose any move by the Centre to in-troduce a law banning cow
slaughter. "We Nagas are a beef-eating people. How can we support such a ban? We traditionally breed
cattle and deal in that trade," Rio said. Asked what the state government's stand would be were the Centre
to bring such a law, Rio "How can they bring such a law. We are a secular country comprising people
belonging to different religious and cultural mi-lieus." He then added, "What if the government proposes to
ban chicken eating? Would it be ac-cepted?" (Times of India 19.3.03)

21st March
PM, RSS leaders discuss key issues (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 20. The possible fallout of the Supreme Court judgment in the Ayodhya matter, and
other issues of "national importance" were discussed at a meeting today between the Prime Minister, Atal
Behari Vajpayee, and a group of top RSS leaders, which included the RSS chief, Sarsanghchalak, K.S.
Sudershan. The Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, the BJP president, Ven-kaiah Naidu, and RSS
leaders, H.V. Seshadiri, Mohan Bhagwat and Madan Das Devi, were also present. Later, Mr. Naidu said
that Kashmir, the northeast insurgency, the Bangladesh influx as also the United States-led attack on Iraq
were discussed. Mr. Naidu said the RSS leaders greeted Mr. Vajpayee on successful completion of five
years in office and wished him for Holi. (Hindu 21.3.03)

22nd March
Togadia to market Hindutva in UP (26)
Lucknow, March 21: Firebrand VHP leader Parveen Togadia will start marketing his brand of aggressive
Hindutva in Uttar Pradesh from Saturday. Mr Togadia is arriving here on a four-day tour of Uttar Pradesh
during which he will hold the controversial trishul-diksha programmes in seven districts including Hardoi,
Lucknow, Bahraich, Gonda, Gorakhpur, Padrauna and Allahabad. The trishul-diksha programme is
essentially the initiation of the youth into the Hindutva mainstream. Each participant pledges to fight for the
religion and is given a 10-inch trident, a weapon that symbolizes his fight against anti-religious elements.
(Asian Age 22.3.03)

Place Togadia’s speech on record, HC tells petitioner (26)
New Delhi: DELHI HIGH Court has asked a petitioner seeking to file a FIR against Vishwa Hindu Parishad
leaders, including its international general secretary Pravin Togadia, for making inflammatory speeches, to
place on record by March 25 extracts from the speeches which allegedly vitiated communal harmony. A
Division Bench, comprising Justice Dalveer Bhandhari and Justice S K Aggarwal, on Friday asked Kainran
Siddiqui to place on record by next Tuesday the alleged impugned utterances of Mr Togadia and other
VHP leaders during the three-day Dharma Sansad, held in the Capital from February 22. The petitioner
claimed that the VHP leaders had said they would not abide by the Supreme Court's verdict if it went
against their interest, and that they were ready to spill blood and wage war for the sake of religion. (Asian
Age 22.3.03)

23rd March
Togadia calls for ban on Deoband (26)
Lucknow, March 22: The VHP has demanded a ban on the Darul-Uloom Deoband on the grounds that the
institution has emerged as a factory for terrorists. VHP international general secretary Praveen Togadia
said international terrorists like Osama bin Laden, Maulana Masood Azhar and Maulvi Omar (accused in
the Godhra incident) and Pakistan President Gen. Pervez Musharraf were all products of the Deoband
institution and all of them had been relentlessly waging war against India and Hindus in particular. Terming
the Taliban as an international version of Deoband, the VHP leader said that a ban on Deoband was a
master key for ensuring security and harmony between Hindus and Muslims in the country. (Asian Age
23.3.03)

26th March
Satyagraha programme by VHP starts tomorrow (26)
New Delhi, March 25: As part of its campaign to get the undisputed land in Ayodhya, the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad will undertake a peaceful "satyagraha" programme in Delhi from March 27. RSS swayamsevaks
are also expected to participate in the satyagraha. Declaring this, VHP leader Acharya Giriraj Kishore said
the satyagraha was in protest of the government's failure in handing over the undisputed plot of land to the
Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas. The VHP expects to gather over 30,000 of its activists for the week-long
satyagraha. The outfit will also organise protest rallies. The programme will be marked by the
uninterrupted chanting of prayers. Mr Kishore, however, refused to comment on the role of the Kanchi
Shankaracharya, saying: "Let him do what he wants. (Asian Age 26.3.03)

MP takes Bhojshala to ASI (26)
Bhopal: Circumventing the Centre, the Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday shot off a letter to the
director-general Archeological Survey of India (ASI) asking the department to issue direct orders regarding
Bhojshala. On Friday, the state government had received a letter from the ASI which said that the Centre's
February 26 recommendations for the entry of Hindus into Bhojshala may be implemented by the state
after considering the law and order situation. In reply, the Digvijay Singh government has written to the ASI
asking for "orders" whether or not to open Bhojshala for Hindus. (Times of India 26.3.03)

27th March
Hindu festivals to be Hindutva Diwas for Sena (26)
MUMBA1, MARCH 25: IN ITS single-minded pursuit to paint everything saffron and prove that their brand
of saffron is stronger than anyone else's, the Shiv Sena has now decided to celebrate all Hindu festivals
as 'Hindutva Diwas'. The Maharashtrian New Year, Gudi Padva on April 2, will be the first Hindutva Diwas
on the Sena's calendar. Consequently, the South Mumbai vibhag will be the first unit of the party to
implement Sena chief Bal Thackeray's orders in toto. After castigating the youth for adopting Western
culture at the cost of Hindu traditions, the South Mumbai vibhag pramukh announced on Tuesday that this
is an attempt to wean the youth away from "Western influences". After Gudi Padva, every Hindu festival
will be celebrated in pomp and splendour with the youth participating in large numbers. (Indian Express
27.3.03)

28th March
Togadia moots a Hindu Army (26)
Bhopal, March 27: The killing of former Gujarat home minister Haren Pandya and the heinous
massacre of Kashmiri pandits in J&K have convinced Vishwa Hindu Parishad' s Pravin Bhai Togadia that
raising a private army of Hindus armed with AK-47s has now become necessary to save Hindus form the
depredations of the Islamic "jihadis" and other assorted terrorists. In a hard-hitting speech on Wednesday
in the course of a VHP-sponsored "dharna" to protest against the continued and "wrongful" incarceration
'of Acharya Dharmendra by the Digvijay Singh regime, Mr Togadia warned Prime '. Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee that an invasion of Pakistan was the compelling need of the hour to protect the Hindus from the
worst. (Asian Age 28.3.03)

RSS line on Iraq upsets Govt (26)
New Delhi: The Vajpayee government's carefully calibrated policy on Iraq appears to have drawn indirect
opposition from the RSS. While critical of the US, RSS chief K Sudershan's remarks at an internal
discussion indicated that he would prefer that India is not seen supporting Iraq. This is because it would
upset the RSS' endorsement of the "clash of civilisations" theory and weaken its Pakistan line. An editorial
in a forthcoming issue of RSS mouth piece The Organiser appears to be hinting at this. While it talks of
the "isolation of the US, refers to the way it has supported rogue regimes encouraged them and then
attempted to civilize them. (Times of India 28.3.03)

Cow slaughter ban: Legal experts call BJP’s bluff (26)
Guwahati, March 27 : DOES THE law prohibit cow slaughter in Assam? The BJP claims so, citing a
50-year-old Act. But legal experts think otherwise. Encouraged by an "overwhelming response" to its
14-day Janajagaran Yatra that began on Tuesday, the BJP has been distributing pamphlets highlighting
the Assam Cattle Preservation Act of 1950. The BJP has accused successive governments of feigning
ignorance just to appease beef-eating communities. Legal experts disagree with the BJP. The Cattle
Preservation Act does not ban the slaughter of cow, rather it "provides for the preservation of certain cattle
by controlling the slaughter thereof. There is no legal provision in the state prohibiting cow slaughter
totally, Minister of State for Finance Nilamani Sen Deka also a leading advocate, told the Hindustan
Times. (Hindustan Times 28.3.03)

29th March
SC notice to Advani others on Ayodhya issue (26)
NEW DELHI, March 28. — The Supreme Court today issued notices to Deputy Prime Minister Mr L K
Advani, Human Resource Development minister Mr Murli Monohar Joshi, CBI and 33 others on a petition
seeking review of the Court's earlier order allowing transfer of the trial proceedings in Ayodhya demolition
case from Lucknow to a Rae Bareilly Court. A Bench comprising Justice S Rajendra Babu, Justice K G
Balakrishnan and Justice Arun Kumar issued the notices on a petition filed by Mohd. Aslam alias
Bhure seeking review of the 'apex Court's 29 November, 2002 order upholding the Uttar Pradesh
Government notification for transfer of the trial. (Statesman 29.3.03)

30th March
Parivar now has plans for Buddhists (26)
NEW DELHI I MARCH 29: THE Sangh Parivar's "expansion plan has a new target — the Buddhists. The
RSS has launched a campaign to "reach out to four crore Buddhists inhabiting the length and breadth of
Himalayas, 1.25 crore of them in India — from Ladakh to Arunachal Pradesh." Though launched two
years ago, the Himalaya Parivar drive reaches a landmark with the First Parliament of Himalayan Culture
at the Chandiwala Trust complex at Kalkaji, New Delhi, on April 19 and 20. (Indian Express 30.3.03)

31st March
Sangh Parivar activists sants court arrest (26)
NEW DELHI, MARCH 30. Thousands of Sangh Pariwar activists and "sants" courted arrest on the fourth
day of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's week-long satyagrah" in the Capital today even as the VHP president,
Ashok Singhal, announced that the movement would continue till a law is passed in Parliament for
construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya The VHP leader said in the next phase of the campaign, a
signature drive would be launched seeking written assurances from Parliamentarians to press for a
legislation in Parliament for construction of a temple. The MPs from all political parties would be
approached in the forthcoming sessions of Parliament and persuaded to press for a legislation m
Parliament, he added (Hindu 31.3.03)

1st April

SC Rejects Centre’s plea to lift ban on religious activities
NEW DELHI, MARCH 31. The Supreme Court today dealt a severe blow to the Centre's efforts to hand
over the 67.703 acres of "undisputed land" to a trust or an organisation for construction of a Ram temple
in Ayodhya, by ordering that the "status quo" should be maintained till adjudication of the title suits by the
Allahabad High Court. A five-judge Constitution Bench, headed by Justice S. Rajendra Babu, rejected the
Union Government's application to vacate the ban imposed by the Court last year that no religious activity
of any kind would be permitted either on the 2.77 acres of "disputed land" or the "undisputed land". The
Bench, comprising Justices S.S.M. Quadri, M.B. Shah, N. Santosh Hegde and Dorais-wamy Raju, made-
it clear "that the order made by this Court on March 13/14, 2002 should be operative until disposal of the
suits in the Allahabad High Court not only to maintain communal harmony, but also to fulfil the other
objectives of the (1993 Acquisition) Act". (Hindu 1.4.03)

3rd April
Legislate or face agitation: Togadia (26)
NEW DELHI, APRIL 2. A resolution of the Ram temple issue will now be possible only through legislation
by Parliament or via an agitation, which could lead to a civil war or "anarchy" in the country, according to
the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Pravin Togadia. Addressing a press conference here today, Mr.
Togadia said that the Bharatiya Janata Parry-led National Democratic Alliance Government could try to
get a bill passed on Ayodhya during the monsoon session this year. "Parties will either support it and it will
be passed, or the Vajpayee Government could fall," he said, paving the way for a mid-term general
election. Announcing that the second and next phase of its Ayodhya agitation would involve "people from
every village in the country", he said that its exact shape would be decided after a meeting of the Ram
Mandir Uch Adhikar Samiti in Ayodhya on April 29 and 30. (Hindu 3.4.03)

7th April
Temple, mosque can coexist at the disputed site. (26)
New Delhi : If the law is to be upheld despite hurdles created by some religious fundamentalists, a Ram
temple and a mosque can co-exist at the disputed site in Ayodhya. The Supreme Court judgment in 1993
makes this amply clear. Another constitution Bench of Justices S Rajendra Babu, S S M Quadri, M B
Shah, N Santosh Hegde and Doraiswamy Raju also underlined the preamble to the Acquisition of Certain
Area at Ayodhya Act, 1993. It rejected the Centre's plea for lifting the March 2002 ban on utilising
undisputed acquired land for any activity . The preamble says:"It was considered necessary to acquire the
site of disputed structure and suitable adjacent land for setting up a complex which could be developed in
a planned manner wherein a Ram temple, a mosque... and other suitable facilities can be set up". (Hindu,
7-4-2003)

8th April
If Vajpayee is Ram, then Advani is Lakshman (26)
New Delhi, April 7: If Atal Behari Vajpayee is "Ram," L.K. Advani is "Lakshman." RSS sarsangchalak K.S.
Sudershan on Monday described the deputy prime minister's dedication to helping the Prime Minister
in the smooth functioning of the government as that of "Lakshman." Mr Sudershan was addressing a
function organised by the information and broadcasting ministry to release its publication on Hegdewar.
The function also saw Mr Vajpayee take a constant dig at the Opposition, particularly the Congress, for its
anti-RSS and anti-Netaji attitude. He recalled: "A long time ago, I attended a function where 1 spoke of
injustice meted out to Netjai Subhash Chandra Bose by the Congress and how he was banished from
the party. The function was being telecast. When I saw the recording, I found my statements on
Netaji censored." (Asian Age 8.4.03)

Sangh Parivar critics have twisted history: PM (26)
NEW DELHI, APRIL 7. The release of a Publications Division book on the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh
founder, Keshav Baliram Hedgewar, amid great fanfare here this evening proved to be an occasion for
launching a broadside on the critics of the Sangh Parivar. Leading the onslaught was the Prime Minister,
Atal Behari Vajpayee, himself who lamented the manner in which critics of the Sangh Parivar had "twisted"
history to their convenience to malign the cultural movement that was the RSS. Comparing the denial of
RSS luminaries their rightful place in history to the manner in which Subhas Chandra Bose's role in the
freedom struggle had been written off, he said great injustice had been done to many leaders who had
contributed in their own way to the freedom struggle. (Hindu 8.4.03)

9th April
Rajasthan bans trishul dikshas (26)
JAIPUR, APRIL 8.The Rajasthan Government today effected a ban on "trishul dikshas" (ceremonial
distribution of tridents) in the State by Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) by issuing a notification. Though
"trishul" as such is not mentioned, the order carried out under Section 4 of the Arms Act, 1959, refers to
"double or multi-bladed sharp or pointed weapons". There has apparently been no immediate provocation
for the ban, but it was in the offing for quite some time with the VHP and Bajrang Dal announcing a series
of "Trishul dikshas" in various parts of Rajasthan for the next six months or so. The carefully drafted order,
while avoiding the word "ban"- uses "regulation" instead- said in public interest the distribution, acquisition,
possession or carrying of the weapons was being regulated. The Government sources here indicated that
the religious sentiments were taken into consideration in the order by exempting religious institutions as
defined in Section 2 of the Religious Institutions (Prevention of Misuse) Act, 1988 and "in traditional
religious functions and religious procession where such weapon is customarily used". (Hindu 9.4.03)

10th April
Govt in dilemma over uniform civil code Bill (26)
New Delhi: A private member's Bill on uniform civil code — sponsored by an independent MP supported
by the BJP — which comes up for voting on Thursday in the Lok Sabha, has put the Vajpayee government
in a fix. A senior BJP leader admitted that his party could not advise any one to vote for the Bill — which
was introduced last July without the knowledge of the party leadership — as it is not part of the NDA's
National Agenda for Governance. But neither can it withdraw it as it is high up on the party's own agenda.
To get around this tricky issue, the BJP has advised its MPs not to be present in full strength when the Bill
comes up for voting. Interestingly, after the civil code Bill, a private member's resolution demanding a ban
on cow slaughter is listed for voting. (Times of India 10.4.03)

RSS: Don’t link Iraq war to Indo-Pak ties (26)
New Delhi, April 9: The US aggression on Iraq should not be equated with relations between India and
Pakistan, according to the RSS that sees both as entirely different situations. Intervening in the
controversy triggered off by minister of external affairs Yashwant Sinha's remarks about a pre-emptive
strike by India on Pakistan, RSS spokesperson Ram Madhav said that this could not be justified through
the Iraq example. He said that by drawing comparisons "we are helping the Americans and justifying their
war on Iraq." The US has not been able to justify its attack on Iraq, the RSS leader said, and has been
unable to convince the world that President Saddam Hussein held weapons of mass destruction. They
have also, he added, failed to prove to the satisfaction of the world community that there is a link between
the Iraqi government and Al Qaeda. (Asian Age 10.4.03)

11th April
Protect trains from Bajrang Dal: Cong (26)
New Delhi: The Congress has called for adequate security for train passengers to save them from
"harassment" by Bajrang Dal and VHP activists. Raising the issue during the zero hour, Madhusudan
Mistri of the Congress referred to the "rowdy" behaviour of such activists returning to Gujarat from a rally
by Delhi Mail on March 29. Mistri alleged that apart from raising slogans and resorting to unruly conduct,
the Bajrang Dal men had actually thrown two passengers out of the train for their refusal to raise Jai Shri
Ram slogans. Mistri and his party colleague P R Das-munsi said in view of the incident the railway ministry
should make proper security arrangements for the passengers. (Times of India 11.4.03)

Cow ban resolution passed in LS (26)
New Delhi: The BJP succeeded in passing a private member's Bill on Thursday, urging the central
government to pass a Bill banning cow slaughter, with the entire NDA — barring one MP each from the
Shiv Sena and Samata Party — absent from the Lok Sabha and the Congress, Left and Indian Union
Muslim League (IUML) staging a walkout. But this was not achieved without the expected slanging match
between the two sides. The Opposition's contention — represented by Congress leaders Shivraj Patil and
Priya Ranjan Das Munshi and CPM leader Somnath Chatterjee — was that the question at hand was a
state subject, and a parliamentary resolution urging the government to enact such a law was violative of
the Constitution unless it was preceded by a constitutional amendment. (Hindu 11.4.03)

VHP’s warning (26)
AHMEDABAD, APRIL 10. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) has warned that the Prime Minister, Atal
Behari Vajpayee, will face a Hindu backlash in the next year's Parliamentary elections if the BJP-led
National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre fails to declare "Ram Navami" tomorrow as a
public holiday. In a statement here today, the VHP Gujarat unit general secretary, Dilip Trivedi, castigated
what he called the Vajpayee Government's "Muslim appeasement" policies and said the BJP was
ignoring the sentiments of 90-crore Hindus. Even during the Congress regime at the Centre, "Ram
Navami" was listed as a public holiday but the party, which had come to power in the name of Lord Ram,
was not prepared to declare a public holiday on the Lord's birthday. (Hindu 11.4.03)

12th April
650 modified trishuls seized (26)
JAIPUR, APRIL 11: In a pre-emptive strike, the Rajasthan police today seized 650 pieces of modified
"trishuls" from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad(VHP) office in Ajmer district town. The "trishuls" were
purportedly kept for distribution at the "Trishul diksha" function scheduled in Ajmer on April 13. This was
the first crackdown in the State' on the "Trishul diksha" programme after the Congress Government in
Rajasthan issued a notification under the Arms Act 1959, on Tuesday last putting a ban on "distribution,
acquisition, possession or carrying of double or multi-bladed sharp or pointed weapons." (Hindu 12.4.03)

15th April
Togadia in custody, warning war (26)
Chandigarh April 14: VHP leader Pravin Togadia was sent to judicial custody today for two days in
connection with 'Violation" of prohibitory orders and a ban on distribution of tridents in Rajasthan after a
local court rejected his bail application. Magistrate Lata Gaur remanded Togadia to judicial custody after
declining police request for custody of the VHP leader for two days. He will be produced before the court
again on April 16, District Collector Niranjan Arya said.
Speaking to reporters, Togadia threatened to wage a relentless struggle against the anti-religious Ashok
Gehlot government of the state. I shall now rest only after he is out of power, he said. (Indian Express
15.4.03)

16th April
Shiv Sena’s new target: Vegetarian housing societies (26)
MUMBAI, APRIL 15: IF you live in a vegetarian housing society in tony south Mumbai and refuse to admit
non-vegetarians, chances are you will have fish or chicken stalls set up close to your building. At least
that's the threat the south Mumbai Shiv Sena held out today to covertly vegetarian housing societies
mushrooming across Mumbai. The Sena latched on to the issue after two successive Mumbai Newsline
stories detailed how militantly vegetarian housing societies are turning away non-vegetarians — usually
native Maharashtrians — all over the city. There are over 100 such societies in south Mumbai alone.
Armed with packets of strong smelling dried bombil (Bombay Duck), a group of Sainiks led by South
Mumbai vibhag pramukh Bala Kalshekar stormed into three such housing societies on Walkeshwar and
Malabar Hill areas and demanded they modify their rules and allow non-vegetarians. (Indian Express
16.4.03)

Shiv Sena targets topless jeans ad (26)
Mumbai, April 15: Angry Shiv Sena activists, including members of its women's wing, ripped apart an
advertisement poster in the Bandra area on Saturday which showed a provocative picture of a
Levi's jeans-clad model. The reason — the Sainiks found the picture vulgar. The Sena has now
threatened to tear up other posters which it considers obscene all across the city.
The ad was displayed on the Mahim pauseway here. It showed the model topless, wearing only a pair of
jeans. The ad, however, does not display the face of the Angry Shiv Sena model, but only shows her
wearing jeans with her hands seductively covering her breasts. More than 200 Shiv Sainiks, including 25
women, led by the shakha pramukh of Bandra West, Sudesh Dubey, first blackened the poster of the
model and then tore it into pieces after shouting slogans condemning the company for displaying her body
for a jeans campaign. (Asian Age 16.4.003)

17th April
Trishul distribution will continue (26)
DEHRA DUN, APRIL. 16. The VHP leader, Ashok Singhal, warned here today that the process of
distribution of tridents (trishul) would continue in the country without any halt. Mr. Singhal threatened to
launch a countrywide agitation against the arrest. The BJP leader, Pramod Mahajan, said the action
showed the Rajasthan's Government's "bankruptcy" of thought. The RSS general secretary, Mohan
Bhagwat, told PTI in New Delhi that Mr. Togadia was not an anti-national and distribution of tridents did
not tantamount to sedition. (Hindu 17.4.03)

Togadia faces new charge of conspiracy to wage war (26)
JAIPUR, APRIL 16. The Congress (l)-led Government in Rajasthan today slapped the charge of
"conspiracy for sedition" on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad general secretary, Praveen Togadia, after which a
city court in Ajmer rejected his bail application and extended his judicial custody till April 30. The
accusation was not made in the FIR registered against the firebrand VHP leader. Mr. Togadia
— who was arrested on April 13 near Ajmer on charges of violating prohibitory orders and the ban on
distribution of 'trishuls' — now faces the new charge under Section 121-A of Indian Penal Code for
"conspiracy to wage war" against the State and overawe it by criminal force. He has been lodged in
the Central lail in Ajmer since Monday. (Hindu 17.4.03)

Use hi-tech gadgets to spread Hindutva (26)
New Delhi, April 16: RSS DEPUTY chief Mohan Bhagwat on Wednesday signalled the Sangh's
willingness to shed what its critics consider an obscurantist outlook. He asked B JP functionaries to make
the best use of modern gadgets to spread Hindutva but "not for the sake of personal pleasure."
Addressing an all India workshop for the B JP organising secretaries at various levels in Gurgaon,
Bhagwat, who is considered a hardliner, said the use of these gadgets was not essential but also enable
the members of the Parivar to keep pace with the rapidly developing technology. He said he favoured the
use of hi-tech gadgets like mobile phones, cars and computers to propagate the Sangh ideology.
(Hindustan Times 17.4.03)

Rescue the cow, but how? (26)
New Delhi: THE CENTRE has come up with a smart plan to cross the hurdle of Parliament's "legislative
incompetence" to enact a law banning cow slaughter. A fresh initiative, finalised after a series of
brainstorming sessions by senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders, will certainly take the Government
a step beyond the resolution adopted by the Lok Sabha on the issue. A top Government official told The
Pioneer that the Opposition's arguments that Parliament was not competent to enact a legislation banning
cow slaughter had some merit. But, as the issue is very close to the heart of the BJP leadership, it is
determined to snatch the political initiative Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh has sought to
take on this front. (Pioneer 17.4.03)

18th April
Togadia’s trishul, Rajasthan’s double-edged sword (26)
AJMER, APRIL 17: THE tridents that the VHP sought to distribute in Rajasthan may not be, to use
Pramod      Mahajan's      words, '"weapons of mass destruction". But they are no benign "symbols of
devotion" either. To call them tritfiuls is a misnomer because they have little resemblance to the traditional
long-handled trident commonly seen in temples. The VHP's trishul is a vicious-looking, sharp-edged,
designer-dagger with lethal potential. The middle prong of the iron weapon juts out some 6 inches and has
extremely sharp edges. (Indian Express 18.4.03)

19th April
BJP chief flays conversions at ST convention (26)
NEW DELHI, APRIL 18: BJP president M. Venkaiah Naidu, speaking at a convention of the party's
Scheduled Tribes Morcha at the Talkatora Stadium, said today that conversions were not in the interest of
the country. The day-long convention started with Sarhul pooja, an Adivasi festival celebrating spring. The
convention drew participants from all over the country. Naidu said though an individual had the right to
choose his religion, the use of money and inducements for mass conversions generated social tensions,
which explained "our support to a law to prevent conversions." He added that the BJP stood for cultural
nationalism. "We are proud of Hindutva," he asserted and told people to feel the same — Garv se kaho
hum Hindu hain. (Indian Express 19.4.03)

20th April
Togadia charged with damaging communal harmony (26)
AJMER, APRIL 19. The much-awaited hearing on the bail application moved by the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad general secretary, Praveen Togadia — who has been in judicial custody since April 14 — was
postponed till Monday by a sessions court here today after Mr. Togadia's lawyer sought time demanding
the transcript of his allegedly inflammatory speeches recorded by the police. The investigating authorities
have slapped additional charges of damaging communal harmony and challenging the State
Government's authority on the firebrand VHP leader, on the basis of his speeches delivered during a
"Dharma Sabha" here on April 13 and elsewhere. The bail plea came up this morning before the
Additional Sessions Judge, Devendra Kachawa, as the District and Sessions Judge, Hari Singh Punia,
was on leave. Bail was earlier denied to Mr, Togadia by a lower court which did not have the jurisdiction to
 deal with the charges of offence — punishable by life imprisonment — added by the prosecution.
(Hindu 20.4.03)
21st April
Jagmohan faces RSS ire over manuscripts (26)
New Delhi, April 20: It's the National Mission for Manuscripts. Launched by Prime Minister Atal Behari
Vajpayee on February 7, it has become the RSS' latest target. The ministry of culture under Mr Jagmohan
has been criticised by RSS mouthpiece Organiser for appointing a person in the mission who "lacks the
adequate qualification" to select and preserve manuscripts. The mission has an initial outlay of Rs 350
million for a period of five years. The mission is expected to select and evaluate the manuscripts that are
available within the country in the custody of institutions, libraries, museums, temple trusts, other religious
places, and individuals. The Organiser claimed that the director of the mission, Ms Sudha
Gopalakrishnan, is "unfit for the job." (Asian Age 21.4.03)


22nd April
From beef to eggs, Uma takes on CM (26)
Bhopal: Senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Uma Bharti has sought a Central Bureau of
Investigation (CBI) inquiry into the Jam Sanvli Temple incident of April 12, where she has been accused of
offering a cake to Lord Hanuman. In a strongly worded letter to chief minister Digvijay Singh, Uma has
said she would ''accept any punishment" if the CBI found that she had indeed offered an egg-laced cake.
If Digvijay's allegations were proved wrong, the chief minister should himself decide what punishment was
fit for him, she said. "I have read your comments in the newspapers regarding my offering to Lord
Hanuman," Uma said. "Through this letter, I invite you to conduct an inquiry, instead of playing petty
politics. Come out with the truth if you have the courage." (Times of India 22.4.03)

Togadia granted bail, told not to repeat offence (26)
New Delhi, April 21: THE DISTRICT and session court in Ajmer granted VHP leader Praveen Togadia
bail on Monday, on condition that he would not repeat the offences, present himself before the court for
hearings, and furnish two sureties of Rs 20,000 each and personal bond of Rs 40,000. Togadia will be
formally released after the formalities are completed on Tuesday. The judge, Hari Singh Puma I said: "On
the basis of facts presented in this court, a prima faerie case can be made against Togadia under sections
121-A (life imprisonment), 153-A, 153(B), 295(A), 505 IPC and 4/25 of the Arms Act. But excerpts from
speeches and case diary presented in this court create doubts that such type of speeches can be
repeated against a particular community In such circumstances, this court releases Togadia on bail on
the condition that he would not repeat such acts and if he does, the defender (district administration) is
free to take action against him." (Hindustan Times 22.4.03)

23rd April
Bill to ban cow slaughter not likely this session (26)
NEW DELHI, APRIL 22. The Budget session is unlikely to see the passing of a bill to ban cow slaughter
throughout the country and the unresolved issue of the Defence Minister, George Fernandes, not being
recognised by the Opposition is also likely to be carried over to the next session in July. The Parliamentary
Affairs Minister, Sushma Swaraj, today said she knew nothing about a bill for banning cow slaughter. "I am
not aware of it, nor am I aware of any decision by the Government to bring forward this legislation," she
told reporters here today. When she was told that the Bharatiya Janata Party and even the Prime Minister
had talked of bringing a Constitutional Amendment bill to move the subject from the States’ list to that of
the Centre or on to the Concurrent list – Ms. Swaraj repeated that she had no idea of such a plan. (Hindu
23.4.03)

24th April
VHP eyes polls on trident plank (26)
New Delhi, April 23: THOUGH VHP leader Praveen Togadia's week-long detention in Rajasthan has been
a setback to the Hindu outfit's trishul diksha campaign in the state, its leadership plans to press ahead
with the programme in other states despite warnings of strong action from several Congress
governments. Apparently, the calculation is that any move by state governments to stop the campaign will
only serve to create a greater hype for the VHP's programmes and further build support among the Hindu
masses. VHP leaders have taken the line that the tridents being distributed by them are merely symbolic
and, being smaller than six inches, do not violate the Arms Act. Any state government that bans the trishul
will be accused of acting in violation of the Constitution and denying Hindus their right to practice a
religious ritual. With Assembly polls due in several states this year and Lok Sabha elections in 2004, the
leaders feel few state governments would dare to antagonise the majority community. (Hindustan Times
24.4.03)

25th April
BJP backs arrest of Trishul Togadia (26)
New Delhi, April 24: The Centre has discreetly endorsed Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot's action
against VHP leader Praveen Togadia by citing a concerned law, even though the Sangh Parivar is
adamant about continuing its trishul distribution programmes in various states, including Delhi. Mr Togadia
was arrested on April 13 after he distributed tridents to Bajrang Dal activists in Ajmer in defiance of a ban
and prohibitory orders of the Rajasthan government. The support for Mr Gehlot's action has come from
Union minister of state for home affairs Harin Pathak who in a written response to a question in the Rajya
Sabha on Wednesday clarified the concerned law regarding "distribution of trishuls to public." Although the
question was not asked in particular reference to the recent incident of trishul distribution and subsequent
arrest of Mr Togadia in Rajasthan, Mr Pathak's reply has clearly justified the action of the Rajasthan
government which has banned the distribution of trishuls in the "state.. (Asian Age 25.4.03)

26th April
VHP’s trishul drive is thoughtless but ban foolish: Advani (26)
DEPUTY        Prime Minister L K Advani today described the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's trishul diksha
programme as          "nasamjhi" (thoughtless) but said Rajasthan's decision to ban its distribution was
"much more foolish." Speaking to The Indian Express, Advani said this was exactly what he had told
Ra-jasthan Chief Minister AshokGehlot two months ago. The Government had so far refrained from
making any official comment on the trishul distribution programme. Nor had it taken up with Rajasthan the
issue of Togadia's arrest or the state notification regulating the possession and distribution oitrishuls.
Denying that he had ever described the trishul as a dangerous weapon, Advani conceded that Gehlot had
raised the issue at the chief ministers' conference on internal security in February. At the conference most
chief ministers spoke of the ISI factor and proliferation of dangerous weapons within the country. But
Gehlot, Advani recalled, referred to the VHP's trishul and demanded that it be banned. (Indian Express
26.4.03)

Cow slaughter Bill hangs fire but alive (26)
New Delhi, April 25: THE fate of the Prevention of Cow Slaughter Bill, 2000, may be undecided as yet but
the issue is still alive as Government sources reveal. Last fortnight, the Lok Sabha had witnessed high
drama when the BJP tried to sneak in a non-official resolution seeking a legislative ban on cow slaughter
nationwide. The Opposition, led by the Congress and CPI (M) had argued that the resolution sought a
legislation and not just a directive to states, which only the latter is solely empowered to do on issues
covered in the state list Cow slaughter is a state subject and not listed in either the Union or Concurrent
list. Government sources in. the Centre admit that cow slaughter is a state subject but are of the view that
it can overcome the hurdle if two state governments write to the Centre for bringing a legislation in
Parliament. ((Indian Express 26.4.03)

28th April
RSS conducts shakhas in MCD schools (26)
New Delhi, April 27: As the clock strikes 6 in the morning, this MCD school in Bank Enclave, Lakshmi
Nagar, starts bustling with khaki shorts-clad men. Before the morning shift starts in this school at 7.30 am,
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh openly conducts shakhas here. Apart from this school, there are several
other MCD schools which are being used by the RSS to conduct their morning exercises and discourses.
Morning shakhas of the RSS are being openly conducted in MCD schools. While former mayor Jaishree
Panwar tried to drive away the RSS sevaks from the MCD parks, no steps have been taken to stop the
shakhas in MCD schools. RSS conducts these shakhas before the schools begin and finishes all
exercises and discourse before the morning shift of the schools. According to sources, these shakhas are
being conducted in schools in several areas, including Lakshmi Nagar, Civil Lines, Model Town area and
Rohini. (Asian Age 28.4.03)

29th April
Now they have an axe to grind (26)
JAIPUR, APRIL 28. It is back to basics for various communities in Rajasthan. After "trisbuls" (tridents)
which created quite a flutter in the political circles in Rajasthan during the past one month, it is now
"pharsa" (axe) that those looking for politico-religious symbolism want to brandish. A threat to go in for
large-scale distribution of "pbarsas", the weapon of the legendary Parasuram, emanated at a mammoth
rally of Brahmin Arakshan Manch (Brahmin Reservation Front) in Jodhpur on Sunday. The day of the rally
and the choice of Jodhpur as the venue had political significance. The date coincided with the start of the
Parivarthan Yatra led by the BJP State unit president, Vasundhara Raje Scindia, from Charbuja in
southern Rajasthan’s Rajsamand district. (Hindu 29.4.03)

30th April
VHP to appeal to all MPs to help get temple bill passed (26)
Lucknow, April 29: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad will now make a fervent appeal to all members of
Parliament, irrespective of their political affiliations, to help in passing a legislation that will pave the way
for temple construction at the disputed site in Ayodhya. VHP's high-powered committee on the Ram
Janmabhoomi issue that began its two-day meeting in Ayodhya on Tuesday, also asked the BJP to shun
its indecisiveness and take a clear stand on the temple issue. The meeting is being held at
Kar-sevakpuram that has been the epicentre of the VHP's activities in Ayodhya since the past one
decade. The VHP's international general secretary, Mr Praveenbhai Togaaia, told reporters that the
Parliament should enact a bill on the issue and hand over the land for construction of the Ram temple at
the disputed place. (Asian Age 30.4.03)

A voice against fascist forces (26)
NEW DELHI, APRIL 29. Well-known social activist Shabnam Hashmi and celebrated classical singer
Shubha Mudgal today announced a series of political training workshops, cultural programmes and
exhibitions to mobilise public opinion "against the onslaught of fascist right-wing forces". Coming together
under the banner of newly-formed Anhad, a non-structured organisation, Ms. Hashmi and Ms. Mudgal
spoke at length about the planned activities of the organisation --which was floated by them in March
along with historian K.N. Panikkar and activist Harsh Mander -- to provide a supportive role to the political
movement against the activities of communal groups. "We felt that every person should be helped in
fighting the hate propaganda unleashed by communal forces as otherwise it would become difficult to
save democracy," said Ms Hashmi, adding that her work in riot-torn Gujarat during the past year had
deeply moved her. Ms Hashmi, who broke away from Sahmat --which she had founded in memory of her
brother, Safdar Hashmi -- said that while Sahmat was more of a cultural organisation of artistes, Anhad
would seek to bring about political awakening while remaining a loosely structured organisation. Stating
that Anhad would have "friends" instead of members, she said it would be filling the gaps left by other
organisations by disseminating greater information to negate the role being played by fascist forces in
splitting society down the line. (Hindu 30.4.03)

2nd May

Conspiracy to repeat Gujarat violence in Rajasthan
 Jaipur, May 1: Rajya Sabha MP and actress Shabana Azmi alleged on Thursday that a political
conspiracy was being hatched by the Hindu fundamentalists to repeat the Gujarat episode in Rajasthan by
distributing trishuls despite a ban under the Arms Act. "It is a sheer vote bank politics being played by
clannish people who ruined communal harmony in Gujarat after the Godhra carnage," Ms Azmi alleged at
the Press Club here. Speaking on the occasion of her father Kaifi Azmi's first death anniversary, she said
the Gujarat violence was not a one-day effect of communal disturbance, but a planned and systematic
conspiracy of the firkaparast who are now trying to foment communal trouble in Rajasthan. The Godhra
carnage could not justify Gujarat's communal riots, she said. Alleging that the Modi government was
differentiating between rioters of Godhra and Ahmedabad on communal lines, she said the Godhra
accused were booked under Pota, whereas there is no such case in Ahmedabad. (Asian Age 2.5.03)


Sheila trains guns on VHP’s trishul diksha
NEW DELHl, MAY a. The Delhi Chief Minister, Sheila Dikshit, today declared that any attempt to disrupt
peace and harmony in the Capital would not be tolerated and added that she would raise the issue of the
May 4 'Trishul Diksha' programme of Vishwa Hindu Parishad in the Capital with the Ueutenant-Governor,
Vijai Kapoor, and seek strong measures to maintain law and order in the city. Stating that the Trishul
Diksha programme x>f the VHP leader, Praveen Togadia, in Delhi was a matter of concern, the Chief
Minister said she would also be writing to the Police Commissioner, R.S. Gupta, seeking assurance that
any attempt to disturb the peaceful atmosphere in the Capital would not be tolerated. "Those trying to
spread poison by raising communal passiqns should not be spared. All right-minded people should speak
in one voice against this attempt to raise the ugly head of communalism in the Capital by arousing
religious passions." (Hindu 2.5.03)

4th May

Trishul drives govt out of city limits
NEW DELHI, May 3. - Is the Congress government in Delhi scared of Togadia? So it seems, if the
planned exodus, literally, of the Delhi government from the Capital tomorrow is any indication.
Led by the chief minister, her cabinet colleagues, party legislators and councillors will be on their way to
Panipat, even as the VHP international general secretary, Mr Praveen Togadia, will distribute trishuls in
east Delhi. The entire legislative machinery of Delhi would be trooping off to inaugurate the 120-km-long
water canal for Delhi. Officially, the Congress stated that since it was an election year, it did not want to
indulge in any "frivolous" issue like the trishul rally, and instead do something much more constructive.
"The 120-km-long water canal Wh|ch wjll, start functioning from tomorrow will cater to the need of
residents of the Capital. Why indulge in the trishul rally. We do not want any confrontation with the VHP.
How will it help in the betterment of our lives?" said the Delhi industry minister, Mr Deep Chand Bandhu.
Mr Bandhu said Mr Togadia should use trishul at the border to fight against enemies. "We don't want to
give so much importance to the rally," he said. The rally has assumed significance after Mr Togadia was
arrested in Rajasthan recently for displaying the sword in public. Both the VHP and the BJP have made
elaborate arrangements for the same. (Statesman 4.5.03)

5th May

Peace activists beaten up
NEW DELHI, MAY 4. Three peace activists were beaten up by Bajrang Dal members at Laxmi Nagar
District Centre ground in East Delhi today where they had gone to peacefully protest against "trishul"
(trident) distribution ceremony. No sooner they took out their posters — which read we want employment
not 'trishul' and we want peace and friendship not 'trishul' - outside the Coffee Home bus stop,
lathi-wielding activists of Bajrang Dal surrounded them. "We were not raising any slogan. It was only a
quite way to register the feelings of lakhs of people against programmes like this which disturbs
communal harmony and peace of society," said Vimal Bhai, at Lal Bahadur Shastri Hospital in Mayur
Vihar, where he had gone for medical treatment. There were deep marks of lathi on his body, back and
right leg while one of his finger was badly damaged. "Had we not been here, Vimal would have been
killed. Though the police was standing at a distance, they thought it better not to come to our rescue. We
were surrounded by the goons of Bajrang Dal. While Vimal was beaten with a lathi, we were badly
manhandled by these people," said Durganashini Upadhyay, who is a software engineer. (Hindu 5.5.03)


Centre moves on Cow slaughter ban
NEW DELHI, MAY 4: IN a move that could help the BJP keep the poll pot boiling, the Cabinet plans to ask
the states and Union Territories to pass a resolution banning cow slaughter, and delegate to the Cenre the
authority to enact an amendment introducing a uniform nationwide law.
If more than half of the state and UT legislatures empower the Centre to legislate, the proposed
amendment would make sale of beef a cognizable, but bailable, offence. A safety valve has also been
provided by allowing state governments to issue permits for sale of beef. Abetment of crime would also be
a crime under the proposed law. (Indian Express 5.5.03)

6th May

Antony leaves Cong. Red in the face
NEW DELHI, MAY 5.The decision of the A.K. Antony-led Congress Government in Kerala to allow the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad to conduct "trishul diksha" ceremonies in the State is fast becoming an
embarrassment for the party. Mr. Antony's decision not to ban the trident distribution ceremony in Kochi
raised several eyebrows both inside and outside the party. It also led to questions being asked about the
lack of consistency in the party's stand on the issue. The Congress media managers today had a difficult
time trying to defend Mr. Antony's position. Their embarrassment was made even more acute by the fact
that the party spokesperson, Satyavrat Chaturvedi, had just finished lambasting the BJP for allowing the
VHP leader, Praveen Togadia, to distribute tridents "right under the nose of the Central Government" in
New Delhi. Mr. Chaturvedi sought to defend Mr. Antony on the ground that "each Chief Minister" was free
to assess the situation in their respective States and take appropriate action. (Hindu 6.5.03)


For cow’s sake, Jogi no to new abattoirs
MOHUI(DURG), MAY5: TAKING a leaf out of the BJP's book, Chief Minister Ajit Jogi has vowed to
enforce a total ban on cow slaughter in Chhattisgarh and keep a check on smuggling of cattle to other
states. The move comes close on the heels of the Centre's directive, urging state governments to pass a
legislation banning cow slaughter. The state BJP has been accusing Jogi with "inaction" on the issue.
Proving his detractors wrong, he spoke at length about his commitment ,to cows, while inaugurating a
biogas plant at Mohlai on the premises of Shri Krishan Gaushala two days ago. Jogi said, as a policy
decision, the Chhattisgarh Government will not sanction the opening of any new slaughter house. "Till I
am Chief Minister, I vow to enforce this decision very strictly to prevent cow slaughter. (Indian Express
6.5.03)


VHP readies firearms camp for cadre
Ahmedabad, May 5: When Godhra MLA Haresh Bhatt first floated the idea of firearms training for Sangh
workers in the late 1980s, many had ridiculed the notion. Almost 16 years later, the Vishwa Hindu
Parishad is ready to inaugurate a training camp for its own cadre on May 17 in Patan, north Gnjarat. Bhatt,
a former air force officer and a new Sangh recruit back then, had started the first such camp for Bajrang
Dal workers on May 24,1987. There were only seven fresh Dal recruits at the camp; the Dal itself was only
a year old then. Bhatt's only backer was state VHP general secretary Dr Vaniker. After Bhatt defied
opposition to train the seven youths in seclusion in Sarkbej, his "innovative idea" caught on as the Ram
temple movement gathered momentum. (Telegraph 6.5.03)

7th May

VHP fills coffers with trushul money
New Delhi, May 6: The "trishul diksha' organised by VHP leaders, particularly Mr Praveen Togadia, is not
merely helping its objective of raising Hindu consciousness, but also helping the outfit keep its coffers full.
Prospective candidates for the trishul diksha are expected to cough up Rs 51 — Rs 15 for VHP
membership and Rs 36 for getting the "symbol of Hinduism, the ornament of Lord Shiva," the trishul
(trident). Senior VHP leader Satyendra Jain had said on the record that the "popularity" of the trident was
growing after the trishul diksha. The "craze" recently reached such a peak in Delhi that the VHP ran out of
them, which created a major ruckus among Bajrang Dal members. Some Bajrang Dal members who
failed to get their tridents, despite buying coupons for them, got into a scuffle over the matter. (Asian Age
7.5.03)
13th May

Court notice to Delhi on Togadia speech
New Delhi, May 12: The Delhi high court on Monday issued notices to the Centre, the Delhi government
and the police on a PIL seeking registration of FIRs against VHP leaders, including its international
secretary Praveen Togadia, for allegedly having made inflammatory speeches against Muslims at a
dharma sansad rally in Delhi in February. While issuing the notices to the Union home secretary, Delhi
chief secretary and city police chief R.S. Gupta, a bench comprising Justice Usha Mehra and Justice
Pradeep Nandrajog asked the respondents to file their replies by August 22. The court had earlier
dismissed the PIL, filed by Mr Kamran Siddique, President of Real Cause – an NGO, saying “We cannot
entertain petitions based on newspaper reports. Following this, Mr. Siddique produced a VCD of the
alleged speeches at the rally as also their transcript along with English translation and newspaper reports.
(Asian Age 13.5.03)


Disputed site is birthplace of Lord Rama, says Centre
New Delhi, May 12: The Centre today asserted before the Liberhan Commission that it is an undisputed
fact that the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya was erected in 1528 where a temple stood earlier by destroying the
temple and this site is the birthplace of Lord Rama. Opening the final arguments before the Commission,
probing the sequence of events leading to the demolition, counsel for the Union Government, Lala Ram
Gupta said that it is admitted by one and all that the site in dispute is the Ram Janamsthan (birthplace).
The only dispute is whether there existed a temple which was demolished and a mosque was built.
Counsel was responding to the Commission which asked him to specify the undisputed facts. He further
said that it was also an undisputed fact that the mosque was built by Mir Baqi, the commander of Babar, a
Muslim invader in Ayodhya in 1528. (Hindu 13.5.03)


16th May

RSS mouthpiece turns a Swadeshi travel guide
New Delhi May 15: It’s summertime and even the trishul-wielding zealots of the Sangh Parivar need a
break. And to provide them tips on where to go to beat the heat is their very own trusted weekly,
Panchjanya. Diluting its shrill ideological fervour for the moment, the RSS weekly has assumed the avatar
of a city colour supplement – all light (sorry, lite) and frothy with a cover story devoted to travel. Inspired,
perhaps, by Atal Behari Vajpayee’s annual sojourn to Manali, Panchjanya – which normally devotes its
cover to gory pictures of victims of jehadi violence – features a pretty young woman along with two
children frolicking in Ladakh’s snow. (Indian Express 16.5.003)

19th May

Saffronisation no disgrace: Advani
Thiruvananthapuram, May 18: Is the Sree Narayana Dharma Paripalana (SNDP) Yogam, the powerful
social organization of the Eazhava community, becoming saffronised? Asked the Deputy Prime Minister,
L.K. Advani, here today, repeating a question which is widely being discussed in the State nowadays. Mr.
Advani referred to this question while unveiling the statue of eminent journalist and founder of the Kerala
Kaumudi daily, the late K. Sukumaran. The function organized by the SNDP and the K. Sukumaran
National Centre drew a large gathering of predominantly SNDP followers to the University Stadium here.
He said those who had objections to the SNDP becoming saffronised were not ready to appreciate the
fact that if India were no realize its real potential the people had to come out of their narrow mindset of
treating one section or the other as untouchables. (Hindu 19.5.03)
Camp VHP takes trident thrust ahead
New Delhi, May 17: The VHP’s “lethal weapon” appears to have been given a quiet burial. The VHP and
Bajrang Dal have cancelled most of their trishul diksha (distribution) programmes in the next two months
and are instead concentrating on training camps for schoolchildren and college students. The two
organizations have asked their state offices to organize as many training camps as possible during the
summer vacations with special emphasis on the states going to the polls. The VHP maintained that it had
not cancelled the programme, “but only diverted its attention from trishul diksha to training programmes,
which are more important in the present context.” The training camps are aimed at boosting the morale of
VHP and Bajrang Dal workers after Mr. Pravin Togadia’s arrest in Ajmer last month, and what happened
to its trishul diksha programme thereafter. (Statesman 19.5.03)

20th Masy

Is Nanavaty misleading on the Godhra carnage probe?
Ahmedabad: A day after chairman Justice G.T. Nanavaty’s statement that the evidence recorded till now
did not indicate any serious lapse on the part of the Gujarat administration and the the police in controlling
the post-Godhra riots, lawyers involved in the cross-examination before the Commission of Inquiry reacted
to the remarks, saying they were not only unnecessary but also misleading and premature. They said the
commission has not completed even a quarter of its total task, which may actually take a long time at the
current pace. Asked about his colleague’s comments, Justice K.G. Shah, who along with Justice Nanavati
forms the two member panel, said, I have nothing to say on this. (Times of India 20.5.03)


Karunanidhi criticizes Kanchi seer comments
Chennai, May 19: DMK president M Karunanidhi on Monday criticized the Kanchi Sankaracharya
Jayendra Saraswati for saying there was nothing wrong if Hindus carried knives and trishuls. The seer’s
advice went against the ahimsa philosophy of Hinduism and violated the principles of mutual tolerance
enunciated by Mahatma Gandhi said the former minister. Speaking at a party functionary’s marriage
ceremony here, Mr. Karunanidhi referred to the Sankaracharya’s recent statement that Hindus should be
allowed to carry trishuls just as Sikhs carried kirpans. (Asian Age 20.5.03)

24th May

Hindus may lay claim to 5,000 sites
UTTAR Pradesh BJP president Vinay Katiyar said here today that if Muslims failed to take the initiative to
facilitate the construction of a temple at the disputed Ayodhya site, Hindus may stake their claim on 5,000
sites in courts. "The court has shown the way. Why should we confine (ourselves) to Ayodhya, Kashi and
Mathura? Why not talk of 5,000. All sites should be dug up (to ver-
the claims on the pattern of Ramjanmabhoomi)," Katiyar said at a press conference here today.
When pointed out that the court was already seized of the Ayodhya issue, Katiyar said the court could give
its verdict, but could not enforce a social harmony. This would have been possible if an initiative had come
from the Muslims. There was nothing left to doubt about the Ayodhya site after the "recovery of a Shiva
idol and stone images of Nandi bull, snake and lotus flower in the course of the excavation." (Indian
Express 24.5.03)

25th May

VHP men create a ruckus at Buddhist meet
Vadodara:VHP activists created a ruckus at a press meet called by the Vishwa Boudh Sangh (VBS) here
on Saturday. Calling the VBS activists 'anti-Hindu', the VHP hurled abuses and threw chairs around. A
group of activists gheraoed the VBS members. The management of the hotel where the meet was being
held had to call the police. President of VHP's Vadodara Dharma Prasar Samiti, Anant Anand who led the
group of protesters, said he had received information that the Sangh members were distributing material
that was against Hinduism. (Times of India 25.5.03)

26th May

VHP distributes tridents to 250 youths in Haryana
PANCHKALA, MAY 25. The VHP and the Bajrang Dal today organised the "trishul diksha" programme
distributing tridents to around 250 youth for "protection of self and religion" at a temple here and claimed
over 50,000 youth from Punjab and Haryana would participate in the exercise in coming days. The "trishul
dikhsa" (trident distribution) function was 'organised at the Pracheen Shiv Mandir here amidst
slogan-shouting of "Jai Shree Ram" by the youth who took tridents.
Among others present on the occasion were the Punjab VHP incharge, Vijay Singh Bhardwaj, the Haryana
VHP organisatinal minister Kailash, Haryana Bajranj Dal minister Om Prakash Dhaar and Haryana VHP
incharge Bharat Bhushan. (Hindu 26.5.03)

26th May

India will always be a secular state: Advani
Jaipur: Addressing BJP members here on Sunday, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani said India will
always remain a secular state and dared the Congress for an open debate on Hindutva. "India is a
Hindu nation but not a Hindu state because there is no concept of a religious state in Hinduism," he said.
Mr Advani was addressing a public meeting called to firm up the party's electoral strategy for the
Assembly elections in four States, including Rajasthan. Referring to India's neighbour, the Deputy Prime
Minister said that unlike India, Pakistan had chosen to be a theocratic state. Raising perhaps for the time
the issue of non-Muslims in Pakistan, he said they don't have equal rights in theocratic Pakistan. He
added that the Partition of India was wrong and it was the Muslim League which was adamant about the
division of India. He said the BJP had promised security and development before the last Lok Sabha
elections and the NDA Government, headed by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee had fulfilled this
promise made to the electorate he said. (Pioneer 26.5.03)

28th May
VHP saves cows with checkposts
Thiruvananthapuram, May 27: THE PRICE of beef in Kerala has been on its way up for the past four days.
The reason: the VHP has put up "checkposts" at the borders with Tamil Nadu and Kar-nataka and has
stopped cattle from entering the state. Over the past four days, the VHP has intercepted about 750 cows
and buffaloes on the border and pushed them back after garlanding them. The central and southern parts
of Kerala — where beef is in great demand — get about 8,000 to 10,000 cows and buffaloes a day from
Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. But with the VHP stopping this traffic, the price of beef, which averaged
between Rs 50 and Rs 60 a kg, has gone up by Rs 5 to Rs 10. "More than half the intercepted animals
were cows," VHP state organising secretary Kummanam Rajasekharan told the Hindustan Times on
Tuesday "Since it is cheap and easily available here, many are succumbing to the holy animal's flesh. If it
continues, Kerala will have the largest number of cow-eaters." But the police argue that the cattle can't be
prevented from entering Kerala in the absence of a total ban on cow slaughter. (Hindustan Times 28.5.03)

30th May

VHP rejects BJP chief’s suggestion on mosque
NEW DELHI, MAY 29. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad is not at all pleased with the assertion of the Bharatiya
Janata Party president, Venkaiah Naidu, in Rampur on Wednesday that his party would be prepared to al-
low a mosque to come up next to a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya for a peaceful resolution
of the issue. And it is even less happy with what it described as the effort towards achieving peace with
Pakistan "at any cost" even when insurgency continued and innocent people lost their lives daily. The VHP
has long held the view that no mosque can be allowed within a circumference of "panch kos" around the
temple complex. Reacting angrily to Mr. Naidu’s statement , the VHP senior leader, Giriraj Kishore, said
today that all the "sants" associated with the Ayodhya movement had made it clear that they were not in
favour of any mosque coming up within the "panch kosi parikrama" of ' the temple. "We do not want any
mosque up to 7 or 8 km from the ternple," Acharya Kishore said. (Hindu 30.5.003)

31st May

125 MPS will press for law on temple
AHMEDABAD, MAY 30. Some 125 members of Parliament have promised the Vishwa Hindu Parishad
that they will press the Government to enact a law before the next year's Lok Sab-ha elections for the
construction of the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, the VHP vice-president, Acharya Giriraj
Kishore, claimed here today. Talking to mediapersons during his visit to Gujarat, he hinted that the VHP
was no longer prepared for a solution to the impasse through court. He said though the result of the
digging of the disputed area under the court order was "increasingly corning in favour of Hindus"; Hindus
had lost patience to wait any longer. He said even a decision of the Allahabad High Court could take three
more years, after which the doors of the Supreme Court would also remain open. "The Hindus have been
waiting for the construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya for the last 42 years, how long can they wait for
a solution through the courts?" he asked. (Hindu 31.5.03)

1st June
CBI chargesheet against Advani (26)
NEW DELHI, MAY 31. The decade-old Ayodhya case appears set to gather some momentum with the
Central,Bureau of Investigation filing a supplementary chargesheet in a Special Court in Uttar Pradesh
today against the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, and seven others. Along with Mr. Advani, the
Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Ashok
Singhal, and five others have also been named as accused in the chargesheet filed in a Rae Bareli court.
The former Union Minister and BJP leader, Uma Bharti, and the firebrand VHP activist, Sadhvi
Rithambara, also figure in the chargesheet, filed about six months after the Supreme Court had upheld the
U.P. Government's notification of setting up the Special Court at Rae -Bareli for conducting trial of the
"Ayodhya Babri Masjid Demolition" case.
The court has exempted the accused persons from personal appearance today and posted the matter for
hearing to June 13. The CBI has been asked to produce the report of the Crime Branch CID, which had
initially probed the demolition case as also its news clippings, videography and photographs. (Hindu
1.6.03)

Delay on cow slaughter ban irks Shankaracharya (26)
NEW DELHI, MAY 31.Disappointed with the delay in enactment of legislation for a complete ban on cow
slaughter by the BJP-led Union Government, the Shankaracharya of Jyotispithadesh-war, Madhvashram
Maharaj, has threatened a public boycott of all politicians who oppose the move.
"This is the last warning to politicians. The Government should immediately bring in a legislation imposing
a complete ban on slaughter of cows, our revered animal. Those who oppose this move would be boy-
cotted socially, politically and religiously," said the religious leader at a press conference here today. He is
also the president of Akhil Bhartiya Sarvadaliya Goraksha Mahabhiyan Samiti (ABSGMS). Expressing
disillusionment with senior BJP leaders who were once part of a nationwide movement for a complete ban
on cow slaughter, Swami Madhavashram said: "These leaders now are not eager to make a law in this
regard. The opposition to it is coming from Hindu political leaders and not from the Muslims. In fact,
several Muslim political and religious leaders have met me and extended their full support for a ban on
cow slaughter." (Hindu 1.6.03)

2ND June
VHP activists disrupt show (26)
VADODARA, JUNE 1. Three persons were injured when activists of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad disrupted
an entertainment programme here last night causing a stampede. The show, "Kanta Laga", by artist
Shefali Jariwala was disrupted when about 20 VHP activists rushed to the stage at the Akota Stadium
here to stop the performance of a song from a Hindi film, police said. The activists claimed the song was
"vulgar", they added. Police resorted to a mild lathicharge to control the situation. Three persons were
injured in the stampede. (Hindu 2.6.03)

Magsaysay awardee to counter VHP trishul diksha programme (26)
LUCKNOW, june 1. The Magsaysay award winner, Sandeep Pandey, would distribute the "Bhagwad Gita"
to the people on June 6 at Sultanpur where the VHP plans to hold "trishul diksha" programme on the
same day. Mr. Pandey, who is also the convener of the National Alliance for People's Movement, said that
he wanted to defeat forces such as the Vishwa Hindu Parishad on a popular level. "The Bhagwad Gita is
the greatest of the Hindu religious texts and encourages one to stand up to his beliefs in a non-aggressive
way." Criticising the VHP's programme, he said such activities presented the Hindu religion as an
aggressive one — which was completely false. Such activities had nothing to do with religion but were
aimed at winning the electorate. "They are polarising votes for the BJP." (Hindu 2.6.03)

4th June
Sena is raising suicide squads (26)
Ajmer: Rajya Sabha member and state chief of Shiv Sena Sanjay Nirupam has said that the Sena was
raising suicide squads to combat terrorism. Nirupam admitted Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray has directed
Hindus to prepare suicide squads to combat terrorism. He said ban on distribution of "trishul" was a
political stunt. Addressing Shiv Sena activists here on Monday, Nirupam said in the forthcoming elections
in the state, the Shiv Sena would field two candidates in every district. The party has already begun
scouting for prospective candidates. He said the Sena chief believes every state legislative assembly
should have at least two MLAs from the party. (Times of India 4.6.03)

5th June
Arms training at Bajrang camps (26)
Hyderabad: The Bajrang Dal is learnt to have given lessons in sharp-shooting to its recruits in Andhra
Pradesh, ostensibly in "self-defence". Organisers of such camps said Hindus are "under threat from
Islamic terrorism" and the training is aimed at making them "confident". At a five-day camp which ended a
couple of days ago at a village in Mahbubnagar district, about 200 Bajrang Dal activists were given les-
sons in sharp-shooting and using handguns and rifles. They also underwent an Army-like training for im-
proving their fitness. Bajrang Dal activists from across the state were chosen for the training. The activists
claimed that such training was a must for Hindus in the "changed" scenario. This is the fourth such camp
in the last couple of years. Altogether over 500 activists have been trained so far. Similar camps have
been organised in other states. Martial skills like using sticks, karate, negotiating 'fire traps and the like
were also taught at these camps. (Times of India 5.6.03)

VHP trains women, Muslims alarmed (26)
THE WOMEN'S wing of the VHP is holding training camps these days in several parts of the country,
where girls learn martial arts and are "ordained" with tridents. The camps are not only organized to impart
arms training and physical education, but also to give them an in-depth knowledge of Indian culture and
traditions," says Hari Agarwal of one such camp in Lucknow.
But Muslims are alarmed. In a rare move, a Muslim organisation in UP announced recently that it would
distribute 5,000 tridents to Muslims to counter what they see as a growing threat. In Gujarat, several sum-
mer camps are already under way for hundreds of young women. (Hindustan Times 5.6.03)

Temple sanctified after Sonia visit (26)
Jabalpur, June 4: THE BHARATIYA Janata Yuva Morcha (BJYM) on Wednesday 'sanctified’ the temple
where Congress president Sonia Gandhi garlanded the idol of Hanuman on the way to Katni on May 23.
According to Hindu tradition, women are supposed to maintain a distance from the monkey god's idol.
About two months ago, Uma Bharti had landed in a spot after the Congress alleged that she had
kick-started her Sankalp Yatra by offering an egg-laced cake with candles, instead of diyas, to Hanuman
at Chhindwara. On Wednesday, BJYM activists gathered at the temple in Katni and amid chanting of
mantras sprinkled Ganga water. At the end of the ritual, there was a spat between the BJYM members
and the police, following which the 40-odd activists courted arrest. Earlier, BJYM activists took out a
march from Katni town and reached the Hanuman temple situated on the Jabalpur-Katni Road. Sonia had
gone to Katni to address a public meeting. The BJYM performed the ritual after a private TV channel crew
showed Uma Bharti the clippings of a video showing Sonia garlanding Hanuman. The channel later
broadcast the report. (Hindustan Times 5.6.03)

Sena workers attack malls (26)
Mumbai, June 4: SHIV Sena workers today attacked and damaged outlets owned by retail chains Shop-
pers Stop and Lifestyle and popular fast food eatery McDonald's during a demonstration in Mulund to
demand more employment opportunities for "sons of the soil". Shouting slogans, Sena workers led by
local leader Shishir Shinde also took written undertakings from the managements of the outlets that they
would give preference to Maharashtrians while recruiting candidates in future. They also demanded that
the managements of these chains retrench all non-Maha-rashtrians employed at these outlets in the next
two months. "These malls have come up on mill and where a majority of Maharashtrians were employed.
They were displaced when the mills shut down. So why should non-Maharashtrians be employed at the
cost of Maharashtrians," said a party worker, Arvind Shinde. (Indian Express 5.6.03)

6th June
‘V.P. Singh regime withdrew ordinance on Ayodhya’ (26)
New Delhi, June 5 : The Centre today maintained before the Justice Liberahan Commission that the V.P.
Singh Government issued an ordinance on October 19, 1990, by which the disputed structure and the land
around it were acquired for handing it over to the VHP. Continuing arguments relating to the ‘undisputed’
facts, senior counsel for the Union Government, Lala Ram Gupta, assisted by Bhupender Yadav, told the
commission that the ordinance was withdrawn by Mr. Singh on October 21, 1990, as it was vehemently
opposed by Muslim leaders and imams, and the then Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh
Yadav, had threatened that he would not allow the ordinance to be implemented. (The Hindu, 6-6-2003)

8th June
Karsevaks blame it on Advani (26)
LUCKNOW/DELHI, June 7. — In a new twist to the Babari Masjid demolition case that had the Congress
and BJP at each other's throats on Saturday, five accused karsevaks today alleged they had pulled down
the disputed structure at Ayodhya at the instigation of LK Advani and other senior BJP leaders, a
charge denied by the lawyer of the Deputy Prime Minister. The accused Vinod Vatsa, Santosh, RC Khatri,
Amar Nath Goyal and RN Das - made the allegation while speaking to reporters outside the special
CBI court hearing the case in Lucknow. The accused alleged that the VIP accused had got their case
separated by "exerting influence" and demanded that all accused be treated at par as far as the trial
was concerned. One of the accused, RN Das, was the priest of the sanctum-sanctorum of the temple
inside the Babari Masjid where offerings and prayers continued for years following opening of the locks on
court order. All five expressed resentment at being "discriminated against". (Statesman 8.6.03)

RSS tells BJP to focus on ideology, not individuals (26)
New Delhi, June 7: THE RSS has finally intervened in the on going leadership controversy within the BJP
with the Sangh chief K.S. Sudarshan advising the party to concentrate on ideology and principles rather
than individuals. He was also appreciative of the 'good work' done by BJP chief Venkaiah Naidu. Though
the Sangh has recently been having frequent interactions with the BJP, Sudarshan's telephonic con-
versation with Naidu on Friday assumes significance as it comes in wake of the recent controversy
Sudarshan is reported to have told Naidu that though it was important for parties to project leaders, the
stress should be on ideology, principles and programmes of the organisation. The Sangh has been op-
posed to the idea of projecting of a personality not only in the RSS but other outfits of the Sangh Parivar,
including VHP and BJP, as it dilutes the ideology, principles and programmes of the organisation.
(Hindustan Times 8.6.03)

9th June
Ayodhya not for political gains, warns Vajpayee (26)
NEW DELHI, JUNE 8: IN a significant statement that seeks to separate the Ayodhya issue from politics,
Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee today said the matter can be resolved "only when it is freed from
politics and when political parties stop looking at it from the point of view of who gains and who loses."
Stressing that mutual faith between communities was central to the task of finding a solution, Vajpayee
said, "...it is necessary that the representatives of Hindus and Muslims begin to talk to each other to find
an amicable and mutually acceptable solution."
"It seems difficult that such fruitful talks can take place between political parties and their leaders," he
added. Vajpayee was speaking at. the celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of taking over of the
Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham by Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati. He shared the stage with Congress
president Sonia Gandhi, former Prime Minister P V Narasimha Rao and Human Resource Development
Minister Murli Manohar Joshi among others. (Indian Express 9.6.03)

10th June
Claim on dialogue challenged; VHP presses legislation demand (26)
NEW DELHI, JUNE 9: PRIME Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee's fond hope last evening that the Ayodhya
issue would soon be solved since India was in a "problem-solving phase" was firmly dashed today with
Muslim leaders categorically rejecting claims that negotiations were on with the community, and a
belligerent Vishwa Hindu Parishad pressing its new demand for a legislation to construct the Ram temple
at the disputed site in Ayodhya. Also, as many as 16 MPs of Vajpayee's party attended a VHP yagya at
Ayodhya's Karsevakpuram as part of a campaign for the construction of the Ram temple . The All India
Muslim Personal Law Board (AIM-PLB) convenor, Q.R. Ilyas, said Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati’s
claim that negotiations were on with the Muslim community was completely baseless and demanded to
know the identity of the Muslim icaders and organizations who were allegedly involved in negotiations.
(Indian Express 10.6.03)

Attempt to saffronise Hindi meet (26)
Paramaribo (Surinam) June 9: The World Hindi Conference was rocked today when efforts were made to
project Hindu culture as Indian culture with its opponents alleging that it was an attempt to saffronise the
meet. In a session on "Indian Culture and Hindi", a delegate from Trinidad and Tobago, B. Upadhyay,
snatched the mike from a speaker who sought to project Hindu culture as the composite Indian culture.
The uproar began when the chairman of the session, Dharmpal Maini, dwelt at length on Hindu culture
and started throwing light on' the caste system and the belief in reincarnation. The chairman of the
Sanatan Dharm Mahasabha of Holland, Shyam Pandey, took exception to it and said that it was not
proper to regard Hindu culture as Indian culture. It was then opposed also by Bhagwat Rawat, Kamla
Prasad and Rajesh loshi of Madhya Pradesh. In the midst of all this, representatives from Surinam,
Guyana and Trinidad and Tobago began speaking in support of Dharmpal Maini. Ram Bachan Rai of
Bihar then came on the dais and opposed the viewpoint of Maini. Mr. Maini is among the 10 persons from
India chosen for being honoured at this conference. (Hindu 10.6.03)

VHP uses holy thread to rope in more support (26)
LUCKNOW, JUNE 9: IN A fresh bid to keep its temple movement alive, the VHP today gave away.Ram
Raksha Sankalp Sutra to its nearly 200 organising secretaries at Karsewakpuram in Ayodhya. From the
function that was attended by 16 BJP and two Sena MPs as well, these secretaries will return to their
respective regions and distribute the sankalp sutra ( holy thread) to two crore Hindus who will take a
pledge to keep it tied to their wrists till the Ram temple is constructed. "The thread on their wrist will be a
reminder that they have an unfinished task before them; the taskbeing that of temple construction at the
disputed site," said VHP media incharge at Karsewakpuram Sharad Sharma. The sankalp sutra is being
given in a bag that contains a photo of the model of the proposed temple, a pouch with Ram Raj — mud
from the sanctum sanctorum of the makeshift temple— andTulsi beads. (Indian Express 10.6.03)

11th June
RSS to Centre: Don’t send troops to Iraq (26)
New Delhi, June 10: The RSS, which is fully aware of the US pressure on the government, is totally
opposed to sending Indian troops to Iraq. "There is no question of it," was the RSS response, with its
mouthpiece Organiser having already begun a campaign to oppose the deployment of Indian soldiers as a
"stabilising force" in Iraq. "The Americans entered Iraq on their own, they have not found Saddam Hussein
and they have not found the weapons of mass destruction. Now the United Nations should set a time limit
for them to find the WMDs, failing which they should leave Iraq," RSS leader and Organiser editor
Seshadhri Chari told The Asian Age on Tuesday. He was visibly angry about the US demand for Indian
troops, making it clear that the government of India should not succumb to such pressure at any level. The
RSS response came after the unscheduled meeting between US President George W. Bush and deputy
prime minister L.K. Advani at the White House in Washington D.C. on Monday, where the deployment of
Indian soldiers in Iraq remained on top of the agenda of the 30-minute interaction. (Asian Age 11.6.03)

Togadia’s visits to Assam may be banned (26)
GUWAHATI, JUNE 10. Reacting to the VHP leader, Praveen Togadia's "highly provocative communal
speeches" here in the past few days, the Assam Chief Minister, Tarun Gogoi, said today that Mr.
Togadia's future visits to the State might be banned and, in any event, the State Government would not al-
low him to embark on mass distribution of trishul. "I will not allow any fundamentalist — whether Hindu or
Muslim or Christian — to incite hatred and violence here," Mr.
Gogoi told presspersons. Quoting the Preamble to the Constitution which declared India to be, among
other things, a secular Republic, Mr. Gogoi wondered how a Union Minister (Bijoya Chakraborty, MoS
Water Resources) who had taken the oath to uphold the Constitution could attend Mr. Togadia's meeting
in which the latter indulged in blatant communal propaganda.
Mr. Gogoi said spreading hatred and venom against another community was against the culture of Assam
and quite, expectedly, the people of the State had reacted very sharply to Mr. Togadia's speeches. (Hindu
11.6.03)

Sena vows not to let new migrants settle in Mumbai (26)
Mumbai, June 10: Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray reiterated that no new slums would be allowed in
Mumbai, nor any new migrants, while talking at a meeting conducted to apprise the Sena's elected
representatives of the growing menace of slums in the city on Tuesday evening. The meeting was
attended by Sena working president Uddhav Thackeray, his cousin Raj Thackeray and several senior
party leaders. A one-and-a-half-hour slide show was screened to provide pictorial evidence of the extent of
slums in Mumbai. Mr Thackeray said that the term "migrants" referred not just to people from Uttar
Pradesh and Bihar, but everyone from outside Maharashtra and particularly Bangladeshis. "It's an alarm-
ing situation in Mumbai as the slums are continuously growing. When we took up the 'Me Mumbaikar'
campaign, attempts were made to create a breach among Hindus. This is not about Marathi-speaking
people alone. (Asian Age 11.6.03)

12th June
Nothing found below Babri site: ASI (26)
Lucknow, June 11: The Archaeological Survey of India team that conducted excavations at the disputed
site where the demolished Babri Masjid once stood in Ayodhya has not found any proof of a structure. The
ASI progress report submitted to the special bench of the Allahabad high court clearly states that no
evidence of any structure having existed at the site has been found. The ASI report, in a way, contradicts
the ground penetration radar survey report submitted by Tojo Vikas International Ltd before the court in
February this year. Tojo Vikas had said the GPR survey at the site had indicated a structural presence at
15 places at the disputed site and it was on the basis of this that the high court had ordered excavations
on March 5. Though the ASI progress report has not completely rejected the GPR survey report, it does
say that in several places the findings did not B8,B(conform to the Tojo report. While checking the anom-
alies indicated in the GPR report, they were confirmed/partially confirmed in eight trenches — F3, F6, F8,
G9, J8, K8, L3, and ZC1 — whereas they were not reported in trench E6. In trenches D6, E2, F2, G5 and
LI, anomalies could not be confirmed due to structural activities at upper levels. (Asian Age 12.6.003)

Rattled VHP vows to build temple (26)
New Delhi, June 11: THE VHP declared on Wednesday that it would build the Ram temple at the disputed
site in Ayodhya at all costs regardless of what the ongoing ASI excavations finally reveal or what the court
decides. Expressing doubts about the success of the Kanchi Shankaracharya's latest initiative on
Ayodhya, VHP leaders also ruled out the possibility of any negotiated "settlement" with the Muslims,
including the proposal to give up their claims on Mathura and Kashi in lieu of the disputed site. The Hindu
outfit, which had made loud claims that the ASI excavations had revealed remains of a temple underneath
the site, has been apparently unnerved by the archaeological body's latest report to the Allahabad High
Court. This reportedly states that no evidence has been found so far about the existence of any structure
under the demolished masjid. (Hindustan Times 12.6.03)
13th June
Kanchi Acharya’s claim questioned (26)
NEW DELHI, JUNE 12. The Vishwa Kalyan Parishad and the World Sufi Council today joined issue with
the Sankaracharya of the Kanchi Mutt, Sri Jayendra Saraswati, over his recent statement indicating that a
majority of Muslims were ready to give up the claim to the disputed site in Ayodhya even as the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad is now openly stating that "legislation" by Parliament is the only way of resolving the
problem. For the VHP, the issue has become all the more urgent with Ramchandra Paramhans, the over
90-year-old 'sant' who is a VHP camp follower and has been in the forefront of the demand for
construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site, suffering a major heart attack in Ayodhya early this
morning. The VHP leader, Giriraj Kishore, said here that the Paramhans' only ambition in life was seeing a
Ram temple constructed in Ayodhya during his lifetime. Acharya Kishore also confirmed that the Pa-
ramhans had on June 3 met the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, and come back "dejected". "But that
was 10 days ago," he said. (Hindu 13.6.03)

14th June
US-based NGO denies diversion of funds to Sangh outfits (26)
THE INDIA Development and Relief Fund (IDRF), a US-based voluntary organisation with RSS links, on
Friday denied allegations that a major portion of donations collected by it are channelled to Sangh Parivar
affiliated organizations in India. The IDRF claimed that $6 million were disbursed to deserving NGOs,
regardless of their affiliations, for developmental activities. The organisation was in news after it was
accused of granting funds collected from Indians in the US to RSS-linked NGOs, "some of which were
involved in spreading hate in India" against minorities. Members of the IDRF and its sympathisers in the
US released a 209-page report in New Delhi, outlining the organisation's activities. ((Hindustan Times
14.6.03)

Center points to Sena for any conspiracy behind demolition (26)
New Delhi, June 13: THE Centre's counsel before the Liberhan Commission, probing the events leading
to the demolition of the Babri Masjid, has pointed to the Shiv Sena for any conspiracy that may have gone
into the tearing down of the mosque. "If at all there was any conspiracy, it would have been limited to 605
Shiv Sainiks who had allegedly planned to hold kar seva at the garbhagriha (sanctum sanctorum),"
Centre's counsel Lala Ram Gupta told the Commission today. He said Shiv Sena leader Moreshwar Save
had ruled out any role of the party or its leaders in the demolition. Although there were intelligence reports
that this group had a meeting on November 28,1992 at Faizabad and decided to perform kar seva, there
was no evidence to corroborate this, Gupta said. Reacting to Gupta's disclosure, Shiv Sena MP Sanjay
Nirupam said: "It's okay, we accept the investigation of the Liberhan Commission as a fact. Even before
the investigations began, we had publicly declared that if the Shiv Sainiks had done it (demolition),
because the Babri Masjid was a blot on our culture, our nation. If the blot has been removed by us, we are
proud of it. (Indian Express 14.6.03)

17th June
VHP lashes out at Govt. for betraying temple movement (26)
New Delhi, June 16: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today castigated the Prime Minister, Atal Behari
Vajpayee’s effort towards resolving the Ayodhya issue. In a strongly-worded attack, bordering on being
abusive, the top VHP leadership — Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia and Giriraj Kishore — charged the
Government leaders with "using the Kanchi Sankaracharya as a tool" in their political game, of "betraying
the Ram Janmabhoomi movement which had catapulted them into power", of "appeasing Muslim
leadership" and, finally, of trying to "bargain on matters of Hindu pride". It seems that the VHP leaders are
especially angry that the Government is trying to work out some "formula" that would sideline the VHP.
When a pointed question was asked about this, Mr. Singhal said "we will tell you about this later". Mr.
Togadia made one thing clear — under no circumstances would the VHP and "Hindus" give up their claim
on Kashi and Mathura, in addition to Ayodhya. "We can negotiate with the Muslims and talk to them, but
we will not bargain away Kashi and Mathura ... we cannot tolerate hurting 'atma gaurav' (the pride of the
Hindu soul) Mr. Togadia said. (Hindu 17.6.03)

18th June
Historians: There’s no proof of temple under Babri (26)
New Delhi, June 17: Prominent historians and archaeologists on Tuesday said that the Archaeological
Survey of India, on instructions of the Allahabad high court, had dug up the entire area of the Babri Masjid
complex but had not found any "anomalies" or "pillars," as claimed in the Tojo-Vikas International's
geophysical survey report. The experts, namely Irfan Habib, Suraj Bhan and Prabhat Patnaik, said many
archaeologists and historians have visited the site. They have examined the trenches and the material
recovered therefrom. The ASI has dug as many as 82 trenches but no proof of existence of a temple
under the demolished Babri Masjid has been found. Demanding that the matter should be left to the
courts, the experts said, "As things are not going the VHP way, the Sangh Parivar is again going back to
its argument of 'faith.' But they are unable to produce any scriptural authority or any document to show that
Lord Ram was really born exactly at this spot. In other words, the 'faith' they are talking about is only faith
invented by them." (Asian Age 18.6.03)

RSS backs VHP’s Kashi-Mathura temple agenda (26)
New Delhi, June 17: Strategically timing its public response on the Government’s so-called negotiations on
Ayodhya issue with BJP’s Chintan Shivir, RSS today made it clear that it will neither drop its
Kashi-Mathura temples agenda, nor will the Muslim community be allowed to offer prayer at the ASI
protected Islamic monuments. In a signal to the Government, RSS also supported VHP’s stand on
Kashi-Mathura and Ayodhya. After a meeting between RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan and VHP leaders Ashok
Singhal and Praveen Togadia here today, it was decided that they will not give up the Kashi-Mathura
issue. (Indian Express 18.6.03)

18th June
Historians: There’s no proof of temple under Babri (26)
New Delhi, June 17: Prominent historians and archaeologists on Tuesday said that the Archaeological
Survey of India, on instructions of the Allahabad high court, had dug up the entire area of the Babri Masjid
complex but had not found any "anomalies" or "pillars," as claimed in the Tojo-Vikas International's
geophysical survey report. The experts, namely Irfan Habib, Suraj Bhan and Prabhat Patnaik, said many
archaeologists and historians have visited the site. They have examined the trenches and the material
recovered therefrom. The ASI has dug as many as 82 trenches but no proof of existence of a temple
under the demolished Babri Masjid has been found. Demanding that the matter should be left to the
courts, the experts said, "As things are not going the VHP way, the Sangh Parivar is again going back to
its argument of 'faith.' But they are unable to produce any scriptural authority or any document to show that
Lord Ram was really born exactly at this spot. In other words, the 'faith' they are talking about is only faith
invented by them." (Asian Age 18.6.03)

RSS backs VHP’s Kashi-Mathura temple agenda (26)
New Delhi, June 17: Strategically timing its public response on the Government’s so-called negotiations on
Ayodhya issue with BJP’s Chintan Shivir, RSS today made it clear that it will neither drop its
Kashi-Mathura temples agenda, nor will the Muslim community be allowed to offer prayer at the ASI
protected Islamic monuments. In a signal to the Government, RSS also supported VHP’s stand on
Kashi-Mathura and Ayodhya. After a meeting between RSS chief K.S. Sudarshan and VHP leaders Ashok
Singhal and Praveen Togadia here today, it was decided that they will not give up the Kashi-Mathura
issue. (Indian Express 18.6.03)

21st June
Advani betrayed me on Babri: Kalyan (26)
LUCKNOW, JUNE 20: KALYAN Singh is striking back. A day after the Union government counsel
Lalaram Gupta told the Liberhan Commission that the former UP Chief Minister did not deploy Central
forces to protect the Babri Masjid, Singh has come out with a point-by-point rebuttal of charges against
him. He claimed that L.K. Advani and other leaders of the RSS and its outfits had hatched a "deep and
secret" conspiracy for demolition of the mosque and "these leaders had not only kept me in the dark on
the issue but also betrayed me." "I also want to clarify that the Central forces which were rushed to
Ayodhya for the protection of the mosque were not allowed because of the conspiracy of these leaders
who placed the mob in narrow lanes leading to the disputed site to ensure that none could enter without
using brute force. This explains why it is wrong to infer that the state or the Central government had not
prepared a contingency plan. Had the forces been given orders to move ahead by using bullets, there
would have been a massacre," said the Rashtriya Kranti Party chief. (Indian Express 21.6.03)

Muslim Board receives Kanchi Acharya’s letter (26)
LUCKNOW, JUNE 20. The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board today received the much-awaited
communication from the Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswati, containing fresh proposals for
the settlement of the Ayodhya issue. The letter was received in the office of the AIMPLB chairman,
Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadwi, the Board's spokesman, Maulana Sajjad Nomani, said here. Mr. Nomani
said the proposals would only be opened by Mr. Nadwi, who is at present in Rae Bareilly. After going
through the contents of the letter, the Board would consider the proposed formula. The Board's working
committee was authorised to take a decision on the Acharya's proposals. Mr. Nomani, however, said that
it would take at least 10 days to convene a meeting of the committee since several of its 51 members
hailed from outside the State.
On the venue of the proposed meeting, he said it could be held either in Lucknow or in New Delhi. (Hindu
21.6.03)

22nd June
Now ASI says something below Babri (26)
Lucknow, June 21: The Archaeological Survey India on Saturday submitted another progress report
before the special bench of the Allahabad high court in Lucknow in which it has now claimed to have
found structural anomalies in 46 trenches. The six-page report details the findings in 84 trenches and says
that structural anomalies were found in 46 trenches at a considerable depth while structural evidences
were found in the upper strata in 26 trenches.
The report says that pillar bases and drains were also found in several trenches. Details of human
figurines, bone and terracotta pieces found during digging have also been mentioned in the latest report.
In its earlier report submitted to the court on June 5, the ASI had claimed to have found no structural
evidences below- the demolished Babri site.. The report., had given . credeace to the belief the Babri
mosque was not built an a site where a Ram temple once stood and this had caused considerable furore
among pro-temple organisations, particularly the VHP. (Asian Age 22.6.03)

9 out of 12 in Muslim body favour court (26)
New Delhi, June 21: The Babri Masjid Committee of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board has decided
not to accept any formulae or proposals for an out of court settlement of the disputed site at Ayodhya. The
masjid is non-negotiable and the judicial verdict will be the final settlement of the matter was the
consensus at the meeting that reportedly based its discussions not on the fresh proposals sent by the
Kanchi Shankaracharya, but on his rather detailed speech of June 8 spelling out the offer made by him to
the Muslim leaders. Nine of the 12 members of the committee attended the meeting and all nine agreed to
accept only a judicial verdict. President of the board Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadwi, meanwhile, opened the
two-page letter sent to him by the Shankaracharya at Lucknow and decided to cqnvene a meeting on July
6 of all 51 members to discuss the fresh proposals. He refused to give details, saying merely that he did
not want to influence the decision of the members of the board by giving his views. He, however, is quoted
by the agencies as saying that the shankaracharya is a religious person and wants Muslims and Hindus to
live in peace, and that his proposals reflect his serious efforts to resolve the issue. (Asian Age 22.6.03)

VHP focuses on conversions (26)
Raipur: The central committee of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad will meet here on Sunday to discuss
conversions in Chhattisgarh. The Parishad is expected to distribute 10,000 trishuls from July 1 in different
parts of the state. The VHP state chief is hopeful the trishul ditoha will start next month and it is
proposed to enrol at least 10000 youths, male and female, in the 20-35 years age group. The meeting will
be attended by 200 delegates, many from abroad. VHP leaders Pravin Togadia. Ashok Singhal and
Guiraj Kishore are reaching here on Sunday morning. (Times of India 22.6.03)

23rd June
Wait until July 6, says Kanchi Acharya (26)
KANCHEEPURAM, JUNE 22. The Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswati, has expressed
hope and optimism of a "positive outcome" from the July 6 meeting of the All-India Muslim Personal Law
Board. Talking to presspersons after an hour-long meeting with Jas-want Singh, Union Finance
Minister,    and     George       Fernandes, Defence Minister, who air-dashed here this afternoon for a
closed-door meeting with him, the Acharya would only say that everyone should wait; all explanations
would be available the next day. "I am not prepared to speak now. The Ministers had a darshan. This
meeting was not significant." He said there was no question of his sending any message to the Prime
Minister, Atal Be-hari Vajpayee, as he was out of the country. On the Vishwa Hindu Parishad
questioning his mediation efforts, the Acharya said that in a democratic country anyone could speak as
they pleased. "We want to have a peaceful solution. That is why we are doing this in this manner," he said
but refused to go into the details of the proposals. (Hindu 23.6.030)

24th June
Togadia plans new Hindutva party (26)
HYDERABAD, JUNE 23. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary, Praveen Togadia, today
suggested the formation of a new Hindutva party wedded to the goal of establishing a Hindu Rashtra and
constructing a Ram temple at Ayodhya. Hindu society, he felt, had become a "political orphan" with neither
the BJP nor the Congress taking up the Hindutva agenda. When there could be a Christian Democratic
Party in Europe, there was no reason why a similar party could not exist in India. "The time has come for
the Hindu masses and classes to think about it." Mr. Togadia, who was addressing a press
conference, flayed the NDA Government for betraying the Hindu sentiment by its refusal to pass a
legislation on Ayodhya. He was also harsh on the BJP saying that its minority status in Parliament
should not come in the way of its ideological conviction for building a Ram temple at Ayodhya. "I don't
care if the BJP is embarrassed by my statements." He justified this tenacious stand on the ground that the
VHP was bound by resolutions adopted by the RSS four decades ago and the Dharma Sansad in 1984
that the temples of Rama, Shiva and Krishna should be handed over to the Hindus. Mr. Togadia
announced that the VHP's national executive committee would meet at Raipur in Chhattisgarh on June 27
and 28 to finalise an agitational programme. (Hindu 24.6.03)

Reveal formula, say VHP, Babri panel members (26)
New Delhi, June 23: The Babri committee of the Muslim Personal Law Board will be convening a day
ahead of the 51-member body's meeting on July 6 to consider Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra
Saraswati's proposals now lying locked up in a cupboard at the residence of MPLB president Maulana M.
Rabey Nadwi. Despite the optimism expressed both by the Shankaracharya and the Maulana, both MPLB
members and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad are extremely sceptical about the proposals, with the
former maintaining that there was no question of "putting the acquired land on sale" through out of court
negotiations and the latter insisting that it was not prepared to accept a mosque anywhere on the site.
The BJP and the VHP remain at loggerheads on this issue, with the VHP's Praveen Togadia now
advocating a new party for Hindu society as "both the BJP and the Congress" have a similar view on
Ayodhya (Asian Age 24.6.03)

25th June
Take up temple issue, VHP tells Advani (26)
RAIPUR, JUNE 24. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today pinned its hopes on the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K.
Advani, for an early construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya rather than the Prime Minister, Atal Behari
Vajpayee, for the settlement of the issue. "Right from the beginning, Mr. Vajpayee has not been
associated with the temple movement. We are not expecting anything from him," the VHP working
president, Ashok Singhal, told reporters here. He denied suggestions that the VHP's call to Mr. Advani to
come out in support of legislation to construct a Ram temple was a "calculated move" by the Sangh
Parivar to project him as its leader. "We are not projecting anybody. But if Mr. Advani makes efforts, the
legislation will be passed." "If they are unable to bring legislation for the construction of a Ram temple in
Ayodhya, they should resign and seek a fresh mandate of the people. (Hindu 25.6.03)

26th June
RSS: Babri built on temple (26)
New Delhi, June 25: In a bid to consolidate its claim on Ayodhya, the RSS and its organs, Organiser and
Panchjanya, published a diagram claiming, "Babri structure was superimposed on the temple. With the
BJP staying quiet on Kashi and Mathura, the RSS through its mouthpieces made it clear that it was in no
mood to give up claim on these two shrines. The Panchjanya claimed in an article that remnants of the
Hindu temples "are displayed to humiliate and insult Hindus" in the mosques at Kashi and Mathura. In a
warning to the BJP, Panchjanya quoted the RSS saying that "negotiations on Ayodhya are meaningless
without the VHP's participation."
Both Organiser and Panchjanya published a diagram, which they claimed was released by Indian
Archaeological Society (www.indarcheology.org), showing evidence of a temple existing at the site. The
Organiser on its cover published the diagram, stating, "the computer generated picture of Ram
Janmabhoomi-Babri structure site released by IAS, shows areas in red, belonging to the temple, and
those in green belonging to the present structure." The picture clearly suggests that the Babri structure
was superimposed on the temple building. Even as the Sangh Pari-var outfits, particularly the BJP and
VHP, are locked in a verbal battle over Ayodhya, the RSS preferred to target the media for
"misrepresenting" facts on the issue. (Asian Age 26.6.03)

125 MPs with us on Ayodhya, says Togadia (26)
Raipur: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has collected signatures of 125 members of Lok Sabha for
introducing a legislation to hand over the Ram Janambhoomi temple to the Hindus, VHP leader Pravin
Togadia said on Wednesday Togadia said the memorandum has been signed by the Lok Dal and BJP
parliamentarians. More signatures are being collected, he claimed. In a meeting here, the VHP decided to
launch a mass movement for construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya.
"We are preparing for a final battle and if it leads to violence, there's no problem. Nonetheless, we will try
for a democratic Mahabharat."He said the VHP would ensure the parties which don't support the temple
cause tumble to defeat in the Lok Sabha elections next year. (Times of India 26.6.03)

1st July
RSS says VHP will not spoil Kanchi plan (26)
Chennai: RSS chief K S Sudarshan does not see any "real" differences between Kanchi seer Jayendra
Saraswati and the VHP over the proposal sent to the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
RSS spokesman Ram Madhav, who along with Sudarshan is on his way to Kanyakumari to attend the
two-day working committee meeting of RSS scheduled for July 5-6, said VHP leader Ashok Singhal had
already met the Sankaracharya and hence there was no scope for a difference of opinion between the
seer and the VHP. The RSS, too, shares the seers stand on the issue, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav told
reporters after Sudarshan met the seer on Monday morning. "After the meeting with the Shankaracharya,
we came to the conclusion that we sail in the same boat," he said, Describing Sudarshan's meeting with
the seer as "a courtesy call", Madhav refused to comment on the seer's proposal, saying he was not
aware of its contents. (Times of India 1.7.03)

Vajpayee, Advani, Joshi had no role in mosque demolition (26)
NEW DELHI, JUNE 30. In an apparent rebuttal of the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Kalyan Singh's
charges, the Centre today asserted before the Liber-han Commission that the Prime Minister, Atal Behari
Vajpayee, the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, and the Human Re-- source Development Minister,
Murli Manohar Joshi, did not have any role in the demolition of the disputed structure at Ayodhya on
December 6, 1992. "The sadhus and sants were (the leaders of the Ayodhya i movement. Dr. Joshi,
Mr. Advani, Mr. Vajpayee and other lead-ners of BJP were supporting the ^movement and their approach
ohad always been finding out a meeting ground to create a con-jsensus for the construction of Ram
temple," the Centre's counsel Lal Ram Gupta, said in his written submission before the Commission.
The affidavit comes 10 days after Mr. Kalyan Singh alleged that the demolition was done under the direc-
tions of Mr. Vajpayee, Mr. Advani, Dr. Joshi and senior Sangh Parivar leaders. Counsel was elaborating
on the role of Mr. Advani, who was then the Leader of the Opposition in Parliament and Dr. Joshi the BJP
president. (Hindu 1.7.03)

2nd July
Rao Govt. was right in not imposing President’s rule (26)
NEW DELHI, JULY 1. The Centre's counsel in the Liberhan Commission, Lala Ram Gupta, today justified
the Narasimha Rao Government's decision not to impose President's rule in Uttar Pradesh as a
pre-emptive measure to save the disputed structure in Ayod-hya but qualified his submission by saying it
was his personal opinion. Giving his view on the events preceding the demolition, Mr. Gupta said that till
12 noon on December 6, 1992 everything was normal and there was nothing to suggest that the
constitutional machinery had failed in the State. It was only after noon that frenzied kar sevaks "suddenly
and surprisingly" rushed towards the disputed structure breaking the security cordon, he said. They were
followed by 1,000 other kar sevaks and about 150-200 of them climbed the domes of the structure and
started demolishing it without paying any heed to frantic appeals by senior BJP leaders, L.K. Advani, Murli
Manohar Joshi, Pramod Ma-hajan and Uma Bharti, Mr. Gupta told the one-man panel probing the
sequence of events leading to the demolition of the disputed structure. (Hindu 2.7.03)

6th July
Muslim leaders must respect Hindu sentiments: RSS (26)
KANYAKUMARI, JULY 5. Claiming that the demand for the construction of the three temples at Ayodhya,
Mathura and Kashi was not made with an eye on the elections at all, the Rashtri-ya Swayamsevak Sangh
leader, Ram Madhav, said the Muslim leadership should respect the sentiments of the Hindus and agree
to an amicable solution without bargaining. The Sangh Parivar was already engaged in mobilising support
on the issue and signatures of 160 MPs had been obtained to lobby for the issue in Parliament, he said.
Addressing mediapersons at the end of the first day's deliberations of the RSS national executive at the
Vivekananda Kendra here, Mr. Madhav claimed that the courts had no role to play in the issue as it
concerned the sentiments, faith and beliefs of the people. A resolution adopted towards the end of the
deliberations said the Ayodhya issue was not a Hindu-Muslim dispute but symbolised a movement for
manifesting the yearning of a national culture for self-respect and honour. The country's Muslims were
also inheritors of this national culture and thus should become torchbearers of its honour and glory along
with other countrymen instead of becoming flag-holders of the invaders, it said. (Hindu 6.7.03)

RSS firm on three temples (26)
KANYAKUMARI, JULY 5. The national executive of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh wants temples
established at Ayodhya, Mathura and Kashi at the earliest, its spokesman, Ram Madhav, said
today.Briefing mediapersons on the proceedings of the first day of the national executive which was
inaugurated by the RSS sarsanghchalak, K. S. Sudarshan, at the Vivekananda Kendra here, Mr. Madhav
said an early solution did not mean a hasty solution. It was unanimously decided to try to build a
consensus on the issue for the sake of national self-interest and honour, he said. Asked whether the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Ashok Sing-hal, had reiterated his demand that the Prime Minister, Atal
Behari Vajpayee, resign over the issue, Mr. Madhav replied: "No he did not repeat this view during the
meeting but he made significant contributions during the deliberations". If Mr. Singhal had sought the
resignation of the Prime Minister and the Deputy Prime Minister over the issue it reflected his personal
views, he added. On whether the Centre was cooperating with the Sangh Parivar in its endeavour, he said
a Government could only act as a facilitator as the P.V. Narasimha Rao Government "had facilitated the
demolition of the Babri Masjid" in 1992. (Hindu 6.7.03)

7th July
Muslim Board rejects seer’s proposal to gift Babri site (26)
LUCKNOW, JULY 6. The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board today rejected the most recent proposals
of the Kanchi Sankaracharya, Sri Jayendra Saraswati, to resolve the Ayodhya dispute and reiterated
its stand that the site of the Babri Masjid was the property of Allah and could not be alienated by sale, gift
or otherwise. According to the Board, the core of the proposals was an appeal to Indian Muslims to "do-
nate the Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya," combined        with "veiled threats" to "prepare themselves for
giving up the mosques at Kashi and Mathura." The Board's executive committee, which discussed the
Acharya's original proposals sent on June 16 as well as his clarifications of July 1, felt that the latest
proposals had left no scope for further discussions. The gift of the Babri site as proposed by the Acharya
would not promote communal harmony or national integration because such a gift "would be under
duress" and not based on the principles of fair play, justice and constitutionalism, a formal resolution
adopted by the Board's executive committee said. (Hindu 7.7.03)

8th July
Ayodhya Track II: BJP pins hope litigants (8-5)
New Delhi, July 7 : WITH THE All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) rejecting the Kanchi
Shankaracharya's proposals, the BJP is now pinning its hope on the litigants themselves to come to the
negotiating table at some stage to resolve the Ayodhya dispute
A day after the AIMPLB's decision, BJP leaders held that efforts to bring the litigants to the title suit mainly
the Sunni Wakf Board, local akhara and some individuals were continuing and a positive outcome could
not ruled out. Interestingly, none of the parties involved in the legal dispute were represented in the
Lucknow meeting of the AIMPLB on Sunday, they said. In any case, BJP leaders said, no one had
expected the Muslim leadership to accept the Shankaracharya's formula at the first instance since they
could not appear to be caving in under pressure from the Hindu religious leaders. It was not unusual that
the Board members wanted to first redeem their credibility before the community by sounding tough. The
hardliners among the Muslim leaders wanted to show that they could not be taken for a ride. (Hindustan
Times, 8-7-2003)

10th July
RSS guru’s teachings in NCERT textbooks (26)
New Delhi, July 9: Sri Narayan Guru, a Hindu religious leader from Kerala whose preachings are recited at
RSS shakhas, will now feature in NCERT textbooks. Human resources development minister Murli
Manohar Joshi has gone on record saying, "Sri Narayan Guru was a great inspiration for organisations like
the RSS and the BJP. He is remembered daily in the RSS shakhas, through the morning prayer
Pratasmarana. Two decades ago, P. Paremshwaran, a senior RSS leader and director of the Bharatiya
Vichar Kendra, had written a pioneering biography on the Guru." The HRD ministry has included a brief
sketch on Sri Narayan Guru in the NCERT Class 12 textbook A Contemporary World History. This follows
pressure from Sri Narayana Dharma Paripalana Yogam, a foundation which controls the powerful
backward community Hindu Ezhava in Kerala, which comprises 33 per cent of the total population. Apart
from "welfare activities" for the backward Hindus, the ambitious SNDP Foundation nou intends to launch
apolitical outfit, the Kerala People's Forum. (Asian Age 10.7.03)

12th July
Sangh sets two-month deadline for temple law (26)
New Delhi, July 11: AT AN apex body meeting of the Ram Mandir movement on Friday, Hindu religious
leaders and RSS-VHP top brass are believed to have fixed a two-month deadline for the Vajpayee govern-
ment to decide on their demand for bringing an Ayod-hya legislation in Parliament. The Shri Ram
Janmbhoomi Mandir Nirman Andolan Uchchadhikar Samiti, which passed a resolution on the Ayodhya
issue, will meet again on September 14 to review the government's response and decide on its next
course of action. If the government failed to give a positive response, the Samiti felt a countrywide
agitation highlighting their demand should be launched and they should not hesitate to attack the BJP and
its allies on the temple issue, according to sources. Coming at a time when Assembly elections are due in
five states, the move is aimed at pressurising the BJP leadership to concede their demand for a legislation
to facilitate construction of the temple in Ayodhya. The Samiti is believed to have asked RSS chief K.S.
Sudarshan to convey its decision to the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and the BJP leadership.
(Hindustan Times 12.7.03)

14th July
Ayodhya Bill not feasible: Advani (26)
Nagpur: A day after the BJP agreed to consider the Sangh Parivar demand for legislation on constructing
a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani on Sunday said such a Bill
would not pass muster in Parliament in the absence of support by the Congress and NBA allies. He
pointed out that the government did not enjoy a majority in the Rajya Sabha. "Why Ayodhya? Any Bill
cannot be passed without the support of the Congress and we should accept this harsh reality," Advani
said. He sought to put to rest the speculation over his taking over from Prime Minister Vajpayee by
asserting that the BJP would retain power at the Centre in the next elections and Vajpayee would
"continue to lead the party and the country for many more years". Advani pointed out that from 1988 to
1998 the country had seven Prime Ministers. After that, Vajpayee had become the first non Congress PM
to complete a term (Times of India 14.7.03)
17th July
A temple will be built at birthplace of Ram: Advani (26)
GORAKHPUR.JULY16: DEPUTY Prime Minister L.K. Advani couldn't have found a more receptive and
gleeful audience when he today declared that the "aspirations of the people will definitely be fulfilled and a
Mandir constructed at the Ram Janmasthan." The gathering, largely comprising sadhus, cheered and
clapped as the Deputy Prime Minister pronounced the words they wanted to hear. Later, talking to
mediapersons, he said his optimism was based on his interactions with a cross-section of people
over past six-seven months. "The desire for construction cuts across communities," he said. While
indicating that dialogue was the only way to solve the problem, Advani refrained from commenting on the
ongoing court case. Mahant Avaidyanath, chairman of VHP's high-powered committee for construction of
a Ram temple, expressed happiness at Advani's statement and said that "the lost respect of Hindu society
will be restored with the temple construction." (Indian Express 17.7.03)

20th July
Modi plans Hindu August 15 (26)
Gandhinagar, July 18: The Gujarat government plans to hold special Shiv Vandana, Shiv Tandav Nritya
and Ganesh Vandana programmes, and other similar Hindu rituals, to mark Independence Day on August
15. The state government has decided to hold the celebrations in Patan district for the first time instead of
in the state capital, Gandhinagar. The move to convert Independence Day into a Hindu festival has
enraged the state's Muslims, who feel they are being systematically sidelined from the mainstream. The
Congress party, too, has voiced its opposition to the plans. Independence Day will begin in Gujarat on
August 15 by the ringing of temple bells at 6.30 am all over Patan. "Prabhat pheris (Hindu religious
processions in the mornings)" have been organised by various religious sects, including the Gayatri
Parivar, the Brahmakumaris and the Swaminarayan temple. (Asian Age 20.7.03)

Law for Ayodhya order (26)
IN AN interesting turn to the Ayodhya controversy and a significant change of stand, the Bharatiya Janata
Party through a resolution on Saturday supported the demand for exploring a legislative alternative to
resolve the Ram Temple issue. However, the party remained non-committal on whether it would work on
building a consensus within the NDA for passage of the legislation. After supporting a VHP-led agitation
for temple construction in its Palampur national executive, the BJP on Saturday passed a one-page
resolution which said: "Even though the common agenda of the NDA makes no mention of a legislative
initiative to resolve the Ayodhya issue, the BJP is of the view that this alternative too should be explored."
The resolution came with a . rider though: "In the present Parliament, the legislative approach would
be fruitful if our ; allies in the NDA as well as the : parties in the Opposition, especially the Congress,
extend their support to it." (Pioneer 20.7.03)

Babri demolition: Kar sewaks allege threat from Advani, Joshi (26)
Lucknow, July 19: THE SHIV Sena's Uttar Pradesh and Haryana unit chiefs on Saturday told a special CBI
court hearing the Ayodhya demolition case here that they have received life threats from BJP and VHP
leaders, allegedly at the behest of L.K. Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi Santosh Dubey (UP) and Vinod
Vats (Haryana) said they have been receiving the life threats ever since they declared (on June 7) that Ad-
vani and Joshi had incited kar sewaks, including them to demolish the disputed structure on December 6
1992. They requested the court to provide them proper security. Both are accused in the demolition case.
The Special Judge of the CBI court, Seth Shailendra Nath Tandon, directed the DG Haryana Police and
SSP Lucknow to do the needful on the Sena leaders' applications. (Hindustan Times 20.7.03)

VHP not communal: IT Tribunal (26)
NEW DELHI, JULY 19. Holding that the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) is not a "communal organisation",
the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal, Delhi Bench, has provided relief of Rs. 55.37 lakhs to it for the
assessment year 1993-94. A Bench comprising the vice-president, R.M. Mehta, and the Judicial Member,
Ram Bahadur, dismissing the department's appeal, accepted the submission advanced on behalf of the
VHP that it was a charitable organisation and it could not be held responsible for the unlawful activities if
any carried out by some of its members and others (in the demolition of the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya on
December 6, 1992).
The Bench observed that "where a matter of religion is involved then public passions are likely to be
charged and visa-vis the demolition of the structure, it cannot be anybody's case that all those involved
were the members of the VHP since the huge crowds, which had collected and assembled on December
6, 1992 must have also comprised general members of the public having a particular religious belief.
(Hindu 20.7.03)

21st July
NEW DELHI, JULY 20: THE main Opposition parties today decided to corner the Government on the
issue of the CBI "dropping the charge of criminal conspiracy" against Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani,
Human Resource Development Minister Murli Manohar Joshi and other senior BJP and VHP leaders in
the Babri demolition case. An adjournment motion is being planned for the monsoon session of
Parliament beginning tomorrow. That two successive governments — of Rajnath Singh and Mayawati —
had shied away from curing a technical defect in the chargesheet, forcing the CBI to adopt this course of
action, and that the response is rather late was lost in the din generated by Opposition unity on the eve of
the session. (Indian Express 21.7.03)

22nd July
Gujarat gaurav yatra via Geneva (26)
NEW DELHI/AHMEDABAD, JULY 21: PREPARE for another gaurav yatra in Gujarat. Chief Minister
Narendra Modi has agreed to accord state honour to late Shyamji Krishna Varma, a veteran freedom
fighter and first president of Bombay Arya Samaj, whose ashes will be taken through key districts of the
state after its arrival from Switzerland. There are indications that Modi himself may travel to Geneva to
fetch the ashes. He has sought permission from External Affairs Ministry and the Prime Minister to travel
to Switzerland and fetch the urn, kept in the St George's Columbarium in Geneva. If he does go —PK
Misra, the CM's principal secretary, says it has not yet been decided who will travel but confirms
"someone from Gujarat will definitely go"— it will be Modi's first trip abroad after the Gujarat riots which
invited widespread international condemnation. The CM's last foreign trip was to Astrakhan, the Caspian
Gate between Asia and Europe, in October 2001 when he led a trade delegation. But BJP MP Kirit
Somaiyya, who's worked hard to get Varma's last remains from Geneva, told The Indian Express that we
requested it was no small occasion so the Gujarat government on July 16 agreed to give state honour to
krantiveer Varma. (Indian Express 22.7.03)

After trishul, Rajasthan will face axe campaign (26)
Jaipur, July 21: It is now "pharsa diksha" for brahmins in Rajasthan after the state government curbed
"trishul diksha" by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The Sarva Brahmin Mahasabha, spearheading a
movement to get the benefit of reservation under the OBC category for the community of priests, has
decided to present pharsa (axe) to its volunteers so as to make their agitation aggressive, state chief of
the mahasabha Suresh Mishra said here on Monday. "The holding of pharsa — a symbol of Lord
Parshuram — by brahmins is an expression of our anger against our community's neglect," Mr Mishra
said. "We shall be presenting pharsas to one lakh volunteers all over the state seeking their commitment
for the cause of reservation," Mr Mishra said. As many as 100 volunteers, including a woman, were pre-
sented pharsas at a diksha ceremony on Monday here, he claimed. (Asian Age 22.7.03)

25th July
Sena to move House on uniform civil code (26)
New Delhi, July 24: Buoyed by the Supreme Court observation, the Shiv Sena intends to move for a
discussion on uniform civil code in the Lok Sabha under Rule 193. The BJP would also be calling a NDA
meeting to discuss the possibility of bringing in a legislation on the uniform civil code. The RSS wants the
Centre to take "quick steps" in the direction of a law on civil code, sources said. However, sources in the
saffron camp observed that despite the move by a section of its hardliners to bring in a legislation, some
of the NDA allies, particularly the TOP and DMK were likely to oppose it. A senior party functionary
claimed that "political compulsion would prevent the government from going ahead with the legislation."
The move for a legislation sources disclosed could also create problems for the party's Muslim MPs,
Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi and Shahnawaz Hussain. Mr Naqvi when contacted on Wednesday adopted a cau-
tious approach towards the enforcement of common civil code. He felt that "a nationwide consensus" has
to be created before adopting a legislation. Mr Naqvi had also gone on record saying that "an awareness
among the minority community has to be created over the issue and it has to be clarified that uniform civil
code was not going to affect the religious rights of any community." Mr Naqvi has been nursing Muslim
dominated constituency at Rampur, from where he is expected to contest during the next Lok Sabha poll.
(Asian Age 25.7.03)

26th July
RSS plans swayamsevak takeover of BJP (26)
New Delhi, July 25: After the BJP leaders denied its demand for a legislation on the Aypdhya issue, the
RSS now intends to have total control by getting its swayamsevaks nominated as the BJP's organisational
heads in every district. The RSS decided this during a four-hour meeting on Thursday between its leaders,
including H.V. Seshadri, Mohan Bhagwat, Madan Das Devi and Ram Madhav, and BJP chief M. Venkaiah
Naidu. It was learnt that the RSS, despite being supportive of the BJP's stand on the Ram Mandir issue,
was of the opinion that more swayamsevaks should join the political organisation to "take forward" the
Hindutva agenda. The BJP has been asked to recruit at least 500 swayamsevaks before the Assembly
polls in four states. Apart from swayamsevaks, the BJP will also recruit Akhil Bharatiya Vidyarthi Parishad
cadres, sources said. (Asian Age 26.7.03)

28th July
Bajrang Dal leader escapes murder attempt (26)
New Delhi: A LOCAL Bajrang Dal leader escaped an attempt on his life by two unidentified persons while
he was travelling near Dwarka on Sunday. According to police, Robin Singh, local Bajrang Dal
President, was travelling in his Indica car in Dwarka area in South West Delhi on Sunday evening when
the inicident took place. Two unidentified men , riding a
motorbike fired at Singh's car. However the bullet missed Singh and gave enough time
to his personal security officer (PSO) to retaliate. They fired at the assailants, who later escaped. So far
the police has no clue as to who could be behind the attack. According to police officials, Singh was fac-
ing threats from the under- world. Singh had allegedly burnt copies of the Quran which had angered
several Muslim sections. (Pioneer 28.7.03)

29th July
Liberhan panel not to summon PM (26)
NEW DELHI, JULY 28. The Liberhan Commission of Inquiry today rejected the demand to summon the
Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, for examination as a witness and also to recall the Deputy Prime
Minister, L.K. Advani, whose examination has been completed.
Mr. Justice Liberhan, however, directed the former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Kalyan Singh, to appear
before the Commission on August 7 and 8 for adducing evidence as a witness. In his 17-page order, he
pointed out that the facts referred to by counsel for summoning Mr. Vajpayee "are the inference to be
drawn from the evidence already on record".
"No useful purpose would be served by summoning the Prime Minister at this stage of inquiry as advised
by the counsel for the Commission," he added, rejecting the application of Mohd. Aslam Bhure in this
regard. Mr. Justice Liberhan said he had closed the recording of evidence by Mr. Advani on January 29,
2002, subject to the condition that counsel for Mohd. Aslam Bhure put forward in an affidavit all the facts
he had relied on and the questions he proposed by way of further cross-examination. But this had not
been done till date. (Hindu 29.7.03)

30th July
Jaya sings Hindutva tune; backs temple, common code (26)
Chennai, July 29: TOEING THE Saffron birgade's Hindutva line, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J. Jayalalitha
on Tuesday favoured the construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya and called for a uniform civil code. "If
you cannot build a temple for Lord Ram in India, where else can we build it?" she told media-persons.
Asked if she would want the temple to be built at the disputed site, Jayalalitha said, "I don't want to go into
legal tangles. But I definitely want a temple at Ayodhya." The VHP's demand for legislation for a temple
could be discussed later, she said during an interaction with the media at her party headquarters on
Tuesday. In 1991, Jayalalitha had supported kar seva near the Babri Masjid, but later toned down
following the demolition of the structure. On the Supreme Court's observation on the need for a uniform
civil code she said, "A common (uniform) civil code is necessary for the country The AIADMK would
support a legislation for the purpose if brought in Parliament." Asked if such a code would not affect the
rights of the minorities, she shot back: "Certainly not. It will only ensure everyone is equal before the law."
(Hindustan Times 30.7.03)

31st July
Babri breather for Advani (26)
Rai Bareli: The CBI admitted on Wednesday that barring one tape that contained the speech of Sadhvi
Rithambhara, the other tapes submitted by it for closed-door screening before a special court here trying
the Babri Masjid demolition case did not contain the speeches of Deputy PM L K Advani, Union minister M
M Joshi, BJP leader Uma Bharati and Sangh Parivar leaders Ashok Singhal, V H Dalmia, Vinay Kati-yar
and Giriraj Kishore.. CBI counsel S S Gandhi, said, however, that the agency had "oral evidence" against
all the eight accused. He maintained the CBI had oral evidence that these leaders were present in
Ayodhya on December 6, 1992, and incited the crowd resulting in the demolition of Babri Masjid. L K
Advani "We had submitted these tapes to corroborate CBI charges against these eight accused. In video
tapes, they can be seen sitting on the dais while others are giving fiery speeches, inciting those present,"
said Gandhi. (Times of India 31.7.03)

DMK threatens to quit NDA (26)
Chennai, July 30: A DAY after Jayalalitha extended her support for a temple at Ayodhya and a common
civil code, DMK president M. Karunanidhi said his party would quit the NDA if the BJP resented its
opposition to the two issues. "While in the NDA, we will fight any move to build a Ram temple at the
disputed site in Ayodhya or to bring in a legislation in Parliament to facilitate temple construction. But if
they (BJP) do not want our presence in opposing such policies, we will come out of the coalition,"
Karunanidhi told reporters in Chennai on Wednesday. On the common civil code, the former Tamil Nadu
Chief Minister said the country needed unity more than 'uniformity' in civil laws. Since minority com-
munities had their own personal laws and customs, a uniform civil code would only create confusion and
lead to further complications, he said. The DMK would reject such a code if the BJP pushed for it,
Karunanidhi said. (Hindustan Times 31.7.03)


1ST Aug
Houses erupt over doctored tapes (26)
New Delhi, July 31: Parliament was rocked on Thursday over the issue of the CBI allegedly submitting
"doctored" tapes to the Rae Bareli court in the Babri Masjid demolition case, with an angry Opposition
demanding the resignation of deputy prime minister L.K. Advani, causing a pandemonium that forced
adjournment of the Lok Sabha for the rest of the day. The Opposition plan to corner the Vajpayee
government in both Houses on media reports of the CBI producing tapes in a special court at Rae Bareli
that did not contain the speeches of Mr Advani and other accused on the day of the Babri Masjid
demolition — December 6, 1992 — was visible right from the word go. Soon after the Lok Sabha
assembled for the day, Congress and other Opposition members stormed into the well of the House
shouting slogans against Mr Advani, with some even demanding his arrest. With the situation becoming
unmanageable, Speaker Manohar Joshi adjourned the House for 15 minutes at first and then, when the
disorder continued, till lunch. Congress chief whip Priya Ranjan Das Munshi raised the issue and
demanded a discussion, saying he had given notice of an adjournment motion. (Asian Age 1.8.03)

3rd Aug
Enough time to reply to NHRC plea (26)
KANCHEEPURAM, AUG. 2.                   "The Gujarat Government has enough time — about 30 days — to
reply to the special leave petition (SLP) filed by the National Human Rights Commission in the Supreme
Court seeking fresh investigation into the Best Bakery case," the Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi,
said here today. Talking to mediapersons at Sankara Math here after meeting the Kanchi
Sankaracharyas, Sri Jayendra Saraswati and Sri Vijayendra Saraswati, Mr. Modi said: "I respect the court
verdict. As per the law, there is 60 days' time to file a reply and 30 days are over now and we have about
30 days for filing the reply for the SLP filed by the NHRC against the acquittal of all the 21 accused in the
Best Bakery case. The Advocate-General of Gujarat is looking into the matter." Asked if he had
discussed Ayodhya with the Kanchi Acharya, Mr. Modi replied in the negative. He had requested the
Acharya to establish Sankara Math branches in Ahmedabad, Somnath, Sakthi Peeth and Ambaji in
Gujarat and extend his services for the development of tribals and for establishing schools for them.
(Hindu 3.8.03)

4th Aug
No change in government’s line on temple declares PM (26)
New Delhi, Aug.3: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee on Sunday said that the Ram Temple issue could
be resolved either through the courts or mutual agreement between Hindus and Muslims. Mr Vajpayee's
observations, clarifying his recent remarks on Ayodhya, assume significance in the backdrop of the
Opposition move to raise the issue in Parliament on Monday. BJP general secretary Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi
told The Asian Age that Prime Minister Vajpayee had clarified his recent Ayodhya remarks when a
delegation of Delhi BJP leaders met him here on Sunday morning. Mr Naqvi quoted the Prime Minister as
saying: "There is no change in the government's stand on the temple issue." Senior Delhi BJP leaders,
including Union minister Sahib Singh Verma and Delhi BJP chief Madan Lal Khurana, had gone
in a delegation to the Prime Minister's house to thank Mr Vajpayee for the formulation of the DDA
Master Plan guidelines. (Asian Age 4.8.03)

5th Aug
I will quit the day I feel I’m under pressure: PM (26)
NEW DELHI, AUG. 4. Clarifying his statement made in Ayodhya on construction of a Ram temple there,
the Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, today told the Lok Sabha.that his Government believed that a
solution to the Ayodhya dispute could come either through a court judgment or negotiations between the
parties to the dispute. The Prime Minister's clarification came in response to demands from the Opposition
parties. Mr. Vajpayee was at pains to dispel doubts over his speech last Saturday at the funeral of
Ramchandradas Paramhans. "I did say that the Ram mandir must be built, but I did not say how it will be
built or that it will be built forcibly," he said. Mr. Vajpayee was present in the Lok Sabha during question
hour and used the occasion to rebut the Opposition charge that he had "deviated" from his position on the
contentious issue.
Mr. Vajpayee said the Opposition had failed to read the full text of his speech. "I have never said how the
temple will be built or who will build it," he said. There were different views on the construction of the tem-
ple, but the decision to construct the temple would be a collective one. (Hindu 5.8.03)

Vajpayee denies charges over misuse of CBI (26)
New Delhi: AMID WIDESPREAD allegation by the Opposition members regarding the "misuse" of CBI to
protect Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani and others in the Babri Mas/id demolition case, Prime Minister
Atal Bihari Vajpayee on Monday told the Rajya Sabha that no charge had been withdrawn and that the
Centre had given no directive at any point of time to the investigative agency to bail out anyone. "I can say
with conviction that no directive has been given to the CBI, which is an autonomous body free to take its
own decisions," Mr Vajpayee said while winding up a short duration discussion on government's
responsibilities visa-vis its investigative agency in Ayodhya matters. Stating that his office had only
administrative control over the CBI, he said, "My government has not withdrawn the case nor has it ever
interfered." Mr Vajpayee said it was the job of courts to decide what were the evidences and who were the
guilty to be punished and appealed to members to ponder over whether such a sensitive issue should be
raised time and again in Parliament. (Pioneer 5.8.03)

6th Aug
Jogi takes cue from Digvijay, flirts with soft Hindutva (26)
Raipur, August 5: THE CONGRESS central leadership may disagree with suggestions of adopting a
soft-Hindutva line, but Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi, it seems, feels it is the right approach to
counter the BJP. He has been practising soft-Hindutva for the past six months.
Jogi latest move is to provide 1.13 hectares of land free of cost to a trust, the Srigopal Gaurak-sha
Sevasadan, to protect old and stray cows, in Dondi in Durg district. The decision was taken by the state
cabinet. According to reports, the government will provide land free of cost to such organisations in the
near future as well. The Durg-based cow protection trust has over 400 cows.
Earlier, Jogi had set up a commission - the Gauseva Ayog - to protect cows in the state. He even gave its
chairman the status of a cabinet minister. The commission has urged the Atal Bihari Vajpayee govern-
ment to initiate a Bill in Parliament for a nationwide ban on cow slaughter. The killing of cows is already
banned in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh. (Hindustan Times 6.8.03)

8th Aug
Nyas chief to VHP: Forget Kashi, Mathura (26)
Nritya Gopal Das, the newly-appointed chief trustee of the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas, rriay soon prove to
be troublesome and inconvenient for the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, which has been holding the reins of the
Ram temple movement. Mahant Nritya Gopal Das, who has succeeded Mahant Ramchandra Paramhans
as head of the Nyas, now wants the VHP to forget about Kashi and Mathura and focus its attention on
Ayodhya instead. Talking to The Asian Age over the telephone, the Mahant says, "Ayodhya is a matter of
faith. It is as pious for Hindus as Jerusalem is for Christians and Mecca is for Muslims. There is need to
focus attention on resolving the Ayodhya issue, instead of raking up Kashi and Mathura. In fact, I would
advise the VHP not to rake up these issues because the Gyanvapi Mosque in Varanasi and the Idgah in
Mathura are already protected by legislation." The VHP, however, has repeatedly stated that on no
account would it give up its claim to Kashi and Mathura, and Mahant Nritya Gopal Das' moderate stand on
the issue could lead to a direct confrontation with the VHP. The VHP slogan, all along the temple
movement, has been "Ayodhya to has jhanki hai, Kashi, Mathura baaki hai," and its leaders are
determined to keep the Kashi and Mathura issues alive in the years to come. (Asian Age 8.8.03)

SC moved against dropping of charge against Advani (26)
NEW DELHI, AUG. 7. An application was filed in the Supreme Court today by Md. Aslam Bhure seeking to
stay all further proceedings pending before the Judicial Magistrate, Rae Bareili, in the Ayod-hya case,
relating to the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, and seven others as the CBI had filed a diluted
chargesheet dropping the 'conspiracy' charge. The apex court in March had already issued notice on Mr.
Bhure's review petition against its November 29, 2002 order permitting the Uttar Pradesh Government to
conduct the trial against Mr. Advani and others in the Rae Bareili special court instead of the Lucknow
special court. Mr. Bhure has now filed an application in the review petition praying for early hearing of the
review petition so that the matter might be disposed of to end the controversy in the trial, pertaining to the
demolition of the disputed structure in Ayodhya. He wanted the court to initiate action against the CBI for
filing an "incorrect and truncated" chargesheet with the intention of saving Mr. Advani and seven other
WIPs, including the Union Ministers, Murli Manohar Joshi and Uma Bharti, and the VHP president, Ashok
Shingal, accused in the crime no. 198/92 from legal punishment. And
to initiate contempt proceedings against the CBI for distorting and distracting the judicial record in this
matter. (Hindu 8.8.03)

9th Aug
No RSS delegation for Pakistan seminar (26)
New Delhi: The RSS has decided not to send its delegation to the seminar organised by the South Asian
Free Media Association (SAFMA) in Islamabad. Instead, it nominated three persons "close to the RSS",
two of whom will be making the trip. Spokesman Ram Madhav told reporters on Thursday that the RSS
had nominated former spokesman M G Vaidya, Organiser columnist Muzaffar Hussein and author K P
Agarwal for next week's conference of journalists and parliamentarians in Pakistan. However, Vaidya will
not be able to make it to Islamabad. (Times of India 9.8.03)

VHP to suspend stir to get even with JP (26)
New Delhi, August 8: ANNOYED WITH the BJP for having failed to introduce a legislation on Ayodhya
issue, the VHP has decided to suspend its agitation on the temple issue in the four states going to polls
later this year. Sources said the move has been taken to prevent the BJP from deriving any mileage from
the VHP agitation, which was expected to influence the Hindu electorate. The decision was taken at a
meeting of top VHP leaders including Ashok Singhal, Praveen Togadia and Acharya Giriraj Kishore earlier
this week. The relations between the VHP and the BJP have been steadily worsening for quite some time
over the Ayodhya issue. The VHP's latest move is seen as a warning to the BJP that the Sangh outfits
may not cooperate with it if the party continues to ignore their concerns. (Hindustan Times 9.8.03)
10th Aug
Advani turns down Temple prayer (26)
Aug. 9. — The BJP has refused to put its government on the, line to fulfil the VHP's Ayodhya demand -
introduce a legislation on the Ayodhya issue, let it be defeated, and then go to the electorate with Temple
construction as the main poll plank. "The VHP wants us to bring such a legislation which will definitely not
get passed in Parliament. It wants us to contest polls on this plank," Mr LK Advani said, pointing out that
the VHP's demand that would not have, in any case, resolved the Ayodhya issue. The Deputy Prime
Minister said the BJP-led government was "not ready to bring a legislation to create a division" but resolve
the issue. "We'll bring a legislation only when there's a consensus, not just within the NDA but also with
the Congress", whose support will be crucial for the Bill's passage in the Rajya Sabha. "That's why I say
the real solution lies in negotiated settlement between the two communities and I'm optimistic that it's
going to come, up," Mr Advani told reporters accompanying him to Hyderaad. (Statesman 10.8.03)

13th Aug
VHP builds case with ASI findings (26)
NEWDELHI, AUGUST 12 : THE VHP has claimed that the archaeological excavations carried out in
the past five months at Ayodhya conclusively prove that three temples existed — one after another—from
the seventh century AD to the 12th century AD — in the area and the Babri Masjid structure was built after
cutting the pillar bases and the floor of the 12th century temple. Parishad working president Ashok Singhal
and two prominent pro-VHP archaeologists — S.R Gupta and Arun Kumar Sharma — said the
Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) excavations in the vicinity of the disputed area from March 5 to
August 7 have unearthed 70 pillar bases and other artefacts linked with the temple. These excavations
corroborate the findings of archaeologist B.B. Lal and the laser survey conducted by Tojo Vikas
International company on behalf of the ASI earlier. Singhal, when asked about the motive for making their
own findings public, said he wants to put to rest the doubts created by the media that "nothing has been
found to substantiate the VHP claim that a temple pre-existed the Babri Masjid at the disputed site".
(Indian Express 13.8.03)

14th Aug
Patan putdown to Modi’s saffron I-Day (26)
PATAN, AUGUST 13: CHIEF Minister Narendra Modi's efforts to paint the 1-Day function saffron — by
holding it in Hindu Patan, amid the chanting of hymns, ringing of temple bells, prabhatpheris, and
sahasrajyots —have run into trouble. The Congress is firm on embarrassing him by holding a parallel
function here in which Vitthalbhai Pandya, father of slain former minister Haren Pandya, will hoist the flag.
And the merchants of Patan, who were asked to have their shops in the main Ganj Bazaar painted saffron
for the occasion have chosen not to. They have settled for a more sober light pink. The state plans to
change venue for the 1-Day function every year. But religious significance is being seen in the decision to
begin with Patan. This north Gujarat town was the capital of powerful Hindu king Sidhraj Jaisinh Solanki.
Ahmedabad became the capital when the Sultanate was established some 600 years ago. The
programmes Modi has planned for the day also indicate the tenor he wants the function to take: (Indian
Express 14.8.03)

18th Aug
Laloo is scared of me: Togadia (26)
Kolkata, Aug. 17: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad has decided to extend a helping hand to the BJP in the
coming Assembly elections in five states and later in the Lok Sabha polls by once again launching a
campaign against Congress president Sonia Gandhi's foreign origins, VHP leader Praveen Togadia said
here on Sunday. "Sonia Gandhi should give up dreaming of ruling India because we will not allow any
foreigner to become Prime Minister of the country," he said. Mr Togadia, who was denied entry into Bihar
by a determined RJD government, arrived in Kolkata on Sunday to participate in a programme to
celebrate the 125th birth anniversary of Sree Maa, the disciple of Aurobindo Ghosh, at University
Institute Hall here. He said that he would be ready to accept even "an illiterate" Rabri Devi as Prime
Minister but not Mrs Gandhi. (Asian Age 18.8.03)

After kar sevaks, ex-SSP points finger at Advani (26)
Lucknow, August 18: AFTER five kar sevaks alleged recently that Deputy PM LK Advani and other top
BJP and VHP leaders had instigated them to demolish the Babri masjid in Ayodhya on December 6,1992,
it's the turn of then Faizabad SSP to speak out against the Parivar. D.B. Rai, who is in possession of the
initial chargesheet filed by the CBI in connection with the demolition, has claimed the agency had initially
filed criminal charges against Deputy Prime Minister L.K. Advani, Union HRD Minister Murli Manohar Joshi
and other senior BJP leaders but later dropped the charges in the supplementary chargesheet filed by the
investigating agency in the Rae Bareli court. Rai himself joined the BJP soon after the demolition and be-
came an MP but was later shunted out over differences with some leaders. 'Advani and others senior
leaders not only incited kar sevaks but also ensured that para-military forces, which were well-equipped to
control the belligerent crowd, did not reach the site," Rai said over the phone. Rai, who was present there
on the day of the demolition, said Advani and other leaders addressed kar sevaks from the building of
Ram Katha Kunj, barely 500 meters from the disputed site. (Indian Express 19.8.03)

22nd Aug
VHP chief Togadia faces ban in UP too (26)
Lucknow, Aug. 21: After Bihar, it is now Uttar Pradesh that is putting up barricades for the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad. The state government, on Thursday, clamped, a ban on VHP leader,.Mr Praveen Bhai
Togadia's scheduled, Ram, Raksha Sutra' programme in Bareilly. Though Mr Togadia ultimately did not
turn up for his programme, the local administration had imposed section 144 in the city and had
announced that the VHP leader would not be allowed to address any meeting. The decision to ban the
VHP function was taken as a retaliatory call given by a Muslim organisation led by Mr Taufiq Raza. (Asian
Age 22.8.03)

26TH Aug
ASI claims temple evidence beneath Ayodhya site (26)
Lucknow, Aug. 25:The Archaeological Survey of India, in its report submitted in the high court after
excavations in the Ayodhya disputed site area, is reported to have found features of a 10th century temple
beneath the Babri mosque site. The Sunni Central Waqf Board, which went through the 574-page report,
termed the ASI findings "vague and self-contradictory." The report was opened on Monday before the full
Lucknow bench of the Allahabad high court. The ASI, it is learnt, claims to have found archaeological evi-
dence of a massive structure just below the disputed site and evidence of continuity in structural activities
from the 10th century onwards up to the construction of the disputed structure. (Asian Age 26.8.03)

Historians incredulous, says report is doctored (26)
New Delhi, August 25: HISTORIANS reacted with incredulity on Monday to the ASI report claiming
evidence that a temple existed at Ayodhya long before the Babri Masjid. "None of the interim reports by
the ASI mentioned the possibility of a temple," said Delhi University (DU) historian R.C. Thakran who
regularly visited the site while the court-ordered digging took place.
"At no time during the excavation did anyone mention the possibility that evidence of a temple had been
unearthed." Another academic was more blunt. "This is a doctored report, prepared for the elections,"
says Sanjay Verma, also of DU. "The ASI's credibility as a professional body has now been demolished."
A summary of the report released by the Allahabad High Court (which ordered the excavation on March 5)
mentions as key evidence 50 pillar bases with temple-style carvings bearing lotus motifs, a mutilated
sculpture of a divine couple, and remains which "were distinctive features found associated with temples
in north India". "The pillars do not belong to one particular period, they range over different times," said
B.P. Sahu, an ancient Indian history specialist at DU. "So working out that they belong to a temple
structure is difficult." (Hindustan Times 26.8.03)

Muslim panel says ASI did not dig truth (26)
Lucknow: Terming the ASI report as self-contradictory, Babri Masjid Action Committee convenor and
All-India Muslim Personal Law Board member Zafaryab Jeelani said it was not based on facts that came
out after digging at Ayodhya. The report suggests the existence of a temple-like massive structure but has
not given any details, hence is self-contradictory, Jeelani said. Except the western wall of the mosque,
there was no other structure on the 50-metre dimension at the disputed spot. That wall cannot be claimed
to that of a 10th century temple, Jeelani added.
"Even the 10th century dating is imaginary as this has never been the case among warring parties that
there ever existed a temple in the 10th century," Jeelani said. He also questioned the ASI claim that either
a temple of Vikramaditya period or that of 12th century existed beneath the disputed site. "From where
have they got these new findings," he asked. He said the AIMPLB was seeking detailed comments from
its experts which would be made available to the media in a week's time. (Times of India 26.8.03)

27th Aug
Upbeat RSS to launch a new campaign (26)
New Delhi: The Archaeological Survey of India's findings of a temple beneath the demolished Babri Masjid
in Ayodhya have given a shot in the arm to the Sangh Parivar. RSS top leadership is expected to meet
this weekend to decide on its future course of action. The Sangh agenda appears to be two-pronged: to
talk about a negotiated settlement as well as begin "a massive popular movement" that could be
converted into a political programme for BJP. The Parivar is expected to ask parties to spell out stand on
ASI's findings. "It's no longer BJP's responsibility alone. All parties should make it clear if they respect
the verdict or not," RSS spokesman Ram Madhav said. (Times of India 27.8.03)

Archaologists dig holes into ASI report (26)
New Delhi: The Archaeological Survey of India's excavation report on Ayodhya, suggesting "a huge
structure indicative of remains, which are distinctive features associated with the temples of north India",
has been found wanting at many levels by archaeologists and historians. Archaeologist Suraj Bhan, who
visited the site during the excavation, says the report has not "taken into account" certain features of the
western-wall of 'the pre--Babri Masjid Chamber.
According to him, the burnt brick wall of the pre-Babri Masjid structure had a carved stone laid in the foun-
dation. "This has not been taken into account. If it was, this could have precluded the possibility of the
structure being associated with Hindus, since they never used carved stone in foundation," he says. The
pillar bases are not of the same type. "Fifty pillar bases are not of the same type, which means they were
used in different structures," he says. R C Thakran of Delhi University, who also spent a long time in
Ayodhya during excavation, concurs. "I have seen the material in the pillar bases. Pieces of early
mediaeval bricks, thinner, smaller and less wide were found. Can it take a massive structure?" he asks.
(Times of India 27.8.03)

30th Aug
ASI has twisted evidence, say historians (26)
NEW DELHI. AUG. 29. The Archaeological Survey of India has "twisted its own evidence" to reach
conclusions to "support the fictions of the Sangh Parivar about the existence of a temple", historians said
at a press conference, organised by the anti-communalism group, Sahmat, here today. Man Habib of the
Aligarh Muslim University and Suraj Bhan from the Kurukshetra University said there was no evidence that
supported the ASI's claim. "The decisive evidence that denies the existence of a temple is the presence of
animal bones throughout the site," Prof. Habib said. The ASI had not recorded the bones found in its field
records although "the rules and conventions of archaeology stipulate that field records of an excavation
site must cover all the evidence, not just some of it". On a complaint, the High Court had ordered the ASI
to comply, but animal bones were mentioned only once in the conclusion of the report on Page 270:
"Animal bones have been recovered from various levels of different periods". (Hindu 30.8.03)

31st Aug
ASI’s Ayodhya report splits historians; Habib challenged (26)
New Delhi, August 30, HISTORY, IT seems, was never so alive than in the present. A day after Professor
Irfan Habib trashed the Archaeological Survey of India's (ASI) report on the excavations at the disputed
site at Ayodhya and accused it of "twisting its own evidence" to "support the fictions of the Sangh Parivar",
it was his turn to be charged of pursuing an agenda. And no, it wasn't the Sangh Parivar trashing the
professor's claims; the criticism comes from someone within the 'parivar' of professional historians.
Nayanjot Lahiri, a leading archaeologist in the country, who has gone through the ASI report, thinks that
some of the points raised by Habib are "themselves very questionable". Responding to comments made
by Habib and archaeologist Suraj Bhan (see his column on page 10), Lahiri makes some counter-points.
Its critics have accused the ASI of excavating the entire area and thereby "endangering evidence required
for future cross-checking" in a "desperate search to find something to be shown as evidence of a temple".
Lahiri, Reader in Delhi University's history department, finds the charge baseless and points out that it was
the Allahabad High Court which had ordered the ASI to excavate the site to attest the anomalies
mentioned in an earlier ground penetrating radar (GPR) survey report. "The ASI was simply covering the
area the GPR survey had covered," she said. (Hindustan Times 31.8.03)


COW SLAUGHTER

12th Aug
Draft allows for strong penalty (26)
New Delhi: The planned legislation to protect cows, it appears, will provide for rigorous imprisonment of a
minimum of two years, running up to seven years, and a fine of up to Rs 10,000. This would be for killing
cows, seen as the embodiment of "divine virtues" such as love, compassion, non-violence and tolerance.
In the eyes of the BJP — reportedly, sentiments reflected in the preamble to the Bill — the cow commands
reverence and cultural sanctity and low-cost, eco-friendly, employment-oriented sustainable organic
agriculture depends upon it. So, then, does the health and prosperity of people. The legislation would
prohibit killing, injury and cruelty, restrict export of cows and prohibit sale of beef. (Times of India 12.8.03)

13th Aug
Kerala protests Central move to ban cow slaughter (26)
Ani S Das said that the proposed Bill augured ill for the meat industry and was likely to disturb the public
health system in the state. Regular culling is essential for maintaining the health of the animal population.
Kerala will not be able to contain the sudden increase in the population of cattle. Both farmers and those
engaged in the meat business will be severely hit by the Bill. Moreover, beef is the most important source
of nutrition for the lower income group as it is the cheapest meat available," he said. Kerala is the largest
consumer of beef in the country. The total consumption of beef last year was 2,49,000 tonnes. The
demand for beef is so high that every year five lakh cows are brought from neighbouring states for
slaughter. Kerala beef was sold in states where cow slaughtering is banned. At present, Arunachal
Pradesh, Meghalaya, West Bengal, Mizoram, Nagaland and Tripura are the only states, other than Kerala,
where there's no official ban on cow slaughter. (Indian Express 13.8.03)

14th Aug
TDP meet may oppose ban on cow slaughter (26)
New Delhi, Aug. 13: The Telugu Desam Party has serious reservations over the Vajpayee government's
move to enforce a nationwide ban on cow slaughter by bringing in legislation under Entry 17 of the
Concurrent List of the Constitution. The 29-member TDP's support to the Vajpayee government would be
crucial as the proposed legislation has to be a constitutional amendment. The TDP has been opposed to
any move to place curbs on the federal powers of the state. Cow protection comes under animal
husbandry, which is a state subject. In the proposed constitutional amendment, the Vajpayee government
proposes to bring the subject from the State List to the Concurrent List of the Constitution. According to
party sources, TDP MPs are meeting here on Thursday morning to informally discuss and formulate their
party's stand on the issue. The TDP feels the move to ban cow slaughter was untimely and unwarranted.
(Asian Age 14.8.03)

20th Aug
Meghalaya BJP wants NE exempt from cow Bill (1)
GUWAHATI, AUGUST 19: THE building resistance in the North-Eastern states against the proposed Bill
to ban cow slaughter in the country took a new turn today with the Meghalaya BJP chief revealing that he
had written to PM Vajpayee seeking exemption of the North-Eastern region from the purview of the Bill.
"The Centre's proposal does not go well with our people, and therefore I cannot support it," said
Meghalaya state BJP chief W Kharshiing adding that he had written a letter to the PM in this regard.
"Beef-eating has always been the traditional food habit of the tribals in Meghalaya, and as you have
always shown concern for the well-being of the tribals, may I request you to kindly exempt these states
from the purview of the proposed Bill," said the letter which was released to the press today. (Indian
Express 20.8.03)
22nd Aug
Allies force Govt. to defer Bill banning cow slaughter (26)
NEW DELHI, AUG. 2l.The Vajpayee Government was today forced to defer the introduction of a Bill
banning cow slaughter. Within 48 hours of helping the BJP defeat the Opposition's motion of
no-confidence against the Government, allies of the ruling National Democratic Alliance joined hands with
the Opposition to derail a move designed to propitiate the Sangh Parivar as well as woo the BJP voters in
the four northern States going to the polls later this year. Much to the BJP's embarrassment, the
resistance was spearheaded by its allies, the TDP, the DMK, the MDMK, the PMK and the JD(U), with
support from the CPI(M), the Congress, the RJD and the IUML. The Lok Sabha witnessed uproarious
scenes, as soon as the Speaker, Manohar Joshi, asked the Agriculture Minister, Raj-nath Singh, to move
the Bill. Angry TDP, DMK, PMK and MDMK members were on their feet, demanding that the Bill be
withdrawn. (Hindu 22.8.03)

Cow slaughter non-bailable crime: Bill (26)
New Delhi, Aug. 21: "Whereas cow is the embodiment of divine virtues like love, compassion,
benevolence, tolerance and nonviolence...," is the opening sentence of the Prevention of Cruelty to Cows
Bill, 2003, moved by agriculture minister Rajnath Singh in Lok Sabha on Friday. A copy of the bill, (which
the government failed to place in the Lok Sabha after opposition from allies) made available to The Asian
Age, is aimed at making cow slaughter, selling and exporting of beef, torturing cows, "cognizable and
non-bailable offence with a prison term ranging from two to seven years." The legislation also empowers
the Centre to ask state governments or civic bodies to protect ailing and abandoned cows. This particular
provision was strongly opposed by the allies who described this as "interference in state matters." With
regard to communal tension over killing of cows, the bill states, "...the cow has been subjected to inhuman
cruelty and atrocities in the past, which still continues, resulting in disturbances of law and order and
breach of peace.. “ (Asian Age 22.8.03)

2nd Feb
SC puts Advani, Joshi on notice (26)
New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Monday issued notices to Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani, HRD
minister Murli Manohar Joshi, Uma Bharti, the Centre, the CBI, the Mulayam Singh Yadav government
and others on petitions seeking the revival of the conspiracy charge in the Babri Masjid demolition case.
The court, however, refused to stay the ongoing trial in the case at the Rae Bareli special court. It asked
the respondents to file their replies within two weeks as to (vhy two petitions filed by lawyer Wajahad
Ansari and one C M Shukla should not be entertained. The petitioners have sought quashing of the May
30 chargesheet filed by the CBI against the accused in which the charge of conspiracy (Section 120-B of
IPC) was dropped. The trial court is yet to announce its decision on the issue. A Bench of Justices S
Rajendra Babu, K G Balakrishnan apd Arun Kumar adjourned the hearing on another petition filed by
Moham- review of the apex court's earlier order allowing trial of Advani and seven others in the Ayodhya
demolition case at Rae Bareli instead of Lucknow. The Bench asked Aslam's counsel 0 P Sharma to
amend the petition by deleting certain objectionable references to the CBI and others. (Times of India
2.9.03)

Sangh outfits to protest NDA stand on WTO (26)
New Delhi, September I: MUCH TO the BJP's discomfiture, prominent leaders of various Sangh Parivar
organisations like the Swadeshi Jagran Manch (S JM), Bharatiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) and Bharatiya
Kisan Sangh will come together at a massive demonstration here on Tuesday to denounce the Vajpayee
government's stand on WTO. Stalwart of the trade union movement and BMS and BKS founder Dattopant
Thengadi heads this group of Sangh Parivar leaders who will address the 'Mahadharna' at the Ramlila
ground against the "unreasonable, inequitable and arbitrary proposals of the WTO. Other important
leaders who will be speaking at the public meeting include SJM convenor P.Muralidhar Rao, joint con-
venor S.Gurumurthy and former BJP ideologue K.N.Govindacharya who has been campaigning all over
the country against the WTO and the government's economic policies. Both Thengadi and Govindacharya
have been sharply critical of the NDA government's economic policies rousing the heckles of the BJP top
leadership time and again. Their move to address a large public meeting on the issue in the Capital at a
time when the Delhi Assembly elections are barely two months away is bound to add to the BJP's woes.
(Hindustan Times 2.9.03)

3rd September
Kalyan on summons: You can’t force me (26)
Lucknow/Delhi, Sept. 2: Former UP chief minister Mr Kalyan Singh has said that the Liberhan Commis-
sion could not force him to depose before it. Reacting to the news of a summon being issued for him by
the Commission, Mr Singh said that a petition against him in the Ayodhya case was already pending in the
Delhi High Court and there was no point in appearing before two courts for the same issue. "Besides, I
have informed the Liberhan Commission that if the Prime Minister and the deputy prime minister are
summoned along with me, I will definitely depose before the Commission because I am not avoiding
facing them," he said. The Liberhan Commission probing the Babri Masjid demolition case, on Tuesday
issued a non-bailable warrant against former Uttar Pradesh chief minister Kalyan Singh for his failure to
appear before it as a witness.
Now, the Liberhan Commission directed Mr Kalyan Singh to make his appearance on September 23 and
24. (Asian Age 3.9.03)

HC gives Togadia a passage to UP (26)
Allahabad: The Allahabad High Court on Tuesday directed the district administration of Ghazi-abad to
allow VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia to participate in a meeting organised there on September 2
by the VHP. Passing this order on a criminal revision filed by Togadia, Justice R C Deepak directed the
district magistrate of Ghaziabad to take all kinds of precautionary measures to maintain law and order in
the meeting and proceed in accordance with law. The applicant revisionist had challenged the order of the
ADM Ghaziabad who, on August 31, 2003, had passed an order restraining Togadia from participating in
the programme organised ,by the VHP The court, however, disallowed distribution of trishuls (trident) in
the meeting and making of inflammatory speeches. (Times of India 3.9.03)

6th September
Togadia gets warm Ranchi reception; opp frets (26)
Ranchi: AMID WIDESPREAD protests by the Opposition parties in Jharkhand, Vishwa Hindu Parishad
International Secretary Praveen Togadia was accorded a grand reception at the Birsa Munda airport on
Friday afternoon. Mr Togadia arrived in the Capital at around 1.50 pm and was welcomed by more than
one thousand workers of the VHP, Bajrang Dal, and the ruling Bhartiya Janata Party. The Sangh
members were ready to take on any Opposition and had equipped themselves with swords, trishuls and
lathis. The VHP leader was welcomed with a marigold garland weighing about 40 kg. The entire airport
was swathed in saffron and enthusiastic activists danced to the drumbeats. A 5-metre saffron flag with a
trishul designed on it was hoisted inside the airport campus. Understandably, the general public and
passengers had a harrowing time. After his grand reception, a visibly elated Mr Togadia said: "The
Opposition is against my presence in Ranchi because they are afraid of me. They are playing with Hindu
sentiment." (Pioneer 6.9.03)

8th September
 Bill on cow slaughter hastily brought about (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 7. Four senior leaders of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh met the Deputy Prime
Minister, L.K. Advani, at his residence here today to impress upon the need for the Government to pave
the way for legislations to ban cow slaughter and enable the construction of a Ram temple in Ayodhya.
The RSS Sarsanghchalak and head of the organisation, K.S. Sudershan, and three senior leaders —
Mohan Bhagwat, H. Seshadiri and Madan Das Devi — discussed several issues with Mr. Advani. It seems
that the RSS is unhappy that the Government is not doing enough to push through legislations on banning
cow slaughter and Ayodhya. "The Government should have done some homework" before attempting to
introduce the Bill to ban cow slaughter at the end of the last monsoon session," the RSS spokesperson,
Ram Madhav, said. The allies should have been individually contacted and effort made to take their view
on it before attempting to introduce the Bill. As it happened the Bill was hastily brought and could not be
introduced, he said. The Government had to withdraw it after stiff opposition from National Democratic
Alliance parties who said that this issue was not on the NDA agenda. And of course, it also met resistance
from some Opposition parties, especially the Left. (Hindu 8.9.03)
10TH September
RSS tries to calm VHP nerves (26)
New Delhi, September 9: WITH A crucial meeting of the Ram Janmbhoomi Uchchadhikar Samiti slated
over the weekend, the RSS top brass is now engaged in hectic deliberations with the VHP leadership to
finalise their future course of action on the Ayodhya issue. As the apex body of the temple movement is
expected to devise strategy for a nationwide campaign to pressurise the Vajpayee Government on
Ayodhya legislation, the Sangh leaders are apparently trying to persuade the VHP not to take any drastic
steps that could create problems for the government and the BJP. In view of VHP's soured relations with
Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the RSS would also try to persuade its leaders like Ashok Singhal and Praveen
Togadia not to indulge in public criticism of the Prime Minister, according to sources. The VHP's morale is
high ever since the ASI submitted its report on the excavations at the disputed Ayodhya site and Singhal
has resumed his attack on Vajpayee. Following their discussions with Deputy PM L.K. Advani on Sunday,
the RSS brass have now got back to the VHP with the government's position on issues like the Ayodhya
legislation and the Cow Protection Bill. Advani apparently gave them some assurance on getting the bill on
prevention cow slaughter passed in the next Parliament session while avoiding any commitment on the
temple legislation issue. (Hindustan Times 10.9.03)

12TH September
Gowda decries politicization of move to ban cow slaughter (26)
BIJAPUR, SEPT. 11. The former Prime Minister, H.D. Deve Gowda said today that he was not against the
move to ban cow slaughter, but it could be enforced only after addressing the economic issues attached
to it. Addressing presspersons here, he said farmers were selling cattle to slaughterhouses for want of
fodder. The Government with the help of non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should set up fodder
banks to prevent farmers from selling cattle to slaughterhouses. Stating that it was not an issue to be
viewed from a religious angle, he regretted the politicisation of the issue by organisations affiliated to the
Sangh Parivar, and the Congress. Those who ate beef would not have to worry if cow slaughter was
banned. The meat could be imported. On the report submitted by the Archaeological Survey of India on
the Ayodhya issue, he said if a Ram temple was to be built on the disputed site, it should be done without
any confrontation. (Hindu 12.9.03)

13TH September
RSS to support VHP agitation on Ayodhya (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 12. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh today warned of a "massive mobilisation of
popular will for the construction of a Ram temple" through an agitation by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad,
which it will fully support. At the same time, it made it clear that as far as the RSS was concerned there
would be no more waiting for a judicial verdict. "Legislation" was the "only option" and to make this happen
it sought the support of all the political parties. The announcement on the VHP's plans is expected here by
Monday as the Marg Darshak Mandal Samiti, virtually the working committee of the VHP, is meeting here
this weekend. Simultaneously, the Bharatiya Janata Party president, Venkaiah Naidu, said today that the
party wanted to "open a new chapter" in Uttar Pradesh. Its "experiment" in cohabitation with Ms.
Mayawati's Bahujan Samaj Party had "failed" but the party had "no regrets". At a meeting on October 6, in
Lucknow, the central leadership would sit with its State leadership right down to the district level to work
out a strategy to get back the political space it occupied earlier. "We will start preparing for the next
election right now" while we play our role as a "constructive Opposition", he added. (Hindu 13.9.03)

14TH September
Sangh historians flay secular counterparts (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 13. Pro-temple historians today trained their guns on Marxist and "secular"
historians for refusing to accept the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) report on the recent Ayodhya
excavation. Accusing the "secular historians", particularly Aligarh Muslim University's Man Habib, of
fishing in i troubled waters, the "Sangh" historians said, "Their cheap propaganda based on false
history and bogus archaeology can-| not be taken as sound history." Pleased by what the excavation
brought up, the historians, who participated in a discussion here on 'Ayodhya Ki Khudai Ka Sach' (The
Truth of the Excavation at Ayodhya), said the ASI re-| port had corroborated "all the archaeological, art
historical and epigraphical evidence found earlier by A.K. Narain, B.B. Lal, S.P. Gupta, K. Srivastava,
Sudha Mallaiya and others".Also, according to the chairman of the Indian Archaeological Society, S.P.
Gupta, the excavation had proved beyond doubt that the 20-line Sanskrit inscription — found in the debris
of the Babri Masjid on December 6, 1992 — was, indeed, the clinching evidence needed to prove that a
Ram temple existed on the very ground where the mosque stood. (Hindu 14.9.03)

15TH September
Sangh a Parivar again, thanks to ASI (26)
New Delhi: The Sangh is a Parivar once again, thanks to the Archaeological Survey of India's controver-
sial report on Ayodhya. The top brass of the RSS and the BJP met on Saturday for a pre-scheduled
"routine organisational meeting", after which the BJP publicly proclaimed its support for the fresh Ram
temple agitation to be launched by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).
After the four-hour long meeting at BJP president Venkaiah Naidu's residence, party general secretary
Pramod Mahajan told reporters, "In the light of the ASI report, it was decided that the Ram Mandir
agitation should be intensified. The BJP has no objection to VHP's proposed agitation in support of its
demand for a bill in Parliament". The ASI's conclusion that a temple pre-existed the Babri masjid has been
disputed by independent historians and archaeologists. Constitutional experts have also argued that
archaeological evidence of any kind is a "tluHity" in law since the title suit pending in the courts has to be
resolved on the basis of land documents. That the BJP intends to rake up the issue was made clear
earlier this week when Deputy Prune Minister L K Advani asserted in Bangalore that a "Ram temple" had
been found and that the Muslim litigants should relinquish their claim to the mosque site. (Times of India
15.9.03)

Temple: VHP to hit streets next month (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 14: THE Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) plans to launch its agitation for the
construction of a temple in Ayodhya within a month. A decision to this effect was taken today at a meeting
— it was held at the VHP headquarters at the Sankat Mochan temple in New Delhi — of its temple
construction committee, headed by former MP Mahant Avaidyanath. The date for the launch I of the
agitation will be finalised at the margdarshak mandal meeting, scheduled for Monday afternoon. "We will
start the stir between Vijayadashmi (October 5) and Deepawali (October 25), but our saints will have the
last word on the date," VHP sources said. The margdarshak mandal comprises over 300 religious heads
drawn from Hindu sects spread across the country. The Sangh Parivar, elated over the ASI report on the
Ayodhya excavations, is keen on encashing the findings. (Indiasn Express 15.9.03)

16th September
VHP warns of agitation from Oct. 15 (26)
New Delhi, Sept. 15: The VHP on Monday gave an ultimatum to the Centre to convene a special
session of Parliament to legislate for the construction of Ram Mandir at Ayodhya, failing which it would
launch a nationwide agitation from October 15. The ASI report apparently is the basis of VHP's newfound
zeal in re-launching the "jan andolan (mass movement)." Once again the VHP failed to come with a
specific date to begin construction. "Construction work takes time," VHP leader Ashok Singhal said.
Though Mr Singhal claimed that the movement would be "peaceful," he warned that if the district
administration imposed prohibitory orders under section 144 CrPC in Ayodhya, the Rambhakts would not
abide by the orders. Earlier, when asked to asked to comment on VHP's remark that "their movement did
not depend on the BJP," BJP general secretary and spokesman Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi said, "BJP is not
influenced by VHP's agenda or decisions." The VHP also sparred by saying that it does "not have any
hope from the BJP. It has not done anything in the last five years. Rather, it has dropped the three
important issues, including Ayodhya, from its agenda. For VHP leader Ashok Singhal, "There is no use
talking to BJP. If the party includes these three issues in its agenda, then we will have talks." Though
Sangh Parivar outfits indulged in shadow boxing, they refrained from hitting each other hard. Mr Singhal,
who had demanded the resignation of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee for his failure to get the temple
constructed, on Monday parried all questions in this regard. He refused to comment on what he had said
earlier. (Asian Age 16.9.03)

RSS ruffles Sikh panel feathers (26)
CHANDIGARH, Sept. 15. — The Shiromani Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee has criticised RSS for
undermining the dignity of Sikhism by publishing photographs of Sildi Gurus along with its leaders in a
journal. The chief secretary of the SGPC, Mr Manjit Singh Calcutta, alleged that .the RSS was trying to
compare Sikh Gurus with some Hindu leaders by publishing photographs of Sikh Gurus along with its
leaders. Replying to allegations regarding the violation of SGPC norms while appointing him as the chief
secretary of the SGPC, Mr Calcutta said he is not an employee of the committee. "As I do not accept any
remuneration for my services to the committee, my appointment does not come under the purview of the
SGPC bylaws. Moreover, the SGPC executive committee has the power to relax the bylaws in certain
conditions." (Statesman 16.9.03)

Mamata seeks RSS help to fight communist terror (26)
NEW DELHI, Sept. 15. — The Trinamul Congress chief, Miss Mamata Banerjee,. and the Union defence
minister, Mr George Fernandes, today joined hands with the R.SS in condemning alleged "Communist
terrorism" in the country. Speaking at an RSS function here today, Miss Banerjee described Sangh
leaders as "true country-lovers". "Now that I've got the chance to meet so many RSS leaders, I can say
that they are really seized of the problems gripping various regions". The function, attended by senior RSS
leaders, including Mr Mohan Bhagwat and, Mr Ma-dandas Devi, was organised to release a compilation of
articles in a book form entitled Communist Atankwad (Terrorism) edited by Mr Tarun Vijay, editor of the
RSS mouthpiece Pan-chjanya. These articles dealing with "reign of terror and violence" allegedly
unleashed by the Communists, Naxalites and ultra-Left forces resulting in "barbaric killings" of thousands
of people, focus on the situation in three "Communist-affected states" — West Bengal, Kerala and
Jharkhand - besides Nepal. The book seeks to project ''Communist terror along with Islamic and Christian
militancy" targeted only against the Hindu community. (Statesman 16.9.03)

19th September
VHP threatens a 1992 in October (26)
Lucknow: The Vishwha Hindu Parishad (VHP) has threatened a 1992-like buildup in Ayodhya if the Centre
did not yield to its demand by October 15 for convening a special session of Parliament to pass a
legislation on construction of Ram temple at the disputed site. The VHP plans to hold a demonstration and
take out a 'sankalp yatra' in Delhi and Lucknow on October 15 as a warning to both the Central as well the
Mulayam government in Uttar Pradesh. "Over one lakh of kar sevaks from different parts of the country
will take part in the yatra, VHP organising secretary Purshottam Narain Singh said. After the show in Delhi
and Lucknow, the VHP has directed kar sevaks and workers to reach Ayodhya on October 17 when a
high-level meeting of sadhus and saints has been convened to review the situation and take a final
decision on launching the final phase of temple construction movement. "It will be a peaceful march to
Ayodhya from October 15 onwards, but if any attempts are made to stop VHP leaders and kar sevaks, we
will create a 1990- and 1992-like situation," warned the VHP leader, claiming that over two lakhs kar se-
vaks are expected to participate in one of the biggest saffron congregation in Ayodhya after 1992. (Times
of India 19.9.03)

Joshi: I will quit if chargesheeted (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 18: 18.The Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, today
said he would resign from the Government if he was chargesheeted in the Babri Masjid demolition case
in which a court in Rae Bareilly is expected to deliver an order tomorrow. His statement made to televi-
sion channels and reporters threw the Bharatiya Janata Party into a state of confusion for the party has
been all along maintaining that the entire case was "political" and that since this was not a corruption case,
there was no need for its leaders in the Government to quit. Parry leaders refused to comment, saying
they had not heard Dr. Joshi and that in any case he was free to express his views. In the event of Dr.
Joshi quitting if he is chargesheeted, will the Deputy Prime Minister, Mr. L.K. Advani, who is also impli-
cated in the case, follow suit? Mr. Advani refused to comment on Dr. Joshi's statement, saying he would
say something tomorrow after the court order was pronounced. (Hindu 19.9.03)

20th September
Advani discharged; Joshi, others to face charges in Babri Masjid case (26)
RAE BARELI, SEPT. 19. The Special CBI court hearing the Babri Masjid demolition conspiracy case today
discharged the Deputy Prime Minister, Lal Krishna Advani, but found grounds to proceed against the
seven other accused in the case, including the Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar
Joshi, the former Union Minister, Uma Bharti, and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Ashok Singhal. The
special CBI magistrate, V.K. Singh, in his order passed in a packed court fixed October 10 for the framing
of charges against the seven accused and directed them to personally appear before him on the next date
of hearing. The magistrate said that Mr. Advani had been discharged on all the counts and his personal
bond revoked. The sureties in his bail bond had simultaneously been freed from their responsibilities.
(Hindu 20.9.03)

Joshi resigns; no need, says party (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 19. The Human Resource Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, tendered his
resignation today, becoming the first casualty of die Rae Bareli court order in the Babri Masjid demolition
case, but his fate will not be known immediately as the Prime Minister is in New York to attend the United
Nations General Assembly session. Dr. Joshi sent his three-line letter of resignation to the Prime
Minister's Office and informed the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, of his decision. Although Mr. Ad-
vani, the Bharatiya Janata Party president, M. Venkaiah Naidu, and the RSS chief, K.S. Sudershan, spoke
to Dr. Joshi on telephone and reportedly told him there was no need to resign, Dr. Joshi insisted on
sticking to what he had said yesterday — that he would resign if chargesheeted and this was normal
protocol. The news that Mr. Advani had been discharged", that is, no charges had been framed against
him did not lead to immediate celebrations at the BJP office as would be normally expected. (Hindu
20.9.03)

Why only me, asks Advani; he has reason to wonder (26)
DEPUTY Prime Minister L K Advani, reacting to the court order, said he was mystified why only he—out of
the eight accused—had been discharged by the Rae Bareli court. He has reason to.
For, his solitary discharge by Magistrate V K Singh implies that in the court's opinion, Advani shared the
dais in Ayodhya on December 6,1992 with "an unlawful assembly" of other Sangh Parivar leaders but he
did not share their "common object" of provoking riots and communal frenzy. This despite the fact that on
May 31, the CBI chargesheeted all the eight leaders for their collective responsibility in "instigating the
demolition." Singh is reported to have discharged Advani because of two conflicting testimonies of
witnesses cited by the CBI. One set of witnesses said that Advani was heard appealing to the kar sevaks
to calm down and not violate the SC status quo order. But another set of witnesses pointed out that
Advani did nothing to restrain a leader like Sadhvi Rithambara from repeatedly chanting provocative slo-
gans from the same dais. (Indian Express 20.9.03)

21st September
Accused should move higher court after charges: RSS (26)
Bhubaneswor : DECRYING ATTEMPTS by the Congress and other pseudo-secular parties to extract
political mileage out of the Rae Bareli court verdict in the Babri Masjid demolition case, RSS
spokesperson Ram Madhav said on Saturday that the accused should move the higher court for justice,
once charges were framed against them. Lambasting the Congress for "crowing over the verdict",
Madhav said if the party was convinced about its conspiracy theory of the demolition, it should make a
public announcement that it would rebuild Babri Masjid if it comes to power. "This will be more appropriate
for the Congress      than     shedding crocodile tears on the demolition," Madhav said, adding that any
attempt by the party to grab the high moral ground on Ayodhya would not work as it was the
Congress Government which had ordered the opening of the locks of Ramjanmabhoomi in 1986, and
later permitted the shilanyas three years later. (Pioneer 21.9.03)

23rd September
RSS praises Joshi decision, George differs (26)
New Delhi, Sept. 22: The crisis within the BJP over the resignation of HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi
took an interesting turn with the RSS on Monday openly "appreciating" his decision to resign on "moral
grounds." RSS spokesman Ram Madhav, who met Dr Joshi late on Sunday evening, told The Asian Age,
"We appreciate his decision to resign on moral grounds." Mr Madhav then said that the final decision over
the resignation "will be taken by the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee, after his return." RSS chief
K.S. Sudershan and joint general secretary Madan Das Devi, who left for Nagpur following the death of a
senior Sangh leader, Morepant Pingley, are expected to call on Dr Joshi on Tuesday. The RSS brass is
expected to suggest a way out for both the minister and the BJP. (Asian Age 23.9.03)

Raag Joshi: RSS organs strike different chords (26)
New Delhi: The Rae Bareli special court's decision discharging Deputy Prime Minister L K Advani from the
Babri Masjid demolition case but framing charges against HRD minister Murli Manohar Joshi has made
the faultlines within the Sangh Parivar more visible. The mouthpieces of the Sangh in English and Hindi,
Organiser and Panchajanya, have taken varying stands on the controversial issue of Joshi's resignation.
In a special editorial on the Rae Bareli court order, Panchajanya has written: "The RSS, the Prime Minister
and the BJP have pointed out that there is no need for Joshi to resign. We are confident that Joshi,
knowing everybody's views, would withdraw his resignation". The Organiser, however, has not asked
Joshi to withdraw his resignation. Though this weekly also had put the Babri case on its cover, it has no
editorial on the issue, but only an inside page news story by 'Our Correspondent'. And the story on Joshi's
resignation has it that: "Meanwhile, many political commentators have lauded Dr Joshi for upholding high
moral principles in politics". (Times of India 23.9.03)

24th September
Agnihotri makes envoy play No. (26)
New Delhi, Sept. 23: Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who personally cleared the appointment of
swayamsevak and longstanding tnend Bhishma K. Agnihotri as India’s ambassador-at-large in New York
is not prepared to allow him to play second fiddle to the Indian embassy in Washington. Determined to
appoint a point-person outside the protocol of the foreign office who could interact with the powerful non-
resident Indian community as his direct representative, Vajpayee has ensured that Mr Agnihotri draws his
authority directly from the Prime Minister's Office and not the ministry of external affairs. The foreign office
has been placed in the unhappy position of watching Mr Agnihotri cut into the influence and functioning of
the Indian embassy, having complete access to Mr Vajpayee. The RSS and the BJP, on the other hand,
are particularly supportive of the new ambassador, with a senior leader insisting: "He is doing a great job,
he knows everyone in the non-resident community, he is able to get them together, address their issues
and bridge the distance between them and the Prime Minister." This leader insisted that the "bureaucrats
are not able to do their job, and then don't want others to step in, they look at everything as their
preserve.(Asian Age 24.9.03)

Kalyan appears before Liberhan Commission (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPTEMBER 23: AFTER maintaining for years that he would not depose, former Uttar
Pradesh CM Kalyan Singh today sprang a surprise by making his maiden appearance before the Liberhan
Commission probing the Babri Masjid demolition. A recent Delhi High Court order. The former CM
appeared before the Commission as a bailable warrant was issued against him on September 2 asking
him to appear by today. The HC had on September 19 directed Singh to approach the Commission for
adjournment of hearing before it on his petition in this regard. The court had fixed October 17 for hearing
his petition seeking to revive his earlier petition which had become infructous on April 1 following
conclusion of recording of evidence by the Commission. (Indian Express 24.9.03)

25th September
RSS firm on Joshi resignation issue (26)
New Delhi, Sept. 24: After the RSS refused to intervene in the resignation drama, HRD minister Murli
Manohar Joshi on Wednesday night went to the outfit's headquarters at Jhande-wala to meet its chief, Mr
K.S. Sudershan. Dr Joshi would be leaving for Kochi to attend the birthday celebrations of Mata
Amritanandamayi at Kochi on Thursday. Sources disclosed that the RSS once again made it categorically
clear to the HRD minister that it was not willing to intervene in the issue and the matter has to be sorted by
the BJP and the Prime Minister, Mr Atal Behari Vajpayee. Dr Joshi, however, had the total support of the
VHP with Mr Ashok Singhal, who met him earlier in the day, saying, "If deputy prime minister L.K. Advani
could be discharged in the case, then all the other accused deserved a similar treatment." Rallying behind
Dr Joshi, Mr Singhal accused BJP leaders, including Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee and Mr Advani,
as "hypocrites" in an interview to a television channel. Dr Joshi, who had dinner with the RSS brass,
including Mr Sudershan, Mr Madan Das Devi, Mr Mohan Bhagwat and Mr H.V. Seshadri, reportedly
complained of being "ignored" by the BJP leadership. The RSS leadership, which gave a patient hearing
to Dr Joshi's grievances, however, wanted him to withdraw the resignation. The RSS leadership also
expressed annoyance over its name being dragged into the entire controversy. Since Dr Joshi's
resignation, there had been reports that the RSS was divided over making him the BJP president. (Asian
Age 25.9.03)

Dr. Togadia dares MCI on degree cancellation (26)
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 24: VHP leader PravinTogadia presented a rare sight today, putting aside the
Sangh's thinking cap to flaunt his credentials as a cancer specialist. Angered by remarks that his
provocative speeches are a violation of the medical code of conduct, Togadia dared the Medical Council
of India (MCI) to cancel his registration. At a press conference, Toga-dia raged against the doctors who
have lodged a complaint with the MCI, quoting from his speeches in Gujarat. "Some mad people are
demanding that I be deregistered. I became a cancer specialist due to my intelligence and not due to their
meherbaani (favour). These people do not realise that any professional degree cannot be withdrawn
without professional misconduct," he fumed. The 100-odd doctors, who comprise groups in Mumbai and
other cities, have specifically quoted Togadia's speeches after the Godhra incident. Scoffing at the
demand, To-gadia said: '"Karketo dikhai" (Let's see how they do it.) On a relatively mellow note, he said
he would return to farming for if the unexpected happened "Kisan ka beta hoon, waapas khetimejaoonga."
(Indian Express 25.9.03)

26th September
Sena plans Ayodhya meet before VHP (26)
New Delhi, Sept. 25: In a shrewd move to project itself as more hardliner than the Sangh Parivar on the
temple issue, the Shiv Sena has decided to hold a Ram bhakt sammelan at Ayodhya ahead of the VHP's
rally at the holy town on October 17. Interestingly, the party has been refusing to become a part of the
Sangh Parivar while supporting the Ayodhya issue inside and outside Parliament. And now, it wants to
make inroads into Uttar Pradesh by taking up the issue in view of the forthcoming elections. The Sena
decided to hold the conference after seeking the "blessings" of late Mahant Ramchandradas Paramhans
who, it says, had got "disillusioned" with the VHP. The Shiv Sena Parliamentary Party leader in the Lok
Sabha and the party in charge of Uttar Pradesh affairs, Mr Chandrakant Khaire, and state party chief Vijay
Tiwari on Thursday explained to journalists why their party had decided to hold a separate sammelan. The
decision was taken much before VHP's "Chalo Ayodhya" call, they pointed out and said that this has the
blessings of Mahant Ramchandradas Paramhans. (Asian Age 26.9.03)

28th September
Doctors ask MCI to deregister Togadia (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 27. Several doctors have written to the Medical Council of India (MCI) here to
deregister and take action against the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Pravin Togadia, for violation of the
code of ethics set by the Council. Dr. Togadia is an oncologist and used to run a nursing home in Gujarat.
The MCI has forwarded the complaint signed by over 100 doctors and social activists and spearheaded by
the Pune-head-quartered Medico Friend Circle to the Maharashtra Medical Council. "It makes no sense.
The MCI has typically passed the buck. There is no logic in sending the complaint to Maharashtra. If at all,
the Gujarat Medical Council, where Togadia is registered, should have been asked to investigate," Sanjay
Nagral, one of the signatories told The Hindu from Mumbai. "The issue is not just about medical ethics but
his behaviour in society. Many doctors have felt that medical doctors taking part in hate campaigns are
just not on and we must protest it. Asking the MCI to look at the behaviour of doctors is the basis of our
complaint," he said. (All efforts by The Hindu to talk to the acting president of the MCI, Kesavankutty Nair,
proved futile.) (Hindu 28.9.03)

BJP distances itself from Togadia’s remarks (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 28. The Bharativa Janata Party today dissociated itself from the 'objectionable"
comments of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Pravin Togadia, on Muslims. Apparently embarrassed by
Dr. Togadia, who utilised the BIP's Minority Morcha forum to launch a diatribe against Muslims, the BJP
general secretary, Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, said such remarks vitiated the atmosphere of mutual trust
between both communities. The BJP, he said, believed in taking along every section of the community
and, as a party, had rejected the idea of a theocratic state. The BJP also hoped that religious and political
leaders of both communities would speak with restraint. "Making inflammatory speeches will not help the
fight against terrorism." Addressing a press conference at his residence, Mr. Naqvi also rejected the VHP
leader's charge against the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee. "The remarks against the Prime Minister
were irresponsible and not proper". In Saturday's meeting, Dr. Togadia had asserted that the VHP no
longer had any confidence in the Muslim leadership or for that matter in Mr. Vajpayee or Sonia Gandhi.
Mr. Naqvi, said he was 'personally pained' to hear him. He, however, defended the move to extend an
invitation to the VHP leader, stating that it was a seminar where people belonging to different
organisations participated and expressed their views. (Hindu 29.9.03)

30th September
'Doctored' Togadia faces hostile medical fraternity (26)
New Delhi: A group of doctors have sparked a row by demanding that VHP general-secretary Pravin
Togadia's registration as a medical practitioner be cancelled. The VHP has, however, termed the move as
"politically motivated". "We, from the medical fraternity, do not find Dr Pravin Togadia fit to continue as a
doctor. We, therefore, request you to take appropriate disciplinary action and cancel his registration," the
doctors said in their petition to the Medical Council of India (MCI). Quoting from the Indian Medical
(Professional Conduct, Etiquette and Ethics) Regulation, they claimed that Togadia's conduct and
utterances during the Gujarat riots had been unlike a physician. (Times of India 30.9.03)


1st October
Singhal, others also to move court (26)
LUCKNOW, SEPT. 30. The Allahabad High Court today stayed the framing of charges against the Union
Minister for Human Resource Development, Murli Manohar Joshi, in the Babri Masjid demolition
conspiracy case being tried in the special CBI court at Rae Bareli. Justice Y.R. Tripathi, sitting on the
Lucknow Bench of the High Court, in his order also summoned the case diary and other relevant records
of the Rae Bareli court pertaining to the case and fixed November 4 for further hearing. According to
Mridul Rakesh, counsel for Dr. Joshi, the stay granted on framing of charges against Dr. Joshi meant that
the proceedings in the Rae Bareli court had been stayed as such. By implication, the stay granted also
meant the possibility of a similar relief to the other six accused in the case. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad
working president Ashok Singhal, when informed about the stay", said the other accused would also move
the High Court to seek a similar relief. Dr. Joshi was among the eight accused against whom the CBI had
filed a chargesheet in the Rae Bareli court on the basis of their statements and speeches in 1992 prior to
the demolition of the Babri mosque on December 6 that year. While the special CBI magistrate, V.K.
Singh, in his order passed on September 19 last, discharged the Deputy Prime Minister, L.K. Advani, he
summoned the other seven accused, including Dr. Joshi, to personally appear before him on October 10
for framing of charges. (Hindu 1.10.03)

PM asks Joshi to resume work (26)
NEW DELHI, SEPT. 30. The Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vaipavee today returned to the Human' Resource
Development Minister, Murli Manohar Joshi, his resignation letter and asked him continue working, thus
bringing to an end the episode that started on September 19 That day the Rae Bareli court gave an order
that Dr. Joshi and six others would be chargesheeted in the Babri Masjid demolition case on October 10 .
Mr Vajpayee's decision'came immediately after Dr. Joshi informed him that his criminal review petition
challenging the Rae Bareli court order filed before the Luck-now Bench of the Allahabad High Court
had been accepted and the proceedings in the lower court stayed till the final disposal of the petition. "The
Prime Minister congratulated me and told me he had not accepted my resignation. He also asked me
to continue working as before... I accept with humility the decision of respected Prime Minister not to
accept my letter of resignation from the Union Cabinet," Dr. Joshi told reporters later. (Hinsu 1.10.03)

Singhal slams BJP leaders as hypocrites (26)
LUCKNOW, SEPTEMBER 30: VHP supremo Ashok Singhal today made a scathing attack on BJP
leaders charging them with "hypocrisy and doublespeak" on the Ram temple issue even as he warned the
Uttar Pradesh government of dire consequences if it obstructed the outfit's October 17 programme in
Ayodhya. Terming the BJP leaders as "hypocrites", Singhal said, "The NDA is hostile to Ram temple
agenda. BJP should clarify whether it supports the Ram temple or not. Its leaders should not talk with a
forked tongue — giving statement in favour of the temple outside Parliament and doing a somersault in
the House." He said a legislation to facilitate construction of Ram temple was possible if Prime Minister
A.B. Vajpayee so desired: "Vajpayee has a political stature...If he wishes, a legislation in favour of temple
construction could be passed." He said VHP would not allow any political party to draw mileage from the
Ayodhya issue. Singhal also warned the state government of "grave consequence" if it banned the
proposed VHP programme at Ayodhya on October 17. "We have planned to organise a peaceful pro-
gramme at Ayodhya but if VHP activists are prevented from reaching there, the situation may go out of
hands," he cautioned. (Indian Express 1.10.03)

2nd October
VHP to launch agitation for Ram temple in New Delhi (26)
Chennai, Oct. 1: The Vish-wa Hindu Parishad would launch a massive agitation in New Delhi and
Lucknow on October 15 to press the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance to enact a law for the
construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, the VHP senior vice-president Acharya
Giriraj Kishore said on Wednesday. He told a press conference here that over 50,000 VHP members
would participate in the Delhi rally and a similar agitation would be held in Lucknow too. The activists
would converge in Ayodhya and hold bhajans for some days. Rejecting the BJP contention that the ruling
coalition did not have the required majority in the Parliament to push through such a legislation, Acharya
Kishore asked how then Prime Minister-Vajpayee Won a vote of confidence and how the POTA was
passed by calling a joint session of Parliament. When pointed out that the other constituents in the NDA
did not support such a law for the temple, the VHP leader quipped, "The BJP may have its own coalition
compulsions just as we have our own demands." Arguing that the BJP had come to power on the plank of
Ram temple, Acharya Kishore said the Vajpayee government should either bring forward the legislation or
quit. (Asian Age 2.10.03)

5th October
Best Bakery: RSS spits fire on NHRC (26)
NAGPUR, Oct. 4. — The RSS today launched a tirade against the NHRG for "raking up" the Best Bakery
case. RSS chief Mr K Sudarshan questioned the propriety of the NHRC approaching the Supreme Court
when the accused were set free because the main eye-witnesses turned hostile.
In his annual address to swayamsevaks on the occasion of Vijaya Dashmi, Mr Sudarshan alleged that the
NHRC was "raking up" the issue. Wondering about the logic behind the NHRC asking the SC to conduct
retrial of the case outside Gujarat, he asked: "Why had the NHRC remained mum about taking up with the
Supreme Court the incident of the burning down of the whole of Radhabai Chawl in Mumbai on 1 February
1993...-in that case too, the accused were set free for want of evidence. Why did not NHRC come forward
to take that case? Is it because those killed in the Radhabai Chawl episode were all Hindus?" The RSS
chief also flayed NHRC's role after the 1984 anti-Sikh riots in Delhi. "After the assassination of In-dird
Gandhi, thousands of Sikhs were, killed by mobs led by Congress leaders, but almost all the accused
were set free because the prime witness had changed her statement." (Statesman 5.10.03)

8th October
VHP warns of polarization in every village (26)
NEW DELHI, OCT. 7. Every village in the country will be divided and there will be "complete polarisation" if
political parties did not legislate in favour of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, the VHP warned today. The VHP
international general secretary, Pravin Togadia, said here that the VHP would not help any party in the
coming Assembly polls and would ensure that no party took advantage of its programme starting on
October 15 when rallies would be held in Delhi and Lucknow ahead of the gathering of "Ram bhakts" in
Ayodhya on October 17. He said that people from over one lakh villages would gather at Ayodhya, and
after that, possibly on October 18, the "sants" leading the "ando-lan" (movement) could decide on
expanding the Ayodhya movement to cover "30,000 mosques which replaced temples during the Mughal
rule." Mr. Togadia spoke about the Hindu jan shakti demonstrating its strength in Ayodhya and warned
that "India's polity will get polarised (Bharat ki rajniti bant jayegi)." The movement would be peaceful, but if
the Ayodhya rally was banned, he "would respond when the time comes." Mr. Togadia said that if the
Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vaj-payee, and the Congress president, Sonia Gandhi, did not support
legislation for facilitating the construction of a Ram temple, "Ram bhakts" would decide "how to deal with
them (unke south kya vyavhar karna hai). And if the legislation was not in place before the next Lok Sabha
polls, "Ramlalla will decide who will be India's next Prime Minister." (Hindu 8.10.03)
Where’s relief VHP promised? (26)
Ahmedabad, October 7: DRIVEN by frustration, a feeling of being let down, families of Godhra carnage
victims are now speaking out against the VHP The most vocal of the lot is Girish Raval, who suffered a
double blow — first he lost his wife in the train attack, then his son was stabbed to death in the
post-Godhra riots. At 82, he has a daughter-in-law, Bela, and a granddaughter to take care of. "The VHP
took my wife and others to Ayodhya and could not ensure their safety. After the incident they promised to
compensate us. Post elections they have cold-shouldered us. Where is the money they collected for us?"
he asks. Sharad Mhatre, who lost his wife in the attack, says: "The VHP is planning another yatra... I don't
want other people to meet the same fate as my wife. I'm also unhappy at the paltry , compensation. The
VHP has left Godhra victims' families to their fate." These families have been paid government com-
pensation of Rs 1 lakh from the state government and Rs 50,OOO from the PM's fund for each victim.
(Indian Express 8.10.03)

10TH October
RSS: Stop Kali blood sacrifices (26)
New Delhi, Oct. 9: Animal sacrifices remain a part of Kali puja, but the RSS mouthpiece Organiser
appears to be in favour of banning such "barbaric practices." And this is where the RSS and Ms Maneka
Gandhi apparently join hands. "Mahakali needs blood. Isn't it time for our religious leaders to get together
and come to some understanding on this issue," the Organiser states. As West Bengal gears up to cele-
brate Kali puja, the mouthpiece is all praise for Tamil Nadu chief minister Jayalalitha for trying to clamp
down on animal sacrifices in her state. The RSS journal argued that if there was an agitation demanding a
ban on cow slaughter, why should other animals be slaughtered? The Organiser also questions the VHP's
concept of Hindutva and wonders why it does not start an agitation in Tamil Nadu, which refuses to accept
Ms Jayalalitha's move to ban animal sacrifices. "When so much is being made about banning cow
slaughter, shouldn't the same rule apply to other animals as well? What sort of Hinduism are we
practising? What kind of double standards are we observing? And why are our religious leaders silent on
so vital an issue as animal sacrifice in a temple — admittedly only a Kali or Siva temple," the RSS journal
states in an article. (Asian Age 10.10.03)

Sadhus in Ayodhya opposed to VHP march (26)
Lucknow, Oct. 9: Vishwa Hindu Parishad's proposed Ayodhya march on October 17 is meeting with stiff
resistance from local sadhus and saints in the holy city. A group of sadhus, led by Mahant Gyan Das of
Hanu-man Garhi and Mahant Bhavnath Das of Samajwadi Sant Sabha, met UP chief minister Mulayam
Singh Yadav on Wednesday and urged him to prevent the VHP from organising any programme in
Ayodhya. The sadhus alleged that the VHP was determined to               fan communal passions and create
unrest in the state with — the intention of polarising Hindu sentiments in its favour. Later, talking
 to reporters, the chief priest of the makeshift Ram Janmabhoomi temple, Mahant Satyendra Das said
that if the VHP was allowed to proceed with its programmes. Ayodhya would turn into a city of conflict and
this would have a fallout in the rest of the country as well. (Asian Age 10.10.03)

11TH October
High court refuses to ban VHP yatra in UP (26)
Lucknow, Oct. 10: The Lucknow bench of the Allahabad i/igh Court has dismissed a petition moved by
  Baba Dharam Das of Nirmohi Akhara, seeking a ban on the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's proposed
Ayodhya Yatra on October 17. The court, while dismissing the petition, asked the UP government to
ensure that there was no disruption of Jaw and order and that no attempts were made to violate the sta-
tus quo at the disputed site. The court asked the government to ensure that there was no unmanageable
congregation of people at sensitive points. The state government has given an undertaking saying that it
would ensure maintenance of law and order by its agencies. Baba Dharam Das, in his petition, had said
 that the VHP's proposed yatra was aimed at fanning communal passions and disturbing the law and
order situation in the state. (Asian Age 11.10.03)

Kar sevaks off to Ayodhya, Gujarat cops on their toes (26)
AHMEDABAD, OCTOBER 10: SECURITY has been beefed up around the Godhra railway station as kar
sevaks from different parts of Gujarat prepare to leave for Ayodhya in response to the VHP's Chalo
Ayodhya programme. The first batch of about 700 kar sevaks left Ahmed-abad by the Sabarmati Express
this evening. More kar sevaks are expected to leave for on Sunday, Monday and Wednesday too.
Sources said the trains carrying kar sevaks will pull up at platform number 3, instead of platform No 1
where the Sabarmati Express train was attacked on February 27 last year. The mob that attacked the S-6
and S-7 coaches of the Sabarmati Express had allegedly come from a colony close to platform No 1.
Armed with Intelligence reports that kar sevaks are likely to go to Ayodhya on trains, authorities have
decided to take extra precautions when the trains pass through Godhra. While the Railway Police will
concentrate on security only inside the Godhra railway station, the local police will be posted on the road
along the station that divides Signal Falia and Polan Bazar. (Indian Express 11.10.03)

Togadia demands explanation from PM on Hindu project (26)
New Delhi : ADDRESSING A Sankalp Sabha, Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Pravin Togadia on
Thursday sought an explanation from Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee following the reported denial by
ministry officials to extend help to a Hindu culture project, on the grounds that the communique requesting
help referred to the word "Hindu". Seeking clarification from Mr Vajpayee and demanding action against
those who refused help on the project, Mr Togadia said, "We will not tolerate anybody opposing Hindus.
Hinduism is a symbol of glory." Mr Togadia was reacting to a news report published in a Hindi daily that
the Governor of Bali had written to India seeking assistance to protect "Hindu Culture" but some Indian
officials insisted on dropping of the word "Hindu" saying that India is a secular country. He demanded that
the PM should divulge the "name or names of officials" who responded in the said manner and action be
initiated against them. Asserting that VHP's campaign for the Ram temple is non-political, Mr Togadia said
more than one lakh villagers would assemble at Ayodhya on October 17 for a peaceful agitation in support
of Ram temple. "It will be absolutely peaceful and there will be no disturbance at all", he assured. (Pioneer
11.10.03)

12TH October
2,000 Sainiks held in Ayodhya (26)
Lucknow, Oct. 11: About 2,000 Shiv Sainiks were arrested in Ayodhya on Saturday when they attempted
to violate prohibitory orders in the holy city. The Shiv Sainiks caught the district administration unawares
when they started collecting on the banks of river Saryu, shouting slogans in support of the Ram temple in
defiance of Section 144 imposed in the holy city. The district administration had denied permission to the
Shiv Sena to hold its proposed Ram Bhakt Sammelan in Ayodhya where the date for commencement of
temple construction was to be announced. State Shiv Sena chief, Vijay Tiwari, had declared that his
activists would violate the prohibitory orders and had even dared the district authorities to arrest him. Mr
Tiwari was among those arrested on Saturday. The Shiv Sena later claimed that over 6500 of its party
men had been arrested while the government spokesman claimed that the number of arrests was 741.
The Faizabad administration, after the arrest of Shiv Sainiks in Ayodhya, has now asked the government
to divert all rail traffic passing through Faizabad from October 12 to 17 in order to prevent Ram sevaks
from pouring into the holy city for VHP's Hindu Sammelan on October 17. Bus services to and from
Faizabad are also being frozen during this period and passengers will have to take an alternative route for
eastern Uttar Pradesh. (Asian Age 12.10.03)

13TH October
All routes to Ayodhya sealed (26)
AYODHYA, OCT. 12. Intensifying the crackdown ahead of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's proposed meeting
here on October 17, the Uttar Pradesh Government today arrested more than 1000 people heading for the
temple town, even as the VHP went ahead with its preparations for the programme. The Chief Minister,
Mulayam Singh Yadav, has sought the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's help to resolve the
impending "crisis". The Divisional Commissioner of Faiza-bad, J.P. Sharma, said that the State admin-
istration had sealed all routes leading to Ayodhya, diverted trains coming here and stopped the movement
of buses in the twin cities of Faizabad-Ayodhya and all possible means were being used to stop the
congregation of Ram bhakts. Mr. Vajpayee, back from a foreign tour, told reporters in New Delhi that the
VHP should be trusted in its claim that it would hold the meeting peacefully. Meanwhile, the State
Government sought 100 companies of paramilitary personnel from the Centre to check the VHP activists,
and Mr. Yadav accused the Sangh Parivar of trying to destabilise his Government. At least 12 companies
of the CRPF were diverted from Jammu and Kashmir to Ayodhya. "Paramilitary forces have started
reaching Lucknow and by tomorrow, we will have sufficient forces to control the VHP activists," the U.P.
Chief Secretary, Akhand Pratap Singh, told reporters in Lucknow. (Hindu 13.10.03)

14th October
Do not stop Ram bhakts, warns Togadia (26)
NEW DELHI, OCT. 13. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Pravin Togadia, today warned that the
"country will be plunged into communal riots" if 'Ram bhakts' were stopped from going to Ayodhya for a
'darshan’ of Ram Lalla.. He criticised the Prime Mlnister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, for what he called "stopping
and diverting" trains to Faizabad [near Ayodhya], and the posting of additional security forces in the temple
town. He said that 11 companies of the Central Reserve Police Force had been moved from Jammu and
Kashmir to Ayodhya as the Government perhaps thought that "Ram bhakts are more dangerous than
terrorists." In what seemed to be yet another reference to Mr. Vajpayee, he said that "some anti-Hindu
people are wearing a secular 'mukhota' (mask)." He said the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh
Yadav, was cancelling buses to Ayodhya. "More than 10,000 VHP volunteers had been arrested so far...
we are being treated as if we are in Pakistan," he said. Later, asked why he had held out the threat of
communal riots when it was Mr. Vajpayee and Mr. Yadav he was holding responsible for the hurdles in the
way of the VHP programme, Mr. Togadia said, "jehadi forces felt encouraged" by the anti-Hindu stance of
the Centre and the State Government. (Hindu 14.10.03)

15th October
Four Godhra victims’ kin for VHP yatra ban (26)
New Delhi, Oct. 14: In an unusual plea, relatives of the Godhra victims have written to Uttar Pradesh chief
minister Mulayam Singh Yadav and deputy prime minister L.K. Advani asking them to ban all
Ayodhya-type rallies, starting with the VHP yatra beginning on October 15. "Our country and the Indian
polity has been held ransom to this politico-religious mobilisation for over almost two decades now, and
this must stop. We apprehend that this yatra (Oct. 15) will also lead to a cycle of communal violence and
cause heightened insecurity among the minority communities, all of which will further vitiate the sur-
charged atmosphere in the country," the appeal states. The four signatories have all lost their wives in the
Godhra tragedy, having been burnt alive in the S-6 coach of the Sabarmati Express. One of them, Dr
Girishbhai Rawal, 82, lost his wife Sudhabehn in the ill-fated train, while his son Ashwinbhai, the local
Bajrang Dal president, was stabbed to death on April 16 last year at Ramol. In an emotional affidavit Mr
Rawal has spoken out against the politics of communal violence, saying that "after 19 months of loss, I
say and submit that I feel that me and my entire family, as also other victims of the Godhra tragedy, have
been made sacrificial goats by the VHP in their political game." He said that his wife had participated in the
yatra thinking it to be a religious activity, and that the family had never shared the communal sentiments
"that are part and parcel of the VHP/BJP's politics." (Asian Age 15.10.03)

16th October
Godhra kin ask SC to ban Ayodhya yatra (26)
New Delhi: For more than a year, the VHP has used the Godhra tragedy as fuel for its Ram temple
campaign. On Wednesday, the relatives of four women who died in the train attack cried foul, appealing to
the Supreme Court to ban the Ayod-hya yatra, probe the Sangh Parivar's use of funds collected in their
name, and rehabilitate the Hindu and Muslim victims of last year's violence in Gujarat. In an affidavit
appended to the main petition, 82-year-old Girishbhai Rawal — who lost his wife, Sudhabehn, in the train
fire — alleges that the Godhra victims "have been made sacrificial goats by the VHP in their political
game". Accusing the VHP and the BJP of using the Godhra incident "to amass crores of rupees, here and
abroad, and also win the last elections", he called on the SC to "investigate the collection of funds...
Where has this money gone and what has it been used for?" he asked. The petition was submitted by the
four relatives with support from the Mumbai-based Citizens for Justice and Peace. (Times of India
16.10.03)

Cong. Criticizes Vajpayee Govt. for its support to VHP (26)
NEW DELHI, OCT. 15. The Congress today criticised the Government for its "open support" to the Vishwa
Hindu Parishad (VHP) cadres, maintaining that it emboldened the Sangh Parivar to carry forth its agenda.
Demanding that the Government act decisively to maintain law and order, the Congress warned that the
ruling dispensation's attitude towards the VHP could lead to a "serious law and order situation". The issue
was raised by the Congress today at its routine briefing with the spokesman, Abhishek Singhvi, stating
that the "average citizen of India wants to get on with his life and not be drawn into a communal cauldron".
Describing the VHP office leader, Praveen Togadia's "declaration and invitation to communal riots" and
the RSS spokesperson, Ram Madhav's reference to violence as "reprehensible", he said both statements
were a clear violation of the Indian Penal Code. To a question on whether the Congress would demand
the arrest of Mr. Togadia and Mr. Madhav, Mr. Singhvi said: "Given the serious nature of their statements,
a fair application of the law would lead to their arrest." (Hindu 16.10.03)

Gathering of Ram bhakts thwarted in Lucknow (26)
LUCKNOW, OCT. 15. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad's "Ram bhakt" rally and "shobha yatra" in Lucknow
were conducted in a low-key manner today as a determined Uttar Pradesh Government prevented any
largescale gathering. The rally remained limited to a small meeting within the precincts of the Saraswati
Shishu Mandir, run by the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, in the Nirala Nagar locality at which the senior
VHP vice-president, Giriraj Kishore, was among those who addressed the gathering. Around noon, the
activists, many of them wearing saffron scarves, came out of the Shishu Mandir in vehicles and on foot.
As they started marching ahead in an apparent bid to take out the announced "shobha yatra" they were
stopped a little away by the police who had erected barricades. The slogan-raising VHP activists, a
majority of whom were outsiders, waited for some time and then courted arrest. They were taken away in
five buses chartered by the police. (Hindu 16.10.03)

17th October
UP asks VHP to hold yatra 5 km from site (26)
Lucknow, Oct. 16: A day ahead of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's Sankalp Sabha, the Mulayam Singh
Yadav government in Uttar Pradesh made an apparent climbdown from its earlier stand and offered to
:;iunv the VHP to hold its scheduled programme 5 km away from the disputed site in Ayodhya. UP chief
secretary AKhand Pratap Singh said the state government had also agreed to facilitate darshan at the
makeshift Ram temple by deploying its own buses that will take Rambhakts in batches from Saket Degree
College to the disputed site and bring them back.
The VHP, however, has turned down offer, but officials in Faizabad said that negotiations would continue
until late into the night and all efforts would be made to persuade the VHP to agree to an alternative site.
Chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, on his return from New Delhi on Thursday morning, told reporters at
the airport that his government could not allow anyone to disturb the law and order situation in Ayodhya in
view of the directives of the court. (Asian Age 17.10.03)

18TH October
VHP bid to hold meet in Ayodhya foiled (26)
AYOOHYA, OCT. 17. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad-sponsored congregation here today fizzled out as the
security forces sealed the temple town and prevented 'Ram bhakts' from gathering at Ramsevakpuram,
venue of the proposed assembly. Though by and large Ayodhya and the rest of the State remained
peaceful, Karsevakpuram, the complex housing VHP's central office, witnessed a lathicharge and the
firing of rubber bullets by police against VHP cadres and supporters in the morning after the Parishad
leader, Ashok Singhal, was arrested. Later in the evening, the Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam
Singh Yadav, told pressper-sons in Lucknow that he had ordered the release of over 30,000 VHP activists,
including Mr. Singhal. Mr. Singhal accused Mr. Yadav of "using the Central forces to persecute and beat
innocent kar sevaks". He said the time had come for enacting legislation for the construction of a Ram
temple in Ayodhya. Mr. Singhal refused to leave Karsevakpuram until he had 'darshan' of Ram Lalla. After
his release, Mr. Singhal conducted a symbolic 'Sankalp Sabha' at Karsevakpuram in presence of over
1,000 activists from different States, VHP sources said. (Hindu 18.10.03)

19TH October
Praise for Mulayam Govt. (26)
NEW DELHI, OCT. 18. The Bharatiya Janata Party and the Muslim leadership have given the Mulayam
Singh Government a pat on the back for handling with tact the latest Ayodhya 'agitation'. A day after the
peaceful culmination of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad 'agitation', the BJP president, M. Venkaiah Naidu,
today made light of the demand for the dismissal of the Uttar Pradesh Government. "Everything has
passed off peacefully, there is no need to dismiss the State Government," he said. Similarly, the All-India
Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat felicitated the State Government "for dealing effectively with the invasion of
Ayodhya by the so-called 'Ram bhakts' in a peaceful and decisive manner." Its president, Syed
Shahabuddin, expressed "deep appreciation" for the resolute and uncompromising stand taken by the
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister, Mulayam Singh Yadav, and by the State and district administration in
blocking the VHP build-up. He demanded that the Centre and all State Governments take note of the VHP
lead-
ers' provocative statements. The Lok Janshakti Party leader, Ram Vilas Paswan, also lauded Mr.
Mulayam Singh but cautioned against showing too much indulgence towards the VHP. The BJP chief's
grudging praise for Mr. Yadav is at variance with the VHP's demand for the dismissal of the Mulayam
Singh Government. Mr. Naidu suggested that credit should also go to the Prime Minister, Atal Bihari
Vajpayee, for tactfully defusing the latest VHP "agitation." Indirectly, he confirmed the VHP leaders'
suspicion that the "Centre and the State Government were acting in tandem to frustrate their mobilisation".
(Hindu 19.10.03)

20TH October
RSS feels Mother honour is a conspiracy (26)
Bhubaneswar, Oct. 19: The Rashtriya Swayamscvak Sangh on Sunday said it found a plot in the beatifica-
tion of Mother Teresa and maintained that the move was a conspiracy by the Christians to sustain their
activities in India. Addressing a mammoth gathering of the organisation's cadres on the third day of the
four-day national executive committee meeting at Cuttack, RSS senior media relations officer Adhish
Kumar said the Roman Catholic world's beatification move six years after the death of Mother Teresa was
to a bid to sustain Christian activities in India that began with the advent of the British in the 17th century.
Mr Kumar was the sole speaker to address the cadres in presence of a host of senior Sangh Parivar
leaders including RSS chief K.S. Sudershan, spokesman Ram Madhav, VHP leader Praveen Togadia and
Madan Das Devi.
The veteran Sangh leader said the beatification move was being taken in "recognition of Mother Teresa's
contribution of 50,000 Indian nuns to the Christian world. In December 1998, senior VHP leader Ashok
Singhal had also levelled similar charges saying Nobel Prizes awarded to Amartya Sen and Mother
Teresa were part of a "Christian conspiracy to propagate their religion and wipe out Hinduism from this
country." Mr Kumar said nobody should misinterpret Hinduism as a hostile concept to any other religion.
(Asian Age 20.10.03)

22ND October
Ram Lalla will decide on next PM: Togadia (26)
NEW DELHI, Oct. 21. - "Ram Lalla" - will decide the country's next Prime Minister if the VHP has its way.
Encouraged by "public response" to its recent Ra-tn Darshan programme, the VHP international general
secretary, Mr Pravin Togadia, said that people will support the leader who will stand for construction of a
Ram temple in Ayodhya. Mr Togadia indicated that the VHP could play an active role for such a leader the
way it did for Mr Narendra Modi in Gujarat. ."Between us and a political party, people will opt for us," he
said: He clarified that the VHP would not enter politics and keep working for creation of a Hindu Rashtra.
The organisation would launch a bigger movement to ensure that "Ram Lalla will deide the next Prime
Minister", he said. The organisation was not_playing any role in the assembly elections, he said. It was
working merely for Hindu interests. He asked Muslims to decide whether Ram or Babur was their
ancestor. If it was Babur, there was no question of friendship with them as they should then fight for the
Babri Masjid. If Ram was their ancestor they should set aside their claims on the temple for long-term
peace and brotherhood, he said (Statesman 22.10.03)

Digvijay lashes out at WHP, says it has no political agenda (26)
BHOPAL (Sanjeev Majupuria): The VHP has no religious agenda, it only wants to create a religious
fanaticism for political misuse, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh has levelled the allegation in
a programme of BBC's Hindi service. Replying to a question by Rajeev Khurana of Faridkot in Punjab, Mr
Singh said: "I do not believe in politics of vote-bank. In fact, there is no such bank." The Chief Minister said
that the VHP is deliberately raking up the "mandir-masjid" controversy. "Will the Hindus gain immensely by
the construction of a temple," he asked while offering land to the VHP to build the temple in Madhya
Pradesh. "The word Hindu has nothing to do with religion," he said. On a question relating to foreign origin
of Congress president Sonia Gandhi by an audience, Mr Singh said: "In history, there are many instances
of foreign women came here and married. Ms Gandhi is totally an Indian. She won Lok Sabha polls from
two places." (Pioneer 22.10.03)

23RD October
Sena calls for ban on chicken slaughter (26)
Mumbai, Oct. 22: The Shiv Sena has called for a ban on chicken slaughter after survey reports state that
chickens carry 100 to 200 times more bacteria, two to four times more lead and eight to 10 times more
mercury than the permissible levels prescribed by the European Union.
The Shiv Sena has urged the civic body in Mumbai to increase the octroi duty by Rs 5 per chicken on
vehicles transporting poultry to the city. Shiv Sena spokesperson Subhash Desai said on Wednesday, "It's
a disease carrier. Let us stop slaughtering it." Mr Desai was addressing the media at the party
headquarters, Shivalaya. He said, "In Mumbai, the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation and the state
government have to take strict action against the slaughter houses. They are unhygienic and adversely
affect popular health. The Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation must introduce a special act to close open
spaces where chipkens are slaughtered."
"The BMC has already assured us that they will close down the open spaces after receiving a directive
from the state government. (Asian Age 23.10.03)

24th October
An ‘abject surrender’: VHP (26)
AHMEDABAD, OCT. 23. The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today strongly attacked the Prime Minister, Atal
Bihari Vajpayee, and the BJP-led National Democratic Alliance Government at the Centre for the peace
initiative with Pakistan and demanded that India declare a war against Pakistan and the "jehadi" elements
in the country. Talking to reporters here today, the VHP international general secretary, Pravin Togadia,
wondered why the Vajpayee Government was taking initiatives to woo Pakistan when there was absolutely
no change in its attitude towards India during the last two decades when the Pakistan-sponsored jehadis
had killed more than 70,000 civilians in India. Nor had it handed over Dawood Ibrahim and other criminals
wanted in India. Describing Mr. Vajpayee's peace initiative as an "abject surrender" to a "terrorist state",
Mr. Togadia said it was surprising that when Pakistan was mercilessly killing Indian civilians, India was
inviting Pakistani children for treatment. Instead of taking peace initiative, international pressure should be
built up against Pakistan for its terrorist activities, he said. Taking advantage of India's weaknesses,
Pakistan sponsored jehadis, who were so far confined to Jammu and Kashmir, had started spreading their
tentacles all over India and seemed to have made Hyderabad their main centre of operations. He
described as disappointing the concessions granted by the Centre in its Wednesday's peace initiative,
including a Mumbai-Karachi ferry service and a Srinagar-Muzaffarabad bus service. "It is difficult to
understand what Mr. Vajpayee is trying to do." (Hindu 24.10.03)

Sants cold to VHP damage control (26)
LUCKNOW, OCTOBER 23: ALARMED at the fiasco over its last week's Sankalp Sabha in Ayodhya, the
VHP has launched a major damage control exercise not just for mobilising local support there but also to
go for some changes in the existing set up. While the organisation has floated a new outfit, Ayodhya Sant
Mahasangh with the aim of keeping saints under one banner, its working president Ashok Singhal spent
five days in Ayodhya meeting traders and saints to win their confidence. He exhorted local saints to shun
their mutual differences for construction of the Ram temple. "The need of the hour is to build a strong sant
samaj to counter the anti-VHP propaganda," said Singhal at a meeting in Ayodhya's Ramkot area on
Wednesday. Today, he accused PM Vajpayee of "letting down" the BJP by adopting a "stubborn secular
stand". (Indian Express 24.10.03)

27th October
Togadia to distribute tridents in Maduarai (26)
Madurai, Oct 26: VHP leader Praveen Togadia would distribute tridents to 12 children and founder
president of Bharatiya Forward Bloc K.A Murugan at a function here on October 30. Mr Murugan told
reporters on Sunday that trident distribution "to prevent conversions and Islamic terrorism" would take
place at a function organised by BJF to mark the birth anniversary of freedom fighter Pasumpon
Muthuramalinga Thevar. Local VHP leader R.R. Gopalji said trident distribution was not being organised
on behalf of VHP which welcomed it. Mr Togadia would also meet some caste leaders "with view to unify
hindutva forces" during his visit here, Mr Gopalji said. The VHP leader would also visit the Thevar Jayanthi
Memorial at Pasumpon village near Kamuthi. (Asian Age 27.10.03)

29th October
VHP deploys raths, storytellers to spread message among tribals (26)
Durg, October 28: THE VHP has hit upon a unique plan to attract the tribals of Chhattisgarh, who have so
far been indifferent to the outfit's overtures. It has deployed three raths — decorated with life-size posters
of various gods — and about 100 storytellers trained in Ayodhya and Vrindaban to apprise the tribals of
the "glory of Lord Rama". It is also organising screenings of popular TV serials Ramayana and
Mahabharata and religious discourses in tribal-dominated villages in Jashpur, Bastar and Sarguja districts.
Tribals have their own gods and goddesses and know little about Rama and Sita. VHP's kathawachaks
recite and explain important chapters from the Ramayana and Mahabhamta. Activists also organise
purification rituals for those who have been converted to Christianity Their ultimate aim: to convince the
tribals that they are originally Hindus and should, therefore, worship Lord Rama. Tribals comprise 33 per
cent of the population in the state. The VHP has selected its target areas carefully. Bastar.has 67 per, cent
tribal population, Jashpur 62 and Sarguja 57. Intensive Naxalite activities have restrained the VHP from
going to Dantewara district which has 79 per cent tribal population. (Hindustan Times 29.10.03)

30th October
Don’t ignore services of Hindu seers, says Modi (26)
AHMEDABAD, OCT. 29. The Gujarat Chief Minister, Narendra Modi, today came down heavily on the
"so-called secularists who feel ashamed of calling themselves Hindus". Presiding over a function orga-
nised here by the Kanchi Kamakoti Educational and Cultural Centre on the occasion of the golden jubilee
of the ascension of the Sankaracharya to the Kanchi Peetam, Mr. Modi criticised a section of the media
for "ignoring" an important event such as this golden jubilee. He contrasted this with the media coverage
of the beatification of Mother Teresa. Of course, he was proud of the honour bestowed on the Mother, but
it was wrong to ignore the major events involving Hindu seers. He was appreciative of the work done by
Christian missionaries but said that the services rendered by Hindu saints should not be undermined.
Replying to the felicitations, the Kanchi Acharya appreciated the contributions of various religious leaders
of Gujarat and said the Kanchi Peetam was planning to start a "gaushala" in the State. (Hindu 30.10.03)

3rd Nov.
Togadia’s popularity leaves Singhal gushing (26)
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 2: LIBERALS within the BJP may squirm while watching him speak on TV but
VHP president Ashok Singhal is proud of the popularity of general secretary PravinTogadia. At a
Deepawali Milan yesterday, Singhal said: "I always keep away from publicity. But we have a popular leader
in him (Togadia). God has given him popularity. When I visit a place, some 500 people turn up to hear me.
When he visits, it is 50,000 people. He can challenge any politician (for drawing crowds). The people
needed a leader behind whom they could rally and they have found that in the young leader." This,"
according to Singhal, "has liberated me (meri mukti hogayi) When a reporter asked him if he was
passing on the baton to Togadia, Singhal said: "He has got the right to succession in popularity . The rest
of us are all extras. If somebody asks for help, we will help him." Singhal, however, said the VHP
programmes would not change because of its general secretary. To-gadia said: "We are not announcing
any programme on Ayodhya." Singhal found fault with the media for describing the VHP programme at
Ayodhya a flop and distributed copies of photographs     depicting crowds to support his claim that it was
a success. (Indian Express 3.11.03)

4th Nov.
VHP: Chandrababu crucial for Hindutva (26)
New Delhi: It is not just the World Bank, Bill Gates and Bill Clinton who think that Andhra Pradesh is the
most happening state in India. The VHP too has identified AP as crucial and its chief minister
Chandrababu Naidu as the catalyst for change in the country. VHP working president Ashok Singhal has
made his political intention clear by stating that the VHP would create such an atmosphere that politicians
would have to accept the Hindu agenda. And for this, he finds Naidu very important. VHP's next action
could be expected from the cyberstate. In a candid interview to RSS' Hindi weekly, Panchjanya, Singhal
said much depends on Naidu whether the "Hindu agenda" is adopted in the country or not. Even while
distancing his organisation from the BJP, the Parivar leader said that Jayalalithaa is moving in the right
direction and that an atmosphere of Hindutva is fast being created in Kerala. Earlier, VHP leader Pravin
Togadia had termed Kerala's A K Antony as the best Indian CM. Antony's actions during and after the
communal riot in Kerala were widely appreciated by the Parivar. (Times of India 4.11.03)

5th Nov.
 Mulayam has Rs 100 Cr Janmabhoomi plan (26)
Lucknow, Nov. 4: BJP's "Ram" could soon face tough competition from Mulayam Singh Yadav's "Krishna."
UP chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav is now planning to counter the BJP's Ram agenda by promoting
Lord Krishna's Janmabhoomi in Mathura. The state government, in collaboration with the Centre, is
drawing up an ambitious plan to beautify Mathura and Vrindavan with special emphasis on Lord Krishna's
birthplace. UP minister for culture Virendra Singh recently held a meeting with Union tourism minister
Jagmohan on the issue and Rs 100 crores has reportedly been earmarked for the development of the
region. The UP government is also planning to set up a Mathura-Vrindavan Development Board to
oversee the development of the city and supervise the various new projects in the area. The actual plan,
however, has not yet been formulated. "We have decided in principle to develop Mathura-Vrindavan, but
the details are yet to be worked out," Mr Virendra Singh was quoted as having said in Delhi. (Asian Age
5.11.03)

11th Nov.
RSS site poll favours Jaya in Hindu case (26)
New Delhi: While the entire country has in unison attacked the Tamil Nadu assembly's decision to im-
prison the journalists of The Hindu, visitors to the RSS' official website have voted overwhelmingly in
favour of Jayalalithaa's action in an opinion poll. The question posted on the home page of the RSS
website since Saturday is: "Is Jayalalithaa's action on The Hindu justified?" Only two options have been
given: "Hindu deserves" and "Not justified". The poll has so far yielded a result of 76 per cent saying that "
The Hindu deserves" the 15-day sentence in jail for its publishers, editors and staffers. Only 24 per cent of
those who voted feel that the action is not justified. In a way, the poll on The Hindu has much in common
with the one held on the death sentence to Dara Singh in the Graham Staines murder case. On both these
issues, the Sangh's official view has been contrary to the poll results. The Sangh had asked on
September 24, "Is death penalty to Dara Singh in the Staines murder case proper?. The result was 60 per
cent saying No and the rest Yes. In the case of the Tamil Nadu assembly’s decision, the RSS’s view is
that, Nobody can support such an action against any paper. It was unwarranted. RSS swayamsevaks
support TN PM because, RSS spokesman says, It is not necessary that all who have voted are from the
RSS. The results do not reflect RSS view. (Times of India 11.11.03)

18th Nov.
VHP puja a damp squib (26)
Ahmedabad: Many family members of the Godhra victims stayed away from a "Satyanarayan Puja" organ-
ised by the VHP on Sunday evening. The function was held following a railway tribunal's award of Rs 4
lakh compensation each to families of 34, of the 59 persons burnt alive in Sabarmati Express on February
27,2002. The family members of several "Ram sevaks", who lost their lives in the carnage, stayed away,
much to the chagrin of the local VHP leaders. VHP international general-secretary Praveen Togadia was
also present on the occasion. Dr Girishchandra Laxmishanker Rawal (83) was one of those who boycotted
the function. Rawal lost his wife Sudha in the burning coach and his son Ashvin in the, subsequent riots.
He had only one question for Togadia: "I have lost my wife and son because of this Ram Temple
business, but what has Togadia lost so far?" The octagenarian even filed a petition against the VHP in the
Supreme Court some months ago and now feels threatened. Rawal dispatched a letter to the
commissioner of police on Monday, seeking police protection. "We fear that the VHP workers may harm
us," he said. (Times of India 18.11.03)

RSS saffron has many colours: one for Dalit Bangaru, another for Judeo (26)
NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 17: WHEN the BJP's first Dalit president Bangaru Laxman was caught on tape
accepting Rs 1 lakh in cash, the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was quick to condemn him the
same evening as a "failed swayamsevak." But in the case of Dilip Singh Judeo, the Sangh is doing just the
opposite. Leave alone condemn him, the RSS has leapt to the defence of the Thakur "Raja" because
he—along with Narendra Modi—is among Hindutva's greatest heroes within the ranks of the BJP. Even
after Judeo resigned under pressure today (following the PM's remark last night that "if he is guilty, he will
have to go"), the RSS was set on portraying him a "victim" of "a Christian conspiracy." RSS shief K.S.
Sudhershan is out of Delhi but is being kept "fully informed" of the developments, and the RSS top brass
is taking a keen interest in the "investigation" into the "conspiracy," sources said. When contacted, RSS
spokesman Ram Madhav said, "The Prime Minister has said :hat investigations will take place and truth
will come out. (Indian Express 18.11.03)

19th Nov.
Sena to UP Hindus: Have more kids (26)
Lucknow, Nov. 18: The Uttar Pradesh unit of the Shiv Sena has hit upon a bizarre idea to counter the
growing Muslim population in the state. The Shiv Sena will now encourage Hindu couples in the state to
have more children and those who follow the diktat will be suitably rewarded. State Shiv Sena chief Vijay
Tiwari told The Asian Age on Tuesday that the move was aimed at protecting the Hindu community. "The
population control policy has failed to have any impact on the minorities and it is only the Hindus who are
forced to follow family planning methods. As a result of this, imbalances are emerging in Indian society
and Hindus are gradually becoming a minority population while the minority population is growing at an
alarming rate. To maintain the social balance, we are now asking Hindu couples to have a minimum of
four children each. If younger generations want to prove their concern for Hinduism, they must have more
children. It is a case of more kids, more Hindu," he said. The Shiv Sena has sent a circular to all its
pramukhs at the district, city and tehsil levels asking them to identify in their respective areas Hindu
families with four or more children. "Once we obtain the information, the Shiv Sena will confer the title of
Jagrat Hindu Parivar on these families at a special function organised in the district. (Asian Age 19.11.03)

RSS embarrassed, but defends Judeo (26)
New Delhi, November 18: THOUGH NOT a swayamsewak like former BJP chief Bangaru Laxman, who
became a casualty of the Tehelka expose, Dilip Smgh Judeo has become a major embarrassment for the
RSS because of his close ties with the parivar. A senior Sangh leader admitted that they were finding it
difficult to defend him. However, unlike Bangaru's case, they have chosen to publicly defend Judeo. The
Jashpur prince has been the Sangh's blue-eyed-boy for successfully carrying out a massive reconversion
campaign in Chhattisgarh. RSS spokesman Ram Madhav on Tuesday dismissed corruption allegations
against Judeo as a "hi-tech conspiracy" of Christian missionaries in Chhattisgarh, who were out to "sabo-
tage" his reconversion drive. "Anybody can take money for some genuine purpose. Why should it be seen
as corruption? The audio part of the VCD has been faked," Madhav said. The Sangh brass is reportedly
concerned over frequent setbacks to the RSS image ever since Laxman was caught on tape. The Tehelka
sting not only exposed Bangaru, but also some businessmen, who were said to have RSS links.
(Hindustan Times 19.11.03)

25th Nov.
For Sena, the more the merrier (26)
LUCKNOW, NOVEMBER 24: SHIV Sena leaders in UP are virtually knocking on every door to encourage
Hindu couples to have at least four children. Throwing family-planning caution to the wind, the Shiv Sena
has launched a "produce more children" campaign for Hindus to counter, what it claims to be the growing
population of Muslims. "Members of the minority community are producing more children. But we have
launched a campaign to encourage Hindus to follow the Muslim pattern on the issue," state Shiv Sena
chief Vijay Tiwari told The Indian Express. He to have Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray's go-ahead on the
issue. "The more the better but four in each family is a must," Tiwari says. The Shiv Sena will hold a
felicitation programme on December 18 in the state capital for parents with four or more children. The title
of "awakened Hindu family" will be conferred on these parents. (Indian Express 25.11.03)

26th Nov.
RSS cannot see BJP’s sacrifices, says Dalmia (26)
New Delhi, Nov. 25: VHP chief Vishnu Hari Dalmia on Tuesday said the RSS has become Dhritrashtra,
the blind king in Mahabharata, and thus could not see the compromises the BJP has been making to
remain in power at the cost of Hindutva. He also said Congress president Sonia Gandhi does not know
Indian culture. The VHP has not been campaigning for any party for the next month's Assembly elections
of four states, at least openly. The organisation's boycott is to register its protest against the parties which
are "shying away" from taking a stand on the Ram temple issue. Speaking to The Asian Age ahead of the
polls which are being described as a semifinal to the general elections, the VHP supremo candidly
admitted that there was a difference of perception and approach between the members of the Sangh
Parivar. "They (the BJP and the RSS) feel they are right and we say we are right (on the issues of
Hindutva and Ayodhya)... they are also not fools... but yes matbhed hain," he said. (Asian Age 26.11.03)

2nd Dec.
Hindu leaders for common civil code (26)
Chennai, December 1: HINDU RELIGIOUS leaders Have urged the Centre to introduce common civil
code, Han cow slaughter and legislate against forcible religious conversions. ', Meeting under the aegis of
the Hindu Dharma Acharya Sabha, an apex body of 44 Peetathipathis and 11 Mandaleswars, including
the Shankaracharya of Kanchi and Dwarka, the religious leaders said: "The Hindus are being
discriminated under the name of secularism. It's time to have a common civil code, which was promised to
us by those who framed the Constitution." The sabha also asked the Centre and all the states to bring a
law similar to the ban in Tamil Nadu on religious conversions by force or inducement. The leaders also
urged the state governments to keep off the administration and control of temples. (Hindustan Times
2.12.03)

4th Dec.
VHP invites Muslims to talk Ayodhya (26)
LUCKNOW, DECEMBER 3: Within 24 hours of Kanchi Kamakothi Shankacharya
hinting at fresh initiatives to find a solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi issue, the VHP has thrown open
gates for a Muslim delegation for negotiations at its headquarters in Ayodhya.
For the first time ever, a five-member delegation led by the president of the All India Imam Sanghathan,
Jamil Ahmed Ilyasi will meet the top VHP at Karsewakpuram in Ayodhya. The meet coincides with the
conference of VHPs Central Steering Committee (Kendriya Margdarshak Mandal) on December 26. We
have already talked with VHP chief Vishnu Hari Dalmia and the chairman of its high pwered committee
Mahant Awaidyanath. They have given a go ahead for discussing our proposal during the meeting of the
steering committee at Karsewakpuram on December 26, said Syed Asgar Abhas Rizvi, Managing trustee
of the Ayodhya Jama Masjid Trust. (Indian Express 4.12.03)

5th Dec.
VHP takes trishul diksha to villages (26)
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 4: ITS trishul diksha programmes mired in controversy and court-battles, the
Vishwa Hindu Parishad has quietly changed its modus operandi. The focus is now on decentralised
dikshas. he new strategy is to avoid media-glare and the attention of adversary regimes in various states.
VHP spokesman Veereshwar Dwivedi told The Indian Express that they would now have "village-level
diksha programmes". When asked if it meant that high-profile massive diksha programmes were out for
good, Dwivedi said: "No, they would continue alongside. The village-level deekshas only mark an exten-
sion and intensification of the programme." However, it remains to be seen if the RSS-affiliate persists
with mass-deekshas at major towns. At this stage, the VHP would obviously not risk its pride by conceding
that the arrest and externment of its general secretary Pravin Togadia has had a sobering effect on the
organisation. "We have, after all, held two big programmes in Ra-jasthan even after Togadia's arrest,"
Dwivedi said, adding: "We are not worried over the oppressive measures of our opponents. (Indian
Express 5.12.03)

After all, Hindutva made the difference, says RSS (26)
New Delhi: Forget development, or more precisely, the lack of it. The Sangh Parivar has no doubt that
Hindutva is the reason the BJP has swept the polls in three states. In fact, the Sangh is attributing the
BJP's defeat in Delhi to the lack of a Hindutva issue. The Sangh claims its line on Dilip Singh Judeo as a
victim of conspiracy against reconversion has clicked. Apart from Pathalgaon. the lone Congress seat in
Judeo's Jashpur district, the BJP has won most of the tribal seats in north and south Chhattisgarh,
including Bastar. Along with the tribal districts of Chhattisgarh, the neighbouring Jhabua and Dhar districts
of Madhya Pradesh, too, have fallen to the BJP. After all, the battle 'for Ohhattisaarh was fought on the
issue of tribal identity. When Ajit Jogi referred to the upper caste as the other, the BJP termed Jogi a nakli
adivasi. "Uma Bharti, one of the public faces of the Ram temple movement, defeating Digvijay Singh in
Madhya Pradesh, the Parivar pitched against conversion and conspiracy in Chhattisgarh and a collective
effort of the Parivar in Rajasthan" is how Sangh elders see the BJP's victory. (Times of India 5.12.03)

9th Dec.
No ‘Gujarat’ in state: Togadia (26)
Bangalore, Dec. 8: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad will not repeat Gujarat in Karnataka but will strive to repli-
cate the 15th century Vijayanagar empire of Krishnadevaraya here, VHP general secretary Praveen
Togadia , said on. Sunday. Addressing the Virat Hindu Samajotsav organized by the sangh parivar, Dr
Togadia said he was repeatedly asked by the media whether he would work to repeat Gujarat in different
states including Karnataka and his reply to their question was an emphatic no. "The Vijayanagar empire in
Karnataka, which was built by Hukka and Bukka under the guidance of saint Vidyaranya, was an ideal
state where Hindu dharma was fully protected and peace and prosperity heralded. That is my agenda for
Karnataka," he added. During his 50-minute speech, Dr Togadia demanded central legislation for
construction of a Ram temple at Ayodhya, banning of cow slaughter and religious conversions,
introduction of a uniform civil code. "If Parliament could amend the Constitution to nullify the verdict of the
Supreme Court in the Shah Bano case, then why not a legislation for a temple at Ayod'hya." he asked.
(Asian Age 9.12.03)

Bajrang Dal yatra at Datta peetha peaceful (26)
Bangalore, Dec. 8: The shobha yatra taken out by Bajrang Dal activists on Sunday at Chikamagalur on the
eve of the Datta Jayanti festival, passed off peacefully. However, despite the ban imposed by the state
government, activists of the Bababudangiri Souharda Vedike held the communal amity rally to protest
against the Datta Jayanti celebrations being organised by the Sangh parivar. Additional director general of
police (law and order) Sub-hash Bharani, who is camping in Chikamagalur to oversee the security
arrangements, told The Asian Age that no untoward incident was reported during the procession and the
public meeting which was addressed by Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader, Sadhvi Rithambara and local
Bajrang Dal leader, Pramod Mutalik. "About 4,500 police personnel have been deployed for security duty,"
he added. (Asian Age 9.12.030)

11th Dec.
Sangh sends Hindutva reality check to BJP on development (26)
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 10 : AMID the party, there are ripples in the family. Though elated over the
spectacular BJP victory in the recent Assembly polls in three states, the RSS leadership is said to be
miffed over "suggestions" that the BJP abandoned Hindutva for the development plank. Consequently,
both sides have initiated a dialogue at different levels to clear the air. BJP general secretary Pramod
Mahajan and RSS spokesman Ram Madhav met here today to discuss the issue. The RSS, which is
keen on setting the record straight, is expected to re-position itself clearly on its Hindurva-in-politics stand
soon. Irrespective of their areas of work, all Parivar outfits share a common core cadre which owes its
loyalty to the RSS. The fountain-head of their inspiration being Hindutva, the RSS has felt the need to
assert itself without delay. In the meantime, the RSS has also initiated a debate on this issue on its
website. The Sangh has asked people to give their views on: "What should be the future course for BJP?
Abandonment of Hindutva? Are Hindutva and development contradictory to each other?" (Indian Express
11.12.03)


PARLIAMENT BILL/ACTS
12. RS okays Delimitation Bill (19)
NEW DELHI, DEC. 16. The Rajya Sabha today passed the Bill to amend the Delimitation Act, 2002, with
the amendment that instead of die 1991 census, the latest 2001 census figures be taken as the base for
delimitation of Assembly and Parliamentary constituencies. The Lok Sabha has already passed the Bill
titled Delimitation (Amendment) Bill, 2003. The Bill replaces the Delimitation (Amendment) Ordinance,
2003 promulgated by the President on October 31, 2003. A statutory resolution moved by the Congress
disapproving the Ordinance was withdrawn.
Seeking clarifications, Opposition members expressed the apprehension that those States which had
performed well in stabilising population should not be at a disadvantage when delimitation was done. They
also wanted that delimitation be done at least six months in advance of general elections. In his reply, die
Union Minister of State for Law, P.C. Thomas, said the legislation was intended to give effect to the
Constitution (87th Amendment) Act to provide for delimitation of constituencies on the basis of the 2001
census report. Barring three States — Uttar Pradesh, Manipur and Nagaland — the final report of the
Registrar General of India is expected to be published by December 31, he said. (Hindu 17.12.03)

13. Bill lowering interest on tax returns passed (19)
NEW DELHI, DEC. 16. The Rajya Sabha today passed the Taxation Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2003 that
lowers the rate of interest paid on income tax refunds to six per cent. The Finance Minister, laswant Singh,
in his reply to the debate said the Government had to promulgate an ordinance to amend the tax laws
after realising that high value access were paying a lot of advance tax at the beginning of the fiscal to earn
high interest rate the Income Tax Department paid on refunds."The revenue department is not a bank...
this had to be stopped," he said.
Mr. Singh said the amendment also provided for lowering of tax on liquor at the source point (brewerv) to
one oer cent from 10 per cent after several State Governments represented to the Centre that such a tax
rate would make the industry collapse and hurt their revenues. (Hindu 17.12.03)

14. Nod for Bill to check defection (19)
NEW DELHI, DEC. 16. The Constitution Amendment Bill seeking to contain the size of the Council of
Ministers (to 15 per cent of the Lower House) in the case of the Centre and in the States, and debar a
defector from holding any "remunerative political post" for the remaining tenure of the legislature or unless
re-elected, was unanimously passed by the Lok Sabha today despite reservations about the impact of
the latter amendment on inner party democracy. The new law will be known as the Constitution
(Ninety-first Amendment) Act, 2003 (after being approved by the Rajya Sabha). While the vote did not
spring any surprise, the two-and-a-half-hour-long discussion saw members from most political parties
argue that the omission of the provision for "split" in the Tenth Schedule of the Constitution encroached
upon a legislator's right to differ with his/her party.
The existing law allows bulk defections and the disqualification provision is not applicable when one-third
of the members of a party split from the parent group. The new law describes a "remunerative political
post" as any office (a) where the salary or remuneration for such office is paid out of the public revenue;
and, (b) under a body, whether incorporated or not, which is wholly or partially owned by the
Government of India or the Government of a State and the salary or remunerations for such office is paid
by such body." (Hindu 17.12.03)

HINDUTVA
13TH Dec.
Vande Mataram restored (26)
JAIPUR, DEC. 12. The Bharatiya Janata Party-led Government in Rajasthan has ordered the recital of
Vande Mataram every morning in the hostels run by the Social Welfare Department.
The superintendent of a hostel in Jalupura was suspended for failing to implement the decision. The
Social Welfare Minister, Madan Dilawar, said in Kota on Thursday that the Department had been on a
"constant decline" during the past five years of the Congress rule and the Government would strive to
restore it to the status of 1998, when the BJP was voted out of power. The previ-
ous Congress regime had abolished several practices initiated by the BJP, including the singing of Vande
Mataram everyday. A favourable atmosphere for studies would be evolved in the hostels and their
management would be improved, Mr. Dilawar said. On the suspension of the hostel superintendent, Mr.
Dilawar said the action had been taken against him following complaints of irregularities, mismanagement
and absence from duty that had led to disorder and chaos in the hostel. Action would be taken against the
"main culprits as well as other organisations" involved in religious conversion in south-east Rajasthan
soon. (Hindu 13.12.03)

Ban on cow slaughter in Madhya Pradesh (26)
BHOPAL, DEC. 12. The Madhya Pradesh Cabinet today decided to impose a complete ban on cow
slaughter , a promise made by the Bharatiya Janata Party before the elections. Presided over by the Chief
Minister, Uma Bharti, the Cabinet also decided to reinstate thousands of retrenched daily wage earners,
wind up the district governments and bring the Narmada water to Bhopal. Ms. Bharti had announced
during her election campaign that once she came to power, a decision would be taken at her very first
Cabinet meeting to impose a complete ban on cow slaughter. Similarly, she had emphasised that a
decision would also be taken at the meeting to reinstate thousands of daily wage earners appointed after
December 31, 1988, clear the Narmada water supply scheme for Bhopal and abandon the system of
district governments that had been imposed on the Panchayati Raj system by the Digvijay Singh
Government.
The BJP Government has also decided to equip the cow sheds for taking care of sick and ailing cows.
(Hindu 13.12.03)

Trishul should not be priority (26)
JAIPUR, DEC. 13. The veteran Sarvo-daya leader, Siddharaj Dhadda, has warned the Rajasthan
Government against any hasty decision on "trishul diksha" (distribution of tridents) in the State. Amid
speculation about lifting of the ban on trishul distribution by the newly sworn in Bharatiya Janata Party
Government in the State, Mr. Dhadda said that tridents should not be the priority of the new Government.
The State Government is now under pressure from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and other front organisa-
tions of the BJP to lift the ban on the distribution of trishuls carried out a few months back by the previous
Congress Government under Section 121 A of the Indian Penal Code. The open violation of the ban had
also led to the arrest of the VHP leader Pravin Togadia in Ajmer and his confinement in jail. "Trishul is no
development issue. It should not be in the list of priorities for a Government which promises to bring
Rajasthan on the world map," the nonagenarian Mr.Dhadda pointed out in a statement here today. "Those
who talk about trishuls do it to spite others. There is no religious significance to the trishuls being
distributed in the so-called dikshas," he noted. (Hindu 14.12.03)

17th Dec.
Vaghela to launch Danda Sena (26)
New Delhi, Dec. 16: Gujarat PCC chief Shankarsinh Vaghela will be launching a Shakti Dal, a
cadre-based front popularly known as a Danda Sena, to face the saffron challenge in the state ruled by Mr
Narendra Modi. Its volunteers would function in full uniform — blue pants, blue shirt, black cap (sports
cap, and not similar to the RSS black cap) and a red danda (stick), and its members would neither contest
elections nor accept any post in political parties. Only those between the ages of 18 and 45 would be
enrolled in the proposed front. Mr Vaghela plans to take out a march of about 50,000 activists in
Ahmedabad on January 29, on the eve of the anniversary of Gandhiji's assassination. The front hopes to
create a space for itself through social service work — mobile medical vans and blood donation camps —
adopting the methodology used by the Shiv Sena to expand outside Mumbai and Maharashtra. And it
would do political work only during elections, to the extent of managing booths and scrutinising voters'
lists. According to Mr Vaghela, the idea of creating such a force struck him during Diwali. Asked whether
he had sought the permission of the party high command, he said: "Jaha boat karni thi, wahan ki (I have
to spoken to those whom I am supposed to)." He also indicated that Mr Chhabildas Patel would be its
convenor. (Asian Age 17.12.03)

18th Dec.
Responsive Raman bans cow slaughter (26)
RAIPUR, DECEMBER 17: THE Raman Singh government has got cracking with the BJP's pet theme —
cow slaughter. The Chief Minister announced a total ban on cow slaughter in the state after the first
Cabinet meeting today. Singh also set up a Cabinet sub-committee to oversee the implementation of the
party manifesto which among other things promises distribution of cows to every adivasi family. On how
the distribution would be initiated, Singh said: "Just wait for next year's budget, everything will be known."
He also announced reversal of the previous government's decision to use red beacons on the official
vehicles of ministers. Home Minister Brij Mohan Aggarwal will head the four-member sub-committee
comprising Finance Minister Amar Aggarwal, Minister for Scheduled Castes and Tribes Ram Vichar
Netam and Parliamentary Affairs and Panchayats Minister Ajay Chandrakar. "We intend to provide a
government that is responsive, free from corruption and will remain accountable to the public," Raman
Singh said. He was, however, uncertain over the costs involved in fulfiling the party's promises. (Indian
Express 18.12.03)
20th Dec.
 U.S. Attacks Hindutva (26)
New Delhi, Dec. 19. The US state department in its annual report on International Religious Freedom has
painted a dismal picture of secular India, noting an institutionalisation of "Hindutva" through anti-conver-
sion laws, rewriting of history text books and illegal surveys of Christians by the police in Gujarat. The
NDA coalition has been described as "secular" but the ruling BJP figures in the report as "a Hindu
nationalist party with links to Hindu extremist groups that have been implicated in violent acts against
Christians and Muslims." The state department report, released on Thursday, is detailed and
comprehensive, covering most of the states where religious intolerance has been detected, and compiling
lists of incidents that have often been dismissed by the domestic media with a cursory reference. Gujarat
occupies a prominent place in the report with the state department maintaining that the Gujarat police
detained five to 10 Muslim 'youth per day in undisclosed locations for eight days following the murder of
stale home minister Haren Pandya. "Muslims continued to experience other intimidation tactics. Muslims
reportedly could not work, reside or send their children to schools in Hindu-dominated areas. Signs were
displayed stating 'Hindus only' or 'Muslim free area.' Prohibitions on prayer reportedly have also occurred,"
the report said. (Asian Age 20.12.03)

22nd Dec.
Sangh Parivar attacks US report on BJP (26)
New Delhi, Dec. 21: The Sangh Parivar is on the war path. This time its target is United States of
America. The Parivar outfits, RSS and VHP breathed fire against the United States, following a US state
department report, describing BJP as a "Hindu nationalist party with links to Hindu extremist groups."
VHP leader, Vishnuhari Dalmiya lashed out, "the Americans are mad fellows !" RSS spokesperson, Mr
Ram Madhav warned, "US must not interfere in India's internal matter." He went on, "The US is killing
innocent people in Afghanistan and Iraq. And they are now talking about human rights." The Sangh
Parivar was reacting to a report published in The Asian Age on December 20, "US Attacks Hindutva." The
report stated that the US state department in its annual report on International Religious Freedom has
painted a dismal picture of secular India, noting an institutionalisation of Hindutva through anti-conversion
laws, rewriting of history text books and illegal surveys of Christians by the police in Gujarat. The report
also described the ruling BJP as Hindu nationalist party with links to Hindu extremist groups that have
been implicated in violent acts against Christians and Muslims. (Asian Age 22.12.03)

Speak now and forever in single Hindu voice (26)
NEW DELHI, DECEMBER 21: EARLY this month, history went almost unnoticed in Chennai. For the first
time in modern Hinduism, 70 Hindu religious heads from north, south, east, west and central India got
together and debated for three days on the future of Sanatana Dharma, issues         for redressal and
development and "above all, for the pooling of energies in seva work", says organiser Swami Dayanand
Saraswati. "It was wonderful to see so many Peethadipathis, Math-adhipathis and Mahaman-daleshwars
sit together and discuss the larger issues facing Hindu society. Many of them do social work, but live in
their own worlds." Together they fonHed-a-uaked apex Hindu body, the 'Hindu Dharma Acharya
Sabha'—again, a historical first—which resolved: "This Acharya Sabha crystallises the collective Hindu
consciousness and speaks now and shall speak in future, in a single Hindu voice." An immediate issue
with the Acharya Sabha is deregulating the Hindu Religious and Endowments Act, that gives the
Government virtually total control over Hindu places of worship. Says VR. Gowri Shankar, representative
of the Sankaracharya of Sarada Pee-tam at Sringeri: "When a Hindu offers money at a temple, the funds
do not go towards temple activities but to the government's Budget funds and could be allocated
anywhere.But no such legislation is applied to places of worship of other religions in India. The
government takes away temple money, whereas it offers air tickets and subsidies to other faiths. Is this
fair?" (Indian Express 22.12.03)

26th Dec.
Girish Karnad to take on Sangh Parivar (26)
Bangalore, Dec. 25: The Sangh Parivar in Karnataka is up against a new adversary in the form of noted
playwright and film personality Girish Karnad. Mr Karnad has joined the ranks of playwrights and
intellectuals like Vijay Tendulkar in taking on the saffron brigade. While Mr Karnad has not gone as far as
the Maharashtrian playwright who was recently quoted as saying he would shoot Gujarat chief minister
Narendra Modi if he had a pistol, he makes no bones about his opposition to the Sangh Parivar. In the
forefront recently of an agitation opposing the
Sangh Parivar's moves to take over a disputed Sufi shrine in Chikmagalur, he has been labelled
anti-national and a Naxal sympathiser by the BJP. The playwright is, however, unfazed by the criticism. In
an interview with The Asian Age, he said, "I don't want to react to these people. No one has the right to
say that so and so is a nationalist and so and so is an anti-national." About Vijay Tendulkar's criticism of
Mr Modi, he said, "I have great respect for Mr Tendulkar. He has done research on communal clashes
and knows what he is speaking about. I empathise with him." (Asian Age 26.12.03)

29th Dec.
RSS chief holds talks with Jamait leader (26)
NEW DELHI, DEC. 28. The Rashtriya Swayam-sevak Sangh chief, K.S. Sudershan, met the
Jamait-i-Ulema-e-Hind leader, Maulana Mehmood Madani, for nearly two hours recently to discuss ways
to "remove irritants" for improving Hindu-Muslim relations. Although the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid
dispute did crop up during the discussions described as "positive" by the RSS spokesperson, Ram
Madhav, it was apparently not a meeting to discuss this dispute in particular. Any detailed discussion with
any Muslim leader on this question will be taken up by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Mr. Madhav said later.
Besides Mr. Sudershan and Mr. Madhav, the VHP leader, Vishnu Hari Dalmiya, was also present. Two
other colleagues accompanied the Maulana from the Jamait. The effort was to try and understand each
other's point of view and identify issues, which may have become "irritants" in the relationship between the
two communities, Mr. Madhav said today. He added that the meeting had taken place just over a week
ago at a neutral venue. The RSS leaders wanted to know whether the Muslims considered Hindus to be
"kafirs" and "idol worshippers." They also asked the Maulana how Muslims look at Ram and Sita."The
response we got were positive," Mr. Madhav said, while adding that political issues were not touched nor
were the Lok Sabha elections due next year mentioned. (Hindu 29.12.03)

				
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