An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody sees it........... Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position........... First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win. - Mahatma Gandhi




National HSC and the Sangh Parivar

What is the status of the HSC as a "project" of the VHP?

This week we question HSC's claims to have no ties to organized Hindutva when the leader of what is perhaps the central organizational proponent of political Hindutva, (of which the VHPA is branch), glowingly endorsed and called for "strengthening" the HSC in its early years. The following statement was made by Mr. Ashok Singhal, General Secretary of the VHP, in an interview following the 1993 Global Vision 2000 Conference organized by the VHPA and HSC:

"Naturally if the present multitude of Hindus exert themselves and project the global vision of Hindutva it will create a great impact. Even now there is need to conquer the American mind because no sooner America changes its views, the Indian government will follow suit …Now, the first project we have in mind is strengthening the Hindu Student Council, about 2000 members of which had participated in the conference. The second/third generation Hindu youth do not want to identify themselves with India because they are American citizens but they do not hesitate to call themselves Hindus. This is the generation which is going to throw up the leadership of the future." 1 (Original source: Google Groups)

It is obvious that the VHP General Secretary saw HSC, not as just another organization deserving praise, but as an important component of the Hindutva/VHP agenda that needed to be "strengthened."

CSFH's question of the week for the HSC is: How does the national HSC explain the above statement about the project of "strengthening the HSC" made by the General Secretary of the VHP in 1993? Documentary evidence shows that the VHPA claims the HSC as its project even in 2003 ( We are unaware of any response from the HSC national leadership to these statements or to Mr. Singhal’s statements, quoted above. So far as we are aware, there has been no public declaration from VHP about termination of such a project. Could it be that the HSC continues to be a project of the Sangh Parivar?

In that same 1993 interview, Singhal says, "The successful culmination of this Conference will also help the US government realise that the Hindutva upsurge has not only transformed itself into a truly global phenomenon but has now certainly come to stay." He then goes on to state:

"The success of the Conference in kindling the latent pride has convinced me that from now on the Hindus abroad will not only preserve but also promote our culture even in the midst of the confluence of cultures that America is. I dare say it might eventually lead to a cultural offensive. Secondly, the increase of the political clout of Hindutva in India has instilled confidence in the Hindus abroad also. They are now witnessing that the influence of Hindutva is no more confined to the philosophical and cultural fields; it has now spanned into the political field as well…Eventually the world at large will come to the conclusion that after all now they have to deal with a Hindu India." 2

Singhal's totalitarian views expressed in this interview jar with the HSC's public pronouncements about being a non-political organization that respects cultural pluralism.

However, it is not merely Singhal's totalitarian view expressed in that 1993 interview that is troubling. More recently (September 2002) he has gone on record to say that the horrendous Gujarat pogrom of 2002 in which at least 2000 Muslims were butchered, raped and publicly degraded in unspeakable ways, was a "successful experiment" and "will be repeated all over the country now." Singhal spoke glowingly of how whole villages had been "emptied of Islam," and how whole communities of Muslims had been dispatched to refugee camps. This was a victory for Hindu society, he added, a first for the religion. "People say I praise Gujarat. Yes I do." 3
(Original source:

Given Singhal's endorsement of the Babri Masjid demolition in 1992 and the Gujarat genocide of 2002, such paternalistic adulation for the HSC by the leader of one of the most virulent promoters of anti-minority violence cannot be dismissed as inconsequential.

Individual HSC chapter members may not be aware of the connections between the HSC national and Sangh Parivar. Do HSC chapters retain confidence in the separation of the HSC national project from Hindutva and its violence given the above statements by Ashok Singhal that support and praise the Gujarat genocide and explicitly claim HSC as a project furthering the goal of Hindutva?

For more information or to pass on comments or questions, contact: Kaveri Rajaraman ( or Ashwini Rao (



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