Letter to the UN Human Rights Commissioner on the VHP seeking recognition by the Economic and Social Council of the UN


It has been reported in the Indian press that the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad) has applied for consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. We wish to draw the Council’s attention to the real character of this sinister organization, which has been in the forefront of attacks on minorities and creative expression in India. The VHP is a part of the wider constellation of BJP allies known as Sangh Parivar, which believes in majoritarion rule in India.

The VHP’s aims, objectives and practice are in direct contravention of the UN charter and it does not deserve the recognition that it has sought from the Council. Even a cursory glance at the activities of the VHP as reported in the press in India is sufficient to convince any one of the unsuitability of the VHP to acquire the NGO status.

22 July 2000, The Hindustan Times: VHP Men Thrash Christian Leader
Ahmedabad, July 21: Samson Christian, an executive member of the All India Christian Council, was severely beaten up by two VHP activists here this afternoon. He is in hospital, nursing head injuries that needed two stitches.

8 May 2000, Asian Age: VHP Men Burn Copies of Bible
Ahmedabad May 7: Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad activists assaulted Christians and burnt copies of the Bible at the Vivekanand Nagar in Kanabha near Ahmedabad, on Friday afternoon. … The Bajrang Dal and VHP activists could be found roaming the area and the police attitude towards them was anything but stern.

17 May 2000, The Hindustan Times: VHP Making Forays into New Arena
Gandhinagar, May 16: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad unit Gujarat will celebrate Buddha Poornima on Thursday, continuing their intense campaign saying that all the indigenous religions are basically branches of greater Hinduism.

27April 2000, The Hindustan Times: Amnesty Blames VHP, Bajrang Dal
New Delhi, April 26: Amnesty International, in its latest report on India, has come out strongly against the RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal for inciting individuals to violence against Christian organizations and missionaries. ‘The rhetoric of national security of the present government which has been overtly linked to loyalty to the Hindu religion by such groups has led to the increased labelling of non-Hindu human rights activity as anti-national’, says the London-based human rights organization.

21 April 2000, Asian Age: VHP Members Surrender in Riot Case
Ahmedabad, April 20: All the 10 people accused of triggering the Bakr-Id eve communal riots in Ahmedabad ‘surrender’ to the police on April 13. All of them belong to the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal. The riots sparked off on March 16 after a group of people stopped trucks carrying cattle and beat up the driver and attendants in two separate incidents at Nana Chiloda and Naroda Octroi post.


2 February 2000, Asian Age: VHP Not to Allow Mehta to Shoot Water in MP
Ahmedabad, Feb. 11: Senior Vishwa Hindu Parishad leader Acharya Dharmendra Maharaj on Friday said Deepa Mehta’s controversial film Water will not be allowed to be shot in Madhya Pradesh.
Addressing a press conference here, the Acharya flayed Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Digvijay Singh for permitting shooting of the film in his state after the movie’s unit was driven out of Varanasi recently, and said, ‘It seems that Digvijay has lost his sense of proportion.’
He said, ‘VHP will do everything to stall the shooting, except throwing its director Deepa Mehta and actress Shabana Azmi in Narmada river, if shooting is resumed against the backdrop of sentiments of the people offended by the script which denigrates Hinduism and womanhood.’

12 November 1999, Indian Express: Send Back Missionaries: VHP
New Delhi, Nov.11: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today urged  the Union Government to send back foreign missionaries working in India.

30 October 1999, Asian Age: Pope is a Dacoit: Giriraj Kishore
Patna, Oct.29 : The Vishwa Hindu Parishad Vice-President , Acharya Giriraj Kishore, on Friday termed Pope John Paul II as a ‘big dacoit’ as ‘he is changing the demography of India through illegal conversions’.

24 October 1999, Asian Age: VHP Criticises Teresa, Calls Pope Dictator
Jalandhar, Oct. 23: The Vishwa Hindu Parishad on Saturday said that the Missionaries of Charity homes founded by Nobel laureate Mother Teresa were ‘nothing but conversion centres, where Hindu children were converted to Christianity and sent abroad’, and also termed the institution of the Pope as ‘undemocratic and dictatorial’.
‘The Pope, during his next month’s visit to India, must tell us where did all the children (that were) cared for at Mother Teresa’s home vanish. We know that they were converted and sent to foreign countries as priests and nuns’, VHP central committee member Mohan Joshi said, addressing a meeting of the VHP and Bajrang dal at the local Devi Talab mandir

16 October 1999, Hindustan Times: RSS, VHP Kick Uproar over Papal Visit
New Delhi, Oct.15: Pope John Paul’s visit to India may become controversial as the Sangh Parivar proposes to corner the Vajpayee Government on treating him as a state guest. Danger signals are coming from the Sangh Parivar as it plans to hold protest rallies during his visit and ask him awkward questions.

The press coverage reported above, though not exhaustive, is sufficient to point out the terror they have unleashed on the minorities. Their activities are posing a serious threat to Indian democracy and to the unity of the country.

We appeal to the Council to reject the VHP request for recognition.