Ashok Singhal, veteran Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) general secretary who was instrumental in Babri Masjid demolition was admitted for the second time to a private hospital in Gurgaon, with heart and kidney failure and put on life-support ssytem on Sunday died Tuesday.
The 89-year-old leader was instrumental in reviving strong Hindu nationalist sentiments during the 1980s and was one of those questioned for the fall of Babur Masjid in Ayodhya.
A cadre member of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since 1942, he worked as pracharak after graduation in metallurgy from BHU’s Institute of technology in 1950. He worked in UP, Haryana and Delhi and became VHP joint general secretary in 1980.
Four years later, he became VHP general secretary and remained it sstrong spokesman until 2011 when his ill-health forced him to step down and hand over charge to Praveen Tagodia.
He built 200 temples in UP to make Dalits from conversions. He organised the first VHP Dharma Sansad in 1984 at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, attracting hundreds of sadhus and Hindu notables to discuss the issues of rejuvenating Hinduism. It was here the idea of reclaiming the Ramjanmabhoomi temple was born.
Soon Singhal became the main spokesperson of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement that led the demolition of Babri Masjid in 1992. He wanted to see a Ram temple to be built in its place that was not allowed though.
Condoling his death, Prime Minister Narendra Modi tweeted: “Ashok Singhal ji was the force behind several noble deeds & social work, which benefitted the poor. He is an inspiration for generations.”