India's Top Hindu Group Rolls Out Campaign to 'Bridge' Caste Divide in Society
11:45 GMT 14.01.2022 (Updated: 18:55 GMT 19.10.2022)
In December 2021, the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) organised an 11-day nationwide public awareness campaign about religious conversions in India. During the campaign, the VHP also demanded that the government pass a law to forbid forced religious conversions.
With an aim to bridge the caste divide among Hindus at large and spread the message that “all Hindus irrespective of their castes are one”, India's top Hindu organisation Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) launched a nationwide campaign on Friday.
During the 10-day public awareness drive entitled “Samrasta Abhiyan” (social harmony campaign), the VHP will organise various programmes including a "Sah Bhoj"(co-banquet) -- an event to bring people from the upper and lower castes together to break bread.
The campaign will last until 23 January.
The organisation will also carry out an extensive public contact programme to reach out to people belonging to various castes to underline its main message that "all Hindus are one".
Talking to Sputnik about the campaign, VHP’s national spokesman Vinod Bansal said: “For centuries, various forces have tried to divide India on the basis of caste, language and other things.
"Ever since the VHP was formed in 1964, it has been working to unite society, consolidate Hindus and serve and protect the Hindu religion. We firmly believe that all Hindus are equal.”
“We decided to start this campaign on the auspicious occasion of the festival of Makar Sankranti [which falls on Friday] and will continue until 23 January, the birthday of Indian freedom fighter Bhagat Singh.
"We will organise various meetings and programmes in different parts of the country, including some programmes in the slums.
“The aim of the campaign is to bridge the caste divide, end inequality, and strengthen the Hindu society.”
Bansal also said the campaign will kick off in Kanpur District of Uttar Pradesh state and 300 slums have been selected to take part.
VHP national secretary and Akhil Bharatiya Samrasta Pramukh (All India Social Harmony chief) Devji Rawat is set to participate in “Sah Bhoj” (co-banquet) in Kanpur.
Bansal added that the VHP will also introduce schemes run by the federal BJP-led government to the people and help them to enjoy their benefits.