Last week, several Hindu nationalist groups issued statements against the celebration of Valentine’s Day. One group, Shiv Sena, protested the day by burning Valentine’s Day cards at parliament in New Delhi (see related story).
Shiv Sena, Vishva Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal are part of a “Hindu Unity” ring trying to protect Hindu culture, heritage and religion, according to www.hinduunity.org.
Hinduunity.org offers information related to the conflict between Pakistan and India, Islam and Hinduism.
But Christians shouldn’t feel left out. Christians, according to the site, “are using immoral means to convert Hindus into Christianity.” It cites sari-wearing nuns as an example, saris being the traditional draped garments of the Indian subcontinent.
Gandhi doesn’t fare much better than nuns. The site says he “was a downright PACIFIST, without guts and SCRUPLES.”
The Vishva Hindu Parishad Web site (in English at www.vhp.org/englishsite/subhome.htm) offers a section entitled “Challenges before Hindu Society & Our Response.” Challenges include: “Influence of Western Culture,” “Conversion to Christianity,” and “Conversion to Islam.”
The Bajrang Dal Web site (www.hinduunity.org/bajrangdal.html) states: “5% OF YOUR INCOMES DONATED TO OUR HINDU MOVEMENTS WILL ENSURE THAT HINDUISM WILL BE ABLE TO PROSPER IN SPITE OF ATTACKS FROM ISLAM AND CHRISTIANITY.”
“Whenever there is an attack on Hindu Society, Faith and Religion, the workers of Bajrang Dal come forward for their rescue,” the site reads. “Hindu Society and its faith are being kicked and insulted by various forces.”
The Shiv Sena site (http://www.shivsena.org) deals less directly with other religions and more with its own sense of proactive citizenship.
“Shivsena does not believe in petty differences like caste, creed, religion or language. It preaches that nobody should be under the spell of such differences.”
Cliff Vaughn is BCE’s associate director.