Ashok Singhal

20 November, 2012

Ashok Singhal was born to a Vaishya family in Atrauli (Uttar Pradesh). He became an active member of the RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, National Volunteers’ Association): he was a pracharak (full-time worker) in Kanpur and a prant pracharak (cadre) in the Delhi region from 1977 to 1982. He became Joint General Secretary and then General Secretary of the VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad, World Hindu Council) in 1986. He was one of the leading personalities of the Sangh Parivar (Hindu family of organizations) favoring the “restoration” of a Ram temple in Ayodhya, on the site of the Babri Masjid. Under his tenure, the VHP proved particularly aggressive during the shilanyas campaign (sacred bricks being carried to Ayodhya). Ashok Singhal led the crowd during the first (failed) assault on the Babri Masjid on October 30, 1990. He was instrumental in the BJP’s rise to power, although the party now needed to distance itself from his excessive Hindutva demands.

JAFFRELOT, Christophe.1996. The Hindu Nationalist Movement and Indian Politics: 1925 to the 1990s, Strategies of identity-building, implantation and mobilisation. London: C. Hurst.

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OEMV , Ashok Singhal , Mass Violence & Résistance, [online], published on: 20 November, 2012, accessed 17/02/2021,, ISSN 1961-9898
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