It was with great respect and heavy hearts that JFH members joined with Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) of America to mourn the passing of VHP former president Ashok Singhal. Vishwa Hindu Parishad, literally meaning “World Hindu Council”, is an organization dedicated “to organise, consolidate the Hindu society and to serve, protect the Hindu Dharma.” Ashok Singhal was one of VHP’s more visionary and dynamic leaders who inspired many with his service. He was particularly dedicated to reversing the plight of Dalits (so-called “untouchables”), building them more than 200 temples in India, a plan he compassionately devised to stop their conversion to other religions. Born in 1926, he worked tirelessly for the Hindu cause, even in poor physical health, up to a month before his death. Singhal passed away on 17 November 2015 at the age of 89 in Gurgaon, India. The Memorial service at TV Asia was well attended by VHP-A members. JFH has paraphrased some of the eulogy speeches from the event below, may they serve as in inspiration to us all to better serve the Hindu cause.
JFH member Aruna pays respect at memorial service for Akosh Singhal
Eulogy 1 – Paraphrased
Akosh Singhal was dedicated to the return of Vedic values and teachings, not just in India but for the entire world. He wanted the whole world to know Vedic knowledge, that was the point of his VHP mission. Vedic knowledge must spread over the world. He saw intolerance and hatred everywhere, people being killed, people being beheaded… he believed the restoration of Vedic religion was the answer to these ills. He was a talented man, a classical musician and vocalist, but most of all he was an inspiration to others. He worked hard to get VHP recognized at the level of the United Nation, even though these efforts were protested by radical Islamists. Still, with his compassion and vision, he was able to lead us through these fights. He had capacity to lead, he was a rare man.
Eulogy 2 – Paraphrased
Akosh Singhal was a great soul. He was our guide and our lives greatly benefited from his presence. He taught us dedication and devotion… he asked us to ask “how can we serve?” He believed our spirits connect after this life to continue the great work. He helped the poor and downtrodden, he was devoted to service. He explored the wide range of Hindu thought in all levels of life, he went to the best scholars for advice. We thank him for his support and guidance, he was a teacher, mentor and father figure. A humble and bright spirit who had positive impact in our lives. He walks along with us now.
Eulogy 3 – Paraphrased
He was a kind soul, loving and inspiring… he loved all those around him. He was very spiritual and prayed every morning to the goddess Durga. He came to our home in the USA when one of our family members fell very sick. He took personal care of those who worked around him, he was not just politically active, but took a personal interest in our lives. He has already attained salvation
Eulogy 4 – Paraphrased
He was a misunderstood man… misunderstood by media and politics… he was politically incorrect but almost always right. Why did people love him? We received so many phone calls and emails after his death. He had foresight, clarity, commitment and transparency. What you saw was what you got. He had a stern demeanor but a soft heart. He changed my life. He took me on charity missions around the world, doing Seva to help the poor, he was very dedicated to helping the poor. He taught me commitment and perseverance.
Eulogy 5 – Paraphrased
Ashok Singhal means “fearless lion”. He deserves to be known at Mahatma Ashok Singhal (great soul) for all the work he did and accomplished. He was able to draw in people from every organization and walk of life, that is how dynamic he was. We should collectively take a vow to follow in his foot steps and vow to fulfill his dream of rebuilding the Rama Mandir in Ayodhya.