April 6, 2010

Today is BJP’s sthapana divas (Foundation Day). The party is exactly thirty years old today.

In 1980, when the party was launched by Shri Vajpayee, April 6 was Easter Sunday. Two days earlier was Good Friday. It was on April 4 that the Janata Party had passed its resolution expelling from its fold all those who were associated with the RSS. It was contended that membership of the Janata Party could not co-exist with membership of the RSS. This was ‘dual membership’. In practical terms, this meant expelling all Jana Sangh members from the party which had been formed out of the fusion of Congress (O), Samajwadi Party, Lok Dal and Jana Sangh.

This year Easter Sunday fell on April 4. I happened to be at the Kumbh in Haridwar on the day, as also on the preceding day. On both days April 3 and 4, Swami Chidanandaji, revered head of the Paramarth Niketan had organized excellent functions to add two such dimensions to this year’s Kumbh as would make the 2010 Kumbh unique and unforgettable.

On April 3, an 11-volume Encyclopedia of Hinduism, produced by the India Heritage Research Foundation and published by Rupa and Co. was released by the Dalai Lama in Haridwar.

And on April 4, on the banks of the Ganga in Rishkesh, thousands of sadhus, sants, scholars, leaders led by Shri Dalai Lama along with their followers pledged to make the Ganga pollution free.

At the Haridwar conclave where the Encyclopedia of

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