The Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Sunday got around a ban on the entry of its leader Praveen Togadia into Bengaluru, formerly known as Bangalore, by playing a 15-minute video recording at a VHP convention in the state in which Togadia demanded that India should be declared a "Hindu Rashtra".
The video started playing before thousands of supporters at the fag-end of the event, catching the police unawares. Though some police personnel climbed on to the stage in an attempt to turn off the video, the organisers refused to reveal where the main power switch was, leaving the police red-faced.
Police commissioner MN Reddi had banned Togadia, who has 19 criminal cases against him for delivering hate speeches, from entering Bengaluru or addressing the masses. The ban was upheld by the Karnataka high court last week. Subsequently, orders were also issued banning an address in any form by Togadia.
In the speech, played at the Virat Hindu Samavesha held to celebrate the VHP's 50th anniversary, Togadia said India should be declared a "Hindu Rashtra" through a Constitutional amendment.
Targeting US President Barack Obama for his recent remarks on growing intolerance in India, Togadia said, "Let nobody teach us tolerance. People from all over the world came to India because of our spirit of tolerance. It's religious conversions that are creating intolerance."
Claiming that Hindus ruled the world 1,000 years ago, Togadia said the only way to ‘regain lost glory’ was to stop religious conversions, start Ghar Wapsi with vigour, enforce a Uniform Civil Code and "chase 3 crore Bangladeshis out of India".
Additional Commissioner of Police Alok Kumar, said, "We will have to take a legal opinion on how to book them for this violation."