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'The functioning of the government may not be as smooth as we had hoped'

Vishnu Hari Dalmia is president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad.

We had hoped this election would give a clear majority to any one party so that it can run the country for full five years. But that hope isn't coming true because this Lok Sabha is also likely to be of a similar composition as the last one. So the functioning of the government may not be as smooth as we had hoped.

There has never been persecution of Christians. The question of continuing it with renewed vigour does not arise.

We do not hate Muslims. And we dislike communal riots. There is no other organization besides us fighting for the Hindu cause -- and we have the support of a large number of Hindus.

I think NDA has shown determination in protecting India from foreign invasion and also controlling terrorist activities organised from across the border. This is one reason. Another reason possibly could be that they have a better record in the matter of corruption and they honestly believe in the welfare of the people.

The Muslims realized that if they instigated a riot, they would not get the preferential treatment they did under the rule of other political parties.

Fighting for the Hindu cause does not mean hate for any other religion. The Hindu ethos requires Hindus to give the same respect to other religions also. We fight for the cause of all the Hindus and the caste system does not come into the picture. We are encouraging even Dalit priests and the Shilanyas of the Ram Janambhoomi temple was done by a Harijan.

If the Pope is coming here to encourage conversion of Hindus to Christianity, we oppose his coming. But if he is coming to advise his followers not to indulge in this undesirable practice, we welcome him.

It is not true that the BJP instigates communalism. It is the other way round, the other parties profess secularism but they actually encourage communalism.

There are many Muslims who are nationalist to the core. In the recent Kargil war, some of the Muslims in the army showed a lot of courage in fighting the enemy. So how can you call all Muslims anti-nationals? We don't believe in that. In fact, I praise those Muslims who fought for this country in the Kargil war.

We want every Muslim to be a good Muslim in following his religion, and every Christian to be a good Christian following his religion. The same applies to the Hindus.

No one should interfere in any other religion because all religions ultimately lead to god. There may be different paths but the ultimate aim is the same.

If the Ram mandir is to be built at that spot, the disputed structure had to go at some time or the other. Moreover, it was standing at a place where a temple already existed and which was destroyed during Mughal rule.

There is nothing wrong in the Hindus asking for correction of the wrong done during Muslim rule. As far as riots are concerned, they are always started by Muslims...

Our religious leaders have decided to start construction work from 2001. And they hope that during this period some amicable solution will be found to this dispute.

We are not concerned with what BJP decides. We are concerned with our programme and we will follow it.

It was not a masjid at all, but a victory monument constructed at the time of Muslim rule, after the destruction of a Hindu temple...

The archaeological and historical evidence proves the point that a temple was already existing there. And the matter is in the court for the last 40 years. And it will continue to drag on like this.

No one is above the law except perhaps the powerful politicians. And VHP is not one of those.

The acceptable solution could be for Muslims to realize that these three places are of no religious significance for them, but for Hindus they are like the Mecca and Madina of the Muslims.

Moreover, under Islamic tenets, also it is prohibited to acquire any land forcibly and construct a mosque thereon. Those Muslims who have done so have violated their own religion.

The government has never supported our cause. We have always depended on the support of Hindus and we will continue to receive the same.

We are trying to protect Hindu interests all over the world and fight for their religious aspirations. We have aroused consciousness amongst Hindus -- that they were not being treated fairly and have always been regarded as second-rate citizens in their own country. This, inspite of being in a majority.

The common manifesto leaves out many things important from the Hindu point of view. And we will continue to agitate for the same.

If the judicial system in the country continues like this, when cases last for the whole life of a man, many people will start taking law in their own hands. And they cannot be blamed for that. It is the judicial system that needs improvement to avoid such a situation. Justice delayed is justice denied.

We do not believe in conversions. Everyone should be free to pursue his/her own religion of birth.

We are encouraging even low caste people to become priests. Moreover, we fight for their entry into those temples where they have been denied entry so far.

This common manifesto leaves out many things that are important from the Hindu point of view. And we will continue to agitate for the same.

Poor people also worship god and try to achieve salvation. If anyone has no religious aspirations, then a temple or no temple means nothing to him.