Mangaluru: A local Congress leader has launched Bharatiya Hindu Parishad, in a move touted as an attempt to counter the aggressive growth of Sangh Parivar outfits.
The new outfit, described as a "secular" organisation to promote the "true Hindu spirit" was launched at Puttur in Mangaluru district with the trappings of a Sangh Parivar event amid chanting of hymns in the presence of religious leaders.
The organisation was launched by Shri Keshavananda Bharati of Edneer Math in Kerala's Kasaragod district. The function was also attended by Esha Vithaladasa Swamiji of Shri Kemaru Math.
The initiative for floating the outfit has been taken by prominent Congress workers belonging to the Hindu community spearheaded by the party's Puttur block Congress President Kavu Hemanath Shetty who says Hinduism was "no one's property."
At the function, Shetty, BHP founder president, said the organisation was apolitical and not connected to Congress.
Shetty said his organisation would work towards social harmony and peaceful coexistence with different communities.
The coastal districts of Mangaluru and Udupi have been strongholds of BJP with a widespread influence of Sangh Partivar outfits, particularly of its ideological fountainhead RSS.
The development has stirred a hornet's nest in the district.
Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has said Congress believed in the philosophy of secularism and treats all castes and religions, including Hinduism, equally. There was no need for the party to tilt towards any religion, he said.
Launching the outfit, Bharati said religion and faith should not be the monopoly of any political party or groups. Comparing organisations with attires adorning the body, he said the attires could be removed but faith would be unflinching.
He hoped the new organisation would strive to create awareness among 'genuine' Hindus and would not be an affiliate of any political party.
Esha Vithaladasa Swamiji, in his speech, stressed the need for religious education on Hindu values and teachings in modern times.