By Anasudhin Azeez
The British government has revoked visas issued to two prominent members of right-wing Hindu organisations in the south Indian state of Kerala after the Indian community here filed complaints against their visit.
Sasikala Teacher, chairperson of Kerala-based Hindu Aikya Vedi (United Hindu Front), and N. Gopalakrishnan, director of Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage, were invited to attend the first Hindu Religious Conference at Croydon in London.
The British consulate in Chennai revoked the visas issued to both the leaders after a section of the Indian community complained about their campaigns on radical Hindutwa ideology, London-based Asian Lite newspaper reported.
Translations of the two leaders’ YouTube speeches and other social media messages were handed over to the authorities.
Britain had earlier denied visa to Narendra Modi for his alleged involvement as the Gujarat chief minister in the 2002 riots but changed the stance when he became the prime minister. Britain is following a tough policy on radical preachers and activists after many of them fuelled young minds with right-wing religious ideas.
The British Home Office earlier denied visa to Zakir Naik, a controversial Islamic preacher from Mumbai, on similar grounds. The Home Office said the controversial preacher’s visit would spoil the community cohesion activities in Britain.
Kerala-based Hindu Aikya Vedi and Indian Institute of Scientific Heritage are closely associated with the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the parent organisation of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. Both Sasikala and Gopalakrishnan were known for their controversial speeches based on right-wing Hindu ideology.
Hindu Aikya Vedi-Britain, the organisers, said the event was cancelled due to “unforeseen circumstances”.
They claimed the first Hindu Conference in Britain was organised to promote traditional Hindu values.
“We target to relieve the minds of the people from the darkness of superstitions and immorality and induce in them the spiritual and philosophical principals of Hinduism based on the spirit of full consciousness and selfless human behaviour,” a press release stated.
The event included academic, philosophical lectures and competitions, debates, question and answer sessions, devotional music, traditional classical dance and music recitals, and Kathakali recitals.