Video Editors: Prashant Chauhan/Sandeep Suman
Retired IIT Professor VK Tripathi has been running a solitary campaign against communal hatred for the last three decades. This time, he has raised his pitch against Dasna temple chief and repeat offender Narsinghanand.
After Narsinghanand’s hateful comments on Prophet Muhammad, Tripathi wrote a letter condemning the Dasna temple priest.
“Unfortunately, in our country, people view a person clad in orange as a religious person. But he is a person filled with hatred and untruth. He is a sinner. It’s a sustained sinister campaign... it’s a monstrous sin.”VK Tripathi told The Quint
Tripathi, 73, has been spreading the message of communal harmony with his pamphlets, workshops, and lectures.
“It was 1989 that proved to be a turning point in my life when I learnt about massive violence and riots in Bhagalpur, Bihar. Also, a storm created in the name of Ram temple. The Ram shila campaign was going on in the country. I was in America at that time. I realised that the prejudices had reached a peak in our country. I decided in 1989 that I will spend a significant amount of my effort and time in combating or rather liberating people from prejudice or religious hatred.”VK Tripathi
His handbooks have earlier addressed the issue of CAA-NRC, Ayodhya dispute, Article 370 among other communally polarising subjects.
“I did not know how to counter communal hatred politically but I certainly wanted to reach out to the hearts of the people so that they can free themselves from prejudice. And for that, I chose education as the means.”VK Tripathi
How the Pandemic Affected His Mission
The retired professor says that due to the pandemic his campaign for distributing pamphlets among the common people has become subdued.
“During the pandemic, my physical gatherings had seized. I am unable to go anywhere because universities, schools and colleges are closed. I am unable to hold workshops or give lectures. Fortunately, some colleges like Jamia Millia Islamia organised my talk. Similarly, some friends from Lucknow organised my talk through Zoom. Normally, when I would have flyer campaigns, a few friends would join me but now I have to go alone. And this time, I could continue my flyer campaign at a little subdued level.”VK Tripathi
Occasionally, Tripathi still manages to venture out and continue the fight against communal hatred in India.