Ashok Singhal(27 September 1926 – 17 November 2015) was the international working president of the Hindu organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) for over 20 years until, following a long bout of diminishing physical health, he was replaced in December 2011. Succeeded by Praveen Togadia, Singhal suffered ill-health but was working till a month before his death.
Singhal was born in Agra. His father was a government official. Singhal has a Bachelor’s degree in Metallurgical Engineering from the Benaras Hindu University Institute of Technology in 1950.
Having been in Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) since 1942, he became a full-time pracharak after graduation. He worked in various locations around Uttar Pradesh, becoming a prant pracharak for Delhi and Haryana. In 1980, he was deputed to the VHP, becoming its joint general secretary. In 1984, he became its general secretary and, later, the working president, a role in which he continued till 2011.
Singhal is a trained vocalist in Hindustani music. He studied under Pandit Omkarnath Thakur.
Singhal died on 17 November 2015 at 2.24 PM at Medanta Medicity hospital in Gurgaon.
After the Meenakshipuram conversions in 1981, Singhal moved to the VHP as the joint general secretary. After noting the main greivance of the Dalit communities in the area as being access to temples, VHP built 200 temples specifically for Dalits. He says that the conversions stopped afterwards.
Singhal was a key organiser of the first VHP Dharma Sansad in 1984 held at Vigyan Bhavan in New Delhi, attracting hundreds of sadhus and Hindu notables to discuss the issues of rejuvenating Hinduism. The movement for reclaiming the Ramjanmabhoomi temple was born here. Singhal soon became the chief architect of the Ramjanmabhoomi movement.