shok Singhal, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad's international president, turned 80 on September 12. His birthday was celebrated not in Delhi or Agra, where he was born, but in Chennai.
"Swami Dayanada Saraswati wanted to celebrate Singhal's birthday as a religious function at his Anaikatti Ashram near Coimbatore," a member of the celebration committee said, explaining the reason for the choice of venue.
"Originally, Swamiji planned to organise the function on October 19. Then we came to know that in north India, as per their tradition, the birthday falls on September 12. So we thought of celebrating it on that day in Chennai instead."
Reportage: Shobha Warrier | Photographs: Sreeram Selvaraj
The Ashok Singhal interview