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Op-ed: Modi sponsors militant outfits in India

CIA classified Bajrang Dal and VHP ‘militant religious organizations’ but, the Narendra Modi government shrugged off the label. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was tagged as a “nationalist organization”.

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Following the Bharatya Janata Party’s electoral victories, there has been a mushroom growth of anti-Muslim quasi-military outfits in India. Extremist organizations like the Rashtrya Swayemsevak Sangh, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, and Bajrang Dal, among others, manage these organizations. In schools run by the VHP, military training is imparted with live arms even without the headmaster’s permission.

The headmaster of a school in Bengal filed a complaint with police that he has been receiving threats to his life for resisting forced military training in the school (Headmaster of school that hosted Bajrang Dal’s arms training camp in Bengal alleges death threats, Hindustan Times April 26, 2018). The ‘valour training’ included “training in how to load, unload and take aim with guns in the weapon training camp at the school” (Crawl in a trench, climb a rope, load a gun: A day at a ‘valour training camp’ of Bajrang Dal Hindustan Times, December 26, 2017).

Right from comparing Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed during the intolerance debate in 2015 to asking people to leave India if they don’t practice Surya Namaskar in 2015, the Yogi has been at the center of several controversies.

No political or religious party in Pakistan has an ‘army’. No school imparts military training to youth. Nor are they brainwashed to hate Hindus or any other religious community. Yet Pakistan is always a bête noire for its restricted religious freedom.

CIA’s lists some organizations as ‘militants’

CIA classified Bajrang Dal and VHP ‘militant religious organizations’ but, the Narendra Modi government shrugged off the label. Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) was tagged as a “nationalist organization”.

Members of the VHP had vandalized a 10×11 foot steel gate installed at the western entrance of the Taj Mahal by the Archaeological Survey of India, claiming it allegedly blocked access to the Siddheshwar Mahadev temple. Both the VHP and the Bajrang Dal are notorious for anti-Muslim rhetoric for witch hunts of inter-faith marriages.

The Hindu-monk chief minister of India’s largest state, Uttar Pradesh, has a criminal background of being a gangster who broke curfew to deliver a hate speech. He was jailed for 11 days.  He even called actor Shah Rukh Khan a ‘terrorist’. He warned that if Hindus boycott his films he would be begging on the streets. During his election speeches at Hyderabad, he demanded the state be renamed after a Hindu icon. He abhorred the Moghal museum as a relic of a detestable past.

He was nominated as chief minister by Amit Shah but now aspires to become India’s prime minister. Unlike Narendra Modi he does owe his power to the quasi-military outfit he raised rather than the RSS. Recently, India’s chief of defense staff Biped Rabat met him, a fact that speaks volumes about his growing power. “Since BJP assumed power at the Centre in 2014, fringe Hindu outfits have mushroomed in UP. While BJP says it has nothing to do with them, opposition alleges tacit support (Hindu Vahini’s, Hindu Samaj, Hindu Army — how vigilante groups are thriving in Yogi’s UP, January 2, 2021).

Read more: RSS’ notorious conspiracies and Modi’s liability

Yogi’s ‘army’ draws its membership from several Indian states. With Yagi’s appointment as the chief minister, its membership has soared from about 50 applications a day to 5000 a day. Its membership grew from 300 in 2002 to 1.5 million in 2014. In the Gorakhpur division alone, 500,000 people joined the HYV as it expanded to the villages. Not only Uttar Pradesh, but HYV has also received membership requests from other states too including Maharashtra, Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, and Odisha.

This ‘army’ is so powerful that it thrashed a police officer and raped several women with impunity. Yogi has authorized it to spy on Muslims for ‘cow offences’ and marrying Hindu women. In a case, all the thirteen members of a family were jailed for an offense under Love-Jihad (Uttar Pradesh Prohibition of Unlawful Conversion of Religion Ordinance, 2020.

Several vigilantes and militant outfits

Not only the RSS, VHP, and the Bajrang Dal, but other vigilante groups such as the Rashtriya Yuva Vahini also prevent Hindu-Muslim marriages. A Lucknow-headquartered Rashtriya Yuva Vahini, a BJP ally, prevented an interfaith wedding in Lucknow though parents of both the bride and the groom had consented.

After demolishing the Babri mosque, these outfits are demanding the conversion of the Taj Mahal into temple Tejo Mahalia, and mosques at  Kashi and Mathura.

Right from comparing Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed during the intolerance debate in 2015 to asking people to leave India if they don’t practice Surya Namaskar in 2015, the Yogi has been at the center of several controversies.

Hindu Army and its ‘Krishna Janmabhoomi movement’, formed in 2018, has been leading a movement to remove the Shahi Idgah mosque adjacent to a Krishna temple in Mathura.  In September this year, 22 members of the Hindu Army were arrested after they announced a “Krishna Janmabhoomi movement” to get the mosque removed.

Vishwa Hindu Dal thrashed two Kashmiri businessmen who were selling dry fruits in Lucknow.

Hindu Yuva Vahini (Bharat), an offshoot of Yogi’s outfit

The Hindu Yuva Vahini (Bharat) is an offshoot of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, which was founded by chief minister Yogi Adityanath in 2002. UP Congress spokesperson Anshu Awasthi said. “Prior to 2014, such outfits were rarely discussed. Nowadays, they are constantly in the news. How is all this possible without protection from those in power?”

No political or religious party in Pakistan has an ‘army’. No school imparts military training to youth. Nor are they brainwashed to hate Hindus or any other religious community. Yet Pakistan is always a bête noire for its restricted religious freedom. Many entities and leaders have been designated as ‘terrorists’ only for allegedly having funded the freedom movement in the occupied Kashmir. Why the world does not see what is going on in India with the government’s connivance?

Read more: The Great Transformation: How is RSS transforming India into a fascist regime?

Mr. Amjed Jaaved has been writing freelance for over five decades. He has served federal and provincial governments of Pakistan for 39 years. His contributions stand published in the leading dailies and magazines at home and abroad (Nepal. Bangladesh, et. al.). He is author of eight e-books including The Myth of Accession. He knows many languages including French and Arabic. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Global Village Space.

 
 

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