Valentine’s day is around the corner, hence it is impossible for India to not talk about Sang Parivar’s stardom magnet known as ‘Bajrang Dal’. It is an organization that follows the ideology of ‘Hindu Nationalism’ and its slogan is “Seva, Suraksha, Sanskriti” or Service, Safety, and Culture; the fact that Bajrang Dal is a militant organization is as intriguing as the fact that it literally beats couples (following which they are married off) on Valentine’s Day to express their opposition against ‘Western culture’.
The organization is the youth wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). It is spread throughout India with 2500 akhadas (just like shakhas of RSS), northern and central portions of the country are most significant though.
Goals of Bajrang Dal
- Building Ramjanmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, Krishnajanmabhoomi temple in Mathura, and Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi
- Protecting India’s ‘Hindu’ identity of India from perceived dangers of communism, Muslim population growth, and Christian conversion
- Prevention of cow slaughter
Controversies of Bajrang Dal
1. It was first banned by the Narasimha Rao government in 1992 during the span of incidents surrounding Babri Masjid Demolition. However, the ban lasted for only one year.
2. Bajrang Dal activists, in April 2006, were killed nearby Nanded allegedly in the process of ‘bomb-making’. This group was also suspected for 2003 Parbhani mosque blasts.
3. In April 2003, Praveen Togadia was arrested after distributing tridents to Bajrang Dal activists in Ajmer defying the ban and prohibitory orders. Later, he had expressed satisfaction at the publicity received due to the incident.
4. The organization has been accused of attacking traders who sell to Muslims and attacking Muslim homes with the objective of not allowing Muslims to own land in parts of Gujrat.
5. On several occasions, acting as “Social Police” the activists of Bajrang Dal have caught un-married couples on Valentine’s day and forced them to apply sindoor or tie rakhis against their wishes. The activists of Bajrang Dal have often indulged in violence, invading gift shops and restaurants and threatening couples on Valentine’s day.