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Durga Vahini: A self-Defense Program for Hindu Women in India

A subsidiary of the Hindu nationalist organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP)

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Durga Vahini Image: Outlookindia

Durga Vahini is the female counterpart of the Bajrang Dal, a subsidiary of the Hindu nationalist organisation Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) which was established in 1991. The founding Chairperson of Durga Vahini is Sadhvi Rithambara. Women between the ages of 18 and 35 are allowed to join this camp and trained.

 Know more about Durga Vahini-

  • Set up by a Hindu organisation VHP (Vishwa Hindu Parishad or World Hindu Council) in 1984-85.
  • Women aged 18 to 35 years are eligible to join the group.
  • The organization’s website describes it as a “dynamic voluntary organisation” of young Hindu women.
  • It says the organisation “strives for the security of society” and imparts knowledge of culture and tradition.
  • Every member is expected to exercise regularly for “increasing her physical stamina” and to read “good literature”.
  • The group says it “ensures rehabilitation” of widows, women who have been deserted by their husbands, or women “involved in accidents”.
  • Training camps of 15-20 days are organised for members in all states.
  • The group runs vocational training and tailoring centres and blood donation camps, among other things.
  • Members are also trained in “dagger wielding” and use of firearms, according to the website. ( Source: BBC news)
  • Durga Vahini Training classes. Image source: vhpdelhi.blogspot.com
    Durga Vahini Training classes. Image source: vhpdelhi.blogspot.com

In India, thousands of youths have joined Bajrangi Dal. For girls who want to join such organisation, VHP founded an independent organisation of Hindu Yuwatis (Women) in the name of Durga Vahini on Ashwin Shukla Ashtami (Durga-Ashtami).

Durga Vahini stresses the Service, Security and Sanskars while working in the society —

  • Sewa- Durga Vahini run several service centres like Tailoring centres, vocational courses etc. in different places of the country. The Women uninhabited by her in-laws and widows are mostly among the women who join Durga Vahini. Aid to service projects/activities, hostels, orphanages etc. working in the Sewa Bastis is being acquired through the medium of Free Tution, Dan-Patra, Mushti-Dan Scheme etc. Ror rendering service to humanity, Durga Vahini also holds Blood Donation Camps, Blood Group Determination Camps etc.
  • Suraksha- During the course of this training, practice is being made of physical education, Yog and Niyuddha together with Chhurika (dagger wielding) Gun (firing) etc.
  • Sanskar- Sourya Prashikshan Vargas are conducted for 6 to 15 days in almost all the provinces of the country. Apart from these, a two-days Abhyas Vargas also are organised on divisional and district levels. The Durgas are trained to live a disciplined and Susanskarit (well-cultured) life.

-prepared by Pashchiema (with inputs from BBC news and vhp.org), an intern at NewsGram. Twitter: @pashchiema

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  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Instead of having it as Hindu women, Hindu centric, it should’ve been just women. There are many women in this country who need the basic self defence education. So rather than confining it to ‘Hindu women’, it should be upgraded to ‘women’

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Durga Vahini has also been involved in many controversies.. A documentary showcasing the environment of Durga Vahini camp was also released.

SHARE
  • Vrushali Mahajan

    Instead of having it as Hindu women, Hindu centric, it should’ve been just women. There are many women in this country who need the basic self defence education. So rather than confining it to ‘Hindu women’, it should be upgraded to ‘women’

  • Pashchiema Bhatia

    Durga Vahini has also been involved in many controversies.. A documentary showcasing the environment of Durga Vahini camp was also released.

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Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Now Keen to Develop Young Leaders

The first camp in this regard will be held in Jhansi

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RSS, Leaders, BJP
The RSS will be holding camps in Uttar Pradesh to discuss ways to identify and groom young leaders. Pixabay

With most senior leaders in the BJP having retired from active politics, the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) is now looking towards building a new leadership. Later this month, the RSS will be holding camps in Uttar Pradesh to discuss ways to identify and groom young leaders.

According to a senior RSS functionary in Lucknow, the first camp in this regard will be held in Jhansi, possibly on June 29 and RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat will be attending it. Another camp is scheduled to be held in Lucknow.

“After Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Home Minister Amit Shah, there seems to be a dearth of second rung leadership in the bhBJP. There is a need to develop leadership that will carry forward the work initiated by these two leaders.

“Rajnath Singh is a senior leader, but his age is 67. He would have crossed 70 by the time the next general elections are held in 2024. We have to identify and inculcate leadership qualities in the younger lot,” the functionary said.

RSS, Leaders, BJP
The Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) is now looking towards building a new leadership. Pixabay

He further said that identifying young talent that could be groomed for greater responsibilities was a continuous process in the organisation and it never stopped.

“It is not a sudden decision but the RSS leadership always has a vision for the future and thinks ahead. We keep finding young people with leadership skills,” the functionary added.

Earlier this month, the RSS chief had underlined the need for checking misuse of power at a four-day camp that he addressed in Kanpur.

“Those getting elected in a democratic set-up have immense power, but this does not mean that it should be misused. If the government falters at any point of time, the Sangh will give it advice and suggestions with a positive point of view,” he had said.

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The RSS chief had also discussed the topics of nationalism, social equality and service in his interaction with over 600 volunteers. He also focused on qualitative development of the Sangh volunteers and apprised them of his views on dedication towards society.

The RSS leadership is also expected to come to Lucknow for a separate camp at the end of this month. In Lucknow, the RSS leaders will pay homage to senior journalist Rajnath Singh Surya, who passed away earlier this month. Surya was also a senior RSS functionary.

Officially, however, the RSS office bearers said that they had yet to receive any programme of Bhagwat and said that such camps were a ‘routine affair’. (IANS)