Monday February 19, 2018
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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
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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.

  • 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.

Next Story

RSS’ call to re-mould Indian Constitution

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat says that the Army takes six to seven months to train its soldiers, the RSS can get its cadres ready for battle in two to three days

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The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002
The Sangh Parivar, better known as the Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS) celebrated the 125th anniversary of the song in 2002. Wikimedia Commons
  • RSS (Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh) is a is an Indian right-wing
  • RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat expressed his views on Indian Army’s preparation in his speech to RSS workers in Muzaffarpur in Bihar
  • Kiren Rijiju said if the Constitution permits, RSS can go ahead with its interference in military matters.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh wants to re-mould the Indian State with a military which adheres to Hindutva, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) has said.

This is the message that emerges from RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat’s speech to RSS workers in Muzaffarpur in Bihar that while the Army takes six to seven months to train its soldiers, the RSS can get its cadres ready for battle in two to three days, the CPI-M said.

“This remark has drawn widespread condemnation, with the main criticism being that the RSS chief had insulted the Indian army by claiming that the RSS can do a better job than the Army in training soldiers,” an editorial in the CPI-M journal “People’s Democracy,” said.

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“While this criticism is valid, the intent of these remarks is much more serious,” it said. “The statement has revealed a vital aspect of the RSS outlook about the Army and the militarization of society.”

The editorial said: “What the RSS wants in the re-moulding of the Indian State is armed forces which adhere to Hindutva. For Bhagwat, the soldier in the Indian Army and the Swayamsevak of the RSS are on the same footing.

RSS support Hindus
RSS world’s largest organisation promote Hindutva.

“Under the present Indian Constitution, such an integration of the Army and the RSS is not possible.

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That is why, both the RSS clarification and the defence put out by (Minister of State for home) Kiren Rijiju makes this qualification that if the Constitution permits, the RSS can go ahead with its interference in military matters.

“The implication is ominous: a re-worked Constitution should enable this to happen.”