Bajrang Dal
Formation8 October 1984 (39 years ago) (1984-10-08)
TypePatriot[1] wing of Vishva Hindu Parishad
Legal statusActive
HeadquartersNew Delhi, India
Region served
India
Official language
Hindi
Head
Rajesh Pandey
Parent organisation
Vishva Hindu Parishad
WebsiteBajrang Dal

The Bajrang Dal is a Hindu nationalist patriot[1] organisation that forms the youth wing of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP). It is a member of the right-wing RSS family of organisations.[10] The ideology of the organisation is based on Hindutva.[11][12] Founded on 1 October 1984 in Uttar Pradesh, it has since spread throughout India,[13] although its most significant base remains the northern and central portions of the country. The group runs about 2,500 akhadas, similar to the shakhas (branches) of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh. The name "Bajrang" is a reference to the Hindu deity Hanuman.

The Bajrang Dal's slogan is 'Sevā Surakṣā Sanskṛti' or "service, safety and culture." One of the main goals of the Dal is to build the Ram Janmabhoomi temple in Ayodhya, the Krishnajanmabhoomi temple in Mathura and the Kashi Vishwanath temple in Varanasi, which are currently disputed places of worship. Other goals include protecting India's "Hindu" identity from the perceived dangers of communism, Muslim demographic growth, and Christian conversion, as well as the prevention of cow slaughter.

Ideology and agenda

Bajrang Dal is a right-wing organisation.[14][15][16] Among the goals of the Bajrang Dal in modern India is a reversing of the Islamic Invasions and British imperialism. They include demands to convert historical monuments currently disputed into temples.[17] The organisation asserts on its website that they are neither communal or divisive. In particular, they say[18]

"The Bajrang Dal is not against any religion. It acknowledges respecting the faith of other people, but expects and asserts for a similar respect of the Hindu Sentiments. Being Hindu, the Bajrang Dal believes in validity of all Religions and Respect for all human beings, irrespective of caste, color, and religion (Aatmasvat Sarva Bhuteshu). It is for this purpose that the Bajrang Dal has undertaken various public-awakening campaigns. It does not believe in violence or any unlawful activity."

In addition, Bajrang Dal said they would circulate five million handbills, giving details about the activities of Christian missionaries. National convenor Surendra Kumar Jain said the outfit would peacefully expose what he described as questionable means adopted by some Christian bodies to convert poor people under a world evangelical plan that specially targeted Hindu-majority India.[19]

Bajrang Dal, together with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), has spoken out against Islamic terrorism in India and have announced that they will carry out awareness campaigns across the nation. They have stated that Islamic terrorists are hiding among the general population in India and mean to expose them.[20] Convener Prakash Sharma stressed that they were not targeting any particular community, but were trying to "wake up" the people of India, particularly it's youth, to the dangers of terrorism in the light of the 2002 Akshardham Temple attack perpetrated by terrorists linked to the militant group Lashkar-e-Toiba.[21][22]

Bajrang Dal shares the VHP's position against cow slaughter and has supported proposals for banning it.[23] The Gujarat branch is at the forefront of anti-beauty contest agitation. Another of its objectives is preventing Hindu-Muslim marriages.[24] The organisation claims to work towards eradicating social evils like dowry and untouchability.[citation needed]

The US Central Intelligence Agency has classified VHP and Bajrang Dal as religious militant organizations.[25][26]

Social media presence

Bajrang Dal is active on social media. Facebook's security team has tagged it along with right wing organisations Sanatan Sanstha and Sri Ram Sena, as a potentially dangerous organisation that supports violence against minorities across India.[15][16][27] Regardless the organisation has been allowed to spread on Facebook due to political and safety considerations. Facebook has avoided acting against Bajrang Dal as it has ties with the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and because "cracking down on Bajrang Dal might endanger both the company's business prospects and its staff in India", The Wall Street Journal newspaper wrote, reaffirming its reportage earlier this year on the subject.[28][29]

Controversies

Criticism

The United States Department of State's annual report on international religious freedom for 2000 and World Report (2000) by the Human Rights Watch labelled this organisation as a Hindu extremist group.[46][47] Paul R. Brass, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and South Asian Studies at the University of Washington, described the Bajrang Dal as Indian equivalent of Nazi Germany's Sturmabteilung.[48]

Bajrang Dal has also received criticism from other Hindu nationalist organisations such as the Hindu Mahasabha. Bajrang Dal has been criticised for adopting the same violent methods as the Islamic fundamentalists in their attempt to curb the spread of Islamic terrorism, a move deemed by the Mahasabha to be counterproductive.[49] In addition, the Bharatiya Janata Party member and former prime minister of India Atal Bihari Vajpayee have also come out in criticism of Bajrang Dal. Vajpayee said that the Bajrang Dal "only embarrassed the BJP" and urged the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) to "rein them in".[50] After the religious violence in Odisha, the Bharatiya Janata Party Prime Ministerial candidate L. K. Advani advised the Bajrang Dal to cease association with violence, concerned with the fact that it took pressure off the UPA government in Delhi.[51]

Demand for ban

List of presidents

See also

References

  1. ^ a b [2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9]
  2. ^ Valiani, Arafaat A. (11 November 2011). Patriot publics in India: Physical culture and violence in the making of a modern polity. New York, NY: Palgrave Macmillan. ISBN 978-0-230-37063-0.
  3. ^ Eko, Lyombe (29 April 2016). "Regulation of Sex-Themed Visual Imagery in India". The Regulation of Sex-Themed Visual Imagery: From Clay Tablets to Tablet Computers. Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 77–86. doi:10.1057/9781137550989_6. ISBN 978-1-137-55098-9. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  4. ^ Parashar, Swati (5 March 2014). Women and Militant Wars: The politics of injury. Routledge. p. 27. ISBN 978-1-134-11606-5. Retrieved 13 February 2021 – via Google Books.
  5. ^ Alter, Joseph S. (1994). "Somatic Nationalism: Indian Wrestling and Militant Hinduism". Modern Asian Studies. 28 (3): 557–588. ISSN 0026-749X. JSTOR 313044. Retrieved 13 February 2021 – via JSTOR.
  6. ^ Varshney, Ashutosh (8 February 2002). Ethnic conflict and civic life: Hindus and Muslims in India (Second ed.). Yale University Press. p. 122. ISBN 9780300085303. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  7. ^ Anand, Dibyesh (May 2007). "Anxious Sexualities: Masculinity, Nationalism and Violence". British Journal of Politics and International Relations. 9 (2): 257–269. doi:10.1111/j.1467-856x.2007.00282.x. Retrieved 13 February 2021 – via Academia.edu.
  8. ^ Jerryson, Michael (15 July 2020). Religious Violence Today: Faith and Conflict in the Modern World. ABC-CLIO. p. 275. ISBN 978-1-4408-5991-5. Retrieved 13 February 2021.
  9. ^ "Inside a far-right Hindu 'self defence' training camp". BBC News. 1 June 2016. Retrieved 15 December 2020.
  10. ^ See:
  11. ^ Anand, Dibyesh (2007). "Anxious sexualities: Masculinity, nationalism and violence". The British Journal of Politics & International Relations. 9 (2): 257–269. doi:10.1111/j.1467-856x.2007.00282.x. S2CID 143765766.
  12. ^ Deshpande, Rajeev (30 September 2008). "Bajrang Dal: The militant face of the saffron family?". The Times of India. Retrieved 30 September 2008.
  13. ^ a b "Dal v state". 3 September 2015.
  14. ^ ""Will Be Beaten": Right-Wing Group's Christmas Threat For Hindus In Assam". NDTV.com. 5 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  15. ^ a b Staff, Scroll (14 December 2021). "Facebook did not ban Bajrang Dal due to concern for employees' safety, business prospects: Report". Scroll.in. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  16. ^ a b "Why Facebook is on the fence about banning Bajrang Dal". Deccan Herald. 14 December 2020. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  17. ^ "hinduunity.org". hinduunity.org. Archived from the original on 10 April 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2006.
  18. ^ "hinduunity.org". www.hinduunity.org. Archived from the original on 5 March 2005. Retrieved 23 February 2005.
  19. ^ "Welcome to MEDIA-WATCH.ORG". media-watch.org. Archived from the original on 3 September 2006.
  20. ^ Terror:VHP plans awareness jatha,Deccan Herald
  21. ^ Bajrang Dal launches campaign,The Tribune
  22. ^ "Three get death for Akshardham attack". The Times of India. 2 June 2006. Retrieved 4 August 2008.
  23. ^ Cow slaughter: Bajrang Dal dubs Forum’s stand anti-Hindu,Deccan Herald
  24. ^ "Cover Story: Bajrang Dal: Loonies at Large". india-today.com. Archived from the original on 22 November 2008. Retrieved 25 May 2008.
  25. ^ Rohan Dua (15 June 2018). "VHP a militant religious outfit, RSS nationalist: CIA factbook". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 August 2020. US' Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has classified VHP and Bajrang Dal as "militant religious outfits" and called RSS a nationalist organisation.
  26. ^ CIA calls VHP, Bajrang Dal ‘religious militant organisations’, The Tribune, 15 June 2018.
  27. ^ Gupta, Sonal; Goel, Kritika (20 December 2020). "Hate & Misinformation – Inside Bajrang Dal Pages on Facebook". TheQuint. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  28. ^ Purnell, Jeff Horwitz and Newley (13 December 2020). "WSJ News Exclusive, In India, Facebook Fears Crackdown on Hate Groups Could Backfire on Its Staff". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  29. ^ "Facebook Went Soft On Bajrang Dal To Protect Business, Staff: Report". NDTV.com. 14 December 2020. Retrieved 14 December 2020.
  30. ^ United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. "Refworld | Politics by Other Means: Attacks Against Christians in India". Refworld. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  31. ^ State Participation and Complicity in Communal Violence in Gujarat Human Rights Watch – June 2002
  32. ^ Malegaon the road to perdition,The Hindu
  33. ^ Malegaon blasts: Is it Bajrang or Lashkar? Times of India
  34. ^ Police cover up Nanded blast,NDTV.com.
  35. ^ A report on bomb blast at the house of prominent RSS activist in Nanded, Maharashtra Archived 24 September 2015 at the Wayback Machine,pucl.org
  36. ^ Security agencies pursue Bajrang Dal, Bangla links to Malegaon DNAIndia – 6 September 2006
  37. ^ Bajrang Dal plotted ‘revenge blasts’ in Kanpur: UP police Indian Express – 28 August 2008
  38. ^ Togadia defies ban, distributes tridents,The Hindu
  39. ^ "Organised intolerance". hinduonnet.com.
  40. ^ Gupta, Suchandana (15 February 2008). "On V-Day, Bajrang Dal men force couple to get 'married'". The Times of India.
  41. ^ "Sena, Bajrang Dal act spoilers on Valentine's Day". Rediff.com. 31 December 2004. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
  42. ^ "Bajrang Dal protests against Valentine's Day". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 15 February 2008.
  43. ^ Christians: The Sangh Parivar's new target The Economic Times – 20 September 2008
  44. ^ http://www.ndtv.com/convergence/ndtv/story.aspx?id=NEWEN20080066428 BJP, Dal talk in two voices over Karnataka] NDTV – 23 September 2008
  45. ^ Bajrang Dal activists threaten couples celebrating Valentine's Day in Kanpur DailyIndia.com – 14 February 2011
  46. ^ Barbara Larkin (July 2001). Annual Report on International Religious Freedom 2000. p. 508. ISBN 0-7567-1229-7.
  47. ^ Human Rights Watch World Report 2000. Human Rights Watch. 1999. p. 188. ISBN 1-56432-238-6.
  48. ^ Paul R. Brass (1997). Theft of an Idol: Text and Context in the Representation of Collective Violence. Princeton University Press. p. 17. ISBN 0-691-02650-5.
  49. ^ Bajarangis – Do not become Hindu Jihadis,hindutva.org
  50. ^ Rein in Parivar outfits, PM tells RSS,The Tribune
  51. ^ Bajrang deaf to BJP sermon The Telegraph, Calcutta – 3 October 2008
  52. ^ "Bajrang Dal ban: A case of political divide". rediff.com.
  53. ^ "No ban on Bajrang Dal now: NSA". rediff.com.
  54. ^ "Zee News: Latest News Headlines, Current Live Breaking News from India & World". zeenews.com.
  55. ^ "Congress demands ban on Bajrang Dal". The Times of India.
  56. ^ "Muslim cleric demands ban on Bajrang Dal".
  57. ^ "Call for immediate ban on Bajrang Dal, VHP". The Hindu. 30 August 2008.
  58. ^ "Zee News: Latest News Headlines, Current Live Breaking News from India & World". zeenews.com.
  59. ^ Gowda, Maya demand ban on Bajrang Dal Archived 17 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine The Times of India, 22 September 2008
  60. ^ Paswan seeks ban on Bajrang Dal, VHP The Hindu, 20 September 2008
  61. ^ Congress seeks ban on VHP, Bajrang Dal Archived 20 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine Sify News, 20 September 2008
  62. ^ Ban Bajrang Dal, says national minorities panel CNN-IBN, 6 October 2008
  63. ^ "BJP flays minorities panel report on Karnataka". rediff.com.
  64. ^ Cabinet to discuss Bajrang, VHP ban The Telegraph
  65. ^ "Bajrang Dal Minister Fights Staines Controversy". The Telegraph. Retrieved 15 August 2019.

Further reading