It would be comical were it not for the fact that these things tend to spin out of control in many instances. Jumping through hoops of fire, crawling through muddy waters and attacking men dressed in skull caps and beards are part of the training that the extreme Hindutva outfit, the Bajrang Dal (BD), has undertaken in its pursuit of the` defence’ of Hindus. It is a different matter that few Hindus have sought the might of the BD as defence, preferring rather to leave it to normal law and order outfits. The training camps are being held in Sultanpur, Gorakhpur, Pilibhit, No ida and Fate hp ur even though a case has been filed against the organisation and its Ayodhya leader Mahesh Mishra arrested.
The BJP has disassociated itself from these efforts, though Sakshi Maharaj, a party MP, has said there is nothing wrong in these efforts. So far these training camps have not been shut down. These are attempts to pol arise society in UP, which is due for assembly elections next year. The BD is hoping to create an atmosphere of fear among Hindus about some perceived threat from Muslims. If the welfare of Hindus was of such concern to the BD, instead of trying to draw Hindus into a conflict, it should be trying to em power the disadvantaged among them economically and socially. The organisation has often acted as though it had the sanction of the ruling party and though the BJP has distanced itself from this particular venture, it must be made clear that a party of governance will have nothing to do with these or any other divisive tactics. The fact that these activists are brandishing weapon ry is enough to put them behind bars. The state government must move quickly to scotch these so-called arms training attempts before things get out of hand. In the past we have seen how trivial incidents can flare up into a communal conflagration. Mercifully, people are increasingly focusing on development issues and it is unlikely that the Ba jr an gD al will be able to transform this into amass movement.
To counter the likes ofSa ks hi Ma ha raj, the local leadership of the BJP should make it firm that this does not have the party’s sanction. As th eND Across est he two-year mark, the last thing it needs is the machinations of the like soft he B Do rt he sanction of this from anymember of the party like Sakshi Maharaj.