‘If there is a Hindu cause, we are ready to fight’
A one-time ladies’ tailor, Ashok Kapoor has become owner of a small textile shop and the convener of the Bajrang Dal in Delhi in 25 years, reports Vikas Pathak.delhi Updated: Oct 12, 2008 00:36 IST
A one-time ladies’ tailor, Ashok Kapoor has become owner of a small textile shop and the convener of the Bajrang Dal in Delhi in 25 years. He has committed one day a week to protecting Hindu interests and symbols — “be it cows or texts”.
Never short of a cause to fight for, Kapoor is agitated over cricketer Harbhajan Singh on a Saturday morning at his home. “He dressed up as Ravana and danced on screen with Mona Singh dressed as Sita. We don’t care how Ravana is depicted, but we will react if Sita is insulted.”
Earlier this year, “In Nangloi, missionaries told a Hindu woman to worship Jesus. This bid to convert made Bajrang Dal activists beat up some missionaries,” he says. In M.F. Hussain’s paintings and Valentine’s Day celebrations, he has had causes to fight against.
“If we hear cows are being taken for slaughter, we set them free. If there is resistance, we are ready to fight.” But is quick to dissociate with the Kandhamal violence, calling it a “spontaneous tribal reaction.”
Kapoor visits the Bajrang Dal office — a room at the VHP’s Jhandewalan office — every Wednesday. A visit there reveals that there is no board of the Dal there. In fact, some of the activists flatly denied that the Dal office is housed in the building. After a long debate, an activist says, “It is people like us roaming the streets that constitute the organisation.”
Kapoor says, “You can’t understand the Bajrang Dal sitting in an office. See it on the field and you will understand it.” He adds that Brahmins have a special duty to defend Hinduism as its “flag-bearers”. Another chips in, saying one becomes a Brahmin not by birth, but by Karma.
The Dal organises weekly Shaurya Prashikshan Vargas (training sessions to acquire courage) to train the youth both in ideology and physical prowess.