If Bajrang Dal is not BJP, what of the RSS, Mr Shah?

Written by Teesta Setalvad | Published on: May 28, 2016
other case. He may be tried in the cases registered under the normal law of the land and a watch may be kept on his activities.

The RSS publication, Matrusansthas (literally, ‘mother organisations’), listing the numerous affiliates and organisations which the RSS has spawned over the decades and which form part of the sangh parivar,  include the Vanvasi Kalyan Ashram and the VHP. Preparations for Violence.’

The official website of the Bajrang Dal flaunts the connection between theorganisations proudly. "Vishva Hindu Parishad decided to start ‘Ram-Janaki’ rath yatra for awakening the society on October 1, 1984… Many elements refused to give protection to Rath and the participants. The holy saints made a call to the youths to protect ‘Rath’. Hundreds of youth gathered in Ayodhya. They performed their duty very well. Thus Bajrang Dal was formed with a temporary and localised objective of awakening youth of UP, and get their involvement in Ramjanmabhoomi movement... In 1986, the VHP decided to form Bajrang Dal in other states and very soon Bajrang Dal was formed in other states too, as its youth wing." 

Rabble rousers in the Indian Parliament, who often put the august house of Parliament to shame include elected members of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) who continue to be office bearers of the more brazen and more rabid Bajrang Dal.
Meet Vinay Katiyar was the founder-president of the Bajrang Dal, the youth wing of the VHP. He has subsequently served as a national general secretary of the BJP, and as a member of parliament in the Lower House, the Lok Sabha. He is currently a member of the Upper House, the Rajya Sabha. After founding the BD and furthering the cause of the VHP, Katiyar served as the president of Uttar Pradesh state unit of the BJP from 2002 to July 18, 2004 and was national general secretary of the BJP from 2006. Katiyar was elected to the Lok Sabha from the Faizabad (Ayodhya) constituency to the 10th, 11th and 13th Lok Sabha in 1991, 1996 and 1999.

No connection there, Mr Shah?

Barely eight months ago the killing of of Bajrang Dal activist Prashant Poojary by motorcycle-borne men on October 9, 2015 in Moodbidri, Dakshina Kannada district had drawn sharp criticisms from the fraternal BJP. The BJP’s state unit demand a probe by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) into the killing. In a media interview, BJP president Amit Shah alleged there was “silence” over the murder of a Hindutva activist in contrast to the “selective outrage” over the lynching of a Muslim man at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh on suspicion that there was beef in his house.

Nowhere more are the links as strong and sharply visible as during the mobilisation for the demolition of the Babri masjid and the act of demolition itself, on December 6,1992. The foot soldiers were the Bajrang Dal, Shiv Sena and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) even as men like Lal Krishna Advani and Murli Manohar Joshi not to speak of Uma Bharati watched and exulted.

The Concerned Citizens Tribunal, Gujarat 2002, headed by Justice VR Krishna Iyer, PB Sawant and Suresh has a detail section on ‘Preparations for Violence.’
The section reads:
“6. Role of the RSS
6.1. The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is an organisation with the self-professed goal of India as a ‘Hindu state’ ... It spawned the Vishwa Hindu Parishad in 1964 which in turn set up the Bajrang Dal in 1986, an aggressive militant outfit whose activities are nothing short of criminal. The RSS’ links with the BJP are well known. In the early 50s, when the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, the earlier avatar of the BJP, was formed to dabble in parliamentary politics, trusted RSS pracharaks (propagators) were ‘delegated’ to the party. Following the failed Janata experiment of the 1970s, after the end of Emergency rule, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh resurfaced as the Bharatiya Janata Party, which dominates the National Democratic Alliance coalition government at the Centre today. The antecedents of both present Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpayee, and deputy prime minister, Shri LK Advani, are as trusted pracharaks of the RSS, loaned to the BJS decades ago, to translate Hindutva’s ideology into a political programme”.
In the section on ‘Historical Background: The RSS’, the CCT report states:
“7.1. An investigation