As the date for the Supreme Court judgement on Ayodhya dispute draws closer, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an affiliate of Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, has started flexing its muscles.
The VHP is preparing to build a new cadre, to be named ‘Dharma Rakshak Sena’, that will play a proactive role in mobilising people for the construction of temple.
The VHP, in collaboration with allied organisations of the Sangh parivar, is holding ‘Trishul Diksha’ programme in 16 districts of central Uttar Pradesh in which over 25,000 youths are being trained in the art of using tridents. The programme is to be completed by October 16 and the training is being imparted in ‘Shakti Kendras’ in all the 16 districts.
According to VHP leader Bholendra Singh, there are four ‘Shakti Kendras’ in every district and a total of 94 kendras in Uttar Pradesh and training camps are being held there on a daily basis.
The VHP will distribute tridents to all participants, who will be known as ‘dharma rakshak’, once their training is completed.
The ‘dharma rakshaks’ will be apprised of the tactics to deal with issues like ‘love jihad’ and religious conversions and also told how to react to such issues without using violence.
They will be administered a pledge to protect Hinduism and Hindus.
According to the VHP leader, the main purpose of building the new cadre is to acquaint the youth with Sanatan dharma and educate them on the importance of ‘shaastra’ (scriptures) and ‘shastra’ (arms).
“The Hindus are not weak. ‘Shastra’ is an integral part of our culture and history and this training will equip and strengthen our youths,” the VHP leader said.
“The youths will carry tridents as a symbol of strength and not necessarily to incite violence,” he added.
The VHP and the Bajrang Dal, it may be recalled, had conducted a similar exercise in 2017, when its functionaries distributed tridents to youths.
The VHP leader said that the exercise was undertaken at regular intervals to induct young blood into the organisations and help the youths imbibe their culture and legacy.
He clarified that trident was not classified as a prohibited ‘weapon’ and there was no violation of law in carrying it.