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VHP, a band of saffronite thugs
By S Ubaidur Rahman

Gujarat is burning. And burning profusely. There is no sign that the reign of terror unleashed by the thugs with the open connivance of the state machinery is going to come down anytime soon.

As reports pour in, thousands of people have undoubtedly been slaughtered in the state and thousands of others are seriously injured. Millions have been displaced. There is no count so far as to how many houses have been burnt down and how much they have lost in business. This is certainly in billions of rupees. Charred bodies are still being recovered with a certain monotony. Men and women are still being butchered. And no doubt all of them belong to Muslim community. 

The VHP and its offshoot Bajrang Dal had been forming their armies of Kar Sevaks and providing martial arts and firearms training to them in different parts of the country. Gujarat, with their own government at the saddle, was their main target. It has been touted as the laboratory of the Sangh.

And people behind all these actions belong to a highly organized bunch of thugs led by the likes of Giri Raj Kishore, Ashok Singhal and Modi who have no regard for law and more certainly for human lives. Led by these criminals who are involved in numerous cases in the courts of law, these thugs have gone on rampage whenever any slight opportunity has come to get involved in any crime. The thirst for human blood and with no one to stop them from their horrendous acts-with the government on their side- these beastly people have not stopped short of killing the Muslims. Correspondents visiting the state have revealed that these are not spontaneous incidents of violence carried out to take revenge for an incident that has still to be investigated. They say that it is an organized cleansing of the state from Muslim presence with an aim to totally destroy them economically and morally.

The bloodletting story of the VHP is not new. Donít talk of the Babri Masjid demolition alone. Its name has surfaced in innumerable cases of targetting different minorities in the country, including Christians and Sikhs. In fact just around this time last year, it were Christians who were the target of this bunch of hoodlums. These thugs donít hide their intentions. They talk openly about their heinous plans and there is no one to keep a tab on these criminals. 

The latest carnage of Muslims in Gujarat is not a spontaneous reaction of what happened at Godhra railway station, it seems a well thought out plan to eliminate Muslims from the state. The VHP and its offshoot Bajrang Dal had been forming their armies of Kar Sevaks and providing martial arts and firearms training to them in different parts of the country. Gujarat, with their own government at the saddle, was their main target. It has been touted as the laboratory of the Sangh. It was only last year when the VHP had announced to create a band of about 1 million militant cadres with the trishul (trident), committed to build the Ram temple at Ayodhya by this time of the year. The Bajrang Dal chief, Surendra Jain at that time had said the aim of building a cadre-base of about three million didnít have any political connotation. Their oath would be limited to building the Ram temple at the disputed site. The first batch of about 11,000 was administered the oath and given the trishul in January last year.

No body seemed to be concerned over these announcements and as to why they were announcing to form their own armies and providing arms training to their cadres. People were amazed over the repeated announcements being made by these people but thought that all this was a publicity stunt. But we have been repeatedly warning the government on what is going to happen if these people are allowed to raise their own armies. The temple construction needed architectural expertise and not firearms training.

Our warnings seemed to be true. It seems to be a fact that these hoodlums who are now on the prowl in Ahmedabad, Surat, Baroda, Godhra, Rajkot and all other cities and villages in Gujarat are the same people who were provided with arms training by the VHP, Bajrang Dal and other Sangh outfits. It is not far from comprehension that these armies were raised to do what they are doing now. Killing and maiming people. And shamelessly their leaders have been justifying the killings of thousands of men, women and children, and torching of their houses and business establishments. 

And the VHP is not alone in this business. It is doing what the RSS always tried to do. The VHP, the BJP and Bajrang Dal and numerous other organizations are just parts of the RSS and these are out to fulfill its agenda. Though they claim to have separate set-ups, they all are with the RSS, be it the BJP or the VHP or anyone of its offshoots for that reason. Uma Bharati, who is a BJP MP and a cabinet minister in the central government now, was an active member of the VHP till a few years back. The infamous Vinay Katiyar, BJP's MP from Faizabad was a RSS parcharak during 1980-83. He later, from instructions of the VHP leaders founded the Bajrang Dal, another platform for hoodlums in 1984. Jaibhan Singh Pawaiya, a BJP MP from Gwalior joined RSS in 1973, became secretary of the VHP, Madhya Pradesh in 1983. He was general secretary of Bajrang Dal in 1993 and in 1995 he became its president. The line is blurred. And there is no difference between any of these organizations. These are formed to accomplish the task of the RSS.

The VHP was launched by the RSS in 1964 and it was the RSS cadres who were handed over to the VHP. Its sole aim has been to arouse majority Hindus' sentiments against Christian missionaries and Muslims. It has always come to the rescue of the BJP and the RSS when they needed it. It formed its own Dharm Sansad bypassing the traditional Hindu clergy consisting of Shankaracharyas of four peeths. The four shankaracharyas have resented the formation of the Dharm Sansad and have been opposing it ever since. When the four Shankaracharyas of Sringeri, Dwarka and Badri, Kanchi and Govardhan Peeth, Puri met in April 1994 to establish a trust to oversee the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya, the VHP went all out to get its own shankaracharya, who was not recognized by the four, into the proposed trust. The idea of such a trust had set alarm bells in the VHP which had repeatedly claimed that the right to construct the temple lay only with Nyas, a trust formed by the VHP. This trust has collected unaccounted money from within the country and without for the construction of the Ram temple. 

Nonetheless, the VHP has not budged and it continues to flaunt its Dharm Sansad. Backed by the RSS, the VHP has extended its area of functioning beyond India. This Sangh Parivar outfit now wields considerable influence over home-sick Hindus settled abroad and has built a fortune over the issue of construction of Ram Temple at Ayodhya. 

It always comes to the rescue of the BJP whenever its political graph seems to be plummeting. It is perceived that the dates of starting construction of Ram temple at the Babri Masjid site from 12 March were announced by its Dharm Sansad keeping in mind the elections in UP. But the Election Commission disturbed this apple-cart when it advanced the elections, thus thrashing their plan to reap the fruits of communal frenzy. The BJP has done immensely bad and has been relegated to third spot in the absence of a temple hype at the time of elections. There were news that claimed that the VHP will postpone the Ram temple campaign if a BJP government comes to power in the state and will intensify it if a non-BJP government takes the charge. 

It is the reason as to why the government has not taken a serious stand on the one sided killing of Muslims in Gujarat and why the BJP chief minister, a former RSS pracharak Narendra Modi, instead of trying to control the situation and condemn the killings has time and again tried to justify the dance macabre of these hoodlums. His statements justifying the carnage seem to have bolstered the rampaging VHP mobs and given a clear direction to the police as to what they should do. The already saffronized police force in the state has been given instructions not to act against these thugs. These riots too are going to help the VHP in the assembly elections slated to be held next year.

There is very thin line if any, differentiating between different Sangh Parivar organizations. And these too get blurred every now and then. The VHP is the most wild of all these. But others too are not far behind.

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