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Training in martial arts to three million volunteers
By Shamim Tariq

The armed, militant organizations indulging in bloodshed in Kashmir, Punjab and north-eastern states or the LTTE in South India or the Maoist groups indulging in violent activities in some parts of Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra, all of them are accusing the government that it has failed to do justice to them and therefore they have been compelled to indulge in gun running business. In spite of all these things the Indian government sometimes invites them for negotiations within the framework of the Indian constitution and sometimes declares them anti-nationa.

This is correct in a sense because the arms and ammunitions which should be with the police, army and paramilitary forces are in the hands of those who challenge the unity and integrity of the country. They will no doubt be called anti-national. But unfortunately the government does not treat those who spread terrorism and take to arms in the name of Hindutva’ in the same way as it treats other militant organizations. This is the reason that the feeling among many groups and organizations of the majority community of being above the law is increasing.

Latest information in this regard is very serious and a matter of concern. After poisoning and distorting history, syllabus and fine arts, the Sangh Parivar has now started training young boys and girls in martial arts along with judo, karate and firearms. These days firing of guns is heard frequently with regular intervals in the loneliness of night in the Sarojini Nagar area of Lucknow. Here, one Bhopendar Singh from Kanpur is giving training in martial arts to boys and girls within the age group of 20-22 years as well as senior people who have come here from 22 districts of UP.

According to newspaper reports, the number of people being trained in the Sarojini Nagar camp at present is 100. But according to the convener of UP branch of Bajrang Dal, Avadh Bihari Mishra, the objective of this camp is to prepare a group of two thousand trained and active youngmen who could train a million youth in martial arts and handling of arms in camps at various places. In addition to this, the objective is also to create such atmosphere and mentality which was seen in the country at the time of demolition of Babri Masjid.
Among Sangh Parivar’s affiliate organizations which are actively participating in giving training in martial arts are RSS’s women’s branch Rashtriya Sevika Samiti, Bajrang Dal and Bajrang Dal’s women’s branch ‘Durga Vahini’. Though training camps and training are not new for these organizations because they are imparting training in ‘lathi’ wielding and riot mongering since long but now they have started arming their volunteers on military pattern.

The question arises as to why they have suddenly taken such a dangerous decision? In this connection different people connected with Sangh Parivar have said different things. Some people say that all this is being done for building of Ram Mandir, some people say that in view of ISI activities, such trainings have become essential while others say that whatever is being done is to protect Hindutva and to teach a lesson to the forces opposing the construction of Ram Mandir. The national convener of Bajrang Dal, Surendra Kumar Jain also thinks that the main objective of training in martial arts is to create self-confidence among the majority community so that in case of slackness on the part of administration, they may be able to protect themselves.

If this logic is accepted, why the right to impart training in martial arts is not for non-Hindus, particularly minorities and people belonging to backward sections. Is it not necessary to create self-confidence in them? The fact is that these sections are the greatest victims of cruelty and injustice. Therefore, as compared to others, they are more deserving for self-help and self-protection. But in spite of all this, this right of theirs cannot be accepted. By accepting rights of this type for some sections or permitting any particular section or community to impart arms training to its members, there will be feelings of insecurity among different communities and it is quite possible that this insecurity may result in armed conflicts.

This is not simply a doubt. Reports of all commissions, right from Madhwan Commission to Sri Krishna Commission, appointed to enquire into the riots, point out this fact and wherein armed fascist groups have been identified again and again which have been playing an important but satanic role in inciting riots. Now in Aligarh and Fatehpur the losses suffered by backward sections through our own co-religionists can take extremely serious situation throughout the country.

Moreover, any attempt to arm the youths of any community or organization indicates lack of confidence of the people in the police, army and paramilitary forces, intelligence, administration and government and also tantamounts to practically preparing a parallel army. Therefore no sane and responsible person can support this sort of activity. But during the last few decades, the Sangh Parivar’s attempts to poison and pollute the minds are so successful that its leaders have boldly started giving statements which cannot be called by any other name except rebellion against the existing government. For example, two leaders of Bajrang Dal viz, Chauhan and Chandar have gone to the extent of saying that the administration is no longer competent enough to teach a lesson to the anti-national elements.

Not only this, in addition to militant organizations, the feeling of being above law has so much pervaded the common people among the majority community that in the ‘Readers Views’ column of the Hindi daily ‘Bharat Times’ of 19 June 2001, all the people have given the same reply that the volunteers should be given military training so as to enable them curb the disruptive activities of ISI and face the possible danger from Pakistan.

If Pakistan was really a danger for India, it would not have been dismembered after the worst defeat in 1971 even before the celebration of silver jubilee of her existence. But the Indian government, which should try to keep the morale of its people high in times of crisis goes on raising the bogey of CIA and ISI even in good and peaceful times. The result is that people of the majority community are suffering from fear psychosis and that is why instead of having faith in the police and armed forces, are taking recourse to lawlessness in the name of self defense.

This is not a good sign for constitutional democracy or civilized human society. Some armed groups are already a headache for us. If there is addition of another armed group having the support of the government and also of the majority community, the country and its people will not be able to tolerate it. This is such an obvious fact that the Sangh Parivar and its government also know it, but probably they have been brainwashed in such a manner as to think that if they too arm their volunteers like the Taliban, they can arrest or exile their enemies.

But while thinking so, they forget that the group and tribal rivalry is very old in Afghanistan and that in spite of rivalries and civil wars, Afghan 'jirgas' (groups or parties) know the art of living. That is why in spite of continued civil war for twenty five years, famine and drought conditions for four years, bombardment first by Soviet Russia and thereafter by USA, and being abandoned and ignored by United Nations and world community, they are alive. The temperament of Indians is different.

Here in India, the government loses power if riots takes place during its rule. BJP itself, in spite of creating a rage in the majority community and demolishing the mosque and projecting itself as the protector of Hindutva has not been able to secure complete majority. Whatever little power and authority was secured by it, was lost in the subsequent elections.

Therefore, the movement of arming its volunteers started by it does not forebode well for it. But if it does not understand this, its consequences will have to be borne by the whole Indian society. In response to armed volunteers of the Sangh Parivar, armed volunteers of other groups and parties will also be ready.

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