5 Dec 2022: An official of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad announced recently that along with “kung fu” training, “licensed” swords, knives and sticks will be distributed for free.

Free of cost training of lathi (sticks) for 15-days, knives for one month, swords for one month and kung fu for three months, after which licensed of swords with sticks and knives will be given for free. 

Hindutva organizations, such as the Bajrang Dal and the VHP, are known to offer arms training to their volunteers.

For instance, Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the VHP, had in 2018 organized a camp in Agra where women were trained how to fire a rifle and other weapons in the name of self-defense.

The VHP had justified the arms training as ‘physical exercise’.

In 2017, the Congress had alleged that arms training was being provided to the Bajrang Dal and VHP volunteers in Assam to “terrorize”, it had demanded action against those “practicing this without a valid license”.

West Bengal Mamata Banerjee had also hit out at the VHP for openly giving arms to its cadres, but the state government didn’t allow such exercises.

In 2019, around 250 VHP functionaries, including the organization’s local president, were seen brandishing air guns and swords during a procession in Pune’s Pimpri Chinchwad area.

The announcement by Hindutva groups to distribute weapons along with martial arts training has raised concerns towards genocide preparations. While these organizations justify such training as physical exercise or self-defense, it can have dangerous consequences if misused. 

The need of the hour is to promote peace and harmony in society, rather than resorting to violence and aggression.

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Source:  The Wire

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