SRINAGAR: Rashtra Sevika Samiti, an Indian Hindu nationalist organisation parallel to men’s Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), organised a fortnight-long ‘self-defiance’ camp for women from the various states in which the candidates were, among other things, trained in use of weapons including rifles.
According to the all India chief organiser of RSS, Shanta Kumari, a total of 77 women received training in yoga, health, disaster management as well as use of rifles, swords and knives, besides patriotic and cultural programmes. The training camp had started on June 19.
“We have provided security training to women from various states of the country to teach them self-defence tactics and inculcate a sense of nationalism and patriotism at a camp here,” Kumari told reporters.
She said the women would be more productive at all levels if they recognise their power and utilise it properly. She called the training as idea of “our ancestors”, stating that adopting it was necessary. Reports said the Rashtra Sevika Samiti Jammu-Kashmir will be organising a route march from Mubarak Mandi on July 4.
They said the rally would pass through Panjteerthi, Kachi Chawni, Parade, Shallamar, City Chowk, Super Bazar, Purani Mandi, Link Road, Jain Bazar, before concluding at the Mubarak Mandi.
The organisation is often referred to as the women’s wing of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh, but it claims to be independent with only an ideological linkage with the latter. Its membership and leadership is restricted to women and its activities are directed to nationalist devotion and mobilisation of Hindu women.
The camps and programmes held in the name of self-defiance have convinced the pro-freedom leadership to believe that RSS is nurturing extremism in Jammu. And if the pro-freedom accounts to be believed, such events are being held frequently, though often covertly.
The leadership has argued that it is being done to prepare Jammu for a repeat of 1947 massacre of Muslims.
“Since the inception of Mufti-RSS government in Jammu & Kashmir, the communal and fascist organisations are considering the Jammu region as their conquered territory. They (RSS) have begun the process of eliminating the Muslims of the area,” Syed Ali Geelani-led Hurriyat Conference said in the last July.
“Like 1947, we fear Muslims will be either massacred or forced to migrate from here,” it had said.
The provocative programmes are, however, not always held behind the curtains. In October 2015, for instance, the RSS activists conducted a Vijay Dashmi procession carrying firearms and swords in R S Pura town on Jammu border. The police didn’t register a case against the participants, even as the development drew flak from various sections of the society.