VHP hands out Trishul to Bajrang Dal new entrants in oath ceremony

The Hindutva outfit Vishwa Hindu Parishad has run into a controversy by handing out trishuls (tridents) to new Bajrang Dal recruits at two events in Karnataka as part of their appointment.

A private event held on Wednesday only open to VHP and Bajrang Dal leaders and members in coastal Mangalore and Udupi, the Trishul Deeksha (ordination) emerged on Friday when a short video of the new members taking oath holding Trishul went viral on social media.

In the video clip, several entrants are seen wearing saffron shawls and holding up tridents while taking a pledge at the Mangalore event as follows; “I take oath to protect Hindu society against cow slaughter, love jihad, land jihad and such issues, and convert Hindu yuva shakti (strength of the youth) into the nation’s strength.”

Coastal Karnataka, a communally sensitive region has always been a stronghold of Sangh parivar outfits, often indulging in moral policing and cow vigilantism.

Slamming the VHP and Bajrang Dal for flaunting Trishul, senior Congress leader and former home minister Ramalinga Reddy told reporters on Friday, that there is nothing wrong in keeping a Trishul. “But they have to be kept at the abode of Gods and not distributed among people like this. The trishul is an important symbol of the Hindu religion. But it is wrong to flaunt it,” Reddy said.

He also claimed that Bhartiya Janata Party leaders would not take remedial action since they have toed the line of the Sangh parivar outfits even in such activities.

Talking to reporters on Friday, VHP divisional secretary Sharan Pumpwell said that the trishul deekshe was merely a symbolic ritual held every year. “The sole objective is to build dedication and self-belief among the activists and commit them to the cause of the nation.”

“Lots of people have been opposing our trishul deekshe to our new Bajrang Dal workers. We did not give bomb deekshe or grenade deekshe. What we did was trishul deekshe since we worship (Goddess) Shakti,” Pumpwell added.

He added that it is only a symbolic trishul made of steel and it’s distributed with the intent to hurt or kill anyone.

Mangalore police commissioner N. Shashi Kumar has started a probe into the distribution of trishuls, investigating if what had been distributed could be classified as a weapon.

“We have received information about this trishul deekshe and that they do this every year. But I have directed an officer to look into this. We will take action if there is anything illegal,” Kumar said.

(Inputs from The Telegraph)

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