United States’ intelligence organisation Central Investigative Agency (CIA) has categorised India’s right-wing organisations Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal as “religious militant groups”. The mentions have been made in CIA’s ‘world factbook’ which is a document released by the organisation to provide information on various issues like government, economy and history of countries. The CIA document listed Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh as a nationalist organisation. While Kashmir’s Hurriyat Conference was mentioned as a separatist group.
The World Factbook provides CIA a view on the history, people, government, economy, energy, geography, communications, transportation, military, and transnational issues for 267 world entities.
However, the VHP has raised strong objection over the declaration and threatened a worldwide agitation against the CIA if they don’t retract.
“The declaration of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and Bajrang Dal as a militant religious organization by the American intelligence agency CIA is objectionable, outrageous and beyond facts,” the VHP said in a statement. VHP joint general secretary Surendra Jain said that the VHP works for more than 60,000 single schools and is dedicated to overall development of the country. These organization never compromise with national interest and Hindu interests, it added.
Political pressure groups and leaders (As described by CIA)
All Parties Hurriyat Conference in the Kashmir Valley (separatist group)
Bajrang Dal (militant religious organization)
Jamiat Ulema-e Hind [Mahmood MADANI] (religious organization)
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh or RSS [Mohan BHAGWAT] (nationalist organization)
Vishwa Hindu Parishad [Pravin TOGADIA] (militant religious organization)
other: hundreds of social reform, anti-corruption, and environmental groups at state and local level; numerous religious or militant/chauvinistic organizations; various separatist groups seeking greater communal and/or regional autonomy
While Vishwa Hindu Parishad is the parent organisation, Bajrang Dal is its youth wing. The controversial right-wing organisation has been in news for all the wrong reasons. A number of video and pictures have shown its cadre getting arms training in the past. Last month, a picture of Bajrang Dal cadre getting armed training in Madhya Pradesh, had gone viral. When asked, an official from the group claimed that it was 10-day camp in all 51 districts which is organised every year.