These are military style parades and the Rajasthan police is allowing each one. The host organisations are none less than the ultra right, aggressive, Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad and they come accompanied by rabid hate speech and even arms distribution.
Of the total of 33 districts in Rajasthan, in at least 13 districts the Bajrang Dal and Vishwa Hindu Parishad have been hyper active. By organising their brand of Trishul Diksha Samaroh. The first event was organized on December 3, 2022 in a village in Jodhpur district. Since then until now five such events have been organised in Jodhpur district alone.
But it is Jaipur District that tops this dubious list with the district that is home to the famed Pint City together hosting six events in five months! From December 3, 2022 to May 9, 2023, 19 such Trishul Diksha have been organized in 13 districts.
What is a Trishul Diksha Samaroh?
CJP’s Team has been closely monitoring these events and even alerting police authorities and once, even chief minister Ashok Gahlot on the dangers of violence escalation if such meetings are allowed, unchecked.
Even in the past week alone, between May 27, 2023 and June 6, 2023,five events took place in which military style street parades were held at three (Jalore, Udaipur, Jodhpur) places and arms training at two Places (Chittorgarh, Fatehpur).
What happens at such a meeting?
A few examples alone will suffice. For example on May 3, at Sanganer in Rajasthan a far right leader made the following provocative remarks that have the potential to disturb social harmony and result in mental and physical harm to both the Muslim and Christian communities by their stigmatisation.
He delivered a hate speech against Muslims and Christians at a Trishul Deeksha (trident distribution) event. “There are 5 crore Christians, and 50 crore Muslims in India. Out of these Muslims, 60 lakh are terrorists. In addition to this, there are certain people who are trying to divide India, all these people are our enemies. all these Muslims and Christians are fighting as one.
The day before at Gharsana, Rajasthan another a far right leader advocated for taking up arms as well as violence against minorities. The leader misrepresented Indian history to urge the audience to worship weapons, and sent the message that only by taking up can they save their Hindu religion.
On April at Mathania, VHP’s senior leader Surendra Jain delivered hate speech against Muslims at a Trishul Deeksha event. He peddled conspiracy theories and advocated violence while delivering an instigating and islamophobic speech: “We have to understand why Muslims have such a mentality and then only we can cure it. their mentality to commit jihad and make India Darul Islam has been encouraged by secular ministers such as Ashok Gehlot and Mamata Banerjee ” “This war is going to get bigger because there are many people like Gehlot who go to any limit to get some votes
On February 2, 2023 none less than Baba Ramdev was a chief host who said, “Ask a Muslim what your religion says, they will say that read namaz 5 times and then do whatever comes to mind. Whether you kidnap Hindu girls, do whatever sin you want to commit. They think that the meaning of Islam is only namaz.” “And for them, heaven means wearing pajamas over their ankles, cutting their mustaches, wear their caps. I am not saying that the Quran or any Islam tell them to do this. But that’s how people are doing it.
On January 15 this year, at Lokhawat, Jodhpur, one Ishwar Lal belonging to both the BD and VHP went so far as to say, ““We allow dogs and cats inside our house. And in many homes, you all allow Muslims and Christians. The ones who broke our temples. The one who kills our cows. The one who eats cows.”
“You buy Halal products. Never buy products that are ‘Halal’. Who gets that money? It goes to Muslims. What’s the name of the organization that stops this? Bajrang Dal.” “Population control bill has to be enacted. Otherwise, the temples will again be destroyed.”
Ishwar Lal seems to have been the chosen star of the Hindutva right. Before this he ws heard in the Keru Block of Jodhpur on December 17 stating, “Today, the Hindu religion is in danger. We have to show unity. And right now, our first enemies are Christians.” “Mother Teresa converted thousands of Indians to Christianity” “The second enemies are Muslims. Their objective is “we took Pakistan happily, and now we will take India forcefully” “every Hindu house should have a weapon. What can one not achieve by searching?”
View the entire table compiled by Team CJP here:
In early May too we had reported on these disturbing trends More than 2,600 men, women and children have taken an oath to protect their Hindu religion by accepting trishuls (tridents) from far right organisations like VHP and Bajrang Dal in Haryana and Rajasthan in the month of April alone. On April 2, in Kekri Rajasthan, 1,100 Bajrang Dal workers were handed out trishuls. This included young women as well. This was done in Arya Samaj premises and the oath was administered by Sunderlal Kataria, a local VHP leader. A rally was also carried out.
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At a two-day meeting of the Matsya Literary gathering Progressive Writers Association (PWA) at Machadi, Tehsil Raini, District Alwar on March 19, 2023, a strongly worded resolution was passed appealing to the people and government to resist the politics of division and hate..
“We also believe that the symbiotic relationship of minority communalism and majority communalism can not be ignored and call upon a cessation of hate-filled slogans at protest rallies and action against disinformation-led online campaigns that feed off the insecurities of our minorities and promote targeted acts of violence. “The scourge of sectarian hate is also directed at other disadvantaged groups including Christians and Dalits, who have also come under attack from divisive forces.
“We appeal to all citizens of Rajasthan to come together to reject hatred and violence and to work towards building a society that is based on mutual respect, understanding, and compassion. We must all stand together to ensure that the values of peace, justice, and democracy prevail in our society, and that the constitutional values of equality, liberty, and fraternity are upheld.
Neighbouring Gujarat and other states have also not been immune.
Forty days into 2023, we had reported a string of such events in Rajasthan and showcased their dangers to social harmony.
We had then iterated an interesting historiographical background:
“The November 2001 edition of Communalism Combat reported about the many trishul deeksha events in Rajasthan, “Of immediate concern is the systematic distribution of a few hundred thousand ‘trishuls’ — cleverly disguised Rampuri knives, six–eight inches long and sharp enough to kill —, delivering the lethal instrument to ‘every Hindu household’ in villages where the Trishul Diksha Samaroh is conducted. As we go to press, over seven districts in Rajasthan have had active ‘trishul’ distribution programmes. Raipur, Kota, Jaipur and Asind are only some of the places around which the campaign was being carried out. Most others have also been covered in this brazen attempt to militarise society in the garb of a religious programme”.
“At that time, Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot had revealed that nearly 40 lakh trishuls had been distributed nationwide by then.
“Similar Trishul Diksha events were held across Rajasthan in early 2003, in the run up to assembly elections in the state. Rajasthan is set to go to polls at the end of this year. In April 2003, the Rajasthan government had issued a notification prohibiting people from distributing, acquiring, possessing or carrying double or multi-bladed sharp pointed weapons.
“It is probably time to remind the Ashok Gehlot government of its own notification that it seems to have forgotten. The fact that most of these trishul distribution events have been reported in Congress governed and poll bound Rajasthan is a matter of grave concern. It shows the growing influence of prominent right wing organizations and their ideology deeply seeping into a communally harmonious state and this also displays the inaction on the part of the ruling government under Gehlot which is allowing such extremist ideology to be disseminated.
Citizens had complained to the Rajasthan government in January 2023 on the grave issue pointing out the violations of the law attracted by these events.
Section 2 (1) (c) of the Arms Act defines “arms” as: Articles of any description designed or adapted as weapons for offences, or defence, and includes firearms, sharp-edged and other deadly weapons, and parts of, and machinery for manufacturing arms, but does not include articles designed solely for domestic or agricultural uses such as a lathi or an ordinary walking stick and weapons incapable of being used otherwise than as toys or of being converted into serviceable weapons.”
When it comes to sharp object that may be used as weapons, according to Schedule 1 – Rule 3 (V) that deals with arms other than fire arms: Sharp-edged and deadly weapons, namely-Swords (including sword-sticks), daggers, bayonets, spears (including lances and javelins); battle-axes, knives (including kripans and khukries) and other such weapons with blades longer than 9″ or wider than 2″ other than those designed for domestic, agricultural, scientific or industrial purposes, steel baton; “Zipo” and other such weapons, called “life preservers”, machinery for making arms, other than category II, and any other arms which the Central Government may notify under section 4.”
Under section 5 of the Arms Act, it is prohibited to offer arms for sale, unless he holds a license and the punishment for the same is imprisonment of up to 7 years.
Under section 20, a police officer or any other public servant or any person employed or working upon a railway, aircraft, vessel, vehicle can arrest without warrant any person found carrying or conveying any arms under suspicious circumstance.
Under section 22, the District Magistrate is empowered to issue orders for search and seizure if he/she has reason to believe that any person residing within the local limits as in his possession any arms or ammunition for any unlawful purpose or such person cannot be left in the possession of any arms or ammunition without danger to the public peace or safety.
Under section 25(3) whoever sells or transfers arms without informing the district magistrate or the police officer in charge of nearest police station shall be punishable with imprisonment up to 6 months. It also amounts to violations under the Indian penal Code under the following sections:
Section 122. Collecting arms, etc., with intention of waging war against the Government of India. — Whoever collects men, arms or ammunition or otherwise prepares to wage war with the intention of either waging or being prepared to wage war against the 2[Government of India], shall be punished with 1[imprisonment for life] or imprisonment of either description for a term not exceeding ten years, 15[and shall also be liable to fine].
Section 153AA. Punishment for knowingly carrying arms in any procession or organising, or holding or taking part in any mass drill or mass training with arms.—Whoever knowingly carries arms in any procession or organizes or holds or takes part in any mass drill or mass training with arms in any public place in contravention of any public notice or order issued or made under section 144A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973 (2 of 1974) shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to six months and with fine which may extend to two thousand rupees.
Explanation. —“Arms” means articles of any description designed or adapted as weapons for offence or defence and includes firearms, sharp edged weapons, lathis, dandas and sticks]. 120A. Definition of criminal conspiracy. —When two or more persons agree to do, or cause to be done, — (1) an illegal act, or (2) an act which is not illegal by illegal means, such an agreement is designated a criminal conspiracy: Provided that no agreement except an agreement to commit an offence shall amount to a criminal conspiracy unless some act besides the agreement is done by one or more parties to such agreement in pursuance thereof. Explanation. —It is immaterial whether the illegal act is the ultimate object of such agreement, or is merely incidental to that object
Section 121. Waging, or attempting to wage war, or abetting waging of war, against the Government of India. —Whoever wages war against the 2[Government of India], or attempts to wage such war, or abets the waging of such war, shall be punished with death, or 1[imprisonment for life] 3[and shall also be liable to fine].
Section 141. Unlawful assembly. —An assembly of five or more persons is designated an “unlawful assembly”, if the common object of the persons composing that assembly is—
if any class of 2[citizens of India], 3[by words, either spoken or written, or by signs or by visible representations or otherwise], insults or attempts to insult the religion or the religious beliefs of that class, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to 4[three years], or with fine, or with both.]
Section 298. Uttering words, etc., with deliberate intent to wound religious feelings. —Whoever, with the deliberate intention of wounding the religious feelings of any person, utters any word or makes any sound in the hearing of that person or makes any gesture in the sight of that persons or places any object in the sight of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to one year, or with fine, or with both.
Criminal intimidation. —Whoever threatens another with any injury to his person, reputation or property, or to the person or reputation of any one in whom that person is interested, with intent to cause alarm to that person, or to cause that person to do any act which he is not legally bound to do, or to omit to do any act which that person is legally entitled to do, as the means of avoiding the execution of such threat, commits criminal intimidation.
Section 504. Intentional insult with intent to provoke breach of the peace. —Whoever intentionally insults, and thereby gives provocation to any person, intending or knowing it to be likely that such provocation will cause him to break the public peace, or to commit any other offence, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
Section 505. Statements conducing to public mischief. —2[(1)] Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement, rumour or report, — (a) with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, any officer, soldier, 3[sailor or airman] in the Army, 4[Navy or Air Force] 5[of India] to mutiny or otherwise disregard or fail in his duty as such; or (b) with intent to cause, or which is likely to cause, fear or alarm to the public, or to any section of the public whereby any person may be induced to commit an offence against the State or against the public tranquility; or (c) with intent to incite, or which is likely to incite, any class or community of persons to commit any offence against any other class or community, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to 6[three years], or with fine, or with both.
Section 7[(2) Statements creating or promoting enmity, hatred or ill-will between classes.—Whoever makes, publishes or circulates any statement or report containing rumour or alarming news with intent to create or promote, or which is likely to create or promote, on grounds of religion, race, place of birth, residence, language, caste or community or any other ground whatsoever, feelings of enmity, hatred or ill-will between different religious, racial, language or regional groups or castes or communities, shall be punished with imprisonment which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
The Code of Criminal Procedure (CrPC) also enumerates the powers of the District Magistrate in such instances:
‘Section 144A. Power to prohibit carrying arms in procession or mass drill or mass training with arms.— (1) The District Magistrate may, whenever he considers it necessary so to do for the preservation of public peace or public safety or for the maintenance of public order, by public notice or by order, prohibit in any area within the local limits of his jurisdiction, the carrying of arms in any procession or the organising or holding of, or taking part in, any mass drill or mass training with arms in any public place. There are also powers to disperse unlawful assemblies (sec 129). Rajasthan notification against Trishuls
Way back in 2003, the Rajasthan government under Mr Ashok Gehlot who was the Chief Minister even then. Had issued a notification was issued under Arms Act and stated that ‘distribution, keeping, and carrying of sharp, pointed and two- or multi-bladed weapons’ was banned.
The notification clarified that the order would not affect the use of trishuls in religious places and functions. Mr. Gehlot had then made a statement that his government considers the trident a weapon distributed to create communal disharmony.
The state of Rajasthan has clearly had a history of being intolerant towards such fringe elements trying to disrupt the communal harmony and the general law and order situation in the state.
Relying on this citizens had urged stringent action against Ishwar Lal for organizing such events and to ensure that the event scheduled to be held on January 15, 2023 is halted and prevented at all costs. We, thus, humbly request you to look into this grave matter at the earliest, in the interest of the public and also in the interest of maintaining law and order and public order in the state and accordingly take stringent action against the organizers of such events. We urge you to give necessary directions to concerned authorities to take stringent action in this regard.
However it appears in the lead up to election year, a oft approach has been adopted by the powers that be in the state of Rajasthan. An approach that however seriously endangers social peace and harmony.