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Thursday, February 25, 2021

Inside a VHP bike rally for temple funds: Businessman, insurance execs, children

Most bikes flaunted saffron flags, three men shared many two-wheelers, and barely anyone wore a helmet. Some women accompanied them on scooters, while e-rickshaws in the back had the elderly, children and more women.

Written by Abhinav Rajput | New Delhi |
Updated: January 28, 2021 12:40:09 pm
Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Ram temple funds, VHP rally, VHP, Mayur Vihar, Delhi VHP rally, india news, Indian ExpressAt Mayur Vihar. VHP and Bajrang Dal have organised around 100 such bike rallies in different wards of the city so far

“Hum Hindu jagaane aaye hain, Hum Hindu jaga kar jaayenge”; “Chamak rahi talwarein sab ki, chamak raha trishul hai, Hindu ko kamzor na samjho, ye dushman ki bhool hai”; and “Hindustan me rehna ho to Vande Matarm kehna sikho, aur aukat me rehna sikho”.

These were among songs that blared on a loudspeaker installed on a lorry on Tuesday as hundreds of motorbikes lined up behind it as part of a rally to raise awareness about the Ram Mandir fund collection drive. It had been organised by the Mayur Vihar unit of the Vishva Hindu Parishad and the Bajrang Dal.

Most bikes flaunted saffron flags, three men shared many two-wheelers, and barely anyone wore a helmet. Some women accompanied them on scooters, while e-rickshaws in the back had the elderly, children and more women.

Manvendra Singh Senger, 36, was among the bikers waiting enthusiastically for the rally to begin. He had come with his 13-year-old son and 8-year-old nephew. Senger, who runs a water tank business, has been associated with the local RSS unit for a decade. “Sometimes I take my son along to the shakha. The RSS has made Hindus proud, so I have been associated with it,” he said.

Busy on weekdays, Senger takes out time for Sangh work on Sundays and public holidays. “Now the task we have is to reach out to maximum families; there is a target that every household in Trilokpuri and Mayur Vihar has to be approached,” he said.

As the rally moved towards the Sanjay Lake, his son, holding a saffron flag, raised a slogan: “Ram ji ke kaam mein taang jo adayega, Ram ki kasam wo laut nahi payega.”

The VHP and Bajrang Dal have organised around 100 such bike rallies in different wards of Delhi so far, with more planned till January 31, after which the fund collection drive would start.
On a scooter were Anu and Pinky, both aged 23 and working in the insurance sector. “We are not members of the VHP or Bajrang Dal but many in our family are. We took part in the rally because we wanted to be part of the work being done for Ram Mandir,” said Anu, a resident of Mayur Vihar Phase 1.

As the rally progressed, some youths raced their bikes forward, performing stunts.

Sanjeev Nagar, 27, who lives in Patparganj and works in a shop in Noida that sells sofas, said he started going to RSS shakhas after lockdown restrictions were lifted. “Hindus are forgetting their culture. I joined RSS after seeing what happened at Shaheen Bagh… Hindus had remained silent,” he said.

The rally concluded at a temple in the area, where a programme was organised to honour kar sevaks from the locality who were present at Ayodhya during the demolition of Babri Masjid, and a businessman who contributed Rs 2,20,000.

The latest issue of Panchjanya, a weekly magazine published by the RSS, was also launched, with an appeal to people to read its cover story on Ram Temple.

Seema Maheshwari, a former lecturer at Maitreyi College, sat in the audience. She said she is involved with the Rashtra Sevika Samiti, a women’s organisation of the RSS, as yoga instructor and teacher. “It was a dream for us to see the Ram Temple come and we are lucky it is being fulfilled in front of our eyes,” she said.

 

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