New Delhi, July 11 (KMS): With saffron flags in hand and chants of ‘Jai Shri Ram’ reverberating in the air, members of different Hindu right-wing groups marched on the streets of central Delhi.
Aٓfter the disparaging remarks BJP spokesperson Nupur Sharma made about the Prophet, India saw a series of violent protests in different states.
Hindutva groups from across the capital assembled in Sharma’s support under the “Sankalp March” banner.
Their march started from Mandi House and went till Jantar Mantar, where a stage had been prepared for leaders to give speeches. The call for this march had been given by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. The VHP national president, along with other leaders of the organisation, were present.
Men, women and children danced to the tunes of Hindutva anthems. Songs by popular Hindutva figures like Laxmi Dubey were played, including ‘Ek hi naara ek hi naam Jai Shri Ram Jai Shri Ram’. Most of the people present seemed to be in the 18-25 age group.
Some of the slogans used at the rally could be seen as a call to arms, such as “We shall now bear swords if required”. “When we walk out of our holy place, we have prasad and flowers in our hands. When they (a reference to Muslims) walk out of their mosques and madrasas, they have stones and swords,” said Kapil Khanna, Delhi president of the VHP.
The march was clear about its purpose – to “issue a warning”. “Today, we have assembled just to give a final warning to the Muslims. If attacks on Hindus happen henceforth, we shall come in huge numbers on the streets and there shall be no more urges for peace,” said Khanna.
On the stage, while there were attempts to give provocative anti-Muslim speeches, the leaders who had called for the march appeared to intervene and stop them. However, in bites given to the press, this hesitation was no longer visible.
Calling Muslims “freeloaders”, Sant Siyaram Saraswati, also a member of the VHP, told The Wire, “These people are unfaithful to the country. When crores of vaccines are being given, when rations are distributed, these people will be the first in line to grab them. And then go on to damage peace and harmony in the country.”