It was brutally decapitated head of a cow with blood, gore and pieces of limb scattered all around and the air thick with stench of blood at Mumbai’s Byculla, Khatau Mill behind Sakhali street near DMC E-Ward. The gruesome and ghastly scene nauseated Prathamesh Kanade—18 years old boy from the same locality back in 2011–so deeply that it he remained disturbed for days.
India has always been a cow worshipping nation. Cows have been backbones of Indian families since the beginning of human civilisation. Agriculture in India in those days could not have succeeded without cow in absence of industrial revolution.
“How can barbarians and butcher dare to slaughter cows blatantly and get away with impunity? Such questions kept haunting Prathamesh Kanade. The voice of his conscience got an answer, when he happened to meet selfless cow protection team members from Bajrang Dal, who risked their own lives to protect cows from butchers. After he joined Bajrang Dal, he learnt that the organisation was not only limited in cow protection, but also received distress call from girls, who were victims of Love-Jihad.
Hapless victims of Love-Jihad such as 21 years old Nikita Tomar—who was shot dead in broad day light by accused Tausif at Ballabhgarh in October 2020 for refusing to convert to Islam—doesn’t get opportunity to make distress call. Hunter hunts the prey in no time. But, there are some fortunate Love-Jihad victims, who, somehow, manage to make distress calls. Then, it is Bajrang Dal, the organisation, whose members endanger their own lives to rescue such hapless girls.
Life transformed into rainbow, when 23 years old Priyanka Aggarwal from Santacruz fell into love with Sarfaraaz (name changed) from Byculla. She married unemployed Sarfaraaz in Bandra Court in 2019 without her parent’s knowledge. When Priyanka told her parents about her marriage, they felt ground beneath their feet slipped away. Her parents left no stone unturned to convince Priyanka that she had taken an immature step that might ruin her life.
However, Priyanka left her parent’s home to live with Sarfaraz. After Priyanka lived with her in-laws for couple of months, veils of illusion lifted. Lover boy, Sarfaraz, who had promised Priyanka that she was free to follow her own religion, started forcing her to wear Burqa and to eat beef. Her in-laws too demanded the same. The worst came, when she refused to obey their demands. Sarfraz started beating her black and blue. It was Priyanka’s friend, who made distress call to Bajrang Dal to save Priyanka, who was going through hell.
It was not easy for Bajrang Dal member, Prathmesh Kanade to rescue trapped victim like Priyanka. Prathmesh with his team members had to make many arrangements by risking their lives before they rescued Priyanka.
Another 22 years old girl Puja Vishwakarma was so charmed by her boy friend, Aquib that she married him in court in 2017. But, instead of living together they started living separately in their parents home, respectively without their knowledge, but they kept meeting each other. The scene was straight out from a film. When lockdown, due to Covid-19, was imposed, there was no chance for secretly married couple to meet. Hence, she was forced to run away to live with her husband. After Ramadan started, Puja’s in-laws asked her to have Roza and eat non vegetarian food. Physical assault started, when she refused to. When such victims go to police station for help, police tend to dismiss the case by terming it as family’s internal matter. Then, organisation like Bajrang Dal with a cause come to rescue.
Puja Vishwakarma was rescued by brave warrior like Prathmesh Kanade, but she was not accepted by her parents. There are many love Jihad victims, who are not accepted by their families after they are rescued by Bajrang Dal. Next challenge for Bajrang Dal is to rehabilitate such abandoned daughters, victims of Love-Jihad. And Bajrang Dal built Rehabilitation Center—in Mumbai whose address is withheld for security of women, who are living there—and managed employment for them.
What draws a youth like Prathmesh Kanade to Bajrang Dal? Like any easy going youth, Prathmesh, too, can enjoy his life to the fullest. Why did he commit himself to protect cows from butcher and to rescue victims of Love-Jihad?
Motto of Bajrang Dal, which was founded in October 1984, is सेवा, सुरक्षा और संस्कृति, which mean service, safety and culture. Bajrang Dal has vociferously campaigned for Ram Temple. Now, the organisation is crusading to retain Krishna Janmashtan temple in Mathura.
How can faith and culture can be protected if women are not protected? Only a youth like Prathmesh with utmost sense of duty towards his roots, culture and civilisation gets drawn to Bajrang Dal, which further sharpens his sense of duty towards nation.
There has been organised crimes against Hindus, their women and their civilisational heritage, temples since Independence. No power could save Hindus and their temples in Kashmir from being wiped out in 1990. Similar crimes are still repeated and got away with impunity.
Bajrang Dal does knock the door of LAW. There are times LAW does help to protect victim and cows. There are instances, when LAW doesn’t help, then Bajrang Dal manages to protect victim, be it cows or Love-Jihad victims.
Bajrang Dal doesn’t lure the youth to join. It is youth with utmost sense of duty towards his roots, culture and civilisation gets drawn to Bajrang Dal. Prathmesh Kanade joined BJYM (Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha). However, he is still serves.