Organization and Leadership
The Bajrang Dal is the youth wing of the VHP, and it is organized in many states in major training camps called shakhas, where thousands of young men simultaneously train in various activities, receive sports and cultural education. The Durga Vahini, founded in 1991 under the tutelage of Sadhvi Rithambara as its founding chairperson and the support of the VHP, is described as the "female arm of the Dal". Members of the Vahini contend that the portrayal of their group as a branch of the Bajrang Dal is an oversimplification, and that their goals are to "dedicate ourselves to spiritual, physical, mental and knowledge development".
The VHP organizes in community meets and shakhas throughout the country. Its national organisation is democratic, with an International Working President and an International General Secretary as their most important executives. However, only seasoned, senior leaders control the seats on the Central Council which will elevate men to the varying posts.
The Dharma Sansad is literally a religious parliament, a gathering of Hindu seers, scholars and high priests from all over the country. They rule on policy and principles and advise the executive on social and cultural questions.
The VHP is an independent organization of a socio-cultural nature, with many political activities. It has many active branches in North America, South East Asia and East Africa, where large numbers of Hindus live. It is engaged in numerous social development activities in hundreds of villages in different parts of the country, helping in their economic alleviation and cultural revitalization.
The VHP also have divisions made up of women. VHP secretary Giri Raj Kishore charted out highly visible roles for women in the group. He charted out two "satyagrahas" for women during their demonstrations.
The VHP has been a prime backer of the World Hindu Conference in which issues such as casteism, sectarianism, and the future of Hindus were discussed. Prior Conferences have included Hindu Groups such as Parisada Hindu Dharma.
Read more about this topic: Vishva Hindu Parishad
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