In Bihar, ‘Durga Vahini’ targets female voters
They walk the narrow streets of cities and towns in twos and threes and come knocking on the door of voters at regular intervals. On the margins of a high-decibel battle for votes in Bihar, a silent army of women volunteers from the Durga Vahini – an affiliate of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) – are fanning out across the poll-bound state to win over supporters for the BJP.
It is soft women power on show in the run-up to the high-stakes elections in Bihar. The women volunteers do not directly talk politics, but do spread the message of nationalism and Indian culture. Bereft of any shrill that characterizes normal electioneering, they are organising community meetings, prabhat pheris and satsangs (religious congregations) instead to propagate ideals identified with the saffron party.