With thousands lining up to join the Hindu Yuva Vahini, the Gorakhpur-based right-wing group has set tough new standards and rolled out a stringent vetting process. The HYV describes itself as a "cultural and social organisation dedicated to Hindutva and nationalism."
The HYV is receiving an average of 5,000 request every day since its founder and patron Yogi Adityanath took over as chief minister of Uttar Pradesh following a landslide victory for the Bharatiya Janata Party in the UP Assembly polls.
The Indian Express reported today that the suitability of applicants will be assessed for over one year, and they will be subjected to checks into their past and previous political affiliation. The HYV state office in-charge P.K. Mall told the newspaper the persons from other political parties are trying to sign up in order to "defame" the party and to weed out those who have a criminal record. "Recently, a group of workers from a political party, with saffron scarves around their necks, were seen on the Gorakhpur highway extorting money for performing 'yagna' in the name of HYV," Mall told IE.
The HYV, which describes itself as a cultural organisation, has been accused of inciting communal tensions in its stronghold of eastern UP. The group does not have any women members.
According to media reports, an applicant has to fill an online form on the HYV website, and upload a scanned copies of his photograph, voter ID card and Aadhaar card as proof of identity and residence. Mall told IE that local HYV workers will then be deployed to check whether an applicant has a criminal record or sympathies for the rival political parties.
Raghvendra Pratap Singh, state chief of the Hindu Yuva Vahini, told The Economic Times that local offices would no longer deploy local workers. "The whole world was in awe of Adityanath's rise to chief ministership and no member could become a blot on his image," he said.
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