Slate: The Monkey God's Army
"As a member of BD, I'm a notorious troublemaker," Babalu said as he sat at a back table in Venus, a vegetarian restaurant in the slum. The Bajrang Dal, otherwise known as Hanuman the Monkey God's Army, is extremely violent. They claim to have 1.3 million members throughout India. I'd met Babalu through a lanky community leader who as a teenager had also been a member of the Bajrang Dal. The lanky man had left the organization years earlier because he was disgusted by their violence.
Babalu joined Hanuman the Monkey God's Army at 16, when he heard about the anti-Muslim campaign of L.K. Advani, an avid member of the RSS and the current president of the group's political wing, the Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP. In 1992, Advani drove a flatbed truck decorated to look like the chariot of Lord Ram to the northern city of Ayodhya. Claiming the site was Lord Ram's birthplace and an ancient Hindu temple, Advani stood by as a mob of thousands destroyed the 476-year-old Babri mosque. It was a high-water mark in communal violence in India, and the ensuing riots throughout India left thousands of Muslims dead. "
That's just now how I imagined a Monkey God's Army at all. I'd think of them more as irascible scamps, likely to be committing mischief against the pompous, and defending the downtrodden. This is highly disappointing.