2. At the camp, women between the ages of 18 and 35 are trained in self-defense to combat those who go against their religious ideals. They are also taught to adhere to the idea of a male-dominated society and to reclaim their roles as wives and mothers.
One of their aims, as listed on their website, is to stop religious conversions by “cautioning our sisters of the conspiracies of alien faiths like Islam and Christianity.”
Women who “forsake their normal female tenderness and affinity” and “protect their brothers” are considered role models.
3. A clip from the film The World Before Her shows how young women at the camp are brainwashed into believing they are naturally weak and need to be tamed. (WARNING: The video contains disturbing scenes towards the end.)
The World Before Her is a documentary film that highlights two distinct groups of Indian women: beauty pageant contestants, and militant Hindu fundamentalists.
It won the best documentary feature at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2012 and releases in India on June 6.
10. In this FirstPost interview, director Nisha Pahuja discussed the most disturbing part of filming at the camp.
“You know, more than the physical training the girls at the Durga Vahini camp are given, it’s the brainwashing and the blood curdling chants they are taught that shocked and depressed me. On the bus ride they take en route to their parade, they learned a few phrases that I simply refused to include in the film. Those were the sorts of moments that were hugely trying for me and my crew as well. We saw how easy it was to manipulate young minds.”