The RSS and its hardline affiliate, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) on Sunday concurred with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s message for so-called Gau Rakshaks or cow vigilantes.
Modi on Saturday lashed out against so-called Gau Rakshaks and accused them of using cow protection to cloak their anti-social activities.
RSS general secretary Suresh Bhaiyyaji Joshi said Mahatma Gandhi, Vinoba Bhave and Madan Mohan Malviya are examples of Gau Sevaks in a statement. He said at a time when the world is discovering the merits of organic fertilisers, cow protection acquires more significance.
Joshi urged people to “expose” the anti-social elements spreading violence and trying to disturb social harmony in the name of cow-protection.
He asked people not to link such “condemnable efforts” of “a few opportunists” with those truly serving and protecting cows.
Even as it echoed the PM’s views on vigilantes, the VHP said the statement is not for “bonafide” cow protection groups such as theirs, but for those who carry out anti-social activities in the name of the bovine.
“What he (PM) has said is not for us. We have been in this (cow protection) since the time Modi was not even in the BJP. So, this vigilantism charge does not apply to us, but those unlawful organisations that have set up shop to carry out their illegal activities,” Hukum Singh Savla, a VHP functionary, in charge of its Gau Raksha cell told HT.
A fringe outfit, Hindu Mahasabha, launched a vitriolic attack on the PM.
“Modi has turned out to be a carbon copy of the Congress... He has gone back on everything he assured, from Ram Temple to abrogating Article 370 and is now turning his back to cows, he is misleading us,” Ashok Sharma, national vice-president of the Mahasabha said. Sharma went on to declare that the outfit would conduct a yagna (special prayer) at its Meerut office to help the PM “regain his senses”.
The VHP has been in the forefront of cow protection movement in the country, seeking a complete ban on cow slaughter, beef consumption.
The outfit which has been accused of leading the cow vigilantism campaigns and also orchestrating ‘Ghar wapsi’ (reconversion of Muslims and Christians to Hinduism) has distanced itself from the attacks on Dalits.