RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat demands law that bans cow slaughter across India
The RSS chief said there should be an all-Indian law against cow slaughter and asked vigilantes to obey rules.Updated: Apr 29, 2017 18:33 IST
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat on Sunday condemned the violence by self-styled cow protection groups even as he pushed for a law for a countrywide ban on cow slaughter.
Bhagwat’s statement came at an event to observe the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir, days after the lynching of a Muslim dairy farmer by gau rakshaks in Rajasthan sparked a nationwide row.
Bhagwat said that violence by cow protectors “defames” the efforts of cow protection. “Nothing should be done while protecting cows that hurts the belief of some people. Nothing should be done that is violent. It only defames the efforts of cow protectors... The work of cow conservation should be carried out while obeying laws and the Constitution,” Bhagwat said.
The RSS chief also called cow slaughter a “vice that must be curbed” and demanded that a law is needed to ban cow slaughter across India. The remarks assume significance after a section of the Opposition parties tried to highlight the difference in BJP’s approach in the cow belt vis-à-vis the north east where it has state governments.
He expressed hope that in other state governments -- possibly referring to the BJP-ruled Arunachal Pradesh -- will follow suit by dealing with “local complexities”. “I am confident that wherever RSS workers are in power, they will deal with local complexities and work in that direction,” he said.
The RSS chief said the work of cow protection should be continued by obeying the law.
Bhagwat maintained that he wants more people on the vigil to protect cows even as he didn’t prefer violence. “They should be completely obeying the law and the Constitution,” Bhagwat said about cow protection groups.
“It’s a sane statement. Good senses should prevail,” said BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab.
Bhagwat’s condemnation of violence comes at a time when the Opposition parties have once again targeted the BJP over rising atrocities against minorities in the name of cow vigilantism. The issue had snowballed into a major controversy after a dairy farmer, Pehlu Khan, who had purchased a cow from the cattle market on April 1 in Jaipur was mercilessly attacked by gau rakshaks in Alwar on his way home. He died two days later.
A law banning cow slaughter, the RSS chief suggested, will also promote non-violence. “There cannot be a law that says you do violence. It is impossible,” he said.