This refers to your report “Killing in the name of cow worship is not acceptable says PM Modi”. Our PM has rightly said that “Nobody has the right and no one can be allowed to kill people in the name of cow protection. There is no place for violence in society. It is unacceptable. Simple warning issued by Modi is not enough, strictest possible action must be taken against such goons. PM has spoken wisely and reassuringly and it is time for mobs, vigilantes, moral police, street fighters, etc. to quit now. Breaking his silence on cow vigilantes in the country, Modi has also condemned their actions, saying most of them were anti-social elements masquerading as gau rakshaks. The self-appointed gau-rakshaks (cow protectors) have created a reign of terror in the country. Attacks on Dalits and Muslims in the name of protecting the “holy” cow is totally unjustified.
Mahatma Gandhi had never approved violence in the name of cow protection and sharply differed with the Hindu communalists. Unlike them, Gandhi preferred “persuasion” and other non-violent (ahimsa) ways to achieve gau-raksha (cow protection). Gandhi is invoked frequently in the course of the debate but his musings on cows and cow slaughter were nuanced and evolved over time. He asked people to focus on gau ‘seva’ or serving cows and not on protection or gau ‘raksha’. In 1921, he reflected: “I would not kill a human being for protecting a cow, as I will not kill a cow for saving a human life, be it ever so precious.” By 1946, Gandhi was clear that, “Cow slaughter can never be stopped by law. Knowledge, education, and the spirit of kindliness towards her alone can put an end to it.” Modi should ensure that miscreants indulging in such acts should be strictly punished under the law in a fast track court so that other schizophrenic can be taught a lesson and lives of innocent citizens can be saved.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)