Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, while addressing a students convention to mark the 125th anniversary of the famous address of Swami Vivekananda at the World Parliament in Chicago on September 11, 1893, caught an innovative idea that those who throw litter on earth or spit ‘pan’ had no right to raise the slogan of Vande Mataram. Stressing the Swachh Bharat scheme, he said sanitation and cleanliness workers had the right to raise the slogan of Vande Mataram. We appreciate the PM’s stress on a flagship programme of the government. We appreciate the way the PM attracted the attention of the youths to the grand-gala project of the government. The feelings of the ‘Mother Earth’ have been expressed by the PM with a philosophical touch, but he was far from ground realities that have gripped the country. He should realize that the large-hearted ‘Mother Earth’ may forgive the errors of her sons and daughters, but when the blood of her sons is spilled by co-countrymen who have taken the responsibility of safeguarding cow, the sacred animal of the country, she would not bear this violence. Just after the wisdom-packed remarks of the Prime Minister, we came across news that six accused who killed Pehlu Khan, a dairy owner at Alwar in Rajasthan, were set free by the police because they could not get any evidence against the detained persons. The names of these accused were mentioned in the dying declaration of the victim.
In prosecution, this declaration has a vital importance. The footage of the incident where Pehlu is attacked by ‘gau rakshak’ men in broad daylight is available on social media. The Rajasthan Police still appear to have no proof to establish a strong trial against him. The case was not dismissed by any court but it was thrown in the dustbin at the stage of probing. It seems to be a clear case of cops under pressure of the Rajasthan BJP government. The Gau Rakshaks are protecting the cow and perhaps in return the government is safeguarding them. The irony of the circumstances is that Prime Minister, more than once expressed his anguish that Gau Rakshaks were going beyond their limits and indulging in violence. When his concern fell on the deaf ears of the cow vigilantes, he said it was the duty of the state governments.
When Tushar Gandhi, the great grandson of Mahatma Gandhi filed a plea in the Supreme Court, the court took a tough stand and asked the state governments to form committees to keep vigilance on the activities of the cow vigilantes. Two years back, in a Dadri village in Uttar Pradesh, a 50-year-old person Mohammad Akhalaq, the father of Indian Airforce officer was lynched by a violent mob on the suspicion that he had stored beef in his house. The gruesome incident got publicity on national and international levels but the killers are still free. A young boy Mohammad Junaid from Haryana was stabbed to death by co-passengers on the suspicion that he had beef in his tiffin. Two Dalits were beaten blue and black at Uno in Rajasthan because they skinned a dead animal. It is reported that so far 66 persons were killed by Gau Rakshaks in different incidents. The question arises why the cow vigilantes are not booked and prosecuted and on the contrary left scot-free. This is a dangerous trend in the states ruled by the BJP as most of these incidents occurred in these states.
While the philosophical thinking on the part of the Prime Minister is welcomed, the harsh ground realities should also be pondered upon by him.