A prominent BJP leader in India’s largest state Uttar Pradesh has termed the ownership of cows by Muslims love-jihad, adding that the cattle should be taken back from the custody of the minority community. BJP leader Ranjit Srivastava, who’s a former chairman of Barabanki Municipality, also said that cows were sacred to Hindus and they should be cremated as per Hindu rituals after they are dead.
“Gai (cow) hamari mata hai, hum apni maa ka sanskar jis tarah karte hain, kafan dekar, shamshan ghat le ja kar unko mukhagni dekar jis tarah se daah-sanskar kiya jata hai usi tarah se gaumata ka daah-sanskar hona chahiye. (Cow is our mother. The way we take perform last rites of our mothers, by taking them to crematorium and burning the pyre, cows should also be cremated in similar manner,” Srivastava was quoted by news agency ANI.
Srivastava added that Muslims owning cows was similar to the act of love-jihad, a term popuralised by India’s Hindutva fanatics. He said, “Cows at the houses of Muslims should be taken back. When we consider girls from our homes going to their homes ‘love jihad’, shouldn’t we consider ‘gau mata’ going to their homes ‘love jihad’ too? Cows should be taken back from them at any cost.”
Ranjit Srivastava, BJP: Gai (cow) hamari mata hai, hum apni maa ka sanskar jis tarah karte hain, kafan dekar, shamshan ghat le ja kar unko mukhagni dekar jis tarah se daah-sanskar kiya jata hai usi tarah se gaumata ka daah-sanskar hona chahiye. pic.twitter.com/ESTDcyqXXI
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) July 29, 2019
Members of Srivastava’s party have often raised their voices against Muslim men marrying Hindu women even if they entered into wedlock through mutual consent. However, they’ve always supported marriages of Hindu men with Muslim women calling the act as a shining example of freedom of choice.