The Centre’s BJP government on Monday organised a first of its kind conference on “gaushalas (cowsheds.)”
Jointly organised by the Agriculture and Environment ministries, the venue for this conference was the prestigious Vigyan Bhawan, where government conferences and meetings are often formal occasions and protocols and procedures are strictly adhered to when dignitaries speak.
However, the rules and decorum were thrown out of the window on Monday when two speakers were heckled and arguments among the audience almost turned into full-blown fights.
They, according to an Indian Express report, included two Union ministers.
And if that was not enough, the conference soon gave way to sloganeering against cow slaughter and chants of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ and ‘Gaumata ki Jai.’ All this happened in the presence of the Agriculture Minister Radha Mohan Singh and Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar.
Singh was explaining about government initiatives when he was heckled as participants complained that they were not getting the benefits of any of those schemes.
Soon those questioning the minister became more in numbers and Singh was forced to complete his speech in a hurry and leave the venue.
The audience members were no kind to Javdekar, as he rose to speak about government efforts to curb cattle-smuggling at the borders.
One member of the audience shouted, “Have you put an end to cow slaughter? Without doing that, nothing will happen.”
Others too joined in before shouting, “go-hatya band karo (put an end to cow slaughter)”.
“Why are people clapping at what the government is saying? Has the government put an end to cow slaughter? Till that happens, everything that this government says is meaningless. This government is not serious on cows,”Jitendra Malik, Sonepat head of Goshala Sangh of Haryana was quoted by the paper.
To add to the embarrassment faced by the ministers, DNA reported that a few participants complained about the ‘event bag’ that was provided to them. They complained that instead of featuring the picture of a local breed, the ‘event bag’ had a jersey cow printed on it.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh was expected to join, but he skipped the event reportedly due to some other commitments.
A tea break was announced to bring the inaugural ceremony to an end.