Don’t equate those working for cow protection with vigilantes: Mohan Bhagwat


Strongly backing the “countless good people” working lawfully for cow protection, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat today said they should not be compared with those creating trouble in its name, in remarks that come against the backdrop of BJP facing flak over anti-Dalit violence by vigilantes.

“Countless good people are working for cow protection.

The Jain society is totally devoted to it. These good people are working within the ambit of law and Constitution…

Administration should see to it that those creating trouble should not be compared with cow protectors.

“There should be a distinction between the two.

Trouble-makers try to separate this distinction and create a big nuisance,” he said, addressing the foundation day of RSS at its headquarters here.

Violence by cow vigilantes targeting Dalits and Muslims had hit headlines weeks ago, prompting Prime Minister Narendra Modi to denounce them, saying 80 per cent of them are involved in anti-social activities and running shops in the name of cow protection.

Bhagwat said if some incidents happen, then the government should enforce laws against those involved in them.

Apparently referring to flogging of Dalits by cow vigilantes in Una in Gujarat and similar incidents, he said such incidents are shameful and should never happen.

“There are some flaws in our society and there is discrimination as well, which is exploited by certain elements for their benefits,” he said.

However, defending cow protection, Bhagwat noted that the directive principles of the Constitution also speak in its favour and said many states have laws in support of the cause.

Maintaining that there is also a law against cruelty to animals, he said cow protectors have agitated peacefully for the enforcement of these laws. “They have tried to work within the law.”

On the occasion, Bhagwat also pledged that RSS will work to root out discrimination in society and cited a survey done in the parts of Madhya Pradesh to say that 30-40 per cent people suffer from discrimination in getting water or entry to temple.

“The Sangh has taken up the work of increasing social harmony. It will take time but we will rest only after rooting out this discrimination,” he said.

He also said that the “discriminatory” approach of the Jammu and Kashmir government and the state administration towards Jammu and Ladakh should end immediately.

“Only if Jammu and Kashmir government and the administration act with a nationalistic feeling and perform (their duties) in a clean, considerate, impartial and transparent way, the people of the state will have simultaneous feeling of victory and confidence, and the process of assimilation of the people in the valley will move forward,” he said.

“There is an urgent need to promote, consolidate and establish nationalistic activities and forces in those areas.

The Central and the state government must work in tandem,” he added.

Bhagwat said the Jammu and Kashmir government should work with the Centre to pursue one policy and move in one direction, noting that the nationalist forces should be strengthened and “undesirable” activities be rooted out.

Saying that situation in the state is a matter of concern, he said, “Many issues continue to hang fire (there).”

“During the partition and subsequently many Hindu refugees were displaced from Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and arrived there. Sheikh Abdullah assured them that they will be given their rights. Their third generation is living there.

They don’t have state citizenship rights. They don’t have ration cards and jobs. How long will they wait?” asked Bhagwat.

“For decades, Kashmiri Pandits have been living outside.

They should live where they used to and be sure of their protection as patriots and Hindus. Such circumstances should be created and they be given justice,” he said.

Their dreams will have to be fulfilled, he said, adding that only then people will believe that they are being taken care of in the same way other states are working for their citizens.

The issue of grant of citizenship rights to Hindu refugees in the state has been controversial with parties like National Conference and PDP expressing reservation over it.

The state government, which is headed by PDP in alliance with BJP, should ensure that a transparent and clean administration is there, Bhagwat said.

Bhagwat also lauded the Modi government for inspiring confidence among people across the nation, while targeting the Opposition for running down the initiatives it launched.

“A sense of disappointment among people all over the country has vanished due to acceleration of developmental work by the government,” Bhagwat claimed.

“The government has built some measure of confidence, therefore the nation, it appears is moving forward,” he said.

In a dig at the Opposition, he said those who could not make it to the echelons of power are busy formulating strategies for political gains by finding shortcomings and inadequacies of the government and the administration.

“Dirty tricks” being played are a matter of grave concern, he said, warning people against fundamentalists, extremists, divisive and selfish forces.

Former bureaucrat, Satyaprakash Rai, an Indian Economics Service (IES) officer of the 1976 batch was the chief guest on the occasion.

Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister for Transport and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari and playback singer Anuradha Paudwal were among those present on the occasion.

Smart dark brown trousers donned by RSS functionaries instead of khaki shorts they had worn for the last nine decades, stood out at the ceremony,though the traditional bamboo stick remained part of the uniform.

(With inputs from PTI)