Bhagwat distances RSS from cow vigilante groups
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat on Monday said they (the cow protectors) should not be compared with those creating trouble in its name. His remark during the Dussehra address to its cadres comes 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,” said Bhagwat. “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 benefit,” 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,” he said at the function, which was attended Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis, Union Minister for Transport and Shipping, Nitin Gadkari and playback singer Anuradha Paudwal. Both Fadnavis and Gadkari are from Nagpur.
This time the smart dark brown trousers worn by the cadres instead of khaki shorts they had worn for the last nine decades, stood out at the ceremony. The traditional bamboo stick remained part of the uniform.
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.