Friday, August 12, 2016

BJP leaders remain low key in support to Modi "attack" on cow vigilantes: Party insiders can't explain why

Modi speaking in Hyderabad on August 7
By Our Representative
More than three weeks after the Una incident in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi may have expressed his “displeasure” over the way cow vigilantes attacked four Dalit youths were attacked for skinning a cow. However, even six days after his first statement, he appears to have found extremely low key support from his party or ministerial colleagues.
Modi, who is quite prolific on his twitter handle, @narendramodi, tweeted on August 6 that “misdeeds of some, posing as Gau Rakshaks, are doing a great disservice to the noble deed of Gau Seva, as practiced by Bapu and Vinoba Bhave”, adding, “The sacred practice of cow worship and the compassion of Gau Seva can’t be misused by some miscreants posing as Gau Rakshaks.”
A day later, on August 7, Modi said in Hyderabad, “I feel really angry at the way some people have opened shops in the name of cow protection”, adding, “We will have to strive hard to protect our nation from such anti-social elements. We will have to expose such people. If you want to attack, attack me and not Dalits. If you want to shoot, shoot me and not Dalits.”
He didn’t stop at that. He asked state governments to prepare "dossiers" on the so-called cow protectors, as 80 percent of them did illegal activities at night and became cow protectors in the day.
Keen political observers did not just note that it took “eleven months after Mohammed Akhlaq was killed by cow vigilantes on the suspicion of storing beef in his refrigerator” for Modi to speak up against so-called “gau rakshaks” (cow vigilantes).
Modi tweets on August 6
Worse, they point out, Modi’s “all-important statements and tweets” have drawn a “complete blank” on Twitter handles of BJP party president Amit Shah as well as on the top four ministers in Modi’s government, whether external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, finance minister Arun Jaitley, railways minister Suresh Prabhu or home minister Rajnath Singh.
Home minister Rajnath Singh, answering the Parliament debate on Dalits on August 11, did not condemn cow vigilantes, but just stuck to facts. He said, “When the Prime Minister spoke on atrocities, and cow vigilantes, I issued an advisory that strict action should be taken against them", appealing to all state governments to take “strictest possible action” against such “anti-social elements”.
The advisory Singh referred to was of August 9, which talked of “some incidents” having been “reported”, where “certain persons or groups have taken law into their own hands in the name of protecting cows and have committed crimes in pursuance thereof.”
Saying that this is “not an acceptable situation”, the advisory asked states to “ensure that any person who takes law into his/her own hands is dealt with promptly, and punished as per law”, adding, “There should be no tolerance at all for such persons.”
The only person who is found to have retweeted Modi’s statement on cow vigilantes is Union minister for social justice and empowerment Thawar Chand Gehlot (@tchehlot), especially the tweet which saidthat gau seva cannot be used by miscreants posing as gau rakshaks. He also pinned a tweet which reiterated a Modi’s youtube speech on his government’s duty to protect “the marginalized and Dalits” in Hyderabad.
Meanwhile, BJP sources are said to be tightlipped in explaining why this attitude on the part of top BJP leaders, giving signals that while they may not be wanting not antagonize the Dalit population Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Gujarat, which go to polls next year, they do not want to antagonize the cow vigilantes either.

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