Prime Minister Narendra Modi condemning the incidents of mob lynchings rampant across the country, had said that killing people in the name of protecting cows was unacceptable.
Hours after, a man was beaten to death by cow vigilantes in Jharkhand for carrying beef and his vehicle was set on fire. It’s only when the activists organized a campaign ‘Not in My Name’ across the country to protest against such lynchings occurring in many states that Modi took to condemning the incidents of cow vigilantism. Was it the skepticisms regarding the sincerity of his statements that encouraged the goons to continue the killings? The hysteria of cow vigilantism have been rampant across the nation after Modi government came to power. Several incidents of violence have been reported so far. However, the Prime Minister rarely utter any statements against these mob attacks. And things happen in such a way that the vigilantes themselves deem the statements of the PM as mere hollow words. Mohammad Akhlaq was beaten to death in Dadri, Uttar Pradesh in 2015 by an angry mob. Same year, 16-year old Zahid Rasool Bhat was killed in petrol bomb attack in Udhampur. In Latehar in Jharkhand, two cattle traders were hanged to death. In yet another tragic incident in Assam, two cattle traders were lynched by a mob over suspicion of stealing cattle. Munna Ansari was killed by a mob in Jharkhand, 16-year old Junaid was beaten to death in Haryana and Mohammad Younus was shot death in Uttar Pradesh. Pehlu Khan succumbed to death after being attacked by a mob. Zafar Hussain was beaten to death in Rajasthan while three youth were lynched by an angry mob over cow theft in West Bengal. So goes the countless incidents of violence. The Prime Minister haven’t been able to effectively intervene in the matter or admit the communal tones behind the incidents. Therefore, the cow vigilantes might have also thought of shrugging off the PM’s official statements that comes once in a while.
It should also be noted how even the Prime Minister hadn’t taken his words seriously. He had issued statements only in the context of state elections or when he had to face criticisms within the country and abroad over his meaningful silence. At the same time, he is not willing to face the sentimental circumstances that drive the mobs to lunacy. He pays no heed to how his own party, its ideology and campaign tactics contribute towards the chaos. It was Modi himself who unleashed beef politics as part of the poll campaigns in 2014. After assuming power, no attempts have been made to tame the goondaism of cow vigilantes. He didn’t neither raise a finger against the provocative statements of his fellow workers. Modi failed to take any action against Sakshi Maharaj who said that he was willing to kill and get killed to save cows as well as Sangeeth Som who batted for the killers of Akhlaq. Mahesh Sharma, the Union Minister of Culture and Tourism and Dadri MP had firmly sided with the culprits. He had justified the killing saying that those who killed Akhlaq didn’t harm his children. While Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh declared a death penalty for those guilty of cow slaughter, Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khatter said that Muslims have to give up eating beef if they wish to live in India. How could the PM do justice to his position when he continues to maintain his meaningful silence?
Leaders washing their hands off stains after unleashing a raging mob towards violence is similar to that seen in the case of Babri Masjid demolition and Gujarat genocide. Same is the case with the increasing goondaism of cow vigilantes. Modi had said that no person in the country had the right to take the law in his or her hands. Whom should the Prime Minister actually be conveying the fact then? The sincerity in the words should be evident to the nation. And for that, strong actions should be initiated, not hollow words. Modi should be convincing the vigilante goons as well as those backing them that his words aren’t merely worthless.