Won't tolerate cow politics: Mamata

Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee. File photo.

Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee. File photo.  

In one one of her most searing speeches after the victory in the Assembly poll, Trinamool Congress [TMC] chairperson and the Chief Minister of West Bengal Mamata Banerjee spoke against "saffron polarisation" in the country and the State using the "politics of cow." She has appealed to stop such politics. Without naming any political party the Chief Minister has said that she will "not tolerate" any politics of polarisation in the State through "cow surveys" by certain political parties.

"I heard that few people, on behalf of a political party or its sister organisation is reaching out to the people. They are asking about the number of cows in each household. What right do they have to ask this question?," the Chief Minister asked. Ms. Banerjee was addressing a massive rally in central Kolkata to mark the Martyr's Day on Thursday. On this day in 1993 many Congress workers were killed in police firing.

"Some people have forgotten that people have the right to chose. [However] if I consume goats then there is no problem, but if the other person consumes cow, it is [a problem]...I wear a sari and it is not a problem, but some one may chose to wear salwar-kameez and then it turns out to be a problem. We [Bengalis] may wear dhoti, but some one may prefer a lungi - what is the issue here...[and] who are you to decide? A few people would decide what to wear and what not to eat...how is it possible," asked Ms. Banerjee, further adding that she would "not tolerate" any politics of polarisation in the State.

"Dalits are targetted in Gujarat. We are condemning these incidents. And I would like to make it clear that if some one would like to conduct this [cow] survey - tries to set fire - be rest assured we would not tolerate that. We would fight such [intentions] politically. We will not let you set houses on fire," Ms. Banerjee said.

Raising the issue of attacks on Dalits at Una in Gujarat, Ms. Banerjee also called for putting an end to the cow politics in the country.

"There have been atrocities against Dalits. I have read in the newspaper that some do business of cow leather for long. Those who are cobblers also use cow leather. These are age-old practices. But these people were tied up and assaulted,” she said.

Interestingly, only a couple of weeks back, Ms. Banerjee said that she would not tolerate cow smuggling in Bengal. Cow smuggling to Bangaldesh is also an informal business between West Bengal and bordering districts of Bangladesh, which provides livelihood to many thousands of living on both sides of the border. However, in the Assembly Ms Banerjee said that her government would "act strongly" on three issues, after Ramzan.

"The three issues are: cow smuggling, opium trade and gold smuggling,” she said.

On Thursday Ms. Banerjee also raised her concerns about saffron polarization in different spheres including education.

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Printable version | Sep 19, 2020 2:15:05 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/kolkata/Wont-tolerate-cow-politics-Mamata/article14501039.ece

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