Cow vigilantes ‘anti-social’: Modi breaks his silence

In first townhall address, Prime Minister asks States to prepare dossiers on such “cow protectors”.

Updated - December 04, 2021 10:53 pm IST

Published - August 06, 2016 11:54 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Breaking his silence on cow vigilantes in the country, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday strongly condemned their actions, saying most of them were anti-social elements masquerading as gau rakshaks ( cow protectors).

Mr. Modi asked the State governments to prepare a dossier on such “cow protectors”, while asserting that about 80 per cent of them would be found to be involved in illegal activities.

“It makes me angry that people are running shops in the name of cow protection… Some people indulge in anti-social activities at night, and in the day masquerade as cow protectors,” the Prime Minister said.

Need for compassion Mr. Modi, speaking at his first townhall-style address to mark the second anniversary of his government’s MyGov initiative, said such volunteer groups were not meant to harass and oppress others. There is a need for compassion and an ability to sacrifice to do social service, he said.

Mr. Modi’s comments come at a time when questions are being raised on his silence amid the spate of attacks, particularly in Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh, on Dalits, allegedly in the name of cow protection.

There have been a series of violent protests in his home State demanding stern action against members of the vigilante group who brutally assaulted four Dalit men.

He pointed out that more cows were dying after consuming plastics than being slaughtered, adding that those wanting to serve them should work towards stopping the animals from eating plastics.

He also said that while holding the Prime Minister responsible for everything that happens at the panchayat, gram panchayat, district and State level in the nation is good for politics and TRPs, it affects governance.

“For good governance it is important that people responsible for tasks be held accountable… then there will be improvement.” he said.

Growth vital

Economic growth of more than 8 per cent for 30 years will bring everything that is good in the world to India, Mr Modi said answering pre-recorded video questions posted on the MyGov portal.

Talking about the National Rurban Mission, Mr Modi spoke about the plan to develop 300 villages across the country with infrastructure at par with cities and launched the slogan, “Aatma gaaon ki, suvidha sheher ki” (Soul of the villages, facilities of the city).

India first

To a question on his foreign policy, Mr Modi said “India First” was his focus point, alongside protecting the country’s economic and strategic interests.

Mr Modi also launched the PMO Mobile Application and interacted with the youngsters who had developed it.

(With Samarth Bansal)

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