PM’s ‘cow pitch’


With the ‘cow pitch’ he has made at a public rally in Haryana, Prime Minister Prime Minister Narendra Modi has once more made it amply clear that it is Hindutva that he represents. His criticism of those who don’t like ‘Om’ and ‘gau’ has come at a time when Haryana and Maharashtra are headed for the Assembly elections. At this time of economic slowdown, Mr. Modi is perhaps left with no option but to polarise voters along religious lines; hence his display of his fondness for the cow. His playing with a cow and a calf made compelling viewing. Politically, the cow is always a slam dunk for BJP. The Prime Minister might not be endorsing or giving tacit support to cow vigilantes (certainly he cannot do that), but his remark could give impression that he is somewhat ambivalent about violence unleashed by the so-called gau rakshaks. Slamming ‘cow phobia’ may win his party votes, given worship of the cow as a mata and a goddess in this predominantly Hindu country. But the question is whether it is worthy of the Prime Minister of a secular democracy. As the incumbent Prime Minister, Mr. Modi would do well to tame the avowed Hindu nationalist in him. What Prime Minister Narendra Modi has now said contradicts what he said on August 7, 2016 in the wake of protests against mob lynchings in the name of cow protection. This time, he has omitted to reiterate that those who kill compatriots in the name of cow protection are no better than criminals. No one has any problem with protection or welfare of animals including the cow. Nobody gets electric shock while hearing the word, ‘cow’ as held out by the Prime Minister. But the sacred animal not be invoked to categorise the citizenry as ‘us’ and ‘them’.

G. David Milton,

Maruthancode, Tamil Nadu

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Printable version | Jun 4, 2020 5:59:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/letters/pms-cow-pitch/article29395444.ece

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