Cow vigilantism, referred as “Gau Rakhshaks” in India is a wannabe terrorist network, that aims to save “cows” in India by terrorising people. The vigilantes have terrorised people who were caught transporting cows or consuming cow meat. Gau Rakhshaks have not only brutally assaulted Indian citizens but also mercilessly killed them. Since the arrival of BJP to power in 2014 Indian Elections, Gau Rakhshaks have further increased their activities and have remained immune from any sort of legal repercussions. BJP have defended Gau Rakhshaks and have used them strategically to consolidate their vote bank.
Today, for the first time, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has condemned the activities of Gau Rakhshaks. Speaking in Hindi at a town hall meeting, Mr. Modi said “Sometimes, in the name of Gau Rakhshak, some people have established their shops [business], I get so angry [on them]… cow devotee is different, cow helper is different… Some people spend their whole night doing anti-social activity.. some people… but in day time, the take the disguise of Gau Rakhshak… I am requesting the state governments, for these sort self-appointed [Gau Rakhshaks].. who consider themselves to be a big Gau Rakhshaks… create a dossier on them.. 70-80% of them will be involved in activities that society will not accept, however to hide their crimes, they take the disguise of Gau Rakhshaks…“
The timing of this condemnation needs to be questioned. He [Modi] did not condemn the terror attacks done by “Gau Rakhshaks” when the victims were Muslims but now when the attacks have occurred on Dalits and subsequent protests have taken place, he was compelled to protect the vote bank of his political party. Attacks on Muslims by Gau Rakhshaks was primarily considered as a strategy to win laurels among the Hindu voters of BJP, who take sadistic pleasure when Muslims are attacked. However, the subsequent attacks on Dalits have not gone well with the Hindu voters of BJP.
Previously, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has remained a silent spectator when the cow vigilantes killed and brutally assaulted several Muslims across the India. On 28th September 2015, a 52 year old Mohammed Akhlaq was mercilessly killed and his 22-year old son (Danish) was seriously injured in a brutal attack by cow vigilantes.
Two Muslim women were beaten by vigilantes for allegedly carrying cow meat, while the Indian police remained a mute spectator. The vigilantes were not arrested by the police for assault on the women. It was later found that, the meat carried by the women is not of cow but rather buffalo.