Mahamandleshwar Swami Akhileshwaranand Giri, the chairman of the executive council of the Board, believes the third world war will be fought over cow.
Yes, you heard it right, over cow!
Giri, a Madhya Pradesh government official, is chairman of the executive council of the MP Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board, which looks after cow protection. “The third world war will start over a cow. The cow has always been a source of contention. There are references in mythology and the first war of independence in 1857 began over the cow,’’ Giri told a leading newspaper.
Giri said the issue of cow slaughter is an emotional one for Gau Rakshaks and it’s natural for them to get angry when they see dead or injured cows packed in vehicles.
He, however, denounced violence and arbitrary punishment, true to the brand of many self-styled cow vigilantes.
“They should not take the law into their own hands and should wait for the police to come once they stop such vehicles. When all states pass stricter anti-cow slaughter laws, smuggling of cattle through state borders will become impossible”, he said.
Giri is a firm believer in the medicinal qualities of cow dung and urine, claiming that these are effective in curing diseases like cancer and epilepsy.
His comments come at a time, when anger against several rogue cow vigilante organisations and groups are being reported to engage in violence on several occasions.
In Gujarat’s Una last month, four Dalit youths were tied up together, stripped and thrashed by the members of one such organisation, for skinning cows. It stoked Dalit anger and upset efforts by the Bharatiya Janata Party to attract Dalit votes in the run up to crucial elections in Uttar Pradesh and Punjab.
Flogging of Dalits in Una indianexpress
Recently, Prime Minister Narendra Modi too hit out against cow vigilantes in his interaction at the MyGov Town Hall meet. “I feel really angry at the way some people have opened shops in the name of cow protection. I have seen that some people commit anti-social activities through the night, but act as cow protectors by day”, the prime minister said.
Congress’ Manish Tewari blamed the BJP for the increasing violence by ‘self-styled’ cow vigilantes, saying the party tacitly promoted these groups who are ideological followers of BJP.