New Delhi: Opposition leaders on Thursday questioned the sincerity of Prime Minister Narendra Modis remarks against cow vigilantism, saying little has changed despite his earlier warnings.
Modi, speaking at Sabarmati Ashram in Ahmedabad on Thursday, said that killings in the name of cow are unacceptable and that nobody has the right to take law in their hands.
“The Prime Minister should ask himself as to who has created this atmosphere of lawlessness in the country. Pro forma condemnations are not enough. The Prime Minister must reaffirm that he believes in the founding values of the Indian state,” Congress spokesperson and former Union Minister Manish Tewari told IANS.
Mahatma Gandhi’s grandson Gopalkrishna Gandhi, in a sarcasm-laced remark, said the “presence of Gandhiji’s living spirit in Sabarmati Ashram” must have affected Modi.
“What he has said is absolutely right, but it should be followed by very strong action on the ground. All the perpetrators (of hate crimes) have to be caught and prosecuted and the public’s confidence in (law and order) has to be revived,” Gandhi told IANS.
Ruing that the “state has been complicit in murders in the cow’s name”, Gandhi hoped that Modi’s statement should be the beginning of a change.
Janata Dal United (JD-U) spokesman K.C. Tyagi said he does not see any substance in the Prime Minister’s remarks.
“I don’t think the Prime Minister’s so-called warning to cow vigilantes has any meaning. The Prime Minister has spoken on cow vigilantism earlier too, but it has had little impact on the ground. In fact, every time he issues such advisory to gau rakshaks (cow vigilantes), the incidents of violence in the name of cow go up,” Tyagi told IANS.
Rashtriya Janata Dal spokesperson Manoj Jha said Modi’s words sound hollow.
“His words sound hollow. He had made such delayed statements about the Rohith Vemula suicide and the Una incident (thrashing of Dalits) too. Did it stop? In fact all sound and no substance in terms of action has emboldened such vigilante groups. What this nation urgently requires is a robust legislation against mob lynchings,” Jha told IANS.
On Wednesday, protests were held in several cities across India under the banner of “#NotInMyName” to protest lynchings.