Climate Change / Sustainable Development

Will India's BJP-ruled states act to curb cow vigilantes?

Will Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stern diktat to the state governments to “crack down” on cow vigilantes have any impact? Or was he just responding to a notice sent to the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and possibly the central government about all the breaches in law and order over the past five years? Where does the union government stand on this matter vis-à-vis the public interest litigation before the Supreme Court?

Aug 5, 2017
By Lalit Sethi
 
Will Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stern diktat to the state governments to “crack down” on cow vigilantes have any impact? Or was he just responding to a notice sent to the state of Uttar Pradesh (UP) and possibly the central government about all the breaches in law and order over the past five years? Where does the union government stand on this matter vis-à-vis the public interest litigation before the Supreme Court? 
 
Cow vigilantes attack or kill those who transport cows from one place to another. Does it matter that it could be a case of transporting a cow from one state to another in the neighbourhood? 
 
The cow vigilantes are bringing a bad name to India, which prides itself on its democratic institutions.
 
Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Aditynath is hoping to be able to convert the presidential ordinance on cow protection into a law, approved by both Houses of Parliament during the current monsoon session of Parliament.
 
How will this ordnance play out in Bihar where, after his 24-hour resignation drama and the break-up of the grand alliance, Nitish Kumar swung to accept the support of the BJP? He has been very vocal and critical of cow vigilantism and law and order is a state-controlled subject. 
 
Will Kumar go along with his new-found allies, who saved his chief ministership, or will he risk his government and take a firm stand to curb the menace of cow vigilantism in Bihar, where an incident of cow vigilantes - who apparently emboldened by their government being in power - beating up a Muslim who was transporting meat has already come to light. 
 
(The author is a veteran journalist and commentator on political and social issues)

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