'What have politicians who speak of cow protection really done for the bovines,' says industrialist Rahul Bajaj

Mumbai: In a jibe at the ruling dispensation, veteran industrialist Rahul Bajaj on Tuesday alleged that none of the politicians who support cow protection and mob lynching in the name of it have done anything worthy for the animal. He also said everyone should ask these politicians what their fathers or forefathers had done to protect cows.

"My grandfather (Jamnalal Bajaj) lived in a kutir (hutment), himself washing the cows, but today, we are lynching for cows. I won't name political parties, who are talking of gau mata. But ask them what they, their parents or grandparents have done for the gau mata?

"Ninety-five percent of them have done nothing. Those who have done, they don't talk about it. That is the difference between a politician and a genuine worker, a Gandhian," Bajaj said, while launching an English version of the autobiography of Jankidevi Bajaj (his grandmother).

What have politicians who speak of cow protection really done for the bovines, says industrialist Rahul Bajaj

File image of Rahul Bajaj. Reuters

Comments from the octogenarian industrialist, widely respected for speaking his mind, come amidst rising incidents of mob lynching since the BJP formed governments at the Centre and most states, wherein dozens of Muslims have been killed by ravaging mobs for allegedly carrying cow meat or engaging in non-buffalo cattle trade.

The first lynching took place near the national capital at Dadri in Uttar Pradesh in September 2014, when an old Muslim man, Mohammad Akhlaq, was killed by self-appointed cow protectors for allegedly keeping cow meat in his refrigerator, which a forensic test confirmed later that it wasn't cow meat but that of buffalo. Also, official data last week showed that only 7 percent of the meat confiscated and sent in for forensic tests in government labs were cow meat.

Last week, the BJP government in Uttar Pradesh introduced a 0.5 percent 'gau raksha cess' in the state to protect stray cattle as the bovines have become a law and order problem in many parts of the state and harried villagers are locking them up in any public place, including schools and hospital compounds, to prevent them from rampaging their farms, which are nearing harvest now.

The Devendra Fadnavis government in Maharashtra has also been under pressure from farmers protesting over stray cattle destroying their crops, following the aggressive crackdown on illegal cow slaughtering/trade.

The Uttar Pradesh government has also introduced an additional 0.5 percent cow welfare cess on eight profit-making public sector infra companies to fund the construction and maintenance of cow shelters. The cess will also apply on travel on some expressways where motorists already pay a toll.

In addition, mandis that have been giving 1 percent of their income for cow welfare, will now be asked to pay 2 percent, according to the new UP government order.

Bajaj also said with the passing away of noted Gandhian and former acting chief justice of the Bombay High Court Chandrashekhar Dharmadhikari, the country has "lost the last true Gandhian. "He will be irreplaceable. Today, we don't have someone who is sensible (like him), who talks like him or have those value system," he said.

It can be recalled that Bajaj had turned down an invite from the RSS headquarters last week (when he was there for the cremation of Dharmadhikari) to meet the Sangh leadership.

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Updated Date: Jan 09, 2019 21:08:19 IST

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