03, Nov 2015
NEW DELHI, November 2, 2015
K.N. Govindacharya, former BJP ideologue who now devotes his time to issues related to Ganga rejuvenation and cow protection, has decided to postpone, indefinitely, an agitation against cow slaughter that had been slated for November 7.
Speaking to The Hindu, Mr. Govindacharya, whose association with the BJP practically ended after his public differences with then Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 1998, said that he was “disturbed by the politicisation of the issue and didn’t want to launch the agitation in such a political atmosphere.”
“Cow protection is not a religious issue, and unfortunately it is being made one. Gai buchadkhaane tabhi pahunchti hai jab kisan usey bechta hai (cows end up at a slaughterhouse only when the farmer lets go of it),” he said. “For 80 per cent of this process, why are we blaming the Muslims who are at the end of a long line of people trading cows?” he said. “We [Rashtriya Swabhiman Andolan] have decided to postpone [the agitation] as we feel that this is not the right time for it,” he added.
He pointed out that to link the issue of cow slaughter with the Muslim community was wrong as it was the British rather than Muslim rulers of India who promoted cow slaughter. “Cow slaughter came up in a big way after the revolt of 1857, when the British saw this as a way of driving a wedge between the two communities. Under Mughal rule too, cow slaughter used to happen but not on such a huge scale,” he said.
He said that his objection to cow slaughter was more to do with economic questions rather than related to faith or religion. “The way farming is being done in the country, is making the cow peripheral to the exercise, making it a tradeable commodity. We need to decide as a society, whether we want an economic and agricultural system which is in harmony with nature and our faith, or blindly copy western prototypes that create these situations,” he said. “We need to keep our cattle wealth and agricultural economy front and centre while devising policy, that is the surest way to protect ‘gau vansha’ (cow genealogy).”