It is gau mata and national pride that BJP leaders are talking about, apart from the works of the Narendra Modi-led NDA government at the Centre, during the party’s nine-day vistarak campaign in Vadodara that began on May 28.
Pamphlets handed out to the residents during the door-to-door interaction include eulogies to gau mata and a “comparative study” of the Congress and BJP governments on the issue of “national pride”.
The pamphlets prominently focus on the initiatives taken by the BJP government in Gujarat on the issue of cow protection, regulation of school fees and prohibition of alcohol. The pamphlet titled, “Respect and pride accorded to gau mata, to repay the debt of milk”, enlists the initiatives of the Vijay Rupani-led government in taking the “historic decisions to protect cow progeny” in Gujarat.
“The cow is a uniting force for the country. It is symbol of the religious, social and financial assets. It embodies love, compassion and peace. Gauraksha and preservation of cows is the duty of every citizen of this country. Gujarat state has cleared a law to prevent slaughter of cows. Gujarat is a state to enforce the strictest law against cow slaughter in the country. No one indulging in cow slaughter will be spared at any cost. The offence is now non-bailable with a term of life imprisonment,” the pamphlet, which carries the pictures of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chief Minister Vijay Rupani and Deputy Chief Minister Nitin Patel.
It describes Gujarat as the first state to prohibit transportation of cattle between 9 pm to 5 am and impose a fine of Rs 1 to 5 lakh on offenders. The pamphlet also emphasises on the state government’s initiative to regulate school fees and make the prohibition law stricter to keep the youths “away from the ills of alcohol”. Another pamphlet lists a “comparative study on national pride” during the “Congress-led government and the BJP-led government”, without specifying whether at the Centre or in the state.
The pamphlet says that during the Congress regime “cow, Ganga, (Bhagavad) Geeta and the culture were highly neglected”. “The nation’s pride and image were soiled at an international level, and the national interest was highly neglected” during the Congress rule, it claimed. On the other hand, it describes the BJP rule as that which is “compassionate” about national pride.
“The BJP government is concerned about rivers that are likened to goddesses, like Ganga, and also stricter laws for curbing cow slaughter are in place. The Prime Minister is making earnest efforts to establish a new image of India, internationally, with the acceptance coming our way. The celebration of World Yoga Day is a step in the direction to take India’s culture to the highest pinnacle, while instilling a sense of health among people of the world,” it states.
BJP leaders said that the pamphlets, attributed to Vadodara Mahanagar wing of the party, are a reflection of the people’s mood.
“There is a deep sense of national pride that has been instilled among the people since Modiji took over as the Prime Minister of the country. No one can doubt that the surgical strike (against Pakistan) and the iron hand with which he has dealt with Pakistan has given countrymen a renewed sense of national pride. This was missing during the Congress regime. The pamphlet is only stating the facts. No person will deny that the initiatives taken by the BJP government for cleaning of Ganga and gau raksha (cow protection) are not welcome,” a local BJP leader said.