‘All sides condemn violence, can be no justification of this’: Arun Jaitley on cow vigilantes

‘Just as killing of a human in name of cow has to be condemned, nobody should eulogise the fact that I see no wrong in cow slaughter’

Written by Abantika Ghosh | New Delhi | Updated: July 21, 2017 8:14 am
arun jaitley, cow slaughter, cow vigilantes, Jaitley cow slaughter, Jaitley rajya Sabha, cow lynching, rajya sabha, jaitley rajya sabha, jaitley lynching, jaitley cow slaughter, jaitley cow vigilantes, narendra modi Finance Minister Arun Jaitley spoke in the Rajya Sabha about the government’s commitment in cracking down on cow vigilantes. (PTI/File)

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley stressed the government’s commitment to cracking down on cow vigilantes in Rajya Sabha Thursday. At the same time, he dealt at length on the constitutional obligation for cow protection and how it was formulated under Jawaharlal Nehru even though he was “less religious than Indira Gandhi”.

Jaitley warned against a “selective morality” where hurting the sentiments of one side is deemed fair but not those of the other. He was replying to a debate in Rajya Sabha on lynching and attacks on Muslims and Dalits. “All sides have condemned violence, the prime minister has severely condemned it, in fact he has spoken about it thrice,” Jaitley said. “There can be no justification of this violence. Our respect for cows cannot be the reason. Violence can never be a partisan issue. Right to equality and right to religious belief come with the obligation of mutual respect and tolerance…but Mr [Ghulam Nabi] Azad, ask yourself, have we twisted the definition of secularism?”

Reading out from Article 48 and harking back to the long discussions on the issue in the Constituent Assembly that tasks the state with cow protection, Jaitley said: “This is written by Babasaheb Ambedkar. If today he wrote this, Satish Mishraji’s party would be the first to call him communal.” Mishra, the senior-most BSP MP after Mayawati’s resignation, said his party had never questioned the constitutional obligation to cow protection. Azad pointed out that cow slaughter is not allowed in his state, J&K, despite its Muslim majority the fact that the law was passed by a Hindu king.

Jaitley said, “Independently, just as killing of a human being in the name of cow or assaulting or lynching him has to be unequivocally condemned, nobody should try, at least in areas where there is a prohibition, to eulogise the fact that I see nothing wrong in cow being slaughtered. One of your chief ministers of a prohibited state — it means where cow slaughter is prohibited — has the audacity to say, ‘Given a choice, I will eat beef’. Congress workers said in front of television cameras I will show how a cow is slaughtered and then have a festival. By doing this they do as much damage to the country as the gau rakshak on a train.”

He was referring to the statements of Karnataka CM Siddaramaiah and the slaughter of a calf in Kerala by Youth Congress activists. This is a problem, he said of a “selective morality” or a “selective call of conscience”.

Jaitley said that for every incident of cow vigilantism, the home minister despite an injured foot had personally spoken to the state chief minister to ensure strict action is taken. Sibal targets Modi

Opposition speakers quoted from speeches of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to fix responsibility for the violence, while the Treasury benches used Nehru to establish the legitimacy of the RSS and the idea of cow protection being central to the identity of India. Kapil Sibal quoted from Modi’s speeches, including one in 2012 when the PM had invoked Maharana Pratap’s commitment to cow protection, and another where he had said: “I am unable to understand why you are silent. Why are you taking this lying down?”

Accusing the PM of doublespeak, Sibal said: “Your own people, your Bajrang Dal, the VHP, these are the people who are actually doing this. And the PM very glibly says that no, no, these are antisocial elements. So I challenge the PM. Why does he not publicly say that the VHP is antisocial, that the Bajrang Dal is antisocial? But he has no courage to say that because that is the political support he gets from them for winning elections.” Pointing to the treasury benches, he accused them of being fake Hindus for not upholding the values of tolerance and protection of all communities.

Opposition parties walked out after HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar invoked the 1984 anti-Sikh riots and Jaitley reminded the Left about Opposition Vice President candidate Gopalkrishna Gandhi’s criticism of the Left Front government in West Bengal and asked the Left why there is a rise in political violence in Kerala whenever the Left is in power. Azad urged him not to try to dent Opposition unity. Earlier, Javadekar accused the Opposition of selective amnesia and trotted out pre-2014 figures of lynchings.

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    Ash
    Jul 23, 2017 at 9:00 pm
    Jaitleyji,PM said too little too late,about the killings.This is his normal behaviour.When the first killing took place on the excuse that beef was consumed in a Muslim house,he kept mum.No tweet,nothing .Many weeks later after many commented on his silence,did he say a few words.The message though was clear to the gau rakshaks,govt was not going to take any tough action.What kind of heroism that home Minister made a statement even though he had a bad foot What dramatics!The CM who said he would eat beef in Kerala was asserting his right to have beef in Kerala ,where it is not prohibited.This was said in the face of BJP trying to enforce beef ban throughout the country.The Muslims don't eat pork.They have not asked for a pork ban throughout the country.Let people eat what they choose.Don't dictate, like a Hitler,what we may eat.For 70 years,this has not been a problem but now due to BJP trying to enforce it's ideology on everyone,it is becoming a big problem.Rule of law being subverted
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      V M
      Jul 23, 2017 at 4:18 am
      It is strange people posting here are unaware of Cons utional obligation of all citizens of India to protect Cows against slaughter by anti-nationals. If you want beef, go outside India. Here you will be punished under Law Of The Land. Lawless people killed cows in India because of lawless, corrupt leaders of congress. They were criminals according to cons ution of India. Let India be Law abiding and prosperous.
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        Ash
        Jul 23, 2017 at 9:04 pm
        In Kerala ,Assam,etc it is allowed to eat beef.Know the law.Just because somebody eats beef he doesn't become antinational.Just because you support beef ban doesn't make you a patriot.Remember BJP Did not get 51 of the vote.It won the elections with approximately 30 of vote.That means 70 opposed it.Remember that.
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      2. B
        Birendra
        Jul 22, 2017 at 7:37 am
        feku PM,feku FM and DM and now feku president,only cow can save this country,please send all cows to doklam,with there fatt they can blow all chinese away
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        1. R
          Raju
          Jul 22, 2017 at 2:31 am
          basic human rights violating, giving more important for cows than human. It produced great social evils which afflict the Indian people to this day.it did not produce tolerance, peace, equality among different religions people and races. This type of hate bring big danger in this country. A demon's favorite activity is to make people feel comfortable in their religion. Uncivilized radical mythological culture making animal as God. Bible say Romans 1.21-23 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles. Indian No freedom what to eat, Throughout evolution, humans and pre-humans have been eating meat, Our digestive systems are well equipped to make full use of the fats, proteins and nutrient
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            Tanveer Ahmad Sofi
            Jul 21, 2017 at 5:45 pm
            It simply means that he is anti semitic in the sense that he urges the followers of his religion should enjoy the ultimate religious liberty to practice it and simultaneously he sees wrong if a Muslim community or any other would like to enjoy their religious liberty, because as per him cow slaughter is a grave sin.Wow! Today about 7.5 billion humans inhabit the planet out of which 5.5 billion do eat beef, but unfortunate for the indigenous Indian Muslims and Christians it is a sin as the 80 Hindu population doesn't find it fit with their religion and so they will prohibit it no matter if they need to do the genocide of the whole non Hindu lot.
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