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Following the public flogging of Dalits in Una by alleged gau rakshaks for skinning a dead cow that resulted in a large-scale Dalit agitation in Gujarat, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had advocated to invoke powers of saintly people to heal wounds of Dalits. Gujarat Governor O P Kohli said at a public function at Raj Bhavan here Sunday.
The function was organised to release a book — Mahatma Gandhi to Modi — co-authored by intellectual property lawyer Rajeshkumar Acharya and former bureaucrat Girishchandra Tanna. The book is about how Modi and his developmental and ideological work is influenced by Mahatma Gandhi, Swami Vivekanand and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel. Speaking on the occasion, Kohli referred to Dalits and said that Gandhi had ‘natural affection’ for them. Following this, he immediately referred to the Una episode. Kohli said that when he had gone to Delhi after the Una episode, he had a discussion on it with Modi.
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“He (Modi) said that empathy towards Dalits should be pure and there should not be pretension or politics in it…He said, Invoke the saintly powers so that they can heal the wounds of Dalits’,” Kohli said.
On July 11, seven Dalits from Mota Samadhiyala village of Una taluka in Gir-Somnath district were publicly flogged by gau rakshaks for skinning a dead cow. The video of the incident had gone viral on the social media and it sparked a large-scale Dalit agitation in Gujarat.
It is to be noted that following the massive and spontaneous Dalit outcry, RSS-affiliated outfit Samajik Samrasta Manch had, on August 4, organised a gathering in Una that was attended by more than 60 religious leaders.