Dr Sudarshan Iyenger, outgoing vice-chancellor of the Gujarat Vidyapith, criticised the Intelligence Bureau (IB) report that had said that certain NGOs and institutes like the Mahatma Gandhi founded Vidyapith were involved in “anti-development activities”, and said that the Vidyapith would take up the issue of protection of cow and its progeny by promoting the use of local cattle breeds.
In his address at the 61st convocation of this deemed university, Iyenger said Saturday that allegations of cow slaughter were the newest means to defame the minority, and that violent attack on butchers would only lead to communal hatred, and not protect cows. He was referring to the recent communal flare ups around Bakra Eid, which were blamed on alleged cow slaughter and illegal beef trade.
“When some extreme communal elements are polarizing by creating hatred between the two communities, we should, by invoking Gandhian thoughts, we should try to maximise the use of the bullock to promote cow protection and prevent them from going to the slaughter houses,” Iyengar said.
He said that farmers were reluctant to keep bullocks because they were using tractors to till, and could not afford keeping milch cattle.
Promoting the local Gir cow, Iyenger said that we should ban Jersey and other hybrid cows and create healthy progeny of our local breeds. He said that due to artificial insemination of cattle the village-based cattle preservation system is vanishing, therefore, Vidyapith will again introduce such practices in order to save the cows.
Attacking the Intelligence Bureau for its report claiming that NGOs and other organizations such as Vidyapith are involved in anti-development activities, Iyenger said that “the university has been a place for discussing people-oriented issues and that is why it was established by Gandhi. Since 2003 such discussions have become frequent and that’s the reason the identity of Vidyapith has become a place for discussing the alternative of development.”
“Vidyapith is going to its originality. Yet, in the eye of the state the varsity is being seen as place of anti-development and supporting movements obstructing development…,” Iyenger said adding that many organizations aided by government funds have criticised the varsity. However, he told the students that “We all have to keep in view the sustained economic development and ultimately support just and coherent human development with the help of encouraging such programmes.”