Modi Blasts Cow Vigilantes, Calls Them “Anti-Social”


New Delhi: In his first comments on the violence against Dalits by cow vigilantes, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today strongly rebuked them, saying most of them are “anti-social” elements who are running “shops” in the name of cow protection which makes him “angry”.

He asked state governments to prepare “dossiers” on the so-called cow protectors as 80 per cent of them do illegal activities at night and become cow protectors in the day, asserting that running such help groups does not mean harassing others.

Modi’s made the sharp denouncement of cow vigilantes during his Town Hall-style address to mark the second anniversary of his government’s MyGov initiative.

His comments come at a time when his government and BJP are facing flak over incidents of violence against Dalits and Muslims by cow vigilantes in various states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh.

“It makes me angry that people are running shops in the name of cow protection. Most of them are anti-social elements hiding behind the mask of cow protection. I will ask state governments to prepare a dossier on such people as 80 per cent of them will be found to be involved in anti-social activities which no society will approve of,” he said.

Noting that more cows die from consuming plastics than are slaughtered, he said those who want to serve the animal should rather work towards stopping cows from eating plastics as that will be a bigger service. Recalling his own work in the service of cow, he said at one health camp organised by him for the animal, at least two buckets full of plastic were removed from the stomach of one of them.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said his government plans to develop 300 villages across the country as growth centers for the area by creating city like infrastructure, from education and healthcare to digital connectivity.

The National Rurban Mission aims to provide better quality of life and employment in villages, he said at the townhall organised to mark the second anniversary of myGov app. There is no dearth of smart cities, but shouldn’t the scenario of villages change, he asked. “Facilities available in cities must be made available to villages.”

Rurban Mission is ‘Smart City Plus’, he said, adding 300 villages have been identified, which will be developed as growth centre for the area.
All infrastructure identical to cities like digital and physical connectivity as well as quality healthcare and education will be provided, he said. “The idea is that the soul of a village is retained while amenities of cities are provided.”

These villages are the ones where rural people may visit for healthcare, education or attending to other needs like repairing or recharging mobiles. Villages, he said, can become the growth centre of the rural economy. On the eve of Handloom Day, Modi urged 125 crore Indians to use khadi and handloom for 5 per cent of their clothing needs.

This would boost the textile sector, which is the second biggest employment provider in the country, he said. “This will help the poor.”  Rural economy will change if the sector is provided holistic support, e-platform for global marketing and facilities to weavers, he added.