Taking strong exception to atrocities meted out to Dalits in various parts of the country in the name of cow protection, Prime Minister Narendra Modi strongly denounced cow vigilantes during his Town Hall address on 6 August as well as a public meeting in Gajwel, Medak district, on his first visit to Telangana on 7 August.
The Prime Minister's response comes days after the Una incident in which gau rakshaks flogged Dalits for skinning a dead cow.
The incident resulted in widespread agitation by Dalits following which several political leaders, including Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi and Aam Aadmi Party's national convener Arvind Kejriwal urged PM Modi to respond to the frequent attack on Dalits in the nation.
The top five things PM Modi said about atrocities on Dalits:
1. 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.
2. Cows mostly die of eating plastic bags and these gau rakshaks should urge people not to throw plastics on the roads. This will be a big sewa.
3. People who think they control Dalits could not digest the fact that the Dalit community is slowly getting to know about the BJP's good work, which is why they are in tizzy. They are indulging in raising issues using Dalits.
4. I want to tell those people that if they have any problem, they should attack me, but stop attacking my Dalit brothers. If you want to shoot, shoot me, but don't shoot my Dalit brothers.
5. Politics of breaking the society is not good for the country and discrimination among human beings is not acceptable to us. Shanti, Ekta, Sadbhavana are central to the progress of the nation. We have to protect the marginalised and the Dalits. It is our duty.
--With Agency inputs