Friday, July 01, 2016

Cow vigilante's terror is a new form of right-wing extremism in India

'Cow Terrorism' is a relatively new term. In North India, it is well-known now. Still, it needs to be explained for the benefit of many others.

Cow is a sacred animal in Hinduism. However, right-wing extremists are committing extreme brutality and are killing people in the name of cow.

Earlier, it was limited to extortion but its extent has grown in the last couple of years, and now no one is safe from this form of extremism.

False claim, allegation or rumour that a person is carrying beef or a cow for slaughter, is enough for them to take law in their hands.

Muslims and Dalits are the main target of the groups involved in it. In Jharkhand, a minor boy was hanged while in UP, an armyman's father was killed in this spree of violence.

This is hurting the nation and its integrity apart from bringing infamy. The image of Hinduism is also being affected worldwide with such attacks.
On social media, many intellectuals and writers have written extensively about this phenomenon of violence. Let's sum it up in brief:

1. Cow Terrorism is 'Committing violence or spreading terror in the name of cow'. The Cow terrorists or 'Gau Aatanki' are those who have the licence to attack, thrash, injure or kill anyone in India.

2. They have no law applicable on them. They can declare any meat as 'beef'.

3. They can frisk, attack, humiliate, strip or murder anyone, it seems. They have direct or indirect state backing as well as support of law-enforcing agencies.

4. The 'Gau Aatanki' doesn't need affiliation to any agency. A Saffron band on head or just a claim that they are 'Gau-Bhakt' or 'Gau-Rakshak' (Cow protectors) is enough.

5. These elements are not accountable to anyone. They can kill and yet get case registered against the victims.

6. These so-called 'Gau Rakshaks' won't act against the main beef exporters of India but target those who don't even consume beef. Muslims are the main target and rumours are floated that a person is carrying 'beef' to extort, attack or kill.

7. They can strip people of their own faith [albeit those of lower caste], tie them and drag them. Yet, State won't take action for days.

8. The Cow Brigade has complete immunity. They can attack women too on mere suspicion that the latter were carrying beef.

The issue may rock the Parliament and Assembly but action will not be registered against them. The police will book the women, even if the meat was not beef.

9. These right-wing extremists have links everywhere. They can get loud speaker at a temple blare that a particular house as 'beef' in the fridge and can also get reports in the lab, changed, to suit their agenda.

10. They have attacked and killed people in Jammu, Haryana, Himachal, Jharkhand, UP.
Cow Terrorism is spread across India, and it is not just BJP ruled states, but the phenomenon is seen in SP and Congress ruled states.