Gau Rakshaks and criminality

Ever since PM Modi announced protection of cows, criminals have had a heyday. Normally, there should be no connection between cow protection and criminal behaviour. But whenever criminals (anywhere) see an opportunity they jump at it.

Modi’s law to protect cows has given a criminal his golden opportunity. Now the criminal can don a mask of respectability, the mask of a “gau rakshak”, and attack, intimidate, and threaten law-abiding people. He can act like a vigilante, despite not being a policeman, or a law enforcement official. Why our political establishment encourages this defies all logic. Surely, they don’t think it will get them votes? I am sure it won’t. It will, on the other hand, alienate a vast majority.

There are far too many criminals playing this gau rakshak game, and that is why the government should immediately ban them.

You can read about a “gau rakshak” called Shirke, who has an established criminal record, here in this TOI article. Or you can read about the nexus between criminals, gau-rakshaks and the police, here.

…even if there is no evidence of cows being smuggled or transported ‘illegally’, trucks full of buffaloes could also be easily taken in police custody.

And then we know what happens. Bribes happen, and everyone is on the take.

And here, in this First Post article, you can read about the list of murders, lynchings and attacks by these criminals (let me not call them gau rakshaks).

cowsSadly, this is not about eating beef, which is what the brouhaha is supposed to be about.

It is about the cattle rearing economy. The gau rakshak criminal is not a part of this economy, and he will damage it. He just wants to murder and steal. He is a dacoit, no less. As for the non-criminal variety of gau rakshaks, their vigilantism is hard to understand.

Here is an explanation:

The modern gau-rakshak is neither a herder, nor a trader, skinner, tanner or butcher. He is not a stakeholder in the agro-pastoral economy of cattle rearing. It separates cattle trading, skinning, tanning and butchering from cattle rearing, operating under the assumption that these activities are not a part of cattle rearing cycles.

The new gau-rakshak does not realise that the sustainability of cattle rearing depends on cattle retaining mobility and exchangeability, and not on its becoming a sacred liability. No number of gau-shalas and pinjrapoles will be sufficient to accommodate the number of cattle that cattle herders will have to let loose because they cannot afford to keep them. Unless cattle rearing is viewed as an economic activity, the modern gau-rakshak will prove to be the death knell of cattle rearing communities in agro-pastoral zones.’

Groups of brainless gau rakshaks and criminals are holding the cattle rearing economy to ransom. And cows are eating garbage.


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