Prevention of cow slaughter took centre stage again on Sunday as Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat called for a nationwide ban on the killing of what many Hindus consider to be a holy animal, or even their “mother”.
Bhagwat called on the government to make laws to this effect. While he acknowledged that several states had stringent laws against cow slaughter, chiefly attributing them to dedicated RSS members running these state governments, he said that there was a need for a similar law for the entire country.
While speaking at an event organised to mark the birth anniversary of Lord Mahavir in New Delhi, Bhagwat said: “Sampoorna Bharatvarsh me gauvansh hatya band ho, ye hamari ichchha hai (The killing of cows and its progeny should be banned across the entire country, that is our wish).”
Bhagwat’s remarks came two days after the Supreme Court asked the Centre and the governments of Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Karnataka, Gujarat and Maharashtra to respond within three weeks on the issue of violence perpetrated across the country by gau rakshaks (cow protection vigilantes) in the name of cow protection.