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Nagpur: The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) chief Mohan Bhagwat openly backed the "Gau Rakshaks" (cow vigilantes) on Tuesday and called them "good people".
He was speaking to thousands of RSS members at the Reshimbag ground in Nagpur on the occasion of the ultra-right organisation's annual Vijayadashami event. Bhagwat said, "There are many communities like the Jains, who believe in protecting the Gau-Vansh (cow). The directive principles of state policy in our constitution also talk of 'Gau Vansh Samvardhan' (cow protection). Farmers of our country are also dependent on the cow. According to the traditions, the cow is our mother and the Gau-Rakshaks protecting the cow are good people."
He, however, asked the Gau-Rakshaks to work within the limits of the law and the constitution.
"There are laws in our country for cow protection. The present ruling dispensation did not formulate those laws. They were formulated earlier. In many of our states, cow-slaughter and cruelty to animals are prohibited by law. But sometimes in some places in these states, the Gau-Rakshaks have to do active campaigns to ensure proper implementation of such laws. They try to be within the limits of the law but when some incidents happen, the administration should not compare the Gau-Rakshaks with some anti-social elements. Both should be looked at differently. But there are elements who want to create trouble over these issues and the administration and government should not be get influenced by it. The law abiding people should be looked at differently from those who try to break it," he said.
His statement clashed with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's statement calling "80 percent Gau-Rakshaks" as fake.
Bhagwat did not forget to praise the PM and his government as well.
"It is clearly visible that the current ruling dispensation in our country is interested in working hard. They are not among those who remain indifferent and apathetic. Many schemes are going on. The expectations from this government are very high and many things are yet to be done but the way they have begun, they have given a confidence that they will do something concrete. The society is hopeful of positive changes and the country is moving ahead slowly," he said.
The RSS chief congratulated the government and the armed forces for the surgical strikes carried across the LOC.
"Our government has given a befitting reply to the enemy forces. I heartily congratulate our Government and our valorous soldiers and all the wings of our Armed Forces, who, through an efficient and expert move, have given a firm and befitting reply to this (Uri) wanton attack. It has increased our respect in the world and nuisance creators have got a message that there is a limit to our tolerance. The enemy was isolated by an effective diplomatic offensive and this government deserves praise for that," Bhagwat said.