Prime Minister Narendra Modi, by now famous for hiding his failure to guarantee equal rights and protection to every citizen of the country by keeping a guarded silence, finally spoke up against the barbaric violence of cow vigilantes - not once but twice in less than 24 hours.
Prime Minister Modi's "anguish" over the brazen violence unleashed in the name of cow protection came after some Dalit youths were beaten up in Gujarat leading to widespread protests all across the country.
The level of “anguish” and “pain” our prime minister has gone through can be judged by his choice of words.
"Mujhe gussa aata hai (I feel anguished)," he said on Saturday while lamenting that more cows die by swallowing plastics than by slaughtering.
In less than 24 hours, the prime minister again slammed the cow protectors, and called for isolating and punishing what he termed as the fake "gau rakshaks" (cow protectors). He also said the cow vigilantes were out to destroy the social fabric
"I would like to tell these people that if you have any problem, if you have to attack, attack me. Stop attacking my Dalit brethren. If you have to shoot, shoot me, but not my Dalit brothers. This game should stop," he said addressing BJP workers in Telangana.
Modi also said at times some incidents come to notice which give us "unbearable pain".
"It should be our responsibility to save and respect them (Dalits)”, the prime minister is quoted as saying by the media.
"Is there any reason that we treat our Dalit brothers this way. What right we have to make these sections suffer when they are sufferings for centuries," he asked.
The Prime Minister’s speech expressing “pain” and “anguish” over attacks on Dalits is making media headlines. But, while going through media reports, I was shocked to realize that the prime minister has not once mentioned the word “Muslims” (or the word “minorities” as used by the people who don’t like to use word “Muslims” and instead use “minorities” to refer them) in his speech.
How can a prime minister be so selective and indifferent to his own countrymen?
The prime minister repeatedly asked the Gau Rakshaks to shun violence against Dalits, totally ignoring similar attacks on Muslims. What does it mean? Attacks on Muslims do not worry the prime minister?
Doesn’t the prime minister know about Dadri resident and father of an engineer working with Indian Air Force (IAF) Mohammad Akhlaque, who was beaten to death by the hands of cow vigilantes?
Doesn’t the prime minister know how a man with his 14-year-old teenaged son was beaten to death and their dead bodies hanged to a tree for days by cow protectors in Jharkhand?
Wasn’t it barbaric for the prime minister when cattle traders were beaten in Rajasthan and Haryana and were forced to eat cow dung, the incidents filmed and posted on social media sites?
Why couldn’t the prime minister feel the pain of two Muslim women who were beaten at a railway station in Madhya Pradesh by the Gau Rakshaks?
If the prime minister had felt the pain of Muslims, and he must as he is prime minister of the entire country and not a section, and because he makes everyone to believe that he believes in “Sab ka Saath Sab ka Vikas”, then why the prime minister, who was silent for two years when Muslims were beaten and humiliated by Gau Rakshaks, could not refer them at least once in his speech while expressing anguish over similar attacks on Dalits?
Aren’t Muslims the citizens of India? Isn’t it the constitutional responsibility of the prime minister to make sure that the Muslims should also live here in peace and harmony, and with the same respect and dignity the prime minister is asking for Dalits?
Prime Minister Modi advised others to refrain from playing caste politics. He talked about “social disturbance” many times during his address, and also about discrimination on the basis of language and caste.
But, what about “communal disturbance” the outfits affiliated to the patron organization of the prime minister are creating to gain political mileage? Why is Prime Minister Modi silent over discrimination in the name of religion?
True, the Dalits have suffered a lot and their discrimination just because of their castes should be stopped. But, are communal polarisation and discrimination based on religion good for the country? If not, and certainly not, then why the prime minister did not utter a single word against communal violence and discrimination based on religion?
Courtesy to the past record of the prime minister, and the aims and objectives of the organization he belongs to, I always had doubts about this government doing anything good for the Muslims. But, I certainly hoped that a person, who happens to be a prime minister of a country, is not so reckless and unkind to his own citizens. Kaash aap khamoosh hi rehte!!!
Footnote: Prime Minister Modi posted on Twitter as a routine photographs of his Andhra and Telangana visits today. The caption of one such photo reads, "Mohammed Mukhtar Ali Khan presented this portrait to me. Much honoured."
[Aleem Faizee is Chief Editor of ummid.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.]