Seven members of a Dalit family were allegedly beaten up by a group of gau rakshaks (cow vigilante group) for skinning a dead cow in Una town of Gir Somnath district in Gujarat. A purported video of the victims being attacked with iron rods and sticks was circulated on social media. In the video, some of the victims are seen tied to a car, while the accused are beating them up.
A report revealed that after beating up the family in the village, the accused put four of the victims in a car and drove them to Una town. There, they stripped the four men, paraded them on the streets and hit them in full public view. When the police arrived, the attackers fled in their car.
Now, this clearly shows the state of condition of Dalits in our country. Can we really claim that our society is developing when these kind of incidents are happening in some parts of the country? Is this the India of the 21st century that one dreams of? Is it the story of the world's fastest growing economy?
To say it in a decent manner, it’s the most shameful act India has witnessed in the recent past, and perpetrators should be punished in the harshest possible manner according to the rule of law.
Union home minister Rajnath Singh condemned the incident and praised the Gujarat government's handling of the situation. "Nine people have been arrested so far. Four police officials have been suspended for negligence of duty," the minister informed.
While another side, a Shiv Sena activist Ramesh Goswami, was quoted as having defended the criminals saying, "We had information about some people killing a cow for beef." He boasted that cow slaughter would not be tolerated.
With leaders like Goswami, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah might have to pay a heavy price—they would do more harm than good to the party. And the BJP must understand that The Gau Rakshaks can only repel Dalit votes, can't attract them.
These are issues where all parties must arrive at a political consensus. These incidents are absolutely unprecedented in developing a society which has deep roots in culture and traditions.