Amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s stringent remarks against ‘cow vigilantes’, former VHP leader and BJP-ruled Madhya Pradesh government official Mahamandleshwar Swami Akhileshwaranand Giri, on Monday said that “the third world war will start over a cow”.
Giri is the chairman of executive council of the Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board, which is responsible for protecting and conserving the cow in a state with a recent history of vigilantism.
“The cow has always been a source of contention. There are references in mythology and the first war of independence in 1857 began over the cow,” said Swami Giri.
The 61-year-old spiritual guru got the title of Mahamandleshwar of Niranjani Akhara in March 2010.
“It’s natural for gau rakshaks to get angry when they see dead or injured cows packed in vehicles because it’s an emotive issue for them,” he further added.
Swami Giri, however, said that gau rakshaks should not break the law and should let the police take the necessary action.
“They should not take the law into their own hands and should wait for the police to come once they stop such vehicles. When all states pass stricter anti-cow slaughter laws, smuggling of cattle through state borders will become impossible,” he said.
Swami Giri has been associated with the Ram Janmabhoomi movement and was also said to be involved in “reconversion” of Christians to Hinduism in Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh.
The reaction from the 61-year-old Swami came a day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi alled for stringent action against fake cow protectors and said that some people want 'tanaav' (tension) in the society in the name of 'cow protection'.
“I request the state governments to make a list of such fake vigilantes and take stringent action against them. These people do not care about protection of cows.
They just want to create tension in society in the name of cow protection,” PM Modi had said.