Fanaticism at its peak gets alienated from the core ideology it originated and becomes volatile, violent and uncontrollable. It loses the sense of differentiating between friends and foe. The recent incident of the killing of a BJP worker in Karnataka by VHP and Bajarang Dal cow vigilantes is a reminder to those who are plying with the fire which has now started engulfing its own ardent followers.
BJP leader, Praveen Poojary from Udupi district of Karnataka along with his friend Akshay Devadiga were attacked with sharp weapons by the VHP and Bajrang Dal activists when they were found transporting cows in a vehicle. Poojary died instantly in this brutal attack while Devadiga was admitted to a hospital.
So far eighteen people have been arrested in connection with the incident and all of them are associated with the Hindu Jagrana Vedike, a fringe right wing Hindu organisation from the state. Hindu Jagrana Vedike has been infamous in the state for moral policing and there were demands to ban the organisation.
A few days ago Prime Minister Narendra Modi broke his silence on the ever increasing incidents of violence in the name of cow protection and said that most of the self-proclaimed ‘gau-rakshaks’ are anti-social elements. He even urged the state governments to prepare a dossier of such self-proclaimed volunteers. But his home state Gujarat took a reverse gear and the Gujarat Gau Seva Ayog announced that it is considering giving cow protectors validated identity card. But this would worsen the situation and would become an ideal example of cure more dangerous than disease, since it will give some kind of licence, and accreditation to vigilantism.
What the state governments and centre need to do with immediate effect is declaring all self-proclaimed cow protection organisation illegal and ban them.
An ex-gratia compensation of Rs 10 lakh and four flats were announced by the Uttar Pradesh government to the kin of 50-year old Mohammad Akhlaq. But in Poojary’s case both centre and the state government kept mum.