Condemning “nationwide attacks on minorities and Dalits,” speakers from various walks of life, belonging to different religions, urged the people to be “united amid the attempts to create intolerance.”
Speaker after speaker, addressing the gathering of over 500 people, during the public meeting on ‘Plant justice, Harvest peace,’ organised by Association of All Goa Muslim Jamaats and Council for Social Justice and Peace at Azad Maidan in the city on Saturday, described “the rising incidents of lynching of people ferrying cows and calves as well as possessing beef” as a humiliation to humanity, and slammed the Modi government for creating such a situation for diverting the citizens’ mind from the promised development.
Fr Savio Fernandes, executive secretary of Council for Justice and Peace, Shaikh Basheer Ahmed, president of Association of All Goa Muslim Jamaats and Fr Maverick Fernandes of Council for Social Justice and Peace were also present.
An Islamic scholar from Jamat-e-Islami Minaz Banu said that these kind of incidents were unheard of in India earlier.
“People were not killed or beaten up for eating beef or trading in cattle skin. But today, in India, cow is more precious than the life of a human. India’s diversity is under siege by its own ruler and every citizen is worried about it. We must be united against intolerance,” he added.
“Within Hindu communities, the formation of cow protection groups has intensified in the recent years and has also contributed to the spread of rumours and hate speech. Nobody has a right to kill human beings in the name of protection of cows. The Constitution of India has protected one’s very right to live with dignity. If in this nation, cow is more important than human life then where would humans go”, said Chandrakant Jadhav, a Dalit activist.
He asked the cow lovers to feed old and non-milching cows to prove that they really care for them.
While narrating “a very sorry state of affairs in India,” Asif Hussein, the campaign convenor for Peace and Humanity Forum Goa, said that in the early days of the Modi regime, a programme called ‘Ghar Wapsi,’ was initiated which was meant to forcefully reconvert the Muslims who had left the Hindu faith generations ago.
“The ban on eating beef, and lynching incidents are all obvious attempts to divert dismal performance of the ruling party. This agenda will not make India a progressive nation, but a reactionary state. This is worrying,” he said.
Former panch of Soccoro panchayat Soter D’Souza expressed concern over the way the government is handling the investigation in desecrations.
The law and order situation in the state is very saddening,” he said observing that the police have failed to catch the main culprits, and added that the involvement of only one accused was hard to