“Gai sanaatan dharma ki pehchaan hai,“ Adityanath told ET, referring to the cow as being a symbol of orthodox Hinduism.“There is no doubt that it is the link between India’s spiritual and economic cosmology. Gauvansh (cow genealogy) and gausampada (the animal’s variety) bridge the temporal and religious worlds in India.“
The Narendra Modi-led BJP’s resounding victory in the general election last year followed by the party doing well in some state polls strengthened the cow preservation movement. Mah arashtra’s BJPled government enforced a law banning the slaughter of bulls and bullocks in March.Anyone who sells beef or has it in their possession is liable to face five years in jail and fines.Police in the state’s Malegaon town have asked people who own cows to provide them with pho tographs of each animal, presumably to help keep track of the bovines.
Haryana, another state with a new BJP government, recently banned cow slaughter. Those breaking the law could face jail time of 10 years and fines.
Home Minister Rajnath Singh, on a recent visit to a Border Security Force station on the India-Bangladesh border, called for the prevention of “cows crossing over“ in order to discourage beef eating in the neighbouring country.
Adityanath is clear that the people of India are keen on the cause. “We have launched this campaign because this is the majority sentiment and it should be acknowledged with some national status being accorded to cows,“ he said. “People’s sentiments should be acknowledged… This should be accompanied by a total ban on cow slaughter across the country.“
Adityanath is confident that the party’s membership push method will work for the cow campaign as well.
“This is just one strategy to build awareness and demonstrate numbers, since the BJP’s enrolment drive managed to net over 9 crore members and made the party the largest political party in the world,“ he said. Some non-supporters have questioned that claim, saying that they have received messages welcoming them to the party even though they had no intention of joining the organisation.
There is no time limit for the Mother India campaign, which has drawn support from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) as well.