Smarting under Priyank Kharge’s warning against cow vigilantism, right-wing trolls twist his statement

Can it get any more interesting than that? The BJP invoking the Constitution to justify the illegal actions of Hindutva vigilantes! And the right-wing's frustration with fact-checkers is palpable

Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge (IANS photo)
Karnataka minister Priyank Kharge (IANS photo)

NH Digital

As Karnataka social welfare minister Priyank Kharge issued a strict warning to cow vigilantes on Eid-ul-Azha, an army of right-wing trolls, led by Karnataka BJP, came out howling about ‘cow protection’ and shared a clipped video of Kharge’s statement.

In the video, Kharge is heard telling police officers to not let anybody take law into their hands, no matter which ‘dal’ they are from, in the name of cow.

“If they (vigilantes) take law in their own hands, kick them and put them behind bars. [The] law is very clear. All transportation of livestock, whether it is within city limits or in rural areas, if they have permission and documents, stop the harassment,” Kharge is heard saying in the video in Kannada.   

“Will you sit in the police station after giving your work to them (cow vigilantes)? If anybody is illegally smuggling the animals, be it livestock or any other animals, put them behind bars. There is no denying. But even after having all permissions if someone else is harassing, you ask them ‘who are you [to take law into your hands]’,” the minister added.

But the right-wing trolls, as is their expertise, gave a bizarre twist to Kharge’s statement. A troll wrote on Twitter, “If anyone comes to rescue cows during Bakrid and do moral policing, kick them and throw them in Jail:  Priyank Kharge.” And there are dozens of other tweets on similar lines.

The icing on the cake, however, came from the Karnataka BJP unit. “Article 48 of the Indian Constitution clearly prohibits the slaughter of animals, particularly in public spaces. However, @PriyankKharge is abusing his power by not only promoting illegal cow slaughter but also pressuring police officials to arrest anyone who opposes it,” the state BJP unit’s official handle tweeted.

Can it get any more interesting than that? The BJP invoking the Constitution to justify the illegal actions of Hindutva vigilantes!

Also, when Mohammed Zubair of Alt News shared the English translation of Kharge’s full statement along with the video—which called out the right-wing’s bluff—the BJP got exasperated and tweeted: “Minister @PriyankKharge has now unleashed his fact-checking toolkit gang to defend his abuse of power and unconstitutional acts.”

“It appears that Kharge Prince has forgotten the ideals of Constitution, to which he took an oath, and is instead toeing the lines of jihadi elements,” the BJP added.

So now if a minister tells the police to go by the law, it’s unconstitutional as per the BJP? And also, does BJP think that all the Indian Muslims offering sacrifices on Bakrid are jihadists? If it is so, why didn’t PM Modi declare it as much when he was asked by a reporter in the US a few days back about Indian minorities?

Instead of beating about the bush on democracy and Constitution etc, the PM should have been brave enough to tell the world that his party thinks Muslims lawfully practising their religion in India are all jihadists.  

Meanwhile, Muslims in India are set to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha (commonly and wrongly called Bakrid, the term cleary derived from bakri, or goat) on June 29.


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