Dola Sen makes a Special Mention on the rising incidents of violence against particular communities by vigilante groups

Over the last one month, our nation has been a mute witness to brutal acts of horror on a particular section of people by vigilante groups in the name of cow protection. Innocent lives have been lost and families scarred while democracy has been bulldozed.

The Centre is a mute spectator as a few vigilante groups are dictating what people can eat or wear. This is gross interference with personal choices. As the Chief Minister of West Bengal and the Chairperson of All India Trinamool Congress has said, if I consume goat meat, there is no problem, but if someone else has cow meat, it is a problem. We may like wearing dhotis but someone else may prefer lungis. Who are you to decide what people will wear and eat?

Some groups have started going from house to house in rural Bengal and asking people how many cows they own. Who has given them the right to do so? Why should it be of any concern to anyone how many cows, goats or hens a person has?

Moreover, education is being politicised in several parts of the country. Textbooks have now become serious instruments for the proliferation of communal tensions in north India. Researches on violence in north India show that the new history textbooks play a major role in the construction of communal violence in many micro-regions in north Indian states.

The government needs to take stock of the situation before it goes out of hand and rein in these vigilante groups. The Centre needs to reinforce the faith people have in our Constitution and act as per the vision of the founding fathers of our great democracy.