Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday (September 11) hit out at his critics who argue that mention of words Om and cow takes India back to the 16-17th century, saying they are hell-bent on damaging the country.
“There is a country called Rwanda in Africa. I had gone there. In Rwanda, there is a unique programme, where the government gives cows to villages with the condition that the first female calf born to the cow is taken back and given to those who do not have a cow,” he said.
“This way a chain operates. And their endeavour is that in Rwanda every household should have a cow, milk production and animal rearing, which forms the base of the economy. I have myself seen how a network to earn livelihood through a cow has been established there,” Modi said.
He was in Mathura to launch the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP) for eradicating Foot and Mouth disease and Brucellosis in livestock.
“But, it is unfortunate that in our country the moment the word Om falls on the ears of some people, they get alarmed (baal khadhe ho jaate hai),” he said.
“They also get alarmed by the word cow. They feel as if the country has gone back to the 16-17th century. This type of knowledge has only been used by people hell-bent on damaging the country and they have left no stone unturned to do so,” Modi said, without naming anyone.
He wondered whether anyone can imagine an economy operating without animal husbandry.
“In life of rural India, animal husbandry is very valuable. Can a family in a village survive without it? But, I don’t know why some people get an electric shock on hearing the word,” the prime minister wondered.