The Opposition in Rajya Sabha today launched a frontal attack on the BJP over growing attacks on Dalits and other sections, saying a “Taliban-like attitude” was prevailing in some parts of the country and the ‘Gujarat model’ had been thoroughly exposed.
Participating in a discussion on recent incidents of atrocities on Dalits in various parts of the country, the members also said the situation in Gujarat was “explosive” as Dalits were attempting to commit suicide.
The debate came amid large-scale protests after the recent case in Una in Gujarat, where four Dalit youths were brutally beaten up in public by some cow vigilantes.
Initiating the discussion, senior JD(U) leader Sharad Yadav sought a ban on ‘Gau Rakshaks’ (cow vigilantes) operating in some parts of the country.
He said there was a “Taliban-like attitude” and it was matter of shame that even after 70 years of independence, atrocities against dalits, especially women, were increasing.
“Who created these ‘Gau Rakshaks’? Why doesn’t the government ban them? What is this tamasha? …. We talk about Taliban … our caste system has a Taliban-like attitude, we need to discuss that,” Yadav said.
Observing that the youths were joining such groups because of rising unemployment, Yadav said “in Gujarat, these Gau Rakshaks say 33 crore gods and goddesses live in the cow. Such superstitions are being spread in this country.”
Congress leader Ahmed Patel said the situation in Gujarat was “explosive” as Dalits were attempting suicide.
He warned that the Centre should ensure that the recent “shameful” incident does not turn into a communal one ahead of next year’s Assembly elections in the state. “You have talked about Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, but the situation is just the opposite.”
Patel said the real face of the Gujarat model of development was being exposed now. “We have always said that Gujarat model worked for the benefit of few industrialists. They (BJP) have always divided the society and ruled.”
Terming the situation as “very explosive” in Gujarat, he said if urgent steps are not taken to control it, then the situation might explode.
He said the centre should not have “arrogance” of having absolute majority” and steps should be taken to reach out to people. He also questioned why Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel met the victims only yesterday even though the incident had taken place over a week ago.