Raising her voice against the rising Hindutva in India, renowned actress and Member of Indian Parliament Jaya Bachchan said on Wednesday that the Modi government was busy protecting cows, not women.
Bachchan’s remarks came after a BJP youth leader announced Rs1.1 million reward for anyone who beheads West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee
“Must take steps for protection of women aggressively, you are protecting cows but women are facing atrocities,” said Bachchan while speaking in Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian Parliament.
Earlier, Yogesh Varshney, a member of the Bharatiya Janata Yuva Morcha, on camera threatened the Chief Minister while accusing her of a police crackdown on a rally in Birbhum, around 180 km from Kolkata.
Alleging that people were beaten up by the police, he called the chief minister a “demon” and said, “When I saw the video, I only had one thought… that if anyone gets me Mamata Banerjee’s head I will give them 11 lac.”
Instances of vigilantism have grown with so-called gau rakshaks (cow protectors) accused of violence and even murder.
Jaya Bachchan charged, “How dare anybody talk like this, especially about women? Is this the way you are going to be protecting the women of this country? Women are feeling insecure…is this what you are promoting?”
Earlier this month, a Muslim man died after being attacked by a mob while transporting cows in the Indian state of Rajistan, police officials confirmed.
Cows, considered sacred by many Hindus, came back into focus after a controversial Hindutva hardliner Yogi Aditynath won a landslide victory in Uttar Pradesh in March and launched a crackdown on illegal slaughterhouses.