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'Attack me, not Dalits; shoot me, not Dalits': says PM Modi as he urges to stop politics on issue

India TV Politics Desk Hyderabad 07 Aug 2016, 23:06:52 PM IST
India TV Politics Desk

A day after breaking his silence on cow vigilantism and continuing the attack against ‘gau rakshaks’ the next day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday denounced attacks on Dalits and urged opponents to stop doing politics on the issue . 

“If you want to attack, attack me and not Dalits. If you want to shoot, shoot me and not Dalits,” Modi said in an emotional appeal. 

“I want to tell people that discrimination between people is not acceptable. We must stop this,” PM Modi said at the BJP workers meeting in Hyderabad. 

Terming those who commit atrocities against Dalits as anti-social, PM said, “We will have to strive hard to protect our nation from such anti-social elements, we will have to expose such people.” 

Also Read: Beware of 'fake' cow vigilantes who want 'tanaav' in society: PM Modi speaks again

“We are the people who talk about 'Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam' and if we cannot embrace our Dalit brothers & sisters, world will not forgive us,” he added. 

Questioning what right we have to ill treat Dalits, PM asked, ““There are few incidents that are very shameful. It is our duty to protect and respect the poor and Dalit people of our country. What right do we have to ill treat our Dalit brothers and sisters?” 

“I want to tell people that discrimination between people is not acceptable. We must stop this,” he said. 

PM’s emotional speech came on the day when he urged people to beware of 'fake' cow vigilantes and asked state governments to severely punish them.

Yesterday, at a Town Hall-style address to mark the second anniversary of his government's MyGov initiative, the PM had rebuked the cow vigilantes and said that most of them were anti-social" elements who are running "shops" in the name of cow protection which makes him "angry". 

Also Read: ‘Absolutely humbug’: Opposition finds PM Modi’s denunciation of cow vigilantes insufficient

His comments come at a time when his government and BJP are facing flak over incidents of violence against Dalits and Muslims by cow vigilantes in various states including Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh. 

Last month, in his home state of Gujarat, four dalits were publicly thrashed by cow vigilantes for skinning a dead cow. Subsequently, Dalits in the state have united and protesting all over the state against the ‘oppression’ by upper caste Hindus.