NCP president Sharad Pawar on Tuesday recalled Hindu Mahasabha leader Vinayak Savarkar's remarks on cow to lash out at RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat for seeking a complete ban on cow slaughter across the country.
Invoking Savarkar, hailed by the Hindu right, Pawar said he had termed cow as "just a useful animal" and would found nothing wrong if bovine animals were killed for meat if they became a "burden" on farmer.
Speaking at the release of his autobiography 'ApaniSharton Par' (On My Terms) here in the presence of opposition leaders, Pawar also expressed concern over the "other view"not being tolerated in the country.
"One day, the head of an organisation said that cow slaughter should be banned across the country," he said without naming Bhagwat. Referring to the recent lynching of a Muslim man by cow vigilantes in Rajasthan's Alwar, Pawar said, "People are being attacked, killed. It is strange."
The NCP veteran said there was nothing wrong if some sections of countrymen considered cow as mother, but insisted on respecting those who held a different view. "Savarkar had publicly said that cow is a useful animal.He would say he would not blame anyone if he or she kills and eats its meat when it is not useful, becomes burden on farmer.We cannot ignore his thinking," he said.
Bhagwat had on April 9 condemned violence by cow protection groups, saying it "defames" the cause but made it clear that the Hindutva organisation wanted a law banning cow slaughter across the country.
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