The NDA had lined up all its top leaders to make this presentation forcefully. Replying to the debate, Rajnath Singh claimed that Narendra Modi was the only Prime Minister since 1947 to have spoken openly on the problem though crimes against Dalits were a constant phenomenon. All of them asserted that Modi’s “shoot me, not my Dalit brothers” declaration was a path-breaking one by the topmost political leader.
However, a close look at the sequence of events that led to Modi’s admonishment of vigilante gau rakshaks exposed this to be a hollow claim. Instead, what it showed was a rattled and cynical politician who had subsumed all his social and political instincts to the compulsions of acquiring power and holding on to it by any means. It also revealed the apprehensions of “Team Modi” about the party’s prospects in the forthcoming electoral contests, particularly in UP and Gujarat. Central to this fear is the depletion of support among Dalits in the wake of the onslaught against them by gau rakshaks.
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