New Delhi, Aug 21 (Reuters) – For the past five years, the Hindu Jagannath Yuva Morcha (HJM), a self-styled cow protection movement that seeks to safeguard the cow in India, has been at the centre of a debate about cow protection.
Its slogan is “No cow, no India”.
But the movement has faced strong opposition, particularly from traditional owners and farmers.
It has faced threats from local governments and the state government in some parts of the country, where it has a strong presence.
It also faces allegations that the movement is a front for an international conspiracy against the cow.
The HJM is backed by some well-known politicians in India including Shivraj Singh Chouhan, the current chief minister of Uttar Pradesh state, and former prime minister Manmohan Singh.
But critics say the movement lacks a clear ideological and political direction.
Its main spokesman, Rakesh Rana, a well-respected lawyer, has defended its actions against farmers, saying that it is necessary to protect the cow because it is a “spiritual and physical resource” that has been stolen from the soil.
The movement, which started as a peaceful campaign to protect cows, has morphed into a controversial movement with allegations of widespread human rights violations.HJMs leader Rana has been accused of human rights abuses against farmers and has been indicted by a Delhi court.
He denies the allegations.