Akhileshwaranand Giri is the chairman of executive council of the Madhya Pradesh Gaupalan Evam Pashudhan Samvardhan Board, a position that tasks him with protecting and conserving the cow in a state with a recent history of vigilantism. He is the first religious person to hold the post.
Addressing journalists at his office today, the monk was quoted as warning cow rearers, farmers and authorities over using violence to sort out their differences.
“The third world war will start over a cow. The cow has always been a source of contention. There are references in mythology and the first war of independence in 1857 began over the cow,
“It’s natural for gau rakshaks (cattle owners) to get angry when they see dead or injured cows packed in vehicles because it’s an emotive issue for them. They should not take the law into their own hands and should wait for the police to come once they stop such vehicles. When all states pass stricter anti-cow slaughter laws, smuggling of cattle through state borders will become impossible.”