My Father’s Memory of Gau Raksha Andolan 1966

– by R. K. Chopra

My Father Shri Dev Kumar Chopra is now in his eighties. He gets very agitated when he comes across any news of trafficking of cows for slaughter across state or country’s borders. We come from a Hindu Khatri Family from Varanasi. My Father’s Guru, and my Guru, was Shri Harihara Nand Sarswati popularly known as Swami Karpatri Ji Maharaj. Many of his books were published from my house at Sati Chabutara, Varanasi where ‘Sanmarg Karyalaya’ (Sanmarg Magzine) was located. Even the first publication of Goswami Tulsidas: Ram Charit Manas was published from my house, much before; it was published by Gita Press.

Our family owned a Movie hall, then known as Nishat Talkies at Godowlia*. Post Independence my Father became an active member of Ram Rajya Parishad a political party who mostly allied with Hindu Maha Sabha. I am narrating his memories of that day of Goraksha Andolan, the 7th November 1966 which he has been telling us since our childhood.
“We were advancing towards Sansad Bhawan, making slogan Gaumata ki Jai. Then there was this firing. People started running. I saw a Sadhu in saffron dress lying in pool of blood. Nobody dared to help him. A person, later I came to know he was a watchman from some building, urged everyone to help the Sadhu. Nobody else dared. I said let us go. We two advanced. A security person pointed gun at us. After a few moments, suddenly, he lowered his gun. Probably realising our good intention, Security person moved away a few feet. We reached the Sadhu .He was in great pain, hit by a bullet in thigh. We lifted him. Sadhu was bulky. I too had great body but we two had great difficulty in carrying him for some 40-50 feet, after which the crowd came for help. I do not know whether that Sadhu survived or what happened to him. The media was not so vocal or unbiased then; so such event never made a headline or I would rather say even a line. I salute such soldiers who fought or still fighting for Our Gaumata.

Gau Mata Ki Jai
Bharat Mata Ki Jai

*Very few people know that down town Varanasi- Godowlia is named after Gau Dhuli, i.e. the Dust atmosphere generated during evening when cowherds used to return back after grazing. Why the morning period is not called Gau Dhuli when the cows go out has logic. You know that in morning, the village or forest atmosphere remains slightly moist and the dust generation is low. But in evening, ground gets baked dry by Sun and with tens of thousands cows returning it becomes Gau Dhuli.