Restorative Justice Approach to Cow Vigilante Violence in India

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  • Muhammad Akram Eastern Mennonite University
  • Asim Nasar Universiti Teknologi Malaysia
  • Muhammad Rizwan Safdar University of the Punjab, Pakistan
  • Falak Sher Government College University Faisalabad, Pakistan



cow vigilantism, historic harm, India, religious minorities, violence.


This paper elaborates on a restorative justice approach to cow vigilante violence in India, intending to develop specific arguments put forward in previous works. It covers the historical, political, and economic aspects of cow vigilante violence against Muslim and Dalit minorities in India, where majority Hindus believe in the cow as a mother to be protected from harm or slaughter. A comparative analysis approach is used to relate the past and present context of cow vigilantism in India. Schematic diagrams are used to discuss the trends, legislation, and restorative governmentalities in terms of building peace among the communities. The key findings suggest that to influence violent and oppressor ideologies of Hindu nationalists in today’s India, Muslims should rationally acknowledge the historic harm Muslim rulers have caused to Hindus. This paper recommends adopting an emergent system for change and triangulating the response to violence to overcome the cow vigilante violence in India. To transform the violent ideologies against Muslims and Dalits over cow protection, the government of India needs to adopt a holistic approach to transform violence and restrict political misuse of the notion of cow protection.


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How to Cite

Akram, M., Nasar, A., Safdar, M. R., & Sher, F. (2020). Restorative Justice Approach to Cow Vigilante Violence in India. Journal of Ethnic and Cultural Studies, 8(1), 190–205.



Original Manuscript
Received 2020-09-21
Accepted 2020-12-07
Published 2020-12-15

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