Madinat al-Muslimeen Islamic Message Board
|Hindu nationalists in india promote cow's urine as a health cure.....|
|09/04/01 at 13:41:21|
|A gift from the gods: bottled cow's urine|
By Julian West in New Delhi
HINDU nationalists in India have launched a marketing exercise to promote
cow's urine as a health cure for ailments ranging from liver disease to
obesity and even cancer.
The urine, which is being sold under the label "Gift of the Cow", is being
enthusiastically promoted by the government of Gujarat, one of three
states in India dominated by Hindu nationalists.
The urine is collected daily from almost 600 shelters for rescued and
wounded cattle set up by the Vishwa Hindu Parisad (VHP), or World Council
of Holy men, as part of a government cow-protection programme to save the
country's sacred, but often maltreated, beasts.
Advertised as being "sterilised and completely fresh" it is available for
20 rupees (30p) a bottle at about 50 centres run by the VHP in Gujerat,
from 200 of their outlets in neighbouring Madhya Pradesh, and at fairs and
religious festivals throughout India.
It also comes in tablets or a cream mixed with other traditional medicinal
herbs. Demand is currently outstripping supply.
Dr Jadi Patel at the VHP's headquarters in Ahmedabad said: "It's very
popular because the results are very good, but we've got a shortage." He
explained that the cow protection centres had been formed after the last
grand gathering of saddhus, or holy men, to save cows from "unofficial
slaughter by Muslims".
Killing cows is illegal in most Indian states but there are an estimated
32,000 illegal abattoirs and 13.7 million cows are believed to be
slaughtered by Muslims for the leather industry.
Animal rights activists in India also claim that the doe-eyed, hump-backed
white Brahma cattle that are to be found on almost every Indian street are
subjected to various abuses, including forced pregnancies to produce more
The cow protection commission was set up to protect the holy cows, and
research conducted by doctors involved in the project revealed that the
cows' urine had medicinal properties.
The idea of using it came from the central Indian headquarters of the
Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), the powerful Hindu nationalist
ideologues behind the country's Bharata Janata Party (BJP), where five
scientists are researching its beneficial effects.
Like all devout Hindus, RSS members believe that all cow products are
sacred. Ghee, or clarified butter, is used in Indian cooking and to light
lamps during temple ceremonies, and milk is commonly poured over sacred
idols as an offering.
The healing properties of cow dung and cow's urine are also mentioned in
ancient Hindu texts. The research conducted by doctors at the
cow-protection commission indicates that the urine can cure anything from
skin diseases, kidney and liver ailments to obesity and heart ailments.
Although most Indian doctors view the medicines as eccentric, several
advocates of the treatment have come forward in Gujarat, have come forward
to support the doctors' claims.
They include Vidhyaben Mehta, a 65-year-old woman with a cancerous tumour
on her chest who has been taking cow's urine for the past three years. She
says she is no longer in pain and has survived in spite of medical
predictions that she would die two years ago.
So enthusiastic is the Gujarat government about its cows' urine medicines
that it has asked the Indian Institute of Management to compile a database
of traditional cures and verify the Hindu nationalists' findings.
The academics have also discovered that cow's urine is an extremely
effective pesticide and plant fertiliser and are now developing for human
consumption new drugs that contain the "gift of the cow".
Prof Anil Gupta at the institute said: "This isn't just a religious thing.
If it's useful we shouldn't stop it simply because we think it has
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