Monday, December 28, 2015

E-Commerce: Cow Dung Sales Hot on Amazon and eBay in India

Cow patties -- cow poop mixed with hay and dried in the sun, made mainly by Indian women in rural area -- are among the hottest selling items by online retailers including Amazon and eBay in India, according to media reports. Some retailers are offering discounts for large orders and offering free gift wrapping.


Cow dung has a special spiritual significance in Hindu religion. The cows in India do not eat non-vegetarian items and only eat grass or grains which makes cow dung holy and acceptable. In a lot of pujas (worship rituals), both dried and fresh cow dung is used.  From Govardhan Puja to havans, cow dung is used during pujas.

In many spiritual "yagnas", the fire is lit using dried cow dung and desi ghee (clarified butter). It is believed that burning cow dung with ghee is one of the best ways to purify the home, according to BoldSky.com.

In addition, cow dung is the most widely used fuel in India for heating and cooking in rural areas. However, the online orders are coming mostly from cities where it would be difficult to buy dung cakes. The cakes are sold in packages that contain two to eight pieces weighing 200 grams (7 ounces) each. Prices range from 100 to 400 rupees ($1.50 to $6) per package.

Hindus do not eat beef but cow urine  and cow dung are considered sacred.  Urine is believed to be beneficial by Hindus as both a beverage and used for purification of buildings. American newspaper USA Today published a story earlier this year about a urine bottling plant in Haridwar, India. A recent Times of India report said cow urine was used by a group of Hindu activists for cleaning some government buildings.

Online sales of cow dung offer a uniquely Indian blend of ancient Hindu culture and modern information technology being embraced in the country.  Rise of Hindu Nationalists to power under Prime Minister Narendra Modi has given renewed impetus to total Hinduization of India.

Related Links:

Haq's Musings

Coffe, Tea or Pee?

Hinduization of India

Brievik's Hindutva Rhetoric

Indian Textbooks

India's RAW's Successes in Pakistan


37 comments:

Singh said...

WTF, Cows in Pakistan eats Mutton Biryani.

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: "WTF, Cows in Pakistan eats Mutton Biryani."

Not all cows are grass-fed. American farms often mix meat in cattle feed for beef production

Jan said...

Panchagavya
Panchagavya
or
panchakavyam is a concoction prepared by mixing five products of cow. The three direct constituents are cow dung, urine, and milk; the two derived products are curd and ghee. These are mixed in proper ratio and then allowed to ferment. Panchamrita is a similar mixture that replaces dung and urine with honey and sugar. The mixture which is made using yeast as a fermenter, bananas, groundnut cake, and the water of tender coconut, is a potent organic pesticide and growth promoter. The Sanskrit word Panchagavya means "mixture of five cow products," and it has been used in traditional Indian rituals throughout history. It is also called cowpathy treatment based on products obtained from cows used inAyurvedic medicine and of religious significance for Hindus. Panchgavya is also used as fertilizers and pesticides in agricultural operations

Anonymous said...

For us cow is holy animal. And thats it.
In our holy books lot of written about cow. And it is religious matter.
Goupnishad is one upnishad is written on cow. And we worship cow.it is since thousand years.
This is religious matter and you do not have any right when you does not have knowledge.

Thanks
Anurag

Iyengar Thaligai said...

The bigger problem in India is intolerance when it comes to beef consumption, similar to what is seen in Pakistan with pork consumption. We all need to learn how to live and let live or in this case, eat and let eat.

Shams S. said...

Riaz, I admire your choice of words for this article's title.

Riaz Haq said...

Shams: "Riaz, I admire your choice of words for this article's title."

Bullshit!!!!

Anonymous said...



Amazon and eBay are selling cow dung patties used in religious rituals in India

Online retailers Amazon and eBay are flogging a bizarre product that online shoppers in India can't get enough of - cow dung patties.

The product consists of animal excrement mixed with hay and is made mainly by women in rural areas and used to fuel fires.

It has long been available on the streets of India's villages.

But now online retailers including Amazon and eBay are reaching out to the country's ever-increasing urban population.

In India, where Hindus worship cows as sacred, cow dung cakes have been used for centuries to fuel fires for cooking or Hindu rituals .

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/weird-news/amazon-ebay-selling-cow-dung-7080470?ICID=ref_fark

Riaz Haq said...

High joblessness in #Modi's #India forces 75,000 high-school & college grads to beg on the streets http://toi.in/ABTHqa via @timesofindia

"I may be poor but I am an honest man. I beg as it fetches me more money, Rs 200 a day. My last job of a ward boy in a hospital got me only Rs 100 a day," said Dinesh Khodhabhai (45), a class 12 pass who can speak half-way decent English.
Dinesh is part of a motley group of 30 beggars who seek alms around Bhadra Kali temple in Ahmedabad. Before their work begins, they sip hot tea offered gratis by a city philanthropist.
Sudhir Babulal (51) is a third-year BCom fail beggar who earns Rs 150 per day. Sudhir had come to Ahmedabad from Vijapur town with dreams of a good life but masonry jobs were erratic, fetching him Rs 3,000 for a 10-hour shift and nothing for weeks on end. "After my wife left me, where was the need to keep a house? I sleep on the riverfront and beg," said Sudhir.
Dashrath Parmar (52), who has an MCom degree from Gujarat University, is another pan-handler. This father of three, who aspired for government service but lost even the private job he had, today lives off free meals offered by charity organizations. His mother is hospitalized.
Ashok Jaisur, who cleared high school from Mumbai, begs in Lal Darwaza area. He left his job as a security guard after he lost sight due to cataract and now begs.

"I have only one wish: to make my son Raj an animator," says Ashok who feeds his nine girls and wife from income earned off the streets.
"It's difficult to rehabilitate beggars as they get lured back due to easy money," says Biren Joshi of Manav Sadhana, an NGO working with beggars.
"People with degrees turning to begging reflects the grim employment scenario. People turn to soliciting alms when they do not get decent jobs and have no social support to fall back on," says sociologist Gaurang Jani.

Riaz Haq said...

Children are rolled in COW DUNG in #Indian village. #India #Hindu http://dailym.ai/1XBcu1r via @MailOnline

It's never dung me any harm... Parents roll children and babies in COW MANURE in Indian village where locals believe it protects them from disease
Parents have been rolling their children in cow dung in an Indian village
They believe the manure brings children good luck and a healthy life
The practice takes place after India's biggest Hindu festival, Diwali
Cows are sacred in Hindu faith and they they believe the dung has medicinal properties

Its a tradition that Indians believe will bring their children good luck and protect them from disease.
And scores of parents have been lining up in the tiny village of Betul in Madhya Pradesh to roll their youngsters in cow pat.
People in the small village believe that smearing the dung on their young sons and daughters help to give them a healthy life free from ailments.

Groups of villagers gather around the heap and wait for their turn to place their children in the excrement.
The practice continues from dusk until dawn until each child in the village has had their turn.
The bizarre ritual has been followed for centuries and locals says their children have benefited because of the dipping.

The cow is considered one of the most sacred animals in Hinduism and they are worshipped as revered creatures.
Many Hindu preachers believe that cow urine and dung have medicinal properties.
Meanwhile cow slaughter and the consumption of beef is banned in certain parts of India.


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3344099/It-s-never-dung-harm-Parents-roll-children-babies-COW-MANURE-Indian-village-locals-believe-protects-disease.html#ixzz3vpATd3Un
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Rizwan said...

I don't know about any medicinal value, and we obviously don't have any use for them in religious ritual, but dried cow dung patties are very commonly used as fuel for cooking in all of rural Pakistan as well.They produce a very clean, smokeless, and slow burning, smoldering fire. Cow dung, mixed with clay and hay, is also used in all rural construction in Pakistan, specially in the agricultural areas of Sindh and Punjab. This is a traditional construction method, even followed by Muslims for centuries.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Hindu sage conducted #nuke test ages ago: #BJP MP via @htTweets http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/indian-sage-conducted-nuke-test-ages-ago-bjp-mp/story-ohO3cP8vuzn8uVjep7gEBL.html …
"Today we are talking about nuclear tests. Lakhs of years ago, Sage Kanad had conducted a nuclear test. Our knowledge and science do not lack anything," the Indian Express quoted him as saying in Parliament on Wednesday.
Sage Kanad is believed to have lived around the 2nd century BC.
Nishank, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MP from Haridwar, also seconded Prime Minister Narendra Modi's citing of plastic surgery and genetic science with reference to Lord Ganesha getting an elephant trunk and birth of Karna.
"People are raising questions on Modiji's comments on Ganesha's surgery. It was actually a surgery. The science available to us is not available elsewhere in the world… science or knowledge to transplant a severed head existed only in India."
Nishank also batted for astrology, saying it is the topmost science in the world. He said our ancient astrologers dwarfed all other sciences.
The Haridwar MP's comments triggered a protest from Left members even as he said there should be a "proper discussion on it and it should get the respect it deserves".
Nishank's comments are in line with a series of assertions doing the rounds of late; the most notable being from retired school headmaster Dinanath Batra who got American academic Wendy Doniger's book on Hinduism pulped on the grounds that it insulted Hindus.
Batra has written books as well. Earlier this year, the Gujarat government mandated some of them as supplementary reading for its primary and secondary students.
From preaching about ancient India's gurukul style of learning, redrawing the Indian map to include other countries to interpreting history through stories about rishi-munis (sages and seers), dev-daanav (deities and demons) and "heroes" of pre-Independence India, these books try to conform to "Bharatiya sanskriti" (Indian culture).

Anonymous said...

Dont worry Haq, time is coming for you and your people. Americans are sick of the scourge called Muslims and Islam. Soon you will see Muslims killed in the streets of USA by the american people who are now absolutely sick of your ilk. Donald Trump is going strong for presidency, your dirty little islamic ass will soon be thrown out of the USA back to the Pak-shit-istan where it belongs.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "Donald Trump is going strong for presidency, your dirty little islamic ass will soon be thrown out of the USA back to the Pak-shit-istan where it belongs. "

It's obvious from your outburst that you are a hateful Hindu Nationalist troll who is deeply embarrassed by my post about the high demand for cow dung for use in India's religious Hindu rituals.

I'll do you favor by using this as a teachable moment and explain to you what the Trump phenomenon is and how it could impact all people of color and immigrants in US.

Nobel Laureate Economist Dr. Angus Deaton from Princeton has recently published a paper showing that non college educated middle aged white Americans in 40s and 50s have seen increased mortality even as other demographic groups in America have seen lower mortality.

These middle aged white Americans are being left behind in changing US economy and they are angry. They are angry at everybody who's different from them...including Hindu and Sikh Indians.

They form the core of Trump's support in Republican polls. The irony is that Trump's and Republican policies will do little to help them. Democrats will definitely do more for them than Trump or Republicans will.

http://youtu.be/khBuOiCt9VQ

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #India's Newest #Internet Sensation: #Cow Dung Patties http://po.st/PrEL7f via @SmithsonianMag

eeling nostalgic? There's no better way to take yourself back than with your nose: Research shows that aromas can bring back powerful memories. And for some in India, nothing brings back childhood quite like the distinct smell of cow poop. As the Associated Press reports, patties made of dried cow dung and hay has become an internet sensation for nostalgic shoppers, who use the fragrant cakes for fuel and in ritual fires.

The Associated Press writes that cow dung cakes are selling out on websites like Amazon. The cakes appear to be selling mainly to urban areas that do not have a ready supply of cow dung, with demand spiking around traditional festivals such as Diwali in November or the upcoming Lohri in January.

India has a massive bovine population—nearly 300 million as of 2012. All those cows produce a lot of poop, which is then used as both fertilizer and fuel. Chris Copp writes for Full Stop India that dung is "a commodity so intertwined with daily survival that it is nearly impossible to think of life without it." India is thought to use as much as 400 million tons of cow dung for cooking fuel alone each year, with approximately 30 percent of rural fuel production dependent on animal waste.

But rapid urbanization in India means that more and more people are moving from rural areas to cities that don't rely on cow dung for fuel. That's leading to new demand for cow dung in urban areas—and thanks to sites like Amazon and eBay, cow patties are just a click away. The cakes are selling out around Hindu festivals, when people burn the cakes for ritual fires and to stay warm. And yes, smell is a factor: A spokesperson for Amazon India tells the Associated Press that "people who grew up in rural areas find the peaty smell of dung fires pleasant" and nostalgic.


Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #Yoga guru’s remedies take on big brands in #India: Soap from cow dung and urine. http://on.wsj.com/1ICZ9Pp via @WSJ

HARIDWAR, India— Baba Ramdev, one of India’s most-celebrated yoga gurus and an outspoken critic of Western capitalism, has built a consumer-goods empire using his fame to peddle an ever-expanding portfolio of products based on traditional Indian medicine.

Patanjali Ayurved Ltd., the company he founded in 2006 near his ashram on the Ganges in this Hindu holy city, has blossomed into one of India’s biggest brands by making creams, cleansers and supplements infused with centuries-old Ayurvedic remedies.

Among them: soap that contains dung and urine from cows, revered animals in Hinduism; acacia-infused shampoo; gooseberry juice, which the company says delays aging; and a herbal spread the company advertises as a cure for asthma and memory loss.

“Our products are taking Indians back to their roots,” said the saffron-robed Mr. Ramdev, standing beside a mountain of fresh herbs at Patanjali’s factory. “Foreign companies are fooling Indians by selling products tainted with chemicals and artificial flavors.”

Patanjali aims to surpass global giants like Unilever PLC, Procter & Gamble Co. and Nestlé SA as a new wave of Indians, flush with national pride, join the consuming class. It is the latest twist in the evolution of the Indian shopper and could be tougher for international firms to follow.

India’s traditional Ayurvedic system encourages therapies like yoga and holds that ailments—from back pain to the common cold—can be fixed by certain foods, herbs and oils.

Mr. Ramdev is one of the country’s best-known teachers of yoga, meditation and Ayurveda. His disciples include Prime Minister Narendra Modi and some of Bollywood’s biggest stars.

Hundreds of thousands of people turn out for his rallies across the country at which he often shows off his signature move, sucking in his stomach and making his abdominal muscles undulate.

He also uses the stage to push Patanjali’s products. The big-bearded guru preaches about the evils of Western consumerism. Colas cause stomach cancer, he says, and salty snacks like potato chips weaken bones. He says international brands take millions of dollars in profits out of India.

“The cosmetics and food people are buying are poison. It’s slow poison,” Mr. Ramdev told disciples in one televised yoga session, sitting in the lotus position next to a spread of Patanjali’s products.

He recounted the story of a woman who spent thousands of dollars on shampoo only to lose her hair. Then she switched to Patanjali. “Now her hair is long and strong,” he said.

Unilever, P&G and Nestlé wouldn’t directly comment about Mr. Ramdev or his cures but say their products are backed by months of scientific research and rigorous testing. Our “brands have been loved by consumers for their high standards of quality, safety, taste,” a spokesman for Nestlé’s Indian arm said. “We are very proud of this heritage.”

-----

The company has received a boost from Prime Minister Modi, who has Hindu nationalist roots, and has been ratcheting up awareness about all things Indian. Since taking office last year, he has increased government spending on yoga and Ayurveda and successfully lobbied the United Nations to declare an international day for yoga. On the first one this year, Messrs. Modi and Ramdev together helped lead 35,000 people through poses.

This is the kind of event that has convinced consumers like Hari Lal to spend their hard-earned rupees on products from Patanjali.

“There’s a wave of excitement in the air,” said Mr. Lal, who cleans cars for a living. “Everyone’s talking about how good yoga and Ayurveda are. So I thought, ‘Why not Patanjali. It has the backing of Ramdev after all.’”

Convinced Ayurveda had secrets to make her hair stronger and shinier, bank employee Himani Arora says she switched from a P&G product to a Patanjali shampoo made with milk.

Riaz Haq said...

Burning #cow dung cakes poses serious health hazards including cancer, other lung diseases in #India.

http://www.deccanherald.com/content/232244/those-dung-cakes-could-harmful.html …


A study conducted by Jadavpur University shows that villagers in the Ganga, Meghana and Brahmaputra plains were exposed to smoke containing high levels of hazardous gases every day. This region’s groundwater is contaminated and this water is used by farmers to grow paddy. Cattle feed on polluted paddy and the dung is likely to contain arsenic.

When people burn dung cakes, over 25 per cent of the arsenic in fumes could be absorbed by the respiratory tract and this leads to lung cancer and other diseases. But there are solutions to this problem. One of them is the construction of gobar gas plants. The government offers a huge subsidy for gobar gas plant construction, but there is a lack of commitment in implementing the scheme.


Iqbal Singh said...

It is hard to know the true identity of "anonymous" unless you are profiling but even then, a Pakistani can do a write up like that to incite more hate as well.

As an Indian I gladly own up to cow dung use. The problem with cow dung is not its use but its use without proper indoor ventilation. Numerous studies have shown substantially less damage to the environment from cow dung use. Poor Rural households will need fuel and cow dung use has cut down deforestation rates, in fact, the last decade shows a 2% reforestation rates.

On the other hand, Pakistan has a very high deforestation rate!

http://tribune.com.pk/story/891349/saving-trees-policy-on-deforestation-still-a-distant-dream/

Riaz Haq said...

Singh: "On the other hand, Pakistan has a very high deforestation rate!"

A detailed World Bank report identified India as the most deprived country in terms of access to energy: as many as 306.2 million of its people are still without this basic utility. The remaining 19 nations lacking access to energy, with the number of deprived people is as follows: Nigeria (82.4 million), Bangladesh (66.4 million), Ethiopia (63.9 million), Congo (55.9 million), Tanzania (38.2 million), Kenya (31.2 million), Sudan (30.9 million), Uganda (28.5 million), Myanmar (24.6 million), Mozambique (19.9 million), Afghanistan (18.5 million), North Korea (18 million), Madagascar (17.8 million), the Philippines (15.6 million), Pakistan (15 million), Burkina Faso (14.3 million), Niger (14.1 million), Indonesia (14 million) and Malawi 13.6 million).

In addition to access to electricity, the report also details access to non-solid fuels like oil and natural gas (fuels other than firewood, dung or charcoal commonly used in poor countries for cooking) as a key parameter of progress in terms of energy. Such access helps reduce environmental pollution and associated human health hazards.

http://www.riazhaq.com/2013/06/massive-growth-in-electrical.html

Muhammad Zeeshan said...

Pork consumption is virtually non existent in Pakistan and there is no issue if Christians want to eat it. The only thing is they have to hunt it as there are no shops that sell it nor any restaurants have it on their menu. Your comment shows that you know nothing about pakistan.

Sugandha said...

And yet Pakistan has lower human development than others in South Asia!

Ramesh said...

Muhammad Zeeshan: Can a Whiskey lover (and a muslim to boot) drink in Pakistan freely? Do I know about Pakistan enough to ask this question.

Muhammad Zeeshan said...

Not freely as it is illegal for Muslims. Christians get permits and they can buy a certain quantity per their quota. Some "enlightened Muslims" do drink but they have to buy illegally and if caught can be punished according to the law.

MesquiteIce said...

How does it matter to anyone if indians use cowdung or even eat cowdung. The chinese eat things that even if one were to hear it they will keep vomiting all their life(rat embryos, cockroaches, wasps ets) . The people from indian subcontinent seem to have this superiority complex of running others down for no reason. cowdung cakes are also used as manure.

I dont see the iranians, greeks or chinese bragging about their culture or civilisation inspite of being one of the ancient civilsation. But the Indians, pakistanis etc seem to live in a world they find fault with silly things.

This is the only thing in which india and pakistan have similar views.

Ramesh said...

So it is OK for Pakistan to ban drinks for all muslims (rather than leaving it to each individual to decide), but not OK for India to ban beef ???

I also heard that during Ramadan if any atheist Muslim eats during the fasting time, he/she will get a sound thrashing. what was that line again "there is no compulsion in religion".

Anonymous said...

@MesquiteIce ,

The great thinker Tarek Fatah has quoted this "Pakistanis hate India more than they love Pakistan". Notice that in this blog Riaz spends more time in bashing India then to tell us anything good happening in the land of pure.

Riaz Haq said...

Anon: "The great thinker Tarek Fatah has quoted this "Pakistanis hate India more than they love Pakistan".


Does that explain why Tarek Fatah hates Pakistan more than he loves India like most of his Indian fans?

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - Watch out! Human waste is falling from #India's skies!! http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-35255102 …

The Times of India reports that Rajrani Gaud from Madhya Pradesh suffered a severe shoulder injury when she was hit by a football-sized chunk of frozen human feces last month.

Her injuries could have been much worse, according to eyewitnesses. They say she only avoided being killed because the icy ball crashed into the roof of a house before hitting her.
And the strong suspicion now is that it this chilly projectile was composed of more than just frozen water.
The newspaper claims that aviation scientists believe she may well have had the misfortune to become one of an incredibly rare group: people who have been hit by what the airline industry coyly calls "blue ice".
That's its euphemism for the frozen human waste that very occasionally forms around the overflow outlets for aeroplane toilets, and then falls to earth. "Blue" because of the chemicals added to the toilets in planes to reduce odour and break down the waste.

Anonymous said...

Yeah shit also falls from sky in Pakistan. You know explosive shit. From drones. Pakistan's national bird is predator drones. Not that muzzies deserve any better.

Riaz Haq said...

More #Indians died taking selfies in #Modi's #India last year than people anywhere else in the world http://wpo.st/88E41

India may have a selfie-loving prime minister, Narendra Modi, but Indians in general seem to be bad at selfie safety.

Of at least 27 “selfie related” deaths around the world last year, about half occurred in India, reports show.

In 2015, Indians taking selfies died while posing in front of an oncoming train, in a boat that tipped over at a picnic, on a cliff that gave way and crumbled into a 60-foot ravine and on the slippery edge of a scenic river canal. Also, in September, a Japanese tourist trying to take a selfie fell down steps at the Taj Mahal, suffering fatal head injuries.

Mumbai police said this week that they had identified more than a dozen “no-selfie zones” around India’s largest city after three young girls were swept out into the Arabian Sea while taking selfies in a rocky part of the Bandra area Saturday. One of the young women is presumed to have drowned, as did a man who jumped in to save them.

A Mumbai police spokesman, Dhananjay Kulkarni, told the BBC that police would be asking city officials to take steps to reduce the risk of selfies at popular tourist spots such as the city’s famous Marine Drive, including deploying life guards and posting warning signs. Police would also be giving warnings, authorities said.

Last year, no-selfie zones were also established in certain areas of the massive Hindu religious gathering called the Kumbh Mela because organizers feared bottlenecks caused by selfie-takers could spark stampedes.


Riaz Haq said...

A fatal disease lurks in #India's air, water, and soil. #Modi's #India is hotbed of deadly bacteria

http://qz.com/596482 via @qzindia

Melioidosis, a highly contagious disease, is widely prevalent in India, according to a new report by researchers from the University of Oxford. If not treated in time, it can lead to death within just two days of contracting it.
However, diagnosing melioidosis is particularly difficult, causing the illness to largely go under-reported. The report, published in the Nature Microbiology journal, classified India as “endemic but under-reported” as a measure of its melioidosis pervasiveness.
“Some 44% of the total cases (165,000 annually) worldwide are from South Asian countries,” David Dance of the University of Oxford said at Manipal University in November 2015. India tops the list of countries that reported melioidosis deaths, with more than 50% share.

“We estimate there to be 165,000 melioidosis cases per year worldwide, from which 89,000 people die. Our estimates suggest that melioidosis is severely under-reported in the 45 countries where it is known to be endemic, and that melioidosis is probably endemic in a further 34 countries that have never reported the disease,” the report in Nature Microbiology said.
Burkholderia pseudomallei, the bacteria that causes melioidosis and breeds in water and soil, is commonly found in Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. The symptoms of the disease include fever, convulsions, and respiratory discomfort.
In India, rampant, large-scale construction has led to the disease spreading more easily. Besides water, the bacteria can be transported through dust or loose soil, common in construction sites.
“A patient will come with high fever, cough, chills, abscess in internal organs—especially the liver and prostrate—bone and joint ache and rigors, which is a sudden feeling of cold with shivering accompanied by a rise in temperature, often with copious sweating,” Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay, professor at the department of microbiology at Manipal University’s Kasturba Medical College, Karnataka, and head of the Indian Melioidosis Research Forum, told the Mid-day newspaper.
The disease still lacks a licensed vaccine. “Once you’ve got it badly, it is difficult to treat,” Dance said. Diabetic patients and those with chronic kidney diseases are more likely to contract melioidosis.

Riaz Haq said...

Tavleen Singh: "#Davos2016 reminds me of how backward #India remains intellectually and academically" https://shar.es/1hYmO9 via @sharethis

To tell you the truth, I am not sure exactly what it is except perhaps that every year I attend at least one session that reminds me of how backward India remains intellectually and academically. And of course economically but there is inevitably a connection. As the economist Nouriel Roubini pointed out in the NDTV Davos debate, India needs to invest in human capital. It is not good enough, he said, to have a handful of brilliant engineers and computer programmers if hundreds of millions of Indians continue to lack basic education.
Images of rural government schools came into my head as I listened. It is true that decades of criminal negligence will take time to correct but if correction does not happen India will remain in its time warp.


On the first day of the conference I attended a session called ‘A Brief History of Industrial Revolutions’ moderated by Niall Ferguson that reminded me painfully of how much of an academic laggard India is. This panel included professors of history and politics from Britain and the United States and the exalted level at which they discussed the theme of this year’s conference, ‘Mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution’, reminded me painfully that it could never happen in India. I am not going to bore you with details; you can go to the WEF website and watch the whole discussion. You can go to it as well to see what is happening on the frontiers of medicine, science, environment and technology. On account of the reputation that this Davos meeting has gained in its 46 years of existence, it attracts the best minds in the world. Not just “the 1%” as leftist critics of Davos like to believe. And by the way, these same leftist critics come running to Davos when invited to receive awards for social work or achievements in music and the arts.

Riaz Haq said...

#Indian prime minister #Modi claims genetic science existed in ancient #India. #BJP http://gu.com/p/42zjb/stw

Hindu nationalists have long propagated their belief that many discoveries of modern science and technology were known to the people of ancient India. But now for the first time an Indian prime minister has endorsed these claims, maintaining that cosmetic surgery and reproductive genetics were practiced thousands of years ago.

As proof, Narendra Modi gave the examples of the warrior Karna from the Sanskrit epic Mahabharata and of the elephant-headed Hindu god Ganesha.

“We can feel proud of what our country achieved in medical science at one point of time,” the prime minister told a gathering of doctors and other professionals at a hospital in Mumbai on Saturday. “We all read about Karna in the Mahabharata. If we think a little more, we realise that the Mahabharata says Karna was not born from his mother’s womb. This means that genetic science was present at that time. That is why Karna could be born outside his mother’s womb.”

Modi went on: “We worship Lord Ganesha. There must have been some plastic surgeon at that time who got an elephant’s head on the body of a human being and began the practice of plastic surgery.”

While much of Modi’s speech was devoted to how to improve healthcare facilities in modern India, he also dwelt on ancient India’s “capabilities” in several fields.

“There must be many areas in which our ancestors made big contributions,” he said. “Some of these are well recognised. If we talk about space science, our ancestors had, at some point, displayed great strengths in space science. What people like Aryabhata had said centuries ago is being recognised by science today. What I mean to say is that we are a country which had these capabilities. We need to regain these.”

This is not the first time that Modi has publicly articulated such ideas. But he did so earlier as chief minister of Gujarat state, and not as prime minister. He also wrote the foreword to a book for school students in Gujarat which maintains, among other things, that the Hindu God Rama flew the first aeroplane and that stem cell technology was known in ancient India.

Modi’s claims at the Mumbai hospital initially went unreported in the Indian media, except on the website rediff.com.

But on Monday night Headlines Today TV talk show host Karan Thapar focused on it in his primetime programme, with opposition politicians criticising Modi. The speech has also been posted on the prime minister’s official website. No Indian scientist has come forward as yet to challenge him.

Riaz Haq said...

In #India One Case Of Anti #Christian #Violence Every Day | Pray | Open Doors USA. #Modi #BJP #Hindu #Bigotry http://www.opendoorsusa.org/take-action/pray/tag-prayer-updates-post/in-india-one-case-of-anti-christian-violence-every-day/?utm_source=newsletter …

Attacks on Christians in India were reported on an almost daily basis in 2015, according to a Christian advocacy group.

“The country saw 355 incidents of violence, including 200 major incidents, during the last year,” Joseph Dias, convener of Mumbai-based Catholic Secular Forum, told World Watch Monitor. The forum’s report, released on Jan. 18, concluded that it is “not safe” to be a Christian in India.

The group reports that seven pastors were killed, several nuns were raped and hundreds of Christians were arrested under India’s anti-conversions laws. The report was released as 12 people, including a blind couple and their three-year-old son, were arrested in the Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, under the state’s anti-conversion law, which forbids conversions through “allurement” or “force.” Seven of those arrested, including the blind couple, were released from custody on January 17, according to local pastor Suresh Mandlo.

Dias blamed the increase in incidents against Christians on the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, or BJP.

“The rise of the BJP has emboldened the [Hindu nationalist] fringe groups,” he said. “They feel that they can treat the Christians as soft targets under BJP's patronage and protection.”

“Even the government is acting in a partisan manner,” added Dias, relating two recent high-profile cases involving foreign clerics.

In the first case, Sister Bertilla Capra, an Italian Catholic nun who had been working with leprosy victims for four decades, was denied the renewal of her visa. Then, authorities at the Chennai International Airport detained and subsequently deported Hegumen Seraphim, a Russian Orthodox priest.

The Russian embassy said the treatment of the priest, who was detained at the airport for seven hours and denied food, was “unacceptable.” The embassy’s statement added that, “Such disrespect, shown to a priest from a friendly country, goes against the spirit of mutual affinity and cooperation characteristic of Russian-Indian relationships.”

According to Dias, “all these incidents point to an organized targeting of Christians at different levels.” He added that “The hate speech is turning worse and the conversion rhetoric of the saffron family [Hindu fundamentalists] is vitiating the atmosphere and paving the way for atrocities,” he added.

Just days before the Catholic Secular Forum issued its report, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, or World Hindu Council, claimed it had recently undertaken mass re-conversions of Christians and Muslims to Hinduism. Praveen Togadia, the VHP’s international working president, reported on Jan. 8 that the VHP had reconverted more than 500,000 Christians and 250,000 Muslims in the last decade with its Ghar Wapsi, or homecoming, initiative. Two days later, VHP national general secretary Y. Raghavulu claimed that 800,000 Hindus were being converted to other faiths every year in India.

“The [VHP] claim to have converted Christians and Muslims to Hinduism is just to enthuse their cadres. Both [statements] are blatantly aggressive instances of hate to provoke violence,” Christian activist John Dayal told World Watch Monitor. “The statistics are products of feverish minds and a bankrupt ideology. Their real purpose is political—to arouse passions, sharpen polarization and target religious minorities, and especially the Christian community.”

Hindu fundamentalists, Dayal added, “want to criminalize Christian presence and social work as a conversion conspiracy by Western powers.”

Riaz Haq said...

BBC News - #Modi's #yoga guru Baba Ramdev outrages #India with beheading remark. http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-35968775 …

If you have a mental image of what a yoga guru does then it would probably tend towards promoting inner peace and good posture. It probably wouldn't include making public statements that it's only the rule of law that's holding them back from beheading thousands of people who don't chant their nationalist phrase of choice.
But just such a bloodthirsty remark has been made by the prominent Indian yoga teacher Baba Ramdev, making collective jaws drop and raising questions about how religious and patriotic sentiments are exploited in Indian political debate.
Ramdev is a successful modern yoga teacher - he's taught all over the world, been credited with re-popularising the discipline among India's young middle class, spoken at the UN, and even branched out into selling his own brand of noodles.

But in recent days, Indian twitter users have been using the hashtag #TalibaniRamdev to compare him to an Islamist extremist after he waded into a debate about a controversial phrase.
The phrase - "Bharat Mata Ki Jai" - means "Hail Mother India", and refers to the nation personified as a Hindu goddess. It's widely used as a statement of patriotism by the BJP, India's Hindu nationalist ruling party. Some politicians have called for all students to be taught the phrase in school.
But some Muslim clerics say it goes against the Islamic belief that there is only one God, and they're trying to stop the phrase being imposed. In March, a prominent Muslim leader said he would never utter the slogan "…even if you put a knife to my throat", and a few days later another politician from the party was suspended from the state assembly in Maharashtra after refusing to repeat it.
Debate on the slogan has raged ever since, with one BJP politician saying those who refused to hail Mother India, whatever their religion, should have no right to remain in the country.
But Baba Ramdev escalated the rhetoric even further when he spoke at a meeting on Sunday, organised by the right wing Hindu organisation RSS with the aim of promoting community harmony. Ramdev made it very clear that only respect for the rule of law was restraining him from beheading anyone who disrespected Bharat Mata. "If someone says that he won't chant Bharat Mata Ki Jai even if his head is chopped off, I want to say there is a rule of law and we respect the constitution, otherwise we can cut hundreds and thousands of heads," Ramdev said in remarks that were filmed and later posted on YouTube.
His outspoken comments have caused outrage in a country where many have commented on a rise in intolerance and bigotry. Last year 200 academics signed a letter saying that the current atmosphere in India encouraged "greater hostility and aggression, especially against religious and caste minorities."

Riaz Haq said...

In #Modi's #Hindu #India, cow #urine can sell for more than #milk. #BJP

http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/ct-india-cow-urine-industry-20160718-story.html

India-trained veterinarian Navneet Dhand, who is an associate professor in veterinary biostatistics and epidemiology at the University of Sydney, points to three diseases prevalent in India that could potentially be transmitted to people in the raw urine of infected cows: leptospirosis, which can cause meningitis and liver failure; arthritis-causing brucellosis; and Q-fever, which can cause pneumonia and chronic inflammation of the heart.

That's not dissuading Jain's Cow Urine Therapy Health Clinic, which buys 25,000 liters (6,600 gallons) of cow urine a month from a dozen gaushalas. Virendar Kumar Jain, who founded the 15-doctor practice in the central Indian city of Indore, said his center has administered urine-derived medicines to 1.2 million patients over the past two decades for ailments from cancer to endocrine disorders, such as diabetes.

His staff field inquiries from 4,000 online patients daily, Jain said. Consumers can also buy the products via e-commerce websites, such as Amazon. He estimates cow attendants can make 1,200 rupees a month from the sale of a cow's liquid waste, which can easily pay for the beast's upkeep.

Urine distillate sells for $1.20 to $1.50 (80 to 100 rupees) a liter, says Balkrishna of Patanjali.

Still, the value of cow urine is not a great incentive for keeping unproductive cows until their dying day, said Pankaj Navani, a former engineer whose 300-cow Binsar Farms produces 2,200 liters of milk a day. The lifespan of a cow is about 15 years, though most stop producing milk years earlier.

Navani's herd, established in 2012, is still relatively young and he's yet to face the challenge of what to do with his former milkers, he said. "A more logical policy approach is required to deal with the issue in general," Navani said.

Riaz Haq said...

Why #cow #urine can be as valuable as #milk in #India http://nbcnews.to/2bXUjyo via @nbcnews

Vishal Gupta, 37, gave up his job to become a full-time practitioner of cow urine therapy and attended a cow medicine training school in the district of Kanchipuram, southern India, before launching a store selling products made from cow urine.

"Cow is the only animal whose everything has medicinal value," he said. "From milk and dung to urine, everything can be used for a medicinal purpose."

While the belief that cows have curative powers has been part of Hindu practices in India for centuries, these traditions got a big boost when Prime Minister Narendra Modi was elected in 2014.

Some leaders of Modi's rightwing Hindu Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) advocate cow urine as a cure for all kinds of illnesses — including cancer — and cow urine therapy appears to be taking off.

In fact, cow urine typically trades for as much as $25 per gallon, compared to 25 cents per gallon of its milk.

Versions that are boiled and condensed, sweetened, or have added herbs are sold internationally on Amazon under the Hindi name "gomutra ark."

All doctors contacted for this story declined to comment on whether cow urine was an effective cure for any disease.

However, devotees swear by it.

Ajay Dube, a 54-year-old jewelry-maker, came to Vishal Gupta for advice on how to treat intestinal bloating caused by inhaling gas from the acids used to clean gold.

He believes the recommended solution of two teaspoons of cow urine mixed with herbs and berries cured his problem.

"When I first tasted it, it was very bad but I got used to it in few days and in one month's time my gas problem was over and also my appetite increased," Dube said.

Vishal Gupta has entered a business partnership with Gyanendra Kumar, a farmer turned entrepreneur who wakes every morning at 4 a.m. to fill large pails with urine from his cows.

The urine then is boiled and condensed to make the "ark" extract. Last month, one of India's biggest cow shelters began producing 10,000 liters of ark a day at a production facility inaugurated by the health minister, and similar sites are springing up all over the country.

And it's not just medicine — other products made from cow urine including insulin substitute and mouthwash.

Reverence for cow urine has become a political issue in India, where hindus worship cows as "gau mata" — "mother of all." Hindus seek nourishment through milk, dung and urine but almost never cow meat — they regard the cow as sacred and many see its consumption as an abomination.

Since the BJP was elected, a raft of cow-protection laws were implemented as were vociferous demands for their strict enforcement.