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

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


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...

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 is since thousand years.
This is religious matter and you do not have any right when you does not have knowledge.


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."


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 .

Riaz Haq said...

High joblessness in #Modi's #India forces 75,000 high-school & college grads to beg on the streets 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 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:
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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 …
"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.

Riaz Haq said...

#Modi's #India's Newest #Internet Sensation: #Cow Dung Patties 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. 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. …

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!

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.

Unknown 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.

Unknown 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!! …

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

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 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" 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

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

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 …

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. …

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

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 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.

Riaz Haq said...

#India's #Modi Government Promoting 'Cancer Curing' Cow Urine to The World. #BJP #Hindu … via @SputnikInt

The Indian government is planning to support and promote large-scale research on medicinal properties of cow urine by infusing ancient knowledge with modern science at the upcoming Cow Science University.
New Delhi (Sputnik) – If you are in India, do not be alarmed if someone suggests you to gulp down cow urine to cure a fever or joint ache. Cow urine, commonly known as ‘gomutra’ is used in many Indian cultures for therapeutic purposes. Concoctions having cow urine as the main ingredient are mentioned in the Ayurveda (the traditional Hindu system of medicine) as miracle medicine for a number of diseases including cancer.

The Bharatiya Janata Party– led Indian Government hopes to introduce this elixir to the world by promoting large scale research to validate its medicinal properties. A recent workshop held at New Delhi’s prestigious Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) witnessed a number of research proposals floated by scientists and medical practitioners. Sources in the Ministry of Human Resource Development told Sputnik that the government is seriously considering one of the proposals that envisage setting up of a ‘Gow Vigyan Vishwavidyalaya’ (Cow Science University). Research at the university would mainly be geared towards validating cancer curing properties of Panchgavya- a concoction of cow urine, cow dung, milk and milk products. The government has set up a steering committee that would examine all the 40 proposals floated at the workshop and shortlist some for further action. The proposed research would be supported and funded by not only India’s Ministry of Health but also the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and the Indian Council of Medical Research. Dr RS Chauhan of College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Uttarakhand, claims that his research on cow urine has revealed that certain components help in enhancing immunity and kills cancer. If approved, he will take the research further to test its effects on humans. Cow is revered as a holy animal in India by Hindus. It has been a priority for the Narendra Modi led government to protect this bovine creature and support industries derived from its waste. The government has spent around $87 million on cow shelters, ban on cow slaughter and sale of cow meat and tightened measures to stop the illicit sale of cattle to neighboring countries. The increased protection and reverence given to cow has even led to inter-faith conflict in recent times.

Read more:

Riaz Haq said...

#Cow pee on sale on #India #Hindu … Godhan Ark (Purified Cow's Urine or Distilled Cow Urine), Gomutra Ark
Price: $19.50 & FREE Shipping
Note: Not eligible for Amazon Prime.
Only 13 left in stock.
Expected to arrive after Christmas. Need a gift quickly? Give the gift of Prime or email a gift card.
Get it as soon as Jan. 19 - Feb. 8 when you choose Standard at checkout.
Ships from and sold by Organic Push.
Patanjali Gomutra
New (2) from $14.50 + $4.49 shipping

Riaz Haq said...

#Bundelkhand’s Cows Are Dying from Starvation, No ‘Sanghi Gau Rakshak’ Around To Save their ‘Gau-Maa’. #India #BJP

Hundreds of cows were reported to be locked in a cow shelter in Mahoba District, Bundelkhand without fodder and water. It came into light after Abhinav Srihan, an animal rights advocate posted videos on his Facebook showing the deteriorated condition of the poor cows which are worshipped like a mother by the Hindu community in India.

very rabid sanghi and self-righteous gau rakshak (cow protector) were not visible near this, they have been unleashing terror and violence on society in the name of cows with a new self-confidence under the present dispensation is a façade for a tale of untold cruelty to these peaceful and gentle bovines. Under every such headline lies a story of cows dying from eating plastic bags on the street, run over by cars, piled in a truck to be slaughtered or made a government target for quadrupling India’s leather exports.

Also the main stream media which creates sensational big headlines for unnecessary events has failed to report it.

Not an isolated incident

Earlier last year, more than 500 cows died in a Rajasthan States Government run shelter for cows in Jaipur due to negligence of the authorities,Vasundhara Raje came into attack by opposition parties who accused BJP is a Pseudo-Cow protectors and only use it for Votes.

Abhinav Srihan updated “Update : Chichara cows have finally been released, fodder and water arrangements have been made/ improved by villagers at many locations,our team will meet DM today .”

Riaz Haq said...

What is Hindutva?

Savarkar wrote, “... Hindutva is not identical with what is vaguely indicated by the term Hinduism. By an ‘ism’ it is generally meant a theory or a code more or less based on spiritual or religious dogma or system. But when we attempt to investigate the essential significance of Hindutva we do not primarily — and certainly not mainly — concern ourselves with any particular theocratic or religious dogma or creed”. His concern was politics; the political mobilisation of Hindus into one nation.

If not religion, what, then, is the basis for the divide? With crystal clarity, he wrote, “To every Hindu … this Sindhusthan is at once a pitribhu and a punyabhu — fatherland and a holy land. That is why in the case of some of our ... countrymen, who had originally been forcibly converted to a non-Hindu religion and who consequently have inherited along with Hindus, a common fatherland and a greater part of the wealth of a common culture — language, law, customs, folklore and history — are not and cannot be recognised as Hindus. For though Hindusthan to them is fatherland as to any other Hindu yet it is not to them a holy land too. Their holy land is far off in Arabia or Palestine. Their mythology and god-men, ideas and heroes are not the children of this soil. Consequently their name and their outlook smack of a foreign origin”.

The divide cannot be bridged except by obeying Hindutva’s demand for conversion to Hinduism. Savarkar exhorted, “Ye, who by race, by blood, by culture, by nationality possess almost all the essentials of Hindutva and had been forcibly snatched out of our ancestral home by the hand of violence — ye, have only to render wholehearted love to our common mother and recognise her not only as fatherland (Pitribhu) but even as a holy land (Punyabhu), and ye would be most welcome to the Hindu fold”.

Gandhi’s assassination put paid to Savarkar’s ambitions, but the RSS picked up the baton. Its supremo, M.S. Golwalkar, drew inspiration from Hindutva and coined its synonym, ‘cultural nationalism’, in contrast to ‘territorial nationalism’ in his book, A Bunch of Thoughts (1968). Everyone born within the territory of India is not a nationalist; the nation is defined by a common ‘culture’ (read: religion).

Golwalkar wrote, “... here was already a full-fledged ancient nation of the Hindus and the various communities which were living in the country were here either as guests, the Jews and Parsis, or as invaders, the Muslims and Christians. They never faced the question how all such heterogeneous groups could be called as children of the soil merely because, by an accident, they happened to reside in common territory under the rule of a common enemy … The theories of territorial nationalism and of common danger, which formed the basis for our concept of nation, had deprived us of the positive and inspiring content of our real Hindu nationhood ...”

This explains the RSS’ ghar wapsi (‘return to your home’) campaign, simply a repeat of the past shuddhi (‘purification’) movement. Nothing has changed; an unbroken ideological thread binds Savarkar’s Hindutva, Golwalkar’s ‘cultural nationalism’ and the RSS-BJP policies today. On Sept 24, 1990, BJP president L.K. Advani launched “a crusade in defence of Hindutva”, which culminated in the demolition of Babri Masjid, in his presence, on Dec 6, 1992.

Since 1996, the BJP’s election manifestoes for Lok Sabha elections pledge to espouse Hindutva in these terms: “The cultural nationalism of India … is the core of Hindutva.” This explains the Modi government’s systematic purge of educational and cultural institutions. It is a quarrel with history. As scholars Susanne and Lloyd Rudolph remarked, modern hatreds are supported by ancient, remembered wrongs, whether real or imagined. The RSS-BJP combine rejects the concept of composite culture that Jawaharlal Nehru and others propounded.

Riaz Haq said...

#India’s #education minister assails #Darwin's theory of #evolution, calls for #curricula overhaul to change #science #textbooks

A new front has opened in the war on science in India. On Friday, India’s minister for higher education, Satyapal Singh, took aim at the theory of evolution. Calling himself “a responsible man of science,” Singh, a chemist, suggested that Darwin’s theory is “scientifically wrong” and “needs to change” in school and university curricula. In remarks on the sidelines of a conference in Aurangabad, in central India, Singh further noted that “nobody, including our ancestors, in written or oral, have said they saw an ape turning into a man.”

Top scientists have condemned Singh’s remarks. They “seem to be aimed at politically polarizing science and scientists, and that is the real danger we must guard against,” says Raghavendra Gadagkar, immediate past president of the Indian National Science Academy and an ecologist at the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru. Yesterday, India’s three science academies released a statement endorsed by more than 2000 scientists, declaring that “it would be a retrograde step to remove the teaching of the theory of evolution from school and college curricula or to dilute this by offering nonscientific explanations or myths.”

Singh is not the only voice in India’s ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) espousing antiscience views. The government took heat last year over an effort to validate panchagavya, a folk remedy based on cow dung, as a cure-all, and in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi claimed that the world’s first plastic surgery was performed in India when the Hindu deity Ganesh was created with a human body and an elephant head. “The BJP is the fountainhead of scientific nonsense,” says opposition politician Jairam Ramesh, a mechanical engineer by training.

Riaz Haq said...

#Cow #Dung #Soap Is Cleaning Up In #India. Soap includes cow dung and cow #urine as ingredients. #Hindus believe cow products like dung, milk and urine have healing properties. #Modi #BJP #Hindutva

The shelves in Umesh Soni's little store in downtown Mumbai are neatly stacked with soaps. There are handmade translucent bars, brightly colored circular soaps in tropical variants and square black bathing bars. It looks like any other soap shop.

Except all the soaps include cow dung and cow urine as ingredients.

Why make soap from this stuff?

Cows are sacred in Hinduism. Ayurveda, the ancient Indian science of life, says that cow products like dung, milk and urine have healing properties. Many rural Indian homes use cow dung to pave floors. And many Hindus believe drinking cow urine is good for health.

Boxes of soap from Cowpathy Care. Cow dung is dried and turned into a powder, then added to the bars.
Sushmita Pathak/NPR
Soni, 35, started making cow dung soaps in 2008, but he's certainly not the first to use these items in beauty products. Initially, his customers were devotees at a Hindu temple in Mumbai. Today, the microbiologist and MBA graduate sells to customers from a dozen countries.

In 2012, he launched his own cow-based beauty products line. Cowpathy Care, as it's called, offers 80 products, including cow dung soaps, cow milk creams and an under-eye gel made from cow urine.

And the market is growing. In 2014, the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) came to power and made it a special mission to elevate the role of the cow. There have been calls to ban eating beef in many states. Cow protection squads have popped up. Angry mobs have lynched people suspected of smuggling cows.

And bovine merchandise is on a roll. Stores in India are being flooded with cow-based products, from soaps to toothpaste.

Riaz Haq said...

#Cow, cow #dung, and #caste: Why #India’s #farmers are fuming at #Modi. Protestors were met with water cannons, tear gas shells, and beaten with lathis at the borders of #Delhi as the Narendra Modi government imposed a curfew. #BJP via @qzindia

On Oct. 02, more than 30,000 farmers came knocking at the doors of India’s capital city, New Delhi.

Most of them were from Uttar Pradesh, the politically crucial northern state in India’s Hindi heartland, which hosts the highest number of seats for the national elections next year. The non-violent rally, called by the Bharatiya Kisan Union, began on Sept. 25 from Haridwar, some 200 kilometers north of Delhi and was to end in the national capital on Oct. 02.

But the crowds were met with water cannons and tear gas shells, and were beaten with lathis and batons at the borders of Delhi as the Narendra Modi government imposed a curfew to stop them from entering the city.

However, when the rally refused to disperse, the government relented at midnight and let them in.

The farmers have called off the protest, despite the government not heeding their two main demands—an unconditional loan waiver and the Swaminathan committe-recommended minimum prices for crops.

Quartz spoke with a few of the protesting farmers at Ghaziabad on the outskirts of Delhi, where they’re still camping, to understand what drove them to participate in the seven-day rally and even risk their lives. Most of them are sugarcane cultivators from Uttar Pradesh and belong to the upper-caste Hindu community, a demographic that is perceived as the heart of Narendra Modi’s support base.


Last month, when Singh left his village to be part of the rally from Haridwar, rains were running havoc on his crops. He has little hope of a good yield this year.

“All they have done is politics in the name of cow, cow dung, and caste,” says the farmer, who had also voted for Modi in 2014.

Now, he is not sure which political party to support. He does not trust assurances the government made to the farmers and wants an unconditional loan waiver, as well as the implementation of minimum prices for food crops as per recommendations of the 2004-06 Swaminathan commission, a demand successive Indian governments have been rejecting.

Riaz Haq said...

What a story. A political worker of Hindu right wing who participated in the demolition of Babri mosque is now a Muslim and has built many mosques!

Riaz Haq said...

#Cow Urine Sale on Delivered chilled & frosted to your home. Uses: Elixir, food flavoring, recreational drink, and medicinal (1-1/2 teaspoon with breakfast). #Modi #India

Riaz Haq said...

Like #Nazi #Hitler in #Germany , #Modi’s #India to produce ‘highly intellectual’ #Hindu children by giving cow urine to pregnant women. #Hindutva #India #Eugenics

Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog wants to produce panchgavya drug using cow urine. It says pregnant women will give birth to ‘smart kids’ if they take the drug regularly.

The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog is working with the Ministry of AYUSH to produce panchgavya drug using cow urine and dung that it says will help develop “highly intellectual” children.

The commission has claimed that pregnant women may be able to give birth to “smart, highly intellectual and healthy children” if they consume the drug regularly.

The drug will be made using cow urine, dung, milk, ghee and curd, the commission’s chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria told ThePrint.

The Aayog was set up by the Narendra Modi government in February for the purpose of conservation and protection of cattle population in the country.

Kathiria, who is a former BJP MP from Gujarat, said that shastras and Ayurveda texts also vouch for panchgavya drug, which is a mixture of five cow products.

“Shastras and Ayurveda texts say that if pregnant women consume the drug, they may produce smart, highly intellectual and healthy children,” he said, adding that they have sought the AYUSH ministry’s help in producing the drug on a large scale.

He also said the AYUSH ministry and the newly-formed Ministry of Animal Husbandry will seek the cooperation of the MSME ministry in producing and marketing the drug.

Kathiria added that once they produce the drug on a large scale, they will appoint vaidyas (practitioners of Ayurvedic medicine) in villages so that they prescribe them to pregnant women.

Kathiria said the commission’s responsibility also includes development and conservation of indigenous cow breeds, and, therefore, it has already selected 44 indigenous breeds.

Among the breeds, Gir and Kankrej of Gujarat, Sahiwal of Punjab, Gangatiri and Red Sindhi of Uttar Pradesh, Malvi of Madhya Pradesh and Krishna Valley and Vechur of south India are the prominent ones.

Kathiria further said that there is a problem of semen-shortage, which forces the government to import semen of bulls from other countries. The only way to solve the problem is by opening at least one semen-production centre and one mating centre in each state, he added.

“Semen-production centres are already operating in Bhopal and Visakhapatnam where semen of good breeds of indigenous bulls is produced with the help of genetic breeding,” he said.

In this regard, the commission is working with the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, which is gravely concerned about the dwindling population of indigenous cows, Kathiria said.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Animal Husbandry Pratap Chandra Sarangi told ThePrint that farmers are no longer interested in keeping indigenous cows due to higher milk production capacity of Jersey cows.

But due to high medicinal value of indigenous cow milk, increasing their population has been one of the top priorities of the Ministry of Animal Husbandry, Sarangi said.

The central government is also planning a scheme in coordination with the state governments to subsidise procurement of indigenous cows by farmers, he added.

Plan to set up gaushalas on PPP model across India
The commission is working on a plan to set up gaushalas (cowsheds), similar to the one built in Gwalior, which operates on a PPP model and produces phenyl, pesticides using cow dung and urine.

“India imports potassium worth Rs 7,000-15,000 crore every year as it is used as a fertiliser, but if all the gaushalas can produce pesticides on their own, it would save the government a lot of money,” said Kathiria.

The former MP said they have already written to the state governments on how to come up with such gaushalas and will soon convene a meeting in this regard.

Riaz Haq said...

More than 500 scientists have asked #India's #Modi government to withdraw a call for #research to study benefits of cow dung, urine, and milk. #Hindutva #science #BJP

More than 500 scientists have asked the Indian government to withdraw a call for research proposals on the “uniqueness” of indigenous cows and the curative properties of cow urine, dung, and milk, including potential cancer treatments. In an online letter, the researchers say the call is “unscientific” and a misdirection of public money at a time when research in India is already facing a financial crunch.

Cows are considered sacred in Hinduism, and some petitioners see the research program as another effort by the Indian government, run by the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), to validate faith-based pseudoscience. The call does not appear to be shaped by “objective scientific inquiry,” but rather “aimed at confirming existing beliefs,” says Aniket Sule, a reader at the Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education who helped draft the letter. “They should prove that there is some merit in pursuing this research before throwing money at it,” Sule says.

The call for proposals, issued 14 February, is part of a larger funding program of the Department of Science and Technology, the Ministry of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha, Sowa Rigpa and Homoeopathy, and other government agencies. It invites projects on five research themes including: “cowpathy,” the use of cow products for medicine and health, including anticancer and diabetes drugs; the use of cow products for agriculture, such as in pesticides; cow-based products like shampoo, hair oil, and floor cleaners; and research on the nutritional value of cow milk. A major aim is the “scientific investigation of uniqueness of pure Indigenous Indian cows.”

In their letter, scientists note that the call presumes “special physiological status to select breeds of only one species,” adding that “to begin a project with such presumptions is prima facie unscientific.” Money under the scheme could be “wasted to ‘investigate’ imaginary qualities derived from religious scriptures,” they said.

It’s not the first time the current government has promoted research on the cow, or more broadly, made scientific claims for unproven traditional beliefs. In 2017, the government set up a committee to vet research proposals to scientifically validate “panchgavya,” a concoction of cow milk, curd, ghee, dung, and urine held by Ayurveda texts to have curative properties. Last year, BJP Member of Parliament Sadhvi Pragya was widely criticised by oncologists when she claimed that cow urine cured her breast cancer.

The latest call comes at a time when government grants are already being delayed, scientists say, with research projects getting stalled and young researchers not receiving their monthly stipends on time. In this context, “actively canvassing proposals under such dubious scheme is even more infuriating,” their letter says.

Sule and others have appealed to the ministry to withdraw the current proposal and reframe it “to encourage open inquiry.” They have also appealed to scientists across the country to use National Science Day on 28 February to educate the general public.

Riaz Haq said...

#India latest ‘boycott China’ move involves #cow dung #Diwali lights. A campaign is urging patriotic #Indians celebrating the Festival of Lights to swap cheap Chinese LEDs for oil lamps made out of cow dung. #China #Modi #Hindutva via @scmpnews

India’s latest salvo against China is not to be sniffed at. Ahead of Diwali, the country’s biggest religious festival, a campaign is urging patriotic Indians to swap once popular, cheap Chinese-manufactured festive lights for environmentally friendly oil lamps made from cow dung.
Behind the campaign is the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA), a group set up last year to conserve the nation’s population of cows, viewed as sacred by Hindus – India’s majority religion. The RKA hopes to produce some 330 million oil lamps, known as diyas, each of which will cost between 4 rupees and 20 rupees (US$0.05 to US$0.25).

More than 15 states – including Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh – have agreed to be part of the campaign and 300,000 cow dung diyas are to be lit in Ayodhya, in Uttar Pradesh, and another 100,000 diyas in the holy city of Varanasi.

In recent years, cheap Chinese-made LED lights have flooded the market and on some accounts India imports 10 billion rupees (US$134 million) worth of the lights from China and a few other countries every year.

However, growing tensions between India and China – whose troops have been locked in a sometimes deadly stand-off along the countries’ disputed Himalayan border for the past six months – have led New Delhi to rethink its business dealings with Beijing. Since the beginning of the stand-off it has banned 218 Chinese apps and terminated multiple contracts with Chinese companies, while Indian traders have launched campaigns to boycott Chinese goods.
This is not the first time the RKA, which is part of the Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party government’s Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairy, has proposed cow dung as a novel solution to a problem. Previously it suggested using chips made from cow dung to reduce radiation from mobile phones.

Buying goods made from dung also ensures local workers benefit. Making diyas in India has traditionally been a small-scale handicraft industry.
Among the fans of the campaign is Meenal Singh Deo, in Dhenkanal, Odisha. She has bought cow dung diyas from the Kanha Gaushala cow shelter in Jhansi, run by a team of 18 women, who are the sole bread-winners of their families.
“The dung lights are so inexpensive and eco-friendly that this year I have made a conscious attempt not to buy Chinese lights,” says the 52-year-old, who runs a heritage homestay. “I am going to use a mix of earthen lamps from potters and those made of cow dung.”
Diyas are especially popular during Diwali, a Hindu festival which symbolises the victory of light over darkness and good over evil. Nearly eight in 10 of India’s 1.3 billion population are Hindus, though Sikhs and Jains also celebrate Diwali.


Despite the campaign, Chinese-made LED lights still hold an appeal for consumers. As Rakesh Kumar, a dealer in lights in Chennai, puts it: “People prefer Chinese products because of their low cost and variety.”
At Delhi’s Bhagirath Palace, the biggest electrical goods market in India, with more than 2,000 wholesalers, traders deal in all kinds of lights but the majority are imported from China.
Satish Gupta, a dealer, says the rope lights he sells are made in China and are still popular. He sells a roll of 25 metres for about US$10 and also sells a packet of 15 electric Chinese-made diyas for about US$2.
“We still see a demand for these lights as they are convenient, easy to use and need no oil or maintenance,” he says.

Riaz Haq said...

#Hindus throw cow shit (dung) at each other to mark the end of #Diwali in a village in #India!

Riaz Haq said...

Book Excerpt (Aakar Patel's Price of the Modi Years): The Many Anti-Muslim Laws Brought in By the Modi Government
While the Citizenship Amendment Act rightly was criticised around the world for specifically targeting Muslims along with the NRC pincer, other laws India has passed since 2014 have not received as much notice.

These are those laws the Modi years have given us:

1. The Maharashtra Animal Preservation (Amendment) Act, 2015

Under this law anyone found in possession of beef would be jailed for up to five years. It also banned the slaughter of bulls, bullocks and calves in addition to the existing ban on cow slaughter.

2. The Haryana Gauvansh Sanrakshan and Gausamvardhan Act, 2015

Possession of beef punishable by up to five years in jail. Sale of cows for slaughter to another state punishable by seven years in jail. Cow slaughter would attract jail of up to 10 years. The burden of proof would be on the accused.

3. The Gujarat Animal Preservation (Amendment) Bill, 2017

This law extended the punishment for cow slaughter from seven years to life. It allows permanent forfeiture of vehicles transporting animals except under prescribed conditions. It also increased the fine from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. Minister of state for home Pradipsinh Jadeja said the logic was to equal cow slaughter with murder.

4. The Karnataka Prevention of Slaughter and Preservation of Cattle Ordinance, 2020 repealed the 1964 law which allowed the slaughter of bullocks.

It made cow slaughter punishable by up to seven years. Purchase, sale, disposal or transport of cattle outside the state except in prescribed manner would be punishable by five years in jail. Fines of up to Rs 10 lakh are also imposed.

The Maharashtra law has this clause: “9B. Burden of proof on accused. In any trial … the burden of proving that the slaughter, transport, export outside the State, sale, purchase or possession of flesh of cow, bull or bullock was not in contravention of the provisions of this Act shall be on the accused.”

Meaning that you are guilty unless you can prove yourself innocent. If you are found with a bloody knife next to a corpse, you are presumed innocent. It is the State that has to demonstrate that you committed murder. But if you are found with or found near meat and accused of possessing beef you are presumed guilty of possessing beef till you disprove this to the satisfaction of the State. This is an invitation to violence. Two weeks after Maharashtra, on 17 March 2015, Haryana under the BJP passed its law criminalising possession of beef. The law has this section: ‘No person shall directly or indirectly sell, keep, store, transport or offer for sale or cause to be sold beef or beef products.’ Burden of proof was reversed here also. Punishment is up to five years.

While the Citizenship Amendment Act rightly was criticised around the world for specifically targeting Muslims along with the NRC pincer, other laws India has passed since 2014 have not received as much notice. The judiciary has been supine and allowed a de facto Hindu Rashtra to emerge through legislation. These laws have been written and passed and are being applied across India, targeting Indian Muslims, brutalising them constantly, while a demented media and a bored public have looked away.

Aakar Patel is Chair of Amnesty International India and author of Our Hindu Rashtra. His Price of the Modi Years will be released on November 14.

Riaz Haq said...

Cow #dung cakes found in #Indian passenger’s luggage at #US airport. Speaking to Fox News, US Customs officials said that cow dung from India is prohibited in the US since it has the potential of importing foot and mouth disease. via @indiatoday

Cow dung cakes were found inside an Indian passenger’s suitcase that had been left behind at the Washington Dulles International Airport last month. Officials with US Customs and Border Protection said on Monday that agents found the cow dung cakes after passengers cleared the inspection area on April 4, 2021.

Authorities examining leftover baggage found the cow dung cakes in unclaimed luggage from an Air India flight, Fox News reports. A spokesperson for CBP said that officials inspect baggage left behind frequently.

Speaking to Fox News, officials said that cow dung from India is prohibited in the US since it has the potential of importing foot and mouth disease. It can spread widely leading to “significant economic losses to livestock populations,” the US Department of Agriculture said.

The cow dung cakes, thus found in the bag, were destroyed.

“Foot and Mouth Disease is one of the animal diseases that livestock owners dread most, has grave economic consequences, and it is a critical threat focus of Customs and Border Protection’s agriculture protection mission. CBP’s agriculture specialists are our nation’s frontline protectors of vital agricultural and natural resources that help keep our nation’s economy strong and robust,”Keith Fleming, Acting Director of Field Operations for CBP’s Baltimore Field Office, said in a press release cited by Fox News.

Cow dung is used as a cooking source in some parts of the world. It is primarily used in rural areas as villagers collect manure from cows and dry it, so as to use cow dung cakes for fuel. It also serves as a cheap and good fertiliser.