What's magic cow dung got to do with Indian politics?


Indian devotees participate in a ritual as they take blessings from a seven year old holy cow 'Ganga' at the Lord Jagannath Temple in Ahmedabad on June 29, 2011. Cow worship in India is ages-old as amongst other reasons, the cow provides milk, the urine is used in the making of Ayurvedic medicines and cowdung is used as fuel in many villages.



Magic cow dung remains the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) secret weapon in Madhya Pradesh, where the state's chief minister is brazenly pushing an anti-Muslim, Hindu nationalist agenda.

Having succeeded in pushing through a law that promises a seven-year jail sentence for eating beef — sure to result in the persecution of Muslims, given its broad provisions — the BJP's Shivraj Singh Chouhan is now flogging the benefits of cow dung (with cow's urine next on the docket).

Apart from lacking scientific foundation, these arguments are old, moldy planks in the same strategy that resulted in the destruction of the Babri mosque in Uttar Pradesh in 1992, a deadly pogrom against Muslims in Gujarat in 2002 and scores of lynchings of Dalits for the possession of cow carcasses over the years.

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It also shows that despite noises emerging as India's Republican Party, the BJP is having serious difficulties divorcing itself from religious jingoism.

Here's what the fanatics say you can expect from cow dung, according to the Indian Express:

* Only those inside houses coated with cow dung escaped the 1984 Bhopal gas tragedy.

* There are only two ways to remain insulated from nuclear radiation, and one of them is application of cow dung.

* Using cow dung can ensure normal delivery instead of C-section.

* Those who drink the milk of jersey cow and buffaloes commit more crime than those who consume only cow’s milk from Indian breeds.

*Only the cow can save mankind; just touching it can stabilize blood pressure.

Ah, what a sip or two of cow's urine and a liberal application of cow's dung can accomplish! If only all Indians would get with the program.