Home Columns Covid-19: India and the Cow Dung Therapy

Covid-19: India and the Cow Dung Therapy

by Ahmed Yahaya Joe
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Ahmed Yahaya – Joe

“There are known knowns; these are things we know we know. We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know. But there are also unknown unknowns—the ones we don’t know we don’t know.” – Donald Rumsfeld

Dr. Uddhav Bhatia is a frontline Covid-19 worker in Ahmedabad, India. Beyond the established protocols and vaccination, he also subscribes to “cow dung therapy”. This is a poop and urine mixture applied on the body and left to dry.

Bhatia is seen here on May 9, 2021 honouring nearby cows for their “blessing”. The good doctor soon followed up with a yoga session to boost his energy levels. A milk bath ends the process. He then took a cold-water shower and drove back to work.

But according to Dr JA Jayalal, the national president of the Indian Medical Association (IMA) all that is bunkum insisting, “There is no concrete scientific evidence that cow dung or urine work to boost immunity against COVID-19, it is based entirely on belief,” adding “There are also health risks involved in smearing or consuming these products – other diseases can spread from the animal to humans.”

India is currently devastated by the Coronavirus pandemic with a reported 22.66 million cases and 246,116 deaths. Many observers claim the actual numbers could be much higher as hapless citizens across the subcontinent struggle to desperately find treatment. It is against this background that the Dr. Bhatia decided to take out a spiritual insurance policy.

The “cow dung therapy” is practiced by Hindus. Theirs is the oldest religion in recorded history and the most populous in India with over 900 million adherents. Hindus worship many gods and goddesses in addition to Brahman, who is believed to be the supreme God force present in all things.

Not all Hindus are equal. Some are more equal than others like the Brahmin who are the intellectual and spiritual leaders, then the Kshatriyas: the protectors and public servants of society. The Vaisyas follow. They are the skillful producers with Shudras following. They are the unskilled laborers.

Last but not the least are the “Untouchables” who are the lowest of the low class. They are called “Dalits”. The caste system in India is illegal and unconstitutional. But that is just on paper. In reality the darker skin your skin is the further down you are in the socioeconomic hierarchy. Or putting it mildly, the food chain.

No doubt, there are an awful lot of cows in India. They are however much venerated and not worshipped as widely believed.

Covid-19 is real and its ravages undeniable. Whether or not it was laboratory created or “a natural mystic blowing through the air” is actually beside the point. The bottom line is that political and religious leaders are members of the same ruling class irrespective of nation or clime. They have always been engaged in the battle for the loyalty of the masses albeit in separate ways.

The Coronavirus has however given worldly leaders the unprecedented chance and opportunity to grossly undermine their spiritual counterparts.

 Government can now order lockdowns, restrict, monitor and control movement and gatherings much to the disadvantage of religious leaders who are steadily missing control and grip to the science of curbing the pandemic. Bailouts and palliatives have now been politically weaponized on a global scale.

The “cow dung therapy” is therefore a desperate bid to regain lost relevance by the Hindu religious establishment in India. They have merely invented another psychological coping mechanism just as innovative religious leader have been doing throughout history.

Elsewhere including Nigeria clerics across the board have reacted in different ways. Most have acquiesced, many are clueless, those in denial promote conspiracy theories while others openly direct their adherents to shun the Covid vaccination. While the lack of religious elite consensus is pervasive it is in these times true religion will manifest. Indeed, it is in the fire of adversity that that impurities in gold burn off!

 Nobody seems to notice the Covid-19 spike and flattening of the curve occurs in a zig-zag manner across the world. A careful understudy however shows a pattern and method. It is therefore a question of time before it arrives here irrespective of facemasks, social distancing, hand sanitizers.

Truth is there is now a restructuring of things quietly taking place. Covid passports and vaccine nationalism are the new norm among other unfolding issues. The ability to read and interpret the big picture is key. In overall context, it is like a moving train; it is either you get on it or it runs over you.

Welcome to the New World Order.

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