Obscurantism in medicine

One doesn't know whether this is funny. Gau Seva Ayog, a body set up by the Gujarat government, whose principal purpose is to justify the special status accorded to cows by some Hindus, by publicising and promoting the benefits derived from its various excretions ? dung, urine and milk ? is talking about a "cow dung and urine revolution". Three institutions have been given funds to conduct research on their therapeutic properties, which are said to be effective against cancer, cold, cough, jaundice and other ailments. One would have had absolutely no objection if the assumptions were medical and scientific in nature. They are not. It is, in fact, assumed, that since the cow has a sacred character in the Hindu tradition, its bodily outflows must have properties beneficial to mankind. This is not the kind of assumption upon which a sane and rational government disburses public funds.

According to the Ayog, cow's urine is already being sold in 200 outlets in Indore, although its therapeutic qualities are yet to receive approval from the Drug Control Authority. The only precaution being given out is that the liquid should not be taken in summer as it might generate too much heat in the body, although this fact is not related to the symptomatology of any particular disease, as with scientifically produced medicines. Under the circumstances, an act of faith is involved in buying this "medicine", which also means that the Government of Gujarat does not really care for the health of those who do not put their faith in the cow.

With the discovery of this all-purpose medicine, Indians, at least Gujaratis proceed under added perils!

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Referred by:Sashi Kanth
Published on:29Aug2001
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