by Khurshid Alam (News & Analysis, Crescent International Vol. 49, No. 7, Muharram, 1442)
Next time you take a bite of some Indian snack or tuck into spicey Indian curry in an Indian restaurant, take a pause. Do you know what ingredients have been used to make these food items? The details will come as a shock.
Indian goods and products are exported worldwide. Despite the pandemic, in the first half of 2020, US-India trade was $35.7 billion with Indian exports totalling $22.64 billion. With the European Union, India’s trade is even higher at 80 billion euros in 2019. Again, the trade balance is in India’s favor. It is the same story with Canada and the Middle East.
India not only exports IT products (software) or textiles; there are other exotic products including cosmetics and food items that it exports. In addition to the unhygienic conditions in which these products are produced, there are other disturbing aspects to Indian food products that pose a clear health hazard.
Investigations by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that many Indian food products contain not only mice droppings, feathers and dead insects, but also cow urine and dung. Yes, you read that correctly. Tests conducted on Indian spices by the US FDA found they contained as much as 18% of cow urine and dung. The FDA shared this information with counterparts in Canada, Britain, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand.
In October 2015, the BBC investigated allegations that Indian cosmetic products imported into Britain contained cow urine and dung. The BBC documentary confirmed the story. Indian media outlets have also reported this, with one report saying ‘Cow urine- and dung-based soaps on Amazon’ just a click away.
Why does India use cow urine and dung in food products, cosmetics and spices? This has to do with Hinduism that considers cow to be sacred—referred to as “Gao Mata” (Mother)—and, therefore, everything associated with it is also considered sacred.
This can take extreme forms. Many people in India regularly drink cow urine claiming it has therapeutic qualities. In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, people have been advised to take a dip in a broth of cow dung as protection against infection. Hindu groups have also organized cow-urine drinking sessions, again allegedly for the same magical cure or immunity from coronavirus infection.
The campaign is spearheaded by Swami Chakrapani Maharaj, president of the Hindu Mahasabha—a century-old organization that advocates Hindutva (or “Hinduness”). He insists that “consuming cow urine and cow dung will stop the effect of infectious coronavirus,” the Wall Street Journal reported.
Cow urine and cow dung is big business in India. “One enthusiastic cow-urine buyer is yoga guru Baba Ramdev, whose budding consumer goods empire is challenging local units of Colgate-Palmolive Co., Unilever and Nestle SA. The saffron-robe clad yoga teacher and anti-corruption campaigner pays 150,000 rupees a day for a steady stream of the raw material that his company Patanjali Ayurveda Ltd. uses to make into soaps, disinfectants to elixirs,” according to India’s NDTV.
Even politicians promote the drinking of cow urine and cow dung as cures for the coronavirus (see here and here). What is truly appalling is that the Indian government officially called on scientists to study the alleged curative properties of cow urine, dung and milk. This did not go down well with the scientific community in India.
“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.”
Repulsive as the drinking of cow urine and eating of cow dung may be, it is infinitely worse that food products mixed with such filth are sold to unsuspecting consumers even in the West. When the American FDA found that Indian spices and other food products contained cow urine and dung, they banned their import into the US.
The ever-enterprising baniya (cunning Hindu trader) came up with a solution. Instead of mixing cow urine and dung into spices and food at source, they started importing these filthy products separately. Once the imported food items passed FDA and other regulatory bodies’ inspections, urine and cow dung were added later.
Why are Hindu extremists bent on adding such filth into food items? It is their religious belief—hygiene and scientific evidence to the contrary notwithstanding—that these items have curative properties. What the Hindus consume is their business. Hindu-owned food chains in Britain sell bottled cow urine. It is labelled, “Gao mutra” (Cow urine) and a bottle sells for £3.99 (nearly $5.50). Bottled cow urine is also now stocked on the shelves of mainstream supermarkets, all to make a buck.
Muslims should bear in mind that they are not permitted to consume any food that is handled, prepared or cooked by mushriks. The divine prohibition has great wisdom, if only Muslims would pay attention.
Her is a list of some well-known Indian brand masalas (spices): MDH, Everest, Rajesh Masala, Swad, Catch, Ramdev Masala, Priya Masala, Patanjali Masala and creams, Pushp Masala, MTR Masala, Goldiee Masala and Golden Masala.
Readers should do their own research and find other Indian products that they must avoid, unless of course they want to consume or use products containing cow urine or cow dung!