Bhakts, Ramdev, Pragya: A ‘Kaafi Real’ Anti-Science Band
The anti-rationalist temper of these ideologues of Hindutva has mostly gone unchecked by the Modi government.
At a time when the Indian citizenry is in a state of prolonged mourning due to the COVID-19 health emergency, a section of people, including senior functionaries of the ruling Bharatiya Janta Party (BJP) government, have made the public privy to their astonishing anti-science ideals.
Recently, a viral video, picked up by international news agency Reuters showed a group of men at Gujarat's Shree Swaminarayan Gurukul Vishwavidya Pratishthanam slathering cow dung and urine on themselves over the belief that it would 'improve' their immunity.
On 9 May, news agency ANI tweeted a video of UP BJP MLA Surendra Singh claiming that cow urine protected him from coronavirus and at a party meeting on 17 May, BJP MP Pragya Thakur claimed that she did not get infected by coronavirus as she had gau mutra every day.
Last week, godman Ramkrishan Yadav, widely referred to as ‘Baba Ramdev’ had mocked scientific medicine, saying “allopathy is a stupid science” – an opinion the Indian people did not need amid the chorus of paranoia, misinformation and deception that is engulfing the country at the moment.
Doctors have been repeatedly and relentlessly maintaining that there is no scientific study to support these claims, and have had to, unfortunately, point out that other diseases could spread from the use of cow dung and urine.
The anti-rationalist temper of these ideologues of Hindutva has mostly gone unchecked by the Modi government, until recently when the Union Health Minister Harsh Vardhan wrote a letter castigating Ramdev, urging him to revoke his statement on allopathy.
As common people grapple with a shortage of vaccines, medicines and other health infrastructure amid the pandemic, they also have to be an audience to these preposterous and often dangerous claims.
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