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‘Cow Science’ Exam Syllabus Links Beef Consumption to ‘Bad Karma’

A section of the syllabus even makes a case for a native cow being better than an exotic or a jersey cow.

Updated
India
3 min read
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Days after the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog – a government body which oversees cow welfare – declared conducting a cow science exam on 25 February, they have now listed a host of topics and syllabus which this nationwide exam aims to cover.

These include treatment of diseases like eczema, arthritis and leprosy using cow products, link between cow slaughter and earthquakes, and the superiority of native cows over exotic ones with the former being ‘more emotive’ than the latter.

The 54-page PDF document – on the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog’s website – has provided little evidence and even fewer citations to back these claims.

The exam, which can be taken free of cost, will be conducted in four categories: for primary level, for secondary level, for college level, and for the general public.

‘Gaumata’ vs Exotic Cows

The document argues that a native cow is better than an exotic or a jersey cow. To establish this, it relies on disputed claims like the milk of a native cow is ‘yellow in colour because it contains traces of gold’ and infants when administered with the milk of jersey cows ‘suffer from diseases like autism, diabetes, and sudden death syndrome.’

In this 2016 report by The Wire, several experts argued that extant biological knowledge does not allow for synthesis of inorganic materials like metals in a living, organic body. Further, there are no studies to prove that milk of exotic cows can be fatal for infants.

The reference material provided by the body also makes a case that desi cows are better than the exotic ones because they are more emotive. “Whenever any unknown person comes near a desi cow, she will immediately stand whereas, a jersey cow displays no emotion,” it reads.

It also adds that Indian cows are clever enough “to not sit at dirty places. It also adapts itself as per the climate and can withstand extreme weather” which is not the case with exotic cows.

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Cow Products & Their Medicinal Properties

The document lists several medicinal properties related to products derived from Indian cows like cow dung and cow urine. It claims that the cow urine acts as an antidote for phlegm, kas, abdominal diseases, eye diseases, and bladder diseases, lumbar, respiratory diseases, inflammation, and liver diseases.

Aniket Sule, Associate Professor at The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education, told The Quint that in India, we have a tendency that if there’s an exam, we want to appear for it and score well.

“In the quest to appear for this exam, students will mug up wrong information and that might stay with them for a very wrong time,” he said.

“At the end, cow urine is something rejected by the cow’s body. Something which a cow is not able to digest. Hence, even by that logic, trying to find medicinal cures in cow urine doesn’t make any sense.”
Aniket Sule, science educationist

The document also adds, “Cow urine provides immunity by increasing resistance power in the human body. By regularly taking cow urine before sickness, we gain so much immunity that any attack of diseases is repulsed.”

Further, it makes unscientific claims like the cow urine helps in “spiritual healing in the case of skin rashes, caused by negative energy.”

The government body further states that cow dung has anti-radioactive properties, a claim which was earlier debunked by The Quint’s fact-checking vertical, WebQoof.

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‘Cow Slaughter Brings Bad Karma’

In one of its sections, the reference material provided by the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog uses a theory by physicists MM Bajaj, Ibrahim, and Vijayraj Singh to link beef consumption with ‘bad karma’. In the same section, it goes on to link cow slaughter to earthquakes.

It states: “Karma plays a leading role in the world’s drift toward environmental catastrophe, and a large part of this karma is generated by unnecessary killing of animals.”

The document mentions that physicists Bajaj, Ibrahim, and Vijayraj Singh have proposed the theory that animal slaughter and natural calamities like earthquakes have an interrelationship.

Proponents of such claims are aware that they can’t be proved, science educationist Sule tells The Quint. They only work on an emotional level.

“These people know that if they venture into serious research, nothing will come out of it. Hence, they don’t take that route in the first place,” he said.

Clearly, the exam and its syllabus proposed by the Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog is based on conclusions without much evidence. Add to it, the language used in the text does little to contribute to the seriousness of the exam.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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