Products That REALLY Are B.S.
If you’re in India you can stock (no pun intended) up on some interesting Hindu nationalist products: potions, lotions and medicines made out of 100 percent, real cow-dung and cow urine.
A lot went into these products, in the end.
A new goratna (cow products) stall at the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) souvenir shop is rapidly outselling dry political tracts, badges, flags and saffron-and-green plastic wall clocks with the face of former prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.
“You won’t believe how quickly some of the products sold out,” says Manoj Kumar, who runs the souvenir shop along with his brother, Sanjeev, at the BJP headquarters in a plush central New Delhi neighborhood. “The constipation medicine is a hot seller.”
So there’s a run on the constipation medicine. But there’s more:
But the biggest seller is a “multi-utility pill” that claims to cure anything from diabetes to piles to “ladies’ diseases.”
“It’s a miraculous cure” the container declares. A month’s supply costs a little over $1.
Another cure-all is Sanjivani Ark, a liquid medicine that battles cancer, hysteria, and irregular periods, among other things.
And — seriously — there is cow dung toothpaste, if you’re someone who likes to try out a new flavor. Also “detergents, a skin-whitening cream, baldness and obesity cures, soap and a cow urine “antiseptic aftershave.”
Nothing mooooves the ladies like the smell of cow-dung based aftershave, although perhaps it makes you feel a little bossy.
Siddarth Singh, a spokesman for the Hindu nationalist BJP, which has long campaigned on the sanctity of the cow, said the stall aimed to promote village industry, one of the biggest employers in India.
“If you go back in the history of India, this belongs to our culture. There’s no commercial value to us. Village industry in this country needs to be promoted.”
The use of cow products in India is centuries old. The five key products — butter, milk, curd, urine and dung — are collectively known as panchgavya and are an important part of ayurvedic medicine.
But what’s the big deal about stores pitching cow dung products? American politicians have pitched cow dung for years.
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