March 14, 2020 / 9:28 AM / a month ago

Hindu group offers cow urine in a bid to ward off coronavirus

Members of All India Hindu Mahasabha drink cow urine as they attend a gaumutra (cow urine) party, which according to them helps warding off coronavirus disease (COVID-19), in New Delhi, India March 14, 2020. REUTERS/Danish Siddiqui

NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A Hindu group hosted a cow urine drinking party on Saturday as they believe it wards off the coronavirus, as many Hindus consider the cow sacred and some drink cow urine believing it has medicinal properties.

Experts have repeatedly asserted that cow urine does not cure illnesses like cancer and there is no evidence that it can prevent coronavirus.

The “party,” hosted by a group called the Akhil Bharat Hindu Mahasabha (All India Hindu Union) at its headquarters in the country’s capital, was attended by 200 people, and the organizers hoped to host similar events elsewhere in India.

“We have been drinking cow urine for 21 years, we also take bath in cow dung. We have never felt the need to consume English medicine,” said Om Prakash, a person who attended the party.

Chakrapani Maharaj, the chief of the All India Hindu Union, posed for photographs as he placed a spoon filled with cow urine near the face of a caricature of the coronavirus.

Leaders from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party have advocated the use of cow urine as medicine and a cure for cancer.

A leader from India’s north eastern state of Assam told state lawmakers earlier this month during an assembly session that cow urine and cow dung can be used to treat the coronavirus.

The pathogen, which has infected more than 138,000 people worldwide and left over 5,000 dead, has no known scientific cure and governments across the world are struggling to control the spread of the pandemic.

Writing by Sudarshan Varadhan; Editing by Michael Perry

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