Indian government on Friday set up a 19-member panel that will carry out verifiable scientific research to develop cow derivatives like urine and their benefits. The panel is being called the ‘National Steering Committee’ and will include secretaries of the departments of Science and Technology, Biotechnology, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy and scientists from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. Three members of the panel are linked to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP).

The members will report directly to Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan who happens to be the head of the committee. Dr Harsh Vardhan said that the committee will select projects that can help scientifically validate the benefits of Panchgavya. Panchgavya is a concoction of cow dung, cow urine, milk, curd, and clarified butter (ghee) – and is believed to be having medicinal values and can thus be utilized in enhancing nutrition, health and agriculture, per the circular accessed by PTI. Panchgavya is also used in some traditional Indian rituals

Dr Harsh Vardhan said that his ministry has taken up research in this field in a bid to “settle controversies” over the benefits of cow milk and urine. The ministry has called upon scientists to come up with verifiable findings.

He told media late last night that scientists are working to validate ‘Panchagavya’ efficacy

“If you have to talk about it to the whole world, even for ‘Ayurveda’, we know it is well defined and good and people can live for hundred years, but we have to scientifically validate it to prove it to the rest of the world

“For ‘Ayurveda’ also, our laboratories in Jammu are doing this. When we established ‘AYUSH’ (ministry). We had put in INR 5,000 crore for the ministry and there is a lot of scope,” the minister said

“To support the importance of ‘Panchagavya’,  you will be surprised very senior scientists in IIT Delhi and all across the country are working on this issue and the importance of cow is well established in our literature and well proven,” he said

Incidentally the developments and the formation of the panel comes at a time when the cow is increasingly being seen as a religious symbol and self-proclaimed gau rakshaks have taken law and order in their own hands. They justify the murders and violence by stating that the cow is akin to their mother and thus have a right to ‘protect it’ by all means.

Opposition parties have been attacking the BJP over the cases of cow vigilantism, in which Muslims and Dalits have been specifically targeted and many killed and lynched mercilessly. These parties have also planned to raise the issue during the Parliament session starting tomorrow, reports PTI.

A recent campaign “Not In My Name” had evoked a tremendous response from across the entire country and abroad with mostly Hindus coming out in large numbers to stand up and oppose murders and violence in the name of Gau Raksha.

“We believe cow is the foundation of our civilisation” Sunil Mansinghka of the Nagpur-based Gau Vigyan Anusandhan Kendra’s website says. Mansinghka, whose organisation is affiliated to the VHP is part of the committee and so is Vijay Bhatkar, the president of Delhi-based Vigyan Bharti, an RSS-affiliated science body. Bhatkar is also the Chancellor of the Nalanda University in Rajgir, Bihar.

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