Does your Pepsi lack pep? Is your Coke not the real thing? India’s Hindu nationalist movement apparently has the answer: a new soft drink made from cow urine.
The bovine brew is in the final stages of development by the Cow Protection Department of the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS), India’s biggest and oldest Hindu nationalist group, according to the man who makes it.
Om Prakash, the head of the department, said the drink – called “gau jal”, or “cow water” – in Sanskrit was undergoing laboratory tests and would be launched “very soon, maybe by the end of this year”.
“Don’t worry, it won’t smell like urine and will be tasty too,” he told The Times from his headquarters in Hardwar, one of four holy cities on the River Ganges. “Its USP will be that it’s going to be very healthy. It won’t be like carbonated drinks and would be devoid of any toxins.”
The drink is the latest attempt by the RSS – which was founded in 1925 and now claims eight million members – to cleanse India of foreign influence and promote its ideology of Hindutva, or Hindu-ness.
Hindus revere cows and slaughtering them is illegal in most of India. Cow dung is traditionally used as a fuel and disinfectant in villages, while cow urine and dung are often consumed in rituals to “purify” those on the bottom rungs of the Hindu caste system.
In 2001, the RSS and its offshoots – which include the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party – began promoting cow urine as a cure for ailments ranging from liver disease to obesity and even cancer.
The movement has often been accused of using more violent methods, such as killing 67 Christians in the eastern state of Orissa last year, and assaulting women in a pub in Mangalore last month. It also has a history of targeting foreign business in India, as in 1994, when it organised a nationwide boycott of multinational consumer goods, including Pepsi and Coca Cola.
The cola brands are popular in India, now one of their biggest markets, but have struggled in recent years to shake off allegations, which they deny, that they contain dangerous levels of pesticide.
Mr Prakash said his drink, by contrast, was made mainly of cow urine, mixed with a few medicinal and ayurvedic herbs. He said it would be “cheap”, but declined to give further details about its price or ingredients until it was officially launched.
He insisted, however, that it would be able to compete with the American cola brands, even with their enormous advertising budgets. “We’re going to give them good competition as our drink is good for mankind,” he said. “We may also think of exporting it.”
Comments by some readers of the original article ……………… (Please read them all under original article, they are worse than the soft drink idea itself……)…link at bottom
rubina, birmingham, uk
hummmm, why didn’t I think of that…..it is plenty free around Canada….just not sure how you market pee…
Laura, Okanagan Falls, Canada
John , Detroit, USA
shahbaz, London, UK
It is too early for everything to start, this looks like a idea thought by RSS but how much will it work and they carry forward the work needs to be seen. Competing against Coke or Pepsi is no joke. Even if everythong goes right, launch is successful market has been captured it will be way to go.
Sudeepto Saha, Bhopal, INDIA
Maybe they should call it Bovrine
Alan, Barnsley, UK
Nothing new if you’ve been living in India’s cow belt (as I have), where fresh cow urine can be had from stalls at crafts fairs, along with “medicinal” pellets of cow dung.
So they’ve decided to globalise operations now. Raise your glasses, folks!
Salim Yusufji, Jabalpur, India
There should be a lot of very healthy children in rural parts of Africa. They go to the cattle ponds and collect this stuff for drinking water every day. Perhaps they can bottle and export it!
Bob, London, Canada
It will wash down a curry better than six pints of lager!
Peter Appleby, BOBLINGEN, GERMANY
This is crazy…ppl are actually trying to defend a urine made drink. why would one want to drink urine of cows, even if its healthy. If cokecola and pepsi r so bad…dont drink have water or juices but drinking urine is not sane (its madness)!! Plz realize what u r drinking!!!
Najeeb Jamali, Karachi, Pakistan
And after I have drunk this product, no doubt my urine will be a wonderful healthy product too. I have been looking for a way to make a small fortune. Please send your money to me, the first bottle to the highest bidder! A truely recycled product!
Original Article With Photos and More Comments if you dare to look