After the government announced on Tuesday that a national-level voluntary exam on cow science will be held on February 25, reports suggest that beef consumption has been linked to 'bad karma' in the syllabus for the test.
The Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog (RKA) Chairman Vallabhbhai Kathiria had said this exam will be held annually, in a bid to generate interest among students and general public about the indigenous cow and its benefits.
The government cow welfare body has now listed topics and syllabus to be studied for the exam. A report by the Quint says the 54-page document is fraught with disputed claims without established scientific evidence.
The paper claims a native cow is better than an exotic or a jersey cow. The logic? That the milk of a native cow is "yellow in colour because it contains traces of gold". It adds that infants who drink milk of jersey cows "suffer from diseases like autism, diabetes, and sudden death syndrome".
The RKA document also says Indian cows are clever and don't sit at dirty places. The cows are claimed to adapt themselves to the climate. They can also withstand extreme weather, it says, unlike exotic cows.
The paper mentions a variety of medicinal properties of products derived from the dung and urine of Indian cows. It says that the urine of the cow serves as an antidote to phlegm, kas, intestinal diseases, diseases of the eye, and diseases of the bladder, lumbar, respiratory, inflammation, and diseases of the liver.
Associate Professor at The Homi Bhabha Centre for Science Education Aniket Sule told the Quint that students usually want to score well in exams. In the case of this one, he said, they might mug up "wrong information" and retain it for a long time.
Sule explains that 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,” he says in the report.
The document also claims cow urine leads to "spiritual healing in the event of skin rashes caused by negative energy." Anti-radioactive properties in cow dug is another disputed claim made by the government body in its paper.
In one of its parts, a theory by physicists MM Bajaj, Ibrahim, and Vijayraj Singh is used to link beef consumption with 'bad karma.' It goes on to relate cow slaughter to earthquakes in the same chapter.
The paper mentions that the physicists Bajaj, Ibrahim, and Vijayraj Singh suggested the hypothesis that there is an interrelationship between animal slaughter and natural calamities such as earthquakes.
But according to Sule, such theories "only work on an emotional level".
He says the cow body knows that if it ventured into serious research, nothing would come out of it. "Hence, they don’t take that route in the first place,” he adds.
Students of primary, secondary and college levels and general public can take part in the examination without any fee.