Coffee, Tea or Pee?


In late 1970s when I was in graduate school in New Jersey, the late prime minister of India, Mr. Morarji Desai, was the focus of a CBS 60-minutes interview extolling the virtues of drinking urine. It provided Pakistani students an opportunity to embarrass our fellow students and friends from India. When our Indian friends showed up for a visit, my roommate politely asked them whether they would like to have "coffee, tea or pee". It was all in good fun and we all laughed it off.

Fast forward thirty years. The joke appears to be turning into reality with the expected launch of a drink "Gau Jal" in India. It is being touted as the "Hindu Nationalists' answer to Coke" by the RSS.

"Don't worry, it won't smell like urine and will be tasty too," Om Prakash of the RSS 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."

Many Hindus consider cow urine to have medicinal properties and it is often drunk in religious festivals.

Since 2001, the RSS and its offshoots – which include the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party – have been promoting cow urine as a cure for ailments ranging from liver disease to obesity and even cancer.

The Hindu organization, which aims to transform India's secular society and establish the supremacy of a Hindu majority (often referred to as Hindutva), said it had not yet decided on a name or a price for the drink.

My marketing suggestion to the RSS is to brand this new concoction as "Desai Cola" in honor of the late Indian prime minister who was the first to promote the benefits of urine to the world on a major TV show. The ads for this new invention should boldly ask the prospects, "Does your Pepsi lack pep? Is your Coke not the real thing?" And then offer "Desai Cola" as the answer. In spite of its "medicinal properties" the RSS should price it competitively with other cola drinks such as Coca Cola and Pepsi Cola to rapidly gain a large market share. The RSS should also consider hiring some of the smart middle-class Indian graduates from Harvard Stanford and Wharton Business schools, kids with certifiable RSS sympathies, to give their product international recognition.

Related Links:

Hindus plan cow urine drink to rival Western sodas

Sonal Shah to Help Divide Obama's Victory Spoils

India to Launch Cow Urine Drink as Coke Alternative

Hindu Nationalists' Government in Exile?

India's Guantanamos and Abu Ghraibs

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Riaz Haq said…
Indian MPs angry at possible ban on Bhagvad Gita in Russia, according to BBC:

Indian MPs have expressed outrage and forced an adjournment of parliament in protest at a court case in Russia that could see a Hindu holy book banned.

MPs demanded the government protect Hindu rights, shouting: "We will not tolerate an insult to Lord Krishna."

State prosecutors in Tomsk argue the Bhagvad Gita is an extremist religious text and want it put on a list that includes Hitler's Mein Kampf.

They say it sows social discord and want its distribution banned.

Russia recognises freedom of religion among its four main faiths, Orthodox Christianity, Islam, Buddhism and Judaism.
'Diplomatic protest'

The Tomsk case concerns a Russian translation of the Bhagvad Gita.

The book is central to Hare Krishna and dozens of the movement's adherents protested outside the Russian consulate in Calcutta on Monday.

The court in Tomsk on Monday suspended its ruling until 28 December to seek the opinion of the Russian ombudsman and religious experts.

Bhartruhari Mahtab, leader of the Biju Janata Dal, brought up the issue in the Indian parliament on Monday.

He said: "I want to know from the government what it is doing. The religious rights of Hindus in Russia should be protected. The government should impress upon the Russian authorities through diplomatic channels."

The speaker of parliament rejected requests for speeches on the subject and was forced to adjourn amid protests.


http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-16251763
Riaz Haq said…
#India's #Modi claims ancient #Hindus did plastic surgery, found stem cells, built TV, nukes, missiles,airplanes,cars http://on.ft.com/1AxgDrG

Narendra Modi, Indian prime minister, has relaunched his country’s controversial claims to some of the world’s greatest scientific achievements with his suggestion that ancient India was adept at genetics and plastic surgery, including the grafting of the elephant’s head onto the god Ganesh.

His remarks – ironically made at the opening of a high-tech hospital in Mumbai – have revived a political debate about the growing influence of the right-wing Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (the Organisation of National Volunteers) over the governing Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata party.

Hindu fundamentalists are delighted by Mr Modi’s words, left-wingers are appalled or mocking and many foreigners are simply bemused that India’s real cultural, scientific and medical achievements are being overshadowed by simplistic references to the mythological past.

“For the intelligentsia and the educated people it’s so preposterous and absurd I think they don’t want to comment on it,” says political commentator Vinod Mehta. He argues that Mr Modi is currying favour with the Hindu right to secure their support. “Periodically you will hear him say these kinds of thing. I don’t think there’s a 1 per cent chance that the prime minister believes it.”

Here are five types of achievements claimed for ancient India:

• Stem cell research and other medical advances such as plastic surgery: Mr Modi mentioned the miraculous birth of the warrior king Karna in the Mahabharata, the Hindu epic, outside his mother’s womb as evidence that “genetic science was present at that time”. As for Ganesh, he said there must have been a surgeon who grafted the elephant head onto a human body “and began the practice of plastic surgery”.



• Cars and aircraft: Indian legends refer to horseless chariots and to aeroplane-like vehicles called vimanas. In the Mahabharata, the hero Arjuna, for example, sees “an incredible ship of the sky” which lands softly on the ground. “Wonderful lights flashed on the vimana’s smooth body. As Arjuna rose and approached the craft, a door opened at its side and a flight of steps flowed out from it.”



• Nuclear weapons and high-speed missiles: Arjuna’s arrows are often likened to missiles, sometimes with deadly payloads. At one point he shoots “a silver shaft charged with that final weapon” at his enemies. “It is an adamantine thunderbolt… Like a small sun, it erupts among the Trigarta legions and nine of every ten men Susharma brought to war are pillars of ash.”



•Televsion: A controversial book by retired schoolteacher Dinanath Batra, distributed in schools in Mr Modi’s home state of Gujarat, lays claim not only to motorcars and stem cell research but also to television in ancient India. Indian sages, it says, use their yogic powers to attain visions, and one royal adviser receives a live telecast of the battle of Mahabharata. “There is no doubt that the invention of television goes back to this.”



• Mathematics: Like the claim to longstanding medical knowledge, this is based on real achievements in ancient times, even if many recent advances have been made beyond India’s frontiers. In particular India is credited with the system that became known as the “Arabic” numerals 0-9. Albert Einstein is quoted as saying: “We owe a lot to the Indians, who taught us how to count, without which no worthwhile scientific discovery could have been made.”

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