Monday, 30th October 2017

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Different notes

Readers' Speak: Janata curfew in time of coronavirus; 'gau mutra' brigade

  • Published 25.03.20, 12:08 AM
  • Updated 25.03.20, 12:08 AM
  • 3 mins read
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari along with his family members clap as a gesture to show gratitude to the helpers and medical practitioners who are working relentlessly to fight coronavirus during Janta curfew, in Nagpur, Sunday, March 22, 2020. PTI

Sir — The prime minister’s janata curfew did help resurrect, momentarily, sounds that the city is losing at a frightening rate. The morning of March 22 was sweetened by bird calls and the sound of the breeze. Unfortunately, the melody was fleeting. It was drowned out, sharp at 5 pm, by the great din caused by the clanging of pots, pans and sundry other kitchen utensils. This ‘orchestra’ was followed within moments by the unbearable sound of bursting crackers. Diligent Indians may have obeyed their quixotic prime minister. But it wasn’t quite music to the discerning ear.

Saptarshi Ghosh,


Magic potion

Sir — In a country whose premier declares at a convention of medical practitioners that the evidence of plastic surgery being prevalent in ancient India is the installation of an elephant’s head on a human body by alluding to Ganesha, and a senior minister presiding over the convocation of an Indian Institute of Technology inspires engineers by citing the bridge-building skills purportedly used in the construction of the mythical Ram Setu, while the state president of a powerful political party claims that there is gold to be found in cow’s milk, it is hardly surprising that gullible people would drink cow urine at a coronavirus prevention campaign, that too organized by a disciple of Asaram Bapu, a self-proclaimed godman convicted for rape (“Gathering gulps cow urine to ‘fight virus’”, March 15). For blind believers, if the cow is divine then, as a corollary, cow urine must be divine too. By extension of this logic, boars and dogs should be considered equally holy, and it is a shame that they have been ignored so far. According to the scriptures, the boar was one of the ten incarnations of Vishnu, and in the Mahabharata a dog followed Yudhishthira to heaven. Should not devotees consume the excrement of these creatures too?

The organizers of the camp announced that they would send vials of cow urine to the president of the United States of America and other world leaders. However, this noble idea may not succeed because these dignitaries are already wholeheartedly devoted to the cow, albeit in a different manner: they devour its meat. It is unlikely that they would want to alter that pattern of devotion.

Sanjit Ghatak,

South 24 Parganas

Sir — Leaders of the Bharatiya Janata Party and Hindutva groups seem to believe that the urine of the indigenous cow — a major component of panchagavya — is a sure cure not only for Covid-19 but also for diseases like AIDS and cancer. To market it well, a mela was organized on the lawns of the Hindu Mahasabha Bhavan, where many enthusiasts enjoyed cupfuls of cow urine.

It appears that all that is left to be done is to get a clearance from an international agency for gau mutra to be declared a new medicine. This should not be a problem since given the number of cow-worshippers in the country, there will be no shortage of volunteers wanting to participate in the human trials. Perhaps our prime minister would use his strong connection with the American president and get him on board for the approval process? Devotees must find it unfortunate that scientists across the world are unwilling to recognize this great discovery because of their envy.

Sukhamay Biswas,


Sir — It is ridiculous that at a time the government was advising people to avoid gatherings, some religious fanatics were having a ‘gau mutra’ party to fight the coronavirus. Those who joined the party surely deny modern medicine and technology. If this kind of perception is popularized then the country would move backwards instead of moving ahead. This madness should stop at once.

Abhijit Chakraborty,


Small joys

Sir — For people who delight in summer storms as much as they love having mangoes, it is difficult when the storms rids the branches of trees of all the flowers, along with their promise of evolving into plump, juicy mangoes within months. This is what happened with me two evenings back.

Like me, many others must associate this season with childhood memories of riding out with friends to pick mangoes, risking getting caught by orchard owners. One hopes that once all the prevalent crises come to an end, such little joys as sharing mangoes with friends return to our lives.

Sandip Dutta,