Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Don't Think It Will Catch On Here

From The Times (London) Online:

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 could 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.

[...] 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.
[...] 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.

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."

Well, I've been looking around for a retirement business where I can stay a little busy and make a few extra bucks when I finally pack it in. I don't think I'll be looking to acquire the US import license for this stuff, however. It just doesn't sound like a money maker - at least, not in Texas.

On a theological note, it does emphasize the distinctions between Hinduism and Christianity. With apologies to my Hindu friends: We have the Body and Blood of the Incarnate Word; they have Cow Pea. I really don't see much of a contest here.