Many Hindus view cows as sacrosanct. In photo: Indian monks from the International Society of Krishna Conciousness (ISKON) along with Hindu devotees worship cows as part of Govardhan Puja celebrations. Photograph: (AFP)
The Indian government will form a committee to back popular claims that cow urine can cure a host of diseases
The rightwing Bharatiya Janata Party-led Indian government is pulling out all stops to scientifically find out the benefits of cow urine, whether it can cure diseases ranging from cancer to dengue.
With Hindus being the dominant religion in India, many view the cow to be sacrosanct and swear by the benefits of cow urine in terms of health and wellness. Cows are worshipped by many Hindus in India during festivals.
The Indian government, which also holds the cow as an integral part of Hindu tradition, has set up a committee to scientifically prove the advantages of cow urine, according to CNN.
Dr Kavya Dashora, a committee coordinator, told CNN that it is known that their urine has "many antiviral properties".
"We just need to scientifically validate it," she said.
The research team will operate from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi and be funded by the government's ministry of science and technology.
The committee will be formed by the end of February.
The Indian government has been keen to back missions about development of cows. Soon after coming to power, the government launched a Rs 500-crore mission ($75 million) to encourage locally-bred cows over cross-breed variants to hike the output of milk produced.