Politics

After West Bengal BJP Chief's Remarks, Farmer Tries to Obtain Gold Loan Using Cow

Susanta Mandal, a dairy farmer and milkman, allegedly took his cow and its calf to the local gold loan office.

New Delhi: After the Bengal BJP chief Dilip Ghosh said that milk produced by Indian cows contains gold, a farmer in the Hooghly district of the state of West Bengal allegedly took his cow and its calf to the local Manappuram Gold Loan office hoping to receive a loan by pledging the cow, according to a report in The Telegraph.

Susanta Mandal, a dairy farmer and milkman, stood outside the Manappuram Gold Loan office, to pledge his cow with its milk as collateral, for more than an hour after he was not allowed inside, according to eyewitnesses.

In response to this incident, West Bengal BJP chief Ghosh, who has called the controversy surrounding his remarks a “misinterpretation”, told The Telegraph, “Does this farmer follow social media trolls? All of this is created by Trinamool [Congress], whose members are busy consuming beef and not cow milk.” Some of Ghosh’s supporters have cited a 2004 “study” to buttress his claims.

Also read: If Cow Urine Contains Gold, Nobody Knows

However, Mandal, a school dropout, does not use a smartphone. His wife said that Mandal was confused about what was true after hearing Ghosh’s widely circulated comments. “We are uneducated people, so what do we know? People had been ridiculing him at the market…. So, at some point, he became confused about what was true and what wasn’t,” she said.

A neighbour of Mandal said, “I joked with Susanta about this [Ghosh’s comments] a few days ago too, and he had said he would try his luck with Ghosh’s logic at the local gold office. I cannot believe he was being serious!”

The Garalgachha gram panchayat pradhan Manoj Singha also said, “These are simple people. This poor man actually believed all the nonsensical comments and stood here, telling me that he had brought two healthy and beautiful cows to exchange them for gold”. Singha added that Mandal came to him as he believed that if the gold loan officials didn’t listen to him, at least an elected representative would.

Singha also said that Mandal was surprised to learn that a cow could not be an alternative to gold and couldn’t believe that people would joke about something like gold.

Also read: Cow Urine Must Leave Our Health Discourse and Its Proponents, Our Politics

In 2016, researchers at the Junagadh Agricultural University (JAU), Gujarat, claimed to have found gold particles in the urine of some cows from the Gir region of the state. K. Shankar Rao, director of the National Institute of Ayurveda, Jaipur also told The Wire that several ayurvedic texts referred to the treatment of ailments using different types of urine, of which, cow urine was considered to be the best.

Dr Virendra Kumar Jain, owner of a cow urine therapy clinic in Indore, said that he held a patent on creating a herbal medicine, using cow urine, which listed ‘gold ashes’ as one of its constituents. Kumar also said that ancient texts referred to the presence of gold in cow products and that the pale yellow colour in the urine and milk of cows was as a result of the presence of gold particles. The yellow colour is in fact due to a pigment called Beta-carotene.