Don’t be surprised if you get an unusual gift from a Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh (RSS) volunteer in your locality this Diwali.
Out of its deep veneration of the cow, the RSS has decided to try out idols of goddess Lakshmi and Lord Ganesh (both belonging to the Hindu pantheon) made of cow products like urine, dung, milk, ghee and curd, this festive season.
“Swayamsevaks have been asked to use these idols for worship wherever possible. We hope to make a decent beginning this time and broaden the movement in the coming years,” Indraprastha Vishwa Samvad Kendra (RSS
media cell) Secretary Vagish Issar, 54, told Hindustan Times.
The planning began earlier this year when the Akhil Bharatiya Gau Raksha Samiti — an RSS affiliate — held a prashikshan varg (training session) for 60 sculptors from various parts of the country in Kanpur (408 km east of Delhi).
The lesson: demonstrating how mixing cow urine, dung, milk, ghee and curd in a certain proportion can make beautiful idols of gods and goddesses.
The RSS has asked its workers to use as well as distribute such idols this Diwali.
And there are issues of nationalism and economics here. Farmers’ distress too can be addressed through this, the RSS believes.
Nationalism first. The RSS believes that the very idea of images of gods and goddesses made in China and sold in India is repugnant to Hindu sensibilities. And the Chinese grow rich in the process.
Then economics. Cottage industry in India based on such raw material can be a formidable counter to Chinese manufacturers, who dump idols made of environmentally questionable stuff in this country.
Then comes the macro-economic picture: India can prosper only when its villages prosper.
“Farmers reeling under drought and difficulties in loan repayment have cows, which they give butchers for slaughter once they stop giving milk,” Issar said.
“If we promote these idols, the dung and urine of these cows will be used as raw material, which they can sell.”