New Delhi: From Yoga to cow dung (gobar) and urine (gomutra) to Bhabhi Ji papad, BJP leaders have trotted out a number of “prescriptions” for the prevention of Covid-19.
The latest piece of advice has come from Rajasthan BJP MP Sukhbir Singh Jaunapuria. In a Facebook video post, Jaunapuria has recommended blowing a conch and frolicking in mud, apart from munching on leaves to “build up immunity against the coronavirus”.
Jaunapuria, a real estate bigwig, is the MP from Tonk–Sawai Madhopur constituency.
The video uploaded on Facebook shows the MP blowing a conch while drenched in mud, before he begins eating leaves from various trees and shrubs.
“Blowing a conch makes our lungs stronger,” he says in the video. “Earlier, I could only blow for 10 seconds, now I can blow for two minutes.”
He also insists that eating random leaves boosts immunity.
Prior to Jaunapuria, several other BJP leaders had come out with their own ‘prescriptions’ to fight Covid.
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In the last week of July, Union Minister Arjun Ram Meghwal had campaigned for Bhabhi Ji papad saying it has immunity boosters against coronavirus. He has since tested positive.
Assam BJP MLA Suman Haripriya had in March backed gobar and gomutra (cow dung and cow urine) as potential Covid-19 cures, while Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath vouched for yoga as a potential cure.
A repeat offender
This, however, isn’t the first bizarre Covid-19 therapy from Jaunapuria.
In June, he said ‘Agni Yoga’ would help in the fight against the pandemic. To bolster his point, on 21 June, the International Yoga Day, the MP sat amid a circle of fire and claimed it would improve immunity.
On 9 August, the day of the Dandi March, he participated in a padyatra in his constituency along with some of his constituents and ate roti and chutney. He then claimed this was a “perfect recipe to protect us from corona”.
“What is corona? It is like another flu,” he told ThePrint. “We have locked ourselves in our homes but we should not fear the corona. We should instead boost our immunity.”
The MP had a few more suggestions while speaking to ThePrint.
“To boost immunity we have to adopt our ancient practices — walking barefoot and not using the air conditioning,” he said. “I have now restricted the use of AC. In the last four to five months, I have reduced 25 kilos by adopting desi practices. I have started chewing on leaves, and have restricted intake of cooked food and the use of gas for cooking. When Ram was exiled, how did he survive in the forests? In that era, there was no piped gas, and so he ate fruits and leaves in the forest.”
He added that his beliefs are based on the idea that one should “go back to roots”.
“The basic thought is that we have forgotten our century-old lifestyles,” he said. “We used to earlier bathe in the rain and bask in the sun, which boosted our immunity to fight against germs and viruses. In Rajasthan, villagers use a dhoti but normally don’t wear shirts to get sunlight. I have started to use this practice. So the point is if we do Yoga, mud bath and blow conch shell, no Covid will touch us.”
A money-bag MP
Jaunapuria is a real estate tycoon who gifted his daughter a helicopter during her wedding in 2011. The wedding, between his daughter Yogita and Lalit Singh Tanwar, son of another cash-rich BJP MP Kanwar Singh Tanwar, was then billed as one of the country’s most lavish marriage ceremonies.
Jaunapuria owns the Gurugram-headquartered SS Group that also has interests in brewery, healthcare, hospitality and education sectors.
In his 2019 election affidavit, Jaunapuria had shown a net worth of Rs 123 crore. Before joining the BJP, he was known as a close friend of Congress leader and former Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda.
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