The All India Hindu Mahasabha, a political party in India formed "to protect the rights of the Hindu community", on Monday demanded to know from the central government if cow blood has been used in the manufacture of any of the vaccines against coronavirus disease (COVID-19).
Hindu Mahasabha chief Swami Chakrapani Maharaj has sent a letter to the President of India, Ram Nath Kovind, in this regard and asked that the government and pharmaceutical companies clarify whether cow's blood, or any such substance "hurts the spirit of Hindu Sanatan Dharma", has been used in the COVID-19 vaccine.
In his 'memorandum' to President Kovind, the Hindu Mahasabha chief pointed out that there are hints of an "international conspiracy to destroy religion by feeding cow's blood, meat or fat in the name of corona vaccine and medicine".
Swami Chakrapani Maharaj revealed the contents of the 'memorandum' on his Twitter handle.
"Memorandum sent to the President. Before bringing Corona vaccine or medicine to India, the government and international pharmaceutical companies should clarify to the country if the vaccine or medicine does contain cow's blood or any such substance which hurts the spirit of Hindu Sanatan Dharma," wrote the Hindu Mahasabha chief in Hindi.
To make his point, Swami Chakrapani Maharaj even drew a parallel with the struggle of freedom fighters against the British Empire. The British had, he said, used cow fat in weapons cartridges to "corrupt religion".
However, their plot was foiled by Mangal Pandey of Maharishi Bhrigu's Tapobhumi Ballia who "burnt the bugle of rebellion," the Hindu Mahasabha chief said.
The COVID-19 vaccine has attracted radical doubt, especially from religious conservatives, over the rumoured ingredients in the shot.
On a related note, there was earlier a growing alarm among religious Muslims over the use of pork gelatin, a common vaccine ingredient, since an orthodox section of the community considered the consumption of pork products "haram", or forbidden under Islamic law.
However, the United Arab Emirates' highest Islamic authority, the UAE Fatwa Council, has ruled that coronavirus vaccines are permissible for Muslims even if they contain pork gelatin.