Libmonster ID: U.S.-1428
Author(s) of the publication: V. KASHIN

Nowhere else in the world does astrology enjoy such authority as in India. Representatives of the political elite are particularly interested in it.

Among the current leaders of the country, only Jawaharlal Nehru ignored the predictions of star soothsayers, but he also had to reckon with their public influence.

For a modern Indian leader, regular contacts with astrologers are no less important than consultations with an image maker. This is why party bosses and functionaries are willing to accept them as secretaries on their teams.

Until recently, the most reliable political horoscopes in India were compiled in Tamil Nadu and Karnataka, but in recent years they have been replaced by metropolitan computer versions. Delhi Jyotish astrologers are firmly convinced that all the conflicts and twists in Indian politics are programmed in heaven for many years to come. Therefore, they are ready to display the results of the new parliamentary elections and name the next Prime Minister and opposition leader in the People's Chamber.

THE POWER OF TRADITION

Belief in the ability of stars to influence the fate of a person is one of the features of the mentality of the peoples of South Asia. In ancient India, there was even a ritual of making a horoscope on the eve of making an important state decision or the birth of the heir to the ruling dynasty of kings. The sacred books of the Hindus "Vedas" call astrology "the eye of knowledge of the world" and "the ancestor of all sciences."

Today, you can't find a village or city block that doesn't have its own jyotish, or even a few planetary forecasters. According to some estimates, their total number exceeded half a million. "If you throw a stone in Delhi, it will surely fall on the astrologer's head," the Indian parliament is fond of repeating.

However, there are many amateurs and charlatans among the star visionaries. Unlike professionals, scammers demand a high reward. As for the true fortune tellers, they consider their craft "a gift from the gods" and are content with a moderate fee. Its usual amount is from Rs 50 to Rs 500 * .

If desired, a personal horoscope can be ordered from any astrological company. To do this, you must specify the name, date and time of birth (hour and minute), as well as the latitude and longitude of the place of birth. The information is entered into the computer - and your horoscope for a year, ten or more years is ready. Almost all newspapers and magazines publish universal horoscopes. TV and radio do not forget about them.

In addition, astrologers themselves are able to maintain their high rating. They use any major event in their social and political life to remind them of themselves. A vivid example of this is India's independence and proclamation as a republic.

An astrologer is asked for advice when solving various life problems: getting married, buying stock or changing the shape of a mustache, etc. It is not uncommon for large businessmen, relying on the word of an astrologer, to conclude unprofitable contracts. Even criminals, at times, ask him to suggest a good time to start their dark operations.

The popularity of astrology in India is mainly due to the persistence of traditional values in the public and individual consciousness and its connection with religion. A devout Hindu keeps a close eye on the" lucky "and" unlucky " days of his horoscope. All Hindus fear eclipses of the sun and moon. During these hours, life in the country actually freezes, and crowds of believers rush to the sacred reservoirs. Immediately after the eclipse, they perform a purification rite and offer a sacrifice to the gods.

When talking about the influence of astrology on a person, it is also necessary to keep in mind that it can be difficult for people to resist the stresses caused by the ever-increasing pace of life, without the magic balm shed by jyotish on the souls of those who suffer.

FREEDOM AT MIDNIGHT

After many years of struggle of the peoples of India for freedom, independence was gained, but in the end the country was divided into two dominions-the Indian Union and Pakistan.

The author of the partition plan for India is its twentieth and last Viceroy, Lord Mountbatten. He also determined the date of the official declaration of sovereignty - August 15, 1947. However, neither the highest ranks of the colonial administration, nor the most sophisticated ministers from the banks of the Thames could not assume that-


* One US dollar is equal to 46 rupees.

page 26


I hope that their intentions will be interfered with... indian astrologers.

The first responses came from the holy city of Benares. With all the diversity of astrological schools, local jyotishis found the chosen day extremely unfavorable. They drew attention to the fact that August 15 coincided with Friday, which is considered a difficult day for Hindus, similar to Monday for Europeans.

The famous Calcutta astrologer Swami Madananand selected several equal-sized circles with the designation of the days of the week and months, the phases of the sun and moon, the signs of the Zodiac and the positions of the 27 major constellations. Placing the circles on top of each other, he rotated them so that they coincided at the August 15 mark. Then he placed a globe in the center of the model and drew several straight lines from the borders of India to the intersection with the circle. As a result, it turned out that on August 15, India will be under the sign of Capricorn, hostile to all centrifugal forces, and, therefore, to its division. Madananand also calculated that the planet Saturn, which is known as an ominous harbinger, will have the predominant influence on India. In addition, on the night of August 14-15 and throughout the next day, Saturn, Jupiter and Venus will be in the most unfavorable part of the celestial sphere.

When one of the astrologers from Assam learned about the upcoming act, he fainted from excitement. When he recovered, he sent an urgent telegram to Mountbatten, begging him to refrain from all activities on the day "cursed by the stars."

The resistance of the astrologers excited the masses and thus inflamed the political situation. In this situation, forces interested in the continuation of the colonial presence began to raise their heads. A wave of bloody Hindu-Muslim pogroms swept across the country.

With this in mind, the Constituent Assembly of India decided to postpone the official ceremony. The declaration of independence of India took place exactly at midnight on August 14-15, 1947.

A similar situation was repeated again on the eve of the entry into force of the country's constitution. Telegrams and letters of protest from outraged astrologers were sent to the Chairman of the Legislative Assembly, R. Prasad. Their argument struck him as serious enough, and he spoke out against declaring India a republic on January 26, 1950. But this time, J. R. R. Tolkien said: Nehru condemned the postponement of the date under any pretext whatsoever. He sent the following letter to Prasad, dated September 27, 1949:

"I'm afraid I don't believe in astrology, and I certainly wouldn't want to schedule state events at the behest of astrologers. Moving the day of January 26 to another date would require serious explanations and would not increase our credibility among the world community, and among a significant part of the population of India itself. Many people will be outraged by this. There will be fierce disputes that will lead to nothing good. It is highly doubtful that the author of the letter sent to you reflects the opinion of many millions of our people. If this is the case, then we should either dispel such a delusion, if we ourselves consider it such, or let all others who believe in astrology decide the fate of the state."

At the insistence of the first Prime Minister, the proclamation of the Republic of India was announced on 26 January 1950.

LISTENING TO THE STARS

It is no secret in Indian political life that many key figures, including heads of government, use jyotish services.

Narasimha Rao, the former chairman of the Indian National Congress (INC) party and Prime Minister of India in 1991-1996, remains a recognized favorite in this hobby. According to the well-informed Indian magazine Sunday, he checked every step of his career in big politics against his horoscope. According to the Prime Minister's instructions, all members of his cabinet had to submit personal horoscopes for careful study and comparison.

Narasimha Rao's chief adviser was the Delhi astrologer N. K. Sharma. At various times, he predicted the fall of the Shah of Iran, the Watergate scandal, the assassination of Reagan, and the assassination of Indira Gandhi. At the height of his fame, Sharma was so influential that even ministers were waiting in line to see him. "Rao listened to me for five years. As soon as he stopped consulting me, his political career was over, "Sharma said after the Congress' defeat in the May 1996 election.

But another astrologer, Pandit Parsai, who advised Indira Gandhi for many years, believes that Sharma is lying. He is directly responsible for the failure of the Congress, as he gave many erroneous recommendations to INC managers.

Rao's successor as head of government, United Front leader Devi Gowda, trusted astrologers just as much. He, his wife Channamma, and their sons, daughters, sons - in-law, and daughters-in-law all listened to the "voice" of the planets.

Gowda moved into the Indian Prime Ministers ' residence at 7 Coors Road on June 7, 1996, three days before Rao's departure. As a result, there was an unusual situation when the current and former heads of government were in the same building for several days only because their astrologers could not find a common language. Despite the fact that in his last eleven months in power, Devi Gowda often visited astrologers, this did not help him stay in the prime minister's chair.

On April 21, 1997, another representative of the United Front, Inder Kumar Gujral, became head of Government. In the communique,

page 27


A statement released by the Rashtrapati Bhavan indicated that the new cabinet will be sworn in on April 30. But in the morning, the phones on the prime minister's desk were literally bursting with calls from indignant jyotish people. They demanded to postpone the oath until another day, since April 30, 1997 coincided with the eighth day of the lunar month, which was undesirable for the start of political activity. Gujral hesitated for a while, but was forced to agree.

A few days later, on May 2, 1997, the position of the planets changed, and Gujral finally decided to introduce the ministers to the People's Chamber. According to the established tradition, the act of presentation takes place at 11 o'clock in the morning. But the lower house of parliament had to wait in vain for members of the government until 12.30. Ministers were again detained by the stars, which, from the point of view of astrologers, were rebuilt only for lunch. Opposition leaders described the incident as " unprecedented in the history of Indian parliamentarism."

With the victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance in the September-October 1999 elections, the work of astrologers seems to have increased. Informal leaders are equally successful in turning to computer-generated forecasts and horoscopes compiled using traditional ephemeral tables. Jyotish practitioners who specialize in anticipating assassination attempts and terrorist attacks are particularly in high demand. They even have a schedule for receiving visitors. So, the BJP leaders are assigned Monday, INC-Tuesday, etc. "What can be hidden behind this? - the Indian press is guessing. - A real threat to the constitution and institutions of power, the helplessness of security agencies or the foresight of political functionaries?"

WHAT IS TO BE IS NOT TO BE AVOIDED

Predicting such a change in fate, no astrologer will say this categorically. If the horoscope promises a person a high post of minister or member of parliament, this does not mean that everything will happen in this way. The stars are only half the job, and the rest is done by a politician of his own choosing.

However, astrologers are also not immune to mistakes. For example, Indira Gandhi ordered horoscopes of her youngest son Sanjay several times, and none of them hinted at his imminent death in a plane crash. The horoscope of her eldest son, Rajiv Gandhi, did not foreshadow the tragic death of a kamikaze terrorist from a bomb. Vinod Pande promised Charan Singh that he would become Prime Minister in January 1980, but ironically that was when he lost the post. Indignant, Charan Singh summoned the hapless astrologer and demanded an explanation, but it was too late.

According to many astrologers, the most accurate political horoscopes belong to Delhi's Lachman Das Madan. It is considered that he did not make a single mistake. Lachhman Das Madan is the author of 100 thousand horoscopes of famous people of the world. He predicted a number of major events in the country's history: the partition of India in 1947, the assassination of Mahatma Gandhi, the death of Indira Gandhi, the resignation of the government of V. P. Singh in 1990, the defeat of the Congress in the elections in 1996, etc. He also predicts that INC will win all subsequent parliamentary elections under the leadership of Rajiv Gandhi's daughter Priyanka.

And not so long ago, the same "Sunday" published an unnamed horoscope, according to which the next great leader of India will be born on April 20, 2007 in the south of the country. He will lead the government in 36 years, that is, in 2043, and will lead India to the "golden age". However, the wise experience of unfulfilled forecasts of the Indians took this sensational revelation with a large degree of skepticism. First, the year 2043 is still very far away, secondly, what is to be is not to be avoided, and thirdly, astrologers are also people, and therefore they tend to make mistakes.


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