ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Proliferation of Astrological Services and Rising Superstitions

Ironically, the revolution in communications and technology has also led to a manifold increase in superstitions, leading to irrational beliefs and practices. This article is based on informal discussions with the employees of a call centre in Lucknow that offers astrological services, including advice and products. Babas and television channels, apart from persuasive employees, play a big role in making such call centres profi table.

Some time ago, Union Minister for Human Resource Development Smriti Irani, who officially heads almost all the scientific institutions, universities and colleges in the country, was reported to have spent four hours with an astrologer in Rajasthan. At around the same time the media reported that Indian scientists had succeded in placing Mangalyaan in Mar’s orbit in the very first attempt. However, prior to this the then Chairman of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), K Radhakrishnan, responsible for the feat, performed a puja with the replica of the Mars Orbiter Mission at the Sri Venkateshwara temple in Tirupati.

Such acts challenge the scientific temperament as encompassed in the Constitution in the Directive Principles under Article 51 A(h) which urges every citizen “to develop the scientific temper, humanism and the spirit of inquiry and reform.”

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