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Letters: Study in contradiction

Why, even Jawaharlal Nehru took the help of astrology in his final days, as journalist Durga Das recounts in his book India from Curzon to Nehru and After

Business Standard 

That Karnataka Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister T B Jayachandra (pictured) excluded vaastu and astrology from the new anti-superstition Bill is not surprising. After all, those who stay in glass houses cannot throw stones at others.
 
Although professing a rational and progressive mindset, Congress ministers across India often consult astrologers and act according to their advice, right from filing their nominations to campaigning to assuming office.

 
Why, even Jawaharlal Nehru took the help of astrology in his final days, as journalist Durga Das recounts in his book India from Curzon to Nehru and After. In 1964, at the instance of Cabinet ministers Satya Narayan Sinha and Gulzarilal Nanda, Nehru took recourse to astrology and ayurveda when his health was failing. To quote Das: “Fifty learned pundits were engaged by his admirers to perform the prescribed rites at a temple in Kalkaji, a suburb of Delhi. At the end of the daily ceremonies the pundits repaired to the Prime Minster’s residence, to place an auspicious tilak mark on his forehead.”
 
When even a scientific organisation like Isro, based in Karnataka, seeks the blessings of Lord Venkateswara before the launch of a rocket or satellite, there is no point after all, in the state banishing astrology.
C V Krishna Manoj   Hyderabad
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First Published: Wed, October 04 2017. 22:33 IST
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