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KASHMIR (Updated)
Today, 5 August 2019 has become a historic day in our history as something which could not be done in 70 years has taken shape now. Union Home minister Amit Shah has announced that Article 370 which grants special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir will be scrapped. He also announced that Jammu and Kashmir will no longer be a state and it will be bifurcated into two Union Territories— Jammu & Kashmir and Ladakh.  czytaj więcej...czytaj więcej...
Is ours an ideal democracy!! Hardly so, it is far from being an ideal democracy; where there should be  two equal opponents, like Conservative and Labour party in Britain; like Republican and Democratic party in USA. As for India, for the two major parties here i.e. Congress and BJP there has never been a state of relative equilibrium. There was a time when Congress was all powerful for a long time, BJP had not come into existence then. BJP came into existence and gradually spread its wings and the status now of present election result on 23 May 2019 is that BJP alone bagged 303 seats and 353 seats along with its NDA Alliance. Congress on the other hand could muster only 52 seats; along with UPA, Congress got 91. Other parties won 98 seats. What to talk of equality, Congress party could not win even 55 seats which is the requisite 10 % to become the official opposition. czytaj więcej...czytaj więcej...
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It has suited those who have taken shelter  behind the massive frame of dead Jawaharlal Nehru to cite him as an instance of an anti-astrology and "progressive" symbol, rather a 'modern' man. The definition of "progressive" has had its vagaries from the Communists' blind acceptance of whatever communist Russia approved till perestroika of 1989 destroyed USSR, to those  who thought that the "liberty of the womb" is a modern and progressive step.

"Modern" for astrophysicist like Jayant
Narlikar can mean blind acceptance of everything that is called science and technology in the west. For some the less famous and talented Indian, it means accepting everything western, the central core of which is science, technology and permissiveness.

Into that narrow definition they must jam
pack the frame and reputation of Jawaharlal Nehru to seek a guilt stricken approval for their own fond beliefs which themselves are superstitous or may be so..

Nehru was a Kashmiri pandit, His uncle
Bansidhar Nehru was a Sanskrit scholar and an astrologer. His father Motilal Nehru depended on the court astrologer of the state of Khetri for the horoscopes of his family. (see my book, the Nehru Dynasty) Those horoscopes were used for all those important occasions when Hindus take astrological approval for their decisions, mainly marriage. It was on this ground, astrological basis, that Kamla Nehru, the non-English knowing Kashmiri beauty from Sitaram Bazar. Delhi, was chosen for the European Jawaharlal Nehru who never went to an Indian school in India and had no Indian classmates. May be, if Pupul Jayakar had not been threatened, she might have revealed much more than what she did in her biography of Indira Gandhi.

The myth of Jawaharlal Nehru being
anti-astrology would have persisted if in a major paper on astrology, the following had not appeared. It was the year 1983 and an astrological conference at Bangalore where in a major paper of mine containing tabulated predictions, given in advance, the prefatory remarks were Letter No.74 From  Jawaharlal Nehru Ahmadnagar Fort To Krishna Hutheesing-20 Carmichael Road, Bombay 29.8.1944 :

" In my letter to Indu I suggested to her to ask you to get a proper horoscope  made by competent person. Such permanent record of the date and the time of birth are desirable. As for the time, I suppose the proper solar time should be mentioned and not the artificial time which is being used outside now. War time is at least an hour ahead of  the normal time"
(Nehru's letters to his sister-edited with an introduction by Krishna Hutheesing-Faber and Faber,24 Russel Square, London).

I then added the following comment."Surprisingly this portion has been omitted by the editor of the letters of Pandit Nehru published by the Publications Division
of Government of India, perhaps in his overanxiety to preserve the "secular" image of Pandit Nehru. The editor exercised  his selective judgment in a way as will distort some facets of the personality of Nehru"

The battle had begun between the "progressive and secular" writers of Indian history and astrologers with this paper of mine. The salutary effect of this was that when Volume 13 of Nehru's letters were published, the following letter to Indira Gandhi contained the following additional information.

"Betty no doubt will take necessary steps to have a 'Janmapatri" ( Hindi) made. This should be done for that is our traditional way to record the exact date and time of birth, the date according to Samvat Calendar, as far as I can make it out is Bhadrapad 2-Samvat 2001, or put it differently second day of the bright half of the Moon in the month of Bhadra Samvat 2001. Betty writes time of birth was 8.11 a.m. But what time? The time observed now is war time which  is at least one hour ahead of normal time, possibly more. It is thus the artificial time and not the real time, according to which Moon should be when Sun is highest in the heaven......   Letter No.77

S.Gopal, the editor of Nehru's letters got a clear warning that if he suppressed relevant and authentic material from Nehru papers which showed that Kashmiri Brahmin's belief in astrology, he would be dragged to court besides being exposed. So he came with another letter this time which Nehru wrote to his daughter Indira Gandhi after the birth of her first son, Rajiv Gandhi.It was thus, from December 1983 that the myth of Nehru's anti astrology image of exploded.

Some of us in Lucknow had read in the Pioneer (of Lucknow) in the fifties an explosive attack by Sampurnand, a former chief minister of U.P. and later, governor of Rajasthan, on Nehru and astrology. He said that Nehru had written to Malviyas in Varanasi to get the horoscope of his grand son Rajiv Gandhi prepared. Since there was some delay, Nehru had become impatient and irritable in the tone of letter he had written. If Nehru  did not believe in astrology why did he insist on having a horoscope prepared for his grandson was the question Sampurnananda raised and it never was answered.

Someone should have delved into available family records to find out how many astrologers Jawaharlal Nehru and his family members had contacted or written to. If the purpose of getting prepared horoscope for proper birth record was the sole aim, it could be done in a simpler way. Note down the time of birth,  day, month, year and the place in one register as the pandas of pilgrimages in India do in their own way. The correct  time of birth is not necessary for this purpose. More important , if the purpose was merely to keep a record of birth  why was Nehru so anxious that war time should be adjusted properly it being 8.11 am (wartime) and 7.11 a.m. (corrected wartime) which only astrologers need for casting the correct horoscope?.

Those who know astrology should know that the difference of one hour in noting the birthtime of Rajiv Gandhi would have made a difference to his lagna, between Kanya on the bass of 8.11. and Simha if 7.11. is taken. and would have changed entire astrological reading about him.

Then why write to so many astrologers to have the horoscope prepared of the same grandson  ? One would have been sufficient. That is obviously not for keeping "proper birth records" but much more. It was for a reading of the horoscope with its promises. Consultations from different astrologers would have
helped in  seeing points of unanimity in their readings, Nehru must have been aware, as Indira revealed to Pupul Jayakar thus.

'I don't really know, but we have to try and preserve it. However carefully we try to separate what is really worthwhile and eternal in our values from the many superstitions which have gathered around them, we cannot always succeed. Most people see religion not as a basic philosophy or the essence of life but as the mantras that they may have learnt to utter at a given time. That is why my father spoke up so strongly about the scientific temper and against astrology. People must go back to the very roots, to the source of faith. Our philosophy says that the divine is in each one; there is light and strength in each one of us. We have to find a way of discovering the energy that is within us.'

Anyone who has studied astrology or has taken astrological consultations knows that while astrology is a brilliant guide as a foretelling science, astrologers can fall into mental traps of their own imperfect understanding of some of the astrological laws and commit errors. Nehru may have been aware of the imperfections and charlantary of astrologers. Nehru's desire to consult so many astrologers was to avoid all this. Nehru  believed in astrology is the inevitable conclusion but not in every astrological prediction, which Indira Gandhi clearly hinted at with her conversation with Pupul Jaykar.

In 1978-80 period, the late Gulzarilal Nanda who used to meet our group of astrologers in Delhi he often told us of the predictions he used to get for Nehru from Arun Samhita with Haveli Ram. This fact is mentioned in India from Curzon to Nehru of Durgadas.

(A retired director general ( 1990)from the Indian Audit and Accounts Service, K.N.Rao  the founder advisor of the Institute of Astrology, Bharatiya Vidya Bhawan, New Delhi is the author of twenty six books on astrology and edits the quarterly Journal of Astrology) This article appeared in the Pioneer, Delhi sometime in 2003.

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