The fatal  stars

In a light vein, alas, the Maharashtra Assembly recently chuckled over and brushed aside a matter of vital importance raised by an alert member; the encouragement to fatalism given by newspapers through their astrological forecasts. It may be argues that fatalism is a 14-karat Bharatiya virtue, newspapers or a no newspapers. The press may even go to the extent of suggesting that, by publishing starry predictions, they are only upholding a tradition ingrained in the soul of the country. But no argument can detract from the seriousness of the unsavoury influence exercised by astrological columns. After all, the forecasts make too many people wait for ‘a windfall towards close of week’ and/or ‘some strain in family relationships.’ The disappointment that arises when the windfall does not come is as bitter as the dejection caused by the family strain that does not materialise. However, those who criticise these forecasts ignore one point: that there are more mugs running after stars than after horses at Mahalaxmi. And would it be right for a newspaper to deny its readers what they most require? There will be no difference of opinion among the circulation managers of the world.

7th December 1960.

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