Not proof of belief

| July 18, 2015 | 0 Comments

Not proof of belief, Letter to the Editor. Pushpa M.Bhargava, The Hindu, May 1, 2001.

Not proof of belief 

Sir, – Arcot Easwaran in his letter (April 25), cites in support of astrology, a letter dated 27th September 1944, written by Jawaharlal Nehru to his sister, in which he asked her to get a proper horoscope of his grandson cast “by a competent person.” From this statement, Easwaran concludes that “this is ample testimony of Pt. Nehru’s implicit belief in astrology”.

Nehru’s belief in astrology, or otherwise has nothing to do with astrology being scientific or unscientific. I wish to point out that Easwaran’s conclusion is totally unscientific for, in the same letter, Nehru goes on to say, “Such permanent records of the date and 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.”

This shows that he merely wanted a permanent and proper record of the date and time of the birth at a time when births were not recorded. By no stretch of imagination can this letter be taken as proof of Nehru’s belief in astrology.

In fact, Nehru’s disbelief in astrology is borne out by his statement in the inaugural address at the 24th annual meeting of the Central Board of Irrigation and Power at New Delhi on 26th October 1953 (Page 111 of the book Jawaharlal Nehru on Science and Society, published by the Nehru Memorial Museum and Library, 1988.)

“In our country, as in other countries probably, there is a weakness and a tendency to look to the sky and stars rather too much for guidance and to try and foresee the future by astrology and the like. Blessed be those who are interested in this way. But our work lies in visualising the future of our country not by looking to the stars and basing our calculations on their movements but by assessing our strength, resources and means and knowing how best to use them.”

Dr. Pushpa M. Bhargava,

Hyderabad

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