As long as rational education is not encouraged, such quacks will keep looting people off their hard earned money.
The doomsday phenomenon has come as a boon for city astrologers as they are doing brisk business, thanks to worried believers in the theory. With astrologers and numerologists reporting a nearly 20% jump in business in the past few weeks owing to an increasing number of people asking them about what is in store for them on December 21. As the countdown to the date predicted to bring about the end of the world, according to an ancient Mayan calendar picks up speed, more and more people are turning to these professional soothsayers for advice. “So far, nearly 100 people have enquired about December 21 causing a rise in business by at least 20%. They are asking whether this is true and if yes, then how to survive it,” said Arvindacharya Dablodker, an astrologer from the city.
According to the prophecy, the world might come to a sudden end on December 21, 2012, at the completion of a 5125-year cycle, known as the “long count” in the Mayan calendar. People fear that a variety of astronomical threats such as collision with a rogue planet or rare alignment of stars will trigger the destruction of the Earth. Daivagna Sharma, a noted numerologist from the city too said the frequency of customers picked up three months ago with nearly 20 such enquiries coming in daily. “In fact, immediately after the news of the earthquake in Japan and the Tsunami threat spread on Friday, I started receiving calls from people asking me if these incidents marked the beginning of the end,” said Sharma. He then added that so far at least 300 people have asked him to predict which island or mountain peak would survive the calamity on December 21, so that they could take their families there.
“People are keen to know things like whether they will find love before the world ends, if they should get married immediately, if they should take a dip in the Ganges or visit Kashi. Many even want me to suggest a quick way of making money, asking me to predict changes in the stock market and lottery ticket numbers,” Sharma said. Some acclaimed astrologers from other cities too have been receiving calls from people here. “I have received around five calls from people in Hyderabad who wanted to satiate their curiosity regarding the end of the world,” said Shankar Hegde, a noted astrologer from Bangalore.
While the elderly are asking which pujas or rituals to perform to ward off the peril from their families, the younger ones want to know the best way to fulfil their dreams. Astrologers have dismissed the doomsday theory, but said a minor natural disaster may occur soon. “Our calendar and beliefs are different than those followed by the Mayans. In the past too there have been many such claims, but none have come true. According to Hindu astrology, Kalyug, the current period will last for another 4.3 lakh years,” said Dablodker.