Rape Horoscopes: India TV News’ Latest Ratings Ploy

In Sunday’s Bangalore Mirror, writer, poet and documentary filmmaker Prathibha Nandakumar devoted a column to a passionate appeal:

Guruji Sachidananda

A popular Kannada television channel is telecasting a self proclaimed astrologer Sachidananda Babu Guruji, who gives out predictions like these:

“For Kumbha Rashi [Aquarius] people, three to six months after marriage, there is a danger of being raped, or possibility of being raped by husband’s elder brother or younger brother…

“For Makara Rashi [Capricorn], between the age of 8 and 12, there is a possibility of rape, or a possibility of being raped by parents and colleagues.

For Meena Rashi [Pisces], there may be an attempt of rape by the neighbour woman’s husband.

For Dhanuss Rashi [Sagittarius], there is a possibility of getting raped between the ages of 60 to 64.

For Vrishabha Rashi [Taurus], possibility of being raped between the age of 12 and 16.”

Unbelievably, he then gives this rape “advice” to women and children on national television:

Recite a mantra. Om kreem kreem kreem kaalike kleem kleem kleem sarva shatru naaam prahaar bhanjaya maaraya vispotaya, kleem kleem kleem, kreem kreem kreem phat. The rapist will run away.  Write the mantra in red letters on a white paper and hold it tightly along with turmeric and Vibhuthi in your hands during attempted rape. Take turmeric and Vibhuthi and apply on the rapist. He will collapse or will run away scared.”

Well.  That certainly answers some burning questions, as Nandakumar notes wryly:

What kinds of children are affected by rape? What kinds of women are prone to rape?

She then asks some very good questions:

A programme like this gets telecast and no responsible person in power opens his mouth to say a thing! Is this our culture? …Neither the channel nor the fraud astrologer has any idea of the extremely dangerous repercussions of such programmes…  Why are they silent?”

…[S]uch astrology programmes are not designed by the channels but are paid commercial slots purchased at very high price by the astrologers… . The channels never bother to find out the credibility of the so-called astrologers or their predictions.

Nandakumar’s column is an excellent example of skepticism as a tool for social progress.  She includes a scientific study of astrologers that found that:

…astrologers did not even agree with one another’s predictions, let alone make accurate predictions, even though they were using the same methods and systems to arrive at their conclusions.

And rightly labels a “rape horoscope” as:

an absolutely inhuman act.

If his rape horoscopes don’t scare you, the astrologer informs us on his website that he’s a famous scientist:

Guruji B Sachidananda Babu – the most well known name in the field of astrology, spirituality and allied science. In his home state. Karnataka, he is a household name and a favourite…

His other areas of interest are psychic and holistic healing of mental and physical ailments… His obsession is Medical Astrology i.e. trying to analyze disease from a horoscope.

Sure, why pay thousands to doctors and endure stressful testing, when for a mere $250, you can be diagnosed with a simple email?

Guruji price

Last month, Anisha Sheth at The News Minute also asked a very good question, “What are astrology shows doing on news channels?

Kannada news channels have a host of shows and according to journalists, these shows are the ones that get watched the most and get the highest ratings.

She describes astrology programs shown by “three of the most widely watched news channels in the state,” such as

Brahmanda Bhandara …produced by, news and current affairs Kannada channel Public TV

Public Tv Astrology

TV 9’s Shri Sachidananda Babu Guriji [the “scientist” who gives rape horoscopes] is the avuncular type of astrologer, giving advice, as though it was a complex mathematical problem that he was explaining…[T]he episode list on TV 9 Kannada’s YouTube channel has the following topics: infertility, …accidents and eye surgery, …children who are “dull” in studies, how to own a house…

Tv 9 Astrology

Suvarna News 24×7 Jathala Phala… an astrologer spells out the future of callers who tell the anchor their birth date…

Suvarna News Astrology

Sheth reports that:

According to senior journalist and editor of media watch website The Hoot Sevanti Ninan, ‘astrology shows… [are] a violation of the norms… There is nothing to stop the ministry from tightening up on channels… It chooses not to enforce the rules…’

The major daily newspaper The Hindu, which has challenged the prevalence of astrology in India on numerous occasions, reported today about the problem of astrology infomercials:

The Delhi High Court on Wednesday pulled up the Information and Broadcasting Ministry for failing to regulate astrology-based shows on television… During the hearing, the ministry submitted that it had taken action against several advertisements…[which]  made unsubstantiated claims…

The hearing was prompted by a plea filed by an NGO concerned that a

…huge amount of money is changing hands, and the physical and mental well-being of citizens is at stake.

Hope someone’s listening.

6 thoughts on “Rape Horoscopes: India TV News’ Latest Ratings Ploy

  1. yes true people have to realise that they are getting fooled by astrologers dubious claims as scientific astrologer etc.
    start a movement to curb these stupid astrology programmes on tv.
    Not healthy at all to the mind..

    Like

  2. Pingback: Pressure Mounts in India to Discard Astrology as Another Anti-Progressive Superstition, Like Caste | Under the Greenwood Tree

  3. OUR WHOLE HINDHU DARMA IS BASED ON ASTROLOGY .THE ONE &ONLY WORLD WELL KNOWN ASTROLOGER IS MR;SACHIDANANDA BABU ,JUST WHAT HE SAID REGARDING RAPES ,ARE POSSIBLITIES OF SOME RASHIS &AT THE SAME TIME HE HAS GIVEN FREE SOLUTION ALSO .THAT IS NOT EXPENCEBLE ,BLOODY YOU PEOPLE START KIRIK ON HIM ,SEE ONE THING I WILL TELL YOU SINCE PAST 5YEARS IAM FOLLOWING HIS PREDICTION &SOLUTION BY WATCHING TV9KANNADA ,IAM SO SAFE IN MY LIFE.WHY YOU PEOPLE UNNECCESARY MAKING KIRIK ON HIM ,SOMETHING BEHIND THIS WITH YOU KNOW,HOPE SO ,BUT KANNADA PEOPLE BELIVE HIM LOT BECAUSE HE IS ONLY ONE GURUJI GIOVING FREE SOLUUTION TO SUFFERED PEOPLE,MIND IT FIRST.

    NATARAJ.S

    Like

    • “THE ONE &ONLY WORLD WELL KNOWN ASTROLOGER IS MR;SACHIDANANDA BABU”

      It seems unlikely anyone would say that… except for the one and only Sachidananda Babu.

      “OUR WHOLE HINDHU DARMA IS BASED ON ASTROLOGY”

      Which very well may be contributing to India’s rape epidemic.

      It gives excuses to men in need of excuses: “The planets are influencing me too much to resist,” and “The woman I’m with is just rape-prone because of her birthday.”

      It breeds complacence: “Oh, well, it was in the stars.”

      It puts the blame on the woman for being born at the wrong time.

      It breeds fear and paranoia.

      It’s just wrong, and it’s time for it to go. I hope this is a wake-up call.

      Like

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