S Harpal Singh
ADILABAD, MAY 30, 2023: Politicians of all hues have multifarious interests and likings, a good number of them are even spiritual and religious. A unique aspect of the personality of many others, which often remains hidden from the public gaze, is their superstitious nature.
There have been instances in the past showing certain politicians going to ridiculous extents to succeed in electoral politics thanks to their superstitious nature. Yes, election time is when quirks of political leaders get exposed raising mirth or even awe.
As Assembly elections are drawing closer in Telangana, politicians are seeking advice or help from godmen and babas who are known for making miracles. Those leaders who intend to contest the coming elections have started consulting soothsayers to know not only about their chances of landing with the ticket of the party they belong to but the chances of their winning the election.
The latest instance of an elected representative visiting a spiritual leader is that of two-time Khanapur MLA Ajmera Rekha Naik of the ruling BRS party. Last week she called on the controversial head of the Bageshwar Dham in Madhya Pradesh, Dheerendra Shastri. The Peethadhish is reported to have given a special audience and blessed the legislator assuring her of a third straight win in the coming election. Leading a 14-member group of devotees of Dheerendra Shastri, the MLA covered nearly 2,000 km of the total distance in just about 60, a feat in itself.
“Madam is a very spiritual person and had wanted to visit Bageshwar Dham for quite some time now,” said Maruti Dongre who accompanied the legislator on her trip. “She wanted to get the darshan before she gets busy with elections,” he extended the rationale of the visit.
The ‘superstitious’ consultations generally start at the grassroots level where you have soothsayers who are experts in parrot astrology answering on the uncertainties in the future of given politicos. They are visited by the followers of MLAs or MPs seeking to know what is in store for their boss apparently because their well-being is attached to his or her well-being. “Yes, we get consulted by the likes of councillors and ward members. They are anxious to know about their future, especially with respect to elections,” revealed Barrot Deepak Joshi, the soothsayer who is into parrot astrology for the last three decades.
In fact, Joshi’s father and grandfather too were soothsayers. Continuing the tradition, he operates from the footpath near the district head office of the ADCCB bank in Adilabad town, a place of vantage as he gets to see influential leaders coming and going from the bank. “Often, I am greeted by the leaders as they enter or exit the bank in the cars,” observed the parrot astrologer with a smile. He alluded to the fact they recognise the importance of his trade.
Khanapur MLA Ajmera Rekha Naik (second from right) with Dheerendra Shastri (extreme left)
Khanapur MLA Ajmera Rekha Naik (second from left) with some members of her group
A parrot astrologer in Adilabad
Former Sr. Asst. Editor, The Hindu
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