This letter was written 10 years ago, addressed to the Vice Chancellor of Mangalore University, as a reaction to the inclusion of Astrology in the curriculum.
The Vice Chancellor, Mangalore University, Konaje
Pranam, I do hope that you will excuse my writing this letter in English. It should have been in Sanskrit, but, since I have no working knowledge of the language, I am forced to communicate with you in English, a pardesi language. However, I am overjoyed to learn that you have decided to grant Certificates in astrology and vedic sciences from your university to students of certain maths, and I wish to express the same in this letter to you.
I am writing this letter to your during rahu kalam on the chauthi of ashada masa. I also know that I should have enclosed a copy of my horoscope. Unfortunately, I do not have one. However, I am informing you that I was born, due to circumstances entirely beyond my control, on the 5th of February, 1951 at 4.30 a.m. You may kindly have my horoscope cast by the experts of your university, before replying.
In the meantime let me bring to your kind attention the past reputation of your university in predicting future events. There are many such instances, but one in my personal knowledge would suffice. In May of 1989, when I was a member of the academic council of your university, I was unceremoniously ejected from that body, directing that I cease being a teacher! This event took place 5 days before the communication to that effect reached me from the management of the Kasturba Medical College, where I had been employed as assistant professor! It is not surprising that a university with such talents in the administration start a course in astrology.
Though you claim to be a physicist, you have shown extraordinary talents in other fields. I do recall that once you were supposed to present a paper on rebirth. You have conducted poojas for the success of the programs in the university and have visited god men on these matters. While we can understand the state of mind you must be in, since you have a few months left for retirement, it is tragic that you have decided to thrust your personal superstitions on an authority of higher learning like a university.
It would be fitting that you introduce the following new courses from the next academic year onwards:
- B.Sc. degree in soothsaying: Syllabus for this could be inclusive of predicting future using cards picked up by parrots, astrology, planchet, spirit possession etc. We have a number of authorities in this field who can be seen in hotels, roadside and maidans. You could effectively use them to set the syllabi and as master resource persons to train the teachers.
- B.A.Degree in superstition: You could include local as well as foreign superstitions in the syllabus. Things like firewalking, materializing objects from thin air etc. could be included. We have many experts in these areas here. For “sciences” like faith healing, crystal gazing, signs of the Zodiac etc. you could invite outsiders.
- Ph.D in child marriage: Here researchers could go into the advantages of child marriages, their methodologies and devise ways by which these could place at the newborn or in the foetal stage itself.
- Ph.D. in widow management: Here new methods of managing widows could be tried out e.g. more efficient means of burning widows on the funeral pyres of their late husbands, better means of shaving their heads and keeping them inside houses, .new methods for usurping their properties etc. could be studied in detail.
When these new courses are to be introduced, the means for admission and examinations are also to be changed as per the new norms. I have suggestions for the same that I hope you will be kind enough to accept.
1. Entrances to courses based on caste:
Vaishyas only could be admitted for commerce courses, Brahmins for ‘sciences’ like astrology etc. As for Shudras, Daliths and non Hindus they not be allowed any education at all, as it would wean them away from their traditional designated roles in the caste system. Women should be specifically debarred from any education as their primary role is child bearing and taking care of their families.
At the time of admission all candidates should be asked for a recommendation letter from the priest of their temple or the Swamiji of the local math. To determine the suitability of the candidates, they should submit a copy of their horoscopes which will be examined by an admission panel consisting of eminent astrologers. The palms of the candidates could be read by a palmist at the time of the interview.
2. Examination Reforms:
Examinations should be conducted on auspicious dates only. Things like rahu kalam, yamaganda kalam should be taken into consideration when deciding the examination dates. If a candidate fails, the horoscope should be examined by a panel of experts who will suggest suitable rituals to propitiate the planets, gods, spirits etc.
However, these are purely temporary measures. Once the panel develops expertise, the degree could be awarded right at the time of admission itself after checking the horoscopes of the candidates since everything an individual does is predetermined at the time of birth.
Finally, we are very sad to know that your tenure as the VC of this university is coming to an end in a few months from now. However, since this has been preordained by planetary configurations at the time of your birth it cannot be helped. Our only request is that to continue this noble task that you have initiated, please kindly suggest to the appointing authorities that your successor may be chosen from a panel of astrologers, palmists and swamijis whose horoscopes con be scanned and the most suitable one appointed.
With best wishes from an aquarian.