Sunday, September 28, 2014

Mangalyaan: A Guide to countering Mangal Dosh via Lord Hanuman



#Mangalyaan was a great success , thanks to the countless hours spent by the ISRO scientists who made this happen. Reports state that they prayed to Lord Balaji (Source). To hedge their risks some of them might have also prayed to Lord Hanuman to counter Mangal Dosh (Mars ill-effect) . This Hanuman prayer for protection from Mars may have helped the team enter the orbit of Mars; the jury is out on that one. Speaking of Hanuman, in the recent past there was a bizarre incident regarding an Aadhaar UID which captured people's interest briefly. Let’s talk about that. If you suspect that this #mangalyaan introduction was just a thinly veiled segue to my dated post, you are right…


A few weeks ago we learnt that an Aadhar Card was issued for Lord Hanuman with a legitimate 12 digit ID (news link) The police eventually figured out that this regressive action was conceived by a progressive person named Vikas. His intentions for applying for a fake God ID were not malicious – but rather stemmed from some perplexing frustration at the Indian Government systems. What should not surprise you is the ensuing actions from the police – i.e “penalizing the enrollment agency”. But in this whole chaos you may have missed a few critical aspects of the incident which convey very heartwarming qualities about our culture.

First is the choice of picture for the card. The prankster Vikas had some wild choices given the level of media coverage for Hanuman’s life in his era – like multi god action picture, or literally chest bearing shoots, or even recent ones featuring Dara Singh. But he chose a front facing picture clearly adhering to identity card norms. Hanuman ji happens to be wearing a fat pearl string. I think a bit of jewelry even for male applicants is ok, as long as it doesn’t cover facial features. So that was commendable.


Second was the Father’s Name in the card, which was declared as Pawan.  Our trickster could have used any other Father name - like Rahman and stirred some deep, philosophical debates about Hanuman's real origins. But he chose to stay authentic and adhered to the complicated hindu mythology.

Thirdly, there was a clear mark of respect with the addition of Ji to both the card and his mythological father (Hanuman ji and Pawan ji). This clearly shows deep Indian values. Assuming Hanuman ji was a January born Capricorn was probably a quirky, mischievous move from Vikas. Considering the loyalty and calm temperament, except for the odd city burning tendencies, I would have pegged the Lord to be a Scorpio. But I could be wrong.  

You might also have missed the immediate actions taken up by the officials upon discovery of the card. From the fake card having a fake deity’s identity picture and fake DOB, they chose to try the phone number listed in the card. This is a clear sign of optimisim. I am not sure whether they were stunned by the outcome, but they accurately conveyed to the news agencies that the number was unreachable.

And finally, it was decided by the local postal department head Gobraj that the card would be sent back to the Bangalore UIDAI Centre as there was no recipient. This shows a clear respect for hierarchy and processes. Hanuman ji, the savior of those in trouble, the protector of the down trodden will probably have his card buried in a government cupboard classified under a ‘Person Unavailable’ tag along with a ~million other fake IDs (News link)

In case I do decide to get an Aadhaar card one day, I’ll pick some lessons from this incident.  I might not use a God’s picture, but I’ll consider wearing a string of Pearls.

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