The police station in my native place in Kerala is in the news, but not for reasons connected with policing. It is astrology which has pushed the establishment into the headlines.
Let us briefly see what astrology is. It is different from astronomy. In astrology the positions of celestial bodies are studied with the conviction that they influence happenings on earth generally, and influence individuals as well. Many people believe in this.
I have written about the famous astrologer Mithran Namboothiri and his prophecies in this blog (see: Three predictions.).
One cannot blame the cops of my place for resorting to astrology when they felt that their station had fallen on bad times. Apparently there is nothing prescribed in the police manual to combat such situations.
The problems started after a new station building was opened two years back. It is said that bad omens were visible from day one. Then the problems became severe. Two policemen died. Most of the others suffer from some illness or other, a few almost chronic. The sub Inspectors in charge of the station were transferred frequently. And so on.
Finally the policemen decided to do something about it. It is not clear from the reports whether they obtained permission from the higher authorities in the Department for what they planned to do. Anyway they got an astrologer to the police station. After spreading the cowries and studying the planetary positions, the expert summed up the position.
The serpents were angry. Perhaps it was a place of the reptiles once upon a time. There was Brahmin curse as well. The land on which the station building stood belonged to a temple long ago and then to the Brahmins. When the owners were dispossessed, adequate compensation was not paid to them.
The new building of the station was not designed according to Vaastu, the science of construction. Furthermore, it was inaugurated in the inauspicious month of Kanni, the second one in the year according to the Malayalam calendar (see: Mallus, Happy New Year )
But not to worry. According to the astrologer, there were remedies available. Making offerings and conducting special poojas in certain important temples in atonement would appease the powers that were angry and would restore normalcy to the police station.
I wonder if the policemen noticed one positive point. The astrological calculations did not reveal any wrongdoing by them, such as torturing an innocent or taking bribes from a poor man.
Now the cops would be busy organizing the penance for sins in which they personally had no responsibility. Of course, the people of the locality would have to cooperate with them in this venture.