Modi’s Obsession With No. 8 & What It May Have to Do With Note Ban
Numerology may have inspired PM Modi to demonetise two high-value currency notes on 8 Nov, reports Kay Benedict.
Is the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi superstitious? Yes, if his decisions – the most controversial being the demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes – which seem to be aligned to a fixation for the number 8 are any indication.
Modi, it would seem, is stuck on the number 8. He announced his decision to banish the two high-value currency notes on 8 November on national television at precisely 8 pm. The timing of this decision, which impinges on the life, livelihood and the future of all Indians, is apparently based on his belief in the fuzzy practice of numerology.
Obsession with Numeral 8
Modi’s preoccupation with the number 8, hitherto kept a well-concealed secret, would now appear to be exposed.
His personal details also have a strange affinity for the number. He was born on 17 September 1950. This date of birth, when added according to the so-called precepts of numerology, adds up to 8.
According to Paul Sadowski, a leading numerologist based in Buffalo, New York, Modi’s number is 8. This is how Sadowski does his “arithmetic”:
There are 12 letters in the name Narendra Modi. These letters total 62 or 6+2 = 8.
All of this is may be accidental, but here is more on Modi’s fixation for number 8: In numerology, 17 (1+7) and 26 (2+6) are also counted as Number 8. He took oath as prime minister on 26 May 2014. He was sworn-in as Gujarat chief minister for the fourth and last time on 26 December 2012. He began his Lok Sabha election campaign on 26 March 2014, kick-starting the first of his 189 high-voltage “Bharat Vijay” rallies across the country.
Sadowski “calculates” and opines that the characteristics involving #8 are “practical endeavours”, “status-oriented”, “power-seeking” and “high material goals”. Most of these certainly are reflected in Modi.
Sadowski goes further. He claims that “your expression is represented by the number 8. The 8 Expression is well-equipped in a managerial sense. You have outstanding organisational and administrative capabilities. You have the potential for considerable achievement in business or other powerful positions.”
Influence of Number 8
More importantly, Sadowski has found that “you have good judgement when it comes to money and commercial matters”. Now this might sound cruel to many Indians but Sadowski goes on to claim that individuals with “8 Expression are very ambitious and goal-oriented” but “too much of the 8 energy in your makeup… may express some of the negative attitudes.”
For instance, a “negative 8 can be very rigid and stubborn. Ambition sometimes has a way of becoming over-ambition and you may express an unreasonable impatience with the lack of progress…You may be too exacting, both for yourself and others. Sometimes this can even become a case of intolerance.”
Renaming 7, RCR
Two months ago, he had the prime minister’s official residence 7, Race Course Road, renamed as 7, Lok Kalyan Marg, apparently to bring synergy with his birth number. According to popular Chaldean calendar, the numerical value of Lok Kalyan Marg is 8, whereas RCR’s is 6. Modi chose 5, LKM, as his residence and 7, LKM, as his office after effecting some vaastu/feng shui changes.
While former prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru stayed at Teen Murti Bhavan, his successor Lal Bahadur Shastri shifted to 10, Janpath, a part of which later became 1, Motilal Nehru Place. Indira Gandhi chose 1, Safdarjung Road.
Before Modi, six former PMs – Rajiv Gandhi, VP Singh, HD Deve Gowda, IK Gujaral, AB Vajpayee and Manmohan Singh – who resided at 7, RCR, did not find it necessary to rename the road. A 1990 government notification had officially designated 5 and 7, RCR bungalows as the residence of the PM.
After becoming PM, he launched most of the government’s mega welfare schemes on a ‘number 8’ day.
On 17 September 2014, Swavalamban Abhiyan, a set of 11 pro-poor initiatives, was launched. On 26 November 2014, Modi addressed the inaugural session of SAARC (date fixed according to the Indian PM’s convenience).
He inaugurated Parvasi Bharatiya Divas in Gujarat on 8 January 2015 and the Pradhan Mantri Mudra Yojana was launched on 8 April 2015. Doordarshan Kisan, the first TV channel dedicated to farmers, was launched on 26 May 2015. To top it all, the high-profile ‘Digital India’ was launched on 26 September 2015.
Tryst with Numerology
It is clear that there is an unmistakeable recurrence of number 8 in his life, some may be by design and some by chance.
Modi, however, has been cagey about his superstitious beliefs. During media interviews he had claimed that he never consulted astrologers to know about his future. However, a few years ago, a photograph of well-known astrologer Bejan Daruwala reading Modi’s palm had surfaced in social media.
It is difficult to say if Modi’s career graph is due to his adherence to numerological tenets or is just a maze created by an overactive mind. Going by the grim fallout of the demonetisation move though, it does not look like number 8 is lucky for Modi, at least for now.
(The writer is a Delhi-based senior journalist. He can be reached at @benedict18. This is an opinion piece and the views expressed above are the author’s own. The Quint neither endorses nor is responsible for the same.)
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