Yes folks, it’s that time again… When people who are not fans of Prime Minister Narendra Modi flood social media with memes of impending doom as he prepares to address the nation. After all, the main reference point of these critics is his speech on November 8, 2016, when the demonetisation of the (old) Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was announced.
Modi is scheduled to address the nation at 8pm on Thursday (August 8), the Prime Minister’s Office tweeted. The address on Thursday is highly anticipated and was expected since the Modi government announced the abrogation of Article 370 and bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir on Monday. Since it was Home Minister Amit Shah who did the heavy lifting in Parliament earlier this week, it is natural the focus is on Modi and what he is expected to say about Jammu and Kashmir.
More ironic, claim some people, are the similarities between the ‘demonetisation’ address of November 2016 and the address on Thursday. The speeches will happen at the same time (8pm) on the eight of the respective month. The similarity has been spoken about on Twitter. And not surprisingly, the eerie similarities between Modi’s two ‘trysts’ with the number eight will raise questions on whether the prime minister believes in numerology.
In 2016, the Modi government changed the name of 7, Race Course Road—the official residence of the prime minister—to 7, Lok Kalyan Marg. According to media reports at the time, the numerological value of Lok Kalyan Marg was eight, while the score for Race Course Road was six. Numerologists then claimed eight was Modi’s preferred number, attributing it to facts like his birth number (birthday: September 17, 1950) adds up to eight (1+7). The numerologists also talked of the fact that Modi was sworn in for his first term as prime minister on May 26, 2014.
However, Modi has always been guarded about his beliefs. Unlike politicians across the spectrum who flaunt their belief in astrology and other practices, Modi has never publicly spoken about these.
PS: Here are two things that may help you decide whether numerology is real or not:
For: Modi was destined to return to power this year as it was the 17th general election (1+7=8)
Against: Another prime minister who shared a birth number of eight was the man whom Modi succeeded as prime minister, Manmohan Singh (birthday: September 26, 1932)