~ By Hardit Singh and Siddhi Khandait
Astrology, a practice that dates back centuries, has experienced a revival in the digital age. In India, a country steeped in tradition and spirituality, astrology has always held a special place in people’s lives.
Today, Astrology is not just about horoscopes in newspapers or consultations with the family astrologer. The advent of technology has transformed this ancient practice into a booming billion-dollar industry.
According to the Trade Promotion Council of India, the astrology market is approximately $40 billion dollar. Within this market, India holds a share of $10 billion dollars alone with over 2 million astrologers practising astrology.
Many astrology-based startups have seen growth in the range of 10%- 30%. Take Astrotalk, for example. The founder, Puneet Gupta, has revealed that his company served 20+ million customers in the past 4 years. These numbers are simply astounding. Astrotalk does a business of ₹41 lacs daily and has grown by 20% monthly. The company is completely bootstrapped and likely to be a market leader in this niche. The success of AstroTalk is a testament to the potential of the astrology business in India. It exemplifies how technology can be leveraged to make astrology more accessible and user-friendly.
Does Astrology Actually Work?
Is Astrology the same as Astronomy?
Astrology is often mixed up with astronomy, but the two are quite different. Astronomy is a scientific discipline that studies celestial objects, their positions, and the events they give rise to, using maths and physics to understand their origins. Astrology, on the other hand, is considered a pseudoscience, which means it uses information from astronomy to make predictions and horoscopes, but it lacks the rigorous scientific approach that real science demands.
Why are predictions based on stars' movement all useless?
The scientific community has rejected astrology since the very beginning because it has zero proof and no explanatory power for describing the universe. In various regions, including India, astrologers profess the ability to alter destinies using their paraphernalia. However, there have been numerous instances globally where such 'fake babas' have exploited people's faith for monetary gain.
The Time Twins Experiment
In 1958, researchers conducted a thorough study known as the "Time Twins" experiment in London. They enlisted over 2000 children who were born at the same time for this medical investigation. These children were closely observed over several decades, and various aspects of their development were carefully documented. The researchers delved into more than 100 different traits, such as job choices, anxiety levels, marital status, aggressiveness, sociability, IQ levels, and skills in areas like art, sports, math, and reading. Interestingly, astrologers often claim that these traits can be predicted from birth charts.
However, the outcomes of the study delivered a surprising revelation. Despite being born at the same time, the "time twins" exhibited no significant similarities in the traits under scrutiny. This discovery challenges the fundamental principles of astrology, suggesting that the supposed influence of celestial bodies like the sun, moon, and planets on human characteristics might be less impactful than traditionally thought.
In simpler terms, the study indicates that the alignment of the stars and planets at the time of one's birth may not have as much sway over our personalities, behaviors, and life outcomes as astrologers claim. It adds a layer of scientific skepticism to the idea that these cosmic factors intricately shape individual lives. This doesn't necessarily disprove astrology entirely, but it does cast doubt on the extent of its influence on our personal attributes and life paths, as suggested by traditional astrological beliefs.
Why Is Astrology Still Relevant?
In a world driven by science and reason, the enduring allure of astrology might seem like a paradox. After all, there is no concrete scientific evidence that supports the authenticity of these astrological predictions. According to Pew Research.org, around 44% of Indians believe in astrology, or the idea that the position of the planets and the stars can influence events in their lives.
The widespread belief in astrology among the Indian population is so strong that even the All India Football Federation (AIFF) went to the extent of employing an astrologer with the aim of boosting the motivation and performance of the national football team. The AIFF invested 16 lakhs in this astrological company, convinced that this move would secure the national team's spot in the 24-team AFC Asian Cup Final. The only reason Astrology is still relevant in today's time is because it helps to predict the hard things and gives a fake belief to the people that fortune is with them.
The astrology business is flourishing, mainly due to the convenience of accessing it through apps and websites, providing quick insights into our future. Despite its popularity, there's a significant question mark hanging over the credibility of these services. In a world where fraud is prevalent, and astrology lacks solid scientific proof, it's crucial to approach it with skepticism. It's essential for believers to exercise caution, acknowledging the limitations of astrology and its absence of scientific validation. While astrology can be entertaining and offer some insights, it should never substitute critical thinking in navigating life's decisions.