India Cowers Ahead of Total Solar Eclipse

By Harry Kimball,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2009 3:30 PM CDT
A partial solar eclipse earlier this year.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Wednesday’s total solar eclipse is eliciting fear and speculation across the Indian subcontinent, AFP reports. A New Delhi gynecologist says caesarian sections scheduled for the day of the eclipse have been canceled. “This is a belief deeply rooted in Indian society,” he said. “Couples are willing to do anything to ensure that the baby is not born on that day.”

Astrologers are also getting hysterical. One Mumbai practitioner sees an attack by Kashmiri separatists, a natural disaster, the possible assassination of an Indian leader, and a US strike against Iran. Another sees the bright side: “During the period of the eclipse, the opposite attracting forces are very, very powerful. From a spiritual point of view, this is a wonderful time to do any type of worship.”