Rationalists eat during eclipse

Breaking myths

While the dark clouds blocked the view of the partial eclipse, they went ahead with their meal on the banks of the picturesque Hussain Sagar Lake in the heart of the city to prove a point.

The participants, including women and children, had the breakfast arranged by Jana Vignan Vedika (JVV), a group of rationalists fighting against superstition.
“We want to prove that taking food during eclipse will have no harmful  effects as claimed by some persons who are spreading superstitious beliefs among people,” said JVV convenor T V  Rao.

“A solar eclipse is a celestial event. It is a beautiful sight and in no way affects us if we take food or do some other work,” said Rao. The rationalists organised similar programmes in Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada and Warangal and dismissed claims of some astrologers that  calamities like tsunami would occur.

The rumours had created panic in some coastal villages in Nellore district and high tidal waves due to cyclonic storm in the Bay of Bengal only added to fears. However, district authorities swung into action to restore normalcy and allay their apprehensions.
The scientists, too, dismissed the rumours of a tsunami. “This is rubbish. The eclipse does not cause any natural calamity,” said B G  Siddharth, director of the B M  Birla Science Centre.

In Chennai, joggers on the beach were surprised to see dolphins swimming very near the shore early on Wednesday, even as Dravida Kazhagam cadres ate food in public to debunk superstition linked to the celestial event.

As the news about the dolphins being close to shore spread, a large number of people gathered on the beach to enjoy seeing them swim. The sighting of dolphins is being attributed to the solar eclipse and the resultant changes in the sea. Meanwhile, to prove the belief that having food during a solar eclipse is not injurious to health as some believe, Dravida Kazhagam cadres dressed in black consumed food.

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