Zero may not add up to much. But for many of the country's numerology-obsessed politicians, it is zero that will bring them power and glory.
Haryana Deputy Chief Minister Chandermohan's mobile-phone number boasts six zeros. "Zero is the universally powerful number according to the Hindu mythology," he says.
Union ministers Sharad Pawar and Kapil Sibal too have phone numbers that end in a series of zeros. Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh's cell-phone number ends in three zeros. But, he says, it is a question of easy recall rather than numerology: "It is easy for the common man to remember my number."
Others have other lucky numbers. For Akhilesh Das, MoS for steel, it is four. "Four is good for me and the UPA government," he says. Evidence? The results of the 2004 Lok Sabha election were declared on May 13. Do the math: one plus three is four and the polls brought the Congress to power. Manmohan Singh took oath on May 22 — another four.
The number 666 is generally identified with Satan. Not for Sanjay Nirupam, the Shiv Sena MP-turned-Congressman, whose phone number ends with the diabolical figure. "My birthday is on the sixth," he says. "I try and get a six in everything: my phone number, car number plates."
Mumbai-based numerologist Sanjay B Jumaani says, "Cellphones dominate our lives so I advise my clients to have numbers that are lucky for them."
RSP MP Abani Roy sports a mobile number with two sixes in the end. But the Marx man is no friend of numerology. "It was allotted to me by Parliament," he says.
(With Sujata Anandan in Mumbai)