Can there be even a remote connection between a solar eclipse and a drought? Not by any imagination, but the recent total solar eclipse of 22 July 2009 seems to have resulted in the present drought over Bihar, if one is to believe in a statement attributed to Lalu Prasad Yadav (Times of India, Pune, 19 August 2009).

Lalu has been reported to have blamed Nitish Kumar’s contempt for age-old traditions for the drought in the state and said that it is a divine curse invited by him. As per Hindu belief, eatables should be shunned during the period of the solar eclipse, but Nitish Kumar, when he was in Taregna, 35 km from Patna, had eaten some biscuits while watching the eclipse and it was because of this sin that the rain god deprived the state of the gift of rain.

This accusation has already been rejected by Nitish Kumar (PTI News, 16 August 2009) who said that he did not believe in superstitions, and he asked a counter-question that if it were so, then why were other states facing drought?

The media reports make an interesting story, but that is all to it!