Famous Telugu astrologer Venu Swamy astrologer was debunked on live television and forced to say, “Whatever I predict will not happen.”
“My name is Venu Swamy. None of my predictions are true. Nothing that I say is true. Don't believe me,” the astrologer declared at the end of a gruelling debate on Mahaa News, before storming off.
The astrologer, who is known for making several public appearances on television, had claimed that 90% of his predictions come true.
According to the astrologer’s website, “Astroguru Venuswamy is the one and only political, cinema and women astrologer. Astroguru is one of the few astrologers in India who concentrates on remedies for problems in an individual’s life.”
Venu Swamy has been known to claim that he has predicted the results of several elections before the polling.
He also ‘predicted’ the future of various celebrities and politicians, and recently did a detailed prediction on Ivanka Trump using her date of birth and place of birth.
Venu Swamy even has an app, which describes him as an astrologer for ‘women, political and cinema fields.’
However, when he sat down for a debate on Mahaa News on Thursday night, little did he expect that he would be confronted by a rationalist.
Rationalist Babu Gogineni interrupted around 20 minutes into the programme and said that he had come with a ‘lie detector’ -- in the form of a book filled with predictions that the astrologer had made on live television.
Breaking down one claim at a time, Gogineni began by pointing out that Venu Swamy had shared a morphed photo and claimed that he had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi. As evidence, Gogineni cited an RTI response from the Prime Minister’s office, obtained by one Kalyan Guttikonda, which confirmed that the meeting did not take place.
Following this, Venu Swamy accepted that the photo was fake, but insisted that he had met the Prime Minister.
Gogineni then continued to press him on statements that he has made in the past, pointing out that none of them had come true. He also questioned what an 'astrologer for women' meant, comparing it with the job of a tailor for women.
Speaking to TNM, Babu Gogineni said, “The reason I chided him continuously was his intrusion into the private lives of people. He made wild claims about celebrities and politicians, including nasty comments about actress Anushka Shetty’s weight.”
Stating that such comments on women amounts to harassment, Babu also accused Venu Swamy of destabilising regular people by being a perverted snoop, a mischief maker and a nuisance.
“He has made many such disgraceful statements, and built his business on predictions of death and illness, and targeting politicians to stay in the limelight,” Babu added.
As the debate raged on, Venu claimed that Gogineni was attacking Hinduism, which was wrong, and questioned if he would do the same against other religions like Christianity.
Gogineni then pointed out that he had led a campaign against the alleged sodomy incidents in the Vatican itself, when he was director of the International Humanist Ethical Union (IHEU) in London, adding that he had also exposed a pastor in Hyderabad’s Lothkunta area.
“Religion is not the subject of this discussion. The topic here is fraud. Why will Hindus support a fraud? He is underestimating the honesty of ordinary Hindus,” Gogineni pointed out.
Many of the comments in the YouTube video of the show echoed this sentiment, including some claiming to be BJP members who said that they agreed with Gogineni.
At the end, Gogineni jokingly gave credit where it was due and pointed out that Venu had got one prediction right out of 100 – the recent hurricane in Florida.
Following this, Venu Swamy looked straight into the camera and declared, “Please only believe Gogineni. My name is Venu Swamy, and none of my predictions will come true. Please do not believe me.”
Watch the 30-minute video, which has the second half of the debate, below. The video is now trending at #3 on YouTube.
Gogineni had earlier made the news after two pranic healers had a tiff with him during a television debate on a Telugu channel. The debate, which was aired on ABN Telugu, discusses the ‘No Touch No Drug’ therapy and questions if it is possible to ‘heal’ someone through the phone.
Gogineni had debunked the healer’s claims after he checked the latter’s blood pressure, which was high, and asked him to ‘heal’ himself.