Bad omen

From sports stars to politicians, superstitious all

The word doing the rounds at Wimbledon is that glory is likely to elude any person unlucky enough to receive felicitations from Britain's prime minister, David Cameron. The "Curse of Cameron" has previously been thought to strike England's rugby team in 2007, when it lost the World Cup final after a good luck message from Cameron, the then leader of opposition. Lewis Hamilton was the next victim of the curse, losing the 2007 Formula 1 World Championship by a single point. Since then, encouragement from Cameron has been said to doom the English football team, Olympic gold medal aspirants and, this year, Laura Robson, the great British female hope at Wimbledon.

Andy Murray managed by the skin of his teeth to escape the fate of Robson et al, but there may be time for the curse to work its insidious magic yet. While he was engineering his escape from the clutches of the curse, one bookmaker had had enough of the PM's interfering ways and launched a #BanCam Twitter campaign to stop him from wishing anyone other than the Australian cricket team, due to play England soon, well.

Belief in such strange magic is hardly the exclusive province of British sports fans. Our own politicians, for instance, place great store in the power of omens. Many might describe Noida as not the greatest of places to visit, but Uttar Pradesh chief ministers are kept away by the myth that any chief minister who visits Noida will not return to power. A Karnataka BJP leader reportedly always wears a fur hat while filing nomination papers. The Karnataka assembly elections earlier this year were rife with tales of certain politicians preferring black ink on their papers and others making sure they pointed north. Is it any surprise that our leaders embrace the supernatural, given how we've rushed, in the past, to give Ganesha milk and collect the miraculously desalinated water off the coast of Mumbai?

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