God save India.
But which God?
The Chilkur Balaji temple near the South Indian city of Hyderabad has established a reputation among believers of Lord Balaji that their application for a Visa to the U.S. and other western countries will beÂ successful if they pray at this temple.
Apparently, news of the Visa God’s prowess has spread and the temple now attracts 100,000 visitors a week.
As Vauhini Vara writes in the WSJ (subscription required) piece:
Mohanty Dolagobinda is one of the Visa God’s believers. Three years ago, a U.S. consulting company applied for a visa on his behalf. It was rejected. When the company tried again the following year, Mr. Dolagobinda’s friends told him to visit the Chilkur Balaji temple ahead of his interview at the U.S. consulate. Weeks later, he sailed through the interview. “I’ve never heard of anyone who’s gone to the temple whose visa got rejected,” says Mr. Dolagobinda.
Strange though it may seem, the Visa God is not the most unusual god in India.
Some years back, we read of a temple being built for a Tamil film actress called Khushboo. By the yardstick of Khushboo Godess, Visa God does seem quite normal.
We wonder what the U.S. immigration authorities will make of the Indian Visa God at the 500-year-old Chilkur Balaji temple.
Om Visaya Namaha.