The slide in the Indian rupee to record lows against the dollar this week has sparked some debate in India as to whether the launch of the currency's new symbol last year on an inauspicious day is the real reason behind the rupee's pain.
According to reports in the Indian press, experts on vastu shastra, an ancient Indian practice similar to feng shui, the new symbol for the rupee was launched on an inauspicious day for the stars and the horizontal lines across the symbol appear to "slit the throat" of the currency.
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The rupee hit a record low on Thursday at 65.56 per dollar and is down about 17 percent this year, with analysts attributing the move to an outflow of cash from emerging markets as investors anticipate an unwinding of U.S. monetary stimulus.
It has overtaken the yen as the world's worst performing major currency this year.
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Dharmalingam Udaya Kumar, assistant professor in the design department of IIT-Guwahati, designed the rupee symbol in 2010, the Hindustan Times reported. The symbol was incorporated into currency notes of 10, 100, 500 and 1000 from January and in notes of 20 and 50 from April this year.
"Things were different at the time I designed the rupee symbol and things are different now," Kumar was quoted as saying by India's Live Mint on Thursday.