Sunday, December 27, 2009

Himachal’s rich temples too poor to afford ...

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    • By: Satyakam Bharti
    • But money being money, the state government is justified in feeling the heat of more than 410 kgs of gold (valued above Rs 70 crore) lying unused with it. Perhaps not a great amount to catapult the state economy into a thriving one, nevertheless a decent amount to do the cleaning job in at least the shrines to which the treasure belongs. According to a report, in 2006, Chintpurni Devi temple, the richest of all shrines in the state, alone made a collection of over Rs 20 crore cash besides more than 20 kg of gold. That is certainly lot of money considering that majority of Himachali companies, if there are any genuine ones, may not be having that kind of yearly turnover.
    • Though from time to time people have been questioning use of funds generated by these temples, hardly has any such audit ever been made public. The last time a hue and cry was made was after the Naina Devi tragedy but nothing great seems to be happening. The temples are collecting public money and therefore the public needs to be informed how this money is being spent. Leave aside providing world-class infrastructure, the temple managements can at least assure cleanliness, and I am sure the crores that devotees donate are enough for this job. It would have done a great service to the devotees had the government announced that the interest it expects to earn from these gold reserves would be used to keep these places clean, but that was not to be.
    • The problem is more visible in the Hindu society with the Brahaminical order making sure that the caste divide remains visible enough. Perhaps, that’s the reason cleanliness in a Hindu temple stops beyond the sanctum santorum.

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