Tuesday, May 31, 2005
Temples and profits
In response to my post about the privatisation of temples in Rajasthan, Eswaran Baskaran writes in:
It is the other way around in TN, AP and Karnataka - the temple money is used to maintain the government, or rather, the ruling party. The old temples in southern states are very rich (at least they used to be) because of the huge land endowments given by kings and they are typically leased to the ruling party politicians for paltry sums. I have seen the website of the HR&CE dept of AP claim that theirs is one of the few profitable departments in AP government (I couldn't find it on Google).On an unrelated note, Shivraj Patil visits the Tirupati temple, and the gods there immediately whip up a storm. Correlation, I assure you, not causation.
The main reason for the government takeover of these temples was because of caste discrimination that existed in these temples, but that reason doesn't hold any longer. This is one breach of secularism no political party will ever mind.