Are Hindu Temples soft Targets for Bollywood and Secular Political Parties?

“All rich temples with huge gold reserve should surrender to govt n donate 90% of its gold to serve poor people under stress since they got it from people only in name of GODS?” Bollywood director recently tweeted and tagged Prime Minister’s office to his tweet. Indian temples have always been known to be rich and it is reality that Hindu temples have been taxed by the respective state governments.

Indian economy has seen different phases of recession as well as rise. However, whenever the economy suffered there has been voices targeting Hindu temples to donate their Gold and uplift the economy. The recent is after the world has been hit by a Global Pandemic, Coronavirus. From Bollywood to secular Indian political parties or the activists have always eyed the gold that the Hindu temples have inherited.

Recently, Congress leader and former Maharashtra Chief Minister Ashok Chavan suggested that the government should borrow gold form the temple trusts in the wake of financial crunch caused by prolonged Lockdown. Chavan tweeted, “Government must immediately appropriate all the gold lying with all the religious trusts in the country, worth at least $1 trillion, according to the #WorldGoldCouncil. The gold can be borrowed through gold bonds at a low-interest rate. This is an emergency.”

Chavan’s idea met a quick criticism from many Hindu priests and some Hindu organisation. Mahant Kamal Nayan Das, Uttaradhikari, Mani Ram Das Chavni termed Prithviraj Chavan to be anti-national and question his intension of borrowing gold only from Hindu temples and not from Mosques and Church.

BJP leader from Maharashtra Kirit Somaiya lashing out at Prithviraj Chavan said, Prithviraj Chavan has demanded that the government should appropriate the gold lying in temples. I want clarification from Prithviraj Chavan that has Sonia Gandhi asked you to make this demand? Is this the stance of Congress? Is this the demand of the Chief Ministers of Congress-ruled states?” Organisations like Hindu Janjagruti Samiti expressed their displeasure against the demand of Congress leader.

It is fact that Hindu temples in India have gold that is capable of uplifting India’s economy. Reports suggest that gold stashed in Hindu temples are worth $1 trillion. However, it is for the time and government to decide whether they use up the gold from Hindu temples to uplift the economy or borrow from the open market.

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