Hindu institutions need to provide community service to their communit

Discussion in 'Politics & Society' started by Vishwarupa, Jan 20, 2015.

  1. Vishwarupa

    Vishwarupa Senior Member Senior Member

    Sep 15, 2009
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    There’s an ongoing debate about evangelical conversions to Christianity happening across India. Many of those converted are doing so after being allured by money, primary education and healthcare. It is obvious that Christian evangelists have identified the basic aspect of our society: a huge rise in aspirations, the failure of government to provide quality education for children particularly in English, and low-cost medical care. A recent study stated that 40 per cent of those who slip into poverty do so because of high medical costs and the abject failure of public health systems.
    This huge unmet need has created an opening for these evangelical groups to indulge in mass conversions to Christianity. A question that many ask is why Hindu institutions do not provide the same community services to their communities that could reduce the incentive for conversion. Therein lies the tragedy of Hindu institutions.
    There are many rich temples — such as the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD), the Shirdi Sai Baba temple, the Nathdwara temple — which have vast resources that they accumulate like parsimonious Scrooges. Look at the TTD, a statutory organisation that runs the Tirupati temples. For fiscal 2014-15, the TTD had a budget of Rs 2,401 crore, with Rs 900 crore coming from hundi collections, Rs 655 crore from interest on bank deposits, Rs 190 crore from the sale of devotees’ hair, Rs 108 crore from rentals, etc.
    Of this, only Rs 109 crore was spent on the Hindu Dharma Prachara, Rs 88 crore for education and Rs 55 crore for running hospitals. A very large part of the budget is spent on their own employees. Nobody has heard of the TTD controlling their costs or making employees more productive. The worst form of complacence afflicts the TTD.
    The TTD is the leading Hindu temple in India, rich in funds as well as followers. And yet, it spends very little resources on providing education and health to the community. It has failed to diminish the allure of Christian evangelical activities in the northeastern states. Many of its own employees get converted by inducements.
    The TTD has accumulated bank deposits of around Rs 7,000 crore. Why can’t alarge chunk of this be used to set up alarge chain of schools and hospitals in areas where there is deprivation? Anybody who goes to the TTD and puts money in the hundi does so ostensibly for the benefit of the Hindu community — which should mean provision of education and medical help for the poorest of the poor, not for keeping in bank deposits. Temples are forgetting their primary responsibilities to the community.
    Contrast this with what Christian institutions do. A very large part of their income is spent on education and health. They clearly believe that such services are necessary to keep the flock together and increase their areas of influence. This is the definition of reinvestment: a simple strategy that pays off by securing future growth and expansion.
    As the government controls many of the Hindu temples through law, we need to amend the law to ensure that Hindu institutions and temples spend at least 99 per cent of their income every year, and, of that, at least 50 per cent on running schools and hospitals for their devotees.
    Temples are places of worship and of spiritual wealth. They exist to enable people to feel closer to their gods. Temples and Hindu institutions are failing to protect their core demographic by forgetting their fundamental purpose: to connect people to their faith and to their community. Accumulating funds in a bank account is a disservice to the temple, and to the people. If the temples betray their core purpose, what message does that send to the devoted?
    i agree with Mohan on this
    Peter, Srinivas_K and maomao like this.
  3. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

    Apr 17, 2009
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    Re: Hindu institutions need to provide community service to their comm

    It is time to be pro active and not whine.

    All religious bodies of all religion should uplift their own and not blame each other for overtaking each other.
    maomao likes this.

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