The definition of ‘Nobel Cause’ needs to be really re-written in the recent contest of donations. Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra has received a donation around more than Rs 300 crores, if General Secretary of Shri Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust Champat Rai has to be believed. The Shri Ram Janmbhoomi Teerth Kshetra trust is conducting a mass contact and contribution campaign for the construction of the grand temple in Ayodhya which began on January 15 and will go on till February 27. The Trust was set up in accordance with the Supreme Court verdict on November 9, 2020, for the construction of Ram temple at Ayodhya. In response to the questions raised regarding the donation made by the President of India Ram Nath Kovind for the construction of Ram Temple, Rai said that there is nothing wrong with it. President Ramnath Kovind donated ₹ 5,00,100 towards the construction of Ram Temple.
Ram temple construction has started and it would be finished in-around 39 months, most likely before 2024. In the last 25 years so much of donation is collected for Ram temple in Ayodhya. I don’t know why still BJP workers are going door to door and gathering funds. It is actually not needed at this moment. Above all, Ram temple will be constructed by construction giant Larsen and Toubro (L&T) free of cost. Vishwa Hindu Parishad vice-president Champat Rai told the media that L&T put up a proposal to construct the ram temple ten years ago, before the then VHP working president Ashok Singhal. Rai further said that the priority right now is to ensure the shifting of the Ram Lalla idol to Manas Bhawan. The construction of the temple is likely to begin in April on a suitable date. According to the trust, the temple will be built by adhering to the country’s ancient and traditional construction techniques. It will also be built in a manner to sustain earthquakes, storms, and other natural calamities.
We all Hindus go to the temple daily and pray and donate a little share of our earnings. We pay some or the other amount as donation but we are not sure about the spending of those donations. Most of the temples give a huge portion of it as election funds. Temples are generally registered as charitable trusts, so they pay Zero Taxes and can use donations as they please. Donating money to an institution where people can find happiness is a common practice across the world. Some donate to temples, some to Meditation centers. Some people donate to their political party, some to clubs, some pay a huge maintenance fee for the maintenance of the common area in their apartment complex. People donate to corrupt parties and get nothing out of it. People donate money towards building a park or a gym in their area. A place demonstrating cultural heritage of our nation all over the world money worth millions are poured in to protect the cultural heritages – Ireland Spends 300 Million Euros on heritage protection every year. People make hefty donations towards the maintenance of heritage centers. But all these donations have accountability and specific purpose.
All other religious worship places and temples have become means to convert private money into commons – they act as a buffer in distributing wealth. In the olden days Kings kept a part of the money in Temples as an insurance against calamities. They used the money from temples to rebuild the nation after the calamities. These days it’s exactly opposite, it’s more of money laundering for political motives of all the parties. Be it church, mosque or temple the practices are similar. Pre independence era temples played a key role in the lives of common people. It is only after the British intervention and our government taking over the temples, things has reached a sorry state. No money that is donated to the temple goes waste because every single penny is used for different motives without our knowledge. Sometimes it makes me sad that people seem to be more willing to donate in the temples than they are to donate to help people. There are lines out the door of the temples with people trying to donate for the gods, who are adorned with gold and silk. But yet there are still countless people who are living in poverty, who could benefit a lot from those donations. And in some temples, depending on how much money you donate, the priest will give you privileges, such as sitting closer to the god’s idol; sometimes it’s even like a VIP entrance to a certain part of the temple, or you get expedited in the line to get through faster. Imagine how that makes people feel who don’t have money– that they can’t get as close to God?
Money really matters in God’s world, those who are rich are reachable to God in temple, and those who are poppers still contribute something or the other thing but go unnoticed by all. They are pushed, pulled, hurried and finally thrown out before seeking darshan. These are the actual donors of Ram temple, they are paying ten rupees each the minimum as temple building funds but there is no assurance that they would be received with dignity to seek darshan. Meanwhile there is also no guarantee where this hard money is going to be spent. Most of the collection is in cash and the accountability factor is another challenge. No one keeps the receipt and asks for answerability towards the funds that he/she donated. When huge collections are done and everything is in abundance, then why extra collection for political campaigns in the name of Ram? People need to really retrospect.