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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Capitalist temples?

Does charging of differential entry fee (or any fee at all) and providing differential access to 'god' based on what denomination entry fee a devotee has paid make a temple a capitalist one? Does a capitalist temple become a profit seeking temple? Does the place remain a temple at all in the first place then?

Temples are meant to be institutions where all humans are equal. Rich or Poor, Old or Young, Beautiful or Ugly; God treats all his worshipers equally we are told or is it? Is it like all are equal but some are more equal type of equality that we are looking at?

I recently visited a temple (Golden temple at Vellore, click here for its website) where there were at least three types of entry tickets - Free, Rs100, Rs250. People who wanted free entry had the longest walk to see the idol those who paid Rs250 had shorter walks. People with no entry ticket did not get close to the idol, they could see the idol from around 20 feet away while those who paid Rs100 or Rs250 got to within 10 feet of the idol.

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