A NEWS ITEM headlined “Patidars pledge Rs 150 crore in 3 hours for temple in Ahmedabad” drew scores of comments opposing such lavish spend when there was so much poverty and suffering in the world, especially by a community agitating to get labelled as poor and backward.
True, temples, mosques and churches did contribute to the growth of art, architecture and craftsmanship. But, it appears that their contribution to the growth of higher human values and spiritually is, unfortunately, not proportionate. Building them may contribute to employment, but in the past they were the products more of slavery, exploitation or forced labour.
Human race still faces the problems of wars, killing, extreme cruelty and deliberate deprivation, which would have been eliminated had spiritual and mental growth of human race kept pace with that of science and technology.
Instead, technology led to making of deadlier weapons of mass destruction and greater human suffering. Many terrorists of today have high technical skills and so called ‘education’.
And this when ALL religions preach compassion, benevolence, kindness and other acclaimed virtues so sadly absent now. Only religions believing in proseletisation through crusades or Jehad dominate the world.
Fringe elements of even a religion that sought Vasudhaiva kutumbajam (world as one family) preach violence.
It is time an embargo is imposed on building more temples, mosques and churches. Man should focus more on urgent issues like disarmament, climate change or disease eradication.
As far back as the 1950s, Socialus leader Dr Ram Manohar Lohia wrote (‘Intervel in Politics’) that what Benaras (now Vanarasi) needed was not one more temple (as was being planned then) but a drive to clean the sacred Ganga.
Over 50 years later, that has not been done yet. And more temples, churches and mosques are coming up.
It is a question of priorities.